Debbie's Blog April 22, 2024

The Crossroads of Comfort: Should You Invest in Home Improvements or Start Fresh Somewhere New?

Deciding between making home improvements or moving to a new house is a significant crossroads. This choice not only impacts your financial status but also your daily living experience and future goals. Understanding the multifaceted nature of this decision requires a careful examination of several critical factors.

In today’s post on the Windmere Real Estate blog, we explore what to consider if you find yourself unsure about whether to make updates or find a new property.

Assess the Housing Market

Begin by immersing yourself in the local housing market trends. The fluctuating dynamics between a buyer’s and a seller’s market can significantly influence your decision. In a seller’s market, where demand surpasses supply, selling your current home could fetch a premium, making relocation an attractive option. Conversely, in a buyer’s market, with homes lingering for sale, investing in renovations might be a more prudent choice, potentially increasing your home’s value for a future sale.

Reevaluate Space Needs

As life evolves, so do your space requirements. Assess if your current home can adapt to these changes through renovations. Explore the potential for expansion, keeping in mind any structural or zoning limitations. Sometimes, the ability to modify your existing space can make staying put a more attractive option than dealing with the uncertainties of moving.

The Weight of Emotional Connections

Your home is more than just a structure; it’s a tapestry of memories and connections. Reflect on the sentimental value your home holds and the roots you’ve laid down in your community. Are the friendships, convenience, and comfort of your neighborhood something you’re ready to leave behind? For many, the emotional ties to their current home tip the scales in favor of renovating over relocating.

Calculate Renovation ROI

Before diving into home improvements, it’s crucial to pinpoint which renovations yield the highest return on investment. Projects that enhance your home’s functionality, boost energy efficiency, or improve curb appeal are often the most beneficial. Prioritizing these improvements can not only make your living space more enjoyable but also increase your property’s market value.

Align with Long-Term Goals

When weighing the decision to renovate your home or relocate, it’s crucial to align this choice with your long-term aspirations, such as career progression, family growth, or lifestyle changes. This strategic alignment ensures that your decision not only meets your immediate needs but also propels you toward your broader life goals. Opting for a choice that meshes well with where you see yourself in the future transforms it into a valuable asset on your path to success.

The Importance of Professional Guidance

Navigating the complexities of this decision benefits greatly from professional insight. Consulting with real estate agents, contractors, architects, and financial advisors can offer a clearer understanding of the feasibility and financial implications of your options. Their expertise can illuminate paths you may not have considered on your own.

Establish a Financial Framework

Understanding your financial capacity is paramount. Establish a budget that encompasses all potential costs, whether for renovations or relocation. This budget should include not just the immediate expenses but also long-term considerations like ongoing maintenance or mortgage differences. A clear financial framework aids in making a choice that doesn’t overextend your resources.

Use a Home Maintenance App

Leveraging a home maintenance and repair app for affordable repairs can be a game-changer. These apps streamline the process of scheduling service appointments and monitoring the progress of their repairs. With access to a wealth of information about their home’s systems and appliances, users can make informed decisions about the available services provided. Additionally, these apps facilitate connections with service professionals who can provide competitive quotes, ensuring cost-effective maintenance and improvements.


Choosing between renovating your current home or moving to a new one is a decision that extends beyond mere preference. It’s about aligning your choice with your financial reality, emotional attachments, space requirements, and long-term goals. By carefully evaluating these factors, you can make a decision that not only meets your immediate needs but also positions you for future success and satisfaction.

Dive into your next real estate adventure with expert guidance from Windermere Real Estate. Reach out today to get started!

Debbie's Blog March 28, 2024

Starting Fresh: How to Navigate a New Beginning After Setbacks

Embarking on a journey in a new city, especially after experiencing personal setbacks, presents a blend of daunting challenges and exhilarating opportunities. It’s akin to standing before a blank canvas, with the city offering a vast expanse for your unique brushstrokes of life experiences and aspirations. This guide from Debbie Wise is meticulously crafted to equip you with essential strategies and insights that will enable you to navigate this fresh chapter of your life with both confidence and grace.


