Fun and Affordable Ways to Turn Your Empty Nest Into a Dream Home
If you are one of the many empty-nesters in the U.S., then you could have more house space than you know what to do with. Instead of leaving the extra space the way it is, how about taking on a few fun, budget-friendly projects that can give you a home that’s more suitable for your current needs? Read on for some great ideas from the Kari Haas Real Estate Team that will make your empty nest feel a little more full!
Start With Simple Projects
The best way to stay on budget with a home renovation is to settle on a few simple projects first. For example, now that you have an empty nest, you can make some tweaks to your child’s bedroom to convert it into a guest bedroom. According to Good Housekeeping, you can create a great space for your guests with the right decor. You can choose a theme for your room, like sleek elegance or cozy boho, and you’ll find giving the room a fresh coat of paint works wonders.
Create a Spa-Like Master Bathroom
Since adding a master bathroom or renovating the one you’ve got can be a costly venture, Philadelphia Magazine suggests taking some creative measures when you’re on a budget. You could increase your storage by adding a few baskets or additional shelving. Overstock has lots of great options no matter how much you’re looking to spend, and you’ll save even more by using an Overstock discount code or cash back incentive.
It can also help to use better lighting in the bathroom and upgrade your regular shower head to something more luxurious. If your new spa-like bathroom needs more than your creativity can fix, you can still save some money by getting deals on your fixtures. You can get great discounts when you shop around online—don’t forget to get the benefits of price matching whenever possible.
Get the Reading Room You Deserve
If you’ve always wanted a personalized room for your reading, you can convert your kid’s room for that as well, now that you have an empty nest. Depending on your personal style, you can make a few simple changes by adding ample shelving. Changing the color scheme to something more soothing or closer to your taste will also give the room a nice personal touch. Remember you’re on a budget, though, so find affordable ways to get a reading room you’ll love to be in. When you’re looking for that comfy reading chair and other pieces of furniture, Money Crashers suggests looking online at sites like Ikea, Pottery Barn, and eBay in order to find the lowest price on items of interest. You can also get deals from thrift stores or garage sales.
Give Your Hobby Some Room
An extra room is a good space to house your hobby supplies in one place. Prior to having the option, your supplies may have been stored all over the home or in a closet. Now’s the time to create a room that you can call your own and decorate as you wish. Some of the hobbies that benefit from having their own area are painting, sewing, drawing and crafts. When you’re designing the area, make sure to plan for adequate lighting and ventilation. With the right resources, you can save not only on your design elements but also hobby-related supplies.
While it’s not easy to move on from the fact that you have the house for yourself, it can be good for you to focus on a few choice renovation projects. These projects can not only offer enjoyment, they can remain affordable as long as you plan out pertinent details and take advantage of discounts when you can.
Are you looking to buy or sell a home in Seattle? Reach out to the Kari Haas Real Estate Team for a smooth and successful buying or selling experience!
This post was originally submitted by Tina Martin and has been edited by the Kari Haas Real Estate Team. Tina is the creator of Ideaspired.com, where she helps people follow their dreams and be their own inspiration.
May was a record-breaking month for the real estate market. Inventory hit all-time lows, and home prices reached record highs. With the supply of homes so tight, this sizzling seller’s market is expected to continue throughout the summer.
High demand hammered inventory in May. While the number of new listings increased, homes sold within days, leaving the market with just a few weeks of available inventory. There were 43% fewer homes on the market in King County at the end of May as compared to a year ago. The supply of homes was particularly dire on the Eastside where inventory was down 71%, leaving just 239 single-family homes for sale across the entire area, which stretches from Issaquah to Woodinville. Snohomish County saw the same trend, with inventory down 60% year-over-year. With the local economy remaining strong and population continuing to grow, don’t expect demand to slow down any time soon.
With inventory so scarce, it was yet another record-breaking month for home prices. The median price of a single-family home in King County last month jumped 29% to an all-time high of $869,975. Home prices in Seattle soared 20% to a record $919,000. The Eastside posted a median price of $1,298,475, down slightly from its all-time high, but soaring 37% from a year ago. Slim supply and high demand resulted in 78% of homes on the Eastside selling for over the list price.
A 62% jump in pending condo sales in King County indicates that some buyers are opting for a more affordable home option. At a median price of $459,000, condos look like a relative bargain when compared to single-family homes. Snohomish County home values rocketed up as well. With some of the tightest inventory in the region, home prices there shot up 35% to a record $697,000.
It’s a challenging market for buyers, and it looks like it will continue to be that way for quite some time. Now more than ever, you need a broker who can help you set your priorities, strategize your options and negotiate successfully on your behalf. And sellers need someone who really understands this fast-changing market and who can create a plan to get you the greatest return on your investment.
The charts below provide a brief overview of market activity. Every Monday, Windermere Chief Economist Matthew Gardner provides an update on the US economy and housing market. You can get Matthew’s latest update here. If you are interested in more information, your broker can provide you with a detailed analysis of your specific area.
Subscribe to our YouTube channel!
Connect with us on Facebook!
Follow us on Instagram!
This post originally appeared on
Kari Haas in Seattle Magazine December 2020
The following is quoted from Page 74 of the December 2020 issue of Seattle magazine:
Five Star Professional – Five Star Professional partnered with Seattle magazine to identify real estate professionals in the Seattle area who deliver outstanding service and client satisfaction. The Five Star professional research team surveyed home buyers, home sellers and industry peers, and analyzed online consumer evaluations. Survey respondents rated their service professional on criteria such as overall satisfaction and whether they would recommend the provider to a friend. The research methodology allows no more than 7% of professionals in each category to receive the award.
Determination of Award Winners – Professionals who satisfied each of the following objective criteria were named a 2020 Seattle area Five Star Real Estate Agent:
- Qualifying rating
- Holds an active license and employed in their field for a minimum of three years
- Favorable regulatory and complaint history review
- Satisfies minimum production on a one-year and three-year basis
- Successful completion of a Blue Ribbon Panel review
Real estate agents are pooled only with other candidates from their profession.
The final list of 2020 Seattle-area Five Star award winners is a select group, representing approximately 4% of real estate agents in the area. Click here to learn more.
Kari Haas is an award winning agent known for treating clients like family and helping them sell for more and buy for less.
Let’s Sell Your House & Find Your Home!
Kari’s Top 5 Places to Give on Giving Tuesday 2020
Giving Tuesday ushers in the charitable season, immediately following Thanksgiving and the popular shopping days of Black Friday and Cyber Monday. There are so many amazing organizations deserving donations on Giving Tuesday near and far. Here are my top 5 local organizations!
- Bellevue Youth Theatre
Mission Statement: BYT’s mission is to provide opportunities in the performing arts for all young people, regardless of income or ability, and allow them to perform before a live audience. At the same time, the theater provides the community with quality productions, which are both entertaining and socially relevant for the entire family.
I am proud to have been a board member and and to have helped raise funds to build the new Bellevue Youth Theatre at Crossroads Park many years ago. I am also proud to still be a strong supporter today. Click here to be part of Bellevue Youth Theatre’s mission this Giving Tuesday!
- Camp Solomon Schechter
Mission Statement: Camp Solomon Schechter (CSS) has a 65-year tradition of fun, friendship, and Jewish education in the Pacific Northwest. CSS values each child as an individual and strives to support their social and spiritual growth. Campers have the opportunity to be independent in a safe and nurturing environment. CSS is a fully immersive, welcoming, and spiritual Jewish environment. CSS emphasizes the values of integrity, derech eretz (respect), and tikkun olam (repairing the world), all while fostering life-long friendships. At CSS, Judaism and Joy are truly one!
Camp Solomon Schechter has been an integral part of my life and has helped shape the person I am today. I attended CSS as a camper and later worked there as a lifeguard. My children also attended (and one of them still attends!) CSS. Even my mother attended CSS! I am following my grandmother’s footsteps by being an active board member for CSS to ensure that future generations can benefit from this wonderful organization. I give to Camp Solomon Schechter on Giving Tuesday and every day! Join me by clicking here!
- New Bethlehem Project
Mission Statement: Meet the urgent and unmet needs of families who are experiencing homelessness on the Eastside.
Helping our community’s population of people in need is a huge passion of mine. I’ve been working with the New Bethlehem Project, formerly the Eastside Winter Shelter, for many years now and it is incredibly rewarding. Though #GivingTuesday is generally about giving donations, what they really need is food, paper goods and your time. 2020 is our 7th year sponsoring the paper goods and non-perishable breakfast food drive, and we are still collecting! Call me at 206-719-2224 for more information or for a pick-up. This Giving Tuesday, give to the eastside families experiencing homelessness.
