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Top 3 Money-Wasting Home Improvements

07/12/2018

Achieving your dream home doesn’t come cheap. Major overhauls can cost you more than your investment. The last thing you want is to invest in upgrades that don’t give a full return such as the following:

Kitchen remodeling

Blame it on HGTV for encouraging your major kitchen renovation. However, a mid-range kitchen remodel is estimated to surpass its resale value by over $20,000. This costly investment will only take two-thirds as a return.  Consider repainting or changing cabinets and other hardware. This will give your kitchen a beautiful update without breaking the bank.

Bathroom makeover

You may want to put your bathroom makeover on hold if you only aim to increase your property value. Luxurious bathroom renovation only generates an estimated of 58% of your expenses.  

Master bedroom expansion

A master bedroom that comes with all the bells and whistles can cost as much as $100, 000. Its ROI is pegged at two-thirds or half of its price. The extra space and extravagant amenities may sound enticing, but the renovation cost isn’t practical if you are tight on budget. Consider affordable alternatives that can give a luxurious vibe to your master suite.

Investing in these major upgrades are also time-consuming. Consider all the possible expenses and the ROI before renovating.   If you’re planning to re-sell it’s better to complete minor, but worthy improvements.

Pristine Waterfront Masterpiece

07/10/2018

There’s a certain charm to this gated Blue Heron Estate, located in the exclusive enclave of Weber Point on the East side of Lake Sammamish. With enchanting views of majestic Mt. Rainer, and the stellar lake and mesmerizing sunsets, this stately property offers you nothing less than the epitome of waterfront living.

Adorned with only the finest detailing, this open floor plan home lives large and boasts a magazine-perfect lakefront great room, gourmet kitchen replete with only the finest designer appliances, formal and casual dining venues, butler’s pantry, a kitchenette with microbrew tap and ½ bath, as well as a media/game room — definitely an entertainer’s dream! Throw in a panorama of French doors, and let the party spread out to the lakefront patio with a gas fire pit and nearby secluded hot tub. Perfectly manicured grounds culminate at the shore’s edge and lead to a massive dock with 46’ of no bank waterfront. And just when you think this beauty has shown you all her glory, wait until you discover what the lake view guest cottage has to offer; priceless lake views, a bedroom, kitchen, and ¾ bath, and a garage. It’s an experience your guests will never forget!

Elegant, timeless, and warm, this property is for those who seek living beyond luxury. Celebrate the skyline-silver lake of 3437 E Lake Sammamish Shore Lane NE and retreat in the penthouse-inspired master suite with its own cozy fireplace, intimate lake view deck, and a 5-piece bathroom after an event-filled day.

Breathtaking Contemporary Waterfront Living

07/05/2018

Prepare to be swept off your feet by this architecturally designed modern Lake Sammamish waterfront home at 3828 W Lake Sammamish PKWY SE, Bellevue. Perfectly situated on the shore’s edge, you’ll enjoy priceless lake and mountain views. This property’s sleek and serene interior offers matchless contemporary artistry and relaxation.  Generously proportioned functional spaces are designed for socializing, in addition to the privacy and tranquility of penthouse-inspired bedrooms.

You will be greeted by a spectacular view through floor-to-ceiling glass windows and bask in nature’s raw beauty as it merges with the interior’s smooth detailing, creating the perfect retreat.

With 3 bedrooms, 2.25 baths, and 2,726 Sq Ft, this modern waterfront property includes a massive granite island, stainless steel appliances, double ovens, and tile counters. The 80 feet no bank waterfront is a sure conversation starter. Welcome guests to lounge on the huge deck to enjoy your 80 foot no bank waterfront on beautiful Lake Sammamish and have wonderful exchanges over a glass of your favorite wine.

Safe Boating Tips for the Fourth of July

07/03/2018

Spending your fourth of July on the water is exciting. However, boating accidents are more common because of the high volume of boat traffic. Here are some safety tips to help you enjoy Independence Day injury-free:

Refrain from drinking when boating: It is tempting to have a drink and celebrate when boating, but this comes with risk. The waves, vibration and other marine environmental factors can speed up the effects of alcohol in your body. It can impair your judgment and may affect your ability to drive the boat properly. Operating a boat under the influence is also illegal.

Always wear your life jacket: A life jacket isn’t the most comfortable equipment to wear, especially since it’s hot outdoors. However, it is still best to take precautionary measures and wear a life jacket approved by the U.S. Coast Guard.

Stay alert.: Create a safety plan before boating. Inform someone about your itinerary and your companions. This way, someone will know your whereabouts in case you’re unable to return in the expected time. Familiarize the local boating speed zones and always drive at a safe speed. Perform a pre-boarding boat safety assessment and prepare safety equipment and emergency kits.

Check the weather: Never leave the dock without knowing the local weather. If it’s applicable, check the forecast of your destination too. Always keep an eye for the change of weather as well as the sudden shift of the wind or the behavior of the water.

