All posts by Laurie Way

What Makes Seattle an Ideal City for Seniors

What Makes Seattle an Ideal City for Seniors

From the infamous Space Needle to the water taxi, Seattle has a lot that makes it unique, and we hope seniors looking for retirement options will think so too. Here in the Emerald City, you won’t want to tap your heels three times and return to previous locations. You’ll be too busy enjoying your retirement and taking advantage of everything Seattle has to offer — from stellar public transit services to free college degree opportunities for seniors. Let’s take a look at what makes the area one of the best cities for retirement.

A Potential Break on Taxes

Let’s be honest: Seattle is not going to be the cheapest place a senior can live. Although the city is competitive with other major metro areas when it comes to certain costs, median home prices in the area are double that of the national average. Luckily, seniors can get a bit of a break on taxes to offset housing costs. First, Washington doesn’t have a state income tax — no need to even fool with forms. Second, King County offers potential exemptions on property tax for seniors who meet income requirements.

The Opportunity to Learn More

Have you wanted to go back to college for years but simply couldn’t find the time while balancing a career, family and other obligations? Seattle colleges make it possible to earn a bachelor’s degree during retirement almost for free. Seattle Pacific University, for example, offers tuition-free education for those over age 65. You can choose to audit any number of classes as a nonmatriculated student just to broaden your horizons, but you can also work on a bachelor’s degree. Tuition and technology fees are covered, but you may have to pay specific class fees.

Numerous Housing Options

Seniors can find almost any type of home in Seattle. If you’re into stand-alone, single-residence structures, we recommend traditional ranch homes or contemporary modern designs that make use of open-space concepts. The goal is to find a home likely to support you long-term, and Seattle has plenty of properties with floor plans that accommodate options such as wheelchairs or walkers. You might also consider condo units to reduce outdoor maintenance requirements or one of the city’s senior living communities, where you can access 24-hour assistance and never worry about housekeeping tasks.

So Many Public Transportation Options

Seniors in Seattle can come and go on foot or by bus, train, streetcar or boat, depending on where they choose to settle. The city has a wide array of public transit options, and seniors can often take advantage of discounted fares. King County Metro, for example, offers reduced fares for those older than 65 throughout the Puget Sound Region. That includes fares for numerous bus lines, the King County Water Taxi, Washington State Ferries and Seattle Streetcars. 

Excellent Health Care Providers

Seattle is home to top-notch medical facilities. The University of Washington Medical Center has more than 900 doctors on staff and is rated highly by U.S. News & World Report in numerous specialties, including geriatrics, oncology, and endocrinology. Downtown, seniors can seek comprehensive urgent and specialty care from the Virginia Mason Seattle Medical Center, and in West Seattle, residents can turn to Swedish West Seattle Primary Care for preventative care and minor emergencies. Other medical centers pepper the landscape throughout the city, so seniors in any neighborhood won’t need to travel far to get care for intermittent illnesses or chronic conditions.

 We love Seattle and all that it has to offer and think seniors will too. We’d love to hear your retirement stories of choosing a home or living in Seattle.

REAL ESTATE TERMINOLOGY

I know that while I am used to using and seeing these terms on a daily basis, my clients might need a reference to all the terms they hear during the transaction process so I put together a list of words and their definitions that you will hear over the course of a transaction.

 

Adjustable Rate Mortgage (ARM)- The interest rate is tied to a financial index making the monthly mortgage payment go up or down over time.

Annual Percentage Rate (APR)- The percent of interest that will be charged on a home loan.

Appraisal- A report highlighting the estimated value of the property completed by a qualified 3rd party. This is typically done for the benefit of the buyer to ensure the property is worth what they are paying.

Association Fee/HOA Fee- In addition to a mortgage, certain housing communities such as townhomes have a monthly fee associated with maintaining the common areas and amenities.

Balloon Mortgage- A long-term mortgage loan that starts small but as a large payment due at maturity.

Closing- This is the final meeting where the buyer and seller sign the necessary paperwork, complete the transaction, and release/take possession of the property. Usually the representing agents and attorneys attend.

