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.
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.
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.
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.
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:
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.
Pressure wash or thoroughly clean the walkway, porches, doors, windowsills etc. Cleanliness is just as important outside as inside! Don’t forget the windows.
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.
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.
If needed, update or paint hardware and outdoor light fixtures.
Be sure to place a new attractive door mat at the entry.
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
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:
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!
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.
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 Hillat 253-318-2792.
(Information gathered from Renew by Home Health Care)
In taking every measure to help her clients successfully accomplish their personal real estate goals, Stephanie Callen exhibits genuine care, dedication, and professionalism. As a specialist in the Greater South Puget Sound real estate market, she constantly provides her clients with outstanding guidance and expertise. Through her comprehensive knowledge and experience as a specialist in Residential, Distinctive Luxury and Investment Properties; she provides her clients with a truly impressive real estate experience. In 2017, Stephanie was appointed as the Director of Global Luxury for Coldwell Banker Bain Puyallup.
Stephanie excels at executing on behalf of her clients with
very deliberate, strategic and skillful measures that achieve outstanding results. When working with sellers, she implements effective and resourceful marketing strategies that clearly accentuate each property’s specific features. Skillfully taking every measure to position the seller’s property to stand out in the marketplace, she designs a beautiful presentation that incorporates professional photography, refined staging services and extensive visibility in print and on multiple internet sites. Regardless of the time and effort it takes, when working with buyers, she works tirelessly to identify key opportunities that meet their lifestyle requirements. She exhibits a relentless commitment to securing just the right property for each buyer. One of her special areas of focus is in serving the specific needs of military personnel. She is highly attuned to the unique requirements that military members and their families may need and is very attentive to meeting all of their expectations.
Stephanie’s clients trust in her integrity and insight and value her timely guidance and expertise in addressing all aspects of the transaction with professional competence. In indulging her clients with first class service; her warm and friendly personality is very present in everything she does on their behalf and it is truly her joy to ultimately fulfill their request. Her immediate accessibility, answers to timely questions and trusted council makes her invaluable to her clients. She readily delivers results that are beyond their expectations and is truly committed to providing the highest level of expertise and outstanding personal service. “There are Realtors – and then there is Stephanie!”