Homward Bound | August 2017

Want to Meet More Neighbors? Take Your Dog for a Walk!

As most of you know, August is National Night Out. This annual event encourages neighbors to connect and exchange information.

No matter how long you’ve lived in your neighborhood, it can be challenging to meet a lot of your neighbors. Neighborhoods are only as good as their neighbors. In a world where so many people recognize neighborhood cars over the faces of people who live around us, there’s a lot to be said for making an effort to connect with the people who live up and down the block. So how do you make those first few casual connections which can lead to meaningful bonds?

One of the best ways to meet people is on foot. Want to get to know and be known? Get out there on foot. A routine morning or evening walk is a perfect way to say hello and stop for a chat. Don’t wear headphones. Be open to conversations. Observe who’s out and about and use compliments and open ended questions to spark a little small talk. Another great ice breaker is to take your dog with you. Dogs can be an excellent way of meeting more of your neighbors.

Are you in need of a buddy to take for a walk? Consider adding a dog to the family. Meet Chuckles! (I love her name!) She’s an energetic 4 year old who loves to go on walks. She does need to work on her leash manners, however she is house-trained. She would do best as the only pet in the house. She prefers people over other dogs and cats are just way too tempting to chase.

With Chuckles at your side, you’re bound to meet lots of new neighbors!

And summertime is probably when food banks need your help the most. That’s because children are on break from school and their families have to provide the meals that they normally would get through school meal programs. Six out of seven low-income kids who eat a free or reduced-price school lunch do not get free meals during the summer because they don’t participate in summer meal programs.

So what can you do to help? Does this mean you should go out and buy a bunch of fruits and vegetables to donate to your local food bank? Or maybe donate some extra produce from your home garden? No. The best way that you can help families in need is to donate money to your local food banks. Food banks have agreements or partnerships with distributors/suppliers so that they are able to stretch your donation dollars to purchase more items, usually in bulk. For example, a one-dollar donation—to a food bank hub like Feeding America—can provide 11 meals to families in need. And 68 percent of the foods distributed are healthy foods that align with the USDA Dietary Guidelines.

Kitty Hall is Back!
Kittens Take Over City Hall
Monday 8/21
11am—1pm
600—4th Ave, Seattle

For cat lovers around Seattle, Kitty Hall is the most magical Seattle Animal Shelter event of the year. This is a great opportunity to get your “kitten-fix”. Where else can you play and snuggle with adorable kittens? Last year’s event drew over 500 people. The goal of the event is to promote cat adoption and awareness for the need of kitty foster homes.

This is the fourth year of Kitty Hall. It has become such a popular event that at least five other animal welfare organizations in the US have “copycatted” Seattle and created their own Kitty Hall events.

Thinking about adding a kitty to your family? There are several cats available, but check out these beauties:

Molly is a very sweet older gal who was found as a stray in very poor condition.
It’s a miracle she survived on the streets, given she is completely deaf.
She’s a lucky girl!

 

 

 

Miss Grey was also a stray found on Capital Hill.
She is a happy cat who enjoys attention and people.
She prefers to be the only pet in the home.

 

 

 

Carmen is a regal beauty with a big personality.
She’s very social and likes to chat with her favorite people.
She’s a lap kitty who loves to snuggle.

 

 

 

The Birds and The Bees

OK…apparently I am not very good with the birdy birth-control! Meet Henley. He’s 13 days old in this photo. He was an accident. Our third accident for 2017. As most of you know, I prefer to hand feed our pet pigeons after they are a week old so that they are tame with us as adults.   Luckily for me, I have a business partner who embraces my passion for my pets. I bring Henley to the office with me every day so that I can feed him during the day.   He’s a little cutie and has been a hit with my colleagues who are amazed at how fast he’s grown.

 

Your referrals help improve the lives of local shelter animals…

Steve and I are happy that we can help out the Seattle Animal Shelter. If anyone you know is considering making a move, wanting to buy or sell their home, please refer them to us. They will receive excellent care and service. And as you know, we back our performance for both buyers and sellers with our Performance Guarantees.   Not only will your friends and family receive our award winning service, but we donate a portion of our commission to support the Help The Animals Fund. It’s our way of saying Thank You for your loyalty and trust! So YES! your referrals help   local shelter animals.

