Sunday, November 23, 2008

An Evening of Holiday Cheer & Photos with Santa with Windermere Woodinville Office

An Evening of Holiday Cheer & Photos with Santa with
our office, Windermere Woodinville

Friday, December 5th, 5:30 to 9:30 PM
13901 NE 175th St, Ste 100, Woodinville

Bring the whole family! Take a FREE photo with Santa,

and join your neighbors for cookies and cider.

This holiday season, Windermere asks...


Come to our event and share your thoughts by filling out an
event card, or send us an e-mail:

We are also accepting donations for the

Please help out if you can.

Donations accepted anytime at our office,

or simply call me and I can stop by to pick it up.

A friend asked "Is Inventory in Snohomish/Everett (Cathcart Area) down compared to this summer?"

For those of you who haven't discovered the time-consuming, all-addictive social network called Facebook ( I can tell you that I have. But through it I have gained connections to old friends and made great connections with new ones. And although I do enjoy the social aspect to this forum, I also enjoy my ability to share my successes in Real Estate with those to whom am connected - I believe my positive attitude and consistent contact with my clients and friends has helped me thrive through what has been a slower than past market.

Recently, an friend posed a question to me on facebook, outside of the typical "Hey there - How are you?"

Tanya G. asked me -
"Hey Stacey, I was curious to know why on Windermere there is suddenly so much less inventory of houses in our area? It seemed like this summer there was so much. Are people just not putting stuff on the market or is it selling quickly in our neck of the woods? Hope you are well and getting a ton of business :-)"

The first point I can make is when she refers to "Windermere", she is commenting on the Windermere's website (, where an individual can search through all homes listed on the NWMLS whether they be listed with a Windermere Agent or another real estate agency. Additionally, the area she references by "Our Area" is the Everett/Snohomish Area located just off Cathcart Way near Hwy 9 and Seattle Hill Road -- and what a Real Estate Agent would classify as area 740.

So with all of that said I prepared a graph to show the trends of inventory of homes, pending sales and sold homes for that specific area, narrowed down by the price range and square footage size found in that area $300,000 - $699,999.

So as you can see Tanya, inventory is down from the summer, but pending sales comparatively are much higher. Typically, you do see homeowners who have been trying to sell their homes take them off the market during what they believe is a "bad time" to sell (from November through December) -- however, I disagree with this thought process since homes do sell during these times and the buyers that are looking to buy are SERIOUS buyers, not just "lookey-loos" -- they usually need a home and have less inventory to view during these months, so why not let yours be one that they look at? Additionally, when those buyers who have taken their homes off the market put them back on in January, you suddenly see a HUGE rise in inventory.

Buying vs. Renting - The Benefits of Home Ownership

Trends in home prices, personal income and mortgage rates,combined with the tax advantages of home ownership, make this an excellent time to turn the home of your dreams into a reality. If you’re thinking of buying a home, you’ve probably already asked yourself, “Can I afford to buy?” Another good question to ask is, “Can I afford to continue renting?” No matter what you’re currently paying for rent, your total cash outlay over a period of several years will probably add up to a much bigger total than you may have realized. The chart below shows how quickly the rent payments you’re making add up figuring in what this money would earn invested at 5
percent interest.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

RENTED - Carriage Estates Home in Woodinville, WA

Congratulations Geoff & Marcia!!

Loan Limits to Remain the Same for 2009, Kind Of…

Conforming loan limit to stay unchanged for the
third year in a row at $417,000.
“Conforming Jumbo” loan limits to drop in King, Pierce, and
Snohomish counties, from $567,500 to $506,000.

For a detailed description of the changes,
call Toby Wonder anytime at his numbers below.

For Immediate Release
November 2008

TO REMAIN $417,000 IN 2009;

WASHINGTON, DC – The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) today announced the conforming loan limit will remain $417,000 for 2009 for most areas in the U.S. but specified higher limits in certain cities and counties. The conforming loan limit is the maximum size of loans that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac can purchase in 2009.

