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Be Prepared for Flooding

by Joe Klarman

As heavy rains and melting snow floods the rivers in Washington, causing mudslides and highway closures, Governor Jay Inslee has declared a state of emergency. It is important to take precautions against the damage a flood can wreak on your home.

Before the Flood:

  • Know your area's risk for flooding, and find out the safest area near to you.
  • If you live in a high-risk flood area, consider buying flood insurance. Homeowner's insurance may not offer extensive enough coverage in the event of a flood.
  • Make an emergency flood plan. If you have children, make sure they know and understand the plan.

If a Flood Watch is issued, it is important to begin preparing for flood conditions:

  • Keep your radio or television on for updates on potential flooding
  • Know where to go. In the event of a flood, it may be necessary to get to the highest possible ground on foot. Know where this is.
  • Build your emergency preparedness kit. At the very least, this should include first-aid supplies, a flashlight, batteries, and cash.
  • Disconnect all electrical appliances. Do not touch electrical devices if you are standing in water.
  • If you are instructed to, turn off your gas and electricity at the main valve or switch.

If there is a Flood Warning, it is time for you to take action:

  • Move immediately to higher ground, and stay there.
  • Evacuate if you are directed to do so. Your possessions are not worth as much as your safety.
  • Never drive through a flood. It only takes 2 feet of water to sweep your vehicle away.

After a flood, take the following precautions:

  • Only return home once authorities have declared it safe to do so.
  • Be aware of road conditions, floods often erode streets and sidewalks.
  • Avoid standing water. It may still be electrically charged by downed or underground power lines.
  • For insurance purposes, photograph flood damage to your property.

Living in Washington, you can always be assured that there is more rain on the way. The only way to prevent property damage and ensure your safety is to be prepared. Make a plan, and stick to it. Stay safe.

Seattle Washington expects an Increase in New Home Sales

by Joe Klarman

The housing market near Seattle has really heated up. It is a seller's market for existing homes with a 10% increase in the price since last year, this is a great time to sell your existing home. Buyers can look forward to lots of options in new home construction next year as builders are planning on meeting the needs of new home owners by building.

You may think with the current price increases that now isn't the right time to buy a home, but buying is still cheaper than renting. Residents spend about 22% of their income on a mortgage and about 31% on rent. If you are concerned about making a large down payment, many times you can make a smaller down payment and carry mortgage insurance. This may be an added cost, but it is a sensible one considering the money you would spend on rent.

The housing market has improved over the last few years with new home construction falling behind demand but is expected to level out in 2016 with an increase in new home construction. With the increase in construction, new home sales are expected to increase by 16% in 2016, leading to a much healthier housing market overall.

As the housing market balance of used to new homes stabilizes in 2016 with a large increase in new home construction, and a small decrease in existing home sales, both home owners looking to sell and new home buyers should find the market agreeable.

Now is a great time to sell your existing home and or buy a new one. With the healthy gains expected next year, things should only get better for buyers and sellers in the Seattle area.

Decorating for the Holidays

by Joe Klarman

The holidays are here and it's time to get your home ready for the season. Whether you're hosting friends and family, or just creating a cozy space to come back to each day, decorating can make your home feel warm and festive. Below, we're sharing tips for sprucing up your space.

Be Subtle with Elegant Details

Image via HGTV on Pinterest

There's no need to opt for over the top decorations. Skip the Santa statues and life size snowmen. Instead, choose simple items that add to the decor of your home. For example, some easy floral arrangements and a few ornaments on the table makes an elegant holiday centerpiece.

Celebrate with Nature

Image via Camille Styles on Pinterest

 

Even in a winter wonderland, there's plenty of color to be found outside. Bring some of that color indoors to serve as Christmas decor. Berry covered branches, tall twigs wrapped in twinkle lights and placed in vases, and garlands of greenery bring in all the traditional colors. Add some festive fabrics like plaid tablecloths and red satin ribbons to finish the look.

DIY Your Decor

Image via Real Simple on Pinterest

 

Holiday decor doesn't need to be elaborate or expensive to make an impact. Try your hand at some do it yourself decorations. With plenty of wreath, centerpiece, and garland tutorials available online, you have your pick of projects. Use supplies with different textures, like burlap ribbon and wool yarn, to warm up your space for the cold months ahead.

Holiday Activities, near Seattle

by Joe Klarman

If you are looking for something to do in or near Seattle this holiday season, you have no shortage of options. Regardless of your age, income or interests, there is a holiday activity in the greater Seattle area that you will enjoy.

Taproot Theater's “This Christmas”

Taproot Theater proudly presents a brand new, full-length original play called “This Christmas”. The play, written by Anne Kennedy Brady, relies on contemporary Seattle as a setting. It is the story of Leah, a woman who is set on planning the perfect Christmas celebration against all odds. “This Christmas” runs between November 20 and December 26. Other local holiday plays include "The Best Christmas Pageant Ever" and "Christmastown: A Holiday Noir". Each will be performed between December 4th and 25th.

The Issaquah Reindeer Festival

A holiday tradition since 1988, The Issaquah Reindeer Festival runs through December 23. Take the family on out to this uber-fun event where you will enjoy all of the lovely holiday splendor in every form and fashion. The kids can meet with Santa Claus, visit with Santa's reindeer, sit on Santa's sleigh or write a letter to Santa and drop it off in his personal mailbox. Elves will be on-site to tell stories. There is even a lovely Magic Forest for the family to wander through. Other Issaquah Reindeer Festival events include the opportunity to feed Christmas treats to Santa's animals, festive face painting and an observation space where you can watch candy cane makers.

Snowflake Lane at The Bellevue Collection

Running now through December 24, Snowflake Lane is the one place in the greater Seattle area where snow will fall every single night of the holiday season. Situated on the street between Lincoln Square, Bellevue Square and Bellevue Place, Snowflake Lane puts on an enchanting performance that the entire family will enjoy. Here, you will find festive holiday music, gorgeous Christmas light spectacles, live toy soldier drummers, animated Christmas characters and so much more. When the show ends, your family will have the chance to have their picture taken with their favorite Snowflake Lane personalities.

Seattle Center Winterfest

Running between now and December 31, the Seattle Center Winterfest is one of the area's top holiday events. Winterfest features all sorts of holiday-themed entertainment including open ice rinks, ice sculpting, live music performances, model trains, comedy shows, performances by 3rd Shift Dance and SANCA Cirrus Circus, caroling and much more.

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Russell Jones Real Estate
536 Broadway East
Seattle WA 98102
Office: (206)323-0800
Direct: (206)683-5639
Fax: (206)323-9275