Real Estate & Community News

Oct. 15, 2021

Popular Seattle Neighborhoods for Families

Seattle is Washington state's biggest city, and its location and surrounding areas can offer a lot for anyone looking to relocate here. It is surrounded by water, numerous parks, mountains, and forests. There are many areas to choose from, depending on your priorities. Since Seattle is a bustling city with a large population, perhaps the most popular Seattle neighborhoods for families will be outside the city center. However, if you are looking for a vibrant and dynamic lifestyle, the downtown area will absolutely not disappoint. Whatever the case is for your family, there is plenty to choose from in this amazing city.

 Is Seattle a family-friendly city?

This city is as family-friendly as they get. It has top-notch schools, abundant cultural activities, museums, and the amazing outdoors for nature lovers. Whether you wish to live in the city center or prefer the suburbs, Seattle has an abundance to offer to any family.

  1. Your kids would surely love to visit the iconic landmark of Seattle, the Space Needle.
  2. In addition to that, The Woodland Park Zoo offers great fun for the little ones as well as adults.


  1. Don't forget the Seattle Great Wheel, or for the more exploratory ones, take your kids to the playground called Artist at Play. Here they can have an interactive outdoor adventure they will never forget.

Downtown or the suburbs?

You might be wondering which part of Seattle is better suited for you and your family. You may be used to living in a big city and are drawn to the hustle and bustle of the very center. Or you may prefer to stay away from the crowds and settle down in a quiet, low-key neighborhood. Seattle has you covered, whatever your preferences are. This city's position is so perfect that it offers a bit of everything to everyone.

       Living in the suburbs of Seattle

The suburbs seem to be popular nowadays, and people are motivated to move due to the current changes in the world. Most families prefer to be away from the crowds. Luckily, Seattle's suburbs are pretty close to the city and very easily accessible so that you will not miss out on all the cultural goings-on. On the other hand, if you prefer to stay away altogether, your suburb will offer everything you could possibly need for a fulfilled life.

       Downtown Seattle

The suburbs might sound very inviting, but perhaps your job requires you to live in the city center. If you work long hours, it may not be ideal for you to commute every single day. Living downtown offers its own perks. Everything you could possibly need is at your doorstep, any time of day or night. This bustling city offers world-class restaurants, museums and galleries, theatres, nightlife, the famous farmers market, and some incredible parks.


The best Seattle neighborhoods for Families


This is one of the best places to live in Washington. It offers an urban feel away from the crowds and is home to very highly rated public schools. Being within Seattle's metro area, it is a short commute to downtown. Though Redmond is on the pricier end of the spectrum, it has no business or personal income tax. This area is also very bike-friendly, thus reducing pollution and offering a healthier lifestyle.

Mercer Island

If living in the middle of Lake Washington sounds appealing to you, this is the place to be. If your family likes to be close to the water and take daily boat rides, what could be better? The beautiful nature will surely inspire you, and you will be just a quick ride away from Seattle.


The natural beauty of this neighborhood is breathtaking. You can be near the gorgeous Sammamish lake surrounded by trees and green surfaces. Most homes are newly built, and the area is one of the fastest-growing. If you are a first-time home buyer, it will be a great investment for you and your family.


Voted one of the best suburbs to live in Washington. It is right across Lake Washington from Seattle. The public schools are highly ranked, and it offers an array of restaurants and parks for the residents. It is a perfect balance between urban life and nature. Bellevue is a diverse, safe, and inclusive place to live. It is also home to one of Seattle's best ice cream shops, which is undeniably a big plus for the little ones.

Hiring a moving company in Seattle

If you are planning to move to Seattle or the neighboring area, do not do it on your own. Some of the best local experts can assist you with moving all your possessions without breaking a sweat. Packing by yourself, carrying all the heavy boxes, and transporting everything can be quite challenging. Hiring movers to do this for you will give you more time to focus on the many other aspects of your move. It will also provide you with peace of mind knowing that all your fragile and valuable things are safely transported to the final destination.

