It’s Friday, let’s sweep! | a bird’s eye view of Seattle’s growth + new email security measures + kcm resources: new tax code

Ballard + Eastlake + Madison Park + Northgate + Sand Point + Wedgwood

Six,

Welcome to 2018 everyone! I’m going to jump right in…before we get back to business, a fun bird’s eye view of Seattle’s growth. In January 2015, a 360 webcam was installed on top of the Space Needle. Since then, it has taken a 360 panorama of the whole city every 10 minutes! Curious to take a look? This really is a remarkable birds eye view. Click here.

Let’s begin to unzip a New Year together…FWL will again be dedicated to bringing you weekly fresh relevant content – created to easily digest so that we can continue to educate the people that lean on us for our advisory. #wearewindermere #2018 #gameon

On Monday, January 8th Windermere will begin to introduce New Email Security Measures. Please watch for these updates! Recently, Windermere, and the industry as a whole, has experienced an increase in attempts to access email accounts for the purposes of phishing scams and wire fraud. With your help, and advancements in technology, we now have the ability to significantly improve Windermere’s security in order to protect us from fraudulent activity. First communication will be in your inbox this Monday!

Next item of business as we jump into 2018. The New Tax Code.

The below is taken directly from KCM.  The team at Keeping Current Matters is doing an excellent job of creating a Tax Reform Reference Page. If you are not a KCM member, see your office staff for this resource. Most recently a 12 minute video has been posted to KCM –  “The New Tax Code and It’s Impact on Residential Real Estate.”

Ps, you can email, call or text me for this resource as well.

As Steve Harney likes to say, “It’s not good news. It’s not bad news. I’m just reporting THE news.”  KCM.

What about the three major concerns of real estate practitioners?


1.  Mortgage Interest Deduction

There was concern that the mortgage interest deduction (MID) would be eliminated. That didn’t happen.

However, the bill has made the following changes:

  • Reduces limit on deductible mortgage debt to $750,000 for new loans taken out after 12/14/17 (from the existing $1,000,000). Current loans up to $1 million are grandfathered.
  • Homeowners may refinance mortgage debts existing on 12/14/17 up to $1 million and still deduct the interest, so long as the new loan does not exceed the amount refinanced.
  • Repeals deduction for interest paid on home equity debt through 12/31/25.
  • Interest is still deductible on home equity loans if proceeds are used to substantially improve the residence.
  • Interest remains deductible on second homes, but subject to the limits.
2.  State and Local Taxes (SALT)

There was concern that the state and local tax deduction (which includes property taxes) would be eliminated. That didn’t happen.

The final bill allows an itemized deduction of up to $10,000 for the total of state and local property taxes and income or sales taxes.

3.  Exclusion of gain on sale of a principal residence

There was concern that owners would now need to live in their house for at least 5 out of the last 8 years to claim this exemption. Under the former tax framework, a typical owner, who has lived in their house for at least 2 years out of the last 5 years, would pay nothing in capital gain taxes if they sell the house.

No change. The new code will remain the same as the old.

As we continue to educate ourselves on the New Tax Code, let’s keep this very much top of mind: most families consider homeownership an essential part of the American Dream, and don’t purchase a home based solely on the tax advantages. #keepthisperspective

That’s a wrap for this week, we’ll do it again next week!

In partnership,

Laura Smith, General Manager | Windermere Real Estate Co.

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Ballard + Eastlake + Madison Park + Northgate + Sand Point + Wedgwood

It’s Friday, let’s sweep! | “double down” on our favorite things!

Ballard + Eastlake + Madison Park + Northgate + Sand Point + Wedgwood

Six,

As we prepare to wrap up 2017 and unzip a New Year I want to have a little fun with this FWL post – and you can help (I really do hope you will!). I’d like to start a conversation – a conversation in sharing a few of our favorite things of 2017. In the upper right hand corner of this blog there is a “leave a comment” section. Please share your favorite thing(s) of 2017. We are curious. We care. We want to know!

I’ll start with a few of my favorite things of 2017!

Favorite book:: Shoe Dog (recommended by Jill Wood!)

Favorite podcast:: NPRs “How I Built This” with Guy Raz (recommended by Alexandra Cummings)

Favorite thing I learned:: How to do podcasts! Double Down podcast episodes 1-6 are all hosted on the homepage of my website > wreimpact.com

Jill’s favorite things!

Favorite business book:: Shoe Dog – A memoir by the creator of Nike

Favorite experience:: being able to meet my daughters on their 3 month SE Asia adventure

Favorite WRE Co thing:: distributing $193,454 to our local communities through the WRE Foundation (just our 6 offices!)

OB’s favorite things::

M’s game with the fellas

Symposium with Charlie Plumb

Great new hires! *I owe you all a bbq at my house!

Manager Rob Graham is a new dad!

All the snow we had in the mountains

Heidi and I bought a house in Boise

…now, it’s your turn! Drop your favorite thing(s) in the comment box – let’s build on this and then we can together turn the page to 2018 – and build that next chapter.

