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Video: How to Prepare for Renting an Apartment

So you’ve found the right apartment, in the right neighborhood, and at the right price. Good for you!

But the challenges of renting don’t end there.

Here are a few things for you to keep in mind while looking for your next rental.

1) Get Renters Insurance

Often times this will be required by your landlord but, if not, it's almost always a good idea to get coverage. While it might not seem like you own enough stuff to justify coverage, things like clothes, books, electronics, furniture, and appliances do add up.

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Video: How to Choose a Mortgage Lender

Now that you’ve decided to buy a home, it’s time to consider how you’ll pay for it.

Mortgages are extremely complicated, and selecting the wrong one could seriously jeopardize your future. Here are a few pointers for choosing your mortgage wisely.

1) Get to Know the Players

Ask a friend or relative who has recently gotten a mortgage if they would recommend their lender. Now, if you don't know anyone who has recently bought a home, just be sure to ask your Realtor®, or someone else who deals with mortgage lenders regularly (a financial adviser, attorney, etc.), to send a list of lenders for you to choose from.

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Video: How to Book the Right Vacation Rental

So you’ve finally decided to take that family vacation you’ve been talking about for months. Good for you!

Now it’s time to figure out where you’ll stay and here are a few tips for choosing the vacation rental that’s right for you and your family.

1) Use Google Maps

A vacation listing may look breathtaking in the photos supplied by the rental agent, but it’s important to get a sense of the home’s surroundings. Look up the address on Google Maps for a bird’s eye view of the neighborhood.

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Video: Do I need An Agent to Buy a House

Buying a home can be an overwhelming process. From financing to negotiating to closing, there are a lot of moving pieces that can leave homebuyers bewildered.

A real estate agent can help guide you through each step of the buying process, offering sound advice along the way.

When working with a professional agent who knows the ins and outs of the real estate industry, you’ll not only end up with a great home, but you’ll also walk away with a great home buying experience.

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Video: How to Choose the Right Neighborhood

Need help finding the right neighborhood for your home search?

Here are five factors that should figure prominently in your thinking.

1) Look at the Schools

Even if you don’t have kids, the quality of the schools in a given neighborhood should be high on your priority list. And this is because the property values are always going to be higher in communities with strong school districts. This means that your home will appreciate more during the time that you own it.

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Video: 6 Tips for First Time Home Buyers

A vacation home can be a great investment in both terms of financial gain and enjoyment. But, before you buy, here are a few tips for you to consider.

1) Make sure it's rentable

Whether you’re interested in renting your place out or not, it’s always a good idea to buy with renting in mind. After all, a vacation property’s rental potential will certainly affect its resale value.

You’ll want to ensure local ordinances allow for short term rentals, and that your property is in a location and condition that’s attractive to renters. But don’t rely on rental income alone. While renting can be a great source of income, it’s rare for rental revenues to cover all the costs of owning and operating your vacation home.

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Video: 5 Questions to Ask Before Buying a Home

Whether you’re a first-time home buyer or a seasoned real estate investor, buying a home is a an exciting process. However, there’s also a lot to consider when you decide to buy.

So before you begin your search for the perfect property, here are five questions you should ask yourself.

1) What Do I Want?

Take the time to figure out what type of property you want to buy. From single-family and multi-family homes to condos and co-ops, there are many different options on the market and it’s important to choose the type of property that best fits your needs.

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Video: 4 Tips for Financing Your First Home

After the 2008 financial meltdown we learned that people forget about the tremendous financial responsibility of purchasing a home.

But don't worry, here are a few tips for dealing with the dollar signs.

1) Strengthen Your Credit Score

Since the real estate bubble burst, lenders have tightened their requirements when it comes to borrowers’ credit score. However, the basics remain unchanged: A higher credit score means less risk for the lender.

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Video: 4 Reasons You Should Rent Instead of Buy

Home ownership is often billed as smarter or cheaper than renting. While it does have its advantages- such as stability, equity gain, and appreciation - buying isn’t always the best option.

Here are four good reasons to rent.

1) No Maintenance and Repair Cost

Unlike ownership, When you rent a home, your landlord is responsible for all of that property’s maintenance and repair costs. Depending on the age and condition of the property, along with any unforeseen disasters, these costs can easily add up.

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Video: 4 Questions to Ask Before Selling Your Home

Selling your home is a big financial decision which requires lots of planning and can take it toll emotionally. So before you decide to put your home on the market, here are four questions to consider.

1) What's my home worth?

Several factors go into determining your home’s market value. These include the condition of the property, square footage, location, amenities, as well as recent comparable property sales.

For a snapshot of your home’s current value, you can enter your address into a free online value estimator tool. But, truth be told, these aren't very accurate. So, to get a better idea just give me a call or, your local Realtor®, and they'll pull what we call a Comparative Market Analysis.

