Heated Yards Don’t Sell Houses


Having tiptoed gingerly into spring this week, the Real Estate season is officially open. With a couple of dry days strung together, the sounds of lawn mowers have filled the neighborhoods– and sellers are breaking out the fresh-cut flowers and shaking up cans of touch-up paint. It is, as we say in the business, ON.

First impressions are important, absolutely. But today’s buyer is ridiculously well-informed, and although the emotional impacts of an inviting entry and a show-ready interior are crucial, increasingly the energy efficiency of a home is ranking as a factor in buying decisions.

But what is energy efficiency and how is it measured?

Updated windows are an observable (if over-rated) sign. Insulation in the attic and crawl, of course. High-efficiency furnace, sure. But what about the little things– literally the little cracks– that allow a bottom-line exchange of energy that these bigger picture improvements don’t stop? How perforated is the house, and how much do these breaches cost a homeowner?  Continue reading

Time Time Time

Today is one of my two favorite days of the year, when we get to alternately guess, bitch and prank about Daylight Saving’s Time. Though its permanent incorporation into our harried modern culture in the US goes back only as far as the energy crises of the 1970s, the idea of stealing an hour of PM sun from its hapless early-rising AM cousin was first hatched by an English-born Trans Tansman goofball named GV Hudson at the end of the 19th century. DST was first officially instituted in Germany in the spring of 1916 which is kind of weird because you’d think there’d have been other more-pressing matters to be attended to like nearly a million casualties at the 10-month battle of Verdun. 

But an hour’s an hour. 

GV Hudson, Time Bandit

Maybe if the whole thing had started in the autumn with fall back, then we’d be better off now. We’d have been given a free hour first that we could suck on like pork fat for six months before it was justly reclaimed. That way, we’d either be 60 minutes ahead of the game or at the worst we’d be even— all year round. As it is, we’re either behind an hour or level at the very best. We just got off on the wrong foot with this nonsense, and unless we’re given two hours back this October, I don’t see how we’re ever going to get right again. It’s an outrage. 

But this is an old argument and a silly one at that. The damage is done. The internet is here to stay and all my clocks are a complete mess. Like the one-armed woman smoking a cigarette that someone threw a frisbee to, if someone asks me what time it is today, I have to just say “uuuumm…” 

And that’s what we say in real estate– time is of the essence. Even when it’s not March or October and no one’s writing silly FaceBook posts and blogging about DST, we still say that all the time. Time is of the essence. It’s right in the fucking contract. But with the market as hot as it is right now, it’s more true than ever. Timing is everything, and an hour’s an hour. If you’re curious about whether this is a good time to buy or sell ( it is ) just give me ring and I’ll be right over to talk. In about an hour. Or else two hours. I don’t know…. 


There are so many good songs about time. This is probably my favorite…. 

1-level Bay view home!

3455 Pinehurst Ct (167 of 171)And4more

Here it is, the one you have been waiting patiently for– a modern, single-level Bay view home in a high-end Bellingham neighborhood for less than $350,000.

Do you like granite countertops and gleaming hardwood flooring? Of course you do. I can give you the names of some reputable local companies who can install them for you. Also stainless steel appliances, designer paint colors and synthetic decking. Continue reading