Farmers Markets

Farmers Markets

Puyallup Farmers Markets

 We live very close to a lot of small and large farms. The produce that these farmers sell at the markets is almost always fresh (sometimes even picked that morning!) If you are looking for a good market near you check out these in the South Sound Area.


I hope you have time this summer to enjoy the weather and to check out these markets, just one more thing that makes living in the Puyallup area so great!


Auburn Farmers Market

June 8 – September 21, Sundays 10:00 am – 3:00 pm

Auburn Sound Transit Plaza

23 A St SW, Auburn


Federal Way Farmers Market

May – October, Saturdays 9:00 am – 3:00 pm

The Commons Mall Parking Lot by Sears


Gig Harbor Farmers Market

April – December, Saturdays 9:00 am – 3:00 pm

5503 Wollochet Dr. NW, Gig Harbor

Starting in June, Wednesdays and Sundays 11:00 am – 4:00 pm

Skansie Brothers Park

3207 Harborview Drive, Gig Harbor


Puyallup Farmers Market

April 12 – October 11, Saturdays 9:00 am – 2:00 pm

330 South Meridian, Downtown Puyallup


Tacoma Farmers Markets

May – September, Tuesdays 3:00 pm – 7:00 pm

6th Ave & N. Pine Street, Tacoma

May – October, Thursdays 10:00 am – 3:00 pm

S. 9th St. & Broadway, Tacoma

June – September, Sundays 11:00 am – 3:00 pm

3873 S. 66th Street, Tacoma



Summer Home Maintenance Checklist

Summer Home Maintenance Checklist

Summer Home Maintenance Checklist


home maintenanceWhether you are new to home ownership or you have been doing it for years this list of summer maintenance tasks will be helpful to having a safe and fun summer.


Air Conditioners – We don’t need them very much here in the Pacific Northwest so it can be easy to neglect your air conditioner. If you haven’t given your air conditioner a check-up this year, now is the time.


Ceiling Fans – Clean all your ceiling fans and other fans to get the dust off. A damp rag can be great for this task.


Grill – The weather will be nice and you will want to grill. Get your grill clean now so it is ready to go when you want to use it.


Porch – Sweep and clean off the porch. It will be easier to enjoy and maintain without all the winter grime under your feet.


Check the Deck – Inspect your deck for any signs of rotting. If you see any nails that have worked their way up, hammer them back down. If your deck needs sealing, now is the time.


Mulch – Apply a layer of mulch to your garden spaces. It will keep the weeds down and the moisture in.


Sprinklers – Get your sprinklers running, check for any damage from the winter and replace any broken heads. Plan your watering times – if you can water your garden deeply a couple times a week it will promote better root growth over daily light watering.

Rent vs Buy (Is it time to make a change?)

Rent vs Buy (Is it time to make a change?)

rent vs buy

Rent vs Buy

Buying a home can seem like a big task with lots of financial commitments, for some people though, buying is actually cheaper than renting. There are lots of things to consider, location is one of the biggest factors when deciding whether it is cheaper to rent. Another factor to consider is how long do you plan on staying in the place you are living. The longer you stay in a home the better the payoff could be if you buy.


Check out this Rent vs. Buy calculator:


It might be time for you to make a change!

Spring To-Do List

Spring To-Do List

Spring To-Do List – Boost Your Curb Appeal!

Spring is here! For home owners this means it is time to dust off the gardening tools and get the lawn mowers out again. Here are a few things that you can focus on that will get your home noticed whether or not it is on the market!

To Do ListCan you read your house numbers? Many of us come and go from our homes without ever noticing our house numbers, but for someone trying to find your home if your numbers are hard to read it can make it difficult. Look critically at your house numbers, it might just take a bit of cleaner and paper towels to make it visible again. If it is in a place that is hard to see from the street you might consider purchasing a new set of numbers. If you look online you can find many charming designs that will match your home’s age and architecture.


How does your walkway look? Again get your critical eye out and look at the path that leads to your front door. Many of us forget about the front door of our homes because we go through the garage. Make sure that your walkway is clear and clean. You might also consider getting some decorative planters to line your walkway with seasonal flowers.


Check on your Exterior Lighting. In the Pacific Northwest the summer days are very long and this can lead to neglecting your exterior lighting. This is an important part of your home security and it should not be forgotten. If you already have exterior lighting make sure that all the bulbs are working and any sensors you have set up are clean. You might consider painting or refinishing your existing fixtures. If you are looking to replace your fixtures, similar to the house numbers, be sure to choose a fixture that is in the same style as your home.


Look at the Moss! Here in the Puget Sound moss seems to be king. The moist environment is perfect for moss to grow. Check out your patios, driveways, decks and walkways. They can all become dirty, discolored and slick. Power washing with an eco-friendly detergent will help to keep your spaces safe and clean.

A Brief Market Update – Pierce County Real Estate

A Brief Market Update – Pierce County Real Estate

A Brief Market Update – Pierce County Real Estate

Pierce County Sprint Market UpdateIt is Spring and with spring we are finding ourselves in a bit of an inventory shortage in Pierce County. What does that mean? It means that there are buyers out there that want to buy your home! Home prices are rising slowly, but the inventory shortage is keeping the prices from shooting up as summer approaches. Even still you can expect that home prices will continue to climb.

In addition to the usual summer real estate season approaching there are other factors that are contributing to the rise in home prices. Investors are one. Investors have been buying up some of the inventory in South King and Pierce County resulting in higher prices and shorter days on the market. Jobs are the other major factor in the region. Job growth is happening, while there is still more jobs needed to get the lenders lending the real estate market is starting to feel the results of more people working.

The positive side to the inventory shortage is that current homeowners who are looking to buy can feel confident that they can make an offer on a new home before they sell their current home. There is likely more than one qualified buyer ready to buy your home once it is on the market. Contact me if you are interested in knowing what your home is worth!

Short Sales – Are they worth it?

Short Sales – Are they worth it?

Short Sales – Are they worth it?

Short SaleIf you are a buyer looking for a new home one of the options you will see out there are short sales. Sometimes these can look like a really good deal. Short sales are rarely “short” and are usually a very long process.

There are many more hoops to jump through when you are buying a Short Sale home. In a short sale the Bank or Banks involved must approve the sale before you can close. This takes many more pages of paperwork. The bank will assess the property to decide if it is in the bank’s best interest to sell the home as a short sale. The seller also has to prove to the bank that they cannot stay in the house or afford the mortgage any longer.Continue Reading

It’s TAX Time!

It’s TAX Time!

It’s TAX Time!

Here we are again with April 15th staring us in the face. Good news is if you are a homeowner there are 5 essential tax deductions just for you!

tax timeThe biggest tax break to homeowners is usually Mortgage Interest. At the beginning of the year your lender should send you for 1098. This will show you the mortgage interest you paid from the previous year. For a new homeowner the form should include interest paid from the date you closed on the home to the end of that month. If it doesn’t, you can find this on your settlement statement.

Homeowners also get to deduct their Real Estate Taxes paid each year. Some homeowners have this paid for through an escrow account with their ender and will receive information from the lender for the amount. For those that pay it directly, check your records and for new homeowners also check your settlement statement for the amount you may have reimbursed the seller for the real estate taxes they prepaid for when you were going to be the homeowner.

If you paid Points to get a better rate on any home loan, the points offer a tax break. You can deduct the points in the year you paid them if the loan is to purchase or build your main home and the payment of points is an established business practice in your area and they are in the usual range.

If you take out a home improvement loan for capital improvements you can deduct the Home Improvement Loan Interest.

You can also earn a tax credit worth up to $500 for some Energy Saving Home Improvements. This is more valuable than a tax deduction because it reduces your tax bill dollar for dollar. Check for qualifying items.

If you are not a homeowner yet, call me and let’s see if you will qualify this year to be a homeowner and be able to add these deductions to your taxes next year!

Setting Your List Price

Setting Your List Price

Setting Your List Price

List Price

Selling your home is hard work. Pricing it can be one of the hardest things to do. To set the correct list price, you have to do your homework. But just doing your homework isn’t the end of setting a price; it’s also important to have a pricing strategy that works for your market. Here are four techniques that might help you sell your home:

1.   Supply and Demand. When a home is overpriced, be sure that the market will correct the issue. Often, when a home is underpriced, the market corrects that issue as well. Consider aggressively pricing your home. Sometimes, this results in multiple buyers competing for your home. Often the owner gets as much or more for the home than what one would have originally listed the home for.

2. Set a Price for Your Competition. Do your homework and look at the homes of similar size, location and age. Once you know what your competition is, and the list price of those homes, beat your competition in price and value. All things being equal, buyers choose the lowest price.

