McCormick Park Surprise

McCormick ParkI visit McCormick Park daily with my dog. A couple years ago the City of Bellevue Parks Department planted a new tree, a Mimosa tree, which is unique to this area. I grew up on the East coast where Mimosa trees are common. They thrive in warm southern climates, attract butterflies and hummingbirds and are one of the few trees that bloom in summer with big pink or white puffball blossoms. They’re also very unique in that their fern-like leaves fold closed in the evening or when it rains.

I have fond memories of Mimosa trees. My grandparents had two in their yard. They grow in a wide canopy-like shape and my sister and I would gather the pink puffballs and sit under the tree stringing the blossoms together to create necklaces and bracelets and occasionally adorn my grandmother’s cat with a pink collar. Skippy never seemed to appreciate her puffy pink collars.

I’ve lived in the Pacific Northwest for nearly 40 years and have never seen a Mimosa tree growing locally. It’s fun to enter the park and see the tree in full bloom with those big pink puffballs. Thanks to the City of Bellevue for a little bit of nostalgia.

 

 

Posted on August 6, 2020 at 9:00 AM
Robin Myers | Category: Bellevue Parks & Recreation, condominium speciaist, Downtown Bellevue, lifestyle, McCormick Park | Tagged , , , , , , , ,

Understanding the Case Shiller Home Price Index

This week Matthew Gardner, Chief Economist with Windermere Real Estate, explains the Case Shiller Home Price Index which has accumulated data over the last 130 years of home prices in 20 major cities in the United States.

 

 

Posted on August 4, 2020 at 2:37 PM
Robin Myers | Category: condominium speciaist, economy, real estate, Windermere Real Estate | Tagged , , , ,

How’s the Real Estate Market?

townhomesHow’s the Real Estate Market?

This is a question I hear a lot. Real estate was dormant this spring due to the coronavirus pandemic. Since mid-May the housing market has made a robust and positive rebound.

The number of buyers currently in the market far exceeds the available inventory of homes for sale. Why are so many buyers searching for homes? Record low interest rates give buyers more purchasing power. They’re taking advantage of those low interest rates to purchase a first home, move up to a larger home or, since we’ll be working from home/learning from home for many months to come, find a home that is a better fit for changing live/work/learn lifestyles. We are fortunate to live in an area with a strong economy. Local and national companies continue to grow and recruit employees, but that growth is bringing more home buyers to the area who want to purchase a home.

Lifestyle needs change . . . job and workspace needs change . . . housing needs change. Right now housing inventory is the biggest challenge for buyers looking to purchase a home. It’s a competitive market. The shortage of homes is definitely tipping the scale in favor of sellers, and that trend is expected to continue through the end of the year.

If there’s a change or a move in your future . . . how can I help?

 

 

 

 

Posted on July 29, 2020 at 9:00 AM
Robin Myers | Category: buying a home, condominium speciaist, property values, real estate, selling a home, Windermere Real Estate | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , ,

How Much Are Home Values Expected to Increase in 2020?

This week Matthew Gardner, Windermere Real Estate’s Chief Economist, provides an update to his 2020 housing forecast. Interesting economic information relating to the local and nationwide real estate market.

 

Posted on July 28, 2020 at 2:29 PM
Robin Myers | Category: condominium speciaist, condominiums, economy, real estate, Windermere Real Estate | Tagged , , , , , , , , ,

Creating Home Office Options that Fit Small Spaces

Many of us, either long term temporary or permanently, are working from home. If your condo or towhhome doesn’t have dedicated office space, you can easily create an office area using a nook or alcove between rooms or an area at the top of a stair landing. The space doesn’t need to be big but can be defined and designed to fit your needs. Once you’ve identified a space, all you need is a desk that fits the space to create a customized        work-from-home space. The HGTV link below has some great inspiration for stylish, functional desks for small work spaces. (There is a link for more information or how to purchase each of the featured desks.)
Check out these affordable and stylish desks for small spaces!
Posted on July 24, 2020 at 9:00 AM
Robin Myers | Category: condominiums, Home Office, lifestyle, working from home | Tagged , , , , ,

Summertime – Must Be Time to Go “Phishing”

photo courtesy flickr/gotcredit.com

Over the past week I’ve suddenly received several phone and email “phishing” solicitations. I’d like to blame it on a full moon, but that was nearly three weeks ago.

