Buying a Home? Do You Know the Lingo? [INFOGRAPHIC]

Buying a Home? Do You Know the Lingo? [INFOGRAPHIC] | MyKCM

Some Highlights:

  • Buying a home can be intimidating if you are not familiar with the terms used during the process.
  • To start you on your path with confidence, we have compiled a list of some of the most common terms used when buying a home.
  • The best way to ensure that your home-buying process is a confident one is to find a real estate professional who not only puts your family’s needs first, but will guide you through every aspect of the transaction with ‘the heart of a teacher.’
Posted on January 16, 2019 at 2:39 pm
Diane Terry | Category: Uncategorized

Top Renovations to Complete Before You Sell Your House [INFOGRAPHIC]

Top Renovations to Complete Before You Sell Your House [INFOGRAPHIC] | MyKCM

Some Highlights:

  • If you are planning on listing your house for sale this year, here are the top four home improvement projects that will net you the most Return on Investment (ROI).
  • Minor bathroom renovations can go a long way toward improving the quality of your everyday life and/or impressing potential buyers.
  • Upgrading your landscaping or curb appeal helps get buyers in the door. These upgrades rank as the 2nd and 4th best renovations for returns on investment.
Posted on January 14, 2019 at 11:29 am
Diane Terry | Category: Uncategorized

Windermere Standards of Practice

One of my most favorite things about being with Windermere Real Estate is our commitment to excellence. We meet monthly in city to discuss case studies and market disruptions and how best to serve our customers to the highest standard in our industry.

Posted on January 14, 2019 at 10:58 am
Diane Terry | Category: Uncategorized

The real estate trends expected to shape cities in 2019

Posted on January 11, 2019 at 9:24 am
Diane Terry | Category: Uncategorized

A Resolution Planner You Can Stick To

Posted on January 9, 2019 at 10:07 am
Diane Terry | Category: Uncategorized

Got too much stuff? Try these 7 tips to help pare down

Most of us have no problem admitting that we have more than we need. The difficulty lies in the next steps: How to get rid of it? What room to tackle first? Should we toss, regift, donate, recycle, repurpose, sell?

It’s enough to drive a person to lie down and wait until the impulse to tidy passes. This gentle advice from TED speakers will tell you how to look at the excess in your life, figure out what can go, and restore some order to your space.

Tip #1: Realize that more stuff does not equal more happiness.

Have you ever looked in your kitchen cabinets and wondered why you have so many mugs or cups, yet you use so few of them? Most of us acquire stuff because we think the more options we have, the more satisfied we’ll be. Turns out, we’re wrong. “There’s no question that some choice is better than none, but it doesn’t follow that more choice is better than some choice,” says Swarthmore College psychologist Barry Schwartz.

In fact, a surplus of choices can end up making us less happy. We may get paralyzed by the sheer proliferation (like deciding which of 100 yogurts to buy at the store), plagued by regret about what we didn’t choose — and then we blame ourselves when our choices disappoint.

In your life, think about the daily decisions that bog you down. Is it figuring out what gym clothes to pack? What necklace to wear? Which yogurt to bring to work? Pare down your options to the three or four you turn to most frequently, and give away the rest (or put them [except the yogurt!] in a box — see tip #5).

Tip #2: Commit to 30 days — yes, 30 days — of tidying every day.

It is satisfying to spend a blitz weekend organizing and cleaning your home — but inevitably, the clutter and chaos creep back in. Maybe it’s time to adopt a daily decluttering habit? Start by trying this new habit for 30 days in a row.

Google software engineer Matt Cutts has used this technique to explore new interests, such as photography or fiction writing. Adhering to a 30-day pledge means there’s an end date in sight, while performing an activity day after day builds its own momentum. As Cutts completed each of his monthly missions, he reports, he found his confidence growing.

Because this is your personal vow, you’re free to go as big or as small as you want. For example, you could decide you’ll purge one drawer, shelf, rack or equivalent space every day for a month. Or, you could simply promise to always return items to their original places — scissors to drawer; jeans to dresser — for the next 30 days.

