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Juana Cundari 425.241.8064 INSIDE THIS ISSUE: Recipe:

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Mortgage Rates ................................ 3 What Hope Looks Like.................. 3 Options for Small Talk ................... 4 Tips for Stress-free Moving........... 4 Current Market Stats ....................... 5 Inventory Shortage.......................... 6 Vacation Home Market.................. 6 Kitchen Renovation Trends .......... 7 Fairs & Festivals .............................. 8

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Tools and Materials: Cast Concrete Wall Stones, Cap Stones, Tape measure, Shovel, Sand, Level Tamper, Steel Rake Before building a fire pit, check the building codes in your area to get the proper specs and regulations. Choose a spot that is away from your house and away from any low-hanging trees or other structures. Take precautions when digging holes, so that you

1. Lay out your pavers in a circle in the approximate size and shape of your fire pit. Fire pits should be about 36 to 44 inches in diameter. Our surrounding patio is made from recycled rubber pavers. We laid the fire pit stones out to the correct dimension then pulled the pavers out of and away from the pit. 2. When you have your circle roughed out, dig a 12-inchdeep hole in that location.

3. Pour sand into the bottom of the hole and tamp the sand level. 4. Begin to lay your wall stones around the perimeter of the hole. Continue stacking the stones so that they are 12 inches above the surrounding ground. 5. Pour a layer of sand into the ring of stones so that it covers the first layer, approximately 4 inches deep. Source:

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Did You Know…



Recipe makes 4 Servings

Preheat a grill for high heat.

1 1/2 pounds lean ground beef 1/2 onion, finely chopped It was while listening to a Mother's Day sermon in 1909 that the idea of Father's Day suddenly struck Spokane, Washington resident Sonora Dodd. She wanted to honor her own father, William Smart, who was well-deserving of a special day as a widowed farmer left alone to raise his six kids. A year later, June 19, 1910 the first Father's Day celebration was proclaimed in Spokane because it was the month of Dodd's father's birth. The first presidential proclamation honoring fathers was issued in 1966 when President Lyndon Johnson designated the third Sunday in June as Father's Day. Father's Day in America has been officially celebrated annually since 1972 when President Richard Nixon signed the public law that made it permanent.

1/2 cup shredded Colby or Monterey Jack cheese 1 teaspoon soy sauce 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce 1 egg

In a large bowl, mix together the ground beef, onion, cheese, soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce, egg, onion soup mix, garlic, garlic powder, parsley, basil, oregano, rosemary, salt, and pepper. Form into 4 patties. Grill patties for 5 minutes per side on the hot grill, or until well done. Serve on buns with your favorite condiments. Source: Detail.aspx?evt19=1

1 (1 ounce) envelope dry onion soup mix 1 clove garlic, minced

Yummy Burger Toppings:

1 tablespoon garlic powder

 Salsa, Monterey jack cheese & jalapenos  Blue Cheese, bacon & crispy onion straws

1 teaspoon dried parsley

 Pesto, Asiago cheese & Sundried

1 teaspoon dried basil 

1 teaspoon dried oregano 1/2 teaspoon crushed dried rosemary

  

salt and pepper to taste

Tomatoes Hummus, feta cheese & olive tapenade Grilled peppers, onions, & herbed mayo Spicy curry mayo and mango slices Grilled eggplant, or zucchini, Parmesan & marinara sauce

NEED A PROFESSIONAL SERVICE? I have compiled an extensive list of professionals that encompasses a wide range of services. If you are in need of any contacts for services ranging from Arborists to Zoologists, I can connect you with a respected expert to meet your needs.


Call Me to Locate Your Professional!

Terrific Trivia: In honor of Fathers’ Day: Soldiers from what country were credited with wearing the neckerchief which inspired the modern necktie... A. France

B. England

C. Croatia

D. Poland Answer on pg. 5

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Windermere Bellevue Commons

MORTGAGE RATES IN 2014 : WHAT TO EXPECT... 30-year mortgage rates began this year above 4% for the first time in three years. According to Freddie Mac, the average rate for a 30-year fixed mortgage was 4.53% nationwide on January 1, 2014 -- a 1.12 percentage point increase from the year prior, marking the first time since 2000 that rates climbed more than one point between New Year's Days.

What will mortgage rates do in 2014? Is there chance for them to fall? Mortgage Rates Making Homes Affordable Each week since 1971, mortgage-backer Freddie Mac has published its Primary Mortgage Market Survey (PMMS), a report on the market's current mortgage rates, nationwide and by region. Since the survey's inception, 30-year fixed rate mortgage rates have ranged as high as 18.45 percent (October 1981) and as low as 3.31 percent (November 2012).

Even comparisons to the last 10 years look terrific. Accounting for inflation, here is what a mortgage would cost per $100,000 borrowed in today's dollars:

Through 43 years, rates have averaged near 8.375%.

2014 : Mortgage payment of $508

Perhaps that's why this year's "rising mortgage rates" may not be such a big deal. Against the backdrop of history, and as compared to home buyers from prior generations, today's mortgage rates look downright cheap.

2010 : Mortgage payment of $566

In inflation-adjusted dollars, the payment on a $100,000 mortgage in 1981 would cost $3,840 today. The actual payment at today's rate is $508. This is why analysts say today's mortgage rates are great.

2006 : Mortgage payment of $691 2000 : Mortgage payment of $985 Today's home buyers -- despite rising rates -- have huge amounts of home purchasing power as compared to recent history. Homes sold when rates were in the sixes, homes sold when rates were in the 10s, and homes will sell as rates move

What Hope Looks Like... In 2013, Windermere Foundation donated $4,000 to the Royal Family KIDS Camp...

“Comfort. Strength. Peace. Three things that everyone needs. These three things can bring you closer to Christ, and closer to personal inner happiness. When I think about hope, I think of a child, holding on so tight to a loved one, that you might say they are one. Psalm 119:49 (NLT) says, “Remember your promise to me; it is my only hope,” and I think Christ is truly my last hope. He doesn’t care what you look like, where you’re from, who you are, what you do, what you say, what color your skin is, or any of those superficial things. He cares about what’s in your HEART! To me, hope is loving my God as he loves me.” -Britty’s Personal Reflection Soucrce:

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SIX STEPS TO REDUCE THE STRESS OF MOVING Moving is considered one of the top life stressors. I've moved way too many times in my life, so I've almost become an expert at doing it. I've learned a few lessons along the way to keep moving stress to a minimum.

Do You Struggle to Make Conversation? Below is a menu of options for small talk. Small talk can be a big problem. I want to be friendly and polite, but I just can’t think of a thing to say. Here are some strategies 1. Comment on a topic common to both of you at the moment: the venue, the food, the occasion, the weather (yes, talking about the weather is a cliché, but it works). “How do you know our host?” “What brings you to this event?” But keep it on the positive side! 2. Comment on a topic of general interest. A friend scans Google News right before he goes anywhere where he needs to make small talk. 3. Ask a question that people can answer as they please. My favorite question is: “What’s keeping you busy these days?” 4. Ask open questions that can’t be answered with a single word. 5. If you do ask a question that can be answered in a single word, instead of just supplying your own information in response, ask a follow-up question. For example, if you ask, “Where are you from?” an interesting follow-up question might be, “What would your life be like if you still lived there?” 6. Ask getting-to-know-you questions. “What internet sites do you visit regularly?" "What vacation spot would you recommend?” These questions often reveal a hidden passion, which can make for great conversation 7. React to what a person says in the spirit in which that that comment was offered. If he makes a joke, even if it’s not very funny, try to laugh. If she offers some surprising, react with surprise. 9. Watch out for the Oppositional Conversational Style. A person with oppositional conversational style (I coined this term) is a person who, in conversation, disagrees with and corrects whatever others say 10. Don’t try to talk about your favorite topic, because you’ll be tempted to talk too much. Source:

