DecorFor Home OwnersKari's BlogTips & TricksUpgrades & Renovations July 24, 2021

Fun and Affordable Ways to Turn Your Empty Nest into a Dream Home

Living Room with Piano for an Empty Nest

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.

Master Bathroom for Empty Nest

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.

Reading Room for Empty Nest

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!

Home Office / Craft Room for Empty Nest


This post was originally submitted by Tina Martin and has been edited by the Kari Haas Real Estate Team. Tina is the creator of, where she helps people follow their dreams and be their own inspiration.


For BuyersFor SellersReal Estate Market Updates & Insight April 29, 2021

April 2021 Real Estate Update

Despite a bump in new listings the supply of homes still can’t keep up with the demand. The result? Multiple offers, escalation clauses, and record-breaking prices. If you’re considering selling your home, you’d be hard pressed to find a more lucrative market than what we have today.

March marked the first post-COVID/pre-COVID comparison, and the results were dramatic.

The drop in the number of listings was profound. In King County there were 54% fewer single-family homes on the market at the end of March than the same time a year ago. The Eastside had 68% fewer listings. There were just 216 homes for sale on the Eastside, which stretches from Issaquah to Woodinville. Extensive new investments there, including Amazon’s plan to add 25,000 jobs in Bellevue, will only increase demand for housing. North King County, which includes Richmond Beach and Lake Forest Park had just 26 homes for sale. In Seattle, the 498 listings there represents a drop of 18% from a year ago. Despite the comparatively greater number of listings, Seattle still has only two weeks of available inventory. The situation was even more dire in Snohomish County. With the number of homes for sale down 68%, the county has just one week of inventory.

So why is inventory so low? The pandemic certainly has played a part. People now working from home have bought up properties with more space in more desirable locations. Nervousness and uncertainty about COVID compelled many would-be sellers to postpone putting their home on the market. Downsizers who may have moved into assisted living or nursing homes are staying in place instead. But there are other factors as well.

For more than a decade, less new construction has been built relative to historical averages, particularly in the suburbs. Interest rates have also been a factor. Windermere Chief Economist Matthew Gardner noted, “I think a lot of the urgency from buyers is due to rising mortgage rates and the fear that rates are very unlikely to drop again as we move through the year, which is a safe assumption to make.” Homeowners who refinanced when rates were at record lows are staying in their homes longer, keeping more inventory off the market. And those same low interest rates have compelled many homeowners who bought a new home not to sell their previous one, but to keep it as a rental property.

While the number of listings tanked, the number of sales skyrocketed. That’s the recipe for soaring home prices. Housing prices here have been growing at the second-fastest rate in the nation for a full year. Nearly every area of King County saw double-digit price increases, with the exception of Seattle. In King County the median price for a single-family home in March was a record-high $825,000, up 15% from a year ago and an increase of 10% from February. The median home price topped $1 million for every city on the Eastside, where the overall median price surged 30% to $1,350,000, the highest median price ever recorded for the area. Seattle homes prices were also record-breaking, rising 4% to $825,000. Snohomish County prices set yet another all-time high as the median home price jumped 22% to $640,000.

The appeal of our area just keeps growing. For the second time, Washington took the No. 1 spot in the U.S. News Best States ranking – the first state to earn the top ranking twice in a row. The bottom line: the local real estate market is extremely competitive, and it shows no signs of slowing down. Successfully navigating today’s market takes a strong plan. Your broker can work with you to determine the best strategies for your individual situation.

The charts below provide a brief overview of market activity. If you are interested in more information, 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.




Kari Haas is a 2020 Five Star Professional award winner!

Click here to see her in Seattle magazine!





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Real Estate Market Updates & Insight March 19, 2021

March 2021 Real Estate Update

Neither the snowstorm nor the increase in mortgage rates dampened buyer demand in February. Lack of inventory continues to be a frustration as there are way more prospective buyers than there are homes for them to buy. As a result, prices continued their upward climb.

While the number of homes for sale edged up, it was still far shy of demand. This is especially true of single-family homes. There were 41% fewer homes on the market in King County in February than the same time last year. In an indication of just how competitive the current market is, the entire Eastside ended the month with just 224 homes for sale. Inventory was even more scarce in Snohomish County where the entire county had just 283 homes for sale, a drop of 58% from a year ago. Condo shoppers have more options as the number of units on the market in King County increased 56% from last February.

