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Buying A Home | 9 Posts
Doers of Good | 5 Posts
Family Fun | 3 Posts
Food | 2 Posts
Holidays | 1 Posts
Market Reports | 47 Posts
Moving Tips | 2 Posts
Near Nature | 1 Posts
News | 11 Posts
Selling A Home | 8 Posts
Spokane Life | 32 Posts
Spring Cleaning | 1 Posts
Technology | 1 Posts
Uncategorized | 1 Posts
May
23

Spokane Dog-Friendly Spots

What could be better than a day on the town with your favorite furry friend? More than ever, local shops, dining destinations, and other small businesses are becoming dog-friendly, allowing you to take your well-behaved pup on your journeys all around Spokane. Many local restaurants offer patio dining where your dog is invited to join!

Whether you're shopping or dining, life is just a little sweeter with your dog at your side. Our real estate agents have the details on five dog-friendly destinations around Spokane for you to enjoy with your pet.

Click Here to Read More...

May
18

In Spokane County, there are more than 1,000 children and youth currently living in foster care through Child Protective Service (CPS). These children living in foster care or relative placement commonly suffer from depression, behavior disturbances, poor health, learning delays, confusion, fear, and loneliness. CASA Partners helps support the lives of these neglected children in Spokane Country and children who are at risk of entering the system. 

CASA Partners is a volunteer-led 501 (c)(3) charitable organization founded in 1977. They started with a three-year $30,000 grant from the Junior League of Spokane and continue to grow with the generous support of many community organizations, businesses, and individual donors.

A "CASA" is a court appointed special advocate. CASAs are volunteers who have been through the training of the CASA Program. CASAs advocate for abused and neglected children in family court. After the initial training of 30 hours, volunteers are sworn in as officers of the Court, which gives them the legal authority to conduct research on a child's situation and submit to the court reports and their recommendations for a child's welfare. CASAs work strictly as volunteers and deal with abuse, neglect, and abandonment cases referred to them by Child Protective Services.

CASA Partners currently sponsors four direct service projects: My Bag, My School Bag, Bee Kind Garden, and Needs From The Heart.

Children who are placed in foster care often arrive with little more than the clothes on their backs. Through My Bag, CASA Partners provides these children with an age-appropriate duffel bag or backpack. Each bag contains a handmade quilt or afghan, clothes, toiletries, a stuffed toy, and books to give the child solace. No longer are the children in Spokane County's foster care system called the "garbage bag kids," a term applied when personal belongings were arrived in black plastic garbage bags. Since its beginning in April of 1998, My Bag has provided more than 17,000 bags filled with love, dignity, and comfort for these children.

My School Bag provides necessities for the start of school for over 200 children each year. The social workers provide sizes for each child and a monumental shopping frenzy begins. Through My School Bag, each child receives a new backpack filled with new clothes and shoes for the first day of school.

Bee Kind Garden project is a therapeutic program designed to teach gentleness, kindness, and empathy to children removed from violent homes. Each child is matched with a trained volunteer who gives his or her undivided attention to the child while together they explore arts and crafts, nurture plants, and interact with child-friendly animals. Especially important is the fact that Bee Kind Garden is a safe place 'to be a child'.

Over the years, Needs from the Heart has shopped for and provided athletic equipment, memberships for swimming lessons, strollers, cribs, school clothing, beds, dressers, mattresses, tricycles, toys, yearbooks. . . all to let a child experience the good parts of being a child and to help those who are helping the children. These are items or activities that foster parents and social workers may be unable to provide, but that Needs from the Heart can fulfill.

Lacie Gimeno began her involvement with Casa Partners a few years back and for a time being was a board member with the organization. She continues to support their efforts and be an advocate for the many ways people can get involved.

"I felt it was a way to give back to the community by helping those whom barely have control of their situation," Gimeno said.

For more information about CASA Partners, visit casapartners.org or call 509-462-2272.



Join us in celebrating our Doers of Good by getting involved in one of the programs we will spotlight over the next several months.

May
12

How to Choose a Contractor for Your Remodel Projects

Delta Media Group

Homeownership is an exciting time — one filled with many new possibilities and experiences. One possibility that has the potential to elevate your home to the next level is a remodel. Remodeling can transform your space into something more functional by better reflecting your lifestyle and adding value to your home. However, your dreams of the perfect renovation project can turn into a nightmare if you don't do your homework. To have a successful remodel, you need the right contractor.

It's understandable to want the best person for the job but finding that person often involves a number of factors like availability, cost, and areas of expertise. The best way to choose a remodeling contractor is to do your homework and take steps to ensure that you find an ideal match for your project.

Ask around or research

If you have a friend or neighbor who has a remodel you like in a room/area you're looking to work on, too, it can be helpful to ask them who they used. You can also ask around your network of people — i.e., friends, family, business partners, or your real estate agent—to get recommendations for remodeling contractors. Once you have a list created, make your own as well by researching resources like Google, Angie, the local Better Business Bureau, and other online places that give you the names of local companies. Weed out any contractors with consistently poor reviews or contractors that don't specialize or have experience in the space you want to remodel.

Look deeper into credentials and projects

Most contractors have a website. Take the time to look at what credentials they may have and if they are current. See if they have pictures of their work as well. You can begin to get a feel for which contractors are more your taste or that have the knowledge necessary for your remodeling project.

