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Get The Poop On Septic When Selling Your Woodinville Home

Septic_Tank_Riser_LidIf you’ve been a reader of my Blog for any length of time, you may have noticed that I tend to focus on certain topics and run them into the ground.  I like to think it’s because I’m being thorough and want to cover the topic fully, but those who know me might argue that I’m just odd.  Today’s post should be my last on the subject of septic systems unless someone asks me additional questions or some new changes in the law require an update.

King County Septic Regulations

Title 13 of the code within The Board Of Health Regulations is the governing document for all things septic within King County.  Within this chapter, 13.60.030 of the health code specifies what a seller must do when selling a home that is served by an OSS (On-Site Septic System).  Click HERE to view the regulations.  If your home is connected to a public sewer system, you can stop reading now.  BUT if you have a septic system serving your property, read on… Read the rest of this entry »

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Food Waste In America


Today is Blog Action Day for 2011.  It is the one day of the year that this organization attempts to get bloggers all over the world to blog about one particular topic that affects everyone.  This year’s topic is FOOD.

While some bloggers may choose to blog about their favorite restaurant or their favorite food, I’m choosing to blog about food waste.  While thinking about my topic for today, I came across a previous blog post that cited some statistics about food waste in America.  I didn’t research the authenticity of the data cited, but on the surface, the numbers are staggering.  Here are just a few statistics:

  • A report completed in 1997 cited a statistic of 91 Billion pounds of food waste in 1995 by consumers and food service.
  • Food disposal costs the US about $1 Billion each year.
  • Households waste approximately 14% of their food purchases each year; 15% of this waste is still within the expiration but never opened.
  • An average family of 4 tosses out $590 of food each year in meat, fruits, vegetables and grains.  This doesn’t even include packaged food that gets thrown out! Read the rest of this entry »

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What You Need To Know About Septic Systems

septicA Primer On Septic Systems

Several months ago, I wrote about a problem I encountered with a septic system that serves a rental home I own.  You can read about that post HERE.

In that post, I briefly mentioned how my septic system was designed (built using concrete pipes abutted together where the septic effluent just seeps out between the pipes back into the ground), and some things to be aware of when getting your system pumped.  Just recently, my tenant in this home contacted me because the drains were backing up and he thought that we were experiencing the same problem as last time (drainfield clogged).  I knew this couldn’t be the case, and queried him as to his disposal habits.  Of course, he denied any wrongdoing and stated the problem couldn’t be a clogged pipe.  It just couldn’t! Read the rest of this entry »

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Sellers Still Not Budging

stubbornI was sitting at my local Italian restaurant last night and speaking with an acquaintance whom had just signed a listing agreement on his home (not with me unfortunately). The first question out of his mouth was “So how’s the market?”.  After some back and forth lightweight banter, we began to analyze the whole housing crisis (as people so often do while sitting at the bar). I asked how much his home was listed for, and his response was that he hadn’t yet decided on a price.  Read the rest of this entry »

Headline: Real Estate Agent Causes Bank To Foreclose


Good Things Come To Those Who…

I have been working with a client family since June in an attempt to find them a home.  It has been a team effort with both sides scouring the NWMLS database in search of new properties to view.  It’s been a learning experience for them, and I admire their tenacity. The phrase “A Day Late and a Dollar Short” describes their woes perfectly.  We’ve written offers, and lost out on several homes in multiple offer situations; the last one by just $500 difference.  We saw a home one evening last week and were about to submit an offer the next day when we discovered that the bank had just accepted an offer that same morning. To say that they have been frustrated would be an understatement.  But they refuse to give up! Read the rest of this entry »

Dear Mr & Mrs. Seller: We Love Your Home But…


Why Buyers (and Realtors) Love REOs

Let’s face it, there are a lot of homes for sale right now.  It seems you can’t drive down the street in most neighborhoods without seeing a For Sale sign.  In Woodinville, WA the city that I live, there are 229 homes for sale (208 homes, 21 condos).  Of those homes available, 12 are bank owned properties (5% of the market).  Contrast that with the number of homes currently under contract (99 homes PENDing), of which 18 are bank owned.

Why do REOs sell quicker than other homes? If you ask the general public, they would answer “Because they sell for less than market value!” My answer would be “Because they are priced appropriately for the market, based on the current conditions”.  If you read my answer carefully, you’ll notice that there are distinct differences between the two statements, but those differences can dictate whether you stay or go. Read the rest of this entry »

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Short Sale Advisory – Read This First!


If you are in a situation where you must sell your home for less that what is owed, you may fall into the category of a “short sale”.  If so, it is imperative that you read this advisory written by the Washington State Department of Financial Institutions. This important document defines the term “short sale” and provides guidance to help sellers navigate through the process.  You can download this document HERE.

Additional information and links to other governmental documents can be found HERE.

Be smart. Know your options.

When REALiTY BiTES, bite back!

Should I Pay Down My Mortgage?


Q & A

Today’s Question comes from a client whom I’ve helped several times over the years.  I think he was one of my first 5 clients back when I first began in real estate.

Q: I own a home that is currently worth less than what I owe on it.  I would like to refinance, but in order to do so, I’d have to pay down my mortgage enough that the bank would consider a refinance.  Is it worth doing?

A: I have two answers to this question, and the answers depend on the type of loan, and the LTV.

Read the rest of this entry »


Barely Hanging On?


I met with a potential client yesterday who had asked me to come out and provide her with some insights on selling her Bothell, WA condo.  She would like to sell it and purchase a single family home.  The only problem? She’s upside down on the mortgage.

This is a common problem throughout the country, and especially within her condo complex. I wrote about another condo complex in Lynnwood, WA a little while back that had the same issue (you can read that post HERE).  In the Bothell complex, there are 5 units for sale.  Two are bank owned, two are short sales, and one is a fair market value sale.  The distressed sales (Bank owned and SS) are priced well below what the values were when originally purchased.  The lone fair market sale is beautiful inside, but will have a difficult time competing since it is priced over $100,000 more than the other units in the same complex. Read the rest of this entry »

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Foreclosure Fairness Act of 2011


If you’re in danger of losing your home to eminent foreclosure, Governor Gregoire just signed into law the above foreclosure act in the hopes of helping distressed homeowners keep their homes. The new law provides an opportunity for the homeowner to meet with their lender in mediation to discuss options and possible ways to prevent the foreclosure.

Foreclosures are often a lose-lose situation, and while our government has tried unsuccessfully in the past to help homeowners (HAMP comes to mind), I applaud the efforts.  Only time will tell how successful this new law ends up being.

You can read about the new law HERE.