With inventory so slim, competition is fierce. 57% of King County properties that sold in February sold over the list price. The median sale price paid was 9% over list price. Both are record highs. Competition doesn’t show signs of easing any time soon. A hike in interest rates is expected to only increase buyer urgency. An average rate of 3.02% for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage for the week ending March 4 is the first time since July that the benchmark mortgage rate climbed above 3%.

The enormous imbalance between supply and demand sent single-family homes prices soaring throughout the region. In King County, the median home sold for $750,000, 11% higher than a year ago. Most areas in the county saw double-digit increases. Home prices on the Eastside jumped a whopping 28%. Seattle home prices were up 9%. In Snohomish County, the February $624,075 median price was up 21% from a year earlier and far surpassed the previous all-time high of $599,990 set in January.

With seller review dates, escalation clauses and multiple offers now the norm it’s more important than ever for buyers to work with their broker to create a strategy that balances their wants and needs with their budget.

The charts below provide a brief overview of market activity. If you are interested in more information, 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.




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Kari Haas is a 2020 Five Star Professional award winner!

Click here to see her in Seattle magazine!


This post originally appeared on

About Kari HaasFor BuyersFor SellersReal Estate Market Updates & Insight March 12, 2021

Kari Haas in Seattle Magazine

Kari Haas in Seattle Magazine December 2020

Seattle Magazine Cover December 2020Kari Haas appeared in the December 2020 issue of Seattle magazine as part of the special section on top agents in the area.

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:

    1. Qualifying rating
    2. Holds an active license and employed in their field for a minimum of three years
    3. Favorable regulatory and complaint history review
    4. Satisfies minimum production on a one-year and three-year basis
    5. 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!



About Kari HaasReal Estate Market Updates & InsightReal Estate RelatedSocial Media November 24, 2020

Kari Haas is a Five Star Professional Award Winner

Five Star Real Estate Agent Congratulations BannerFor Immediate Release

October 25, 2020


SEATTLE, WA – Five Star Professional is pleased to announce that Kari Haas is a 2020 Five Star Real Estate Agent! Kari is among an elite group of professionals honored with the Five Star award in the Seattle area.

The Five Star Real Estate Agent award recognizes professionals who excel in client satisfaction. All award winners are chosen after undergoing rigorous research, including client nominations and evaluations, regulatory requirements, and a review by an industry Blue Ribbon Panel. After satisfying all of our research requirements, Kari has been named a Five Star Real Estate Agent!

Please join me in congratulating Kari Haas on this incredible accomplishment. You can see a congratulations Facebook post here!





Jonathan Wesser

Five Star Professional

VP, Research


Check out the video announcement!


Real Estate Market Updates & Insight August 19, 2019

Seattle Real Estate Market – August 2019

The real estate market continued to moderate in July. Inventory rose and home values softened, providing buyers with increased selection and more favorable pricing. With strong job growth and interest rates holding at below 4 percent, brokers expect the market to remain solid through fall.


The market remains strong on the Eastside. The current tech boom continues to fuel demand, buoyed by Google’s recent plans to build out another office in Kirkland. An increase in inventory gives buyers more time to find the right home for their budget. The median price of a single-family home on the Eastside was $925,000 in July, down 2 percent from the same time last year.



Home prices in King County continued to ease. Buyers took advantage of lower prices and new inventory to boost home sales in July. The median price of a single-family home was $680,000, a 3 percent decline from the same time last year. More moderately-priced areas in the south end of the county saw continued price growth.



It’s no surprise that Seattle is the top city in the country where millennials are moving. Apple plans to add 2,000 jobs in Seattle. The first of 4,500 Expedia employees will start moving into Interbay soon. While demand here is expected to stay strong, prices continue to cool. The median price of a single-family home was $755,000, down 6 percent from a year ago and a decrease of 3 percent from June. Southeast Seattle, which generally has more affordable homes, saw the median home price rise 9 percent over the same time last year.



Inventory remains very tight in Snohomish County. The number of listings on the market were up 6 percent over last year, and the county has only six weeks of available supply – far short of the four to six months that is considered balanced. The median price of a single-family home in July was $502,000 – up slightly from the median of $495,000 a year ago.


This post originally appeared on

Real Estate Market Updates & Insight July 28, 2019

Gardner Report Q2 – Western Washington Real Estate

The following analysis of the Western Washington real estate market is provided by Windermere Real Estate Chief Economist Matthew Gardner. We hope that this information may assist you with making better-informed real estate decisions. For further information about the housing market in your area, please don’t hesitate to contact Kari Haas at 206-719-2224.

Economic Overview

Washington State employment jumped back up to an annual growth rate of 2.4% following a disappointing slowdown earlier in the spring. As stated in the first quarter Gardner Report, the dismal numbers earlier this year were a function of the state re-benchmarking its data (which they do annually).

The state unemployment rate was 4.7%, marginally up from 4.5% a year ago. My current economic forecast suggests that statewide job growth in 2019 will rise by 2.6%, with a total of 87,500 new jobs created.

Home Sales Activity

  • There were 22,281 home sales during the second quarter of 2019, representing a drop of 4.8% from the same period in 2018. On a more positive note, sales jumped 67.6% compared to the first quarter of this year.
  • Since the middle of last year, there has been a rapid rise in the number of homes for sale, which is likely the reason sales have slowed. More choice means buyers can be more selective and take their time when choosing a home to buy.
  • Compared to the second quarter of 2018, there were fewer sales in all counties except Whatcom and Lewis. The greatest declines were in Clallam, San Juan, and Jefferson counties.
  • Listings rose 19% compared to the second quarter of 2018, but there are still a number of very tight markets where inventory levels are lower than a year ago. Generally, these are the smaller — and more affordable — markets, which suggests that affordability remains an issue.

Connect with Kari Haas on Twitter to see market stats updates as soon as they come out!

Home Prices

  • Year-over-year price growth in Western Washington continues to taper. The average home price during second quarter was $540,781, which is 2.8% higher than a year ago. When compared to first quarter of this year, prices were up 12%.

  • Home prices were higher in every county except King, which is unsurprising given the cost of homes in that area. Even though King County is home to the majority of jobs in the region, housing is out of reach for many and I anticipate that this will continue to act as a drag on price growth.
  • When compared to the same period a year ago, price growth was strongest in Lewis County, where home prices were up 15.9%. Double-digit price increases were also seen in Mason, Cowlitz, Grays Harbor, and Skagit counties.
  • The region’s economy remains robust, which should be a positive influence on price growth. That said, affordability issues are pervasive and will act as a headwind through the balance of the year, especially in those markets that are close to job centers. This will likely force some buyers to look further afield when searching for a new home.

Click here to see current listings by Kari Haas!

Days on Market

  • The average number of days it took to sell a home matched the second quarter of 2018.
  • Snohomish County was the tightest market in Western Washington, with homes taking an average of only 21 days to sell. There were five counties where the length of time it took to sell a home dropped compared to the same period a year ago. Market time rose in eight counties and two were unchanged.
  • Across the entire region, it took an average of 41 days to sell a home in the second quarter of 2019. This was the same as a year ago but is down 20 days compared to the first quarter of 2019.
  • As stated above, days-on-market dropped as we moved through the spring, but all markets are not equal. I suggest that this is not too much of an issue and that well-priced homes will continue to attract attention and sell fairly rapidly.


This speedometer reflects the state of the region’s real estate market using housing inventory, price gains, home sales, interest rates, and larger economic factors. I am leaving the needle in the same position as the first quarter as demand appears to still be strong.

The market has benefitted from a fairly significant drop in mortgage rates. With average 30-year fixed rates still below 4%, I expect buyers who have been sitting on the fence will become more active, especially given that they have more homes to choose from.

As Chief Economist for Windermere Real Estate, Matthew Gardner is responsible for analyzing and interpreting economic data and its impact on the real estate market on both a local and national level. Matthew has over 30 years of professional experience both in the U.S. and U.K.

