Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Giving Back to the Community

I have had a goal to give back to the community as much as I can, and I’m proud to have had a helping hand in many worthwhile causes. Looking over the past year the goals that have been achieved are exciting and I’d like to take a moment and share them with you.

• In February and March, Faces for life, a fund raiser for the Puget Sound Blood Center, raised over $440,000.00.

• In July and November, the Summer’s Best Beer Taste and the Winter Beer Taste were both held by the Phinney Neighborhood Association. Between these two events over $24,000.00 was raised for the PNA.

• As part of every transaction closed by the Realtors in my office, a portion of it goes to the Children’s Miracle Network. In 2005 our office was recognize by RE/MAX International as the top office on the West Coast. In 2006 we are poised to surpass 2005 by raising over $8,000.00.

• In March the BIG CLIMB FOR LEUKEMIA was held, which challenges participants to climb to the top of the Columbia Tower (by stairs) to raise funds for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. Team RE/MAX raised over $2,500.00 for this event and the grand total raised was over $460,000.00.

• Each month of the year I have the pleasure of hosting a talented artist in the conference room at my office as part of the Ballard Art Walk. I have gotten to meet many inspiring individuals and am proud to help promote their work.

• In early August last year I helped with the Magnolia Summer Festival and Art Show, which supports local artists and the community as a whole.

In 2007 I look forward to continuing to support many of these organizations, and I’m proud to announce that I have been invited to become a member of the Board of Directors at the Phinney Neighborhood Association and the Co-Chair for the Arts Show with the Magnolia Summer Festival.

I recently read a quote that I’d like to share with you for the coming year.
“To laugh often and much; to win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of leave the world a better place ...
to know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is to have succeeded. “
--Ralph Waldo Emerson

Thank you for your support and have a happy holiday season!!!

Thursday, November 30, 2006

Ballard Art Walk December 2006

As part of the Ballard Art Walk, I’ll be hosting artist Kenneth A. Marulis in December. Ken’s work borrows from the Cubist style of Picaso using themes from current events in bright wonderful colors. I expect this to be a great show so please stop by. To preview Ken’s work go to

December’s art walk is on Saturday the 9th and runs from 6 to 9 PM. The address of my office is 1718 NW 56th Street, Seattle, WA 98107, and as always wine and hors d’oeuvre will be served.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Your Name is Being Sold

I recently found out about this and opted out for life. Read below.

Each time ones credit is checked, the “inquiry data” that the credit bureaus (Equifax, TransUnion, Innovis, and Experian) have on file becomes a commodity. This information is being sold by the credit bureaus to others.

The credit bureaus have found a way to increase their revenues without the permission of the individual whose credit was check. These “inquiry leads” include name, address, phone numbers (including unlisted), credit score, current debt and debt history, property information, age, gender and estimated income.

The consumer credit reporting industry has provided a way to “opt out” and remove your name from these lists. Contact them by phone at 1-888-567-8688 or online at One must opt out at least 48 hours prior to having a credit check to make sure it is processed on time. Five year or lifetime options are available. The lifetime option requires a signed form.

Also, opting out will protect one from “pre-approved credit offers” arriving via mail, which is one of the leading causes of identity theft in the US.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

This Holiday Season Is A Great Time To Buy In Seattle

If you’ve been frustrated by too much competition for too few homes, your time to buy is now.

There are a few reasons why the timing is good. First, the holiday season is upon us which brings the normal slow down for this time of year. In the past, I’ve helped many of my clients find better deals during the holiday season, than they’d find otherwise.

Second, there is an increased inventory compared to a year ago. This represents a slowing market. It still favors sellers but it is not as crazy as it has been in the past.

Although the marked is slowing, home prices continue to appreciate. In King and Snohomish Counties the median priced home was up over 10% from October 2005 to 2006.

The market forecast continues to look good as well. Unlike many other areas of the country, Seattle’s housing fundamentals are strong. Job growth looks great, personal incomes are increasing, and there is a population influx. Add this to the urban growth boundary and a growing desire of individuals to get out of their cars and live closer to their work all bodes well, especially for neighborhoods close to Seattle.

Thursday, November 02, 2006 an Inconsistent Tool

As I do a Comparative Market Analysis (CMA) for my clients, I like to compare my results with what posts. I’ve found the prices Zillow estimates to vary widely. On occasion Zillow is close, but more commonly it is off. I’ve seen discrepancies as much as $80,000.00 over the fair market value.

Recently, in a 12 page complaint filed with the Federal Trade Commission, the National Community Reinvestment Coalition revealed that Zillow’s Zestimates (as they’re called) are wrong over 67 percent of the time. This shows a significant flaw in how Zillow calculates a homes value.

Zillow has an interesting idea, but to get an accurate assessment of the value of a home it is best to have a professional in the industry do a CMA in person. Most appraisers will do this for a fee, and most Realtors will do this free of charge.
Please write with your questions and comments.