Local Market Update – October 2020

While daily life may seem unpredictable, the local real estate market remains extremely stable. Activity in September acted more like the traditional peak spring market with home sales soaring and prices hitting record highs. Inventory remains very tight and new listings are selling quickly in every price range.

There just aren’t enough homes on the market to meet demand. King County had about half the inventory of a year ago. Snohomish County had 63% fewer available homes. On the other hand, the number of condos on the market in King County jumped by 24% over last September. Brokers attribute the flood of new inventory to COVID remote workers looking to trade their in-city condo for more living space. Despite the increase in inventory, condo prices rose 8% in September and pending sales — the best indicator of current demand — shot up 36% over the same period last year.

The slim supply of single-family homes means bidding wars and all-cash offers were the norm, driving prices to record highs. King County saw the third consecutive month of record-setting values. The median home price hit $753,600 in September, a 14% jump over last year. Prices in Snohomish County soared 16% from a year ago to $569,997, just shy of its all-time high of $575,000. For both counties, half the homes sold for over list price in September as compared with just a quarter of the homes a year ago.

The market doesn’t show signs of cooling off any time soon. In September the greater Northwest area saw the highest number of transactions since June 2018. Pending sales were up 32% in King County and 29% in Snohomish County. Interest rates continue to be at historic lows. With the area posting some of the fastest population growth in the country, expect the market to stay unseasonably hot.

The charts below provide a brief overview of market activity. If you are interested in more information, every Monday Windermere Chief Economist Matthew Gardner provides an update regarding the impact of COVID-19 on the US economy and housing market. You can get Matthew’s latest update here.

EASTSIDE

VIEW FULL EASTSIDE REPORT

KING COUNTY

VIEW FULL KING COUNTY REPORT

SEATTLE

VIEW FULL SEATTLE REPORT

SNOHOMISH COUNTY

VIEW FULL SNOHOMISH COUNTY REPORT


This post originally appeared on GettheWReport.com


Posted on October 12, 2020 at 2:09 am
Ali Mills | Posted in Local Market Updates, Market conditions | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Local Market Update – September 2020

August saw the lowest number of homes for sale in more than 20 years and the lowest mortgage rates on record. Sparse inventory and high demand pushed home prices to new highs.

  • With pending sales outpacing new listings, inventory continues to shrink. King and Snohomish counties each have about a two-week supply of available homes. Four to six months of inventory is considered a balanced market, favoring neither buyers nor sellers.
  • The region saw the second consecutive month of record-setting price growth with home prices experiencing double-digit increases as compared to a year ago.
  • Fierce competition among buyers has made multiple offers the norm. In King County, 46% of home sold for more than the list price. Last August that number was 24%. In Snohomish County, 58% of homes sold above list price as compared to just 28% the prior year.

The charts below provide a brief overview of market activity. If you are interested in more information, every Monday Windermere Chief Economist Matthew Gardner provides an update regarding the impact of COVID-19 on the US economy and housing market. You can get Matthew’s latest update here.

EASTSIDE

VIEW FULL EASTSIDE REPORT

KING COUNTY

VIEW FULL KING COUNTY REPORT

SEATTLE

VIEW FULL SEATTLE REPORT

SNOHOMISH COUNTY

VIEW FULL SNOHOMISH COUNTY REPORT


This post originally appeared on


Posted on September 16, 2020 at 10:15 pm
Ali Mills | Posted in Local Market Updates, Market conditions | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Windermere Foundation Has Raised over $825,000 This Year!

Image source: Shutterstock

 

The first half of 2020 has brought uncertain times and unprecedented change, and across our network, our agents and offices have rallied with their communities through the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic. We’ve seen offices come together in support of their neighbors by providing meals to frontline workers, donating to local food banks, and giving their time in support of low-income and homeless families impacted by COVID-19. So far this year, we’ve raised over $825,000, with over $500,000 coming in second quarter alone, bringing the total raised by the Windermere Foundation to $41.8 million.

