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November
28

Get to Know Spokane's Cork District

Spokane Cork District

Did you know that Washington is the second-largest wine-producing state in the country? Spokane's Cork District has developed into one of the best places in all of Washington to enjoy the bounty of local wineries, vineyards, and wine shops. Our real estate agents have all of the delicious details on some of the places you can look forward to visiting when you spend the day exploring Spokane's Cork District.

  • V du V Wines – 12 S. Scott St., Spokane, WA 99202
    With a convenient location near Spokane homes for sale and a reputation for producing unique, vibrant wines, V du V Wines has developed into an outstanding urban winery. The tasting room features a charming, inviting atmosphere, and V du V Wines produces all of its outstanding wines on-site. If you love their wines, the V du V Wine Club offers free tastings, great discounts, and special release events for members.

  • Barrister Winery Tasting Room – 203 N. Washington St., Spokane, WA 99201
    With a fairly new location in downtown Spokane but many years of experience producing award-winning wine in Washington, the Barrister Winery Tasting Room is a great destination for a night on the town. Enjoy live music in the tasting room every Wednesday and Friday evening, along with a busy schedule of special events all year long.

  • Arbor Crest Wine Cellars – 4705 N. Fruit Hill Rd., Spokane, WA 99217
    One of the first wineries to be established in Washington, Arbor Crest Wine Cellars has thrived for so long in part due to its amazing location. The tasting room is located at the top of a cliff, with stunning views of the Spokane Valley below. Arbor Crest's ranking as "one of the 50 producers every wine lover should know" by Wine Spectator tells you everything you need to know about the quality of wines produced here.

  • Vino! A Wine Shop – 222 S. Washington St., Spokane, WA 99201
    With a fantastic selection of both locally and internationally produced wines, Vino! A Wine Shop offers a little something for everyone. In addition to the wine selection available for purchase, you can enjoy wine tastings on the weekends, wine education classes, wine dinners, and a wine of the month buying club. It's a great place to discover new wines or find your old favorites.

  • Winescape – 6011 E. 32nd Ave., Spokane, WA 99223
    If you'd like to enjoy a rustic, rural winery experience without traveling far from downtown, you're sure to love a visit to Winescape. The Winescape Tasting Room and Production Facility is located on a 14-acre farm that will make you feel like you've been transported to a different, more relaxed era. Stop by to enjoy a tasting, take in the scenery, and get to know the small team that produces Winescape's distinctive, authentic Washington wines.

  • Bridge Press Cellars – 39 W. Pacific Ave., Spokane, WA 99201
    Located in a historic downtown Spokane building which was first built in 1911 and has been lovingly restored to create an amazing atmosphere, Bridge Press Cellars is an excellent destination when you're in the mood for a side of entertainment with your wine. You'll frequently find live music or comedy shows among the many fun events hosted in the tasting room.

Our team is here to help with all of your real estate needs in the city. Contact us to buy and sell homes throughout the Spokane, WA area.

November
14

Holiday Happenings Around Spokane

Spokane Winter

'Tis the season for family gatherings, gifts, and sparkling lights. As you plan your holiday celebrations this year, consider putting one or more community events on your schedule. Spokane has a lot to offer around the holidays. Here are some of the top celebrations our real estate agents recommend attending to get into the festive spirit.

  • The Bing Crosby Holiday Film Festival: 901 W. Sprague Ave., Spokane, WA 99210
    Hosted at The Bing Crosby Theater, the Bing Crosby Holiday Film Festival is scheduled for December 10th - 11th this year. The two-day festival is a chance to see some of Bing's biggest holiday movies, including the classic White Christmas. Bing Crosby's nephew, Howard Crosby, will also take the stage for a live performance.

    Tickets for the show will be for sale on the Bing Crosby Theater's website. Profits will go to benefit the Bing Crosby Advocates, a charity dedicated to preserving Crosby's legacy and spreading holiday cheer.

  • Christmas Tree Elegance: 818 W. Riverside Ave. Mezzanine, Spokane, WA 99210
    Christmas Tree Elegance
    is a 13-day holiday celebration during which you can admire stunning, decorated holiday trees. There will also be a chance to meet Father Christmas, plus public raffle drawings each day. This year, the event lasts from November 29th - December 11th and will be held at the Historic Davenport Hotel.

    There's no charge for admission to Christmas Tree Elegance. Raffle tickets will be sold for $1 each, with proceeds benefiting the Spokane Symphony Associates. 

  • Pops 3: Holiday Pops: 1001 West Sprague Ave., Spokane, WA 99210
    If you've been wanting to see the Spokane Symphony in concert, this is your chance. On December 17th and 18th, they'll take the stage for their annual Holiday Pops concert at the Martin Woldson Theater at The Fox. Listen to popular holiday music performed in a whole new way.

    This festive performance will include a few numbers by the Spokane Area Youth Choir. The audience will even be invited to participate in popular carols. Single and multi-day tickets are available on the Spokane Symphony website. 

  • Northwest Winterfest: 404 N. Havana St., Spokane Valley, WA 99202
    Northwest Winterfest 
    is an annual celebration held at the Spokane Fair & Expo Center. It's open every Friday - Sunday from December 2nd - January 1st. Visitors can walk through the stunning displays, admire hand-painted trees, and enjoy seasonal food from local vendors. Several displays also show how different cultures around the world celebrate the holidays.

    Northwest Winterfest offers something for the whole family. Admission is $19.99 for adults and $11.99 for kids. Or, you can buy a Family Pack of tickets for just $49.99.

  • Christmas Movie Trivia Night: 315 W. Sprague Ave., Spokane, WA 99201
    How much do you know about your favorite Christmas movies? Christmas Movie Trivia Night is your chance to find out. This trivia competition is being held at Spokane Comedy Club. It starts at 7:00 pm on December 20th.

    The trivia night will include five rounds of questions about Christmas movies, old and new. While costumes are not required, it could be fun to dress up in your Santa hat or ugly sweater for the occasion. Register on the Spokane Comedy Club website so they know how many participants to expect.

This holiday season, take a break from looking at Spokane homes for sale and attend one or more of these fun events. There truly is something for the whole family. Contact us if you need any help with your house search. Our friendly and knowledgeable agents will be happy to answer your questions along the way.

October
24

Green Bluff Growers: Farms and Orchards to Visit This Season

Green Bluff Growers

Fall is in full swing, and our real estate agents are thrilled to report that there's still plenty of interest in Spokane homes for sale. There are homes in the area to suit every taste and budget, but that's not all.

If you're exploring the region and want a true taste of what Spokane is all about, you can't go wrong with a visit to local farms. Orchards offering the opportunity to pick your own fruit are a beloved sight here in Greater Spokane, and it's not too late to see them for yourself.

Although we're in the waning days of the season, there are many different varieties of fruit that come into their own only in the last weeks of October. Let's take a closer look at just a few of your many options:

  • Wildland Cooperative – 8022 East Green Bluff Road, Colbert, WA 99005
    Wildland Cooperative is a worker-owned farm co-op providing seasonal fresh produce, farm goods, and crafts, as well as a place to gather as a community. Open Wednesdays through Sundays from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., it's the place to see both a market and a tap house featuring local, handcrafted wine and beer. Almost all of the drinks menu is available on tap and to-go, including non-alcoholic beverages.

  • Walters' Fruit Ranch – 9807 East Day Road, Mead, WA 99021
    Walters' Fruit Ranch sits in a convenient location right at the heart of Green Bluff, so you won't have to journey far from Mead homes for sale. It's not too late to join in the Ranch's October Fall Festival, which runs every weekend throughout the month. Pick your own apples and pumpkins while the young ones participate or romp in the play area, then grab a meal at the outside Press Plate Bar or Orchard Cafe.

  • High Country Orchard – 8518 East Green Bluff Road, Colbert, WA 99005
    High Country Orchard is a unique "high point" near Colbert homes for sale. Open every Tuesday through Sunday, with expanded hours on the weekend, it is a farm and wedding venue that always has something new going on. The "U-Pick Orchard" has peaches in September and the full fall harvest of apples all October. Enjoy hay rides, caramel apples, freshly baked pumpkin donuts, and so much more.

  • Big Barn Brewing – 16004 North Applewood Lane, Mead, WA 99021
    With a history dating back to 1999, Big Barn Brewing is found in the foothills of Mt. Spokane. Known for its "Bodacious Berries at the Barn," its beers stand out for their scientific precision and the use of locally sourced ingredients. They are open every week from Wednesday through Sunday. Food trucks, farmer's markets, and music festivals happen on a regular basis over the weekends.

  • Sunset Orchard on Green Bluff – 8110 East Green Bluff Road, Colbert, WA 99005
    Sunset Orchard on Green Bluff grants you a wonderful opportunity to source fresh fruits, vegetables, berries, or even Christmas trees. Many of the trees are more than a century old, and the last of the fall harvest awaits you now: In fact, Granny Smith apples are at their peak in the final days of October, along with Golden Delicious, Jonathan, Spartan, and Rome Beauty.

Contact us to discover more about real estate opportunities in and around the Spokane area.

November
21

Decorate Your Home Safely this Season

Decorate Safely This Holiday Season

Delta Media Group


Decorating for the holidays is one of the fun perks of being a homeowner, because your whole property becomes a blank canvas. Decorating is a great opportunity to get in the spirit of the season, show off your sense of style, and get your kids (even more) excited for the holidays. No matter how you choose to decorate your home this holiday season, just remember that it's also important to keep home safety in mind as you deck the halls. We've put together 5 decorating tips to help keep your home safe, without cramping your holiday decorating style.

  1. Check It Twice – Holiday lights are among the most popular decorations, and for good reason! They're bright, beautiful, and can transform the look of your entire property. Before you start stringing up those lights, however, be sure to check for any signs of wear. If there are broken lights or exposed wires, it's time to purchase some new outdoor holiday lights. Remember that outdoor lights are exposed to the elements, so even minimal signs of wear can pose a risk.  Bonus Tip: If you're in the market for new lights, try LED lighting rather than incandescent bulbs. LED lights are more energy efficient, burn cooler than incandescent bulbs, and come in just about any color you can imagine.

  2. Don't Overload Outlets – Overloading a single outlet is a fire risk, even if you're plugging in new, energy efficient decorations. Avoiding tangled wires is also good for holiday decorating safety, and it's easier to do when you use multiple outlets. Always plug decorations into outlets with Ground Fault Circuit Interrupters, which are designed to shut down the circuit automatically if certain signs of electrical danger are detected.

  3. Indoor/Outdoor – That giant, inflatable Santa Claus won't fit in your living room, so it's probably a safe bet that he can be used outside. But not every decoration makes the distinction so clear. For any decorations that rely on electricity, always check whether they're rated for outdoor use before you plug them in outside. This is a great step to take care of while you're shopping for decorations, as the necessary info should be available right on the packaging.

  4. Rooftop and Ladder Safety – For many homeowners, the holiday season is one of the few times each year when we take our ladders out of long-term storage and venture onto our rooftops. Stay safe by taking your time, having a plan, and wearing sturdy boots (or sneakers) with strong treads. If you do plan on climbing on your roof or using a ladder to decorate, never do so alone. Make sure there's someone on the ground to "spot" you and aid if you run into trouble.

  5. Clean Gutters – Since you're likely to be spending time up there anyway, it's a great idea to clean your gutters before stringing up any holiday lights. Dried leaves and plant matter in gutters can serve as kindling when a faulty wire leaks electricity. As a bonus, keeping your gutters clean is a great way to lower your risk of water-related roof damage throughout the year.

The biggest thing to remember for holiday decorating home safety is that electricity can be dangerous, especially if you're using older decorations. Check any decorations for signs of wear before putting them up, make sure that any decorations you wish to use outside are rated for outdoor use, and keep your gutters clean to reduce fire risk. And of course, don't forget to have fun!

October
11

2022 Spokane Halloween Events

Halloween Events

It's no trick, there are plenty of treats to enjoy in the Spokane area with fun Halloween themes! Enjoy music, movies, and mayhem aplenty at these exciting Halloween events near Spokane homes for sale

  • The Music of Harry Potter and Other Halloween Favorites - Spokane Symphony, Martin Woldson Theater at The Fox, 1001 W. Sprague Ave., Spokane, WA 99210
    Halloween wouldn't be complete without the most famous wizard of all. Enjoy the musical sounds of the holiday when the Seattle Symphony performs The Music of Harry Potter and Other Halloween Favorites. The Art Deco-style Martin Woldson Theater, listed on the National Register of Historic Places, provides an appropriate ambiance. Arrive early for some fun activities in the lobby. Performances are scheduled for 7:30 on Saturday, October 29, and 3 p.m. on Sunday, October 30. Tickets are $25-$64.

  • Fright Flight - Mica Moon, 23403 E. Mission Ave., Suite 111, Liberty Lake, WA 99019
    Are you ready to take on the challenge of Mica Moon's Fright Flight? The zip line course literally starts at the "Point of No Return" as you soar hundreds of feet above the darkened woods. Watch out for bootleggers, who protect their secret location at any cost. As you finish with the 3,700-foot section named "Big Mama," you'll forget that you're just minutes from Liberty Lake homes for sale. Tickets are $79 for the three-hour course. Visit the website for the schedule, which runs weekends through the end of October.

  • Halloween at the Garland Theater - 924 W. Garland Ave., Spokane, WA 99205
    Filmmakers have always loved a good scare. For some great on-screen thrills, don't miss Halloween at the Garland Theater. Throughout October, the theater will be showing classic horror films, including Psycho (10/19), Get Out (10/21), and The Shining (10/26), concluding with a midnight showing of the iconic Rocky Horror Picture Show (10/29). Family fare is also on the schedule, with E.T. (10/18), Casper (10/24), and Beetlejuice (10/29). Tickets are $5. Visit the website for the full schedule.

  • Haunted Downtown Spokane Walking Tour - Post Street Bridge, W. North River Dr., Spokane, WA 99201
    Do you believe in ghosts? If not, the Haunted Downtown Spokane Walking Tour may change your outlook. Staff members at the Spokane Public Library put together this list of the (un)lucky 13 downtown locations known for supernatural activity. Highlights include The Old Spaghetti Factory, where ghostly rum runners inhabit the former liquor warehouse, and the Davenport Hotel, which is said to be haunted by the doorman who stood watch at the Prohibition-era Early Bird Club. Even the Carnegie Library is rumored to be the home of the building's first librarian, with reports of his bespectacled face appearing in the windows.

  • Unit 55 Horror Games - 9922 E. Montgomery Ave., Suite 33, Spokane Valley, WA 99206
    Escape rooms have become a popular activity for any occasion, but they take on a whole new dimension at Unit 55 Horror Games. Located not far from Spokane Valley homes for sale, Unit 55 is described as "part escape room, part haunted house, and part immersive theatrical experience." Star in your own 60-minute horror film as you complete games and puzzles to escape from the nightmare. Admission is based on the number of people in the group. Visit the website to make a reservation.

Our real estate agents offer treats, not tricks. If you're buying or selling a home in Spokane, contact us at Coldwell Banker Tomlinson to learn more.

September
13

Shopping and Dining Options at River Park Square

River Park Square

Spokane's vibrant downtown neighborhood is a delightful combination of urban attractions and green spaces. Right in the middle sits River Park Square, conveniently located just minutes from Spokane homes for sale. Plan a day of shopping and dining at these great stores and restaurants.

  • The Great PNW
    Show your regional pride with clothing and accessories from The Great PNW. Founded right here in Spokane in 2013, the shop exemplifies the creativity of local residents. When graphic artist and PNW native Joel Barbour was frustrated by the lack of region-specific apparel, he decided to design some himself. One of their best-sellers, the Miller tee, bears the saying, "Upper Left, USA." Other products include sweatshirts, hats, drinkware, and stickers. Hours are 10 a.m. - 8 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 11 a.m. - 6 p.m. Sunday.

  • Whiz Kids
    The slogan of Whiz Kids says it all: "Smart Toys for Smart Kids." This independent, locally-owned shop was recently named "Best Toy Store" by Inlander, the popular urban weekly that covers the region. With more than 6,000 puzzles, games, stuffed animals, science kits, and books from 200 different suppliers, there's something for every interest. Mother-daughter duo Kathleen and Julia Lara recently purchased Whiz Kids from longtime owner Jan St. George, and they plan to continue the store's tradition of carrying unique products. Whiz Kids is open Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. - 8 p.m. and Sunday from 11 a.m. - 6 p.m.

  • Anderson & Co.
    When men want to look their best, they head to Anderson & Co. for high-quality fashion. In addition to premium clothing made with the finest fabrics, locally-owned Anderson & Co. is known for superior customer service. Friendly and knowledgeable staff members are always ready to offer one-on-one assistance with personalized advice to match your individual taste. Hours are 11 a.m. - 6 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 11 a.m. - 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday.

  • Twigs Bistro & Martini Bar
    Twigs Bistro & Martini Bar puts a modern spin on the classic cocktail. Choose from an incredible selection of signature flavors, including the traditional Twigs martini as well as Cucumber Lime Basil, Caribbean, and Chocolate Kiss. The beverage menu also features a wide variety of Mules, Mojitos, and Margaritas. Food is equally appealing, with a number of small plates and full-size entrees to accommodate any appetite. Twigs is open 11 a.m. - 9 p.m. Sunday and Monday, 11 a.m. -  10 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday, and 11 a.m. - 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday.

  • Mac Daddy's Gourmet Grub
    Is there any food more satisfying than mac & cheese? Mac Daddy's Gourmet Grub takes this comfort food favorite to a new level with several creative variations. Try your mac Philly cheesesteak-style, loaded with veggies, or topped with Buffalo chicken and bleu cheese. Even burgers and fries come with a healthy dose of mac & cheese. All flavors are available for carry-out in half- or full-pan orders for family dinners or special occasions. Hours are 10 a.m. - 8 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 11 a.m. - 6 p.m. Sunday.

About River Park Square

River Park Square is located at 808 W. Main Ave. General hours are 10 a.m. - 8 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 11 a.m. - 6 p.m. Sunday.

Whether you're buying or selling a home in Spokane, our real estate agents are ready to provide cheerful and experienced assistance. Contact us at Coldwell Banker Tomlinson to learn more.

October
27

Add Value to Your Home with These Upgrades

Home Renovations That Offer the Best ROI for Resale

The following is a guest post by GUSTAVO GONZALEZ, Senior Manager of Content and Multimedia at Coldwell Banker Real Estate, LLC

Looking to make some upgrades and wondering which will have the biggest payoff? If you guessed kitchen and bathrooms, you're spot on. Another good one is landscaping. Whether they're big or small, a few upgrades can pay big dividends when it's time to sell your home. Follow these tips to prioritize and put more money in your pocket when you're ready to sell.

Before you do anything, make sure you consider the value of your house, the neighborhood, the housing market where you live, and how soon you will sell after you make the improvements. If you live in a neighborhood where properties are selling for $300,000, doing a $150,000 renovation may not add as much to your property value as you might think.

Kitchens and Baths
One thing to keep in mind is that just because a remodel is expensive doesn't necessarily mean it will give you the best return on investment. Even minor updates can yield a big return. Consider painting, refinishing surfaces, and upgrading appliances, which can lead to a big payout.

Sticking to a budget is always important, and keep in mind that an average, medium-sized kitchen remodel can cost between $20,000 – $50,000, while the average bathroom remodel is $10,000. In most cases, homeowners see a return of 100% or more with a kitchen or bath remodel, so it's definitely worth the investment. Plus, you get to live in a beautiful new space.

A Finished Basement
If finishing your basement is something you've been putting off, now might be the perfect time. According to cost versus value surveys conducted annually by Remodeling magazine, "The average return on investment for a basement project is around 75 cents on the dollar. Besides the financial gains, refinishing a basement will add new functionality to your home: more bedrooms, more efficient storage, and more space for entertaining." Seems like a sure-fire win, win.

Add Curb Appeal
When buyers see that the outside of the property is taken care of, they'll be more excited to see the inside. Remember, first impressions make lasting impressions. According to Anji, "Curb appeal can increase your home value by 7%. Buyers are increasingly prioritizing outdoor living spaces and an attractive lawn has the biggest ROI at 256%. Trees can add $1,000 to $10,000 to your home value and simple landscape maintenance tasks usually pay for themselves."

Whether you're in the market to sell your home or just want to make some budget-friendly renovations that you and your family can enjoy, making the right upgrades can help enhance your quality of life and add a few more dollars to your bank account down the road.

October
17

Your Checklist for Fall Home Maintenance

It's Time to Get Ready for Fall

Delta Media Group

Fall is the perfect time of the year to do seasonal maintenance to keep your home running smoothly. Checking these items off your must-do list now will save you money and frustration later.

  1. Seal the leaks.
    Check around windows and doors for cracks that leak air. According to the U.S. Department of Energy Research, leaks can increase your heating bill by up to 10 percent. Seal the leaks with caulk or weather stripping as needed.

  2. Schedule heating equipment inspections.
    Call an HVAC professional to give your furnace an annual cleaning and tune-up. Doing this can increase the efficiency and safety of your furnace.

  3. Test the generator.
    Instead of waiting for the winter's first power outage, take your emergency generator for a test run now. Make sure you have extra fuel stored away.

  4. Inspect your home's exterior.
    A damaged exterior lets in water and pests. Check your siding for cracks, curling, dents, looseness, bowing, and decay. Make sure your masonry veneer isn't cracking or flaking, and your stucco is free from cracks.

  5. Clean the gutters.
    Although it's among the most common home maintenance tips, this one has greater benefits than you might imagine. Blocked gutters can cause leaks on your roof and in your basement as well as damage your exterior. Scoop leaves, dirt, and other debris from the gutters then spray them clean. As you clean, check for leaks and rust. Make sure your downspouts are directed away from your home.

  6. Check your roof.
    Damage to your roof puts your home at risk for leaks. Use binoculars or climb onto the roof to inspect for missing, damaged, curled, or loose shingles. Look the ridge shingles over for wind damage. The metal flashing in the roof valleys and around protrusions such as vents should be free from curling and damage.

  7. Inspect your walkways.
    Damaged driveways, sidewalks, and steps worsen when exposed to freezing temperatures and pose a hazard in icy conditions. Repair cracks wider than 1/8th inch, smooth uneven areas, and tighten loose railings.

  8. Prevent frozen pipes.
    Adding insulation to pipes in unheated areas is one of those simple home maintenance tips that can save you a lot of trouble and expense. Outdoors, put your garden hoses in storage and, if your outdoor faucets aren't frost-free, turn off your outdoor water supply and drain the faucets. Drain your irrigation system to prevent burst pipes and damaged sprinkler heads.

  9. Measure your foundation drainage.
    The ground around your foundation should slope away from your home at an angle of 6 inches down over 10 feet. This protects your foundation from water damage.

  10. Get the lawn and garden ready.
    If you spot any tree limbs that could fall or hit power lines during a windstorm, cut them back. Also, trim shrubbery and perennials as recommended for the species. Rake up leaves and either compost them or use them as mulch. Alternatively, check if your city offers a removal service.

October
3

Boost Your Curb Appeal this Fall

Curb Appeal Tips for Fall

Delta Media Group

First impressions are everything when it comes to selling your house.  When a potential home buyer drives by your home, what will they see?  The outside of your home should serve as a preview for the inside of your home.

"WOW" home buyers from the curb with these tips perfect for the fall. 

  1. Spruce up your lawn
    Brilliant fall foliage can automatically "sell" your home for showings, but that doesn't mean you should forget about raking the leaves and mowing.  Keep those leaves raked and give your lawn the TLC it needs to look great. Patch any brown spots, and water the lawn as long as possible to keep it green and vibrant.

  2. Plant fall flowers
    Once lawn maintenance is handled, add a splash of color to your landscape by planting fall flowers.  Some of the best fall flowers include vibrant mums, yellow marigolds, sedum, or goldenrod.  You can also place fall flowers in pots near your front door along with a few pumpkins as accents.

  3. Highlight the front door
    Calling attention to your front door is a good selling tactic no matter what season when you're selling your house.  Your front door is like an invitation to your home. Hang a fall wreath for added color and a festive touch.  A fresh coat of paint in a vivid color can make your entrance stand out.

  4. Tidy up the exterior
    During the fall, your home becomes more exposed making its exterior appearance even more important.  Before listing your home for sale, pressure wash your siding, sidewalks, and walkways.  Clean the windows.  Apply a fresh coat of paint as needed.

  5. Clear out the gutters
    Being diligent about home maintenance tells buyers you care about your home's upkeep.  Keeping your gutters and downspouts clear from leaves and debris protects your home from water damage and ups the ante for curb appeal.

  6. Invest in outdoor lighting
    Days get shorter during the fall.  Exterior light adds a touch of elegance and sophistication to your landscape and improves safety. Illuminate your walkways, front door, and important landscaping elements so the home shines no matter when people drive by.

  7. Keep outdoor decorations simple
    A simple fall wreath on the door and seasonal flowers make your home look inviting to potential homebuyers.  However, scarecrows and spooky Halloween decorations may "scare off" homebuyers and distract them from the gorgeous exterior you've worked so hard to otherwise create.

September
19

Why Should You Consider a Pre-Listing Inspection?

Should You Get a Home Inspection BEFORE Selling?

Delta Media Group

Selling your home? A recent survey showed more than 85 percent of buyers who applied for financing asked for an inspection of the home they intended to buy. Today's savvy home buyers rarely leave things up to chance — they want to be assured they are getting great value.

Despite this growing trend, many sellers still wait for buyers to take the initiative on inspections. A seller might save a few hundred dollars by waiting until the buyer makes the first move, but this is rarely worthwhile. In fact, there are many benefits to taking the plunge and getting an inspection as soon as you decide you are serious about putting your property on the market.

Let's look at six benefits of pre-listing home inspections:

  1. Attract More Buyers
    Savvy buyers who have purchased a property before will know about the necessity of a home inspection and will appreciate this is one less step (and expense) they need to worry about. New buyers seeking their first home may not be as savvy at first, but they will soon figure it out. All in all, an inspection will reassure and attract more would-be buyers.

  2. Accelerate the Sales Process
    Sooner or later, an inspection will happen — and when it does, it's bound to turn up something. Relatively minor issues might throw a wrench into your hopes of selling your home. When you get proactive, you have the chance to resolve problems that might otherwise add months to the sales process. Plus, in many cases, you can turn those fixes into part of your sales pitch.

  3. Provide a Stronger Negotiating Position
    Most home sales involve some "give and take" over the final price. Buyers will look for anything they can find as a reason to maneuver excess costs onto the seller. With a recent inspection report in hand, you can counter these moves without any sour grapes — you've gone the extra mile to ensure that everything in the home is on the up and up, after all!

  4. Reduce Recurring Repair Bills
    It isn't always easy to determine the true source of a recurring problem in a home, even a newer one. For example, if your toilet drains slowly, you might simply need to snake it... or you may have a major issue with your septic system. Whatever the case, an inspection helps you get to the real root of the problem. It saves money if you don't sell and improves your price if you do.

  5. Take Control of the Process
    Unless you find out something truly appalling, you don't necessarily have to take time to repair whatever an inspection turns up. Instead, you have the option of lowering your price or going "as-is." All in all, an inspection gives you the opportunity to take the steps that are right for you instead of running to catch up to a buyer whose inspection uncovers unwelcome surprises.

  6. If You're Selling Your Home, Start with an Inspection
    In today's real estate market, a seller's pre-inspection of a home is a mark of quality that buyers increasingly expect. If you put your home on the market and don't find interested buyers in a relatively short time, an inspection is one precaution you'll end up taking.

With all that in mind, selling your home should almost always start with an inspection. It's an essential step, just like making basic repairs, listing your home in the right places, staging it for potential buyers, and partnering with a real estate agent you can trust.

August
22

Labor Day Weekend: 5 Things to Do in Spokane

Labor Day Weekend Spokane

Labor Day is fast approaching, and in the Spokane area, there are many activities and events to enjoy! Join our real estate agents in saying goodbye to summer and hello to fall with these wonderful activities happening near Spokane homes for sale.  

  • West End Night Market - Brick West Brewing Co., 1318 W. 1st Ave., Spokane, WA 99201
    After a highly successful debut in 2021, Brick West Brewing Co. brings back their West End Night Market for a second season. Every Monday night through September, including Labor Day, the brewery hosts a diverse group of food, produce, and craft vendors for an evening of fun. Feast World Kitchen, a non-profit restaurant with a rotating lineup of chefs preparing international cuisines, spearheads the assortment of food trucks and vendors. Live music provides a festive background. Hours are 5 p.m. - 9 p.m.

  • Pig Out in the Park - Riverfront Park, 507 N. Howard St., Spokane, WA 99201
    Get your chow on at Pig Out in the Park, a lively Labor Day weekend fest held at popular Riverfront Park. With 50 food booths offering 250 menu items, "you'll never eat it all." Check out artisan crafts and other items at 35 public market booths. More than 100 concerts over four stages include music from KISS, Tom Petty, and Green Day tribute bands, along with a variety of performers in a range of styles. The park's thrilling Numerica SkyRide will also be open for families, with 50 percent off tickets when you mention "Locals only" at the cashier stand. Pig Out in the Park takes place Wednesday, August 31 through Monday, September 5, from 11 a.m. - 10 p.m. Admission is free.

  • Mica Moon - 23403 E. Mission Ave., Suite 111, Liberty Lake, WA 99019
    Celebrate the freedom of summer's last long weekend by soaring across the treetops near Liberty Lake homes for sale. With zipline tours and aerial obstacle courses, Mica Moon features plenty of thrills and chills. Both activities run approximately three hours, including a scenic UTV ride to and from the grounds. Choose the combo tour for a day-long adventure. Prices start at $55 for adults and $44 for ages 7-12. Visit the website for schedule and reservations.

  • Big Barn Brewing Company - 16004 N. Applewood Ln., Mead, WA 99021
    Just minutes from Mead homes for sale in scenic Green Bluff is a working farm that produces beer from their own home-grown ingredients. Owners Craig and Jane Wood also make their home on the grounds of Big Barn Brewing Company, built on land purchased from Craig's father. Their signature brew, Lone Pine Pilsner, is named for the majestic Ponderosas that dot the landscape. Local food trucks will also be on hand during Labor Day weekend. Big Barn is open Wednesday through Sunday from noon - 8 p.m.

  • Mount Spokane State Park - N. 26107 Mount Spokane Park Dr., Mead, WA 99021
    Take in the incredible beauty of the Pacific Northwest at Mount Spokane State Park. As the website boasts, the park offers 100 miles of trails, so you could hike for days and never see the same view twice. Don't be surprised to find a moose or two sharing the path along the way. Leashed pets are welcome. If you're feeling restless but lazy, the drive to Mount Spokane is just as incredible. Park hours are 6:30 a.m. - dusk. Admission passes are $10 for the day or $30 annually.

Planning to buy or sell a home in Spokane before the leaves begin falling? Contact us at Coldwell Banker Tomlinson to get started.

September
5

Easy Repair Hacks for Your Home

MAINTENANCE HACKS FOR YOUR HOME

From our friends at Delta Media Group

Little fixes around the home can take time and money. Try one of our quick tips to save both! 

  1. Fasten a Tennis Ball to your Mop Handles
    Never get on your hands and knees again to scrub scuff marks off your floor. Simply attach a fuzzy tennis ball to the end of your mop handle, and whenever you find a difficult scuff, flip the mop over and use the tennis ball to buff the mark from the floor.

    Bonus Hack: Keeping a couple of tennis balls in your swimming pool helps remove the oils, lotions, and sunscreens from the water.

  2. Plunge the Clogs from the Drains
    The next time your bathtub or sink drain backs up, don't reach for a bottle of expensive chemical drain cleaner. Grab your toilet plunger instead. Fill the basin with a few inches of water, use a bit of cloth to cover the overfill hole, and use the plunger over the drain. More often than the clog loosens after just a few plunges.

  3. Easy Spackle
    If your drywall cracks, make your own spackling compound by mixing a small amount of baking soda with glue.

  4. Loosen Stubborn Nails
    Whenever you engage in a home improvement project, there always seems to be that one nail that refuses to come out. A homeowner's trick that frequently works involves using a hairdryer to warm the nail, causing it to expand, creating a larger hole so that after the nail cools and returns to normal size, you can easily remove it.

  5. Repair Windows
    If you have a small hole or crack in your windows, fill the space with clear nail polish. It prevents the hole/crack from spreading when the temps drop below freezing.

  6. Caulking Made Easy
    Caulking isn't always a favorite home maintenance chore. Many struggle to keep the tip of the caulk gun straight or they find that they get caulk everywhere but the spot they want it at. Rather than having a professional come into handle routine caulking for you, stock up on painter's tape. Simply place a strip of painter's tape above and below the area you need to be caulked. Caulk the area and peel the tape away while the caulk is still wet. All the mess goes on the tape.

  7. Fix Holes in Drywall
    Don't worry if you get a small hole in your drywall. Fixing it is easy. Home improvement experts will tell you that you'll need to invest in paper tape or mesh. However, those with strong home maintenance skills know that all they really need is a small makeup brush to spackle their walls. Use the brush to fill the hole with spackle and sandpaper to sand down the spackle.

  8. Take the Elbow Grease Out of Shower Cleaning
    Rather than scrub by hand, easily clean your shower by fastening a foam ball to your cordless drill attachment. It'll have your shower gleaming in no time.

August
29

Recipes Just in Time for Your Labor Day Gathering

Terrific BBQ Recipes

Fantastic recipes just in time for your late summer get-together!

Tequila Baby Back Ribs

2 Tbsp. chili powder 1 tsp. cayenne pepper
2 Tbsp. paprika 1 tsp crushed red pepper
1 Tbsp. garlic powder 1 chopped onion
1 Tbsp. salt 1 lg. handful chopped cilantro
1 Tbsp dried oregano 3-4 cloves garlic, diced
2 tsp. cumin 1 bottle (fifth) tequila
1 tsp. black pepper 1 lemon, halved
1 tsp. white pepper 2 limes

Combine all the above and season 2 full slabs of ribs, each cut in half. Refrigerate 2-4 hours.  Put half of 1 slab in 1-gallon ziploc bag, layer with onion, cilantro, and garlic. Place other half on top, repeat with onion, cilantro, and garlic. Pour in half bottle tequila. Add juice of half lemon and 1 lime. Seal. Repeat with other slab. Marinate at least 4 hours. Grill with onion, cilantro, and garlic at 350 degrees until done.

 

Honey Mango-Glazed Baby Back Ribs

1 c. honey 4 ripe mangos, cubed
2 full racks, baby back ribs 1 tsp. pepper
1 can chipotle peppers in adobo sauce 1 Tbsp. salt

Remove ribs from packaging, rinse and pat dry. Remove membrane from backside of ribs. Place ribs in shallow pan, sprinkle salt and pepper evenly and set aside. In a small saucepan, add chipotle/adobo, mango and honey. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly until cooked down and thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. Using the slow and low method of BBQ'ing, set temperature to 225-240 degrees. If using coals, let them burn off and move over to one side of the grill. Wrap the ribs and 2/3 of the sauce mixture in aluminum foil tightly and place on grill. Close lid. After 2 hours, flip the ribs and let cook for another 2 hours. Open the aluminum and remove ribs, place them on grill and brush on remaining sauce and let cook another 30 minutes.

August
8

Shop at Spokane Farmers Markets

Spokane Farmers Market

Many farmers are eager to share the fruits of their harvest with customers around our Spokane homes for sale. Rather than heading all the way out to a local farm, though, why not stop by one of Spokane's many farmers markets instead? Fresh local produce is one of the many perks of living in the Spokane area.

The markets listed below are some of the most popular in the city – and best of all, many of them offer afternoon and evening hours to make shopping even more convenient for you.

  • The Thursday Market - 924 S Perry Street, Spokane, WA 99202
    The Thursday Market is a small South Perry area market that runs from May to October. Every Thursday, starting at 3 PM and ending at 7 PM, vendors such as Achele Farms, Hierophant Meadery, Good 'Dilla, and Redline Jewelry gather to sell their wares.

    This market is intended to serve as a place to showcase the products of local growers and craftspeople while also providing quality fresh food at an affordable price. Come with a budget and see how much produce you can get for your money! Our real estate agents love stopping by to find something new every week. 

  • The Spokane Valley Farmers Market - 2426 N Discovery Place, Spokane Valley, WA 99216
    The Spokane Valley Farmers Market operates each Friday between 4 PM and 8 PM from June to mid-September. This event is a bit more entertainment-oriented than most on this list, incorporating live music and other performances to turn the shopping space into a great place to spend a fun evening.

    This event is also part of the KERNEL (Kids Eating Right – Nutrition and Exercise for Life) program for children 5 to 12, offering a free educational activity to help kids learn more about where their food comes from. 

  • Fairwood Farmers Market – 319 W Hastings Road, Spokane, WA 99218
    The Fairwood Farmers Market is open every Tuesday between 3 PM to 7 PM from May to October. Its stated mission is to bring more commercial activity to the Fairwood District of North Spokane.

    In keeping with this goal, the market has attracted a wide variety of vendors from all around the Spokane area. Shop for some fresh steaks at Browning Beef, pick up a treat at The Scone Ranger, or browse the scented homewares available from Shady Slopes Lavender – you can get it all done in just a few steps. 

  • Spokane Farmers' Market – 20 W 5th Avenue, Spokane, WA 99202
    The Spokane Farmers' Market has been bringing fresh produce and other goodies to the city's residents since 1998. It is currently open Wednesdays and Saturdays from 8 AM to 1 PM until the end of October, giving you plenty of time to stop by before the end of the season.

    The bulk of their vendors sell typical market items like meat, eggs, baked goods, produce, and fresh flowers. A few also carry products like hard cider, candles, and Italian sodas. 

Ready to find a new home near your favorite markets? Contact us today to get in touch with one of our agents.

July
25

Patio Dining in Spokane

Patio Dining in Spokane

Ready for a memorable meal here in Spokane? Our real estate agents are on the case.

Why not top off a day looking at Spokane homes for sale with a dinner that will refresh and rejuvenate you? One of the best ways to make delicious food even more satisfying is to enjoy it outdoors. Spokane has natural beauty and fresh air that will add the perfect complement to your cuisine.

Let's drop in on just a handful of the many great patio dining options in Spokane:

  • Osprey Restaurant & Bar – 700 North Division Street, Spokane, WA 99202
    Osprey Restaurant & Bar is a locally owned business that stands out for its full calendar of events. Just about any time of the month and any season of the year, you can find wine dinners, live music nights, and so much more. The sophisticated, chef-led menu offers lunch, dinner, and the famous weekend brunch, as well as a drive-through barbecue option. The heated patio is welcoming at any hour.

  • Mizuna – 214 North Howard Street, Spokane, WA 99201
    Open seven nights a week from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m., Mizuna is a classy spot that consistently draws both visitors and Spokane locals. At the crossroads of the city's top hotels and venues, Mizuna has been around since 1996. It prides itself on local ingredients and organic produce. It recently slimmed down to focus on an unforgettable dinner, which includes a full menu for both vegetarians and omnivores.

  • O'Doherty's Irish Grille – 525 West Spokane Falls Boulevard, Spokane, WA 99201
    Heralding itself as the home of "traditional Irish fare and great spirits," O'Doherty's Irish Grille is loved for banquets, parties, and other gatherings. Open Tuesday through Sunday starting at 11:30 a.m., it's a true taste of the old country where you'll find Emerald Isle mainstays like shepherd's pie, Galway meatloaf, and Donegal salmon, among many more. There's also a full wine list and plenty of desserts.

  • Luna Spokane – 5620 South Perry Street, Spokane, WA 99223
    Luna Spokane puts a new spin on neighborhood dining with its locally owned and community-focused approach. In partnership with other local businesses, including Casa Cano Farms, Spokane Family Farms, KJ Pottery, Culture Bread Milling, and others, it crafts an exquisite culinary vision that you simply cannot find outside Spokane. Reservations are suggested.

  • Remedy Kitchen and Tavern – 3809 South Grand Boulevard, Spokane, WA 99203
    Remedy Kitchen and Tavern is always here to welcome its regulars and newcomers from far and wide. Featuring a convenient location that combines full dining and 24 taps of craft beer, you have your pick of ample patio or rooftop seating. From burgers to healthy vegetarian favorites, the Remedy has it all.

  • Italia Trattoria – 144 South Cannon Street, Spokane, WA 99201
    Italia Trattoria makes its mark with a fully covered, enclosed, and heated patio. It is also one of the local restaurants where dogs are welcomed, giving them plenty of space to hang out on the patio as long as they are on a leash. As for the delightful food, choose your desire from scrumptious breakfast, lunch, dinner, al fresco, and sandwich picks, plus wines.

  • BARK 905 North Washington Street, Spokane, WA 99201
    Bring your dog with you to dine out on the patio at BARK, or adopt one! This one-of-a-kind brewery partners with the local humane society to help showcase adoptable pets in need of homes. This rescue pub offers brunch and happy hour menus that are sure to please, with a variety of vegan and vegetarian options featured! 

Ready to learn more about Spokane and its dining scene? Contact us to discover more of what Spokane has to offer.

July
15

Coldwell Banker Scores Another Win in Recent Survey

Coldwell Banker Scores First in Agent Satisfaction. Again.

Confucius said, "Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life." 

The real estate professionals across the Coldwell Banker brand are passionate about their industry – and about their brand. For the third time, Coldwell Banker Real Estate ranked #1 in agent satisfaction in the annual "Agent Priorities" report conducted by Quester.

Designed to keep what's important to agents top of mind, the report zeroes in on topics such as work/life balance, brand image, support, tools, and culture. Knowing what makes an agent more likely to stay with a company is a key component in what brokerages can do to foster positive work environments and grow their agents' businesses.

On a local level, Coldwell Banker Tomlinson combines the strength of the national tools with additional services designed to help our Realtors® list, sell, and learn.

Full-time managing brokers are in place to provide immediate assistance. Offices are staffed with Agent Services Experts (ASEs) to help with marketing, paperwork, and training. A company-wide marketing team is in place to create campaigns that support current market trends, listing types, and services.

With continuing education an important aspect of any business, Coldwell Banker Tomlinson offers in-house classes, regular lunch 'n' learn trainings, continuing education at no cost, and national certifications and classes.

To read the results of the report, visit the Coldwell Banker Blue Matter blog.

July
11

Summer Music Festivals Coming to Spokane

Spokane Music Festivals

There's always something going on in Spokane! And with a wide range of festivals lined up this summer, it's an especially great time of year to head outside for some great live music.

Some of our real estate agents' favorite festivals and events are coming back this season, so be sure to mark your calendars for these upcoming summer music festivals in the Spokane area!

  • River City Market & Music - 408 N Spokane St, Post Falls, ID 83854
    The annual River City Market & Music series is an ongoing event that takes place on multiple occasions throughout the summer months. It's located in Landings Park, along the Spokane River in the city of Post Falls, just 30 minutes east of Spokane. River City Market & Music includes live music performances as well as arts and crafts vendors, food trucks, and a wide range of other attractions. Dates for the 2022 Market & Music Series are July 13, July 20, July 27, August 3, August 10, and August 17.

  • Hillyard Festival - 6018 N Regal St, Spokane, WA 99208
    The annual Hillyard Festival is a beloved community celebration in Spokane's historic Hillyard neighborhood. This year's festivities are scheduled for August 5-7 and will include a wide range of live entertainment. Although this year's live music has yet to be announced at the time of publication, the Hillyard Festival is always a great showcase for local bands. There will also be a parade, beer garden, food vendors, and a carnival midway. The festival takes place in the heart of Hillyard, just minutes from many Spokane homes for sale.

  • Elk-Chattaroy Music Festival - 28118 N Newport Hwy, Chattaroy, WA 99003
    With a focus on country music, the Elk-Chattaroy Music Festival takes place on August 6, 2022. Headlining the festival this year is Nashville recording artist Clayton Shay, along with support from some of the most talented local bands and singer-songwriters from right here in the Inland Northwest. Attendees are welcome to bring their own lawn chairs and blankets to the event, which takes place in the Biggies Restaurant parking lot in Chattaroy, WA. 

  • Blue Waters Bluegrass Festival - Medical Lake, WA 99022
    It's been 20 years since the very first Blue Waters Bluegrass Festival in 2002, and this annual event has grown to become one of the leading bluegrass festivals in the Inland Northwest! This year's lineup includes performances by John Reischman & the Jaybirds, The Lonesome Ace Stringband, Eli West, the Onlies, and many more. The Blue Waters Bluegrass Festival takes place on August 12-14, with a spectacular location overlooking Medical Lake. Passes are available for attendees to camp onsite. 

  • Pig Out in the Park - 507 N Howard St, Spokane, WA 99201
    Taking place on Labor Day weekend, Spokane's Pig Out in the Park is one of the most anticipated festivals of the year in the Inland Northwest. This festival always marks the end of summer, and the folks in Spokane know how to send the season off with a bang! The 2022 Pig Out in the Park festival spans six days from August 31 to September 5 and includes 90 free concerts on 3 stages, as well as 50-plus food booths and three adult beverage gardens in Spokane's Riverfront Park.

Contact us today to learn more about upcoming festivals and events in the Spokane area, and be sure to ask our real estate agents about how we can help find your dream home in Eastern Washington. 

July
18

Headache-Saving Home Maintenance to Tackle Now

Home Repairs that Can't Wait

Delta Media Group

Home improvement can be costly and time-consuming, so it's no surprise that many homeowners put off making repairs as long as possible. Smaller repairs can usually be safely left until the timing is more advantageous, perhaps when you have more money in the bank or some vacation time. There are some repairs, however, that should be taken care of as soon as possible. These home repairs are so important that failing to make them could result in serious injury and increased costs.

  1. Electrical System
    Some home improvement projects include work on the electrical system, such as installing a ceiling fan or changing a light switch. These are examples of repairs that can be done whenever you can fit them into your schedule. Some electrical problems require immediate action, though. These include unexplained circuit breaker failures, flickering or inconstant lighting, and switch plates and outlet covers that feel warm or hot. If you notice any of these problems, it's a good idea to enlist the help of a qualified electrician as soon as possible.

  2. Roofing
    The roof is an important part of your home's defense against the elements. Leaks, missing or damaged shingles, and sagging areas need to be addressed as soon as you notice them. A sagging roof could collapse under the weight of snow or heavy wind and may indicate other problems like improper attic ventilation. In addition, small leaks and damaged areas can lead to big problems like rotted support beams, mold growth, and an overall weakened structure.

  3. Foundation
    Foundation cracks are a fairly common problem, but many people choose to ignore them when they're small. This leads to their spread and growth, eventually becoming so problematic that it can cost many thousands of dollars to repair. While smaller cracks don't typically contribute to structural instability, as they grow larger, they increasingly undermine the foundation's integrity. In extreme cases, this can lead to the collapse of the entire home. Have foundation problems been addressed as soon as they arise, both to save money and ensure safety?

  4. Gas Lines
    Gas leaks in your home can be extremely dangerous. Natural gas and propane are dense and have a tendency to "sink" below regular air. They pool in the low areas of your home, meaning that you're more likely to smell them (they smell like sulfur; "rotten eggs") on the first floor or in the basement if you have one. Anytime you smell gas, or even think you smell gas, get yourself and your family out of the home immediately and call the gas company from outside. Repairs to gas lines should be made before you return to your home, and only by experienced professionals.

  5. Plumbing
    Water leaks and damaged pipes give mold a perfect environment to take hold in your walls, and you may not notice a leak until long after it started. Should you notice any dark spots or weakened areas in walls, or water bills that seem abnormally high, it's important to find the cause and address it before it leads to larger problems.

Managing Home Improvement Tasks

It can be tempting to leave smaller home improvement tasks until "later," but keep in mind that doing so could cost you more in the long run. Not every repair constitutes an emergency, but that doesn't mean that non-emergency repairs should be ignored. Keep on top of home maintenance and repairs by keeping a checklist of necessary tasks; focus on completing one each weekend or each month. This will help you keep your home improvement projects from piling up and becoming major problems.

July
5

Patio Upgrades to Consider this Summer

Ideas for Upgrading Your Patio

Delta Media Group

Maybe you've been pondering all those cool ideas seen on TV and the web about redoing your drab slab of a concrete patio so that it's a standout feature of your indoor/outdoor entertainment area. Here's the deal. We are all in love with the idea of extending our living and entertainment area into the outdoors. And why not? There are dozens of relatively inexpensive and yet innovative hacks that will make your outdoors as inviting as the indoors, so let's start working from the ground up by renovating that boring, cracked, or scuffed-up concrete patio and see how dazzling it can be.

  1. Paint it.
    For basic painting, you will need concrete binding primer; concrete paint; painter's tape, a roller tray with liners (for fast cleanup), a paint roller, nap roller covers, and paintbrushes.

    Pressure wash the patio and let it dry. Cover up with painter's tape everything you don't want to be painted. Apply concrete binding primer, allowing it to dry one to four hours prior to painting. Apply two coats of paint, allowing the first coat to dry overnight. Wait 72 hours before you move furniture back onto the patio.

  2. Stain it.
    Apply a stain over the patio, then seal it. 

  3. Paint a pattern.
    Using a circular saw, score a concrete slab with a diamond pattern, then paint it with two shades of gray concrete paint. You can also use a stencil to create interesting patterns like a carpet design.  

  4. Lay decking on top of the concrete.
    Not a fan of concrete? You can lay decking on top of the concrete and attach white fascia boards along the sides.

  5. Create a stamped concrete patio.
    Stamped concrete is wildly popular these days. A bit cheaper than pavers, it comes in a variety of patterns and colors. Installers will try to delay cracking (be advised, it will crack someday) by installing control joints. Obviously, you will have to pour concrete and stamp the new concrete before it hardens. So if you've already got a concrete slab there, you'll have to figure out how to get rid of it. 

  6. Fake a stone look.
    Another redo that involves pouring new concrete is to fake the look of brick or stone with a patterned rubber roller. You'll need a concrete roller to create indentations that look like brick or stone, and those rollers can be costly. Concrete stamping mats are a more affordable option. These flexible pieces of rubber have embossed patterns. Stamp them on wet concrete and apply pressure. Lift the mat and repeat the process. 

  7. Resurface with pavers.
    How about resurfacing your patio with clay pavers? These bricks are hard-fired in a kiln, so they are extra-strong and can stand up to the harsh sun and inclement weather. Less expensive than stone, clay pavers cost more than concrete pavers. 

Although all these projects are relatively inexpensive, you can obviously spend more on some than others. So if cost is a factor, then you may want to go with simple painting or staining.

Once you're done with your new floor, it's time to think about decorating. You might start with a weather-resistant outdoor rug, perhaps in the dining area. Decorate with flower boxes or containers of flowers that can change with the season and move indoors when it's cold. Hang up strands of lights. Add a water feature, which could be a fountain with plumbing or a self-contained model that runs on electricity and recirculates the water.

Let your creativity and inner interior decorator run wild as you think up ways to jazz up that formerly dull space and make it shine.

Have you made some updates to your outdoor living space? Show us some pictures in the comments! 

June
25

Lemony Recipes for Summer

Sweet-Tart: Refreshing & Lemony Recipes for Summer

Summer is here, and it's time to celebrate all things lemony! These refreshing treats are sure to please at your next get-together.

 

Frozen Raspberry Yogurt Lemonade Pops

  • 1 can (12 oz.) frozen lemonade concentrate
  • 1 c. water
  • 1 c. fresh raspberries
  • 1/2 c. plain yogurt
  • 10 ice pop molds

In a saucepan, heat lemonade concentrate & water over medium heat just until the concentrate is thawed. Remove from heat & cool. In a blender, place 3/4 c. of the cooled mixture, 1/2 c. of the raspberries, & 1/4 c. of the yogurt. Blend on medium until smooth. If you don't like the seeds, press this mixture through a small strainer to remove them. Divide the mixture among ice pop molds & freeze slightly.

Distribute the remaining raspberries in molds. Combine the remaining lemonade mixture & yogurt and spoon evenly into molds. Return to freezer until firm, about 4 hours.

 

Perfect Lemonade

  • 1/3 c. sugar or 2/3 c. agave
  • 1 c. freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 7 c. water

Mix well. Serve over ice with a lemon wedge garnish.

 

Lemon-Lime Spritzer

  • 1 liter lemon-lime soda
  • 4 limes, cut into wedges
  • frozen cherries
  • fresh mint leaves

Mix ice, soda & sliced limes. Add cherries & garnish with mint leaves. Serve immediately.

 

Adult Lemonade

  • 1 shot El Patron Tequila
  • 1/4 shot Grand Marnier
  • 4 oz. beer
  • 4 oz. lemonade
  • ice
  • strawberries for garnish

Mix together and serve immediately

 

Strawberry Lemonade Icebox Pie

  • 1 9" graham cracker pie crust
  • 2/3 c. frozen lemonade concentrate
  • 1 can (14 oz.) sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 c. heavy whipping cream
  • 3 Tbsp. powdered sugar
  • 1 c. strawberries
  • 3 Tbsp. honey
  • 1 Tbsp. water

 In a blender or food processor, blend strawberries, honey, & water until pureed. Set aside. In a separate bowl, mix lemonade concentrate with sweetened condensed milk until combined. Set that aside, too.

With a mixer, whip heavy cream until soft peaks form. Add powdered sugar & whip until it stiffens. Gently fold into lemonade mixture. (The pureed mixture is still kept separate.)

Pour half the strawberry puree on the bottom of the crust. Top with lemonade filling, smoothing evenly. Spoon on the remaining puree in evenly spaced dollops and swirl with a toothpick or knife. Freeze at least 6 hours before serving. Store leftovers in the freezer.

What's your favorite summertime recipe? Tell us in the comments! 

June
27

Boat Launches Near Spokane

Boat Launches Spokane

According to the U.S. Coast Guard, the Fourth of July is the most popular day for boating. If you haven't already contacted our real estate agents at Coldwell Banker Tomlinson to purchase your new lake property, head out to these great boat launches near Spokane homes for sale to celebrate on the water.

  • Riverside State Park - 9711 W. Charles Rd., Nine Mile Falls, WA 99026
    No matter what type of boating you enjoy,  Riverside State Park will accommodate it. This sprawling park covers 9,194 acres near Nine Mile Falls homes for sale, including 200,000 feet of shoreline along the Spokane and Little Spokane Rivers, with three launches and 120 feet of dock. Spokane River is open for all boating and water activities, including waterskiing and fishing, while Little Spokane River is reserved for kayaks, canoes, paddleboards, and rafts. Daily launch permits are $7, in addition to the $10 park entrance fee. Hours are 6:30 a.m. - dusk, seven days a week.

  • Downtown Convention Center - 334 W. Spokane Falls Blvd., Spokane, WA 99201
    How many cities can boast a boat launch in the heart of downtown? If you work in the area, you can even grab a quick paddle on your lunch break. Opened in 2015, the Downtown Convention Center boat launch is right under the Division Street Bridge on the south side of the Spokane River. Kayaks, canoes, and paddleboards can be carried down via the six-foot-wide gravel path down to the water. Keep in mind that laws prohibit floating west of the Bridge. Parking is available at the Convention Center or in metered spots on Spokane Falls Blvd. There is no fee for use of the launch.

  • Silver Lake - 1599 E. Grace St., Medical Lake, WA 99022
    Want a great place for a staycation? Look no further than Silver Lake. Just a 20-minute drive from Spokane and not far from Medical Lake homes for sale, this beautiful 500-acre body of water feels light years away from daily life. Silver Lake is widely regarded as heaven for trout fishing, but it's also popular for boating, sailing, wakeboarding, canoeing, and kayaking. The old concrete launch was replaced in 2009 with a new dual-lane launch, and a separate dock was added for shore fishing.

  • Lake Roosevelt National Recreation Area - 1008 Crest Dr., Coulee Dam, WA 99116
    When Grand Coulee Dam harnessed the powerful Columbia River, the result was the magnificent body of water at the center of Lake Roosevelt National Recreation Area. If a 100,000-acre area can be called a "hidden gem," this is it. The lake itself is nearly 81,000 acres, and with 22 boat launches, there's plenty of room for boating. One of the more frequently-used boat launches is Fort Spokane, which is adjacent to the campgrounds of the same name. There is no park entrance fee, but a boat launch pass is required. The price is $8, and the pass is good for seven consecutive days. Park hours are sunrise to sunset daily.

  • Q'emiln Park - 12201 W. Parkway Dr., Post Falls, ID 83854
    Located only minutes from Post Falls homes for sale, picturesque Q'emiln Park gets its name from the original Native American village. "Q'emiln" translates to "throat of the river," referring to the setting alongside the Spokane River. There is a $10 parking fee and a $30 boat launching fee. Hours are sunrise to midnight, seven days a week.

Whether you're looking for vacation property or a year-round home, contact us for experienced help with all your real estate needs.

June
13

Summer Activities to Enjoy at Spokane Ski Resorts

Spokane Ski Resorts

Think Spokane area ski resorts are only fun in the winter? Think again!

Thanks to the region's dry, clear, and warm climate during the summer months, mountain resorts around Spokane homes for sale still offer a wealth of outdoor activities. When our real estate agents need fresh air and sunshine, they head to these great nearby resorts for summer fun.

  • Mt. Spokane Ski & Snowboard Resort - 29500 N. Mt. Spokane Park Dr., Mead, WA 99021
    With more than 1,700 acres and 52 runs, Mt. Spokane Ski & Snowboard Resort is a winter wonderland, but the fun doesn't stop when the weather heats up. Visitors to this resort near Mead homes for sale trade skis and snowboards for mountain bikes at the resort's summer camps. Sessions include beginning and all-levels skills camps for ages 7-15 and advanced skills camps for ages 10-17. If you're looking for variety, there's a mountain adventure camp for ages 5-14 that includes climbing, hiking, and crafts. Biking enthusiasts of all ages can ride the numerous trails of varying lengths and difficulty. Visit the website for more information, including schedule and pricing.

  • 49°N Mountain Resort - 3311 Flowery Trail Rd., Chewelah, WA 99109
    Want to beat the summer heat around Chewelah homes for sale? Enjoy the cool mountain air of Chewelah Peak at 49°N Mountain Resort, where temperatures are usually at least 10 degrees lower than the valley below. Service roads in the West, Central, and East Basins are open to the public for hiking and mountain biking, while hikers can also use the cross-country trails and downhill runs. For those who prefer more leisurely activities, Chewelah Peak is a prime spot for picking huckleberries. Visitors are allowed to pick up to three gallons of huckleberries per day for non-commercial use.

  • Silver Mountain Resort - 610 Bunker Ave., Kellogg, ID 83837
    The action never slows down at Silver Mountain Resort, just minutes from Kellogg homes for sale. Bikers can take a casual two-mile trip along the Trail of the Hiawatha or explore the scenic wonders along the 72-mile riverside Trail of the Coeur D'alenes. The resort also features a spectacular mountainside bike park, accessible by North America's longest gondola ride. There's fun for the whole family at Silver Rapids Indoor Waterpark, where you can hang 10 in the wave pool, ride a raft in the Moose Sluice, or just float along the North Fork Lazy River. Plan a unique date night with Ride & Dine, where the gondola trip ends with dinner at the Mountain House.

  • Schweitzer - 10000 Schweitzer Mountain Rd., Sandpoint, ID 83864
    Adrenaline junkies get their fill of thrills at Schweitzer, a popular mountain resort conveniently close to Sandpoint homes for sale. Soar above the ground along the 700-foot zipline, catch some air on the trampoline, or ride the Great Escape Quad chairlift to the mountain top for panoramic views of Lake Pend Oreille and wildlife sightings. Once you're there, have a lively game of disc golf followed by lunch at the Sky House. Take a two-hour hosted electric bike tour where guides provide fascinating information about the flora and fauna encountered along the way. 

Learn more about what makes Spokane such a special place to live when you contact us at Coldwell Banker Tomlinson.

May
23

5 Dog-Friendly Places in Spokane

Spokane Dog-Friendly Spots

What could be better than a day on the town with your favorite furry friend? More than ever, local shops, dining destinations, and other small businesses are becoming dog-friendly, allowing you to take your well-behaved pup on your journeys all around Spokane. Many local restaurants offer patio dining where your dog is invited to join!

Whether you're shopping or dining, life is just a little sweeter with your dog at your side. Our real estate agents have the details on five dog-friendly destinations around Spokane for you to enjoy with your pet.

  • Outlaw BBQ & Cater Market – 4427 W. Wellesley Ave., Spokane, WA 99205
    A local destination for barbecue near Spokane homes for sale that also offers great catering services, Outlaw BBQ & Cater Market has more than 25 years of experience serving some of Spokane's best barbecue. Stop by with your pup to enjoy some classic barbecue, as well as items you wouldn't necessarily expect at a barbecue spot like nachos, tacos, and wraps. Be sure to leave room for their decadent desserts, and don't forget about the great selection of local craft beers that are available on tap.

  • Huckleberry's Natural Market – 926 S. Monroe St., Spokane, WA 99204
    A local market that offers everything you need for a natural, healthy lifestyle, Huckleberry's Natural Market is a great place to do some shopping with your dog at your side. In addition to stocking everything you'd expect from a natural grocery store, Huckleberry's features a juice & coffee bar, great food at the in-store 9th Street Bistro, and an excellent selection of locally crafted wine from the Spokane Wine Company. They also stock products from a wide variety of local, healthy vendors, and all of the grocery departments are stocked full of clean, sustainable, locally sourced items.

  • Little Garden Cafe – 2901 W. Northwest Blvd., Spokane, WA 99205
    With a convenient, scenic location across the street from Audobon Park and expansive outdoor seating, the Little Garden Cafe is the perfect place to enjoy some relaxing time with your pup on a beautiful Spokane day. The menu here is primarily focused on breakfast and lunch, with plenty of fresh, healthy options to choose from. While the food is great, the highlight here has to be the extensive selection of coffee and tea, perfect for sipping from the comfort of your chair on the outdoor patio.

  • Lucky You Lounge – 1801 W. Sunset Blvd., Spokane, WA 99201
    Want to take your dog out for a night out on the town? Lucky You Lounge offers a partially-shaded patio that is perfect for enjoying an evening out with your dog. If the large patio doesn't impress you, their amazing pub-fare and extensive cocktail menu are sure to do the trick!
      
  • Mod Pizza – 3104 E. Palouse Hwy., Spokane, WA 99223
    When you're in the mood for something quick, convenient, and delicious while exploring Spokane with your dog, Mod Pizza has you covered. Open from late morning through late evening every day, you can always count on a quality slice here whenever you're craving pizza in Spokane.

Searching for a home with a yard where you and your pup can enjoy the outdoors? Our local real estate team is here to help you find the perfect match. Contact us to buy and sell homes throughout the Spokane, WA area.

May
12

Choosing a Contractor for Your Home Remodel

How to Choose a Contractor for Your Remodel Projects

Delta Media Group

Homeownership is an exciting time — one filled with many new possibilities and experiences. One possibility that has the potential to elevate your home to the next level is a remodel. Remodeling can transform your space into something more functional by better reflecting your lifestyle and adding value to your home. However, your dreams of the perfect renovation project can turn into a nightmare if you don't do your homework. To have a successful remodel, you need the right contractor.

It's understandable to want the best person for the job but finding that person often involves a number of factors like availability, cost, and areas of expertise. The best way to choose a remodeling contractor is to do your homework and take steps to ensure that you find an ideal match for your project.

Ask around or research

If you have a friend or neighbor who has a remodel you like in a room/area you're looking to work on, too, it can be helpful to ask them who they used. You can also ask around your network of people — i.e., friends, family, business partners, or your real estate agent—to get recommendations for remodeling contractors. Once you have a list created, make your own as well by researching resources like Google, Angie, the local Better Business Bureau, and other online places that give you the names of local companies. Weed out any contractors with consistently poor reviews or contractors that don't specialize or have experience in the space you want to remodel.

Look deeper into credentials and projects

Most contractors have a website. Take the time to look at what credentials they may have and if they are current. See if they have pictures of their work as well. You can begin to get a feel for which contractors are more your taste or that have the knowledge necessary for your remodeling project.

Interview possible contractors

The next step once you have fine-tuned your list to a few favorites is to call and schedule a time to meet and talk about the project. Consider both the phone and in-person meetings an interview. It's your chance to ask about experience, find out about their knowledge and skills, and see if you mesh. Like any job interview, you'll be able to get an overall sense of who you're getting. There are also some things you'll want to ask them or have them do, including:

  • Itemize your bid
  • Ask how long they have been in business
  • Determine who their main suppliers are and who will be in charge of the site/project
  • Find out if the pricing is an estimate or a fixed price.

Check references

Even if you've done all your online research and read all the reviews, nothing is as effective as talking with someone who has worked with your prospective contractor. You may find out things you didn't think to ask, and it can give extra assurance that you're making the right choice.

Put it in writing

The last thing you'll want to do when you've made your choice is to put it in writing. This is a great way to keep all parties on the same page and safeguarded. 

Homeownership means making the decisions; it's your house, and you get to choose who remodels it. For the best remodeling experience, by taking your time and the correct steps, you're more likely to find the right person for your project. Not only will it save you time and money, but it will also get you the home of your dreams.

May
9

Spring in Spokane: Gardens to Visit

Spokane Gardens

Our real estate agents are always excited to welcome spring back to the Spokane area. This season offers a chance to reconnect with nature and to be reminded of all the amazing green spaces our city has to offer. 

This spring, we recommend taking that appreciation a step further by exploring some of Spokane's most amazing gardens. With spring flowers blooming, there's no better time to experience these spectacular Spokane gardens. 

  • Lilac Garden - W Shoshone Pl, Spokane, WA 99203
    Spokane has been nicknamed the Lilac City, and it's not hard to see why. The Lilac Garden in Manito Park contains over 100 cultivars from at least 23 unique species of lilac trees and bushes. The best time to see them in full bloom is from late May into early June, and the annual Lilac Festival has been a fixture of Spokane's spring calendar since the 1930s. 
  • Duncan Garden - S Park Dr, Spokane, WA 99203
    One of several gardens that are located with the city's beautiful 90-acre Manito Park, Duncan Garden is unique among Spokane's public gardens. It's a classic Renaissance garden with three acres of manicured lawns adorned with sculpted shrubs and vast beds of flowering annuals. This garden is best explored at a slow pace from spring into early summer. Duncan Garden is also a popular wedding venue, located just minutes from these Spokane homes for sale.

  • Rose Hill Garden - Rose Garden Path, Spokane, WA 99203
    Often ranked among the best rose gardens in the nation, Rose Hill Garden is another splendid component of Manito Park. The rose garden was established in 1938 and has grown to include more than 150 rose varieties in a dazzling spectrum of colors. Rose Hill Garden is a great picnic spot and features a collection of old-fashioned roses and miniature roses along with grandiflora, floribunda, and hybrid tea roses.

  • Nishinomiya Tsutakawa Japanese Garden - 2025 S Bernard St, Spokane, WA 99203
    There may be no better place in Spokane to feel the balance, tranquility, and beauty of nature come together. Nishinomiya Tsutakawa Japanese Garden was built between 1970 and 1974 to symbolize the friendship between Spokane and its sister city, Nishinomiya, Japan. Two Japanese architects, Shosuke Nagai and Hirohiko Kawai designed and oversaw the construction of the garden, which remains a magnificent symbol of peace and harmony. 

  • Gaiser Conservatory - 4 W 21st Ave, Spokane, WA 99203
    Located in Gaiser Park just east of Rose Hill, the Gaiser Conservatory features a series of greenhouses in which plants from temperate, sub-tropical, and tropical regions from around the world are grown. The greenhouses are open every day of the week except Wednesdays, and visitors can experience a wide range of different plants in bloom, depending on the season. The Geiser Conservatory also hosts a brilliant holiday lights display every winter.

  • Moore-Turner Heritage Gardens - 525 W 7th Ave, Spokane, WA 99204
    The Victorian-influenced design of Moore-Turner Heritage Gardens is unique in Spokane. These gardens, which span an incredible 120 acres, were originally constructed between 1889 and 1932 under the supervision of Frank Rockwood Moore on the grounds of what was then his own private home. Later purchased by the city and opened to the public, this historic property includes a pond, tea house, rose garden, and perennial garden. Moore-Turner Heritage Gardens are listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Contact us today to learn more about life in Spokane. When you're ready to start looking for your dream home in Spokane and the surrounding areas, our real estate agents are here to help every step of the way. 

April
25

Creative Ideas for Your Kitchen Island

Kitchen Island Tips

An island makes a wonderful addition to your kitchen, adding an extra workspace, seating, and storage. Besides its practical benefits, a kitchen island can also transform your kitchen's appearance by creating a stylish focal point. From the shape of your island to its color and features, your options are nearly endless, so you can design an island that suits your needs and style.

Our real estate agents suggest the following creative ideas for your kitchen island:

  • Think Beyond a Rectangle
    The traditional shape for a kitchen island is a rectangle, but that doesn't mean it's the only one. A kitchen island that's slightly curved, fully circular, or a combination of a rectangle with a curve becomes a statement piece due to its unique design. And depending on the shape you choose, your island may be more functional. For example, a triangle shape creates more room for seating around your island.

  • Add Shelves to Showcase Displays
    Although islands provide many practical benefits, they can also give your kitchen's aesthetics a boost. Incorporate some open shelves within your island to display your favorite cookbooks, glassware, vintage items, or other collectibles. The more interesting and colorful, the better.

  • Make it Colorful
    You can always match the color of your kitchen island to the one used on your cabinets, but why limit yourself? A burst of cheery, red, orange, or bright blue can instantly turn your island into a statement piece. On the other hand, if you have dark cabinets, a light, muted shade can have a big visual impact.

  • Go for an Industrial Vibe
    If you have an industrial style in your kitchen, you can extend it to your island. Combine elements like brick, wood, and metal, add a sleek black counter and exposed ductwork, and you've got an island with an industrial vibe.

  • Add Task Lighting
    You'll need to have appropriate lighting to brighten up your kitchen island, and the fixtures you choose can also add another layer of interest to the space. Options include everything from small pendants to statement shades, but in addition to the lighting's appearance, also think about how you'll be using your island. If you are doing lots of food prep, you may need bright task lighting. Or, if you'd like a softer look, pendant lighting offers extra light and some elegance.

  • Consider a Moveable Island
    A kitchen island doesn't necessarily need to be a fixed, immobile feature. A moveable freestanding island gives you lots of versatility. You can use it to prepare meals, and then if you're entertaining in the evening, push it aside to make more room.

  • Install an Extra Sink
    Having a second sink in your kitchen will require extra plumbing, but for many people, this is a game-changer that's worth the extra cost. You'll need to have enough room on your island, plus additional space to the sides, but you'll have an extra area to clean dishes, wash your hands after prep work, and wash veggies and other foods.

Contact us if you're looking to buy a home and would like to see Spokane homes for sale. Our agents have years of experience and are ready to help you find your new home. 

April
20

Tech Spam: Best Practices

 

Spam 101

From Our Friends at Integrity Computer Consulting and Repair

Technology scams are running rampant right now, whether they come by email, phone call, and now text messaging. We have had several customers reach out about texts that look to be from their bank asking to "verify information." Be vigilant when dealing with any communications via phone call, email, or text that regard any exchange of money or "verifying" any account information with a link or number to call.   

Our recommendations are as follows:

You can use your cell phone carriers' built-in number blocking on your phone to stop unwanted calls or texts from specific numbers; you can also block offending email addresses in your email account. But with any sort of fraud, scammers often use hundreds of thousands of phone numbers and emails and move very quickly onto the next.  This makes permanent blocking hard.  

