Did you know that Washington is the second-largest wine-producing state in the country? Spokane's Cork District has developed into one of the best places in all of Washington to enjoy the bounty of local wineries, vineyards, and wine shops. Our real estate agents have all of the delicious details on some of the places you can look forward to visiting when you spend the day exploring Spokane's Cork District.
'Tis the season for family gatherings, gifts, and sparkling lights. As you plan your holiday celebrations this year, consider putting one or more community events on your schedule. Spokane has a lot to offer around the holidays. Here are some of the top celebrations our real estate agents recommend attending to get into the festive spirit.
Fall is in full swing, and our real estate agents are thrilled to report that there's still plenty of interest in Spokane homes for sale. There are homes in the area to suit every taste and budget, but that's not all.
If you're exploring the region and want a true taste of what Spokane is all about, you can't go wrong with a visit to local farms. Orchards offering the opportunity to pick your own fruit are a beloved sight here in Greater Spokane, and it's not too late to see them for yourself.
Although we're in the waning days of the season, there are many different varieties of fruit that come into their own only in the last weeks of October. Let's take a closer look at just a few of your many options:
Delta Media Group
Decorating for the holidays is one of the fun perks of being a homeowner, because your whole property becomes a blank canvas. Decorating is a great opportunity to get in the spirit of the season, show off your sense of style, and get your kids (even more) excited for the holidays. No matter how you choose to decorate your home this holiday season, just remember that it's also important to keep home safety in mind as you deck the halls. We've put together 5 decorating tips to help keep your home safe, without cramping your holiday decorating style.
Check It Twice – Holiday lights are among the most popular decorations, and for good reason! They're bright, beautiful, and can transform the look of your entire property. Before you start stringing up those lights, however, be sure to check for any signs of wear. If there are broken lights or exposed wires, it's time to purchase some new outdoor holiday lights. Remember that outdoor lights are exposed to the elements, so even minimal signs of wear can pose a risk. Bonus Tip: If you're in the market for new lights, try LED lighting rather than incandescent bulbs. LED lights are more energy efficient, burn cooler than incandescent bulbs, and come in just about any color you can imagine.
Don't Overload Outlets – Overloading a single outlet is a fire risk, even if you're plugging in new, energy efficient decorations. Avoiding tangled wires is also good for holiday decorating safety, and it's easier to do when you use multiple outlets. Always plug decorations into outlets with Ground Fault Circuit Interrupters, which are designed to shut down the circuit automatically if certain signs of electrical danger are detected.
Indoor/Outdoor – That giant, inflatable Santa Claus won't fit in your living room, so it's probably a safe bet that he can be used outside. But not every decoration makes the distinction so clear. For any decorations that rely on electricity, always check whether they're rated for outdoor use before you plug them in outside. This is a great step to take care of while you're shopping for decorations, as the necessary info should be available right on the packaging.
Rooftop and Ladder Safety – For many homeowners, the holiday season is one of the few times each year when we take our ladders out of long-term storage and venture onto our rooftops. Stay safe by taking your time, having a plan, and wearing sturdy boots (or sneakers) with strong treads. If you do plan on climbing on your roof or using a ladder to decorate, never do so alone. Make sure there's someone on the ground to "spot" you and aid if you run into trouble.
Clean Gutters – Since you're likely to be spending time up there anyway, it's a great idea to clean your gutters before stringing up any holiday lights. Dried leaves and plant matter in gutters can serve as kindling when a faulty wire leaks electricity. As a bonus, keeping your gutters clean is a great way to lower your risk of water-related roof damage throughout the year.
The biggest thing to remember for holiday decorating home safety is that electricity can be dangerous, especially if you're using older decorations. Check any decorations for signs of wear before putting them up, make sure that any decorations you wish to use outside are rated for outdoor use, and keep your gutters clean to reduce fire risk. And of course, don't forget to have fun!
Spokane's vibrant downtown neighborhood is a delightful combination of urban attractions and green spaces. Right in the middle sits River Park Square, conveniently located just minutes from Spokane homes for sale. Plan a day of shopping and dining at these great stores and restaurants.
Home Renovations That Offer the Best ROI for Resale
The following is a guest post by GUSTAVO GONZALEZ, Senior Manager of Content and Multimedia at Coldwell Banker Real Estate, LLC
Looking to make some upgrades and wondering which will have the biggest payoff? If you guessed kitchen and bathrooms, you're spot on. Another good one is landscaping. Whether they're big or small, a few upgrades can pay big dividends when it's time to sell your home. Follow these tips to prioritize and put more money in your pocket when you're ready to sell.
Before you do anything, make sure you consider the value of your house, the neighborhood, the housing market where you live, and how soon you will sell after you make the improvements. If you live in a neighborhood where properties are selling for $300,000, doing a $150,000 renovation may not add as much to your property value as you might think.
Kitchens and Baths
One thing to keep in mind is that just because a remodel is expensive doesn't necessarily mean it will give you the best return on investment. Even minor updates can yield a big return. Consider painting, refinishing surfaces, and upgrading appliances, which can lead to a big payout.
Sticking to a budget is always important, and keep in mind that an average, medium-sized kitchen remodel can cost between $20,000 – $50,000, while the average bathroom remodel is $10,000. In most cases, homeowners see a return of 100% or more with a kitchen or bath remodel, so it's definitely worth the investment. Plus, you get to live in a beautiful new space.
A Finished Basement
If finishing your basement is something you've been putting off, now might be the perfect time. According to cost versus value surveys conducted annually by Remodeling magazine, "The average return on investment for a basement project is around 75 cents on the dollar. Besides the financial gains, refinishing a basement will add new functionality to your home: more bedrooms, more efficient storage, and more space for entertaining." Seems like a sure-fire win, win.
Add Curb Appeal
When buyers see that the outside of the property is taken care of, they'll be more excited to see the inside. Remember, first impressions make lasting impressions. According to Anji, "Curb appeal can increase your home value by 7%. Buyers are increasingly prioritizing outdoor living spaces and an attractive lawn has the biggest ROI at 256%. Trees can add $1,000 to $10,000 to your home value and simple landscape maintenance tasks usually pay for themselves."
Whether you're in the market to sell your home or just want to make some budget-friendly renovations that you and your family can enjoy, making the right upgrades can help enhance your quality of life and add a few more dollars to your bank account down the road.
It's Time to Get Ready for Fall
Delta Media Group
Fall is the perfect time of the year to do seasonal maintenance to keep your home running smoothly. Checking these items off your must-do list now will save you money and frustration later.
Curb Appeal Tips for Fall
Delta Media Group
First impressions are everything when it comes to selling your house. When a potential home buyer drives by your home, what will they see? The outside of your home should serve as a preview for the inside of your home.
"WOW" home buyers from the curb with these tips perfect for the fall.
Spruce up your lawn
Brilliant fall foliage can automatically "sell" your home for showings, but that doesn't mean you should forget about raking the leaves and mowing. Keep those leaves raked and give your lawn the TLC it needs to look great. Patch any brown spots, and water the lawn as long as possible to keep it green and vibrant.
Plant fall flowers
Once lawn maintenance is handled, add a splash of color to your landscape by planting fall flowers. Some of the best fall flowers include vibrant mums, yellow marigolds, sedum, or goldenrod. You can also place fall flowers in pots near your front door along with a few pumpkins as accents.
Highlight the front door
Calling attention to your front door is a good selling tactic no matter what season when you're selling your house. Your front door is like an invitation to your home. Hang a fall wreath for added color and a festive touch. A fresh coat of paint in a vivid color can make your entrance stand out.
Tidy up the exterior
During the fall, your home becomes more exposed making its exterior appearance even more important. Before listing your home for sale, pressure wash your siding, sidewalks, and walkways. Clean the windows. Apply a fresh coat of paint as needed.
Clear out the gutters
Being diligent about home maintenance tells buyers you care about your home's upkeep. Keeping your gutters and downspouts clear from leaves and debris protects your home from water damage and ups the ante for curb appeal.
Invest in outdoor lighting
Days get shorter during the fall. Exterior light adds a touch of elegance and sophistication to your landscape and improves safety. Illuminate your walkways, front door, and important landscaping elements so the home shines no matter when people drive by.
