CommunityOffice News September 14, 2021

Fall Reading List

These are my reading picks through the Fall months. I hope you enjoy them along with other reading options through Sno-Isle Libraries which is open for in person services. All online services and resources continue to be available as well. Visit there site here, sno-isle.org

 

How to be Fearless in 7 Simple Steps by Hagy, Jessica

“A visual infographic self-help book from the Seattle-based master of the venn diagram, Jessica Hagy, author of How to Be Interesting. This book empowers readers to see themselves as capable and powerful even when beset by worry and worrying messaging”–

 

Evidence Not Seen by 

The True story one one woman’s triumph of faith. Newlywed American missionary Darlene Deibler Rose survived four years in a notorious Japanese prison camp set deep in the jungles of New Guinea. Thinking she was never to see her husband again, Darlene Rose was forced to sign a false confession and face the executioner’s sword, only to be miraculously spared.

 

 

I hope you enjoy the books I have chosen for you to read. Visit sno-isle.org to view other wonderful books that are available. All online services and resources continue to be available. Sno-Isle Libraries are offering in-building services. Visit there site here, sno-isle.org

 

 

written by Chasity Rodriguez

Social Media Director

Office News August 25, 2021

Free Things You Can Do Today to Get Ready to Buy a Home

The path to homeownership is a marathon, not a sprint if we can help it. If you’re months (or maybe even years) away from being ready to own, there are still things you can start doing today to help you on your path to becoming a homeowner. And they’re all free, there’s nothing to stop you from getting started right now.

Find the perfect agent.

The best advice for people who are currently unable to purchase a home would be to plant some seeds in the homebuying process. You have to start somewhere, right? The first step is to find an agent who is patient and willing to work with you while you figure out your finances. Some buyers purchased up to three years after the initial introduction, so it’s always best to find an agent who is patient.

Talk to a lender.

While you’re getting set up with an agent who is comfortable being with you for the long haul you should also be reaching out to a mortgage lender. They will walk you through the process including what you’ll be able to reasonably afford, how much you’ll need to be saving for a down payment, and what you’re looking at when it comes to closing costs

 

Set some goals.

Now you have a good understanding of what you might be able to afford, how much money you need to save, and how much debt you need to pay off. Now start “window shopping” with your agent. Select the neighborhood, bedroom and bathroom count, and of course the budget to see what type of home you can get in your preferred area. Make a list of homes you want to see but do most of it virtually, if something catches your eye then write it down as a must see. 

Don’t get attached.

Spending every weekend cruising open houses or getting attached to any one property is not going to help. The beauty of working with a good agent is that window shopping is a great way to save time, view apartments and homes virtually. If one really catches your eye that fits the budget, it doesn’t hurt to view in person to get a better understanding of the market.

Ignore listing prices and focus on the final sales price.

Keeping an eye on the market is key because some homes aren’t listed anywhere near what their actual selling price will be, which can give hopeful buyers the wrong idea about how much house they can actually get with their budget. Some homes and apartments are priced low to gain traction and ultimately end up in a bidding war so it’s good to know what they actually sell for as data points to use when ready to start looking and submitting offers.

 

 

blog post by Chasity Rodriguez

Social Media Director

BudgetHomesHousingReal Estate August 11, 2021

Features To Never Touch When Renovating Your Home

No matter what type of renovation project you’ve got planned, it’s smart to put down the hammer when it comes to removing, painting over, or otherwise altering certain features. Sure, the feature might look like an eyesore at first glance, but with some work, it could end up adding character, charm, and make it unique. 

Here are common features that homeowners should consider leaving untouched, or even restore to their former glory.

 

Mantels or exposed beams

mantels and exposed beams

Under layers and layers of previous homeowner paint, you may find salvageable wood that today’s homeowners are seeking. With some elbow grease, these beautiful pieces of timber from the past can be uncovered, sanded, and stained. An original wood mantel that you decide to strip may even fit perfectly on your newly updated fireplace, saving you even more money.

