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

 

Fire Extinguishers In Your Home

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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

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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

Red vs White Fire Extinguishers

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 firefighter lingo, it is PASS: Pull the pin; Aim nozzle at the 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 the 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

Selling Your Home 101

When it comes to selling your home, it is always a good idea to have a home inspection first before you put your home on the market.  Here’s why:C-1 Photo

  • When was the last time you went into your attic? Poor ventilation in your attic can lead to mold issues.
  • What about your crawlspace? Dry-rot can lead to big issues if not replaced.
  • Check to make sure your hot water heater has the required earthquake straps.
  • Curb appeal is a MUST to get potential buyers interested in your home. Investing in curb appeal is one of the most important things you can start with. Make your house stand out from all the rest!
  • Cleaning your gutters is one of the items an appraiser will call for to have done.
  • Has your roof been cleaned recently? There should not be any moss growing there.

“It is always a good idea to have your furnace cleaned and serviced,” noted Leslie Swindahl of Coldwell Banker Bain Tacoma.

If you find any of these issues, you will want to get them fixed as soon as possible. Once you have addressed health and safety issues, it’s time for a Coldwell Banker Bain REALTOR® to come and look at your home inside and out. Our REALTORS® will always put our knowledge on your side.

When it comes to selling your home for the first time, this is when a Coldwell Banker Bain REALTOR® is your best choice to help you through the process. When you work with Coldwell Banker Bain, you can expect friendly, professional service that includes in-depth knowledge of the area and the current market conditions, outstanding communication skills along with the ability to aggressively market, manage and negotiate for you!

Leslie Photo 2017Leslie Swindahl, REALTOR®
253-312-0447 (cell)
LeslieSwindahl@CBBain.com
lieslieswindahl.coldwellbankerbain.com
or check out her blog here

The Art of Decluttering

THE ART OF DECLUTTERING OR HOW TO “LET IT GO”

Awe the retirement years! You are finally free from the things that tie you down and are ready to embrace a new adventure. But, where do you begin? You have lived in your home for many years and are surrounded by the “things” that house your memories. As you look around your home, you see the wedding gift you received from Aunt Sally.  It has been sitting in your china hutch for 40 years – never used. You never really liked the gift, but you love Aunt Sally.  Then there are the five boxes of your children’s artwork dating back to Kindergarten. These are all fond memories. So, where do you begin with deciding what to keep and what to eliminate?

A good rule of thumb is: “Either you love something or you need something. If it doesn’t answer either of those things, it doesn’t stay,” says Mary Kay Buysse, executive director of the National Association of Senior Move Managers. Another question that will help you decide is: Are these objects in my life going to help me move forward or are they blocking me?

Items in the “Love it” column might include things that remind you of loved ones, big life events or milestones, precious pieces of artwork or craftwork, heirlooms or anything that you cherish. In the “Need It” column, you would keep anything that you use on a regular basis. For example, you might use a coffee pot daily, but when was the last time you used your fondue set? Don’t get caught in the trap of keeping things out of fear that you might use it sometime in the future. Also, just because an item might have value for someone, if it is not something you use, let it go. Another good principle to follow when evaluating what you really “need” is the six-month rule. If you have not used the item in six months, it is probably not worth keeping. Consider donating items that could be of value to someone else and let it go.

If an item has no value to you or to anyone else, then it goes in the “Leave It” column.  Examples include old papers, appliances or lawn equipment that don’t work or that are very outdated, broken items, outdated sporting goods, clothes that you haven’t worn in years, things you purchased on a whim that seemed to be a good idea at the time, and virtually anything that you can let go of without feeling remorse.

Once you have made the decision about what to keep and what to let go, then the awesome job of figuring out how to get rid of the “Leave it” items begins. In my next article, I will define some clear and simple steps that will help you through the process. The key is to get an early start so that you are not pressured for time.

croppedjoyceheadhighresv2 (1)For more information about the downsizing process, consider attending an upcoming event called “The Upside of Downsizing” being held on April 22nd at the Tacoma Dome and find out about the eight steps involved in the downsizing process. For more information on downsizing in general or to register for the April 22nd seminar, please call Joyce Hill at 253-318-2792.

(Information gathered from Renew by Home Health Care)

The Revitalizing of Lincoln District

Tacoma’s promise to revitalize the community of Lincoln, known formally as the Lincoln International District, is great news to homeowners and renters alike. The South End community is set to be the next happening spot, and Coldwell Banker Bain Tacoma can take you there.

The average median sold price in the district for $211,807, up 2.6% from the month of January, while the average days on market for the immediate area are 32 days.

“23% of the recently closed homes in Lincoln sold at or above the listing price. It’s a great time to be looking at the Lincoln International District,” said Cory Armstrong, a Broker with Coldwell Banker Bain of University Place.

The revitalization, which includes several new features and improvements along the 38th Street corridor, is set to not only improve accessibility to local businesses but also inflate the values of homes in the area.C-1 Lincoln District Photo

Lincoln is an older neighborhood, the average age of houses in the community is 65 years old, making it a perfect place for the first-time homebuyer to buy a house to improve. With the median age of its residents being 37, the Lincoln community is a laid-back, professional district with quiet nights and eventful days.

Interested in finding out more about the Lincoln International District or on getting a free market report on the area?  Give us a call! At Coldwell Banker Bain in Tacoma, we are always happy to help and excited to share our expansive knowledge with you.


Cory Armstrong PhotoCory Armstrong
t: 423-946-2717
e: coryarmstrong@cbbain.com
coryarmstrong.coldwellbankerbain.com