Choosing the best option

There are many wonderful options for family life in Washington state. None of these popular Seattle neighborhoods lack cultural activities, fine dining, coffee shops, natural beauties, and all the activities that your family might enjoy. You pretty much cannot go wrong with whatever option you go for. There is something amazing for everyone to discover in this awesome city and the surrounding neighborhoods.


Posted in Community News
Oct. 12, 2021

King County Market Statistics

Here are the latest King County Real Estate market statistics. Questions about where this market is headed? Contact us at 206-462-4444 or

King County Market Statistics by Cate Ellis

Posted in Real Estate News
Sept. 28, 2021

Early October is the Sweet Spot for Buyers

Early October is the Sweet Spot for Buyers | MyKCM

Are you looking to buy a home? If so, we’ve got good news for you.

While there’s no denying the housing market is having a great year, many of the headlines are focused on the perks for sellers. But what about buyers today? As a buyer, you’re likely braving bidding wars and weighing low mortgage rates versus price appreciation as you search for your dream home. If you find yourself a bit discouraged, hear this: there are clear signs buyers may have more opportunities this fall.

According to realtor.comthe sweet spot for buyers is just around the corner. In a recent study, experts analyzed housing market trends by looking at data from the past several years. When applied to the current market, experts determined the ideal week to buy a home this year. The research says:

Nationally, the best time to buy in 2021 is the week of October 3-9. This week historically has shown the best balance of market conditions that favor buyers.”

So, what’s that mean for you? If you’re looking to buy a home, there’s a golden window of opportunity coming. Here’s what you can expect from that week.

Increased Housing Supply

The number of homes available for sale should increase. According to, you can expect to see more new listings come to market the week of October 3. The findings estimate we’ll see roughly 17.6% more homes available than we saw at the start of the year.

This means you’ll have more options to choose from which should be a welcome relief in a market with tight housing supply.

Fewer Bidding Wars

With more homes available, you should also see a slight decline in the number of bidding wars. Having more options means buyers may not be competing as intensely for the homes on the market because there are more choices to go around.

This means when you write an offer, you may have less competition and a better chance of being the top bid. Just remember, it’s still important to come in with a strong offer.

Adjusted Homes Prices

As we move into the end of the year, the findings from note this week may also be one of the peak weeks for price reductions in 2021. Historically the data shows an average of 7.0% of homes have a price reduction that week. Why? When housing supply ticks up, sellers need to look for other ways to make their house stand out.

This means, while home prices are still appreciating overall, you may see some homes with price adjustments from eager sellers. The process of closing a house takes time. To close before end of year, sellers may be more motivated this October.

Bottom Line

If you’re in the market for a home, don’t lose steam now. Data shows early October may give you the long-awaited opportunity to find the home of your dreams. Let’s connect so you have a trusted ally and advisor to help keep you motivated so you can find the perfect home for you.

Posted in Buying a Home
Sept. 21, 2021

Effective Tips for Minimalist Home Staging

When it comes to putting your house on the market, preparation and staging can be essential. A good presentation can make or break the sale. It can significantly increase the value of your home and help sell it quickly. While upgrades to exterior appeal can be beneficial, the interiors are always the biggest selling point. Furthermore, most buyers today browse for homes online, making a home's web appeal equally as vital as its curb appeal. That's why, in this article, we will go over some effective tips for minimalist home staging that will help you sell your home faster!

What exactly is home staging?

If you want to draw buyers, you must stage your home before putting it on the market. This entails decluttering, moving furniture, and altering a few items to make it more appealing to buyers. Simple steps like that can help you sell your home much faster. The good news is that if you still have your own furnishings in the house, you won't have to spend a lot of money on professional staging. Staging essentially includes all of the enjoyable aspects of redecorating while avoiding the complex parts of the renovation. You're not going to be painting, tiling, or demolishing anything today.

Why opt for minimalist home staging?

When staging a home for sale, the goal is to appeal to the broadest possible buyer base. A neutral canvas will achieve that purpose by emphasizing universally appealing aspects while downplaying the homeowner's unique style. Potential buyers will be able to visualize themselves living in the home's areas far more easily. This is when minimalism comes into play. Editing down is at the heart of minimalist home staging. Suppose your house is crammed with family photos and personal items. In that case, potential buyers will have a more difficult time envisioning it as their future home.

Tips for minimalist home staging

Now that we explained what home staging is and why you should definitely do it, let's get into how to stage your home in a minimalist way. Some of these ways will be minimal and won't require much effort on your side. However, some may require more of your time.


The first step in minimalist home staging is to begin with a blank canvas. First, completely declutter your house. Throw away the stuff you never use and place all your non-essential items in storage. Donate what you feel is right. If you're going to be moving soon, you might as well start minimizing your belongings now.


Keep it simple

Taking a minimalistic approach to home staging entails keeping everything as plain and streamlined as possible. This includes furnishings. Choose only a few essential pieces for each area, such as a sofa and loveseat in the living room. Remove any excess items like end tables, accent chairs, and bookshelves. Avoid pieces with fringe, frills, or busy designs if at all feasible. Instead, choose furniture with clean, modern lines.

Add some life into your home

Plants are a crucial feature to include when preparing your home for sale. Natural, living components elicit a pleasant response in people. Green plants are not only beautiful, but they also purify the air. However, if you don't have real plants - don't worry. You can always buy fake ones and get the same effect. No matter if they're real or fake, plants will breathe life into your home and brighten up the place significantly.

Use natural light

Natural light is used to create a warm environment that highlights natural beauty in minimalism. When it comes to minimalist home staging, make sure that your staging efforts do not obscure the windows. Remove the drapes and blinds and leave the windows open. The additional natural light will create a welcoming, fresh environment and keep the property from feeling crowded and stale. It will also provide prospective buyers with a detailed look into the home.


Leave it a little lived-in

Although it is necessary to keep clutter to a minimum, you do not want to get rid of everything in your home for fear of making it appear too sterile. Sterile houses can make potential buyers feel like the place is unlivable or even hostile. That's why you should find the perfect balance of simple and lived-in by reinstating a few personality-infusing touches. This is the key to making your house feel more homey and cozy. It's what will make your potential buyers feel like they're the one that could be living in your home. Fresh local produce on display and vases packed with in-season flowers should suffice.

Staging before moving day

If you're still living in the house you're putting on the market, it might be difficult to always have your home look perfectly staged. However, by simply cleaning and decluttering regularly, your home will always look ready to be bought. Don't forget to always keep your personal belongings out of the way in case any potential buyers pop up. And then, once you've sold the house, you can go straight to browsing the mover database at Best Cross Country Movers and planning your moving day without ever worrying about minimalist staging again.


Final thoughts

It is not necessary to spend a lot of money on minimalist home staging. What is required is to make smart decisions. Your real estate agent should be able to assist you in making precise adjustments that will increase the value of your house and attract purchasers who come for viewings. When you're confident that you've done all necessary to present your home in the best possible light, you can sit back and wait for the ideal buyer to come by.

Minimalist home staging isn't just for those looking to sell their home. Even if you aren't selling, it may be beneficial to re-stage your home every now and then to remind yourself why you love it and make it work better for you.

Posted in Selling Your Home
Sept. 17, 2021

Seattle Metro Real Estate Statistics

Copy of Copy of Seattle Metro - RE BKCO Market Stats by Cate Ellis

Posted in Real Estate News
Sept. 14, 2021

Sherwin-Williams Forecasts the Bright, Optimistic Colors That Will Define 2022

The paint company announced its 2022 color trend predictions, and the forecast is full of happy hues. See the paint colors that will be trending in the coming year, including retro favorites, warm earth tones, and dramatic dark shades.

#bethghomes #interiordesign #homedecor #homeownership #seattlerealestate #tacomarealestate #realestatetrends #colortrends #realestateforecast

Posted in Homeownership Tips
Sept. 10, 2021

King County Market Update

Posted in Real Estate News
Sept. 7, 2021

6 Ways to Make the Most out of a Small Outdoor Space

With the nice weather we are currently having, one would love nothing more but to stay in the great outdoors for as long as possible. Those lucky enough to have a big yard can virtually spend day and night outside, but what about the others? What about those whose homes are equipped with only a balcony or a petite deck? Should they make peace with the indoor living? Well, certainly not! Especially since there are plenty of ways to make the most out of a small outdoor space. The advice contained in this article is primarily meant to help out those dealing with tiny outdoor areas. Nevertheless, the tips are just as golden when applied to the biggest of gardens.

