Author Archives: Valeriejk

SOLD! Best Value in Neighborhood- 2230 Firerock Ave, Richland, WA

Real estate trends come and go, but this old advice still holds true–buy the lower priced house in the higher priced neighborhood.  Why?  There is potential for increased equity, renovations are more likely to pay off, the neighborhood is desirable, and the land value is likely to appreciate.

2230 Firerock Ave, Richland, WA

Our new listing on 2230 Firerock Avenue in South Richland is a great example, located in Skyline Meadows (up from Gage Blvd), priced at $279,900.  This is significantly lower than typical sales prices for the street, which range from $330,000-$515,000 in the last 7 years.  Not only is the price right, the house is move-in ready and built to the high quality standards of Don Pratt Construction.

Entryway and formal dining room

Inside this 2166 sq feet, 3 bedroom, 2 bath home you’ll find:  brand new carpet, beautiful tile and hardwood flooring, solid granite kitchen countertops, raised and coffered ceilings, high quality throughout.  The master is split from other rooms and has private access to the backyard deck, a large walk-in closet, and a luxurious bathroom with raised cabinets, double sinks, vanity, jetted tub, and tile walk-in shower.  The .26 acre lot is low maintenance (no mow backyard!), with a large patio/deck, plenty of flowering ground cover, walking paths, fruit & evergreen trees.

Call us if you’d like more information or if you’d like to take a look inside.

Click 2230 Firerock Ave to link to featured listing with map, school info, finance tools, and more.  Click 2230 Firerock MLS listing for direct link to MLS listing.

Give us a call if you’d like to see it in person!





$10,000 Price drop – Hansen Park 3 Bdrm

We’ve just dropped the price on our Hansen Park, Kennewick listing by $10,000!  The new price is $219,900 for the immaculate 3 bedroom, 2 bath home with 3 car garage.  You’ll love the kitchen with plenty of cabinets and a huge island, the sunken family room, and the master retreat with walk-in closet and jetted tub. 

The address is 202 S Kansas, Kennewick, WA  99336.  MLS #178769.  Give us a call to see it in person, or for more information, check out our blog post Hansen Park and our featured listing with map, pictures, school info and more at 202 S Kansas.


Gearing up for Spring Home Sales

We are still scraping ice and shoveling snow in the Tri-Cities, but at the same time we’re gearing up for spring home sales.  Why so soon?  Several friends have approached us with the possibility of listing their home, and the question always comes up–when is the best time to list?  The answer is whenever the time is right for you, but according to statistics, that may well be February. 

Residential Sales 2011 - Richland, W Richland, Pasco, Kennewick

 Referring to the 2011 monthly chart, you’ll notice a few spikes in residential sales.  The first spike was in March.  Sales increased by 72, from 160 in February to 232 in March.  Another spike came in June.  Keep in mind the typical 30 day closing period for a loan, which means the contracts to purchase those homes were made in February and May. 

There are several reasons for the spikes; the Feb/March jump includes those who put off buying or selling over the winter–once spring begins, they’re ready to roll.  Sellers may be hoping to beat the crowd to have more choices to buy or time to build a new home by the end of summer (when I worked for a builder, I saw increased traffic in February–the majority already had houses listed or under contract).  May/June sales include those who want a head start on relocating, giving them time to settle in their new location before fall.  Also families with kids often move during the summer break from school. 

The real estate market can also be driven by interest rates, tax incentives, and the local economy.  February and May obviously don’t work for every situation; you’ll be glad to note that sales remain steady year-round in the Tri-Cities.  If you have questions about when the time is right for you, give us a call.  Our next client’s home will be listing on the MLS this week, so check back in a few days to see the new addition to our featured listings! 





Pasco Riverfront Home Sells For Nearly $1 Million

Pasco Riverfront Home Sells

Tri-Cities real estate 2012 started out with a bang in January with the sale of a Pasco riverfront home listed at $1,190,000!  Homes truly located on the Columbia River aren’t listed for sale very often; when they are, they sell at a premium.  This .89 acre lot also happens to be located directly across from Columbia Park in Kennewick, making it a prime area for spectacular views of the Columbia River and the annual hydroplane races. 


What does this mean for the Tri-Cities real estate market?  If you refer to the 2011 statistics chart at Tri-Cities Home Sales-What’s Your Price Range?, you’ll note that zero listings (single family homes listed on the MLS) sold in the “over $900,000” price range last year.  This sale falls in that price range–a record breaker nearly $100,000 higher than the top price for 2011.  Total days-on-market?  90.  This sale may be a skewed statistic, or it may be a sign that buyers are taking advantage of our reasonable market values and historically low interest rates to buy the home of their dreams. 

