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More Than Just Real Estate News
Winter Storm Emergency Prep – What to Have on Hand
Winter is coming. Every year, somewhere in the area, a big storm knocks out power for residents and businesses. Sometimes multiple and prolonged storms happen too.
The two greatest concerns you face in your home during winter storms are an ongoing loss of power and being snowed in by a freakish snowstorm, like the one we had a few years ago that dumped over a foot of snow on some places, and then came back with more a few days later. Remember that?
A third concern is getting stuck in your car during such a storm.
I always think about being prepared not just for my and my family’s sake, but because I want to be able to help others – friends and neighbors or just perfect strangers - who may have not been so lucky to be adequately prepared.
So make preparations now, so that you’re ready in case the storm comes for you this year.
Your car: Store these items in your car for winter
• Portable phone charger – in case your car dies or gets stranded, and you need to call for help and send your location
• Ice scraper
• Warm items – emergency blankets, hats, mittens, jackets, hand warmer packets
• Small snow shovel in case you need to dig your car out
• Bag of cat litter, sand, or salt – to place beneath your tires if you get stuck
• Jumper cables or a portable car charger
• Flashlight, reflectors and/or flares
• Basic tools - screwdrivers, pliers, etc
• Snow chains – and make sure you know how to use them
• Water and non-perishable foods like nuts, granola, crackers, jerky, and dried fruit
• First aid kit and emergency medication
• Toilet paper in a waterproof bag
• Battery powered NOAA weather radio
• A printed emergency contact list in case your phone dies
Your home: How to prepare your home for winter emergencies
Losing power for days or getting snowed in can lead to big problems if you aren’t prepared. And depending on who else lives in your home and their possible unique needs – including pets – you need to be able to provide the basics for survival for everyone.
In addition to several of the items listed for your car, this includes:
• Baby items
• Extra pet food
• Working carbon monoxide detector, especially if you are forced to use unconventional heating
• No-cook meal options
A great way to manage this is to prepare an emergency bag or other container. You can keep it in the garage or closet, or in a corner of your bedroom. That container can include many of the items on this list. Then, you won’t have to go searching around in the dark for everything.
Also, if heat becomes an issue, you have a few choices. First, just wear several layers of clothes. Second, keep everyone in the same room with the doors closed, and benefit from the extra body heat.
DO NOT bring your barbecue or generator inside. This can release carbon monoxide into your home. Carbon monoxide is deadly, and you can’t see it or smell it.
As for cooking, you can buy portable heaters, such as Coghlans. These are individual cans of semi-solid fuel that burn safely for a few hours. You can cook up a can of food with these, and even boil water in a small bowl, cup, or pan. Just be careful about where you place it when you use it. Have it on a firm, well-supported surface, clear of debris, and far from pets and small kids. While these are not supposed to create CO gas, it is best to use in a ventilated area, just in case.
Meet Me at Flourish – Childhaven’s First Live Gala in 3 Years
Every month I share something about Childhaven with you, because I believe so much in helping young children overcome abuse, neglect, effects of drugs, and other challenges that give them a really tough start to life.
Childhaven takes kids like this before they reach kindergarten, including infants, and does incredible work to change the life trajectory for each child into a healthy, positive one. Children come in heading toward a life of behavior problems, educational challenges, relational struggles, and mental health deficits. But after engaging with and learning from the caring, dedicated experts at Childhaven, their future looks entirely different.
I love this organization because it alters the direction these kids were headed, and gives them a chance at a better life.
That’s why I’m so excited Childhaven is holding their first in-person fundraising Gala – called Flourish – in three years. Weisbarth & Associates is the presenting sponsor.
I would love to see you there! If you have a heart for young kids and want to make a personal difference in the lives of children at Childhaven, this is a great opportunity. Come join my table, meet other people who share your concerns for children, give, and have a great time. Here’s the information:
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
2. Call me direct or pass on my number - 206.779.9808
3. Go to our website at Weisbarth.com/refer
The Shocking Mostly Normal Real Estate Market
Inventories are climbing. Sales are dropping. Interest rates are rising. The sky is… where it’s always been.
The last few years produced such an unusual real estate market that many people have forgotten how it used to be, way, way back in 2019. This is why we are seeing some serious overreactions in the media and elsewhere to what’s happening right now.
Here’s some data to put what’s happening in perspective.
Right now, the inventory of homes for sale in King, Snohomish, and Pierce counties is still 14% lower than it was at this time in 2019.
Was anyone in 2019 calling that a struggling real estate market? Were sellers panicking at not being able to sell? Were they worried about not selling for enough money? No, because it was a relatively normal sellers market, and had been similar to that for many years prior.
In the chart I compared the number of Homes for Sale vs the number of Closed Sales for single family homes (SFH) in King county, for the last 10 years. You can clearly see that, with the exception of 2020 and 2021 (market with red arrows), the number of homes for sale in September was always greater than the number of homes sold in September. By a LOT!
In fact, this should dispel any notion that the last had anything normal about it, and I’m not even talking about Covid.
This explains the very low inventory, the insane competition, buying frenzy, and the skyrocketing sales prices that we experienced in the last two years. All that craziness is finally dissipating, and we’re returning to how it was for many years prior to those two.
What does that mean for sellers? It means, forget the last two years! Ignore what your neighbors sold for. Price your home fairly – not too high. Do the work of preparing it for sale. Be prepared to do some negotiating.
In other words, do what everyone did in 2019 and for most of that decade. You will sell your home, make a decent profit, and be able to find your next home with relatively little trouble.
If you know someone who is looking to sell, share this newsletter with them. And while you’re at it, please refer them to us and tell them that we’ll give them the proper guidance and strategies to maximize their home sale.
Here are three ways to send us referrals:
1) Email me at email@example.com with your friend’s contact info
2) Call me directly, or pass my number on to them – 206-779-9808
3) Go to our website at Weisbarth.com/refer