Thursday, January 27, 2011

Marketing for the masses.

The value of effective and efficient marketing transcends all business arena's.  I know well the return of proper marketing in my real estate business.  Living by the mantra "never stop learning," we can never have too much information or too many options.

Lately, gem's like the recent article below seem to keep falling into my lap.  Chalk-full with information, this posting would require a good Saturday afternoon's worth of time exploring.  It is however, perfect browser bookmark material.  A veritable database of marketing resources all in one place.

Conveniently grouped under headings like "Search Marketing" or "Marketing for Entrepreneurs," there is loads of valuable information.

Follow THIS LINK to the above mentioned article - or

Click on this badge to link over to the articles main site:


Wednesday, January 26, 2011

A recommended read...even for the most savvy of investors.

I came across this article on The Wall Street Journal real estate site.

Titled, "Real Estate: Finally a good investment?" this article is a great read.  Even for the most savvy of investors.

To view this article, see below or follow this link.


Real Estate: Finally a Good Investment?

LONGSHOT by Dave Kansas (Author Archive), Published January 18, 2011

The housing market still looks pretty bleak: There were a record one million foreclosures last year, home prices are still falling in many regions and the number of "underwater" properties is at a record high.

And things don't look much better in other areas of real estate. The number of construction jobs continues to decline, even as other parts of the economy have added jobs. And mortgage rates have moved higher as long-term Treasury yields have backed up during the past few months.
Basically, the real estate market remains a mess.
Real estate encompasses a wide range of markets – homes, apartments, hospitals, office buildings, strip malls, dormitories and other properties. But for our purposes, let's focus on residential real estate, or homes. Here are four reasons to think residential real estate might represent a bargain – with one big caveat.

Everyone hates homes.

Homes are probably the most hated asset class in the country. That's what happens when a bubble bursts. People avoid thinking about the value of their home. Sellers moan about no offers, buyers gripe about impossible lending requirements.
Hatred of an asset is often the precursor to contrarian interest, and being contrarian is at the heart of many investment strategies. To paraphrase Warren Buffett, be fearful when others are greedy and greedy when others are fearful. Mr. Buffett backed that idea when he invested in the stock market in the teeth of the financial crisis in late 2008 and early 2009.
Of course, being contrarian for its own sake isn't wise investing. Gold was hated for years ("dead money") before it recently became an attractive asset class. Still, a lot of smart ideas begin with the question: What does everyone hate?

Smart people are buying real estate.

This cohort is led by John Paulson, the hedge-fund manager who made $20 billion betting against the housing bubble. Last fall he said in a speech: "If you don't own a home buy one. If you own one home, buy another one, and if you own two homes buy a third and lend your relatives the money to buy a home."
Why is Mr. Paulson so adamant? Because he believes long-term interest rates are not going to get much lower. They have, in fact, risen since he gave that speech, but they remain remarkably low by historic standards. Low rates and the expectation that home prices will rise is his argument. For his part, Mr. Buffett has predicted the housing market will bottom this year.

Real estate performs well during inflation.

There's no inflation these days, but when buying a home one should take a longer view. And the longer view shows that the economy has enjoyed a disinflationary period since the early 1980s. A number of folks think that cycle is slowly reversing itself.
If that's the case, then convention would argue for holding assets that do well in an inflationary environment. That includes Treasury Inflation Protected Securities, commodities and real estate. Remember that during the stagflation nightmare of the 1970s, real estate had a strong run.
Inflation isn't a significant issue in the U.S., but it's a growing problem elsewhere. China and India have taken steps to fight inflation, the euro zone is getting flickers of inflation and the U.K. has had oddly higher prices (above 3%) for an extended period of time. If the cycle is slowly turning, real estate makes more sense.

Demand may be coming back.

Supply isn't as out of whack as it used to be. At the end of November, home builders reported 197,000 new homes on the market, the lowest level since 1968, according to Yardeni Research. The National Association of Realtors reports that the inventory of existing homes for sale fell 4% to 3.71 million homes, which represents a 9.5-month supply at the current sales pace, down from a 10.5-month supply in October.
Those aren't pretty numbers, of course, but they are moving in the correct direction. And that may be a reason that many home builder stocks, such as KB Home ( KBH15.54, +0.29, +1.90% ) , Hovnanian ( HOV4.80, +0.34, +7.62% ) , Pulte ( PHA23.92, -0.03, -0.12% ) and Toll Brothers ( TOL20.78, +0.28, +1.36% ) , have come off their lows in the past several weeks.
It's all comes down to jobs. There are a zillion caveats to any positive home thesis, but the big one is unemployment. If the economy is not creating jobs, the chance of a rebound in housing is diminished. It's hard to buy a home without a job, and folks who aren't working don't want to take long-term risks.
The job market is still struggling and the debate is hot about when it will recover. Optimists see recovery this year. Pessimists see pain for several years ahead. How this X factor gets resolved will say a great deal about whether housing will rebound.

Read more: 4 Reasons to Buy a Home Now -

The Business of Extraordinary Living.

