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Local Spotlight: Dana's Show House


Local Spotlight: Dana's Show House

The holidays are right around the corner and as we all work to finish our shopping and find the perfect gifts, we thought it’d be a perfect time to spotlight a really sweet store here on the Island: Dana’s Show House. We just adore this shop and love that you can find everything there, from furniture and accessories to greeting cards, housewares, and beyond, which means shopping for others—or yourself—is a breeze!



The Holiday Advantage for Selling Your Home on Bainbridge Island

I’m always a little surprised that more people don’t take advantage of the holiday season to sell their Bainbridge Island home. The spring selling season may be the most popular, but there are a host of reasons why, for a home that is already market-ready, you might think twice about waiting to list it. 

Among the leading reasons that make this an especially advantageous time of year to sell a home is the financial motivation for some prospective buyers. Especially when an individual’s financial picture changes toward year’s end, a few prospective buyers find that the tax advantages of a purchase in the current year are reason enough to speed a sudden purchase. Classical supply and demand forces add another reason the decision to sell a home on Bainbridge Island now could be a good one. Since listing volumes taper off toward the end of the year, the choices are relatively few, increasing the value of each to motivated buyers. 

Experience tells us that the average holiday-season buyer does tend to be more highly motivated, if for no other reason than that they are choosing to house hunt over all the other activities the season calls for. In short, this is not the season for lookyloos. There is also the advantage that holiday decorations add. The emotional appeal of a well done (not overdone!) display can augment a home’s underlying curb appeal. Add to that the fact that all of us tend to be a bit more emotional during the holidays, and it wouldn’t be surprising to find buyers more flexible in what they are willing to bid. As every merchant has come to realize, the holidays are shopping days. 

For those who will be traveling for the holidays, rather than that being a reason to put off listing, those days can be ideal times to sell your home. The house will be unoccupied, clean and available for showings at any time of day—the perfect situation for turning the otherwise slow holiday season into a standout to those buyers who need a home now. 

I will be working throughout, so give me a call if selling your Bainbridge Island home is an idea that makes good sense. The more available you make your home during the holidays, the more likely you’ll find a buyer during this hectic time of year.



8 Ways to Get Your Home Ready for Thanksgiving

It's almost here! Check out these tips on how to prep your abode for the busy, food-centric holiday.

Thanksgiving is a welcome tradition, allowing friends and family to gather together and enjoy celebrating the holidays together. If you regularly host Thanksgiving you know that cooking, serving and cleaning up are massive tasks. So is preparing the home for houseguests. You can alleviate stress and mess by getting your home ready for the holidays and making sure your family and guests are safe in your home. 

1. Respect your sink 
Bones and vegetable peelings (and sometimes an errant fork) often become stuck in the disposal, causing a backup. Homeowners can alleviate all of these plumbing issues by not treating the garbage disposal like a garbage can. When preparing the meal, set out a large bowl for compost material (produce, food-soiled paper goods, coffee grounds, eggshells), regular garbage (animal skin, fat and bones), recycling (aluminum foil, paper, plastic and glass), and grease or oils. To easily dispose of grease simply drain it into a container with a lid and place it in the freezer until solid. When the grease is solid, pop it out into the garbage and clean the container. Read more about composting tips here. 

2. Schedule a plumber 
The day after Thanksgiving is the busiest day for plumbers. Why? Sink drains and garbage disposals become clogged with animal fat and grease and starchy foods like rice and pasta swell in the drain and cause a sticky mess for pipes. Add to that added houseguests and you could have a plumbing disaster waiting to happen. If you already have slow drains, have a plumber snake the line before Thanksgiving Day. 

3. Get ready for houseguests
If you have slow drains in the kitchen or bathroom, and are expecting houseguests, schedule a proactive plumbing appointment for a day or two prior the holiday. A licensed professional can inspect and snake problem areas and get them ready for the great deluge.   If you plan on having overnight guests, make sure your bathrooms are well stocked with supplies and set out a garbage can in plain site. This will remind guests to not flush objects down the toilet that don’t belong there. Ask guests to allow about 15 minutes between showers to ensure proper drainage of pipes as well as allow hot water to sufficiently warm up. 

4. Be mindful of younger (and older) guests 
Hosting Thanksgiving may involve having family and friends of all age groups. If you are expecting small children or toddlers on Thanksgiving, and it’s been awhile since you’ve had a baby in the house, make sure you go through your home on your hands and knees and “see” your home from a toddler’s point of view. Cover exposed outlets, place dangerous or breakable objects up high, and consider asking the parents to bring a temporary gate if you have stairs. Older guests may also have trouble in an unfamiliar setting. Remove tripping hazards on the floor and have enough clearance between furniture and in hallways. It’s okay to make a couple of rooms in your home “off limits” and simply store away objects that you think might be in the way. 

5. Get your tools ready 
Sharpen your knives prior to the holiday preparation time. Dull knives can slip, causing painful cuts. You can easily sharpen knives at home with an inexpensive tool or take them into a shop to have them professionally serviced.   If you haven’t done so already, have your major appliances serviced. This may sound excessive however, the months of November and December are when dishwashers, ovens, stoves, washers and dryers, heating units and generators are heavily used. Trying to get a repairperson to your home a day before Thanksgiving is difficult, so schedule your appointments as soon as possible. 

6. Mind your energy & water usage 
Thanksgiving is a day of heavy energy and water usage for homeowners. Even with the oven, stove and TV in overdrive, you can still conserve energy. Don’t open the oven to check on your meal; opening the oven lowers the temperature inside and makes the oven work harder to raise the temperature again. Use the correct size pan for the stove. Using a 6” pan for an 8” range can waste up to 40 percent of energy. Try not to overstuff your refrigerator. 

Not only is it unsafe for your food, your refrigerator will need to work extra hard to keep food at the ideal temperature. Unplug any appliances that you aren’t using so that “vampire” charges aren’t accumulating. Not sure if it’s better to use the dishwasher or wash dishes by hand? The answer depends greatly on your dishwasher model and how fast you can actually hand wash. Read this great comparison from Treehugger and decide for yourself.  Having low-flow toilets and shower heads can save you a lot of money on your water bill, this is especially important when you have a house full of guests. If you needed a reason to have your toilets upgraded, now is a great time. You can purchase the toilets yourself and hire a plumber to install them in a single day. 

7. Check smoke alarms 
Holiday cooking and baking, along with candles and the distraction that parties create, can accidentally create unintentional fires. Before Thanksgiving, test your smoke alarms and make sure they are functioning in all areas. Have a small kitchen fire extinguisher in plain site (so any guest can use it) as well as near the fireplace or any exposed flames.

8. Climb with safety 
Every year thousands of homeowners are sent to the emergency room after falling off a ladder. If you need to climb a ladder to clean your gutters or roof, or are trimming branches and hanging holiday lights, use caution. Always have another adult to help spot you or hold a ladder and if you are feeling unsafe, hire a pro who is expertly trained in ladder safety. 

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