Kick-Starting a Kitchen Remodel

Image Source: Canva

Ask a homeowner which room they would most like to improve, and most will point to the kitchen – the starting point for every meal and the heart of the home.

Ask those same people why they don’t move forward with a kitchen remodel, and many will say the project seems so overwhelming they don’t know where to start. If your kitchen needs an upgrade, here are some step-by-step suggestions to get you started.

 

Gather your thoughts

The steps that follow will all progress much easier if you take time beforehand to form a strong opinion about the desired look and layout of your new kitchen.

 

Start by reviewing kitchen magazines and photo-heavy kitchen remodeling guides and/or websites. Compiling clippings and printouts in a notebook helps you refine your vision. Clip or print the photos that capture your imagination, add notes, and draw circles and arrows around the things you like most.

 

Once you have a clearer vision of what you want, search online for better examples and new solutions, if necessary. If you live with a significant other, share your ideas with them and don’t allow yourself to become too committed before getting buy-in from them. Contractors and sales associates will expect a unified front.

 

Focus on the flow

Another major factor you’ll want to consider is how your new kitchen will be used, and by whom:

 

  • Do you want to cook with others?
  • Do you want family and guests to gather in the space while you cook?
  • Do you want to serve meals in the kitchen?
  • Do you want to display your dishware?
  • Where would you like things stored for maximum efficiency?

 

Imagine yourself happily cooking and entertaining in your new kitchen, then note the key elements necessary to make those dreams a reality. Having a list of your desired kitchen features and storage needs will help ensure your plan meets your vision.

 

Determine your budget

According to the annual Remodeling Magazine survey of costs, a “midrange,” “minor” kitchen remodel will cost homeowners living on the West Coast about $23,000. Those same folks can expect to pay about $70,000 for a midrange “major” kitchen remodel. Determine what you can afford before you start work to ensure that your vision is within reach, or to help prioritize what’s most critical.

 

What to do with the cabinets

Replacing the cabinets is one of the most expensive improvements you can make in a kitchen remodel (typically consuming 20 to 40 percent of the overall budget, according to Architectural Digest).

 

Consider refacing instead. This can include one of the following: 1) Installing completely new cabinet doors and drawer fronts or 2) installing new wood or laminate veneer over the existing cabinet and drawer fronts or 3) simply refinishing the existing cabinet and drawer fronts.
Shopping for contractors

The contractor you choose will determine much of the cost, the pace of your project, the amount of disruption, the final results, and your level of satisfaction. So be thorough in your search:

 

  • Ask friends and family for referrals and advice.
  • Interview at least three of the leading prospects in-person.
  • Ask to see samples of past work.
  • Look for someone who complements your operating style (similar personality and communication style).
  • Once you’ve narrowed your choice to one or two, ask to speak with a few past clients.

 

You’ll be tempted to latch onto the first contractor who gets rave reviews from a friend or family member. But remember: You and your project are unique, and it’s worth the time and effort to be rigorous in your search.

 

Selecting appliances

If you’re planning to replace appliances, here are three factors you’ll want to consider:

 

Finish – Stainless steel is still the most popular option, but beware: smudges, fingerprints, water spots, and streaks will be obvious. Black stainless steel has a warmer feel and is better at hiding spots.

 

Extended warranty – According to Consumer Reports, extended warranties are hardly ever worth it because today’s appliances are so reliable. And if something does fail, it’s often less expensive to just pay for the repair.

 

Unbiased testing and reviews – Before making an appliance purchase, use the information resources available through Consumer Reports.

 

A final note

Moving walls and extending your home’s foundation are both very expensive options. If your kitchen plans call for these architectural renovations, perhaps you’ve outgrown your home and need something larger (with an already-improved kitchen).

 

This post originally appeared on Windermere.com


Posted on March 23, 2020 at 9:00 am
Windermere Stanwood Camano | Posted in Housing Trends, Uncategorized |

Incorporate Pantone’s Color of 2020 into Your Home

Image Source: Pantone

Classic Blue has officially been anointed Pantone’s 2020 “Color of the Year”.  Pantone says it picked this color because of its ability to instill calm, confidence, and connection as we cross the threshold into a new decade. A dependable color, Classic Blue is timeless, and enduring, making it a great addition to just about any room in your home.

Here are some ways to add this stunning shade of blue to your home:

 

Furniture

Image Source: Stacy Zarin Goldberg 

Add a splash of color to any room with Classic Blue furniture, such as these dining room chairs, which express a sense of tradition and elegance, as well as unexpected boldness.

 

Tile Work

Image Source: Stacy Zarin Goldberg 

Geometric patterns are all the rage this year, so why not liven up your kitchen backsplash with tiles that incorporate the color of the year? Here’s an example that achieves this through bold, colorful design that doubles as a piece of art.