According to provisions of the Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008 (HERA), the national loan limit is set based on changes in average home prices over the previous year, but cannot decline from year to year. Loan limits for two-, three-, and four-unit properties in 2009 will remain at 2008 levels as well: $533,850, $645,300, and $801,950 respectively, for homes in the continental U.S.

The national limit was left unchanged at $417,000 based on declines in FHFA’s monthly and quarterly house price indexes over the past year. The monthly purchase-only index declined 5.9 percent over the 12 months ending August 2008, and the quarterly all-transactions index dropped 1.7 percent from second quarter 2007 to second quarter 2008. Virtually every other measure of house prices has also fallen, with many showing even larger declines. FHFA has not yet determined whether it will continue to use a currently existing FHFA price index to gauge price movements in future years. For this year, however, all reliable metrics point to lower prices, and a price decline of any size is sufficient to determine that the national limit will not change.

Following the provisions of HERA, FHFA has set loan limits for “high-cost” areas in 2009. These limits are set equal to 115 percent of local median house prices and cannot exceed 150 percent of the standard limit, which is $625,500 for one-unit homes in the continental U.S. The new limits affect loans purchased by an Enterprise in 2009, unless the loans were made permanently eligible for purchase under the Economic Stimulus Act enacted earlier in 2008 and has generally higher limits.

Under rules set forth in the Stimulus Act, loans originated in 2008 and the second half of 2007 are subject to limits of 125 percent of local price medians up to a maximum of $729,750. As a result of the difference in the formula for determining high-cost area limits, many of the high-cost area loan limits are different for 2009 than they were for 2008. They are generally lower because of the lower median price multiplier in HERA (i.e., loan limits are 115 percent rather than 125 percent of median prices) and the lower ceiling ($625,500 rather than $729,570). For loans originated during the period covered by the Stimulus Act, the higher of those limits and the 2009 limits will apply.

In calculating loan limits, FHFA used median house price estimates calculated by the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) of the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). Those values have been estimated in a manner consistent with requirements of the National Housing Act, which requires that median prices for all counties in metropolitan statistical areas (MSAs) be set equal to the median price for the highest-cost county. FHA has estimated median house prices for the purpose of setting its own loan limits and has used data from a number of sources, including aggregated county recorder data (supplied by Radar Logic), the American Community Survey, and the National Association of Realtors.

HUD will allow a 30-day appeals period for those wishing to contest its median price estimates. Appeals are to be based upon data suggesting a potentially higher price median for a given area. Details concerning the appeals process will be released today in an FHA mortgagee letter. To the extent that appeals are deemed valid and HUD’s median price estimates change in response to the one-time appeals process, the FHFA loan limits will be changed to reflect the updated data.

While FHFA has used median house prices estimated by FHA for 2009 loan limits, it may choose alternative methods in future years. FHFA will be seeking public comment on a forthcoming proposal concerning the best approach to measuring price medians for this application.

As in previous years, the 2009 maximum conforming limits are higher in Alaska, Hawaii, Guam, and the U.S. Virgin Islands than in the contiguous U.S. In those areas, as delineated in the attached list, loan limits vary from $625,500 to $721,050 for one-unit properties. - Has a whole NEW look!

Taking a page from the its search portal cousins the new Windermere web site launched today, with a simple search box up front and center. Simple, slick and straight to the point.
Broker web pages are often cluttered with all kinds of extraneous information; programs on this and that. Windermere cuts right to the chase and puts the power of its IDX driven search tool up front and center. Just what most people are looking for!

Better still, the search experience gets even better once you dive in. Results return speedily are mapped quickly onto a Microsoft Virtual Earth map. Clicking on a individual listing and you get a nice big picture as well as the ability to read the entire property details, view all existing photos and print out a ready-to-roam flyer.

I hope you'll take the time to check it out and let me know your thoughts.

