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Valley Cities Landing -- a Perfect Solution for Homelessness in Auburn, WA - 08/30/10 12:17 AM
Housing opportunities for homeless veterans and other homeless individuals working through mental illness in Auburn, WA took a much needed step forward on Friday afternoon. As an Ambassador for the Auburn Chamber of Commerce, attending opening ceremonies and participating in ribbon cuttings is just part of the position. However, being touched by the care and compassion demonstrated at the dedication ceremony for Valley Cities Landing on Friday afternoon was truly a priviledge. Valley Cities Landing is a 24-unit studio apartment complex designed and implemented through the cooperative efforts of the State of Washington, King County, the City of Auburn, and Valley (3 comments)
Engaging and Vital Real Estate Statistics for Kent, WA -- Why Use Them? - 08/29/10 12:20 AM
Over the last few days, I've blogged a bit about market updates: Boring but Invaluable Statistics for Auburn and Tedious but Crucial Statistics for Maple Valley, Washington. After yesterday's Maple Valley post, one reader chimed in to ask "why are you calling these Tedious?" Hmmm. With that light admonition in mind, I decided that Real Estate Statistics for Kent, should, at the very least, be classified as "Engaging and Vital." Because I live in Auburn, am based out of my Maple Valley office, raised my family in Kent and live only a few blocks outside of the Kent city limits, keeping an (0 comments)
Tedious but Crucial Real Estate Statistics for Maple Valley, WA - 08/28/10 01:55 AM
Similar to the Boring but Invaluable Statistics for Auburn posted yesterday, Maple Valley, WA where my office resides and located about 15 minutes northeast of Auburn, has it's own set of Tedius but Crucial Statistics. Tedious but Crucial Statistic #1: As with much of the area, home prices have fallen a bit in Maple Valley for the last few years. However, encouraging is that since February, prices have actually risen slightly: When looking at effective pricing, you may want to consider home prices for similar houses in about the May 2005 timeframe:
Moving quickly on to Tedious but (7 comments)
Boring but Invaluable Real Estate Statistics for Auburn, WA - 08/27/10 01:29 AM
Yeah, I know ... stats are boring. Especially putting them together every month. But when helping a seller understand what they need to do to sell their house ... or why they'll likely get the price under discussion, or why a buyer could/should pay a particular price for a home, they're invaluable. So here's boring, but invaluable statistic #1: The average home price for homes that sold as of end of July 2010 is less than it was in July 2004:
So here's boring, but invaluable statistic #2: There's typically a spike in accepted offers in March, followed by steady acceptable (2 comments)
EDIT: 8/26: Yikes I misspelled the name -- just corrected it in the post title. (16 comments)
Your Computer's Busy When You're Not Looking! - 08/24/10 12:44 PM
Working with real estate on a daily basis, I gotta tell you: "Now and then a good laugh is needed!" Forwarded to me by a friend, and yet another posting by the folks over at Deviantart.com, this animation is hilarious! Oddly enough, I can truly imagine this going on. Good reason to turn the thing off at night, right? I can just see myself sitting down at my desk first thing in the morning to see gaping holes in the side of my monitor! And, of course, a thanks and a bow to the talented Alan Becker! (Now I just wish I (7 comments)
What You Own Home Inventory-Free Software to Track Your Belongings - 08/24/10 11:33 AM
Keeping track of "stuff" is critical--you'll need a list such as this should you ever need to make an insurance claim. Be sure that you also periodically print a report listing your belongings and keep it in your safe or offsite (even better!). Thanks to Brett Pickett for this helpful link. I liked what CNET had to say about the product too. They're my "go to" place for reviews and safe downloads!
