I hope you’ll use my site as a resource for all of your real estate needs. And I hope that your friends and family will find it helpful as well! Please call or email me with any questions that you may have.
Links to use as you plan your move!
Let’s start with your new address!
Utilities: Opening & Closing Accounts
- Seattle City Light (electric)
- Seattle City Light (how to read your electric meter)
- Seattle Public Utilities (water/sewer/garbage/recycling/yard waste)
- Puget Sound Energy (natural gas)
- Xfinity (phone & internet)
Helpful Moving Tips – Pick your favorite list!
(I’d be happy to provide more information about schools outside of Seattle!)
- Seattle Public Schools
- Seattle Area Independent Schools
- Shoreline Public Schools
- Seattle City Council information
- King County home page (keep your voter registration up to date!)
- Washington State government
- King County Assessor (property tax information)
- Find your Legislator
Information & Entertainment
- KUOW.org 94.9 NPR
- Seattle Times
- Seattle area Entertainment Guide
- Seattle Parking Info (permits, etc.)
- Consumer Reports (great to read before you purchase an appliance)
- Financial Tips
- Rachel’s Real Estate Updates:
I have an MBA in Sustainable Systems and a Certificate in the Sustainable Built Environment. In short, I love to geek out on all things “GREEN”! I am happy to share the following links for the green homeowner in all of us. Please ask me about what you can do to make your home healthier and more energy efficient – especially as you think about a remodeling project that’s coming up. Let’s meet for coffee and discuss!
- Seattle Area Built Green Website
- King County – Sustainable Building Topics
- Green Home Remodeling Guides
- Energy Star Information
- Puget Sound Energy’s FREE Home Energy Assessment
- Second Use – Recycling/Re-use of Home Products
- Ballard Reuse
- Habitat for Humanity Stores
Rachel’s Close to Home Blogs
Helen Keller, in a speech given in New York City in the winter of 1921 said, “To keep on trying in spite of disappointment and failure is the only way to keep young and brave. Failures become victories if they make us wise-hearted.”
The road for Close to Home has been one paved with many interesting lessons and we like to think that we’ve remained young and brave, but the grey hairs may speak to something else!
Since our last blog, we had the opportunity to move ASPIRE to the campus of St. John’s The Evangelist Episcopal Church, in Chico, CA. This move happened through the support of Tami Ritter, from the Butte County Board of Supervisors, one of the many groups/agencies working to find housing for the Paradise Survivors.
Chico, a community of 90,000 is now home to 20,000 new residents seeking refuge from neighboring Paradise after the Camp Fire of November 2018. Chico, like many American cities, was dealing with its own issue of homelessness before the Camp Fire, plus a very low vacancy rate. Now Chico has a 20,000 person increase in population and officials and citizens are working on housing solutions for two distinct populations that are intersecting.
It was back in 2011, when the Seattle real estate market was still suffering from the impact of the recession, that as a real estate agent, I had some time on my hands. I listened to news on the radio and read my local newspaper. But instead of tracking the local market, I became captivated …
At Close to Home it’s sure hard to turn off the news. It seems that every time you turn around, there’s another story of someone losing their home or dealing with the unattainable house. Whether because of a forest fire right here in our Pacific NW backyard, or watching the recent news on the multiple …
One of the treasures of the Pacific NW is the collection of Islands known as the San Juans. After a terribly rainy Seattle winter, I was excited about an opportunity to visit San Juan Island this summer. I was ready to unplug, relax, and catch up with the natural world. Well, as things go, I …
Our work at Close to Home brings us in touch with individuals from many different realms of society. Our clients are individuals who hold a vision of building: a tiny house village in their own community, small structures such as “pop-up” stores, or new focal points for gathering spaces. Or we are in communication with a municipality exploring “tiny” as a solution to a number of different challenges facing their community – homelessness or affordable housing, for example.
Have you heard this saying before? It refers to the fact that we often see new fads come from old, as we see in the fashion world all of the time. Kids are wearing Dr. Martens boots again, Converse shoes and Birkenstocks – making this forty-something feel somewhat fashionable once again! But there is another …
It’s another new year – time for a new me – or at least another opportunity to try to be my best right? That feeling is pretty universal at this time of year. But I’m going to argue that for those of us with early January birthdays (mine was on the 11th and inspired this …
The team at Close to Home has years of experience working with buyers and sellers – of tiny and not so tiny – homes. We believe that buying the right home is all about buyers being honest with themselves prior to house hunting. Start by making that crucial list of what you want and need in your tiny home, then figure out the difference between the two. When people start with this step, the path to the right home becomes clear.
