REAL ESTATE INFO COLUMN: How much are closing costs?

Welcome to my Real Estate advice column, “Dear Don,” where I answer all your burning Real Estate questions. Send yours to me at donkoonce@windermere.com, and I’ll try to answer them in future columns.

Dear Don:

How much are closing costs?

Curious Carl

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Posted on January 22, 2020 at 12:30 am
Don Koonce | Category: From Don, Real Estate News & Information | Tagged

Refresh Your Bathroom into a Spa

Image Source: Canva

With some creative thinking and a few do-it-yourself projects, you too can transform an everyday bathroom into a spa-like experience:

High-end shower head
There are a plethora of shower head options available today that can make even a simple shower space feel like a luxuriating experience.

Heated towel rack
Once out of the tub/shower, heated towels help you comfortably maintain your body temperature while the pampering continues.

Dimmable lights
Adjust the bathroom lights to match your moods and activities: brighter for primping, and dimmed to create a calming effect.

Less clutter
Not everything that’s meant for the bathroom needs to be stored in the bathroom. Look for things that can be moved elsewhere to make the space feel a bit bigger and more organized.

Calming scents
Essential oils, luxury soaps, and scented candles are an easy way to create an aromatic atmosphere of luxuriousness.

Posted on January 15, 2020 at 12:30 am
Don Koonce | Category: Design

SAVE THE DATE: Winter Food Drive Benefiting Rainier Valley Food Bank

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Posted on January 8, 2020 at 12:30 am
Don Koonce | Category: Community News & Information

RESTAURANT REVIEW: Il Bistro at Pike Place Market

If you find yourself downtown craving good food and drinks, I recommend stopping in at Il Bistro. Image courtesy of Il Bistro.

Dear friends: One of my favorite pastimes is trying out new restaurants with my husband Alan and other friends. This review is my way of sharing that with you as well. Enjoy!

Il Bistro is a cozy Italian restaurant with exposed brick walls, oak floors, beautiful bar, and low lighting tucked away in the cobblestone ally between a graffiti mural and the famous gum wall at Pike Place Market.

Since it is in tourist country, you would expect it to also be touristy, but it felt like it had attracted mostly locals. They are often booked up, so reservations are recommended. The dress code is listed as business casual, but we saw plenty of people dressed in jeans. They have a pretty extensive wine list, beer, and several craft cocktails, so you are almost guaranteed to find a favorite drink.

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Posted on December 19, 2019 at 12:19 am
Don Koonce | Category: From Don, Restaurant Reviews | Tagged

REAL ESTATE INFO COLUMN: Are some neighborhoods a better investment?

Welcome to my Real Estate advice column, “Dear Don,” where I answer all your burning Real Estate questions. Send yours to me at donkoonce@windermere.com, and I’ll try to answer them in future columns.

Dear Don:

Are some neighborhoods a better investment?

Wondering Will

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Posted on December 15, 2019 at 1:05 am
Don Koonce | Category: From Don, Real Estate News & Information | Tagged

2020 Economic & Housing Market Forecast

Matthew Gardner is Chief Economist for Windermere Real Estate.

As we head toward the end of the year, it’s time to recap how the U.S. economy and housing markets performed this year and offer my predictions for 2020.

U.S. Economy
In general, the economy performed pretty much as I expected this year: job growth slowed but the unemployment rate still hovers around levels not seen since the late 1960s.

Following the significant drop in corporate tax rates in January 2018, economic growth experience a big jump. However, we haven’t been able to continue those gains and I doubt we’ll return to 2%+ growth next year. Due to this slowing, I expect GDP to come in at only +1.4% next year. Non-residential fixed investment has started to wane as companies try to anticipate where economic policy will move next year. Furthermore, many businesses remain concerned over ongoing trade issues with China.

