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Posts Tagged "short sale"

  • How I Got The Gumption: The FHA 203K Loan

    March 3, 2017 /
    Pickett Street Properties Team /

    Sometimes, renovations can cause even the mildest mannered homeowner to panic. After all, home improvements can be costly and stressful. However, when Pickett Street’s very own Margaret Smith, Director of Operations, decided to purchase a vacant, bank owned fixer-upper, the FHA 203K Loan presented her with an opportunity that turned the process into a dream come true. Margaret bought her duplex in south Everett near Paine Field in August 2014. It was a bank owned property, meaning nobody had been living there for over a year. The previous owners had gone into foreclosure, so the home sat there vacant, lacking love and attention. The upstairs unit was a 3 bed, 1 bath layout that Margaret planned to rent out. It needed a new bathroom, new washer and dryer, a fresh coat of paint on the laundry room walls, and an all-around thorough scrubbing. The bottom unit was a 2 bed, 1 bath layout that was perfect for Margaret and a roommate. That 2 bed unit also needed a new bathroom, new kitchen and new vinyl wood flooring (which also needed to be leveled). The bottom half of the duplex’s exterior required a new paint job, and some general TLC. The…Read more

  • No Need to Fear the Downpayment

    February 3, 2017 /
    Pickett Street Properties Team /

    New homeowners are liable to get nervous when it comes to applying for a mortgage. Many people have trouble sifting through the real estate terminology and the legal requirements of buying a home. However, if there was one aspect of buying a home that makes people the most nervous, it’s probably the downpayment. If making a downpayment is stressing you out, you should know there are many ways to obtain downpayment assistance, or even secure a mortgage without any downpayment at all. So, if you’re a buyer who wants to make a very low down payment or avoid one altogether and maintain maximum liquidity, check out some of the options outlined below. State Bond Loans In general, State Bond Loans help buyers secure a loan at below-market interest rates. The exact rates offered through State Bond Loans vary, but they generally increase long-term affordability and decrease monthly home payments. These bonds are available through local housing agencies, which sell tax-exempt mortgage revenue bonds and then use the income from these sales to offer below-market rate loans to buyers. This type of loan looks a little different depending on the state you’re living in. The Washington State Housing Finance Commission is the organization…Read more

  • Who’s Afraid of the FHA?

    January 12, 2017 /
    Pickett Street Properties Team /

    At the beginning of the week, the Federal Housing Administration announced it will decrease its annual mortgage insurance premiums by .25% annually or from .85% to .6% per year. This measure will go into effect for new mortgages closing or starting disbursement on or after January 27, 2017. This is the first reduction in insurance premiums since January 2015, when the FHA reduced premiums by 50 basis points. While this decrease might seem modest, experts estimate that it is likely to save consumers hundreds of dollars each year. For instance, with this reduction a homeowner with a $200,000, 30-year fixed rate mortgage can expect to  save about $500 annually. Looking at the larger picture, it’s expected that the reduction in insurance premiums will in total save $5 million for about 1 million borrowers. The announcement arrived on the heels of the FHA’s fourth straight year of economic health. In fact, since 2012 the FHA has reportedly increased its assets by over $40 billion. With such successful economic growth, the FHA has determined that offering lower prices to borrowers is fiscally responsible. The FHA’s decision further cements its importance for prospective homeowners. Since the Great Recession, FHA loans have been vital…Read more

  • Energy, intensity, spirit, strength and spark.

    December 22, 2016 /
    Pickett Street Properties Team /

    By Executive Assistant, Margaret Smith Definition of energy: Measure of the ability of a body or system to do work or produce a change, expressed usually in joules or kilowatt hours (kWh). No activity is possible without energy and its total amount in the universe is fixed. In other words, it cannot be created or destroyed but can only be changed from one type to another.  Definition found here: I think about this idea of energy transferring between people at least once per day, if not more.  It’s been apparent to me for a long time that certain people have the ability to transfer massive amounts of energy in a room, either up or down- but it can’t ever be removed or destroyed as the definition mentions above.  Diana Kokoszka, Chief Executive Officer for KW MAPS Coaching first brought the topic of your energy to the forefront of my mind last summer, 2015.  I was in Austin, Texas with Jesse D. Moore & Katie Silver at Coaching Skills Camp.  We spent 2 days learning as much as we could from Diana and Tony DiCello about coaching, leading and bringing our teams together.  Diana talked a lot about how she realized…Read more

  • It’s a Christmas Miracle!