Time to wrap up this year.  We are ready. I believe you are ready. Thank you for continuing to inspire us, learn with us, grow with us, innovate with us, navigate with us and give back with us. 2018 is full of possibility. #gameon

…and what will I will take with me heading into 2018?  a beginners mind. “In the beginner’s mind there are many possibilities, but in the expert’s there are few.” – Suzuki Roshi

We are here to help, the ultimate goal. #wearewindermere

In partnership,

Laura Smith, General Manager | Windermere Real Estate Co.

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Ballard + Eastlake + Madison Park + Northgate + Sand Point + Wedgwood

It’s Friday, let’s sweep! | tax reform + $100M in funding + a crystal ball + computation of time + offices hours + kindness

Ballard + Eastlake + Madison Park + Northgate + Sand Point + Wedgwood

Six,

2017 is just about a wrap! Before we put a bow on it and ring in the New Year, let’s sweep this week and prepare for the last of 2017, together. FWL at a glance  for this week > tax reform resource + our city’s announcement of $100 million in affordable housing funding + Matthew Gardner’s 2018 crystal ball + holiday computation of time + our office hours + Sand Point office gets a refresh + Eastlake gets a sneak peek of their new digs! Lots to share in 2018 – can’t wait!

Here we go, let’s sweep this week – we’ll start with a few articles worth shouting out…

City announces $100 million in affordable housing funding.$100 Million in affordable housing investments will create 896 new rental homes, 25 homeownership opportunities, and upgrades to 535 apartments, in 13 Seattle neighborhoods.” Full article.

Matthew Gardner’s 2018 Crystal Ball. Note: posted 12.8.17 – without yet clarity on Tax Reform. More to come from Mr. Gardner on that item.  Full blog post.

Looking for Tax Reform information + resources? Our friends at Keeping Current Matters (KCM) have compiled one spot dedicated to resources for all pertinent details of the tax reform legislation and the potential impact on the residential housing market. As Steve Harney likes to say, “It’s not good news. It’s not bad news. I’m just reporting THE news.”  KCM.

NOte: if you do not have a KCM account, ping me (206.227.7133 or laurasmith@windermere.com) – I’ll get you the full information. *Your office also has Access to this information. steve Harney is the best at bringing “a heart of a teacher” to us and our industry.

Computation of Time | When computing time for purchase and sale agreements, please regard Monday, December 25th as a legal holiday. Christmas is a legal holiday under Washington law.

Today! | Friday, December 22nd | Closing at 3pm

Saturday, December 23rd | 10-2pm (*EL Closed)

Sunday, December 24th | Closed

Christmas Day Closed

Saturday, December 30th | 10-2pm

Sunday, December 31st | 10-2pm

New Year’s Day Closed

Today begins a quick refresh at the Sand Point office. Who knew redoing carpet could create such havoc – although looking forward to the end result! Sand Point brokers, the Wedgwood office + staff are ready to support you. Just walk in or call and let them know how they can help. They are prepped to set your table. You’ll be back at your desk in no time!  Spring cleaning came early for you!

Eastlake brokers – you had the most fantastic Seattle day this week to get a sneak peek at your new digs! We are so excited to welcome you to your new desks in 2018. Grateful you had an opportunity to see why we are so excited to move you dockside on South Lake Union. Oh the fun we will have!

Before signing off for the upcoming holiday – a wish for snow for all – in the form of kindness. Had to share!

#letitsnow #everywhere #peace #joy #wearewindermere

In partnership,

Laura Smith, General Manager | Windermere Real Estate Co.

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Ballard + Eastlake + Madison Park + Northgate + Sand Point + Wedgwood

It’s Friday, let’s sweep | A new benefit! It’s Here.

Ballard + Eastlake + Madison Park + Northgate + Sand Point + Wedgwood

Six,

It’s been nine months and we are about to give birth to a baby! Ok ok ok, not really. Where is Laura going with this? Let’s start with this – we are really excited to share this with you! 

Nine months ago OB, Jill & Laura set out on a mission to figure out another benefit we could offer you. As with being one of the only (if not the only) real estate Firm to offer a Retirement Program we are announcing a new benefit coming your way in 2018. This new benefit is arriving in the package of group life & disability insurance.

The power of the new benefit is: protection for brokers at traditional-employer-type group rates and guarantee-issue limits (no medical underwriting).

For those who are eligible, you will automatically be enrolled and receive a base long-term disability benefit with an opportunity for each of you to purchase additional coverage without the need for health underwriting (aka, pre-existing conditions).

What will it cost me? Good question. We will be funding your base benefit! 100% your choice should you desire additional benefits.

Open enrollment will be January 10th – January 31st 2018. This will be our first order of business in the New Year. Be on the lookout for specific details coming from us, your manager and clarity in what to expect in next steps. Your manager will be giving the playbook for rollout very soon with all details…

There is lots of good to share come 2018, we’ll start with this new benefit. At this point, this is simply a teaser – as I too am  jumping into all things holiday along with each of you!

In partnership,

Laura Smith, General Manager | Windermere Real Estate Co.