Keep outdoor decorations simple
A simple fall wreath on the door and seasonal flowers make your home look inviting to potential homebuyers. However, scarecrows and spooky Halloween decorations may "scare off" homebuyers and distract them from the gorgeous exterior you've worked so hard to otherwise create.
Should You Get a Home Inspection BEFORE Selling?
Delta Media Group
Selling your home? A recent survey showed more than 85 percent of buyers who applied for financing asked for an inspection of the home they intended to buy. Today's savvy home buyers rarely leave things up to chance — they want to be assured they are getting great value.
Despite this growing trend, many sellers still wait for buyers to take the initiative on inspections. A seller might save a few hundred dollars by waiting until the buyer makes the first move, but this is rarely worthwhile. In fact, there are many benefits to taking the plunge and getting an inspection as soon as you decide you are serious about putting your property on the market.
Let's look at six benefits of pre-listing home inspections:
With all that in mind, selling your home should almost always start with an inspection. It's an essential step, just like making basic repairs, listing your home in the right places, staging it for potential buyers, and partnering with a real estate agent you can trust.
MAINTENANCE HACKS FOR YOUR HOME
From our friends at Delta Media Group
Little fixes around the home can take time and money. Try one of our quick tips to save both!
Terrific BBQ Recipes
Fantastic recipes just in time for your late summer get-together!
Tequila Baby Back Ribs
|2 Tbsp. chili powder||1 tsp. cayenne pepper|
|2 Tbsp. paprika||1 tsp crushed red pepper|
|1 Tbsp. garlic powder||1 chopped onion|
|1 Tbsp. salt||1 lg. handful chopped cilantro|
|1 Tbsp dried oregano||3-4 cloves garlic, diced|
|2 tsp. cumin||1 bottle (fifth) tequila|
|1 tsp. black pepper||1 lemon, halved|
|1 tsp. white pepper||2 limes|
Combine all the above and season 2 full slabs of ribs, each cut in half. Refrigerate 2-4 hours. Put half of 1 slab in 1-gallon ziploc bag, layer with onion, cilantro, and garlic. Place other half on top, repeat with onion, cilantro, and garlic. Pour in half bottle tequila. Add juice of half lemon and 1 lime. Seal. Repeat with other slab. Marinate at least 4 hours. Grill with onion, cilantro, and garlic at 350 degrees until done.
Honey Mango-Glazed Baby Back Ribs
|1 c. honey||4 ripe mangos, cubed|
|2 full racks, baby back ribs||1 tsp. pepper|
|1 can chipotle peppers in adobo sauce||1 Tbsp. salt|
Remove ribs from packaging, rinse and pat dry. Remove membrane from backside of ribs. Place ribs in shallow pan, sprinkle salt and pepper evenly and set aside. In a small saucepan, add chipotle/adobo, mango and honey. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly until cooked down and thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. Using the slow and low method of BBQ'ing, set temperature to 225-240 degrees. If using coals, let them burn off and move over to one side of the grill. Wrap the ribs and 2/3 of the sauce mixture in aluminum foil tightly and place on grill. Close lid. After 2 hours, flip the ribs and let cook for another 2 hours. Open the aluminum and remove ribs, place them on grill and brush on remaining sauce and let cook another 30 minutes.
Many farmers are eager to share the fruits of their harvest with customers around our Spokane homes for sale. Rather than heading all the way out to a local farm, though, why not stop by one of Spokane's many farmers markets instead? Fresh local produce is one of the many perks of living in the Spokane area.
The markets listed below are some of the most popular in the city – and best of all, many of them offer afternoon and evening hours to make shopping even more convenient for you.
Ready for a memorable meal here in Spokane? Our real estate agents are on the case.
Why not top off a day looking at Spokane homes for sale with a dinner that will refresh and rejuvenate you? One of the best ways to make delicious food even more satisfying is to enjoy it outdoors. Spokane has natural beauty and fresh air that will add the perfect complement to your cuisine.
Let's drop in on just a handful of the many great patio dining options in Spokane:
Coldwell Banker Scores First in Agent Satisfaction. Again.
Confucius said, "Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life."
The real estate professionals across the Coldwell Banker brand are passionate about their industry – and about their brand. For the third time, Coldwell Banker Real Estate ranked #1 in agent satisfaction in the annual "Agent Priorities" report conducted by Quester.
Designed to keep what's important to agents top of mind, the report zeroes in on topics such as work/life balance, brand image, support, tools, and culture. Knowing what makes an agent more likely to stay with a company is a key component in what brokerages can do to foster positive work environments and grow their agents' businesses.
On a local level, Coldwell Banker Tomlinson combines the strength of the national tools with additional services designed to help our Realtors® list, sell, and learn.
Full-time managing brokers are in place to provide immediate assistance. Offices are staffed with Agent Services Experts (ASEs) to help with marketing, paperwork, and training. A company-wide marketing team is in place to create campaigns that support current market trends, listing types, and services.
With continuing education an important aspect of any business, Coldwell Banker Tomlinson offers in-house classes, regular lunch 'n' learn trainings, continuing education at no cost, and national certifications and classes.
To read the results of the report, visit the Coldwell Banker Blue Matter blog.
There's always something going on in Spokane! And with a wide range of festivals lined up this summer, it's an especially great time of year to head outside for some great live music.
Some of our real estate agents' favorite festivals and events are coming back this season, so be sure to mark your calendars for these upcoming summer music festivals in the Spokane area!
Home Repairs that Can't Wait
Delta Media Group
Home improvement can be costly and time-consuming, so it's no surprise that many homeowners put off making repairs as long as possible. Smaller repairs can usually be safely left until the timing is more advantageous, perhaps when you have more money in the bank or some vacation time. There are some repairs, however, that should be taken care of as soon as possible. These home repairs are so important that failing to make them could result in serious injury and increased costs.
Managing Home Improvement Tasks
It can be tempting to leave smaller home improvement tasks until "later," but keep in mind that doing so could cost you more in the long run. Not every repair constitutes an emergency, but that doesn't mean that non-emergency repairs should be ignored. Keep on top of home maintenance and repairs by keeping a checklist of necessary tasks; focus on completing one each weekend or each month. This will help you keep your home improvement projects from piling up and becoming major problems.
Ideas for Upgrading Your Patio
Delta Media Group
Maybe you've been pondering all those cool ideas seen on TV and the web about redoing your drab slab of a concrete patio so that it's a standout feature of your indoor/outdoor entertainment area. Here's the deal. We are all in love with the idea of extending our living and entertainment area into the outdoors. And why not? There are dozens of relatively inexpensive and yet innovative hacks that will make your outdoors as inviting as the indoors, so let's start working from the ground up by renovating that boring, cracked, or scuffed-up concrete patio and see how dazzling it can be.
Although all these projects are relatively inexpensive, you can obviously spend more on some than others. So if cost is a factor, then you may want to go with simple painting or staining.
Once you're done with your new floor, it's time to think about decorating. You might start with a weather-resistant outdoor rug, perhaps in the dining area. Decorate with flower boxes or containers of flowers that can change with the season and move indoors when it's cold. Hang up strands of lights. Add a water feature, which could be a fountain with plumbing or a self-contained model that runs on electricity and recirculates the water.
Let your creativity and inner interior decorator run wild as you think up ways to jazz up that formerly dull space and make it shine.
Have you made some updates to your outdoor living space? Show us some pictures in the comments!
Sweet-Tart: Refreshing & Lemony Recipes for Summer
Summer is here, and it's time to celebrate all things lemony! These refreshing treats are sure to please at your next get-together.
Frozen Raspberry Yogurt Lemonade Pops
In a saucepan, heat lemonade concentrate & water over medium heat just until the concentrate is thawed. Remove from heat & cool. In a blender, place 3/4 c. of the cooled mixture, 1/2 c. of the raspberries, & 1/4 c. of the yogurt. Blend on medium until smooth. If you don't like the seeds, press this mixture through a small strainer to remove them. Divide the mixture among ice pop molds & freeze slightly.
Distribute the remaining raspberries in molds. Combine the remaining lemonade mixture & yogurt and spoon evenly into molds. Return to freezer until firm, about 4 hours.
Mix well. Serve over ice with a lemon wedge garnish.
Mix ice, soda & sliced limes. Add cherries & garnish with mint leaves. Serve immediately.