To really have an impact, we recommend reporting the offending communication to the FTC.  This can be done online at: https://www.ftccomplaintassistant.gov/

A few rules of thumb for spam calls, texts, and emails:

  1. Do not engage spammers.  When you answer or respond, you are showing the scammer, spammer, or robo-system that your phone number or email is "live". It is then put on a live numbers list that is sold over and over and the calls/texts/emails will continue infinitely.
  2. Do not answer calls from numbers you do not recognize. This one is hard for agents, but if it is important or a legitimate call, they will leave a voicemail or text you. 
  3. Do not answer texts from numbers you do not recognize
  4. Get into the habit of regularly entering and labeling known clients, colleagues, friends, family, etc. as contacts in your phone and email.
  5. Do not answer unsolicited or out-of-the-ordinary texts from numbers you do recognize.  The number could be spoofed to fool you. Instead, call the number you have in your contacts (not from the text or email) for the person texting you and verify via phone call that they sent the text.
  6. Do not click on links in texts or emails that you are not expecting from anyone that you do or do not recognize unless you have verified with the actual sender via phone call or in person.
  7. Do not open emails, download any attachments, or click on links in emails from senders you do not recognize.
  8. Do not download any attachments or click on links in unsolicited or suspicious emails or texts from senders you do recognize. Their email may have been hacked or their number spoofed.
  9. TRUST YOUR INTUITION.  Slightest question of authenticity?  Feeling of distrust? Major red flag? Do not ignore these feelings.
  10. COMMUNICATION IS KEY. If a text or email seems weird, out of character, just a slight bit off? We recommend that you call the person/company/bank to verify the contents of an email or text, or ask a trusted professional.

If you have any questions about a suspicious email, call, or text, feel free to contact our office via phone 208.288.4345 or email info@integrityidaho.com.

April
13

Wear Your Jeans for a Reason

#CBTDenimDay

April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month. It's a difficult topic, no question.

 

Removing the stigma surrounding sexual assault and abuse, bringing the conversation to the forefront and out of the shadows, educating, speaking out, ending victim-blaming, and supporting survivors are the best defenses. So much has been done, with so much more to do.

It's worthy of our time. Of everyone's time. Here at CBT, we decided to act on one of our mottos – BE BOLD – and do what we can to help. For our April #DoersOfGood campaign, we're taking the message to all our offices and asking our Realtors®, staff, and managers to come together to support organizations in our areas who work hard to assist women in our local communities. We've asked them to purchase a #CBTDenimDay button, donate gently used professional clothing, and wear their jeans on April 27th, the 24th annual National Denim Day. 100% of the funds raised in each region, along with additional funds from CBT, will be donated to the corresponding organizations listed below. Clothing donations will stay local, as well. 

Denim Day grew out of an Italian Supreme Court decision overturning a rape conviction of an 18-year-old girl because she was wearing tight jeans. Since then, wearing jeans on Denim Day is a visible means of protest against victim-blaming and sexual violence.

The organizations we are coming together to support are:

Spokane area:

YWCA – Our Sister's Closet, www.ywcaspokane.org

Tri-Cities area:

Domestic Violence Services of Benton & Franklin Counties, www.dvsbf.org

Lewiston/Moscow/Pullman:

Lewiston YWCA, ywcaidaho.org
Alternatives to Violence of the Palouse, www.atvp.org

Boise area:

Women's and Children's Alliance, www.wcaboise.com

Idaho Falls area:

The Domestic Violence & Sexual Assault Center, www.dvsacac.org

To help, the ask is simple: wear your jeans on April 27th and speak out. To learn about more ways you can help – or if you need assistance, visit one of the sites above.

April
7

Spring Events: Bloomsday and the Spokane Lilac Festival

Spokane Festival

There's always something fun happening near Spokane homes for sale. Join family and friends in celebrating at the Spokane Lilac Festival and the Bloomsday Run, two of the city's favorite seasonal traditions. 

Spokane Lilac Festival

After a two-year hiatus, the Spokane Lilac Festival made an early return in November 2021 to usher in the holidays. This May, the traditional festival is back to delight people of all ages. "The Lilac City" has been home to the festival since 1938, when it began as a way to honor the community as well as members of the military. Over the years, the festival has grown to become the largest event in the Inland Northwest region.

This year's festival revolves around the nostalgic theme of "Our Town." Mark your calendars for these highlight events:

  • Don't miss the main attraction, the Armed Forces Torchlight Parade, at 7:45 p.m. on Saturday, May 21. Local school bands, dancers, gymnasts, floats, and military units will make their way through the streets of downtown Spokane.

  • Meet the Festival Queen and her Royal Court at a luncheon in the Grand Ballroom at the DoubleTree by Hilton. The luncheon takes place on Friday, May 20, from 11:30 a.m. - 1 p.m., and tickets are $50 per person.

  • Later that evening, the DoubleTree will host the official President's Gala from 6:30 p.m. - 10 p.m. Dine on a gourmet meal before dancing the night away. Tickets are $100 per person.

  • The creativity of local artists will be on display at the Lilac Art Show, held at Nectar Catering & Events. Competition is open to a wide range of media, including oil, watercolor, mixed media, and pen and ink. Doors open at 6 p.m. on Monday, May 16.

  • Take part in the debut of an exciting new event with the inaugural Lilac Festival BrewFest. Enjoy tastings of signature brews from 16 of the area's top breweries, including Black Label, Whistlepunk, and YaYa. The $35 admission includes ten tasting tokens and a special edition glass. An additional $10 gets you VIP status, with early entry and reserved seating for the Torchlight Parade. Raise your glass on Saturday, May 21, from 1 p.m. - 5 p.m. on Wall St. between Spokane Falls Blvd. and Main St.

Check out the full event information here.

Bloomsday Run

Coldwell Banker Tomlinson is proud to be one of the major sponsors of Spokane's iconic Bloomsday Run, which has an impressive pedigree. Founder Don Kardong is a local runner who was inspired by his experience in the 1976 Olympic marathon, along with many other national class races. Winners of the first two runs in 1977 and 1978 were Olympic gold medalist Frank Shorter and Bill Rodgers, another famous Olympian who is known for his multiple victories in the Boston and New York City Marathons. 

The 12K course starts off on Riverside Drive, roughly following alongside the Spokane River until it crosses at T.J. Meenach Bridge. Next comes the aptly-named Doomsday Hill, which leads into the last leg of the race. Participants can also choose the virtual option, which allows them to complete a 7.46-mile course of their choosing between April 28 and May 8.

Bloomsday's live run takes place on Sunday, May 1. An early registration fee of $35 runs until April 29, when it goes to full price of $50. Registration for the virtual run is $35 plus shipping for the race bib.

Please join us at the Bloomsday Trade Show on Friday and Saturday before the race to meet our wonderful real estate agents and win some CBT swag!

For information and to sign up, visit this website.

Ready to plant your roots in Spokane and watch your own family bloom? Contact us at Coldwell Banker Tomlinson to get started.

April
4

Easy Homemade Cleaning Products

DIY Products for Spring Cleaning

Sometimes it seems there is no end to house cleaning, and while there is no clear-cut answer for how to keep your home perfectly clean at all times, it might be surprising just how much you can do with a little baking soda and white vinegar.

Spot Cleaner for Carpet

  • After cleaning up any excess spill, sprinkle the carpet with baking soda or cornstarch. Let stand for 10 minutes and then vacuum.
  • Mix one tablespoon clear dishwashing liquid and one tablespoon white vinegar with two cups of warm water.
  • Using a white cloth, blot the stain with the vinegar solution.
  • Sponge with cold water and blot dry.

Oven Cleaner

  • Make a paste of baking soda and water.
  • Coat the oven (or just the dirty parts) with the paste and let stand overnight. Be sure to avoid the heating elements and bare metal.
  • Use a plastic spatula to remove the paste. (Wear rubber gloves.)
  • Wipe away any residue with a clean, wet sponge.

Grout Cleaners

  • Fill a spray bottle with equal amounts of white vinegar and water and generously spray the tile/grout. Let sit about five minutes.
  • Scrub area with a grout brush, or even a toothbrush.
  • Rinse with warm water.
  • If stains are more stubborn, mix a paste of baking soda and water and using your grout brush, work it into the grout.
  • Immediately follow with the vinegar spray. This should cause the baking soda paste to bubble.
  • Use your brush to finish cleaning.
  • Rinse with warm water.
  • For mold or mildewed grout, hydrogen peroxide is a gem. Spray it on the stain, let sit for a few minutes, and then scrub with your grout brush. You can even mix baking soda and hydrogen peroxide into a paste for a stronger clean. Apply the paste to the grout lines, wait a few minutes, scrub and then rinse with water.
  • NOTE: Do not apply vinegar to grout that has not been properly sealed.

Showerhead Cleaner

  • Carefully mix 1/3 cup baking soda with 1 cup white vinegar in a plastic bag.
  • Place the bag over the showerhead, submerging the head in the mixture; secure bag with rubber band or twist-tie.
  • Let soak for at least 3 hours.
  • Wipe clean.

 Window Cleaner

  • Mix together in a spray bottle: ¼ cup vinegar, ½ tsp natural liquid soap, and 2 cups water. Shake to blend.
  • Spray on windows and use newspaper to rub dry & clean, avoiding the window frames (newspaper can leave dark marks on the frames).

March
28

Your Guide to Finding Vintage Decor

Spokane Vintage Furniture

Our real estate agents have noticed a surge in interest in vintage furniture and home decor over the last few years. This old-fashioned aesthetic can make your home feel cozier and more personal. But how do you find these one-of-a-kind pieces for your home?

Want to bring this popular trend into your home? Use our guide to find the best vintage home decor items in Spokane.  

  1. Know What You Want 
    Not all vintage pieces make it into resale markets. Most of the items that end up being preserved are rare, high-quality, or unusual-looking to modern eyes. Before you begin your search, think about which of these aspects is most important to you. If you're having trouble finding the right piece, you can try referring to it by alternate names. The same piece of furniture might be called a cabinet or a hutch, depending on the person looking at it. If you bring up all of these names with the seller you're working with, you'll have a much better chance of being shown a piece that fits your specifications.  

  2. Embrace Imperfections 
    Vintage items have been around a long time – that's what makes them vintage. Unfortunately, this means it is rare for them to be in perfect condition. By the time you get your hands on it, your perfect piece will probably have at least a little wear and tear on it.  

    Antiques may not be in perfect condition, but if you shop around, you can find beautiful pieces that will last you for many years. Small scratches and scuff marks are a concession to make in return for that level of value.  

  3. Inspect Items in Person 
    You can find many vintage items listed online, but when possible go see items in person. A great-looking photo can disguise rips and tears, chipped surfaces, faded materials, and other major problems that might be dealbreakers for you. It's also hard to tell exactly what a vintage piece looks like until you see it for yourself. If you get the chance, stop by a real antique store near you. 

Hoping to upgrade your interior design with a few new vintage items? Here are some places to look for new pieces near our Spokane homes for sale

  • Vintage Mercantile and Auction - 5005 N Market St, Spokane WA 99217 
    Vintage Mercantile and Auction is a great place to find some distinctive pieces, especially if you're also looking for a bargain. Their weekly auctions showcase some of their best acquisitions and give you a chance to snap up these coveted finds before they hit store shelves. 

  • ZipperZ on Garland - 913 West Garland Ave, Spokane, WA 99205
    When you're done shopping on Market Street, be sure to swing by Garland Avenue, which has many unique stores with one-of-a-kind finds. While you're strolling Garland Avenue, be sure to stop by ZipperZ on Garland. ZipperZ on Garland is an upscale consignment shop and has many vintage treasures just waiting to be discovered.

  • Blue Cat Vintage - 1919 E Sprague Ave, Spokane, WA 99202 
    Blue Cat Vintage has an impressive selection of furniture and home accessories, including more unusual items like lighting and rugs. You can even browse their wares online to get a feel for what they have before heading into the store for a closer look.  

Classic furniture never goes out of style. Give your home a whole new look with some choice vintage pieces from any of these Spokane small businesses, and contact us today to buy or sell homes in the Spokane area.

March
16

Reflections & Predictions with Coldwell Banker President & CEO Ryan Gorman

What will 2022 Bring?

Recently, Coldwell Banker Tomlinson Realtors®, managers, and staff were honored with a visit from the President and CEO of Coldwell Banker Real Estate LLC, Ryan Gorman. Responsible for the operations that support our network of 94,000 real estate professionals in 3,000 offices in 43 countries across the globe, he made the trip from CB's New Jersey headquarters to speak with us about the wild ride that was 2021 and share his predictions about the state of our industry moving through 2022.

Though he foresees a continuation of a seller's market, he believes it won't be "the crazy, crazy" atmosphere we saw in 2021.  "Interest rates are ticking up which will slow things a bit," he said, but "inbound migration will continue to be strong, so it will be a long time before the market shifts."

When asked if he was surprised by the activity during the pandemic, he told us that though he did not predict the "nearly 10 years of appreciation in 18 months" in our area, Ryan said he wasn't surprised to see the market remain strong. Despite the economic downturn, "we had the most equity in homes that we had literally ever had (not on a percentage basis, but on an absolute basis), and we had tighter underwriting for almost 15 years by that point than we had almost ever had, so people had good opportunities."

Contributing to the history-making market, he noted, was that for the past five or so years our area has been named to list after list of best places to live, work, and raise a family, so as people were able to work, not only remotely, but more independently, they began to make good on the question if you could live anywhere, why not live somewhere great?  

In discussing the issue of low inventory, he is quick to point out that even buyers who have been in their homes two or three months may have equity that could propel them to look at selling to purchase something that better fits their dreams and goals and encouraged agents to inform their previous buyers what their homes are worth today. Buyers, he said, can leverage their equity to move more affordably to another neighborhood or city.

Recently named a "Real Estate Newsmaker" for 2021 and "Influencer" for 2022 by RisMedia, a highly respected real estate news and information service, Ryan says is most proud of Coldwell Banker's integrity. "Integrity is first. That's an easy answer. Coldwell Banker was founded on honesty and integrity, and that has lasted."

To learn more about Ryan's strategies for Coldwell Banker in 2022, check out his interview with Jordan Grice of RisMedia.

Search for your new home at cbspokane.com.

March
14

Sip Local Wines at These Spokane Wineries

Spokane Wine

One of the best ways to experience all of the greatness Spokane has to offer is through its wine. The area's local wineries serve as community gathering spots, help fuel the local economy, and tell the story of our area's rich history.

Also, learning to distinguish between certain types of wine is a lot of fun. With 20 wineries within 10 miles of Spokane, you'll have no trouble developing a sophisticated palate. Here are some of our favorite local wineries to visit this weekend:

  • Helix Wines - 824 Sprague Ave, Spokane, WA 99201
    Sip six different types of wines in the beautiful downtown Spokane tasting room at Helix Wines. You'll find comfortable seating and a relaxing atmosphere, making it a great stop for a rainy Saturday afternoon. Order a snack from the small plates menu if you're hungry. Retail purchases are available, as is curbside pickup. The tasting room is open from 1 pm to  6 pm daily.

  • V du V Wines - 12 S Scott St, Spokane, WA 99202
    Located in downtown Spokane, V du V Wines is a small and cozy winery with a friendly and welcoming vibe. The winery also hosts rotating exhibits of prints and paintings so you can enjoy local art while you sip. The tasting room is open Friday and Saturday afternoons by appointment, and it's located just down the street from some spectacular Spokane homes for sale.

  • Terra Blanca - 926 W Sprague Ave, Spokane, WA 99201
    Terra Blanca
    is located in the beautiful Chronicle Building and offers a wide selection of red mountain estate-produced wines. The tasting room is elegant, and the service is great. Terra Blanca is located near Spokane's restaurants, hotels, and theaters, so it's a great place to begin your night out on the town.

  • Barrister Winery Downtown Tasting Room - 203 N Washington St #100, Spokane, WA 99201
    This little rustic downtown winery and tasting room is where you can sip and purchase several of Barrister's award-winning wines. The tasting room is located across the street from the Davenport Grand Hotel and frequently hosts local artists and live music on the weekends. The tasting room is open daily at 12 pm.

  • Bridge Press Cellars - 39 W Pacific Ave, Spokane, WA 99201
    Wonderful wines, delicious small plates, and fun live music can all be found at Bridge Press Cellars. The menu features five different types of wine, and the warm and inviting bar and tasting room make this a perfect destination for a special date night. Currently, Bridge Press is open Thursdays from 4 to 7 pm.

  • Robert Karl Cellars - 115 W Pacific Ave, Spokane, WA 99201
    This boutique winery produces hand-crafted wines with grapes grown in the Horse Heaven Hills of Columbia Valley, Washington. There are over 9 types you can try at the downtown Robert Karl Cellars retail shop and tasting room. Schedule an appointment, or feel free to stop by Friday from 2 to 4 pm or Saturday from 12 to 4 pm.

We're lucky to be surrounded by some of the best wineries in the Pacific Northwest. Contact us today for more information on calling the Spokane area home.

February
28

Spokane Ice Fishing Spots

Spokane Ice Fishing

Some parts of Washington never really get enough ice to make ice fishing possible. But here in the Spokane area, our cold winters are a blessing in disguise. Local anglers look forward to ice fishing all year. 

Our real estate agents look forward to it too. If you happen to be in the Spokane area and are looking for a place to drop a line, be sure to check out these great local ice fishing spots. 

  • Silver Lake - Medical Lake, WA 99022
    Silver Lake is the closest reliable ice fishing lake to Spokane, located just outside the town of Medical Lake and less than 30 minutes from these Spokane homes for sale. The lake spans a little over 400 acres and has abundant populations of panfish and bass. Safe ice forms most years, and many anglers come here to jig for perch through the ice. Access is available at the Silver Lake Public Boat Launch at the northern end of the lake which is close to many Medical Lake homes for sale

  • Eloika Lake - Elk, WA 99009
    About 25 miles north of Spokane and a short drive from Elk homes for sale, Eloika Lake is a great place to fish in any season. Yellow perch and black crappie are the most common catches through the ice, and the lake is also known for producing some of the biggest largemouth bass in the region, occasionally weighing 5 pounds or more. You can get out on the ice from the Washington Department of Fish & Wildlife (WDFW) access site south of Grey's Landing. 

  • Hog Canyon Lake - Sprague, WA 99032
    Hog Canyon Lake holds a special place in the hearts of Spokane's ice fishermen. This small, 48-acre lake in Sprague is managed specifically as a winter fishery. Rainbow trout have been stocked in the lake for many years, and the fishing season begins the Friday after Thanksgiving. The WDFW operates a shore access site at the southern tip of the Hog Canyon Lake, just a short drive from Sprague homes for sale.

  • Newman Lake - Newman Lake, WA 99025
    One of the largest lakes in the Spokane area, Newman Lake is a 1,099-acre body of water near the Idaho border, less than 20 miles from Spokane. Anglers near Newman Lake homes for sale most commonly catch bluegill, crappie, and perch through the ice, though the lake also offers up bass, muskellunge, and the occasional brook trout. Much of the shoreline of Newman Lake is privately owned, but there's an access site and boat ramp just off NE Newman Lake Drive, toward the southeast end of the lake. 

  • Fourth of July Lake - Sprague, WA 99032
    One of the best winter-only fishing lakes in eastern Washington, Fourth of July Lake is stocked annually with rainbow trout. Trout over 20 inches are often caught here, and the fishing season begins every November on Black Friday, much like Hog Canyon Lake. Safe ice is not guaranteed, but fly-fishing is also productive early and late in the winter when open water permits. Fourth of July Lake is about 45 minutes southwest of Spokane, and much of the shoreline is accessible. 

  • Sprague Lake - Sprague, WA 99032
    Sprague Lake is just minutes from Fourth of July Lake, so if you don't catch fish in one, you can always try the other! Trout, bass, and panfish are all on the menu at this 1,760-acre lake. There's a WDFW public access site toward the south end, about 45 minutes southwest of Spokane, and the area between the shore and Harper Island is often great for ice fishing. 

Contact us today to learn more about life in Spokane. From outdoor adventure to rich arts and culture, it's a unique place to call home. If you're looking for your dream home in the Spokane area, our real estate agents are here to help every step of the way. 

February
14

Are You a Valentine's Day Expert?

Test Your Valentine's Day Knowledge

Happy Valentine's Day to you and yours!  Today is the day for love and romance, heart-shaped chocolates and candlelit dinners.

What do you really know about Valentine's Day? Here are some fun trivia questions to test your knowledge.

  1. When was the oldest-known Valentine's Day message written, and from where? 
  2. When was February 14th first declared as Valentine's Day? 
  3. Who invented the first Valentine's Day candy box? 
  4. What is the average number of marriage proposals on Valentine's Day each year? 
  5. How much on average is spent on chocolate in America for Valentine's Day each year? 
  6. How many roses are sold on Valentine's Day each year? 
  7. How many Valentine's Day greeting cards are purchased in the U.S. each year? 
  8. How many people typically purchase Valentines for their pets? 
  9. If you send a snarky insult on Valentine's Day, what kind of "greeting" are you sending?
  10. What year were the popular "conversation Sweethearts" not available?

 

Ready for the answers?

  1. The oldest-known Valentine was in 1415, sent by Charles, Duke of Orleans, to his wife from the Tower of London where he was imprisoned. 
  2. Valentine's Day was declared an official holiday in 1537 by King Henry VIII. 
  3. English entrepreneur and chocolate-maker Richard Cadbury created the first heart-shaped box of chocolates. 
  4. 220,000 
  5. It is estimated that over $1 billion is spent in the U.S. each year for Valentine's Day. 
  6. 189 million 
  7. Approximately 1 billion 
  8. 9 million 
  9. Insulting Valentine's messages are known as "Vinegar Valentines."
  10. The ever-popular "Conversation Hearts" were unavailable in 2019 after their manufacturer Necco declared bankruptcy in 2018. Thankfully, the Spangler Candy Company purchased the rights, and the candies returned in 2020.

    How'd you do? 

    Whether you are celebrating with your beau, your best friends, your pets, or your neighbors, we wish you a day full of love!

    February
    11

    Get Ready for the Big Game

    Winning Snacks for a Super Bowl Crowd

    For the vast majority of Americans, Super Bowl Sunday is a national holiday. Big gatherings, team jerseys, and food. Lots and lots of food. In fact, according to Wikipedia, roughly 28 million pounds of chips are consumed just on this day. Add to that 1.25 billion chicken wings and 8 million pounds of guacamole! 

    Perhaps you're looking for some great ideas to add to the menu. Read on! 

    Artichoke Dip

    • 2 cans of non-marinated artichoke hearts
    • 1 c. mayonnaise
    • 1/2 c. sour cream
    • 1 can of diced green chilis
    • 1 c. shredded parmesan cheese

    Combine all ingredients in a small baking dish and bake for 20 minutes at 400°. Serve with tortilla chips.

     

    Dill Pickle & Ham Pinwheels

    • ½ lb. thinly-sliced ham
    • 4 oz. cream cheese
    • 4 large whole dill pickles

    Pat pickles dry with a paper towel. Cover each pickle with 1 oz. of the cream cheese & wrap with ¼ of the ham. Repeat with the remaining pickles & refrigerate for at least 1 hour. Slice into 1" pieces & enjoy!

     

    Tequila-Spiked Salsa

    • 2 c. chopped, seeded tomato
    • 1 c. chopped onion
    • 1/2 c. chopped fresh cilantro
    • 1/3 c. peeled, chopped avocado
    • 2 Tbsp. fresh lime juice
    • 2 tsp. tequila (optional!)
    • 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
    • 2 cloves garlic, minced

    Combine all ingredients & toss gently. Serve with tortilla chips.

     

    Buffalo Chicken Dip

    • 10 oz. chicken breasts, boiled & shredded
    • 2 (8 oz.) packages of cream cheese, softened
    • 1 c. ranch dressing
    • 3/4 c. (or more based on taste/preferences)
    • pepper sauce (e.g. Frank's Red Hot®)
    • 1-1/2 c. shredded cheddar cheese

    Place shredded chicken & hot sauce in skillet & heat over medium heat until heated through. Stir in cream cheese & ranch dressing. Cook, stirring until well blended & warm. Mix in shredded cheese & stir until melted. Transfer to the crockpot to keep warm & serve with tortilla chips.

     

    Oreo Popcorn

    • 20 Oreo cookies
    • 2 bags of microwave popcorn, popped
    • 2 c. white chocolate chips

    Place Oreos in a large Ziploc bag and smash. Heat white chocolate chips in microwave on high for 30-second intervals up to 2-3 minutes, stirring until melted. Mix popcorn & melted chocolate in a large bowl until well-combined. Slowly add the cookies & mix. Turn out on waxed paper until cool. Break into pieces & enjoy.

    After the big game, when you find yourself wishing for a media room or better entertaining space, give us a call. We will guide you to the perfect home!

     

    February
    14

    Explore Spokane's Centennial Trail

    Spokane Trail

    The Spokane River Centennial Trail is just one example of what there is to see and do in the area, and it can provide day after day of outdoor adventures. Whether you prefer more urban activities or want to hike your way through gorgeous topography, the trail has something for everyone. Nearly 2 million people visit the trail each year, a testament to its popularity and the gorgeous scenery it offers.

    Our real estate agents share what you need to know about exploring Spokane's Centennial Trail:

    History of the Trail

    Spokane River Centennial Trail is 40 miles long, starting at a recreation area on Lake Spokane before winding its way to the Idaho border and beyond. It generally follows the contours of the Spokane River as it makes its way through many diverse areas of both states.

    Construction for the trail began between 1989-1991 in celebration of the Washington State Centennial. All of the trail's miles are completely paved, with many stretches separated from vehicular traffic.

    The trail takes you through areas ranging from basalt canyons to hip urban centers. 

    For example, you may want to spend time in historic downtown Spokane and the more urban areas of the trail before heading out to explore more rural areas and their spectacular views. You can traverse the trail's entire length on a long bike ride, or take several days to hike your way through.

    Or, if you'd rather, break your route into smaller sections to explore by using its 18 marked trailheads and access points. The most convenient access point is in downtown Spokane between miles 20 and 23 by most north or southbound streets between Mission Park and Kendall Yards.

    Historical Sites

    You'll find more than 40 historically significant sites along the trail, including the following:

    • Site of 1974 World's Fair - Riverfront Park in Spokane was the location for the 1974 World's Fair. It's marked by a pavilion with a large metal frame and wire shell that was used during their fair.
    • Great Northern Railroad Depot Clock Tower - Constructed in 1902 and located on Havermale Island in Spokane's Riverfront Park, the clock tower was built by Burlington Northern Railroad. It's a monument to the importance of the railroad industry to the area.
    • Fossil beds - The fossil beds can be accessed via the Carlson Trailhead near mile marker 36, which you can follow to Deep Creek Canyon. They're estimated to be almost 11,000 years old.

    Other Activities

    The Centennial Trail is open from 6:30 a.m. - dusk throughout the year and offers an array of activities that any outdoor enthusiast will love. Spokane's Centennial Trail also offers the following activities:

    • Events such as bike races and marathons
    • Horseback riding in the Riverside State Park section
    • Hiking
    • Cycling
    • Inline skating
    • Canoeing
    • Fishing
    • Kayaking
    • Camping
    • Geocaching
    • Rafting
    • Swimming
    • Cross-country skiing
    • Snowshoeing
    • Bird and wildlife viewing

    Ready to start your own Spokane adventure? Contact us to see Spokane homes for sale and to find out more about the area's abundant recreational opportunities and natural beauty.

    January
    21

    Doers of Good: Featuring Abbey Parsons of Coldwell Banker Tomlinson

    IT GIVES US GREAT PLEASURE TO INTRODUCE ABBEY PARSONS, REALTOR® AND SUPPORTER OF JUNIOR LEAGUE OF SPOKANE.

    Abbey Parsons, attended her first Junior League of Spokane (JLS) social meet in her first year of real estate in 2013. It was recommended to her from her "office mom" at the time, who had been previously involved with JLS for years. She thought it might be something Abbey would be interested in, and after one meeting, she's been involved with the non-profit organization ever since.

    The Junior League of Spokane is an organization of women committed to promoting voluntarism, developing the potential of women, and improving the community through the effective action and leadership of trained volunteers.

    Since their founding in 1925, JLS has been at the forefront of social reform, identifying problems and finding solutions in the surrounding area – whose purpose is exclusively educational and charitable. Over the years, their community involvement has included dozens of projects, ranging from the creation of a public radio station to the prevention of child abuse. Their current focus is on promoting childhood literacy skills in the Spokane community, particularly among low-income kids.

    JLS welcomes all women who are committed to voluntarism and who hope to develop their potential to change their communities through volunteer training. While there are structured member expectations, involvement can vary from year to year.

    "That is what I love about the JLS, you can be REALLY involved one year and then when things change (like having a baby) you can step back and just be on a small committee," Abbey said. "I know that when I want to get more engaged they will have a space for me!"

    This year, Abbey is currently on the  committee that is planning a statewide event called Northwest Exchange, an event for Junior Leagues across the region to come together to network and share knowledge. The theme for this year's conference is Creating Connections: Bridging Our Past to Our Future.

    The Junior League of Spokane is part of the Association of Junior Leagues International (AJLI), which is comprised of 293 leagues across the US, Canada, the UK and Mexico.  Membership in AJLI grants access to resources and training opportunities, as well as the ability for members to transfer between leagues if they move.

    For more information about Junior League of Spokane, visit jlspokane.org.


    Join us in celebrating our Doers of Good by getting involved in one of the programs we will spotlight over the next several months.

    January
    24

    Why You Should Move to Spokane in 2022

    Spokane 2022

    Proudly known as the "Gateway to the West," Spokane recently earned another accolade when it landed on the list of Top Housing Markets for 2022. Our real estate agents know the area is a great place to call home for many reasons! Below they share the amenities and advantages of living in Spokane that others are discovering.

    What Makes Spokane So Great?

    • Your dollar goes further in Spokane, where the cost of living is more than seven percent lower than the national average. The state of Washington has no personal income tax, which is another big savings.

    • It's easy to get around Spokane. The average commute is just under 20 minutes, well below the national average of 26 minutes. That means nearly a full hour less spent on the road during the workweek. The downtown area features a network of skywalks, allowing you to walk between buildings in comfort, regardless of the weather.

    • Spokane accommodates any type of lifestyle. The city has a thriving downtown core, rated A- by ranking website Niche for its active nightlife. Comfortable suburbs with well-maintained neighborhoods and above-average schools appeal to families. Residents are just minutes away from scenic outdoor areas with a wide range of activities, from skiing to boating.

    • There's a nice mix of residents in Spokane, making it easy to connect with others. Both families and retirees are drawn to the area for its beautiful setting and affordability. Fairchild Air Force Base is nearby, so there is a large presence of military families. Spokane is also home to Gonzaga University, one of the country's most prestigious schools, attracting a number of academics.

    Things to Do and See in Spokane

    Another major perk of living in the area is all the things to do nearby. Get to know the Spokane area with these local attractions.

    • Riverfront Spokane - 507 N. Howard St., Spokane, WA 99201
      Conveniently located in the heart of downtown, Riverfront Spokane offers year-round fun for all. Lace up a pair of ice skates, ride the carousel, view the sculptures, or take it all in from high in the air on SkyRide. Hours are 6 a.m. - midnight daily.

    • Centennial Trail
      Explore the spectacular scenery of the Northwest along the 63-mile Centennial Trail. The 39 miles of trail contained in Washington state pass through Spokane along with Liberty Lake, Riverside State Park, and Nine Mile Falls. You can also cross into Idaho through Post Falls and Coeur d'Alene. The pet-friendly trail is open to runners, hikers, cyclists, skaters, and horseback riders from 6:30 a.m. until dusk every day.

    • Northwest Museum of Arts and Culture - 2316 W. First Ave., Spokane, WA 99201
      With five underground galleries, a library and archives, an education center, and a store, there's always something different to see at the Northwest Museum of Arts and Culture. The campus includes Campbell House, a stunning English Tudor Revival home that provides a fascinating glimpse into life in Spokane during the early 1900s. Museum hours are 10 a.m. - 5 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday. Admission is $12 for adults and $7 for ages 6-17.

    • Bing Crosby Theater - 901 W. Sprague Ave., Spokane, WA 99201
      Bing Crosby Theater is named for the iconic performer who grew up in Spokane and attended Gonzaga University. The historic theater, which dates back to 1915, hosts a variety of shows, including music, film, and comedy.

    Ready to find your ideal home in Spokane? Contact us at Coldwell Banker Tomlinson to get started.

    January
    10

    Winter Adventures: Spokane Snowshoeing Trails

    Spokane Snowshoeing Trails

    Parks and trails in the Spokane area offer amazing hiking opportunities during the warmer months... but the fun doesn't end when the snow flies. Winter in Spokane means it's time to strap on the snowshoes!

    When there's a good base layer of snow on the ground, there's no place quite like Spokane County for an outdoor adventure. Our real estate agents are excited to share their favorite snowshoeing destinations in the Spokane area. 

    • Mount Spokane State Park - 26107 N Mt Spokane Park Dr, Mead, WA 99021
      There may be no better place to enjoy the outdoors in the Spokane area than Mount Spokane State Park. In winter, when the park's 12,293 acres and 100 miles of trails are blanketed in snow. The centerpiece of the park is the towering summit of Mount Spokane, which gets upwards of 300 inches of snow each winter and is popular for downhill skiing. Many of the less strenuous trails that meander around the meadows, forests, and foothills at the base of Mount Spokane are perfect for snowshoeing. The park is a short drive from many Mead homes for sale and less than an hour from Spokane. 

    • McKenzie Conservation Area - 15898 N West, NW Newman Lake Dr, Newman Lake, WA 99202
      A beautiful park just 40 minutes from Spokane, McKenzie Conservation Area offers great beginner-friendly snowshoe trails, including some that hug the picturesque shoreline of Newman Lake. The 3.3-mile loop formed by the Bedrock Ridge and Turtle Rock trails is a great place to start. One thing to keep in mind is that the weather can be a bit of a wildcard here. Because of its elevation, McKenzie Conservation may be a winter wonderland, or the ground may be entirely bare. You may or may not end up needing your snowshoes, but either way, it's a beautiful winter hike. 

    • Antoine Peak Conservation Area - 15501 E Brevier Rd, Spokane, WA 99217
      The trails in Antoine Peak Conservation Area traverse rolling meadowlands and forests of Ponderosa pine and juniper around the slopes of the park's namesake peak. Popular among hikers and horseback riders in summer, these trails usually offer excellent snowshoeing in winter. As in McKenzie Conservation Area, snow is likely but not guaranteed. Many routes here follow old roadbeds, while others veer off on their own and cover somewhat more rugged terrain. The moderate Emerald Necklace loop, which begins at the West Trailhead and encircles Antoine Peak over the course of 4.6 miles, is a good choice for snowshoeing near these Spokane homes for sale.

    • Colville National Forest - 475-469 Indian Creek Rd, Newport, WA 99156
      Located north of the city near some lovely Newport homes for sale, the trails up here are more likely to get a decent coat of snow than those at lower elevations in Spokane proper. A highlight of the forest is Geophysical Sno-Park, which has 6.2 miles of trails that are groomed specifically for snowshoeing and cross-country skiing. Nearby Bead Lake is another popular spot, with a trail that encircles the shoreline through ancient cedar forests.

    For more information on snowshoeing in the Spokane area, check out Spokane Parks & Recreation's upcoming guided snowshoe outings. The Parks & Rec department leads guided snowshoe trips throughout the winter months in many of the areas listed above, providing great opportunities for beginners as well as experienced snowshoers. 

    Contact us today to learn more about enjoying all the great outdoors have to offer in Spokane. 

    December
    27

    New Year's Resolutions for Your Home

    Home Improvement for the New Year

    2021 is almost over, and it's a good time to reflect upon the year, your wins, losses, and any lessons learned. Every new year brings with it possibilities to improve. It offers you a chance to reinvent yourself, and if you're in the market for a new home, our real estate agents can help you start the new year on a high note by helping you find your dream home.

    Most people vow to exercise, save money, or spend more time with family. Few people remember to set goals to get their homes in shape. Let's look at some New Year's resolutions you can set for your home and how you can go about bringing them to fruition.

    • Declutter and Streamline
      Why wait for spring to declutter? Decluttering is one of the best ways to start the new year. And the best part is you get to feel instantly better about your home. Plus, a decluttered home is so much easier to look after and maintain. Decluttering an entire home is a big job. The best way to tackle the task is going room by room. Contrary to popular beliefs, you don't have to start with the hardest areas. Heading straight into the attic or garage could dissuade all your clean-up efforts. Once you're done decluttering your home, you can declutter other aspects of your life, too, like your digital life and your mind.

