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June 2008

Supplement to Kirkland Reporter • A division of Reporter Newspapers

Why Should a Buyer BUY In a BUYER’S Market? Are you ready for some good news on the real estate front? It seems like the latest national housing headlines are far from encouraging, home prices are down and newhome sales are lower than the last several years. All this “glass is half-empty” news Debbie Walter has many buyers sitting on the side- Realtor® - RE/MAX NW lines, afraid to make a move. But, economists say, waiting for the bottom is not the smartest strategy. So, why should a buyer buy in todays buyer market?

Why buy in today’s market? Analysts say that In the Puget Sound area, this is a great time to buy! With interest rates historically low, a fairly large inventory of properties to choose from and less chance of getting caught up in a bidding war – why not take advantage of the buyers’ market.

See BUYER'S MARKET page 2

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2 | A great place to call home

Kirkland Reporter - June 4, 2008

BUYER'S MARKET

“But, we've got a pretty strong market due to our local economy, growing population and limitations of land. Those scary headlines are coming out of Miami and Las Vegas which buyers should somewhat ignore. Real estate is NOT a national product, it’s a local dynamic."

Continued from page 1

Some analysts go so far to say that it’s foolish for buyers to avoid a buyers’ market and want to “wait on the fence” until it becomes a sellers’ market again. The other good news for the country, the Federal Reserve cut interest rates for the seventh straight time since September of last year. Many experts believe that the Fed is done cutting interest rates and will begin a new watch-and-wait policy. This new policy is due – in part – to the fact that the first Stimulus Act rebate checks are hitting millions of mailboxes soon. The Fed hopes this money gives a boost in the arm to the economy. If you've been taking a watch-and-wait approach with your own finances, now is the time to call a professional and full time Realtor who can help you review your options. I want to ensure that you're taking advantage of this unique market and not letting it pass you by so here are just a few things to consider: Today's tougher housing market means there are some great buys to be had if you're looking to purchase. This is an especially good market for first-time home buyers, minus the lender changes & restrictions. The government has temporarily increased FHA loan limits in many areas across the US. These government-insured loans are not FICO-score driven and require little to no down payment. Here's the catch: these new limits expire at the end of the year, so you must act now. You really don't want to play the waiting game if you are holding an adjustable rate mortgage (ARM). That's because there is (likely) nowhere for the rates to go but up from here, if we are truly at the end of the Fed's cutting cycle.

Can someone just tell me WHEN? Just like it is impossible to say when a specific stock or mutual fund will “bottom out”, it’s near impossible to predict what will happen with real estate. If you ask 15 different experts, I guarantee you, that you will get 15 different predictions.

Kirkland - $474,950

What will protect me around here?

File photo

When looking at the long-term benefits of real estate, over the last 40 years, homes have appreciated on average 7% a year. Some years more, some years less but in the long run – it’s still the BEST place to invest your monthly living expenses. For many buyers, there's no real need to wait for the market as a whole to officially “bottom out”. Real estate is local and therefore what constitutes the bottom for the country is meaningless for those looking to buy and sell homes in their own neighborhoods. Prices in many markets have not yet hit their lowest point, but they aren't that far off. And in other areas, only the pace of sales has been affected; prices have held firm or gone up. Waiting for the absolute bottom to hit before buying puts you at risk of missing it and getting caught up in a market on the upswing. Plus, for some first-time home buyers, owning simply makes better economic sense than renting. "Just like the weather, there are large local variations in home prices," says Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist. In the NAR’s annual report on metro home prices, almost half of the markets posted price increases. Local Realtor Molly O’Connor says that she has seen sales slow a bit, but that prices in her market haven't dropped much like they have elsewhere. "Some people read what's going on around the country and say maybe this is not the best time to buy," she says.

on MJuast rket

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See BUYER'S MARKET page 3

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Comin Soon g

Redmond - $439,000

There will always be some people who need to move because of job relocations, expanding families or a need for better schools. For some people, the value of the local public schools will play a large part in their buying decision. A well-designed house in an established area with a good public-school district will hold its value and save you money in the long run. "These places don't get hurt as much as the whole market, and they recover faster," O’Connor says. Schools were the biggest consideration for Michael Daniels, who recently purchased a home in the Houghton neighborhood of Kirkland. The 34-year-old healthcare manager and his family had outgrown their existing home, but wanted to stay in the same school district. After studying the market for months, Daniels and his wife recently decided to act, when the house they were eyeing dropped in price from $825,000 to $779,000. "The sellers had had two contingency offers that had gone bad," Daniels says. When he agreed to buy the house without the contingency of selling his own house first, the price was whittled down a bit more. Buying before selling seemed a bit risky to Daniels, especially in January. But as it turned out, getting his house out there early paid off. It took only one week to get the right offer. And thanks to some updates he had put in himself, he received 42% more than he paid for it six years ago. "The buyers walked in and said, 'This looks like a good value.' It wasn't underpriced, but our Realtor suggested we price it to reflect the current market conditions. We took her advice and it worked perfectly," says Daniels. What’s the future look like?

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A great place to call home | 3

BUYER'S MARKET Continued from page 2

What's the future look like? Often, analysts say, people get so fixated on getting the lowest possible price that they forget just how little difference an extra $10,000 in the home price can mean to their monthly mortgage payment. Assuming a buyer pays $500,000 rather than $510,000 on a 5.7%, 30-year loan with $50,000 down, he’d be paying $2,626 a month rather than $2,684. That’s less than a $60 per month difference. And for first-time home buyers in many markets, there's extra incentive to own a home in the form of rapidly rising rents. Seattle-area rents have climbed 25% since 2003, to an average $1,617, the data firm RealFacts states. In some neighborhoods, rents are getting close to or surpassing a mortgage payment. And the mortgageinterest deduction on your taxes is a huge help for those who need a write-off. According to the Washington State Growth Management Population Projections, Washington currently has 6.5million residents. By 2011, only 3 short years away, the number will be over 7million. Where will these people live? This population increase will certainly continue to drive housing demand in both home ownership and the rental market. These days, analysts thinks that five is the magic number when it comes to buying and selling: If you've been in your house five years and plan to move to a place where you will stay at least another three to five, you're probably OK. However, there are a few notable exceptions. There are some markets around the country where prices are still sliding, jobs are being lost and foreclosures are making it hard for people to sell their homes, such as economically depressed Detroit. Fortunately, the Puget Sound area is not in this same position as we have one of the lowest unemployment rates in the country and a high number of people moving to the area every day.

How to get the best deal If you're ready to buy, try to make the best deal you can in a neighborhood that is holding its own, experts say. Make sure to have yourself preapproved by a reputable mortgage broker or lender before viewing homes on market. Now is the time to take advantage of the market conditions because of the high inventory and low interest rates. When you have zeroed in on a neighborhood, work with an experienced real-estate agent to go over the fundamentals. How much inventory is out there? How many of the listings are foreclosures? How have prices in that neighborhood fared historically and over the past year or two? This will give you a feel for the overall direction of the neighborhood.

5 REASONS TO BUY 1. Prices in the neighborhood you are interested in are relatively stable. Either they are holding their own or increasing, or the pace of decline is slowing significantly. 2. You plan to stay in the home for more than five years. If you can stick it out before selling, economists say you’ll probably ride out any downturn and come out ahead on price.  3. Your rent rivals a mortgage payment. If you can afford to buy, it can give you one bonus that renting can't: the mortgage-interest deduction on your taxes.  4. You've found the right house in the right area for you. The schools are great. You love the area and know it would be hard to find another house like the one you have your eye on. In a better market, you would most likely have much more competition for that home.

5. You've built equity in your house and are moving to a place where homes are now cheaper than ever before. In your new market, your money will go a lot further.

5 REASONS TO HOLD OFF 1. You've lived in your house less than two years. Chances are you haven't had enough time to accumulate equity in your home.  2. Your job security is uncertain. If your company or business is in distress, it's probably better to stay put until you have more economic stability. 3. You don't plan to stay in your next house at least three to five years. While it's not important to buy at the exact bottom of the market, it is important to stay long enough to ride it out completely. 4. You don't have good credit or a decent down payment. Do you have a job and income you can document? As a result of  the subprime lending crisis, lenders are much more careful about whom they're giving their money to. 5. You have an existing home to sell in a neighborhood where prices are dropping precipitously or where the number of foreclosures is spiking. In this climate, you're probably better off waiting out the storm. So do your homework, get connected with the experts and trust that home ownership is still the highest accomplishment of the American Dream!

