Mike 425-367-2537 or Sheli 425-293-4568 Office@mikeandsheli.com
April 2019 – Newsletter

April 2019 – Newsletter

Hello,

Happy spring! With warmer weather upon us, people are starting to think about Easter and weddings, and we’ve got tips to help you prepare to host either. Spring is also the perfect time to start thinking about selling your home. Check out the tips below and contact us if you need any help getting ready to buy or sell!

5 Tips To Help You Prepare To Host Easter Dinner

There’s nothing quite like gathering your loved ones together and celebrating the holidays with good food and good company. However, hosting isn’t always easy and can transform what should be quality time with friends and family into a stressful nightmare. Fortunately, there are plenty of tasks you can cross off your to-do list before guests start arriving so you can relax and enjoy your holiday.

1. Keep the guest list manageable.
Don’t invite more people than you can manage. Consider how much space you have for hosting in general and for seating. If you have more people than will fit at your table, what’s your plan? Will you set up extra tables?

2. Make a list of what you need.
Once you know how many people are coming to Easter, take an inventory of your plates, forks, knives, serving dishes, cups, etc. If you need extras, borrow some!

3. Set the menu.
Ham and lamb are the Easter meats of choice for a lot of people, but when planning your menu, keep dietary restrictions in mind. Including a quiche or galette alongside your other choices will provide a tasty option for any vegetarians in the mix.

4. Set the table.
No one ever said you can’t set the table the day before Easter. Complete this time-consuming task early to free up time and mental energy for other tasks that will need to be done on Easter.

5. Have fun.
Remember that, when all is said and done, Easter is a time to come together. Don’t stress over the small things. Enjoy this special time with your friends and family.

5 Signs It’s Time To Sell Your Home

American homeowners rarely stay in their first home forever; they buy and sell several homes over the years to meet the changing needs of their family. How can you tell if it’s time to sell your current home?

1. Your family has grown.
There are many reasons your once spacious home might begin to feel like it’s shrinking. Whether it’s the birth of a new baby, the kids getting older and needing their own rooms, or your parents moving in, you may find the need for more space a compelling reason to sell.

2. Your family has shrunk.
After years of hard work, kids grow up, become independent adults, and move out. When that happens, parents are often left in a home that no longer suits their needs and takes a lot to maintain. If you find yourself in this position, congratulations! It may be a good time for you to sell.

3. You’ve changed jobs since you bought your home.
If you got a new job and your commute grew as a consequence, you may want to find a home more conveniently located.

4. Your kids are starting school.
The right home when you have a baby on the way isn’t necessarily the right home when your child is heading off to school. If the schools in your area aren’t the best, it may be a good time to sell your home and move to a different school zone.

5. Home upkeep is too much.
If you purchased your current home when you were young, you may not have accounted for how much more difficult the upkeep and maintenance would be when you got older. When it does get to be too much, consider moving into something easier to manage.

Planning A Backyard Wedding?

Are you thinking about hosting a wedding at your home? If so, you’ll want to make sure there’s enough parking, bathrooms, space for all your guests. Some other considerations you’ll want to make are below.

Budget
While a backyard wedding seems like an economical way to celebrate, the costs can actually add up quickly. Before you start sending out invitations, take a hard look at your budget to make sure you have enough to cover necessities like food, drinks, music, and bathroom rentals.

Parking
Let your guests know where they should park before the big day: which streets are okay to park on and which sides of the street should they avoid? Are there businesses nearby that will let you use their parking lot after hours? Do you have enough land to dedicate a field to parking?

Bathrooms
Depending on how many guests attend your wedding, the bathrooms in your home may not be enough. Consider renting a few port-o-johns or a luxury portable bathroom to supplement your bathroom supply. The last thing you want on that special day is a line outside the bathroom.

Wedding Insurance
You’re already investing in a wedding at your home. Be prepared for minor tragedies like twisted ankles, trampled landscaping, or broken windows with a wedding insurance package. These one-day, special event insurance options cover property damage and any injuries that occur during your event.

Refreshments
If you hired a caterer, they’ll need to use your kitchen for food prep and warming. You’ll also want to think about where you’re going to have people eat. Will you have rows of tables with seating arrangements or will you have small tables scattered about the yard for a more casual dining experience? You’ll also want to think about beverages. Be sure they’re somewhere easy to access and consider the pros and cons of offering a bar. If you do serve alcohol, what’s your plan to make sure any minors at your celebration are kept clear?

Setup
If you have a large enough yard, you can create separate spaces for the wedding ceremony, reception, and dancing. If you’re working with a smaller space, set up for the ceremony, then arrange for a group of friends to convert the ceremony space into a reception area while you host a cocktail hour inside.

