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Michelle Havre

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How to judge your home's curb appeal

by Reposted by Michelle Havre

If you have been trying to sell your home, you are well aware of how challenging it can be. However, there is one way that you can increase your chances of success and that is if you improve your home's curb appeal.

With fewer and fewer qualified buyers in the market it has become even more important to make your home as attractive as possible.

That's because a very high percentage of people who are shopping for a home decide whether or not they would like to take a look inside the home based on what they see as they drive by the house - or when they arrive for a showing. If the curb appeal is not positive they often leave.

As the homeowner it can be rather difficult for you to see your house through other people's eyes.

That's because you have gotten accustomed to how it looks and you see beyond whatever faults it has. However, if you are considering selling your home you have to first look at is as property rather than the roof over your particular head. And, as such, there are a number of things you can do to sell this property for the highest possible dollar.

Before you can increase your curb appeal you have to identify the areas that are ripe for improvement. Here's a simple exercise that you can do to help you to gage your home's curb appeal.

First, the next time you come back home, park across the street or down the block. You want to be able to get a good view of your property and its surroundings, as if you were looking at it for the first time. As you walk towards your house imagine that this is the first time you are here.

Is the approach to your property tidy and clean? Is there anything that you could do to make it more attractive?

Take a notepad with you and jot down your first impressions of the yard and the house. Then note the house's best exterior features.

Once you've done that take a moment or two to see if you can come up with some initial ideas about how you can enhance the looks of your house and property. Continue this exercise later.

After you consider the best features of your yard and home, make a note of what the worst features are. Then see if you can think of a number of ways that you could eliminate, improve, or minimize these negative factors.

One thing that could help is if you take pictures of your house. If your camera is a digital camera take the photos in color and look at them that way first. Then turn the image into black and white and analyze them. It may be easier to see the problems when the color doesn't affect your impressions.

by: Wendy Moyer 
http://www.articlecity.com/articles/home_improvement/article_6541.shtml 

For today's generation of aging adults, individuality and independence are values they've lived out for decades. As the years go by, lifestyle changes become a necessity, due to limited mobility and health concerns, but it doesn't necessarily mean giving up personality. 

Aging in place, in the comfort of your home, is a priority for countless people. That often means making adjustments to your home, but some alterations can contribute to making your space feel more institutional and less "you." A balance between style and safety is the key - and finding it is easier than you might think.

One of the most hazardous rooms in the home is the bathroom. Its slippery surfaces and tendency to be crowded with products and objects makes it a hazard for slipping, tripping and other mishaps. As you consider making alterations to your home that enhance security and safety, it's the logical place to start.

* Clear away clutter. Bottles and jars and grooming tools frequently crowd counters, closets and the corners of tubs and showers. Make use of hangers, shelves and wall-mounted baskets to keep things neatly tucked away, providing a cleaner environment that's also better looking and less likely to cause trips or spills.

* Bathe in safety. With limited mobility, moving in and out of the tub can be difficult, if not downright dangerous. One renovation solution to that problem is installing a walk-in tub.  Walk-in baths and EasyAccess showers configure to your existing space and allow you to maintain the look of your bathroom while enjoying greater ease. 

* Choose rugs carefully. Bath mats and rugs are both functional and decorative. They can add a splash of color while also effectively collecting water that might otherwise pool on the floor and lead to slipping. However, rugs that don't stay in place can present a problem of their own and lead you to trip. Opt for mats and rugs that have non-skid backing, but which still look harmonious with the rest of your bathroom decor. 

* Bring things up to the right height. Your bathroom routine can be an active one, which can present problems if your health limits your ability to move or bend easily. Having a commode and a sink at a higher level that prevents you from overexertion during your daily routine will add to the comfort and safety of your bathroom. And with options like Premier Care in Bathing's easy-access sink, you can integrate these new fixtures into your room while maintaining your existing decorative theme.

One of the most important parts of maintaining independence throughout aging is being able to uphold your sense of self. Taking a holistic approach to creating a home environment that meets your needs but still expresses who you are enables you to live life as you choose for a long time to come.

April 2015 Housing Market Tri-Cities WA

by Michelle Havre

The Tri-Cities WA Housing Market Table is easy to understand. Follow the steps, or call us with any and all questions 509.783.8400.

