christmas shopping spokane

Win Big and Support the Symphony at Christmas Tree Elegance

36th Annual Christmas Tree Elegance Event in Spokane

 

Christmas Tree Elegance was founded in 1983 by the Spokane Symphony Associates as a fundraiser for the Spokane Symphony. Today, this family-friendly event has won a place in Spokane Christmas tradition, and has grown into a 13-day event. Attendees travel from five states and Canada to participate and partake in Christmas Tree Elegance, and if you’ve ever seen the trees (and the prizes!), it’s no wonder why.

 

This year marks the 36th anniversary of the event, which opens on November 27th and runs through December 9th.

 

How it Works

 

There are 18 beautifully decorated trees located inside the Davenport Hotel and River Park Square during Christmas Tree Elegance. These decked-out trees have been sponsored by local and national businesses contributing to the fundraiser. Attendees of Christmas Tree Elegance don’t just come to see the trees, they come to win.

 

Raffle tickets are $1 each, and you can bid on as many trees as you want, as often as you want. But even better still, each tree comes with an additional gift basket/swag bag or cash prize. That would certainly help you deck the halls and line the stockings on your chimney!

 

The raffle drawing will be held and winners announced on December 9th.

 

The Charity

 

All proceeds from raffle ticket sales go to support the Spokane Symphony. All the trees and prizes are sponsored by local and national businesses, so you can bid confidently, knowing your funds really are going to support the arts in Spokane. Christmas Tree Elegance is the Spokane Symphony Associates’ biggest fundraising event of the year for the symphony, so grab the kids and some friends and take a stroll through the trees. And if you see something you like, buy a few raffle tickets and throw your name in the hat – you never know, it could be your lucky day!

 

The Real Estate Agent Spokane team of realtors is proudly sponsoring tree #12 at this year’s Christmas Tree Elegance. We believe in promoting arts and culture in Spokane as a celebration of the diversity and sophistication our city has to offer.

 

Meet the Team

 

The Real Estate Agent Spokane team is a part of Kestell Co Realtors, located in Spokane, Washington. We are full service realtors who handle all types of transactions from first time home buyers, investment property transactions, relocations to Spokane, and more.

 

Carrie Meyer is passionate about helping people relocate to Spokane. Having done so herself 15 years ago, she understands the struggles and stresses that come with moving from out of town and provides unique services to make the process as simple as possible. Carrie also specializes in new home builds and property purchases for those looking to live on acreage with an easy commute back into town, and gladly represents local transactions of any type.

 

Sandra Bachmeyer is highly skilled in downsizing transactions, specifically in dealing with the relocation of a parent or grandparent out of their home and into an assisted facility. Sandra has years of experience working in elder care and understands the delicate nuances of these types of transactions. She will work tirelessly to ensure that your loved one is treated with dignity and respect throughout the entire process.

 

Wendy Smith is a “jack of all trades” in real estate and is ready to help, no matter your transaction type. Wendy understands what it’s like to be a working mother, and strives to make your transaction as simple as possible. She is passionate about helping people find their dream home and sell their current home as quickly and profitably as possible.  

 

The Real Estate Agent Spokane team can be reached at (509) 868-1077, or full contact information can be found here.

Spokane This Fall – 4 Reasons to Love It!

Spokane is an amazing city to live in year round, but it is exceptionally magical in the fall. The changing of the leaves provides a gorgeous backdrop no matter what you’re doing. The crisp, cool autumn air signals the start of the holiday season festivities. Dust off your boots and grab and scarf, because you won’t want to miss our top four reasons to visit Spokane this fall!

 

The Changing of the Seasons

 

washington leafs

Fall brings the changing of the leaves outside of Sacred Heart hospital in Spokane, WA

 Spokane is part of the Inland Northwest (INW). The INW is known for its snowy winters, gorgeous summers, colorful falls and flourishing springs. If you’re looking for a full expression of all four seasons without the long, gray winters of the midwest and northwest coast, you can’t do better than Spokane. 

