Greystone Is Not Just A Place

11214 Greystone Dr SW, Lakewood, WA 98499
Offered at $635,000

Greystone is not just a place, it is a community. Real estate = location, location, location. Greystone is the same. It is literally just a couple of minutes from all the stores and shops one may need, movie theaters, health  care, restaurants, access to I-5, Tacoma Country Club and, not one but two, Starbucks. What more could one ask?

Our home within Greystone is traditional and homey yet illustrates the precision of details, of hard wood floors, granite and stainless steel, to the finish carpentry of crown and dental molding. It is designed for living in the Great Northwest with lots of glass and skylights to make even the dreariest of winter days cheerful. Up to 18 foot ceilings makes space seem even more spacious. The exterior reflects the interior with the beauty of mature rhodies which makes our Spring even more delightful. There is a huge back deck overlooking a private patio and a double tiered backyard which leads 200 feet to the soothing sounds of Chambers Creek.

Greystone is a gated community, but more than that it truly is a community. There are just 16 beautiful homes. We support and enjoy our neighbors, yet we are not hovering. Such is a comfort as some travel or spend extended vacations elsewhere. An email goes to “Team Greystone” as to schedules and other FYIs.

So the question arises, if Greystone is so wonderful, “why move?” An easy answer, but a hard decision. For the first time, we will have a chance to live near our children and grandchildren. So to the new owners, congratulations on a wonderful new living experience. Greystone, indeed, is both a place and a community. Welcome.

David and Penny Loving

Richard Houldsworth Photo- USE THIS ONEContact Richard Houldsworth for more information about this listing.
253.468.8673 (mobile)
richardhouldsworth@cbbain.com
richardhouldsworth.com

Broker Spotlight: Kristina K Loper

Growing up in the Northwest, I have always seen Coldwell Banker as the local name for real estate.  When it was time to choose a brokerage, it was clear that the “local” company was an international company with decades of experience was the best fit for me.  With constant training, exclusive resources, and knowing I can consult with hundreds of years of experience in my office when there’s an unusual situation means I can confidently serve my clients in a way that no other brokerage can offer.

Capture

I’m in my third year as a licensed broker.  I bring 25 years of non-profit experience in health education, an Information Systems degree, and community coordination to my transactions.  It helps me consider the larger picture in negotiations, strategize, and embrace new, innovative technologies and marketing tools to best serve my clients.

As a kid, I enjoyed reading the comics and then looking at the housing ads in the Sunday paper.  When it was time for me to return to the workforce after a few years as a stay-at-home mom, I knew the magnetic pull towards real estate was pretty much the only option for me.  Each day keeps me on my toes.  I enjoy mixing the opportunity to meet new people with looking at architecture, problem-solving and creatively helping people move to the next stage in their life.  Adding to that, being a Realtor important to me because it means I am telling my clients I am committed to a higher standard for everyone that I serve.

As a parent, my kiddos are the ones that motivate me to get out of bed in the morning, followed by the opportunity to help a neighbor feel more confident in their situation.  Real Estate can be intimidating to many people and the need to learn about it often comes at a time when there’s a time crunch or difficult changes in circumstances.  I aim to help my clients feel confident about their options and know there is someone alongside them to just offering a casual Lunch with a Realtor so they can just talk through their situation and figure out what the best next steps are for them.

Kristina K. Loper, REALTOR®
253-778-6255 (mobile)
kristina@kristinaloper.com
Connect. Move. Explore

Have You Heard of EnviroHouse?

envirohouse

We’ve heard of the ENVIROHOUSE through the news media and mailings from utility districts but may not be aware of what an incredible resource it is for homeowners. Located in Tacoma, it is funded by Tacoma’s 5 Utilities and is open to all Pierce County Residents. EnviroHouse and surrounding landscape are environmentally and sustainably designed and explained by signage and handouts.

In the 1990’s, EnviroHouse began as a Pierce County environmental display building called the Green House (a 2-piece modular building) at the Puyallup Fair twice a year, you may have visited it there! In 2004, it was gutted and permanently installed at what is now called Tacoma’s Recovery and Transfer Station – we used to call these operations “Dumps” because they were.  EnviroHouse opened to the public in 2006 to provide information to get people to reduce waste.

On site is an abundance of information on building green and living sustainability including energy and water efficiency, sourcing (how far away is a product, how much energy & pollution & cost does it take to transport it to the job site?) Did you know counter tops made of paper are manufactured on Tacoma’s tide flats? Yes, since the 1940’s – there is info about it, other counter tops plus other building materials in EnviroHouse’s Resource Books. The resource notebooks contain detailed information to help you create a healthy home and landscape.