80045

Kirkland Reporter - June 4, 2008


4 | A great place to call home

Kirkland Reporter - June 4, 2008

Ken Nash 206-919-3167 (Direct)

See all of my listings online at www.KenNash.MyWindermere.com

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A great place to call home | 5

Kirkland Reporter - June 4, 2008

Make your new porch an outdoor paradise have a screened porch, but we never use it. How Q: We can I make it a spot where we want to hang out? A: Chances are your screened porch spends its days all alone because it’s uncomfortable and unattractive. With the warm summer months just around the corner, this is the perfect time to transform this dusty wasteland into one of your favorite spots to entertain, lounge and dine. In order for your porch to lure you outside, it must be an oasis for your tired eyes and weary body. For years, I’ve been a big believer in dressing your porch just as you do every other room in your house, with beautiful furniture, gorgeous linens and fun accents. People think I’m nuts, but I’ve always used indoor furniture outside on my screened porch. On a large wooden hutch, I display things like artwork, dishware and seasonal accents and set up a small bar for entertaining. The slip-covered chaise longue and daybed are our favorite places to lounge on Sunday afternoons. Since Dan and I enjoy entertaining

al fresco, we also have a round table and chairs tucked into a corner of the porch. For accent lighting, I frequently hang a lantern or candelabrum over the table and decorate it with seasonal greens. Before you begin your makeover, clear out your porch and give it a good spring cleaning. Now, think about how you’d like to use this spot. Do you want a place to sit and read? Do you want to hold dinner parties out here? Once you pinpoint how you want to use this outdoor room, scout for the right furniture. Do you have any old pieces you could bring outside, like a comfy chair or a hutch? Is it time to invest in an outdoor table and chairs? Remember: Anything you put out there will get dusty and damp and will need frequent cleaning, so choose accordingly. Next, add charm and personality to your porch with linens. Are you partial to hot citrus colors? Then pick cushions and pillows in the zippiest of

“ Do you have

a fun set of dishes reserved for outdoor use? If not, get some that make you smile.

File Photo

hues. Do you prefer a soft, romantic look? Go crazy with muted florals, stripes and little checks. Just remember to pick fabrics you can launder easily. I know this is a no-no, but I’m all about using cotton and linen fabrics outside. Since these delicate textiles fade in the sun, I replace them every few years, giving me the perfect excuse to remake the look of my porch. This year, I’m getting my inspiration from a new line of dishes I’ve developed for the Mary Carol Home Collection. The cream-colored plates feature a delicate fern frond in the freshest of greens. So, I’ll slipcover my chaise longue and daybed in cream fabrics with green accents. Since I’m nuts about monograms right now, I’m going to put a leaf-green monogram in the center of at least one of the cream pillows.

With your linens in place, it’s time to add the accents that will pull the space together and make it luxurious and welcoming. How about some great outdoor lighting, like lanterns or a candelabrum? Do you have a fun set of dishes reserved for outdoor use? If not, get some that make you smile. When I entertain outdoors this summer, I’ll use an old quilt as a tablecloth, then create unique place settings with my new fern dishes mixed in with some dishware, goblets and silver I use all the time. To polish off the look of the porch, I’ll repeat a few of the dishware pieces and accents in the displays in my hutch and side tables. I can’t wait to get started! – By Mary Carol Garrity Scripps Howard News Service

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6 | A great place to call home

Kirkland Reporter - June 4, 2008

Pre-Listing Inspections: Should I or Shouldn't I ? It's no news that it's become a buyer's market in many markets across the country. In Kirkland alone, there are currently 626 homes on the market. What can agents and sellers do to make these properties stand out from the rest? Get a pre-listing inspection prior to coming on market. I know we've all heard about them and most everyone has their own opinion, ranging from, "There must be something wrong with the home if the seller has already done an inspection on it," to the idea that a buyer, not the seller, is responsible for the inspection. Or how about the rationalization that the buyer will get their own inspection, anyway, so why should the seller go to the trouble and expense to get their own? Or even the belief that prelisting inspections are more trouble for the seller and listing agent than they're worth because the buyer's and seller's inspectors will each find different things, which could blow up in the seller and listing agent's face. Now I'm not talking about the traditional idea of performing an inspection of the seller's property simply for the benefit of the seller. I'm talking about something completely different. And what's so different? The position-

ing and marketing of the inspection. Most of us know that pre-listing inspections aren't for the meek or weak. They represent a shift in thinking from the traditional to the rational and are often a tough sell to many seller's who believe that the buyers are responsible for the inspections, which results in their heavy resistance to the pre-listing inspection idea. However, in my opinion, pre-listing inspections should be the rule rather than the exception. They reveal any hidden issues to the seller before the home gets placed on the market, which later translates into the buyer knowing its true condition before they submit an offer. This valuable information only makes all offers stronger and now the deal is unlikely to snag when the buyer gets their own home inspection (which they likely will, so please don't think they won't). Also, by getting the pre-listing inspection the seller has also enhanced the likelihood of a successful closing by creating a feeling of honesty and trust since they've disclosed, concessed, or repaired all the necessary items. Another seller benefit is that the items needing professional attention can be corrected at a time that fits their schedule and at a more reasonable price since

the costly rush charges associated with repairing these items as a consequence of the buyer's inspection are avoided. So let me explain why and how this new pre-listing inspection works by stealing a page out of our local auto dealership's playbook: When you go into an automobile dealership today they have two types of used cars: 1. The plain old used car 2. The "Certified Pre-Owned" car Now what does Certified Pre-Owned mean in the mind of the consumer? It means that the Certified Pre-Owned Vehicle has been inspected an d it meets the company's rigid guidelines for quality and excellence. And will consumers pay more for Certified Pre-Owned Vehicles? Absolutely!!! So let's say you have a home For Sale on a street in a great neighborhood, but there are already a lot of homes for sale on that street. How do you not only stand out from your competitors, but also swipe their buyers? Actively market your home as a "Certified Pre-Owned" home. And how do you get it "Certified"? By having it professionally inspected

before it goes on the market! As you know, home buyers want a home that is in tip-top shape regardless of the age. That's why having a pre-listing inspection makes complete sense. Since this pre-listing program requires the seller to confirm that there are no major systems in need of immediate repair or replacement and that there are no known safety hazards (which is what requires the seller to address the important things found in the inspection), the home is now more marketable and will help the sellers get their maximum selling price. Finally, there is one secret all sellers need to know: Buyers make their decision to purchase a home based on emotion and justify that decision with logic. And another thing is equally true: Buyer's can fall OUT of love with a home just as quickly as the fell IN love it. So why jeopardize the sale by waiting for the buyer's inspector to develop a long list of unexpected repair items? Making the repairs in advance of the sale and then properly positioning and marketing the pre-listing inspection will sell your listing for more money, in less time, and with less hassle!

Editorial provided by Debbie Walter. Debbie is a RealtorÂŽ with RE/MAX NW Realtors in Kirkland, and a member of the National Association of RealtorsÂŽ. For further information or suggestions on future topics, please contact Debbie Walter 206.930.8699 or visit debbiewalter.com.

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A great place to call home | 7

