Fences & Flowers

The CB Bain Blog

Last spring, for the first time in almost 3 decades, my folks moved. They left the 1960s split-level I grew up in, and moved into a brand new home surrounded by open spaces and friendly neighbors. I'm glad they're in a safer and happier neighborhood! But buying a new construction home was a bit different than your typical existing home real estate transaction.

I’ve been using the same tax accountant for about 15 years now and I always try to meet with her early enough to avoid the last-minute rush to April 15. This year, after we exchanged the usual pleasantries and I handed over the usual suspects – my W2s, charity receipts, car tab bill, etc. – she began the annual inquisition: “Did you buy a new car? Did you refinance? Did you do any remodeling?”

Dreaming of a new home can be fun and exciting. But when you’re ready to begin the buying process, it can be overwhelming. Where do you start? Should you move to a different state? Should you stick around? Do you want a different kind of home? Is the busy city calling your name or are you content with rural peace and quiet? How can you find the best real estate agent and lender?

Once, a Jetsons kind of life seemed like a pipe dream, the stuff of cartoons. Well, even pipe dreams come true. Though we’re not yet zipping through the sky to commute to and from work, today’s smart home technology is making many of our daily commutes more than just a way home. Example:

Feb 7, 2017

Written by:

Charly Tate

Owning a home gives you a place to make your own, and a place to feel safe with your family. It also gives you more tax deductions! But it's a big responsibility and requires regular maintenance. Some items need attention every couple of weeks (depending on the season). Other things so seldom need a checkup we tend to forget about them; like the water heater.

In a hot real estate market, one house may get more than a dozen offers in a matter of days. So how do you stand out as a buyer? Is it worth writing a love letter to the seller?

Even though it’s almost February, 2017, I’m still struggling to polish off my New Year’s resolutions for last year. I only had three: attention to health, organization and comfort. I did manage to hit the gym more often than not, and I bought a bunch of new shoes that make my feet deliriously happy. So, two out of three ain’t bad. But organization … well, I’m still working on that one. I successfully cleaned out my closets and reorganized my kitchen cabinets and pantry early in the year, but my home office is still not the tidy, efficient workspace I know it can be. And every weekend, it seems, something more fun exciting urgent keeps popping up instead.  

In the Pacific Northwest, the real estate market is on fire. It’s been a seller’s market for a while, and 2017 is showing the same trends. Folks want to live here, and we can’t blame them. But finding the perfect home with such low inventory is tough. And winning the bidding war? That’s an even bigger challenge. So what’s a buyer to do?

Scrambling for the perfect holiday fragrance to accompany your awesome décor this year? There’s still time to create your own custom blend! Avoid chemical filled plug-ins and toxic sprays, and be inspired by pine, cinnamon and orange. Your guests will love these ideas and the happy holiday memories will be that much sweeter.

Dec 6, 2016

Written by:

Charly Tate

Seattle saw its first seasonal ‘snow’ this week. Flakes didn’t fall or accumulate everywhere, but temperatures dipped below freezing. Welcome to the season of de-icing.



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