Dive Deep into Local Knowledge

Your first step is to immerse yourself in extensive research about your new locale. Delve into the specifics of different neighborhoods, understanding their unique vibes and safety levels. Make sure you understand what kind of home you want, and research home prices and features in the area. Also, grasp the pulse of the job market and the cost of living. Explore the cultural tapestry of your new city, from local festivals to culinary delights. This knowledge isn’t just power; it’s your roadmap to a smooth transition.


Finding Financial Footing with Employment

Securing a job before your move is crucial for financial stability. Tap into the power of online job portals, professional networks, and recruitment agencies. These resources are your allies, helping you land a role that aligns with your skills and career aspirations. Remember, a steady income is your anchor in this new phase.


Chasing New Dreams

Use this relocation as a launchpad to chase your dreams. Perhaps it’s pivoting to a new career or nurturing your own venture. For instance, if nursing is your calling, you can boost your career with an online MSN degree. These programs offer flexibility to balance work and studies, opening doors to specializations like nurse education, informatics, administration, and more. This is your chance to align your career with your passions; take advantage of the digital age by pursuing online education.


Mastering the Art of Budgeting

Craft a budget that reflects your new circumstances. Keep a vigilant eye on your expenses, categorizing and monitoring them. Adjustments may be necessary as you settle in, but a well-managed budget is the bedrock of your financial well-being in your new environment.


Transplanting Your Business Ventures

If you’re relocating your business, there are crucial steps to consider. First, you must create a business plan that sets your venture up for success. Then, go through your finances and devise a strategy for building your business in the first few years.


You might also start looking to find free business cards templates to update your contact details. Personalize these templates with your unique style, fonts, and images to ensure your business card reflects the essence of your brand in your new locale. Make sure all the information on your card is updated so people know how to reach you. This is more than a logistical step; it’s a symbol of planting your entrepreneurial roots in new soil.


Building Social Bridges

Forge connections in your new city by joining local clubs, groups, or community activities. Whether it’s a book club, a sports team, or a volunteer group, these platforms are gateways to building a supportive social network. These connections can transform your new city from a place you live in to a place you belong to.


Embracing the Unfamiliar

In your new city, a mosaic of experiences eagerly awaits your exploration. Dare to step beyond your comfort zone and immerse yourself in the unfamiliar, from tantalizing local cuisine to unique cultural practices. Each new encounter promises to enrich your life and contributes significantly to your journey of personal growth.


Prioritizing Your Well-Being

Never underestimate the importance of self-care during this transitional phase. Maintain a healthy lifestyle, seek emotional support when necessary, and carve out time for relaxation. This balance is essential for your well-being, helping you navigate your new environment with resilience and positivity.


Final Thoughts

Starting fresh in a new city after personal setbacks is not just about physical relocation; it’s a transformative journey. It’s about laying down roots in uncharted territory, building bridges with new communities, and pursuing dreams with renewed vigor. With these strategies, you’re stepping into a realm of possibilities – ready to rewrite your story with bold, confident strokes. Embrace this chapter with an open heart and an adventurous spirit. Your new beginning awaits!


Debbie Wise is the trustworthy realtor you’ve been looking for. Reach out today to get started!

Debbie's Blog August 8, 2023

Home Security Guide For Seniors Who Live Alone

Living alone can be challenging no matter a person’s age, but certain issues are especially prevalent for seniors. Check out the following blog on ways seniors can stay safe while living alone!

When you’re ready to sell your home and purchase a new one, connect with skilled REALTOR® Debbie Wise for local expertise and exceptional service!  (253) 973-0866

Debbie's Blog July 6, 2023

A Guide to Buying a Home to Age-in-Place

Many older people choose to live in their own homes instead of care communities, a term referred to as aging in place. Check out the following blog on some tips to aging in place!

