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Articles Tagged "Spokane"

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June
13

Spokane Ski Resorts

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.

Click Here to Read More...

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
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...

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.

April
13

#CBTDenimDay

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:

Spokane area:

YWCA – Our Sister's Closet, www.ywcaspokane.org

Tri-Cities area:

Domestic Violence Services of Benton & Franklin Counties, www.dvsbf.org

Lewiston/Moscow/Pullman:

Lewiston YWCA, ywcaidaho.org
Alternatives to Violence of the Palouse, www.atvp.org

Boise area:

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.

April
7

Spokane Festival

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:

  • Don't miss the main attraction, the Armed Forces Torchlight Parade, at 7:45 p.m. on Saturday, May 21. Local school bands, dancers, gymnasts, floats, and military units will make their way through the streets of downtown Spokane.

  • Meet the Festival Queen and her Royal Court at a luncheon in the Grand Ballroom at the DoubleTree by Hilton. The luncheon takes place on Friday, May 20, from 11:30 a.m. - 1 p.m., and tickets are $50 per person.

  • Later that evening, the DoubleTree will host the official President's Gala from 6:30 p.m. - 10 p.m. Dine on a gourmet meal before dancing the night away. Tickets are $100 per person.

  • The creativity of local artists will be on display at the Lilac Art Show, held at Nectar Catering & Events. Competition is open to a wide range of media, including oil, watercolor, mixed media, and pen and ink. Doors open at 6 p.m. on Monday, May 16.

  • Take part in the debut of an exciting new event with the inaugural Lilac Festival BrewFest. Enjoy tastings of signature brews from 16 of the area's top breweries, including Black Label, Whistlepunk, and YaYa. The $35 admission includes ten tasting tokens and a special edition glass. An additional $10 gets you VIP status, with early entry and reserved seating for the Torchlight Parade. Raise your glass on Saturday, May 21, from 1 p.m. - 5 p.m. on Wall St. between Spokane Falls Blvd. and Main St.

Check out the full event information here.

Bloomsday Run

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.

Please join us at the Bloomsday Trade Show on Friday and Saturday before the race to meet our wonderful real estate agents and win some CBT swag!

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.

April
4

DIY Products for Spring Cleaning

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

  • After cleaning up any excess spill, sprinkle the carpet with baking soda or cornstarch. Let stand for 10 minutes and then vacuum.
  • Mix one tablespoon clear dishwashing liquid and one tablespoon white vinegar with two cups of warm water.
  • Using a white cloth, blot the stain with the vinegar solution.
  • Sponge with cold water and blot dry.

Oven Cleaner

  • Make a paste of baking soda and water.
  • Coat the oven (or just the dirty parts) with the paste and let stand overnight. Be sure to avoid the heating elements and bare metal.
  • Use a plastic spatula to remove the paste. (Wear rubber gloves.)
  • Wipe away any residue with a clean, wet sponge.

Grout Cleaners

  • Fill a spray bottle with equal amounts of white vinegar and water and generously spray the tile/grout. Let sit about five minutes.
  • Scrub area with a grout brush, or even a toothbrush.
  • Rinse with warm water.
  • If stains are more stubborn, mix a paste of baking soda and water and using your grout brush, work it into the grout.
  • Immediately follow with the vinegar spray. This should cause the baking soda paste to bubble.
  • Use your brush to finish cleaning.
  • Rinse with warm water.
  • For mold or mildewed grout, hydrogen peroxide is a gem. Spray it on the stain, let sit for a few minutes, and then scrub with your grout brush. You can even mix baking soda and hydrogen peroxide into a paste for a stronger clean. Apply the paste to the grout lines, wait a few minutes, scrub and then rinse with water.
  • NOTE: Do not apply vinegar to grout that has not been properly sealed.

Showerhead Cleaner

  • Carefully mix 1/3 cup baking soda with 1 cup white vinegar in a plastic bag.
  • Place the bag over the showerhead, submerging the head in the mixture; secure bag with rubber band or twist-tie.
  • Let soak for at least 3 hours.
  • Wipe clean.

 Window Cleaner

  • Mix together in a spray bottle: ¼ cup vinegar, ½ tsp natural liquid soap, and 2 cups water. Shake to blend.
  • Spray on windows and use newspaper to rub dry & clean, avoiding the window frames (newspaper can leave dark marks on the frames).

March
28

Spokane Vintage Furniture

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.  

Click Here to Read More...

March
16

What will 2022 Bring?

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.

March
14

Spokane Wine

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:

Click Here to Read More...

February
28

Spokane Ice Fishing

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. 

Click Here to Read More...

February
14

Test Your Valentine's Day Knowledge

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.

  1. When was the oldest-known Valentine's Day message written, and from where? 
  2. When was February 14th first declared as Valentine's Day? 
  3. Who invented the first Valentine's Day candy box? 
  4. What is the average number of marriage proposals on Valentine's Day each year? 
  5. How much on average is spent on chocolate in America for Valentine's Day each year? 
  6. How many roses are sold on Valentine's Day each year? 
  7. How many Valentine's Day greeting cards are purchased in the U.S. each year? 
  8. How many people typically purchase Valentines for their pets? 
  9. If you send a snarky insult on Valentine's Day, what kind of "greeting" are you sending?
  10. What year were the popular "conversation Sweethearts" not available?

 

Ready for the answers?

  1. The oldest-known Valentine was in 1415, sent by Charles, Duke of Orleans, to his wife from the Tower of London where he was imprisoned. 
  2. Valentine's Day was declared an official holiday in 1537 by King Henry VIII. 
  3. English entrepreneur and chocolate-maker Richard Cadbury created the first heart-shaped box of chocolates. 
  4. 220,000 
  5. It is estimated that over $1 billion is spent in the U.S. each year for Valentine's Day. 
  6. 189 million 
  7. Approximately 1 billion 
  8. 9 million 
  9. Insulting Valentine's messages are known as "Vinegar Valentines."
  10. The ever-popular "Conversation Hearts" were unavailable in 2019 after their manufacturer Necco declared bankruptcy in 2018. Thankfully, the Spangler Candy Company purchased the rights, and the candies returned in 2020.

    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!

    February
    11

    Winning Snacks for a Super Bowl Crowd

    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! 

    Artichoke Dip

    • 2 cans of non-marinated artichoke hearts
    • 1 c. mayonnaise
    • 1/2 c. sour cream
    • 1 can of diced green chilis
    • 1 c. shredded parmesan cheese

    Combine all ingredients in a small baking dish and bake for 20 minutes at 400°. Serve with tortilla chips.

