Did you know Seattle broke several records this year? Have you noticed all of the changes happening around you? Did you know if you were looking for this website a year ago, you’d be – – – – out of luck! Do you remember when the whole city turned white and shut down? What is Seattle, without rain? Dry humor.
Breaking Records and Making Changes
Here’s a breakdown of 2017’s big changes and milestones, in Seattle and at the Wall Street Group, that you might have missed while texting.
The launch of liveloveownseattle.com.
Envisioned, by the owner of the Wall Street Group, to be a “one-stop shop” for everything that Seattle has to offer, the website has taken off and is grabbing the attention of more than 2,000 people/month. Pretty cool if you ask us. The most viewed pages are the Neighborhood Reports, the blogs, and the LOVE content (obviously, because who isn’t intrigued by LOVE?).
Seattle “shuts down”
Monday, February 6th, snow swaddled Seattle overnight, closing schools and keeping many people home from work. What a drag that was, huh? Staying home with the family and enjoying a rare snow day. Should we make it a holiday in remembrance of such a rare event? We’ll talk to the Mayor.
Sun and tulips started creeping back into our lives as we all put on our summer garbs WAY too early.
Record-breaking month. Record-breaking month. Record-breaking month.
You read that right. Seattle broke 3 records in April.
From October 2016 to April 2017 (because, if we counted every month it rains we’d be cheating) Seattle took on 44.7” of rain, breaking the Rainfall Record from the previous year. That’s deep enough to paddleboard!
As the sky was naturally pouring down on us in copious amounts, didn’t it seem like it was raining every day? Well, almost. For 144 days, between October 2016 and April 2017, Seattle had more than .01 inches of rain. Thus breaking the record for the number of wet days.
In a different awards ceremony, Seattle celebrated the population officially passing 700,000 people. Keep in mind, the official-ness of the count is really more of a very educated, very calculated, and extremely researched guess. This is most likely the best guess we’ll get, as it is provided by the city of Seattle and Washington state, with collaboration with U.S. Census Bureau. (Sorry for all of that. We love data.)
The MarketFront was Completed
Pike Place MarketFront project completed in May, but the grand opening was the following month. Keep reading for the excitement
Open for business!
The previous owners traded places with our new owner, of Wall Street Group – Windermere Real Estate, in June. A friendly passing of the baton and business is as usual.
Oh right. Pike Place MarketFront opened to the public, too.
Kusama comes to Seattle at the SAM
Yayoi Kusama, a Japanese contemporary artist who likes to work in sculpture and installations, showed Seattle what an infinity experience might look and feel like.
“Our earth is only one polka dot among a million start in the cosmos. Polka dots are a way to infinity.” – Yayoi Kusama
Don’t look at it!
Remember when the earth was going to stop rotating? Or how about when we were all going to turn into zombies? What about the time when we all looked at the Total Solar Eclipse without proper SolarGlasses (made of cardboard)?
Yes, we actually heard those claims. And don’t say you didn’t look at the Eclipse with your bare eyes. We’ve never seen what 9% of the Sun looked like either. (p.s. if you find any typos it’s because our eyes are still recovering)
Would you believe that Seattle broke 2 rainfall records and in the same year we also claim the driest stretch too? We sure did! For a record-breaking 56 days, Seattle was without its most talked about characteristic, rain.
SPORTS SPORTS SPORTS
So, let’s get this out of the way. The Seahawks. First-year missing the postseason since 2011. But we started off strong with 4 wins during the preseason and ending the season over .500. Let’s keep our heads high and let’s hear it in 2018, 12s!
The Mariners. Oh, Mariners. They didn’t make it to the postseason…again…but did you get a chance to check out the homerun food offerings at Safeco Field? Ballard Pizza Co., Great State Burger, and Poquitos! Tempted to buy season tickets for the food. Yumm!
The Sounders had a great season with a 14-11 record, and making it to the MLS Cup finals. Not to mention our 9-year streak of having the best record in the MLS. We’re really looking forward to next season.
Space Needle gets a Spacelift
If you’ve been able to pull your eyes off of your phone for a moment and look up. You’ll notice the Space Needle looks a bit different. That’s because it’s getting a facelift. To be more specific, the safety cage that hinders the view will be replaced with floor to “sky” glass barrier; from the renderings, it looks like the restaurants may be getting fitted with a glass floor.
Oktober Fests, scare-athons, and “hello” cold weather again (we had a good run, sun).
