Real Estate news you can use!

Check out these articles for great information about our community and the real estate industry.

New home sales hit highest level in 9 years! 

Millennials still believe in the homeownership dream even if they can’t afford to buy

Housing market across the U.S. finally starting to look healthy

MORTGAGE & FINANCE news

Salary needed to buy a home in 19 major U.S. cities

Tips for staying out of debt

Calculate how much house you can afford

HOME trends

King County’s eco-remodeling tool provide tips for going green for your next home renovation

Four colors that may hurt a home’s sales price

LOCAL news

7 percent of Puget Sound homes are underwater, compared with 12 percent nationally

A teardown a day: Bulldozing the way for bigger homes in Seattle, suburbs

BLS stats show Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue is #7 Metro area for fastest job growth

What does Vancouver’s housing market implosion mean for Seattle?

seattle

Seattle home-sale market provides small hint of slowdown

You need an annual salary of $83K to afford a home in Seattle

Everett welcomes the film industry, an important economic driver for local businesses

WEEKLY DOSE OF awesomeness

Happy 100th Birthday U.S. National Parks

 

 I hope your week is a great one! 

Jen Murrweiss | Remax Elite | 425-422-7243

washington.jpg

Home services a Realtor’s referral list.

Under construction REFERRAL RECOMMENDATIONS FOR CLIENTS

An inspector I use, and highly regard, composed this list on tradesman he has used and trusts. If you click on the below link it will bring you a “tool box” in alphabetical order of almost every type of service, you could need in the Puget Sound area. Click here

Below are some that I (with the *) have used, recommendations from other agents and our area neighborhood recommendations.

General Contractors Handy Man 

  1. *RM Landscaping and Renovation – Roland 206-818-5078. Small or large projects. Fences, decks, lawn care, lighting, roofs, waterfalls, ponds, concrete driveways, retaining walls and more.
  2. *We Honey Do.com http://www.wehoneydo.com
  3. Justin Powell (GA Powell construction) 425-356-9022. gapowellconstruction.com
  4. Classic Remodeling NW, INC- Ward Hampson- 425-224-2004; cell-425-530-6818 http://www.classic remodelingnw.com; info@classicremodelingnw.com
  5. mrhandyman.com; 1-877-MRHANDYMAN (674-2639)
  6. Jim’ll Fix It- Handyman- 425-220-3749. http://www.jimllfixit.info/
  7. G-Versitile construction.Gymie Kelly 425-422-2101
  8. Jerry Green @ Image Fence 425-343-6604
  9. Josh Ross contractor/painter who likes to take on small remodels projects! Rosscontracting@zoho.com 206-225-1616

Gutters

  1. *The Gutter Guys- Steven Alley; 206-595-0771; stevencalley@comcast.net

Plumbing/Heating 

  1. *First Response Heating and air solutions 206-643-1525
  2. Solution Plumbing & Heating. Ryan Hurd 425-231-8599 solutionplumbingheating.com
  3. 411 Plumber Ambrose Herrera 206-229-4225
  4. Kings Heating – 206-361-1818
  5. Hamblen & Sons Heating Office: 360-658-0124 Mobile: 425-501-0123
  6. *CM Heating- furnaces, heat pumps, air conditioning, fireplaces (chimney sweep)

Landscaping

  1. *RM Landscaping and Renovation – Roland 206-818-5078. Fences, decks, lawn care, lighting, waterfalls, ponds, concrete driveways, retaining walls and more.
  2. King Landscaping 206-856-1267
  3. Lawn aerating-thatching Stewart Armour @ 206-214-5595 aerating-thatching.com/aeration.com

 Carpet Cleaning

  1. *Patrick Kelley Kelley’s Cleaning & Restoration http://www.kelleyclean.com/ 425-303-8294

Crawl Space

  1. *American Crawlspace- Brian 206-795-5844 or 425-308-1888

Carpentry work

  1. *Stuart Ross 425-268-2299

Kitchen/bathroom cabinets

  1. * Jim – architecturalcabinets.com 425-501-3642- Custom made and great prices!

