Mercer Island Farmers Market: Sunday August 28, 2016

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Mercer Island Farmers Market

Mercer Island Farmers Market Guess who will be at the Mercer Island Farmers Market this upcoming Sunday – Caspar Babypants! A prolific artist, he’s has released 11 albums to date under the Caspar Babypants moniker, as well as all the albums he recorded under his own name, Chris Ballew, as lead singer of the Presidents of the United States of America (PUSA). The free show begins at 10:30am.

This Sunday’s market is quite special, as there will be a second live musical performance by Chava Mirel. Chava’s affinity to uplifting themes carries through nicely in the Jewish songs she sings. Her rich vocals blend with the “deep pocket rhythms” she offers in her music.

Nibbles is the featured vendor of the week, and JayMarc Homes is the featured sponsor. Check out the MIFM website for all the great details about both companies.

Have a wonderful Sunday at the market!

Open Houses this Weekend: August 27th & 28th

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Real Estate

earth-587827_1920Hello Ballard! Hosted at Ballard Commons Park, the 13th Annual Sustainable Ballard Festival is on August 27th, 2016 from 11am to 4pm. Sponsored by Green Built, this festival brings all that is Ballard together in one fun, summer festival: food, family, a Tea Garden present by Miro Tea, and many, many more green twists!

This earthy commitment to a brighter and greener future with play host to a slew of activities, musical entertainment, animal fun and their part in farming, knowledge building tents, and food vendors. Fun pictures from years past display bubble parties and family fun! Enjoy a pleasantly moderate (weather-wise) weekend, one of the last before school starts up again, engaging in community, creation and lifestyle.

Just a stones throw away from Ballard, we have a few open houses being hosted this weekend – and if you’re interested, please feel free to stop on by and join us! Windermere Mercer Island agents will be busy this weekend! Take a peak below to see where some of the fun is happening!

Bainbridge Island

$835,000 ♦ 946365 ♦ 786 Village Circle Northwest, Brainbridge Island ♦ Video Tour ♦ Joanie Ransom & Molly Neary ♦ Sunday, August 28th 1pm-4pm

Mercer Island

$2,049,900 ♦ 971419 ♦ 5830 West Mercer Way, Mercer Island ♦ R2 (Robyn Kimura-Hsu & Rachel Schindler) ♦ Sunday, August 28th 12pm-2pm

$2,349,950 ♦ 943296 ♦ 7436 West Mercer Way, Mercer Island ♦ Video Tour ♦ Terry Donovan & Daphne Donovan ♦ Sunday, August 28th 1pm-4pm


$700,000 ♦ 1020081 ♦ 2809 179th Avenue Northeast, Redmond ♦ Erin Ewing ♦ Friday, August 26th 5pm-7pm (Hosted by David Whitney); Saturday, August 27th 1pm-3pm (Hosted by David Whitney); Sunday, August 28th 1pm-4pm


$699,950 ♦ 1018402 ♦ 3517 208th Place Northeast, Sammamish ♦ Codi Nelson ♦ Sunday, August 28th 1pm-4pm

Seattle (First Hill/Montlake)

$450,000 ♦ 1018639 ♦ 1017 Minor Avenue #802, Seattle ♦ Video Tour ♦ Andrew Jackson ♦ Sunday, August 28th 12pm-2pm

$1,350,000 ♦ 1020025 ♦ 2137 East Hamlin Street, Seattle ♦ Video Tour ♦ Andrew Jackson ♦ Sunday, August 28th 1pm-4pm (Hosted by Kathryn Buchcnan)

Seattle (Queen Anne/Bryant)

$230,000 ♦ 1017552 ♦ 123 Queen Anne Avenue North #307 ♦ Chad Dierickx & Lis Brown ♦ Saturday, August 27th 2pm-4pm (Hosted by Lis Brown); Sunday, August 28th 2pm-4pm

$1,625,000 ♦ 1016620 ♦ 5055 38th Avenue Northeast, Seattle ♦ Codi Nelson ♦ Saturday, August 27th 11am-1pm

$2,095,000 ♦ 979311 ♦ 1428 9th Avenue West, Seattle ♦ Video Tour ♦ Codi Nelson ♦ Sunday, August 28th 1pm-4pm

Seattle (West Seattle)

$385,000 ♦ 1014893 ♦ 4725 Cottage Place Southwest #B, Seattle ♦ Video Tour ♦ Chad Dierickx ♦ Sunday, August 28th 1pm-3pm

