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i turn REALTY into REALiTY

For the fun of it… Category

Anatomy of a Short Sale Transaction

Flowchart

This past week, I had the pleasure of gaining mutual acceptance on a condominium for a client.  It was a bank owned property.  The following day, I received a nice flowchart from the listing agent, explaining what my clients and I should expect and the time frames involved.  I thought to myself that this was a very professional agent and I appreciated getting a “heads up” on what to expect.  Here is what I received. Read the rest of this entry »

I Should Be An Architect!

The Big “L”

FloorplanAfter 15 years in the real estate business, I was beginning to feel that all new construction looked alike.  I mean, there was no freshness in the floorplans.  I kept seeing the same typical layouts over and over again.  Back in the 80’s, 90’s, and early 2000’s when homes were built a bit larger than they are now, builders didn’t even try to get creative.  Here was a typical “L” shape layout that was (and still is) very popular:

You walk in the front door, the living, dining, kitchen, and family room are always in the same places with little variation. Sometimes the layout is flipped so the garage is on the right and everything else is on the left.  If the square footage is a bit larger, then you get a den on the main floor.  If the home is a bit smaller, you lose a room or the rooms get smaller.  It’s really kind of boring after you’ve seen so many of them.  Split level homes are the same way. I understand that it’s tough for architects to change things up dramatically, but I appreciate it when I see something original every now and again.

Design For The Site

Upstairs, the builders are starting to listen to buyers’ feedback by putting the laundry room where the dirty clothes are, although I wish that they would take the site plan into consideration when designing the bedroom layouts.  In a typical home, the master bedroom is still located at the rear of the home in either the left or right corner.  When you’re on a quiet street it’s not a problem, but when you back to a major road with lots of road noise, that is a huge downside. I say let the kids have the noisy side of the house!

A Fresh Design?

I was invited to a Brokers Open House recently to preview some new homes in Bothell, WA. The only reason I stopped by was because I was in the area looking at another home nearby, and I remembered that the site agent had called me earlier in the week with the invite and a promise of a free lunch! I was pleasantly surprised when I entered the three model homes.  Two of them had the typical layouts on the main floor, but the upstairs room configurations were much different than what I had expected.  In one of the homes, the 2nd story landing area was actually a large open loft which felt oddly appropriate for that home.  I especially liked that the laundry room was centrally located upstairs, yet away from the bedrooms. I also appreciated that the master bedroom in this home faced the front of the house, away from the noisy backyard and busy road that runs behind the lot.

My One Complaint

floorplanIn Lot 1 of the plat, I saw a most unique layout on the main level. The design was still an “L” shape, but the rooms were flopped around, such that the dining room was placed at the back of the home in the corner, and the kitchen was situated in-between it and the family room. I think the layout works very well for the home, except for two glaring problems.  The builder installed a large granite island in the center of the kitchen which is really nice but the island is nothing more than a large granite table.  There are no cabinets installed underneath! Such a waste of space in a smaller home where storage is a premium.  The second issue is that the island (or should I say table?) abuts the great room (seen in the diagram to the left). This is fine if you have hardwood flooring throughout the two rooms, but if you have carpeting in the great room (as is the case in the model home) and you wanted to sit around the large gathering space, you have several chairs on the carpet, and several on the hardwood flooring.  Not too practical if you plan to entertain in that space and end up spilling food on the floor.  I think the builder will probably get some negative feedback from potential buyers on this design element.

A Plug For The Builders

If you’re in the market for a new home, or would just like to see what the latest and greatest designers are putting into the homes, you should definitely check out these homes in Bothell. The neighborhood is called Brookfield, and it is located east of Bothell-Everett Highway, on 180th St. SE.  If you don’t have a Realtor, and you’d like to take a look at these homes, give me a call!

When REALiTY BiTES, bite back!

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Would You Buy a House From This Man?

Me!

I met with a client family this afternoon, and their little girl drew a picture of me. She put a smile on my face both in the picture and in real life.

Thanks Samira!

Kids Are So Intuitive!

Shoe Sign

While showing homes this past week, my clients’ little girl (8 years old) spotted this notice and said “Why do we only take off one shoe?” I didn’t have a good answer for her.

A $5 Starbucks card for the funniest response…

Looking for a 2bdrm/2bth + outgoing Realtor

Find a Home and a Date!

Find a Home and a Date!

Save Time – Date Your Realtor?

I realize this post has absolutely nothing to do with the actual business of real estate, but since I’m hot off the heels of my last eHarmony blog post, and recent conversations with fellow real estate agents centered around their dating life, I started thinking: Could Real Estate replace eHarmony as the new way to meet your next love? Read the rest of this entry »

A Primer for Buyers

Real Estate can be fun!

Real Estate can be fun!

I enjoy working with first time home buyers.  I get a kick out of helping them purchase their first home, and teaching them in the process.  One of the tools I use to help educate buyers is a little exercise called “The Housing Priority Game”. Disclaimer: I didn’t create this game and I honestly don’t know who to give credit to for its design.  I came across it years ago and my copy was getting very worn so I’ve re-typed it for clarity. Read the rest of this entry »

Life in Woodinville

Woodinville City LogoI love my town. Every day is unique.  The motto for Woodinville as you enter the city is “City Living, Country Style”.  Or, maybe it’s the other way around…  I can never remember. In any case, there are many city aspects such as the shopping, restaurants, and movie theaters situated alongside the country ones (horses, deer and other wildlife). Today though, I came across something I’d never seen before in my town.  A single runaway sheep jogging along the road in the pedestrian lane in front of Cottage Lake by my home.  I took a short video of it because nobody would believe it otherwise…

You can watch the short clip HERE.

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REALiTY Homes For Sale

Where Are They Now?

Where Are They Now?

Check out these homes that have been featured on TV REALiTY series. Now that the TV series have ended, these homes are on the market…

Read the article and view the photos HERE.

In Honor of Easter…

In Celebration of Easter

In Celebration of Easter

I never enjoyed eating those little peeps, even when I was a small child.  My mom loved them though.  I still remember how quickly they became stale and hard as a rock in those little yellow cellophane packages.  I always wondered what happened to them, and now I know…

If you know where this framed portrait resides, be the first to comment below with the correct location and score yourself a $5 Starbucks gift card! Here’s a hint: It’s somewhere in Seattle, WA.

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Fun on the Water…

Where Am I?

I love seeking out new and interesting places to visit.  I also love finding typos in signs, packaging, etc. Here is a place I visited last summer when I came across this sign. If you are one of the first 5 people to tell me exactly where this is, I’ll send you a $5 Starbucks card.  Hint: It’s on the waterfront somewhere in the greater Puget Sound area of Washington.

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