5 Areas in Your House Causing Stress – and How to Organize Them

Here are 5 common areas in a household notorious for causing stress, and how to fix them once and for all!

1. Pantry and refrigerator

With more food staples on hand, now is a good time to clear everything off the shelves and put it all back in a stacked, organized and easy-to-reach manner. A pantry, or fridge, will have greater capacity – and be easier to navigate – once the contents have been rearranged to save space. Check dates for expired condiments, which hog room along the door shelves, and consolidate loose items like granola bars into boxes or jars so no snack gets left behind.

2. Underneath the bathroom sink

This location may not be causing stress, but its underutilized storage capabilities can help alleviate stress by clearing up space in other messy zones.

The cabinet underneath the bathroom sink isn’t just for items like Band-Aids and plungers. Perhaps you have excess paper goods on hand – ahem, toilet paper – so optimize this area by stacking goods in the back you use less frequently and keeping common items toward the front. This hidden gem storage space is the perfect spot for concealing odds and ends.

3. Entryway

So many shoes by the door but nowhere to go! The entry way is likely cluttered with slippers, sneakers, as well as rain jackets and bags hanging on hooks. Store away items used infrequently and allow one pair of shoes per person to live by the door, moving the rest inside a closet – out of sight and out of mind.

4. Kitchen table

Is your kitchen table now functioning as a home office, place to eat, homework spot for kids, craft zone, etc.? By day, this multifunctional area is a hub of the house – so try to keep it as orderly as possible, not allowing clutter to linger when the workday or school day is done.

Unless you’re in the midst of a great big puzzle, clear off the kitchen table at the end of each day so your house feels normal again when it’s time for rest and relaxation.

5. General dust and dirt

Even when order has been instilled upon shelves, countertops and closets, you may still be feeling stress from general dirtiness – especially if you have light-colored floors or carpet. Get in the habit of running a vacuum through high-traffic areas, like the living room, every few days so visible dirt never piles up. Though life is out of routine at the moment, stick to regular maintenance such as wiping down kitchen counter surfaces daily and giving the bathroom a good scrub on the weekends.

RE/MAX National Housing Report for May 2020

Home Sales Down 34% Over Previous Year While Price Increases Remain

May, often the second-strongest month for home sales, saw what many believe may be the biggest housing impact from the pandemic as closings dropped 33.7% compared to last year.

All 53 markets in the report sustained double-digit year-over-year sales declines:

• Sales in four markets shrunk by more than half, led by Detroit’s drop of 64.8%

• Eighteen markets saw sales drop by one-fourth to one-third

• Des Moines’s sales decline of 14.3% was the smallest

While the Median Sales Price of $272,000 was up 4.7%, it was softer than the 5.4% average May-to-May price increase in the previous five years.

Inventory dropped 25% year-over-year to one of the lowest levels for May in the report’s 12-year history. Only Indianapolis (12.7%), Wichita (4.3%) and Chicago (1%) posted increases in the number of homes for sale compared to May 2019.

With May being the second full month under stay-at-home mandates in many states, home sales were the lowest for the month since 2012, and on a par with wintertime home-sales activity. Compare that to 2017, 2018 and 2019, when May posted the highest or second-highest home sales of the year. June typically sees the year’s most home sales and highest Median Sales Price.

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145 152nd Pl SE, Bellevue, WA 98007


5 bedrooms; 1.75 bathrooms; 2020 square feet

You’ll appreciate a newer roof, ext paint, gas furnace & water heater in this beautiful home! Also features gleaming hardwood flrs through-out the main level, newer laminate down, shiplap wall & cozy wood fireplaces. The master suite, living area & separate entrance downstairs offers options. Enjoy relaxing & entertaining on the deck & in the private, level, fully-fenced yard. Don’t miss the storage on the garage side & new DW. Conveniently located near shopping, fitness, library, trails & lake.


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Washington State NWMLS Market Snapshot for May 2020

Despite the economic downturn and disruptions stemming from the coronavirus pandemic, Northwest MLS member-brokers reported impressive improvement from April to May on some key indicators. The volume of new listings, including single family homes and condominiums, rose 29.2% and pending sales jumped more than 44% system wide.

Not surprisingly, year-over-year comparisons showed sharp declines. The number of new listings fell nearly 33%, total active listings plummeted nearly 36%, pending sales declined 13.5%, and closed sales dropped about 35%. Prices remained in positive territory, rising about 2.3% from a year ago.

Brokers added 9,871 new listings to the MLS database during May, which compares to 14,689 for the same period a year ago. At month-end the selection included 10,357 active listings; that volume was 5,766 fewer than the year ago total of 16,133.

Stated another way, at the end of May there was 1.74 months of supply across the 23 counties served by Northwest MLS. Inventory levels ranged from 1.1 months of supply in Thurston County to more than 8 months in San Juan County. Within the four-county Puget Sound region, supply ranged from 1.2 months in Pierce County to 1.74 months in King County.

The NWMLS report shows 10,389 pending sales during May, improving on April’s total of 7,207 (up 44%), but down about 13.5% from the year-ago total of 12,006.

NWMLS members completed 5,957 transactions during May, a slight improvement from April’s total of 5,866. When compared to a year ago, however, the number of closed sales, at 9,153, marked a decline of about 35%.

The median price on last month’s closed sales was $449,950 across the NWMLS coverage area. That compares to the year-ago figure of $440,000 an increase of about 2.3%.