Mix together and serve immediately
Strawberry Lemonade Icebox Pie
In a blender or food processor, blend strawberries, honey, & water until pureed. Set aside. In a separate bowl, mix lemonade concentrate with sweetened condensed milk until combined. Set that aside, too.
With a mixer, whip heavy cream until soft peaks form. Add powdered sugar & whip until it stiffens. Gently fold into lemonade mixture. (The pureed mixture is still kept separate.)
Pour half the strawberry puree on the bottom of the crust. Top with lemonade filling, smoothing evenly. Spoon on the remaining puree in evenly spaced dollops and swirl with a toothpick or knife. Freeze at least 6 hours before serving. Store leftovers in the freezer.
What's your favorite summertime recipe? Tell us in the comments!
According to the U.S. Coast Guard, the Fourth of July is the most popular day for boating. If you haven't already contacted our real estate agents at Coldwell Banker Tomlinson to purchase your new lake property, head out to these great boat launches near Spokane homes for sale to celebrate on the water.
Think Spokane area ski resorts are only fun in the winter? Think again!
Thanks to the region's dry, clear, and warm climate during the summer months, mountain resorts around Spokane homes for sale still offer a wealth of outdoor activities. When our real estate agents need fresh air and sunshine, they head to these great nearby resorts for summer fun.
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.
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:
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.
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.
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:
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:
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month. It's a difficult topic, no question.
Removing the stigma surrounding sexual assault and abuse, bringing the conversation to the forefront and out of the shadows, educating, speaking out, ending victim-blaming, and supporting survivors are the best defenses. So much has been done, with so much more to do.
It's worthy of our time. Of everyone's time. Here at CBT, we decided to act on one of our mottos – BE BOLD – and do what we can to help. For our April #DoersOfGood campaign, we're taking the message to all our offices and asking our Realtors®, staff, and managers to come together to support organizations in our areas who work hard to assist women in our local communities. We've asked them to purchase a #CBTDenimDay button, donate gently used professional clothing, and wear their jeans on April 27th, the 24th annual National Denim Day. 100% of the funds raised in each region, along with additional funds from CBT, will be donated to the corresponding organizations listed below. Clothing donations will stay local, as well.
Denim Day grew out of an Italian Supreme Court decision overturning a rape conviction of an 18-year-old girl because she was wearing tight jeans. Since then, wearing jeans on Denim Day is a visible means of protest against victim-blaming and sexual violence.
The organizations we are coming together to support are:
YWCA – Our Sister's Closet, www.ywcaspokane.org
Domestic Violence Services of Benton & Franklin Counties, www.dvsbf.org
Lewiston YWCA, ywcaidaho.orgAlternatives to Violence of the Palouse, www.atvp.org
Women's and Children's Alliance, www.wcaboise.com
Idaho Falls area:
The Domestic Violence & Sexual Assault Center, www.dvsacac.org
To help, the ask is simple: wear your jeans on April 27th and speak out. To learn about more ways you can help – or if you need assistance, visit one of the sites above.
There's always something fun happening near Spokane homes for sale. Join family and friends in celebrating at the Spokane Lilac Festival and the Bloomsday Run, two of the city's favorite seasonal traditions.
Spokane Lilac Festival
After a two-year hiatus, the Spokane Lilac Festival made an early return in November 2021 to usher in the holidays. This May, the traditional festival is back to delight people of all ages. "The Lilac City" has been home to the festival since 1938, when it began as a way to honor the community as well as members of the military. Over the years, the festival has grown to become the largest event in the Inland Northwest region.
This year's festival revolves around the nostalgic theme of "Our Town." Mark your calendars for these highlight events:
Check out the full event information here.
Coldwell Banker Tomlinson is proud to be one of the major sponsors of Spokane's iconic Bloomsday Run, which has an impressive pedigree. Founder Don Kardong is a local runner who was inspired by his experience in the 1976 Olympic marathon, along with many other national class races. Winners of the first two runs in 1977 and 1978 were Olympic gold medalist Frank Shorter and Bill Rodgers, another famous Olympian who is known for his multiple victories in the Boston and New York City Marathons.
The 12K course starts off on Riverside Drive, roughly following alongside the Spokane River until it crosses at T.J. Meenach Bridge. Next comes the aptly-named Doomsday Hill, which leads into the last leg of the race. Participants can also choose the virtual option, which allows them to complete a 7.46-mile course of their choosing between April 28 and May 8.
Bloomsday's live run takes place on Sunday, May 1. An early registration fee of $35 runs until April 29, when it goes to full price of $50. Registration for the virtual run is $35 plus shipping for the race bib.
For information and to sign up, visit this website.
Ready to plant your roots in Spokane and watch your own family bloom? Contact us at Coldwell Banker Tomlinson to get started.
Sometimes it seems there is no end to house cleaning, and while there is no clear-cut answer for how to keep your home perfectly clean at all times, it might be surprising just how much you can do with a little baking soda and white vinegar.
Spot Cleaner for Carpet
Our real estate agents have noticed a surge in interest in vintage furniture and home decor over the last few years. This old-fashioned aesthetic can make your home feel cozier and more personal. But how do you find these one-of-a-kind pieces for your home?
Want to bring this popular trend into your home? Use our guide to find the best vintage home decor items in Spokane.
Recently, Coldwell Banker Tomlinson Realtors®, managers, and staff were honored with a visit from the President and CEO of Coldwell Banker Real Estate LLC, Ryan Gorman. Responsible for the operations that support our network of 94,000 real estate professionals in 3,000 offices in 43 countries across the globe, he made the trip from CB's New Jersey headquarters to speak with us about the wild ride that was 2021 and share his predictions about the state of our industry moving through 2022.
Though he foresees a continuation of a seller's market, he believes it won't be "the crazy, crazy" atmosphere we saw in 2021. "Interest rates are ticking up which will slow things a bit," he said, but "inbound migration will continue to be strong, so it will be a long time before the market shifts."
When asked if he was surprised by the activity during the pandemic, he told us that though he did not predict the "nearly 10 years of appreciation in 18 months" in our area, Ryan said he wasn't surprised to see the market remain strong. Despite the economic downturn, "we had the most equity in homes that we had literally ever had (not on a percentage basis, but on an absolute basis), and we had tighter underwriting for almost 15 years by that point than we had almost ever had, so people had good opportunities."
Contributing to the history-making market, he noted, was that for the past five or so years our area has been named to list after list of best places to live, work, and raise a family, so as people were able to work, not only remotely, but more independently, they began to make good on the question if you could live anywhere, why not live somewhere great?
In discussing the issue of low inventory, he is quick to point out that even buyers who have been in their homes two or three months may have equity that could propel them to look at selling to purchase something that better fits their dreams and goals and encouraged agents to inform their previous buyers what their homes are worth today. Buyers, he said, can leverage their equity to move more affordably to another neighborhood or city.
Recently named a "Real Estate Newsmaker" for 2021 and "Influencer" for 2022 by RisMedia, a highly respected real estate news and information service, Ryan says is most proud of Coldwell Banker's integrity. "Integrity is first. That's an easy answer. Coldwell Banker was founded on honesty and integrity, and that has lasted."
To learn more about Ryan's strategies for Coldwell Banker in 2022, check out his interview with Jordan Grice of RisMedia.
Search for your new home at cbspokane.com.
One of the best ways to experience all of the greatness Spokane has to offer is through its wine. The area's local wineries serve as community gathering spots, help fuel the local economy, and tell the story of our area's rich history.
Also, learning to distinguish between certain types of wine is a lot of fun. With 20 wineries within 10 miles of Spokane, you'll have no trouble developing a sophisticated palate. Here are some of our favorite local wineries to visit this weekend:
Some parts of Washington never really get enough ice to make ice fishing possible. But here in the Spokane area, our cold winters are a blessing in disguise. Local anglers look forward to ice fishing all year.
Our real estate agents look forward to it too. If you happen to be in the Spokane area and are looking for a place to drop a line, be sure to check out these great local ice fishing spots.
Happy Valentine's Day to you and yours! Today is the day for love and romance, heart-shaped chocolates and candlelit dinners.
What do you really know about Valentine's Day? Here are some fun trivia questions to test your knowledge.
