CoupevilleDestination WhidbeyPlacesThings to Do on WhidbeyWhidbey Island May 27, 2024

Fort Ebey State Park

Fort Ebey State Park is so much more than just a pretty picture. These remnants of an old gun emplacement from 1942 overlook Admiralty Inlet and create the perfect recipe for a trip back in time. During World War II, this battery with underground rooms was dug into the high bluff as a defensive fort. Don’t forget to bring your flashlight for exploring the dark corridors. On clear days see if you can spot Point Wilson Lighthouse across the bay. In addition to 25+ miles of trails to enjoy and wildlife to observe, you might also spot a surfer or paraglider. Check out all that you can do at Fort Ebey here. 

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Photo taken by @pnwdeparture

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Real Estate April 22, 2024

Utilize That Tax Refund to Benefit Your Future Self

While every tax refund is different, if you received a refund this year, it’s likely that it is larger than in years past. On April 15th CNET shared that:

“The average refund size is up by 4.6%, from $2,878 for 2023’s tax season through April 7, to $3,011 for this season through April 5.”

There is a good chance that your tax refund not only was larger, but it also may have hit your bank account by now. If you haven’t spent it already, keep reading for a couple ways you could leverage it with real estate.

First and foremost, purchasing real estate is like investing in yourself. Each payment you make towards your mortgage lowers your debt and increases your equity. Combine this increase of equity with the historical average home price increase of 5% per year, and it becomes clear that homeownership can be a powerful wealth-building strategy. Over time, not only do you build equity through mortgage payments, but your home also typically appreciates in value. Each payment  further enhances your overall financial position. Can we agree that spending a little extra now on a mortgage of our own to pay out a greater return in the future could be worth it? If you are open to this idea of wealth building let’s discuss how you could utilize that tax refund to benefit your future self.

Saving for a Down Payment

One of the greatest obstacles for attaining home ownership is saving enough for a down payment. Your tax refund might just be the boost in income you needed to make homeownership a reality. Lucky for you the 20% down payment requirements of the past are long gone. However, there are benefits when you do put down 20% check them out here. Today, lenders have options as low as 3% down. If you are a military Veteran there are 0% down VA Loans. Learn more about them here. Check with your lender to see what you qualify for and if these loan types will benefit your home goals. If you are not currently working with a lender connect with us and we can help you locate a few.

Pay Closing Costs

Closing costs are the fees and expenses incurred when finalizing a real estate transaction. They typically range between 2% and 5% of the total purchase price of the home. These costs encompass various expenses, such as loan origination fees, appraisal fees, title insurance, and property taxes. Considering these expenses, directing your tax refund toward covering closing costs can help alleviate the financial burden at the time of closing.

Reduce Your Mortgage Rates by Purchasing Points

If rates today mean affordability is tight, consider talking to your lender about reducing your mortgage rates by purchasing points. You could use your tax refund to buy down your interest rate. Talk to your lender to see if you qualify and if this option is right for your homeownership goals.

Make Extra Payment Towards Your Mortgage and Reduce Overall Interest

Another alternative, if your loan allows for it, is to make additional payments towards your mortgage loan. Each additional payment reduces your total pay off amount. Your payment remains the same, it just means with each additional payment your mortgage will get paid off sooner. Check with your lender, but depending on your loan type, if you pay it off earlier your total interest paid is less than it would have been if you made regular payments.

Whether you are ready to buy now, or in the future, connecting with a trusted real estate professional that understands the process and your options to ensure that you are ready to buy is of the utmost importance. If you are not currently working with a Realtor, connect with us today. We can help you utilize that tax refund to benefit your future self.

CoupevilleDestination WhidbeyPlacesThings to Do on Whidbey April 15, 2024

Fort Casey Forts

The coast artillery post displays of Fort Casey State Park includes four inactive historic guns atop bunkers, dark tunnels underneath and control towers to climb. It creates an opportunity for both historical education and exploration. One of three forts built in the 1890’s, Fort Casey is part of the “Triangle of fire” safeguarding the entrance to Puget Sound. Now, over 100 years old, the Battery Moore section has recently been restored to keep it safe to explore for future generations. It will look different in person than in the older photo on the front of this card. Take this to compare when you visit! If you are just visiting and find yourself falling in love with Whidbey Island and wishing to tour homes while your here, or wish to learn more about Whidbey Island connect with us

Check out the rest of Whidbey’s beautiful destinations from this series here.

Visit Fort Casey

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