Tips to Prevent Frozen Pipes this Winter


Our weather in the Northwest can wreak havoc on our homes and water pipes. The last thing you want to invite into your home for the holidays is a plumbing emergency. Take these steps to prevent a costly frozen pipe disaster. 

Outdoor plumbing tips

• Close all foundation vents and fill the vents with styrofoam blocks or wood to prevent cold wind from reaching unprotected pipes. 

• Disconnect garden hoses and be sure to drain all in-ground irrigation systems. 

• Cover outside faucets or hose bibs with insulation. Use molded foam insulation covers, newspaper, or rags and wrap in plastic. 

Indoor plumbing protection

• Check your attic, crawl space, basement and other non-heated areas to insulate and protect. 

• Open cupboard doors in the kitchen and in your bathrooms to allow plumbing to gain more heat from your home. 

• If you’re planning on heading out of town, put your furnace on a low setting to help prevent freezing pipes by keeping the temperature of the home slightly elevated. 

• When temperatures drop below freezing, use a slow drip of cold water to keep your faucet from freezing. 

What to do if pipes freeze

When a pipe freezes it can cause a buildup of pressure inside the pipe, causing it to burst and leak. Safely thaw plumbing lines with a carefully monitored heat lamp, hot wash cloth, or common hair dryer. When thawed, leave a small amount of water dripping to ensure it doesn’t happen again. 

What to do if pipes break

• Shut off the main water line to prevent additional water from damaging your home. Open the faucets to relieve any remaining pressure.

• Turn off the water heater and shut-off the valve on the cold-water inlet. 

• If there is any water damage to the area, be sure to clean quickly to prevent mold. 

• Call a professional plumber to repair the issue.

‘Tis the Season to Sell Your Home


Winter is a time for rest and relaxation, but it’s also the most wonderful time of the year to sell a home before the competitive spring market picks up. These tips explain how to take advantage of the holiday shuffle and expose your home to more interested buyers for a quick turnaround.

Illuminate Interested Buyers
Classic soft white holiday lights will attract interested buyers and make any home look and feel timeless. With daylight savings creating dark showings, there is no better way to put your home on center stage than to brighten up the street with the warmth of your home wearing a layer of soft lights.

New Year, New Home
The winter rush brings good tidings and inspiration for new beginnings. Buyers anticipate being settled in their new home by Christmas, if not by the New Year. Work on decluttering and having minimal decorations to ensure buyers can envision their future holidays and their own decor in the home. Having an overabundance of holiday ornamentation or family photos can hinder that vision. Many families face job relocation at the beginning of the year, having your home on the market now ensures you can capture newly transferred employees as your audience.

Time Stops for House Hunters
This time of year, casual window shoppers are at the mall instead of strolling through homes they’ll never buy. Serious buyers take advantage of time off work and are usually willing to work around their house hunting schedule.

Tax Benefits
Shopping discounts bring benefits to the housing market too. Consult your tax advisor to learn more about tax benefits for buyers and sellers who close on a property before the end of the year.

Ask your Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Northwest Real Estate broker about the many ways you can market your home with minimal disruptions during the holiday season.

Top 2018 Design Trends We’re Thankful For


The modern home is always evolving. Here are top 8 design trends we are thankful for in 2018.

A Pop of Color

Adding a pop of color in the kitchen allows for a featured item to be accented in a creative way without spending a lot of money. Try painting your island or lower cabinets a bright color. We’re thankful for this trend bringing a bit of a personal touch to any kitchen.


Hidden Appliances

Magic appliances are a new trend catching on to new homebuilders and designers. Homeowners are hiding ‘stainless steel fatigue’ with wood paneling to conceal large appliances. With these eye sores out of view, the space looks and feels larger. Imagine how clean your kitchen would look as you cook a Thanksgiving feast using your disappearing appliances.



A large piece of furniture featuring soft lines, ruffles, and even ruching creates an inviting space while allowing family to gather and fit harmoniously in one space.



Wallpaper has made a big comeback! High-end designers are picking this trend up and embracing it unlike ever before, by creating beautiful statement walls. You won’t see this artsy trend going out of style anytime soon.


Dining Rooms with an Open Floor Plan

Create an open floor plan dining room to instill an impactful sense of togetherness that flows through the space from kitchen to table and allows you to spend more time with family.


