Home Features Could Mean Money in the Bank

Take a look around your home. What are the special things about it that give it character? What do people comment on? An antique stained-glass window? An amazing fireplace? A high-tech faucet? Memorable features like these give your home character and they are the things that make buyers fall in love with a home when it comes time to sell.

Did you know that a good rule of thumb is that for each 500 square feet of home, you should have one special, memorable feature? For example, a 2500 square foot home should include five special items that give the home character.

If you look around your home and can’t find enough special things for your square footage, here are some ideas to get the creative ball rolling:

  • Custom shelving around the fireplace
  • Upgraded laundry room with baskets and shelves
  • A chandelier that makes a statement
  • Kitchen backsplash with amazing tile
  • Backyard entertaining area with built-in BBQ or gas firepit
  • Art alcove
  • Antique built-ins such as a reclaimed pantry door
  • Pot fill faucet behind the stovetop
  • Built-in breakfast nook
  • A stone veneer wall or some other textural treatment such as shiplap or wood mosaic
  • Bowl sink in a bathroom
  • Steam shower option in the master
  • Smart home features such as Ring or self-closing blinds
  • Outdoor accent lighting
  • Stamped concrete hardscapes
  • Epoxied garage floor
  • Garage storage solutions
  • Wine fridge
  • Wine cellar or storage
  • Hot tub
  • Laundry chute
  • Heated bathroom floor
  • Pull-out storage for stand mixer
  • Beamed ceiling
  • Secret storage such as a wall safe behind a painting
  • A big window strategically placed to let in light or take advantage of a view

This list includes both big dollar items but also small improvements you can make that really give your home character. I know you will appreciate the changes now but your buyers will also enjoy them when it is time to sell. I would like to talk with you more about your plan to add character and special features.

Give me a call, text, or email: (206) 595-8267 or



Homeowners Insurance – Are You Covered?

In light of the recent hurricanes that have ravaged the East Coast, the earthquake that decimated parts of Mexico, and wildfires in the West that are burning up acres and acres with buildings along with it, it seems like a good time to do a check-up of your homeowners insurance policy. Will you be covered when disaster strikes? This fall, I encourage you to check in with your insurance agent to review your policy, determine if there are holes, and see if you are able to cover those holes with additional insurance as you deem necessary. Here are some questions to guide that conversation:

How am I covered in the case of water damage?

Water from a natural disaster is usually treated differently than water damage from typical weather. For example, a flood or a storm that causes the roof to lift off, subjecting the contents to inches of rain is different than a typical rainstorm which causes the roof or the basement to leak – perhaps from multiple events. I encourage you to ask a number of questions around the different types of water damage your home might sustain so you understand what you are and are not covered for. Some areas may offer or require additional flood insurance (if you have a mortgage and live in a flood-prone area, you may have a separate flood insurance policy so check on that too).

How am I covered in the case of wind damage?

Does your insurance company treat a tree falling on your roof differently than the wind ripping the roof off? What if the wind knocks off your roof gutter causing water to enter your house? Think about the different wind events that might befall your property and ask questions.

Am I covered in case of an earthquake?

It might surprise you to know that most policies do not cover earthquake damage, but often you can get coverage added on. The deductible for that policy may be high, so make sure you understand the process for filing a claim if your property sustains damage during an earthquake.

What happens if my belongings get damaged?

Most insurance will cover your belongings in the home if they are damaged, but what about your lawn furniture and BBQ? How about your hot tub? What about your priceless collection of antique clocks? What if you have a storage shed full of furniture that you inherited but aren’t sure what to do with?

What are the holes you see in this policy?

Ask your agent directly what holes they see. As he or she have likely seen a number of claims, it will be easy for them to see some typical issues that are not covered by their policy. Some may have additional coverage that you can get but in some cases, you will need to cover these items yourself (such as landscaping damage). It is important to know this information and make a plan.

Your home is likely your most valuable asset! Don’t let a disaster drain your equity. Get smart about your homeowners insurance and protect your investments. Questions? Please call or text: (206) 595-8267 or email: