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Author: Alice Kuder

Alice Ann Kuder is an author. Her most recent novel is "Since I Last Saw You." She is also a Realtor with Berkshire Hathaway Homeservices NW Real Estate in Seattle, Washington. Known as Seattle's Single Minded Realtor, she works a great deal with single buyers and sellers, primarily in West Seattle.
How to find a new home after selling yours

How to find a new home after selling yours

Of all the reasons home owners give for choosing to stay in their current home — even though they might like to move — the most perplexing is the question of, “Where would I go?”

Sellers realize that even though they may get a terrific price for their home, they will then become a buyer — a less enviable postion in the current real estate market.

Where would you go? Here are some potential answers to that question:

> Downsize: If your family is no longer growing, the money from the sale of your current home may enable you to purchase a smaller with upgraded features and/or in a more desirable location.

> Rent (temporarily): Plan to move to a short-term (3-6 months) rental once the sale of your home closes. Moving twice isn’t ideal, but it can be a good alternative to making a hasty purchase.

> Stay with friends or family: You may have friends of relatives with a Mother-in-Law apartment or empty finished basement. Pay them a reasonable rent so everybody benefits.

> Consider “Extended Stay”: Many “name brand” hotel chains offer this option.

> Consider “Lease to With Option to Buy”: One company that offers such a program is Home Partners of America. ( In a nutshell, you identify a house you want to buy. Home Partners buys the house and rents it to you at market rates. You have five years to decide if you want to buy it from them.

> “Rent Back” from Buyers: Make an agreement with the buyers of your home, that you will be allowed to stay and rent it from them for a pre-determined length of time after closing (usually 2-3 months) while you look for your new home.

> Buy Contingent: Find a seller who is willing to accept an offer that is contingent on the sale of your home. This is rare in this market, but I’ve been successful in negotiating such purchases for my clients. I can do the same for you.

> Get Creative: The options I’ve outlined here are not the only possibilities. Unique circumstances often give birth to creative solutions. Call me today to discuss your situation and let’s work together to achielve your dreams. 206-708-9800

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: