Economic Insights from Matthew Gardner

How will the coronavirus impact the housing market?

 

As we all hunker down through these challenging times, it is comforting to remember that there will be light at the end of the tunnel.

A voice of calm and reason in this time of uncertainty has been our Windermere Chief Economist, Matthew Gardner. While he is expecting an economic slowdown accompanied by a temporary 15-20% reduction in the number of homes sold, he believes the housing market will bounce back once we find our new normal.

Click here to watch his latest videos, or scroll down for some key takeaways…

 

 


 

The US economy will contract sharply but should perk up by Q4.

We’re in for a rough few quarters as the economy enters a recession. Just how rough—and how long—is still under debate. What economists do agree on is that the 4th quarter is looking remarkably positive…assuming we get through the COVID-19 crisis and the economy can resume somewhat normal activity before the fall.

 

 


Housing prices will likely remain stable.

Seattle home prices should remain steady—or even rise slowly as we come out of the recession—for a few reasons:

  1. DIVERSE INDUSTRIES IN OUR AREA which allow us to better weather the economic storm.
  2. SOLID FINANCIAL FOOTING as one third of local home owners have 50% or greater equity in their homes.
  3. STRONG DEMAND with more buyers than homes available, as well as rock-bottom interest rates.

 

 


This will be different than 2008…

We’re experiencing a health crisis, not a housing crisis.

  1. WE’LL SEE A PAUSE, NOT A COLLAPSE. Unlike last time, the housing market was strong going into this crisis and should rebound quickly. Why? Because this recession will be due to specific external factors rather than any fundamental problem with the housing market.
  2. FORECLOSURES WILL BE FEWER with most lenders offering relief to homeowners in distress due to temporary employment issues. Unlike 2008’s mortgage crisis caused by lax lending standards and low down payments, today’s home owners are better qualified and have more equity in their homes.

 

 


 

Find a Home with Windermere Real Estate

 

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Neighborhoods | Market Reports | Our Team

We earn the trust and loyalty of our brokers and clients by doing real estate exceptionally well. The leader in our market, we deliver client-focused service in an authentic, collaborative and transparent manner and with the unmatched knowledge and expertise that comes from decades of experience.

2737 77th Ave SE, Mercer Island, WA 98040 | (206) 232-0446

mercerisland@windermere.com

© Copyright 2020, Windermere Real Estate / Mercer Island

Posted on April 7, 2020 at 2:39 pm
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COVID-19 Resources

A Healthy Distance: Resources to Stay Sane While You Stay Home

 

Make Working From Home Work for You…


 

Kids at Home?


 

Bring Your Favorite Restaurants Home


 

Feeling Vulnerable?

Here Are Stores Offering Special Hours for Seniors and the Immunocompromised…

  • Albertsons: Tuesdays and Thursdays from 7-9 a.m.
  • Costco: Tuesdays and Thursdays from 8-9 a.m. (must have a membership)
  • Fred Meyer: Monday through Thursday from 7-8 a.m.
  • Metropolitan Market: Daily from 7-8 a.m.
  • PCC: Daily from 7-8 a.m.
  • QFC: Monday through Thursday from 7-9 a.m.
  • Red Apple: Tuesday and Thursday from 7-9 a.m.
  • Rite Aid: Mondays from 8-10 a.m.
  • Safeway: Tuesdays and Thursdays from 7-9 a.m.
  • Target: The first hour of Tuesdays and Wednesdays. Check Target’s website for specific opening hours at locations throughout the Greater Seattle area.
  • Thiftway: Tuesdays and Thursdays from 7-9 a.m.
  • Town & Country Markets: Monday and Wednesday, 7-9 a.m.
  • Trader Joe’s: Daily from 9-10 a.m.
  • Uwajimaya: Daily, 8-9 a.m. in Seattle; all other locations on Tuesdays from 8-9 a.m.
  • Walgreens: Tuesdays from 8-9 a.m.
  • Walmart: Tuesdays from 6-7 a.m.
  • Whole Foods: Daily, one hour before the store opens to the public. Check Whole Foods’ website for specific opening hours at locations throughout the Greater Seattle area.


 

More Resources…

 


 

Find a Home with Windermere Real Estate

 

Find a Home | Sell Your Home | Property Research

Neighborhoods | Market Reports | Our Team

We earn the trust and loyalty of our brokers and clients by doing real estate exceptionally well. The leader in our market, we deliver client-focused service in an authentic, collaborative and transparent manner and with the unmatched knowledge and expertise that comes from decades of experience.