     

    Dill Pickle & Ham Pinwheels

    • ½ lb. thinly-sliced ham
    • 4 oz. cream cheese
    • 4 large whole dill pickles

    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!

     

    Tequila-Spiked Salsa

    • 2 c. chopped, seeded tomato
    • 1 c. chopped onion
    • 1/2 c. chopped fresh cilantro
    • 1/3 c. peeled, chopped avocado
    • 2 Tbsp. fresh lime juice
    • 2 tsp. tequila (optional!)
    • 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
    • 2 cloves garlic, minced

    Combine all ingredients & toss gently. Serve with tortilla chips.

     

    Buffalo Chicken Dip

    • 10 oz. chicken breasts, boiled & shredded
    • 2 (8 oz.) packages of cream cheese, softened
    • 1 c. ranch dressing
    • 3/4 c. (or more based on taste/preferences)
    • pepper sauce (e.g. Frank's Red Hot®)
    • 1-1/2 c. shredded cheddar cheese

    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.

     

    Oreo Popcorn

    • 20 Oreo cookies
    • 2 bags of microwave popcorn, popped
    • 2 c. white chocolate 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!

     

    February
    14

    Spokane Trail

    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.

    Click Here to Read More...

    January
    21

    IT GIVES US GREAT PLEASURE TO INTRODUCE ABBEY PARSONS, REALTOR® AND SUPPORTER OF JUNIOR LEAGUE OF SPOKANE.

    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.

    January
    24

    Spokane 2022

    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.

    Click Here to Read More...

    January
    10

    Spokane Snowshoeing Trails

    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. 

    Click Here to Read More...

    December
    27

    Home Improvement for the New Year

    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.

    Click Here to Read More...

    December
    13

    Spokane Shopping Guide

    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.

    Click Here to Read More...

    November
    29

    Spokane Events

    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!

    Click Here to Read More...

    November
    8

    Holiday Home Staging

    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. 

    Click Here to Read More...

    October
    29

    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:

    • 70% of respondents want more outdoor living space
    • 69% of respondents want a home office (48% wanted multiple offices)
    • 46% of respondents want a multi-function room/flexible space
    • 42% of respondents want an au pair/in-law suite
    • 39% of respondents want an exercise room/yoga space

    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:

    1. A possible desire to relocate
    2. The difference in the cost of a renovation versus a purchase
    3. Finding an existing home or designing a new home that has exactly what you want (versus trying to restructure the layout of your current house)

    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.

    Home Equity Is Skyrocketing

    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.

    First Step: Determine the Amount of Equity in Your Home

    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:

    1. The current mortgage balance on your home
    2. The current value of your home

    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.

    Bottom Line

    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!

    October
    25

    Entryway Tips

    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.

    Click Here to Read More...

    October
    11

    Spokane Bakery

    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. 

    Click Here to Read More...

    September
    27

    River Views Near SpokaneThe 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.

    Click Here to Read More...

    September
    20

    Selling your home while shopping for a new one can feel daunting to even the most seasoned homeowner––especially when the competition for housing is so high. That doesn't mean, though, that you should just throw up your hands and give up on moving altogether. In fact, as a current homeowner, you could be in a better position than most to capitalize on a seller's market and make a smooth transition from your old home to a new one.

    We can help you prepare for the road ahead. Here are some of the most frequent concerns we hear from clients who are trying to buy and sell at the same time.

    "What will I do if I sell my house before I can buy a new one?"

    While it may be an inconvenience, this is a common scenario that can usually be handled with a little creativity and compromise. Here are some options to consider:

    1: Flex your muscles as a seller.

    In some cases, a buyer may agree to a rent-back clause that allows the seller to continue living in the home after closing for a set period of time and negotiated fee. We can discuss the benefits and risks involved and whether it's a good option for you.

    2: Open your mind to short-term housing options.

    If you're lucky enough to have family or friends who offer to take you in, that may be ideal. If not, check out furnished apartments, vacation rentals and month-to-month leases. If space is an issue, consider putting some of your furniture and possessions in storage.

    3: Embrace the idea of selling now and buying later.

    With cash on hand from the sale of your current home, you'll be in a better position to budget for and buy your next home. And by focusing on one step at a time, you can alleviate some of the pressure and uncertainty involved.

    "What if I get stuck with two mortgages at the same time?"

    If you can't afford to carry both mortgages, then selling before you buy may be best. (See Tip #3.) But if you have flexibility in your budget for some overlap, it is possible to manage a home sale and purchase simultaneously. Here are some steps to help streamline the process:

    4: As you get ready to sell, simplify.

    You can condense your sales timeline if you only focus on the renovations and tasks that matter most. We can advise you on the repairs and upgrades that are worth your time and investment.

    5: Prep your paperwork.

    If you'll need a mortgage for your next home purchase, get pre-approved in advance. And start pulling together relevant records for your current home, such as appliance warranties and renovation permits. That way, you'll be ready to provide quick answers to buyers' questions should they arise.

    6: Ask about other contingencies that can be included in your contracts.

    For example, it's possible to add a clause to your purchase offer that lets you cancel the contract if you haven't sold your previous home. This tactic could backfire, though, if you're competing with other buyers. We can discuss the pros and cons of contingencies and what's realistic given current market dynamics.

    "What if I mess up my timing or burn out from all the stress?"

    To make sure you're in the right headspace, take the time to slow down, breathe and delegate as much as possible. In addition:

    7: Relax and accept that compromise is inevitable.

    Rather than worry about getting every detail right with your housing search and home sale, trust that things will work out eventually––even if it doesn't look like your Plan A or even your Plan B or Plan C. Luckily, if you've got a good team of professionals, you can relax knowing that others have your back and are monitoring the details behind the scenes.

    8: Don't worry too much if your path is straying from convention.

    Remember that rules-of-thumb and home-buying trends are just that: they are estimates, not facts. So if your home search or sale isn't going exactly like your neighbor's, it doesn't mean that you are doomed to fail.

    9: Enlist help early.

    Which leads us to our final tip: If possible, call us early in the process. We'll not only provide you with key guidance on what you should do to prep your current property for sale, we'll also help you narrow down the parameters for your next one. That way, you'll be prepared to act quickly and confidently when it comes time to list your home and make an offer on a new one.

    Call today for tailored advice that works for you

    Buying and selling a home at the same time is challenging. But it doesn't have to be a nightmare, and it can even be fun. Click here for a free consultation so that we can help you review your options and decide the best way forward - or visit our site for listing of homes for sale.