    December 16, 2016 /
    Pickett Street Properties Team /

    Each holiday season, I like to kick back and remember the time my family banded together to roll a derelict hot tub down the road on Christmas Eve. The particular Christmas I’m about to describe would have been strange enough without the aforementioned tub. For one thing, it snowed about a foot that year, a curious and sensational occurrence in the Puget Sound, one liable to cause widespread panic in the streets (curiously, us Northwesterners can endure years of nonstop rain with stoic indifference, but the lightest dusting of snow results in pandemonium and chaos). Additionally, we lost electricity for the week leading up to Christmas Eve morning, meaning my poor mother’s preparations for our annual holiday party (normally a three week affair, if you don’t count the additional six months of initial planning) were squeezed into a mere six hours. To top things off, I had pretty extensive oral surgery just a few days before the festivities, so I spent much of the holiday sitting in a corner in a peaceful, painkiller-induced haze. As I said, all of this would have been enough strangeness for one Christmas, even without the hot tub. The tub in question appeared as if…Read more

  • The Preposterous Rituals of Turkey Day

    November 23, 2016 /
    Pickett Street Properties Team /

    Call me sentimental, but my mind is wholly occupied with turkey and potatoes today. Thanksgiving in my household was always a bit of a confusion, partly because we never knew exactly who might show up for dinner. As a local pastor, my father maintained a more or less constant open-door-policy with his parishioners, meaning that all 300 members of the congregation were theoretically welcome when it came time to carve the turkey. In addition to this prodigious crowd, my father’s property generally played host to an eclectic assortment of animals, including, but not limited to, one cat, one dog, two parakeets, three obese chickens, and two stupendously moronic goats (Dad was an urban farmer before the role was co-opted by bespectacled twenty-somethings from Brooklyn), all of whom seemed fond of wandering in and out of the house with a blatant disregard for both basic social etiquette and screen doors. All in all, Clark Thanksgivings were usually characterized by barely managed yet jovial chaos, making them pretty standard affairs as far as holidays go. And yet, this craziness was an important part of my home’s identity. My childhood wouldn’t have been the same without the sound of gravy burbling on the…Read more

  • What Do We Pay Real Estate Agents For?

    November 9, 2016 /
    Pickett Street Properties Team /

    These days, a large swath of the population seems fond of predicting the imminent decline of the real estate agent. With the newfound ease of viewing homes (along with accompanying neighborhood/community statistics) online, it occasionally seems like the services provided by real estate agents are unnecessary expenses. If that’s your line of thought, then think again: appearances are deceiving. In reality, real estate agents perform far more tasks than merely finding a home for clients, and they are paid for a much more diverse array of services. In fact, the average real estate agent is paid for vital but abstract services that no Internet search can provide, including problem solving and stress/emotional management. So, if you feel like you can handle your home search with a measly tour on Google, read on to see why working with a real estate agent is always the better option. Problem Solving Even the most seamless real estate transactions run into occasional setbacks. Whether you lose a bidding war on your dream home, or the home you’re about to close a deal on requires unexpected renovations, buying a home almost always involves at least one unforeseen hiccup. This observation is not meant to discourage…Read more

  • Is Portland King of Real Estate? Not for Long!

    November 4, 2016 /
    Pickett Street Properties Team /

    When hot home markets come up in conversations, most people mention Portland, Oregon. Rent prices in the region have been soaring for years, after all, and actually purchasing a home in the region can be as competitive as a Timbers-Sounders match. After living in Portland for five years, I can certainly see the appeal of the city (where else can I scarf down a bacon-wrapped donut mere moments before attending a Level 3 Vinyasa Flow Class heated to a toasty 101 degrees?). That said, based on the latest housing market trends, it seems like Portland’s days as the hottest housing market are numbered. Between August 2015 and August 2016, Portland home prices increased by 11.7%, putting Rip City in first place for the hottest home market in the country. However, that lead is beginning to look precarious, as Seattle’s housing prices posted an 11.4% increase during the same time period. Not only that, but Seattle also posted significant gains over third place Denver’s housing prices, which recorded a comparatively modest 8.8% gain. Based on this information, it seems that the Emerald City real estate market is reasserting its dominance once again. Now, those numbers might initially seem mildly interesting but…Read more

  • Chunky, creamy or extra crunchy?

