Good Neighbors Increase Your Property Value

It’s true. Having and being a good neighbor, translates into increased home values when it comes time to sell. Meanwhile, good neighbors increase your enjoyment of your home today.

I recently became aware of three free local community resources that might interest and benefit you. All three are web based and designed to encourage personal connections among neighbors. Each is run by volunteers with a goal of enabling neighbors to help one another, somewhat like the barn raising traditions of a bygone era.

The first is NextDoor.com.  Nextdoor describes itself as “a private social network” designed to “build stronger and safer neighborhoods.”  Members use the online network to communicate with each other about things like lost pets, recent break-ins, recommendations for  local tradespeople, and selling or giving away personal belongings. More info at: www.roxhillseattle.nextdoor.com

The second is Time Bank of West Seattle. At its most basic level, time banking is simply about spending an hour doing something for somebody in your community. That hour goes into your timebank account as one credit hour. You then have a credit hour to spend on having someone else do something for you. All hours are valued equally.  www.tops.timebanks.org

The third is a group within Facebook called Buy Nothing.  As the name implies, the objective of the group is to help members avoid buying things that others might already have but no longer want.  It’s a way to share our  communal wealth. There is no bartering, trading or selling. Members offer each other things they have and ask for things they need. Each “Buy Nothing” group is neighborhood specific (Westwood homes fall within the West Seattle-South grouping). Joining this closed group requires permission from the administrators but the only requirement is that you live within the geographic boundaries set for the group.  If you have a Facebook account, simply access it and in the search bar type in: Buy Nothing West Seattle (South). Or ask me to send you an invitation to join.

If you know of other valuable local resources, please post a comment or contact me and I will post about them in the future.

Do West Seattle restaurants welcome single diners?

single dinersI am a single adult, living alone in West Seattle (not counting my awesome canine companion, Tess).

First, let me say that being alone and being lonely are not at all the same in my book. In fact, they’re not even on the same page. But that is not what this post is about. It is about my frustration at being excluded from the benefits of most “dining out” coupons.

I recently received yet another coupon book in the mail filled with money-saving offers from local businesses. Six West Seattle restaurants offered discount coupons. Guess how many of them would benefit me if I chose to dine solo? None. Zippo. Zilch. Zero.

Every single offer (pun intended) required that I buy one full-priced meal in order to get a second one free or at a discount.  (Note: I am singling out West Seattle restaurants only because I live in West Seattle right now. Restaurants everywhere are guilty of this oversight.)

I don’t know whether I am the exception or the norm, but as a single person living by myself, I long ago abandoned any self-consciousness over eating alone in a restaurant or going solo to a movie theater.

Even so, there are definitely restaurants where I feel welcomed and others where I feel my business is undervalued and underappreciated.

Why should restaurant owners care about catering to singles? Don’t they make much more profit from tables of multiple diners? Consider this:

  • Singles tend to eat out more frequently.
  • Singles often take guests out to dinner and choose the restaurant based on their previous experiences there, whether dining alone or in tandem.
  • Singles talk; we recommend (or don’t) restaurants to friends and family both online and in person.

Here are a few of the things that contribute to the likelihood that I will frequent a particular eating establishment. (Only a few are specific to dining alone.)

  • I am welcomed promptly and politely
  • I am able to look over the menu before being seated
  • The menu includes “small plate” options
  • There is comfortable seating available at the bar or small tables
  • The eatery is clean and aesthetically pleasing
  • The food is good
  • The prices represent a good value
  • The server is prompt, knowledgeable and gracious
  • Neither the server nor management makes me feel rushed
  • Plenty of available parking or transit-friendly options

Am I missing anything that you look for? If so, I hope you will take a moment to comment below.

In the coming weeks, I plan to survey a number of the West Seattle restaurants listed on the award-winning, West Seattle Blog to find out what they do, if anything, to welcome single diners? I will publish the results here.

If you are a restaurant owner, particularly a West Seattle restaurant owner, I invite you to beat me to the punch. Comment on this post to let singles know what you do to accommodate us and show you value our patronage.

One final note. Although the coupon book I mentioned above did not contain any dining discounts suitable to singles, I have since seen one that did. One West Seattle restaurant, and one West Seattle restaurant only, included a coupon good for 15% off the entire bill. No stipulations that you must spend a minimum amount or purchase more than one entree. That restaurant is…drumroll, please! Bang Bar Thai Restaurant and Lounge located at 4750 California Ave. SW in West Seattle’s Alaska Junction. I have eaten there (sans coupon) and had a very good experience.

