Category Archives: Community

Testimonial: Exceeded our expectations!

Donna Patane gave Team Marti a five-star review on Zillow and said she is ‘highly likely to recommend’ me to others. We helped her sell a single-family home in Auburn, Washington.

Testimonial: Exceeded our expectations!Marti Reeder and her team recently helped us sell our $750,000 home in Auburn. This was our seventh home sale over the course of many years, and Marti provided us with the best experience we have ever had. From our first meeting to her market analysis of our home to her marketing plan and materials, she exceeded our expectations. She sold our home in about two weeks for our asking price, and she and her team continued their excellent service right through closing. We highly recommend Marti for all of your real estate needs.’

~ Donna Patane, August 7, 2017

Read this review and others like it on Zillow.com:  https://www.zillow.com/profile/martirealtor/

 

How to Create an Emergency Plan

Emergency Escape Plan

 

Fortunately, Western Washington has avoided the recent  hurricanes and earthquakes , but we are not immune to natural disasters. In addition to wildfires, we are vulnerable to volcanic eruptions, tsunamis, earthworks and flooding. No matter where you live, it is important to know what disasters could strike and be prepared. Here are the steps to making a disaster survival plan, compliments of Ready.gov.

Step 1:  Create a plan with your family or household starting with these four questions:

(a) How will I receive emergency alerts and warnings?
(b) What is my shelter plan?
(c) What is my evacuation route?
(d) What is my plan to communicate with my family or household

Step 2: Consider the specific needs of your household, so you can tailor your plan to meet those needs. Factors to think about include:

  • Ages of members of your family or household
  • Children and older adults
  • Responsibility to help others
  • Dietary needs
  • Medical needs
  • Disabilities
  • Special equipment or devices needed
  • Languages spoken
  • Cultural and religious considerations
  • Pets or service animals

Step 3: Create a Family Emergency Plan

Download this form from FEMA to create your Family Emergency Communication Plan

Step 4: Share your plan with your family or household

For more information on creating a plan watch the FEMA video below, or visit Ready.gov for more resources on creating a disaster plan. Visit HouseLogic.com for what to keep in a fully-stocked home emergency preparedness kit.

10 Reasons South King County, Washington is a Great Place to Live

If you’re thinking of relocating to the Seattle area, and are wondering which area to choose, consider South King County, Washington. Here are 10 reasons it is a great place to live!

  1. Convenient location. Whether you live in Kent, Covington or Maple Valley, South King County is located between Seattle and Tacoma with either major metro area being a 20- to 30-mile drive, depending on your destination.
  2. Easy access to mass transit. King County has a great mass transit system, including everything from buses and water taxis to trains and SeaTac International Airport.
  3. Breathtaking views. On a clear day, you can view the majestic Mount Rainier from just about any vantage point. You can also see the Green River (Kent and Auburn), the Cedar River (Renton) and Puget Sound (Des Moines, Burien and Federal Way). Most cities in South King County also have lakes. Renton, of course, is on the tip of Lake Washington. Kent has Lake Meridian, Clark Lake and Lake Fenwick, and Maple Valley has the beautiful Lake Wilderness.
  4. Fabulous parks and trails. All of our South King County cities have access to fabulous parks and trail systems, as well as county and state parks and trails. In Kent, for example, we have the Soos Creek Trail, the Green River Trail and the Interurban Trail. In Des Moines, there is Saltwater State Park and Dash Point State Park, both on Puget Sound.
  5. Shopping. We all need to shop, whether we like it or not, and South King County has a wealth of options including The Landing (Renton), Kent Station (Kent), The Outlet Collection Seattle (Auburn) and Southcenter (Tukwila). In addition, we have lots of boutiques, shops, and locally owned stores.
  6. Dining. South King County is home to very diverse populations, bringing people from all over the world together. To celebrate our diversity, we have a wide range of dining options featuring everything from All American diners and Asian flavors to Indian and Ukrainian food. No matter where you choose to call home, there will be dozens – if not hundreds – of options nearby.
  7. Arts and entertainment. South King County is rich with culture, including long-time favorites like free summer concerts and the year-long Spotlight Series in Kent to seasonal festivals like Sausage and Cider Fest in Covington and Renton River Days in Renton. Live music, theatre, art galleries and studios, movie theatres and much more.
  8. Schools. From award-winning school districts to local colleges like Green River College and Renton Technical College, there is a wide range of educational opportunities in South King County, serving students of every age and ability.
  9. Weather. People across the nation have the misperception that it always rains in this part of the state. Yes, we get rain in the Seattle area, primarily in November, December and January, but we rarely have snow. And our summers are breathtaking. In Kent, for example, our average temperature in December is 46, and in August our average temperature is 78, according to U.S. climate data.
  10. People. We love the diverse populations that make up South King County, and we are proud that people from around the world call this area home. We have hundreds of cultures and languages represented here, and we love that sharing that with each other, as evidenced by the many cultural events and festivals here including the Kent International Festival, the Khalsa Day Parade and the Renton International Festival, just to name a few.

