How Long Things Last

We all know that nothing lasts forever, but when everything is working fine it is easy to forget that all of the systems and appliances in your home have a finite lifespan. Keep this information in mind, whether you are buying or selling a home, budgeting for improvements, or deciding between repairing and replacing.

Here’s a brief look at some of the components of your home and their average lifespans (courtesy of the National Association of Home Builders)

 

ROOFING, SIDING, WINDOWS & DECKS. You can expect slate or tile roofs to last around 50 years, wood shingles 25-30, metal will get you about 25 years, while asphalts typically last about 20 years. The lifespan for siding can vary quite a bit. Brick will last 100 years or more, aluminum about 80 years and stucco will probably last you 25 years. Wood siding can last anywhere from 10 to 100 years depending on the climate you live in and how it is maintained. Both aluminum and vinyl windows will last 15 to 20 years, while unclad wood windows can have a life of 30 years or more. Cedar decks will average 15-25 years as long as they are properly treated and cleaned, and a high quality composite deck will last 30 years with minimal maintenance.

 

FLOORING. The natural flooring materials such as wood, marble, slate or granite will all last 100 years or more, while tile has an average life of 70-100 years. Vinyl can last up to 50 years, while laminate and linoleum will get you up to 25 years. Expect your carpet to last 8-10 years, depending on use.

 

KITCHEN & BATH. Laminate countertops can have a life of 20 years or more, but it will vary depending on use. Wood, tile and stone should last a lifetime, and cultured marble will typically see a lifespan of 20 years. You can expect your stainless steel sink to last you about 30 years, while an enamel-coated sink will give you five to 10 years. Slate, granite, soapstone and copper will be around for 100 years or more. Bathroom faucets should give you about 20 years, and toilets will average a 50-year lifespan, although some of the parts will need replacing.

 

APPLIANCES. The lifespan of appliances will vary widely depending on the appliance, the brand, model, and use. Use these average lifespan numbers as a rough guide for when it may make more sense to replace rather than repair. Gas ranges tend to have the longest lifespan of your major appliances, giving around 15 years of use. Electric ranges on the other hand, are closer to 13 years, which is also the expected lifespan for standard refrigerators and clothes dryers. Your garbage disposal should give you about 10 years of use, while the dishwasher and microwave will be around nine years. You can expect your electric furnace to last about 15 years, 18 for gas and 20 for oil-burning. Central air systems will live 10 to 15 years on average.

 

Check out the NAHB website for more information.


Posted on October 2, 2019 at 11:15 pm
Kim Harman | Posted in Uncategorized |

Rent vs. Own

The current break-even horizon* in the

Seattle Metro area is 1.69 years!

 

*The amount of time you need to own your home in order for owning to be a superior financial decision.

With expensive rental rates, historically low interest rates, and home prices softening, there are advantages to buying versus renting.

In fact, the Seattle Metro area has seen some of the sharpest rent hikes in the country over the last few years! There are several factors to consider that will lead you to make the best decision for your lifestyle and your financial bottom line. Zillow Research® has determined the break-even point for renting versus buying in our metro area. In other words, the amount of time you need to own your home in order for owning to be a superior financial decision. Currently in Seattle, the break-even point is 1.69 years – that is quick! What is so great about every month that ticks away thereafter, is that your nest egg is building in value.

I am happy to help you or someone you know assess your options; please contact me anytime.

These assumptions are based on a home buyer purchasing a home with a 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage and a 20 percent down payment; and a renter earning five percent annually on investments in the stock market.

Read the full article on the Zillow Research website here

Zillow Research® is a trademark of Zillow, Inc.


Posted on March 4, 2019 at 5:20 am
Kim Harman | Posted in Uncategorized |

5 Alternatives to a New Year’s Resolution

The pressure to come up with resolutions and improvements always mounts near the end of the year, but everyone knows that statistically speaking, most of us won’t stick to our New Year’s resolutions much past February. So rather than give in to societal pressure, guilt, and feelings of hopelessness, I propose a shift in perspective this year.

Rather than viewing the New Year as catalyst for sweeping lifestyle and character changes, let’s instead take this opportunity to renew our sense of purpose and determination. Here are five ideas to make some positive changes in a different way this year.