Giving back and get-togethers
We couldn’t say enough about how much the Wall Street Group Brokers do for the community. All year long, they attend in charity events, roll their sleeves up for community service, and gladly pull their checkbooks out. November is a special time during the year when the staff, owners, and dozens of Brokers come together to help a few organizations.
Every year for last 15 years, our Brokers have offered a hand to help out families in need of a Thanksgiving dinner, with Child Haven, Northwest Harvest Food Drive, and #tacklehomelessness. It’s truly a beautiful time of year.
As we wrapped up a monumental year of changes, experiences, and a dynamic real estate market, we had a few more things to squeeze in. A couple more community events to provide winter clothing and toys to Seattle youth, and one amazing holiday party. Chihuly Garden and Glass hosted the Brokers of Wall Street Group for our Annual Holiday Party, and all we can say is, wow and #blessed. Blessed to have a community of relationships like you to look after one another and grow this wonderful city together.
And there ya have it, the most phenomenal changes and milestones in 2017. Maybe we stretched the meaning of phenomenal and milestones a bit, but they say beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Either way, 2017 was a great year for us at the Wall Street Group and it was pretty cool to watch all of the changes happen in Seattle.
We are predicting 2018 to be even more phenomenal.
How was your 2017? Any big changes?
Yes, ’tis the season to create some memorable times. Don’t you remember your first glass of Eggnog? Or that one family get-together you can’t stop giggling about?
And, forget about the cold, dark, and short days. December truly is a great time of year. It’s a time of celebration for a year of hard work. A time for gathering with friends and family and sharing each other’s company. A time for passing on traditions to your children and new family members. It’s also a great time to slow down and take a vacation. But you know all of that. Heck, you’ve probably got something planned tonight so, we’ll keep this short.
Take in the celebrations or libations
For those of us that don’t have Festivus to attend later, here are a few ideas, from our team, to get you out of the house and into some holiday fun.
Spend some time at the Reindeer Festival
November 11 – December 24
Swanson’s Nursery website reports “[trees] are going fast,” but that shouldn’t stop you from taking the kiddos by to get their photos with Santa and his REAL reindeer. They’ve also scheduled a delightful Cello Concert at 6 pm, on December 21st.
Take in the spectacle and smells of Gingerbread Village
November 21 – January 1
Architects, builders, and culinary teams took to the Graham cracker and various sweets and frostings to create a yummy installation of the future city of Seattle. Viewing hours last nearly all day and night, so there’s no reason you can’t see this amazing dessert display. Stop by and what the city planners and developers envision for Seattle’s future.
Enjoy a holiday classic ballet, The Nutcracker
November 24 – December 28
A beautiful story in which a young girl’s favorite Christmas toy comes to life and whisks her away to a magical kingdom.
Take the family to Winterfest
November 24 – January 1 (closed December 25)
Located at Seattle Center, Winterfest is a 5-week long holiday and winter celebration. Fun for the family, including FREE events and performances at the Armory, winter train and village, ice sculptures, and ice skating.
Cheers and Feast around Seattle
So you’re not into the holiday-specific events. Maybe you just want to find some holiday style meals or drinks, look no further. On any given day, you can find about 2,041,347.134 things to do around Seattle, so we had our friends at The Stranger put this list together for us, for you. (we just searched food and drink events on thestranger.com). Enjoy!
Shop till you drop
Hey, maybe you’re not into any of those things. You could always go shopping downtown if you haven’t yet. Tis the season for deals upon deals.
Whatever you end up doing, bundle up, put on your Cheermeister crown, and enjoy your company. Oh, get your Vitamin-D. It’s important!
Washington State is a National Leader in STEM!
In 2013, the state of Washington passed a bill to significantly improve its STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) learning opportunities and educational outcomes for K-12 students. Simply put, Washington schools, government, and non-profit organizations have teamed together to create more ways to give our children opportunities to learn and apply STEM skills. Each year, more opportunities arise, more grant money is budgeted, our children get excited, and a brighter future is painted.
Why is STEM important?
So, you may think STEM education has been around since you were in school. Unless you participated in Science Fairs and went out of your way to expose yourself to STEM activities, you probably only scratched the surface of what is available to children today. Traditional education teaches about cool technology, math equations, and engineering marvels. STEM education goes a step further and puts the student in the driver’s seat and creates opportunities to put their education to work. Wouldn’t it be fun to learn how to build a robot? Code a program to control the robot? Or use the robot to gather samples of ecosystems in the Puget Sound? With real-world application, students are given the opportunity to get excited about possible career paths at an early age.
- education standards and curriculum quality education will increase
- high school graduation rates will increase
- job satisfaction will increase
- the global economy will increase, beginning in Seattle
- there will be a greater number and quality inventions
- the poverty level will decrease
- the price of education will decrease
Washington STEM put together an amazing video outlining what STEM means and how students can thrive from STEM education.
[arve url=”https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=27&v=DT5wR70lNDY” title=”Washington STEM – Inspire, Engage and Unleash Potential” description=”Washington STEM advances excellence, innovation, and equity in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) education for all Washington students. Our vision is to see all students succeed in thriving communities all within a vibrant Washington state.” upload_date=”Nov 29, 2016″ /]
STEM is Important for Seattle
Let’s be frank for a minute. Consider the industry that has moved into Seattle. No, we’re not talking about all of the construction. We’re talking about the tech industry that is creating all of the construction. Companies like Amazon, Google, Facebook, Microsoft, Expedia (and the list goes on) are continuing to grow and change the landscape of Metro Seattle – not to mention the other giant corporations like Boeing, Starbucks, Nordstrom, Nintendo, Weyerhauser, and Windermere. The employees that these global companies are looking for are (for all intense and purposes) STEM employees. That said, 30% of their tech-savvy and STEM employees are transplants (not from Seattle).
The more foreign employees these companies recruit, the more real estate construction and buildings will be built to accommodate them. Following all of these employees will be more consumer businesses, restaurants, traffic and more advancements in the city infrastructure, and ultimately a bigger Metropolitan area.
The changes in Seattle are happening and will continue for years to come. The key to growing with the city is to acclimate our children to the new and future economy. Resources are widely available and access is becoming easier.
How can my child get involved in STEM education?
There’s a good chance your student is already involved in STEM education at school. Beginning in preschool and Kindergarten, students in Seattle public and private schools are provided with workshops, classroom learning and out of classroom exposure to STEM education. Middle and high schools offer clubs and organizations to further their interests.
Extra-Curricular STEM Opportunities
Help us expand our list! Let us know which STEM Ed opportunity opened your student’s eyes.
STEM Success Stories
STEM grads step right into the future by The Seattle Times
A life-changing summer in Seattle for six STEM students by PATH – Stories of innovation and impact
Inside the pioneering Seattle area school that’s shaking up how STEM education is taught by GeekWire
Take a stroll around any Seattle neighborhood. No two neighborhoods are the same. They each have distinct “personalities” that makes them unique. Yet, without each neighborhoods’ quirks and characteristics, Seattle wouldn’t be the beautifully awe-inspiring city that it is.
So, what is it about Seattle that makes it so unique? Why do people gravitate to Seattle? What is it that gets people talking all day and staying up all night? What is it that makes people fall in love with Seattle?
How do you fall in love?
We’ve been tossing around this idea of Seattle’s stimulating senses…join me on this journey really quick.
As you begin to connect and fall in love with someone, you typically excite some powerful senses about them, right? Think about it. Think about your current or last love (try to be positive).
- Do they have a smell? Maybe their hair smells like roses, their neck smells like fresh cookies, or maybe you can’t get enough of their sweat after an intimate game of “tag.” 😉
- What do they taste like? Does your mouth salivate at the thought of them?
- What do they look like? Think more about HOW you see them. Are their eyes like the ocean – deep, powerful, hypnotizing, and mysterious – but no matter what you do, you can’t seem to look away; you drown in them?
- How do they sound? Does their laugh make you laugh? When they share an intimate secret with you, does nothing else matter? When they sing, does the rest of the world go silent?
- What do they feel like? Is their silky-smooth skin like the landscape of your dream destination?
Seattle’s Stimulating Senses
Now think about Seattle. Everywhere you go, you’re showered with beautiful sights (e.g. the Space Needle, Chihuly Garden, the Great Wheel) and alluring smells (e.g. food trucks, nature hikes). And depending on the activity, your senses could be amazed with sounds (e.g. Seattle Theater, Pike Place Market, a Seattle Seahawks game), tastes (e.g. any of Seattle’s incredible restaurants, your favorite coffee, your neighborhood Sunday market), and textures (e.g. the SAM, the gum wall, hiking). Seattle’s ability to touch several senses at once helps to solidify that experience in your memory and seduces you to explore further.
Check out more ways to fall in love with Seattle.
Let’s be Honest
Whether we admit it or not, we’ve all made some unwise financial decisions. Remember that one time you spent $100 too much at the local watering hole? Or how about last weekend when you needed some toilet paper and walked out of the store with 5 bags of feel-good snacks? Or every night that online shopping gets the best of you? Financial advice and conversations of money saving tips are nothing new. We’ve all needed help at some point, the problem is its just not that simple and there’s not a one size fits all solution to saving money.
