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RE/MAX Country Blog

Friday, June 23rd, 2017

Secluded Country Living on 8+ acres!

Gated entry welcomes you to a Delightful 4 Bedroom home with 2 decks surrounded by majestic trees. Conveniently located close to the Harts Lake Community where you can enjoy quiet fishing. Spacious kitchen. Master Suite with walk-in closet and adjoining Bath on the lower level. 3 Bedrooms with Full Bath on the upper floor. Heat Pump with air. Attached garage. Expansive views of nature, fruit trees and pond with Duck Blind. Easy commute to JBLM East Gate.

 

Address: 35625 16th Ave Ct S, Roy WA 98580

 
Bedrooms: 4

Bathrooms: 2.5

Square Feet: 2,248

Price: $379,000


Property Site


For more information about this property, please contact Cynthia Schmier at (360) 400-3475

or cschmier@remax.net


Thursday, June 22nd, 2017

Rambler Great for Entertaining!

Welcome home to the Johns Meadow subdivision! Great open kitchen with eating bar, walk-in pantry and breakfast nook. Vaulted ceilings, white trim package. Master Suite with private bath and walk-in closet. Spacious utility room with linen closet. Two car attached garage with built-in shelving and shop space - ready for you and your tools. Fully fenced back yard with HUGE fully covered deck spanning the width of the home. Close to schools and shopping plus an easy commute to JBLM East Gate.

 

Address: 10023 Cochrane Ave SE, Yelm WA 98597

 

Bedrooms: 3

Bathrooms: 2

Square Feet: 1,210

Price: $230,000



For more information about this property, please contact Micki Easterly at (253) 831-2680

or mickieasterly@yahoo.com


Thursday, June 22nd, 2017

Move-In Ready Home on Corner Lot

Pleasant tri-level home located on corner lot in small community. Fabulous open and roomy floor plan is great for entertaining or enjoying your own space. Large Kitchen with island, eating bar and pantry. Light and Bright! Oversized windows and vaulted ceilings. Gas Fireplace in Family Room. Master Suite with walk-in closet and adjoining bath. Low maintenance vinyl siding. Fenced yard and Patio. Close to local schools, community park, downtown shopping and amenities. Easy commute to JBLM! Waiting for you!


Address: 15326 104th Way SE, Yelm WA 98597


Bedrooms: 4

Bathrooms: 2.5

Square Feet: 2,231

Price: $249,900



For more information about this property, please contact Cynthia Schmier at (360) 400-3475

or cschmier@remax.net


Monday, June 19th, 2017

Secluded Pacific Northwest Home in Natural Setting!

Country Charmer nestled on 5 acres offers covered front porch, durable Hardi-Plank siding, heat pump with air, owned propane tank and wired for generator. Updated with quality flooring, light fixtures, hemlock doors and boasts pleasing custom colors. Open Floor Plan with Master Suite on main level. Living Room has free-standing gas stove. Washer/Dryer stay! Large Kitchen with walk-in pantry, Stainless steel appliances and access to sizable patio ideal for outdoor entertaining.


Address: 14616 164th Lane SE, Rainier, WA 98576


Bedrooms: 4

Bathrooms: 2.5

Square Feet: 2,776

Price: $425,000



For more information about this property, please contact Cynthia Schmier at (360) 400-3475

or cschmier@remax.net


Wednesday, June 14th, 2017

LOCATION! LOCATION!

Gorgeous Zetterberg Home only blocks away from Chambers Bay Golf Course and Charles Wright Academy. Locale combined with an abundance of upgrades create the perfect abode! Chef's kitchen boasts viking appliances, beech cabinetry, granite counters and sizable island with 2nd under mount sink and wine fridge. Master suite features a see-through fireplace to the luxurious spa bath with heated tile floors, soaking tub and walk-in shower. Private fenced backyard with expansive patio. Welcome Home!


Address: 6516 86th Ave W, University Place, WA 98467


Bedrooms: 4

Bathrooms: 2.75

Square Feet: 2,285

Price: $569,500


Property Site


For more information about this property, please contact Angela Lowe at (253) 720-7540

or angelalowe@remax.net


Monday, June 12th, 2017

16229 BIRKLAND STREET SE, YELM WA 98597

In the heart of Yelm. Easy walking to shopping, schools, theater, restaurants parks, community activities and commuting. Spacious, light and bright home ready to move in! Crisp and clean with new carpets. Freshly painted inside and out. Open floor plan. Nice sized kitchen. Vaulted ceilings, gas fireplace in Living Room plus additional Family Room. Double Car Garage with shop area. Large backyard with lovely landscaping and gorgeous garden. Storage and Wood Shed. A home you would be proud to own.


Address: 16229 Birkland Street SE, Yelm WA 98597


Bedrooms: 4

Bathrooms: 2.75

Square Feet: 2,218

Price: $279,000


For more information about this property, please contact Cynthia Schmier at (360) 400-3475

or cschmier@remax.net


Friday, June 9th, 2017

39710 24TH AVE CT S, ROY WA 98580

Harts Lake is your backyard! Enjoy the life style of water front living! Boating, fishing, gatherings or just the incredible nature views. Elegance with quality, open floor plan, dramatic chalet style window bank and 18' vaulted ceilings. Main floor master with fireplace and sliders to wrap-around deck. Lovely landscaping with outdoor features incl pergola with patio, fruit trees and firepit borders Harts Lake with private dock. Enjoy the outdoors year round. Easy commute to JBLM East Gate. Gotta love Lake Living!!


Address: 39710 24th Ave Ct S, Roy WA 98580


Bedrooms: 3

Bathrooms: 2.25

Square Feet: 2,150

Price: $474,000


For more information about this property, please contact Cynthia Schmier at (360) 400-3475

or cschmier@remax.net


Thursday, May 18th, 2017

17907 153rd Ave SE, Yelm WA 98597

Opportunity knocks! Spacious abode awaiting your finishing touches. Located in Scenic Shores with access to Lake Lawrence. Don't miss the perfect chance to customize to the home of your dreams - the bones are here, you choose the color scheme! Great layout accommodates all your needs: living, dining, family, kitchen with walk-in pantry, office and bonus room. Easy flow floor plan with all bedrooms upstairs. Create a hobby farm on 5 acres. Bring your tool belt!


Bedrooms: 4

Bathrooms: 2.5

Sq Ft: 3,215

Price: $375,000


Property Site



For more information about this property, please contact Micki Easterly at (253) 831-2680


or mickieasterly@yahoo.com


Tuesday, April 18th, 2017

30404 56th AVENUE S, ROY WA 98580

Stylish Home in the Country on 1+acre! Spacious floor plan has it all: Great Room boasts open Kitchen with island, granite counters, pendulum and recessed lighting, and Stainless Steel appliances (all of which stay!), plus Living room featuring vaulted ceilings and wood stove for winter warmth and ambiance. Master Suite offers walk-in closet and private bath with dual sinks. Entertain outdoors on oversized deck leading to huge fully fenced backyard. Fabulous location: close to all amenities with JBLM only 4.3 miles away.


Bedrooms: 3

Bathrooms: 2.5

Sq. Ft: 1,668

Price: $285,000



For more information about this property, please contact Cynthia Schmier at (360) 400-3475


or cschmier@remax.net


Friday, April 7th, 2017

14708 91st AVENUE SE, YELM WA 98597

Charming & Stylish 2-story in Bella Housa Village. Immaculate interior shows pride of ownership! Chef's kitchen boasts granite countertops and island eating bar, stainless steel appliances and tile backsplash. Living room with gas fireplace and mantle. Engineered hardwood floors and 10ft ceilings throughout. Light and Bright! Grand floor plan with all bedrooms upstairs. Covered porch and patio with landscaping and fully fenced backyard. Easy commute to JBLM and conveniently close to downtown shopping & amenities.


Bedrooms: 4

Bathrooms: 2.5

Sq Ft: 2,350

Price: $289,000



For more information about this property, please contact Cynthia Schmier at (360) 400-3475

or cschmier@remax.net


Friday, March 31st, 2017

17047 WISTERIA COURT SE, YELM WA 98597

Move-in ready! Split bedroom floor plan with cathedral ceilings and new carpet throughout. Cozy kitchen boasts matching appliances, walk-in pantry and an abundance of cabinetry and counter space. Master Suite with walk-in closet and remodeled bath with tile counter and flooring. Spacious utility room with shelving. Professionally landscaped, sizable yard offering outbuilding and pond. Located at end of dead-end street back up to green belt! Enjoy the community amenities including private access to Nisqually River park.


Bedrooms: 3

Bathrooms: 2

Sq Ft: 1,456

Price: $135,000



For more information about this property, please contact Micki Easterly at (253) 831-2680


or mickieasterly@yahoo.com


Wednesday, March 22, 2017

607 YELM AVENUE W, YELM WA 98597

Office space with great visibility located on the West side of Yelm on Yelm Avenue. Move-in ready and well maintained by original owner. Commercial Office Space is available and presently set up as two units. A total of 2024 SF with a shared hallway and dual bathrooms. One unit offers 700 Square Feet and the other unit is approximately 1,300 Square Feet. 2 heat pumps and 16 parking spaces. You could easily move a few walls and make one large office space, or any configuration you desire.


Half Bathrooms: 2

Sq Ft: 2,024

Price: $275,000



For more information about this property, please contact Cynthia Schmier at (360) 400-3475

or cschmier@remax.net


Tuesday, March 21st, 2017

20506 151ST LANE SE, YELM WA 98597

This is the one you have been waiting for! Grand floor plan offers soaring ceilings, archways, and hardwood flrs. Granite slab counters, island, and SS appliances accent the large Chef's Kitchen. Main level Master Suite boasts a spa bath with dual vanities and jetted tub. Home Entertainment Room. 3 car attached garage. HUGE 2,400 sq ft, fully insulated heated shop on 10" concrete foundation with 12'x16' door and room to park over 12 cars. No active HOA or dues! Nestled in the trees - Relish in your Private Haven

Bedrooms: 4

Bathrooms: 2.5

Sq Ft: 2,051

Price: $489,000

Property Site

For more information about this property, please contact Angela Lowe at (253) 720-7540

or angelalowe@remax.net


Tuesday, March 21st, 2017

16505 146TH AVENUE SE, YELM WA 98597

Perfect opportunity to enjoy a fully move in ready Hobby Farm. Southern exposure, dry and level pasture with metal barn is waiting! Additional 2 car detached garage for storage of toys or shop. Circular driveway allows easy utility access. Location is outstanding for travel to Olympia, Lacey, or east side of Yelm. Crisp and clean renovated home. A NEW Kitchen that anyone would be excited to own. Two fireplaces. New roof, gutters, paint, flooring, doors, appliances, windows, cabinets, granite, lighting

Bedrooms: 3

Baths: 2.5

Sq Ft: 1,869

Price: $389,000

Property Site

For more information about this property, please contact Cynthia Schmier at (360) 400-3475

or cschmier@remax.net


Wednesday, March 15th, 2017

5501 GAHS ROAD S, ROY WA 98580

Welcome to Country Living! Fenced and cross-fenced with chicken coup, dog run, and lean to, this property is critter ready! Spacious home with easy-flow floor plan. It has it all: Living, Dining, Family, open Kitchen with island counter and walk-in pantry, not to mention the Office/Den! Vaulted ceilings, wainscoting, ceiling fans, French doors. Move-in ready with new carpet and freshly painted interior. Sizable Master Suite boasts 5-piece bath and two walk-in closets. Great commuting location with easy access to SR702.


Bedrooms: 3

Bathrooms: 2

Price: $280,000


Property Site


For more information about this property, please contact Micki Easterly at (253) 831-2680

or mickieasterly@yahoo.com


Wednesday, March 15th, 2017

13810 93rd AVENUE SE, YELM WA 98597

Perfectly located on west side of Yelm for easy access to JBLM, Lacey and Olympia without Yelm traffic. Impeccably maintained Rambler. Privacy and a slice of heaven awaits your presence. 4 Spacious Bedrooms, 2 Full Baths, light and bright with plenty of windows and skylights. Large Chef's Kitchen opens to a Great Room. Enjoy the Aggregate Patio approx. 3,000 SF for BBQ's, stargazing or just the peaceful view. RV Parking includes Power, Water and Septic. Nicely landscaped and potential for animals.


Bedrooms: 4

Bathrooms: 2

Sq Ft: 1,211

Price: $379,000

 

For more information about this property, please contact Cynthia Schmier at (360) 400-3475

or cschmier@remax.net


Tuesday, February 21st, 2017

35504 40TH AVENUE S, ROY WA 98580

ATTENTION CASH BUYERS! Opportunity knocks on over an acre of land. Perfect summer project for the handyman. Bring your tool belt and restore this former beauty into its full glory, or, tear down the existing house and build the home of your dreams! Partial views of Mt Rainier. With outbuildings already on site, consider the potential to cross fence the property and bring in your animals. Easy access to SR702 makes this a prime commuting location! Property is being sold WHERE IS, AS IS. Come, quick!


Bedrooms: 3

Bathrooms: 2

Sq Ft: 1,392

Price: $89,000


Property Site


For more information about this property, please contact Cynthia Schmier at (360) 400-3475

or cschmier@remax.net


Monday, February 20th, 2017

13826 166TH AVENUE SE, RAINIER WA 98576

A Fisher's Delight! Gorgeous lot with approximately 80 feet of water frontage on Deschutes River. Paved driveway leads to 2 car garage with cement floor next to large concrete slab foundation, ready and waiting to fulfill your building desires! Septic installed plus water and power on site. Bonus feature: per geodata, property is not in gopher area, and, per the owner, no flood insurance is required! Perfect spot for Summer camping - bring your tent or RV. Or bring the plans to your dream home!


Acres: .204

Price: $87,000


Property Site


For more information about this property, please contact Angela Lowe at (253) 720-7540

or angelalowe@remax.net




Friday. January 3, 2017

18531 TAPADEROS STREET SE, YELM WA 98597

Move-in ready Rambler! Spacious floor plan that has it all: open kitchen with island counter, living room with vaulted ceilings, family room, and dining room. All appliances stay! Master Suite offers huge walk-in closet and private bath with double sinks and over-sized shower. Located in the gated community of Single Tree Estates which is nestled on the banks of Clear Lake, offering private lake access, club house and tennis courts. Bring your fishing rod and make the most of your new lifestyle!


