#BeKindSV…it’s a MOVEMENT!

It started at Opstad Elementary, it’s developing at Fall City Elementary, and it’s spreading to the whole Snoqualmie Valley community!! A HUGE shout out to J & R Rockscapes for donating all of the rocks to Opstad Elementary! #BeKindSV rocks are about to take the community by storm! Be on the lookout for all that is happening by liking and following our new Facebook page

Market Update for January 2019

King County

January showed year-over-year improvement in the volume of new listings and total inventory, along with moderating selling prices. Although fewer solds were reported in King county than a year ago, January started as a bit of a surprise with lots of activity which normally isn’t felt until later in the month. Buyers are giving signsof a healthy spring market with their increased search activity and rise in mortgage applications. Indications are that buyers are feeling the real estate market has finally stabilized and sellers are similarly encouraged by having more options with the increase in inventory. It still isn’t clear if the Spring market is going to come later than normal, as some economists have forecasted. All WE know is the market feels healthier than it has in many years!!


North Bend

New Trends in Homeownership

Homeowner tenure, the average amount of time homeowners live in their home, has increased dramatically over the last ten years. In 2008 and during the recession, people began staying in their homes longer. Prior to the housing crisis, that tenure was about five years. It increased to seven years between 2008 and 2016. In the last two years, partially owing to the inventory crisis and rising interest rates, according to a new study by First American, home tenure has grown to an amazing ten years

Although it may not seem like much of a change, this trend has shifted quickly and it has big implications for our inventory issues. Why are people staying in their homes longer?

  • Mortgage rates – Years of low interest rates have homeowners not wanting to trade in their historically low mortgage rate for today’s rates.
  • Lack of supply – Homeowners not wanting to compete for the lack of homes in the market, worsen the problem by staying in their homes.
  • Tighter Credit Standards – Credit is not as lenient as it has been, and some homeowners may be concerned about qualifying for a new mortgage under these tougher lending standards.

According to the National Association of REALTORS® 2018 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers, buyers who bought a home last year expected to be in the home 15 years. According to the same study, the actual tenure in the home reported by home sellers was reported as follows:

The below graphic indicates that 44% of last year’s home sellers were in their homes for 11 years or longer. Only 36% were in their homes five years or fewer.


We held our 1st annual VIP Client Appreciation Event at the North Bend Theatre and were pleased to show “The Greatest Showman” as the featured film as well as premiering our video,  “Take a Ride with Us”, as the  preview.  We held a raffle with over $1k in prizes and a vacation for 2 as the Grand Raffle prize, we munched on popcorn, met new friends and enjoyed getting our pictures taken by Jubilant Studios.  We also were able to  give the Snoqualmie Valley Food Bank a substantial cash donation and a car load of canned items thanks to our generous attendees.  It was a great day!!  So great that we are already planning to hold another event there…the next one being planned will be for the entire community to enjoy, so be on the lookout for details!!

Market Breakdown

Inventory fell 29 percent from November to December, and was up 184 percent from last year. This is the highest level of December inventory since 2013. What is important to realize is that almost 50% of the current inventory has been on the market for over 60 days, indicating that close to 1/2 of the current inventory is probably overpriced!

2019 is sure to be an interesting year in the housing market.

#BeKind Campaign at Opstad

We are excited to announce that Alicia’s passion project, a project to try and combat bullying in a positive way, took flight this past Monday at Opstad Elementary school. Otters #BeKind…a project that could never have happened without Ryan V. Hill, the amazing Principal at Opstad Elementary School, the Snoqualmie Valley Community Network, Snoqualmie Valley Kiwanis, Ultimate Vision, Dark Horse, Ink, and Goat on Wry Studio…along with so many others such as Julia Dorn and the other teachers and staff at Opstad. Be on the lookout for more about this exciting new project! And check out Opstad Elementary’s FB page for video of the #BeKind assemblies and also visit https://www.facebook.com/clark.ultimatevision/ for more cool posts, pics and videos of the launching of the #BeKind week at Opstad Elementary!

