10 Clever ideas for transforming a guest room into a walk-in closet

Who needs a guest room when you can have a chandelier and see EVERY SINGLE PIECE of clothing you own! Who cares if you ever wear it? You can hang it up!

You see, it really doesn’t matter how many clothes you have or how many of them you actually wear. The real question is, wouldn’t you love to be able to see them all hanging up, around a beautiful chandelier? My guess is yes. Yes, you would!

So, welcome to my newly remodeled little slice of dressing room heaven. I hope these clever ideas inspire you to convert your guest room. You and I both know you don’t want your in-laws to spend the night, anyway!

Clever Idea #1: Cover the walls with rods and shelves! You will be surprised how easy it is to fill the. You may even have room to hang your T-shirts!

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Clever Idea #2: Hang a chandelier! This is a MUST for the full dressing-room effect. I found mine at Hobby Lobby, half price! They also have them at Home Depot and Lowes.

Clever Idea #3: Fuzzy black hangers are EVERYTHING!
For sure buy these for your dressing room. It won’t look nearly as stylish with the plastic ones.  Plus, everything stays put. You won’t have your shirts slipping off and falling on the floor like they do when you shop. So annoying!

Clever Idea #4: Pick a fun theme! I went with a gold, tiffany blue, and maps for my theme. The idea was to have the maps inspire me to take more vacations.

Clever Idea #5: Get some gold spray paint and add some fun accessories! (See photo). I had to get the paper mache half-body mannequin because it fit the walk-in closet feel. The lamp and spice rack came from my favorite thrift stores. Perfect for the budget and super easy to spray paint.

Clever Idea #6: Use campaign glasses and candy dishes as little jewelry holders! The spice rack works great for perfume, lipsticks, and nail polish.

Clever Idea #7: EVERY dressing room needs a makeup table and matching chair! We had an old country style table in the storage shed and not enough space for it so we sawed it in half. Voila! The perfect sized makeup table screwed right to the wall! Clever, right? I found a chair at Value Village for $9.99 that I painted the same color.

Clever Idea #8: Baskets and large photo boxes work great for extra storage! I store my leggings and pajamas in large photo storage boxes that I stack, and socks in easy-to-access matching baskets that I found at HomeGoods. A longer basket fits my curling irons and hair dryer perfectly.

Clever Idea #9: MUSIC! Don’t forget music in your dressing room. An Echo is perfect because you can play your favorite songs while you get dressed every day. “Alexa, play me some Bruno Mars!”

But WAIT, one last plug for a chandelier so this counts at #10 because it’s important enough to repeat.  Mine provides no light at all, but it doesn’t matter because it will make you smile every time you walk into your new dressing room!

D-1 Photo + QuoteMichelle McLean, REALTOR®
253-691-3029
For more fun makeover and organization ideas, follow my blog at http://realfamilyblog.com/michelle.html.

Thinking Of Buying A Home When School Starts?

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Back to School is just around the corner! Parents are jumping for joy as they ready their kids to return to school. (Who can blame them?) As the hot summer eventually cools down and turns to fall, parents are not the only ones who should be excited.  If you are looking for a good deal on a home, now is the time to find your perfect place. With the kids focused on school, it might just be the time to get your focus on finding your home.
Get started now, you’ve procrastinated long enough.

Waiting until August or September can have its pay offs.  Traditionally there are fewer buyer’s shopping. Which means for you less competition for that perfect mid-century ranch, a little cottage, or Tudor that you have been dreaming about.  No matter how hot the market is you will see price reductions and homes staying on the market longer from September through December. And schools within each market tend to drive the prices on single family homes. The pressure on property prices in these areas eases as July turns to August. With fewer buyers competing, it makes getting your offer accepted just a little higher and save some cash too. This really applies to single family homes in the suburbs. Those downtown lofts and condos, they will stay at the more consistent higher prices. So, no real deals there.
Stay Flexible

 After school starts sellers tend to be more inclined to negotiate to help seal the deal.  More sellers may contribute to closing costs. Which is helpful to buyers who have a good steady income, good credit, but not a lot of cash on hand. Interest rates are staying low, so buyers are feeling motivated to buy because interest will not stay low forever. A home buyers warranty, carpet allowance, are a couple of items you can ask for if sellers won’t budge on price. Price is not always the main negotiating factor involved. Flexibility to shorten or extend closings in the fall buying season can make both buyers and sellers happy.
Take Time

Home buyers have increasingly had to deal with bidding wars, unbelievable cash offers, homes on the market for 1 or 2 days. The results are, buyers buying to buy because that was the only home that they sort of liked. Waiting until the kids are in school means taking your time, and finding the home that is right for you. You will be happy with no buyer’s remorse, financial regrets and things that they did not notice about the house in the rush to buy.
Be Ready with the Right Offer

In the fall research, the area and be ready to make the right offer on the right home.  Sellers tend to want to get their property sold prior to the holidays. This gives buyers the opportunity to research the comps and know what to offer at just below asking or at asking. Versus the Spring /Summer over asking price, shelling out extra cash to get the home they want.  Contrary to what many believe, August and September are good for buying homes and finding the right home at the right price for your budget. So, do your research, find your REALTOR® and get house hunting.
Mary Klein Photo 2016Mary Klein, REALTOR®
253-590-7140
maryklein@cbbain.com

 

Broker Spotlight: Elisha Scott

I chose Coldwell Banker Bain because of their attention to detail, training and their ability to provide their clients with the best services around. And being a proud resident of the Puget Sound area for over 25 years, it is only natural that I choose a local company like Coldwell Banker Bain.

