How Dad Makes a Home

Growing up it wasn’t uncommon for there to be renovation projects in my house. My dad, could do just about anything as far as fixing the house up. I remember him taking out the old carpet and putting down beautiful hardwood floors. Pine boards he had worked on himself at the saw mill part time to afford them. The thing I remember most about my dad was that he was always working. He left every morning to go to his job, came home to work in the garden, to grow food for us. He’d collapse on the couch just to do it all over again tomorrow. That’s how my dad showed his love and made our house a home.

The definition of a father is simply one who acts like a father to a child or is a biological parent of a child. However, the true role of a father goes much deeper than that. A father can be many things usually all at one time. He might be the protector from monsters under the bed, the provider, teacher, and many other things over the course of his children’s life.

I already told you the story of my dad working endlessly to improve our home and grow us food to eat. He provided for us financially of course working full time but providing for your children goes beyond that. He provides his time going to baseball games, he provides his knowledge for his child to understand how to solve a problem, he provides a listening ear for his kids troubles at school or in relationships.

A father is also looked at to be the protector of the home and children. When I was home alone, an intruder came lurking around, I called Dad (and 911 of course). He beat the police there and they ran off when his truck hit the driveway, thankfully before getting into our house or taking much from the shop. He stayed with me, protecting and providing a sense of security and comfort.

My Dad taught me a lot growing up, not only about how to build a bookshelf or how to grow vegetables in the garden. He taught me the value of hard work every day, not by his words but by his actions. Dads can teach us practical things like fixing this or that, the art of grilling, how to change a tire or check the oil. However, they can also teach us so much more than that. How to balance work and home, how to be a better person, how to set goals, gain independence and so much more.

Being a Dad is a tough job, one that many willingly do every day. They have such a powerful and important role in the family’s life. Providing for them, sheltering them, and loving them, it is truly a monumental task, thankfully they’re fully prepared for the job.

Thank goodness for all the Dad’s in this world, Happy Fathers Day!


Janet 
SimonsI am passionate about Real Estate and eager to answer all of your real estate questions! Text or Call me at 360-880-2356 or email me directly to ask about Buying, Selling or Investing in today's Real Estate Market - serving Lewis County & Thurston County, WA.

Janet Simons | Certified Residential Specialist | Real Estate Broker
Mountain Valley Real Estate


Going to the Lake this Weekend?

Boating in Lewis CountyHere in Lewis County we like to spend a lot of time on or near the water. Whether you are canoeing on Skookumchuck, water skiing on Mayfield or fishing for trout on Riffe Lake, Lewis county is full of creeks, ponds, rivers, and lakes. All of this fun on the water means that the threat of drowning, even for those who can swim well, is an ever-present threat. In fact, Washington has a higher drowning average than the rest of the United States. According to the Washington Department of Health “In the latest data available from 2010, the unintentional drowning rate in Washington State was 1.6 per 100,000. There were 133 Washington State residents who died from unintentional drowning, including 17 boating related drowning deaths.” Those numbers should be enough to remind you that even a beautiful day on the lake can quickly turn tragic.

Unfortunately, I have some bad news for you: TV and movies have lied to you. I know, it’s not really a shock but hear me out. We are programmed to think that drowning looks like a lot of splashing and yelling however, that is not usually the case. Drowning is often quiet, a response from the brain to conserve as much air as possible to breathe. This phenomenon is called the Instinctive Drowning Response named by Francesco A. Pia, Ph.D.

Think it sounds a little suspicious? According to the CDC “From 2005-2014, there were an average of 3,536 fatal unintentional drownings (non-boating related) annually in the United States — about ten deaths per day. An additional 332 people died each year from drowning in boating-related incidents.” If you plan to be on or around the water, these are statistics you need to be aware of. Not just to keep yourself safe but your friends and family as well. Children are one of the highest age groups. The report goes on to say that drowning is the number two cause of accidental death in children age 15 and under (just behind vehicle accidents). Of the approximately 750 children who will drown next year, about 375 of them will do so within 25 yards of a parent or other adult. In 10 percent of those drownings, the adult will actually watch them do it, having no idea it is happening.”

According to Pia Instinctive Drowning Response looks like this:

Silent: the person drowning has no extra air to call for help, their brain focuses on just getting air in and out of their lungs.

Bobbing: They will bob up and down in an effort to get their mouth above water to inhale or exhale.

Stiff Arms: Their arms will be out to the side, hands on the water’s surface in an effort to help them stay afloat.

