Steamboat: Natural Beauty Surrounds You


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Young Rd Flyer .pdf

Flyer with text code-page-0


Custom home built in 2001, this 3 bedroom home on a shy 5 acres has 3080 sq ft of living space and a new 900 square foot garage with engineered trusses and wide open attic storage.

14 skylights bathe every room in natural light, even on a cloudy NW day. The back deck is a great place to relax, entertain, or enjoy the visiting birds and animals. Absolute privacy, just 20 min. from town. Master bedroom is HUGE, and has a 5pc bath with jetted tub.

Bonus finished space in cottage style pump house serves as guest quarters with toilet and shower. RV Parking with Electric and water hookups, grey water discharge.

Just 3 minutes from Frye Cove Park, with oyster and clamming beach, miles of trails, playground, and breathtaking views of Mt Rainier.

Shown by appointment only. Courtesy of Sound Advantage Realty. Contact listing broker or ask your selling agent to show you MLS#804660.

Visit web site below for full details, photo gallery and HD virtual tour:


Olympia Home for Sale in The Seasons -10 Minutes to JBLM


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This 3 bedroom home on Early Spring Drive in The Seasons, Olympia will surprise you with beautiful flowers and shrubs all year. The seller has laid soaker hoses throughout the landscape beds for easy watering without the need for an underground system.


The living room is large and features an east-facing front door and bay window, large dining room, and direct access to the kitchen.



Light and bright kitchen overlooks the huge back yard, covered deck, patio, and fire pit.



Kitchen connects to a large utility room (washer and dryer included) with additional storage cabinets.

Breakfast bar on the family room side is convenient for casual dining, homework, or food prep.



Tile flooring flows through the kitchen into the family room with free-standing wood stove.


The back yard is large and private, with a covered deck, hot-tub-ready patio, and slate fire pit.


Check out the sweet multi-purpose outbuilding with covered woodshed, potting shed (great for over-wintering your patio pots and hanging baskets) AND a bonus rustic-finished garden room with french door and large window overlooking the back yard.




This room has great light and was used as an art studio/getaway. It would make a great party room for back-yard entertaining, a craft room, man cave, summer guest quarters, play room, etc. A great little extra space that’s just calling you to make it your own!

On the sunny south side, there are two raised beds ready for spring planting, one is already planted with strawberry plants galore!



Here’s a look at the potting shed, which could easily make a nice dog run. It’s completely enclosed and securely gated.


The wood shed is ready and waiting for your winter’s worth of cord wood, or general covered storage.



Over-sized 2-car garage complete with a workshop area and convenient man-door out to the back yard.


The front entry is flanked by manicured flower beds, and potted color spots to welcome you home.




Just inside The Seasons, this picturesque, tree-lined street is Early Spring Drive SE, where your new home awaits!


For a private showing, call Joy Moran, 360-481-9703

“Delivering my promise of outstanding service”

Sound Advantage Realty, Olympia, WA

Search for homes, view comparable 3 bedroom homes in Olympia, save your searches and receive new listings by email.


Rebuilding Together Bowling Event April 7, 2013


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Rebuilding Together Thurston County is holding a county-wide FUN bowling tournament April 7, 2013 to support National Rebuilding Day on April 27

RT Bowling April 7 2013

“PINS FOR PEOPLE” will take place at three locations in Thurston County:

Tumwater Lanes from Noon – 3 pm and 3- 6 pm

Westside Lanes from Noon – 3 pm

Yelm Prairie Lanes from Noon – 3 pm

$25/person or $125/Team

To register: call (360) 539-7830

Rebuilding Together Thurston County believes we can preserve affordable homeownership and revitalize communities by providing free home modifications and repairs, which make homes safer, more accessible and more energy efficient.

You can also help by volunteering your time and skills on National Rebuilding Day, as we work together with the community to help disabled, elderly, low-income, and veterans stay in their own homes safely and comfortably.

Thanks to over 300 community volunteers, we were able to complete nine projects in 2012!

Contact Rebuilding Together Thurston County to register as a 2013 volunteer.

Which to buy: A New Home or Existing?


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Which to buy: New Home vs. Existing

A recent study of prospective home buyers found that seventy five percent prefer existing homes, twenty percent of buyers prefer new construction, and five percent have no preference.

Established Neighborhoods

Top Reasons to Buy an Existing Home:

Mature Landscaping

Larger Lot Size

Strong Sense of Community

“Warmer” Inviting Feel

More Variety

More Solid Construction

Better Privacy

New Construction

Top Reasons to Buy New Construction:

Energy Efficiency

Ability to Customize

Better Amenities

More Modern

More Living Space

Whichever type of home you are looking for, you’ll need an experienced, full-time, professional Realtor to represent you in negotiations and assist in the process of getting you into the right home for YOU.

Search for 3 Bedroom 2 Bath Homes in Olympia

Sound Advantage Realty

Olympia, WA

Yes, a tax. But not a sales tax.


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By: Heather Elias

Director of Social Business Practice at National Association of Realtors

Last week, I wrote a post here about the 3.8% tax that is part of the Health Care Reform Act, which passed in 2010.

There have been numerous emails circulating that mischaracterized how the tax worked, and here at NAR we wanted to help people understand it better.

The post created a flurry of comments, and I thought we would address some of the points raised directly. (I’m taking some of my clarification points directly from The Top 10 Things You Need to Know about the 3.8% Tax.)

  • Yes, it is a tax. But it’s not a sales tax, it’s a tax on investment income.

No, NAR does not support this tax. It was added  into the health care law at the last minute and was never considered in hearings.The tax will no doubt be debated during the upcoming tax reform debates in 2013.

  • When you add up your income from every possible source, and that total is less than $200,000 ($250,000 on a joint tax return), you will NOT be subject to this tax.
  • For the tax to apply to any profit or gain on a primary home sale, the profit/gain  must be more than the $250,000-$500,000 capital gains exclusion that’s in effect today. That’s gain, not sales price.
  • The tax applies to other types of investment income, not just real estate. If your income is more than the $200,000/$250,000 amount, then the tax formula will be applied to capital gains, interest income, dividend income and net rents (i.e., rents after expenses).
  • If you are concerned that this tax may apply to you, please consult your tax advisor.
  • NAR is nonpartisan and does not get involved in presidential politics.

Here is a video with NAR’s director of tax policy, Linda Goold, that does a very good job of explaining:

And here are some more resources that could help explain:

Search for 3 Bedroom 2 Bath Homes in Olympia WA

Sound Advantage Realty

Live the Dream in Olympia’s Indian Summer Gated Community


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By Joy Moran, Keller Williams Realty Olympia

You don’t need to be a golfer to enjoy living in Indian Summer!

408795, 4 beds, 4.5 baths

6503 Portstewart Lane SE, Olympia 98501

This 4 bedroom 4.5 bathroom Indian Summer home is a knockout!

Absolutely gorgeous home with high-end finishes, every bedroom is essentially a master. The kitchen/greatroom area is elegant yet very cozy. Plenty of room for entertaining a large group indoors or outside. The yard is private, with lush greenery and a lovely water feature. The gracious entry foyer, formal living room and dining room are fabulous when viewed from the front stairway and catwalk.

Simply put, its the best home available in Indian Summer!


“Map Your Neighborhood” Emergency Management Program


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by Joy Moran

Last Winter, my rural Thurston County neighborhood was without power for a week, following a snow and ice storm. My kids were each trapped at friends’ homes, we had no cell signal and no land line to contact them or my elderly mother.

Luckily, we were able to stay warm and dry, we had food to eat, and managed to dig ourselves out after a couple days. (Mom was safe at my brother’s home.) The power eventually came back, after we had used up most of our propane supply.

What we did not have was a good plan.

This year, I will be more prepared.

At a community meeting a while back, we heard about a program called Map Your Neighborhood, and I realized the need for a larger plan to include our rural neighbors.

“Map Your Neighborhood” (MYN) is a program designed to help neighborhoods prepare for disasters and is offered through local emergency management offices.

When a disaster hits, first responders will not be able to help everyone – and that’s where neighbors can help!

Knowing what to do in the first 60 minutes following the disaster – called the “Golden Hour” – can help save lives, reduce the severity of injuries and minimize the amount of damage that you, your family and neighbors sustain.

MYN will help you to:

  • Learn the “9 Steps to Take Immediately Following a Disaster” to secure your home and to protect your neighborhood. It is hard to think clearly following disaster and these steps will help you to quickly and safely take actions that can minimize damage and protect lives.
  • Identify the Skills and Equipment each neighbor has that would be useful in an effective disaster response. Knowing which neighbors have supplies and skills helps your disaster response be timely, and allows everyone to contribute to the response in a meaningful way.
  • Create a Neighborhood Map identifying the locations of natural gas and propane tanks for quick response if needed.
  • Create a Contact List that helps identify those with specific needs such as elderly, disabled, or children who may be home alone during certain hours of the day.
  • Work together as a team to evaluate your neighborhood during the first hour following a disaster and take the necessary actions.

Contact your local Emergency Management agency about training for Map Your Neighborhood, and get to know your neighbors now, before the next disaster. In Washington State we need to be prepared for volcanic eruptions, earthquakes, landslides, floods, wildfire, wind/snow/ice, and even the occasional tornado.

Search for Olympia Real Estate

Sound Advantage Realty

Underground Oil Tanks


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by Joy Moran

Help! Our inspector said there’s an old oil tank buried on the property and it needs to be dealt with before closing, what do I do? Is this going to cost a lot?

Don’t panic. Older homes may have an old buried fuel tank from an oil furnace that was replaced or converted to natural gas. Its not the end of the world, but it does need to be identified and dealt with. Here is a sketch of the typical installation.

Dan Venable of Advance Environmental Inc. has dealt with many an underground oil tank, and suggests the best option is to remove the tank rather than decommissioning an underground tank. This is because leaving the tank in the ground (abandonment in place) may leave the homeowner open to additional problems in the future.

Once the tank is removed, there is easy access for thorough soil testing. After the soil is tested and no residue is detected, the hole is back-filled and does not need to be revisited again. End of problem.

If the tank is decommissioned, it is more difficult to do proper soil testing, and there may be requirements for additional testing in the future.

Advance Environmental is on the approved contractor list for Thurston County. The cost for tank removal currently runs around $1600 including soil testing. If there is poor access for equipment or the tank must be hand dug, the cost will be higher. The cost of decommissioning an underground tank is about the same as to remove it.

Advance Environmental Inc. is this Realtor’s top choice for tank removal, mold testing & abatement, as well as asbestos issues, bio-hazards, and residential demolition. You can contact them at 360-357-5666.

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Faulty Circuit Breakers Could Cause Fire


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The Federal Pacific Electric breakers, mostly found in homes built before 1990, sometimes don’t trip.

This story was brought to my attention by Jim Simmons of Mr. Electric, (360) 705-4225

By Chris Glorioso and Tom Burke
Circuit breakers are designed to keep you and your family safe from fire, but one brand of breaker might not only fail to protect your family -- it could actually cause a fire. Messages left for Federal Pacific Electric, the now-defunct company that made the breakers decades ago, were not returned. Chris Glorioso reports.
Circuit breakers are designed to keep you and your family safe from fire, but one brand of breaker might not only fail to protect your family — it could actually cause a fire. Chris Glorioso reports.
“There’s thousands of them out there,” Clifton, N.J. Fire Chief Vince Colavitti told NBC 4 New York’s I-Team. “It’s a ticking bomb waiting to happen.”

The breakers, mostly found in homes built before 1990, were made by a now-defunct company called Federal Pacific Electric, and experts tell the I-Team there are scores of those breakers in homes throughout the tri-state.

“Instant red flag. You see those and they’re suspect immediately,” said Colavitti, who is also a fire investigator.

A circuit breaker is designed to trip during an overload or short circuit, thereby cutting off the flow of electricity and preventing a fire. But if the breaker doesn’t trip, the increasing current can cause the wires to overheat, and even ignite. Sometimes, Federal Pacific Electric breakers fail to trip.

Colavitti said firefighters around the country as well as home inspectors and even some insurance companies are aware of problems with Federal Pacific Electric breakers. Some insurance companies are refusing to cover homes that have the breakers.

According to fire investigators, the Federal Pacific Electric breaker in Clarissa Rosario’s New Jersey home did not trip when overheated wires were burning in the ceiling between her bedroom and the attic in 1999.

“I saw the light flickering and I thought it wasn’t normal,” said Rosario. “When I opened the attic, it was full of smoke.”

Rosario was able to grab her two children and escape. Firefighters saved her home.

A family in Longmeadow, Mass. was not as lucky. Their home was destroyed in a 1998 blaze when electrical wires overheated and the Federal Pacific Electric breaker failed to trip.

In his notes, the fire investigator on the case wrote: “The Federal Pacific Electrical panels are notorious for malfunctioning. Many of these circuit breakers fail to trip during an overload condition which causes the wiring to overheat and to ignite combustibles in the area.”

Engineer Jesse Aronstein has been studying the breakers for decades. He has testified in lawsuits against the company and published reports about the failures. According to his research, Federal Pacific Electric breakers may be associated with as many as 2,800 electrical fires each year in the U.S.

“People should know that these have a high defect rate and should be advised to have them replaced,” said Aronstein.

Aronstein said Federal Pacific Electric cheated on testing and inspections decades ago to achieve approval from Underwriters Laboratories, a nonprofit product safety testing and certification organization. Nearly every item using or carrying electricity sold in the United States is tested and verified by UL.

“They were applying UL labels to products that did not meet the UL requirement,” said Aronstein.

According to Aronstein, representatives of Federal Pacific Electric would use a remote control to “trip” the breaker if it didn’t trip properly during UL testing.

A 1982 Security and Exchange Commission filing by a company that purchased Federal Pacific Electric reads, “UL listings on circuit breakers made by Federal Pacific had previously been obtained through the use of deceptive and improper practices.”

The company and UL ultimately removed the UL listing for the breakers, but not before millions had been sold from the 1950s to the 1980s.

Not every Federal Pacific Electric breaker will fail to trip if overloaded and, after the company was bought in the early 1980s, the breakers were modified and did legitimately pass UL inspection.

According to Aronstein, the safer, working breakers are marked with a white dot on the on/off toggle switch. He also suggested that anyone with a Federal Pacific Electric breaker contact an electrician to determine if it should be replaced.

Federal Pacific Electric is no longer in business and was ultimately divested by the company that purchased FPE. It exists now only as a legal entity.

Messages left with the last known attorney for the company were not returned.


Sound Advantage Realty

Home Prices Are Rising


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By Nick Timiraos

Getty Images
Home prices in July were up by 3.8% from one year ago.

In each of the last three years, home prices have increased in the spring and summer, when more people are buying homes, before giving back all of those gains and then some in the fall and winter, when activity cools.

But it is beginning to look like that might not happen this year, absent a major stumble for the economy.

Home prices in July were up by 3.8% from one year ago, the largest year-over-year jump in six years. Moreover, prices have shot up by 9.6% from February, when they registered their lowest levels of the housing downturn, according to CoreLogic CLGX +0.43% data released Tuesday.

This adds evidence to the case that U.S. home prices may have hit bottom earlier this year. Even though prices will soften in the autumn, “we have a much better supply and demand dynamic” than in previous years, said Mark Fleming, chief economist at CoreLogic.

So when people say they believe home prices haven’t reached a bottom—that this year’s seasonal gains will be wiped away by January or February of next year—here’s the relevant question: Will home prices fall by 9.6% in the next six months?

Anything, of course, is possible. Home prices fell in the winter—what Mr. Fleming calls the “offseason”—in each of the last three years to record a new low. But they have not fallen by 9.6% in any six-month span since March 2009, which was when the U.S. economy was still in recession.

That’s the good news. Here’s the bad news: While the year-over-year comparisons look good right now, the economy—and workers’ wages—aren’t growing fast enough to justify this kind of increase on a sustained basis.

Instead, the snapback in home prices in the last six months is more an indication of how prices “over-shot” over the past year. Investors, sensing deals, began buying up homes. The most likely scenario for home prices over the next year is that they may rise, but not at the breakneck pace of the past few months (and they’ll fall on a relative basis in the coming months due to normal seasonal factors).

There are other serious headwinds. It’s still hard to get a mortgage, and many households have too much debt. Millions of homeowners owe more than their homes are worth. Millions more have enough equity to sell their house but not enough to make a down payment on their next house and pay a real-estate broker’s commission.

As we’ve written many times before, the strong rise in home prices this year owes as much to sharp declines in inventory as it does to demand-side improvement. Banks have been much slower to take back and list foreclosed properties, easing pressure on home prices but leaving a bloated “shadow inventory” of potential foreclosures.

These homes will weigh on markets for years, though there’s less evidence that they will be dumped on the market at once. While the shadow inventory may not lead to a big drop in prices that some have feared, it will probably keep a lid on future home-price gains.

Finally, lower mortgage rates have dramatically increased the purchasing power of today’s home buyers when compared to one year ago. Some real-estate executives are nervous that demand isn’t stronger given today’s low mortgage rates, and they’re worried about what will happen if rates rise.

The bottom line: Don’t be surprised if the all-time low in home prices is in the rearview mirror. But this doesn’t mean a full-on recovery is here, and there’s little evidence that the current pace of improvement can continue. For now, home prices appear to be bumping along a bottom.

Follow Nick @NickTimiraos


Sound Advantage Realty