LED Lighting

With a new holiday season comes new advancements in tech gear. We’re thankful for the smart technology featuring LED tape lighting. Place a strip under your kitchen cabinets to illuminate your backsplash, counter tops, or to highlight your favorite kitchen gadgets.


Large Tiles

Make a statement with flooring in your bathroom, kitchen, entry-way and more! Play with intricate tile design playing with the lines of the room.


Detailed Ceilings

Creative ceiling designs can range from new crown molding, natural wood or stained shiplap, gold leaf detailing, and metallic painted ceilings. Discuss with an interior designer to find out which element would best complement the style of your home.



Article courtesy of HGTV. com

Images courtesy of

Halloween Home Selling Tips


Don’t spook buyers this Halloween season, take note of these simple décor tips to sell your home fast.

Halloween is the best time in the fall to invite people to experience holidays in their potential new home. Start prepping days to weeks before Halloween by adding in additional lighting. With open blinds, your well-lit home will become a showpiece. While kids are snagging your sweet treats, parents will naturally snoop and view your beautiful home through inviting bright windows.

Trick-or-treat goers will be making their way to your door, so make sure bushes and shrubs are trimmed neatly and are properly shaped. Think ahead to ensure all slip hazards like loose stones or steps are secure. Add lighting on the outside of your home as well; small solar powered walkway lights can make a large difference in highlighting your neatly kept pathways or shrubbery.

Make your home a statement piece. Set up a photo area for trick-or-treaters to take photos. Situate the ‘For Sale’ sign to be incorporated in the photo-op for a free marketing piece. However, you should error on the side of caution and not go all-out in terms of decorations. Stray from decor that will deem your home creepy to sellers, like clowns, cobwebs, zombies, ghost children and gore.

Too much seasonal décor can be a turn-off for buyers. If you can, hold off doing the bulk of any major decorating until the day of Halloween, and clean up the décor the next morning. Instead of highlighting the spooks of the Halloween season in your home décor, highlight the notes of the fall season. Start by lighting the fireplace to bring warmth in the home and warm reds and burnt oranges with natural tones to tie in the majestic beauty of fall.

Be prepared for potential buyers to ask to see the home as they walk through the neighborhood. Have shoe covers or your agent’s business card available to schedule showings. Your Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Northwest Real Estate agent can assist you with all of that. With these few simple tricks, you can take advantage of the free traffic to your home this Halloween to sell your home quicker.

Pumpkin Spice Fall Decor

Pumpkin Spice Fall Decor

Get the most out of fall’s favorite accessory for your home.

The celebrated pumpkin spice latte is back in stores for the season. Jump on this fall trend by adding small but impactful touches to your home for a cozy and nostalgic fall.


Bring in fall colors to warm up your home. Incorporate deep reds, burnt orange, and rich pumpkin shades to usher in the fall spirit.

Add pumpkins in new and exciting ways, such as adding a table runner with Cinderella pumpkins and crystal wine glasses to draw in a warm ambiance. Add mini pumpkins of various colors to your tablescape as place settings, and use calligraphy to write each name on their appropriate pumpkin place holder.

A pumpkin spice painted front door is particularly effective for curb appeal. Or imagine sipping a pumpkin spice latte on a velvet burnt orange chaise lounge. If this seems far-fetched, start smaller and decorate your furniture with rich orange throw pillows or cushions with various textures.


When scenting your home, be careful to use only natural scents that won’t offend visitors with chemical sensitivities. For an easy stove-top aroma, add 1 cup water, a dash of vanilla extract and several dashes of pumpkin pie spice. Heat on low or place in open crockpot for a lingering pumpkin spice latte scent that will make your home cozy in an instant.

You can also create an aroma using your essential oil diffuser. If you don’t have a dedicated diffuser, you can add 1-2 drops to a light bulb when not in use. As the light warms up, the aroma will diffuse your pumpkin spice scent.

In a glass bottle, combine:
20 drops cinnamon essential oil
20 drops ginger essential oil
20 drops nutmeg essential oil
15 drops clove bud essential oil
5 drops cardamom essential oil


To create your own pumpkin spice latte, combine the following ingredients in a microwave-safe bowl:

1 cup milk product of choice
2 tblsp of pumpkin puree
¼ tsp pumpkin pie spice, plus more for the topping
¼ tsp vanilla extract
1 tblsp sugar or sweetener of choice

Microwave 1-2 minutes or heat on the stove until the milk is hot. Then, whisk vigorously until the milk mixture is foamy. Pour the ¼ cup strong brewed coffee or hot espresso into your mug and add the milk mixture. Top with whipped cream and sprinkle with more pumpkin pie spice.