    • Reduce Your Energy Use
      Here's a resolution that helps you reduce your carbon footprint and save money. Installing a solar water heating system isn't the only way you can go green. Small things like switching traditional light bulbs with LEDs and getting a smart thermostat could drive your electricity costs down while helping conserve the environment.

      ​​​​​​​Changing your energy consumption habits could also lower your utility costs. Some practices that could help you trim your energy use include:
      • Switching off your appliances when they're not in use
      • Reducing appliance and water use whenever possible
      • Utilizing natural light
      • Buying appliances with a good energy rating
      • Recycling properly

    • Conduct a Safety Check
      Your house may be beautiful, but is it safe? Make a habit of regularly checking your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors and replacing the batteries. Repair and replace loose or frayed wires on all electrical devices and have an expert inspect your electrical system for any faults. If you have a pet, you should consider pet-proofing your home. Pets cause over 1,000 house fires each year. Pet proofing will protect your beloved furry friends as well as your home.

    • Improve Ventilation
      Prolonged exposure to polluted air can lead to respiratory conditions and diseases. Use your HVAC system as the first line of defense, and make sure to regularly change your furnace and AC filters. Plus, ensure your kitchen has enough ventilation to get rid of smoke and cooking fumes.

    • Invest in Home Improvement Projects
      Home makeover ideas don't have to involve knocking down a wall or adding square footage. DIY projects are a fun and creative way to spend time with your family and make memories, all while transforming your house into the haven you've always desired.

    Nothing beats the feeling of finally moving into your own home. Contact us today so we can help you find your perfect home among our Spokane homes for sale.

    December
    13

    Your Guide to Last-Minute Holiday Shopping in Spokane

    Spokane Shopping Guide

    Still need the perfect gift for that special someone on your shopping list? Our real estate agents are happy to help. 

    We're always in favor of supporting local businesses whenever we can. Here in Spokane, we're very lucky to have a ton of great options when it comes to shopping local. Be sure to check out these amazing locally owned businesses in the Spokane area when you need a last-minute gift.

    • Lolo Boutique - 319 W 2nd Ave, Spokane, WA 99201
      From clothes and accessories to home decor, garden gifts, and bath/body products, there's always something unique waiting to be discovered at Lolo Boutique. This trendy shop is located in a former factory on 2nd Avenue, a stone's throw from these Spokane homes for sale. It's a great place to find a gift for your fashionable friends!

    • Auntie's Bookstore - 402 W Main Ave, Spokane, WA 99201
      Auntie's Bookstore is one of Spokane's greatest indie booksellers. In fact, they've been independently owned since 1978, which is pretty impressive. Their inventory is always changing, and it's a perfect place to find the latest bestsellers and old classics alike. Auntie's Bookstore also offers gift cards if you're unsure what your giftee has in their library. 

    • Fern Plant Shop - 1526 W Riverside Ave, Spokane, WA 99201
      If you know someone with a green thumb, you'll find the perfect gift at Fern Plant Shop. They have an amazing variety of high-quality houseplants, including easy care varieties that are great for beginners, as well as an extensive selection of botanically-themed gifts. 

    • Bottles - 3223 N Argonne Rd, Millwood, WA 99212
      If you need to grab a great bottle of wine to take to a holiday party, head straight to Bottles. They have one of the best selections of wine from around the world and right here in Washington. A membership to their wine club is a great gift idea too! Bottles is located in the Spokane suburb of Millwood, and they also offer an outstanding selection of craft beer. 

    • Atticus Coffee & Gifts - 222 N Howard St, Spokane, WA 99201
      Atticus Coffee and Gifts is not only a beloved local coffee shop but also a great place to do a little gift shopping. They offer a wide selection of bulk coffees and teas, along with unique gifts and decor of all kinds. It's a fun shop to explore, and you'll probably leave with a little something for yourself too!

    • Pirate Traders - 12415 E 1st Ave, Spokane Valley, WA 99216
      Shopping for a music fan? Head to Pirate Traders. This indie music shop is one of Spokane Valley's best-kept secrets, with a wide and ever-changing selection of guitars, instruments, new and vintage gear, turntables, vinyl records, and other goodies. You never know what you might find plus this shop is conveniently close to Spokane Valley homes for sale

    Contact us today to learn more about celebrating the holidays in Spokane! It's an amazing place to call home in any season, and our real estate agents are always available to answer your questions and help you find your dream home in the Spokane area.

    November
    29

    Holiday Events Throughout Spokane

    Spokane Events

    Whether or not the snow flies in time for the holidays, Spokane offers endless opportunities to get into the holiday spirit. 

    Our real estate agents are excited to share their favorite holiday happenings in Spokane this season. From light displays and parades to craft markets and musical events, there's a lot to look forward to in Spokane during the holidays. Be sure to check out these upcoming events!

    • Meet Santa at River Park Square - 808 W Main Ave, Spokane, WA 99201
      Many of us have memories of meeting Santa Claus at the mall when we were kids. This year, you have an opportunity to pass on that magical experience down to the next generation! Santa will be making daily appearances up until Christmas Eve at Downtown Spokane's River Park Square Mall. Kids can get pictures taken beneath the mall's majestic 50-foot Christmas tree. The mall is just minutes from these Spokane homes for sale

    • Winter Market at the Pavilion - 507 N Howard St, Spokane, WA 99201
      It's not winter in Spokane until the Winter Market returns to Riverfront Park! Held weekly at the park's pavilion throughout the holiday season, the market offers an amazing opportunity to browse a wide selection of local and handmade goods. You'll find everything from arts and crafts to local produce and foods. It's a great place to get some holiday shopping done! The first winter market of the season is on November 10th, and it will take place every Wednesday until Christmas. 

    • Free Horse and Carriage Rides - 620 W Spokane Falls Blvd, Spokane, WA 99201
      Wheatland Bank presents Free Horse and Carriage Rides beginning on Black Friday, November 26th. Rides will depart from the Downtown Spokane Visitor Center and follow a picturesque course through the city, with great views of the illuminated storefronts and holiday lights. There's not a more romantic way to experience Spokane for the holidays! Opportunities for a ride will be available Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays, and although they are free of charge, reservations are required.

    • Holidays at Riverfront Park - 507 N Howard St, Spokane, WA 99201
      Riverfront Park is a pretty spectacular destination any time of year, but it's at its best during the holidays. The park hosts a truly amazing light show and will be all decked out in holiday decorations including a Holiday Tree Walk of dazzlingly lit-up trees. This is also an amazing time to ride the Numerica Skyride above the illuminated Spokane Falls or go for a skate at the park's public ice skating rink. Stop but on "Cheapskate Tuesdays" to get a great deal on family ice skating. 

    Contact us today to learn more about life in Spokane! It's a very special place to live during any season, but it really comes to life when the holidays roll around. Be sure to ask our real estate agents about finding your Washington dream home. 

    November
    8

    Staging Tips for the Holiday Season

    Holiday Home Staging

    Does selling your home during the holidays mean that you're doomed to spend the season with no decorations?

    Fortunately, our real estate agents know that the answer is "no." Holiday decorations are encouraged when you're selling your home, but it's important to treat them as part of your home's staging. Here's what you need to know about staging your home during the holiday season. 

    • You Need to Declutter Before Reaching for Your Decorations
      Before you start decorating, spend time thoroughly decluttering your home. Pack up collections, old paperwork, and toys. Remove items that feel overly personal, like photographs and sentimental displays. These items make it hard for a buyer to envision themselves living in your home. 
    • Be Stingy with Your Holiday Decor
      Your decluttering mindset should also apply to your holiday decor. Less is more this year. You don't want your decorations to overwhelm your home or detract from your home's best features. Decorative displays with a lot of components, like a Christmas village or nutcracker collection, add too much clutter to your home. Avoid large outside decorations that take up a lot of room in your yard and potentially obscure your home. It's okay to put up lights on your home's exterior, but don't go overboard. Decorate your home's frame instead of every possible surface of your home's exterior. Illuminate a lovely tree or bush instead of decorating multiple components of your landscaping. 
    • Set the Stage with Seasonal Decor
      When you add your home to the list of Spokane homes for sale, you don't know who your potential buyers will be. Holiday items that have universal appeal include wreaths, garlands, poinsettias, and other holiday plants, and classic seasonal figures (like reindeer, snowmen, and nutcrackers). Do put up a Christmas tree. A Christmas tree enhances the appeal of practically any living space. Check that your ornaments aren't overly personalized and have universal appeal. The round Christmas bauble ornaments are always a great choice. 
    • See That Your Decor Matches the Rest of Your Home
      Your holiday decor should complement the colors and style throughout your home. For example, if your living room uses bright jewel tones, use decor that incorporates similar hues. If your home is decorated in a rustic style, ultra-modern decor that consists of geometric shapes and flashy colors will look out of place. 
    • Use Holiday Decor to Highlight Your Home's Best Features
      Holiday decor is a valuable tool for showcasing your home's most desirable traits. Have a large dining area perfect for hosting lots of family and friends? Stage the space with place settings and a holiday centerpiece. Does your home have a fantastic window? Hang a wreath to make sure it draws the attention of your buyers. If your home has arches or cool architectural features, hang small bows or mistletoe to help show them off. 
    • Watch Out for Holiday Scent Overload
      With holiday candles, baking, and your Christmas tree, it's easy to fill your home with festive scents. While a little bit of scent is fine (and even preferred), make sure your scents are complimentary and don't overwhelm the space. Stick with smells that tend to have universal appeal, like fresh cookies, evergreen, and holiday spices. 

    Ready to list your home this holiday season? Contact us today!

    October
    29

    Should You Renovate or Move?

    The last 18 months changed what many buyers are looking for in a home. Recently, the American Institute of Architects released their AIA Home Design Trends Survey results for Q3 2021. The survey reveals the following:

    • 70% of respondents want more outdoor living space
    • 69% of respondents want a home office (48% wanted multiple offices)
    • 46% of respondents want a multi-function room/flexible space
    • 42% of respondents want an au pair/in-law suite
    • 39% of respondents want an exercise room/yoga space

    If you're a homeowner who wants to add any of the above, you have two options: renovate your current house or buy a home that already has the spaces you desire. The decision you make could be determined by factors like:

    1. A possible desire to relocate
    2. The difference in the cost of a renovation versus a purchase
    3. Finding an existing home or designing a new home that has exactly what you want (versus trying to restructure the layout of your current house)

    In either case, you'll need access to capital: the funds for the renovation or the down payment your next home would require. The great news is that the money you need probably already exists in your current home in the form of equity.

    Home Equity Is Skyrocketing

    The record-setting increases in home prices over the last two years dramatically improved homeowners' equity. Odeta Kushi, Deputy Chief Economist at First American, quantifies the amount of equity homeowners gained recently:

    "Remember U.S. households own nearly $35 trillion in owner-occupied real estate, just over $11 trillion in debt, and the remaining ~$24 trillion in equity. In inflation adjusted terms, homeowners in Q2 had an average of $280,000 in equity- a historic high."

    As a homeowner, the money you need to purchase the perfect home or renovate your current house may be right at your fingertips. However, waiting to make your decision may increase the cost of tapping that equity.

    If you decide to renovate, you'll need to refinance (or take out an equity loan) to access the equity. If you decide to move instead and use your equity as a down payment, you'll still need to mortgage the remaining difference between the down payment and the cost of your next home.

    Mortgage rates are forecast to increase over the next year. Waiting to leverage your equity will probably mean you'll pay more to do so. According to the latest data from the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA), almost 57% of current mortgage holders have a mortgage rate of 4% or below. If you're one of those homeowners, you can keep your mortgage rate under 4% by doing it now. If you're one of the 43% of homeowners with a mortgage rate over 4%, you may be able to do a cash-out refinance or buy a more expensive home without significantly increasing your monthly payment.

    First Step: Determine the Amount of Equity in Your Home

    If you're ready to either redesign your current house or find an existing or newly constructed home that has everything you want, the first thing you need to do is determine how much equity you have in your current home. To do that, you'll need two things:

    1. The current mortgage balance on your home
    2. The current value of your home

    You can probably find the mortgage balance on your monthly mortgage statement. To find the current market value of your house, you can pay several hundreds of dollars for an appraisal, or you can contact a local real estate professional who will be able to present to you, at no charge, a professional equity assessment report.

    Bottom Line

    If the past 18 months have refocused your thoughts on what you want from your house, now may be the time to either renovate or make a move to the perfect home. Contact us today to help guide you through the process and help determine what makes the most sense for you!

    October
    25

    7 Ways to Warm Up Your Home's Entryway

    Entryway Tips

    Your entryway is the first space guests experience when they step into your home. And more importantly, it is the first space you experience when you get home! As such, you really want your entryway to feel warm and welcoming. Here are a few useful tips to help you make your entryway a sight to behold.

    1. Include a Bench Seat
      Sometimes, entryways have a tendency to become cluttered with items like umbrellas, hats, and bags. Including a bench seat in your design takes care of this problem. You can store all of your accessories in the bench seat and also sit on the bench as you put your shoes on or otherwise prepare to go out.

    2. Create Symmetry With Two Plants
      In a small space like an entryway, decorating with symmetry can help create a sense of balance. An easy way to create symmetry is with two identical potted plants. If you have a bench seat, place one plant on either side of the bench. If you have a larger piece of furniture, such as a set of cabinets, you could place two small plants on top of it — one on either side. 

      Plants are perfect for an entryway because greenery evokes a calm, peaceful feeling. They also help unify the outdoors with the outdoors, which is exactly what your entryway is intended for.

    3. Include a Clock
      Clocks are timeless decor, and you don't see them in homes as often as you used to, now that everyone has the time on their own smartphone. But your entryway is the perfect place for a clock. People will appreciate knowing exactly what time it is as soon as they step in the door. You'll also appreciate being able to check the time without pulling your phone out as soon as you get home. A large, decorative clock mounted on the wall directly across from the door is perfect entryway decor.

    4. Use Warm Colors
      When choosing paint colors for your entryway, be sure to opt for warm undertones. This will subliminally make guests and family members feel cozy when they step into the space. "Warm colors" does not have to mean brown or red, either. Your paint store professional can point you towards all sorts of different colors with warm undertones.

    5. Include Large, Fuzzy Doormats
      Doormats can warm up your entryway not only visually but temperature-wise. In the winter, you'll really appreciate not having to step onto the chilly floor. Pick mats that are generously sized to fit everyone's shoes. Those with a plush or fuzzy look tend to make the space look and feel warmer.

    6. Add Texture, When Possible
      As you decorate your entryway, look for ways to add texture to the space. For example, you may include a wall hanging with some burlap. Or, you might find a light fixture with some roughly hewn wood in its design. Incorporating a mixture of smooth and rough textures can make any space feel warmer and more balanced overall.

    7. Install a Dimmer Switch
      If your entryway does not already have a dimmer switch, consider having one installed. This lets you set the mood for your home.

    These tips can make any entryway give a warm welcome! If you're still looking for Spokane homes for sale, please feel free to reach out. We can help you navigate the house-hunting process with ease.

    October
    11

    Spokane Bakeries for Fall Treats

    Spokane Bakery

    When the temperatures start to drop, there's nothing quite like enjoying a fresh-baked treat and a hot cup of coffee. In fact, if you ask our real estate agents, most of them will tell you it's their favorite way to start the day. 

    If you've been busy exploring Spokane homes for sale, you probably don't have time to make your own baked goods right now - but you're in luck! There are plenty of great bakeries nearby where you can choose from a large selection of tasty treats. Here are a few we recommend checking out. 

    • The Blissful Whisk: 1612 N. Barker Rd., Spokane Valley, WA 99016
      Whenever we're in the area showing Spokane Valley homes for sale, we make it a point to stop by The Blissful Whisk. This adorable local bakery serves up a variety of pastries, cakes, scones, sandwiches, coffee drinks, and even dog treats. They've been pleasing customers since 2018 and are the perfect bakery to visit whether you're planning a special occasion or just need to satisfy your sweet tooth. 
    • Sweet Frostings Blissful Bakeshop: 15 S. Washington, Spokane, WA 99201
      With locations downtown, inside Northtown Mall and Valley Mall, and in Whitworth, Sweet Frostings Blissful Bakeshop has plenty of places to stop and satisfy your sweet tooth. The company is owned by a mother-and-daughter team who have been serving sweets to the local community since 2011. On the menu, you'll find a variety of cupcakes and mini cupcakes, with different flavors rotating each day. 
    • Three Birdies Bakery: Spokane, WA
      Jamie, the owner of Three Birdies Bakery, is super passionate about what she does. All of her baked goods are made with the finest possible ingredients, and she also offers vegan and gluten-free options. Order custom cookies for any occasion, or you can join the monthly cookie club! When you do this, you can get 6 or 12 cookies every month, which you can either pick up at Jamie's home or have delivered right to you. 
    • Rocket Bakery: 3315 N. Argonne Rd., Spokane, WA 99212
      Rocket Bakery is a locally-owned, independent bakery that has been around since 1992. While Argonne was their first location, they now also have five more! This means that no matter where you are, you can be pretty sure there's a Rocket Bakery nearby. When you visit, you'll find lots of tasty items on their menu, including coffee, specialty drinks, cakes, pastries, and lunch items. Some locations also have rotating flavors of Bare Culture Kombucha on tap.   
    • Europa Restaurant and Bakery: 125 S. Wall St., Spokane, WA 99201
      While Europa Restaurant and Bakery is a well-known location for happy hour and upscale dining, they also offer a selection of incredible baked goods that are created fresh daily by their on-site pastry chef. Some of the options on the menu include homemade truffles in flavors like Grand Marnier, Espresso, and Chambord, as well as cakes, tiramisu, apple strudel, pumpkin roulade, macadamia nut tarts, and more. 
    • The Mason Jar: 101 F. St., Cheney, WA 99004
      Family-run business The Mason Jar serves up delicious espresso, paninis, and a selection of baked goods. They pride themselves on choosing locally sourced ingredients whenever possible and purchasing what they can't find nearby from the best "ethically and environmentally focused companies." When you visit, we suggest trying their gigantic cream cheese frosted cinnamon roll or a flaky, buttery croissant. After you enjoy your treat, be sure to check out the great nearby Cheney homes for sale

    Are you ready to find your dream home in the Spokane area? Contact us today to discuss your goals and get started. 

    September
    27

    Spokane Restaurants with River Views

    River Views Near SpokaneThe beautiful river is one of the many features that make Spokane special. Our real estate agents want you to see it like never before! Since all the way back in 1873, "The Lilac City" has depended on its river for both trade and natural beauty. No surprise that its modern restaurant scene has also used the river for precious inspiration.

    When you explore Spokane homes for sale, you will notice that the riverfront area isn't over-developed as in some cities. Only a handful of establishments, many of them historic, offer the breathtaking vantage of a lovely river view. To get a unique glimpse of the true heart of Spokane, it's a great idea to stop in for a bite to eat.

    To savor Spokane food with an unbeatable view, consider these options:

    • Park Lodge – 411 North Nettleton Street, Spokane, WA 99201
      Known for its locally inspired comfort food, Park Lodge offers a scrumptious chef-driven menu in a setting of remarkable natural beauty. Visitors can enjoy the Kendall Yards overlooking the Spokane River, truly gorgeous at any time of day and all seasons. With fifteen years of experience, Chef Philip brings his culinary expertise to Spokane after time at high-profile restaurants in San Francisco, Portland, and Paris.

    • Anthony's at Spokane Falls – 510 North Lincoln, Spokane, WA 99201
      Anthony's at Spokane Falls overlooks Spokane River and the picturesque Upper Falls. For lunch or dinner alike, the cascading river offers the ideal backdrop for the best in Northwest seafood and produce. Chef Russ Seaman has become notable locally for Anthony's three-course Sunset Menu, which includes a choice of roasted scampi prawns, Columbia River steelhead, or blackened fresh rockfish as the entrees.

    • Maryhill Winery Tasting Room & Bistro – 1303 West Summit Parkway, Suite 100, Spokane, WA 99201
      Maryhill Winery Tasting Room & Bistro is dedicated to introducing its patrons to the diversity of Washington state wine. Its Kendall Yards tasting room in Spokane allows you to savor both the fine wine and the view in one of the city's top urban neighborhoods. The expansive balcony in the 5,000 square foot tasting room provides one of Spokane's most memorable panoramas. A premium room is also available for events.

    • Osprey Restaurant & Bar700 North Division Street, Spokane, WA 99202
      Located on the premises of the Ruby River Hotel, Osprey Restaurant & Bar takes outdoor seating to a whole new level with its heated patio. It is famed for a comfortable and curated experience that boasts gluten-free and vegetarian delights as well as ample parking. Regional wines and craft cocktails complement a wide range of New American cuisine. Lunch, dinner, and weekend brunch beckon from this trendy spot with live music.

    • The Yards Bruncheon – 1248 West Summit Parkway, Spokane, WA 99201
      Why not enjoy the weekend every day of the week with a comfort food meal from The Yards Bruncheon? Featuring a unique "all-day brunching" concept, The Yards has a fun, friendly, and welcoming atmosphere. The menu pops thanks to its exclusive use of fresh ingredients from local farms and producers. It also features a kids' menu and a full breakfast for four, as well as a surprisingly robust beverage menu with dinner.

    Looking for a new home close to all your favorite local restaurants? Contact us to discover Spokane real estate.

    September
    20

    9 Tips for Buying and Selling Your Home at the Same Time

    Selling your home while shopping for a new one can feel daunting to even the most seasoned homeowner––especially when the competition for housing is so high. That doesn't mean, though, that you should just throw up your hands and give up on moving altogether. In fact, as a current homeowner, you could be in a better position than most to capitalize on a seller's market and make a smooth transition from your old home to a new one.

    We can help you prepare for the road ahead. Here are some of the most frequent concerns we hear from clients who are trying to buy and sell at the same time.

    "What will I do if I sell my house before I can buy a new one?"

    While it may be an inconvenience, this is a common scenario that can usually be handled with a little creativity and compromise. Here are some options to consider:

    1: Flex your muscles as a seller.

    In some cases, a buyer may agree to a rent-back clause that allows the seller to continue living in the home after closing for a set period of time and negotiated fee. We can discuss the benefits and risks involved and whether it's a good option for you.

    2: Open your mind to short-term housing options.

    If you're lucky enough to have family or friends who offer to take you in, that may be ideal. If not, check out furnished apartments, vacation rentals and month-to-month leases. If space is an issue, consider putting some of your furniture and possessions in storage.

    3: Embrace the idea of selling now and buying later.

    With cash on hand from the sale of your current home, you'll be in a better position to budget for and buy your next home. And by focusing on one step at a time, you can alleviate some of the pressure and uncertainty involved.

    "What if I get stuck with two mortgages at the same time?"

    If you can't afford to carry both mortgages, then selling before you buy may be best. (See Tip #3.) But if you have flexibility in your budget for some overlap, it is possible to manage a home sale and purchase simultaneously. Here are some steps to help streamline the process:

    4: As you get ready to sell, simplify.

    You can condense your sales timeline if you only focus on the renovations and tasks that matter most. We can advise you on the repairs and upgrades that are worth your time and investment.

    5: Prep your paperwork.

    If you'll need a mortgage for your next home purchase, get pre-approved in advance. And start pulling together relevant records for your current home, such as appliance warranties and renovation permits. That way, you'll be ready to provide quick answers to buyers' questions should they arise.

    6: Ask about other contingencies that can be included in your contracts.

    For example, it's possible to add a clause to your purchase offer that lets you cancel the contract if you haven't sold your previous home. This tactic could backfire, though, if you're competing with other buyers. We can discuss the pros and cons of contingencies and what's realistic given current market dynamics.

    "What if I mess up my timing or burn out from all the stress?"

    To make sure you're in the right headspace, take the time to slow down, breathe and delegate as much as possible. In addition:

    7: Relax and accept that compromise is inevitable.

    Rather than worry about getting every detail right with your housing search and home sale, trust that things will work out eventually––even if it doesn't look like your Plan A or even your Plan B or Plan C. Luckily, if you've got a good team of professionals, you can relax knowing that others have your back and are monitoring the details behind the scenes.

    8: Don't worry too much if your path is straying from convention.

    Remember that rules-of-thumb and home-buying trends are just that: they are estimates, not facts. So if your home search or sale isn't going exactly like your neighbor's, it doesn't mean that you are doomed to fail.

    9: Enlist help early.

    Which leads us to our final tip: If possible, call us early in the process. We'll not only provide you with key guidance on what you should do to prep your current property for sale, we'll also help you narrow down the parameters for your next one. That way, you'll be prepared to act quickly and confidently when it comes time to list your home and make an offer on a new one.

    Call today for tailored advice that works for you

    Buying and selling a home at the same time is challenging. But it doesn't have to be a nightmare, and it can even be fun. Click here for a free consultation so that we can help you review your options and decide the best way forward - or visit our site for listing of homes for sale.

    September
    13

    How to Prioritize Home Improvement Projects

    Spokane Home Improvement

    When looking at Spokane homes for sale, buyers often plan how they might fix up a home or make it their own. The right home improvements can go a long way towards making a home more livable and increasing its value. But as your list of home improvement projects grows, how do you decide which ones to tackle first? Here are some tips to help you prioritize your to-do list.

    • Improve Function Before Looks
      Most home improvement projects can be placed into one of two categories. Either the project is aimed at improving the function of the home, or it's aimed at improving the appearance of the home. Painting your walls a different color, for example, is an appearance-based home improvement. Replacing a leaking window is a function-based improvement.

      Tackling functional improvements before looks-based ones will help keep your home safe, secure, and resistant to additional damage.

    • Do Small Projects First
      If your long to-do list is starting to intimidate you, sometimes the best approach is to tackle the smallest, least-demanding projects first. This allows you to start crossing things off your list, which can jump-start your motivation and give you the drive to keep going. 

      Also, consider breaking your big projects down into smaller projects. This helps make them more approachable. For example, instead of writing down "paint all rooms," you could write down, separately, "paint the bedroom," "paint the kitchen," and "paint the bathroom."

    • Consider ROI
      ROI stands for "return on investment." This is something that real estate agents think about a lot when talking about home improvements with clients. 

      If you are considering moving any time soon, you want to tackle the projects with the largest ROI first. This will help you earn more when you sell your home. For instance, replacing leaky windows generally comes with a great ROI, whereas adding shelves to the laundry room may not.

    • Do What Fits Your Budget
      There may be some projects you would love to tackle but can't afford to right now. There are likely other improvements that are in your budget.

      Rather than continuing to put off projects until you've saved more money, do what you can afford to do right now. Then, as your income increases or your financial situation otherwise changes, you can move on to more expensive projects.

    • Ask What Makes the Most Impact
      Another way to prioritize your home improvement projects is to ask yourself which ones have the most overall impact on your life.

      If you cook every day and your old kitchen is really bothering you, for example, renovating the kitchen may be a priority task. If the paint is peeling in the spare bathroom, but you only use that room once a month, that project can probably wait.

    • Prioritize the Preventative
      If there are any home improvements that will prevent problems in the future, tackle those first. This will reduce your workload and costs overall.

      For instance, if your gutters are old and leaky, you need to replace them to prevent damage to your foundation and landscaping. This is more important than painting a bedroom.

    By using one, some, or all of the strategies above, you can better prioritize your home improvement tasks. If you're thinking of moving to a new home or selling your current one. Click here to learn more about our services.

    August
    30

    House Care Calendar: A Seasonal Guide to Maintaining Your Home

    From summer vacations to winter holidays, it seems each season offers the perfect excuse to put off our to-do list. But be careful, homeowners: neglecting your home's maintenance could put your personal safety—and one of your largest financial investments—at serious risk.

    In no time at all, small problems can lead to extensive and expensive repairs. And even if you avoid a catastrophe, those minor issues can still have a big impact. Spokane Homes for Sale that are not well maintained can lose 10 percent (or more) of their appraised value.

    The good news is, by dedicating a few hours each season to properly maintaining your home, you can ensure a safe living environment for you and your family ... and actually increase the value of your home by one percent annually!

    While this checklist should not be considered a complete list of your home's maintenance needs, it can serve as a general seasonal guide to maintaining your property throughout the year.

    SPRING

    After a long, cold winter, many of us look forward to a fresh start in the spring. Wash away the winter grime, open the windows, and prepare your home for warmer weather and backyard barbecues.

    INSIDE

    • Conduct Annual Spring Cleaning
    • Shut Down Heating System
    • Tune Up A/C
    • Check Plumbing
    • Inspect Smoke Alarm & Batteries
    • Check Carbon Monoxide Detector
    • Check Water Filters & Replace as needed
    • Clean out Sink & Shower Drains

    OUTSIDE

    • Inspect Perimeter of Home & Deck
    • Clean Home's Exterior
    • Clean Gutters and Downspouts
    • Seed or Sod Lawn & Fertilize
    • Apply a Pre-Emergent Herbicide
    • Plant Flowers & Mulch Beds
    • Tune Up Lawn Mower
    • Inspect Sprinkler System

    SUMMER

    Summer is generally the time to relax and enjoy your home, but a little time devoted to maintenance will help ensure it looks great and runs efficiently throughout the season.

    INSIDE

    • Adjust Ceiling Fans
    • Clean A/C Filters
    • Clear Dryer Vent
    • Check Weather Stripping

    OUTSIDE

    • Mow Lawn Regularly
    • Water Early in the Morning
    • Weed Weekly
    • Exterminate Pests

    FALL

    Fall ushers in another busy season of home maintenance as you prepare your home for the winter weather ahead.

    INSIDE

    • Have Heater Serviced
    • Shut Down A/C for the Winter
    • Inspect Chimney
    • Seal Windows and Doors
    • Check Smoke Alarm & Carbon Monoxide Detectors

    OUTSIDE

    • Plant Fall Flowers, Grass and Shrubs
    • Rake or Mow Leaves
    • Apply Fall Fertilizer
    • Inspect Gutters and Roof
    • Shut Down Sprinkler System
    • Close Pool

    WINTER

    While it can be tempting to ignore home maintenance issues in the winter, snow and freezing temperatures can do major damage if left untreated. Follow these steps to ensure your house survives the winter months.

    INSIDE

    • Maintain Heating System
    • Tune Up Generator
    • Prevent Frozen Pipes
    • Adjust Ceiling Fans

    .

    OUTSIDE

    • Drain and Shut Off Outdoor Faucets
    • Remove Window Screens
    • Service Snowblower
    • Stock Up on Ice Melt
    • Watch Out for Ice Dams
    • Check for Snow Buildup on Trees

    ARE YOU LOOKING FOR HELP

    ...with home maintenance or repairs? We have an extensive network of trusted contractors and service providers and are happy to provide referrals! Call or email us, and we can connect you with one of our preferred vendors. Contact us

    August
    23

    4 Things to Know When Your Neighbor Lists Their Home

    Neighbor List

    There's a lot you can learn from homes selling in your neighborhood, especially if that home is right next to yours. If you spotted a sign in your neighbor's yard, you might want to do some investigating.

    Keeping tabs on the outcome of your neighbor's home sale can prove extremely beneficial when it comes time to list your own property. Details about your neighbor's home and the transaction can provide key information about your local real estate market. Luckily, it's fairly easy to find out important pieces of information. Below are four things we encourage consumers to watch out for when a neighbor puts their home on the market:

    1. The Open House
      Attending your neighbor's open house can provide you with several useful pieces of information. For one, you can get real-time feedback on how visitors perceive the property. Pay attention to what other visitors comment on and note what they like or dislike. The open house also allows you to see how your neighbor staged the home and their decor, which can help inspire some ideas of your own.

    2. How Long It Sits On The Market
      The length of time it takes your neighbor's home to sell can tell you a lot about the state of the market as well as how homes are valued in your neighborhood. If your home is similar in size, price, and quality to other nearby Spokane homes for sale, you might assume your home could sell in a similar amount of time.

    3. The Final Sale Price
      Knowing the final sale price of your neighbor's home can be very helpful when it comes time to sell your own. It can serve as an indication of what buyers are willing to pay for a home in your neighborhood. If the sale price was over the asking price, it might mean homes in your area are in high demand. If your home is comparable to another home in your area that recently sold, it's probably safe to use the sale price as a ballpark figure when determining your listing price. When you're in the process of listing your home, your real estate agent should be able to help provide this information.

    4. Your New Neighbors
      Paying attention to who is moving in and out of your neighborhood can help you better understand emerging trends in your area. Are your new neighbors first-time homebuyers or empty-nesters? Are they commuting a long distance to work? Did they move here from out of state? By understanding who is moving into your neighborhood, you can be better prepared to market your home to the right target audience when it comes time to sell.

    Having a good knowledge of the local real estate market is an important part of the selling process. Luckily, your neighbor's real estate transaction details can help you get valuable information. 

    August
    16

    Interior Design Trends: Cottagecore Home Decor

    When you buy a new home, you want it to be a reflection of you and your style. As you consider various trends, you may come across a popular new one called cottagecore. But what is it, exactly, and will it work for your interior design needs? Essentially, cottagecore home decor is a nostalgic journey to a simpler time and place. If sipping tea in a garden, breathing in the delicate scent of roses and honeysuckle strikes your fancy, this could very well be the interior design style you are seeking. If the homes you are asking to be shown are reminiscent of country living, you may want to consider these key elements:

    • Nostalgia
      From the garden to the living room, the house should speak of bygone days. This may look different to each person. If your cherished memories include crocheted Afghans and ruffled curtains, by all means, include them. If they lean more toward the brown leather overstuffed couch and the roll-top desk you might find in an 1890's ranch house, then go that direction. It's even possible to blend styles a bit in this very unscripted decor. If you have antiques or just books and knick-knacks that have been in the family for a long time, cottagecore provides a perfect setting to display them.
    • Simplicity
      Although many of us work in the world of technology, we don't all want to live there. When incorporating cottagecore interior design trends, necessary technology will often be hidden inside wooden cabinetry or disguised in other clever ways. The lifestyle celebrates minimalism, including handcrafting, home cooking, and creativity over video games. Rather than the cold, sleek surfaces you will find in industrial decor, you will find the warmth of wood, the natural textures of organic materials, and the cozy atmosphere they bring. Shining wooden floors with simple rugs and a wooden coffee table that reflect the same color as the floor. You might find the same wood theme repeated in bathrooms and bedrooms. 
    • Nature
      Embracing nature is critical to the cottagecore style. This doesn't mean that you must raise your own chickens and livestock in order to enjoy the designs. But the interior of the home should blend with the environment surrounding the exterior. This can be accomplished with muted colors, natural materials, house plants, and fresh or dried flowers. Imagine a little girl collecting wildflowers and displaying them in a milk bottle. The romantic ideal of rural living can be reflected in prints and paintings without the less pleasant realities of farm life. An indoor herb garden is just the right touch to a cozy kitchen, while the fresh herbs bring your recipes to life. 
    • Vintage
      Antiques are certainly great additions to cottagecore home decor, but you can obtain the vintage feel without an extensive collection. Simple lines, wooden frames, and natural textures will help balance the design. Wooden chairs next to pristine white wainscotting in the dining room are reminiscent of homes of a hundred years ago, even if they were just purchased recently. The elegance of a colorful quilt can carry the sleeper back to Grandma's house. Overstuffed chairs reupholstered with soft, nubby fabrics or floral designs are both frugal and practical, echoing the lifestyle of the past as much as the appearance. 
    • Do-it-yourself
      To truly embrace the cottagecore lifestyle, you should bring in your own creations. Have you learned to embroider? Frame an original piece and hang it on the wall. Did you grow your own fruits and vegetables? Proudly store them in wire baskets on the kitchen counter. Craftspeople know that you can't create anything worthwhile without making a little mess. You can embrace the clutter a bit without letting it take over. A basket of colorful yarn complete with knitting needles will actually enhance the decor of the den. A loom in the corner will make a fascinating conversation piece. You may even discover common interests with friends you didn't know existed. 

