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Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Current mortgage loan rates

Here's the weekly update on mortgage loan rates and programs, courtesy of Troy Chambers, loan officer for Arboretum Mortgage.

"Rates have gone up a bit this week, but who cares … its Holiday time!! Actually, it is quite common as the year ends, to see rates creep slowly upwards. I am assuming they will settle back down as the calendar turns.

I will be out of the office for a few days, but as always I will have my cell, so please DO NOT hesitate to call if you should need anything at all. The cell number is 425-418-5103.

Let me know if you know of anyone looking to refinance or purchase a new home.

Thanks, and Happy Holidays!"


Troy Chambers
Arboretum Mortgage
Phone: 206-720-6628
Fax: 206-860-9340
troy@arboretummortgage.com

Friday, December 18, 2009

Need to rent?

Did you know that the Multiple Listing Service also lists homes to rent at no additional cost to the renter? Give me a call today for more information or assistance. 206-708-9800.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Al J. Kuder, Dec. 5, 1911 - Dec. 11, 2009



Al J. Kuder
Born: December 5, 1911
Died: December 11, 2009
Rest in Peace, Papa
Memorial Mass to be celebrated Dec. 30, 2009 in Centralia, Washington

Current mortgage loan rates

Here is your weekly report on loan rate activity, courtesy of Troy Chambers, Arboretum Mortgage.

"Rates are back down again.
Unemployment numbers came out higher than was estimated, and this has pushed the rates
slightly lower today. I think that we will see that trend continuing for the next couple of
business days heading into the Holiday.
As many people know; regulations, loan documents and procedures will be changing in 2010,
and now is the time to make sure
them. Rest assured that I have been preparing and taking all the necessary training classes to
make sure that when the calendar turns, I will be fully prepared to take on the new challenges!
Please contact me via my cell phone this weekend and into next week, if you know of anyone
looking for a refinance or considering a new home purchase, as I will be continually working.
My cell is 425-418-5103, and I will be available at all times."

Troy Chambers
Arboretum Mortgage
Phone: 206-720
Fax: 206-860-9340
troy@arboretummortgage.com

Table of loan programs and rates

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Congratulations, Dad, on your 98th birthday!


Time for a personal shout out to my father, who turns 98 today, Dec. 5th! (This is a photo of him with his 5 daughters, taken last July.)

Reaching 98 (in sound mind and body!) deserves an entire weekend of celebration, so I will be foregoing my usual Open House schedule this Saturday and Sunday.

But I will be back to work next week and available to help you with all your real estate needs.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Is your Realtor working this holiday season?

I am!

Don't get me wrong, I encourage real estate agents (and everyone else) to take time out to celebrate with family and friends during the holiday season; I certainly plan to. But in between gatherings and events, I work full time during December and all year long. There are fantastic opportunities for both buyers and sellers this time of year because there is less competition!

If you are serious about buying or selling a home in the next few weeks, give me a call today! I promise that I won't let the weather or the holidays prevent me from helping you achieve your goals. 206-708-9800.

Current mortgage loan rates

Here is your weekly update on mortgage loan rate activity, compliments of Troy Chambers, loan officer for Arboretum Mortgage. This is a good reminder that rates are not going to stay low forever; they can change -- either way -- without notice.


Rates Bounce Back Up …
After a GREAT week in the market from a rate standpoint, Thursday and Friday have seen them jump back up by over a quarter point. It looks like this may just be a temporary adjustment, and we hope to see them dip back down towards the end of the month.

Please let me know, if you know of anyone looking to refinance, or is need of a pre-approval for a new home purchase. I look forward to working with you, so feel free to call my cell at anytime at 425-418-5103.

Troy Chambers
Arboretum Mortgage
Phone: 206-720-6628
Fax: 206-860-9340
troy@arboretummortgage.com

Table of loan programs and rates.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

One-Click Small Home Search

Small Home Search made easy!

Are you searching for a small home in West Seattle? I've made it very easy. Just click on the headline to this post or the link that follows and you will see a list of ALL the ACTIVE LISTINGS in West Seattle that fit the following search parameters: 1+ bedrooms; 1+ baths; 1250 sq. ft. or less; 1 story or 1 story w/ basement; $320,000 or less.

Search for Small Homes in West Seattle.

When you find one or more you want to see, give me a call or text me at 206-708-9800.

Looking for small homes in other parts of Seattle? No problem!

South Seattle Small Home Search (Burien, Des Moines, Tukwila, Kent, Renton, SeaTac, Normandy Park)

Seattle/Eastside Small Home Search (Issaquah, Redmond, Kirkland, Bellevue, Samammish, etc.)

Seattle Proper, Small Home Search (Queen Anne, Magnolia, Capital Hill, etc.)

Again, when you find one or more you want to see, give me a call or text me at 206-708-9800.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Thinking of buying a home on your own?

Buying or selling a home can be a daunting task no matter what your circumstances. But if you are single, with or without kids, it's easy to imagine feeling overwhelmed.

Being a Realtor who has personally experienced buying a home on my own, I am well qualified to help you navigate the real estate byways. I provide a number of tools and resources that are particularly helpful for individuals buying and/or selling a home on their own. Here are a few examples:

> Free, one-on-one consultation: No pressure, no obligation. You and I sit down together for 15 or 20 minutes to examine your options and determine your best "next steps", even if it turns out to be renting.

> Lifestyle Questionnaire: designed to help you identify your homeownership preferences and priorities.

> "Express" Homebuyer Workshop: a 2-hr., information-packed seminar for individuals and small groups, designed to answer all your questions, however basic or advanced, and set you on the fast track to home ownership.

> "Express" Homeseller Workshop: same as above except directed toward sellers.

> "One-Click" Small Home Search: I have created four separate searches for various parts of Seattle. One click will produce a list of all Active Listings of small homes in any given geographic area. The link provided here is for small homes in West Seattle.

> Single Homebuyers' Network: an opportunity to meet (either in person or online) with other individuals who are considering/experiencing the homebuying process. This is a new offering, still in the conceptual stages, so you can help shape its future.

> Downpayment Assistance information: the State of Washington sponsors several programs designed to help you buy a home, including help with the downpayment.

These resources will help make the process of buying a home much easier than you thought possible.

Call me today to get started. 206-708-9800

Is your agent working this holiday season?

I am!

Don't get me wrong, I encourage real estate agents (and everyone else) to take time out to celebrate with family and friends during the holiday season; I certainly plan to. But in between gatherings and events, I work full time during December and all year long. There are fantastic opportunities for both buyers and sellers this time of year because there is less competition!

If you are serious about buying or selling a home in the next few weeks, give me a call today! I promise that I won't let the weather or the holidays prevent me from helping you achieve your goals. 206-708-9800.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Current mortgage loan rates

Loan officer Troy Chambers, of Arboretum Mortgage, shares the good news that interest rates continue to favor buyers.

In his words:
As Thanksgiving draws near, we continue the string of great rates! These rates make it a good
time to be in the real estate market. Please let me know if anyone you know is looking for a
preapproval for a new home purchase, or for a refinance. I am available at all times via my cell at
425-418-5103.

Table of loan programs/rates.

Free "Open House" list

Here's an easy way to get a list of all the houses being held open this weekend. Use the search tool link below to find all Opens or just those that fit your criterion.

It includes listings by various real estate companies/agents, assuming the event has been posted in the NWMLS (Northwest Multiple Listing Service).

I hold an Open House nearly every Saturday and Sunday. Call or text me to find out where I'll be this weekend.

Open House Search engine.

Fauntlee Hills Open House today





Today from 1-4P, I will be holding open a mid-century, view rambler perched high on 39th Av SW in the Fauntlee Hills neighborhood of West Seattle. Don't be intimidated by the front stairs; there is level access from carport on the back of the house.

