Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Merry Christmas!

I'll be back after the first of the new year with more
real estate investment information. In the meantime...
H a p p y H o l i d a y s !

Thursday, December 08, 2005

Unfair Tax Burden?


I posted this on my residential blog, but it's important for all who invest in real estate... so here is a link to the Washington Association of Realtors Government Affairs news page. There are some important issues, one most specifically about the proposed (significant) increase in excise tax imposed on the sale of homes (and investments properties) from every single real estate transaction. I encourage you to read the article and write your legislator with your comments. Here's a link to find your legislator.

Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Changing Your Destiny


"Nobody can go back and start a new beginning, but anyone can start today and make a new ending." - Maria Robinson

I love this quote. It's appropriate whether you're interested in improving the outcome of your financial goals, or improving relationships with your family.

Monday, November 21, 2005

4-Plex in Cashmere


I've listed a nice 4-plex building in Cashmere. Each spacious unit has 2 bedrooms and 1 bath, located very convenient to downtown Cashmere.

Total monthly income averages about $2,530(including laundry income). We have given notice for the rents to be raised, bringing the monthly income to $2,630 per month. They are always very easy to rent when a vacancy occurs.

List price is: $399,000


Contact Carol for details:
Carol@TopPropertiesWenatchee.com

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Investor Errors


Here's a link to an interesting article about mistakes that newbie investors tend to make. If you're interested in getting into the real estate investment business, I recommend you start by working with an agent familiar with investment properties. Once you become more experienced, you can consider going it alone... but even most of the experienced investors utilize the services of an agent they know and trust.

Friday, November 11, 2005

Have You Hugged a Veteran Today?


I humbly take this opportunity to salute all veterans... and to all the current active military soldiers.

A special tribute to my Dad, Bruce Klock (1913-1964), who served in World War II.

God Bless America

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Latest Wenatchee Area Foreclosure List


I have posted the latest Wenatchee area real estate foreclosure list on my residential blog. I can also generate a foreclosure list for any area in the country. Please contact me for the latest status on any foreclosure property.


Have a great week-end,
Carol Williams

Carol@TopPropertiesWenatchee.com
Primary residential blog
Search listings in Wenatchee, Statewide, or Nationwide

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Reasons to (or not to) Buy Real Estate?


Here is a link to an article that puts in perspective the most traditional reasons FOR buying real estate. Real estate IS a great investment, but do you research and be careful not to buy for the wrong reasons.
Carol

Search local Wenatchee, State, or Nationwide real estate listings here
Residential Blog

Saturday, October 29, 2005

Gone To England


I'm now in England. If you wish to follow the adventure, please go to my personal blog. I'll also be posting some to my other real estate blog.

I'll be back to posting about Wenatchee real estate and investment ideas the week of November 7th.

Cheers from the olde country,
Carol

Thursday, October 13, 2005

Thought For The Day


"Too often we enjoy the comfort of opinion, without the discomfort of thought." -J.F.K.

Saturday, October 08, 2005

Activity vs Progress


Quote of the Day:
Do not mistake activity for progress.

You can keep busy in a rocking chair,
But you don't get anywhere.
- Earl Nightingale

Friday, October 07, 2005

Are Your Kids Money Savvy?

While reviewing current interest rates at Bankrate.com, I came across this article on teaching kids to be money savvy. It's definitely worth a read.

Here is an excerpt:
"Children between the ages of 5 and 14 have direct purchasing power of more than $40 billion a year and influence $146 billion worth of purchases. Yet, few children are taught, either in school or at home, about managing money.

With schools forced to make tough choices on which "noncore" subjects to include in curriculums, parents are often left to teach financial skills on their own. For parents, many of whom don't feel confident in their own money-management prowess, teaching their kids how to manage money can be an intimidating task.

But don't put off addressing the issue."
To read the complete article, click here.

Financial responsibility is one of the most valuable lessons parents can teach their children. It's never too early (or too late) to start.

Yours for success & properity,
Carol

e-mail: mailto:CaCarol@TopPropertiesWenatchee.com
Primary website: www.TopPropertiesWenatchee.com
Residential blog: www.CarolsWenatchee.com

Thursday, October 06, 2005

Empty Pockets?


Empty pockets never held anyone back.
Only empty heads and empty hearts can do that.
- Norman Peale


Norman Vincent Peale must have been talking to some real estate investors when he coined this quote. As the old saying goes: "Where there is a will, there is a way".

Have a great week-end,
Carol

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Education vs Catastrophe


"Human history becomes more and more a
race between education and catastrophe."
- H. G. Wells (1866-1946)


The above quote struck me in view of current events
in the world. It's my belief that it's important to
look at the catastrophes as an opportunity to correct
some major problems and make the intelligent decision
to make things better, not try to recreate the lost for
the sake of nostalgia or fear of the unknown.

Have a great day!
Carol

Thursday, September 29, 2005

Tax Consequences of Flipping Houses


There's a good article at Bankrate.com about the investment practice of flipping houses. With skyrocketing values of home across the nation, this has become an even more popular investment strategy.

A current client of mine recently bought a property and is wanting to flip it. I recommended she use it as a rental for a period of time, then sell it when it qualifies for a 1031 exchange. Under this strategy she could defer taxes. Surprisingly, her accountant told her not to worry about the tax implications because, if she was going to make a lot of profit, why would she care about paying part of it to taxes. I totally disagree with that thinking when there is a strategy to make the profit AND avoid the taxes.

Just so an investor considers all the possibilities and makes an informed decision, it's fine with me.

Yours for success & prosperity,
Carol

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Thought For The Day


I have been through some terrible times in my life,
some of which actually happened." - Mark Twain


I love that quote from Mark Twain. We do tend to
exaggerate the crisis of the moments, don't we?
If you follow the "real" tragedies in the world, it's a
little easier to keep life in perspective.

Have a great week!
Carol

Monday, September 26, 2005

Quote of the Day


Work as though you would live forever,
and live as though you would die today.

-Og Mandino {1923-1996 American Motivational Author & Speaker}

It's difficult to find that perfect balance between planning for later in life and living for today, but it's absolutely essential for a well balanced life.

Og Mandino is absolutely one of my favorite inspirational speakers. If you have never read any of his books or listened to his tapes, I highly recommend them. My favorites are "The Greatest Salesman In The World" and "Mission Accomplished". I prefer the tape versions because you get the pleasure of listening to Og himself. I love his voice. It is peaceful, motivational and inspirational.

Yours for success,
Carol

Sunday, September 25, 2005

Thought For The Day


Owning a home is a keystone of wealth...
both financial affluence and emotional security.
-Suze Orman

Monday, September 19, 2005

How To Fix The Mortgage Industry


The Wenatchee real estate market, although small, suffers some of the same issues as any real estate market. The crazy housing market everywhere has made the business of shopping for and securing the right mortgage a little crazy as well. It's downright confusing.

Although it's entitled "How To Fix The Mortgage Industry", I was reading an article in my Inman News feed recently which really explains, in simplified terms, a little about how the mortgage industry actually works. The author does offer some suggestions for improving the system, which really isn't a sytem at all... but is a mass of independent contractors (mortgage brokers) vying for all the business they can get. Even though the loans themselves are provided through Federal guidelines, the loan fees are unregulated... and, therefore, leaves a lot of room for unscrupulous fees on the part of the mortgage brokers. There are, of course, Truth In Lending disclosures and you should pay close attention to them because it tells you how much the total loan is actually costing you (including all the fees).

I almost always read the "final settlement statement" for my clients before closing to analyze all the fees being charged by the mortgage broker and the lender. These fees are often excessive and can be negotiated. Of course the better time to negotiate is upfront before choosing a loan but, sometimes, they throw in these "junk fees" later and when you get to the closing table you don't feel in a position to be negotiating fees because you risk the deal falling through. I suggest you ask your escrow office to provide a final settlement statement at least 1 day before you are schedule to sign closing documents. You can compare this to your original "Good Faith Estimate" to be sure they're not charging you what we call "junk fees", which are just extra to create more profit for themselves.

My final comment is to shop for a loan just like you would shop for any large ticket item, and be sure you know all the fees involved. The "Good Faith Estimate" is your best upfront tool in comparing loans.

Have a great week,
Carol

Thursday, September 15, 2005

International Property Search



is a website I recently discovered where you can search for properties in 24 countries around the world. This site assists consumers with locating properties, real estate professionals, and real estate business practice information in the international market, through the International Consortium of Real Estate Association. (ICREA). The National Assn. of REALTORS® is a founding member and co-chair of the group.

