Date Archives: November 2020

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Indoor Plants

There are so many benefits that come with keeping live plants in your home. Not only do they look beautiful, but they also improve your indoor air quality and make you feel good. Studies have shown that caring for plants can contribute to your overall well-being and reduce stress. 

If your plants live indoors, you might not think much about the change of season. However, even indoor plants need different care in the wintertime. We've asked a few of our brokers with green thumbs for their recommendations. Follow these tips, and you'll have happy plants all season long! 

  1. Let There Be Light
    Wintertime means shorter days, and the lack of light can impact both plants and people. Your plants are naturally going to receive less sun, and when the sun does come in, it comes at a lower angle. You'll want to make sure you put your plants in a spot where they'll get enough light to keep them happy and healthy. This may mean moving them from their current locations or even adding a grow-light. If you can, put them near a west or south-facing window where it's sunny most of the day. Make sure the windows are clean on the inside and outside so light can get through. You'll also want to carefully dust your plant's leaves, as dust can make it harder for them to absorb light. Each time you water, rotate your plants a little bit. This way, they'll grow evenly. 
  1. Keep it Humid
    Lack of humidity is a common problem plant-parents face during the winter months. Turning the heat on in your home can drop humidity levels to 10 to 20 percent, while most plants prefer levels around 50%. To combat this, start by clustering your plants together in groups. The water that they release from their leaves will create a natural humidity. If this doesn't do the trick, consider adding a humidifier or placing your plants on a tray with water and stones (make sure the pots are not sitting in the water). You can also mist your plants, but unless you do it multiple times a day, this may not be sufficient. Depending on the temperature and light conditions, you may want to consider moving your plants into the bathroom or kitchen, where they'll get extra humidity from the shower and/or from boiling water.
  1. Adjust Your Watering Schedule
    Although the air is drier in the winter, your indoor plants don't need more water! Many plants go dormant during the winter season, and over-watering can lead to deadly root rot. Be careful not to water every time the soil on the surface looks dry. Instead, poke your finger an inch or two below the surface and only water when the deeper levels feel dry. It is important, however, to make sure that you don't wait until the leaves start to droop or fall off. It's a great idea to read up on each plant's specific watering needs and adjust accordingly.
  1. Watch the Temperature
    Most indoor houseplants prefer daytime temperatures between 65 and 75 degrees and nighttime lows above 50 degrees. To make sure your plants stay happy and healthy, you'll want to keep them far enough away from windows where they could experience cold drafts and from heat sources like ovens, fireplaces, or radiators. If you move your plants, try to do it slowly. Sudden fluctuations in temperature can be just as bad for your plants as prolonged periods of extreme cold or heat. 
  1. Put Them on a Diet
    Just like people, plants need to rest sometimes. Most types of houseplants go dormant in the winter, so fertilizing them will upset their natural cycle. When the spring comes, you'll notice your plants starting to perk up and create new growth. When this happens, you can give them a dose of fertilizer, which will give them a boost for the new growing season. 
  1. Beware of Pests
    Last but certainly not least, keep an eye out for pests like mealybugs, spider mites, and fungus gnats. Indoor winter conditions, including low light, turning on your heaters, and using a humidifier, all increase the chances that your plants might become home to unwelcome guests. 

Do you want to be in your dream home before winter is over? We're sure the perfect property is out there waiting for you! Contact us today to start exploring some of the best Seattle homes for sale!


Coffee Shops Seattle

Does your day not truly begin before your first cup of coffee? When you live in the Seattle area, that's no problem! With National Espresso Day around the corner, now is a great time to find out all that your local coffee shops have to offer. Our brokers have the details on 8 of the best coffee shops around Seattle, where you can find your favorite hot drinks and so much more.

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Matt Robinson and Grant Ludwick first met in 2008 while serving as volunteers for Young Life, and were immediately struck by the similarities between them. Both had moved to the Central Oregon area in 2006, after Grant had graduated from Seattle Pacific University, and Matt the University of Washington. In addition to their commitment to volunteering, they shared a passion for the Washington Huskies and had both worked for their family businesses in the land and multi-family development sectors. Overall, they found that they shared similar values and perspectives on life and business.

"We feel like we're trendsetters in a way when it comes to the real estate team concept," said Matt. "While real estate teams are becoming more common, they don't always work out if the partnership is unequal, or if values don't align. We started as friends, so we knew each other well and knew that our individual production numbers were very similar each year, so we had confidence that we could succeed as a team."

And succeed they have. The Robinson-Ludwick team is on pace to finish the year with 120 closed transactions and $62,000,000 in volume, numbers that have exponentially increased year over year since they launched in 2013. The team has grown to five brokers and two administrative members.

The impact of a similarity in production numbers can't be overstated, said Grant. "Even before we launched the team, we were annually producing at about one deal apart, or around a $100,000 - $150,000 difference in sales volume," he laughed. "We've structured our partnership, along with a 50-50 expense split, in a way that keeps us incentivized to bring in business and hold each other accountable, and it's a major reason why it works."

By pooling their resources they've been able to do so much more than they could individually, and the team has a unique marketing approach. They have taken out television advertising spots, purchased a 1970 Fiat Minibus (a local car show award winner!), and regularly post their "Tuesday Tidbit" videos on their social media platforms, which range from book reviews to economic trends to local real estate news. But their overall success is primarily a result of a relational approach to all aspects of their business, both within the team and with their clients, which continues to bring them a steady stream of referrals and repeat business.

"We rebranded a couple of years ago and our slogan 'Honest. Real. Estate.' is a straightforward, yet creative way to express how we do business as a team." said Matt. Added Grant, "We are very straightforward with both our buyer and seller clients with what they can expect of this market, even if it is not exactly what they want to hear. It has helped us build a strong reputation and trust in the market."

Given Bend is still a relatively small community, this authentic approach has been vitally important. Current inventory on hand is at about two weeks, so setting expectations, especially with buyers, is critical.

"Compared to other western mountain towns, Bend is incredibly affordable," said Matt. "We both feel that Central Oregon still has great upside potential in the long-term, so we see the market continuing at this pace for a while," added Grant.

Brandon Fairbanks, principal managing broker of the office, raved about the team, "Matt and Grant and their team never cease to amaze me. They are one of the hardest working and most dedicated group of professionals I have had the pleasure to work with. They know how to get business done, putting their clients' needs first."


turkey day side dishesI recently came across an article that showed the most popular turkey day side dish by state. The standard fare dominated: Mashed potatoes, green beans, corn, stuffing, cranberries, etc. The map was a clever way to show holiday food trends, and a nice change of pace from the voting maps we've obsessively stared at. (I also saw a map that showed where it's legal to have a pet kangaroo…)

As far as Thanksgiving is concerned, there's got to be more than mashed potatoes and green beans and stuffing! Yes, I am that person who likes to indulge in something different, and I know I'm not alone. So, without further ado, here are some unique and flavorful alternatives to try alongside your turkey this year (or ham or chicken or pork, if that's your thing).

Coconut Creamed Greens. Earthy and hardy, the cooling coconut milk paired with hot chile make this a surprising contrast of flavors.

Old-School Squash Casserole. Buttery and rich, this Southern staple is kicked up a notch with seldom-used yellow squash and creamy sauce.

Vegan Pumpkin Basil Pinwheels. These super-cute and quick snacks are a real crowd-pleaser, and…pumpkin.

Frisée Salad with Warm Bacon Vinaigrette. If you're looking for a lighter option, this scrumptious salad incorporates perfectly poached eggs and a sweet and savory dressing.

Sea Island Crab Fried Rice. This coastal take on holiday fare pairs sweet crabmeat with rick, bacon and sauteed vegetables.

Rosemary Quinoa Mac and Cheese. Break tradition with this alternative dish packed with protein and a cauliflower-based sauce.

Mashed Ginger Carrots. A touch of ginger paste and butter transforms boiled carrots into a fragrant and vibrant sub for mashed potatoes.

Seared Mushrooms with Garlic and Thyme. A savory side that can stand alone, the magic of mushrooms is awakened with this simple recipe.

Many of us have honed our cooking skills during this crazy year, so it's time to be bold. Try something new, and bon appétit!


Holiday Season Home Staging

Staging your home is as important as ever when it comes to homes for sale. Staging has a valuable role to play in traditional showings and virtual ones.

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Portland Art Galleries

Did you know that National Go to an Art Museum Day takes place every year on November 9th? Thousands of art museums around the world participate in this special day, and every year features a different, unique theme. The Portland area has long shown strong support for local artists, with a huge selection of local art galleries that showcase talented artists from Portland and beyond. Now is a great time to visit some of Portland's best art galleries and museums. Our brokers have the details on 6 amazing places to view art around Portland for National Go to an Art Museum Day this year.

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