Both the view and the home are really stunning. With wood beams and a cathedral ceiling in the main living room, two master bedrooms and a chef's kitchen, it is perfect for a single person or a couple. Listed for $519,500 by my Prudential colleague, Ken Arkills, the address is 8806 39th Av SW. MLS #28143401

Stop by to visit me and see the house and I will give you a coupon for a free ice cream cone from the Husky Deli!

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Free "Open House" list

Here's an easy way to get a list of all the houses being held open this weekend. Use the search tool link below to find all Opens or just those that fit your criterion.

It includes listings by various real estate companies/agents, assuming the event has been posted in the NWMLS (Northwest Multiple Listing Service).

I hold an Open House nearly every Saturday and Sunday. Call or text me to find out where I'll be this weekend.

Open House Search engine.

Fauntlee Hills Open House today & tomorrow










Today, from 10-1P, and tomorrow from 1-4P, I will be holding open a mid-century, view rambler perched high on 39th Av SW in the Fauntlee Hills neighborhood of West Seattle. Don't be intimidated by the front stairs; there is level access from carport on the back of the house.

Both the view and the home are really stunning. With wood beams and a cathedral ceiling in the main living room, two master bedrooms and a chef's kitchen, it is perfect for a single person or a couple. Listed for $519,500 by my Prudential colleague, Ken Arkills, the address is 8806 39th Av SW. MLS #28143401

Stop by to visit me and see the house and I will give you a coupon for a free ice cream cone from the Husky Deli!

Friday, November 20, 2009

Single Homebuyer Network now forming

Are you single and thinking about buying a home on your own? Would you like to meet with others who are in the same situation? Here is your chance to help shape and mold this brand new networking group while it is still in its infancy.

There is NO CHARGE to participate. There is NO COMMITMENT required. There are NO sales presentations OF ANY KIND -- guaranteed. This is a group devoted to education and support of individuals (with or without children) who are facing the challenge of buying a home on their own.

I will moderate the group, but participants are free to use (or not use) the services of any agent from any real estate company they choose. Interested? Give me a call at 206-708-9800. Meeting times, dates and places still to be determined. Or maybe an online community?

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Free "Open House" list

Here's an easy way to get a list of all the houses being held open this weekend. Use the search tool link below to find all Opens or just those that fit your criterion.

It includes listings by various real estate companies/agents, assuming the event has been posted in the NWMLS (Northwest Multiple Listing Service).

I hold an Open House nearly every Saturday and Sunday. Call or text me to find out where I'll be this weekend.

Open House Search engine.

Single Homebuyer Network now forming

Are you single and thinking about buying a home on your own? Would you like to meet with others who are in the same situation? Here is your chance to help shape and mold this brand new networking group while it is still in its infancy.

There is NO CHARGE to participate. There is NO COMMITMENT required. There are NO sales presentations OF ANY KIND -- guaranteed. This is a group devoted to education and support of individuals (with or without children) who are facing the challenge of buying a home on their own.

I will moderate the group, but participants are free to use (or not use) the services of any agent from any real estate company they choose. Interested? Give me a call at 206-708-9800. Meeting times, dates and places still to be determined. Or maybe an online community?

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Zero Energy Idea House

The Zero Energy Idea House on W. Lake Sammamish Parkway in Bellevue, WA, is designed to show that smart choices can result in a home that minimizes energy use while maximizing comfort and style. The 1,630-square-foot home aims to combine energy generation and conservation techniques to result in total energy bills of less than $40/month! Follow the construction process on this site and in425 Magazine.

Realtors' profile of homebuyers shows surge in 1st-timers, single women purchasing homes -- baltimoresun.com

Realtors' profile of homebuyers shows surge in 1st-timers, single women purchasing homes -- baltimoresun.com

Posted using ShareThis

Fauntlee Hills Open House today










Today, from 1-4P, I will be holding open a mid-century, view rambler perched high on 39th Av SW in the Fauntlee Hills neighborhood of West Seattle. Both the view and the home are really stunning. With wood beams and a cathedral ceiling in the main living room, two master bedrooms and a chef's kitchen, it is perfect for a single person or a couple.

Listed for $519,500 by my Prudential colleague, Ken Arkills, the address is 8806 39th Av SW. MLS #28143401

Stop by to visit me and see the house and I will give you a coupon for a free ice cream cone from the Husky Deli!

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Current Mortgage Loan Rates are Fantastic!

Here is an update on current mortgage loan rates, courtesy of Troy Chambers from Arboretum Mortgage:

Rates Are Great!

We are officially back to 4.750% on a 30 year fixed rate mortgage! We have seen an incredible

drop in interest rates this week, and borrowers are very excited. Please let me know if you know

of anyone who is looking for new home purchase financing or even a refinance. Now is the time

to make a move. If you know of any first time homebuyers, there has never been a better time to

move forward. Rates are low, prices are down, and we can still get them the tax credit.

Please contact me at anytime this weekend at 425-418-5103. I look forward to hearing from you!


Click here to download a table of loan programs/rates.


Here is Troy's contact info:


Troy Chambers

Arboretum Mortgage

Phone: 206-720-6628

Fax: 206-860-9340

troy@arboretummortgage.com

Single Homebuyer Network forming

Are you single and thinking about buying a home on your own? Would you like to meet with others who are in the same situation? Here is your chance to help shape and mold this brand new networking group while it is still in its infancy.

There is NO CHARGE to participate. There is NO COMMITMENT required. There are NO sales presentations OF ANY KIND -- guaranteed. This is a group devoted to education and support of individuals (with or without children) who are facing the challenge of buying a home on their own.

I will moderate the group, but participants are free to use (or not use) the services of any agent from any real estate company they choose. Interested? Give me a call at 206-708-9800. Meeting times, dates and places still to be determined.

Fauntlee Hills Open House today













Today, from 2-5P, I will be holding open a mid-century, view rambler perched high on 39th Av SW in the Fauntlee Hills neighborhood of West Seattle.

Both the view and the home are really stunning. With wood beams and a cathedral ceiling in the main living room, two master bedrooms and a chef's kitchen, it is perfect for a single person or a couple. Listed for $519,500 by my Prudential colleague, Ken Arkills, the address is 8806 39th Av SW. MLS #28143401

Stop by to visit me and see the house and I will give you a coupon for a free ice cream cone from the Husky Deli!

Monday, November 9, 2009

Single Homebuyer Network

Are you single and thinking about buying a home on your own? Would you like to meet with others who are in the same situation?

Here is your chance to help shape and mold this brand new networking group while it is still in its infancy.

There is NO CHARGE to participate. There is NO COMMITMENT required. There are NO sales presentations OF ANY KIND -- guaranteed.

This is a group devoted to education and support of individuals (with or without children) who are facing the challenge of buying a home on their own.

I will moderate the group, but participants are free to use (or not use) the services of any agent from any real estate company they choose.

Interested? Give me a call at 206-708-9800. Meeting times, dates and places still to be determined.

2 people a homebuyer should never talk to

There are two people a homebuyer should never speak to until safely ensconced in their new home. The first is the listing agent. The second is the seller.

Even though the vast majority of homebuyers still use an agent when it comes time to buy a home, many now prefer to shop for a home themselves on the internet before ever consulting/hiring a Realtor. Generally speaking, I consider this to be a good thing. Where some buyers make a mistake, in my opinion, is in directly contacting the listing agent of a home that interests them rather than hiring a buyer's agent to get more information about the home. Here's the problem with that scenario.

