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How to green your outdoor living space CTW
ARA Staff ff ARA
ith the housing market still in recovery, many American homeowners are choosing to stay put and renovate. Whether you’re updating the home you love or preparing your house for resale when the market finally turns around, your outdoor living space is a great place to start.
According to a recent study from McGraw-Hill, the market for green homes is expected to increase five-fold by 2016, with an even steeper increase in green remodeling, as 34 percent of remodelers expect to be doing mostly green work by 2016. With this focus on green homes in mind, taking a green approach to your outdoor renovations is not only good for the environment, but is a great way to increase your home’s resale value. A beautiful and functional outdoor living space starts with your deck. Whether you’re in need of a new deck or looking to renovate one that’s at the end of its life, a long-lasting aluminum deck is the most environmentally friendly choice. Aluminum is 100 percent recyclable, and it maintains its structural integrity throughout the recycling process. Though some composite decking products are made from recycled materials, once produced many cannot be recycled again. With aluminum decking, the recycling
process can be repeated near indefinitely. An added plus is that choosing aluminum decking also means choosing a green deck that will last a lifetime, which is great news for prospective buyers interested in a maintenancefree outdoor upgrade. Because of their properties, aluminum-based materials allow for the use of an environmentally friendly powder coating process, a technologically advanced, nontoxic method for coloring and sealing building materials. While other decking materials require regular scraping, sanding, painting and sealing, aluminum powder coated decks hold their color and appearance. Aluminum decking products feature a specially developed SuperDurable powder coat finish, a completely UV-stable coating that retains its color and doesn’t fade like other decking products. In addition to a maintenance-free deck, you can trust in the strength of aluminum. FSI Home Products mixes their aluminum with specific alloys, allowing their products to support up to 240 pounds per square foot. And unlike other materials, aluminum decking won’t rust or crack. It’s also fireproof, pest resistant and will not rot, sag, splinter or warp in freezing temperatures. Because of its heat dissipation properties, when
installed properly, aluminum decking also stays cooler in direct sunlight than wood, composite or concrete. If you’re considering adding a second or third level deck, a water-proof, leak-free product can transform the area under your deck into a useable outdoor living space. Adding or renovating your deck is just one way to enhance and green your home’s exterior space. A number of other products and features can help take your environmentally friendly outdoor renovations a step further. Consider replacing your walkways with pavers made from recycled rubber. If it’s time to update your outdoor lighting, choose a solar lighting system or LED bulbs for walkways, garden accents, spotlights and floodlights. Invest in a rain barrel to collect water for your lawn or garden, and use recycled furniture as garden decor. The National Association of Homebuilders “New Home in 2015” Survey suggests a trend toward greater sustainability in new homes. If you want your home to be able to compete, green is the way to go. Whether you’re updating your house or preparing to sell, you can create a beautiful outdoor living space with the environment in mind.
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Home economics for retirement
Peggy McCartney has been a REALTORÂŽ since 2004 and is a recipient of the John L. Scott Presidentâ€™s Award. Licensed in Washington and Idaho, Peggy knows that the process of buying or selling your home is a very important personal decision and she works hard to make the process as simple and stress-free as possible ... and hopefully even fun!
