September News; Fall is Here!
While I love living and working in Seattle, it makes me happy to have remote vacation property listings in beautiful places. The other day I drove to Snoqualmie Pass to support Search and Rescue, and not only checked on a lockbox at my Gold Creek listing but walked around Gold Creek Pond; literally a breath of fresh air!
Active listings in August reached the same level as last year, and based on my buyer’s feed, maintained that level or went up a bit – we will see when the statistics are crunched in October. Both pending and the absorption rate went up a bit as well. Historically things quiet down towards the end of year with winter settling in and the holidays.
Click-here to see the appreciation chart of all neighborhoods in traditional format.
Remodeling – Windows, Paint and More
Do you have a home you are fixing up to sell or perhaps to rent as an investment property? Either way, you may have some common goals.
The importance of creating a neutral environment is important to each, as is using quality products. In both cases you are probably interested in getting the best product for the least money.
Windows fall into both of these categories – and into a third, the home you have chosen to live in. Many older homes have metal framed, double-paned, windows and because a seal in a double-paned window is old, the window might have a fog problem. Single-paned windows have little to no insulation and also let in sound.
We had a segment on windows and doors during a monthly course I attend and our guest speaker was a representative from Westeck Windows and Doors. I have to admit at the beginning I had a rather ho-hum attitude, but by the end I was excited about the product!
Westeck has developed a manufacturing system which produces high quality, innovated and low cost windows which can transform a house. With the trend towards bringing the outside in, they have both doors and windows which can range to eighteen feet – as a matter of fact they just installed eighteen foot, double-paned windows along the railroad tracks in Bellingham and they are so sound proof one can hardly hear the trains. Nice if one is a train buff, but also love the views of Lummi Island and the Salish Sea!
They also install corner windows which can make a room look larger. Instead of sliding or Nano doors they use a stackable frame system, and encourage homeowners to use a similar flooring inside and outside to create a sense of space.
We have all heard that aluminum windows installed in homes attract black mold (which cause illnesses), and that the fog may accrue on the inside due to the failure of the spacer. Westeck makes aluminum windows but use a warm-edge super spacer to alleviate this problem. If one looks at their windows carefully, they have a grey bar inside which doesn’t allow for condensation.
That said, they offer Vinyl and Vinyl combination windows that look like wood, have less maintenance, and are less expensive.
They use airborne paint and can redo some existing windows by putting them into their machine where cleaning, paint and Vinyl become one. Their black paint doesn’t heat up more than white paint do to the process.
When asked about skylights, they did say they use Columbia Skylights, another Canadian company. In this case they recommend aluminum, which are the strongest, especially for snow load.
They can also match the window color to your home’s color, which then turned the conversation to paint colors.
Some colors age a house. Color is out, neutral is in. Taupe and beige are out, grey and white in. Especially when selling or renting, one wants a modern, clean minimalistic look.
2016 Benjamin Color of the year is Simply White with a trim of Revere Pewter
When it came to kitchens, we reviewed Candice Olson’s Favorite Wall Colors – the main message was contrast.
Glossy is out; it’s the quality that counts for wiping down walls. The older the house, the older the drywall, the gloss is unforgiving…but matt is forgiving.
Test the paint for three days. Use oversize samples or order paint sheets. Always start with a simulator and finish with a wall test. Use paint boards and move them. Always use primer and don’t cheap out on one coat.
Thinking about fixtures? Polished chrome goes with everything.
When renovating laundry and powder rooms, one doesn’t to need pay for a slab, buy two slabs….but don’t assume because they are the same name they are the same color… whoever accepts the slab is responsible for color matching.
When using tile, go with porcelain instead of ceramic, as ceramic breaks on impact.
That’s about it for remodeling investment properties and keeping costs down if fixing up a hom for sale…some of these ideas can also be used if you are planning on staying in your home for a long time, but in that case you are freer to go wild in keeping with your own tastes!