 

Original hardwood flooring

hardwood floors

Original flooring can be refinished, which can be a huge cost saver. Also, since the wood floor is already in place, it can be stained to your preference. Before you start any flooring projects, get a look under your current flooring. Have your contractor lift up every layer until you come to the subfloor. This is the only way to be sure someone hasn’t covered up attractive hardwood.

 

Millwork like rosettes, crown molding, and ceiling medallions

crown molding and ceiling

Before you wield the pry bar on door and window trim, baseboard, or crown molding, take a look at what you have. You may be able to preserve period craftsmanship like rosettes, fancy pediments above doors, and details as ceiling medallions. You may be able to reuse a ceiling medallion in your dining room, or save casings, trim, or moldings with elements like rosettes to reuse. Consider restoring or repurposing these artisan treasures to show off.

Banquettes and butler pantries

butler pantry

Features like butler pantries and banquettes (built-in bench seating) may hail from decades past, but homeowners are opting for many of these formerly dated details. You may not have a butler, but a butler pantry makes a fabulous coffee station. Meanwhile a banquette can be updated for use in an off-the-kitchen office space, breakfast nook, or kids crafts area.

 

Pocket doors, doorway arches, and rounded stairs

Pocket doors (which slide rather than swing open) were seen as early as the 1850s. So were doorway arches and rounded stairs. These architectural elements later disappeared, due to changing tastes. Lately, however, builders are adding these features again in new homes.

 

Crown glass and stained glass

stained glass

If you have special glass, like crown glass (hand-blown in the 19th century into small diamonds or square panes) or stained glass ( popular in the 1850s), every effort should be made to preserve these gems. Preserving old glass does take a professional for anything other than cleaning, but it’s well worth the investment. You can also relocate these windows to a bathroom or entryway, or even inside your home, for a pop of nostalgic color.

In sum, every period detail or element you find in your home merits a the question, “What can I do with this?”

 

 

 

blog post by Chasity Rodriguez

Social Media Director

CommunityHomesOffice News July 15, 2021

Tips For Amping Up Your Home Security While On Vacation

We all look forward to vacations for months, and it’s maybe the only opportunity to enjoy a few consecutive stress-free days away from the typical day-to-day pressures of work and life. You’ll want to make sure that while you’re away, your home is safe and secure.

The most obvious option is to invest in some high-end home security devices; however, those can be very pricy, and wouldn’t you rather put that money toward your getaway instead? If so, we’ve got you covered with five tips that you can use to increase the security of your home while you’re on your next vacation.

1. Set Your Lights on a Timer

Having lights on in your home is one of the most obvious indicators that the home is not empty. However, if you’re planning to go away for several days, or several weeks at a time, keeping the lights on for the entire duration of your trip is not only going to drive your electric bill through the roof, but it’s also dangerous as it poses a risk for fires.

Light timers are a great and cost-effective way to increase the security of your home while you’re away. You can set the timers to automatically turn your lights on and off at the same times that they typically would be if you were home. You can set up a few throughout the different floors of your home so it appears that people are around and occupying both the upstairs and downstairs.

2. Have a Friend Check in on Your Home

If you’re going to be away for more than a day or so, a smart idea is to have a trusted friend or neighbor come by to check up on your home a couple of times. Not only will this help to ensure that everything is right within your home, but it will also bring some motion and human presence to your house.

3. Keep a Car in the Driveway

Unless you have to use your car to get to your vacation destination, leaving it parked in the driveway can be a a great option for increasing your home’s security while you’re not there. It’s all about creating the illusion that someone is home, even when that’s not the case. Although you might be planning to use your car to drive to where you’re going. If that’s the case, a good alternative is to ask a nearby friend or neighbor if they would be willing to park their car in your driveway while you’re away. To sweeten the deal, offer to pay for their next carwash when you get back.