$525,000 ♦ 1018926 ♦ 2312 44th Avenue Southwest #A, Seattle ♦ Andrea Hettinga & Brian Rosso ♦ Saturday, August 27th 11am-2pm; Sunday, August 28th 2pm-4pm

$900,000 ♦ 1019440 ♦ 6736 37th Avenue Southwest, Seattle ♦ Video Tour ♦ Erin Ewing ♦ Friday, August 26th 5pm-7pm (Hosted by Erin & Charlie Sirianni); Saturday, August 27th 11am-4pm (Hosted by Erin & Charlie Sirianni); Sunday, August 28th 1pm-4pm (Hosted by Siera Shea)

How the American Home has Evolved

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Real Estate

This blog post originally appeared on Windermere Blog, written by Shelley Rossi.

Owning a home has been an American tradition from the start. But the home itself has changed dramatically over the years.

For example, you may be surprised to learn how much the size of the average American home has increased since the turn of the 20th century—especially when you compare it to the size of the average family during the same time period.

In the year 1900, the average American family was relatively large with 4.6 members, but the average home featured just 1,000 square feet of usable floor space. By 1979, family size had shrunk to 3.11 members, but the floor space they shared had expanded to 1,660 square feet. And by 2007, the average family size was even smaller still—just 2.6 members—while the average home size had increased by the largest amount yet—this time to 2,521 square feet.

To accommodate those larger homes, property lots have also had to expand in size. In the 1930s and ‘40s, Bungalow homes were usually built on lots measuring 60 by 100 feet (for a total of 6,000 square feet). However, by 1976, the average size of a single-family property lot had expanded to more than 10,000 square feet. In 1990, it expanded again (to 14,680 square feet). Today, the average property lot in America is a staggering 17,590 square feet.

Exterior building materials

Until the 1960s, the building materials used on the exterior of most homes were limited to brick, wood, or wood shingles. However, by the early 1960s, many Americans chose to cover their homes with a more affordable material that was also maintenance-free: aluminum and vinyl siding. Today, many homeowners are using low-maintenance siding materials made of cement fiber.

Interior building materials

The primary building material for interior ceilings and walls for much of the 20th century was plaster applied over wood lathe. Modern day sheetrock didn’t become popular until the 1950s. In the 1960s, wood paneling and textured walls became prevalent, largely for their quick and easy application. In the 1970s and ‘80s, “popcorn ceilings” became a common way to hide imperfections in ceilings. Today’s style again favors smooth walls and ceilings, which can result in a lot of work removing paneling and textures in older homes.

Throughout the early 1900s, the floors throughout most homes were almost always bare wood. Linoleum tile became a popular choice for kitchens, bathrooms, and bedrooms in the 1940s. However, by the 1960s and 1970s, wall-to-wall carpeting was all the rage—even in bathrooms and some kitchens. Homes today feature a wide array of flooring materials, depending on both the region and the room’s function. For example, tiles are a more popular choice in warm regions than cold ones because they tend to stay cool; wall-to-wall carpeting is still popular in rooms like bedrooms and family rooms, where people like to feel most comfortable, while durable and easy-to-clean hardwoods, tiles and linoleum are more favorable in kitchens and high-traffic areas.

The Kitchen

At the turn of the 20th century, the kitchen was a place where the woman of the house did all the cooking. Kitchens were typically small, closed off from the rest of the house by solid walls, and far more functional than fashionable. Dining took place in the dining room.

Throughout the 1920s and ‘30s, kitchens remained stark workplaces with very few appliances. Food was kept chilled with an icebox (a non-electric, insulated box about the same size as a modern refrigerator that used a block of ice to keep everything cold). However, by 1944, 85 percent of American households had switched from an icebox to a refrigerator.

In the mid 1950s, the kitchen changed dramatically. It not only became larger, it also transformed into the heart of the home, where the whole family gathered to help prepare and even eat meals.


The 1950s also brought a host of kitchen innovations, from the stainless steel sink to electric ovens and stovetops. But the most exciting of all was the dishwasher. The 1970s marked the introduction of the microwave.

Today, the kitchen is still a place where everyone gathers. So it’s not surprising that may people favor open-concept kitchens, with no walls separating them from the dining or family room.

Appliance and amenities

The 1940s census was the first to ask homeowners about some of the amenities in their homes. The results are startling (though perhaps less so when you consider that this was during the depression): Less than 50 percent of homes had hot water, an indoor toilet or a bath tub; about one in five didn’t have a home phone.