So grab a coffee from one of our local shops and take a midday stroll. Even a quick walk through the city will provide spectacular views of the changing of the leaves. Reds, oranges, and yellows shine brightly in the midday sun. Even as temperatures drop in Spokane, the sun continues to shine. What this means is that you’re less likely to experience a decline in mood during the fall and winter months. Get the culture of Seattle while leaving the endless gray days behind!

 

Fall Festivals 

 

Spokane has no shortage of fall festivals. Whether you’re looking for an adventure out with the kids or a fun date activity, Spokane has you covered. Here are a few things to do in Spokane this fall:

 

Greenbluff Farms Fall Harvest Festival 

spokane pumpkin patch

Be sure to check out the pumpkin patch at Greenbluff Farms this fall

Running from September 22nd through October 28th, the Fall Harvest Festival is the region’s biggest family-friendly event. The festival boasts a 5-acre corn maze, Pumpkin Land (and of course, their world-famous pumpkin donuts!), live music, food trucks, face painting, apple cider, and dining at the Country Kitchen, to name just a few. Take a peek at the Greenbluff Farms website for full details. 

 

Valleyfest 

 

ValleyFest takes place in the Spokane Valley and runs from September 21-23. This “multi-sport” event offers a diverse range of activities for the family. What do we mean by “diverse?” Well, ValleyFest is most notable for kicking off every year with a Bed Race down Sprague downtown in the Spokane Valley! Families decorate beds and literally race them box-car style down the street. It is one of the most unique events you’ll ever participate in, and bedfull of fun! Other offerings at ValleyFest include TotFest for the kids, a swing dancing competition, and several physical fitness activities, including a walk to raise money for Down’s Syndrome. Check out the full ValleyFest lineup on their website.  

 

Seriously Scary Halloween 

 

Maybe it’s the crisp air and the orange leaves that puts Spokane in such a festive mood. No matter the reason, our love of Halloween can’t be denied. Whether it is a trip to Scarywood or trick-or-treating at a neighborhood sponsored event, you’re guaranteed to have a great time.

 

Scarywood at Silverwood 

 

Featured on Travel Channel’s “Halloween’s Scariest Thrills” list, Scarywood at Silverwood Theme Park didn’t come to mess around. The even runs the entire month of October and is not meant for kids. Scarywood boasts 5 haunted attractions and 7 Scare Zones. Check out their website for full details, and be warned – Scarywood is not for the faint of heart!   

 

Arts & Culture

 

spokane symphone hogwarts

Don’t miss the Spokane Symphony’s Haunted Hallows on October 28, 2018.

Hogwarts at the Spokane Symphony 

The third annual Spokane Symphony Haunted Hallows performance is on October 28th. The Spokane Symphony will be performing the music of Harry Potter in all its magic and splendor. Truly an event for and about the fans, Haunted Hallows encourages cosplay and provides pre-concert activities, so be sure to show up early. The Spokane Symphony offers a matinee and evening performance, but tickets are limited. Learn more and buy tickets here.

 

Terrain 

 

Both a group and an event, Terrain is dedicated to local art. The group was founded in 2007 to help prevent the outward migration of local art talent. Terrain the Event is a celebration of those artists. This year’s event features over 500 works from 250 artists, including poets, filmmakers, painters, and performance artists. Learn more about Terrain here, and be sure to stop by the official event on October 5th. Bring your checkbook – art seen at Terrain is for sale and supports the local artists.

 

Ready to Learn More?

 

Thinking about visiting or relocating to Spokane? Fall is the perfect season to come see what we’re all about here. Be sure to take a look at our featured listings and check out the blog for more local insights. Contact me to schedule an appointment and begin your home search in Spokane. I specialize in relocation transactions and am prepared to answer your questions and assist throughout the long distance buying process. 

home renovations

Top 4 Home Renovations to Consider Before Selling in Spokane

Do I Need to Remodel Before I Sell My Home?

 

The need for costly renovations is one of the most common reasons people give for holding off on selling their house. It’s easy to assume that any improvement you make on your home will directly affect the resale price and lower the days on market. Unfortunately, this isn’t always true. In fact, among home sold in California, Oregon, and Washington in 2017, there were only four renovations that saw at least 100% of costs recouped in the resale on average, according to Remodeling.com.