If you are looking for a home in Kent, Covington, Maple Valley, Auburn, Renton, Federal Way or Black Diamond, there are countless reasons to live here. If you’re looking for specific information, please let us know. We’ll be happy to answer any questions you have about the area. We love calling South King County home – we know you will too!

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3 Tips for Homebuying Success in Today’s Real Estate Market

3 Tips for Homebuying Success in Today's Real Estate Market

In today’s highly competitive real estate market, where home inventory levels are not keeping up with the constant stream of buyer demand, there are steps you can take to ensure you are most prepared for success when buying a home.

The 3 tips we are going to expand on today come from a recent blog by Trulia entitled, The Skinny on Skinny Inventory. 

1. Be Prepared

“Homebuyers should talk with a lender, real estate agent, and a home inspector BEFORE finding a home to make an offer on.”

Being intentional, pre-approved, and prepared will set you up for the accelerated time tables that come with a highly competitive market. If you are the most prepared buyer interested in a home, if you have already secured financial approval, and if you are ready to move fast, your bid will be that much more attractive to a seller.

2. Think Strategically

“Starter homebuyers don’t have a home to sell and can be flexible on closing dates compared to homebuyers who are also trying to sell at the same time.”

If you are one of the many first-time buyers looking for your dream home, know that being strategic and flexible about closing dates can also help your offer stand out from the rest. But don’t fret if you are a homeowner who will also have to sell your own house first – be upfront about your timeline with your agent and with any offers you make.

3. Seek Out the Ugly Ducklings

“Buyers might consider looking for homes that have been on the market for a while and investigate why. The reasons may be a deal-killer but all it takes is one ugly duckling to turn into a swan.”

Finding a fixer-upper or a home that needs a little love might be your best way to guarantee that you are able to find a home in the neighborhood that you want. The worst house on the best block will go for a steal and offer instant equity once you fix it up!

Bottom Line

In today’s market, full of bidding wars and tough competition, finding ways to stand out from the rest by getting creative will improve your chances of having a home to call your own.

The 5 Greatest Benefits of Homeownership

5 Reasons to Own Your Own HomeRecently, Freddie Mac reported on the benefits of homeownership. According to their report, here are the five benefits that “should be at the top of everyone’s list.”

  1. Homeownership can help you build equity over time.
  2. Your monthly payments will remain stable. The landlord can’t raise your rent!
  3. You may have some tax benefits.
  4. You can take pride in ownership of your home.
  5. Homeownership improves your community.

Let’s expand on each of Freddie Mac’s points:

1.  Equity: Homeownership can help you build equity over time.

Every three years, the Federal Reserve conducts a Survey of Consumer Finances in which they collect data across all economic and social groups. The latest survey, which includes data from 2010-2013, reports that a homeowner’s net worth is 36 times greater than that of a renter ($194,500 vs. $5,400).

In a Forbes article, the National Association of Realtors’ (NAR) Chief Economist Lawrence Yun reported that now the net worth gap is 45 times greater.

2.  Financial Stability: Your monthly payments will remain stable.

When you purchase a home with a fixed rate mortgage, the majority of the payment (principle and interest) remain constant. On the other hand, rents continue to skyrocket. Your housing expense is much more stable if you own instead of rent.

3.  Tax Savings: You may have some tax benefits.

According to the Tax Policy Center’s Briefing Book -“A citizen’s guide to the fascinating (though often complex) elements of the federal Tax System” – there are several tax advantages to homeownership.

Here are four items from the Briefing Book:

  • Mortgage Interest Deduction
  • Property Tax Deduction
  • Imputed Rent
  • Profits from Home Sale

4.  Pride: You can take pride in ownership.

Most surveys show that a major factor in purchasing a home is the freedom you have to design the home the way you want. From paint colors to yard accessories, you don’t need a landlord’s permission to make the house feel like a home.

5.  Community: Homeownership improves your community.

The National Association of Realtors recently released a study titled ‘Social Benefits of Homeownership and Stable Housing.’ The study explained:

“Homeownership does create social capital and provide residents with a platform from which to connect and interact with neighbors…Owning a home means owning part of a neighborhood, and a homeowner’s feelings of commitment to the home can arouse feelings of commitment to the neighborhood, which, in turn, can produce interactions with neighbors.”

Bottom Line

There are many benefits to homeownership. That is why it is still a critical piece of the American Dream.