Bedrooms: 3

Bathrooms: 1.75

Sq Ft: 1,672

Price: $220,000


Property Site


For more information about this property, please contact Cynthia Schmier at (360) 400-3475

or cschmier@remax.net


Thursday, February 2, 2017

9843 GREENLEAF LOOP SE, YELM WA 98597

Opportunity knocks in the City of Yelm! An ideal investment potential or starter home for a first time buyer willing to put in a little work for a great end result. Easy flow floor plan with family, living, dining and kitchen with breakfast nook. Vaulted ceilings, recessed lighting, oak cabinetry. Master Suite boasts private bath and walk-in closet. Large fully fenced backyard with deck - perfect for outdoor entertaining! Conveniently located with easy access to JBLM.


Bedrooms: 3

Bathrooms: 2.50

Sq. Ft: 1,579

Price: $199,00


Property Site


For more information about this property, please contact Cynthia Schmier at (360) 400-3475

or cschmier@remax.net


Thursday, February 2, 2017

16408 CASCADIAN AVE SE, YELM WA 98597

Spectacular opportunity! Original owner, newly renovated! Gorgeous kitchen with new soft-close cabinets, quartz counters with tile backsplash, new appliances, island counter with eating bar. French doors lead from dining to patio. Vaulted ceilings and recessed lighting. Freshly painted interior. High grade laminate throughout with lifetime warranty. Master Bedroom with black-out blinds. Beautiful, fully fenced back yard with covered patio and 2 honey crisp apple trees. Invisible fencing front and back. Sprinkler system in front.


Bedrooms: 3

Bathrooms: 2

Sq Ft. 1,252

Price: $211,000


Property Site


For more information about this property, please contact Cynthia Schmier at (360) 400-3475

or cschmier@remax.net


Wednesday, February 1, 2017

13201 MORRIS RD SE, YELM WA 98597

Magnificent country estate where casual elegance meets class and style in desirable Yelm locale. Quality amenities and stylish features abound! Gorgeous bay window with covered wrap-around porch. Distinctive crown molding, alcoves and lighting. Opulent kitchen with wine fridge, granite counters, stainless steel appliances, and Island with sink, gas range, and 2nd oven. Security and sprinkler system. Expansive, 3 bay shop with power and drive through RV parking. Peaceful park like setting surrounds this beauty with stunning lake view.


Bedrooms: 4

Bathrooms: 2.5

Sq. Ft: 3,113

Acreage: 6.46

Price: $759,000

 

 

For more information about this property, please contact Cynthia Schmier at (360) 400-3475

or cschmier@remax.net


Tuesday, January 24th, 2017

8721 WHITEWOOD LOOP SE, YELM WA 98597

ATTENTION CASH BUYERS! Investment opportunity in Nisqually Pines. Bring your tool belt and restore this home to its full glory, or tear down and build a new one! Present home is a single-wide mobile with stick built addition. 3 bedrooms plus a bonus room on a 2 bedroom septic. Large shy 1/4 acre lot with storage sheds, raised garden beds and fire pit. Mountain views from fully fenced back yard. No neighbors behind! Community amenities include swimming pool, playground, club house and private access to Nisqually River.


Bedrooms: 2

Bathrooms: 1.5

Sq. Ft: 1,568

Price: $60,000


Property Site


For more information about this property, please contact Angela Lowe at (253) 720-7540

or angelalowe@remax.net


Monday, January 23rd, 2017

211 VARNER AVE NE, ORTING WA 98360

Attention Investors! Great rental opportunity in the heart of Orting with stunning views of Mt Rainier from the street. Duplex with two units, each with 1300 sq ft of living space including 2 bedrooms, 1.5 bath. All appliances stay! New hot water tanks. Newer roof! Off street parking in front and rear. Convenient location close to all amenities: just a hop, skip and a jump away from schools, shopping and entertainment. Live in one side and rent out the other, or rent out both - you choose! Current tenants on month-to-month lease.


Bedrooms: 4

Bathrooms: 3

Sq Ft: 2,600

Price: $325,000


Property Site


For more information about this property, please contact Polly Godfrey at (253) 569-8723

or pollygodfrey@remax.net


Friday, January 20th, 2017

1504 YELM AVENUE W, YELM WA 98597

Looking to become self employed? This is your chance! Fantastic opportunity to own an 18 hole putt putt mini golf course in the growing City of Yelm. Or, bring your imagination and turn this commercial property into your dream business! Office space offers gas hot water heater, laundry tub with water (to clean the balls), and two handicap accessible bathrooms. Bonus storage building with electricity (approximately 8x12). Huge 20+ shared parking lot with The Cattleman restaurant. (Cattleman not included). The time is NOW!


Lot size: .577 Acres

Office Sq Ft: 816

Price: $300,000


Property Site


For more information about this property, please contact Micki Easterly at (253) 831-2680

or mickieasterly@yahoo.com


Wednesday, January 11, 2017

11416 SHAMBALA LANE SE, YELM WA 98597


Amazing Mountain View! Relish in all this home has to offer! Cathedral ceilings; Pellet stove; Gorgeous 5 piece Master Suite with jetted tub and custom built shower. Beautiful kitchen with large island stovetop and double oven; Large living room with pellet stove, Closets Galore, Skylights, Recessed lighting. Energy efficient Heat pump, but wait, there's more! Wrap around deck with covered hot tub, Detached shop with power, Barn with storage and chicken coop, Fenced and cross-fenced. On a Private Road close to schools, shopping, and more!

Bedrooms: 3

Bathrooms: 2.5

Sq. Ft: 3,200

Price: $410,000

For more information about this property, please contact Micki Easterly at (253) 831-2680

or mickieasterly@yahoo.com


Monday, January 9th, 2017

22336 BLUEWATER DRIVE SE, YELM WA 98597


CHECK IT OUT!! Beautiful, move-in ready home in desirable, gated Clearwood community. Prime location close to pool, Sunset Beach, and back gate. Large, level, fully fenced corner lot with lovingly landscaped yard and garden. Propane fireplace and Plumbed for generator. Ample kitchen with Kenmore convection/ceramic-top oven and high capacity fridge. HE large capacity washer/dryer. Vaulted ceilings with illuminated ledge and skylight. Pathway with steps to incredible walking trail behind home. This one won't last long!


Bedrooms: 3

Bathrooms: 2

Square Feet: 1,680

Price: $225,000




For more information about this property, please contact Cynthia Schmier at (360) 400-3475

or cschmier@remax.net


Thursday, December 22, 2016

WHAT THE VA?

For some, navigating the murky waters of the loan approval process is scary and uncertain. This is mostly because there's another language involved, documentation required and this can intimidate a lot of people.

Here in Pierce and Thurston counties, the bulk of buyers will qualify (and opt) for a VA Loan. The VA Loan program is a great financing option to choose and here's why.

Take a look at this side by side comparison highlighting some of the benefits of the VA Loan Program:

VA Loans

Conventional Loans

 0% Down(for qualified borrowers)

VA Loans are among the last 0% down home loans available on the market today.

Up to 20% Down

Conventional loans generally require down payments that can reach up to 20% to secure a home loan, pushing them out of reach for many homebuyers.

 No PMI

Since VA Loans are government backed, banks do not require you to buy Private Mortgage Insurance.

PMI Required

Private Mortgage Insurance is a requirement for borrowers who finance more than 80% of their home's value, tacking on additional monthly expenses.

 Competitive Interest Rates

The VA guaranty gives lenders a greater degree of safety and flexibility, which typically means a more competitive rate than non-VA loans.

Increased Risk for Lenders

Without government backing, banks are taking on more risk which, in turn, can result in a less-competitive interest rate on your home loan.

 Easier to Qualify

Because the loan is backed by the government, banks assume less risk and have less stringent qualification standards for VA Loans, making them easier to obtain.

Standard Qualification Procedures

Conventional options hold stricter qualification procedures that can put homeownership out of reach for some homebuyers

 

Courtesy of Mike Villano from Veterans National Lending Group, we have a list of Top 5 VA Loan DO's and DON'Ts regarding getting your financing in place.

DO:

1. Gather your personal documents including taxes, bank statements and pay stubs

2. Make sure balances on current debts have been paid on time and are not at the credit limit

3. Have an idea of what you would like to spend each month on a mortgage payment

4. Prepare for the transaction to take 40-50 days from the time you have a contract on a home

5. Link up with a lender who can complete a thorough pre-approval before you go looking at houses

DON'T!

1. Change jobs before or during the transaction

2. Charge up credit cards or current debt

3. Apply for or open any new debts

4. Deposit cash or any funds which cannot be paper trailed to your bank accounts

5. Get pre-qualified by any lender who does not require all of your documents prior to a pre-approval


If you have any questions regarding this process or anything else, we would love to help!- Give us a call at (360) 400-3475 to get answers from knowledgeable experienced professionals who understand.


Cynthia Schmier, Broker/Owner
CRS, CDPE, CNE, CIAS, MDI, 5-STAR, SRS
RE/MAX Country

Email: Cynthia@Cynthia-Online.com

(360) 400-3475

Wednesday, December 21st, 2016

13912 166TH AVE SE, RAINIER WA 98576

Create your own paradise! Mostly-level quarter acre lot with gentle slope leading down to 70+ feet of water frontage on Deschutes River. A fisher's dream! Power and community water on site plus septic installed. Per Geodata, no gopher soils! Manufactured home frame shows clearly where the last home site was - convenient! Or, if you are not looking to settle down, this makes the perfect spot for camping. Bring your tent or your RV, and be ready to make some Summer memories! What are you waiting for?


Acres: .256

Price: $45, 000



For more information about this property, please contact Cynthia Schmier at (360) 400-3475

or cschmier@remax.net


Monday, December 12, 2016

15737 WOODLAND COURT SE, YELM WA 98597

Completely upgraded in Fall 2016. All brand new features: Ubatuba Slab Granite kitchen counters and island, dual undermount sink, with Motionsense faucet, stainless steel GE convection gas range and dishwasher, dual flush toilets. All brand-new carpets and new floors in all bathrooms, with granite counters in upstairs bathrooms. Brand new water heater with Home Depot warranty. Fully enclosed backyard with newly installed 6 ft fence. Landscaped professionally with sprinkler system and two apple trees.
 
 Bedrooms: 3

Bathrooms: 2.25

Square Feet: 1,558

Price: $239,950



For more information about this property, please contact Polly Godfrey at (253) 569-8723

or pollygodfrey@remax.net


Friday, December 9 2016

16935 110TH AVE SE, YELM WA 98597

Completely charming, 1939 farmhouse on 5 acres with updates galore! Used for years as 4 bedroom home. NEW roof and Hardiplank siding. Freshly painted interior plus new carpet. Kitchen boasts Corian counter-tops plus new fridge and microwave! Vinyl windows and water filtration system. Move-in ready! Main floor Master with slider to deck. Large finished lower level with full bath and Jacuzzi tub. 2-car detached garage with shop and 3 bay utility parking. Partially fenced with fruit trees and garden space. Conveniently close to town!


Bedrooms: 2

Bathrooms: 3

Square Feet: 2,535

Price: $279,000



For more information about this property, please contact Cynthia Schmier at (360) 400-3475

or cschmier@remax.net


Friday, December 9 2016

HELP! (I'm PCSing!)

           Moving is always difficult: the stress levels are right up there with sitting through the SAT's or going to the dentist. This is an undisputed fact, and all you military families out there know it well. PCS-ing means all kinds of things: Sort the stuff, hold a garage sale, decide what you need to have with you and what's going in the moving van. Start investigating the new place online, canvas all your friends and family to see if anyone has been stationed, lived or just visited there. But the silver lining is that now, more than ever, there are all kinds of tools to make this migraine of a move as easy as possible.

         But first, let's talk about the place you're moving to: The Pacific Northwest, WA State, JBLM. Now here are some nice things about this area: Fort Lewis is huge and has been around since 1917. We have large amounts of veterans who've decided to stick around after getting out as well as a regular (for the military) rotation of personnel through JBLM (Joint Base Lewis McChord) The benefits of being in this military-heavy area are: Military Discounts, Military support groups (both active duty and separated) AND pretty much every lender in town understands the inner workings of the VA Loan programs out there. This is all extremely advantageous to military individuals and families looking to purchase property in the area.

             I've been doing business in this county for over 26 years and the bulk of my clientele has always been active duty, retired or separated service members. I have tremendous respect for these folks: I love working with them, I hire them, but most importantly, I want to help them. I understand the difficulty of the PCS move, having a small window of time to do everything and trying to avoid the problem spots without knowing where they are. I know where those problem spots are and I want to help you safely around them in a time frame that works for you. And that is our bottom line: We are here to connect with you.

           Now whether you're PCSing into the area or out, typically the first question you need to answer is: Should I rent or should I buy? Do I sell here or do I rent it out when I leave? OR Coming into a new area, do I rent a house or buy one? This will depend upon your overall circumstances, but I have helped service members over this hurdle many times. Together we will look at the pros and cons and come up with a plan that's best for you. And whichever option you choose, RE/MAX Country is a one-stop shop: Our Property Management Dept can help find you a rental or take charge of renting your house for you. If you are looking to buy, we have experienced agents who are here for you.

       So call a professional that knows your situation and cares: (360) 400-3475


Cynthia Schmier, Broker/Owner
CRS, CDPE, CNE, CIAS, MDI, 5-STAR, SRS
RE/MAX Country

Cynthia@Cynthia-Online.com





Friday, December 22nd, 2016

16228 VANCIL COURT SE, YELM WA 98597

  • Check out this beauty! Stunning home on corner lot has it all! Grand entrance welcomes you in. Flowing floor plan with soaring ceilings and arched doorways. Warm oak hardwood floors. Exemplary kitchen offering granite counters and island, custom cabinetry, and stainless steel appliances. Formal dining room with alcove ceiling. Family room with gas fireplace. French doors lead to magnificent Master Suite. Over-sized bonus room on upper level. Fully fenced backyard with patio. Fabulous location - close to all amenities!


    Bedrooms: 5

    Bathrooms: 2.5

    Square Feet: 3,094

    Price: $307,000



    For more information about this property, please contact Cynthia Schmier at (360) 400-3475

    or cschmier@remax.net

Check out this beauty! Stunning home on corner lot has it all! Grand entrance welcomes you in. Flowing floor plan with soaring ceilings and arched doorways. Warm oak hardwood floors. Exemplary kitchen offering granite counters and island, custom cabinetry, and stainless steel appliances. Formal dining room with alcove ceiling. Family room with gas fireplace. French doors lead to magnificent Master Suite. Over-sized bonus room on upper level. Fully fenced backyard with patio. Fabulous location - close to all amenities!


