Supplement to the Federal Way Mirror, Auburn Reporter, Covington Maple Valley Reporter and Kent Reporter
5 Rules for a More Organized Home in the New Year Store Décor Wisely
(StatePoint) After the hectic holidays, it’s no surprise that many people commit to getting better organized in the new year. There are plenty of reasons why people obsess over organization and resolve to master it year after year. Household items become easier to find. Rooms all of a sudden seem bigger and more welcoming. Each walk past a tidy linen closet -- where there was once an avalanche waiting to spill forward -- comes with a small sense of accomplishment. Whether you’re after smarter storage or looking to cut clutter, successful resolutions begin with a thoughtful approach.
Everyone loves holiday decorating. Taking down decorations afterward... not so much. It’s difficult to preserve items in a haphazard collection of cardboard boxes, plastic bags and mismatched bins, all crammed into the corner of a garage or basement. Stepping up storage containers can make a big difference. For a wide selection of storage solutions specifically designed for holiday décor, check out Improvements, which offers everything from ornament and gift wrap organizers to wreath and garland storage bags. Keep a Place for Everything Nobody likes wasting time gathering or searching. Make storage more convenient and efficient by streamlining. Items frequently used together should be kept together, from coffee supplies to vehicle maintenance tools.
While it’s fun to dream about a large-scale routine reset, smaller sustainable actions are key to lasting change. Take it one room or even one drawer at a time to keep momentum positive and to avoid feeling overwhelmed. Doing so also allows you to focus, leading to more creative solutions for taking advantage of under-utilized areas. For example, you may find using over-the door organizers a great way to free up space in home offices and craft rooms.
Say “No” to Clutter
Everyone has items they keep around for no real reason that aren’t particularly meaningful and don’t serve a purpose. Being able to objectively identify these items makes everything easier.
Make a Plan
Paring down possessions doesn’t have to be painful. That cardinal shaped cookie jar that you’ve always been on the fence about? It would make an incredibly thoughtful “just because” gift for an ornithology-obsessed aunt. Often, less can literally be more: Consignment shops and eBay make it easy to turn four or five pieces of furniture you “kind of like” into one piece you absolutely love.
Create a schedule so nothing is overlooked. Knowing which project is next gives you time to prepare and purchase any storage items you might need. When scheduling, designate specific rooms and spaces for certain seasons. For example, the first warm days of spring are made for cleaning out the shed or garage. More organizational inspiration can be found by visiting improvementscatalog.com. Successful resolutions are essentially new habits that become part of a lifestyle. Deliberately choosing to incorporate small acts of organization on a daily basis will pay off tremendously throughout the year.
Weatherization 101: 4 Ways to Get a Warmer Home this Winter (StatePoint) Dreading the cold drafts and rising heating bills that come with winter? You’re not alone. Nearly two-thirds of Americans live in homes that need to be weatherized to improve heating efficiency and maximize comfort, but many still don’t take the time to do so, according to a survey conducted by OnePoll for Duck brand. Why? The cold reality is that most people simply don’t know what to buy or where to start when it comes to weatherizing
their homes. But, preparing your house for chillier weather can be as easy as following some step-by-step instructions or consulting a brief how-to video. Here are a few tips to get started. 1. Secure Seals by Weatherstripping. Windows and doors are the two largest draft sources in any home, leading to high heating costs and an uncomfortable living environment. For these reasons, they should be top priorities.
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To combat these sneaky air leak spots, use high-strength weatherstripping, such as Duck brand MAX Strength Silicone Weatherstrip Seal. This strong, flexible material makes it easy to seal gaps of different sizes around windows and doors. 2. Dodge Door Drafts. Assess your doors for potential drafts and energy loss, as everyday wear and tear can wreak havoc on thresholds and door seals. Depending on the door style, there are several solutions that provide multiple layers of protection, such as door shoes, draft seals and door sweeps. Most are easily customizable to meet your door width simply by cutting the product down to size. Online videos can provide step-bystep instructions that show you exactly how to install a variety of different door weatherization solutions. 3. Winterize Windows. There are additional defenses for your windows, such as Duck brand Roll-On Window Insulation Kits. With a few simple steps, you can insulate windows while
maintaining a crystal-clear view. These kits offer a pre-taped top for quick and easy roll-on film installation. Plus, there’s no measuring required and they fit snugly to window frames for the duration of the winter season. To learn how, watch this how-to video: youtube.com/ watch?v=ZY8qialgEW0. 4. Cover Sneaky Attic Entranceways. Finally, don’t forget about attic access openings or pulldown stairs as a source of air leaks. Since they’re usually not insulated, they can be a considerable culprit of energy loss in your house. How do you prevent this? An attic stairway cover is a simple solution to combat heat loss. Plus, they’re flexible, lightweight and easily repositioned to maintain direct access to the attic. For more project ideas and product information, visit DuckBrand.com. Don’t be left in the cold this winter. By taking a few measures, you can prepare your home against drafts and air leaks during the wintry months.
