Back to School Basics

The first day of school sneaks up so fast… summer is here and then gone in a flash! Use these helpful tips to start getting settled into a new routine for fall, before life gets hectic.

 

Start talking about it. New teacher, new classmates, new schedules can all create some anxieties with kids. Start talking about school a few weeks before the first day. Talk about practical things like what the new schedule will be like, but also make sure to address their feelings and concerns about the upcoming year.

 

Go back to school shopping early. The store aisles are currently packed with school supplies. Take advantage of your summer schedule to shop while the store isn’t as busy and the supplies haven’t been picked through. Don’t forget to buy extras for homework time or the winter re-stock that inevitably happens in January.

 

Determine how your child will get to and from school and practice the route.

 

Ease back into the scheduled days. When you and your kids are used to lazy mornings and staying up late, shifting to the early morning school bus rush can be incredibly difficult. To ease the transition, start 7-10 days before school starts, and shift bedtimes and wake-up times gradually. Every day, start their bedtime routine 10-15 minutes earlier and wake them up 10-15 minutes earlier until they’re back on track. And don’t forget to readjust your bedtime schedules, too!

 

Re-set eating habits. When school starts, your student’s eating patterns need to maintain a high level of energy throughout the day. Implementing a routine for breakfast, lunch and snacks is just as important as their sleeping patterns. Begin this transition 7-10 days before school starts as well.

 

Sync your calendars. Add the school calendar to your personal/family calendar, so important dates like parent-teacher night aren’t missed.

 

Set rules for after school. After-school time and activities such as TV, video games, play time, and the completion of homework should be well-thought out in advance. Talk about the rules (and consequences) for these before school starts.

 


Posted on August 9, 2018 at 10:19 am
Cori Whitaker | Posted in Just for Fun |

Outdoor Movie Schedule: Summer 2018

Don’t forget your blanket and the popcorn! It is the time of year when it’s nice enough to grab a movie outdoors – how fun!  Here is a list of local outdoor movies planned for this summer.

South Snohomish

Arlington’s Old Time Movies

Terrace Park

7/6       Star Wars: The Last Jedi (at the Airport Fly In)

7/12     Early Man

7/19     Peter Rabbit

 

Edmond’s Outdoor Movie Night

Frances Anderson Center Field

7/27     Moana

8/3       Wonder

 

Everett’s Cinema Under the Stars

Thornton Sullivan Park, Camp Patterson Field

7/20     Early Man

7/27     Coco

8/3       Wonder

8/10     Moana

8/17     Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2

 

Marysville Popcorn in the Park

Jennings Park, Lioins Centennial Pavilion

7/14     Despicable Me 3

7/21     Jumanji

7/28     Cars 3

8/4       Wonder Woman

8/11     Star Wars: The Last Jedi

 

Sundquist Family Movies in the Park

Willis Tucker Park

7/12     Jumanji

7/19     Ferdinand

7/26     The Greatest Showman

8/2       Coco

8/9       Wonder

8/16     Beauty and the Beast

 

Eastside

Bellevue Movies in the Park

Downtown Park

7/10        Despicable Me 3

7/17        Boss Baby

7/24     The Lego Ninjago Movie

7/31     Goodbye Christopher Robin

8/7       Paddington 2

8/14     The Greatest Showman

8/21     Ferdinand

8/28     Ghostbusters

 

Crossroads Movies in the Park

Crossroads Park

8/2       TBD

8/9       TBD

8/16     TBD

8/23     TBD

 

Carillon Point Outdoor Movies

Carillon Point Plaza

7/7       Despicable Me 3

7/21     The Wedding Singer

8/4       Jumanji

8/18     Star Wars: The Last Jedi

 

Movies at Marymoor

Marymoor Park

6/28     The Goonies

7/5       Wonder Woman

7/11     Jumanji

7/18     Coco

7/25     The Greatest Showman

8/2       10 Things I Hate About You

8/8       Thor: Ragnarok

8/15     Ferdinand

8/22     Black Panther

8/29     The Princess Bride

 

 

Seattle Area

Bite of Seattle

Seattle Center Mural Amphitheatre

7/20     A League of Their Own

 

Cinema under the Stars

Columbia Park

7/14     Best of the Children’s International Film Festival

8/18     Coco

 

Movies at the Marina

Shilshole Bay Marina

8/3       Overboard

8/17     Moana

 