As Cutts puts it, “Here’s my question to you: What are you waiting for? I guarantee you the next 30 days are going to pass whether you like it or not.”

Tip #3: Listen to what your clutter is trying to tell you.

The stuff piling up in your home might be a sign there’s something you need to mentally unpack as well. In her work, professional organizer Star Hansen has seen how people’s emotional upheavals can lead to household messes — a lingering argument between husband and wife resulted in a kitchen where the counters couldn’t be seen for the junk; heartbreak drove a man to fill his bedroom with boxes. “Clutter is an external demonstration of our internal storms,” she says.

Look at the things you’ve piled up, and think back to when they crossed the line from unwieldy to just plain unmanageable. Does it line up with an unresolved event or period in your life?

And if you don’t come up with anything, that’s OK. There are times when a stack of books is just a stack of books.

Tip #4. Attack the stress of cleaning with some advance planning.

Let’s just say it together: “Cleaning is stressful.”

In fact, memories of the tension caused by your last bout of cleaning could be dissuading you from doing it again. Not only does stress make us feel out of control and unsettled, it also causes our bodies to release cortisol, which clouds our judgment, according to McGill University neuroscientist Daniel Levitin. This can make us say irrational things like “I’ll always be a messy person” or “I’m just not capable of getting organized” — and believe them.

Inspired by psychologists Daniel Kahneman (TED talk: The riddle of experience vs. memory) and Gary Klein (TEDxDayton talk: Lightbulb moment), Levitin suggests we engage in a “premortem” before a stressful task — envisioning every possible thing that could go wrong. “We all are going to fail now and then,” he says. “The idea is to think ahead to what those failures might be, to put systems in place that will help minimize the damage, or to prevent the bad things from happening in the first place.”

Before you embark on a tidy-a-thon, ask a family member or friend to talk you through it and help you anticipate potential hiccups. Do you have all the supplies — cleaning products, trash bags, giveaway boxes and labels — you need? Where will you put the stuff you’re getting rid of? Could your work be impeded by the weather, pets, kids? If so, how can you contain their impact? Set up your firewalls, gather your resources — and then get started.

Tip #5: Put everything you don’t need in a box — and forget about it.

Is there a bag or box of stuff that’s sat untouched in your home for a year or more? Instead of beating yourself up about it, use it as a shortcut to a more stripped-down life.

Several years ago, minimalist designer Graham Hill realized he had his own box of shame — a carton he kept moving from apartment to apartment. Like many people, he assumed it had to be important because he’d lugged it around. In a flash of insight, he realized the fact it had gone unopened for so long meant its contents were unimportant — and he could toss it. He says, “What’s in the box? It doesn’t really matter. I know I don’t need it. What’s in yours?”

Learn from his epiphany, and jettison your own boxes of shame. You can also use this tactic proactively. Is there something you’ve contemplated shedding but the thought “Wait! I might need this someday!” stops you from following through? Do this: Put it in a box, tape it shut, and place the box in a closet or corner. Set a notification in your calendar for 12 months from that date. If you haven’t opened your box by the time you get the reminder, discard it.

Tip #6: Elevate your attitude toward cleaning.

Cleaning is meaningful work that’s worth investing in, declares TED Fellow and graffiti artist Mundano. Since 2012, in a joyous public art project called “Pimp My Carroça,” he and a team of volunteers have decorated hundreds of carroças — carts used by the people who collect recyclable trash from the streets of Brazil — in order to celebrate this “vital part of our society,” as he puts it. These men and women perform “honest and essential work.”

Rather than regarding tidying as a chore to be dreaded and rushed through, try to view it as worthwhile labor needed to maintain a place where you can live and thrive. Choose gadgets befitting this important task. If the shabby bucket of sponges and brushes under your sink makes your heart sink, upgrade them. Plus, when your tools give you joy, you’ll be more likely to use them.

Tip #7: Turn down the volume on your inner nitpicker.

When you’re done with your cleaning and organizing, there’s a chance it may not measure up to your expectations — your space still looks more real life than Real Simple and you think, “Why did I even bother?”

