Author: Schwab Realty

Socially Distant Things to do in Sequim This Summer

Sequim and the greater Clallam County area have fared pretty well when it comes to the COVID-19 pandemic, though we still expect this summer to be a drastically different one than normal. The famous Sequim Lavender Festival has been canceled, as have a number of other events and activities that normally take place in the summer.  Even so, there are still a number of wonderful things to do in Sequim that offer some natural social distancing.  As the threat of the pandemic passes and the state begins to reopen to things like travel, we hope you’ll consider spending some (careful) time in Sequim this summer and supporting the many wonderful small businesses here.

Downtown Sequim is a charming place, with a variety of locally-owned businesses that make it unique.  Without their typical summer crowds, Sequim Lavender farms will be happy to see your smiling faces (behind masks, of course) visiting their beautiful fields, and supporting them in whatever way possible.  Between visits to downtown businesses and lavender farms, we invite you to spend some time staying socially distanced and enjoying the many wonderful things to do in Sequim this summer.

Things to do in Sequim that Support Social Distancing

We hope that, at least in part, we can celebrate the bounty of Sequim with you this summer and fall. Tourism is important to the small town of Sequim, with people visiting here from all over the world to enjoy the variety of things to do in Sequim.  A few of these things include biking the Olympic Discovery Trail, visiting the Dungeness National Wildlife Refuge, hiking in the Olympic National Forest and Olympic National Park, and visiting the area’s world-famous lavender farms during the annual lavender festival.

Things to do in Sequim that Encourage Social Distancing

We don’t like seeing the town of Sequim closed down to tourism anymore than you do, though for the health and wellbeing of our community it’s been an important part of the process.  As we inch closer to reopening, you can feel the palpable excitement from residents and small business owners.  Luckily, Sequim does have quite a few things going for it when it comes to welcoming visitors and embracing social distancing.

Of all the incredible things to do in Sequim, getting outside and enjoying this exceptionally beautiful area is at the top of the list.  Luckily for us, with so many places to go out and explore, it’s pretty easy to maintain proper social distancing while in Sequim. Whether you’re into hiking, biking, boating, fishing, birdwatching, or soaking up Mother Nature’s beauty in other ways, there are a whole host of exciting and fun things to do in Sequim. Here are just a few of the things we hope to share with you this summer when you do visit.  Of course, always remember to practice social distancing where needed, and bring your mask along with you, too.

  1. Hike out the 5.5 miles (one way) to the Dungeness Lighthouse.  Though there do tend to be a number of visitors to the Dungeness National Wildlife Refuge, few of them make the 11-mile journey to the lighthouse.  The farther you get away from the start of the trailhead, the fewer people you’ll likely encounter.  There, you can focus on enjoying the resplendent nature around you, and take the time to appreciate this exceptionally beautiful part of the world.
  2. Bike down the Olympic Discovery Trail. Stretching from Port Townsend to La Push, this incredible trail takes you through some of the most magnificent scenery of the Olympic Peninsula.
  3. Take the time to visit one (or more) of Sequim’s Lavender Farms.  Visiting these farms is one of the most popular things to do in Sequim. Though we’re not quite sure what this process will look like quite yet, Sequim’s Lavender Farms are working on a solution that still allows guests to visit and experience the beauty of these rolling purple fields for themselves, all the while keeping themselves and others safe and protected.
  4. There are few better ways to practice social distancing than to get out on the water.  There are miles and miles of open water in the Sequim area, which means it’s the perfect place to go boating or kayaking.
  5. Enjoy a day in the mountains.  From the Olympic National Forest to the Olympic National Park, there are an incredible number of wonderful hiking trails in the area.  They range in distance and difficulty, but each one of them is just as rewarding as the next.

Things to do in Sequim that Encourage Social Distancing

Are you Moving to Sequim?

If you’re moving to Sequim this summer or later this year or next, let us be the first to welcome you to the area.  There are an incredible number of things to do in Sequim, and no shortage of ways to enjoy the scenic beauty of the Pacific Northwest.  If you are still in the market for a new home or need any help settling into the area, our Sequim Real Estate Agents are here to help.  We’re passionate not just about buying and selling real estate, but also about the incredible community we call home.  Sequim truly is a wonderful place to live, and we hope to share it with you. Contact us today!