 

Take a look at the most profitable home renovations in Washington last year:

 

Attic Insulation – This upgrade calls for a professional remodeler to airseal the attic to prevent air-conditioned air from escaping into unconditioned areas. Fiberglass loose-fill insulation is added until the insulation reaches the industry standard thickness.

Average Return on Investment in 2017: 122% of cost

 

home renovations

Replacing the garage door can boost resale values

Garage Door Replacement – The cost involved with replacing a garage door includes removal and disposal of the old door.

Purchasing and installing the new door makes up the remaining portion of the expense. Replacing the door typically includes a new insulated 4-section door with ½” insulated windows in the top row, new heavy-duty tracks with a lifetime warranty. Generally, the motor from the old door will be reused. 

Average Return on Investment in 2017: 110.8% of cost

 

sell my home spokane

Replacing vinyl siding with stone veneer can increase home values during the sale

Manufactured Stone Veneer – Adding a manufactured stone veneer to your house can dramatically change the way your house looks from the street. This renovation consists of removing the bottom ⅓ of vinyl from the street-facing side of your house and replacing it with manufactured stone. The trends on cost vs. value may be changing on this project in 2018, so price out your project and work with a well qualified realtor to decide if this project makes sense before listing your home in Spokane.

Average Return on Investment in 2017: 106.7% of cost

 

Replacing Entry Door (Steel) – Replacing a standard front door with a 20-gauge steel door can make a big difference on the resale price of your home. The entry door is the first part of your house that prospective buyers will actually interact with. It is important to make a good first impression! Steel entry doors are also safer and so increase the value and “sellability” of the home.

Average Return on Investment in 2017: 101.3% of cost

 

What it All Means

 

All of these renovations improve the “curb appeal” of the house, make it safer, and cheaper to

average days on market

Replacing cabinets and countertops can reduce the number of days on market when selling your home

upkeep. When deciding whether or not to move forward with a remodel, ask yourself  a couple of questions. Does this give my home more curb appeal? Will this project give me an edge over other available homes in the area? 

There are a few renovations that might be necessary in order to generate interest in your home. Things like kitchens and bathrooms might need to be remodeled to get buyers interested in your home. This will depend on market trends and competition in your neighborhood.

 

Ready to Talk About Listing Your Home in Spokane?

 

Don’t make assumptions about what projects need to be done before you can list your house in Spokane. Contact me today to review the market trends in your corner of Spokane. Let’s make a plan to get you the most money – and quickest sell time – for your home or property.

Spokane Hoopfest Brings Charity and Growth

 

What is Spokane Hoopfest?

 

Spokane Hoopfest is the largest 3-on-3 basketball tournament in the entire world. It takes place right here in Spokane every year during the last weekend of June. Hoopfest has nearly 30 years of history in Spokane, officially kicking off back in 1990. The very first Hoopfest featured 36 taped-off courts in Downtown Spokane; closing off streets in downtown for a basketball tournament was something that had never been done here before. Hoopfest was a wild success and has only grown in popularity since.

Today, Spokane Hoopfest boasts significantly bigger numbers. There are now over 6,000 teams competing each year on 450 courts in the streets of Downtown. In fact, there are so many courts that Hoopfest now takes over a whopping 45 blocks, completely closing down the area for two whole days! The games aren’t all that’s big about Hoopfest – the crowds are absolutely enormous. The annual draw of fans is over 225,000 people! Part of what makes Hoopfest so great is that it unites people of every race, religion, and socioeconomic status, bringing them together with their common love of the sport.

 

Hoopfest Gives Back in Spokane

 

Aside from being a ton of fun, Hoopfest is also a significant force for charity in Spokane. As a registered 501(c)3 tax-exempt charity, Hoopfest is in a good position to positively influence the local community. Since its inception in 1990, Hoopfest has built more than 30 local basketball courts and has donated over $1.6 million to charities in Spokane. Among the organizations to donated to are the Special Olympics, youth sports centers, local learning programs, and community centers. The Spokane Hoopfest Association even runs the Spokane AAU basketball league, a school- and community-outreach program designed to offer constructive and safe activities for local youth.

