Don’t defer that maintenance…

 

OK, guys, I know you have the best of intentions to keep your home in tip-top condition. But life gets in the way. Well, there are few priorities for the longevity and value of your home–not to mention your/your family’s safety–that you just can’t ignore!

Here are the top 5 critical items that typically come up in Seattle-area inspections:

1. Drainage

Drainage, drainage, drainage. According to the City of Seattle, the average yearly rainfall draining off the roof of a 1,400 SF house is over 30,000 gallons. That’s an incredible amount of water! And, from what I’ve seen, 9 out of 10 houses in Seattle have their downspouts (which carry the water from the gutters) depositing directly next to or a few short feet from their foundation–often with the ground sloped TOWARDS the foundation. Over time, this leads to flooding, huge moisture/mold problems, and big problems for the integrity of the foundation. Digging the right kind of perimeter drain and tying the downspouts into it isn’t terribly expensive or complicated–but it IS worth doing right.

2. Roof

Take all that drainage schpiel and apply it to your house’s FIRST line of defense: The roof. Then imagine the moss buildup, pine needles, overflowing gutters, and blown-off shingles your average Seattle roof might experience in a winter. Then remember that this is the piece of your house literally keeping you dry. Doesn’t your roof deserve a little extra TLC (done right, might I add–no power-washing here)?

3. Electrical

Look, I know it’s fun to watch YouTube videos and DIY. But when it comes to your house’s electrical panels, outlets, etc., some of the scariest work Jeffrey and I have seen was done by someone’s “handy uncle.” For the love of god, have a professional clean up your electrical panel, remove dangerous crossed wires, install GFCI outlets in your bathrooms/kitchen, and fix any outstanding hazards. This one is a BIG deal for safety and worth the money.

4. Rodent-proofing

Remember all that rain we mentioned? Well, that’s the reason rats LOVE to find the warm, dry places inside our attics, crawl spaces, etc. And they love to burrow up into the insulation and make a huge, stinky, unhealthy mess. It’s not enough to place traps or replace the insulation, though–you need to bring in a pro or commit to eliminating EVERY potential point of entry (those suckers are wily), removing compromised insulation, setting traps & monitoring, spraying to sanitize, and THEN re-insulating. A lot of folks only complete one or two steps, but I can promise you that you’ll be sad when you’ve done all that work and the rodents return.

5. Caulking/water control

Yes, more water stuff. A small stream of water dribbling behind your sink, next to your tub, under your toilet…it really doesn’t take much water to, over a period of time, start to rot your walls, cabinets, and floors in spots you can’t see. The solution? Keep the under-sink, tub, toilet, etc. well-caulked with the RIGHT materials. Put a shower curtain on that window in your shower so the ledge doesn’t rot. Use the bathroom fan every time you shower (for longer than you think you need). Pay attention to where the water is going and don’t let a decade pass before you notice that your toilet is about to fall into the dining room.

 

Yes, I know you are a great caretaker for your home. And I know this is naggy stuff. But I promise that if you take a little time to tie up your maintenance loose ends, your future self will thank you when you go to remodel, sell, or try to stay dry  😛 Now, let’s talk about ventilation…


Posted on November 21, 2018 at 12:33 am
Eva Conner | Posted in Resources | Tagged ,

What Mr. Rogers would do

 

Image by Michael Matti

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

How to feel more connected with your neighborhood

You’ve moved into your new place—congrats! You’re busy setting things up, learning the quirks of your home, finding a new routine. You declare to your partner or friends that you’re eager to explore the new neighborhood. Then, 2 years later, you’ve found your grocery store, favorite coffee shop, and dog park…but you still don’t feel connected. What to do?

5. Find a business you wouldn’t normally patronize–and talk with the owner.

You may not think you have a reason to visit that bodega/quilt shop/biker bar/service station down the street. But it’s part of the fabric of your new neighborhood, and there’s probably an interesting story about how long it’s been there and what the owner has seen. You know you’ll learn something: Do people come from far away to visit? Are there celebrity patrons? Is there a secret “house specialty”? If nothing else, you’ll feel in the know once you’ve discovered the secrets of your neighborhood haunts.

4. Consider volunteering with/donating to a charity within 0.5 miles of your home.

According to a 2014 UW Evan’s School Study, there are more than 1,000 registered nonprofits in King County alone–which means there’s probably one geographically close to you. If you love supporting a good cause, imagine how you’ll feel when that cause is literally close to home. Examples I’ve seen: Food banks, animal shelters, senior companion services, nature clean-up crews, school improvement orgs, etc. It will be that much easier to make time or feel connected to something down the street, and you can share something meaningful with your neighbors. That is true hyper-local investment!