Friday, November 14, 2008

NEW Listing - Spacious Redmond Ridge 5 Bed/3 Bath Beauty for $579,000

20 Reasons for Title Insurance

1) Title Insurance will protect you against a loss on your home and land due to title defect.
2) A deed or mortgage in the chain of title may be a forgery.
3) Claims constantly arise due to marital status and validity of divorces.
4) A deed or mortgage may have been made by an incompetent or underaged person.
5) A deed or mortgage made under an expired power of attorney may be void.
6) A deed or mortgage may have been made by a person with the same name as the owner.
7) A child born after the execution of a will may have an interest in the property.
8) Title transferred by an heir may be subject to a federal tax lien.
9) An heir of other person presumed dead may appear and recover the property or an interest.
10) A jusgement regarding the title may be voidable because of some defect in the proceeding.
11) By insuring a title, you can eliminate delays when passing your title on to someone else.
12) Title insurance helps speed negotiations when you're ready to sell or obtain a loan.
13) Title insurance reimburses you for the amount of your covered loss.
14) A deed or mortgage may be voidable if signed while the grantor was in bakruptcy.
15) Claims have risen dramatically over the last 30 years.
16) There may be a defect in the recording of a document upon which your titile is dependant.
17) Title Insurance covers attorney's fees and court costs.
18) Many lawyers protect their clients as well as themselves by procuring title insurance.
19) A deed or mortgage may have been produced by fraud or duress.
20) A title policy is paid in full by the first premium for as long as you own the property.

Provided by The KEY Team - Preferred Professional:

Kelcey Myers
Fidelity Title, Sales Manager
Direct: (425) 239-7765

OPEN HOUSE - Friday, Nov 14 from 12p-5p

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Know the Score: Three Steps to Better Credit

If you are looking to buy, invest in, or refinance real estate now or in the coming months, your credit is going to play a more significant role in today's tight-fisted credit environment than it has in the past. It's that simple. Would-be borrowers need to address any and all credit issues now to avoid having to pay for it later.

But, here's the kicker. Nearly 80% of all credit reports contain errors of some kind. Recent studies also indicate that about one-fourth of these reports contain mistakes so egregious that applicants could actually be denied credit! Don't let this happen to you.

Step One: Get Your ReportThe three main credit bureaus, Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion, are required by law to provide you with a free copy of your credit report once every 12 months. To request your free copy (one from each company) visit or call 1-877-322-8228. Please note that free credit reports do not include credit scores. Scores can either be purchased online or pulled by your mortgage professional.

While you're online, be sure to visit as well. This will help you avoid the hassle of becoming a "trigger lead" and being bombarded with unsolicited mortgage offers, and make life a lot easier throughout the mortgage process.

Step Two: Report InaccuraciesStudy your credit reports and make sure everything is accurate. If you do find any discrepancies, you can legally dispute mistakes or outdated items for free. Once notified of a mistake on your report, a credit bureau has thirty days to investigate and respond. If the information can't be confirmed, then the item should be removed. If you'd like more information on this process, give me a call. I can help you compose a dispute letter to help get you started.

Step Three: Meet With Your Mortgage Professional

Now that the information on your report is accurate, what if there are still some items in your credit history you would rather forget about? All is not lost. For some, small changes to your credit profile could yield big results that could save you thousands of dollars. For others, enlisting the services of a professional credit improvement company may be required. This important process can take up to six months or more, so don't wait. Give me a call. An experienced mortgage professional can share other insights into the ins and outs of credit scoring and credit repair.

Provided by The KEY Team - Preferred Lender:
Toby Wonder, Mortgage Consultant
Homestead Mortgage, Bellevue, WA
Office: 425-274-9524
Cell: 206-910-4766

Honoring Our Veteran's Today!

Sunday, November 9, 2008

OPEN HOUSE - Sunday, Nov 9 from 12p -5p

Today’s Loan Options

0 % down payment “Owner Occupied”
Seller can pay closing costs. TRUE zero down loans!!

1. FHA – Max sales price 335k. Must be 1st time buyer or have NOT owned a home in past 3 years. Keep in MIND…this is for Zero down, FHA finances up to $567,500.
2. USDA –Snohomish County: Anything East of Hwy 9, if home appraises for more than sales price you can borrow equity to make repairs to home. King County: Anything East of Issaquah
3. VA – Must have eligibility


3 % down payment “Owner Occupied”
Seller can pay closing costs.