I have been a REALTOR® since April 2017, but have experience buying/purchasing real estate for the last 10 years. Before going into real estate, I was a stay at home mom, who homeschooled. Before that, I was an air traffic controller in the FAA and served in the navy. I chose to become a REALTOR® because I want to help educate home buyers so that they can purchase a home that will make them happy for years to come.

I enjoy taking my three daughters to the 3 local zoos, Pt Defiance, NW Trek and Woodland Zoo. I also like to hike and travel to new places.

OutlookEmoji-1501887265935_D-1cfe465b1-d0f9-4b72-bb12-dc6c0c772d18Elisha Scott, REALTOR®
360-731-2762 mobile
elishascott@cbbain.com
http://elishascott.coldwellbankerbain.com

 

Broker Spotlight: Lorena McPhail

Purchasing a home is often the single-most expensive investment a person will make in their lifetime.  Buying or selling can be an emotionally-charged process that often comes with unexpected obstacles.  Such an important purchase requires an understanding and knowledgeable professional to help buyers and sellers successfully navigate through the transaction process.  Since being licensed in 1999, I have assisted buyers and sellers in Washington and Colorado, providing them with the necessary knowledge and negotiating skills to close the deal and achieve the best possible outcome.

Partnering with Coldwell Banker Bain in Tacoma was to me the obvious best choice! According to the Northwest Multiple Listing Service, Coldwell Banker has the largest market share and highest sales volume on the I-5 corridor.   I’m excited to be partnered with a brokerage whose mission is to “Do the right thing”, reinforcing my mission to be a caring Realtor for you, and to convey the professional image needed to attract the highest-quality buyers for your home.  As a home-buyer, you can expect the same quality service while finding your dream home.

Caring for people and being supportive are the most important things I will ever do in my lifetime. Becoming an advocate for families and children with special needs has become one of my passions.  Prior to my real estate career, I taught preschool for 12 years, working with children and families with special needs.  Following the death of my adult son Jordan to schizophrenia and suicide in 2011, I became an advocate in the Washington State Legislature for Mental Healthcare Reform and Suicide Prevention. I currently work with the Steilacoom School district to help children with special needs.

Since moving back from Colorado in 2016, I now live on Anderson Island with my family.  However, most of my childhood memories are of living and going to school in both University Place and North Tacoma where I attended Stadium and Foss High Schools. I frequented Pt. Defiance Park and spent countless summer weekends at my parent’s vacation cabin on Anderson Island.

Lori McPhail PhotoLorena McPhail, Managing Broker, CRS
lorenamcphail@cbbain.com | 253.592.8205
lorimcphail.coldwellbankerbain.com

Beautiful Anderson Island

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@Sean Griffin-Anderson Island Photography

Anderson Island is simply unforgettable.  A mere 20- minute ferry ride out of Steilacoom over the calm South Sound aboard the faithful Christine Anderson ferry has delivered many a visitor. From the ferry dock, a well-traveled two- lane road winds through the forest to the other side of the Island. Traffic lights? There are none.  Just be sure to yield to the car on your right. If you Follow the main road to Oro Bay, you’ll see the silent strength of Mount Rainier rising regally in the distance with boats huddled in a small marina.

The old Johnson Farm is the heart of the Island and is home to the Anderson Island Historical Society, Museum, Island gift shop, and lush community garden.   Here is where Islanders and tourists gather for countless seasonal activities. There is the Anderson Island Historical Society (AIHS) Archival Building, proudly built by volunteers and donors.  It houses historical items and provides a large area for Historical Society presentations as well as a music venue, art gallery, and a meeting place for community gatherings.  Local artists and photographers sell their one-of-a kind creations in the gift shop and at the island festivals and fairs.  In the summer, there is a weekly farmer’s market, music venues, the annual fall Apple Squeeze, annual Fourth of July AIHS Salmon Baker and the annual Memorial Weekend Fair, which is the largest fund raiser for the Anderson Island Community Club (AICC).

In the summer, the Old Swimming Hole on the North side of Lake Florence is where children tirelessly dive and tumble into the water from a 10-foot high floating dock.  Fishing is fine.   Hunting?  It is governed by the Pierce County hunting regulations.  Most of the parks are managed by the Riviera Homeowner’s Association and are not open to the public – only residents and their guests.  There is a marina on the East side of the Island that is owned & maintained by the Riviera, although guests are eligible to launch with a fee.