The Business of Extraordinay Living — presented by Sotheby’s International Realty
I have mentioned before the Business of Extraordinary Living  - Sotheby's exclusive WSJ relationship.
The Wall Street Journal is iconic.  Paired with Sotheby's? Real Estate magic. 

Take some time to discover the Business of Extraordinary Living - a hard look at business was never this easy.


Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Mercer Island - Recent Sale!

Exceptional Mercer Island Recent Sale.
Inviting. Unique. Refined. Realogics Sotheby’s International Realty® professionals 
practice the art of uniting extraordinary homes with extraordinary lives. 
To those who value the unique, we possess an intimate knowledge of the Seattle 
area market and specialize in homes of absolute distinction. 

If you are thinking about buying or selling a home - call me, let's talk.

Connie Blumenthal (206) 579-9739
Realogics Sotheby's International Realty 2715 1st Avenue Seattle, Washington, 98121

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Sotheby's takes Wall Street by storm!

What an honor to be part of such a powerhouse team!

One, an expert in global news and information.

The other, an expert in the global real estate market.

An extraordinary collaboration has begun

Connie Blumenthal
(206) 579-9739
2715 1st Avenue Seattle, WA 98212

© 2009 Dow Jones & Company, Inc. All rights reserved. © MMIX Sotheby’s International Realty Affiliates LLC. A Realogy Company. All Rights Reserved. Sotheby’s International Realty® is a registered trademark licensed to Sotheby’s International Realty Affiliates LLC. An Equal Oppor tunity Company. Equal Housing Oppor tunity. Each Office is Independently Owned and Operated.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

More MSN Gems

The more I stop-in for a peek on MSN.Com, the more little gems I find.

Here are two articles worth the break:

"How to spot the next hot 'hood"


"Fastest Growing Small Towns" - from Forbes.

Any leg up we can get in this market, we should take.  Whether or not this information is useful immediately, it may be in the near future.


Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Don't miss this!

It's that time of year again, folks...Mark your calendars!

This weekend welcomes back not only the Seattle Boat Show, but also the Bellevue Homes & Lifestyle Show.

Event information can be found below, or by following these links: Boat ShowHome Show.

Boat Show Info:

Location: Quest Field, Downtown Seattle
Time: Show begins Friday January 21st @ 11am - runs through the weekend.
Tickets: $12/Adult, $5/Youth, Children free.  Tickets can be purchased online HERE or at the venue door.

For more information on vendors, features, or seminars - log onto

Home Show Info:

Location: Meydenbauer Center in Bellevue
Time: Show begins Friday January 21st @11am - runs through the weekend.
Tickets: $8/Adult, $5/Junior and Senior, Children free.
Venue Brochure info: can be found following this show INFO LINK.


*Seattle Boat Show and Bellevue Homes & Lifestyle Show images sources from their respective websites. Logos and pictures are property of the Seattle Boat Show and the Bellevue Homes & Lifestyle Show.

Monday, January 17, 2011

January Home Maintenance

A homeowners work seems to be never-ending. But with constant care and the right information, our homes have the opportunity to stand the test of time.  I tell my clients all the time, it's all about the preventative maintenance. Little fixes, repairs, and cleanings often save BIG money down the road.

I recently came across this article in the Real Estate section on  A quick look now, could save you money later.

The most important job this month is to prevent water damage from bursting pipes and leaks in your home.

By Marilyn Lewis of MSN Real Estate
Take these steps to safeguard against damage from frozen and bursting pipes:
  1. If practical, insulate any pipes exposed to the cold. Ask hardware-store personnel for the best materials for the job.
  2. Seal any leaks that are letting cold air in, especially around dryer vents and pipes and where electrical wiring enters the house.
  3. Search for uninsulated water supply lines in the attic, garage, basement and crawl spaces and in bathroom and kitchen cabinets adjacent to outside walls. During a cold spell, open cupboard doors in the kitchen and bathroom so the home's heat can reach them. (Reminder: Put harmful household cleaners out of the reach of children.) Keep doors shut tight in the garage and outside closets and cupboards during freezing weather.
  4. When temperatures drop below zero, open both hot and cold faucets a trickle to relieve pressure in the pipes.
  5. Locate your home's water shut-off valve; learn how to turn off the water quickly in case a pipe bursts.
  6. If you'll be gone in freezing weather, even overnight, ask a friend or neighbor to check on your house for broken or leaking pipes. Show him or her how to shut off the water.
  7. Keep temperatures inside the house at 55 degrees Fahrenheit or above, night and day, even when you're gone.
  8. Promise yourself that when the weather improves you will add to the installation in the basement or crawl space and attic.
Leak prevention
  • Install small, battery-powered individual leak alarms, also called flood alarms, under the refrigerator, kitchen and bathroom drain pipes, dishwasher and laundry appliances and behind toilets. Cost:around $10-$15 each.
  • Check to make sure your sump pump is operating properly. If it has a battery backup, unplug the pump from the wall and test it.
Look for pests seeking shelter
Cold weather drives mice and insects into the walls of your home. Even unheated parts of the house invite these pests. Insects need only a crack to enter, and mice can get in through a dime-sized hole. Houseflies, particularly, pose a health risk because they can transmit disease.
  • Seal any cracks where pests enter.
  • Empty compost and garbage frequently.
  • Keep food covered and put away; keep counters clean.
  • Fix leaky pipes quickly.
  • Pour boiling water down bathroom and kitchen drains monthly, preventing the buildup of bacteria-laden sludge; scrub removable drain covers weekly.
  • Check basement, attic, crawl spaces and the back of cupboards and cabinets for mice droppings or holes. If you find evidence, install traps immediately or call a pest-control service.
  • Pick up and dispose of outdoor pet waste promptly; turn compost piles frequently.
Make an inventory
While you are putting away holiday gifts, seize the opportunity to make a quick home inventory.
An inventory is a record of your home's features, conditions, furnishings and valuable possessions. If your home is damaged or destroyed by fire, flood, mudslide or other disaster, you can use the inventory to substantiate your insurance claim to get the maximum replacement value for what was lost.
Your inventory doesn't have to be fancy. You can get started and add to it later. Supplement your record with photos or video. The Insurance Information Institute has free software for making a room-by-room home inventory. Download it here and watch an instructional video here.