How to Find an Affordable Home in Today’s Market (StatePoint) Affordable housing is in high demand in cities and counties nationwide. Experts say that areas grappling with affordable housing issues may find factory-built homes to be a powerful tool in addressing this need. Built in a factory and delivered to home sites, this efficient process translates into lower production costs that are passed on to the consumer. The good news is while manufactured homes cost less than site-built homes they are just as high quality. The average new manufactured home costs around $70,600. The cost for a smaller new single-section home can be as low as $20,000. In 2016, manufactured homes accounted for 80 percent of all new homes sold under $150,000. Unfortunately, when many people think of manufactured housing, the old stereotype of a run-down trailer park enters their minds. However, most of the more than 37,000 manufactured housing communities in the U.S. are a far cry from that negative image, boasting amenities like community centers, organized activities and children’s play areas. Other benefits may include: • The option to rent an existing home in the community or place your own home in the community.
• Provided services, which often include professional property management, care and maintenance of common grounds, as well as resources and amenities like trash removal, community centers, playgrounds, storage and laundry facilities. • The possibility of not paying real estate taxes. While it varies state-tostate, residents of land-lease manufactured home communities often don’t pay real estate taxes, but rather, pay a personal-property tax, offsetting the cost of land-lease rents for the homeowner.
buyer’s desires, as well as customization opportunities, including interior features like vaulted ceilings, fireplaces and state-of-the-art kitchens and baths. They also feature enhanced energy efficiency in an era of rising energy costs, thanks to upgraded insulation and more efficient heating and cooling systems than homes from decades ago. Smart buyers also are turning to ENERGY STAR-labeled manufactured homes for additional savings. Modern manufactured homes are among the safest housing choices today, as homes must adhere to strict federal building standards. All aspects of construction are continually inspected by professionally trained third-parties, and homes feature smoke detectors, and limited combustible materials around furnaces, water heaters and kitchen ranges, as well as wind resistance in areas prone to hurricaneforce winds. “The need for quality, affordable housing has never been greater. However, today’s manufactured homes are high-quality and cost up to 50 percent less per square foot than conventional site-built homes,” says Richard Jennison, president and CEO of the Manufactured Housing Institute. “These savings are allowing more Americans to own a home in the face of an everwidening housing affordability gap.”
• Affordable homeownership, along with many of its benefits, including control over home and yard improvements, as well as convenient parking. • A sense of community. In many communities, there are social or activity clubs, fitness amenities, and friendly and caring neighbors. Indeed, “sense of belonging” is among the most frequent responses about why residents enjoy living in a land-lease community. Newer manufactured homes come in a variety of architectural styles and exterior finishes that will suit most any
THE MARKET IS STILL ENJOYING A HOT STREAK
The hot housing streak will continue for the sixth straight year in 2018. “Similar to 2017, the Puget Sound housing market is poised for another year of intense sales activity for new listings”. – J. Lennox Scott, Chairman & CEO of John L. Scott Real Estate If you’re selling, you’re hoping for another year of record price appreciation…and another year of record low inventory. When those two things occur, it’s a perfect storm for sellers, who will net the highest possible dollar when they sell.
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With the market being at an all time high, you deserve the best treatment for your sale and purchase of a new home. Our team sells on average one house per week, and would love to make yours the next one!
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Buyers, on the other hand, want to see the exact opposite. They want to time their purchase when the market is in their favor, so as to increase opportunities and keep their costs as low as possible.
HERE’S WHAT WE THINK YOU CAN EXPECT IN 2018: •
We’re going to continue to be in a “seller’s market”. Expect to continue to see low number of homes for sale (at least through March), which means multiple offers may continue to be the norm for desirable homes.
Prices in areas close to job centers will likely rise by 8% over 2017 levels. This would certainly apply to my market area of Kent, Covington, Maple Valley, Auburn and Renton.