    September
    13

    Spokane Home Improvement

    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.

    Click Here to Read More...

    August
    30

    From summer vacations to winter holidays, it seems each season offers the perfect excuse to put off our to-do list. But be careful, homeowners: neglecting your home's maintenance could put your personal safety—and one of your largest financial investments—at serious risk.

    In no time at all, small problems can lead to extensive and expensive repairs. And even if you avoid a catastrophe, those minor issues can still have a big impact. Spokane Homes for Sale that are not well maintained can lose 10 percent (or more) of their appraised value.

    The good news is, by dedicating a few hours each season to properly maintaining your home, you can ensure a safe living environment for you and your family ... and actually increase the value of your home by one percent annually!

    While this checklist should not be considered a complete list of your home's maintenance needs, it can serve as a general seasonal guide to maintaining your property throughout the year.

    SPRING

    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.

    INSIDE

    • Conduct Annual Spring Cleaning
    • Shut Down Heating System
    • Tune Up A/C
    • Check Plumbing
    • Inspect Smoke Alarm & Batteries
    • Check Carbon Monoxide Detector
    • Check Water Filters & Replace as needed
    • Clean out Sink & Shower Drains

    OUTSIDE

    • Inspect Perimeter of Home & Deck
    • Clean Home's Exterior
    • Clean Gutters and Downspouts
    • Seed or Sod Lawn & Fertilize
    • Apply a Pre-Emergent Herbicide
    • Plant Flowers & Mulch Beds
    • Tune Up Lawn Mower
    • Inspect Sprinkler System

    SUMMER

    Summer is generally the time to relax and enjoy your home, but a little time devoted to maintenance will help ensure it looks great and runs efficiently throughout the season.

    INSIDE

    • Adjust Ceiling Fans
    • Clean A/C Filters
    • Clear Dryer Vent
    • Check Weather Stripping

    OUTSIDE

    • Mow Lawn Regularly
    • Water Early in the Morning
    • Weed Weekly
    • Exterminate Pests

    FALL

    Fall ushers in another busy season of home maintenance as you prepare your home for the winter weather ahead.

    INSIDE

    • Have Heater Serviced
    • Shut Down A/C for the Winter
    • Inspect Chimney
    • Seal Windows and Doors
    • Check Smoke Alarm & Carbon Monoxide Detectors

    OUTSIDE

    • Plant Fall Flowers, Grass and Shrubs
    • Rake or Mow Leaves
    • Apply Fall Fertilizer
    • Inspect Gutters and Roof
    • Shut Down Sprinkler System
    • Close Pool

    WINTER

    While it can be tempting to ignore home maintenance issues in the winter, snow and freezing temperatures can do major damage if left untreated. Follow these steps to ensure your house survives the winter months.

    INSIDE

    • Maintain Heating System
    • Tune Up Generator
    • Prevent Frozen Pipes
    • Adjust Ceiling Fans

    .

    OUTSIDE

    • Drain and Shut Off Outdoor Faucets
    • Remove Window Screens
    • Service Snowblower
    • Stock Up on Ice Melt
    • Watch Out for Ice Dams
    • Check for Snow Buildup on Trees

    ARE YOU LOOKING FOR HELP

    ...with home maintenance or repairs? We have an extensive network of trusted contractors and service providers and are happy to provide referrals! Call or email us, and we can connect you with one of our preferred vendors. Contact us

    August
    23

    Neighbor List

    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:

    Click Here to Read More...

    August
    16

    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:

    • Nostalgia
      From the garden to the living room, the house should speak of bygone days. This may look different to each person. If your cherished memories include crocheted Afghans and ruffled curtains, by all means, include them. If they lean more toward the brown leather overstuffed couch and the roll-top desk you might find in an 1890's ranch house, then go that direction. It's even possible to blend styles a bit in this very unscripted decor. If you have antiques or just books and knick-knacks that have been in the family for a long time, cottagecore provides a perfect setting to display them.
    • Simplicity
      Although many of us work in the world of technology, we don't all want to live there. When incorporating cottagecore interior design trends, necessary technology will often be hidden inside wooden cabinetry or disguised in other clever ways. The lifestyle celebrates minimalism, including handcrafting, home cooking, and creativity over video games. Rather than the cold, sleek surfaces you will find in industrial decor, you will find the warmth of wood, the natural textures of organic materials, and the cozy atmosphere they bring. Shining wooden floors with simple rugs and a wooden coffee table that reflect the same color as the floor. You might find the same wood theme repeated in bathrooms and bedrooms. 
    • Nature
      Embracing nature is critical to the cottagecore style. This doesn't mean that you must raise your own chickens and livestock in order to enjoy the designs. But the interior of the home should blend with the environment surrounding the exterior. This can be accomplished with muted colors, natural materials, house plants, and fresh or dried flowers. Imagine a little girl collecting wildflowers and displaying them in a milk bottle. The romantic ideal of rural living can be reflected in prints and paintings without the less pleasant realities of farm life. An indoor herb garden is just the right touch to a cozy kitchen, while the fresh herbs bring your recipes to life. 
    • Vintage
      Antiques are certainly great additions to cottagecore home decor, but you can obtain the vintage feel without an extensive collection. Simple lines, wooden frames, and natural textures will help balance the design. Wooden chairs next to pristine white wainscotting in the dining room are reminiscent of homes of a hundred years ago, even if they were just purchased recently. The elegance of a colorful quilt can carry the sleeper back to Grandma's house. Overstuffed chairs reupholstered with soft, nubby fabrics or floral designs are both frugal and practical, echoing the lifestyle of the past as much as the appearance. 
    • Do-it-yourself
      To truly embrace the cottagecore lifestyle, you should bring in your own creations. Have you learned to embroider? Frame an original piece and hang it on the wall. Did you grow your own fruits and vegetables? Proudly store them in wire baskets on the kitchen counter. Craftspeople know that you can't create anything worthwhile without making a little mess. You can embrace the clutter a bit without letting it take over. A basket of colorful yarn complete with knitting needles will actually enhance the decor of the den. A loom in the corner will make a fascinating conversation piece. You may even discover common interests with friends you didn't know existed. 

    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. 

    August
    9

    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. 

    Click Here to Read More...

    August
    2

    Spokane Closing Tips

    It's the old supply-and-demand predicament: U.S. home sales continue at a rapid pace, but the number of listings remains limited. Amid historically low mortgage rates, buyers keep shopping, reducing inventory and sparking a rise in home prices.

