Vacant home with no mortgage, should you wait to get your asking price?

Overpricing your home can cost you bundles even if the home is paid for. It’s called missed opportunity costs. It’s pretty obvious to all of us that a vacant home for sale with no mortgage will cost us taxes and utilities, but not many people think about the missed opportunities costs.  Here is the scenario….-A seller puts their paid for, vacant, home on the market.-The market value of the home is $475,000.-The seller thinks since the home is paid for they can over price the home and wait for an offer, thinking they are in a good negotiating position.-Seller has an asking price of $510,000-The seller has purchased and has a mortgage on a new home. Here is the problem with this scenario. The seller still has taxes they have pay on that vacant house aprx. $300-$500 per month. They also are paying utilities to keep the house from getting musty maybe $50+ per month. These are commonly known costs and many sellers are willing to risk these costs to get a few thousand extra dollars, but not many sellers think about the “missed opportunity costs.” If the real estate market is flat or dropping then there are better places to put that $475,000. I am not an expert in the financial advising but I know there are many mutual funds that return 5-15% regularly. Another option would be to buy another home in an area that has bottomed out and get a great deal and use it as an investment. With that kind of money you could put 20% down on many properties.

  So sellers, don’t forget about those missed opportunity costs. It’s best to list and sell your home at market value (see Should I sell my house now/Pricing it correctly) and put that money in other investments than let your house sit for months maybe years just to try and get a few thousand extra dollars.  Greg R Benson – Bellevue, Redmond, Kirkland Real Estate

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Downtown Bellevue has a bowling alley. Is it a strike out?

 Downtown Bellevue has “Lucky Strike”

Lucky Strike Lanes Bellevue WA

  As of early January 2008 downtown Bellevue has a great new active place to hang out. The hip national  bowling chain made it’s way to Bellevue. With 16 locations across North America Lucky Strike Lanes obviously thought Bellevue was worthy enough to bring this hip and vintage, lounge style bowling alley to town.

 My review of Lucky Strike Lanes (LSL) is….. 7 out of 10. The cool things about this place are the location, the mix of the vintage Hollywood lounge style with the technology we expect here in Microsoftville. This could be a good or bad thing depending on what you like but I like it that they have about half the lanes of most bowling alleys. The obvious downside is the alley fills up fast so make your reservations. I didnt have any food so I cannot review that but the wait staff service seemed to be adaquit. Here is the reason I didnt give LSL a higher rating… The check in and check out desk is tiny and not very well planned. Check in wasnt too bad but check out was a hastle and a mess. We had a group of about 16 people, everbody paid for themselves and instead of charging us on a per game basis they charge by the hour with a group that size. We were all backed up at this tiny desk trying to figure out how much we owed. We had people leave early and come late so we couldnt just devide it up 16 ways. It took us a while to get it all worked out. Over all everybody that came had a great time. Check it out!

  Downtown Bellevue Lucky Strike Lanes Bowling Alley

White vs. Color? Interior painting to sell your home.

  What should you do to help sell you home quicker and for top dollar?

  “Let’s just keep it white that way the buyer can paint it the color they want.” Have you heard this? Maybe you have said this. Believe it or not this is still a misconception in the real estate market. Logically it makes sense but a majority of the buyers do not want to make changes to their new home. Moving is plenty of work as it is. We are all very busy and taking a few days out of our lives to paint a few rooms or maybe all of the them is not our idea of taking time off.  White is also considered a very stark and cold color not to mention it doesn’t look that good in the pictures on the MLS (Multiple Listing Service).

Here is what buyers want…

-Warm and stylish colors

-Coordinated contrasty colors (here is where you can keep your white) for mill and trim work.

Here are a few examples of how color helps a room look better.

White roomGreen RoomSafe colorWhite RoomSafe colorBold Color

Painting is a very inexpensive way to give your house a mood and make it look fresh and new. Don’t save money in this area.

 I can help you get your home ready for sale. Visit or for your home or condos value, my contact info and other real estate info.

Get Your Home’s Market Value?          Click Here to Search for Homes.         Click here to have listing sent to you.

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Should I sell my home now?

 Is it a good time to sell?

This posting is not specific to Bellevue, Kirkland, Issaquah, Redmond, Bothell etc. It applies to the real estate market in most of Western Washington. Ok, the question is, Should I sell my home now.  Here is my opinion. With the way the interest rates are now I expect there will be a flood of first time home buyers, move up buyers and refinancers. So if you have been on the fence about selling here are a couple reasons to sell now.

