Category: Homeowner

How Long Does It Take To Build A Home?




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Remember the Water Mantra – OFF Your Roof and AWAY from Your Home

Pop quiz! How many gallons of water does the average-sized Seattle roof (1,000 square feet) shed during the course of the year? If you guessed 35,000 gallons – kudos! You are correct! In Seattle we are faced with consistent rainfall and this can pose a myriad of issues if the moisture penetrates your home. The…




Where Do Your Property Taxes Go?

The following chart shows where your 2013 King County property taxes are allocated: Property taxes are mixed in King County for 2013, with property values and property taxes down for many. However, some property owners will see their property values decline while their property taxes increase, and other property owners will see both their property…




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Neighbors and Fences

I occasionally recieve calls with questions about fences or building a fence.  There are many factors that can come into play.  Below are some suggestions to help avoid challenges with a neighbor. Don’t expect the neighbor to assist with the cost of a fence. In a survey of property owners, 90% of homeowners built or replaced a fence without…




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Solar Washington

Last week we had a volunteer from Solarize Washington come to our office meeting to share a great program taking place for Seattle residents interested in adding solar power to their home. Solar Power: Get Great Incentives, Increase Property Value Solar power works in Seattle, and hundreds of homes are enjoying free energy, getting cash…




Home Energy Saver

The Home Energy Saver website is a great place to begin research to improve on your home’s energy consumption.  By improving your home’s energy efficiency, you can profit in three ways: save money, improve your life, and help the earth, and making your home safer and more comfortable. Many people believe that their car is the…




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Realtors Defend Homeowner Benefits

Did you know … The Mortgage Interest Tax Deduction (MID) helps mostly middle- and lower-income families? 91% of those who took the MID make less than $200,000 a year? Capital Gains Exclusion allows you to exclude up to $500,000 from capital gains? Federal Housing Administration loans help put home ownership within reach for millions of…


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Everyday Safety & Awareness

Recently there have been a few scary incidents near my office at Green Lake.  The Seattle Police Department issued the following press release followed by some good rules to remember for now and in the future.  Be safe! Tuesday, February 12, 2013 2:01 PM Dear Block Captains/Contacts: We wanted to notify you that there have…




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Dispute Resolution

Are you having a problem with a neighbor and you are both frustrated and beyond reasoning?  King County has a way for you to find a solution without hiring attorneys and escalating the issue to an expensive and even more adversarial level.  The Dispute Resolution Center of King County (DRC) is a non-profit organization that has provided affordable…



Cost v. Value Remodel Ideas

Spring is in the air and you may be considering some home improvements.  Remodeling Magazine’s 2013 cost vs. value report gives you an idea of what those improvements may mean to the value of your home.  The following are just a few improvements ideas.  You can find more at Remodel Magazine’s website. Fiber-Cement Siding Fiber-cement…



Mortgage Forgiveness Act Extended To Dec. 2013

Congress has good news for homeowners in the new year: As part of the fiscal cliff resolution, the Mortgage Forgiveness Debt Relief Act has been extended through December 31, 2013.  This means struggling homeowners who are considering a short sale, foreclosure or modification will see another year of tax relief. Without an extension, homeowners who completed short sales…




Green Halloween

  Green Your Halloween with healthy treats, homemade/reused costumes, and family fun! • Give out packets of nuts or dried fruit instead of high-sugar, artificially flavored candies. • Purchase costumes from second hand stores or make your own before buying new. • Host a Costume Swap at your school, community center or business. Check out…



Unbelievable. 30-year mortgage hits record low 3.36%

Mark this moment in time folks. WASHINGTON (AP) — Average rates on fixed mortgages fell to fresh record lows for the second straight week. The declines suggest the Federal Reserve’s stimulus efforts are having an impact. Mortgage buyer Freddie Mac said Thursday that the rate on the 30-year loan dropped to 3.36%. That’s down from…




Noxious weeds

I’ve got ’em!  And they make me nuts.  Not sure how to identify a noxious weed versus an Native species?  King county has a great website to help you identify noxious weeds and basic information on how to handle them. What are noxious weeds?  Noxious weeds are non-native plants that are highly destructive, competitive and…




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Waterfront Title in Washington State

Questions about your waterfront property? Who owns it? Who can use it? Can you restrict the public? Here are some very helpful resources: Publication (pdf):  Waterfront Titles in the State of Washington Map (pdf):  Map of Washington State’s Navigable Waters Website:  State-owned Aquatic Lands Ownership & Navigability Map (pdf):  State Owned Aquatic Lands Website:  Land…




Mortgage Calculators

When considering a new mortgage or refinance it is sometimes nice to look at numbers from the comfort of home before calling a lender.  Below is a link to a website that offer numerous financial and mortgage calculators.  Check them out and then call me if you would like to talk with a lender, I would…




Distressed homeowner resources

There are many struggling homeowners looking for answers.  Below are a few links leading to resources for homeowners facing foreclosure or a short sale.  If you have additional questions please do not hesitate to contact me.  I will help you find the correct resources or contacts for your situation. Washington Foreclosure Mediation Program  As of July 22, 2011 a…




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Built Green in King County

A healthier home and more sustainable building practices are becoming increasingly important to Seattle area home buyers.  “Green” is often showing up on a Buyer’s wants & needs list as a top priority when talking about a home purchase. The Built Green program is a local non-profit group promoting environmentally friendly building practices.  They have a rating system…




Energy smart home & rebate programs

Small changes in your daily routine can lead to big reductions in your energy use and carbon emission. For example, switching to fluorescent lamps will give you three to five times more light for the same amount of electricity used by an incandescent lamp. Here are some additional tips: Install a programmable thermostat to keep…




Lead paint rules when remodeling

“Are you certified for Lead Paint?” This is the question you need to be asking your contractor(s) if you are planning a project on your home built prior to 1978. If you are planning a remodel on your home that was built prior to 1978 there are new rules that dictate whom can do the work on…




Refinance into a 15 year loan instead of 30

With historically low interest rates many homeowners are refinancing their mortgages. If you are considering a refinance there are many reasons to consider a 15 year fixed instead of the 30 year fixed that most people opt for.  Part of my strong belief in home ownership comes from a personal desire to have my home…