Have fun checking it out.
Carol

www.TopPropertiesWenatchee.com
www.CarolsWenatchee.com

Google's New Blog Search Feature

Have you heard about Google's newly launched blog search feature? It is totally awesome because if you forget the address of any blog (or want to find new blogs) you can just go to the Google blog search and type in the name of the blogger or the city or subject... whatever is most appropriate. In my case I typed in "Wenatchee Real Estate" and my blog entries were all over the place. Then I typed in just the word "Wenatchee" and there they were again. I must be the only one in the world "blogging" on the Wenatchee real estate market. This feature in Google is just for weblog searches, and not web sites in general. You can type in your favorite hobby or the city where you live or whatever and get a bunch of blog entries to choose from. This is truly awesome! Google rules the blogosphere!

Have a great day!
Carol

Carol@TopPropertiesWenatchee.com
Residential Blog: www.CarolsWenatchee.com
Primary real estate website: www.TopPropertiesWenatchee.com

Friday, September 09, 2005

Investment Real Estate Prices


Dear Readers,
As the effects of Hurricane Katrina rage throughout the economy, I have been contemplating how this is going to affect our Wenatchee area real estate market. Our national economy is so intertwined, we can't kid ourselves into thinking it's not going to affect us here in the Wenatchee Valley.

For example, there is an ever increasing demand on the reduced supply of building materials and other supplies. As petroleum prices increase, building supplies cost more to produce.... and it costs more to get them delivered to their ultimate destination. There is going to be a huge demand through the hurricane ravaged area and we are going to pay more for supplies and labor. The reality of prices based on supply and demand will never be more obvious.

There has been a surge in multi-family investment construction in our local market area. The above factors are going to significantly affect the future construction costs of such projects. Will they continue to develop or will this slow the trend? Will existing investment properties become a more attractive investment or will they go up in value to reflect the potential reduction in competition?

So many questions. So few answers. Stay tuned.

Have a great week-end!
Carol

Monday, September 05, 2005

HUD Removes Foreclosure Properties


Two thumbs up for HUD.

I just read on the Real Estate Blog Squad blog that the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has removed their foreclosure homes from the market in the following states:
Georgia, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Kentucy, Texas

This is being done in response for the critical need for housing to care for those displaced as a result of Hurricane Katrina.

And, remember, real estate agent have lost their homes and jobs too. If you have any opportunities for them, please let me know!

Thanks!
Carol

Sunday, September 04, 2005

East Wenatchee Development Property


Here is a newly listed local investment opportunity:
Home on large lot, with potential to divide lot off and build duplex or other multi-family. The home has been used as a duplex, with complete living area on the lower level. 936 sq.ft. on each level.

The home has been vacant for nearly two years and was recently purchased from an estate. The home is in good condition, and the interior recently painted but the yard needs some TLC. The current owners have already done a lot of work with chain saws and weed whackers to clean it up. Home alone is listed at $139,900.

Additional lot, when separated, will be $39,900... but a discount would be given if bought all together.

For details and to arrange a preview of the property, e-mail or call me at:
Carol@TopPropertiesWenatchee.com
509-670-7840

To search for other investment properties, visit my primary real estate website at:
www.TopPropertiesWenatchee.com

Or... write me with your specific criteria and I will send you a customized list of investment properties:
Carol@TopPropertiesWenatchee.com

Have a great day!
Carol

Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Blog Squad Site Up And running


The Real Estate Blog Squad official website is up and the blogging has begun.

Please visit, and we welcome all comments.

I am also still posting current Wenatchee area real estate info, news and trends on my other blog, !

See you there,
Carol

Realtors Join Relief Effort


The National Assn. of REALTORS® took the lead in relief efforts this week and real estate professionals around the country have been responding in kind. NAR announced today it will contribute an additional $1 million to funds established by REALTOR® associations in Louisiana, Alabama and Mississippi to provide emergency relief to victims of Hurricane Katrina. Earlier this week NAR made an initial donation of $50,000 to each of three state REALTOR® associations to help them establish funds to provide emergency assistance.As the extent of the suffering and devastation caused by Katrina becomes clear, NAR is stepping up its efforts to raise funds from Realtors for emergency relief in the Gulf Coast.

To read the complete text of this article, click here. NAR has set up a relief fund, from which they are absorbing all administrative fees. In other words, if you donate to the National Association of Realtor's relief fund, ALL (100%) of your donation will go to help those in need. There will not be any administrative fees deducted! As you may know, many charitable organization do take a large percentage of their donations to administer the organization. Please consider making a donation, no matter how small.

.

Sunday, August 28, 2005

Oh... The Irony

Dear Readers,
Did you see the interview on CNN the other day with the woman who said gas prices were really hurting her family? She had to shop alone, so the kids didn't beg for things at the store. She was having to cut back in several ways because of the high cost of gas. As the story ends, she drives off in her 2005 GMC Danali. If it weren't so sad, I'd have to laugh. Does anyone see the irony in this?

I'm constantly amazed at the number of new, gas guzzling, SUVs on the road now. These are expensive vehicles, then the owners have the audicity to complain about oil prices. Are these the same people who sit in line (with their vehicle idling) waiting to be served their $3.50 Double Tall Vanilla Latte (or whatever flavor they like). Whatever happened to the $1 cup of coffee or (heaven forbid) brewing your own!?!

Sadly, I suspect many of these new SUVs are being purchased with home equity loans. To me, this is a travesty. Home equity loans should be used to pay off high interest bills or investing in some equity growth tool, such as buying real estate or some other income producing investment. If you have to take out a home equity loan to buy a car, my opinion is you should be buying something a little more conservative than an SUV. Remember the old saying, "if you have to look at the price, you can't afford it"? Well, if you can't afford the gas (and don't forget insurance), you shouldn't be buying the vehicle.

If we're really concerned about oil prices, we need to reduce consumption, conserve, make some adjustments. If everyone did just a little, it would make a big difference and not be painful at all. We could carpool, take mass transit, telecommute. We could make one less trip a week to town. We could park at the bank and actually go inside instead of idling in the drive-through. The exercise certainly wouldn't hurt us! The possibilities are endless.

My husband & I took a trip to southern Alberta last week, as we do every summer, to visit his sisters and other relatives. Usually, we drive our 1989 custom van, which gets 15-18 miles per gallon... depending on driving conditions. The van is, admittedly, an older model but we keep it in good mechanical condition, looking nice, and it is so comfortable to drive. Plus, we can crawl in the back and take a nap if we get tired. But, this year we decided we were going to do something to contribute to reducing our oil consumption. We drove our 1999 Mitsubishi Galant instead. It's small, but comfortable, and the seats recline for some occassional shut-eye. It gets 30 - 33 mpg on the road. For the 1188 miles we drove, I figure we saved about 80 gallons of fuel. I love the idea of the cost savings, which was over $200... but I also like the idea of doing my part to conserve. If everyone figured out a way of reducing their consumption by 80 gallons by the end of the year, it would be huge.

Just my $200 worth!

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Gone Traveling

Dear Readers,
I will be on vacation until Saturday, August 27th. Check my other blog for posts from the road later today or tomorrow.

Have a great week!
Carol

Saturday, August 20, 2005

Trump University


Dear Readers,
Anyone who is interested in real estate has to be fascinated (or at least intriqued) with Donald Trump (aka: The Donald) and what he has done, and is doing, in business.

I just discovered a weblog connected with the " Trump University", with posts from "The Donald" himself, as well as other approved "experts". Since I just discovered this blog's existence, I haven't had a chance to study it in depth, but I did find many of the posts interesting and thought provoking. Also there are many links to a multitude of "successories".

Please check it out and let me know what you think.

Have a great week-end,
Carol

Thursday, August 18, 2005

Apartment Rented


I put a small classified ad in the paper Monday and received several calls. The first person who looked at the apartment committed to a one year lease. I love it when a plan comes together.

Have a great week-end,
Carol

Monday, August 15, 2005

Cashmere, WA - Apartment For Rent


Available September 1st:
* $595 / month
* Spacious 2 bedroom, 1 bath
* Central heating & air conditioning
* 2 Parking spots
* Convenient location near downtown


Call Carol for more info or a preview:
509-670-7840

Saturday, August 13, 2005

East Wenatchee - Multi-Family

Dear Readers,
Here is some info on a new-on-the-market listing for a multi-family property. It is actually two 4-plex buildings on two tax parcels, selling together:

$449,900
$3800 per month stated income
$125 - laundry income

Taxes: $3468

Please let me know if you're interested in a preview or additional information on this property.

