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.


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

Thursday, April 28, 2005

Fact Is Stranger Than Fiction

Has anyone been to my "other" website today? 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!

Realtor, ABR, e-PRO, GRI, REI
Serving all of Washington State
Specializing in Wenatchee & Surrounding Areas
Phone: 509-670-7840 * Fax: 419-818-4009

Sunday, April 24, 2005

Accident witness - audio clip

Dear Readers,
This audio clip is so funny, I thought you'd enjoy hearing it. Apparently this is an operations manager with Jack in the Box, who was leaving a voice mail for his boss because he was going to be late for a meeting. While he was leaving the message, he witnessed an auto accident and began doing a play by play of the events that followed. Be sure to turn up the volume on your speakers:

Have a great day!

Realtor, ABR, e-PRO, GRI, REI
Serving all of Washington State
Specializing in Wenatchee & Surrounding Areas
Phone: 509-670-7840 * Fax: 419-818-4009

Friday, April 22, 2005

Spice up your home with a few paint tricks

Quote of the day:
"Laughter is the shortest distance between two people".
-Victor Borge

Dear Readers,
Like a lot of other people, I moved last year. Before moving, we decided to paint the entire interior of the home while it was still vacant. To give each room character and it's own personality I used a combination of painting, wallpapering and wall paper borders. It turned out really nice and we love it. But my pride and joy is a two story wall in the dining room that we did a ragging technique on. Our decor is southwestern, so we created a wall that resembles a rich piece of leather. It is beautiful and adds a very dramatic look. If you're interested in creating some new looks in your home, you may enjoy this article I pulled from my Inman News feed today:

"Whether it's sponging or ragging, new techniques give a fresh look.

Friday, April 22, 2005
By Paul BianchinaInman News
You've seen them do it on shows like "Trading Spaces" and "Extreme Makeover." You may have even seen it at a friend's house. And now you've decided it's time to move away from those plain white walls and try something different. With some basic tools, a couple of cans of paint, and a little experimental spirit, you can dress up one wall or your entire house with some simple special painting effects.

The materials listed here should all be available at home centers, paint stores and larger department stores. With any of these techniques, you might want to practice in a closet or on a large sheet of cardboard or plywood first, to get a feel for the process and to see if you're happy with the color and texture. Also, your hands will be getting up close and personal with the paint, so a couple of pairs of disposable gloves are also a worthwhile investment.

Sponging is probably one of the most popular and most enjoyable of the special effects painting techniques. To get started, you need two or more colors of paint, a paint tray, a natural sea sponge and some paper towels or old newspapers.
To begin, paint the wall with the base color. This will actually not be the predominate color when you're done, but rather more of an accent color that shows through gaps in the sponged-on color. Let this coat dry before proceeding.
Next, dip your sponge in water and ring it out so that it's just damp, which helps keep the sponge from picking up too much paint. Dip the sponge into the second paint color, blot it slightly against the paper towel to remove excess paint, and then gently press the sponge against the wall. Keep your touch light to create a subtle pattern of paint, as opposed to pressing hard or with too much paint on the sponge, with blurs the pattern too much.

Don't overdo it by trying to cover too much of the base coat at once. Instead, try and achieve a light pattern of paint texture that has a look you like. Do the entire wall, and then if you feel that too much of the base coat is still visible, you can go back over it a second time. Allow this second color to dry completely before going back over it with a third color if desired. If the sponge will not reach into the corners, use a small paint brush to dab paint into these areas in a pattern that matches the sponge.

Ragging is similar to sponging in technique, but the finished look is different, with a slightly heavier look that resembles some types of fabric. Once again, begin by applying a base coat color to the wall and allowing it to dry completely. You'll want to use a clean, absorbent, lint-free rag or towel that has some nap to it, like a washcloth. The type of cloth you use and how you hold it will determine the finished texture effects.

Dip the rag in water, wring it out, then ball the rag up loosely in your hand and gently dip it into the second paint color. Blot off the excess on a paper towel, then touch the rag against the wall. Repeat this, re-gripping the rag as you go, to create different textures. Re-dip the rag in the paint as soon as it begins to lose the pattern you like. Ragging is usually done with only two colors, but you can add a third if you like – just make sure each color is completely dry before moving on to the next one.

As the name implies, this technique will leave thin wash of top-coat color over the base color, almost at though the wall has aged or been worn from use. Washing is best done with just one color over the base coat.
Paint on the base color and allow it to dry. Using the same type of rag or towel used for ragging, dip the rag in water and wring it out, then dip it into the paint. You can actually allow the rag to pick up a little more paint with this technique, but you do want to be sure that you do not have an excess amount on your gloves that could smear onto the wall.

Use the rag to apply the top color coat to the wall by actually wiping on the paint with a swirling motion – almost like you're washing the wall with soap and water - rather than dabbing it on as was done with the earlier techniques. Continue "washing" the wall with paint until the rag begins to dry and starts taking some of the paint back off. When you have removed a sufficient amount of paint to achieve the look you want, re-dip the rag in paint and move on to another section of the wall. The important thing here is to try and achieve some level of consistency with the finished look, rather than leaving large areas with a lot of paint on them and other areas with much less.

Remodeling and repair questions? E-mail Paul at "

Have fun with your project and...

Have a great week-end!

Carol K. Williams,
Realtor, ABR, e-PRO, GRI, REI
Serving all of Washington State
Specializing in Wenatchee & Surrounding Areas
Phone: 509-670-7840 * Fax: 419-818-4009

Wednesday, April 20, 2005

Saving On Gas

Dear Readers,
The price of gas these days is annoying everyone, so I thought the following article might be of interest to you all. Don't be penney wise and dollar foolish, though. The best way to save money on gas is to cut back on driving!

