At BrokersGroup, 'Making it Better for Someone... Every Day' is at the heart of all we do, and we were so honored this week when the Sequim Chamber of Commerce presented us with their 'Shining Star' award. Awarded by the Chamber from nominations given by fellow Chamber members, the Shining Star award goes out to businesses that provide outstanding customer service, showcase exceptional services and demonstrate Chamber & community involvement. Chamber members since we founded BrokersGroup Real Estate in 2007 we have always been committed to community service and giving back. As our business has grown so has our involvement in community and Chamber activities. We look forward to many more years of serving those in Sequim and the surrounding areas, and we appreciate the support of our fellow chamber members, clients and friends. Thank you!
That's right, BrokersGroup Real Estate Professionals is 10 years old today!
On April 1, 2007 we started BrokersGroup Real Estate Professionals in a small office complex right off Hwy 101 in Carlsborg, just outside of Sequim's city limits. In 2008 we moved to the heart of downtown Sequim; into the former Clallam Title Company building and previous home of local real estate pioneer Peter Black. This building was completely remodeled to suit our needs while striving to maintain the charm of it's historic age and history. Our 100 year old office building certainly lends to Sequim's history and we feel privileged to have been chosen to host one of Sequim's 'History Murals' on the east side of our building.
We invite you all to come join us as we celebrate 10 years of serving our community and the surrounding area. We will be hosting an Open House with live music and food on April 14th from 5-7pm. There will be a ribbon cutting by the Sequim Dungeness Valley Chamber of Commerce and it's Ambassadors at 5:15pm and all are welcome. We hope to see you here!
Last Saturday was the Irrigation Festival Kickoff Dinner, and one of the highlights of the night is the unveiling of this years float. With last years float winning awards at every judged parade it entered, this year's float has a high bar set. Yet once again, the float team did not disappoint, and what was unveiled is truly astounding! We're really excited about the float this year. It fits the theme '122 Skies of Blue' beautifully and features a high-flying, death-defying bi-plane. Wow!
Also unveiled at the dinner was the Royal Court's musical number for this year. Set to the tune of Disney's 'Under the Sea' audiences of all ages will enjoy the royals description of just why we celebrate irrigation and what the festival offers. It also provides a nice peak into the Royalty's platforms and pursuits.
Hope to see you out and about this festival season; celebrating one of the events that makes this town so special. For a list of what's going on and when visit the festival webpage here.
Sequim .... Where Water is Wealth.
With a heavy heart we announce the passing of our own Rod Normandin. On January 10th Rod suffered a heart attack late in the evening. We were all devastated and shocked when we learned of his passing early the next morning.
Rod has been a member of BrokersGroup Real Estate Professionals since its opening almost 10 years ago. He is a long time friend of the owners and was considered family by his office friends. He was a respected member of the real estate community, and will be missed by so many. He brought a warm smile and a great sense of humor to our day to day tasks, and was a wealth of real estate knowledge that he willingly shared with his colleagues. A memorial service will be held this Sunday, February 12th at 2pm at the Dungeness Community Church - 45 Eberle Lane in Sequim.
All are welcome to come remember Rod with us.
The Sequim Irrigation Festival is still several months away, but planning and preparation are already underway. This year's theme is '122 Skies of Blue' and the first big Irrigation Festival event is just around the corner. It's pageant time. Time to decide which 4 ladies will be representing our beautiful city as ambassadors of Sequim. There are 7 candidates this year and BrokersGroup Real Estate Professionals is proud to be sponsoring the lovely Miss Abby Norman, as she prepares to compete for Irrigation Festival Royalty.
Abby is a Junior at Sequim High School. She is an active member of the SHS Leadership Class which donates over 100 volunteer hours each year, as well as an Honor Society student maintaining a steady GPA of 3.85. She and her family have traveled across the US, Canada and Europe which has given Abby the opportunity to get a first hand look at other ways of life, and give her a deep appreciation for the place she calls home...Sequim. Dancing has always been a part of her life and with 11 years of ballet training it's no surprise that Abby soon found a passion for the theater and singing as well. She has performed in numerous local ballets, plays & musicals and was even fortunate enough to be able to choreograph the Sequim High School's 50th Anniversary musical Cinderella, which also won her a nomination for the Outstanding Choreography Award in a high school musical from Seattle's 5th Avenue Theatre. Her Freshman and Sophomore years she was a member of the Washington All State Symphonic Choir and is currently a member of the Vocal Ensemble as well. She has served her peers as the Sophomore Class President and the Junior Class Spirit Commissioner. She plans to attend Reed University in Portland to earn her Doctorate Degree in Pediatrics. If chosen as a Royal, she plans to organize a Blood Drive for the High School, if possible or assist with blood bank with local drives.