    Meanwhile, homebuilders are coping with an increase in material costs and a shortage of labor. These issues come during an ongoing housing shortage. A National Association of Realtors study shows the U.S. has a deficit of about 2 million single-family homes and 3.5 million other housing units.

    Follow along to learn the five factors that illustrate where the U.S. housing market is today and is heading tomorrow.

    ROCK-BOTTOM MORTGAGE RATES TO GRADUALLY RISE

    Low interest rates continue to fuel demand from homebuyers. Some experts believe mortgage rates will creep up later this year, but they expect rates to remain near historic lows. In June, the Mortgage Bankers Association reported that 2020 closed with the average rate for a 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage at 2.8%. But the association anticipates the average rate climbing to 3.5% at the end of 2021 and 4.2% by the end of 2022.

    What does it mean for you?

    When mortgage rates are at or near historic lows (as they are today), you should seriously consider taking advantage of those rates to borrow money for a home purchase or to refinance your existing mortgage.

    HOME PRICES EXPECTED TO KEEP CLIMBING

    In June, the national median list price for a home reached an all-time high of $385,000, up 12.7% on a year-over-year basis. And according to the Home Buying Institute, various reports and forecasts indicate home prices will keep climbing throughout 2021 and into 2022. While this may be welcome news for homeowners, high prices are pushing homeownership out of reach for a growing number of first-time buyers.

    What does it mean for you?

    If you're a buyer waiting on the sidelines for prices to drop, you may want to reconsider. While the pace of appreciation should taper off, home prices are expected to continue climbing. And rising mortgage rates will make a home purchase even more costly.

    SINGLE-FAMILY HOME SALES REMAIN ROBUST

    Single-family home sales are down from their peak in October 2020 yet are still above the overall level last year. In May 2021, 5.8 million existing single-family homes were sold in the U.S. That's a 45% increase over the 4 million homes sold in May 2020.

    However, home sales saw a 0.9% dip in May 2021 compared with the previous month, the National Association of Realtors says. That was the fourth straight month for a decline in home sales. The number of home sales has slid recently because of rising prices and a lack of inventory, but Fannie Mae expects total home sales to tick up slightly in the fourth quarter and finish the year up 3.8% over last year.

    What does it mean for you?

    The market for single-family home sales remains quite active. As a result, if you're a homeowner, you may want to ponder whether to sell now, even if you hadn't necessarily been thinking about it. With demand high and inventory low, your home could fetch an eye-popping price.

    LACK OF INVENTORY STILL CONSTRAINS THE HOME MARKET

    According to the National Association of Realtors, in May there were 1.23 million previously owned homes on the market, down 20.6% from the same time last year. This translates to a 2.5-month supply of homes, which is well below the 6 months of inventory typical in a balanced market. According to the Realtors group, the lack of inventory translates into tougher searches for buyers and contributes to a rise in prices.

    What does it mean for you?

    If you're thinking of selling your home, now may be the right time to do it. Across the country, it's a seller's market, meaning demand is outpacing supply. That supply-and-demand imbalance puts sellers in a great position to sell their homes at a premium price. The May 2021 Realtors Confidence Index from the National Association of Realtors found the average home that was sold attracted five offers, and the association says nearly half of homes are selling above list price.

    CONSTRUCTION OF SINGLE-FAMILY HOMES SEES SLIGHT UPTICK

    Frustrated buyers may soon find some relief from an increase in new construction. Economists forecast that 1.1 million new houses will be started in 2021, compared with a predicted 940,000 units just six months ago, with 1.2 million new starts predicted for 2022 and 2023, according to the Urban Land Institute.

    What does it mean for you?

    Given the issues affecting the new-home market, it may make sense to widen your home search to include both new and existing homes. Your brand-new dream home may not be available, but you might be able to find an existing home that lives up to your vision. Keep in mind that we can help you find either a new or existing home and can advocate for you to ensure you get the best deal possible.

    ARE YOU THINKING OF BUYING OR SELLING?

    If you're in the market for a home, you're ready to sell your house or you've simply been wondering whether you should sell, you could benefit from an expert to help you navigate the hot real estate market. Let's set up a free consultation to discuss your situation. We can review your options and come up with a plan to capitalize on the value of your current property or to find your ideal next home.

    July
    12

    Summer Mountain Biking Spokane

    Warm, dry weather and a beautiful landscape make Spokane an ideal place for summer mountain biking. Strap on your helmet and head out to these challenging and fun trails around Spokane homes for sale recommended by our real estate agents.

    Click Here to Read More...

    July
    2

    If you're searching for drama, don't limit yourself to Netflix. Instead, tune in to the real estate market, where the competition among buyers has never been fiercer. And with homes selling for record highs, the appraisal process is receiving more attention than ever. That's because, in a rapidly appreciating market, a property is more likely to appraise below the sales price—which can lead to major repercussions for both buyers and sellers.

    It's never been more important to understand the appraisal process and the risks involved. It's also crucial to work with a skilled real estate agent who can guide you to a successful closing without overpaying (if you're a buyer) or overcompensating (if you're a seller). Find out how appraisals work—and in some cases, don't work—in today's unique real estate environment.

    APPRAISAL REQUIREMENTS

    An appraisal is an objective assessment of a property's market value performed by an independent authorized appraiser. Mortgage lenders require an appraisal to lower their risk of loss in the event a buyer defaults on their loan.

    In most cases, a licensed appraiser will analyze the property's condition and review the value of comparable properties that have recently sold. Appraisal requirements can vary by lender and loan type, and in today's market, in-person appraisal waivers have become much more common. If you're applying for a mortgage, be sure to ask your lender about their specific terms.

    APPRAISALS IN A RAPIDLY SHIFTING MARKET

    An appraisal contingency is a standard inclusion in a home offer. It enables the buyer to make the closing of the transaction dependent on a satisfactory appraisal wherein the value of the property is at or near the purchase price. This helps to reassure the buyer (and their lender) that they are paying fair market value for the home and allows them to cancel the contract if the appraisal is lower than expected.

    Low appraisals are not common, but they are more likely to happen in a rapidly appreciating market, like the one we're experiencing now. That's because appraisers must use comparable sales (commonly referred to as comps) to determine a property's value. This could include homes that went under contract weeks or even months ago. With home prices rising so quickly, today's comps may be lagging behind the market's current reality. Thus, the appraiser could be basing their assessment on stale data, resulting in a low valuation.

    HOW ARE BUYERS AND SELLERS IMPACTED BY A LOW APPRAISAL?