    If you've been waiting for some of the vintage things you love to come back in style, the time has come. Our real estate professionals will be happy to help you find your new home. Contact us when you're ready to make the change. 

    August
    9

    Hiking Trails Throughout Mount Spokane State Park

    If you're looking at Spokane homes for sale, you'll be within easy reach of Mount Spokane State Park. This is a lovely place to stop and take a hike. The scenery is breathtaking, and there are trails catering to all ages and levels of ability. Here are a few of the key trails you can hike within the state park. 

    • Upper Trail 140: Trailhead Coordinates: 47.8859, -117.0864
      Upper Trail 140 is one of the more difficult trails to hike within Mount Spokane State Park. But if you can manage the rocky footing and a few steep ascents, this hiking trail has a lovely payoff. Along the way, you can look down a mixture of timber forests and farmland. At the end of the trail, you'll see Vista House, a stone home built in 1934.

      Trail 140 mostly passes through lush forests, but there are a few places where it passes through open fields. Since it's a 10.8-mile hike round trip, make sure you plan ahead and bring the essentials.

    • Mount Kit Carson Trail: Trailhead Coordinates: 47.8882, -117.1249
      If you're really in the mood to climb a mountain, then Mount Kit Carson Trail is a great choice. It's a 7.5-mile hike, round trip, taking you to the peak of Mount Kit Carson, which is the second-highest peak in the park.

      Along the way, you'll pass through a dense forest before reaching the open summit, which is sparsely dotted with trees. The Foothills agricultural community is visible off in the distance, and you can see the Selkirk Range in the northeast.

    • Trail 110: Trailhead Coordinates: 47.9041, -117.1246
      Trail 110
      is one of the most accessible trails in the park. The trailhead is just inside the park entrance, and the terrain is moderate. While the trail does start out fairly steep, it flattens out after the first half-mile. 

      Trail 110 is a 7.5-mile hike, round trip. It intersects many other trails, so you'll want to pay close attention to your navigation so you don't take a wrong turn. With a mixture of alpine forests, flowering meadows, and small shrubbery, the trail gives you a good sampling of the landscape in Mount Spokane State Park.

    • Lower Trail 130: Trailhead Coordinates: 47.9048, -117.1027
      While Lower Trail 130 is 12 miles round trip, it is one of the easiest hikes in the park as far as terrain is concerned. If you don't have time for a 12-mile hike, you can still get some lovely views if you hike the first mile or two and then turn back.

      This trail stretches around the mountain, so you can see Mount Spokane from multiple perspectives as you hike.

    • Trail 183: Trailhead Coordinates: 47.928560, -117.152490
      Trail 183
      is a short, easy, point-to-point trail that follows an old road. It starts near Blanchard Creek Rd. and connects to the Mount Kit Carson Loop Road. 

      This trail passes through a densely wooded area, so you feel well immersed in nature as you hike. It's a good choice in the heat of summer since it is nicely shaded, too. 

    Whether you take a short hike along Trail 183 or an all-day trek along Lower Trail 130, hiking in Mount Spokane State Park is a lovely way to get outside and enjoy nature. Just make time for a hiking trip! Contact us

    August
    2

    5 Factors That Reveal Where The Real Estate Market Is Really Headed

    Spokane Closing Tips

    It's the old supply-and-demand predicament: U.S. home sales continue at a rapid pace, but the number of listings remains limited. Amid historically low mortgage rates, buyers keep shopping, reducing inventory and sparking a rise in home prices.

    Meanwhile, homebuilders are coping with an increase in material costs and a shortage of labor. These issues come during an ongoing housing shortage. A National Association of Realtors study shows the U.S. has a deficit of about 2 million single-family homes and 3.5 million other housing units.

    Follow along to learn the five factors that illustrate where the U.S. housing market is today and is heading tomorrow.

    ROCK-BOTTOM MORTGAGE RATES TO GRADUALLY RISE

    Low interest rates continue to fuel demand from homebuyers. Some experts believe mortgage rates will creep up later this year, but they expect rates to remain near historic lows. In June, the Mortgage Bankers Association reported that 2020 closed with the average rate for a 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage at 2.8%. But the association anticipates the average rate climbing to 3.5% at the end of 2021 and 4.2% by the end of 2022.

    What does it mean for you?

    When mortgage rates are at or near historic lows (as they are today), you should seriously consider taking advantage of those rates to borrow money for a home purchase or to refinance your existing mortgage.

    HOME PRICES EXPECTED TO KEEP CLIMBING

    In June, the national median list price for a home reached an all-time high of $385,000, up 12.7% on a year-over-year basis. And according to the Home Buying Institute, various reports and forecasts indicate home prices will keep climbing throughout 2021 and into 2022. While this may be welcome news for homeowners, high prices are pushing homeownership out of reach for a growing number of first-time buyers.

    What does it mean for you?

    If you're a buyer waiting on the sidelines for prices to drop, you may want to reconsider. While the pace of appreciation should taper off, home prices are expected to continue climbing. And rising mortgage rates will make a home purchase even more costly.

    SINGLE-FAMILY HOME SALES REMAIN ROBUST

    Single-family home sales are down from their peak in October 2020 yet are still above the overall level last year. In May 2021, 5.8 million existing single-family homes were sold in the U.S. That's a 45% increase over the 4 million homes sold in May 2020.

    However, home sales saw a 0.9% dip in May 2021 compared with the previous month, the National Association of Realtors says. That was the fourth straight month for a decline in home sales. The number of home sales has slid recently because of rising prices and a lack of inventory, but Fannie Mae expects total home sales to tick up slightly in the fourth quarter and finish the year up 3.8% over last year.

    What does it mean for you?

    The market for single-family home sales remains quite active. As a result, if you're a homeowner, you may want to ponder whether to sell now, even if you hadn't necessarily been thinking about it. With demand high and inventory low, your home could fetch an eye-popping price.

    LACK OF INVENTORY STILL CONSTRAINS THE HOME MARKET

    According to the National Association of Realtors, in May there were 1.23 million previously owned homes on the market, down 20.6% from the same time last year. This translates to a 2.5-month supply of homes, which is well below the 6 months of inventory typical in a balanced market. According to the Realtors group, the lack of inventory translates into tougher searches for buyers and contributes to a rise in prices.

    What does it mean for you?

    If you're thinking of selling your home, now may be the right time to do it. Across the country, it's a seller's market, meaning demand is outpacing supply. That supply-and-demand imbalance puts sellers in a great position to sell their homes at a premium price. The May 2021 Realtors Confidence Index from the National Association of Realtors found the average home that was sold attracted five offers, and the association says nearly half of homes are selling above list price.

    CONSTRUCTION OF SINGLE-FAMILY HOMES SEES SLIGHT UPTICK

    Frustrated buyers may soon find some relief from an increase in new construction. Economists forecast that 1.1 million new houses will be started in 2021, compared with a predicted 940,000 units just six months ago, with 1.2 million new starts predicted for 2022 and 2023, according to the Urban Land Institute.

    What does it mean for you?

    Given the issues affecting the new-home market, it may make sense to widen your home search to include both new and existing homes. Your brand-new dream home may not be available, but you might be able to find an existing home that lives up to your vision. Keep in mind that we can help you find either a new or existing home and can advocate for you to ensure you get the best deal possible.

    ARE YOU THINKING OF BUYING OR SELLING?

    If you're in the market for a home, you're ready to sell your house or you've simply been wondering whether you should sell, you could benefit from an expert to help you navigate the hot real estate market. Let's set up a free consultation to discuss your situation. We can review your options and come up with a plan to capitalize on the value of your current property or to find your ideal next home.

    July
    12

    Summer Mountain Biking in Spokane

    Summer Mountain Biking Spokane

    Warm, dry weather and a beautiful landscape make Spokane an ideal place for summer mountain biking. Strap on your helmet and head out to these challenging and fun trails around Spokane homes for sale recommended by our real estate agents.

    • Beacon Hill
      With its convenient location on the outskirts of Spokane, Beacon Hill is a great option when you want to fit a ride into a busy schedule. There are more than 50 trails for beginner, intermediate, and expert levels, so it's a popular place for newbies to refine their skills. Trick riders love the skills park, which takes advantage of natural features for practice jumps. The park also includes a sizable dirt jump section.

    • Saltese Uplands
      More than seven miles of trails wind through the canyons and ridge tops of Saltese Uplands. The Turtle Gulch trail is a complete loop to the summit and back, offering scenic views of nearby Liberty Lake and the Spokane Valley. Thanks to the openness of the grounds, Saltese Uplands provides opportunities for wildlife spotting. White-tailed deer, bobcats, coyotes, and eagles are just a few of the animals and birds you might spot. 

    • Riverside State Park - 9711 W. Charles Rd., Nine Mile Falls, WA 99026
      For 20 years, Riverside State Park was the home of Spokane's 24 Hours Round the Clock mountain bike race. The park's 55 miles of trails, just minutes from Nine Mile Falls homes for sale, include a portion of the 40-mile Spokane River Centennial State Park Trail that extends to the Idaho border. Follow the Centennial Trail to the Bowl and Pitcher area that includes a nice swimming hole where you can cool off. Park hours are 6:30 a.m. until dusk, and a daily admission fee is $10 per vehicle.

    • Fish Lake Trail
      If you're looking for a family-friendly outing, including four-legged members, Fish Lake Trail fits the bill. As a recent addition to the collection of bike trails around Spokane, users give Fish Lake Trail high marks for its wide, well-maintained trail and mild, gradual inclines that are easy to navigate. The path is "rails to trails," meaning it follows the route of a railroad. At Marshall Canyon, you can travel along active railroad lines known as "The Funnel," which is still a major point of interest for railroad buffs. Plans are underway to close a gap and link Fish Lake Trail to Spokane River Centennial State Park Trail.

    • Mount Spokane State Park - N. 26107 Mount Spokane Park Dr., Mead, WA 99021
      You know you're deep into nature when the Mount Spokane State Park website warns about watching for moose crossing the mountain bike trails. Sprawled across 12,393 acres near Mead homes for sale, Mount Spokane is one of the largest state parks in Washington. The grounds include more than 79 miles of mountain bike trails, providing plenty of territories to explore. Elevations range up to nearly 6,000 feet, with trails passing through cedar forests, wildflower meadows, and other alpine vegetation. Shuttles are available for transport to the higher levels. Park hours are 6:30 a.m. until dusk, and a daily admission fee is $10 per vehicle.

    Whether you're looking for urban amenities or outdoor activities, you'll find both in Spokane. Contact us at Coldwell Banker Tomlinson for knowledgeable answers to all your real estate questions. 

    July
    2

    How to Bridge the Appraisal Gap in Today's Real Estate Market

    If you're searching for drama, don't limit yourself to Netflix. Instead, tune in to the real estate market, where the competition among buyers has never been fiercer. And with homes selling for record highs, the appraisal process is receiving more attention than ever. That's because, in a rapidly appreciating market, a property is more likely to appraise below the sales price—which can lead to major repercussions for both buyers and sellers.

    It's never been more important to understand the appraisal process and the risks involved. It's also crucial to work with a skilled real estate agent who can guide you to a successful closing without overpaying (if you're a buyer) or overcompensating (if you're a seller). Find out how appraisals work—and in some cases, don't work—in today's unique real estate environment.

    APPRAISAL REQUIREMENTS

    An appraisal is an objective assessment of a property's market value performed by an independent authorized appraiser. Mortgage lenders require an appraisal to lower their risk of loss in the event a buyer defaults on their loan.

    In most cases, a licensed appraiser will analyze the property's condition and review the value of comparable properties that have recently sold. Appraisal requirements can vary by lender and loan type, and in today's market, in-person appraisal waivers have become much more common. If you're applying for a mortgage, be sure to ask your lender about their specific terms.

    APPRAISALS IN A RAPIDLY SHIFTING MARKET

    An appraisal contingency is a standard inclusion in a home offer. It enables the buyer to make the closing of the transaction dependent on a satisfactory appraisal wherein the value of the property is at or near the purchase price. This helps to reassure the buyer (and their lender) that they are paying fair market value for the home and allows them to cancel the contract if the appraisal is lower than expected.

    Low appraisals are not common, but they are more likely to happen in a rapidly appreciating market, like the one we're experiencing now. That's because appraisers must use comparable sales (commonly referred to as comps) to determine a property's value. This could include homes that went under contract weeks or even months ago. With home prices rising so quickly, today's comps may be lagging behind the market's current reality. Thus, the appraiser could be basing their assessment on stale data, resulting in a low valuation.

    HOW ARE BUYERS AND SELLERS IMPACTED BY A LOW APPRAISAL?

    When a property appraises for less than the contract price, you end up with an appraisal gap. In a more balanced market, that could be cause for a renegotiation. In today's market, however, sellers often hold the upper hand.

    That's why some buyers are using the potential for an appraisal gap as a way to strengthen their bids. They're proposing to take on some or all of the risk of a low appraisal by adding gap coverage or a contingency waiver to their offer.

    Appraisal Gap Coverage

    Buyers with some extra cash on hand may opt to add an appraisal gap coverage clause to their offer. It provides an added level of reassurance to the sellers that, in the event of a low appraisal, the buyer is willing and able to cover the gap up to a certain amount.

    For example, let's say a home is listed for $200,000 and the buyers offer $220,000 with $10,000 in appraisal gap coverage. Now, let's say the property appraises for $205,000. The new purchase price would be $215,000. The buyers would be responsible for paying $10,000 of that in cash directly to the seller because, in most cases, mortgage companies won't include appraisal gap coverage in a home loan.

    Waiving The Appraisal Contingency

    Some buyers with a higher risk tolerance—and the financial means—may be willing to waive the appraisal contingency altogether. However, this strategy isn't for everyone and must be considered on a case-by-case basis.

    It's important to remember that waiving an appraisal contingency can leave a buyer vulnerable if the appraisal comes back much lower than the contract price. Without an appraisal contingency, a buyer will be obligated to cover the difference or be forced to walk away from the transaction and relinquish their earnest money deposit to the sellers.

    It's vital that both buyers and sellers understand the benefits and risks involved with these and other competitive tactics that are becoming more commonplace in today's market. We can help you chart the best course of action given your individual circumstances.

    DON'T WAIVE YOUR RIGHT TO THE BEST REPRESENTATION

    You need a master negotiator on your side who has the skills, instincts, and experience to get the deal done...no matter what surprises may pop up along the way. If you're a buyer, we can help you compete in this unprecedented market—without getting steamrolled. And if you're a seller, we know how to get top dollar for your home while minimizing hassle and stress. Contact us today to schedule a complimentary consultation.

    June
    28

    Summer Learning Opportunities for Your Kids

    Spokane Kids Camps

    School might be out for summer, but opportunities for kids to learn and grow never end. The Spokane area offers a lot of great programs and resources for children to continue their education... and have a lot of fun!

    Summer programs offer a chance for youngsters to learn more about science and the arts and to stoke their creativity and connect with the natural world in a way that a traditional classroom never could. Our real estate agents are happy to share some of their favorite summer learning opportunities for kids. 

    1. Northwest Museum of Arts and Culture - 2316 W 1st Ave, Spokane, WA 99201
      One of Spokane's most eclectic museums, the Northwest Museum of Arts and Culture offers a broad spectrum of exhibits and programs that revolve around local and regional art, culture, and history. Just minutes from these Spokane homes for sale, the museum houses more than a million artifacts and archival materials and offers hands-on programs and classes for all ages on subjects ranging from painting to local history. Current exhibitions include An American Original: The Life and Work of John James Audubon, which runs through September 2021.

    2. Corbin Art Center - 507 W 7th Ave, Spokane, WA 99204
      The Corbin Art Center has been providing fun and in-depth art classes and programs for kids of all ages (and adults too) for more than 50 years. It's become one of Spokane's most beloved art establishments and has given countless young artists their start. Art classes and workshops are divided into various age groups, exploring topics ranging from drawing and painting to mixed media and holiday-themed art events. They also offer summer camps in partnership with the City of Spokane Parks & Recreation.

    3. Twin Eagles Wilderness School - 1023 Wood View Rd, Sandpoint, ID 83864
      With a mission to build community and teach kids valuable outdoor skills while connecting more deeply with nature, Twin Eagles Wilderness School is one of the great outdoor adventure camps in the region. The school offers immersive summer camps that help kids learn self-awareness and self-reliance. It's a lot of fun too, and includes skills like tracking animals, starting a fire from friction, identifying edible plants, and traditional archery. Although based in Sandpoint, ID, Twin Eagles Wilderness School offers summer programs in several nearby cities, Spokane included. 

    4. Northeast Youth Center - 3004 E Queen Ave, Spokane, WA 99217
      One of the great youth resources in the Spokane area, the Northeast Youth Center provides a fun and engaging summer camps for children of all ages. Offerings include Camp Alotta Fun, available weekly and monthly, which includes field trip adventures, crafts, and recreational activities for ages 5 to 12. For younger kids in the 2 ½ to 5 age group, the Early Learners Academy includes a wide range of fun educational activities that aid in the development and prepare young children for kindergarten. 

    5. Mobius Discovery Center - 331 N Post St, Spokane, WA 99201
      The Mobius Discovery Center has blended the best aspects of a play-based children's museum and an inquiry-based science center to create some truly unique opportunities for children to learn and explore the world of science. The programs here are designed to ignite curiosity and spark the imagination, giving kids opportunities to enjoy learning about everything from plants and animals to physics and chemistry. The Mobius Discovery Center is currently offering both in-person and virtual programs. 

    Just because the books are closed, and the pencils are tucked away doesn't mean kids are done learning! Contact us today to learn more about life in Spokane.

    June
    16

    Green Bluff Growers Spotlight

    Green Bluff Growers

    The Green Bluff area is known for its beautiful scenery and fertile soil, which allows local farmers to grow a wide variety of delicious, high-quality produce throughout the year. Many of the best local farms and fruit stands are part of the Green Bluff Growers' Association, a local organization dedicated to sharing all that local farms have to offer. And it's not just about great food! They also host many fun, family-friendly activities available at local farms throughout the year. Coldwell Banker Tomlinson has all the details on the fun you can expect at local farms, in our Green Bluff Growers Spotlight.

    • Get to Know Green Bluff and the Growers
      Green Bluff is a scenic community located just 15 minutes north of Spokane homes for sale, in the beautiful foothills of Mt. Spokane. The fertile land of Green Bluff has long been a major attraction for farmers, and a large number of those farmers formed the Green Bluff Growers' Association in 1902. For more than 100 years, the Green Bluff Growers have offered fresh, delicious produce to the community, and the many visitors who come to experience these wonderful farms.

    • Family Fun on the Farm in the Spring and Summer
      While there is much to experience all year long, spring and summer are especially good times to experience some fun on the farm. Start by sampling fresh strawberries, which are typically available to be harvested from the middle of June through early July. Next up is the famous Cherry Pickers Trot during the cherry season in July, when you can go for a run/stroll through local orchards and find fun family activities on the farms.

      Summer wraps up with peach season in August, the perfect time to find out why Green Bluff peaches are so well-known for their quality. Stop by a local farm to find juicy, ripe peaches prepared in nearly any way you can imagine, from traditional peach cobbler to peach ice cream that's as fresh as it gets.

    • Fun in the Fall with the Apple Festival and Holiday Memories Celebrations
      The fun continues in the fall, with the Apple Festival kicking off at the end of September. During the Apple Festival, many local farms offer both apple and pumpkin picking, which are both fun activities for families with kids. Some farms even take things to the next level with live music, corn mazes, and plenty more activities for families to enjoy. The year wraps up with Holiday Memories celebrations during November and December. Visit a local farm to cut your own tree for the holidays, have your kids take pictures with Santa, then sample some outstanding, holiday-themed food and drink.

    • Shop at Green Bluff Produce Stands or Pick Your Own on the Farms
      When you're in the mood for fresh produce, the Green Bluff Growers offer a variety of ways to find what you seek. Many local produce stands are also part of the Green Bluff Growers, making it easy to quickly pick up fresh produce for your next culinary creation. If you enjoy picking your produce almost as much as you enjoy eating it, then try a visit to one of the many Green Bluff farms that offer pick your own produce.

    Have you been searching for a home that makes it easy to enjoy all of the family fun and fresh produce around Green Bluff?  Reach out for assistance in buying and selling homes throughout the Spokane, WA area.

    June
    8

    Take Advantage of Your Home Equity: A Homeowner's Guide

    Homeownership offers many advantages over renting, including a stable living environment, predictable monthly payments, and the freedom to make modifications. But one of the biggest benefits it offers is the opportunity to build wealth over time. Researchers at the Urban Institute found that homeownership is financially beneficial for most families, and studies have shown that the median net worth of homeowners can be up to 80 times greater than that of renters in some areas.

    So how does purchasing a home help you build wealth? And what steps should you take to maximize the potential of your investment? Find out how to harness the power of home equity for a secure financial future.

    WHAT IS HOME EQUITY?

    Home equity is the difference between what your home is worth and the amount you owe on your mortgage. So, for example, if your home would currently sell for $250,000 and the remaining balance on your mortgage is $200,000, then you have $50,000 in home equity.

    The equity in your home is considered a non-liquid asset. It's your money; but rather than sitting in a bank account, it's providing you with a place to live. And when you factor in the potential of appreciation, an investment in real estate will likely offer a better return than any savings account available today.

    HOW DOES HOME EQUITY BUILD WEALTH?

    A mortgage payment is a type of "forced savings" for home buyers. When you make a mortgage payment each month, a portion of it goes towards interest on your loan, and the remaining part goes towards paying off your principal, or loan balance. As your loan balance goes down, your home equity goes up.

    Additionally, the value of your home generally increases, or appreciates, over time. And when you sell it, even if you've only paid off a small portion of your mortgage, you get to keep 100% of your property's appreciated value. That's the wealth-building power of real estate.

    WHAT CAN I DO TO GROW MY HOME'S EQUITY FASTER?

    There are two basic ways to increase the equity in your home:

    1. Pay down your mortgage. Some homeowners do this by adding a little extra to their monthly payment, making one additional payment per year, or making a lump-sum payment when extra money becomes available. Another option is to decrease your amortization period. For example, if you can afford the higher monthly payment, consider refinancing from a 30-year or 25-year mortgage to a 15-year mortgage

    2. Raise your home's market value. Many homeowners enjoy do-it-yourself projects that add value at a relatively low cost. Others choose to invest in larger, strategic renovations. Keep in mind, you won't necessarily get back every dollar you spend on upgrades, so consult a professional before making any major investments.

    A word of caution: neglecting routine maintenance could decrease your home's value (and equity), so be sure to stay on top of recommended upkeep and repairs.

    HOW DO I ACCESS MY HOME EQUITY IF I NEED IT?

    What if you want to tap into your home's equity while you're still living in it? There are several ways to borrow against your home equity, depending on your needs and qualifications:

    1. A Second Mortgage (or Home Equity Loan) enables you to borrow a lump sum, which you are responsible for paying back—with interest—over a set period of time. Most second mortgages have a fixed interest rate and provide the borrower with a predictable monthly payment.

    2. With a Cash-Out Refinance , you refinance your mortgage for a higher amount than you currently owe. Then you pay off your original mortgage and keep the difference as cash. This option may be preferable if you have a high interest rate on your current mortgage or prefer to make just one payment per month.

    3. A Home Equity Line of Credit (HELOC ) is a revolving line of credit, similar to a credit card. It allows you to draw out money as you need it. The interest rate on a HELOC is variable, so your payment each month could change depending on how much you borrow and how interest rates fluctuate.

    4. A Reverse Mortgage enables qualifying seniors to borrow against the equity in their home to supplement their retirement income. In most cases, the loan (plus interest) doesn't need to be repaid until the homeowners sell, move, or are deceased.

    It's important to note that borrowing against your home's equity isn't always the best option, and it carries the risk of foreclosure if you default. Please ask for a referral to a lender or financial adviser to find out if a home equity loan is right for you.

    ALWAYS HERE TO HELP

    If you're ready to begin building equity with a new home purchase, grow the value of your current home, or access your equity through a home sale or loan—help is here.  Schedule a complimentary consultation!

    The above references an opinion and is for informational purposes only. It is not intended to be financial advice. Consult a financial professional for advice regarding your individual needs.

    May
    21

    Finding a New Home for Your Next Stage of Life

    Finding a New Home for Your Next Stage of Life

    For most of us, our housing needs are cyclical. A newly independent adult can find freedom and flexibility in even a tiny apartment. That same space, to a growing family, would feel stifling. For empty nesters, a large home with several unused bedrooms can become impractical. It's no surprise that life transitions often trigger a home purchase.

    While your home-buying journey may not look like your neighbor's or friend's, broad trends can help you understand what to keep in mind as you house hunt. After all, taking the time now to think about exactly what you need can save a lot of heartache later.

    THE NEWLY MARRIED OR PARTNERED COUPLE

    The financial and legal commitment of marriage has provided a springboard to homeownership for centuries, though these days more couples are buying homes without exchanging rings. But no matter your status, there are some key factors you should consider as you enter into your first home purchase together.

    • Affordability: While many buyers are holding out for their dream home, embracing the concept of a starter home can open a lot of doors. If you focus on buying a home you can afford now with strong potential for appreciation, you can build equity alongside your savings, positioning you to trade up to a larger home in the future if your needs change.
    • Mortgage rates: Mortgage rates are at historic lows, but they still require solid credit. If one partner's score is keeping you from getting a mortgage, consider taking out a loan in only the other partner's name. The downside is that applying for a mortgage with a single income will reduce your qualification amount. And if you take that route, make sure you understand the legal and financial implications for both parties should the relationship end.
    • Location: A successful relationship takes compromise, so it's important to consider both of your commutes and interests when choosing a neighborhood. Need some help identifying the ideal location that fits within your budget? We can match you with some great communities that offer the perfect mix of amenities and affordability.

    THE GROWING FAMILY

    Having kids changes everything. Whether you've just had your first child or are getting to the point where your kids can't comfortably share a bedroom any longer, there's plenty to consider when you're ready to size up to a home that will fit your growing family.

    • Schools: 53% of buyers with children under 18 say that school districts are a major factor in their home buying decision.But when you're moving to a new community, it can be tough to figure out what the schools are actually like. That's why talking to a local real estate agent can be a gamechanger.
    • Lifestyle: How will the home you purchase affect your family's lifestyle? Features like a pool, a finished basement, or an open floor plan can help you enjoy time together.
    • Functionality: Consider your day-to-day needs. Will a walk-in pantry or a well-designed laundry room make life easier? Chances are, you won't find every nice-to-have in one home. But we can help you assess your options and give you a sense of what is realistic within your budget.

    THE EMPTY NESTERS

    When we talk about empty nesters, we usually think about downsizing. With kids out of the house, extra rooms can quickly become more trouble than they're worth. But there's plenty for empty nesters to think about besides square footage.

    • Maintenance: Ready to relax or travel now that the kids are gone? Keep in mind that newer homes tend to require fewer repairs, and smaller homes have less space to clean. And if you don't love yard work, a condo or townhouse might be preferable to a single-family home.

    • Lifestyle: If you're retired (or nearing it), consider how you'd like to spend your days. For some, that might mean living near a golf course or a beach. For others, being able to walk downtown for a nice dinner out is the priority. And with more time to spend as you wish, proximity to a supportive community of friends and family is priceless.

    • Ability to age in place: We can't escape aging, so it's wise to think ahead. This may mean choosing a single-story home with a walk-in tub or shower. Location matters, too—if your family will be providing support, are they close by? Can you easily reach necessities like grocery stores and healthcare? A few careful considerations now can make staying in your home long-term much more feasible.

    FINDING THE RIGHT HOME FOR RIGHT NOW

    Whatever stage you're embarking on next, insight into local neighborhoods, prices, and housing stock will help you hone in on exactly where you want to live and what kind of home is right for you. Buying a home—whether it's your first or your fifth—is a big decision, but we're here to support you every step of the way.

    We support the Fair Housing Act and equal opportunity housing.

    May
    10

    Family Fun: Mini Golf Courses Near Spokane

    Spokane Mini Golf

    Did you know mini golf is a great way for kids to learn patience and self-control while developing creativity and hand-eye coordination? All your kids will know is that they're having a blast. Share some quality time with your family at one of these entertaining mini golf courses near Spokane homes for sale.

    • Wonderland Family Fun Center - 10515 N. Division, Spokane, WA 99218
      With more than "five acres of fun," you and your family won't run out of things to do at Wonderland Family Fun Center. They have not one but two mini golf courses, indoor and outdoor so that you can play in any weather. Take a lunch break to enjoy some delicious pizza or one of the other items on their new full-service restaurant menu. Park admission is free, with a $10 fee for indoor mini golf and $11 for outdoor mini golf. Hours are 2 p.m. - 9 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday, 2 p.m. - 10 p.m. Friday, 11 a.m. - 10 p.m. Saturday, and 11 a.m. - 9 p.m. Sunday.

    • Flatstick Pub - 618 W. Main Ave., Spokane, WA 99201
      Flatstick Pub was inspired by a simple but brilliant idea: Why not combine the fun and excitement of mini golf with the casual, welcoming ambiance of a neighborhood pub? Spokane's legendary Doomsday Hill makes an appearance on Flatstick's nine-hole course. Get some variety and try your hand at Duffleboard, Flatstick's own invention that's a cross between mini golf and shuffleboard. The upscale menu is provided by Ethan Stowell Restaurants, the first-class food group based in Seattle. Flatstick is open 3 p.m. - 10 p.m. Monday through Thursday, noon-midnight Friday and Saturday, and noon - 10 p.m. Sunday. Please note that Flatstick is 21 and over only after 7 p.m., and tee time reservations are required.

    • Puttin' Around Mini Golf Course - 2902 E. Seltice Way, Post Falls, ID 83854
      Puttin' Around Mini Golf Course is the place for you when you want just mini golf. There's nothing to distract from the joys of playing 18 holes on their classic mini golf course. The grounds are attractive and well-maintained, and players appreciate the friendly and helpful staff members. Relax with a snack and cold beverage at one of the picnic tables outside the retro-themed Surf Shack. Puttin' Around is open seven days a week from 11 a.m. - 8 p.m.

    • Triple Play Family Fun Park - 175 W. Orchard Ave., Hayden, ID 83835
      For just over 20 years, Triple Play Family Fun Park has been a top destination for families who love to stay active. Triple Play is the only venue west of the Mississippi, featuring its varied combination of activities and amenities. The outdoor mini golf course, open seasonally, is a full 18 holes, while the year-round nine-hole indoor course includes a black light for spectacular visual effects. What to do afterward? Choose from bumper cars and boats, go-karts, bowling, laser tag, ropes course, and more. As if that wasn't enough, there's an indoor water park with a special section for toddlers. The Garden Fresh Grill serves a menu of family favorites such as pizza, burgers, hot dogs, and nachos. Visit the website to see hours and admission prices.

    When it's time to buy or sell your home, pass the work off to a professional so you can spend more time with your family.

    April
    26

    Items You Should Toss While Spring Cleaning

    Spokane Cleaning Tips

    Spring cleaning is the perfect way to start the decluttering process before showing your house for sale or to start packing for a move. But if you've been in your home for a long time, the volume of junk you've been stashing may seem overwhelming. Our real estate agents will tell you eliminating clutter is an important key to maintaining a beautiful home. Breaking the job into manageable chunks can be very helpful. Make sure to toss out these items while doing your spring cleaning this year. 

    1. Outdated electronics
      How many cables do you actually need? You may have a drawer full of them. But don't stop there. In this day and age, technology far outstrips our ability to keep up with it. From old phones to speakers, you probably have a number of electronic devices you will never use again. Open that box and fill it with all of that outdated equipment and take it straight to the thrift store. Be careful to strip all personal information before donating.
       
    2. Clothes that don't fit
      From outgrown children's clothing to slacks from many pounds ago, these things have to go. Shelters can make good use of donated clothes for children and adults. They will serve a much greater purpose there than they will taking up space in your closet. Be sure to go through clothes in your closet and in your drawers. 

    3. Plasticware
      Time to toss those mismatched lids, plastic movie cups, and stained food containers. You'll be so surprised as to how much real estate they take in your kitchen. Besides being unsightly and messy, older plasticware can be dangerous to your health. As it breaks down with age, chemicals can get into your food. It's also difficult to ensure that no food particles are stuck on the surface.
        
    4. Expired food and medications
      We know to dispose of expired prescriptions but seldom think about over-the-counter medications. Every time we catch a cold, we buy new medications anyway, so why keep the old ones? Toss it when your illness passes or, if you did hang on to it, get rid of it now. Pantries and refrigerators should be purged on a regular basis according to shelf life. Check expiration dates then to make sure everything on the shelf is safe to consume. Condiments in the refrigerator are often used infrequently and can reach expiration dates long before they are empty. 

    5. Expired makeup and toiletries
      We all hesitate to dispose of makeup because it is so expensive. When we find the perfect product, we often cling to it. But makeup and skincare products generally expire in three to six months after they're opened. Using it after that date is asking for breakouts, rashes, and eye infections. Even the prettiest eyeshadow isn't worth that cost. Nail polish may not cause infections, but it does tend to get clumpy and not settle as well as it should. Avoid the frustration by tossing it and getting it out of the way.  

    Now that your spring cleaning is complete, are you ready to list your home? If you're looking at Spokane homes for sale, or are thinking about putting your house on the market, contact us today. 

    April
    12

    How to Celebrate Earth Day in Spokane

    Spokane Earth Day

    Earth Day is celebrated on Thursday, April 22, so why not get out and enjoy Spokane's natural beauty? Whether you want to hike to see a waterfall or browse in a market filled with fresh local produce, there's plenty to do and see locally on Earth Day.
    Check out the following five places to celebrate Earth Day in Spokane:

    1. Liberty Creek Hiking Trail - Liberty Lake Regional Park - 3707 S. Zephr Rd., Liberty Lake, WA 99019
      Get out and about to enjoy Spokane's natural beauty on the Liberty Creek Hiking Trail, which is almost four miles long from point to point and located near Liberty Lake homes for sale. It's rated as intermediate/difficult and offers a picturesque view of a waterfall along the way, creating the perfect spot to stop for a rest and a snack. You'll end up crossing Liberty Creek twice via footbridges on your way to a cool, damp cedar grove before climbing to a view of Liberty Lake.

    2. Riverside State Park - 9711 W. Charles Rd., Nine Mile Falls, WA 99026
      Although you'll be surrounded by nature at Riverside State Park, it's located only about nine miles from Spokane. The park has plenty of activities to keep you busy and active, no matter what you like to do. You'll be able to choose from 55 miles of trails and go mountain biking, horseback riding, rock climbing, or hiking. If you'd like to enjoy the water, you can try paddle sports at the Little Spokane River.

    3. Main Market - 44 W. Main Ave., Spokane, WA 99201
      Choose delicious, wholesome local foods at Main Market, Spokane's only cooperative grocery store, located just around the corner from Spokane homes for sale. You'll find a large selection of products, including local eggs, fruits, veggies, and more. And in the bulk foods section, you'll be able to find products such as dried fruit, teas, spices, and more that you can buy in the exact quantity you need. You can grab breakfast or a meal from the hot or salad bar. Cooked-from-scratch community dinners are available every Thursday for $3 and include a meat option as well as a vegan one.

    4. Emerson-Garfield Farmers' Market - 2310 North Monroe, Spokane, WA 99205
      Emerson-Garfield Farmers' Market is a seasonally weekly marketplace that features a large variety of local products. You'll find organic fruits and vegetables, breads, pastries, pasture-raised meats, farm-fresh eggs, artisanal soaps, and more as you browse the market and take in the sights. It also serves as a community hub, bringing people together for musical entertainment, cooking demos, craft fairs, and more fun local events.

    5. Lima Greenhouses - 2100 S. Inland Empire Way, Spokane, WA 99224
      Planning on planting on Earth Day? Lima Greenhouses is a locally owned nursery that provides quality wholesale plants to eastern Washington and northern Idaho. Here you'll be able to find plant products that have been grown and cared for by experts. You can find almost anything you need to make your landscaping beautiful, including annuals, perennials, shrubs, herbs, and fruit and vegetable plants as well as gardening supplies and decor.

