Over the past several months Windermere Real Estate has supported our local local communities, assisting front line medical staff and local food banks.
Windermere brokers and staff raised over $17,500 to buy meals for medical staff on the front lines at EvergreenHealth Medical Center. Those funds purchased 1,200 meals from local restaurants – just a small token of our appreciation for all they do, and continue to do.
For the past 35 years Windermere Real Estate offices have closed on the first Friday in June for our annual Community Service Day so our 9,000 member team can head into our local communities to volunteer. This year, due to COVID-19, the decision was made to replace Community Service Day with a fundraising challenge to help local food banks and the people they serve. The Windermere Foundation pledged to match every dollar raised, up to $250,000, with the goal of donating $500,000 to food banks in the communities where we live and work. We are thrilled and appreciative to all those who donated, raising a total of $690,000 for local food banks.
WINDERMERE . . . COMING TOGETHER TO SUPPORT OUR LOCAL COMMUNITIES.
I’ve lived in Bellevue for over 30 years and downtown for the past dozen years. During the past several weeks of stay home/stay healthy I’ve logged a lot of miles around downtown Bellevue, often accompanied by two spoiled dogs. I know this city pretty well but have been surprised by the the pocket parks, public plazas and courtyards in commercial spaces and viewpoints I’ve discovered for the first time. And while currently closed, I’ve also found new coffee, dining and dessert options to put on my list to try this summer.
It’s going to be a beautiful weekend with summer-like weather predicted for several days. Wherever you live, take advantage of the sunshine and reduced traffic – ride your bike, take a walk, walk the dog, explore your neighborhood, investigate the city, visit the Botanical Gardens or Downtown Park or one of several lake front parks. You may be surprised by what you find.
Happy Mother’s Day to all the moms, grand-moms, great grand-moms and dog and cat moms.
I work from home frequently, so the adjustment to a home office over the past month hasn’t been a major change for me. I don’t have children living at home, so I can’t imagine the challenges of balancing working from home full time, parenting 24/7 and taking on the role of teacher. These new routines, along with the isolation can, no doubt, feel overwhelming.
I’ve found it helpful to stay in daily contact with family and friends, clients and business associates. We’ve shared frustrations, questions, fears, stress and anxiety, humor and ideas to help us find a path through these uncertain times. Virtual happy hours have kept us laughing and we’ve all decided to never hoard but always have ample TP in the house. (I still don’t understand the TP hoarding.)
A haircut would be such a luxury. No spa day for me, so no spa day for the pups either. Trimming a dog’s nails is a workout and it’s become very clear that dog grooming is not on my professional horizon. The groomer always says the dogs are well behaved during their visit – how does she do it?
The amazing weather has been helpful, providing the opportunity to spend time outdoors, appreciate the sun and see the day-to-day changes as azalea, rhododendron and cherry blossoms explode. Fresh air and sunshine can definitely put a smile on your face.
It will be a few more weeks until we begin to see life slowly return to normal. Stay safe. Stay healthy. Before you know it, July 4th and summer will officially be here.
Easter will be different for everyone this year. Plans and traditions will need to be adjusted which may mean coloring eggs together or sharing dinner will be done via Face Time or Zoom rather than in person. No doubt gatherings will be a bit more intimate this year.
Regardless of how you choose to celebrate this weekend, take time to reach out to family, friends and neighbors. A phone call, email, text message or Face Time conversation will have to suffice this year. Be thankful for those connections. Be safe. Stay healthy. Happy Easter.
The coronavirus health crisis has redirected everyone’s focus. We’re all searching for our “new normal”, abandoning and creating new daily routines, figuring out how to safely shop for groceries, work from home (maybe cope with the temporary or permanent loss of a job or income), home school and entertain children, balance finances and care for family, friends and neighbors.
Real estate is how I’ve earned my living for three decades. I love what I do, but right now, and for the foreseeable future, it’s anything but a priority or business as usual. I’m also trying to figure out how to navigate working from home, support elderly parents on the east coast, stay in touch with family members near and far and reach out to friends and neighbors. Staying connected with family, friends and clients has led to some creative and interesting get-togethers. Virtual coffee meetings and happy hours, with the occasional photo bomb by a family pet, has generated a much needed laugh or two.
Whatever, and whenever normal resumes, there will be plenty of time to get back to previous work and family routines. My priority is to take care of my health and my family’s health and safety. I’m fortunate to be affiliated with a company that helped set the tone for what the industry landscape should look like while Washington’s Stay Home/Stay Healthy order is in effect. Since the early days of this crisis, Windermere has taken the position “go slow and do no harm” with a goal, within strict guidelines set by the State of Washington prioritizing safety and wellness, to take care of our clients. Brokers and management worked hard to help clients who were already under contract on the purchase or sale of a home, to complete that transaction so that no one was caught between moves, but we will slow-roll new business until the coast is clear. Our priority, and one of Windermere’s core values . . . putting people over transactions . . . is more important than ever.
Take care of yourselves. Be safe and stay healthy.
