Lovely, pristine rambler in wonderfully quiet neighborhood near Jennings Park. Inviting, fully fenced backyard with gorgeous landscaping, covered deck & water-feature is an Eden-like oasis and will be a favorite spot this summer. Seller is amazing woodworker with the shop to prove it (fully insulated; wired 220). Cabinets & 2 closet doors are his handiwork! RV parking w/power, sewer & water hook-up; garden shed; sprinkler system. Over $60k on kitchen addition & custom shop. See it soon!
We sold this home in one day … and for $10,000 over asking price.
My clients had found their gorgeous new home in Whatcom County and called me with the news: “We need to list our house immediately–and have a pending offer within 12 days!” So we worked quickly and made it happen. We were on the market within 24 hours, and by the end of that day my sellers were delighted to receive multiple offers, and happily selected one that was $10,000 over asking price.
If you’re looking to sell, I can help you position your home in the best light and negotiate the highest price for you. And if you’re a buyer, I have strategies to help you win in this competitive market.
$308,000 MLS: 932979
. . . Snow-vember
We don't always get snow in November, but when we do, it's delightful. Want a peek? Here's what it looked like in my backyard this week …
The little red shed in the middle used to be our chicken coop, but last year we converted it into an art studio where my grandson and I can make messes without getting into trouble.
Coming back up our driveway
You can't tell from this picture, but our front porch has two facing swings. Pretty much my favorite spot whatever the season.
Dave's shed and the delphiniums and hollyhocks I had to paint on the side because the real ones kept getting mowed down. 🙂
Light along our walkway
Dave's wood shed, and some of the wood he's been chopping this summer
The Centennial Trail we like to walk along
. . . The Centennial Trail
A few days ago I shared pictures of my neighbor on horseback making his way down to the Centennial Trail. Having a 30-mile long trail (literally) in my backyard is one of the things I love most about living where I live. Sometimes we hear whinnies or laughter or animated conversations drifting up the pasture from that trail. Often we walk it — sometimes in companionable silence; most often in needed-conversation. Here's a memory of such a conversation from a few years back … one of my favorites.
Sometimes, when he accepts that second piece of pie or another not-needed cinnamon roll, he does so only to satisfy me. And when he gives in to my urging and accepts a handful of vitamins and a glass of water, he does it to nourish me. So when he stepped back in the house before our walk today, and put on the coat he felt he didn't need, I know he did it to warm me. "It's so cold!" I'd said. "Look at the way the wind is bending the trees — you'll freeze!" The man of steel put on his coat, but he left his hands bare. He has his limits.
I'm not made of steel. So I wore not only my coat, but also a knit hat and my fluffiest gloves.
We took a right at the bottom of the driveway and started off on the trail. Ahead, I could see the Highway 9 overpass still visible against the sky … but barely. Dusk was rapidly snatching daylight.
We walked quickly, and quickly went through our unwritten lists. We talked about the kids, and Christmas, and an upcoming meeting at church. We talked about Germany, where we'll spend a month next fall, and I planted seeds for a few side trips to England, France, and Austria. "Wouldn't that be great?" I suggested. "I mean, as long as we're in the neighborhood, don't you think we should see those places?" He never makes decisions on the spot, but I know that. So I'll keep planting seeds between now and fall.
Somewhere between the overpass and the wide-open spot near the power lines, where the trees drop away and the sky shows big overhead, I became aware of a loosening of my right shoe. The tiny, click-click-click of a shoelace tip against the asphalt convinced me. "My shoe's untied."
We stopped and I began to remove the first of my gloves. Dave saw. "I'll do it," he said, bending down. I watched those ungloved hands as they took my shoelaces in hand, tugged them tight, and tied them in a bow.
"Thanks," I said. As we started down the trail again, I thought about the man at my side — the man who opens all my doors, and keeps my car full of gas, and gives me the best of all he has, and ties my shoes.
Those shoes were at odds as we walked. His was tight — so much tighter than the one I'd tied myself. It was tight like the blankets he sometimes tucks around me when I fall asleep on the couch. Had I tied that shoe myself, I would have stopped and loosened it within a few steps. But I left it just the way it was, and for the rest of our walk, I was conscious of the difference in every step.