    When you live in a place with so much natural beauty Earth Day is extra special! Contact us to learn more about Spokane living.

    March
    25

    Crazy Prices: What's Really Driving Up the Cost of New Homes

    From the March 2021 issue of @Home with Coldwell Banker Tomlinson.  Written by Chris Canning, Coldwell Banker Tomlinson Realtor®

    As both a licensed REALTOR® and home builder, I often scroll through my Facebook feed and see homes advertised by our area homebuilders and fellow real estate agents. I often see such remarks as: "They want how much for that house? They're crazy!" or "Why can't builders build more affordable homes?" The general public is not aware of the obstacles faced by members of the industry tasked with meeting the demand for housing. Chief among these obstacles are: 1. A lack of affordable land. 2. Dramatic increases in the cost of materials. 3. The scarcity of qualified tradespeople.

    1. Land

      The first line item on any builder's ledger is lot cost. At present, Spokane is faced with issues in obtaining, developing, and delivering reasonably priced lots to builders. Briefly stated, Spokane's Comprehensive Plan dictates when, where, and how development and construction can take place. Its purpose is to prioritize use of existing infrastructure and improvements before venturing into areas that would require expanding infrastructure. Unfortunately, the land within the boundaries of our "Comp Plan" that was easiest and most cost-effective to develop is gone, leaving only very complicated, expensive, steep, rocky, pieces of property to develop. Consequently, developers and builders are forced to confront more expensive and complicated properties and projects. Many consumers who are able are paying these increases, while others have simply been forced out of the market. Let's assume a builder can build a home for $200.00/sq/ft and obtain a fair profit. If the builder is able to obtain a building lot for $60,000, and builds a 1,500 sq/ft rancher – he would need to charge $360,000 for this home. If, due to scarcity, the cost of the lot rises to $80,000, the result is an increase in the finished cost of the home of about $22,000. Otherwise, the builder sees his/her margin of profit slip, which would make it more difficult to obtain financing. Ultimately, the consumer bears the brunt of the cost increase, while the only party to benefit is the original landowner.
       
    2. Materials

      You may have heard in the news recently that lumber prices have nearly doubled in our area and elsewhere across the nation. However, it's not just lumber that has seen extensive price increases due to scarcity. Across the board (no pun intended), shortages in roofing, wiring, flooring and other materials, have significantly increased the cost of building a new home today.
       
    3. Skilled Labor

      Ask any home builder in town why homes are costing more, and be prepared for a lecture on the shortage of labor in the building trades. As a millennial, I was pushed hard to pursue a career requiring a college degree. I wish I had known then how much demand Spokane would have for skilled labor in the building trades in 2021! Talking to the many friends and family I have working as skilled tradespeople, I find that every one of them is inundated with work, to the extent that they can choose whom they work for and what they should be paid. As a result, while today's new homes are not framed any straighter or plumbed more reliably than those built five years ago, they are a lot more expensive to build, and, thus, to buy.

    Lurking behind every one of these factors in the increasing cost of new homes is the Demon of Demand. As long as Spokane remains the wonderful place to live it is and always has been, we can expect to see increases in the cost of housing, though perhaps less steep than we are coping with now, extending into the future.

    March
    22

    What to do Before Listing Your Home

    List home for sale

    Whether you have lived in your home for several years or several decades, there may come a time when you decide to put your home up for sale. To tackle the challenge, our real estate agents will guide you through the process to make sure your home makes a big impression on potential buyers looking for Spokane homes for sale.

    Putting your home on the market can be a stressful event, but you can eliminate stress by knowing what to do before listing your home. Prepare you home for the busy spring market by following these tips. 

    1. Make a Good First Impression
      You only have one chance to make a good impression on potential buyers. Your home may be spectacular on the inside, but buyers won't see that if they don't get through the front door. Your home's curb appeal is a key factor to get potential buyers inside. Outdoor lighting, fresh exterior paint, trimmed trees and shrubs, and colorful flower beds go a long way towards making a good first impression.

    2. Take the Home Out of Your House
      Your home's interior likely reflects your personal design style and interests, but buyers may have different style and interests. When selling your home, it's important to de-personalize it so buyers can see themselves living there. Before putting your home on the market, get rid of personal items like excessive family photos, memorabilia, and keepsakes that represent your lifestyle.

    3. Focus on the Kitchen
      Most buyers consider the kitchen the most important room in the house. If your kitchen needs an upgrade, do it. A remodeled kitchen with fresh paint, new flooring, new cabinets and countertops, and upgraded appliances can give you an 85% return on your remodeling costs. If you can't afford to do everything, fresh paint, new cabinet hardware, good lighting, and one high-end appliance may be enough.

    4. Brighten Up Your Rooms
      Before you invite buyers into your home, light up your interior with sunshine and new lighting. If you have big windows, clean the windows, take down the draperies, and let the natural light into the room. For rooms with minimal sunlight, add new light fixtures or brighter bulbs to reflect warm, appealing spaces.

    5. Show a Spotless Interior
      Before showing your home, make sure your interior is spotless. Vacuum the carpets and rugs, wax the hardwood floors, wash the walls, clean the draperies and upholstery, and eliminate unnecessary clutter. Buyers want a house that reflects proper care and attention. If you have pets, make sure food bowls and litter boxes are clean. If you're planning an open house, send the critters to a pet hotel for the day.

    6. Empty Your Closets
      Storage is an important feature to any homebuyer. When viewing a potential new home, a buyer will open closets, drawers, cabinets, and storage areas to make sure storage is adequate for their needs. By emptying your closets and cabinets, a buyer can accurately assess storage spaces for their own stuff.

    7. Price It Right
      Before listing your home, check recent sales in your area. While an overpriced home can sit on the market for months, a home that's priced at the current market value for the area can receive multiple bids from buyers, often over the asking price.

    If you're interested in selling your home, contact us to guide you through the process and make sure your home gets the attention it deserves.

    March
    9

    Plant a Flower Day: What to Plant in Spokane

    Spokane Flowers

    Planting the right flowers in your yard can truly give your landscaping a boost! That's just one of the great reasons to participate in National Plant a Flower Day on Friday, March 12. Our real estate agents share some helpful information about planting a garden in Spokane to get you started. 

    Get in the "Zone"

    To help gardeners determine what plants are suitable for their geographic area, the USDA developed their Hardiness Zones. There are 10 zones total throughout North America, each differing by plus or minus 10°F from adjacent zones. 

    As the base of the scale, Zone 1 has the coolest weather patterns, which become increasingly warmer as numbers get higher. Spokane is in Zone 6, defined as average winter lows of -10°F. Optimal growth season generally extends from mid-March to late fall. 

    What to Plant in Spokane

    Fortunately, Zone 6 conditions support a relatively wide assortment of flowers, fruits, and vegetables. Here's a look at some of the top plants that thrive around Spokane.

    • Rhododendron is the state flower of Washington, which by itself is reason enough for this colorful flower to be a popular choice. The plant is also deer-resistant, which is an important factor in the abundance of wildlife in the Pacific Northwest.

    • Summer in Eastern Washington tends to be hot and dry. Yarrow, English lavender, and black-eyed Susan are drought-resistant plants that grow well in areas with less moisture. As a bonus, these flowers are generally easy to grow and attract bees, butterflies, and other pollinators.

    • Rock gardens are low-maintenance, natural-looking, and durable enough to withstand extreme weather conditions. They can also boost your home's value by hiding problem areas in the yard. Calamint, yellow sundrops, coral bells, bitterroot, and sunrose are good inclusions in a Spokane rock garden.

    • Ground cover can play a valuable role in your overall landscaping by reducing lawn maintenance, which is expensive and often hard on the environment. Consider choices such as creeping thyme, creeping phlox, silver-edged horehound, and creeping Oregon grape, which are visually attractive and grow quickly.

    • While they require a bit more TLC than flowers, experts from Washington State University say many vegetables grow well in Spokane because the soil pH tends to be neutral, meaning it's neither acidic nor basic. For early planting, they recommend starting cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli, tomatoes, cucumbers, and melons indoors. Asparagus, onions, and root vegetables can be planted directly outdoors.

    Top Nurseries in Spokane

    Head to these nurseries near Spokane homes for sale for seeds, starter plants, supplies, and advice.

    • Blue Moon Garden & Nursery - 1732 S. Inland Empire Way, Spokane, WA 99224
      Their motto is, "Nice plants, nice people," and you'll find both at Blue Moon Garden & Nursery. The business dates back to the 1920s when it was known as Nissen Greenhouses, and it's evolved to the state-of-the-art facility you'll find today. Blue Moon loves dogs, so bring Fido along when you visit. Hours are 10 a.m. - 6 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday and 11 a.m. - 5 p.m. Sunday, March 20 until October 31.

    • Ritters Garden & Gift - 10120 N. Division St., Spokane, WA 99218
      Family-owned Ritters Garden & Gift began as a floral shop and expanded to become a full-service gardening and landscaping resource. By the way, if you bring your own kids along, be forewarned: Ritters has a colorful and irresistible candy emporium. Ritters is open 9 a.m. - 5:30 p.m. Monday through Saturday.

    Ready to put down roots in Spokane? Contact us at Coldwell Banker Tomlinson for dedicated help with all your real estate needs.

    February
    22

    Start Your Garden Indoors With These Tips

    Spokane Garden Tips

    By the time we get to the dark days of midwinter, gardeners all over Washington are itching to get outside and get their hands back in the soil. We understand the struggle. 

    Luckily, this is the time of year when you can start taking the first steps toward planting your spring vegetable garden. Our real estate agents are delighted to share these tips for starting your spring garden indoors!

    1. Pick out Your Seeds
      Starting from seed gives you complete control over your garden and the ability to select from a wider range of varieties. Plus, you get to start earlier, which gives you something to do in the late days of winter! You can order seeds online or stop at your local greenhouse. 

    2. Know Your Zone
      USDA Hardiness Zones can be extremely helpful in determining what plants are ideal for your climate and when each type of plant should be started in your specific region. Here in Spokane, WA, we're in zone 6. 

    3. Which Plants to Start Indoors
      Some vegetables transplant better than others. It's important to plan and know which seeds should be started indoors and which should be sowed directly into your garden when the time is right. Vegetables that transplant especially well include broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, eggplant, kale, lettuce, onion, okra, peppers, sweet potatoes, and tomatoes. Certain other vegetables, including celery, cucumbers, melons, peas, spinach, and squash, can also be started indoors but must be transplanted very carefully. A few vegetables should never be transplanted because doing so often damages the roots. They include beans, beets, carrots, and corn. These crops should be planted directly in your garden after all danger of frost has passed. 

    4. Location, Location, Location
      If you're planning to start seeds indoors, you'll need a suitable location in which to do so. The best way to grow seedlings indoors is with a grow light, which provides constant light from directly above your seeds. But you can certainly get by without a grow light. Choose a spot in your house where a large window provides abundant light. South-facing windows are ideal. Make sure your seedlings don't get too cold—a consistent temperature between 65°F and 75°F is just right—and give your seedlings a quarter-turn every day to keep them from reaching toward the light and developing long, spindly stems. 

    5. Know When to Begin
      Most seeds should be planted indoors 6 to 8 weeks before the date of the last spring frost, though exact timing varies. Here in the Spokane area, the prime time to plant seeds indoors is during the first two weeks of March. Between March 1st and March 15th, plant seeds indoors for broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, peppers, and tomatoes. Wait until around the beginning of April to start seeds for cucumbers, melons, and squash. By mid-April, you should be able to transplant your seedlings from early March into your garden. Around this same time, you can plant seeds like carrots, beans, beets, and corn directly in your garden.

    6. Keep Your Seed Packets
      When in doubt, refer to your seed packets! They typically have detailed information on how and when the seeds should be planted, so make sure you keep them in case you need a little reminder.

    Contact us today to learn more about life in the Spokane area. We live in a great area for gardening, and our team is standing by to help you search Spokane homes for sale.

    February
    8

    Spokane Restaurants for Valentine's Day Takeout

    Spokane Romantic Restaurants

    Valentine's Day is around the corner, so now is the perfect time to start planning a surprise for your special someone. While the holiday may look a little different this year than in years past, a romantic meal at home with your favorite person and your favorite food will never go out of style. Many of your favorite Spokane restaurants are currently open for takeout and will be serving up delicious dishes for Valentine's Day this year. We have all the details you need on 5 great restaurants offering Valentine's Day takeout in Spokane.

    1. Wild Sage Bistro – 916 W 2nd Ave., Spokane, WA 99201
      Wild Sage Bistro 
      has long been a local favorite close to Spokane homes for sale, with a great selection available for Valentine's Day takeout this year. This award-winning, locally owned restaurant is offering an outstanding takeout menu every day during dinnertime hours, with all of your farm to table favorites available for contactless curbside pickup. Choose from a selection of fresh soups, salads, appetizers, and entrees, then be sure to leave room for dessert! Wild Sage Bistro also offers a unique selection of craft cocktails and non-alcoholic drinks to pair with your meal.

    2. Elliots Urban Kitchen – 2209 N Monroe St., Spokane, WA 99205

      Thinking of planning a brunch at home for Valentine's Day? Elliots Urban Kitchen is one of the most popular brunch destinations in Spokane and is sure to have everything you need for a memorable meal with your special someone. This local favorite is operated by a husband and wife team, who love sharing their favorite dishes with the community. The brunch menu here is anything but ordinary, with items you won't find at other restaurants and new twists on your favorite classic brunch dishes.

    3. Scratch Spokane – 1007 W 1st Ave., Spokane, WA 99201

      With a focus on using only the highest quality fresh ingredients sourced from local farms and suppliers, Scratch Spokane has earned a loyal following in the city. If you're searching for a restaurant with an extensive selection of wine pairings that you can take home, this is a great place to order. Of course, the food here will also make anyone swoon, with exotic, re-imagined versions of classic American fare, all made from scratch every day.

    4. Wiley's Downtown Bistro – 115 N Washington St., Spokane, WA 99201

      Searching for a restaurant with a special menu just for Valentine's Day? Wiley's Downtown Bistro has you covered, with a four-course menu that allows you to pick the perfect meal for this special day. Start with a selection of social plates that are perfect for sharing, choose your favorite soup/salad for the second course, enjoy an elegant entree, then choose something sweet for dessert to celebrate with your special someone. Be sure to place a pre-order, then let Wiley's Downtown Bistro handle the cooking for Valentine's Day.

    5. Clover Restaurant – 913 E Sharp Ave., Spokane, WA 99202

      Known as one of the most romantic places in Spokane to enjoy a meal, Clover Restaurant is offering a takeout brunch menu for Valentine's Day that will make it easy to enjoy a romantic meal at home. The takeout menu here is built for sharing, with family brunch meals, a tempting selection of appetizers, and some delicious drinks to add the finishing touch to your meal.

    Still searching for a home that both you and your significant other will love to call your own?  We are happy to help!  Contact us to buy and sell homes throughout the Spokane, WA area.

    January
    25

    Is This The Year You Should Upgrade Your Kitchen?

    Kitchen Upgrade Tips

    Many people call the kitchen the heart of the home, and it's easy to see why. It's used by multiple family members throughout the day and becomes a gathering spot for family and friends. And as people spend more time at home, this year is the perfect time to make your kitchen more appealing to yourself and your family as well as to prospective buyers if you're selling your home.

    If your kitchen is outdated, an upgrade can improve its appearance and make it easier for you to complete your food preparation tasks. Our real estate agents suggest the following ways to upgrade your kitchen this year:

    • Appliances that feature germ-control  
      Several manufacturers – including LG Electronics and Whirlpool – are set to roll out products that remove germs and allergens. LG, for example, has a refrigerator that uses ultraviolet lights to sterilize. And Beko Electrical Appliances Co. has a fridge that has a disinfection drawer.

    • Lower-maintenance faucets, fixtures, and more 
      COVID-19 has also made homeowners prioritize cleanable kitchen finishes, and in some cases, microbial. Look for coated finishes like smudge-resistant stainless steel and countertops that are non-porous and stain-resistant. In some cases, countertops and other frequently touched surfaces can be antimicrobial.

    • Large kitchen islands   
      With more people staying at home, having room to prep for a meal is more important than ever. That's why homeowners want to add a kitchen island or improve the one they already have. If you choose to upgrade your kitchen with an island, make sure it features storage in the form of shelving, cabinets, or pull-out drawers.

    • Updated hardware  
      You probably don't pay much attention to your kitchen hardware. But if your knobs, pulls, and faucets are outdated, you can easily – and inexpensively – replace them to have a big effect on your kitchen's appearance. New hardware can give your kitchen a more modern, attractive look that creates an instant update.

    • A fresh paint job   
      Painting your kitchen yourself or paying someone to do the job can make your kitchen look newer as it provides an instant refresh. Especially if you don't have much natural light in the room, using a lighter or brighter color can instantly give your kitchen a boost. If you're selling your home, it's best to stick to a relatively neutral color.

    • Upgraded cabinets  
      Cabinets are workhorses in the kitchen, so if something about them has left you less-than-satisfied in their appearance or performance, now's the time to upgrade. Your cabinets don't need to be completely redone to achieve these results – often, a refreshed paint job will be enough to improve their appearance. You can also fix issues such as squeaky doors, chipped paint, and loose handles to help restore your kitchen into a point of pride.

    • New backsplash   
      Installing a new backsplash is a relatively simple and inexpensive task that can have a big impact. Metal tiles, glass, and other materials can be used to make your home's backsplash look sleek and attractive.

    • Modernized lighting   
      Many kitchens have outdated lighting, which negatively impacts the entire appearance and functionality. Choosing upgrades such as pendant lights or interior cabinet lighting can instantly make your kitchen brighter and focus light exactly where you need it.

    Contact us if you're interested in listing your home among Spokane homes for sale. Our experienced, knowledgeable agents can suggest upgrades that will make your kitchen and home more attractive to prospective buyers while providing a good return on your investment.

    January
    11

    Spokane: 5 Trails for Winter Hiking

    Spokane Hiking

    Now that the holidays are behind us, we're all eager to get out of the house and get some exercise. Luckily, winter is a beautiful time to head outside and explore the Spokane area.

    Our real estate agents love the Washington weather this time of year. And with a nice dusting of snow on the trails, it's a perfect opportunity to lace up your hiking boots—or strap on your snowshoes—and experience these great Spokane winter hikes. 

    1. John A. Finch Arboretum - 3404 W Woodland Blvd, Spokane, WA 99224
      John A. Finch Arboretum is a splendid spot for an afternoon winter stroll. The arboretum spans 65 acres along the banks of Garden Springs Creek and includes a meandering network of trails that pass through rich and varied forest habitat. The arboretum offers amazing scenery in any season. Keep an eye out for colorful winter plants like barberry, snowberry, and red osier dogwood. The Arboretum is convenient to many Spokane homes for sale and just minutes from the heart of Downtown Spokane. It's open to the public every day from dawn until dusk. 

    2. Riverside State Park - 9711 W Charles Rd, Nine Mile Falls, WA 99026
      Riverside State Park is one of Spokane's great outdoor playgrounds. Spanning 14,000 acres around the confluence of the Spokane and Little Spokane rivers, it's a year-round destination for adventures of all kinds. The park offers 55 miles of hiking trails, making it a top destination for snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, and winter hiking near these Nine Mile Falls homes for sale. The 2.1-mile Bowl and Pitcher Loop is a great place to start, offering incredible scenery and a trek across the river on a historic suspension bridge built by the CCC in the 1930s. 

    3. High Drive Bluff Park - 3418 S Jefferson Dr, Spokane, WA 99203
      One of Spokane's great off-the-beaten-path hiking destinations, High Drive Bluff Park, offers some of the best trails within the city limits. Encompassing a vast swath of Ponderosa pine forest and bunchgrass meadows along Spokane's South Hill, the park is home to more than 20 miles of trails. Most of these trails were built—and continue to be maintained—entirely by volunteers. High Drive Bluff Park is open year-round and offers excellent opportunities for winter hiking, bird watching, and fat-tire mountain biking. 

    4. Hog Canyon Lake - Sprague, WA 99032
      Just a few miles outside Spokane, Hog Canyon Lake is a beautiful winter hiking destination. Surrounded by a rugged glacier-carved landscape, the lake is accessible via the Hog Lake Trailhead on the Lake Valley Loop Road, one of several great hikes within the Fishtrap Recreation Area. It's a 5.3-mile loop hike, traversing easy-to-moderate terrain with splendid views of the lake. 

    5. Dishman Hills Natural Area - 625 S Sargent Rd, Spokane Valley, WA 99212
      The 530-acre Dishman Hills Natural Area is one of the best winter hiking destinations in Spokane County. It's a vast landscape of rocky hills, remote woodlands, and secluded ponds, crisscrossed by an extensive network of hiking trails a short drive from many Spokane Valley homes for sale. The 1.4-mile Pinecliff Loop Trail is a great easy winter hike for families with kids, while the Iller Creek Trailhead provides access to several different routes, including some steeper and more challenging trails with amazing views. 

    We love Spokane in the winter, but it's a really special place to call home in any season. Contact us to learn more about life in the Spokane area, and talk to our agents about finding your dream home today!

    December
    28

    Make Your Own Charcuterie Board from These Spokane Shops

    Charcuterie Boards Spokane

    Charcuterie boards are perfect for sampling some of the best local flavors! Plus, they aren't just for meat and cheese anymore. Cold days and nights spent indoors have inspired people to build hot chocolate charcuterie boards featuring cocoa and all the fixings, from marshmallows and wafer sticks to caramel cubes and gingerbread cookies.

    Whether you go gourmet or comfort, our real estate agents suggest these great shops around Spokane for creating your own charcuterie board.

    1. Egger's Meats North - 902 W. Rosewood Ave., Spokane, WA 99208
      For more than 60 years, Egger's Meats North has been producing a wide variety of specialty meats in their on-site smokehouse. In addition to hams, turkeys, and steaks, Egger's offers their signature pepperoni sticks and jerky along with 18 varieties of bratwurst. Eggers will also process your wild game during hunting season. Don't forget to pick up sauces, condiments, and side dishes from their deli counter. Hours are 9 a.m. - 6 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday.

    2. Wanderlust Delicato - 421 W. Main Ave., Suite 103, Spokane, WA 99201
      With their passion for travel, the owners of Wanderlust Delicato appreciate how food tells the story of where it came from. Their shop carries cheese, charcuterie, and wine from around the world to share these global experiences with their customers around Spokane homes for sale. Purchase cheese cut to order or choose one of their carefully crafted platters. Wanderlust Delicato is open Wednesday through Saturday from 11 a.m. - 6 p.m. 

    3. Petunia's Marketplace - 2010 N. Madison St., Spokane, WA 99205
      When it comes to items for your charcuterie board, if they don't carry it at Petunia's Marketplace, you don't need it. The charming shop is chock-full of artisan meats and cheeses, freshly roasted coffees, wine, olive oil, balsamic vinegars, and other gourmet foods that are sure to satisfy any taste. Add a touch of sweetness with some handmade chocolate truffles, caramels, and nut clusters. Visit their Facebook page for current hours.

    4. Bruttles Gourmet Candy Shoppe - 828 W. Sprague Ave., Spokane, WA 99201
      Make a candy or hot chocolate charcuterie when you stop by this sweet Spokane shop. A chance comment by a customer-led to the creation of Soft Peanut Butter Brittle, the signature confection at Bruttles Gourmet Candy Shoppe. The luscious treat has the same rich peanut butter flavor with a flaky texture that's easier to eat. Customers also rave about the shop's namesake candy, which is an individual square of the soft brittle minus nuts and dipped in chocolate. Order online for convenient pickup. Hours are 11 a.m. - 6 p.m. weekdays and noon - 5 p.m. Sunday.

    5. Mariupol European Bakery and Deli - 3329 E. Sprague Ave., Spokane, WA 99202
      Want to add a little Continental style to your charcuterie board? Mariupol European Bakery and Deli carries a wide range of traditional foods you won't find anywhere else. Indulge with classic red caviar or smoked wild salmon, or go rustic with Italian polpette meatballs. People keep coming back for authentic baked goods such as stuffed pierogi and vatrushkas, rings of cheese-filled pastry. Mariupol is open 9 a.m. - 7 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 11:30 a.m. - 5:30 p.m. Sunday.

    Imagine sharing a charcuterie board with your family to celebrate your new Spokane home. Contact us at Coldwell Banker Tomlinson and let our experienced real estate agents turn your dream into reality.

    December
    14

    Interior Design Trend Forecast: Trends to Know About in 2021

    Design Trends

    With a brand new year on the horizon, our real estate agents are excited about the new possibilities it represents. A new calendar is a blank slate, and maybe not just for you, but for your home too. So as we look to the future, keep these up-and-coming design trends in mind for your next remodel. 

    1. Light Wood Tones
      A case could be made that wood is always in style. It's just the way we utilize it that changes. Lighter woods are a big design trend to watch out for in 2021. Taking a cue from Scandinavian inspiration, light woods bring a raw, natural look to any space. It's not just for floors, either. Lighter woods can help transform ceilings, shelves, cabinetry, even furniture. We love designs that let the natural light tones of the wood shine through, without dark and overpowering stains and finishes. 
       
    2. Modern Vintage Looks
      Striking a balance between the old-fashioned and the contemporary has been a growing trend that will continue through 2021. A big part of it has to do with incorporating vintage (or vintage-inspired) looks with their contemporary counterparts in a way that doesn't feel overpoweringly or artificially old-timey. Doing so creates not only contrast but balance. 
       
    3. Functional Comfort
      As we let a tough year go on its way, a desire for comfort and connection will play a huge role in shaping the biggest interior design trends of 2021. That includes an increased emphasis on soft curves, overstuffed furniture, and traditional, comforting designs. It's also about making spaces functional as well as comfortable. For example, if you have a formal sitting room, 2021 is the year to re-imagine it as a more welcoming, functional, and comforting space. 
       
    4. Bold Wall Colors
      Expect to see light and neutral walls give way to bolder tones this year. As we spend more time at home, there comes a need to introduce more life and color into our living spaces. If you're planning on repainting one or more rooms in your house this year, consider making a statement with your color choice, especially in living rooms and dining rooms. In other places (especially bedrooms), more relaxing neutrals are still the go-to choice. 
       
    5. Your Home, Your Office
      With record numbers of people working from home this year, many remote workers are discovering that they really do like working remotely. And a lot of companies are discovering that letting their employees work from home is actually a sustainable business model. We predict that more and more people will take the time to set up a truly epic home office this year. Choose a room with natural light, paint it a relaxing color, and get creative with storage options. If you weren't satisfied with your office at work, you can create your dream office at home. 

    Whether you're planning on listing your Spokane home for sale in the new year or are simply planning a DIY project to improve your own living space, we're here to help. Contact us today to learn more. 

    November
    23

    Where to Order Holiday Poinsettias in Spokane

    Spokane Poinsettias

    It's almost time for Spokane homes for sale to come alive with beautiful decorations for the holidays. This holiday season promises to be a welcome time of joy and giving in the midst of a challenging year.  We know many people, buyers, and sellers alike, who are looking forward to it.

    One traditional aspect of the holidays many people embrace is the poinsettia. 

    They stand for good cheer and success and bring mirth and celebration where they are seen.

    Fresh poinsettias can be tough to find in many parts of the country, but you're in luck if you're looking for them here in Spokane. Florists make it a "point" to stock these lovely flowers for the holidays. You have your choice of many places to pick them up.

    Let's look at some popular spots to buy holiday poinsettias in Spokane:

    1. The Greenery at Spokane Community College - 1810 North Greene Street, Spokane, WA 99217
      The Greenery at Spokane Community College is unique: A student-run flower shop and nursery right on the Spokane CC campus. Its operations include three greenhouses filled with all sorts of annuals, perennials, trees, and bushes. Fresh flower arrangements are available all year long.
    2. Sunset Florist & Greenhouse - 1606 South Assembly Road, Spokane, WA 99224
      Sunset Florist & Greenhouse is a local florist welcoming Spokane customers since all the way back in 1945. Combining superb quality and affordable prices, it offers you the opportunity to have a special holiday flower arrangement handcrafted by true experts.
    3. Liberty Park Florist & Greenhouse - 1401 East Newark Avenue, Spokane, WA 99202
      Liberty Park Florist & Greenhouse is a family-owned florist that's been a Spokane staple since 1928. It may be best known for its expansive garden center and indoor plants. It also enlivens events, such as weddings, with remarkable flower arrangements that both look and smell great.
    4. Four Seasons Flower and Plant Shop - West 603 Indiana Avenue, Spokane, WA 99205
      Four Seasons Flower and Plant Shop is a favorite when it comes to holiday floral arrangements. Open since 1981, it provides all kinds of options for size, color, and budget. Deliveries can be performed worldwide. You'll truly find lovely selections here in all four seasons.
    5. Evergreen Florist - 1602 North Monroe Street, Spokane, WA 99205
      Evergreen Florist pairs its poinsettias with a stylish green bushel pot. With friendly and prompt service chosen by thousands of customers, it is led by local floral designer Song Korfhage, who brings 30 years of expertise to every bouquet. Tropical plants and even European dish gardens are also available.

    Any time of year, local businesses like these florists help give Spokane its unique color and character. There are plenty of other reasons to love this vibrant community waiting for you to discover. Contact us at Coldwell Banker Tomlinson for the freshest real estate opportunities around Spokane.

    October
    26

    7 Timeless Looking Kitchen Updates

    timeless Kitchen

    When revamping your kitchen, you might be tempted to go with the most recent design or that trendy color of the year. Just because it's trending doesn't mean you should go for it.

    We can tell you that kitchen design trends come and go, but certain classic looks have stood the test of time. These designs are simple, beautiful, and appeal to a wide audience. And because the kitchen is one of the most expensive areas to renovate, it's smart to stick with what's tried and true. Here are the top 7 timeless kitchen trends that have been loved for decades.

    1. Neutral Paint Colors
      The classic white-on-white kitchen will never go out of style. And while it's sometimes critiqued for being boring, it provides a sophisticated look, can blend into any style, and appeals to the masses. You can easily swap out accessories to get that kiss of color. Also, a neutral-color kitchen creates the illusion of space. It can be a blank canvas for your creativity and for buyers interested in buying your home.

    2. Subway Tile
      Subway tiling is one of the most popular kitchen trends, and for a good reason. It's easy to install, it's relatively inexpensive, and has stood the test of time. It has a pleasant pattern and can be arranged in so many ways to get a custom look that complements your personality. It can work with many different décor styles without competing for visual attention.

    3. Single-Level Island
      A single-level island provides a clean, classic, and seamless look. It's a practical feature that allows you to prep meals, help kids with the homework, eat breakfast and gather with loved ones. When keeping an open layout, a kitchen island serves as a focal point and allows light to stream through the space. 

    4. Shaker-Style Cabinets
      Trends among cabinet fronts are always changing, but Shaker cabinetry is a trend that has been around for more than 100 years. With recessed panel doors, Shaker cabinets are known for their functionality, durability, and a simple, clean, and timeless look. This style works well with both farmhouse and modern designs. 

    5. Quartz Countertops
      Quartz-surfacing countertops will continue to be a popular option for a long time. Made by mixing crushed quartz stone with resin, quartz is one of the strongest countertop materials. It is resistant to burns, chips, and scratches and doesn't stain from acidic substances. It offers a timeless appeal and requires less upkeep than many other countertop materials. 

    6. Deep Sink
      A deep and wide sink is just plain practical and a clean kitchen's best bet. Deep sinks contain splashes and properly accommodate large pans, pots, and other items that require hand washing. A large, deep sink can also be a statement when it comes to décor. Choose a sink with a metallic, marble, or porcelain finish and pair it with a stylish faucet. 

    7. Hardwood Floors
      The classic hardwood floor never goes out of style. It lends warmth and natural beauty that can make a kitchen feel more inviting, cozy, and comfortable. Hardwood adapts to any style and can stand up to spills and stains. If you have hardwood floors in other parts of your home, putting them in your kitchen can help create a seamless look by pulling together your interior design. While hardwood floors last for years, you can stain, refinish, or paint your floor to get a fresh new look.

    Design a kitchen that buyers looking for Spokane homes for sale will love no matter the decade. Reach out today for more information.

    October
    12

    Carve Pumpkins in Spokane: Where to Buy Pumpkins

    Pumpkins in Spokane

    Halloween is almost here, and we couldn't be more excited! We love everything about this holiday, including the quest to find the perfect pumpkin. Over the past several years, we have explored all of the area's best pumpkin patches. Throughout our journey, we've come across a few that really take things up a notch. 

    Whether you carve a pumpkin every year or you're thinking about starting a new tradition, you'll want to check out one (or more!) of these great local spots. 

    1. Urban Eden Farms: 2121 S. Cherry St., Spokane, WA 99224
      If you've been thinking about moving into one of the beautiful Spokane homes for sale, you'll definitely want to familiarize yourself with Urban Eden Farms. This CSA (community supported agriculture) sells organic, locally-grown produce on the farm on Saturdays from 9 am until noon. Not only can you get a great pumpkin here, but you can also pick up all the tasty veggies you need for your weekly dinners.
    1. Beck's Harvest House: 9919 Greenbluff Rd., Colbert, WA 99005
      When you're ready to really get into the spirit of the season, head over to the Fall Harvest Festival at Beck's Harvest House. Every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday through October 25th, you can visit their pumpkin patch and enjoy an array of other fall activities. You'll love the giant corn maze, apple cider, homemade pies, local food trucks, world-famous pumpkin donuts, and more! Even better, the farm is located not far from some of the best Colbert homes for sale, making it convenient to stop by while you're out exploring the area.
    1. Eleven Acres Farm: 10909 E. Day Mt. Spokane Rd., Mead, WA 99021
      The popular Eleven Acres Farm has a great pumpkin patch and pick-your-own apples, and fresh-grown winter squash. To see what other produce they have available, make sure to check out their website! After you're done with your visit to the farm, make sure to take a drive around so you can check out some of the beautiful Mead homes for sale
    1. Hidden Acres Orchard: 16802 N. Applewood Ln., Mead, WA 99021
      A dog-friendly farm that's open every day, Hidden Acres Orchard, is a great location for a family pumpkin-picking outing. They currently have white and orange u-pick mini pumpkins, a huge selection of carving pumpkins, giant pumpkins, and stacking pumpkins. You can also pick up some sugar pumpkins, baking pumpkins, and gourds to cover all of your fall baking and decorating needs.
    1. Sunset Orchard on Green Bluff: 8110 E. Greenbluff Rd., Colbert, WA 99005
      If you're looking for the widest selection of pumpkins around, you'll want to head over to Sunset Orchard on Green Bluff. They have over 30 varieties of pumpkins this year, including giant varieties, carving pumpkins, and edible pumpkins. Have fun wandering through the fields in search of the perfect pumpkin, or skip the hassle and choose one from their convenient displays. They regularly restock them, so it'll be easy to find one you love. Before you go, you'll want to make sure you also pick up some fresh apples and veggies. 

    Fall in Love With Your Dream Home

    Autumn is the perfect time to find your dream home, and we are here to help. Get in touch today to discuss your goals and get started! 

    October
    19

    Community Over Competition: Supporting Our Local Farmers

    From the September 2020 issue of @Home with Coldwell Banker Tomlinson.  Written by Abbey Parsons, CBT West Plains Branch Manager.

     

    Kohlrabi - I had to GOOGLE it; I had no idea what this vegetable was, until a bag of fresh produce showed up on my doorstep in early May of this year.  Our family decided to try a Community Supported Agriculture program (CSA) subscription.

    You can join these programs as a community member by paying for a share of the harvested produce.  We paid for our share up front in March and we receive a weekly delivery to our door.  This has expanded our vegetable choices while supporting a local family business that keeps money in our community. 


    COMMUNITY IS KEY

    Community Supported Agriculture, or CSA, is a farm marketing model that allows the consumer to buy shares of a farm's harvest before the growing season starts.  Thus, delivery through the winter months may include beets, corn, broccoli, onions, turnips, radishes, carrots, cilantro, kale, mustard, spinach, basil, lettuce and, of course, kohlrabi!  There are also such frozen options as blueberries, peaches, berries, and peas.  Customers may also choose from prepared foods, ingredients for which are raised on local farms, such as hummus, soups, sauces and jams.


