Tacoma’s Community Gardens

Partnering with Harvest Pierce County since 2010, the City of Tacoma has 35 community gardens, including 11 on city owned property. Several of these gardens are in the North End, including the Proctor Community Garden and Orchard & Vine.


I have included the link to the map of all the Pierce County Gardens, including those in Tacoma:   Pierce County Community Garden_Final

For more information check out, Harvest Pierce County

IRS Clarifies Home Equity Loan Interest Deductibility

As a member of the National Association of REALTORS, I receive news about Real Estate. This article clarifies mortgage interest deduction on a home equity loan.

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has issued a news release(link is external) clarifying that in many cases, interest paid on home equity loans remains deductible under the new tax reform law.  Many questions have arisen on this issue, as many media reports on the new tax law indicated that as of 2018, interest is no longer deductible on home equity loans.  The IRS stated that “despite newly-enacted restrictions on home mortgages, taxpayers can often still deduct interest on a home equity loan, home equity line of credit (HELOC) or second mortgage, regardless of how the loan is labelled.”  The key factor is that the proceeds of such loans must be used to buy, build, or substantially improve the taxpayer’s home that secures the loan.  Interest on a home equity or other loan used for personal living expenses (e.g. paying off credit card debt, education, or vacation expenses) would not be deductible.

Your Credit Report

Your Credit Report plays a key factor in buying a home.  It is important that you order you credit report and review it carefully.  There are often mistakes on credit reports, and you are the one who is most likely to find these errors.

I have attached a link to a worksheet that will help you review your credit report. Keep your completed checklist with your credit report and always keep your hard copies in a secure place.  If you are not going to save your report, shred it!

Here is the link:  Credit Report

Closing Disclosure

When it is time to finally sign the papers to close on the home you purchased, Lenders are required to provide you with a  Closing Disclosure three business days before your scheduled closing. Use these days wisely. This tool will help you double-check that all the details are correct. If something looks different from what you expected, ask why. Now is the time to resolve problems—if the explanation you get isn’t satisfactory, keep asking questions.  Check it out:  Closing Disclosure

Mural Opportunity – Call for Artists

Spaceworks Tacoma

skybrdige 3

Spaceworks Tacoma is partnering with the Downtown Tacoma Business Improvement Area (BIA) to find an artist or artist team to beautify a downtown icon in need of a facelift!

The location is in the skybridge over Commerce Street connecting the Park Plaza North Parking Garage (923 S. Commerce) and Transit Plaza/Theater on the Square (917 Broadway).  This consists of the two interior walls, each roughly 85-feet long and 3-feet tall.

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The Cost of Renting versus Buying

Do You Know the Cost of Renting vs. Buying?

Do You Know the Cost of Renting vs. Buying? [INFOGRAPHIC] | Keeping Current Matters

Some Highlights:

  • Historically, the choice between renting or buying a home has been a close decision.
  • Looking at the percentage of income needed to rent a median priced home today (30%) vs. the percentage needed to buy a median priced home (15%), the choice becomes obvious.
  • Every market is different. Before you renew your lease again, find out if you could use your housing costs to own a home of your own



























Keeping Current Matters nails it with this graphic about pricing your house


House Hasn’t Sold Yet? Take Another Look at Your Price!

 The residential housing market has been hot. Home sales have bounced back solidly and are now at their second highest pace since February 2007. Demand has remained strong throughout the summer as many real estate professionals are reporting bidding wars with listings actually selling above listing price. What about your house?

If your house hasn’t sold, it is probably because of the price.

If your home is on the market and you are not receiving any offers, look at your price. Pricing your home just 10% above market value dramatically cuts the number of prospective buyers that will even see your house. See chart below. House Hasn't Sold Yet? Take Another Look at Your Price! | Keeping Current Matters

Bottom Line

The housing market is hot. If you are not seeing results you want, sit down with your agent and revisit the pricing conversation.

Baby Boomers Are Moving

Baby Boomers Are On the Move | Keeping Current Matters According to a Merrill Lynch study, “an estimated 4.2 million retirees moved into a new home last year alone.” Two-thirds of retirees say that they are likely to move at least once during retirement. As one participant in the study stated:

“In retirement, you have the chance to live anywhere you want. Or you can just stay where you are. There hasn’t been another time in life when we’ve had that kind of freedom.”

The top reason to relocate cited was “wanting to be closer to family” at 29%, a close second was “wanting to reduce home expenses” at 26%. A recent Freddie Mac studyfound similar results, as “nearly 20 percent of Boomers said they would move closer to their grandchildren/children compared to 13 percent who said they would move to a warmer climate.”

Not Every Baby Boomer Downsizes

There is a common misconception that as retirees find themselves with fewer children at home, they will instantly desire a smaller home to maintain. While that may be the case for half of those surveyed, the study found that three in ten decide to actually upsize to a larger home. Some choose to buy a home in a desirable destination with extra space for large family vacations, reunions, extended visits, or to allow other family members to move in with them. According to Merrill Lynch:

“Retirees often find their homes become places for family to come together and reconnect, particularly during holidays or summer vacations.”

Bottom Line

If your housing needs have changed or are about to change, meet with a local real estate professional in your area who can help with deciding your next step.

Another great article from Keeping Current Matters!

What’s Happening In the Real Estate Market

This is a pretty common question that a potential home buyer or seller may be asking themselves. Leading economists in real estate converged in New Orleans this past week as they presented their answer to this question at the 50th Annual Real Estate Journalism Conference for the National Association of Real Estate Editors.

Here are the top takeaways from the week of presentations:

Many of the conversations at the conference came back to the impact that Millennials and first-time home buyers will have on the market in the future. Jonathan Smoke, Chief Economist for realtor.com had this to say: 

“At any given time in our history, demographics would explain 60-80% of what’s happening [in the market], and we are in a period of time where Millennials make up a largest demographic group according to the Census, at 84 million.”

According to the National Association of Realtors (NAR), the median first-time home buyer age is 30 and many millennials are entering a prime age to drive the housing market into the future.

Lawrence Yun, Chief Economist for NAR shared that myths and affordability may be holding back potential buyers:

“84% of current renters have the desire to own. While 36% believe they cannot afford a home and 60% of renters believe it would be ‘difficult’ to qualify for a mortgage.

Ellie Mae’s Vice President, Jonas Moe encouraged buyers to know their options before assuming that they do not qualify for a mortgage: 

“Many potential home buyers are ‘disqualifying’ themselves. You don’t need a 750 FICO Score and a 20% down payment to buy.”

The National Multifamily Housing Council (NMHC) revealed that Millennials and Baby Boomers are often competing for the same housing inventory, causing a challenge as these two groups are the largest generations by population.

Both groups are looking for affordable, convenient homes close to city centers and ‘what’s happening.’

Bottom Line

The experts agree that homeownership is still desirable across all demographic groups, with Millennials and Baby Boomers having a great impact on available supply. If your dreams include owning your own home, meet with a local real estate professional who can evaluate your ability to buy now!

From Keeping Current in Real Estate

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