Elvis at the World’s Fair – 50th Anniversary

A week from today, Saturday January 14th, there will be a fun event commemorating the 50th Anniversary of “The King” at The 1962 Seattle Worlds Fair. For those who may not know, The Space Needle was built for that event. The World’s Fair that is, not Elvis coming to it. ūüôā
Elvis EMP

I already have my tickets for me and Kim and my two sisters. I got mine for only $12 each via Brown Paper Tickets.com. More and ALL details HERE.

Seeing an Elvis impersonator has been on my “Bucket List” for a few years. Once I was even IN Vegas and missed it. So this is a good opportunity for me to have some fun and cross an item off my Bucket List…both at the same time.

Hope to see you there…at the 50th Anniversary Party of The World’s Fair!

National Coming Out Day; We’ve come a long way in real estate and lending

October 11th is National Coming Out Day. ¬†As an educator in the real estate and mortgage lending sector, I enjoy hearing stories from students about what it was like to sell real estate and originate loans in the 1950s and 1960s, before the Fair Housing Act of 1968 and the Equal Credit Opportunity Act of 1974.¬† The young-youngsters in the room are a bit taken aback to hear real-life stories about neighborhood segregation, discrimination against Jews or African Americans, and denying credit to women. ¬†Blockbusting, redlining, and racial discrimination as well as mortgage lending discrimination happened to people who are still around to tell those stories because it really wasn’t that long ago.

Today’s Homebuyers Like Hardwood Floors

Whether it’s a new house or an old house, people like hardwood floors better than carpet, especially on the main floor.

Looking at the stats for North King County, a home without hardwood floors is about 2X as likely not to sell, especially at a price point of $400,000 or more for the home. About 24% to 26% of homes that “expire”, or homes still on market and not sold, do not have hardwood floors. Compare that to only 14% of SOLD homes without hardwood floors and you see that 86% of recent home buyers chose a home that had hardwood floors.

Wide plank, narrow plank, light oak, dark finish…lots of variances as to preference of TYPE of hardwood floor. But hands down, even if the new buyer refinishes the floors to a different color, they choose homes with hardwood floors that they can refinish over homes that would need hardwood floors installed.

While “What type of carpet to use to sell your home?” has not changed much…the better answer for the main living areas is hardwood…hands down.

The “new” preferred color of hardwood is less red than the once popular Brazilian Cherry, darker than the blonde tones of yesteryear, but not quite as dark as the short lived chocolate brown craze that lasted about a millisecond.

A warm chestnut brown is the color of the day.

It’s great for the floors…but a little dull for the kitchen or bathroom cabinetry. The new warm chestnut brown hardwoods are best used when the kitchen and main floor baths are a light colored ceramic tile or a laminate floor that blends the color.

Armstrong calls the color “gunstock”. It’s darker than light…lighter than dark…and solidly BROWN vs orange or red tones. Much easier to decorate a room without clashing with the tone of the hardwoods when using this color in many and varied rooms in the house. As a matching cabinet color choice though…I don’t think that trend will last. It’s just too darned dull to have as a kitchen cabinet color.

If after reading this you have any questions as to the color I am talking about…just visit any new model homes…it’s all the rage…and they are pretty much ALL using it in their model homes.

(Stats in this post not compiled, verified or published by The Northwest Multiple Listing Service.)

King County Assessments Wins National Award

“The King County Department of Assessment this week won the National Distinguished Jurisdiction Award from the International Association of Assessment Officials (IAAO) for innovative use of technology to map and locate properties to be assessed for local tax rolls.”

WooHoo!!! I love the King County Assessor’s Office, as most people know, since my color-coded valuation system is strongly linked to Assessed Values in King County. In fact one of my favorite mantras is “Trust Your Tax Assessor”. A lot of people don’t understand what I mean by that, as mostly it has to do with footprint per floor and relationship of land to house percentages, vs using Assessed Value as “market value”. but that’s OK. I love and appreciate them!

Kudos! Well deserved Kudos!


King County Assessments Wins National “Distinguished Jurisdiction

Which Tattoo Should I get? Pink Pony? Cheerleader?

My daughter, Andrea Revenant of 3rd Street Tattoo in Hermosa Beach CA, is having their Grand Opening Party today. The Federal Appeals Court has ruled that Tattoo’s are protected under Free Speech and that has opened the door for her to work in her current “hometown” of Hermosa Beach. I’m very happy about that.

Andrea Revenant

Andrea will “design” the final tattoo, so we’re only looking for general ideas here. I have NO tattoos, but when your daughter is an “artist” you should wear her “art work”. Or so I say. ūüôā

#1 PINK PONY of Seattle Bubble plus Rainbow.

pink pony

#2 Cheerleader (aka Real Estate Broker)


#3 AskARDELL.com


I may add more before I fly down to L.A., and I will get Andrea’s input and she may send some sketches to replace the ones above before then.

But what say you? Have a favorite or a new suggestion?

Where will the Tattoo be? In a place that is visible but also in the least painful place to get one. Not sure about the pain factor. Will be getting some input on that as well.

As always, your help appreciated.

Yield Spread – A Novel

yield spreadYield Spread is a novel written by Roger Rheinheimer, who in addition to being a full time lender in Port Angeles is the highly acclaimed author of Amish Snow, now in its Second Edition.

His new book, Yield Spread, ¬†is about “a man you‚Äôll love to hate, JP Mallot, and the forces that enabled and even condoned his behavior and its bitter consequences.