Kirkland Reporter - June 4, 2008

Condos for sail: These homes might float your boat

new that there is a dearth of experts and you could get different types of who oversee the field, and operating people," he observed. rules that are still fluid. Four years ago, Boyd, who described himself as a when condo buyers on the World felt consultant to Florida real estate interdisgruntled about the ship's ports-of- ests, looked out to sea when available call itinerary, they formed an owners beachfront land became harder to find association and bought the ship. The and fears of hurricanes dampened the vessel is now a co-op. condominium market on terra firma. Although much remains unknown While Condo Cruise Lines is an unabout this market niche, a few compa- known quantity, established companies have declared interest in getting nies drawn by what they think could their feet wet. become a lucrative niche are getting Toronto's Four Seasons Hotels and into the floating-condo market, too. Resorts, the high-end hotelier, has liFirst into the water, in 2002, was censed a Miami partner, Four Seasons Miami's ResidenSea. The company's Ocean Club Ltd., to launch a vessel 644-foot ship, the World, offers conin the fall of next year under the Four dos for sale. Condo owners sometimes File Photo Seasons brand. rent their units when not on board. Condo Cruise Lines International, ResidenSea takes pains to make clear privately owned waterborne condos exist on just one major ship _ the World, operated by a management company in Miami called ResidenSea Ltd. also anchored in Florida, says it will that its customer experience differs float its first condo-carrying ship in from those of popular cruise-ship lines Condo Cruise Lines plans _ some geared to budget travelers _ Condos for sale on cruise ships. Great views. Changing February. to homeport one or two ships at the beloved by vacationers in search of seaside sites all around the world. From $500,000 to $8 Port of San Francisco if a deal can be groaning-board buffets and carousing worked out. nightlife. million. Motivated sellers. Condo Cruise Lines President and "Ours is a quieter pace, more advenCEO Mark Boyd said his company's turous in our travt may be a stretch to call it a real estate launch shipboard condos. first ship _ presently a floating els but tsunami _ a gently rising tide, maybe Condominium ships are "a very casino in Hong Kong _ "The _ but putting plush condominiums on small piece of the market," according will be converted seaworthy cruise ships is drawing in- to Michael Paladino, a Fitch Ratings into a condo carWorld, which has about terest from developers, investors, en- analyst who follows the cruise-ship rier this fall 200 residents spread out over trepreneurs and gilt-edged hotel com- industry. "Certainly the large cruise in Singapore. panies eager to plumb a new market. operators haven't expressed interest in Plans call for 12 decks, is staffed by a crew of 250 Pitched by their champions as exotic this market." staterooms to and novel alternatives to traditional However, an enterprising company be enlarged and assigned to pamper condo owners condos for landlubbers, privately that "wants to have a differentiated remade into suites. owned waterborne condos exist on just product out there" could find the con- Boyd said suites on and their pals." one major ship _ the World, operated dominium ship market appealing, he the 560-foot-long ship are by a management company in Miami said. listed from $500,000 to $1.2 million more relaxed called ResidenSea Ltd. _ but at least Condo ships are an unusual hybrid for one-room units to three-room pent- in lifestyle, in many ways quite similar three other companies are lining up to of travel and real estate, a hybrid so house suites. to luxury yacht ownership," accordAt the high end, the company is ing to the ResidenSea Web site. "Our charging an annual owners fee of time is ours to do with as we please, $20,000, with most fees falling in the choosing to enjoy the life ashore _ op$7,000-to-$10,000-a-year range. era, museums, restaurants, shops; to According to Boyd, "We get a range see natural wonders _ fjords, mounof buyers, from the guy who says, tains, icebergs, deserts, coral reefs and 'When I retire, I'm going to sail around beaches. We also enjoy playing golf on 10131 NE 64th Street the world,' to another guy who says, the world's great courses. ... We always Beautiful Houghton townhome overlooking 'I'll never set foot on it. I can rent it for have the whole world to explore and Lake Washington and Seattle skyline four times my mortgage, rather than enjoy _ without ever moving from our * Fabulous floor plan with 2,700 sf two times my mortgage, as it is on own home." * Contemporary floor plan with crown land.' " For condo owners who want to According to the company, the molding, coved ceiling and hardwood floors rent out their units, the company says World's itinerary this summer includes * Light and bright living room with vaulted it will charge a 30 percent rental man- stops in Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon), ceiling and skylights * Panoramic view agement fee. as well as Brunei, Kota Kinabalu in from exciting roof top deck * Great Mixing condo owners who want Malaysian Borneo, the Thailand resort location - easy access to waterfront * to live full-time or nearly full-time of Phuket and Australia's Great Barrier MLS #28085999 aboard ship with vacationers who rent Reef. This winter, the ship is scheduled for short periods could create an un- to call in French Polynesia and Chile comfortable mix, said Fitch Ratings' _ the better to bask in the Southern Paladino. "There could be a difference Hemisphere's summer. 11714 NE 149th Street in how people take care of the units, The World, which has about 200 Fabulous floor plan with 5+ bedrooms, 2 1/2 residents spread out over 12 decks, is baths and over 3,200 sf * Spacious rooms staffed by a crew of 250 assigned to HOLMES POINT throughout home * Beautifully remodeled pamper condo owners and their pals. kitchen with custom cherry cabinets, granite VIEW HOME The units, which ResidenSea says are countertops and gas range * Large family 95 percent sold, list for $825,000 to room wood burning fireplace * Huge bonus $6.3 million, not including a mainte room over garage with built-ins * Milgard nance fee, which is calculated by vinyl windows * Systems Paving driveway and square footage. walkways * Leaf Guard gutter system Four Seasons, which operates doz* MLS # 28085383 ens of five-star hotels in Europe, Asia and North America, plans to take to the Buying or Selling? Call Us Today waves with its condo ship in the fall of Panoramic Lake view on 1/2 acre lot. 2007. Gourmet kitchen w/custom cabinets & The 12-deck, 656-foot ship will ofstone floors. New int/ext paint, granite, fer 96 residences, according to Four millwork & oil rubbed bronze fixtures. Seasons Ocean Club, and will be built Certified Residential Specialists Lower level w/rec room, wine cellar & expressly to carry condos. sauna. Custom oversized heated 4+ car

I

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Jim Lloyd 425-444-9688 jlloyd@windermere.com

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garage. MLS #28073575 $1,079,000

Continued on page 9: Condos for sail


8 | A great place to call home

Kirkland Reporter - June 4, 2008

Surprising Ways You Can Hurt Your Credit Score... even if you pay your bills in full each month Many would-be borrowers are discovering that their good credit scores are no longer good enough. That’s because lenders and credit card issuers have become increasingly cautious as more borrowers default on their loans and fall behind on credit card payments. Just two years ago, most of the best mortgage and credit card deals were available to anyone with a credit score of 700 (out of a maximum of 850).* Today, borrowers must have scores of at least 720 -- and often as high as 750 -- to qualify for the most appealing mortgage and credit card rates. T e r m s on auto loans also become less attractive for people with scores below 750. Surprisingly, only about one-third of the formula that makes up your credit score reflects whether you pay bills on time. The often-overlooked details that affect the remaining two-thirds could make or break your next credit application.

• A credit utilization percentage below 10% will earn you the maximum number of points in this component of your credit score. Above 10%, there is a sliding scale, and your credit score will suffer greatly if you come anywhere close to maxing out your cards. In determining this portion of the score, credit bureaus do not take into consideration whether you pay off balances in full every month or carry rotating balances. What to do: Pay off your credit cards completely, and don’t use them during the 60 days prior to submitting a loan or credit card application. Ask your credit card issuers to increase your credit limits, but do so only if you have the discipline to avoid using this extra credit.

“Diversify your credit. As much as 10% of your total credit score is determined by how many different types of credit you have now and have had in the past”

How to avoid hurting your score... • Use only a small percentage of your available credit. The percentage of available credit that a cardholder uses determines roughly one-third of his/her credit score, making it just as important as paying bills on time. Example: If you have just two credit cards, each with a $2,000 credit limit, and a total balance of $3,000 on these cards, your credit utilization percentage is $3,000 divided by $4,000, or 75% of your limit. (Only credit cards are included in this calculation, not homeequity lines of credit.)

• Limit credit applications. Just applying for any type of credit can damage your credit score. Approximately 10% of your overall score is based on the number of credit applications you have made during the past 12 months. (Credit applications include everything from credit card and store card applications to auto and mortgage loan applications.) If you have a limited or troubled credit history, even two or three credit applications make a significant difference. If you have a solid credit history, a few credit applications over the course of one year will not have a substantial impact, but a large number might.

What to do: If your credit history is less than stellar, do not apply for credit cards that you don’t really need, including cards at retail stores that you get mainly because they offer a 10% or 15% discount on your purchases for a limited period of time. This is particularly important if you are about to submit a loan application, such as for a car loan or a mortgage. Ask your current card issuers to match competitors’ terms, rather than jump from one credit card to another in search of more attractive rates. Postpone filling out applications for anything that triggers a credit check -- say, for a lease on a new apartment or a new cell-phone plan -until after you have received approval on an important loan. • Diversify your credit. As much as 10% of your total credit score is determined by how many different types of credit you have now and have had in the past -- the more types, the better. Types of credit include credit cards, retail cards, gas cards, auto loans, home loans, student loans and personal loans. It is particularly important to have had both major bank credit cards (or retail or gas cards) and installment debt, such as auto loans or mortgages, on your credit history, even if these accounts are unused or have been paid off. What to do: It does not make sense to take out a loan or open a credit card account just to earn these credit score diversity points. However, if you already are considering establishing credit of a type that you never used before (such as an auto loan) instead of paying cash, realize that it may help your credit score. • Hang on to old cards. Approximately 15% of your credit score is determined by the age of your oldest credit accounts -- the older, the better. What to do: Do not close your oldest credit card accounts, even if you

don’t use them much now. If you do not have any long-term credit accounts, ask a parent, spouse, sibling or someone else close to you to add you to his/her longest-standing credit card account as an “authorized user.” You will be given points for this account’s age. Important: The Fair Isaac Corporation, which sets guidelines for the widely used FICO credit scores, is attempting to close this loophole. It might be a few years before this change takes effect, however, so you may still benefit from being an authorized user for a while. Spouses who are listed as authorized users on their partner’s credit cards should either switch their status from authorized user to joint account holder...or open their own accounts and start building their own credit histories to avoid credit problems when this change finally does occur.

What Makes Up Your Credit Score? Payment history. . . . . . . . . . 35% Available credit used. . . . . . 30% Length of credit history. . . . 15% Types of credit used . . . . . . 10% New credit applications. . . . 10%

-Fair Issac Corporation To obtain your credit scores, go to www.myfico.com.

Beetles in wood floor will need professional solution before you move

Q:

We have a wood floor in our home that repeatedly has termite mud holes and piles of sawdust showing up. The contractor has replaced some of the wood, but the problem continues. Is there any treatment that will work completely, or does the entire wood floor need to be replaced? What is the best way to get rid of wood-flooring termites?

the hardwood flooring when you purchased it. The lyctus beetle may also be present in wood furniture and paneling and can be brought into the home in firewood. The beetle larvae spend several months inside the wood, where the damage goes unseen. It’s only when the adult beetle exits the wood that the pinhole damage becomes evident. The female beetle

A:

If you are finding sawdust, then you probably have a wood-boring beetle, also known as a powder post beetle. The name is derived from the fine flourlike powder, or frass, the beetles discard. The most common wood-boring beetle families are the lyctidae, bostrichidae and anobiidae. Only the anobiidae family of beetles can digest cellulose, the main ingredient of wood. All other species of wood-boring beetles excrete the wood without digesting it. The beetles live and bore inside the wood and most likely were already in

Powderpost Beetle Damage

will often leave behind eggs to hatch to continue the cycle of their species and further damaging the wood. Other cellulose items in the home can be infested with wood-boring beetles -- books, toys, tool handles, bamboo flooring and structural lumber. Termites also damage wood flooring and structural lumber, but ter-

mites are not often seen until they swarm, which is usually in the spring and fall. In order to survive, termites build shelter tubes for protection, climate control and energy sources. The subterranean termite must return to the ground where the main colony is established. Dry-wood termites can sustain a colony above the ground, but they still need a source of moisture. When checking for termites, look for the distinctive mudcolored shelter tubes that meander as the termites forage for food. And that’s about all they do is feed, and your house is the food source. Whether you have termites or wood-boring beetles, do not attempt to treat the problem yourself. The environmental damage that can be caused by improper use of storebought chemicals can be serious. My best advice is to hire a licensed professional pest-control operator to rid your home of unwanted pests. -By Dwight Barnett Scripps Howard News Service

Steps to prevent beetles from infesting wood include: • Inspecting wood prior to purchase

• Using properly kiln or airdried wood. • Sealing wood surfaces • Using chemically treated wood (wood preservatives or insecticides). • Using good building design such as ventilation, drainage and proper clearance between wood and soil will reduce the moisture content of wood creating less favorable conditions for beetle development. • Central heating and cooling systems also speed up the wood drying process.


A great place to call home | 9

Kirkland Reporter - June 4, 2008

Condos for sail continued from page 7

According to the club, the ship will entice condo buyers with a swimming pool and cabanas, a spa and wellness center, a golf simulator, driving range and putting greens, plus high-speed Internet access, personal chefs and personal trainers, and high-end shipboard shops and restaurants. All this does not, of course, come cheap. Units on board the good ship Four Seasons are being offered from $416,000 to $4.2 million, according to the company. With prices set lower than Four Seasons and ResidenSea, Condo Cruise Lines hopes its offering will appeal to people who _ while affluent _ don't have to be super-rich. Boyd, the Condo Cruise Lines executive, said his company will be represented at a Real Estate Wealth show scheduled for San Francisco's Moscone Center in late August, where it will have a booth next to yet another condo-ship firm: Residential Cruise Line Ltd., based in Arizona, which says it plans to launch its residential ship _ called the Magellan _ in 2009. In a slick, large-format sales book, Magellan units are listed from $1.8 million to $8 million. The ship is expected to be an 860-foot, 15-deck vessel, staffed by 300 employees. Annual fees, in addition to purchase prices, start at $96,000 and go as high as $228,000, according to Residential Cruise Line sales materials. For people who can't spend that much but still want a home sweet home on the waves, Condo Cruise Lines' $500,000 to $1.2 million

This apartment is priced at $6.9 million. This is the view from the bedroom.

sales prices might be just right, Boyd said. Given that his company's first ship is reportedly 80 percent sold, Boyd said he plans to push ahead and amass a

Beth Kovacevich 206-719-2302

BethK@Windermere.com www.bethk.mywindermere.com

fleet of five ships _ all converted from use as conventional cruise ships at an average cost of $12 million. Condo Cruise Lines expects to spend from $11 million to $80 million each to buy

“Exceptional Service, Extraordinary Results”

79754

Terrific Kirkland neighborhood. This 3500 SF lake view hm w/multiple decks encompasses 4 beds + 3.5 baths & lrg media/ game rm. The kitch w/granite counter tops opens to the fam rm. Desirable main flr master w/walk-in closet, master bath w/soaking tub & double sinks. Multi rm office/gym w/direct street access, contemp cul-de-sac home w/3 car gar. MLS 28062996 $1,049,000

Clive Egdes 206-251-1680

Clive@Windermere.com www.Cliveegdes.com

Sophistication & elegance fused with the traditional comforts of luxury living, this luxurious 4 bedroom, 3.5 baths, 4,000 SF home built by Duren Homes has it all! The open floorplan provides all the space & extras you are looking for. Formal dining & living rooms, gourmet kitchen with full Viking line, granite slab counters, large casual eating area & family room that opens to a large entertaining deck with sunny Southwest exposure. This home includes a media room, bonus room, executive sized den and generous 3 car garage. MLS# 28040130. $1,329,950

Proposed new East of Market residence by Telus Co. Main house with 4150 SF includes 5 bdrms, 4.5 baths, office/den, media rm & island kitch w/breakfast nook opens to the great room. Sumptuous master suite w/deck (views), walk-in closet & frplc. Mother-in-law house w/755 SF. 4 car gar & a short stroll everything DT Kirkland. MLS #27206353. $1,699,000

the additional ships, and is still negotiating with their present owners, Boyd said. – By David Armstrong Scripps Howard News Service

Timeless finishes & stylish elegance hallmark this stately 4,000 SF new custom, built by Duren Homes located in the highly desirable East of Market. This exquisite three level home features 4 bedrooms, 3.5 baths, media room, bonus room, den/ office, formal living & dining rooms and a huge light-filled gourmet kitchen with a full Viking appliance package. Enjoy sunny SW exposure on the generous entertainment deck off the kitchen, nook & family room. Quiet neighborhood close to parks, beaches & DT Kirkland. MLS #28073885. $1,299,950

Elegant, Classic, Tranquil describe this updated spacious home w/some lake & Olympic mountain views in the highly desirable East of Market area. 4 bedrooms+ 2.5 baths + a bonus room & large yard. Priced to sell! MLS #27200374. $679,000

Specializing in Kirkland Properties

Updated rambler with gorgeous curb appeal on a huge flat lot. Located in the desirable Rose Hill area. Close to downtown Kirkland. From the cntr island kitch w/dining area to the hardwood flrs, well appointed fixtures & frplc, no wasted space here. Enjoy the spacious bckyrd that compliments this remodeled home. MLS#28046804. $479,500


10 | A great place to call home

Kirkland Reporter - June 4, 2008

EXCLUSIVELY PRESENTED BY

Windermere Real Estate - Kirkland 737 Market Street • 425-823-4600

WEST OF MARKET $2,590,000. Exceptional Martha’s Vineyard inspired residence! Situated on an 11,450 asf lot, this 5 bdrm, 3.5 bath home offers a spacious floorplan, custom details & a grand front yard. Amazing lake, city & mtn views. #28074177. Dayna Barringer 425-691-8319

JUANITA POINT $1,725,000. Amazing lake, mtn & city views!! Includes heated floors, security system w/indoor fire sprinklers & so much more. Hot tub w/TV-DVD. 3-car garage w/.5 bath. Meticulously landscaped w/sprinkler system. A must see! #28028396. Phil Smith 425-273-5308

EAST OF MARKET $1,600,000-$1,550,000. Renowned architect custom design 4-Star Build Green & Energy Star home. Metal roof w/50 year warranty. Hardwoods & designer touches throughout. #28035156, 28035143. Mike Moghaddas 425-830-1316

EAST OF MARKET $1,329,950. A masterpiece residence with extensive detail & 4,000 asf of spacious living. This gorgeous new 3-level home offers 4 bedrooms, 3.5 baths, media room + bonus + den & 3-car garage. #28040130. Beth Kovacevich 206-719-2302

EAST OF MARKET $1,299,950. Timeless finishes & stylish elegance hallmark this stately 4,000 asf new custom home w/4 bedrooms, media, bonus, den, 3.75 baths & 3-car garage. Gourmet kitchen with Viking appliances. #28073885. Clive Egdes 206-251-1680

UNION HILL $1,295,000. Soaring trees & curving driveway lead to this Cape Cod style home. Beautiful pool area for entertaining & separate guest wing w/ bed, bath & bonus. 4 fireplaces, french doors & remodeled kit. 4.8 acres of privacy. #28072935. Shirley Metcalf 206-369-5542

EAST OF MARKET $1,199,000. Unbeatable value! Classic Craftsman from Lux Homes. Fabulous floorplan with two-story formal living & dining, 4 bedrooms with walkin closets, 2.5 baths, den, bonus & huge master suite. #27090152. Gina Baumann 425-761-7600

HOLMES POINT $1,090,000. Serene ’05, 4,370 asf Craftsman 4 bedroom, 3.5 bath w/office & bonus room. Gourmet kitchen, high quality throughout. This home features its own creek & waterfall. Lake Washington views. #28017093. Ineza Kuceba 425-442-6544

ISSAQUAH $950,000. Spacious & Gracious! 2-story w/ full basement, 5 bdrms, 4.5 baths & 4,310 asf. Master suite w/lake views. Huge rec room opens up to patio, backyard & hot-tub. New siding & ext paint. 3+ car gar. Cul-de-sac. #28065682. B Bayley 206-601-7336

ROSE HILL $875,950. Luxury living exuding quality throughout! Bright, meticulous w/stunning finishes. Huge great room/granite kitchen & cherry hardwoods. Located on quiet street, quick access to 405, Microsoft, Downtown & parks. #28046324. Lisa O’Brien 425-577-4877

EAST OF MARKET $849,950. Incredible two-lot build opportunity in highly desired East of Market neighborhood. 12,500 asf lot qualifies for new small lot short plat guidelines. Call for details. #28053104. Lynn Sanborn 206-227-5966