  1. Express Gratitude

“Gratitude can transform common days into thanksgivings, turn routine jobs into joy, and change ordinary opportunities into blessings.” -William Arthur Ward. You will be amazed at the ways your life will begin to change simply by expressing gratitude regularly. It will help you maintain a fresh perspective day in and day out, and will help to keep stress at bay. Make a list of all the things you are thankful for in your life, big and small. Take some time to really lean in to this list and reflect on each one. Especially focus on why you are thankful for each of those things.

  1. Create a list of things to look forward to

This goes hand-in-hand with gratitude. What are you looking forward to this year? A vacation, a family member getting married, a new restaurant opening, a new novel or a new season of your favorite show. By focusing on the good things coming your way, it will be easier to keep a positive and hope-filled attitude.

  1. Pick a word for the year

Before the year starts, take some time to look at the big picture of the coming year. Find the theme of what you would like to accomplish or focus on, and chose a theme word to guide you. This will give you clarity and focus. Maybe your word for the year is Intentional. Simplify. Peace. Discipline. Fun. When you have your theme word for the year, share it on oneword365.com

  1. Schedule a quarterly retreat

Life happens, and trying to balance work, family, social life, friends, and other commitments often results in very little time for you. Take some time before the new year starts and schedule yourself a quarterly one-day (or weekend!) retreat to focus on YOU. Remember, if you don’t take care of yourself, you won’t be able to take care of anyone else.

  1. Try a 30-day challenge

A 30-day challenge consists of setting a small goal that can be achieved in 30 days, as well as a small, specific action that you will take each day to achieve that goal. For example:

Declutter: every day for 30 days, choose 3 items to donate, sell, give away or throw away.

Random acts of kindness: every day for 30 days, perform a random act of kindness such as: leaving change in a vending machine; buying the coffee of the person behind you at Starbucks; send a thank you email to a coworker who deserves more recognition. Spreading kindness will always come back to you.

 

 

Happy New Year!


Posted on December 4, 2018 at 5:59 am
Kim Harman | Posted in Uncategorized |

Where to Celebrate NYE

New Year’s Eve 2018 is almost upon us, and if you are still looking for something to do, read on! There are lots of options in the greater Seattle area, whether you are looking for the biggest blow-out bash or an earlier, family-friendly event.

  1. New Year’s Eve Celebration at Seattle Center

There are actually two parties that will converge at midnight for the iconic Seattle fireworks show.

The Armory Stage will host rock band SWAY from 8pm until midnight. And at the International Fountain, you can dance the night away with live electronic music and video projection show (starts at 10pm). Tickets are required for both parties, however the big fireworks show is free to enjoy.

  1. SPECTRA: New Year’s Eve Under the Arches

The Pacific Science Center transforms on NYE with fire sculptures, drinks and live music. There will be special entertainment throughout the night, as well as the standard Science Center exhibits. At midnight, head outside for the Space Needle fireworks. Purchase tickets in advance.

  1. New Year’s Eve pARTy at Chihuly Gardens and Glass

Watch the Seattle Center fireworks from under the glass of Chihuly Gardens. The evening includes appetizers, desserts, live music and a midnight toast. Purchase tickets in advance.

  1. INDULGENCE New Year’s Eve Bash at MoPOP

Another Seattle Center option, the Museum of Popular Culture offers four 21+ parties in one. With live music on three performance stages, comedians, party favors, special VIP areas, more than 20 bars, and a special singles-only cocktail hour, this is one of the largest parties of the year. Museum access is included in the price of the party, purchase tickets in advance.

  1. Tacoma’s First Night

First Night is an all-ages, family-friendly celebration in Downtown Tacoma’s Theater District. The affordable admission price includes museums, music, art, drama, dance, and a whole day and night of activities. The cost of entry increases as the festival gets closer, so buy early to save!

  1. Nighttime Party for Families at Imagine Children’s Museum

The perfect NYE celebration if you have older kids, this pajama party features comedians, balloon makers, pizza, snacks, and educational, hands-on activities throughout the night. The fun culminates at 9pm with a ball drop.