One step felt like love.
. . . Horseback riders with cell phones
Driving home yesterday, I came around the corner and found one of my neighbors on horseback heading to the Centennial Trail for a ride. We see horses all the time in our neighborhood — that wasn't unusual. But the sight of a cell phone up to his ear made me smile.
What would John Wayne say? 🙂
. . . The Lights of Christmas
What else do I love about Marysville? We're only 25 minutes from Warm Beach! Which means that starting next week, we can all head out to see The Lights of Christmas! If you haven't yet made this a part of your holiday celebration, give it a try this year. What's not to love about one MILLION lights? According to their website,
"There are approximately enough light strands (at least 18,000) to stretch from Stanwood to Qwest Field stadium in Seattle."
Not only are there lights galore (and in some amazingly creative displays), but there's also a dinner theater, pony rides, a petting zoo, bags of warm donuts, espresso, musical entertainment, and a train ride.
Feel like checking it out this year? Here's a great deal on tickets.
. . . We're a little bit city, a little bit country
One of the things I love the most about where I live is that it's such an eclectic mix of rural and urban. We have a nice outlet mall on the west side of the freeway (right near the Tulalip Casino) and more Starbucks than any town could ever need, but I also sometimes have to stop at the four-way intersection at the bottom of Lauck Road while a farmer moseys through on his tractor. My absolute favorite store in Marysville is the Farm Co-op, where you can pick up bunny food or a new horse saddle or just a free bag of popcorn. In April, they host "Chick Days," where several long galvanized steel bins hold brand-new baby chicks warming themselves under heat lamps. I don't know another town with such opposing (and charming) identies.
There's nothing urban about my neighborhood, though. Eleven of us live along this potholed gravel road, and my husband and I are the very last. By the time you get all the way back to my house, you've already experienced three minutes of "Did I miss a turn somewhere?" anxiety. But the plus side of that is the utter peace and quiet that surrounds our home. Except for the occasional noises that drift up our pasture from bikers, joggers and horses on the Centennial Trail below, the only other sounds are critter sounds: owls, eagles, squirrels, coyotes and our own two dogs.
And what I especially love about my little neighborhood is this: where else could I live where an escaped goat blocks my departure one day, and a doe and fawn the next?
Here's a benefit to all that rain … the rainbow that follows! Thanks to Mary Vermeulen for capturing this double rainbow over Calvary Chapel Marysville.
I met with a client tonight and we drove a loop from Sunnyside to Lake Stevens and back, trying to find that just-perfect house. From our initial list of five homes, we ended up looking at three. This is a client who makes it very easy: she knows exactly what she wants (and what she doesn't).
When we walked into the house just off Sunnyside, my immediate thought was, "This house is staged." From the perfectly plumped pillows to the ringed napkins on the table, not one item was out of place. Generally that tells me that listing agent has either hired a professional home stager, or decorated the house with his or her own furnishings. But rarely is it done on a scale we saw in this home.
To confirm my suspicions, usually all it takes is a quick peek in the fridge. Staged homes have empty fridges. So I took a peek … and saw food. Lots of food. Condiments, soda, leftovers … I slammed the fridge shut and turned to my client.
"Someone really lives here."
I have no idea how the owners manage to live in that perfectly-arranged house and give absolutely no sign of their existence (beyond the mustard and half-eaten sandwiches). But I was truly impressed.
I know how hard it can be to keep your house clean and ready when you're trying to sell. But just know that when you make that effort, it makes an impression on the buyer.
We may just be back.
I could probably blog for an entire year about the characters in this town. And up till now, the only reason I haven't done so is because I couldn't choose which story, which character to share first. But yesterday I found my beginning place. I'm going to start on one specific street in downtown Marysville, the one that runs byStarbucks.
