Seattle Shoreline Edmonds Real Estate Information Blog
Chuck Cady & Associates Seattle Real Estate Blog
Chuck Cady & Associates
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Water damage is the No. 1 culprit that weakens your home’s foundation and the very core that holds your house together. You’ve heard about core strength for your body. Well, water damage hits at the core strength of your house, eventually causing serious structural damage. Damp wood invites termites and carpenter ants; plus, it causes mold and mildew. Here are three easy things to do to that will give you peace of mind the next time heavy storms hit.
#1 - ENSURE GOOD DRAINAGE
Clean your gutters.
Direct downspouts 5-10’ away from the house.
Slope your yard away from the foundation.
#2 - TEST YOUR SUMP PUMP
Check your sump pump once a year.
Test more frequently during storm season.
#3 - FIX WATER LEAKS
Repair any noticeable dripping pipes.
Check for dark spots under pipes & on ceilings.
Repair any cracked caulking.
Inspect the roof for missing, loose or damaged shingles.
Update: Northgate Link Extension
December 11, 2013
Nighttime equipment delivery this weekend
Construction crews working to build the Northgate Link Extension for Sound Transit will be making an early morning equipment delivery to the Maple Leaf Portal site. The delivery may cause some noise.
Two large sections of a tunnel boring machine will be unloaded at the former North Seattle’s Park-and-Ride south lot early in the morning on Saturday, Dec. 14 and again on Sunday, Dec. 15. Crews expect the delivery to arrive at approximately 5 a.m. each morning.
Nearby residents may hear continuously running engines while crews use a crane to unload the TBM segments from over-sized trucks.
The work is expected to take about 3 hours each morning.
For issues that need immediate attention after normal business hours, call Sound Transit's 24-hour Construction Hotline at (888) 298-2395.
There's still time to plant. To ensure roots have plenty of time to grow, you want all new additions to the landscape -- including spring flowering bulbs and hardy garlic -- tucked into soil about 6 weeks before it freezes.
If you are planting late in the season, give your plantings a leg up by applying a thick mulch (up to 4 inches) of chopped leaves, pine straw, compost, or straw. This will insulate soil enough to postpone a freeze.
Make sure to keep an eye out for rodents. Mice especially love to nest in mulch through winter, and voles love nothing better than a thick cover to burrow beneath.
Leftover Leaves: Fallen leaves provide over-wintering shelter for insects. It's a good idea to allow a few leaves to remain beneath shrubs to harbor insects -- good and bad -- which can help feed hungry birds in spring.
On the other hand, leaves piled up against a shed, garage, or home can shelter and provide cover for pests -- including rodents -- seeking winter quarters. Remove these leaves. Chop them and use them as mulch, or add them to the compost pile.
Gather stakes and plant supports from the garden. Store them in a spot where they'll freeze to help destroy over-wintering pests.
- Run the gas out of the mower. You can add fuel stabilizer to the mower if the tank is more than halfway full. Just be sure to run the mower a bit to circulate the stabilizer through the engine.
- Prepare your mower now for spring use. Sharpen the blade. Check and/or replace the air filter, which tends to clog up when you chop lots of fall leaves.
- With battery-powered mowers, store your battery according to manual instructions.
- Make sure your snow blower is fueled and ready to go.
As announced by the Northwest Multiple Listing Service, the housing market in Washington State continues to recover. "Despite improving inventory overall, supplies remained low, particularly around job centers. Area-wide there is about 2.6 months of supply, which indicates a seller's market. (In a normal market, a healthy supply level favoring neither buyers nor sellers is around 6 months, according to industry analysts.)" Read more of this article at: http://www.nwrealestate.com/nwrpub/common/news.cfm
After months of robust and seemingly unsustainable annual home value appreciation, the housing market is showing signs of moderation in the first quarter, according to data from Zillow.
March marked the 16th consecutive month that U.S. home values rose, although last month marked the second straight month of slowing annual appreciation. Additionally, home values appreciation was 0.5% in the first quarter, compared to 2.1% in the fourth quarter of 2012.
Typically annual home values appreciate roughly 3%, according to research done by Zillow. The Zillow Home Value Forecast anticipates national home values will rise 3.2% through March 2014, indicating an appreciation more in line with historic norms.
However, in some local markets, home values continue to rise at a rapid pace. According to Zillow, five markets it covers saw a year-over-year appreciation of more than 20%: Phoenix (up 24%), Las Vegas (up 22.3%), San Jose (up 22.1%), San Francisco (up 21.4%) and Sacramento (up 20.1%).