In addition to his day-to-day responsibilities, Matthew sits on the Washington State Governors Council of Economic Advisors; chairs the Board of Trustees at the Washington Center for Real Estate Research at the University of Washington; and is an Advisory Board Member at the Runstad Center for Real Estate Studies at the University of Washington where he also lectures in real estate economics.

This post originally appeared on the Blog.

FoodNeighborhoods July 22, 2019

Rainier Valley Is Rockin’!


Seattle has many fantastic neighborhoods. You’ve probably heard of Ballard, Queen Anne or Capitol Hill, to name a few. As these long-standing popular neighborhoods continue to increase in density, it is time to turn our attention to up-and-coming areas blossoming with fantastic restaurants and shops. Rainier Valley is on the top of our list!


Rainier Valley Real Estate

For Sale: Fantastic Townhome

Located in south Seattle, Rainier Valley is a hub of excitement growing in conjunction with the communities of Columbia City, Hillman City, Brighton and Beacon Hill. Filled with independent, small and minority-owned businesses, great services and lots of activities, Rainier Valley is the place to be.


We created this handy guide to help you get started on exploring all that Rainier Valley has to offer. After hitting all the spots, we are sure you’ll fall in love with the are and want to move in!



Columbia City

Columbia City is a historic landmark district in South Seattle, known for its international mix of restaurants and cafes, live music venues, Ark Lodge Cinema, and locally-owned shops and businesses. In the 1890’s, Columbia City was the last stop on the trolley line from downtown Seattle.  Now, it is at the heart of the Light Rail line, 15 minutes from Sea-Tac Airport and 11 minutes to Downtown – Columbia City Business Association


Rainier Valley Neighborhood Columbia City

Photo Credit – Columbia City Business Association Facebook

Hillman City

A community of collaborators, Hillman City is always abuzz with neighborhood gatherings and new businesses popping up. From breweries to co-working spaces, Hillman City is a wonderful area to relax and be yourself.



Brighton is a primarily residential neighborhood in the Rainier Valley district. It is just south of the Hillman City neighborhood and about a mile and a half south of the Columbia City neighborhood and retail district. It was reportedly named “Brighton Beach” after the English resort city of Brighton in East Sussex.


Beacon Hill

Beacon Hill is a giant, pea pod-shaped neighborhood in south Seattle that is booming with new development. Beacon Hill offers residents – many families and young professionals – an urban feel without being too close to the hustle and bustle with lots of bars, restaurants, coffee shops, and parks.



Geraldine’s Counter

People come from far and wide to stand in line outside of Geraldine’s. It is continuously voted one Seattle’s top breakfast and brunch destinations – and it is right here in the heart of Rainier Valley! Located on a busy corner in Columbia City, Geraldine’s supports customers from far and wide with Americana comfort food.


Empire Espresso

Empire Espresso is a cozy Columbia City gem that manages to feel both bustling and calm enough for reading or working. The staff are known for their seasonal latte art, so every frothy cup — from traditional to matcha to cayenne — ought to feature something Instagram-worthy. And the snacks include crispy waffles (including vegan and gluten-free versions), killer paninis, and hearty hummus plates. – Eater Seattle


Amy’s Merkato

Rainier Valley Food Amy's Merkato

Photo Credit – Amy’s Merkato Facebook

Established in 1992 by Amy herself and now owned by Judy and Filli, Amy’s Merkato is a restaurant, deli, and café AND, of course, is also Seattle’s first Ethiopian Market. The Google reviews and Globalist praise are enough for you to be sure Amy’s Merkato is the city’s best Ethiopian restaurant.


NW Peaks Brewery

If you didn’t believe us before, you need not worry any longer. NW Peaks Brewery, a stable of the hip Ballard community, has opened its doors in Rainier Valley’s Hillman City! It features unique beers and specialty casks for special occasions. Both tap rooms are open 7 days a week and are family friendly


Pizzeria con Cucina

It began as an idea back in 2004 inspired by a trip to Italy and stoked by some life experiences in Washington DC. After the owners moved back to the beloved Pacific Northwest, hosted several backyard fundraising parties, found investors, secured a location and undertook six months of building, the doors of Pizzeria con Cucina opened in Beacon Hill on July 15th, 2011.