You see? We do talk! Restaurant owners would be wise to listen.

Single diners

 

 

New homes rising in West Seattle’s Westwood neighborhood

Reprinted from my December newsletter:

Another sign that we are easing out of the housing crisis is the spate of new homes being offered by Seattle-area builders. As lenders make more money available to builders, builders are more willing to speculate.  • You may have noticed that many older homes in Westwood are being purchased by developers who “scrape” the dilapidated structures and replace them with new construction. Most of the new homes are much larger than the older homes. As a result, we are seeing sale prices in the $400K-$500k range in our neighborhood. The average existing-home sale price in Westwood (homes built before 1950) is closer to $320K. Over time, this is likely to change the demographics of our neighborhood. It is also an indication that West Seattle’s  “east of 35th” vs. “west of 35th” mindset may be diminishing. Whether or not that has a positive impact on Westwood, remains to be seen. • Do you have an opinion about this? If so, please comment below.

I recently created a new Pinterest Board dedicated to home sales in the Westwood Neighborhood. Each month I will post info about the latest sales. You can access the board here: http://pinterest.com/aakuder/  The board is titled (not surprisingly) Westwood Home Sales.

This home at 7541 31st Ave SW sold for $535K on 10/30/12

This home at 7541 31st Ave SW sold for $535K on 10/30/12

 

Fauntleroy Open House, Sunday, Nov. 18, 2012

 

On Sunday, Nov. 18, 2012, from 1-4PM, I will be hosting an Open House at a custom built home near the Fauntleroy ferry dock in West Seattle.  This 1,840 sq. ft., 3 bedroom/2.75 bathroom home includes a Mother-in-Law unit, a 2-car garage, heated office space above the garage. Set well back from the road, the house abuts Fauntleroy Creek in back, providing a truly serene environment.

The address is 4616 SW Wildwood Place, Seattle, 98136. LIst price is $499,950. MLS #400222. For more photos and information go to: www.SingleMindedReal Estate.com/400222

As usual, I will be giving away coupons for a free ice cream cone from West Seattle’s own Husky Deli, so be sure to stop by and ask for yours.

Want to know about other Open House events in the area? Here’s a link: Open Houses

Are you ready to buy and want to tour select local listings? Give me a call at 206-708-9800 to schedule an appointment.

 

SummerFest Coloring Contest

School is out, or almost out, and you need activities to occupy young minds and hands, right?

Prudential Northwest Realty is sponsoring a kid’s coloring contest in conjunction with the West Seattle SummerFest. Download the PDF entry form here (also pictured below). You can either mail in the entry, drop it off at the Prudential Northwest Realty office (4700 42nd Ave SW, Suite 600) or bring it to SummerFest and drop it off at the Prudential booth across from Talarico’s Pizzaria (4718 California Ave SW) July 13-15, 2012.

This is a photo of one of last year’s winners. Looks kinda happy, doesn’t he?

Technically speaking, this is actually a drawing rather than a contest, because none of us at Prudential Northwest Realty Associates feels qualified to judge artwork. Since winners will be chosen by random drawing, every entry has an equal chance of winning a prize. Prizes are gift cards to various local businesses.

And don’t forget to mark your calendar for SummerFest, coming July 13-15. I will be staffing the Prudential Northwest Realty booth during the following times:

Friday, July 13th  10A-Noon and 2P-4P

Saturday, July 14th  Noon-2P and 4P-6P

Sunday, July 15th  11A-1P

Come visit me and see what goodies I’m giving away 🙂

 

Westwood Bungalow for Sale

Just listed this week! Cute, cute, cute 2 bedroom/1 bath 1928 home in the under-appreciated Westwood neighborhood of West Seattle! 8139 30th Ave SW, 98126. $259,500  MLS# 368850

This small and adorable home has been lovingly cared for and is in great condition. Crown molding, muted, designer colors, hardwood floors, granite countertops, low-maintenance landscaping… it’s all here. 720 sq. ft of living space, plus another 220 unfinished space in the basement for storage and doing laundry. Huge 7,860 sq. ft. lot with a poured foundation for a 2+ car garage or MIL unit. Plenty of room for an RV or boat or both, with easy alley access.

AND it’s in Westwood! If you don’t know about the Westwood neighborhood, you should. One of the best-kept-secrets in West Seattle, Westwood has nearly every amenity you could want. AND you will likely pay at least $20K LESS than you would for a comparable home on “the other side” of 35th! Ignoring outdated perceptions of the east side of 35th Ave can save you big bucks and provide you a great quality of life.

