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Author: Alice Kuder

Alice Ann Kuder is an author. Her most recent novel is "Since I Last Saw You." She is also a Realtor with Berkshire Hathaway Homeservices NW Real Estate in Seattle, Washington. Known as Seattle's Single Minded Realtor, she works a great deal with single buyers and sellers, primarily in West Seattle.
Winter Wander 2023 Memories

Winter Wander 2023 Memories

Winter Wander 2023 results

Now that the snowflakes have settled from this year’s Winter Wander Scavenger Hunt, I’d like to thank the 128 teams of West Seattle Wanderers who sneered at the rain and rejoiced in the sun to embrace the challenge.

Over the course of the 10 days, players scouted out 15 local businesses and 10 decorated homes to snap and submit 733 selfies! Altogether, Wanderers racked up 1,407 entries into the prize bag drawing.

Prize donations from local businesses filled four duffle bags with approximately $200 worth of merchandise in each one. The three lucky teams to win the duffles by means of random drawing are: Team Murray, Tata Tochter Time, and Puzzling Pete.

Many teams donated to the local food bank and Toys for Tots to earn extra entries into the prize drawing.

The $100 Grand Prize went to Paxton Phillips for earning the highest number of entries. He accumulated 81 points by solving all 25 clues, submitting a team selfie, and donating 23 cans of food.

This was the fourth year for the Winter Wander Scavenger Hunt. REALTOR® and owner of Just in Case, LLC, Alice Kuder, is the originator and orchestrator of this free annual event. She hopes it is already becoming a West Seattle holiday tradition for all community members to anticipate and enjoy. Winter Wander 2024 will run from December 6-15.

Many thanks to the volunteers who helped make Winter Wander a reality, including Randy Winn, Shelley Barouh, Dora-Faye Hendricks, Malu Santos, Robert Peckyno, Alyssa Granlund, Mic Christian, Laura Berkowitz, Nathan Rasmussen, Pam Phillips and the many community members who hosted yard signs in their front yards.

Following is a list of the 15 local businesses who enthusiastically participated in Winter Wander 2023 and the associated clues.

How many did you solve?

Clue: Feathered flyers daily roam, for carbs and coffee at this home

Solution: Birdhouse Coffee

Clue: Shop online, shop in store, consign your goods for sports galore

Solution: Second Gear Sports

Clue: Fine French pastry you will see at this Junction patisserie

Solution: Panterelli Patisserie

Clue: Surfing and cycling never stop at West Seattle’s oldest bike shop

Solution: Alki Bike and Board

Clue: We shall bake with gluten no more, at the sign of the aerial pinafore

Solution: Flying Apron Bakery and Cafe

Clue: Your morning drink, we will prepare, no need to stop and brush your hair

Solution: Bedhead Coffee

Clue: This Junction restaurant is sure to please, its haute cuisine is classic Lebanese

Solution: Phoenecia

Clue: If you don’t like your flab, and you want to get fit, then our awesome lab, is the place you should hit.

Solution: HIIT Lab

Clue: Looking to sell? Looking to buy? Her groovy clothes, are hip and fly

Solution: Funky Jane’s Consignment

Clue: Whether you’re a lefty or not, these guys will cut your hair right.

Solution: Southpaw Barber Shop

Clue: Roses are red, violets are blue, the lights on our cars are red and blue, too

Solution: SW Precinct, SPD

Clue: If you’re going round in circles, and you don’t have time to think, those funny shoes should clue you in, you’re at the  _ _ _ _ _ _   _ _ _ _

Solution: Southgate Roller Rink

Clue: Work at your own pace in our flexible office space

Solution: West Seattle Co-Working

Clue: For food and drink, when you want to go out, find the sign with the bird and umlaut

Solution:  Locol Kitchen and Bar

Clue: If on cider you are focused, head to Alki to the  _ _ _ _ _ _

Solution: Locust Cider

two women in front of a decorated house across from the old fire station on 35th Ave SW
They’re All Wanderers

They’re All Wanderers

What do Charlie’s Angels, Kraken the Clues, Taco Cat, The Holly Hunters and Super Squid Muffins all have in common? They are all among the 22 teams that have already signed up for the Winter Wander Scavenger Hunt! And that means that they have each already racked up 5 entries for the prize drawings. Register your team before noon on Dec. 1st and you can do the same. Go to  Winter Wander West Seattle The team with the most entries will win a $100 gift certificate to a local business of their choice!