Bedrooms: 5

Bathrooms: 2.5

Square Feet: 3,094

Price: $307,000



For more information about this property, please contact Cynthia Schmier at (360) 400-3475

or cschmier@remax.net


Thursday, November 24, 2016

Thanksgiving!

Most Americans know all about how we've come to celebrate Thanksgiving; our kids are in school plays about it, there are themed movies (cartoon and real-life), musicals and more.

So this information should come as no surprise:

In November 1621, after the Pilgrims’ first corn harvest proved successful, Governor William Bradford organized a celebratory feast and invited a group of the fledgling colony’s Native American allies, including the Wampanoag chief Massasoit. Now remembered as American’s “first Thanksgiving”—although the Pilgrims themselves probably didn't use the term at the time—the festival lasted for three days. We know all this because the pilgrims were writers. There are two primary sources for the events of autumn 1621 in Plymouth: Edward Winslow writing in Mourt's Relation and Gov. William Bradford writing in Of Plymouth Plantation. Only slightly more impressive than the fact that these documents survived and are preserved from 395 years ago, is our present-day celebration of it.

Thanksgiving didn't become a federal holiday until 1863, when President Abraham Lincoln declared a national day of giving thanks to be celebrated on the last Thursday in November, making the festivity 153 (official) years old this year. But we still acknowledge that first feast and incorporate many of the elements of the original Thanksgiving.

Now, like many traditions, the actual feast food itself has been transformed over time, but we keep the turkey as a centrally recognized theme and symbol of the holiday and that comes directly from the 1621 feast.

Hand-in-hand with the food comes the concept of "giving thanks". Many families go around the table, each one saying what they are thankful for. I know this is also a concept we are all familiar with: being conscious of the benefits we've received, and expressing our thanks. But how often do we do this? In our day to day activities, how mindful are we of the things others do for us? Do we pause for a beat and sincerely say "Thank you" to those people? And guess what? Doing this benefits yourself as well as others! Grateful people “feel more alert, alive, interested, enthusiastic. They also feel more connected to others,” says Robert Emmons, a psychology professor at the University of California/Davis, who has written two books on the science of gratitude and often studies the effects of those gratitude diaries. According to the Harvard Health publication, "Healthbeat", "In positive psychology research, gratitude is strongly and consistently associated with greater happiness. Gratitude helps people feel more positive emotions, relish good experiences, improve their health, deal with adversity, and build strong relationships" Studies have also shown that focusing on what you're grateful for, even on a weekly basis (as compared to those who focused on daily irritations and what displeased them) leads to feelings of optimism, less trips to the Doctor and an inclination to exercise more.

So perhaps, this year (in the midst of a very unusual year for our country) put some purposeful effort into this and reflect upon what you're thankful for. You will enrich the lives of others and maybe even inspire someone else to do the same.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

Cynthia Schmier, Broker/Owner
CRS, CDPE, CNE, CIAS, MDI, 5-STAR, SRS
RE/MAX Country

Cynthia@Cynthia-Online.com

 
 

Friday, November 18th, 2016

Singin' In The Rain

Well maybe you don't feel that way exactly about the amount of rain that we get here in the Pacific Northwest, but the rain will come whether you like it or not. This week's blog is going to address some of the things you can do to prepare your home for that famous (or infamous) precipitation we will be getting right about this time of year. There are more in-depth steps you'll want to take depending on your property size, if you are likely to get seasonal flooding, etc, but here are the most common culprits of rainy season damage that you'll want to be on the lookout for.

  • 1. Beware the Branches

I think it goes without saying that we have copious amount of trees in beautiful Washington State and while they are gorgeous in spring and summer, when the weather gets stormy, they can also pose a potential problem. You want to make sure that dead branches are cut away from your house as well as keeping the live ones trimmed back. This reduces the risk of them falling during high winds and damaging your home, or your neighbors.

  • 2. Take a Gander at your Gutters

You want to make sure these are draining well (without any backups) , no leaves, brambles, debris etc. You should also pay attention to any granules that might be collecting there as they can be a sign that your roof's coating needs to be resealed.

  • 3. Ready your Roof

It's always a good idea to take a look at your roof before the rain comes in full bore. (Professionals recommend you check it at least twice a year as this can catch problems before they clean out your wallet) You want to look for any cracks along the roof ridge and where the shingles fold over to form the cap. Are there any loose, missing, or curled shingles that will need replacing? Is there moss already growing where it should not?

  • 4. Inspect the Inside

You see it every day, but we recommend you take the time to examine the ceilings for any possibly leakage. (Especially after a night of downpour) Water rings should make your mental alarm bell ring as well. Pay attention to windows and doors: you want to make sure these all seal securely as they tend to lead to the big bads: Mold, mildew, and discoloration. (you'll want to take steps to ensure none of those reoccur)


As they say, "An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure", so take the time here. It will save you so much in the long run. And afterwards, you can come inside and warm up, feeling accomplished in the knowledge that you've done your due diligence for you, your family and your home! 😃


Cynthia Schmier, Broker/Owner
CRS, CDPE, CNE, CIAS, MDI, 5-STAR, SRS
RE/MAX Country



Thursday, November 17, 2016

16136 VANCIL LOOP SE, YELM WA 98597

Bright, Pristine and Move-In Ready Rambler; what more can you ask for? New roof? Got it! This charming rambler, with a split bedroom plan, offers a freshly painted interior, bay window, vaulted ceilings, skylights, ceiling fans and a cozy gas fireplace plus plenty of storage! Kitchen boasts large pantry and all appliances stay. The master suite has bath and walk-in closet. Spacious yard with welcoming front covered porch and back deck for entertaining. Centrally located to everything: Schools, shopping, and more!


Bedrooms: 3

Bathrooms: 1.75

Square Feet: 1,272

Price: $195,000 



For more information about this property, please contact Cynthia Schmier at (360) 400-3475

or cschmier@remax.net


MONDAY, NOVEMBER 7, 2016

Where Did Daylight Savings Time Come From??


The idea that farmers campaigned for Daylight Saving Time is a myth??

Today's Blog comes to us from Time Magazine

This weekend, when American clocks turn back an hour at Nov. 6 at 2:00 a.m. Eastern Time, the move will bring an end to the period of Daylight Saving Time that marked precisely a century since the first such policy went into effect.

That Daylight Saving Time began in Germany on May 1, 1916, in the hopes that it would save energy during World War I, according to Michael Downing, author of Spring Forward: The Annual Madness of Daylight Saving Time. But, though Germans were first to mess with their clocks, they likely got the idea from Britain—and from someone whose ideas about Daylight Saving had little to do with conserving fuel.

William Willett had in 1907 published The Waste of Daylight. Willett was inspired by an early-morning epiphany that “the sun shines upon the land for several hours each day while we are asleep” and yet there “remains only a brief spell of declining daylight in which to spend the short period of leisure at our disposal.” Though he did mention that it would save money to reduce the use of artificial lighting, his main purpose was the increase enjoyment of sunlight. He lobbied Parliament for such legislation until his death in 1915—not living to see the law passed in England shortly after it was in Germany. (Frankfurt’s daily newspaper Zeitung published this dig: “It is characteristic of England that she could not rouse herself to a decision.”)

Across the pond, the first U.S. law on Daylight Saving Time went into effect on March 19, 1918 for the same fuel saving reasons, about a year after the country entered the war. But again, though the official reason was fuel saving, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce was the major backer for the policy, Downing argues, because Americans getting off work while it was still light out meant they would be more likely to go out shopping in the evening.

Sports and recreation industries saw the light, too. “Golf ball sales skyrocketed during Daylight Saving Time,” according to Downing. “Baseball is a huge early supporter, too, because there’s no artificial illumination of parks, so to get school kids and workers to ball games with the extended daylight, they have a later start time.” Some even considered Daylight Saving Time a good health policy, given the extra time people had to be outdoors.

There wouldn’t be another national Daylight Saving Time policy until 1942, for the duration of World War II, but New York City, however, continued to observe a metropolitan Daylight Saving Time all along. Because of the city’s position as a financial capital, other places followed. The result, Downing says, was “cities observing Daylight Saving Time surrounded by rural areas that are not, and no one can tell what time it is anywhere.” In fact, TIME’s letters department received a poem from an Ohio man about just that topic: “To miss a train or business deal, / Because our clocks are without keel / Can cause a nation loss of gold / E’en worse than all the misers hold.”

By 1966, the confusion was bad enough to prompt the Uniform Time Act. Signed by President Lyndon B. Johnson, the first peacetime Daylight Saving Time law said that the United States policy would be to observe six months of Daylight Saving Time and six months of Standard Time. It required states to either adopt Daylight Saving Time entirely or opt out, avoiding the patchwork of cities and counties that had been so problematic, according to Downing. For example, Arizona opted out because an extra hour of daylight in the summer doesn’t make sense when it’s over 100 degrees already, as a March 1969 Arizona Republic editorial explained.

In 1973, shortly after the oil embargo went into effect, President Richard Nixon called for year-round Daylight Saving Time. A brief trial ended—partly because of fears that children would get hit by cars in the dark—but Daylight Saving Time has nevertheless grown. In 1986, the U.S. started observing seven months of it—an extra month that the golf industry and manufacturers of barbecue equipment claimed was worth between $200 million and $400 million. And since 2005, the U.S. has been observing eight months of Daylight Saving Time.

And now you know the ins and out of DST - Happy Monday everyone! 


Cynthia Schmier, Broker/Owner
CRS, CDPE, CNE, CIAS, MDI, 5-STAR, SRS
RE/MAX Country


MONDAY, NOVEMBER 7, 2016

15725 95th COURT SE, YELM WA 98597

Carpet-free Home! Open kitchen featuring eating nook, breakfast bar, gas stove, and plenty of cabinets. Vaulted ceilings, skylights and recessed lighting. Family room with indirect lighting and arched grid windows. Spacious Master Suite boasts large bathroom with wall-tile shower with 3 heads! Freshly painted exterior. Fully fenced back yard offers sizable composite deck, brick patio, raised garden beds, and water feature! At end of cul-de-sac; close to town yet away from the hustle.


Bedrooms: 3

Bathrooms: 1.75

Square Feet: 1,498

Price: $230,000


Property Site


For more information about this property, please contact Cynthia Schmier at (360) 400-3475

or cschmier@remax.net



MONDAY, NOVEMBER 7, 2016

12440 118th AVE SE, RAINIER 98576

Nolan construction - known for quality! Solar panels in place and power sold to PSE. Low utilities costs. After your busy day, relax in your sauna or hot tub. Gardens, orchard, outbuildings, chicken coop, fenced dog run, and greenhouse. Insulated shop w/ 220 power, generator. Chef's kitchen with top of the line stainless steel appliances. Beautiful cabinets, and great work area. Vaulted ceilings, tube lighting, wood stove, A/C, and built-in 220 bottle wine rack. Oh did I mention the sun room/guest bedroom? Enjoy the abundance of amenities.


Bedrooms: 3

Bathrooms: 2

Square Feet: 1,586

Price: $449,000


Property Site


For more information about this property, please contact Cynthia Schmier at (360) 400-3475

or cschmier@remax.net



MONDAY, NOVEMBER 7, 2016

18123 UPLAND DRIVE SE, YELM WA 98597

Move-In Ready Home in Clearwood Community! Great floor plan w/ all bedrooms upstairs. Kitchen has butcher block eating bar and counters, stainless steel appliances, and garbage disposal. Propane fireplace in Living Room with slider to deck with backyard access. Master Suite has large walk-in closet. Ceiling fans in every bedroom! Bonus: HUGE Loft on top of upper level - media or hobby room? You decide. Fully fenced yard! Right beside hiking trail leading to basketball courts. Community amenities include: 3 lakes, 6 beaches, swimming and fishing, boat launch, pool, cabanas, picnic area, tennis courts, baseball fields and more!


Bedrooms: 3

Bathrooms: 2.25

Square Feet: 1,800

Price: $225,000


Property Site


For more information about this property, please contact Cynthia Schmier at (360) 400-3475

or cschmier@remax.net



MONDAY, NOVEMBER 7, 2016

18102 BIG FIR COURT SE, YELM WA 98597

Wonderful, secluded corner lot calls your name! Clearwood home surrounded by vacant lots and a fully fenced backyard, offers a sense of seclusion from the hustle and bustle of the city. Views of nature all around - feel like you are on vacation every time you come home. Featuring hardwood floors, a gas fireplace, updated cabinetry, and an energy saving heat-pump for warmth in the winter and cool in the summer. Definitely a must see! Taking into account the need for new carpet, this home is priced to sell!

Bedrooms: 3

Bathrooms: 2.5

Square Feet: 1,614

Price: $190,000


For more information about this property, please contact Cynthia Schmier at (360) 400-3475

or cschmier@remax.net


16236 VANCIL COURT SE, YELM WA 98597

Spacious and Pristine Property in Timber Estates! Flowing Open Concept Floor plan with numerous windows and 9 foot ceilings; natural brightness throughout. Alcove ceiling and trompe l'oeil mural in main floor den/office. Soothing custom color palette throughout. Large Master Suite has soaker tub in attached bath. 8 foot slider leads to backyard with privacy fence, concrete patio, garden shed and mature landscaping. 3 car garage has additional storage. Save on gas! Located within walking distance to downtown: groceries, movies, library and more!


Bedrooms: 3

Bathrooms: 2.5

Square Feet: 2,434

Price: $289,000



For more information about this property, please contact Cynthia Schmier at (360) 400-3475

or cschmier@remax.net


15176 DURANT DRIVE SE, YELM WA 98597

Well-maintained home in great location! Flowing floor plan features Formal Dining and Living room with gas fireplace. Chef's kitchen boasts granite counters, gas stove, stainless steel appliances, and pendant lighting, not to mention custom tile back splash and ample cabinetry. Office/Den! Over-sized landing gives potential for large Family or Rec room. French doors lead to Master suite with walk-in closet and private bath. 3 car garage! Corner lot with nicely landscaped backyard offering covered patio and stone fire pit. Within walking distance of Golf Course!


