Windermere Foundation Reports Record Day of Giving

Every week, the Windermere Foundation disburses grants to support non-profit agencies dedicated to helping low-income and homeless families. On a given day, thousands of dollars’ worth of grants can be issued. However, on one particular day, November 15 to be exact, an amazing thing happened…the Windermere Foundation disbursed nearly $254,000. This was a record day of giving for the Windermere Foundation!

A total of 35 non-profit organizations benefited from the record-breaking $253,782 in donations that day. The largest beneficiary was Attain Housing in Kirkland, WA, which received $56,000. Their grant was funded by the Windermere Real Estate East, Inc. group of offices which are located east of Seattle in Bellevue, Redmond, Issaquah, and Kirkland. The funds will provide affordable housing to homeless families with children, as well as case management for setting financial and social goals.

Attain Housing helps homeless and at-risk families with children in King County to become stable and self-sufficient. Here’s a story of one of their recent clients:

When Jeremy and Lisa entered into Attain Housing’s program just five months ago, they had a lot of hurdles ahead of them. They were both only nineteen, had a newborn, had been homeless since they were fourteen, and had never experienced stability. As soon as they moved into one of Attain’s transitional housing apartments and began working with their case manager, Jeremy started attending a skills training program. He has since earned his GED, acquired his driver’s license, obtained a vehicle, and started full-time employment. Jeremy’s family is on track to successfully complete the program by the end of their first year, but they already have plans to move into market rate housing within the next two to three months. This is success!

According to Kathy Fleming, Executive Director at Attain Housing, “The $56,000 gift from Windermere ensures that five families (including 15 children) will have safe housing and supportive services for an entire year. This is a significant gift and the largest grant that Attain Housing has received from any organization or company. Thank you!”

The Windermere Foundation is fortunate to have generous owners, agents and staff that contribute to their offices’ Foundation fund pool. This pool of funds, combined with Windermere transaction donations, monies raised through Windermere office fundraising events, and donations from the public, allows the Windermere Foundation to disburse much-needed funding to local non-profits in the areas that our Windermere Real Estate offices serve.

If you’d like to help to help non-profits that provide services to low-income and homeless families in your area, please consider donating to the Windermere Foundation.

To learn more about the Windermere Foundation, visit

Original posting in Windermere Foundation Blog

Posted on December 4, 2017 at 11:50 pm
Stephanie Kristen | Posted in bellevue, community, giving back |

Seattle / Eastside Market Report – November 2017

Prices in our area have now been rising faster than anywhere in the country for twelve months. Sellers seem to be getting the message that now is a good time to put their home on the market. There was an increase in new inventory in October, but with homes selling rapidly, there still aren’t enough properties to meet demand. As a result, counties throughout the Puget Sound area saw year-over-year price increases in the double digits.


Click image to view full report.

The median price for a single-family home on the Eastside rose 10 percent from a year ago to $845,000. Homes in West Bellevue hit a new record median price of $2.6 million. Despite soaring prices, demand has remained strong in this desirable area. And the continued robust economy makes it unlikely that home prices here will cool any time soon.

King County

Click image to view full report.

The number of new listings in King County increased at the highest rate in more than a year. But, they were grabbed up quickly, with most homes selling in well under 30 days. The shortage of homes for sale propelled prices up, with the median home price in King County jumping 15 percent over the same time last year to $630,000.


Click image to view full report.

Seattle remains the hottest real estate market in the country, with prices rising here at more than double the national rate. Rents in Seattle are also rising faster than almost anywhere else in the country, pushing more people into the home buying market. High demand and slim supply helped boost the median price of a single-family home nearly 18 percent to $735,000.

Snohomish County

Click image to view full report.

The median price of a single-family home in Snohomish County in October was $440,000, an increase of 14 percent over the prior year. The market here may be moderating slightly. Brokers note that while multiple offers are continuing, listings are experiencing longer market times and fewer above-list price offers.

Posted on November 8, 2017 at 10:23 am
Stephanie Kristen | Posted in economy, market trends, statistics |

Just listed in Somerset

For the first time in over thirty years, this beautifully maintained home is on the market.  Just a few short blocks from Somerset Elementary, this is a perfect place to call home.  Circular floor plan with wood wrapped vaulted ceilings and a wall of windows. Room for all with four bedrooms and two baths on the main floor.  Lower level family room with a library of custom built-in cabinetry and gas fireplace.

Stop by Saturday from 1 – 4 pm or Sunday from 11 am – 3 pm.

14127 SE 50th Street, Bellevue ~ $1,125,000

Check out all the details here.



Posted on September 16, 2017 at 10:32 am
Stephanie Kristen | Posted in bellevue, listings, somerset |

Are we in a housing bubble?

As home prices in King County have reached record highs, some people are wondering whether we are approaching another housing bubble.

While it’s true that home prices here have surpassed the last peak hit during the housing bubble, that doesn’t mean we are in bubble territory today. The last bubble was fueled by faulty mortgage practices. Today, loans are granted on much more sound principles.

More importantly, the local economy is flourishing. Seattle has the fastest growing population of any major city in the country. The demand for homes, and historically low inventory, have been the catalyst for rising home prices here.

Still not convinced that there is no bubble? Let’s take a look at the statistics.
Continue reading

Posted on August 28, 2017 at 3:52 pm
Stephanie Kristen | Posted in economy, market trends, statistics |

The Gardner Report – Second Quarter 2017

Economic Overview

The Washington State economy has been expanding at a rapid pace but we are seeing a slowdown as the state grows closer to full employment. Given the solid growth, I would expect to see income growth move markedly higher, though this has yet to materialize. I anticipate that we will see faster income growth in the second half of the year. I still believe that the state will add around 70,000 jobs in 2017.

Washington State, as well as the markets that make up Western Washington, continue to see unemployment fall. The latest state-wide report now shows a rate of 4.5%—the lowest rate since data started to be collected in 1976.

I believe that growth in the state will continue to outperform the U.S. as a whole and, with such robust expansion, I would not be surprised to see more people relocate here as they see Washington as a market that offers substantial opportunity.

Home Sales Activity

  • There were 23,349 home sales during the second quarter of 2017. This is an increase of 1.1% from the same period in 2016.
  • Clallam County maintains its position as number one for sales growth over the past 12 months. Double-digit gains in sales were seen in just three other counties, which is a sharp drop from prior reports. I attribute this to inventory constraints rather than any tangible drop in demand. The only modest decline in sales last quarter was seen in Grays Harbor County.
  • The number of homes for sale, unfortunately, showed no improvement, with an average of just 9,279 listings in the quarter, a decline of 20.4% from the second quarter of 2016. Pending sales rose by 3.6% relative to the same quarter a year ago.
  • The key takeaway from this data is that it is unlikely we will see a significant increase in the number of homes for sale for the rest of 2017. Continue reading

Posted on August 6, 2017 at 3:57 pm
Stephanie Kristen | Posted in bellevue, economy, interest rates, market trends, real estate, statistics |

Seattle /Eastside Market Report – June 2017

The hottest real estate market in the country just keeps getting hotter. Despite a large number of new listings, home prices in the Puget Sound area continued to set records in May. According to a Seattle Times article, “For the first time since the 2007 housing bubble, every county in the central Puget Sound region has set a new median home price record.” Brokers hope this news will help entice more sellers to put their homes on the market.


Click image to view full report.

While down just slightly from its record high last month, the median price of a single-family home on the Eastside was up 15 percent from a year ago to $875,000. With just three weeks of inventory, those looking to buy a home can continue to count on a highly competitive market. It is key for buyers to work with a broker on a buying strategy, and to be willing to act quickly to make an offer.
Continue reading

Posted on June 13, 2017 at 9:54 am
Stephanie Kristen | Posted in economy, market trends, real estate, statistics |

Do Good While Dining Out

This month Windermere Real Estate Co. has teamed up with neighboring restaurants to Dine Well – Do Good.  Each Monday night in the month of June, Windermere Real Estate Co. is matching tips made to servers – up to $3,000 per night – and 100% of these funds will be donated to Food Lifeline, via the Windermere Foundation.

Food Lifeline is the food bank to food banks. They rescue millions of pounds of surplus food from farmers, manufacturers, grocery stores, and restaurants; then deliver this healthy and nutritious food to 275 food banks, shelters, and meal programs across Western Washington. Through their own ingenuity and clever practices, a single $1 donation can provide the equivalent of four complete meals.

Please join us in supporting local restaurant businesses while also supporting Food Lifeline and the crucial work they do. Browse through the list of participating restaurants and set your Monday night menu for the month of June!
Continue reading

Posted on June 5, 2017 at 12:30 pm
Stephanie Kristen | Posted in community, events, giving back, seattle |

Community Service Day 2017

Every year Windermere closes its offices for one day to help make a positive difference in our local communities. It all started in 1984 when a handful of Windermere owners and agents came together to make repairs at a local elementary school. Thirty years and more than one million hours of community service later, we’ve continued this tradition through neighborhood-enhancing projects in the areas where our Windermere teams live, work, and play.

Windermere Bellevue South brokers and will be working at the safe houses in North Bend with repairs around the houses, general yard work, painting, and building decks.

Want to learn more about Mamma’s Hands? Visit their website here or follow them on Facebook.

