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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.

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.

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.

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.

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!

     

    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. 

    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.

    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

    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.

    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.

    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.

    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.

    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.

    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! 

    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. 

    August
    24

    7 Ways to Teach Your Kids How to Declutter

    How to Declutter

    If you have kids, you probably struggle with keeping their toys neat and well organized. Toys, puzzles, games, books, and the like seem to multiply and scatter on an almost daily basis, and after special occasions like Christmas and birthdays, the situation becomes even worse with a major influx of new toys.
      
    To help you win the battle against the clutter, our real estate agents suggest these 7 ways to teach your kids how to declutter.

    1. Start by Purging Broken and Unused Toys  
      Your kids have likely accumulated broken toys that are still taking up space, as well as those that are missing parts or have stopped working. Start by tossing these out, and then move on to toys your kids no longer play with but are still in good shape. These can be donated to a non-profit organization, sold online on a site like eBay, or given to friends.

    2. Group Toys Together With Like Items  
      When you've decided what items to keep, sort them, so you have like items with like items. For example, you'll want all the building blocks together, all books together, etc. As you and your kids gather and sort, let them take another look to see if they want to purge any more items. After they see how many board games they have, for example, they may decide there are a few that they don't play with any longer or have outgrown.
        
    3. Storage Bins
      Use storage bins to store like toys together, putting just one type of toy in each bin. Make them easy for your kids to access, and label them with the category of toy that's inside. For pre-readers, you can put a picture instead of words on the label. This way, kids can easily see where to find a particular toy as well as where to put it away when they're done playing with it.

    4. Establish a Cleanup Routine  
      Make it part of your kids' daily routine to put away their toys before bedtime. It's often easier if each child is in charge of several categories of toys, and they work together to get the job done. Otherwise, one day's clutter will spill over into the next, and you'll soon have an explosion of toys lying around.

    5. Keep the Number of Toys Under Control  
      Once you have everything organized, avoid the issue of new toys coming into your home but nothing going out. Continue to purge toys once every six months or so, with an additional big push before birthdays and other gift-giving holidays.

    6. Model the Same Behavior  
      Show your kids that you follow many of the same steps when decluttering your own items. You're setting a good example if, for example, purging your own items regularly to get rid of what's broken or what you don't use.

    7. Give the Family a Reward  
      After a major cleanup, give the kids a reward after they're done.  Let your kids have a say in the reward so they'll be more excited about helping.

    Contact us at Coldwell Banker Tomlinson to see Spokane homes for sale, whether you're looking for a home with plenty of room for kids (and their toys!) or you're ready to downsize.

    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
    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
    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
    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.

    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
    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
    4

    4 Craft Shows in Spokane for Holiday Shopping

    Craft Shows Spokane

    With the holiday season right around the corner, it's time to start making your list and checking it twice. And if you're the sort who likes to give something special and unique rather than the usual gift cards and store-bought gadgets, then you're in luck. 

    Here in the Spokane area, we're fortunate to have a lot of unique places to find one-of-a-kind holiday gifts. Our REALTORS® are thrilled to share these upcoming Spokane craft shows, where you're sure to find the perfect gift for everyone on your list!

    1. Custer's 43rd Annual Christmas Arts & Crafts Show - 404 N Havana St #1, Spokane Valley, WA 99202
      A beloved annual tradition in the Spokane Valley, Custer's Christmas Arts & Crafts Show is now in its 43rd year, and always delivers when it comes to beautiful holiday gifts. The event will be held from November 22-23 at the Spokane Fair & Expo Center and will feature 300 professional artists and crafters from all over the Northwest. It's the largest show of its kind in the region, offering hand-crafted goods, fine art, and specialty foods in a sprawling 78,000 square-foot exhibit space. With surprises down every aisle, you never know what you'll find!

    2. 2019 Spokane Fall Folk Festival - 1810 N Greene St, Spokane, WA 99217
      The annual Spokane Fall Folk Festival offers a wide range of unique crafts and handmade items, but it's also much more than a typical craft show. Taking place on November 9-10 the festival includes live music, traditional and ethnic dance, workshops and unique entertainment, kid's crafts and storytelling, plus a wide range of traditional crafts, artwork, baked goods and food for sale – all with free admission. The event takes place at Spokane Community College, minutes from many Spokane homes for sale.

    3. Spokane Community College Fall Craft Fair - 1810 N Greene St, Spokane, Washington 99217
      Another beloved annual tradition held at Spokane Community College, the annual Fall Craft Fair returns to Spokane on Saturday, November 23. With a wide range of offerings from local artists, crafters and businesses like The Crafted Greek and Sweet Dreams Cookie Company, the Spokane Community College Fall Craft Fair is sure to have lots of special gifts for anyone with a sweet tooth or a love for handmade items. Admission is free!

    4. Hillyard Winter Craft Fair - 1622 E Wellesley Ave, Spokane, WA 99207
      Affiliated with Spokane's storied Hillyard Festival, one of our favorite summer events, the Hillyard Winter Craft Fair returns this year on November 9th. Taking Place at John R. Rogers High School, the craft fair will offer up a dizzying array of hand-made arts and crafts from dozens of artisans from all over Spokane. The RHS Booster Club will also have its concession stand open, guaranteeing a great day of food, fun and holiday shopping. 

    Whether you're shopping for the holidays or for any old day, there are a lot of great places to find something special in Spokane. Contact us today to learn more about life in Spokane, WA, and talk to our team about making your dream of homeownership a reality!

    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
    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 3:41:15 PM EST) or Spokane MLS (last updated Tue 11/29/2022 3:40:45 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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