"The national housing market has rebounded strongly over the past year. But the sometimes dramatic home value run-ups experienced during these months were never expected to be sustainable, and recent slowdowns are indicative of a market that is slowly finding its natural level," said Zillow Chief Economist Dr. Stan Humphries.
"Looking forward, we expect annual home value appreciation to continue to slow, as more inventory comes up for sale," Humphries added. "But pockets of very rapid appreciation will remain, a troubling sign of volatility and a potential future headache as affordability is compromised and homes begin to look much more expensive to average buyers."
Surprisingly, seven of the top 30 metro markets that Zillow covers experienced a home value decline in the first quarter. New York metro’s home value dropped 0.3% after three consecutive quarter of positive appreciation. Chicago saw the largest depreciation as values fell 1.4% in the first quarter after falling flat in 2012’s fourth quarter.
*Information obtained from an article written by: Megan Hopkins for Zillow.com on 4/24/13
Okay...this is cool!
Here are 10 ways you can use that ubiquitous brown bottle of 3% hydrogen peroxide to your home’s advantage: Best part? One bottle only costs you $1.00
In your kitchen
1. Clean your cutting board and countertop. Hydrogen peroxide bubbles away any bacteria left after preparing meat or fish for dinner. Add hydrogen peroxide to an opaque spray bottle — exposure to light kills its effectiveness — and spray on your surfaces. Let everything bubble for a few minutes, then scrub and rinse clean.
2. Wipe out your refrigerator and dishwasher. Because it’s non-toxic, hydrogen peroxide is great for cleaning places that store food and dishes. Just spray the appliance outside and in, let the solution sit for a few minutes, then wipe clean.
3. Clean your sponges. Soak them for 10 minutes in a 50/50 mixture of hydrogen peroxide and warm water in a shallow dish. Rinse the sponges thoroughly afterward.
4. Remove baked-on crud from pots and pans. Combine hydrogen peroxide with enough baking soda to make a paste, then rub onto the dirty pan and let it sit for a while. Come back later with a scrubby sponge and some warm water, and the baked-on stains will lift right off.
In your bathroom
5. Whiten bathtub grout. If excess moisture has left your tub grout dingy, first dry the tub thoroughly, then spray it liberally with hydrogen peroxide. Let it sit — it may bubble slightly — for a little while, then come back and scrub the grout with an old toothbrush. You may have to repeat the process a few times, depending on how much mildew you have, but eventually your grout will be white again.
6. Clean the toilet bowl. Pour half a cup of hydrogen peroxide into the toilet bowl, let stand for 20 minutes, then scrub clean.
In your laundry room
7. Remove stains from clothing, curtains, and tablecloths. Hydrogen peroxide can be used as a pre-treater for stains — just soak the stain for a little while in 3% hydrogen peroxide before tossing into the laundry. You can also add a cup of peroxide to a regular load of whites to boost brightness. It’s a green alternative to bleach, and works just as well.
Anywhere in your house
8. Brighten dingy floors. Combine half a cup of hydrogen peroxide with one gallon of hot water, then go to town on your flooring. Because it’s so mild, it’s safe for any floor type, and there’s no need to rinse.
9. Clean kids’ toys and play areas. Hydrogen peroxide is a safe cleaner to use around kids, or anyone with respiratory problems, because it’s not a lung irritant. Fill an opaque spray bottle with hydrogen peroxide and spray toys, toy boxes, doorknobs, and anything else your kids touch on a regular basis. You could also soak a rag in peroxide to make a wipe.
10. Help out your plants. To ward off fungus, add a little hydrogen peroxide to your spray bottle the next time you’re spritzing plants. Use this helpful chart to determine the ratio of hydrogen peroxide to water for your types of plants.
Whether you plan to buy or sell, there are some real estate resolutions that buyers and sellers can — and should — make. Here are five to get you started.
Buyers: Resolve to get your financial house in order
Planning a home purchase takes time and effort, so you should consider meeting with a mortgage professional early in the year. Know your credit score and understand what your financial situation looks like from a lender‘s perspective. If you have credit issues, identify what they are and the necessary steps to correct them. Sometimes, it can take six months to see your FICO score move up the much-needed 20 points to get you a better mortgage rate. A good real estate agent can recommend an experienced, local mortgage processional. Local is always important, because many real estate deals are made on relationships, and being able to meet face-to-face with your mortgage professional can be a big plus.
