Realtors Make A Difference at Hill Day

IMG_0163I am proud to serve on the board of the Seattle King County Realtors and as a State Representative and member of the Governmental Affairs Committee. We are constantly working to protect homeownership rights and create healthy communities. On January 19th I joined Realtors from all over Washington State for Hill Day to meet with our legislators to talk about issues facing Realtors and homeownership.

What did we talk to legislators about?

First, it is important to note we are facing one of the most tenuous sessions in history. Our lawmakers need to raise about one BILLION dollars for education – that means increased property taxes, transfer fees, and taxes are all on the table. We also discussed…

1. Opposing an increase in Service rate B&O tax. Governor Inslee proposed to increase the B&O tax rate on businesses from 1.5% to 2.5%, a whopping 66% increase.

2. Opposing a tax on income from Capital Gains. Governor Inslee has proposed a 7.9% tax on income from Capital Gains, including all real estate except single family dwellings. While most sources of retirement income would be exempt, real estate is not even though real estate is a major source of retirement or college savings for many families.

3. Supporting reforms to increase housing and land supplies. The lack of housing supply at all income levels is a significant problem throughout Washington. King County has the least affordable housing in the nation, which is contributing to the worsening homelessness issue.

4. Ensuring rural water supply for new homes. The Supreme Court’s recent Hirst decision regarding the Growth Management Act eliminates the use of small wells for new homes in many counties even though the water code and ecology’s water regulations allow for wells. Thousands of properties are unable to be built, creating financial disaster for property owners and adding to our housing shortage.

I am glad I could be part of this important event and excited to see how we can work together to further improve the lives of Washingtonians.

The Butterfly Effect

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There are a lot of things that motivate me to be involved in our community, and one of the most important is my Butterfly Effect group. 

The Butterfly Effect is based in Kirkland, WA and was named after the concept that all small efforts have a ripple effect – essentially a simple act or kind gesture can remind people that we are thinking of them, they are important, and they also have the power to positively impact the world. I learned a long time ago that I get much more than I give by supporting these great charities and people who are doing good things in our community and world.

I want all of you to feel inspired as well, so each month I will share news of the good things we in The Butterfly Effect are doing in the community. Stay tuned and always feel free to reach out to me with questions about how you can get involved!

Local Holiday Light Shows

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Ready to lift your spirits? Shimmering light shows are a brilliant way to celebrate the winter holiday season. Grab a warm coat and go exploring in gardens, zoos and even on the water. Here are five local venues that are worth braving the cold to see…

1. WildLights at Woodland Park Zoo

5500 Phinney Ave. N, Seattle WA 98103
www.zoo.org/wildlights | click here to get tickets

  • Dates/Times: Open nightly 11/25/16 – 1/1/17 | 5:30-8:30 pm
  • Cost: $7.95-$9.95 per person (ages 2 and under are free)
  • Promotion: Zoo members who purchase tickets by 12/9 get a $2 discount off each adult ticket
  • Parking: Free parking at the north (Bear Lot), inner north (Otter Lot) and and northwest lot (Penguin Lot)
  • Food: Refreshments are available at food kiosks, Pizza Corner, the Rain Forest Pavilion and at the Pacific Chowder House (with covered seating). Outside food and non-alcoholic drinks are permitted.
  • Special Events and Activities
  • Holiday Closures: 12/24 & 12/25

Wildlights at Woodland Park Zoo

 

2. Garden d’Lights at Bellevue Botanical Garden
12001 Main Street, Bellevue WA 98005
www.gardendlights.org | click here to get tickets

  • Dates/Times: Open nightly 11/26/16 – 12/31/16 | 4:30-9:00 pm
  • Cost: $5 per person (ages 10 and under are free)
  • Promotion: Free admission on 11/28, 11/29, 11/30, 12/1, 12/5, 12/6, 12/7 and 12/8
  • Parking: $5 per car in the Garden’s lot (cash only) as space allows OR park for free at Wilburton Hill Park
  • Food: Hot drinks and snacks are available at the Aaron Education Center
  • Holiday Closures: None

Garden d'Lights at Bellevue Botanical Garden

 

3. Snowflake & Celebration Lane at the Bellevue Collection
Bellevue Way & NE 8th Street, Bellevue WA 98004
http://bellevue.com/snowflake-lane

  • Dates/Times: Nightly 11/25/16 – 12/31/16 | 20 minute show starts at 7 pm
  • Cost: Free
  • Parking: Free parking at Bellevue Square, Bellevue Place and Lincoln Square.
  • Food: A variety of dining options (from happy hour, to kid fare, to gourmet meal) are all within walking distance
  • Special Events & Activities: Ice Skating, Santa Parade & Tree Lighting
  • Holiday Closure: 12/25

Snowflak Lane at the Bellevue Collection

 

4. Christmas Ship Festival
Launch locations include Lake Union Park, Kirkland City Dock, Leschi Marina, Des Moines Marina, Poulsbo Marina, Seattle Waterfront – Pier 55, Tacoma (Dock Street Marina), Port of Edmonds Marina, Fishermen’s Terminal, AGC Marina, and Shilsole Bay Marina
www.argosycruises.com | click here to get tickets

Christmas Ship at Lake Union, Photo Courtesy of Seattle Parks

 

5. Zoolights at Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium
5400 N. Pearl Street, Tacoma WA 98407
www.pdza.org/zoolights
click here to get non-member tickets OR click here to get member tickets

  • Dates/Times: Open nightly 11/25/16 – 1/1/17 | 5-9 pm
  • Cost: $8.50-$10.00 per person (ages 2 and under are free)
  • Promotions:
    -$5 tickets for zoo members
    -Combo Pass that includes daytime zoo admission ($12-$16)
    -Military Nights ($8 for US Veterans): 11/28, 11/30, 12/5, 12/7, 12/12 & 12/14
    -Scout Night ($8 for registered Girl Scouts or Boy Scouts): 12/6
  • Parking: Free parking in zoo lots (entrance on Pearl Street)
  • Food: Hot drinks and treats are available at the café and kiosks throughout the zoo
  • Activities
  • Holiday Closure: 12/24

Zoolights at Point Defiance

©Windermere Real Estate/Mercer Island

This blog post originally appeared on the MercerIslandPulse.com blog.

 

Babies of Homelessness Donations

Outside of real estate my focus is community involvement and helping people who are less fortunate or who have fallen on hard times. Although I try to make this a priority year-round, the Holidays are especially busy as everyone recognizes it is a time to be thankful for what we have and spread kindness and resources to individuals who aren’t as lucky. Today I want to highlight an organization with a unique focus, Babies of Homelessness, and share how we can help with their important mission.

Babies of Homelessness raises awareness about a particularly vulnerable population within the homeless community – babies and toddlers. Some of these kids were born into homelessness while others were brought into it. Regardless, their parents are unable to support them and provide the care they need and they are too young to protect and fend for themselves. They experience awful conditions at a young age that no one should have to endure in their entire lifetimes.

How can we help?

Babies of Homelessness’s immediate goal is to collect essential resources for these children who are living in homeless encampments and emergency shelters. For kids in encampments they are looking for items to fill care packages to hand out and would like to see each package include a set of PJs, socks, toothbrush, toothpaste, a blanket, diapers/underwear, and an activity/coloring book. For kids in emergency shelters they suggest donating tickets to an event and restaurant and clothing gift cards to provide a little bit of an escape from their situations.

I am collecting items until December 9th. Contact me and I will come to you to pick up items you want to donate. Thank you in advance for your support and generosity.

We’ve Got You Covered

Windermere and the Seattle Seahawks have come together to help #tacklehomelessness in our community.

As part of that campaign, offices on the Eastside are participating in Windermere’s “We’ve Got You Covered” winter drive.

From October 17 through November 14, we are collecting new hats, scarves, gloves/mittens, and warm socks for YouthCare, a non-profit that provides support and services to homeless youth throughout the Puget Sound area.

Each night in Seattle, nearly 1,000 young people are homeless. Please help them stay warm during the cold winter months by dropping off your donation to one of our offices during the drive.

Eastside Windermere Office Locations

Visit the Windermere.com blog for more information.

Attain Housing’s Community Supper – Hosted by WRE Yarrow Bay

Another great and successful Community Supper hosted by Windermere Real Estate Yarrow Bay.  On the eve of November 11, the Windermere RE Yarrow Bay office hosted Attain Housing (formerly KITH)’s Community Supper at the Holy Spirit Lutheran Church in Kirkland, and what a wonderful event it turned out to be. Volunteers were there early to prepare the dinner and ensure we had a wonderful mean to serve!  This was one of the larger Community Suppers of late, as it was not only our normal families but Unity Camp was invited to dinner, making it quite the crowd.  The special menu was lasagnas, salads, garlic breads and rolls, as well as brownies, cookies and fruit snacks for dessert.  Thanks to our amazing Windermere agents and even Patrick, our Commonwealth Title Rep, we were able to feed the entire crowd with plenty of leftovers for our guests to take home with them!

Thank you to everyone who were there to help, to those who couldn’t make it but still found time to bake cookies and brownies to donate!  We look forward to doing it again soon!!

This Weekend on the Eastside: Kirkland Uncorked, July 18-20

Kirkland Uncorked, Washington’s summer food and wine festival, is taking place this weekend! Taking place at scenic Marina Park (25 Lakeshore Plaza Dr), the festival, benefitting Homeward Pet Adoption, features wines from world-class Washington wineries, bite-sized feasts from notable Eastside restaurants, and appearances from the Northwest’s most prestigious celebrity chefs and culinary personalities.

The festival is split into two parts, a 21+ Tasting Garden and an all ages Street Fair. The Tasting Garden features wine tasting, grilling demonstrations, live music, a Friday Burger Brawl and a Saturday Grill-Off. The Street features a Boat Show, the Uncorked Market, the CityDog Dog Modeling Contest, and a Sunday Food Truck Feast.

Check out the event schedule here!