Saturday, September 11, 2010

"Green" Building is Growing!

REALTOR® Magazine-Daily News-LEED Certification Takes the Lead
LEED Certification Takes the Lead
Green building now accounts for nearly one-third of new construction in the United States, up from 2 percent in 2005, according to McGraw-Hill Construction.

The key to being green is being LEED certified. LEED stands for Leadership in Energy andEnvironmental Design. It is the green building rating system developed by the U.S. Green Building Council in 1998 to encourage environmental awareness.

Getting LEED certification can add about 4.7 percent to the cost of a project, according to studies by the University of Michigan. But for many businesses, getting LEED certification is worth the expense, says Andy Hoffman, a professor of sustainable enterprise at Michigan.

"They created a cachet around the LEED certification," he says. "And they got people to want to do this as a marketing pitch — and I think that was really a stroke of genius to get a rather inertial industry to start to shift."

Source: National Public Radio, Franklyn Cater (09/07/2010)

Free Homeowner Info

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 (2306 42nd Av SW). 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. (This event is not sponsored by The Seattle Public Library.)

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

Current mortgage loan rates

Here is news about mortgage loan rates for this past week, courtesy of Troy Chambers, Arboretum Mortgage.

Rates rose a bit …

Rates went up a touch today (9/9), but still remain extremely low! Now is still 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 as well. If you would like to send your clients directly to my website for a pre-approval feel free.The address is http://www.troychambersmortgage.com/
Troy Chambers

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

Table of rates.

How much house should you buy?

If you are buying or selling property, you likely fit into one of three categories.
Either you are:
 1)  buying a home and selling a home
2)  selling a home but not buying another
3) buying a new home without a current home to sell (previously renting)

Folks in the first category come out okay whether it is a seller's market or a buyer's market because the price differentials offset one another. I.e. they will get less money for their home than they would have a few years ago, but they will also pay proportionally less for their new home.

People in the second category suffer in a buyer's market because there is no off-setting purchase. They simply "lost" equity they would have gained if they had sold during the previous seller's market.

The current buyers' market is most favorable for the folks in category three because they reap the benefits of buying when prices are low and inventory is high, without having to sell a home that used to be worth more.

So what if you are one of the lucky category-three-first-time buyers? What can you do to take the greatest advantage of the current conditions in the real estate market?

I NEVER encourage anyone to buy more house than they can afford, even if a lender tells them they qualify for a larger loan. It's no fun to be "house poor" and unable to enjoy life's other little pleasures. However, in consultation with your lender and/or financial planner, if you consider your home to be an investment, I do suggest you consider buying as much house as you can reasonably afford. Why? Because when prices go back up, you will have gained as much added equity as possible.

Want to know more? Give me a call at 206-708-9800 to set up a free, no-pressure, no-obligation consultation.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

What is Earth Advantage Institute?

I am proud to be certified as an Earth Advantage Broker. Here is some information about the Earth Advantage Institute itself.

About Earth Advantage Institute | Earth Advantage Institute

Earth Advantage Institute

Earth Advantage Institute is a nonprofit organization that works with the building industry to help implement sustainable building practices. Its mission is to create an immediate, practical and cost-effective path to sustainability and reduction of carbon in the built environment. The organization achieves its objectives through an innovative range of programs for industry professionals, including certification of high performance homes, remodels, sustainable communities and commercial spaces. These programs are supported by a top-rated education department, offering basic and advanced classes on building, marketing, and valuing green homes; and by a technical services team that provides a variety of onsite tests and energy audits. Earth Advantage Institute’s Carbon Advantage program offers consulting on carbon reduction strategies within the built environment.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Rebates Available for Home Improvements

Are you considering some home improvement projects that will increase your home's energy efficiency? Here is a website that provides a database of State incentives for such projects. http://dsireusa.org/

"DSIRE is a comprehensive source of information on state, local, utility and federal incentives and policies that promote renewable energy and energy efficiency. Established in 1995 and funded by the U.S. Department of Energy, DSIRE is an ongoing project of the N.C. Solar Center and the Interstate Renewable Energy Council."

As an Earth Advantage Broker, I can provide you with many other such resources. Just give me a call at 206-708-9800.

Earth Advantage Institute is the primary certifier of green homes in Oregon and Southwest Washington.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Most Home Buyers Have No Regrets

REALTOR® Magazine-Daily News-Most Home Buyers Have No Regrets

A study from Bankrate found that 90 percent of owners do not regret buying their home.

The findings also revealed improved mortgage awareness, with only 8 percent of home owners in the dark about what type of loan they have -- down from 26 percent two years ago.

The poll of 1,001 randomly selected home owners in August showed that 79 percent had fixed-rate financing, and this type of mortgage was used by almost 90 percent of respondents who make more than $75,000.

Source: Realty Times, Broderick Perkins (09/02/10)

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Sunday Open House in Gatewood

Another Sunday, another Open House. Today, from 1-4, I will be holding open a truly unique 4 bedroom, 2.75 bath Gatewood home at 3721 SW Austin St. You will be surprised by how the modest exterior gives way to a bright and spacious interior with an open floor plan, remodeled kitchen and downstairs. This home is truly move-in ready. And you will love the private, landscaped back yard with its wonderful deck. French doors, vaulted ceilings, skylights, natural gas, tankless hot water heater, and many more updates.

Come take a tour of this great house and pick up your coupon for a free ice cream cone from West Seattle's own Husky Deli.

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