You can learn from the displays on the landscape: the Green roof, a rain garden, rain barrels, permeable pavers, low waters plants, a 5 section turf display, irrigation info and raised food gardens.

Janda Volkmer, Coordinator of EnviroHouse, oversees all and is a great resource too. She welcomes walk-in visitors and answers their questions sharing information about the eco-friendly installations in the house and landscape. She leads prearranged tours; the lecture is geared to the group’s interests. To schedule a tour, call the number listed below.

Free workshops on the site cover a variety of topics including yard waste and worm bin composting, solar power, water-smart landscaping, green roofs, backyard chickens. I attended a workshop on ductless heating and cooling systems and as a result had one installed in my home. Advance registration is required for the workshops. For a list of workshops, check the website.

How to do it videos on recycling ( Enviro Shorts) are available on the website. More are on YouTube, search for EnviroHouse How-To.

I hope you will visit the EnviroHouse after entering Tacoma Recovery and Transfer Station.  Look for EnviroHouse sign on your left and turn into the parking area, otherwise, you will be at the Hazardous Waste Station, as I was, but you can loop back.

Tacoma’s Recovery and Transfer Station
3510 S Mullen, Tacoma 98409
Open W-F 10am-5pm; S Su 11am-5pm
email: EHouse@cityoftacoma.org
website:
www.cityoftacoma.org/Envirohouse
www.cityoftacoma.org/workshops
www.cityoftacoma.org/enviroshorts

Carol Goforth, REALTOR®Capture
253-376-3628 (mobile)
carolgoforth@cbbain.com
carolgoforth.coldwellbankerbain.com

 

Strategies For Success In This Hot Real Estate Market

As most people are aware, the Puget Sound real estate market is pretty wild right now.

Seattle, Bellevue and King County are experiencing a more challenging market than is Pierce County and the greater Tacoma area, but throughout the region we are seeing prices escalate and a shortage of available homes for sale. There are bidding wars, buyers are waiving the right to conduct home inspections, prices are exceeding appraised values, and many folks feel frustrated or intimidated.

Nevertheless, every day new homes are listed and come on the market, and everyday buyers successfully make offers and get them accepted.  Working with a REALTOR to implement a good strategy will help you whether you are a buyer or a seller.

As a seller, especially of a home in a “hot” price range, it can feel exciting and flattering to get lots of showings and even multiple offers.  Buyers can fear to lose a home to a higher bidder, and sometimes offer more than a home will appraise for.  This can cause a sale to fail, aggravating everyone. Your REALTOR should be able to provide good advice in avoiding the pitfall of accepting a sky-high offer, only to have it collapse due to a low appraisal.

There are options your broker can suggest to a buyers’ broker to make their offer more acceptable. In some cases, a buyer can agree to bring extra down payment funds to make up for a low appraisal. Or an offer which doesn’t require the seller to pay the buyers’ closing costs can keep the purchase price lower, making the appraisal less challenging, and keeping the sellers’ net proceeds higher.

Opinions differ, but some real estate professionals advocate being transparent with buyers’ brokers in a multiple offer situation. Giving your broker permission to disclose some information about other offers, and about your priorities can help guide buyers in making an offer that best meets your needs. Discuss this with your REALTOR and develop a plan.

As a buyer, you need a REALTOR who is advising you immediately of listings which may work for you. Time is of the essence! Strategizing with your broker to ask questions of the listing broker to find out as much as possible about the sellers’ motivation can help make your offer stand out. It’s not always just the price that matters to a seller. For example, they may desire a fast closing, or perhaps a delayed one. Giving them what they want to get what you need is the key to negotiations, and knowledge is power.

Sometimes you can play on the heart strings of a seller. A heartfelt letter explaining why their home is such a great fit for you may tilt the scales in your favor.

With good REALTOR representation, you can do well in this market. Use strategy, and work smart. Good luck!

ED Tropp's PhotoEd Tropp, REALTOR®
253-988-5763 (mobile)
edtropp@cbbain.com

Broker Spotlight: Leslie Swindahl

CaptureI chose to be a REALTOR® because this career allowed me to set my own destiny.  The possibilities are endless when you are a REALTOR®.  Some people are happy selling 3 houses a year, others are happy selling 50 houses a year. So yes, it is a good life which is why I have been a REALTOR® for 19+ years. I really cannot imagine myself doing anything else.

The reason I have been with Coldwell Banker Bain for so many years is because the education they provide is superb and this is the only company that provides the Real Estate Guide insert that goes into the Saturday Tacoma News Tribune.

