Got plans this weekend?

KHY_2015_Logo

Kla Ha Ya Days – Snohomish’s old Fashioned Summertime Festival ends this weekend and is packed full of fun. If your coming in the morning Saturday I will be there from 10-12. Stop by and say “HI” at the REMAX booth for some great goodies we have to give out and a chance to win a great raffle prize!

And when you head out from there how about a bite? The Bite of Seattle that is.

A bite

Its a great weekend to get out doors. Whatever you decide to do make it a great one!

My Experience at the REMAX Convention and Children’s Miracle Network

Last month I attended the REMAX Convention in Las Vegas. WOW! What a great organization I am affiliated with. This was my first convention but I have no excuse for why, as I now will be a dedicated attendee. The motivation I found from other REMAX agents, the classes and just the vibe of the whole convention was pure adrenaline. We were asked what the biggest thing we walked away with and for me it was a turning point for expanding my business to include being part of the Children’s Miracle Network. With each buyer and seller I pledge to donate, in their name, a contribution to Seattle Children’s hospital. As a mom of three boys 2 out of 3 have used Children’s hospital services. My oldest has disabilities and when he was younger we were at Children’s many times but never a bad experience and they were always helpful, understanding and dedicated. My youngest broke his arm at age 2 and we were transported by ambulance down to Children’s where he had to have surgery as the break was at the growth plate. A very scary experience to say the least but we always felt he was in the best of hands.

When I was at the convention the little girl that I am pictured with below was the spokesperson for Children Miracle Network and shared her story. 10-year-old Belle Helton, who receives care at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, a Children’s Miracle Network Hospital was diagnosed with a kidney disorder soon after birth. At age 5, her kidneys began to fail. Belle’s mother was a donor match, but after a full health exam, doctors discovered she had breast cancer. Fortunately, Belle’s father also was a match. Now, Belle and her mom, who is cancer-free, are both thriving. Since partnering with Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals in 1992, RE/MAX agents have raised more than $138 million for the charity’s 170 member hospitals in the U.S. and Canada. Donations help fund pediatric medical equipment and treatments, healthcare services and charitable care.

Now its my turn to contribute and I am honored to do so. Take a look at the video if you would like more information.

REMAX 5Miracle Network (2)

If you know of anyone that is wanting to buy or sell here in the Snohomish County or North King County area send them my way. Not only will I take great care of them but they will be helping too. I love referrals!

A few more pictures from my exciting time at the convention. Including my Award and entrance into the 100% club.

REMAX1REMAX2REMAX6REMAX 6REMAX0REMAX 100

It was great fun and a very valuable experience and I will definitely be there next year.

Bankruptcy is not just for the poor

canstock7915899TEN THINGS YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT BANKRUPTCY

 

1. “Personal bankruptcy’s not just for the poor.”

 This nation’s worst downturn in 70 years pushed more formerly affluent people into bankruptcy than in previous recessions. Overall, bankruptcy filings have been declining since 2010 except for those with income over $60,000 per year which has doubled in the last 5 years.  Experts blame the increase on slumping real estate and job losses, which have cut deeply into professional positions.

 2. “When it comes to bankruptcy, one size doesn’t fit all.”

 No type of bankruptcy will eliminate certain kinds of obligations, like child support, alimony and most student loans. But there are differences in the way debt gets handled in personal bankruptcy, often depending on which kind you file for, either Chapter 13 or Chapter 7. And each has pros and cons. Chapter 13 allows those with regular income to repay debts over three to five years. That drags things out a bit, but it stops the foreclosure process, meaning debtors behind on their mortgage can keep their house and catch up on payments over time. Those without regular income must file Chapter 7, which involves no payment plan—all eligible debt, such as credit card balances, gets wiped out. But it’s hardly a free pass.  Chapter 7 doesn’t stop foreclosure, so banks can still take the homes of debtors behind on a mortgage. How do you know which form is right for you? Bankruptcy law is complex, and certain provisions vary from state to state, so it’s important to consult with an experience bankruptcy attorney.

 3. “No one wants your house if they can’t get good money for it.”

 A common belief about bankruptcy is that it will leave you with nothing, living out of a cardboard box. But that’s not true, even in Chapter 7 cases. In theory, Chapter 7 involves liquidating a debtor’s non-exempt assets to pay creditors.  But in reality, homeowners who end up filing usually don’t have enough equity in their home to benefit creditors, either because they’ve taken out a second mortgage, the home’s value has fallen or both. In such cases, the trustee handling the bankruptcy can decide not to liquidate the home, in which case the debtor gets to keep it. Also, there’s something called the homestead exemption, which in most circumstances allows you to keep your primary residence if your equity in it is below a certain threshold. It can vary widely from state to state.  In Washington it’s $125,000.  So, unless the value of your home is greater than $125,000 more than the total of your mortgages, you will not lose your house.   But since Chapter 7 doesn’t stop foreclosure—although it tends to delay it by a few months—those behind on their mortgage often can lose their home regardless.  The bottom line is that in most cases, you can keep your house, but you must make the payments.

 4. “This could actually improve your credit score down the road.”

 Yes, bankruptcy will pummel your credit score, says Barry Paperno, consumer-operations manager for FICO, the company that develops the credit scoring formula used by the three major credit bureaus. Yet bankruptcy can be less damaging in the long run than juggling late payments on credit cards for years in a bid to postpone the inevitable. Bankruptcy stays on your credit report for 10 years, but you can begin repairing it immediately, if gradually. The fact is, most people go bankrupt with lousy credit. They’ll be able to return to (and maybe surpass) their pre-bankruptcy FICO score more quickly than the rare debtor with pristine credit who needs to file bankruptcy after, say, a serious illness—which could mean a credit score drop of 150 points or more. Since 35 percent of one’s credit score is based on payment history, the further consumers get from any missed payments, the more their score improves.  How to quicken the recovery? Establish new credit as soon as possible, either through a new credit cards or car loan.  Keep in mind that bankruptcy filers will have to pay higher interest rates.

 5. “Debt-settlement firms may do more harm than good.”

 Debt-settlement firms offer to play hardball with creditors and whittle outstanding balances by up to 75 percent. They bill their services as an alternative to bankruptcy, but in many cases they can hurt more than they help. Debt-settlement firms are unregulated, for-profit entities that require regular payments before taking any action on a consumer’s behalf. This business model works squarely against the debtors’ interests. They get fees every month, so they have no incentive to settle with creditors as fast as possible In fact, you don’t need a middleman to negotiate with creditors. But, most debtors don’t have the “time, stamina or desire” to do it themselves. Either way, you’ll owe taxes on any amount saved on your debt. (That’s right: The IRS considers forgiven debt taxable income.) Debt erased as part of bankruptcy, by contrast, isn’t taxed

 6. “Don’t settle with Mom first or fudge the condo in Boca.”

 Many debtors naturally want to pay back friends and family before filing for bankruptcy. Yet that can be a big mistake. Any money repaid to “insiders”—including relatives, friends and acquaintances, or business partners—within a year of bankruptcy is recoverable by the trustee. If the recipient doesn’t voluntarily return it, the trustee has the power to sue. A more serious infraction involves trying to hide assets from the court. So don’t even think about giving your Harley to your brother—or selling it for cheap—to protect it from creditors. Bankruptcy filers must list everything they’ve sold, transferred or given away over the past two years. And nothing can be transferred, given away or sold for less than market value. I recall a case where the debtor failed to disclose an inheritance.  The Trustee discovered the omission through probate court records.  As a result of the deception, the debtor lost the inheritance (much of which he could have exempted had it been disclosed), and was denied a discharge, allowing creditors to come after him again.  Finally, he was investigated by the United States Trustee for perjury and bankruptcy fraud.  Fortunately for him, he was not indicted. 

 7. “Better save up before you file.”

 Lawyers in Chapter 7 cases generally request payment up front; otherwise, their fees would be discharged during the bankruptcy process along with other debt. (In Chapter 13, lawyers’ fees become part of the payment plan.) These fees average $1,500, depending on the complexity of the case. The Bankruptcy Court also charges filing fees of $306 for a Chapter 7 and $281 to file a chapter 13. 

 8. “Just because your bills stop coming doesn’t mean you shouldn’t pay them”

 Not only does filing for bankruptcy stop collection calls, but most bills stop coming too. That’s because an “automatic stay” prohibits collection actions against the debtor or his property. But that doesn’t mean debtors are suddenly released from payment obligations for secured possessions they want to keep—that’s legal lingo for anything bought with collateral, like a car or house. During Chapter 7 proceedings, which usually last about four months, you must remember to pay for what you want to keep in the absence of a bill. (In Chapter 13, those bills are folded into the payment plan the court establishes.) Besides the house and car, secured possessions could also include an engagement ring or other jewelry. Your bankruptcy attorney will explain your options, and assist you with the requirements for a reaffirmation (continue to pay installments) or redemption (pay the creditor in cash for the value of the collateral), but if you want to keep secured items you must pay for them.

  9. “Timing is everything.”

 When you owe more than you own, or you can’t pay your bills when they become due, it’s time to consult a lawyer. But that doesn’t mean bankruptcy is necessarily the next step.  It’s often best to wait until you think the worst is over, because if you file prematurely, you’ll likely incur more debt, which won’t be included in the bankruptcy discharge. For example, those facing hospitalization may want to postpone until that’s behind them. And for Chapter 7 filers who stand to lose their home, holding off on filing can maximize the time living in the residence without making mortgage payments. To do this, wait until the eve of foreclosure to file for bankruptcy. On the other hand, there are situations, like garnishments or pending lawsuits, in which it’s best not to wait.  Those with no hope of repaying debt often have little to gain by postponing. In such cases, it’s usually better to bite the bullet sooner rather than later.

 10. “Bankruptcy doesn’t have to be the end of the world.”

 There’s nothing easy about bankruptcy. It can be especially hard for middle-class filers who face a swift and unexpected slide down the socioeconomic ladder. And those who file for medical reasons suffer the double burden of health problems and financial distress. But many people emerge from it stronger than they expected. It helps that bankruptcy has become more widespread these days, lessening its stigma.