1. FHA – up to loan amount of $567,500 - Loan amount is being reduced back down to 417k Jan 1st
Down Payment source
• Family member “gift”
• Friend “gift”
• Grant program up to $10,000 > I have details if needed


5% down payment “Owner Occupied”
1.Conventional with private mortgage insurance; No longer can I do a 1st mortgage up to 80% with a 15% piggy back 2nd mortgage to avoid Mtg. insurance. Interest only is available!!!


If you have questions on the above or about other programs available please don’t hesitate to ask Rob!!! Times have changed and continue to change daily, he doesn't expect you to know what financing is available these days.

Provided by The KEY Team - Preferred Lender:

Robert Wolverton, Mortgage Advisor
Mortgage Advisory Group, Mill Creek, WA
Direct: 425-418-3233

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Do you need a Real Estate Agent who speaks Turkish?

With the wonderful addition to The KEY Team your Real Estate needs here in the Seattle/Redmond area can be met!

Sami Akyel, Licensed Real Estate Agent
Fluent in Turkish
Direct: 206.953.7777

Back on the Market - Terrific Microsoft Condo $349,500

The Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008

It’s hard to believe that anything that takes nearly 800 pages to describe could be time sensitive, however, President Bush recently signed H.R. 3221, the “Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008” and for many, it may provide the incentive needed to act now. A few of the major provisions in the legislation that impact homeowners and homebuyers are listed here:

Tax Credits
First-time homebuyers who purchase their primary residence between April 9, 2008 and July 1, 2009, are eligible for up to $7,500 in tax credit, provided they haven't owned a home in the last three years and fit certain income parameters. The credit is generous, but it is actually an interest free loan, paid back over 15 years at $500 per year when taxes are filed.

Larger Loans at Lower Rates
There have recently been provisions in place that have allowed loans larger than $417,000 to qualify for better financing rates than normally would be available for "jumbo" loan amounts of that size, thanks to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Although these provisions were set to expire, they are being extended. However, the top end of the loan size that will be allowed under these programs will be dropping down from $729,750 to $625,500, effective January 1, 2009.

FHA Hope for Homeowners
This provision is designed to help homeowners who are "upside down" on their mortgages—that is, they owe more on their house than they can sell it for in today's market. Essentially, this plan allows homeowners who meet the requirements and are upside down to refinance their mortgage to a new 30-year Fixed FHA mortgage. There are a number of qualifying details that must be met and requirements to be agreed to, but if you're upside down on your mortgage and struggling in today's economy, this is an option worth exploring in more detail.

These are just a few of the provisions that may benefit you, and there are a number of other items that impact the housing and mortgage industry as whole. But the bottom line is this, home prices are extremely reasonable right now, home loan rates are low, and new incentives are in place that may help make the decision to purchase or refinance even more appealing than before. If you're in the market for a new home or need to make some changes with your current mortgage, there's never been a better time to act.

Provided by The KEY Team - Preferred Lender:

Toby Wonder, Mortgage Consultant
Homestead Mortgage, Bellevue, WA
Office: 425-274-9524

Cell: 206-910-4766

Great Deals to be had!

My broker, Will Bruce's son works for Amazon and recently shared this link to

Amazon's Warehouse Deals

Perfect to save some money for your holiday shopping -- Check it out! And Happy Shopping!

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Sam Akyel Joins Windermere & The KEY Team

With over 15 years of experience as a licensed Real Estate Agent I am so very pleased to announce that Sam Akyel has moved over to Windermere . Please join me and The KEY Team, please join me in welcoming him and taking a moment to view his profile.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Housing Real Estate Markets Most Likely To Rebound - Seattle Ranked #1

