Archive for September, 2010

How Healthy Is Your Home Investment?

September 19, 2010

How healthy is your home investment?

Comparative Market Analysis (CMA) is a vital tool for homeowners and I believe the only real tool that provides an up to the minute report  of home prices in your neighborhood.

A CMA compares your house with similar ones on the market in your neighborhood during a specific time period.  This information is combined with the value of any upgrades you may have on your house and will give you anaccurate picture of your home’s market value.

Because the real estate market changes with supply and demand, interest rates, events going on in the world and the economy, a CMA gives you a snapshot of the market at a particular time.

Because of this, I recommend homeowners check their home value every year.

Whether you are buying a home, selling a home or refinancing, a CMA is most important tool you can use in setting the price and the best time to do any of the above.

Other benefits of an annual comparative market analysis?

A CMA can give you a realistic picture of your net worth.

A CMA can give you a realistic picture to provide adequate replacement insurance. You don’t want to find out after the disaster!

Know your tax value. Are tax assessments increasing faster than market values?

What is your estate value? No one wants to leave a grieving family struggling with estate taxes.

What is your equity value?

Know your sales value – Even if you are not thinking of selling – who knows you just might change your mind about selling!

What is the difference?

Comparative Market Analysis (CMA) – is an objective report prepared for you by a real estate professional.  The report lists homes for sale and homes that have recently sold in your neighborhood.  A CMA usually includes location, square footage, number of bedrooms and bathrooms and information such as asking price, sales price and days on the market.  The data should be of homes that are comparable to your home.  This information is essential in determining a selling price.

Appraisal – is a subjective report prepared by a certified appraiser for a fee.  The report gives an analysis of the estimated value of a home and considers square footage, construction, quality, condition, floor plan, landscaping, surrounding community and other factors based on the appraiser’s experience and opinions. An appraisal is required to obtain a new loan or to refinance.

For most homeowners their home is the single largest investment they will ever make.  Shouldn’t you know what your investment is worth today? How healthy is your home investment?

Contact Debbie Atwood for an up to date Comparative Market Analysis.

Debbie Atwood Is Making A Splash In Snohomish County!


Who Wants To Be A Millionaire – Do You Know Your Net Worth?

September 17, 2010

Who wants to be a millionaire – Do you know your net worth?

There was a study of hundreds of Americans that had a net worth over one million dollars.  The interesting thing about this study was that they found these millionaire Americans to be hardworking and frugal people with solid bank accounts.  They also found that these people live very modestly.  No McMansions, Rolex watches or Ferrari’s.

Do you know your net worth? First of all, what is Net Worth?  Net worth is very simply put; a summary of your financial status at a given time.  The formula is simple:  Assets minus liabilities equal your net worth.

Knowing your net worth is probably one of the most important things you should evaluate each year.  Do you have plans on retiring some day?  Would you like to own your home? Do you want to start a business? If you answered yes to any of these – you need to know your net worth.

Knowing your net worth is like having a road map to where you want to go.  Dreaming about it and wishing for it isn’t going to get you there.  Knowing your net worth lets you see where you are and where you want to be.  It allows you to see where you need to make changes to get to that financial goal.

How do you increase your net worth?  The down and dirty answer to this is to save more and spend less. Many Americans “feel” that their net worth is a visual one and if you can’t show it in high-end toys and a lavish lifestyle then what is the value of a higher net worth?

But the true American millionaires have a cushion of cash for unforeseen setbacks or the capital to start that new business and the option to retire and live out their dreams comfortably.

Save – invent new ways to save.  Force yourself with automatic payroll deductions.  SAVE, SAVE, SAVE!

Eliminate credit card debt and other high interest debt.  Eliminate careless spending.

Raise your income.  Make wise investments.  Start a home business, train for a better job.

Who wants to be a millionaire? Do you know your net worth?

Maintenance On Your Furnace – It’s that time of year again

September 8, 2010

Maintenance on your furnace – It’s that time of year again

Fall is approaching quickly and that means it is time to schedule your annual furnace maintenance check up. Quite a few years back I learned this lesson the hard way!  

In the Pacific Northwest we usually have pretty mild winters but of course the winter my furnace needed to be replaced I hadn’t done my annual maintenance check- up.  It was a cold November that year and my family and I woke up to some cold floors.

Lucky for me my favorite heating and air conditioning company Aire-Force Heating, came to my rescue within hours!  Believe me, I haven’t missed a check up since then. So here are some tips to make sure your toes stay warm this winter.

1. Clean your furnace – I prefer having this done for me but it is possible to do yourself.  The Filter, the Blower and the Motor.

2. Change your air filter.  Your air filters should be changed monthly.  They are inexpensive and most furnaces today make it easy for you to do this yourself.  Changing the filter is a necessity for good heating efficiency.

3. Gas Leaks – Check for leaks and if you find any call a professional to fix this for you.

4. Make sure your thermostat is working correctly.

5. Check your Pilot Light.  It should be lit and the flame should be blue.  If it is not blue, there is problem that needs attention.

6. Is the Control Valve on?  Your furnace will not heat your home if it’s not!

7. Check for debris.  The venting of your furnace system should be checked each year to be sure there is no debris present.  Anything that might block the vents can cause some big problems for you.

8. Oil the Motor – The motor should be oiled each year and it may even need it throughout the year.

9. Check the Tension Belt and replace or adjust if needed.

10. Turn your furnace off when the cold spell is over!

Maintenance on your furnace is easy and taking care of these few items each season will ensure your furnace will run correctly and keep it running efficiently.

Debbie Atwood Is Making A Splash In Snohomish County!

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