By late spring, more homes should come on the market. If you’re thinking
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of selling, listing earlier in the year might mean a higher sales price for you. And if you’re a buyer, you can be hopeful that more opportunities will exist for you at that time.
Interest rates will rise, but not dramatically. Right now, rates are in the low 4% range. Those are anticipated to be in the mid 4% range by the end of the year. Although low in terms of a historical perspective, even slight increases in rates can have an impact on a buyer’s ability to qualify for the home of their dreams.
If you’re considering a purchase, let’s talk. I want to help arm you with every possible advantage. Sellers, you’re still in the driver’s seat (at least for now). However, there are things you can do to maximize your returns – even in a market where you have the upper hand.
Smart Home Savvy: 6 Ways to Add Technology to Your Living Spaces (StatePoint) A smart, connected home is what’s in style. In fact, since 2014, research shows smart technology has increased in priority during renovations, especially for first-time home buyers. Wondering what options are out there? Here are six ways to add tech to your space. 1. Stay Cool and Comfortable. Certain smart thermostats on the market today intuitively understand when to turn on heating or cooling equipment based on your home’s unique energy profile, the weather outside and thousands of other data points -- making sure you’re comfortable 24/7. Some units even claim to save homeowners enough energy to pay for themselves. 2. Design the Perfect Shower. The first Wi-Fi/cloud-based digital shower on the market, U by Moen shower, allows users to precisely set shower temperature and flow with an in-shower digital controller or from their smartphone, thanks to a helpful app. Need extra snooze time? Power on the shower from bed and it will alert you when it’s ready. Picky about your shower preferences? The ability to set up to 12 custom pre-sets in the app ensures you get your perfect shower every time.
3. Keep Your Eye on Fido. Ever wonder what your dog is up to while you’re away at work? Now, there are fun, tech-based ways to check in on furry friends. HD pet cameras enable owners to monitor their pets with a wide-angle view, day and night. Some even offer an app that allows owners to toss a treat to their dogs or play a game of catch. Plus, a barking sensor sends notifications to your phone so you can see what’s happening and calm down your pooch via two-way chat.
4. Be Hands-Off in the Kitchen. Imagine the convenience of having a kitchen faucet turn water on or off, without a touch. Faucets with Moen’s MotionSense Wave touchless technology feature single-sensor hands-free activation, allowing users to easily activate the faucet with the wave of a hand. It’s perfect for when your hands are too full or messy to turn on the faucet, and also helps minimize the spread of dirt and germs, since you don’t have to touch the faucet.
5. Create the Right Ambiance. The perfect lighting is now right at your fingertips. Instead of a regular incandescent bulb, smart lightbulbs allow homeowners to control lighting with a few taps on your smartphone or tablet. Want to turn on lights when you’re away or adjust their brightness and color? No problem. What’s more, the bulbs last longer and even help save energy. 6. Make Food Prep Smarter. Not sure how to blend your favorite concoction? Vitamix Ascent Series blenders have you covered. These high-performance, Bluetooth-enabled blenders are compatible with a family of Self-Detect Containers that sense which container is being used and automatically adjust settings. The Ascent Series machines also connect and communicate with the Vitamix Perfect Blend Smart Scale and Recipe App to seamlessly guide you through recipe preparation. From customizing your kitchen to creating a luxurious bathroom, smart home devices can now cater to your preferences, elevating everyday experiences.
Don’t Let Cold Weather Delay Important Energy Saving Home Upgrades (StatePoint) Think you missed this year’s season to make energy efficient exterior upgrades? Many homeowners are reluctant to start exterior remodeling improvements in the cooler months because they worry about the potential to let in a draft during the installation process. In reality, this is one of the times of year you will most feel the impact of an upgrade to energy-efficient windows, doors and insulated siding, and the remodeling can be done with minimal impact on the comfort of your home.
Here are a few reasons not to delay:
Timing Winter can be an ideal time to initiate upgrades. By taking care of your project now, you avoid the busier spring season. Plus, the sooner you make enhancements that increase efficiency and comfort, the sooner you can reap those benefits. Why let another winter pass you by feeling chilly in your home and paying for wasted energy?
Innovations in home remodeling are making year-round upgrades easier than ever. For example, Window World, America’s largest exterior remodeler, can use one-to-one window and door installation methods, meaning one unit is replaced at a time. By fully sealing the perimeter inside and out using caulk designed to withstand temperature extremes, installation professionals can minimize a home’s exposure to the elements during the replacement process.