Bedrooms: 4

Bathrooms: 2.5

Square Feet: 2,573

Price: $298,500

Property Site


For more information about this property, please contact Cynthia Schmier at (360) 400-3475

or cschmier@remax.net


No Property Too Big, No Property Too Small

Thursday, October 20th, 2016

Well, here it is: the end of October - everyone has settled into their Fall routines and schedules and summer is a thing of the past. The leaves are changing colors, the rain is back, and with it the school semester, hurrah for education. (I'm sure many parents have been smiling about school starting themselves) As part of my own continuing education, this month I earned a new designation, Certified Luxury Home Marketing Specialist (or CLHMS) from the Institute for Luxury Home Marketing. To those for whom this is a new term, here's a little background on it:

Laurie Moore, The Institute's founder, is a well known and respected speaker, consultant, and writer in the real estate industry. In her four decades in the industry, she has sold real estate, managed a large real estate office, and managed two divisions of one of the nation's largest brokerage firms. She also co-founded REAL Trends, a research and communications company serving the residential brokerage industry.

In response to the growing need for training and designation in the luxury home market, the Institute was founded in 2003 as a resource for real estate professionals and consumers involved with upper-tier residential properties. Tens of thousands of agents and brokers (of which I am now one) have since gone through its training on the topic of upper-tier marketing, helping them become more successful in working with buyers and sellers in the luxury home market.

The Institute exists to help real estate professionals provide high quality service to the buyers and sellers of luxury homes and in so doing, maximize their own success in the upper-tier residential market. It is the premier independent authority in training and designation for real estate agents working in the luxury residential market and is an independent organization not tied to any real estate brand.

What this means for you is that now more than ever, the adage "No property too big, no property too small" is accurate. The smaller properties can be tricky, but the larger high end ones can be intimidating to many agents: not so for me and my staff. We have always been known for our service and we consistently strive to provide it in the highest possible quality to all our clients, regardless of the property price or size. And now I have the tools to bring the luxury market customer service to all our RE/MAX Country clientele. Large or small, we're here for you!

We wish you all a safe and Happy Halloween - And don't forget to stop by our office and pick up a free pumpkin! (while supplies last!)


Thursday, October 13, 2016

6 Halloween Decorations to Avoid If You Ever Hope to Sell Your House

As Halloween nears, strange things start creeping up in neighborhoods across the country: Zombies hang from trees, inflatable pumpkins pop up on lawns, and front lawns become impromptu cemeteries.

It’s an unquestionably fun holiday to decorate for, but what if you’re trying to sell your house? Just how far can you go with Halloween decorations if you don’t want to truly scare off buyers?

Experts say you don’t have to forgo all festive decorations, but you do have to choose them wisely. In general, decorations should be benevolently neutral: think scarecrows, pumpkins, and hay bales.

Here are some decoration ideas to AVOID spooking buyers:

1. Blood and gore

Sorry, zombie fans, but gruesome scenes of death and the undead are things to steer away from. Buyers often have young kids with them and the last thing you want is for a child to cry and refuse to enter your home.

2. A blood-spattered front door

We’ve already said blood is a no-no, but just in case we weren’t clear, writing scary messages in gory-looking red paint—even something as chipper as “Happy Halloween”—is a bad idea. It’s fine and dandy if you’re just trying to give trick-or-treaters a fright, but to prospective home buyers, this graffiti-style treatment just looks messy, and screams “go away.”

3. Pumpkins whose time has come—and gone

If you’re going to use real flowers, pumpkins, and other perishable decorations, make sure to keep them looking fresh. No one wants to see (or smell) produce that’s well past its prime.

4. Political statements parading as Halloween decor

It might seem obvious, but politically themed decorations are a definite don’t. Politics is a topic you don't want a prospective buyer to have on their mind as they're viewing your home.

5. Clowns

I think it's safe to say, given what's going on in the world today regarding terrifying clowns, I could go to go out on a limb and say it: No creepy clowns—even if your house isn’t on the market. Talk about the stuff of nightmares…

6. Too many decorations, period

It’s easy to get carried away with decorations as you get caught up in the festivities, but don’t. You’re not trying to impress buyers with your decorating skills; you’re trying to impress them with your house, which can get buried if you’re not careful.

If your Halloween dreams have just been crushed, fear not, you can always put out the gory decor to your heart's content ON Halloween night. You’re really trying to put your best foot forward in marketing your home, and that means a foot that’s not covered in zombie entrails.

Happy Decorating!!



Thursday, September 1, 2016

Universal Design: Functionality For All!

Universal Design

First off, what is Universal Design? (or another term you may have heard as well, "Barrier Free") When it comes to architecture, it means that the home is designed in such a way that it is accessible for all walks of life; the home is practical for someone regardless of their size, age, if there's a disability or not.
The idea for universal design in housing grew out of the recognition that, because most of the features needed by people with disabilities were also useful to others, there were plenty of reasons to make their inclusion common practice. An example of a universal feature that makes common activities easier for all would be raising electrical outlets to 15 +". above the floor. This eliminates the need to bend over as far, in turn, making them easier for everyone to use. Moving is also much easier in houses with step-less entrances and wider doors and hallways. Other design features create experiences many people have not had before. For instance, bathrooms with extra floor space (so designed to accommodate users of mobility aids) are perceived as up-scale and people bask in their new-found ability to have furniture and decor options in the bathroom. (Oh the luxury of having room for a changing table, or a vanity table and chair, perhaps an etagere, not to mention it would certainly set your home apart !) And it can easily be removed if the space is ever needed to accommodate a family member or friend.
Universal design in housing isn't a new science or style by any means and really only requires an awareness of need and market as well as a practical approach. The goal is to produce an environment that can be usable by everyone to the greatest extent possible. Typically it requires only slight changes in small things to get a good start, like the shape of something, its placement or size, its operation, or the way in which the user must interact with the item.
Now some people may have pre-conceived ideas that crop up when this universal design concept is explained. But just because a home is built for functionality for all, doesn't mean it can't also be aesthetically pleasing. And when a home is constructed with both concepts in mind (beauty and universal design) you can have a masterpiece that is as pleasing to the eye as it is practical. For a real world example, I give you 12035 Hobby St SE in Yelm.
http://www.matrix.nwmls.com/DE.asp?k=3107918X2KG0&p=DE-67164891-758
To take a virtual tour, click on the following link: http://www.tourfactory.com/1567748
This Wiens Log Home was custom built in every aspect according to universal design and as you can see, it's quite the show-stopper.
If you're looking for a way to set your house apart from the usual selection, maybe try doing some alterations and see what happens!

Friday, August 12, 2016

The Market In Fall

As summer is coming to an end and everyone is starting to think about back to school, sweatshirts, bonfires, and pumpkin-everything; the real estate market should be slowing down. Right?
Although real estate is a 365 days a year business, there is definitely a cycle to the market. Typically fall is when the market starts to slow down from the spring and summer rush, however, according to recent forecasts for the fall market there is very little slow down this year. A recent Redfin forecast stated that not only is the fall market holding steady, home buyer demand is still very strong. Nevertheless, there are some things to be concerned about. There has been some talk of the rates going up in light of the economy growth in the past few months. With prices continuing to rise due to greater demand, buyers are worried about paying too much: making some more hesitant to make an offer. Sellers seem to be hearing this loud and clear and many are dropping their prices which is starting a trend toward a buyer’s market in the coming months.
(No one really knows what the market will do in the next few months but we do know it's not slowing down right now and there are a lot of benefits to buying and selling in fall; but that’s a topic for a different blog.)
 
Cynthia Schmier, Broker/Owner
CRS, CDPE, CNE, CIAS, MDI, 5-STAR, SRS
RE/MAX CountryCynthia@Cynthia-Online.com
(360) 400-3475
www.cynthia-online.com

Friday, August 5, 2016

SAVE ME, SUPER KITCHEN

Kitchens have come a long way from linoleum floors and those olive-colored appliances our grandparents had. Today’s kitchens are super-sized and designed for multiple purposes. 69% percent of owners use their kitchen space for dining, while 49% use it for entertaining and 43% for socializing, according to a recent survey of homeowners by Houzz.

The kitchen has become the hub for family activities, such as doing homework, watching TV and reading. Nearly 2/3 of homeowners spend more than three hours a day in their kitchens. Therefore, today’s homeowners are not skimping on renovations. Nearly 1/3 of homeowners surveyed spent between $25K and $50K on kitchen renovations and another third spent more than $50K. Features that are typically part of living and dining rooms, (ie: dining tables, chandeliers, TVs and workspaces) are being added to kitchens. Wine refrigerators and built-in coffee stations are popular for entertaining, while custom cabinetry and hardwood floors integrate more seamlessly with the home’s overall design.

As the modern kitchen has continued to evolve, several design trends have emerged:
1. Two-tone kitchen cabinets that mix colors and styles.
2. Black and bronze finishes on stainless steel appliances that contribute a sleek, modern look.
3. Deep kitchen drawers that help organize dishes and pans.
4. Niche appliances (steam ovens, warming drawers and induction cook tops) add luxury and practicality.
5. Kitchen islands with more work space and storage, prep sinks and seating are the workhorse of the home.
6. Unexpected combinations of back splash and counter top finishes can spice up kitchen décor — for example, a brick backsplash with concrete counter tops or yellow ceramic tile with butcher block.

The modern “super kitchen” not only improves flow, storage and aesthetics, it also supports family life with style and substance.

Friday, July 29, 2016

EXTRA Yardage

It's how you use it that counts


Want to make better use of your outdoor space without spending a lot of money? Try these three simple tricks that can make all the difference between using your backyard and just looking at it.
❶ Romantic lighting can really add drama and whimsy to an otherwise dull outdoor space. Try stringing lights over a patio for a look that recalls street cafés and romantic restaurant patios. If you don’t have natural hanging spots for your lights to hook onto, install a simple, wood pole with a loop or hook screw on top. You can install the poles directly into the ground, or attach them onto your pre-existing railings or a heavy base.
❷ Potted trees and bushes can divide designated areas, provide shade in the summer heat and create privacy. Consider ‘Skyrocket’ juniper trees, bamboo or arborvitae to start. You may want to ask your local plant center for ones that grow well in your area of the country and how they survive winter, if that is a consideration.

❸ Add a chimenea. If you live in a climate where it’s cooler at night and you want to extend the life of your patio past summer, add a simple, small chimenea. These are fire pits with a round, open belly and a thick pipe on top. The fires start quickly, don’t get too hot or too big, and are more easily controlled than a traditional open fire pit.

Cynthia Schmier, Broker/Owner
CRS, CDPE, CNE, CIAS, MDI, 5-STAR, SRS
RE/MAX Country
Cynthia@Cynthia-Online.com
(360) 400-3475
www.cynthia-online.com

Friday, July 22, 2016

Helping Parents Find a Home

Mom and Dad need a New House


I have talked many times about Baby Boomers retiring and moving into smaller, more manageable starter homes or condos where they have little maintenance and are close to amenities. But very often they have no idea where to start or they are wanting to move closer to children who have moved to areas they are not familiar with. So how do you help them when they want to be closer to you?
Find an Agent:
You knew I was going to say it. Find an agent that is willing to work with both you and your parents. When there are extra people involved, it makes it a little harder on the agent. So find someone you all like, trust, and who has everyone’s best interest at heart. It’s really not hard to find.

Communication:
This is so important! Find out what they are really looking for, what their budget is, how close to you do they really want to be, what size home do they want, and so much more. It is vital that everyone is open and honest and has clear boundaries as well as realistic expectations. Otherwise you’re setting yourself and them up for failure.

Schedule time:
Set aside time to view homes with them or weekends to go to open houses. If they are too far to do it in person, make time to video or Skype together while you walk through the house. Never let them buy a house sight unseen that’s bad Ju-Ju and will always come back to haunt you.

The home is theirs:
Don’t forget the final decision is your parents'. This is not your home. They have to live in it, so they have to love it. You're feelings towards their prospective home are secondary.


Don’t let the process get you down. Have fun looking at the homes and doing research for different areas and have fun with your parents.

Cynthia Schmier, Broker/Owner
CRS, CDPE, CNE, CIAS, MDI, 5-STAR, SRS
RE/MAX Country
Cynthia@Cynthia-Online.com
(360) 400-3475
www.cynthia-online.com

Friday, July 8, 2016

Tips and Trends for Homeowners, Buyers and Sellers

THE TOP 10
trendiest
HOME FEATURES

Whether you’re thinking of selling soon or have an eye on remodeling with solid return-on-investment potential, think about which features make your home oh-so-desirable when it’s time to list. An analysis of the Realtor.com listings over the past five years found that the following items were listed most often; solidifying a venerable spot among buyers’ favorites:
  1. Fireplace
  2. Wood floor
  3. Carpet
  4. Granite counter
  5. Stainless steel appliances
  6. Open floor plan
  7. Walk-in closet
  8. Formal dining room
  9. Vaulted ceiling
  10. Open kitchens
Do trends lose steam? Oak and cherry cabinets had a strong foothold in the cabinet marketplace but are no longer popular.
Cynthia Schmier, Broker/Owner
CRS, CDPE, CNE, CIAS, MDI, 5-STAR, SRS
RE/MAX Country
Cynthia@Cynthia-Online.com
(360) 400-3475
www.cynthia-online.com

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Equity in Your home!

TAP INTO YOUR HOME’S VALUE
For years, homeowners were afraid of tapping into their home equity—and rightfully so, considering the downward trend of home values in markets across the country.
But since prices began rising in late 2012, many homeowners have recovered significant chunks of equity and are now starting to feel more comfortable tapping into that; particularly to make renovations and repairs that may ultimately increase the value of their homes.
This combination of rising equity, tight inventory, and historically low interest rates make home equity lines of credit (HELOCs) look pretty attractive. But homeowners looking to take advantage should make sure they understand the following information first:
Does it have fixed interest rate or a variable interest rate and what is the rate?
What is the limit?
What are the terms of the draw period? When does it end and what are the terms thereafter? Particularly note how the monthly payment changes during and after this period.
Is the interest tax-deductible?

Savvy homeowners may want to check their credit beforehand at AnnualCreditReport.com to help determine what kind of terms they may get and if there’s anything they can do improve their creditworthiness. Make sure your creditor walks you through the process so you completely understand the agreement.