How to Maximize Your Outdoor Space?

Outdoor living is thought to be one of the hottest home trends, and considering the Covid-19 crisis, that isn't particularly surprising. If you want to follow the footsteps of those abiding by this trend, start thinking of your outside area as an extension of your home. And a valuable one, for that matter. You are probably not yet aware of the enormous potential of this space, no matter how small. If only you were to maximize it... Luckily, you are about to learn to do just that! Here are six ways to utilize your balcony, terrace, patio, deck, or anything else - in the best way possible!

1. Showcase Your Aesthetic Tendencies

The goal here is to bring the indoors outdoors. In terms of style and design, you want the outside of your home to match the inside. You are encouraged to enhance the area with some decor, be it throw pillows, rugs, or attractive (and functional) furniture. Rather than opt for a traditional rug, though, you would be better off with its outdoor variant, considering the latter is made to withstand the harshest of conditions.

While bold and vibrant colors will bring a bit of life to the place, going overboard isn't recommended. A plethora of colorful details contribute to a ''cluttered'' look and feel. You are advised to go with more of a natural color scheme, as these tones tend to create a sense of spaciousness, which is just what your tiny retreat needs.


2. Shop Practical

Of course, we are talking about furniture here! A large armchair would surely complement your existing decor but would it leave enough room to move around? Probably not. Since you are dealing with a small place, you'll possibly have to make some compromises. At least when the style is concerned. When shopping for furniture, primarily think about dimensions, proportions, and functionality. You should be looking at pieces that are lightweight and easy to move. And if they double as storage, all the better.

You could make the most out of a small outdoor space with, let's say, bistro or foldable furniture. Plus, if you were ever to relocate, you'd have a simpler time moving these pieces elsewhere. Furthermore, portable storage could be your greatest ally in that quest, being the type of storage you can easily transfer from one place to the other.

3. Don't Neglect Lighting

An adequately lit outside area is a must, especially if you are also using it as office space. Much like a dark home, outdoor spaces with poor lighting are detrimental to one's productivity, not to mention the eyesight! Protect your mind, your eyes, and bring a touch of warmth to the place by improving the overall brightness. If you are worried about the costs of such a project, don't be! Adding a few lanterns and solar-powered bulbs here and there shouldn't cost more than a couple of hundred dollars. Just make sure they are placed well to avoid unwanted shadows from creeping.

4. Decorate with Plants

Ah, greenery! What a way to liven up any area, even the tiniest one! Plants are always a welcome addition, the only problem being, how do you go about incorporating them when there barely seems to be enough space for a pair of chairs and a table? It is, nevertheless, possible to make them work. You'll just have to think outside the box. Sure, you can't lay your beloved plants horizontally, but what you can do is arrange them in a vertical way. Simply fasten the pots to a wall or a fence, and you'll be good to go.


5. Use Space Opening Techniques

We have already mentioned how natural tones can visually enlarge confined areas. If you truly want to make the most out of a small outdoor space, you should contemplate achieving that with light paint. Paint the facade, the deck, the gate, anything really. If you feel like the change of color hasn't opened up the space enough, adapt another technique instead - opening it up with the addition of wall mirrors.

6. Hang Outdoor Draperies

Draperies prove a great distraction from the small dimensions of a balcony or a patio. During the hottest days, they also provide decent protection from the sun. Not to mention the added privacy brought on by curtains, which further contributes to the outdoors feeling more like indoors. Ideally, your draperies should be made of waterproof, sturdy material that is essentially made to last. Of course, to hang them up, first, you'll have to install curtain rods.

Finishing Words

And there they are! Six ways that should help you make the most out of a small outdoor space. Some of these may not work so well for you if you are dealing with a particularly petite area. Either way, since it is you that knows your home best, experiment and see for yourself what it is that works best.

Posted in Homeownership Tips
Sept. 3, 2021

Top Priorities Homeowners Should Focus On If They Want to Get Their Yard Ready For Fall and Enhance Their Resale Value


Getting your home ready to sell feels like it takes a lot of time and has many components. However, some of the most important features to handle are the most visible ones. Even if you want every part of the house to be in tip-top shape, you also want to make a strong first impression. The curb appeal of your home, after all, has a huge effect on the mindset that buyers bring into the home as they consider it. You want them to see your home in the best light. 


Fall is a great time to make efforts to improve the health and look of your yard if you haven’t been doing so, even if you want to sell in just a few weeks. Take these steps to improve the current look of the yard and also set a strong foundation for the coming winter and spring. 


This is The Time to Fertilize!


Many people who stick with a low-maintenance yard schedule only fertilize their grass once a year, and if you do that, now is the time. Fall is a time when the dew can carry the fertilizer down to the roots of the grass, allowing them to absorb it. If your grass often does poorly over the winter, this fertilization at least a couple weeks before the ground freezes gives it a little more vitality to carry it through the cold months. Finally, under the surface this fertilizer will be establishing your root system in a way that helps spring’s renewal to be even more lush and strong than usual. If you’re not sure which fertilizer to use and how much, talk to a professional at a local nursery or a landscaping professional.


Aerate For Better Airflow to Roots


It’s easy, especially with foot traffic and children running around, to compact the ground around your grass’ roots. When this happens, it’s harder for nutrients and air to get to the roots, making the whole plant more susceptible to damage. When you opt to aerate, you create small holes through which more air can access the root system. Over time, regular aeration makes your lawn able to recover better in high or low temperatures, which can be helpful if a big cold snap or heat wave arrive when you’re in the middle of getting your house on the market.

Overseed Before First Frost


If your yard is getting a little patchy, or if you’ve removed broadleaf weeds in the near past, you can overseed it in order to get it growing a bit more lush. Do your best to do this with at least a month until frost, since the new plants will need time to take root and grow before cold weather arrives.


Even small changes to your yard care regimen can show big results that really help your buyers see your home in the best possible light. Talk with your local top real estate agent to put these real-estate-agent-trusted insights into practice the way that will benefit your home’s marketability best!

Posted in Homeownership Tips
Aug. 31, 2021

Home Warranties Versus Homeowner’s Insurance: Why You May Want Both

If you’re new to home buying or homeownership, you may be a little bit confused about the must-haves and the nice-to-haves in home protection. Home warranties and homeowner’s insurance come in several varieties. They share some common features, but they’re definitely not the same thing. Let’s look at some of the similarities and differences between these two products so you understand your responsibilities as a homeowner and choose the products that best suit your needs.



What’s the Same?

Both home warranties and homeowner’s insurance involve paying a monthly or annual premium for protection for a specific amount of time. Both will protect you financially by covering certain kinds of damage to your home. When you make a claim, you will be charged a deductible, which is generally customizable with both products. But that’s pretty much where the similarities end.


A house with a garageDescription automatically generated with low confidenceWhat’s the Main Difference?

Home warranties, while they’re commonly referred to as policies, are not insurance plans. Insurance plans of every variety are heavily regulated by the National Association of Insurance Commissioners, a body made up of representatives from all 50 states. Regulations vary from state to state, but the NAIC sets rigorous standards that states must adhere to. Regulations stem from a historic act of Congress, the McCarran-Ferguson Act of 1945. The NAIC performs an important consumer protection function.


Compared to homeowner’s insurance, home warranties are the wild, wild west. Every home warranty company sets its own rules, just like every Italian restaurant makes its special version of marinara sauce. It’s up to consumers to protect themselves when they purchase a home warranty by understanding the specific terms of the plan they select. Careful comparison shopping is a must when it comes to home warranties.


The other primary difference between home warranties and homeowner’s insurance is that one is mandatory for any homeowner who has a mortgage. The financial institution that lends you money to purchase your house will insist that you carry homeowner’s insurance as a condition of borrowing. You have a choice, on the other hand, about purchasing a home warranty.


You Get Different Kinds of Protection

Homeowner’s insurance comes in two basic forms: liability insurance and property insurance. Your mortgage company will require you to carry both kinds. But property insurance is the type that’s analogous to a home warranty. So we’ll compare the two.