    When a property appraises for less than the contract price, you end up with an appraisal gap. In a more balanced market, that could be cause for a renegotiation. In today's market, however, sellers often hold the upper hand.

    That's why some buyers are using the potential for an appraisal gap as a way to strengthen their bids. They're proposing to take on some or all of the risk of a low appraisal by adding gap coverage or a contingency waiver to their offer.

    Appraisal Gap Coverage

    Buyers with some extra cash on hand may opt to add an appraisal gap coverage clause to their offer. It provides an added level of reassurance to the sellers that, in the event of a low appraisal, the buyer is willing and able to cover the gap up to a certain amount.

    For example, let's say a home is listed for $200,000 and the buyers offer $220,000 with $10,000 in appraisal gap coverage. Now, let's say the property appraises for $205,000. The new purchase price would be $215,000. The buyers would be responsible for paying $10,000 of that in cash directly to the seller because, in most cases, mortgage companies won't include appraisal gap coverage in a home loan.

    Waiving The Appraisal Contingency

    Some buyers with a higher risk tolerance—and the financial means—may be willing to waive the appraisal contingency altogether. However, this strategy isn't for everyone and must be considered on a case-by-case basis.

    It's important to remember that waiving an appraisal contingency can leave a buyer vulnerable if the appraisal comes back much lower than the contract price. Without an appraisal contingency, a buyer will be obligated to cover the difference or be forced to walk away from the transaction and relinquish their earnest money deposit to the sellers.

    It's vital that both buyers and sellers understand the benefits and risks involved with these and other competitive tactics that are becoming more commonplace in today's market. We can help you chart the best course of action given your individual circumstances.

    DON'T WAIVE YOUR RIGHT TO THE BEST REPRESENTATION

    You need a master negotiator on your side who has the skills, instincts, and experience to get the deal done...no matter what surprises may pop up along the way. If you're a buyer, we can help you compete in this unprecedented market—without getting steamrolled. And if you're a seller, we know how to get top dollar for your home while minimizing hassle and stress. Contact us today to schedule a complimentary consultation.

    June
    28

    Spokane Kids Camps

    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. 

    Click Here to Read More...

    June
    16

    Green Bluff Growers

    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.

    Click Here to Read More...

    June
    8

    Homeownership offers many advantages over renting, including a stable living environment, predictable monthly payments, and the freedom to make modifications. But one of the biggest benefits it offers is the opportunity to build wealth over time. Researchers at the Urban Institute found that homeownership is financially beneficial for most families, and studies have shown that the median net worth of homeowners can be up to 80 times greater than that of renters in some areas.

    So how does purchasing a home help you build wealth? And what steps should you take to maximize the potential of your investment? Find out how to harness the power of home equity for a secure financial future.

    WHAT IS HOME EQUITY?

    Home equity is the difference between what your home is worth and the amount you owe on your mortgage. So, for example, if your home would currently sell for $250,000 and the remaining balance on your mortgage is $200,000, then you have $50,000 in home equity.

    The equity in your home is considered a non-liquid asset. It's your money; but rather than sitting in a bank account, it's providing you with a place to live. And when you factor in the potential of appreciation, an investment in real estate will likely offer a better return than any savings account available today.

    HOW DOES HOME EQUITY BUILD WEALTH?

    A mortgage payment is a type of "forced savings" for home buyers. When you make a mortgage payment each month, a portion of it goes towards interest on your loan, and the remaining part goes towards paying off your principal, or loan balance. As your loan balance goes down, your home equity goes up.

    Additionally, the value of your home generally increases, or appreciates, over time. And when you sell it, even if you've only paid off a small portion of your mortgage, you get to keep 100% of your property's appreciated value. That's the wealth-building power of real estate.

    WHAT CAN I DO TO GROW MY HOME'S EQUITY FASTER?

    There are two basic ways to increase the equity in your home:

    1. Pay down your mortgage. Some homeowners do this by adding a little extra to their monthly payment, making one additional payment per year, or making a lump-sum payment when extra money becomes available. Another option is to decrease your amortization period. For example, if you can afford the higher monthly payment, consider refinancing from a 30-year or 25-year mortgage to a 15-year mortgage

    2. Raise your home's market value. Many homeowners enjoy do-it-yourself projects that add value at a relatively low cost. Others choose to invest in larger, strategic renovations. Keep in mind, you won't necessarily get back every dollar you spend on upgrades, so consult a professional before making any major investments.

    A word of caution: neglecting routine maintenance could decrease your home's value (and equity), so be sure to stay on top of recommended upkeep and repairs.

    HOW DO I ACCESS MY HOME EQUITY IF I NEED IT?

    What if you want to tap into your home's equity while you're still living in it? There are several ways to borrow against your home equity, depending on your needs and qualifications:

    1. A Second Mortgage (or Home Equity Loan) enables you to borrow a lump sum, which you are responsible for paying back—with interest—over a set period of time. Most second mortgages have a fixed interest rate and provide the borrower with a predictable monthly payment.

    2. With a Cash-Out Refinance , you refinance your mortgage for a higher amount than you currently owe. Then you pay off your original mortgage and keep the difference as cash. This option may be preferable if you have a high interest rate on your current mortgage or prefer to make just one payment per month.

    3. A Home Equity Line of Credit (HELOC ) is a revolving line of credit, similar to a credit card. It allows you to draw out money as you need it. The interest rate on a HELOC is variable, so your payment each month could change depending on how much you borrow and how interest rates fluctuate.

    4. A Reverse Mortgage enables qualifying seniors to borrow against the equity in their home to supplement their retirement income. In most cases, the loan (plus interest) doesn't need to be repaid until the homeowners sell, move, or are deceased.

    It's important to note that borrowing against your home's equity isn't always the best option, and it carries the risk of foreclosure if you default. Please ask for a referral to a lender or financial adviser to find out if a home equity loan is right for you.

    ALWAYS HERE TO HELP

    If you're ready to begin building equity with a new home purchase, grow the value of your current home, or access your equity through a home sale or loan—help is here.  Schedule a complimentary consultation!

    The above references an opinion and is for informational purposes only. It is not intended to be financial advice. Consult a financial professional for advice regarding your individual needs.

    May
    21

    Finding a New Home for Your Next Stage of Life

    For most of us, our housing needs are cyclical. A newly independent adult can find freedom and flexibility in even a tiny apartment. That same space, to a growing family, would feel stifling. For empty nesters, a large home with several unused bedrooms can become impractical. It's no surprise that life transitions often trigger a home purchase.

    While your home-buying journey may not look like your neighbor's or friend's, broad trends can help you understand what to keep in mind as you house hunt. After all, taking the time now to think about exactly what you need can save a lot of heartache later.