Source: NWMLS 6/5/20

11741 35th Ave NE, Seattle, WA 98125


3 bedrooms; 1 bathroom; 890 square feet

Super Cute and Cozy with Numerous Updates! You’ll appreciate the new roof & vents, gutters, gas water heater, gas fireplace and washer/dryer. Enjoy beautiful hardwood floors through-out, double-pane windows, fresh interior paint & newer gas furnace. The long garage features a utility sink, a loft w/ storage + possible storage in the attic. Relax by the fire pit in the large, wooded, almost level fully-fenced backyard w/ gates. There’s plenty of space to play, entertain & garden. Don’t miss this!


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RE/MAX National Housing Report for April 2020

Pandemic Curbs Home Sales By 20% Year-Over-Year, Prices Remain Strong

Fewer sellers, fewer buyers: The first full month of coronavirus stay-at-home orders weighed on April home sales, causing them to drop an average of 20.2% compared to a year ago. Inventory in the report’s 53 markets similarly tumbled by 20.5% year-over-year, while the Median Sale Price of $276,000 was up 9.3%.

Restrictions to prevent the spread of COVID-19 turned what is traditionally the year’s fifth busiest month for home sales back to slumbering wintertime levels. Four markets –  New York, Detroit, Miami and San Francisco – posted year-over-year sales declines of more than 40%. Just two markets – Minneapolis, MN and Billings, MT – reported an increase, while eight saw declines of less than 10%.

Like March, April is a transition month toward peak home sales in the summer. In a typical year, the busiest month is often May or June, with July and August being close behind.

Days on Market dropped seven days to 46 year over year, setting a new low for April in the report’s 12-year history. By contrast, Months Supply of Inventory grew from 3.0 to 3.5.

The Median Sales Price of $276,000 also was a report record for April.

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6423 161st St Ct E Unit #8, Puyallup, WA 98375


3 bedrooms; 2 bathrooms; 960 square feet

Tastefully updated with newer cabinets, counters, appliances, carpet, vinyl & molding. Enjoy vaulted ceilings, lots of windows, a large backyard with mature trees & some privacy, and a shed with lawn tools that stay. You’ll appreciate the master suite with walk-in closet & bathroom, pantry, and plenty of parking. Canyon Glen is an attractive, all-age community conveniently located that features a large open area, playground, RV parking, and includes sewer & cable TV. Almost all furniture may stay. Make this home yours!


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19335 SE 284th St, Kent, WA 98042


5 bedrooms; 3.5 bathrooms; 3396 square feet

Peaceful living in desirable Winterwood Estates! Too many features to list! New roof, gutters, garage doors & openers; gas furnace & water heater. Newer siding, exterior paint, windows, tankless hot water; quartz & granite counters; bamboo, engineered hardwood, travertine & tile floors; travertine & tile showers. Bonus features: possible ADU, AC, whole house fan, sprinklers; wired for generator & hot tub; RV + extra parking with power, water & waste; horse pasture. Entertain on the large deck or in the rec room. A must see!


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Washington State NWMLS Market Snapshot for April 2020

Residential real estate activity around Western Washington reflected expected declines during April with the impact of the coronavirus pandemic taking its toll. A new report from Northwest Multiple Listing Service shows year-over-year (YOY) drops system-wide in new listings, pending sales and closed sales, but prices increased nearly 6.4%.

The Northwest MLS report for April shows area-wide inventory fell nearly 21% from a year ago, dropping from 12,955 listings to 10,282. A comparison of the 23 counties in the report shows only four counties with YOY increases (Jefferson at 0.9%, Whatcom at nearly 6%, Douglas at 13.8% and Lewis at 17.7%), while three counties had shrinkages of around 30% or more (King at -29.6%, Clallam at -32.9% and Island at -39.2%).

The volume of new listings added during April was off 34.7% compared to the same month a year ago. Brokers added 7,641 new listings last month, down from both March when 10,291 new listings were added, and April 2019 when brokers added 11,697 new listings.

Despite the slower activity, the months of supply improved only slightly, rising from the March figure of 1.4 months to 1.75 months of inventory at the end of April.

In King County, prices rose 4% from a year ago, from $625,000 to $650,000. Snohomish County prices were up nearly 6% and Pierce County joined Kitsap with a double-digit gain; prices there increased from $355,000 to $397,750 for a 12% gain.

System-wide, prices were up about 6.4%, rising from the year-ago figure of $424,950 to last month’s figure of $452,030. Year-to-date prices are up nearly 9.3% compared to twelve months ago.

Source: NWMLS 5/6/20

RE/MAX National Housing Report for March 2020

Despite the advance of the coronavirus across the U.S. in the second half of the month, March home sales increased 2.7% year-over-year in the report’s 52 markets – a hint of what might have been.

March was the fourth consecutive month with year-over-year increases in U.S. home sales – a streak not seen since 2016. But the spread of COVID-19, and the initiation of governmental measures to slow it, dampened the month’s overall sales results:

• March’s year-over-year sales growth of less than 3% was significantly less than December 2019 through February 2020 where year-over-year sales increases averaged 10%.

• The sequential monthly growth in sales from February to March is typically the largest month-over-month percentage increase each year, averaging 32%. This year, March sales increased just 23.8% over February – the lowest such increase for this time period in the report’s nearly 12-year history.

Inventory levels in March continued to constrict amid healthy buyer interest, which helped drive further price increases. Year-over-year, March inventory declined 14.9%, continuing a streak that began in July 2019. Meanwhile, the Median Sales Price of $265,000 was 7.7% higher than a year ago, setting a report record for the month of March. A record low for March was the 54 Days on Market, while 2.7 Months Supply of Inventory was typical for the month, based on the past four years.

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