Getting involved in my local REALTORS Government Affairs Committee!

Today was my first meeting of the Thurston County REALTORS Association Government Affairs Committee.  And yes, it was as exciting as this picture depicts!!  🙂

But all kidding aside, I’m excited to be a part of this committee because this is really why being a REALTOR (over just a real estate agent) is so important:  this committee works directly on issues that impact homeowners and future homeowners.

As a committee, we will interview local candidates running for office, vote to endorse or not endorse candidates, attend city and county council meetings to learn what’s ahead,  and educate our colleagues on what is happening on the political front.

Politics have never been of interest to me, but what is of interest to me are issues that help or hinder homeownership.  Just recently, the Hirst decision was fixed with the help of A LOT of people including REALTORS.  The Hirst decision put restrictions in place for new homes being built that needed to be on wells.  It strangled the development in rural areas for landowners, homeowners and builders/developers.

The “Hirst Fix” made into law last week will allow counties to rely on the Department of Ecology’s flow rules for determining water availability.  Prior to this fix, developers were required to conduct their own hydrology tests which easily could have been a six-figure study with no guarantee the county would approve a well-site under the vague guidelines of the Hirst decision.

After my first Government Affairs meeting, I’m excited to become more involved in my community, work with some of the most dedicated REALTORS from all different brokerages in Thurston County, and to communicate with you and my colleagues the issues that impact us the most.  There is much we can accomplish together!

 

7115 Rothenberg Dr SW Tumwater WA 4-bedroom home for sale!

This beautiful Tumwater, WA 4-bedroom home for sale located at 7115 Rothenberg Dr SW offers a great location to schools, shopping and freeway access.  Plus Countryside Place it’s a great neighborhood to call home.

Click here for all the details.

The quick features of this home are:

  • 4 bedrooms / 2.5 baths
  • 2,570 square feet
  • 2-story home built in 2005
  • Tumwater school district
  • Fully fenced private backyard
  • 2-car garage

See this video for a tour of this Tumwater WA home for sale.

Best features of this home include:

  • Lots of natural light.  The home has large windows to let in the light, and the backyard faces west.
  • Oversized master bedroom and the fourth bedroom is what I’m calling a “super bedroom!”  It’s a very large room that also has an attached room that could be used for additional storage or built out to be that dream shoe closet!
  • Location!  Close to everything yet away from it all!  This is the best of both worlds.

Contact me with any questions, and be sure to let your Realtor know you’d like to add this to your home tour!

 

Found the right home in Spanaway WA for a relocating military family

I had the pleasure of working with Patrick and his family who are relocating from Virginia to Washington State.  They had one day to find a home in their whirlwind weekend trip here to the area last November, and we were very fortunate to find the right house at the right time!  They were kind enough to write a review for me:

If you think finding a home to buy in another state is challenging, imagine if you are in the military with very little time to house-hunt and need to make big decisions in a very short amount of time.  That is the typical story of my military buyers.

For Patrick and his family, I urged them to travel here first before his report date versus trying to buy a home sight-unseen.  They agreed and were able to make a weekend trip here.  We had one full day to scour the countryside looking for the right home.

With limited inventory and a list of wants and needs all within a specific budget, we looked at a total of eight homes.  If they didn’t find anything on this trip, then they would have to find a rental home and we would try again in a year.

They found a home in Elk Plain, the southern point of Spanaway.  It has a little bit of a country feel but is close to JBLM and amenities and schools.

If you are a military buyer needing to relocate here to the area, please contact me.   I have worked with many families in very similar situations, and I’m here to help relieve the pressure of finding a home fast!  I ask a lot of questions and work to narrow down the areas, neighborhoods, homes and price so that your house-hunting time is efficient and successful.

Helped military buyers buy their first home in Shelton WA

I was happy to be able to assist in the first-time home purchase for my military buyers in Shelton WA! And the lender was able to close the transaction 10 days ahead of schedule.  Buyers and sellers were very happy with the faster close.

Although Shelton is a bit of a drive from Joint-Base Lewis McChord, many military buyers are finding good deals in this town in Mason County.

Compared to Olympia’s average home price of $330,648 last year, Shelton buyers can find good real estate deals for an average of $213,247.  With that kind of savings, many buyers will endure a longer commute.  Shelton is 25 miles from Olympia and is an easy drive on Highway 101.

What is it like to live in Shelton?

Shelton is a small town with less than 10,000 residents in the city limits.  It definitely has that small-town feel as you walk through the downtown historic district but Shelton also has a Wal-Mart!

