Saturday, September 4, 2010

Another free workshop

Those Savvy Seattle Women are hosting another free workshop on Tuesday, Sept. 28th, 6:30-8P at the West Seattle Branch of The Seattle Public Library. This time the topic is Winterizing Your Home and Yard. Not one, but TWO guest presenters will be on hand to offer DIY tips. Suzanne Greive, from Home Inspections of Puget Sound, will offer advice on how to keep on top of maintenance tasks around your home. Linnea Ferrell, Landscape Architect, will share her professional expertise concerning how to properly prepare your yard and garden for the winter to ensure that your plants return with healthy blooms in the Spring.

This workshop, like all SSW events, is offered as a community service and is open to everyone. No pre-registration is required. Presenters are not allowed to sell any products or services.

For more information about Savvy Seattle Women, visit our website. http://www.savvyseattlewomen.com/. Or call me at 206-708-9800.

Saturday morning Open House

This morning, from 10-1, I am holding Open a gorgeous new listing! This 1930 brick tudor has been impeccably remodeled and updated from top to bottom. Four bedrooms, two and a half baths, approximately 2,500 sq. ft. on a beautifully landscaped 4,000 sq. ft. lot in West Seattle's Belvidere neighborhood. Separate dining room, french doors, natural gas, attached garage, convenient freeway access, and so much more. Come see for yourself. The address is 4019 Fauntleroy Way SW. MLS# 124009.

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

You can find information about this, and many other Opens, here: List of Open House Events.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Mortgage loan rates: how low can they go?

Here is the update on current mortgage loan rates, courtesy of Troy Chambers, loan officer for Arboretum Mortgage.

Rates stay extremely low!

Rates have remained extremely low all week! They currently look fantastic, and it is a very good time to either look at a refinance, or a new home purchase. Either way, I can help, so please feel free to contact my cell phone at any time at 425-418-5103. I will be available all through the weekend. Also, if you would like to be pre-approved, it is very easy to do by visiting my website, http://www.troychambersmortgage.com/.

Troy Chambers

Arboretum Mortgage
Phone: 206-720-6628
Fax: 206-860-9340

Table of loan rates.

July Pending Home Sales Show Rise

REALTOR® Magazine-Daily News-July Pending Home Sales Show Rise

Following a sharp drop in the months immediate after expiration of the home buyer tax credit, pending home sales have modestly risen, the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® says.

The Pending Home Sales Index, a forward-looking indicator, rose 5.2 percent to 79.4 based on contracts signed in July from a downwardly revised 75.5 in June, but remains 19.1 percent below July 2009 when it was 98.1. The data reflects contracts and not closings, which normally occur with a lag time of one or two months.

Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, cautioned that there would be a long recovery process. “Home sales will remain soft in the months ahead, but improved affordability conditions should help with a recovery,” he said. “But the recovery looks to be a long process. Home buyers over the past year got a great deal, and buyers for the balance of this year have an edge over sellers. For those who bought at or near the peak several years ago, particularly in markets experiencing big bubbles, it may take over a decade to fully recover lost equity.”

Yun added, “Affordability could reach a generational high in the second half of this year because of rock-bottom mortgage interest rates, helped partly by the Fed’s very accommodative monetary policy. The loan underwriting standards are tighter, but home buyers can improve their chances of getting a loan by staying well within their budget.”

The PHSI in the Northeast rose 6.3 percent to 62.5 in July but is 21.1 percent below a year ago. In the Midwest the index increased 4.1 percent to 66.7 but remains 25.7 percent below July 2009. Pending home sales in the South rose 1.2 percent to an index of 86.3, but are 15.6 percent lower than a year ago. In the West the index jumped 11.6 percent to 95.0 but is 17.6 percent below July 2009.

The national index had fallen 29.9 percent in May and another 2.8 percent in June.

Yun discusses the latest index figures in a 3-minute video.