Electrical
You’ll likely need electricity for something, be it music, lights, or heaters/fans. Come up with a plan to run electricity to your yard so that you can easily get your electronics set up before the wedding. Just be wary of creating a tripping or fire hazard.

Neighbors
Give your neighbors plenty of warning before your friends and family descend on your lawn. If you let them know beforehand that the loud music coming from your yard will be over by a certain time, they’ll likely be more tolerant. If they know you may have guests parked in the street, they can also make arrangements for their own parking needs.

If you’ve always dreamed of hosting a backyard wedding or the next family holiday, but don’t currently have the space, let us know! We can help you find your next home and make sure it’s got everything you need for the perfect event!

Mike and Sheli Kellogg

November 2018 – Newsletter

November 2018 – Newsletter

Hello,

The holidays are upon us! Stay safe this holiday season with the tips below, then read on to discover how to keep your home warm and draft-free through the winter. But don’t worry, they won’t take long, so you’ll still have plenty of time to celebrate with your family and friends this holiday season! Also, if you’re thinking about selling your home, check out the info below on why you should consider getting a pre-inspection before putting your home on the market. And if you have any questions, let me know! I’m always here for you.

Holiday Proof Your Home

To-do lists can get pretty long during the holidays with all of the decorating, cleaning, and gift buying involved. As a result, it’s easy to overlook important safety concerns. Take action to protect your home and family this holiday season with these easy tips!

Traveling

The holidays are a popular time to go visit friends and family, but before you load up the car, make sure your home is ready for your absence. Most importantly, don’t broadcast your planned absence on social media or on the streets because people you don’t know could easily intercept that information, break in, and wreak havoc.

When you travel, take your home security a step further by automating your lights to make it seem like someone is home. Timers are one way to accomplish this. You can also monitor your home using nanny cams, security cameras, and other devices that let you watch or listen in on the goings-on of your home.

Presents

In the closet, under the bed, and behind furniture are some of the first places a burglar (or your kids) will look for valuable Christmas gifts. Consider renting a lockbox or storage unit to keep your gifts in until Christmas Eve. If that’s not an option, store your gifts in an old cardboard box in the basement, attic, or garage instead of in shiny, appealing paper in the closet.

After the Holidays

Placing empty boxes for expensive goods on the curb for pickup is like making a shopping list for robbers. Instead, break the boxes down and put them in non-opaque trash bags or drive your Christmas boxes to the local dump yourself. 

Keeping Your Home Warm This Winter

Whether you love it or hate it, there’s no denying it: winter is almost here. Now’s the time to make sure you’re ready to weather the cold and keep your home warm this winter. Here are some things you should consider touching up on in your home to be prepared for winter.

Furnace – The most obvious way to keep your home warm is to make sure the heater is in good working order. Start by changing the air filter to increase the airflow, then schedule a tune-up with a licensed technician who can clean, lubricate, and adjust the furnace for maximum efficiency.  

Doors – If you have gaps under doors, you’re going to end up with cold drafts coming in and hot air flowing out. You can add rubber to the bottom of your doors to fill the gap or purchase some temporary draft snakes. You can even use rolled up towels as a short term solution.

Pipes – Water pipes freezing is a common problem during winter. This is because as the water freezes, it expands, causing extensive damage to your plumbing if the pipe bursts. To prevent this, make sure your pipes are insulated, stripped, and caulked. It also helps to keep the heat on in the house.

Fireplace – A fireplace is a great way to keep your family warm…if you’ve taken the steps to use it safely. Part of that is taking time to schedule a deep clean and inspection. Also, always remember to keep pets and children away from the flames and to keep a fire extinguisher nearby.

Why You Should Consider Paying for a Pre-Inspection

The uncertainty of selling your home can be stressful. You’re left wondering if the timing of your home sale and your new living arrangements will line up right. Will you be able to get what you deserve for your home? Will the buyer follow through? One thing you can do to alleviate some of these concerns is to have a pre-inspection done before you list your home.

Most pre-inspections cost around $350, but that price can vary based on the market and the size of your home. Although it may seem redundant because your buyer will likely insist on a new inspection as well, there are many benefits to doing a pre-inspection.

– A clean inspection can give potential buyers peace of mind and make them more confident about putting in an offer on your home.

– You’ll know the true condition of your home’s systems and structure, including the heating and cooling, water heater, plumbing, electrical, attic, basement, exterior, and more. This will help you decide on a fair price for your home.

– Some inspectors will give your home a “Move In Certified” credential after your pre-inspection, provided your home doesn’t need major repairs.

Even if your pre-inspection reveals significant problems, you’re still a step ahead. If the problems aren’t discovered until after an offer is made, your buyer may back out of the deal. Knowing beforehand allows you to make the necessary repairs or take the issue into consideration when pricing your home.