    THE NEWLY MARRIED OR PARTNERED COUPLE

    The financial and legal commitment of marriage has provided a springboard to homeownership for centuries, though these days more couples are buying homes without exchanging rings. But no matter your status, there are some key factors you should consider as you enter into your first home purchase together.

    • Affordability: While many buyers are holding out for their dream home, embracing the concept of a starter home can open a lot of doors. If you focus on buying a home you can afford now with strong potential for appreciation, you can build equity alongside your savings, positioning you to trade up to a larger home in the future if your needs change.
    • Mortgage rates: Mortgage rates are at historic lows, but they still require solid credit. If one partner's score is keeping you from getting a mortgage, consider taking out a loan in only the other partner's name. The downside is that applying for a mortgage with a single income will reduce your qualification amount. And if you take that route, make sure you understand the legal and financial implications for both parties should the relationship end.
    • Location: A successful relationship takes compromise, so it's important to consider both of your commutes and interests when choosing a neighborhood. Need some help identifying the ideal location that fits within your budget? We can match you with some great communities that offer the perfect mix of amenities and affordability.

    THE GROWING FAMILY

    Having kids changes everything. Whether you've just had your first child or are getting to the point where your kids can't comfortably share a bedroom any longer, there's plenty to consider when you're ready to size up to a home that will fit your growing family.

    • Schools: 53% of buyers with children under 18 say that school districts are a major factor in their home buying decision.But when you're moving to a new community, it can be tough to figure out what the schools are actually like. That's why talking to a local real estate agent can be a gamechanger.
    • Lifestyle: How will the home you purchase affect your family's lifestyle? Features like a pool, a finished basement, or an open floor plan can help you enjoy time together.
    • Functionality: Consider your day-to-day needs. Will a walk-in pantry or a well-designed laundry room make life easier? Chances are, you won't find every nice-to-have in one home. But we can help you assess your options and give you a sense of what is realistic within your budget.

    THE EMPTY NESTERS

    When we talk about empty nesters, we usually think about downsizing. With kids out of the house, extra rooms can quickly become more trouble than they're worth. But there's plenty for empty nesters to think about besides square footage.

    • Maintenance: Ready to relax or travel now that the kids are gone? Keep in mind that newer homes tend to require fewer repairs, and smaller homes have less space to clean. And if you don't love yard work, a condo or townhouse might be preferable to a single-family home.

    • Lifestyle: If you're retired (or nearing it), consider how you'd like to spend your days. For some, that might mean living near a golf course or a beach. For others, being able to walk downtown for a nice dinner out is the priority. And with more time to spend as you wish, proximity to a supportive community of friends and family is priceless.

    • Ability to age in place: We can't escape aging, so it's wise to think ahead. This may mean choosing a single-story home with a walk-in tub or shower. Location matters, too—if your family will be providing support, are they close by? Can you easily reach necessities like grocery stores and healthcare? A few careful considerations now can make staying in your home long-term much more feasible.

    FINDING THE RIGHT HOME FOR RIGHT NOW

    Whatever stage you're embarking on next, insight into local neighborhoods, prices, and housing stock will help you hone in on exactly where you want to live and what kind of home is right for you. Buying a home—whether it's your first or your fifth—is a big decision, but we're here to support you every step of the way.

    We support the Fair Housing Act and equal opportunity housing.

    May
    10

    Spokane Mini Golf

    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.

    Click Here to Read More...

    April
    26

    Spokane Cleaning Tips

    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. 

    Click Here to Read More...

    April
    12

    Spokane Earth Day

    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:

    Click Here to Read More...

    March
    25

    From the March 2021 issue of @Home with Coldwell Banker Tomlinson.  Written by Chris Canning, Coldwell Banker Tomlinson Realtor®

    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.

    1. Land

      The first line item on any builder's ledger is lot cost. At present, Spokane is faced with issues in obtaining, developing, and delivering reasonably priced lots to builders. Briefly stated, Spokane's Comprehensive Plan dictates when, where, and how development and construction can take place. Its purpose is to prioritize use of existing infrastructure and improvements before venturing into areas that would require expanding infrastructure. Unfortunately, the land within the boundaries of our "Comp Plan" that was easiest and most cost-effective to develop is gone, leaving only very complicated, expensive, steep, rocky, pieces of property to develop. Consequently, developers and builders are forced to confront more expensive and complicated properties and projects. Many consumers who are able are paying these increases, while others have simply been forced out of the market. Let's assume a builder can build a home for $200.00/sq/ft and obtain a fair profit. If the builder is able to obtain a building lot for $60,000, and builds a 1,500 sq/ft rancher – he would need to charge $360,000 for this home. If, due to scarcity, the cost of the lot rises to $80,000, the result is an increase in the finished cost of the home of about $22,000. Otherwise, the builder sees his/her margin of profit slip, which would make it more difficult to obtain financing. Ultimately, the consumer bears the brunt of the cost increase, while the only party to benefit is the original landowner.
       
    2. Materials

      You may have heard in the news recently that lumber prices have nearly doubled in our area and elsewhere across the nation. However, it's not just lumber that has seen extensive price increases due to scarcity. Across the board (no pun intended), shortages in roofing, wiring, flooring and other materials, have significantly increased the cost of building a new home today.
       
    3. Skilled Labor

      Ask any home builder in town why homes are costing more, and be prepared for a lecture on the shortage of labor in the building trades. As a millennial, I was pushed hard to pursue a career requiring a college degree. I wish I had known then how much demand Spokane would have for skilled labor in the building trades in 2021! Talking to the many friends and family I have working as skilled tradespeople, I find that every one of them is inundated with work, to the extent that they can choose whom they work for and what they should be paid. As a result, while today's new homes are not framed any straighter or plumbed more reliably than those built five years ago, they are a lot more expensive to build, and, thus, to buy.

    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.

    March
    22

    List home for sale

    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. 

    Click Here to Read More...

    March
    9

    Spokane Flowers

    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. 

    Click Here to Read More...

    February
    22

    Spokane Garden Tips

    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!

    Click Here to Read More...

    February
    8

    Spokane Romantic Restaurants

    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.

    Click Here to Read More...

    January
    25

    Kitchen Upgrade Tips

    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:

    Click Here to Read More...

    January
    11

    Spokane Hiking

    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. 

    Click Here to Read More...

    December
    28

    Charcuterie Boards Spokane

    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.

    Click Here to Read More...

    December
    14

    Design Trends

    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. 

