Why I hate your House Plants

How could anyone “hate” house plants?  I know, I just made some enemies.  As I have come to know over the years, your house plants are these docile, often forgotten looking, affectionate things in random containers throughout your houses.  Many of these “family members” have stayed with you over the years, moved with you, been gifted to you by mothers-in-laws, given to you by neighbors, and are almost invisible comforting treasures you don’t even really think about.  The fact that you don’t think about them is evidenced by at least half of them looking like they almost died last week, two weeks ago, 3 months ago, and frankly, are probably almost always on the verge of dying, except for the last minute watering that revives them and reminds you they are special little things to be loved and cared for.

Blog Pics.JPGI say all of this in pure judgement, finger pointing accusation.  The only flaw in my argument is that I am one of you.  Maybe not to the extreme of some, but I too have 1 house plant I cannot part with. I have a love/hate relationship with it. It is a giant spiky leafy plant/tree (don’t even know what kind) that moved in 12 years ago and since then has made a  permanent mark on my wood floor, is outgrowing its pot, the leaves are always half brown and when I finally water it, it reaches out and hugs me, so I keep it . In addition, my husband Mike has 5 or 6 in our home at one time depending on how well the resuscitation goes each month. His plants live with plastic containers under them to keep from staining the ledge they sit on. For those who argue that plants give oxygen, I’m not sure these particular plants are fully up for their intended duties.

UntitledHere’s where the tough part comes in.  You call me to sell your home.  I come over as any good Realtor and we talk about “Getting the home ready for market.”  One of the tasks is de-cluttering, and turning the house from a home into a product for maximum appeal.  It’s fairly easy for me to talk you into putting away the toaster, the 35 spatulas in the utensil holder, and the kitchen sponge that has been in the family since your first child was born.  But for some reason…..the house plants always cause for pause.  Surely I don’t mean ALL the house plants do I?  Yep, I do.   All of them.  Here’s why.

Home buyers are starting their home search online.  To help sell your home we hire a high-end photographer to take pics and videos that highlight the home and give tours through the home.  Pictures are 2-D and any medium objects such as house plants block the view of the room, the view between rooms, or the view outside.  In addition, the smaller plants look like do-dads in pictures, which are distracting. The goal is to help the buyer purchase the space, not the items in the space.

Plant Staging

Unfortunately there is a genuine cause for alarm. What do you do with house plants that you can’t have in your house?  If you have natural light, and a warm garage, you could put them in there.  If that doesn’t work, it will need to be part of the strategic planning, along with things such as Fido and kiddos.  One tactic might be to ask a friend to watch your kids and your pets, and when they hesitate, offer the house plants instead….they will gladly care for them while you get your house sold.

Posted on February 18, 2016 at 10:34 pm
Jennifer Clukey | Category: Jennifer

February King County Market Update

Check out this months King County Market Update. Click to make the image bigger and check out our blog at the same time!

Feb 2016

Posted on February 16, 2016 at 12:18 am
Jennifer Clukey | Category: Real Estate

February Events

Check out the events around the Puget Sound for the month of February. Click on the image to make it larger and check out our blog at the same time!

February 2016

Posted on February 2, 2016 at 3:59 pm
Jennifer Clukey | Category: Events Near You, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , ,

New Girl in Town – Cheap Eats around Seattle

Happy almost February everyone! It’s Katie, Mike and Jennifer’s assistant, again. This month’s adventure has taken me all over the Seattle area. Recently, the Seattle Times came out with an article titled, “Top 20 new cheap eats for 2016.” So, I took it upon myself to try as many restaurants on this list as possible. So far, I have been to three of the twenty: El Sirenito, Jackson’s Catfish Corner, and CaliBurger.