 

Here’s how some of our offices have served their communities during the COVID-19 pandemic:

 

Sedro Woolley & Mount Vernon, WA

Over the course of the first half of the year, the Windermere Sedro Woolley and Windermere Mount Vernon offices have donated more than $5,000 combined to the Helping Hands Food Bank to help their mission of providing local families with healthy meals through the pandemic.

 

Gearhart & Cannon Beach, OR (Windermere Realty Trust)

In a joint effort through Windermere Realty Trust, the Oregon Coast offices of Cannon Beach and Gearhart raised $2,000 for the organization Food 4 Kids. Food 4 Kids’ goal is to supply elementary and middle school students in the Seaside School District with supplementary weekend meals during the school year, currently feeding 235 children.

 

Penrith Home Loans 

Earlier this year, Windermere’s mortgage partner, Penrith Home Loans, donated a total of $12,000 to the Windermere Foundation.

“The Windermere Foundation’s dedication to supporting low-income and homeless families in our communities aligns with the personal values of the employees who make up Penrith Home Loans,” said Maya Dartiguenave, Marketing Manager at Penrith Home Loans.

Penrith’s donations supported the organizations Hopelink and Share Vancouver. Hopelink was chosen by Penrith because of their holistic approach to helping people out of poverty and its mission “to promote self-sufficiency for all members of our community.” Share Vancouver was chosen because of its commitment to making Vancouver, Washington a home for everyone in the community. Examples of their work include employing an outreach team directly on the streets of Vancouver, providing emergency shelters, offering free meals to hungry children and subsidized housing to low-income families.

 

 

Neighbors in Need 

Between April 21 and May 5, the entire Windermere network came together to support local food banks through our Neighbors in Need fundraising campaign. Offices were challenged to raise $250,000, to be matched by the Windermere Foundation, for a total goal of $500,000. While coping with increased demand and a bottlenecked pipeline of food supply due to COVID-19, food banks were—and continue to be—desperate for funds to continue to serve those in need. Neighbors in Need surpassed the original goal of $500,000, raising a total of $690,000, and helping hundreds of food banks.

“I’m incredibly proud of how our offices and the community came together to raise much needed money and awareness to help food banks keep up with unprecedented needs,” said Windermere Foundation Executive Director, Christine Wood. “I hope we inspire others to do the same.”

These are just a few examples of how the donations flowing through the Windermere Foundation propel us forward in our mission to support low-income and homeless families in the communities across the Western U.S. If you’d like to help support organizations and programs in your community, please click the Donate button.

To learn more about the Windermere Foundation, visit WindermereFoundation.com.

 


This post originally appeared on the Windermere.com Blog


Posted on August 26, 2020 at 7:48 pm
Ali Mills | Posted in Community | Tagged , , ,

Local Market Update – August 2020

While the pace of daily life may seem slow right now, the
local real estate market has had an unusually busy summer. The number of
new listings in July was up, sales increased, and home prices followed
suit.

• While overall inventory is at historic lows, more sellers put their homes on
the market. New listings of single-family homes in King County jumped more than
25% from a year ago. Snohomish County saw a 7% increase in new listings.

• Pent-up buyer demand fueled sales activity in July. The number of pending
sales was up 17% over a year ago in King County, and up 13% in Snohomish
County.

• With buyers snapping up new listings as soon as they hit the market, total
available inventory dropped to a 10-year low for the month.

• The lack of inventory is benefiting sellers, and multiple offers are now common
at every price point. As a result, single-family home prices rose 7% in King
County and 15% in Snohomish County.

The charts below provide a brief overview of market activity. If you are interested in more information, every Monday Windermere Chief Economist Matthew Gardner provides an update regarding the impact of COVID-19 on the US economy and housing market. You can get Matthew’s latest update here.

EASTSIDE

VIEW FULL EASTSIDE REPORT

KING COUNTY

VIEW FULL KING COUNTY REPORT

SEATTLE

VIEW FULL SEATTLE REPORT

SNOHOMISH COUNTY

VIEW FULL SNOHOMISH COUNTY REPORT


This post originally appeared on GetTheWReport.com


Posted on August 12, 2020 at 10:11 pm
Ali Mills | Posted in Local Market Updates, Market conditions | Tagged , , , , , , , , , ,

Could New Seattle Tax Prompt Amazon to Consider Moving?