Before that, I was an Office Administrator for Chassis Components, a race car shop.  As owners of the shop, my husband and I facilitated the building of the race cars, and I helped create the manual for the crew.

When I’m not helping my sellers or buyers, I love to garden.  I enjoy planting new flowers and watch them come back up again next year. I also volunteer at a retirement center, taking seniors to their doctor appointments and to the grocery store so they don’t have to pay for public transportation.

I find that going into the office every day and feeling the energizing atmosphere is the greatest motivation that keeps me on the move.  It really motivates me to help my clients buy and sell their homes!

Leslie Swindahl, REALTOR®
253-312-0447 (mobile)
leslieswindahl@cbbain.com
leslieswindahl.coldwellbankerbain.com

Fire Extinguishers In Your Home

D-1 Photo.png

Do you have a fire extinguisher in your kitchen?  If so, what color is it? Kitchen fire extinguishers are WHITE and are a K extinguisher.  Extinguishers used in other home locations are RED, a standard ABC Multipurpose extinguisher.  This was what the Fire Fighters at the Tacoma’s Proctor Station mentioned.

Carol Goforth of Coldwell Banker Bain Proctor stopped by the station and was instructed on how to properly use a fire extinguisher. In fire fighter lingo, it is PASS: Pull the pin; Aim nozzle at fire; Squeeze the handle; Sweep side to side across the flame.

For a stove top fire, use a white fire extinguisher while standing 5 feet from the fire. Sweep only as necessary to cover the inside of the cooking vessel. Empty the entire contents of the extinguisher. Once the extinguisher has been emptied. Turn off appliance, evacuate the home and make sure the fire department has been called. Do not move or disturb extinguishing agent.

Use a red fire extinguisher on fires involving wood, paper, textile, flammable liquids or electrical equipment. Stand back from the fire and PASS the fire extinguisher.

Be sure to read the instructions that come with the fire extinguisher.  Please remember that once used, replace your fire extinguisher or have it refilled.

CaptureCarol Goforth, REALTOR®
253-376-3628 mobile
carolgoforth@cbbain.com
carolgoforth.coldwellbankerbain.com

First Impressions Are Everything When It Comes to Selling Your Home

A-1 Photo 2

As the moles begin making mountains out of molehills, I know spring is just around the corner. If you will be placing your home on the market this spring, now is the time to start the garden clean up and get the outside of your home as beautiful and attractive as the inside.

The first impression of your home can make or break a sale before a buyer even sees the inside of your home. If your yard and the outside of your home looks like an overgrown jungle and your front door has seen better days, a potential buyer may have already made their mind up about the home before they even walk through the door. More than one homebuyer has decided not to even enter a home based on the curb appeal. Don’t let this happen to you.

Curb appeal includes your yard as well as the overall appearance of your home. As the homeowner, walk to the street and view your home with a critical eye. Note those areas that you find appealing and those that are not so appealing. The following are areas to pay specific attention to:

  1. Remove any debris from around the home. Place garbage containers out of sight, remove shovels, tools, and anything that really doesn’t belong in the yard and dispose of or store out-of-sight.
  2. Pressure wash or thoroughly clean the walkway, porches, doors, windowsills etc. Cleanliness is just as important outside as inside! Don’t forget the windows.
  3. Stage the outdoor living areas too. If there is a covered porch, place chairs and décor to show the buyer how they could enjoy that space.
  4. If the door is looking a little shabby, either replace the door if the budget allows or paint/stain with a complementary color. Get advice if color isn’t your forte.
  5. If needed, update or paint hardware and outdoor light fixtures.
  6. Be sure to place a new attractive door mat at the entry.
  7. Trim shrubs, weed the flower beds, add new mulch and some new plantings for great color. If you need help for what would work for you, take a picture of the area and bring to a garden store. They are an excellent resource for help.

As I research our area, I found that Lowes and Home Depot are not the only sources of colorful displays of plants for sale. Pierce County is home to many of the most amazing gardens in the state.

Homeowners will find a wealth of options and information available at do-it-yourself stores as the ones mentioned above; however, for inspiration for curb appeal, many of the gardens referenced below also offer beautiful home and garden décor and plenty of free advice. These are just a few of the gardens I know I will be checking out starting March:

The Windmill Garden in Sumner
Watson’s Green in Graham (Voted best place to send a Guest)
Portland Avenue Nursery In Tacoma
Vassey Nursery in Puyallup
Willow Tree Garden and Interiors in University Place

Darlene Kiefer Photo-UPDATED
Darlene Kiefer, REALTOR®
360-929-8741 (mobile)
darlenekiefer@cbbain.com
darlenekiefer.coldwellbankerbain.com