- Hebrew Free Loan Association
Mission Statement: To aid worthy Jewish people to be and remain self-supporting and self-respecting persons by aid of loans, grants, and such services as the individual may require. Such loans, grants, and services shall be rendered without interest or other charge.
I cannot overstate how important this organization is. I was the recipient of one of these loans many years ago as a struggling single mother. This organization was there when I was in need. It lifted me up so that I could help myself. Now I am incredibly privileged to help support this organization and therefore many people who need a little extra help. If you need help, contact HFLA today to apply for a loan! And if you are planning your Giving Tuesday donations, please include HFLA and click here!
- Little Bit Therapeutic Riding Center
Mission Statement: Little Bit Therapeutic Riding Center is a community where horses transform the bodies, minds, and spirits of people with disabilities.
Every year I volunteer at Little Bit with my office, Windermere Bellevue Commons. We’ve been doing this as a group for 17 years and I’m proud to support such a vital, caring and nurturing service to our community. It is a beautiful place filled with beautiful people doing incredibly meaningful work. Check it out today and give to Little Bit this Giving Tuesday by clicking here!
Tens of thousands of dollars — that’s how much you could be making by renting your property out to vacationers if you do it right. Boosting the overall level of comfort and aesthetic appeal could turn a modest dwelling into a cash cow. Potential guests are willing to shell out for the extras, as long as they’re the right ones. If you want to turn their heads, as well as a tidy profit, you need to have a top-notch rental in a great area to get an excellent return on investment.
Location Is Important
Having a rental that’s close to activities, shopping, and dining makes all the difference. And when marketing your vacation rental, you want to highlight these nearby attractions — especially since you’re likely to have competition in a hot market like Seattle. If your rental is in one of Seattle’s many unique neighborhoods (Shoreline, Ballard, Queen Anne, Capitol Hill and West Seattle to name a few!) you’re well on your way to attracting guests. And even if you aren’t in one of these neighborhoods, look for other ways to make your rental stand out.
Upgrade the Kitchen
Vacationers often rent homes rather than stay at hotels in order to cook for themselves, so offer them a pleasant experience preparing their meals. First, make any necessary changes to the layout. Then, continue with popular upgrades that focus on function and appearance, such as new countertops and fixtures.
Add Some Appliances
New appliances could seal the deal when a potential client is considering your property for rental. They’ll expect the basics, such as an oven, refrigerator, and microwave, while toasters, blenders, and food processors make for attractive bonuses — as long as they don’t take up too much space.
Redo the Bathrooms
You can save money by doing a bathroom remodel yourself. You’ll significantly boost value with a coat of paint, some fresh grout, and a new vanity. Of course, if you’re not handy with a hammer and drill, hiring a contractor to install these wouldn’t be a bad idea. If you want to do a full remodel, make sure there’s room in your budget. Even a mid-range bathroom remodel averages $19,000. However, the Kari Haas team has great resources and new bathrooms are often less than $7,000 for designer details!
Install New Lighting
New lighting will make the whole interior look more spacious, warm, and inviting. There are a few ways to do this quickly and easily using recessed fixtures and sconces, with perhaps some under-cabinet task lighting in the kitchen to make cooking that much easier. And don’t forget the outdoors, particularly the path that leads to the doorway.
Give It a Unique Decor
Provide an experience that’s one of a kind rather than run of the mill. You can do that without busting your budget by buying furnishings and decorations at secondhand or outlet stores, estate sales, consignment shops, and auctions. There’s treasure to be discovered there.
Make the Patio Special
Your guests want to chill outside with a drink in their hand, one of the most pleasant parts of any vacation. Ensure they can do that in style and comfort with seating that fits the climate, along with some shade from umbrellas or a retractable awning. If space permits, consider setting up an al fresco dining area.
Plan for Maintenance
When it comes to maintenance, a preventive approach comes highly recommended and could save up to 20 percent in repairs when it comes to major appliances, as well as the heating, ventilation, and air-conditioning systems. Regular tasks like cleaning filters should be carried out according to a strict schedule, which should also include periodic visits from qualified technicians.