Movies at the Mural

Seattle Center Mural Amphitheatre

7/28     The Princess Bride

8/4       Get Out

8/11     Little Shop of Horrors

8/18     I am Not Your Negro

8/25     Wonder Woman

 

Seattle Outdoor Cinema

South Lake Union Discovery Center

6/16     The Goonies

7/21     Jurassic Park

8/25     Black Panther

 

West Seattle Outdoor Movies

Fauntleroy Triangle

7/21     Wonder Woman

7/28     The Secret Life of Pets

8/4       Star Wars: The Last Jedi

8/11     A Wrinkle in Time

8/18     Coco

8/25     Black Panther

 

 

 

 *Check websites for start times, pre-movie activities and to make sure your favorite movie hasn’t been canceled or changed!


Posted on June 16, 2018 at 4:31 pm
Cori Whitaker | Posted in Just for Fun | Tagged , , , , , ,

Local Splash Parks

It is that time of year when the sun comes out and the kids need to cool down and get their wiggles out outside. My blog has a list of local splash parks that are sure to beat the summer heat!

South Snohomish
Daleway Park
19015 64th Ave W, Lynnwood WA 98036

Edmonds City Park
600 3rd Ave S, Edmonds WA 98020

North Lynnwood Park
18510 44th Ave W, Lynnwood WA 98037

Rotary Centennial Water Playground
802 E Mukilteo Blvd, Everett WA 98203

Willis D. Tucker Park
6705 Puget Park Drive, Snohomish WA 98296

Seattle
Georgetown Playfield
750 S Home St, Seattle WA 98108

Northacres Park
12718 1st Ave NE, Seattle WA 98125

Pratt Park
1800 S Main St, Seattle WA 98144

Eastside
Crossroads Water Spray Playground
999 164th Ave NE, Bellevue WA 98008

Grass Lawn Park
7031 148th Ave NE, Redmond WA 98052

Sammamish Commons
801 228th Ave SE, Sammamish WA 98074


Posted on June 9, 2018 at 4:27 pm
Cori Whitaker | Posted in Just for Fun | Tagged , , , , ,

Does it make more sense to rent or own?

The current break-even horizon* in the Seattle metro area is 1.6 years!

*The amount of time you need to own your home in order for owning to be a superior financial decision.

With rising rental rates, historically low interest rates, and home prices on the rise, the advantage of buying vs. renting is becoming clearer each month.

In fact, Seattle has seen some of the sharpest rent hikes in the country over the last year! Snohomish County has seen a huge increase in apartment growth and rising rental rates as well. There are several factors to consider that will lead you to make the best decision for your lifestyle and your financial bottom line. Zillow Research has determined the break-even point for renting vs. buying in our metro area. In other words, the amount of time you need to own your home in order for owning to be a superior financial decision. Currently in Seattle the break-even point is 1.6 years – that is quick! What is so great about every month that ticks away thereafter is that your nest egg is building in value.

I am happy to help you or someone you know assess your options; please contact me anytime.

These assumptions are based on a home buyer purchasing a home with a 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage and a 20 percent down payment; and a renter earning five percent annually on investments in the stock market.


Posted on April 30, 2018 at 4:34 pm
Cori Whitaker | Posted in Market Trends and Statistics | Tagged , , , ,

Veggie Planting in Seattle

It’s not too late! If you’re thinking about planting some fresh veggies but haven’t started yet, you still have time to get things in the ground for a late summer/early fall harvest. On average, the Puget Sound’s frost-free growing season is mid-March through mid-November, so with a little knowledge of when and how to start things, you can still see a bountiful harvest this year.

Some plants can be direct seeded into your garden, while others should be started indoors before being transplanted to your garden space. Deciding what to grow is the fun part! Plant what you like to eat, keeping in mind that some plants do better in our area than others.

Broccoli is arguably one of the most productive veggies you can grow in this area, although it can be vulnerable to root maggots and aphids. Giant Italian Parsley is easy to grow, highly productive, and expensive in the grocery store. Leeks are another that can be costly to buy in the store but trouble-free to grow in your own small space. Chard, Kale, Lettuce and Arugula are all full of vitamins and great for Northwest gardens. Carrots, Snap Peas, Snap Beans, Tomatoes and Basil all taste amazing fresh from the garden and grow relatively well in this area.

