Pets matter. Your dog isn’t just an animal, your cats have preferences and personalities, and really, pets are family members (I know my own dog is, anyway!). So when you buy a home, what do they think? Will your pets love your new place just as much as you do?
Here are five factors to keep in mind if you want to buy a wonderful home for you and your pet.
1. Neighborhood noise. Is the house right next to I-5, or is it tucked away in Laurelhurst? Constant loud noises can overwhelm pets—and they don’t have the option of retreating to an office during the day. Your pets value peace and quiet just as much as you (if not more than you).
2. Parks and piddle-places. Your dog needs regular walks, and it certainly needs places to relieve itself. Is there a small neighborhood park tucked away on the street? If a home doesn’t have a yard, does it have a place for your dog to “go” within a minute’s walk of your front door? These don’t have to be large areas—but they have to be close. Your early-morning self won’t be too gung-ho about long, necessary bathroom treks. Just remember: that swanky two-bathroom apartment downtown could be a zero-bathroom apartment for your dog.
3. Stairs. Remember when your puppy encountered stairs for the first time? Super cute. But when your dog nears the opposite side of its life, those stairs become just as difficult to manage again, but this time without the cuteness. If you have an old dog, or if you plan on staying in a house for many years, make sure it doesn’t force your dog to tackle a huge number of stairs on a regular basis.
4. Pet-purposed places. Does the home have an out-of-sight location for a litter box? What about a large laundry room or mudroom where you can wash your dog after a muddy hike? A home shouldn’t be all about the features you need—your pet has needs, too!
5. Hard floors. Hard floors are good and bad for pets. If your pets are young (or old), accidents happen, and cleaning hardwood or linoleum is much easier than cleaning carpet. However, dogs often lose their footing on hard, slick surfaces—they scramble to find traction, and can eventually avoid those hard-floor rooms altogether. You’ll have to make a decision about hard floors based on your individual pet.
We sold our home and bought a new one in Seattle with Johnine and Tonya. Both were incredible and we'd highly recommend them! SALE: We got multiple offers and Johnine negotiated a great deal for us - dream price!! They had great suggestions for improvements and excellent contractor contacts that... helped us get top dollar! PURCHASE: Tonya had amazing patience as she showed us MANY houses and didn't pressure us to make a hasty decision. She has a great eye for detail and helped us get comfortable with pros & cons for each potential house. In the end, we found a great home in this crazy market and she negotiated a fantastic price for us. Very happy with the entire process!read more
We worked with Johnine and Tonya to sell our home, and that’s 15 years after working with Johnine to buy our home. It’s something to have a no-nonsense and savvy realtor to rely on, and The Real Estate Gals provide that savvy. We closed in June and are now pending closing on a new property. I can... recommend Johnine and Tonya and the whole gang at The Real Estate Gals.read more
We just closed on selling our longtime Seattle home. Tonya was a pleasure to work with. She was professional, responsive, and took it upon herself to ensure that our listing put its absolute best foot forward . When we found ourselves navigating multiple offers, she remained focused, explained all... the easy-to-miss details and ultimately helped us select the best buyer. We couldn't have closed this chapter in a better way. Thank you, Tonya and the rest of the Real Estate Gals team!read more
Darcie Wells always goes above and beyond when it comes to selling or buying properties. Her years of experience makes it a smooth and seamless process. Our family is thankful for meeting her and creating a longtime relationship. I would recommend her for all your real estate needs.