When you’re ready to sell your home and purchase a new one, connect with skilled REALTOR® Debbie Wise for local expertise and exceptional service!  (253) 973-0866

Debbie's Blog May 4, 2022

How to Sell Your Home Quicker and Faster Than Ever

Deciding to sell your home is a cause for celebration. And closing the deal faster is even better. But how do you further expedite the sales process when the market seems to be dragging? It is possible. Here are some tips to help your home sell quicker and faster than ever, courtesy of Windermere Real Estate.

Focus on the exterior

One of the first things that catch a potential home buyer’s eye is your property’s exterior more than anything else. Also known as curb appeal, this is the initial impression someone has of your house from the curb even before they get the chance to step into your home.

Therefore, to create the best first impression possible, it may be a good idea to concentrate your revamping efforts on the exterior of your home before everything else to ensure that potential home buyers don’t pass you by.

Why your front yard matters

According to research, many potential homebuyers say that a well-maintained garden is a significant deciding factor in their purchasing decision. In fact, one could even go so far as to say that curb appeal could even make or break the deal – that’s how important it is.

But maintaining a well-kept garden and keeping it immaculate at all times can be challenging to do if you don’t have the know-how. This is where you should enlist a landscaper’s help to help your garden look the best it can be. Professional landscapers will know what type of greenery will look best in your garden. And which styles will suit the theme and overall look of your home.

They will also have the background knowledge and design skills to make plants, flowers, and shrubbery look like they were meant to be there. And to make it look complimentary to the look you envision for your home, taking into account what’s popular or trending to encourage buyers to want to see more.

Freelance or agency?

Choosing the right landscapers to work with is vital to ensure you make the most of every penny while still getting the professional look you’re after. Freelance designers are a great option here, as they often provide more flexibility concerning what you want and are open to incorporating your ideas with their own to make your landscape look one-of-a-kind as opposed to run-of-the-mill. And in turn, it can boost your chances of getting your house noticed even more.

Make your home shine

After tending to your garden and making sure it’s in tip-top shape, the next thing you want to do is focus on making your home shine. That could mean adding a fresh coat of paint to your front entrance, fixing up loose gutters, and making sure your roof looks good by repairing any loose or broken roof tiles.

This could even go on to include giving your windows and window panes a good scrub and even a free coat of paint also. Or perhaps your fencing needs a bit of refurbishment, or your storage areas need a complete overhaul. What matters most here is paying attention to areas that are an eyesore, which can negatively deter buyers and sway their decision to purchase.

Inside, you can try out peel and stick wallpaper to look for rooms that need to catch the eye. This will freshen up rooms without the mess of repainting. What’s more, you can swap out designs and colors since these options don’t use strong adhesives.

Hard work pays off

At the end of the day, if you’ve made an effort to enhance your home’s curb appeal, your hard work is sure to pay off in a profitable sense. But you’re also likely to land a sale quicker too if that’s your aim.


Once you’ve got your home ready to sell, contact Debbie Wise to begin marketing your property.

Debbie's Blog April 18, 2022

How to Avoid Buying a Lemon and Negotiate a Fair Price for a Home

Every homebuyer’s biggest fear is buying a lemon. A few minor issues are normal when buying a home, but if major problems aren’t noticed until after the sale is closed, homebuyers are on the hook for thousands of dollars in repairs—thousands of dollars they probably don’t have. If you’re in the market for a home, learn how to avoid overpaying or buying a money pit. These tips from Windermere Real Estate can help you get started.

Know What You Can Afford

Before you jump into searching for a new home, you should have a considerable grasp on what you can afford in a monthly mortgage payment. Assess your budget, accounting for additional costs like maintenance and emergencies, to get a rough idea of how much you can comfortably pay. Next, survey the various loans available to you. From FHA to VA to conventional and more, there are quite a few options. Once you find an ideal fit, shop around for lenders, and work on getting preapproved.

There are some loans available that do not require a down payment. If you decide that will not work for you either, you can always look for apartments near Seattle which will allow you to save for your down payment while living in the area. With nearly 5,000 apartments available, you’re sure to find one that suits your needs.

