Free Workshop for King County Marine Waterfront and Bluff Property Home Owners

The King Conservation District is holding a series of free workshops for property owners along the marine shorelines and bluffs of King County.    The workshop will provide an opportunity to learn about the ecological, geological and vegetation management issues associated with owning a home located on marine waterfront or a bluff.

Topics will include:

  • Understanding marine near-shore and riparian ecology
  • Recognizing geologic hazards
  • Using native vegetation to reduce erosion and to improve fish and wildlife habitat

Who should attend:

  • Beach property owners interested in a stable natural shoreline
  • Bluff property owners interested in reducing the potential for erosion and landslides
  • Any marine shoreline or bluff property owner interested in improving fish and wildlife habitat.

When and where:

All workshops are from 9:00 am – 12:30 pm (indoor session) and 12:30 – 3:30 pm (optional pre-order boxed lunch $12 and field trip).


  • Kollin Higgins, King County DNRP WLRD
  • Peter Landry, City of Normand Park
  • Elliott Menashe, Greenbelt Consulting
  • Brandy Reed, Conservation District

To register or for more information contact Brandy Reed at 425-282-1924 or

President Obama wants your input on mortgages

President Obama is seeking public input on financial reform.  Let me get this off my chest right now: I WISH OUR GOVERNMENT WOULD START WITH CAMPAIGN REFORM FIRST.  I don't how any other reform can truly effectively take place without the influence of lobbyist in our government…how can they truly represent the people and how can they have any credibility if they don't walk the reform talk?

Anyhow, here are the questions with my answers.  You can visit the website that even comes with equipped with a "Decoder" button which is really a glossary of terms.  Your answers need to be submitted in writing–more details are on President Obama's site

The Obama Administration will seek input in two ways. First, the public will have the opportunity to submit written responses to the questions published in the Federal Register online at  Second, the Administration intends to hold a series of public forums across the country on housing finance reform.

Questions for Public Solicitation of Input:

    1. How should federal housing finance objectives be prioritized in the context of the broader objectives of housing policy?
    2. What role should the federal government play in supporting a stable, well-functioning housing finance system and what risks, if any, should the federal government bear in meeting its housing finance objectives?
    3. Should the government approach differ across different segments of the market, and if so, how?   
    4. How should the current organization of the housing finance system be improved?
    5. How should the housing finance system support sound market practices?
    6. What is the best way for the housing finance system to help ensure consumers are protected from unfair, abusive or deceptive practices?
    7. Do housing finance systems in other countries offer insights that can help inform US reform choices?

What would you like to see the Government to do with regards to home financing?   We havethe SAFE Act, which effectively creates two classes of mortgage originators:  licensed and registered (unlicensed).    My biggest concern with Financial Reform, without Campaign Reform, is that the end result may be that Americans have even fewer choices for their home financing.  Not just originators or types of institutions to chose from, I'm talking about products too.  

Your thoughts?

If You are in any aspect of the real estate industry, you don’t want to miss this…


Both events are at the Seattle Center:

March 18, 2010 – Pacific Northwest Housing Summit  
March 19, 2010 – RE Barcamp Seattle

The panelist for the Summit continue to grow and we anticipate quite a turn out from across the country at both events.  Sponsorship opportunities are still available and start at $250.  

Of course there will be "tweet-ups" and social hours following both days.

Be there!  Follow both events on Twitter: @pnwhs #pnwhs and @REbarcampSEA #rebcsea

PS:  Space is limited to the first 700 registered attendees for the PNWHS…and there's a "sweet heart deal" for pre-registrations by Valentines Day.  


100 Days Remaining for the Home Buyer Tax Credit (and my 1000th Post)

Fthbtax My apologies for the home buyer tax credit clock I've added to the left side bar of my blog ticking away the time remaining for home buyers tax credit.  It's not my style, I don't like to pressure folks and I really don't like telling someone that they missed an opportunity. 

Whether you are for or against our home buyer tax credit it is something that many home buyers, first time and "move-up" home buyers, will take advantage of.   Unlike the first tax credit that was passed where the home buyer had to pay it back over 15 years, this is a "tax credit".  This credit repaid if you sell your home within three years. 

The available tax credit for first time home buyers (those who have not owned a home in the last 36 months) is up to $8,000.   For the "move-up" or "long-time resident" (you don't have to be buying a bigger home to qualify), the available tax credit is up $6,500.  The long-time resident is defined as someone who has owned their home as their primary residence for the last three out of five consecutive years.  The tax credit for both first time and long time residents is for the purchase of a primary residence (owner occupied).

Income limits were raised for transactions closing after November 6, 2009 to up to $125,000 modified adjusted gross income (MAGI) for taxpayers and $225,000 for joint filers.  The credit is reduced up to those with MAGI above $145,000 for single and $245,000 for joint.

Homes with a sales price of over $800,000 are not eligible (too bad–the Jumbo market needs all the help it can get). 

In order to qualify for the tax credit, home buyers must be in contract to purchase a home by April 30, 2010 (100 days away as of today)* with a closing date no later than June 30, 2010 (no summer vacations for escrow officers in June).   Home buyers will need to file IRS Form 5405 and be sure to include a copy of their HUD-1 Settlement Statement.

Members of our Armed Forces serving outside of the United States have been granted an extra year for the tax credit.  They must be in contract by April 30, 2011 and close prior to June 30, 2011.

Check with your tax advisor for more information.

Special note: this is my 1000th article posted at Mortgage Porter!  Thanks again for your continued support and readership. 

Estimating Your Property Taxes

Sometimes the information shown on tax records may not be what a person will actually pay for their property taxes.  This is common with new construction or if the property is currently qualified for an exemption, such as for a Senior Citizen. [Read more…]

Do You Pay Property Taxes On Your Own?

If you have elected to not have your property taxes included in your monthly mortgage payment (no reserve account), second half taxes are due for King County by October 31, 2008.   For more information, or to pay on line, click here.

If you have property taxes included in your mortgage payment, you shouldn’t need to do anything at all.  Just sit back and take it easy.

Adorable Ballard Bungalow


This charming bungalow in Ballard could be yours.  It’s offered at $530,000 and will be open this Sunday, April 20, 2008 from 1:00 – 4:00 p.m.

I’m not a real estate agent…but I’m happy to help you with financing on this home! 

For more information on this home, please contact your real estate agent.  This home is listed with Windermere – MLS #28058060Dirkhome_3 

This listing is posted with the permission of the home owners.


Is the Seattle Area in a Recession?

Not according to this graph from USA Today.


The article reports that Washington State is a leader in exports, which is helping our State stave off recession.   Even though our State seems to be fairing well as compared to other economies, it’s important to keep in mind:

"Businesses and consumers not in areas most affected by the housing boom and bust are not escaping the effects of the housing slump entirely. That’s because in the fallout from the subprime mortgage mess, banks have tightened lending standards for a variety of loans, no matter where the borrower is."

Hat tip to Transparent Real Estate