2737 77th Ave SE, Mercer Island, WA 98040 | (206) 232-0446

mercerisland@windermere.com

© Copyright 2020, Windermere Real Estate / Mercer Island

Posted on March 31, 2020 at 10:09 am
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2020 Home Trends

2020 Interior Design Trends: 5 Takeaways to Refresh Your Home

 

With 2020 now in full swing, we’re seeing some clear shifts in how homes are being designed and decorated. Most notable for our area is the Modern Farmhouse trend with its juxtapositions of old & new, light & dark, and clean & rustic. Softer grey and lagom neutrals are here to stay, but are now being contrasted with deep hues and warm metals. Organic materials such as natural wood and potted plants are also gaining prominence. Here are some key trends to consider as you refresh or renovate…

 

#1: High Contrast Hues


Deep blue is the “it” color in home decor, with Pantone’s “Classic Blue” and Sherwin-Williams’ “Naval” each taking color of the year honors. Navy accent walls are gaining popularity in smaller spaces such as foyers, dining rooms and powder rooms. Black is also back as an accent set against white in kitchens, living rooms and bathrooms. High-contrast graphics are making an appearance on wallpaper and bathroom tile.


 

#2: Vintage Meets Modern


Whether it’s antique artwork, floral wallpaper or vintage tile, old world charm is making a comeback…with a twist. This time around we’re seeing vintage framed art, patterns, woods and statement pieces being incorporated into modern spaces with clean lines. The Modern Farmhouse epitomizes this trend with its fresh new take on the old.


 

#3: The Non-White Kitchen


The all-white kitchen is making room for grey and painted cabinets to take the stage. For the daring, “color pop” cabinets in deep blue, black or even red have been cropping up in the modern kitchen. Kitchens that do have white cabinets are being spiced up with decorative tile floors and backsplashes, along with darker wood shelving and contrasting light fixtures.


 

#4: Comfy and Cozy


Soft shearling, rustic leathers and fluffy textured mohairs are gradually replacing the luxe velvet we saw in years past. High performance outdoor-style fabrics have also gotten an upgrade and are appearing indoors on upholstered dining room chairs and couches. Cushy wing-backed dining benches and chairs are another notable trend, part of an emphasis on making dining rooms less formal and more comfortable. Another fun trend? Curved sofas for the dining room and kitchen.


 

#5: Warm & Earthy Accents


Matte brass continues its popularity in fixtures and frames, often mixed with silver metals. We’re seeing an infusion of aged wood accents, patina, rustic leathers and earthenware softening the clean lines of today’s minimalism. Potted plants are also popping up on shelves and in windows with olive trees usurping fig trees as a favorite statement piece.


 

Need an instant home update? Try adding throw pillows, blankets or artwork in hues from Pantone’s Spring/Summer 2020 color palette.

 


 

Find a Home with Windermere Real Estate

 

Find a Home | Sell Your Home | Property Research

Neighborhoods | Market Reports | Our Team

We earn the trust and loyalty of our brokers and clients by doing real estate exceptionally well. The leader in our market, we deliver client-focused service in an authentic, collaborative and transparent manner and with the unmatched knowledge and expertise that comes from decades of experience.

2737 77th Ave SE, Mercer Island, WA 98040 | (206) 232-0446

mercerisland@windermere.com

© Copyright 2020, Windermere Real Estate / Mercer Island

Posted on March 5, 2020 at 11:13 am
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Remodeling Cost vs. Value

Will Remodeling Pay Off?

 

Every year, Remodeling Magazine evaluates which projects bring the most return at resale in different markets around the country in their “Cost vs. Value” report. While returns have dipped nationwide due to growing costs and consumer anxiety, Seattle still saw better pay-off on remodeling than the national average. The chart below shows cost vs. value on the most common remodeling projects…

 

Cost vs. Value for Common Remodeling Projects

 

When looking at the full list of projects, curb appeal projects seem to bring the most bang for your buck.

According to Remodeling Magazine, these are the six top projects in our region that currently have the best return on your investment when it comes time to sell. To see the full report, click here.

 

Manufactured Stone Veneer

As long as the new stone veneer is consistent with your neighborhood’s overall look, this siding accent was rated the most profitable project in the Seattle area.

Stone veneer can replace your home’s existing siding, adding a fresh, modern look that conjures a cozy vibe all the way from the street, before buyers ever step foot inside. In Seattle it can recoup 118.5 percent of the cost when you sell.

 

Garage Door Replacement

In the Seattle area, replacing your garage door will cost an average $3,882, but will increase your resale value by $4,136, recouping 106.6 percent of what you paid for it.

Due to its size, a garage door can have a big impact on a home’s curb appeal. But adding to your home’s aesthetic is only one advantage; the warranty that comes with the new garage door is also a selling point for potential buyers who can trust that they likely won’t have to deal with any maintenance issues in the near term.