Like many of you, I have been working from home for the last two weeks. Though technology allows for viewing photo galleries and virtual tours, locating neighborhoods on Google maps, reviewing documents and digitally signing documents, real estate is a person-to-person business. While the State of Washington recently determined real estate is an essential business and may continue, the guidelines and restrictions that must be followed make it difficult to continue in a safe and healthy manner for buyers, sellers and brokers.
As many of us shelter and work from home, new routines, procedures and boundaries have been created. I no longer have children living at home – I can’t imagine the time management challenges and logistics needed as you try to fill the role of teacher, parent, spouse and employer/employee. My newly hired assistants have been a big help. Their phone and texting skills are a little rough, but they’re easily compensated with walk breaks throughout the day and frequent treats.
The coronavirus health crisis has changed our lives in unimaginable ways, and will likely impact us for the rest of our lives. If your job permits, stay home, stay healthy and be safe. Be kind to one another, this is a stressful time for adults and children. If you are one of the many people putting yourselves at risk and working tirelessly to make sure our medical and practical needs are met – doctors, nurses, technicians, grocery and pharmacy employees, veterinarians, transit drivers, police, fire and emergency personnel – you are my heroes. My hope is that you, your family and friends remain safe and healthy.
The early spring real estate market was crazy with buyer demand outpacing available housing inventory. With growing concern and uncertainty surrounding the coronavirus, a few homes are being listed for sale (though far fewer than normal for this time of year) and homes sold last week.
There will always be people who have to move, have to sell or have to buy. Those people that accepted new jobs in February likely already sold the home where they lived and had started their new home search. With so few homes on the market, and seller’s hesitant to list their homes for sale in this environment, inventory will remain low. We may see buyers opt for a temporary rental and resume their plans to buy this summer when there’s more to choose from.
I’ve received many questions from clients, but with things changing on a daily, if not hourly basis, advice I may have given last week isn’t the same this week. Buying or selling a home is a major decision. Should you buy or sell now, or should you wait? It’s a very personal decision and I honestly can’t answer that question for anyone else right now.
Probably the best thing to do is take a deep breath and wait until we know more about how long we’ll need to observe appropriate social distancing, or shelter in place, or when things will get back to “normal”. Life is anything but normal right now and I don’t know anyone who isn’t stressed about their health, job, children, parents, friends, finances, etc. Stay healthy, stay happy, and stay connected. Schedule virtual coffee or happy hour with friends (Facetime is great). Call and check on family and friends. (A personal call and the sound of someone’s voice means so much more than a text or email.) Walk the dog. Read a book. Catch up on movies you missed. Play games. Complete a puzzle. Make cookies and let a neighbor know you’ll leave some on their porch. Life will return to normal, I wish I could say when, but that’s when we’ll have more information and confidence and be better equipped to make life’s important decisions.
The past few weeks/days have created concern, uncertainty and chaos in everyone’s world. Like many people, I am working at home, keeping clients advised of what’s happening in the real estate market and in their neighborhoods (homes are continuing to come on the market and sell) and responding to questions, emails and phone calls.
We’ve had amazing weather this week. Since exercise and sunshine are both good for relieving stress, I’ve made it a point to take the dogs on a couple walks each day. They too enjoy getting outside to enjoy the fresh spring smells and roll in the grass (them, not me). It’s been a great reminder that we live in an incredibly beautiful place, that we should take advantage of this amazing weather (especially for March) and that sunshine and walking are good for your soul. When will things return to normal, I can’t predict, but I do know the rain will return and we will be forced to spend more time indoors. There’s a lot going on in the world right now that is confusing and scary and that we can’t control. Along with social distancing, using appropriate caution and staying in touch with family and friends, remember to step outside, take a deep breath, enjoy the sun, take a walk and clear your head.
Thursday is the first day of spring. Happy Spring!
This year I celebrate 30 years as a Realtor® and a decade with Windermere Real Estate. Locally owned, Windermere has deep roots in the community and a commitment to support the neighborhoods where we live and work. I’m proud to support the Windermere Foundation and its efforts to support organizations assisting low income and homeless families and individuals in our local communities.
I grew up on the East coast, so was used to several snow storms every winter. School was rarely cancelled or delayed and you hardly ever got a day off work due to snow. The north and mid-Atlantic states on the East coast are prepared for snow every winter. There are more snow plows there than there are Starbucks and Teslas here in Bellevue. Still, when we occasionally get snow here it reminds me of when I was a kid and we couldn’t wait until the snow was deep enough to head to the perfect sledding streets.
The Puget Sound region doesn’t get as excited about snow – too many hills and not quite as many snow plows. I live downtown and whenever it snows I can’t wait to find my snow gear and head out for a walk. Everything seems quieter when its snowing and the skyline takes on a different look in the snow. The dogs love the snow too – they’re like little kids jumping, rolling and snow-plowing their noses through the snow. Its great fun to watch the kids build snow people and navigate their sleds down the hillside at Ashford Park. Living downtown, I have the luxury of being able to walk everywhere for anything I need – a definite advantage to urban living.
It’s Wednesday afternoon and here comes the snow again. Hope everyone makes it home safely and someone has a hot chocolate ready when you get home. Be patient . . . the days are getting longer and before you know it, it will be spring.