Gas Pump Money Saving Tips by: Leroy Chan
Gas prices are zooming sky high with no ceiling in sight. Do you remember when a gallon of unleaded cost $1.25? (Carol's note: And we thought that was high!)

These days, it’s more important than ever to stretch your dollars at the gas pump.
Here are ten gasoline buying tips to help you do that.
1. Shop Around
Prices vary among stations that sell the same brand. Find a station that sells your favorite brand cheaper. Prices between brands can vary. You can save money by switching brands. (Carol's note: don't spend alot of time running around to save a penney or two per gallon. A 2 cent saving to fill up my car is only about 15 cents total. At the current price of gas, around $2.50, it costs me about 13 cents per mile just for gas, not to mention wear and tear on the car... so don't worry about a few pennies).

2. Use a Gasoline Credit Card
Some give a 5 to 10 percent rebate on purchases. (Carol's note: AND, some cards give airmiles with each purchase)

3. Buy Gasoline in the Morning
Gasoline is denser during the morning when temperatures are colder. Gas pumps measure and charge by volume, not density. You’ll be getting more solid fuel rather than vapors for your money.

4. Buy Gas from a Busy Station
Busy gas stations refill their underground tanks often. Slower stations don’t. Therefore, their tanks may have stale contaminated gas. Older fuel is poorer on fuel economy and performance.

5. Turn the Nozzle
Twist the gas pump nozzle 180 degrees when done. This can add up to an extra four ounces to your tank.

6. Stop Using High-Octane Gas
High-octane gas costs more than regular. If you car isn’t pinging, use regular unleaded. You’ll save up to 20 cents per gallon.

7. Avoid Topping-Off
The pump needs time to draw out the full amount. It doesn’t get it when you Top-off. You pay extra for these short- burst of fuel. Wait until your tank is at least half-full before you fill it up.

8. Avoid Stations That Just Refilled Their Tanks
The refilling of underground tanks stirs up particles that lay at the bottom. If these particles get in to your gas tank, they can cut the fuel efficiency of your car.

9. Pump Your Own Gas
Use the self-serve rather than the full-serve pump. Full- serve gasoline costs more. You save money pumping gas yourself.

10. Tighten the Gas Cap
Twist the cap until you hear it click. This prevents gasoline from evaporating and escaping.
Final Thought

These ten tips are easy to apply. Remember to use them each time at the gas pump. You’ll be stretching your gas dollars.

About The Author
Leroy Chan makes available a special report that exposes the tricks drivers must learn to avoid paying too much for a tank of gas. Information on this and more can be found on his site:

Happy Driving!

Realtor, ABR, e-PRO, GRI, REI
Serving Wenatchee & Surrounding Areas
Phone: 509-670-7840 * Fax: 419-818-4009

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Tuesday, April 19, 2005

"Golden Girls" Housing Strategy

I was fascinated by this article about a divorced Ashland, Oregon woman who bought a Bed & Breakfast and turned it into a "Golden Girls" type housing arrangement. Remember Bea Arthur and friends?

"Joyce Jarvis is independent, healthy, single – and 78. The Ashland, Ore., resident recently tried to find an attractive place to live with other older women. When she couldn't find one, she decided to take matters into her own hands.
Jarvis purchased an upscale Ashland bed and breakfast inn and is converting it into a "Golden Girls"-type residence for her and four other like-minded women." See pictures and read the rest of the article..

For creative solutions to your real estate needs, visit my personal website at:

Have a great day!
Carol Williams
Realtor, ABR, e-PRO, GRI, REI
Serving all of Washington State...
Specializing in Wenatchee & Surrounding Areas

Press Release - Carol joins the AnswerBlog Network

Wenatchee Real Estate Agent Joins AnswerBlog Network

Carol Williams, a longtime professional realtor from Wenatchee, Washington has joined the AnswerBlog Network to share a variety of insights and information of interest to homeowners and homeshoppers in the local and national markets.
Carol Williams' blog at has joined the AnswerBlog Network to share information and insights on a vast variety of subjects of interest to homeowners and homeshoppers. She will also include articles, peeves, and opinions to those interested in real estate as a wealth building tool. She will share some little known inside secrets of the real estate industryReal estate is a fast changing and complex area, so Carol's blog will be monitored and updated constantly to reflect current trends.Carol has been a longtime "rebel" realtor in the Wenatchee, Washington market with a long list of satisfied clients and testimonials, which can be viewed on her personal real estate website at: For more information regarding Carol's real estate blog, visit


Monday, April 18, 2005

Too Much Stuff? Get Organized

“Too Much Stuff” Syndrome or How Decorating and
Organizing Can Help Your Sanit
y by: Lisa DeClue

This area of home life is different from others in that it involves all the senses and to that degree it is successful, engendering varying emotions. Decorating isn't really a hobby, nor is it merely an activity; it's a driving force of many people to live in comfortable and pleasing surroundings while they regenerate from a stressful world.
Yet, decorating by itself is not nearly as completely satisfying as having an organized home that is rich in beautiful detail. Decorating and organizing go hand-in-hand, like a one-two punch of home completion.
In an effort to motivate you to action, use these suggestions to help you on your way to an organized home this spring and summer.