Ready for the answers?
How'd you do?
Whether you are celebrating with your beau, your best friends, your pets, or your neighbors, we wish you a day full of love!
For the vast majority of Americans, Super Bowl Sunday is a national holiday. Big gatherings, team jerseys, and food. Lots and lots of food. In fact, according to Wikipedia, roughly 28 million pounds of chips are consumed just on this day. Add to that 1.25 billion chicken wings and 8 million pounds of guacamole!
Perhaps you're looking for some great ideas to add to the menu. Read on!
Combine all ingredients in a small baking dish and bake for 20 minutes at 400°. Serve with tortilla chips.
Dill Pickle & Ham Pinwheels
Pat pickles dry with a paper towel. Cover each pickle with 1 oz. of the cream cheese & wrap with ¼ of the ham. Repeat with the remaining pickles & refrigerate for at least 1 hour. Slice into 1" pieces & enjoy!
Combine all ingredients & toss gently. Serve with tortilla chips.
Buffalo Chicken Dip
Place shredded chicken & hot sauce in skillet & heat over medium heat until heated through. Stir in cream cheese & ranch dressing. Cook, stirring until well blended & warm. Mix in shredded cheese & stir until melted. Transfer to the crockpot to keep warm & serve with tortilla chips.
Place Oreos in a large Ziploc bag and smash. Heat white chocolate chips in microwave on high for 30-second intervals up to 2-3 minutes, stirring until melted. Mix popcorn & melted chocolate in a large bowl until well-combined. Slowly add the cookies & mix. Turn out on waxed paper until cool. Break into pieces & enjoy.
After the big game, when you find yourself wishing for a media room or better entertaining space, give us a call. We will guide you to the perfect home!
The Spokane River Centennial Trail is just one example of what there is to see and do in the area, and it can provide day after day of outdoor adventures. Whether you prefer more urban activities or want to hike your way through gorgeous topography, the trail has something for everyone. Nearly 2 million people visit the trail each year, a testament to its popularity and the gorgeous scenery it offers.
Our real estate agents share what you need to know about exploring Spokane's Centennial Trail:
History of the Trail
Spokane River Centennial Trail is 40 miles long, starting at a recreation area on Lake Spokane before winding its way to the Idaho border and beyond. It generally follows the contours of the Spokane River as it makes its way through many diverse areas of both states.
Construction for the trail began between 1989-1991 in celebration of the Washington State Centennial. All of the trail's miles are completely paved, with many stretches separated from vehicular traffic.
The trail takes you through areas ranging from basalt canyons to hip urban centers.
For example, you may want to spend time in historic downtown Spokane and the more urban areas of the trail before heading out to explore more rural areas and their spectacular views. You can traverse the trail's entire length on a long bike ride, or take several days to hike your way through.
Abbey Parsons, attended her first Junior League of Spokane (JLS) social meet in her first year of real estate in 2013. It was recommended to her from her "office mom" at the time, who had been previously involved with JLS for years. She thought it might be something Abbey would be interested in, and after one meeting, she's been involved with the non-profit organization ever since.
The Junior League of Spokane is an organization of women committed to promoting voluntarism, developing the potential of women, and improving the community through the effective action and leadership of trained volunteers.
Since their founding in 1925, JLS has been at the forefront of social reform, identifying problems and finding solutions in the surrounding area – whose purpose is exclusively educational and charitable. Over the years, their community involvement has included dozens of projects, ranging from the creation of a public radio station to the prevention of child abuse. Their current focus is on promoting childhood literacy skills in the Spokane community, particularly among low-income kids.
JLS welcomes all women who are committed to voluntarism and who hope to develop their potential to change their communities through volunteer training. While there are structured member expectations, involvement can vary from year to year.
"That is what I love about the JLS, you can be REALLY involved one year and then when things change (like having a baby) you can step back and just be on a small committee," Abbey said. "I know that when I want to get more engaged they will have a space for me!"
This year, Abbey is currently on the committee that is planning a statewide event called Northwest Exchange, an event for Junior Leagues across the region to come together to network and share knowledge. The theme for this year's conference is Creating Connections: Bridging Our Past to Our Future.
The Junior League of Spokane is part of the Association of Junior Leagues International (AJLI), which is comprised of 293 leagues across the US, Canada, the UK and Mexico. Membership in AJLI grants access to resources and training opportunities, as well as the ability for members to transfer between leagues if they move.
For more information about Junior League of Spokane, visit jlspokane.org.
Join us in celebrating our Doers of Good by getting involved in one of the programs we will spotlight over the next several months.
Proudly known as the "Gateway to the West," Spokane recently earned another accolade when it landed on the list of Top Housing Markets for 2022. Our real estate agents know the area is a great place to call home for many reasons! Below they share the amenities and advantages of living in Spokane that others are discovering.
Parks and trails in the Spokane area offer amazing hiking opportunities during the warmer months... but the fun doesn't end when the snow flies. Winter in Spokane means it's time to strap on the snowshoes!
When there's a good base layer of snow on the ground, there's no place quite like Spokane County for an outdoor adventure. Our real estate agents are excited to share their favorite snowshoeing destinations in the Spokane area.
2021 is almost over, and it's a good time to reflect upon the year, your wins, losses, and any lessons learned. Every new year brings with it possibilities to improve. It offers you a chance to reinvent yourself, and if you're in the market for a new home, our real estate agents can help you start the new year on a high note by helping you find your dream home.
Still need the perfect gift for that special someone on your shopping list? Our real estate agents are happy to help.
We're always in favor of supporting local businesses whenever we can. Here in Spokane, we're very lucky to have a ton of great options when it comes to shopping local. Be sure to check out these amazing locally owned businesses in the Spokane area when you need a last-minute gift.
Whether or not the snow flies in time for the holidays, Spokane offers endless opportunities to get into the holiday spirit.
Our real estate agents are excited to share their favorite holiday happenings in Spokane this season. From light displays and parades to craft markets and musical events, there's a lot to look forward to in Spokane during the holidays. Be sure to check out these upcoming events!
Does selling your home during the holidays mean that you're doomed to spend the season with no decorations?
Fortunately, our real estate agents know that the answer is "no." Holiday decorations are encouraged when you're selling your home, but it's important to treat them as part of your home's staging. Here's what you need to know about staging your home during the holiday season.
The last 18 months changed what many buyers are looking for in a home. Recently, the American Institute of Architects released their AIA Home Design Trends Survey results for Q3 2021. The survey reveals the following:
If you're a homeowner who wants to add any of the above, you have two options: renovate your current house or buy a home that already has the spaces you desire. The decision you make could be determined by factors like:
In either case, you'll need access to capital: the funds for the renovation or the down payment your next home would require. The great news is that the money you need probably already exists in your current home in the form of equity.
The record-setting increases in home prices over the last two years dramatically improved homeowners' equity. Odeta Kushi, Deputy Chief Economist at First American, quantifies the amount of equity homeowners gained recently:
"Remember U.S. households own nearly $35 trillion in owner-occupied real estate, just over $11 trillion in debt, and the remaining ~$24 trillion in equity. In inflation adjusted terms, homeowners in Q2 had an average of $280,000 in equity- a historic high."
As a homeowner, the money you need to purchase the perfect home or renovate your current house may be right at your fingertips. However, waiting to make your decision may increase the cost of tapping that equity.
If you decide to renovate, you'll need to refinance (or take out an equity loan) to access the equity. If you decide to move instead and use your equity as a down payment, you'll still need to mortgage the remaining difference between the down payment and the cost of your next home.
Mortgage rates are forecast to increase over the next year. Waiting to leverage your equity will probably mean you'll pay more to do so. According to the latest data from the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA), almost 57% of current mortgage holders have a mortgage rate of 4% or below. If you're one of those homeowners, you can keep your mortgage rate under 4% by doing it now. If you're one of the 43% of homeowners with a mortgage rate over 4%, you may be able to do a cash-out refinance or buy a more expensive home without significantly increasing your monthly payment.
If you're ready to either redesign your current house or find an existing or newly constructed home that has everything you want, the first thing you need to do is determine how much equity you have in your current home. To do that, you'll need two things:
You can probably find the mortgage balance on your monthly mortgage statement. To find the current market value of your house, you can pay several hundreds of dollars for an appraisal, or you can contact a local real estate professional who will be able to present to you, at no charge, a professional equity assessment report.
