Category Archives: Announcements

COVID-19 and Construction

All residential construction (considered essential, or not) is now permitted in both King and Snohomish counties. Contractors have a general obligation to keep a safe and healthy worksite in accordance with state and federal law and must comply with COVID-19 worksite-specific safety practices.

Stay Home, Stay Healthy, Special Coronavirus Announcement

We hope you and your loved ones are staying safe and healthy while navigating through these uncertain times. While our individual circumstances vary, clearly we are all impacted. Let us take comfort knowing that we are all in this together and share many of the same needs and concerns.

Contractor Hotline is available for you throughout this entire process. If you have an urgent home repair need, or simply want to start discussing some longer-range plans, we are here to help.

In general, commercial and residential construction is not authorized under the current Proclamation because construction is not considered to be an essential activity. However, it recognizes several different home service professionals as part of the essential workforce.

This includes but is not limited to emergency repairs and projects necessary to ensure structural integrity. Plumbers, electricians, exterminators, heating/cooling services, and others who provide services necessary to maintain the safety, sanitation, and essential operation of residences are authorized to perform services.

All construction activity must meet social distancing and appropriate health and worker protection measures.

We can also help with insurance claim work. We can recommend mitigation services due to water, fire, and smoke damage, mold remediation, and assist with the necessary repairs to restore your home back to its original condition. Our contractors are experienced working with insurance adjusters and can help turn an often stressful and confusing occurrence into a manageable situation.

Many other home service providers are considered ‘non-essential’ and will not be able to conduct in person meetings for at least the next two weeks. If you are planning a project for the spring, summer, or fall and would like to begin the process talking by phone with a contractor, acting now can be a great opportunity. Once the current sanctions are lifted, we expect contractors will be in high demand. Take advantage of this time now and let’s start planning your next home remodel or upgrade.

We can be reached at 425-775-9085, email me at, or you can submit a work request 24/7 by clicking on the following link.

Stay safe, stay healthy, and let us know how we can help!

Seattle Home Show, Oct 23, 24, & 25

The Seattle Home Show is coming soon, and we are excited to be a part of it! Come join us October 23, 24, & 25, 10-6 pm, in downtown Seattle at CenturyLink Field Event Center. This is the Northwest’s largest consumer home show with hundreds of exhibits including resources for all of your indoor and outdoor remodeling, repair, or maintenance needs. Attendees also will enjoy wine tasting, arts & crafts, and free daily seminars.

Contact us at 425-775-9085 for a 2-for-1 e-ticket special. E-tickets include $1 parking and a 1-yr subscription to Better Home and Garden magazine.

We look forward to hearing from you and seeing you soon!

Everett Home & Garden Show

Come visit us at the Everett Home & Garden Show at Xfinity Arena this weekend, March 6-8. Enjoy a relaxed and comfortable home show atmosphere while learning about new and innovative ideas for all your home improvement needs.

There is plenty of parking (including free parking on Sat & Sun in the Snohomish County Garage on Oakes Street between Wall and Pacific), discounted tickets, free wine tasting, and a variety of public speakers.

Location: Xfinity Arena, Broadway & Hewitt, Everett

Understanding Your Credit Report

Following is another great post by guest blogger and mortgage specialist, Brenda Alfano. If you have ever wondered how your credit score is affected by debt, credit card inquiries, and a variety of other things, read on…

Hello again!

This month I thought I would focus on credit – specifically negative credit and how long it stays on your credit report. It’s kind of a heavy topic (sigh!) but so important in many areas. Mortgage, insurance rates, renting an apartment, etc. My thanks to 360 Credit Consulting for their help with this information. So here we go with some of the most common negative credit items:

There are different types of bankruptcy, and each one remains on your report for a different amount of time. Chapter 13 bankruptcies may be removed from your credit report after 7 years. Chapter 7 and 11 bankruptcy can be removed after 10 years.

Tax Liens
Tax liens can stay on your report for different lengths of time depending on the state you live in. If you pay off the lien, it should show up as “paid”. It can be removed entirely after 7 years.

Foreclosures and short sales will stay on your credit report for 7 years.

Lawsuits and Criminal Convictions
Criminal convictions can stay on your record forever, though there are some less serious items you may be able to have expunged. Lawsuits involving debt typically stay on your report for 7 years, though the length of time may vary by state.

