Author Archives: Stephanie

How to Start Looking for Your New Home

How to Start Looking for Your New Home

How to Start Looking for Your New Home

New Home

So you have made the decision to buy a house. For a lot of people, just making this decision and starting the pre-approval process with a mortgage lender can be exhausting. This doesn’t leave much left for the fun part of buying a house: Finding it!

Here are a few steps that can help you get your bearings straight so that we can get you looking at homes that will fit you, your life and your family.

1.       Make a wish list. This list should include the part of town you want, price range, schools (if they are a factor for you), the house style, as well as the number of bedrooms, bathrooms, as well as any special features you may want or need.

2.       Make decisions about what type of homes you want to look at; new construction, “fixer-uppers”, old homes or new homes.

3.       Make a list of homes you want to see and send it to me. If you include the MLS# it will make things much easier for me to go in and find out the details about the homes you want to see. I will always be available to assist you in your home search, but once you start looking it is fun to look for yourself as well.

4.       Take notes! When you are looking at homes take notes. If we go on a marathon home tour, sometimes it is hard to remember what the first home looked like and compare it to the sixth. If you take notes it will help you remember what you liked about the homes.

We will make this process as smooth as possible for you. Buying a house is exciting and we will have fun doing it! Call me and let’s talk.

Winter Home Improvements to Help Sell Your House

Winter Home Improvements to Help Sell Your House

Winter Home Improvements to Help Sell Your House

 Winter Home Improvements

During the winter we all spend more time inside our homes. If you are planning to sell your home in the new year (or even if you’re not) you can put some of the time you are spending inside to some home improvement projects that can help sell your home!

A new programmable thermostat can start saving you money as soon as you install it. Not only will this be a feature that looks good to potential home buyers it will also save you the hassle of remembering to adjust your thermostat.

The winter can also be a good time to take on that painting project that you have been meaning to do. If you are planning on selling your home be sure to do some research on which paint colors sell better than others. If you are painting yourself, the only cost to you will be the supplies and your time, but it will pay off in the end!

Are your carpets showing their age? People have a tendency to get new carpet and flooring in the winter. If you want to do the work yourself you can find tutorials about pulling up and installing carpet at most hardware stores. Shop around for the materials, there are deals out there all the time. A good looking floor can make a big difference to home buyers.

Look at your kitchen and bathrooms. These two rooms mean the most to home buyers. Take the time to look at your home with a critical eye. There are smaller projects that can make a big impact in your kitchen and bathroom. Refinishing your cabinets and updating the hardware will make your kitchen or bathroom look much better. Tutorials are available for these projects online and in hardware stores.

Fall Home Maintenance Checklist

Fall Home Maintenance Checklist

Fall Home Maintenance

Fall Home Maintenance Checklist

Take time to prepare for fall with this helpful checklist:

  • Inspect your furnace or heat pump to ensure that it can achieve maximum efficiency.
  • Schedule to have the chimney serviced and cleaned.
  • Clean your gutters and downspouts throughout the season.
  • Repair any window cracks or holes in weather stripping or caulking. If the gap is bigger than the width of a nickel, reapply exterior caulk.
  • Check to make sure your thermostat works properly.
  • Check crawlspace for flooding after the first long rainfall.
  • Make sure you have new batteries in all flashlights and place them where they can be easily found around the house.
  • Have your lawn-irrigation system professionally drained and winterized.
  • Turn your gas fireplace pilot light ON.
  • Make sure your attic and crawlspaces have adequate insulation.
  • Continually check your air vents to make sure they aren’t blocked.
  • Clean out the bathroom fan/filter.
  • Test all smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors.
  • Make sure you have at least one fire extinguisher on each floor of the house and in the garage.
  • Make a fire escape plan for your house and take time to review it with all family members.
  • Disconnect garden hoses and drain water still in faucets.  If you do not have frost-proof faucets, turn the shut-off valve to off inside your home.
Do you know about Carbon Monoxide Alarms?

Do you know about Carbon Monoxide Alarms?

Do you know about Carbon Monoxide Alarms?

Carbon Monoxide AlarmThe State of Washington made a change in the laws pertaining to Carbon Monoxide Alarms.  Effective April 2012, sellers of residential real estate are required to install carbon monoxide alarms in their properties prior to closing.

Why are carbon monoxide alarms necessary?

Carbon monoxide (CO) is a poisonous gas that kills approximately 500 people in the US every year.  In Washington State alone, between 1990 and 2005 over 1,000 carbon monoxide deaths were reported.  You can’t hear, taste, see or smell it.  In fact in many cases the victims knew they didn’t feel well, but became so disoriented that they were unable to save themselves, by calling for help or leaving the building.  Usually it will affect your children and pets first.

When is the seller required to install carbon monoxide alarms?

Sellers must install CO alarms before a buyer or another person may legally occupy the residence following a sale.  The building code (WAC 51-51-0315) requires that an alarm be installed outside of each separate sleeping area in the vicinity of each bedroom, on each level of the dwelling, and in accordance with the manufacturer’s recommendations.

You can rest assured that I will be on top of all the laws that could affect you as a potential seller or buyer.

 

What Home Buyers Need to Know about Short Sales

What Home Buyers Need to Know about Short Sales

What Home Buyers Need to Know about Short Sales

Short SalesShort sales” are beginning to slow down.  But there are still plenty of short sales out there and some are very good deals.  It is important that buyers understand the implications of entering a short sale transaction.  First, what is a short sale?  Short sales occur when the seller owes more than the property is worth and will not make up the difference at closing.  In order for such a transaction to close, all lien holders must release their security interest in the property and sellers will also want the lien holders to forgive the sellers’ legal obligation to repay their debt.

Buyers entering into a short sale transaction need to set their expectations and be prepared for a difficult transaction.  Some of the concerns to be aware of are:

1.      Some sellers set an unrealistically low listing price knowing it will not likely be approved just to get their property shown to prospective buyers, i.e., this steal of a deal may not be.

2.      Some short sale transactions have multiple liens on the property such as 1st mortgage, 2nd mortgage, home equity line of credit, judgment liens, etc.  All of these liens must be cleared for the seller to produce clear title to the buyer.  That is a big time consuming task.

3.      Because of the length of the task, buyers must be aware up front that they will need a great deal of patience.

4.      Even with patience, some short sales close and many do not.  This is not surprising given the number of entities and individuals that must voluntarily agree to compromise their financial interest.

5.      Some listings provide a “third party negotiator” to facilitate a release of lien holder’s interests and require that the buyer pay for these services.  Be aware of your costs before you enter into a contract.

If you are a buyer entering into a short sale transaction, be aware up front: This is a long and frustrating process that may never close.  On the other hand, some short sales do close and the buyers are very pleased with their deal.  However, buyers should be aware that there are many deals out there that are not short sales.  Many homes are priced well including properties that have been foreclosed on.  These transactions have a much better success rate.

How important is it to price your home correctly?

How important is it to price your home correctly?

One of the most important factors to consider when selling your home is the price. 

price your home correctlyMarketing your property at a competitive price will help sell your home faster, and at the highest price possible.  Work with your Realtor to ensure you are listing at the best price possible.

Timing can mean everything when it comes to selling your home.  Statistics show that properties attract the most attention, excitement and interest from the real estate community and potential buyers within the first two weeks on the market.  Pricing your home correctly right out of the gate, can prevent it from languishing and selling below market value, or not selling at all.

Statistics show that pricing your home at current market value will attract a much larger pool of buyers.  The more potential buyers, the higher the probability of receiving an offer to purchase, and really in the end – that’s what it’s all about.

Price your home here.

Your Credit Score is one of your most precious resources

Your Credit Score is one of your most precious resources

Your Credit Score is one of your most precious resources — a good score can open doors and save you money.

Credit Score

But what if your score got a little bruised amid the recent credit crunch? Don’t fret. Max out your credit rating with these tips for repairing the damage.

  • Order your credit reports from the top three credit bureaus — Equifax, Trans-Union and Experian. It’s likely that each is slightly different. Creditors aren’t required to report to all three credit bureaus, so they typically report only to the credit bureau to which they also subscribe.
  • Examine your reports carefully. Nearly every consumer has an error on at least one credit report from one of the major credit bureaus. Carefully look for everything from typing errors, outdated and incomplete information to inaccurate account histories. Make a thorough list of items you want to dispute and why.
  • Dispute. You can either complete the dispute form provided with your credit report or write a letter. Clearly identify each mistake, and state why it’s wrong. Send a photocopy of your credit report with the mistakes circled to the reporting credit bureau. Include copies of supporting documents.

Document, document, document. Keep copies and records of all the forms, letters and documentation you send to the credit bureaus, plus the dates you sent them. The credit bureau must investigate any relevant dispute within 30 days of receiving your letter. Any item that is not verified by a creditor is removed.

All Real Estate Licensees Are Not The Same

All Real Estate Licensees Are Not The Same

Real Estate in Tacoma Puyallup Graham Lewis McChordOnly real estate licensees who are members of the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® are properly called REALTORS®. REALTORS® are committed to treat all parties to a transaction honestly. REALTORS® subscribe to a strict Code of Ethics, which requires REALTORS® to utilize cooperative relationships and make ethical decisions in order to better serve their clients.

Real estate transactions involve the biggest financial investments most people experience in their lifetime. Transactions today usually exceed $250,000. If you had a $250000 income tax problem, would you attempt to deal with it without the help of a CPA? If you had a $250,000 legal question, would you deal with it without the help of an attorney? Considering the small upside cost and the large downside risk, it would be foolish to consider a deal in real estate without the professional assistance of a REALTOR®.

Keeping Your Yard In Tip Top Condition

Keeping Your Yard In Tip Top Condition

Did You Know That Keeping Your Yard In Tip Top condition Can Affect Your Property Value?

yardCurb appeal is essential when marketing your home for sale. A property that is in great condition will ultimately entice buyers in, and potentially reduce market time. If your yard is lacking in curb appeal, and you are considering selling – it might be time to make a landscaping change.

Take in to consideration lawn, trees, bushes, and flowers. Do you have any special features that need attention? A fire pit, pond, waterfall, or a swimming pool. You might want to consider adding some outdoor lighting. Making changes that are energy efficient are always popular. Do you have trees or bushes that are too close to your home – you will want to make sure you have some space between your home and your vegetation.

Take a look at the exterior of your home, step out front and take a good look, is it inviting? Do you need paint? Adding a fresh coat of paint can make a huge difference.

Whether you are making a move or sprucing up for the Summer, you can never go wrong with some simple changes to increase your home’s curb appeal.

Spanaway Area Home Spanaway

Spanaway Area Home Spanaway

3214 241ST ST E

Spanaway, Washington

← All Listings…….← Listings in Spanaway…….

[button link="http://" color="silver" newwindow="yes"]Virtual Tour[/button]

[button link="http://walkscore.com/score/3214 241ST ST E-Spanaway-Washington" color="silver" newwindow="yes"] Walk Scores[/button]

[button link="http://yelp.com/search?find_desc=&find_loc=Spanaway+Washington#l=p:x&sortby=rating" color="silver" newwindow="yes"] Yelp Reviews[/button]


463548-13463548-14463548463548-2463548-3463548-1463548-5463548-4463548-7

Offered at: $230,000

This listing is Active
MLS#:463548 | 3 Beds | 2.5 Baths | 1,937 Sq.Ft | .27 Acres

We call this the Kitchen House! Great rambler with an amazing spacious floor plan. The large kitchen features a breakfast island bar, vaulted ceilings and cabinets, cabinets, and more cabinets. The kitchen is open to the family room with gas fireplace. The master includes a bright 5-piece bath with garden soaking tub and larger walk-in closet. Also included: formal living & dining rooms, office, heat pump, security system, sprinkler system, fenced back and loads of curb appeal. 1 year warranty.

[form_to_mappress address1="3214 241ST ST E, Spanaway, Washington" title="Spanaway Area Home Spanaway" body="3 Bed | 2.5 Bath | 1,937 Sq.Ft.
3214 241ST ST E,
Spanaway,Washington" width=550 height="350" directions="inline"]


Property Features


.
General Features:
Cable TV, Deck, Fenced-Fully, Patio

Interior Features:
French Doors, Skylights, Vaulted Ceiling , Walk-in Closet

Rooms:
Dining Room

Heating/Cooling:
Forced Air, Heat Pump, Natural Gas

Lot Features:
Golf Course Lot/Frontage

Community Features
Security Features

More Listings in Spanaway



Spanaway Area Home Spanaway

3214 241ST ST E Spanaway, Washington

463548

Offered at: $230,000
3 Bedrooms | 2.5 Bathrooms | 1,937 sq. ft.
MLS #: 463548 Type: Single Family Home Year Built: 1992

We call this the Kitchen House! Great rambler with an amazing spacious floor plan. The large kitchen features a breakfast island bar, vaulted ceilings and cabinets, cabinets, . . .and more cabinets. The kitchen is open to the family room with gas fireplace. The master includes a bright 5-piece bath with garden soaking tub and larger walk-in closet. Also included: formal living & dining rooms, office, heat pump, security system, sprinkler system, fenced back and loads of curb appeal. 1 year warranty.

View this Listing

Classic Italian Villa

26118 23rd Ave E Spanaway, Washington

398154

Offered at: $675,000
3 Bedrooms | 2.5 Bathrooms | 4745 sq. ft.
MLS #: 398154 Type: Single Family Home Year Built: 2001

Welcome to this Classic Italian Villa in gated Rainier Prairie Estates and relish the experiences of this custom property. The grand entry opens out to a magnificent panoramic . . . view of Mt. Rainier and also a relaxing court yard. The kitchen is well appointed with granite and butlery. Master with ensuite is stunning with 2 fireplaces, Marbled bath w/ceiling fresco and double shower. Also a 12 car garage/shop, security cameras, dual heat pumps, central air, billiard room, detached office and more!

2939 090412 Classic Italian Villa 12 video from Corey Schatz on Vimeo.

View this Listing


Stephanie Callen, ABR, CRS, GRI, REALTOR®

Coldwell Banker Bain - Puyallup

611 31st Avenue SW Suite B - Puyallup, WA 98373 | Phone: 253.370.2771

© 2015 Stephanie Callen.

Site Created and Hosted by Networked ListingsNetworked Listings

Admin Login | SiteMap | Privacy Policy