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Posted on December 13, 2019 at 1:51 am
Don Koonce | Category: Real Estate News & Information

Home Security for the Holidays

The holiday season can bring joy and peace, but it can also bring package thieves and burglary. Stay safe this winter by taking a few precautions with your home security. From old-school security tricks to new digital home monitoring tools, there are many options when it comes to keeping our homes safe and preserving that sensibility.

Upgrade your locks:
A poorly installed deadbolt can make it easy for an intruder to kick in your door. Start by making sure that your door frames are in good condition and then look into getting a higher quality deadbolt. You’ll find everything from classic models with keys, or digital options that require passcodes or a fingerprint.

It’s also a good idea to check all the locks on your windows. Some older models are easy to jimmy open with a little wiggling. For ground floor windows, you may want to consider double locks. It goes without saying, leaving windows open during the summer is a bad idea – especially those that can be easily accessed.

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Posted on December 9, 2019 at 1:55 am
Don Koonce | Category: Homeownership | Tagged ,

Four Holiday Décor Trends to Inspire You This Season

Photo Credit: Left – Lushome, Center – HGTV, Right – Christmas365

The holiday season is here and for many of us, that means it’s time to deck the halls. If you’re looking for some inspiration and a place to start, here are some ideas that are certain to get everyone in the spirit.

A Tree of a Different Color

For many, there’s nothing more quintessential during the holidays than a Christmas tree decked out in ornaments. But acquiring a tree can be challenging and expensive. Moreover, housing a tree consumes time and space. That’s why we love the idea of an alternative tree. There are plenty of options you can buy online or create yourself using things you probably already have around the house. And if you miss the smell of a real tree, try a scented candle or essential oils.

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Posted on December 3, 2019 at 2:02 am
Don Koonce | Category: Design, Homeownership | Tagged ,

Local Real Estate Market Update

A remarkable property to find in-city! This home and lot were especially designed to encourage simple, easy living.

Home prices rose 3% last month, which is the largest gain in a year. Generally, prices have leveled off and there is less competition for buyers. It is still a seller’s market due to the low inventory. Homes that are in great condition in popular neighborhoods still may get multiple offers and have the price bid up. Homes under $500K may also have competition and multiple offers.The condo market has slowed considerably, and condos are getting much more market time.

This time of year, there tends to be fewer listings and homes that have been on the market for a while go under contract, lowering the inventory further. But there are also fewer buyers looking this time of year so it can be a great time to buy.

Meanwhile, I have been busy bringing on two new listings and helping a client buy a new home. I helped a client close on their new home this week, which brings a lot of last-minute tasks, and I had the pleasure of delivering their keys last night.

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Posted on November 27, 2019 at 12:30 am
Don Koonce | Category: Real Estate News & Information, SOLD | Tagged

RESTAURANT REVIEW: Paxti’s Chicago Pizza in Ballard

I would recommend the food at Paxti’s if you have plenty of time to kill.

Dear friends: One of my favorite pastimes is trying out new restaurants with my husband Alan and other friends. This review is my way of sharing that with you as well. Enjoy!

Paxti’s Chicago Pizza is located in the Ballard business district. In addition to pies, they also have salads, sandwiches, and deserts.

The atmosphere is cozy and warm, sometimes a little too warm. It also was not as loud as I expected.

We had the Caesar salad and thin crust Classic Supreme pizza and our friends had the Build Your Own deep-dish pizza. Our salad and pizza were delicious, and our friends liked theirs as well.

The servers were friendly, but the service was painfully slow. Fortunately, we got our bottle of wine within a reasonable amount of time, so that kept us occupied. Making the best of the situation, we had time to finish the second bottle as well before our food arrived.

I would recommend the food at Paxti’s if you have plenty of time to kill.

Paxti’s Chicago Pizza
5323 Ballard Ave NW
Seattle, WA 98107
(206) 946-1512

Do you have a favorite South Seattle eatery you’d like to recommend? Give me a shout!

 

 

Posted on November 25, 2019 at 12:30 am
Don Koonce | Category: From Don, Restaurant Reviews | Tagged ,