If the past 18 months have refocused your thoughts on what you want from your house, now may be the time to either renovate or make a move to the perfect home. Contact us today to help guide you through the process and help determine what makes the most sense for you!
Your entryway is the first space guests experience when they step into your home. And more importantly, it is the first space you experience when you get home! As such, you really want your entryway to feel warm and welcoming. Here are a few useful tips to help you make your entryway a sight to behold.
When the temperatures start to drop, there's nothing quite like enjoying a fresh-baked treat and a hot cup of coffee. In fact, if you ask our real estate agents, most of them will tell you it's their favorite way to start the day.
If you've been busy exploring Spokane homes for sale, you probably don't have time to make your own baked goods right now - but you're in luck! There are plenty of great bakeries nearby where you can choose from a large selection of tasty treats. Here are a few we recommend checking out.
The beautiful river is one of the many features that make Spokane special. Our real estate agents want you to see it like never before! Since all the way back in 1873, "The Lilac City" has depended on its river for both trade and natural beauty. No surprise that its modern restaurant scene has also used the river for precious inspiration.
When you explore Spokane homes for sale, you will notice that the riverfront area isn't over-developed as in some cities. Only a handful of establishments, many of them historic, offer the breathtaking vantage of a lovely river view. To get a unique glimpse of the true heart of Spokane, it's a great idea to stop in for a bite to eat.
When looking at Spokane homes for sale, buyers often plan how they might fix up a home or make it their own. The right home improvements can go a long way towards making a home more livable and increasing its value. But as your list of home improvement projects grows, how do you decide which ones to tackle first? Here are some tips to help you prioritize your to-do list.
After a long, cold winter, many of us look forward to a fresh start in the spring. Wash away the winter grime, open the windows, and prepare your home for warmer weather and backyard barbecues.
Fall ushers in another busy season of home maintenance as you prepare your home for the winter weather ahead.
There's a lot you can learn from homes selling in your neighborhood, especially if that home is right next to yours. If you spotted a sign in your neighbor's yard, you might want to do some investigating.
Keeping tabs on the outcome of your neighbor's home sale can prove extremely beneficial when it comes time to list your own property. Details about your neighbor's home and the transaction can provide key information about your local real estate market. Luckily, it's fairly easy to find out important pieces of information. Below are four things we encourage consumers to watch out for when a neighbor puts their home on the market:
When you buy a new home, you want it to be a reflection of you and your style. As you consider various trends, you may come across a popular new one called cottagecore. But what is it, exactly, and will it work for your interior design needs? Essentially, cottagecore home decor is a nostalgic journey to a simpler time and place. If sipping tea in a garden, breathing in the delicate scent of roses and honeysuckle strikes your fancy, this could very well be the interior design style you are seeking. If the homes you are asking to be shown are reminiscent of country living, you may want to consider these key elements:
If you've been waiting for some of the vintage things you love to come back in style, the time has come. Our real estate professionals will be happy to help you find your new home. Contact us when you're ready to make the change.
If you're looking at Spokane homes for sale, you'll be within easy reach of Mount Spokane State Park. This is a lovely place to stop and take a hike. The scenery is breathtaking, and there are trails catering to all ages and levels of ability. Here are a few of the key trails you can hike within the state park.
School might be out for summer, but opportunities for kids to learn and grow never end. The Spokane area offers a lot of great programs and resources for children to continue their education... and have a lot of fun!
Summer programs offer a chance for youngsters to learn more about science and the arts and to stoke their creativity and connect with the natural world in a way that a traditional classroom never could. Our real estate agents are happy to share some of their favorite summer learning opportunities for kids.
The Green Bluff area is known for its beautiful scenery and fertile soil, which allows local farmers to grow a wide variety of delicious, high-quality produce throughout the year. Many of the best local farms and fruit stands are part of the Green Bluff Growers' Association, a local organization dedicated to sharing all that local farms have to offer. And it's not just about great food! They also host many fun, family-friendly activities available at local farms throughout the year. Coldwell Banker Tomlinson has all the details on the fun you can expect at local farms, in our Green Bluff Growers Spotlight.
ALWAYS HERE TO HELP
Did you know mini golf is a great way for kids to learn patience and self-control while developing creativity and hand-eye coordination? All your kids will know is that they're having a blast. Share some quality time with your family at one of these entertaining mini golf courses near Spokane homes for sale.
Spring cleaning is the perfect way to start the decluttering process before showing your house for sale or to start packing for a move. But if you've been in your home for a long time, the volume of junk you've been stashing may seem overwhelming. Our real estate agents will tell you eliminating clutter is an important key to maintaining a beautiful home. Breaking the job into manageable chunks can be very helpful. Make sure to toss out these items while doing your spring cleaning this year.
Earth Day is celebrated on Thursday, April 22, so why not get out and enjoy Spokane's natural beauty? Whether you want to hike to see a waterfall or browse in a market filled with fresh local produce, there's plenty to do and see locally on Earth Day.
Check out the following five places to celebrate Earth Day in Spokane:
As both a licensed REALTOR® and home builder, I often scroll through my Facebook feed and see homes advertised by our area homebuilders and fellow real estate agents. I often see such remarks as: "They want how much for that house? They're crazy!" or "Why can't builders build more affordable homes?" The general public is not aware of the obstacles faced by members of the industry tasked with meeting the demand for housing. Chief among these obstacles are: 1. A lack of affordable land. 2. Dramatic increases in the cost of materials. 3. The scarcity of qualified tradespeople.
Lurking behind every one of these factors in the increasing cost of new homes is the Demon of Demand. As long as Spokane remains the wonderful place to live it is and always has been, we can expect to see increases in the cost of housing, though perhaps less steep than we are coping with now, extending into the future.
Whether you have lived in your home for several years or several decades, there may come a time when you decide to put your home up for sale. To tackle the challenge, our real estate agents will guide you through the process to make sure your home makes a big impression on potential buyers looking for Spokane homes for sale.
Putting your home on the market can be a stressful event, but you can eliminate stress by knowing what to do before listing your home. Prepare you home for the busy spring market by following these tips.
Planting the right flowers in your yard can truly give your landscaping a boost! That's just one of the great reasons to participate in National Plant a Flower Day on Friday, March 12. Our real estate agents share some helpful information about planting a garden in Spokane to get you started.
By the time we get to the dark days of midwinter, gardeners all over Washington are itching to get outside and get their hands back in the soil. We understand the struggle.
Luckily, this is the time of year when you can start taking the first steps toward planting your spring vegetable garden. Our real estate agents are delighted to share these tips for starting your spring garden indoors!
Valentine's Day is around the corner, so now is the perfect time to start planning a surprise for your special someone. While the holiday may look a little different this year than in years past, a romantic meal at home with your favorite person and your favorite food will never go out of style. Many of your favorite Spokane restaurants are currently open for takeout and will be serving up delicious dishes for Valentine's Day this year. We have all the details you need on 5 great restaurants offering Valentine's Day takeout in Spokane.
Many people call the kitchen the heart of the home, and it's easy to see why. It's used by multiple family members throughout the day and becomes a gathering spot for family and friends. And as people spend more time at home, this year is the perfect time to make your kitchen more appealing to yourself and your family as well as to prospective buyers if you're selling your home.
If your kitchen is outdated, an upgrade can improve its appearance and make it easier for you to complete your food preparation tasks. Our real estate agents suggest the following ways to upgrade your kitchen this year:
Now that the holidays are behind us, we're all eager to get out of the house and get some exercise. Luckily, winter is a beautiful time to head outside and explore the Spokane area.
Our real estate agents love the Washington weather this time of year. And with a nice dusting of snow on the trails, it's a perfect opportunity to lace up your hiking boots—or strap on your snowshoes—and experience these great Spokane winter hikes.
Charcuterie boards are perfect for sampling some of the best local flavors! Plus, they aren't just for meat and cheese anymore. Cold days and nights spent indoors have inspired people to build hot chocolate charcuterie boards featuring cocoa and all the fixings, from marshmallows and wafer sticks to caramel cubes and gingerbread cookies.
Whether you go gourmet or comfort, our real estate agents suggest these great shops around Spokane for creating your own charcuterie board.