We are honored to be her sponsor and invite you to join us in cheering her, and the other candidates on in the 122nd Irrigation Festival Pageant. This event takes place Saturday February 11th at 6pm in the Sequim High School Auditorium. Tickets are $8 each and on sale now at the Sequim Chamber of Commerce. For more information about the Sequim Irrigation Festival and all of its events, please visit their website.
Lavender is in full bloom here in Sequim and that means Lavender Festival weekend is upon us. The best part of Lavender Weekend here for us? Jazz in the Alley! This year marks the 10 year anniversary of Jazz in the Alley and BrokersGroup Real Estate Professionals is proud to be sponsoring it once again. This year's anniversary brings a special treat. The Sequim Community Orchestra String Kids will be the opening act for Tracy Blume and her Jazz in Blume band. Tracy was one of the founders of Jazz in the Alley, and even though she's no longer a Sequim local she has had a heart for the community event since its conception in 2007. We are so glad to be welcoming her back to Sequim for this anniversary event.
Our very own Neil Culbertson was an integral part of Jazz in the Alley and contributed greatly to its growth until his passing last July. We are so glad to have Tracy here, and to be dedicating this year's performance to Neil Culbertson and Jean Haught, a Sequim business woman, lover of jazz and promoter of arts in Sequim.
Besides Jazz in the Alley. Lavender Weekend brings many opportunities to see live musical performances, attend lavender processing demonstrations and enjoy fine lavender foods. For more information about all things lavender and Lavender Festival related visit the Sequim tourism page.
Several businesses around Clallam County have been selected to host painted doors as part of Habitat for Humanity of Clallam County’s Artistic Door Event, a fundraiser supporting the 25 year anniversary of HFHCC. We are so proud to be able to feature the artwork of local Sequim artist Natalie Andrzejeski. Natalie is a lifelong artist having developed a passion for painting as a little girl living in New York City. Her 4th grade art teacher encouraged her students to explore every medium imaginable, and to this day she can’t say she likes one over another. Art followed her throughout her adult life as a hobby until she was asked to volunteer her time to paint a piano. For the last 4 years she has devoted her time and efforts into bringing awareness to the benefits of art and music. Shortly after moving to Sequim 2 years ago, she left her 8-5 job to pursue her passion. She is currently a photographer, a traveling commissioned artist and has a growing business called Pour, Sip, Paint through which she brings the joys of painting to homes and businesses around the Peninsula. Her painted door will be on display here at BrokersGroup Real Estate Professionals through April 10th. All the doors will be available for viewing and several of the artists will be present at the Artist Reception & Preview on April 15th. The doors will go up for auction during HFHCC’s Taste of the Peninsula event on April 16th at the Sunland Golf & Country Club. The event is a fabulous opportunity to support a wonderful cause while enjoying exceptional cuisine and wine from right here on the Olympic Peninsula. Stop by our office to catch an up close and personal look at Natalie’s door!
This past weekend the Sequim Association of Realtors hosted their annual Installation Banquet to thank the 2015 officers and swear in the 2016 officers. Among those being sworn in was our very own Hazel Ault. Hazel has been the designated broker for BrokersGroup Real Estate Professionals since we opened in 2007. She has been an active participant and member of the Sequim Association of Realtors since 1990. Since then she has served in several capacities including Chairman of the Education Committee, Local Association Director and RPAC (Realtors® Political Action Committee) Chair. In 2012 she was the recipient of the Realtor® Achievement Award for her steadfast devotion to the Realtor® profession and her community. This weekend BrokersGroup was proud to witness her installation as the 2016 President of the Sequim Association of Realtors® but the fun didn’t stop there! Our own Judy Stirton was awarded the 2015 Community Service Award for being a fearless and passionate advocate. Her ongoing work and commitment to local water issues as well as her volunteerism as President of WAG (Welfare for Animals Guild) make her a truly deserving recipient. We are so proud of her and all she does for our community and its citizens, including the 4 legged ones.
