Take a break from buying and selling & enjoy some local summer activities!

Summer in the Pacific Northwest is amazing. The days are longer and warmer and the rain is gone so you can get outside and enjoy the great outdoors. If you’re in the midst of buying or selling a home and you feel like you’re overwhelmed with the details, don’t forget to take time for yourself and enjoy the beauty that Washington has to offer. Here are some great tips on activities that you can participate in locally this summer.

#1: Summer reading program through Fort Vancouver Library.
Kids, teens, and adults alike can sign up for the summer reading program through the Fort Vancouver Regional Library. Log days that you’ve read and you can earn rewards and prizes with the free program. The best part: it keeps your reading skills sharp throughout the summer.

#2: Summer concerts and movies in the park.
Every year, the City of Vancouver puts on a summer concert series in Esther Short Park. Each concert is free and family friendly. Enjoy a variety of talented local artists, including Vancouver Pops Orchestra, and enjoy food from local vendors, too. The city also puts on Friday night movie nights in parks around Vancouver in July.

#3: Dive in!
Jump in and cool off! Klineline Pond is a great spot to cool off and enjoy the warm summer weather. The pond is located in a large park setting with large water features/fountains for the little ones to run around and cool off in, too. Not to mention, there is a playground, plenty of picnic tables, and lots of green space to walk. If you want to stay indoors to swim, the pools at Jim Parsley Community Center, Propstra Aquatic Center, and Firstenburg Community Center are great places to swim.

#4: Hike or camp!
Living in the Northwest means that there are many beautiful hikes and walking trails. Hike Mount St. Helens, take a drive out through the Columbia Gorge and hike the Multnomah Falls, or enjoy some family time by setting up a tent and a mini-campground in your backyard for one night.

No matter what you decide to do this summer, take time to relax and enjoy the beautiful area we live in!

Posted on July 17, 2017 at 5:15 pm
Nancy Johns | Category: Home Buying Tips, Selling Your Home, Vancouver History | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Ready for Summer? 4 Tips to Beat The Heat

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With triple digit heat this past weekend, it’s evident that the warm days of summer have arrived and it is time to start preparing for the upcoming months. Here are some helpful tips that can help you stay cool and comfortable, even on the hottest days of the summer months.

  1. Keep natural light and warmth at bay.
    On a hot and sunny day, it’s so nice to open the windows and take in the beauty of nature – the sights, sounds, and smells. But remember that if your home is open too long, it is easy for it to heat up fast and before you know it, your home will have trapped air inside of it for the remainder of the day. It’s usually ok to keep your windows and doors open early in the morning to allow cool air in, that way you can get some cool air flow going and you’ll be able to use your air conditioner less throughout the day.  If your home faces the sun during the day, try keeping the curtains closed for the majority of the day to maintain a cool inside temperature.
  2. Caulk windows.
    If your windows are not caulked, air will leak out and unknowingly, you’ll be wasting significant energy. You will also be allowing hot air in through small cracks. Windows are one of the key areas that air is lost, so buy some high quality clear caulking material and run it around all of your window seams. An inexpensive caulking tool can also help you apply it in a straight line.
  3. Make good use of shades and fans.
    This is one of the simplest ways to save money and prepare for hot summer weather: turn on some high powered fans and use window coverings to keep the room dark and cool.  Be sure that the shades on your windows are down during the sunniest and warmest part of the day – this can help keep the inside temperatures lower and balanced.
  4. Replace cracked windows.
    Do you have cracked panes in your windows? This will let hot air in and increase the temperature of your home. If you have windows with cracked or broken panes, get them replaced so you can stay cool and save energy. Replace them with energy efficient windows and you’ll likely see a reduction in overall heating and cooling costs throughout the year.

Your home is your oasis and you want to feel comfortable in it! Following some simple tips like this will help you enjoy summer to its fullest.

Posted on June 6, 2016 at 4:34 am
Nancy Johns | Category: Home Buying Tips, Home Remodeling Tips, Selling Your Home | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , ,

DIY Patio Decorating

Next up in our series of Do-It-Yourself (DIY) projects: patio decorating. The weather is gorgeous right now and it’s the perfect time to sit outside after a long day and enjoy your patio space. Looking for some great ways to decorate your patio without spending a lot? Here are three simple ideas for creating a tranquil patio environment on a budget.

Idea #1:
Shop around for used pieces:

There are a variety of unique used pieces out there if you look hard enough. Check around estate sales, flea markets, or other sales that are known to have one of a kind furniture and décor. For example, there are often oak barrels used for wine that have been repurposed into fantastic chairs or tables. This is the perfect touch for a vineyard-style garden or patio area. Or, look for beautiful restored or handmade picnic tables – they are gorgeous additions to any outdoor space and can be surprisingly affordable.

Idea #2:
Add lighting:

Summer evenings mean spending more time outside. As the night gets dark, it’s appealing to sit outside and enjoy the warm summer air. The setting sun won’t put a damper on any of your patio activities if you add the right lights. Add ground lighting around the patio area or use some creativity and hang string light bulbs around the area.

Idea #3:
Focus on creating a gathering space:

One of the best parts about having a patio space is the ability it has to draw people together. Making your patio space a place of comfort means that people will naturally feel drawn to it and will want to hang out there. For example, wicker chairs can be found for very affordable prices at stores around town and they’re comfortable enough to invite guests to sit in for hours at a time for a fun dinner party. Add soft pillows and throw blankets (perfect for when the night air gets a bit brisk) to the chairs, then find some unique vases that you can use to put flowers in for table decoration. Add a rustic serving tray to serve desserts or drinks on and before you know it, you have a table set for a wonderful and comfortable evening of entertainment outside.

No matter how big or small your patio space is, if you try hard enough, it can live up to its lovely potential, making it a great memory making spot for years to come.

Posted on June 24, 2015 at 4:40 am
Nancy Johns | Category: Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , ,