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  • Neighborhood Profile: Waterfront Living in Lake Stevens

    January 31, 2020 /
    Pickett Street Properties Team /

    Neighborhood Profile: Waterfront Living in Lake Stevens For those who wish to live in the greater Seattle area but want to avoid city prices, Lake Stevens is a lovely, growing lakeside community between Snohomish and Marysville, just east of Everett. The town offers both convenience, with a fairly central location and plenty of amenities, as well as mountain views and easy opportunities to get out on the water. As part of its downtown development plan, Lake Stevens recently completed major renovations on its North Cove Park to increase lake access and visibility. The city is also developing an extensive trail network to connect local and regional spots for bikers, joggers, and hikers. If you’re interested in real estate in Lake Stevens, or elsewhere in the greater Puget Sound area, call or email Pickett Street at info@pickettstreet.com or (425) 502-5397. In the meantime, here’s our quick guide to life in this town. Neighborhood Vibe Lake Stevens is currently home to around 33,000 residents, and as the 23rd best school district in Washington, it’s known for excellent schools. The town centers around the beautiful Lake Stevens, which, from the 1920s to 1950s, made this town a resort community with beach hotels scattered…Read more

  • Empty Nester Investors: A Conversation With Mary Smith

    January 23, 2020 /
    Pickett Street Properties Team /

    This month, Pickett Street is excited to begin their new Empty Nesters Investors program, which focuses on helping empty nesters and retirees bring in extra cash through smart real estate investments. If you are an empty nester, or a full nester, or a single-nester, let Pickett Street help you make smart investment decisions—contact them at info@pickettstreet.com or (425) 502-5397. To kick off this series, I chatted with Mary Smith, an empty nester investor and Margaret Smith’s very own mother. In 2015, Mary and her husband Andy sold their current home and purchased a 1950s rambler with a mother-in-law (MIL) cottage in Edmonds. When they purchased the home, the MIL unit already had a tenant and brought in $950 per month. Since then, Mary and Andy have continued to rent the unit and have occasionally used it as temporary housing for their grown children as they saved to buy their own homes. Mary and Andy now earn $1,200 per month from renting the unit. One of the most inspiring things about Mary’s story is that she and her husband did not start out with loads of cash. Instead, they used smart, simple real estate investments to build wealth. “Andy and I…Read more

  • Embrace Winter Dark With These Lighting Design Trends

    January 17, 2020 /
    Pickett Street Properties Team /

    Embrace Winter Dark With These Lighting Design Trends As Scandinavian folks know, the trick to enjoying winter is embracing the darkness rather than simply enduring it. And those living in the northern countries should know. Take Tromsö, for example—a town in the northern tip of Norway, where, currently, the sun is down all day, leaving residents in perpetual darkness, and making Seattle’s 4 p.m. winter sunsets look like the brightest summer days. Despite the long winters, Norwegians are some of the happiest people in the world. One of their strategies to embrace the cold season is to increase coziness through candles and fireplaces. Norwegian homes are also typically designed to maximize light, with bright whites and sheer or translucent window treatments.  According to Bruce Renneke, Seattle’s lead National Weather Service forecaster, the Pacific Northwest’s weak daylight is due to both cloud cover and latitude. Renneke explains that “the cloud-caused lightlessness is compounded by the Northwest’s latitude, which combines with the winter tilt of the earth to thicken the atmospheric filter the sunlight has to penetrate.” So, how to maximize and embrace the soft, muted grey light of Pacific Northwest winters? First, reach out to the Pickett Street team (info@pickettstreet.com or…Read more

  • Transformation and Collaboration with 2020’s PNW Operations Retreat

    January 10, 2020 /
    Pickett Street Properties Team /

    Transformation and Collaboration with 2020’s PNW Operations Retreat It’s that time of year again...and no, I’m not talking about the superbowl. Margaret Smith’s Pacific Northwest Operations Retreat is scheduled for April 2-5th. According to Margaret, she first started this retreat four years ago after recognizing the lack of professional events, conferences, and retreats for real estate administrators and operations managers. If you want to read about last year’s weekend, check out this interview with Margaret Smith. The PNW Operations Retreat features diverse speakers and aims to coach, empower, and create a supportive, honest community for real estate admin. “Many admin have a lot of fear about talking to their team leaders/bosses about what they want or think they deserve,”says Margaret. “Thus, much of this retreat is all about personal development. By working on ourselves first, much of what we need will follow.” If you’re curious about this retreat and her other work supporting admin professionals, retreat out to Margaret at Margaret@pickettstreet.com or 206-228-5067. Or, if you have questions about investing in real estate for the Pickett Street team, contact them at info@pickettstreet.com or (425) 502-5397.  In the meantime, here are the deets about the 2020 retreat’s amazing speakers. Gary John…Read more

  • What’s Your Word for 2020?