Carol

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Help Needed For Buyers

Dear Readers,
I am working with several buyers looking for multi-family income properties. So far we have not found just what they are looking for through the Multiple Listing Service. If you, or someone you know, is interested in selling please call or e-mail me:

* 20+ rental units (prefer brick structure): $ Negotiable depending on income
* Always need: Duplexes, 4-plexes and other multi-family income properties

* Always need: Fixer upper single family residences $ Any price range

On my other blog, I have posted an extensive list of needs for primary residence and land buyers. Any help will be appreciated.

Thanks,
Carol
Carol@TopPropertiesWenatchee.com
509-670-7840

Saturday, August 06, 2005

Shared Appreciation Home Loans


Dear Readers,
As the real estate markets across the country continue to be hot, lenders are getting creative to compete for the business these days. One thing to remember is that, for the most part, any loan is available in any locale. All the lenders (big and small) work under the same federal guidelines. In other words, if you see an ad on TV for a great loan program, contact your favorite local lender and ask if is available. It has been my experience that the TV ads are not all they're cracked up to be and end up being a big nuisance because you're not dealing with a local lender who knows the local market. So, whether you're buying Wenatchee real estate or real estate in New York City... don't be fooled by a "come on" ad. Do your due diligence and work with a local lender whenever possible.

One of the more recent developments is the 40 year mortgage as compared to the standard 30 year mortgage. This, of course, helps reduce the monthly payment... but stretches out your payments another 10 years. In analyzing some ammortization tables, the monthly reduction doesn't seem to justify the extended payment period but, as always, it's something to be considered depending on the individual circumstances.

A new concept that I had never heard of before is the "Shared Appreciation Home Loan". This is where the borrower gets a reduction in the interest rate in return for agreeing to share a percentage of future appreciation with the lender. I don't know if this type of loan is only available for single family residences or if an investment property would qualify. Neither do I know if the lender shares in the selling costs before calculating "equity".

I will see if I can learn more and report back. Whenever you are shopping for a loan, consider all options then choose the best one for your individual circumstances. One of the keys to doing this is finding a good mortgage officer who will be honest with you and not try to sell you on a loan option that will result in the highest commission to them.

Hope you're enjoying the week-end,
Carol

Friday, August 05, 2005

Multi-Family / Income Properties Available


There are only 9 Multi-family/income properties available
in the immdiate Wenatchee real estate market area, ranging
in price from: $125,000 - $1,050,000



Here is a summary of the properties:
$125,000 - 2 units (one 3-bedroom, one 2 bedroom) $1,000 per mo. stated income
$139,900 - 2 units (both 2-bedrooms) $1,100 per mo. stated income
$149,500 - 2 units (both 2 bedrooms) $ No stated income
$167,900 - 4 units (three 2 bedroom, one 2-bedroom) $1,600 per mo. stated income
$289,000 - 3 units (one three bedroom, one 2-bedroom, one 1-bedroom) $1,570 stated inc.
$399,900 - 3 units + 2 acres of pears and shop $ No stated income
$459,000 - 7 units (4 separate parcels with multiple possibilities) $3,100 stated income
$725,000 - 20 units (14 studios & six 1-bedrooms) $6,678.66 stated income per month
$1,050,000 - 32 units (all 1-bedroom, 1 bath) $12,640 per month stated income

Please call me for complete details and recommendations. You may also search for these and other properties on my main real estate website. Also, visit my other blog for current news, info and trends regarding the Wenatchee and East Wenatchee real estate market area.

Have a great week-end,
Carol

All information is deemed reliable but cannot be guaranteed.

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Cashmere: 2.63 Acres - $700,000

Dear Readers,
The most interesting investment piece that's come up in the last few days is a 2.63 acre parcel for $700,000. Seems a little steep at $266,159.69 per acre... but what do I know. I have ceased to be amazed at what's going on in the real estate market.

This particular property is located next to the property currently being developed into the huge new Apple Annie's Antique Mall in Cashmere, along the main highway. I believe this property is owned by the same people developing the mall. With the mall running significantly over budget (and behind schedule), perhaps they are trying to cover some of the costs with the sale of this property. Just speculation on my part.

There have been several articles in the Wenatchee World over the last few months. If you go to the paper's website, go to the "archives" and do a search for "Apple Annie's Antique Mall" or just "antique mall".

This mall, when completed, is really going to be a very fun and interesting place. There will even be bus tours from the West side of the state bringing people in for the day.

Remember to check in with this blog and at my other blog for updates on the mall's progress and Grand Opening.

Have a great day!
Carol

Monday, August 01, 2005

Fruitful Bus Stop

Dear Readers,
Here is a link to a post about the most interesting bus stop I've ever seen! Scroll down to the "watermelon". Perhaps we could increase ridership on our Link transit system in Wenatchee with a variation of this idea in apple country.

Cheers!
Carol

Flood Insurance

Dear Readers,
I've been working with a young couple who is relocating to Wenatchee from Sparks, Nevada. After spending several weeks looking at Wenatchee real estate, including existing houses and a slew of options in new construction, they've more or less settled on having a home built in a new subdivision in Wenatchee. The one drawback to this particular subdivision is that it's in a designated flood zone. It's not that we're particularly concerned about flooding BUT you never know and it IS in a flood zone, so we have to deal with the consequences.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency ( FEMA ) controls the regulations overseeing this issue. The consequence of being in a blood zone means the builder has to work with certain Federal regulations AND the buyers have to secure flood insurance. Flood insurance rates will depend, among other things, on the insurance company and the type of construction of the home (whether it has a basement or not and how deep the crawl space is if there is no basement). It's actually better not to have a basement in a flood zone because, if there ever is a flood, the crawl space would get flooded not the basement where it would cause actual damage to the interior of the home and the contents.

If you ever consider purchasing a home or investment property in a designated flood zone, do your insurance rate research before finalizing a Purchase and Sale Agreement.

Not all flood zones are created equal... so do your due diligence and make an informed decision.

Have a great week!
Carol

509-670-7840
Carol@TopPropertiesWenatchee.com
Be sure to check out my residential blog too!

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

My Favorite Mortgage Info Site

Dear Readers,
I really like Bankrate.com as an overall resource for mortgage information. But, beyond mortgage information, they have a lot of information on money matters in general. I saw this article titled "Top 10 Mistakes of Novice Home Investors". If you have any interest in becoming a real estate investor, this article is worthy of a few minutes of your time.

If you have questions about investment opportunities in the Wenatchee real estate market area, please call or e-mail me. I can also give you information on my experience with who, in our local market, is a good contact for actually comparing loan programs that meet your specific needs.

Yours for success,
Carol

News On The Street

Dear Readers,
On my other blog, I posted an article about setting up a "Neighborhood News" category for the various areas of Wenatchee and all surrounding areas. Please visit, "Neighborhood News" and send comments and feedback about how I can make this most useful, informative, and fun... definitely fun!

Have a great day!
Carol

Sunday, July 24, 2005

Tax Strategies For Investors

Here's a post I read recently on Karen Mason's blog out of Titusville, Florida. Thought it was worth passing along:

"Thousands of savvy realty investors have sold their rental properties, such as apartments, commercial property, or a business property, and made IRC 1031 tax-deferred exchanges for single-family residences of equal or greater cost and equity. To qualify for the IRC 1031 exchange, the acquired property must be..." full text

Have a great week,
Carol

Thursday, July 21, 2005

Castles For Sale

Dear Readers,
My husband and I will be travelling to England in October, so thought I'd better do some preliminary research on what's for sale in the way of castles.

Click on the above link and take a look. If any of them look interesting, let me know and I'll arrange a showing for you (after proof of financial pre-approval, of course). :-)

The closest thing to something I could afford is a 3 bedroom apartment in the back of a castle in Ringwood, Hampshire.

Sigh...
Carol

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Local Electric Power Rates

Dear Readers,
On my "other blog", I have posted some information about our local power rates, projected fuel costs for summer... and some other miscellaneous stuff. Hope you have time to check it out and find it useful.

Have a great day!
Carol

Sunday, July 17, 2005

Latest Foreclosure List

I have posted the latest foreclosure list for Wenatchee, East Wenatchee, Cashmere, Rock Island and Leavenworth. You may access this post by clicking here.

Hope you have a great day!
Carol

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Follow the Link

Dear Readers,
Hope you have time to read through the "archives",

then click here for current posts. I will keep you
posted on all the latest listings, news, info and trends
relating to Wenatchee real estate... and the surrounding
areas.

