Is Your House Stinky?

June 7, 2011

Is your house stinky? 


One of the first impressions a potential buyer notices is the house smell.  Good or bad.

Unfortunately, you as the present homeowner may not even notice it. But I can guarantee you any one visiting your home WILL notice it.


The worst odors – Pet smells, tobacco smoke, rotting garbage, diaper pail and spoiled milk!

There are all kinds of things that can cause that sour house smell.  Finding the source is  your first action step.  There are also lots of products that can be used to help get rid of the smell but be careful not to think that a quick aerosol spray will take care of the problem.  As soon as the spray has dissipated the smell is back!



These are a few of the common problems that can be found in a foul smelling house.


Smokers – that sticky yellow stuff you may see on your walls and windows….

Pets – we love them but they do have accidents

Mold – can be in the attic, basement, behind the walls, under the carpet etc.

Mildew – can be in the bathroom, windows, window sills, basements etc.

Cooking – what did you have for dinner last night? I bet I could tell you what was in it!

Attics – musty, mold, mildew

Basements – musty, mold, mildew

Crawl space – water, mold, mildew

Carpet and carpet pads – mildew, mold.  Lots of times cleaning carpets can leave the pad wet

Walls and wallpaper – smoke problems, mold

Windows – mildew, mold

Roof – mildew, mold

Furniture – stains from moisture, pets etc

Rotting food?  Check your refrigerator and under beds etc.  Yes, I said under the bed…



Once you have located the problem area, get rid of it!  Some things can be taken care of by just throwing it out.  Others can be taken care of by simply using soap and water. If soap and water isn’t going to be enough then try some of these other ideas.



Saturate carpets, furniture fabric or curtains with a product like Fabreze or a household product like baking soda which is a good odor absorber and then vacuum it up in an hour or so.  Don’t rub the area but blot it.  Rubbing will just work the soiled area in deeper and will probably ruin what ever your rubbing on.


Vinegar is great for pet odors and is also good to use after you have cooked something like fish for dinner by leaving a bowl of vinegar on the kitchen counter to absorb the smell.

Use baking soda – a couple of tablespoons per 1 cup of water in the microwave for food spatters.  Heat for a few minutes and then wipe it down.


Do you have a wood chopping block in the kitchen?  Scrub it down with lemon juice and baking soda.  Rinse and then season it with mineral oil.


Bathroom smells – For the toilet use about a cup of vinegar, pour into the bowl and let stand for a few minutes.  Scrub the toilet and flush!  For sinks use about 1/2 cup of bleach and 1/2 cup of water and pour down the drain.  Wait for about an hour and rinse with lots of cold water. Don’t leave wet towels out!


Some pets just stink!  Use 1 quart of 3 percent hydrogen peroxide with a 1/4 cup of baking soda and a teaspoon of mild dishwashing liquid.  Rub this through your dog’s fur but be sure to watch the eyes please!  Rinse Rover well.


Here is one for your cat box – Empty the litter and use about 1/2 inch of vinegar into the box.  Cover with a very good amount of baking soda.  If you have a school age child they will probably enjoy seeing this mixture bubble!  Top it off with several inches of water and stir it all up.  Let the box soak for a few hours and then drain the liquid and scrub that box out!  Wash with HOT soapy water and let dry.  Use a thin layer of baking soda on the bottom of the box and then refill with your fresh litter.


Have a musty smelling closet?  Fill an old sock with a few tablespoons of fresh UNUSED ground coffee and hang in your closet!


Commercial products can be expensive so try this sometime – Soak a cotton ball with vanilla or peppermint extract and place in a clean glass jar with holes punched in the lid.


Dust your home and don’t forget to clean your vents and ducts!  Dust actually does smell.


Check the crawlspace for dead rodents!!


Use bleach on walls and wallpaper and vinegar for hardwood floors and linoleum.


In some instances you may have to repaint or replace carpets.  You may hire a professional to come in and clean the carpets to help get rid of smoke odor in the carpets.  This is one of the most difficult odors to get rid of!


Apply some of these hints and then nose around your home frequently and RE-APPLY when necessary.


A first impression should be a smell good impression!




June 7, 2011

The Marysville Strawberry Festival June 15th-19th, 2011.

It’s Strawberry Time In Marysville!

Debbie Atwood Is Making A Splash In Snohomish County!