Paper Clutter
If you’re like my dear Mother and you still have newspapers from 1978 because you haven’t read them all: Don’t walk, RUN to the sanitation department and rent an industrial sized dumpster to leave in your driveway for a week.
I’m giving you permission to touch your incoming mail and papers more than once – only if the second “touching” is on the way to the dumpster.
You know that pile of “things to file” that keeps growing? Guess what – dump that too. You can always print off another copy or send away for the info. over the Internet. (This, coming from the daughter of a paper monster…)

Twice a year, my mom would make me try on clothes for the upcoming season. She would invariably choose cold mornings to try on summer things and the hottest day on record to slip into woolens and flannels… (If your kids give you flack for trying on clothes in the comfort of air conditioning, you may use this as your own example.) If you haven’t worn something in the time it took you to have your second child, it’s probably not worth hanging on to (unless, of course, the dumpster is full).
Use a great tip I just discovered: Pick three nights a week to try on 5 items in your closet, then go to your dressers and do the same thing. At this rate, the average American woman should be able to go through all her clothes in about 3 years, 9 months and 14 days. No need to worry, it’ll be a different season then!

Kids’ Toys
You could try to “limit” the number of toys they play with each month and cycle them to and from the garage so your little ones get variety.
That takes too much effort. I just threatened my boys if they left toys out on their floor at bedtime, they would be in the dumpster the next day (the toys, silly!). Do this twice, and you’ll have this hot spot under control.
I hope these points have given you some new ways to look at the problem of clutter and refreshing methods to deal with them. Given the fun you’ll have with that dumpster, you might want to consider renting a second one for the hubby’s stuff.
I’ll tell you what. If you really do rent a dumpster (okay, it can be the smaller version) I’ll have a reward for your diligence. Ladies – Email me that you filled your dumpster to the very tippy top and something funny that happened during the process. I’ll send you a coupon for a discount on a Fragrance Lamp that will fill your home with lovely aromas. Gentlemen – Email me the same (that is, that you actually rented the thing and filled it, and an amusing related story) and I will send you a Gift Certificate for your wife. Such a deal!

About The Author
Lisa DeClue is a WAHM and really does love her Mother. She owns Decorating with HGPgal, a website that incorporates interior and garden/patio decorating resources, articles, tips and a monthly newsletter in addition to a unique business opportunity with Home & Garden Party. Subscribe to the newsletter at and be entered into the monthly prize drawing.
"Making A Difference One Person & One Home At A Time"™

How To Choose A Wenatchee Building Contractor

Here are a couple of articles I recently read regarding how to choose and work with a contractor for building a new home... or remodeling an existing home. Thought you might find it useful.

The 10 Most Important Rules of Choosing and Dealing With a Contractor
by: Razmik "Raz" Vartanian
Building your dream home can quickly turn into a nightmare of unmet schedules, cost over runs, shabby workmanship and endless arguments.
I have been originating and closing construction loans for a good number of years now and I have experienced clients dumping contractors and even contractors dumping clients. By that time in most cases the job is running behind schedule and over budget. Choosing a new contractor at this stage is difficult and further delays are inevitable.
Spending a little more time and paying a little more attention to the process of choosing your contractor can avoid all this.
In most cases the writing is on the wall from the very first day, but wishful thinking gets in the way of logic, which leads to disaster down the road.
A good number of articles have been written on the subject, and you should try reading at least one or two well before making your choice of a contractor.
This article is based on my experience and personal observations. You may whish to write the main points down and add others that I have not covered and indeed add to the list from your own experience of dealing with people. This way you will internalize the subject and become a naturally better judge of those you do business with.
During the processing of your construction loan, some information is collected from the contractor but that should not stop you from your due diligence. Here is a list of items to check and to look out for:
1- If your state requires a state license, ask for the number. Don’t stop at that. Call the relevant state board and check on the license’s status. You don’t know who regulates contractors in your state? Ask Him/Her. And pay attention to the reaction.
There is no need to be shy. A legitimate and honest businessman will have no problem providing the information. We are involved in a highly regulated business and we proudly provide the relevant information along with phone numbers and links to the state bodies on our About Us page.
2- Ask for references. Pay attention to the reaction. Too quick a reaction and fast talk is probably a lie and a bluff. Too cautious a reaction is a sign of uncertainty. In any event write the names and numbers down and do call them. Go see them. Most people will actually welcome you simply to show off their achievement.
3- Are you building a home from the ground up? Make sure the contractor has built a complete project in the past. Experience counts; a ground up construction or a major remodel is a very different animal from room and bathroom additions.
4- Visit his/her place of business. Not all contractors have an office, but you need to make sure you are not dealing with fly-by-night operation.
5- Your construction loan package will include paper work for the contractor to complete. How does he handle that? The following is a list of warning signs.
Doesn’t have the time to complete the lender’s line item cost breakdown and insists on using his own.
Doesn’t understand why the lender should be asking for credit references.
Doesn’t see why the construction loan lender should need to see the construction contract?
Insists that in his experience non of the above are necessary and that this lender don’t know anything about construction loans.
6- Be wary of the contractor who prefers to give a “complete package” price. No construction lender will accept that and neither should you. The line item cost breakdown does not have to be completed on every single line, but the more the merrier. Read it carefully, it will dictate the quality of the home you end up with.
7- Demand a material’s list. You don’t need the contractor who doesn’t have the time for this. Some lenders don’t require this and when they do little attention is paid to it.
Insist on a complete list of all materials and fixtures. Go to the showrooms, choose them and list your choices by make, model and /or quality. This list should be signed by the contractor and you and be made a part of the contract.
Saying “A good kitchen will cost so many dollars per foot” doesn’t mean much when you go to the showroom at the end of the project only to find out that you hate what the construction loan budget has allowed for.
8- As a part of the construction loan process the contractor will be asked to provide evidence of Liability Insurance as well as evidence of Workman’s compensation.
He/She may very well not have Workman’s Compensation Insurance if he/she does not directly employ anyone. However, complaints about Liability Insurance are a sure sign of trouble.
9- As material costs are rising, payment of deposits on some deliveries may be required by suppliers and some construction loans will allow that. But be aware of the contractor who asks for up front money.
10- Construction loan disbursements are made in stages. Never ever pay a contractor before your local county or city inspector has signed off on that stage. The lender’s inspector only verifies percentage of completion not compliance, so his approval does not mean that your local authorities will also sign off.

