Should you go FSBO?

Posted on March 18, 2015 at 4:33 pm
Debi Bloomquist | Category: Economics, Everett, Home Improvement, Homeowner News, Real Estate

The Benefits of Home Ownership

Posted on June 6, 2014 at 5:21 pm
Debi Bloomquist | Category: Economics, Everett, Home Finances, Home Improvement, Homeowner News, Real Estate

Thinking of Buying a Vacation/Retirement Home? Why Wait?

The sales of vacation homes skyrocketed last year. A recent study also revealed that 25% of those surveyed said they’d likely buy a second home, such as a vacation or beach house, to use during retirement. For many Baby Boomers, the idea of finally purchasing that vacation home (that they may eventually use in retirement) makes more and more sense as the economy improves and the housing market recovers.

If your family is thinking about purchasing that second home, now may be the perfect time. Prices are still great. If you decide to lease the property until you’re ready to occupy it full time, the rental market in most areas is very strong. And you can still get a great mortgage interest rate.

But current mortgage rates won’t last forever…

According to FreddieMac, the interest rate for a 30 year fixed rate mortgage at the beginning of April was 4.4%. However, FreddieMac predicts that mortgage rates will steadily climb over the next six quarters.

Let’s assume you want to purchase a home for $500,000 with a 20% down payment ($100,000). That would leave you with a $400,000 mortgage. What happens if you wait to buy this dream house?

Prices are projected to increase over the next year and a half. However, for this example, let’s assume prices remain the same. Your mortgage payment will still increase as mortgage rates climb to more historically normal levels.

This table shows how a principal and interest payment is impacted by a rise in interest rates:

Keeping Current Matters Blog

Posted on April 18, 2014 at 6:36 pm
Debi Bloomquist | Category: Everett, Home Finances, Home Improvement, Homeowner News, Real Estate

Why You Need A Real Estate Agent

Written by Jensen and Company Realtors on 

Now that the housing market is finally on the upswing, many people are looking into buying a new home. One of the first things they have to consider before they begin the home buying process is if they are going to use a real estate agent or not. Everyone is going to be different but we put together this inofgraphic to give the American public some ideas about the importance of Real Estate Agents. Feel free to let us know what you think in the comments and don’t forget to share this with your friends.

Posted on April 7, 2014 at 3:44 pm
Debi Bloomquist | Category: Economics, Everett, Home Finances, Homeowner News, Real Estate

The Windermere Foundation is now accepting donations for the Oso, Washington Relief Fund.

We are deeply saddened by the events that have unfolded over the last week due to the landslide in Oso, Washington. We have heard from many of you who wish to support and provide emergency relief for those that have lost their homes and loved ones. 100% of the funds designated to the Windermere Foundation's Oso, Washington Relief Fund will go directly to the families affected by the slide, through the Darrington Emergency Task Force for immediate assistance.

You can donate online at https://store.windermere.com/content/foundation-donation. The Windermere Foundation will match the first $5,000 donated.

A special thanks to the Windermere office in nearby Arlington, owned by Gene Bryson, for raising awareness and starting the fundraising effort.

Our hearts go out to all the families affected by this disaster.

Thank you for your support.

Christine Wood | Executive Director

WINDERMERE FOUNDATION
5424 Sand Point Way NE
Seattle, WA 98105

OFFICE (206) 527-3801
FAX (206) 393-3444

Posted on March 27, 2014 at 5:00 pm
Debi Bloomquist | Category: Economics, Everett, Home Finances, Home Improvement, Homeowner News, Real Estate, Uncategorized

Practical New Uses for 23 Old Things

Kitchen designs, bathroom designs, and more ∨

Browse living room ideas, from a sectional couch to chandelier lighting and floor reading lamps, for your next interior design project.
Hire a residential builder in your area to renovate or install a new fireplace.