By the 1950s, however, things had changed dramatically for the better. That’s when many Americans got a refrigerator, an electric stove, a dishwasher, and, ah yes, air conditioning. Until then, most homes were cooled with nothing more than a ceiling fan at best.

Thanks to the larger, Ranch-style homes being constructing in the 1950s, walk-in closets also made their introduction. The fabulous ‘50s also ushered in the two-car attached garage.

And let’s not forget the television; it exploded onto the scene in the early 1950s and by 1955, half of all U.S. households had sets. Today, the average home has little less than three TVs.

What hasn’t changed

Despite all these changes, one thing has remained the same: The number one reason why Americans chose to buy a home. According to Dan McCue, research manager at Harvard’s Joint Center for Housing Studies, “It’s always been seen as the best way to build net worth and equity.”

Why So Many Americans Are Either Upsizing or Downsizing

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Real Estate

Originally appeared on Windermere Blog, written by Shelley Rossi.


According to two recent surveys that took industry watchers by surprise, many family homeowners are putting frugality aside and upsizing to new houses that average as large as 2,480 square feet (an increase of as much as 13 percent from the year before), and sometimes exceed 3,500 square feet in size.

Meanwhile, millions of baby boomer homeowners are rushing to downsize—with some 40 percent of Americans between the ages of 50 and 64 saying they’re planning to make a move within the next five years.

It’s a tale of two very different segments of the population making dramatic shifts in their living accommodations to find the housing solutions that best suit their needs: one upsizing while the other downsizes.

With so many baby boomers now nearing retirement age (8,000 Americans turn 65 every day), it should come as no surprise that the number of prospective “downsizers” exceed the number of “upsizers” by three to one. With their children gone, these aging homeowners are interested in reducing the amount of house they need to care for, and are eager to bulk up their retirement savings with any home-sale profits.

As for why many families are choosing to upsize so substantially after years of downsizing or staying put, experts point to the extremely low interest rates and discounted home prices available today, and theorize that many families now feel confident enough about the economy to move out of homes they outgrew years ago.

If you’re considering upsizing or downsizing, here are some facts to consider:


How such a move can impact your life

The most common benefits of downsizing:

  • Lower mortgage payments
  • Lower tax bills
  • Lower utility bills
  • Less maintenance (and lower maintenance expenses)
  • More time/money for travel, hobbies, etc.
  • More money to put toward retirement, debts, etc. (the profits from selling your current home)


The most common benefits of upsizing

  • More living space
  • More storage space
  • More yard/garden space
  • More room for entertaining/hosting friends and family


Negative impacts:

  • Upsizing will likely increase your living expenses, so it’s important to factor into any financial forecasts
  • Downsizing will require that you make some hard choices about what belongings will need to be stored or sold


Other impacts to consider:

  • The loss of good neighbors
  • Lifestyle changes (walking, neighborhood shopping, etc.)
  • The effect on your work commute
  • Public transit options


Buy first, or sell first?

Homeowners considering this transition almost always have the same initial question: “Should I buy the new home now, or wait and sell my current place first?” The answer is dependent on your personal circumstances. However, experts generally recommend selling first.

Selling your current home before buying a new one could mean you have to move to temporary quarters for some period of time—or rush to buy a new home. That could prove stressful and upsetting. However, if you instead buy first, you could be stuck with two mortgages, plus double property tax and insurance payments, which could quickly add up to lasting financial troubles.

If you need to sell in order to qualify for a loan, there’s no choice: You’ll have to sell first.


Another option:

You could make the purchase of the new house contingent on selling your current home. However, this approach can put you in a weak bargaining position with the seller (if you can even find a seller willing to seriously consider a contingency offer). Plus, you may be forced to accept a low-ball offer for your current house in order to sell it in time to meet the contingency agreement timing.

The truth is, most home sales tend to take longer than the owners imagine, so it’s almost always best to finalize the sale, and do whatever is necessary to reap the biggest profit, before embarking on the purchase of your new home.


When to make the transition

Ideally, when you’re selling your home, you want to wait until the demand from potential buyers is high (to maximize your selling price). But in this case, because you’re also buying, you’ll also want to take advantage of any discounted interest rates and reduced home prices (both of which will fade away as the demand for homes grows).

How will you know when the timing is right to both sell and buy? Ask an industry expert: your real estate agent. As someone who has their finger on the pulse of the housing market every day, they can help you evaluate the current market and try to predict what changes could be coming in the near future.