Recipe courtesy of the Food Network.

No air conditioning? Beat the heat indoors with these 8 tips.


Not everybody in the Pacific Northwest has air conditioning, but there are ways to keep your home cool during the hottest days of summer. 

1) Utilize window treatments. Blinds and heavy blackout curtains keep the summer heat out while your fans work hard to keep you cool.

2) Close off unused rooms. Closing the doors will keep any cool air from entering, keeping it in the spaces you use the most.

3) Hack an A/C unit. Put a bowl of ice or an ice pack behind a fan to imitate a cool sea breeze.

4) Switch the bed up. Change your sheets to cotton and try a new buckwheat pillow. Buckwheat pillows don’t retain your body heat, keeping you cooler.

5) Go backwards. Set your ceiling fans rotating counter clockwise for optimum airflow.

6) Control your body temperature. Cave men survived without air conditioning, and you can too! Just remember, it doesn’t matter what the room temperature is, focus on controlling your body temperature. Consume cool drinks and apply a cool cloth at the back of your neck and on your wrists.

7) Outsmart your windows. Generate a cooling pressure current by opening the upper section of windows on the side of your home that falls downwind and simultaneously have the lower section of windows open on the side of your home that is upwind. You can increase the flow by placing a fan on the window pulling in air and a fan (backwards) on the downwind window pushing hot air out of the home. Hack an even cooler breeze by wetting a bedsheet and hanging it in front of the window bringing in a breeze.

8) Invest in window films. They work like blinds and reject up to 70% of the sun’s solar energy while also reducing glare.

Article courtesy ot Huffington Post.

Summer Home Staging Tips


Show off your home to potential buyers by embracing the longer hours and warmer weather, both indoors and outdoors. Make these simple tweaks to your home and stand out above the rest on the market this summer.


Add curb appeal 

Give your house number a new stance. Painting your address on pots or planters can be a great way to show off your home in a modern way. If your tired concrete slab is showing age and is a little too worn for wear, try replacing with a sleek modern look in slate tile.

Lights, camera, outdoors!    

Highlight your backyard with unconventional outdoor lighting tricks to enhance the enjoyment. Utilize the ambiance and warmth of a fireside glow. Hardware and outdoor stores now sell up-lighting which can be placed under large potted plants to showcase your favorite blooms. Switch out standard small sconces with impactful colorful lamps. Tiny ‘fairy lights’ in mason jars are a good way to add subtle artsy ambiance to any backyard dining spot.

Play up water features

Backyard doesn’t boast a pool? Show how buyers can beat the summer heat by upgrading your outdoor oasis with a cooling/misting system under any porch, pergola or umbrella. Help visitors imagine relaxing in their new backyard with a good book, or soaking up the rays by creating a lounging area. You can even surround this outdoor hangout space with surround sound faux stone speakers for a natural look that rocks all night long.


Discourage dingy light

Bring light indoors by removing heavy winter drapes and if needed, use drawn back lightweight and light-colored curtains. Switch out throw pillows (both inside and out) for lighter and brighter colors.


It is exceedingly important to declutter if your children are home on summer break. Make sure to utilize hidden storage to the fullest potential to keep clutter from view. Box up family pictures and mementos on the fireplace, it deserves a new summer look too. If wood burning, switch out logs in the fireplace with tall candles at various heights and add a large floral arrangement or colorful wreath above the hearth to bring a touch of the outdoors, in.

Don’t be a summer Scrooge 

If you have it, don’t skimp on air-conditioning come open house day. Although you may not be in the home during a showing, it’s important to keep the air at a comfortable level. Fill the sink with ice cubes and fill it with summer refreshments that encourage potential buyers to linger in the home longer.

Sources: and

Using Portable Gardens for Curb Appeal

To make your home more attractive to buyers, plant fresh flowers, hang wreaths on doors, or put plants in containers to take your garden with you when you sell your home!

Containers can accent your home’s personality – use washtubs for a farmhouse look or colorful fired pottery for a bohemian vibe. They’re the perfect solution for styling an entry or walkway.

If you’re lucky enough to have a sizable front porch, use potted plants and furnishings to create a simple but inviting outdoor room. Add a comfortable bench or chairs to create a picturesque conversation nook.

For exterior design on a dime, install a pre-fabricated arbor or trellis to give form to your yard and complement your plantings.

Follow these easy tips to ensure your potted gardens thrive:

Pick the right container. A confined space means substituting what the plants would get if they were in the ground. You need to have enough space for plants to grow and proper drainage holes so your plants don’t become sodden.

Use fresh potting soil. Good potting soil doesn’t clump and allows roots to spread. It contains nutrients to give plants a good head start.

Group plants according to sun and water needs. A mix of cascading plants, tall leafy plants and various flowers make a beautiful composition. You can even mix in edibles like veggies and herbs, but make sure all the plants in one container require the same amount of sun and water.

Water frequently. Container gardens dry out quickly, especially smaller pots. Check that the container is draining properly and you don’t have to worry about overwatering. Water daily in warm weather.

Bigger is better. Larger containers hold more soil, allow plants to grow larger, offer more room for variety and require less frequent watering.

Sell your Home for More Money

Drastically increase the amount of money you make on the sale of your home with these eight easy tips.

1) Price it below market value.
List your home below the current market value; maybe even as much as 5-10%. As a homeowner, you may be reluctant to try this approach, but the results may surprise you. This can be highly effective, create a sense of urgency and drive in even more offers and buyers than you ever imagined.

2) Brighten up the bedroom.
Bring in as much natural light into the room as possible. If you can’t remember the last time you cleaned the windows in your house, now is the time–inside and out! Replace any burnt out light bulbs and bring in an extra lamp or two.

3) Clean out the closets.
Open up the closet doors, pull everything out, and get rid of 50% of the clutter. If winter has passed, pack away all of your winter clothes. When a buyer opens up the closet doors, they see the available closet space, and not an unorganized, overstocked storage area.

4) Paint the front door.
Don’t let an old, weathered door be a buyer’s focal point. Painting the front door can make a home feel more welcoming. By carefully choosing the right color, you can unexpectedly make your house stand out from the rest.

5) Enhance the landscaping.
To help give your home a boost in curb appeal, spruce up the landscaping around the front of your home. By carefully planning and doing your homework, you can achieve a nice upgrade on a small budget.

6) Stain the deck and driveway.
Staining your deck and driveway is a cost effective way to prolong the life of an area that takes a beating from the weather and heavy foot traffic. It will let the buyer know your home is properly maintained.

7) Paint the walls a neutral color.
Don’t let the color of your walls be the focal point of a room. It will be easier for a buyer to relate to a neutral wall color, and they won’t be distracted by a room that is bold or too loud.

8) Make kitchen improvements.
Kitchen improvements can yield high returns if done properly. Popular upgrades include resurfacing or replacing kitchen cabinets, adding a new backsplash, or replacing outdated countertops.

Article courtesy of

Spring Home Staging Tips to Sell your Home



Spring brings the promise of a fresh start. It provides many opportunities for home staging and is a time when many buyers hone in on a home. Make your home attractive to buyers with these spring staging tips.

Fresh flowers for vibrant color

Flowers are an integral part of spring and should be added both indoors and outdoors. Freshly-cut flowers in reflective glass vases add an instant spring feeling to a home. Botanical prints and colors in yellow or light-green shades also give rooms a spring-like feel. Create bright flowerbeds to brighten landscapes and add curb appeal. Display floral paintings and décor to help spruce up properties for the season.

Natural scents

Scents have a great emotional impact on people, so it is important to integrate them into the home. Choose fragrances that evoke fresh and clean energy with aromatherapy diffusers, natural potpourri or candles. Citrus (orange, lemon, grapefruit), vanilla, lavender, and freshly-cut lilac flowers are good choices. Stay away from strong synthetic smells that might bother those with chemical sensitivities.

Cleaning is essential

Every inch of the home should tell buyers that it is in tip-top shape. Windows should be thoroughly cleaned, cobwebs removed, and musty odors banished. Declutter (inside and outside) to make the property airy, light, and spacious. Avoid putting junk into closets, as prospective buyers will think the property doesn’t have enough storage.

Spruce up the back door

The back door should be as beautiful as the front to give potential buyers the same cheerful feeling they got when they first entered the home. Containers of potted bulbs on the back steps, deck table, or grassy areas near the house can be used to add color to spaces that have not fully grown in. Display a spring-themed welcome sign or door mat for a cheery touch.















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