The listing agent is HIRED BY and REPRESENTS the SELLER. The listing agent is legally and morally bound to work in the best interests of their client, Mr./Mrs. Seller. Talking to the listing agent (and/or the seller) puts you at a DISADVANTAGE because you are likely to give away information that will help the agent get more money for the seller. If, for example, the listing agent realizes that you have fallen in love with the house, or that you can well afford to pay the full list price, the agent will use this information to the seller's advantage while negotiating the contract.

This is not a situation where you are cutting out the middle man. The listing agent CANNOT give you a better deal/price than you would otherwise receive. Quite the opposite. You are likely to end up paying MORE for the home because the added information gives the seller the upper hand.

Think of it this way. Talking to the listing agent of a home you want to buy is like talking to the prosecuting attorney in a court case where you are the defendant. You don't want to inadvertently give away information that may help convict you!

When you find a home that really interests you, THAT IS THE TIME to find and hire your own agent, who will work for YOUR best interests. Let the professionals do the haggling. That's what we are paid for and that is how we can best help you.

It is possible for both the buyer and the seller to agree to be represented by the same agent (who then earns a double commission), but do you really believe the agent can work for the best interests of two different parties?

Have questions about the role of a buyer's agent? Give me a call for a free, no-obligation, no-pressure consultation. 206-708-9800.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Single Homebuyer Network

Are you single and thinking about buying a home on your own? Would you like to meet with others who are in the same situation?

Here is your chance to help shape and mold this brand new networking group while it is still in its infancy.

There is NO CHARGE to participate. There is NO COMMITMENT required. There are NO sales presentations OF ANY KIND -- guaranteed.

This is a group devoted to education and support of individuals (with or without children) who are facing the challenge of buying a home on their own.

I will moderate the group, but participants are free to use (or not) the services of any agent from any real estate company they choose.

Interested? Give me a call at 206-708-9800. Meeting times, dates and places still to be determined.

N. Admiral Open House


Today, from 1-4, I will be holding open a classic, turn-of-the-century home which boasts 4 bedrooms and 2.5 baths in the North Admiral neighborhood. 2300 sq. ft. of living space on a 4255 sq. ft. lot, this home is listed for $575,000 by my colleagues the Johnson Team. The address is 1936 47th Av SW .

As I often do, I will be giving coupons for Husky Deli ice cream cones to all comers. Prefer a private showing? Text or call me at 206-708-9800 to set up a time.

Free list of Open House events

Here's an easy way to get a list of all the houses being held open this weekend. Use the search tool link below to find all Opens or just those that fit your criterion.

It includes listings by various real estate companies/agents, assuming the event has been posted in the NWMLS (Northwest Multiple Listing Service).

I hold an Open House nearly every Saturday and Sunday. Call or text me to find out where I'll be this weekend.

Open House Search engine.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Homebuyer tax credit extended & expanded

This big announcement has garnered so much press in the past couple of days that I didn't see the need to post it myself, but then I realized that I shouldn't assume you may have heard it elsewhere.

This past week, Congress passed, and the President signed a bill authorizing an extension of the $8K tax credit for first time homebuyers. Better yet, they increased the income restrictions so that more people qualify and they added a $6500 credit for some existing home owners who want to buy a new home.

The current credit was due to expire at the end of this month (Nov. 30, 2009). That deadline has been extended until April 30, 2010. This is obviously good news for a lot of people.
Click here to download a PDF file published by the National Association of Realtors, which outlines the stipulations and differences between the expiring credit and the newly expanded credit.
Still have questions? Give me a call for a no-obligation consultation regarding the potential for you to take advantage of this windfall. 206-708-9800.

N. Admiral Open House

This weekend I will be holding open a classic, turn-of-the-century home which boasts 4 bedrooms and 2.5 baths in the North Admiral neighborhood. 2300 sq. ft. of living space on a 4255 sq. ft. lot, this home is listed for $575,000 by my colleagues the Johnson Team.

The address is 1936 47th Av SW and I will be there from 2-5 on Saturday and 1-4 on Sunday. As I often do, I will be giving coupons for Husky Deli ice cream cones to all comers.

Prefer a private showing? Text or call me at 206-708-9800 to set up a time.

Free list of Open House events

Here's an easy way to get a list of all the houses being held open this weekend. Use the search tool link below to find all Opens or just those that fit your criterion.

It includes listings by various real estate companies/agents, assuming the event has been posted in the NWMLS (Northwest Multiple Listing Service).

I hold an Open House nearly every Saturday and Sunday. Call or text me to find out where I'll be this weekend.

Open House Search engine.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Current mortgage loan rates

Rates for conventional 30-yr fixed rate mortgages are still excellent! But this can't last forever, so if you are thinking of buying, the sooner you talk to a lender, the better.

Here is a table of current rates, subject to change, of course.

Thank you to Troy Chambers, of Arboretum Mortgage, for this information. Here is Troy's contact info in case you need a good lender.


Troy Chambers
Arboretum Mortgage
Phone: 206-720
Fax: 206-860-9340
troy@arboretummortgage.com

Free "Open House" list

Here's an easy way to get a list of all the houses being held Open this weekend. Use the search tool link below to find all Opens or just those that fit your criterion.

It includes listings by various real estate companies/agents, assuming the event has been posted in the NWMLS (Northwest Multiple Listing Service).

I hold an Open House nearly every Saturday and Sunday. Call or text me to find out where I'll be this weekend.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

New! Single Homebuyers' Network

Are you single and thinking about buying a home on your own? Would you like to meet with others who are in the same situation?

Here is your chance to help shape and mold this brand new networking group while it is still in its infancy.

There is NO CHARGE to participate. There is NO COMMITMENT required. There are NO sales presentations OF ANY KIND -- guaranteed.

This is a group devoted to education and support of individuals (with or without children) who are facing the challenge of buying a home on their own.

I will moderate the group, but participants are free to use (or not use) the services of any agent from any real estate company they choose.

Interested? Give me a call at 206-708-9800. Meeting times, dates and places still to be determined.

Search for small homes, made easy!

Are you searching for a small home in West Seattle? I've made it very easy. Just click on the headline to this post or the link that follows and you will see a list of ALL the ACTIVE LISTINGS in West Seattle that fit the following search parameters: 1+ bedrooms; 1+ baths; 1250 sq. ft. or less; 1 story or 1 story w/ basement; $320,000 or less.

Search for Small Homes in West Seattle.

When you find one or more you want to see, give me a call or text me at 206-708-9800.

Looking for small homes in other parts of Seattle? No problem!

South Seattle Small Home Search (Burien, Des Moines, Tukwila, Kent, Renton, SeaTac, Normandy Park)

Seattle/Eastside Small Home Search (Issaquah, Redmond, Kirkland, Bellevue, Samammish, etc.)

Seattle Proper, Small Home Search (Queen Anne, Magnolia, Capital Hill, etc.)

Again, when you find one or more you want to see, give me a call or text me at 206-708-9800.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

New! Single Homebuyers' Network

Are you single and thinking about buying a home on your own? Would you like to meet with others who are in the same situation?

Here is your chance to help shape and mold this brand new networking group while it is still in its infancy.

There is NO CHARGE to participate. There is NO COMMITMENT required. There are NO sales presentations OF ANY KIND -- guaranteed.

This is a group devoted to education and support of individuals (with or without children) who are facing the challenge of buying a home on their own.

I will moderate the group, but participants are free to use (or not use) the services of any agent from any real estate company they choose.

Interested? Give me a call at 206-708-9800. Meeting times, dates and places still to be determined.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Are you an FTHB?

It was bound to happen. With all the media attention aimed at first time home buyers, a new acronym was inevitable. FTHB stands for "first-time homebuyer". If that's you, you can be glad that you have so much information at the tips of your typing fingers to help you find the perfect home and an excellent agent to help you through the often-daunting process.