Third Place Books

Third Place Seward Park is a general-interest bookstore featuring new and used books with a used-book buying counter open seven days a week. It opened its doors in May of 2016 in the Seward Park neighborhood of south Seattle. It provides a gathering space for its community by hosting over 200 events a year! – Third Place Books


Rainier Valley Shopping Furniture

Photo Credit – Jacob Willard Home Facebook

Jacob Willard Home

Family-owned vintage furniture shop Jacob Willard Home operated online before opening its Hillman City showroom. In addition to a wide variety of restored midcentury furniture, it sells a selection of collectibles and LPs—and offers upholstery and refinishing services. Open Tuesday-Saturday, you can swing by the shop while you’re on your way home from work, the farmers market or a stroll! – Curbed Seattle


Hello Bicycle

In the winter of 2008, Hello Bicycle was founded with the mission to bring Beacon Hill a bicycle shop that could meet the needs of the diverse ridership in the area. Sam took ownership in 2018 and continues to help, educate, and encourage riders from all skill levels and background. Hello Bicycle approaches every encounter with the highest level of customer experience and detail oriented bicycle repair.



Okay, so it is not in Rainier Valley per say, but Southcenter is a fantastic area and shopping mall that is super close to Rainier Valley. There you will find everything you need from Target to iFly Indoor Skydiving and beyond!



Rainier Valley Exercise

Photo Credit – Rocket CrossFit

Rocket CrossFit

Rocket is owned by husband and wife duo Brady and Alyssa. It was started in 2011 by Brady, who had a vision about creating community through fitness. “We are pretty sure we’ve got the best trainers in the city, and our incredible members deserve no less. We are the place where you can set aside all of your fears and insecurities while you find strength you didn’t know you had, cheered on by a remarkably diverse group of people who are doing the same thing.” – Rocket Crossfit


Tina’s Hair & Nail Salon

With top ratings on Yelp, Nextdoor and more, the community members of south Seattle and Rainier Valley LOVE Tina’s Hair & Nails Salon. They basically describe Tina and her staff as beauty wizards. It is quite possibly the most beloved hair/nail salon in Seattle. You be the judge!



Rainier Valley Parks

Photo Credit – City of Seattle

Kubota Gardens

The greater Seattle area has oh so many parks including the magical Kubota Gardens. It is a stunning 20-acre landscape blending Japanese garden concepts with native Northwest plants. Since 1987 it has been owned by the city and is an historical landmark. Visit the park to enjoy the beautiful landscaping or join in one of its many year-round events!


Seward Park

Just over the hill is one of the most peaceful parks Seattle has to offer. Named for William H. Seward, the Secretary of State who was responsible for America’s purchase of Alaska in 1867, Seward Park boasts 300 acres of something for everyone. It is home to eagles’ nests, forest land, old growth forest, a 2.4 mile bike and walking path, an amphitheater, a native plant garden, an art studio, a playground, shoreline, beaches and more.



Columbia City Farmers Market

Seattle has a vibrant farmers market scene. The Columbia City Farmers Market, which began in 1998, is a beautiful gathering point for local farmers and community members to come together. Small farmers come in person to sell their food products to neighborhood residents while also providing education about their farm products and the importance of supporting and preserving local farmland. Check it out every Wednesday from May – October!


Rainier Valley Music

Photo Credit – BeatWalk

HONK! Fest West

HONK! Fest West is a free, non-profit, community music festival driven by the energetic performance of street bands in public spaces. Completely volunteer-planned and organized, HONK! festivals are a part of a global renaissance of community street band culture. For three days in Seattle area parks and streets, 25+ bands deliver music and celebration that is accessible to all. – HONK! Fest West



For over 25 years, BeatWalk has brought incredible live music to the heart of Columbia City! Thanks to our generous sponsors, Beatwalk remains FREE for all ages! BeatWalk always features a great line-up of first-rate, local musicians hosted by neighborhood businesses for audiences of all ages. Since 1995 BeatWalk has brought music lovers together for a fun and safe night out on the town. – BeatWalk



Light Rail

Rainier Valley Real Estate Kari Haas

Photo Credit – Kari Haas

The whole of Rainier Valley is conveniently situated along Sound Transit’s light rail including the new Othello Corridor. With numerous stops in the area, the whole city is at your fingertips! Such easy access makes Rainier Valley an excellent place to live.


