April Update for King County

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I was just working on our market update for this month and was struck by the fact that with 2 million people living in King County, there are only about two thousand homes available for sale … come on people time to move – Mike.

April 2016

New Girl in Town – Cheap Eats around Seattle

Happy almost February everyone! It’s Katie, Mike and Jennifer’s assistant, again. This month’s adventure has taken me all over the Seattle area. Recently, the Seattle Times came out with an article titled, “Top 20 new cheap eats for 2016.” So, I took it upon myself to try as many restaurants on this list as possible. So far, I have been to three of the twenty: El Sirenito, Jackson’s Catfish Corner, and CaliBurger.

IMG_3723First, I visited El Sirenito in Georgetown right next door to Fonda La Catrina. I found out from the bartender that the restaurants are owned by the same people, but El Sirenito is more similar to a tapas restaurant. It is a small restaurant with plain wood siding, a wire fence in front and no sign on the building. (If you have never been to this area of town I suggest looking at Google Maps beforehand) Also, there is very limited parking in this area of Georgetown so I parked down the alley with everyone else. Inside El Sirenito it is very nice and a bit fancier with a bar and kitchen to your left and tables to your right. They also have a small area in back with a couple chairs and a fire. Once seated at the bar, I ordered chips and salsa, a shrimp taco and a rockfish taco. I
o (1).jpgordered the tacos because according to a yelp review this is the best fish taco place in all of Seattle. The chips were crunchy and tasted amazing with the salsa. I haven’t had many fish tacos but these were so delicious! They bread the fish and top it with lettuce, tomatoes, onions and something pink. Then they layered it all on corn tortillas. It was wonderful and I would recommend this restaurant to anyone!

IMG_3717Second, Jackson’s Catfish Corner is located in Rainier Valley. It is in a very residential neighborhood that I had never heard of. Beware that parking is very limited and the parking lot doubles as a car wash, which happened to be busy the day I went. The building isn’t too big but the sign is definitely easy to spot. Now, to start this off I come from the land of Friday Night Fish Fry’s so I love any kind of battered fish and I have had my fair share. However, comparing southern style catfish to a beer battered fish fry isn’t easy. I ordered the catfish fillets and fries. They bread their catfish using corn meal, so it has a great crunch over the tender catfish. Another fact about this restaurant is that they use homemade tartar sauce. The tartar sauce is a reddish color because of the secrets spices they add. The catfish, tartar sauce, and fries were delicious. The catfish was perfectly breaded and cooked while the tartar sauce complimented it perfectly! I would definitely go to Jackson’s Catfish corner again and maybe order some hushpuppies too!

oLastly, CaliBurger is located in the U District. Almost everyone should know about CaliBurger in the U District because it is super similar to In-N-Out Burger. However, In-N-Out Burger hasn’t made it far enough north yet, so we have to settle for this. In my opinion, it tasted exactly like In-N-Out Burger. I ordered the plain hamburger and fries. The fries looked like they were made from an actual potato and they were lightly salted. They complimented the burger perfectly. It’s a good place to grab a burger if you are in the U District, but the Yelp reviews make me give it a second thought. It was good enough, but I’ve definitely had better burgers.

Overall, I would have to say that the best restaurant so far is El Sirenito. The tacos were so tasty and had lots of flavor. The chips and salsa were crispy and wonderful. Also, compared to the two other restaurants I tried the combined atmosphere, food and people made for a good time. I think El Sirenito would be a cool place to grab a drink in the summer and hang out by the fire. However, I still have seventeen more restaurants to try so this opinion may change as I go.

Holiday Travel

Twas the week after Christmas and all through the house….not a creature was stirring, except one swimming mouse. Swimming mouse???  Ok, there was no mouse, but if there was he would have been swimming for his life!!  Here’s what happened.

download (2)Some clients of ours, Dave and Wendy, packed up their Christmas and 3 young boys, as they do each year, and headed for their cabin in Montana. They would enjoy cutting down their own tree behind the cabin, waiting for Santa to squeeze down their 3-story chimney on Christmas Eve, and frolic in the vast amounts of snow. As planned, the Christmas holiday went “swimmingly” well until they pulled into their driveway back in Kent, a week later, after a 9 hour drive across treacherous winter roads. The 3 kids peeled out of the car, all needing a bathroom break, grumpy, tired, and on Dad’s last nerve. As the kids piled out of the car, mom Wendy headed toward the door to start the great migration back into the house. As she turned the knob and went to step inside, the water came rolling out the door and down the steps. The entire one-story house held a few feet of standing water and the water was still running.  Thus began the $100,000 home restoration project.  The pipe in the wall had burst while they were away and the water had been running for several days.

So, what is the moral of the story?  Don’t go on vacation? Nope. Dave and Wendy would tell you that every time they go on vacation now, they turn the water off at the water shutoff in their closet. They open the tap in the sink and let the water in the lines run out so no pressure is left.

porchlight.jpgHere are some things your family can do while traveling for the holiday season. Personally, we have joined them in the vacation water shutoff protocol. In addition, we go online and have our mail held by the post office, leave our front porch lights on, leave our thermostat at 60 degrees, and let our neighbors know we will be gone so they can watch the house.

Cheers to a safe and dry holiday season!

Insurance (I learned the hard way)

About a year ago I was leaving a clients condo complex and backed into a short yellow concrete pole. This is extra dumb because I have a back up camera. I would like to note that I have an excellent driving record with no accidents. Although, I have donated to the city for speeding on occasion and those school cameras!! I swear there are no children anywhere when those things nab me.

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Anyways, I took it to the dealer and the cost to fix it was $2800 because I had managed to hit an area where several different car parts come together. Fortunately I have insurance…right? Also, I never use my insurance and thought that’s what it is for. Do you know how much I pay each year to insurance companies between my cars and houses? Enough to put a kid through state college. It was concluded that my rates would probably go up for my whole family, so I didn’t use it. What I did do is raise all my deductibles, cars and houses, to $1500. If it’s not worth it to make a claim, unless it’s a major incident, there is no reason to have low deductibles. By changing the deductibles on my policies, I saved several hundred dollars per year, which I now scoop into my own savings account for rare yellow pole incidents. Lesson learned!