With a brand new year on the horizon, our real estate agents are excited about the new possibilities it represents. A new calendar is a blank slate, and maybe not just for you, but for your home too. So as we look to the future, keep these up-and-coming design trends in mind for your next remodel.
It's almost time for Spokane homes for sale to come alive with beautiful decorations for the holidays. This holiday season promises to be a welcome time of joy and giving in the midst of a challenging year. We know many people, buyers, and sellers alike, who are looking forward to it.
When revamping your kitchen, you might be tempted to go with the most recent design or that trendy color of the year. Just because it's trending doesn't mean you should go for it.
We can tell you that kitchen design trends come and go, but certain classic looks have stood the test of time. These designs are simple, beautiful, and appeal to a wide audience. And because the kitchen is one of the most expensive areas to renovate, it's smart to stick with what's tried and true. Here are the top 7 timeless kitchen trends that have been loved for decades.
Halloween is almost here, and we couldn't be more excited! We love everything about this holiday, including the quest to find the perfect pumpkin. Over the past several years, we have explored all of the area's best pumpkin patches. Throughout our journey, we've come across a few that really take things up a notch.
Whether you carve a pumpkin every year or you're thinking about starting a new tradition, you'll want to check out one (or more!) of these great local spots.
From the September 2020 issue of @Home with Coldwell Banker Tomlinson. Written by Abbey Parsons, CBT West Plains Branch Manager.
Kohlrabi - I had to GOOGLE it; I had no idea what this vegetable was, until a bag of fresh produce showed up on my doorstep in early May of this year. Our family decided to try a Community Supported Agriculture program (CSA) subscription.
You can join these programs as a community member by paying for a share of the harvested produce. We paid for our share up front in March and we receive a weekly delivery to our door. This has expanded our vegetable choices while supporting a local family business that keeps money in our community.
Community Supported Agriculture, or CSA, is a farm marketing model that allows the consumer to buy shares of a farm's harvest before the growing season starts. Thus, delivery through the winter months may include beets, corn, broccoli, onions, turnips, radishes, carrots, cilantro, kale, mustard, spinach, basil, lettuce and, of course, kohlrabi! There are also such frozen options as blueberries, peaches, berries, and peas. Customers may also choose from prepared foods, ingredients for which are raised on local farms, such as hummus, soups, sauces and jams.
Courage to Grow Farms is a first-generation, family-owned urban farm that practices zero-waste regenerative agriculture and employs organic methods. It was established in 2018 with the idea of teaching their community, particularly its youth, techniques of sustainable agriculture on small parcels of land. In only two years, they have created, worked and mentored six urban farms in the Spokane area, all of which are now being run successfully by people eager to learn the trade. In cooperation with other farmers throughout the Pacific Northwest, they now offer much of the Spokane region a bountiful, locally-produced fresh box throughout the year.
Since the community keeps them going, they are eager to give back to the community. Since 2018, they have donated hundreds of pounds of wholesome food to the Farm to Food Pantry Program, Catholic Charities, Food For All, as well as providing their packages free of charge every week to families in need.
Twenty consecutive weeks of deliveries are available for $800. For more information, call or text (509) 270-7264 or visit their website at www.couragetogrowfarms.com.
From the September 2020 issue of @Home with Coldwell Banker Tomlinson. Article written by Cindy Hedin, Coldwell Banker Tomlinson REALTOR®.
With fall just around the corner, we at Coldwell Banker Tomlinson are beginning to gear up for our annual Coats 4 Kids campaign with KXLY 4 News Now. Though, due to the current COVID pandemic and school closures, the Coats 4 Kids campaign will look a little different in 2020, its success is more urgent than ever!
Coats 4 Kids is an area-wide annual fall event and has several local sponsors, including Coldwell Banker Tomlinson. In addition to its corporate contributions, Coldwell Banker Tomlinson Realtors® throughout our region have worked in the past as liasons with local schools and businesses in collecting coats. We will miss working directly with our school partners this year. However, we know they will continue to do what they can to help. View a full list of coat dropoff locations here.
The good news is that we will still be receiving new and gently used coats and monetary donations at Coldwell Banker Tomlinson offices throughout the Spokane area. Dr. Bob Lutz from the Spokane Health District was consulted to ensure we are observing proper procedures regarding COVID-19. Unfortunately we have had to eliminate some of the events we've done in the past.
This year marks the 35th anniversary of Coats 4 Kids. With your support, we have been able to collect hundreds of thousands of new and gently-used coats of all sizes (don't forget the teenagers!) for children throughout our region. This year's collection will begin October 1st and run through October 31st. We want to make sure every child in our area has a warm coat to wear this winter!
What can YOU do to help in this year's campaign?
1. Check your closets any gently used coats you would like to donate.
2. Bring them to any Coldwell Banker Tomlinson office, or call your Coldwell Banker Tomlinson Realtor®, we will be happy to pick up your donation.
3. Donations of new coats and monetary donations are also most welcome. Make a financial contribution here.
Your contributions will put smiles on many, many children in our community!
After buying a home, you may feel as if you've completed a marathon and are due for a little downtime to settle in and rest. But don't sit too long; there's still plenty to do.
We recommend prioritizing the many must-dos that will ensure your safety and comfort in your new Spokane home. Here are five things to get started on.
It's hard to believe summer is almost over, but there will be a nip in the air before you know it! As summer turns into autumn, we all look forward to the stunning fall foliage that Washington is known for. This is one of the reasons why we love showing homes in the autumn months.
When we speak with potential buyers who are new to the area, we always recommend that they take a short break from exploring Spokane homes for sale to visit some of the area's most scenic spots. Here are a few of our favorite recommendations.
From the August 2020 issue of @Home with Coldwell Banker Tomlinson. Based on original reporting.
It seems that we find ourselves in a time of great decisions. Should schools and businesses be open or closed? Should the Congress inject more money into the economy, and if so, how much? Soon we will be asked to decide whether to stick with our current president, or go with another.
These are great decisions, and different people will find different answers, but their importance requires that we all be involved, that we study the issues before deciding, and then be sure to make our decisions known, either to our elected leaders or via the ballot box.
There is another great issue that we encounter every day and that is calling for a decision that has for too long been either delayed or confused: How do we in Eastern Washington want our transportation system to be managed? It is the job of Mike Gribner, Region Administrator of the Washington State Dept. of Transportation (WSDOT) to do just that, provided we understand that he acts on instructions from us.
Mike has been waiting for clear, consistent instructions from us for years, and both he and his boss, Roger Millar, our state's Secretary of Transportation, are doing all they can to let us know that years of dithering have led our transportation system to a point of crisis, a crisis just as real as that caused by the novel coronavirus.
Good news is, though, it is much easier to solve. All it will take is for an informed electorate (us) to get our priorities straight, to decide just where we want to spend our money, and let our elected officials know about it.
At stake in Spokane is an economy that generates $30,000,000,000 (that's right; with a "B!") every year, and every single component is inexorably tied to transportation. It is what allows goods to get to market, buyers to get to sellers, patients to get to doctors... etc. When Mike Gribner has cause to worry, we all have cause to worry.
He is worried, because, on the one hand, we expect him to be a good steward of the complex and vital system of transportation we own, while, on the other, we deny him the funds to do so. Sometimes we do so intentionally, as when Initiative 976 was passed, which dangled the appealing prospect of lower license tabs at the cost of crippling reductions in WSDOT's revenues. Sometimes, we do it inadvertently, as when we run after the shiny new object of expansion, without first making sure that maintenance of the existing system is properly funded.
The clearest example in our region is the North Spokane Corridor (NSC). A worthy project, no doubt, but one that is funded by bonded (i.e. "borrowed") money, so much money that the interest payments alone consume a huge percentage of WSDOT's budget.
As a result, Gribner has been obliged to cease all repairs on thoroughfares with speed limits under 45mph. That lets out not only our tree-lined residential cul-de-sacs, but such little-used byways as Division Street and Trent Ave!
To be sure, the coronavirus has played its part by ratcheting up the severity of the crisis in our transportation system. The drastic reduction in miles traveled has meant far less consumption of gasoline, which in turn cuts deeply into the gas tax revenues on which WSDOT depends. The Office of Financial Management estimates the cost of the COVID virus at up to $100,000,000 per month.
