Stunning Saybrook Home – Just Listed

Posted on August 20, 2015 at 7:56 pm
Michelle Blue | Category: Just Listed | Tagged , ,

Downsize & Simplify

Whether you want to move to a smaller home, smaller property, or you just want to simplify your life and reduce clutter, here are some tips and great local resources to help you achieve your goal.

Where to start? Don’t try to do all of the rooms at once, it can be overwhelming and you might stop before you start. Select a single room, one that you don’t use often, or maybe even start with a junk drawer to begin.  Remember two rules to keep the process moving and successful: (1) never handle an item more than once and (2) categorize and sort each item based upon 4 categories: 

Trash – you don’t need it and it no longer has value, throw it away into a garbage bag. 

Donate/Sell – you don’t need it but it has value, designate a spot for these items.  

Relocate – you rarely use or just don’t need any more but these items may be important to someone else in your family or a friend, designate a spot for these items and put a name on them.  

Essential – these items are essential to you on a daily/weekly basis, pack them in a box if you are moving, or put them back if you aren’t.

Local Resources/Tips

Trash:
If you have more trash than what fits in your regular garbage service (and it isn’t toxic, flammable, reactive or corrosive),  you or a friend with a truck can haul it to the Houghton Transfer Station in Kirkland (11724 NE 60th St.) or get some help from Ray’s Hauling (425-844-2509) or 1-800GotJunk.  

  • Household Hazardous waste (toxic items such as paint thinner, fluorescent lights, pesticides & car batteries) can be dropped off at the Factoria Transfer Station (13800 SE 32nd St., Bellevue) or check the King County Waste Mobile website schedule to see when they will be in a community near you.  
  • Unused or Expired Prescription Drugs, Household batteries, and CFL light bulbs can be taken to the Woodinville City Hall and placed in the drop boxes for each of those items.

Donate:

  • General item donations can be taken to Goodwill (Woodinville Park & Ride Lot), Northwest Center (Safeway parking lot on weekends) or you can schedule to have items picked up by Salvation Army (www.Seattle.SATruck.org). Northwest Center (www.donate.bigbluetruck.org), Google “Buy Nothing Woodinville” (or your city) – a great way to share your treasures with others in the community that would like to have them and Value Village (Woodinville/Redmond).
     
  • Specific items such as: (1) Books can be donated to Friends of the Library for fundraising sales (most King County libraries) or www.booksForAmerical.org; (2) Beds, Mattresses, Couches– Salvation Army will pick up!; and (3) Cell Phones can be donated to www.CellPhonesForSoldiers.com, or Eastside Domestic Violence Program send by mail or drop off with the Woodinville Police Department.  Tip: Every September Windermere Woodinville hosts a free electronics recycling event (pcs, tvs, appliances and more) – call or email us if you want to know the next date.

Sell: 

  • Garage/yard sales at your home, sell limited items locally via ads on Craigslist, or for shippable items try eBay, or get professional help by using an Estate & Moving sale company such as Flotsam & Jetsam (206-818-2428), Caring Transitions Seattle (206-330-0878), Girlfriend Estate Sales (425-829-3848).

Relocate:

  • Family & Friends. Contact everyone who has an item with their name on it and schedule them to come pick it up.  Often our clients have “moving parties” where they invite friends and family to come see what they are looking to relocate to them and when they leave the party they take those items. Anything leftover can be donated.

 

Make sure you evaluate everything – don’t skip something merely because it doesn’t take up much room because you will just have to deal with it/move it later.  Celebrate your successes as you clear out each drawer, room, and your home, and enjoy all of your new space!

 

Posted on July 3, 2015 at 7:22 pm
Blue Team | Category: Home Tips for Seniors, Real Estate Transitions, Tips for Home Selling | Tagged , , , ,

Why Local Expertise is Important

Real estate is local and while it is good to know what is going on nationally and even regionally, what really matters if you are thinking about selling your home and/or buying one, is what is going on in your city and your neighborhood and even for your home style. Local expertise is invaluable in helping you explore your options and knowing what to expect with respect to the numbers, timing and process.  

Here is the data your local Real Estate expert should be able to provide you:

  • What type of market is it? You should know how many homes are Active, Pending (under contract), and Sold in the last 3 months.  This data will indicate the market supply and demand and whether it is a Seller, Buyer, or Balanced market and therefore who has the negotiation advantage and the correct pricing and offer strategy.  This information is available for your city, neighborhood and home style (1-story, 2-story, tri-level, split-level, etc.)
  • How quickly are homes selling? This is especially important if you are planning to sell your current home and buy a new home – there are different timing and financing strategies depending on the availability of home inventory and the average time that homes are on the market.  It is also very helpful knowledge if you have a target move date because then you can determine the optimal time for market preparation & listing, home touring and submittal of offers.
  • How close to list price are homes selling and what is their price per value? If all of the comparable homes are selling at or above list price – then you know that buyers will be searching for homes priced at or below their maximum purchase price.  This is very different from a market where homes are selling at a 5-10% discount so both sellers and buyers should adjust their strategy appropriately. Market time is also critical in both situations – knowing how to deal with multiple offers, single offers, or no offers can make a big impact on the final sales price of a home.

Call us if you want to explore your options and understand the market data specific to your home and goals. We work with buyers & sellers all over the Eastside and we live in and are local experts in Woodinville and its surrounding communities.The Blue Team – working twice as hard for you and providing a team of experts to guide you in all your real estate transitions!