IMG_3723First, I visited El Sirenito in Georgetown right next door to Fonda La Catrina. I found out from the bartender that the restaurants are owned by the same people, but El Sirenito is more similar to a tapas restaurant. It is a small restaurant with plain wood siding, a wire fence in front and no sign on the building. (If you have never been to this area of town I suggest looking at Google Maps beforehand) Also, there is very limited parking in this area of Georgetown so I parked down the alley with everyone else. Inside El Sirenito it is very nice and a bit fancier with a bar and kitchen to your left and tables to your right. They also have a small area in back with a couple chairs and a fire. Once seated at the bar, I ordered chips and salsa, a shrimp taco and a rockfish taco. I
o (1).jpgordered the tacos because according to a yelp review this is the best fish taco place in all of Seattle. The chips were crunchy and tasted amazing with the salsa. I haven’t had many fish tacos but these were so delicious! They bread the fish and top it with lettuce, tomatoes, onions and something pink. Then they layered it all on corn tortillas. It was wonderful and I would recommend this restaurant to anyone!

IMG_3717Second, Jackson’s Catfish Corner is located in Rainier Valley. It is in a very residential neighborhood that I had never heard of. Beware that parking is very limited and the parking lot doubles as a car wash, which happened to be busy the day I went. The building isn’t too big but the sign is definitely easy to spot. Now, to start this off I come from the land of Friday Night Fish Fry’s so I love any kind of battered fish and I have had my fair share. However, comparing southern style catfish to a beer battered fish fry isn’t easy. I ordered the catfish fillets and fries. They bread their catfish using corn meal, so it has a great crunch over the tender catfish. Another fact about this restaurant is that they use homemade tartar sauce. The tartar sauce is a reddish color because of the secrets spices they add. The catfish, tartar sauce, and fries were delicious. The catfish was perfectly breaded and cooked while the tartar sauce complimented it perfectly! I would definitely go to Jackson’s Catfish corner again and maybe order some hushpuppies too!

oLastly, CaliBurger is located in the U District. Almost everyone should know about CaliBurger in the U District because it is super similar to In-N-Out Burger. However, In-N-Out Burger hasn’t made it far enough north yet, so we have to settle for this. In my opinion, it tasted exactly like In-N-Out Burger. I ordered the plain hamburger and fries. The fries looked like they were made from an actual potato and they were lightly salted. They complimented the burger perfectly. It’s a good place to grab a burger if you are in the U District, but the Yelp reviews make me give it a second thought. It was good enough, but I’ve definitely had better burgers.

Overall, I would have to say that the best restaurant so far is El Sirenito. The tacos were so tasty and had lots of flavor. The chips and salsa were crispy and wonderful. Also, compared to the two other restaurants I tried the combined atmosphere, food and people made for a good time. I think El Sirenito would be a cool place to grab a drink in the summer and hang out by the fire. However, I still have seventeen more restaurants to try so this opinion may change as I go.

Posted on January 29, 2016 at 2:53 pm
Jennifer Clukey | Category: Katie's Adventures, Uncategorized | Tagged ,

January King County Market Update

Check out this months King County Market Update. Click to make the image bigger and check out our blog at the same time!

Jan 2016

Posted on January 15, 2016 at 12:39 pm
Jennifer Clukey | Category: Real Estate, Uncategorized | Tagged

January Events

Here are your area events for the month of January! Click on the image to make it larger and check out our blog!


Posted on January 8, 2016 at 12:13 pm
Jennifer Clukey | Category: Events Near You, Uncategorized | Tagged , ,

New Girl in Town – Bellevue/Snowflake Lane

Hello again from Jennifer and Mike’s assistant, Katie. This month I took a trip to Snowflake Lane in Bellevue. If you don’t already know, Bellevue is right across Lake Washington from Seattle. Snowflake lane is a performance put on in the middle of the street every night at 7pm on Bellevue Way. It is a holiday show where people dance in the middle of the street with Christmas music playing around them.


I started the night off by getting to Bellevue Square extra early to guarantee myself a parking spot and a good view of Snowflake Lane. I was there so early I went to grab dinner at Tavern Hall. Tavern Hall looks like an old English pub that has been updated and being that it is in Bellevue it’s updated nicely. It was a little busy that night because a group was having their holiday office party. However, they have this super cool waiting system. They use an app to tell them how long the wait is for each table. Then they text your phone when your table is ready. You can also download the app to check what your wait time is. After about 20 minutes I got seated and ordered the Cuban sandwich. It was super delicious and I would definitely go to this restaurant again. About 30 minutes before Snowflake Lane was about to start I found a spot right in front and waited.

Photo # 9781IMG142114

If you haven’t been to Snowflake Lane I suggest you should go at least once. However, it doesn’t seem necessary to go more than once unless you have kids that want to go. The whole production was definitely more focused on kids and their families. So it was something to see, but not something I would go to again. Also, being that I’m from Wisconsin, the whole experience would have been ten times better if there was snow.

Posted on December 28, 2015 at 6:51 pm
Jennifer Clukey | Category: Katie's Adventures

December King County Market Update

Check out this months King County Market Update. Click to make the image bigger and check out our blog at the same time!

Dec 2015 Market Update

Posted on December 16, 2015 at 6:23 pm
Jennifer Clukey | Category: Real Estate, Uncategorized | Tagged

Holiday Travel

Twas the week after Christmas and all through the house….not a creature was stirring, except one swimming mouse. Swimming mouse???  Ok, there was no mouse, but if there was he would have been swimming for his life!!  Here’s what happened.

download (2)Some clients of ours, Dave and Wendy, packed up their Christmas and 3 young boys, as they do each year, and headed for their cabin in Montana. They would enjoy cutting down their own tree behind the cabin, waiting for Santa to squeeze down their 3-story chimney on Christmas Eve, and frolic in the vast amounts of snow. As planned, the Christmas holiday went “swimmingly” well until they pulled into their driveway back in Kent, a week later, after a 9 hour drive across treacherous winter roads. The 3 kids peeled out of the car, all needing a bathroom break, grumpy, tired, and on Dad’s last nerve. As the kids piled out of the car, mom Wendy headed toward the door to start the great migration back into the house. As she turned the knob and went to step inside, the water came rolling out the door and down the steps. The entire one-story house held a few feet of standing water and the water was still running.  Thus began the $100,000 home restoration project.  The pipe in the wall had burst while they were away and the water had been running for several days.

So, what is the moral of the story?  Don’t go on vacation? Nope. Dave and Wendy would tell you that every time they go on vacation now, they turn the water off at the water shutoff in their closet. They open the tap in the sink and let the water in the lines run out so no pressure is left.

porchlight.jpgHere are some things your family can do while traveling for the holiday season. Personally, we have joined them in the vacation water shutoff protocol. In addition, we go online and have our mail held by the post office, leave our front porch lights on, leave our thermostat at 60 degrees, and let our neighbors know we will be gone so they can watch the house.

Cheers to a safe and dry holiday season!

Posted on December 15, 2015 at 10:35 pm
Jennifer Clukey | Category: Jennifer, Uncategorized | Tagged ,

New Girl in Town – U District

Hello again. It’s Katie, assistant to Mike and Jennifer, and this latest adventure has taken me to the University District. As the name says, the area is north of the city where the University of Washington is located.

IMG_3577While in the U District I focused most of my attention on the University Village shopping area. I was told that Amazon had opened a bookstore in the U Village. This seemed weird to me because Amazon is so focused on online sales. However, the concept of this Amazon bookstore was very interesting because they only sell the top rated books from Amazon.com and each book has a plaque in front with a customer review. Also, the books they sell are mainly focused on the Seattle shopper. This allows them to sell a very specific set of books so they don’t sit on the shelves forever. I personally love bookstores and this one was well organized with a great selection of books. There was a special area in the center of the store for all the Amazon electronics and the surrounding area was shelves full of books.

IMG_3574After the fun filled trip to the Amazon Bookstore I wandered around U village window shopping at Nike, American Eagle and some smaller stores. While wandering I noticed a place called Specialty’s Café and Bakery, so I decided to go in and see what they had for lunch. I ended up ordering the Turkey Pesto sandwich and it was wonderful! It was perfectly toasty for the cool fall day outside. After I was finished with lunch I drove around the University of Washington campus with no luck in finding a parking spot, so I called it a day. I’ll have to leave that blog post for another day.

Posted on November 25, 2015 at 1:30 pm
Jennifer Clukey | Category: Katie's Adventures | Tagged , ,