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Terry Lipe
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January
9

Yoga Studios in the Spokane Area

Spokane Yoga

Yoga is a terrific way to improve your overall health and wellness. Our real estate agents know that no matter whether you are completely new to yoga or have done it for many years, you will find a welcoming environment to enjoy it right in beautiful Spokane.

All throughout Spokane, residents can sample the wisdom of a wide variety of yoga studios. Each one has its own unique style and approach. Students of all backgrounds come together to learn and grow – and you are invited to be a part of it all.

Let's visit some of the area's notable yoga studios to try out in the new year:

  • Flowing Tree Yoga – 515 West Francis Avenue, Suite #6, Spokane, WA 99205
    Flowing Tree Yoga offers individual and group yoga classes as well as Yoga Therapy. Yoga Therapy is a fully personalized yoga practice designed to address chronic pain, mental health and other concerns. With six weeks of personalized instruction, you are encouraged to bring your whole self to the process. Thai Yoga, Gentle Yoga, Trauma-Sensitive Yoga, and many others are also there to try.

  • Eclipse Power Yoga – 3209 East 57th Avenue, Spokane, WA 99223
    Eclipse Power Yoga is known for a wide range of small and large group lessons. Events like the 12 Days of Meditation, 40 Days to Enlightenment, and team-building Corporate Yoga are unique in all of Spokane. In addition, there are ten basic classes that all incorporate different forms of music to keep your energy flowing. Some of Eclipse Power Yoga's classroom offerings are heated, too.

  • Harmony – 1717 West 6th Avenue, Spokane, WA 99204
    Harmony is a workshop with an iconic contemporary approach to yoga. You can book classes of your choice from the online calendar at any time or simply walk in for most classes. Classes typically last about an hour and 15 minutes. There are also online workshops to help you deepen your own personal yoga practice. New students can take advantage of a flat fee for one month of unlimited classes.

  • Rooted Yoga – 220 East Wellesley Avenue, Suite #102, Spokane, WA 99207
    Rooted Yoga is both a studio and an overall yoga resource serving the community in Spokane. You can learn a great deal about yoga from the many free resources Rooted Yoga showcases through its website. Then, you are always invited to come see how it all works in practice under the tutelage of the highly experienced yoga instructors. Classes, private instruction, and infrared sauna services are available.

  • Mellow Monkey Yoga – 9017 East Euclid Avenue, Millwood, WA 99212
    Located further east in Spokane County, Mellow Monkey Yoga is the place to go for one of Washington's most easygoing yoga studios. "You don't have to be flexible" is the motto here, and the approach accommodates all ages, abilities, and interest levels. You can get started with a single class for as little as $15 to see if it is right for you.

Contact us to find out more about Spokane real estate.

December
27

Spokane Public Library Locations and Events

Spokane Library

The Spokane Public Library is one of the top public library systems in the Pacific Northwest. Living in Spokane gives you access to a tremendous variety of library resources at a number of large and well-attended locations. Books, e-books, videos, lectures, and various educational events are available.

No matter what you want from your local library, the Spokane area has it!

There are currently five active branches within the network of Spokane public libraries. In addition, two existing branches are getting renovations. These two branches are expected to open for service again in early 2023. Then there'll be even more options! Our real estate agents certainly look forward to it.

Let's take a quick peek at local Spokane library branches and their programming:

  • Shadle Public Library – 2221 West Wellesley Avenue, Spokane, WA 99205
    Open from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. on most days, Shadle Park Public Library is one of several local libraries that has just completed an exciting round of renovations. With its new meeting spaces, a children's play area, and a demonstration kitchen, it has become known as a terrific place to go to learn basic cooking skills from local chefs. There is also a "Maker Studio" where you can discover 3D printing and much more.

  • Liberty Park Library – 402 South Pittsburg Street, Spokane, WA 99202
    Liberty Park Library is home to a beautifully curated art collection as well as free meeting spaces, a play space, and designated quiet areas for study. It is known for a wide range of teen-focused events held on Saturday and Sunday afternoons, including things like Anime Club, Dungeons & Dragons, and a Virtual Reality demonstration. Weekday mornings are the time for Preschool and Toddler Storytimes.

  • Hillyard Public Library – 4110 North Cook Street, Spokane, WA 99207
    Hillyard Public Library is located directly on the campus grounds of Shaw Middle School, but there is a separate entrance member of the public are welcome to use. It is one of a growing number of great Spokane libraries equipped with 3D printers. Hillyard Public Library hosts events for kids, teens, and adults, with visits by experts from the Alzheimer's Association and other authorities on healthy living.

  • The Hive – 2904 East Sprague Avenue, Spokane, WA 99202
    The Hive is all about arts education. Central to its unusual mission is its especially large public event space, which spans four different rooms – three of which can be combined to seat nearly 100 guests. Signature programming includes Open Studio Wednesdays, which take place from 4:00 p.m. to 7:00. Participants in the Spokane Artists in Residence program give talks and demonstrations at this time.

  • Central Library – 906 West Main Avenue, Spokane, WA 99201
    Central Library is right in the heart of downtown Spokane and has a truly breathtaking view of both the Spokane River and the iconic Monroe Street Bridge. One of its most beloved amenities is the sprawling River Rumpus Children's Playspace, a hub for events focused on the unique needs of young children. A business lab is also present and welcomes talks from local executives as an entrepreneurship incubator.

Contact us to discover more about Spokane, WA, real estate.

December
12

Riverfront Park December Events

December EventsLooking for some fun and exciting things to do in Riverfront Park this December? Our real estate agents have you covered. Many Spokane homes for sale put you within minutes of this bustling hub of the city's social scene. There's always something new to see and do, especially around the holidays. And the surroundings are truly beautiful!

Let's take a look at some December Riverfront Park events you won't want to miss:

  • Riverfront Market – 574 West North Howard Street, Spokane, WA 99201
    Found at the Spokane Pavilion on Wednesdays, including December 14 and December 21, Riverfront Market is one of the most popular events around Riverfront Park. With an eclectic assortment of all kinds of local vendors, live musical performances, and delicious food, it's a lovely way to spend a day. What a perfect opportunity to wrap up your holiday shopping with gifts you can't find elsewhere!

  • Skate for a Cause – 720 West Spokane Falls Boulevard, Spokane, WA 99201
    Taking place at the Numerica Skate Ribbon, a popular Spokane ice skating rink in Riverfront Park, this year's ultimate Skate for a Cause held on December 14 will benefit the Spokane Parks Foundation. Guests will strap on their skates for an amazing time between 4:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m., with all ages welcome. Whether you're new to the ice or a pro, you'll find a friendly environment with rental skates available.

  • DJ Night on the Ice – 720 West Spokane Falls Boulevard, Spokane, WA 99201
    Also at the Numerica Skate Ribbon is this popular Friday night event: It runs at 6 p.m. December 16, 23, 30, and on New Year's Eve. One-hour admission for adults is $9.95, while kids 3-12 pay $6.95. Children aged 2 and under attend free. Skate rental is $6.95 for all, while helmets are available at no charge. There'll be themed costumes, lights, contests, and more, so don't skip DJ Night on the Ice!

  • Learn to Skate Group Lessons – 720 West Spokane Falls Boulevard, Spokane, WA 99201
    Once again, the Numerica Skate Ribbon is where it's at for Learn to Skate Group Lessons. Ever wanted to learn how to skate but felt a little bit intimidated? The experienced coaches from Lake City Figure Skating are here to help. All ages are welcome, and lessons will continue from December 17 into the new year. Be sure to pre-register on the website, and note that other locations are also available.

  • Coaches Corner – 720 West Spokane Falls Boulevard, Spokane, WA 99201
    Need something a little bit more informal than the Learn to Skate Group Lessons? Stop by the Numerica Skate Ribbon on December 17 for the very last Coaches Corner of the year. At Coaches Corner, the staff of Lake City Figure Skating will individually coach emerging skaters. From 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., kids aged 2 through 18 can swing by for pointers. Standard admission and ice skate rental fees apply.

Contact us to discover more of all that Spokane, WA, has in store for you.

November
28

Get to Know Spokane's Cork District

Spokane Cork District

Did you know that Washington is the second-largest wine-producing state in the country? Spokane's Cork District has developed into one of the best places in all of Washington to enjoy the bounty of local wineries, vineyards, and wine shops. Our real estate agents have all of the delicious details on some of the places you can look forward to visiting when you spend the day exploring Spokane's Cork District.

  • V du V Wines – 12 S. Scott St., Spokane, WA 99202
    With a convenient location near Spokane homes for sale and a reputation for producing unique, vibrant wines, V du V Wines has developed into an outstanding urban winery. The tasting room features a charming, inviting atmosphere, and V du V Wines produces all of its outstanding wines on-site. If you love their wines, the V du V Wine Club offers free tastings, great discounts, and special release events for members.

  • Barrister Winery Tasting Room – 203 N. Washington St., Spokane, WA 99201
    With a fairly new location in downtown Spokane but many years of experience producing award-winning wine in Washington, the Barrister Winery Tasting Room is a great destination for a night on the town. Enjoy live music in the tasting room every Wednesday and Friday evening, along with a busy schedule of special events all year long.

  • Arbor Crest Wine Cellars – 4705 N. Fruit Hill Rd., Spokane, WA 99217
    One of the first wineries to be established in Washington, Arbor Crest Wine Cellars has thrived for so long in part due to its amazing location. The tasting room is located at the top of a cliff, with stunning views of the Spokane Valley below. Arbor Crest's ranking as "one of the 50 producers every wine lover should know" by Wine Spectator tells you everything you need to know about the quality of wines produced here.

  • Vino! A Wine Shop – 222 S. Washington St., Spokane, WA 99201
    With a fantastic selection of both locally and internationally produced wines, Vino! A Wine Shop offers a little something for everyone. In addition to the wine selection available for purchase, you can enjoy wine tastings on the weekends, wine education classes, wine dinners, and a wine of the month buying club. It's a great place to discover new wines or find your old favorites.

  • Winescape – 6011 E. 32nd Ave., Spokane, WA 99223
    If you'd like to enjoy a rustic, rural winery experience without traveling far from downtown, you're sure to love a visit to Winescape. The Winescape Tasting Room and Production Facility is located on a 14-acre farm that will make you feel like you've been transported to a different, more relaxed era. Stop by to enjoy a tasting, take in the scenery, and get to know the small team that produces Winescape's distinctive, authentic Washington wines.

  • Bridge Press Cellars – 39 W. Pacific Ave., Spokane, WA 99201
    Located in a historic downtown Spokane building which was first built in 1911 and has been lovingly restored to create an amazing atmosphere, Bridge Press Cellars is an excellent destination when you're in the mood for a side of entertainment with your wine. You'll frequently find live music or comedy shows among the many fun events hosted in the tasting room.

Our team is here to help with all of your real estate needs in the city. Contact us to buy and sell homes throughout the Spokane, WA area.

September
26

Retro Diners Near Spokane

Spokane Diners

With classic food and a timeless atmosphere, stopping by a local diner is a fun experience and a perfect way to relax and refuel after looking at Spokane homes for sale.

Once you move into the neighborhood, local diners make for a great, casual family outing with a different vibe than your standard chain restaurant. Here are some retro diners in the Spokane area that are well worth a visit.

  • Frank's Diner - 1516 W 2nd Ave, Spokane, WA 99201
    There are actually two Frank's Diner locations - one downtown and one in North Spokane. Both are located in antique train cars, over 100 years old. It's a popular place and can get crowded, but it's worth the wait - Frank's has a beautiful, historic atmosphere and a unique dining experience. Plus, the menu is delicious. Specializing in breakfast, they serve a number of unique offerings, including crispy duck bacon eggs, purple oatmeal (served with huckleberries), and several different varieties of eggs benedict, from Florentine Benedict to Creole Benedict to Irish Benedict to Great Nana's Meatloaf Benedict.

  • Satellite Diner & Lounge - 425 W Sprague Ave, Spokane, WA 99201
    Open until 2 am daily, the Satellite Diner & Lounge is a great place for an early breakfast or a late-night drink. Serving up all the diner classics, such as biscuits and gravy, patty melts, BLTs, burgers, fries, and onion rings, they also have a selection of beers on tap and other drinks. Whether you want to have a bite with the family or a drink with friends, the Satellite Diner can accommodate you.

  • Uncle Rusty's Diner - 1412 W 2nd Ave, Spokane, WA 99201
    Family-owned and operated, Uncle Rusty's is the quintessential American diner. With a classic atmosphere, they're open from 7 am to 3 pm daily, serving up country fried steak and eggs, chicken and waffles, fried chicken sandwiches, corned beef hash, and more. They also have more unique menu items, such as their deep-fried PB&J or S'mores sandwiches. Whatever you order, the food is delicious, for breakfast or lunch.

  • Frankie Doodle's - 30 E 3rd Ave, Spokane, WA 99202
    A great place for breakfast or brunch at reasonable prices, Frankie Doodle's is simple but delicious. Try their house-made Texas Sized Cinnamon Rolls with cream cheese frosting. They also have a variety of croissant sandwiches, including Philly, tuna, and crab. Or, for dinner, try the liver and onions, breaded veal, or a delicious New York steak, grilled to order. And don't forget to try their brownie supreme, or a banana split, for dessert.

  • Molly's Family Restaurant - 224 S Lincoln St, Spokane, WA 99201
    Open for breakfast and lunch, Molly's Family Restaurant prides itself on simple, great food, with big portions and low prices. For breakfast, try their wide variety of omelets, from the classic Denver and Western omelets to their Hawaiian omelet, avocado omelet, bacon cheeseburger omelet, and more - plus pancakes, waffles, French toast, and crepes. For lunch, their sandwich bar includes German dogs, tuna melts, ribeye steak sandwiches, and their Blue Hawaiian sandwich with ham, chicken, Swiss cheese, and pineapple. Whatever you order, it's a perfect place to bring the family.

The Spokane area has all sorts of great things to offer its residents. If you're ready to make Spokane your new home, contact us. Our real estate agents will help you find the home that best meets your needs in a neighborhood you'll love.

October
3

Boost Your Curb Appeal this Fall

Curb Appeal Tips for Fall

Delta Media Group

First impressions are everything when it comes to selling your house.  When a potential home buyer drives by your home, what will they see?  The outside of your home should serve as a preview for the inside of your home.

"WOW" home buyers from the curb with these tips perfect for the fall. 

  1. Spruce up your lawn
    Brilliant fall foliage can automatically "sell" your home for showings, but that doesn't mean you should forget about raking the leaves and mowing.  Keep those leaves raked and give your lawn the TLC it needs to look great. Patch any brown spots, and water the lawn as long as possible to keep it green and vibrant.

  2. Plant fall flowers
    Once lawn maintenance is handled, add a splash of color to your landscape by planting fall flowers.  Some of the best fall flowers include vibrant mums, yellow marigolds, sedum, or goldenrod.  You can also place fall flowers in pots near your front door along with a few pumpkins as accents.

  3. Highlight the front door
    Calling attention to your front door is a good selling tactic no matter what season when you're selling your house.  Your front door is like an invitation to your home. Hang a fall wreath for added color and a festive touch.  A fresh coat of paint in a vivid color can make your entrance stand out.

  4. Tidy up the exterior
    During the fall, your home becomes more exposed making its exterior appearance even more important.  Before listing your home for sale, pressure wash your siding, sidewalks, and walkways.  Clean the windows.  Apply a fresh coat of paint as needed.

  5. Clear out the gutters
    Being diligent about home maintenance tells buyers you care about your home's upkeep.  Keeping your gutters and downspouts clear from leaves and debris protects your home from water damage and ups the ante for curb appeal.

  6. Invest in outdoor lighting
    Days get shorter during the fall.  Exterior light adds a touch of elegance and sophistication to your landscape and improves safety. Illuminate your walkways, front door, and important landscaping elements so the home shines no matter when people drive by.

  7. Keep outdoor decorations simple
    A simple fall wreath on the door and seasonal flowers make your home look inviting to potential homebuyers.  However, scarecrows and spooky Halloween decorations may "scare off" homebuyers and distract them from the gorgeous exterior you've worked so hard to otherwise create.

August
8

Shop at Spokane Farmers Markets

Spokane Farmers Market

Many farmers are eager to share the fruits of their harvest with customers around our Spokane homes for sale. Rather than heading all the way out to a local farm, though, why not stop by one of Spokane's many farmers markets instead? Fresh local produce is one of the many perks of living in the Spokane area.

The markets listed below are some of the most popular in the city – and best of all, many of them offer afternoon and evening hours to make shopping even more convenient for you.

  • The Thursday Market - 924 S Perry Street, Spokane, WA 99202
    The Thursday Market is a small South Perry area market that runs from May to October. Every Thursday, starting at 3 PM and ending at 7 PM, vendors such as Achele Farms, Hierophant Meadery, Good 'Dilla, and Redline Jewelry gather to sell their wares.

    This market is intended to serve as a place to showcase the products of local growers and craftspeople while also providing quality fresh food at an affordable price. Come with a budget and see how much produce you can get for your money! Our real estate agents love stopping by to find something new every week. 

  • The Spokane Valley Farmers Market - 2426 N Discovery Place, Spokane Valley, WA 99216
    The Spokane Valley Farmers Market operates each Friday between 4 PM and 8 PM from June to mid-September. This event is a bit more entertainment-oriented than most on this list, incorporating live music and other performances to turn the shopping space into a great place to spend a fun evening.

    This event is also part of the KERNEL (Kids Eating Right – Nutrition and Exercise for Life) program for children 5 to 12, offering a free educational activity to help kids learn more about where their food comes from. 

  • Fairwood Farmers Market – 319 W Hastings Road, Spokane, WA 99218
    The Fairwood Farmers Market is open every Tuesday between 3 PM to 7 PM from May to October. Its stated mission is to bring more commercial activity to the Fairwood District of North Spokane.

    In keeping with this goal, the market has attracted a wide variety of vendors from all around the Spokane area. Shop for some fresh steaks at Browning Beef, pick up a treat at The Scone Ranger, or browse the scented homewares available from Shady Slopes Lavender – you can get it all done in just a few steps. 

  • Spokane Farmers' Market – 20 W 5th Avenue, Spokane, WA 99202
    The Spokane Farmers' Market has been bringing fresh produce and other goodies to the city's residents since 1998. It is currently open Wednesdays and Saturdays from 8 AM to 1 PM until the end of October, giving you plenty of time to stop by before the end of the season.

    The bulk of their vendors sell typical market items like meat, eggs, baked goods, produce, and fresh flowers. A few also carry products like hard cider, candles, and Italian sodas. 

Ready to find a new home near your favorite markets? Contact us today to get in touch with one of our agents.

July
15

Coldwell Banker Scores Another Win in Recent Survey

Coldwell Banker Scores First in Agent Satisfaction. Again.

Confucius said, "Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life." 

The real estate professionals across the Coldwell Banker brand are passionate about their industry – and about their brand. For the third time, Coldwell Banker Real Estate ranked #1 in agent satisfaction in the annual "Agent Priorities" report conducted by Quester.

Designed to keep what's important to agents top of mind, the report zeroes in on topics such as work/life balance, brand image, support, tools, and culture. Knowing what makes an agent more likely to stay with a company is a key component in what brokerages can do to foster positive work environments and grow their agents' businesses.

On a local level, Coldwell Banker Tomlinson combines the strength of the national tools with additional services designed to help our Realtors® list, sell, and learn.

Full-time managing brokers are in place to provide immediate assistance. Offices are staffed with Agent Services Experts (ASEs) to help with marketing, paperwork, and training. A company-wide marketing team is in place to create campaigns that support current market trends, listing types, and services.

With continuing education an important aspect of any business, Coldwell Banker Tomlinson offers in-house classes, regular lunch 'n' learn trainings, continuing education at no cost, and national certifications and classes.

To read the results of the report, visit the Coldwell Banker Blue Matter blog.

June
13

Summer Activities to Enjoy at Spokane Ski Resorts

Spokane Ski Resorts

Think Spokane area ski resorts are only fun in the winter? Think again!

Thanks to the region's dry, clear, and warm climate during the summer months, mountain resorts around Spokane homes for sale still offer a wealth of outdoor activities. When our real estate agents need fresh air and sunshine, they head to these great nearby resorts for summer fun.

  • Mt. Spokane Ski & Snowboard Resort - 29500 N. Mt. Spokane Park Dr., Mead, WA 99021
    With more than 1,700 acres and 52 runs, Mt. Spokane Ski & Snowboard Resort is a winter wonderland, but the fun doesn't stop when the weather heats up. Visitors to this resort near Mead homes for sale trade skis and snowboards for mountain bikes at the resort's summer camps. Sessions include beginning and all-levels skills camps for ages 7-15 and advanced skills camps for ages 10-17. If you're looking for variety, there's a mountain adventure camp for ages 5-14 that includes climbing, hiking, and crafts. Biking enthusiasts of all ages can ride the numerous trails of varying lengths and difficulty. Visit the website for more information, including schedule and pricing.

  • 49°N Mountain Resort - 3311 Flowery Trail Rd., Chewelah, WA 99109
    Want to beat the summer heat around Chewelah homes for sale? Enjoy the cool mountain air of Chewelah Peak at 49°N Mountain Resort, where temperatures are usually at least 10 degrees lower than the valley below. Service roads in the West, Central, and East Basins are open to the public for hiking and mountain biking, while hikers can also use the cross-country trails and downhill runs. For those who prefer more leisurely activities, Chewelah Peak is a prime spot for picking huckleberries. Visitors are allowed to pick up to three gallons of huckleberries per day for non-commercial use.

  • Silver Mountain Resort - 610 Bunker Ave., Kellogg, ID 83837
    The action never slows down at Silver Mountain Resort, just minutes from Kellogg homes for sale. Bikers can take a casual two-mile trip along the Trail of the Hiawatha or explore the scenic wonders along the 72-mile riverside Trail of the Coeur D'alenes. The resort also features a spectacular mountainside bike park, accessible by North America's longest gondola ride. There's fun for the whole family at Silver Rapids Indoor Waterpark, where you can hang 10 in the wave pool, ride a raft in the Moose Sluice, or just float along the North Fork Lazy River. Plan a unique date night with Ride & Dine, where the gondola trip ends with dinner at the Mountain House.

  • Schweitzer - 10000 Schweitzer Mountain Rd., Sandpoint, ID 83864
    Adrenaline junkies get their fill of thrills at Schweitzer, a popular mountain resort conveniently close to Sandpoint homes for sale. Soar above the ground along the 700-foot zipline, catch some air on the trampoline, or ride the Great Escape Quad chairlift to the mountain top for panoramic views of Lake Pend Oreille and wildlife sightings. Once you're there, have a lively game of disc golf followed by lunch at the Sky House. Take a two-hour hosted electric bike tour where guides provide fascinating information about the flora and fauna encountered along the way. 

Learn more about what makes Spokane such a special place to live when you contact us at Coldwell Banker Tomlinson.

May
23

5 Dog-Friendly Places in Spokane

Spokane Dog-Friendly Spots

What could be better than a day on the town with your favorite furry friend? More than ever, local shops, dining destinations, and other small businesses are becoming dog-friendly, allowing you to take your well-behaved pup on your journeys all around Spokane. Many local restaurants offer patio dining where your dog is invited to join!

Whether you're shopping or dining, life is just a little sweeter with your dog at your side. Our real estate agents have the details on five dog-friendly destinations around Spokane for you to enjoy with your pet.

  • Outlaw BBQ & Cater Market – 4427 W. Wellesley Ave., Spokane, WA 99205
    A local destination for barbecue near Spokane homes for sale that also offers great catering services, Outlaw BBQ & Cater Market has more than 25 years of experience serving some of Spokane's best barbecue. Stop by with your pup to enjoy some classic barbecue, as well as items you wouldn't necessarily expect at a barbecue spot like nachos, tacos, and wraps. Be sure to leave room for their decadent desserts, and don't forget about the great selection of local craft beers that are available on tap.

  • Huckleberry's Natural Market – 926 S. Monroe St., Spokane, WA 99204
    A local market that offers everything you need for a natural, healthy lifestyle, Huckleberry's Natural Market is a great place to do some shopping with your dog at your side. In addition to stocking everything you'd expect from a natural grocery store, Huckleberry's features a juice & coffee bar, great food at the in-store 9th Street Bistro, and an excellent selection of locally crafted wine from the Spokane Wine Company. They also stock products from a wide variety of local, healthy vendors, and all of the grocery departments are stocked full of clean, sustainable, locally sourced items.

  • Little Garden Cafe – 2901 W. Northwest Blvd., Spokane, WA 99205
    With a convenient, scenic location across the street from Audobon Park and expansive outdoor seating, the Little Garden Cafe is the perfect place to enjoy some relaxing time with your pup on a beautiful Spokane day. The menu here is primarily focused on breakfast and lunch, with plenty of fresh, healthy options to choose from. While the food is great, the highlight here has to be the extensive selection of coffee and tea, perfect for sipping from the comfort of your chair on the outdoor patio.

  • Lucky You Lounge – 1801 W. Sunset Blvd., Spokane, WA 99201
    Want to take your dog out for a night out on the town? Lucky You Lounge offers a partially-shaded patio that is perfect for enjoying an evening out with your dog. If the large patio doesn't impress you, their amazing pub-fare and extensive cocktail menu are sure to do the trick!
      
  • Mod Pizza – 3104 E. Palouse Hwy., Spokane, WA 99223
    When you're in the mood for something quick, convenient, and delicious while exploring Spokane with your dog, Mod Pizza has you covered. Open from late morning through late evening every day, you can always count on a quality slice here whenever you're craving pizza in Spokane.

Searching for a home with a yard where you and your pup can enjoy the outdoors? Our local real estate team is here to help you find the perfect match. Contact us to buy and sell homes throughout the Spokane, WA area.

May
9

Spring in Spokane: Gardens to Visit

Spokane Gardens

Our real estate agents are always excited to welcome spring back to the Spokane area. This season offers a chance to reconnect with nature and to be reminded of all the amazing green spaces our city has to offer. 

This spring, we recommend taking that appreciation a step further by exploring some of Spokane's most amazing gardens. With spring flowers blooming, there's no better time to experience these spectacular Spokane gardens. 

  • Lilac Garden - W Shoshone Pl, Spokane, WA 99203
    Spokane has been nicknamed the Lilac City, and it's not hard to see why. The Lilac Garden in Manito Park contains over 100 cultivars from at least 23 unique species of lilac trees and bushes. The best time to see them in full bloom is from late May into early June, and the annual Lilac Festival has been a fixture of Spokane's spring calendar since the 1930s. 
  • Duncan Garden - S Park Dr, Spokane, WA 99203
    One of several gardens that are located with the city's beautiful 90-acre Manito Park, Duncan Garden is unique among Spokane's public gardens. It's a classic Renaissance garden with three acres of manicured lawns adorned with sculpted shrubs and vast beds of flowering annuals. This garden is best explored at a slow pace from spring into early summer. Duncan Garden is also a popular wedding venue, located just minutes from these Spokane homes for sale.

  • Rose Hill Garden - Rose Garden Path, Spokane, WA 99203
    Often ranked among the best rose gardens in the nation, Rose Hill Garden is another splendid component of Manito Park. The rose garden was established in 1938 and has grown to include more than 150 rose varieties in a dazzling spectrum of colors. Rose Hill Garden is a great picnic spot and features a collection of old-fashioned roses and miniature roses along with grandiflora, floribunda, and hybrid tea roses.

  • Nishinomiya Tsutakawa Japanese Garden - 2025 S Bernard St, Spokane, WA 99203
    There may be no better place in Spokane to feel the balance, tranquility, and beauty of nature come together. Nishinomiya Tsutakawa Japanese Garden was built between 1970 and 1974 to symbolize the friendship between Spokane and its sister city, Nishinomiya, Japan. Two Japanese architects, Shosuke Nagai and Hirohiko Kawai designed and oversaw the construction of the garden, which remains a magnificent symbol of peace and harmony. 

  • Gaiser Conservatory - 4 W 21st Ave, Spokane, WA 99203
    Located in Gaiser Park just east of Rose Hill, the Gaiser Conservatory features a series of greenhouses in which plants from temperate, sub-tropical, and tropical regions from around the world are grown. The greenhouses are open every day of the week except Wednesdays, and visitors can experience a wide range of different plants in bloom, depending on the season. The Geiser Conservatory also hosts a brilliant holiday lights display every winter.

  • Moore-Turner Heritage Gardens - 525 W 7th Ave, Spokane, WA 99204
    The Victorian-influenced design of Moore-Turner Heritage Gardens is unique in Spokane. These gardens, which span an incredible 120 acres, were originally constructed between 1889 and 1932 under the supervision of Frank Rockwood Moore on the grounds of what was then his own private home. Later purchased by the city and opened to the public, this historic property includes a pond, tea house, rose garden, and perennial garden. Moore-Turner Heritage Gardens are listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Contact us today to learn more about life in Spokane. When you're ready to start looking for your dream home in Spokane and the surrounding areas, our real estate agents are here to help every step of the way. 

April
13

Wear Your Jeans for a Reason

#CBTDenimDay

April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month. It's a difficult topic, no question.

 

Removing the stigma surrounding sexual assault and abuse, bringing the conversation to the forefront and out of the shadows, educating, speaking out, ending victim-blaming, and supporting survivors are the best defenses. So much has been done, with so much more to do.

It's worthy of our time. Of everyone's time. Here at CBT, we decided to act on one of our mottos – BE BOLD – and do what we can to help. For our April #DoersOfGood campaign, we're taking the message to all our offices and asking our Realtors®, staff, and managers to come together to support organizations in our areas who work hard to assist women in our local communities. We've asked them to purchase a #CBTDenimDay button, donate gently used professional clothing, and wear their jeans on April 27th, the 24th annual National Denim Day. 100% of the funds raised in each region, along with additional funds from CBT, will be donated to the corresponding organizations listed below. Clothing donations will stay local, as well. 

Denim Day grew out of an Italian Supreme Court decision overturning a rape conviction of an 18-year-old girl because she was wearing tight jeans. Since then, wearing jeans on Denim Day is a visible means of protest against victim-blaming and sexual violence.

The organizations we are coming together to support are:

Spokane area:

YWCA – Our Sister's Closet, www.ywcaspokane.org

Tri-Cities area:

Domestic Violence Services of Benton & Franklin Counties, www.dvsbf.org

Lewiston/Moscow/Pullman:

Lewiston YWCA, ywcaidaho.org
Alternatives to Violence of the Palouse, www.atvp.org

Boise area:

Women's and Children's Alliance, www.wcaboise.com

Idaho Falls area:

The Domestic Violence & Sexual Assault Center, www.dvsacac.org

To help, the ask is simple: wear your jeans on April 27th and speak out. To learn about more ways you can help – or if you need assistance, visit one of the sites above.

April
7

Spring Events: Bloomsday and the Spokane Lilac Festival

Spokane Festival

There's always something fun happening near Spokane homes for sale. Join family and friends in celebrating at the Spokane Lilac Festival and the Bloomsday Run, two of the city's favorite seasonal traditions. 

Spokane Lilac Festival

After a two-year hiatus, the Spokane Lilac Festival made an early return in November 2021 to usher in the holidays. This May, the traditional festival is back to delight people of all ages. "The Lilac City" has been home to the festival since 1938, when it began as a way to honor the community as well as members of the military. Over the years, the festival has grown to become the largest event in the Inland Northwest region.

This year's festival revolves around the nostalgic theme of "Our Town." Mark your calendars for these highlight events:

  • Don't miss the main attraction, the Armed Forces Torchlight Parade, at 7:45 p.m. on Saturday, May 21. Local school bands, dancers, gymnasts, floats, and military units will make their way through the streets of downtown Spokane.

  • Meet the Festival Queen and her Royal Court at a luncheon in the Grand Ballroom at the DoubleTree by Hilton. The luncheon takes place on Friday, May 20, from 11:30 a.m. - 1 p.m., and tickets are $50 per person.

  • Later that evening, the DoubleTree will host the official President's Gala from 6:30 p.m. - 10 p.m. Dine on a gourmet meal before dancing the night away. Tickets are $100 per person.

  • The creativity of local artists will be on display at the Lilac Art Show, held at Nectar Catering & Events. Competition is open to a wide range of media, including oil, watercolor, mixed media, and pen and ink. Doors open at 6 p.m. on Monday, May 16.

  • Take part in the debut of an exciting new event with the inaugural Lilac Festival BrewFest. Enjoy tastings of signature brews from 16 of the area's top breweries, including Black Label, Whistlepunk, and YaYa. The $35 admission includes ten tasting tokens and a special edition glass. An additional $10 gets you VIP status, with early entry and reserved seating for the Torchlight Parade. Raise your glass on Saturday, May 21, from 1 p.m. - 5 p.m. on Wall St. between Spokane Falls Blvd. and Main St.

Check out the full event information here.

Bloomsday Run

Coldwell Banker Tomlinson is proud to be one of the major sponsors of Spokane's iconic Bloomsday Run, which has an impressive pedigree. Founder Don Kardong is a local runner who was inspired by his experience in the 1976 Olympic marathon, along with many other national class races. Winners of the first two runs in 1977 and 1978 were Olympic gold medalist Frank Shorter and Bill Rodgers, another famous Olympian who is known for his multiple victories in the Boston and New York City Marathons. 

The 12K course starts off on Riverside Drive, roughly following alongside the Spokane River until it crosses at T.J. Meenach Bridge. Next comes the aptly-named Doomsday Hill, which leads into the last leg of the race. Participants can also choose the virtual option, which allows them to complete a 7.46-mile course of their choosing between April 28 and May 8.

Bloomsday's live run takes place on Sunday, May 1. An early registration fee of $35 runs until April 29, when it goes to full price of $50. Registration for the virtual run is $35 plus shipping for the race bib.

Please join us at the Bloomsday Trade Show on Friday and Saturday before the race to meet our wonderful real estate agents and win some CBT swag!

For information and to sign up, visit this website.

Ready to plant your roots in Spokane and watch your own family bloom? Contact us at Coldwell Banker Tomlinson to get started.

March
28

Your Guide to Finding Vintage Decor

Spokane Vintage Furniture

Our real estate agents have noticed a surge in interest in vintage furniture and home decor over the last few years. This old-fashioned aesthetic can make your home feel cozier and more personal. But how do you find these one-of-a-kind pieces for your home?

Want to bring this popular trend into your home? Use our guide to find the best vintage home decor items in Spokane.  

  1. Know What You Want 
    Not all vintage pieces make it into resale markets. Most of the items that end up being preserved are rare, high-quality, or unusual-looking to modern eyes. Before you begin your search, think about which of these aspects is most important to you. If you're having trouble finding the right piece, you can try referring to it by alternate names. The same piece of furniture might be called a cabinet or a hutch, depending on the person looking at it. If you bring up all of these names with the seller you're working with, you'll have a much better chance of being shown a piece that fits your specifications.  

  2. Embrace Imperfections 
    Vintage items have been around a long time – that's what makes them vintage. Unfortunately, this means it is rare for them to be in perfect condition. By the time you get your hands on it, your perfect piece will probably have at least a little wear and tear on it.  

    Antiques may not be in perfect condition, but if you shop around, you can find beautiful pieces that will last you for many years. Small scratches and scuff marks are a concession to make in return for that level of value.  

  3. Inspect Items in Person 
    You can find many vintage items listed online, but when possible go see items in person. A great-looking photo can disguise rips and tears, chipped surfaces, faded materials, and other major problems that might be dealbreakers for you. It's also hard to tell exactly what a vintage piece looks like until you see it for yourself. If you get the chance, stop by a real antique store near you. 

Hoping to upgrade your interior design with a few new vintage items? Here are some places to look for new pieces near our Spokane homes for sale

  • Vintage Mercantile and Auction - 5005 N Market St, Spokane WA 99217 
    Vintage Mercantile and Auction is a great place to find some distinctive pieces, especially if you're also looking for a bargain. Their weekly auctions showcase some of their best acquisitions and give you a chance to snap up these coveted finds before they hit store shelves. 

  • ZipperZ on Garland - 913 West Garland Ave, Spokane, WA 99205
    When you're done shopping on Market Street, be sure to swing by Garland Avenue, which has many unique stores with one-of-a-kind finds. While you're strolling Garland Avenue, be sure to stop by ZipperZ on Garland. ZipperZ on Garland is an upscale consignment shop and has many vintage treasures just waiting to be discovered.

  • Blue Cat Vintage - 1919 E Sprague Ave, Spokane, WA 99202 
    Blue Cat Vintage has an impressive selection of furniture and home accessories, including more unusual items like lighting and rugs. You can even browse their wares online to get a feel for what they have before heading into the store for a closer look.  

Classic furniture never goes out of style. Give your home a whole new look with some choice vintage pieces from any of these Spokane small businesses, and contact us today to buy or sell homes in the Spokane area.

March
14

Sip Local Wines at These Spokane Wineries

Spokane Wine

One of the best ways to experience all of the greatness Spokane has to offer is through its wine. The area's local wineries serve as community gathering spots, help fuel the local economy, and tell the story of our area's rich history.

Also, learning to distinguish between certain types of wine is a lot of fun. With 20 wineries within 10 miles of Spokane, you'll have no trouble developing a sophisticated palate. Here are some of our favorite local wineries to visit this weekend:

  • Helix Wines - 824 Sprague Ave, Spokane, WA 99201
    Sip six different types of wines in the beautiful downtown Spokane tasting room at Helix Wines. You'll find comfortable seating and a relaxing atmosphere, making it a great stop for a rainy Saturday afternoon. Order a snack from the small plates menu if you're hungry. Retail purchases are available, as is curbside pickup. The tasting room is open from 1 pm to  6 pm daily.

  • V du V Wines - 12 S Scott St, Spokane, WA 99202
    Located in downtown Spokane, V du V Wines is a small and cozy winery with a friendly and welcoming vibe. The winery also hosts rotating exhibits of prints and paintings so you can enjoy local art while you sip. The tasting room is open Friday and Saturday afternoons by appointment, and it's located just down the street from some spectacular Spokane homes for sale.

  • Terra Blanca - 926 W Sprague Ave, Spokane, WA 99201
    Terra Blanca
    is located in the beautiful Chronicle Building and offers a wide selection of red mountain estate-produced wines. The tasting room is elegant, and the service is great. Terra Blanca is located near Spokane's restaurants, hotels, and theaters, so it's a great place to begin your night out on the town.

  • Barrister Winery Downtown Tasting Room - 203 N Washington St #100, Spokane, WA 99201
    This little rustic downtown winery and tasting room is where you can sip and purchase several of Barrister's award-winning wines. The tasting room is located across the street from the Davenport Grand Hotel and frequently hosts local artists and live music on the weekends. The tasting room is open daily at 12 pm.

  • Bridge Press Cellars - 39 W Pacific Ave, Spokane, WA 99201
    Wonderful wines, delicious small plates, and fun live music can all be found at Bridge Press Cellars. The menu features five different types of wine, and the warm and inviting bar and tasting room make this a perfect destination for a special date night. Currently, Bridge Press is open Thursdays from 4 to 7 pm.

  • Robert Karl Cellars - 115 W Pacific Ave, Spokane, WA 99201
    This boutique winery produces hand-crafted wines with grapes grown in the Horse Heaven Hills of Columbia Valley, Washington. There are over 9 types you can try at the downtown Robert Karl Cellars retail shop and tasting room. Schedule an appointment, or feel free to stop by Friday from 2 to 4 pm or Saturday from 12 to 4 pm.

We're lucky to be surrounded by some of the best wineries in the Pacific Northwest. Contact us today for more information on calling the Spokane area home.

January
24

Why You Should Move to Spokane in 2022

Spokane 2022

Proudly known as the "Gateway to the West," Spokane recently earned another accolade when it landed on the list of Top Housing Markets for 2022. Our real estate agents know the area is a great place to call home for many reasons! Below they share the amenities and advantages of living in Spokane that others are discovering.

What Makes Spokane So Great?

  • Your dollar goes further in Spokane, where the cost of living is more than seven percent lower than the national average. The state of Washington has no personal income tax, which is another big savings.

  • It's easy to get around Spokane. The average commute is just under 20 minutes, well below the national average of 26 minutes. That means nearly a full hour less spent on the road during the workweek. The downtown area features a network of skywalks, allowing you to walk between buildings in comfort, regardless of the weather.

  • Spokane accommodates any type of lifestyle. The city has a thriving downtown core, rated A- by ranking website Niche for its active nightlife. Comfortable suburbs with well-maintained neighborhoods and above-average schools appeal to families. Residents are just minutes away from scenic outdoor areas with a wide range of activities, from skiing to boating.

  • There's a nice mix of residents in Spokane, making it easy to connect with others. Both families and retirees are drawn to the area for its beautiful setting and affordability. Fairchild Air Force Base is nearby, so there is a large presence of military families. Spokane is also home to Gonzaga University, one of the country's most prestigious schools, attracting a number of academics.

Things to Do and See in Spokane

Another major perk of living in the area is all the things to do nearby. Get to know the Spokane area with these local attractions.

  • Riverfront Spokane - 507 N. Howard St., Spokane, WA 99201
    Conveniently located in the heart of downtown, Riverfront Spokane offers year-round fun for all. Lace up a pair of ice skates, ride the carousel, view the sculptures, or take it all in from high in the air on SkyRide. Hours are 6 a.m. - midnight daily.

  • Centennial Trail
    Explore the spectacular scenery of the Northwest along the 63-mile Centennial Trail. The 39 miles of trail contained in Washington state pass through Spokane along with Liberty Lake, Riverside State Park, and Nine Mile Falls. You can also cross into Idaho through Post Falls and Coeur d'Alene. The pet-friendly trail is open to runners, hikers, cyclists, skaters, and horseback riders from 6:30 a.m. until dusk every day.

  • Northwest Museum of Arts and Culture - 2316 W. First Ave., Spokane, WA 99201
    With five underground galleries, a library and archives, an education center, and a store, there's always something different to see at the Northwest Museum of Arts and Culture. The campus includes Campbell House, a stunning English Tudor Revival home that provides a fascinating glimpse into life in Spokane during the early 1900s. Museum hours are 10 a.m. - 5 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday. Admission is $12 for adults and $7 for ages 6-17.

  • Bing Crosby Theater - 901 W. Sprague Ave., Spokane, WA 99201
    Bing Crosby Theater is named for the iconic performer who grew up in Spokane and attended Gonzaga University. The historic theater, which dates back to 1915, hosts a variety of shows, including music, film, and comedy.

Ready to find your ideal home in Spokane? Contact us at Coldwell Banker Tomlinson to get started.

November
29

Holiday Events Throughout Spokane

Spokane Events

Whether or not the snow flies in time for the holidays, Spokane offers endless opportunities to get into the holiday spirit. 

Our real estate agents are excited to share their favorite holiday happenings in Spokane this season. From light displays and parades to craft markets and musical events, there's a lot to look forward to in Spokane during the holidays. Be sure to check out these upcoming events!

  • Meet Santa at River Park Square - 808 W Main Ave, Spokane, WA 99201
    Many of us have memories of meeting Santa Claus at the mall when we were kids. This year, you have an opportunity to pass on that magical experience down to the next generation! Santa will be making daily appearances up until Christmas Eve at Downtown Spokane's River Park Square Mall. Kids can get pictures taken beneath the mall's majestic 50-foot Christmas tree. The mall is just minutes from these Spokane homes for sale

  • Winter Market at the Pavilion - 507 N Howard St, Spokane, WA 99201
    It's not winter in Spokane until the Winter Market returns to Riverfront Park! Held weekly at the park's pavilion throughout the holiday season, the market offers an amazing opportunity to browse a wide selection of local and handmade goods. You'll find everything from arts and crafts to local produce and foods. It's a great place to get some holiday shopping done! The first winter market of the season is on November 10th, and it will take place every Wednesday until Christmas. 

  • Free Horse and Carriage Rides - 620 W Spokane Falls Blvd, Spokane, WA 99201
    Wheatland Bank presents Free Horse and Carriage Rides beginning on Black Friday, November 26th. Rides will depart from the Downtown Spokane Visitor Center and follow a picturesque course through the city, with great views of the illuminated storefronts and holiday lights. There's not a more romantic way to experience Spokane for the holidays! Opportunities for a ride will be available Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays, and although they are free of charge, reservations are required.

  • Holidays at Riverfront Park - 507 N Howard St, Spokane, WA 99201
    Riverfront Park is a pretty spectacular destination any time of year, but it's at its best during the holidays. The park hosts a truly amazing light show and will be all decked out in holiday decorations including a Holiday Tree Walk of dazzlingly lit-up trees. This is also an amazing time to ride the Numerica Skyride above the illuminated Spokane Falls or go for a skate at the park's public ice skating rink. Stop but on "Cheapskate Tuesdays" to get a great deal on family ice skating. 

Contact us today to learn more about life in Spokane! It's a very special place to live during any season, but it really comes to life when the holidays roll around. Be sure to ask our real estate agents about finding your Washington dream home. 

October
29

Should You Renovate or Move?

The last 18 months changed what many buyers are looking for in a home. Recently, the American Institute of Architects released their AIA Home Design Trends Survey results for Q3 2021. The survey reveals the following:

  • 70% of respondents want more outdoor living space
  • 69% of respondents want a home office (48% wanted multiple offices)
  • 46% of respondents want a multi-function room/flexible space
  • 42% of respondents want an au pair/in-law suite
  • 39% of respondents want an exercise room/yoga space

If you're a homeowner who wants to add any of the above, you have two options: renovate your current house or buy a home that already has the spaces you desire. The decision you make could be determined by factors like:

  1. A possible desire to relocate
  2. The difference in the cost of a renovation versus a purchase
  3. Finding an existing home or designing a new home that has exactly what you want (versus trying to restructure the layout of your current house)

In either case, you'll need access to capital: the funds for the renovation or the down payment your next home would require. The great news is that the money you need probably already exists in your current home in the form of equity.

Home Equity Is Skyrocketing

The record-setting increases in home prices over the last two years dramatically improved homeowners' equity. Odeta Kushi, Deputy Chief Economist at First American, quantifies the amount of equity homeowners gained recently:

"Remember U.S. households own nearly $35 trillion in owner-occupied real estate, just over $11 trillion in debt, and the remaining ~$24 trillion in equity. In inflation adjusted terms, homeowners in Q2 had an average of $280,000 in equity- a historic high."

As a homeowner, the money you need to purchase the perfect home or renovate your current house may be right at your fingertips. However, waiting to make your decision may increase the cost of tapping that equity.

If you decide to renovate, you'll need to refinance (or take out an equity loan) to access the equity. If you decide to move instead and use your equity as a down payment, you'll still need to mortgage the remaining difference between the down payment and the cost of your next home.

Mortgage rates are forecast to increase over the next year. Waiting to leverage your equity will probably mean you'll pay more to do so. According to the latest data from the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA), almost 57% of current mortgage holders have a mortgage rate of 4% or below. If you're one of those homeowners, you can keep your mortgage rate under 4% by doing it now. If you're one of the 43% of homeowners with a mortgage rate over 4%, you may be able to do a cash-out refinance or buy a more expensive home without significantly increasing your monthly payment.

First Step: Determine the Amount of Equity in Your Home

If you're ready to either redesign your current house or find an existing or newly constructed home that has everything you want, the first thing you need to do is determine how much equity you have in your current home. To do that, you'll need two things:

  1. The current mortgage balance on your home
  2. The current value of your home

You can probably find the mortgage balance on your monthly mortgage statement. To find the current market value of your house, you can pay several hundreds of dollars for an appraisal, or you can contact a local real estate professional who will be able to present to you, at no charge, a professional equity assessment report.

Bottom Line

If the past 18 months have refocused your thoughts on what you want from your house, now may be the time to either renovate or make a move to the perfect home. Contact us today to help guide you through the process and help determine what makes the most sense for you!

September
20

9 Tips for Buying and Selling Your Home at the Same Time

Selling your home while shopping for a new one can feel daunting to even the most seasoned homeowner––especially when the competition for housing is so high. That doesn't mean, though, that you should just throw up your hands and give up on moving altogether. In fact, as a current homeowner, you could be in a better position than most to capitalize on a seller's market and make a smooth transition from your old home to a new one.

We can help you prepare for the road ahead. Here are some of the most frequent concerns we hear from clients who are trying to buy and sell at the same time.

"What will I do if I sell my house before I can buy a new one?"

While it may be an inconvenience, this is a common scenario that can usually be handled with a little creativity and compromise. Here are some options to consider:

1: Flex your muscles as a seller.

In some cases, a buyer may agree to a rent-back clause that allows the seller to continue living in the home after closing for a set period of time and negotiated fee. We can discuss the benefits and risks involved and whether it's a good option for you.

2: Open your mind to short-term housing options.

If you're lucky enough to have family or friends who offer to take you in, that may be ideal. If not, check out furnished apartments, vacation rentals and month-to-month leases. If space is an issue, consider putting some of your furniture and possessions in storage.

3: Embrace the idea of selling now and buying later.

With cash on hand from the sale of your current home, you'll be in a better position to budget for and buy your next home. And by focusing on one step at a time, you can alleviate some of the pressure and uncertainty involved.

"What if I get stuck with two mortgages at the same time?"

If you can't afford to carry both mortgages, then selling before you buy may be best. (See Tip #3.) But if you have flexibility in your budget for some overlap, it is possible to manage a home sale and purchase simultaneously. Here are some steps to help streamline the process:

4: As you get ready to sell, simplify.

You can condense your sales timeline if you only focus on the renovations and tasks that matter most. We can advise you on the repairs and upgrades that are worth your time and investment.

5: Prep your paperwork.

If you'll need a mortgage for your next home purchase, get pre-approved in advance. And start pulling together relevant records for your current home, such as appliance warranties and renovation permits. That way, you'll be ready to provide quick answers to buyers' questions should they arise.

6: Ask about other contingencies that can be included in your contracts.

For example, it's possible to add a clause to your purchase offer that lets you cancel the contract if you haven't sold your previous home. This tactic could backfire, though, if you're competing with other buyers. We can discuss the pros and cons of contingencies and what's realistic given current market dynamics.

"What if I mess up my timing or burn out from all the stress?"

To make sure you're in the right headspace, take the time to slow down, breathe and delegate as much as possible. In addition:

7: Relax and accept that compromise is inevitable.

Rather than worry about getting every detail right with your housing search and home sale, trust that things will work out eventually––even if it doesn't look like your Plan A or even your Plan B or Plan C. Luckily, if you've got a good team of professionals, you can relax knowing that others have your back and are monitoring the details behind the scenes.

8: Don't worry too much if your path is straying from convention.

Remember that rules-of-thumb and home-buying trends are just that: they are estimates, not facts. So if your home search or sale isn't going exactly like your neighbor's, it doesn't mean that you are doomed to fail.

9: Enlist help early.

Which leads us to our final tip: If possible, call us early in the process. We'll not only provide you with key guidance on what you should do to prep your current property for sale, we'll also help you narrow down the parameters for your next one. That way, you'll be prepared to act quickly and confidently when it comes time to list your home and make an offer on a new one.

Call today for tailored advice that works for you

Buying and selling a home at the same time is challenging. But it doesn't have to be a nightmare, and it can even be fun. Click here for a free consultation so that we can help you review your options and decide the best way forward - or visit our site for listing of homes for sale.

August
30

House Care Calendar: A Seasonal Guide to Maintaining Your Home

From summer vacations to winter holidays, it seems each season offers the perfect excuse to put off our to-do list. But be careful, homeowners: neglecting your home's maintenance could put your personal safety—and one of your largest financial investments—at serious risk.

In no time at all, small problems can lead to extensive and expensive repairs. And even if you avoid a catastrophe, those minor issues can still have a big impact. Spokane Homes for Sale that are not well maintained can lose 10 percent (or more) of their appraised value.

The good news is, by dedicating a few hours each season to properly maintaining your home, you can ensure a safe living environment for you and your family ... and actually increase the value of your home by one percent annually!

While this checklist should not be considered a complete list of your home's maintenance needs, it can serve as a general seasonal guide to maintaining your property throughout the year.

SPRING

After a long, cold winter, many of us look forward to a fresh start in the spring. Wash away the winter grime, open the windows, and prepare your home for warmer weather and backyard barbecues.

INSIDE

  • Conduct Annual Spring Cleaning
  • Shut Down Heating System
  • Tune Up A/C
  • Check Plumbing
  • Inspect Smoke Alarm & Batteries
  • Check Carbon Monoxide Detector
  • Check Water Filters & Replace as needed
  • Clean out Sink & Shower Drains

OUTSIDE

  • Inspect Perimeter of Home & Deck
  • Clean Home's Exterior
  • Clean Gutters and Downspouts
  • Seed or Sod Lawn & Fertilize
  • Apply a Pre-Emergent Herbicide
  • Plant Flowers & Mulch Beds
  • Tune Up Lawn Mower
  • Inspect Sprinkler System

SUMMER

Summer is generally the time to relax and enjoy your home, but a little time devoted to maintenance will help ensure it looks great and runs efficiently throughout the season.

INSIDE

  • Adjust Ceiling Fans
  • Clean A/C Filters
  • Clear Dryer Vent
  • Check Weather Stripping

OUTSIDE

  • Mow Lawn Regularly
  • Water Early in the Morning
  • Weed Weekly
  • Exterminate Pests

FALL

Fall ushers in another busy season of home maintenance as you prepare your home for the winter weather ahead.

INSIDE

  • Have Heater Serviced
  • Shut Down A/C for the Winter
  • Inspect Chimney
  • Seal Windows and Doors
  • Check Smoke Alarm & Carbon Monoxide Detectors

OUTSIDE

  • Plant Fall Flowers, Grass and Shrubs
  • Rake or Mow Leaves
  • Apply Fall Fertilizer
  • Inspect Gutters and Roof
  • Shut Down Sprinkler System
  • Close Pool

WINTER

While it can be tempting to ignore home maintenance issues in the winter, snow and freezing temperatures can do major damage if left untreated. Follow these steps to ensure your house survives the winter months.

INSIDE

  • Maintain Heating System
  • Tune Up Generator
  • Prevent Frozen Pipes
  • Adjust Ceiling Fans

.

OUTSIDE

  • Drain and Shut Off Outdoor Faucets
  • Remove Window Screens
  • Service Snowblower
  • Stock Up on Ice Melt
  • Watch Out for Ice Dams
  • Check for Snow Buildup on Trees

ARE YOU LOOKING FOR HELP

...with home maintenance or repairs? We have an extensive network of trusted contractors and service providers and are happy to provide referrals! Call or email us, and we can connect you with one of our preferred vendors. Contact us

August
23

4 Things to Know When Your Neighbor Lists Their Home

Neighbor List

There's a lot you can learn from homes selling in your neighborhood, especially if that home is right next to yours. If you spotted a sign in your neighbor's yard, you might want to do some investigating.

Keeping tabs on the outcome of your neighbor's home sale can prove extremely beneficial when it comes time to list your own property. Details about your neighbor's home and the transaction can provide key information about your local real estate market. Luckily, it's fairly easy to find out important pieces of information. Below are four things we encourage consumers to watch out for when a neighbor puts their home on the market:

  1. The Open House
    Attending your neighbor's open house can provide you with several useful pieces of information. For one, you can get real-time feedback on how visitors perceive the property. Pay attention to what other visitors comment on and note what they like or dislike. The open house also allows you to see how your neighbor staged the home and their decor, which can help inspire some ideas of your own.

  2. How Long It Sits On The Market
    The length of time it takes your neighbor's home to sell can tell you a lot about the state of the market as well as how homes are valued in your neighborhood. If your home is similar in size, price, and quality to other nearby Spokane homes for sale, you might assume your home could sell in a similar amount of time.

  3. The Final Sale Price
    Knowing the final sale price of your neighbor's home can be very helpful when it comes time to sell your own. It can serve as an indication of what buyers are willing to pay for a home in your neighborhood. If the sale price was over the asking price, it might mean homes in your area are in high demand. If your home is comparable to another home in your area that recently sold, it's probably safe to use the sale price as a ballpark figure when determining your listing price. When you're in the process of listing your home, your real estate agent should be able to help provide this information.

  4. Your New Neighbors
    Paying attention to who is moving in and out of your neighborhood can help you better understand emerging trends in your area. Are your new neighbors first-time homebuyers or empty-nesters? Are they commuting a long distance to work? Did they move here from out of state? By understanding who is moving into your neighborhood, you can be better prepared to market your home to the right target audience when it comes time to sell.

Having a good knowledge of the local real estate market is an important part of the selling process. Luckily, your neighbor's real estate transaction details can help you get valuable information. 

August
16

Interior Design Trends: Cottagecore Home Decor

When you buy a new home, you want it to be a reflection of you and your style. As you consider various trends, you may come across a popular new one called cottagecore. But what is it, exactly, and will it work for your interior design needs? Essentially, cottagecore home decor is a nostalgic journey to a simpler time and place. If sipping tea in a garden, breathing in the delicate scent of roses and honeysuckle strikes your fancy, this could very well be the interior design style you are seeking. If the homes you are asking to be shown are reminiscent of country living, you may want to consider these key elements:

  • Nostalgia
    From the garden to the living room, the house should speak of bygone days. This may look different to each person. If your cherished memories include crocheted Afghans and ruffled curtains, by all means, include them. If they lean more toward the brown leather overstuffed couch and the roll-top desk you might find in an 1890's ranch house, then go that direction. It's even possible to blend styles a bit in this very unscripted decor. If you have antiques or just books and knick-knacks that have been in the family for a long time, cottagecore provides a perfect setting to display them.
  • Simplicity
    Although many of us work in the world of technology, we don't all want to live there. When incorporating cottagecore interior design trends, necessary technology will often be hidden inside wooden cabinetry or disguised in other clever ways. The lifestyle celebrates minimalism, including handcrafting, home cooking, and creativity over video games. Rather than the cold, sleek surfaces you will find in industrial decor, you will find the warmth of wood, the natural textures of organic materials, and the cozy atmosphere they bring. Shining wooden floors with simple rugs and a wooden coffee table that reflect the same color as the floor. You might find the same wood theme repeated in bathrooms and bedrooms. 
  • Nature
    Embracing nature is critical to the cottagecore style. This doesn't mean that you must raise your own chickens and livestock in order to enjoy the designs. But the interior of the home should blend with the environment surrounding the exterior. This can be accomplished with muted colors, natural materials, house plants, and fresh or dried flowers. Imagine a little girl collecting wildflowers and displaying them in a milk bottle. The romantic ideal of rural living can be reflected in prints and paintings without the less pleasant realities of farm life. An indoor herb garden is just the right touch to a cozy kitchen, while the fresh herbs bring your recipes to life. 
  • Vintage
    Antiques are certainly great additions to cottagecore home decor, but you can obtain the vintage feel without an extensive collection. Simple lines, wooden frames, and natural textures will help balance the design. Wooden chairs next to pristine white wainscotting in the dining room are reminiscent of homes of a hundred years ago, even if they were just purchased recently. The elegance of a colorful quilt can carry the sleeper back to Grandma's house. Overstuffed chairs reupholstered with soft, nubby fabrics or floral designs are both frugal and practical, echoing the lifestyle of the past as much as the appearance. 
  • Do-it-yourself
    To truly embrace the cottagecore lifestyle, you should bring in your own creations. Have you learned to embroider? Frame an original piece and hang it on the wall. Did you grow your own fruits and vegetables? Proudly store them in wire baskets on the kitchen counter. Craftspeople know that you can't create anything worthwhile without making a little mess. You can embrace the clutter a bit without letting it take over. A basket of colorful yarn complete with knitting needles will actually enhance the decor of the den. A loom in the corner will make a fascinating conversation piece. You may even discover common interests with friends you didn't know existed. 

If you've been waiting for some of the vintage things you love to come back in style, the time has come. Our real estate professionals will be happy to help you find your new home. Contact us when you're ready to make the change. 

August
9

Hiking Trails Throughout Mount Spokane State Park

If you're looking at Spokane homes for sale, you'll be within easy reach of Mount Spokane State Park. This is a lovely place to stop and take a hike. The scenery is breathtaking, and there are trails catering to all ages and levels of ability. Here are a few of the key trails you can hike within the state park. 

  • Upper Trail 140: Trailhead Coordinates: 47.8859, -117.0864
    Upper Trail 140 is one of the more difficult trails to hike within Mount Spokane State Park. But if you can manage the rocky footing and a few steep ascents, this hiking trail has a lovely payoff. Along the way, you can look down a mixture of timber forests and farmland. At the end of the trail, you'll see Vista House, a stone home built in 1934.

    Trail 140 mostly passes through lush forests, but there are a few places where it passes through open fields. Since it's a 10.8-mile hike round trip, make sure you plan ahead and bring the essentials.

  • Mount Kit Carson Trail: Trailhead Coordinates: 47.8882, -117.1249
    If you're really in the mood to climb a mountain, then Mount Kit Carson Trail is a great choice. It's a 7.5-mile hike, round trip, taking you to the peak of Mount Kit Carson, which is the second-highest peak in the park.

    Along the way, you'll pass through a dense forest before reaching the open summit, which is sparsely dotted with trees. The Foothills agricultural community is visible off in the distance, and you can see the Selkirk Range in the northeast.

  • Trail 110: Trailhead Coordinates: 47.9041, -117.1246
    Trail 110
    is one of the most accessible trails in the park. The trailhead is just inside the park entrance, and the terrain is moderate. While the trail does start out fairly steep, it flattens out after the first half-mile. 

    Trail 110 is a 7.5-mile hike, round trip. It intersects many other trails, so you'll want to pay close attention to your navigation so you don't take a wrong turn. With a mixture of alpine forests, flowering meadows, and small shrubbery, the trail gives you a good sampling of the landscape in Mount Spokane State Park.

  • Lower Trail 130: Trailhead Coordinates: 47.9048, -117.1027
    While Lower Trail 130 is 12 miles round trip, it is one of the easiest hikes in the park as far as terrain is concerned. If you don't have time for a 12-mile hike, you can still get some lovely views if you hike the first mile or two and then turn back.

    This trail stretches around the mountain, so you can see Mount Spokane from multiple perspectives as you hike.

  • Trail 183: Trailhead Coordinates: 47.928560, -117.152490
    Trail 183
    is a short, easy, point-to-point trail that follows an old road. It starts near Blanchard Creek Rd. and connects to the Mount Kit Carson Loop Road. 

    This trail passes through a densely wooded area, so you feel well immersed in nature as you hike. It's a good choice in the heat of summer since it is nicely shaded, too. 

Whether you take a short hike along Trail 183 or an all-day trek along Lower Trail 130, hiking in Mount Spokane State Park is a lovely way to get outside and enjoy nature. Just make time for a hiking trip! Contact us

August
2

5 Factors That Reveal Where The Real Estate Market Is Really Headed

Spokane Closing Tips

It's the old supply-and-demand predicament: U.S. home sales continue at a rapid pace, but the number of listings remains limited. Amid historically low mortgage rates, buyers keep shopping, reducing inventory and sparking a rise in home prices.

Meanwhile, homebuilders are coping with an increase in material costs and a shortage of labor. These issues come during an ongoing housing shortage. A National Association of Realtors study shows the U.S. has a deficit of about 2 million single-family homes and 3.5 million other housing units.

Follow along to learn the five factors that illustrate where the U.S. housing market is today and is heading tomorrow.

ROCK-BOTTOM MORTGAGE RATES TO GRADUALLY RISE

Low interest rates continue to fuel demand from homebuyers. Some experts believe mortgage rates will creep up later this year, but they expect rates to remain near historic lows. In June, the Mortgage Bankers Association reported that 2020 closed with the average rate for a 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage at 2.8%. But the association anticipates the average rate climbing to 3.5% at the end of 2021 and 4.2% by the end of 2022.

What does it mean for you?

When mortgage rates are at or near historic lows (as they are today), you should seriously consider taking advantage of those rates to borrow money for a home purchase or to refinance your existing mortgage.

HOME PRICES EXPECTED TO KEEP CLIMBING

In June, the national median list price for a home reached an all-time high of $385,000, up 12.7% on a year-over-year basis. And according to the Home Buying Institute, various reports and forecasts indicate home prices will keep climbing throughout 2021 and into 2022. While this may be welcome news for homeowners, high prices are pushing homeownership out of reach for a growing number of first-time buyers.

What does it mean for you?

If you're a buyer waiting on the sidelines for prices to drop, you may want to reconsider. While the pace of appreciation should taper off, home prices are expected to continue climbing. And rising mortgage rates will make a home purchase even more costly.

SINGLE-FAMILY HOME SALES REMAIN ROBUST

Single-family home sales are down from their peak in October 2020 yet are still above the overall level last year. In May 2021, 5.8 million existing single-family homes were sold in the U.S. That's a 45% increase over the 4 million homes sold in May 2020.

However, home sales saw a 0.9% dip in May 2021 compared with the previous month, the National Association of Realtors says. That was the fourth straight month for a decline in home sales. The number of home sales has slid recently because of rising prices and a lack of inventory, but Fannie Mae expects total home sales to tick up slightly in the fourth quarter and finish the year up 3.8% over last year.

What does it mean for you?

The market for single-family home sales remains quite active. As a result, if you're a homeowner, you may want to ponder whether to sell now, even if you hadn't necessarily been thinking about it. With demand high and inventory low, your home could fetch an eye-popping price.

LACK OF INVENTORY STILL CONSTRAINS THE HOME MARKET

According to the National Association of Realtors, in May there were 1.23 million previously owned homes on the market, down 20.6% from the same time last year. This translates to a 2.5-month supply of homes, which is well below the 6 months of inventory typical in a balanced market. According to the Realtors group, the lack of inventory translates into tougher searches for buyers and contributes to a rise in prices.

What does it mean for you?

If you're thinking of selling your home, now may be the right time to do it. Across the country, it's a seller's market, meaning demand is outpacing supply. That supply-and-demand imbalance puts sellers in a great position to sell their homes at a premium price. The May 2021 Realtors Confidence Index from the National Association of Realtors found the average home that was sold attracted five offers, and the association says nearly half of homes are selling above list price.

CONSTRUCTION OF SINGLE-FAMILY HOMES SEES SLIGHT UPTICK

Frustrated buyers may soon find some relief from an increase in new construction. Economists forecast that 1.1 million new houses will be started in 2021, compared with a predicted 940,000 units just six months ago, with 1.2 million new starts predicted for 2022 and 2023, according to the Urban Land Institute.

What does it mean for you?

Given the issues affecting the new-home market, it may make sense to widen your home search to include both new and existing homes. Your brand-new dream home may not be available, but you might be able to find an existing home that lives up to your vision. Keep in mind that we can help you find either a new or existing home and can advocate for you to ensure you get the best deal possible.

ARE YOU THINKING OF BUYING OR SELLING?

If you're in the market for a home, you're ready to sell your house or you've simply been wondering whether you should sell, you could benefit from an expert to help you navigate the hot real estate market. Let's set up a free consultation to discuss your situation. We can review your options and come up with a plan to capitalize on the value of your current property or to find your ideal next home.

July
12

Summer Mountain Biking in Spokane

Summer Mountain Biking Spokane

Warm, dry weather and a beautiful landscape make Spokane an ideal place for summer mountain biking. Strap on your helmet and head out to these challenging and fun trails around Spokane homes for sale recommended by our real estate agents.

  • Beacon Hill
    With its convenient location on the outskirts of Spokane, Beacon Hill is a great option when you want to fit a ride into a busy schedule. There are more than 50 trails for beginner, intermediate, and expert levels, so it's a popular place for newbies to refine their skills. Trick riders love the skills park, which takes advantage of natural features for practice jumps. The park also includes a sizable dirt jump section.

  • Saltese Uplands
    More than seven miles of trails wind through the canyons and ridge tops of Saltese Uplands. The Turtle Gulch trail is a complete loop to the summit and back, offering scenic views of nearby Liberty Lake and the Spokane Valley. Thanks to the openness of the grounds, Saltese Uplands provides opportunities for wildlife spotting. White-tailed deer, bobcats, coyotes, and eagles are just a few of the animals and birds you might spot. 

  • Riverside State Park - 9711 W. Charles Rd., Nine Mile Falls, WA 99026
    For 20 years, Riverside State Park was the home of Spokane's 24 Hours Round the Clock mountain bike race. The park's 55 miles of trails, just minutes from Nine Mile Falls homes for sale, include a portion of the 40-mile Spokane River Centennial State Park Trail that extends to the Idaho border. Follow the Centennial Trail to the Bowl and Pitcher area that includes a nice swimming hole where you can cool off. Park hours are 6:30 a.m. until dusk, and a daily admission fee is $10 per vehicle.

  • Fish Lake Trail
    If you're looking for a family-friendly outing, including four-legged members, Fish Lake Trail fits the bill. As a recent addition to the collection of bike trails around Spokane, users give Fish Lake Trail high marks for its wide, well-maintained trail and mild, gradual inclines that are easy to navigate. The path is "rails to trails," meaning it follows the route of a railroad. At Marshall Canyon, you can travel along active railroad lines known as "The Funnel," which is still a major point of interest for railroad buffs. Plans are underway to close a gap and link Fish Lake Trail to Spokane River Centennial State Park Trail.

  • Mount Spokane State Park - N. 26107 Mount Spokane Park Dr., Mead, WA 99021
    You know you're deep into nature when the Mount Spokane State Park website warns about watching for moose crossing the mountain bike trails. Sprawled across 12,393 acres near Mead homes for sale, Mount Spokane is one of the largest state parks in Washington. The grounds include more than 79 miles of mountain bike trails, providing plenty of territories to explore. Elevations range up to nearly 6,000 feet, with trails passing through cedar forests, wildflower meadows, and other alpine vegetation. Shuttles are available for transport to the higher levels. Park hours are 6:30 a.m. until dusk, and a daily admission fee is $10 per vehicle.

Whether you're looking for urban amenities or outdoor activities, you'll find both in Spokane. Contact us at Coldwell Banker Tomlinson for knowledgeable answers to all your real estate questions. 

July
2

How to Bridge the Appraisal Gap in Today's Real Estate Market

If you're searching for drama, don't limit yourself to Netflix. Instead, tune in to the real estate market, where the competition among buyers has never been fiercer. And with homes selling for record highs, the appraisal process is receiving more attention than ever. That's because, in a rapidly appreciating market, a property is more likely to appraise below the sales price—which can lead to major repercussions for both buyers and sellers.

It's never been more important to understand the appraisal process and the risks involved. It's also crucial to work with a skilled real estate agent who can guide you to a successful closing without overpaying (if you're a buyer) or overcompensating (if you're a seller). Find out how appraisals work—and in some cases, don't work—in today's unique real estate environment.

APPRAISAL REQUIREMENTS

An appraisal is an objective assessment of a property's market value performed by an independent authorized appraiser. Mortgage lenders require an appraisal to lower their risk of loss in the event a buyer defaults on their loan.

In most cases, a licensed appraiser will analyze the property's condition and review the value of comparable properties that have recently sold. Appraisal requirements can vary by lender and loan type, and in today's market, in-person appraisal waivers have become much more common. If you're applying for a mortgage, be sure to ask your lender about their specific terms.

APPRAISALS IN A RAPIDLY SHIFTING MARKET

An appraisal contingency is a standard inclusion in a home offer. It enables the buyer to make the closing of the transaction dependent on a satisfactory appraisal wherein the value of the property is at or near the purchase price. This helps to reassure the buyer (and their lender) that they are paying fair market value for the home and allows them to cancel the contract if the appraisal is lower than expected.

Low appraisals are not common, but they are more likely to happen in a rapidly appreciating market, like the one we're experiencing now. That's because appraisers must use comparable sales (commonly referred to as comps) to determine a property's value. This could include homes that went under contract weeks or even months ago. With home prices rising so quickly, today's comps may be lagging behind the market's current reality. Thus, the appraiser could be basing their assessment on stale data, resulting in a low valuation.

HOW ARE BUYERS AND SELLERS IMPACTED BY A LOW APPRAISAL?

When a property appraises for less than the contract price, you end up with an appraisal gap. In a more balanced market, that could be cause for a renegotiation. In today's market, however, sellers often hold the upper hand.

That's why some buyers are using the potential for an appraisal gap as a way to strengthen their bids. They're proposing to take on some or all of the risk of a low appraisal by adding gap coverage or a contingency waiver to their offer.

Appraisal Gap Coverage

Buyers with some extra cash on hand may opt to add an appraisal gap coverage clause to their offer. It provides an added level of reassurance to the sellers that, in the event of a low appraisal, the buyer is willing and able to cover the gap up to a certain amount.

For example, let's say a home is listed for $200,000 and the buyers offer $220,000 with $10,000 in appraisal gap coverage. Now, let's say the property appraises for $205,000. The new purchase price would be $215,000. The buyers would be responsible for paying $10,000 of that in cash directly to the seller because, in most cases, mortgage companies won't include appraisal gap coverage in a home loan.

Waiving The Appraisal Contingency

Some buyers with a higher risk tolerance—and the financial means—may be willing to waive the appraisal contingency altogether. However, this strategy isn't for everyone and must be considered on a case-by-case basis.

It's important to remember that waiving an appraisal contingency can leave a buyer vulnerable if the appraisal comes back much lower than the contract price. Without an appraisal contingency, a buyer will be obligated to cover the difference or be forced to walk away from the transaction and relinquish their earnest money deposit to the sellers.

It's vital that both buyers and sellers understand the benefits and risks involved with these and other competitive tactics that are becoming more commonplace in today's market. We can help you chart the best course of action given your individual circumstances.

DON'T WAIVE YOUR RIGHT TO THE BEST REPRESENTATION

You need a master negotiator on your side who has the skills, instincts, and experience to get the deal done...no matter what surprises may pop up along the way. If you're a buyer, we can help you compete in this unprecedented market—without getting steamrolled. And if you're a seller, we know how to get top dollar for your home while minimizing hassle and stress. Contact us today to schedule a complimentary consultation.

June
28

Summer Learning Opportunities for Your Kids

Spokane Kids Camps

School might be out for summer, but opportunities for kids to learn and grow never end. The Spokane area offers a lot of great programs and resources for children to continue their education... and have a lot of fun!

Summer programs offer a chance for youngsters to learn more about science and the arts and to stoke their creativity and connect with the natural world in a way that a traditional classroom never could. Our real estate agents are happy to share some of their favorite summer learning opportunities for kids. 

  1. Northwest Museum of Arts and Culture - 2316 W 1st Ave, Spokane, WA 99201
    One of Spokane's most eclectic museums, the Northwest Museum of Arts and Culture offers a broad spectrum of exhibits and programs that revolve around local and regional art, culture, and history. Just minutes from these Spokane homes for sale, the museum houses more than a million artifacts and archival materials and offers hands-on programs and classes for all ages on subjects ranging from painting to local history. Current exhibitions include An American Original: The Life and Work of John James Audubon, which runs through September 2021.

  2. Corbin Art Center - 507 W 7th Ave, Spokane, WA 99204
    The Corbin Art Center has been providing fun and in-depth art classes and programs for kids of all ages (and adults too) for more than 50 years. It's become one of Spokane's most beloved art establishments and has given countless young artists their start. Art classes and workshops are divided into various age groups, exploring topics ranging from drawing and painting to mixed media and holiday-themed art events. They also offer summer camps in partnership with the City of Spokane Parks & Recreation.

  3. Twin Eagles Wilderness School - 1023 Wood View Rd, Sandpoint, ID 83864
    With a mission to build community and teach kids valuable outdoor skills while connecting more deeply with nature, Twin Eagles Wilderness School is one of the great outdoor adventure camps in the region. The school offers immersive summer camps that help kids learn self-awareness and self-reliance. It's a lot of fun too, and includes skills like tracking animals, starting a fire from friction, identifying edible plants, and traditional archery. Although based in Sandpoint, ID, Twin Eagles Wilderness School offers summer programs in several nearby cities, Spokane included. 

  4. Northeast Youth Center - 3004 E Queen Ave, Spokane, WA 99217
    One of the great youth resources in the Spokane area, the Northeast Youth Center provides a fun and engaging summer camps for children of all ages. Offerings include Camp Alotta Fun, available weekly and monthly, which includes field trip adventures, crafts, and recreational activities for ages 5 to 12. For younger kids in the 2 ½ to 5 age group, the Early Learners Academy includes a wide range of fun educational activities that aid in the development and prepare young children for kindergarten. 

  5. Mobius Discovery Center - 331 N Post St, Spokane, WA 99201
    The Mobius Discovery Center has blended the best aspects of a play-based children's museum and an inquiry-based science center to create some truly unique opportunities for children to learn and explore the world of science. The programs here are designed to ignite curiosity and spark the imagination, giving kids opportunities to enjoy learning about everything from plants and animals to physics and chemistry. The Mobius Discovery Center is currently offering both in-person and virtual programs. 

Just because the books are closed, and the pencils are tucked away doesn't mean kids are done learning! Contact us today to learn more about life in Spokane.

June
16

Green Bluff Growers Spotlight

Green Bluff Growers

The Green Bluff area is known for its beautiful scenery and fertile soil, which allows local farmers to grow a wide variety of delicious, high-quality produce throughout the year. Many of the best local farms and fruit stands are part of the Green Bluff Growers' Association, a local organization dedicated to sharing all that local farms have to offer. And it's not just about great food! They also host many fun, family-friendly activities available at local farms throughout the year. Coldwell Banker Tomlinson has all the details on the fun you can expect at local farms, in our Green Bluff Growers Spotlight.

  • Get to Know Green Bluff and the Growers
    Green Bluff is a scenic community located just 15 minutes north of Spokane homes for sale, in the beautiful foothills of Mt. Spokane. The fertile land of Green Bluff has long been a major attraction for farmers, and a large number of those farmers formed the Green Bluff Growers' Association in 1902. For more than 100 years, the Green Bluff Growers have offered fresh, delicious produce to the community, and the many visitors who come to experience these wonderful farms.

  • Family Fun on the Farm in the Spring and Summer
    While there is much to experience all year long, spring and summer are especially good times to experience some fun on the farm. Start by sampling fresh strawberries, which are typically available to be harvested from the middle of June through early July. Next up is the famous Cherry Pickers Trot during the cherry season in July, when you can go for a run/stroll through local orchards and find fun family activities on the farms.

    Summer wraps up with peach season in August, the perfect time to find out why Green Bluff peaches are so well-known for their quality. Stop by a local farm to find juicy, ripe peaches prepared in nearly any way you can imagine, from traditional peach cobbler to peach ice cream that's as fresh as it gets.

  • Fun in the Fall with the Apple Festival and Holiday Memories Celebrations
    The fun continues in the fall, with the Apple Festival kicking off at the end of September. During the Apple Festival, many local farms offer both apple and pumpkin picking, which are both fun activities for families with kids. Some farms even take things to the next level with live music, corn mazes, and plenty more activities for families to enjoy. The year wraps up with Holiday Memories celebrations during November and December. Visit a local farm to cut your own tree for the holidays, have your kids take pictures with Santa, then sample some outstanding, holiday-themed food and drink.

  • Shop at Green Bluff Produce Stands or Pick Your Own on the Farms
    When you're in the mood for fresh produce, the Green Bluff Growers offer a variety of ways to find what you seek. Many local produce stands are also part of the Green Bluff Growers, making it easy to quickly pick up fresh produce for your next culinary creation. If you enjoy picking your produce almost as much as you enjoy eating it, then try a visit to one of the many Green Bluff farms that offer pick your own produce.

Have you been searching for a home that makes it easy to enjoy all of the family fun and fresh produce around Green Bluff?  Reach out for assistance in buying and selling homes throughout the Spokane, WA area.

June
8

Take Advantage of Your Home Equity: A Homeowner's Guide

Homeownership offers many advantages over renting, including a stable living environment, predictable monthly payments, and the freedom to make modifications. But one of the biggest benefits it offers is the opportunity to build wealth over time. Researchers at the Urban Institute found that homeownership is financially beneficial for most families, and studies have shown that the median net worth of homeowners can be up to 80 times greater than that of renters in some areas.

So how does purchasing a home help you build wealth? And what steps should you take to maximize the potential of your investment? Find out how to harness the power of home equity for a secure financial future.

WHAT IS HOME EQUITY?

Home equity is the difference between what your home is worth and the amount you owe on your mortgage. So, for example, if your home would currently sell for $250,000 and the remaining balance on your mortgage is $200,000, then you have $50,000 in home equity.

The equity in your home is considered a non-liquid asset. It's your money; but rather than sitting in a bank account, it's providing you with a place to live. And when you factor in the potential of appreciation, an investment in real estate will likely offer a better return than any savings account available today.

HOW DOES HOME EQUITY BUILD WEALTH?

A mortgage payment is a type of "forced savings" for home buyers. When you make a mortgage payment each month, a portion of it goes towards interest on your loan, and the remaining part goes towards paying off your principal, or loan balance. As your loan balance goes down, your home equity goes up.

Additionally, the value of your home generally increases, or appreciates, over time. And when you sell it, even if you've only paid off a small portion of your mortgage, you get to keep 100% of your property's appreciated value. That's the wealth-building power of real estate.

WHAT CAN I DO TO GROW MY HOME'S EQUITY FASTER?

There are two basic ways to increase the equity in your home:

  1. Pay down your mortgage. Some homeowners do this by adding a little extra to their monthly payment, making one additional payment per year, or making a lump-sum payment when extra money becomes available. Another option is to decrease your amortization period. For example, if you can afford the higher monthly payment, consider refinancing from a 30-year or 25-year mortgage to a 15-year mortgage

  2. Raise your home's market value. Many homeowners enjoy do-it-yourself projects that add value at a relatively low cost. Others choose to invest in larger, strategic renovations. Keep in mind, you won't necessarily get back every dollar you spend on upgrades, so consult a professional before making any major investments.

A word of caution: neglecting routine maintenance could decrease your home's value (and equity), so be sure to stay on top of recommended upkeep and repairs.

HOW DO I ACCESS MY HOME EQUITY IF I NEED IT?

What if you want to tap into your home's equity while you're still living in it? There are several ways to borrow against your home equity, depending on your needs and qualifications:

  1. A Second Mortgage (or Home Equity Loan) enables you to borrow a lump sum, which you are responsible for paying back—with interest—over a set period of time. Most second mortgages have a fixed interest rate and provide the borrower with a predictable monthly payment.

  2. With a Cash-Out Refinance , you refinance your mortgage for a higher amount than you currently owe. Then you pay off your original mortgage and keep the difference as cash. This option may be preferable if you have a high interest rate on your current mortgage or prefer to make just one payment per month.

  3. A Home Equity Line of Credit (HELOC ) is a revolving line of credit, similar to a credit card. It allows you to draw out money as you need it. The interest rate on a HELOC is variable, so your payment each month could change depending on how much you borrow and how interest rates fluctuate.

  4. A Reverse Mortgage enables qualifying seniors to borrow against the equity in their home to supplement their retirement income. In most cases, the loan (plus interest) doesn't need to be repaid until the homeowners sell, move, or are deceased.

It's important to note that borrowing against your home's equity isn't always the best option, and it carries the risk of foreclosure if you default. Please ask for a referral to a lender or financial adviser to find out if a home equity loan is right for you.

ALWAYS HERE TO HELP

If you're ready to begin building equity with a new home purchase, grow the value of your current home, or access your equity through a home sale or loan—help is here.  Schedule a complimentary consultation!

The above references an opinion and is for informational purposes only. It is not intended to be financial advice. Consult a financial professional for advice regarding your individual needs.

May
21

Finding a New Home for Your Next Stage of Life

Finding a New Home for Your Next Stage of Life

For most of us, our housing needs are cyclical. A newly independent adult can find freedom and flexibility in even a tiny apartment. That same space, to a growing family, would feel stifling. For empty nesters, a large home with several unused bedrooms can become impractical. It's no surprise that life transitions often trigger a home purchase.

While your home-buying journey may not look like your neighbor's or friend's, broad trends can help you understand what to keep in mind as you house hunt. After all, taking the time now to think about exactly what you need can save a lot of heartache later.

THE NEWLY MARRIED OR PARTNERED COUPLE

The financial and legal commitment of marriage has provided a springboard to homeownership for centuries, though these days more couples are buying homes without exchanging rings. But no matter your status, there are some key factors you should consider as you enter into your first home purchase together.

  • Affordability: While many buyers are holding out for their dream home, embracing the concept of a starter home can open a lot of doors. If you focus on buying a home you can afford now with strong potential for appreciation, you can build equity alongside your savings, positioning you to trade up to a larger home in the future if your needs change.
  • Mortgage rates: Mortgage rates are at historic lows, but they still require solid credit. If one partner's score is keeping you from getting a mortgage, consider taking out a loan in only the other partner's name. The downside is that applying for a mortgage with a single income will reduce your qualification amount. And if you take that route, make sure you understand the legal and financial implications for both parties should the relationship end.
  • Location: A successful relationship takes compromise, so it's important to consider both of your commutes and interests when choosing a neighborhood. Need some help identifying the ideal location that fits within your budget? We can match you with some great communities that offer the perfect mix of amenities and affordability.

THE GROWING FAMILY

Having kids changes everything. Whether you've just had your first child or are getting to the point where your kids can't comfortably share a bedroom any longer, there's plenty to consider when you're ready to size up to a home that will fit your growing family.

  • Schools: 53% of buyers with children under 18 say that school districts are a major factor in their home buying decision.But when you're moving to a new community, it can be tough to figure out what the schools are actually like. That's why talking to a local real estate agent can be a gamechanger.
  • Lifestyle: How will the home you purchase affect your family's lifestyle? Features like a pool, a finished basement, or an open floor plan can help you enjoy time together.
  • Functionality: Consider your day-to-day needs. Will a walk-in pantry or a well-designed laundry room make life easier? Chances are, you won't find every nice-to-have in one home. But we can help you assess your options and give you a sense of what is realistic within your budget.

THE EMPTY NESTERS

When we talk about empty nesters, we usually think about downsizing. With kids out of the house, extra rooms can quickly become more trouble than they're worth. But there's plenty for empty nesters to think about besides square footage.

  • Maintenance: Ready to relax or travel now that the kids are gone? Keep in mind that newer homes tend to require fewer repairs, and smaller homes have less space to clean. And if you don't love yard work, a condo or townhouse might be preferable to a single-family home.

  • Lifestyle: If you're retired (or nearing it), consider how you'd like to spend your days. For some, that might mean living near a golf course or a beach. For others, being able to walk downtown for a nice dinner out is the priority. And with more time to spend as you wish, proximity to a supportive community of friends and family is priceless.

  • Ability to age in place: We can't escape aging, so it's wise to think ahead. This may mean choosing a single-story home with a walk-in tub or shower. Location matters, too—if your family will be providing support, are they close by? Can you easily reach necessities like grocery stores and healthcare? A few careful considerations now can make staying in your home long-term much more feasible.

FINDING THE RIGHT HOME FOR RIGHT NOW

Whatever stage you're embarking on next, insight into local neighborhoods, prices, and housing stock will help you hone in on exactly where you want to live and what kind of home is right for you. Buying a home—whether it's your first or your fifth—is a big decision, but we're here to support you every step of the way.

We support the Fair Housing Act and equal opportunity housing.

May
10

Family Fun: Mini Golf Courses Near Spokane

Spokane Mini Golf

Did you know mini golf is a great way for kids to learn patience and self-control while developing creativity and hand-eye coordination? All your kids will know is that they're having a blast. Share some quality time with your family at one of these entertaining mini golf courses near Spokane homes for sale.

  • Wonderland Family Fun Center - 10515 N. Division, Spokane, WA 99218
    With more than "five acres of fun," you and your family won't run out of things to do at Wonderland Family Fun Center. They have not one but two mini golf courses, indoor and outdoor so that you can play in any weather. Take a lunch break to enjoy some delicious pizza or one of the other items on their new full-service restaurant menu. Park admission is free, with a $10 fee for indoor mini golf and $11 for outdoor mini golf. Hours are 2 p.m. - 9 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday, 2 p.m. - 10 p.m. Friday, 11 a.m. - 10 p.m. Saturday, and 11 a.m. - 9 p.m. Sunday.

  • Flatstick Pub - 618 W. Main Ave., Spokane, WA 99201
    Flatstick Pub was inspired by a simple but brilliant idea: Why not combine the fun and excitement of mini golf with the casual, welcoming ambiance of a neighborhood pub? Spokane's legendary Doomsday Hill makes an appearance on Flatstick's nine-hole course. Get some variety and try your hand at Duffleboard, Flatstick's own invention that's a cross between mini golf and shuffleboard. The upscale menu is provided by Ethan Stowell Restaurants, the first-class food group based in Seattle. Flatstick is open 3 p.m. - 10 p.m. Monday through Thursday, noon-midnight Friday and Saturday, and noon - 10 p.m. Sunday. Please note that Flatstick is 21 and over only after 7 p.m., and tee time reservations are required.

  • Puttin' Around Mini Golf Course - 2902 E. Seltice Way, Post Falls, ID 83854
    Puttin' Around Mini Golf Course is the place for you when you want just mini golf. There's nothing to distract from the joys of playing 18 holes on their classic mini golf course. The grounds are attractive and well-maintained, and players appreciate the friendly and helpful staff members. Relax with a snack and cold beverage at one of the picnic tables outside the retro-themed Surf Shack. Puttin' Around is open seven days a week from 11 a.m. - 8 p.m.

  • Triple Play Family Fun Park - 175 W. Orchard Ave., Hayden, ID 83835
    For just over 20 years, Triple Play Family Fun Park has been a top destination for families who love to stay active. Triple Play is the only venue west of the Mississippi, featuring its varied combination of activities and amenities. The outdoor mini golf course, open seasonally, is a full 18 holes, while the year-round nine-hole indoor course includes a black light for spectacular visual effects. What to do afterward? Choose from bumper cars and boats, go-karts, bowling, laser tag, ropes course, and more. As if that wasn't enough, there's an indoor water park with a special section for toddlers. The Garden Fresh Grill serves a menu of family favorites such as pizza, burgers, hot dogs, and nachos. Visit the website to see hours and admission prices.

When it's time to buy or sell your home, pass the work off to a professional so you can spend more time with your family.

April
12

How to Celebrate Earth Day in Spokane

Spokane Earth Day

Earth Day is celebrated on Thursday, April 22, so why not get out and enjoy Spokane's natural beauty? Whether you want to hike to see a waterfall or browse in a market filled with fresh local produce, there's plenty to do and see locally on Earth Day.
Check out the following five places to celebrate Earth Day in Spokane:

  1. Liberty Creek Hiking Trail - Liberty Lake Regional Park - 3707 S. Zephr Rd., Liberty Lake, WA 99019
    Get out and about to enjoy Spokane's natural beauty on the Liberty Creek Hiking Trail, which is almost four miles long from point to point and located near Liberty Lake homes for sale. It's rated as intermediate/difficult and offers a picturesque view of a waterfall along the way, creating the perfect spot to stop for a rest and a snack. You'll end up crossing Liberty Creek twice via footbridges on your way to a cool, damp cedar grove before climbing to a view of Liberty Lake.

  2. Riverside State Park - 9711 W. Charles Rd., Nine Mile Falls, WA 99026
    Although you'll be surrounded by nature at Riverside State Park, it's located only about nine miles from Spokane. The park has plenty of activities to keep you busy and active, no matter what you like to do. You'll be able to choose from 55 miles of trails and go mountain biking, horseback riding, rock climbing, or hiking. If you'd like to enjoy the water, you can try paddle sports at the Little Spokane River.

  3. Main Market - 44 W. Main Ave., Spokane, WA 99201
    Choose delicious, wholesome local foods at Main Market, Spokane's only cooperative grocery store, located just around the corner from Spokane homes for sale. You'll find a large selection of products, including local eggs, fruits, veggies, and more. And in the bulk foods section, you'll be able to find products such as dried fruit, teas, spices, and more that you can buy in the exact quantity you need. You can grab breakfast or a meal from the hot or salad bar. Cooked-from-scratch community dinners are available every Thursday for $3 and include a meat option as well as a vegan one.

  4. Emerson-Garfield Farmers' Market - 2310 North Monroe, Spokane, WA 99205
    Emerson-Garfield Farmers' Market is a seasonally weekly marketplace that features a large variety of local products. You'll find organic fruits and vegetables, breads, pastries, pasture-raised meats, farm-fresh eggs, artisanal soaps, and more as you browse the market and take in the sights. It also serves as a community hub, bringing people together for musical entertainment, cooking demos, craft fairs, and more fun local events.

  5. Lima Greenhouses - 2100 S. Inland Empire Way, Spokane, WA 99224
    Planning on planting on Earth Day? Lima Greenhouses is a locally owned nursery that provides quality wholesale plants to eastern Washington and northern Idaho. Here you'll be able to find plant products that have been grown and cared for by experts. You can find almost anything you need to make your landscaping beautiful, including annuals, perennials, shrubs, herbs, and fruit and vegetable plants as well as gardening supplies and decor.

When you live in a place with so much natural beauty Earth Day is extra special! Contact us to learn more about Spokane living.

March
25

Crazy Prices: What's Really Driving Up the Cost of New Homes

From the March 2021 issue of @Home with Coldwell Banker Tomlinson.  Written by Chris Canning, Coldwell Banker Tomlinson Realtor®

As both a licensed REALTOR® and home builder, I often scroll through my Facebook feed and see homes advertised by our area homebuilders and fellow real estate agents. I often see such remarks as: "They want how much for that house? They're crazy!" or "Why can't builders build more affordable homes?" The general public is not aware of the obstacles faced by members of the industry tasked with meeting the demand for housing. Chief among these obstacles are: 1. A lack of affordable land. 2. Dramatic increases in the cost of materials. 3. The scarcity of qualified tradespeople.

  1. Land

    The first line item on any builder's ledger is lot cost. At present, Spokane is faced with issues in obtaining, developing, and delivering reasonably priced lots to builders. Briefly stated, Spokane's Comprehensive Plan dictates when, where, and how development and construction can take place. Its purpose is to prioritize use of existing infrastructure and improvements before venturing into areas that would require expanding infrastructure. Unfortunately, the land within the boundaries of our "Comp Plan" that was easiest and most cost-effective to develop is gone, leaving only very complicated, expensive, steep, rocky, pieces of property to develop. Consequently, developers and builders are forced to confront more expensive and complicated properties and projects. Many consumers who are able are paying these increases, while others have simply been forced out of the market. Let's assume a builder can build a home for $200.00/sq/ft and obtain a fair profit. If the builder is able to obtain a building lot for $60,000, and builds a 1,500 sq/ft rancher – he would need to charge $360,000 for this home. If, due to scarcity, the cost of the lot rises to $80,000, the result is an increase in the finished cost of the home of about $22,000. Otherwise, the builder sees his/her margin of profit slip, which would make it more difficult to obtain financing. Ultimately, the consumer bears the brunt of the cost increase, while the only party to benefit is the original landowner.
     
  2. Materials

    You may have heard in the news recently that lumber prices have nearly doubled in our area and elsewhere across the nation. However, it's not just lumber that has seen extensive price increases due to scarcity. Across the board (no pun intended), shortages in roofing, wiring, flooring and other materials, have significantly increased the cost of building a new home today.
     
  3. Skilled Labor

    Ask any home builder in town why homes are costing more, and be prepared for a lecture on the shortage of labor in the building trades. As a millennial, I was pushed hard to pursue a career requiring a college degree. I wish I had known then how much demand Spokane would have for skilled labor in the building trades in 2021! Talking to the many friends and family I have working as skilled tradespeople, I find that every one of them is inundated with work, to the extent that they can choose whom they work for and what they should be paid. As a result, while today's new homes are not framed any straighter or plumbed more reliably than those built five years ago, they are a lot more expensive to build, and, thus, to buy.

Lurking behind every one of these factors in the increasing cost of new homes is the Demon of Demand. As long as Spokane remains the wonderful place to live it is and always has been, we can expect to see increases in the cost of housing, though perhaps less steep than we are coping with now, extending into the future.

February
22

Start Your Garden Indoors With These Tips

Spokane Garden Tips

By the time we get to the dark days of midwinter, gardeners all over Washington are itching to get outside and get their hands back in the soil. We understand the struggle. 

Luckily, this is the time of year when you can start taking the first steps toward planting your spring vegetable garden. Our real estate agents are delighted to share these tips for starting your spring garden indoors!

  1. Pick out Your Seeds
    Starting from seed gives you complete control over your garden and the ability to select from a wider range of varieties. Plus, you get to start earlier, which gives you something to do in the late days of winter! You can order seeds online or stop at your local greenhouse. 

  2. Know Your Zone
    USDA Hardiness Zones can be extremely helpful in determining what plants are ideal for your climate and when each type of plant should be started in your specific region. Here in Spokane, WA, we're in zone 6. 

  3. Which Plants to Start Indoors
    Some vegetables transplant better than others. It's important to plan and know which seeds should be started indoors and which should be sowed directly into your garden when the time is right. Vegetables that transplant especially well include broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, eggplant, kale, lettuce, onion, okra, peppers, sweet potatoes, and tomatoes. Certain other vegetables, including celery, cucumbers, melons, peas, spinach, and squash, can also be started indoors but must be transplanted very carefully. A few vegetables should never be transplanted because doing so often damages the roots. They include beans, beets, carrots, and corn. These crops should be planted directly in your garden after all danger of frost has passed. 

  4. Location, Location, Location
    If you're planning to start seeds indoors, you'll need a suitable location in which to do so. The best way to grow seedlings indoors is with a grow light, which provides constant light from directly above your seeds. But you can certainly get by without a grow light. Choose a spot in your house where a large window provides abundant light. South-facing windows are ideal. Make sure your seedlings don't get too cold—a consistent temperature between 65°F and 75°F is just right—and give your seedlings a quarter-turn every day to keep them from reaching toward the light and developing long, spindly stems. 

  5. Know When to Begin
    Most seeds should be planted indoors 6 to 8 weeks before the date of the last spring frost, though exact timing varies. Here in the Spokane area, the prime time to plant seeds indoors is during the first two weeks of March. Between March 1st and March 15th, plant seeds indoors for broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, peppers, and tomatoes. Wait until around the beginning of April to start seeds for cucumbers, melons, and squash. By mid-April, you should be able to transplant your seedlings from early March into your garden. Around this same time, you can plant seeds like carrots, beans, beets, and corn directly in your garden.

  6. Keep Your Seed Packets
    When in doubt, refer to your seed packets! They typically have detailed information on how and when the seeds should be planted, so make sure you keep them in case you need a little reminder.

Contact us today to learn more about life in the Spokane area. We live in a great area for gardening, and our team is standing by to help you search Spokane homes for sale.

February
3

Spokane Housing Market: A 30,000 Foot Overview

From the January 2020 issue of @Home with Coldwell Banker Tomlinson.  Written by Neil Johnson, resident CBT Statistics Expert.

 

The past year has been fraught with a number of issues that have affected the residential real estate market in many ways. The forces that have aligned this unusual year have basically created a housing shortage.

The Spokane and Coeur d'Alene area had been seeing high in-migration prior to 2020 and also low new housing production as evidenced by low rental vacancy rates and a low inventory of homes for sale.  When the pandemic became official and businesses related to housing were closed, the supply of building materials and building itself were interrupted for a time. Simultaneously, people who had been relying on the office as a place to work found that they could work anywhere.

Since most large metro housing markets have remained healthy and strong, the option of selling from a large market and moving to a smaller market like ours has remained achievable. Now, mix in extremely low interest rates, more in-migration and fewer local residents moving away, and you get a high concentration of demand in the Spokane market.

Since the demand is high, the rising cost of building new housing has been offset by buyers who have no financial restrictions and can pay higher prices for new homes. As new homes are selling at record prices, those homes become benchmarks to all existing housing, encouraging home sellers to raise their asking prices, only to find that competing buyers bid those prices even higher. Incredibly, the high sales velocities are reflecting market acceptance, as homes are selling in numbers similar to 2006-07, which was the height of the housing market prior to the Great Recession.

Our region, with its affordability, access to recreation and excellent quality of life is very attractive to a great number of people, and as long as the larger markets remain stable, the cost of mortgages low, and the incentive strong for local residents to stay, we will see values rise.