  1. New Year’s Eve with Ivar’s Salmon House

Ivar’s on Northlake will host live music, tasty food and view of the fireworks without the crowds. Advanced reservations are required, and will range in price depending on your selections.

  1. Slamming’ Jammin’ New Year’s Eve Party

Ring in the new year with the latest in R&B, Old School, Jazz and Hip Hop music. This is a 21+, semi-formal event, and hotel packages are available with your ticket purchase.

  1. Resolution New Year’s Eve Party at WAMU Theater

A Seattle tradition for almost a decade, this 18+ party always brings a mixed crowd together for a night of dancing. This is one of the biggest EDM parties of the year.

  1. New Year’s at KidsQuest Bellevue

Celebrate the coming new year all day at KidsQuest! There are activities every hour from 10am to 4pm, including Bubble Wrap Stomp, New Year’s Hats, Storytime, glittery tattoos, and more. Admission is free with membership or museum admission.


Posted on December 4, 2018 at 5:59 am
Kim Harman | Posted in Uncategorized |

Christmas Tree Farms & Winter Activities

King County:

♦  Buttonwood Farm
14500 NE 116th St, Redmond
100% organic you-cut or white-glove delivery service, saws provided, hot chocolate and cookies

♦  Carnation Tree Farm
31523 NE 40th St, Carnation
You-cut trees, pre-cut trees, wreaths, garlands, mistletoe, Santa visits, Christmas decorations, trees baled, saws provided, hay rides

♦  Cedar Falls Tree Farm
15200 Cedar Falls Rd SE, North Bend
You-cut trees, wreaths, trees bagged & tied, saws provided, free hot cider, picnic area, porta-potties

♦  Christmas Creek Tree Farm
15515 468th Ave SE, North Bend
You-cut trees, pre-cut trees, trees baled, refreshments, hay rides, Santa on weekends, picnic areas

♦  Coates Christmas Trees
17225 SE Green Valley Road, Auburn
You-cut trees, pre-cut trees, wreaths, boughs, garlands, mistleto, Santa, trees bagged and tied

♦  Country Tree Farm
18225 116th Ave SE, Renton
You-cut trees, wreaths, holly, refreshments, Santa

♦  Crown Tree Farm
13005 424th Ave SE, North Bend
You-cut trees, pre-cut trees, wreaths and boughs, decorations, saws provided, trees bagged, free tree trimmings

♦  Crystal Creek Tree Farm
23604 SE 192nd St, Maple Valley
You-cut trees, saws provided, trees baled, cider, porta-potties

♦  Enchanted Winds Tree Farm
8021 Issaquah-Hobart Rd, Issaquah
You-cut trees, wreaths, swags, boughs, holly, gifts, decorations, crafts, trees baled, tree stands, hay wagon, trailer rides, fire pit, hot beverages

♦  Hunter Farms Fresh Cut Trees
7744 35th Ave NE, Seattle
Precut trees, mistletoe, holly, wreaths, flocking, restrooms, trees baled, fire retarding

♦  Keith and Scott Tree Farm
42999 SE 120th St, North Bend
You-cut trees, pre-cut trees, wreaths, boughs, trees tied, baled and trimmed, saws provided, bonfires, refreshments, restrooms

♦  McMurtrey’s Red-wood Christmas Tree Farm
13925 Redmond-Woodinville Rd, Redmond
You-cut trees, pre-cut trees, saws provided, wreaths, beverages, restrooms, wagon rides, tree stands

♦  Serres Farm
20306 NE 50th St, Redmond
You-cut trees, pre-cut trees, saws provided, wreaths, free hot chocolate, restrooms

♦  Snow Valley Christmas Tree Farm
17651 W Snoqualmie River Rd NE, Duvall
You-cut trees, pre-cut trees, wreaths, Santa appearances, decorations, free hot beverages, gift shop, porta-potties

Snohomish County:

♦  Bowen Tree Farm
19301 95th Ave NE, Arlington
You-cut trees, wreaths, decorations, free hot cider, gift shop, porta-potties

♦  Farmer Brown’s Tree Farm
12017 109th Ave NE, Arlington
You-cut trees, saws provided, hot beverages, flocking, gift shop, restrooms