Kari Haas – Windermere

After just 6 years in the industry, Kari Haas has risen to a top producer in her office of over 100 agents for the past 2 years in a row! Make sure to check out all the reviews she has on Zillow. If you or your friends are looking to buy or sell in the area, she’s the one you want.



There is nothing more satisfying than easy access to your utilities. For that reason, we have all that info for you right here!

Cable, Internet & Phone: Comcast 800-934-6489; Wave 855-971-1252

Electricity, Garbage, Sewer & Water: Seattle Public Utilities/Seattle City Light 206-684-3000

Gas: Puget Sound Energy 888-225-5773


DecorFor Home OwnersInvestingTips & TricksUpgrades & Renovations July 16, 2019

How to Boost the Value of Your Vacation Rental


Seattle at Dusk - Pixabay


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.


Whether seeking a vacation rental or searching for a forever home, location is key. Make it as easy as possible to envision the geography of the area and what activities, shops and services are nearby. This property is in the heart of Queen Anne with a gorgeous view of Puget Sound, easy access to downtown, and around the corner from the Seattle Center.



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.


Upscale custom cabinets, new appliances and imported granite? Yes please! This home has gorgeous updates in every room including two master suites. Searching for an investment property to use for a vacation rental? Look no further than right here!


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!


If they are looking into renting a home for their vacation, these vacationers are probably most interested in being a tourist in the city. If you want to really impress them with your property, don’t just stop with the kitchen remodel, bring the vacation into every room, including the bathroom. Who ever said no to a giant luxurious soaking tub?


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.


Every extra thing you do to enhance your property gives vacationers more of a reason to give you their business.


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, which provides resources to help others with home improvement projects and repairs.



NeighborhoodsSocial Media June 26, 2019

Nextdoor 2019 Neighborhood Favorites

Vote Kari Haas in the 2019 Neighborhood Favorites on


Voting is open through July 7th!

Neighbors on Nextdoor are voting now for their favorite local businesses of 2019, and Kari Haas Real Estate Team is in the running!

Help your neighbors connect with the Kari Haas Real Estate Team to help them sell their house & find their home by voting for us in the 2019 Neighborhood Favorites!

Kari Haas Nextdoor Headshot

Please use this link to vote for our team directly: You can also find us when you log into your account—or create your new account!—and search for Kari Haas Real Estate Team, located at 100 116th Ave SE, Bellevue.

Voting closes July 7th. If we have received 20 recommendations, on Monday, July 8th we will choose a winner who both recommended us AND left a comment/review to receive a $50 Amazon gift card.

Vote Kari Haas by July 7th!

More about the 2019 Neighborhood Favorites:

  • Nextdoor Mobile App Each year, customers have the chance to vote for their favorite neighborhood businesses in a variety of categories
  • The top voted businesses during the 2019 voting period are featured as a Nextdoor Neighborhood Favorite in the Recommendations section of the app
  • Winning businesses are awarded a custom window sticker to showcase on their storefront


More about Nextdoor:

Nextdoor is the world’s largest social network for the neighborhood. It enables truly local conversations that empower neighbors to build stronger and safer communities.

Building connections in the real world is a universal human need. That truth, and the reality that neighborhoods are Nextdoor Favorite Stickerone of the most important and useful communities in our lives, have been a guiding principle for Nextdoor since it was founded in 2011. Neighbors in the United States, United Kingdom, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Italy, Spain, Australia, Denmark and Sweden are using Nextdoor to:

  • Find a trustworthy babysitter or recommended house painter
  • Spread the word about a lost dog
  • Organize a neighborhood watch group or quickly get the word out about a break-in
  • Share information during a natural disaster
  • Receive information from local public agencies
  • Find a new home for an outgrown bicycle
  • Connect with a trusted real estate agent

Nextdoor is a privately-held company based in San Francisco with the backing of prominent investors including, Benchmark Capital, Greylock Partners, Kleiner Perkins, Axel Springer, and others.


*Information in the “More About Nextdoor” section is from: