How Long Things Last

We all know that nothing lasts forever, but when everything is working fine it is easy to forget that all of the systems and appliances in your home have a finite lifespan. Keep this information in mind, whether you are buying or selling a home, budgeting for improvements, or deciding between repairing and replacing.

Here’s a brief look at some of the components of your home and their average lifespans (courtesy of the National Association of Home Builders)

 

ROOFING, SIDING, WINDOWS & DECKS. You can expect slate or tile roofs to last around 50 years, wood shingles 25-30, metal will get you about 25 years, while asphalts typically last about 20 years. The lifespan for siding can vary quite a bit. Brick will last 100 years or more, aluminum about 80 years and stucco will probably last you 25 years. Wood siding can last anywhere from 10 to 100 years depending on the climate you live in and how it is maintained. Both aluminum and vinyl windows will last 15 to 20 years, while unclad wood windows can have a life of 30 years or more. Cedar decks will average 15-25 years as long as they are properly treated and cleaned, and a high quality composite deck will last 30 years with minimal maintenance.

 

FLOORING. The natural flooring materials such as wood, marble, slate or granite will all last 100 years or more, while tile has an average life of 70-100 years. Vinyl can last up to 50 years, while laminate and linoleum will get you up to 25 years. Expect your carpet to last 8-10 years, depending on use.

 

KITCHEN & BATH. Laminate countertops can have a life of 20 years or more, but it will vary depending on use. Wood, tile and stone should last a lifetime, and cultured marble will typically see a lifespan of 20 years. You can expect your stainless steel sink to last you about 30 years, while an enamel-coated sink will give you five to 10 years. Slate, granite, soapstone and copper will be around for 100 years or more. Bathroom faucets should give you about 20 years, and toilets will average a 50-year lifespan, although some of the parts will need replacing.

 

APPLIANCES. The lifespan of appliances will vary widely depending on the appliance, the brand, model, and use. Use these average lifespan numbers as a rough guide for when it may make more sense to replace rather than repair. Gas ranges tend to have the longest lifespan of your major appliances, giving around 15 years of use. Electric ranges on the other hand, are closer to 13 years, which is also the expected lifespan for standard refrigerators and clothes dryers. Your garbage disposal should give you about 10 years of use, while the dishwasher and microwave will be around nine years. You can expect your electric furnace to last about 15 years, 18 for gas and 20 for oil-burning. Central air systems will live 10 to 15 years on average.

 

Check out the NAHB website for more information.

Posted on October 3, 2019 at 5:26 am
Heather Potts | Category: City Guides

Recent Decrease in Interest Rates Spurs Opportunity

Most recently, we have experienced an uptick in market activity. In fact, in King and Snohomish counties we saw a 53% increase in pending sales from December to January. While it is seasonally normal to see activity increase at the first of the year, it was 16% higher than the previous January. This increase is being driven by multiple factors, such as our thriving economy and job market, price acceleration softening, and the recent decrease in interest rates.

Currently, rates are as low as 4.5% for a 30-year fixed conventional mortgage – 0.75 points down from the fourth quarter of 2018. In fact, the interest rate in November was the highest we’ve seen in five years!  The current rate level is the lowest we have seen in a year. This is meaningful because the rule of thumb is that for every one-point increase in interest rate, a buyer loses ten percent in purchase power. For example, if a buyer is shopping for a $500,000 home and the rate increases by a point during their search, in order to keep the same monthly payment, the buyer would need to decrease their purchase price to $450,000. Conversely, for every decrease in interest rate, a buyer can increase their purchase price and keep the same monthly mortgage payment.

Why is this important to pay attention to? Affordability! If you take the scenario I just described and apply it to the link above, you can see that the folks who choose to jump into the market this year will enjoy an interest cost savings when securing their mortgage. This lasts the entire life of the loan and can have a huge impact on the monthly cash flow of a household. This cost savings is also coupled with a slow-down in home-price appreciation. Complete year-over-year, prices are up around 8% in both King and Snohomish counties, but note that from 2017 to 2018 we saw a 14% increase. Price appreciation is adjusting to more normal levels and is predicted to increase 4-6% in 2019 over 2018.

As we head into spring market, the time of year we see the most inventory become available, the interest rates will have a positive influence on both buyers and sellers. Naturally, buyers will enjoy the cost savings, but sellers will enjoy a larger buyer pool looking at their homes due to the demand the lower rates are creating. Further, would-be sellers who are also buyers that secured a rate as low as 3.75% via a purchase or re-finance in 2015-2017, will consider giving up that lower rate for the right move-up house now that rates are not as big of a jump up as they were during the second half of 2018.

This recent decrease in rate is making the move-up market come alive. What is great about this, is that it opens up inventory for the first-time buyer and helps complete the market cycle. First-time buyers are abundant right now as the Millennial generation is gaining in age and making big life transitions such as buying real estate. According to Nerd Wallet, 49% of all Millennials have a home purchase in their 5-year plan.

Will these rates last forever? Simply put, no! According to Matthew Gardner, Windermere’s Chief Economist, rates should increase into the 5’s in 2019.While still staying well below the 30-year average of 6.85%, increases are increases, and securing today’s rate could be hugely beneficial from a cost-saving perspective. Just like the 1980’s when folks were securing mortgages at 18%, the people that lock down on a rate from today will be telling these stories to their grandchildren. Note the 30-year average – it is reasonable to think that rates closer to that must be in our future at some point.

So what does this mean for you? If you have considered making a move, or even your first purchase, today’s rates are a huge plus in helping make that transition more affordable. If you are a seller, bear in mind that today’s interest rate market is creating strong buyer demand, providing a healthy buyer pool for your home. As a homeowner who has no intention to make a move, now might be the time to consider a refinance. What is so exciting about these refinances, is that it is not only possible to reduce your monthly payment, but also your term, depending on which rate you would be coming down from.

If you would like additional information on how today’s interest rates pertain to your housing goals, please contact me. I would be happy to educate you on homes that are available, do a market analysis on your current home, and/or put you in touch with a reputable mortgage professional to help you crunch numbers. Real estate success is rooted in being accurately informed, and it is my goal to help empower you to make sound decisions for you and your family.

Posted on February 28, 2019 at 9:38 pm
Heather Potts | Category: City Guides

Get a Jump on Spring Cleaning

Whether you hire an outside professional for help, or tackle the project yourself, now is a great time to get a jump on spring cleaning. Many people wait for warmer temps to start cleaning, but I think most everyone can agree that those weekends would be better spent outdoors, soaking up that sun. So, take some inspiration from the list below to get you started now on freshening up your home for spring.

 

It will only take a few hours to check everything off this list, and you’ll feel so much better enjoying the last few weeks of winter, knowing that when the warmer weather finally comes, you can get outside and really enjoy it!

 

Rotate your mattress. Most mattresses need to be rotated regularly in order to even out the overall wear and prolong the lifespan of your bed. However, keep in mind that Sleep Number and Tempur-Pedic mattresses typically should not be rotated. Always check with your manufacturer for their recommendations on your specific mattress. If you own an older mattress with no pillowtop, it should probably be flipped as well as rotated.

 

Clean your mattress. Strip the mattress of all linens and covers. Start by vacuuming the mattress with the upholstery attachment, paying close attention to crevices and seams. Next, sprinkle baking soda (up to a one-pound box) all over the surface of your mattress. Let this sit for at least an hour, but 24 hours is best. Then go back over your mattress with your vacuum’s upholstery attachment again. If you have a steam cleaner, break it out and go over your whole mattress. The steam will reach further into the mattress than your vacuum is able to, and kills dust mites. *It is generally not recommended to clean memory foam with a steam cleaner.

 

Organize & clean the laundry room. Clean the outside of your washer and dryer; scrape any dried detergent from crevices. Next, clean the inside of the washing machine. Most newer models have a self-cleaning cycle. If you have an older machine that does not have a self-cleaning cycle, run a cycle with hot water and a quart of white vinegar. After it is finished, clean the detergent dispensers, using a vinegar and water solution and a scrubber. If you have a front-loader, be sure to clean the rubber seal on the door. This area is prone to mold growth, so use an all-purpose cleaner or maybe even bleach to get under and around the seal.

 

Next, organize a bit. Throw away products you never use, replace damaged sorting bins, and don’t forget to clean out the dryer vent to prevent a fire.

 

Deep clean the fridge. Twice a year (or more), you should give your fridge a front-to-back, top-down scrubbing. Start by taking everything out and throw away anything that has expired. Next, remove all the shelves and drawers. Put them to soak in a solution of two tablespoons baking soda and one-quart hot water. While they are soaking, wipe down the interior of the fridge with the same solution. Then scrub, rinse and dry the shelves and drawers.

 

Next, dry the drip pan. Remove the base grill, and pull out the drip pan. If it’s full of water, mop it with paper towels and wash the pan with soapy water. If your drop pan is fixed in place, wrap a cloth around the head of a long-handled brush and use to clean the pan.

 

Don’t forget the coils. In order to keep your refrigerator running efficiently, unplug it, pull it away from the wall, and use a coil brush or your vacuum’s crevice attachment to clean the condenser coils. This should be done at least twice a year, unless you have pets in the home, and then you should do this three to four times a year.

 

Clean out spice cabinet. Throw away all expired spices and seasonings. Not only do these lose taste, they actually harbor mold and bacteria.

 

Clean out expired medications & vitamins If you have unused medications, please take them to your local pharmacy for proper disposal.

 

Vacuum, wash, or steam window curtains

 

Wash window blinds

 

Add color to your table. Treat yourself to fresh flowers while waiting for the spring blooms outside.

 

And if you’re ready to get some deep cleaning done, check out this blog for the Ultimate Spring Cleaning Checklist.

Posted on February 10, 2019 at 1:29 am
Heather Potts | Category: City Guides

A Tale of Two First-Time Home Buyers

Have you had dreams of owning a home or know someone that does?  Jumping into the market as a first-time home buyer can be intimidating, especially within the wild ride of the Greater Seattle market; but there is hope! In an effort to illustrate the reality for first-time buyers in today’s market, my office got together and identified several sets of buyers who recently found success in today’s market and asked them to share their stories. We think this is timely because it is the time of year that we see a surge in inventory, which gives buyers more selection and opportunity. We have two stories to share below, but before we dive into those let’s defy some first-time home buyer myths.

First, many people think it is necessary to have a 20% down payment saved in order to make their first purchase. That is simply not true. While a 20% down payment can help make you more competitive and naturally lowers your monthly payment, it is not the only option. There are loan programs with down payments as low as 3%. Nationally, in March the average down payment for all loans was 10%. For first-timers it was 6% and repeat buyers it was 14%.

Second, expectations around credit scores can use some clarification as well. In March, the average credit score for all loans was 722. For Conventional loans it was 742 and for FHA it was 677.  If your credit needs some work, contact me and I can put you in touch with one of my preferred lenders that can help with credit repair. There is hope, as these numbers are just the average. You’d be surprised that you don’t have to have perfect credit to get the process started.

Lastly, the cost to be a renter is high, and the return on your investment is nothing. Recently, Rent.com did a survey of landlords and 88% said they planned to raise their rents in the next 12 months. In the same survey, 53% said they’d rather place a new tenant with a higher rent versus renegotiate and renew with a current tenant.  This sounds expensive and unstable. Owning leads to building wealth and putting down permanent roots.

Now that we’ve gained some clarity on what it takes to qualify in today’s market, let’s jump into these two honest, yet heartwarming local first-time home buyer stories.

Three Teenagers, One Bathroom, No More

A happy family of five just moved in to this house earlier this month. Two hard working parents, Brandy and Juan, with three teenagers were renting a 3-bedroom, 1-bath rambler in Edmonds and needed more space. It was time to make a move, and they had saved up a 3% down payment for a new home. Their budget was $400,000.

The first step in the home buying process was sitting down with their agent for the initial buyer consultation. This is where they discussed market conditions, desired features such as bedrooms, bathrooms and garage, and their budget. This lead them to explore which locations had the inventory that met their needs in order to stay within their budget. They had to marry these three key points – we like to call this the Triangle of Buyer Clarity. They then identified a few workable locations that had inventory which supported their desired features and their budget and went for it. This upfront research and partnership with their agent lead to Brandy and Juan finding success rather quickly, saving them money in an appreciating market, and a whole lot of strife.

They did this and ultimately bought a great house in Marysville which fit their budget, afforded them the features they desired, and still provided a manageable commute into Lynnwood. Their mortgage payment is higher than their rental rate, but relative to the size of their new home and their investment. Not to mention, they are now on the equity-building train and don’t have to worry about a landlord displacing them. Their monthly mortgage payment is fixed with an awesome low interest rate, and they are super happy to have more than one bathroom for their teenagers.

From North Seattle to West Seattle

First, how cool is this house? Super cool! That’s just how Paul and Ange feel about their newly purchased home in the Highland Park neighborhood of West Seattle. They just closed in early April and have already attended two neighborhood BBQ’s, received gifts from their new neighbors, discovered new parks and restaurants and, wait for it…shortened their commute.

Paul described his new neighborhood, Highland Park, as “magical.” Previously, Paul and Ange were renting in Wedgwood for six years and loved it there. So much that they could not imagine living anywhere else. When they started their home search in late 2017, they kept to strict search criteria of North Seattle because that is what they knew and it was comfortable. After making two offers and not prevailing because they were getting beat out on price, West Seattle was suggested to them as a more affordable option by their agent. The price corner of the Triangle of Buyer Clarity was making itself known as a challenge in North Seattle, so it was time to reconvene.  They sat down with their agent and evaluated the market conditions in West Seattle compared to North Seattle and applied them to their feature list and budget, and voila: West Seattle was calling their names. You see, they wanted a more turn-key home, and the homes they were encountering in their price range in North Seattle needed a lot of work.

They went out on a limb and traveled over the bridge to start looking at homes. They quickly saw the difference – the homes they were interested in were not, as Paul said, “scary”!  The anticipated repairs they would have to make to the homes they were able to afford in North Seattle were daunting and unexciting. They felt much more at ease with the features that the West Seattle homes provided within their price range. They just needed to get comfortable with the idea of moving to a different community.

When they found the house featured above, the leap of faith to West Seattle started to take shape. They prepped a strong offer, did their due diligence, and believe it or not, secured the home in a multiple offer situation at $805,000, which was not the highest price! They listened to their agent and wrote an offer with very strong terms as well as a very well-researched price.  Their agent kept in close contact with the listing agent and the Sellers chose their offer due to all of these factors.

Since moving in almost two months ago, they find themselves in a state of excitement and discovery every day. The community has been welcoming and conversations with neighbors and the random stranger at the grocery store come easily. Paul has observed a strong sense of curiosity within his new community as people are new to the area and are encouraged to build relationships and make discoveries.

In the end, Paul and Ange remained within their price range, bought a home with all the features they wanted, but made what seemed to be at the time, a compromise on location. That compromise ended up being, as they put it, magical! They have never looked back to Wedgwood with regret, only excitement over what their new neighborhood might bring.

The point of these two stories is to debunk the sentiment we hear from time to time, that first-time home buyers cannot find success in our market. With a well-laid-out plan strategically constructed by the agent and client, we are seeing many happy stories for first-timers. The end result is putting these new homeowners on the path to building wealth, growing thriving communities, and making their house their home.

If you or someone you know has dreamed about buying their first home, please reach out. It is my goal to help identify the opportunities that are available, the strategies that find success, and to educate along the way.

Posted on May 25, 2018 at 10:33 pm
Heather Potts | Category: City Guides

Does it make more sense to rent or own?

The current break-even horizon* in the Seattle metro area is 1.6 years!

*The amount of time you need to own your home in order for owning to be a superior financial decision.

With rising rental rates, historically low interest rates, and home prices on the rise, the advantage of buying vs. renting is becoming clearer each month.

In fact, Seattle has seen some of the sharpest rent hikes in the country over the last year! Snohomish County has seen a huge increase in apartment growth and rising rental rates as well. There are several factors to consider that will lead you to make the best decision for your lifestyle and your financial bottom line. Zillow Research has determined the break-even point for renting vs. buying in our metro area. In other words, the amount of time you need to own your home in order for owning to be a superior financial decision. Currently in Seattle the break-even point is 1.6 years – that is quick! What is so great about every month that ticks away thereafter is that your nest egg is building in value.

I am happy to help you or someone you know assess your options; please contact me anytime.

These assumptions are based on a home buyer purchasing a home with a 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage and a 20 percent down payment; and a renter earning five percent annually on investments in the stock market.