John L. Scott Realtor® Marti Reeder Named “Best of Kent” for Ninth Time

Marti Reeder, a full-time, full-service Realtor® and managing broker with John L. Scott, was named “Best Real Estate Agent” by Kent Reporter readers in their 2017 “Best of Kent” contest. This is the ninth “Best of Kent” award for Reeder. In addition, Reeder was a finalist in the “Best of Covington – Maple Valley – Black Diamond” contest in the real estate agent category.

The honors come just months after Reeder was named to John L. Scott’s Chairman’s Circle for the third year in a row for her work in 2016. Also, last year Reeder was the top residential producer in the John L. Scott Covington-Kent-Maple Valley office. In the last few years, Reeder has sold an average of one home per week, and was the top producer in three out of four quarters for the office last year.

“This is such an interesting time for real estate, and I love helping people navigate this seller’s market, whether they are buying their dream home or selling an existing one to upgrade or move onto their next one,” Reeder said. “Being recognized for doing work I love is just icing on the cake! Thanks to everyone who voted for me. Your trust in me means the world.”

As a lifelong resident of King County, Reeder focuses on clients in the South King County communities of Kent, Covington, Maple Valley, Auburn, Black Diamond and Renton. As a Certified Residential Specialist (CRS), Reeder also dedicates her time and expertise to educating home buyers and sellers on the value of home ownership and ensuring that they understand the ever-changing real estate and mortgage industries, including new rules and regulations that may affect them. Reeder is the leader of Team Marti, a small staff that helps Reeder serve her clients 24/7, whether they are buying, selling or building a home.

For more information about Reeder or to talk to her about your real estate needs, visit MartiReeder.com or call 253-246-8938 (office) or 206-391-0388 (cell). You can also read testimonials about Reeder on Realtor.com and Zillow.

About Marti Reeder:

With 12 1/2 years as a Realtor® and more than 30 years of industry experience, Reeder is affiliated with the Covington-Kent-Maple Valley John L. Scott office. She is a full-time, full-service real estate broker, serving the South King County region. She has a background in mortgages, home inspections, construction and real estate. Reeder is also a Certified Residential Specialist, representing only 3% of the Realtor® population. As a CRS, Reeder is a dedicated professional working to ensure her clients receive exceptional service by tapping into her extensive training.

Reeder specializes in staging and marketing her listings as well as helping buyers, whether they are first-time homebuyers or are downsizing or upsizing their current homes. When not listing or selling homes, Reeder can be found blogging about real estate or playing with her grandchildren and is active in the Kent community. She is a member of the Kent and Covington Chambers of Commerce, Kent Downtown Partnership and Kent Kiwanis, and she supports a number of local nonprofits. Reeder is married to Merle Reeder, who was recently appointed to the position of commissioner to the Soos Creek Water & Sewer District. Learn more about Reeder at MartiReeder.com.

Kent Realtor® Marti Reeder Named to John L. Scott’s Chairman’s Circle for 2016

Marti Reeder, John L. Scott, Kent-CovingtonMarti Reeder, Realtor® and Managing Broker with John L. Scott’s Covington-Kent-Maple Valley office, is excited to announce she has earned the Chairman’s Circle Award for 2016, her third year in a row for the honor. Previously, Reeder won other President’s awards from John L. Scott, and in 2016, Reeder was the top residential producer in her office, selling an average of one home per week. She was also the top producer in three out of four quarters last year.

“I would like to congratulate our John L. Scott award recipients for their continued dedication to providing the highest quality service to their clients. Their professionalism and hard work are exemplified by their success,” said J. Lennox Scott of the 2016 winners.

In addition to this prestigious award, Reeder:

  • Was voted “Best Real Estate Agent” in Kent for the eighth year
  • Was voted “Best Real Estate Agent” in Covington for the first time
  • Earned her Managing Broker’s license

Along with these achievements, Reeder’s transaction lead Valerie Mays earned her real estate agent’s license, so she is now also a showing agent, and Reeder hired a transaction coordinator, Elaine Kahns, to complement the efforts of the team. Team Marti outgrew its office space in Covington, so Reeder has opened a separate office in Kent but is still a part of the John L. Scott family.

“Whether they are buying or selling a home, my team and I always put our clients’ needs first, so it is an honor to be recognized for our hard work by John L. Scott,” Reeder said. “Home ownership has a positive impact on the stability of our communities while contributing to the local economy, and that’s great for all of us.”

As a lifelong resident of King County, Reeder works with clients throughout the greater Seattle area, with a concentration in the South King County communities of Kent, Covington, Maple Valley, Auburn, Black Diamond, Federal Way and Renton. As a Certified Residential Specialist (CRS), Reeder also dedicates her time and expertise to educating home buyers and sellers on the value of home ownership and ensuring that they understand the ever-changing real estate and mortgage industries, including new rules and regulations that may affect them.