He grimaces when he is accused by members of the real estate industry of being "anti-growth" for taking such action as opposing large-scale development along the I-195 corridor before steps are taken to improve its safety, steps which the City of Spokane (i.e. "we") agreed to take more than a decade ago.
In fact, the furtherance of economic prosperity is a prominent part of WSDOT's mission statement. Just ask Councilman Al French whether or not Mike Gribner can be relied upon to support our efforts at economic growth. He seems to feel that without the heroic effort of Gribner and his partners, Amazon would not have come to the West Plains.
So what is to be done? According to Mike Gribner, our first job as responsible citizens is to be well-informed. The WSDOT website is a great place to start. Beyond that, a call to the regional office at (509) 324-6000 will be enough to convince anyone that this is an organization devoted to serving the public and fulfilling its mission to support the safety, security, and prosperity of the people of Eastern Washington.
The final step, and the one that counts most, is putting your knowledge to work by voting responsibly and insisting to such elected representatives as Senator Andy Billig and Representative Marcus Riccelli, both ardent advocates for supporting our transportation system properly, that the system is important to you, and that you are willing to pay for it.
Whether you prefer your time on the water to be relaxing or exciting, there's a paddlesport option for you. During the summer months, our real estate agents love exploring Spokane-area waterways using kayaks, rafts, and stand-up paddleboards.
Enjoy some fun out on the water with a rental or guided trip from these spots around Spokane.
No other room in the house is as exciting or as daunting to remodel as the kitchen. When reimagining an existing kitchen, you want to preserve or improve its functionality, while pulling it all together with a fresh new look.
In addition to hiring an expert, there are several things you can do to ensure the success of your remodel. When you're done, you'll have an outstanding kitchen you'll love to work in and that you can enjoy for years. What's more, when the time comes, it'll make your home a star among other Spokane homes for sale.
Nothing says summer fun quite like a delicious frozen treat! In fact, when our real estate agents take a break from helping buyers find their dream homes, they love stopping by some of their favorite local ice cream shops.
National Ice Cream Day is coming up soon, so now is a great time to start exploring some of the area's best ice cream vendors. Here are a few suggestions to help you get started.
After you're done enjoying your sweet treat, you'll want to check out some of our sweet real estate deals! There are a ton of great houses on the market right now, and we're here to help you find the one you've been dreaming of. Contact us today to get started.
There's no doubt about it. Summer is right around the corner. And with the amount of time we've all spent in various stages of quarantine and social distancing, our real estate agents are excited to spend some quality time outdoors.
With that in mind, there's never been a better time to take your patio game to the next level. Plus, in all our years offering Spokane homes for sale, we've learned that a home's exterior is just as important as its interior. So whether you're planning on selling your home, or you just want to have a few friends over for a backyard gathering, consider these simple tips to refresh your patio this summer.
Please note, this information is accurate as of this article's posting time, May 22nd, 2020, at 3:30pm. The situation is very dynamic and is subject to change.
Spokane County has been approved to move into Phase 2 of COVID-19 Recovery. What does Phase 2 mean for Realtors® and clients?
Washington REALTORS® summarizes the modifications for Phase 2:
Real estate firms may open their offices in a limited fashion;
Commercial brokers can engage in the same in-person services as residential brokers;
Three persons (as opposed to two persons) are allowed on site for permitted in-person real estate activities for both residential and commercial brokerage (for both improved and unimproved property); and
Sign installers may install real estate signs.
In Phase 1, Realtors® were allowed to show properties by appointment to only one individual at a time. Commercial real estate activities were also prohibited.
In Phase 2, Realtors® may now accompany two individuals at a time in a property. Those three persons must strictly follow social distancing guidelines by remaining at least six feet apart at all times. A Realtor® may not leave a third party unattended in a property. In addition, listing brokers should stagger any preview or showing appointments to avoid any overlap. All showings must be by appointment only
Realtors® and industry partners (e.g. appraisers, inspectors, photographers, stagers, etc.) must wear cloth face coverings and should encourage clients and customers to do the same. Approved face coverings include scarves, cloth face masks, or medical grade masks.
Traditional open houses are still prohibited in Phase 2.
In lieu of physically showing the property, Realtors® and buyers can utilize virtual tours and videos that are included with the listing. Realtors® should also consider virtual showings to further practice social distancing.
Realtors® must adhere to the Phase protocols for the county where the property is located, regardless of the location of the Realtor®'s office or home. View a map showing current Phase status of each Washington County.
Commercial real estate activities were prohibited in Phase 1 of the recovery. In Phase 2, commercial brokers may re-engage with in-person services, similar to residential brokers. Three persons are allowed on-site at one time, for permitted in-person commercial real estate activities for both improved and unimproved property, including facilitating inspections, appraisals, buyer "walkthroughs," and other activities typically required to complete a real estate sale or lease. All in-person real estate activities, Phase 1 or 2, require participants to wear cloth face coverings.
Coldwell Banker Tomlinson offices are planning to re-open June 1. Social distancing and hygiene safety protocols be observed, including wearing of cloth face masks when entering the office and maintaining at least six feet of distance between individuals at all times. Realtors® and staff are available, as before, to fully serve clients remotely where necessary.
The Spokane real estate market has remained strong as we transition out of Phase 1 and into Phase 2 of the recovery. Inventory is still low, and demand is high. If you have questions about the current state of the market, please reach out to a CBT Realtor®.
It's spring and time for a garden. But not just any garden. In Spokane, many enlightened homeowners are getting maximum yields by planting a raised garden bed. Raised beds not only help plants drain better but in our rocky soil, the layer of rich soil and compost that a raised bed provides makes it easier for plants to stay nourished. Also, raised beds help you control watering and make it harder for pests to get at plants.
A raised garden bed can be an attractive feature of your property, and a great selling point among Spokane homes for sale, as our experienced real estate professionals, will tell you. Here's how you can get started planting a raised garden bed of your own.
Looking for more home improvement projects to give your home a boost before listing it for sale? Our team can help. Contact us today.
Do you remember when your stainless steel appliances were delivered to your home? The shine of the fresh new surfaces of your dishwasher, refrigerator, or oven instantly gave your kitchen a modern appearance. Now, you realize regular daily use has your appliances looking a little dull and almost grey. The elaborate shine is missing. The good news, stainless steel appliances are easy to clean and maintain.
Whether you are spring cleaning or preparing your home to sell with our REALTORS®, restoring the shine to your stainless steel appliances is simple. Luckily, the process requires minimal effort, but the results are spectacular.
Need something to do this weekend? You could binge-watch another series, but why not take this time to help your house be one of the best Spokane homes for sale this season? A small home improvement project can be a rewarding way to spend your weekend, from the satisfaction of accomplishment to attracting more potential buyers. Here are some tasks that can easily be completed in one weekend.
Our REALTORS® get to see houses at all stages, and they appreciate when a home has received the care it needs to look its best. It shows that the seller is offering a true investment, and buyers will recognize when a home has been well-loved. We'd love to talk to you about helping you find a buyer who will love your house as much as you do. Contact us today.
Please note, this information is accurate as of this article's posting time, March 31st, 2020, at 8:00am. The situation is very dynamic and is subject to change.
Governor Inslee issued a memorandum on March 28th to revise his initial Stay Home, Stay Healthy order in Washington State, redefining certain real estate activities as "essential services." With more than 17,000 pending transactions in Washington State, the spirit of the memorandum is to allow for the closure of these transactions, a top priority in preventing critical housing problems. The Governor's directive balances appropriate housing needs with the importance of protecting public health.
The memorandum states that "While real estate activities have been approved as essential activities under the Proclamation, such activities shall only be permitted under the following restrictions and limitations:"
a) In-person meetings with customers are prohibited except when necessary for a customer to view a property or sign necessary documents;
b) No real estate open houses shall be permitted;
c) Property viewings, inspections, appraisals, and final walk-throughs shall be arranged by appointment and limited to no more than two people on site at any one time, exercising social distancing at all times; and
d) Except for the Limited exceptions authorized above, all new real estate listings shall be facilitated remotely.
We are relying on Washington REALTORS® and Spokane Association of Realtors® for guidance in interpreting the Governor's memorandum. Clarification from Washington REALTORS® states the following:
First of all, Realtors® must still comply with the Stay Home, Stay Healthy requirements for conducting business remotely from home.
The updated memorandum does allow Realtors® to meet clients one-on-one when no other alternative is available
In no event may more than two people be on-site at a property at a time, including the owner/occupants and the Realtor®. This means the Realtor® can show one person a home while others wait outside in a vehicle. Or, the Realtor® may join an appraiser in the home, but no one else at the same time.
Appropriate social distancing and hygiene protocols must still be strictly followed.
The Spokane Association of Realtors® clarified the spirit of the memorandum and our duty to strictly abide by the order:
To be clear: it is the Governor's intent, and it is the unwavering position of Washington REALTORS®, that public safety and stopping the spread of the virus is the paramount consideration and the top priority of everything we do as an organization and as an industry. This means that the overriding directive is that real estate brokers must limit personal interactions with and among the public to the greatest extent possible, engage personally only when necessary, and must do so within the strict protocols of the Governor's residential real estate memo and his Stay Home Stay Healthy order.
We want to thank the Governor for his consideration in prioritizing housing during this unprecedented time. We take our responsibility to the communities we serve and our duty to public health seriously. As a reminder, this is not a return to real estate business as usual although we look forward to celebrating with you when that time comes. Let's all do our part to help stop the spread of this virus.
The Washington State Governor's Stay Home, Stay Healthy order does not define real estate as an essential service. What does this mean for Washington Realtors® and clients?
Please note, this information is accurate as of this article's posting time, March 25th, 2020, at 12:00pm. The situation is very dynamic and is subject to change.
Washington State Governor Inslee's "Stay Healthy, Stay Home" order, effective midnight March 25th through midnight April 8th, 2020, prohibits all people in Washington State from leaving their homes or participating in social, spiritual and recreational gatherings of any kind regardless of the number of participants, and all non-essential businesses in Washington State from conducting business with a few very specific exceptions.
Real estate brokerage activities generally are not considered essential, so business must not be conducted in person for the period covered by the order.
What does this mean? The Spokane Association of Realtors® clarifies, stating:
All in-person contact with clients must cease which would include client meetings, property showings, and open houses.
Virtual/electronic activity may continue and is encouraged: video meetings, virtual tours/open houses, and electronic documents/signing.
It shall be a violation of the REALTOR® Code of Ethics and possibly also a violation of law to conduct business as usual, in person, during this time.
Furthermore, Washington REALTORS® Legal Hotline Lawyer Annie Fitzsimmons provides additional clarifying points:
Real estate brokers are not allowed to continue conducting business except remotely, from their homes.
Physically touring houses is not considered an "essential business".
To the extent a broker can develop a virtual tour of seller's home, broker can continue to show seller's home. Otherwise, home showings are restricted by the "Stay Home" order. Listing brokers have until the night of Wednesday, March 25 to develop a virtual tour of listed properties.
Once the order goes into effect, there is no obvious allowance for home inspections while the order is in effect.
Pending sales can likely proceed to closing under the Financial Services section of the "essential businesses" list.
Is it possible that appraisers will be considered as essential workers in the Financial Services exception? It is possible although that conclusion is not immediately apparent.
We at Coldwell Banker Tomlinson are abiding by the Stay Healthy, Stay Home order, for your safety and ours. It's the right thing to do even though it's difficult. We are all working remotely from home. We are equipped to support you virtually using the industry's finest technology. We are here for you. Please reach out if you have any questions.
If you've been exploring Spokane homes for sale, you're likely very excited to find the perfect one and start your new life. However, before you can do that, you'll have to deal with the not-so-fun part -- packing and moving. While this is always at least a little bit stressful for us, it can confuse and upset your pets.
Our REALTORS® have collected the best advice from pet owners over the years and are happy to share these tips with you.
Want more info about the current real estate market? Contact us today to speak to an agent.
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.
Warmer temperatures and longer days are right around the corner. If you're hoping to revamp your outside spaces in preparation for the sunny days ahead, now is the perfect time to begin planning your spring to-do list. Here are a few of the top landscaping trends you'll encounter at a variety of Spokane homes for sale this spring that might be right for your property.
If you are looking for the healthiest food around, Spokane won't disappoint. Its dining scene includes a wide range of chef-driven, family-owned eateries. Look closer, and you'll also find a wide range of organic markets for all your produce needs. After all, Spokane is one of the places where today's farm-to-table movement got started.
Spokane is a place that's right at the center of it all, and you'll never want for the latest wellness trends when you choose Spokane homes for sale.
Our real estate agents recommend these local favorites for healthy, local ingredients:
For many individuals, deciding to purchase a home is one of the most important decisions they will make. However, another equally critical decision is deciding when to sell your home. Though our real estate agents can give market insight to assist with your decision, you must also weigh your financial situation and individual needs. Here are a few things to consider as you decide when to sell your home.
The amount of equity you have in your home is an important factor in your decision to sell. If you're upside down in your mortgage (you owe more on the loan that your home is worth), it's likely best to wait to sell your home. When you're upside down on your home, you'll either need to bring cash to the table to cover the difference or get your lender to agree to a short sale. Both options are costly, and a short sale will damage your credit.
Your local real estate market is another important item to research when deciding when you want to sell your home. When possible, wait and sell your home when property values are on the rise. This will help you obtain the highest price you can for your home. Even though no one knows exactly when Spokane homes for sale will secure the most money, your real estate agent can offer valuable insight into the current and future state of your real estate market.
With the holiday season now over and the winter weather still present, now is the perfect time to get involved in a new indoor activity or hobby. Our real estate agents encourage you to get involved in one of these new hobbies to try in Spokane.
Give a gift this holiday season that will help the newest homeowner on your list feel more at home in their new place. These fun, unique holiday gifts for homebuyers are sure to be a hit. Get gift inspiration with this list from our REALTORS®:
The holidays are always special, and residents of Spokane and Nine Mile Falls love to get out and celebrate. As the weather cools down and the seasons start to change, our REALTORS® recommend the following events and festivals that are filled with fun for the whole family.
Homeowner associations, or HOAs, may seem like a relatively recent concept, but the earliest ones were established by land developers back in the mid-19th century. With the growth of common-interest developments (CIDs) such as condominiums and planned single-family home communities, HOAs now govern more than 26 million homes.
Are you considering Spokane homes for sale that are part of an HOA? Make an informed decision using this list of pros and cons.
Buying a new home and moving to a new town is exciting — but sometimes it can be a little scary, and at first, your new house or town might not feel like home at all. Our REALTORS® want you to know that this is completely normal. Any time you relocate away from your familiar surroundings, you're going to have instances of uncertainty.
Get acquainted with your new town and have it start feeling like home with these helpful tips.
Ready, on your mark, get set, race! One of the things our REALTORS® love about Spokane is that are always a ton of fun opportunities to hit the streets to support a good cause. And since autumn in Washington means perfect running weather, we're excited to share these upcoming races near Spokane homes for sale!
Chocolate Chip Cookie 50k Trail Run
An exciting trek through the rolling landscape of Spokane's Riverside State Park, the Chocolate Chip Cookie 50k Trail Run offers a chance to run some of the most spectacular trails in eastern Washington. Utilizing two loops (the 21.87 mile "Big Cookie" and the 9.3 mile "Small Cookie"), the course follows single and double track trails, Forest Service roads and pavement over varied terrain. Keep an eye out for scenic vistas of the surrounding mountain peaks, the Spokane River valley, Haystack Rocks and the CCC Suspension Bridge. The run kicks off at 8 a.m. on October 26 and, yes, there will be cookies waiting at the finish line!
Moving to a new city or relocating within your current community is exciting. But there are also many factors to consider to ensure that you land in the right neighborhood. When you're shopping for Spokane homes for sale, learning about neighborhoods will help you find a home that you'll love. Our REALTORS® are here to help you find the perfect neighborhood, with our guide for how to pick a Spokane neighborhood to buy your next home.
If you are looking to get the day started right in Spokane, WA you are in luck. The area is home to some of the best independent coffee shops in the state of Washington and our REALTORS® have done the research on many early mornings to find the cream of the crop. Here are the 10 Best Places to get your coffee buzz in the Lilac City.