Should Selling Your Home Be on Your Wish List This Holiday Season?

For many, the holiday season is truly the most wonderful time of the year, but if you’re trying to get your home sold, the hustle and bustle of the season may prove to be a bit stressful. But for many, the timing is perfect.

Real estate professionals often debate about whether it’s a good idea to have your house on the market during the period between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Eve. Some believe that those six weeks are busy enough for people without worrying about the notion of buying a home, while others argue that there will be less competition and a better chance for sellers to get their homes sold.

Proponents of leaving a house on the market argue that prospective buyers who do look at your house over the holiday season may be more serious, and if you wait until the NewYear to list your property, you will face more competition.

Plus, since January is often a month when employers and employees tend to move, many are looking for a new place to call home during late November and December, so it’s a great time to capture that market.

There are also buyers trying to claim the tax benefits that come from buying in a given year, and those who need to make a quick decision might be more apt to settling quickly.

One downside for the seller is that the hectic time of year makes it harder to get a home ready at the drop of a hat if an agent calls to schedule a last-minute showing. People are busy making food, wrapping presents and preparing for a house full of guests, so it could be a big inconvenience. However, your house may be decorated with beautiful lights and decorations, creating a festive feeling that will attract buyers, and it may pay off in the long run.

Some real estate professionals believe that keeping your house on the market throughout the holiday season will have you appealing to a much smaller inventory of buyers who have very specific needs that your home might not meet. Many others counter that less inventory throughout the holiday season means less competition. Since more people vacation during the holiday season, they actually have more time to look for a home that includes everything they want and need.

For homes that have been on the market for a while, removing them for the duration of the holiday season will allow the house to go back as a new listing in January, thereby drawing more traffic because it’s fresh. However, you need to take into account the fact that you risk losing the buyer who may have been looking in December.

Finally, many agents believe that buyers tend to be more emotional during the holidays and are in the habit of spending more money, so getting the price you want may be easier.

To help you determine if selling your home during the holidays is right for you, please contact a Prudential Northwest Properties real estate professional today.


Exciting News: Prudential Real Estate & Relocation Acquisition by Brookfield Creates An Industry Powerhouse

Late yesterday afternoon it was announced that Prudential Real Estate & Relocation was acquired by Brookfield Residential Property Services, a global real estate and relocation company.

Brookfield is a premier organization with real estate in its DNA and over $150 billion in assets. Businesses include residential brokerage, global employee relocation and data analytics. This transaction creates a global real estate and relocation services company operating in the US, Canada, Mexico, Portugal, China, Brazil, India, France, Australia & Singapore, and our relocation company DOUBLES in size as a result of the sale.

While this certainly will bring exciting changes and opportunities, we will continue to operate as Prudential Northwest Properties, provide the same exceptional level of service to our clients, and use the great tools and systems that continue to benefit our brokers and clients.

Earl Lee, the president of Prudential Real Estate & Relocation Services, is taking an expanded role in the combined companies, and his enthusiasm and excitement are contagious. In his own words from twitter yesterday, “1+1=3 Brookfield Residential Property Services & Prudential Real Estate and Relocation Svcs: 2 fine companies now form an even better one.”

This historic announcement positions two industry leading companies across the globe, and creates the 3rd largest residential real estate brokerage in North America, and the world’s second largest relocation services provider.

Jason Waugh, President & COO

We’re very excited about what the future brings!

If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact Prudential Northwest Properties president Jason Waugh @ jjwaugh@prunw.com or 503-350-7248.

 

 

 

 


Top 5 Tax Moves to Make by December 31

As December begins and the holiday season and spirit of giving move into full swing, why not make a few tax moves now that could give you added savings when you file your 2011 tax return? The year-end is an ideal time to lower your 2011 tax liability and increase the size of your refund when tax time arrives early in 2012.

There is still time for a final push to claim several tax benefits before 2011 winds to a close. Many taxpayers will be doing things like giving to charities and pre-paying January tuition, but the key is knowing how these and other common expenses may count as tax deductions if you qualify. There are five key considerations taxpayers should be thinking of before December 31 to reduce taxable income and increase deductions or credits to claim:taxes

1. Save more for retirement – By increasing retirement plan contributions, you can reduce your income for tax purposes. Taxpayers can contribute up to $16,500 to a 401(k), 403(b) or Federal Government Thrift Savings Plan; those over age 50 can contribute an additional $5,500.

2. Prepay January payments in December – Taking care of your January mortgage payment, 4th quarter state tax estimate, or winter semester tuition now lets you claim these payments on your 2011 tax return.