House Cleaning Service

  1. *Jessica Shields 425-346-0485
  2. *King & Queen Cleaning and household services kingandqueencleaning.com 425-954-3337
  3. Alpine Cleaning http://www.alpineclean.com/

Pest Control

  1. *AA Advantage Pest Control- Stephen Gillis – 360-658-8811- aadvantagepest.com
  2. Eagle pest eliminators 425-398-7365 eaglepesteliminators.com

Electrician

  1. Dad’z Electric in Mukilteo (425) 493-1541
  2. Left Coast Electric 360-920-8484 Toby Foulke
  3. Renfro electric. 425-923-5088

Garage Doors

  1. *Allphase garage doors too. Kevin 360 651 7830

Security Systems

  1. *Jimmie Beam 206-261-1903. Jbeem@freedomsystemsinc.com

Septic

  1. Tri County Septic monitoring & septic services 360-659-7077

ORGANIZATION

  1. Top Shelf Organizing. Jill 425 283 9265 topshelforg.com

 ROOFING

  1. Davison Roofing Inc. 425-344-6151
  2. *Always Roofing in Snohomish info@allwaysroofing.com 425-345-5863

 TREE TRIMMER

  1. All in 1 Tree Service 347.7253
  2. Evergreen Tree Care 800-684-TREE (8733)

Windows and glass replacement and insulation

  1. *Superior Weatherizationjayaskus@yahoo.com 425-350-1194
  2. Washington Energy Services washingtonenergy.com 800-398-4663

 

Have someone you would recommend to a friend? Let me know I am always looking for great people to recommend. As I love to recommend great people and services please remember me for your Real Estate needs or those of your friends and family.

I am never too busy for your referrals!

 

Jenifer Murrweiss               REMAX Elite Realtor Consultant                           425-422-7243

snohomishcountyhomes@hotmail.com

Tax Day! What to keep and for how long.

thCAZL8IMN

With Tax Season coming to a close and all that paper everywhere do you feel like just throwing it all up, away or into the fire? Boy I know I do but, we have to keep some important docs and I hope this list is a good reminder.

Tax returns- 7 Years– Keep tax returns and all supporting tax docs, including W-2’s, 1099 forms, property tax info, bank statements, mortgage interest statements, cancelled checks, receipts, home purchase and  home improvement info.

Paycheck stubs– 1 Year

thHome Ownership

  1. Mortgage docs 10 years- After property has sold 7 years.
  2. Mortgage statement’s 7 years-  After property has sold 10 years
  3. Repair bills/contracts 10 years

Insurances

  1. Home 5 Years
  2. Life of policy +3 years
  3. Medical 5 years

Investment/Retirement Accounts

  1.  IRA contribution’s permanently
  2. 401K annual summaries-keep until you close the account
  3. Investment statements 7 years after last account is sold.

thCAAFBPQHPermanently Never Shred

  1. Adoption/Guardianship Papers
  2. Birth Certificates
  3. Citizen/Naturalization
  4. Health Immunization
  5. Lawsuits
  6. Marriage/Divorce Decree
  7. Pension Plan Docs
  8. Veteran Papers

What is your favorite style of home?

We’ve all had that moment — driving down a street and we see a home we like specifically for the architecture and design elements. The United States is full of different home styles and architecture, and pinpointing a specific one can be difficult, especially when dominant home styles change from region to region. The homes below are examples of the most prevalent home styles found throughout the United States.

Which is your favorite and why?

 A Victorian

VICTORIAN

Victorian homes give off a certain air and possess a very stately feel. Victorians are more about beauty than functionality, with complex designs, ornate trim, and large wraparound porches. The Victorian exterior is seen as a medium for decoration. These homes generally have gables, bay windows, towers, overhangs and many are known as ‘Painted Ladies.’ The Victorian style also has sub styles, the most notable being Gothic Revival, Italianate, Second Empire, Queen Anne and the Romanesque style.

