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Month: January 2018

West Seattle Time Bank serves our community

West Seattle Time Bank serves our community

What is a Time Bank?
“Who” is a Time Bank is a better question.
We are friends and neighbors sharing time and talents.

Our Time Bank has three main goals:

> Strengthen our communities and meet real needs of community members.
> Serve people and give them a means to serve.
> Establish new relationships.

Each person has talents to share. When neighbors help one another, the overall community is strengthened. For every hour that you help meet the needs of another member, you earn a time credit. This time credit can then be used for services from others. And the never-ending cycle of sharing and exchanging services continues.

The mission of TimeBanks USA, our charter organization, is to promote equality and build caring community economies through inclusive exchanges of time and talents.

Curious, but not ready to sign up? Come to one of the monthly orientation meetings to check us out.*home

Here’s where you can learn more about the origins of Time Bank communities:

Employers Can Now Add to Down Payments

Employers Can Now Add to Down Payments

A new program allows employers to help workers put a down payment on a home, similar to how companies contribute to a 401(k).

HomeFundMe, a Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac-approved down payment crowdfunding platform, allows borrowers to crowdfund their down payment from several sources, including their employer. CMG Financial, a mortgage banking firm, created the HomeFundMe program. Employers can contribute directly to employees’ HomeFundMe accounts to help raise funds for a down payment on a home.

HomeFundMe explains: “The HomeFundMe Affinity Portal allows employers to add HomeFundMe to their benefit packages, with the option to elect to match donations in any amount. Employers simply have to share the customized crowdfunding platform with employees, and HomeFundMe will provide all the materials necessary to communicate the benefit.”

Some loans may also be eligible for a lender contribution of $2 for every $1 crowdfunded, up to $2,500 or 1 percent of the purchase price. Buyers who have incomes above the average median income can receive a lender contribution of $2 for every $1 crowdfunded, up to $1,000 or 1 percent of the purchase price.

HomeFundMe loans are also eligible for a buyer or listing agent contribution of 1 percent toward the down payment.

All crowdfunded money is held in escrow until settlement.

“More than ever, employers are looking for ways to retain and attract the best and brightest talent and millennials are looking for the lifestyle perks that will help them achieve their goal,” says Chris George, president of CMG Financial. “The Affinity Portal helps to bridge that gap by giving employers the ability to give their employees the benefits that matter most to them.”

Source: CMG Financial

Source: Employers Can Now Add to Down Payments | Realtor Magazine


Pet-friendly homes

Pet-friendly homes

Puppy with floppy earsFur babies, four-footed-friends, companions — whatever you call your pets, you probably make many concessions for their comfort and welfare. That may or may not extend to looking for specific features in a new home, but if it does, here are some things to consider that will make your home pet-friendly.

Want more information and resources concerning your home and real estate? Visit my agent website:

Interior Design Trends for 2018

Interior Design Trends for 2018

women handling color swatches and countertop samples
Why not invite friends for your own design party?

If you are thinking of updating or remodeling your home, here’s some insight into the latest design trends for 2018. On the other hand, why not create something totally new and unique and become a trend-setter yourself?

Want more information and resources concerning your home and real estate? Visit my agent website:

An option for Primary Care

An option for Primary Care

Health care plans are all over the news these days. It’s an issue that most everyone has to deal with, no matter what your political leanings are.

I recently discovered an alternative to traditional medical care that I want to share with you.

GoodMed Direct Primary Care Clinic, located in West Seattle’s Morgan Junction at 6553 California Ave SW, Suite A. Care is provided by two Naturopathic Physicians, Dr. Ryan Campbell, and Dr. Wendy Hueners, who specialize in assessing and managing patients’ comprehensive primary care needs, including acute, chronic, and preventative.

Doctors Campbell and Huener emphasize a foundation of prevention through diet and lifestyle, while practicing a full scope of services including pharmaceuticals, imaging and laboratory testing. They also refer out to specialists when the need arises.

More info at:


If you’d like to know more about the differences between MD’s and ND’s (Naturopathic Physicians) go to:

Should you build a backyard cottage?

Should you build a backyard cottage?

If you are a Seattle homeowner with a sizable lot, you may wonder about the possibility of building a backyard cottage of some sort. These structures go by many names: Mother-in-law apartment, tiny house, Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU), Detached Accessory Dwelling Unit (DADU). Cottages can be free-standing structures or built above a garage. Whether or not you are able to legally rent out such a dwelling depends upon the permits obtained and the features of the unit itself.

Recognizing the need to increase affordable housing options, City of Seattle officials are exploring ways to reduce some of the barriers to building backyard cottages.

Here are some of the current restrictions that must be overcome.

• Development regulations such as height limits, setbacks, and minimum lot size

>DADUs can only be constructed in Single Family Residential zones on lots that are at least 4,000 square feet in area.

>Backyard cottages can be at most 800 gross square feet, including any garage or storage space in the structure. Currently, an attached ADU can be 1,000 square feet.

