Buyers: Why Green is Worth It

I am jumping up and down in excitement seeing Carla Davis write about this in today’s Realty Times.

Buyers: Why Green is Worth It

For new and existing home buyers alike, the options to”green up” homes abound. Green upgrades on homes offer two-fold benefits. They contribute to a healthier environment, both now and in the future, and they can save homeowners big when it comes to energy costs.

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Dear readers, this is why I am a believer in green homes. My husband and I even bought a green home. I want to help more people live in green homes. Talk to me if you have questions about what makes a home green and why it is important. I am a Built Green Certified Professional Real Estate Agent!

COOL and Seattle Tilth host film screening, “A Chemical Reaction”

On February 20th, 2010, the Coalition of Organic Landscape Professionals (COOL) and Seattle Tilth will be hosting a movie screening for the new documentary called “A Chemical Reaction.”


This will be a fun educational event, with Paul Tukey from the movie as keynote speaker, a book signing for his “The Organic Lawn Care Manual”, door prizes, refreshments, and Q/A after the movie.

The event is at Lake Washington Technical College on Saturday, February 20th from 2:00-6:00pm.

Tickets are $10 purchased in advance from or $15 at the door.

Proceeds benefit, the organization that created the documentary.

Focus on simple and green at Seattle Home Show opening this weekend

The Seattle Home Show opens at Qwest Field Event Center on Saturday and runs through Feb. 28 with exhibits, vendors and seminars on the latest products and services for your living space.

Affordably priced at $10 for adults and less for others, you will have the opportunity to learn more about what is close to my heart,

Modern living spaces tend to be smaller than in years past, part of an overall trend to simplicity, economy and sustainable, “green” living trends featured at this year’s Home Show.

Be sure to check it out, the Seattle Times Living section has the story. Read Focus on simple and green at Seattle Home Show

Loan Modification Program Isn’t On Track Yet

You should read this article if you or someone you know is in the loan modification process. (Or pass it on.)

We are in the 13th month of our loan modification process and finally see the light at the end of the tunnel. Our March payment should be our final “trial modification” payment, and should convert to a “permanent modification”. It has been a harrowing experience – which is why I put my husband in charge. I found it too frustrating, because every time I got on the phone with someone I would want to yell at them, call them an idiot, and demand to be transferred to a supervisor. Which would not have gotten me anywhere.

Sometimes you really can not influence or change something no matter how hard you want to. Evidently it just takes time to let the – idiots – get the paperwork pushed through.


Loan Modification Program Isn’t On Track Yet

It would be unfair to say that the Obama administration hasn’t been trying to restore the health of the housing market. Unfortunately, it would be inaccurate to say that its programs are having much success. The loan modification program is a worrisome case in point.

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Cost vs. Value analysis for 2009 has been released


Puget Sound area Built Green® Certified Professionals (agents and appraisers) spend a good amount of time thinking about and talking with people about various remodeling and retrofit projects. The 2009 Cost vs. Value survey done by Remodeling Magazine has some great insights for all of us.

As the ECert Report completed by my brokerage, GreenWorks Realty, shows buyers are looking for energy savings and "sustainable" features and purchase homes with these characteristics sooner than similar homes without these features. Is reducing time on the market from six months to two months worth a little money? You bet. Many sellers are reducing prices and granting concessions for a quicker sale, but they still are trying to sell a house that lacks the efficiency and interior finishes of an upgraded home.

Let’s talk about windows. If the homeowners will be in the home for two or three years in exchange for the cost of the window upgrade they will enjoy a small utility savings every month, AND they will feel more comfortable in their home in several ways: the room temperature will be more stable so people won’t be hot then cold in cycle with the furnace turning off and on. And if the home is heated with a forced air whole house system, the less the system runs the fewer the dust particles and less contaminated air will be sucked in to the house by the draw of the rising heat going out the attic and the cold air being sucked in through the crawl space of under the door (and around the windows of course). My explanation here was a little awkward but give me a napkin and a pen and I can draw you a really cute picture of exactly what is going on with your house and where your indoor air is coming from (yuck).

A window upgrade pays for itself in savings, comfort AND equity value. So upgrade those windows now for present comfort, savings starting now, and future resale value. Because one of the easy things for people to notice when shopping for a house is if windows upgraded or not (only because it is easy for a layman to tell).

So check out the Seattle area report for yourself. You will have to register if you want to download it as a PDF. It is free but expect to get some email from the sponsors of the report. You will see that the numbers tell you a window replacement is the best way to spend your money when it comes to the amount you spend for the work versus how much of that you will get back in resale value when you go to sell – nearly 90%. When my husband and I bought our first home, in the Puget Ridge neighborhood of West Seattle, it was the first thing we did. It was a 1929 farmhouse on 1/4 acre – and the windows were from a remodel in 1968. They were huge windows, too. We replaced only the top floor windows (since heat rises). It was a large investment, but we financed it, and then paid that off with a refinance of the house in later years. It more than paid for itself.

If you have any questions about what might be the best green upgrade for your home, or for a home you are considering purchasing and greening yourself, just drop me a line! You can email me using the button to the right or call me on my Accessline (listed in the profile.)

Is it your time to become a Native Plant Steward?

I completed my training in 2001. I may not remember the Latin names of all of the plants (shoot, I barely learned them to begin with and only remember the name of my favorite flower from childhood anyway, Dicentra formosa, the bleeding heart) but the other skills and training will stay with me for life. I still use what I learned particularly to help homeowners tackle problems in their yards and gardens.

This year the Washington Native Plant Society is partnering with the cities of Bellevue, Issaquah, Sammamish, Kirkland, and Redmond, along with King County DNR and Parks to train local volunteers to be Native Plant Stewards.

Learn native plant ID, ecology and restoration skills, and then volunteer with a small team from the class restoring a local natural area.

Fridays, Beginning April 16-June 25th
3 Saturday Field Trips
Lewis Creek Park, Bellevue

The training is free, but in exchange, Native Plant Stewards commit to providing at least 75 hours of restoration and 25 hours help to WNPS with skills you’ve learned. Teams of stewards will get to design and implement their own restoration management plans for a specific site within East King County.

To Apply:
View current program information and download an application from, contact Stewardship Coordinator, Deborah Gurney at 206.200.3310 or email

Interviews will be held on March 5th and March 19th. Apply Today!