    FARMING IS THEIR PASSION

    Courage to Grow Farms is a first-generation, family-owned urban farm that practices zero-waste regenerative agriculture and employs organic methods.  It was established in 2018 with the idea of teaching their community, particularly its youth, techniques of sustainable agriculture on small parcels of land.  In only two years, they have created, worked and mentored six urban farms in the Spokane area, all of which are now being run successfully by people eager to learn the trade.  In cooperation with other farmers throughout the Pacific Northwest, they now offer much of the Spokane region a bountiful, locally-produced fresh box throughout the year.


    GIVING BACK

    Since the community keeps them going, they are eager to give back to the community.  Since 2018, they have donated hundreds of pounds of wholesome food to the Farm to Food Pantry Program, Catholic Charities, Food For All, as well as providing their packages free of charge every week to families in need.


    IF YOU'RE INTERESTED

    Twenty consecutive weeks of deliveries are available for $800.  For more information, call or text (509) 270-7264 or visit their website at www.couragetogrowfarms.com.

     

    September
    30

    Annual Coats 4 Kids Drive More Important Now Than Ever

     

    From the September 2020 issue of @Home with Coldwell Banker Tomlinson.  Article written by Cindy Hedin, Coldwell Banker Tomlinson REALTOR®.

    With fall just around the corner, we at Coldwell Banker Tomlinson are beginning to gear up for our annual Coats 4 Kids campaign with KXLY 4 News Now.   Though, due to the current COVID pandemic and school closures, the Coats 4 Kids campaign will look a little different in 2020, its success is more urgent than ever!

    Coats 4 Kids is an area-wide annual fall event and has several local sponsors, including Coldwell Banker Tomlinson.  In addition to its corporate contributions, Coldwell Banker Tomlinson Realtors® throughout our region have worked in the past as liasons with local schools and businesses in collecting coats.  We will miss working directly with our school partners this year.  However, we know they will continue to do what they can to help.  View a full list of coat dropoff locations here.

    The good news is that we will still be receiving new and gently used coats and monetary donations at Coldwell Banker Tomlinson offices throughout the Spokane area.  Dr. Bob Lutz from the Spokane Health District was consulted to ensure we are observing proper procedures regarding COVID-19.  Unfortunately we have had to eliminate some of the events we've done in the past.

    This year marks the 35th anniversary of Coats 4 Kids.  With your support, we have been able to collect hundreds of thousands of new and gently-used coats of all sizes (don't forget the teenagers!) for children throughout our region.  This year's collection will begin October 1st and run through October 31st.  We want to make sure every child in our area has a warm coat to wear this winter!

    What can YOU do to help in this year's campaign? 

    1.  Check your closets any gently used coats you would like to donate.

    2.  Bring them to any Coldwell Banker Tomlinson office, or call your Coldwell Banker Tomlinson Realtor®, we will be happy to pick up your donation.

    3.  Donations of new coats and monetary donations are also most welcome. Make a financial contribution here

    Your contributions will put smiles on many, many children in our community!

    September
    28

    5 Things You Need to do After Buying a Home

    Buying a Home Spokane

    After buying a home, you may feel as if you've completed a marathon and are due for a little downtime to settle in and rest. But don't sit too long; there's still plenty to do.

    We recommend prioritizing the many must-dos that will ensure your safety and comfort in your new Spokane home. Here are five things to get started on.

    1. Secure your home.
      Your family's safety is paramount, so take steps right away to change locks and garage codes. You have no way of knowing how many people have keys or codes, so before you move in, make the change. Ask the seller for any instruction manuals for electronic security systems, including cameras, alarms, and locks. If your home comes with an alarm system, you will need to find a new provider or reconnect service. 

    2. Do a walk-through.
      The best time for a walk-through is when it's empty. So take a look around, and make sure all requested/agreed-upon repairs were made; that all appliances and other agreed-upon items included in the sale are present; and that everything works, including plumbing, outlets, switches, fixtures, appliances, and the HVAC system. If you find issues that should have been covered in your contract, contact your real estate agent. If the issues aren't covered, plan for repairs or replacements. 

      Did you get a home warranty? These are commonly purchased by the seller to cover costs for appliances or major systems. Review the details so you'll know what to do if you have to file a claim. If you didn't get one with the sale of your home, you can still buy one after the closing.

    3. Find out where essential valves, fuse boxes, and the like are located.
      It's surprising how many homeowners don't know how to turn off the water at the street, how to turn off the power to the various parts of the home in an emergency, or how to shut off the water to an overflowing toilet at the base. Before you move in, how about doing a walk-through where you specifically identify valves, breaker boxes, and other features, so you'll know where they are in an emergency? Say your dishwasher has an electronic fire in its door (yes, this can happen), you probably can't just switch off the appliance but must go to the breaker box and turn off the power. Make sure all the breakers are clearly labeled as to what part of the home they operate. 

    4. Connect utilities before moving in.
      You will probably need to call all your utilities -- gas, electric, and water -- to start a new service and to apprise them that you're the new owner of your home and have no connection to whoever had service at the home prior. You will likely also want to contract for your phone and internet service, as well as TV (cable or satellite) and a security company. 

    5. Change your address.
      Contact the post office and fill out a change-of-address form so that all your mail will be sent to your new address. It's wise to also make a list of essential persons, companies, and government services that you deal with, so you can let them know your new address.

    Whether you're shopping for Spokane homes for sale or moving into your new home, we can answer your questions. Get in touch today. 

    September
    14

    Scenic Spots Around Spokane to See Fall Colors

    Spokane Scenic Spots

    It's hard to believe summer is almost over, but there will be a nip in the air before you know it! As summer turns into autumn, we all look forward to the stunning fall foliage that Washington is known for. This is one of the reasons why we love showing homes in the autumn months.

    When we speak with potential buyers who are new to the area, we always recommend that they take a short break from exploring Spokane homes for sale to visit some of the area's most scenic spots. Here are a few of our favorite recommendations.

    1. Iller Creek Trail: 9001 E Holman Rd., Spokane, WA 99206
      The 1,233-acre Dishman Hills Conservation Area is home to the scenic Iller Creek Trail. Here you'll find a dramatic landscape where you can take in gorgeous views, wildflowers, and wildlife. During your hike, you'll see beautiful forests, a creek, and you'll have access to the popular Rocks of Sharon. The trail spans 4.6 miles and sees quite a bit of hiking traffic. It's also dog-friendly as long as your furry friends stays on a leash. 
    2. Manito Park & Boulevard: S Grand Ave at 18th Ave., Spokane, WA 99203
      A staple of Spokane since 1904, Manito Park is made up of five gorgeous garden areas. While the spring and summer blooms are stunning, we're partial to the autumn foliage. You'll love the Nishinomiya Tsutakawa Memorial Japanese Garden, with its scarlet maple trees, koi ponds, and footbridge. When you're done visiting the park, take a stroll down Manito Boulevard, where the overhang of golden leaves is truly a sight to be seen! 
    3. Continental Trail: 9711 W Charles Rd., Nine Mile Falls, WA 99026
      The entire 37-mile Centennial Trail is dotted with fall foliage. However, the area that spans from Gonzaga University through Riverfront Park offers the most colorful views. When the weather is particularly clear, you can sometimes catch a glimpse of the leaves reflecting off the Spokane River. This paved trail is open to pedestrians and non-motorized vehicles. 
    4. Green Bluff: 8110 E Greenbluff Rd., Mead, WA 99021
      Green Bluff Growers is a community of family farms, wineries, and more. Here you can pick apples, find pumpkins, and enjoy corn mazes. You'll also want to take some time to shop for homemade gifts and home-baked pies, listen to live music, enjoy locally-sourced food and drinks, and, of course, take in the beautiful scenery. Green Bluff is located just 15 minutes north of Spokane. This is a fun, all-ages adventure that the entire family is sure to love!
    5. Finch Arboretum: 3404 W Woodland Blvd., Spokane, WA 99224
      The 65-acre botanical and tree garden at Finch Arboretum is home to over 2,000 labeled trees, flowers, and shrubs. You'll enjoy wandering through the many trails that wind through the arboretum. Make sure you take a moment to stop by the Garden Springs Creek to relax and take in the beautiful view. 

    Are you looking for the perfect home in the Spokane area? We're here to help you find one your sure to fall in love with! Get in touch today to get started. 

    September
    2

    Our Transportation System: A Crisis Within A Crisis

     

    From the August 2020 issue of @Home with Coldwell Banker Tomlinson.  Based on original reporting.


    It seems that we find ourselves in a time of great decisions.  Should schools and businesses be open or closed?  Should the Congress inject more money into the economy, and if so, how much?  Soon we will be asked to decide whether to stick with our current president, or go with another.

    These are great decisions, and different people will find different answers, but their importance requires that we all be involved, that we study the issues before deciding, and then be sure to make our decisions known, either to our elected leaders or via the ballot box.

    There is another great issue that we encounter every day and that is calling for a decision that has for too long been either delayed or confused: How do we in Eastern Washington want our transportation system to be managed?  It is the job of Mike Gribner, Region Administrator of the Washington State Dept. of Transportation (WSDOT) to do just that, provided we understand that he acts on instructions from us.

    Mike has been waiting for clear, consistent instructions from us for years, and both he and his boss, Roger Millar, our state's Secretary of Transportation, are doing all they can to let us know that years of dithering have led our transportation system to a point of crisis, a crisis just as real as that caused by the novel coronavirus.

    Good news is, though, it is much easier to solve.  All it will take is for an informed electorate (us) to get our priorities straight, to decide just where we want to spend our money, and let our elected officials know about it.

    At stake in Spokane is an economy that generates $30,000,000,000 (that's right; with a "B!") every year, and every single component is inexorably tied to transportation.  It is what allows goods to get to market, buyers to get to sellers, patients to get to doctors... etc.  When Mike Gribner has cause to worry, we all have cause to worry.

    He is worried, because, on the one hand, we expect him to be a good steward of the complex and vital system of transportation we own, while, on the other, we deny him the funds to do so.  Sometimes we do so intentionally, as when Initiative 976 was passed, which dangled the appealing prospect of lower license tabs at the cost of crippling reductions in WSDOT's revenues.  Sometimes, we do it inadvertently, as when we run after the shiny new object of expansion, without first making sure that maintenance of the existing system is properly funded.

    The clearest example in our region is the North Spokane Corridor (NSC).  A worthy project, no doubt, but one that is funded by bonded (i.e. "borrowed") money, so much money that the interest payments alone consume a huge percentage of WSDOT's budget.

    As a result, Gribner has been obliged to cease all repairs on thoroughfares with speed limits under 45mph.  That lets out not only our tree-lined residential cul-de-sacs, but such little-used byways as Division Street and Trent Ave!

    To be sure, the coronavirus has played its part by ratcheting up the severity of the crisis in our transportation system.  The drastic reduction in miles traveled has meant far less consumption of gasoline, which in turn cuts deeply into the gas tax revenues on which WSDOT depends.  The Office of Financial Management estimates the cost of the COVID virus at up to $100,000,000 per month.  

    He grimaces when he is accused by members of the real estate industry of being "anti-growth" for taking such action as opposing large-scale development along the I-195 corridor before steps are taken to improve its safety, steps which the City of Spokane (i.e. "we") agreed to take more than a decade ago. 

    In fact, the furtherance of economic prosperity is a prominent part of WSDOT's mission statement.  Just ask Councilman Al French whether or not Mike Gribner can be relied upon to support our efforts at economic growth.  He seems to feel that without the heroic effort of Gribner and his partners, Amazon would not have come to the West Plains.

    So what is to be done?  According to Mike Gribner, our first job as responsible citizens is to be well-informed.  The WSDOT website is a great place to start.  Beyond that, a call to the regional office at (509) 324-6000 will be enough to convince anyone that this is an organization devoted to serving the public and fulfilling its mission to support the safety, security, and prosperity of the people of Eastern Washington. 

    The final step, and the one that counts most, is putting your knowledge to work by voting responsibly and insisting to such elected representatives as Senator Andy Billig and Representative Marcus Riccelli, both ardent advocates for supporting our transportation system properly, that the system is important to you, and that you are willing to pay for it.

    August
    10

    Get Out on the Water: Kayaking and Rafting Around Spokane

    Kayaking in Spokane

    Whether you prefer your time on the water to be relaxing or exciting, there's a paddlesport option for you. During the summer months, our real estate agents love exploring Spokane-area waterways using kayaks, rafts, and stand-up paddleboards. 

    Enjoy some fun out on the water with a rental or guided trip from these spots around Spokane.

    1. FLOW Adventures - 2807 W. Euclid Ave., Spokane, WA 99205
      How much fun are the people at FLOW Adventures? Owners Jon and Jeanie Wilmot bestowed their dog Stella with the official title of "Extra Food Disposal." Since 2005, when the Wilmots ran the business from their basement, they've been "creating adventurous memories" for outdoor lovers near Spokane homes for sale. FLOW conducts rafting, tubing and kayaking trips along the Spokane and Salmon Rivers, or you can rent the apparatus and choose your own course. The fun doesn't stop in the winter when FLOW offers daytime and sunset snowshoe excursions.

    2. Fun Unlimited - 414 E. 1st Ave., Post Falls, ID 83854
      With a name like Fun Unlimited, how can you go wrong? Locations in Post Falls and underneath the Division Street Bridge in Spokane provide easy access to a variety of experiences. The Spokane location rents stand-up paddleboards and kayaks in one-, two- and four-hour increments, with afternoon and evening specials. 24-hour and weekly rental rates are also available. If you have a need for speed, the Post Falls location rents jet skis as well as wake surf, deck, and pontoon boats. Plus, it's close to many wonderful Post Falls homes for sale

    3. ROW Adventure Center - 209 S. Washington, Spokane, WA 99201
      ROW Adventure Center has probably the best endorsement a paddlesport business could get. Each year, National Geographic has named RAC's parent company, ROW Adventures, as one of the "Best Adventure Travel Companies on Earth." Guided by a mission of "Sharing Nature - Enriching Lives," RAC has helped tens of thousands of people discover the glorious sights of nature in Washington and Idaho. Popular rafting and kayaking locations include Spokane, St. Joe, Moyie, Clearwater and Selway Rivers as well as Lake Coeur d'Alene. Half- and full-day trips are offered, along with sunset and "happy hour" options.

    4. Pangaea River Rafting - Ruby River Hotel, 700 N. Division St., Spokane, WA 99202
      A cross-country cycling trip inspired Brooke Baunsgard and David Lawrence to share the joys of relationships forged in the great outdoors. After purchasing an existing adventure company, they transformed it into Pangaea River Rafting and expanded the trip selections to appeal to a broader demographic. "Leave Boring Behind" with scenic or wine-tasting rafting trips along the Spokane River. Pangaea will also create upgraded trips customized to your specific requests.

    5. Wiley E. Waters - 1701 W. Water Ave., Spokane, WA 99201
      The company may share its name with a cartoon character, but trips offered by Wiley E. Waters are thrillingly real. Choose from family-friendly whitewater trips or scenic floats in Riverside State Park. Adults aged 21 and over can join their friends on a fun-filled wine & dine trip featuring locally-produced wines. Expand your horizons, literally and figuratively, with a half-day scenic trip down the Grande Ronde River in southeast Washington.

    Spokane's proximity to water is just one of the reasons that make it an ideal location for your dry-land home. If you're buying or selling a house, contact us at Coldwell Banker Tomlinson for dedicated and knowledgeable assistance.

    July
    27

    6 Things to Know Before You Remodel Your Kitchen

    Kitchen Remodeling

    No other room in the house is as exciting or as daunting to remodel as the kitchen. When reimagining an existing kitchen, you want to preserve or improve its functionality, while pulling it all together with a fresh new look. 

    In addition to hiring an expert, there are several things you can do to ensure the success of your remodel. When you're done, you'll have an outstanding kitchen you'll love to work in and that you can enjoy for years. What's more, when the time comes, it'll make your home a star among other Spokane homes for sale.

    1. Be Realistic About the Cost
      As you imagine your dream kitchen, you'll probably envision lots of moving about: moving walls, moving appliances, moving cabinetry, and rerouting the stove's ventilation system. Be realistic about what you can do within your budget. Can you move that load-bearing wall? Well, yes, if you're willing to pay the price to transfer the load to other structures. Same with the appliances. Yes, you can move the refrigerator, stove, and sink, although it will be expensive to do so. 

    2. Think About Function
      Make an inventory of everything you want stored in your kitchen, including pots and pans, spices, gadgets, serving platters, baking equipment, cutting boards, knives and utensils, trays. Think about where all this equipment will be stored for the best access for a good workflow. Where should appliances go? Where should your trashcan be? Then, think about drawers (deep drawers, please!) and cabinetry.

    3. Plan For Good Lighting
      You don't want a dark kitchen or one where you're having to work in shadows, which is a hazard of installing recessed lighting in the wrong place. Plan on ambient light to illuminate the room and lighting for tasks, so you don't cut yourself when slicing onions. 

    4. Don't Fall For Trends
      You'll be living with this design for a while. While following the latest trends might be tempting, think about whether you'll really love these trends five years from now. Also, if you see your family moving in a couple of years, make sure your kitchen offers a more timeless look that buyers will love whenever you do decide to move. 

    5. Hire the Right Contractor
      Avoid hiring the wrong contractor by asking for references from persons the builder has completed kitchens for. Look at the finished work. Ask how satisfied the homeowner was with the job, whether it was completed on time and within budget. Ask the contractor about insurance, how he would handle unexpected issues, and timeline. Get at least three bids and don't necessarily go with the low bidder.

    6. Organize a Timeline For Your Remodel
      A kitchen remodel is a lot like orchestrating a piece of music: all the various elements must come together at just the right time when the final piece is played. Order your new cabinets, plumbing fixtures, appliances, and materials ahead so you will have it all at hand. This will help the builder make exact measurements for installation. Confer with the contractor about scheduling the various technicians, including electricians, plumber, ventilation installer, and others in advance. 

    Our real estate agents have other good advice for similar projects for your Spokane home. Contact us today. 

    July
    13

    National Ice Cream Day: Ice Cream Shops in Spokane

    Ice Cream Shops in Spokane

    Nothing says summer fun quite like a delicious frozen treat! In fact, when our real estate agents take a break from helping buyers find their dream homes, they love stopping by some of their favorite local ice cream shops. 

    National Ice Cream Day is coming up soon, so now is a great time to start exploring some of the area's best ice cream vendors. Here are a few suggestions to help you get started.

    1. Mrs. Cavanaugh's Chocolates & Ice Cream: 513 E. Hastings Rd., Spokane, WA 99218
      Family owned and operated since 1964, Mrs. Cavanaugh's Chocolates & Ice Cream still prides themselves on creating high-quality treats made from only the finest ingredients. They carry a variety of delicious ice cream flavors (although we're partial to the Chocolate Fudge). Before you leave, you'll want to pick up some of their gourmet chocolates to enjoy after you get home. 
    2. Doyle's Homemade Ice Cream Parlor: 2229 W. Boone Ave., Spokane, WA 99201
      Doyle's Homemade Ice Cream Parlor has been a landmark in the West Central neighborhood of Spokane since 1939. They make their own ice cream and are home to the city's last working vintage soda fountain. Whether you're looking for a regular ice cream cone, giant banana split, old fashioned milkshake, or a made-from-scratch old-time fountain drink, you can find it here! While you're in the neighborhood, make sure to take a drive around so you can get a look at some of the great nearby Spokane homes for sale.
    3. Didier's Yogurt & More: 10410 N. Division St., Spokane, WA 99218
      If frozen yogurt is your thing, you'll definitely want to pay a visit to Didier's Yogurt & More. They've been around since 1986 and are the oldest still-running frozen yogurt restaurant in the United States. They carry many unique flavors, most of which they blend themselves. Enjoy a dish or a cone, shake, smoothie, float, or flurry. Don't forget to take a pint (or three!) home for later.
    4. Froyo Earth: 12519 N. Division #5, Spokane, WA 99218
      Feeling creative? Head over to Froyo Earth, where you can create your own frozen yogurt concoction by choosing from a huge variety of flavors and premium toppings. Here you'll find interesting options like Pomegranate Raspberry Sorbet, White Chocolate Mousse, and Cake Batter. The flavors change every day, so each time you go, it's a new adventure!
    5. Pete Belle's: 1330 N. Argonne Rd., Spokane Valley, WA 99212
      When you visit Pete Belle's, you can expect to enjoy delicious, rich ice cream made with real ingredients. Located right down the road from Spokane Valley homes for sale, they have options for every type of sweet tooth. From rich and decadent flavors like Mint Avalanche made with Andes Candies and Grasshopper Cookies to lighter treats like Passionfruit Italian Ice and everything in between, you can be sure that you'll never leave this shop disappointed! 

    After you're done enjoying your sweet treat, you'll want to check out some of our sweet real estate deals! There are a ton of great houses on the market right now, and we're here to help you find the one you've been dreaming of. Contact us today to get started.

    June
    22

    How to Give Your Patio a Refresh this Summer

    Patio Refresh

    There's no doubt about it. Summer is right around the corner. And with the amount of time we've all spent in various stages of quarantine and social distancing, our real estate agents are excited to spend some quality time outdoors. 

    With that in mind, there's never been a better time to take your patio game to the next level. Plus, in all our years offering Spokane homes for sale, we've learned that a home's exterior is just as important as its interior. So whether you're planning on selling your home, or you just want to have a few friends over for a backyard gathering, consider these simple tips to refresh your patio this summer. 

    1. Improve Your Patio Lighting
      The right lighting can completely transform your patio, especially if you're planning on using it for late-night hangouts. Placing solar lights along walkways and patio edges will create a cozy glow, and LED string lights will transform your patio into a fun and festive party zone. 

    2. Upgrade to Patio Pavers
      An easy and effective upgrade from a traditional poured-concrete patio, pavers are available in a wide range of colors and styles. The design options are endless. Pavers are also relatively affordable, and simple to replace. 

    3. Up Your Grill Game
      If you like to cookout, you need the tools to do it right. That could mean investing in a quality charcoal grill, or it could mean splurging on a full-fledged outdoor kitchen. If you're really serious about it, you can even build a smoker or create your own DIY brick oven. It all depends on your needs and budget.

    4. Unleash Some Vines
      Vines are a great addition to your backyard landscaping. If you have a bare brick wall or boring fence, letting a vine climb its way up its side can completely transform the space. Flowering vines like Clematis and Honeysuckle are also great for planting around a trellis or pergola, which can be a great addition to your patio. 

    5. Keep Furniture Simple
      Too much patio furniture can make your patio feel crowded and visually overwhelming. Choose a few simple, functional pieces that look good together, and provide enough seating and table space without completely crowding the space. Simple wood furniture is great because it has a rustic look, and you can change the throw pillows throughout the year. 

    6. Add a Fireplace
      Is there anything better than sitting around a campfire on a cool summer night? There's no denying that fire feature takes your backyard to the next level. Just be cautious about its location. Make sure your fire pit is not too close to the house, and far from any overhanging structures. 

    7. Start a Container Garden
      If you don't have the time, patience, or space for a full-fledged vegetable garden—and let's be honest, most of us don't—then a patio container garden is a great option. Common vegetables like tomatoes, eggplants, peas, beans, and leafy greens can thrive in containers, and they add a fun splash of life to your patio too. 

    Contact us today to learn more about how you can get the most out of your home, inside and out. And be sure to talk to our team about buying or selling your next home in the Spokane area. 

    May
    22

    Safe Start Phase 2 Recovery Update for Spokane Real Estate

     

    Spokane Landscaping Trends

     

    Please note, this information is accurate as of this article's posting time, May 22nd, 2020, at 3:30pm.  The situation is very dynamic and is subject to change.

    Spokane County has been approved to move into Phase 2 of COVID-19 Recovery.  What does Phase 2 mean for Realtors® and clients?

    Washington REALTORS® summarizes the modifications for Phase 2:

    Real estate firms may open their offices in a limited fashion;

    Commercial brokers can engage in the same in-person services as residential brokers;

    Three persons (as opposed to two persons) are allowed on site for permitted in-person real estate activities for both residential and commercial brokerage (for both improved and unimproved property); and

    Sign installers may install real estate signs.



    In Phase 1, Realtors® were allowed to show properties by appointment to only one individual at a time. Commercial real estate activities were also prohibited.

    In Phase 2, Realtors® may now accompany two individuals at a time in a property. Those three persons must strictly follow social distancing guidelines by remaining at least six feet apart at all times. A Realtor® may not leave a third party unattended in a property. In addition, listing brokers should stagger any preview or showing appointments to avoid any overlap. All showings must be by appointment only

    Realtors® and industry partners (e.g. appraisers, inspectors, photographers, stagers, etc.) must wear cloth face coverings and should encourage clients and customers to do the same. Approved face coverings include scarves, cloth face masks, or medical grade masks.

    Traditional open houses are still prohibited in Phase 2. 

    In lieu of physically showing the property, Realtors® and buyers can utilize virtual tours and videos that are included with the listing. Realtors® should also consider virtual showings to further practice social distancing.

    Realtors® must adhere to the Phase protocols for the county where the property is located, regardless of the location of the Realtor®'s office or home. View a map showing current Phase status of each Washington County.

     

    Commercial real estate activities were prohibited in Phase 1 of the recovery. In Phase 2, commercial brokers may re-engage with in-person services, similar to residential brokers. Three persons are allowed on-site at one time, for permitted in-person commercial real estate activities for both improved and unimproved property, including facilitating inspections, appraisals, buyer "walkthroughs," and other activities typically required to complete a real estate sale or lease. All in-person real estate activities, Phase 1 or 2, require participants to wear cloth face coverings.

     

    Coldwell Banker Tomlinson offices are planning to re-open June 1. Social distancing and hygiene safety protocols be observed, including wearing of cloth face masks when entering the office and maintaining at least six feet of distance between individuals at all times. Realtors® and staff are available, as before, to fully serve clients remotely where necessary.

     

    The Spokane real estate market has remained strong as we transition out of Phase 1 and into Phase 2 of the recovery. Inventory is still low, and demand is high. If you have questions about the current state of the market, please reach out to a CBT Realtor®.

     

    View a Phase 2 FAQ here, provided by Washington REALTORS®.

     

    May
    11

    How to Start a Raised Garden Bed

    Raised Garden Bed

    It's spring and time for a garden. But not just any garden. In Spokane, many enlightened homeowners are getting maximum yields by planting a raised garden bed. Raised beds not only help plants drain better but in our rocky soil, the layer of rich soil and compost that a raised bed provides makes it easier for plants to stay nourished. Also, raised beds help you control watering and make it harder for pests to get at plants. 

    A raised garden bed can be an attractive feature of your property, and a great selling point among Spokane homes for sale, as our experienced real estate professionals, will tell you. Here's how you can get started planting a raised garden bed of your own.

    1. Find a Sunny Spot

      Plants need sun, so it's wishful thinking to locate your garden where it's shady. If possible, orient your bed so it is horizontal to the south so that plants will get even sun. 

    2. Put the Frame Together

      Lots of do-it-yourself kits are available on the market. Yours should be made of wood appropriate for the outdoors, such as cedar or even pine. Cedar also has insect-repelling properties. However, if you're reasonably handy, you can whip up your own frame, with instructions from the Internet, using recycled wood pallets, or other discarded wood.

      Height of the garden bed should be between 11 and 36 inches. How high you go will depend on the soil underneath the bed and what you want to grow. If you have rocky soil and you want to grow carrots, you may need a higher bed. Remember to add cross supports for beds over 18 inches, as the weight of the soil may bow out the frame.

      Some gardeners like to keep the width to 4 feet across so they can reach inside the frame. You can go longer -- but use cross supports every 6 feet.

    3. Prepare the Site

      Double dig the site to a depth of 16 inches so you can turn up roots and rocks that will interfere with your plants' roots.

      Make sure the sides of your frame are level, using a board spanned across the width and length of the bed. Then, add a layer of leaves, straw, wood chips, grass clippings, or any organic matter, and cover with cardboard. This will break down into compost over time. Add garden soil and soil amendments, including compost, peat, or lime. Spread the soil evenly and water, using the finest spray on the nozzle. Rake the bed to even it out.

    4. Start Planting

      Whether it's flowers or vegetables, do your research before you plant. Spokane has a great gardening climate, with a growing season of mid-April to mid-October, but do note appropriate times for planting. For instance, greens can take some chill and will get bitter in the hot sun, so it's better to plant them early. Tomatoes, on the other hand, need some warmth, so get the plants going indoors and wait till it's past the chilly temps before you plant. 

      Your plants from seed will usually do better if you start them indoors and get them going as seedlings. There are exceptions, so read the package instructions, as some seeds need to be sown directly in the soil. 

    Looking for more home improvement projects to give your home a boost before listing it for sale? Our team can help. Contact us today. 

    April
    27

    8 Tips for Cleaning Your Stainless Steel Appliances

    Cleaning Stainless Steel

    Do you remember when your stainless steel appliances were delivered to your home? The shine of the fresh new surfaces of your dishwasher, refrigerator, or oven instantly gave your kitchen a modern appearance. Now, you realize regular daily use has your appliances looking a little dull and almost grey. The elaborate shine is missing. The good news, stainless steel appliances are easy to clean and maintain.

    Whether you are spring cleaning or preparing your home to sell with our REALTORS®, restoring the shine to your stainless steel appliances is simple. Luckily, the process requires minimal effort, but the results are spectacular.

    1. Use a Soft Cloth
      Never use steel wool or brushes to clean your stainless steel appliances. Use only a soft cloth to prevent scratching the surface. If you scratch the surface, dirt and grime will collect in the small crevices creating a dirty appearance.
    2. Avoid Paper Towels 
      Using paper towels as part of your spring cleaning process is convenient. But paper towels can prevent a shiny finish. A soft cotton cloth or microfiber cloth is your best option for cleaning stainless steel. As you clean, the paper towel absorbs the oil and grime from your appliance's surface. The substances will continue to deposit on your appliances.
    3. Follow the Grain
      When cleaning the surface, always follow the grain. Start by inspecting your appliance carefully to find the flow of the steel. Use your cloth to clean in the direction of the flow. If you do not follow the grain, you can scratch and damage the surface of your appliance.
    4. Stainless Steel Cleaners
      Cleaners sold at the grocery store work well. When buying a cleaner for your stainless steel appliances, read the label carefully. An abrasive cleaner can easily damage your appliance's surface. Cleaners with bleach can cause stains and harm your appliance.
    5. Soap and Water
      Add mild dishwashing soap to warm water. Dip your soft cloth in the mixture, wring out the excess water, and wipe down the surface of your appliance.
    6. Go Green
      If you do not want to use a cleaner or soap, use white vinegar to clean the surface of your stainless steel appliances. Begin by adding the vinegar to warm water, immerse your soft cloth into the solution, wring out any extra water, and gently clean the surface.  
    7. Towel Dry
      Using a second soft cloth, dry your stainless steel appliances to prevent smudging and streaking. Wipe off any excess water or cleaner in the same direction as the grain. The extra step eliminates splotches that can create a dirty appearance on your appliances.
    8. Restore Appearance
      If you are not completely satisfied with your appliances after cleaning, go to your pantry. Use olive oil or mineral oil to restore the shine. Add a small amount to a soft cloth, lightly coat, and gently buff your stainless steel appliance. The simple method provides high-quality results by getting rid of the buildup.   

    Spills, excessive fingerprints, and other messy mishaps are a normal part of daily living. Regularly cleaning your stainless steel appliances helps maintain their sophisticated beauty and stand out among other Spokane homes for sale. Contact us if you are looking for a modern kitchen with all stainless steel appliances.   

    April
    13

    Home Improvement Projects That Take One Weekend To Complete

    Home Improvement Projects

    Need something to do this weekend? You could binge-watch another series, but why not take this time to help your house be one of the best Spokane homes for sale this season? A small home improvement project can be a rewarding way to spend your weekend, from the satisfaction of accomplishment to attracting more potential buyers. Here are some tasks that can easily be completed in one weekend. 

    1. Just Outside the Door
      For buyers, the front of your home creates a powerful first impression, so make it a good one. Wash the exterior of your home. Use a power washer if you have vinyl siding, but steer clear of all windows. Trim your hedges. Take a look at your front door. If the paint is peeling or the hardware outdated, it can make your home look dated. If you choose a new paint color for your door, use a primer so the old paint won't show through, and compare the new shade in the store with your new hardware or hardware that's similar to the color and style you have at home.
    2. Put Your Best Entrance Forward
      Consider what awaits on the other side of the door. If an overcrowded coat stand and a jumble of shoes and umbrellas greets visitors and buyers, switch that up with a coat rack with room for umbrellas and a shelf for hats. You can add an additional row of hooks near the coat rack for more storage room. A laser level will help you keep everything perfectly aligned. 
    3. Windows on the World
      Cleaning your windows is a simple way to make the whole house look newer. Gently wipe the window frames first. Depending on how your windows open, you may need special tools to access the outside of the windowpane. A window washer with a squeegee on a telescoping handle, however, it will reach most areas. Wash the window panes with a mix of water and vinegar for affordable and long-lasting shine. 
    4. Get on the Floor
      If your flooring is badly scuffed, peeling, or just outdated, it's easier than ever to install new flooring. Self-stick carpet tiles come in a wide variety of shades and textures, and click and lock plank flooring is available in finishes that would bring any bathroom or kitchen up to date. A belt sander will come in handy to smooth old subflooring, and a nail set will help you with wood subflooring when the nails are no longer flush. Some types of flooring may need to become acclimated to your home's humidity level, so ask at the hardware store before you make your purchase. 

    Our REALTORS® get to see houses at all stages, and they appreciate when a home has received the care it needs to look its best. It shows that the seller is offering a true investment, and buyers will recognize when a home has been well-loved. We'd love to talk to you about helping you find a buyer who will love your house as much as you do. Contact us today.

    March
    31

    New Guidance Allows Certain Real Estate Activities Under Stay Home, Stay Healthy Order

     

    Spokane Landscaping Trends

     

    Please note, this information is accurate as of this article's posting time, March 31st, 2020, at 8:00am.  The situation is very dynamic and is subject to change.

    Governor Inslee issued a memorandum on March 28th to revise his initial Stay Home, Stay Healthy order in Washington State, redefining certain real estate activities as "essential services."  With more than 17,000 pending transactions in Washington State, the spirit of the memorandum is to allow for the closure of these transactions, a top priority in preventing critical housing problems.  The Governor's directive balances appropriate housing needs with the importance of protecting public health.

    The memorandum states  that "While real estate activities have been approved as essential activities under the Proclamation, such activities shall only be permitted under the following restrictions and limitations:"

    a) In-person meetings with customers are prohibited except when necessary for a customer to view a property or sign necessary documents;

    b) No real estate open houses shall be permitted;

    c) Property viewings, inspections, appraisals, and final walk-throughs shall be arranged by appointment and limited to no more than two people on site at any one time, exercising social distancing at all times; and

    d) Except for the Limited exceptions authorized above, all new real estate listings shall be facilitated remotely.



    We are relying on Washington REALTORS® and Spokane Association of Realtors® for guidance in interpreting the Governor's memorandum. Clarification from Washington REALTORS® states the following:

    First of all, Realtors® must still comply with the Stay Home, Stay Healthy requirements for conducting business remotely from home.  

    The updated memorandum does allow Realtors® to meet clients one-on-one when no other alternative is available

    In no event may more than two people be on-site at a property at a time, including the owner/occupants and the Realtor®.  This means the Realtor® can show one person a home while others wait outside in a vehicle.  Or, the Realtor® may join an appraiser in the home, but no one else at the same time.

    Appropriate social distancing and hygiene protocols must still be strictly followed. 

    Find in-depth frequently asked questions guides for consumers here, and for Realtors® here, both provided by Washington REALTORS®.


