The Home Connection July 2020

It’s that time again for your monthly newsletter. With your eye on the market, virtual experiences, important dates and a few more tidbits I hope you enjoy.  Independence day is almost here and however this month is going to enfold lets roll with it and make some lemonade!



The Top 9 Professions Who Own Homes

Ever wonder who most of the home owners are? I don’t think I ever have wondered this questions but I was curious so I am sure others are too. Of course, I knew us Real Estate Agents would be in there but others surprised me a bit.  However, after thinking more on what certain professions due and why some would need to own a home more than others these do make sense.

What do you think? Are there other professions that you think should have made the cut more that others? Let me know I would love to hear what you think.

TOP 9 PROFESSIONS who own homes, by percentage


30 Offers on one house???

Yep I am not kidding! See this house?

What a day yesturday! Put in an offer on a home in a HOT neighborhood for one of my investor clients and we were one of 30 offers! Yes, 30 I could not believe it!

I have been really rocking lately on getting homes for my clients in multiple offer situations but today I was humbled and reminded sometimes you can do everything possible and still not be the winning bid. I dont know exactly as of yet but, was told the winning offer was WAY over asking! It must have been because ours was too.

Sometimes this market is so crazy and just goes to show you what I have been saying lately there are more people looking earlier this year than I have seen in the last few years. So if you are in the market get out there soon because the best deals go very fast.

Or if your considering selling give me a call for a FREE Price Analysis anytime!

Here are some recent listings from my office and more coming. Its getting busy!

Remax Town Center Listings

2013 Summer Events

Summer Events

Welcome June and To The Home Connection Newsletter.

What Do I Keep For Taxes Again?

With tax season in full gear, you may have questions about what you have to keep and for how long? Here’s a list to get you started!

Tax Returns    7 years
Keep tax returns and all supporting tax documents including W-2s, 1099 forms, property tax info, bank statements, mortgage interest statements, cancelled checks, receipts, home purchase, home improvement information.

Paycheck Stubs    1 year
Shred after confirming info matches your W-2

Home Ownership
Mortgage docs     10 years
After property has sold     7 years
Mortgage statements     7 years
After property has sold    10 years
Repair bills/contracts 10 years

Home        5 years
Life        Life of policy + 3 years
Medical    5 years
Investment/Retirement Accounts
IRA contributions    permanently
401K annual summaries- Keep until you close the account
Investment statements    7 years
After last account is sold

Permanently- Never Shred
Adoption/Guardianship Papers
Birth Certificates
Citizen/Naturalization Papers
Health/Immunization Records
Marriage Certificates/Divorce Decree
Pension Plan Documents
Veteran Papers

Wow! That’s a long list but a good one to keep around for a reminder.

Welcome to winter in Snohomish County and a serious housing shortage


Are you looking for a home this winter? If so it could be a long wait to find that perfect one and you will need lots of patience.

Historically after Thanksgiving inventory of homes on the market are down 15%. Last year it was down 25% on average nationwide.  So far it seems that might be a pretty accurate percentage this year too. Home prices in the Snohomish County have also gone up.  For example the Northwest Multiple Listing report for the year shows some pretty good numbers.

The Bothell/Kenmore/Kirkland/Woodinville area shows in 2011 Median Price was $372,990 and at the end of 2012 $400,000.

Lynnwood/Edmonds/Mill Creek/Mukilteo areas show 2011 Median Price $299,900 ending 2012 at $339,000.

Marysville/Lake Stevens/Snohomish/Smokey Point areas show 2011 at $239,900 as the Median and at the end of 2012 $259,450

For the areas above only 620 total active listings at the end of 2012 versus 2011 with 1204. That is almost half. The majority, of course, were short sales and bank owned but it shows a definite change is happening and predicted to creep up more in the spring.

This will help more distressed home-owners who are starting to recover from delinquencies and can finally start to consider refinancing giving them some relief. It’s an important start to a healthy Real Estate Market.

Another sign of improvement is a lot of new home construction again.  I occasionally work and sit in a new home plat that is priced in the high 4K range and another in the 200K range. Buyers are coming in and all saying the same thing:  I have been looking for a while and there is not much out there.  My advice? You need a good agent that will be right on top of your search and listen to you. Don’t wait! When they tell you there is a hot one you need to go see it ASAP. And don’t be surprised if there are multiple offers. If it’s in a good location, good conditions and the right price it will go fast. I have seen bidding wars this year bringing the asking price up $10,000-$25,000. NO JOKE!  Buyers just can’t believe it when they offered 5K over asking price and they didn’t get it. Bottom line?  Offer what you will not bang your head against the wall if you don’t get it. Like the saying says “put your best foot forward” FIRST.

A few years ago you could play around a bit but, no longer, otherwise you will be putting in offer after offer and not get the house you want. Another mistake I see is many potential home-buyers thinking short sales are the best deal. NOT!  To add to this further- 3 out of 4 fail.  I know this first hand as I negotiated a short sale for a seller of mine and we had no problem getting offers; it was a great property.  The problem was 3 buyers backed out before we got bank approval and we had to start over again.  Causing major frustration for my sellers and me. You see each time I had to redo the paperwork, beg the bank to take another offer and start negotiating all over again. If you have your heart set on a home that is a short-sale you must commit yourself 100% to that home or do not waste your time. Why? Because on average you will wait 3-9 months.

Another one of my clients, a buyer, bless her heart, was the most patient client I have ever had. We put an offer on a short sale in January of 2012. She finally closed on the home in October.  The bank also came back with a higher price. They wanted 10K more than we offered. She had been waiting so long and loved the house so we went ahead and she finally got to move in before Halloween. If she had not been able to come up in price she would have had to walk because the banks final price is just that, their price. You either go for it or walk.

These are questions and scenarios that buyers must be aware of as they enter the market. I know most potential buyers search all over the web for homes. Sites like Trulia, Zillow, and of course my new favorite; the new and improved but, bottom line you are getting old information. It’s great to educate yourself, see what are out there, prices in certain neighborhoods, types of home, new construction and find yourself an agent (hint,hint). I can guarantee you however, if it’s a great home a Realtor is getting their client there first or it already has an offer. Consumer websites are not always up to date. There good don’t get me wrong and some better than others but, they can’t keep up with how fast homes go pending.  I even have verbiage that I copy and paste to respond to consumers that contact me when the information is on a home that is not available. I always check on there request, of course, it just happens 9 out of 10 times the home they are asking about it not available any longer so I have a response ready. I wish it was not the case because I want to get you in and show you a home you want to see. Reality is however y re, take a need to get their first.

Well take it in stride March is coming and with the first pop of bulbs the Spring buying season pops up too with more buyers and more competition on those great homes. A lot of potential sellers are still on the fence and are going to want to make sure they’re going to break even or be able to trade up. It will be an interesting year, in my opinion, to see how it changes. I hope that rates stay low which will bring the buyers and I hope that prices do come up a bit to bring more sellers into the market.  We need to have more of an inventory which will bring stabilization of prices and more choices of homes for people.

Here’s to Spring!

FHA Making Some Changes To Condo Rules


Anyone that has tried to buy a condo knows that if you’re trying to purchase with FHA financing it may limit your choices and can cause great headaches with deals falling through and more frustration than you bargained for.

So why is this the case?

Typically a condo purchase with FHA financing means the development must be FHA approved. There are numerous boxes a lender must select to make sure it is FHA compliant and if not? Either you work with your lender and the Home owner association, which could take months to get it approved or you move on to the next one. Additionally, other types of financing tend to go along with the same guidelines as FHA and if it does not meet FHA standards it may not meet theirs either. So what is a buyer and mostly first time home buyers to do?

There seems to be some good news on the horizon that is getting attention and may help condos get sold instead of sitting vacant and then going back to the bank. Finally, it seems FHA is starting to ease up a bit. On September 13, 2012 FHA implemented some changes that will cause an easing up for prospective home owners and investors. Here are the four main financing changes:

1. The condo to commercial ratio is being relaxed. This means for mixed store/commercial with home units above there can be a mix of 50% commercial. Previously 25%.

Great news in downtown Seattle!

2. Allowance is being made for investors to own ½ the units which is a huge jump up from 10%.

3. Change has been made to the rule on delinquent home owner association dues. Previously it could deny a loan if 15 percent were delinquent 30 days on HOA dues. The change now states 60 days.

4. Condo board certification in regards to liability risks of the condo’s board. Since most boards are made up of home- owners who volunteer, they were reluctant to sign FHA paperwork that could have legal implications if they forgot to add something or checked the wrong box. Now there is some verbiage that FHA recognizes their efforts to verify information. Not sure that will suffice and make members feel relaxed but, at least they are moving in the right direction.

Now I must add that these new rules will not pertain to most individual buyers and mostly will affect areas of resorts and urban developments but, it is very important because it opens the door for more changes in the future. There is talk of loosening the 50% FHA denial if ½ the units were already sold under FHA and they are looking at the owner –occupied guideline.

As an agent I see so many complications with condo/townhomes and as the market is starting to turn more positive, especially here in Snohomish County, it is good to know one of the big players in financing is starting to maybe listen a little bit to move us in the right direction for home-ownership and recovery.

Information taken from The “New York Times”es

How Much Of A Home Do You Qualify For?

 Keys House

You have saved a down payment, cleaned up your credit, have been looking on-line dreaming for months now and finally have found a great Realtor to help you. So now what? Go out looking at homes? Not so fast. You need to find out how much of a house  you can buy? It does no good to look at $350K homes when you are more in the 250K range. If you start, believe me, it will be very had to settle in your mind on what you saw and what you can get. You need to meet with a lender and get the good news- “Yes you are pre-approved for a motgage of _____.

Have you  ever wondered how they come up with what they do and what formula is used?  The chart below is a handy guideline to reference what your payment would be based on your income and how much home you can afford. Look how interest rates play into this. Its huge! For example, we bought our house in 1998 and paid a whopping 7.25%!  Look at the difference today versus then. In other-words you can afford more house now. I bank with BECU and checked current rates today they are at 3.881% for a 30 year. In the 4rth quarter of 2012 rates were about 3.36%. There coming up!

We know these great rates wont last forever so if your on the fence take a look at what your payment would be and see if it makes sense for you. For example here in Snohomish County rents are around the monthly payment for a $300K  single family home. Crazy huh?

If you decide now is the time contact me and lets get started ! 

Interest Rate 3.25% 4.25% 5.25% 6.25% 7.25%
Monthly Payment $1,266 $1,377 $1,496 $1,620 $1751
Monthly Income $3,246 $3,542 $3,835 $4,155 $4,489
Hourly Pay $18.73 $20.37 $22.12 $23.97 $25.90
Payment $1,572 $1,712 $1,860 $2,015 $2,179
Income $4,032 $4,389 $4,768 $5,168 $5,586
Hourly $23.26 $25.32 $27.51 $29,81 $32.23
Payment $1,879 $2,046 $2,223 $2,411 $2,606
Income $4,817 $5,246 $5,701 $6,181 $6,683
Hourly $27.79 $30.27 $32.89 $35.66 $38.55
Payment $2,185 $2,380 $2,587 $2,806 $3,034
Income $5,603 $6,103 $6,634 $7,194 $7,780
Hourly $32.33 $35.21 $38.27 $41.50 $44.88