Anyone who has watched the housing market in the last decade has noticed our market shift in many different ways. Just a few short years ago, the market was saturated with foreclosures and short sales, creating a buyers’ market and dragging home prices down. The market has continued its steady improvement and we find now that available inventory has reached its lowest point in years. Buyers are now fighting it out, trying to gain acceptance from sellers in what’s becoming a brutal marketplace.
Last year the Yakima metro area saw an 11% increase in the number of homes sold, coupled with a decrease of new listings being placed on the market by 6%, reminding us of Econ 101’s law of Supply and Demand. This reduced inventory has shortened market times and in a few cases has resulted in multiple offers on the same house. As a result, prices of some homes in the best neighborhoods are escalating. Properties in the $150,000 to $350,000 price range in desirable neighborhoods are in highest demand.
That doesn’t even take into account interest rates that are still at a 40 year low. Money has never been cheaper to borrow – which is great news for buyers. The only thing missing is something to actually BUY with that cheap money. If your home hits the market now, it is likely to be viewed more, and seen with better consideration because of the lack of competing properties.
This is where homeowners who have been waiting on the sidelines come in. If you thought about selling your home, or were afraid your home might not be worth enough for a standard sale, it is very well worth your time to take a fresh look at the new marketplace and see if now might be the right time to try again. Your value may very well have increased since you last analyzed it.
What is the current value of my home?
For a complimentary comparative market analysis of your current home, call one of our knowledgeable, professional experts today: 509 966-3030
We are proud to announce that Prudential Almon Realty will soon be affiliated with the finest business organization in the world. Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices is part of Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway company. They are rated world’s number one most respected company and we are pleased to move our success to an organization with such integrity, strength and knowledge.
If you have recently bought or sold a house, you have probably heard of radon. This invisible, odorless and tasteless gas comes from the natural breakdown of uranium in soil, and it rises through the ground and into the air. The air dissipates it enough that it is not harmful. But it also can seep into your home through cracks or holes in the foundation, where it becomes trapped and can become concentrated to unhealthy levels. In fact, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates that radon is the second-leading cause of lung cancer in the United States, responsible for more than 20,000 deaths a year.
Luckily, testing for excessive amounts of radon and alleviating the problem in your home is a simple process. You can purchase low-cost “do it yourself” tests or hire a qualified tester. If levels in your home are found to be high, a radon mitigation system can be installed, which is simply a vent pipe system and fan that pulls radon from beneath the house and vents it outside.
Radon levels can vary tremendously from home to home, and even in the same home from season to season. The EPA estimates that 1 in 15 homes have undetected high levels of radon. So if your home hasn’t been tested, it is probably a good idea to do so and make sure you are protected from this dangerous gas. Visit the EPA’s website at http://www.epa.gov/radon for a variety of publications and resources about radon.
Fact: Radon is heavy and collects in low areas. If you spend a lot of time in your basement, the EPA recommends you test your home for radon.
We know that different colors evoke different emotions in people, but color experts say color can also be an indicator of your personality, even (or especially) on your front door.
“The front door is the focal point of the home,” says Debbie Zimmer of the Paint Quality Institute. “The color there sends a strong message – in the case of the front door, providing insight into how we view our home.”
Here is the message, according to the Institute, that you might be sending with your door of a different color:
Red – passion, vibrant and “full of life, energy and excitement”
Blue – sanctuary, calm, serenity, and relaxation
Green – health, safety, tranquility, and harmony
Black – power, sophistication, strength, and authority
Brown – warmth, stability and reliability (dark brown could signify desire for privacy or isolation)
If none of those colors work for you, also consider yellow (happiness, high energy), purple (dreamer, free spirit) or white (clean, organized). The best part is that if you try something and it just doesn’t work, changing the color is as easy as just painting over it.
