spokane cocktail bars

The BEST Places to Share a Drink in Spokane This Holiday Season

The holiday season is a beautiful time in Spokane. The air is crisp, the scenery is snow-kissed, and your calendar is stuffed tighter with seasonal activities than a stocking after Santa swings by. 

But if you’re looking to slow things down a bit, grab a drink, and catch up with friends and family visiting from out of town, be sure to check out this month’s Best Places list – The Best Places to Share a Drink Over the Holidays:

 

The Peacock Room at the Davenport Hotel

 

The Davenport is one of Spokane’s most iconic landmarks, and makes a nice little treat, whether you’re in town visiting or you live here full time. During the holiday season, the Davenport is home to the much-anticipated Christmas Tree Elegance event each year. As you wander through the spectacular trees and bid on your favorites, be sure to keep a few bucks in your pocket to stop by the Peacock Room inside the Davenport.

 

Known equally for its breathtaking ambiance and mouth watering menu, the Peacock Room is a must try. Rest your weary bones under the namesake peacock stained glass ceiling. Be sure to order a peppermint and chocolate martini to cap off the perfect holiday excursion.

 

Find out more at: https://www.facebook.com/StayDavenport/

 

Bistango’s Martini Lounge

 

spokane cocktail barsThe ambiance of Bistango’s warrants a trip in, even if the drinks weren’t incredible (but don’t worry, they are). Enjoy table seating in front of floor to ceiling windows looking out over downtown, or find your spot up at the bar. Black and copper designs in the bar top provide an elegant but warm feel, and candle lighting brings the effect home. If you prefer, warm up with a special someone in one of the red leather booths and look up into the synthetic starlight ceiling.

 

As for drinks, this is the best place to find unique holiday cocktails. Try one of their four signature holiday drinks, including the White Chocolate Peppermint Martini, the Red Velvet Martini (colored by a Bistango’s special secret sauce), Mrs. Claus (a vodka based eggnog drink with caramel), and the Spanish Coffee. 

unique cocktails

Bistango’s Spanish Coffee

 

If you want to impress your friends with a spectacular show, the Spanish Coffee is the way to go. They start with 151 and light it on fire – from here, your bartender will add seasoning and spices to create a colorful pyrotechnic display, finally ending by topping it off with hot coffee. The drink is served with a “burnt” raw sugar lip for a sweet but delicate finish.

Wanna see what we mean? 

 

Find out more at: https://www.facebook.com/BistangoMartini/

 

 

Brandywine

 

If you’re looking to warm up with something a little more classic, Brandywine has got what you need. High up on the list of recommended drinks to try are the Port Old Fashioned and the Mulled Wine. While neither is a model of holiday beverage stereotypes, both will hit you right during the cold winter evenings. At Brandywine you’ll find people serious about wine and wine culture, in a welcoming and comfortable environment. It’s the perfect spot to grab a friend, grab a drink, and catch up together.

 

One of the coolest things about Brandywine is that they’ve always got something going on. Check out one of their Sips With Sommeliers events, or swing by to check out their Happy Hour specials. 

 

Find out more at: https://www.facebook.com/BrandywineBarandBottleshop/

 

291 Brewhouse 

 

Located in Nine Mile Falls, 291 Brewhouse is a great spot for sitting around with family on a cold day. Serving everything from a full coffee menu to wine, beer, and mimosas, the Brewhouse has a little bit of exactly what you’re looking for. They have a rotating beer menu and seasonal coffee drinks, making this a great spot to hang out whether you drink alcohol or not.

 

What makes 291 a great place to check out over the holidays is their calendar of events. If you’re looking for a great activity to sit and do together with a friend, RSVP for their Wine and Wreath event. Want to make a great gift for someone special (or a new decoration for your own house)? Sign up for the “Merry Christmas” Round Wood Sign Painting event. They also have live music, super cool merch, and wine by the bottle. 

 

Even for those who are a little less “hands on,” 291 Brewhouse provides a comfy ambience, high quality food, and always has the game playing on a big screen tv. 

 

Find out more at: https://www.facebook.com/291brewhouse/

 

Explore Spokane with the Real Estate Agent Spokane Team!

It’s a great time to buy a home in Spokane! Whether you’re looking for the perfect kitchen, a walkable neighborhood, great restaurant choices, or the best schools, we can help you find just the spot! Contact the Real Estate Agent Spokane Team today to set up a custom search and learn more about Spokane’s diverse land and housing offerings.

Carrie Meyer, leader of the Real Estate Agent Spokane team, is passionate about Spokane, its history, and your future. She specializes in relocation transactions, and helps locals find their perfect home. Carrie has over 30 years’ experience as a Certified Legal Assistant (paralegal) and is an expert at contracts and negotiations. 

Start your home search now, or contact us at (509) 774-4060 to learn more about the area and our team! You can also visit us at RealEstateAgentSpokane.com

 

camping spokane

5 Benefits to Getting Outdoors

where to hike spokane

There are so many benefits to getting outdoors, connecting with nature, and leaving the computer behind. Here are 5 benefits to getting outside, and where to do it in Spokane. Follow us at facebook.com/realestateagentspokane for more awesome things to do in the Lilac City.

how to save for a down payment

8 Simple Steps to Saving Up Your Down Payment

how to save money

Saving is Hard. Here’s How to Make it Easier.

Buying a home is considered by many to be the single greatest financial investment that you can make, and the quickest way to amasse financial wealth. For years, Millennials lagged behind the averages for older generations in home ownership, when they were at the same age. This is due at least in part to bad luck – Millennials entered the job market with thousands in student loan debt, right as the country swung into the Great Recession. This poor timing left many Millennials earning less than Gen Xers and Boomers were at the same age, and carrying significantly more debt from wildly ballooning tuition prices.

