Every New Beginning comes from some other Beginning’s end.
Dear Friend, January 2011
Here we are at the beginning of a new year. We are hearing cautiously optimistic economic news.
Clearly there is significant room for improvement; however, overall, our nation ended 2010 in better
shape than we closed 2009. May 2011 bring us even more positive news.
And since, when all is said and done, I am a real estate professional who creates my livelihood by
helping people buy and sell homes, let’s look at homeownership as we embark on this new year!
While homeownership is typically a lifestyle choice, making a house payment over many years may
also serve as a slow but steady way to save for the future. Over the long run, emphasis on ‘long’
given the economic climate we are just beginning to exit, owning real estate can be a significant
financial freedom opportunity. Even if appreciation is completely discounted as a factor, at some
point in your life, it’s likely to be quite appealing not to have to pay someone else for the right to
live in your home. (Granted, taxes aren’t going to go away, but work with me here…!!!)
So in the meantime, what does that mean? There are many rent-to-own comparison charts, allowing
you to evaluate those numbers. That said, there is an emotional freedom facet in owning your own
space. If it’s important to you to be able to paint any color that you’d like, have two dogs and a cat,
set up that darkroom in the basement, add a bath, take out a wall, remodel that kitchen, or anything
of the like that involves making changes or accepting risk – in short, to be that much more in
control of managing how you choose to live – then you probably already live in your own home or
are contemplating doing so.
This month I have provided an informative piece on mortgages. 30-year fixed payment style, 15-year
fixed payment style – a high-level view of how paying a mortgage acts as forced savings. It includes
an illustration of how equity is built over time and also discusses why it may be a good idea to make
extra payments and pay off a loan ahead of schedule. Now there are pros and cons to that last
phrase, as there are to so many things… If your lifestyle and near-term financial future easily
provide extra dollars to pay down the principle on your loan, then by all means! Why not make that
equity amount improve sooner rather than later? If, however, to do so means decreasing or
foregoing savings, or you are self-employed or commission-based and you’re just not confident
about the final numbers for the next couple of years, then please consider putting those extra
dollars into your more liquid investments. Because once your lender has your money, it isn’t yours
any more until you sell or refinance. And that it’s on the market’s terms or the bank’s terms.
As I trust you already know, I have several lenders that I rely on to serve my clients exceptionally
well. If you would like any specific information on your mortgage, refinance options, or the like,
please let me know and I will connect you with one of those lenders.
In the meantime, as we head into this new year, there are several things to report on and to remind
Christine Estes 206-910-7926 Group Estes Realty
23515 NE Novelty Hill Road
Suite B-221, #402
www.GroupEstes.com Redmond WA 98053
Windermere Real Estate / Northeast, Inc.
Thank you to all of you who helped to determine our recipe winner from the winners at the 2010
client appreciation gatherings. Congratulations (and thanks for a tasty treat) to Audra and Erick
Aulabaugh for their “Aged English Cheddar and Apple Walnut Conserve” appetizer. It will be fun
to do this again this year.
Events – we have our second annual shredding and recycling event coming up on Saturday the 22 nd .
We’ll be in Seattle and Kirkland at OfficeMax – check your postcard and our website for the timing
specifics. We are happy to give you a helping hand in getting organized and de-cluttered!
Articles – you can always count on us for more helpful information posted in our Items of Interest
section of the website. From pocket doors, to the unusually good December housing results locally,
to home maintenance, more tax credits, continued encouragement on preventive home maintenance,
our monthly review on current 30-year fixed mortgage rates (still well under 5% and apparently
dropping a bit as we move into January), credit score alerts, greening up your home (and
neighborhood)… you name it, if we think you might be interested in it, we’ll post it! And you can
use our search function to easily find whatever you may be interested in.
The market. Annually, all of our regions – King, Snohomish and Pierce Counties – are seeing
improvements over 2009. Amount of inventory, time to sell and average sale pricing are all generally
improved. That said, the King County areas are still pretty clearly in the 2005 pricing range (not at
the halfway point on the way to 2006 numbers yet, but still improved over ‘the 2005 number’), while
Snohomish and Pierce are more in the halfway point between 2004 and 2005.
And finally, we work diligently to identify good resources, and then follow up with you regarding
your experience when we’ve referred resources to you, all with the goal of ensuring they are offering
the consistent service we expect. Our first set of highlighted vendors for 2011 appears below:
Spotlight Vendors for January
Mike Seefeldt - 425-864-0290 - email@example.com
Miles & Lindsay Savage - Two Savages - 425-361-1359 - firstname.lastname@example.org
Kenny Nguyen - SCC Electrical & Communication Co. - Kenny.email@example.com
Electrical, Home Theater System, Security Video Surveillance, Structure Cabling
Laron Williams - Careful Movers - 425-745-7559 - firstname.lastname@example.org
Kathryn O'Gould - Detailz Personal Organizing - 206-852-6933 - email@example.com
De-clutterer, Personal Organizer
I look forward to being of continued service to you and the people you know. Wishing you a
remarkable new year.
Always looking for more ways to be of service … if you know of someone who would appreciate the level of service I provide, please
call me with their name and business number, and I’ll be happy to follow up and take great care of them.