Date Archives: November 2021

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Bellevue WA | 16 Posts
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Competitive MarketHomes are selling very quickly! Securing a home in a competitive market can feel challenging, if not impossible. Below, we've rounded a few tips to give you the best chance possible at getting your dream home in the competitive market. Following our guide and working with our brokers will help you stay ahead of the pack and position yourself as a potential buyer.

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Small Business Saturday

During the holidays last year, shoppers chose to support small businesses more than ever before by skipping online shopping and chain stores to do their holiday shopping locally. So let's do even better this year, and show the Seattle area small businesses some love for the holidays. Our brokers have the details on why and how to support small businesses this holiday season.

Why Small Businesses Deserve Your Support During the Holidays

If you're like most people, then you probably already have some favorite local small businesses where you love shopping. It's nice to go to a place where people know your face, name, and preferences as soon as you walk through the door. Small businesses provide the opportunity for local artists, artisans, farmers, restaurateurs, and business people to share their unique wares with the public.

Small businesses are also integral to local economies in every neighborhood, and Seattle is no exception. Thriving small businesses create jobs, drive local spending, and provide a level of personalized service that you can't find anywhere else. Many small business owners are also very dedicated to raising funds for local charities, supporting community events, and giving back to the communities that help them thrive.

How to Support Small Businesses for the Holidays

There are so many reasons both big and small to support small businesses for the holidays. Your support means so much to these businesses, and doing your holiday shopping locally is also a great way to find one-of-a-kind gifts that you won't find anywhere else. But how do you show your support? Here are some tips to help you get started:

  • Show Up and Browse to Find That Special Something
    We all know how easy it is to browse a big, online retailer to find generic gifts, but it's hard to find that spark of inspiration for a truly special gift when you shop online. Whether you already have a gift idea in mind or you want to find a unique gift for someone who's hard to shop for, visiting small businesses to browse and make a purchase is a great way to get inspired for your holiday shopping.

  • Start Your Shopping Early and Be Patient
    Starting your holiday shopping early provides a variety of benefits for small businesses, and can make your life easier too. It provides revenue for small businesses when they need it most, and allows them to prepare your order before the busiest holiday shopping times. So get out there to start shopping before Black Friday, and be patient while small businesses get your order ready in time for the holidays.

  • Support Small Businesses by Showing Your Love Online
    After you're done shopping at your favorite small businesses, why not show them some love online? Leaving positive reviews on Yelp and Google is a great place to start because those reviews really help small businesses gain exposure online. You can also shout out and link to your favorite small businesses on social media, to help all of your connections find the best local places to shop for the holidays.

  • Try Dining Out or Ordering a Meal Kit for a Holiday Meal
    Eliminate the stress of cooking for the holidays and support a small business in the process by visiting a restaurant for a holiday meal. You can dine out at a restaurant that's open for in-person dining, or order a meal kit from a local restaurant that makes it easy to whip up a world-class meal at home with minimal effort.

  • Be a Friendly Customer and a Generous Tipper
    When you visit a small business to do some shopping or eating, make sure to treat the staff well. And if you can afford it, a generous tip can make a big difference.

Are you searching for a home located close to all of your favorite Seattle small businesses? Our local real estate team is here to help you find the perfect match among the many Seattle homes for sale. Contact us to buy and sell homes in the Seattle, WA area.


In late September 2020, Coldwell Banker Bain donated $26,700 to Northwest Response, a partnership of the American Red Cross and KING5 TV for the nonprofit's Wildfire Relief Fund, supporting residents impacted by wildfires in Washington and Oregon. CB Bain collected donations from its brokers and employees, with the company matching all donations.

Julie Kent, corporate relations officer of Red Cross Northwest, recently reached out to CEO Mike Grady to express her gratitude, once again:

"I will always remember the email I received from KING 5 saying that Coldwell Banker-BAIN had raised funds with their employees for the Washington Wildfires," Kent shared recently in an email. "To meet with you and receive those checks from your incredibly giving employees and to see the match you and your partner had offered, it was overwhelming to see such generosity."

Kent shared an update and extended her organization's gratitude to everyone at Coldwell Banker Bain for helping those in need. Thanks to many compassionate supporters, the Red Cross has raised $48.9 million, including the value of critical donated goods and services, for those affected by the daunting wildfires in California, Colorado, Montana, Oregon, Washington, and Wyoming. With some funds remaining, the Red Cross will continue to provide services for long-term recovery in the impacted communities. Take a closer look at the Red Cross's 1 Year Update here.

Here's a snapshot of those 2020 Western Wildfires relief impacts, by the numbers:

  • More than 923,200 meals and snacks served with partners
  • More than 61,200 individual care contacts made to provide health, mental health, and spiritual care services
  • More than 450,100 overnight shelter and hotel stays provided with partners
  • More than 58,700 relief items distributed

Mike Grady remembers feeling compelled to make a difference in the wake of so much devastation: "It evokes emotion, remembering how we all pulled together to make something great happen," Grady said. "It's just what we do, but far more than that, it's who we are; everyone who participated should draw great satisfaction in knowing the difference we can make together."

Thank you again to all of our generous brokers and employees!


Eric Gouge of CBB Sittauer Gouge Group in Edmonds never imagined as a young man he'd be following his mother into a real estate career, but that's exactly where he landed. After serving two deployments in the United States Marine Corps, he applied many of the character-building principles he learned during active duty to thrive in his second-act career as a broker.

As a young man, Eric unabashedly admits he did not aspire to be in real estate. While growing up, he associated the business with the chores he had to do for his mom Jean Sittauer's real estate business. He was often tasked with mowing lawns, dump runs, and general clean-up for her listings.

At 17, Eric wanted to join the USMC, and because of his age, his mom and dad had to sign an authorization for him to enlist. Two deployments later, first through the South Pacific (Australia, Thailand, Singapore, Kuwait, all over South Pacific) and a second to Iraq in 2007 at just 20 years old running reconnaissance missions, Eric learned quickly about responsibility and accountability.

Through his Marine Corps duty, Eric was an infantryman, in a scout sniper team, and served as a point man to lead patrols. He and fellow Marines would hide in buildings and watch people for four to five days on end, impressive when you consider these were young twenty-somethings shouldering big responsibilities.

"The characteristic I learned most in the Marine Corps and applies to real estate was the ability to stay calm, cool and collected," Eric says. "On my very first combat patrol in Iraq with my sniper team, we needed to know the town during the day before we could move around and perform reconnaissance missions at night."

He recalled leading a patrol in 2007 near the Euphrates when the dirt shot up and a crack of a bullet was heard.  His team was under attack. His training took over and despite the adrenaline, he and his group stayed calm. They took cover, waiting out the danger. "We all stood up and continued our patrol for another four hours as if nothing had even happened, kicking soccer balls with kids, waving at people and saying 'hello' along our patrol and quickly laughed it off," he said.

In 2008, during one of the most trying times in real estate in decades, Jean was still a top producer when she convinced Eric to get his real estate license. He started as her assistant, worked his way up, and today he and his wife, Jaimie, a residential broker also part of the Sittauer Gouge Group, are building on that legacy in hopes of carrying the business into future generations.

In real estate, personal character matters, Eric says. "Keeping those emotions in check and doing my job to the best of my ability without are so important," he says. "This is especially true in real estate, when it comes to dealing with negotiations, agents of all types, and clients; we are doing a disservice to our clients when we let our emotions take over and cloud our judgment. Staying calm and collecting your thoughts is one of the keys to being a successful real estate agent."

Eric also puts tougher days at work quickly in perspective by saying to himself, "This can't be as bad as that time I was fighting in a war!"

Other gems Eric has carried over from being a service member to his real estate work share parallel themes of honor, courage and commitment:

  1. Keep It Simple. The simpler something is, the more we tend to complicate it. For a listing, some new brokers might do 10 posts on social media as part of a long list of tasks. Keeping it simple means to take really good photos, do one video and one solid post with a video. Simplicity really can sell.
  2. Handle adversity head on. If something happens, immediately take action. The faster and quicker you do it, the quicker it can be resolved. Don't let it linger and wait to respond to an email; handle it quickly and directly. If something happens, immediately confront and take care of it, rather than let it fester. Few deals come without a snag of some sort. Handle it.
  3. Always be faithful to your wordSemper fidelis translates into real estate as always have client's best interest in mind, stick by your convictions, always stick by your client and be faithful. For example, if a client interested in a property, while it's legal to represent both buyer and seller, this doesn't always have BOTH best interests in mind. Give the Buyer to someone else in your office. Integrity matters.

As part of one of the most trusted real estate teams in Edmonds, with multiple awards to its credit, this family has cracked the code to working together seamlessly. In addition to listing and selling homes, Eric also specializes in helping fellow veterans with the home buying process. When he's not working with clients, you'll find Eric enjoying time with his wife, Jaimie, and their children: Six-year-old son Jackson--born on the 4th of July, four-year-old daughter Siena and newborn son, Raymond.

Learn more about Eric here and the family team at Sittauer Gouge Group here.


When my husband and I bought our new construction home, we opted for the fireplace upgrade. After spending years in an apartment with a fireplace, I simply couldn't imagine living without one. It's not just the warming heat in the cooler months that I appreciate; it's the cozy atmosphere and ambience, the eye-catching design, and the mantle where you can house happy memories and display holiday cards.

While my hubby and I continue to wait for our new construction home to be completed, I'm dreaming of what it will be like to have an awesome fireplace again. How will I make it pop? What rug will I put in front of it? How will I make the mantle special? So many ideas and all kinds of inspiration.

Whether you don't have a fireplace and you're thinking of getting one, or you're just considering a facelift on your existing cozy spot, here are some cool (or should I write, hot?) fireplace ideas for your own inspiration.

The Modern Take

Add a copper accent to your fireplace for an extra-warm touch and striking appearance.

Total Minimalism

Got windows? Consider a sleek, inobtrusive design that's still eye-catching and stunning.

Dramatic Contrasts

Frame your fireplace with contrasting shades to make it pop in your room.

Embrace Existing Elements

Don't hide the original beauty of your fireplace! Work with the design to enhance its striking appeal.

Go Glass

For a truly minimal design that lets the fire shine bright, consider a completely glass fireplace.

Screen It

Give your fireplace an extra pop of interest with a compelling screen.

Stone Beauty

Keep it cozy and natural with a stone design.

Innovative Architectural Design

Make use of a small space with a unique fireplace design that will wow.

Warm the Bath

Want to really pamper yourself? Heat up your bath with a fireplace just for your daily soak.


Portland Food Carts

Los Angeles may claim to have started the food truck craze, but Portland has truly embraced the trend. With more than 500 trucks, or "carts," as they're referred to by locals, Portland's food cart scene has drawn raves from Bon Appétit, CNN, and other national sources.

Our brokers spotlight some of their favorites among the exciting food carts found just minutes from Portland homes for sale.

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Pioneer Square

Seattle homes for sale have lots of things going for them. The city is famous for its culinary delights, its rich history and culture, and the seemingly never-ending number of parks you'll find nestled between the world-class amenities and unique landmarks. Our brokers say there's no other place like it.

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