February
8

Spokane Restaurants for Valentine's Day Takeout

Spokane Romantic Restaurants

Valentine's Day is around the corner, so now is the perfect time to start planning a surprise for your special someone. While the holiday may look a little different this year than in years past, a romantic meal at home with your favorite person and your favorite food will never go out of style. Many of your favorite Spokane restaurants are currently open for takeout and will be serving up delicious dishes for Valentine's Day this year. We have all the details you need on 5 great restaurants offering Valentine's Day takeout in Spokane.

  1. Wild Sage Bistro – 916 W 2nd Ave., Spokane, WA 99201
    Wild Sage Bistro 
    has long been a local favorite close to Spokane homes for sale, with a great selection available for Valentine's Day takeout this year. This award-winning, locally owned restaurant is offering an outstanding takeout menu every day during dinnertime hours, with all of your farm to table favorites available for contactless curbside pickup. Choose from a selection of fresh soups, salads, appetizers, and entrees, then be sure to leave room for dessert! Wild Sage Bistro also offers a unique selection of craft cocktails and non-alcoholic drinks to pair with your meal.

  2. Elliots Urban Kitchen – 2209 N Monroe St., Spokane, WA 99205

    Thinking of planning a brunch at home for Valentine's Day? Elliots Urban Kitchen is one of the most popular brunch destinations in Spokane and is sure to have everything you need for a memorable meal with your special someone. This local favorite is operated by a husband and wife team, who love sharing their favorite dishes with the community. The brunch menu here is anything but ordinary, with items you won't find at other restaurants and new twists on your favorite classic brunch dishes.

  3. Scratch Spokane – 1007 W 1st Ave., Spokane, WA 99201

    With a focus on using only the highest quality fresh ingredients sourced from local farms and suppliers, Scratch Spokane has earned a loyal following in the city. If you're searching for a restaurant with an extensive selection of wine pairings that you can take home, this is a great place to order. Of course, the food here will also make anyone swoon, with exotic, re-imagined versions of classic American fare, all made from scratch every day.

  4. Wiley's Downtown Bistro – 115 N Washington St., Spokane, WA 99201

    Searching for a restaurant with a special menu just for Valentine's Day? Wiley's Downtown Bistro has you covered, with a four-course menu that allows you to pick the perfect meal for this special day. Start with a selection of social plates that are perfect for sharing, choose your favorite soup/salad for the second course, enjoy an elegant entree, then choose something sweet for dessert to celebrate with your special someone. Be sure to place a pre-order, then let Wiley's Downtown Bistro handle the cooking for Valentine's Day.

  5. Clover Restaurant – 913 E Sharp Ave., Spokane, WA 99202

    Known as one of the most romantic places in Spokane to enjoy a meal, Clover Restaurant is offering a takeout brunch menu for Valentine's Day that will make it easy to enjoy a romantic meal at home. The takeout menu here is built for sharing, with family brunch meals, a tempting selection of appetizers, and some delicious drinks to add the finishing touch to your meal.

Still searching for a home that both you and your significant other will love to call your own?  We are happy to help!  Contact us to buy and sell homes throughout the Spokane, WA area.

January
11

Spokane: 5 Trails for Winter Hiking

Spokane Hiking

Now that the holidays are behind us, we're all eager to get out of the house and get some exercise. Luckily, winter is a beautiful time to head outside and explore the Spokane area.

Our real estate agents love the Washington weather this time of year. And with a nice dusting of snow on the trails, it's a perfect opportunity to lace up your hiking boots—or strap on your snowshoes—and experience these great Spokane winter hikes. 

  1. John A. Finch Arboretum - 3404 W Woodland Blvd, Spokane, WA 99224
    John A. Finch Arboretum is a splendid spot for an afternoon winter stroll. The arboretum spans 65 acres along the banks of Garden Springs Creek and includes a meandering network of trails that pass through rich and varied forest habitat. The arboretum offers amazing scenery in any season. Keep an eye out for colorful winter plants like barberry, snowberry, and red osier dogwood. The Arboretum is convenient to many Spokane homes for sale and just minutes from the heart of Downtown Spokane. It's open to the public every day from dawn until dusk. 

  2. Riverside State Park - 9711 W Charles Rd, Nine Mile Falls, WA 99026
    Riverside State Park is one of Spokane's great outdoor playgrounds. Spanning 14,000 acres around the confluence of the Spokane and Little Spokane rivers, it's a year-round destination for adventures of all kinds. The park offers 55 miles of hiking trails, making it a top destination for snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, and winter hiking near these Nine Mile Falls homes for sale. The 2.1-mile Bowl and Pitcher Loop is a great place to start, offering incredible scenery and a trek across the river on a historic suspension bridge built by the CCC in the 1930s. 

  3. High Drive Bluff Park - 3418 S Jefferson Dr, Spokane, WA 99203
    One of Spokane's great off-the-beaten-path hiking destinations, High Drive Bluff Park, offers some of the best trails within the city limits. Encompassing a vast swath of Ponderosa pine forest and bunchgrass meadows along Spokane's South Hill, the park is home to more than 20 miles of trails. Most of these trails were built—and continue to be maintained—entirely by volunteers. High Drive Bluff Park is open year-round and offers excellent opportunities for winter hiking, bird watching, and fat-tire mountain biking. 

  4. Hog Canyon Lake - Sprague, WA 99032
    Just a few miles outside Spokane, Hog Canyon Lake is a beautiful winter hiking destination. Surrounded by a rugged glacier-carved landscape, the lake is accessible via the Hog Lake Trailhead on the Lake Valley Loop Road, one of several great hikes within the Fishtrap Recreation Area. It's a 5.3-mile loop hike, traversing easy-to-moderate terrain with splendid views of the lake. 

  5. Dishman Hills Natural Area - 625 S Sargent Rd, Spokane Valley, WA 99212
    The 530-acre Dishman Hills Natural Area is one of the best winter hiking destinations in Spokane County. It's a vast landscape of rocky hills, remote woodlands, and secluded ponds, crisscrossed by an extensive network of hiking trails a short drive from many Spokane Valley homes for sale. The 1.4-mile Pinecliff Loop Trail is a great easy winter hike for families with kids, while the Iller Creek Trailhead provides access to several different routes, including some steeper and more challenging trails with amazing views. 

We love Spokane in the winter, but it's a really special place to call home in any season. Contact us to learn more about life in the Spokane area, and talk to our agents about finding your dream home today!

December
28

Make Your Own Charcuterie Board from These Spokane Shops

Charcuterie Boards Spokane

Charcuterie boards are perfect for sampling some of the best local flavors! Plus, they aren't just for meat and cheese anymore. Cold days and nights spent indoors have inspired people to build hot chocolate charcuterie boards featuring cocoa and all the fixings, from marshmallows and wafer sticks to caramel cubes and gingerbread cookies.

Whether you go gourmet or comfort, our real estate agents suggest these great shops around Spokane for creating your own charcuterie board.

  1. Egger's Meats North - 902 W. Rosewood Ave., Spokane, WA 99208
    For more than 60 years, Egger's Meats North has been producing a wide variety of specialty meats in their on-site smokehouse. In addition to hams, turkeys, and steaks, Egger's offers their signature pepperoni sticks and jerky along with 18 varieties of bratwurst. Eggers will also process your wild game during hunting season. Don't forget to pick up sauces, condiments, and side dishes from their deli counter. Hours are 9 a.m. - 6 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday.

  2. Wanderlust Delicato - 421 W. Main Ave., Suite 103, Spokane, WA 99201
    With their passion for travel, the owners of Wanderlust Delicato appreciate how food tells the story of where it came from. Their shop carries cheese, charcuterie, and wine from around the world to share these global experiences with their customers around Spokane homes for sale. Purchase cheese cut to order or choose one of their carefully crafted platters. Wanderlust Delicato is open Wednesday through Saturday from 11 a.m. - 6 p.m. 

  3. Petunia's Marketplace - 2010 N. Madison St., Spokane, WA 99205
    When it comes to items for your charcuterie board, if they don't carry it at Petunia's Marketplace, you don't need it. The charming shop is chock-full of artisan meats and cheeses, freshly roasted coffees, wine, olive oil, balsamic vinegars, and other gourmet foods that are sure to satisfy any taste. Add a touch of sweetness with some handmade chocolate truffles, caramels, and nut clusters. Visit their Facebook page for current hours.

  4. Bruttles Gourmet Candy Shoppe - 828 W. Sprague Ave., Spokane, WA 99201
    Make a candy or hot chocolate charcuterie when you stop by this sweet Spokane shop. A chance comment by a customer-led to the creation of Soft Peanut Butter Brittle, the signature confection at Bruttles Gourmet Candy Shoppe. The luscious treat has the same rich peanut butter flavor with a flaky texture that's easier to eat. Customers also rave about the shop's namesake candy, which is an individual square of the soft brittle minus nuts and dipped in chocolate. Order online for convenient pickup. Hours are 11 a.m. - 6 p.m. weekdays and noon - 5 p.m. Sunday.

  5. Mariupol European Bakery and Deli - 3329 E. Sprague Ave., Spokane, WA 99202
    Want to add a little Continental style to your charcuterie board? Mariupol European Bakery and Deli carries a wide range of traditional foods you won't find anywhere else. Indulge with classic red caviar or smoked wild salmon, or go rustic with Italian polpette meatballs. People keep coming back for authentic baked goods such as stuffed pierogi and vatrushkas, rings of cheese-filled pastry. Mariupol is open 9 a.m. - 7 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 11:30 a.m. - 5:30 p.m. Sunday.

Imagine sharing a charcuterie board with your family to celebrate your new Spokane home. Contact us at Coldwell Banker Tomlinson and let our experienced real estate agents turn your dream into reality.

November
23

Where to Order Holiday Poinsettias in Spokane

Spokane Poinsettias

It's almost time for Spokane homes for sale to come alive with beautiful decorations for the holidays. This holiday season promises to be a welcome time of joy and giving in the midst of a challenging year.  We know many people, buyers, and sellers alike, who are looking forward to it.

One traditional aspect of the holidays many people embrace is the poinsettia. 

They stand for good cheer and success and bring mirth and celebration where they are seen.

Fresh poinsettias can be tough to find in many parts of the country, but you're in luck if you're looking for them here in Spokane. Florists make it a "point" to stock these lovely flowers for the holidays. You have your choice of many places to pick them up.

Let's look at some popular spots to buy holiday poinsettias in Spokane:

  1. The Greenery at Spokane Community College - 1810 North Greene Street, Spokane, WA 99217
    The Greenery at Spokane Community College is unique: A student-run flower shop and nursery right on the Spokane CC campus. Its operations include three greenhouses filled with all sorts of annuals, perennials, trees, and bushes. Fresh flower arrangements are available all year long.
  2. Sunset Florist & Greenhouse - 1606 South Assembly Road, Spokane, WA 99224
    Sunset Florist & Greenhouse is a local florist welcoming Spokane customers since all the way back in 1945. Combining superb quality and affordable prices, it offers you the opportunity to have a special holiday flower arrangement handcrafted by true experts.
  3. Liberty Park Florist & Greenhouse - 1401 East Newark Avenue, Spokane, WA 99202
    Liberty Park Florist & Greenhouse is a family-owned florist that's been a Spokane staple since 1928. It may be best known for its expansive garden center and indoor plants. It also enlivens events, such as weddings, with remarkable flower arrangements that both look and smell great.
  4. Four Seasons Flower and Plant Shop - West 603 Indiana Avenue, Spokane, WA 99205
    Four Seasons Flower and Plant Shop is a favorite when it comes to holiday floral arrangements. Open since 1981, it provides all kinds of options for size, color, and budget. Deliveries can be performed worldwide. You'll truly find lovely selections here in all four seasons.
  5. Evergreen Florist - 1602 North Monroe Street, Spokane, WA 99205
    Evergreen Florist pairs its poinsettias with a stylish green bushel pot. With friendly and prompt service chosen by thousands of customers, it is led by local floral designer Song Korfhage, who brings 30 years of expertise to every bouquet. Tropical plants and even European dish gardens are also available.

Any time of year, local businesses like these florists help give Spokane its unique color and character. There are plenty of other reasons to love this vibrant community waiting for you to discover. Contact us at Coldwell Banker Tomlinson for the freshest real estate opportunities around Spokane.

October
12

Carve Pumpkins in Spokane: Where to Buy Pumpkins

Pumpkins in Spokane

Halloween is almost here, and we couldn't be more excited! We love everything about this holiday, including the quest to find the perfect pumpkin. Over the past several years, we have explored all of the area's best pumpkin patches. Throughout our journey, we've come across a few that really take things up a notch. 

Whether you carve a pumpkin every year or you're thinking about starting a new tradition, you'll want to check out one (or more!) of these great local spots. 

  1. Urban Eden Farms: 2121 S. Cherry St., Spokane, WA 99224
    If you've been thinking about moving into one of the beautiful Spokane homes for sale, you'll definitely want to familiarize yourself with Urban Eden Farms. This CSA (community supported agriculture) sells organic, locally-grown produce on the farm on Saturdays from 9 am until noon. Not only can you get a great pumpkin here, but you can also pick up all the tasty veggies you need for your weekly dinners.
  1. Beck's Harvest House: 9919 Greenbluff Rd., Colbert, WA 99005
    When you're ready to really get into the spirit of the season, head over to the Fall Harvest Festival at Beck's Harvest House. Every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday through October 25th, you can visit their pumpkin patch and enjoy an array of other fall activities. You'll love the giant corn maze, apple cider, homemade pies, local food trucks, world-famous pumpkin donuts, and more! Even better, the farm is located not far from some of the best Colbert homes for sale, making it convenient to stop by while you're out exploring the area.
  1. Eleven Acres Farm: 10909 E. Day Mt. Spokane Rd., Mead, WA 99021
    The popular Eleven Acres Farm has a great pumpkin patch and pick-your-own apples, and fresh-grown winter squash. To see what other produce they have available, make sure to check out their website! After you're done with your visit to the farm, make sure to take a drive around so you can check out some of the beautiful Mead homes for sale
  1. Hidden Acres Orchard: 16802 N. Applewood Ln., Mead, WA 99021
    A dog-friendly farm that's open every day, Hidden Acres Orchard, is a great location for a family pumpkin-picking outing. They currently have white and orange u-pick mini pumpkins, a huge selection of carving pumpkins, giant pumpkins, and stacking pumpkins. You can also pick up some sugar pumpkins, baking pumpkins, and gourds to cover all of your fall baking and decorating needs.
  1. Sunset Orchard on Green Bluff: 8110 E. Greenbluff Rd., Colbert, WA 99005
    If you're looking for the widest selection of pumpkins around, you'll want to head over to Sunset Orchard on Green Bluff. They have over 30 varieties of pumpkins this year, including giant varieties, carving pumpkins, and edible pumpkins. Have fun wandering through the fields in search of the perfect pumpkin, or skip the hassle and choose one from their convenient displays. They regularly restock them, so it'll be easy to find one you love. Before you go, you'll want to make sure you also pick up some fresh apples and veggies. 

Fall in Love With Your Dream Home

Autumn is the perfect time to find your dream home, and we are here to help. Get in touch today to discuss your goals and get started! 

October
19

Community Over Competition: Supporting Our Local Farmers

From the September 2020 issue of @Home with Coldwell Banker Tomlinson.  Written by Abbey Parsons, CBT West Plains Branch Manager.

 

Kohlrabi - I had to GOOGLE it; I had no idea what this vegetable was, until a bag of fresh produce showed up on my doorstep in early May of this year.  Our family decided to try a Community Supported Agriculture program (CSA) subscription.

You can join these programs as a community member by paying for a share of the harvested produce.  We paid for our share up front in March and we receive a weekly delivery to our door.  This has expanded our vegetable choices while supporting a local family business that keeps money in our community. 


COMMUNITY IS KEY

Community Supported Agriculture, or CSA, is a farm marketing model that allows the consumer to buy shares of a farm's harvest before the growing season starts.  Thus, delivery through the winter months may include beets, corn, broccoli, onions, turnips, radishes, carrots, cilantro, kale, mustard, spinach, basil, lettuce and, of course, kohlrabi!  There are also such frozen options as blueberries, peaches, berries, and peas.  Customers may also choose from prepared foods, ingredients for which are raised on local farms, such as hummus, soups, sauces and jams.


FARMING IS THEIR PASSION

Courage to Grow Farms is a first-generation, family-owned urban farm that practices zero-waste regenerative agriculture and employs organic methods.  It was established in 2018 with the idea of teaching their community, particularly its youth, techniques of sustainable agriculture on small parcels of land.  In only two years, they have created, worked and mentored six urban farms in the Spokane area, all of which are now being run successfully by people eager to learn the trade.  In cooperation with other farmers throughout the Pacific Northwest, they now offer much of the Spokane region a bountiful, locally-produced fresh box throughout the year.


GIVING BACK

Since the community keeps them going, they are eager to give back to the community.  Since 2018, they have donated hundreds of pounds of wholesome food to the Farm to Food Pantry Program, Catholic Charities, Food For All, as well as providing their packages free of charge every week to families in need.


IF YOU'RE INTERESTED

Twenty consecutive weeks of deliveries are available for $800.  For more information, call or text (509) 270-7264 or visit their website at www.couragetogrowfarms.com.

 

September
30

Annual Coats 4 Kids Drive More Important Now Than Ever

 

From the September 2020 issue of @Home with Coldwell Banker Tomlinson.  Article written by Cindy Hedin, Coldwell Banker Tomlinson REALTOR®.

With fall just around the corner, we at Coldwell Banker Tomlinson are beginning to gear up for our annual Coats 4 Kids campaign with KXLY 4 News Now.   Though, due to the current COVID pandemic and school closures, the Coats 4 Kids campaign will look a little different in 2020, its success is more urgent than ever!

Coats 4 Kids is an area-wide annual fall event and has several local sponsors, including Coldwell Banker Tomlinson.  In addition to its corporate contributions, Coldwell Banker Tomlinson Realtors® throughout our region have worked in the past as liasons with local schools and businesses in collecting coats.  We will miss working directly with our school partners this year.  However, we know they will continue to do what they can to help.  View a full list of coat dropoff locations here.

The good news is that we will still be receiving new and gently used coats and monetary donations at Coldwell Banker Tomlinson offices throughout the Spokane area.  Dr. Bob Lutz from the Spokane Health District was consulted to ensure we are observing proper procedures regarding COVID-19.  Unfortunately we have had to eliminate some of the events we've done in the past.

This year marks the 35th anniversary of Coats 4 Kids.  With your support, we have been able to collect hundreds of thousands of new and gently-used coats of all sizes (don't forget the teenagers!) for children throughout our region.  This year's collection will begin October 1st and run through October 31st.  We want to make sure every child in our area has a warm coat to wear this winter!

What can YOU do to help in this year's campaign? 

1.  Check your closets any gently used coats you would like to donate.

2.  Bring them to any Coldwell Banker Tomlinson office, or call your Coldwell Banker Tomlinson Realtor®, we will be happy to pick up your donation.

3.  Donations of new coats and monetary donations are also most welcome. Make a financial contribution here

Your contributions will put smiles on many, many children in our community!

September
14

Scenic Spots Around Spokane to See Fall Colors

Spokane Scenic Spots

It's hard to believe summer is almost over, but there will be a nip in the air before you know it! As summer turns into autumn, we all look forward to the stunning fall foliage that Washington is known for. This is one of the reasons why we love showing homes in the autumn months.

When we speak with potential buyers who are new to the area, we always recommend that they take a short break from exploring Spokane homes for sale to visit some of the area's most scenic spots. Here are a few of our favorite recommendations.

  1. Iller Creek Trail: 9001 E Holman Rd., Spokane, WA 99206
    The 1,233-acre Dishman Hills Conservation Area is home to the scenic Iller Creek Trail. Here you'll find a dramatic landscape where you can take in gorgeous views, wildflowers, and wildlife. During your hike, you'll see beautiful forests, a creek, and you'll have access to the popular Rocks of Sharon. The trail spans 4.6 miles and sees quite a bit of hiking traffic. It's also dog-friendly as long as your furry friends stays on a leash. 
  2. Manito Park & Boulevard: S Grand Ave at 18th Ave., Spokane, WA 99203
    A staple of Spokane since 1904, Manito Park is made up of five gorgeous garden areas. While the spring and summer blooms are stunning, we're partial to the autumn foliage. You'll love the Nishinomiya Tsutakawa Memorial Japanese Garden, with its scarlet maple trees, koi ponds, and footbridge. When you're done visiting the park, take a stroll down Manito Boulevard, where the overhang of golden leaves is truly a sight to be seen! 
  3. Continental Trail: 9711 W Charles Rd., Nine Mile Falls, WA 99026
    The entire 37-mile Centennial Trail is dotted with fall foliage. However, the area that spans from Gonzaga University through Riverfront Park offers the most colorful views. When the weather is particularly clear, you can sometimes catch a glimpse of the leaves reflecting off the Spokane River. This paved trail is open to pedestrians and non-motorized vehicles. 
  4. Green Bluff: 8110 E Greenbluff Rd., Mead, WA 99021
    Green Bluff Growers is a community of family farms, wineries, and more. Here you can pick apples, find pumpkins, and enjoy corn mazes. You'll also want to take some time to shop for homemade gifts and home-baked pies, listen to live music, enjoy locally-sourced food and drinks, and, of course, take in the beautiful scenery. Green Bluff is located just 15 minutes north of Spokane. This is a fun, all-ages adventure that the entire family is sure to love!
  5. Finch Arboretum: 3404 W Woodland Blvd., Spokane, WA 99224
    The 65-acre botanical and tree garden at Finch Arboretum is home to over 2,000 labeled trees, flowers, and shrubs. You'll enjoy wandering through the many trails that wind through the arboretum. Make sure you take a moment to stop by the Garden Springs Creek to relax and take in the beautiful view. 

Are you looking for the perfect home in the Spokane area? We're here to help you find one your sure to fall in love with! Get in touch today to get started. 

September
2

Our Transportation System: A Crisis Within A Crisis

 

From the August 2020 issue of @Home with Coldwell Banker Tomlinson.  Based on original reporting.


It seems that we find ourselves in a time of great decisions.  Should schools and businesses be open or closed?  Should the Congress inject more money into the economy, and if so, how much?  Soon we will be asked to decide whether to stick with our current president, or go with another.

These are great decisions, and different people will find different answers, but their importance requires that we all be involved, that we study the issues before deciding, and then be sure to make our decisions known, either to our elected leaders or via the ballot box.

There is another great issue that we encounter every day and that is calling for a decision that has for too long been either delayed or confused: How do we in Eastern Washington want our transportation system to be managed?  It is the job of Mike Gribner, Region Administrator of the Washington State Dept. of Transportation (WSDOT) to do just that, provided we understand that he acts on instructions from us.

Mike has been waiting for clear, consistent instructions from us for years, and both he and his boss, Roger Millar, our state's Secretary of Transportation, are doing all they can to let us know that years of dithering have led our transportation system to a point of crisis, a crisis just as real as that caused by the novel coronavirus.

Good news is, though, it is much easier to solve.  All it will take is for an informed electorate (us) to get our priorities straight, to decide just where we want to spend our money, and let our elected officials know about it.

At stake in Spokane is an economy that generates $30,000,000,000 (that's right; with a "B!") every year, and every single component is inexorably tied to transportation.  It is what allows goods to get to market, buyers to get to sellers, patients to get to doctors... etc.  When Mike Gribner has cause to worry, we all have cause to worry.

He is worried, because, on the one hand, we expect him to be a good steward of the complex and vital system of transportation we own, while, on the other, we deny him the funds to do so.  Sometimes we do so intentionally, as when Initiative 976 was passed, which dangled the appealing prospect of lower license tabs at the cost of crippling reductions in WSDOT's revenues.  Sometimes, we do it inadvertently, as when we run after the shiny new object of expansion, without first making sure that maintenance of the existing system is properly funded.

The clearest example in our region is the North Spokane Corridor (NSC).  A worthy project, no doubt, but one that is funded by bonded (i.e. "borrowed") money, so much money that the interest payments alone consume a huge percentage of WSDOT's budget.

As a result, Gribner has been obliged to cease all repairs on thoroughfares with speed limits under 45mph.  That lets out not only our tree-lined residential cul-de-sacs, but such little-used byways as Division Street and Trent Ave!

To be sure, the coronavirus has played its part by ratcheting up the severity of the crisis in our transportation system.  The drastic reduction in miles traveled has meant far less consumption of gasoline, which in turn cuts deeply into the gas tax revenues on which WSDOT depends.  The Office of Financial Management estimates the cost of the COVID virus at up to $100,000,000 per month.  

He grimaces when he is accused by members of the real estate industry of being "anti-growth" for taking such action as opposing large-scale development along the I-195 corridor before steps are taken to improve its safety, steps which the City of Spokane (i.e. "we") agreed to take more than a decade ago. 

In fact, the furtherance of economic prosperity is a prominent part of WSDOT's mission statement.  Just ask Councilman Al French whether or not Mike Gribner can be relied upon to support our efforts at economic growth.  He seems to feel that without the heroic effort of Gribner and his partners, Amazon would not have come to the West Plains.

So what is to be done?  According to Mike Gribner, our first job as responsible citizens is to be well-informed.  The WSDOT website is a great place to start.  Beyond that, a call to the regional office at (509) 324-6000 will be enough to convince anyone that this is an organization devoted to serving the public and fulfilling its mission to support the safety, security, and prosperity of the people of Eastern Washington. 

The final step, and the one that counts most, is putting your knowledge to work by voting responsibly and insisting to such elected representatives as Senator Andy Billig and Representative Marcus Riccelli, both ardent advocates for supporting our transportation system properly, that the system is important to you, and that you are willing to pay for it.

August
10

Get Out on the Water: Kayaking and Rafting Around Spokane

Kayaking in Spokane

Whether you prefer your time on the water to be relaxing or exciting, there's a paddlesport option for you. During the summer months, our real estate agents love exploring Spokane-area waterways using kayaks, rafts, and stand-up paddleboards. 

Enjoy some fun out on the water with a rental or guided trip from these spots around Spokane.

  1. FLOW Adventures - 2807 W. Euclid Ave., Spokane, WA 99205
    How much fun are the people at FLOW Adventures? Owners Jon and Jeanie Wilmot bestowed their dog Stella with the official title of "Extra Food Disposal." Since 2005, when the Wilmots ran the business from their basement, they've been "creating adventurous memories" for outdoor lovers near Spokane homes for sale. FLOW conducts rafting, tubing and kayaking trips along the Spokane and Salmon Rivers, or you can rent the apparatus and choose your own course. The fun doesn't stop in the winter when FLOW offers daytime and sunset snowshoe excursions.

  2. Fun Unlimited - 414 E. 1st Ave., Post Falls, ID 83854
    With a name like Fun Unlimited, how can you go wrong? Locations in Post Falls and underneath the Division Street Bridge in Spokane provide easy access to a variety of experiences. The Spokane location rents stand-up paddleboards and kayaks in one-, two- and four-hour increments, with afternoon and evening specials. 24-hour and weekly rental rates are also available. If you have a need for speed, the Post Falls location rents jet skis as well as wake surf, deck, and pontoon boats. Plus, it's close to many wonderful Post Falls homes for sale

  3. ROW Adventure Center - 209 S. Washington, Spokane, WA 99201
    ROW Adventure Center has probably the best endorsement a paddlesport business could get. Each year, National Geographic has named RAC's parent company, ROW Adventures, as one of the "Best Adventure Travel Companies on Earth." Guided by a mission of "Sharing Nature - Enriching Lives," RAC has helped tens of thousands of people discover the glorious sights of nature in Washington and Idaho. Popular rafting and kayaking locations include Spokane, St. Joe, Moyie, Clearwater and Selway Rivers as well as Lake Coeur d'Alene. Half- and full-day trips are offered, along with sunset and "happy hour" options.

  4. Pangaea River Rafting - Ruby River Hotel, 700 N. Division St., Spokane, WA 99202
    A cross-country cycling trip inspired Brooke Baunsgard and David Lawrence to share the joys of relationships forged in the great outdoors. After purchasing an existing adventure company, they transformed it into Pangaea River Rafting and expanded the trip selections to appeal to a broader demographic. "Leave Boring Behind" with scenic or wine-tasting rafting trips along the Spokane River. Pangaea will also create upgraded trips customized to your specific requests.

  5. Wiley E. Waters - 1701 W. Water Ave., Spokane, WA 99201
    The company may share its name with a cartoon character, but trips offered by Wiley E. Waters are thrillingly real. Choose from family-friendly whitewater trips or scenic floats in Riverside State Park. Adults aged 21 and over can join their friends on a fun-filled wine & dine trip featuring locally-produced wines. Expand your horizons, literally and figuratively, with a half-day scenic trip down the Grande Ronde River in southeast Washington.

Spokane's proximity to water is just one of the reasons that make it an ideal location for your dry-land home. If you're buying or selling a house, contact us at Coldwell Banker Tomlinson for dedicated and knowledgeable assistance.

July
13

National Ice Cream Day: Ice Cream Shops in Spokane

Ice Cream Shops in Spokane

Nothing says summer fun quite like a delicious frozen treat! In fact, when our real estate agents take a break from helping buyers find their dream homes, they love stopping by some of their favorite local ice cream shops. 

National Ice Cream Day is coming up soon, so now is a great time to start exploring some of the area's best ice cream vendors. Here are a few suggestions to help you get started.

  1. Mrs. Cavanaugh's Chocolates & Ice Cream: 513 E. Hastings Rd., Spokane, WA 99218
    Family owned and operated since 1964, Mrs. Cavanaugh's Chocolates & Ice Cream still prides themselves on creating high-quality treats made from only the finest ingredients. They carry a variety of delicious ice cream flavors (although we're partial to the Chocolate Fudge). Before you leave, you'll want to pick up some of their gourmet chocolates to enjoy after you get home. 
  2. Doyle's Homemade Ice Cream Parlor: 2229 W. Boone Ave., Spokane, WA 99201
    Doyle's Homemade Ice Cream Parlor has been a landmark in the West Central neighborhood of Spokane since 1939. They make their own ice cream and are home to the city's last working vintage soda fountain. Whether you're looking for a regular ice cream cone, giant banana split, old fashioned milkshake, or a made-from-scratch old-time fountain drink, you can find it here! While you're in the neighborhood, make sure to take a drive around so you can get a look at some of the great nearby Spokane homes for sale.
  3. Didier's Yogurt & More: 10410 N. Division St., Spokane, WA 99218
    If frozen yogurt is your thing, you'll definitely want to pay a visit to Didier's Yogurt & More. They've been around since 1986 and are the oldest still-running frozen yogurt restaurant in the United States. They carry many unique flavors, most of which they blend themselves. Enjoy a dish or a cone, shake, smoothie, float, or flurry. Don't forget to take a pint (or three!) home for later.
  4. Froyo Earth: 12519 N. Division #5, Spokane, WA 99218
    Feeling creative? Head over to Froyo Earth, where you can create your own frozen yogurt concoction by choosing from a huge variety of flavors and premium toppings. Here you'll find interesting options like Pomegranate Raspberry Sorbet, White Chocolate Mousse, and Cake Batter. The flavors change every day, so each time you go, it's a new adventure!
  5. Pete Belle's: 1330 N. Argonne Rd., Spokane Valley, WA 99212
    When you visit Pete Belle's, you can expect to enjoy delicious, rich ice cream made with real ingredients. Located right down the road from Spokane Valley homes for sale, they have options for every type of sweet tooth. From rich and decadent flavors like Mint Avalanche made with Andes Candies and Grasshopper Cookies to lighter treats like Passionfruit Italian Ice and everything in between, you can be sure that you'll never leave this shop disappointed! 

After you're done enjoying your sweet treat, you'll want to check out some of our sweet real estate deals! There are a ton of great houses on the market right now, and we're here to help you find the one you've been dreaming of. Contact us today to get started.

March
2

Landscaping Trends for the Spring Months

Spokane Landscaping Trends

Warmer temperatures and longer days are right around the corner. If you're hoping to revamp your outside spaces in preparation for the sunny days ahead, now is the perfect time to begin planning your spring to-do list. Here are a few of the top landscaping trends you'll encounter at a variety of Spokane homes for sale this spring that might be right for your property. 

  1. Container Gardens
    If you live in a home with minimal yard space but yearn for a lush garden, a container garden is an excellent alternative. As the name suggests, you grow your plants and flowers in containers instead of in the ground. These containers give you a lot of flexibility. You can change the positioning of the containers and instantly give your outdoor space an entirely new look. Does sunlight only hit a small portion of your outside space? Move the containers as needed to make sure they get adequate sunlight. You can even bring your plants inside if it looks like a late frost or severe storm is in the forecast.
  2. Gardens with a Water Element
    If you're planning to sell your home, you can help your home stand out by incorporating a water element in your garden. A water element is a universally-loved addition to any lawn or garden. The sound of running water is associated with a peaceful, tranquil atmosphere that practically invites you to spend time outside. Aesthetically, a fountain or small pond complements nearly any style of home decor. Plus these items require minimal upkeep. 
  3. Landscaping That Focuses on Native Vegetation
    Expect a focus on gardens and lawns that incorporate native vegetation. Native vegetation refers to plants, grasses, and flowers that are natural to your home's region. There are a couple of underlying factors driving this shift. Instead of spending hours fertilizing, weeding, and applying insecticide, homeowners want to enjoy their outside spaces. Species that are native to your area are more likely to thrive without a lot of fertilizer, insecticide, or special attention. Native species also have less of an impact on the environment. Since they're indigenous to the area, they require minimal transportation and a low amount of chemicals (like pesticides and insecticides) that can potentially harm the environment and surrounding wildlife.
  4. "Smart" Lawns and Gardens
    Don't let landscaping chores keep you from having the lawn and garden of your dreams. Instead, integrate smart devices into your landscaping to automate some of the work associated with having a gorgeous outside area. While there isn't a device that can weed your gardens (yet!), a smart irrigation system makes it easy for you to make sure your lawn and plants are getting the appropriate amount of water. You can also install smart lights that you can program to turn on and off automatically. Or, for additional ambiance, look for exterior smart lights that enable you to change the color of the lighting or even create unique lighting effects. 

Do you yearn for a home with more lawn and garden space? Let our REALTORS® show you properties that better suit your preferences. Contact us today. 

February
3

Health Food Markets in Spokane for a Healthy 2020

Spokane Health Food

If you are looking for the healthiest food around, Spokane won't disappoint. Its dining scene includes a wide range of chef-driven, family-owned eateries. Look closer, and you'll also find a wide range of organic markets for all your produce needs. After all, Spokane is one of the places where today's farm-to-table movement got started. 

Spokane is a place that's right at the center of it all, and you'll never want for the latest wellness trends when you choose Spokane homes for sale.

Our real estate agents recommend these local favorites for healthy, local ingredients:

  1. Huckleberry's Natural Market – 926 South Monroe Street, Spokane, WA 99204
    Huckleberry's Natural Market has been providing fresh local fare since 1996. Billed as Spokane's first natural and organic grocer, it offers a full range of goods: From produce, seafood, and meats to sustainable health and wellness supplies. It has also become the first brand in Spokane to stock 100% non-GMO chicken.
  2. Main Market Local Food Co-Op – 44 West Main Avenue, Spokane, WA 99201
    Wholesome, responsibly sourced food is the goal at Main Market, a business closely entwined with all sorts of downtown activities. In addition to its full spectrum of colorful local produce, it also has a full-service deli. A traditional deli case is available along with a hot bar and a salad bar. Breakfast and lunch are made from Monday to Saturday. Try the vegetable stir fry!
  3. My Fresh Basket – 1030 Summit Parkway, Spokane, WA 99201
    My Fresh Basket is a culinary experience all to itself. Fresh organic produce and a full grocery anchor a complete local market experience. Visit the hot bar for a great selection of grab and go items. Probiotics, essential oils, and more are stocked in the wellness aisle.
  4. Method Juice Cafe – 718 West Riverside Avenue, Spokane, WA 99201
    We all know that juice can be one of the fastest and tastiest ways to get a blast of vitamins and nutrients. Method Juice Cafe is there for you in the morning or any time with a range of fresh juice blends, smoothies, and cleanse kits. Acai bowls, rice bowls, and superfood salads are also sold. But the best surprise is probably the hot curry built around sprouted brown rice.
  5. The Fresh Plate – 3818 North Nevada Street, Spokane, WA 99207
    The Fresh Plate is the place to go if you want revitalizing organic food for your next party or business event. Whether you're in the mood for breakfast, lunch, or dinner, you can try salads with fresh greens, quinoa, or Mediterranean orzo.
  6. Boots Bakery and Lounge – 24 West Main Avenue, Spokane, WA 99201
    Boots Bakery and Lounge is there to help Spokane locals have a pick-me-up or unwind after a hard day. It proudly touts its status as one of the only places in Spokane that's completely vegan. What's more, you'll get to enjoy the ambiance of a historic space decorated by top local artists. There is no menu because the selection changes daily. 

No matter what entices you to check out Spokane, our team can make the journey easier. Our customer service and local expertise are second to none. To find out more, contact us.

January
6

5 New Hobbies to Try in Spokane

Spokane Hobbies

With the holiday season now over and the winter weather still present, now is the perfect time to get involved in a new indoor activity or hobby. Our real estate agents encourage you to get involved in one of these new hobbies to try in Spokane.

  1. Learn to Burn School of Music and Guitar Shop — 11 E. Rockwell Ave., Spokane, WA 99207
    Have you always wanted to be a musician? Now's your chance at Learn to Burn School of Music. Lessons are available for adults and kids in a range of instruments, including guitar, drums, West African drumming, piano, piano, trumpet, and vocals. You can even take lessons in recording so you can create albums of your own. Sign up for one-on-one or group lessons and showcase your talent during the frequent recitals and concerts.

  2. The Kelly Irish Dancers — The Old Valley Prairie Hall 8216 E. Big Meadows Rd., Chattaroy, WA 99003
    Are you looking for a fun and unique way to immerse yourself in culture while learning a new dance? Consider lessons at The Kelly Irish Dancers. Kids and adults can earn traditional Irish dance moves while making new friends. Your first lesson is completely free, which means there's no reason why you shouldn't give it a go after you visit nearby Chattaroy homes for sale.

  3. Greencastle Soap Company — 203 N. Stone, Spokane, WA 99202
    Get crafty while making gifts for family and friends at the Greencastle Soap Company. They host several classes throughout the year that teach you how to make soaps, lotions, herbal salves, and lip balms. The Greencastle Soap Company also provides you with all of the supplies you need to make these handcrafted products using natural ingredients from the comfort of your own home. Stop by before you head to your Spokane homes for sale showings and immerse yourself in their sweet, soapy aromas.

  4. Emotions Dance Academy — 857 S. Main St. Suite C, Deer Park, WA 99006
    Explore a world of dance at Emotions Dance Academy. Whether you're a classically trained dancer or someone with two left feet who's always wanted to whirl and twirl, there's room on the dance floor for you at this welcoming studio. Emotions offers four different styles of dance classes, along with fitness and martial arts classes. If you're looking for a dance studio and fitness center close to Deer Park homes for sale, waltz over to Emotions Dance Academy get a little footloose.

  5. Harmony Yoga — 1717 W. 6th Ave., Spokane, WA 99204
    Find your fit and your flow at Harmony Yoga. Men and women of all levels and abilities are invited to realign their minds, bodies, and spirits through guided poses and stretching. Along with their traditional yoga classes, they also offer Pilates, Yoga for 50+, and Prenatal & Birth Prep Yoga. Sign up for a beginner's class and see how the healing power of yoga can change your life!

For assistance buying and selling houses around Spokane, contact us today!

December
2

Holiday Delights in Spokane - Events for Your Holiday Season

Holiday Events SpokaneThe holidays are always special, and residents of Spokane and Nine Mile Falls love to get out and celebrate. As the weather cools down and the seasons start to change, our REALTORS® recommend the following events and festivals that are filled with fun for the whole family.