Are you interested in a riverfront home, or any other specific area?  Let us know what you have in mind, and we can send you listings as they come on the market.  It doesn’t matter whether you’re just getting started on your first home, or ready to buy the home of your dreams, give us a call–we’d love to help you out!





North Richland Surprise–Don’t Judge by the Cover!

The heart of Richland was built and owned (furniture and all) by the federal government in the 1940’s.  Richland residents were primarily employed at the Hanford Site, working on the top-secret Manhattan Project during World War II.  Around 1957, the transition was made to privately-owned real estate.  The Hanford Site remained a central part of nuclear production & technology, and Richland continued to grow.  

1612 Birch - A home built in North Richland in 1962

  North Richland was built during the 1960’s and 70’s.  Today the area thrives because residents love the mature shade trees and established neighborhoods, as well as proximity to the Hanford Site, Kadlec Medical Center, schools, and recreation.  House values have remained high due to low supply and high demand, and many of the area’s houses have been beautifully remodeled inside, but retain their original exterior architecture.

Remodeled kitchen - 1962 North Richland home

 This North Richland rambler, l0cated at 1612 Birch, is one such remodeled home.  It has a handicap accessible bedroom & bathroom, a newly added laundry /mudroom,  and a 10x10x10 shed in the fenced backyard.  The original architecture includes wood flooring, double closets, and  stone exterior & fireplace; the updated great room allows a modern open floor plan.  The attractive and functional remodel includes new:  200 AMP electrical, Lennox heat pump, plumbing, windows, pellet stove, tile flooring, kitchen cabinets, island, tile countertops, stainless appliances (including refrigerator!), luxurious jetted tub, and beautiful glass-inset doors. 

This cozy and comfortable 3 bedroom, 1.75 bathroom rambler is located on a spacious .27 acre lot is listed at $177,000.  Located in the Jason Lee Elementary area.  MLS #179433.  Give us a call, this is a home you’ll want to see in person!

Click here for map, schools, financing, and more information:  1612 Birch


What’s your Walkability? New features include this and more.

Have you heard the term walkability?  It’s exactly what it sounds like; in this case, the ability to walk from your home to desirable destinations.  We’d like to introduce you to this and other new tools.  You can even check the walkablility score of your current home.

Go to “Our Listings” in the main menu bar, then select any listing (it might help to pull up the site,, in another window so you can try it while reading this).  Scroll down through the information until you get to the tabs labled “Map,” “Photos,” “Downloads,” “Schools,” “Financing,” and “Walkability.”

 “Map” is the fist tab.  Click  “map” in the upper right corner to choose streetmap or satellite view.  You can also check the boxes to show locations of schools, grocery stores, restaurants, banks, gas stations, golf, and hospitals. 

“Photos” is the 2nd tab.  It will show you a picture gallery of the home.

The “Downloads” tab will link to printable information, such as the flyer.

 The “Schools” tab shows the name, address, phone, and stats of schools within a 3 mile radius.

  The “Financing” tab contains calculators to help you estimate monthly mortgage payments and closing costs. 

“Walkability” is the final tab.  It rates the house between 1 and 100 based on walking distance to restaurants, coffee shops, grocery stores, shopping, schools, parks, and other destinations.  At the bottom you can enter your own address.  Our Richland home scored only 9 out of 100, putting us in the car-dependent category, but that’s okay–we have plenty of trails to walk (and run) on!

Everyone has different preferences for location, schools, and proximity to business.  Let us know what yours are. 





“Prep, paint, stage, scrub, improve, repeat.”

A client recently asked us what should be done to prep their house for sale.  Paint the exterior?  Re-carpet?  The answer depends on location, condition of the home, how much effort and money you can invest, and price range. We recommend renovating only if it will bring a higher return than the cost of the upgrade, and that varies according to buyers’ expectations of condition and price. If most comparable homes have vinyl windows or granite countertops, an upgrade may attract more buyers and a higher sales price than the cost of installation. Since the situation is unique for every seller, we like to assess the house, review the possibilities, and suggest upgrades only if they add to the seller’s profit.

The prep work for this West Pasco sale included removing clutter, touch up paint, shampooing carpet, cleaning grout, maintaining yard, and staging the back patio.