We hope this information helps you stay safe and warm over the winter! If you or someone you know is thinking about making a move, give us a call! I’ll be glad to help.

Mike Kellogg and Sheli Kellogg

 

October 2018 – Newsletter

October 2018 – Newsletter

Hello,

Hope you’ve had a great October! With Halloween fast approaching, I’ve put together a list of last-minute Halloween decorations you’ll love. So what are you waiting for? Pull out those art supplies and let’s get decorating!

If you’ve already finished your Halloween preparations, there’s something for you too. Read on to discover the three things you need to know before submitting an offer on a house, as well as the best investment you can make during the first five years in your home.

 

Last Minute Halloween Decorations

Creating festive Halloween decorations doesn’t have to be super spooky or take a whole lot of time. Find fun, family-friendly ways to get your home ready for trick-or-treaters in record time below!

Chalkboard Pumpkins

Carving pumpkins takes a lot of time and preparation. This year, skip a few steps and apply a coat of chalkboard paint to the outside of your pumpkins instead. Chalkboard paint comes in classic black as well as plenty other fun colors, giving you room to be unique. After you’ve coated the pumpkin, wait until the paint dries then write a fun Halloween message or draw a pumpkin face on the surface with chalk. Make a mistake? Just erase it and try again.

Bring in the Great Outdoors

Fallen leaves, acorns, pinecones, and straw can all add a fun, festive air to your home. Check for bugs, then spread your finds across accent tables, put them in a decorative bowl, or make a wreath from them.

Leaf Ghosts

While you’ve got an armful of leaves, paint a few of the larger, stronger leaves white. Once the paint dries, use a black marker to draw a spooky face for a quick, easy ghost!

Mummify Your Door

Don’t wait for someone else to start the “trick” part of trick or treat. Start the season off a step ahead by TP-ing your front door! A few strips of toilet paper going from side to side on your door plus a couple of construction-paper pupils are all it takes to create a fun, mummy affect on your front door.

 

3 Things to Know Before You Make an Offer on a House

Buying a home is a goal most people share – it’s a great investment, a chance to build equity, and it offers a certain amount of stability that you don’t get as a renter. However, you have to find the right house first.

Set a Realistic Budget

Buying a home is a very long-term commitment. So before you start scrolling through listings or popping into open houses, you need to determine how much house you can realistically afford. Think about expenses that could come up in the next five to seven years and account for them in your housing budget. Your pets may need surgeries, your air conditioning unit may break down, and any number of other expenses may pop up. Set yourself up for success by setting a realistic housing budget for yourself – one that doesn’t exceed 28% of your gross income.

Get Your Money in Order

It takes years of work to get your credit and finances ready to buy a house. The buying process itself can go by in a flash. Be sure to have your money in order before you put in an offer. This will help prevent last minute disappointments caused by insufficient funds. Some things you may need to fund include inspections, earnest money, closing costs, and of course your down payment.

Don’t Skip Inspections

A common misconception people have is that putting in an offer means you’re going to buy the house. In reality, submitting an offer is usually just the first step toward deciding if you’ll buy. Before buying, you’ll still need to go through a lengthy inspections period to check for unseen problems. Although it can be tempting to speed up your sale by skipping inspections, it’s important to play it safe. Your inspectors will check for mold and pests, inspect the condition of the foundation and crawl spaces  they’ll even tell you if the slope of the yard could cause problems with flooding and erosion.

 

Best Investments for the First 5 Years in Your Home

Whether you plan to live in your house for the next 15-30 years or just the next 5-7 years, you’ll want it to feel like home. Some upgrades, remodels, and refurbishes with great bang for your buck are below!

Kitchen Remodel

Because the kitchen is the heart of the home, it’s one of the most important rooms for both you, and, if you ever sell, your future buyers. Remodeling your kitchen can make the whole house better. Some things you may consider updating include the cabinet doors, countertops, wallpaper/paint, and appliances.

Curb Appeal

Making your home and yard look appealing is a great step to take in your first five years. You’ll be happier with your house, and when you eventually sell, buyers will get a positive first impression of your property. Pressure washing, adding a fresh coat of paint, or putting up new siding can make a huge difference to the house overall. Planting some greenery on either side of a freshly painted door can also add to your curb appeal.

Go with Energy-Saving Options

Your washer, dryer, refrigerator, dishwasher, toilet, and even light bulbs can cause a higher than necessary power bill. Replacing non-energy-efficient appliances early will save you money down the road. You may also want to look into energy-efficient windows.

Before you can start investing in your home, you have to find it. If you or someone you know is ready to find their next home, give me a call!