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Northshore Senior Center pop-up pantry is open

Susan Slate photo

 

Are you a senior in need of food? Our Northshore Senior Center pop-up pantry is open from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Tuesdays and Fridays. We also have hot lunch available Monday through Friday. Northshore Senior Center will also deliver needed groceries and hot lunches to those who cannot get out. Here is the number to call 425-487-2441 for help. 

Snohomish HVAC company helping elderly with grocery delivery

  • Written by Bob Kirkpatrick

 

SNOHOMISH — Lifetime Heating and Air Conditioning is partnering with Nordic Home Solutions, The Shed Gal, PureDry Restoration and PureClean to help elderly community members and others with compromised immune systems in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak.

The groups of local businesses are offering free grocery delivery for seniors who are in the high-risk group and shave been advised not to leave their homes.

“During this unprecedented time, we need to come together as a community to help each other through the tough times we are all facing,” said Dwight Miller, co-owner of Lifetime Heating and Air Conditioning “This is the opportunity for us to band together, reach out, and support one another.” 

Miller said seniors provide a list of items and pay for them. Lifetime Heating then coordinates the rest. Groceries are dropped on the porch to avoid unnecessary exposure.

“We’re already in a position where we are driving around and taking care of customer’s needs. It’s always been a goal of Lifetime to take care of the people in our community,” Miller said. “This is another way for us to serve the vulnerable in our community and give back.”.

Miller said he anticipates an overwhelming number of seniors asking for help, so he has enlisted community volunteers to take over the deliveries, as well.

Seniors and those compromised immune systems in need of the delivery services are encouraged to reach out to Miller at 425-238-7228, or by email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Too early to tell if coronavirus will soften sales

  • Written by NW MLS

 

KIRKLAND — Upon review of the latest statistical report from Northwest Multiple Listing Service, industry veteran J. Lennox Scott said, “We’re entering prime time for the real estate market, and more listings are on the way.” 

MLS figures for February show year-over-year (YOY) gains in new listings, pending sales, closed sales and prices. Despite being virtually sold out in many areas in the more affordable and mid-price ranges, 

Scott, chairman and CEO of John L. Scott Real Estate, expects a bump-up in inventory during March and April.

Northwest MLS representatives who commented on last month’s activity reported little impact so far from the coronavirus (COVID-19) threat.

“It’s still too early to tell if the broadening effects of the coronavirus will sideline buyers,” said Matthew Gardner, chief economist at Windermere Real Estate. “What we do know is that news of the virus led equity markets sharply lower and this caused mortgage rates to drop significantly. The question is whether buyers will put their search on hold until the virus has abated, or if they will decide to move forward so they don’t miss out on near historic low mortgage rates.”

David Maider, broker/owner at Windermere Real Estate/M2 in Everett, agreed with Gardner. 

“It remains to be seen if the coronavirus scare will have any impact at all on the local real estate market other than to lower interest rates.”

Mike Grady, president and COO at Coldwell Banker Bain in Bellevue, said his agents haven’t experienced any impact on open house attendance due to the COVID-19 outbreak

“While the news is full of COVID-19, the stock market correction, and an unexpected interest rate cut that didn’t impress Wall Street, the Puget Sound region’s real estate market continues to stand strong,” Grady, said. “We continue to be bullish on the Puget Sound economy and real estate market.”

Member-brokers added 7,786 new listings to the MLS database during February. That was a jump of nearly 25% from the same month a year ago when record snow hindered activity. Compared to January, last month’s inventory improved by 1,269 listings for a gain of nearly 19.5%.

February’s new listings (7,786) were the highest since October, but they fell short of matching demand. Brokers reported 8,355 pending sales (mutually accepted offers) for a YOY gain of more than 21%. Inventory remained tight. At month end, there were 7,655 active listings in the 23 counties included in the MLS report. 

That was a 32% drop from the year ago total of 11,275. All but two counties (San Juan and Douglas) reported declines. Thurston County had the largest year-over-year drop, at 45.7%, followed by Snohomish (down 42%) and King (down 40.7%). 

There is only 1.45 months of supply area-wide, according to Northwest MLS data. It is even more sparse in the four-county Puget Sound region where there is barely over a month’s supply (1.1 months). Snohomish and Thurston counties had the distinction of having the sparsest inventory, with both areas reporting less than a month (0.93) of supply. 

“The Snohomish County housing market continued on a torrent pace during February,” Maider said. “Low inventory, a return to historically low interest rates, and plenty of buyer demand are stimulating the activity.”

Home Buying Tips: Advantages and disadvantages of residential CC&RS

  • Written by By the Blue Team: Ashley Farrington & Michelle Blue, Windermere Woodinville
Photo courtesy of Michelle Blue

 

We are often asked by buyers whether it is good to purchase a home in a planned neighborhood that has an active Home Owners Association (HOA) with Covenants, Conditions & Restrictions (CC&Rs). The answer is really dependent on your lifestyle and preferences.  Here are some of the common advantages and disadvantages that you should consider as you decide whether you want to purchase a home with or without an active HOA.

Advantages:

Consistent quality and appearance of homes – often there are requirements for the allowed home style, size, finishes, color of paint, type of fence allowed, etc.  This can help establish a consistent look and price range for the entire neighborhood.