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The U.S. Department of Energy estimates that nearly 50 percent of a household’s annual energy consumption goes to heating and cooling. The right exterior updates can offer curb appeal while also keeping your home comfortable. Today’s highly efficient window systems can provide substantial savings for your home. Check out new technologies, such as SolarZone Low-E Glass, which uses a microscopic, metallic coating on the interior surface of an insulating glass unit. This coating keeps your home warmer in the winter and cooler in the summer. Such glass packages
also include features like Argon gas between the glass lites, which has a low thermal conductivity and high density, making it an ideal insulating agent. Another efficient enhancement you shouldn’t delay is insulated siding. It provides a thermal barrier between you and the outside elements, helping to lower energy bills throughout the year. In addition, the insulative backing improves durability, minimizing the appearance of common dings. Lastly, entry doors can be beautiful, durable and high performing. For example, the fiberglass doors offered by Window World provide considerable insulating improvement over wood. While maintaining the aesthetic appeal of traditional doors, the longlasting materials stand up to severe conditions to create an exceptional barrier to the outdoor elements. Don’t wait until the birds are chirping and the flowers are blooming to improve home comfort. Enjoy your home in winter and summer alike, with an environment that’s as comfortable and efficient as it is beautiful. To learn more about energy efficiency and high-quality exterior products, visit www.WindowWorld.com.
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Six Ways to Bring Warmth into Your Home this Fall (StatePoint) With the shorter days and cooler nights of fall can come the urge to hibernate. But first prepare yourself and your home for the season with these cozy and warm accents that will make time spent indoors cozier. 1. Incorporate Metallic Décor. While you’re breaking out the pumpkins, cornstalks and cornucopias, take a different approach this season and incorporate copper or brass accents. These metallic items will elevate décor, and the orange and yellow tones will complement the changing leaves outside. Try picking out a unique candelabra or vase or small decorative pieces to style the room. 2. Makeover the Fireplace. Fireplace season is on the horizon, so start thinking about new ways to make it the focal point of a room. Try painting it with a subtle whitewash for a look that will instantly revive brick and brighten the space. Before you get started, prep the fireplace by scrubbing brick with a wire brush to remove any residue. Then, tape off any areas you don’t want painted with a quality painter’s
tape like FrogTape brand painter’s tape, to prevent paint bleed and achieve professional-looking results. 3. Layer, Layer, Layer. Bare floors can make your home feel chilly. Warm up a space by layering area rugs on hardwood floors or to an already carpeted area. Not only will this add color and texture to a room, the extra cushioning will ensure feet avoid the cold, so you can keep your slippers tucked away.
4. Update the Guest Bedroom. With the holidays on the horizon, there’s no better time to give your guest bedroom a cozy update. Surprise overnight guests by painting the room a moody green or blue that is on trend and sets a relaxing tone. Don’t forget to incorporate little touches like books or a plant on the nightstand to make them feel at home. 5. Update Window Coverings. Heavy drapes keep out drafts and make a room feel luxurious. Switch
out summer sheers for curtains with a heavier weight, or layer drapes for an elegant look. 6. Don’t Underestimate the Power of White Paint. Vibrant doesn’t always have to mean using bold colors. Make a space feel brand new again by repainting wood trim a crisp white color. It may seem like a tedious task, but with a little effort, you can completely transform a room. Start by filling in any imperfections, sanding and cleaning the surfaces to be painted. Then, you’ll want to tape off the wall next to the trim so your handiwork looks like that of a professional. For this job you’ll want a quality product like FrogTape painter’s tape, treated with patented PaintBlock Technology, to help ensure your work looks professional and allows you to achieve the sharpest paint lines possible. When painting trim, opt for a semi-gloss paint to make elements stand out. For different project inspirations, visit FrogTape.com. Grab your pumpkin spice latte and start adding little touches like these to your home, for a cozy and stylish season.
How to Be More Creative in the New Year (StatePoint) Those with creative or artistic aspirations know that consistently staying motivated and inspired is easier said than done. Whether you’re a songwriter, a poet or a visual artist, these triedand-true habits and new tools can help you to create your best work in the new year.
ing, organizing, searching and sharing work, doodles and edits easy. And because it works on a replaceable five-year battery, users don’t have to worry about chargers or outlets, making it a convenient tool to use wherever inspiration strikes.