    The Spokane Association of Realtors® clarified the spirit of the memorandum and our duty to strictly abide by the order:

    To be clear: it is the Governor's intent, and it is the unwavering position of Washington REALTORS®, that public safety and stopping the spread of the virus is the paramount consideration and the top priority of everything we do as an organization and as an industry. This means that the overriding directive is that real estate brokers must limit personal interactions with and among the public to the greatest extent possible, engage personally only when necessary, and must do so within the strict protocols of the Governor's residential real estate memo and his Stay Home Stay Healthy order.

     

    We want to thank the Governor for his consideration in prioritizing housing during this unprecedented time. We take our responsibility to the communities we serve and our duty to public health seriously. As a reminder, this is not a return to real estate business as usual although we look forward to celebrating with you when that time comes. Let's all do our part to help stop the spread of this virus.

     

    March
    25

    What Does Stay Home, Stay Healthy Mean For Washington State Real Estate?

    Spokane Landscaping Trends

     

    The Washington State Governor's Stay Home, Stay Healthy order does not define real estate as an essential service. What does this mean for Washington Realtors® and clients?

    Please note, this information is accurate as of this article's posting time, March 25th, 2020, at 12:00pm.  The situation is very dynamic and is subject to change.

    Washington State Governor Inslee's "Stay Healthy, Stay Home" order, effective midnight March 25th through midnight April 8th, 2020, prohibits all people in Washington State from leaving their homes or participating in social, spiritual and recreational gatherings of any kind regardless of the number of participants, and all non-essential businesses in Washington State from conducting business with a few very specific exceptions.

    Real estate brokerage activities generally are not considered essential, so business must not be conducted in person for the period covered by the order. 

    What does this mean?  The Spokane Association of Realtors® clarifies, stating:

    All in-person contact with clients must cease which would include client meetings, property showings, and open houses.

    Virtual/electronic activity may continue and is encouraged: video meetings, virtual tours/open houses, and electronic documents/signing.

    It shall be a violation of the REALTOR® Code of Ethics and possibly also a violation of law to conduct business as usual, in person, during this time.


    Furthermore, Washington REALTORS® Legal Hotline Lawyer Annie Fitzsimmons provides additional clarifying points:

    Real estate brokers are not allowed to continue conducting business except remotely, from their homes. 

    Physically touring houses is not considered an "essential business".

    To the extent a broker can develop a virtual tour of seller's home, broker can continue to show seller's home. Otherwise, home showings are restricted by the "Stay Home" order. Listing brokers have until the night of Wednesday, March 25 to develop a virtual tour of listed properties.

    Once the order goes into effect, there is no obvious allowance for home inspections while the order is in effect.

    Pending sales can likely proceed to closing under the Financial Services section of the "essential businesses" list.

    Is it possible that appraisers will be considered as essential workers in the Financial Services exception? It is possible although that conclusion is not immediately apparent.

     

    We at Coldwell Banker Tomlinson are abiding by the Stay Healthy, Stay Home order, for your safety and ours.  It's the right thing to do even though it's difficult.  We are all working remotely from home.  We are equipped to support you virtually using the industry's finest technology.  We are here for you.  Please reach out if you have any questions.

    March
    30

    6 Ways to Make Moving Less Stressful for Your Pet

    Moving with Pets

    If you've been exploring Spokane homes for sale, you're likely very excited to find the perfect one and start your new life. However, before you can do that, you'll have to deal with the not-so-fun part -- packing and moving. While this is always at least a little bit stressful for us, it can confuse and upset your pets. 

    Our REALTORS® have collected the best advice from pet owners over the years and are happy to share these tips with you. 

    1. Manage Pre-Move Anxiety
      Your pets are going to know something is off as soon as you start thinking about moving. After all, you'll be packing up boxes, getting rid of junk, and deep cleaning. If you're selling your home, there are also likely to be strangers coming in and out. It's important to remember that your pets won't understand what's going on, and this will likely stress them out. To help manage this, do your best to keep things as normal as possible for them. Make sure you feed and walk them at the same time each day, play with them often, and keep them away from the moving chaos.
    1. Keep Your Pets Safe
      If possible, it's best to have your pets stay somewhere else on moving day. This will help avoid the stress and anxiety of watching strangers pack up all of your belongings and take them out of the home. It also reduces the chances that they can get underfoot and be injured or escape while everyone is distracted. When it's time to get your pets, make sure to keep them with you at all times. Crate them for safety if their size allows. Otherwise, keep them on a leash. Make sure that they all have microchips and collars with ID tags. 
    1. Pack Necessities
      Just as you'll pack yourself a box or bag with all the things you'll need during your first couple of days, you'll want to do the same for your pet. Make sure to bring their food, treats, dishes, beds, and a few favorite toys. Don't buy new things right away as having familiar scents in the new home will help them settle in. 
    1. Get Back to Normal
      As soon as you're in the home, do your best to help your pets get back into their normal routine. Re-establish a feeding and walking schedule and start reinforcing the same "ground rules" you had before. While you'll want to be a bit lenient with your pets, they crave consistency and will appreciate knowing what they should and shouldn't do in the new home. 
    1. Avoid Added Stressors
      Try not to make things worse for your pets by adding extra stressors. Hold off at least a few weeks on having a housewarming party and avoid vet visits, grooming, or anything else that's likely to cause them additional anxiety. 
    1. Be Patient
      Remember your pets are likely to feel confused and unsettled. Be patient and give them time to adjust. During this time, they may be a bit more "needy." Help them feel comfortable by making time to play with them, cuddle, and give reassurance. 

    Are you still looking for the perfect pet-friendly home in Spokane? We can help! Contact us today. We'll help you find your dream home and have you (and your pets!) ready to move! 

    March
    11

    Spokane Real Estate Market Report - February 2020

    When to List

    Want more info about the current real estate market? Contact us today to speak to an agent. 

     

    The information in this report is compiled from a report given by the Spokane Association of REALTORS© and to the best of our knowledge is accurate and correct.

    March
    2

    Landscaping Trends for the Spring Months

    Spokane Landscaping Trends

    Warmer temperatures and longer days are right around the corner. If you're hoping to revamp your outside spaces in preparation for the sunny days ahead, now is the perfect time to begin planning your spring to-do list. Here are a few of the top landscaping trends you'll encounter at a variety of Spokane homes for sale this spring that might be right for your property. 

    1. Container Gardens
      If you live in a home with minimal yard space but yearn for a lush garden, a container garden is an excellent alternative. As the name suggests, you grow your plants and flowers in containers instead of in the ground. These containers give you a lot of flexibility. You can change the positioning of the containers and instantly give your outdoor space an entirely new look. Does sunlight only hit a small portion of your outside space? Move the containers as needed to make sure they get adequate sunlight. You can even bring your plants inside if it looks like a late frost or severe storm is in the forecast.
    2. Gardens with a Water Element
      If you're planning to sell your home, you can help your home stand out by incorporating a water element in your garden. A water element is a universally-loved addition to any lawn or garden. The sound of running water is associated with a peaceful, tranquil atmosphere that practically invites you to spend time outside. Aesthetically, a fountain or small pond complements nearly any style of home decor. Plus these items require minimal upkeep. 
    3. Landscaping That Focuses on Native Vegetation
      Expect a focus on gardens and lawns that incorporate native vegetation. Native vegetation refers to plants, grasses, and flowers that are natural to your home's region. There are a couple of underlying factors driving this shift. Instead of spending hours fertilizing, weeding, and applying insecticide, homeowners want to enjoy their outside spaces. Species that are native to your area are more likely to thrive without a lot of fertilizer, insecticide, or special attention. Native species also have less of an impact on the environment. Since they're indigenous to the area, they require minimal transportation and a low amount of chemicals (like pesticides and insecticides) that can potentially harm the environment and surrounding wildlife.
    4. "Smart" Lawns and Gardens
      Don't let landscaping chores keep you from having the lawn and garden of your dreams. Instead, integrate smart devices into your landscaping to automate some of the work associated with having a gorgeous outside area. While there isn't a device that can weed your gardens (yet!), a smart irrigation system makes it easy for you to make sure your lawn and plants are getting the appropriate amount of water. You can also install smart lights that you can program to turn on and off automatically. Or, for additional ambiance, look for exterior smart lights that enable you to change the color of the lighting or even create unique lighting effects. 

    Do you yearn for a home with more lawn and garden space? Let our REALTORS® show you properties that better suit your preferences. Contact us today. 

    February
    3

    Health Food Markets in Spokane for a Healthy 2020

    Spokane Health Food

    If you are looking for the healthiest food around, Spokane won't disappoint. Its dining scene includes a wide range of chef-driven, family-owned eateries. Look closer, and you'll also find a wide range of organic markets for all your produce needs. After all, Spokane is one of the places where today's farm-to-table movement got started. 

    Spokane is a place that's right at the center of it all, and you'll never want for the latest wellness trends when you choose Spokane homes for sale.

    Our real estate agents recommend these local favorites for healthy, local ingredients:

    1. Huckleberry's Natural Market – 926 South Monroe Street, Spokane, WA 99204
      Huckleberry's Natural Market has been providing fresh local fare since 1996. Billed as Spokane's first natural and organic grocer, it offers a full range of goods: From produce, seafood, and meats to sustainable health and wellness supplies. It has also become the first brand in Spokane to stock 100% non-GMO chicken.
    2. Main Market Local Food Co-Op – 44 West Main Avenue, Spokane, WA 99201
      Wholesome, responsibly sourced food is the goal at Main Market, a business closely entwined with all sorts of downtown activities. In addition to its full spectrum of colorful local produce, it also has a full-service deli. A traditional deli case is available along with a hot bar and a salad bar. Breakfast and lunch are made from Monday to Saturday. Try the vegetable stir fry!
    3. My Fresh Basket – 1030 Summit Parkway, Spokane, WA 99201
      My Fresh Basket is a culinary experience all to itself. Fresh organic produce and a full grocery anchor a complete local market experience. Visit the hot bar for a great selection of grab and go items. Probiotics, essential oils, and more are stocked in the wellness aisle.
    4. Method Juice Cafe – 718 West Riverside Avenue, Spokane, WA 99201
      We all know that juice can be one of the fastest and tastiest ways to get a blast of vitamins and nutrients. Method Juice Cafe is there for you in the morning or any time with a range of fresh juice blends, smoothies, and cleanse kits. Acai bowls, rice bowls, and superfood salads are also sold. But the best surprise is probably the hot curry built around sprouted brown rice.
    5. The Fresh Plate – 3818 North Nevada Street, Spokane, WA 99207
      The Fresh Plate is the place to go if you want revitalizing organic food for your next party or business event. Whether you're in the mood for breakfast, lunch, or dinner, you can try salads with fresh greens, quinoa, or Mediterranean orzo.
    6. Boots Bakery and Lounge – 24 West Main Avenue, Spokane, WA 99201
      Boots Bakery and Lounge is there to help Spokane locals have a pick-me-up or unwind after a hard day. It proudly touts its status as one of the only places in Spokane that's completely vegan. What's more, you'll get to enjoy the ambiance of a historic space decorated by top local artists. There is no menu because the selection changes daily. 

    No matter what entices you to check out Spokane, our team can make the journey easier. Our customer service and local expertise are second to none. To find out more, contact us.

    January
    20

    List it and Leave it : Knowing When It's the Best Time to Sell

    When to List

    For many individuals, deciding to purchase a home is one of the most important decisions they will make. However, another equally critical decision is deciding when to sell your home. Though our real estate agents can give market insight to assist with your decision, you must also weigh your financial situation and individual needs. Here are a few things to consider as you decide when to sell your home.

    The Amount of Equity You Have in Your Home

    The amount of equity you have in your home is an important factor in your decision to sell. If you're upside down in your mortgage (you owe more on the loan that your home is worth), it's likely best to wait to sell your home. When you're upside down on your home, you'll either need to bring cash to the table to cover the difference or get your lender to agree to a short sale. Both options are costly, and a short sale will damage your credit. 

    Your Local Real Estate Market

    Your local real estate market is another important item to research when deciding when you want to sell your home. When possible, wait and sell your home when property values are on the rise. This will help you obtain the highest price you can for your home. Even though no one knows exactly when Spokane homes for sale will secure the most money, your real estate agent can offer valuable insight into the current and future state of your real estate market. 

    Your Ability to Qualify for a New Mortgage 

    Many people decide to purchase a new home after selling their existing home. If you're in this category, you'll need to consider your ability to qualify for a new mortgage. Credit challenges or a high debt-to-income ratio can make it difficult to qualify for a new home loan, especially if your goal is to upgrade to a larger, more expensive property. A mortgage loan officer can help you determine how large a mortgage you'll qualify for and at what interest rate. If you can't qualify for the loan terms you need, you might want to take time to improve your credit and pay down debt. 

    Access to Savings or Other Liquid Assets

    When selling your home, you'll likely have quite a few expenses pop up. This is especially true if you decide to purchase a new home before you sell your current home. Some things that you might need to pay for include:

    • Multiple mortgage payments (for your old home and the new home)
    • Moving expenses
    • Home repairs
    • Staging costs

    Ideally, you should have cash reserves or extra room in your budget to cover these additional expenses. 

    Your Individual Needs

    You have to decide if your lifestyle makes it necessary to sell your home sooner rather than later. Perhaps you have a long commute that you dread, or maybe you're expanding your family and need more space. If your home doesn't meet your or your family's needs, this can create a stressful environment that may encourage you to list the house more rapidly than you otherwise would. 

    Want more info about the current real estate market? Contact us today to speak to an agent. 

    January
    6

    5 New Hobbies to Try in Spokane

    Spokane Hobbies

    With the holiday season now over and the winter weather still present, now is the perfect time to get involved in a new indoor activity or hobby. Our real estate agents encourage you to get involved in one of these new hobbies to try in Spokane.

    1. Learn to Burn School of Music and Guitar Shop — 11 E. Rockwell Ave., Spokane, WA 99207
      Have you always wanted to be a musician? Now's your chance at Learn to Burn School of Music. Lessons are available for adults and kids in a range of instruments, including guitar, drums, West African drumming, piano, piano, trumpet, and vocals. You can even take lessons in recording so you can create albums of your own. Sign up for one-on-one or group lessons and showcase your talent during the frequent recitals and concerts.

    2. The Kelly Irish Dancers — The Old Valley Prairie Hall 8216 E. Big Meadows Rd., Chattaroy, WA 99003
      Are you looking for a fun and unique way to immerse yourself in culture while learning a new dance? Consider lessons at The Kelly Irish Dancers. Kids and adults can earn traditional Irish dance moves while making new friends. Your first lesson is completely free, which means there's no reason why you shouldn't give it a go after you visit nearby Chattaroy homes for sale.

    3. Greencastle Soap Company — 203 N. Stone, Spokane, WA 99202
      Get crafty while making gifts for family and friends at the Greencastle Soap Company. They host several classes throughout the year that teach you how to make soaps, lotions, herbal salves, and lip balms. The Greencastle Soap Company also provides you with all of the supplies you need to make these handcrafted products using natural ingredients from the comfort of your own home. Stop by before you head to your Spokane homes for sale showings and immerse yourself in their sweet, soapy aromas.

    4. Emotions Dance Academy — 857 S. Main St. Suite C, Deer Park, WA 99006
      Explore a world of dance at Emotions Dance Academy. Whether you're a classically trained dancer or someone with two left feet who's always wanted to whirl and twirl, there's room on the dance floor for you at this welcoming studio. Emotions offers four different styles of dance classes, along with fitness and martial arts classes. If you're looking for a dance studio and fitness center close to Deer Park homes for sale, waltz over to Emotions Dance Academy get a little footloose.

    5. Harmony Yoga — 1717 W. 6th Ave., Spokane, WA 99204
      Find your fit and your flow at Harmony Yoga. Men and women of all levels and abilities are invited to realign their minds, bodies, and spirits through guided poses and stretching. Along with their traditional yoga classes, they also offer Pilates, Yoga for 50+, and Prenatal & Birth Prep Yoga. Sign up for a beginner's class and see how the healing power of yoga can change your life!

    For assistance buying and selling houses around Spokane, contact us today!

    December
    16

    Best Holiday Gifts for First-Time Homebuyers

    Gifts for Homebuyers

    Give a gift this holiday season that will help the newest homeowner on your list feel more at home in their new place. These fun, unique holiday gifts for homebuyers are sure to be a hit. Get gift inspiration with this list from our REALTORS®:

    1. Tool Kit
      A basic tool kit is indispensable for any homeowner. It doesn't have to be super pricey; a kit that includes a hammer, pliers, screwdrivers, hacksaw, and wrenches, tape measure, and drill is sufficient. Want to throw in a bonus gift? A pack of screws, nails, and a laser level will help your loved ones hang up artwork with ease.

    2. Art
      Speaking of art, nothing says welcome home like a custom-made painting or illustration of your loved one's new house. Pop it into a beautiful frame, and you have a one-of-a-kind gift they'll cherish forever. Vases, sculptures, black-and-white photography, and handmade folk art are also a hit with new homeowners.

    3. Plants
      Plants brighten up a room and add life to any space. If your loved one doesn't have a green thumb, choose hardy plants such as a peace lily, spider plant, or rubber tree. Put a few in decorative planters, tie a bow around them, and voilà, you've got a fun, green housewarming holiday gift.

    4. Throw Blanket
      Who doesn't love curling up on the couch for a weekend of Netflix binging? A warm, soft throw blanket is a cozy and stylish addition to any living room. If you're not sure about the color, choose something neutral, and make sure the fabric is machine washable, so it's easy to clean.

    5. Dish Towels and Potholders
      Make the kitchen look and feel bright with a gift of new dish towels and potholders. Your loved one will surely be trying out their new stove. Having fresh, attractive textiles on hand makes cooking more exciting and doing dishes a little less routine.

    6. Doormat
      An appealing, functional doormat can make a house feel like a home from the moment you walk in the door. There are tons of custom options out there or choose a classic you know will fit your loved one's style.

    7. Key Holder
      Avoid losing your keys with a key holder you can hang right by the door. There are endless shapes and styles to choose from—some even include a small metal basket perfect for holding mail.
        
    8. Spices
      If your loved one does some serious work in the kitchen, a collection of spices can jumpstart their creativity and get their culinary juices flowing. A spice rack will also add flair to the kitchen and keep spices away from the hot stove, where they can easily lose their flavor fast. Choose high-grade spices, which you can find at most major supermarkets, specialty stores, and online.

     Have your eye on Spokane homes for sale this holiday season? Contact us to learn more today.

    December
    2

    Holiday Delights in Spokane - Events for Your Holiday Season

    Holiday Events SpokaneThe holidays are always special, and residents of Spokane and Nine Mile Falls love to get out and celebrate. As the weather cools down and the seasons start to change, our REALTORS® recommend the following events and festivals that are filled with fun for the whole family.

    1. Spokane's Tree - Riverfront Park, 507 N Howard St, Spokane, WA, 99201
      Washington is famous for its trees. Over the years, trees from around Spokane have found their way into some of the nation's most celebrated homes and hotels. This year, come and kick off the holiday festivities with the Christmas Tree Lighting on November 23rd at Riverfront Park. At 6 pm, the lights will go on, signaling the official start of the holiday fun. 

    2. Bing Crosby Holiday Film Festival - Bing Crosby Theater - 901 W Sprague Ave, Spokane, WA 99201
      Scheduled for Saturday, December 14th, the Bing Crosby Holiday Film Festival is a local favorite. Last year's 13th annual festival featured some of the crooner's most popular movies, including Pennies from Heaven, Road to Zanzibar, Howard Crosby and Hot Club, and of course, White Christmas. This year's festival includes White Christmas, Waikiki Wedding, Going My Way, and live music by Howard Crosby and The Zonky Jazz Band. Howard is Bing's nephew, and the singing chops run in the family. Guaranteed to get you thinking about the Spokane homes for sale where you might want to spend your next Christmas morning. 

    3. Holiday Magic - Bing Crosby Theater - 901 W Sprague Ave, Spokane, WA 99201
      Holiday Magic is the brainchild of superstar Adam Trent. This incredible show is a fusion of magic and technology, music, and comedy, all wrapped together with a holiday bow. It's a truly magical experience that is guaranteed to have you sitting on the edge of your seat, wondering "How did he do that?" It is a perfect place to rest and relax with friends and family of all ages.

    4. It's a Wonderful Life - Spokane Civic Theatre - 1020 N Howard St, Spokane, WA 99201
      Block some time off on your calendar for December 11th from 6-9 pm. The Spokane Civic Theatre is hosting It's a Wonderful Life, and you won't want to miss out on seeing this holiday classic on the big screen. Proceeds from the event help the theatre bring incredible performances to town throughout the year.
          
    5. Jingle Bell Run - 9711 W Charles Rd, Nine Mile Falls, WA, 99026
      On December 7th, 2019, you and your family can get some exercise when you sign up for the Nine Mile Falls Jingle Bell Run. The event raises funds for The Arthritis Foundation, and it is your chance to come out and support research into treatments and therapies. Their goal is a cure, and each step you take along the route is one step closer to a future where arthritis won't slow anyone down. 100% of the registration fees and the fundraising generated goes straight into the fund for a cure. Along the route, you'll meet many great people and pass by some of the incredible Nine Mile Falls homes for sale.

    We wish you and all of our clients a happy holiday season. When you are ready to make a move into your next home, contact us and our teams will work their holiday magic to make your dreams come true. 

    November
    18

    Is an HOA Right for You and Your Family?

    Spokane HOA Pros and Cons

    Homeowner associations, or HOAs, may seem like a relatively recent concept, but the earliest ones were established by land developers back in the mid-19th century. With the growth of common-interest developments (CIDs) such as condominiums and planned single-family home communities, HOAs now govern more than 26 million homes.

    Are you considering Spokane homes for sale that are part of an HOA? Make an informed decision using this list of pros and cons.

    • PRO: No Yard Work
      Tired of using your leisure time to mow the lawn or shovel snow? HOAs handle the maintenance of grounds and common areas. For many people, this is the most appealing factor.

    • PRO: Use of Amenities
      HOAs often provide swimming pools, tennis courts, playgrounds, and numerous other amenities for the use of residents. Instead of having to spend hundreds or thousands of dollars on construction or memberships, all costs are covered.

    • PRO: Interaction with Neighbors
      As members of the HOA, you and your neighbors already have a common ground for interaction. In addition to regular meetings, HOAs may host holiday parties or other social events, promoting a sense of community.

    • PRO: Strong Property Values
      HOA covenants, conditions, and restrictions (CC&Rs) are aimed at ensuring a uniformly streamlined look throughout the community. Meaning you'll no longer have to put up with a neighbor's overgrown lawn.

    • PRO: Conflict-Free Living
      Even a minor disagreement between neighbors can escalate into major unpleasantness. HOAs run interference for members by enforcing CC&Rs and resolving disputes.

    • PRO: Simplified Bill-Paying
      HOA fees in many communities include monthly sewer, water, trash, and recycling charges. Not only do you have fewer bills, but you also don't have to budget for fluctuating utility costs.

    • CON: Less Freedom
      HOA CC&Rs that are such a benefit when they apply to neighbors can become a liability when they apply to you. If you like to throw big parties or paint your home in different colors, you may find an HOA restrictive.

    • CON: Added Expense
      While HOA fees are paid separately from a mortgage, they're included in the total amount a lender considers for financing. Even if you're current on your mortgage, defaulting on HOA fees can carry the same potential penalties as defaulting on a mortgage.

    • CON: Politics and Red Tape
      HOAs are headed up by an elected board of directors. Like any governing body, the board is charged with acting in the best interests of its members. It can also be subject to power struggles, conflicting agendas, and layers of bureaucracy.

    • CON: Shared Financial Burden
      A portion of HOA fees goes into a reserve fund intended to cover unforeseen expenses. If emergencies create a shortfall in the reserve fund, members are charged to bring the balance back to a reasonable level.

    • CON: Legal Entanglements
      If the HOA becomes involved in a legal battle such as removing a board member, you could be subject to fallout. This ranges from a spike in HOA fees to a drop in property value.

    • CON: Rental Restrictions
      Some HOAs impose a rental cap, meaning only a certain percentage of units may be rented out. This can be a roadblock if you intend to use your property as an income generator.

    Our REALTORS® will help you find a home best suited to your personality and lifestyle. Contact us for more information.

    October
    21

    Tips for Adjusting to a New Town

    Moving to Spokane

    Buying a new home and moving to a new town is exciting — but sometimes it can be a little scary, and at first, your new house or town might not feel like home at all. Our REALTORS® want you to know that this is completely normal. Any time you relocate away from your familiar surroundings, you're going to have instances of uncertainty.

    Get acquainted with your new town and have it start feeling like home with these helpful tips. 

    1. Don't Lose Touch With Your Old Home
      Moving is quite the transition, and you'll need the support of your family and friends to help. Just because you're geographically farther away doesn't mean you can't remain close. Keep in touch and openly communicate your feelings with those you trust. Even though they aren't down the street anymore, they can still offer you support.

    2. Accept Invitations
      When you move into your new town, it certainly won't go unnoticed. Neighbors, coworkers, and others you begin to interact with will introduce themselves and try to welcome you to the neighborhood. Take them up on their offers and be receptive to engaging in new activities. Open yourself up to new experiences with new people, and you'll be surprised how quickly you'll make friends.

    3. Extend Invitations
      You also don't have to wait for an invitation to make new friends. Feel free to invite neighbors, coworkers or parents of your children's friends over for a cookout or dinner one night. By extending invitations to those you'll see each day, you'll get more comfortable and confident in your surroundings and show your willingness to fill this new chapter of your life with excitement and fun.

    4. Get Involved
      One great way to get to know the community is to get involved in events. Whether it's volunteering with a local nonprofit or joining a social club, one of the best ways to get to know those around you is by becoming active in the community.

    5. Become a Tourist
      One of the best ways to get to know the highlights of a town is to view it through the eyes of a tourist. See the sights and do the things your town's tourism websites suggest and learn why tourists flock to your town. 

    6. Do as the Locals Do
      Of course, you won't be filling all of your weekends with museums and landmark spotting. You'll also want to discover the hidden gems that locals love. Ask around your neighborhood, office, or even in a coffee shop — we're sure plenty of residents would love to tell you about their favorite places!

    7. Unpack
      Unpacking your possessions is an instant way to make your new house feel like home. Even if you can't dedicate a lot of time to unpacking in the beginning, try to unbox sentimental items that bring you happy thoughts of those you love. Photographs, gifts, and other mementos will help fill every room with your family's spirit.

    8. Be Patient
      You may not feel at home overnight — and that's okay! Most new residents need a little time to settle in and start to feel at home. We assure you, in time, this house and town will feel like home sweet home!

    For help finding Spokane homes for sale in neighborhoods that you'll love, contact us today!

    October
    7

    Ready to Race: Races in Spokane this October

    Spokane Races October

    Ready, on your mark, get set, race! One of the things our REALTORS® love about Spokane is that are always a ton of fun opportunities to hit the streets to support a good cause. And since autumn in Washington means perfect running weather, we're excited to share these upcoming races near Spokane homes for sale!

    Chocolate Chip Cookie 50k Trail Run

    An exciting trek through the rolling landscape of Spokane's Riverside State Park, the Chocolate Chip Cookie 50k Trail Run offers a chance to run some of the most spectacular trails in eastern Washington. Utilizing two loops (the 21.87 mile "Big Cookie" and the 9.3 mile "Small Cookie"), the course follows single and double track trails, Forest Service roads and pavement over varied terrain. Keep an eye out for scenic vistas of the surrounding mountain peaks, the Spokane River valley, Haystack Rocks and the CCC Suspension Bridge. The run kicks off at 8 a.m. on October 26 and, yes, there will be cookies waiting at the finish line!

    The Spokane Marathon

    Taking place on the morning of Sunday, October 13, the Spokane Marathon follows beautiful streets through the heart of Spokane. A Boston Marathon qualifying race, the Spokane Marathon treats runners to fall running weather and a chance to enjoy Spokane's landscape beneath a brilliant canopy of changing leaves. The race is not without its challenges, of course. The Spokane Marathon has become famous for its notorious "Doomsday Hill" at the 22-mile mark. The race starts at 7 a.m., and awards are handed out at 11:15. 

    Monster Mash Dash

    With all event proceeds donated to Specialized Needs Recreation, the Monster Mash Dash is a great opportunity to support a great cause, and get into the Halloween spirit. Winding its way through beautiful downtown Coeur d' Alene on October 19, Monster Mash Dash promises to be a fun Halloween themed race for all ages. Sign up for either of the two race categories: the 1-mile kids' costume run for kids 12 and younger, and the 5k costume run for all ages. The kids' 1-mile run starts at 11 a.m., followed by the 5k at 11:30. Just be sure to wear your best costume for the race! Food, music, trick-or-treating and games will be happening in McEuen Park before, during, and after the Monster Mash Dash. 

    Great Pumpkin Race

    Meals on Wheels Spokane is holding its annual Great Pumpkin Race on October 26 and promises a fun day of Halloween-themed thrills. Taking place at Greenwood Memorial Terrace in Spokane, the event starts with registration at 9 a.m., followed by a 5k Dress-Up Dash at 10:00 and a 1k Spider Sprint at 11:00. At noon, the event is capped off by the Great Pumpkin Race itself, and a chance to see whose pumpkin can roll the farthest! If your child has a pumpkin to enter in the race, be sure to check the official rules here to make sure your pumpkin qualifies! 

    There's always a fun event right around the corner in Spokane, Washington. Contact us today to learn more about life in Spokane, and talk to our team about how we can help you get a head start on the road to homeownership. 

    September
    24

    How To Pick A Spokane Neighborhood for Your Family

    Spokane Neighborhood

    Moving to a new city or relocating within your current community is exciting. But there are also many factors to consider to ensure that you land in the right neighborhood. When you're shopping for Spokane homes for sale, learning about neighborhoods will help you find a home that you'll love. Our REALTORS® are here to help you find the perfect neighborhood, with our guide for how to pick a Spokane neighborhood to buy your next home.

    Start Your Search Online

    If you've come here to learn about picking a neighborhood, you're already off to a great start! Online research is crucial for getting an idea of what's out there and identifying which neighborhoods fit your needs. With a general idea of target neighborhoods, you'll be ready to get down to business.

    Work with a Knowledgeable, Local Real Estate Agent

    Whether you're familiar with Spokane or you're brand new to the area, picking the right real estate agent will make your move much easier. An experienced, local real estate agent will have an in-depth knowledge of your target neighborhoods in the city and can help you choose the right option.

    Consider Your Commute for Work and Play

    How long are you willing to commute for work, and are you planning to take public transportation? The Spokane Transit Authority offers bus routes throughout the city, so you can choose public transit or commute on your own. If you're looking to live close to the city's major areas, then Spokane Valley homes for sale are a great option. Many of Spokane's neighborhoods are very walkable as well, allowing you to explore all that your neighborhood has to offer without ever getting behind the wheel.

    Figure Out What You'll Do for Fun

    Of course, your commute isn't just about getting to work each day. You'll also want to plan on what you'll do for fun close to home. If you want to be close to the action in Spokane, then consider Millwood homes for sale. You'll never be far from fun attractions, and will have all of the services you need close to home. 

    Will Schools Factor in Your Decision?

    If you have kids or are planning to start a family in your next home, be sure to consider local schools. The quality of local schools can also have an impact on home prices. Even if you don't have kids, it doesn't hurt to learn about schools.

    Take a Grand Tour Before Deciding on a Spokane Neighborhood

    While you can learn plenty from online research and speaking with your real estate agent, there's no substitute for seeing neighborhoods first-hand. Once you have a list of promising candidates, get out there, start exploring, and find the neighborhood that works for you.

    Finding the best neighborhood fit is easier with the right real estate team on your side, and we'd love to help you find your next home. Contact us to buy and sell homes throughout the Spokane, WA, area.

    September
    10

    Starting Your Day in Spokane: 10 Best Places for Coffee

    Coffee Shops in Spokane

    If you are looking to get the day started right in Spokane, WA you are in luck. The area is home to some of the best independent coffee shops in the state of Washington and our REALTORS® have done the research on many early mornings to find the cream of the crop. Here are the 10 Best Places to get your coffee buzz in the Lilac City.

    1. Arctos Coffee & Roasting Company: 1923 N Hamilton St, Spokane, WA 99207
      The consensus champ of Spokane coffee joints is the Arctos Coffee & Roasting Company on Hamilton Street. The signature taste of their locally-roasted coffee blend is only matched by the stylish ambiance of their location.

    2. Awakenings Coffee Bar: 545 E Wellesley Ave, Spokane, WA 99207 
      Considered a bit of a hidden gem in the local coffee scene, Awakenings is the place to wake up on Wellesley Ave. It is known for its expansive menu and aromatic blend as well as the friendly and accommodating staff.

    3. Vessel Coffee Roasters: 2823 N Monroe St, Spokane, WA 99205 
      One of the most notable facets of this stylish coffee bar is the wide-open concept that makes it appropriate for large social meet-ups and coworking. A perfect place for crews to meet up before a shift or after work. 

    4. Indaba Coffee: 1425 W Broadway Ave, Spokane, WA 99201 
      Indaba Coffee prides itself in providing a communal experience to its customers even as it wins them over with award-winning service. Boasting three locations in the area, you will be sure to find one close to you.

    5. Hello Sugar: 419 N Nettleton St, Spokane, WA 99201 
      Nothing goes together quite like coffee and donuts, and Hello Sugar gives you a double serving of what you need to jolt you awake. Even coffee bar purists will be hard-pressed to find a better cup of black coffee in the area.

    6. F1rst Ave Coffee: 1011 W 1st Ave, Spokane, WA 99201 
      This upscale coffee bar provides a classy environment to its customers in a location that is known for its unique upstairs loft with appealing artwork to admire. Offering free samples and brewing tutorials, F1rst Ave seeks to provide an experience you can take home with you. 

    7. Atticus Coffee & Gifts: 222 N Howard St, Spokane, WA 99201 
      For those who have a taste for the eclectic with their morning coffee, Atticus Coffee & Gifts awaits in the heart of downtown Spokane. It is known for its quiet, almost library-like atmosphere and this makes it a favorite for writers and creatives in the area.

    8. Pathfinder Cafe: 3026 S Grand Blvd, Spokane, WA 99203 
      This newer upstart in the area is almost as known for its entertaining social media presence as it is for its delicious coffee offerings. It is popular with a younger crowd recovering from morning workouts before heading off to the job.

    9. Spaceman Coffee: 228 W Sprague Ave, Spokane, WA 99201 
      Described by its aficionados a "cozy and cool,"  the sci-fi theme of this venue belies the classic old-fashioned taste of its coffee offerings. The house-made syrups give every flavored drink a unique homemade taste. It is a more upbeat coffee drinking experience that includes a diverse range of musical offerings over its in-store sound system.

    10. Revel 77 Coffee: 3223 E 57th Ave K, Spokane, WA 99223 
      Home to the best barista in Spokane according to the Inlander "Best of 2019," Revel 77 rounds out our selections with a fanatically loyal local following. The delicious house-blend coffee that they offer has been described as addictive and they are so sure that you will be back that they offer a voucher for a free drink on your first visit on their website.

    Once you have gotten your cup of morning happiness you should be fueled up and ready to begin your home search. Don't hesitate to contact us if you have any questions or are interested in our inventory of Spokane homes for sale.

    Disclaimer: All information deemed reliable but not guaranteed. All properties are subject to prior sale, change or withdrawal. Neither listing broker(s) or information provider(s) shall be responsible for any typographical errors, misinformation, misprints and shall be held totally harmless. Listing(s) information is provided for consumers personal, non-commercial use and may not be used for any purpose other than to identify prospective properties consumers may be interested in purchasing. Information on this site was last updated 11/29/2022. The listing information on this page last changed on 11/29/2022. The data relating to real estate for sale on this website comes in part from the Internet Data Exchange program of Coeur dAlene MLS (last updated Tue 11/29/2022 4:46:18 PM EST) or Spokane MLS (last updated Tue 11/29/2022 4:45:45 PM EST). Real estate listings held by brokerage firms other than Coldwell Banker Tomlinson may be marked with the Internet Data Exchange logo and detailed information about those properties will include the name of the listing broker(s) when required by the MLS. All rights reserved. --



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