 

On top of all its charitable good deeds, Hoopfest is also a huge economic boon for the city. The 225,000 attendees come from not only all over the country, but from all over the world. Hoopfest has an economic impact for the Spokane of over $46 million in just two short days! It truly is the largest 3-on-3 basketball tournament on planet Earth.

 

Want to live where Hoopfest lives?

 

Check out our featured listings or contact me today to set up your custom home search.

DIY home improvement spokane

6 Reasons to Stop Renting & Buy a House

Why Rent in Spokane When You Can Buy?

If you’ve been renting an apartment in Spokane, it might be time to ditch escalating rent prices and invest in buying your own home. Qualifying for and finding a home might be easier than you’d expect, plus, there are some really cool perks that come with owning a home! Read on for our top six reasons to stop renting and buy a house today, then give me a call when you’re ready to start looking a real estate in the Spokane area.

1.) Finding Your Blank Canvas

Hands down, my personal favorite thing about owning a house is being able to change it. Think of a house like a Mr. Potato Head. You need a good solid potato body (foundation, pipes, beams) but everything else is mix and match! This is actually one of the biggest misconceptions that prospective home buyers have – they think they need to buy a house that already meets their interior design preferences, but you don’t! Spokane has a lot of beautiful, historic homes, but don’t turn your eye at those if you’re looking for a contemporary style. Those changes are easy to make! “Ugly,” old, or generally odd interiors (neon green paint, anyone?) are nothing more than a blank canvas, waiting to come to life for you. How cool is that?

DIY home improvement spokane

DIY projects are a great way to customize your new home

2.) Learning How to DIY

Whether you buy a “fixer-upper” or your dream home, you will always have at least something that needs to be changed. If you don’t believe me, just walk through a home improvement store on a Sunday. I dare you to not be inspired! Nope, you can’t do it. Not possible. There are so many amazing DIY alterations you can make to your new home. Wallpaper and paint, a new faucet on the bathtub, new countertops – the world is your oyster! As an added benefit, almost all hardware and home improvement stores around Spokane hold free classes to help you turn that vision into glorious reality.

3.) Having Space for Furbabies

One of the biggest reasons that first time home buyers give for buying is to accommodate their dog. Renting can be extremely difficult for dog and cat owners, as it often means increased rent prices or rejected applications. Breed restrictions can make it impossible for those with large breed pups to rent an apartment. Buying a house in Spokane allows dog owners to sidestep these obstacles and have the space they need to let Fido thrive.  

dog friendly housing spokane

Buy a house your dog can grow into!

4.) Entertaining is Easier

One of the biggest reasons why people get sick of living in an apartment is that you can hear EVERYTHING. Not only are you sharing walls on 3 sides, often you’re also sharing the ceiling and floor too. That’s a lot of shared walls, especially if you’re hoping to entertain without getting complaints from the neighbors. Owning your own space makes it so much easier to have friends over for the big game, or to host family holidays, or vacuum at 3:00am (no judgement).

5.) No More Fear of Increasing Rent Prices

Rent prices can increase on a yearly basis, so every time you have to renew your lease, you could be subject to higher prices. Not cool! Mortgages are a little different. With a fixed rate mortgage, your payment will stay the same over time, even if the value of your house increases. Pretty cool, right?

Disclaimer: mortgages are complicated and you should ALWAYS seek the advice and guidance of a licensed professional when making financial or mortgage decisions.

6.) Putting down roots, claiming a space

Finally, for many people, owning a home is a huge part of the process of putting down roots in Spokane. Buying a house is a great way to claim a space as your own; a place to begin. A place to call home is a beautiful place, indeed.

Carrie Meyer Spokane Realtor

Contact me to start your home search today!

 

Are you ready to stop renting and start enjoying the benefits of homeownership? Contact me today to get started! 

Living in Spokane is a Walk in the Park

Life in Spokane provides a unique city experience. Residents get to enjoy all the amenities of city life while never being more than a short drive from a park. Spokane’s parks truly define the city and the local community. Life in one of Spokane’s park neighborhoods has a charm you just can’t find elsewhere.