The best prep work is to have your home as clean, well-maintained, and desirable as possible. Think model-home desirable. Thoroughly clean and eliminate clutter and unsightly problems that could draw negative attention. Invite someone to walk through with a fresh point of view (we’d be happy to!), then make a punch list to work on. Many small and inexpensive improvements can make a huge impact: touch up paint on walls and trim, fill nail holes, shampoo carpets, caulk bathrooms, power wash the exterior, stage for efficiency and attraction, remove most personal photos, knickknacks, clutter, and papers from the refrigerator door.

We love this quote:  “Prep, paint, stage, scrub, improve, repeat. Efforts can include caulking, plastering, planting flowers, adding potted plants, making the windows spotless, pressure washing that oily driveway, edging the walks, trimming the bushes and trees, and mending the fences. None of these is excessively capital-intensive, but when applied en masse, they say “buy me.”  (Steve McLinden, And one thing all sellers can agree on is that they want their house to say “buy me!”

For more advice on prepping your home for sale, give Nick or Valerie Kunde a call at (509)845-4570–we’d love to help you prep your home to sell.

Tri-Cities Home Sales – What’s Your Price Range?

Those who follow our blog will notice that we like charts and graphs.  Why?  They take an otherwise meaningless list of statistics and organize it into a tidy picture that is immediately understood.  This chart shows the 2011 sales of residential single family homes in Richland, West Richland, Pasco, & Kennewick, divided by price range. 

How does this apply to you?  The first thing you’ll notice is that if you’re selling a house for under $350,000, you’ll have a far greater number of potential buyers (93% of the market).  In fact, more than HALF of the home sales in the Tri-Cities were priced between $100,000 and $200,000.  Fewer homes sold in the higher price ranges, but there were also fewer on the market.  Keep in mind there are higher priced custom built homes that don’t get listed on the MLS, so they aren’t included in the chart. 

The bottom line is that whether you’re in a lower price range with more competition, or a higher price range with fewer buyers (and custom built competition), you need to price your home competitively to attract potential buyers.  The best way to know your price range is to call us for a free market and neighborhood analysis; we’d be happy to tell you the current value of your home. 





Hansen Park Real Estate – Living in Kennewick, WA


Hansen Park Pond

Hansen Park is a vision in process.  A 778 acre fruit orchard on the Southern border of Kennewick, family owned by Hansen Fruit since the 1950’s.  The trees in each section were felled only after they’d passed their prime production years, beginning in 2000 with a 20 year projected completion.  The vision is immense–an all inclusive community within a community including:  apartments, townhomes, private residences, storage units, a church, an office complex, a 15 acre commercial retail center, a middle school, and of course the 26 acre park and man-made lake with green space and walking trails for all to enjoy! 


 A community designed with style and convenience, a neighborhood that inspires you to take a daily walk to the lake or playground, where you are certain to meet up with your neighbors on a regular basis. 

The location couldn’t be better–we currently have a house listed for sale on 202 S Kansas, in the heart of Hansen Park.  It is located 1 mile from Clearwater restaurants & businsses, 1.36 miles to Ridgeview elementary, 2.13 miles from I-82 freeway access, 2.5 miles from Costco, and 2 miles from the mall and two movie theaters!  But of course you won’t be thinking about that while relaxing on the front or back porch of this Hansen Park home! 


This beautiful & immaculate home has a spacious open floor plan with vaulted main level.  The chef in you will love the open kitchen and island with plentiful upgraded cabinets.  Sunken family room  with tile fireplace and built-in shelving.  Spacious master with walk-in closet and luxurious jetted tub.  Relax on front and back patios or take a walk to Hansen park or pond!  $219,900 for 3 bdrms, 2.5 baths, separate living & family rooms, well-manicured fenced yard, and 3 car garage.  Give us a call if you’d like to see this amazing home & neighborhood. 





2011 Real Estate Stats – Tri-Cities WA house sales


 The 2011 statistics are in for Tri-Cities house sales:  2713 single family residential homes sold in the area’s largest cities of Richland, West Richland, Pasco, and Kennewick.  An additional 289 sales from surrounding areas brings the grand total to 3002.   



 The sales are divided almost equally among the 3 cities if Richland and West Richland are combined.  Kennewick’s 966 sales make up 36% of the market, Pasco’s 882 sales make up 33%, and Richland along with West Richland’s 865 sales make up 31%. 


 The number of houses sold each month (in Richland, West Richland, Pasco, and Kennewick) remained steady throughout most of the year–starting with the low of 155 in January, peaking at 277 in June, and ending with 222 sales closed in December.  There has been much doom-and-gloom in the media about the depressed economy combined with Hanford layoffs, yet houses continue to sell.  Although there were fewer sales this year than last, the numbers show our housing market to be stable and steady!