    January 3, 2020 /
    Pickett Street Properties Team /

    What’s Your Word for 2020? While chatting about the new year, Margaret suggested writing about everyone’s “word for the year.” I like this idea a lot, mainly because writing resolutions can sometimes overwhelm me—it's like, what do I want to accomplish this year? I don’t know, everything! Distilling my thoughts and feelings down to a single word feels simpler, less extreme, a bit more focused. My word came to me this week while I was running with my dog on a mountain trail. We had already been out for a decent amount of time, my legs were aching, my dog was more interested in sniffing and peeing on things than in running, and the top of the ridge was only a couple hundred yards away—we were basically to the top!  I almost decided to turn back. But then I thought about how much better it would feel to actually finish the trail's climb, rather than just turning back when the end was in sight and calling it good. This is a long way of saying that my word for 2020 is “finish.” I have started a lot of different creative and professional projects over the past few years, but many…Read more

  • Pickett Street’s Last-Minute Holiday Gift Guide

    December 23, 2019 /
    Pickett Street Properties Team /

    Pickett Street’s Last-Minute Holiday Gift Guide My husband and I are currently scrambling around shopping for our last few gifts, which is—arguably—one of the most exciting parts of the holidays. We’ve already shopped for our easiest loved ones, like our mothers who enjoy a wide range of goodies, from pretty jewelry and scarves to innovative kitchen doo-dads. Now, we just need gifts for those slightly frustrating individuals who insist that they “don’t need anything” or, who, when they do need something, immediately buy it for themselves (Dad, I’m looking at you).  This year, my family decided to do a non-materialist Christmas and buy each other experiences instead of objects. For our parents, my husband and I are buying gift cards to their favorite local restaurants. For my environmentally conscious brother, we donated in his name to the National Parks Service. For our extremely minimalist best friend, we are buying a massage gift card. I also decided to ask the Pickett Street team for advice on last-minute gifts this year. Here’s what they had to say. (P.S.—if you’re looking for real-estate related gifts, you might reach out directly to the team at info@pickettstreet.com or (425) 502-5397.) 1. For those times when…Read more

  • Seattle Real Estate News: What To Expect for 2020

    December 13, 2019 /
    Pickett Street Properties Team /

    Seattle Real Estate News: What To Expect for 2020 What’s on your gift list this year? If this list includes a new home, it’s not too late to reach out to Pickett Street (info@pickettstreet.com or (425) 502-5397). To help you get started, here’s a quick real estate news update for the Seattle area. It’s a seller’s market. Just when it seemed that the wildly hot, competitive Seattle market had cooled, November brought a few real estate surprises. According to the Seattle Times, “the number of closed home sales in King County rose by nearly 12% compared to the same time last year.” These sales mostly include higher-priced homes, although the general real estate market seems to be tipping toward sellers as well. Additionally, with a small new tax cut for home sellers in 2020, it might be wise to remodel, sit on your home for a bit longer, and sell in the new year. On January 1st, the state’s excise tax will change. Washington currently applies a flat 1.28% excise tax is applied to all home sales. This means that home buyers pay 1.28% of their home’s total closing price. However, due to the recent state excise bill, this rate…Read more

  • Local Crafts, Wizard 5k’s, and More: An Alternative Guide to Black Friday

    November 27, 2019 /
    Pickett Street Properties Team /

    Local Crafts, Wizard 5k's, and More: An Alternative Guide to Black Friday With the holiday season’s arrival, my inbox is quickly filling with emails about Black Friday and other shopping deals, which are always tempting, but also, to be honest, a bit overwhelming. As such, I’m currently pondering the alternatives to spending money this week on more stuff that I probably don’t need... A note: this post isn’t to shame Black Friday shoppers! For many families, this day is an opportunity to buy gifts and have fun with each other. And for many low-income folks, Black Friday is the only way they can afford “extras” such as Christmas presents, new electronics, or new clothes.  But, if you don’t need to buy anything this year, or if you’re like me and grow easily overwhelmed in shopping malls, there are plenty of other choices for the day after Thanksgiving. Shop small and local. While shopping online is incredibly convenient—how else can one order Christmas presents while eating leftovers in pajamas?—consider getting out of the houses to support businesses in your community, many of which host Black Friday events just like larger chains.  Local pop-up markets and craft fairs like downtown Renton’s Small…Read more