 

Wood Deck Addition

While building a deck might seem like a big undertaking, it’s actually a pretty cost-effective way to add to your enjoyment and positively impact your home’s resale value. Seattle-area homeowners can expect to pay about $19,000, but they’ll recoup 95.1 percent of that when they sell.

Adding a deck extends the living space of your home and provides even more area for entertaining, relaxing, and enjoying the outdoors. Whether you choose a natural wood deck or a low-maintenance composite deck, you can pick from a variety of styles based on the lay of your land and the areas of your backyard you wish to highlight.


Siding Replacement

Depending on the size of your home, replacing the siding can be an expensive undertaking. However, it’s a project that comes with high returns. For the Seattle area, sellers can expect 94.9 percent of the costs recouped.

Not only is siding one of the first things a buyer sees, but it also serves as an indicator of the overall health of the home. Broken or damaged siding could mean that there are other problems with the home, such as pests and rot. Replacing old siding is a cost-effective way to boost your home’s curb appeal and ensure buyers are going to walk through your front door.

 

New Vinyl Windows

Vinyl windows can add an instant update in both appearance and energy efficiency. The average cost to replace 10 windows is about $19,501 but you’ll recoup 89.5 percent of that cost when it’s time to sell. If any of your windows are fogged from broken seals then replacement will probably be a must before it’s time to sell.

 

Minor Kitchen Remodel

No need to move walls or appliances around, a minor kitchen remodel will do the trick to recoup 89.1 percent of the cost in our area.

An outdated kitchen can go from drab to fab and become a focal point with a fresh palette. Replace the cabinet doors with new shaker-style wood panels and metal or metal-looking hardware. Switch out the old counter tops with a cost-efficient option that matches the new look. Think about adding a resilient flooring option, then finish the project with a fresh coat of paint to the walls, trim, and ceiling.

 


ABOUT WINDERMERE MERCER ISLAND

We earn the trust and loyalty of our brokers and clients by doing real estate exceptionally well. The leader in our market, we deliver client-focused service in an authentic, collaborative and transparent manner and with the unmatched knowledge and expertise that comes from decades of experience.

 

 

© Copyright 2020, Windermere Real Estate/Mercer Island. Adapted from an article originally posted on Windermere.com. Remodeling data © 2020 Hanley Wood Media Inc. Complete data from the Remodeling 2020 Cost vs. Value Report can be downloaded free at www.costvsvalue.com.

Posted on February 4, 2020 at 12:26 pm
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2019 Holiday Happenings in the Seattle Area

Add a little sparkle with these local holiday happenings...


Our Northwest holidays may be wet, but they’re still bright! Make the most of the season with Seattle favorites—such as dazzling light displays and the Parade of Boats—along with newer additions like the “Enchant” event with light mazes and ice skating inside T Mobile Park. Scroll down for all the details…

 

WildLights at Woodland Park Zoo

West Entrance: 5500 Phinney Ave. N, Seattle, WA 98103
South Entrance: 750 N 50th St, Seattle, WA 98103
www.zoo.org/zoolights
click here to get tickets

  • Dates/Times: Open nightly 11/29/19 – 1/5/20 | 5:30 – 8:30 pm
  • Cost: $10.95 – $16.95 per person (ages 2 and under are free)
  • Promotions: Get a 10% group discount on WildLights tickets for groups of 20+. Zoo members get 20% off adult tickets.
  • Parking: Free parking is available at all lots after 4:30 pm (admission at both gates)
  • Food: Refreshments are available at the pizza trailer on the North Meadow, and at Gather and Graze (with covered seating provided). You are also welcome to bring your own food and non-alcoholic beverages.
  • Special activities: Carousel, fire pits, select indoor animal exhibits, ZooStore, & indoor snowball fights at the Snowmazium
  • Closures: December 2, 3, 9, 10, 24 & 25, 2019

Image courtesy of https://zoo.org/zoolights


 

Winterfest at Seattle Center

305 Harrison Street, Seattle, WA 98109
www.seattlecenter.com/winterfest

Map


 

Enchant at T-Mobile Park

1250 1st Ave S, Seattle, WA 98134
https://enchantchristmas.com/seattle/
click here to get tickets

  • Dates/Times: 11/22/19 – 12/29/19 | 4pm to 11pm Fri-Sun, 4pm to 10pm weekdays until 12/12, then 4pm to 11pm every day 12/13-19 – 12/29/19
  • Cost: $19.99 – $32.99 per person (ages 3 and under are free) | VIP passes with dinner starting at $74.99 for adults
  • Promotions: Discount on final 2 hours of any day | 20% off with a 4-ticket family pack
  • Parking: $8 – $60 at Safeco Field Garages or check out the city’s Interactive Parking Map
  • Food: Seasonal food and treat concessions throughout
  • Activities: Ice skating trail, light maze, visits with Santa, gift market
  • Closures: 11/25/19 – 11/28/29, 12/2/19
Enchant Light Maze

