A Snapshot of American Homebuyers

Posted on March 21, 2015 at 3:50 pm
Shelia Simmons | Posted in Uncategorized |

Spring Real Estate Roundup

Posted on March 16, 2015 at 5:28 pm
Shelia Simmons | Posted in Economic News, Home improvement, Home ownership, Real Estate News |

A Snapshot of Homebuyers

Posted on March 13, 2015 at 5:28 pm
Shelia Simmons | Posted in Economic News, Home improvement, Home ownership, Real Estate News, Uncategorized |

Where will Mortgage Rates be Headed in 2015?

Where will Mortgage Rates be Headed in 2015? | Keeping Current Matters

We finished 2014 with the 30 year fixed mortgage rate at 3.87% as per Freddie Mac. This is very close to the historic lows in the spring of 2013.

However, the Mortgage Bankers Association projects mortgage rates to be about 5% by the end of 2015. The website Investopedia agrees and gives some perspective on the 5% rate:

“Barring another financial and housing market implosion, and if the economy continues to improve, expect interest rates to rise in the latter half of 2015. If they do jump to the 5% range it will be a modest hike when compared to historical averages. Rates will still be far below the approximately 8.5% 30-year fixed-rates mortgages have averaged since 1971 when Freddie Mac started tracking them. Rates averaged 6% in the years leading up to the recession.”

Here are the latest 2015 mortgage rate projections from Fannie MaeFreddie Mac, theMortgage Bankers’ Association and the National Association of Realtors:

Interest Rates 2015 | Keeping Current Matters

Posted on January 6, 2015 at 4:58 pm
Shelia Simmons | Posted in Economic News, Home ownership, Real Estate News |

Safe Holiday Decorating

Watch out before you string those lights

It's holiday time, and that means Rudolph will be emerging from storage for his annual jaunt on your gable. But before planting that plastic sleigh and reindeer on the roof, put some thought into safety.

December's calendar is booked solid with holidays – Kwanzaa, winter solstice, Hanukkah and Christmas – why not string some lights along the eaves of the house? After all, nothing says "Happy Holidays" quite like a festive string of lighted plastic chili peppers.
Don't become a holiday statistic
But before pulling out a ladder or wrapping a little more electrical tape around last year's extension cord, it would be a good idea to plan for safety. Taking a fall is the leading cause of home fatalities, according to the National Safety Council. Don't become an NSC statistic this holiday season – keep a few safety tips in mind while decorating.
Six tips for safety
  • Inspect all decorating gear before ascending. Ladders should be in good shape, with any moving parts (pulleys, ropes) in "like new" working condition. Rungs should be tight and sound. Repairing a ladder is a waste – toss it instead and get a new one – it's a lot cheaper than a body cast. Extension cords shouldn't have cuts or cracks in their jacket or plugs – refurbish or replace damaged cords. Light strings should be tested before putting them up. Carry a tool pouch filled with everything you need before climbing topside.  


  • Wait until the weekend. Shorter winter days leave less light after work for installing decorations. Schedule your decorating project for a Saturday or Sunday when there's ample daylight to work by.
  • Match the tools to the job. Remember that aluminum ladders conduct electricity and are therefore potentially hazardous. Choose a wooden or fiberglass ladder instead, both of which are non-conductive when dry. Try using a staple gun, rather than a hammer, for attaching cord to the eaves or fascia. The gun is easier to use with one hand, and its action is less likely to cause a loss of balance while high off the ground.
  • Think safety when working with outdoor lights, especially in wintry conditions. Follow the manufacturer's directions when setting up lights or using a ladder. Since even low-wattage lights can still be an electrical hazard when strung outdoors, plug them into a weather-proof, GFCI outlet. For an extension ladder (for use on second-story heights), install a "stand-off bar" (often available as an option) to increase stability at the top of the ladder.
  • Get help with bigger jobs. There's nothing wrong with asking for someone to hold the ladder base secure while you are climbing, or unraveling and handing you the cord while you secure it in place. Think about trading off help with a neighbor, giving each other a hand with the annual decorating chores.
  • Forget the ladder if you want to make your decorations fall-proof. Instead of scaling your siding, consider creative ways of dressing up the holiday season from ground level. Luminarias, yard decorations, lights strung along the ground floor or in accessible locations are all good options.

    And whatever decorations you choose, please don't leave them up past Memorial Day. Copyright © by Move, Inc.

Posted on December 3, 2014 at 9:54 pm
Shelia Simmons | Posted in Uncategorized |

Home Sales Generate $52,205 Impact on Economy


The National Association of Realtors (NAR) compiled data from research conducted by the Bureau of Economic Analysis & Macroeconomic Advisors on the economic impact of a home purchase.