Marysville Strawberry Festival

This is one of my favorite festivals in the area. The Marysville Strawberry Festival is one of the longest running festivals in the County. With the Grand Parade, Food Park, Adult Trike Races, Royalty Appearances, Carnival, Car Shows, Kiddie Parade, Fireworks and of course tons and tons of Strawberries and Strawberry Shortcake!!

Check out the links for a schedule of Events and enjoy a week of fun filled days and evenings in Marysville. It looks like there will be a great line-up of Music this year.

Don’t forget to check out the local berry farm. My daughter and I enjoy visiting Biringer Farms and filling a bucket or two of  Strawberries!!

I’ll be there, will you?

Debbie Atwood Is Making A Splash In Snohomish County!

(425) 750-4970

Hydroplane Races In Everett

June 4, 2011

Experience the energy and excitement at Everett’s Silver Lake Hydro Plane races this weekend! Come on out to the lake and bring your shades! It’s actually going to be in the 70’s this weekend! The annual event is sponsored by the Seattle Outboard Association.

Set yourself up at the beach and watch the annual races.      

Where: Thornton A Sullivan Park

When: June 4, 2011

Time: Noon to 6:00PM

The Kiwanis Club will be there to sell refreshments.

FICO Score Impact and Recovery

May 26, 2011

The question is asked frequently regarding how much impact will a short sale, foreclosure, deed in lieu or bankruptcy have on my FICO score?

I checked out the FICO Banking Analytics Blog and found some very interesting information. FICO conducted a study of delinquencies regarding mortgages. In their study they looked at three different consumer profiles. All three profiles consisted of consumers who were paying as agreed on their mortgages.

Consumers with a 680 score .

Consumers with a 720 score.

Consumers with a 780 score.

The study then showed the impact on the credit score after each “phase” of delinquency. For example:

After the very first 30 day late on the consumers mortgage –

Consumer with a 680 score moved to 600-620

Consumer with a 720 score moved to 630-650

Consumer with a 780 score moved to 670-690

After the 90 day late on mortgage –

Consumer with an original 680 score moved to 600-620

Consumer with an original 720 score moved to 610-630

Consumer with an original 780 score moved to 650-670

Interesting huh? I’m not finished. Lets look at short sales, foreclosure and bankruptcy.

After completing a short sale or deed-in-lieu settlement with no deficiency balance

Consumer with an original 680 score moved to 610-630

Consumer with an original 720 score moved to 605-625

Consumer with an original 780 score moved to 655-675

After completing a short sale, with a deficiency balance

Consumer with an original 680 score moved to 575-595

Consumer with an original 720 score moved to 570-590

Consumer with an original 780 score moved to 620-640


Original 680 score moved to 575-595

Original 720 score moved to 570-590

Original 780 score moved to 620-640

And Finally, Bankruptcy –

Original 680 score moved to 530-550

Original 720 score moved to 525-545

Original 780 score moved to 540-560

I found all of this information very interesting and definitely saw some kind pattern that caused me say, hmmmm, but wait, I’m not finished with the results of this study. Pattern or not, we all know the credit score is going to go down with any of these delinquencies but maybe more important is how long will it take to recover?

This is what I thought most interesting.

After the first 30 days late it would take the original 680 score consumer 9 months to recover. The 720 consumer, 2.5 years and the 780 consumer 3 years!

After the 90 day late period it would take the original 680 score consumer 9 months to recover. The 720 consumer 3 years and the 780 consumer 7 years!!

How about after Short Sale, Deed-In-Lieu settlement with no deficiency balance?

680 consumer will recover in 3 years

720 consumer will recover in 7 years

780 consumer will recover in 7 years

The results are the same with a deficiency balance.


680 consumer will recover in 3 years

720 consumer will recover in 7 years

780 consumer will recover in 7 years


680 consumer will recover in 5 years

720 consumer will recover in 7 – 10 years

780 consumer will recover in 7 – 10 years.

Quote from FICO Banking Analytics –

In general, the higher starting score, the longer it takes for the score to fully recover.”

Granted the consumers score will gradually improve as time goes by and they demonstrate their other payments are paid as agreed but in all actuality it may take up to 7 – 10 years to fully recover for consumers that originally started with higher credit scores than consumers that started with lower scores.

