Real Estate Transitions: Tips on buying new construction

  • Written by By The Blue Team: Michelle Blue & Ashley Farrington, Windermere Woodinville

Thinking about buying a new home? It is a slightly different purchase than residential resale where you need to consider the seller’s emotions and plans, so make sure you plan accordingly and take the right steps to optimize your new home buying experience. Here are just a few tips for you to consider.

Timing: To get the best deal on a new home, pay attention to timing. Builders are businesses and so they are more likely to offer a price reduction, or a “hidden discount” by paying for closing costs or home appliances and upgrades at no charge, in the following situations: (1) end of quarter/end of year closings; (2) homes that are already built or within weeks of completion; (3) first couple homes in a development to get sales started; and (4) last couple homes in a development — when they want to close out the site.

Contracts: Builders require their own contracts, so make sure you understand what is and what isn’t included in the price (appliances, landscaping, decorator options, etc.) as it is much easier to negotiate for items to be included before you enter into the agreement. Warranties can really vary, so know what is and isn’t included and during what time frames and whether it is transferrable to the next owner should you decide to sell during the warranty period.
Inspections: Yes, you should get an inspection on a new home since it is always easier to get repairs done before you close than after — no matter what warranty is offered by the builder. Remember, things can get done incorrectly or be missed with new construction. Here are some potential big-ticket red flags:

•    Sticky doors: If the home is new, it shouldn’t have sticky doors and windows — this can be an indicator of more serious structural problems.
•     Diagonal cracks: Anything more than a hairline crack should be checked out. Straight vertical cracks are more likely to be insignificant than diagonal ones.
• Puddles near the foundation: When it rains, do puddles form against the home’s foundation? This could be a sign of problematic landscape grading that could lead to flooding in your basement or crawl space.

It is also good to do an Internet search for reviews of the builder to see what, if any, recurring problems they have had in other neighborhoods they have built. Make sure your inspector looks for those potential defects on your home.
Want to explore your options? Contact The Blue Team — working twice as hard for you and providing a team of experts to guide you in all your real estate transitions!

Woodinville High School Theatre presents ‘The 39 Steps’

  • Written by Woodinville Weekly Staff

Woodinville High School Theatre Company is excited to present the upcoming fall play, Patrick Barlow’s “The 39 Steps.” The show runs Oct. 22-25 at 7 p.m., and Nov. 1 at 1 p.m. and 7 p.m., in the Woodinville High School Theater.

“The 39 Steps” is a theatrical interpretation of Alfred Hitchcock’s classic spy thriller of the same name. For those unfamiliar with the original film version of “The 39 Steps,” it involves the murder of a secret agent, who, before her death, enlists the help of a suave Englishman, named Richard Hannay. Both the police and foreign spies pursue Hannay across England and Scotland, as he attempts to discover the nature and whereabouts of the top secret “39 Steps.”
In typical film noir style, the movie is filled with suspense-filled chases, daring escapes, witty banter, a dashing hero, a dynamic ingénue and a sinister foreign agent. For the theatre version, a cast of ten actors attempts to play the hundreds of characters and extras from the film, and recreate the dramatic train, plane, and car chases live on stage — with highly suspect, yet hilarious success.

Read more ...

Woodinville artist turns paintings into unique gifts

  • Written by Emily Hamann

A graduate degree in veterinary molecular biology isn’t usually a prerequisite if you want to be a painter, but it has all been part of the journey for Stacie Clark.

“I have always loved the mystery of science,” Clark said.

In college, she got a fellowship to study whirling disease in trout in Montana rivers. Something was killing the fish. She helped figure out what it was.

Read more ...

New brewery opens inside Vessel Wines

  • Written by Emily Hamann

Toren Heald and his partners became the latest Woodinville homebrewers to take their hobby pro last month, when Blue Lightning Brew started selling beer out of the Vessel Wines tasting room.

Vessel had wanted to have some beer options at its events, Heald said. And it has a large tasting room that was only open for special events, and empty the rest of the time. The partnership seemed perfect. Now the tasting room is open seven days a week, with both Vessel wines and Blue Lightning beers on tap.

Read more ...

Watercolor exhibition begins Oct. 28

  • Written by Woodinville Weekly Staff

Northwest Watercolor Society’s (NWWS) 23rd annual Waterworks 2014 Membership Exhibition opens Oct. 28 at Tsuga Fine Arts & Framing in Bothell, and runs through Nov. 21, 2014. Gallery hours are Tuesday through Thursday 10 a.m. – 6 p.m., Friday 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. and Saturday 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.
The public is warmly invited to attend the reception and awards ceremony on Thursday, Oct. 30 from 6 p.m. - 8 p.m. at Tsuga Fine Arts & Framing, 10101 Main Street, Bothell, WA 98011. Almost $5,000 in cash and merchandise prizes will be awarded.
Waterworks is an annual exhibition of works executed exclusively by NWWS members who come from the greater Seattle area, Pacific NW and across the United States and Canada.

Quality and diversity have become the trademarks of this exhibition. This year Janet Rogers, renowned professional artist and juror for the show, selected 50 paintings from 235 entries.

“Because of a limit on the amount of paintings that could be accepted, I unfortunately had to ‘let go’ of some, and that was difficult because they were also great pieces,” commented Rogers.

Read more ...