4. Be Mindful of Your Curtains and Blinds

If you typically keep your blinds closed throughout the day, keep them closed while you’re away. However, if it’s more common for you to leave them open for the majority of the day, mimic this while you’re gone, and make the choice to keep them open. The recurring theme here is doing little things in order to generate the impression that you’re still home, so consider leaving your curtains and blinds in a position that is more like how they are on a normal daily basis.

5. Create a Decoy Security System

By putting up decoy security signs, stickers and even imitation cameras in plain sight, you’re increasing your chances of deterring trespassers from trying to enter your home or approach your property. If it looks like a security system is installed, and it’s not hidden, it’s unlikely that someone would try to break in if they saw it.

While we don’t recommend this as your only means of protecting your home but by putting up decoy security signs, stickers and even imitation cameras in plain sight, you’re increasing your chances of deterring trespassers. If it looks like a security system is installed, and it’s not hidden, it’s unlikely that someone would try to break in if they saw it. This should help to give you the peace of mind that you need in order to enjoy your vacation and know that your home will be adequately safe and secure until you return back.

 

blog post by Chasity Rodriguez

Social Media Director

 

BudgetBuyingCommunityHousingOffice News July 1, 2021

The Guide to Closing Costs

The costs involved in buying and selling a home are often negotiable as part of the real estate deal. For example, a buyer may be willing to offer the full asking price, as long as the seller is willing to cover the cost of a home inspection and deed transfer tax.

Who pays certain fees? Depends on location – states have different real estate laws, and counties or cities may have their own standard practices for real estate transactions.

Here’s a breakdown of what buyers and sellers can expect to pay when closing on a home sale.

  • Deed transfer tax.
  • Recording fee.
  • Title search and title insurance.
  • Settlement fee.
  • Loan application fee.
  • Loan origination fee.
  • Points.
  • Home inspection.
  • Appraisal.
  • Survey.
  • Building or homeowners association fees.
  • Existing liens.
  • Real estate brokerage commissions.
  • Attorney’s fees.
  • Mortgage payoff penalty.

Transfer Tax

Who typically pays? Seller, buyer or both.

Often referred to as the deed transfer tax or real estate transfer tax, this is a required fee that’s separate from property tax. The transfer tax is levied for the transfer of the deed to new ownership, and the buyer and seller may negotiate who covers the total cost.

Recording Fee

Who typically pays? The seller, buyer or both.

The recording fee can be levied by the state or local government to cover the cost of filing the deed and mortgage information in the public record. In many state and local governments throughout the U.S., the transfer tax and recording fee are one and the same, while others keep the two required payments separate. While the transfer tax is a percentage of the sale price, the recording fee is typically a flat amount.

Title Search and Title Insurance

Who typically pays? The buyer.

Before you take ownership of a property, it’s important to make sure there aren’t any existing liens or other claims of ownership. Title insurance protects you from future claims to the property and often includes the cost of the title search. Homebuyers can purchase title insurance for their own protection at the same time they pay for title insurance for their lender, which is often a required step in getting a mortgage and similarly protects the lender from claims to the property.

The cost of title insurance varies based on the value of the property, but many homebuyers pay between $1,000 and $2,000. Lenders and real estate agents often have title insurance companies they work with regularly.

Settlement Fee

Who typically pays? The buyer or seller.

A title insurance company, escrow agent or attorney may handle the transfer of funds in the sale of a property and charge an additional fee for the work done at closing. The settlement fee could be directed at the buyer, seller or both. However, this fee, which may be included in title charges or attorney’s fees and is often at least a few hundred dollars, This also can be negotiated between the buyer or seller to sweeten the deal beyond the sale price.

Loan Application Fee

Who typically pays? The buyer.

Some lenders levy a fee upon formal application for a mortgage, primarily to ensure the buyer is serious. This is a flat fee, often as small as $25.

Loan Origination Fee

Who typically pays? The buyer.

Loan origination typically covers the underwriting process – when the lender determines whether you are worthy of a mortgage. Your lender may charge separately for various costs that would otherwise fall under loan origination – namely, the credit check to determine your creditworthiness for a mortgage. Other lenders keep the credit check “fully lumped into one fee. Loan origination fees are around 1% of the total mortgage amount.

Points

Who typically pays? The buyer.

At closing, a homebuyer getting a mortgage may pay additional fees to the lender to reduce the interest rate for the loan. One point is the equivalent of 1% of the loan, so if you’d like to pay down 2 points of a $300,000 mortgage, for example, you would pay $6,000 for your interest rate to drop from 4.5% to 4%, though how much the interest rate drops depends on you and your lender. Paying down the interest rate with points isn’t required, however. It’s solely based on cash the buyer has available and is willing to pay at the time of closing. Paying points can be a valuable tool for reducing the total cost of the loan, although it does increase what you pay at closing.

Home Inspection

Who typically pays? The buyer.

During the due diligence period before closing, a certified professional often conducts a home inspection to check the condition of the home and point out maintenance issues, necessary repairs or possible code violations. Some lenders require an inspection to check for defects that may not be apparent in an appraisal, but buyers often opt for an inspection to learn what repairs will be needed after they get the keys. While the cost of inspection typically falls to the buyer, this expense is negotiable. A home seller may also choose to have a prelisting inspection, which the buyer can accept or opt for additional inspection during the due diligence process. Reports the typical price range for a home inspection is between $278 and $390, but it varies depending on the inspector and size of the home.

Appraisal

Who typically pays? The buyer.

Many lenders require an appraisal to determine the property’s value before approving a purchase loan and to ensure it matches or exceeds the agreed-upon sale price. An appraisal helps reduce the lender’s losses in a the scenario where the borrower defaults on the loan.

Survey

Who typically pays? The buyer.

If there’s any confusion about where the property starts and ends, a property survey may be necessary. To determine the definitive boundaries of a property, it’s typically best to contact a professional surveyor who can follow the precise measurements of the property’s legal description. Also, a survey may be required by the lender, which naturally falls to the buyer to pay. However, this expense may be negotiated to become the seller’s responsibility.

Building or Homeowners Association Fees

Who typically pays? The buyer.

If the home you purchase is part of a community managed by a homeowners association, you may be required to join an HOA and pay the associated fees at closing in addition to monthly or annual dues. These fees differ by state, community and building, buyers should keep them in mind when making an offer. A seller may be willing to cover a hefty HOA fee in exchange for a slightly higher sale price.

Existing Liens

Who typically pays? The seller.

If a lien is discovered during the title search, the issue must be resolved before the deed can be transferred to new ownership. In some cases where the seller is unaware of the lien or now has the funds to right the issue, the seller is responsible for working with the lien holder to resolve the issue. In cases where the seller is unable to pay, however, the buyer can decide if he or she wants to try to resolve the lien or walk away from the deal.

Real Estate Brokerage Commissions

Who typically pays? The seller.

No doubt that real estate agents get paid once a deal closes. Traditionally, the seller pays the commission to the real estate brokerages that represented both the buyer and seller from the proceeds of the sale, which typically runs between 5% and 6%, split between the two brokerages. The real estate agents then receive their share of the commission.

Mortgage Payoff Penalty

Who typically pays? The seller.

Before you sell your home, check your existing mortgage agreement to see if there are any penalties associated with paying off your mortgage before the end of its term. The penalty may vary based on a percentage of the loan – 3%, for example – or a certain number of months’ worth of interest payments. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau notes that any prepayment penalty must be included as a clause in your original mortgage statement.

 

 

 

Blog Post by Chasity Rodriguez

Social Media Director

BudgetBuyingCommunityHomesHousingOffice NewsReal Estate June 21, 2021

How Much Down Payment Do You Need for a House?

Before you start shopping for a home, you need to know what you can afford – and a big part of that depends on how much you can afford as a down payment.

But how much down payment do you need to be able to afford the house you want? The answer isn’t the same for everyone, but key information can help you determine the right amount to save. Also the mortgage programs to explore and other resources to consider to help you buy the right home.