Check out the great resources at Garden.org for a full list of when to plant all these vegetables and more. They have detailed timelines for both spring and fall gardening; as well as information on transplanting seedlings vs. direct-sowing seeds.

 


Posted on April 30, 2018 at 4:29 pm
Cori Whitaker | Posted in Just for Fun | Tagged , , , ,

Farmer’s Market Schedule – 2018

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • South Snohomish County •

 

Arlington Farmers Market
Legion Park: 200 N. Olympic Ave
Saturdays. 10am-3pm | July 7 — Sept 29

 

Bothell Farmers Market
Country Village: 23718 Both-Evrt Hwy
Fridays 12pm-6pm | June 1—Sept 28

 

Bothell South County Community Market
Park Ridge Church: 3805 Maltby Road, Bothell
Wednesdays 4pm-8pm | June 6—Sept 26

 

Edmonds Garden Market
Historical Museum: Between 5th & Bell Street
Saturdays 9am-2pm | May 5—June 9

 

Edmonds Summer Market
Downtown: 5th St from the fountain
Saturdays 9am-3pm | June 16—Oct 6

 

Everett Farmers Markets
Boxcar Park: 615 13th Street
Sundays 11am-4pm | May 13—Oct 14

 

Everett Transit Center: 2333 32nd St
Wednesdays 4pm-8pm | May 23—Sept 26

 

Marysville Farmers Market
1035 State Ave
Saturdays 10am-2pm | June 23—Sept 1

 

Monroe Farmer’s Market
Lake Tye Park: 14964 Fryelands Blvd
Saturdays 8:30am-12:30pm | May 12—Nov 17

 

Mukilteo Farmers Market
Lighthouse Park: 609 Front Street
Wednesdays 3pm-7pm | June 7—Sept 27

 

Snohomish Farmers Market
The intersection of Cedar Ave & Pearl St.
Thursdays 3pm-7pm | May 3—Sept 27

 

 

  • The Eastside •

 

Bellevue Farmers Market
First Presbyterian: 1717 Bellevue Way NE
Thursdays. 3pm-7pm | May 17—Oct 11

Bothell Farmers Market
Country Village: 23718 Both-Evrt Hwy
Fridays 12pm-6pm | June 1—Sept 28

 

Issaquah Farmers Market
Pickering Barn: 1730 10th Ave NW
Saturdays 9am-2pm | May 5—Sept 29

 

Juanita Friday Market
Juanita Beach Park: 9703 NE Juanita Dr
Fridays. 3pm-7pm | June 1—Sept 28

 

Mercer Island Farmers Market
Mercerdale Park: 7700 SE 32nd St
Sundays 10am-3pm | June 3—Oct 7

 

Redmond Saturday Market
Redmond Town Center: 7730 Leary Way NE
Saturdays 9am-3pm | May 5—Oct 27

 

Sammamish Farmers Market
City Hall Plaza: 801 228th Ave SE
Wednesdays 4pm-8pm | May 9—Sept 26

 

Woodinville Farmers Market
DeYoung Park: 13680 NE 175th St
Saturdays 9am-3pm | May 5—Sept 29

 

 

  • Seattle Area •

 

Ballard Farmers Market
Ballard Ave NW
Sundays. 10am-3pm | Year round

 

Capitol Hill Broadway Farmers Market
Seattle Central Comm College: Broadway & Pine
Sundays 11am-3pm | Year round

 

Columbia City Farmers Market
37th Ave S & S Edmunds St
Wednesdays 3pm-7pm | May 9—Oct 10

Fremont Sunday Market
Corner of 3410 Evanston Ave N
Sundays 10am-4pm | Year round

 

Lake City Farmers Market
125th St and 28th Ave NE
Thursdays 3pm-7pm | June 7—Oct 4

 

Lake Forest Park Farmers Market
Third Place Commons: 17171 Bothell Way NE
Sundays 10am-3pm | May 13—Oct 21

Madrona Farmers Market
1126 Martin Luther King Jr. Way
Fridays 3pm-7pm | May 18—Oct 12

 

Magnolia Farmers Market
Magnolia Village: 33rd Ave W & W McGraw
Saturdays. 10am-2pm | June 2—Oct 20

 

Phinney Farmers Market
Phinney Neighborhood Center: Phinney Ave N
Fridays 3:30pm-7:30pm | June 1—Sept 28

 