A craftsman Bungalow

Craftsman Bungalow

The Craftsman or Bungalow style is seen as an expression of structure and elements that rely heavily on simple, elegant design. The Craftsman is one of the most common and popular styles in the United States, with an incredible resurgence in the last five years. These homes are characterized by their wide front porches, low-pitched roofs and exteriors that use wood, stone and/or brick. The interior of the Craftsman also has an open floor plan with many built-ins throughout the house.

tudor2

Tudor

Tudors are very distinct and based on English building traditions during the Tudor Era (1485 – 1603). Tudors are characterized by their asymmetrical exteriors with windows playing a large part in the design. These homes generally have stone and stucco walls with wood accents/framing, and Tudor roofs are steep-pitched. Tudor homes are one of the most recognizable styles in the United States due to their specific architectural components.

A Cape Cod

Cape Cod

Cape Cods were first built in the 1600s and took inspiration from Britain’s thatched cottages. Cape Cods have steep roofs, dormer windows and large chimneys — elements that helped the homes withstand harsh Northeastern winters. The Cape Cod style is most recognized for its dormer windows, which play a large part in the design of the home.

A ranch

Ranch

Ranches are also known as ‘Ramblers.’ Ranches are characterized by their single-story construction and low pitched roofs. Ranches became very popular in the post World War II era, with a large resurgence in the 1960s as ‘mid-century moderns.’

A colonial

Colonial

Colonials are another home style that have a distinct appearance. Symmetry plays a large part in Colonials — evenly spaced shuttered windows, dormers, columns, and old Colonials will have many fireplaces. The most common Colonial in the United States is the Georgian Colonial, characterized by its strict symmetry, box shape, paneled front door below a decorative crown, simple or flattened columns, and the most notable feature of five shuttered windows across. Other notable Colonial styles in the United States are Dutch, Federal, and Spanish.

A contempary

Contemporary

Contemporary homes have an almost futuristic look to them, but many contemporary homes look to connect the indoors with the outdoors. Natural light plays a large part in the contemporary home, as do flat roofs and simple horizontal and perpendicular lines. Contemporary homes embrace industrialism and put an emphasis on the use of efficient and affordable materials, and the homes emphasize an importance of combining materials (steel, glass, wood, stone, etc.) to create a fluid space.

A spanish

Spanish

Spanish style homes incorporate a fusion of design elements from European and Native American architecture. The Mission Revival style is the most popular, which has its roots in Spanish churches built by missionaries. Spanish style homes tend to have clay roof tiles, arcaded porches, arched corridors, bell towers, square pillars and quatrefoil windows (these windows resemble flowers).

A mediterranean

Mediterranean

The Mediterranean style became very popular in the United States in 1918 to 1940. This style is modeled after the hacienda style, where red tile roofs, arches, and plaster surfaces play a large part in the exterior of the house. Mediterranean style homes have become popular again, but the style has adopted more design elements like porticoes, balconies, and ornamental details that include heavy wood doors, tiles in multiple colors or designs, and balconies with ornate iron railings and embellishments.

A pueblo

Pueblo Revival

The Pueblo Revival is a style favored in the Southwest, highly influenced by the ancient Pueblo’s simple multifamily homes. This home style favors materials sourced from the earth — adobe, concrete, stucco or mortar, and wood beams — and the homes tend to feature enclosed courtyards and flat or sloping roofs. The Pueblo style is also characterized by rounded exteriors that exhibit square windows, weathered wood doors and exterior stone accents.

Homes can take any shape or size, and many homes built today embrace two or more styles. The United States has many other home styles not featured. If you’re looking for a home in a particular style, your agent will be able to help find that perfect property.

If you’re interested in learning more about home styles, you can find more information here: This Old House, Popular House Styles, DIY Network

Do you know about an exemption that can save you money when you sell?

7ia564xiA

TAX TIP: The 121 Exemption When Selling Your Home

The reason to do a 1031 exchange is to avoid capital gains taxes on investment property. Almost once a week I get asked about the sale of a primary residence. When you sell your home, you have an exemption from most capital gains taxes. A great resource to get more details about that is an IRS Publication, updated annually, called Selling Your Home (Pub 245). You could go to IRS.gov to download that.