Community Service Day will take place on June 9th, 2017

Posted on June 1, 2017 at 11:07 am
Stephanie Kristen | Posted in community, giving back |

At Home in the Outdoors

More than 80 percent of Americans say they want an outdoor living space where they can relax and entertain. And it’s no wonder why. Outdoor spaces extend your livable space, add visual interest, and increase not only your quality of life, but also the overall value of your home. (In some cases, the increase in your home’s value can cover most or all of the cost to create the new space.) Here are some options to consider:


Decks are still the most popular outdoor living spaces, not only because they work so well for entertaining and relaxing, but also because they have the highest return on investment (see the Tips column for data).

Surprisingly, wood decks (made of cedar or pine) are actually the better financial investment, because building with Trex or other popular composite products costs considerably more, yet doesn’t increase the home’s value by as much.

Expanding and reconfiguring your current deck is another option that’s popular today. The contractor will typically remove the old face boards, extend the underlying structure, and then put down the new decking. This is also an opportunity to add built-in furniture, privacy screens, even plumbing and electricity.


Running a close second to decks – in both popularity and investment return – are patios. With a patio, you can relax and entertain at ground level, which can afford more privacy in urban areas, and allows you to be more engaged with the surrounding plants and landscaping.

Typically made of brick, concrete, or stone, a patio also comes with far fewer maintenance and repair issues than a deck. Plus, patios are generally easier and less disruptive to construct – which is why they’re often about 30 percent less expensive to have professionally built.


For those who want even more privacy, as well as shelter from the sun and protection from mosquitoes and other pests, there’s the gazebo. Available with walls or as an open-air design, with screening or not, these modestly sized, affordable backyard structures can be built from scratch or purchased as a kit (for assembly by a do-it-yourselfer or a professional).

Popular in the Midwest for decades, gazebos have made their way west as homeowners here have discovered how nice and easy they are for creating a shaded spot for reading, relaxing, and backyard gatherings.


People tend to gather naturally in the kitchen. And when the kitchen is outdoors, it creates an ideal opportunity to mix, mingle and interact in the open air. Other reasons why cooking outdoors makes so much sense: less kitchen cleanup, the house stays cooler during the summer, and grilled food just tastes better.

Some may think an outdoor kitchen is only for cooks who host large parties, but homeowners who go this route say they’re more of an extension of the home, and great for daily use.

Designs for outdoor kitchens range from the simple (a grill, limited counter and cabinet space, and maybe a prep sink) to truly independent entities with a refrigerator, an elaborate grill, warming oven, freestanding island with storage space, rolling cart stations, and even a dishwasher. Depending on how elaborate your design, you may be able to list it as a second kitchen when selling your house.


  1. Before meeting with contractors, gather photos of designs and ideas that you like; this will make it much easier to communicate your ideas.
  2. Make sure the materials you plan to use, as well as the overall size of the structure, will be harmonious with your home’s current look and feel.
  3. Give serious consideration to a roof – which will likely add significantly to the cost, but will also provide much-needed shade on hot days and protection from rain and inclement weather. In fact, to ensure things are structurally sound and architecturally appealing, start with the design for the roof first, then set your sights on the roof supports and structure below.
  4. Incorporate lighting into your design, which will extend its usability into the evening and throughout the seasons.
  5. Consider convenience, comfort, and longevity when choosing materials. For example, a floor made of dirt or stepping stones may last forever, but one made of wood or concrete is much easier to clean and arrange furniture upon.

If you’re eager to live a healthier lifestyle and reconnect with family and friends, as most people are today, it’s time to consider an outdoor living space.

from the Windermere Blog

Posted on May 24, 2017 at 8:45 am
Stephanie Kristen | Posted in preparing your home, real estate |

Give Big 2017 is Today!

My career as a real estate agent allows me to connect people to homes where memories are made.  But that opportunity doesn’t come easily for everyone.  I believe in giving back to organizations that are helping people get back on their feet and get one step closer to their dream of home sweet home.

Here are some of the organizations I support with help from you and every sale made.

Windermere Foundation supports low income and homeless families with food, shelter and emergency services right here in our community.

Bellevue Schools Foundation supports students in need across the district and programs that make our schools some of the top in the nation.

Jubilee Reach affirms the value of our Bellevue youth with afterschool activities that promote leadership and teamwork.

Youth Eastside Services (YES) provides support and mental health counseling for our eastside youth.

Plymouth Housing Group provides supportive housing as the formerly homeless make the transition to independent living.

Now more than ever, we are called to support the nonprofits that shape our community and uphold the values that make the Seattle area so special.   So today… skip the latte and stretch your donation today and #GIVEBIG

Posted on May 10, 2017 at 10:03 am
Stephanie Kristen | Posted in community, events, giving back, seattle |