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Keep Your Cool This Summer With 5 Easy HVAC Maintenance Tips

Our HVAC systems don’t get half of the credit they deserve. They keep our homes toasty in the winter time and then cool things off when the summer temps begin to soar. But if you’ve had your HVAC system stop working, you’re bound to notice a difference. So, before the next season starts, consider taking care of a few DIY HVAC maintenance items to maintain a comfortable temperature inside your home.

Before You Try Anything Else, Change Your Filters

When your HVAC system is not heating or cooling your home, discomfort may cause you to panic. Before you schedule an expensive appointment, however, make sure that your filters have been changed properly. Filters should be changed more often than you think, especially when you have pets or are using your AC nonstop. You may even need to swap your filters out every few weeks, but changing your filters won’t matter unless you are using the right replacements. Quality air filters, and consistent replacement, can help prevent many of the problems that plague your home’s heating and cooling system.

Find Professionals to Tackle Major Repairs

Dirty filters can be the root of a lot of HVAC systems, including frozen coils. But if you’ve changed your filter and your AC still isn’t working, you may need some help from the pros. After all, no AC on a sweltering summer day can be hazardous to your health, not to mention extremely uncomfortable. So if changing your filters, or other simple maintenance, doesn’t work, do your homework to find trusted local AC pros to get the problem fixed quickly. In the Everett area, AC repair will usually run you from $225 to $311.

Maintain Reasonable Temperatures in Your Home

Consulting the experts is the quickest way to address furnace and AC issues in your home. If you want to avoid those pricey calls throughout the year, however, you need to make sure you are not overworking your system. Maxing out your thermostat on a blustery or sizzling day may feel comfortable to you, but doing so can actually put too much pressure on your heating and cooling system. So go around and make sure your vents aren’t blocked before cranking up the thermostat, and consider investing in a smart thermostat that will keep you comfortable without sacrificing efficiency.

Make Sure Warm or Cool Air is Kept Inside Your Home

Ensuring the air your HVAC system puts out can circulate through your home is important. But keeping that air from escaping is just as essential to maintaining your heating and cooling system. If you live in an older home, it may be beneficial to look into double-paned windows that can help keep your house well-insulated during the winter and summer. Updating your windows is a major project, but it’s one that can preserve the integrity of your HVAC system and keep your home more comfortable. If new windows are not in your budget, you could also use weather stripping around your doors, to keep that cozy air inside where it belongs.

Save Money By Doing Simple Fixes on Your Own

Adding new weather stripping or changing a filter is a maintenance project most homeowners are comfortable doing. But you may not feel completely confident completing other HVAC maintenance tasks without the help of a pro (the average cost of an HVAC inspection is $321). The good news is that you only need to take care of simple HVAC upkeep to prevent major problems from springing up. You’re already changing your filters, but you should also inspect your system to make sure everything looks and runs smoothly. Clear out any brush or overgrowth that springs up around your unit and use a bleach solution to keep your drains unobstructed as well.

Don’t let taking your HVAC system for granted cause you to lose your cool. Instead, start taking better care of your system through basic maintenance tasks on a regular basis. You can knock most out in a matter of minutes or you can always call a pro. Either way, proper HVAC maintenance means having more time to relax and really feel comfortable in your home.

by, Ray Flynn

Photo Credit: Pixabay

7 Pro Tips to Get Your Carpets Professionally Cleaned

Health professionals and carpet manufacturers agree that carpet should be professionally cleaned at least once per year for a 1-2-person home and twice per year for homes with children or pets. But, how do you decide which professional to use?

1. Do They Have Good References?

Is the carpet cleaning company you’re considering well-known? Is this company regularly referred to friends, family, and associates asking for carpet cleaning recommendations? Are they recommended by carpet manufacturers? Do you see their company-labeled vehicles on the road? Answering these questions will help separate out the most trustworthy and reliable carpet cleaning companies in your area. While being referred by consumers is important, noting frequent referrals from respected carpet retailers, interior designers, real estate agents, and property management firms also lends credibility to the company being considered. Investigate using online national and local commerce websites, review sites, and neighborhood social media pages to reveal a company’s reputation, who’s being consistently referred, and why.