In short, there is a 121 Exemption for capital gains taxes up to $250K per individual or $500K per married couple filing jointly. You do have to have lived in the property as your primary residence for 2 out of the last 5 years, and you can only take this exemption, once every 2 years.

This has been used in a long term strategy to avoid paying capital gains on rentals by converting the property from investment to primary residence. The IRS got wise to this strategy and put some constraints on this.

It could still be part of a plan, but reach out to your tax advisor with questions and see if this is an option for you

Home Maintenance Tips

A roof

Roof Maintenance

Most all roofs can, and will develop leaks in them; and a simple home inspection won’t guarantee to find them all. Leaks normally start as very small crevices or cracks, without the homeowner’s knowledge. In the early stages of a leak only small amounts seep through the crack, this is not a sufficient amount to alert the homeowner as it doesn’t travel through all the layers of the ceiling.

It is recommended that you have your attic, and roof thoroughly checked twice a year for such leaks. The most common source of leaks is flashing as they are often overlooked when repairing/replacing the roof, so be sure to inspect your flashing from time to time.

A garage door

Garage door maintenance

When it comes to home maintenance, your garage door might not be at the top of your list or even on it at all! However regular maintenance could save you headaches down the line, and the following tips may help keep your garage door working properly for decades to come. Applying a solvent like WD_40 to the roller tracks, and latches should prevent them from sticking over time due to rust and corrosion. While you’re there examine each component and replace any bent or broken parts as needed. Also be sure to apply some lubricant to the garage door opener if it is operated by a chain or drive screw. Wooden garage doors should be sealed and painted on a regular basis, and DIY network suggest caulking all cracks. Also, check the weather sealant at the bottom of the door and if it is damaged, replace it before the rainy season.

About.com recommends adding garage door maintenance to your yearly maintenance schedule. Spring or autumn are perfect times to make a date with your garage door, in between the harsher weather periods.

Finally this is one I see homeowners forget a lot. Your HVAC system worked very hard last winter. Have it inspected and cleaned by a professional HVAC contractor and keep those filters changed for the spring and summer months as well.

Get it done and enjoy the spring!

What the inspectors have to say….Tuesday’s Tips

ratI seriously hang out with inspectors too much. I personally have been a homeowner for 15 years and before I became a Realtor I had no idea the extent of maintenance you should do or, what you should watch out for. I have seen rat infestations in crawl spaces so bad that the entire crawl space is a bio hazard and the home owners never even knew.  When I am attending an inspection for one of my buyers I always hold my breath as they go in the attic, up on the roof or in the crawl space. These are the biggest areas of concern I see as “deal killers” if not maintained. Home owners don’t realize just a small hole, trees, branches or any kinds of greenery to close to the house and there could be something either in your crawl space or scaling up to your attic for a big party.

Gross huh? Not just rats but raccoons, opossums, mice, squirrels or one inspector told me the worst he has seen is a house down in the Edmonds waterfront area. A seal had her pups in the crawl space and was bringing fish to them making herself quite a home down there. Thankfully I was not at that one but could just imagine his face going down there with that smell and then seeing a mom with her babies. No wonder he said he practically flew out of there.

I am not trying to make this Tuesday’s Tips about crawl spaces but maintenance in general.  So, like I said, I hang with inspectors a lot and I love following them around and learning on what to look for and what is required. It helps me to be a better Realtor to my buyers and sellers who are depending on me to give them good advice. I have attached a link to one of the great inspectors I have used that enjoy providing me, and, anyone else with good solid information on home maintenance. Take a look  from water problems, to energy savings, LP siding, links to a huge library of home maintenance tips and teaching videos. I trust the inspectors I use. They specialize in the Northwest area and they know what affects our homes in our climate.  If you own a home, are a new home owner or looking to own your first home its always great to educate yourself and keep everything running in the home smoothly!

And remember…

Just say “no” to rats!! rat

http://www.snohomishcountyhomesinc.com