Here’s some of what you will find within a 2 mile radius of this great home.

Westwood Village Shopping Center; US Post Office; 4 public parks (including Lincoln Park on Lowman Beach and one brand new park one block south of the home); 1 indoor and 1 outdoor public pool; numerous restaurants; 2 community centers; brand new public tennis courts; health club; bus lines to downtown; public and private schools; South Seattle Community College; Longfellow Creek Trail; and more!

Questions? Call me at 206-708-9800.

Morgan Junction Community Festival: “the little festival that could”

During the summertime in Seattle you can find a festival on one street corner or another nearly every weekend. One of the smaller festivals is the Morgan Junction Community Festival, this year on Saturday, June 23rd from 10:30A-7P.

This is the 4th year in a row that I will have a booth at the festival with information about my group, Savvy Seattle Women: A Network for Homeowners and Aspiring Homeowners. I love the friendly, low-key atmosphere and the manageable crowd size. The center point for the Morgan Junction Community Festival is actually the intersection of California Ave SW and Fauntleroy Way. But you don’t need to avoid driving through the Junction during the festival — the powers-that-be don’t even shut down the intersection during the event! Cars, bicycles and people all co-exist harmoniously as we celebrate the neighborhood.

Vendor booths (also quite low-key) are located in the parking lot behind Zeeks, Feedback Lounge and Washington Federal. Activities for the kids are hosted in the Washington Federal parking lot and Morgan Junction Park. Live music provides a sound track from the Beveridge Place Pub Parking Lot. Then there is the progressive treat known as “Bite of Morgan” hosted at various eating establishments throughout the Junction. Just pick up your booklet full of coupons to get your free bites.

Mark your calendar now and make a note to come visit me at the festival. I’m sure to be giving away something good 🙂

More info at www.MorganJunction.org

Morgan Junction Community Festival

National Open House Weekend April 28 & 29, 2012

If you are out and about this weekend you may see any unusually large number of Open House signs decorating neighborhoods. The National Association of Realtors (NAR) is sponsoring their annual Nationwide Open House Event, making it easy for buyers to tour a large number of homes at one time.

Here’s where you can find a list of Open House events in your area.

Yes, I will be one of the agents holding an Open House from 1-4PM both Saturday and Sunday. Come visit me at 5661 Beach Drive SW in fabulous West Seattle! This $1.1 million home has 40 feet of waterfront, 4 bedrooms, 2.75 baths and 1,980 sq. ft. of living space.

If that isn’t enough to entice you, remember that I always give away coupons for handmade ice cream from West Seattle’s own Husky Deli!

Here are some fun facts and figures provided by NAR concerning this big Open House event.

West Seattle Open House today

Wow! Spring weather just doesn’t get any better than this in Seattle! I hope you are out enjoying it.

At the moment, I am hosting an Open House at 5919 36th Ave SW, in West Seattle’s Fairmount neighborhood. The accompanying photo is the view from the living room of this totally remodeled mid-century home. Weitzel Construction purchased this property and worked with architect, Veleta Witcraft, and turned the original 1958 design on it’s ear to create an amazing home that takes full advantage of natural light and the Sound and Mountain view. Listed at $729,000 by my Prudential Northwest Realty colleagues, The Johnson Team, it has 3 bedrooms, 2.25 baths, 2,620 square feet of living space on a 6,528 sq. ft. lot.

For more details and photos, visit my website: www.SingleMindedRealEstate.com/256135

OR, come see it in person! I will be here until 4PM today (Sat., 4/21) and again from 10A-1P tomorrow (Sun., 4/22). As always, I am giving away coupons for free ice cream from West Seattle’s own Husky Deli, located in Alaska Junction.

Want to know where to find out about other Open House events? Follow this link:  http://tinyurl.com/7089800

Whatever you do, enjoy this day to the best of your ability.

West Seattle Green Homes Tour

Looking for something fun and out-of-the-ordinary to do this weekend? Check out the Seattle 2012 Green Homes Tour, happening this Saturday and Sunday, April 21 & 22. And in particular, the West Seattle sites on the tour.

The award-winning West Seattle Blog has all the details, including a map of the five West Seattle sites, so grab your hat and a friend — maybe even the dog — and check it out!

Think that living green is costly? Discover how easy and inexpensive it can be to make your life and home a little greener. You’ll find lots of low-cost, easy-to-implement ideas on the tour. It’s free and self-guided.

Presented by Northwest EcoBuilding Guild.