Understanding the True Value of a Home

To avoid overpaying, buyers need to understand the true value of a home they’re interested in. A home’s market value is affected by its size, location, condition, and the current market, meaning it’s a number that’s constantly in flux. The best way to assess the market value of a home is through comparative market analysis.  Online tools are handy and will give you a rough idea, but they are not privy to the condition of the house. Instead, ask your trusted Real Estate agent to do a market analysis prior to making an offer on a house you are interested in.  That is one of the many reasons to work with a professional.

Why Home Inspections Are a Must

The estimated value of a home is based on the assumption that it’s in good condition. However, problems hidden within could make a home worth much less than its list price. That’s why home inspections are so important. Without an inspection, there’s no way to know if the home you’re buying is move-in ready or needs costly repairs.

Home Inspections and As-Is Homes

Home inspections get complicated when it comes to as-is homes. While some as-is sellers allow inspections, most only permit informational inspections after a purchase agreement is signed. In some cases, as-is only refers to specific features of the home and not the property as a whole. If considering an as-is property, buyers need to understand exactly what’s meant by as-is and be ready to walk away if a seller won’t permit an inspection contingency.

What About Seller Disclosure Requirements?

It’s true that many states require sellers to disclose known issues with a property, but that doesn’t mean buyers should put total faith in a seller’s honesty. Additionally, some states only require a few seller disclosures, such as lead-based paint and septic systems. Sellers only have to disclose other material defects if asked.

Negotiating an Offer: Repair Options for Buyers

When a home inspection turns up significant repair and maintenance concerns, buyers have two options: walk away, or negotiate. If a home has foundation problems, water damage, major plumbing and electrical issues, or termites, it’s usually better to walk away. These problems are expensive to fix—if they can be fixed at all.

Other repairs can be negotiated in the offer. For example, if an inspection reveals structural defects, building code violations, or other major problems that affect financing, sellers are generally expected to pay for repairs. Other repairs fall in a gray area. While little problems generally aren’t worth quibbling over, buyers may want to ask sellers to cover reasonable repairs like electrical panels, roofing, drainage, and HVAC problems.

If a seller agrees to pay for repairs, buyers must decide if they want the seller to complete them too. While having repairs done before move-in is convenient, many buyers prefer to oversee the work themselves to ensure it’s done to their standards. If that’s your preference, ask for a price reduction rather than requesting the seller makes repairs

If a seller isn’t willing to pay, buyers can request a credit in lieu of repairs. With a credit, the buyer pays for repairs, but the costs are rolled into the mortgage so it doesn’t require cash on hand. However, not all mortgage loans allow credits in lieu of repairs.

A home is the biggest purchase you’ll ever make, so it’s important to do your due diligence. Instead of getting caught up in a home’s charm, look below the surface for problems that threaten to turn your dream home into a money pit. Only by doing your homework and being prepared to negotiate can you be confident that you’re getting a great home at a great price.

This article is brought to you by Windermere Real Estate, where Debbie Wise treats each transaction and client the same, whether it is a high-end luxury home or a first-time starter home. For more information, please contact us today!

Debbie's Blog February 18, 2022

The Benefits of Downsizing: Tips and Resources to Help You Get Started

At one time, you may have wanted a large home with plenty of space and modern conveniences, but as time has marched on, you now recognize the ease of living that a smaller home could bring. Downsizing before retirement allows for a simpler lifestyle and eliminates the expense that comes with owning a larger home. And when it comes to the size of your home, less can often be more.

If you’re contemplating a downsize in the near future, here are some tips you need to know.

Getting Organized

Seniors that live in large houses often use only a few of the rooms in the house, leaving the rest as storage space to collect clutter. Having a smaller home can lead to the decluttering of your living space, and as studies have revealed, the presence of a lot of clutter negatively affects mental well-being. Conversely, getting rid of excess possessions has a very positive effect on mood and self-esteem.

Out with the Old

Clearing your home of unwanted possessions can increase the enjoyment of living in that space and reduce stress. Removing old furniture that hasn’t been used in years and outdated electronic equipment creates additional living space. It also offers a new lease on life once the burden of all your unwanted possessions has been eliminated.