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Video: 3 Tips for Choosing a Vacation Home

A vacation home can be a great investment in both terms of financial gain and enjoyment. But, before you buy, here are a few tips for you to consider.

1) Make sure it's rentable

Whether you’re interested in renting your place out or not, it’s always a good idea to buy with renting in mind. After all, a vacation property’s rental potential will certainly affect its resale value.

You’ll want to ensure local ordinances allow for short term rentals, and that your property is in a location and condition that’s attractive to renters. But don’t rely on rental income alone. While renting can be a great source of income, it’s rare for rental revenues to cover all the costs of owning and operating your vacation home.

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King County Market Report: Is it time to sell?

We're heading into the end of 2015 and, if you're thinking about selling your King County home, now is the time to do it.

Houses are selling within days, inventory is at an 10 year low, and there are plenty of summer-season buyers still in the market as they weren't able to secure a deal.

While nobody can predict the future, my take on the market is that prices are going to continue to rise, here's why.

The rush of new residents moving to the Greater Seattle Area will continue to push inventory levels down and prices up. But just how hot are things really getting and are there any signs that things are going to be slowing down?

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Sales Mindset: Why I Do What I Do

Like most, whenever I heard the word “Sales”, I thought of slimy people using high pressure tactics to get other people’s money.

So, naturally, when I got into real estate, I was worried I would be perceived this way and I didn’t like it.

To compensate, I decided that I wouldn’t pressure my prospects and would take a passive approach to selling. It didn’t take long to realize this meant I would be spending my time giving free consulting sessions while making very little progress and money selling real estate.

I was faced with a decision, to become one of the sleazy salesmen I didn’t like or accept a less than average real estate career. Choosing the lesser of two evils I decided I would commit myself to learning everything I could about sales.

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Get Your House Sold: Real Estate Marketing in the Digital Age (Part 2)

Okay, here it is, part 2 of my strategic digital marketing plan. If you haven’t read part one, you can do so here:

Real Estate Marketing in the Digital World (Part 1)

Now, I love giving credit where credit is due and, I must admit, these aren’t my original thoughts. The boomerang traffic plan is from the folks over at Digital Marketer and the remarketing grid is from Mike Rhodes, Founder and CEO of WebSavvy.

What follows is my application of their ideas specific to real estate listings.

In part 1 we learned how we create custom audiences, where we get traffic, and how we use tracking pixels to create a look-a-like audience. But, it doesn’t stop there.

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Get Your House Sold: Real Estate Marketing in the Digital Age (Part 1)

To get the best price and terms on the sale of your home you need to price it right and get it in front of the most possible buyers. This will give you the highest chance of receiving multiple offers.

A great way to get your home in front of a lot of people is putting it online and I’m not just talking about a single Facebook post or tweet. I’m talking about strategic digital marketing plan.

But what does that even mean?

There is a lot involved so I’ve broken this topic up into two separate posts. We’ll start with the frame work of how we reach our audience then, in part two, discuss the “boomerang” remarketing plan.

The most basic requirement for digital marketing is that it takes place online. This is great because, according to the National Association of Realtors, 92% of buyers use the internet in some way during their home search.

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Video: 3 Common Home Buying Mistakes

Let’s face the facts: Buying a home can be an amazing experience, but it can also be quite complicated.

With emotions running high, it’s all too easy for home buyers to skip over crucial steps and make mistakes. But, don’t worry! I’ve laid out some of the biggest mistakes that home buyers make so you will know to avoid them.

1) Low Balling the Seller

If you find a house that you absolutely love, don’t play games. Work with your agent to come up with a reasonable offer based on the sales of comparable properties in the area.

Some buyers seem to think that taking their time and making a seller “sweat it out” is a good strategy for getting the best price possible. Don’t fall into this trap!

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State of the Industry: Are Real Estate Agents Commodities?

Real estate agents have become a commodity and, quite frankly, they’re overpaid.

They all do the same thing – put a sign in the yard, put it in the multiple listing service (MLS), put it online, and PRAY.

Also known as the four P’s of real estate.

That’s all agents have to do and they get to make their own hours. It’s too easy and unfair they’ll make that much money on the sale of your home, right?

Wrong.

Many of us are familiar with Pareto’s 80/20 rule and real estate is no exception. 20% of the agents do 80% of the transactions and, if you end up hiring an agent in the 80% mindset (doing little to none of the business), you better get your praying knees ready.

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The 4 Laws Affecting All Real Estate Transactions

You’re thinking about selling your home and, naturally, the first thing that comes to mind is, “How much money am I going to get?”

Determining the value and list price are easily some of the toughest parts of any real estate transaction.

This isn’t because home values are hard to figure out – Realtors® do this all the time – the issue arises when you, the homeowner, disagree with the Realtor’s recommendation.

This is what we call a price objection.

While nobody, not even the world’s best Realtor®, knows the true market value of a home before it’s sold, there are clues that we can use to help us estimate.

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