We want to make it easy to refer your friends, neighbors, associates or family members considering making a move. Here are your options:

  1. You can go directly to BrennerHillRewards.com and provide your referral
  2. Email Sandra with your referrals at sbrenner@windermere.com.
  3. Of course you can always call or text us directly! We would love to hear from you. Steve 206-769-9577 or Sandra 206-271-7100

You and your referrals mean the world to us. Please know we are extremely thankful for you being a part of our business.

With much appreciation —Sandra & Steve


While house-hunting is still tough, we are seeing an easing. We think the summer doldrums that typically begin in August have arrived a bit early. This summer may prove to be a great time to buy. As you all know, Steve and I guarantee in writing that our clients will love the home they buy or we will sell it for free within the first year of their closing date. So who do you know that is considering making a move that would benefit from that kind of peace of mind? We would be honored to have your referrals!


Our Performance Guarantees

Life moves fast for some and we are eager to make the home buying and selling experience a smooth and rewarding one. Over the past decade we have helped hundreds of families sell their home and/or buy another. We have met some wonderful, loving, caring people. People like you!

All clients receive the following guarantees!

Your Home Sold Guaranteed, or We Will Buy It!*

Learn more at BrennerHillGuarantee.com

If You Are Not Satisfied With Your Home Purchase We Will Sell It For Free – Guaranteed!*

Learn more at BrennerHillBuyerGuarantee.com

Your Referrals Help Improve The Lives of Local Shelter Animals.

Learn more at BrennerHillRewards.com

*certain restrictions apply on guarantees, call for details.

Why We Support the Seattle Animal Shelter

As you all know by now, I am a huge animal lover! My home life includes 11 pet pigeons in an outdoor aviary, a ring neck dove and Pionus parrot in my home office, two 3 year old cats and, thankfully, a very easy-going husband! Most of the pigeons are rescues, the dove is a rescue and our 31 year parrot was adopted 11 years ago, and, of course, our two crazy cats were adopted from the Seattle Animal Shelter and PAWS. I am a huge believer in giving animals a second chance.

The Seattle Animal Shelter is, for the most part, a no-kill shelter. Meaning, they will not   euthanize an animal because of space or time.  They rely heavily on volunteers and donations. Please help us to help improve the lives of these shelter animals!

We donate a portion of every transaction to the Help The Animals Fund. Donations to this fund are put to work in numerous ways to promote animal welfare. The top priority is to rehabilitate animals that are the subject of cruelty and neglect. Donations to this fund pay for veterinary care for shelter animals along with promoting educational outreach to prevent homeless, unwanted and abused animals. This fund also supports the shelter’s foster and volunteer program ensuring that each animal receives loving care while at the shelter.

With much appreciation – Sandra & Steve


Posted on August 10, 2017 at 4:00 am
Steve Hill and Sandra Brenner | Posted in Uncategorized |

Homward Bound | July 2017

Independence for All!

July 4, 1776 is a momentous day in history for our country AND so is the day we buy our own home! Owning real estate, especially your own home, is a sure-fire Celebration of Independence. I would assume that we can all agree that home ownership is good for everyone.   The more homes that are bought and sold, the more our economy benefits.  As John F. Kennedy said, a rising tide lifts all boats. Homeownership contributes to your overall wealth accumulation. Statistically, the younger you are when you buy your first home, the more wealth you will accumulate for retirement.

Homeownership promotes a sense of community and security. Homeownership has been an essential element to The American Dream for decades and continues to be.

Steve and I are thankful to be in a business that supports that dream. Owning a home embodies the promise of individual autonomy and is the aspiration of many Americans. We are honored to be a part of making that dream a reality for our clients. With the purchase of a home comes the pride of ownership and the sense of belonging to a community where one has a financial stake in the neighborhood. We celebrate our clients independence and achievement of homeownership!

Time to Adopt!