 

Posted on June 4, 2015 at 4:33 pm
Blue Team | Category: Real Estate Transitions, Tips for Home Buying, Tips for Home Selling | Tagged , , ,

Using a Reverse Mortgage to Stay or Move

Many people have heard about reverse mortgages but don’t really know what they are. To put it simply, a reverse mortgage is where the payment stream is “reversed” and instead of making monthly payments to a lender, the lender makes payments to you.  If you, or a loved one, is 62 or older, a reverse mortgage can help convert 50-66% of the appraised value into cash without having to sell the home, give up title, or take on a new monthly mortgage payment.  It can also be a way to purchase a new home without having to make monthly mortgage payments.

What does that really mean?

  • Stay in your home and be able to access part of the equity you have built in order to consolidate debt, eliminate mortgage payments, cover unplanned medical expenses, pay for in-home care, remodel home for current needs, avoid foreclosure, supplement retirement income, or any other need you may have for cash.
     
  • Purchase a new home that provides more affordable living, is smaller and easier to care for, is on a single level or more accessible, is closer to friends or family, or even is the dream home have always wanted.
     
  • Features of Loan Program: FHA Insured, No monthly mortgage payments (must continue to pay home insurance, property taxes, and home maintenance as needed), Retain title to home, Non-recourse loan (no recourse to borrower/estate/heirs if loan balance exceeds the home’s value at maturity as long as the home is sold to pay off the debt or balance is paid in full if borrower/estate wants to retain property), Right to Remaining Equity (any equity that remains in the property after the reverse mortgage is retired, belongs to borrower/estate/heirs), No time limit on length of time staying in home, Mandatory Mortgage Insurance Premium (insures that the mortgage balance will be paid in full, if the home sells for less than owed), a Single set of Closing Costs when purchasing a home, and funds are available as a line of credit or monthly payment.
     
  • Qualifications: Homeowner must be 62+, home in name of homeowner and is primary residence, must have at least 50% equity in home or ability to make a monetary investment at closing from an allowable funding source, must occupy property within 60 days, mandatory counseling session required, and must be able to and continue to pay taxes & home insurance.
     
  • Eligible Properties: Single Family, 1-4 unit, FHA approved Condos & Town homes, meets minimum FHA property standards, within maximum FHA loan limit ($625K currently), no other 1st or 2nd liens against property and any existing mortgages must be paid off with the loan proceeds.

 

We are not lenders, but can recommend a fabulous Reverse Mortgage Loan Officer if you’d like to explore this further. The Blue Team – working twice as hard for you and providing a team of experts to guide you in all your real estate transitions! 

Posted on May 4, 2015 at 4:47 pm
Blue Team | Category: Home Tips for Seniors, Real Estate Transitions, Tips for Home Buying | Tagged , ,

Tips for Selling Your Home During the Holidays

Selling your home during the holidays means a 
few extra things to keep in mind. Below are some tips on how to keep your holiday‚Äźthemed house buyer friendly and ready to sell!

  • Holiday Decorations. Don’t go overboard they can make your home look cluttered and take attention away from it.
  • Christmas Trees. Keep it small to medium size, large Christmas trees can make a room look smaller. As can a ton of presents under the tree and too much garland everywhere.
  • Vacuum: Make sure you vacuum regularly if you have a fresh tree with fallen needles.
  • Refrigerator. Keep refrigerators neat and tidy (we all get lots of food gifts during the holidays)… buyers will look inside.
  • Outside Decorations: Be careful with outside decorations. Large santas and reindeer can take away from the beauty of the yard or the front of your home. Same with excessive amounts of holiday lights.
  • Curb Appeal: Rake the lawn regularly to clean up the large amounts of fallen leaves. Pick up any fallen branches and debris from yard and walkways. Keep up a lawn care as much as possible.
  • Ice & Snow. Knock down any large icicles forming over doorways and walkways. Make sure your walkway is snow and ice free. If it’s still slippery, pour salt on your walkway to help buyers safely to your door.
  • Limited Light: Remember it gets dark sooner, so be sure to keep lots of lights on inside and out. Make sure all outdoor lights are working properly. Make sure your back yard is easily lit at night. Buyers want to be able to see the entire property.
  • Towel/Dormats: Keep a towel or extra doormat inside your front door for guests to fully dry their shoes before exploring your home. Or have a sign that requests that they take them off.
  • Heat: If you have a programmable thermostat, remember to change it if you will have showings during the day while it would normally be set very low. You don’t want buyers thinking the house is an ice box.  You want people to enjoy spending time in your home.
  • Hand Sanitiser: With flu seasons around, place a bottle of hand sanitizer by the front door for guests to use on the way in and as they leave.  Or place it by the flyer box.
  • Scents: Add holiday scents with mulled cider on the stovetop or by using fresh cinnamon sticks and evergreen as decorations. (Make sure you shake out the evergreen ahead of time to get out any bugs that have made it their home).  There are also holiday scented diffusers.
  • Keep it Cozy" Create a warm and cozy environment by lighting a fire, using candles and having fresh baked cookies and hot cocoa ready for buyers during open houses.
  • Reduce your stress: Keep in mind that hosting during the holidays can take a lot of prep and clean up time. It might be a good idea to pass it to someone else this year or request extra help to get your place back to showing condition. Also remember, buyers look in all rooms so if you have people staying with you over the holidays, make sure they are keeping their room tidy and keep the suitcases in the closet if possible.
Posted on December 3, 2014 at 7:39 pm
Blue Team | Category: Tips for Home Selling | Tagged , ,