Both property insurance and home warranties protect against damage to your home. But for the most part, they cover different things. Homeowner’s insurance protects you when your home is damaged by such factors as fire, wind, and fallen tree limbs. Home warranties protect you if certain appliances and systems in your home need repair. Let’s take one example to illustrate the difference.


Let’s say a water pipe in your house breaks and the carpet in your home is damaged in the process. The property insurance section of your homeowner’s policy will cover the cost of replacing your carpet. It won’t cover the cost of replacing your faulty plumbing. By contrast, a home warranty plan will pay your plumbing bill (up to the limits of your policy). But it won’t pay for you to replace your carpet.


Property insurance also covers your possessions if you are burglarized and damage to your home if you are vandalized. Home warranties do not offer that protection.


Bicycles parked in front of a houseDescription automatically generated with medium confidenceCoverage Type and Deductible Options


Both home warranties and homeowner’s insurance allow you to tailor certain policy features to suit your needs. For example, with a home warranty, most companies allow you to select coverage for systems, appliances, or both. Some offer pre-set packages, while others let you pick and choose the items you need covered. If you own a pool, you can elect pool repair coverage. Homeowner’s insurance companies also permit you to add “riders” to your policy to cover items that are not normally covered in a basic policy. If you keep a lot of expensive jewelry or antiques in your home, it’s a good idea to look into adding riders to your policy, so you’ll be fully protected.


Many home warranty and all homeowner’s insurance companies allow you to customize your deductible. In the case of a home warranty, the deductible you pay is actually a service call fee. Home warranty deductibles generally range from $60 to $125. Homeowner’s insurance policies usually offer deductible choices between $500 and $2000, but some policies establish your deductible based on a percentage of your home’s value. Choosing a higher deductible will bring the cost of either type of policy down.


Know Your Coverage Limits

With a homeowner’s policy, you can generally choose your coverage limits. Your mortgage lender will require that you carry insurance that meets or exceeds the fair market value of your home. If you live in a home that wouldn’t necessarily fetch a high price on the market, but would cost a great deal of money to rebuild—such as in the case of a historic home that features high-quality or unique craftsmanship—it’s best to choose coverage limits that exceed your home’s value. There are two types of property insurance: Actual Cash Value (ACV) and Replacement Cost Value (RCV). Here’s the difference. Let’s say your home suffers a catastrophic fire. If your home features expensive but older appliances, ACV would cover the cost of buying a used gourmet fridge or stove. RCV would cover the cost of purchasing a brand new stove with the same features as your old stove. Similarly, if your home features elaborate plaster molding around your light fixtures, ACV coverage would pay to have a store-bought product installed in your home. RCV coverage would pay out enough for you to hire an expert plasterer to rebuild your molding to original spec.


Home warranties, by contrast, usually have very specific limits around how much they will pay out to repair or replace specific items like a washing machine or heating system. Often those limits will not cover the entire cost of replacing an appliance or system. That’s why you should carefully study the coverage limits of any home warranty. RCV coverage is not an option with home warranties. Furthermore, many home warranties limit the total amount they will pay out in a single policy term, which is usually one year. It’s up to consumers to decide whether a home warranty is worth the price. The good news is that home warranties cost less than homeowner’s insurance. A comprehensive systems and appliances plan could cost you as little as $500, while the average cost of homeowner’s insurance on a $250,000 home is around $1400. Of course, that includes both liability and property insurance. Home warranties provide no liability protection. But they do cover items not covered by property insurance. That’s why many homeowners decide to carry both.


Get Some Expert Advice

If you’re new to homeownership, your realtor can be an invaluable resource, helping you make smart financial decisions throughout the home buying process. For example, you may be able to negotiate with a home seller and persuade him or her to include a home warranty in your purchase and sale agreement. That’s a growing trend but not all sellers follow suit. In addition, realtors often have relationships with homeowner’s insurance companies and can steer you in the direction of a great agent. Financial advisors are also typically well-versed in insurance. Your home is likely one of your largest financial assets and a financial advisor can help you protect it and afford it. And that’s what home warranties and homeowner’s insurance are all about.