2. Are They Experienced?

When considering a carpet cleaning company, dig into their experience. How many years have they been in business? Have they handled specialty items, seen different, unusual situations? Have they cared for fine carpets and rugs? Are they called upon when a situation requires a special solution? Do they know the different chemistry and techniques needed to achieve the best results? Are they experts in completely removing pet stains and odors (instead of only affecting the stain’s surface, leaving it behind, and guaranteeing its reactivation)? Successfully alleviating these challenges can only be learned through years of education and experience. Are their technicians certified by the CRI and IICRC? You need to be assured you’re getting the best service and value for your investment.

3. What Kind of Products Do They Use?

Carpet cleaning companies use myriad products when attempting to clean your home. Please ask if their mobile cleaning units are stocked with premium, eco-friendly, non-toxic, hypoallergenic, and plant-based products. Do they use cheap, toxic chemicals that will resoil your carpet and create unhealthy air quality? Many companies use soaps that, once dry, leave a brittle residue that becomes airborne and exacerbates allergies and other respiratory issues.

4. What Systems Do They Use?

Many companies use cheap equipment that provides inadequate heat and suction. Finding a company that uses super-heated water and intense suction will mean faster drying times and cleaner, healthier floors. Make sure they use the most powerful and technologically advanced cleaning equipment available. A more powerful machine means cleaner, drier, and healthier carpet for you and your home, and ensures the removal of allergens and contaminants (including dust mites and pet dander) resulting in a deeper clean.

5. Do They Guarantee Their Work?

After having an uninformed, uneducated, or unscrupulous carpet cleaner in your home, the hardest part is getting them back out to fix issues they create. Make sure the company you’re considering offers a 100% Money Back Satisfaction Guarantee on all their work. If you are not completely satisfied, they should return at no charge to review and correct any workmanship concerns. If you are still unsatisfied, they should refund your investment.

6. Do They Reward Referrals?

The company you choose should put a focus on providing an outstanding experience and reward their clients for referring friends and family — ask them about their referral rewards.

7. Are You Getting What You Paid For?

Never select a carpet cleaning company based solely on price – quality carpet cleaning is not as cheap as some would like to think. Many companies use the allure of a low initial price to get in your door, so they can push their low quality, ineffective services and then charge you a higher price when finished. You should be able to understand and approve all work (including the price) before it’s administered. There should be no surprises nor any hidden charges. While quality carpet cleaning isn’t cheap, it will extend the life of your carpet and provide your family with a healthier indoor environment.

You can reach Nathan Kelly at 206-503-3623

PureClean Carpet Cleaning & PureDry Restoration

Marysville Real Estate Market. What’s Going On!

Some homeowners and home buyers in our neighborhoods and communities are left scratching their heads, “What is going on with real estate home prices?” Within the last nine months we’ve gone from insane multiple offers to price reductions and now sour milk listings. The rapid change in the real estate market has some people singing the hit song from the Clash – Should I stay or should I go.

The real estate market is moved and adjusted by inventory levels, number of buyers in the market place, current interest rates and employment opportunities. The inventory in our area at the end of 2017 finished at 163 total active listings. The market ended 2018 with 239 active listings which is a whopping 46.63 percent increase year-over-year. This is good news for buyers and not-so-good news for sellers.

There is no reason to think you are on a sinking ship when you hear this news. For the same time period median home sales prices jumped 10.87 percent from $345,000 at the end of 2017 to $382,500. This was the highest increase in all of Snohomish County for this time period even with closed sales dropping 8.63 percent.

Commenting on inventory, declines in closed sales and the drop in month’s supply, MLS director Dick Beeson said, “There’s lot’s of speculation as to the reasons why. One thing for sure: this situation can make for a deliciously deceptive market for either buyers or sellers.”

The Marysville market is ripe for home appreciation in 2019. Based upon the median home sales price in South Snohomish County at $495,000 compared to ours at $382,500 you can easily understand why we are seeing a much more robust rate of appreciation and very low inventory levels resting around 1.33 months of supply.

