Safety Preparedness

911, what’s your emergency? A voice that is there to help! What a relief, but what if there wasn’t someone available to answer your call? What if there was a larger disaster in your area that would not allow emergency services to assist you and your family in a time of need. What would you do? Where would you go? Where would you get food and water? How would you be able to help yourself and your family in a disaster? Over the last several months we’ve witnessed various disasters across our country. Each has varied in level of devastation. Disasters are commonly unexpected with little or no warning and may cause Emergency Services to be overwhelmed.

Maybe you are in a new neighborhood; maybe you haven’t met your neighbors; maybe you aren’t even sure where the local Fire or Police station is located?  These are simple tasks that will benefit you when a disaster strikes.  Often times, our neighbors are nurses, doctors or have experience in the emergency services field. As a Realtor, I feel it’s important to talk with my clients to remind them how important it is to take the time to walk your neighborhood and introduce yourself to your neighbors.  Take a drive or Google the location of your nearest Fire and Police station. It only takes a few minutes and by knowing where these services are located, in the event of an emergency, this knowledge could be lifesaving.

We often sit through the evening news and recognize that a disaster can happen in any area. We tend to have busy schedules and sometimes safety becomes an afterthought. October is Fire Safety Month and a great time to remind everyone of some of the things you can do to prepare for emergencies in and around your home. First thing, replace the battery in your smoke alarms. Not only will you not wake up to the horrible chirping at 3:00am when the battery is about to die, but in the event of a fire, this one task may save your family. Second, take time to sit down with your family and create a plan. Establish a safe place outside your home that your family can meet a school, church or neighbors home. It’s important to establish a location where everyone can check in. Third, decide on a friend or family member that everyone can call that is out of the area. This is another great way for you to all check in to make sure your family is safe.  Last, don’t forget to prepare a “go” bag for each member of the family and don’t forget one for your family pet! Be sure to include at least three days’ worth of water and food. These precautions may help you become self-sustainable in the event of a disaster.

Another simple reminder for residents here in the Northwest would be to include walking the perimeter of your home to look for trees that may be nearby. Remove any branches that may be hanging over head or near your house or outbuildings. Fall tends to bring windstorms and this easy way to protect your new home and property may also save you time and money.

These tasks may seem overwhelming, but it is easy to break them down into a manageable to do list. Creating a Ten Tasks in Ten Days List will help. Quickly jot down ten tasks that relate to safety in your home or on your property and commit to doing one a day for ten days. Your new neighbor may just be the perfect accountability partner to help you complete the list.

If you have questions about disaster preparedness or are in need of ideas to create your plan or a go bag, please visit the websites below for more information.

Want to learn how to sign up for Pierce County Alert, Make a plan, build a Go Kit or help others? Visit: http://www.co.pierce.wa.us/945/Emergency-Preparedness

The Great Shakeout is coming October 19, 2017 at 10:19am. Learn more about preparing for earthquakes and the proper way to drop, cover and hold. https://www.shakeout.org/washington

Looking for ways to meet and assist your neighbors? Visit: http://www.co.pierce.wa.us/2297/Pierce-County-Neighborhood-Emergency-Tea

Today is a great day to make one change to help better prepare your family and your home for an emergency.

jennifer-davidsonJennifer Davidson, REALTOR®
253.315.9315
jenniferdavidson@cbbain.com

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Preparing Your Home For Fall

Summer has come to a close and the crisp, fall air is here in full swing. Even though you may be ready for pumpkins, sweater weather, and raindrops – your home may not be. Fall and winter often bring harsher weather, and it’s best to take care of things prior to them becoming emergencies. Not to mention, many of these tips will help in keeping heating costs down. Following are some tips and tricks to ready your home for the colder, wetter months ahead.

  • Clean out your gutters.

All kinds of gunk and debris get stuck in your gutters throughout the year. Now is a great time to get out your ladder and clean them out, before the rain sets in for good. Good drainage through properly functioning gutters and downspouts will lengthen the life of your roof and direct water away from the foundation of your home.

  • Take care of drafty windows and doors.

It’s easy to forget about that drafty spot during the summer when air circulation is king. Check out the spaces around your doors and windows to find any drafts and seal them up before the cold sets in. Oftentimes you can apply an adhesive foam around the edges of doors and windows to take care of those pesky drafts. Taking care of this now will keep you cozier, not to mention your heating bill will be a little easier on the pocketbook.

  • Speaking of heating – have your chimney serviced!

If you have a wood burning fireplace it is important to make sure to have a professional chimney sweep come service it. This service is essential as it maintains the health and safety of your fireplace to ensure you can enjoy it – safely – for years to come.

  • Replace air filters.

Now is a good time to swap out those air filters in your heating system. A nice fresh filter encourages efficient heating as well as maintaining the air quality for you and your family. Even better, hire a professional to come out and check your entire system for maximum efficiency prior to your needing it on a daily basis.

  • Cover your spigots.

If you’re in a place where it freezes, it’s important to cover your outside spigots with Styrofoam covers. These are very inexpensive and will ensure that you don’t end up with a burst pipe. As the water freezes and expands as we reach progressively colder temperatures this is a risk not worth taking. Those freezing temps sneak up on us fast!

  • Inspect the exterior of the house.

Now is a great time to get out there and make sure your siding and roof are looking a-ok. It’s definitely easier to fix when the rain isn’t pouring down, and you’ll want to make sure that any roof issues are dealt with prior to discovering you’ve got a new indoor waterfall.

  • Trim your trees.