After reviewing the data, they concluded that the total economic impact of a typical home sale in the United States is an astonishing $52,205.

Here is the breakdown of their report: 

Economic Contributions are derived from:

  • Home construction
  • Real estate brokerage
  • Mortgage lending
  • Title insurance
  • Rental and Leasing
  • Home appraisal
  • Moving truck service
  • Other related activities

When a House is Sold in the United States:

$15,912 of income is generated from real estate related industries.

New homeowners spend an additional $4,429 on consumer items such as furniture, appliances, and remodeling.

It generates an economic multiplier impact. There is a greater sense of community associated with owning a home; therefore there is greater spending at restaurants, sports games, and charity events. The size of this “multiplier” effect is estimated to be: $9,764

Additional home sales induce additional home production. Typically one new home is constructed for every 8 existing home sales. Therefore, for each existing home sale, 1/8 of new home value is added to the economy, which is estimated in the U.S. to be: $22,100

When you add the numbers up it comes to $52,205!

Posted on September 18, 2014 at 8:33 pm
Shelia Simmons | Posted in Economic News, Home improvement, Home ownership, Real Estate News, Uncategorized |

Should I Rent My House if I Can’t Sell It?

Should I Rent If I Can't Sell | The KCM Crew

There has been a lot written about how buying a home is less expensive than renting one in most parts of the country. Rents are skyrocketing and homes are still at great prices. These two situations are also causing some sellers to consider renting their home instead of selling it. After all, a homeowner can get great rental income now and perhaps wait until house values increase even further before selling.

This logic makes sense in some cases. There is a strong belief that residential real estate is a great investment right now. However, if you have no desire to actually become an educated investor in this sector, you may be headed for more trouble than you were looking for.

Before renting your home, you should answer the following questions to make sure this is the right course of action for you and your family.

10 Questions to ask BEFORE renting your home

  1. How will you respond if your tenant says they can’t afford to pay the rent this month because of more pressing obligations? (This happens most often during holiday season and back-to-school time when families with children have extra expenses).
  2. Because of the economy, many homeowners cannot make their mortgage payment. What percentage of tenants do you think cannot afford to pay their rent?
  3. Have you interviewed experienced eviction attorneys in case a challenge does arise?
  4. Have you talked to your insurance company about a possible increase in premiums as liability is greater in a non-owner occupied home?
  5. Will you allow pets? Cats? Dogs? How big a dog?
  6. How will you actually collect the rent? By mail? In person?
  7. Repairs are part of being a landlord. Who will take tenant calls when necessary repairs come up?
  8. Do you have a list of craftspeople readily available to handle these repairs?
  9. How often will you do a physical inspection of the property?
  10. Will you alert your current neighbors that you are renting the house?

Bottom Line

Again, renting out residential real estate is historically a great investment. However, it is not without its challenges. Make sure you have decided to rent the house because you want to be an investor, not because you are hoping to get a few extra dollars by postponing a sale.

Posted on June 17, 2014 at 5:05 pm
Shelia Simmons | Posted in Economic News, Home improvement, Home ownership, Real Estate News, Uncategorized |

Home & Garden: Six hot home design trends for Spring 2014

Home & Garden: Six hot home design trends for Spring 2014


by QNotes Staff  Staff Reports  editor@goqnotes.com
Published: May 23, 2014 in A&E / Life&StyleFeatured Stories

Wood textures bring warmth, richness and texture to a room of any style.

Wood textures bring warmth, richness and texture to a room of any style.

Does spring and the impending seasonal switchover to summer have you itching to refresh a tired, lackluster room? Or, maybe you’re looking for some small ways to make a big impact on your home’s style? Whatever the case, here are some of this season’s most buzzed-about trends and how you can incorporate them into your next project.

• Wood is the new neutral. This season’s strong trend toward wood textures pairs the warmth, richness and texture of real wood with limitless design flexibility. Think wood-textured textiles, tree-printed wallpapers and embossed soaps that look like wood. Installing engineered wood ceilings and wainscoting can bring the unique look of reclaimed wood into any environment – an easy do-it-yourself project with striking results.

• Ode to the elements. Mother Nature is inspiring design in a big way this year and homeowners are finding unique ways to incorporate rocks, minerals and other natural elements into their home’s design. Try replacing a common-place item like an alarm clock with one encased within a multi-colored agate. Bring this look to the kitchen with a stainless steel backsplash, or swap out run-of-the-mill hardware with mineral-inspired drawer pulls and knobs.

Coffered ceilings are an easy way to add a visual element to the home.

Coffered ceilings are an easy way to add a visual element to the home.