 

  1. Find the price range of the home you are selling or want to buy in the left column. 
  2. The next column will show you the Number of Active Listings in that price range. This number shows how many homes are currently available for potential buyers to look at and buy. 
  3. The Number of Pending Listings shows the number of homes that are currently under contract.
  4. The Number of Sold Listings — Current Month shows how many homes closed during that month. 
  5. The Number of Sold Listings — Last 3 Months shows how many homes closed in the last three months. 
  6. The Average Listings Sold — Last 3 Months is the average number of home sold every month, for the last three months. 
  7. The Supply and Demand column shows us how many months of housing inventory we have if the housing demand remains the same as the past three months. To obtain this number, take the Number of Active Listings and divide by the Average Listings Sold (Last 3 Months). The number represents how many months it would take to sell all houses on the market if no new houses came on the market and the demand remained the same as the last three months. 
  8. The Average List Price shows the average listing price for the price range you are in. 
  9. The Average Sold Price shows the average sold price for the price range you are in. 

 

Seller’s Market = Less than 5 months of inventory.
Neutral Market = 5-6 months of inventory.
Buyer’s Market = More than 6 months of inventory.

Seller’s Market = Less than 5 months of inventory.

Neutral Market = 5-6 months of inventory.

Buyer’s Market = More than 6 months of inventory.

 

 

10 Tips to Help You Save Energy

by Dave McIntosh
Before you spend money on the latest energy-efficient gizmo that's supposed to save you money let's look at some energy saving ideas that will really help you save home energy. The strategies that we will look at maximize the effort you put in and help reduce your home energy consumption. 
First sit down and think about all the different ways your family uses energy around the house. Now put an approximate type and cost of energy used. You may have trouble breaking down the cost but try to do it. Now all you have to do is find ways to save on your resources at the same time cut your costs. You may have to think creatively but it can be done. 
So here are some tips to get you started: 
- Turn the lights off when you're not using them. This is really simple and easy to do. Do you really need your bedroom light on when you're in the living room? Do you leave lights on when you leave the house? Do you even need more than one light on in a room for what you are doing? Believe it or not it makes a big difference. 
- Turn all electronics and other appliances off when you're not using them. No one can do everything at the same time. Can you really listen to a radio watch television and use your computer all at the same time? 
- Set your thermostat down a couple of degrees in winter or up in summer, to conserve energy. And dress appropriately indoors for the time of year it is. For instance in winter, put on a sweater or some extra clothing, or may snuggle under a blanket to stay warm. In the summer, wear less and stay cooler naturally. 
- Only turn an appliance on when you have a full load. This is true especially for the washing machine, dryer and even the dishwasher. It is amazing how much extra energy is used doing multiple small loads in comparison to one full load. 
- Do regular maintenance on your appliances. Keeping them clean means they don't have to work as hard. Changing filters reduces the energy needed to accomplish a task. Regular care will also mean any maintenance bills that you might come up against may well be cheaper. 
- Be careful how you use your water. Like when brushing your teeth or washing your hands, use only the water you need. Don't let the water run the entire time. Also, try and use less water if you take a bath, or control your shower times. 
- Simply let your hair air dry, instead of using a blow drier every day. 
- Lower the temperature on your water heater to 120 degrees F. 
Don't forget the bigger projects as well. 
- Seal the cracks around your doors and windows. You are paying for your hot air that escapes through cracks all around your house. You need to make sure you are doing all you can to keep the warm air you're paying for inside your house. 
- You also need to check your house's insulation. Though this has been done by many homeowners nevertheless you still need to do it before you pass it over. It is probably the biggest thing in reducing heating costs. 
Now some of these things may seem trivial to you but let me assure you that even the small things add up over time. And really most of them you won't even notice the difference to your life except your bills. 
These tips and suggestions will make your home more affordable, and take some strain off of our world's resources. Just think if all of us would just made a few of these changes to how we do things on a daily basis it would make a huge difference. 
By: Dave McIntosh 
http://www.articlecity.com/articles/home_improvement/article_7258.shtml

 

10 Tips to Help You Save EnergyBefore you spend money on the latest energy-efficient gizmo that's supposed to save you money let's look at some energy saving ideas that will really help you save home energy. The strategies that we will look at maximize the effort you put in and help reduce your home energy consumption. 

First sit down and think about all the different ways your family uses energy around the house. Now put an approximate type and cost of energy used. You may have trouble breaking down the cost but try to do it. Now all you have to do is find ways to save on your resources at the same time cut your costs. You may have to think creatively but it can be done. 

Here are some tips to get you started: 

- Turn the lights off when you're not using them. This is really simple and easy to do. Do you really need your bedroom light on when you're in the living room? Do you leave lights on when you leave the house? Do you even need more than one light on in a room for what you are doing? Believe it or not it makes a big difference. 

- Turn all electronics and other appliances off when you're not using them. No one can do everything at the same time. Can you really listen to a radio watch television and use your computer all at the same time?

- Set your thermostat down a couple of degrees in winter or up in summer, to conserve energy. And dress appropriately indoors for the time of year it is. For instance in winter, put on a sweater or some extra clothing, or may snuggle under a blanket to stay warm. In the summer, wear less and stay cooler naturally.

- Only turn an appliance on when you have a full load. This is true especially for the washing machine, dryer and even the dishwasher. It is amazing how much extra energy is used doing multiple small loads in comparison to one full load.

- Do regular maintenance on your appliances. Keeping them clean means they don't have to work as hard. Changing filters reduces the energy needed to accomplish a task. Regular care will also mean any maintenance bills that you might come up against may well be cheaper.

- Be careful how you use your water. Like when brushing your teeth or washing your hands, use only the water you need. Don't let the water run the entire time. Also, try and use less water if you take a bath, or control your shower times.

- Simply let your hair air dry, instead of using a blow drier every day.

- Lower the temperature on your water heater to 120 degrees F. 

- Seal the cracks around your doors and windows. You are paying for your hot air that escapes through cracks all around your house. You need to make sure you are doing all you can to keep the warm air you're paying for inside your house.

- You also need to check your house's insulation. Though this has been done by many homeowners nevertheless you still need to do it before you pass it over. It is probably the biggest thing in reducing heating costs.

Now some of these things may seem trivial to you but let me assure you that even the small things add up over time. And really most of them you won't even notice the difference to your life except your bills. These tips and suggestions will make your home more affordable, and take some strain off of our world's resources. Just think if all of us would just made a few of these changes to how we do things on a daily basis it would make a huge difference. 

By: Dave McIntosh 
http://www.articlecity.com/articles/home_improvement/article_7258.shtml

March 2015 Housing Market Tri-Cities WA

by Michelle Havre
Supply and demand.

The Tri-Cities WA Housing Market Table is easy to understand. Follow the steps, or call us with any and all questions 509.783.8400.

  1. Find the price range of the home you are selling or want to buy in the left column. 
  2. The next column will show you the Number of Active Listings in that price range. This number shows how many homes are currently available for potential buyers to look at and buy. 
  3. The Number of Pending Listings shows the number of homes that are currently under contract.
  4. The Number of Sold Listings — Current Month shows how many homes closed during that month. 
  5. The Number of Sold Listings — Last 3 Months shows how many homes closed in the last three months. 
  6. The Average Listings Sold — Last 3 Months is the average number of home sold every month, for the last three months. 
  7. The Supply and Demand column shows us how many months of housing inventory we have if the housing demand remains the same as the past three months. To obtain this number, take the Number of Active Listings and divide by the Average Listings Sold (Last 3 Months). The number represents how many months it would take to sell all houses on the market if no new houses came on the market and the demand remained the same as the last three months. 
  8. The Average List Price shows the average listing price for the price range you are in. 
  9. The Average Sold Price shows the average sold price for the price range you are in. 
Seller’s Market = Less than 5 months of inventory.
Neutral Market = 5-6 months of inventory.
Buyer’s Market = More than 6 months of inventory.

 

Seller’s Market = Less than 5 months of inventory.

Neutral Market = 5-6 months of inventory.

Buyer’s Market = More than 6 months of inventory.

supply and demand
number of active, pending and sold listings by price range for March 2015.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tri-Cities National Parks, Land Use & Employment

by Michelle Havre

The Tri-City Herald's article, "House Approves Defense Measure" Annette Cary reports news about making the B Reactor part of a national park along with allowing limited public access to Rattlesnake Mountain.  The house has approved the bill last year, but we are waiting for the Senate to approve.  

Although adding parks to the area would certainly improve our community’s recreational opportunities. I am disappointed that the Senate removed a portion of the bill that would require 300 of the 1,341 acres be transferred over to the Tri-City Development Council (TRIDEC) for Department of Energy's (DOE). A few years ago a representative of TRIDEC came to my office and addressed this issue.  TRIDEC wants this portion of land, designated for industrial use, so the Tri-Cities can attract larger corporations to the area.  In my opinion, this land could be used to increase employment opportunities and help diversify our employment. 