This kind of naysaying attitude is common, says University of California Davis social psychologist Alison Ledgerwood. “Our view of the world has a fundamental tendency to tilt toward the negative.” But she adds, “We can retrain our minds if we put some effort into it.”

While the last steps of cleaning usually consist of putting away your supplies and discards, add a PS to your process: Take a minute, gaze around, and appreciate what you’ve accomplished.

Posted on January 7, 2019 at 9:47 am
Diane Terry | Category: Uncategorized

Thinking of Selling Your Home? Here’s Why You Need A Pro in Your Corner

Thinking of Selling Your Home? Here’s Why You Need A Pro in Your Corner | MyKCM

With home prices on the rise and buyer demand still strong, some sellers may be tempted to try and sell their homes on their own without using the services of a real estate professional.

Real estate agents are trained and experienced in negotiation and, in most cases, the seller is not. Sellers must realize that their ability to negotiate will determine whether or not they get the best deal for themselves and their families.

Here is a list of just some of the people with whom the seller must be prepared to negotiate with if they decide to For Sale by Owner (FSBO):

  • The buyer who wants the best deal possible
  • The buyer’s agent who solely represents the best interests of the buyer
  • The buyer’s attorney (in some parts of the country)
  • The home inspection companies, which work for the buyer and will almost always find some problems with the house
  • The termite company if there are challenges
  • The buyer’s lender if the structure of the mortgage requires the sellers’ participation
  • The appraiser if there is a question of value
  • The title company if there are challenges with certificates of occupancy (CO) or other permits
  • The town or municipality if you need to get the CO permits mentioned above
  • The buyer’s buyer in case there are challenges with the house your buyer is selling

Bottom Line

The percentage of sellers who have hired real estate agents to sell their homes has increased steadily over the last 20 years. Let’s get together to discuss all that we can do to make the process easier for you.

Posted on January 4, 2019 at 9:25 am
Diane Terry | Category: Uncategorized

January Issue- American Lifestyle Magazine

2019 is finally here! Click the link below to access my January issue of American Lifestyle magazine and read some “can’t miss” articles.

Posted on January 3, 2019 at 10:00 am
Diane Terry | Category: Uncategorized

2018 Year in Review

Those of you who know me personally, know that I am a planner. As I get older, I’m trying to be less of a planner and leave more to serendipity. Easier said than done, as most of my systems are already in place: tried and true. No one likes a life too planned out. Besides, just when you think you have it all under control, life is sure to throw a curve ball. So, no new resolutions without looking back and honoring what happened, assessing what worked, and learning from what didn’t.


This year I specifically steered my business towards sellers given how strong the seller’s market has been for most of the year. More on that to come. I helped a wonderful Queen Anne family leave their beloved block and move across the pond to the Eastside. I helped two other families move to the Other Coast. One family I had worked with for the fourth time. I was honored to be referred to a wonderful couple, who had a home on Highland with the most breathtaking and captivating view. I helped them sell and relocate out of the City to start a wonderful new chapter that I am so envious of. I had a listing catch on fire between mutual agreement, and the appraiser arriving! I helped a past client secure an investment property on the Hill. I found a co-listing agent in Gig Harbor to list the waterfront home of one of my dearest friends, who moved out of state to be closer to their family. There was only person I helped who was neither a repeat client, nor a referral. He ended up being the most delightful gentleman whom I met in passing, ironically enough in the same parking lot of a condo I sold two years ago. He had kept my flyer for when he was ready to sell. I was referred by a past client to a couple who had just fired their agent after they had been given very bad advice, and no service to speak of. They’d missed the market and let an excellent offer slip through their hands. They reached out to me after the market stalled in the fall, just as I was about to go on vacation. I called in trusted re-enforcements, got their home restaged, re-photographed, and sold in a week! I had friends of my daughter, and a Team Member of BirdFruit, who I sponsor, relocate to Gig Harbor. I found a trusted colleague to assist them in finding their first home. Those of you who follow me on FB or Instagram, know the team has several Diane Terry cheers! I met with some past clients to learn they’d married, had a son, and felt they needed a little more breathing room. When asked where they wanted to move to, I learned they really loved where they were. As I asked more questions, I found out that their neighbor was getting ready to put their home on the market. It was everything they dreamed of, however they could not afford to get in a nasty bidding war. I was able to secure the house for them before it hit the market. Finally, I helped the most wonderful family on QA move up into a larger house on a coveted street. I also had the honor of selling their longtime home, where they brought home their three babies. I was honored to be a part of each of these stories.


