Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Hawk Program Aims to Expand First Time Buyer’s Access to Mortgages

*Synced From Seattle and Real Estate Blog
laurenhurstAs they say, knowledge is power, and in the case of the Federal Housing Authority’s new HAWK pilot program, it could also mean a big savings on your mortgage. HAWK, which stands for “Homeowners Armed With Knowledge”, would grant discounts on mortgage insurance for FHA loans if home buyers sign up for housing counseling.
Under the program, buyers who sign up for counseling both before signing a contract to buy a home and before closing will earn a 50-basis-point reduction in their upfront mortgage insurance premium, and 10 points off of their yearly premium. When every percentage point matters, this could be the difference in someone buying a home or not, especially if their credit is less than stellar. The FHA is hoping that the more buyers know about the mortgage process the less likely they will be to default on their loan, and the potential savings gives home buyers a big incentive to sign up – they estimate owners could save as much as $9,800 on a loan of $180,000.
The four-year HAWK pilot program is projected to begin this fall after the public comment period ends in August, and buyers may be able to sign up for the program by the end of the year. HAWK is just one element in the FHA’s “Blueprint For Access” plan, which aims to find ways to give more people, especially those with credit scores lower than 680, access to mortgages and home ownership. To learn more about real estate in Seattle, contact your local real estate agent today.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Should You Buy in the City or the Suburbs?

rnton * Synced from Seattle and Real Estate Blog
It is the question many first time home buyers find themselves asking: Do I want to live in close proximity to the city, or do I want to live in a quiet neighborhood? Many first time buyers are taking into account their needs for the present, weighing their options of buying a residential home or a condo, choosing a location close to the light rail to ride to work, etc, but many of them don’t realize they could very well be living in that 2 bedroom condo 5 years from now with 2 additional children, dogs, and a partridge in a pear tree. Maybe city life is for you right now, but what happens down the road when your family grows and you aren’t satisfied with the school district in your neighborhood?
According to our friends over at Zillow, over 50% of the participants in a recent poll regretted something about their home purchase, particularly the size and layout. First time home buyers don’t necessarily know to consider areas just outside their neighborhoods of choice, which could result in an overall better home purchase for the future. Some new homeowners were concerned with their yards; maybe the maintenance is much greater than expected, or the space isn’t large enough for their Bernese Mountatin dog to jaunt around in. Whatever the case, it is important to consider options that might not be necessary for you at present, but could be beneficial to you down the road. It is also important to choose an agent who will have your best interests at heart. If you’re interested in Seattle real estate, contact your local real estate agent today.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Utilize Your Garage Storage Space

garage*Synced From Seattle Pi
Have you ever watched an episode of Hoarders, and noticed that your garage has some similarities? Garages are commonly used as an area to stash items you don’t want to deal with, but this space can really be utilized as a functional work room. Installing a functional garage storage system can really help utilize and organize the space, and can also add value to your home. Organizing your belongings for storage is a good start, and grouping your tools and items by use and size will help you get an idea of the storage unit that will best fit your needs.
If you have several larger items, installing a unit with tall cabinets might be the right direction for you, but make sure the unit has some adjustable shelving to really utilize all of the space. If you store chemicals or other hazardous items that need to be kept out of reach of children or pets, invest in a storage space that can be locked. Add a pegboard and some drawers and you may have yourself an affordable workshop. To maximize space and avoid uncleanliness, try to keep as much storage off the ground as possible. This is more visually appealing, and also makes the garage appear larger. When choosing shelving/storage material, be sure to choose metals, wood or plastic materials meant for garage use. Also remember not to buy too big for your space – creating a storage unit large enough for your items is ideal, but remember you also need to fit your car in the same space. If you’re interested in learning more about Seattle real estate, contact your local real estate agent today!

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Washington Park Modern Home: $2,595,000

This beautiful Washington modern residence with commanding views is now available! The home had a superb 2007 Geoff Prentiss remodel, and showcases a modern sensibility while incorporating several Eco-friendly features. Features of the home include an open concept floor plan, stone fireplace, peaceful gardens, vaulted ceilings, a sweeping Pennsylvania Bluestone staircase and kitchen-family room with Nanawall to a grand Ipe deck. This home is sublimely designed, and if you’re interested in this or other Washington Park homes please contact your local real estate agent today!
Status: For Sale
Bed/Bath: 3/3.25
Price: $2,595,000