See you there,

Carol


Monday, July 11, 2005

Tugboat House For Sale

Dear Readers,
Ever wanted to live on a tugboat? I came across this interesting listing on Craigslist. Part of the ad reads: "1939 wooden tugboat was originally built in Ballard, worked the waters of the Columbia River and the Alaskan Coast for years..."

It has seven 500 gallon diesel tanks. Can you imagine how much that would cost for a fill up???

Have fun,
Carol

Saturday, July 09, 2005

God Bless America!


Thought I'd try out the new and improved picture uploading feature of blogger by uploading an American Flag... afterall it is still America's birthday week!

Hey... it worked!

Have a great week-end,
Carol

Tri-Plex Value

Dear Readers,
I was out showing real estate most of the day... to three different sets of buyers. I started with showing two 20 acre parcels up the Chumstick (10 miles out of Leavenworth), then to show one of my listings in East Wenatchee, then a tri-plex in Wenatchee.

The tri-plex is what I want to post about this evening. The buyer specifically inquired about this property, but looking at the income vs price it didn't seem to "compute" to me. I mentioned to the listing agent that the price seemed high for the income generated and she just said they haven't raised the rents for a long time and the income "should be" higher.

This creates a problem when the owner wants to sell. For appraisal purposes, the "rental history" is based on the "actual" income, and most likely the property will not appraise for the value the owner wants (in the unlikely event they did find a buyer to pay that price).

In addition to the income discrepancy, there was a lot of "deferred maintenance", which would have added significantly to the cost basis of the property.

This one didn't make sense for my out-of-state buyer, so we're looking at more viable options, of which there are many.

The moral of this story is: If you have income property you plan to sell in the realtively near future, get the rents up to market value before you put the building on the market.

Have a great week-end,
Carol

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

Latte Funded College Education?

Dear Readers,
I like coffee as well as the next person, but I'm always amazed at the constant lines I see at every corner expresso stand in town. This isn't just in Wenatchee, but everywhere I go. These stands aren't there for you to order a 50 cent or $1 cup of Folgers to go... but rather a coffee with some hoity toity fancy schmancy name (that costs $2.75 and up each)! Who would have thought???

Anyway, I got to wondering, if a person buys one of these lattes every single day of the year, how much are they spending? Even more interesting, what kind of a savings could be built over the years if they forgo the spendy coffee and, instead, opt for the "old fashioned" coffee of yesteryear?

I found a simple savings calculator, and punched in the numbers (using $2.75 per day). I discovered, at the end of 18 years, you would have saved $29,011.70 (at 5% interest, compounded monthly). Now, if you invested this money in some high quality mutual funds or, I'm obligated to mention, real estate who knows what could happen.

I used 18 years, because I wondered what could happen if a person started saving the day a new child was born. Would there be enough in the fund for college? Well, maybe not much of a college fund for the future, but perhaps if it was invested in the mutual funds (or even better, real estate)... then there would be some serious money to work with.

Here's how the savings accumulation looked:
Year / Balance
1 $ 1,099.73
2 $ 2,169.00
3 $ 3,292.97
4 $ 4,474.45
5 $ 5,716.38
6 $ 7,021.85
7 $ 8,394.10
8 $ 9,836.57
9 $ 11,352.83
10 $ 12,946.67
11 $ 14,622.05
12 $ 16,383.15
13 $ 18,234.34
14 $ 20,180.25
15 $ 22,225.72
16 $ 24,375.83
17 $ 26,635.95
18 $ 29,011.70


By-the way, did you know the founder of Starbucks, Howard Shultz, owns the Seattle Super Sonics basketball team? What does that tell you about the profitability of the espresso business? I once worked with a couple who wanted to buy a house in Wenatchee. They operated a little espresso stand in the Eagle Hardware store (which is now Lowes). I couldn't believe what they said their income was from that little stand.

And... one other side note: I do buy a latte once in a while... but generally only on "double punch" day, so I get my FREE one twice as fast. :-) Hastings (book and music store) has double punch days on Tuesday and Thursday and a small local independent burger joint has double punch day on Wednesday, so I'm pretty well covered. I can get a free one on Monday, Friday or the week-end.

O.K... let's get real. Suppose you can't go without the latte EVERY day. How about joining two other family members, and getting a latte every three days? The possibilities are endless...

Just a few rambling thoughts of mine.

Have a great day!
Carol

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

Scott & Laci Peterson's Home Is Sold

Dear Readers,
According to my Inman News feed, the 3 bedroom home owned by Scott (and the late Laci) Peterson has been purchased by a Modesto, California realtor for $390,000. The Peterson's paid $177,000 for the home in 2000.

For the complete article, click here.

Have a nice evening,
Carol

P.S.: For more information, visit my other blog, specializing in Wenatchee, Washington residential real estate... and real estate in general.

Tax Breaks For Those Not On Title?

Dear Readers,
The tax benefits are a big part of the real estate investing mystique. Even if an investment is not generating "cash flow", the tax benefits create profit. This is true whether you're investing in Wenatchee real estate or anywhere in the U.S.

Surprising to some people is that you may be entitled to tax breaks on a property even if you are not on title to the property. For more details on this issue, read this article.

Have a great day!
Carol

Monday, July 04, 2005

Sunday, July 03, 2005

Wanted - 1951 or 1955 Chevrolet Pick-up Truck

Dear Readers,
I have a friend whose husband is turning 55 next year. She would love to find a 1951 (the year he was born) or 1955 Chevy pick-up for his birthday. Any leads for me?

Thanks!
Carol

Realtor, ABR, e-PRO, GRI, RECS, REI
Serving all of Washington State
Specializing in Wenatchee & Surrounding Areas
Phone: 509-670-7840 * Fax: 419-818-4009
website:
http://TopPropertiesWenatchee.com
residential blog:
http://CarolsWenatchee.com
investment blog:
http://RealEstateSuccess.blogspot.com
e-mail: Carol@TopPropertiesWenatchee.com

Friday, July 01, 2005

Want To Be A Real Estate Tycoon?

There was an interesting quiz on AOL today about real estate investments. Some of the questions and answers were over simplified, but it's a good primer. Here's the link to take the quiz.
Have a great week-end,
Carol

Realtor, ABR, e-PRO, GRI, RECS, REI
Serving all of Washington State
Specializing in Wenatchee & Surrounding Areas
Phone: 509-670-7840 * Fax: 419-818-4009
Website:
http://TopPropertiesWenatchee.com
Residential blog:
http://CarolsWenatchee.com
Investment blog:
http://RealEstateSuccess.blogspot.com
e-mail: Carol@TopPropertiesWenatchee.com

Current Posts

For current posts, click here

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Gone To Seattle

Dear Readers,
I probably won't post for the next couple of days.

Gone To Seattle...

Have a great week!
Carol

Wannabe Millionaires

Dear Readers,
There was an interesting article at CNN Money about the current No Money Down Real Estate Mania. With the real estate craze going on, more wannabe millionaires than ever are flocking to the gurus to teach them how to get rich with no money. These gurus make it sound like you can do deals with no money, no job AND no (bad) credit. Sadly, many of these "students" are sorely disappointed at the difficulty and complexity. No money is one thing, but a job and decent credit helps immensely. It has been done, and can be done... but it's not as simple as they make it sound! The truth is, it's easier to do no money down deals in a slow market when buyers are not so plentiful.

I work "creative financing" deals with investors... but it's not easy. There are no money deals out there, but not everyone has the temperament or ability to actually carry through, and when you're a new investor it's difficult to come across as credible.

This kind of reminds me of the Gold Rush Days. It wasn't the miners making the money, but the guys selling the picks and shovels. Do you see the correlation here?

Anyway, good article. I recommend reading it.

Have a great day,
Carol

Monday, June 27, 2005

Finding My Current Posts

Dear Readers,
I've made several posts in my other real estate blog in the last few days, so please check it out.

The Wenatchee real estate market remains extremely active, with several new housing developments being built up at a record pace. Recent statistics indicate about 30% of our current sales are attributed to out-of-town buyers. A few of these are taking jobs here, but some are bringing their jobs with them (mobile technology, you know)... and many of them are retiring here for the sun and plethora of recreational opportunities.

Thanks and...
Have a great evening,
Carol

Saturday, June 25, 2005

Wenatchee Real Estate Building Boom

Dear Readers,
In the week-end issue of the Wenatchee World newspaper, there was a substantial article about the building boom going on in the Wenatchee and East Wenatchee area. For complete text of this article, titled "Space Race", click here.

