Seller Tips Buying Before You Sell

Interest rates have slipped below 3% for the first time on record so your buying power has increased, we continue to be short on inventory so it is a great time to sell, and after Staying Home so much recently, you are ready for your next home!  All of this means it is a great time to make a move – the only problem is, you aren’t sure if you can buy a home without selling first.

Programs That May Work For You.

Here are a variety of loan options that may work for you, depending on your financial situation.

  1. Cross Collateralization.  This program is designed for a buyer who has a strong equity position in their current home. As a buyer you are able to access this equity with a loan that collateralizes both your current home and new home. When you sell your current home you can pay down the loan to reach your desired payment. It allows for a higher debt to income ratio to assist with qualification.
  2. Departing Residence Program. This program helps the seller that has the funds for the down payment on the next home, but not the income to qualify. It allows you to utilize the potential rental income you would have from your current house in your income calculation, without having to actually rent out your home.
  3. Asset Depletion. This program helps the seller who doesn’t have a traditional income, but has assets such as stocks & mutual funds, to derive an asset depletion income to qualify for the loan. This is especially helpful for sellers who are retired.
  4. Restricted Stock Units. This program helps executives and many in the high-tech industry that can show a 2-year history of receiving RSUs as part of their compensation to be included as reserves or income for qualifying purposes.
  5. 40-year loan. This program allows you to qualify for a larger loan amount – it is available on all occupancy types, cash-out refinances are allowed, and it can be used in conjunction with one of the other loan programs listed above to provide you with more options.
  6. Buy/Sell with a long close and/or rent back option. This is a non-financial solution to the problem. Negotiating to purchase or sell with a long closing timeline and/or potentially a rent-back option – you may need to look at an off-market purchase or sale for this option.
  7. Buy Contingent upon the Sale of your home. Sellers prefer not to get these offers – but if you have your home ready to go – inspected, prepared for market, staged, photos taken, competitively priced – and you are just waiting to find a home and get into contract – some sellers are accepting contingent offers right now.

You can even save your cash on hand for a strong down payment by paying for any prep work your home needs using the Windermere Ready program.  Windermere Ready is a short-term loan program where no payments are due during the loan and the loan is paid off when your home is sold. And, unlike other brokerage programs, Windermere Ready lets you use the contractors you want so you can keep the cost down and control the quality of the work you have done.

Article Published in the Woodinville Weekly Real Estate Section. Since 2017 The Blue Team has written the bi-monthly Real Estate Column sharing their expertise in this community publications. Sharing their Tips for Home Buying, Tips for Home Selling, Tips for Investors, Buying & Selling Luxury Homes, Real Estate Transitions (Including Relocation & Senior Real Estate Tips), and Equestrian Real Estate.

Posted on September 22, 2020 at 10:44 pm
Michelle Blue | Posted in Home Tips for Seniors, Tips for Home Buying, Tips for Home Selling |

Home Tips for Seniors | Holiday Gift Ideas

Do you know a senior or have an aging parent who is planning on staying in their home? Here are some great gift ideas to help make their home safer, simpler and that will give you peace of mind too!

  1. Front Door Solutions.
    Products like the Nest and Ring video doorbells are a great way for a senior to talk to and see who is at the door without having to go to the door. It provides a safe way to screen who to open the door to and combined with an automated lock system, they can let someone in without ever going to the door. For added safety it can be combined with a security alarm system where others are notified if and as needed.

  3. New Hardware.
    You probably don’t think much about turning a doorknob, but it can actually be painful for someone with arthritis – simply replacing doorknobs with lever-style hardware can make life just a little bit easier. Faucets with knobs can be changed to levers or single-handed faucets and light switches can be swapped with illuminated rocker switches. Cabinets with pulls are also better then knobs that are harder to use and might catch on clothing.

  5. Automated Lights.
    When areas are well lit falls are less likely. Outdoor lights that automatically come on when it’s dark and indoor lights that are motion sensitive can make sure that the light is on when and where it is needed.

  7. New Windows.
    If they need any windows replaced consider getting easy-to-open slider windows (versus the push-&-pull windows), windows that have various patterns or tinting that offer privacy (so they don’t have to open/shut blinds or drapes) and low-maintenance window frames like vinyl that are simple to clean, more energy efficient and don’t require sanding & repainting.