Convenience of shared community services – depending on the neighborhood, there might be shared septic management and septic drain fields; shared neighborhood only common areas like walking trails, playgrounds, clubhouses, golf courses, pools, and waterfront parks; shared maintenance of neighborhood signage, fencing, and landscaping. 

Access to community social events - some neighborhoods have annual holiday events, block parties, social events like bunko nights or book clubs and websites for sharing information. This can be a nice way to get to know neighbors and build relationships that last a lifetime.

Safety - planned neighborhoods are more likely to have shared/locking mailbox areas, neighborhood crime watches (official or unofficial), neighborhood lighting standards, and even sidewalks.

Disadvantages:

Architectural committee rules - If you want to paint your home a color not allowed, have a fence where one isn’t allowed, make landscaping changes that aren’t consistent with the neighborhood, or even select the type of roofing that you want for your home.  You might be frustrated with the restrictions.  Make sure the neighborhood reflects your personal preferences and lifestyle choices.

Community expenses – There is an expense to community services and the timing & amount is controlled by the community.  Make sure the cost is worth it to you based upon your lifestyle and values.

Recreational vehicles -  RVs, boats, cars that you are working on – may not be allowed in your driveway and/or in a visible location on your property.

• Pets – if you want certain breeds of dogs, chickens, horses, etc…. you might not be allowed. 

If you would like to explore homes that have or don’t have an HOA we would be happy to help you.  We are always happy to answer your real estate questions. Let us know if there is a topic you would like us to cover in a future publication.  Feel free to email, text or call us!  www.BlueRealEstateTeam.com

Small businesses hit hard by outbreak

  • Written by Madeline Coats
Local residents visited Alexa’s Café & Catering in Bothell to support small businesses during the COVID-19 crisis Tuesday, March 10. Restaurants are no longer allowed to serve patrons unless utilizing take-out and delivery services. Photo courtesy of Tend Real Estate.

 

Gov. Jay Inslee updated the statewide emergency proclamation Monday, March 16, to temporarily shut down restaurants, bars, entertainment and recreational facilities in response to the continued spread of COVID-19 across Washington state. 

The two-week closure of businesses also includes all food courts, wineries, and taverns, breweries, tasting rooms, coffee shops, gyms and fitness centers, youth sports and activities, theaters, bowling alleys, museums, art galleries, beauty salons and tattoo parlors. Grocery stores, pharmacies, banks and convenience stores will remain open for now.

“This is our only weapon available to us right now. We are not powerless against this virus, but we have one effective means of defeating it,” Inslee said. “And that is distancing ourselves from virtually everyone else in the state of Washington.” 

He said restaurants must only use take-out and delivery services, should they choose to stay open. This temporary shutdown may extend longer than the originally ordered two weeks, he added.

Members of the business community have come together over the last few weeks to support local restaurants, tasting rooms and retail establishments as the threat of COVID-19 keeps potential customers hidden inside their homes.

Prior to new health requirements, Tiffany Stetson, manager at Goose Ridge Vineyards, spent the last couple weeks visiting local businesses in Woodinville and Bothell.

 “Small business owners have been hit the hardest,” Stetson said. “I’m just one person, but it could make a huge difference to a business. I want to spread love and not a virus.” 

Stetson has already stopped by Sushi Chinoise, Pho 175, Heritage Restaurant & Bar, Village Vines and various other tasting rooms. She said restaurants and bars were constantly wiping surfaces to minimize public health risk.

Stetson said a few tasting rooms in Woodinville are staying open for pick-up only as a result of the new social distancing regulations. Customers can support local wineries by purchasing gift certificates, making online shipping orders or phone orders for picking up wine, she added.

“While we are being asked to refrain from non-essential gatherings, there are various ways that local businesses are getting creative during this time,” said Kimberly Ellertson, executive director for the Woodinville Chamber of Commerce. “Many are offering curbside takeout service, for example.”

Ellertson said residents can still think local while also practicing social distancing, screening for symptoms and considering high-risk populations. 

Small and locally owned businesses are forced to find creative ways to make money. Stetson said restaurants are looking to use Grub Hub, Uber Eats, Postmates and Door Dash for no-contact food orders. Others are transitioning to curbside service, personal deliveries and to-go meals.

“Not everyone has resources to do this, so they are shutting down,” Stetson said. “Fine dining is not what we need right now.”

In the Seattle area, she said nearly 40 restaurants are closing their doors temporarily and a handful are now closed permanently. The reduction in patrons at local businesses has caused a trickle-down effect, impacting employees, farms, food companies and other services.

The city of Woodinville is monitoring the potential impacts to the local economy and business community as a result of the newly announced restrictions on public gatherings. 

The city plans to directly assist with urgent business needs where feasible, as well as advocate for any state or federal funding that may become available in the coming months to help struggling businesses. 

To understand and document the impact of COVID-19, the city is encouraging local businesses to complete a Business Impact Survey available at http://bit.ly/COVID19BizSurvey by Friday, March 20.

A news release from the city said businesses should be documenting impacts as the situation unfolds, both for insurance purposes and for potential future relief efforts by state and federal agencies.

“It’s heart-warming to see community come together to support one another,” Ellertson said. “As working parents stay home to help with their kids transition to cloud-based learning in the Northshore School District, we still need community and camaraderie.”