Keep It Spotless
If your vacation home isn’t clean, you may get a nasty review from one of your guests that scares off future business. Pay close attention to the kitchen, bathrooms, and bedrooms, as those draw the most scrutiny. Hire a cleaning service to keep your vacation rental sparkling clean. In the Seattle area, this will typically cost you between $123 and $239.
Learn How to Market
These improvements are for nothing if potential clients don’t know about them. Pictures are the best way to show them what’s on offer, so they should be taken by a professional. They will make an impact when you spread the news of your property far and wide on the internet and social media. Call Kari Haas for great photographer referrals costing between $300-$500!
With these upgrades and savvy salesmanship, you’ll get rave reviews that’ll bring a steady stream of clients flowing through your doors. Any successful business person will tell you that regular business is the best kind.
This post was originally submitted by Erin Reynolds and has been edited by the Kari Haas Team. Erin Reynolds is the creator of DIYMama.net, which provides resources to help others with home improvement projects and repairs.
The market in our region appears to be moderating. Inventory is up, prices are relatively stable and homes are taking a bit longer to sell. However, with less than two months of available inventory, supply is still far short of demand. Steady buyer activity, low interest rates and a thriving economy are making for a strong summer in the housing market.
The median price of a single-family home on the Eastside was $950,000 in June, down 3% from the same time last year and up $21,000 from May. Many buyers are looking to take advantage of the Eastside jobs boom with Amazon announcing plans to build a 43-story tower in Bellevue and Google expecting to reach 1 million square feet of office space in Kirkland.
Kari Haas Stat:
Since April 2019, Kari’s buyers have bought at an average of 97% of list price. That means that Kari’s clients are buying for less than the industry average and therefore closing with more money in their pockets! Call Kari Haas today at 206-719-2224 to discuss your real estate goals.
There was good news for buyers in June as a growing supply of homes helped boost inventory close to 2012 listing levels. The median price of a single-family home in King County was $695,000. That figure is a 3% drop from a year ago and virtually unchanged from May. 33% of homes sold above list price; another sign prices are moderating when compared to 52% of homes sold over list price this time last year.
Click here to see Kari’s current listings!
Home inventory in Seattle inched slightly higher in June. However, with less than two months of supply, the city is still a solid seller’s market. Apple’s plan to turn Seattle into a key engineering hub can only add to demand. The median price of a single-family home in Seattle was $781,000, down 4% from a year ago and nearly unchanged from May.
Connect with Kari on Twitter
After hovering around $500,000 since March, home prices in Snohomish County crept up in June. The median price of a single-family home was $515,500, as compared to $511,500 last June. Snohomish County continues to attract buyers priced out of the King County market, putting an additional strain on supply which stands a just 1.5 months of inventory.
This post originally appeared on the GetTheWreport.com.
January brought more good news for homebuyers. Prices were down, inventory was up and interest rates hovered near a nine-month low. Those factors drove more buyers into the market and resulted in an uptick in sales for the month. We’ll see how this transitioning market evolves as we head into the prime Spring home buying season.
The most expensive region in King County saw prices soften in January. The median price of a single-family home on the Eastside dropped 3 percent over last January to $910,000. It’s an excellent time for buyers to leverage the cooling market and negotiate terms that work best for their needs. Last January, 39 percent of the homes in this area sold for over asking price. This January, that figure dropped to 12 percent. With its favorable business climate and high rankings for both economic growth and technology capabilities, demand on the Eastside is projected to remain strong.
January marked the first time home prices in King County decreased year-over-year in seven years. The median price of a single-family home was $610,0000, a drop of 3 percent over the prior year. Inventory more than doubled. Unlike recent months, this was due primarily to more people putting their homes on the market, as opposed to homes taking longer to sell. Despite the surge in listings there is just two months of available inventory, far short of what is needed to meet demand.
The median price of a single-family home in the city was $711,500 in January, a decrease of 6 percent year-over-year. Despite a 107 percent increase in homes for sale compared to a year ago, Seattle continues to have the tightest inventory in King County with less than two months of supply. A booming economy that shows no signs of slowing continues to draw more people to the city. The area will have to significantly add more inventory to meet that growing demand.
The median price of a single-family home in January inched up 1 percent from last year to $455,000. That price is down from the median of $470,000 recorded in December. Snohomish County also saw a surge in inventory with the number of homes on the market double of what it was last year at this time.
This post originally appeared on the WindermereEastside.com Blog.