Winter Wander 2023 Countdown

Winter Wander 2023 Countdown

Presented by Alice Kuder

Winter Wander is a FREE, LIVE, 10-DAY Adventure designed to bring friends and families together for holiday fun! Open to all West Seattle residents and their friends!

The West Seattle Winter Wander Scavenger Hunt is an annual event that begins the first Friday in December and runs through the second Sunday in December.

Registration is now open for 2023!

Register before noon on Dec. 5th to earn 5 extra entries into the prize drawings!

Countdown to Winter Wander 2023!

Protect Yourself from Scams

Protect Yourself from Scams

The following is from The Social Security Administration website.

On March 9, 2023, National Slam the Scam Day, and throughout the year, we give you the tools to recognize Social Security-related scams and stop scammers from stealing your money and personal information. Share scam information with your loved ones. Slam the Scam!

Recognize the four basic signs of a scam:

  1. Scammers pretend to be from a familiar organization or agency, like the Social Security Administration. They may email attachments with official-looking logos, seals, signatures, or pictures of employee credentials.
  2. Scammers mention a problem or a prize. They may say your Social Security number was involved in a crime or ask for personal information to process a benefit increase.
  3. Scammers pressure you to act immediately. They may threaten you with arrest or legal action.
  4. Scammers tell you to pay using a gift card, prepaid debit card, cryptocurrency, wire or money transfer, or by mailing cash. They may also tell you to transfer your money to a “safe” account.

Ignore scammers and report criminal behavior. Report Social Security-related scams to the SSA Office of the Inspector General (OIG).

Visit for more information and follow SSA OIG on FacebookTwitter, and LinkedIn to stay up to date on the latest scam tactics. Repost #SlamtheScam information on social media to keep your friends and family safe.

Click here to REPORT A SCAM

Building Wealth With Your Home

Building Wealth With Your Home

There are plenty of websites that will provide you with automated values for your home, but if you really want to leverage the equity in your home to build your personal wealth, you need more information. Knowledge is power.

Introducing Homebot. 

Homebot is a web-based tracking tool that delivers personalized, actionable insights to help you track and build wealth with your home. 

Access to Homebot is free, but it is only available through select real estate brokers and lenders. (see the links below

When you access Homebot, you get to choose how much information you want to give it to work with, e.g. the interest rate on your mortgage, or home improvements you’ve made. This kind of information greatly increases the accuracy of how your home contributes to your portfolio.

If you’d like to see how this free financial tool works, go to this website,, and type in your home address. If you like it, you can sign up to receive the free monthly tracking report.

At first, the Homebot landing page looks much like many of the other automated websites, but when you advance through the screens, you will start to see the superior power that Homebot provides.

Homebot for Sellers:

Homebot for buyers:

Questions? I’m always available to help. 206-708-9800

Coulda, Shoulda, Woulda Saved Money

Coulda, Shoulda, Woulda Saved Money

Hindsight is 20/20, right? I could have saved over $2,000 with a home warranty this past year.

If you are a homeowner and have been living in your home for several years, as I am, you may not have thought about investing in a home warranty, even if you had one when you first bought the home. I highly recommend you give it some consideration. Here’s why.

Just like people, houses don’t get any younger with age. The major systems (e.g. plumbing and electrical) and appliances start to wear out, even if you take good care of them. If you’re lucky, they don’t all fail at once, so you can absorb the costs of repair or replacement a little bit at a time. Purchasing a home warranty before things break down, can potentially save you quite a bit of money.

A home warranty is an annual service contract that covers the cost to repair or replace parts of home appliances and systems that break down over time. 

It is essentially an insurance policy, and like other insurance policies, they vary as to what is covered and how much they cost. The information I’m going to give you here is generalized, so if you decide to purchase a warranty, be sure that you carefully compare the coverages, particularly their limitations and exclusions.

Most warranty companies offer different levels of coverage at varying monthly fees, starting at around $35/month ($420/year). I might note that the websites I checked require you to request a quote before they show you their available plans. In part, this is because not every company serves all geographical areas (but mostly, I suspect, they just want your contact info).

I recently purchased coverage for my own home, which is a 1924 bungalow. I’m not going to name the company I chose, but one reason I chose them is because they don’t require inspection or maintenance records in order to purchase a plan or get service. This means that when my 10-year-old washer goes out, I will call the warranty company and pay them an additional service fee of $75-$125 (depending on the plan I chose) to send a service person to my home to assess the problem.

If they can’t repair the covered item, they will replace it or offer an alternative solution at no additional cost.