Image courtesy of enchantchristmas.com


 

Garden d’Lights at Bellevue Botanical Garden

12001 Main Street, Bellevue WA 98005
http://gardendlights.org
click here to get tickets

  • Dates/Times: Open nightly 11/30/19 – 12/31/19 | 4:30 – 9:00 pm
  • Cost: $5 per person (ages 10 and under are free)
  • Parking: Premium parking is $5 per car in the Garden’s lot (cash only) as space allows OR park for free at Wilburton Hill Park
  • Food: Hot drinks and snacks are available at the Aaron Education Center
  • Activities: Gingerbread village, live music
  • Holiday Closures: None

Photo courtesy of gardendlights.org


 

Snowflake Lane at the Bellevue Collection

Bellevue Way & NE 8th Street, Bellevue WA 98004
http://snowflakelane.com/


 

Christmas Ship Festival

Launch locations include Lake Union Park, Kirkland City Dock, Hyatt Regency Lake Washington, Des Moines Marina, Port of Poulsbo, Seattle Waterfront – Pier 55, Tacoma (Dock Street Marina), Edmonds, and Shilshole Bay Marina

www.argosycruises.com
click here to get tickets


 

Ivar’s Clam Lights at Gene Coulon Memorial Beach Park

1201 Lake Washington Blvd N, Renton, WA 98056
https://rentonwa.gov/clamlights

  • Dates/Times: Open nightly 12/6/19 – 1/1/20 | 5 – 9 pm
  • Cost: Free for all ages
  • Parking: Park for free at the Gene Coulon Memorial Beach Park parking lot
  • Kickoff Event on Friday, December 6th at 5:30pm: Official lighting ceremony, photo op with Santa & Mrs. Claus in their sleigh, and more!
  • Holiday Closures: None

 

Westlake Center Tree Lighting & Holiday Activities

400 Pine St., Seattle, WA 98101 (Westlake Park)
https://redtri.com/guides/downtown-seattle-heart-of-the-holidays-seattle-wa-hg2019/

  • Dates/Times: Tree lighting ceremony (with snow and fireworks) on 11/29/19, time TBD. Holiday market Fri-Sun beginning 11/29 through 12/22. Carousel and other festive attractions run 11/29 through January 1st, 2020
  • Cost: Free for all ages
  • Parking: Access the Republic Parking garage from Olive Way between 4th & 5th Ave, or check out this interactive map of city parking
  • Activities: Carousel, Holiday Market at Westlake Park

Image courtesy of http://redtri.com


 

Zoolights at Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium

5400 N Pearl St, Tacoma, WA 98407
www.pdza.org/event/zoolights
click here to get tickets

  • Dates/Times: Open nightly 11/29/2019 – 1/5/2020 | 5 – 9 pm
  • Cost: $11-$13 (free for kids 2 & under)
  • Promotions: Discounted tickets for zoo members; Military discount nights Dec. 2, 4, 9, 11, 14 & 18
  • Parking: Free parking in zoo lots (carpooling recommended)
  • Food: Make your own s’mores at the cafe deck firepits, or grab hot cocoa, dinner, snacks & 21+ beverages from the Plaza Cafe, Pearl St Grille & food stands
  • Activities: Carousel, aquarium, Kids’ Zone with meerkats & goat feeding
  • Holiday Closure: 12/24
https://www.pdza.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/05/Hero-zoolights-1440x500.jpg

Image courtesy of https://www.pdza.org


 

But wait, there’s more…

Holiday theatrical & musical shows

The Polar Express train ride at Mt. Rainier Railroad

Gingerbread Village at the Sheraton Grand Seattle

Leavenworth Lighting Festival & Snow Bus Tour

 


ABOUT WINDERMERE MERCER ISLAND

We earn the trust and loyalty of our brokers and clients by doing real estate exceptionally well. The leader in our market, we deliver client-focused service in an authentic, collaborative and transparent manner and with the unmatched knowledge and expertise that comes from decades of experience.

© Copyright 2019, Windermere Real Estate/Mercer Island.

Posted on November 15, 2019 at 12:11 pm
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Give Back This Season

Thanks & Giving: Charities That Would Love Your Help

 

Looking to share your bounty this holiday season? Below are some of our favorite Seattle-area organizations who can use your time, household items, toys, and more to help improve the lives of homeless and low-income families in our area. You might also check out these tips on how to make the most of charitable giving. Won’t you join us in making this holiday season just a little better for everyone?