Our own Judy Stirton was awarded the 2015 Community Service Award for being a fearless and passionate advocate. Her ongoing work and commitment to local water issues as well as her volunteerism as President of WAG (Welfare for Animals Guild) make her a truly deserving recipient. We are so proud of her and all she does for our community and its citizens, including the 4 legged ones.
Well the yard signs are out in full swing, and I’m not talking real estate signs. It’s election time; time to vote. I think we all know someone, maybe even ourselves, who has been guilty of the ‘My vote doesn’t matter, so why bother?’ thought. I know it’s flickered across my mind in the past, and the whole ‘electoral’ vote system has been known to amplify those thoughts and frustrations in me. I’ve changed my way of thinking though. My vote DOES matter; so does yours!
For hundreds of years our forefathers and fellow countrymen and women have fought for and defended our freedoms. Familiar freedoms we hold dear such as our freedom of speech and religion. Shouldn't we hold our right to vote as high as the others? It’s a freedom thousands have paid for with their lives. Not only is voting one of our rights as a citizen, but it’s a way for our voices to be heard and a way we can hold those we elect accountable for the decisions they make. It's also a way we can influence the decisions that will ultimately affect our communities and the way we live. If voting is our voice being heard, then what does not voting say? It says more than nothing. It says we don’t care. It says we can’t be bothered enough to answer the question of how we feel about something. If you’re like one of the many people I’ve met who are frustrated with the electoral voting system, then voting should take on an even stronger importance to you. How will the electoral vote system ever change if we don’t care enough to vote on the ‘smaller’ items we’re asked to voice our opinions about? There’s another important reason to vote though; one I think we have slowly moved away from—honor. Our vote honors those who have sacrificed their lives for our freedoms. As a female, I feel I owe a special duty to honor those women and suffragists who went before me and fought so strongly for my voice to be heard and counted. For me, duty and honor are reason enough to send me to the ballot box, and to all our veterans and serviceman, Thank You!
Please vote…it really does matter.
Patricia Parnell shares with us her article, from the Parkwood Homeowners Newsletter, for saving energy at home.
Planning ahead can save you money and alleviate frustration with high utility bills. Here are some tips to protect your hard earned dollars.
· Remove window air conditioners for winter , if it cannot be removed, weatherize with a properly fitted cover
· Keep all vents (AC, heating) free from debris
· Replace Screens with storm glass
· Replace heat filters monthly
· Do not block vents with furniture
· Save 10% on energy costs when you install weather-stripping or caulk leaky doors and windows and install gaskets behind outlet covers
· Leave your thermostat at one temperature (around 77) and leave it alone when running the AC. It takes more energy to heat or cool an area than it does to maintain a constant temp
· In winter, set your thermostat about 68. For every degree you lower your heat, you save up to 5% in heating costs. At night turn heat down to 55 but never below 50.
· Open window coverings in the daytime to let the sun heat your home and close them at sundown to insulate.
· Rearrange your furniture so you are sitting by interior walls. The temperature is more constant on interior walls.
· Close doors to other parts of the house and turn down the thermostat when using the fireplace.
· Remember that fireplaces lose up to 8% of your energy. Keep damper closed when not in use.
· Replace incandescent bulbs with compact fluorescent bulbs. They use 75% less energy.
· Turn kitchen and bathroom ventilating fans off after use.
· A 2nd Refrigerator can add as much as 10-15% to your energy bill.
· Only use your self-cleaning feature when your oven is already hot.
· Drain a bucketful of water from the water heater several times a year to protect against mineral build-up.
· Use cold water to wash clothes and reduce the washer's energy use by 75%.
It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of our own Neil Culbertson. Neil suffered a severe heart-attack on July 4th and did not recover. It was a devastating shock to us all.
Neil has been with BrokersGroup Real Estate since it’s beginning in 2007. Loved by all of us here at BG and a friend to many others in the real estate community, Neil will be missed dearly. Known for his positive attitude, hard work and commitment to his clients, Neil brought to this office so much more than we could ever have imagined. His love of music inspired him to co-found Jazz in the Alley, an event BrokersGroup has been excited to sponsor and something we look forward to every summer. Celebrating it’s 9th year this Lavender Weekend, JITA will not be the same without him. A musician at heart, Neil was encouraged to continue his passion for music when he was asked to join the Buck Ellard Band. We have all enjoyed the numerous musical events Neil brought into our lives, and are immensely blessed to be considered ‘family’ by him and his wife Beverly. There is no one who will ever take Neil’s place in our hearts. I wish the goodbye’s of this life didn’t hurt so much, but I know you’re in a better place Neil and I hope you and Beverly know just how much you’ll be missed by your family here at BrokersGroup.
