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How to Survive COVID-19… and Maybe Even Enjoy It

Posted by Johnine Larsen on March 30, 2020
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We’re all staying home for a while, so we might as well learn to make the best of it. Here’s our guide for fun and edifying ways to spend these weeks inside.

Do you know something else we should include? Share your idea on our Facebook page!

 

Education

Our kids’ schools are scrambling to figure out education in the time of COVID-19, and I’m sure they’ll come up with some great options. In addition to those, we have plenty of online education available to us adults, too! Podcasts, YouTube, and other streaming platforms offer abundant courses, resources, and how-to-guides for all of us with extra time at home.

 

Culture

Ben Gibbard (of Death Cab for Cutie fame) is livestreaming a home concert every day at 4:00 p.m., and the Cincinnati Zoo is offering daily Facebook Live video streams of Fiona the hippo. The Seattle Symphony moved online, too!

 

Library Services

If you have a library card, you can continue to borrow digital resources like e-books, audiobooks, music, TV shows, movies, and more—even while the library’s physical branches are closed. Visit the Seattle Public Library website or the King County library website for all sorts of free options for at-home entertainment (and learning).

 

Video Streaming

 

Real Estate Gals

We’ve gone into the livestreaming business, too. We’ve partnered with Home Organizer Lisa Holtby to produce a series of quick videos about how to easily organize your home to make it the place where you’re most comfortable, yourself, and at peace. (This is all the more important when home is the only place we have.) The series finale will be an hour-long livestream workshop with Lisa—RSVP here! We plan to stream other videos and home walkthroughs, as well. Follow your YouTube channel to stay in the know.

 

Restaurant Delivery & Takeout

 

Food and Groceries

Most restaurants now let you call and place an order for delivery, and others allow for curbside pickup.

 

Medicine

This one’s not fun—but it’s important, so we included it anyway. Essential medications don’t stop being essential during COVID-19, but entering a pharmacy and exposing yourself to possible transmission seems a little counter-productive… Fortunately, major pharmacy chains offer RX delivery, and Postmates (mainly food delivery app), can also pick up basic pharmacy supplies for you.

 

Animal Care

The one group who’s loving all your time at home: your pets. Make sure to give them plenty of exercise, even if it’s just walking laps in your back yard. Services like Chewy delivery pet food and supplies straight to your door.

 

Home Improvement (or Replacement)

We rarely get to user-test our homes this thoroughly, or for this long. What parts of your home just aren’t working as well as you want them to? There’s no better time to plan some updates or envision a remodel. We’ve put together a list of our recommended contractors, handymen, and other services, so when life returns to normal, you can get a jump on putting your house-bound knowledge to use!

And if you just can’t STAND being stuck in your home… think about why! Not enough natural light? Not enough space? Terrible views? Make a list of everything you don’t like. Save that list! When you’re ready to buy a new home, just pull it out, and we’ll make sure you find something you wouldn’t mind being quarantined in!

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    Ilona Lohrey
    Ilona Lohrey
    00:23 30 Jun 20
    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
    Danielle Thirumalai
    Danielle Thirumalai
    04:18 26 Jun 20
    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
    Sandy Ruffin
    Sandy Ruffin
    01:21 25 Jun 20
    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.
    Marian DiPerna, LMP
    Marian DiPerna, LMP
    22:19 24 Jun 20
    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
    Johannes James
    Johannes James
    21:23 24 Jun 20
    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
    Susan Waller
    Susan Waller
    20:34 24 Jun 20
    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
    Shannon McFarlin
    Shannon McFarlin
    18:56 24 Jun 20
    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
    Virginia Bunker
    Virginia Bunker
    14:08 14 Feb 20
    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
    linda wright
    linda wright
    00:45 04 Dec 19
    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
    Paddy Lazar
    Paddy Lazar
    23:42 03 Dec 19
    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
    soumak ghosh
    soumak ghosh
    00:00 14 Nov 19
    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. Would eventually get a response 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 ( 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 decommissioning company that we got know that it was not even scheduled to decommission it 2 day before closing. Any buyer who was not as intent on buying the property could have walked away due to breach of contract. We got the final documentation 2 hours before the end of closing. It was only after I wrote the review that your agents became responsive. P.S. If you find my review unjust I’m sure it would be overshadowed by stellar reviews from future customers.read more
    Sarah Donaldson
    Sarah Donaldson
    18:44 18 Jul 19
    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.
    Brian Heagler
    Brian Heagler
    16:55 02 Jun 19
    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
    Anne Slater
    Anne Slater
    18:03 25 May 19
    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
    Amy Burdick
    Amy Burdick
    19:13 24 May 19
    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
    Bill Hollman
    Bill Hollman
    22:21 19 May 19
    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
    Beth Guerra
    Beth Guerra
    01:14 18 May 19
    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
    Aidan Key
    Aidan Key
    15:44 17 May 19
    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
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