 


YOUTH CARE: Homeless Youth Off the Streets Preparing for Life

Each night in King County, almost 1,100 unaccompanied youth and young adults are homeless. Why? A national study found that over 90% of homeless youth reported family conflict and 1/4 suffered from abuse and neglect before they reached the streets. YouthCare builds confidence and self-sufficiency for homeless youth by providing a continuum of care that includes outreach, basic services, emergency shelter, housing, counseling, education, and employment training. Lend a hand by volunteering, hosting a drive for the most needed items, or hiring a YouthCare graduate.

http://youthcare.org/
(206) 694-4500
2500 NE 54th Street, Seattle

 


Northwest Harvest

Northwest Harvest’s mission is to end hunger in Washington. They partner with 375 food pantries, meal programs, and high-need schools across the state to provide nutritious food and promote good health for those in need. You can help by volunteering at the Cherry Street Food Bank in Seattle (children in 3rd grade or older are welcome to volunteer with you!). You can also host a virtual food drive or make a cash/vehicle donation.

http://www.northwestharvest.org/
1 (800) 722-6924
SODO Community Market Food Bank: 1915 4th Ave S, Seattle
Kent Warehouse: 22220 68th Ave S, Kent

 


 

Mary's Place

 

Mary’s Place helps homeless women, children and families from the greater King County area. With a list of families that has double this year, the need for help is higher than ever. You might consider attending the “Season of Giving” benefit concert on November 22nd, with proceeds going toward the “No Child Sleeps Outside” campaign. You can also volunteer your time, donate wishlist items, or share your used clothing, blankets, and coats.

http://www.marysplaceseattle.org
(206) 621-8474
Donation Center in SODO: 9 South Nevada St, Seattle
Family Center in North Seattle: 1155 N 130th St, Seattle

 


 

Hopelink

Hopelink provides critical services to homeless and low-income families, children, seniors, and people with disabilities on north and east King County. You can help by donating food or grocery gift cards to their food bank, contributing unwrapped toys to their holiday gift room, or volunteering to help with their holiday giving events.

https://www.hopelink.org/
(425) 869-6000
8990 154th Ave NE, Redmond

 


 

Treehouse

 

Did you know less than 50% of Washington state youth in foster care graduate from high school? Treehouse seeks to level the playing field by providing academic and other essential support foster kids need to graduate at the same rate as their peers, with a plan for their future. You can help by hosting a holiday drive, volunteering, or donating to their holiday program.

https://www.treehouseforkids.org/
(206) 767-7000
2100 24th Avenue S./Suite 200

 


 

 

With a mission to help people in need of immediate food assistance, the Emergency Feeding Program partners with 240 local agencies to distribute 50,000 bags of quality, nutritional food and ensure that no one will go hungry tonight. You can help by volunteering or making a cash contribution.

https://www.emergencyfeeding.org/
(425) 277-0300
851 Houser Way N, Renton

 


Eastside Baby Corner

 

Eastside Baby Corner was founded by a local pediatric nurse concerned about the large numbers of babies in her practice who began life without basic essentials like adequate food, clothing, beds, or safety equipment. Today Eastside Baby Corner’s location in Issaquah, Northshore and Bremerton collect, purchase, and distribute essential care items such as formula, diapers, carseats, warm coats, school supplies, and more for babies and children in need. You can help out by volunteering, donating goods, or organizing a drive.

Eastside Baby Corner:
http://babycorner.org

(425) 865-0234
1510 NW Maple St, Issaquah

 


Toys for Tots

Since 1947, The U.S. Marine Corps Toys for Tots program has distributed 548 million toys to 251 million children in need. Consider helping out this year by donating a new toy, volunteering, or asking your organization to become a toy drop site.

https://fort-lewis-wa.toysfortots.org
Click Here for Toy Drop Off Locations
Coordinator: Gunnery Sergeant James Wells, (253) 720-9858

 


Food Lifeline

Every year, nearly 40% of our country’s food ends up in landfills, while millions go hungry. Food Lifeline attempts to solve both problems by rescuing millions of pounds of surplus food from farmers, manufacturers, grocery stores, and restaurants. They then deliver this healthy and nutritious food to more than 300 food banks, shelters and meal programs across Western Washington–providing the equivalent of 116,000 meals every day for hungry children, adults and seniors. You can help by volunteering (opportunities are available for kids as young as 6, too!), donating funds or hosting a food drive.

https://foodlifeline.org/
(206) 545-6600
815 S 96th St, Seattle

 


Wellspring Family Services

Wellspring helps low-income and vulnerable individuals, children and families in Seattle and King County address issues such as mental health, family homelessness, early learning, basic needs, and domestic violence intervention. Each year they help thousands of children and families break cycles of instability, homelessness, and adversity to achieve positive, permanent change. You can help by donating to their Giving Together holiday campaign or getting your children involved in the Kids Helping Kids youth philanthropy program.

http://wellspringfs.org/
(206) 826-3050
1900 Rainier Avenue South, Seattle

 