Consumer Debt
This includes unpaid debt on credit cards, department store cards and standard bank loans. These items will generally stay on your credit report for 7 years.

Late Payments
One or two payments that are a couple days late probably won’t show up on your report. But if you have a habit of making late payments or pay a bill more than 30 days late, it will show up on your credit report and stay there for 7 years.

Credit Inquiries
There are two types of credit inquiries: hard pulls, which are initiated by you (you apply for a new credit card, you go to buy a car) and soft pulls, which are not initiated by you (a credit card company wants to send you an unsolicited “prequalified” card). Hard pulls remain on your report for 2 years, while soft pulls only remain on it for 1 year. It should be noted that soft pulls do not affect your credit score.

What Can I Do if Something Outdated is on My Report?
The three major credit reporting agencies are Experian, Transunion and Equifax. These three bureaus automatically track the filing dates for credit items and pull them off as soon as they are “expired”, so to speak. To verify that this happens on schedule, pull your credit report about a month after the negative item should have been removed. If it’s still showing, you’ll want to file a dispute with the reporting bureau. You can do this by visiting the reporting agency’s website. Be very careful about filing disputes if you want to get a new mortgage as it will be required to be removed from your credit which will usually lower your score. Talk to your lending professional. See more at:

Talk to you next month!

Brenda Alfano
Mortgage Consultant
Absolute Mortgage
MLO# 229897

Choosing The Right Mortgage Lender

Brenda Alfano, guest blogger and mortgage expert, shares some interesting insight into the mortgage process and things to consider when shopping for a lender.

Happy 2015! Do you have goals for 2015? Is one of them to buy a home or perhaps to refinance a home? Does either of those goals make you want to run screaming the other direction because you have heard horror stories?

Let me be honest here, the mortgage process is not an easy one. However keep in mind, some financial institution is going to lend you thousands of dollars, they want all the bases covered. Yes, I know that was not the system before the housing crisis; it was easy peasey and very little hassle. Now remember where that put the economy. Hmm, yes, they are far more cautious now. We also had a terrorist attack on our country. That caused tremendous changes in many areas as we know, especially the financial arena, which is why we in the lending world have to ask for soooo much documentation. The bad apple syndrome in play.

I recently read an article in which the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) was suggesting that borrowers not get their information about mortgages from a lender but rather from the internet – because lenders may have a vested interest in the mortgage they obtain. I don’t know about you, but I think that idea is pure crazy for 2 reasons.

First, who is putting that information on the internet – perhaps lenders!? Second, how much incorrect or contradicting information have you found when you research something on the internet? I have found plenty and it is very confusing!!

So my suggestion – do talk to a trusted professional or two whose name(s) you have received as a referral from someone you know and trust that may have just bought or refinanced a home. Or perhaps they used that lender several years ago and that lender stays in touch with them to be sure all is still working well with their mortgage. *Caution* Don’t always believe reviews on the internet as they can be manipulated. Talk to people you know.

When you work with a trusted lending professional, you will have more knowledge and less fear so you won’t feel the need to go screaming in the other direction!

It’s a good life!

Brenda Alfano
Mortgage Consultant
Absolute Mortgage
MLO# 229897

Structural Repairs and Basement & Crawlspace Waterproofing

Structural repair and basement and crawlspace waterproofing services are available for both our residential and commercial customers.

Foundation Repairs

If you have a foundation problem such as cracks in the foundation wall, buckling walls, or sagging floors, we have the right people to help inspect and evaluate the best approach to permanently repair and restore your home’s structure back to its original position. We can help with foundation wall stabilization and straightening, foundation crack repairs, leveling floors, crawl space repair, and installing foundation piers.

Retaining Wall Repairs

Tilting or leaning retaining walls, cracked retaining walls, retaining walls separating from adjacent walls, and crumbling or deteriorating retaining walls are common problems. In many cases the retaining wall can be restored to its original appearance and structural integrity with the use of wall anchors and helical tiebacks. Removing and rebuilding the wall is expensive and often not necessary unless it is showing extensive deterioration.