Razmik “Raz” Vartanian
Construction Loans for Residential Properties.
Expert Advice and Prompt Service.

About The Author
Razmik “Raz” Vartanian is a mortgage broker with some 20-years experience in the industry. Raz specializes in residential construction loans and as such is quoted in MSN’s Money Central ( and The Los Angeles Times.
Raz currently manages a mortgage company and is the Webmaster of
Razmik “Raz” Vartanian Construction Loans for Residential Properties. Expert Advice and Prompt Service. 800-246-2468
All Rights Reserved

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Choosing a Home Construction or Remodeling Contractor by:
George Stevens
Choosing the right Contractor is the most important aspect of any home construction project. You must take your time and do your research to find a good qualified contractor if you want excellent quality at a fair price. When we built our new home we spent many hours finding the best contractors for each aspect of building our new home. We developed a method that served us well and it is as follows:

Determine exactly what you want done and write it down. This may sound a little basic at first blush, but it is so important. Remember what is not well defined is easily manipulated. If it is not in writing, it can be disputed. You do two things when you define your project in detail, and in writing. You find any missing aspects that you may have overlooked and you have good definition and expectations for your contractor.

Get three (3) bids for each trade that you will hire. Never rely on one bid, and always meet the contractor face to face at the site where the work is to be done. If you are uncomfortable with the contractor when they are bidding the job how is it going to be when the two of you have to work out the details of your project. Remember cheaper is not always better!

Ask each contractor for references and make sure they are bonded and insured. Check their references and call the BBB (Better Business Bureau) in your area to see if they have any outstanding complaints.

Make sure they don’t sub the work out to a contractor that is not insured or bonded. It is very common for a contract company to sub out work to contractors that are not insured and bonded. Another danger of the contractor subbing work out is if they don’t pay their sub, the sub can put a mechanics lien on your house and you will have to pay even if you have already paid the contractor.

Set a definite timeframe for the work to begin and for completion and get it in writing. Nothing is worse than to have a project drag on not knowing when they are going to show up and finish.
Never, ever pay for the entire project in advance. If you do the contractor has no incentive to finish or even start. When you no longer have the money you are no longer in control! It is customary with most contractors that you pay a portion up front. On a large project hold back as much money as you can until the end. The incentive to finish must be motivated by the cash at the end of the project.

For more information on finding and qualifying contractors visit

About The Author
George Stevens is the popular author of the Website teaching you how to build your own home.

Have a great day!
Realtor, ABR, e-PRO, GRI, REI
Serving Wenatchee & Surrounding Areas
Phone: 509-670-7840 * Fax: 419-818-4009

Current Rates & Mortgage Calculator

Quote of the day:
A man who both spends and saves money is the
happiest man, because he has both enjoyments.

- Samuel Johnson

Here is a link to a site that will give you current interest rates and allow you to calculate "what ifs" for a mortgage, with various scenarios.

When shopping for a mortgage, compare the pros and cons of all options (fixed rate and adjustable rate mortgages). If you are not going to own a property over 5-7 years, an adjustable rate mortgage may very well keep your payments low (meaning you qualify for more) and save you alot of money. If you really want to keep your payment low, write to me and ask about the "cash flow loan". When you are getting quotes, be sure to compare TOTAL loan costs... by comparing the APR, not just the annual percentage rate. There are some serious rip off artists out there in the big bad world of mortgage lending, as there is in any business. Work with a trusted professional, from whom you've gotten several references.

If you have specific questions, please write me direct.

Have a great day!
Realtor, ABR, e-PRO, GRI, REI
Serving all of Washington State
Specializing in Wenatchee & Surrounding Areas

Sunday, April 17, 2005

Please...Get A Will Now!

Quote of the Day:

"I expect to pass through this world but once. Any good therefore that I can do, or any kindness or ablities that I can show to any fellow creature, let me do it now. Let me not defer it or neglect it, for I shall not pass this way again".
William Penn

Dear Readers,
If the Terri Schiavo case didn't get you thinking about getting your legal documents in order... you may already be dead! Can you believe what that family has been through? Am I crazy for taking the husband's side on this one? Although I have a living will, let this article be written proof that I DO NOT want to live in a vegetative state, if ever it comes to that! I don't mind reasonable medical efforts be made to give me back a quality of life, but if I am brain dead... please please please let me go. Now, now... I know some of you may have some wise cracks about the "brain dead" comment and my present state of mind. But, I can assure you, I know exactly what I am doing (most of the time) whether you like it or not! :-)

Seriously, it is never too early to have a Will prepared, detailing your wishes... including a document for your medical care wishes. This is my personal soap box. My parents both died (without a Will) when I was very young and it was not a good thing. My brother and I were "wards of the court" until we were of legal age. Just remember... if you don't prepare a Will for yourself and your children, your State has one for you!

Here comes a blatant commercial:
If the potential cost of estate planning concerns you, check out Prepaid Legal Services. I've set up a website so you can go in and check it out and, if you choose, sign up right online. They will send you a membership package and the Will kit.

If you do nothing but get your Will prepared, it will be well worth it! For those of you who have not heard of Prepaid Legal Services, it is a fabulousl, cost effective, way of being sure your legal rights are protected everyday, in every area of your life. Click on the link and watch the video.

In summary, PrePaid Legal is the legal equivalent to health insurance, but much less expensive. For as little as $17-$25 per month (depending on what state you live in), you can have unlimited access to a top rated legal team, with specialists in every area of law. Did you know there are over 50 areas of specialty in the field of law? You can't just call any attorney about any matter. You need a specialist in the field of your issue if you expect good results.

Your membership includes unlimited phone access, letters written and phone calls made on your behalf, contract reviews, help with traffic tickets... and much much more! A Will comes with the membership at no additional cost, and you can have it updated every single year at no additional cost. If you are married (or have a domestic partner), they are covered by the membership and can also get their will prepared for just $20. It is a family membership, so your entire family is covered.

If after visiting the website you have questions, please e-mail me direct. I have personally used the service for about 5 years and love it. Worth every dollar... and alot more. I've called them, had them write letters, represent me for a traffic ticket and NEVER gotten a bill from the attorneys.

There is no long term committment. Just a $10 application fee and your first month's membership fee. Join for a month or two... or however long you want. It is a month-by-month membership. Personally, I will never be without it... and as long as I maintain my membership, my monthly fee will never increase.

Pre-Paid Legal Services has been in business for over 30 years, with over 1.4 million members. They are listed on the NYSE under the ticker sympol PPD. I can forward you copies of testimonial letters upon request

Check it out... you'll be able to rest easier knowing your legal matters are in order... and knowing that you have a legal team waiting for your phone call!

This is important. Your family is depending on you.

There's no reason to wait. Please do it NOW!

Have a great day!
Carol Williams
Realtor, e-PRO, GRI, REI

Retirement Planning

Here's a link to a web log that you might find interesting:

Retirement Issues

Saturday, April 16, 2005

Coffee & Magazines

Dear Readers,
If I'm not out showing property, my favorite thing to do on Saturday morning is head down to the local Hastings store, buy a latte (mocha or vanilla), and sit in one of their easy chairs... and read magazines. Sometimes, I browse through the books (and occasionally buy one)... but I really like to sit and read the latest issue of my favorite magazines, which include Reader's Digest, Writer's Digest, Scrapbooking, and Geneology related publications.

For those of you who don't have a Hastings chain in your area, they have books, magazines, newspapers, music and videos... and they have a little cafe (coffee bar). It's a fun store. I like to sit in an easy chair next to the front door because I get to see people I know when they come into the store. This morning I saw one of my favorite mortgage brokers and a gal I hadn't seen for about 10 years! It's kind of like going to Costco and sitting down for a hot dog. You can just watch the people go by and eventually someone you know goes by... and, generally, several people you know.

Wenatchee isn't a big place, although it's growing fast. I've lived here over 30 years and I can't believe all the growth. But, it's still a place where you can walk down the street or go grocery shopping and almost always see someone you know. It's still a realtively small town, but we have all the necessary services... even a semi-pro baseball team (The Apple Sox). If you want more info about Wenatchee and the surrounding area click here. At the bottom of that page, there are links to the Wenatchee area Chamber of Commerce and the Visitor and Convention Bureau. Also, I invite you to visit my personal web page, which has links to all kinds of local information, including more than you ever need to know about Apples, local golf courses, the Mission Ridge Ski area, Mass Transit Schedules... and alot more. Wenatchee has a very diverse economy with the 5 major employers being:
Agriculture (apples, cherries, pears, peaches, and a growing grape (for wine) industry)
Hydroelectric power production (we have several dams within a short radius)
Aluminum production (ALCOA)
Medical Services
Government (city, state, and federal)

Tourism is also a big business here. Since the mighty Columbia River runs right through the heart of Wenatchee, we have alot of riverfront parks & trails... and over 100 campgrounds within a 75 mile radius. We have hiking, hunting, fishing, skiing and a plethora of other activities available on the spur of the moment. Since we are centrally located in the state and have 350 days of sunshine a year, Wenatchee is a popular spot for conferences and sporting events and tournaments.

More later...

Realtor, ABR, e-PRO, GRI, REI

Search Engine Submission & Optimization

Did You Know Your Name Is Being Sold?

Here is another pet peeve of mine regarding real estate information online. Use of the internet by potential homebuyers and sellers is up dramatically and there is a boatload of people out there trying to capture your name so they can sell it to a "screened" agent. Do you know what credentials an agent has to have to pass the "screening" test? All they have to do is be willing to pay for your name. They are screened by their willingness to pay someone to give them your name. Wouldn't you rather choose the criteria by which you choose an agent than someone who is just in it for the money? Did you know that when you make an inquiry online and fill out a form for additional information, the agent accepting your name is generally agreeing to pay a 30% referral fee!?! 30%! Iisn't that ridiculous? Let's break down what this really means in dollars (and sense). No, that is not a typo. I want you to make some sense of all this before you spend your precious dollars and cents. See, I do know how to spell.

On a typical $150,000 sale (in my market) the selling agent would earn $3750. This is 1/2 of the full sales commission of $7500. The other half goes to the listing agency. In my market the full sales fee is 6% on the first 100,000 and 3% over 100,000. So half is 3% / 1.5%.

O.K... let's break this down: the $3750 could be divided any number of ways, with part going to the agent's office and part to the agent. Let's say the agent is getting 70% of the proceeds and the office keeps 30% for administrative costs. So, now the agents commission is down to $2625. BUT, the "referring" company gets 30%, so now the agent is down to $1837.50. Let's not forget Uncle Sam who will probably get 20% - 25%... so now the agent actually receives a net fee of around $1470. Ummm... it kind of makes you wonder how hard an agent is really going to want to work for you when the office gets 30%, the referring company gets 30%, then Uncle Sam get 20%. How much is left??? Is that 20%. Did I do the math right? That can't be right, can it? And you think the agents are getting rich? I think not! It's kind of like the rush to California for gold. Who made the money? For the most part, it wasn't the miners. It was the guy selling the shovels and picks! You know who I think sell shovels and picks in the real estate world, right?