Shelton, like many parts of the Puget Sound area, offers lots of outdoor activities.  There are miles of water to explore and trails and forests to hike.  Shelton is considered the gateway to the Olympic Peninsula, where the Olympic Mountain range anchors the surrounding ocean beaches and rainforest.  You are not far from enjoying the scenic views of the mountains, water, and forests.

Shelton has a strong history in logging, and the timber industry is still a predominate trade.  The residents honor this history with their annual Paul Bunyan parade.  Another major industry is the farming of oysters.  And yes, there is a festival for that, too!

If you are looking for a smaller town with better real estate prices, consider looking in Shelton WA.  Now is the best time to purchase real estate.  If you are ready to make your next move, contact me today.

What has your REALTOR® done for you today? They worked to save homeowners money

What has your REALTOR® done for you today?  They worked to save homeowners money.

Most recently REALTORS® rallied together to contact Congress about shaping the final Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017.  In short, REALTORS® worked to educate legislators on how to advance the bill with these improvements:

– Keeping the capital gains exclusion.  This is a huge win for homeowners.  The current law was left in place on capital gains of $250,000 for an individual and $500,000 for married couples.  The original bill was to make this exclusion much harder to qualify for, but fortunately, REALTORS® worked with legislators to keep this exclusion in place.

– Mortgage interest deduction.  This topic has been highlighted frequently in the news as homeowners with a mortgage know that they can deduct their mortgage interest on their taxes.   It has even been threatened to be done away with in its entirety but it hasn’t – it has just been reduced from a $1 million limit to $750,000 on primary and secondary homes.  The original bill was looking to reduce this to $500,000.

– Real estate tax and state/local deductions.  This also made headlines as the bill sought to eliminate this altogether.  Now real estate taxes along with state and local taxes remain deducible with a combined limit of $10,000.

These are significant successes for homeowners but there is still work to be done.  As with any significant changes, there will most likely be unintended outcomes that will need to be addressed.  REALTORS® as a group will continue to work on tax issues that support homeownership.

 

Did you know? Not all licensed real estate agents are REALTORS®.  What’s the difference?

– REALTORS® are members of the National Association of REALTORS (NAR), which means they have pledged to adhere to NAR’s Code of Ethics and Standards of Practice.  The Code centers on the treatment of buyers and sellers providing them with the utmost of care, promoting their interests first and treating all parties honestly.  In short, a REALTOR® has got your back.

– REALTORS® are consumer advocates who are members of the largest trade group in the US, fight for consumers and defend the goals of homeownership.

– REALTORS® have more educational opportunities available to them.  NAR offers its members over 20 specialized certifications.  For example, during the recession when homeowners needed knowledgeable short-sale experts, REALTORS® had the education and training to help these consumers who needed our services the most.

– REALTORS® are licensed agents who choose to be REALTORS® and are invested in their careers by being REALTORS® and not just real estate agents.  (You may be surprised that some of the larger real estate firms are not REALTORS®.)

When looking to buy or sell a home, work with the agent who is also a dedicated REALTOR® – you’ll be glad you did.

 

 

 

 

 

 

I think my buyer just bought the dirtiest house in the county

I think my buyer just bought the dirtiest house in the county, and she’s really happy about it!  Why?  Because she knows she saved about $25,000, all because of dirt.

She is not like most buyers.  She has great vision and can see (and smell) beyond the filth in front of her.  (I, on the other hand, spent most of the showing outside because I just couldn’t take it.  And then I was even more distraught when I noticed the smell followed me and clung to my clothes!)

The only advantage I can see of a dirty home is the money buyers can save on the purchase price.  But other than that, there are not many benefits to a dirty home that is listed for sale.  The majority of buyers will keep looking. So sellers, if you live in filth, you just can’t list in filth.

For her closing gift, I thought it would be best to go the practical route, and I purchased just about every kind of cleaner, scrub brush, and other cleaning tools to give her a head start on the big task.

I’m all for green cleaners but I’m not sure vinegar and baking soda could even get the first layer of dirt off, so I purchased the toxic, heavy-duty cleaners to give her a head-start!

As a Realtor, it’s tough for me to see homes in such condition.  It’s my view that your home is typically your biggest financial asset and you should take care of it as best as you can.  Walking into a home where pets are allowed to use the carpet as their bathroom or the living room that is being used as the garbage dump is disheartening for me.

My buyers are also frustrated because they don’t understand why or how a seller would allow their home to be listed in this condition. Sometimes the seller is unable to care for their home, and sometimes the seller just doesn’t care at all.