In November I listened to an inspiring interview on NPR’s “The Takeaway”, hosted by John Hockenberry. The discussion was about disaster preparedness – or, more to the point – disaster unpreparedness. The severe weather over the holidays and the resulting chaos had me thinking about this interview once again. The discussion was about how few people are truly prepared to respond to a disaster. And the trick to this issue is that individuals and families really need to look to themselves and their communities as their own first responders. If it’s difficult for trained, professional responders to get to your community right away, then you will be dependent upon your own supplies for that interim amount of time. And if you are the home on the block that has prepared, might you not feel called to share that preparedness with the most vulnerable in your community? In fact, experts say that you should plan to do so. Essentially, you are preparing not only for you and your family, but also for those around you who will be in need of emergency supplies.
In the Close to Home marketplace we have many small homes for sale. A buyer can take their pick – from micro homes to shipping container homes to yurts and back to tiny homes on wheels. A buyer will find an array of choices on our site.
We created the marketplace concept at Close to Home because we want to empower people who are looking for housing after a disaster. We understand that housing needs are different in various communities – there are needs for varying price points, aesthetics, size, etc. in order to appeal to people living in vastly different communities. And we want to empower people with choice and an option to live small as they rebuild alongside their neighbors.
Back in 2011, the United States saw a housing crisis of sorts – a housing crisis that followed the rash of tornadoes that hit the United States in record numbers that year. The number of deaths due to the tornadoes was 551, with the damages totaling 28 billion U.S. dollars. Close to Home recognized the …
Yes, the news can seem dire. Another tornado, a storm, a flood, lives lost, homes destroyed, families and their larger communities devastated. The cameras and news teams leave after the major tragedies are caught on film. Then what happens? Good things. Good things happen. Volunteers come out of the woodwork. Some are with highly trained crews; others are individuals from a neighboring town. Even more are locals. More people come because the same thing happened to them a few years ago. The common thread between all of these people who show up to help is that they want to do good work. They want to feel helpful, connected, to give hope and possibility at a time when it is hardest for the victims to see that possibility.
At Close to Home we are working to get our products out into the world – to the people who need them. We’ve spent some time this last fall learning more about the needs for housing in Pateros, WA a community that lost about 100 homes due to the wildfires of this past summer. They are one of the communities impacted by the Carlton Complex wildfires – which impacted numerous communities within the beloved Methow Valley (around 300 homes were lost in total). The recovery efforts are in full swing – especially with the coming of spring and better weather for building.
I sit here on this Saturday evening, excited and ready to launch the Close to Home Marketplace this coming week. This project is one that started for me back in 2011. It’s been a really interesting learning journey – one that I’ve taken with numerous friends, both old and new. The news cycles of the …
We chose the name, “Close to Home”, last summer, during a group brainstorming session within the Seattle business incubator, “Kick”. We wanted to convey our work at its core – post-disaster housing solutions – available to help keep a disaster-impacted community as close to home as possible. We are motivated in our work to help …
Jennifer Williams and I are in Washington, IL this week. Washington was hit by an EF-4 tornado last November 17. The storm damaged over 1000 homes and we wanted to visit Washington to see where the town is in its recovery less than three months after the disaster.
We spent Monday surveying the damage and rebuilding efforts. We saw what one might expect – a very mixed picture of where people are right now. Some homes are well on the way to being rebuilt, others are in a surreal state – the front of the house ripped off – exposing still made beds, other furniture still on the second story – clothes hanging in the closets. The only thing that makes these pictures bearable at this point in the story is the sound of hammering and sawing in the background – comforting sounds in this community determined to build back stronger than ever.
On December 30, Rachel visited Greensburg, Kansas, the town that rebuilt sustainably after being hit by a devastating tornado in 2007. Close to Home continues to find inspiration in the lessons that Greensburg has learned and shares with other communities that are rebuilding post-disaster. Rachel met with Mayor Bob Dixson and Greensburg GreenTown’s Jana Schwartz & Ruth Ann Wedel. …
The City of Greensburg, Kansas, was struck by an EF5 tornado (winds in excess of 200 mph) on May 4, 2007. Ninety-five percent of the infrastructure of Greensburg was demolished that night – only three buildings remained, none of them residential. Eleven people lost their lives.
Rachel Stamm (Founder) and Erin Hulme (Advisory Board) traveled to Greensburg in March of 2013 to learn more about the story of Greensburg first-hand. Close to Home is a business that has been further inspired by the personal stories heard during that visit. The quality of disaster response has an important impact on a community’s ability to recover and restore post-disaster. That lesson informs our work at Close to Home. The story of Greensburg and its residents has become a beacon of hope as well as a valuable resource for other towns and residents recovering from natural disasters.
The idea that evolved into the business model that is now “Close to Home”, was sparked in the spring of 2011 during the rash of tornadoes that hit the United States. 2011 saw the second largest number of tornadoes recorded in one year’s time. I watched the news reports with concern. The tornado outbreaks occurred, …
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