 

Once again, Seattle is attempting to leverage a tax on big businesses in the city, potentially ruffling the feathers of some of the city’s corporate behemoths. On Monday, July 6, the city council passed its latest big business tax proposal titled “JumpStart Seattle.” This might just be the last straw for Amazon, according to Windermere’s Chief Economist, Matthew Gardner.

If enacted, the proposal will raise over $200 million a year for the city. It will generate revenue through a tiered system of taxation on companies with payroll expenses over $7 million, although the tax only applies to the salaries of higher income employees. Employers in the lowest bracket will be taxed 0.7% of annual salaries between $150,000–$399,999, and 1.7% of annual salaries exceeding $400,000. The city has devised a separate tier for companies with annual payroll expenses over $1 billion, likely designed specifically with Amazon in mind. Employers in this tier will be taxed 1.4% of annual salaries between $150,000–$399,999, and 2.4% of annual salaries exceeding $400,000.

The tax is similar to the proposed head tax that was passed and quickly repealed by Seattle in 2018 due to the same fears of driving business out of the city. Initially, the proceeds from the new tax will be used to address needs related to coronavirus, but eventually the funds will be directed toward addressing homelessness and housing issues in Seattle.

The problem with the new tax, according to Gardner, is that it wasn’t applied regionally.

“As much as these [taxes] might make sense, they need to be applied on a regional, not citywide basis,” Gardner told KIRO Radio host Dave Ross.

By not coordinating the tax with nearby cities like Redmond and Bellevue, Seattle has only further incentivized Amazon to grow investments in new hubs outside of the city. Notably, after the near-miss with the head tax of 2018, Amazon moved many of its employees and operations to nearby Bellevue in 2019.

Gardner doesn’t approve of Seattle’s attempt to autonomously grapple with this issue. “All it does is it functions to push people out,” he said.

According to CNBC, in June 2020 Amazon announced it would lease 111,000 square feet of workspace for employees in Redmond. Bellevue, meanwhile, is to be the site of a newly built 43-story tower for Amazon operations.

While Amazon hasn’t made any official announcements regarding its plans for future operations in the region since the new tax was passed, Gardner expects we’ll be hearing from them soon. “I think there’s no doubt that we’re going to hear several announcements over the next couple of weeks of some massive expansion by Amazon into Bellevue.”

Though the tax will likely go into effect in 2021, it will not begin collecting money until 2022. Until then, it’s anyone’s guess whether Seattle can entice Amazon to stay put, or if the allure of lower taxes on the Eastside will see Amazon relocating for good.

 


This post originally appeared on GettheWReport.com


Posted on August 10, 2020 at 8:03 pm
Ali Mills | Posted in Community, Market conditions | Tagged , , , , , , , , , ,

Gardner Report – Q2 2020 Western Washington

 

The following analysis of the Western Washington real estate market is provided by Windermere Real Estate Chief Economist Matthew Gardner. We hope that this information may assist you with making better-informed real estate decisions. For further information about the housing market in your area, please don’t hesitate to contact your Windermere agent.


 

REGIONAL ECONOMIC OVERVIEW

It appears as if the massive COVID-19 induced contraction in employment that Washington State — along with the rest of the nation — experienced this spring is behind us (at least for now). Statewide employment started to drop in March, but April was the real shock: total employment dropped almost 460,000 between March and April, a decline of 13.1%. However, this turned around remarkably quickly, with a solid increase of 52,500 jobs in May. Worthy of note is that, in May alone, Western Washington recovered 43,500 of the 320,000 jobs that were lost in the region the prior month. Although it is certainly too early to categorically state that we are out of the woods, the direction is positive and, assuming we respect the state’s mandates regarding social distancing and mask wearing, I remain hopeful that Washington will not have to re-enter any form of lockdown.