• Shore thing. Homeowners, inspired by the calm, care-free attitude of coastal living are all about bringing the beach inside this season. Beach-inspired design elements are popping up throughout the home. Weathered and white-washed wood ceilings are a subtle but stunning on-trend addition — especially when finished with interior accents like decorative shells, drift wood furniture and marine-themed prints.

• Contrast in texture. Step aside Pantone, texture is spring’s hottest new color. Homeowners are putting down their paintbrushes and adding interest with texture through high-gloss finishes, metallics, sequins and mirrors. A textured tile wall brings visual and tactile interest, especially when paired with contrasting high-gloss lacquer or low-gloss matte accessories.

• Visual punch. Reawaken the senses this spring by incorporating a striking visual element to the home. Multi-dimensional surface treatments in pearl, metallic and gold/silver combinations add panache as a coating used for hardwood, or can be applied to wallpaper, furniture or decorative accessories. And don’t forget to look up — coffered ceilings bring a striking je ne sais quoi to any room.

• Manipulated metals. The versatility of manipulated metal makes it a great addition to any style home — from hand-crafted artisan to contemporary high gloss. Copper, pewter and nickel are getting in on the action and can be styled in a variety of ways, including hammered metal sink basins, tin-look ceiling tiles, antiqued copper light fixtures and brushed stainless steel cabinet hardware.

If you’d benefit from a little windfall to help finance your fabulous spring home improvement projects (and who wouldn’t?), consider checking with your favorite vendors, many of which are running seasonal promotions. Armstrong Residential Ceilings, for example, is running a Style Is Looking Up Giveaway in February and March and will offer the chance to win free product and gift cards to spend on home improvements at armstrong.com/residential-ceilings. : :

more: Want more information on your potential flooring or ceiling revamps or just need a place to start? Armstrong has a flooring showroom in Charlotte, as well as dozens of independently-owned local retailers in Charlotte and other local areas. Learn more at armstrong.com.

— BrandPoint Content

Posted on June 6, 2014 at 3:46 pm
Shelia Simmons | Posted in Home ownership, Real Estate News |

Easter Egg Hunt coming April 19 – free!

You are invited to the annual Easter Egg Hunt! This exciting free family event features more than 12,000 plastic eggs filled with candy and prizes hidden around Jennings Park Rotary Ranch and Master Garden. The morning also features children’s activities and a guest visit from the Easter Bunny.

The Easter Egg Hunt will be from 10-11 a.m. on Saturday, April 19 at Jennings Memorial Park, 6915 Armar Rd. Additional parking will be available at Marysville Middle School, 4923 67th St. NE.

Youth ages 0-8 will be able to collect 8 eggs from their designated age-specific area of the park. All participants are asked to bring a canned food item for donation to the Marysville Food Bank. Brought to you by the City of Marysville, Marysville Noon Rotary, Steve Fulton State Farm Insurance and Grandview Village, this is an event you won’t want to miss!

For more information call Marysville Parks and Recreation at (360) 363-8400.

Posted on April 16, 2014 at 6:21 pm
Shelia Simmons | Posted in Home improvement, Home ownership, Real Estate News, Uncategorized |

2014 Annual Spring Cleaning Day

Lake Stevens Spring Cleaning Day Event – May 3, 2014

On Saturday, 3rd May 2014, the City of Lake Stevens will be hosting its annual Spring Cleaning Day Event for citizens who live within the limit of the City of Lake Stevens. This year’s event will be held at the back parking lot of Cavelero Mid High, located at 8220 24th St. SE. . Citizens may bring most of their items that are typically taken to the dump and dispose of them for free from 9:00 am to 2:00 pm. To access this event, citizens must provide identification with their name and address to verify Lake Stevens residency.

Shred It Paper shredding service will be present and accepting personal papers for free shredding. Les Schwab Tire Center will be accepting old tires at no charge. The limit is 10 tires per household and tires must be standard car, SUV, and pickup truck size and off the rims. Les Schwab will not be accepting tires on any other day or at any of their stores. TV’s, computers, lap tops, and monitors will be accepted at no charge.

Hazardous Waste (paints, chemicals, things with Freon, etc.) WILL NOT be accepted.

Lake Stevens Food Bank will be on-site accepting donations of canned/non-perishable food items.
To help make the unloading quick and easy, paper materials to be shredded, standard vehicle tires, electronic waste, and metal recyclables should be separated from other garbage and grouped together. This will help avoid separating trash on site. Loose trash must be bagged or bundled and unloaded by the Citizen. No event staff will be on site to help with unloading trash.

To verify if you live in the Lake Stevens city limits, please contact the Lake Stevens Public Works Department at 425-377-3235

Posted on April 16, 2014 at 6:19 pm
Shelia Simmons | Posted in Home improvement, Home ownership, Real Estate News |