Still: They won’t be kicking; their legs will be straight and unmoving. Remember, movement takes energy, and the brain has signaled to conserve as much as possible

Drowning in a lakeThis response last anywhere for 20-60 seconds before the person goes completely under water to stay. This does not give anybody much time to respond. Sometimes even trained professionals miss the warning signs. “When a person is actually drowning, in many cases they seem to be playing,” says Gerry Dworkin, a professional aquatics safety and water rescue consultant for Lifesaving Resources LLC. “That’s one of the problems for moms, dads, and even lifeguards. They see somebody floating on the surface, but because of the movement of waves, they appear to be moving or playing even though they may be unconscious.”

Knowing how to swim is important. But even good swimmers can drown, and it can happen fast, Steinman says. “Never take your eye off children in the water. You have to watch them all the time. You can’t look away.”

Don’t let a day of fun in the sun, spent on one of our favorite water ways turn to tragedy. Enjoy the kick off to summer this Memorial Day weekend and keep it safe!


Janet 
SimonsI am passionate about Real Estate and eager to answer all of your real estate questions! Text or Call me at 360-880-2356 or email me directly to ask about Buying, Selling or Investing in today's Real Estate Market - serving Lewis County & Thurston County, WA.

Janet Simons | Certified Residential Specialist | Real Estate Broker
Mountain Valley Real Estate


How a Mom Turns a House Into a Home

How do you define a home? According to Merriam-Webster it is “a place of residence” but for
most the definition goes beyond that. It is where you are loved, accepted, and welcomed with
open arms and a smile no matter what time of day or how tired the occupants are. As corny as it
sounds, home is where the heart is.

To me the true definition of a home is not a physical location, but a feeling you get when you
walk in the door. And to me, one of the true tests to know if a house is a home, is if your mom is
there. A mother’s job, well one of them, is to make the house a home for her family. If you ask
some a mother could be defined as the heart of the home. The one person to make sure you
are comfortable, well fed, have something to drink, or a cookie to snack on. The one who keeps
the home thriving and moving together as a family.

For some home is the smell of your mom’s cooking when you walk in the door. Or it is the scent
she always used in the home. It’s the family albums she always displayed. It’s knowing she’ll be
in her chair in the corner of the living room sewing a quilt before you even walk in the door
because that’s where she is everyday at that time. It’s never leaving the house hungry, even if
she had to get up at 6AM to make you breakfast and knowing dinner will be ready for you at
5PM on the dot.

To be a mother is not an easy task and what roles you decide to play is different for everybody.
A mother can choose to stay home and devote her time to nurturing her children and taking care
of her home. A mother can be a single mom working two jobs to help give her kids a better life.
A mother can be a woman who never had children, but opened her home and heart to those in
need. Like home, there is no one definition of mother but without one, the other just isn’t the
same.


Janet 
SimonsI am passionate about Real Estate and eager to answer all of your real estate questions! Text or Call me at 360-880-2356 or email me directly to ask about Buying, Selling or Investing in today's Real Estate Market - serving Lewis County & Thurston County, WA.

Janet Simons | Certified Residential Specialist | Real Estate Broker
Mountain Valley Real Estate


Lewis County Market Stats

As we begin heading into 2017, I’d like to share some informational stats about what the market is doing in our area.

house-with-moving-up-arrow

Let’s first take a look at the market stats in Lewis County as a whole in Residential sales as things continue to look up.

In the past year, both the average price and the number of homes sold have increased! All good news for sellers in our area. However, as the number of days on the market has seen a decrease this is a sign of the tight supply of homes for purchase, making it harder for buyers to find a home to purchase.

 

December 2015 vs. December 2016
Average Sales Price ~ $154,500 vs $172,000
# of days on market ~64 vs 49
Total# of sales ~ 1,058 vs 1,101

*Information provided by NWMLS

As you can see, the sales price of properties in Chehalis  has continued to grow over the last three years:

All in all, the market conditions and the projections for continuing real estate recovery in our area are strong.

View more market stats on our Local Market Stats page.


Janet Simons | Real Estate Broker | Chehalis Valley RealtyWant more information about the Market in your area? Contact me at 360-880-2356 or email me directly to learn more.
Janet Simons | Real Estate Broker | Chehalis Valley Realty


Janet 
SimonsI am passionate about Real Estate and eager to answer all of your real estate questions! Text or Call me at 360-880-2356 or email me directly to ask about Buying, Selling or Investing in today's Real Estate Market - serving Lewis County & Thurston County, WA.