 

HOME SALES

  • There were 17,465 home sales during the second quarter of 2020, representing a drop of 22.2% from the same period in 2019, but 30.6% higher than in the first quarter of this year.
  • The number of homes for sale was 37% lower than a year ago, but was up 32% compared to the first quarter of the year.
  • Given COVID-19’s impacts, it’s not surprising that sales declined across the board. The greatest drops were in Whatcom and King counties. The smallest declines were in Grays Harbor and Cowlitz counties.
  • Pending sales — a good gauge of future closings — rose 35.7% compared to the first quarter of the year, suggesting that third quarter closings will grow as well.

 

 

 

HOME PRICES

 

  • Home-price growth in Western Washington rose by a relatively modest 3.5% compared to a year ago. The average sale price in the second quarter was $559,194.
  • Compared to the same period a year ago, price growth was strongest in Grays Harbor County, where home prices were up 14.3%. Clallam County also saw a double-digit price increase.
  • It was interesting to note that prices were up a significant 6.6% compared to the first quarter. This suggests that any concern regarding negative impacts to home values as a function of ​    COVID-19 may be overblown.
  • I will be watching for significant price growth in less urbanized areas going forward. If there is, it may be an indication that      COVID-19 is affecting where buyers are choosing to live.

 

 

 

DAYS ON MARKET

  • The average number of days it took to sell a home in the second quarter of this year matched the second quarter of 2019.
  • Across the entire region, it took an average of 40 days to sell a home in the second quarter. I would also note that it took an average of 14 fewer days to sell a home than in the first quarter of this year.
  • Thurston, King, Pierce, and Snohomish counties were the tightest markets in Western Washington, with homes taking an average of only 17 days to sell. All but two counties, Grays Harbor and Cowlitz, saw the length of time it took to sell a home drop compared to the same period a year ago.
  • Market time remains well below the long-term average across the region. This is due to significant increases in demand along with the remarkably low level of inventory available.

 

 

 

CONCLUSIONS

This speedometer reflects the state of the region’s real estate market using housing inventory, price gains, home sales, interest rates, and larger economic factors.

What a difference a quarter makes! Given that demand has reappeared remarkably quickly and interest rates remain historically low, it certainly remains a seller’s market and I don’t expect this to change in the foreseeable future.

The overall housing market has exhibited remarkable resilience and housing demand has rebounded faster than most would have expected. I anticipate demand to remain robust, but this will cause affordability issues to remain as long as the new construction housing market remains muted.

 

ABOUT MATTHEW GARDNER

As Chief Economist for Windermere Real Estate, Matthew Gardner is responsible for analyzing and interpreting economic data and its impact on the real estate market on both a local and national level. Matthew has over 30 years of professional experience both in the U.S. and U.K.

In addition to his day-to-day responsibilities, Matthew sits on the Washington State Governors Council of Economic Advisors; chairs the Board of Trustees at the Washington Center for Real Estate Research at the University of Washington; and is an Advisory Board Member at the Runstad Center for Real Estate Studies at the University of Washington where he also lectures in real estate economics.

 


This post originally appeared on the Windermere.com Blog


Posted on July 25, 2020 at 12:17 am
Ali Mills | Posted in Market conditions, The Gardner Report | Tagged , , , , , , , ,

Local Market Update – July 2020

While our lives are very different than they were a year ago, the local real estate market has recovered to 2019 levels. Record low interest rates are helping spur demand. Sales were up, home prices increased and multiple offers were common.

  • The number of pending sales, a measure of current demand, was higher in June than for the same period a year ago.
  • The supply of homes on the market remains very low, with just a month of available inventory. When inventory is this low, quick sales over full price are common. That was the case in June when about 40% of homes sold for more than the asking price.
  • Home prices in King County rose 4% over a year ago. Snohomish County home prices increased 5%.
  • More sellers put their homes on the market. While total inventory remains low, the number of new listings in June was similar to the same time last year.

The monthly statistics below are based on closed sales. Since closing generally takes 30 days, the statistics for June are mostly reflective of sales in May. If you are interested in more information, every Monday Windermere Chief Economist Matthew Gardner provides an update regarding the impact of COVID-19 on the US economy and housing market. You can get Matthew’s latest update here.