What’s a Typical Down Payment Amount?

Beyond being able to buy a home with cash, many lenders and consumers view a 20% down payment with a 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage as ideal. Whether or not it’s accurate is a different story, but that’s what people see as the gold standard.

However, the typical U.S. homebuyer is putting far less money on the table at closing. The median down payment is 12%, according to the National Association of Realtors 2021 Home Buyer and Seller Generational Trends report. Broken out into age groups, buyers 22 to 30 years old put down a median of 6% of the loan value, while buyers ages 31 to 40 put 10% down, buyers 41 to 55 put a median of 13% down and buyers 56 to 65 put a median of 18% down. Only seniors, ages 66 and up, provide a median of more than 20% of the loan value as a down payment.

Types of Low Down Payment Mortgage Options

The amount of down payment needed for you to be able to secure financing for a home depends on the type of mortgage you qualify for. Your credit score and history, current income and savings all play a role. To help you find the right mortgage program to fit your situation, seek out a professional financial expert who can help you explore all options.

Our recommendation is (for homebuyers) to find a (U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development) counseling agency that can work with them one on one. HUD-approved counseling agencies offer free counseling, either in a group or one on one and can be found on HUD’s website.

Here are the mortgage options that can allow for a low down payment:

  • Conventional loan. A conventional mortgage is offered by a private lender, often a bank, credit union or non-bank lender, like Quicken Loans. A conventional mortgage that meets criteria from Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac may be purchased from the lender by these government-sponsored entities after the mortgage has been issued, and then sold to investors. Many banks and non-bank lenders offer conventional loans requiring less than 20% down. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac both have programs requiring just 3.5% down. If you’re putting less than 20% down, however, you will be required to pay mortgage insurance for a conventional loan, which increases your monthly payment.
  • FHA loan. A mortgage insured by the Federal Housing Administration often allows for a lower down payment and may be more flexible with credit score requirements than many conventional mortgages. An FHA loan is still issued by a bank or other lender, but it is approved and insured by the FHA. The minimum down payment required for an FHA loan is 3.5%, but mortgage insurance is required. The FHA allows for mortgage insurance at 1.75% of the loan amount to be paid at closing, or for mortgage insurance to be rolled into the loan.
  • VA loan. A loan insured by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs can help active duty military, veterans and their families purchase a home. With a VA loan you may have the option to have a zero percent down payment. There are limits to the size of the loan if no down payment is provided, and those limits depend on the location of the purchase.
  • USDA loan. The U.S. Department of Agriculture also offers a zero percent down mortgage program for properties located in eligible rural areas through its Rural Development Guaranteed Housing Loan Program. In addition to the rural setting, the USDA’s zero-down program is aimed at low-income residents looking to achieve homeownership.

In exploring your options, you may find you qualify for multiple programs. Especially in a housing market where multiple bids are common, keep in mind that the mortgage program you choose gets scrutinized by the seller when you submit an offer.

Right now sellers are looking for stronger down payments … but they just want to be sure you can secure financing. Some sellers may view a VA or FHA loan as less desirable than a conventional mortgage because the VA and FHA programs require additional steps for approval. While this doesn’t necessarily make them less likely to be approved, a seller may view them as less appealing than a competing offer with a conventional mortgage.

Private Mortgage Insurance

Private mortgage insurance serves as protection for the lender on the chance that the borrower defaults on his or her loan, and it is only required when the buyer has put less than 20% down. PMI may either be paid up front, at closing or in monthly installments as part of the mortgage payment. However, adding to the monthly cost can be a slippery slope toward becoming house-poor. It’s really the mortgage insurance that makes (a home) less affordable. To avoid taking on a monthly payment that’s too high, determine the monthly payment you can afford first and set your budget based on that, even if PMI considerations for a low down payment lowers your budget for a home.