  • Save receipts for valuable home purchases and for work you have done to upgrade the interior or exterior of your home.
  • Keep a copy of your inventory in a bank safe-deposit box or on a hosted server online, so you can get it even if your computer is destroyed.
Also …
Here are a few more winter tasks:
  1. Check the labels on the switches in your electrical circuit-breaker panel and make new labels if necessary.
  2. Check your furnace filter monthly in the winter to see if it needs replacing.
  3. Use a vacuum-cleaner tool or a long-handled brush to clean under and behind the refrigerator, including the coils.
  4. Clean lint from under laundry appliances, especially the dryer, carefully work the cleaning tool down into the lint filter; outdoors, clean the dryer vent outlet, reaching as far as possible into the pipe.
  5. Gather product documents and warranties into a folder. Go through the contents and discard outdated materials.
  6. Walk around inside the house with a screwdriver, pencil and paper. Tighten any loose knobs and attachments and list repairs to tackle later.
  7. Examine the ducts of your forced-air furnace and seal any leaks with duct tape.
More excellent information can be found cruising through the - Real Estate.


Friday, January 14, 2011

Seattle Mag's January Event Must's.

Seattle Magazine, along with Seattle Met Magazine, is a fabulous resource for all things Seattle.  I posted earlier this week about Seattle Met Mag, so now it's time to talk briefly about Seattle Magazine!  The magazine has long since been a resource for hosting/or sponsoring fabulous Seattle events. Here is a list the magazine sent to my email for January.

Enjoy and Cheers!

Seattle Dances! Kick-Off Party 2011

January 13, 2011

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Cyber Choice Trophy - 2010 winner, Michelle Foreman-Barnet 
People's Choice Trophy - 2010 winner - Cathi Hatch with dance pro Marcelo Garces

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Judge's Choice Trophy - 2010 winner Colette Courtion

Opening Night of Whim W'Him's 'Shadows, Raincoats & Monsters' -learn more!

Whim W'Him at Intiman Theater

January 14, 2011

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Whim W'Him artistic director Olivier Wevers with Lucien Postlewaite

Chefs Dinner Benefiting Bailey-Boushay House - learn more!

2011 Chefs Dinner

January 16, 2011

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Bailey-Boushay House executive director Brian Knowles with executive chef Daniel Molina for Bailey-Boushay House

WSU Celebrate-Washington Wines 2011

WSU Celebrate-Washington Wines 2011

January 22, 2011

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Chateau Ste. Michelle CEO Ted Basler kicks-off the 2010 event

Piano Bash & munchbar VIP and media event

Piano Bash & munchbar VIP and media event

January 27, 2011

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Munchbar Grand Opening - learn more!

Munchbar Grand Opening

January 28, 2011

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Celebration of Light Gala - learn more!

Celebration of Light Gala 

February 4, 2011

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Seattle Hotel Associations Evening of Hope Gala 2011 - learn more!

Seattle Hotel Associations Evening of Hope Gala 2011

February 5, 2011

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Karen Dannenberg at the 2010 Evening of Hope benefit
Tamara Wilson and Carla Murray at the 2010 Evening of Hope benefit
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2010 Honorees Tom Douglas & Jackie Cross

An Evening with the Stars - learn more!

2011 An Evening with the Stars

February 27, 2011

Party-goers line up on the red carpet at the Evening with the Stars 2010 
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*All pictures or event content published by Tiger Oak Publications, Seattle, Wa..

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to view all photos from these events visit

Alan Alabastro
Ryan Allen
Bryce Covey
Morgan Keuler
Matthew Kaplan
Duell Fisher
Rolan Wong

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Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Seattle Met's Best Neighborhoods of 2010

Seattle Met Magazine is a fantastic go-to for any and all relevant local information. In scrolling through their online publication, I came across this article, "Best Places to Live 2010."

Loaded with area information detailing each neighborhood, this article is a must read for newcomers and longtime PNW's alike.

Enjoy and Cheers!