I saw the boy as Dave and I were driving out the back entranceof the Starbucks parking lot. I'm amazed I noticed him at all because I was totally consumed with my iced grande soy latte. I'd been trying to get up the courage to try a soy latte for two weeks. But every time I stood at the counter and opened my mouth, some other order came out. Yesterday, however, after managing to gush my worries to the barista and hearing her assurance that I could dump it if I wasn't delighted and she'd replace it for free, I went ahead and jumped off that cliff. And you know what? It wasn't bad at all. Theyuse vanilla soy, which apparently masks the fact that you're drinking bean milk.
I was sipping and savoring and mmm-ing as we turned left out of the parking lot, but in the midst of all that I caught a glimpse of the traveler sitting on the right side of the road. I knew he was a traveler because he was thoughtful enough to announce it, to me and every other driver within passing distance. Traveling — Low on funds, his cardboard sign read. I'm not sure if it was the honesty of that sign or the fact that he had dredlocks which drew me to him, but something did. (On the dredlock topic — I've always been fascinated. I'm quite sure that if I were a twenty-something young man, I'd have them too).
I looked in my wallet and found a five-dollar bill with no immediate plans attached to it. "Mind if I give this to that boy?" I asked Dave. He didn't. I pulled down my window and waited to catch the traveler's eye. He grinned when he saw my outstretched hand and jogged over.
"Where are you headed?" I asked.
"Seattle," he answered. And then, because he's a traveler, don't you know, and travelers have to make friends quickly, he kept talking. "I have a job interview there. I might stay. Or I might go north … or south. I don't know." He grinned, and that cinched it. I liked him. I actually wanted to take him home with us and make him a pot roast, but as we were talking in the middle of the street and the light had just changed and a line of cars behind me didn't share my fascination with the boy, we had to part ways.
"God bless you," I said.
He God blessed me right back.
My heart stayed on that street corner with the boy I would never see again. And all the way home, I hurt that I couldn't bring him to our home and to our church. My reaction startled me. I'm not the first person to hand out money to sign-holders. In fact, I often suspect that when their day's work ends, they hop in their somewhere-hidden Mercedes and jet off to their beach-front homes. I have no proof, mind you, but that's my suspicion. From time to time, God nudges me to help someone, but until I feel that holy prod, I look the other way.
I grieved over my lost friend all evening, and thought about him again this morning. But it wasn't until I sat down to write this post that I made the connection.
Just a week ago, as I'd been pulling out of Starbucks again on that same back road onto that same street, a small blur on the pavement between me and the front car caught my eye. It was a mouse, and he was running for his life. For right on his heels came a (proportionally) giant black crow. Just as the crow was reaching his feet out to snatch the mouse, the big-eared, long-tailed little guy ran beneath the front car. Seconds later, that car moved. Not wanting to run him over, I scanned the pavement before moving forward, but he was nowhere in sight. It occurred to me that he may have hitched a ride on the undercarriage of the car — and I was right. After that car had turned left and gone twenty feet, the mouse reappeared, and skittered across the left side of the road. I looked up the road, saw an oncoming car, and held my breath. But the mouse made it to the curb unsquished. However, his troubles weren't over, for thecrow had been watching as well, and he flew from behind me and swooped right toward the mouse. I so wanted him to get away. I watched as he bounced against the curb — no doubt fighting panic —and lay dazed for a split second. He ran back, just barely missing the crow's talons, and then ran forward again. But the writing was on the wall for this battle. Before the light changed and I left the scene, the crow had snagged his prey and flown off to enjoy his lunch.
The entire drama had played itself off directly across the street from where the traveler sat waiting. The mouse was long-gone, long-digested by the time that boy sat himself on the grass and penned his cardboard sign. But I must have made a sub-conscious connection.
It's a great big world, and he was just one young man–a young man who reminded me of my own boy. A young man whose mother might be looking up from her stove somewhere and wondering if her boy is hungry. A young man about to venture into a world chock full of taloned predators. I know there's an adventure involved, and I hope on his search he finds whatever he's looking for. But I'm praying he simply lands somewhere warm and safe, and that at the end of his traveling, he knows he's loved.
We're all on a journey of some sort. May your travels today lead to joy.