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i turn REALTY into REALiTY

The Great (Condo) Depression

Condos

This past week I attended another real estate auction with a client who was interested in purchasing a condo that was being sold. I was very familiar with many of the condo complexes that had units on the auction block and it stunned me to see the final bids for many of the units.  This got me thinking about a generalization that I’ve heard many times over the years.  It goes something like this: “Condos tend to appreciate slower in a rising market, and depreciate faster in a declining market.”  I don’t know if I agree with the appreciation part, and I haven’t done the actual analysis so I can’t state for a fact that this dictum rings true, but I have seen the declining side of the market and can state (at least anecdotally), that this part appears true. Read the rest of this entry »

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What lurks in Those Seattle Victorian Homes?

Older home with lead based paint

Older home with lead-based paint

As a child, I was initially raised in a very old apartment building in San Francisco, CA.  I spent countless hours looking outside the bedroom window and down at the street, much like the child in the photo above. My mom even tells stories of me as a baby, chewing on the wood of the sills and other painted objects. “We were so poor that we couldn’t afford teething toys…”. Read the rest of this entry »

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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.

Property Disclosures – What Sellers Need To Know

Form17

Seller Property Disclosure Form

In an earlier post, I discussed the topic of property disclosures, and what it means for buyers.  You can read that post HERE.  If you’re a seller, you may already be familiar with the disclosure form, and may even think that it’s totally unnecessary and a burden to complete.  After all, who reads these things anyway, right? Well, I’m proposing that you look at this document from a completely new perspective. Read the rest of this entry »

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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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Property Disclosures – What Buyers Need To Know

Form 17

Since 1995, sellers in Washington State have been required by law to provide to potential purchasers a document titled “Seller Disclosure Statement”. This disclosure comes in a few different forms, depending on whether you are purchasing an “Improved” property (home, condo, etc.), “Unimproved” property (generally raw land), or “Commerical” property.  Whichever type of property you are purchasing, the purpose of the disclosure is the same. It is provided so that you, the buyer, have information about the property that you may not have known otherwise unless you were the seller. Read the rest of this entry »

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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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4 Things Your Agent Won’t Tell You (But I Will)…

shhhhSelling a home can be a daunting task for sure.  Some consumers go through the process only once or twice in a lifetime. Others go through it every few years or so.  Regardless of how experienced you are (or think you are), I’ve got a few things to share with you.

#1 – You Can Cancel Your Listing Agreement at ANY Time.

If you have your home for sale and you want to cancel your listing with your current Realtor, you can.  Most real estate agents try to secure a 6 month listing agreement with a home seller.  There are some valid reasons for this. In the current real estate market, homes take longer to sell, and most agents want some assurance that they will have time to adequately market the home.  There are real monetary expenditures at risk for the agent, including house flyers, print advertising, Open House expenses, and much more.  There are also valid reasons why you might want to cancel your listing agreement.  I will describe in a later post some of the reasons why you might want (or need) to cancel your listing prior to the expiration date, but just know that you can. Read the rest of this entry »