In the end, this transaction worked out smoothly and my buyer ended up getting a great deal in what is currently a strong seller’s market.  And she got a kick out of her closing gift!

Helped my client’s grandfather sell his Lakewood, WA condo

It’s certainly an honor whenever a client refers me to someone who needs help with their real estate needs.  In this case, my client’s grandfather needed to sell his condo in Lakewood, WA and needed to sell rather quickly.

There were a lot of moving parts to this transaction that required A LOT of teamwork to get this sold and closed for the seller.  And the good part was this condo was in great shape and had recently been renovated, so that part was easy!

We received very good multiple offers and choosing one wasn’t easy.  In just 3 weeks, we sold and closed this unit.  I’m sure the new owner will be very happy in their new condo!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If you are looking for a condo in Lakewood, WA, The Bluffs condominium complex is a great neighborhood.  It’s located next to the Oakbrook Golf Club, where you feel secluded yet just minutes from shopping, restaurants, the freeway and JBLM.

The Bluffs has a cabana, outdoor pool, tennis courts, great areas for walking and lots of gardens, trees and nature!

This particular condo was located on the main floor, making it very accessible.  It just had one step into the secured building, and then once inside the unit, two steps down into the living room and kitchen.

This is a 2 bedroom, 1.75 bath condo that has updated kitchens and baths – all new Shaker-style cabinets, tile floors, solid surface surrounds in the baths – all tastefully done!  And all the appliances are included.

This main-level unit faces out into the common green areas, offering a peaceful, nature view!

The covered patio is a private nook to sneak away and enjoy the fresh air!

Call me if I can help you with your real estate needs!

 

 

 

 

 

What do Halloween candy, pumpkin spice lattes and a well-presented house for sale all have in common?  

They all go fast!  And in this scary-fast real estate market, buyers and sellers now more than ever need a really good REALTOR® on their side.

But the fear of the unknown stops many buyers and sellers dead in their tracks.  They wander from open house to open house like the walking dead, not knowing where to start or where to go.  Sellers may feel apprehensive about contacting an agent and worry about the costs to sell.  They decide to list on their own and hope for the best. Real estate is only scary when you don’t have the information you need to make the right decisions.

Here’s what you should know to take the fear out of real estate.

NOT ALL REAL ESTATE AGENTS ARE THE SAME

First, there’s a big difference between a real estate agent and a REALTOR®.  And it’s not just that little “r” after the name.  Why work with a REALTOR® over a real estate agent?  Here are a few reasons:

– A REALTOR® is a member of the National Association of REALTORS (NAR), which means they have pledged to adhere to NAR’s Code of Ethics and Standards of Practice.  The Code centers on the treatment of buyers and sellers providing them with the utmost of care, promoting their interests first and treating all parties honestly.  In short, a REALTOR®’s got your back.

– REALTORS® are consumer advocates.  Did you know that REALTORS®, who are members of the largest trade group in the US, fight for consumers and defend the goals of homeownership?  For example:

– This year, your local Washington REALTORS® supported new sources of revenue for education.  This revenue was used to provide updated teaching materials and to do more for special education, gifted programs and children in high poverty areas.

 

– Washington REALTORS® stopped a proposal that would add a new 7.9% Capital Gains Tax for home sellers.

 

– Washington REALTORS® are currently fighting for land owners by fixing the Hirst decision, which restricts water availability to new homes relying on private wells.

 

This is just a very small sampling of the advocacy work REALTORS® are doing behind the scenes to promote and preserve the freedoms of homeownership.

REALTORS® are smarter than horror movie heroes who forget how their legs work to run away from the terrifying underworld creature. To meet the ever-changing and complex real estate environment, REALTORS® have more educational opportunities available to them.  NAR offers its members over twenty specialized certifications.  For example, during the recession when homeowners needed knowledgeable short-sale experts, REALTORS® had the education and training to help these consumers who needed our services the most.

REALTORS® aren’t the trick-or-treaters who caravan miles away to the neighborhoods that hand out the full-sized candy bars.  Agents who choose to be REALTORS® are choosing to be committed to their local community.  They live here, work here, advocate for their neighbors, and are local-area experts.  They are invested in their careers by being REALTORS® and not just real estate agents.  (You may be surprised that some of the larger real estate firms are not REALTORS®.)

Second, not all agents work full-time.  In this fast-paced market, many people are getting their real estate licenses but are still keeping their day jobs.  Waiting for your agent to get off work can prevent you from succeeding in your purchase or sale.