This article from MarketWatch, 7 real ways for millennials to save money (not by brown-bagging and skipping Starbucks) discusses some great rational (and somewhat brash) tips for Millennials to save money. Although it’s geared toward Millennials, anyone (of all ages) would be wise to take a look. Living in Seattle, we’re surrounded by technology, fast-paced shopping, and immediate vices, so this is advice we could all put in our pocket.
Below is the list of tips, in no particular order, for millennials (or anyone) to save money. As the 7th tip will point out, we’re all different. What works for someone else may not work for you, so try things out and customize your habits to benefit your financial wealth.
- Live like a college student for a few years
- Skip the starter home
- Skip the new car
- Focus on your fixed costs
- Make more money
- Understand yourself
Remember, we’re all living in this beautiful world of Seattle together. Help your neighbor out and share your money saving tips and what works for you below.
Are we using up all of our water?
As most of us are Human. 😉 We need water to stay alive. We also need this magical substance for hygiene, cooking, farming, making alcohol, and of course all of our Seattle water activities (fishing, sailing, paddle boarding, floating, riding on ferry boats, etc.). Considering everything we use water for and knowing less than 1% of the Earth’s water is available for consumption, you may wonder if we’re in danger of using it up. Well, here’s the quick and short answer from the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency).
While population and demand on freshwater resources are increasing, supply will always remain constant. And although it’s true that the water cycle continuously returns water to Earth, it is not always returned to the same place, or in the same quantity and quality.
Key takeaways – water is not always returned to the same place, or in the same quantity, or quality. Basically, we’re not going to use it all up, but we need to be mindful that what we do to the water isn’t always natural.
How does the water flow to my tap?
Now we can ask questions like, “where is my water coming from,” and “where is my money going.”
In Seattle (and 22 other cities and utility districts), our primary source of water comes from 2 major watersheds. About 65% comes from Cedar River Watershed and about 35% comes from the Tolt River Watershed. The water embarks on a journey down the mountains to two treatment facilities for testing and treatment to ensure safety. Finally, after a thorough examination of the water, it travels through 1,900 miles of pipeline to your faucet.
Of course, the process is more complex than flowing water, which includes:
- 2 protected mountain sources
- 2 state-of-the-art water treatment facilities
- 1,900 miles of pipeline
- 13 reservoirs
- 14 storage tanks
- numerous pumping stations
- over 600 employees (for testing, treating, repairing, monitoring, building, and protecting)
- 1.4 million people to drink and use the water in their homes, businesses, and public facilities
So that’s where your water comes from, and hopefully gives you a better understanding of what you’re paying for. Which, by the way, bottled water is not as heavily regulated and can be up to 1,000 times more expensive than tap water.
Conserving saves money!
Now let’s talk about what you can do to conserve your Seattle water…and let’s save you some money while we’re at it.
Brushing your teeth
We all like the sound of water, but running it while you brush your teeth is unnecessary. Turning the water off as you brush your teeth could save, on average, 7 gallons per day.
Wait to do laundry until you have a full washer.
Did you know washing your dishes by hand can waste as much as 20 gallons of water? Invest in a dishwashing machine. Look for the ENERGY STAR endorsement.
Fix your dripping faucets and leaky toilets. An efficient faucet could save up to 570 gallons of water per year.
In 2000, Seattle founded the Saving Water Partnership. The partnership is comprised of 19 local water utilities dedicated to providing water conservation programs to their customers in Seattle and King County. The Saving Water Partnership has helped Seattle and the nearby cities save 9.6 million gallons of water per day (from 2000 to 2010) and built some pretty awesome rebates (queue excitement).
Us Seattleites are pretty environmentally conscious and we do most of these things without a thought, but there’s always more we could do. What are some other water saving tips that you use? Share this article and include your tips, by clicking on the share button below.
It’s a noisy world out there. In our daily lives, we’re constantly bombarded with instant notifications, emails and phone calls, alarms, construction on every corner, car horns, and all of that city noise to navigate through. The rush and the pressure to keep your footing, in an increasingly hectic atmosphere, certainly bears influence over the state of our homes and our minds.
Hit the pause button. Take back some semblance of calm when your environment’s chatter threatens to blow your proverbial speakers. Cultivating a Zen space for meditation in your home is for YOU and it’s right now (almost).
The easy stuff! This is the mondo fun part where you get to repurpose a section of your home for your greater good.
Choose your space.
Your ideal meditation space should provide maximum privacy and minimal distraction. So, probably not smack dab in the middle of your living room or home office. Choose a quiet spot you can imagine yourself relaxing in. Once you’ve claimed your stake, it’s time to appeal to the senses.
Supply your space according to sight, touch, sound, and smell.
Adorn your Zen space with visuals that are minimalist but meaningful, and help to inspire a sense of calm. Create mood lighting, hang framed photos of botanical scenes or philosophical mantras (anything you find simple and beautiful). These are all great visual cues to set your mind on the right path.
Invest in items that support your body while you meditate. A large comfortable throw pillow or removable couch cushion is a must. Keep soft blankets nearby in the event that your meditation session turns into the perfect nap-portunity (because naps are healing to the mind too, friends).
Provide a meaningful auditory experience. This can be an important component of meditating as well, especially if you’re a novice. Learning to quiet your mind doesn’t necessarily mean that silencing your entire environment is mandatory. While a track of nature sounds or instrumental music can help to fade outside noises to the background, they can also drown out deafening silence which often leads to the bombardment of thoughts. Your chosen auditory ambiance will focus you, and make your mediation session that much more effective.
Aromatherapy. Whether by scented candle or essential oils, aromatherapy aids in reducing and eliminating stress. Not into fragrance? No problem. Unscented candles help to create that mood lighting we talked about earlier. Win, win.
Keep your space sacred.
The most difficult set up to maintain: no technology! With the exception of the device you choose to play your music (or guided meditation app), a ban on technology removes the temptation to check in with social media or work obligations and to check out of your Zen space.
Now you have a beautiful, serene, and self-made space to achieve peace of mind. As my Designated Broker, John Wellman, always says, “The proof is in the practice”. So make it happ’n, capp’n! Take the time to enjoy your new Zen space, to practice the technique of resting the mind through meditation, and to show off your tricked-out space to all of your friends. As they say, calm inspires calm. And wouldn’t that be lovely?
Need More Guidance?
There is a ton of information out there regarding zen spaces, chi, peace in your life, quite rooms, relaxation, and creating peace of mind. Our recommendation is to pick one reliable source and see what you can get out of that one source. No need to overwhelm yourself looking at 20 different sources on Zen…talk about counterintuitive. We found this article from Yoga International to be just what we were looking for.
Tips And Tricks To Make Your Home Buyer-Ready
It’s a seller’s market as they say. If you’re preparing to list your home for sale, the most efficient and price effective way to attract potential buyers to your home is to clean it thoroughly. Following are a few guidelines to help you conquer the task and make the sale!
CUT THE CLUTTER
Purge, donate & sell – During the tour of your house, each room should be free of clutter to showcase the living, and more importantly the storage potential of a space. If the house is packed to the brim, buyers will assume that the space is too small for their belongings. Once you’ve purged all unnecessary items, rooms will appear more spacious, and buyers will be able to fully imagine their new life in each room that they inspect.
Work top to bottom, left to right – Pay special attention to rooms that buyers are most interested in: living and dining rooms, kitchens, and bathrooms. Dust each room from top to bottom. Left to right – and remember that for deep cleaning, the devil is in the details. Carefully cleaning surfaces to remove dust, grime, and fingerprints adds significant sparkle, especially if a fresh coat of paint isn’t in the budget. Vacuum carpets and draperies, wash all windows, and remove any mold or mildew stains in kitchens and bathrooms with household bleach.
In it to win it – Maintaining “Tour Ready” status of your home is essential, but can be a tall order for those still residing on the property during the listing process. Keep up the clean by placing baskets throughout the house. When an agent calls to tour, it’ll be easy to “speed clean” – toss those extra magazines and pieces of clothing strewn about into the basket and straight into storage.
Making your house appealing to potential buyers is very important and if you would like more tips, please contact one of our knowledgeable Brokers. They would be more than happy to guide you in the right direction.
Western Washington Gardner Report for Q4 2016
The 4th Quarter Gardner Report provides analysis of the Western Washington real estate market by Windermere Real Estate’s Chief Economist Matthew Gardner. Please click on the photo below to view the report or you can download a PDF here.
2017 Economic & Housing Forecast
Mr. Gardner has also just released his national economic forecast which details his predictions for the 2017 economy and housing market. It provides valuable analysis, and you can see the forecast below or download a PDF here.
We hope you find the Gardner Report and Economic Forecast useful and if you would like more detailed information about the Seattle real estate market, your neighborhood or a Current Markey Analysis (CMA) of your home, please contact the Windermere Wall Street Group.