Pike Place Farmers Market
Pike Place & Pine St
Saturdays 9am-5pm | June 2—Nov 24

Queen Anne Farmers Market
W Crockett Street & Queen Anne Ave N
Thursdays 3pm-7:30pm | June 7—Oct 11

 

Shoreline Farmers Market
15300 Westminster Ave N
Saturdays 10am-3pm | June 9—Oct 6

 

University District Farmers Market
University Way NE “the Ave”
Saturdays 9am-2pm | Year round

 

Wallingford Farmers Market
Meridian Park: Meridian Ave N & N 50th St
Wednesdays 3pm-7pm | May 16—Sept 26

 

West Seattle Farmers Market
California Ave SW & SW Alaska St
Sundays 10am-2pm | Year round


Posted on April 30, 2018 at 4:07 pm
Cori Whitaker | Posted in Just for Fun | Tagged , , , ,

Western Washington Real Estate Market Update – First Quarter 2018

 

The following analysis of the Western Washington real estate market is provided by Windermere Real Estate Chief Economist Matthew Gardner. We hope that this information may assist you with making better-informed real estate decisions. For further information about the housing market in your area, please don’t hesitate to contact me.

ECONOMIC OVERVIEW

The Washington State economy added 96,900 new jobs over the past 12 months, representing an annual growth rate of 2.9%—still solidly above the national rate of 1.5%. Most of the employment gains were in the private sector, which rose by 3.4%. The public sector saw a more modest increase of 1.6%.

The strongest growth was in the Education & Health Services and Retail sectors, which added 17,300 and 16,700 jobs, respectively. The Construction sector added 10,900 new positions over the past 12 months.

Even with solid increases in jobs, the state unemployment rate held steady at 4.7%—a figure that has not moved since September of last year.

I expect the Washington State economy to continue adding jobs in 2018, but not at the same rate as last year given that we are nearing full employment. That said, we will still outperform the nation as a whole when it comes to job creation.

HOME SALES ACTIVITY

  • There were 14,961 home sales during the first quarter of 2018. This is a drop of 5.4% over the same period in 2017.
  • Clallam County saw sales rise the fastest relative to the first quarter of 2017, with an increase of 16.5%. In most of the other markets, the lack of available homes for sale slowed the number of closings during this period.
  • Listing inventory in the quarter was down by 17.6% when compared to the first quarter of 2017, but pending home sales rose by 2.6% over the same period, suggesting that closings in the second quarter should be fairly robust.
  • The takeaway from this data is that the lack of supply continues to put a damper on sales. I also believe that the rise in interest rates in the finalquarter of 2017 likely pulled sales forward, leading to a drop in sales in the first quarter of 2018.

 

HOME PRICES

  • With ongoing limited inventory, it’s not surprising that the growth in home prices continues to trend well above the long-term average. Year-over-year, average prices rose 14.4% to $468,312.
  • Economic vitality in the region is leading to robust housing demand that far exceeds supply. Given the relative lack of new construction homes— something that is unlikely to change any time soon—there will continue to be pressure on the resale market. As a result, home prices will continue to rise at above-average rates in the coming year.
  • When compared to the same period a year ago, price growth was strongest in Grays Harbor County at 27.5%. Ten additional counties experienced double-digit price growth.
  • Mortgage rates continued to rise during first quarter, and are expected to increase modestly in the coming months. By the end of the year, interest rates will likely land around 4.9%, which should take some of the steam out of price growth. This is actually a good thing and should help address the challenges we face with housing affordability—especially in markets near the major job centers.

 

 

DAYS ON MARKET

  • The average number of days it took to sell a home dropped by seven days when compared to the same quarter of 2017.
  • King County continues to be the tightest market in Western Washington, with homes taking an average of 24 days to sell. Every county in the region saw the length of time it took to sell a home either drop or remain essentially static relative to the same period a year ago.
  • In looking at the entire region, it took an average of 61 days to sell a home in the first quarter of this year. This is down from 68 days in the firstquarter of 2017 but up by eleven days when compared to the fourth quarter of 2017.
  • Anyone expecting to see a rapid rise in the number of homes for sale in 2018 will likely be disappointed. New construction permit activity—a leading indicator—remains well below historic levels and this will continue to put increasing pressure on the resale home market.