Have a great week-end,
Carol

Friday, June 24, 2005

Rent-to--Own: The Pros & Cons

Dear Readers,
I've always liked the rent-to-own or lease/option as a way to market unique properties, or homes where the seller really needs more than fair market value. I've done several of them with Wenatchee real estate and most of them have worked out fine. I think the national statistic for lease/options that actually close is about 20% but, if properly structured, offer significant benefits to both buyer and seller... and WILL close.

Lease/Options are rarely advertised because sellers generally want to sell outright and get out from under the monthly obligation. But, remember, with the obligation comes some significant tax advantages. Even in a hot, hot, hot real estate market such as we are experiencing now... there are properties so unique that stepping out of the main stream is required.

The other reason you rarely see them advertised is because most real estate agents don't want to bother with them. They don't understand how to put them together.. and, more importantly, think they won't get paid. I believe I am the only Wenatchee area real estate agent that actually promotes the rent-to-own option.

If you can find a buyer through a lease/option that 1) offers higher than market value, 2) provides an up-front (non-refundable) deposit and 3) payments to cover and exceed the monthly expense it can be a very attractive option to many sellers.

If you're interested in reading more information on the pros and cons of lease/options, here's a link to an article from the MrLandlord website.

Have a great week-end,
Carol

Put Everything In Writing With Tenants

Dear Readers,
I was reading an article earlier in the day that addressed the issue of landlord/tenant communications. It said put everything in writing... everything. If a tenant calls to request a repair, have them also put it in writing. If you call them about their rent being late, also send them a letter. Keep copies of all this communication to create a good paper trail. This will help you should any future disputes arise, and also with your tax filing records.

Have a great week-end,
Carol

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Watch for Wenatchee Real Estate Market Summaries

Dear Readers,
Starting in July, I will do monthly market summaries for the following areas:
Wenatchee & East Wenatchee
Rock Island
Malaga
Cashmere
Leavenworth

In early July I will post a summary of the first six months of 2005. From that point forward, I will attempt to post a monthly market summary. This will include active listings, closed sales, and current pending sales... and average Days On Market (DOM) information.


Realtor, ABR, e-PRO, GRI, RECS, REI
Serving all of Washington State
Specializing in Wenatchee & Surrounding Areas
Phone: 509-670-7840 * Fax: 419-818-4009
real estate website:
http://TopPropertiesWenatchee.com
residential blog: http://CarolsWenatchee.com
investment blog:
http://RealEstateSuccess.blogspot.com
e-mail: Carol@TopPropertiesWenatchee.com

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Summer Solstice

Dear Readers,
You've gotta love the longest day of the year.
I was out showing property until nearly 8:30
this evening... no worries about impending darkness!

Want to know more about summer solstice? Check out this link.

Crazy Busy

Dear Readers,
Sorry I haven't posted for a couple of days. It's been kind of crazy busy for me lately. Saturday, I spent the entire day with a couple transferring in from Reno. The Wenatchee real estate market is so hot here now, our inventory is very limited. After spending the whole day looking at homes, they decided it may be necessary to find a short term rental (which is another problem), buy a lot and arrange for a home to be built.

After our experience on Saturday, I was excited when a new listing popped up on Sunday that looked perfect for them. Despite the fact I had other out-of-town clients in town for the day (Sunday), I previewed the house for my new Reno friends and confirmed it was something they would most definitely be interested in. I called the clients and set an appointment to show it to them on Monday. During the showing, I called the listing agent to ask a question. She informed me there were 3 offers coming in that day! Mind you, this home (priced in the low 200's) had been on the market one single day.

It's a crazy time.

Saturday, June 18, 2005

4-Plex Bonus Income

Dear Readers,
On my other blog I posted an article today about how to make some extra money with your multi-family units. If you're considering building a multi-family unit, you might want to consider this strategy.

Have a nice week-end,
Carol

Thursday, June 16, 2005

Now I've Done It!

Dear Readers,
This morning I was trying to get inspired about what to write in my blog entry for the day. I've been doing alot of work on my other blog and my main real estate website and haven't posted here for a couple of days.

I've been posting daily residential activity on my other blog and don't want to duplicate here because, rumor has it, the search engines don't like that! They consider it spamming the search engines, I guess. So, I went to Yahoo, and typed in "Wenatchee real estate news info and trends", hoping to find something to kick start my brain.

Anyway, I was surprised to see my other blog was listed as the #1 source and this blog is the #3 source. The link between me and myself didn't even work. So, now I've created quite a dilemma. I am the source of news, info and trends in Wenatchee real estate... so I better go out and make something happen to write about. :-)

Ummm. Not a bad problem. Gotta go....

Cheers!
Carol

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Buying Foreclosure Homes

Dear Readers,
Regardless of the "hot" real estate market, there are lots of foreclosure homes on the market these days. I often get calls from people who want to buy foreclosure homes because they think they can buy them for pennies on the dollar, as they are led to believe... by, what I consider, somewhat false advertising.

The reality of dealing with foreclosure homes is not what most people have been led to believe. First of all, many of the foreclosed homes have been over-mortgaged. The only craze hotter than the home buying craze has been the lending craze. How many solicitations for re-financing your home have you received in the last year? Probably at least one per week.

If you really think about it, if a homeowner could sell their home for more than what they owe they'd do it... and keep the difference. This would certainly be better than getting kicked out of your home with nothing to show for it.

The truth is, most people owe more than what they would net (after paying off the mortgage and selling costs). So, what is happening is the banks are re-possessing the homes and trying to sell them for what is owed on the property. They are not trying to make a profit. They are just trying to recover their investment (plus legal fees to foreclose and sell).

O.K... so let's say you do find a foreclosure you are interested in and the price actually does seem to be a good deal. Should you jump on it? Maybe and maybe not. The next problem with foreclosures is that the banks make you accept the house in "as is" condition. That means they make no warranties or guarantees. They know nothing about the property and take no responsibility or liability for it. You've got to do alot of "due diligence" when buying any home but even more so with a foreclosure homes, because there is nobody to take responsibility if there are undisclosed problems.

The next problem is financing. Many foreclosure homes have maintenance and repair issues. I've actually seen foreclosure homes where the toilets and kitchen cabinets have been stripped. Bitter occupants take what they can and leave in the night. Anyway, the foreclosing banks don't want to spend the money to fix them up. They want to sell them "as is". This causes a problem when trying to get new financing. The "new" lender doesn't want to finance a home needing repairs... so you need to have a large down payment (or all cash) to make the deal work. Then you need more cash to actually make the repairs.

If you actually do have enough cash to buy a foreclosed home, you might consider looking for a "desperate" seller BEFORE foreclosure happens. You could probably buy the home for less from the seller than from the lender. If it actually goes through foreclosure, the lender now has the added foreclosure costs on top of their already high mortgage balance.

Every situation is different, of course. If you see a property you are interested in, I'd be glad to analyze and discuss some strategies on a case by case basis.

Have a great day!
Carol

Sunday, June 12, 2005

Wenatchee - 8 Bedroom Home + In-Home Office

Dear Readers,
I have a 5375 square foot, eight bedroom, 4 1/2 bath home listed. I've often thought this would be a great house for a family with lots of foster children. There is such a huge need for foster families and they pay per child, so it would make it possible to afford this big home on nearly one acre of land. Listed at $485,000 and willing to negotiate.

Have a nice day!
Carol

Friday, June 10, 2005

Weddings & Real Estate

Dear Readers,
With June here, we are reminded about what a popular month it is for weddings. This got me to thinking what the average cost of a wedding is these days, so I started searching the internet. I visited several sites and was shocked at the amount of money people are apparently paying for weddings. Did you know the average cost of a wedding now is around $30,000? I knew it had gotten exorbitant, but that blew my mind. This is even more scary when I think of the divorce rate.

Being a practical person, I couldn't help but wonder what more productive (and profitable) thing could be done with that money. Being a real estate person, it made me wonder what would happen if a small wedding was planned and the rest of the money was used for a down payment on an investment property (no, not a primary residence).

It seems like you could have a decent wedding for $10,000, doesn't it? $10,000. That's still a lot of money! So, if they took the other $20,000 and made a 20% down payment on a $100,000 investment property (no not primary residence) what would happen?

Being conservative and looking at long term appreciation rates, we could use 5% as a reasonable annual rate of appreciation. In 30 years a 100,000 property should be worth $300,000 or more, through compounding. In the meantime, with a 20% downpayment, the property should "pay for itself". By "pay for itself" I mean cover all expenses... mortgage, taxes, insurance, maintenance, etc.

The average age of a bride these days is 27. 29 for the groom. So, by the time they are 57 & 59, they already have an investment that will generate a nice cash flow or can be used to refinance for cash to put into another investment. The wise thing, of course, would be to watch the value (and income/expense ratios) and refinance when it "computes", so they can keep investing in more investment properties. By the time they are of actual retirement age, they're going to literally be real estate millionaires... and all this is because they were willing to have a "small" wedding.

Practical? I think so. Something to seriously consider? Absolutely.

Have a great day!
Carol

P.S.: In my post I mentioned the $20,000 should not be used for a down payment on a primary residence. Why? Because I think it should be used strictly for an investment. The primary residence should be paid for from the couples earnings. They may rent for a while, and move several times over the course of their marriage. But, the original $20,000 investment is setting them up for life!

Thursday, June 09, 2005

Wenatchee real estate inventory out of balance?

Dear Readers,
Since I've been posting some statistical info on my other blog ( www.CarolsWenatchee.com ), I've been wondering if our inventory of Wenatchee & East Wenatchee real estate is getting a little out of balance. I confined my analysis and did not include real estate from Cashmere, Rock Island, Malaga or other outlying areas.

Here's what our current inventory looks like:

Current Inventory:
Under $130,000 : 56 homes (29 closed in May) 52%
$130,001 - $200,000 : 77 homes 64 closed in May) 83%
$200,001 - $300,000 : 140 homes (19 closed in May) 13%
$300,000 - $400,000 : 25 homes ( 4 closed in May) 15%
$400,000 + : 22 homes ( 5 closed in May) 23%

Ummm... do you see a trend here? If you were building "spec" homes, which price range do you think would be best?

It is interesting to note that the homes in the under $130,000 are selling a smaller percentage of inventory than the over $130,000. Much of this is because the inventory in that price range includes mobile homes on leased land and lower end condos, which are selling but not at as swift a rate as higher priced homes. Homes over $100,000 and under $130,000, in a good location, are selling within days of listing (regardless of condition)... and closing within 30 - 45 days.

It's a good time of year to be selling, so it will be interesting to watch how the trends go. To do your own home searches, go to www.TopPropertiesWenatchee.com

Enjoy your evening,
Carol

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

Wenatchee real estate activity

Dear Readers,
If you're interested in a summary of the overall real estate activity in the Wenatchee, East Wenatchee, Malaga, Cashmere and Leavenworth... please go to my other blog at: http://www.carolswenatchee.com This includes some information for Orondo, Waterville and Plain, Washington.

I have summarized the month of May, including new and sold listings of residential lots, acreage and primary residences. There was no apparent activity in Rock Island, Washington last month.
If you'd like to do a FREE property search in any given price range, visit:
www.TopPropertiesWenatchee.com

Have a great day!
Carol

Monday, June 06, 2005

Big Estate Sale in East Wenatchee

Dear Readers,
This week-end we're having a monster estate sale in East Wenatchee. A two-story home is jam packed full of stuff... from common household items to antiques. I'll have more details on the sale time schedule later in the week.
Have a great day!
Carol

Wenatchee Summary To Follow

Dear Readers,
I played in a golf tournament both days of the week-end, so I'm running a bit behind. It's not like me to skip two days of posting.

Anyway, I'm working on an update of the last weeks activity... plus a summary of the entire month of May, so keep checking back.

Have a great day!
Carol K. Williams
Realtor, ABR, e-PRO, GRI, RECS, REI
Serving all of Washington State
Specializing in Wenatchee & Surrounding Areas
Phone: 509-670-7840 * Fax: 419-818-4009
website: http://TopPropertiesWenatchee.com
blog: http://carolswenatchee.com/
blog: http://realestatesuccess.blogspot.com/
e-mail: Carol@TopPropertiesWenatchee.com

Friday, June 03, 2005

Eatery & Tavern + Building For Sale

Dear Readers,
Yesterday I noticed a new commercial investment listing pop up on the daily "hot sheet". It is an eatery and tavern in the town of Waterville, Washington... which is about 35 miles north of Wenatchee. I don't work the Waterville real estate market very much because it's a rural wheat growing area. I have sold and listed properties in the area, but I don't do it on a regular basis because I keep busy in the immediate Wenatchee real estate market.

The tavern caught my eye, though. This is a long established business. I have no idea what the income/expense records look like but I would certainly be interested in reviewing them. Let me know if you know anyone interested in this kind of a venture and I'll get what additional info I can.

Waterville is actually the county seat of Douglas County. They have a number of special events in the area, including the North Central Washington District Fair in late August. It is August 25th - 28th this year. The fair features a rodeo, horse racing, carnival rides, animals, exhibits, food, live entertainment and much more. My husband and I usually make a point of going up on Sunday during the fair so we can watch the final day of the rodeo.

Here's a link to the town of Waterville website, if you'd like to check out more info on the area. If you want more info on the eatery and tavern, call me or send an e-mail.

Have a great day!
Carol

Carol K. Williams
Realtor, ABR, e-PRO, GRI, RECS, REI
Serving all of Washington State
Specializing in Wenatchee & Surrounding Areas
Phone: 509-670-7840 * Fax: 419-818-4009
website: http://TopPropertiesWenatchee.com
blog: http://CarolsWenatchee.com
blog: http://RealEstateSuccess.blogspot.com
e-mail: Carol@TopPropertiesWenatchee.com

Thursday, June 02, 2005

Leavenworth Acreage for development

Dear Readers,
On my other blog at www.CarolsWenatchee.com I've started posting a summary of the statistics of what's going on in the Wenatchee real estate market, and surrounding areas. I invite you to check it out when you get the time.

On yesterday's "hot sheet" (which I explained on the other blog) I noticed some acreage that came on the market in Leavenworth. Leavenworth is about 25 miles west of Wenatchee and is a significant resort town. It has been transformed into a, now famous, Bavarian village. Last year (or was it the year before) A&E television named Leavenworth as the best Christmas celebration town in the United States.

Anyway, zillions of tourists go to Leavenworth each year to take part in their planned activities, but there is also tons of recreational opportunities there... hiking, cross country skiing, fishing, winter sleigh rides, summer hay rides, etc. Tourist come in droves throughout the year, filling up the town and all the motels in the area.

I noticed yesterday that an intriquing 9.49 acres came on the market in Leavenworth. It is priced at $750,000. The price seems kind of steep at slightly over $79,000 per acre BUT the zoning gives it some serious upside potential:

Zoned: RM (Residential Medium Density) This allows Planned Unit Developments (PUDs) including small single family homes, duplex, triplex, condos and/or apartments for primary residences or rentals. According to the listing sheet, the zoning allows for construction of one dwelling unit per 2,000 square feet of land space. With slightly over 413,000 square feet my fingers started jumping around furiously on the calculator. Of course, you've got to calculate parking areas, common areas, etc... but, the point is, there appears to be some pretty good profit potential with the right planning and development. It would cost some big money to develop, but I can see the potential.

That's it for today. Again, I invite you to visit, and bookmark, my other blog at:
www.CarolsWenatchee.com

Have a great day!
Carol

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

Wenatchee investment real estate listings needed

Dear Readers,
I have buyers for Wenatchee real estate investment properties. Do you know anyone who might want to sell? I have buyers for the following types of properties:

1 Duplex,
2 Four-plexes
1 Apartment building (5 or more units)

I also have buyers for single family homes in all price ranges under $250,000.

I would appreciate you giving my name to potential sellers. I will be glad to provide them with a FREE detailed price analysis.

Thanks!
Carol

Monday, May 30, 2005

A Great Investment Strategy

Dear Readers,
Want some ideas of how to make money investing in real estate, without taking significant risk? Here's an example of an actual lease purchase I negotiated for a buyer a few years ago. This strategy can be used for Wenatchee real estate or in any market in the country. It's just a matter of finding where the opportunities are.

Home listed for sale at: $79,900

Negotiated a 2 year lease/purchase as follows:
* $2,000 cash deposit to sellers
* $495 per month (pays sellers mortgage, taxes, insurance)
* Seller retains ownership
* Buyer maintains control of the property, with right to sub-lease

Buyer (lessee) re-sold the property (within two weeks) on 1 year lease/purchase for: $84,900
* New buyer paid $3,000 non-refundable deposit. Do you see an immediate $1,000 profit?
* New buyer pays $750 per month for one year. Do you see $255 profit each month?
* New buyer is given $200 per month rent credit (only if they exercise the lease purchase). This rent credit helps the new buyer build their down payment, but cuts into the profit. Remember, though, you've got a $5,000 mark-up and making the $255 per month in the
meantime.
* Buyer was not able to get financing at the end of the lease period and I re-sold it again with a $4,000 deposit. The other terms were essentially the same. This buyer was not able to get financing at the end of the lease period either, so the buyer turned the property back to the seller (at the end of the 2 year period). In the meantime, the original buyer collected $7,000 in deposits (Paid $2,000 upfront) and collected a profit of $255 per month for 24 months ($6,120). $13,120 return on a $2,000 upfront investment. Not bad. And, the original seller has their property back, which is now worth more due to property value increases.

Do you get the jist? In a hot market like we are currently experiencing, good opportunities may be rare, but they're out there. I can also see some opportunities with buying into pre-foreclosure properties.

Some food for thought.
Carol

Sunday, May 29, 2005

Happy Memorial Day

Dear Readers,
As the daughter of a WWII veteran, I got curious about the history of the Memorial Day observance. I found this summary of the history of Memorial Day, and thought you might find it interesting too.

God bless our war veterans and God Bless our serving troops!

Have a happy and safe Memorial Day,
Carol

Friday, May 27, 2005

Check Out My New Poll Feature

Dear Readers,
Scroll down the page and look for the new poll question feature on the lower left. Let me know if you have questions you'd like to know the answer to and maybe I can include them in a future poll.
Have a great day!
Carol

Thursday, May 26, 2005

Transferring Posts

Dear Readers,
I'm working on a new blog, and have transferred some of the posts from here to there. I don't want to double enter because I think the search engines don't like that. My new blog is:
http://www.CarolsWenatchee.com

Anyway, I'm going to change the focus of this blog more along the investment line.. investment ideas for the "little guy" (and gal, of course).

Cheers!
Carol

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Real Estate Investment Club

Dear Readers,
I've been talking, for a long time, about starting a real estate investment club. Everyone I've talked with thinks it's a great idea, but I just haven't taken the legal steps to get it organized. Would we need to limit it to Wenatchee real estate, or expand into other markets?

You've, no doubt, heard about the stock investment club craze of the 1990's... so I want to carry this over into the real estate arena. The idea is the same, several people put in a little bit of money each month to make investments.

I served as President of a Women's Stock Investment Club and am familiar with the concept and function. It's a little more complicated than a stock investment club because of the dollars involved. We'd have to figure out a way of calculating value on a month to month basis, especially if we accept members after the initial start-up. In our stock investment group, we had a cap on the number of members (20) and only accepted members once a year, if there was an opening. You could only discontinue membership, with notice, once a year. After being notified of an upcoming opening we would replace that member. The departing member would receive their accumulated value pay-out 3 months following their departure. Their membership would terminate December 31 and the pay-out would come March 31. New members join on January 1st.

It would be too complicated having members coming and going during the year... but a person could potentially sell their position in the club if they needed to liquidate fast. We never had this happen, but I think it should be alright, if the incoming member meets any other criteria for membership.

What could happen if we got 100 investors putting in just $25 per month? We'd have $2500 per month to invest. If those 100 could put in just $100 as start-up money, we'd have $10,000 seed money to start.

We'd probably have to start with some lease/purchase type contracts until we accumulated enough money to actually buy something... but there's money to be made there too, and less liability.

Just throwing it out there to see how much interest there is. If there's enough interest, then I can work out some of the details and get it going. I need your questions and feedback, so I can address all the issues that would go along with this kind of an undertaking.

Give it some thought...

Have a great day!
Carol

Realtor, ABR, e-PRO, GRI, RECS, REI
Serving all of Washington State
Specializing in Wenatchee & Surrounding Areas
Phone: 509-670-7840 * Fax: 419-818-4009
website:
http://TopPropertiesWenatchee.com
blog: http://CarolsWenatchee.com
blog:
http://RealEstateSuccess.blogspot.com
e-mail: Carol@TopPropertiesWenatchee.com


Thursday, May 19, 2005

Poopy Pop-ups & Spykillers!

Today I received some complaints of pop-ups showing up on my blog... and I was surprised and even more annoyed! I hate it when that happens. Somehow, when I added a "free" hit counter they added some html code to my template which allowed pop-ups without my knowledge.

Let me assure you, I hate pop-ups more than anyone and I would never intentionally add them to my site. If you do see pop-ups on my site, please let me know immediately and I will figure out how to get rid of them. Please let me know who the pop-ups are promoting, so I know what to look for in the html coding.

I, personally, have Spykiller pop-up blocker on my computer. It's free and has worked extremely well for me. Beware of "free" software, though because there could be a catch like I discovered with the free hit counter. I am very diligent about doing the Disk Clean, Defrag, and Virus Scan every single day. I also scan for, and remove, spyware regularly.

Thanks to everyone for reading my blog. I enjoy doing it and I want it to be interesting and useful! If anyone has any particular subject you'd like me to write about regarding Wenatchee real estate... or real estate in general, let me know.

Cheers!
Carol

Saturday, May 14, 2005

Wenatchee Real Estate Frenzy

Dear Readers,
Sales of Wenatchee real estate (new & existing homes and vacant land) were amazingly brisk throughout 2004. This trend shows no sign of slowdown in 2005. This surge in sales activity has created a tremendous demand. This huge demand has resulted in a massive increase in new construction activity. Home values have increased substantially but, fortunately, the flurry of new construction activity should help supply keep pace with demand, so our prices don't get totally out of control. There are new neighborhoods, literally, springing up all over. The surge in subdivision development has helped keep vacant lot prices fairly stable.

The new home construction activity has contributed to a recent Wenatchee Labor Summary report: In February 2005, the unemployment rate in Chelan and Douglas counties was 6.9 percent, one full percentage point less than the February 2004 figure of 7.9 percent . Agricultural jobs have decreased, which stands to reason since many of the orchard trees are being cut down to "plant" houses. To read more about that and our very diverse local economy, you can check out my "Apple Blossom" buzz post from May 4, 2005. This will help explain why, despite a decrease in agriculture job, the local economy is quite healthy.

Have a great day!
Carol

Realtor, ABR, e-PRO, GRI, RECS, REI
Serving all of Washington State
Specializing in Wenatchee & Surrounding Areas
Phone: 509-670-7840 * Fax: 419-818-4009
website:
http://TopPropertiesWenatchee.com
blog: http://RealEstateSuccess.blogspot.com
e-mail: Carol@TopPropertiesWenatchee.com

Monday, May 09, 2005

Some blogs I watch

Dear Readers,
Since I began blogging a little over a month ago, I've been browsing the internet to see what other blogs are out there. There are some interesting ones on every imagineable subject, and one I would like to suggest you check out is: http://www.PFblog.com The "PF" is for "personal finance" and covers a very wide array of subjects. I have it coded into my MyYahoo account, so I can check it daily. I don't read it all, of course... but I like having it there to keep my consciousness on alert in regards to a variety of financial issues. I think when someone is involved in a specific industry such as mine (Wenatchee real estate) it's easy to get tunnel vision. Plus, it's good to look at things from a variety of perspectives. Anyway, just thought you might like to check it out.

Another blog I've been watching is http://www.AllThingsFinancial.com It's a little more "homey" than the PFblog... and you'll get a personal response if you post a comment to his blog.

Have a great week!
Carol


Realtor, ABR, e-PRO, GRI, RECS, REI
Serving all of Washington State
Specializing in Wenatchee & Surrounding Areas
Phone: 509-670-7840 * Fax: 419-818-4009
website:
http://TopPropertiesWenatchee.com
blog: http://RealEstateSuccess.blogspot.com
e-mail: Carol@TopPropertiesWenatchee.com

Friday, May 06, 2005

Mousse Au Chocolat and Azaleas


Max & Carol Williams - 20th Wedding Anniversary

With Mother's Day coming up Sunday, my husband came home yesterday afternoon bearing chocolates.... so my morning (today) started off right with a cup of Irish Cream coffee and a "mousse au chocolat". Today he came home bearing an Azalea tree that now adorns the dining table and will eventually be planted outside. Do you suppose tomorrow there will be another surprise? I'm not a "real" mother, but I am the step-mother to his five children... all of whom like me, with the possible temporary exception of the youngest (now 29). He's not too thrilled with my theory that he should be self sufficient at this point in his life. The cash machine is closed. I've discovered that's what step-mothers are for... being mean when the Dad doesn't want to (even though the Dad agrees with the mean step-mother). It's a burden we bear.

Our oldest son (my step-son) and his daughter are coming up from Yakima later this afternoon, in time to go to East Wenatchee for the Classy Chassis Parade at 6:30. There will be about 200 classic cars on display. This is the son who recently returned from a year in Iraq. He just bought back his 1957 Chevy station wagon to restore, so he is into car restoration like his Dad.