2018 was mostly listings for me, except for two Buyers. I expect 2019 to reflect more of a balanced, sane market. It will be far from a Buyer’s market, as we still lack the inventory to call it that. When asked if I am worried, I can honestly say, “not at all”. Will we all have to work a bit harder? Yes! I recently heard someone say that Seattle’s market has been akin to driving the interstate, as though we were on the Autobahn. We are just going to have to go the speed limit! I am OK not having to tell 11 parties they didn’t get the house and advising a Buyer they must do all but stop short of giving their first born, to be a successful bidder on a home. We could use a little breathing room. Buying a home is a huge decision requiring a lot of due diligence. I, for one, will be happy to allow Buyers that space. Our local economy is still as diversified and healthy as they come. Keep scrolling to read the Economic Update from Windermere’s Economist, Matthew Gardener.


I got trained this year by Rajeev Nagaich, an elder law attorney in his Aging Options Program. I feel that as the population in general gets older, my past client’s needs will need to be met. This fall I offered an Aging Options Seminar, and it was very well attended. I hope to do it again in the spring. Even the grumpiest husband who was not happy to be sitting in a conference room at the Silver Cloud on a Saturday, took the time to call me and thank me for putting on a very informative, provocative seminar. We are all going to age and die. Some of us are going to do it while being less of a burden on others. It is all a matter of choice. To prepare or not!


Aside from business, life has been grand! We feel very blessed to have our daughter living in Seattle. It allows us to see her often for dinners, and it allows Mr. Fox (aka my husband) plenty of opportunities to ski, hike, and bike with her. My mother is still vibrant and healthy. She even pried herself away from bridge tournaments and took off for ten days to travel to Japan on her own. I took a lot more time off this year, which was one of my goals. By a lot more time off, it was probably only two weeks, but for me that is a lot! I enjoyed time in Napa with Mr. Fox. We went to The French Laundry; which was on my bucket list. It lived up to all the hype. I sponsored the Lake Union Rotary Happy Hour again this year in August. We were able to raise an unprecedented $63,000 plus for YouthCare. It is such a worthwhile organization that supports homeless youth, which has become a huge issue in our city. Here’s an organization with programs that have been proven to work. More importantly, it is getting Youth off the streets, educated, and trained for employment. What could possibly be more important? I would rather be able to reach them while young and prevent them from going down the wrong path than to have my tax dollars go to adult homelessness, which is so chronic and overwhelming.


I am most grateful for my friends, colleagues and clients both past and present. Without you, I could not live my dream, of working for myself. It is such a gift to not work for “the man”. I get to pick and choose who I work for, which is a gift. For anyone who has slogged away at a job that sucked at their soul, you know what I mean.


Finally, on a very personal note, I hit Level Six or Sixty in 2019. I thought I would hate that, but quite the contrary. I think I will live Level Six as a Badge of Honor! Each year I work on three things that I can strengthen in my character. I think I did that well this year. I lost yet another dear friend this year, Debby Shey Harding. She was like another mother to me. Debby showed me what a generous, giving spirit lives like. She was an amazing mother and business woman. She had the ability to make everyone feel like they were SO special. I was terrified but honored to be able to speak at her packed memorial this spring. A big lesson she taught me, if you have something nice to say to someone, don’t put it off! You might not have a tomorrow with that person, so do it today! She was so kind, generous, and positive. I strive to be more like her every day!