  1. Spokane's Tree - Riverfront Park, 507 N Howard St, Spokane, WA, 99201
    Washington is famous for its trees. Over the years, trees from around Spokane have found their way into some of the nation's most celebrated homes and hotels. This year, come and kick off the holiday festivities with the Christmas Tree Lighting on November 23rd at Riverfront Park. At 6 pm, the lights will go on, signaling the official start of the holiday fun. 

  2. Bing Crosby Holiday Film Festival - Bing Crosby Theater - 901 W Sprague Ave, Spokane, WA 99201
    Scheduled for Saturday, December 14th, the Bing Crosby Holiday Film Festival is a local favorite. Last year's 13th annual festival featured some of the crooner's most popular movies, including Pennies from Heaven, Road to Zanzibar, Howard Crosby and Hot Club, and of course, White Christmas. This year's festival includes White Christmas, Waikiki Wedding, Going My Way, and live music by Howard Crosby and The Zonky Jazz Band. Howard is Bing's nephew, and the singing chops run in the family. Guaranteed to get you thinking about the Spokane homes for sale where you might want to spend your next Christmas morning. 

  3. Holiday Magic - Bing Crosby Theater - 901 W Sprague Ave, Spokane, WA 99201
    Holiday Magic is the brainchild of superstar Adam Trent. This incredible show is a fusion of magic and technology, music, and comedy, all wrapped together with a holiday bow. It's a truly magical experience that is guaranteed to have you sitting on the edge of your seat, wondering "How did he do that?" It is a perfect place to rest and relax with friends and family of all ages.

  4. It's a Wonderful Life - Spokane Civic Theatre - 1020 N Howard St, Spokane, WA 99201
    Block some time off on your calendar for December 11th from 6-9 pm. The Spokane Civic Theatre is hosting It's a Wonderful Life, and you won't want to miss out on seeing this holiday classic on the big screen. Proceeds from the event help the theatre bring incredible performances to town throughout the year.
        
  5. Jingle Bell Run - 9711 W Charles Rd, Nine Mile Falls, WA, 99026
    On December 7th, 2019, you and your family can get some exercise when you sign up for the Nine Mile Falls Jingle Bell Run. The event raises funds for The Arthritis Foundation, and it is your chance to come out and support research into treatments and therapies. Their goal is a cure, and each step you take along the route is one step closer to a future where arthritis won't slow anyone down. 100% of the registration fees and the fundraising generated goes straight into the fund for a cure. Along the route, you'll meet many great people and pass by some of the incredible Nine Mile Falls homes for sale.

We wish you and all of our clients a happy holiday season. When you are ready to make a move into your next home, contact us and our teams will work their holiday magic to make your dreams come true. 

November
18

Is an HOA Right for You and Your Family?

Spokane HOA Pros and Cons

Homeowner associations, or HOAs, may seem like a relatively recent concept, but the earliest ones were established by land developers back in the mid-19th century. With the growth of common-interest developments (CIDs) such as condominiums and planned single-family home communities, HOAs now govern more than 26 million homes.

Are you considering Spokane homes for sale that are part of an HOA? Make an informed decision using this list of pros and cons.

  • PRO: No Yard Work
    Tired of using your leisure time to mow the lawn or shovel snow? HOAs handle the maintenance of grounds and common areas. For many people, this is the most appealing factor.

  • PRO: Use of Amenities
    HOAs often provide swimming pools, tennis courts, playgrounds, and numerous other amenities for the use of residents. Instead of having to spend hundreds or thousands of dollars on construction or memberships, all costs are covered.

  • PRO: Interaction with Neighbors
    As members of the HOA, you and your neighbors already have a common ground for interaction. In addition to regular meetings, HOAs may host holiday parties or other social events, promoting a sense of community.

  • PRO: Strong Property Values
    HOA covenants, conditions, and restrictions (CC&Rs) are aimed at ensuring a uniformly streamlined look throughout the community. Meaning you'll no longer have to put up with a neighbor's overgrown lawn.

  • PRO: Conflict-Free Living
    Even a minor disagreement between neighbors can escalate into major unpleasantness. HOAs run interference for members by enforcing CC&Rs and resolving disputes.

  • PRO: Simplified Bill-Paying
    HOA fees in many communities include monthly sewer, water, trash, and recycling charges. Not only do you have fewer bills, but you also don't have to budget for fluctuating utility costs.

  • CON: Less Freedom
    HOA CC&Rs that are such a benefit when they apply to neighbors can become a liability when they apply to you. If you like to throw big parties or paint your home in different colors, you may find an HOA restrictive.

  • CON: Added Expense
    While HOA fees are paid separately from a mortgage, they're included in the total amount a lender considers for financing. Even if you're current on your mortgage, defaulting on HOA fees can carry the same potential penalties as defaulting on a mortgage.

  • CON: Politics and Red Tape
    HOAs are headed up by an elected board of directors. Like any governing body, the board is charged with acting in the best interests of its members. It can also be subject to power struggles, conflicting agendas, and layers of bureaucracy.

  • CON: Shared Financial Burden
    A portion of HOA fees goes into a reserve fund intended to cover unforeseen expenses. If emergencies create a shortfall in the reserve fund, members are charged to bring the balance back to a reasonable level.

  • CON: Legal Entanglements
    If the HOA becomes involved in a legal battle such as removing a board member, you could be subject to fallout. This ranges from a spike in HOA fees to a drop in property value.

  • CON: Rental Restrictions
    Some HOAs impose a rental cap, meaning only a certain percentage of units may be rented out. This can be a roadblock if you intend to use your property as an income generator.

Our REALTORS® will help you find a home best suited to your personality and lifestyle. Contact us for more information.

November
4

4 Craft Shows in Spokane for Holiday Shopping

Craft Shows Spokane

With the holiday season right around the corner, it's time to start making your list and checking it twice. And if you're the sort who likes to give something special and unique rather than the usual gift cards and store-bought gadgets, then you're in luck. 

Here in the Spokane area, we're fortunate to have a lot of unique places to find one-of-a-kind holiday gifts. Our REALTORS® are thrilled to share these upcoming Spokane craft shows, where you're sure to find the perfect gift for everyone on your list!

  1. Custer's 43rd Annual Christmas Arts & Crafts Show - 404 N Havana St #1, Spokane Valley, WA 99202
    A beloved annual tradition in the Spokane Valley, Custer's Christmas Arts & Crafts Show is now in its 43rd year, and always delivers when it comes to beautiful holiday gifts. The event will be held from November 22-23 at the Spokane Fair & Expo Center and will feature 300 professional artists and crafters from all over the Northwest. It's the largest show of its kind in the region, offering hand-crafted goods, fine art, and specialty foods in a sprawling 78,000 square-foot exhibit space. With surprises down every aisle, you never know what you'll find!

  2. 2019 Spokane Fall Folk Festival - 1810 N Greene St, Spokane, WA 99217
    The annual Spokane Fall Folk Festival offers a wide range of unique crafts and handmade items, but it's also much more than a typical craft show. Taking place on November 9-10 the festival includes live music, traditional and ethnic dance, workshops and unique entertainment, kid's crafts and storytelling, plus a wide range of traditional crafts, artwork, baked goods and food for sale – all with free admission. The event takes place at Spokane Community College, minutes from many Spokane homes for sale.

  3. Spokane Community College Fall Craft Fair - 1810 N Greene St, Spokane, Washington 99217
    Another beloved annual tradition held at Spokane Community College, the annual Fall Craft Fair returns to Spokane on Saturday, November 23. With a wide range of offerings from local artists, crafters and businesses like The Crafted Greek and Sweet Dreams Cookie Company, the Spokane Community College Fall Craft Fair is sure to have lots of special gifts for anyone with a sweet tooth or a love for handmade items. Admission is free!

  4. Hillyard Winter Craft Fair - 1622 E Wellesley Ave, Spokane, WA 99207
    Affiliated with Spokane's storied Hillyard Festival, one of our favorite summer events, the Hillyard Winter Craft Fair returns this year on November 9th. Taking Place at John R. Rogers High School, the craft fair will offer up a dizzying array of hand-made arts and crafts from dozens of artisans from all over Spokane. The RHS Booster Club will also have its concession stand open, guaranteeing a great day of food, fun and holiday shopping. 

Whether you're shopping for the holidays or for any old day, there are a lot of great places to find something special in Spokane. Contact us today to learn more about life in Spokane, WA, and talk to our team about making your dream of homeownership a reality!

October
21

Tips for Adjusting to a New Town

Moving to Spokane

Buying a new home and moving to a new town is exciting — but sometimes it can be a little scary, and at first, your new house or town might not feel like home at all. Our REALTORS® want you to know that this is completely normal. Any time you relocate away from your familiar surroundings, you're going to have instances of uncertainty.

Get acquainted with your new town and have it start feeling like home with these helpful tips. 

  1. Don't Lose Touch With Your Old Home
    Moving is quite the transition, and you'll need the support of your family and friends to help. Just because you're geographically farther away doesn't mean you can't remain close. Keep in touch and openly communicate your feelings with those you trust. Even though they aren't down the street anymore, they can still offer you support.

  2. Accept Invitations
    When you move into your new town, it certainly won't go unnoticed. Neighbors, coworkers, and others you begin to interact with will introduce themselves and try to welcome you to the neighborhood. Take them up on their offers and be receptive to engaging in new activities. Open yourself up to new experiences with new people, and you'll be surprised how quickly you'll make friends.

  3. Extend Invitations
    You also don't have to wait for an invitation to make new friends. Feel free to invite neighbors, coworkers or parents of your children's friends over for a cookout or dinner one night. By extending invitations to those you'll see each day, you'll get more comfortable and confident in your surroundings and show your willingness to fill this new chapter of your life with excitement and fun.

  4. Get Involved
    One great way to get to know the community is to get involved in events. Whether it's volunteering with a local nonprofit or joining a social club, one of the best ways to get to know those around you is by becoming active in the community.

  5. Become a Tourist
    One of the best ways to get to know the highlights of a town is to view it through the eyes of a tourist. See the sights and do the things your town's tourism websites suggest and learn why tourists flock to your town. 

  6. Do as the Locals Do
    Of course, you won't be filling all of your weekends with museums and landmark spotting. You'll also want to discover the hidden gems that locals love. Ask around your neighborhood, office, or even in a coffee shop — we're sure plenty of residents would love to tell you about their favorite places!

  7. Unpack
    Unpacking your possessions is an instant way to make your new house feel like home. Even if you can't dedicate a lot of time to unpacking in the beginning, try to unbox sentimental items that bring you happy thoughts of those you love. Photographs, gifts, and other mementos will help fill every room with your family's spirit.

  8. Be Patient
    You may not feel at home overnight — and that's okay! Most new residents need a little time to settle in and start to feel at home. We assure you, in time, this house and town will feel like home sweet home!

For help finding Spokane homes for sale in neighborhoods that you'll love, contact us today!

October
7

Ready to Race: Races in Spokane this October

Spokane Races October

Ready, on your mark, get set, race! One of the things our REALTORS® love about Spokane is that are always a ton of fun opportunities to hit the streets to support a good cause. And since autumn in Washington means perfect running weather, we're excited to share these upcoming races near Spokane homes for sale!

Chocolate Chip Cookie 50k Trail Run

An exciting trek through the rolling landscape of Spokane's Riverside State Park, the Chocolate Chip Cookie 50k Trail Run offers a chance to run some of the most spectacular trails in eastern Washington. Utilizing two loops (the 21.87 mile "Big Cookie" and the 9.3 mile "Small Cookie"), the course follows single and double track trails, Forest Service roads and pavement over varied terrain. Keep an eye out for scenic vistas of the surrounding mountain peaks, the Spokane River valley, Haystack Rocks and the CCC Suspension Bridge. The run kicks off at 8 a.m. on October 26 and, yes, there will be cookies waiting at the finish line!

The Spokane Marathon

Taking place on the morning of Sunday, October 13, the Spokane Marathon follows beautiful streets through the heart of Spokane. A Boston Marathon qualifying race, the Spokane Marathon treats runners to fall running weather and a chance to enjoy Spokane's landscape beneath a brilliant canopy of changing leaves. The race is not without its challenges, of course. The Spokane Marathon has become famous for its notorious "Doomsday Hill" at the 22-mile mark. The race starts at 7 a.m., and awards are handed out at 11:15. 

Monster Mash Dash

With all event proceeds donated to Specialized Needs Recreation, the Monster Mash Dash is a great opportunity to support a great cause, and get into the Halloween spirit. Winding its way through beautiful downtown Coeur d' Alene on October 19, Monster Mash Dash promises to be a fun Halloween themed race for all ages. Sign up for either of the two race categories: the 1-mile kids' costume run for kids 12 and younger, and the 5k costume run for all ages. The kids' 1-mile run starts at 11 a.m., followed by the 5k at 11:30. Just be sure to wear your best costume for the race! Food, music, trick-or-treating and games will be happening in McEuen Park before, during, and after the Monster Mash Dash. 

Great Pumpkin Race

Meals on Wheels Spokane is holding its annual Great Pumpkin Race on October 26 and promises a fun day of Halloween-themed thrills. Taking place at Greenwood Memorial Terrace in Spokane, the event starts with registration at 9 a.m., followed by a 5k Dress-Up Dash at 10:00 and a 1k Spider Sprint at 11:00. At noon, the event is capped off by the Great Pumpkin Race itself, and a chance to see whose pumpkin can roll the farthest! If your child has a pumpkin to enter in the race, be sure to check the official rules here to make sure your pumpkin qualifies! 

There's always a fun event right around the corner in Spokane, Washington. Contact us today to learn more about life in Spokane, and talk to our team about how we can help you get a head start on the road to homeownership. 

September
24

How To Pick A Spokane Neighborhood for Your Family

Spokane Neighborhood

Moving to a new city or relocating within your current community is exciting. But there are also many factors to consider to ensure that you land in the right neighborhood. When you're shopping for Spokane homes for sale, learning about neighborhoods will help you find a home that you'll love. Our REALTORS® are here to help you find the perfect neighborhood, with our guide for how to pick a Spokane neighborhood to buy your next home.

Start Your Search Online

If you've come here to learn about picking a neighborhood, you're already off to a great start! Online research is crucial for getting an idea of what's out there and identifying which neighborhoods fit your needs. With a general idea of target neighborhoods, you'll be ready to get down to business.

Work with a Knowledgeable, Local Real Estate Agent

Whether you're familiar with Spokane or you're brand new to the area, picking the right real estate agent will make your move much easier. An experienced, local real estate agent will have an in-depth knowledge of your target neighborhoods in the city and can help you choose the right option.

Consider Your Commute for Work and Play

How long are you willing to commute for work, and are you planning to take public transportation? The Spokane Transit Authority offers bus routes throughout the city, so you can choose public transit or commute on your own. If you're looking to live close to the city's major areas, then Spokane Valley homes for sale are a great option. Many of Spokane's neighborhoods are very walkable as well, allowing you to explore all that your neighborhood has to offer without ever getting behind the wheel.

Figure Out What You'll Do for Fun

Of course, your commute isn't just about getting to work each day. You'll also want to plan on what you'll do for fun close to home. If you want to be close to the action in Spokane, then consider Millwood homes for sale. You'll never be far from fun attractions, and will have all of the services you need close to home. 

Will Schools Factor in Your Decision?

If you have kids or are planning to start a family in your next home, be sure to consider local schools. The quality of local schools can also have an impact on home prices. Even if you don't have kids, it doesn't hurt to learn about schools.

Take a Grand Tour Before Deciding on a Spokane Neighborhood

While you can learn plenty from online research and speaking with your real estate agent, there's no substitute for seeing neighborhoods first-hand. Once you have a list of promising candidates, get out there, start exploring, and find the neighborhood that works for you.

Finding the best neighborhood fit is easier with the right real estate team on your side, and we'd love to help you find your next home. Contact us to buy and sell homes throughout the Spokane, WA, area.

September
10

Starting Your Day in Spokane: 10 Best Places for Coffee

Coffee Shops in Spokane

If you are looking to get the day started right in Spokane, WA you are in luck. The area is home to some of the best independent coffee shops in the state of Washington and our REALTORS® have done the research on many early mornings to find the cream of the crop. Here are the 10 Best Places to get your coffee buzz in the Lilac City.

  1. Arctos Coffee & Roasting Company: 1923 N Hamilton St, Spokane, WA 99207
    The consensus champ of Spokane coffee joints is the Arctos Coffee & Roasting Company on Hamilton Street. The signature taste of their locally-roasted coffee blend is only matched by the stylish ambiance of their location.

  2. Awakenings Coffee Bar: 545 E Wellesley Ave, Spokane, WA 99207 
    Considered a bit of a hidden gem in the local coffee scene, Awakenings is the place to wake up on Wellesley Ave. It is known for its expansive menu and aromatic blend as well as the friendly and accommodating staff.

  3. Vessel Coffee Roasters: 2823 N Monroe St, Spokane, WA 99205 
    One of the most notable facets of this stylish coffee bar is the wide-open concept that makes it appropriate for large social meet-ups and coworking. A perfect place for crews to meet up before a shift or after work. 

  4. Indaba Coffee: 1425 W Broadway Ave, Spokane, WA 99201 
    Indaba Coffee prides itself in providing a communal experience to its customers even as it wins them over with award-winning service. Boasting three locations in the area, you will be sure to find one close to you.

  5. Hello Sugar: 419 N Nettleton St, Spokane, WA 99201 
    Nothing goes together quite like coffee and donuts, and Hello Sugar gives you a double serving of what you need to jolt you awake. Even coffee bar purists will be hard-pressed to find a better cup of black coffee in the area.

  6. F1rst Ave Coffee: 1011 W 1st Ave, Spokane, WA 99201 
    This upscale coffee bar provides a classy environment to its customers in a location that is known for its unique upstairs loft with appealing artwork to admire. Offering free samples and brewing tutorials, F1rst Ave seeks to provide an experience you can take home with you. 

  7. Atticus Coffee & Gifts: 222 N Howard St, Spokane, WA 99201 
    For those who have a taste for the eclectic with their morning coffee, Atticus Coffee & Gifts awaits in the heart of downtown Spokane. It is known for its quiet, almost library-like atmosphere and this makes it a favorite for writers and creatives in the area.

  8. Pathfinder Cafe: 3026 S Grand Blvd, Spokane, WA 99203 
    This newer upstart in the area is almost as known for its entertaining social media presence as it is for its delicious coffee offerings. It is popular with a younger crowd recovering from morning workouts before heading off to the job.

  9. Spaceman Coffee: 228 W Sprague Ave, Spokane, WA 99201 
    Described by its aficionados a "cozy and cool,"  the sci-fi theme of this venue belies the classic old-fashioned taste of its coffee offerings. The house-made syrups give every flavored drink a unique homemade taste. It is a more upbeat coffee drinking experience that includes a diverse range of musical offerings over its in-store sound system.

  10. Revel 77 Coffee: 3223 E 57th Ave K, Spokane, WA 99223 
    Home to the best barista in Spokane according to the Inlander "Best of 2019," Revel 77 rounds out our selections with a fanatically loyal local following. The delicious house-blend coffee that they offer has been described as addictive and they are so sure that you will be back that they offer a voucher for a free drink on your first visit on their website.

Once you have gotten your cup of morning happiness you should be fueled up and ready to begin your home search. Don't hesitate to contact us if you have any questions or are interested in our inventory of Spokane homes for sale.

Disclaimer: All information deemed reliable but not guaranteed. All properties are subject to prior sale, change or withdrawal. Neither listing broker(s) or information provider(s) shall be responsible for any typographical errors, misinformation, misprints and shall be held totally harmless. Listing(s) information is provided for consumers personal, non-commercial use and may not be used for any purpose other than to identify prospective properties consumers may be interested in purchasing. Information on this site was last updated 01/29/2023. The listing information on this page last changed on 01/29/2023. The data relating to real estate for sale on this website comes in part from the Internet Data Exchange program of Coeur dAlene MLS (last updated Sun 01/29/2023 10:16:22 AM EST) or Spokane MLS (last updated Sun 01/29/2023 12:00:45 PM EST). Real estate listings held by brokerage firms other than Coldwell Banker Tomlinson may be marked with the Internet Data Exchange logo and detailed information about those properties will include the name of the listing broker(s) when required by the MLS. All rights reserved. --



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