 

How Sequim Weather Compares to the Olympic Peninsula

Sequim weather is something of a hot topic in the area and is often a major considering for people looking to move here.  The weather here is definitely unique, and if we’re honest, it’s one of the things we like about living here though most — aside from the friendly and welcoming community, and the incredible natural beauty of the area, of course. The weather here is also a bit different than what you’ll experience on the majority of the Olympic Peninsula, and even most of western Washington.

Over the years, Sequim has earned itself a variety of nicknames, including “the blue hole” and “the banana belt,” and the town also likes to boast more sunny days than the rest of Western Washington – though this topic is usually up for some level of debate. Even so, life is different here.  Summer is coming, and it’s a popular time to buy and sell real estate.  If you’ve been looking at moving to Sequim, the sunny days of spring and summer are a great time to do it.  Contact our Sequim Real Estate Agents for more information.

Understanding Sequim Weather Before You Move

So, what is it that makes Sequim weather so much different than the rest of the Olympic Peninsula?  It has everything to do with our location relative to the Olympic Mountain range, and the rainshadow effect that is produced by them. Though we often like to brag about Sequim enjoying the best weather on the Peninsula, the neighboring towns of Port Townsend and Port Angeles are also located in the rainshadow of the Olympic Mountains.

Understand Sequim Weather patterns

In general, it can be said that Sequim enjoys up to 5x as many sunny (or at least mostly sunny) days as those in the Seattle area. Sequim gets an average of 17 inches of rain per year, which is more than 10 inches less than Seattle and the US National average. It’s also far less rain than cities further out on the coast, like Forks, enjoy. Forks has the distinction of being labeled the “wettest town on the Olympic Peninsula,” and its proximity to the Hoh Rainforest is probably a good indicator of just how wet it really is (up to 115 inches of rain every year!).

And, of course, we have these relatively drier, sunnier days to thank for the incredible range of outdoor activities there are to do up here. Sequim weather really does make a difference when it comes to the quality of life, and that is something that should be at the top of your list of considerations when choosing a new place to live or retire!

Why Should You Live in Sequim?

Well, obviously, Sequim weather is a big draw to the area, and we think it’s an important consideration, too.  The Pacific Northwest has a relatively poor reputation as being somewhere that’s always dark, gray, and wet.  That’s not really true, as any summer day in the Pacific Northwest will prove, but it’s a persistent impression from the rest of the world nonetheless.  So, before you relocate to a town as charming as Sequim, the weather really is an important consideration.

Thankfully, with abundant sunny, dry days, we think the weather here is suitable for just about everyone. It’s a rare occasion that it gets too hot or too cold in Sequim, and, in true Goldilocks fashion, Sequim’s mixture of dry and wet days is just right.

Understand Sequim Weather patterns

But there’s so much more to Sequim than the glorious weather.  Sequim is also a fairly small town, and thus offers a home that is quaint and friendly, with the perfect combination of small-town-vibes and big-city amenities. There’s excellent healthcare in Sequim, a wonderful variety of large and small stores, and top-notch community amenities. Moreover, it’s possible to stay active and outdoors in Sequim throughout the entire year. Whether you enjoy hiking, biking, fishing, boating, long walks on the beach, and just visiting with friends and family, there’s more than enough to do in Sequim.

Instead of asking yourself why you should move to Sequim, you should be asking the question why not Sequim.  It’s a question only you can answer for yourself, but when you’re ready to move our Sequim Real Estate agents are here to help.  Contact us today!

 

 

10 Fun Facts About Sequim You Might Not Know

10 Fun Facts ABout Sequim, WAFun facts are a great way to get to know a town, don’t you think? If you live anywhere in the greater Seattle/Puget Sound area, odds are you’ve heard about Sequim, a small town located on the Olympic Peninsula. You may have even heard of it if you live further afield!  Sequim has gained quite a bit of notoriety over the years as both a retirement destination and a surprisingly sunny one.

Washington State isn’t exactly known for its warm and sunny weather. Visit during July and August, and often even in September, odds are you’ll enjoy some typical summer weather. But for the rest of the year, rain is often in either our recent past or future. That’s not the case in Sequim, though, and that’s just one of the many fun facts you should know about this charming little town.

If you’re intrigued by Sequim and are considering moving here, our Real Estate Brokers are more than happy to help. Contact us today! Continue Reading

Sequim Events & Community Make Retirement Fulfilling

8 Sequim Events to Enjoy in RetirementOver the years, Sequim has earned itself quite a reputation for being a highly desirable place to retire. That is thanks in part to the incredible network of Sequim events and community activities that are available to you here.  It doesn’t hurt that it’s a truly beautiful (and sunny!) corner of the world, either.  People move from all over the world to Sequim to live out their golden years. We commonly get asked what IS it, exactly, that makes Sequim so desirable?