Cynthia Schmier, Broker/Owner
CRS, CDPE, CNE, CIAS, MDI, 5-STAR, SRS
RE/MAX Country
Cynthia@Cynthia-Online.com
(360) 400-3475
www.cynthia-online.com

Friday, June 17, 2016

What Fathers Really Want for Fathers Day!

What Fathers Really Want for Father's Day!
Well, it's only fair that since I wrote a blog about what Moms really want for Mother's Day, I should do the same for the other side. Dads, I did some asking around and got a few Fathers to tell me what they really wanted for Father's Day. I will give you a quick tip: it's not another tie or #1 Dad shirt.
1. Let him watch the game. Sounds simple enough, right? Some Dads just want some snacks, a beer and their favorite sports on TV without interruption or distraction. No to do lists, no kids running in and out asking questions, no wife asking, "What you doing?". Just the game.
2. Kick him out. No, not for good. Send him to go play golf, or go shooting, hunting or fishing; whatever his hobby or passion is. No guilt, no "When will you be home?" questions, no asking him to pick up milk on his way back. Pack him a lunch, give him a kiss, and tell him to have fun. Best gift ever.
3. Spend some time together. Most Dads are really busy: working long hours plus weekend honey do lists. Sometimes it seems like they just don't get to spend any time with their family. Every Dad I asked said all he really wanted was to just spend some time with his family. Not that they needed to do anything in particular, just hanging out and catching up. We can totally do that.
So this Father's Day, give Dad what he really wants. A day just for him and his family. He deserves it and spending quality time with Dad is a family win all around!
Happy Father Day!
Cynthia Schmier, Broker/Owner
CRS, CDPE, CNE, CIAS, MDI, 5-STAR, SRS
RE/MAX Country
Cynthia@Cynthia-Online.com
(360) 400-3475
www.cynthia-online.com

Friday, June 10, 2016

How to Boost Your Curb Appeal this Summer!

How to Boost Your Curb Appeal this Summer
With the summer selling season getting as hot as the weather, how do you keep your house in the running with buyers? One great way is curb appeal. Here are some really easy and really fun tips to upgrade your curb appeal and get your house more attention than the rest.
Driveway & Entrance
Adding outdoor lighting to your walkway and driveway is not only chic, but it also provides safety and security. Adding some colorful potted plants around your porch and walkway is an easy way to add color and life to the front of your house without spending a ton of money or time. Painting your front door, hanging a flag, and maybe adding some seasonal accents to your entryway are all great ways to grab attention and still leave your mark on your home.
Windows
Some well-placed flower boxes can make a ton of difference in your curb appeal. Adding shutters are also a great attention-grabber for the front of your home. Just a simple touch like a solar powered candle in each window can really make people take a second look at your house.
Porch
If you have a covered porch, some hanging plants can really spruce things up. Adding some inviting features like a bench or Adirondack chairs can really speak to a buyer. If your porch is too small for a porch swing, a little chair and table with a nice potted plant or pretty tea set will all send the same message.
Yard
There are the obvious tasks: mowing and seeding the lawn, weeding and cutting back shrubs and bushes. But there are some really cool ways to make your yard stand out but still look neat. If you have a grass path to a back gate, lay some stone and create a walkway or outline bushes and shrubs with a border of stone or rocks. You could always add a few fence posts to the edge of your yard and give it that picket fence feel.
Remember, just like with the inside of your house, you don't want it to be too personalized as that will make it difficult for buyers to see themselves living there. You do, however, want it to stand out and be both different and inviting. Good luck and happy summer!
Cynthia Schmier, Broker/Owner
CRS, CDPE, CNE, CIAS, MDI, 5-STAR, SRS
RE/MAX Country
Cynthia@Cynthia-Online.com
(360) 400-3475
www.cynthia-online.com

Friday, June 3, 2016

Summer Vacation and Your Home!

Summer Vacation and Your Home!
You found your perfect home, you bought it, you moved in and unpacked, and now you're ready for some well deserved R&R. Whether it's just a few days out of town or a few weeks on a tropical island, there are some things you should do to prepare your home for your absence.
Preparing to Leave
Clean Out the Fridge: Throw away anything that is or will be expired by the time you come back. Wipe down the shelves and door jams to prevent mold or mildew.
Shut off the water: If a hose to a dishwasher or washing machine were to break, you could come home to a very large mess. So turn off the water to at least those appliances. You might want to run them and then leave the doors open to let them dry out so you prevent mold and mildew. Also, getting the laundry and dishes done means no mess or extra work when you get home.
Prep Your plants and outdoor space: Make sure all gutters and downspouts are clear. Overflow could seep under siding and flood basements. Mow and trim plants and hedges. Ask a friend or neighbor to help or pay a neighborhood kid to mow and check on the house.
Leave on some lights: Make it look like your home by leaving on some lights or have them on a timer if you don't want to waste money on your electric bill. Maybe pay the same kid who is mowing to turn on some lights at night. However you do it, it's important that your home look lived in even when your away. Most criminals are opportunists; they will take the easy route every time. So don't make it easy.
Unplug and reset thermostat: Unplug all your appliances; they suck up energy even when not in use and no one wants their house to catch on fire because of a loose or crossed wire. In addition to that, reset your AC. You don't want to turn it off completely because it could get very musty, so set your AC to 85 and your house will stay cool and free of mildew.
Hold mail and newspapers: A few quick phone calls and the post office and local delivery boy will hold all your stuff till you get back. Or you can give that kid a few more dollars and a key and he can take care of it for you.
Preparing for your return
Food: Make sure you have some non-perishables so when you get back, your first meal home is hassle free. (things like pop tarts, coffee, and soup are good to have.
Keep the house fresh: Plug in an air freshener oooor you know that kid? Yeah have him open a few windows for a couple of hours a day.
Change the sheets: There is nothing worse then coming home from vacation and having to do work. Changing your sheets and maybe putting a dryer sheet in the blankets will insure a great night's sleep on your return home.
Tidy Up: Sweep, Vacuum, Wipe down counters and any other stuff you know you won't want to do when you come home.
Happy vacation and don't forget to tip your neighborhood kid: he worked hard while you were gone!!
Cynthia Schmier, Broker/Owner
CRS, CDPE, CNE, CIAS, MDI, 5-STAR, SRS
RE/MAX Country
Cynthia@Cynthia-Online.com
(360) 400-3475
www.cynthia-online.com

Friday, May 27, 2016

Multiple Offer Market!

How To Handle Multiple Offers!
Let's face it, getting multiple offers is definitely not the worst case scenario if you're trying to sell your house. Now that the offers are there, what do you do? First, keep in mind that for properties with a single offer, the fallout is 10%, but for properties with two or more offers, the fallout rate increases to 50%. The reason for the difference is buyers often feel they were unduly pressured by the multiple-offer situation and now feel it's too much to pay. Here are some tips on how to handle a multiple offer situation.
Listen to your agent. You hired them because you believed in them and trusted them with selling your home. Trust them now. Your agent wants you to get the best deal and still be fair and ethical, so take their advice. You will be glad you did.
Price isn't everything. Make sure you review the terms of the entire contract and don't just see dollar signs. The highest offer, although tempting, isn't always the best offer. Are the buyers pre-approved for that amount? What kind of loan is it? Are you going to have to pay closing costs or other costs associated with the buyer's loan? Sometimes a lower more stable offer will save you a lot of headache at the closing table.
What is your home really worth? If the buyer you choose orders an appraisal and that appraisal comes back less than the offer price, the buyers' lender may not approve the mortgage. Unless that buyer is willing to come to the table with cash, you may be stuck putting your home back on the market.
Review closing periods. A buyer who's willing to close within weeks is more attractive than one who needs or wants months to do the deal. It is also less likely they will back out of the contract.
It's the sellers' house and it's the sellers' decision. You decide which offer you want to accept or if you want to counter all the offers. Remain sensible and be fair.
If you are selling your home in today's market, there is a good chance you will get multiple offers and it can be overwhelming. It's not a race. Take your time, read the contracts and listen to your agent's advice. If you follow these tips, you will pick the best offer and run less of a chance of having to sell your house twice. Good luck!

Cynthia Schmier, Broker/Owner
CRS, CDPE, CNE, CIAS, MDI, 5-STAR, SRS
RE/MAX Country
Cynthia@Cynthia-Online.com
(360) 400-3475
www.cynthia-online.com

Friday, May 6, 2016

What Mom really wants.

Happy Mother's Day

What does Mom really want on Mother's Day? Flowers are nice and chocolate is always welcome but there are some things that I know would make Mom really smile.
A clean car! Yes that's right, I said a clean car. Take your Mom's car to get detailed. Cleaning the car is one of those tasks that Mom hates to do but loves when it's done. Most Moms spend hours in the car taking kids to school, commuting, car pooling; the list goes on and on. It's so nice to get into a clean car you didn't have to break your back to get that way.
Plant the Flowers she really wants in the front of the house! How many times have you heard your Mom say, "I would like to plant gardenias this year" but she never seems to have the time. Well do it for her. Give her the curb appeal she wants without the back ache she doesn't want.
Clean out the Garage! You know what Mom would really love, to not have to bring in the groceries in the rain because her car won't fit in the garage any more.
Clean the House! Its great to let Mom sleep in and make her breakfast in bed, but it kind of defeats the whole idea when Mom has to get up and do all her regular chores (to include the dishes she just ate off ) Vacuum, swept, and yes clean the toilets so Mom doesn't have to. Oh and its free.
Take her someplace fun! Sunday brunch is very nice but mini-golf and ice cream is FUN! Whatever your Mom's thing is, take her to do that. Not what you want to do, but what you know she wants to do. It's just a few hours out of your life and it will make her so happy to be able to share her stuff with you.
Now go clean, plant and plan something fun for your Mom, she deserves it.


Cynthia Schmier, Broker/Owner
CRS, CDPE, CNE, CIAS, MDI, 5-STAR, SRS
RE/MAX Country
Cynthia@Cynthia-Online.com
(360) 400-3475
www.cynthia-online.com

Friday, April 29th, 2016

Bi-Polar Market

Bi-polar Market

We all know the Market is hot right now. Burning hot in some areas of the country, but did you also know that home ownership rates are nearing record lows? According to realtormag, the first quarter of this year's home ownership plummeted to 63.6 percent, the third lowest on record. With that said home builders say they are finally ready to build more new homes. NAHB forecasters predict that single-family production will see a 14 percent uptick this year to 812,000 units, and then rise another 19 percent to 964,000. Are you confused yet? Just wait it gets better.
New York Fed President and CEO William C. Dudley stated that "the housing market should remain on a solid trajectory, supported by rising employment and low mortgage rates. I continue to anticipate that consumption and housing activity will expand at a moderate pace this year." Which all sounds really good, except lots of real estate agents like Marianne Guenther Bornhoft are a little scared. "I'm a little scared that people are going to, again, get ahead of themselves." Aaron Cunningham, owner of the Citibroker firm, has similar worries. "I'm making more money today than I ever have, However, when times are good , it's really easy to get stupid." Many agents don't feel we have a sustainable market right now but they also don't think it's a bubble either. So what is it that's happening right now? Inventory is down, prices are up, bidding wars are becoming the new norm, mortgage rates are not rising, the economy is coming back, and with all this the market looks a little like it did before the last crash. What The Hell!
What does it all mean? I'm not really sure but what I do know is we all (buyers, sellers and agents) need to be careful. Be aware that all the normal rules still apply so don't get crazy or emotional about selling or buying your home. Always let logic rule and make sure you have an agent that knows what they are doing. Good luck out there.
Cynthia Schmier, Broker/Owner
CRS, CDPE, CNE, CIAS, MDI, 5-STAR, SRS
RE/MAX Country
Cynthia@Cynthia-Online.com
(360) 400-3475
www.cynthia-online.com


Friday, April 8th, 2016

Fun in the Sun

Thurston County Fun
The Sun is shining, the Mountain is visible, the birds are chirping and everyone is happy again. I thought this would be a great week to write about some of the really cool things going on in and around Thurston County. We have some amazing hiking trails from beginner to advanced and some even including rock climbing if that’s your thing. Go check out co.thurston.wa.us/parks/trails.htm and go explore.
If botanical gardens are more your thing, Thurston County offers many such as the Japanese gardens in Olympia to the rose gardens in Lacey. Go to http://www.olympialiving.com/attractions/botanical-gardens-in-olympia.htm and enjoy the blooming spring.
Thurston County is a haven for family friendly actives. There is too too much to list it here, but go to http://www.soundsfunmom.com/100-places-to-take-kids-in-south-puget-sound/ for cool stuff to do on a sunny day. If you're working within a budget, and lets face it most of us parents are, go to http://www.thurstontalk.com>activities for free stuff to do with kids in Thurston county.
As you can see, you don’t have to go far from home to have fun around here. I am listing a few more links below so check them out and go have fun in your community.
Cynthia Schmier, Broker/Owner
CRS, CDPE, CNE, CIAS, MDI, 5-STAR, SRS
RE/MAX Country
Cynthia@Cynthia-Online.com
(360) 400-3475
www.cynthia-online.com

Saturday, April 2, 2016

Farmers Markets

Spring has finally sprung in the Pacific North West and who doesn’t love to walk around a really good farmers market on a really nice day. It’s a great way to support your local farmers, artists and creative entrepreneurs. There are quite a few nice farmers markets in Thurston County.
Yelm Farmers Market: Open Sundays 10AM to 3PM starting May 22nd. The Yelm farmers market is all about community. They have a tent called taste the place manned by volunteers where you can taste the fresh fruit and produce of the farmers selling at the market and then go buy from the ones you enjoy. They also have a program for kids called POP. It’s for kids ages 5-12 and it helps them to learn about and engage with the local business in their community. Yelm farmers market support local artist and entrepreneurs as well. It’s a great way to meet new people and make some healthy choices. Come and check them out at Nisqually Springs Farm. yelmfarmersmarket.com

Olympia Farmers Market: Open all year round on Saturday’s 10AM to 3PM but starting April 7th till October they are open Thursday thru Sunday 10AM to 3PM. The Olympia farmers market has been around for 41 years. They have an abundance of local farmers and artisans. There are also quite a few restaurants and cafes as well as live entertainment and events throughout the year. They are located at 700 N Capital way in Olympia so come spend the day discovering this gem. olympiafarmersmarket.com
West Olympia Farmers Market: Open on Tuesdays from 4PM till 7PM. This is your neighborhood market supporting small and beginning vendors. They are located at west central park on the corner of Division and Harrison streets. Even though this is one of the newer markets it is worth the visit. wolympiafarmersmarket.com
Going to check out your local farmers market is not only a good way to get to know your neighborhood and support local businesses but it is just a really fun way to spend the day. If you are looking for farmers markets in Washington go to wafarmersmarkets.com. Get out, get healthy and have fun.