Tomorrow morning we'll go to the Kiwanis Pancake breakfast in the park where the floats are staged and judged prior to the Grand Parade. By going to the pancake breakfast and walking around while the floats are getting organized, we get to talk with the royalty and chaperones from all over the state.

Well... that's about it for now.
Cheers!
Carol

Realtor, ABR, e-PRO, GRI, RECS, REI
Serving all of Washington State
Specializing in Wenatchee & Surrounding Areas
Phone: 509-670-7840 * Fax: 419-818-4009
website: http://toppropertieswenatchee.com/
blog: http://realestatesuccess.blogspot.com/
e-mail: Carol@TopPropertiesWenatchee.com

Saturday, April 30, 2005

Wenatchee Estate...Did They Save Everything?

Dear Readers,
I had a house showing this morning, so I didn't get to go to Hastings for my Saturday morning ritual of drinking coffee and reading magazines. That's alright, though. I don't mind. Sadly, the showing was for an estate sale of a nice old couple that died last year within weeks of each other.

The house has now been vacant for over a year. This is a very cool house, on a large lot, built in about 1952... with an elevator. It's not that I've never seen a house with an elevator before, but not a house this small. It's only about 936 square feet on each level. When I first went in this house, we couldn't get the basement door open, so we had to actually use the elevator. It was a little spooky because I wasn't sure if it worked. As the realtor, I had to pretend to be brave so I offered to go down first. Voila! It worked like a charm. The very funny thing was, when I got down to the basement, all the hats on top of the elevator were now revealed and the people who were left on the upper floor cracked up.

The house is so full of stuff... I think these people saved everything (and I mean everything) since they had it built in 1952. There were still calendars from the 1960's hanging on walls! It was as if they liked the picture on the calendar, they just never took it down. There are stacks of magazines, drawers full of pencils, bags of plastic bags... and lots and lots of nic nacs. We joked that there were nooks and crannies inside the nooks and crannies, and they are all full! From what I understand, the yard used to be beautiful and a major source of pride to the owners. It is now a sad mass of overgrown bushes and weeds and thorny wayward tree suckers.

The executor has been so overwhelmed with where to begin with the sorting and cleaning process, that we haven't done anything for months. Fortunately, she got connected with an antique consignor who will take care of pricing and selling the good stuff and disposing of the rest of it. They take a percentage of the proceeds, which is well worth the service rendered! What a relief.

Anyway, the people I showed the house to are a nice young couple who live across the street. Apparently they kind of looked after the elderly couple when they were alive, and have lots of fond memories. I hope they get to buy the house.

Every house project is a new experience, and I look forward to seeing this through closing... and beyond. I pride myself in turning clients into long term friends. It makes my world a better place, and I've been told vice versa.

Cheers!
Carol

Realtor, ABR, e-PRO, GRI, RECS, REI
Serving all of Washington State
Specializing in Wenatchee & Surrounding Areas
Phone: 509-670-7840 * Fax: 419-818-4009
website: http://toppropertieswenatchee.com/
blog: http://realestatesuccess.blogspot.com/
e-mail: Carol@TopPropertiesWenatchee.com

Thursday, April 28, 2005

Fact Is Stranger Than Fiction

Has anyone been to my "other" website today? www.TopPropertiesWenatchee.com In my morning news feed there is a link to an article about someone who wants their upstairs neighbors evicted because they are too fat! I have always said fact is stranger than fiction, and this stuff is just too weird to make up. We all have our problems and, if this weren't so sad, it would be funny. Good grief.

Here's the entire article:
Obesity not a valid reason for eviction
Downstairs tenant afraid of ceiling collapse
Thursday, April 28, 2005
By Robert GriswoldInman News
Question: This is a classic problem. I took a downstairs apartment out of desperation. The people upstairs are of the heavy type. This is a cheap apartment. There is no soundproofing. They are so heavy that when they stomp (excuse me – walk) across the floor, they make it sound like I am living near Baghdad. I have tried to talk to them but they say it is not their fault. My only answer is to move if the landlord won't kick them out. Now they have moved another entire family into the apartment, which is clearly a violation of the lease. So now there are four large adults and two babies up there. I have notified the management, they claim to have given them a warning. These people are so heavy that you can actually see floor joists are bowing down. I am afraid the ceiling is going to collapse. Can't the landlord just tell them to leave?
Landlords' attorney Smith replies:
Fair housing laws require the landlord to have an open rental policy to qualified tenants. It would be illegal to evict them based solely on their physical characteristics. However, there is a distinct violation by having extra people occupy the rental. For this reason alone, the landlord could take legal steps to evict them and probably should do so under the circumstances given the over-occupancy and the disturbance issues. You could vacate the premises, but it's my view that the landlord could still hold you to the lease. Also, if you can literally see the floor above you move, then you may want to have the landlord send someone in to check that out.
More stories by
Robert GriswoldTenants get creative when trying to break leaseTenant turns to trickery to break leaseTenant's poor housekeeping creates safety issuesCan manager refuse to transfer tenant to quieter apartment?Tenant seeks payment for property repairsFlood damage reinforces value of renter's insurance>>More
Question: I have a rental property where one of the tenants just moved in last month and signed a six-month lease. These are standard, boilerplate lease forms that we got from Professional Publishing. At the time this tenant signed the lease we asked him for first month, last month and a security deposit. He told us he couldn't pay the entire security deposit or anything towards the last month's rent before moving in. But he indicated that he was getting paid his commission soon and would pay the rest of the security deposit and the last month's rent in two weeks. This turned out to be a lie, but we did eventually get the last month's rent from him over two months after move-in. Once again he promised to pay the balance of the security deposit but he never comes through. He has now become surly when we ask him for the deposit. The rental agreement he signed with us clearly stated that he would pay first, last and security. Since we now have a last month's rent from him, at what point can we consider him to be in breach of the lease and give him a 30-day notice?
Landlords' attorney Smith replies:
Your tenant is in violation of the lease agreement under which he holds possession of the premises. The lease violations you refer to subject the tenant to possible eviction. However, you may not use a 30-day notice. The 30-day is used to terminate month-to-month tenancies only, not leases. In this case you have a 6-month lease. You will need to legally serve a notice to perform or quit, which requests payment of the balance of the deposit or possession of the premises within a limited number of days after service. If he fails to comply with the legal notice, you will have the right to evict despite the six-month lease. Your retention of the last month's rent should not defeat your right to evict based on the lease violation. In residential cases, I encourage my landlord clients to get away from collecting "last month's rent," and, instead, call the entire amount held "security deposit." This gives you your maximum use of the money for rent, cleaning and damages. By calling the entire sum "security deposit," you are not required to give credit against rent before the tenant vacates.
This column on issues confronting tenants and landlords is written by property manager Robert Griswold, author of "Property Management for Dummies" and co-author of "Real Estate Investing for Dummies," and San Diego attorneys Steven R. Kellman, director of the Tenant's Legal Center, and Ted Smith, principal in a firm representing landlords.



Now, on to a lighter subject (pun intended):
Tuesday I took my husband to Chelan for an "overnighter". Chelan, for those of you who aren't familiar with our geography, is a very popular resort town about 35 miles north of Wenatchee. There is a big beautiful lake, about 50 miles long and a mile deep in places. The water is cold and pure and the scenery is beautiful. It's insanely crowded in the summer (and Spring and Fall week-end), so it was the perfect time to go. The reason we went was because last year, in a golf tournament, I won a gift certificate for a free night at one of the motels. Turns out it was going to expire on May 1st, so I decided we'd better use it. Mid week was the perfect time to go because the week-end crowds had not arrived.

Anyway, this was a welcome get-a-way, if just for one night. I've been so busy with real estate we've nearly been a prisoner in our own town. Our room (which was actually a suite) was on the 4th floor and had a wonderful view of the lake and surrounding mountains. We went out to dinner and relaxed over wine (me) and a margarita (Max). We were back home by early afternoon yesterday. Thanks to my warped sense of duty, I admit to taking my cell phone and laptop computer... so we were hardly missed!

Back to work now...

Have a great day!
Carol

Realtor, ABR, e-PRO, GRI, REI
Serving all of Washington State
Specializing in Wenatchee & Surrounding Areas
Phone: 509-670-7840 * Fax: 419-818-4009
website: http://toppropertieswenatchee.com/
blog: http://realestatesuccess.blogspot.com/
e-mail: Carol@TopPropertiesWenatchee.com