Closing Costs- The buyer and the seller have expenses associated with the transaction other than that of the actual cost of the home. For example, the buyer has a variety of fees due for obtaining a new loan and the seller must pay commission to both agents.

Closing Disclosure- A form that provides the final details about the mortgage loan. It includes loan terms, projected monthly payments, and how much the extra fees will be.

Collateral – Something of value (in this case your home) that is held to ensure repayment of a mortgage or loan.

Commission- A percent of the sale price of the home that is paid to agents. The seller pays commission to both the buyer and listing agent.

Comparables- Homes in the  area of interest that have recently sold that have similar features.

Contingencies- Conditions which must be met in order to close. Contingencies are typically tied to a date, referred to as a deadline. If the contingency is not satisfied the contract may be cancelled.

Counteroffer- The response from the seller in regard to an offer.

Debt to Income Ratio- A lender will look at a borrowers debt versus income to determine the amount of loan they are eligible for and if they can repay their debt plus the home loan.

Down Payment- A percent of the cost of the property that is paid up front as part of the mortgage.

Earnest Money –  The deposit made from the buyer to the seller when submitting an offer. This deposit is typically held in trust by a third party. Upon closing the money will generally be applied to the payment or closing cost.

Escrow-  This term has multiple  meanings; earnest money is typically held by a third party until closing in “escrow” .  It can also be referred to as the time period from when the contract is written and accepted by the seller to when the home actually closes.

Equity- The difference in the market value of a home versus what is owed on the home.

FHA- A mortgage that is financed through a private lender and insured by the Federal Housing Administration, often requiring a lower down payment and income to qualify.

Fixed Rate- The interest rate will  remain the same for the entire life of the mortgage.

Home Equity Line of Credit- A loan or line of credit that is determined based on the equity or homes value after subtracting the loans owed.

Home Inspection- The process in which a professional inspects the seller’s home for issues that are not openly apparent, then creates a report for the buyer to review.

Home Protection Plan- An annual service that covers the cost of repairs or replacements to items covered in the plan; items like stoves, washer/dryers, etc.

Hybrid- A loan that starts with a fixed rate period, then converts to an adjustable rate.

Mortgage Insurance- Insurance written in connection with a mortgage loan that protects the lender in the event the borrow cannot repay their loan. This is usually not required if the borrower has 20% or more for the down payment.

Mortgage Note- A promise to pay a sum of money at a standard interest rate during a specific term that is secured by a mortgage.

Multiple Listing Service (MLS)- The National list of real estate properties that are available for sale. These are the most reliable sources to receive up-to-date listing information.

Pre-Approval- The process in which a buyer must provide a mortgage professional the appropriate information on income, debts, and assets that will be used to make the initial credit loan decision.

Pre-Qualification- Once approved for a loan, this is the process in which the maximum sale price, loan amount, and monthly payments are calculated for the borrower. This is not a loan approval however, it is useful to know prior to searching for a home.

Principal- The underlying amount of the loan which is actually borrowed.

Property Taxes- These are the taxes that are enforced by the city, town, county, and state government entities. These taxes are included in the total monthly mortgage payment and are held in escrow by the lender.

REO- Real Estate Owned properties or foreclosed properties currently owned by a financial institution such as the bank that made the loan to the previous owner.

Reverse Mortgage- This is specifically for seniors and it allows them to convert the equity in the home to cash.

Short Sale- A situation when the seller’s lender is willing to accept an offer and allows the sale to completed for an amount less than the mortgage amount owed by the seller.

Title- A legal document proving current and proper ownership of the property. Also referred to as a Title Deed, this document highlights the history of property ownership and transfers.

Underwriting- The process in which the potential home buyer is evaluated for their financial ability to repay a loan. This normally consists of a credit check and appraisal of the property.

VA Loan-  Loans that are given to Americans who have served in the armed forces. They are administered by the Department of Veteran Affairs.

 

 

Reinvent your backyard!

Yep it’s winter…..and yeah of course I am dreaming of a beautiful Seattle Summer and a Swimming Pool…..how can I do it? What about those who say  Seattle isn’t the place for a pool….You might change your mind after reading this blog post…. I recently made an instagram post for #wouldyouliveherewednesday and found a beautiful home in New Orleans with a shipping container pool. I did a bit of internet research and realized it might not be as difficult or as expensive to put in a pool….makes it a lot more enticing to convert the backyard into a 3-months of swimming weather oasis….eh?