Down Payment Assistance

Even if a down payment as low as 3.5% feels out of reach, know that you have options to help you achieve homeownership without having to save for a decade. Down payment assistance programs are widespread throughout the U.S. to help provide the one-time funds necessary to afford a down payment. Some down payment assistance programs serve as a second lien on the home, which can be paid back slowly or forgiven after a certain number of years of owning the home. Other programs serve as a grant, giving eligible homeowners money for a down payment with no payback required.

A good place to start looking for assistance you qualify for is with your state government – most states have first-time homebuyer programs that include various forms of down payment assistance. A housing counselor, financial advisor or even your real estate agent can help you find a program to help you with your down payment.

Why You Should Save for More Than Your Down Payment

Before you calculate what you’ll need for a down payment based on every cent you have in savings, don’t forget that you’ll also need to cover closing costs and have some financial cushion once you’re a homeowner. Closing costs vary based on the cost of your home and where it’s located, but often add up to between 3% and 6% of the purchase price. Some down payment assistance programs will also cover closing costs, but that is a detail you should clarify in advance. After you close on your home, you should have at least a couple thousand dollars in savings to serve as a rainy day fund – in case your air conditioning breaks on the hottest day of the year or you discover a leak in your roof.

While you save up for these additional costs to purchase a home, don’t go overboard to try to reach your goal faster. Save an amount of money each month that’s within your comfort zone. You may opt to forego takeout meals for the foreseeable future to save more, for example, but eating instant ramen for months on end to drastically cut grocery costs is unnecessary.

 

 

Blog post by Chasity

Social Media Director

Agent NewsCommunityRecreational Activities June 7, 2021

Summer Reading List

These are my reading picks through the Summer. I hope you enjoy them along with other reading options through King County Library System which is now open for in person services. All online services and resources continue to be available as well. Visit there site here kcls.com

 

People We Meet On Vacation by Henry, Emily

When Poppy met Alex, there was no spark, no chemistry, and no reason to think they’d ever talk again. Alex is quiet, studious, and destined for a future in academia. Poppy is a wild child who only came to U of Chicago to escape small-town life. But after sharing a ride home for the summer, the two form a surprising friendship. After all, who better to confide in than someone you could never, ever date? Over the years, Alex and Poppy’s lives take them in different directions, but every summer the two find their way back to each other for a magical week long vacation. Until one trip goes awry, and in the fallout, they lose touch. Now, two years later, Poppy’s in a rut. Her dream job, her relationships, her life – none of it is making her happy. In fact, the last time she remembers feeling truly happy was on that final, ill-fated Summer Trip. The answer to all her problems is obvious: She needs one last vacation to win back her best friend. As a hilariously disastrous week unfolds and tensions rise, Poppy and Alex are forced to confront what drove them apart – and decide what they’re willing to risk for the chance to be together.

 

What Happened To You by Perry, Bruce Duncan

Have you ever wondered “Why did I do that?” or “Why can’t I just control my behavior?” Others may judge our reactions and think, “What’s wrong with that person?” When questioning our emotions, it’s easy to place the blame on ourselves; holding ourselves and those around us to an impossible standard. It’s time we started asking a different question. Through deeply personal conversations, Oprah Winfrey and renowned brain and trauma expert Dr. Bruce Perry offer a groundbreaking and profound shift from asking “What’s wrong with you?” to “What happened to you?” Here, Winfrey shares stories from her own past, understanding through experience the vulnerability that comes from facing trauma and adversity at a young age. In conversation throughout the book, she and Dr. Perry focus on understanding people, behavior, and ourselves. It’s a subtle but profound shift in our approach to trauma, and it’s one that allows us to understand our pasts in order to clear a path to our future―opening the door to resilience and healing in a proven, powerful way.

 

We hope you enjoy the books I have chosen for you. Visit kcls.org to view other wonderful books that are available. Kcls.org Libraries are now open for in person service but you can still reserve books online and do curbside pick up and drop off.