>DADUs are not permitted within 200 feet of shorelines in the city. DADUs are also generally not allowed to be constructed within designated Environmentally Critical Areas (ECAs). This includes areas like wetlands, riparian corridors, and steep slopes.

• Requirement to provide off-street parking

>One off-street parking space is required for the DADU

• The owner-occupancy requirement

>Property owners are required to reside in either the cottage or the principal unit for six months of the year

• Costs of design, engineering, construction, financing and permitting fees

Here is a link to the City of Seattle website for more info on this topic.

Want more information and resources concerning your home and real estate? Visit my agent website:

A home seller’s market from the seller’s POV

A home seller’s market from the seller’s POV

It’s a seller’s market. If you haven’t sold your home recently, you might be interested to hear a bit about what that experience is like in the Seattle market these days.

Once a home has been prepped for sale — which takes very little work in such a strong seller’s market — the agent and homeowner agree on a list price based on sales of comparable properties. This is easier said than done when homes are selling so quickly at ever-escalating prices. If the agent and seller anticipate multiple offers, they also set an offer review date. That date is usually 5-7 days after the home goes on the market. This strategy typically nets a higher sale price for the seller than if they accept the first offer that comes in. Appropriately priced homes in West Seattle usually receive anywhere from 3 to 15 offers that meet or exceed the list price and are not contingent on inspection; buyers have either pre-inspected the property or waived inspection. This essentially results in “As Is” sales. It is not unusual to receive all-cash offers and/or offers with down payments of 30-50%. The agent then prepares an analysis of all the offers to determine which are the strongest. You may be surprised to hear that the highest offer price doesn’t always constitute the strongest offer. A “strong” offer is one that has the best chance of closing quickly and without incident. I.e. if there is a loan involved, the lender has a good track record for closing on time, and the contract includes few, if any, “outs” for the buyer. Once buyers and sellers have reached Mutual Acceptance — and disappointed 2 to 14 buyers — the sale will usually close in about 30-45 days.

After that, the seller often gets to experience the process in reverse!

Any questions?

Want more information and resources concerning your home and real estate? Visit my agent website:

Need a tool? Borrow it from the library!

Need a tool? Borrow it from the library!

The West Seattle Tool Library may be a too-well-kept secret! If you find yourself in need of an expensive tool that you never likely to need again, borrowing it from the library may be the way to go.

Located in the back of the building at 4408 Delridge Way SW (Youngstown Cultural Arts Center), the tool library is the brainchild of Sustainable West Seattle. Just like a traditional library where you can check out books, the tool library allows you to check out tools for a week at a time on a pay-what-you-can basis. Those who want to help sustain the library can become members and/or donate good, used tools.

Even better, library volunteers offer classes and tutorials to teach you how to use various tools properly.

This is DIY without the loneliness.

For more information, including a complete list of available tools (most, with photos) go to


Is White Center now a Dining Center?

Is White Center now a Dining Center?

Don’t look now, but White Center, WA (a quirky little suburb of the suburb of West Seattle, aka Rat City) is quickly becoming a haven for good eating establishments! Maybe this spunky little neighborhood has finally found a way to distinguish itself!

Here are just a few of the tasty trattoria’s you may want to try. (Please note: this is somewhat random a list, in no particular order. Plus, I have undoubtedly, yet innocently, omitted some worthy contenders. Care to nominate others?)

Noble Barton’s – 9635 16th Ave SW

Proletariat Pizza – 9622 16th Ave SW

Full Tilt Ice Cream – 9629 16th Ave SW

Zippy’s Giant Burgers – 9614 14th Ave SW

Taqueria El Rincon – 11066 16th Ave SW

Greenbridge Cafe – 9901 8th Ave SW

Bok a Bok Korean Fried Chicken – 1521 SW 98th St

Salvadorean Bakery – 1719 SW Roxbury St

Fresh Flours Bakery – 9410 Delridge Way SW

Pho 99 – 9828 15th Ave SW

88 Restaurant – 9418 Delridge Way SW

Young’s Restaurant – 9413 16th Ave SW

Drunky’s Two Show BBQ – 9655 16th Ave SW

What’s your favorite White Center eatery?

Turn Clutter into Cash

Turn Clutter into Cash

It’s probably safe to say that we all have too much stuff. The more space we have, the more stuff we accumulate. It almost seems like a law of nature. But at some point, possessions can become clutter.

When your possessions start to feel more like a burden than a blessing, purging can feel quite freeing. Why not make it pay off in more ways than one?

Here are some ways to rid yourself of some of that unwanted clutter and possibly turn it into cash.

1) List your belongings for sale on Facebook Marketplace, or

2) Post “for sale” flyers bulletin boards at colleges, coffee shops or other retail stores and community centers.

3) Take the more valuable items to a pawn shop.

4) Set up a booth at a flea market.

5) Take items to a consignment shop.

6) Hold a yard sale either on your own or in conjunction with your neighbors.

7) Give items away on Facebook pages such as West Seattle Giving Tree and Buy Nothing.

May you discover the joy of purging!