Concrete Leveling & Lifting

Concrete driveways, patios, walkways, and concrete slabs that are cracked or tilting are often caused by erosion or a weak or shifting soil base. Neglecting to repair these problem areas can result in safety hazards and will only get worse with time. Concrete lifting and leveling uses structural foam injection PolyLEVEL; a unique expanding polyurethane foam. This approach is less destructive than many other products and techniques, and a cost effective and permanent solution compared to removing and replacement.

Basement and Crawl Space Waterproofing

Wet, humid, and musty basements or crawl spaces are all too common in the northwest. Water will find its way through any opening, including foundation walls, floors, and the joints between them. A complete Basement System can solve water damage problems including flooding, mold, and poor air quality.

Please let us know if we can help with any of your structural repairs or waterproofing needs.

Basement & Crawl Space Waterproofing
Crawl Space Support Repairs
Concrete Leveling & Lifting
Drainage Repair
Foundation Repair
Helical Tiebacks
Helical Piles
Hillside Stabilization
Micropiles / Soil Nails
Pin Piling
Push Piers
Slab Piers
Retaining Wall Repair & Stabilization
Structural Engineering
Structural Repairs / Framing / Concrete Seismic Retrofitting

Mortgage Interest Rates & Home Values

Brenda Alfano, guest blogger and mortgage expert, shares some interesting scenarios regarding mortgage interest rates and home values, and how it could affect home sellers and buyers.

Hello from Brenda Alfano, Mortgage Consultant!

Last month I gave you some industry news of the moment. Hope that might have interested some of you.

The news lately is that rates are staying steady but they are expected to start going up slightly next year as the Federal Reserve recently mentioned. What does this mean to the home buyer?

Well basically it means for the same house price you would be paying a higher payment. If the house price goes up as well, as they have been steadily doing, you will have less buying power for the same payment as today. Here is an example of what I mean:

If you bought a home today for $450,000 putting 10% down and loan amount would be $405,000 and “suppose” the rate was 4.25%, Principal and Interest payment would be $1992.36.

If you bought the same house with a price increase of 6% (based on earlier this year, that is a conservative estimate) so the price would be $477,000 and the rate increased to 5.25%, the Principal and Interest payment would be $2370.61. That would be an increase of $378.25 in payment. Significant difference!

Rates are just used for scenario purpose only – actual rates based on credit and market conditions at the time of purchasing.

So the moral of the story is: if you are thinking of buying (or selling then buying) now is really a great time to move on that thought.

I would be happy to work this scenario up with different purchase prices for anyone as well.

Until the New Year, may you have a great Holiday Season, Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!!

Brenda Alfano
Mortgage Consultant
Absolute Mortgage
NMLS 229897

Happy Thanksgiving!

This Thanksgiving eve I wanted to take a moment to reflect and say how grateful I am for each and every one of you. We are very blessed to have such terrific customers, home service professionals, and an amazing support team of friends, family and talented entrepreneurs and local businesses. Each of you are so appreciated, I know we couldn’t do it without you.

I hope you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

Mortgage and Real Estate Trends

If you are considering purchasing, selling, or re-financing a home, having some knowledge about mortgage interest rates and home value trends is important. Guest blogger and mortgage expert, Brenda Alfano, shares some interesting facts.

Brenda Alfano here, bringing you Mortgage news and info for November. I thought this month I would share what is going on in the Mortgage and Real Estate world. Here is a brief synopsis:


  • New international trade numbers show the negative impact of struggling world economies on U.S. growth. A slower recovery could keep rates low.
  • The European Central Bank announces stimulus measures and maintains low policy rates. U.S. interest rates are likely to respond positively.


  • Private residential construction spending improved in September after an August drop. Single-family construction led the charge.
  • October’s rate drop led to an increase in mortgage purchase applications during the last week.
  • 2015 predictions are coming in. NAHB expects near-normal new home sales by 4th quarter 2015. Fannie Mae expects slow but steady growth in overall sales.

Home-price info for October:

  • King County: Median Sales price – $447,250. Up $21,250 from a year ago.
  • Snohomish County: Median Sales price – $328,000. Up $41,750 from a year ago.

If you are thinking of buying or selling, now might be a good time to get serious!

Happy Thanksgiving everyone
Gobble, Gobble

Brenda Alfano
Mortgage Consultant
NMLS# 229897