Checkout these sweet options and low prices!


MODPOOLS.COM

Check out their instagram! modpool1 Reinvent your backyard!

Fill & Chill

Unlike conventional pools that can take weeks to pour and cure, your Modpool can be up and running the day of its arrival.

Hot Tub Time Machine

Add a Modpool divider to quickly convert your pool into a hot-tub, and back again.

12′ Modpool $16,500


RoyalSwimmingPools.com

12X20 pools up to 8′ deep starting at $4595 and an amazing website to show you how to DIY it.

rectangle1 Reinvent your backyard!


ShippingContainerPools.Com.Au

Plug- Fill- & Play This Australian company is the only company in the world that delivers a complete product. BOOM! Full customization…I know this isn’t a backyard but come on…this is at a racetrack…how cool is that? REALLY.

IMG_0856 Reinvent your backyard!


ENDLESSPOOLS.COM

You know these….so tell me how long have you wanted one?

The gallery on their website is insane….check it out for more pool inspiration. AND hey Seattelites…this might be perfect eh?

27442172769_b3c6f5b247_k Reinvent your backyard!


kustomcontainerpools.com

Man…these are cooooool! Starting at 27,000 these can be customized and include delivery and install. No need to get outta town….

so-cool-pool Reinvent your backyard!

Just google “container pools” to see endless endless options. Which one would you choose?

Planning a 2019 Home Upgrade?

2019 Color Trends

Is it too early to talk about 2019? Is it too early to talk about post-holiday, mid-winter blues? Not when we are talking color-

Post holiday blahs and winter blues often inspire trendy home updates…after all  we begin spending more time indoors and we may as well LOVE the color of those walls.

With this in mind, the easiest way to make an update is PAINT! Who doesn’t love a fun accent wall, a brightly colored bedroom or a kitschy kitchen!

Get inspired with these 2019 color trends- You can use them all over your home (or in your wardrobe) not just on your walls. Throw in a fun, funky pillow or update your homes look with a cool accessory or new artwork.


This season brings an edgier aesthetic taste – If you love a statement you will love this years colors.  From bold black variations and feisty ox-bloody reds to sparkling mean metallic this season has a penchant for punch!

If this doesn’t sound like its your thing – never fear there is also a progression towards seaworthy aquas and cactus worthy terracotta. Let’s take a look at some of your favorite paint brands 2019 releases:

Benjamin Moore – Cool Grey’s 

Yes please. These have an air of iciness don’t they?

Benjamin Moore introduces: Metropolitan.

metropolitan-dollop-1539267632 Planning a 2019 Home Upgrade?

 

 

 

Don’t stop with cool grey’s – there is a beautifully curated palate of other hues in the Benjamin Moore color news:
color-trends-2019-palette-1539272178 Planning a 2019 Home Upgrade?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


PPG Paints – Hunter Green –They call it ‘Night Watch’.
( we are ahead of the trend- we have a dog in the office named Hunter). 

PPG Paints says:

TRANSFORM YOUR SPACE WITH OUR COLOR OF THE YEAR 2019

 

Nightwatch Planning a 2019 Home Upgrade?

 

Order Samples

Classic luxury meets the restorative power of nature in this trending deep green paint color

“The restorative power of nature is important in society now more than ever,” explains Dee Schlotter, PPG senior color marketing manager. “Night Watch is about bringing the healing power from the outdoors into your home through color. The dark green hue pulls our memories of natural environments to the surface to recreate the calming, invigorating euphoria we feel when in nature.”


Check out the Aquas Color Family 


Sherwin Williams – Cavern Clay 

So- so -so-so good!  The company describes Cavern Clay as a “warm terracotta color with ancient, elemental roots,” and explains that it’s a “nod to midcentury modern style, but with the soul of the American Southwest, which together create the desert modern aesthetic.”

sherwin-williams-cavern-clay-sw-7701-1536764048 Planning a 2019 Home Upgrade?