The fourth of July is considered to be the highest-boating traffic weekend of the summer. It is best that you follow boating laws and safety tips to enjoy Independence Day in the waters!

Home Security Tips For Summer Vacation

06/26/2018

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For those of you planning on spending an extended amount of time on vacation this summer, you may be wondering what you can do to make sure everything stays secure at home while you’re away. And while it’s not good to dwell too long on all the bad situations that could potentially happen, it’s still a good idea to have a few security measures in place that will help give you peace of mind. Here are a few security tips to consider when planning for that long awaited summer vacation:

  • Stop Mail/Newspaper: You’ll want to notify your local post office and put a hold on receiving mail until you return from summer vacation. If you don’t want to put a hold on your newspaper subscription as well, you can reach out to a neighbor and see if they’d be willing to collect it while you’re gone. This is an important step because burglars look for stacked up mail and newspapers to help determine whether people will likely be home or not.

  • Light Timers: An inexpensive solution that can be used with lights, televisions, and even radios. Setting these timers will have your light (or device) go on/off at different times throughout the day to give the impression to an outsider that somebody is home.

  • Door/Window Locks: Before you leave for your vacation, it would be best to go around the house and find all the locks on any doors or windows to check for any wear and tear. Anything that is not functioning properly should be replaced at once. If you have a security system in your home, it would also be a good idea to check all the batteries to ensure they still operate effectively while you’re away.

  • Trim Bushes Near Home: Large bushes or plant areas right outside your home can sometimes create hiding places for potential burglars to camp out and scope out your property. In the case someone tries to do that, having smaller bushes will make it harder for them to hide without a neighbor noticing them.

  • Outdoor/Security Lighting: Another popular and rather inexpensive security option. Install some motion sensor or security lighting that gets really bright when something (or someone) approaches the area. Bright lights like this are more likely to deter a potential burglar.

 

Summer Tips: Choosing the Right Blinds for Summer

06/21/2018

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You’ve probably noticed the rise in temperatures over the past couple of weeks. This means that we’re officially in the thick of Summer. Many people don’t know that the indoor temperatures of their homes have a lot to do with the sunlight they let in through their windows. The best remedy for this issue could be some new blinds that effectively block the sun’s rays from turning your house into an oven. If you’re looking for some helpful tips on how to choose the right kind of blinds, here’s a quick guide for you:

  • Selecting The Right Solution: North-facing openings typically receive sunlight at a higher angle in the summer, therefore they require shading devices with a more narrow overhead. Fixed horizontal shading is all that’s required above north-facing glare. However, east and west-facing openings do require a bit of a different approach since low angle morning and afternoon summer sunlight from these directions make it a lot more difficult to shade.
  • Choosing Colors: Neutral colors such as white, cream, and beige are usually the safest options when it comes to window treatments since they can add a cooling effect in your room and complement any existing room features quite well. Plus, you won’t have to change your blinds if you decide to make some major changes to the room, such as repainting your walls.
  • Taking Temperature on Interior vs Exterior Blinds: Direct sunlight can generate the same heat as one single bar radiator over each square meter of a surface, but effective shading can block up to 90% of this heat. The glass from your window amplifies the heat overall, and even if you have your shades down during the day, you’ll be able to tell the difference in temperature directly on the other side of the blinds. Alternatively, exterior shades block the sun’s rays before they hit the window. This can make a big difference during the extreme summer heat.

Landscaping Guide For Summer

06/19/2018

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Let the summer sunshine highlight the beautiful landscaping on your property! For the majority of the year, Washington homeowners have to contend with rain, wind, and colder weather. To make the most of the good weather outside, it’s probably best that your get your yard in its most pristine condition. Here’s a quick landscaping guide to get help get you started:

  • Watering: While this can be difficult during the summer time depending on the local limitations, containers and hanging baskets should always be moist, and the grass should be watered weekly when natural rain is limited. Generally, your lawn only needs about 1-inch of water to survive through one summer week. If unsure, study your lawn’s soil type to know how much water you need to keep your lawn healthy and green. 
  • Deadheading / Harvesting: Deadheading your flowers encourage growth and maintain a well-kept appearance. Cutting flowers typically help direct energy and nutrients toward more growth. Also, clean up any early crops you’re growing to make some more room (as necessary) for new pumpkins, potatoes, or corn that be canned and stored in plenty during the winter months.
  • Start Light Pruning: While mid-winter and spring usually require pruning for most plants, it’s still best to do a little light pruning during the summer months to stay ahead. This will help an additional series of bloom growth.
  • Overseeding: You’ll want to fix some of the bare patches on your landscape by overseeding or applying one of those grass repair kits. These are usually a mixture of sand, grass seed, and a slow release fertilizer that can work wonders on dead lawn spots.
  • Service Lawnmower: While we tend to hold off a bit on grass cutting during the hot summer months, it’s still best to make sure your lawnmower is in its optimum condition for when you really need it. This may require blade sharpening, oil changing, and spark plug inspection which will depend on the type of lawnmower you own.
  • Pests: To get rid of grubs and other lawn pests, you can use organic solutions and safe pesticides. Doing the hard work now will save you more time later if a pest infestation takes ahold of your lawn.