Cynthia Schmier, Broker/Owner
CRS, CDPE, CNE, CIAS, MDI, 5-STAR, SRS
RE/MAX Country

Cynthia@Cynthia-Online.com
(360) 400-3475
www.cynthia-online.com

March 25, 2016

Selling in Spring

This spring is gearing up to be one of the craziest in the realest market we have seen in a long time. It is for sure right now a sellers market. The inventory is low which is driving up prices and making it very competitive for buyers. So how do you get you house seen in a market like this knowing your going to be one of MANY? Well color is a great start. Paint your door a pretty bright color. Red is always nice. Plant some colorful flowers in the front or put on some nice window boxes if you can. Curb appeal is big. The outside of your house is the first thing people see so make it stand out but in a good way, not a why would anyone do that kind of way. Clean the yard, mow the lawn, trim the hedges and paint the fence. If you get some buyers, and in this market you will, to come look inside you want them to see themselves living there so depersonalize and declutter the space. Open the curtains and the blinds so the space is bright and open. If you have cool things like surround sound or central vacuum highlight that stuff when you have showings. Most important of all hire the right person to list your home. Make sure they know what they are doing by asking the right questions like:
How long have you been selling real estate?
How many homes have you sold?
What do you know about the market in my area?
Where is the market data to prove the value?
What educational designations have you achieved?
What is your average market time vs the rest of the market?
What is your list price to sale price ratio vs market?
How much are you willing to spend in marketing? Where will be marketing?
Are you a part-time or full-time agent?
Do you have a personal assistant and staff to help with details?
May I see your resume or personal brochure?
Will you stage my home after it is listed and suggest any repairs or changes that will make it more marketable?
How will you position my home professionally
Now go get to work and good luck.

Cynthia Schmier, Broker/Owner
CRS, CDPE, CNE, CIAS, MDI, 5-STAR, SRS
RE/MAX Country

Cynthia@Cynthia-Online.com
(360) 400-3475
www.cynthia-online.com

March 18, 2016

Millennials in the Market - Part 3 of 3

At this point we know what millennials want, lots of amenities, smaller, flexible spaces, historic structures and socially engaging neighborhoods all in the right price range. We also know they are in direct competition with baby boomers for these properties at some what of a disadvantage because of there lack of savings and slower economic growth and their lack of experience in negotiating for what they want. Millennials are now the biggest group of home buyers in the market and they are changing things including how agents do business.
According to NAR survey only 3 percent of agents are under 30 and 81 percent are over 45. That means many old dogs have to learn some new tricks. To say millenials are technology savvy would be an understatement. More than 50 percent of millennials search for homes on their phones and among those, 26 percent end up buying a home they found that way, according to National Association of Realtors. Millennials rarely need agents to find homes for them, they usually have their own list, and they’ve already researched comparable sales and chosen a neighborhood. “With millennials, we do not control information,” Says Player Murray, managing broker at Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices. “what they need is for us to interpret the information.” But that isn’t always easy for agents either. Millennials don’t want to talk. They would rather email or text. Murray says “they don’t want to be bothered with conversation of it can be texted.” Which can be a real challenge for agents who have spent most of there careers on the phone with their clients. Agents also have to learn to use social media in new and creative ways in order to keep millennials engaged. “They need to feel like they’re a part of your business.” Murray says. “Just re-posting an article that’s been posted 1,000 times across the country isnt enough.”
With all that said millennials are still the most likely group to use agents to buy a home. They are more likely to buy a fixer and value the advice, resources and referrals an experienced agent can provide. They are also all very new to the home buying game and although there may be a huge disconnect they still need the help. So agents are changing the way they do business and trying very hard to understand the Tweets, short cryptic emails and acronym laced texts. Agents are getting apps for their businesses and hiring social media marketing experts. It just goes to show you can teach an old Dog new tricks.
 
 
Cynthia Schmier, Broker/Owner
CRS, CDPE, CNE, CIAS, MDI, 5-STAR, SRS
RE/MAX Country

Cynthia@Cynthia-Online.com
(360) 400-3475
www.cynthia-online.com

March 11, 2016

Millennials in the Market - Part 2 of 3

Right now millennials are the biggest group of home buyers in the country, but they have some serious competition the baby boomers. The real estate market has become a generational war zone and baby boomers aren’t fighting fair, at least according to the millennials their not. With Baby boomers retiring in great numbers most are looking to down size from larger more suburban homes to small homes closer to or in the city. They are looking for convince and amenities within walking distance. Now that the economy is head upward millennials are now making enough to move out of mom and dads basement or trade in the four roommates they have for none and buy their own home. Great news except guess what they are looking for? You guessed it smaller homes near or in the city with in walking distance of most amenities.
Millennials being the socially connected, environmentally conscious group they are want to buy existing homes. They love the history, location or architectural detail and they are usually close to downtown. Guess who else loves all those things? You guessed it baby boomers. Baby boomers love history and being that most of them are retiring they are looking for something with a few projects they can work on to fill their days.
Why is any of this unfair you ask. Well it comes down to two things that baby boomers have that millennial don’t experience and money. Baby boomer Know how to negotiate to get what they want and being that according to NAR survey, only 3 percent of agents are under 30,and 81 percent were older than 45 Baby boomers are able to relate to and work with their agents a lot better. Millennials who do business very differently now don’t really have the tools to negotiate. And of course there is the money issue. “Boomers will pay a premium if you can give them exactly what they want,” said Matt Robinson, principal at MRP Realty. “Something closer to what was in their house, and that pushes up the price; they’re happy to pay for it.” Many millennials are not well suited to compete being that most of them entered the market in the middle of the recession and during the lackluster recovery few have had time to build any real wealth.
This War of generations is driving up prices on not only starter homes and condos but rental prices too. It is also cause a shortage of properties which is starting to concern most real estate agents. Real estate agents have to start learning how to better work with millennials in order to stop the War but that’s a subject for another blog.

Cynthia Schmier, Broker/Owner
CRS, CDPE, CNE, CIAS, MDI, 5-STAR, SRS
RE/MAX Country

Cynthia@Cynthia-Online.com
(360) 400-3475
www.cynthia-online.com

March 4, 2016

Millennials in the Market - Part 1 of 3

For quite awhile now Baby boomers have dominated or shaped the cultural and economic landscape in which we live. With baby boomers beginning to retire in large numbers, and shrinking numbers as they age, there is a new economic driver at play – Millennials.
Millennials are a socially connected, environmentally conscious group. They value individuality within the larger society but also want their choices in life to positively impact the world around them. Members of this socially active generation want to live close to where they work and play. This is pushing some new trends in real estate and how agents deal with their clients.
Projects incorporating retail, office and residential options into one compact area or building will continue to trend upward as developers cater to millennials lifestyles and demands for high end amenities. More and more developments are offering ground floor retail combined with apartments or lofts above that also offer amazing amenities such as rooftop pools and cabanas with coffee and wine bars, or gated dog parks and outdoor kitchens.
Another trend is the 18 hour city. This trend focuses on the increased development of urban centers, rather than their surrounding suburbs. This is often described as the shrinking donut, and is closely connected to the changing lifestyles generated by millennials. This trend also reflects the retiring baby boomers who are downsizing putting them in direct competition with millennials for real estate, but that is a topic for another blog. These 18 hour cities are rewarding developers for focusing on preexisting infrastructure. Often, the history, location, or architectural details of a downtown building provide the amenities and sense of place millennials seek.
The last trend is the flood of investment capital into the U.S. as well as an uptick in crowd funding. Most foreign investment has been concentrated in major US metro markets, but it is quickly starting to flow to small metro areas to develop smaller more historic cities. Crowd funding is also playing a big role in this trend by allowing millennials themselves to invest in the area they want to live with out having to be a millionaire in order to invest.
These are just a few of the ways millennials are affecting real estate. They are having profound effects on the market. Weather you like or dislike the trends with, over 80 million millennials its not going anywhere anytime soon.

Cynthia Schmier, Broker/Owner
CRS, CDPE, CNE, CIAS, MDI, 5-STAR, SRS
RE/MAX Country

Cynthia@Cynthia-Online.com
(360) 400-3475
www.cynthia-online.com

February 26, 2016

Flowers Everywhere

Early Spring in The Garden


Here are a few tips to help you get a head start on your spring gardening:

  • Finish up your seed and plant orders.
  • Keep an eye on houseplant pests.
  • Get your garden tools in order and your mower back in shape.
  • Prune trees and shrubs, both ornamentals and fruit.
  • Use an acid-type rhododendron, azaleas and camellias
  • Use an all-purpose fertilizer to feed roses and other deciduous trees and shrubs. If using dry-type fertilizers, water them in thoroughly.
  • Check flower beds for plants that may have heaved.
  • Cut some branches for forcing indoors.
  • Rejuvenate holly bushes with a hard pruning.
  • Check evergreens for signs of desiccation.
  • Start seeds of cool-season vegetables and flowers.
  • Start to rejuvenate annual flower beds.
  • Harvest winter crops before they bolt.
  • Trim back any branches that were damaged by the ravages of winter.
  • Apply dormant oil fruit spray.
  • Take notes and buy some shrubs and trees that you would like to see in your winter garden next season.


For more information on Gardening please go to http://gardening.about.com


Thank you CW title and Escrow for the Tips


Cynthia Schmier, Broker/Owner 

CRS, CDPE, CNE, CIAS, MDI, 5-STAR, SRS
RE/MAX Country

Cynthia@Cynthia-Online.com
(360) 400-3475
www.cynthia-online.com


February 19, 2016

Home Inspections

The Big I Word. Inspection DUN DUN DUNNNN
 
Home inspections are a big deal for everyone and although there are buyers that choose not to have an inspection done it’s not a good idea. Even if you’re buying new construction you should have an inspection, builders and contractors make mistakes too. I can hear you asking the questions now. So what exactly does a home inspector do? Why do I need a home inspection? What do I do with the report once it’s done? What should I look out for when hiring an inspector? All good questions and I am going to try and address them briefly in this blog.

First off, home inspectors are not required to be licensed in many states; however, inspectors can be certified by a home trade association such as National Association of Certified Home Inspectors. You also want to make sure they have a toxic and pest License. There is specific license required to identify pests like rodents and mold, and toxic elements in your house such as asbestos, lead , radiation. When hiring defiantly do your homework. This is your future home now is not the time to skimp.

 Some things to beware of are inspectors that say “I can repair that for you.” I would avoid any inspector who is advertising his repair service in conjunction with his inspection service. As a matter of fact in some states they are not allowed to work on a home for a year after inspecting it.

The other thing to look out for is an agent push one inspector over others. It is one thing to recommend it’s another to require you to use their inspector. Again, make sure you do your homework.
Some of the things the inspector will check are:
   Structural Elements, like walls, ceilings, floor, roof and foundation.
   Exterior Evaluation such as wall covering, landscaping, grading, elevation, drainage, driveways, fence, sidewalks, fascia, trim, doors, windows, lights and exterior receptacles.
   Roof and Attic, framing, ventilation, type of roof construction flashing and gutters.
   Plumbing including identification of pipe materials used for potable, drain, waste and vent pipes. Toilets, showers, sinks, faucets and traps.
   Systems and Components like water heaters, furnaces, air conditioning, duck work, chimney, fireplace and sprinklers.
   Electrical main panel, circuit breakers, types of wiring, grounding, exhaust fans, receptacles, ceiling fans and lighting fixtures.
   Appliances such as dishwasher, range and oven, built-in microwaves, garbage disposal and yes even smoke detectors.
   Garage including slab, walls, ceiling, vents, entry, firewall, garage door, openers, lights, and roof.

Once the inspection is complete, you will receive a report. If you hired an inspector worth his salt, the report should note every item that is defective or needing service. At this point you have some decisions to make? How many and how sever are the repairs that need to be made. Are you going to ask the seller to make the repairs or walk away from this home? Are the repairs minor enough that you will buy the home anyway and make the repairs yourself? If there are major repairs that need to be made it is not a bad idea to hire a contractor and get an estimate.
Remember no house is perfect no matter how well maintained or new it is. Every home will have issues flagged even new homes. Good Luck and Good Fiday.

Cynthia Schmier, Broker/Owner
CRS, CDPE, CNE, CIAS, MDI, 5-STAR, SRS
RE/MAX Country

Cynthia@Cynthia-Online.com
(360) 400-3475
www.cynthia-online.com

February 12, 2016

Are You Really Ready to Sell?

Spring Has Sprung.
Now that the weather is getting warmer lots of buyers are out looking for their next home. There are some things you can and should do to make it easier to sell your weather you want to sell now or in the future you should do these things every spring.
Clean your gutters
Gutters do their job best when clean. The raint season is a prime time to ensure all drainage areas remain unblocked by leaves and/or debris. Trapped moisture can leave a house susceptible to mold and mildew and cause major damage to your roof and walls.
Check Your Roof
Be diligent about roof maintenance. Ask a licensed professional to inspect your roof for wear and tear. If the shingles are curling, buckling or crackling, it’s time to replace the roof.
Check your Paint
The worst thing you can do is leave wood exposed, because that’s when it will begin to rot. Sand it down so there are no rough edges, prime the bare wood surface and paint it with high quality paint product. Don’t wait until siding accumulates too much dirt. Brighten up the house with a good power washing.
Cut Overgrowth
Trim overgrown trees and hedges away from your home to discourage the growth of mildew and moisture. Branches should be at least 7 feet away from the exterior of the house. Get rid of out-of –control vines, as they can help crack siding and allow moisture and pests entry into your home.
Love Your Lawn
Rake up leaves, Pull up weeds, and remove foliage from the lawn, shrubs and any plants. Pull up dead flowers and replace them with a low maintenance variety such as pansies, begonias or mums.
Keep the Air Fresh
You should be changing air filters monthly, but if not start now. A unit free of dust and dirt runs more efficiently saving you money on your energy bill. Also check hose connections for leaks.
Watch for Leaks
Investigate all doors and windows for leaks and drafts, which can signal water intrusion. Seal any open areas between the frame and the wall to keep out water which can deteriorate building materials.
Control Pests
Keep garbage and debris under control around the exterior of your home. Do what you would inside, and get rid of junk. Seal cracks, even if you just did so in the winter. Mulching the yard this spring? Use a liner underneath.
Peek at the Plumbing
Check for leaking faucets or sweating pipes, clogged drains and faulty water drainage systems. On laundry day, look at the washing machine hoses for bulges, cracks or dampness. Check under the kitchen sink for leaks and make note of wetness around dishwasher, Inspect your water heater for leaks and corrosion.
Clean Decks, Driveways and Fences
A pressure washer makes this job easier. While cleaning inspect for damage and make repairs before they become big jobs.
Clean Coils
Coils on your fridge conduct the hot air from outside the unit. If they are coated with dust they do the job less efficiently coasting you more money.
Smoke Detectors
Test and change batteries in your smoke detectors. Also find outa if you need and were to put Carbon monoxide detectors.
Drain Your Water Heater
By doing so you will prolong its life and reduce your electric bill.
By doing all these things now before you put your home on the market you will save yourself a lot of time, money and headaches as well as making the your house look great for potential buyers.