Go outside and take a look at your trees. Take careful note of any branches that look unhealthy as well as anything that looks odd about the root system as that can signal a shallow and weak tree. You can’t always prevent a branch breaking or tree falling and damaging your home, but a little preventative maintenance goes a long way in preventing this sort of problem. If you suspect that there are issues make sure you call a certified arborist. Arborists are best prepared to do maintenance on trees large and small to encourage proper and strong growth.

While this list definitely isn’t everything you need to tackle in the fall to get your home ready for the months ahead, it’s a great starting point. Follow these tips and you’ll be well on your way and worry-free as the holiday season starts creeping up on us. Happy fall, and happy home prepping!

Misty's Photo.JPGMisty Speers, REALTOR®
253-209-8544
mistyspeers@cbbain.com
mistyspeers.coldwellbankerbain.com

How To Sell Your House During The Fall

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Many believe that it is difficult to sell their home in the Fall because the market slows down.

Truth is, the Fall is the second-best time of year to sell a home. Summer vacation is over, the kids are back to school, the weather is cooling off and the holidays have not arrived yet! And most people are happy and relaxed after summer vacations are over.  This creates a fantastic time to sell a home.

Here are several tips on how to sell your home in Fall:

  1. Clean up the yard, rake the leaves and debris from your lawn. Trim back overgrown vegetation that is blocking windows, pathways, and sidewalks. Cut back the larger bushes and de-limb the trees to allow the sun to shine into the interior and showcase the exterior of your home. Clean out the flower beds and lay down new mulch to enhance curb appeal that draws buyers to it.
  2. Creating curb appeal, which can be as easy as some well-placed planters of Mums and marigolds with fall greenery to enhance them.
  3. Clean the windows. After the long hot and dusty summer months, your windows will need a good cleaning. Once the fall rains splash against the dusty windows you will have streaked ones. Buyer will notice if even on a subconscious level. Make them shine and sparkle. Don’t forget the window screens they will need a good rinsing too to remove the summer dust.
  4. Check and clean the HVAC. Even if you are not selling, it is time to clean the filters to ensure clean fresh air inside your home. Do have it checked before you turn on the heat. Best to have any HVAC issues fixed prior to your home going on the market, which will save you the stress of fixing it later.
  5. Clean out the Fireplace. Have a certified chimney sweep clean out both the fireplace and chimney, then check to ensure it is functioning properly. Light it when buyers are coming through. Create an ambiance for them to enjoy. Some home stagers will arrange knick-knacks in the fireplace in place of logs.
  6. Decorate and stage your home in autumn colors. It is easy to set the tone for making your living room appealing to many buyers. Clear the clutter and depersonalize each room. Bring the fall theme you have created in your living room to the rest of the house, for example, Fall candles arranged in a festive centerpiece on the dining room table or even a bowl of bright red apples on the kitchen island. You can inexpensively and quickly create a home that buyers will want to stay in.
  7. Turn on the lights throughout. As the days get shorter and darker in fall, you will want your home to appear bright and cheerful. Pull up the blinds, open the curtains on every window. Let the potential buyers see your home as full of light. And even a little music turned on softly will help make your potential buyer feel right at home.

Now you are ready to sell your home and move to your next before the Holiday rush begins.  Feel free to contact me for a checklist of how to make the process smoother!

Mary Klein Photo 2016Mary Klein, REALTOR®
253-590-7140
maryklein@cbbain.com
maryklein.coldwellbankerbain.com

The 5 Basic Key Land Questions

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Selling land is something a lot of real estate agents avoid with a passion.  This seems a bit strange to me since under every house is land.  In fact, the first words of the REALTOR® Code of Ethics are “Under all is the land…”  This makes sense to me because before there was ever a house built on a piece of property there was vacant land and someone who had the vision to build something on it.  When dealing with vacant land a Broker needs to be more intentional when marketing it.  Depending on the size and the location of the land, the listing agent may also need to take a more proactive approach to finding buyers.

For me, it’s all about the enjoyment of being part of something from the dirt up.  I enjoy helping people see the many possibilities that can happen with this clean slate.  It is amazing how many people can’t see anything but empty space when looking at land.  When I see vacant land I see a pallet of possibility and imagination. When it comes to the challenges that come with vacant land I see a puzzle that needs to be solved and answers that need to be found. For me, these challenges are often more enjoyable than the ones that come with working with residential property.

Every parcel of land needs to have these 5 questions answered before you move forward.  1) What is the zoning of the land?  Without knowing whether the zoning fits your needs you don’t have a starting point.  2) What is the potential usage of the land?  Zoning dictates the usage of the vacant land being considered.  Knowing the zoning of the property tells you whether the desired usage is possible.  3) What is the yield of the land?  Zoning not only dictates the usage of the land but it also the yield.  For example, the number of homes, apartments, duplexes or whatever can be built on that parcel.  Environmental sensitive area can also affect the yield of the property.  4) Is there legal in and out access to a road for this land?  And, it is important to understand the ingress and egress needs will differ for a single-family home compared to a 40-unit apartment complex.  5) What are the services needed for the proposed use and how are they going to be installed?  If your parcel is on sewer you need to know where the sewer line is and if the property can connect to it.  If sewer isn’t available then you need to know if the property will support a septic system.

There are other service issues need to be addressed as well.  How will power be provided to the property?  Does the property have access to water or does it need a well?  By remembering these keys to working with land, zoning, usage, yield, access, and services you can avoid many of the common challenges that are part of a vacant land transaction.  Give me a call if I can be of assistance with any of your land questions.

Gregory Reich Rockstar 2016.jpgGregory Reich, REALTOR®
253-677-9283
gregoryreich@cbbain.com
gregoryreich.coldwellbankerbain.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
lorenamcphail@cbbain.com
253.592.8205