 

Cabinets

Image Source: Davonport Kitchen Designers and Remodelers. 

If geometric tile isn’t your thing, the are other ways to bring your kitchen to life with this stunning shade of blue. If you’re not in a position to purchase all new cabinets, simply paint your current cabinets for a more affordable update.

 

Walls

Image Source: Stacy Zarin Goldberg

Whether it’s built-ins, panels, or an accent wall, Classic Blue can make your furniture and décor pop. Consider this color when you paint your living room or bedroom as a way to encourage calm and confidence in your favorite spaces.

 

This post originally appeared on Windermere.com


Posted on March 2, 2020 at 9:00 am
Windermere Stanwood Camano | Posted in Uncategorized |

Agent Spotlight: All In, For You

At Windermere, extraordinary is our ordinary. Our agents live and work in Stanwood and Camano Island. They know the area better than anyone and are here to help you.  Every one of our agents understands how important your home is. Whether you’re buying a new home, selling a property or looking for someone to manage your rental property, we’ll take care of you. 

 

Here are three agents who know what it means to be all in, for you

 

Michael Ofstad

Michael is described by his clients as dedicated, knowledgable and hardworking. He’s the kind of agent who will catch a 6 a.m. ferry every Sunday for weeks on end for his clients, or crawl through the attic to help with ductwork. 

On one occasion when Michael was representing one buyer, the underwriter demanded that the back deck be finished in order to fund. When the seller refused to complete the project in the time allotted, Michael personally helped his client build the 600 sqft deck and the deal closed!

 

Dave Dannenberg and Tamara Matthews

Dave and Tamara operate as a team, meaning you’ll have two agents that are entirely committed to each of their clients. They’ll be there to support you – wherever “there” maybe!

When Dave and Tamara were representing one buyer, there were some last-minute contract changes before closing that required new signatures. The buyer was out of town at the RV Club gathering at the Lynden Fair Grounds and couldn’t be reached by phone. So Dave and Tamara drove 60 miles to Lynden and went around to each RV until they found their client, got the signatures and closed the deal.

 

 

April Nickerson

April is an expert when it comes to Stanwood and Camano Island, born and raised in the Pacific Northwest and highly involved with the community. Her knowledge, experience, and resolve come across in every interaction.

Once when April was representing a seller, she came by on closing day to help with some last-minute cleaning. When she got to the house, she saw that the owner hadn’t finished moving out of the home. April came back with a UHaul truck and trailer to get everything else packed up.

She said, “I was there for my clients and determined to help in any way that I could.” 


Posted on November 25, 2019 at 11:21 am
Windermere Stanwood Camano | Posted in Uncategorized |

Remodel for the Most Resale Value

 

What’s the best remodeling project for your home? The answer, in part, depends on where you live. 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.  For the purposes of this blog, we are focusing on the Pacific states (WA, OR, CA, AL) and the Mountain states (MT, ID, UT, CO, NV).

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

 

Garage Door Replacement

The project with the most return from Washington State to Nevada? A new garage door.

In the Pacific States, replacing your garage door will cost an average $3,785, but will increase your resale value by $4,686, recouping 123.8 percent of what you paid for it. Homes in the Mountain States will also benefit from a garage door replacement, recouping 98.6 percent of their costs.

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.

 

Manufactured Stone Veneer

As long as the new stone veneer is consistent with your neighborhood’s overall look, this siding is the second-best project across the Pacific and Mountain states.

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. Along the West Coast, it can recoup 110.4 percent of the cost when you sell, and Mountain states will recoup 96.5 percent of the cost.

 

Wood Deck Addition

While building a deck might seem like a big undertaking, it’s actually a pretty cost-effective way to positively impact your home’s resale value. Pacific states can expect to pay around $15,000 and Mountain states just above $13,000, but they’ll see 87.8 percent and 74.3 percent recouped respectively 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.

 

Minor Kitchen Remodel

No need to move walls or appliances around, a minor kitchen remodel will do the trick to recoup 87.1 percent of the cost in the Pacific states, and 80.3 percent in the Mountain states.

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 laminate 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.

 

Grand Entrance

Looking to improve your curb appeal and create an entrance that guests and homebuyers won’t soon forget? Add a fiberglass grand entrance. This project involves replacing a standard-sized front door with a larger opening with dual sidelights (glass panels). Typically costing around $8,000, Pacific states will see 85.1 percent of that recouped in the sale, and Mountain states will see 71 percent.

 

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 Mountain states, sellers can expect 75.4 percent of the costs recouped, and Pacific sellers will see 84.3 percent.

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.

 

Reposted from Windermere.


Posted on November 22, 2019 at 2:47 pm
Windermere Stanwood Camano | Posted in Uncategorized |

Western Washington Gardner Report Q3 2019

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 your Windermere agent.

 

ECONOMIC OVERVIEW

Washington State employment has softened slightly to an annual growth rate of 2%, which is still a respectable number compared to other West Coast states and the country as a whole. In all, I expect that Washington will continue to add jobs at a reasonable rate though it is clear that businesses are starting to feel the effects of the trade war with China and this is impacting hiring practices. The state unemployment rate was 4.6%, marginally higher than the 4.4% level of a year ago. My most recent economic forecast suggests that statewide job growth in 2019 will rise by 2.2%, with a total of 88,400 new jobs created.

 

HOME SALES

  • There were 22,685 home sales during the third quarter of 2019, representing a slight increase of 0.8% from the same period in 2018 and essentially at the same level as in the second quarter.
  • Listing activity — which rose substantially from the middle of last year — appears to have settled down. This is likely to slow sales as there is less choice in the market.
  • Compared to the third quarter of 2018, sales rose in five counties, remained static in one, and dropped in nine. The greatest growth was in Skagit and Clallam counties. Jefferson, Kitsap, and Cowlitz counties experienced significant declines.
  • The average number of homes for sale rose 11% between the second and third quarters. However, inventory is 14% lower than in the same quarter of 2018. In fact, no county contained in this report had more homes for sale in the third quarter than a year ago.

 

 

 

HOME PRICES

  • Home price growth in Western Washington notched a little higher in the third quarter, with average prices 4.2% higher than a year ago. The average sales price in Western Washington was $523,016. It is worth noting, though, that prices were down 3.3% compared to the second quarter of this year.
  • Home prices were higher in every county except Island, though the decline there was very small.
  • When compared to the same period a year ago, price growth was strongest in Grays Harbor County, where home prices were up 22%. San Juan, Jefferson, and Cowlitz counties also saw double-digit price increases.
  • Affordability issues are driving buyers further out which is resulting in above-average price growth in outlying markets. I expect home prices to continue appreciating as we move through 2020, but the pace of growth will continue to slow.

 

 

DAYS ON MARKET

  • The average number of days it took to sell a home dropped one day when compared to the third quarter of 2018.
  • Thurston County was the tightest market in Western Washington, with homes taking an average of only 20 days to sell. There were six 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 six counties, while two counties were unchanged.
  • Across the entire region, it took an average of 38 days to sell a home in the third quarter. This was down 3 days compared to the second quarter of this year.
  • Market time remains below the long-term average across the region and this trend is likely to continue until more inventory comes to market, which I do not expect will happen until next spring.

 

 

CONCLUSIONS

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 and second quarters, as demand appears to still be strong.

The market continues to benefit from low mortgage rates. The average 30-year fixed rates is currently around 3.6% and is unlikely to rise significantly anytime soon. Even as borrowing costs remain very competitive, it’s clear buyers are not necessarily jumping at any home that comes on the market. Although it’s still a sellers’ market, buyers have become increasingly price-conscious which is reflected in slowing home price growth.

 

ABOUT MATTHEW GARDNER

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.

Original post from Windermere.com.


Posted on October 28, 2019 at 9:59 am
Windermere Stanwood Camano | Posted in Uncategorized |

House Hunters on Camano Island with Jerry Evans

Jerry Evans is a Windermere agent, an Air Force veteran, and a proud Stanwood-Camano resident.

Whether you’re looking for a beachfront getaway, a comfortable forever home, or something else entirely, our Windermere agents are the experts you can trust, and we won’t stop until we find your new home. 

 

One of our dedicated agents, Jerry Evans, recently demonstrated his resolve and local expertise on HGTV’s House Hunters. Dan and Kristi, a couple from Mill Creek, were interested in buying their forever home and moving in together on Camano Island. They were hoping to find a home that featured a gorgeous view and would allow them to comfortably host their families and friends. Obviously we won’t give away which house they chose, but spoiler alert: Evans helped them find the perfect place in their budget, and the couple is loving life here on Camano Island! 

 

“It was amazing to be featured on House Hunters,” Evans said. “I got to show HGTV’s viewers a little of what makes Camano Island such an amazing place for anyone looking for a home, and of course I got to help my clients find their first home together.”

 

Evans has been a Camano Island resident for seven years and worked as a Windermere agent since 2013. He and his wife, Miranda, work together to deliver the best possible experience for every client. They are highly involved in the community and pride themselves on their extensive local knowledge. Evans also takes regular courses and stays on top of industry trends, making sure his clients always have the most up-to-date information and cutting-edge tools at their disposal. 

To watch the complete episode, visit HGTV.com.