1. Start Planning as Far in Advance as Possible Gather boxes and packing supplies far in advance of the move. Break down boxes and stash them under beds, in closets, or in the garage. Save bubble wrap and newspapers, while picking up extra markers and tape now and then. All the moving supplies are put into a container in a special place. 2. Take Care of Transportation Early Whether you’re are hiring a moving company or doing a self-move with a rented truck, reserve it at least a month ahead of time. Most companies will give better deals on trucks or moves arranged far in advance. 3. Start Packing Non-Essentials About a month in advance of your move, start packing things you don't absolutely need to live. Knick-knacks, pictures and collectibles are all things that can be packed away early. 4. Eat Down Your Perishable Foods Plan meals the month before to use your perishables. 5. Number and Manage Your Boxes This is essentially important for big moves. Don't let the movers get ahead of you. Insist that you be allowed to check off everything they put into the truck. Mark boxes that go onto the back of the truck containing immediate need items with a huge red 'X' and put them into a different spot together away from everything else. 6. Write Down The Day-of-Moving Plan From the time you wake up the day of the move until the minute you pull out of the driveway, there should be a set plan. Put it all in writing in a notebook or something you can't lose. Check things off as they are finished and make a final run through checklist just to be sure everything is done.

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Windermere Bellevue Commons


Year-to-date 2013 Closed Sales thru April

Year-to-date 2014 Closed Sales thru April


Number of Homes

Median Sales Price

Average Market Time

Number of Homes

Median Sales Price

Average Market Time

East of Lake Samm./Snoqualmie



60 days



56 days

Up 8.0%

West Bellevue



56 days



56 days

Up 11.8%

East Bellevue



31 days



32 days

Up 6.5%

South Bellevue/ Newcastle/Issaquah



62 days



42 days

Up 6.6%

Kirkland/Rose Hill



57 days



40 days





61 days



50 days

Up 9.6%

Mercer Island



79 days



67 days

Up 14.1%

Woodinville/ Juanita/Bothell/ Duvall



59 days



49 days

Up 13.8%




53 days



55 days

Up 8.7%




75 days



64 days

Up 2.8%




25 days



26 days

Up 4.5%




35 days



47 days

Up 9.3%

West Seattle



43 days



43 days

Up 10.0%

NE Seattle



31 days



31 days

Up 9.0%

Queen Anne/ Magnolia



41 days



44 days

Up 3.0%

Central Seattle



65 days



43 days

Up 11.4%

N. Bothell/Maltby



54 days



58 days

Up 13.9%

Lynnwood/Mt. Lake Terrace



49 days



53 days

Up 12.8%

Mill Creek/Everett



55 days



56 days

Up 13.1%

*All data compiled from information supplied by Northwest70Multiple on $267,250 5/6/2014. Accuracy information herein is not Monroe/Snohomish 274 $235,500 days Listing Association 302 72ofdays Up 11.9% guaranteed. This information was only taken of single-family homes, and does not include condominiums or vacant land.

C. C r o a t i a

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SEVERE INVENTORY SHORTAGE SENDS SEATTLE AREA HOUSING PRICES HIGHER Homeowners, if you're thinking about selling, real estate agents have a message for you: Get off the dime already. A report from the Northwest Multiple Listing Service said housing prices in the metro Puget Sound area rose in March compared with a year ago. The main reason is an inventory shortage. The listing service said that in King County, there's only a 1.8month supply of houses and condos for sale. Industry analysts say a four to six-month supply is needed for a balanced market. The shortage is less acute in other areas, but supply is still tight. For single-family houses, Snohomish County has a 2.3month supply, while Pierce and Kitsap counties' supplies are around 3.5 and 4.5 months, respectively.

that sold last month was up 8 percent to $378,000 in King County, and up 9.3 percent to $295,000 in Snohomish County. In Pierce, prices rose 11.5 percent to $222,950. The median price fell 2.4 percent to $225,000 in Kitsap. In Snohomish County, condos are especially hard to come by. The county has a supply of only 1.8 months. As a result, the median sale price last month was $193,500 — 29.4 percent higher than in March 2013. If you're looking for a place where there's plenty of inventory, head to northeastern Washington. You'll find a 50-month supply of houses, though there's hardly any demand. Only one house sold last month, and the price was $82,500, according to the multiple listing service. Source: severe-inventory-shortage-sends-seattle-area.html

Lack of inventory has sent housing prices higher. Compared with March 2013, the median price of condos and houses