Now that you own a home, it is a time to adopt a furry 4 legged family member! Chunk is a handsome boy who Steve and I met in early June. He is a happy guy who is eager to please. He is active and loves to go on walks. He does need someone to teach him leash manners. He is also a cuddle monster and appreciates quiet time. He would make an excellent addition to a family with older kids, and other active adults. Take one look at his soulful eyes and you will fall in love.

 

 

 

Connecting Senior People with Senior Pets!

I am spearheading a project with the Seattle Animal Shelter to connect our senior population with senior pets from the shelter.  The Seattle Animal Shelter is an open admissions shelter. This means that they accept all Seattle pets to the shelter regardless of their adoptability. Whereas private shelters can pick which pets to accept into their shelter and typically put a limit on the number of chronically ill and older pets they accept because of budget constraints. This is one of the reasons that SAS has a disproportionate amount of senior pets.

Our goal is to connect with local pet-friendly Assisted Living facilities, SHAG, etc., to promote pet adoption or fostering within their community. If you know of someone who you believe can help me move this program forward, please give me a call. I would love to chat with you!

Sandra 206-271-7100

 

 

 

Meet Angel

Angel is a 14 year old Jack Russell Terrier. She ended up at the shelter after her owner passed away. She is a sweet senior gal who enjoys being outside, going on walks and taking time to smell the roses.  She would be ideal for someone who is often home and has no other dogs. She is independent and is not a big cuddler, but does enjoy being petted after she warms up to you. She is an excellent example of a senior pet in need of her own retirement home. At 14, she is a much harder animal to place. However, she would make an excellent companion for an active senior who also enjoys getting out for walks in our beautiful city!

 

 

 

Foster Homes Needed

One of the biggest challenge that the shelter faces is providing quality care for their aging pet population. One special program that they rely on foster homes for is their hospice program. As you can imagine, pet hospice requires a special person who can take on the emotional task of caring for a pet in its final months or weeks of life. The Help The Animals Fund provides monetary assistance for pets in this category. Typically pain-management is the primary need for pets in the hospice program. (This is the fund Steve and I donate to).

Are you up for this challenging but rewarding task? If so, please contact the Seattle Animal Shelter 206-386-7387.

Your referrals help improve the lives of local shelter animals…

Steve and I are happy that we can help out the Seattle Animal Shelter. If anyone you know is considering making a move, wanting to buy or sell their home, please refer them to us. They will receive excellent care and service. And as you know, we back our performance for both buyers and sellers with our Performance Guarantees. Not only will your friends and family receive our award winning service, but we donate a portion of our commission to support the Help The Animals Fund, it is our way of saying Thank You for your loyalty and trust! So YES! your referrals help local shelter animals.

We want to make it easy to refer your friends, neighbors, associates or family members consider making a move. Here are your options:

  1. Email Sandra with your referrals at sbrenner@windermere.com.
  2. Of course you can always call or text us directly! We would love to hear from you. Steve 206-769-9577 or Sandra 206-271-7100

You and your referrals mean the world to us. Please know we are extremely thankful for you being a part of our business.

With much appreciation, Sandra & Steve


While house-hunting is still tough, we are seeing an easing. We think the summer doldrums that typically begin in August have arrived a bit early. This summer may prove to be a great time to buy. As you all know, Steve and I guarantee in writing that our clients will love the home they buy or we will sell it for free within the first year of their closing date. So who do you know that is considering making a move that would benefit from that kind of peace of mind? We would be honored to have your referrals!


Our Performance Guarantees

Life moves fast for some and we are eager to make the home buying and selling experience a smooth and rewarding one. Over the past decade we have helped hundreds of families sell their home and/or buy another. We have met some wonderful, loving, caring people. People like you!

All clients receive the following guarantees!

Your Home Sold Guaranteed, or We Will Buy It!*

Learn more at BrennerHillGuarantee.com

If You Are Not Satisfied With Your Home Purchase We Will Sell It For Free – Guaranteed!*

Learn more at BrennerHillBuyerGuarantee.com

Your Referrals Help Improve The Lives of Local Shelter Animals.

Learn more at BrennerHillRewards.com

*certain restrictions apply on guarantees, call for details.

Why We Support the Seattle Animal Shelter

As you all know by now, I am a huge animal lover! My home life includes 11 pet pigeons in an outdoor aviary, a ring neck dove and Pionus parrot in my home office, two 3 year old cats and, thankfully, a very easy-going husband! Most of the pigeons are rescues, the dove is a rescue and our 31 year parrot was adopted 11 years ago, and, of course, our two crazy cats were adopted from the Seattle Animal Shelter and PAWS. I am a huge believer in giving animals a second chance.

The Seattle Animal Shelter is, for the most part, a no-kill shelter. Meaning, they will not   euthanize an animal because of space or time.  They rely heavily on volunteers and donations. Please help us to help improve the lives of these shelter animals!

We donate a portion of every transaction to the Help The Animals Fund. Donations to this fund are put to work in numerous ways to promote animal welfare. The top priority is to rehabilitate animals that are the subject of cruelty and neglect. Donations to this fund pay for veterinary care for shelter animals along with promoting educational outreach to prevent homeless, unwanted and abused animals. This fund also supports the shelter’s foster and volunteer program ensuring that each animal receives loving care while at the shelter.

With much appreciation – Sandra & Steve


Posted on July 18, 2017 at 6:28 pm
Steve Hill and Sandra Brenner | Posted in Uncategorized |

Homeward Bound – Impactful Real Estate News

Homeward Bound
Impactful Real Estate News
May 2017
Steve Hill and Sandra Brenner

Mother Always Said You Should…

My Mom used to tell me repeatedly to do this and do that, not to do this and not to do that.  ALL, I recall, very valuable advice. Looking back on it, I can say she was, and still is, a very wise woman. 

Time reveals, in fact, just about every caring Mother is a Wise Woman.  I can see why we carve out a special day each year to acknowledge Mothers.  So here is a shout out to all Mom’s – Happy Mother’s Day!! 

Unfortunately, my Mom’s Mom is no longer here.  I am sure that makes her sad this time of year.  I am sure some reading this can relate and have similar stories.  For ALL those whose Mom is no longer with us, may you remember the best about them. In addition to that, there are also many who never knew their Mom due to unfortunate circumstances. I bet someone played that roll in their life and they too deserve a Happy Mother’s Day!

Regardless, we can celebrate this Mother’s Day knowing Moms both here and no longer here are special in more ways than we can count.

—Steve

Why We Support the Seattle Animal Shelter

As you all know by now, I am a huge animal lover!  My home life includes 11 pet pigeons in an outdoor aviary, a ring neck dove and pionus parrot in my home office, two 3 year old cats and, thankfully, a very easy-going husband! All but one of the pigeons are rescues, the dove is a rescue and our 31 year parrot was adopted 11 years ago, and, of course, the two cats were adopted from the Seattle Animal Shelter and PAWS. I’m a huge believer in giving animals a second chance.

The Seattle Animal Shelter is, for the most part, a no-kill shelter.  Meaning, they will not  euthanize an animal because of space or time.  They rely heavily on volunteers and donations. Please help us to help improve the lives  of these shelter animals!

We donate a portion of every transaction to the Help The Animals Fund. Donations to this fund are put to work in numerous ways to promote animal welfare. The top priority is to rehabilitate animals that are the subject of cruelty and neglect. Donations to this fund pay for veterinary care for shelter animals along with promoting educational outreach to prevent homeless, unwanted and abused animals. This fund also supports the shelter’s foster and volunteer program ensuring that each animal receives loving care while at the shelter.

-Sandra

Your referrals help improve the lives of local shelter animals…

Steve and I are happy that we can help out the Seattle Animal Shelter.  If anyone you know is considering making a move, wanting to buy or sell their home, please refer them to us. They will receive excellent care and service.  And as you know, we back our performance for both buyers and sellers with our Performance Guarantees.   Not only will your friends and family receive our award winning service,  but we donate a portion of our commission to support the Help The Animals Fund.  It’s our way of saying Thank You for your loyalty and trust! So YES! your referrals help local shelter animals.