My full-service website at www.AliceSellsSeattleHomes.com is loaded with free information and tools such as Property Watch, an automated property search engine; a mortgage calculator;an Open House list, and more.

I realize that many people prefer to look for homes on their own before contacting an agent, but if you are ready for help in taking the next steps to home ownership, please call or text me at 206-708-9800. I would appreciate the opportunity for a short interview to tell you how I can help you.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Real Estate for Single Homebuyers: Safety During Power Outages

Much as I'd like to deny it, our local weather has taken a marked change in just the past few days. It's time to start preparing for potential power outages.

Click here to download a PDF file with information about what to do before, during and after a power outage.

Open House today


Today, from 1-4, I will be holding open a cute 1940's rambler in the Westwood neighborhood of West Seattle. This terrific little 2 bd/1 bath starter-home is in great condition -- move right in. It has a level, fenced back yard with detached garage and alley access. The address is 7719 31st Av SW; priced at $269,000. MLS# 29069502.

Here's where you can find a list of all Open Houses listed in the Nortwest Multiple Listing Service.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Real Estate for Single Homebuyers: Pet Ownership

Click here to visit my Prudential website for a list of resources concerning pet ownership.

Free list of Open House events

Here's an easy way to get a list of all the houses being held Open this weekend. Use the search tool link below to find all Opens or just those that fit your criterion.

It includes listings by various real estate companies/agents, assuming the event has been posted in the NWMLS (Northwest Multiple Listing Service).

I hold an Open House nearly every Saturday and Sunday. This weekend I will be at 7719 31st Av SW, in the Westwood neighborhood of West Seattle.

Open House Search engine.

Loan rates are still good

Loan rates for 30-yr conventional mortgages are still very low -- hovering right around 5%. It's easy to get lulled into a false sense of security about loan rates, as if they will stay low forever (or at least until you need them). If you are thinking about buying, remember that the interest rate you pay on your loan can greatly affect how much house you can buy and how much your monthly payments will be. You might be surprised at the the significant difference that even a quarter of a point can make.



Here is a table of current loan rates (subject to change without notice), along with a short editorial comment from Troy Chambers of Arboretum Mortgage.


"We have seen very little change in interest rates this week, and that’s a good thing! Rates are still very low, and many people are scrambling to cash in on the tax credit being given to first time home buyers. If I get a loan within the next 2 weeks, I will be able to get it closed in time for borrowers to take advantage of this credit. Let me know if you know of anyone who is in need of a refinance or a preapproval letter. I am able to produce them within 5 minutes!

Please contact me at anytime, day or night on my cell at 425-418-5103."


Troy Chambers
Arboretum Mortgage
Phone: 206-720-6628
Fax: 206-860-9340
troy@arboretummortgage.com

Turn your clocks back tonight!

Just another little reminder that Daylight Savings Time ends at 2AM Sunday, so you should turn your clocks back 1 hour before you go to bed tonight.

I don't know about you, but I always find at least one clock or timer I forget to reset. And I still have a VCR that does the time change automatically EXCEPT it's set for the OLD parameters for which weekends the time changes. Ah, technology!

Happy Halloween!

Friday, October 30, 2009

Real Estate for Single Homebuyers: Identifying Your Lifestyle

Single homebuyers often have different lifestyles than those who are couples (with or without children). Here is a questionnaire that may help you identify some of your particular needs and wants in relation to buying a home. I invite you to print out this PDF file, answer the questions and then call me for an appoinment so we can discuss them. This will enable me to be even more effective in helping you find the right home. You can call or text me at 206-708-9800.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Real Estate for Single Homebuyers: Housing Styles

Townhome, condo, co-op, single-family residence ... which style of home is best suited to you? Price is not the only differentiating factor. Here is a chart which compares and contrasts your various options.

Note: this is provided as a PDF file because charts/tables do not transfer well into Blogger (the formatting gets lost).

Visit my Prudential website for more Resources for Single Homebuyers. Click the "Single Homebuyers" tab at the top of the home page. Or call/text me for an appointment to discuss your options in person. 206708-9800.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Real Estate for Single Homebuyers: Renting vs. Owning

Portions of this article are formatted as a table, which does not translate well in Blogger, so please click here to download the information as a PDF.

The Pros and Cons of Renting versus Owning a Home

Visit my Prudential website for more Resources for Single Homebuyers. Click the "Single Homebuyers" tab at the top of the home page.

Search for Small Seattle Homes with one Click!

Are you searching for a small home in West Seattle? I've made it very easy.

Just click on the headline to this post or the link that follows and you will see a list of ALL the ACTIVE LISTINGS in West Seattle that fit the following search parameters:

1+ bedrooms; 1+ baths; 1250 sq. ft. or less; 1 story or 1 story w/ basement; $320,000 or less.

Search for Small Homes in West Seattle.

When you find one or more you want to see, give me a call or text me at 206-708-9800.

Looking for small homes in other parts of Seattle? No problem!

South Seattle Small Home Search (Burien, Des Moines, Tukwila, Kent, Renton, SeaTac, Normandy Park)

Seattle/Eastside Small Home Search (Issaquah, Redmond, Kirkland, Bellevue, Samammish, etc.)

Seattle Proper, Small Home Search (Queen Anne, Magnolia, Capital Hill, etc.)

Again, when you find one or more you want to see, give me a call or text me at 206-708-9800.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Real Estate for Single Homebuyers: 10 Steps to Home Ownership

10 Steps to Home Ownership

1. Consider advantages & disadvantages:
Do you really want to own a home?

2. Consider the market conditions:
Is this the right time for you?

3. Assess your credit standing:
Do you need to repair or improve?

4. Assess your finances:
Do you have cash for a downpayment, closing costs, etc?

5. Create a budget:
What monthly payment can you afford?

6. Contact a lender:
What amount of loan do you qualify for?

7. Compile your wish list of home features:
Prioritize wants vs. needs

8. Interview & choose an agent
How do you find the right agent for you?

9. Search for a home
How do you find the right home for you?

10. Make an offer and close the sale

Visit my Prudential website for more Resources for Single Homebuyers. Click the "Single Homebuyers" tab at the top of the home page.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Real Estate for Single Homebuyers: Home Security

Home security covers a broad scope of topics from door locks to smoke alarms to neighborhood watch programs.

The time to begin assessing the safety of any home is before you buy it. Once you find a house you like and want to purchase, take the time to visit the local police station to research local crime statistics and see if they meet your expectations. You may find that the actual crime rate in any given neighborhood may be significantly higher or lower than its reputation would lead you to believe.

Once you move into your new home, be sure to either re-key or change all the locks. Otherwise, it is impossible to who among all past occupants, neighbors, landlords, etc. might have a key to your home.

Here are some other websites with helpful tips:

Home Safety Council:
http://homesafetycouncil.org/mysafehome/index.aspx

Crime Doctor Advice:
Home Security/Burglary Prevention
http://www.crimedoctor.com/home-security.htm

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Small Homes in West Seattle: Seach with one click!

Are you searching for a small home in West Seattle? I've made it very easy. Just click on the headline to this post or the link that follows and you will see a list of ALL the ACTIVE LISTINGS in West Seattle that fit the following search parameters: 1+ bedrooms; 1+ baths; 1250 sq. ft. or less; 1 story or 1 story w/ basement; $320,000 or less.

Search for Small Homes in West Seattle.

When you find one or more you want to see, give me a call or text me at 206-708-9800.

Looking for small homes in other parts of Seattle? No problem!

South Seattle Small Home Search (Burien, Des Moines, Tukwila, Kent, Renton, SeaTac, Normandy Park)

Seattle/Eastside Small Home Search (Issaquah, Redmond, Kirkland, Bellevue, Samammish, etc.)

Seattle Proper, Small Home Search (Queen Anne, Magnolia, Capital Hill, etc.)

Again, when you find one or more you want to see, give me a call or text me at 206-708-9800.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Resources for Single Homebuyers: Safety Tips for Power Outages

Much as I'd like to deny it, our local weather has taken a marked change in just the past few days. It's time to start preparing for potential power outages.

Click here to download a PDF file with information about what to do before, during and after a power outage.

Alki Open House


Open today (Sat. 10/24) until 4PM and again tomorrow from 1-4. Vintage, Spanish-style duplex just one block from the beach and steps from Whale Tail Park. 2626 Marine Av. SW. $349K for both units on a 3,220 sq. ft. lot! MLS# 29129787

Friday, October 23, 2009

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Resources for Single Homebuyers: What is your lifestyle?

Single homebuyers often have different lifestyles than those who are couples (with or without children). Here is a questionnaire that may help you identify some of your particular needs and wants in relation to buying a home. I invite you to print out this PDF file, answer the questions and then call me for an appoinment so we can discuss them. This will enable me to be even more effective in helping you find the right home. You can call or text me at 206-708-9800.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Incredible deal: Alki duplex just $349K!


Here's your chance to own a home one block from Alki beach and have someone else (a tenant) pay (at least) $695/mo. toward your mortgage payment! Located at 2626 Marine Av SW, this fun and funky little Spanish-style duplex is just steps from Whale Tail Park in one direction and the beach in the other direction.


I will be holding it open this Saturday and Sunday from 1-4 each day, so come by and take a look. Or if you'd prefer a private showing, give me a call at 206-708-9800.

Current mortgage loan rates

Low interest rates continue to be a bright spot in the real estate landscape. Although low home prices are something we can all understand, the hugely positive affect of a low interest rate isn't as easily discernable. Even a quarter percentage point can save you many thousands of dollars over the life of the loan. Ask your lender to show you the amortization rate for loans at two different rates and you will see what I mean.

That said, here is a recap of interest rate activity for the past week, courtesy of Troy Chambers, loan officer for Arboretum Mortgage.

"Rates are back down a bit. Not quite to the level of a few weeks ago, but we are back down under 5%. I am providing these rates today, as I will be on a plane all day tomorrow. However; I will still be available all weekend, so please let me know if you need anything regarding new purchase financing or a refinance. Simply call my cell at any time at 425-418-5103, for anything you may need."

Troy Chambers
Arboretum Mortgage
Phone: 206-720-6628
Fax: 206-860-9340
troy@arboretummortgage.com

Click here to see a chart of current loan types and rates.

Resources for Single Homebuyers: What Style Home Should You Buy?

Townhome, condo, co-op, single-family residence ... which style of home is best suited to you? Price is not the only differentiating factor. Here is a chart which compares and contrasts your various options.

Note: this is provided as a PDF file because charts/tables do not transfer well into Blogger (the formatting gets lost).

Visit my Prudential website for more Resources for Single Homebuyers. Click the "Single Homebuyers" tab at the top of the home page. Or call/text me for an appointment to discuss your options in person. 206708-9800.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Resources for Single Homebuyers: Rent vs. Own

Portions of this article are formatted as a table, which does not translate well in Blogger, so please click here to download the information as a PDF.



The Pros and Cons of Renting versus Owning a Home

Visit my Prudential website for more Resources for Single Homebuyers. Click the "Single Homebuyers" tab at the top of the home page.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Resources for Single Homebuyers: 10 Steps to Home Ownership

10 Steps to Home Ownership

1. Consider advantages & disadvantages:
Do you really want to own a home?
2. Consider the market conditions:
Is this the right time for you?
3. Assess your credit standing:
Do you need to repair or improve?
4. Assess your finances:
Do you have cash for a downpayment, closing costs, etc?
5. Create a budget:
What monthly payment can you afford?
6. Contact a lender:
What amount of loan do you qualify for?
7. Compile your wish list of home features:
Prioritize wants vs. needs
8. Interview & choose an agent
How do you find the right agent for you?
9. Search for a home
How do you find the right home for you?
10. Make an offer and close the sale

Visit my Prudential website for more Resources for Single Homebuyers. Click the "Single Homebuyers" tab at the top of the home page.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Resources for Single Homebuyers: Home Security Tips

Home security covers a broad scope of topics from door locks to smoke alarms to neighborhood watch programs.

The time to begin assessing the safety of any home is before you buy it. Once you find a house you like and want to purchase, take the time to visit the local police station to research local crime statistics and see if they meet your expectations. You may find that the actual crime rate in any given neighborhood may be significantly higher or lower than its reputation would lead you to believe.

Once you move into your new home, be sure to either re-key or change all the locks. Otherwise, it is impossible to who among all past occupants, neighbors, landlords, etc. might have a key to your home.

Here are some other websites with helpful tips:

Home Safety Council:
http://homesafetycouncil.org/mysafehome/index.aspx

Crime Doctor Advice:
Home Security/Burglary Prevention
http://www.crimedoctor.com/home-security.htm

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Last call for $8K tax credit!

Most industry experts agree that this will likely be the last weekend for first-time homebuyers to find a home and qualify for the tax credit that ends on Nov. 30th.

I still have time available to assist ONE more buyer, but it's first come, first served, so call me NOW! 206-708-9800.

There's still time to claim the $8K tax credit

...but not much!

There are still agents (me, for one!) and lenders (David Todd, of NW Mortgage Alliance is my preferred lender) who can help you find a good home to purchase in time to qualify for the $8,000 tax credit offered by the federal government for first-time home owners. Of course, we can't guarantee that you will be able to beat the Nov. 30 deadline, but if you have been pre-approved for a home loan, and can devote this weekend to an intensive search, the odds are still in your favor.

Call me now for details and to make an appointment to tour homes this weekend. I have time available to assist just ONE more buyer. First come, first served. 206-708-9800.

Open House today


Looking for something cheap and fun to do this afternoon? Come visit me at my Open House from 1-4 in the Fauntleley Hills neighborhood of West Seattle, 9114 4oth Av SW. This is an estate property -- a solidly built, mid-century brick rambler with a full daylight basement. The property has been well maintained over the years, but not updated cosmetically, so it is somewhat of a blank slate for your creative touches. Now priced at $489,950. MLS #29134236

As usual, I will be giving away coupons for a free ice cream cone at the fabulous Husky Deli.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Current mortgage loan rates

Although mortgage rates have gone up slightly they are still very very good at 5%. Call your favorite lender today to see if you qualify.

Troy Chambers, loan officer at Arboretum Mortgage, kindly supplies the information I post here each week. Here is his contact info:

Troy Chambers
Arboretum Mortgage
Phone: 206-720
Fax: 206-860-9340
troy@arboretummortgage.com

Here is a current table of loan rates

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Interest Rates & Home Prices -- video

Which is more important, a low mortgage rate or a low home price? Here's a fun little YouTube video that may answer that question for you.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Home Loan Rates Remain Low

Interest rates for 30-yr. conventional loans have dipped even lower in recent days. There's no guarantee how long they will stay at these historically low levels, of course, and it's easy to get lulled into believing that they will.

If you are thinking of buying a home, it doesn't get any better than this.

Here is a recap of loan rate activity from loan officer Troy Chambers, of Arboretum Mortgage.

"Once again, we see a rate sheet with the 30 year fixed under 5%. We are actually threatening
4.625%! Please let me know if you know of anyone who is in need of a refinance or new home
purchase financing. I will be available all weekend, so please feel free to call my cell phone at
any time. The number is 425-418-5103."