-Don’t miss the flood of buyers suddenly hitting the market because of the rates.

Home values are still rising in and around the King County areas.

The selling season will be here in about a month. There is no better time than now to get your home ready for sale and put on the market.

One last thing I want to stress to sellers, It is vital to price your home correctly. Overpricing a home or condo doesn’t work and here are just a couple reasons why…

-Many sellers think they can overprice their home so they have room to negotiate. Sounds like good sound logic but here is the flaw. If the market value on your home is $495,000 and you want to list for $510,000 you will miss all of the buyers that have a max price point of $500K. 

-These days buyers are very well informed and educated about the real estate market. With the internet they have access to all of the listing on the Multiple Listing Service and they will know when a property is over price causing them to not want to visit your listing.

-Your home becomes “stale”…  What does that mean? If your home is overpriced it will sit on the market. Sellers have about a 3 week window to get a property sold for top dollar before it becomes “stale” meaning buyers will either think there is something wrong with the property and never view it or if you get lucky you might have a buyer looking for homes that have been on the market for a while and make a crazy low offer. Let’s compare your home to a loaf of bread. The market value on a loaf of bread is $1.99 but you price it at $2.50. Buyers will see all of the other comparable loafs for $1.99 and buy those. 3 days have passed and you decide you want to lower the price of your bread to the market value price. The problem is that your bread is no longer fresh and squishy. Another 2 days go by and your bread is still on the shelf. What do you have to do to get that bread sold??  Discount it to sell. It’s the same concept with a home. It’s better to price it correctly when you first list it so you get top dollar.

Please visit or  for your home and condo real estate needs. Somebody on my team is more than happy to answer your selling or buying questions.

Get Your Home’s Market Value?          Click Here to Search for Homes.         Click here to have listing sent to you.

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Secrets successful sellers know.

Selling a home can be tough. No matter what your reasons are for moving, you may have feelings of deep attachment for your home.  While these are perfectly normal, it may skew your opinion of what potential buyers may see when they walk in. Your goal is to remove evidence of yourself from the home to allow the potential buyer to imagine themselves living there. Below are some tips on how to keep your personal feelings out of the sale of your home, and the perceived value strong.  

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0/8, 09-07. Bellevue Restaurant “0/8” personal review.

 0/8 for our #9

Last week my wife and I celebrated our 9 year anniversary. We decided to dine at 0/8 for our special occasion. We had never heard of 0/8 and it was not recommended to us by anybody. We had found them on the list of restaurants on the Passport Unlimited website (  They describe themselves as Northwest, Seafood Grill style of cuisine. I am not a huge fan of paying for seafood, I like it but I would much rather spend the money on a great steak. My wife, on the other hand, loves seafood so after seeing that they had a few steaks to choose from we thought this would be fine.  We made our reservations online and put in the special notes that we are celebrating our anniversary. When we arrived  we gave our name to the hostess and she congratulated us on our special day and immediately guided us to a very nice quiet location strategically located next to a  huge wall of wine. A few seconds later our server, “Chris”, came over introduced himself and also congratulated us. He was very friendly and broke the ice with some small talk and joked with us about a few things before asking us for our drink order. My wife and I each ordered a Pear Margarita (Made with Sauza and Oregon Pear Brandy.)Mmmmm..  Tasty!! Deciding to skip an appetizer so we can enjoy a desert later, we placed our dinner order. My wife chose the Grilled Prosciutto Wrapped Halibut and I went with the 14 oz. CAB Cowboy Ribeye with the Maytag Blue Cheese Mashed Potatoes and Vegetables. We both really enjoyed our meals. The steak was cooked perfectly. My knife sliced through it like butter and the mashed potatoes were mouth wateringly perfect. The wrapped halibut was a very pleasant unique combo and cooked wonderfully.  Throughout the meal Chris kept returning to refill our water and when our plates were empty he offered to pay for a desert. We loved the sound of that and decided to order one for each of us. I chose the Apple Tart and my wife decided on a Lemon something or other, both recommended by Chris. The pastry on the apple tart was buttery and mixed well with the tart caramelized sliced apples. We both really enjoyed our deserts too. Overall we are very happy we chose 0/8 for our #9. Great service, great personal touch and great food. Check them out! They get 2 empty plates from us (Our rating system. Empty plate = highest possible score)Click here for Address, Phone Number & Map