Friday, July 14, 2017

Curb Appeal



First impressions really do matter. That's why it's important if you're looking to sell your home that you make the best first impression that you can. You can create a positive first impression with just a few simple projects.

Paint your front door. You don't always need to paint your entire house but painting the front door in a memorable color will help it stand out and make a good impression.

Boring old house numbers are most likely the same as all of your neighbors. You can replace those numbers with new fresh updated and colorful numbers. The can be painted or metal and they don't always have to be the same size.

If you have a mailbox in front of your house, plant a garden around it or even replace the mailbox. You can often find unique mailboxes at farmer's markets or seasonal markets.

You can add interest to your entryway with a pot of flowers or even a chair or a sitting area. Let folks imagine themselves sitting there morning or evening and watching the neighborhood happenings.

Flower boxes are a great way to add a pop or color or interest to an area that looks a bit tired in the summer sun. Go bright and bold. Remember that you don't always need to have flowers in a traditional flower box, but use an old boot, beach bucket or any kind of interesting container.


Friday, June 30, 2017

What I Wish Buyer and Sellers Knew About Realtors

I'm a real estate professional and in conversations with people over the years, I find there are many things people do not know about realtors.

Realtors are not overpaid. We  don't get paid until a property closes which means until that happens we work for free. We list houses, we advertise, we show houses, we answer questions at all times of the day and night, we advise based on many years of experience and at the end of the days of providing service, we do expect to be paid. This is a contingency based business.

Realtors are not the same. Each person has their own style and like every business, some agents are better than others. We each have our own style and way of providing information and service and each agent should have they're own strength and provide service in a way that other agents don't.

We can sell any home that is listed in the multiple listing service and and we can also negotiate private sales. Your best bet is to pick one agent and establish a relationship with that agent so they know your wants and needs.

A for sale by owner company cannot do what a licensed realtor does. They do not have the exposure and they do not know how to keep a deal from falling apart. They do not know how to do the paperwork and they do not know how negotiate on your behalf.

You cannot accurately price your home based on neighbors house. Realtors do have access to more information than the public does. Your house should not be priced based on the price of homes currently for sale, but what homes have been sold for in your area.

Realtors work hard. It may look easy but a successful agent has many hours of training and experience to create a successful experience for their clients. We work many hours and sometimes miss out on the commission in the end.

If you do use a successful realtor however he or she is successful because of their hard work and you will not be disappointed.


Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Summer Movies


When we were growing up it was fun to go to a drive in movie and sit in your car with your family or your friends and watch a movie. The excitement of being out on a warm summer night was enticing and felt a little bit decadent. Especially if this was an occasional activity. In many households this was a special activity that happened only once or twice a summer.

Well Seattle now offers many options for outdoor summer movies. There are family friendly movies, cult favorites and of course "Star Wars" movies.

So put it on your calendar, pack some snacks and blankets and head out to sit under the stars and watch your favorites or maybe a new to you movie.

Seattle Outdoor Cinema

June 24 Star Wars: Rogue One (25th Anniversary special, free screening)
July 1 Shaun of the Dead
July 8 The Wedding Singer
July 15 The 5th Element
July 22 The Big Lebowski (Dude Fest, 21+)
July 29 La La Land
Aug 5 The Dark Knight

Movies at Westlake Park*

July 14  Dirty Dancing
July 21 Ghostbusters (2016)
Aug 4 Moana
Aug 11 La La Land
Aug 18 Star Wars: Rogue One
Aug 25 Ferris Bueller’s Day Off

Movies at Marymoor Park

July 5 Fantastic Beasts & Where to Find Them
July 12 La La Land
July 19 Moana
July 26 Hidden Figures
Aug 2 Sing
Aug 8 Ghostbusters (1984)
Aug 16 Finding Dory
Aug 23 Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

Movies at the Mural (Seattle Center)*

July 29 The Princess Bride
Aug 5 La La Land
Aug 12 Hidden Figures
Aug 19 Clue
Aug 26 Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

Three Dollar Bill Cinema: Parental Advisory? (Cal Anderson Park)*

Aug 11 Beetlejuice
Aug 18 But I’m A Cheerleader
Aug 25 Juno

Seattle Outdoor Movies at Magnuson Park

July 6 Rogue One: A Star Wars Story
July 13 Moana
July 20 Hidden Figures
July 27 Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory (1971)
Aug 3 La La Land
Aug 10 The Lego Batman Movie
Aug 17 Fantastic Beasts & Where to Find Them
Aug 24 The Princess Bride