Here’s to hoping 2018 was all that you had hoped for! If it wasn’t, I hope you were able to make the most of it and conquer your adversity. Plan for success in 2019 but leave some room for some serendipity! You never know what is about to come your way! The Neighbors Will Be Talking…


Posted on December 27, 2018 at 4:13 pm
Diane Terry | Category: Uncategorized

2019 Economic and Housing Forecast

By Matthew Gardner, Chief Economist, Windermere Real Estate .

What a year it has been for both the U.S. economy and the national housing market. After several years of above-average economic and home price growth, 2018 marked the start of a slowdown in the residential real estate market. As the year comes to a close, it’s time for me to dust off my crystal ball to see what we can expect in 2019.

The U.S. Economy

Despite the turbulence that the ongoing trade wars with China are causing, I still expect the U.S. economy to have one more year of relatively solid growth before we likely enter a recession in 2020. Yes, it’s the dreaded “R” word, but before you panic, there are some things to bear in mind.

Firstly, any cyclical downturn will not be driven by housing.  Although it is almost impossible to predict exactly what will be the “straw that breaks the camel’s back”, I believe it will likely be caused by one of the following three things: an ongoing trade war, the Federal Reserve raising interest rates too quickly, or excessive corporate debt levels. That said, we still have another year of solid growth ahead of us, so I think it’s more important to focus on 2019 for now.

The U.S. Housing Market

Existing Home Sales

This paper is being written well before the year-end numbers come out, but I expect 2018 home sales will be about 3.5% lower than the prior year. Sales started to slow last spring as we breached affordability limits and more homes came on the market.  In 2019, I anticipate that home sales will rebound modestly and rise by 1.9% to a little over 5.4 million units.

Existing Home Prices

We will likely end 2018 with a median home price of about $260,000 – up 5.4% from 2017.  In 2019 I expect prices to continue rising, but at a slower rate as we move toward a more balanced housing market. I’m forecasting the median home price to increase by 4.4% as rising mortgage rates continue to act as a headwind to home price growth.

New Home Sales

In a somewhat similar manner to existing home sales, new home sales started to slow in the spring of 2018, but the overall trend has been positive since 2011. I expect that to continue in 2019 with sales increasing by 6.9% to 695,000 units – the highest level seen since 2007.

That being said, the level of new construction remains well below the long-term average. Builders continue to struggle with land, labor, and material costs, and this is an issue that is not likely to be solved in 2019. Furthermore, these constraints are forcing developers to primarily build higher-priced homes, which does little to meet the substantial demand by first-time buyers.

Mortgage Rates

In last year’s forecast, I suggested that 5% interest rates would be a 2019 story, not a 2018 story. This prediction has proven accurate with the average 30-year conforming rates measured at 4.87% in November, and highly unlikely to breach the 5% barrier before the end of the year.

In 2019, I expect interest rates to continue trending higher, but we may see periods of modest contraction or levelling.  We will likely end the year with the 30-year fixed rate at around 5.7%, which means that 6% interest rates are more apt to be a 2020 story.

I also believe that non-conforming (or jumbo) rates will remain remarkably competitive. Banks appear to be comfortable with the risk and ultimately, the return, that this product offers, so expect jumbo loan yields to track conforming loans quite closely.


There are still voices out there that seem to suggest the housing market is headed for calamity and that another housing bubble is forming, or in some cases, is already deflating.  In all the data that I review, I just don’t see this happening. Credit quality for new mortgage holders remains very high and the median down payment (as a percentage of home price) is at its highest level since 2004.

That is not to say that there aren’t several markets around the country that are overpriced, but just because a market is overvalued, does not mean that a bubble is in place. It simply means that forward price growth in these markets will be lower to allow income levels to rise sufficiently.

Finally, if there is a big story for 2019, I believe it will be the ongoing resurgence of first-time buyers. While these buyers face challenges regarding student debt and the ability to save for a down payment, they are definitely on the comeback and likely to purchase more homes next year than any other buyer demographic.


Posted on December 27, 2018 at 9:29 am
Diane Terry | Category: Uncategorized