 

 

 

 

 

SW suggests pairing with:

Moth Wing Dark Clove Distance Haven & Origami White 

Sherwin Williams also has one of the coolest tools to play around with – “State your colors”, an individualized color selection by state! Click here to check it out! 

Valspar loves ‘Twilight Mist’

digitally-inspired-twilight-mist-valspar-1541107281 Planning a 2019 Home Upgrade?

According to the Senior Color Designer Sue Kim of Valspar, “Smart technology in the home is driving the color experience differently.” Because of thi

s, we will see higher intensity shades that mimic the edge of artificial light in a way that is “strangely familiar” (and obviously gorgeous).

 

Whatever color you choose to update with- I would love to see your trendy 2019 Color updates!

LAURIE WAY ANNOUNCES | QUEEN ANNE VIEW CONDOMINIUM | 566 PROSPECT ST #406

Welcome Home to Windsor Court

566 Prospect Street #406

Offered for $500,000

WEB-view LAURIE WAY ANNOUNCES | QUEEN ANNE VIEW CONDOMINIUM | 566 PROSPECT ST #406

Welcome home to Windsor Court! Stainless steel appliances in a beautiful kitchen with a casual dining bar as well as a more formal dining area. Enjoy the warmth from the cozy fireplace while you look out to the amazing city skyline view. Great location at the foot of Queen Anne, a short distance to it all: restaurants, theaters, sports and transit! Near South Lake Union, Amazon and Facebook. Washer & Dryer in the unit. Bike Storage in Garage. No Rental Cap.

WEB-bedrm LAURIE WAY ANNOUNCES | QUEEN ANNE VIEW CONDOMINIUM | 566 PROSPECT ST #406 WEB-diningliving LAURIE WAY ANNOUNCES | QUEEN ANNE VIEW CONDOMINIUM | 566 PROSPECT ST #406 WEB-kitchenentry LAURIE WAY ANNOUNCES | QUEEN ANNE VIEW CONDOMINIUM | 566 PROSPECT ST #406

 

For More Information on this unit click here!

LAURIE WAY ANNOUNCES | MID CENTURY MODERN CONDO FOR SALE | 330 W OLYMPIC PL #404

Welcome Home to The Apollo

 330 W Olympic Place #404

Seattle 98119

Offered for $475,000

NWMLS#: 1359082

Watch the ferries glide across Elliott Bay and spectacular sunsets over the Puget Sound from your living room in this Mid-Century Modern Top Floor Condo. Enjoy the large and open living & dining area with hardwood floors. Full bath with washer & dryer. Stylish modern touches. Dedicated storage & prime parking space. Perfectly situated on Queen Anne’s South Slope just minutes from Seattle Center, Top of Queen Anne, Amazon, Facebook, Google and Expedia!


13-THE-APOLLO LAURIE WAY ANNOUNCES | MID CENTURY MODERN CONDO FOR SALE | 330 W OLYMPIC PL #404

 

3-LIVING-ROOM-ENTRY LAURIE WAY ANNOUNCES | MID CENTURY MODERN CONDO FOR SALE | 330 W OLYMPIC PL #404 7-KITCHEN LAURIE WAY ANNOUNCES | MID CENTURY MODERN CONDO FOR SALE | 330 W OLYMPIC PL #404 10-BATHROOM-LAUNDRY LAURIE WAY ANNOUNCES | MID CENTURY MODERN CONDO FOR SALE | 330 W OLYMPIC PL #404 For More Information and more pictures please click here!

 

New Luxury Designation!

Untitled-design-23 New Luxury Designation!
I am so excited to have this designation! 

I am so excited to announce I have completed the training to receive the CLHMS designation.  Recognized as the mark of accomplishment in luxury markets around the world, the Certified Luxury Home Marketing SpecialistTM (CLHMS) designation assures affluent buyers and sellers that the agents who have earned it have the knowledge, experience,competence, and confidence they require. Membership with this organization will keep me on the cutting edge of the luxury market- equipping me with the right skills and network to sell your million dollar + properties. 



CLHMS designation is only awarded to Institute Members with documented sales performance in the top 10% of their market.