Summer Maintenance Checklist

06/14/2018

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There’s so much that goes into having a beautiful home. It’s not just about what kind of property you purchase, how luxurious it is, or what the surrounding area and scenery looks like; it’s about the work you put into it. Every eye-catching house you see very likely had a lot of work put into it that made it stand out so well. To maximize the beauty of your home, it’s always best to work through a summer maintenance checklist. Here are some action items for you to consider when maintaining your home:

  • Easy Tasks: You can start your maintenance checklist with a few quick tasks that should only take about 30 minutes or less. Try things like treating your windows by cleaning the exterior glass, cleaning out your sink disposal, testing all of the house alarms and replacing or updating any ones that need it, and vacuuming out the vents to get rid of all the excess dust. You could complete all of these items in a few short hours!
  • Longer Projects: Some of these tasks may take a few hours each, but they’re definitely worth it in the end. It’s a good idea to check for any leaky pipes that may be running up your water bill, inspect your air conditioners, and check your roof for any natural wear and tear that may have accumulated over the first half of the year. Tackling just one of these items a day will have you all done by the end of the week, and with time to spare!
  • Tough Jobs: Now if you feel like diving deep into your summer maintenance checklist, there are some more intense tasks that you can take on. A lot of people restore their deck or patio in the summertime while also placing a huge focus on landscaping, exterior paint and siding, and gutter cleaning as well. These jobs require a little elbow grease on your end, but finishing the job will definitely leave you feeling satisfied!

Beat the Heat: How To Keep Your Home Cool During Summer

06/12/2018

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When it comes to summer, avoiding the heat can be quite the task to accomplish. Especially when you come inside to escape it, only for it to be waiting there for you at home. So if you’re like many people in Pacific Northwest who aren’t lucky enough to have their own AC unit, you’re probably looking for some ways to stay cool. Here are some tips that will help you beat the heat this summer:

  • Effective Shade: Aside from just buying an AC unit for yourself, maximizing the shade throughout your home is the best bet to keeping cool. This means lowering window shades during the day to effectively block the hot air, but this also means you can add some plant life outside windows as well that act as shades. A large umbrella positioned outside could also work as well.

  • Fans: Keeping your airflow consistent will require some strategic positioning of the fans you may have placed throughout your home. A house will overheat if hot air becomes trapped, so positioning your fans near windows where air flow can be fluid throughout the house and properly ventilated is critical. For your ceiling fan, make sure it’s spinning in the counterclockwise direction during the hot Summer months. This forces the air down instead of up, which will in turn make you feel cooler.

  • Dehumidify: For people living in more humid areas where there’s not much dry heat, consider running a dehumidifier. This will help remove excess moisture from the air, which will leave you feeling cooler even in super hot temperatures. These dehumidifiers are available at most bix box stores.

  • Cooking: The kitchen may be adding to your hotter room temperature as well. Cooking more outside on the grill or in a crock pot indoors is a great idea during the Summer when even the smallest use of the stove-top and oven inside will likely crank up the heat in your kitchen. But it’s just another good excuse to have more BBQ’s with your friends and family this Summer!


Do’s & Don’ts of Bathroom Remodeling

06/07/2018

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When it comes to remodeling bathrooms, there are a few things you need to look out for. While the prospect of redesigning a bathroom may have you ready to get started right away, there are some areas you need to consider before you begin work. Here’s a quick breakdown of the do’s and don’ts of remodeling a bathroom:

  • DO avoid overspending. While it may be enticing to purchase expensive taps, tiles, or even a heated toilet seat for your new bathroom, you don’t want to go overboard. Anything too dynamic could affect your home’s resale value when it comes time for you to move.

  • DO hire a builder instead of a plumber when it comes to managing the project. Plumbers only work well with pipework and installing fixtures while a builder is better overall at overseeing the project from demolition to completion. You’ll want to go with experience here above all else to ensure no critical mistakes are made.

  • DO buy products that adhere to professional standards. Be very careful when you’re selecting new parts to make sure they are certified and abide by all code regulations. The last thing you’d want is a problem then ends up costing you more down the road.

  • DON’T do it yourself. While you may be somewhat experienced and handy with tools, or even passionate and motivated about tackling this renovation, it’s best that you leave it to a professional. Things like waterproofing need to be done by someone who is licensed. Again, a leak later due to a poor installation will cost way more than it would to just hire a professional.

  • DON’T move any pipework if you’re able to avoid it. Overall, when you keep the same layout for your bathroom remodel, your plumber won’t need to touch any of the drainage pipes, which can really eat into your budget.

  • DON’T ignore antiquated pipework. If your plumber recommends upgrading your pipes, it’s usually in your best interest to listen. Old pipes can significantly affect the water pressure due to sediment forming in the pipes. This is not something you want to deal with before it’s too late.