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Cottage Lake Category

Cottage Lake Statistics

ChartI often get calls from clients asking about the current value of their homes, given the state of the current housing market.  This usually leads to an in-home visit and catching up on the good times (what? You didn’t have a good time with your real estate agent while searching for a home?).  Eventually, the conversation turns back to real estate and I’m forced to talk about work. Read the rest of this entry »

Life in Woodinville

Woodinville City LogoI love my town. Every day is unique.  The motto for Woodinville as you enter the city is “City Living, Country Style”.  Or, maybe it’s the other way around…  I can never remember. In any case, there are many city aspects such as the shopping, restaurants, and movie theaters situated alongside the country ones (horses, deer and other wildlife). Today though, I came across something I’d never seen before in my town.  A single runaway sheep jogging along the road in the pedestrian lane in front of Cottage Lake by my home.  I took a short video of it because nobody would believe it otherwise…

You can watch the short clip HERE.


Is a picture is worth a few Thousand Dollars?

How about a few months on the market?

Back in 2008, I posted a 3 part series titled “Is it your agent’s fault“. In the articles, I spoke about many things that contribute to the successes and/or failures in the sale of a client’s home. There is no better time to look back and review these posts, especially since we are right in the middle of the worst housing market we will likely ever see. Read the rest of this entry »

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Cottage Lake (part II)

As promised in an earlier post about Cottage Lake, I wanted to provide additional information about the ropes course, officially known as the Odyssey Course. You can read more on how the partnership between King County Parks and the YMCA came about here.

According to Bill McKee, the Odyssey Program Director at the Northshore YMCA, the Y is about to launch a detailed website about the program, and where it is headed. The current pricing for community groups wanting to make use of the course is $40/person for groups of 16 or less, and $35/person for more than 16 participants. To find out more, you can contact Bill directly at odyssey@seattleymca.org

Cottage Lake

Photo of Cottage Lake
I live in a geographic area of Woodinville referred to as the Cottage Lake area. This area isn’t officially within Woodinville (the actual city limits are quite small), but the post office considers it so. Ironically, I think there are more residents with a Woodinville address that live OUTSIDE the city limits than inside.

While there are a handful of lakes in the Woodinville area, Cottage Lake is probably the best known. The lake occupies 63 acres and is surrounded mostly by private homes, but public access is obtained via the north end at Cottage Lake Park. The park occupies just over 20 acres of land, and provides area residents and guest with numerous outdoor activities. The amenities provided at the park include swimming (in the lake and outdoor pool), covered and uncovered BBQ and picnic areas, basketball courts (not too many), amphitheater for summer concerts, and a fishing pier. Recently, in conjunction with the Northshore YMCA, a new Ropes Course was built. As a Board Member of the Northshore YMCA, I was able to try it out when it was built, and it was a total rush! I’ll post more information specifically about it later.

What I enjoy most about living in this area, is being in close proximity to outdoor activities and still feeling like I’m close to the major activities (work, shopping, etc.). I awake most mornings to the sun shining through my bedroom window and looking out at the glistening waters of the lake. (Who am I kidding! I really don’t see the sun that much, but when I do, I feel like I’m vacationing in the woods).

To find out more about the lake, visit the following sites:

Friends of Cottage Lake website.
Cottage Lake fishing information.
Wikipedia’s information about Cottage Lake.

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Road Noise in Woodinville?

Congestion, road noise and safety concerns are ongoing problems when it comes to the roadways in Woodinville (or nearly everywhere on the Eastside these days). In a recent Woodinville Weekly article, Avondale Rd was specifically singled out as being loud and in need of repairs. In fact, there is a group of folks that have organized themselves into the “The Better Avondale group”. You can follow their efforts at abetteravondale.org. Better yet, fill out their survey on road conditions on Avondale Rd.

My remodel

Last fall I threw myself into a major interior remodel project on a 30-year-old split-level home I just bought in Woodinville with a view of Cottage Lake.

With help from my girlfriend and kids, I first demolished the kitchen and bathrooms along with a couple of walls, scraped off the popcorn texture on the ceilings and then removed all the carpeting, kitchen appliances, bathroom fixtures, lights, window coverings, doors and trim and other dated or damaged things.

Next, I got to work on the fun part of remodeling: buying and installing new stuff! My girlfriend, her dad and I did most of the remodel work ourselves. We raised the kitchen ceiling, framed in a closet in the main bath, hung new drywall and doors, installed new hardwood and tile floors, new bath fixtures and trim including a tub, shower, and toilets, new kitchen appliances, electrical outlets, smoke alarms, lighting, and more.

I called in the professionals to install new kitchen cabinets, bath vanities, granite countertops, to retexture the walls, and frame in a pocket door for the master bath. I probably could have done the work myself, but it would have taken much longer, and sometimes, you just need to let the pros do the work.

Along the way, we encountered the usual problems such as underestimating the cost of materials and labor and the amount of time needed to complete each project. For example, we remodeled the kitchen and a bathrooms and installed the wood floors in four months instead of two months as first planned. We encountered some other problems during both the demolition and remodel, too. We kept finding dead rats, mice, and ants in the walls, under the floors, and in the attic (yes, several fell on us). We also learned that “contractor time” is not linear. Some contractors (granite, drywall texture, plumbers) never showed up when they promised or showed up several hours late. I’ll spare them the embarrassment by not naming them here, but if you really want to know who they are, drop me a line…

Here are some of the BEFORE photos. Click on the photos to see the larger views.

Here are the AFTER photos:

After four months of intense remodeling, we moved into our new home. We still have lots of remodel projects planned including installing wood flooring on the stairway, laying tile in the entryway, replacing the front door, deck, roof, and windows, repainting the house exterior, re-landscaping the yard, and replacing the driveway and so on. I’ve learned quite a bit throughout this project, and gained much respect for those hard-working folks in the construction industry. I’ve taken many more photos of my remodel than I’ve shown here, but there isn’t enough space to post them all…

Many thanks to the following contractors who I would highly recommend:

CSI Kitchen & Bath Design – Located here in Woodinville. They installed my kitchen and bath cabinets. I also purchased all of my tile, faucets, bath and kitchen hardware from them. They were always on-time, always cleaned up after themselves, and were reasonably priced.

Ken Baltzell – General contractor / handyman. He helped me install my doors, and answered all of my remodel questions. In addition to helping me out from time to time, he has also performed great work for several of my clients. His phone# is 206-669-7708

Fredericks Appliances
– Located in Redmond, Eric Blakemore and his group have supplied all of the appliances in several of my homes over the years.

Lumber Liquidators – I installed 3/4″ solid, pre-finished Brazilian Walnut floors throughout the main level of the home (kitchen, dining, living room, hall, 3 bedrooms). This is the 2nd time I’ve purchased hardwood flooring from this company. I’ve been very happy with the quality of their hardwoods, and their service.