My suggestion is to definitely use the internet to get information. There is a lot of great free information to be had. But contact several agents direct and get detailed information, quotes and proposals from them. Do not work through a third party. You will be doing yourself and them a favor, because the agents will make more money (and have more negotiating room with you)... and you'll get better service... in my humble opinion!

I recently sold a $140,000 home to a buyer with whom I had been working with for over a year. Do you think I would have given her the attention I did, if I was going to net 20% of the selling fee. I think not. I could make more money flipping hamburgers at McDonalds.

I love all my clients, and pride myself in developing some great lasting personal relationships with them. For sure, I do love the business... but when it comes to the dollars and cents, it takes some common sense to know where it's wise to spend my time. New, inexperienced, agents may not mind doing this to build their business, but the really good agents probably will be pretty selective.

Just something to think about.

Have a great day!

Realtor, ABR, e-PRO, GRI, REI

Interest Rates Drop

Quote of the Day:

"If you think education is expensive...
consider the cost of ignorance!"
-Unknown Author

Dear Readers,
Have you been hearing lately that mortgage rates are going up? Well they're not. At least not yet! Here's some information from a recent article I read in my Inman News subscription:

* Long-term mortgage interest rates continued lower on Thursday (4/14/2005), and the benchmark 10-year Treasury bond yield slipped to 4.32 percent.
* The 30-year fixed-rate average dropped to 5.44 percent, and the 15-year fixed-rate sank to 5.05 percent.
* The 1-year adjustable was down at 3.75 percent.

It's certainly not news that rates are expected to go up. They have to eventually. We have been in the range of historical lows for months and months (even years now)... so we know they are going up eventually. But, When? That's the big question. There has been so much activitiy in the housing and refinancing market, some lenders are seeing a slowdown. In my humble opinion, the lenders (and realtors, for that matter) want you to think the rates are going up so you will act now if you have any inclination whatsoever. Beyond that, I don't think the economy is as strong as the politicians would like us to think. :-)

When you hear on the news that the Feds are raising the interest rate, that is the short term rate... and does not necessarily affect long term rates.

I'm no expert in the financial market, but that's my take on it... just so you know.

Have a great day!

Realtor, ABR, e-PRO, GRI, REI

Improving Credit Score

Quote of the Day:

A smooth sea never made a skilled mariner.
- An Englist Proverb

Dear Readers,
Recently I received an e-mail from a past client that moved to another state and for whom I sold their house. Other than the typical chit chat, they wanted to know how to improve their credit score, which had dropped significantly since their move. They thought that since they missed their last mortgage payment, this was the culprit. Here is my take on what happened.

The proceeds from the sale of your home in Wenatchee paid your mortgage off in full before the past due date. Unless you missed the previous month's payment, there should be no negative effect on your credit score. If you were over 30 days late with a payment, it will show up on your credit report. Missing the due date does not automatically show up on your report. It is being 30 days late (or beyond) that causes problems.

But... I believe there are a number of factors working against you right now, none of which have to do with anything you did wrong. You both moved recently AND switched jobs. The longer you live in one place AND work at the same job, the better your "stability" rating, which is factored into your overall credit score. Also, when you move, did you use credit cards to cover the costs of relocating until you got settled? Are you still carrying some high balances? Having open credit accounts is fine, but it is not good to have the balances too high. You want to keep the balances well below the credit limit.

As I said, I believe there are several factors involved and it's just going to be a matter of time before the score adjusts back up where it belongs. This upward adjustment will take place over the next several months and should be totally corrected within 12-24 months.

In the meantime, if you are being denied credit for any reason, you are entitled to a free credit report. When you receive the credit report, have an expert (someone at the credit agency or a qualified mortgage lender) read it and explain what you can do to improve your score. If there is any erroneous information on the report, you can appeal it and get it removed. If you want specific information about the actual process to get negative items removed from your credit report, let me know. I will refer you to someone who is more of an expert in that field.

I suspect your score hasn't gone down enough for you to be refused credit. You just may not qualify for the best interest rates until the score improves. In the meantime, enjoy your new home. We miss you here! Good luck!

Yours for success,

Realtor, ABR, e-PRO, GRI, REI
Serving all of Washington State...
Specializing in Wenatchee & surrounding areas

Thursday, April 14, 2005

Pet Peeves

Quote of the day:
The unselfish effort to bring cheer to others
will be the beginning
of a happier life for ourselves.
- Helen Keller

Dear Readers,
My nature, I am a very positive attitude, upbeat, person and I rarely complain. Most people think I live a charmed life because life is always good. I can almost always find the good in the bad and, believe me, I've had plenty of practice since my Mother died when I was 7, my Dad when I was 12... and my brother and I were raised by an Aunt & Uncle who fulfilled their "duty" in a strict environment, without much emotion. Don't get me wrong, this Aunt & Uncle were decent people. They just thought we needed a stern hand and a short leash. They did lots of good things for us, not the least of which was providing us with a nice house to sleep in and plenty of food to eat. My only story of "child abuse" was the Aunt's efforts to make me eat cooked oatmeal! This is a story in itself, and I'll spare you the details, but I can say there was alot of gagging going on and I missed dinner more than once due to my refusal to eat a breakfast I physically could not swallow. ! :-) For the most part, the stern upbringing was good for us... and, if nothing else, taught me how not to show love. Sometimes, we can learn as much by reverse example as from an actual good example. And this I do carry into my life... with a very happy, loving, relationship with my husband.