If you qualify as a first-time homebuyer (meaning you haven't owned a home for at least 3 years)and earn less than $75K/year ($150K for married couples), there's still time to buy a home and claim the $8K tax credit. BUT time IS getting short!

Want/need more info? Call me now! 206-708-9800

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Huge Price Reduction on Alki Duplex!

Was $399,900, now just $349,000! 1926 Spanish-Style duplex one block from Alki Beach and Whale Tail Park. I will be holding this charmer open on Sunday from 1-4PM, so stop by and take a look. The address is 2626 Marine Av SW. MLS# 29094087 There's still time (but not much) to qualify for the $8K tax credit. This may be just the property for you!

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Which Cities Will See Biggest Real Estate Rebound?

Reprinted from Daily Real Estate News October 2, 2009

Seattle Ties for First Place!

Which cities are likely to be the hottest post-economic downturn destinations for young, brilliant, and highly mobile workers?The Wall Street Journal surveyed six trend-spotting experts and they chose cities based on economic diversity, lifestyle and their own personal prejudices.
Here’s the top-10 list:
1. Washington, D.C. (tie)1. Seattle
2. New York
3. Portland, Ore.
4. Austin, Texas
5. San Jose, Calif.
6. Denver
7. Durham, N.C.
8. Dallas
9. Chicago
10. Boston

Source: The Wall Street Journal, Sue Shellenbarger (09/30/2009)

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Are you a single homebuyer?

31% of homebuyers are single. Are you? Visit my Prudential website to find a variety of resources to help you get started with your home search. Click on the "Single Buyers" tab at the top of the page for information on topics such as: home security; home styles; steps to home ownership; renting vs. buying; pet owners as home owners; and, free homebuyer seminars.

Alki Open House today

Admit it, you've always wanted to live on Alki. This little charmer is priced at just $399,900.

Stroll down to the beach today (and/or tomorrow) between 1-4 and visit me at 2626 Marine Av SW, a Spanish-style duplex right across from Whale Tale Park. I will be giving coupons for free ice cream cones from W. Seattle's own Husky Deli.

MLS# 29094087


Thursday, September 24, 2009

Homebuyers: Is smaller, better?

I keep reading reports that today's homebuyers are shying away from McMansions in favor of smaller homes. Here's a link to one such article: http://www.time.com/time/business/article/0,8599,1925511,00.html.

Most "experts" believe that the reasons have to do mostly with economics (no surprise there). Not only do smaller homes cost less initially, but maintenance and energy costs are less for the life of the home.

What are your preferences? If you were/are buying a home today, how much square footage do you require?

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Will you miss out on the $8K tax credit?

Did you know that anyone who has not owned a home in the last three years qualifies as a first-time homebuyer? And first-time homebuyers who earn less than $75K/yr. ($150K for married couples) and close the purchase of a home by Nov. 30, 2009 will receive an $8K tax credit/refund from the Federal Government.

It takes the average homebuyer 45-60 days to find and close the purchase of a new home. That means you need to start looking by the first of October. What are you waiting for?

Need more info? Give me a call at 206-708-9800 or visit my Prudential website www.AliceKuder.pnwRealty.com and start searching for your new home!

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Open Houses today

As you know, Sunday is the traditional day for Open Houses. If you'd like to find a list of Opens in your area, go to my website and click on the Open House link. Or just drive around the neighborhoods that interest you and look for Open House signs.

Today, from 1-4, I will be holding open a 3+ daylight rambler in Boulevard Park, but it is already sold! I'm still going to be there because we couldn't cancel the advertising in time. Come see it anyway and I'll give you a coupon for a free ice cream cone at Husky Deli. It's a good chance to see the advantages of living in the Boulevard Park neighborhood. The address is 10823 5th Av S.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Alki Open House today

Today, from 1-4P, I will be holding open a quaint, 1926 Spanish style Alki home that has been converted into a duplex. The address is 2626 Marine Ave SW, located just one block from the beach and mere steps from Whale Tail Park. Listed at $399,900, this is a "must see."

As usual, I will be giving away coupons for free ice cream cones from West Seattle's own Husky Deli.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Remodeled Daylight Rambler $239K!



Discover the advantages of living in one of West Seattle's lesser-known neighborhoods. This attractive, private, 3+ bedroom home is nestled in the Boulevard Park neighborhood, with quiet streets, big lots and easy freeway access.

Located at 10823 5th Ave S, this home is spacious, bright, comfortable and move-in ready. Call me today for a private showing. 206-708-9800.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

How does the $8K tax credit work?

You may have heard about the $8,000 tax credit the government is offering to first-time homebuyers. If you think you may qualify, but don't know how it works, here is a cute, short video you can watch for more information.

You can also call or text me for more info at 206-708-9800

Saturday, September 5, 2009

What's a co-op apartment?

Co-op vs. Condo

Unless you are from the east coast, chances are you may not know what a co-op (short for “cooperative”) apartment is, and/or how it differs from a condominium.
Here is a short description of some of the major differences.

Condos:
Residents own their actual unit. They also hold an undivided interest in the common areas of the building such as a courtyard or clubhouse.

Residents hold private title to their unit, including the right to control and transfer the property at will.

A mortgage for a condo finances the purchase of the actual property, using that property as collateral.

Residents elect a board of directors to manage the building, but the association does not retain any rights to dictate to whom residents may sell their units. Neither does the association have control over owner behavior.

The purchase of a condominium is considered to be Real property, so the State of Washington does charge the seller an excise tax.

Co-ops:
Members own shares in a corporation, which holds title to the land and the building. Each shareholder has the exclusive right to occupy a specific apartment until/unless the member sells their shares.

Members receive a stock certificate and a proprietary lease showing ownership and occupancy.

A mortgage for the purchase of a co-op is actually a loan to purchase shares in the corporation.

Members elect a board of directors to manage the upkeep of the building and ensure that residents abide by the occupancy agreement. The board retains the right to approve potential members/buyers and can evict owners who violate rules of residency.

Shares in a co-op are not considered to be Real property, so the State of Washington does not charge excise tax on a sale.

Want to know more? Give me a call at 206-708-9800

Friday, September 4, 2009

Local Blood Drive today

The Puget Sound Blood Mobile will be in the Jefferson Square (West Seattle, on 42nd Av SW between Alaska & Edmunds streets) parking lot today from 9-2 ; walk-ins are welcome. If you've never donated blood before, please consider giving it a try. It's really quite quick (takes about a half hour) and painless. At one point or another in our lives, most of us will need the benefit of donated blood -- whether for ourselves or for a loved one. Please give if you can. If you need reassurance or encouragement, feel free to give me a call. 206-708-9800.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Queen Anne Studio Co-op $134,500!

I'm holding this apartment open right now (1-4 Sunday), so come on by and take a look! Surprisingly spacious even though it's approx. 400 sq. ft. Comes fully furnished. Click on the following link to see more info, photos and a virtual tour. 7 Harrison Street, #15, Seattle, WA 98109

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Queen Anne Studio Co-op $134,500



Today from 1-4 I will be holding the first Open House at my new listing on Queen Anne Hill, a studio apartment in a co-op building at 7 Harrison Street #15, less than a block from Key Arena. And yes, the asking price is just $134,500!

If you are unfamiliar with co-ops in the real estate world (they are quite common on the East coast, but less so here), a co-op is similar to a condo. Both have homeowner associations that regulate and care for the property, however when you buy a condo, you own the unit you live in. With a co-op, you buy shares (similar to stock) in the association which owns the building. This arrangements provides some tax and liability advantages.

Click here for more details about this particular co-op apartment.