Darcie’s experience was key to making the sale and closing of our Seattle home a smooth and timely process. When questions or concerns would arise, she would respond with solid guidance and help.Darcie is professional, trustworthy, and knowledgeable. Furthermore, she’s a pleasure to work with... and we’re really happy with the results and overall sales experience.read more
I can’t begin to recommend Darcie enough. She made our first home buying experience so wonderful! With her years of experience she was able to talk us through all the small details we didn’t understand-no question too small. She stayed optimistic and persistent throughout the process, never... pressuring us and always looking out for our best interest. She kept us in the loop on every step along the way, and helped to ensure everything went smoothly. Thank you Darcie!read more
Darcie was highly recommended by one of my good friend, I was looking to buy a townhome in N Seattle area; Darcie and her team (Tonya) went above and beyond to help me find a home within my budget. Darcie was very responsive (email/text), punctual and her flexibility amazes me. Often times she will... showed up early and check the house before I went in. Darcie and her team truly wants her client to get the best of everything. I closed my house within 30days and Darcie was very supportive to get me through the complicated house buying procedures. As a first time home owner, Darcie and her team really understand and very patience to walk through everything with me. Thank you Darcie and team!read more
I sought recommendations for a real estate professional from a close friend. He recommended Darcie Wells after she worked with him on property sale. I’m glad that I connected with Darcie, she was a pleasure to work. She was informative and responsive in managing the sale process on my behalf. I'm a... happy new home owner and I gladly recommend Darcie with the strongest endorsement.read more
Darcie is a gem. We had the experience of buying our first home with her help and then selling it 8 years later under her care and expertise. Darcie is unassuming, good natured and friendly. She takes the often overwhelming experience of real estate and makes it digestible and tangible for her... clients. She is a good negotiator and her personable nature made us feel well-cared for and relaxed throughout the entire home-buying and home-selling process. She explains things clearly and is quick to respond to her clients. She has many years of experience and knows the Seattle market well. She gives great advice and guidance when asked for, but is ultimately supportive of her clients specific wants and needs. Darcie is who you want to cheerlead you through the process of real estate!read more
Darcie Wells was our"gal" when we wanted to buy a condo in Seattle. We knew we liked her because she was our realtor when we sold our uncle's house. We had another excellent experience and highly recommend her
I could not have dreamed of an easier, smoother, more enjoyable experience than I had with Darcie. She helped me both buy and sell my first home. I was a novice, didn't know what to expect or what would happen. Darcie guided me through both experiences with knowledge, professionalism, confidence,... and support. I felt like I could go to her with any questions or concerns. Darcie is phenomenal and I cannot recommend her highly enough.read more
We worked with Johnine and Tonya to buy our first home and it was a great experience! They were both super responsive from the first interaction when we weren't sure about our timeline and we just wanted to ask questions, to going to showings of houses I found same day, to showing us houses we... wouldn't have found on our own, and finally to putting through the offer and purchasing the home. We also used their recommendations for our loan officer, who was also super responsive and great to work with. We have other friends who did not enjoy their first home-buying experience in this difficult market as much, but we are grateful that we had Tonya and Johnine to help us, I highly recommend Real Estate Gals! I also enjoy reading their blog posts and emails.read more
We had the great pleasure of working with Darcie to find an investment property. It was important for us to work with a real estate company that is also a GSBA member and shows their commitment to equality.Darcie was fast, reliable and fun to work with.She knew exactly what we were looking for... and what was important to us.The property has since increased its value by 20%.From beginning to end, it was an easy process.Thanks Real Estate Gals and especially Darcie.We will definitely work with you again for our next real estate needs.read more
Top notch team - the kind of people you work with over a lifetime and send holiday cards.Knowledgable team who want you to buy a great house, not just turn a commission. We have asked for advice on houses multiple times and they are always willing to share their opinion. Johnine even worked with... us while on vacation in New Zealand when we found a fixer-upper we were exploring.read more
Johnine and her team were amazing to work with. Johnine took a lot of time to understand what we needed and how to help us find the right home, and she's pretty fun to shop for houses with. Will absolutely work with them again if we ever sell our house.
We had such a great experience buying our first home with Johnine - she was knowledgeable, patient, and knew exactly when to give us some direction and when to step back. We were thoroughly pleased with our purchase and have been in our home for over 10 years now. We give her name to all of our... friends who are looking to buy or sell!read more
The Real Estate Gals were a great team to have on our [buyers'] side when we purchased a home last year. I have read and strongly disagree with the negative review left below. We worked with both Johnine and Scott, who both expended a lot of effort and time to understand what we were looking for... in a home - which was a challenge due to our multi-family needs with preferences for large scale project space, but close to work in Seattle and in a tight budget. They quickly and accurately gauged what would work for us and helped us sift through the options with frank and straightforward feedback. When the perfect house finally turned up at the end of a long day touring around King County with us, they then burned some serious midnight oil slamming together the aggressive and fast-tracked offer that turned out to be critical for us securing our home. From my perspective, I cannot overstate the value of having a buyer's agent actually care enough to go these extra miles. I wouldn't be writing this from such a perfect home if it weren't for this team. I can only imagine these qualities have made them even better as agents during the pandemic. The Real Estate Gals will always have our gratitude - thanks especially to Johnine and Scott!read more