Posted on February 28, 2014 at 5:40 pm
Debi Bloomquist | Category: Economics, Everett, Home Finances, Home Improvement, Homeowner News, Real Estate

Mukilteo trail, park each get upgrades

 

MUKILTEO — People who like to hike and kids who like to play now have fresh opportunities to do so.

Mukilteo has improved the south fork of the Big Gulch trail and installed new playground equipment at 92nd Street Park, both in the central part of the city.

A dedication ceremony is scheduled for 5 p.m. Feb. 10 at the park, located just west of the Mukilteo Speedway.

Hikers had complained that a quarter-mile section of the trail gets muddy and tough to hike in the winter, said Patricia Love, acting planning director for the city of Mukilteo.

During the autumn, crews applied gravel to a section between a footbridge and the trail’s confluence with the north fork. From that location the trail continues more than a mile toward Puget Sound, ending near the Mukilteo wastewater treatment plant.

The old playground equipment at 92nd Street Park was deemed unsafe and was removed during the fall. It was more than 20 years old and its wooden anchor beams had deteriorated, according to the city.

“The supports were all rotted through,” Love said.

The city was able to complete both projects without spending any of its own money, she said.

The city recently received a $55,000 parks grant from Snohomish County. This covered most of the playground equipment and all of the trail improvements, Love said. A contribution of $8,801 from Buell Recreation Park and Playground Productsin Bothell, through which the city bought the playground structure, covered the remainder of that project. 

Another cost- cutter came when 30 volunteers helped assemble the modular playground equipment, with help from an installer.

Volunteers included members of the Kiwanis and Rotary clubs and staff members from Bank of America, Buell Recreation and the installer, the White River Fence Company of Auburn. Neighbors and current and former city officials also pitched in.

The work took place on a rainy, windy Saturday. The date was Jan. 11, the day of the Seahawks’ first playoff game.

“We were scrambling,” said City Councilman Ted Wheeler, one of the volunteers. Wheeler was elected in November and took office just last month.

“It was cold and wet and miserable, but it was fun,” he said.

The playground equipment opened for use on Jan. 20, Love said.

The Big Gulch trail is located just south of 92nd Street Park. The two areas together encompass more than 180 acres.

Bill Sheets: 425-339-3439; bsheets@heraldnet.com.

 

Posted on February 4, 2014 at 6:16 pm
Debi Bloomquist | Category: Everett, Real Estate

Wishing you, your friends and family a very Merry Christmas!

Posted on December 20, 2013 at 12:50 am
Debi Bloomquist | Category: Economics, Everett, Home Finances, Home Improvement, Homeowner News, News For Seniors, Real Estate, Uncategorized

Is winter the best time to buy a home?

 

The days are shorter, and the weather is iffier. But there are advantages to a cold-season house search.

By Chris Birk, Credit.com

Timing is critical when it comes to buying a home.

 

There are myriad sites, seminars and real estate sages out there offering the inside scoop on how to land the best deal. You could spend hours combing through articles and talking to experts. Or you could save yourself a lot of time and trouble and just look out the nearest window.

 

If the trees are barren and there’s snow on the ground, then it might be an ideal time to maximize your purchasing power.

Buying a home in the winter months may be one of the housing industry’s most downplayed opportunities. Sales are often slow, and prices and inventory tend to sag from November to January. There's a potent mix of fewer buyers, more real estate agents and winter sellers who are perhaps more open to concessions.

 

To be sure, the best time to get a home loan is when it makes the most sense for you, personally and financially. But if you have the benefit of a flexible timeline, a winter home search might help you land the best deal possible.

Winter wonderland

Sellers and buyers alike tend to shift focus away from the housing market as the holiday season nears. Winter weather can easily make home shopping unappealing, and many homeowners simply think their property shows better in the spring and summer.

 

National home inventory usually falls about 15 percent in the winter compared to the summer months, according to the National Association of Realtors. At the same time, home prices dip an average of $7,000 after Labor Day and usually hit rock bottom in December.