 

Seattle Children's Hospital Research Foundation

 

Founded and run by a group of philanthropic women over 100 years ago, Seattle Children’s mission is to provide hope, care and cures to help every child live the healthiest and most fulfilling life possible. You can help their patients by donating a new toy or gift card, volunteering, contributing funds, or supporting one of its guilds (such as the Project Kids Cancer Cure Guild).

http://www.seattlechildrens.org
(206) 987-2000
4800 Sand Point Way NE, Seattle

 


ABOUT WINDERMERE MERCER ISLAND

We earn the trust and loyalty of our brokers and clients by doing real estate exceptionally well. The leader in our market, we deliver client-focused service in an authentic, collaborative and transparent manner and with the unmatched knowledge and expertise that comes from decades of experience.

 

 

© Copyright 2019, Windermere Real Estate/Mercer Island.

 

Posted on November 5, 2019 at 10:43 am
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Planning for the Life Expectancy of Your Home

Planning Ahead: The Life Expectancy of Your Home's Components

 

Nothing in life lasts forever – and the same can be said for your home. From the roof to the furnace, every component of your home has a lifespan, so it’s a good idea to know approximately how many years of service you can expect from them. This information can help when buying or selling your home, budgeting for improvements, and deciding between repairing or replacing when problems arise.

 

According to a National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) study, the average life expectancy of some home components has decreased over the past few decades. (This might explain why you’re on your third washing machine while Grandma still has the same indestructible model you remember from childhood.) But the good news is the lifespan of many other items has actually increased in recent years.

 

Here’s a look at the average life spans of some common home components (courtesy of NAHB).

 

APPLIANCES. Of all home components, appliances have the widest variation in life spans. These are averages for all brands and models and may represent the point which replacing is more cost-effective than repairing. Among major appliances, gas ranges have the longest life expectancy, at about 15 years. Electric ranges, standard-size refrigerators, and clothes dryers last about 13 years, while garbage disposals grind away for about 10 years. Dishwashers, microwave ovens, and mini-refrigerators can all be expected to last about nine years. For furnaces, expect a lifespan of about 15 years for electric, 18 for gas, and 20 for oil-burning models. Central air-conditioning systems generally beat the heat for 10 to 15 years.

 

KITCHEN & BATH. Countertops of wood, tile, and natural stone will last a lifetime, while cultured marble will last about 20 years. The lifespan of laminate countertops depends greatly on the use and can be 20 years or longer. Kitchen faucets generally last about 15 years. An enamel-coated steel sink will last five to 10 years; stainless will last at least 30 years; and slate, granite, soapstone, and copper should endure 100 years or longer. Toilets, on average, can serve at least 50 years (parts such as the wax ring, flush assembly, and seat will likely need replacing), and bathroom faucets tend to last about 20 years.

 

FLOORING. Natural flooring materials provide longevity as well as beauty: Wood, marble, slate, and granite should all last 100 years or longer, and tile, 74 to 100 years. Laminate products will survive 15 to 25 years, linoleum about 25 years, and vinyl should endure for about 50 years. Carpet will last eight to 10 years on average, depending on use and maintenance.

 

SIDING, ROOFING, WINDOWS & DECKS. Brick siding normally lasts 100 years or longer, aluminum siding about 80 years, and stucco about 25 years. The lifespan of wood siding varies dramatically – anywhere from 10 to 100 years – depending on the climate and level of maintenance. For roofs, slate or tile will last about 50 years, wood shingles can endure 25 to 30 years, the metal will last about 25 years, and asphalts got you covered for about 20 years. Unclad wood windows will last 30 years or longer, aluminum will last 15 to 20 years, and vinyl windows should keep their seals for 15 to 20 years. Cedar decks average 15-25 years if properly cleaned and treated, while high quality composite decks should easily last 30 years with minimal maintenance.

 

Of course, none of these averages matter if you have a roof that was improperly installed or a dishwasher that was a lemon right off the assembly line. In these cases, early replacement may be the best choice. Conversely, many household components will last longer than you need them to, as we often replace fully functional items for cosmetic reasons, out of a desire for more modern features, or as a part of a quest to be more energy efficient.

 

Are extended warranties warranted?

Extended warranties, also known as service contracts or service agreements, are sold for all types of household items, from appliances to electronics. They cover service calls and repairs for a specified time beyond the manufacturer’s standard warranty. Essentially, warranty providers (manufacturers, retailers, and outside companies) are betting that a product will be problem-free in the first years of operation, while the consumer who purchases a warranty is betting against reliability.

 

Warranty providers make a lot of money on extended warranties, and Consumers Union, which publishes Consumer Reports, advises against purchasing them. You will have to consider whether the cost is worth it to you; for some, it brings a much-needed peace of mind when making such a large purchase. Also, consider if it the cost outweighs the value of the item; in some cases, it may be less expensive to just replace a broken appliance than pay for insurance or a warranty.