Janet Simons | Certified Residential Specialist | Real Estate Broker
Mountain Valley Real Estate


Fall is the new “Peak Season” to sell your home

leaves-in-fall-janet-simonsOctober is quickly becoming the most popular month for weddings, are these Autumn-loving newlyweds on to something?

Spring months have notoriously been the best time for buying real estate (as well as have a weddings), Fall is now becoming the “New” season to buy a home.

Let’s take a look at a few reasons this change is taking place:

There is less competition

Fall is a time many people consider to be the “Off-Season” in real estate so competition drops off. It provides buyers with new inventory and repositioned old inventory that didn’t sell during the summer months.

Qualified home buyers are in a great positon to negotiate aggressively. Many sellers are highly motivated to sell prior to the holidays. When possible, buyers can let sellers know they close before Thanksgiving or before the winter break is over.

Sellers are worn-down

Sellers who had their homes on the market during the prime selling season of Spring and Summer may have listed their homes above market price, resulting in an expired listing. After months of no action, these sellers are often ready to make a deal. Sellers who placed unrealistic prices on their homes earlier in the year may now be more willing to reduce the price come Fall. There are fewer buyers, fewer showings causing sellers to become frustrated and eager to sell. They are tired of maintaining a home in “Show Condition” and don’t want to wait another six months before selling their home.

Take advantage of those Tax breaks

Property tax and Mortgage interest are both deductions you can claim for the entire years’ worth of income, even if you close on your purchase in December. You can’t escape paying income tax, this can make a big difference in the amount you owe the government. This may amount to a significant savings, especially for “First time Homeowners”.

Fall is a safer

Did you know that July and August are the peak months for burglars? Waiting until Fall gives you the advantage to learn about your new home and neighborhood. You can get settled in your home and take precautions like installing a home security system.

Be the “Center of Attention”

Real estate agents are typically swamped during the Spring and Summer season. You might not get the attention from your agent that you deserve. Many other service providers that are related to the real estate industry such as Lenders and title companies also feel the heat during the summer.  Falls allows agents and related professionals the time to dedicate to their clients making YOU their priority.

The probability of experiencing delays and service issues from moving companies goes way down after the summer peak season too.

Save some $ with end of year sales

According to consumer reports, September offers sales on carpet & paint while October may be the best time to purchase lawn equipment. November brings sales on appliances and cookware. Fall home purchases coordinates well with sale items you may need for your new home. Often appliances are not included in the sale of a home or there are improvements you’ll want to make.

Not only does Fall bring a change in the season, it may bring you a change of homes. Please let me know how I can help you this Fall.  


Janet 
SimonsI am passionate about Real Estate and eager to answer all of your real estate questions! Text or Call me at 360-880-2356 or email me directly to ask about Buying, Selling or Investing in today's Real Estate Market - serving Lewis County & Thurston County, WA.

Janet Simons | Certified Residential Specialist | Real Estate Broker
Mountain Valley Real Estate


Huge Price Drop on Beautiful Home

Owner says “Lets get this place SOLD by winter”, so we’ve reduced the price by $10,000. Call me for more information or contact your favorite Real Estate professional.


Janet 
SimonsI am passionate about Real Estate and eager to answer all of your real estate questions! Text or Call me at 360-880-2356 or email me directly to ask about Buying, Selling or Investing in today's Real Estate Market - serving Lewis County & Thurston County, WA.

Janet Simons | Certified Residential Specialist | Real Estate Broker
Mountain Valley Real Estate


Onalaska Apple Harvest Festival 

Friday September 30th thru Sunday October 2nd 2016

Schedule of Events: Friday

10 am- 5pm ~ Quilt Show at Heavenly Quilts on Carlise Ave.

7pm ~ Roxy Players “The Scoundrel of Dagger Gulch”  –    Onalaska Middle School Gym

 

Schedule of Events: Saturday

All Day ~ Self-Guided Interpretive Trail- Carlisle Lake

7:30am ~ 5K Apple Fun Run/2 mile walk registration (Carlisle Lake Parking Lot)

8-10 am ~ Pancake Breakfast- Presbyterian Church

8am ~ Kids 1mile Apple Fun Run/Walk – Carlisle Lake

10-11am ~ Parade Staging- Onalaska High School

11am ~ Parade

10am-4pm ~ Welcome Booth- Festival Information Carlisle Park

10am-4pm ~ Farm & Market Craft Vendors-  Carlisle Ave.

10am-5pm ~ Quilt Show- Heavenly Quilts on Carlisle Ave.

10am-12pm ~ Apple Pie Contest- Corner of Carlisle & 4th

10:30-3pm ~ Harvest Festival Food Court – Carlisle Ave.

