Real Estate Tips

Capital Gains Tax and the Sale of Your Home

Homeowners interested in selling a primary residence may want to know more about the capital gains tax and applicable exclusions to avoid handing over a chunk of the profits to Uncle Sam. Whether a seller is able to qualify for a full or partial exclusion, either translates to less money given to the IRS.

Learn more about capital gains tax and full and partial exemptions on the sale of a home today.

What is Capital Gains Tax?

This is a tax on the profit from the sale of a home or other major asset. If a homeowner has owned their home for over one year, any profit would be a “long term” capital gains and the rate of taxation would depend on the seller's tax bracket. Significant exemptions exist...

Eco-Friendly Strategies for a Green Home

Green energy is the way of the future: now more than ever, homeowners are becoming conscious of the environment and what they can do to reduce their carbon footprint. Here are different strategies homeowners can use to help make their home environmentally friendly and use less energy.

Use LED Lightbulbs

Light Emitting Diode (LED) lightbulbs have been around for a while now, but they are a tried and true method for making a home just a little bit greener. Not only do LED bulbs use less energy than their CFL counterparts, but they also have a smaller impact on the environment when they’ve been disposed of....

What are Home Inspectors Looking For?

Even brand new homes should undergo a home inspection. After all, a home is the one of the largest financial (and emotional) investments a person will make. Therefore, home inspections are necessary, and it's wise to have a professional home inspector do the job.

What Does a Home Inspection Include?

Generally, home inspections are included as part of the buyer's contingency requests to protect them from buying a home with hidden issues. Depending upon the agreement, sellers are responsible for having the requisite inspection completed ...

Millennial Homeownership in Seattle: Challenges and Helpful Solutions

The Seattle real estate market continues to top the charts nationwide as one of the hottest in the country. This is good news for many people, including home sellers who want to earn a significant return on their real estate investment and property owners who feel confident that their values will continue to rise.

However, many Millennials are finding this to be a frustrating market. They can't seem to make offers fast enough before the houses are sold out from underneath them. With each passing month, sales prices continue to increase, while their income remains the same. There's little inventory on the market, and many of them are faced with the startling reality that they will need to commit at least half of their total income to their mortgage payment in order to secure a home in this growing city with a strong economy. 

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Pros and Cons of the Probate Real Estate Market

Though they are no longer the largest generational population, the Boomers – who are heading into their sunset years – will continue to possess the most wealth. That is until they pass their assets onto either their Gen X children or Millennial and Gen Z grandchildren. According to a report by Deloitte, $24 trillion in bequests will be transferred over the next 15 years.

Enter the probate real estate market. Due to many factors that will be discussed below, probate real estate is a virtually untapped real estate space. Due to the conditions under which sellers are motivated to market the legacy property, navigating the emotional and tangible process has several definitive pros and cons.

What is Probate Real...

Alternative Housing Options in Seattle: Floating Homes

Every home buyer is unique in their own way, and some are looking for more than a "standard" home in a neighborhood in Seattle or in a subdivision just outside of the city limits. For those that are most interested in alternative housing types, Seattle has plenty to offer. In fact, there's several floating homes on the Seattle housing market right now, according to Curbed Seattle.

What's a Floating Home? 

A floating home is most simply defined as a home that is only semi-permanently fixed to the land. They are literally built on the water, offering homeowners the most spectacular waterfront views in the city. There are several types of floating homes for buyers to consider:

  • Nautical houseboats — These most resemble an...

Inventory Dilemma Sweeps the Nation: Seattle-based Firm Notes Concerns

The Seattle market is currently defined by its record-low inventory levels and increasingly high demand for homes in the city and throughout the suburbs, including East King County. However, this isn't a challenge that is being faced by the Emerald City alone. In fact, cities and metropolitan areas across the country are staring at startling statistics that continue to show depleting inventory levels, despite the fact that buyer demand typically heats up in the summer months. 

Redfin, a real estate firm based in Seattle, shows some concern regarding this trend. Recently, CEO Glenn Kelman told CNBC that low inventory levels are impacting business, and the firm is finding that more homeowners are upgrading to new properties...