Even if you’ve been through it before, the act of upsizing or downsizing can be complex. For tips, as well as answers to any questions, contact a Windermere agent any time.

Photo Credit: midascode | Pixabay

Need timely Seattle Region information? Windermere Mercer Island Is Here To Help!

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Real Estate / WRE/Mercer Island Blogs

seattle-1114705_960_720Windermere Mercer Island publishes a variety of resources to help you keep a pulse on our local real estate market.  Check out the details below to get the scoop on all the rich Seattle Region information that is readily available for your perusal!

Here on Mercer Island Pulse, we share timely real estate news, community information, company events, design trends, and home tips. You can subscribe to have each new article delivered to your inbox by clicking the Follow button in the lower right hand corner of the homepage.

You can keep track of the housing market in your favorite neighborhoods on The Market Talks, which offers weekly, monthly, and quarterly statistics for our region’s neighborhoods. If you subscribe to The Market Talks, each week you’ll receive informative market updates emailed to you as they are posted.

If you are interested in waterfront properties and lux trends, head on over to The Waterfront Report. Subscribe to receive quarterly reviews covering Seattle, Mercer Island, The Eastside, and Lake Sammamish, along with up-to-date luxury news and trends delivered to your inbox.

Are you eager to learn more about the bigger picture regarding our housing market and local economy? We have a YouTube playlist on our office channel with all the Housing 101 videos filmed by Windermere Real Estate’s chief economist, Matthew Gardner.  Click here to access the playlist. We add to it each time Mr. Gardner releases a new Housing 101 video.

If you are looking to relocate to the Seattle Region, or you already live here but want to find a neighborhood that is a better compliment to your needs and lifestyle, make sure and check out Live On Guides. You can research neighborhoods, school districts, and look at maps, all in one place.

Photo credit: Y Yoncee • Pixabay

Happy 9th Birthday Mercer Island Farmers Market!

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Mercer Island Farmers Market

Oh man, this post did not publish as I planned. Did you attend the Mercer Island’s Farmer Market on Sunday and help celebrate their 9th birthday? Did you take any photos of the party? If you did, please share in the comment section.  Cheers to MIFM’s 9th year of operation.  Really looking forward to their 10th birthday in 2017!!

Mercer Island Farmers Market We offer a hearty “Happy Birthday!” to Mercer Island Farmers Market! On Sunday, August 14th, come to MIFM and celebrate its 9th season of operation. There will be a special tasting of peaches from Harvesting Autumn, Martin Family Orchard, and Collins Family Orchards. Sample different varieties of peaches and pick some up to enjoy at home!

MIFM is teaming up with sponsor Covenant Shores to feature a live chef demo with their resident chef, Jerry Phipps. Homemade cookies will be on the menu for shoppers to enjoy! Over at the Info Booth, volunteers will be giving out the 2016 MIFM shopping bags, so stop by to pick one up.

Live music will be provided by Joe Ross & The Birdwatchers. Their lively honky-tonk/swing music will keep your toes tapping while you cruise around the market. With musical influences including Louis Prima, Johnny Cash, Hank Williams, and the Rolling Stones, Joe Ross & The Birdwatchers will play the perfect party music for a festive birthday celebration.

Over at the Children’s Table the kids will enjoy painting with blackberry ink. The kids will enjoy learning how to use these yummy berries to create beautiful artwork.

The birthday vendor of the week is Collins Family Orchards. They have been a terrific addition to the market over many seasons. A 4th generation family farm located in Selah, WA, Collins Family Orchards is managed by the father-son team of Calvin and Brian Collins.

A big huge THANK YOU to everyone who works so diligently to make Mercer Island Farmers Market the success it has become. It’s a cherished annual tradition on Mercer Island!!

Mercer Island Rocks!

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Community Happening / Spirit of Mercer Island

Mercer Island Rocks Yesterday, there was a fun surprise on the steps of the Windermere Building. Someone had placed this rock in an inconspicuous place, so it could be discovered and shared. When I spied the rock, it  put a smile on my face. But, when I picked up the rock and saw the delightful sail boat on the other side, finding this gem made my day.

I followed the directions on the rock and found the Facebook group Mercer Island Rocks! The mission of the group is described in the pinned post located at the top of their Facebook page, “The idea is to spread little gems of happiness around the island; to create and share creations celebrating our wonderful community. And maybe even get folks hunting for objects that don’t require an app to be seen (though we love Pokemon Go as much as the next family!).”