Set up a Work Space
A little bit of me-time goes a long way. Carve out some space each week for your own pursuits beyond the time spent working on projects. Learn where and when you do your best thinking, brainstorming and reflection. Is it on a morning walk through the park? Do you need complete silence? Don’t be afraid to request some solitude from loved ones. This may also be a good opportunity to disconnect from your devices for a bit. Leave your phone off or at home so you aren’t tempted to distract yourself.
New technology can actually inspire you to be more creative,
revolutionizing the way you plan, design and write by hand. For example, many creative people are turning to devices called eWriters, electronic tablets which combine the functionality of notepads, sketchbooks, memo books and more, and which offer unique features you don’t get with traditional pen and paper. For example, Blackboard by Boogie Board is the first ever
writing tool featuring Liquid Crystal Paper for a comfortable, natural inkless pen on paper-like writing (and erasing) experience with no lag or delay. Its transparent writing surface allows users to write on any document, photo, map or digital screen, and several templates are included, such as lines, grids and more, which is ideal for collaborative editing. A free app makes sav-
While you should be prepared to create wherever the spirit moves you, having a dedicated workspace at home is a good idea. Be sure it’s comfortable, away from distractions and brightly lit. Make it a space you want to spend time. Add flowers or plants, artwork and other items that inspire you.
Who do you most admire? You may get inspired by learning more about your greatest artistic heroes. Read their biographies to learn what made them tick and how they spent their days. This New Year, resolve to adopt new habits. Innovating the ways that you work can help you to be more creative.
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Why Five Star Painting
Our team uses Sherwin Williams and Benjamin Moore paint. From using the best equipment and products to making sure our clients always feel heard, at Five Star Painting we do everything we can to stay ahead of the game and ensure a good experience.
Let Our House Painters Color Your World! Learn why choosing Five Star Painting could be the best move for your residential or commercial painting project! Our customers rely on us and return to us. We believe that our company values and dedication to our clients sets us apart. Some of the core principles of our company include the following: • Professional Expertise • Superior Quality • Clean Work Area • On Time • On Budget
Five Star Quality. Without the Five Star Price. We’re on a mission: to capture your dreams and enhance your lifestyle by adding color to your world! Painting a home is about more than just paint. There is an emotional benefit to painting and to creating a space that reflects your personality, interest, and dreams. At Five Star painting, we understand the importance of your paint job. We know how valuable painting can be and what a difference the perfect paint job can make in any space—big or small! We handle both commercial and residential jobs, providing interior and exterior jobs that focus on quality and customer satisfaction.
Exterior Painting Services Residential Painting from Our Expert Teams
We provide professional exterior painting services to enhance your home with paint.
Exterior Painting Preparation Tips for Home Owners You can make prep work go quickly and smoothly by doing some prep of your own. The following is a helpful checklist to follow to ensure your home’s exterior is ready prior to the Five Star Painting professionals arriving at your home. Before Five Star Painting Pressure Washes Your Home: • Trim back landscaping to allow painters close access to siding and trim • Move items, such as potted plants and/or lawn furniture, to allow close access to siding and trim • Make sure water spigots are in good working order for pressure washing • Close your windows on pressure washing days • Check window sills for water after pressure washing is completed Before Five Star Painting Begin Prep and Painting: • Have paint colors selected approximately one week prior to scheduled painting • Move items, such as potted plants and/or lawn furniture, to allow close access to siding and trim • Ensure that the painters will have access to electrical outlets • Designate a safe area where the crew can leave their ladders and miscellaneous equipment • Coordinate your painting plans with other potential tradespeople working on your project • Reschedule lawn service and turn off sprinklers while your house is being painted • Unlock windows on the days they are painted – it is necessary to open and shut • Ensure access to doors that will need to be painted, as they may need to be open for several hours on the day they are painted Call us Today for a Free Estimate at 253.561.8494
Paint Your World with Five Star Painting! Did you know color can make all the difference? The right paint job can transform your property from bland to bright and beautiful! Five Star Painting knows color! Not only do we leave behind a perfectly finished surface—that’s all we leave behind. When you choose Five Star Painting, you can expect a clean work area and a job well done.
Ask about our Financing Options The sooner you get in touch with us, the sooner we can help you make your house your home. Remember: We offer two-year warranties on our residential painting projects.
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