Interview possible contractors

The next step once you have fine-tuned your list to a few favorites is to call and schedule a time to meet and talk about the project. Consider both the phone and in-person meetings an interview. It's your chance to ask about experience, find out about their knowledge and skills, and see if you mesh. Like any job interview, you'll be able to get an overall sense of who you're getting. There are also some things you'll want to ask them or have them do, including:

  • Itemize your bid
  • Ask how long they have been in business
  • Determine who their main suppliers are and who will be in charge of the site/project
  • Find out if the pricing is an estimate or a fixed price.

Check references

Even if you've done all your online research and read all the reviews, nothing is as effective as talking with someone who has worked with your prospective contractor. You may find out things you didn't think to ask, and it can give extra assurance that you're making the right choice.

Put it in writing

The last thing you'll want to do when you've made your choice is to put it in writing. This is a great way to keep all parties on the same page and safeguarded. 

Homeownership means making the decisions; it's your house, and you get to choose who remodels it. For the best remodeling experience, by taking your time and the correct steps, you're more likely to find the right person for your project. Not only will it save you time and money, but it will also get you the home of your dreams.

May
9

Spokane Gardens

Our real estate agents are always excited to welcome spring back to the Spokane area. This season offers a chance to reconnect with nature and to be reminded of all the amazing green spaces our city has to offer. 

This spring, we recommend taking that appreciation a step further by exploring some of Spokane's most amazing gardens. With spring flowers blooming, there's no better time to experience these spectacular Spokane gardens. 

  • Lilac Garden - W Shoshone Pl, Spokane, WA 99203
    Spokane has been nicknamed the Lilac City, and it's not hard to see why. The Lilac Garden in Manito Park contains over 100 cultivars from at least 23 unique species of lilac trees and bushes. The best time to see them in full bloom is from late May into early June, and the annual Lilac Festival has been a fixture of Spokane's spring calendar since the 1930s. 

Click Here to Read More...

May
5

View our comprehensive Spokane real estate market report for the month of April!

The information in this report is compiled from a report given by the Spokane Association of REALTORS© and to the best of our knowledge is accurate and correct.

 

Download the April Market Report PDF here.

Want more info about the current real estate market? Contact us today to speak to an agent. 

 

May
5

View our comprehensive Kootenai Country real estate market report for the month of April!

The information in this report is compiled from a report given by the Spokane Association of REALTORS© and to the best of our knowledge is accurate and correct.

 

Download the April Market Report PDF here.

Want more info about the current real estate market? Contact us today to speak to an agent. 

 

April
25

Kitchen Island Tips

An island makes a wonderful addition to your kitchen, adding an extra workspace, seating, and storage. Besides its practical benefits, a kitchen island can also transform your kitchen's appearance by creating a stylish focal point. From the shape of your island to its color and features, your options are nearly endless, so you can design an island that suits your needs and style.

Our real estate agents suggest the following creative ideas for your kitchen island:

Click Here to Read More...

April
20

 

Spam 101

From Our Friends at Integrity Computer Consulting and Repair

Technology scams are running rampant right now, whether they come by email, phone call, and now text messaging. We have had several customers reach out about texts that look to be from their bank asking to "verify information." Be vigilant when dealing with any communications via phone call, email, or text that regard any exchange of money or "verifying" any account information with a link or number to call.   

Our recommendations are as follows:

You can use your cell phone carriers' built-in number blocking on your phone to stop unwanted calls or texts from specific numbers; you can also block offending email addresses in your email account. But with any sort of fraud, scammers often use hundreds of thousands of phone numbers and emails and move very quickly onto the next.  This makes permanent blocking hard.  

To really have an impact, we recommend reporting the offending communication to the FTC.  This can be done online at: https://www.ftccomplaintassistant.gov/

A few rules of thumb for spam calls, texts, and emails:

  1. Do not engage spammers.  When you answer or respond, you are showing the scammer, spammer, or robo-system that your phone number or email is "live". It is then put on a live numbers list that is sold over and over and the calls/texts/emails will continue infinitely.
  2. Do not answer calls from numbers you do not recognize. This one is hard for agents, but if it is important or a legitimate call, they will leave a voicemail or text you. 
  3. Do not answer texts from numbers you do not recognize
  4. Get into the habit of regularly entering and labeling known clients, colleagues, friends, family, etc. as contacts in your phone and email.
  5. Do not answer unsolicited or out-of-the-ordinary texts from numbers you do recognize.  The number could be spoofed to fool you. Instead, call the number you have in your contacts (not from the text or email) for the person texting you and verify via phone call that they sent the text.
  6. Do not click on links in texts or emails that you are not expecting from anyone that you do or do not recognize unless you have verified with the actual sender via phone call or in person.
  7. Do not open emails, download any attachments, or click on links in emails from senders you do not recognize.
  8. Do not download any attachments or click on links in unsolicited or suspicious emails or texts from senders you do recognize. Their email may have been hacked or their number spoofed.
  9. TRUST YOUR INTUITION.  Slightest question of authenticity?  Feeling of distrust? Major red flag? Do not ignore these feelings.
  10. COMMUNICATION IS KEY. If a text or email seems weird, out of character, just a slight bit off? We recommend that you call the person/company/bank to verify the contents of an email or text, or ask a trusted professional.

If you have any questions about a suspicious email, call, or text, feel free to contact our office via phone 208.288.4345 or email info@integrityidaho.com.

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