Count Down to Christmas and spotlight on homes

Its Christmas season! Oh I love this time of year and if your around the Snohomish County area a lot of us have snow! We do and my kids are praying that it stays the whole month. Not sure I agree but it is nice. As with keeping with the season but, of course, a bit of Real Estate I have come up with a plan and I hope you all think its a good one. Every day till Christmas I am going to highlight a local city here in Snohomish county and a home currently on the market. Did you know there are 23 main cities here in our beautiful county? Plus a bit of Holiday cheer, tips and funnies. So lets get started (in no particular order).

Woodway- $7,950,000 Wow this has to be the most expensive house in Snohomish County!  Get your groove on in this unique and exciting estate created for the enjoyment of the good life! Abundant amenities include indoor rain forest spa pavilion, indoor basketball court, 14 car garage and elevator. Fully gated and fenced on nearly four manicured acres. The lush grounds include a full size tennis court and a regulation little league field. Five bedrooms plus service quarters/guest house and 5.75 baths with endless space to entertain guests and friends. Your own 5-Star resort for sure.

Woodway

Look at this layout.

 

woodway1

Dream kitchen

indoor rain forest spa pavilion

Indoor rain forest spa pavilion

 

HOLIDAY FACTS~

Did you know- There are currently 78 people living in the U.S with the name S. Claus and one Kriss Kringle? What were those parents thinking?

Mistletoe was used by Druid priests 200 years before the birth of Christ in their winter celebrations. They revered the plant since it had no roots yet remained green during the cold months of winter.

In the show, “How the Grinch Stole Christmas,” the Grinch cuts out a Santa beard, but never wears it.

12 million packages are delivered by the U.S. Postal Service every day during the holiday season through Christmas Eve. The busiest delivery day: December 20th.

I hope you enjoy and cheers to a fantastic Holiday season!

http://www.snohomishcountyhomesinc.com

 

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

 

WEEKLY DOSE OF Real Estate Awesomeness

Pittock_Mansion

Pittock Mansion in Oregon

INFO THAT HITS US WHERE WE LIVE… It seems like more than a few observers are beating on the housing market trying to transform it into a disaster that it isn’t. For example, some jumped all over the 1% drop in the Pending Home Sales index for August. But this measure of contract signings is still above 100, considered an average level of activity, for the fourth month in a row. It’s also at the second highest level since last August. The National Association of Realtors chief economist sees contract signings holding steady, with fewer investors and distressed sales causing the dip. He said, “…the market is shifting more towards traditional and first-time buyers who rely on mortgages to purchase a home.”

U.S. home sales at six-year high in August

U.S. home price gains at slowest pace in 20 months

DID YOU KNOW?… The National Association of Realtors reports that last year, 27% of first-time home buyers received a cash gift from relatives or friends to come up with a down payment.

5 home buying trends for 2015

5 expenses every home buyer should expect

A few things to consider doing before you buy a home

Hope you take a look at one of all of these great articles and of course lets put in something fun! Since it is October how about

11 “Real” Haunted Houses to Visit—If You Dare!

Real Estate News

Here are some top articles with Real Estate quick stats and “should knows” if thinking of buying or selling this spring.

Short and Sweet Real Estate News

Single family starts were up a strong 6.0% in March and are up 9.1% over the last two months. The 5-month moving average is the highest since July 2008. Plus, the number of homes under construction (started but not finished) is up 21% over a year ago!

March listings on realtor.com were up 9.5% from a year ago. In addition to better selection, buyers get more time to decide. The median age of inventory was 102 days.

Good News!! So how about those loans? 

Mortgage Lenders Ease Rules for Home Buyers in Hunt for Business

While standards remain tight by historical measures, lenders have started to accept lower credit scores and to reduce down-payment requirements.

Another sign that banks could get less picky: Credit scores for borrowers seeking conventional mortgages also are easing. Scores on purchase mortgages stood at 755 in March, down from 761 a year earlier, according to data from Ellie Mae, a mortgage-software provider. Those on purchase loans backed by the FHA dropped to 684, compared with 696 one year earlier. …

Smaller lenders are accepting even lower scores. Average credit scores on purchase loans closed through a consortium called LendingTree fell to 679 in March, down from the year-earlier 715.

“Tiny fractions of borrowers can do things that they could not a year ago,” said Lou Barnes, a mortgage banker in Boulder, Colo.

No one wants a return to the loose lending standards of the mid-00s – and I hope we never see another Alt-A loan – but I expect standards to loosen over the next few years. From Nick Timiraos and AnnaMaria Andriotis at the WSJ

And finally are you thinking of buying or selling? Here are some great articles and information from Zillow.

Home Shopping Season is Here
Spring marks the start of the home shopping season, when more houses typically come on the market and more buyers are searching for a home. Check out our tips below to ease your home shopping or selling experience.

Strategies for Buyers

Advice for Sellers