    Click Here to Read More...

    November
    23

    Spokane Poinsettias

    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.

    Click Here to Read More...

    October
    26

    timeless Kitchen

    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.

    Click Here to Read More...

    October
    12

    Pumpkins in Spokane

    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. 

        Click Here to Read More...

    October
    19

    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 IS KEY

    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.


    FARMING IS THEIR PASSION

    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.


    GIVING BACK

    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.


    IF YOU'RE INTERESTED

    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.

     

    September
    30

     

    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!

    September
    28

    Buying a Home Spokane

    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.

    Click Here to Read More...

    September
    14

    Spokane Scenic Spots

    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.

    Click Here to Read More...

    September
    2

     

    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.

    August
    10

    Kayaking in Spokane

    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.

    Click Here to Read More...

    July
    27

    Kitchen Remodeling

    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.

    Click Here to Read More...

    July
    13

    Ice Cream Shops in Spokane

    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.

    1. Mrs. Cavanaugh's Chocolates & Ice Cream: 513 E. Hastings Rd., Spokane, WA 99218
      Family owned and operated since 1964, Mrs. Cavanaugh's Chocolates & Ice Cream still prides themselves on creating high-quality treats made from only the finest ingredients. They carry a variety of delicious ice cream flavors (although we're partial to the Chocolate Fudge). Before you leave, you'll want to pick up some of their gourmet chocolates to enjoy after you get home. 
    2. Doyle's Homemade Ice Cream Parlor: 2229 W. Boone Ave., Spokane, WA 99201
      Doyle's Homemade Ice Cream Parlor has been a landmark in the West Central neighborhood of Spokane since 1939. They make their own ice cream and are home to the city's last working vintage soda fountain. Whether you're looking for a regular ice cream cone, giant banana split, old fashioned milkshake, or a made-from-scratch old-time fountain drink, you can find it here! While you're in the neighborhood, make sure to take a drive around so you can get a look at some of the great nearby Spokane homes for sale.
    3. Didier's Yogurt & More: 10410 N. Division St., Spokane, WA 99218
      If frozen yogurt is your thing, you'll definitely want to pay a visit to Didier's Yogurt & More. They've been around since 1986 and are the oldest still-running frozen yogurt restaurant in the United States. They carry many unique flavors, most of which they blend themselves. Enjoy a dish or a cone, shake, smoothie, float, or flurry. Don't forget to take a pint (or three!) home for later.
    4. Froyo Earth: 12519 N. Division #5, Spokane, WA 99218
      Feeling creative? Head over to Froyo Earth, where you can create your own frozen yogurt concoction by choosing from a huge variety of flavors and premium toppings. Here you'll find interesting options like Pomegranate Raspberry Sorbet, White Chocolate Mousse, and Cake Batter. The flavors change every day, so each time you go, it's a new adventure!
    5. Pete Belle's: 1330 N. Argonne Rd., Spokane Valley, WA 99212
      When you visit Pete Belle's, you can expect to enjoy delicious, rich ice cream made with real ingredients. Located right down the road from Spokane Valley homes for sale, they have options for every type of sweet tooth. From rich and decadent flavors like Mint Avalanche made with Andes Candies and Grasshopper Cookies to lighter treats like Passionfruit Italian Ice and everything in between, you can be sure that you'll never leave this shop disappointed! 

    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.

    June
    22

    Patio Refresh

    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. 

    Click Here to Read More...

    May
    22

     

    Spokane Landscaping Trends

     

    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®.

     

    View a Phase 2 FAQ here, provided by Washington REALTORS®.

     

    May
    11

    Raised Garden Bed

    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.

    1. Find a Sunny Spot

      Plants need sun, so it's wishful thinking to locate your garden where it's shady. If possible, orient your bed so it is horizontal to the south so that plants will get even sun. 

    2. Put the Frame Together

      Lots of do-it-yourself kits are available on the market. Yours should be made of wood appropriate for the outdoors, such as cedar or even pine. Cedar also has insect-repelling properties. However, if you're reasonably handy, you can whip up your own frame, with instructions from the Internet, using recycled wood pallets, or other discarded wood.

      Height of the garden bed should be between 11 and 36 inches. How high you go will depend on the soil underneath the bed and what you want to grow. If you have rocky soil and you want to grow carrots, you may need a higher bed. Remember to add cross supports for beds over 18 inches, as the weight of the soil may bow out the frame.

      Some gardeners like to keep the width to 4 feet across so they can reach inside the frame. You can go longer -- but use cross supports every 6 feet.

    3. Prepare the Site

      Double dig the site to a depth of 16 inches so you can turn up roots and rocks that will interfere with your plants' roots.

      Make sure the sides of your frame are level, using a board spanned across the width and length of the bed. Then, add a layer of leaves, straw, wood chips, grass clippings, or any organic matter, and cover with cardboard. This will break down into compost over time. Add garden soil and soil amendments, including compost, peat, or lime. Spread the soil evenly and water, using the finest spray on the nozzle. Rake the bed to even it out.

    4. Start Planting

      Whether it's flowers or vegetables, do your research before you plant. Spokane has a great gardening climate, with a growing season of mid-April to mid-October, but do note appropriate times for planting. For instance, greens can take some chill and will get bitter in the hot sun, so it's better to plant them early. Tomatoes, on the other hand, need some warmth, so get the plants going indoors and wait till it's past the chilly temps before you plant. 

      Your plants from seed will usually do better if you start them indoors and get them going as seedlings. There are exceptions, so read the package instructions, as some seeds need to be sown directly in the soil. 

    Looking for more home improvement projects to give your home a boost before listing it for sale? Our team can help. Contact us today. 

    April
    27

    Cleaning Stainless Steel

    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.

    Click Here to Read More...

    April
    13

    Home Improvement Projects

    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. 