For more information about Reeder, visit MartiReeder.com or call 253-246-8938 (office) or 206-391-0388 (cell). You can also read testimonials on Realtor.com and Zillow.

About Marti Reeder:

With over 12 years as a Realtor® and more than 30 years of industry experience, Reeder works out of the Covington-Kent-Maple Valley John L. Scott office. She is a full-time, full-service real estate broker, serving Washington’s sixth largest city, Kent, and surrounding communities. She has a wide range of experience in mortgages, home inspections, construction and real estate. In 2015 and 2016, Reeder helped nearly 100 families buy or sell homes. Reeder is also a Certified Residential Specialist, representing only 3% of the Realtor® population. As a CRS, Reeder is a dedicated professional working to ensure her clients receive exceptional service by tapping into her extensive training.

Reeder also specializes in staging and marketing her listings as well as helping buyers, whether they are first-time homebuyers or are downsizing or upsizing their current homes. When not helping clients buy or list homes, Reeder can be found blogging about real estate or playing with her grandchildren and is active in the Kent community. She is a member of the Kent and Covington Chambers of Commerce, Kent Downtown Partnership and Kent Kiwanis, and she supports many local nonprofits with donations following each home sale. Learn more about Reeder at MartiReeder.com.

Three Major Home Buying Trends for 2017

Every year the real estate market reveals its own quirks and idiosyncrasies. The market and economy are two major reasons why trends change. In 2017, real estate experts are predicting three major home-buying trends to dominate.

1. First-Time Buyers Out in Force

According to a Realtor.com trends survey, it’s estimated that just over half (52 percent) of all buyers in 2017 will be first-time home buyers, compared with just 33 percent in 2016. Significantly, the overwhelming majority of buyers (61 percent) will be under the age of 35.

Millennials, the group born approximately between 1980 and 1999, are reaching the point where they are financially and emotionally able to strike out on their own. Expect to see lots of competition for affordable starter homes; demand may push prices through the roof in some markets.

2. Everyone’s Looking for the “Move Up” Home

As Millennials mature, so do their housing needs. The property of choice is no longer a loft-style condo in a hot urban center. In 2017, Millennials will be looking for move-up homes with space for growing families. Safe neighborhoods, private yards, and more space, inside and out, top the home-shopping list as buyers seek more bang for their buck. Expect the suburbs to reclaim their cool status, with hot competition for single-family homes in good, safe neighborhoods that have reliably strong public schools.

3. Debt Is a Major Barrier to Home Ownership

Throughout 2016, the lack of inventory has been pushing up prices and pricing buyers out, especially in cities like New York City, Dallas, San Francisco, Atlanta, Chicago, and Seattle. It’s no surprise, then, that mortgage qualification issues are at the front of buyers’ minds for 2017. When questioned, 37 percent of would-be homeowners said their biggest concerns are coming up with the down payment and getting their credit in check. The National Association of Realtors noted that 44 percent of Millennial buyers had a student-loan debt balance of at least $25,000—an intimidating obstacle for younger home buyers. Looser mortgage regulation would help first-time home buyers who have been feeling the pinch of today’s tough lending standards.

Plan Ahead for Winter Storms with this Disaster Supply Kit

Basic Emergency KitWe don’t get a lot of snow in the low lying areas of Puget Sound, but once in a while, we get a big snow or ice storm. Prepare yourself and your family by having a basic disaster supply kit on hand. Here’s what Ready.gov recommends for your basic emergency kit.

  • Water for drinking and sanitation: 1 gallon of water per person per day for at least 3 days
  • Food: at least a three-day supply of non-perishable food
  • Manual can opener for food (e.g., tuna, soup, etc.)
  • Battery-powered or hand-crank radio and a NOAA Weather Radio with tone alert and extra batteries
  • Flashlight and extra batteries
  • Cell phone with chargers, including portable chargers
  • First aid kit: latex or sterile gloves, sterile dressings, cleansing agent like soap or antibiotic towelettes, antibiotic ointment, adhesive bandages in different sizes, eye wash solution, thermometer, prescription medications, prescribed medical supplies, scissors, tweezers, petroleum jelly or other lubricant, aspirin or non-aspirin pain reliever, anti-diarrhea medication, antacid and laxative
  • Whistle to signal for help
  • Dust mask to help filter contaminated air and plastic sheeting and duct tape
  • Moist towelettes, garbage bags and plastic ties for personal sanitation
  • Wrench or pliers to turn off utilities
  • Local maps

Download this handy Emergency Supply Checklist for easy preparation of your Disaster Kit.