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@Sean Griffin-Anderson Island Photography

Scenic trails to hike include the new Jacob’s Point Trail, Andy’s Marine Park, and the Tom White Trail.  Tiny Eagle Island, just a short kayak ride off the North side of the Island is home to only wildlife and is a secluded spot for a romantic proposal.

The one and only Café in the center of the Island is a nice spot for a coffee date or lunch with a friend.  Don’t miss the Burger Nights, and open mic.  The Island store is where “If you can’t find what you want you must not need it.”

On the shore of serene Lake Josephine sits the Riviera Lakeshore Restaurant.  There you might relax on the deck with a glass of wine after a golf tournament and enjoy a tasty menu offering or have a quiet dinner. Avid golfers enjoy intimate tournaments on the lush greens of the Riviera Country Club across the street.   Once, sometimes twice a month, the Riviera Lakeshore Restaurant hosts a lively evening of karaoke. Local and visiting musicians and bands play live in the restaurant on occasion.

The volunteer fire department is the only fire department on the island, and is manned by discrete, caring Islanders dedicated to the health and safety of their community.  If you see a small flashing green light in the car behind you, it’s a volunteer fire-fighter on the way to a call so be sure to pull over.   Each year on Memorial Day weekend, the community hosts a pancake breakfast to raise funds for the fire department.

The Anderson Island school is in a category all its own.  It’s like a step back in time 40 years with caring staff, only 2 small multi-grade classrooms, a cozy library, and a lunchroom with only 5 lunch tables. A vibrant booster club provides extra activities for the school children.  The flow of donations to the school from generous islanders is ongoing, from new shoes to exotic fruits and vegetables for the children to try.  Summer camps are run by Island volunteers. The original Anderson Island historic school house is now converted into a public gym is where teens meet for summer boot camp.

Housing prices on Anderson Island, including luxury waterfront and view homes, are surprisingly affordable.  More than half the homes are vacation homes. There are approximately 1,000 residents year-round, increasing to 4,000 residents during the summer months.

If you go to Anderson Island, you may leave rested or you might leave restless.   Getting there is easy— but leaving is hard:  Once you are there you may not want to leave.  You might even want to move there.

Lori McPhail Photo.jpgLorena McPhail, Managing Broker, CRS
253.592.8205
LorenaMcPhail@CBBain.com

 

Inspections And Appraisals in this Hot Real Estate Market

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Our local real estate market continues at the hot pace we’ve been on, although there are signs of inventory increasing with homes beginning to come onto the market at a faster pace than they have recently. That is a good sign in that we may see more balance in the market soon.

As I mentioned previously in this space, the intense competition for listings has impacted the role and effects of both home inspections and appraisals.

Typically, once agreement has been reached between buyer and seller, the buyer will have ten days (could be less, depending on the terms) to conduct a thorough home inspection and respond back to the seller.

These inspections are done for the benefit of the buyer, and generally consist of a licensed inspector taking a thorough look at the home, from the crawlspace to the roof, checking plumbing, electrical, heating and cooling systems, etc. Often, especially with older homes, a sewer scope inspection is also done.

Inspections in any market always constitute a second round of negotiations. Options for the buyer include simply approving the inspection and moving forward to closing, rejecting the inspection and terminating the transaction, or most commonly, asking the seller to make some repairs or concessions. The seller may agree to all repair requests, or agree to some but not all, or to none. Then the ball is back in the buyer’s court. Unless the seller agrees to all requests, the buyer can continue to negotiate, though they have limited time to do so, can agree with the seller, or reject the response and terminate the sale.

Recently we’ve seen some buyers making exorbitant requests to compensate for feeling that they may have overpaid for a home which had lots of competition. This has often caused sales to fail.

Once the parties have agreed on the inspection results, the next step is to order the appraisal.

Appraisals are done primarily for the benefit of the mortgage lender, though they do assure the buyer that the value of the home is appropriate to the sales price. The focus is value, though the appraiser will look for glaring signs of deferred maintenance, such as peeling paint or a bad roof, and may call for those sorts of items to be repaired. These repairs are not negotiable; if the loan is to be approved, the seller MUST do these repairs.

In the case of a home selling at an inflated price, the appraisal value may come in below the agreed upon sales price. In that event, the parties have options. The seller may agree to sell at the reduced price. The buyer may agree to bring additional money to closing, to keep the new loan amount at or below the appraised value. They may dispute the appraisal and ask for a review, or negotiate a compromise. Or the sale may simply fail.

Our current market requires up to date strategies for both buyers and sellers. Develop a plan with your REALTOR®. Be realistic, and you can do well, and have fun in the process!

Feel free to call me to discuss these or any real estate topics or properties.
ED Tropp's PhotoEd Tropp, REALTOR®, GRI
253-988-5763 (cell)
EdTropp@cbbain.com

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