DOWNTOWN KIRKLAND $824,950. Exquisite 2 bedroom, 2 bath, 2 park-view condo in the heart of Downtown Kirkland. Marble entry, granite, gas cooktop & air conditioning. Across the street from shops, restaurants & Marina. #28043135. Chris Judd 206-852-1691

BELLEVUE $799,950. This exceptional 4 bdrm, Bridle Trails home offers bay windows, newly remodeled kitchen with S/S appl. & vaulted ceilings in living room. The sound & beauty of the private bkyrd stream offers a serene atmosphere. Great street appeal. #28012576. Lynda Coccione 425-444-4850

WEST BELLEVUE $765,000. Value is in the land...however the home is very charming (sold as is) Enlarge, remodel or build your own dream home with a very nice view of the Bellevue skyline. Fabulous location among $2,000,000 homes. #28069673. Leslie Heinz 425-466-2277

SAMMAMISH $699,950. Immaculate French inspired 2-story on shy horse acre w/circular bedrooms, den, newly remodeled granite & S/S Private, sunny greenbelt setting w/huge deck. parking. #28048023. BJ Connolly 425-765-0783

KIRKLAND DOWNTOWN $635,000. Enjoy the amenities of downtown living. Immaculate one-level condo featuring over 1,600 asf of living space. 2 bdrm, 2 bath + family room. Smaller, beautifully maintained complex offers a common gar. w/prkg for 2 cars. #28063968. C. Parris 425-891-1834

CLEARVIEW $579,900. Craftsman style, well maintained, 4 bedroom home on acreage! Easy commute location. Open floor plan, 3-car attached garage. Large front lawn, fully fenced backyard & wooded area for tranquility. #28006212. The Hanson Team 425-829-2427

LAKE MARGARET $575,000. Love lake living? A beautiful 3 bedroom, 1.75 bath custom home on Lake Margaret. Approx 2/3 acre & 94 ft. waterfront where a year-round stream flows. Postcard views & 2-levels covered decks. Quiet community. #28063640. K. Paulson 206-713-2658 80301

Windermere Real Estate/SCA, Inc.

Country drive. 4 kitchen. RV/Boat


A great place to call home | 11

Kirkland Reporter - June 4, 2008

EXCLUSIVELY PRESENTED BY

Windermere Real Estate - Kirkland

BELLEVUE $574,950. Centrally located cul-de-sac home. 2,920 asf home located on 9,000 asf lot! 3 bdrm (5th possible), 3 bath w/great room downstairs. Bedrooms on entry level, minutes to Microsoft & freeways. #28065872. James McCarthy 206-599-9395

BOTHELL $574,000. Mountain view home in the Northshore school district. Built in 2006, this classic home features 4 bdrms, 2.5 baths, family room & office. Hardwoods, S/S appliances & granite. A must see! #28068343. Marsha Matchett 425-681-8484

HOUGHTON $535,000. A simply stunning combination of style & substance! This lovely multi-level home features soaring ceilings & dramatic spaces. Adjacent to 60 acres of parkland w/miles of trails, yet close to 520 & I-405 access. #28087176. Sue Frankl 425-591-7777

BELLTOWN $535,000. All new in 2005, this 2 bedroom, 2 full bath, 1,058 asf home is in the heart of it all. Secure building & great amenities. 1 garage parking stall, huge deck off the living room with incredible views. #28075996. Sandra Shaffer 206-553-9017

FINN HILL $450,000. Seattle-style charmer in the heart of the suburbs! This special 3-bedroom home boasts new carpet & paint, and newer appliances. Just blocks to awardwinning schools, and a great location for many commutes. #28037614. Laura Brodniak 425-444-3232

KIRKLAND $484,950. This home backs a greenbelt, in the popular Finn Creek neighborhood. Distinctive floorplan features 5 bdrms, formal liv & din areas, and a kit w/ eating nook. Lavish bkyrd w/fruit trees & English garden. #28043413. Christina Marie Pablo 206-510-3518

KIRKLAND $479,000. Beautiful 2 bdrm, 1.75 bath, city & mtn view condo in fantastic location. Lrg living & dining rms w/pict windows for view & great light. Designer colors & crown moulding make this home look & feel very upscale. #28080372. MaryLee Pohl 206-353-5788

KIRKLAND $419,900. Complete update in quiet culde-sac: doors/windows/paint, SS appl/granite/lighting. 4 bdrms, 2 bath Craftsman. EZ care landscaping in charming Hazen Hills neighborhood. 9x8 shop with outside access. #28057114. Laura Burgess 206-972-1028

DOWNTOWN KIRKLAND $399,000. Excellent investment opportunity in the heart of Downtown Kirkland! Value is definitely in the land, but also in the home which works as a rental or primary residence, until a new home is built or a remodel. #27203896. Lise Shdo 206-650-8511

MILL CREEK $385,000. Nicely appointed 4 bdrm, 3 bath home. Great kitchen w/oversized cabinets opens to family rm w/gas frplc. Access to deck for BBQ’s. Open loft office/ game area. Front porch w/pasture views. Neighborhood play area. #28044862. Joanne Stewart 425-444-2295

SAMMAMISH/ISSAQUAH $379,500 Spacious 1,345 asf, 2 bdrm, 1.75 bath, end-unit condo in desirable Jacob’s Creek gated community. 2 fireplaces, private gar. & lrg covered patio offers privacy & expansive views! A must see! #28035231. Steve Lutz 425-785-2777

GARDENS AT MEADOWDALE $377,000. Immaculate 2-story home with a dramatic floorplan. 3 bedrooms, 2.5 baths + a loft. Fenced backyard. Conveniently located home in a great neighborhood. #28077567. C. Boorman 206818-0860/Cheri Parris 425-891-1834

LYNNWOOD $359,950. Adorable diamond in the rough! 3 bedroom, 2.5 bath, huge yard, some Olympic Mountain view. Huge yard with entertainment sized deck & hot tub. End of cul-de-sac location, easy access to freeways. Won’t last! #28076772. Pamila Hussey 206-650-6815

SEATTLE $358,000. Obvious owner pride with tons of upgrades. New roof, windows, flooring & paint! Skylights throughout. All fantastic usable space inside & out. Fully fenced corner lot, new deck & shed. A great investment! #28076873. Amber Soria 425-444-0302

JUANITA $329,950. Close to the beach, restaurants, shopping. Partial bay view, attached garage. Low HOD’s. Over 1,100 asf + 150 asf of storage. Remodeled in 2007... this 2 bedroom, 1.5 bath townhouse has it all! #28060852. Christi Packard 206-498-3269.

LAKE STEVENS $314,990. Traditional home on huge 1/4 acre lot shows like a model. Light filled great room w/open kit. & lrg center island. Corner prop. backs to undeveloped lot. Side yard has enclosed dog kennel & room for RV or boat parking. #28079511. Amber Waas 425-780-1519

HOUGHTON $189,950-$399,950. Remodeled studio’s from $189,950. One bdrms from $269,950 & 2 bdrms, 2 bths from $379,950. Beautiful settings w/all new kitchens, designer colors & vaulted ceilings. #27203882, 2706515, 28008385. Jon Arguelles 425-785-9192

CAPITOL HILL $179,950-$389,950. Seventeen07 condos have it all. Updated studio, 1 & 2 bdrms w/high-end finishes. Amenities includes: media, lounge, fitness area, & pet grooming center. Secure building with off-street parking. #28025367. Dave Janssens 425-785-7432

Windermere Real Estate/SCA, Inc.

80304

737 Market Street • 425-823-4600


12 | A great place to call home

So-called jumbo loans still hard to get Higher loan limits, set by the federal government early this year, were supposed to make jumbo loans more affordable in expensive housing markets. Rates finally have come down on these so-called “jumbo conforming� mortgages, though these loans likely will remain hard to get. Jumbo-conforming loans range in size from $417,000 to nearly $730,000 and are especially important in expensive markets. There are three types of jumbo-conforming loans to consider,

Three types of jumbo-conforming loans 1. Agency jumbo-conforming loans, which meet, or “conform to,� Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac guidelines and can be sold to those secondary market corporations, or “agencies� 2. FHA jumbo-conforming loans, which meet guidelines set by the Federal Housing Administration (FHA), a U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development agency that guarantees home loans

Kirkland Reporter - June 4, 2008 “Consumers need to look at all three of those (loan types) because their particular circumstances may make one or another of those options the better option for them,� explains Frank Sillman, CEO of Indymac Mortgage Bank in Pasadena, Calif. Until recently, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac weren’t authorized to purchase loans of more than $417,000, except in a few very expensive housing markets. The new limits are based on a percentage of the median home price in each county and can reach up to $729,750 in the priciest areas. When the new jumbo-conforming loans were announced, there was an expectation that the rates would be similar to those for conforming loans. But for the first six weeks of the jumbo-conforming loans’ existence, they were priced closer to regular jumbo loans. That means the rates were often half a percentage point higher or more. For example, at the beginning of May, a borrower in Los Angeles might have been able to get a conforming loan for $400,000 at 6.125 percent, and a jumbo-conforming loan for $450,000 at 6.75 percent. Finally, in the second week of May, Fannie Mae CEO Daniel Mudd announced that the company would price conforming and jumbo-conforming loans identically. Rates dropped abruptly on jumbo-conforming mortgages. This week, the rate difference between conforming and jumbo-conforming has been anywhere from negligible to a quarter of a percentage point. Before the change, says Dick Lepre, loan consultant with Residential Pacific Mortgage in San Francisco, “their pricing was, ‘We don’t want to do these loans’ pricing. They changed their minds, and the difference was sudden and large. The difference to me was not doing loans and then doing loans.� The typical jumbo-conforming borrower wants to refinance out of an adjustable-rate mortgage “and they’re