It turns out the idea was an inspiration from another group, Whidbey Island Rocks. The Whidbey Island group, in turn, were inspired by Port Angeles Rocks. It’s a fun activity that generates a sense of delight and goodwill out in your community. I’m excited to see which city is inspired by Mercer Island and joins the fun!

If you’d like to join the group, click here to request to join. The pinned post also includes rock painting and hiding guidelines, for those who would like to contribute. If you find rocks out in the Mercer Island community, and would like to share a photo, please join the group so you can share your discovery.

Have fun rock hunting!

Houzz Story: Stacked Stone Veneer Inside the Home

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Among the top projects in the Seattle area for estimated return on investment, stone veneer currently comes in second. Stone veneer takes a classic look and makes it more affordable for a wider range of remodeling budgets. It comes in so many different looks and textures, there is something for every architectural style and interior design outlook!

This Houzz story slideshow shows varying applications for stacked stone veneer, both inside and out. Included in the slideshow are two rooms from a Lake Washington home using stacked stone veneer for texture, drama and warmth. The first image features a living area fireplace surround, and the second is dual vanity bathroom. The look of the chosen stone veneer fits the home’s modern design, the veneer coloring is coordinated with other features both rooms, and it looks stunning in our regional natural light.

Pan through the slideshow to see other ways stacked stone can be utilized in a home remodel.

Mercer Island Farmers Market: July 31, 2016

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Mercer Island Farmers Market

Mercer Island Farmers Market Today will be all about beverages available at Mercer Island Farmers Market. You can quench your thirst with Kombucha, tea soda, ginger beer, juices, and smoothies. Shen Zen Tea‘s lemongrass kombucha is refreshing, Timber City‘s signature ginger beer is a spicy treat, while Juice Harbor’s selection of cold-pressed juices are especially appealing to the younger crowd. If you are a hard cider fan, FinnRiver Farm & Cidery brings their their ciders and brandy wine to MIFM. Other vendors who have booths in the alcoholic section near Bicentennial Park are Stomani Cellars, Four Horsemen Brewery, and Lowercase Brewing.

Live music will be provided today by Ronnda Cadle, with guest percussionist Rikki Evans. Ronnda plays original compositions on her guitar and perfected her music while listening to female guitarists, her greatest mentors – Nancy Wilson of Heart, Caroline Aiken, and Emily Saliers of Indigo Girls. From Ronnda’s website, “I wouldn’t be the player I am today if it were not for these strong and amazing women. I hope to bring my own voice to the generations of women musicians to follow.”

Over at the Children’s Table the kids will be able to paint the colors of the market. Kids, stop by and explore all the colors of the rainbow that you can see at MIFM from the veggies, fruits, flowers, herbs, and art offered by local farmers and artisans.

This week’s featured vendor is well within the thirsty theme of today’s market. Check out the MIFM home page to read the interview with Julie Petrocelli, owner of Juice Harbor. She sells a wide variety of cold pressed juices, smoothies and elixirs (wellness shots), using predominantly local and organic ingredients to make them.

Have a wonderful day exploring the market!

Kicks For Kids 2016: Back-to-school shoe drive

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Community Happening / Kicks For Kids


Windermere Mercer Island will be participating in the 3rd annual Kicks For Kids shoe drive starting on Monday, August 1st. We are extremely proud to coordinate this annual drive! And the response from you — our community of clients, friends, family and neighbors — has been so huge each year. Kicks For Kids wouldn’t be the success it has been without your help.

If you would like to support a local child in need, to start back-to-school with a pair of shoes that fit, please bring (or ship) your donation of a pair of children’s shoes, or a $20 Payless Shoe Source gift card, to our office located at 2737 77th Avenue S.E., STE 100, Mercer Island, WA 98040.

Below are the FAQs regarding the shoe drive:

WHAT: A back-to-school sneaker drive for low-income youth, distributed through Mary’s Place

WHY: Kids from struggling families are in need of back-to-school shoes that fit. When kids feel good about their appearance, it improves both their self-esteem and their performance in school.

WHEN: Formal shoe collection will take place from August 1st – August 15, 2016

WHERE: Windermere Mercer Island is the collection point where you can drop off new athletic shoes or sneakers (youth sizes 1-6 and adult sizes 7-9) or $20 Payless Shoe Source gift cards from now through August 18th.

WHO: Sponsored by Windermere Mercer Island in partnership with Mary’s Place of Seattle

Kicks For Kids 2016