  9. Bars & Railings.
    Provide support when you aren’t there by adding grab bars to the shower area, by the toilet, sturdy handrails on both sides of all staircases, and rails or grab bars in other places in the home where a helping hand might be needed.

  11. Organize things within easy reach.
    Cabinets with pull-outs or drawers provide easier storage in Kitchens. Microwaves that are counter height or the drawer style units make accessibility easier and reduce the chance of burns. Or simply spending time helping your senior reorganize to ensure that everything that is used on a regular basis is easy to reach eliminating the need for step stools or the potential for becoming unsteady as they reach for something overhead.


Article Published in the Woodinville Weekly Real Estate Section. Since 2017 The Blue Team has written the bi-monthly Real Estate Column sharing their expertise in this community publications. Sharing their Tips for Home Buying, Tips for Home Selling, Tips for Investors, Buying & Selling Luxury Homes, Real Estate Transitions (Including Relocation & Senior Real Estate Tips), and Equestrian Real Estate.

Posted on December 9, 2019 at 10:44 pm
Michelle Blue | Posted in Home Tips for Seniors | Tagged

Home Tips for Seniors : Should you Consider Lifestyle Rightsizing?

Congratulations, you have made it to a key life milestone!  Unfortunately, you no longer need the spaces that your home is designed to support, so how do you find your next home?  Instead of just thinking you need to “downsize” consider the lifestyle you want now and then find a home that will help you achieve that lifestyle.

You may end up with a smaller or larger home, in the same neighborhood or in a different place all together or maybe you just remodel the home you have.  We call this Lifestyle Rightsizing.

  1. Pursuits at Home.
    What activity do you want to take up or spend more time on at that might need a specialized space – such as restoring old cars, painting, wood working, organic gardening, cooking/entertaining, hosting football parties, practicing your putting, etc.

  3. Activities outside of the Home.
    What do you want to do away from home – that should be facilitated by your home? Maybe you want to travel the country on your RV (RV Parking), ride your bike daily (close proximity to trails, roads with bike lanes, and/or storage for bike equipment), domestic or international traveling (secure home & neighborhood, proximity to the airport), be able to walk to restaurants & businesses (home in the city), or you want have your own chickens & goats (the right property & no HOA).

  5. Flexible Spaces.
    Maybe you are tired of cleaning & maintaining your large home – and you would rather have a higher quality & cozy home, but one that designed to handle visits from extended family several times during the year. Consider the design principles of the Not So Big® Home by architect Sarah Susanka ( where you have rooms that have multiple purposes depending on your need at the time. Efficient & multi-use spaces can really be a win-win – let us know if you need ideas.

  7. Simplify Your Life.
    This is also a good time to think about how to simplify your life, so you can spend your time and money doing what you really want to do. This can be anything from buying a home or condo without a yard, buying a tiny home that forces you to be efficient, or just changing how you use your current space by getting advice from a space planner & organizer to help you get rid of all of the clutter you have collected over the years so you can live a more efficient life and have more time for doing what really matters.

Article Published in the Woodinville Weekly Real Estate Section. Since 2017 The Blue Team has written the bi-monthly Real Estate Column sharing their expertise in this community publications, sharing their Tips for Home Buying, Tips for Home Selling, Tips for Investors, Buying & Selling Luxury Homes, Real Estate Transitions (Including Relocation & Senior Real Estate Tips), and Equestrian Real Estate.

Posted on September 9, 2019 at 10:07 pm
Michelle Blue | Posted in Home Tips for Seniors, Real Estate Transitions, Tips for Home Buying, Tips for Home Selling | Tagged

Tips for Home Selling: 4 Things to Consider When Right-Sizing

Is Right-sizing your New Year’s resolution? Perhaps you have recently experienced a significant event and now it feels like a good time to make a housing change that will help you simplify your surroundings and your life.  Right-sizing is a process but it is often triggered by a specific event or series of events and making a carefully planned, intentional change, can help you focus on what matters most!  Here are 4 things you should consider before making a change.