Questions? Give me a call at 206-708-9800

Sunday, August 23, 2009

This Sunday's Open House



Today I'll be looking at a million dollar view. How about you? Come join me at my Open House from 1-4PM. The address is 3918 SW Southern St., in West Seattle's Gatewood neighborhood. This is an absolutely stunning, ultra modern home with 4 bedrooms, 3 baths with approximately 3375 square feet of living space on an 8386 sq. ft. lot. Listed by my Prudential colleagues, the Johnson Team, for the just-reduced price of $995,000. MLS# 29046403 As usual, I will be giving away coupons for free ice cream cones from our own Husky Deli.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

For Sale By Owner?

Are you thinking about trying to sell your home on your own? If so, I have a free information packet to help you get the job done.

What's in it for me? It's simply an opportunity to create goodwill. Perhaps then, if you ever do need the services of an agent, you'll think of me.

To request your free packet, give me a call at 206-708-9800 or send me an e-mail: Alice@AliceKuder.com

What is a tax credit, anyway?

You have probably heard about the $8,000 tax credit the federal government is offering first-time home buyers. The $8K part is easy enough to understand, but you may be wondering, 'what is a tax credit and how does it benefit me?'

Here's how it works. Next year, prepare your federal income tax return as usual. Then, take a look at the bottom line that says how much you owe. If you owe money, you get to deduct up to $8,000. For example,
> If you owe $10,000 in taxes, and qualify for the tax credit, you would deduct $8,000 from that $10,000 so you would owe just $2,000.
> If you owe $6,000 before applying the credit, you would not owe anything AND you would GET BACK a check for $2,000.
> If you owe nothing, you will get back a check for up to $8,000 to spend any way you wish.

TO QUALIFY FOR THE CREDIT, you must:
> be a first-time home buyer, which means you cannot have owned any interest in a home in the past three years
> CLOSE the purchase of a home valued at $80,000 or more (that's pretty much every home on the market) before DEC. 1st, 2008. Since it typically takes about 60 days to find and purchase a home, you should start looking by October 1st.
> earn an adjusted gross income of no more than $75,000 per year for individuals or $150,000 per year for married couples.

Need more information without any hassle or pressure? Call me at 206-708-9800.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Are you a single homebuyer?

31% of homebuyers are single. Are you? Visit my Prudential website to find a variety of resources to help you get started with your home search. Click on the "Single Buyers" tab at the top of the page for information on topics such as: home security; home styles; steps to home ownership; renting vs. buying; pet owners as home owners; and, free homebuyer workshops.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Homebuyer Tax Credit deadline is fast approaching

Are you hoping to be a first-time home buyer and wanting to take advantage of that $8,000 tax credit offered by the government? Remember that in order to qualify you need to CLOSE the purchase of a home by Dec. 1st (NOT Dec. 31st). Working a typical home-buying timeline backwards, that means you need to begin seriously shopping for a home by early October. Here's how I come up with that recommendation.

Average time from making an offer to close a purchase: 30-45 days
Average time to find a home once you begin looking: 2-4 weeks
Total: 8-10 weeks (2-2.5 months)

So working backwards, that puts you between September 15 - October 1st if you don't want to be pushed to buy something that isn't what you really want. And keep in mind that there are likely to be A LOT of other folks who will suddenly awaken to that reality, which may deplete inventory and lengthen the average timeline. And there is no way to be certain that interest rates will stay as good as they are now.

If you are thinking that Sept. 15th is still a long ways away, just consider how quickly the summer months always seem to fly by.

Do you have questions about whether or not you qualify for the tax credit? Give me a call and I'll help you find the answers. 206-708-9800

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Gatewood Open House today



George Jetson would have loved this home! A true "modern" mid-century classic in the heart of Gatewood. This 4 bdrm/2.25 bath home boasts an open floor plan with refinished hardwoods and a gorgeous fireplace, among many other fine features. I will be holding it open from 1-4 today. Listed at $499,000 by Prudential's Johnson Team. Come by and take a look and pick up your coupon for a free ice cream cone from West Seattle's own Husky Deli.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Current loan rates

Here is your weekly summary of loan rate activity, courtesy of Troy Chambers, loan officer for Arboretum Mortgage.

"Rates are down, and things are looking up. Many lenders are offering 5 year ARMs in the low 4s and even the high 3s! That is amazing. Fixed rate mortgages are inching back down to the 4s as well. Please let me know if anyone you know is looking for a refinance or new home purchase financing. Please feel free to contact my cell phone at any time at 425-418-5103."

Troy Chambers
Arboretum Mortgage
Phone: 206-720-6628
Fax: 206-860-9340
troy@arboretummortgage.com

Click here to see a table of rates.

Gatewood Open House, Sat. & Sun.



A true mid-century classic! This weekend I'll be holding open a 4 bdrm/2.25 bath home at 3510 Rose Ave SW. If you're looking for a spacious, modern/retro home in a great neighborhood, this may be the place for you. Listed at $499,000 by my Prudential colleagues, the Johnson Team. I'll be there from 1-4 both Saturday and Sunday, giving away coupons for Husky Deli ice cream cones, so come on by.

Friday, August 14, 2009

First-Time Seller?

Much attention is paid to first-time buyers these days, but what about first-time sellers? If you’ve never sold a home before, and you’ve decided that now is the time, you may wonder how to begin? Here is the course of action I suggest.

Step 1: Determine your motivation. Do you NEED to sell now? Do you WANT to sell now? How soon is “now”, i.e. 2 months, 6 months, a year?

Step 2: Determine the value of your home. Contact your favorite Realtor® (preferably me) and make an appointment for her to tour your home. This will give her the information she needs to research other comparable homes and prepare a Comprehensive Market Analysis (aka CMA). This is the basis for recommending the appropriate listing price for your home. You may want to ask two or three agents to provide a CMA for you, which will give you an opportunity to find the best agent for your needs. (Again, preferably me.)

Step 3: Choose your Realtor®. Call the agent who impressed you most and who presented the best plan for marketing your home, and give her the good news that you are ready to list your home for sale with her. Note: not all agents are Realtors®. Realtors® are members of the National Association of Realtors® and voluntarily subscribe to a stringent code of ethics.

Step 4: Prepare your home for sale. Together with your agent, decide what work needs to be done to present your home in the best possible light and achieve the highest possible sales price. Painting? Landscaping? Staging?
Step 5: List your home for sale. From here, your agent will guide you through the remaining steps to accomplish the successful sale of your home.

Need more information or know someone else who could use my help? Please give me a call today. 206-708-9800

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Fauntlee Hills Open House today



Today (Sunday), from 1-4, I will be holding open a classic brick rambler with daylight basement at 9114 40th Ave SW (corner of 40th & Barton). This 3 bedroom, 1.75 bath, mid-century home is an estate property which has been well maintained over the years. Keep the 50's feel or remodel this solid home to your own taste. Listed by my Prudential colleagues, the Johnson Team, for $515K. Come take a look and pick up your coupon for a free ice cream cone from West Seattle's own Husky Deli. Yum!

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Fauntlee Hills Open House


Today and Sunday, from 1-4 each day, I will be holding open a classic brick rambler with daylight basement at 9114 40th Ave SW (corner of 40th & Barton). This 3 bedroom, 1.75 bath, mid-century home is an estate property which has been well maintained over the years. Keep the 50's feel or remodel this solid home to your own taste. Listed by my Prudential colleagues, the Johnson Team, for $515K. Come take a look and pick up your coupon for a free ice cream cone from West Seattle's own Husky Deli. Yum!

Friday, August 7, 2009

Current loan rates

Here's the scoop on interest rate activity for the past week, as presented by Troy Chambers of Arboretum Mortgage.