First-Time Homebuyer in Seattle? Here's How to Rise Above the Challenges

For first-time buyers, dipping their toes into an unimaginably competitive seller's market is quite intimidating. Every interested home buyer in Seattle realizes that the odds are stacked against them to some degree. You can't scroll through your news feed or walk by a TV without hearing about the record-setting Seattle housing market. 

In fact, Seattle was recently ranked by Zillow as the 9th toughest market for first-time home buyers, according to an article published by the K5 news station. To determine which markets were most competitive and challenging throughout the country, the study considered the following five factors: median home value, forecasted value appreciation, current inventory levels, listings that...

3 Reasons to Avoid House Flipping in Seattle

In many respects, the Seattle housing market has never been hotter. Inventory levels are at record lows, which has home values skyrocketing in the city and throughout the surrounding suburbs. For real estate investors, these seem to be idyllic conditions. They can list a property that they have purchased for an investment, and likely have it sold within a matter of hours to a buyer who is willing to pay above their asking price.

And the bonus? Most buyers who are getting homes in Seattle are paying with cash.

If you look at the data, it may seem like now is the best time to get into the house flipping business in Seattle. But according to King 5, the market is saturated with real estate investors hoping to cash in on these incredible...

Attention Buyers: Learn How to Compete in Seattle's Hot Market

Currently, opinions on the Seattle housing market are quite divided. Mention the market to someone who recently sold their property or who is planning to list, and they likely will gush about what a great time it is to get involved in real estate. Mention it to someone who is simply looking for an affordable and comfortable place to call home, and you may be met with a groan.

To call the market is hot is an understatement. There's a significant lack of inventory coupled with a plethora of motivated and interested buyers, and it's made for an incredibly competitive market in the city and the surrounding suburbs. In fact, a recent report dubbed Seattle as one of the most competitive markets in the entire country. 

According to Curbed Seattle, ...

With Limited Inventory, Buyers Prepare for Competition in Seattle Housing Market

For sellers, the Seattle-area market is rife with possibility!

Throughout 2016, home prices increased significantly — in fact, it made headlines as the most expensive year for Seattle real estate in history. Those who had real estate investments to list on the market were sure to enjoy significant returns, but the fact of the matter is, most people weren't selling their property... often-times because there's no place for them to move to (and they would also be paying top-dollar).

According to an article published in the Seattle Times, housing inventory hit all-time lows in Seattle, which is the primary reason for the price increase. Meanwhile, there was also an influx of buyers who were interested in purchasing real estate in Seattle and throughout King County....

Are Tiny Homes a Wise Investment

tiny homes

It seems there are Tiny Homes popping up everywhere. Magazines, websites, and reality TV shows all praise the space-saving miniature houses that typically range between 180 and 400 square feet in size. Is it a practical lifestyle choice? Is it truly possible to live comfortably with another person in such a tiny space? Do people still enjoy living in tiny homes after the first year? How much do they cost? These are questions you need to ask before you consider purchasing a tiny home.


What Does A Tiny Home Cost?

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Counting Days in Real Estate Contract Contingencies

CalendarHow do we count the number of days for contingencies in home purchase & sale contracts? it's not too terribly complicated to answer, but misunderstandings regarding the "Computation of Time" in real estate contracts are unfortunately very common.

While all contract contingencies are important, arguably, the most critical contingency in any real estate purchase and sale contract is the Financing Contingency, which is typically 20-30 days. All parties, especially the home buyer and their real estate agent, need to accurately count the number of days - and to adhere to any related terms of the contract. The inspection contingency is just as important. Wait too long after the inspection to negotiate any repairs, and you may find...

Home Buyer Mistakes: 5 Tips to Winning Offers in a Seller's Market

Are you in the market to buy a home this spring? Join the crowd! In many areas, the market is red-hot; inventory is low and buyers are plenty. In these times, hopeful home buyers must quickly educate themselves regarding the buying process and current market conditions. How can you increase the odds of winning your dream home in a seller's market, especially when competing with multiple offers? Develop a winning strategy by follwing these tips, and avoiding common home buyer mistakes.