  • Six Historic Homes from Seattle’s Colorful Past

    November 22, 2019 /
    Pickett Street Properties Team /

    Six Historic Homes from Seattle's Colorful Past With its ancient Northwest tribal cultures to its secret underground city to the rum-runners during Prohibition, Seattle hosts some rich history. Luckily for us, several fragments of these stories remain, in the form of historical homes around the area. If you’re interested in buying or selling your own home, historic or not, let Pickett Street help you (info@pickettstreet.com or (425) 502-5397). In the meantime, here a few historic homes if you’re in need of a fun distraction. San Fermo Seattle This Italian restaurant occupies an old pioneer house built in the 1880s. Originally located in the International District, the city eventually moved it to the Ballard Avenue Landmark District to protect it from demolition. The house is a small, carpenter-built, vertical plank, wooden structure, typical of the late 1800s. The Duwamish Longhouse and Cultural Center Though the existing longhouse is not an original structure, the Duwamish tribe built it on a major historical site (Duwamish Site No. 1), the location of two ancient villages called Ha-Ah’-poos (“Where there are Horse Clams”) and Tohl-ahl-too (“Herring House”). Hundreds of families lived in these villages. The longhouse comprises traditional Salish elements, including carved cedar posts and…Read more

  • The Most Effective Ways to Winterize Your Northwest Home

    November 15, 2019 /
    Pickett Street Properties Team /

    The Most Effective Ways to Winterize Your Northwest Home Nearly every winter without fail, my parents lose power for an unpredictable length of time, from a few hours to several days. They live in a lovely home in the woods in Gig Harbor, and their house is surrounded by tall evergreens, which, though beautiful, tend to topple over or drop large branches onto the power lines whenever it’s windy or snowing. Also every year without fail, my siblings and I gently suggest that they invest in a generator. (One year my brother even bought them this baby for Christmas.) My parents always reply that generators use too much power, are noisy, etc., and insist that they like living Little-House-on-the-Prairie-style every winter, with candles and canned soup and coffee on the wood-burning stove. To each their own. It is true, however, that you don’t have to go to the extremes of buying a generator to winterize. Here are the most effective ways to prepare your Pacific Northwest home this winter. Gutters, downspouts, sprinklers, and hoses Clear your gutters of any debris that has collected throughout the fall. This is especially important for Northwest homes, which experience large volumes of rain throughout…Read more

  • Cozy Island Getaways Around the Puget Sound

    November 11, 2019 /
    Pickett Street Properties Team /

    Cozy Island Getaways Around the Puget Sound The stretch right before Thanksgiving often feels like one of the hardest periods in the work year—the weather is turning colder and damper, and many of us feel tired, a little burned out, and badly in need of a pause. This last weekend, Pickett Street enjoyed a team retreat on Vashon Island, and the team highly recommends that you take some time out for yourself, too!   Every year the team takes a day away from the business and the office to reflect, connect and plan for the year ahead. This is critical when it comes to ensuring that all team members are on the same page and understand the history of the team. 2020 is going to be an epic year for Pickett Street.   If you’re longing to get away, but don’t have the time or money to go far, you might consider that the Puget Sound area is known for its gorgeous islands. With the currently chilly fall weather,            islands can offer weekend getaways or day trips with plenty of opportunities to bundle up and enjoy fresh air, views, and good food.   Vashon Island…Read more

  • A Guide to Seattle’s Halloween and Día de los Muertos Celebrations

    November 1, 2019 /
    Pickett Street Properties Team /

    A Guide to Seattle’s Halloween and Día de los Muertos Celebrations How was everyone’s Halloween last night? My husband and I sat on the couch and graded student papers, but at least we got to eat candy and humiliate our dog by dressing him up in one of these.  Luckily for those of us who work during the week, this weekend brings more spooky festivities to celebrate Halloween and Día de los Muertos, or Day of the Dead. If you’re interested in investing in real estate in the Seattle area, the first item on your agenda this weekend should be to contact Pickett Street at info@pickettstreet.com or (425) 502-5397. Then, check out one or more of the Seattle area events listed below.   Día de los Muertos: 1. Día de los Muertos Community Night Out  Where: Seattle Art Museum When: Friday, November 1st, 7-9pm Cost: FREE What: Every year, SAM hosts this celebration featuring a tapete (sand painting) installation inspired by Oaxacan traditions, a dance performance, and lots of art activities.  2. Court in the Square Where: Pioneer Square When: Friday, November 1st, 8pm Cost: $50 What: While this event is more expensive than the others, the price includes a…Read more