 

 

Social Media Director

by Chasity Rodriguez

Office News May 24, 2021

Farmers Markets Close To Home

It’s that time of year again for Farmers Markets and we are so excited! I have compiled a list of Local Farmers Market that are close to your home. This list covers Snohomish and Island counties so you can pick up essentials fresh from the farm at any of these locations. We sure did miss everyone last year and looking forward to seeing the newbies!

 

 

ARLINGTON

Arlington Farmers Market

10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Saturdays through Sept. 25th at Legion Park

140 N. Olympic Ave.; 360-659-5453 –  stillyvalleychamber.com/farmersmarket

 

BOTHELL

Bothell Community Market

4 to 8 p.m. Wednesdays, June 2nd through Sept. 29th at Park Ridge Church

3805 Maltby Road – parkridgemarket.com

 

COUPEVILLE

Coupeville Farmers Market

10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturdays through Oct. 30th next to the library

788 Alexander St. – coupevillemarket.com

 

DARRINGTON

Whitehorse Market

9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Friday through Sunday, through October

1180 Cascade St. – nfmd.org/wa/darrington/1010884

 

EDMONDS

Edmonds Garden Market

9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturdays through June 12th

Bell Street and Fifth Avenue; 425-774-0900 – historicedmonds.org/summer-market

 

EVERETT

Everett Sunday Farmers Market

11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sundays through Oct. 31st

Downtown Everett at Hewitt and Wetmore avenues – everettfarmersmarket.com

 

LAKE FOREST PARK

Lake Forest Park Farmers Market

10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sundays through Oct. 17th

Lake Forest Park, Highway 522 and Highway 104; 206-366-3302 – thirdplacecommons.org/farmers-market

 

LAKE STEVENS

Lake Stevens Farmers Market

3 to 7 p.m. Wednesdays, June 2nd to Sept. 29th at North Cove Park and The Mill

1808 Main St; 425-280-4150 – lakestevensfarmersmarket.org

 

LANGLEY

Bayview Farmers Market

10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturdays through Oct. 16th at Bayview Corner

Highway 525 and Bayview Road; 360-321-4302 – bayviewfarmersmarket.com

Langley Street Market

11:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Fridays through Sept. 15th

Along Second Street – visitlangley.com

South Whidbey Tilth Farmers Market

11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sundays through Sept. 26 and 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. through Oct. 17th

South Whidbey Tilth’s Sustainable Agriculture Center

2812 Thompson Road – southwhidbeytilth.org

 

MARYSVILLE

Marysville Farmers Market

Noon to 6 p.m. Sundays through Sept. 26th (no market on July 4th), in the Grocery Outlet parking lot

9620 State St; 425-422-8356 – farmersatmarysvillemarket

 

MONROE

Monroe Farmers Market

2:30 to 7 p.m. Wednesdays May 26th through Sept. 1st at Galaxy Theatre

1 Galaxy Way – facebook.com/monroewafarmers

 

OAK HARBOR

Whidbey Farm & Market

11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Thursdays through Mondays through Dec. 30th across from the Blue Fox Drive-In

1422 Monroe Landing Road, Oak Harbor – whidbeyfarmandmarket.com

 

SNOHOMISH

Snohomish Farmers Market

3 to 7 p.m. Thursdays through Sept. 29th at Cedar Avenue and Pearl Street

425-280-4150 – snohomishfarmersmarket.org

 

STANWOOD

Port Susan Farmers Market

2 to 6 p.m. Fridays, June 4th to Oct. 8th, behind the Stanwood Police Station

8727 271st St. NW; 425-280-4150 – stanwoodfarmersmarket.org

 

SULTAN

Port Susan Farmers Market

10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturdays, June 5th through Sept. 25th, on Main Street at River Park.

skyvalleychamber.com

 

 

written by Chasity Rodriguez

Social Media Director

 

BudgetBuyingCommunityHomesHousingOffice NewsRetirementVacation homes May 20, 2021

Ask Yourself These Questions Before Purchasing Your Home

No matter how many HGTV shows you watch about flipping old houses that have happy endings, reality isn’t always as kind. Regardless of when the home was built and its current condition, if you find yourself in a situation where you’re getting ready to make an offer, ask yourself these questions first to make sure it really is the right house for you (and your budget).