For more information see the Tri-City Herald's online article by clicking here. For more information regarding land use contact TRIDEC http://www.tridec.org, or reach out to our Congressional Representative, Doc Hastings at http://hastings.house.gov/contact/

Rattlesnake Mountain Washington

2014 Paddlefest- Richland WA

by Michelle Havre

A little bit about me...

When I'm not helping clients buy and sell homes, I enjoy teaching and volunteering. I currently volunteer at Columbia Kayak Adventures and just started volunteering at the US Coast Guard Auxiliary.

During paddlefest I taught stand up paddleboarding (SUP).  If you're unfamiliar with SUP, it's like standing on a surf board with a long paddle. During the Summer I try to go to Howard Amon park in the morning to paddleboard.  I enjoy teaching the renters about kayaking and paddleboarding. Sign up for a class, tour or join us for Thursday night paddling.  

April 2014 -Tri-Cities WA Housing Market

by Michelle Havre with Smart~Realtors®

Tri-Cities WA housing market supply and demand by price range. Housing market for richland wa, kennewick wa, pasco wa and west richland washington.

Homes for Sale in the Tri-Cities WA Area - April 2014

If you're currently looking for a home, don't waste too much time "thinking" about it.  Homes are selling fast and multiple-offer situations are wide-spread.  If you think you've found the perfect house, make an offer the same day.  The current inventory of homes up to $324,000 is limited compared to the current demand.  

Homes Under Contract in the Tri-Cities WA Area- April 2014

Last year there were only 177 homes under contract in April. This year, there were 241 homes under contract.  This is a significant increase from last year.  Although there are more offers, we are seeing more transactions fall apart because buyers are demanding more repairs as a result of their home inspection. If your home is on the market and you receive an offer, you may want to ask the home buyer to have the inspection within 7 days to avoid loosing valuable marketing time.

April 2014 Housing Market Richland WA, Kennewick WA, Pasco WA, West Richland WA

Homes Sold in the Tri-Cities WA Area - April 2014

Similar to homes under contract, there was also a significant in increase in homes from last year.  The increases made me question the data.  I double checked the figures and the numbers are correct.  There were 298 homes in the Tri-Cities area that sold in April.

How's the Tri-Cities area housing market?  (Kennewick, Richland, Pasco & West Richland WA)

"How's the market?" is the question I hear most. The answer is always, "It depends on your price range".  The chart below shows the supply and demand of homes by price range. A neutral market (neither buyer's or seller's market) is 5-6 months of inventory. If the months of inventory is below five months, it's a seller's market. If the months of inventory is over six months, it's a buyer's market. As a buyer, you want a buyer's market because there are more homes for sale and less competition. As a seller, you want a seller's market because there is less competition and more buyers to buy your home.  

If you are buying a home, in the Tri-Cities area, up to $274,000, you better act quickly because it's a seller's market. We are experiencing multiple offer situations with our buyers.  You'll find the most competition for homes in the $150K-$174K price range. 

If you are selling a home in the Tri-Cities area, this is a great market for you unless your home is priced over $325K.  Part of the reason for the low demand in the higher price range is many home buyers are still opting for new homes versus resale upper-end homes.  If you own a home valued over $325K, you want to make sure your home is able to compete with new homes.  In order to compete, you need your home in "like new" condition and probably need to update the home to match current housing trends.  Please call me (509) 783-8400 before you spend thousands of dollars in upgrades. Even if you don't plan on selling for five years, I can help you assess which upgrades will improve the marketability of your home versus which upgrades are solely for your personal enjoyment. 

April 2014 Housing Market Supply and Demand. Kennewick WA, Richland WA, Pasco WA and West Richland WA.

The Tri-Cities is showing a healthy market (overall) and this helps everyone because this type of market increases the value of homes. If this trend increases, home owners will have more equity in their home. As always, if you are thinking of buying a home, use caution when purchasing over $375,000. Historically, in the Tri-Cities area, this market has fewer buyers that buyers typcially prefer to build their "dream home" versus buy a resale home.

Contact me if you have any questions (509) 783-8400, or email at Michelle@Key2homes.com.  Have a great week! 

- Michelle Havre with Smart~Realtors®

March 2014 -Tri-Cities WA Housing Market

by Michelle Havre

The Tri-Cities WA area shows healthy growth.  

Tri-Cities Real Estate Tips

by Michelle Havre

 

 

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Michelle Havre
The Havre Team Smart~ Realtors®
7411 W Clearwater Ave, Suite B
Kennewick WA 99336
(509) 783-8400
(509) 302-7527
Fax: (509) 783-6934