Today I'll bravely step out of the box and rag on one of my pet peeves... lazy, irresponsible people who always blame others (anyone) for their difficulties. These are pathetic pity-me people who won't take responsibility for their own problems, which are almost always a result of their own bad judgment. Most of their problems, I'd say, are because they are self-centered and could only think about themselve and the moment instead of considering future consequences of their actions.

Anyway, don't these people realize giving all their power to others (through blame) just keeps them down? Don't they realize, the minute they take responsibility for their poor decisions, their world will start to improve? Don't they realize other people can't have power over your life unless you give it to them? Perhaps they do, but they're just too lazy to do anything about it, and prefer to blame others for their trouble.

It's the one character flaw that totally irritates me. I have tons of sympathy for people who are in bad situations IF they are doing everything they can to help themselves. Sometimes, people have made so many bad decisions it takes a long time to crawl out of the hole. But, litle by little they can get out... and they'll feel so much better about themselves when they do. And once their attitude changes, everything changes!

Have you ever tried to help someone and the more you helped them, the more help they need? Isn't this weird? You'd think it would be just the opposite, but NO. The more you help them, the more they rely on you... and by helping them, you are actually hurting them by making them dependent on you. THEN, the time comes when you've got to do the "tough love" thing and they get really mad because you won't help them. It's a ficious circle. Sometimes you've just got to let them fall to the bottom before they can catch their breath, have time to think about the reality of their situation... and, ultimately, pick themselves up and move forward.

While I'm on a roll, I have one more complaint. It annoys me to no end when people will not deal with problems. It's like they feel ignoring a problem is somehow going to make it go away when, in fact, it generally just gets worse. An example of this are people who won't return phone calls in a timely manner. For two days, I have been waiting for a return call from another realtor, with whom I have a transaction pending. I want an update on the required electrical inspection and other work orders for my buyer. Does she think ignoring my calls is somehow going to make me easier to deal with. Why can't she just call me and tell me if there are delays and/or some problem I don't know about? Perhaps I could help her solve some of the problems. But, NO, she choses to ignore my calls so I can imagine all kinds of possible scenarios... and spend my time thinking of all the nasty things I'd like to say to her (but probably won't) when she does finally call.

O.K. I'm done! I'm not going to say any more about what annoys me, because by dwelling on it I give others the power to control my attitude. So... off I go to do something constructive and try to spread cheer to others!

Hope you all have a great day. I know I will!

Carol Williams,
Realtor, ABR, e-PRO, GRI, REI

Tuesday, April 12, 2005

Back From Baghdad

Quote of the day:
"There is a theory which states that if ever anybody discovers exactly what the Universe is for and why it is here, it will instantly disappear and be replaced by something even more bizarre and inexplicable. There is another theory which states that this has already happened". - Douglas Adams (1952-2001)

Good Morning,

Our son, Max Jr. (we call him JR) returned from Baghdad last Thursday. This picture is of him and the Iraqi seamstress who repaired their clothing when needed.

He spent a couple of days at home in Selah, Washington then came to see us in Wenatchee over the week-end. He will spend a few days at Ft. Lewis doing whatever they do to get final release then he will be "freed" back into the civilian world... the wonderful world of the Land of the Free (because of the brave).

Most of his National Guard unit returned about 3 weeks ago, but he volunteered to stay behind and help load equipment on a ship for it's return to the states... because he didn't have a wife and small children at home waiting for him. I thought that was a noble thing to do. He has been in the Guard over 25 years, so his kids are grown... with a couple kids of their own. Can you believe, this makes me a Great-Grandmother! A really young great-grandmother! Anyway, it was good to see him safe and sound, knowing he didn't have to return.

His first request was to go get a really good steak, so he took us to the best steak house in town. This is a very small place, called The Windmill, that doesn't take reservations, so you've got to get there before they open or you have to wait for a table. We were the first ones in the parking lot. We had a lovely dinner and he actually did pay the bill, which is more than we usually spend in 3 dinners out... and there was no alcohol consumed! Don't you just love it when your kids grow up and THEY pay when you go out? The Windmill does serve the best steak in town and are famous for their pie, too. We have 5 grown children now (my step-children actually), and this phenomenon happens occasionally (although probably not as often as it should) and it's alway a real treat. It's still habit for us to reach for our wallets, but I'm finding a grin on my face as we place them back where they belong. By the way, we didn't have room for pie when we were done with dinner.

During his deployment, he was able to e-mail us somewhat regularly and call about once a month. What a marvel and treat that was. In the meantime, my husband was watching the news nearly all day every day for the first few months. I watched the news some, but I just knew there wasn't anything I could do to control circumstances, so I went with the "faith" theory. I worried very little, but was always thrilled when we heard from him.

JR was home for a short leave at Thanksgiving time and I made sure there was an unending supply of pumpkin pie on the premises. It was better this time knowing he doesn't have to go back. We were a bit astonished when he announced over the steak dinner that he is considering volunteering to go back. He is a civilian mechanic for the National Guard and does basically the same thing at home that he did in the Iraq... but under much better conditions, of course. When I asked him why he wanted to return, he just said he felt his work was more meaninful and urgent there. He's never been a particularly political guy, but from the moment he arrived in Iraq he has been sympathetic to the plight of the people.

That's about it for now. Stay tuned for word on his possible re-enlistment.

By the way... I hear property values are up substantially in Baghdad. Perhaps we have more in common than we think!?!

Have a great day!