Disclaimer~ I hope this information helps if your are needing it. I am not a bankruptcy expert nor a lawyer. This information comes from a law firm that I have referred clients too with great success.

Home Sellers where are you???

We need sellers!!! Now that spring is almost here and rates are very low buyers are out in force! I just put an offer for a home buyer that had 14 offers on it in one day! Ouch, talk about competition. So what can you do to get your home ready for the spring selling season? Gain some knowledge and gain an advantage with my ideas and the link (5 ways spring home sellers can gain an edge ) for a few more.

Here are some simple upgrades to increase your home’s value for my clients

You don’t have to spend $$$ thousands of dollars $$$ to add value to your home.

Change fixtures and hardware. This adds appeal and newness quite easily. If you’re selling your home a new mirror in the bathroom and new fixtures can make a huge difference. Upgrade sinks, showerheads and faucets to newer water conserving models in sleek finishes. Sorry folks but brass is dated and out! Make sure all light bulbs work! If wanting a remodel on a larger scale replace cabinets, windows and doors. New molding that’s been painted also really pops out.

Declutter. Clean and organize storage areas including the attic and garage. Look for Rubbermaid bins on sale, fill them up and stack neatly in the garage or a closet. You will be clean and ready to move. This is also an ideal tip before a showing your home to a prospective buyer. Each family should have their own bin and before a showing just quickly put everything that is out in. Believe it or not organization adds tremendous value. Keep kitchen and bathroom counters clear. Cleanliness gives your home more room and a newer feeling that a buyer will appreciate.

Replace appliances. From the stove, refrigerator, dishwasher to the washer and dryer (if leaving) upgrading appliances to newer energy efficient models adds instant value and convenience not to mention Earth friendly.

Spiff up landscaping. Ever hear of curb appeal? An ugly front yard can torpedo your home’s value. Add flowers to add color. A study was done on homes for sale in which red flowers were used on the front door step. These homes sold faster and were more appealing to the client. You can also add path lighting for style and safety. Dust off the exterior. Gutters, siding and windows are often forgotten. Clean them! Crud cutter is wonderful for cleaning off gutters and getting the grime off. Also, make sure everything is properly sealed and in good shape. It looks better and helps conserve energy.

The more you do prior to selling the less the buyers will ask for in an inspection. Preventative maintenance is one of your biggest selling advantages. If not it will become a costly nightmare. What you may have been able to do yourself now has to be done by contractors; as all receipts are needed with documentation in the middle of the selling process. Not to mention you are trying to meet deadlines and make the buyers happy so they don’t just completely walk away from the transaction.

Let me give you an example: I was helping a seller of mine prepare his rental house for putting on the market. I gave them a hand out sheet to go over and check all main components plus attics, crawl space, roof ect. Even with all my advice they did not feel it necessary to check the crawl space. Huge mistake on this one. There was standing water in the crawl space and even though he paid thousands of dollars to rectify the problem it didn’t matter the buyer’s walked. The repairs had to be done and documented then we had to disclose to a new buyer. He ended up coming down $5000 and paid at least $4000 in repairs. DON’T LET THIS HAPPEN TO YOU!

Finally let my team assist you in the process and we will get your home SOLD, SOLD, SOLD!

 

September is almost over go have some fun!

 

 

 

national-coffee-day-2014-cups-ftrBeer

Wow! Can you believe it’s almost the end of September? Have you seen all the Halloween stuff already in stores? Better yet for the really ambitious how about all the Christmas items?  I personally am a one holiday at a time girl. Halloween goes up the 2nd week in October and Christmas not till after Thanksgiving.. one at a time please.

If you’re looking for something to do in the next few weekend here is the full line up from around the Northwest and a few great ones worth mentioning to get you started. 

Fremont Oktoberfest  September 19th-21st.  5-11:30. Fremont Oktoberfest has been hailed as one of the top 10 places in the world to celebrate Oktoberfest. So come raise a toast with friends to the start of fall, and the wide variety of beer flavors that come with it.

Need Fresh Fruit and veggies? The Farmers Markets are still in full swing. Bothell, Lake Stevens and Everett are on Friday the 19th and the 26th.

Speaking of Bothell its Ye’ Old Pirate Day at Country Village on Saturday the 20th.

Have you done the Puyallup yet? Or should I say Washington State Fair? If not this is the last weekend!

Now that you have filled up this weekend see whats up the last weekend of September.

The Art and Harvest Festival is happening from the 25-28 in Everett with a not to miss night of Beer and Brats.

The Everett Fall Home Show starts Friday, Sep 27, Ending Sunday, Sep 29.  Go and get motivated for any and all of your remodeling projects.

There is a Hot Rod Car show in Snohomish on the 28th.

Italian Festival at the Seattle Center 9/27 – 9/28

And are you wondering why I put the coffee and beer picture on? Well Monday September 29th is National Coffee day and who would we be in the Great Northwest to not recognize this day?

So after all that beer, brats, pasta and wine from the festivals you will need a break and some coffee to wake you up on Monday!

Enjoy

#snohomishcountyhomesrealestate
#snohomishcountyhomesinc.com
#eventssnohomishcounty