Boomers are spending more on housing than the generations before them. What that means for your retirement plan. homes, even as they approached preretirement years, something previous generations didnâ€™t do. hatâ€™s your vision of a good EBRI researcher Sudipto Banerjee retirement? explains that in later years, Boomer For many, itâ€™s not too different households spent progressively more on from what they have today â€“ living in the same place but with more time to savor the housing. The median housing costs in 2001 totaled $13,486, or 38 percent of all dollars comforts of home. spent, jumping to 47 percent in 2009. The Good luck with that. 50-somethings were in their forties in 2000, A recent study by the nonprofit Employee suggesting the younger study participants Benefit Research Institute analyzes the bought or rented increasingly expensive spending of a representative sample of housing. 5,000 households with a member over age Thatâ€™s exactly what Melville, N.Y., 50 from years 2000 through 2009. The EBRI financial planner William Hammer has report finds that these households devote observed: â€œIf I look at my clients who are the lionâ€™s share of their spending to housing in their 70s and 80s, many of them lived in â€“ which experts say could mean some the same house for thirty, forty, or even fifty wonâ€™t be able to afford their current home years. That length of ownership would be through retirement. a lot harder to find with people who are in The younger part of the group, 50- to their 50s and 60s.â€? 64-year-olds, spent more of their dollars Slice or Sliver? on housing than those 65 and over did. While Boomer housing spending Specifically, in 2009, the 50 to 64 group grew in the last decade, the fact that spent a median of $18,828 on either housing accounted for nearly half of all mortgage, property taxes, homeowner insurance, and repairs and maintenance; or expenditures doesnâ€™t necessarily â€œsend big warning flags up about retirement rent. That chunk represents 47 percent of preparation,â€? notes John Karl Sholz, all the dollars they spent in that year. University of Wisconsin-Madison If youâ€™re in this 50 to 64 group (also economics professor. know as the Baby Boomers), you can do Indeed, it could be that Boomer some quick calculations and see how your households have reduced their total housing expenses relate to others in your spending to save more for retirement, and demographic cohort. so housing occupies a bigger slice of their While itâ€™s interesting to do comparisons, total expenditures, adds J. Michael Collins, experts say pre-retirees should be director of the University of Wisconsinconcerned only with their own personal Madison Center for Financial Security. numbers. Indeed, the EBRI findings can Personal Decisions be interpreted different ways, experts Only Boomers and their financial advisors say, reflecting different savings habits and can determine whether their personal tracks toward retirement. And, even if high housing costs leave you housing spending and saving habits will with little savings, there could be solutions. mean enough income in retirement to remain in their homes. Here, a look the complicated housingMany people are loath to move retirement equation: to a less expensive home, feeling Castle Quest â€œdefeatedâ€? by the necessity of The data may support the argument that downsizing, Hammer says. Boomers traded up to more expensive
By Marilyn Kennedy Melia CTW Features
But more Boomers are downsizing for financial reasons, and if they gain a sense of control, they will feel better about moving to smaller, less expensive quarters, says Valerie Kistenbroker, co-owner of DV Home Staging, Northbrook, Ill. â€œWe advise keeping a separate calendar strictly devoted to downsizing, and giving yourself enough time to decide what items are really important. Focus on it as a controlled exercise,â€? she advises. Another solution that might allow homeowners to stay is to take a reverse mortgage, and use the proceeds to pay off the existing mortgage on your home, explains Tony Webb, research economist at the Boston College Center for Retirement Research.
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SPOKANE SPOKESMAN-REVIEW MORTGAGE GUIDE Check rates daily at http://spokesmanreview.interest.com Program
30 yr fixed 20 yr fixed 15 yr fixed 30 yr FHA
3.500 3.375 2.875 3.375
0.000 0.000 0.000 0.000
$995 $995 $995 $995
20% 20% 20% 3.5%
3.549 3.443 2.962 3.423
