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More Than Just Real Estate News
Deck Out Your Backyard for Summer Relaxation and Outdoor Fun
Most summers in Washington give us three to five months of great weather. This year might be a lost cause. But that makes this the perfect year to add a deck or upgrade your existing one. Because next year will probably be back to normal, and working outside in cooler weather is always better than scorching heat.
A deck is great for grilling, entertaining guests, relaxing outside, and sunbathing. Plus, wooden decks increase your home value so that you will recover most of your costs when you sell. Here are nine ideas for decks.
1. Beverage Station
For enclosed decks, add a beverage station to the outer edge. This will make it feel like an outdoor bar, where you can sit and take in your view while sipping and socializing.
2. Pergola Beautified
If you have overhead beams or a pergola, or want to add one, one of the benefits is that you can hang plants to create a more decorative, verdant experience. You can also hang lights and lanterns for a great feel in the evening. And because this is the northwest. You can also affix a decorative or draped tarp to the pergola to keep out the rain, as well as direct sunlight.
3. Fresh Coats
Even a small deck will seem larger with a simple fresh coat of paint, especially if that paint is the same color as the house. You can also use a wood preservative to keep the natural look of the wood while extending its healthy life.
4. Add a Deck to the Side Yard
Some side yards are sort of wasted space. But if you have a door exiting to the side yard, you may be able to add a small deck with a simple concrete foundation and short posts.
5. Add a Deck to a Corner
Some backyards also have wasted space. Sometimes there’s a corner or L-shaped area that could actually be the perfect place for a nice deck that blends with the house and gives you a place to retreat.
6. Keep the Tree
Have you wanted to add a deck, but don’t want to remove that big tree right where the deck should go? Then don’t! You can build a deck around a large tree and keep it as is. Just leave room around the trunk and for expected root growth, and the tree will preserve its beauty while providing natural shade when you’re outside in the warm summer days.
7. Optional Privacy and Escape from Sun
If you don’t have a tree or other natural barriers, but want the option of privacy or a way to keep out the sun, a simple solution might be to hang a roller shade in the right position. Then, when the sun is beating down but you want to be outside, just roll down the shade.
8. Patio Paver Transitions
Sometimes it’s hard to transition from an elevated deck to the rest of the backyard. Decorative patio pavers can solve this problem because they look great and provide that slight step up from the yard to the deck.
9. Add Furniture
Even for small decks, just add smaller, more compact furniture. And if you also keep other deck accents like plants to a minimum, your deck will still feel spacious while becoming a great place to relax outside and entertain your guests.
Restoring Emotional Health and Brain Development for Babies
Abuse, neglect, distress, and even the need to detox from drugs and alcohol are experienced by babies, even newborns. While it’s heartbreaking to imagine all that, Childhaven actively works to counteract the effects of trauma for infants. They have a special program for infants and babies, where two teachers work with up to six infants at a time, plus volunteer help.
The secret to this is in the routine, the environment, and the connection with a loving adult.
Childhaven workers use research-backed methods that activate the nervous system, develop the brain, facilitate eye-tracking, and meet the emotional and physical needs of babies, even those suffering through detox.
With frequent eye contact, lots of holding, and gentle touch, babies start to feel secure, and overcome the fight-or-flight survival hormones that are sometimes raging when they first arrive at Childhaven.
Negative experiences for babies and young kids can stunt brain development, says Todd George, a Childhaven program director, because they prevent their brains from completing connections between synapses – a process that is happening all the time with babies.
“It’s like taking a trip but never getting to your destination,” Todd explains. “You blow a flat tire and never get where you’re trying to go.”
By weaving together music, movement, and sensory experiences like rolling on bouncy balls or running a scarf over their bodies while playing peek-a-boo, Childhaven starts the process of building up babies’ brains and emotional security, one day at a time.
This is another reason why, for every home we sell, we donate a portion of the proceeds to Childhaven. To date, we have donated over $225,000 to this great organization.
Our donations to date for Childhaven!
Your business and referrals help
the kids at Childhaven
Through all of COVID-19 the Childhaven staff continues to care for every child, delivering counseling, developmental therapy, wrap-around
supports, home learning, meals, family meetings, and much more. Every referral you send our way helps the kids at Childhaven, because we donate a substantial portion of our income from every home sale to this amazing organization. If you know anyone considering buying or selling, you have three options:
1. Send an email with your referral’s name, phone and email to email@example.com
2. Call me direct or pass on my number - 206.779.9808
3. Go to our website at Weisbarth.com/refer
The Real Story Behind Recent Market News
Recent news had been warning of a cooling in the real estate market. But is it real? While there are some shifts that are taking place, I’m not sure that it is a ‘cooling’. Mostly what I’m sensing are temporary apprehensions by the buyers, fueled by a collection of worrying news that contribute to a mood of confusion and uncertainty. And, as the old saying goes: “a confused mind will do nothing!”
In the chart I track 10.5 years of data, starting January 2012. The GRAY line shows the combined number of closed single family home (SFH) sales each month in King and Snohomish counties. You can clearly see the seasonal pattern, with the peak sales around mid- to late spring, a second, smaller peak, in the fall, and the lowest number of sales at the beginning and the end of each year.
The ORANGE and BLUE lines show the average SFH prices in those counties, with the ORANGE line showing the period through the end of 2020, and the BLUE line showing the period starting in 2021 through June of this year.
During the ORANGE period, you can see that the market followed a relatively predictable appreciation, as shown by the DOTTED ORANGE straight line. However, starting around late 2020, the appreciation rate took a decidedly sharp turn upwards, depicted by the DOTTED BLUE straight line. This increase was fueled by the low interest rates and, more importantly, by the shifts in consumer behavior related to Covid. You can easily see how during the Q1 of both 2021 and 2022, SFHs experience very strong appreciation. But then in Q2-Q4 of 2021 the appreciation was much milder.
So, what will happen this year?
I think that Q1 appreciation this year was too strong and unsustainable. So, while we are likely to see some home prices coming down, overall, we’re likely to see a year-over-year continued appreciation. And for good reason!
You see, the two most fundamental forces that affect real estate prices, more than anything else, are ‘supply’ and ‘demand’. The relationship between these two forces, particularly in our area, had not changed in over a decade, and is not likely to change anytime soon. We still have way more buyer (demand) than we have seller (supply). And since people still need a good home to live in, when a good home come on the market, and if it is priced correctly, then the buyers show up.
So, hopefully we’ll see some of the market uncertainties dissipate in the next few months, which will help improve the buyer’s mood, and lift the buyers’ temporary apprehensions. The smart sellers will recognize that even if they don’t get to sell their homes as quickly and easily as their neighbors did, they are still going to sell their homes for a lot of money.