Tips for Seattle International Film Festival First Time Attendees

I’ve been attending the Seattle International Film Festival for several years and was introduced to the event by two of my Realtor friends, Kyoko Matsumoto Wright (who worked on the original festival when she was a UW School of Drama student many years ago) and Ron Crider. Instead of telling you all the cool things about the festival this year, like Ewan McGregor coming to town, a better idea for¬†curious first timers is to spend time¬†reading the SIFF Guide.¬†After that, you’ll be ready for some¬†first timer festival attendees tips on how to jump in and have fun. For 2011, SIFF runs from May 19-June 12.

1) Some people harbor a secret fantasy of cancelling all business appointments and watching as many films as possible from morning to midnight during the festival.¬† Unless your name is Tom Tangney, you’re independently wealthy, or you are an uber film nerd, most of us have other obligations during festival time. Lucky for us, many of the movies are shown more than once, at different times of the day, and in different locations beyond just Seattle.¬† So my first tip is to go through the SIFF guide and make a list of the movies you want to see by day/time option as it fits with your calendar.

2) Second step is to compare your “must see” films with¬†your film buddy.¬† I’ve been attending films with my nephews and daughters and sometimes what we want to see matches up perfectly and other times, not so much.¬† Josh really wanted to see Robo Geisha last year but I passed so he went by himself and he said the place was absolutely packed and the¬†movie was a riot.¬† Together we saw Ticked off Trannies with Knives which was hilarious. Josh and I place high priority on all zombie movies followed closely by anything in the horror genre.¬† Miranda and I lean toward the kewl teen films¬†(e.g.; Let the Right One In.) When my girls were¬† younger we saw the family-friendly films.¬† Ron Crider and I typically go for the psychological thrillers followed closesly by the gratuitous sex and violence genre and Kyoko and I might end up seeing an intense drama. There are plenty of people who are by themselves so don’t let a lack of a movie buddy stop you from going.¬†

2) Arrive early. Arrive early. Arrive early.¬† If you have a buddy, one person can save a place in line while the other person is parking.¬† Lines form fast and they’re long.¬† Bring a book to read while you’re in line and an umbrella and dress in layers just in case. There will be separate lines for pass holders and ticket holders.¬†¬†If you’re not an overfunctioning planner, which is a personality trait that tends to run in my family, you might do just fine with spur of the moment decisions but then be prepared to be let down if your first choice is sold out.

3) I highly recommend buying your tickets online at home ahead of time.¬† You exchange your paid receipt for a ticket when you arrive at the theater. Find the SIFF volunteers right inside the theater. If you’ve purchased, say, tickets for 7 shows online and head out to see the first one, the SIFF volunteer will print out your tickets for all 7 shows at that first show.¬†

4) Be open to seeing films with subtitles.¬†Last year, the very best film of the festival, IMO was Cell 211, which won Spain’s version of their Oscar awards¬†for “Best Picture.”¬†I love films with moral dilemmas and this film asked us to ponder the question, “Is it ever okay to lie and under what circumstances?”¬† This film has not yet been released in the U.S. in a format that would play on our DVD¬†players and as soon as it does make it to the U.S., I’ll definitely be buying several copies.¬†Aside from Inception, Cell 211¬†was the best film I saw last year.

5) Watch your budget and remember costs can add up. Parking, coffee or a meal before/after the film, snacks, gas money, can destroy a tight budget so do what you usually do to save money at the movies.

6)¬†Many filmmakers are at the festival promoting their films¬†and/or looking for a distributor so¬†people from the film will sometimes¬†be in attendance.¬†Actors, producers, directors, have all been known to be there to introduce their film and even stay¬†after the film is over to answer audience questions.¬† I’ll never forget seeing Josh¬†collect an autograph from Rachel Dratch. He levitated for the rest of the day. We’ve been in the audience¬†with¬†Paul Giammatti, Edward Norton, Gus Van Sant in recent years.

7)  Plan ahead for 2012 and buy ticket packages in advance, right around Dec or Jan, at a discount.

What’s on my list this year? ¬†

The First Grader looks fantastic.
Miranda July’s The Future
John Carpenter’s The Ward
Josh and I will definitely take in The Intruder and The Darkest Matter.
and I think Miran will want to see Beginners w/Ewan McGregor and Detention.
I’ll probably see at least 10 more in addition to these.

All the SIFF volunteers are typically identifiable by their tshirts or badges. Have fun and I’ll see you at SIFF!

Oil Spill Wildlife Rescue Event – Columbia Tower

oil spillThursday
July 15th
there will be a charity event at The Columbia Tower Club at 6:30 p.m. to benefit The Nature Conservancy and help with their Wildlife Relief efforts.

Tickets are $35. Ticket purchase and full event info can be found at the Oil Spill Wildlife Rescue Event site.

For the ticket price of $35 participants will get:

1) Flavor of Seattle local dining cards ‚Äď normally retailing at $35 (up to $500 in savings).
2) Complementary hors d’oeuvres
3) 10 raffle tickets good for the chance to win some fantastic donated prizes

The 10 raffle tickets alone offer an amazing array of potential side benefits of assisting in this cause:

AUCTION and RAFFLE Items are coming from the below local establishments (list not all inclusive) and the $35 entrance fee gives you 10 raffle tickets toward the drawing.

The Four Seasons
The Hyatt
John Howie Steak
Sea Star Restaurant
Dulces Latin Bistro
Le Gourmand Restaurant
Ray’s Boathouse
Cafe Campagne
Toulouse Petit
Swinery Meats
DeLille Cellars
Secret Stash Seasalts
Chef Amadeus
Liberty Bars
Fresh Seafood
Herban Creations

A great night out in the clouds at The Columbia Tower Club (business casual dress required), a great cause AND a great deal! Hope to see you all there…6:30 p.m. Thursday, July 15th.

Oil Spill Wildlife Rescue Event - Columbia Tower Club

Oil Spill Wildlife Rescue Event - Columbia Tower Club