Free Homebuyer Workshop

Keys to your new homeLouis Muniz of Well Fargo Mortgage will be hosting a Free Homebuyer Workshop this Saturday, October 19, from 11am-12:30pm at the Wells Fargo in Freeland. Learn about finding, financing, and owning a home in today’s real estate market. Louis will explain the benefits and costs of home ownership; credit, debt, & mortgage guidelines; how different kinds of mortgages work; and how to choose a Realtor to help you choose your new home (big hint: Coldwell Banker Tara Properties can help you there).

If you’re interested, call Louis to reserve your seat. He can be reached at 360-331-5952 (office) or 360-969-1028 (cell). This is open to any member of the community whether you’re a seasoned homeowner or a new home buyer.

Asphalt Roof Shingle Recycling? Yes!

If you plan to re-roof your home, check out this article on how to keep the old asphalt shingles out of the dump and contribute to the recycling program. The shingles are used to make roads. You can check out a recycler in your area by going to ShingleRecycling.org. There are several in the Seattle area. And, as a bonus, the recycling fee is often less expensive than dump fees.

Coldwell Banker Tara Properties’ Bayview Office is Open!

The Bayview office of Coldwell Banker Tara Properties is open and staffed with several of our experienced brokers. We’ve remodeled and repainted for a fabulous new look. Come by and say ‘hi’ to Ron Admiral, Kim Kramer, Rita Nollette, Kathleen Philippsborn, Gail Pierce, and Lisa Rogers. You can reach them at 360.321.6400 with any of your real estate questions or needs. The Bayview office is located just outside the Goose Grocery in the Bayview area of Langley.

Make Your Whidbey Island Kitchen Look and Feel Bigger

Make Your Whidbey Island Kitchen Look and Feel Bigger!

These are some great tips courtesy of DIY Network, especially now that days are shorter and we’re staying in more with the chillier and wetter weather. Here are their suggestions:

Choose Sleek Appliances

There are many high-efficiency appliances that allow people with small kitchens to have the same luxuries as those with large kitchens.

Consolidate

Try to keep your cooktop and oven in the same area to save valuable counter space. Have microwaves built into the cabinetry and keep all small appliances stored in either an appliance garage or a pantry to maintain a clutter-free workspace.

Maintain a Mix of Natural and Ambient Lighting

A skylight will open the ceiling to more light and raise a portion of the ceiling, visually expanding the space. Bay and greenhouse windows create an open feel. Natural light should be complemented by ambient and task lighting to provide the same feeling during the night.

Keep the Personal Touches Small

Display simple items that don’t create a feel of clutter. Having too many displays will cause the kitchen to look much smaller, but the right amount can add to the warmth and provide an illusion of a larger space.

Lighten It Up

Too many cabinets, especially if they’re dark, will create the illusion that the room is much smaller than it is. Instead, use light-colored cabinets, open shelves and glass-front doors.

Is Your Fireplace Safe?

Here on Whidbey Island, many of us heat with either a wood or gas fireplace during the winter. It’s important to be sure your fireplace is ready to go now that the weather is colder. HouseLogic has some tips for ensuring your fireplace is safe whether it’s gas or wood.

1. An inspection outside to check the chimney and surrounding roof is critical. Check the chimney cap for obstructions and be sure it’s in good repair

2. From inside, check the flue damper to make sure it works and seals properly. Look for obstructions for any foreign objects or nests. You should be able to see daylight at the top.

3. Inspect the firebox for damage and, if applicable, the glass doors for cracks or latch issues.

4. On a gas fireplace, turn off the gas at the shut-off valve and check the igniter. Start the fire and check for clogged burner holes.

If you note any damage that you can’t repair yourself, be sure to contact a professional to take care of any problems BEFORE you need your fireplace. You can see the entire article here.

Getting Ready for our Whidbey Island Winter

The mornings are chilly, it’s getting darker earlier in the evening, the grass (finally!) doesn’t need to be mowed. Summer’s almost over and we’re heading into fall. Lots of us are starting to do a little bit of winterization in anticipation of a wet and, possibly, snowy winter. Stocking up on firewood, cleaning gutters, pressure washing the deck and steps, getting the last bits from our garden, and cleaning up the yard. House Logic has a great article on keeping your roof in ‘tip-top’ condition. Tasks include cleaning the gutter, removing leaves and moss from the roof, and trimming overhanging tree limbs. All good things to do before winter. Here’s the full article.

Langley Highlands Website

The website for The Highlands in Langley (http://www.langleyhighlands.com) has a new look. Find out what’s available and what homes could be built on those lots. It’s been streamlined to give you the best information, quickly and clearly. If you want to delve into how the existing homes were built, check out the blog.

Five Musts Before You List Your Home

Getting ready to put your house on the market? Carla Hill, in an article in RealtyTimes, outlined 5 things to consider before you list. To summarize:

1 – Organize your paperwork for past repairs and upgrades and any home warranty info.

2 – Get ready to declutter. Sort through and get rid of things you don’t need now so you won’t be rushed later.

3 – Clean, clean and clean some more. Dirty homes are a buyer turn-off. Wash, paint, refresh.

4 – Get an inspection. Identify areas that will need repair.

5 – Make repairs or get estimates. Be prepared.

Need Help With Your Mortgage?

Learn about your options!

Making Home Affordable (MHA) ® helps struggling homeowners get mortgage relief through a variety of programs that aid in mortgage modifications, interest rate reductions, refinancing, deferred payment or transitioning out of your home while avoiding foreclosure. Before you begin, please explore the available programs and learn more about MHA. The more you understand your options, the easier it will be when you speak to a housing expert or your mortgage servicer.

Get free advice from a housing expert. HUD-approved housing counselors work with you and your mortgage company on your behalf, and their expertise is available for free. Call 888-995-HOPE (4673) to speak with an expert about your individual situation.

Learn the Basic Steps to Homeownership

Learn the basics steps to homeownership in this day-long class taught by Wayne Locke, certified housing counselor of the Homeownership Institute (and Broker at our Oak Harbor office of Coldwell Banker Tara Properties).
–Explore whether you should buy or sell a home
–Know your investment through home inspections
–Create a workable budget
–Identify contract to closing issues
–Develop a pricing strategy
Advanced registration required. For everyone’s learning, please no children allowed at the class. The class will be held at the Oak harbor Library. Register by 11/21 at http://bit.ly/uDBeWG