Rates have gotten a bit beaten up as the week went on. We saw them down near 5% flat on Monday, and the have gone back up to as high as 5.375%. Please let me know if you or anyone you are in contact with are in need of a refinance or a new purchase. I can be reached at any time on my cell phone at 425-418-5103.

Troy Chambers
Arboretum Mortgage
Phone: 206-720-6628
Fax: 206-860-9340
troy@arboretummortgage.com

Click here to see a table of rates.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Homebuyer Tax Credit Deadline looms

Following is a reprint of my monthly e-newsletter, compliments of Prudential Real Estate.

Decision Time Draws Near for First Time Buyer's Credit
While the economy continues to show signs of improvement and many housing markets are beginning to heat up, scores of would-be buyers are still waiting on the sidelines for further positive housing trends. But for first-time buyers, time is running short on the federal government's $8,000 tax credit.

Though the official expiration date of the credit is December 1, in reality on-the-fence buyers will need to make a decision one way or the other fairly soon. The reason: in order to qualify for the credit, the home purchase must close by December 1st. Merely having loan approval, an accepted offer or a signed contract won't be enough to qualify for the Housing and Economic Recovery Act.

Decision-Making Timeline - While each transaction is unique, closing a real estate deal is no speedy matter. On average, closing takes place 30 to 45 days after the date that the contract is signed. In order to meet the December 1st deadline, this would mean having a signing date in late September or early October. Those who consider the tax credit an important incentive but are still unsure about entering the market will need to make a decision one way or another before many more summer days pass.

To have any chance at finding a home and having an offer accepted by early to mid October, buyers will want to wade into the home buying process right away. The immediate steps include making a final list of desired home attributes, scouting favorite neighborhoods and areas, starting the mortgage pre-approval process and beginning the home search process online.

Potential for Delays - Buying a home is a complicated process, and it is not unusual for purchases involving first-time buyers to take slightly longer than those involving experienced buyers. Some of the delays that first-time buyers may face over the coming months:
Competition with Other Buyers
While home may be selling at a lower rate than in years past, in many areas changes in inventory have created extremely competitive buying environments. Foreclosures or other homes with greatly lowered asking prices are particularly sought after, and in many cases investors are very active in the marketplace.
Disclosures & Contingencies
The seller is obligated to disclose any material facts about the property, including any property defects or any lawsuits regarding claim to ownership on the property. Disclosures can stall negotiations and delay the contract signing depending on their nature and severity. Contingencies (written clauses in the sales contract that give protection to both the buyer and the seller of a home) can also result in some delay in negotiation, particularly if the contingency requires the seller to make specific repairs.
Appraisal
The lender will arrange for appraisal of the property, which will include a thorough inspection of the home's interior and exterior. The appraiser's report will describe the physical characteristics of the property and comparable property values will be used to determine the value of the property. If the appraisal of the home's value is lower than the agreed upon sales price, the buyer's chance of loan approval can be in jeopardy. In addition, recently added rules for appraisers have been causing some delays based upon anecdotal evidence.
Loan Approval
While interest rates remain advantageous for buyers, lenders are being much more fastidious during the approval process. Obtaining pre-approval can help prevent many delays.
The Holiday Season
Buyers who submit an offer in mid-fall may likely run into another roadblock to a pre-December 1st closing date: the approaching holiday season. Closing a real estate sale requires the work and attention of a number of professionals; from real estate agents to attorneys to bankers. Like many Americans, it is not uncommon for individuals in these fields to use up vacation time in the last few weeks of November. Securing a closing date during Thanksgiving week may be something approaching miraculous.

Additional Delays for Short Sales and Foreclosures
Buyers who make an offer on a short sale property or bank-owned foreclosure may find that it takes a significantly longer time to receive a reply than expected. Overall, buying these types of properties is a longer process than buying homes listed on the market by individual owners.

Key Elements of the First-Time Home Buyer Tax Credit:
1. The tax credit only applies to first-time home buyers. The law defines a "first-time" buyer as any buyer who has not owned a home within the previous three tax years. For married couples, the homeownership history of both individuals must meet this qualification.
2. The tax credit is only available for homes purchased between Jan. 1, 2009, and Dec. 1, 2009. For the purposes of this credit, the purchase date is the date when closing occurs and the title to the property transfers to the new home owner.
3. As long as the property is purchased by a qualified buyer for use as a principal residence, any type of home, including single-family detached homes, townhouses, condominiums and manufactured homes can qualify for the credit.
4. The tax credit does not have to be repaid provided that the buyers use the home as their principal residence for at least three years.
5. The full tax credit is only available for individuals with an adjusted gross income of up to $75,000 and for married couples with a combined adjusted gross income of up to $150,000. The tax credit phases out for anyone above those income thresholds.
6. The tax credit applies for up to 10 percent of the home's purchase price, with a maximum of $8,000. For example, a first-time buyer of a $50,000 home would be eligible for a tax credit of $5,000 while a buyer of a $150,000 home could receive a tax credit of a maximum of $8,000.


Questions? Give me a call at 206-708-9800

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Another Pending Sale - I need your help!

Another of my listings just received an offer, so I need your help to find more homes! Do you need mine? If you are thinking of selling your home please give me a call for a free, no pressure, no obligation consultation. I will help you determine how much your home is worth and whether or not this is the best time for you to sell.

You've undoubtedly heard that it's a buyer's market, but that doesn't necessarily mean that it's a bad time to sell. If you will be buying another home yourself, you may actually come out ahead by selling now. Give me a call and I will explain why that's true and see if it makes sense for you and your situation. 206-708-9800.

Fauntlee Hills Open House today

Fauntlee Hills is a quiet little community just east of the Fauntleroy Ferry dock developed in the 1950's. Today, from 1-4 I will be holding open a 3 bedroom, 1.75 bath brick home in that neighborhood. The address is 9114 40th Av SW. This particular home is part of an estate. This solid home has a great floor plan and a large, 8,140 sq. ft. lot. It has been well maintained over the years, but you may want to add your own unique signature with some cosmetic updating. Offered at $515,000 by my Prudential colleagues, the Johnson Team. MLS #29090698. Come by and take a look and pick up your coupon for a free ice cream cone from Husky Deli!

Saturday, July 25, 2009

What are you doing tomorrow?

Why not tour a fabulous Alki view home tomorrow afternoon? Sunday, from 1-4 I will be holding open my listing at 5702 SW Admiral Way. This is a completely remodeled 1926 Tudor with a stunning view of the Sound and Mountains beyond Alki beach. Priced at $825K, this is really a unique property, so don't miss this one and only chance to see it without an appointment. Here's where to click for more details: www.AliceKuder.pnwRealty.com/nw20936564 or give me a call at 206-708-9800

Inventory is high & interest rates are still low

The real estate market in West Seattle continues to improve as first-time buyers, in particular, are taking advantage of the $8K tax credit, interest rates in the low 5's and plenty of attractive inventory on the market. Although it's still a buyer's market, sellers who are realistic about the fair market value of their home are doing alright. Many well-priced homes are selling within the first two weeks on the market at, or close to their list price.

If you'd like more information or a free consultation to determine if this is a good time for you to buy or sell, please give me a call. 206-708-9800. And don't be afraid to ask me for my references. I'm happy to provide a list of past clients who will give you an honest assessment of my skills and abilities as a Realtor.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Look where I have to spend the afternoon!















I couldn't ask for a better day to hold an open house at this $1.1 million dollar home just south of Fauntleroy, 9864 46th Av SW. I will be there from 1-4 taking in the sun and the view. I hope you'll join me. I'm giving away coupons for free ice cream cones from Husky Deli. Yum!