Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Tax Break - Is there Such an Animal

Be careful what you wish for - tax breaks in the core of downtown Everett. The Everett City Council voted to extend the downtown redevelopment toll for ten more years.

As Everett is bracing for explosive residential growth, bringing thousands of residents into the downtown core, this tax break makes buying a condo a more attractive proposition.

With a dozen of projects expecting to blossom, this tax break will spur residential development. Under the program owners of new condos can skip ten years of taxes on the value of eligible residentail buildings, paying taxes only on the land value. When the ten years are up, the full value of land and improvements will be assessed.

I recently sold a condo in a downtown revitalization project and the $50 a month tax fee made the payment more affordable for my buyer. And isn't that what we are all about, affordable housing. I think this is a great coo for the City of Everett and the local buyers.

Everett IS Growing UP.

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Thursday, March 22, 2007

WA Housing Opportunities Legislation Passed

Gov. Gregoire signed HB 1025 awarding $71 million in infrastructure loans to 19 communities across Washington. Public Works Trust Fund helps local governments finance critical public works projects, such as bridges, roads and sewers.

REALTORS® made HB 1025 a priority as it helps supply the needed framework for building better communities. The funds will support infrastructure projects in the cities of Airway Heights, Blaine, Bremerton, Mattawa, Port Angeles, Snohomish, Toppenish, Walla Walla, Yakima and the town of Friday Harbor; Chelan and Cowlitz County; Cross Valley, East Wenatchee and Grays Harbor County Water Districts and the Lake Stevens Sewer District.

This measure will help increase home choices available to meet demand. We are also working on amendments for other legislation moving through the process that will incorporate concepts embodied in our jobs/housing balance and performance measures legislation to ensure counties plan for enough homes within the regional housing market sufficient for the increase of jobs, and adopt performance measures to find out whether we are meeting the needs of growing communities.

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Friday, March 16, 2007

Snohomish County Real Estate Market Report

Frigid Air Affects Home Sales

"A rapid shift in February to frigid air in much of the country had a cooling effect on home shopping that went beyond normal seasonal factors. Weather factors have continued since, reported David Lereah, the National Association of Realtors chief economist." You will see this is true for both the King County and Snohomish County housing markets. But, even though sales slowed, prices rose in both counties.

Active listings in King County increased in February 2007 by 1,708 homes or 28 percent compared to the same time period in 2006. In comparison, sales in February decreased by 2 percent or 78 homes. The average market time in February increased by 31 percent. An increase of 15 days compared to February 2006.

King County continued to experience healthy appreciation, with the average sales price 12 percent higher in 2007 than 2006, bringing the average sales price to $463,444.
Year to date, sales weakened by 3 percent, while prices strengthened by 11 percent and market times increased 30 percent.

Likewise, Snohomish County had a 13 percent decrease in sales. Down 202 homes from February a year ago, while the number of homes sold in February was, also, down by 203 homes or 18 percent.

The number of active listings increased by 13 percent from February a year ago and market times increased 35 percent or 17 days. The average sales price increased by 11 percent compared to February 2006, increasing to $366,016.

Year to date, sales declined 17 percent, market times increased 32 percent and the average sales price increased 12 percent.

These statistics above are EXTREMELY good news for Washington home buyers. Coming into the spring, there are more homes on the market to choose from and fewer buyers to buy. Sellers are becoming very comptetitive in their pricing to attract today's ready, willing, and able buyers. On top of this, interest rates have been inching down over the past 3 weeks. Buyers, it is time to buy!!

If you are thinking of buying a home? You can get a daily email list of new homes for sale as they hit the market by visiting It is fast, easy and FREE!

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Friday, March 09, 2007

Preparing for Daylight Saving in Snohomish County

Daylight Savings starts 2AM this Sunday, March 11,2007, three weeks earlier than past years.

This could affect machines & computer programs that are set to coordinate time/date using Daylight Savings.

The first step is to ensure that your computer is prepared. For Windows XP users, click the below link to download and install the Daylight Savings patch:

Scheduling software, such as Microsoft Outlook, could also be affected. If you use the calendar feature in Outlook, and have version 2000, 2002, or 2003, you will want to download and install the Time Zone Data Update Tool by using the below link:

You will also want to ensure that any fax machines that you use are changed to the correct time, as well as your digital phone at home, mobile phone, PDA, portable music player, programmable thermostat, digital camera, DVR, etc.

For other scheduling software, Smartphone's, & PDA's, check with the manufacturer to determine if you need to install updates to prepare for the new Daylight Savings rules.

One thing the change in Daylight Saving does not effect and something you can always count on is the professional and courteous service I provide to Snohomish County home buyers. I am at your service regardless of what time the sun comes up. Give me a call if you are thinking of buying a home, 425-308-3669. You can depend on me!

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Friday, March 02, 2007

Foreclosures Increase 25 Percent

RealtyTrac reported last week that the number of homes entering the foreclosure process increased by 25% compared to January 2006. A total of 1.2 million homes entered the foreclosure process in 2006, 42% more than 2005.

These are staggering numbers and are due mostly to borrowers taking out adjustable rate mortgages with low teaser rates and then not being able to afford the payments when the rates increase.

Do you own a home in King or Snohomish County and are facing a possible foreclosure? Often, there are options that can avoid foreclosure or minimize the damage. Your home may have appreciated enough to be able to sell and get out from under the debt. Your mortgage company may be willing to participate in a short-sale, or there may be a refinancing option that will lower your payments.

Banks and mortgage companies don't want to foreclose. Foreclosure is an expensive process and lenders are not in the business of owning real estate. Often, you just need to know the right questions to ask and the right people to ask them to. So, give me a call, 425-308-3669. Myself and a reputable lender will be glad to talk with you and help in any way we can.

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