3. Bank jumbo loans, which needn’t conform to either agency or FHA guidelines

seeking the safety of a fixed (mortgage),� Lepre says. They pay for that safety: A lot of these borrowers will pay a higher rate on their fixed-rate jumbo-conforming loan than they were paying on the previous jumbo ARM. But they’ll have to refinance out of those ARMs anyway, and they’re gambling that fixed rates on jumbo-conforming loans will rise. That’s probably a wise move, Lepre said. The FHA loan limits depend on the cost of housing in each metropolitan area and can range from $271,050 in so-called “normal� markets up to $729,750 in some expensive markets. Homeowners who want to refinance a jumbo-sized non-FHA adjustable-rate mortgage, but don’t have at least 3 percent equity can consider the FHA Secure program, which allows the current lender to take back a second mortgage to make up the difference between the amount that’s owed and the current value of the home, according to the FHA’s Web site. The higher limits apply to this program as well. The new loan limits took effect in February and are set to expire at the end of this year, unless Congress extends the time period or makes the new limits permanent. The House recently passed legislation that would make the limits permanent, but President Bush has denounced the multifaceted housing bill as a foreclosure bailout and threatened to veto it. Bigger loans, known as “super-jumbos,� are a specialty product in today’s market and are available only from select lenders that choose to offer them. Some lenders are eager to originate super jumbos while others “won’t touch� them, says Mike Mueller, a mortgage broker in San Francisco. – Scripps Howard News Service

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A great place to call home | 13

Kirkland Reporter - June 4, 2008

Moving?

Some ideas that will help you box it up Late spring and summer is the time when most people move, for obvious school and weather reasons. The feeling of shaking off the old and launching into the new can be exhilarating... but also quite intimidating. There will 1. Manga Manga be an enormous amount of responsiWith the million and one things bilities and headaches accompanying your move. No matter if your move is to there will be to do on the days of the the other side of town or the other side move --move-out day, travel day(s) of the universe, the word of the day is and move-in day -- you want to make “organizasure you have a plan for tion.� The food. You are all going more you work physically hard "Make sure you have to prepare for a few days, and evand plan high-energy foods like eryone gets hungrier the before the more physical exertion first box is fruit and trail mix with is required. Accordingly, packed, the when people get tired and M&Ms mixed in..." easier and overtaxed, emotions can less stressget raw. Make sure you ful your have high-energy foods move will like fruit and trail mix with M&Ms mixed in as well as deli sandwiches in be. a cooler so that anyone can get somemore substantial without a lot of Alicia on “Being Able to Chew thing prep time. Don’t forget water.

Everything you Bite�:

Sarah on “Trust�:

3. The Corners of your Mind

The best way to stay on an even keel is to be prepared for any deviations from your plan. Make sure you have the phone number for your moving company, whether you are hiring a company or renting a truck. You need to take an inspection of all vehicles before heading out to make sure they are roadworthy. In case of a breakdown, having the national numbers for a few chain motels would not be such a bad idea. Finally, you should have with you the number for the power company in your new city so that if there has been a snafu you can contact it immediately.

You never truly leave an old home. You are certainly going to want to delegate tasks to all members of the fam- Since memories of your old life will always ily, and it provides a great be with learning opportunity. Let you, leave your kids be in charge of "In case of a break- something packing up their stuff to - with your supervision, down, having the na- behind tie you of course. Since it is unusual to take everything, tional numbers for a few physically to your the first thing they will chain motels would not o n e t i m e learn is how to prioritize home. You and let go of the things of be such a bad idea." could, for the past. Once the move is instance, complete, and any carebury somelessness has resulted in a thing in the broken or lost item, they will understand the value of taking care back yard. The whole family can get together and choose an item that best of the things they care about. While no one column can cov- commemorates the time spent there. er an entire move, we at least offer these hints. – By Sarah Welch and

Alicia Rockmore Scripps Howard News Service

File photo

Neighbors Moving and Storage in Bellevue suggests creating an essentials box for when you arrive at your new home. • Basic tools such as flashlights, pocket knife, hammer, screwdrivers, nails, masking tape, tape measure, and light bulbs. • Bathroom essentials such as hand towel, soap, toilet paper, shampoo, and shower curtains. • Kitchen goodies such as paper towels, coffee maker and filters, paper plates and cups, plastic utensils, dish detergent, a sponge, pet foods, dishes, and trash bags. • Pack rugs last so they can be the first items unloaded and placed at your new location. Supplement to the Kirkland Reporter

June 2008

Produced by the Marketing Department Supplement to Kirkland Reporter • A division of Reporter Newspapers

Why Should a Buyer BUY In a BUYER’S Market? Are you ready for some good news on the real estate front? It seems like the latest national housing headlines are far from encouraging, home prices are down and newhome sales are lower than the last several years. All this “glass is half-emptyâ€? news Debbie Walter has many buyers sitting on the side- 3FBMUPSÂĄ3&."9/8 lines, afraid to make a move. But, economists say, waiting for the bottom is not the smartest strategy. So, why should a buyer buy in todays buyer market?

Why buy in today’s market? Analysts say that In the Puget Sound area, this is a great time to buy! With interest rates historically low, a fairly large inventory of properties to choose from and less chance of getting caught up in a bidding war – why not take advantage of the buyers’ market.

See BUYER'S MARKET page 2

Clive Egdes 206-251-1680

Clive@Windermere.com www.Cliveegdes.com

Specializing in Kirkland Properties. “Exceptional Service, Extraordinary Results�

Kirkland Real Estate Review is a special section published by the Reporter Newspapers and is a supplement to Kirkland Reporter. Extra copies are available at City Hall, Kirkland Chamber of Commerce and local libraries.

PAID ADVERTISEMENT

June Home of the Month

Lifestyle, Location, Luxury & View Offered from $1,079,950

Three new, upscale mountain view homes! NE Lake Washington 7320 NE 150th St. 2 stylish Cape Cod architecture + 1 Craftsman 3-level designer homes by Puget Sound custom builder KenMar Construction employ great room concept. Bright & sunny SW exposure. Prime Kirkland/Kenmore/North Finn Hill location. Forget bridge commute! 10 minutes to Seattle/Kirkland/Bothell/Woodinville; 20-25 minutes to Bel-Red. All have bonus suites + outdoor living space. 4 & 5 bedrooms, 3.5 bath, gorgeous interior colors, stunning showroom quality. Extensive use of marble, granite, limestone, travertine, polished slate & brazilian cherry hardwood. Welcome to the Northshore of Lake Washington. Close to: • Inglewood Shopping Center • St. Edwards State Park & Lake Washington Beaches • Burke-Gilman Trail • Kenmore Air Harbor • North Lake Marina & Fuel Dock • Kenmore Boat Launch & 2 golf courses

Kirkland Real Estate Staff MLS #28050768

Glenn R. Youch

See Ad on Page 9

Northshore Specialist

Beth Kovacevich 206-719-2302

206-755-1685

BethK@Windermere.com www.bethk.mywindermere.com

The difference is

our people

80273

2. The Long and Winding Road

80079

There is no way of getting around it: Moving means planning, tracking and executing tasks both large and small, which, seen in their totality, can be overwhelming. That is why you will want to put together a binder, or buy a prepared one like Moving.kit from Buttoned Up. It can help keep all the tasks and paperwork organized. More importantly, it should help you view all those tasks as compartmentalized jobs -- bite-sized pieces of a huge meal. So, instead of thinking every day for months that “We have to move,� you can think: “I have to hire a mover.� “I have to list my home and schedule appointments.� “I have to contact the power companies here and at the new place.� And so on.

Publisher: Mike Walter, 425.822.9166

Editor: Sarah Simmons, 425.453.4270d

Advertising: Mike Walter, 425.822.9166

Deanne Jess, 425.822.9166

Kirkland Reporter: 720 Market St. Suite A, Kirkland | 425.822.9166 | kirklandreporter.com


14 | A great place to call home

Kirkland Reporter - June 4, 2008

Real Estate Professionals Keith Childress

Julie Devine, ABR, ASP

real estate Professional

Julie@DevineHomes.com www.DevineHomes.com

Your Local Advantage.

206-227-4954

206-390-9722 (Direct)

www.keithchildress.mywindermere.com

Dick & Melinda Skogerson 5914 Lake Washington Blvd. Kirkland, WA 98033 Owner / Broker

Selling Devine Homes, One Client at a Time 78956

www

lydiageline.com

Associate Broker ABR, CRS 206-419-0775 lgeline@lydiageline.com

Windermere Real Estate / East, Inc

79627

Serving the Eastside for 40 years! We’re Different and We Prove It! www.PacificRE.com 425.458.4140 / 4142

79630

Windermere Real Estate/SCA, Inc.

78954

RE/MAX Northwest Realtors

Stacy BouSka 425.891.8140

78960

Bergdahl Real Property - 206.849.7950 Office: 11250 Kirkland Way

78943

Stacy@StacyBouSka.com www.StacyBouSka.com

I Know Kirkland

78940

Associate Broker Direct (425) 450-2668 Home (425) 803-0913 brightbl@windermere.com Windermere Real Estate/Bellevue Commons

78946

Schedule Your Business Card Now while space is available for the July 2 Kirkland Real Estate Issue. Deadline is June 23 at Noon 425-822-9166

To advertise, call Mike @ 425.822.9166

78723

78951

John A. Brightbill


A great place to call home | 15

Kirkland Reporter - June 4, 2008

Real Estate Professionals G.G. Getz... Results!!!

Associate Broker, CRS, GRI, ABR, ALHS

Residential and Investment Specialist (425) 442-6544 ineza@windermere.com

78966

425.822.5100 cell 206.915.7777 gggetz@gggetz.com www.gggetz.com

Windermere Real Estate/East, Inc

78972

Laura Westlund Realty Inc “Kirkland’s realtor for 30+ years” 1320 Market Street, Kirkland 98033

425-827-6676

www.Laurawestlund.com

Patrick O’Neil Sr. Account Manager Email: Poneil@landam.com

Realty Inc. and Assoc

See my list of Kirkland’s Hottest Buys at www.kirklandstyle.com!

78974

Fax (425) 576-8187 14450 N.E. 29th Place • Bellevue, WA 98007

Thinking Of Buying Or Selling? Todd and Candis Brink, CRS 425-821-3992

• 2006 Five Star Real Estate Agents—Best In Client Satisfaction • Life-long residents of Kirkland

Windermere Real Estate/East, Inc

www.ToddandCandis.com RE/MAX Northwest Realtors

78970

(425) 766-8019 natasha@windermere.com

80092

To advertise, call Mike @ 425.822.9166

Your community newspaper!

Pick up a copy at any of these locations: Kingsgate Library: 12315 N.E. 143rd St. Kirkland Art Ctr.: 620 Market St. Kirkland City Hall: 123 5th Ave. Kirkland Library: 308 Kirkland Ave. N. Kirkland Com. Ctr.: 12421 103rd Ave. N.E. For home delivery, email circulation@reporternewspapers.com or call 1.888.838.3000.

78725

80299

(206) 930-2202 Office


16 | A great place to call home

Kirkland Reporter - June 4, 2008

Real Estate Sales in Kirkland, WA: April 16, 2008 - May 15, 2008

Residential Housing in 98033 11240 106th Ave NE . . . . . . . . . . . 11227 104th Ave NE. . . . . . . . . . . . 12614 NE 114th Pl. . . . . . . . . . . . . 12216 NE 61st St. . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12024 NE 100th Pl. . . . . . . . . . . . . 8614 113th Ln NE. . . . . . . . . . . . . . 121-Lot 4 NE 108th St . . . . . . . . . . 11519 111th PL NE. . . . . . . . . . . . . 11514 NE 107th Pl. . . . . . . . . . . . . 11510 NE 107th Pl. . . . . . . . . . . . . 12037 NE 70th St. . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12025 NE 70th St. . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11418 99th Pl NE. . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9603 112th Ave NE. . . . . . . . . . . . . 7101 132nd Ave NE . . . . . . . . . . . . 11638 NE 100 St. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1225 5th Pl. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1010 State St . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 919 6th St W. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6101 Lk WASH Blvd NE . . . . . . . . .

$440,000 $451,000 $453,000 $485,000 $590,000 $599,000 $597,500 $649,000 $699,000 $722,000 $712,000 $731,000 $769,990 $799,950 $834,950 $869,000 $895,000 $1,339,000 $1,695,000 $3,750,000

Residential Housing in 98034 13511 121st Ave NE. . . . . . . . . . . . $336,000 13839 115th Ave NE. . . . . . . . . . . . $347,000 10609 NE 138th Pl. . . . . . . . . . . . . $370,000 13121 129th Ct NE. . . . . . . . . . . . . $399,950 14032 118th Ave NE. . . . . . . . . . . . $405,000 13412 91st Pl NE . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $414,990 12834 97th Pl NE. . . . . . . . . . . . . . $409,850 13213 109th Ave NE. . . . . . . . . . . . $384,900 8817 NE 132nd St. . . . . . . . . . . . . . $439,950 12403 106th Pl NE. . . . . . . . . . . . . $439,950 13606 128th Ave NE. . . . . . . . . . . . $434,950 9205 NE 128th Ln. . . . . . . . . . . . . . $479,000 8403 NE 127th Ct. . . . . . . . . . . . . . $470,000 14234 128 Pl NE. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $500,000

12924 95th Pl NE. . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12936 NE 145th Pl. . . . . . . . . . . . . 10106 NE 116th Pl. . . . . . . . . . . . . 12640 104th Ave NE. . . . . . . . . . . . 13113 NE 145th Pl. . . . . . . . . . . . . 13101 NE 133rd Ct . . . . . . . . . . . . 12504 89 Pl NE. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11919 89th Pl NE. . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13480 64th Ter NE . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13927 105 Ct NE. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13921 105 Ct NE. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8511 NE 123rd Pl. . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8331 NE 119th . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11920 86th Ave NE. . . . . . . . . . . . . 9009 NE Juanita Lane. . . . . . . . . . .

$525,000 $499,000 $539,950 $549,950 $549,900 $599,900 $639,900 $649,950 $699,000 $759,990 $769,999 $849,500 $1,350,000 $1,600,000 $2,000,000

Residential Housing Averages AVG. List Price: $828,937 AVG Sold Price: $801,549 Cumulative Days on Market: 160 Condos/Townhomes in 98033 6732 112th Ave NE. . . . . . . . . . . . 12315 NE 97th St. . . . . . . . . . . . . 10931 124th Ave NE. . . . . . . . . . . 375 Kirkland Ave. . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9225 122nd Ct NE. . . . . . . . . . . . . 225 4th Ave. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12313 NE 109 Pl. . . . . . . . . . . . . . 500 Kirkland Ave. . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8908 123rd Ln NE. . . . . . . . . . . . . 5302 Lake Washington Blvd . . . . . 8604 113th Ln NE. . . . . . . . . . . . . 8614 113th Ln NE. . . . . . . . . . . . . 5302 Lake Washington Blvd . . . . . 106 8th Ln. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 602 5th St. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5302 Lake Washington Blvd . . . . .

$228,850 $250,000 $280,300 $374,950 $389,950 $418,000 $418,000 $459,950 $479,500 $572,950 $599,999 $599,000 $659,950 $695,000 $750,000 $869,950

225 4th Ave. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $759,000 11418 99th Pl NE . . . . . . . . . . . . . $769,990 9603 112th Ave NE. . . . . . . . . . . . $799,950 223 5th Ave S. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $930,000 5304 Lake WA Blvd. . . . . . . . . . . $1,179,950 6363 Lake WA Blvd. . . . . . . . . . . $1,140,000 919 6th St W. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $1,500,000 Condos/Townhomes in 98034 9907 NE 124th St . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14311 124th Ave NE. . . . . . . . . . . . 12515 NE 117th Pl . . . . . . . . . . . . 12719 NE 116th St . . . . . . . . . . . . 9901 NE 124th St . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12608 NE 119th St . . . . . . . . . . . . 12721 NE 116th St . . . . . . . . . . . . 12735 NE 132nd St. . . . . . . . . . . . 12721 NE 129 th Ct. . . . . . . . . . . . 12004 Slater Ave NE. . . . . . . . . . . 12723 NE 132nd St. . . . . . . . . . . . 12602 109th Ct NE . . . . . . . . . . . . 14449 124th Ave NE. . . . . . . . . . . 11223 NE 128th St . . . . . . . . . . . . 11227 NE 128th St . . . . . . . . . . . . 1119 1st Ave. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

$120,000 $179,000 $180,000 $217,950 $223,500 $220,000 $263,500 $244,950 $259,500 $255,000 $279,000 $287,000 $289,000 $299,950 $297,500 $302,000

Condos/Townhomes Averages AVG List Price: $494,361 AVG Sale Price: $469,366 Cumulative Days on Market: 116

Kirkland Real Estate Next Issue Date July 2, 2008 To Advertise, call Mike: 425.822.9166

Mortgage Professionals FREE Home Appraisal Purchase or ReďŹ nance

Simplified Home Loans

JOE WHITESEL

MORTGAGE PROFESSIONAL

DIRECT: 425-653.7200 CELL: 425.269.3618

For a free mortgage planning session please call David Foster

79642

79644

351-8900

(425) David.A.Foster@wellsfargo.com

WWW.PLANETFINANCIAL.NET JWHITESEL@PLANETFINANCIAL.NET

To advertise, call Mike at 425.822.9166

79636

Mortgage Consultant


A great place to call home | 17

Kirkland Reporter - June 4, 2008

Kirkland/Yarrow Bay Office 3933 Lake Washington Blvd NE, Suite 100

425-822-5100

Windermere Real Estate/East, Inc.

