Tips For Giving a Dated Room a Fresh Look

If you’re a new home owner looking to make your new home your own, or a longtime homeowner looking to spice up dated decor,  it can be hard to find the time and inspiration to spruce up your living space. You’ve probably created a few pinterest boards chalked full of fun ideas, but check out this list of easy changes you can implement to really update the look and feel of a room. It may seem like an obvious choice, but adding a new shade of paint to your walls can drastically change the appearance of your interiors. If you have outdated furniture, don’t hesitate to add a coat of paint or stain that could liven the otherwise boring end  table. If you don’t like it now, what is the harm in staining it, when the outcome could be something you love? kitchenin

Changing the light fixture in a room can really brighten the space, and create a completely new look and feel. You do not necessarily need to buy one big eccentric fixture, but you do need to make sure that all the fixtures within the same room compliment each other. There is nothing worse than an outdated room, that smells older than the decor within. Keep windows open when weather permits, to keep old odors smelling fresh, and keep your carpets vacuumed and clean. While you’re at it, give the whole room a good cleaning – decluttering can drastically change the look and functionality of a space, and prepare for new decor to enhance the room. Personalizing with small and unique to you touches, like hanging a photograph of a memorable trip, or adding new colorful couch pillows can create just the right amount of change you crave. If you’re interested in learning more about Seattle real estate, contact your local real estate agent today.

HAWK Program Aims To Expand First-Time Buyers’ Access To Mortgages


As 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.

Tips For Young First Time Buyers

In many generations past, buying a small home in your 20s-30s was a milestone; people tended to stay put in the city they grew up in, not falling too far from the tree. Today’s generation of 20-30 somethings have certainly evolved, and don’t necessarily want to be tied down to any particular area. They want the freedom to travel for a few months at a time, or take that job across the country at a moment’s notice. They feel the weight of student debt piling up after graduation, and are not thinking about adding to it with a home purchase. Although it may feel like the majority of this group does not want to be tied down, there are many who have an interest in home ownership, and if you or someone you know falls into this category, here are some useful tips if you’re considering buying vs renting. renton home

Don’t assume you cannot afford to buy; many believe that since they likely do not have the funds for a 20% down payment, buying a home is not within reach. In today’s real estate world, there are so many options for financing if you have good credit, such as loan options for qualifying home buyers to put down as little as 5%. In a market like Seattle’s, where renting is likely as expensive (if not more) than buying, so do some research and explore your options before ruling anything out. It’s also important to find a good real estate agent. Times have changed, and while it is very easy to get on your computer and browse for homes online on your own, there are perks to having a professional with their ear to the floor guiding you along your search. Agents know the market better than anyone, and can be an excellent resource should any unforeseen issues arise along the way. Remember that this is not a race, it is a marathon; take your time to find the right home for you, as this is likely going to be one of the biggest purchases of your lifetime. Do your research, and do not feel rushed. Take the time to do your research and determine if and when buying is the right option for you. If you’re interested in learning more about Seattle real estate, contact your local real estate agent today!

Should You Buy in the City or Suburbs?

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? rnton

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.