Last Team Reba home buying class of 2014, this Saturday, Oct 18 from 10am-3pm

Home Buyer Steps Workshop
10:00 am – 3:00 pm
Youngstown Cultural Arts Center – 4408 Delridge Way SW, Seattle WA 98106

Home Buyer Steps is a Workshop approved by Washington State Housing Finance Commission (WSHFC). The Home Buyer Steps Workshop is 5 hours and designed to provide participants with a Step by Step guide to the Homebuying process. Once completed you will receive a certificate of eligibilty to apply for down payment assistance or a Mortgage Credit Certificate if your income qualifies you. This class is perfect for ALL first time home buyers and those who haven’t purchased in many years but is not limited to 1st time buyers as a few WSHFC programs apply to many others as well based on area, job type, and income.

Together, we will help you understand and have working knowledge of:

1) Your Credit Score and its impact on your financial life.
2) Creating and working on a Budget
3) The Home Inspection Process
4) How to Find Realtor’s and Loan Officer’s with your best interests at heart.
5) How to protect yourself from Predatory Lending and how to interview a real estate agent.
6) Reading a Good Faith Estimate, Truth In Lending, and other essential documents.
7) Understanding what Escrow and Title are with industry speakers on the topic, along with available home warranty programs.
8) Going over all your different loan options including those specific to first time buyers.
9) In Depth on the Mortgage Credit Certificate, Home Advantage, and House Key Programs.

Our Workshops are done free of charge by local industry experts who volunteer to help you take the next step. We are happy to help you along the way and will answer all your questions. Upon completing the workshop you will feel more confident as a consumer and empowered in your path to home ownership.

Find Out More about WA State Housing Finance Commission programs at
Class Location info at: 

RSVP to or call 425.970.3697

Instructors: Eric Aasness of Wells Fargo Home Lending &
Robin Tomazic of Team Reba at RE/MAX Metro Realty

Home Buyer Class photo

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Spotlight on local business: Upbeat Sailing

This weekend I was provided a wonderful experience going out sailing with some past clients of Team Reba. Nine years ago, when I helped Andy Huntley and his wife Kris Hardy purchase a home in the Maple Leaf neighborhood, they told me about their long time dream of owning a sailboat charter business. Well, as of 2014, they’ve made that dream a reality, opening up Upbeat Sailing, with their boat slip out in Shilshole Marina near Ballard.

I took my husband and another couple, our friends Sue McCabe and Gerald Grinter (also a past client), on the boat this past Sunday and posted below are some wonderful photos we took while out on the boat. Andy also teaches sailing for a local company and he’s great at making this an easy experiential event for those who want to learn more about sailing while on the boat. We were also treated to their homemade desserts (this time cookies, but it changes) which added a very nice personal touch. One of the best parts of the day, besides some of the interesting boat and aircraft we saw go by, was the visit several times by a couple of Harbor Porpoises who trailed the boat and came right up to us to swim back and forth behind us. We got some fun pictures and videos of those two!

I hope you’ll check out Upbeat Sailing, and book your own excursion. They run all year round and you can find them at their website: plus via the Upbeat Sailing Facebook page and on Twitter.


Gorgeous early October sunset over the Olympic Mountains


Reba with her husband, James, and friends Sue McCabe and Gerald Grinter enjoying an outing with Upbeat Sailing out of Seattle.


Captain Andy Huntley and his wife, Kris Hardy, the owners of Upbeat Sailing literally showing us the ropes while on board Upbeat Sailing.

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Do you agree with this video that Seattle is the best city in the world?

What are your thoughts on this video and its message?


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Seattle rental properties now require inspection starting in 2015. Are you ready?

First deadline for Seattle Rental Registration and Inspections ordinance passes

September 30th was the first Seattle Rental Registration and Inspections ordinance due date for properties with 10 or more units and properties with a history of code compliance violations.

Seattle’s DPD has just released its first data set for registration compliance, and say that over 2,100 registrations of an estimated 2400 target properties in the 10+ unit demographic were received by the deadline.

Online registrations have proven popular with approximately 75% of registrations submitted via the web. As rental housing owners continue to submit registrations RHA encourages them to use the onlne system in order to keep administrative costs down.

One other interesting note – about 10% of the properties that registered were not on DPD’s mailing list of likely rental properties. Their compliance is likely thanks to RHA and its partners helping to get the word out.

Late registrants will begin receiving notices over the next few days, with a $20 late fee included.

Inspections are due to start in 2015, so watch for more inspections information in the next month or so.

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Team Reba real estate newsletter and market update for October 2014

Here is a link to my “October Real Estate Update“:

This Newsletter is full of interesting and useful information that I think you will enjoy whether you are a buyer, seller, or homeowner.