Looking for something to do this weekend?
How about joining us at ‘A Taste of the Peninsula’ fundraising event happening this Saturday April 18th from 5:30 to 8:30 at the Sunland Golf & Country Club Ballroom. BrokersGroup Real Estate Professionals has proudly joined presenting sponsor, Green Crow Corporation, in Habitat for Humanity Clallam County's premier signature fundraising event. Other sponsors include Ray Gruver-State Farm Insurance, Coldwell Banker Uptown Realty, Platt-Irwin Law Firm, Windermere Real Estate Port Angeles and OSP Sling – Olympic Synthetic Products.
"A Taste of the Peninsula ~ Celebrating Community Partners will be full of fabulous food, fun and purpose," Cyndi Hueth, Habitat's executive director said in a press release. "Habitat helps provide a pathway towards home ownership. This annual event will give us an opportunity to raise funds and generate excitement for the work we all do together. It is one more way the community can engage in our vision of a world where everyone has a decent place to live.”
The event will include music by the Sequim High School Jazz Band under the direction of Vern Fosket. The local food and beverage sponsors, Double Eagle Steakhouse, Alder Wood Bistro, The Sweet Beginning, Crumb Grabbers Bakery, Jose’s Famous Salsa, H2O – Waterfront Bistro, Michael’s Fine Dining, Camaraderie Cellars, Harbinger Winery, Olympic Cellars Winery, and Wind Rose Cellar are sure to make this an event your taste buds won’t forget. The night will feature a fund-a-need auction ~ “Raise the Roof”, as well as awards given to community partners from Forks, Port Angeles, and Sequim.
Habitat for Humanity of Clallam County is a nonprofit Christian housing ministry. Dedicated to providing decent and affordable housing in partnership with low-income families, HFHCC has built 25 homes for families in Clallam County since it’s incorporation in 1991. Groundbreaking for the 26th HRHCC home began in March of this year and plans are underway to begin on the 27th home. Recipients of the 26th and 27th home appreciate all the support from the community and volunteers, and we are thrilled to see the work HFHCC is doing to benefit local families. For more information about HFHCC contact Colleen Robinson, Community Outreach Director for Habitat for Humanity at 360-460-5560 or via firstname.lastname@example.org. Tickets for ‘A Taste of the Peninsula’ are $100 each and can be purchased at the HFHCC website: www.habitatclallam.org
Patricia Parnell is our office Parkwood expert. Not only did she list more houses in Parkwood than any other realtor last year, but she has helped BrokersGroup Real Estate lead the way with more listings and sales in Parkwood than any other brokerage for the 2014 year. If you live in Parkwood you probably already know Patricia. Her friendly and outgoing personality make her an asset to the Parkwood community and to BrokersGroup. Each month the Parkwood Community publishes 'ParkWord' a community newsletter. Patricia is a frequent contributor to the newsletter with articles pertaining to home ownership. We'd like to share those articles with you here on our blog so that those who live outside of Parkwood can benefit from them as well. For those of you who do receive the newsletter, you can easily refer to past articles here.
Getting a Quality Roofing Job - by Patricia Parnell
Several quality checks will help you ensure a leakproof job for decades.
- Replacing valley and eaves flashing is cheapest and easiest when reroofing, so do it now. Also have pipe boots or roof jacks replaced to direct away water where pipes or gas vents protrude. Leave chimney flashing alone if it’s in good shape.
- Now is also the time to make sure you have proper attic ventilation. Have it checked by the roofer or an HVAC contractor. Poor airflow can heat an attic to 130°F in summer. In winter, moist interior air can condense on the underside of the sheathing, rotting it. You may want to have ridge and soffit vents installed to circulate cool air into the attic, alleviating both problems.
- If you suspect some of the plywood decking beneath the shingles is rotted, put a small allowance, say $200, in the contract for replacing it. Clearly state that you must approve any charges above this amount, and that you get the money back if the decking is in good condition.