I think this is very good information for any consumer that is looking at a possible short sale or foreclosure. There are consumers that have definite hardships that obviously show up in the original credit score and there are consumers looking at the so called “strategic default” that should consider the impact on their credit recovery time line. I have no opinion on either really but I do find it quite interesting!

Debbie Atwood Is Making A Splash In Snohomish County!

(425) 750-4970

Autumn Brook 2 Bedroom Ground Floor Unit

November 12, 2010

A desirable 2 bedroom ground floor corner unit with lots of room in the Autumn Brook Complex of Everett.  Check out the video below!  This is not a short sale and is available for a quick close.


Play VisualTour

Accused Washington Foreclosure Scammer Responds to Blog Post

October 21, 2010

In 2009 I posted an article on a local man that was accused of scamming hundreds of homeowners facing foreclosure.  Mr. Kaiser responded to that post yesterday.  Washington Scammer Will Pay.

Since the original post is over a year ago and Mr. Kaiser has recently responded – I thought it only fair to bring it to the front of my blog so that his response can be noticed.   You can see Mr. Kaiser’s comment at the above link.

In fairness – I would also invite Mr. Kaiser – if he wishes – to respond to a couple of questions.

Debbie Atwood Is Making A Splash In Snohomish County!

1.  If this was a foreclosure rescue scam that never happened.  What exactly DID you do for those homeowners?

2.  Of the 3 dozen homeowners that are still in their homes – are they renting those homes from you now, or do they still own their homes?

3.What happened to the other hundreds of homeowners?

4.  Were any of those homeowners referred to an attorney before signing an agreement with you?  Were they given any legal or tax advice?

I have an open mind – Maybe we will all learn something here?

Debbie Atwood Is Making A Splash In Snohomish County!

(425) 750-4970

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!

Back To School!

August 24, 2010

alarm clock, bought from IKEA

Image via Wikipedia

It’s that time of year when we start thinking about back to school.  When this time of year rolls around I often have mixed feelings about it.  I realize that the summer season is coming to a close and the Pacific Northwest weather change is approaching quickly.  There is limited  “sleep in” mornings.  I come to terms that I will have to share that treasured time I’ve been able to spend with my daughter all summer with her school teacher and school activities schedule.  There is a realization that my pocket-book is going to take a hit with new school clothes and supplies.  My evenings are  spent doing homework and my baby is another year older!

On the other hand I look forward to the last day of summer vacation breakfast in bed I prepare for Tomi.  Just like the first day of summer vacation, Tomi enjoys breakfast in bed on the last day of summer vacation.

It’s fun to see her tastes and choices change through the years as we go clothes shopping  every summer. I remember a time when she didn’t care what clothes I purchased for her school year.  Have you gone shopping with a new 5th grader lately?

I look forward to the first morning when I hear the alarm clock in her room start singing and knowing that in about 10 minutes I will go in, turn it off and wake her.  Once she’s up though she will be ready quickly not being able to  wait to see which friends are in her new class and what is her teacher going to be like?  I also know those get ready quickly mornings are not going to last for long.  As the year progresses the 10 minute alarm intervals will increase. We will be grateful for those holiday’s off.

Even now, I anxiously await to hear all about her first day of school adventures.  She will be the oldest on campus this year.  Remember how it felt to be the big shots in school?  Everyone looked up to the 5th graders!   Yes, I will have the pleasure of hearing the funny stories, the drama stories and the “I already have homework” exclamations as she jumps into the car and we drive home.  My phone will be in “off” mode.   With the new school year will come new goals, new growth, new experiences, her last year of elementary school and eventually the first day of summer vacation!

Since my daughter is now a 5th grader I’m positive I will not be allowed out of the car, so I’ll see you in the parking lot!

To help you get ready for the 2010- 2011 school year I’ve included some local school district information.

Generic Back To School Supplies List (Check with your school district for specific lists)

Edmonds School District School begins September 7, 2010

Everett School District School begins September 8, 2010

Marysville School District School begins September 7, 2010

Lake Stevens School District School begins September 8, 2010

Granite Falls School District School begins September 8,  2010

Snohomish School District School begins September 8, 2010  (tentative? Education talks continue)

Monroe School District School begins September 1, 2010

Stanwood School District School begins September 2, 2010

Arlington School District School begins September 8, 2010

Mukilteo School District School begins September 1, 2010? (Education negotiations taking place)

Debbie Atwood is Making A Splash In Snohomish County!

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