This month’s issue includes topics such as:

“Big Or Small: Which Size Home Is Best For You?”;
“What You Need To Do To Your House Before Fall”;
“3 Home Renovations For Maximum ROI”;
“Seller’s Advice: Spend a Little, Raise The Price a Lot”;
“Should You Remodel or Buy a New Home? 3 Things to Consider Before You Decide”;

Plus a roundup of September real estate activity as well as much more advice and information.

I hope you enjoy this monthly newsletter. If you have any comments, please e-mail them to me. Or, if you would like to see a certain topic covered in future months, let me know that too!

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Looking for a new forever home for Wilson C Hawks…

I have a neighbor here in Renton who has been fostering her niece’s dog for several months. The niece had a stroke and now requires 24/7 assistance at home, of which my friend is helping supply multiple hours a day. Obviously a dog can no longer be a long term family member for her since short term memory is an issue and because care is needed for the former owner. I can completely relate after having watched the difference in my dad after his accident and my heart goes out to them. Hopefully someone will read this and be willing to consider taking him in for a forever home.
Here are some stats on the dog:

Name: Wilson C Hawks….. I’m serious, that’s his name. Yes, the owner is a HUGE Seahawks fan!
Age 3 – Corgi/Dachshund mix
Weight 28 lbs
Trained = yes (some) I assume this also includes trained to potty outside
Up to date shots = she thinks so.. but could have boosters again because of his age.
He shakes hands
Sits up
Will sit and stare at a treat until you say he can have it.
Loves to play tug of war.
Goes to get his toy if you tell him to.
Thinks he’s a lap dog and is VERY affectionate.
He is energetic and needs playtime and exercise – seems to do very well with children but not sure about additional animals.
Could use some help on training away outside barking but overall a sweetie.

Wilson 1 Wilson 2

If you think you could be his forever home buddy, please contact me via email: Reba (at) Team Reba (dot) com.

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You don’t want to get the “boot” now, do you? Tips on 1031 exchanges

Pro-Rated Rents & Deposits

From Kevin Hummel
McFerran Law, PS.

The Business vs. the Real Estate

My weekly updates regarding §1031 exchanges write themselves. Any week that I find I am addressing the same subject more than once, it becomes the next update topic. This week it was addressing handling the pro-rations of rents and deposits in escrow.

When you hear anything about a 1031 they always mention that it is a “Like-Kind Exchange”. That terminology causes much confusion, but essentially means that the sale and purchase has to be Investment Real Estate. In layman’s terms, that means that you are creating income on it (like a rental), operating a business on it (like commercial), or holding for appreciation (like raw land). It also means that you are not selling or purchasing the business that operates on that property. A Business Opportunity is not exchangeable.

The Business of Renting

When you stop and think about it, the process of renting of investment property is the business operating on the property. That is why we specifically instruct escrow closers to make certain that they are not including the pro-rations of rents and deposits on the Settlement Statement when closing a 1031 exchange. In our QI Escrow Instructions we always include this statement:

Matters Outside of the Exchange
For the property being conveyed in this transaction, matters regarding adjustments between the Exchangor and Buyer regarding prepaid rents, security deposits and other adjustments or pro-rations normally made at closing regarding matters of tenant income be made between the parties outside of escrow and not a part of the formal Settlement Statement.

If the Exchangor and Buyer authorize you to make these calculations, they must be accounted for separately and proceeds distributed at closing by separate check clearly identifying the nature of the proceeds. Such check cannot be drawn from Exchangor’s proceeds which will be distributed to us as the QI.

We suggest that you collect any prepaid rent and security deposits from the Exchangor directly with funds outside the closing and transfer that amount to the Buyer after recording by separate check. If the type of property being exchanged is not rental property, these instructions do not apply.

We do this to make certain that those funds being released out of the sale proceeds aren’t misconstrued as “boot” or taxable. Of course if you are only selling a single family residence, it might be a minimal tax. It is when you are selling an apartment building that it could be quite a substantial unintentional tax.

At that point, an Exchangor could decide that they are willing to pay tax on that as boot, and that is their prerogative to do so. We just do all that we can to avoid any surprises and always working to avoid any taxation, if we can.

Extra Precautions

We also recommend that these issues are address in the original Purchase and Sale Agreement to avoid any surprises for everyone involved. We are happy to provide you with an Addendum that can help address this issue. It can be used for any purchase or sale that might become part of an exchange. Let me know if you have an interest in that.

Never Too Early to Talk

In many cases, it just starts with a phone or email to me. We will call your client to make certain they understand and agree to the terms. I sincerely look forward to a call or email from you or your client.

Kevin Hummel
Regional Account Manager
McFerran Law, P.S.
3906 S. 74th St., Tacoma, WA 98409
Phone: (253) 882-9199

Offices in Tacoma, Kent, Seattle (Northgate), Everett and Silverdale.

You are welcome to share this email with your associates or clients via email or on your website or blog with credit given to Kevin Hummel at McFerran Law, P.S.