Image Courtesy of Online Training Academy

Be Clear About Your Priorities

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Holiday Home Buying: Shopping For Homes During the Holidays

Buying a home during the holidays - sounds crazy, right?

You have about a million tasks on your to-do list and none of them checked off. You have relatives coming into town, the local bake sale needs more holiday cookies, and the cat just crawled-up the tree ‐ again. In the midst of all this holiday chaos you may think the last thing you really want to do is search for your new home. However, you might be missing out. The holiday season can be a fantastic time to buy real estate!

Sellers Want to Sell - Especially at Holiday Time

Listing inventories drop dramatically during the late fall and winter in the Seattle market - not only due to the holidays, but also due to the weather. Obviously, the dark and rainy days...

Home Selling: How Often Should Your Real Estate Agent Call?

When selling a home, the number one complaint of homeowners is the lack of communication & follow-up from their real estate agent - after the agent has listed the home for sale. In fact, a quick scan of popular websites reveals the most common grievances such as "My agent never returns my calls," or "My agent went on vacation and didn't tell me." it's a very common problem for sellers, and a source of great frustration.

We call this the "List & Leave Syndrome" - a phrase I personally coined after experiencing a similar circumstance several years ago, which ultimately promted me to fire my agent.

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What is an Inspection Contingency?

Definition: An Inspection Contingency is a clause in a home purchase & sale contract which provides the buyer an opportunity to conduct a home inspection, with the right to either terminate the contract, or attempt to negotiate repairs and/or terms of the contract, based upon the results of an inspection report.

What is an Inspection Contingency


Contingencies for home inspections vary from state to state, and the methods of negotiating issues can also vary by "local custom" depending on the market area. For example, in Texas, inspections are handled during the "Option Period" - typically a 10-day period in which the buyer pays a nominal fee in exchange for this option. In some areas, such...

Hiring an Agent When Buying or Selling a Home: Working With Friends and Family

Fact: Choosing a real estate agent will be among the most critical decisions you make during your next home purchase or sale! Think real estate agents simply open doors, show houses, and fill-in generic real estate forms? Think again.... This is the first a series of posts on hiring a real estate agent to serve your interests.

Part One: Hiring Friends & Family When Buying or Selling a Home - We all love to work with friends & family (okay... well, maybe not "all" of us). According to a survey by the National Association of real estate agents, it's not surprising that over 50% of home buyers & sellers choose a real estate agent either based upon referral from friend or family member - or they use...

Buyer Pre-Inspections: Seattle Home Buyers Paying For Inspections Before Writing Offers

The Seattle real estate market is Hot, Hot, Hot - home inventory is scarce, and buyers are plenty.  Home sellers will likely find they're in the catbird seat. Unlike in years past, sellers have more options at their disposal - and one of the most common strategies, is encouraging all buyers to perform (and pay for) a "Pre-Inspection" before they place an offer to purchase your home.

Image Courtesy of Online Training Academy

The primary advantage of a buyer-performed pre-inspection is that it allows the seller to keep the home "Active" and on the market for other potential buyers to...

Eastside Buyers - Potentially Save Thousands This Spring With Our Top Home Buyer Tips

Whether a home buyer is new to Washington state or not, it is very common for prospective buyers to not only have "sticker shock" where Eastside home prices are concerned, but they're often caught off-guard by how fast they must act - especially in the spring time.

During both the spring of 2012 & 2013, home inventory plummeted as pending sales skyrocketed - there just wasn't enough of to go around. While there are some indications the spring of 2014 may not be quite as hectic, as an Eastside home buyer, you must be fully prepared - otherwise, you risk losing your ideal home to another buyer who was thinking well in advance.

It is incredibly important that our clients have a positive home buying experience! Yes... it's serious business, but it should also be "enjoyable." Here are a few tips we offer to current and future clients considering...

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