Cynthia Schmier, Broker/Owner
CRS, CDPE, CNE, CIAS, MDI, 5-STAR, SRS
RE/MAX Country

Cynthia@Cynthia-Online.com
(360) 400-3475
www.cynthia-online.com

February 5, 2012

Hot or Not?

Emerging Trends in the Market
We are only a few months into this New Year but there are some trends emerging in the Market. First off the coasts are hot; I would even dare to say on Fire. But they are quickly running out of inventory which is driving home prices up quickly. Why the Shortage? Well there might be a few answers for that. It could be that with the economy returning, millennials who have been living with family are now trying to get out on their own. At the same time baby boomers are seeking to downsize and have a lower cost of living which is flooding the market with buyers. Or it could be that financially recovering GenXers are investing in their current homes in fear of the market and mortgage rates possibly going up, leaving the market with a lack of inventory. It could also be potential sellers are very apprehensive of the market, mortgage rates and ability to get a new loan. The fact that few new entry-level homes are being built because of rise in cost may also be contributing to this trend. Regardless of what the reason for the lack of inventory it is defiantly a sellers market right now even if the sellers don’t know it. I guess I end this Blog with a question. Will this trend continue or will confidence in the market return?

Cynthia Schmier, Broker/Owner
CRS, CDPE, CNE, CIAS, MDI, 5-STAR, SRS
RE/MAX Country

Cynthia@Cynthia-Online.com
(360) 400-3475
www.cynthia-online.com

January 29, 2016

Pet Lovers Are Welcome!!

Pet Friendly Real Estate
No one shopping for a new home wants to walk into a house and smell the animals that live there, however the days of being asked to hide the fact that you have a pet are long gone. Some real estate companies are not only allowing pets, they’re catering to them. In fact Pet friendly agents have found one another on a growing social platform called the Pet Realty Network. The network launched in 1997, now boasts 300 members who pay $30 annually to be included in the directory and can add to its pet friendly listings. Even home builders are touting pet-accommodating floor plans, such as pet nooks in mudrooms, heated window perches, scratch proof flooring and custom-built cabinets for food bowls. “Its quite amazing what some people are doing now and what they are demanding,” says Rhona Sutter, Founder of Pet Realty Network. “Its something buyers really think about now when they build. Pet Friendly has come into the forefront of consideration.”
The reason for this pet friendly craze in the real estate world? Well nationwide, dog ownership is climbing, fueled in part by millennials who are postponing marriage and child-rearing and getting pets instead. The American Pet Products Association found in its most recent pet-owner study that 44 percent of American households, or more than 54 million, own at least one dog, up from 38 percent, or 35 million, in 1990. Its not just millennials driving this new trend, ProMatura, a Mississippi real estate research and advisory firm specializing in age-qualified housing, surveys seniors every year on what they want in their housing communities. In last years survey, 43 percent of respondents indicated they thought a dog park was essential or desirable, up 33 percent from the previous year. Apartment and condo developers from New York City to Washington State are incorporating pet amenities like grooming stations, day boarding facilities, dog-walking services, veterinary clinics, miniature dog parks, and even rooftop dog walks with special cleaning systems. Real estate agents now have to show themselves as pet friendly weather it is through networking, marketing or even how they stage the homes. No matter were you are or for whom you work, you will now have to take into consideration all the members of the family even the furry ones.

Cynthia Schmier, Broker/Owner
CRS, CDPE, CNE, CIAS, MDI, 5-STAR, SRS
RE/MAX Country

Cynthia@Cynthia-Online.com
(360) 400-3475
www.cynthia-online.com

January 21, 2016

Get Bang for your Buck!!!

Return on Investment
Remodeling and replacement projects can add value to your home, but some projects recoup their costs
better than others. According to Remodeling Magazine’s 2015 Remodeling Cost vs. Value Report, small and exterior projects return the most value for your money.
The project that offered the best value overall was a steel entry door replacement, which recouped 101.8 percent of its costs when the home was sold. The steel entry door is consistently the least expensive project named in the report, costing about $1,200 on average. The second best value is the addition of a manufactured stone veneer, which can recoup 92.2 percent of its original cost, but be prepared to invest at least $7,000 for the improvement.
Replacing a garage door can return 82.5 percent for an upscale project and 88.5 percent for a mid-range project. Replacing your home’s siding with fiber cement will return 84.3 percent of the costs, while replacing vinyl siding recoups 80.7 percent. Adding a wood deck will return 80.5 percent and replacing wood windows earns 78.8 percent.
A minor kitchen remodel is a strong bet to add value to your home. An investment of $19,226 can return 79.3 percent of its costs. A major kitchen remodel recoups 67.8 percent and a bathroom remodel returns 70 percent.
To find out which home improvement projects bring the most value, talk to a CRS REALTOR® who knows the local market, housing inventory, and what buyers want in a home.

Cynthia Schmier, Broker/Owner
CRS, CDPE, CNE, CIAS, MDI, 5-STAR, SRS
RE/MAX Country

Cynthia@Cynthia-Online.com
(360) 400-3475
www.cynthia-online.com

January 15, 2016

Working from home can Work!

Home WORK
According to a recent study by Telework Research Network, 30 million people work from home at least once a week, and that number is expected to grow by 63 percent over the next five years. While dedicating an entire room for a home office is ideal, it’s not always practical. With smaller laptops and office furnishings and Wi-Fi connections, work areas can be set up anywhere in the home. Before setting up a workspace at home, here are a few ideas to consider.
Adequate storage. Storage solutions don’t have to be fancy or expensive, but they do need to be tailored to hold everything you need, including reference books, office supplies and files.
Sufficient lighting. Tasks like reading or drafting require lighting that shines directly on the work. For task lighting, use energy-efficient, long-lasting LEDs and a dimmer switch to control levels.
Reliable power. Many older homes may not have sufficient power or may lack grounded outlets. An electrician can do a wiring inspection and upgrade outlets and circuits as needed. A strong Internet connection is also important. Make sure your DSL or cable modem is functioning well and can handle a demanding workload
Work surface. The type of work you do will determine the size of work surface you need. A longer, wider area is better for spreading out papers, while a smaller desk may work best for reading documents and making phone calls. If you use a printer every day, place it within easy reach.
Seating. If you sit for long periods, invest in an ergonomic chair. Though it may cost more, it can provide better comfort and support for your back.

Cynthia Schmier, Broker/Owner
CRS, CDPE, CNE, CIAS, MDI, 5-STAR, SRS
RE/MAX Country

Cynthia@Cynthia-Online.com
(360) 400-3475
www.cynthia-online.com

January 8, 2016

Stuck in a Rut? Spruce it Up!

ACCESSORIZE IT­
If your home décor seems stuck in a rut, updating your accessories can bring more spice to your living space. When accessorizing your home, follow these simple tips and tricks from HGTV and HouseBeautiful.com.
* Highlight a few favorite accessories at one time. While it’s fun to collect different styles of pillows, artwork and collectibles, displaying them all at one time can overwhelm the room. Try showing only 20 percent of your prized accessories at a given time and change them regularly throughout the year.
* Highlight a focal point in the room. Perhaps you have a uniquely designed fireplace mantel or a treasured area rug that you want to showcase. Select a piece of artwork to complement the rug, or display a few photographs or your favorite figurines along the mantel.
* Choose a color scheme and theme. Before buying accessories, decide on one or two colors that will add visual interest to each room and complement your furniture and wall colors. If your furniture and walls are neutral, choose bold colors for your accessories to create a vibrant look. Accessories can also play up a theme of a room.
* Group similar items. To create a consistent, balanced look, display accessories in small groupings. Some designers work by the rule of three. For example, a trio of matching mirrors lined up on the wall with a contrasting background can provide a dramatic focal point.
* Light up your space. Create instant impact by choosing light fixtures that complement the design style of the room. To create a certain mood, use wall sconces, an extravagant chandelier or recessed lighting. With the right accessories, your home can go from ­­stale to stunning in no time.

Cynthia Schmier, Broker/Owner
CRS, CDPE, CNE, CIAS, MDI, 5-STAR, SRS
RE/MAX Country

Cynthia@Cynthia-Online.com
(360) 400-3475
www.cynthia-online.com

December 18, 2015

Freshen things up!!!

HOMES BY DESIGN FOR 2015
Looking for a few ways to freshen up your home’s interior design for the New Year? Check out these ideas from home furnishings retailer BoConcept New York and Cheryl Hucks Interior Design.
Get the Blues – Blue is the color of the year, and while cooler tones have been popular for several years, shades of blue will be more prominent in home design in warmer and bolder shades. To update your home décor, add a sofa or accent pieces in midnight blue or indigo.
.
Heavy Metal – Add a little sparkle to your home décor by adding a few metallic elements, such as a brass floor lamp, silver picture frame or throw pillows with copper stripes.

Natural Elements – Using natural materials adds more space and depth within your living space. Furniture made of natural wood, especially in lighter shades, creates an open, airy atmosphere. Try mixing wood pieces with other natural materials..
Tone on Tone – Create a contemporary tone-on-tone look by layering one color with varying shades and textures of the same color. Despite using different textures and saturation levels, designers at BoConcept say the overall appearance will be soft, calm and sophisticated.

Make a Statement – Some designers say using large prints and floral fabrics for accent furniture pieces can make a bold statement and give a room a creative focal point.

Cynthia Schmier, Broker/Owner
CRS, CDPE, CNE, CIAS, MDI, 5-STAR, SRS
RE/MAX Country

Cynthia@Cynthia-Online.com
(360) 400-3475
www.cynthia-online.com

December 11, 2015

What to Ask For in Your New Kitchen

MUST-HAVE KITCHEN GADGETS
Whether cooking at home or shopping for
someone who does, the right kitchen
appliances can make it easier to prepare
meals. The experts at Epicurious.com
recommend a few must-have kitchen gadgets.
Professional chefs and savvy home cooks
alike need a reliable knife for everyday use.
Epicurious.com recommends the Global
G-2 8-inch stainless steel knife, which is
easy to use and ideal for precise dicing
and heavy-duty chopping.

A mandolin makes it easy to slice, crinkle-cut or waffle-cut veggies such as potatoes, carrots and cucumbers. Epicurious.com suggests the DeBuyer swing mandolin, which has a smart handle designed to protect fingers, nonskid feet, and stainless-steel blades that can be easily removed for cleaning.
A standing mixer is one of the most useful appliances home chefs can have, and Epicurious.com recommends the KitchenAid Artisan 5-quart model. It takes up little counter space and has a tilting head for easy access to the bowl. Optional attachments do everything from grind meat to juicing fruits and vegetables.
Immersion blenders, such as the Cuisinart Smart Stick, make it easy to prepare soups and sauces. Home cooks can puree soups right in the pot without the danger or hassle of transferring hot liquids, and sauces can be thickened and emulsified without removing them from the stovetop.
Slow cookers, which were popular in the 1970s, are kitchen staples for many of today’s savvy home chefs. For family-size meals, Epicurious.com recommends Cuisinart’s 6.5-quart digital slow cooker which features a programmable 24-hour timer and high, low and stay-warm settings.
By having just a few great gadgets on hand, homeowners can make sure their kitchen is equipped to help them make great at-home meals for years to come.

Cynthia Schmier, Broker/Owner
CRS, CDPE, CNE, CIAS, MDI, 5-STAR, SRS
RE/MAX Country

Cynthia@Cynthia-Online.com
(360) 400-3475
www.cynthia-online.com

December 4, 2015

Home For The Holidays!!!

HOLIDAY HOME SELLING TIPS
There are a few advantages to selling your home during the holidays. Buyers shopping for homes this time of year tend to be more serious, and because fewer homes may be on the market, there’s less competition. Frontdoor.com offers several tips to attract buyers during this busy season.

Don’t go overboard on holiday decorations.
Large decorations can make your home seem smaller and they can distract buyers. If you choose to decorate, opt for fewer and smaller items with a general winter theme.
Hire a reliable real estate agent. Ask family and friends to recommend a Certified Residential Specialist (CRS) agent who will work hard for you during the holiday season.

Seek motivated buyers.
Individuals shopping for a home during the holidays must be highly motivated. Target buyers who need to move soon, such as people relocating for jobs, college students and university staff on break, and investors on tax deadlines.

Price the property to sell.
No matter what time of year it is, a home that’s priced appropriately for the market will attract buyers.

Pay attention to curb appeal.
Maintaining your home’s exterior is just as important in the winter as it is during any other season. Touch up the paint, clean the gutters and spruce up the yard. Also keep buyers’ safety in mind by keeping stairs and walkways clear of snow, ice and leaves.

Make your home cozy and inviting.
When showing your home, crank up the heat, play soft music and offer homemade holiday treats. It will encourage buyers to spend more time in the home, which gives them a chance to admire its best features.