Ironically, in a conversation with my sister a few months ago, she mentioned that she expects that her furnace will go out in the next year or so. I suggested that she buy a home warranty so that she will be covered if/when it does fail. (Note: the warranty company may require a 30-day waiting period before coverage kicks in, otherwise people might wait to buy coverage until an appliance fails.)

Why it didn’t occur to me to take my own advice, I couldn’t say. Sure enough, last year I had to replace my water heater, my refrigerator and my chest freezer, which cost me close to $2,800. If I had invested in the home warranty at $35/m and $75/service call, I would have saved over $2,000! (Don’t think I’m not kicking myself.)

The moral of the story is, learn from my mistakes. If you have an older home/appliances, and can afford the extra $35/mo, give a home warranty serious consideration.

I Love Promoting Local Businesses

I Love Promoting Local Businesses

The following is from a direct mail newsletter I send my clients each month.

Starting this month (March, 2022), I am going to begin featuring one business from my “preferred vendor” list in each newsletter. These local vendors have earned their place on my list by providing quality service to clients of mine and/or my BHHS colleagues — service worthy of personal recommendation (i.e., they have not paid a promotional fee).

In honor of Women’s History Month, I am starting off with a woman-owned business. Amy Works, Inc. Her website says, ” We specialize in BATH, KITCHEN AND BASEMENT REMODELS and on building relationships with our customers.”

You can reach Amy and her team at 206-478-2019.

Here are more non-profit community resources: If you’re a parent in West Seattle who enjoys finding new outings close to home to do with your kids, this blog is for you. A website/hotline with information about where you can recycle all those hard-to-recycle items (like microwave ovens).

West Seattle podcasts: Here are three. There may be more.

West Seattle Chamber of Commerce:  Did you know you don’t need to own a business to join?

West Seattle Timebank:  WSTB enables neighbors to exchange skills and services for time credits rather than dollars.

Smart 911: Smart911 allows citizens to provide the additional details that 9-1-1 call takers may need in order to assist them during an emergency…even when you call from a cell phone!

Westside Baby: provides essential items to local children in need by collecting and distributing diapers, clothing, and equipment.

Mary’s Place: provides safe, inclusive shelter and services that support women, children and families on their journey out of homelessness.

If you know of any other local non-profits that deserve a shout-out, let me know via email or comments.

Winter Wander Scavenger Hunt Welcomed 24 Teams in 2021

Winter Wander Scavenger Hunt Welcomed 24 Teams in 2021

It’s been a little over a week since West Seattle scavengers checked off the last boxes on the clue sheet. You may be wondering why it has taken so long to see the results posted here. It’s because Winder Wander was so well-received that it has taken me all week to tally scores, label jpegs, retrieve yard signs, and notify the players.

Last year, 12 teams played Winter Wander and sent in 198 selfies. This year, 24 teams took part in the West Seattle scavenger hunt and sent in 466 selfies and several social media posts. 7 of the 24 teams solved all 25 clues.

The team of Rick & Morty, aka Steve and Charlie Bierman, (pictured below) solved all 25 clues AND were the big winners in the drawing for the $100 gift card!

Father & son selfie in front of house with inflatable snowperson in background
Grand prize drawing winners

The names and point totals for each of the Winter Wander scavenger hunt teams are listed below. The highest point total went to Charlie’s Angels. The youngest participant was 1-month-old, Lucy. Even though I made up a couple of the team names myself, I must admit that the one that tickled my fancy the most, was Sleighing It!

Team Murray: 55 points

Beyond the Disaster: 55 points

Go Gesings: 30 points

The Happy Travelers: 34 points

The Finding Falcons: 45 points

Viking and Milady: 7 points

Team Blitzen(berger): 47 points

Sleighing It!: 18 points

Louie, Louie: 47 points

Tinsel Trio: 53 points

Charlie’s Angels: 58 points

Rick & Morty: 56 points

Raining Cat & Dog: 38 points

Gill Family: 26 points

Laura Tyler: 50 points

Kim S.:50 points

Frosty Jingle Head: 43 points

Chunn Family: 46 points

Maria Wellington: 40 points

Victoria Wellington: 40 points

Lucy in the Sky with Snowflakes: 46 points

Mark & Kiarra: 10 points

The Long and Winding Lane: 50 points

Yay! Murdock: 10 points

Special thanks to the many volunteers who helped me plan and execute Winter Wander:

Randy Winn, Barb Joseph, Tammy Contreraz, Christian Jacobson, Dora-Faye Hendricks, Kathy Blackwell, Janine Michelsons, Randy Winn, John Sweetland, Kathy Mulady, Glenn Erickson, Jeff Keller, the Bui Family, the Ga/ Jacobs family, plus the West Seattle Blog.

Local businesses who played along, and albums of photos from their wanderers, are below:

Ampersand Cafe on Alki   Winter Wander 2021 photos-Ampersand

The Bridge  Winter Wander 2021 photos-The Bridge

C & P Coffee  Winter Wander 2021 photos-C&P

Cactus Alki Beach  Winter Wander 2021 photos-Cactus

Daystar Retirement Village  Winter Wander 2021 photos-Daystar

Fire Station #32  Winter Wander 2021 photos-FS #32

Fresh Flours Bakery    Winter Wander 2021 photos-Fresh Flours

HeartBeet Organic Superfoods Cafe  Winter Wander 2021 photos-HeartBeet

Husky Deli  Winter Wander 2021 photos-Husky Deli

Mountain to Sound Outfitters  Winter Wander 2021 photos-M2S

Pegasus Book Exchange  Winter Wander 2021 photos-Pegasus Books

Row House  Winter Wander 2021 photos-Row House

Salvadorean Bakery and Restaurant  Winter Wander 2021 photos-Salvadorean Bakery

Sea Pines Physical Therapy  Winter Wander 2021 photos-Sea Pines

Seattle Auto Licensing  Winter Wander 2021 photos-Auto Licensing

Clue: “Star Wars meets American Animation”-photos

I fully intend to make Winter Wander an annual event, and hopefully a West Seattle holiday tradition, as my way of giving back to the community I proudly call my home. Save the date now for the 3rd Annual Winter Wander: Dec. 2-11, 2022.

When I’m not busy planning scavenger hunts, I serve our community as a real estate broker, which enables me to sponsor events like Winter Wander. Referrals are the foundation of my business, so please consider calling me for a free consultation when it comes time for you or your friends to buy or sell a home.

Below are just a few of the 466 selfies submitted by Winter Wander 2021 participants.

Team: Beyond the Disaster
Kathy & Glenn plus Santa & a really big elf!
Victoria Wellington in front of Mountain to Sound Outfitters
Team: Yay! Murdock in front of Pegasus Book Exchange
Team: The Happy Travelers, aka The Wilkes

Winter Wander Coming Dec. 3-12, 2021

Winter Wander Coming Dec. 3-12, 2021

Wanderer poses near a row of candy canes
Candy canes galore!

Announcing Winter Wander 2021, a West Seattle Scavenger Hunt

A FREE, LIVE, 10-DAY Adventure

designed to bring friends and families together for holiday fun!

Here’s how to play:

Download the Bingo-style clue sheet, a map and an instruction sheet from the Winter Wander web page ( Each of the 25 squares gives a clue to the location of a local business or home.

Gather your teammates anytime between 5PM, Friday, Dec. 3rd to 7PM, Sunday, Dec. 12th, and start wandering around West Seattle with map and clue sheet in hand.

Search for as many or as few locations as you wish. Each time you identify a solution, take a selfie in front of it, send it to and then resume wandering.

Each selfie submitted earns an entry for a drawing to win a $100 gift card to local businesses. (Additional prizes will be awarded.)

More information under the “Winter Wander” tab at the top of the page.

Details for 2021 hunt

Winter Wander Winners!

Winter Wander Winners!

Congratulations to Terri C. of West Seattle! She, her husband and daughter did a great job of solving 13 Winter Wander clues and won the drawing for $200 in gift cards from local merchants. The businesses they chose are Northwest Art and Frame, Paper Boat Booksellers, Coastal Surf Boutique.

We had 12 groups submit a total of 193 selfies for the contest, and countless other groups who played just for fun!

Many thanks to the 15 neighborhood businesses and institutions who agreed to participate as solutions to our clues. We hope you will pay each of them a visit and express your gratitude as well. They are:

Wildwood Market

The Birdhouse

Seattle Fish Company

Cherry Consignment

A la Mode

Curious Kidstuff


Wing Stop


Vatsana’s Thai Restaurant

Leaps and Bounds

Paper Boat Books

Peel and Press

BedHead Coffee

Highland Park Improvement Club

Desmond Hansen Artwork

Seattle Fire Department Station #11

Mark your calendar now for the SECOND annual Winter Wander, which will take place Dec. 4-12, 2021.

Special thanks, as well, to The West Seattle Blog, for helping us promote this free, community event, sponsored by Alice Kuder, REALTOR® and Preparedness Coach with Just in Case.

4700 42nd Ave SW, Suite 600, Seattle, WA 98116