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Ballard + Eastlake + Madison Park + Northgate + Sand Point + Wedgwood

 

 

 

 

 

It’s Friday, let’s sweep! | got retirement? | oh what a night!

Six,

This time last week we were gathered at MOHAI – oh what a night! OB, Jill and I sure hope you enjoyed the night – casino and all! And what a guest appearance from Mrs. Lisa Pignataro – Fiori’s lovely wife! Costume and all – 100% her inspiration. I received a voicemail first thing Saturday morning from Lisa asking “when is our next party?!?!” Loved it and yes…can’t wait for the next time we can all gather. For now, I know we will all begin to slow down with the holidays. Enjoy it!

Got retirement? Don’t be late!

As we beginning thinking of closing out this year – FWL will be focused on end of year details worth highlighting! In the immediate:: retirement. The below is a reminder from our retirement plan administrator. ***Please know that your manager has all details and is prepared to answer questions:: enrollment, qualification and information in our match! For those brokers who qualify and have not yet funded their account…

Send your enrollment forms and contributions to your Windermere Retirement Plan by December 15.

Every year holidays, weather closures, short staffing and early closings mean that end of year enrollments in the plan and deposits to accounts miss year end deadlines. If you are enrolling or making deposits mail in your forms and check no later than Friday, December 15. If mailing after the 15th, assume the worst and consider 2-day or overnight mail to guarantee receipt prior to the end of the year.

Why is this important? 1. Enrollment forms received in good order in calendar year 2017 provide you the opportunity to make 2017 tax deductible contributions to the plan as late in 2018 as you file your 2017 return. Forms received in 2018 mean you cannot make 2017 tax-deductible contributions. 2. Checks received by the trust’s custodial bank in Phoenix, AZ on or before Wednesday, December 27, 2017 will clear and post to your account in time to show up as calendar year 2017 deposits. Overnight deliveries to the bank on the 28th or 29th will not clear or post in time to show up as 2017 deposits. For questions, enrollment kits and/or deposit instructions, email retirement@windermere.com; or, go to the WORC Site >More >Resources >Programs >Benefits >Windermere Retirement Plan for Agents and download the Agent Plan Enrollment Kit or How to Make Contributions to the Agent Plan Instructions.

Welcome to Friday night! That’s a wrap. Look for more year-end details next Friday. We have some exciting things rolling out in 2018 – can’t wait to share them with you all. You deserve the very best.

In partnership,

Laura Smith, General Manager | Windermere Real Estate Co.

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Ballard + Eastlake + Madison Park + Northgate + Sand Point + Wedgwood

 

 

It’s Friday, let’s sweep! | …post gobble gobble!

Six,

Gratitude can be a powerful ingredient in business (and yes, in life). Here are 17 does of just that to keep the season of gratitude rolling…click here (thank you broker, Tamara Marson for thinking to share these with me today! You are my soul sister in coaching + mindset!)…

From my people to your people – we hope whatever you chose to do on Thanksgiving it was fueled by moments of gratitude. Happy Friday, the holiday season is officially upon us!

For you, we are grateful.

Laura Smith, General Manager | Windermere Real Estate Co.

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Ballard + Eastlake + Madison Park + Northgate + Sand Point + Wedgwood

It’s Friday, a 100% fun sweep! | the holidays are here…

Six,

Welcome to Friday! As we approach the holiday season today’s sweep is just that – a few details to get the party started! OB, Jill and I are well beyond our “save the date” and are excited to spend the evening with what hopes to be all of you! Lots of people involved in making this year’s six office holiday party happen – with the focus on 100% fun. Let’s get down to details…

Doors open at Mohai @ 6:30pm, we’ll be wrapped up at 11pm. Upon arrival you’ll receive your chips for Casino Night!  Plenty of food & drink for us all. *Parking is tough – we certainly support uber, party buses, carpooling and the like.

Time to ink the date, rsvp for the evening at your office, find your holiday attire (Chad already was fitted for a tuxedo this week along with several others!) – and anticipate the celebration. Who knows, maybe it will snow again – that was pure magic last year!

For those of you looking to get super fancy there is a VIP Experience offeringyou’d arrive  dockside to Mohai – 100% benefiting the Windermere Foundation.

Priming the pump in the VIP Experience offering…an “exquisite escapade” aboard the Malibu with Captain OB hosting…

  • Hour long Lake Washington cruise aboard the Malibu – plenty of holiday lights to see!
  • Pre-funk hosted by OB Jacobi with food and drink
  • $5000 in additional chips for Casino Night
  • Complimentary Signature Drink at MOHAI
  • Foundation Donation: $250 per person for this “escapade”
  • Contact Tina to reserve your seat(s) | tina.tomlinson@windermere.com
  • 23 spots available

That is all for this week. Time to find my holiday attire. Next week, a focus on all things in Thanksgiving! #beyondgrateful

Laura Smith, General Manager | Windermere Real Estate Co.

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Ballard + Eastlake + Madison Park + Northgate + Sand Point + Wedgwood