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Improve Your Life .......................... 3 Home Warranties Worth It? ......... 3 Experts Predict 2014 Housing Market ..................... 4 Current Market Stats ....................... 5 Housing Bubble Fears .................... 6 Economy Heats Up ........................ 6 The Next Place to Live................... 7 Marinersâ€™ Home Schedule ............. 8
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RECIPE: Baby birds learn to sing. Baby birds are born with the ability to sing, but they must learn the specific songs of their species. They are thought to acquire these songs between 10 to 60 days of age and begin to sing them the next spring when they have matured at about 300 days old. Source: www.facebook.comGraebel Companiesposts/354205888015015
IRISH CREAM CHOCOLATE CHEESECAKE Makes 1 9-inch Springform Pan
Ingredients: 1 1/2 cups chocolate cookie crumbs 1/3 cup confectioners' sugar 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder 1/4 cup butter 3 (8 ounce) pkgs cream cheese, softened 1 1/4 cups white sugar 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
Spring fever is real! Commonly occurring when a sudden warm spell follows a long cold period. When the temperature rises, there's a dilation or expansion of the blood vessels so that blood can be carried to the body surface where heat can be lost quickly. Some people experience an energetic feeling to this reaction.
3 T all-purpose flour 3 eggs 1/2 cup sour cream 1/4 cup Irish cream liqueur Directions Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, mix together the cookie crumbs, confection-
ers' sugar and 1/3 cup cocoa. Add melted butter and stir until well mixed. Pat into the bottom of a 9 inch springform pan. Bake in preheated oven for 10 minutes; set aside. Increase oven temperature to 450 degrees. In a large bowl, combine cream cheese, white sugar, 1/4 cup cocoa and flour. Beat at medium speed until well blended and smooth. Add eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Blend in the sour cream and Irish cream liqueur; mixing on low speed. Pour filling over baked crust. Bake at 450 degrees for 10 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 250 degrees, and continue baking for 60 minutes. With a knife, loosen cake from rim of pan. Let cool, then remove the rim of pan. Chill before serving. If your cake cracks, a helpful tip is to dampen a spatula and smooth the top, then sprinkle with some chocolate wafer crumbs. Source: www.allrecipes.com/Recipe/Irish-Cream-ChocolateCheesecake/Detail.aspx?evt19=1
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Terrific Trivia How many people do you share your birthday with? A. over 10 million
B. Over 13 million
C. Over 15 million
D. Over 19 million Answer on pg 5
Windermere Bellevue Commons
THINGS TO DO TO IMPROVE YOUR LIFE RIGHT NOW! Feeling stuck in a rut? Make these small, mindful moves to improve your mental and emotional well-being in a big way.
Make a Date With a Friend When you are busy, time with pals is the last thing you should cut. The more you hang out with friends, says a recent Dutch study, the easier it is to cope with stress.
Power It Down The next time you meet a friend, switch off your phone and stow it. You've got to disconnect to truly connect.
Go Play (Outdoors and In!) Everyone can benefit from playing games whether it be physical activity or board games. Exercise, laugh and relieve daily stress.
Laugh Off Stress A study at the University of Luxembourg found that if you laugh gently at a misstep instead of belittling yourself, you'll be less tense and feel a greater sense of well-being. .
Go Aheadâ€”Brag! The next time you get happy news, like a promotion, phone a pal. You'll get a second dose of the positive feelings associated with the event.
Get Out in Nature Being outdoors for half an hour can boost creativity and help you feel more focused and less stressed once back at your desk.
Take Charge Be true to yourself, play to your strengths, and enjoy the results.
Pause and Reboot Take a breath. Doing a basic meditation on a busy day is good for your health.
Embrace Your Messy Side Cleanliness may be a virtue, but clutter may inspire your next great idea.
Make it a Habit When stress hits in, get relief by falling back on a healthy ritual like a power walk.
Jump for Joy Literally or figurativelyâ€Ś Go on - hop a little. Or skip! Source: www.goodhousekeeping.com/ health/wellness/little-life-improvers
ARE HOME WARRANTIES WORTH IT? Lorraine LabonneStorch opted not to buy a home warranty when she bought a house in New. The home inspector had told her the boiler was on its last legs, but she didn't want to pay the $500 fee for the warranty. Less than a week after closing, her boiler burst into flames and had to be replaced for $12,000. She now regrets her decision to skip the home-warranty coverage. As she learned, a home warranty can pay for itself in one visit from a repairman. And that includes the $100 deductible that many plans have for a service call. The home warranty would have covered only up to $1,600 for repair or replacement of the boiler, but "any little bit would have been helpful," she says. Labonne-Storch is now a real-estate agent, and she says her first advice to buyers is to purchase a home warranty. "When a buyer is buying a home, you have to keep in mind that these are used items." What warranties cover and how much they cost A home warranty can be an inexpensive insurance policy for a buyer who purchases a home that has old appliances, or for new homeowners who don't know the In addition to charging a small deductible, homewarranty companies typically place some limits on what they'll fix. A typical home-warranty plan might cover air conditioning and heating with ductwork, electrical systems, plumbing (including stoppages), clothes washers and dryers, dishwashers, ranges and ovens, refrigerators and water heaters. When is a home warranty a good deal? Knowing the average life span of an appliance can help determine if buying a home warranty is a good deal. Even with new appliances or home systems, the original equipment manufacturer warranties can be less than a year. Source: www.realestate.msn.com/are-home-warranties-worth-it
EXPERTS PREDICT 2014 HOUSING MARKET The U.S. real estate market made a robust comeback in 2013, surpassing expectations of many economists, as the combination of low inventories and historically low interest rates caused home prices to rise and even helped fuel bidding wars in some markets, surpassing the expectations of many economists. While positive trends, such as increasing home values, are expected to continue into 2014, mortgage rates are also expected to rise in the coming year and could put a damper on home buyers? abilities to afford new homes. Looking back at some 2013 data can give us a hint of the year ahead:
Mortgage Rates Are Expected to Rise
Inventory Should Gradually Stabilize and Return to Traditional Seasonal Levels The beginning of 2013 could be characterized as the “year of low inventory” as buyer demand ramped up and homeowners waited for further price increases and evidence of a solid economic recovery before putting their homes on the market. The year began with a significant shortage of inventory (reported by realtor.com®), and then as early as February the level of shortages started to decline slowly. As 2013 comes to a close, inventory is approximately the same as a year ago. However, homes are selling faster than in 2012, with the median age of the inventory down by 11 percent.
More Homeowners Are Likely to Return to Positive Equity Rising prices helped 2.5 million homeowners who were previously underwater regain positive equity status during the second quarter of 2013. However, approximately 7.1 million homes were still in negative equity at that time and an estimated 10 million homeowners, or about 21.1 percent of all homeowners with a mortgage, remained “under-equitied,” with less than 20 percent in home equity. The good news is that prices are expected to continue rising in 2014, which will lift more homeowners into positive territory. According to realtor.com®, median list prices for homes in October rose 7.57 percent above the same month of 2012.
Mortgage rates increased approximately 100 basis points in 2013 and are likely to rise in 2014. The new chairman-designate of the Federal Reserve, Janet Yellen, is expected to continue the policies of Chairman Ben Bernanke, including keeping mortgage rates low by buying blocks of mortgage-backed securities. However, the Fed has considered tapering its bond-buying activity as the economy improves, which could lead to a slight increase in interest rates.
Foreclosure Activity Is Expected to Slow Foreclosure sales are likely to play a minimal role in the housing market in 2014. September 2013 was the 36th consecutive month with a year-over-year decrease in foreclosure activity. Foreclosure inventory has dropped to multi-year lows, down nearly 33 percent since the end of 2012. Foreclosure starts were down 39 percent in the third quarter of 2013 to the lowest level since the second quarter of 2006.
Further Declines in Home Affordability Are Expected The National Association of REALTORS®’ Home Affordability Index, which compares home prices with income, dropped to a five-year low in 2013 as price increases outpaced income growth. If the U.S. economy begins to grow at a faster pace and incomes begin to rise, though, the affordability index will slide further from
While no one can predict with certainty what the housing market holds in store for 2014, a constant in real estate is always that local markets vary widely in their performance. National numbers can tell a story about the economy in general, but home prices, inventory and foreclosure activity depend on local market conditions. Contact a Realtor® in your community for the most up-to-date information about your market. Source: www.realtor.com/news/experts-predict-2014-housing-market/
D. Over 19 million
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WHAT’S HAPPENING IN THE MARKET? LOCATION
Year-to-date 2013 Closed Sales thru February
Year-to-date 2014 Closed Sales thru February
PRICE CHANGE %
Number of Homes
Median Sales Price
Average Market Time
Number of Homes
Median Sales Price
Average Market Time
East of Lake Samm./Snoqualmie
South Bellevue/ Newcastle/Issaquah
Woodinville/ Juanita/Bothell/ Duvall
Queen Anne/ Magnolia
Lynnwood/Mt. Lake Terrace
*All data compiled from information supplied by Northwest Multiple Listing Association on 3/5/2014. Accuracy of information herein is not guaranteed. This information was only taken of single-family homes, and does not include condominiums or vacant land.
