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!

 

 

 

2626 Hidden Springs Lp SE, Olympia WA – Home for Sale!

Get ready for the holidays with your new home at 2626 Hidden Springs Lp SE in Olympia WA.

 

This is now for sale in the Lancaster neighborhood, with easy access to I-5 for commuters and shopping including Home Depot, Safeway, Best Buy and Costco.

 


This home offers all the rooms you need with a living room, family room, dining room, breakfast nook and FIVE bedrooms, including one bedroom on the main level.

This home offers a very desirable floor plan with all the rooms you need: living room, family room, dining room, breakfast nook and FIVE bedrooms, including one bedroom on the main level.

Click here for more details about this Olympia WA home for sale.

Watch this 30-second video for 2626 Hidden Springs Lp SE in Olympia WA:

Although the leaves are changing, the beauty of the gardens at this Olympia WA home remain.

The sophisticated northwest gardens in the front show pride in ownership and create a welcoming appearance.  You’ll enjoy your private oasis in the backyard with the “hidden springs” waterfall, extended patio for entertaining, and a fully fenced yard.  Check out the video for scenes of the backyard and also click here for more details and photos.

Get ready for the holidays and entertaining friends and family with this beautiful home in Olympia WA.  Contact your Realtor today for your private showing!

 

 

Can’t find the home you like in Olympia WA? Then build on this 1.24 acre lot on Dawn Hill Drive!

8026 Dawn Hill Road SE in Olympia WA is for sale!

Click here for more details.

 

This 1.24 acre parcel comes with all the utilities (4-bedroom septic, water, power, cable) to minimize building fees!  The property used to have a manufactured home, therefore this is the rare lot that has the utilities available.

You can also have Mount Rainier views!

The lot is level at the street level and then slopes down to another flat area which would be perfect for a dream shop, huge private yard, or leave in its natural state.

The lot is fenced on 3 sides marking the boundaries, and there is a path to the left to access the rest of the lot.

When inventory is low and you can’t find just the right house for the right price, here is your opportunity to build the home you want!  Or add a new manufactured home and flip it.  Lots of ideas and opportunity here in an escalating market for this property on Dawn Hill Drive.  Contact me today for more information.

Watch the video.

Olympia, Lacey, Tumwater WA Real Estate Market Update for Summer 2017

The end of summer is upon us, and the real estate market has been just as hot as the summer weather.

Here is the summer 2017 real estate market update for the Olympia, Lacey and Tumwater areas of Washington.

Click here to watch the 1-minute update:

 

Supply is LOW, Demand is HIGH, which is driving up SALES PRICES

Supply is VERY LOW with just 1.7 months of supply.  As you can see by this chart, the last time our market was anywhere near this low of supply within the last 17 years was in 2004.

This market has been in a Seller’s Market for a consecutive 35 months.

The buyer activity is going strong.  For August 2017, the market saw the most sales in the last 17 years with 594 sales.

The average sales price in Thurston County for August was $317,763.  That is up from $291,034 in August of last year.

 

Is a real estate housing bubble coming?

This is certainly debatable, but the current market doesn’t look like the market ten years ago.  Ten years ago, reckless lending was a major factor to the bursting of the housing bubble.  Buyers today are more financially solid than the buyers ten years ago.  Today’s buyers have more cash to put down, have solid credit scores, and are still enjoying low interest rates extending their buying power.

Most sellers today are profiting from the sale of their home, whereas ten years ago, many sellers were equity-poor. These sellers are now buyers and have the financial means to make their next move.

What do buyers do in a low-inventory market?

The good news for buyers is that there are A LOT of new listings coming on to the market.  Just because STANDING inventory is low, doesn’t mean there are not any homes available.  Check out our record-setting chart with the number of new listings entering the market:

Year-to-date, Thurston County added 4,571 new listings to the market.  Between 2006-2008, there were many new construction listings that bumped up those numbers.  This was also when the market started its decline, and the market became saturated with listings.

Today, buyers are snapping up these listings, keeping the standing inventory of homes very low.

Have questions?  Not sure if you should buy or sell?  

Contact me today and let’s have a conversation!  My job is to help buyers and sellers like yourself make their next move.  Call me today!

4055 Amelia Ct NE – home for sale in Lacey WA 98516

Come see this beautiful home for sale at 4055 Amelia Ct NE, Lacey WA 98516!

Click here for all the details.

As an acclaimed Rob Rice Home in Campus Highlands, this 3 year old home is on a private lot that is tucked-away on a cul de sac in Campus Highlands in Lacey, WA.  It backs The Woodlands golf course but also offers a private and wooded view.

Looking for a no-carpet home?  The home has been upgraded to hardwood floors throughout!

  • 4 bedrooms + office + bonus room
  • 2,462 Sq. Ft.
  • Built in 2014
  • 0.192 acres
  • 2 car garage + storage space
  • Fully fenced and sprinklered

Rob Rice Homes are known for excellence – here’s your opportunity to own this move-in ready home!

Click here to see the short video:

The location is perfect for I-5 commuters.  Heading north to JBLM or Tacoma – you are just a few minutes from the freeway.

For more information on this property and others like it, contact me today.  And be sure to visit my site for more information.

It was my pleasure to help another buyer find their perfect Tumwater Hill WA home!

I had the pleasure of working with this gentleman for quite some time as we looked and waited for the perfect home to come up on Tumwater Hill, WA.  After a long search, we found the right home at the right time!

He recently closed on his new home, and he wrote this kind review for me on Google:

“Francine is everything you could ask for in a realtor, start to finish!”

Short and sweet.  But this is how our working relationship was because I had to work with him through an interpreter.  For me, I had to choose my words carefully and be as exact and precise as possible, not just for my client but also for the interpreter.  Yes, we did have some miscommunications but fortunately, we both asked each other enough questions to hammer out those misunderstandings quickly.

I’d like to thank…

If you are not a Realtor or a recent home buyer or seller, you may forget that huge relief of getting to the closing table.  At times, it really seems like you just won an Oscar!  And therefore, you need to give a speech to thank those that helped you get to the finish line.

I’d like to thank…..my colleague and listing agent, Karen for her relentless follow-up!

I’d like to thank….the sellers for doing a stellar job in preparing their home for sale.

I’d like to thank….Theresa, the lender, for her persistence!  Another lender basically gave up on my client when we hit an obstacle.  This was no challenge for Theresa.

I’d like to thank….Annette at the escrow company who went over the settlement statement through the interpreter!  Wow – awesome job as most people don’t understand that thing no matter what language it’s in!

And I’d like to thank my client who didn’t give up after a few disappointments in the home search process.  It isn’t easy being a buyer in a seller’s market.

Thank you, everyone!  We have a happy new homeowner!