 

 

CONCLUSIONS

This speedometer reflects the state of the region’s housing market using housing inventory, price gains, home sales, interest rates, and larger economic factors. For the first quarter of 2018, I have left the needle at the same point as fourth quarter of last year. Price growth remains strong even as sales activity slowed. All things being equal, 2018 is setting itself up to be another very good year for sellers but, unfortunately, not for buyers who will still see stiff competition for the limited number of available homes for sale.

 

 

Mr. Gardner is the Chief Economist for Windermere Real Estate, specializing in residential market analysis, commercial/industrial market analysis, financial analysis, and land use and regional economics. He is the former Principal of Gardner Economics, and has more than 30 years of professional experience both in the U.S. and U.K.


Posted on April 25, 2018 at 1:22 pm
Cori Whitaker | Posted in Matthew Gardner Economic Reports | Tagged , , , , , , , ,

North King County Quarterly Market Trends

It is the time of year when our market starts to take off. Spring is here and we are starting to see seasonal increases in inventory. In fact, there was a 55% increase in new listings in March compared to February. That increase was followed by a 41% rise in pending sales, illustrating very strong demand for housing in your area. Last month, the average list-to-sale price ratio (the amount the sale price topped the list price) was 106%, indicating that multiple offers were the norm. We ended the quarter with 0.6 months of inventory based on pending sales. More inventory would be absorbed by happy buyers looking for more selection and would help temper price growth, which is up 14% year-over-year.

North King County real estate has a very high premium due to close-in commute times and desirable neighborhoods. In fact, the median price in March was $808,000, up 4% from the month prior! Sellers are enjoying amazing returns due to this phenomenon, and buyers are securing mortgages with minor debt service due to low interest rates. This is a very strong seller’s market, but buyers who are securing a home are already enjoying appreciation in equity.

This is only a snapshot of the trends in north King County; please contact me if you would like further explanation of how the latest trends relate to you.


Posted on April 19, 2018 at 3:28 pm
Cori Whitaker | Posted in Market Trends and Statistics | Tagged , , , , , , , ,

South Snohomish County Quarterly Market Trends

It is the time of year when our market starts to take off. Spring is here and we are starting to see seasonal increases in inventory. In fact, there was a 47% increase in new listings in March compared to February. That increase was matched by a 48% rise in pending sales, illustrating very strong demand for housing in your area. Last month, the average list-to-sale price ratio (the amount the sale price topped the list price) was 103%, indicating that multiple offers were the norm. We ended the quarter with 0.5 months of inventory – the lowest level yet. More inventory would be absorbed by happy buyers looking for more selection and would help temper price growth, which is up 15% year-over-year.

South Snohomish County real estate has been a hot spot due to reasonable commute times and overall affordability compared to “in-city” real estate. In fact, the median price in March was 47% higher in Seattle Metro. Sellers are enjoying amazing returns due to this phenomenon, and buyers are securing mortgages with minor debt service due to low interest rates. This is a very strong seller’s market, but buyers who are securing a home are already enjoying appreciation in equity.

This is only a snapshot of the trends in south Snohomish County; please contact me if you would like further explanation of how the latest trends relate to you.


Posted on April 19, 2018 at 3:26 pm
Cori Whitaker | Posted in Market Trends and Statistics | Tagged , , , , , , , ,

North Snohomish County Quarterly Market Trends

It is the time of year when our market starts to take off. Spring is here and we are starting to see seasonal increases in inventory. In fact, there was a 54% increase in new listings in March compared to February. That increase was matched by a 50% rise in pending sales, illustrating very strong demand for housing in your area. Last month, the average list-to-sale price ratio was 100%, and average days on market was 35 days. We ended the quarter with 0.7 months of inventory – the lowest level yet. More inventory would be absorbed by happy buyers looking for more selection and would help temper price growth, which is up 12% year-over-year.

North Snohomish County is one of the most affordable markets in the area. In fact, the median price in March was 28% higher in south Snohomish County. Buyers are migrating to the area, especially if they don’t have to commute into the city. Sellers are enjoying amazing returns due to this phenomenon, and buyers are securing mortgages with minor debt service due to low interest rates. This is a very strong seller’s market, but buyers who are securing a home are already enjoying appreciation in equity.

This is only a snapshot of the trends in north Snohomish County; please contact me if you would like further explanation of how the latest trends relate to you.


Posted on April 19, 2018 at 3:25 pm
Cori Whitaker | Posted in Market Trends and Statistics | Tagged , , , , ,