VACATION HOME MARKET HEATS UP More Americans felt rich enough to invest in vacation homes last year as the economy continued its recovery. Annual sales jumped nearly 30% to 717,000 homes, according to the National Association of Realtors. Vacation home sales represented 13% of the total market, their highest share since 2006. The median price rose to $168,700, up 12.5% from a year earlier. The sales were spurred by a strong stock market, according to Lawrence Yun, chief economist for the National Association of Realtors. The S&P 500 piled up a whopping 30% return in 2013, its best performance in 16 years. That provided investors with the funds and the confidence to purchase recreational property. Some of the buys were made by speculators looking for quick profits. About 5% of buyers turned the properties over before the year was out and another planned to sell

within 12 months of purchase. The main reason cited for buying was to use the homes as family vacation retreats. But 31% of buyers also said they planned to eventually use the homes as primary residences, often after they retire. More than a quarter of buyers said the purchase was to take advantage of good deals or to diversify their assets. Almost as many planned to rent to others, at least part of the year. NAR's report also covered purchases of second homes for investment purposes. Those sales fell 8.5% year-over-year to 1.1 million. "Investment buyers slowed their purchasing in 2013 because prices were rising quickly," said Yun, who also cited the drop in the number of foreclosures available for the decline. Source:

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Windermere Bellevue Commons

THE KITCHEN TRENDS THAT WILL SCRATCH THAT RENOVATION ITCH Energy-efficient appliances are also popular. "Homeowners are still opting for new appliances where the energy or financial savings is readily apparent, said CBS News. For example, homeowners are choosing highefficiency dishwashers, and "touchless faucets have skyrocketed in popularity. Not only are they easier when you've got your hands covered in kitchen mess, but they significantly cut down on water use - a savings homeowners will notice in their water bills."

Spring brings that itch. You know the one. It's waking you up in the middle of the night with thoughts of French door refrigerators and self-closing drawers. It occupies your waking thoughts too, as you watch episode after episode of Love It or List It and Kitchen Crashers and spend just a little too much time haunting the local Home Depot, gazing longingly at cabinet glazes. If you are looking to embark on a kitchen remodel, big or small, check out the newest trends.

Cabinets After a foray into dark mahogany and even black cabinetry, light cabinets have been trending for several years. But lest you think the all-white kitchen is the only way to go, there are several hot options for keeping it light. Gray, undoubtedly the hottest color in home design right now, is showing up in kitchen cabinetry, as is blue, another of today's trending colors. There are also a number of structural trends in cabinetry, from open shelving that can bring a more industrial look and feel to a kitchen or can open up a small space, to built-in cabinetry that resembles furniture, according to Style At Home.

Flooring Perhaps nothing will ever replace the popularity of wood or tile for floors, but tile that replicates the appearance of wood is coming close. Wood-look tile looks like the real thing, comes in an increasingly vast array of colors, styles, and sizes, is ideal for areas where water is present, and is often more affordable than wood.

Appliances When it comes to appliances, there is no comparison. Stainless steel rules. A recent home trends survey showed that 65 percent of homeowners who are renovating their kitchens add stainless steel appliances.

Countertops "Factory-engineered quartz is the new granite," they said. "While granite has held strong as the most popular countertop material for more than a decade now, quartz is starting to overtake it.� Quartz has the same look and feel as granite, but it's more practical. Quartz is more durable, so it better resists cracking and chipping, and it is non-porous so it's easier to clean and resists staining.

Backsplash It seems like every home with a renovated kitchen in the past five years has a backsplash fashioned from subway tile. And while this classic look that found its way home again in this century may never totally go out of style, backsplashes may be beginning to move into the same distinct configurations and graphic patterns that have been dominating textiles. Style at Home predicts a move away from tile altogether, and instead toward large-scale design. This year, it's all about the beauty of nature's materials taking the forefront in the kitchen," they said. "With more open space surrounding range hoods and sinks, there's greater opportunity for large-scale backsplashes. To really showcase the backsplash and make it a focal point in your kitchen, opt for slabs of marble and limestone – their natural veining essentially creates a work of art." Source:




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