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All the years I have lived here in Washington, I have never made it to the town of Leavenworth - until now. Leavenworth is a small mountain resort town 2 hours east of Seattle. The town is modeled after a Bavarian village theme. When people learn that I'm German, they invariably ask if I've ever been to Leavenworth and then proceed to rave " It's just like Germany there". The reason I never had a desire to take the drive to Leavenworth was my fear that I would just be too repulsed by the "Kitsch" (cheap imitation) effect.
In the current buyer's market I more frequently come upon listings that offer a selling bonus for the agent who brings an acceptable offer. Now what does that imply about real estate agents??? It implies that, motivated by extra money, agents will bring buyers to a listing they might otherwise not have shown. Additionally, since the bonus only applies to an accepted offer, agents might actually put influence on their buyers. Here is where it could get really ugly: Tasked by relocating buyers to put together a tour of homes, an agent might purposely arrange the tour to include homes that are all lacking compared to the (63 comments)
Did you know that the Washington State Legislature has enacted a law that requires landlords to notify their tenants about mold? http://www.leg.wa.gov/pub/billinfo/2005-06/Htm/Bills/Senate%20Bills/5049.E.htm The best way for landlords to fulfill this obligation is to include the Washington State Department of Heath's brochure on mold when handing over the keys. Just to be on the cautious side, have your tenants initial on the lease that they have received the pamphlet. For additional information on this requirement visit http://www.doh.wa.gov/ehp/ts/IAQ/mold-notification.htm Sandy NelsonRealtor for Olympia area real estatewww.sandynelsonrealestate.com (9 comments)
With the weather getting colder and wetter, it's increasingly difficult to get the kids out of the house and active. To prevent cabin fever and for a way to spend quality time with the kids, I've compiled a local guide of fun destinations. Take a Trip to Westfield Shopping Center "Kids, we're going to the mall!" (No, you're not being schlepped around the house-ware isles at JC Penney) The Olympia mall offers several cool destinations for families of all ages: Play an exciting game of "glow in the dark" miniature golf at Glowgolf, located in the old Mervins store. http://www.opryglowgolf.com/ Create your own unique Teddy Bear at the enchanted Bear (8 comments)
Here in Washington mold can be found everywhere. Mold helps decompose plant debris, helps make great cheese and is used in medicines. Mold spores are constantly in the air and in the ground, and when they settle on moist, organic matter, they multiply. When mold accumulates you can see it, like on old bread, or growing on food kept too long inside the refrigerator. Realistically there is no way to get rid of all mold spores in your home, and generally most molds are not harmful to healthy people. Some molds, however, can be carcinogenic and can cause increased health concerns, such as head (7 comments)
Preparing in advance for the winter season, will help cut expenses, save energy and protect your home.Here are a few simple steps you can take to be prepared for the chilly season:
Check your smoke detectors and fire extinguishers. An open flame in your fire place, lit candles and lighted holiday decorations are fire hazards. By preventing air intrusion into your home, you can help cut down on energy costs. Check your windows, doors, basement and attic. Seal cracks with caulking or weather stripping and, if needed, add extra insulation.Turn off water to outside faucets and drain any remaining water to keep it (5 comments)
Those pesky impact fees many cities charge for developing a new property are adding up to be quite a large chunk of change. The motivation behind charging impact fees is to recover the cost of added strain of the development on the public facilities, such as schools, roads, parks etc. The city of Olympia is authorized to charge impact fees under the Growth Management Act. The way these fees are calculated is a vague formula based on rate studies. The high cost of impact fees is driving up the price of new construction homes, making it even more difficult for first time home buyers, (2 comments)
If you're still wondering what to give your clients, friends, or loved ones, here is a list of great online resources. Easy to mail items of value for clients: Mini calculators, custom day planners and more at http://www.myron.com/ Custom luggage tags, thermometers and other promotional products at http://www.westsky.com Flower seed packets at http://www.americanmeadows.com/ Branded Christmas CDs (500 for $4.39) at http://www.thehalfordcompany.com/ Toys and other promotional items at http://www.orientaltrading.com/ Gift Cards: Starbucks cards at http://www.starbucks.com/ Tullys cards at www.tullys.com Coldstone Ice Cream cards at http://www.coldstonecreamery.com/ Theater tickets at http://www.movietickets.com/ Movie rentals at http://www.hollywoodvideogiftcards.com/ 30 minute phone cards at http://75630.asisupplier.com/ Food and Gift Baskets: Customized boxes of chocolates at www.godiva.com/corporate/ Custom wines at http://www.signaturewines.com/ Food baskets at http://www.lundsgift.com/ Gift baskets at (14 comments)
A weak US dollar and a drop in US home prices are luring foreign investors to the U.S. real estate market. The U.S. dollar has dropped to its lowest level against the European Euro, currently priced at $1.47. A recent article in "The Olympian" newspaper reports: ..."European investment is likely to pick up," said Mark Vitner, chief economist for Charlotte, N.C.-based Wachovia Corp. "Now is the time to come over and take advantage." ...Some mortgage brokers are already seeing a boost in inquiries about buying property from overseas. Dan Green, a certified mortgage planning specialist and author of TheMortgageReports.com, said the number of inquiries he's (11 comments)
How often are we chasing marketing trends, tempted to try out gimmicks and focused on getting a leg up on our competition? We're busy chasing success instead of having success attached to us as inseparably as a shadow. That's why Forrest is my hero. He's a simple man who goes through life being helpful, kind and sincere. Inevitably success follows. He's a champion, a hero, a trendsetter and a success. His positive outlook on life helps him overcome his personal tragedies and win friends. He has some great sayings: "Life is like a box of chocolates...", "Sh_ _ happens" and "Stupid is as stupid does" Forrest reminds (12 comments)
Sharing with those in need has just gotten easier. If you'd like to donate food items to the Thurston County Food Bank and you live on the west-side of Olympia, simply drop your items off at the Riley Jackson Real Estate office building at 1920 Black Lake Blvd. (next to Lumbermens).