I’ve been contacted twice and advised my Amazon account had been locked due to suspicious activity. Two different people have called to tell me a credit card was being used in another state, that the police had been contacted, and they would need additional personal information to verify they were really talking to the cardholder so that they could assist me. I reached out to both credit card companies – no suspicious activity or security breach reported on my accounts. I also had a call trying to sell me new windows for my home. Told that caller my home has no windows. (You have to have some fun with these calls.) The best calls have been the three from people representing “investors” who are ready to purchase my house immediately – for cash. I had to play along with these calls too. Turns out the caller didn’t know anything about my home including where it was located, when it was built, the number of bedrooms, baths or square footage. After no doubt frustrating the caller for a few minutes, I let them know I was a Realtor® and that when it came to sell my home I had that covered.

Maybe with everything going on in the world scammers think this is an easy time to take advantage of people who might be feeling stressed or vulnerable. In my business escrow and title companies, banks and lenders continually deal with wire fraud. Bad people have figured out how to hack into emails, secure bank and corporate websites and anywhere else they think there might be a quick and dirty way to make money and defraud innocent people.

Be very careful. Be suspicious of phone calls and emails you don’t recognize or can’t verify. Caution and educate your children, parents and friends. If you question something, whether it’s from a friend, relative, business associate, bank real estate broker, escrow or title, and especially if you’re involved in a real estate transaction . . . verify the sender. It only takes a few minutes to protect yourself. It also only takes a few minutes for a wire transfer sent to a criminal recipient to empty a bank account, and those funds can be impossible to retrieve.

We have enough to worry about these days. Be safe. Verify. Verify. Verify. And while you’re at it, wear a mask. Take care of yourself, your family and friends.

 

 

 

Posted on July 21, 2020 at 9:30 AM
Robin Myers | Category: buying a home, home financing, home safety, online security, security, selling a home, Windermere Real Estate | Tagged , , , , , , ,

Matthew Gardner – The Importance of the National Housing Survey

Started in 2010, the information in the National Housing Survey contains information about consumer attitude, intentions and financial confidence as it relates specifically to housing.

 

 

Posted on July 20, 2020 at 3:27 PM
Robin Myers | Category: economy, housing market, real estate, Windermere Real Estate | Tagged , , , , ,

Ideas for Creating Privacy on Your Deck, Patio or Courtyard

courtesy HGTV

With summer weather finally here we’re all spending more time outdoors, but with the confines created by the COVID-19 pandemic, we’re spending a lot more time outdoors at home. Whether you live in an urban high rise or townhouse, creating privacy on your deck, patio or courtyard can be challenging.

 

HGTV has provided some interesting and affordable options available for adding a privacy screen to your deck. If you’re creative, there’s a lot of inspiration here for designing a customized screen to fit your space and decor.

 

https://www.hgtv.com/outdoors/outdoor-spaces/best-outdoor-privacy-screens

 

 

Posted on July 15, 2020 at 10:57 AM
Robin Myers | Category: condominium speciaist, condominiums, lifestyle, urban living, Windermere Real Estate | Tagged , , , , , , ,

COVID-19 Impact on the Housing Market – You Might Be Surprised

Posted on July 13, 2020 at 2:09 PM
Robin Myers | Category: economy, home property values, real estate | Tagged , , , , , , , , ,

July 15th Tax Extension Deadline is Next Week

courtesy CreditDebitPro.com

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the IRS postponed the original tax filing deadline from April 15th to July 15th. July 15th is also the deadline for making first and second quarter estimated payments for 2020. You also have until the 15th to contribute to your IRA or health savings accounts for the 2019 tax year.

This is the is the last weekend before the deadline to finish gathering documents and preparing your taxes to meet the deadline. If you’re unable to meet the deadline, you can file for an extension to push your tax date to October 15th. That form, along with any IRS documents and information you may need, can be found at IRS.gov.

 

 

 

Posted on July 10, 2020 at 9:30 AM
Robin Myers | Category: IRS, real estate, tax filling deadline | Tagged , , , , ,