#BeKind was featured in the latest Opstad newsletter…if you don’t get a copy of it emailed to you, click HERE for the video that was featured. #BeKind is at the very beginning, so you don’t have to watch the full video!

How can essential oils keep your family a little healthier this fall?

School buses, soccer practice, dance classes, and homework? It can only mean one thing. Back to school time! So how can you keep your family a little healthier this fall?

As a busy mom, the last thing I need to worry about is keeping my kids healthy. So when I discovered Young Living I knew I had to share with other busy families. Here are a few of our favorite back to school oils that help our days run just a little more smoothly.

Have some sleepy kids in the morning? Throw some Peppermint and Lemon oil in the diffuser to help wake everyone up!

Need a little immunity boost? Put a drop of thieves oil on everyone’s wrist or on their feet before they head out the door each morning. And maybe again when they come home.

Bike wreck or fall on the playground? Pull out the Kids Line Owie oil and rub on a few drops. No stinging and no more tears!

Homework, practice, or dinner time feeling stressful? Put a little Stress Away Oil in the diffuser and calm the whole house down during the witching hour.

Smelly practice clothes or shoes? Throw a few drops of purification oil in the washing machine or put a few drops on a cotton ball and drop inside those soccer cleats over night.

Bedtime? Its time for some rest! Put 3 drops of lavender and 3 drops of frankincense or RC oil in the diffuser. Sweet dreams!

If you want to know more about any of the oils I mentioned here feel free to email Jodi Collins at jodic3@gmail.com. Grab a YL membership by October 15, 2017 and get a free oil from me! I would love to help your family get started enjoying the benefits of all that Young Living has to offer!

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Renting or Buying… Either Way You’re Paying a Mortgage

There are some people who have not purchased homes because they are uncomfortable taking on the obligation of a mortgage. Everyone should realize that, unless you are living with your parents rent-free, you are paying a mortgage – either yours or your landlord’s.

As Entrepreneur Magazine, a premier source for small business, explained this month in their article, “12 Practical Steps to Getting Rich”:

While renting on a temporary basis isn’t terrible, you should most certainly own the roof over your head if you’re serious about your finances. It won’t make you rich overnight, but by renting, you’re paying someone else’s mortgage. In effect, you’re making someone else rich.”

Christina Boyle, Senior Vice President and head of the Single-Family Sales & Relationship Management organization at Freddie Mac, explains another benefit of securing a mortgage vs. paying rent:

“With a 30-year fixed rate mortgage, you’ll have the certainty & stability of knowing what your mortgage payment will be for the next 30 years – unlike rents which will continue to rise over the next three decades.”

As an owner, your mortgage payment is a form of ‘forced savings’ which allows you to build equity in your home that you can tap into later in life. As a renter, you guarantee the landlord is the person with that equity.

Interest rates are still at historic lows, making it one of the best times to secure a mortgage and make a move into your dream home. Freddie Mac’s latest report shows that rates across the country were at 4.23% last week.

Bottom Line

Whether you are looking for a primary residence for the first time or are considering a vacation home on the shore, now may be the time to buy.

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Top Home Renovations for Maximum ROI [INFOGRAPHIC]

Some Highlights:

  • Whether you are selling your home, just purchased your first home, or are a homeowner planning to stay put for a while, there is value in knowing which home improvement projects will net you the most Return On Investment (ROI).
  • While big projects like adding a bathroom or a complete kitchen remodel are popular ways to increase a home’s value, something as simple as updating landscaping and curb appeal can have a quick impact on a home’s value.
  • For more information about top renovation projects that net you the most ROI, you can check out the complete list here.

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June Is National Homeownership Month. Here’s our take on it.

Are you aware that June is National Homeownership month?

Probably not. Because you’re too busy working to afford the home you live in, whether you rent it or own it.

Why should you care?