I bought my first house with the Real Estate Gals many years ago. As a first time buyer, I was anxious and unfamiliar with the process. They walked me through it, and were there every step of the way. I have since bought (and sold) three more houses with the Gals, and it was a great experience... every time. They are highly respected throughout the industry, and know how to put together a winning offer. I wouldn't work with anyone else!read more
Hands down, Johnine Larsen and team are the best realtors I've ever worked with. I've never met a realtor so knowledgeable about the process, the market, and skilled at helping clients manage the stressful feelings that come up during such an important life event. We have worked with Johnine... through several transactions and felt she was an excellent advocate for us, extremely responsive and supportive, steered us in the right direction (including away from houses that weren't right for us!), helped us understand so many important things to be aware of when buying a home, and negotiated the best deal for us every time. On top of that, she's very real and authentic - we always knew she was telling us her true opinion and thoughts, and is an amazing, warm and caring person, which is all so important when you are spending so much time together!read more
Johnine Larsen and her team are absolutely fabulous. I've bought and sold many properties over the years, and Real Estate Gals surpassed all of my previous experiences with agents. Johnine designed the perfect selling strategy. She then handled every detail leading up to the day we listed,... including cleaning, yard work, repairs, staging and more! Johnine has a heart of gold, and I can't say enough great things about my experience. Thank you!read more
I have bought and sold many homes in my forty plus years of being a Seattleite and I couldn't be more pleased with the way Johnine Larsen and her team handled the sale of my previous home. I moved into my new place and they took it from there. Contacted the right people to do the minor repairs at... a reasonable cost, staged the home, and had professional photos done within a few weeks. The sale went smoothly as well. I am so thankful that I found her.read more
I was lucky enough to work with Johnine and her very competent team to sell my home. I have to tell you how easy the entire process was. On her wise suggestion I had my home inspected, as there actually were a number of maintenance items that came up in that inspection and she even arranged to have... all of the repairs completed in a very short time. The only thing I had to do was to let the repair folks in. Then, to my surprise, Johnine , had all the windows and the whole house cleaned before listing it. She then had the house beautifully staged and had the yard cleaned up with even a little landscaping thrown in. The house sold within the week for OVER full price!Everyone I dealt with was always kind, helpful and professional, their communication was exemplary all through the process. I’ve decided to rent for a while but you can be assured that it will be Johnine and her team that I will go back to when ready to purchase a new house. I have sung her praises to all that I know.read more
They were representing the seller, and I was the buyer. Very limited communication from the agents. Waited days for a response for any email/text. I would eventually get an answer after multiple follow-ups. Almost cost us the deal.[Update]I have seen all the text/conversations of my agent with... your agency. Regarding the oil tank decommissioning, according to the contract, the tank was to be decommissioned 5 days before closing. When asked about so, 5 days before closing ( for which I have seen the text/email conversations of), you gave my agent very little to no information about it and even said it was on schedule. It was only after my agent called the oil tank decommissioning company herself that we got to know that it was not even scheduled 2 days before closing.Any buyer who was not as intended to buy the property as I was; could have walked away due to breach of contract. We got the final documentation 2 hours before the closing deadline. It was only after I wrote the review that your agents became responsive.read more
Darcie was such a joy to work with. She felt like family during the sale of our house and the search for our new home. We may have found our forever home, but if we ever need a Realtor in future, Darcie from Real Estate Gals will be our first call.
I have worked with Johnine and her team for 19 years and have always received personal, knowledgeable and professional service and attention! There is never and pressure and they will guide you away from a property when appropriate, which is always appreciated when a market is hot and the tendency... is to move quickly. I trust them and have never been let down!read more
Johnine Larsen is fabulous! She listened and came up with ways we could get what we wanted in a house and stay within our limited budget. When we found the house we wanted, she moved super fast to get the house inspected and implemented creative ideas to make our offer appealing. And out of 13... offers, we were selected and got our house. I recommend her to anyone buying a home.read more
Real Estate Gals made sure we found our perfect house! Then, when we were up against other bidders, Johnine worked tirelessly to ensure we were tops! Her extensive real estate experience combined with exceptional character and integrity provided peace of mind throughout the process. She also made... sure we received the right value as a seller and got the transaction done quickly and efficiently. Simply stated: there is nobody better to help you find your dream home.read more
I'd give Real Estate Gals 6 stars if I could. We have used them multiple times, both in selling and buying homes in Seattle and the surrounding area. I can't say enough about the professionalism, knowledge, and patience they bring to the task of buying a new home, or selling your current... residence.And they know the Seattle area so well, they'll offer valuable insights into the pros and cons of any location you may be to considering.Look no further, call Johnine at Real Estate Gals. You will be glad you did!read more
Johnine was a breath of fresh air in the real estate market. She listened intently to our wishes and goals, and was tireless in her search for our perfect house. She is well versed in both Seattle and the surrounding areas. She made sure all the details were taken care of after the inspection, and... made the closing process seamless. She even gifted us with a housewarming present. Nearly 7 years later, we still receive holiday cards and well wishes. I highly recommend Real Estate Gals and will look no further in the future.read more
Johnine and the Real Estate Gals brilliantly took us through the home buying process two different times. Their willingness to educate (I was new), hear our home hopes, and support us through the process are a few of the reasons that I highly recommend this team. Speaking of a team, I love their... collaborative business model - it meant that we--the home buyers--always had a returned phone call and an ability to look at a house on OUR schedule. Truly felt like they place the customer first!read more