Fences & Flowers

The CB Bain Blog

Isn’t a home warranty the same as home insurance? Surprise, it’s a totally different program! A home warranty covers many repairs and replacements for the first year you’re in your new home. Whether it’s your water heater, your oven, air conditioner, or your swimming pool, a home warranty is an easy way to ensure your humble abode stays in great shape.

Late boomers, like myself, are busy people. We’re still raising kids or about to send them off to college. Many of us are at the apex of our careers or juggling fast-paced schedules at home for everyone in the family. Adding to the fever pitch, we’re often already caring for aging parents.

Buying or selling a home is a lengthy process filled with paperwork and discussions. You might hear a lot of crazy terms and acronyms thrown around. MLS, BOMK, CMS… it all becomes a blur! So, what do all those terms mean?

From the outside peering in, it looks like a lot of fun to be a millennial. After all, as a group they grew up surrounded by electronics and have no fear finding digital solutions to just about everything, like buying groceries or eye glasses or streaming entertainment choices on demand. But when it comes to buying a house, well things are tougher for them.

If you watch HGTV, you’ve seen them popping up everywhere: tiny houses, often mobile, perfectly sized for a simple and more affordable lifestyle. They’re easier to maintain and give owners the option of taking home on the road. Many current homeowners are interested in the tiny house movement. So why aren’t we seeing more of them?

Last spring, for the first time in almost 3 decades, my folks moved. They left the 1960s split-level I grew up in, and moved into a brand new home surrounded by open spaces and friendly neighbors. I'm glad they're in a safer and happier neighborhood! But buying a new construction home was a bit different than your typical existing home real estate transaction.

I’ve been using the same tax accountant for about 15 years now and I always try to meet with her early enough to avoid the last-minute rush to April 15. This year, after we exchanged the usual pleasantries and I handed over the usual suspects – my W2s, charity receipts, car tab bill, etc. – she began the annual inquisition: “Did you buy a new car? Did you refinance? Did you do any remodeling?”

Dreaming of a new home can be fun and exciting. But when you’re ready to begin the buying process, it can be overwhelming. Where do you start? Should you move to a different state? Should you stick around? Do you want a different kind of home? Is the busy city calling your name or are you content with rural peace and quiet? How can you find the best real estate agent and lender?

In a hot real estate market, one house may get more than a dozen offers in a matter of days. So how do you stand out as a buyer? Is it worth writing a love letter to the seller?

In the Pacific Northwest, the real estate market is on fire. It’s been a seller’s market for a while, and 2017 is showing the same trends. Folks want to live here, and we can’t blame them. But finding the perfect home with such low inventory is tough. And winning the bidding war? That’s an even bigger challenge. So what’s a buyer to do?



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