Dorothy Pomerantz 10.29.08, 4:00 PM ET Forbes Magazine

If you're a homeowner seeing property values plummet, look to the commercial real estate market for solace. It might tell you which areas will recover fastest--and which will likely remain weak. The Urban Land Institute recently asked 700 real estate professionals to name the best (and worst) places to invest in commercial real estate in the coming year. Those surveyed included private developers, Realtors and Real Estate Investment Trust executives. Their answers also apply to the residential market, since the single-family-home sector typically follows the economy. As wages go up and there are more jobs, more people can buy homes, pushing prices up.
The best cities in which to invest are those that are considered gateways to international investment, have vital downtowns where people can forgo cars, and don't have a glut of condos or office space.
These traits landed Seattle the No. 1 spot on the list. No city scored above a 6.15 on a scale of one to nine (one being an abysmal place to invest and nine being excellent).
Seattle is "a diversified market, has a good base of business and is becoming a 24-hour city," says Stephen Blank, senior resident fellow, finance, of the Urban Land Institute. "It's going to be in a good position to come back."
Although the city is suffering from the loss of Washington Mutual and the downsizing of Starbucks, Boeing and Microsoft are still relatively strong. Apartment vacancies are low and there aren't too many new buildings going up, meaning the market won't be oversupplied. The same is true in the retail space.

San Francisco comes in second with a 6.12. The City by the Bay learned from the tech crash of 2001 not to overbuild. There is a reasonable supply of office and apartment space, which should limit vacancies. San Francisco's port is also expected to help the city during the downturn as Americans continue to rely on Asian imports.
Washington, D.C., New York and Los Angeles round out the top five.Of course, there's no guarantee that an improved commercial market will lead to an improved home market. However, investors have a better chance of seeing home prices rise in fundamentally strong markets like Seattle than in struggling cities like Detroit.It landed at the bottom of the list, scoring a 2.24.
Detroit has been reliant on the car industry, which is rapidly shrinking. Other businesses are unlikely to fill the void in the next few years, which means the city will be hit hard by further economic struggles.
New Orleans also lands near the bottom with a score of 3.33. The city has been losing businesses to Houston, Dallas and Atlanta since Hurricane Katrina hit in 2005.
The other cities at the bottom of the list--Columbus, Ohio, Milwaukee, Wis., and Cleveland--suffer from dying industries and lack of tourist appeal.
Recent attempts to turn downtown Milwaukee into a thriving 24-hour city haven't been enough to protect it from the coming downturn. Increasingly picky investors are expected to favor higher-quality port cities over Midwest towns. And while Columbus has the potential to become a major shipping hub for goods traveling cross-country, that revitalization may have to wait for a stronger economy and a government focused on improving the nation's roads. For now, prospects are dim.

Kelcey Myers
Fidelity Title, Sales Manager
Direct: (425) 239-7765

Monday, November 3, 2008

FREE 411 Calls on Your Cell Phone!

Tired of getting charged outrageous amounts from your cellular provider for dialing 411? I have a great tip for FREE 411 Calls. With no catch and NO COST Google now offers the public and opportunity to receive those numbers you need by simply calling:
800.466.4411 - Google Free 411

Saturday, November 1, 2008

FSBO in Snohomish - Owner Financing Available $899,990

"In Case of Emergency" - Important Information

ICE Campaign

We all carry our mobile phones with names & numbers stored in its memory but
nobody, other than ourselves, knows which of these numbers belong to our
closest family or friends.

If we were to be involved in an accident or were taken ill, the people
attending us would have our mobile phone but wouldn't know who to call.
Yes, there are hundreds of numbers stored but which one is the contact
person in case of an emergency? Hence this "ICE" (In Case of Emergency)
Campaign. The concept of "ICE" is catching on quickly. It is a method of
contact during emergency situations. As cell phones are carried by the
majority of the population, all you need to do is store the number of a
contact person or persons who shou ld be contacted during emergency under the
name "ICE" ( In Case Of Emergency).

The idea was thought up by a paramedic who found that when he went to the
scenes of accidents, there were always mobile phones with patients, but they
didn't know which number to call. He therefore thought that it would be a
good idea if there was a nationally recognized name for this purpose.
In an emergency situation, Emergency Service personnel and hospital Staff
would be able to quickly contact the right person by simply dialing the
number you have stored as "ICE."

For more than one contact name simply enter ICE1, ICE2 and ICE3 etc. A great
idea that will make a difference! Let's spread the concept of ICE by storing
an ICE number in our Mobile phones today!