Posted on May 1, 2018 at 5:49 am
Heather Potts | Category: City Guides

Farmer’s Market Schedule – 2018

 

  • South Snohomish County •

 

Arlington Farmers Market
Legion Park: 200 N. Olympic Ave
Saturdays. 10am-3pm | July 7 — Sept 29

 

Bothell Farmers Market
Country Village: 23718 Both-Evrt Hwy
Fridays 12pm-6pm | June 1—Sept 28

 

Bothell South County Community Market
Park Ridge Church: 3805 Maltby Road, Bothell
Wednesdays 4pm-8pm | June 6—Sept 26

 

Edmonds Garden Market
Historical Museum: Between 5th & Bell Street
Saturdays 9am-2pm | May 5—June 9

 

Edmonds Summer Market
Downtown: 5th St from the fountain
Saturdays 9am-3pm | June 16—Oct 6

 

Everett Farmers Markets
Boxcar Park: 615 13th Street
Sundays 11am-4pm | May 13—Oct 14

 

Everett Transit Center: 2333 32nd St
Wednesdays 4pm-8pm | May 23—Sept 26

 

Marysville Farmers Market
1035 State Ave
Saturdays 10am-2pm | June 23—Sept 1

 

Monroe Farmer’s Market
Lake Tye Park: 14964 Fryelands Blvd
Saturdays 8:30am-12:30pm | May 12—Nov 17

 

Mukilteo Farmers Market
Lighthouse Park: 609 Front Street
Wednesdays 3pm-7pm | June 7—Sept 27

 

Snohomish Farmers Market
The intersection of Cedar Ave & Pearl St.
Thursdays 3pm-7pm | May 3—Sept 27

 

 

  • The Eastside •

 

Bellevue Farmers Market
First Presbyterian: 1717 Bellevue Way NE
Thursdays. 3pm-7pm | May 17—Oct 11

Bothell Farmers Market
Country Village: 23718 Both-Evrt Hwy
Fridays 12pm-6pm | June 1—Sept 28

 

Issaquah Farmers Market
Pickering Barn: 1730 10th Ave NW
Saturdays 9am-2pm | May 5—Sept 29

 

Juanita Friday Market
Juanita Beach Park: 9703 NE Juanita Dr
Fridays. 3pm-7pm | June 1—Sept 28

 

Mercer Island Farmers Market
Mercerdale Park: 7700 SE 32nd St
Sundays 10am-3pm | June 3—Oct 7

 

Redmond Saturday Market
Redmond Town Center: 7730 Leary Way NE
Saturdays 9am-3pm | May 5—Oct 27

 

Sammamish Farmers Market
City Hall Plaza: 801 228th Ave SE
Wednesdays 4pm-8pm | May 9—Sept 26

 

Woodinville Farmers Market
DeYoung Park: 13680 NE 175th St
Saturdays 9am-3pm | May 5—Sept 29

 

 

  • Seattle Area •

 

Ballard Farmers Market
Ballard Ave NW
Sundays. 10am-3pm | Year round

 

Capitol Hill Broadway Farmers Market
Seattle Central Comm College: Broadway & Pine
Sundays 11am-3pm | Year round

 

Columbia City Farmers Market
37th Ave S & S Edmunds St
Wednesdays 3pm-7pm | May 9—Oct 10

Fremont Sunday Market
Corner of 3410 Evanston Ave N
Sundays 10am-4pm | Year round

 

Lake City Farmers Market
125th St and 28th Ave NE
Thursdays 3pm-7pm | June 7—Oct 4

 

Lake Forest Park Farmers Market
Third Place Commons: 17171 Bothell Way NE
Sundays 10am-3pm | May 13—Oct 21

Madrona Farmers Market
1126 Martin Luther King Jr. Way
Fridays 3pm-7pm | May 18—Oct 12

 

Magnolia Farmers Market
Magnolia Village: 33rd Ave W & W McGraw
Saturdays. 10am-2pm | June 2—Oct 20

 

Phinney Farmers Market
Phinney Neighborhood Center: Phinney Ave N
Fridays 3:30pm-7:30pm | June 1—Sept 28

 

Pike Place Farmers Market
Pike Place & Pine St
Saturdays 9am-5pm | June 2—Nov 24

Queen Anne Farmers Market
W Crockett Street & Queen Anne Ave N
Thursdays 3pm-7:30pm | June 7—Oct 11

 

Shoreline Farmers Market
15300 Westminster Ave N
Saturdays 10am-3pm | June 9—Oct 6

 

University District Farmers Market
University Way NE “the Ave”
Saturdays 9am-2pm | Year round

 

Wallingford Farmers Market
Meridian Park: Meridian Ave N & N 50th St
Wednesdays 3pm-7pm | May 16—Sept 26

 

West Seattle Farmers Market
California Ave SW & SW Alaska St
Sundays 10am-2pm | Year round

Posted on May 1, 2018 at 5:48 am
Heather Potts | Category: City Guides

Your Guide to Dining & Shopping in the Mill Creek Town Center

One of Mill Creek’s top attraction is the popular Mill Creek Town Center! “The city now has a mixed-use, city-sponsored complex called the Mill Creek Town Center…,” shares our own Travis DeFries. “It is easy to spend several hours walking the sidewalks and checking out the small, local businesses, along with the numerous wonderful restaurants.”

Indeed, with everything at your fingertips, it’s hard not to feel like you’re in the big city: “I love the convenience and the downtown feel of the Mill Creek Town Center,” says Ginna Demme. “I can grab my coffee, get a manicure, grocery shop, and run other errands all in the same great spot!” Tonya Tye agrees, noting “the Town Center is a fun place to walk around, go for coffee, dessert or dinner.”

Here is your complete guide to dining and shopping in the Mill Creek Town Center (as recommended by locals!):


Central Market Mill Creek

  • Located at 15605 Main St. Mill Creek, WA 98012
  • Hours: 7:00am-11:00pm

When it comes to grocery shopping in Mill Creek, no place beats the Town Center’s own Central Market. “Central Market is a destination grocery experience,” says Jen Bowman. “Best produce, delicious prepared foods for a quick and healthy meal, awesome sushi, and great floral selection for cut and potted plants and flowers.”

Heather Potts agrees, noting “Central Market Grocery Store has the best selection of fresh fruit, wine, seafood, meats, made-to-order sandwiches, fresh sliced deli meats and cheeses, a large selection of organic foods, sushi and more.” Follow Heather’s suggestions and “grab a bite to eat and enjoy the outdoor courtyard or stop to shop for a special dinner…” No matter what, you are sure to have a one-of-a-kind experience at this store that, as Heather simply puts, “has it all”!


Outdoor Concerts

  • Located at the Forum (15111 Main St. Mill Creek, WA 98012)
  • Hours: 6:00pm-8:00pm Wednesdays

There is much more to Mill Creek’s Town Center than just shopping, as Travis can tell you: “In the summer they have free outdoor concerts every Wednesday night from 6-8 PM. Bands that have played this year include Fabulous Roof Shakers, The Infinity Project, Big Dog Revue, High Voltage, Highway 9, Cherry Cherry, Sly Mr Y, Creme Tangerine and Ventura Highway Revisited.”

They have expanded this year’s series into September, so check out the Town Center events calendar for more info (and get your dancing shoes ready!).


Azul Restaurant & Lounge

  • Located at 15118 Main St. #100 Mill Creek, WA 98012
  • Hours: 11:00am-1:00am Monday-Friday (Dinner served until 10:00pm Sunday-Thursday, 11:00pm Friday-Saturday) ; 9:00am-1:00am (Brunch 9:00am-3:00pm)

Whether you’re looking to wind down after a long work week or want to take the family out to a nice dinner, Azul Restaurant & Lounge is an excellent choice: “Azul Restaurant & Lounge is located in the Town Center and is open for lunch and dinner each day,” shares Travis. “Its upscale, casual environment, paired with the Latin-inspired cuisine, makes Azul a perfect gathering spot in Mill Creek.”

Check out their popular Happy Hour menu, featuring $2.00 chips and salsa, drink specials, and some of the best Mexican and Caribbean dishes this side of the border.


University Bookstore Mill Creek

  • Located at 15311 Main St. Mill Creek, WA 98012
  • Hours: 9:00am-8:00pm Monday-Thursday; 9:00am-9:00pm Friday-Saturday; 10:00am-6:00pm Sunday

Back-to-school time is here again, which means it’s time to stock up on everything you will need to start the year off right. Luckily, Mill Creek Town Center is home to one of 6 local University Bookstores.

“UW Bookstore has great selection of gifts, UW apparel, and specialty magazines and newspapers,” says Jen. Indeed, whether you’re looking for a new book to read, some reference guides, or something to show off your Husky pride, you will find it and so much more here.


Elliott Bay Pizza & Pub

  • Located at 800 164th St. S.E. L Mill Creek, WA 98012
  • Hours: 11:00am-9:00pm

What could be better than pizza? How about pizza paired with 18 varieties of cold craft beer? Elliott Bay Pizza & Pub is a local favorite and go-to spot for Travis and his family. This family-friendly locale is open 7 days a week for lunch and dinner and features one of the best menus in the Town Center.

“They make their own special dough each morning to be used for their incredible pizzas and sandwiches,” says Travis. “They also serve a wide variety of great pasta dishes and salads.” While you’re here, be sure to take advantage of their beer selection, too: “They have also become very well known in the area for their extensive beer selection and ever-changing beers on tap,” Travis shares. “If you are looking for something not found everywhere else, you need to come here!” Indeed, Elliott Bay Pizza & Pub is one pizza place you will definitely not want to pass up.


Pacific Fly Fishers

  • Located at 1018 164th St. S.E. Ste. A-22 Mill Creek, WA 98012
  • Hours: 10:00am-7:00pm Monday-Friday; 10:00am-6:00pm Saturday; 11:00am-5:00pm Sunday

“If you’re a serious outdoorsman,” Becky Larsen states, “check out Pacific Fly Fishers. Expert service in your own backyard.” Indeed, everything from boats, flies, lines, and other fishing tools, to classes and water quality resources provided by passionate local fishers, gives you all you need to hone your skills and become a true master fisherman.


La Palmera Mill Creek

  • Located at 15224 Main St. #202 Mill Creek, WA 98012
  • Hours: 11:00am-11:00pm Sunday-Thursday; 11:00am-1:00am Friday-Saturday

Opened in 1991, La Palmera has been serving up delicious, authentic Mexican cuisine for 26 years. “La Palmera is a favorite Mexican restaurant,” Becky says. “Family owned and great food.” If you’re a fan of grande burritos, sizzling fajitas, and margaritas made with premium tequila, this restaurant is the place for you.


Hot Yoga Inc. Mill Creek

  • Located at 15217 Main St. Mill Creek, WA 98012
  • Hours: 6:00am-9:30pm Monday-Thursday; 6:00am-7:00pm Friday; 8:00am-5:00pm Saturday; 8:00am-6:30pm Sunday

If you’re looking to put a little more zen in your life, check out Hot Yoga Inc. This low-impact exercise routine works with your body’s natural range of motion to help you lose weight, de-stress, and become your best self.

As an added bonus, Heather shares that “Hot Yoga Inc. has a $10 new student 10/10 deal and [is] one of the only studios with infrared heating.”


Mill Creek Sports

  • Located at 13616 Bothell Everett Hwy. Mill Creek, WA 98012
  • Hours: 10:00am-6:00pm Monday-Saturday; closed Sunday

Local sports fans cannot seem to get enough of the new Mill Creek Sports, located just near the Town Center. “Just down the road is the location of the new Mill Creek Sports, which is known as one of the best sports memorabilia shops around,” shares Travis. “They outgrew their previous place in town and now have a huge 2-story facility to house their items.”

“Mill Creek Sports is known throughout the greater Seattle area as the place to go if you want sports memorabilia,” Brian Hayter notes. “They have an incredibly wide selection of authentic autographed Seattle and beyond sports items. A must see for a sports fan!” Travis agrees, adding that “several times per month they also bring in high profile current or retired sports stars to sign autographs. Anyone and everyone has been there to sign autographs!” Whether you’re looking for a gift or looking to meet your sports hero, you will love the offerings at Mill Creek Sports.


Posted on November 29, 2017 at 3:01 am
Heather Potts | Category: City Guides

The Top 10 Things To Do With Kids in Mill Creek

There is no end to the fun your child can have with the awesome parks and programs offered in Mill Creek! From top-of-the-line sport complexes to unique class offerings, there is something for every age, interest, and skill level.

Here are 10 of the best things to do with kids in Mill Creek (as recommended by locals!):

Mill Creek Sports Park

  • Located at 13903 North Creek Dr. Mill Creek, WA 98012
  • Hours: 7:00am-9:00pm

If you’re looking for a spot for your kid’s next sports game, check out the Mill Creek Sports Park. “The Mill Creek Sports Park is located at the corner of Bothell-Everett Hwy. and Trillium Blvd. and is the location for a fantastic mixed-use sports field that is used by both soccer and baseball/softball,” shares Travis DeFries. “It is a turfed field, so a little bit of rain doesn’t cancel games, it has lights to be able to play up until 10 PM and it even has a snack shack and announcers booth!” With other amenities like a Tot Lot and picnic tables, the whole family can enjoy the great outdoors while cheering on the home team.


Mill Creek Skate Park

  • Located at Mill Creek Sports Park (13903 North Creek Dr. Mill Creek, WA 98012)

Another popular feature of the Mill Creek Sports Park comes recommended by both Travis and Tonya Tye. The Mill Creek Skate Park offers a wide range of bowls as well as an innovative street course that consists of several sections tied together, an 8-stair down rail, and much, much more. Whether your kid’s a beginner or a seasoned skating pro, he or she will find the perfect challenge at this local favorite spot.


Mill Creek Little League

  • Located at 14105 11th Dr. S.E. Mill Creek, WA 98012

“Mill Creek Little League has one of the largest and most successful Little League programs in the state,” shares Travis DeFries. “Every year they have over 800 boys and girls between the ages of 4-18 play baseball or softball. 9 years ago, the 12-year-old All-Stars ended up being the NW representatives at the Little League World Series in Williamsport, PA. This year the 10-year-old and 11-year-old boys All-Stars teams both finished 2nd at the state tournament. This year, the 12-year-old girls softball All-Stars won the state tournament for the 2nd year in a row! The took 2nd place in the regional championship game to represent the West in the World Series. They lost a heartbreaker 1-0 in extra innings, but went down in history as the best softball team to ever come out of Mill Creek!”

If your 5-18 has expressed interest in baseball or softball, sign them up for Mill Creek Little League this year!


Giggle & Wiggle Playscape

  • Located at 3226 132nd St. S.E. #105 Mill Creek, WA 98012
  • Hours: Drop-In Play: 10:00am-1:30pm & 3:00pm-6:00pm Monday-Friday, 10:00am-12:00pm Saturday-Sunday; Birthday Party Time Slots: 6:00pm Monday-Friday, 12:00pm, 2:15pm, & 4:30pm Saturday-Sunday

When it comes to spending fun, quality time with your little one, no place beats the Giggle & Wiggle Playscape. This local indoor playground features soft equipment that gives kids the chance to jump, climb, run, and tumble, and develop motor, coordination, and balance skills in the process. Get your kid away from the screen and into some real-world adventure today at Giggle & Wiggle.


Applause Studio

  • Located at 17903 Bothell Everett Hwy. #103 Bothell, WA 98012
  • Hours: Click here for complete schedule of upcoming classes

If your child loves being on stage, they will love the opportunities that await at Applause Studio. Varieties of dance, musical theater and acting, and other great classes teach students the fundamentals of performing and help them to build confidence and stage presence (all while having fun). With a free trial class offered for all new students, there is nothing to lose by checking out this fun spot!


SafeSplash Swim School Mill Creek

  • Located at 15024 Main St. Ste. A Mill Creek, WA 98012
  • Hours: 8:30am-8:30pm Monday-Friday, 8:30am-4:30pm Saturday, 9:00am-3:00pm Sunday; Class Hours: 3:45pm-8:00pm Monday & Wednesday, 10:15am-2:15pm Saturday

Summer may be winding down, but that doesn’t mean the summer fun has to! At SafeSplash Swim School, kids get the opportunity to learn how to swim in a safe, state-of-the-art environment from passionate instructors who know how important swimming is for a child’s lifelong safety, development, and confidence. No matter what level your child is at, there is a lesson tailored to his or her needs with individualized attention and top-notch customer service that makes SafeSplash unlike any other swim school around.


Mill Creek Parks with Playgrounds

Mill Creek certainly has no shortage of great local parks with playgrounds that kids will love. Buffalo, Cougar, Heron, Highlands, Hillside, Library, Nickel Creek, Pine Meadow, and Silver Crest Park all offer playgrounds perfect for climbing, sliding, jumping, and running off some steam while parents enjoy some much-needed relaxation time at a picnic or open grass area. Click here to learn more about these parks and to find the one closest to you.


North Creek Trail

  • Located from McCollum Park (600 128th St. S.E. Everett, WA 98208)-North Creek Park (1001 183rd St. Bothell, WA 98012)

According to Tonya, “there are some nice walking trails near the downtown area and around Village Green Drive.” One of these trails is the scenic North Creek Trail, which links the cities of Mill Creek, Bothell, and Everett. Filled with lush plant life, a serene duck pond, and other natural beauties, this trail provides the perfect opportunity for you to get your kids off the couch, active, and making meaningful connections with their local environment.


Arena Sports and Entertainment

  • Located at 13500 Bothell-Everett Hwy. Mill Creek, WA 98012
  • Opening: Fall 2017 (click here for construction updates)

Sports lovers will have even more to enjoy in Mill Creek near the end of this year. “Just down from Mill Creek Sports is the new Arena Sports complex that is scheduled to open this Fall,” says Travis. “It is a 98,000 square foot facility that will include a full family entertainment center destined to be the go-to-destination for parties, special events, group activities and more. Activities include an indoor inflatable playground, bowling (both full-size lanes and mini five-pin lanes), multi-floor laser tag arena, rock climbing tower, two-story ropes course, 100 arcade games, on-site dining and two indoor soccer fields that can be used for recreational games and practices.” Check out all the info on Arena Sports now because once it’s open, your kids will never want to go anywhere else!


Recreation, Community Events, & Other Programs

On top of all of the amazing opportunities for sports, education, and fun in Mill Creek, the city itself also offers a wide variety of recreation, seasonal community events, and unique programs for kids. From annual holiday favorites like “Trunk or Treat” or the Santa parade, to innovative cooking, sports, and other creative classes, your children can get off the couch and socialize, learn new skills, and make friendships and memories that will last a lifetime. Registration for fall and winter is now open, so be sure to check out the guide here for a complete list of available programs and upcoming events.


Posted on November 29, 2017 at 2:59 am
Heather Potts | Category: City Guides

3 Ways to Stay Active in Mill Creek

If you’re looking to stay active in Mill Creek, you’re in luck. From sports venues to miles of trails, there is no end to the opportunities you can take advantage of!

Here are a few of our favorite tips for staying active in Mill Creek:


Mill Creek Sports Park

  • Located at 13903 North Creek Dr. Mill Creek, WA 98012
  • Hours: 7:00am-9:00pm

If you’re a baseball, softball, or soccer lover, you will find the perfect place to play at the Mill Creek Sports Park. Field lights over the diamond and soccer field, a concession stand, and bleachers allow your family and friends to stay and cheer your team onto victory, while the Tot Lot and ADA accessibility means that everyone can enjoy all that the park has to offer. “This Mill Creek Sports [Park] also has a huge, brand new facility,” shares Jen Bowman, so you are guaranteed to experience top-of-the-line amenities at this popular park.


Mill Creek Country Club

  • Located at 15500 Country Club Dr. Mill Creek, WA 98012
  • Opening Times: 11:00am Monday; 7:30am Tuesday-Thursday; 7:00am Friday; 6:30am
  • Saturday-Sunday
  • Range Hours: Closes at 7:00pm Tuesday-Wednesday & Friday-Sunday; Closes at 3 Thursday; closed Monday

If golf is more your thing, you will want to check out the Mill Creek Country Club. “The Country Club is a private club that has a gem of a golf course that people love to play,” says Travis DeFries. You can enjoy the picturesque sites of Mill Creek while testing your skill on this beautifully-manicured 18-hole course. Dust off your clubs and come see why the Mill Creek Country Club is regarded as one of the premier golf facilities in all of Snohomish County.


Mill Creek Walking Trails

Staying active in Mill Creek is easier than you might think. “Miles and miles of walking trails linking parks all over Mill Creek is one of my favorite features [of the city],” Jen shares. 60 different trails loop throughout Mill Creek, providing some of the most scenic walking, running, biking, and horseback riding opportunities around. Whether you need a place to get in your daily workout or just want to enjoy some fresh air and peaceful nature, you will find what you’re looking for on these gorgeous trails.


Posted on November 29, 2017 at 2:57 am
Heather Potts | Category: City Guides

Your Guide to Mill Creek Community Events All Year Long

If there is one thing that Mill Creek does right, it’s hosting amazing community events. From 5K charity runs and holiday happenings to fun festivals and solemn ceremonies, Mill Creek does it all and then some!

Here is your complete guide to upcoming 2017-2018 community events in Mill Creek:

SEPTEMBER

Run with Heart

  • Where: McCollum Park (600 128th St. S.E. Everett, WA 98204)
  • 2017 Dates & Times: September 16; 7:30am-10:45am

Grab your best pair of tennis shoes and join the community in the 5th annual Run with Heart, benefiting the Ironheart Foundation and Colton’s Army. This event offers a 5K, 8K, Kids 1K, and Toddler Dash races, so the whole family can compete, have fun, and support two wonderful non-profit organizations. Click here to register today.


OCTOBER

Treats on Main Street

  • Where: Town Center (1/2 mile north of S.W. 164th St. on Bothell Everett Hwy. Mill Creek, WA 98012)
  • 2017 Dates & Times: October 31; 4:30pm-6:30pm

Bring all of your little ghouls and goblins down to Mill Creek Town Center for some fun trick-or-treating. “The merchants at the Town Center…participate in handing out treats to children,” Travis DeFries explains. Whether you’re a kid or a kid at heart, you will definitely enjoy this event.


Trunk or Treat

  • Where: City Hall North Parking Lot (15728 Main St. Mill Creek, WA 98012)
  • 2017 Dates & Times: October 31; 6:30pm-8:00pm

After hitting up the Town Center on Halloween, head to City Hall and continue the fun at Travis’ other suggested event. “At Halloween, they [Mill Creek] host[s] a “Trunk or Treat” event at City Hall where the city employees decorate their vehicles parked throughout the parking lot and hand out treats to kids as they walk by.” A safe and fun alternative to traditional trick-or-treating, this is one annual event you will not want to miss.


NOVEMBER

Veteran’s Day Ceremony & Parade

  • Where: Ceremony: Mill Creek Veterans Monument (15429 Bothell Everett Hwy. Mill Creek, WA 98012); Parade: LA Fitness (15024 Main St. Mill Creek, WA 98012)-City Hall (15720 Main St. Mill Creek, WA 98012)
  • 2017 Dates & Times: November 11; Ceremony: 9:00am; Parade: 11:00am

Come out on November 11 and honor those who have fought for our freedom. According to Travis, “the city…has a yearly Veteran’s Day Parade. There is a large monument area to honor its veterans and it is located just south of the Mill Creek Library on Bothell-Everett Hwy.” With a ceremony at the monument before the parade, this event is the perfect way to show your support for our nation’s armed forces.


