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How Thanksgiving Grew on Me

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It was November of 2003, just about a year after we had found ourselves at SeaTac airport visiting Seattle for the very first time. I had started work in August, celebrated my first Halloween – ever – and now everyone was talking about Thanksgiving. I had no idea what the holiday was about, but everyone seemed to be fussing over turkeys and cranberries. We bought a turkey, cooked it and sat down for our first Thanksgiving dinner. For years Thanksgiving was merely a day to enjoy food, and it wasn’t until Mia started preschool that I met the pilgrims and the native Americans for the very first time at the preschool Thanksgiving feast. Slowly I started learning about this holiday, the story and history behind it.
There has not been a year without a turkey. Our first proper Thanksgiving meal was served to us by our Finnish American friends, and after that I have cooked dinner for our friends. As we don’t have family in the area, our Thanksgiving is a gathering of friends, the family we …

Count The Cranes!

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On Tuesday morning we had our staff meeting. A weekly thing, but this week we had our company President and COO Mike Grady speaking. It was a good morning to receive a customer service award but then again there really isn’t a bad time to get one as it’s always a blessing and a reassurance that I am doing the right things. Within these months I have come far, and this year has exceeded both my own and my boss’s expectations. I never even dared to dream of being on the list of top performers during my first year, well – ever if I want to be frank. But in October that happened too.
Real Estate is a cyclical business as is pretty much anything in life. Now you’re probably going; Hello! Please, tell me something new… Commercial real estate and residential real estate both operate in cycles, but those cycles, even though in ways going side by side, are still quite different from each other. In commercial real estate it starts way slower, then gains speed, escalates, panics and comes to a…

The Little White Table

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On Saturday night we are having dinner at Texas Roadhouse in Kennewick, WA. The house is jam packed with veterans and military as it’s Veteran’s Day and we end up waiting for our table for way over an hour. Usually we would have left and tried to find a place tad less crowded, but Mia really wanted to stay and ride the birthday saddle. No, it wasn’t her birthday, not even her half-birthday, but as the boys have had the honor of climbing into that saddle several times, and she has never gotten a turn we promise she could do it in August for her father’s Birthday. August came, and August went. We didn’t have dinner at Texas Roadhouse as it really wasn’t his Birthday wish, instead we ended up at Lulu’s Craft Bar that time. So, on Saturday, there was no wiggle room, we had to wait.


Almost an hour and a half later we were seated. We walked past an empty table, beautifully set for one person. Unlike all the other tables it had a white tablecloth, black napkin, a candle and a red rose in a …

Where Is Your Heaven?

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What do we talk about in the office? The market, the market, the market. Why? Because it’s so unique and interesting. The vast majority of homes available are not in the most sought after price range and in many places the market has created itself an inverted pyramid, where the pyramid is standing on its tip with the largest inventory being for homes over a million, needless to say, it should be the other way around.
Affordability can still be found in the surrounding areas, in the North, South and West but the question that no one really even wants to answer is, for how long? When do we come to the point when you no longer can find affordability in areas like Everett, Tacoma and Monroe as we are already seeing the market change even in these areas.
It is somewhat scary to look at the numbers, to realize that today there are 10 homes listed within Redmond that are priced below $700,000. There are 47 homes listed in Redmond currently, so that means only 21% of these homes are below…

The Castle

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This weekend I vividly remembered something that a friend of mine said before I got myself into real estate. The memory, and my friend’s words have followed me for the past couple of days. They have made me smile and nod secretly, as I truly related with what she was talking about…
Before I started my career. No, before I started my training to become a real estate broker, I met with all my friends that had been working in this industry, and succeeded. Everyone had their own story to tell. They were all encouraging as they were talking about their work. They all thought I would do well, and they all said I should take the plunge, but there was one conversation above the others. It was very honest and true, it was exactly what I wanted, the ugly truth.
She is one of the most successful women I have met. If she’s reading this, she will smile and think that I should stop flattering her – rubbish, she may say… But she is. She is one of those names the industry knows. She would deny it, …

Don't Forget to Fall Back!

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Hope you had a safe and fun Halloween, with plenty of ghosts, ghouls and candy. Enough candy to donate some to our troops or the dentist office close by. My family did what we always do, you get to eat as much as you’d like on Halloween. You get some for breakfast on the following day, and then it’s gone. It does not matter how many pounds you collected on your run around the neighborhood, these are the rules. It has proven to work pretty well over the years.
But now it’s November. Did you hear me? It’s November, and that is way scarier than Halloween. It means I have approximately two weeks to come up with a plan for Thanksgiving and about seven weeks until Christmas. Oh, yes… that’s scary, unless you don’t celebrate these things and you are off the hook. Tick-tock, tick-tock. The holidays are coming, and the stress is creeping and crawling.
The weather totally took a turn as we started November, and suddenly it’s cold and dark and even if it’s not raining it just feels wet. I kne…

Goldilocks

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I recently got to do something pretty rare. For most people it’s nothing that interesting, but for me it was equally as awesome. I’m working with a family to find their dream home, and during this process we ran into a situation where we had three identical homes within a quarter mile radius. Just to make it clear, I don’t mean similar homes as that’s pretty much daily game, and we already look at comps that are as close to the home we are looking at, but I actually mean identical homes. Identical when we look at square footage, neighborhood, year of construction, the original floor plan, and to top it off – timing.
Yes, we can have two identical home within the same neighborhood, but one was sold a year ago. Or we can have two similar homes, the other one a bit bigger or smaller, or maybe a few years older or newer. But this, this was very interesting and made comparing these homes very interesting as it wasn’t the usual this one is newer and has a nicer kitchen, that one has better…