The Thurston County Food Bank has seen a 34% increase in families who were served from 2005 to 2006 and the number of visits increased by 9%. The Thurston County Food Bank serves over 27,000 individuals annually, and relies on donations and volunteers. The agents, owners and staff of Riley (0 comments)
Our MLS furnishes informative housing market statistics that reveal, among other things, the average sales price of homes, the average amount of time listings stay on the market and the sales price versus list price ratios. All are very important statistics to know, but another important statistic to keep handy is the amount of housing inventory versus current demand. This is a good indicator whether it's a buyer's market or a seller's market. This is the formula I use to calculate inventory versus demand: 1. Perform an MLS search for all current active residential listings in your county, and record the number. 2. Perform an MLS search for (9 comments)
Just like in retail, we take inventory and measure the pace of demand. The inventory versus demand picture in the Thurston County housing market looks like this: Number of active residential listings: 2056 Number of residential listings sold within past 12 months: 4040 Average number of sales per month: 336 Number of months worth of current housing inventory: 6.01 If no more homes come on the market from today on, there are enough homes on the market to last 6 months. Inventory of more than 4 months marks a buyer's market. This information reflects the Thurston county market as of 10 November 2007. The information stems from NWMLS data and is deemed (4 comments)
I don't think there's a military installation that doesn't host a holiday bazaar. The Fort Lewis 27th Annual Holiday Bazaar is put on by the Officers' Spouses Club and opens its doors from November 3rd until November 4th at the Soldiers Field House. Besides food and live musical entertainment, there will be plenty of vendors to offer goods such as German table cloths, Polish Pottery and many other special hand-made products. You can also enter a raffle for a one-of-a-kind hand made quilt. For more information visit here: http://www.fortlewisosc.org/Holiday%20Bazaar.htm All proceeds will benefit the Ft. Lewis community so stop by and shop till you drop. St. Louis Rams Holiday (2 comments)
I've reached a point where I just had to vent my annoyance at the insurance industry commercials on initiative 67. Do they think if they mention the words "frivolous lawsuits" and "money in trial lawyers' pockets" enough times, people won't care what the initiative is actually about and just go along and vote "yes"?
Here is some insight into the issue: The Washington Senate, the House and the Governor have signed the Fair Conduct Act into law. This act would make it possible for consumers to sue their insurance companies for up to triple damages and for their attorneys' fees if the (8 comments)
When it comes to Location-Location-Location, the city of Dupont is the right place to be. Its convenient location to Ft. Lewis, its location right off Interstate-5 and its location right on Puget Sound, with views of Mt. Rainier and the Olympic Mountains make this a truly desirable place to live. I guess that would also explain that despite a 1.05% decline of residential home values throughout the rest of Pierce County, Dupont home values actually increased almost 5% in 2007.
The average Dupont home appreciation in the past four years was 48%, or an average annual 12%. I've invested in a home in (7 comments)
I just got finished Staging a newly listed home, located at 3606 Stevens Dr. NE in Lacey. The home is vacant and needed a few finishing touches to give it some warmth and style. The home is over 2500 sq. ft in size, has 3 bedrooms, a den plus a large bonus room, and is priced at $399,500. The back yard needed no staging, as the views are magnificent. Nature is really the best Stager.
Sandy NelsonRealtor for Olympia Area Real Estatewww.sandynelsonrealestate.com Riley Jackson Real Estate Inc. (13 comments)
In February 2007, Riley Jackson Real Estate Inc. officially opened for business as a new brokerage in Olympia. It has differentiated itself through its dedication to exceptional service and outstanding business practices. Riley Jackson is home to 25 agents and has recently completed its brand new office building on Olympia's west side. Last week, we, the Key Group agents of Riley Jackson (Sandy Nelson, Al Stickland and Rob Chrisler) celebrated the completion of the new building with a Grand Opening Party for our clients. We had good food and music, plenty of wine, and great people. We handed out over $20,000 in gift certificates that (5 comments)
New construction activity has exploded here in the South Puget Sound area. This development has created a large inventory of new homes to choose from. With lender bonuses and other incentives, it's very tempting to walk into a model home and to walk out with a signed purchase and sale agreement. Here are steps you can take to ensure that your interests are protected and that the new home purchase runs as smoothly as possible. Step 1: Use Your Own Agent Most of the site agents work for the builder (ask if they are buyers' agents) and, as such, will protect the seller's best interests. Find your own (4 comments)
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.