Posted on October 16, 2019 at 10:35 am
Windermere Stanwood Camano | Posted in Uncategorized |

#TackleHomelessness with Windermere

We are proud to be part of the Stanwood and Camano Island community. We believe it’s important to stay connected with our neighbors and keep a pulse on our community. That’s why you’ll find us grilling hot dogs at National Night Out and passing out hot cocoa at the Holiday Tree Lighting. We also believe it’s our responsibility to operate in a way that brings value and positive change to our community. That’s why we’re raising money for the Stanwood Camano Community Resources Foundation through our Friday Night Lights campaign this fall. 

 

Photo by Evan Caldwell, Stanwood Camano News

Windermere Stanwood Camano teamed up with the Stanwood Spartans football team and will donate $50 per touchdown this season as part of their #tacklehomelessness campaign. Money raised through Windermere Stanwood and Camano Island and the Windermere Foundation will benefit the Stanwood Camano Community Resources Foundation. 

 

“We chose the Stanwood Camano Community Resources Foundation because their anti-poverty programs are strategically designed to relieve the effects and address the cause of poverty in our community,” said Marla Heagle, owner/broker of Windermere Real Estate Stanwood and Camano Island. 

The Stanwood and Camano Island offices will be one of 10 Windermere franchises fundraising for the Windermere Foundation and the #tacklehomelessness campaign this fall, including Windermere Real Estate as the official real estate company of the Seattle Seahawks. 

 

“We’re grateful for this opportunity to engage with our community in such a meaningful way, and we feel privileged to be able to give back to the place where we live and work,” Heagle added. 

 

Photo by Evan Caldwell, Stanwood Camano News

In 30 years since its inception, the Windermere Foundation has raised $38 million to support nonprofits that help low-income and homeless families. A portion of every transaction with Windermere agents goes toward the Foundation and the charities it supports. Additional donations from Windermere employees and community members have helped more than 500 nonprofits and changed thousands of lives since 1989. 

 

Come cheer on the Stanwood Spartans with us this season, and donate to the Windermere Foundation and its efforts in Stanwood and Camano Island online at windermere.com/foundation. We’ll see you in the stands!

Read full article here. 


Posted on October 3, 2019 at 3:44 pm
Windermere Stanwood Camano | Posted in Uncategorized |

Agent Spotlight: All In, For You

At Windermere, extraordinary is our ordinary. Every one of our agents understands how important your home is. Whether you’re buying a new home, selling a property or looking for someone to manage your rental property, we’ll take care of you. 

 

Here are three agents who know what it means to be all in, for you

 

Hans Ostrander

Hans is the type of agent who always gives 110 percent – he’s even been known to help sellers pack up their belongings, and he consistently receives the highest praise from his clients. 

 

One time, Hans was representing a seller who lived out of the area. His seller asked him to meet the septic service technician at the house, but the lid was buried. Hans grabbed a shovel and dug around with the technician for two hours trying to find the tank. When they finished, the technician laughed and said, “Never in all my years has a real estate agent helped me dig.” 

 

Michael Borthwick

Michael is our resident Property Management expert. He’s been in the business for almost a decade, and he believes it is his job to find qualified tenants for his landlords and take good care of them. 

 

On one occasion, Michael received a call from a tenant on the southend of Camano Island: water was gushing from an outside faucet and his wife was in labor. Michael immediately drove down to the property and assessed the situation. He turned off the water and called several plumbers in an effort to find an available one. He knew his tenant would need the water when they returned home with their newborn baby, and he didn’t want his client’s property to be seriously damaged so he made sure the leaking shutoff valve was repaired right then and there. 

 

 

Jeni and Andy Bottin

Jeni and Andy work together to help people find their slice of paradise on Camano Island. They make a commitment to each one of their clients to support them every step of the way, including on moving day. 

 

For one particular client, Jeni and Andy actually helped sell their home in another location and buy a home on Camano Island. The buyer was excited to pull everything together so Jeni arranged a storage unit for her client to use during the transition, and lined up a moving company to assist on the day of. Excellent agents through and through, Jeni and Andy wanted to be sensitive to their client’s needs and see it through to the end. 


Posted on August 29, 2019 at 2:40 pm
Windermere Stanwood Camano | Posted in Uncategorized |

Western Washington Gardner Report Q2 2019

Western Washington Real Estate Market Update

by Matthew Gardner, Chief Economist, Windermere 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 your local Windermere Agent. 


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 Unversity of Washington where he also lectures in real estate economics.

Original Blog post from Windermere

 


Posted on July 26, 2019 at 3:07 pm
Windermere Stanwood Camano | Posted in Uncategorized |

Western Washington Gardner Report Q1 2019

Western Washington Real Estate Market Update

by Matthew Gardner, Chief Economist, Windermere 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 your local Windermere Agent. 


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 Unversity of Washington where he also lectures in real estate economics.

Original Blog post from Windermere

 


Posted on May 1, 2019 at 10:02 am
Windermere Stanwood Camano | Posted in Uncategorized |