Realtor, ABR, e-PRO, GRI, REI

Thursday, April 07, 2005

Birthday Activities

Quote of the Day:
"A man never stands as tall as when he kneels to help a child".
- The Knights of Pythagoras

Good Morning!
Today is my 53rd birthday. I was scheduled to go golfing, but over-slept, so I've spent a good share of the morning working on enhancing my website at:

I'd love to have you visit my website and give me some feedback. Let me know if there is additional information you'd like to see.

We've had a hot hot hot real estate market in the Wenatchee and surrounding areas for the last year or more. There are hundreds of new homes being built and they're selling fast. Existing homes are increasing in value at record paces. Some of the new construction homes are custom built but a vast majority of them are built on speculation by the builders for immediate sale. Anything in the under $200,000 category is selling quickly, and anything under $125,000 is selling within a few days! Any buyers looking for a home in the low 100's should be pre-approved for a loan so when a house comes on the market, they can act quickly. Often there are multiple offers on a property with the first 24 hours on the market.

Frankly, I'm amazed at all the massive growth... but I shouldn't be. There's no denying why people want to live here. We've got wonderful weather most of the year and recreational opportunities literally within minutes from town. Our economy is extremely diverse, with agriculture (fruits), hydroelectric power production, medical services, government agencies, and an aluminum smelter (ALCOA) being the major employers.

I moved to Wenatchee more than 30 years ago for some of those very reasons. I wasn't as cognicant of the economy in those days, but I like the good weather and recreational choices.

I grew up in the Portland, Oregon area and I simply got tired of all the rain. The last summer I was there (1970), it rained nearly every single day of the summer. Does anyone know where Corbett is? I thought not! It's about 20 miles east of Portland along the Columbia River Gorge. Beautiful country, but wet most of the time. Anyway, I worked as a crew boss in the raspberry and blueberry fields at that time, and the berries were literally molding on the vines because it was too wet to get the pickers in to harvest the crops. I love Wenatchee because you can actually make plans in the summer and it is very rare that the weather does not cooperate.

Now, back to real estate. As long as reate remain low, I believe real estate activity will remain strong. When rates start to go up, buyers qualify for "less" home and it make affordable housing more difficult to achieve.

My featured listing now is a wonderful 5300 square foot, 8 bedroom home (plus in-home) office... and a great view. The view picture doesn't do justice to the actual view. Check it out on my website at:

Hope you all have a great day!


Wednesday, April 06, 2005

Wenatchee Realtor - Welcome to my 1st Post

Carol Williams,
Realtor, ABR, e-PRO, GRI, REI

Quote of the Day:
"The race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong,
but rather to they who endureth to the end" -Unknown

Hey everyone,
Welcome to my personal blog. This is my first blog ever so let me know if there's some way I can make it more interesting.

I'm hoping this will be a useful and efficient way of sharing my knowledge and opinions about real estate (and other interests) and kind of a daily journal to share my life happenings. Plus, it should help me practice my typing (and thinking) skills. I can already type pretty fast, so perhaps I should concentrate on improving my thinking skills. :-)

I'm going to make a valiant effort to start something of a journal about what's happening with the real estate market in Wenatchee, and the North Central Washington area in general. Much of this is universal information and can be applied anywhere, but my experience is with our local market, of course. This blog may start out with some kind of a summary to catch us up to speed and go from there. I hope to share my insights and opinions which will be useful to homeowners, home shoppers, and investors on all levels. I'm not too knowledgeable about commercial, but I have a great contact in the commercial real estate business and will throw those questions and comments out to him.

Also, I will share links to other sites that have articles I believe will be interesting or useful to my readers. Eventually, I will also give you some recommendations on service vendors, such as mortgage brokers, insurance agents, carpet cleaners, roofers, painters (interior and exterior), etc...

For over 25 years, I've been a licensed real estate agent in the State of Washington. I have served on the education committee for the Washington Association of Realtors and I've even written some Continuing Education courses for agents to use in their re-licensing studies.

My specialty is selling single family homes, multi-family buildings, and working with people relocating to Wenatchee and surrounding areas. I love working with first time homebuyers and I am proficient in selling singles family homes... ranging from "mobiles to mansions". Of course a mansion in Wenatchee would be different than a mansion in Beverly Hills, so if you want a mansion in Beverly Hills I offer a FREE realtor hiring service. I will interview and recommend up to 5 qualified agents to serve your needs, at no cost to you. If you want a mobile home in Palm Springs (or some other wonderful winter get-a-way), I will also hire a qualified agent to help you. However... if you want a home of any kind in the North Central Washington area, I am the woman for the job. When you hire me as your realtor, you're agreeing to join me in having fun while selling your home... or looking for the home or investment property of your choice. .

We'll see what mood and whims strike me over time as I post news and opinions on real estate, what's happening in my life... and whatever else peaks my interest. I welcome your comments on any subject you're interested in and, if I have any knowledge of that subject, I'll share my opinion as well. My hobbies are golfing, writing, traveling and spending time with my husband who is the nicest man in the world.

In the meantime, until I get this blog up and running with some meaningful content, I invite you to visit my personal real estate website at: You can always e-mail me direct at: At my website you'll be able to link to client testimonials, info about me and my hobbies, search listings nationwide, statewide, or locally... and there's a whole bunch of other stuff there too.

It's April 6, 2005... one day before my 53rd birthday. Ah, it's good to be young!

Cheers and...
Have a great day!

Carol K. Williams
Realtor, ABR, ePRO, GRI, REI

P.S.: Wonder what all those initial "designations" under my name mean? In short, it means I take a lot of classes to get smarter. One can never be too smart when advising people about investing their hard-earned money in real estate.