EASTSIDE

VIEW FULL EASTSIDE REPORT

KING COUNTY

VIEW FULL KING COUNTY REPORT

SEATTLE

VIEW FULL SEATTLE REPORT

SNOHOMISH COUNTY

VIEW FULL SNOHOMISH COUNTY REPORT


This post originally appeared on GetTheWReport.com


Posted on July 14, 2020 at 12:05 am
Ali Mills | Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , ,

At Home in the Outdoors

 

More than 80 percent of Americans say they want an outdoor living space where they can relax and entertain. And it’s no wonder why. Outdoor spaces extend your livable space, add visual interest, and increase not only your quality of life, but also the overall value of your home. (In some cases, the increase in your home’s value can cover most or all of the cost to create the new space.) Here are some options to consider:

 

DECK

Decks are still the most popular outdoor living spaces, not only because they work so well for entertaining and relaxing, but also because they have the highest return on investment (see the Tips column for data).

Surprisingly, wood decks (made of cedar or pine) are actually the better financial investment, because building with Trex or other popular composite products costs considerably more, yet doesn’t increase the home’s value by as much.

Expanding and reconfiguring your current deck is another option that’s popular today. The contractor will typically remove the old face boards, extend the underlying structure, and then put down the new decking. This is also an opportunity to add built-in furniture, privacy screens, even plumbing and electricity.

 

PATIO

Running a close second to decks – in both popularity and investment return – are patios. With a patio, you can relax and entertain at ground level, which can afford more privacy in urban areas, and allows you to be more engaged with the surrounding plants and landscaping.

Typically made of brick, concrete, or stone, a patio also comes with far fewer maintenance and repair issues than a deck. Plus, patios are generally easier and less disruptive to construct – which is why they’re often about 30 percent less expensive to have professionally built.

 

GAZEBO

For those who want even more privacy, as well as shelter from the sun and protection from mosquitoes and other pests, there’s the gazebo. Available with walls or as an open-air design, with screening or not, these modestly sized, affordable backyard structures can be built from scratch or purchased as a kit (for assembly by a do-it-yourselfer or a professional).

Popular in the Midwest for decades, gazebos have made their way west as homeowners here have discovered how nice and easy they are for creating a shaded spot for reading, relaxing, and backyard gatherings.

 

OUTDOOR KITCHEN

People tend to gather naturally in the kitchen. And when the kitchen is outdoors, it creates an ideal opportunity to mix, mingle and interact in the open air. Other reasons why cooking outdoors makes so much sense: less kitchen cleanup, the house stays cooler during the summer, and grilled food just tastes better.

Some may think an outdoor kitchen is only for cooks who host large parties, but homeowners who go this route say they’re more of an extension of the home, and great for daily use.

Designs for outdoor kitchens range from the simple (a grill, limited counter and cabinet space, and maybe a prep sink) to truly independent entities with a refrigerator, an elaborate grill, warming oven, freestanding island with storage space, rolling cart stations, and even a dishwasher. Depending on how elaborate your design, you may be able to list it as a second kitchen when selling your house.

 

SIX PLANNING SUGGESTIONS

  1. Before meeting with contractors, gather photos of designs and ideas that you like; this will make it much easier to communicate your ideas.
  2. Make sure the materials you plan to use, as well as the overall size of the structure, will be harmonious with your home’s current look and feel.
  3. Give serious consideration to a roof – which will likely add significantly to the cost, but will also provide much-needed shade on hot days and protection from rain and inclement weather. In fact, to ensure things are structurally sound and architecturally appealing, start with the design for the roof first, then set your sights on the roof supports and structure below.
  4. Incorporate lighting into your design, which will extend its usability into the evening and throughout the seasons.
  5. Consider convenience, comfort, and longevity when choosing materials. For example, a floor made of dirt or stepping stones may last forever, but one made of wood or concrete is much easier to clean and arrange furniture upon.

 

If you’re eager to live a healthier lifestyle and reconnect with family and friends, as most people are today, it’s time to consider an outdoor living space. Reachout if you want to chat about which projects will add the most resale AND entertainment value to your home.