 

Declining inventory is a seasonal risk for sure. The pool of available homes may shrink a bit, but consider the potential advantages. Sellers with a winter listing may be much more motivated to unload the property, possibly on more buyer-friendly terms than you’ll find in shirt-sleeve weather.

 

A dip in homebuyers translates into more down time for real estate agents and mortgage professionals. These are folks you want competing for your business. You may even be able to move through the mortgage process faster than normal if time is a factor.

 

Does a winter purchase mean better loan terms? That’s tough to talk about in categorical terms, and the general response is probably an unsatisfactory, “Maybe.” So much depends on the individual borrower’s credit and financial profile, not to mention the overall mortgage-rate environment.

 

What might be worth noting is that this winter, in particular, might be better for homebuyers than winter 2014, if only because interest rates are likely to rise by the end of next year.

 

A different light

Winter shopping also provides a different vantage point of a property. You’ll see the house without the lush greenery or the sunlight streaming through open windows. You might also see whether the neighbor blows his snow onto your future driveway.

 

You’re battling sundown on a winter day, so a lot of viewings will happen on the weekends or spread over several afternoons. But you’ll get to see homes in a different light, if you will.

 

There’s no doubt that winter homebuying isn’t for everyone. Household budgets might be a bit tight given the annual holiday spending blitz. Families in particular might have a tough time moving in the middle of a school year.

 

But if the season suits you, the next four months or so might be the best time of the year to go looking for a home loan.

Posted on November 18, 2013 at 7:12 pm
Debi Bloomquist | Category: Everett, Homeowner News, Real Estate

Thinking of Selling Your House? 5 Reasons to Do it Now

by The KCM Crew on September 10, 2013 ·in For Sellers, Pricing

Many now realize that it is a great time to buy a home. Today, we want to look at why it might also be an opportune time to sell your house. Here are the Top 5 Reasons we believe now may be a perfect time to put your house on the market.

1.) Demand Is High

The most recent Existing Home Sales Report by the National Association of Realtors (NAR) showed a 17.2 percent increase in sales over July 2012; sales have remained above year-ago levels for 25 months. There are buyers out there right now and they are serious about purchasing.

2.) Supply Is Beginning to Increase

Total housing inventory last month rose 5.6% to 2.28 million homes for sale. This represents a 5.1-month supply at the current sales pace, compared with 4.3 months in January. Many expect inventory to continue to rise as 3.2 million homeowners escaped the shackles of negative equity in the last 12 months and an additional 1.9 million are expected to enter positive equity in the next 12 months. Selling now while demand is high and before supply increases may garner you your best price.

3.) New Construction Is Coming Back

Over the last several years, most homeowners selling their home did not have to compete with a new construction project around the block. As the market is recovering, more and more builders are jumping back in. These ‘shiny’ new homes will again become competition as they are an attractive alternative for many purchasers.

4.) Interest Rates Are Rising

According to Freddie Mac’s Primary Mortgage Market Survey, interest rates for a 30-year mortgage have shot up to 4.57% which represents a jump of more than a full point since the beginning of the year. The Mortgage Bankers Association, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and the National Association of Realtors are in unison projecting that rates will continue to climb.

Whether you are moving up or moving down, your housing expense will be more a year from now if a mortgage is necessary to purchase your next home.

5.) It’s Time to Move On with Your Life

Look at the reason you are thinking about selling and decide whether it is worth waiting. Is the possibility of a few extra dollars more important than being with family; more important than your health; more important than having the freedom to go on with your life the way you think you should?

You already know the answers to the questions we just asked. You have the power to take back control of your situation by putting the house on the market today. The time may have come for you and your family to move on and start living the life you desire. That is what is truly important.

Posted on September 17, 2013 at 6:45 pm
Debi Bloomquist | Category: Economics, Everett, Home Improvement, Homeowner News