We want to make it easy to refer your friends, neighbors, associates or family members consider making a move. Here are your options:

  1. You can pass along our business card to them. We have enclosed a couple for that purpose.
  2. Fill out the enclosed card and pop it back it the mail.
  3. Email Sandra with your referrals at sbrenner@windermere.com.
  4. Of course you can always call or text us directly! We would love to hear from you. Steve 206-769-9577 or  Sandra 206-271-7100.

You and your referrals mean the world to us.  Please know we are extremely thankful for you being a part of our business.

With much appreciation—  Sandra & Steve


Posted on May 8, 2017 at 8:18 pm
Steve Hill and Sandra Brenner | Posted in Seattle Real Estate | Tagged , , ,

Competing in Multiple Offers? Look at Your Bottom Line!

Did you know that 44 percent of home sales involve multiple offers? In fact, buyers working with a Windermere Real Estate broker are 18.4 percent more likely to win the sale in a multiple offer situation.

2015-Multiple-Offer-Market-Share-Growth


Posted on November 7, 2016 at 9:47 pm
Steve Hill and Sandra Brenner | Posted in Home Buying, Real Estate, Seattle Real Estate, Seattle WA Real Estate |

Winter Drive for YouthCare

Windermere and the Seattle Seahawks have come together to help #tacklehomelesness in our community.
 
From now through November 14th, our office is collecting new hats, scarves, gloves/mittens and warm socks for YouthCare, a non-profit that provides support and services to homeless youth throughout the Puget Sound.
 
Each night in Seattle, nearly 1,000 young people are homeless. Please help they stay warm during the cold winter months by dropping off your donation to our office during the drive or we can pick the items up from you.


Posted on October 29, 2016 at 5:36 pm
Steve Hill and Sandra Brenner | Posted in Uncategorized |

Buying a Home Can Be Scary… Know the Facts [INFOGRAPHIC]

Buying a Home Can Be Scary... Know the Facts [INFOGRAPHIC] | Simplifying The Market

Some Highlights:

  • 36% of Americans think they need a 20% down payment to buy a home.
  • 44% of Millennials who purchased a home this year have put down less than 10%.
  • 71.8% of loan applications were approved last month.
  • The average credit score of approved loans was 731 in September.


Posted on October 28, 2016 at 10:00 am
wpadmin | Posted in , , , |

Percentage of Homeownership by Decade and by State

Percentage of Homeownership by Decade and by State | Simplifying The Market

There has been a lot of talk about the falling homeownership rate in the United States. In December 2004, the homeownership rate reached an all-time high of 69.4%, while the current rate is 62.9%. When comparing these two figures, there is some room for concern regarding the difference.

However, today we want to shine some light on the issue by:

  1. Showing what historic homeownership rates have looked like over the last 130 years.
  2. Breaking down the current percentages by state.

Historic Homeownership Rates:

Percentage of Homeownership by Decade and by State | Simplifying The Market

Current Homeownership Rates by State:

Percentage of Homeownership by Decade and by State | Simplifying The Market

All of the states that you see in blue on the map above have a greater homeownership rate than the national average.

Bottom Line

Though the homeownership rate has fallen recently, the percentage is still at a healthy rate compared to historic numbers, and most states currently have a higher percentage than the national average.


Posted on October 27, 2016 at 10:00 am
wpadmin | Posted in , , |

What to Expect When Home Inspecting

What to Expect When Home Inspecting | Simplifying The Market

So you made an offer, it was accepted, and now your next task is to have the home inspected prior to closing. More often than not, your agent may have made your offer contingent on a clean home inspection.

This contingency allows you to renegotiate the price paid for the home, ask the sellers to cover repairs, or even, in some cases, walk away. Your agent can advise you on the best course of action once the report is filed.

How to Choose an Inspector

Your agent will most likely have a short list of inspectors that they have worked with in the past that they can recommend to you. Realtor.com suggests that you consider the following 5 areas when choosing the right home inspector for you:

  1. Qualifications – find out what’s included in your inspection & if the age or location of your home may warrant specific certifications or specialties.
  2. Sample Reports – ask for a sample inspection report so you can review how thoroughly they will be inspecting your dream home. The more detailed the report the better in most cases.
  3. References – do your homework – ask for phone numbers and names of past clients that you can call to ask about their experience.
  4. Memberships – Not all inspectors belong to a national or state association of home inspectors, and membership in one of these groups should not be the only way to evaluate your choice. Often membership in one of these organizations means that there is continued training and education provided.
  5. Errors & Omission Insurance – Find out what the liability of the inspector or inspection company is once the inspection is over. The inspector is only human after all, and it is possible that they might miss something they should have seen.