A Few Fun - but harmless – practical jokes for April Fools Day! Soap that won't lather - paint soap with clear fingernail polish and leave in the shower! Confetti Shower - Place piles of confetti on top of ceiling fan blades so when it turns on, surprise! Computer mouse prank - place tape over computer mouse sensor. Source: ladycreate-a-lot.blogspot.com/2011/03/april-fools-day-30-harmless-pesky.html
ECONOMISTS POP HOUSING BUBBLE FEARS Though home prices are projected to grow at a 3 percent to 5 percent appreciation rate, economists at Clear Capital are saying there should be no worries about a housing bubble brewing any time soon. In fact, according to Clear Capital’s Home Data Index, if home appreciation continues at its current pace, prices may not return to peak levels until 2021. The National Association of REALTORS® reported in its December existing-home sales report that home prices rose 11.5 percent in 2013 compared to 2012. That marked the strongest gain since 2005, when median prices for existing homes rose 12.4 percent. Following the double-digit growth in home prices last year, Clear Capital economists predict that national home prices will now fall into line with inflation and follow more historical rates of growth. “Double-digit gains over the last year, while similar to rates of growth in the run-up to the bubble, are off a
much lower price floor,” says Alex Villacorta, vice president of research and analytics at Clear Capital. However, Villacorta did note that Phoenix and Las Vegas are showing signs of overheating and should be watched closely. Both markets saw yearly gains around 30 percent, but home prices have since been cooling. Home prices in Las Vegas remain 20.8 percent below 2000 levels when adjusted for inflation, but prices in Phoenix are about 1.9 percent above 2000 levels, according to Clear Capital. Home prices at the metro level, when adjusted for inflation, reveal 46 out of 50 metro markets have home price levels that are at pre-2003 levels. Twenty-five of 50 markets are reporting prices below 2000 levels. "With the majority of metro markets still so far below peak prices, it’s time for conversations surrounding price trends to shift away from the 2006 peak as the point of reference, and back to current trends and forecasts," says Villacorta. "While there are certainly investors and home owners holding real estate assets that will be underwater for seven years or more, the current housing market is positioned to behave very similar or even below historical norms, given the current economic climate.” Source: realtormag.realtor.org/daily-news/2014/02/03/clear-capital-pops-housingbubble-fears
ECONOMY HEATS UP The upbeat real estate market news we received in 2013 presents some challenges for the year ahead. An influx of buyers last year helped strengthen housing appreciation, which in turn led to greatly improved consumer confidence. The result was 5.1 million home sales, the best year for real estate purchases since 2007. But 2014 will be different, with sales volume gains expected to be small at best, because of rising interest rates and home prices, NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun says. But there’s an upside, too: the continued growth in the economy, which, while modest, has stayed on track. The resulting addition of more than 2 million jobs each year should provide a boost to housing markets. On the commercial side, rising rent growth and declining vacancy rates bode well for the
office, industrial, retail, and multifamily sectors. Yun says lenders could promote stable markets next year as they look to purchase-money mortgage loans as their next big growth area to compensate for a shrinking body of business from refinances, which will drastically fall as interest rates rise. Source: realtormag.realtor.org/news-and-commentary/market-pulse/ article/2014/01/economy-heats-up
W i n d e r m e r e B e l l e vu e C o m m o n s
5 PLACES TO LIVE NEXT:
Where you’ll want to be in 2016
Sammamish Chosen by Dr. Stan Humphries, chief economist of Zillow
While Sammamish is technically a suburb, developers are planning to create a city center by placing a town hall, retail, and small -unit homes around a European-inspired cenColumbia City tralized plaza to make it a walkable neighborhood void of those impersonal suburban strip Chosen by Matthew Gardner, malls. By welcoming people who are unwilling economist of real estate advisory firm Gardner Economics to trade commuting time for home price, this Artists helped revitalize Columbia City – now home to a flourish- midrange to upper end neighborhood already ing retail scene reminiscent of an early Ballard – and the light rail known for its good schools and easy access to has cut commute times from downtown to this South Seattle 520 and I-90 is set to become a community neighborhood. “Mass transit, which has been woefully inadeperfect for the stroller brigade. quate in the past, is improving dramatically”, Gardner says. “This will give young professionals and older people wanting to downsize access to downtown.” Already treated to bakeries, trendy restaurants, and indie music venue Columbia City Theater, residents have it all without having to pay the prices commanded in nearby nabes like Beacon Hill, Seward Park, and Mount Baker.
Hillman City Chosen by Jennifer Nelson, broker at Windermere Real Estate Hillman City – Columbia City’s under-the-radar little brother, is guaranteed to profit as its grown-up sibling’s success begins to spill over. Restaurants and shops are popping up in the diverse neighborhood where the Night Out in Hillman City block party attracts residents from dozens of ethnicities. Seward Park, Genesee Park, and Lake Washington fulfill an outSouth Lake Union door lover’s needs. Chosen by Christopher Tanaka, broker at John L. Scott For a city to thrive, it needs a dense epicenter with an eclectic and vibrant population. Thanks to Amazon’s recent relocation to South Lake Union, the neighborhood – already an enclave to young professionals – will draw many of the web goliath’s creative task force, spurring de- Central District velopment of even more condos and restaurants. As the area fills up, the younger demo- Chosen by Glenn Kelman, president of Redfin graphic may spill over in to Belltown and Capi- The Central District is the Little Neighborhood that Could. The tol Hill, but SLU will remain the focal point CD lost its footing when the real estate bubble burst, but people for change. are beginning to eye the southern edge of Capitol Hill once more. It’s a natural option for young families who want a bigger house and a bigger yard without having to sacrifice access to nightlife, and it’s proximity to I-5, I-90, and downtown Seattle. Source: Seattle Met By: Rachel Sturtz
MARINERSâ€™ 2014 HOME SCHEDULE
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