 


ABOUT WINDERMERE MERCER ISLAND

We earn the trust and loyalty of our brokers and clients by doing real estate exceptionally well. The leader in our market, we deliver client-focused service in an authentic, collaborative and transparent manner and with the unmatched knowledge and expertise that comes from decades of experience.

 

 

© Copyright 2019, Windermere Real Estate/Mercer Island. Adapted from an article originally posted on Windermere.com.

Posted on September 4, 2019 at 10:28 am
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2019 Football Schedules, Venues, Recipes & Tips…

Football Fans Assemble! Schedules, Venues, Food & Tips

 

Are you ready for some football? Scroll down for printable schedules, favorite places to watch, game-day recipes and awesome tailgating hacks…

 


Download the Seattle Pro Football ScheduleDownload the UW College Football ScheduleDownload the WSU College Football Schedule

 


 

5 Favorite Seattle Area Spots to Watch the Game

Can’t make it to the stadium? Here are some tried and true local hot spots where you can catch the game in good company. All of these venues are family friendly for your little 12s, too!

1. Tavern Hall, Bellevue

Right in the heart of Bellevue Square, Tavern Hall offers 30 (!!) flatscreen TVs and 4 shuffleboard tables. Brick oven pizzas and pretzels accompany the 20+ different beer varietals on tap. All-ages restaurant + bar seating.

Tavern Hall

Photo courtesy of tavern-hall.com

2. Buckley’s in Belltown, Seattle

A 5-foot projection screen accompanies the 22+ TVs and 24 beer tabs in this family-friendly favorite. Check out the Queen Anne location as well (complete with a 10-foot projection screen!).

Buckley's in Belltown

Photo courtesy of buckleyspubs.com

3. Flying Pie Pizzeria, Issaquah

If you’re watching the game with kids (or just love good pizza), Flying Pie in Issaquah offers a full arcade, mounted TVs, pitchers of local beer and plenty of 1980s nostalgia. Gluten-free and vegan options provide a modern twist on the classic pizzeria.

Flying Pie Pizzeria

Photo courtesy of flyingpiepizzeria.com

4. Elliott Bay Brewery & Pub, West Seattle

Touted for its organic handcrafted ales, great food and kid-friendly atmosphere, the Elliott Bay brew pub also broadcasts local games on its mounted TVs. Don’t miss the local Stout Wort ice cream (made right across the street at the Husky Deli). Take a victory lap–or burn off all your stress eating–at nearby Alki Beach.

Elliott Bay Brewery & Pub

Photo courtesy of 5280lensmafia.wordpress.com

5. McMenamins Woodshop at Anderson School, Bothell

Northeast of Seattle, this converted schoolhouse in newly re-imagined downtown Bothell is well worth the drive. Enjoy shuffleboard, pool or pinball while you catch all the action on big screen TVs. Bribe kids with post-game pool time in the incredible North Shore Lagoon (with its own Tiki pub for mom or dad).

McMenamins Woodshop at Anderson School

Photo courtesy of parentmap.com.

 


 

12 Clutch Gameday Recipes


 

Click Here for Our Favorite Tailgating Hacks

 


ABOUT WINDERMERE MERCER ISLAND

We earn the trust and loyalty of our brokers and clients by doing real estate exceptionally well. The leader in our market, we deliver client-focused service in an authentic, collaborative and transparent manner and with the unmatched knowledge and expertise that comes from decades of experience.

 

© Copyright 2019, Windermere Real Estate/Mercer Island. Main photo courtesy of https://joenicholsonphotos.wordpress.com.

Posted on August 6, 2019 at 11:48 am
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Kicks for Kids Shoe Drive Now Through August 15th

Windermere Kicks for Kids

WHAT: Windermere’s Kicks for Kids event is a back-to-school sneaker drive for low-income youth, distributed through the Eastside Baby Corner.

WHY: Kids from struggling families are in need of back-to-school shoes that fit. When kids feel good about their appearance, it improves both their self-esteem and their performance in school.

WHEN: Formal shoe collection will take place through August 15, 2019.

WHERE: Windermere Mercer Island is the collection point where you can drop off new athletic shoes or sneakers (youth sizes 1-6 and adult sizes 7-9) or a gift card.

WHO: Sponsored by Windermere Mercer Island in partnership with the Eastside Baby Corner, located in Issaquah, Washington.