Third, experience counts.  A real estate transaction can take on a life of its own and might have a death-wish! An experienced agent knows how to keep your transaction alive.

 

BEING AN UNREPRESENTED SELLER HAS ITS CHALLENGES EVEN IN A FAST MARKET  

If you are thinking of selling your home, consider these reasons why you should call on an expert to help sell what might be your largest financial asset.

Photos and marketing.  You have probably seen those bad, askew listing photos that look like they were taken by a tipsy pirate with a cell phone.  You might be thinking that you can certainly do better than Jack Sparrow but your full-time REALTOR® can get you better results.  Your agent can capture compelling features of your home and will know how to engage a potential buyer, not only with the right photos but with lively descriptions.

Better promotion with better outcomes.  Buyers look for homes everywhere – from online to print to driving a neighborhood.  Your agent will create and fund a strategic yet comprehensive promotional strategy reaching the most buyers on a wide-range of platforms.

Pricing.  Some sellers are terrified of this pricing discussion, but really this is just a truthful look at the market and how the home fits into the market.  Your REALTOR® can advise you on the best price to squeeze the most money from your home. No scary stuff here!

What to do once you get an offer(s)? If you have multiple offers, which is the best one?  Will the highest offer appraise?  Is the buyer’s lender reputable?  Are they pre-approved or pre-qualified?  Your agent will be able to advise you, see red flags and will have the foresight to curb catastrophes.

REALTORS® take on liabilities and are held to an attorney-level standard when handling contracts.  The do-it-yourselfer may have no idea of the liabilities they may be exposing themselves to nor the laws they are expected to uphold.

Local knowledge.  Agents have local real estate market knowledge but are also excellent sources for referrals to contractors, lenders, and other professional that can help you.

 

Don’t let fear stop you from getting the most from your real estate experience.  You just read my resume but if you’d like to learn more about how I can help, contact me today.  You’ll get the information you need, the representation you desire and the peace of mind you’ll receive.

 

3091 Eagle Lp NE, 4-bedroom home for sale in Lacey WA!

3091 Eagle Lp NE in Lacey WA is now available for sale!

This 4-bedroom home features a main floor den/office plus an upstairs media/bonus room.  Click here for all the details.

If you are a commuter and need to get to I-5 within minutes, or want to get to shops and restaurants fast, this is the perfection location.

Features:

  • 4 bedrooms + den + bonus room
  • 2.5 baths
  • 2,702 square feet
  • Built in 2013
  • Fully fenced backyard
  • Newer composite deck
  • Just one neighbor – no neighbor behind nor to the side; home next to pond.

Click here for all the details.

Here is a quick video of this home.  Check it out!

This is a newer home in an established neighborhood.  This smaller neighborhood has its own park in the middle with playground equipment, and features sidewalks and street lights.

The backyard is fully fenced and the owners installed a large composite deck that is great for grilling and outdoor entertaining.

Inside, the floor plan is desirable with a grand entry into the open family room, dining area and kitchen.  All the kitchen appliances stay!  The ceramic tiled kitchen island and countertops offers lots of space, and there are tons of cabinets with a large pantry.

Upstairs, the secondary bedrooms are situated away from the master bedroom, creating privacy and separation, and are ample-sized with good closet space.  The upstairs bonus room is large and is flexible space to be used for whatever you need it for – playroom, TV/media room, office, guest space, etc.

The master bedroom suite is a retreat!  An oversized bedroom with an attached 5-piece bath and huge walk-in master closet.

This is a great home and it’s ready for the next owner.  Click here for more details.

Schedule your showing appointment today!

 

8615 Zircon Dr SW, #H2 Lakewood WA condo – SOLD!

Just Sold October 2017.  Here is the previous listing information when this condo was available for sale.

This is a great opportunity for anyone looking to buy a home for a great price!  8615 Zircon Dr SW, #H2 in Lakewood WA is located in The Bluffs condominium complex next door to the Oakbrook Golf Club and minutes to JBLM!  Click here for all the details.

This condo is on the main floor – just one step into the secured building, and then once inside the unit, two steps down into the living room and kitchen.

This is a 2 bedroom, 1.75 bath condo that has updated kitchens and baths – all new Shaker-style cabinets, tile floors, solid surface surrounds in the baths – all tastefully done!  And all the appliances are included.

This main-level unit faces out into the common green areas, offering a peaceful, nature view!

The covered patio is a private nook to sneak away and enjoy the fresh air!

Be sure to see this condo in The Bluffs soon as the competition for this unit is heating up.  See more photos and details here.

Call your Realtor today to schedule your showing!