But the failure to buy real estate also stems from lifestyle choices. Millennials are getting married later and having fewer children overall, which historically have been the two biggest reasons for buying a house. Today, the number one reason cited by Millennials for buying a house is to have a bigger space and a yard for their dog(s).

Thanks to a stable economy and continued job growth, the number of Millennials purchasing homes is on the rise. For a growing number of first-time homebuyers, regardless of age, the most daunting part of buying a house is the downpayment. In many cases, there is a lack of information about how down payments work, or a flat-out misunderstanding. It’s hard to save up for something you don’t even understand!

So, what is a down payment, and how much does it cost? A down payment is an amount that you pay towards the house, as collateral on the loan. This payment is usually represented as a percentage of the total purchase price of the home. Most people think they need to have 20% of the purchase price saved for the down payment, but in many cases, this is not correct.

In fact, down payments can range from 3.5% up to 20%. The reason that the 20% down payment number is repeated so frequently is that it is the amount you have to put down to avoid paying mortgage insurance (a small fee that is rolled into your monthly payment that protects the lender in the transaction). The type of loan you take out will play a big part in your down payment. For instance, an FHA loan may only ask for 3.5% down (but will require mortgage insurance), while a conventional loan might require 20% but not need mortgage insurance. Both FHA and conventional loans can range from 3.5% – 20% down payment requirements, and anything under 20% will require mortgage insurance, regardless of loan type. We strongly recommend that you consult with a mortgage broker to learn more about what to expect for your down payment.saving money

Try These 8 Simple Steps to Save Up Your Down Payment:

 

  1. MAKE A BUDGET: A realistic and thorough budget should be your first step whenever trying to save money. It’s difficult to save when you don’t know where your money is going in the first place! Free apps like Mint will connect to your accounts and give you a detailed look at where your money goes, and make it simple to set budgets.
  2. SET A REALISTIC SAVINGS GOAL: Once you understand your spending and create a budget to stay within your means and goals, you’ll be able to figure out how much money you can reasonable save on a weekly or monthly basis. Based on your budget, figure out where you can cut back on spending (like eating out three times a week instead of four, brewing your coffee at home, or cancelling that gym membership you haven’t used for the last 6 months – no judgement). Don’t plan on saving $500 a month when you can only consistently save $200. Creating unrealistic goals is a great way to fail. Slow and steady wins the race!
  3. GET PREQUALIFIED: Prequalification is crucial in the home buying process. Many mortgage brokers allow you to prequalify on their website, before you ever pick up the phone to call them. You fill out a short application to find out a.) if you qualify, and b.) for what amount. This way, you’ll have a better idea of what kind of loan you’ll be using and how much house you can afford. Once you know that, you’ll know how big of a down payment you should be expecting to make.
  4. LOOK INTO HIGH-YIELD SAVINGS ACCOUNTS: Once you establish a budget, determine a realistic savings goal each month, and find out how much you prequalify for, you’re going to want to get the most bang for your buck when you’re saving. High-yield savings accounts generally pay a higher rate of interest than a traditional savings account. Check your local Credit Unions, which typically offer a variety of options for savings. As an added benefit, when your savings is housed at a different bank than your main checking account, it’s harder to access and spend frivolously.
  5. LOOK INTO A CERTIFICATE OF DEPOSIT (CD) ACCOUNT: Certificates of Deposits, commonly called CDs, pay out higher interest rates in exchange for leaving the funds untouched for a period of time (typically six months to a year). This is a great option once you’ve saved up a chunk of money, and know you won’t need to access it for at least six months. If you’re hoping to buy a house in the next 3-6 months, stick to the high-yield savings. If you’re playing the long game and are saving for something 6 months to a year (or longer) from now, a CD might be a good choice.
  6. READ UP ON YOUR 401(K) AND IRA: If you’ve been contributing to a 401(k) savings plan, or if you have an IRA, you might be in luck. Many 401(k) plans allow you to withdraw funds for the purchase of a home without paying a penalty. Check with your 401(k) provider to find out the specifics of your plan and any potential penalties. If you are a first time home buyer, let your provider know – they may have different rules or waive penalties to aid first time home buyers. This is especially common with IRAs.
  7. RESEARCH DOWN PAYMENT ASSISTANCE PROGRAMS: Don’t overlook the potential benefit of down payment assistance programs. These programs are designed to help buyers overcome the hurdle of saving up a chunk of cash for their down payment. Most programs are geared toward first time home buyers, and typically have a maximum household income cap. These programs usually come in two forms: a grant that gifts the funds the to recipient, with no repayment ever; or as a deferred loan. There are a variety of programs available in Spokane with different requirements and assistance offerings.
  8. STICK TO THE PLAN: However you choose to save your money, make a plan and stick with it! Slow but consistent saving will beat out erratic and unsustainable savings plans every time. Don’t lose sight of the goal; you’ll be scheduling movers before you know it!

Buying Your First Home in Spokane

spokane realtorBuying your first home is exciting and a bit intimidating! That’s why we specialize in helping first time home buyers find and fund their dream house in Spokane. We understand that buying a home is more than a big transaction – it’s a huge milestone, too. To guide our clients through the process, we focus on education and support; we want you to feel empowered to make a great decision.

Carrie Meyer, leader and head Realtor of the Real Estate Agent Spokane Team, is registered with the Washington Association of Realtors, the Spokane Association of Realtors (SAR), and has been a certified Paralegal for over 30 years. She is an expert at writing, negotiating, and explaining real estate contracts. Contact Carrie today at (509) 868-1077 to start searching for your home in Spokane!