Sellers: Resolve to think of your home as a product
When it comes time to sell, your home becomes another product on the market. Buyers will compare it and its price to competing properties. You must put your best foot forward, because the properties that are priced right and show well sell the quickest. Pricing will get worked out once you’re ready to list, but showing well can start way in advance. A home that shows well is free of clutter, clean and as up-to-date as possible.
Start clearing out old stuff now. If there are things deep in your closets that you don’t think you’ll use between January and the time you move, consider a storage locker or making space in the garage. Does your real estate agent suggest that the basement needs a paint job? Get some painting bids now. Have you always hated how the bathroom vanity takes up so much space? Consider changing it now so buyers will perceive your bathroom as bigger. This will also help you spread out the costs of home repairs and changes over several months.
Buyers: Resolve to start feeling out the market early
You may think you only need to go to open houses once you’re ready to buy. But in reality, a buyer needs a couple of months learning the marketing, understanding home values, the prices per neighborhood and the market in general. Going to open houses in the neighborhoods where you want to buy will allow you to start feeling out the market. It may also be the best way to meet your future real estate agent. Many agent/buyer relationships are forged at open houses.
Once you engage an agent, you may make several offers before you get into your dream home. Having your agent along for the ride will allow you to compare and contrast homes you’ve visited to the home you eventually buy. The homes you see and your experience feeling out the market will serve as the building blocks toward becoming an informed buyer and making your best offer.
Sellers: Resolve to understand your timing and exit strategy
One of the biggest stresses on a seller is trying to plan a purchase and a sale at the same time. Can you afford to close on the new home before selling? If so, for how long? Do you need to sell the property first? If so, will the potential sale price support a home purchase in the neighborhood you want to be in? If not, what other areas should you be looking in? Selling and buying at the same time brings up all kinds of financial, emotional and physical stress.
Uprooting yourself from your home is not easy. What if you have to go into short-term housing? How will you get that set up and how long would you need to commit for? If you can afford to purchase and then sell, do they need to happen quickly? Are there things you can be doing in your current home so that once your new home closes, you’ll be ready to list? It’s a lot to think about and plan for, and it helps to have a strategy in place well before you have to take action.
Buyers and sellers: Resolve to engage a real estate agent now
Planning a home purchase or sale takes time. Engaging a real estate agent early in the process will allow you to have an expert on hand as you start to put the pieces together. A good real estate agent doesn’t just show and sell homes: They can be your strategic adviser, even well in advance of any actual transaction.
On the seller side, if you pulled a permit to install some new windows or replace some dry rot in 2005, likely the contractor issued a permit. But did he close it out? A good agent will figure that out and clean it up before it becomes a transaction issue. You should use your agent to literally get your house and listing in order.
For buyers, having an agent with you from the start is like having an experienced, second set of eyes and ears. Having so many transactions under the belt and years of market knowledge in their head, a real estate agent’s opinions, thoughts and ideas can save you a lot of time and money. What’s more, they can keep you on the right path toward identifying the best home, and they’ll see you through the process all the way to the closing.
Chuck Cady & Associates Celebrates 30 Years of Real Estate Excellence!
This past year we have definitely seen some positive changes in the industry, but it is safe to say that these past few years have been challenging for everyone in one way or another. However, with those challenges come a time of reflection and one thing we can honestly say is, how grateful and fortunate we are as a company for the support of our loyal friends and customers such as yourself who make our business possible. It is with that support that we will mark 30 wonderful years in business this year, 2013!!
I still remember my first home sale over by Ballard High! When I started my real estate career in 1983, we were dealing with double digit interest rates, a customer database on 3x5 index cards, mobile phones were still new and you had to have a box mounted in the trunk of your car, and there were no computers so the MLS was a book that was printed on newsprint and published bi-weekly in black and white - this was how you found out about other companies inventory. For photos we used Polaroid cameras and “rushed” to get them turned in to the MLS with our new listing to make the next publication.
By 1985 I decided it was time to hire an assistant to help with all of the “busy” work and a coworker of mine recommended a local 19 year old college student, Ann Bronson. That Spring, she came to work with me 14 hours a week and by September we had her licensed, making us the first real estate team in the area. Now 28 years and a name change later, Ann Babb-Nordling and I are still working together as a team!
Yes, the real estate industry has made great strides in business and technology since 1983 but while many things have changed, success in the real estate industry is based on relationships and experience. It’s a people business and I am proud of the team we have put together and the friends we’ve made along the way! Thank you for your continued support and referrals and we look forward to a productive 30th year in real estate and have some exciting new endeavors on the horizon so be sure to stay tuned!
Chuck, Ann, Erin and Lindsay