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LENDERS, TO APPEAR IN THIS FEATURE CALL BANKRATE.COM @ 800-509-4636 MORTGAGE RATES & INFORMATION AVAILABLE @ http://spokesmanreview.interest.com Legend: The rate and annual percentage rate (APR) are effective as of 6/20/12. ÂŠ 2012 Bankrate, Inc. http://www.interest.com. The APR may increase after consummation and may vary. Payments do not include amounts for taxes and insurance. The fees set forth for each advertisement above may be charged to open the plan (A) Mortgage Banker, (B) Mortgage Broker, (C) Bank, (D) S & L, (E) Credit Union, (BA) indicates Licensed Mortgage Banker, NYS Banking Dept., (BR) indicates Registered Mortgage Broker, NYS Banking Dept., (loans arranged through third parties). â€œCall for Ratesâ€? means actual rates were not available at press time. All rates are quoted on a minimum FICO score of 740. Conventional loans are based on loan amounts of $165,000. Jumbo loans are based on loan amounts of $435,000. Points quoted include discount and/or origination. Lock Days: 30-60. Annual percentage rates (APRs) are based on fully indexed rates for adjustable rate mortgages (ARMs). The APR on your specific loan may differ from the sample used. Fees reflect charges relative to the APR. If your down payment is less than 20% of the homeâ€™s value, you will be subject to private mortgage insurance, or PMI. Bankrate, Inc. does not guarantee the accuracy of the information appearing above or the availability of rates and fees in this table. All rates, fees and other information are subject to change without notice. Bankrate, Inc. does not own any financial institutions. Some or all of the companies appearing in this table pay a fee to appear in this table. If you are seeking a mortgage in excess of $417,000, recent legislation may enable lenders in certain locations to provide rates that are different from those shown in the table above. Sample Repayment Terms â€“ ex. 360 monthly payments of $5.29 per $1,000 borrowed ex. 180 monthly payments of $7.56 per $1,000 borrowed. We recommend that you contact your lender directly to determine what rates may be available to you. TO APPEAR IN THIS TABLE, CALL 800-509-4636. TO REPORT ANY INACCURACIES, CALL 888-509-4636. s HTTPSPOKESMANREVIEWINTERESTCOM
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Short-term benefits QUESTION: Why not get a 10year mortgage rather than a 15-, 20- or 30year loan? Would not the rate be cheaper for the loan with the Peter G. Miller shortest term? CTW Features ANSWER: Itâ€™s true that loans with shorter terms generally mean less risk for a lender, and therefore rates are lower. Moreover, 10-year loans are surely available: As one example, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development says that in fiscal year 2011, the Federal Housing Administration insured 2,053 loans with terms of 10 years or less. In the same period, a total of 1.2 million FHA mortgages were insured. However, the unemployment rate remains significant, and few people today will stay with a single employer long enough to get the storied â€œgold watchâ€? for 30 years of service. In such an environment, thereâ€™s great value to lower monthly costs and financial flexibility. Letâ€™s look at a $100,000 mortgage at
4 percent over 30 years. The rate is fixed. The monthly cost for principal and interest will be $477.42. Now imagine that same $100,000 mortgage but with a 10-year term and a 3.2 percent rate. The fixed monthly cost for principal and interest is $974.87. The higher cost of the 10-year loan is a tremendous barrier for most borrowers. A better option for most borrowers is a 30-year mortgage with a right to prepay in whole or in part at any time and without penalty. Borrowers with such financing can make bigger monthly payments if they want and thus reduce both the potential interest cost and loan term. However, if thereâ€™s a loss of income, borrowers with the 30-year mortgage are only required to make the standard monthly payment of $477.42 versus a required $974.87 for the 10-year note in this case. That can be a significant difference if times get tough. So, while I understand the attraction of 10-year financing, I suspect most people would be more secure with a longer-term loan and the right to prepay in whole or in part without penalty.
H OEME E M HOM O H
www.spok esmanhom .com es.com www.spokesmanhomes.com
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e only have a few lots remaining for this 3 bed/2.5 bath home that boasts 2100+ sq. ft. of living space. From this home you have gorgeous views of the Spokane River valley and bluffs of Arbor Crest Winery. The tandem three-car garage allows for extra storage or a shop. Included in the neighborhood is Spokane River access for kayaking, swimming and fly-fishing and Centennial Trail access. This great home is priced to sell at $224,900. Rivercrest at Coyote Rock has several customizable floor plans to choose from with prices ranging from $169,000 to $300,000. Multi-levels and ranchers with or without daylight basements are available. Please call 509.922.4239 to talk about this plan or view several others. Visit www.coyoterockwaterfront.com for more info.
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