    October 21, 2016 /
    Pickett Street Properties Team /

    When my girlfriend sent me out to buy peanut butter last week, she had no idea that such a simple task would end in disaster. To put this grim statement in context, it’s important to understand that I’m still used to Irish supermarkets (in which you can choose between two brands of peanut of butter and dare not ask for more) and regard all American Mega-Marts with unease and mistrust. As such, you’ll understand when I say that my trip to our local King Soopers became a task fraught with anxiety. Reaching the peanut butter aisle, I was astounded to discover that it was exactly that: a whole aisle devoted to nothing but different brands of peanut butter. I shuffled to and fro along the shelves, wondering whether chunky would taste better than creamy, or if reduced fat meant the same thing as 30% FEWER CALORIES!!! Even worse, was I supposed to buy any old run-of-the-mill butter, or would it be better to buy an all-natural brand? And what was the difference between all-natural and organic anyways? Surely peanut butter couldn’t be organic but not all-natural? All of this was very confusing; perhaps there were better options at the Safeway…Read more

  • How can we help you realize your dreams?

    September 29, 2016 /
    Pickett Street Properties Team /

    By Margaret Smith, Executive Assistant for Pickett Street Properties I had a vivid imagination as a kid.  Like Mary Poppins, I would hop off the garage roof with my red umbrella hoping to fly.  My Mom taught me to hope and I think her optimism passed on to me in a fashion similar to her smile.   I know people may not think my optimism is sensible at times- I get it. But I have to tell you, it has helped me push through some difficult times, and I think ultimately I am healthier for it.  My delight with tree houses started when I was in elementary school.  I loved the idea of living in something above everyone else and surrounded by leaves.  I had a sense that if I lived in one, the fairies would eventually come find me as well.  I never imagined there were people that were capable of building something so whimsical yet functional.  In the last few years I began to notice places like Treehouse Point in Issaquah, WA where you can rent places to stay overnight or rooms for events. Many people have watched the tv series Treehouse Masters, where they have built the…Read more

  • Has Anyone Heard of King Olaf?

    September 22, 2016 /
    Pickett Street Properties Team /

    Until recently, neither had I. Here’s some context for you: a few weeks ago, while wandering the stately avenues of downtown Poulsbo, I suddenly found myself on an unfamiliar lane leading off Front Street. This was weird. Having grown up in Poulsbo, I was pretty sure I knew all there was to know about the place (after all, how hard should it be to get to know a small, Viking-themed town?), but there I was, standing between a kayak store and the Sons of Norway headquarters, lost in suddenly unfamiliar territory. According to the street sign, the little lane was called King Olaf Way. How hadn’t I noticed it before? Being a curious person (and apparently having nothing better to do) I decided to do some detective work. I walked home, cracked open the Encyclopedia Britannica, and searched for evidence of King Olaf. There was quite a lot to read. Born in the 960s, Olaf was a celebrated Viking king of Norway. In his youth, Olaf was forced to flee Norway after the nefarious Harald Graycloak murdered his father. Living in exile in Russia, Olaf trained as a Viking warrior, a process I assume was similar to the training montages…Read more

  • I Hope There Aren’t Any Bugs! (Why You Should Always Work With Traditional Real Estate Agents)

    September 9, 2016 /
    Pickett Street Properties Team /

    “I hope there aren’t any bugs!” said the landlord as she handed me the keys to my new apartment. “I beg your pardon?” I said, a trifle dismayed that the apartment I would be renting with my girlfriend could be home to “bugs.” “Oh, it’s nothing really,” said the landlord, “it’s just that there might be bugs in your apartment.” An awkward silence ensued. “I’m not saying there definitely are bugs,” said the landlord with a forced laugh, the kind family members might use at Christmas dinner when crazy Uncle Ernie starts telling inappropriate stories. “It’s just that there might be.” More silence. I had a brief vision of the scene from the last Indiana Jones movie when one of the bad guys falls into an anthill and is eaten alive by its inhabitants. “Anyhoo,” the landlord said, clearing her throat, “who wants a cup of coffee?” There were bugs, as it turned out. I discovered one after wrestling three suitcases, two bicycles, and a box stuffed with approximately twelve pairs of flip-flops through the front door of our new apartment. As I prepared to unload my burden and collapse onto the carpet of the living room floor, I found the space already occupied by the…Read more