Ask your inspector if it’s ok for you to tag along during the inspection. That way they can point out anything that should be addressed or fixed.

Don’t be surprised to see your inspector climbing on the roof, crawling around in the attic, and on the floors. The job of the inspector is to protect your investment and find any issues with the home, including but not limited to: the roof, plumbing, electrical components, appliances, heating & air conditioning systems, ventilation, windows, the fireplace & chimney, the foundation and so much more!

Bottom Line

They say ‘ignorance is bliss,’ but not when investing your hard-earned money in a home of your own. Work with a professional you can trust to give you the most information possible about your new home so that you can make the most educated decision about your purchase.


Posted on October 26, 2016 at 10:00 am
wpadmin | Posted in , , |

Buying is Now 37.7% Cheaper Than Renting in the US

Buying is Now 37.7% Cheaper Than Renting in the US | Simplifying The Market

The results of the latest Rent vs. Buy Report from Trulia show that homeownership remains cheaper than renting with a traditional 30-year fixed rate mortgage in the 100 largest metro areas in the United States.

The updated numbers actually show that the range is an average of 17.4% less expensive in Honolulu (HI), all the way up to 53.2% less expensive in Miami & West Palm Beach (FL), and 37.7% nationwide!

Other interesting findings in the report include:

  • Interest rates have remained low, and even though home prices have appreciated around the country, they haven’t greatly outpaced rental appreciation.
  • Home prices would have to appreciate by a range of over 23% in Honolulu (HI), up to over 45% in Ventura County (CA), to reach the tipping point of renting being less expensive than buying.
  • Nationally, rates would have to reach 9.1%, a 145% increase over today’s average of 3.7%, for renting to be cheaper than buying. Rates haven’t been that high since January of 1995, according to Freddie Mac.

Bottom Line

Buying a home makes sense socially and financially. If you are one of the many renters out there who would like to evaluate your ability to buy this year, let’s get together to help you find your dream home.


Posted on October 25, 2016 at 10:00 am
wpadmin | Posted in , , , , |

Sales of Distressed Properties Hit New Low

Sales of Distressed Properties Hit New Low | Simplifying The Market

The National Association of Realtors (NAR) recently released their latest Existing Home Sales Report revealing that distressed property sales accounted for 4% of sales in September. This is down from 7% in 2015, and is the lowest figure since NAR began tracking distressed sales in October 2008.

Below is a graph that shows just how far the market has come since January 2012 when distressed sales accounted for 35% of all sales.

Sales of Distressed Properties Hit New Low | Simplifying The Market

Existing Home Sales Hit 2nd Highest Figure Since June 

Mortgage interest rates remained well below 4% in September at 3.46%, prompting existing home sales to stay at a healthy annual pace of 5.47 million. Month-over-month sales were up 3.2%.

Inventory of homes for sale remains below the 6-month supply that is necessary for a normal market, as it fell 2.2% to a 4.5-month supply. The shortage in inventory has contributed to the median home price rising an additional 5.6% to $234,200.

NAR’s Chief Economist, Lawrence Yun had this to say about the lack of inventory:

“Inventory has been extremely tight all year and is unlikely to improve now that the seasonal decline in listings is about to kick in.”

There is good news though, as Yun went on to say:

“There’s hope the leap in sales to first-time buyers can stick through the rest of the year and into next spring. The market fundamentals — primarily consistent job gains and affordable mortgage rates — are there for the steady rise in first-timers needed to finally reverse the decline in the homeownership rate.”  

Bottom Line

If you are debating putting your home on the market this year, now may be the time. Buyers are still out there looking for their dream home. Let’s get together to determine your best plan.


Posted on October 24, 2016 at 10:00 am
wpadmin | Posted in , |

Categories