Cynthia Schmier, Broker/Owner
CRS, CDPE, CNE, CIAS, MDI, 5-STAR, SRS
RE/MAX Country

Cynthia@Cynthia-Online.com
(360) 400-3475
www.cynthia-online.com

November 27, 2015

Keep Your Info Safe This Holiday

Mall security (ONLINE VERSION)
According to a 2014 Deloitte survey, 55 percent of American consumers say they are concerned about protecting their personal data when shopping online, and 42 percent say they have similar concerns when shopping in stores. With the holiday shopping season fast approaching, consumers need to be more vigilant about protecting their personal data. PC Magazine offers the following tips to shop safely online.
* If possible, avoid using a debit card for purchases. Most debit cards don’t have the same level of fraud protection that credit cards have. If a debit card is all you have, protect your PIN by shielding the keypad with your hand or body.
* Visit only trusted sites, which are more likely to be secure. Make sure an “https” appears in the site’s URL and a lock icon is visibly displayed. Log out of all shopping accounts after completing a transaction.
* Avoid using a public Wi-Fi for your online shopping and financial transactions. Also use a password manager to create strong, unique passwords for each shopping site.
* Provide as little information to merchants as possible. Online retailers do not need to know your social security number or birth date to do business.
* Purchase gift cards directly from the retailer, not through a third-party source. Some scammers will auction off gift cards on sites like eBay with little or no funds on them.
* Review online bank statements frequently to confirm charges; don’t wait for your monthly statement to arrive in the mail. If you notice any questionable charges, contact your financial institution immediately. Keep these suggestions in mind, and you can enjoy a secure holiday shopping experience.
Cynthia Schmier, Broker/Owner
CRS, CDPE, CNE, CIAS, MDI, 5-STAR, SRS
RE/MAX Country

Cynthia@Cynthia-Online.com
(360) 400-3475
www.cynthia-online.com

November 20, 2015

Your Health and Your Neighborhood

Heart-HealthyNEIGHBORHOODS
Living in a friendly neighborhood may be good for your heart, according to a recent study by psychologists at the University of Michigan. In fact, the more social connections you have among your neighbors, the less likely you are to die from a heart attack.
The study analyzed the social connections of more than 5,000 adults in urban, suburban and rural areas over a four-year period. Researchers controlled for factors like age, race, income, marital status, education, mental health, optimism and other known health-risk factors associated with heart attacks, such as diabetes, obesity and high blood pressure. By the end of the four years, 148 of the individuals studied had suffered a heart attack.
Maintaining friendly relationships with your neighbors may be good for your health because neighbors are more likely to check on each other and notice any potential health problems, share resources and health information, and lend money. They can also offer emotional support, which can be a buffer during times of stress.
Conversely, other studies have shown that negative aspects of a neighborhood can have a detrimental effect on a person’s health. For example, living in areas with violence, noise, poor air quality and access to too many fast food restaurants can have a negative impact on a person’s health. Further, a study at the University of Pennsylvania finds that living in areas with abandoned buildings can lead to isolation and hamper social relationships, which can lead to poor physical health of residents who live nearby.
Being helpful and neighborly is not only good for your health, it’s good for the health of the neighborhood.

Cynthia Schmier, Broker/Owner
CRS, CDPE, CNE, CIAS, MDI, 5-STAR, SRS
RE/MAX Country

Cynthia@Cynthia-Online.com
(360) 400-3475
www.cynthia-online.com

November 13, 2015

Pets and The Holidays

DON’T RUIN
Their holiday
It’s easy to overlook our furry companions during the rush of seasonal celebrations. The holidays can be disruptive to pets’ routines, so it’s important to keep their eating and exercise habits to a normal schedule, according to the American Society for the Protection of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA). The following tips can help keep pets out of harm’s way during the holidays.

* Anchor the Christmas tree so it doesn’t tip and fall over, injuring your pet. This will also prevent the tree water, which may contain poisonous fertilizers, from spilling. Also keep wires, batteries and ornaments out of paws’ reach so pets don’t get hurt.
* Consider decorating the tree with bows or strands of popcorn, ribbon or garland. Avoid shiny strands of tinsel that can be tantalizing to cats, but also dangerous. One small nibble can lead to an obstructed digestive tract, severe vomiting and dehydration.
* Fresh holly and mistletoe might appear harmless, but when ingested, pets can suffer nausea, vomiting and diarrhea. Instead, choose colorful, artificial plants made from silk or plastic.
* Don’t leave lighted candles unattended. Pets can accidentally burn themselves or cause a fire if they knock candles over. Place candles in appropriate holders on a stable surface, and extinguish them when exiting the room.
With so much activity going on, give your dog or cat a quiet place to retreat to, complete with fresh water, their favorite toy and snack, and a place to snuggle.

November 6, 2015

Its Getting Gray!

CURBING THE WINTER BLAHS
While the weather outside might be frightful, your home’s curb appeal can still be delightful. The following ideas from HGTV.com can help make your home stand out even when it’s cold and gray outside.

* Clean the gutters. Clogged gutters can cause water damage to your home, create ice dams that can damage gutters and attract pests.
* Keep visitors safe. Clear the walkways, driveway and stairs of snow and ice so prospective buyers can make it to your front door without slipping.
* Provide proper lighting. As the days get shorter, it gets darker earlier. Lights can illuminate the path to the front door, and sconces or lanterns on each side of the door can give buyers a warm welcome.
* Colorize the exterior. Bare trees won’t hide your home’s faded or chipped paint, so give your home a fresh coat. A front door painted in a bright color can make it stand out amidst the gray landscape.
* Use winter decorations wisely. Keep holiday decorations to a minimum, and use them to show off your home’s best features. A string of white lights around the windows can make your home look festive.
* Bring out the green. Evergreen
trees and cold-weather plants, such
as pansies and witch hazel, can

liven up a dreary landscape.
By following these simple tips, your home
can make a great first impression in any season.


October 20, 2015

Selling Your Home During the Holidays

  •    
HOLIDAY
Staging tips
You may be trying to sell your home during the festive holiday season, but that doesn’t mean you have to forgo the holiday decorations completely. Just don’t overdo it, say the staging experts at Frontdoor.com. Instead, stick to a few simple decorative touches, such as a pinecone centerpiece or an evergreen wreath. Avoid religious themed decorations, which may turn off potential buyers.
Avoid using decorations that might clash with your current color scheme. For example, if the décor in the living room is blue, silver and white, choose accessories that complement that color scheme, such as blue glass ornaments and silver or white candles.
Use accessories to draw attention to the home’s best features. Hang a few
tastefulornaments from the mantel to showcase an elegant fireplace or hang an evergreen garland around the bay window.
Keep inflatable characters in storage while your home is on the market. Instead,
use simplestring lighting to showcase a fir tree in your front yard.
Make your home extra inviting by lighting a fire in the fireplace or turning up the heat a couple of degrees on chilly days. Offer tasty treats like hot apple cider and fresh-baked cookies to create a welcoming environment.
With a little creativity and common sense, you can enjoy the holidays while trying to sell your home.




Cynthia Schmier, Broker/Owner
CRS, CDPE, CNE, CIAS, MDI, 5-STAR, SRS
RE/MAX Country
Cynthia@Cynthia-Online.com
(360) 400-3475
www.cynthia-online.com

October 22, 2015

WHEN IT RAINS IT POURS

Tips and Trends for homeowners,Buyers and Sellers.     


   No matter where you live, emergencies are bound
to happen when you least expect them: the furnace
breaks down, appliances stop working, the roof starts
leaking or a window gets smashed. The costs for repairs
can be tough to stomach, unless you have an
emergency fund.

Setting up an emergency fund is easier than you think.
These tips from Bankrate.com will help you handle
unexpected surprises with ease.

   



  •  First, estimate how much money you might need for the fund. Experts suggest saving enough to cover four to seven months of expenses. Remember, this fund should not replace your entire income, and it should not be used to fund luxuries, like vacations, fancy new clothes or a new car (unless your existing one breaks down).  Keep funds accessible, but not so readily available that you are tempted to borrow from it.


 

  • Set up an account separate from your regular checking account. Consider using credit unions, which   allow consumers to open accounts with smaller sums of cash, and online banks, so you can’t withdraw money from a storefront location.

 


  • Be sure to use the funds only for emergencies, such as replacing broken appliances, replacing the furnace or paying your regular monthly expenses after a job layoff or during a lengthy illness.  


  •   Begin slowly. Start with a deposit of $50 from each paycheck, then increase it gradually with each job change or pay increase. Set aside a portion of commission checks and tax refunds, too.
     
     

With these simple steps, you’ll have greater peace of mind, knowing you are prepared for any emergency.


August 28, 2015

Where Is Your Investment Best Spent?

RETURN ON improvement

Are you thinking about selling your home, or do you just want to spruce things up and don’t know where to start? If you’re working within a strict budget, the thought of remodeling your home can be daunting. It’s best to assess your needs and also educate yourself on current market trends before you get started.

The 2015 Remodeling Cost vs. Value Report, produced byRemodeling magazine in cooperation with the National Association of REALTORS®, reports that large-scale jobs aren’t likely to return sellers their full cost. Instead, smaller replacement jobs tend to generate a higher return than remodeling projects. The report uncovers that replacement projects showed an average return of 73.2 percent, while the cost-value ratio of remodeling projects showed an average rate of return of 60.8 percent.

Arming yourself with information like this is key before you invest in making improvements. Here are the five mid-range projects that are most likely to recoup the cost of investment.

Entry door replacement – 101.8%
Manufactured Stone Veneer – 92.2%
Garage Door Replacement – 88.4%
Siding Replacement Vinyl – 80.7%
Deck Addition Wood – 80.5%




Cynthia Schmier, Broker/Owner
CRS, CDPE, CNE, CIAS, MDI, 5-STAR, SRS
RE/MAX Country
Cynthia@Cynthia-Online.com
(360) 400-3475
www.cynthia-online.com

Date: Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Still Inspired After 25 Years in Real Estate

When Cynthia Schmier first visited Yelm in 1985, the main things she remembers are “one stoplight and tumbleweeds.” Thirty years later, both she and the realty business she started, RE/MAX Country, have become fixtures downtown and symbols of the growing local economy. After 25 years in business, she continues to be inspired by the clients she works with, the team she’s created, and the Yelm community.

With clients, she says, it’s important to stay in the moment; therefore no matter how many houses you’ve sold, each day is different. “Every client has a unique criteria based on what’s going on in their life,” she says. “You’re strategizing to help them reach their objective. That’s what the art of real estate is. It’s facilitating their needs and keeping an emotional ride out of the picture as much as possible. It changes moment by moment.”

She also finds that working with clients can be a great vehicle for personal growth. “It’s a personal journey of unwinding,” she says. “Every person I engage with is a discovery of myself and how I interact with that person. It’s revealing and is always rewarding. I like the adventure - what unfolds when you go down the trail with a client. That is probably the biggest reason I love this business.” Cynthia’s motto: “Excellence - More than a Goal, It’s A Way of Life!”

Within her office, she’s worked to develop a culture that is honest, supportive, and constantly evolving. “The embodiment of the building is ‘What can we learn from this?’” she says. “It’s the people. We review everything, including the client’s feedback regarding their experience. We may agree or disagree, but it’s their feedback that gives us the opportunity to see what we’re projecting and how to improve on ourselves. This is the pot of gold.”

Her team includes specialists in different areas of real estate and, as she puts it, “Everyone works their buns to the max in this firm. We really have a great support here.” One thing that Cynthia is very clear on stating to all her clients is that without her staff she couldn’t do it. They make it happen.

Over time, Cynthia has seen many changes in the region. When she first became a real estate broker in 1990, Yelm was still very much a rural town, although a growing one. “I couldn’t find a house to buy that had sheetrock,” she says, laughing.

Having moved from a high-end lifestyle in the vacation mecca of Lake Tahoe, California, the transition was a bit of a shock. At the same time, she found the Pacific Northwest extremely inviting and spent five years on a one-hundred-acre property in Chehalis before moving to Yelm.

Today, she says, “I love this community. I love the diversity. We have founding families, we have international people, we have military, history, and just friendly folks. My inspirations come daily interacting with such fine traits.”


Date: Thursday, June 4, 2015

Financing A First Home

Although financing a first home can be challenging, buyers who are prepared and know what they can afford up front can help expedite the process and save themselves unnecessary headaches later. Before starting your home search, follow these financial tips from the National Association of Home Builders and Bankrate.com.

  • First, figure out what you can afford to pay each month. In addition to principal and interest, figure expenses for local taxes, insurance, and if buying a con-dominium, monthly assessments. Once you have this calculation, don’t be tempted by lenders to pay more than that. Free mortgage calculators, which are available on many real estate and finance websites, can help you estimate monthly payments based on current interest rates and down payment. Generally speaking, no more than 28 percent of gross monthly income should be allocated to housing costs.
  • Pay down your debts. Any credit card debt you have can limit how much you can borrow from a lender. Check your credit report thoroughly for any errors or unpaid accounts, and resolve those issues before moving ahead. Allow at least six months to iron out any credit problems before shopping for a home, experts suggest.
  • Determine your monthly cash flow. Track your spending for two or three months to see where money is going. Once you know what you can afford and what your cash flow is, you can determine your down payment.
  • Organize documents, especially those that validate income and taxes. Most lenders may want to see two recent pay stubs, W-2s and tax returns from the previous two years, and the last two monthly bank statements. Having these documents ready ahead of time can help the lending process run more smoothly.

If you are just getting started, check out local home-buying seminars or sites like HUD.gov, which provides information about shopping for and financing a home. Ask friends, family and co-workers for referrals for lending professionals they’ve worked with previously, and talk with lenders and credit counselors to find financing options that will work best for you.

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Date: Thursday, December 18, 2014

Your Home: Guiding Light

Need a little more light in your life?  See for yourself the difference that light bulbs and lamp shades can make with a room's mood.  Check out these bright ideas from RealSimple.com.

Type Cast  In the bathroom, use overhead lights to get rid of shadows; sidelights flanking the mirrors are perfect for makeup application.  In the kitchen, overhead lights brighten surfaces.  In the bedroom, try cozy tinted, low-wattage bulbs to give a candlelit, romantic effect.  To create a grand atmosphere in the dining room, use a chandelier.  Place one directly over the table, but make sure to measure the ceiling height and table height before making a purchase.  Indirect lighting - in all parts of the home - softens spaces.  Small table lamps or wall scones can also add a subtle glow.
 
Safe and Secure  Use ambient lighting to brighten the exterior of your home.  Motion-activated or timer-equipped lights can ensure your home's exterior is well-lit in the evenings.  Don't go too dim or too bright - no need to attract intruders, nor bother your neighbor. 


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