Via Brett Pickett (Keller Williams - Pickett Property Group): There really is some truth behind the saying, "You don't know what you got 'til it's gone." Lucky for you, (0 comments)
Should You Wait to Buy? - 08/22/10 02:49 PM
I bought my first home in the mid-'70's, and then bought again in about 1983. Even though interest rates were "obscene," (seems like ours was somewhere around 17.5%) somehow we managed to make it work. Builders and sellers routinely bought down rates and prices were considerably lower. I was reminded of this fact this morning when receiving a marketing piece by one of my favorite statistical companies, Estate of Mind. Simple little graphs like this one provide such a powerful visual guide of just how far interest rates have dropped and the resulting impact in purchasing power. Now, granted, $1,500 was certainly a (6 comments)
So ... How Much Can You Afford? - 08/22/10 01:11 PM
Like most agents, I talk almost daily with folks considering a home purchase. We talk through all of their wants and picture their dream house in vivid color. Within a very few minutes, however, I start asking the tough questions: How much can you afford? Have you been preapproved? With whom? May I refer a few lenders to you that do outstanding work--they'll help us nail down exactly how much house you can buy, and get you preapproved for a loan so you're ready to go! ... and so on. Generally, that very first question is answered by: "I want my payment (9 comments)
15 Things Your Buyer Agent Should (Will!) Do For You! - 08/21/10 01:11 PM
My daughter is currently shopping for a house outside of Washington State, where I'm licensed and practice. Although I cautioned her and her husband against making sign calls and suggesting (strongly!) that she work with a Realtor I interviewed on her behalf and recommend, they decided to make a sign call and then moved forward with that agent. And not happily so. When I spoke with her by phone yesterday, her comment to me was "Oh Mom, the agent just opens the doors. We're perfectly capable of finding houses on our own and we don't need any other help." Yikes! Now (7 comments)
Help for Homeowners -- FHA Short Refinance - 08/16/10 12:56 PM
Almost everyone I talk with these days is ... as I am ... backwards on their home loan-to-value ratios. Many of us bought out homes in the early 2000's and then even refinanced them or added home equity loans somewhere in the 2005-2007 days, bringing our total home loan indebtedness to a number that is now out-of-whack with today's home prices. These values were reasonable at the time, but, of course, with the falling real estate values, it's become impossible to refinance the house to take advantage of today's incredible home loan rates. Further, most of the various "Help the Struggling Homeowner" programs (2 comments)
What About a Deed-in-Lieu? - 08/12/10 03:49 PM
A deed in lieu of foreclosure is an additional option that should be investigated when facing a possible foreclosure. While it may seem like a simple and easy method to avoid a foreclosure, there are considerations and steps that you must take. A Deed-in-Lieu of Foreclosure is a process where the lender agrees to take the deed to your home rather than pursue a foreclosure action against you for nonpayment of your loan. This option is easiest where there is only one mortgage, and where there are no other liens. It's also important to know that some banks won't even consider a (4 comments)
Sometimes a Short Sale is Just NOT the Right Answer - 08/10/10 12:15 AM
I like to consider myself as a resource for sellers who are considering their options. Should they pursue a short sale? Should they just walk away? Should they just try to hang on no matter what? Recently I had an opportunity to meet with a wonderful couple that were truly truly trying to do "the right thing," as they phrased it. We met for a couple of hours while they showed me around their home. Their pride was obvious. This house was their baby. They'd improved and lovingly planted almost every inch of the yard ... and the inside was eat (26 comments)
Refinance or Pursue a Loan Modification? - 08/09/10 11:43 PM
In today's economic real estate market, unfortunately, sellers frequently find themselves in a position where their home must be sold for less than the outstanding balance of their mortgage. The process in doing so is called a "short sale," where the lender-or more specifically the investor(s) or lienholder(s),-are asked to accept a less-than-full payoff for the property. Two alternatives are suggested here that can and should be examined prior to deciding to pursue a short sale. Over the next few posts, I'll link to other alternatives. For a more complete discussion, click the title. Should You Refinance Your Home? If you feel you have (0 comments)
Hobart Cutie Sold & Closed! -- Thanks Everyone! - 08/06/10 03:43 PM
Mission accomplished! The Seller of this wonderful little house in the Hobart area of Maple Valley left a legacy for the new Buyer family -- "Here's a place where you can raise your own young children, with places to run and play and shout and sing. We loved it and know you will too." This transaction was simple and surprisingly quick! With particular thanks to Erik Reault of Cobalt Mortgage who put together a very fast and efficient FHA 203k rehab loan, and thanks to the cooperating agent on the transaction, Jeff Kissick. Thank you both for a job well (4 comments)
One of the last street fairs of the season is held right down the hill from my house -- in downtown Auburn -- starting on August 13th, and running through the weekend until August 15th. But Auburn Good Ol' Days is so much more than just a street fair! On Saturday the 15th is the annual Classic Car and Truck Show for cars built before 1960. Then on Sunday, the slightly newer cars (built 1979 and (0 comments)
It's Still SeaFair and the Hydros are Running! - 08/04/10 01:26 PM
I love Seafair in Seattle. I grew up in Seattle and, luckily, my family also loved the Hydros. As a young girl, we would always, always go to "Hydro Sunday"--spending the day sitting on the beach, having a picnic and generally just sharing in the giddy chaos that surrounded the event.
SOOOO much fun. The Hydroplane races on Lake Washington are now big business and the fun isn't quite as innocent. Now you have to buy tickets to sit beachside. (what's WITH that, anyway!) So now I spend my Hydro Sunday watching the races on the Tube. We BBQ at (0 comments)
This little blog contains my thoughts on the business of real estate, a place to showcase homes for my special clients (YOU!), and a wonderful place to hear your thoughts on ... well, whatever! Come join in, won't you?
Disclaimer: ActiveRain Corp. does not necessarily endorse the real estate agents, loan officers and brokers listed on this site. These real estate profiles, blogs and blog entries are provided here as a courtesy to our visitors to help them make an informed decision when buying or selling a house. ActiveRain Corp. takes no responsibility for the content in these profiles, that are written by the members of this community.