Questions to ask:

Here are some questions to consider to help you determine whether this is your best option:

  1. Are you forcing the numbers to work?
    Being able to “afford a house” goes far beyond whether you can hypothetically secure the funds for a down payment and get a mortgage. It also includes all the repairs, taxes, maintenance fees, utilities, and who knows what else that pops up over time. Make sure you take all of that into consideration and be realistic about what you can afford.
  2. Does the home excite you?
    Not everyone is in a place where they’re able to hold out for a home that “excites” them, but if you are, why spend that much money on something you’re not that into?
  3. Does the home meet everyone’s needs?
    If you live on your own, this isn’t an issue, but if you live with a partner and/or family, make sure the house is a good fit for everyone—not just you.
  4. Are you willing to waive the inspection contingency?
    It’s a seller’s market, so if your attempt to make your offer stand out is to waive the inspection contingency, that could be a problem down the line. There could be something that comes up in the inspection report that completely changes your enthusiasm for buying the home.
  5. Are you ignoring the findings of the inspection report?
    If so, this may not be the place for you. If the inspection comes back with red flags trying to tell you this isn’t the house for you, listen to them. Once we begin picturing ourselves in a home or visualizing ourselves raising kids in a home, it’s really hard to walk away.
  6. Are you up to the task of making all the repairs the home requires?
    Please be aware that home improvement shows only show a tiny part of the entire renovation process. It is so much work. And also expensive. If you don’t have the skills to do it yourself, or the money to hire people to make the repairs, it’s time to pass.
  7. Does the house have a high turnover rate?
    Do a little research and find out the sales history of the house. If it changes hands frequently, that is not a good sign, and you should find out why that happens.

As heartbreaking as it may be to walk away from what you think could be your dream home, the reality is, it might not work out. And it’s better to know that now, than after the papers are signed.

 

Blog Post by Chasity Rodriguez
BudgetCommunityOffice NewsRecreational Activities April 27, 2021

5 Mother’s Day Gifts That Thrill

Mother’s Day is a special time to celebrate moms, although we don’t really need a reason to celebrate mothers because they are amazing everyday. Here are 5 gifts that we thought stood out and reasonably priced for that special mom.

 

Personalized Handwriting Cutting Board

This unique gift from Etsy showcases handwriting from you or a loved one engraved on a smooth, matte wood cutting board. Your mom can hang it as a display or use it to cook in the kitchen — the bamboo composite is harder than wood and helps keep out bacteria. This runs about $45.

 

Minted 60-Piece Custom Heart Puzzle

Puzzles picked up in popularity amid quarantine, so consider giving your mom a special one with a personalized photo of your choosing. This 60-piece matte puzzle also comes in a patterned drawstring pouch and hinged box with gold detailing for a beautiful presentation, and includes a reference artwork card that she can follow while building it. The price for this is also around $45.

 

Sips By – Personalized Tea Gift Card

Tea is often a great gift choice — and it’s hard to mess up. Sips By delivers four types of tea on a monthly basis, based on preferences and taste. Each shipment should cover about 15 cups of tea (more if she resteeps them) and the $45 gift card will cover three months of subscription. If you want to play it safe, this will be a solid choice.

Customs Pillows – All About Vibe

How about a Customized pillow? Every single pillow is custom made-on-demand by artisans in our their partnered factory based in Chicago, IL. Turn any favorite photo, or memorable moment into a soft, double sided and super-realistic pillow. A perfect gift for mom.

 

Winc Wine Club Membership And Gifts

Winc’s process involves a short quiz that determines her taste and with each new shipment, it learns slightly more to make more informed decisions and recommendations. If she enjoys a glass of red or white (or otherwise) every once in a while, you can be the source of that (responsible) delicious swig. There lots of offers to fit moms needs at a reasonable price.

 

 

 

 

written by Chasity Rodriguez

Social Media Director