i turn REALTY into REALiTY

For Buyers Category

My new listing in Woodinville, WA

I just listed home in Woodinville, WA for $799,000. It is 4300 square feet, and has beautiful mountain views from the back deck. Some lucky buyer will get a steal on this home, as my sellers originally paid $1mil for it a few years ago… But, the real estate market is just like the stock market in that it goes up and down… Timing is everything! Drop me a line if you’d like a personal tour of this home.

Mortgage Tips for 2011

I just read this article on MSN.com and found it useful.  I especially liked tip #5. I never knew that when refinancing, you could ask the bank to amortize he loan over the remaining loan period instead of resetting the clock to 30 yrs. Pretty cool stuff!

“Green” trends for 2011

Just this past year, I received a “Green” certification from the Earth Advantage Institute. I still have much to learn about the processes involved, but I find the premise and ideas fascinating. Although I’ve reduced my carbon footprint by a significant amount this past year, I realize that there is much more that I could be doing…

This “Top 10” list is a good place to start if you’re wanting to become more eco-aware… I’d love to hear your thoughts. Are you are “green” as you could be?

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Sell, Sell… No, Buy, Buy!

In general, I tend to be a contrarian where investing is concerned, but I really like this post from Hedge Fund Manager, John Paulson. I think it earns credibility for the real estate market, because it is coming from an financial guy, not some real estate analyst. I’m sitting here waiting for your call…

A home for sale in Woodinville

I just listed a home in Woodinville on 1.35 acres. It has 4 bedooms, 2 1/2 baths and a 2 car garage. Ordinary you say? Perhaps, but what makes this property special are the other features like a huge shop (big enough for 6 cars) plus a 1 bedroom/den apt with 1 1/2 baths. IF that wasn’t enough, there is also RV parking and a potential for equestrian usage (there’s a fenced pasture). And, it is pretty close to the Tolt Pipeline. Now that’s special…

Mill Creek Home for Sale

I just listed a home in Mill Creek, WA for $570,000. If you watch the top slideshow in the righthand column, you can see photos of this home. Probably the nicest feature of this home is the backyard. It is not a large yard, but it abuts a Native Growth Protected Area (NGPA) which means that nobody can build directly behind you. The natural area is private and offers a glimpse of wildlife from time to time. Given that this area has been developing at a rapid pace over the last several years, it’s nice to actually have trees to look at outside your window!

The particulars:

5 Bedrooms / Den / 2.5 Baths plus the usual Family, Dining, Living rooms & kitchen.
3108 square feet, built in 2000

Check it out!


Market Dynamics from a different perspective

I saw a question posted on Trulia.com recently from a user wanting to know when the market would return to normal. My first thought was: What is a normal market?

Is “normal” what we experienced in the last several years, or do we go back further in time to gain a proper perspective? How far do we travel back in time to get to that “normal” market? 10 years? 20 years? In order to define normal, we first need to determine a baseline as to what constitutes that definition.

American Heritage Dictionary defines normal as:
Conforming with, adhering to, or constituting a norm, standard, pattern, level, or type; typical: normal room temperature; one’s normal weight; normal diplomatic relations.

hmm… Seems like a circular reference to me… Read the rest of this entry »

Dear Seller…


“My family and I would very much like to purchase your home. I am a single gay man with 2 adopted, handicapped children…”

Have you ever written a letter like this to present to a seller of a home? I’ve done this on behalf of my clients before (not this exact letter, but something similar). And with good success, I might add. The New York Times recently ran a piece that spoke about this tactic (however, the content differs dramatically from what I’ve seen and written in the past).

Letters like those written in the article are perfectly acceptable in my opinion. What should be mentioned from a cautionary standpoint, are words that could be misconstrued as discriminatory in nature as defined by HUD (Housing and Urban Development). Title VIII of the Fair Housing Act prohibits discrimination against a variety of classes. So, even with the best of intentions in mind, a letter like the sample above could be a lawsuit in the making. I am thinking of using the letter from the NYT article though…

What are your thoughts?

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A new way to look at homes?

Trulia just launched a new site called Trulia Snapshots that enables consumers to graphically view homes in any given area, sorted by price range, or market time. I’ve tried it out, and it looks pretty snazzy. At a quick glance, you can see all the homes within a price range (slider bar at the bottom of the screen), and just by moving the slider, the graphical representation of homes changes instantly!

I think this new tool will put pressure on sellers because now buyers have a quick way of seeing how long a home has been on the market, thus spotting over-priced homes. What do you think?

Is the recession over?

Here is another article from the Wall Street Journal that has charted Housing Starts since 1972. According to this article, each time new housing starts have dropped below the one million mark, that signaled an end to the housing slump. The article makes some good points, but as always, we never know about making history until after its been made…

What are your thoughts about the housing market?