    1. Just Outside the Door
      For buyers, the front of your home creates a powerful first impression, so make it a good one. Wash the exterior of your home. Use a power washer if you have vinyl siding, but steer clear of all windows. Trim your hedges. Take a look at your front door. If the paint is peeling or the hardware outdated, it can make your home look dated. If you choose a new paint color for your door, use a primer so the old paint won't show through, and compare the new shade in the store with your new hardware or hardware that's similar to the color and style you have at home.
    2. Put Your Best Entrance Forward
      Consider what awaits on the other side of the door. If an overcrowded coat stand and a jumble of shoes and umbrellas greets visitors and buyers, switch that up with a coat rack with room for umbrellas and a shelf for hats. You can add an additional row of hooks near the coat rack for more storage room. A laser level will help you keep everything perfectly aligned. 
    3. Windows on the World
      Cleaning your windows is a simple way to make the whole house look newer. Gently wipe the window frames first. Depending on how your windows open, you may need special tools to access the outside of the windowpane. A window washer with a squeegee on a telescoping handle, however, it will reach most areas. Wash the window panes with a mix of water and vinegar for affordable and long-lasting shine. 
    4. Get on the Floor
      If your flooring is badly scuffed, peeling, or just outdated, it's easier than ever to install new flooring. Self-stick carpet tiles come in a wide variety of shades and textures, and click and lock plank flooring is available in finishes that would bring any bathroom or kitchen up to date. A belt sander will come in handy to smooth old subflooring, and a nail set will help you with wood subflooring when the nails are no longer flush. Some types of flooring may need to become acclimated to your home's humidity level, so ask at the hardware store before you make your purchase. 

    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.

    March
    31

     

    Spokane Landscaping Trends

     

    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. 

    Find in-depth frequently asked questions guides for consumers here, and for Realtors® here, both provided by Washington REALTORS®.


    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.

     

    March
    25

    Spokane Landscaping Trends

     

    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.

    March
    30

    Moving with Pets

    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. 

    1. Manage Pre-Move Anxiety
      Your pets are going to know something is off as soon as you start thinking about moving. After all, you'll be packing up boxes, getting rid of junk, and deep cleaning. If you're selling your home, there are also likely to be strangers coming in and out. It's important to remember that your pets won't understand what's going on, and this will likely stress them out. To help manage this, do your best to keep things as normal as possible for them. Make sure you feed and walk them at the same time each day, play with them often, and keep them away from the moving chaos.

      Click Here to Read More...

    March
    11

    When to List

    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.

    March
    2

    Spokane Landscaping Trends

    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. 

    1. Container Gardens
      If you live in a home with minimal yard space but yearn for a lush garden, a container garden is an excellent alternative. As the name suggests, you grow your plants and flowers in containers instead of in the ground. These containers give you a lot of flexibility. You can change the positioning of the containers and instantly give your outdoor space an entirely new look. Does sunlight only hit a small portion of your outside space? Move the containers as needed to make sure they get adequate sunlight. You can even bring your plants inside if it looks like a late frost or severe storm is in the forecast.
    2. Gardens with a Water Element
      If you're planning to sell your home, you can help your home stand out by incorporating a water element in your garden. A water element is a universally-loved addition to any lawn or garden. The sound of running water is associated with a peaceful, tranquil atmosphere that practically invites you to spend time outside. Aesthetically, a fountain or small pond complements nearly any style of home decor. Plus these items require minimal upkeep. 

      Click Here to Read More...

    February
    3

    Spokane Health Food

    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:

    1. Huckleberry's Natural Market – 926 South Monroe Street, Spokane, WA 99204
      Huckleberry's Natural Market has been providing fresh local fare since 1996. Billed as Spokane's first natural and organic grocer, it offers a full range of goods: From produce, seafood, and meats to sustainable health and wellness supplies. It has also become the first brand in Spokane to stock 100% non-GMO chicken.
    2. Main Market Local Food Co-Op – 44 West Main Avenue, Spokane, WA 99201
      Wholesome, responsibly sourced food is the goal at Main Market, a business closely entwined with all sorts of downtown activities. In addition to its full spectrum of colorful local produce, it also has a full-service deli. A traditional deli case is available along with a hot bar and a salad bar. Breakfast and lunch are made from Monday to Saturday. Try the vegetable stir fry!

      Click Here to Read More...

    January
    20

    When to List

    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

    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

    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. 

    Click Here to Read More...

    January
    6

    Spokane Hobbies

    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.

    1. Learn to Burn School of Music and Guitar Shop — 11 E. Rockwell Ave., Spokane, WA 99207
      Have you always wanted to be a musician? Now's your chance at Learn to Burn School of Music. Lessons are available for adults and kids in a range of instruments, including guitar, drums, West African drumming, piano, piano, trumpet, and vocals. You can even take lessons in recording so you can create albums of your own. Sign up for one-on-one or group lessons and showcase your talent during the frequent recitals and concerts.

      Click Here to Read More...

    December
    16

    Gifts for Homebuyers

    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®:

    1. Tool Kit
      A basic tool kit is indispensable for any homeowner. It doesn't have to be super pricey; a kit that includes a hammer, pliers, screwdrivers, hacksaw, and wrenches, tape measure, and drill is sufficient. Want to throw in a bonus gift? A pack of screws, nails, and a laser level will help your loved ones hang up artwork with ease.

      Click Here to Read More...

    December
    2

    Holiday Events SpokaneThe 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.

    1. Spokane's Tree - Riverfront Park, 507 N Howard St, Spokane, WA, 99201
      Washington is famous for its trees. Over the years, trees from around Spokane have found their way into some of the nation's most celebrated homes and hotels. This year, come and kick off the holiday festivities with the Christmas Tree Lighting on November 23rd at Riverfront Park. At 6 pm, the lights will go on, signaling the official start of the holiday fun. 

      Click Here to Read More...

    November
    18

    Spokane HOA Pros and Cons

    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.

    • PRO: No Yard Work
      Tired of using your leisure time to mow the lawn or shovel snow? HOAs handle the maintenance of grounds and common areas. For many people, this is the most appealing factor.

    • PRO: Use of Amenities
      HOAs often provide swimming pools, tennis courts, playgrounds, and numerous other amenities for the use of residents. Instead of having to spend hundreds or thousands of dollars on construction or memberships, all costs are covered.

      Click Here to Read More...

    October
    21

    Moving to Spokane

    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. 

    1. Don't Lose Touch With Your Old Home
      Moving is quite the transition, and you'll need the support of your family and friends to help. Just because you're geographically farther away doesn't mean you can't remain close. Keep in touch and openly communicate your feelings with those you trust. Even though they aren't down the street anymore, they can still offer you support.

      Click Here to Read More...

    October
    7

    Spokane Races October

    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!

    Click Here to Read More...

    September
    24

    Spokane Neighborhood

    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.

    Click Here to Read More...

    September
    10

    Coffee Shops in Spokane

    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.

    1. Arctos Coffee & Roasting Company: 1923 N Hamilton St, Spokane, WA 99207
      The consensus champ of Spokane coffee joints is the Arctos Coffee & Roasting Company on Hamilton Street. The signature taste of their locally-roasted coffee blend is only matched by the stylish ambiance of their location.

      Click Here to Read More...

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