A Healthier Lifestyle

Downsizing can lead to increased opportunities for exercise. Living in a suburban community can leave seniors feeling isolated. A move to a condominium in an urban environment can eliminate the need to drive, as everything is within walking distance of your new home.

Financial Benefits

You may have a good amount of equity in your home, depending on how long you’ve lived there. Buying a smaller and more affordable home will allow you to profit from the sale of your older, larger home. This can assist in saving money for the future, rather than spending everything on the upkeep of your home. And with more money to save and invest, you will have greater financial freedom.

Improved Quality of Life

Not only can downsizing save you money, but it can also dramatically improve your quality of life in your retirement years. You will be able to relocate to a home much closer to your family, allowing you to spend quality time with them. When choosing your new home’s location, remember to consider climate, proximity to your family, hospitals in the area, the crime rate, and the presence of shopping and entertainment venues.

If you’re not retired yet and are still working from home, remember to still prioritize having enough space for an office so you can work comfortably and productively. This doesn’t have to be a large space, but as ZenBusiness details, it should be outfitted with the right furniture, wiring, and accessories.

Downsizing Tips

  • Allow plenty of time for the downsizing process
  • Start the process in a room that holds little emotional attachment
  • Do away with duplicates
  • Sell your discarded items on Craigslist, eBay, or in yard sales

If you are in need of a moving company, simply search online for local movers in your area, and then read the reviews posted online. Meet with the company beforehand and insist on a written quote. A legitimate moving company will also need to inspect your home before they are able to calculate the cost of moving your household.

A Positive Move

Downsizing can be a financially lucrative and emancipating experience. Purchasing a smaller and less expensive home will save you a lot of money in the long run and leave you free to move to any community or location you choose, free of the constraints of maintaining a large, high-maintenance home.

When you’re ready to sell your home and purchase a new one, connect with skilled realtor Debbie Wise for local expertise and exceptional service!  (253) 973-0866

Debbie's Blog February 1, 2022

Moving Closer to Your Senior Loved One? Read This First

Becoming a family caregiver is a big decision, especially when moving to a different city or state. However, if your senior loved one needs more attention and care, then you want someone who knows them well and loves them dearly—like you!

Along with preparing for the new challenges and rewards that will come as a caregiver, you must figure out the logistics of your move. Will you move in with your loved one or buy your own place? Will you buy a home for both of you or help your loved one move into assisted living? Below, Debbie Wise provides some practical advice for navigating the process.

Assessing Your Loved One’s Needs

Before planning your relocation, try to evaluate your loved one’s condition. Besides helping you gauge whether they need your support immediately or if you have some time, this will help you determine precisely what kind of care your loved one needs.

Assess your loved one’s medical condition(s), hygiene challenges, safety concerns, mobility troubles, mental acuity, and social needs. Also, figure out how many household tasks they need assistance with. Once you have some answers, you can confidently plan your move.

Purchasing a Home

After evaluating your loved one’s needs, you should have a better idea of what kind of living situation would work best for both of you. If you choose to buy a home in your new city, make sure the house has everything you need to live safely and comfortably. And if your loved one will be living with you, you will need to consider their needs as well.

Does your new home accommodate the challenges your loved one faces each day, or will you need to make some modifications? Are the neighbors friendly, and is your neighborhood safe? Are there pharmacies, grocery stores, and medical facilities nearby? These are the types of questions you will need to ask as you hunt for a new house.

If you are buying a house, be sure to work with an experienced realtor like Debbie Wise. Along with helping you find the ideal property, your realtor can help you navigate virtually every other step in the home buying process.

Moreover, review your finances and determine what type of mortgage you should seek. Since lenders will gauge your affordability on your debt-to-income ratio, calculate your DTI to get an idea of what kind of mortgage you can qualify for. Simply divide all of your monthly debt by your gross monthly income.

Exploring Other Living Options

You have other options than buying a new house for yourself and your loved one. Assisted living is a popular type of housing for seniors because it is designed for older adults who need special medical and personal care.