3. Pick a Specific List Dollar Amount. If you list your home at $350,000 or $400,000, buyers may assume that you picked a dollar amount and threw the home on the market. However, if you list your home at $351,275 or $401,560, the buyer will probably assume the house price has been carefully calculated. Of course, you should have a comparative market analysis to back up this list price.

4. Don’t Miss the Search. It is not uncommon to list a home at a price slightly below a round figure. For example, listing a home at $349,000 instead of $350,000. The fact is buyers and real estate brokers search for homes in a range of price. Thus, if I began a home search for my buyers, and the range of my search was $350,000-$450,000, I would miss the $349,999 listing. By knowing the range in which buyers are looking for in your neighborhood, you can list your home for maximum exposure.

When the offers come in, take each offer seriously. Even though an offer may seem low, there’s always room to negotiate. My advice is never reject an offer out of hand. Try to keep your sale unemotional. After all, you are selling an asset. Don’t be offended by the offer, even if it is low or criticizes something about the home that you cherish. Don’t forget that your goal is to sell!

Should You Get a Home Inspection?

Should You Get a Home Inspection?

Should You Get a Home Inspection?

home inspectionWhen you are purchasing a home, you really need to have a professional home inspector take a look at your potential new home. A home inspector may seem like just one more fee, and maybe one you don’t think you need. After all the home looks like it is good condition, right? Home inspections can reveal some very important insight into the home you are buying and a good home inspector will venture into some areas of the home you might not think to look.

A home inspector will examine the home and then will send you a report that details their findings. A typical inspection will last 2-3 hours and you should be present so that the inspector can show you any problems they find. If you are there then you can ask the inspector any questions you may have right then. Sometimes the problems may be hard to explain through photos and descriptions and if you are there you can learn exactly what is going on in the home.

An inspector will make notes about everything they examine and they will tell you whether a problem is a safety issue, or a major or minor defect. They will also make note about which items in the home might need to be replaced or serviced as well as things that are in good working order but may need to be monitored over the next few years.

While every home is different and every home inspector has a different way of looking at a home they should always look at these things: exterior walls, foundation, the grading, the garage or carport, the roof, the plumbing, electrical wiring and fixtures, heating, ventilation and air conditioning, water heater, kitchen appliances, laundry room, bathrooms as well as checking for fire safety hazards throughout the home.

A home inspection will give you a good overview of a home. It may not reveal every problem that may occur. The inspector is looking for the visual cues that there may be a problem somewhere. While they are very good at finding these things there are some problems that do not always show up. If there are potential problems in a home, the home inspector will probably recommend that you call in more specific experts to more specifically address any problems. This means that you might end up hiring electricians, plumbers or other contractors.

After the home inspection you will have options and your real estate agent can help you understand them.

Getting a home inspection done is a valuable resource available to all home buyers. I recommend that all of my home buyers take advantage of a home inspection and learn the ins and outs of your new home!

How to Start Looking for Your New Home

How to Start Looking for Your New Home

How to Start Looking for Your New Home

New Home

So you have made the decision to buy a house. For a lot of people, just making this decision and starting the pre-approval process with a mortgage lender can be exhausting. This doesn’t leave much left for the fun part of buying a house: Finding it!

Here are a few steps that can help you get your bearings straight so that we can get you looking at homes that will fit you, your life and your family.

1.       Make a wish list. This list should include the part of town you want, price range, schools (if they are a factor for you), the house style, as well as the number of bedrooms, bathrooms, as well as any special features you may want or need.

2.       Make decisions about what type of homes you want to look at; new construction, “fixer-uppers”, old homes or new homes.

3.       Make a list of homes you want to see and send it to me. If you include the MLS# it will make things much easier for me to go in and find out the details about the homes you want to see. I will always be available to assist you in your home search, but once you start looking it is fun to look for yourself as well.

4.       Take notes! When you are looking at homes take notes. If we go on a marathon home tour, sometimes it is hard to remember what the first home looked like and compare it to the sixth. If you take notes it will help you remember what you liked about the homes.

We will make this process as smooth as possible for you. Buying a house is exciting and we will have fun doing it! Call me and let’s talk.

Stephanie Callen, ABR, CRS, GRI, REALTOR®

Coldwell Banker Bain - Puyallup

611 31st Avenue SW Suite B - Puyallup, WA 98373 | Phone: 253.370.2771

© 2015 Stephanie Callen.

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