i turn REALTY into REALiTY

Woodinville Home Back on the Auction Block

Woodinville homeJust yesterday, I was touting about how to buy a home for pennies on the dollar (click HERE to read that post). In that post, I mentioned a home in Woodinville, WA that sold for $490,000 at a recent auction I attended. What happened afterward is a complete surprise to me… Read the rest of this entry »


How to buy a home for pennies on the dollar!

AuctionIt’s a buyer’s market right now, and there are deals to be had. I’m going to tell you the best deal yet, but it’s not for the faint of heart.

Short Sales and REOs are good, but there is another alternative.

There is an oversupply of homes on the market right now. Ask anyone you know and they will tell you of a neighbor’s home for sale. Drive down any residential street and you’ll see the yard signs. Visit any condo complex and you’ll see the signs in the window. What you don’t see may be the best buy out there… Read the rest of this entry »


Lynnwood Perception turns into REALiTY

Back in February, I wrote about shadow inventory, and how it can affect the overall market. You can read my post HERE. In that post, I referred to a condo complex in Lynnwood, WA where there were many units for sale. A few weeks ago, one of my investor clients purchase a unit in that same complex for a sales price of $142,000. In my previous post, I posed a hypothetical question about what would happen if the units in the complex began to sell for bargain basement prices. Based on my recent experience, I think the answer is evident. Read the rest of this entry »


2010 Distressed Property Statistics for Seattle

ChartsI’m a numbers kind of guy. I like looking at statistics and charts to help keep things in perspective. Here are the 4th quarter graphs for Bank Owned and Short Sale properties for the various counties surrounding and including King County, WA.

4th Quarter 2010 Distressed Properties by County

Talk Dirty to Me…

Concrete pipes

A large scale version of my septic system

No, this isn’t about the song from the musical group Poison. Nor is this an explicit request. It’s more like a session of potty talk for grown-ups.

Living with a Septic System

I grew up in the city. We had sewers. When you live on sewers, you don’t worry about what happens once you’ve done your business. That’s because the sewer company maintains the pipes once it leaves your property. When you live on septic, the pipes never leave your property. That means your business remains your business…

My Woodinville Home…

Is on a septic system. Actually, my home shares the land with the septic system. Until recently, I never gave it another thought.  I had the tank pumped out as recommended by the King County Health Department. That’s when my troubles began. Read the rest of this entry »


Violet Beauregarde’s Heaven in Seattle…

The Gum Wall

Alas, if only Violet hadn’t found the golden ticket, and instead opted to visit Seattle, she wouldn’t have been so blue.  Instead, she might have taken up residence in Pike’s Market just so she could visit this personal shrine at her leisure.

A Seattle Kaleidoscope of Flavors

Think of Jackson Pollock meets Jelly Belly. If you’re still in the dark about where (or what) this place is, its the Gum Wall below Pike Market.  I don’t know how long it has been there, but to be perfectly honest, I just discovered it this past week while frequenting the restaurant across the alley.

Donations Accepted

If you’ve ever felt that you should be more giving, this is your opportunity. No cash is required. However, this is BYOG (Bring your own GUM). I’m sure you can pick up a piece somewhere in the market. If you’re feeling hungry, I’m sure you might even be able to take a piece as well…

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3 updates that DID NOT help sell this Lynnwood WA home

STOPWhen selling your house, it is generally in your best interest to de-clutter, clean, and update it so that potential buyers will view it at it’s best. Before doing so, I suggest that you ask your Realtor for his/her opinion. I see a lot of homes each week as I preview and show them to my buyer clients. I like to take photos of homes that I think serve as great (or not so great) examples of what sellers have done in their home.

What buyers look for.

Two rooms that get used the most in the home are the kitchen and bathroom. Makes sense, doesn’t it? What goes in must eventually come out. So, it is imperative that these two rooms are clean and show well. Read the rest of this entry »

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Cleaning can be sweet!

There is nothing sweeter than a clean home, wouldn’t you agree? But with today’s hectic lifestyle, who has the time?

Should I hire a housekeeper?

I live in an affluent area, surrounded by Hi-tech millionaires.  They have the disposable income to pay for nannies and housekeepers.  But, after that whole Meg Whitman – Illegal Alien debacle, I’m a bit leery about hiring a housekeeper.  Besides, I don’t know about you, but I’m generally frugal with my money. I have a hard time  paying someone else to do something that I can do just as good. That’s right, I’m a very thorough cleaner. But, I hate to do it! Read the rest of this entry »


Foreclosure sales account for 26% of sales in 2010

Realtytrac, the leading online marketplace for foreclosure properties just released statistics for the fourth quarter, 2010.

Foreclosures are down

Sounds promising until you read deeper into the report. Foreclosures accounted for 26% of the overall market nationwide, down from a record high of 29% in 2009.  It’s great to see the decrease, but that is still a staggering percentage of the overall market!

Overall home prices get dragged down also…

When bank owned properties were just a small portion of the market (less than 10%), their sales prices were viewed as an aberration. One bank sale didn’t really affect the values of other homes in the neighborhood. But, when the percentage of REOs increased, it started to negatively affect the values of other homes (see my previous post: What is lurking in the shadows). In the report by Realtytrac, Washington foreclosures sold for an average of 30% less than their Fair Market counterparts.

Lower Prices = More Investors

As the sales price ratio of REO : FMV sales increases, so does the investor activity. That’s when the smart money begins to show up. To put it into perspective, if you could buy something for 70 cents on the dollar, wouldn’t you be interested too? Read the rest of this entry »

Is it important that my Realitor can spell?

In this age of easy access to computers and spell check programs, why is it that grammar and spelling have declined? Are we just too busy to take the time to proofread? Or, are we just too lazy?

Bad Grammar = No Business Or Does It?

Many of my co-workers and friends think I’m a bit crazy when I post photos on Facebook of typos that I come across in my daily life. I get a kick out of them.

But the bigger question to ask yourself is “does it change your perception of the company or individual in a negative way”?

Put another way, would you continue to do business with an individual or company if their correspondence was riddled with bad grammar or typos?

For me, it would depend. Read the rest of this entry »