The Spring market is already starting to take effect so start your planning now and take advantage of low interest rates and lower home prices before the Spring market boom! Until next month, “Make it a great day in real estate.”

When It’s Time to Move On: Downsizing Tips for Seniors

If you are a senior with an empty nest and too much space, you may be thinking it’s time for a change. Though it can be hard to move out of a home where many memories have been made, keeping up with a place that’s too big can add unnecessary stress to your life. Instead, consider downsizing into the right home for your golden years. With a few simple steps, you can land the perfect home for your next chapter and have a smooth moving process.

Research Your Options

With the proper research, finding the right home can be stress-free. You can begin by utilizing online resources to get a feel for prices of homes that are the right size and in the perfect location for you. For instance, if you were to conduct a search for Marysville on real estate sites, you would discover that homes in that area have sold on average for $373,000 within the last month. After you have narrowed down your search to particular geographic areas, take a couple days to stay in the area. That way, you can discover if you would actually enjoy living there and that the necessities are within a reasonable proximity. A little research can result in the perfect home and some extra cash in your pocket from the sale of your current home.

Decide What Items Will Go With You

Once you have located the right home, it’s time to sift through your belongings and determine what will be going with you. One of the perks of downsizing is that it’s less hassle when it comes to cleaning and maintenance. But with that comes less storage space. If you categorize your belongings into what you cannot live without, what you can live without and what you can replace, it will become clear what needs to be packed, sold, given away or tossed. As you pack, keep in mind that a cluttered home will feel small, can be dangerous and defeats the purpose of downsizing.

For any items that won’t fit into your new home—but that you’re not ready to part with—self-storage is a reasonable and affordable option. Also, it will buy you some time to determine what you want to do with the belongings. You can search online or in the phone book for nearby storage facilities and compare rates for the best deals. For example, the overall price for a self-storage unit booked in the Seattle area, over the past 180 days is $86.97.

Packing Up

Once you determine what belongings you are taking with you, it’s time to begin the packing process. Since most of these items have meaning to you, you’ll want to take extra measures to handle them with care. Purchase sturdy boxes for as low as $1.97 apiece that you can label (to facilitate easy unpacking), line the inside of those boxes with bubble wrap or newspaper before packing, and seal the boxes securely.

Generally speaking, it’s helpful to pack room by room. For instance, you could start in the kitchen by packing dishes, silverware, glasses, and small appliances. After the kitchen is packed, you could pack the dining room tables, chairs and rugs. Then, you could move on to the living room, bedrooms, bathrooms and so on.

Moving out of a home you’ve lived in for years is not easy. But sometimes downsizing is necessary to keep your quality of life where you want it. Remember to research all the potential homes in the area you’re interested in. Categorize your belongings to keep your new home from immediately becoming cluttered and rent out a self-storage unit if you need to. Finally, pack all of your items safely and tackle it room by room.

Photo Credit: Pexels

by Michael Longsdon

Real estate cooling like the fall weather

The real estate market is open 365 days year – yes, even on the holidays – but there are cyclical trends to the market place.

Some of those ups and downs are based on mortgage interest rates and housing availability, but some are based on season. Next to spring, fall is the busiest season for home buying and selling. Autumn offers certain benefits to home buyers, including year-end tax breaks, pleasent weather conditions for moving and wider selections of homes for sale.

Housing inventory levels have significally increased to 1.67 months compared with springs inventory levels of .87 of a month. Last month real estate brokers added 300 new listings in Snohomish County which matches the same amount as last year during the same month.

The difference is we have witnessed a 1.74 percent decreased in closed transactions which accounts for more homes available for home buyers.

During this past spring and summer, home buyers were out in force. In many areas throughout Snohomish and King counties, homes went under contract quickly, and bidding  wars were not uncommon.

Homes are not going under contract as quickly this time of year, and multiple offers are less frequent. That takes some of the pressure off buyers and helps soften home prices.

There is a chance, however, that the Federal Reserve will increase its benchmark lending rate in December, which could have a modest ripple effect on mortgage rates.