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Could your renter be making money off your rental on AirBnB?

Huntbnb Lets Landlords, Neighbors Find Airbnb Listings

Airbnb has found its way in to the mainstream as an easy, and usually cheaper, alternative to short hotel stays for travelers.

From the perspective of a rental housing owner, Airbnb provides an opportunity for tenants to sublet without the knowledge of the owner. Obviously, this presents some major safety risks for an owner

However, thanks to the introduction of a new site called Huntbnb rental owners are now on an even playing field when it comes to easily determining if your tenant is listing your property on Airbnb.

This article is republished from the Rental Housing Association:

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Do’s and Don’ts of video taping in a seller’s home…

I’ve always been curious about the fines given to agents for “unauthorized use of keybox access” in our local MLS. I think this video sheds some light on some of those infractions. I’m posting this also because I do, on occasion, have a buyer who wants to take photos inside of a property they’re interested in. We always make sure to get permission if we need additional access and many don’t realize that you can’t just show up regularly, even if a house is vacant, because other than the original showing appointment, it is trespassing otherwise.

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Why the merger between Zillow and Trulia is BAD for consumers

The following are some of my own personal opinions along with some anecdotal data about #realestate, #zillow #trulia and #consumers, specific to #homebuyer and #homeseller consumers.

Big news was confirmed recently that Zillow is purchasing Trulia. The two brands will remain separate (for now) but reporting and revenues are about to be combined. Here is an article written by Paul Hagen of Inman News, which follows and reports on the real estate industry with its coverage of the buyout.

There are interesting points about revenues derived from each brand, including (run by Move), which oddly enough, actually is a site that is run for the benefit of Realtor(R) members. If you are part of a MLS that has technology run by or if you are a member in your area (the Northwest MLS is not run by but is independent) then your listings show on the site.

I’ve been in large industry seminars that Zillow has put on where Spencer Rascoff (CEO) emphatically states, ” We (Zillow) are NOT a real estate company! We are a media company!” They happen to focus on real estate information. Here is where I have lost respect for Zillow… they tell the rest of the world that they ARE a real estate company and not that they’re a lead site – first and foremost, selling to an industry that actually doesn’t really need them. At this stage, the general consumer has already been duped so it’s a big uphill battle to change it, especially when stock options and huge dollars (for them) are at stake.

This past weekend, and a month earlier, I volunteered as a speaker for a Washington State Housing Finance Commission seminar that is geared for first time home buyers and those needing assistance in purchasing a home. When I asked all of the attendees where they were currently getting their information about homes they might be interested in, here were the top 3 sources given: Zillow, Trulia and Realty Trac. Each person using these services agreed that the information was outdated, incomplete, or hard to decipher.

Newsflash! NONE of these sites is an actual licensed real estate brokerage. They can put anything they want on their site (agents are bound by laws regarding factual data), their sites don’t have to be current with correct listing status or property information (our MLS does and so do others around the nation) and I could probably go on for a long time about comparisons. All of their data comes from the 3rd party sources and they (Zillow) aren’t required to verify any of it because they aren’t regulated by the real estate industry… because why?… they are a MEDIA company! How convenient… for them.

Unique visitor traffic to most popular real estate networks, June 2014

Network June mobile and desktop unique visitors % of total unique visitors to real estate sites in June
Zillow 53.8 million 56.1%
Trulia 31.6 million 33.0% 23.8 million 24.8%
Source: comScore Note: Traffic to firms’ network of sites included.

I find this information quite interesting… and compelling for real estate agents and the public. While the Realtor(R) organization if finally doing a slightly better job of promoting our industry and our membership, we’re having little effect on the runaway growth of these media companies that feed on the scarce resources of those in our industry. It’s the individual agent who pays their fees, not the big franchises, in general. Not all franchises buy into having their data feeds put into their portals and a lot of 3rd party vendors who collect data (but don’t verify) are adding junk into their site on a daily basis. In particular some of the worst are those that provide foreclosure data.

Zillow used to be a decent site and now it’s junk – but it’s junk that is as shiny as a big Hope Diamond now that the stock valuations are through the roof. I’ll get off my big soap box now and leave you with this parting thought. There’s a reason Zillow grew faster than Redfin (both Seattle based companies) and that’s because Redfin ACTUALLY helps people buy and sell real estate – and they came into the industry with the tech developer mindset of being high and mighty about how things “ought to be” only to find out that real estate is actually highly regulated and there are multitudes of governing bodies over our data and how we treat the public once engaged, and even in how we present data online to anonymous consumers. Redfin finally figured out that they need a strong technology suite WITH strong real estate sales and customer support. It’s a lot more hands on than people think when they look at it from the outside.

With that said, good luck to anyone out there who is considering jumping in and I hope you’ll do a little homework on where you’re going to be getting your information online.

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