Windermere Mercer Island invites you to help in its back-to-school sneaker drive, known as the Kicks for Kids Shoe Drive, which serves the local communities to connect low-income youth with shoes for the upcoming school year. This year, we’re connecting once again with the Eastside Baby Corner, which is an amazing organization that helps kids thrive by providing resources and essentials with their 51 partner agencies – 26 of which are access to services through schools. The Eastside Baby Corner partners with charitable organizations throughout the Greater Seattle Area and helps them with the resources they need to best assist local families in need. Click here to go above and beyond the shoes with their back-to-school wish list!

Help us make sure every child has a new pair of shoes for school!

 

 

 


ABOUT WINDERMERE MERCER ISLAND

We earn the trust and loyalty of our brokers and clients by doing real estate exceptionally well. The leader in our market, we deliver client-focused service in an authentic, collaborative and transparent manner and with the unmatched knowledge and expertise that comes from decades of experience.

 

 

© Copyright 2019, Windermere Real Estate/Mercer Island

Posted on July 29, 2019 at 4:02 pm
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New Real Estate Excise Tax (REET) Rate (eff. 1/1/20)

We Want YOU...to Know About the Excise Tax Change

 

Now that Washington State Senate Bill 5998 has been signed into law, our local real estate excise tax—the tax paid when you sell a property—will be getting a facelift in 2020. The flat rate of the past will make way for a new tiered system which gives owners a tax cut on the first $500,000 of home value, keeps the current tax rate on the next $1 million of value, and then increases it sharply after $1.5 million.

 

The good news is that taxes will go down for the vast majority (~93%) of sellers in King County. Sellers of luxury homes that fetch more than $1.56m, however, will be paying more—much, much more in the case of multi-million dollar home sales.

 

Wondering how the changes might impact your bottom line when it comes time to sell? Scroll down or check out our quick reference worksheet

 

2020 CHnages to King County Excise Taxes

 

DETAILS & BACKGROUND

 

The previous flat state REET tax of 1.28% (1.78% after the 0.5% local portion is added) will be replaced on January 1, 2020, by the following rates (total REET after King County local portion is shown in parenthesis):

 

1.1% (1.6%) – Portion of selling price less than or equal to $500,000

1.28% (1.78%) – Portion of selling price greater than $500,000 and equal to or less than $1.5 million

2.75% (3.25%) – Portion of selling price greater than $1.5 million and equal to or less than $3 million

3.0% (3.5%) – Portion of selling price greater than $3 million


These thresholds may be adjusted again in 2022 and every four years after that using a formula for calculating value trends.


The current state real estate excise tax rate has been the same since July 1, 1989 while the local portion of the rate has been managed by each jurisdiction individually. You can find the full details in this Real Estate Excise Tax historical rates chart provided by the Department of Revenue.


The state provides a summary of the history and use of the real estate excise tax in Washington State detailing changes over the years. Currently, the bulk of the estate tax (92.3%) goes to the General Fund. Beginning January 1, 2020, and ending June 30, 2023, revenue distributions must be as follows: 1.7 percent must be deposited in the Public Works Assistance Account; 1.4 percent must be deposited in the City-County Assistance Account; 79.4 percent must be deposited in the general fund; and the remaining amount must be deposited in the Education Legacy Trust Account. Beginning July 1, 2023, and thereafter, revenue distributions to the Public Works Assistance Account increases to 5.2 percent. You can find the full law and definitions in Chapter 458-61A WAC (Washington Administrative Code).

 

SO WHAT’S THE BOTTOM LINE?

 

If you sell for $1,561,258 or less in King County, you will pay the same or less (up $900 less) in REET after 1/1/20. This is great news for most property owners in King County and across the state. Because the rate states the same on the portion of the selling price greater than $500,000 and equal to or less than $1.5 million as it currently is, all the savings comes in the portion below $500,000. This begins to whittle away as you creep above $1.5 million and into the higher tax rate of 2.75% (3.25%).


If you sell for more than that amount, you’ll be paying more–often much more. You can see from the quick reference chart below that the seller of a $2.5 million property will pay an additional $13,800, while a $5 million sale will cost an extra $55,550 and a $10 million sale a whopping $141,550 more.


Everyone will have a different take on the new tax rate, but if you have a valuable property and contributing more to the state’s coffers isn’t part of your charitable giving strategy, selling in 2019 might offer significant savings. On the other hand, selling in 2020 and beyond funds education and public works at greater levels than ever before, and that benefits everyone.

 

EXCISE TAX QUICK REFERENCE WORKSHEET


 

 

MERCER ISLAND


We earn the trust and loyalty of our brokers and clients by doing real estate exceptionally well. The leader in our market, we deliver client-focused service in an authentic, collaborative and transparent manner and with the unmatched knowledge and expertise that comes from decades of experience.

 

© Copyright 2019, Windermere Real Estate/Mercer Island. Originally posted on Windermere Mercer Island’s “Local in Seattle” blog.

Posted on June 4, 2019 at 5:11 pm
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