DECEMBER

Santa Parade and Tree Lighting Ceremony

  • Where: Santa Parade: LA Fitness (15024 Main St. Mill Creek, WA 98012)-City Hall (15720 Main St. Mill Creek, WA 98012); Tree Lighting: City Hall (15720 Main St. Mill Creek, WA 98012)
  • 2017 Dates & Times: December 2; Santa Parade: TBD; Tree Lighting: 4:00pm

When the holiday season rolls around, Mill Creek celebrates in style. “Around Christmas time, the city has a Santa Parade and Tree Lighting ceremony that is a lot of fun,” Travis shares. Past events have included complimentary train rides for the kids, pictures with Santa before the parade, and other activities provided by the merchants in Town Center. Keep your eyes peeled for more information about this year’s rendition of this yuletide favorite.


APRIL

Flashlight Egg Hunt

  • Where: Heatherwood Middle School (1419 Trillium Blvd. S.E. Mill Creek, WA 98012)
  • 2018 Dates & Times: TBD

Let your teens get in on the Easter fun at Mill Creek’s annual Flashlight Egg Hunt. Students from 6th-12th grade can bring a flashlight and scour Heatherwood Middle School for candy and other fun prizes while listening to today’s top radio hits. This year’s hunt has already passed, but stay tuned for more information on this event for next year.


Eggstravaganza Egg Hunt

  • Where: Heatherwood Middle School Field (1419 Trillium Blvd. S.E. Mill Creek, WA 98012)
  • 2018 Dates & Times: TBD

A Mill Creek Easter tradition, families love coming together for the Eggstravaganza Egg Hunt. Over 18,000 eggs are spread out across multiple egg hunts and there is also face painting, balloon animals, music, fire truck tours, bounce houses, and a special visit from the Easter Bunny himself. Check back in 2018 for updated information on this festive event.


MAY

Memorial Day Commemorative Ceremony & Parade

  • Where: Ceremony: Mill Creek Veterans Monument (15429 Bothell Everett Hwy. Mill Creek, WA 98012); Parade: LA Fitness (15024 Main St. Mill Creek, WA 98012)-City Hall (15720 Main St. Mill Creek, WA 98012)
  • 2018 Dates & Times: May 28; Ceremony: 9:00am, Parade: 11:00am

Join the community on May 28 to pay respects to those who have given their lives for our country at Mill Creek’s Memorial Day Commemorative Ceremony & Parade. The event kicks off with a ceremony at the Veterans Monument featuring remarks by the mayor, a prayer from the police chaplain, a laying of a wreath, and more, and continues with the parade. Pay remembrance to a group of brave men and women at this touching event.


JUNE

Summer Art Walks

  • Where: Town Center (1/2 mile north of S.W. 164th St. on Bothell Everett Hwy. Mill Creek, WA 98012)
  • 2018 Dates & Times: June 7, July 12, August 9; 5:00pm-8:00pm

Explore the talent of the local community at Mill Creek’s annual Summer Art Walks. Stroll through Town Center, visit local artists and businesses, and observe a variety of art forms from photography to jewelry and even music. Free for all, this event is a great way to connect with the creative minds that make Mill Creek a beautiful place to live.


Run of the Mill

  • Where: In the Mill Creek Town Center (15418 Main Street, Mill Creek WA 98012)
  • 2018 Dates & Times: TBD

Enjoy some healthy competition at Mill Creek’s Run of the Mill 5K. “This is…becoming a very popular 5K run/walk that attracts the highest of competitors from the area, along with parents pushing their children in strollers,” says Travis. “All proceeds are donated to local charities! This event is normally held the end of June each year.” Keep your eyes on the Run of the Mill website for more information on registration for 2018.


JULY

3-on-3 Star Fest Basketball Tournament

  • Where: Mill Creek City Hall Annex Parking Lot (15720 Main St. Mill Creek, WA 98012)
  • 2018 Dates & Times: July 7-8; Time is TBD

Unleash your inner basketball star at Mill Creek’s 3-on-3 Star Fest Basketball Tournament. “…The city hosts a very popular outdoor 3-on-3 basketball tournament for participants of all ages and abilities,” Travis shares. Whether you’re a seasoned pro or still learning the ropes, you can have a great time at this event. Check the website for updates on registration for 2018.


Mill Creek Festival

  • Where: Part of Mill Creek Blvd. behind Albertsons, Heading up a Portion of 161st Between Bank of America and Rite Aid (for full festival map, click here)
  • 2018 Dates & Times: July 14 11:00am-6:00pm; July 15 11:00am-5:00pm

No city is complete without an annual summer festival and Mill Creek is no exception. “One weekend each July, the city hosts the Mill Creek Festival and it is quickly becoming a hot ticket item,” shares Travis. “There are several stages set up around the festival to host music, a community stage with family friendly acts and even a large pet plaza! There are also over 50 vendors for shopping and eating opportunities!” If you want a sample of what Mill Creek has to offer, you will find that and so much more at this fabulous event.  


Summer Children’s Concerts

  • Where: Library Park (15429 Bothell-Everett Hwy. Mill Creek, WA 98012)
  • 2018 Dates & Times: Wednesdays in July & August; 12:00pm-1:00pm

If you want a fun summer event for your little one, look no further than the Summer Children’s Concerts at Library Park. Featuring four concerts over four weeks full of music, laughs, and entertainment for all ages, this event is sure to make for a memorable afternoon picnic for the whole family.


AUGUST

National Night Out

  • Where: Buffalo Park (13401 44th Ave. S.E. Mill Creek, WA 98012)
  • 2018 Dates & Times: August 7; 5:30pm-8:30pm

Working to build communities across the country, National Night Out is a campaign that promotes police-community partnerships, camaraderie among neighbors, and the development of safer, more caring communities overall. Block parties, cookouts, and other events are hosted throughout local neighborhoods and feature visits from emergency personnel, safety demonstrations, exhibits, and more. Mill Creek’s National Night Out is being held at Buffalo Park on August 7, so come out and show your support for local law enforcement and healthy neighborhood building at this event.



Posted on November 29, 2017 at 2:56 am
Heather Potts | Category: City Guides