Natasha Bosch 425-766-8019 www.kirklandstyle.com

G.G. Getz 206-915-7777 www.gggetz.com

WEST OF MARKET

Heidi Bright 425-820-5343 www.bigdogrealty.com

Kathryne Green 425-766-1315 kathrynegreen@windermere.com

$1,575,000

Sunlight bathes this 4 bdrm charmer, nestled in a park-like setting w/amazing lndscp yd. Views of city, mtns, Lk WA & sunsets. Two-story entry, hdwds, chef’s kitch, media rm plus den, A/C. KATHRYNE GREEN 425-766-1315

HOUGHTON

$824,950

Kathy Magner 425-803-9457 kathy@kathymagner.com

WEST OF MARKET

Craig Gaudry 425-576-5555 craig@gaudry.com

Carlene Sandstrom 206-910-366 www.carlenesandstrom.com

$1,299,000

Great location w/in walking distance of dwntwn, parks, & new Juanita Village. This stunning 2001 NW craftsman features 4 bdrms, 2.5 baths, bonus rm, office & 3-car gar. Quiet & private fully fncd bckyrd. CRAIG GAUDRY 425-576-5555

KIRKLAND

$699,000

Impossible is found! 3 bdrm townhome in downtown Kirkland with Manhattan-style rooftop view deck, urban oasis patio, custom office space, A/C, and 2 car attached garage. GG GETZ 206-915-7777

KIRKLAND

$1,575,000

HOUGHTON

$1,247,000

Piece-of -art Contemporary w/forever views & paintbox sunsets. Seconds from waterfront fun. Granite island kitch, “let the party begin” deck, rotunda, skylit entry. Immerse yourself in the views! GG GETZ 206-915-7777

New construction by Lux Homes! 4,669 sq ft, panoramic views, 5 bdrms, den, bonus, & media room. Huge deck, fenced yard. Fabulous floorplan & finishes. www.kirklandstyle.com NATASHA BOSCH 425-766-8019

KIRKLAND TOWNHOME

$684,950

DUVALL

$399,950

Downtown Kirkland location! Duplex/townhome w/NO home owner dues! Mountain, lake & city views. 2,104 sq ft, 3bdrms, 2.5 baths, 2 car gar. New SS, granite & marble int. Elegant master ste w/5 pc bath. CARLENE SANDSTROM 206-910-3662

SO

LD

Prime Location! Walk to the heart of this beach community. Just 2 blks to Park Place. Townhome style, brand new construction! All of the charming vacation lifestyle amenities dtwn Kirkland offers. HEIDI BRIGHT 425-820-5343

Marilyn Carroll 425-444-6910 www.marilyncarroll.com

$650,000

Exceptional location, handsome landscaping, welcomed privacy. 3 bdrms, 2.5 bths, den, 3 car gar. Maple hdwds on main floor, stunning open rail staircase. Walk to shops. www.marilyncarroll.com. MARILYN CARROLL 425-444-6910

HOLMES POINT

$599,900

Truly new construction from studs on out. Open floor plan w/extras! Kitchen has cherry cabinetry, hdwd flrs, granite counters. Master suite w/soaking tub, dual shower heads. 1,300 sq ft 3 car gar w/ workshop. KATHY MAGNER 425-803-9457

4.9 acre mini-ranch, fully fenced with rare 6+ car garage/shop. One-level home with pasture views from most rooms. Peaceful, quiet and sunny with low maintenance landscaping. HEIDI BRIGHT 425-820-5343 80023

BRIDLE TRAILS


18 | A great place to call home

Just Sold 2008

New Price $399k 4.9 Acres + More

Kirkland Reporter - June 4, 2008

Just Sold 2008

Just Sold 2008

New Active/STI First Time on Market! 30 Days on Market Luxury Private Compound

Just Sold 2008

Brand New, Views, & Elevator Ready

The BigDogRealty.com Team at Windermere is HOT!

Charlie Brown, DEO

For a Temperature Reading on the Market Call Heidi: (425) 820-5343 More Information & Photos at: Heidi Bright

CEO ~ BigDogRealty.com

81780

www.Big DogRealty.com


A great place to call home | 19

Kirkland Reporter - June 4, 2008

put our knowledge ON YOUR SIDE

$595,000

Immaculate 3 bedroom + Den, 2.75 bath home on a quiet cul de sac in Kirkland/Juanita area. Upgraded granite and stainless steel kitchen...cozy family room with warm inviting colors... beautifully landscaped, fully fenced and large deck with retractable awning...It’s perfect and a must see!! #28065267

Whidbey Island Getaway

$298,000

Come home to the island! Enjoy sunrises over the Cascades, views of Mt Baker, Saratoga Passage & sunsets from your piece of paradise. Building lot ready for dream home, septic system in for up to a 4 bedroom home, water, power, cable on site. Beach Rights and just a minute to the ferry, makes this a perfect place. #28085086

Downtown Kirkland

$404,950

Open 1-4. 447 7th Ave. Fabulous East of Market Location! Walk to the Kirkland Lifestyle! 2bedroom + Den/2.25 bath townhome. Perfectly quiet. SW sunny exposure. Wonderful condition. Perfect candidate for luxury remodel. Private courtyard owner maintains. Lots of personality to home. Small community w/ healthy Assoc. Call Shari now. #28085861

Carol Ireland

Teri Lane, ASP

Shari Jansen, CRS

carolireland@cbbain.com

terilane@cbbain.com

sharijansen@cbbain.com

425-602-1149

Redmond Ridge!

425-765-9411

206-595-5591

$799,950

New on MKRT! Former model home, Murray Franklin. Beautiful, 3160 sq. ft, 4 bedroom + Bonus, + den w/closet! This home has it all! Open chef’s kitchen w/GE SS Appliances. One of the biggest private fenced lots. Backs up to trails & protective area. Home is ready for new owner. Immaculate, and great move in condition. See soon:) #2807969

Minutes To Microsoft

$919,000

Gorgeous home in coveted Waterbrook. This former model home has the legendary Buchan finishes. 4 bedroom/3.5 baths, an office and a gourmet kitchen. Formal living and dining rooms for entertaining. Ideally located across the community park, enjoy alfresco dinners on the patio spotting the bald eagles. Enjoy!

6-Car Garage/Shop!

Laurie Lenihan, ASP

Fabrice Muratore

Gary Penitsch

laurielenihan@cbbain.com

fabricemuratore@cbbain.com

garypenitsch@cbbain.com

206-778-7066

Seclusion And Serentity

$789,000

The Holmes Point experience of quiet and restful views invites you to the site, but the home is a comfortable, easy living 3BR with a granite updated kitchen. Executive sized, for easy of maintenance, yet perfect for entertaining. Call for an appt. soon. #28072585

425-442-9981

Queen Anne/Magno

Rich Whitehill

Erin Allen, ASP

richwhitehill@cbbain.com

erinallen@cbbain.com

425-260-4318

$368,800

Spacious one bedroom & one Bath w/french doors off master. Exceptional private deck over looking a peek-a-boo view of Lake Union, city, territorial and Capital hill with slight mountain glow. Nestled in the west hill of Lake Union. Great freeway access. Nice and private A must see!! #28041243

206-715-7070

$579,950

5 bedrooms, 2.75 bath home on Education Hill. Huge lot with oversized garage, greenhouse and loads of beds for flowers & veggies! Updated kitchen and baths. New doors & hardware! Air conditioned, too! Owner is a plumber, so there are all kinds of custom upgrades! Great cul-de-sac location. Drive by 9405 168th Pl NE or call #28052974

425-602-4165

Juanita Modern

$1,998,000

Open 1-4. 8124 NE Juanita Dr. Spectacular Dwell-style home above Lake Washington. Four bedrooms, four bath home with 180 degrees of Lake Washington, city, & Mt. Rainier views. Community beach access. Imported Pedini Italian kitchen cabinetry, European appliances, concrete and Milestone floors, and reclaimed wood throughout. #28072527

Valerie Burmester 425-519-3298

valerieburmester@cbbain.com 79989

Perfection!!

CBBain.com/homes


20 | A great place to call home

Kirkland Reporter - June 4, 2008

www.StacyBouska.com 1. Built in 19243bdr+office/1bath-695k 2. Built in 19392bdr+office/2bath-749k 3. Built in 19153bdr+office/2bath-$849k

1

2

3 Stunning Vintage Homes in downtown Kirkland Claw foot tubs, leaded glass windows, 5 panel doors, original millwork and Old World Charm

3

KIRKLAND SPECIALIST

Buying or Selling Kirkland Property?

3 reasons to work with Stacy Bouska: 1. 99% of my transactions are downtown Kirkland East of Market, West of Market, Houghton and Highlands.

STACY BOUSKA TEC REAL ESTATE, INC.

425.891.8140 WWW.STACYBOUSKA.COM

2. Licensed in both WA and CA - I have extensive first hand experience in volatile market trends and contract negotiations. 3. Aggressive, ethical, knowledgeable and trustworthy - Call one of my clients and Hear it from them! 79751


Kirkland Real Estate - June 2008