2pm~ Canoe & Kayak Races – Carlisle Lake

12-4pm ~ Carlisle Mansion Historical Display

12-4pm ~ Kidventure- Onalaska Elementary School Gym

12-4pm ~ Health & Disaster Preparation – Fire Dist. #1

12-4 ~ Apple Cider Pressing – Community Youth Center

12:30-5pm ~ Live Local Music – Main Stage on Carlisle Ave.

1-3 pm ~ Royal Court Bingo- Onalaska Presbyterian Church

3pm ~ Apple Pie Eating Contest- Carlisle & 4th

7pm ~ MASON JAR MAIN EVENT- IN CONCERT “STRAIGHT SHOT”

 

Schedule of Events: Sunday

10:30am ~ All Community Church Service to be held at the Middle School Gym

12 Noon ~ Community Potluck – Elementary Gym


Janet 
SimonsI am passionate about Real Estate and eager to answer all of your real estate questions! Text or Call me at 360-880-2356 or email me directly to ask about Buying, Selling or Investing in today's Real Estate Market - serving Lewis County & Thurston County, WA.

Janet Simons | Certified Residential Specialist | Real Estate Broker
Mountain Valley Real Estate


VA Financing Basics – Part 2 of my series on What Buyer & Sellers need to know about Financing

VA FinancingThis week I’m going to focus on what VA appraisers look for and the key elements to be considered. Every VA loan requires properties to undergo a VA appraisal & meet Minimum Property Requirements (MPRs).

This is to ensure the structural integrity, safety & soundness of properties being purchased.

If you’re considering purchasing a home using VA financing or as a Seller you want your property to be considered as a viable option to VA buyers, you’ll want to consider these major MPRs.

  1. VA Financed properties must be Residential: If any portion of the home is designed for non-residential purposes such as a home based business (hair salon, dog grooming, auto shop), that part cannot exceed 25% of the total floor area.
  2. Operating systems must be safe and have a reasonable useful life expectancy. Be sure there are GCIF outlets in the kitchen and bath, all electrical and plumbing systems are good operating condition.
  3. All properties must have adequate living areas that provide suitable living, sleeping, cooking and sanitary areas.
  4. Heating systems must be adequate and safe. In our area many homes rely on woodburning stoves as their primary source of heat, for VA they must also have a conventional heating system that can maintain a temperature of 50 degrees Farenheit. Also unvented methods of heating, such as a space heater must be inspected by a heating professional, have an oxygen sensor and meet all building codes.
  5. A domestic water supply that provides safe drinking water & safe way of sewage disposal. You must have domestic HOT water as well.
  6. Roof conditions cannot be defective or have more than 3 layers of shingles, if this is discovered all old shingles must be removed prior to replacement. Roofing must be adequate and provide reasonable useful life expectancy.
  7. Adequate access to the crawlspace along with adequate venting is required. Remove all debri , be sure a properly installed vapor barrier is in place. Standing water or excessive dampness must be corrected. Leaky basements and faulty foundations are expensive to repair often leading to a deal breaker.
  8. Independent Utility services for each living unit (multifamily properties), unless there are separate shutoffs for each unit.
  9. Safe Access from the street either a permanent recorded easement or private driveway.
  10. Health & Safety are top concerns when dealing with VA financing. All properties must be free of any hazard that adversely affect the property or it’s occupants.
  11. Safety, Structural or Sanitation. Appraisers watch for  defective construction, decay/wood rot,  defective craftsmanship and repairs, leaks, and  excessive dampness.
  12. Water must have proper drainage and be graded to ensure water flows away from the home. All down spouts must have drain pans, poor drainage can lead to foundation problems.
  13. Properties must be free of fungal growths (Mold), dry rot and wood destroying insects. Pest inspections are commonly required in our area, if termites are discovered property must be treated and re-evaluated to gain VA approval.
  14. Properties built prior to 1978 may contain lead based paint which has been determined to be a health hazard. Any surfaces with chipped or peeling paint must be scraped and repainted, covered with drywall, or totally removed.
  15. Smoke detectors and Carbon Monoxide detectors must be properly installed per manufacturers recommendations.

The best way to purchase or sell a property that qualifies for VA financing is to be well versed in VA’s MPRs.


Janet 
SimonsI am passionate about Real Estate and eager to answer all of your real estate questions! Text or Call me at 360-880-2356 or email me directly to ask about Buying, Selling or Investing in today's Real Estate Market - serving Lewis County & Thurston County, WA.

Janet Simons | Certified Residential Specialist | Real Estate Broker
Mountain Valley Real Estate