3. Create an excuse to meet your neighbors (i.e., a party).

If you and your family still haven’t met most of your neighbors, it may be time to change that. Whether you wish you had folks nearby to keep an eye on your place while you’re gone or are just craving a feeling of community, it’s never too late to make a connection. Of course, you may not become best friends with all your neighbors, but I’m willing to bet you’ll find at least a few great folks to wave to on your ride home. The medium? Try putting up fliers for a shared block party, knocking on doors to suggest a multi-neighbor “open house” day, host a party at yours, or put up a sign for a games day at the closest park.

2. Read your local neighborhood blog/newsletter.

This one is a no-brainer. Even if you don’t have time to sit down and read a full newspaper every weekend, you probably have 5 minutes when you’re scrolling through your phone to check the neighborhood pages. You’ll learn surprising facts, find opportunities to support local businesses, hear about city development/neighborhood changes, and probably find cool new places to visit. A simple Google search for your neighborhood name and “blog” will get you there–or I can help!

1. Walk around with beginner’s mind.

You’ve already spent plenty of time in your neighborhood, but have you really SEEN it? Imagine what a kid would see if they were walking around it for the first time. What kinds of trees do you see? Are there any cool murals? A memorial bench or historic building? Is there a tiny art gallery, coffee shop, micro park, or little free library you might have missed? Exploring on foot–and slowly–will deepen your connection to this larger place you call home, and if you make it a regular practice, you just might meet other people trying to connect with their community, too.

You’d make Mr. Rogers proud.

Curious about gems in your neighborhood? I always have ideas, or know someone who does! Email me at evaconner [at] windermere [dot] com.


Posted on May 3, 2018 at 9:08 pm
Eva Conner | Posted in Resources, Seattle Stuff | Tagged , , ,

Make a Mother’s Day

YWCA needs some donations for domestic violence shelters for Mother’s Day!
Here’s an ask from the YWCA:
The YWCA of Seattle is hosting a Mother’s Day program for all the Mothers in our homeless shelters!
So many of the mothers in our shelters are doing so much to keep their family together, that there is not much time left for themselves. We hope to provide them a little pampering in honor of “THEIR” day. With resources low, and stress levels high, we are hoping to provide the children a basket filled with pampering and hygienic items to be their present to MOM!
We hope you would be willing to put together 1 to 100 Mother’s Day Baskets, stuffed with things like soaps, lotions, candles, creams, hair stuff, planners, nail polish, gift cards, lipstick and little chocolates. Please include an unsigned card for the kids to sign and give to mom. They can be the store assembled gift sets, or build one yourself in a little gift bag, either way we need almost 1000 total this year!
Drop off is MONDAY May 7th 8am-12pm at our E. Cherry offices. I thank you so much in advance for your generosity and how much this helps the women feel special!
 
Contact: Nichelle Hilton, Divisional Resources Coordinator
YWCA of Seattle-King-Snohomish Co., S.I.S Division
2820 E. Cherry St.
Seattle, 98122
206-375-1496 cell
nhilton@ywcaworks.org

Assembling Mother’s Day baskets for YWCA


Posted on May 1, 2018 at 12:51 am
Eva Conner | Posted in Updates |

TOSS THOSE PAPERS!

Shredding Party!

 

Shredding Party 

Saturday, March 24, 9-12

 

Windermere Eastlake

214 E Galer St, 98102

Join me at my office on Saturday, March 24, between 9am-12pm (I’ll be there after 10) for a shredding party! We’ll be hanging out with coffee and snacks. Bring all your old tax docs, book reports, and newspapers and watch the truck munch ’em. If you have boxes but aren’t able to drop them off, get in touch and I’ll arrange for a pickup. Hope to see you there!

Add to your calendar


Posted on March 7, 2018 at 7:41 pm
Eva Conner | Posted in Updates |

Cash Reality

73% of Seattle homes were financed in some way

Cash vs. financing data for Seattle buyers, September 2017-February 2018


It can feel very discouraging when it seems like EVERYONE is paying cash for high-dollar Seattle homes. It can be competitive out there, but here’s the deal: Of the approximately 4,800* Seattle homes sold over the last 6 months, more than 3/4 were financed in some way. Cash purchases are out there, but their instance has remained pretty stable over the past couple of years. It’s hard to find data on down payments, but buyers often put down 15% or more of a purchase price (with an 85% home loan) to compete in our tight market. I’ve also seen several new down payment assistance programs to help bridge the gap in affordability. Contact me if you’re curious about more stats & implications.

*Residential & condo sales published via NWMLS in the 180 days leading up to 2/23/18.


Posted on February 28, 2018 at 8:04 pm
Eva Conner | Posted in Market info | Tagged , , ,

Coming soon!

I look forward to sharing more info with you in the new year…stay tuned.


Posted on December 28, 2017 at 9:55 pm
Eva Conner | Posted in Updates |