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The Real Estate Gals’ Top 10

Posted by Johnine Larsen on December 30, 2014
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This past year was a great year for us. Here are our top 10 moments from 2014!

10) Helping friends set down roots

hannah-kevin-rootsWe helped Kevin and Hannah find their first house this summer. We loved their desire to join a community and set down roots. They were homeowners after our own hearts, and we loved working with them.

“Once Johnine learned we both worked for nonprofits,” Hannah said, “she really took up our cause. It felt like Johnine and Scott were personally invested in us.”


9) Meeting Seattle’s “Stair Expert”

stair-expertWe finally tracked down Thomas Horton and convinced him to let us interview him. The man knows his stairs. He’s walked and mapped every single staircase in Queen Anne, and that’s no mean feat. It takes quite a character, and Thomas Horton was every bit as interesting as you’d expect.

“There’s a lot I like about QA,” Horton told us. “It is just about in the heart of the city, but because people have to go up a big hill, no one usually bothers unless they live there. So it’s kind of like an island.”


8) Kind words from Erin

photoErin left us a testimonial that made us blush. We had a blast partnering with her, and we were thrilled to learn just how much she enjoyed the process, too.

“Johnine is a real estate rock star! … We ultimately won a multiple bidder situation, getting a great deal on a gorgeous home that we hope to live in for decades! We bought during an incredibly competitive seller’s market, and it made a HUGE difference knowing we had a highly experienced, skilled negotiator on our side.”




7) Parks and Pianos

alki-pianoSeattle Parks and Recreation, Seattle Symphony, KEXP, Gage Academy of Arts, and a few other arts organizations teamed up this summer to create Parks and Pianos. They put 20 decorated pianos in 20 King County parks, and it made for a month-long frenzy of music and art and getting people outside.

“Once you see one piano—once you play music on a piece of artwork in a beautiful park, drinking your coffee between songs and enjoying the view, you’ll want to see as many of them as you can before they all disappear on August 17. That’s what happened to us, anyway.”

6) Johnine’s road trip to Port Townsend

port-townsend-road-tripJohnine took a summer road trip to Port Townsend this year, complete with her dogs, a friend, and plenty of gorgeous mountain views. One of our clients wanted to sell her Maple Leaf home and move somewhere quieter, and although none of us know the Port Townsend market, we could still offer some tips.

“Nancy and I took my Honda Element (“the dog car”). We brought my dogs, too—because if you’re going all the way to the beautiful Olympic Peninsula, you might as well share the experience with your pets! Now, I have to admit: this was a big experience for me, too. Although I love the country, I’ve only been to the Olympic Peninsula half a dozen times.”

5) Jumpstarting our favorite world travelers

Kim-and-Brian-TravelingWe’re a little jealous of Kim and Brian’s traveling. They’ve seen a good part of the world already, but they want to do even more (including a year-long road trip from Alaska to Argentina next summer!). Owning house tied them down, with payments and maintenance and all that, so they wanted to sell. They had traveling to do!

“Selling Kim and Brian’s house took two long, obstacle-filled years. The entire housing market seemed to conspire against us, and for a while, the whole RE/MAX office was convinced that Kim and Brian had been cursed. But we stick with our clients—bring on any real estate curse!—and thankfully, Kim and Brian’s traveling had taught them how to face impossible problems and overcome them. In the end, everything worked out fine, but we all had a hell of a time getting there.”

4) The return of our long-lost client

30797_5We had a happy reunion with an old client this fall, and it worked out terrifically for everyone! We remodeled Keela’s house, sold it for $58,000 above its original asking price, and–best of all–reconnected with a old friend.

“We try to keep in touch with all our past clients, but somehow, we lost track of Keela. And meanwhile, the Lord of the Rings trilogy finished, and Apple upgraded the iPod. iPhones appeared. The Hobbit trilogy started. And soon, thirteen years had passed before we knew it. We had not talked to Keela once. But late last July, Johnine got a phone call.”

3) Gals’ Giving Fund

2014galsgivingfund_DecThis was a fantastic year for the Gals’ Giving Fund. We were able to donate a total of $8,450 to more than a dozen charities this year! With any luck, we’ll get that number even higher next year. There are a lot of caring organizations doing great work in Seattle, and we’re continually overwhelmed by their love and dedication.


Spring Report: $1,500 to 2 charities

Summer Report: $3,500 to 5 charities

Fall/Winter Report$3,450 to 8 charities

2) “We Love Seattle” photo contest

photo-contest-posterWe rolled out our first ever photo contest this November, and it was a blast! We received a ton of beautiful Seattle pictures; turns out there are some great photographers among us! We’re hosting a new photo contest this January, so stayed tuned for more information.

“Seattle is beautiful, from Broadview to Belltown to Rainier Beach. Think of that cute coffee shop on the corner, or Fremont Ave. late at night, or the way your front yard looks when the sun hits the trees just right. For the We Love Seattle Photo Contest, we want to see those favorite neighborhood sights. This is your chance to share those everyday views that always make you smile, and it’s a chance to win some Facebook fame and delicious food in the process!”


1) Johnine’s 60th birthday

johnine-partyJohnine turned 60 this year, and she did it in style! We all celebrated at Kenyon Hall with songs, food, drinks, and a lot of fun. Dozens of old friends made it out, and we had a great time catching up with everyone.

“We all had a blast last Friday celebrating Johnine’s birthday. Karaoke, delicious appetizers, and great drinks. A very good night in West Seattle!”