Napa Valley sets the gold standard for wine regions in the U.S., with its farm-to table restaurants, award-winning wineries, and hotels so romantic you’ll swoon—but it’s not the only idyllic spot for a wine-tasting vacation. Washington’s Yakima Valley, the state’s oldest and largest wine region, has all the romantic trappings of Napa, but with a little less fuss and without the tour buses, traffic jams, and astronomical tasting fees that come with Napa’s popularity. Click here to read more…
Are you limited by the lack of storage that comes with a small room? Fear not, you do have options! Between the studs that hold up your house and walls lies unused space that can be converted into built-in shelves or a storage nook.
Bookshelves — These could go in any room in place of shelving units.
Bathrooms — Keep clutter off your bathroom countertops by building in space for a few shelves to hold toiletries. Even recessing an area for your towels or bathrobe can make a small bathroom appear bigger.
Pantries — Take a look at unused wall space in your kitchen. Shallow shelves could be used to hold canned goods, spices or stemware. You could also use the recessed area to mount hooks and hang pots and pans.
Tip: Be sure to check for venting or wiring before starting this project.
Somewhere between quiet villages and metropolises that never sleep are these perfect up-and-coming American cities. With their revitalized downtowns, they’re savvy enough to brew smooth craft beers, land touring Broadway shows, and attract Food Network-caliber chefs. But they’ll welcome you with that unpretentious small-town warmth that automatically puts you at ease. Click here to learn more about 10 terrific little cities, from Chattanooga to Yakima, and plenty of reasons why each one is worth a visit.
You may lock up your house like Fort Knox to keep you and your valuables safe, but the garage door is often overlooked in the process. Burglars can use this knowledge to their advantage to gain access to your house. So consider these garage do’s and don’ts as part of your home security plan.
Don’t leave your garage door opener in your vehicle. Do purchase a keychain remote opener and carry it with you.
Don’t leave your garage door open. Do consider installing a device that automatically closes the door after a set amount of time.
Don’t leave the door leading from the garage into the house unlocked. Do make sure it is as secure as your front door.
Don’t give burglars places to hide. Do install low-cost outdoor motion-sensor lighting around the garage.
Do frost or cover any garage windows so thieves can’t see what is inside or that your vehicle is gone.
Do put a padlock on the inside of your garage door when going out of town to ensure that the door cannot be opened.
Also keep in mind that most home invasions occur during the day in the middle of the week when no one is home. So always be sure to secure your house before leaving for the day.
Forget the peephole. “Smart” doorbells are giving homeowners a brand new way to see who’s knocking on their door. The basic feature behind this new development is the ability to wirelessly connect your doorbell and a video camera to your smartphone so you can see who is at your door without having to get up and answer it.
The newest technology under development features facial recognition that will allow you to store contacts into your system and play pre-recorded messages to specific visitors. The technology available now allows you to:
- See and speak with visitors over an intercom system via your smartphone.
- Customize access for each smartphone in your home.
- Be notified when someone is approaching the door, before they ring the doorbell, via a motion detector.
- Take and store pictures and view streaming video.
- Wirelessly unlock your door.
- Receive a notification on your phone when someone rings your doorbell and then see and speak with them, even if you are at work or on vacation.
As long as there have been people in North America, there have been mosquitos. So the annoying and potentially dangerous pests probably aren’t going anywhere anytime soon. But we can protect ourselves from them by following “3 D’s of protection” recommended by the American Mosquito Control Association.
Try to wear long pants and long sleeves outdoors when practical, especially at dawn and dusk, when mosquitos are most prevalent. Also wear light colors and avoid tight clothes with a loose weave, which mosquitos can bite through.
Mosquito larvae float atop still water to grow and hatch, so the key to prevention is eliminating standing water around your house and in your yard. Items that encourage water collection include roof gutters, pet water dishes, children’s toys, bird baths, pool covers, and tarps.
Three mosquito repellants approved by the Environmental Protection Agency are generally safe and effective — DEET, Picaridin and oil of lemon eucalyptus. Keep the following tips in mind when using repellants:
- Spray on exposed skin, not clothing.
- Apply sparingly and reapply as needed. (Saturation doesn’t increase effectiveness.)
- Keep away from eyes, nostrils and lips.
- Minimize use if pregnant or nursing.
Tip: Turn on a fan. Any wind speed of more than 1 mph disrupts mosquito flight, and they will avoid the area.