 


This post originally appeared on the Windermere.com Blog

 


Posted on July 4, 2020 at 8:54 pm
Ali Mills | Posted in For Your Home, Home renovation | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

How the American Home has Evolved

 

Owning a home has been an American tradition from the start. But the home itself has changed dramatically over the years.

For example, you may be surprised to learn how much the size of the average American home has increased since the turn of the 20th century—especially when you compare it to the size of the average family during the same time period.

In the year 1900, the average American family was relatively large with 4.6 members, but the average home featured just 1,000 square feet of usable floor space. By 1979, family size had shrunk to 3.11 members, but the floor space they shared had expanded to 1,660 square feet. And by 2007, the average family size was even smaller still—just 2.6 members—while the average home size had increased by the largest amount yet—this time to 2,521 square feet.

To accommodate those larger homes, property lots have also had to expand in size. In the 1930s and ‘40s, Bungalow homes were usually built on lots measuring 60 by 100 feet (for a total of 6,000 square feet). However, by 1976, the average size of a single-family property lot had expanded to more than 10,000 square feet. In 1990, it expanded again (to 14,680 square feet). Today, the average property lot in America is a staggering 17,590 square feet.

Exterior building materials

Until the 1960s, the building materials used on the exterior of most homes were limited to brick, wood, or wood shingles. However, by the early 1960s, many Americans chose to cover their homes with a more affordable material that was also maintenance-free: aluminum and vinyl siding. Today, many homeowners are using low-maintenance siding materials made of cement fiber.

Interior building materials

The primary building material for interior ceilings and walls for much of the 20th century was plaster applied over wood lathe. Modern day sheetrock didn’t become popular until the 1950s. In the 1960s, wood paneling and textured walls became prevalent, largely for their quick and easy application. In the 1970s and ‘80s, “popcorn ceilings” became a common way to hide imperfections in ceilings. Today’s style again favors smooth walls and ceilings, which can result in a lot of work removing paneling and textures in older homes.

Throughout the early 1900s, the floors throughout most homes were almost always bare wood. Linoleum tile became a popular choice for kitchens, bathrooms, and bedrooms in the 1940s. However, by the 1960s and 1970s, wall-to-wall carpeting was all the rage—even in bathrooms and some kitchens. Homes today feature a wide array of flooring materials, depending on both the region and the room’s function. For example, tiles are a more popular choice in warm regions than cold ones because they tend to stay cool; wall-to-wall carpeting is still popular in rooms like bedrooms and family rooms, where people like to feel most comfortable, while durable and easy-to-clean hardwoods, tiles and linoleum are more favorable in kitchens and high-traffic areas.

The Kitchen

At the turn of the 20th century, the kitchen was a place where the woman of the house did all the cooking. Kitchens were typically small, closed off from the rest of the house by solid walls, and far more functional than fashionable. Dining took place in the dining room.

Throughout the 1920s and ‘30s, kitchens remained stark workplaces with very few appliances. Food was kept chilled with an icebox (a non-electric, insulated box about the same size as a modern refrigerator that used a block of ice to keep everything cold). However, by 1944, 85 percent of American households had switched from an icebox to a refrigerator.

In the mid 1950s, the kitchen changed dramatically. It not only became larger, it also transformed into the heart of the home, where the whole family gathered to help prepare and even eat meals.

The 1950s also brought a host of kitchen innovations, from the stainless steel sink to electric ovens and stovetops. But the most exciting of all was the dishwasher. The 1970s marked the introduction of the microwave.

Today, the kitchen is still a place where everyone gathers. So it’s not surprising that may people favor open-concept kitchens, with no walls separating them from the dining or family room.

Appliance and amenities

The 1940s census was the first to ask homeowners about some of the amenities in their homes. The results are startling (though perhaps less so when you consider that this was during the depression): Less than 50 percent of homes had hot water, an indoor toilet or a bath tub; about one in five didn’t have a home phone.

By the 1950s, however, things had changed dramatically for the better. That’s when many Americans got a refrigerator, an electric stove, a dishwasher, and, ah yes, air conditioning. Until then, most homes were cooled with nothing more than a ceiling fan at best.

Thanks to the larger, Ranch-style homes being constructing in the 1950s, walk-in closets also made their introduction. The fabulous ‘50s also ushered in the two-car attached garage.

And let’s not forget the television; it exploded onto the scene in the early 1950s and by 1955, half of all U.S. households had sets. Today, the average home has little less than three TVs.

What hasn’t changed

Despite all these changes, one thing has remained the same: The number one reason why Americans chose to buy a home. According to Dan McCue, research manager at Harvard’s Joint Center for Housing Studies, “It’s always been seen as the best way to build net worth and equity.”

 


This post originally appeared on Windermere.com

 


Posted on July 4, 2020 at 8:48 pm
Ali Mills | Posted in Buying a home, Community | Tagged , , , , , , , , ,

June Happenings: Plan a “State-cation”

 

As the weather turns warmer and counties across the state move through the phases of reopening, our mind turns to getting out of the house and getting away for a bit. Coronavirus remains a concern and extra precautions (particularly masks and social distancing) need to be taken this year, but that doesn’t put a damper on vacation plans. “Nonessential travel” is permissible in Phase 3 of Governor Inslee’s reopening plan, which many parts of the state will reach by the end of June. If you’re itching to get out – for a day, a weekend, or even longer – avoid airports with these staycation ideas across the state!

If you’re traveling out of town, remember to pack masks, practice social distancing, and plan ahead. Double-check what’s open (including trailheads and parks, activities, restaurants and rest stops along your way), and if there are any travel notices or mandatory ordinances in place at your destination.

Kick Back & Relax in
Local Style

With its lush, sprawling landscapes (including the gorgeous grounds of Chateau St. Michelle), ample wineries and tasting rooms, Woodinville often feels worlds away and is an ideal destination if you’d like a change of scenery without spending a lot of time behind the wheel. With Willow’s Lodge’s new Road to Relaxation package, you’ll feel whisked away to a serene retreat. With some operational changes and temporary closures (the sauna, pool, and Barking Frog dining room, for example) in place, Willows Lodge offers personal in-spa services, complimentary bicycles for exploring the countryside or Burke-Gilman trail, plus its renowned food and beverage to enjoy on private patios or in spacious outdoor seating areas.

Glamorous Glamping

The Vintages Trailer Resort in the heart of the Willamette Valley gives glamping a retro-inspired upgrade with 35 full-restored and new custom-fabricated (stationary) trailers. Complete with outdoor grills, complementary mini fire pits, lounging spots, cruiser bicycles – and even an outdoor soaking tub! – these trailers make it easy to enjoy a getaway while keeping plenty of space between guests. They offer enhanced cleaning measures and unique packages for stay-and-play fun.

Wine & Dine in Walla Walla

The Walla Walla wine country is ready for visitors with resorts and hotels reopening. A true vacation destination, there’s no shortage of activities. Known for its wineries, Walla Walla is also home to breweries to cideries and distilleries. There’s also golfing, hiking, museums, shopping, and day spas. Visit Walla Walla’s website for travel updates and to plan your trip.

Head to the Coast

While some of our state’s island getaways may slowly reopen to tourism and trips, the Washington coast offers similar feelings of seclusion and peace with plentiful activities —wine tours and local breweries to biking and hiking trails, beaches and more.

Beach towns along the coast, from Ocean Shores to Westpoint to Long Beach, are open to visitors. Along the way lie plenty of other opportunities for activities. From bike paths to wildlife refuges, restaurants and fishing spots. There’s no shortage of things to do and see here.

The Olympic National Park is in a phased reopening of its own. While some locations, trails, campgrounds and visitor centers remain closed as of mid-June, there are plenty of areas open for day recreation including the Hoh Rainforest, the Kaloloch area (plus the lodge and mercantile), and the Lake Crescent area. Visit the park’s website for updates and alerts.

 


This post originally appeared on GettheWReport.com


Posted on June 26, 2020 at 12:54 am
Ali Mills | Posted in Community, Safety | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,