How did Spokane get so many parks?

The City of Spokane was actually built around the parks, rather than adding them as an afterthought years into development. This foresight was all thanks to Aubrey Lee White, President of the Spokane Board of Parks since its inception in 1907 (a seat he held for 15 years). White had returned to Spokane after working for parks departments in several major cities on the East Coast. While there, he saw cities struggle to fit parks into already developed areas almost as an afterthought. These efforts came at great cost and with much difficulty. White was certain Spokane could do it better, and he was right!

The “Lilac City” did steal a little bit of what the East Coast had to offer by bringing on the Olmsted Brothers. The Olmsted Brothers are the landscape architects responsible for New York’s famous Central Park. In fact, White commissioned the Olmsted Brothers to design almost all of Spokane’s parks. The Olmsted Master Plan outlined four major parks, five smaller parks, and multiple playfields. Their plan even included improvements to 10 previously designed parks. By 1913, most of these plans had already come to fruition.

According to the Spokane Parks & Rec website, “many of Spokane’s best-known parks, including Finch Arboretum, High Bridge, and Downriver Parks owe their existence to the Olmsted plan. Even pre-existing parks, including Manito Park, owe much of their aesthetic appeal to Olmsted suggestions.” Today, these parks remain a top priority for city members and city counsel alike. The parks are so important that even city building regulations are in place to protect the parks through limitations on building heights. Tall buildings would cast too many shadows across these beautiful outdoor spaces.

Real Estate Around the Parks

Because Spokane was built around its parks, real estate in the neighborhoods around Spokane’s most beautiful parks are in high demand. These neighborhoods often have their own cultural identities and form tight knit communities based on their local park.

Manito neighborhood on Spokane’s South Hill is one of the most coveted in the city. Residents can walk their dogs under the canopy of 100 year old trees lining their streets. Foodies can eat at numerous quant restaurants and coffee shops, and families can enjoy live music and movies in the park during the summer.

Coeur d’Alene Park sits at the center of the Browne’s Addition neighborhood in Spokane. Homeowners in Browne’s Addition cite the neighborhood’s walkability and park access as reasons to love the neighborhood. Browne’s Addition is known for its local restaurants and trendy nightlife scene.

Spokane’s Riverfront Park is one of the biggest tourist attractions in the city. Riverfront Park once hosted the Expo ‘74 World’s Fair. Today, the park sits front and center in downtown Spokane and hosts events like food truck festivals, yoga in the park, and more.

Interested in looking at real estate in Spokane around these beautiful park neighborhoods ? Contact me today to see what’s available in your dream neighborhood.

How to Use Comparable Sales to Price Your Home

 

Visit houselogic.com for more articles like this.

Copyright 2016 NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®

Own Your Own Home

Why Choose Spokane?

Why Call Spokane Home? Because It’s Where Happiness Lives!

It means “Children of the Sun.” It has been voted All-American City three times since 1975. Spokane is home to such a wide variety of events, if you’re not moving there, you should at least be visiting! Smack dab in the middle of mountain loveliness with the Spokane River running right through the center of town, Spokane is where families start, grow, and thrive.

Relocating to Spokane?
If you’re lucky enough to be relocating to Spokane, or are simply moving within the city, Read more

real estate agent spokane

Does Buying A House Make Cents?

Does Buying A House Make Cents?

Why Does Buying A House Make Cents?

Buying a Home Makes Cents and Sense
Why does buying a house make cents? Typically, houses increase in value. And, because your monthly mortgage is often based on a fixed-mortgage rate, you can enjoy peace of mind by knowing, month to month, what is expected of you in terms of cost. You can’t say the same about living in an apartment, when the cost to rent or lease can go up unexpectedly. Another huge financial benefit to owning a home is the fact that the interest, as well as the property tax segment of your mortgage, is a tax deduction.

Buy in an All American City
Home is where the heart is. It’s a saying that always rings true. And, for most people, “home” means a house in one of the most desirable Read more