  • What is your motivation?
    Perhaps you need more space for children, extended family, or pets; or a different kind of space for horses, gardening, or your classic car collection; or you have too much space because your children have left the nest, you are divorced, or you want to split your time between 2 smaller homes traveling or living in a sunny place ½ of the year; or you just want or need to retire in a different location.
  • What Information do you Need?
    Change can often be overwhelming so it really helps to break a big decision into smaller ones and focus on just obtaining the data you need for the small decisions. How much will you make selling your home? How much do you need to buy your next home? Maybe you can remodel your space instead of having to move – learn your options so you can make informed decisions.
  •  What is stopping you?
    Change can be stressful or it can be exhilarating – usually it depends on your attitude and the planning that goes into the change. Worried about the finances – learn the numbers that can help you make the decision and determine timing.  Perhaps you don’t know what to do with all of your things…  there are moving & estate sales professionals who can help you!  Is it the memories & emotions – photograph the spaces where memories were made, talk to your family, keep items that are special, and be open to making new memories – again there are people who can help you with this.
  • Who can help you make it happen?
    There are many resources that can help you whether you need a little bit of help or a lot. There are high quality Real Estate Brokers, Financial Planners, Organizers, Estates Sales Professionals, Movers, Cleaners and other professionals that are ready to help you.  They can help you determine your wants & needs, provide the data to make good decisions, and help you make the Right next move.

Real Estate Corner (Article published in the Woodinville Weekly 12/25/17 edition)

Posted on December 28, 2017 at 8:06 pm
Michelle Blue | Posted in Home Tips for Seniors, Real Estate Transitions, Tips for Home Selling | Tagged , ,

Senior Transitions: Questions to ask when touring Facilities

This is not an all-inclusive list of questions; but rather a great place to start when touring a new continuing or assisted living facility.  Keep in mind that different municipalities have different laws and requirements for senior facilities, so some questions may not be applicable.

For more in-depth information, visit the Washington State human services website to learn about requirements and laws regulating senior facilities and about the differences between retirement communities, assisted living facilities, adult family homes, nursing homes, and continuing care retirement communities.

Note: It is highly recommended to call the facility beforehand to schedule a tour of the facility.


  • Is the residence licensed?  What credentials do staff members hold?
  • Is there an ombudsman or an organization of residence that can help raise issues with the staff and management?
  • Are there ample conveniences in and around the residence? (ex. grocery store, cleaners, shops, restaurants, library, theaters).
  • Is there a hospital nearby?
  • Is there a waiting list? If so, how long may it take to be accepted and admitted?
  • Is the staff professional and happy to help? Do residents seem happy and well cared for?
  • Are there special programs for residents with disabilities? For residents that have dementia or memory impairments?
  • What makes this residence unique from other communities?
  • Is there an on-site clinic or 24 hour nurse?
  • Can residents hire outside caregivers or assistance?

Services & Activities:

  • Is transportation provided for medical appointments and recreational purposes? Is there a fee?
  • Are there any types of housekeeping, laundry, or linen service offered? Are these services included in the entry or monthly fees or at an additional cost?
  • What healthcare services are available for each level of care?
  • Is there a gym on campus? Are there organized exercise classes?
  • What kinds of social events are planned? Is there a monthly schedule of events?
  • Does the residence accommodate special diets?
  • What meal options does the residence offer? Does the residence offer group meals or in-room programs?


  • What sizes and types of living options are offered? Are residences furnished?
  • Is a resident required to move into independent living before moving to assisted living apartments?
  • What amenities does the residence have?
  • Are layouts in all types of housing wheelchair and walker friendly?
  • Is parking available to residents? Is there guest parking?
  • Are their guest accommodations?
  • Are the residence’s grounds well maintained, manicured, and easy to navigate?
  • Is this a smoke-free facility? Are there designated spots for smokers?
  • How is security addressed in each type of residence?
  • Are pets allowed?

Cost & Fees:

  • What are the contract options?
  • Are residences owned or rented?
  • What is the breakdown of fees for basic housing and additional services? Monthly fees? Are fees raised on a yearly basis?
  • Does Medicaid, Medicare, or other long-term care insurance cover any on the costs?
  • What are the income requirements for a particular unit?

Posted on August 25, 2015 at 12:23 am
Blue Team | Posted in Home Tips for Seniors, Real Estate Transitions | Tagged , ,

Real Estate Transition : 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

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.


  • 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 ( Northwest Center (, 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; (2) Beds, Mattresses, Couches– Salvation Army will pick up!; and (3) Cell Phones can be donated to, 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.


  • 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).


  • 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 | Posted in Home Tips for Seniors, Real Estate Transitions, 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 | Posted in Home Tips for Seniors, Real Estate Transitions, Tips for Home Buying | Tagged , ,