♦  Hemstrom Valley Tree Farm
4329 Robe Menzel Road, Granite Falls
You-cut trees, saws provided, winter events, refreshments

♦  Holiday Forest
3125 280th St NW, Stanwood
You-cut trees, wreaths, boughs, saws provided, winter wagon rides, snacks and refreshment stand

♦  Lochsloy Acres
5511 State Route 92, Lake Stevens
You-cut trees, wreaths, boughs, saws provided, free coffee, cider & hot chocolate

♦  Paterson’s Lazy Acres Tree Farm
1315 188th St NE, Arlington
You-cut trees, saws provided, trees baled, wreaths, decorations, refreshments

♦  Pilchuck Secret Valley Christmas Trees
9533 Mose Rd, Arlington
You-cut trees, wreaths, swags, boughs, holly, picnic area, fire pit, hot beverages, restrooms

♦  Stocker Farms
8705 Marsh Rd, Snohomish
You-cut trees, saws provided, warming fire

♦  Wintergreen Tree Farm
13606 S Machias Rd, Snohomish
Precut trees, you choose and you cut trees, wreaths, boughs, garlands, decorations, Christmas festival, bonfires, free hot cider, gift shop, restrooms

Remember to always call the farm before you go to confirm their supply, hours, if they are allowing choose-and-cut or just pre-cut trees, and which attractions or winter activities are available. All of these things can change quickly during the short Christmas season due to weather, demand, and the farmers business conditions!

How & where to dispose of your Christmas tree


Posted on December 4, 2018 at 5:58 am
Kim Harman | Posted in Uncategorized |

Welcome to Shoreline!

Nestled along the Puget Sound, Shoreline is a city just north of Seattle. “With Interstate-5 cutting right through the middle of Shoreline, getting to and from the freeway and going south to Seattle or into Snohomish County and pointing north is easy,” shares REALTOR® Bernice Whitley. “There are several neighborhood with small hubs but for the present, Shoreline does not have a ‘downtown’ Shoreline like many cities its size. That may change with light rail coming to the city in the not too distant future.”

Described by residents as a growing, well-run city with scenic vistas and a long list of conveniences, Shoreline is a top choice for many in the region. Its excellent schools make it especially attractive to families with children in school, and its many parks, restaurants, shops, and cherished annual community events make it all the more appealing. Many people like being right next door to Seattle as well, whether you commute in for work or enjoy exploring the city.

For those who are interested in moving to Shoreline, you can expect to find a good variety of real estate. Mid-century homes, new construction, older properties, ramblers, and Lovell style homes are all in the mix.


Getting Out & About

“I love the parks in Shoreline—Hamlin Park, Paramount Park (a great place to take kids and there is a skateboard ramp there as well), Saltwater Park and Boeing Creek Park provide plenty of year-round activities.” –REALTOR® Samantha Arango

“Shoreline has an amazing, award-winning public school district, many good private schools, and the well-regarded Shoreline Community College.” –REALTOR® Jill Langer


Commuting from Shoreline

“Commuters love Shoreline because it’s halfway between Everett and Seattle, so whether someone is going to Boeing or Amazon the commute is not overly painful. Plus there are so many Rapid Ride options, transit stations nearby and soon the Light Rail. Easy back roads to Ballard and Queen Anne and just a quick trip to Edmonds to hop on The Sounder.” –REALTOR® Cori Whitaker

“[People use] mostly cars but because there is a large transit center at Aurora Village, riding the bus is very convenient. The Interurban Trail provides a great way to walk or bike & is connected to the north to Snohomish County’s & to the south to Seattle’s Interurban Trails. With 2 light rail stations coming in the future, that will only increase the options.” –REALTOR® Jill Langer


 Homes in Shoreline

“[In Shoreline there are] mid-century to newer homes with a few much older ‘homesteads’ mixed in. There are many flag lots where homes are built behind original houses—this option offers great privacy yet easy access to main roads.” –REALTOR® Jill Langer

“Many mid-century era ramblers and Lovell style homes.” –REALTOR® Samantha Arango


Want to learn more about living in Shoreline? 

Keep exploring on our blog:


Posted on August 29, 2017 at 6:54 pm
Kim Harman | Posted in Uncategorized |