Most assisted living homes are designed to accommodate the individual’s independence, and services are typically available for daily living assistance. Depending on the facility, your loved one’s living space can be an apartment, an individual room, or a shared space.

If your loved one wishes to stay in their current home, you might consider in-home care or home medical care. In-home care generally involves assistance with daily activities (e.g., eating, bathing, cleaning, etc.) and companionship and socialization. As your loved one’s primary caregiver, you will probably be handling most of these responsibilities, but you might benefit from hiring an additional person to help.

If your loved one needs higher-level medical care and therapy, you might need to bring in a home health aid. These professionals are specially trained to conduct treatment, administer injections, and perform many other duties.

If you have recently decided to become a caregiver, it’s time to get ready for your new chapter. Evaluate your loved one’s condition and take time to research all of the possible living options for yourself and your loved one. Along with heeding the advice above, keep learning other ways to prepare yourself and your loved one for your new journey.

Please contact your Seniors Real Estate Specials, Debbie Wise with Windermere Professional Partners at
253-973-0866 –

Debbie's Blog July 14, 2015

Luxurious 5-Bedroom, 6-Bath Home w/Beautiful Views of Puget Sound, Olympic Mountains & More in University Place

Brimming with an impressive list of amazing features, details and amenities, this premium home in University Place is truly the epitome of luxury living. Located at 3314 Soundview Dr W, University Place, WA 98466, this vacation-worthy home provides breathtaking views of the Puget Sound, Olympic mountain range and Fox Island. With a generous 5 bedrooms and 6 baths, this 6,684 sq. ft. oasis is made up of 2 stories with a basement. Built in 2006, this like-new home is listed for $1,297,500.

With no detail or expense spared, this residence offers elegance and ultimate comfort and their finest! A beautiful, well-designed exterior welcomes you home, and invites you into a sophisticated foyer that is just a hint of what’s to come. An open-living concept with vaulted ceilings create a spacious feel, and wide windows throughout show off the property’s picturesque views. Crown molding, French doors, travertine tile, and rich hardwood floors are a few of the exquisite details included.

An exquisite living room, formal dining room, gourmet kitchen and adjoined living space provide ample area to spread out in and relax. Have a quiet cup of coffee in the kitchen-side living area on the couch while you enjoy views of sailboats passing by, or host an elaborate dinner party at night with lights sparkling across the water in the background—this versatile home has it all! When it’s time to unwind, head to the sauna, and then cozy up in the exquisite master suite. Amazing views right from the comfort of your bed are only made better with a warm fire crackling in the suite’s stately fireplace.

A fully finished basement comes complete with a drop-down projection screen (perfect for hosting movie nights!) and a gas range stove for added ease and convenience. A built-in vacuum and central air with A/C are also part of the package! This home takes comfort and convenience into account, as much as it does attention to detail and design.

Living in University Place

A wonderful city known for its community, University Place is a suburban area with a vibrant atmosphere. Opportunities for outdoor enjoyment are especially prevalent, and places like Chambers Bay offer plenty of opportunity to head out into nature, right in your own backyard! University Place—often simply referred to as “UP,”—is also ideal for commuters due to its close proximity to Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Interstate 5, Highway 16, and more.

Interested in learning more about this listing? Contact REALTOR® Debbie Homeyer online here or give her a call/text at (253) 973-0866!

Debbie's Blog October 8, 2014

“Top of Tacoma Bar & Café” a Unique neighborhood bar

This bar is located in a neighborhood you may not think to go to.  When driving by, it looks like your typical neighborhood bar.  When you walk in, it looks like your typical neighborhood bar.  However, when you look at the menu, it's NOT your typical neighborhood bar.  When you taste their food, you'll know NOT your typical neighborhood bar.  Top of Tacoma Bar & Café prides themselves on non processed cheeses and meats.  All of their sauces and dressings are made in house.  Their produce is largely organic and their bread is from Macrina Bakery.  I have never met the owner and do not know any of the employees, I just truly love the food they have at this great neighborhood bar!