Take advantage of this great real estate autumn market and low interest rates.

By, Todd Fahlman

It’s a hot time to be in the housing market locally

By Todd Fahlman

It is no surprise that home prices in Marysville are on the rise. But how long can home prices continue to increase?

Is there a looming price correction on the horizon? To answer those questions, let’s take a look at what is happening around us. Among the four Puget Sound area counties, Snohomish had the largest year-over-year price increase at 18.8 percent.

Its countywide median price for February’s sales spiked to $460,000 from $387,250, but that is $130,000 below the $590,000 median prices for homes that closed in King County last month.

The Paine Field airport terminal is scheduled to be finished in July and open in September. Two airlines, United and Alaska, have committed to flying out of it. It will be great for recreational and tourism travel.

There are some amenities designed for business travelers, such as they can drop off their car with their laundry. When they return, they pick up their car and their freshly washed clothes.

The airport will be very important as Marysville and Arlington begin working together in the future.

Also, Marysville has a $160,000,000 transportation budget for the next 10 years. That money will make huge improvements for local residents and future business growth to accommodate the exponential population spike to make Marysville a place to work and reside.

Dave Koenig, director of Community Development for the city, said another causes for growth will be the Manufacturing and Industrial Center between Arlington and Marysville. The Puget Sound Regional Council is looking to recognize those 4,000 acres in the Smokey Point area as the second regional MIC in Snohomish County.”

There will be a public meeting on the MIC April 4 from 5-7 p.m. at Crown Distributing on the corner of 172nd and 59th in Arlington.

County Executive Dave Somers said the population explosion will be countywide. He expects 250,000 more residents by 2050. Taking a look at the MIC and infrastructure improvements I would suggest the median home price in Marysville will climb at an average rate of 9.6 percent per year over the next six years or more.

The dizzying outlook for sellers in Marysville is finding a suitable replacement home. That is causing many would-be-sellers to stick it out and not put their home on the market. With less than a month of inventory, I can hardly blame them.

Here’s the solution. If you are planning on selling then purchasing another home negotiate an extended escrow period up to 60 days. Another technique for sellers is to rent the home back after it closes for 30 to 60 days. That gives the seller a chance at getting the home they love without having to make a contingent offer.

My point is we are into the spring selling season and if you are considering selling, now is the time. Consult your local real estate broker and have them help you navigate the fast current of today’s market.

Marysville WA One of the Fastest Growing Cities in the US!

Since 2015, Marysville has continued to be recognized as one of the fastest growing cities in the US, with populations between 50,000 to 100,000. We have seen a massive increase and demand for housing in our city. Marysville has been growing at an average rate of 2.27% per year for the last three years and adding just under 1,500 residents every year, reaching a population of 67,626.

Marysville has become the hot market to find affordable housing. Investors and first-time home buyers are recognizing that Marysville has a lot to offer at a very good price. The median sales price for a home in the area in 2017, end of January, was $325,000 compared to this years median home price of $348,725. Compare that with the median home price of $542,000 in South Snohomish County, and you instantly realize why people are considering the  Marysville housing market more than ever.

Last month in a three city area of Marysville, Arlington and Stanwood, real estate brokers added 167 new listings and reported 248 pending sales. On any given day, Marysville is seeing between 40 and 57 total active listings for buyers to select from.

This massive shortfall of available housing in the Marysville market will continue to drive up prices and create headaches for buyers competing for available listings. According to the National Association of Realtors, a balanced market has between 4-6 months of inventory. Currently we have .97 months of inventory available. We are in a serious sellers market.

We are seeing an early surge of springtime home buyers. This is a result of the Federal Reserve not increasing interest rates when they met last month. Home buyers believe the Federal Reserve will increase interest rates during their next meeting in April, and are in a heated rush to purchase before interest rates increase.

There are four factors that are driving the Marysville housing market skyward: the first- time home buyers, the second- time home buyers, and empty nesters and investors who are focused on taking advantage of low interest rates and affordable prices.

Today is a great day in real estate!

Todd Fahlman

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