3. Get to the doctor! – If you are holding off on a major medical procedure until after the holidays, stop procrastinating and make an appointment now to increase your 2011 medical expense deductions.

4. Give to charity – Giving cash and non-cash donations to charity can give back on your taxes. And volunteering time counts too, which means the more than 80,000 volunteers who lent a helping hand to the Joplin, Mo. tornado victims may be able to deduct their out-of-pocket expenses on a tax return.

5. Save energy, save $500 on your taxes – If you are planning to buy an energy-saving, hot water heater or install energy efficient windows or insulation to your home, do it now. Up to $500 in credit may be available for making energy-related home improvements.

Please speak with your tax professional for clarification on any of these suggestions.

Source: www.jacksonhewittonline.com


For Shari Newman, Volunteerism Spreads Worldwide

Shari NewmanLake Oswego real estate Broker Shari Newman was recently featured in a Lake Oswego Review/West Linn Tidings story about her extensive volunteer efforts, both locally and abroad.

Shari, thank you for your commitment to serving others. You make such a positive impact on the lives of people you touch and we’re proud to have you on the Prudential Northwest Properties team.

Click here to read the article.

 


Medical Teams International Serves 200,000th Dental Patient

MTI mobile dental van

Bert Waugh, Jr. and Jordan

Prudential Northwest Properties Chairman Bert Waugh Jr., founder of the non-profit Transitional Youth organization and former Chair of Medical Teams International, is on hand in the Mobile Dental Van with MTI’s 200,000th patient, a Transitional Youth ‘Home on the Range’ resident by the name of Jordan.

Medical Teams International and Transitional Youth are working together to provide dental care services for local homeless and at-risk youth.

To learn more about Transitional Youth, please visit www.TransitionalYouth.org.


Market Trend Spotlight – Vancouver, WA Zip Code 98664

Here’s a summary of the market trends in Vancouver’s 98664 zip code, which includes the Vancouver Heights, Marrion, and Ellsworth Springs neighborhoods. If you would like to see current real estate activity and trends in your area, please click the MARKET TRACKER graphic to the right of this image.

Vancouver 98664

Enter your name, email address and zip code … your information will remain private and only be used for the purpose of sending you this automated report.

 

 


Safety Tips for Deep Frying Turkeys During the Thanksgiving Holiday

The Thanksgiving holiday weekend has become responsible for more cooking related fires and accidents than many other times of the year. In recent years, a new and popular nation-wide trend for Thanksgiving dinner is deep fried turkey. This method has been introduced and shown on cooking television shows and in popular recipes. The draw to a deep fried turkey is the recipe’s ability to create a cooked turkey that is not dried out, as can happen with the traditional method of oven cooking a turkey.

Even if you follow the deep fryer instructions, the practice of deep frying a turkey can be dangerous as it involves submerging the turkey in two to five gallons of oil or fat heated to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. It’s important not to overheat the oil or the vapors could burst into flames. It is also important to maintain the proper level of oil—if the oil level is too high it may over flow and ignite, which can quickly create a large fire. There is also the possibility that the fryer could tip over, spill or splash causing a risk of ignition and burn injuries.

Here are a few safety tips for deep frying turkeys:

• Following the deep turkey frying mechanism manufacturer’s instructions is an important start.
• Keeping children away from the deep turkey fryer, open flames, propane tanks and similar hazards is always good practice.
• One should never use a deep turkey fryer indoors or in an enclosed area. Using the device outdoors and away from combustible or structural components, such as decks, can help avoid flare-ups.
• A deep turkey fryer or similar device should never be left unattended.
• Ensuring that the deep turkey fryer is secure and on a flat surface, can reduce the risk of the device tipping over.
• Great care when handling the lid, side handles, or the pot should be used. These will be extremely hot and may pose a burn or tipping hazard.
• If a deep turkey fryer does ignite, water should not be used to douse the flames. Calling the fire department and/or using an ABC dry chemical fire extinguisher should be the first step in such an emergency.

According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), Thanksgiving Day records the most home cooking fires in the United States. With these safety tips, you can prevent a fire from happening in your home.

Our best wishes for a safe and happy Thanksgiving holiday!

Source: All Hands Fire Equipment


Southwest Washington Market Stats – October 2011

The latest RMLS Market Action report for Clark County, Washington shows some improvements when comparing the period January – October of 2011 with the same time period last year. Closed sales increased 2.8% and pending sales rose 7.4%; however, new listings dropped over 10%. When comparing the month of October 2011 with September 2011, closed sales fell 9.5% and pending sales increased nearly 6%.


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