Source: NAR

5 Reasons Homeownership Trumps Renting

REALTOR® Magazine-Daily News-5 Reasons Homeownership Trumps Renting

The seemingly endless run of bad housing news is discouraging some potential home buyers from considering a purchase. But the truth is that the advantages of homeownership have very little to do with investment gains. The best things about owning a home have a lot more to do with personal comfort and satisfaction.

Here are five of them:

· Be your own landlord. The bank can only kick you out if you don’t pay; a landlord can be much less dependable – deciding to sell the property or choosing to live there themselves.
· Paying the principal is forced savings. Yes, it’s possible that home prices will fall further. It is also possible that your 401(k) will lose value. But over the long haul, both are likely to enjoy modest gains in value.
· Fixed-rate mortgages never rise – and eventually you pay them off. With mortgage rates at record lows, people who buy now are locking in real bargains.
· Good schools. Family-sized rentals are harder to come by in areas with excellent public schools.
· Spacious properties in pleasant neighborhoods. Sizable homes in attractive communities are almost always owned – not rented.

Source: The New York Times, Ron Lieber (08/27/2010)

Thursday, September 2, 2010

How Savvy are you?

There's a new group forming in town which caters to the needs of women homeowners. We call ourselves Savvy Seattle Women (SSW) and we provide 3 primary resources free of charge.

First, we host a free workshop on the fourth Tuesday of every month. The Sept. 28th workshop: Winterizing Your Home and Yard. Sept. 28, 6:30-8P at the West Seattle Branch of the Seattle Public Library, 2306 42nd Av SW. (This workshop is not sponsored by The Seattle Public Library -- I'm required to say that.) Plenty of opportunity for Q & A with our experts, Suzanne Greive, from Home Inspections of Puget Sound, and Linnea Ferrell, Landscape Architect.

Second, we have set up a Google Group, designed to host discussions on topics related to home ownership. To join, go to: www.groups.google.com/group/savvyseattlewomen. You will need to either have or create a google account in order to participate.

Third, we are compiling a list of recommended service professionals you can call when you have homeowner tasks you don't feel capable of doing yourself. Individuals on the list are licensed and bonded. They must provide SSW with references and agree to have clients fill out a written evaluation of their work each time they are referred by SSW.

If you are a professional who would like to apply for inclusion on our list, e-mail us at SavvySeattleWomen@comcast.net.

For more information about Savvy Seattle Women, visit our website: www.SavvySeattleWomen.com or call me at 206-708-9800.

Buying Green in Real Estate

"Green" is a term you hear a lot these days, pertaining to everything from cleaning products to transportation and lots of things in between. The term can also be applied to housing. In this context, green usually refers to two things: 1) energy efficiency, and 2) construction materials. Both can save you money and, some say, help save the planet.

I am now a certified Earth Advantage Broker, having attended a course sponsored by the City of Seattle and Earth Advantage Institute. The course was designed to help me understand and explain the attributes and benefits of "green" housing to my clients.

In late September I will be completing another course to earn my Green designation from the National Association of Realtors.

Why am I doing this? Is it just a way to cash in on a current trend?

I have always believed that waste is an (almost) unforgivable sin, and I consider green efforts to be another way to avoid and eliminate waste. Now that the concept is being applied to real estate, it seems a natural and logical step for me to make it part of my business practices.

So if you want to know how to make your current home more energy efficient or if you want to make sure that the next home you buy is as green as possible, let's talk.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Gatewood View home, just $328K

It's Sunday, so I must be holding an Open House, right? Right!

Today I will be at a darling 1941 home in the Gatewood neighborhood of West Seattle. This 2 bedroom/1 bathroom home is in terrific shape and ready for you to move right in. Perched high on the hill to allow views of the Sound and Olympics at 4004 SW Thistle St. The home has a nice yard/garden and a patio as well. Approximately 1500 sq. ft. of living space. MLS #94092.

As usual, I will be giving away coupons for free ice cream at West Seattle's own Husky Deli as a thank you gift for all you stop by to visit me and tour the house between 1-4 today.