That’s a tough question to answer, but it’s one we’ll do our best to address.  It has to do with a lot of things, including the variety of Sequim events held each year, the vibrant community, the low crime rate, the relative affordability of Sequim homes, the sunny and dry weather that we enjoy (in Washington!), and the quaint and friendly nature of the stunning Pacific Northwest.  Whatever it is that’s a draw for you, let us help you plan for the most fulfilling retirement in Sequim possible.  Contact one of our Sequim Real Estate Agents today! Continue Reading

3 Basic Tips for Becoming a First-Time Homeowner 

Dreaming of becoming a first-time homeowner? Well, then you may also be worried about whether buying your first home will be a nightmare. Thankfully, this process doesn’t have to be as complicated as it may seem, especially when you keep these home buying tips in mind.

Consider Building Your New Home 

If you have specific ideas for what you want your new home to look like, then you may want to consider building a custom home. Depending on the features and location, the costs to build a custom home can run anywhere from $350,000 to $1.5 million, although more basic homes will be between $165,961 and $474,252. Your price will also depend on whether your home will include a single level or multiple levels, will be large or small, or will adhere to traditional shapes or take on a custom flow. Try to keep in mind that these costs are only related to the actual construction of your home, as you will still need to purchase land before you start building. While this may seem like a less complicated task than buying a new home, finding the right plot of land for your custom-built home is critical. You don’t want to build a massive home in a neighborhood of modestly sized houses, and you also do not want to construct your home in an area that lacks access to utilities. So, your best bet is to work with a pro who has experience.

Think About Your Financial Options 

Whether you plan on buying or building a new home, completing certain financial steps needs to be a top priority. You may have already checked most of these tasks off your list, but reviewing your credit report, remedying any mistakes, and researching home loan options are smart moves toward getting the best deal on your new home loan. Depending on your timeline, you may also want to think about saving a down payment, so that you will have more buying power and access to a wider variety of lenders. Most down payments range from 3 to 20 percent of the total home value, and if you can make the financial sacrifices needed to put this money aside you will also have a better shot at keeping up with your housing payments. This is especially important for first-time homebuyers who may not be accustomed to paying for a mortgage other costs of homeownership. Speaking of the costs of homeownership, it’s also essential for first-time buyers to consider all potential expenses involved with owning a home.

Research Your Local Real Estate Market 

Before you begin applying for home loans, you also need to have a good idea of what current home prices and real estate trends are in your area. Researching real estate is so simple these days thanks to the internet, but you also need to take a look at the local community. Some key things to look for when researching local markets include the development of new infrastructure, the rate of housing price growth, and average property taxes for neighboring cities. Taking these factors into consideration can help ensure that you get the most house for your money and that you will be able to sell your home in the future, if needed. Of course, other factors you may want to consider when searching for your new home include local crime rates, school ratings, and nearby amenities. Good schools typically top the list for homebuyers, so even if you do not have kids, you may want to research schools in your desired location. Finally, if you want to avoid doing all of this homework on your own, work with a reliable local buyer’s agent.

Buying a new home can feel like an overwhelmingly complicated process, but it doesn’t have to be. When you take the time to decide whether to buy or build, carefully review your finances, and research the local real estate market, you can rest assured that you will make the best decisions when it comes to buying a home.

Tips for Turning Your Investment Property into a Profitable Vacation Rental

Thinking of renting out your investment property as a vacation home? This can be a great way to pay off the mortgage on your second home or at least earn some extra income on the side. However, the market for vacation rentals is very competitive, so you will have to invest some time and money into your rental to transform it into an inviting place to stay. Here are some of the best ways to make your property more attractive and welcoming to short-term renters.

Invest in Security

When your property is sitting vacant between guests, it can be a target for thieves and vandals. Fortunately, you can keep an eye on your rental with the help of a reliable home security system. When searching for the right security system, you’ll come across all kinds of features, from basic alarms to cameras that you can access remotely from your smartphone. Take the time to find something that meets your needs. Not only will a good security system help to protect your valuable investment, but it will also help your guests feel safe.

You may also want to install a keyless entry system to eliminate check-in hassles and reduce the risk of intruders in your rental. For example, you can set up a smart lock that integrates with your online booking service to generate a new entry code for every rental guest. A smart lock will also let you know when people come and go, so you can monitor the activity at your rental and ensure your guests make it inside successfully.

Know When to Splurge and When to Save

Furnishing and decorating your rental can get expensive pretty quickly. Find ways to save wherever possible so you can splurge on the key items that will make your rental more appealing to guests. For example, it’s always smart to invest in a high-quality mattress and bedding to ensure your guests can enjoy a comfortable sleep. According to Lodging Media, quality of sleep is one of the most important elements of the guest experience at hotels, and the same goes for your vacation rental.

For the rest of the home, try to create a feeling of luxury without the extravagant price tag. One way to do this is to embrace minimalism with just a few statement pieces. Crate and Barrel has several excellent items that can work as decorative focal points in your rental. Since their prices can be a little on the steep side, look for an online Crate and Barrel promo code before shopping. You can also get creative with different textures, mirrors, and lighting to create a welcoming and elegant atmosphere without purchasing a lot of expensive decor.

Make Practical Design Decisions

As you decorate your rental, try not to sacrifice function for appearance. Make sure your guests have a comfortable place to relax at the end of the day, a functional kitchen for cooking quick meals, and somewhere to store luggage during their stay. You could even purchase a sleeper sofa to add two extra guests to your accommodation capacity. Keep upkeep and maintenance in mind as you make these decor decisions. For example, consider replacing carpet with more durable floors or choosing stain-proof furniture that is easier to keep clean.

Keep it Sparkling Clean

The number one vacation rental guest complaint has to do with cleanliness, according to Evolve. Since cleaning a vacation home requires a high degree of detail, consider hiring a professional housekeeping service to give everything a deep cleaning between guests. A good housekeeper will also monitor the home for damage and potential maintenance problems that should be tackled sooner rather than later. Your guests expect a sparkling clean experience every time, so come up with a solid plan for keeping everything spotless. Running a vacation rental can be a great way to get your feet wet in the world of real estate investing. It’s important to put time and care into your property to ensure your investment is a profitable success. As you set up your rental, keep these tips in mind to design a safe and comfortable rental that will keep guests coming back time and time again.

Blog content provided by Ray Flynn | DiyGuys.net, ray.flynn@diyguys.net

Helpful Tips for Renovating an Older Home

Photo Credit: pexels.com

If you have an older home, you may be thinking about taking on several do-it-yourself projects to improve your living situation and increase the overall value of your property.  However, it is important to know which projects are valuable enough to outpace the cost of the projects themselves, as well as how the age of your home might affect your ability to follow the projects through to their completion.  Here are some ways you can tell whether your home is a good fit for a do-it-yourself project, as well as which projects are worthwhile whether you plan to sell your home or stay in it for years, and when it is more cost-effective to hire a professional. Continue Reading

Practical Tips for Turning Your Garage Into a Rec Room

Image via Unsplash

There are many reasons to create a rec room at your home. It provides a space to host ping pong tournaments or get the family together for movie marathons, and it gives your kids and their friends the perfect area for a sleepover, to name a few. But really, a rec room is simply what the name suggests: a room that facilitates many different kinds of recreational activities.

Technically, you can put a rec room anywhere in your home, but most people prefer it to be away from primary living areas. One popular method is to convert the garage into a rec room. While this process is usually not quick or easy, it can go smoothly if you plan ahead. If you’re considering turning your garage into a rec room, consider these tips to help get you started. Continue Reading

Alternative Energy: The Benefits of Residential Solar Panels 

As a homeowner in Sequim, WA, you’ve probably considered investing in solar panels at some point. Whether this was a fleeting thought or a serious consideration, you might be surprised to know that the number of homeowners using solar panels is increasing. Despite their initial cost, many people are realizing that the advantages far outweigh any downsides to this form of energy efficiency. To help shed some light on your decision, here are some of the benefits of residential solar panels.

Solar panels on Sequim Residential property

Photo Credit: PixaBay https://pixabay.com/photos/solar-system-roof-power-generation-2939560/

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Declutter Your Homes Without an Expert

DeClutter your Home Without an ExpertDo you think you need Netflix and Marie Kondo to tackle the clutter in your home? Well, you may be surprised to learn that tidying up can actually be pretty easy. It can even be somewhat fun if you’re up to the task. So, how can you clean your home without a lot of hassle and headache? By using the super simple hacks we’ve suggested below to declutter and clean your home. Continue Reading