If you poke around and read anything you can find about it, you’re being urged to recognize and celebrate the benefits of homeownership.

That seems kind of a weird thing to ask you to do. Do you really have the time or care? What’re you supposed to do, throw a party? Sit alone and contemplate it? Invite some friends out for coffee and chat about it?

You’ve got to figure that the people who actively promote it probably have their reasons and motives for pushing it. (You know, like real estate agents, mortgage lenders, and the government.)

It makes you wonder…

Why do they push it, other than to make money?

Is it really the “American Dream”? Or is it just a packaged ploy?

Is it all it’s cracked up to be? What about all the people who were recently hurt by the housing market and getting in over their heads?

What about the economy and jobs? What about making enough money to even afford a house?

And, what about all the headaches and worries that come with homeownership?

Are you being sold on something unachievable, or not even all that desirable?

Maybe you shouldn’t own a home

OK, first off…

Homeownership is not for everyone.

There always seems to be this push to increase the percentage of homeowners. It gets wrapped in reasons why it’s good for you, your community, the country as a whole…maybe even the whole universe.

Pushing to increase the percentage of homeownership for the sake of statistics and percentages is wrong.

Lots of people shouldn’t own a home. Maybe some people shouldn’t even be allowed to own a home even if they qualify financially. That’s what leads to problems, because it’s a responsibility not everyone can handle.

Besides, if everyone owned property it wouldn’t be as special. As coveted. As much of a dream.

So, if you do question whether homeownership is “worth it”, maybe it isn’t the worst thing. Maybe you shouldn’t own a home.

It’s easy enough to let the people who really want to own property, and believe in the value of it, own all of the real estate.

Just don’t buy any…

Let them enjoy the “pride”

One of the catch phrases you’ve probably heard is, “There’s pride in homeownership.”

That’s kind of the cover-all reason given as to why more and more people should own their own homes.

You can’t entirely diminish the fact that there is pride and value in owning real estate. There is.

Nor can you entirely diminish the actual benefits of ownership, like building wealth, tax incentives, and not throwing money out the window and building someone else’s wealth.

But there’s certainly an inability for some people to buy real estate. Some people will never achieve homeownership.

And there’s certainly risk and worry involved. Not everyone can handle that.

It’s certainly understandable that lots of people shy away from buying real estate so soon after the real estate bubble burst, and the slow recovery. Some people are still recovering financially. Some people watched their parents struggle and worry, only to lose their home.

But for those who can and do own real estate, there is pride. And there’s appreciation.

Because while not everyone should own real estate…at least now everyone can.

You get to choose, not be chosen to own land

It used to be only a select few who could own land.

Now almost everyone has the right to own property…if they want to and have the ability.

This isn’t the feudal system where there are only a handful of Lords who’ve been granted a piece of land to look after by a King. (Side note: Do you think any Lords ever questioned the value of owning land?)

You can choose to be the lord of some land. You just have to want to, and be financially qualified to.

While you don’t have to be “chosen”…nobody’s giving it to you either.

So, if you can financially afford to, there should be some pride and appreciation in owning a little (or large) piece of this planet, with a “castle” to call your own.

So, when you do decide to buy some real estate, you should enjoy the pride, appreciation, and respect for the right and privilege to do so. You are essentially choosing to be your own land Lord.

There are places in this world you still can’t. So, imagine that. Imagine not having the choice.

Is it worth you recognizing and celebrating?

With all that in mind, is National Homeownership Month more meaningful to you?

Does it put homeownership in an objective light? Is it appealing to you? Does it make you want to own real estate? Does it make you want to own more real estate if you already own some?

Don’t get swept up in the hype of homeownership month, or anyone just trying to persuade you of the benefits of homeownership, no matter what month it is.

The best way to figure out if you should be a homeowner is to speak with a serious, objective real estate agent. One who takes counseling clients more seriously than pushing the pride of homeownership, just so they can make a sale.

Give me a ring if you’re looking for some good, objective counsel. I’d love to be part of that round table.

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