Moonlight Cinema at Redhook Brewery (Woodinville)

July 13 Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure
July 20 Moana
July 27 Shaun of the Dead
Aug 3 What We Do In The Shadows
Aug 10 Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them
Aug 17 Logan
Aug 24 Star Wars: Rogue One
Aug 31 Lego Batman

West Seattle Outdoor Movies*

July 22 Star Wars: Rogue One
July 29 The LEGO Batman Movie
Aug 5 Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them
Aug 12
 Finding Dory
Aug 19 Queen of Katwe
Aug 26 Beauty and the Beast (2017)

Crossroads Movies in the Park (Bellevue)*

Aug 3 Finding Dory
Aug 10 Zootopia
Aug 17 Pete’s Dragon
Aug 24 Moana

Downtown Movies in the Park (Bellevue)*

July 11 Sing
July 18 Storks
July 25 The Angry Birds Movie
Aug 1 Monster Trucks
Aug 8 The LEGO Batman Movie
Aug 15 The Secret Life of Pets
Aug 22 Middle School
Aug 29 The Sandlot

Carillon Point Outdoor Movie Nights (Kirkland)

July 8 Raiders of the Lost Ark
July 22 Finding Dory
Aug 5 Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them
Aug 19 Star Wars: Rogue One
SPONSORED

An Insider’s Guide to the Valley’s Best On-Mountain Adventures

From must-hike trails to high-flying outings, our reader-endorsed recipe makes for the perfect Vail Valley summer on the slopes of Vail and Beaver Creek.
Presented by Vail Magazine

Auburn’s Summer Sounds and Cinema*

July 28 Sing
Aug 4 Moana
Aug 11 Star Wars: The Force Awakens

LeMay Car Museum’s Drive-In Movie Series*

July 8 Raiders of the Lost Ark
July 22 Ghostbusters
Aug 11 Moana
Aug 26 Star Wars: Rogue One

Movies at the Marina (Shilshole Bay Marina)*

July 21 Captain Ron
Aug 11 The Secret Life of Pets

Movie Night at Freeway Park

Aug 21 Dr. Strangelove: Or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb

Bite of Seattle (Seattle Center)*

July 21 Ferris Bueller’s Day Off

Skyway Outdoor Cinema*

Aug 4 Moana
Aug 11 E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial
Aug 18 Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them
Aug 25 Star Wars: Rogue One

Pickford Film Center’s Rooftop Cinema (Bellingham)

July 22 The Last Waltz
Aug 5 Little Miss Sunshine
Aug 19 West Side Story

Fairhaven Outdoor Cinema (Bellingham)

June 24 Ghostbusters (1984)
July 1 Fantastic Beasts & Where to Find Them
July 8 Hidden Figures
July 15 Moana
July 22 Star Wars: Rogue One
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Saturday, June 10, 2017

Mortgage Payments

So it's time to pay your mortgage. Again. Would you like to be done with that obligation forever and always? Many of us would like to see that one go away. Did you know that you do have some options however.

If you refinance to a 15 year mortgage you will gain several advantages. The monthly cost will likely be higher than a 30 year mortgage payment but you will save thousands in interest over the life of the loan.  You will also shorten the payoff time.

You can refinance to a lower rate but keep payments the same. That way you will have the option to pay the smaller amount if your financial circumstance changes but if you pay a higher amount each month you not only work on lowering the principal balance but lower the interest cost over the life of the loan.

If you have financed more that 80% of the conventional loan you are most likely paying PMI or private mortgage insurance. After  you've reached a 78% loan to value, you will be able to drop the PMI and reduce your payments but 0.05%-1% of the loan amount annually.

Use those tax returns, bonus checks or inheritance payments to pay down the principal balance. Again, this will shorten the life of the loan as well as the long term interest paid.

You also always have the option of making extra payments or higher payments. Maybe a payment every two weeks is a good option for you. Make sure however that the  lender will apply this amount to the principal balance and not just toward the interest. You might be able to shave as many as 6 years off the life of your loan.

The bottom line however is choose the best option for you. If you have a steady income, a shorter refinanced term may be the best option. If your income is less consistent, the flexibility of extra payments when you can, may be a better option.