- Ask how the roofer will protect bushes and plants (roofers usually use plywood). Draw clear lines of responsibility for any damaged plants.
- Find out how the trash will be disposed of and nails picked up. Be sure dumpsters or trucks used for garbage pickup don’t roll onto a new lawn or over an underground sprinkler system. What’s more, there should be thick plywood under Dumpster or truck wheels to protect the turf or driveway. An alternative is to pay extra and have the old shingles carted by hand to the curb.
Finally, trust your intuition. If a roofer rubs you wrong, even at the contract stage, don’t be afraid to back out before signing and resume your search. Unless water is pouring in overhead, it pays to take your time on this major investment.
Composition Roof, What does that mean?
Asphalt shingles are the most popular type of roofing for homes, comprising over 80% of residential roofing market.
- Materials: Made of either an organic paper fiber mat (better for cold weather and wind resistance) or fiberglass (more fire and moisture resistant) impregnated with asphalt and coated with mineral granules.
- Appearance: Available in traditional 3-tab shingles or thicker laminated “architectural” shingles.
- Eco-Friendly: Petroleum based product that’s not eco-friendly. Can be recycled, though often taken to landfills.
- Weight: Moderate in weight.
- Slope: Can be used on fairly low to steeper sloped roofs.
- Fire & Wind: Good fire resistance, fair wind resistance.
- Cost: Inexpensive to moderate.
Operation S.W.A.K. (Sealed With A Kiss) is underway at the UPS Stores in Sequim and Port Angeles. Owner Lisa Hollenback announced that both the Sequim & Port Angeles UPS Stores will be helping you send love to the US troops overseas and veterans at VA hospitals throughout the country. Just bring your Valentine or letter weighing 1 ounce or less to either UPS Store branch and they will pay the shipping! That’s right, send some free love to a serviceman or woman with a valid APO address or VA Hospital address and they will provide complimentary first class postage.
“A handwritten card or letter is a simple way to pay tribute to the dedication and sacrifices of the brave men and women who serve our country,” says Lisa Hollenback.
In order for mail to be eligible for the complimentary postage, it must weigh no more than 1 ounce, bear a valid return address and be addressed to a specific U.S. Serviceman or Servicewoman at an assigned APO/FPO address or a specifically named veteran residing at a VA hospital.
Complimentary postage will run through February 14th, but Hollenback recommends you mail your Valentine by Feb. 5th for overseas delivery in time for Valentine’s Day.
Don’t personally know a deployed serviceman or woman? I used AnySoldier.com to search and request the address of a deployed serviceman who would like some mail.
This is a great opportunity to get the kids involved and share with them the sacrifices our military and their families make for our freedoms. Make some Valentines and show your support to our troops overseas and our veterans this Valentine’s Day, and be sure to thank The UPS Store for their support.
BrokersGroup Real Estate is a proud sponsor of the Sequim Museum and Arts Center whose mission is ‘to be the stewards of Sequim's cultural heritage by engaging the public in the preservation, study, and interpretation of the collections, and supporting the arts and humanities through inspiring education and exhibition.’
Sequim Museum and Arts Center is a 100% volunteer non-profit organization. The museum features Permanent Exhibits such as the Manis Mastadon and the Jamestown S’Klallam Longhouse as well as rotating History Exhibits such as Maritime/Sailing Ship Models, Farms to Barns and currently a 1907 REO B Model Runabout, said to be the first automobile in the Dungeness Valley!
Right now the Museum is gearing up for its newest exhibit, and we’re excited. How excited? So excited that we have a giveaway to go with it! Starting in February the Sequim Museum and Arts Center will be home to the permanent exhibit ‘Boys in the Boat’ - the story of the 1936 Gold Medal winner Joe Rantz of Sequim.
If you haven’t read the book yet, now’s your chance to own it. We’re giving away a copy of Daniel James Brown’s book ‘The Boys in the Boat’. A New York Times #1 bestseller and keeper of a Top 10 place for over 30 weeks and counting. Check out the book trailer:
To enter be sure to ‘Like’ us on Facebook and comment on ‘Giveaway’ post. We’ll use Random.org to draw a winner on Feb 11th. Good Luck and be sure to check out all the Sequim Museum and Arts Center has to offer!