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Buying a House | 25 Posts
Green Living | 1 Posts
Homeowner Tips | 1 Posts
Kent WA | 3 Posts
Maple Valley WA | 3 Posts
Renton WA | 4 Posts
Selling a House | 12 Posts

Home Buying PMI

What is Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI)?

There are a whole bunch of new terms you'll hear when you decide to start shopping for your first home. One you may have heard of is Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI). Here's what you need to know about PMI and how it can help you buy a home.

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There's an art to buying homes, and while there are certainly exceptions to every "rule," you can increase the probability that your offer will be accepted if you do your homework.  

Our team works hard to provide clients with as much information as possible once they've found their dream home to help them make strong purchase offers.  

While factors like length of time on the market and price decreases are certainly important data points to know when writing a purchase offer, it's always a good idea to work with the seller's agent to determine the homeowner's reason for selling.  Here are some of the things we help you determine to make the right offer for you: 

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Newlywed Home Buying Advice
The big day has come and gone! The vows are exchanged and the cake is cut. Now, it's time to move forward to one of the most exciting parts of married life: Your first home together. 

About 35 percent of married Americans buy a home together within two years of tying the knot.

That said, the process can take anywhere from a few weeks to months. Knowing what you're getting into early on will help smooth the process and make it go faster. Every bit of effort you put into it can make things easier.

After all, your home is one of the first – and among the biggest – things you need to agree on.

With that in mind, let's look at five of the most valuable tips for newlyweds buying a home:

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FHA Loans - What Home Buyers Should Know
We hear a lot of chatter in the news these days about the pros and cons of our government; however, for prospective home buyers, Uncle Sam can be a mighty good friend. The Federal Housing Administration (FHA) is one of our country's most enduring gifts to its citizens. FHA mortgage insurance backstops your FHA loan with the full faith and credit of our country. Without using taxpayer money, FHA insures mortgages on single-family, multi-family, and manufactured homes.

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Home Buyer Mistakes to Avoid
Welcome to homeownership! Whether you just bought your first house or you're still looking at homes for sale in South King County, you're about to begin a very important year. Your first twelve months as a homeowner will set the stage for your financial future, whether you make smart choices that pay off or impulsive choices that hurt your budget. We want to make sure you avoid the most common missteps.

Many new homeowners make purchases and changes they later regret, but you don't have to learn these lessons the hard way. Instead, our team can help you form your own game plan! Start by avoiding these five mistakes during your first year:

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Use These Tips to Pay Off Your Mortgage Early Without Destroying Your Budget 

Hacks to Pay Your Mortgage Off Early

Your home mortgage is probably the largest debt you will ever take on, so it's no surprise that many homeowners are motivated to pay off their mortgage as quickly as possible. Depending on your financial situation, it may be possible to shave months, years, or even decades off your mortgage.

If you're interested in getting out from under your mortgage as soon as possible, our team at is here to help. Here's how you can pay off your home loan early without destroying your budget:

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Buy a Home at the HolidaysAre you planning to buy a new house after the holidays? If you're looking for real estate, you might not want to wait. In fact, next time you hear "happy holidays", think "happy house-hunting" too. This time of year is actually a great time to buy a house, in part because most buyers shy away from it. Here are some of our team's favorite reasons to buy a house during the holiday season:

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Protect Your Home's Value
Owning a home takes time, effort, and care – you're sure to find yourself thinking about things you never considered before. Take your home's rain gutters for example. They're so easy to forget, but the truth is your whole house could depend on them.

The purpose of rain gutters is to stop water from pooling and collecting on your roof where it can cause damage. When gutters are clean and well-maintained, they let rain water run off freely. With proper landscaping, water is deposited safely away from the house.

But that's only part of the story.

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Home Buying Facts
Buying a home is probably the most expensive investment you make in your lifetime. A word of advice ... make sure to do your research before jumping in. The right information will prove invaluable when obtaining financing, searching for a house, and closing the deal. On the other hand, remember not all the information you may hear is reliable.

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Living in Kent Washington
Situated 19 miles south of Seattle, Kent, Washington features stunning views of Mount Rainier and the Cascade and Olympic Mountains. Home to Boeing, REI and many other American companies, Kent is the fourth-largest manufacturing and distribution area in the United States, and boasts one of only five Starbucks roasting plants in the world.

An extraordinary place to live, work and visit, our team can help you find a home you'll love.

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Renton Farmers Market
Situated along spectacular Lake Washington about 10 miles south of Seattle is the vibrant and bustling lakeside community of Renton, Washington. In addition to its stunning natural beauty and plentiful opportunities for outdoor activities, this close-knit community boasts a wide range of events that offers something for everyone.

Located at the Renton Piazza next to the King County Transit Center, the Renton Farmers Market runs Tuesdays from 3-7 pm from June until the end of September. Its convenient location provides easy access via public transportation, and two-hour free parking is available at Renton's City Center Parking Garage.

The Renton Farmers Market not only features fresh, local food, it is a community gathering place for the residents of Renton and visitors. From food demonstrations to live entertainment, the market features a variety of activities that are free and fun for the whole family.

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Renton Neighborhood

Always mind your surroundings. As you're looking at homes in Renton--or anywhere for that matter--it's important to keep in mind that it's not just the house that matters, but also the neighborhood. At the Sheri Goldman Team, we want to make sure your dream home has a dream neighborhood to go along with it.

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Knowing How to Find the Right Home for You



Ranking number six in the list of Washington's largest cities, Kent, WA is a thriving suburb of nearby Seattle. Home to the headquarters for several corporations, Kent offers affordably-priced living in close proximity to Seattle. It's also surrounded by beautiful, mountainous views and has a variety of parks and outdoor recreation areas that can be enjoyed throughout the year.

If you're thinking about buying a house in Kent, Washington, the Sheri Goldman Team has created this Beginner's Guide for Buying a Home to get you started.

Deciding to Take the Plunge

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Ivar's Clam Light, a Renton Holiday Tradition

Renton, WA residents join together each December at the Ivar's Clam Lights extravaganza for a Christmas light spectacular that would impress Clark Griswold.

Renton Christmas Lights

Ivar's Clam Lights, a local holiday tradition since 1994, illuminates Renton's shores throughout the month of December.  At the center of the holiday activity is Ivar's Seafood Restaurants, located at 1201 Lake Washington Boulevard N. in Renton.  The display wraps around to the water walk at Gene Coulon Memorial Beach Park for about a mile's walk of holiday magic with twinkling lights, visual displays, and live musical entertainment.

Clam Light Display Renton

Dancing Clam Lights Renton

The festivities begin at 6:15 p.m. on December 4 with the Dancing Clam and are followed by the official lighting at 7 p.m.  The event runs nightly through January 1 from 5 p.m. until 9 p.m.  While there, do not miss the Rainier Yacht Club Parade of Boats and Argosy Christmas Ships--and since you'll probably be hungry, stop at Ivar's Seafood Bar for a cup of their famous clam chowder.  And the best part of it all is--Ivar's Clam Lights is a free event. 

About Ivar's Seafood Restaurant

Ivar's Clam Lights is named for Ivar's Seafood Restaurant, an iconic Seattle area eatery. Known for its fresh clams and a history of folly, the restaurant is something Renton and Seattle area people know and love.

About Gene Coulon Memorial Beach Park

The 57-acre Gene Coulon Memorial Beach Park is located on the southeast shores of Lake Washington.  The park offers places to play, the option to spend time on the water and, of course, plenty of open green space. In the summer, you can often find families lounging on the beach enjoying the two miles of trails and swimming in Lake Washington. However, the family-friendly entertainment does not stop when the warm weather leaves. Throughout the fall and winter, the park is host to a variety of events like the iconic Ivar's Clam Lights festival. blog banner


Make Renton WA Your Home

Ivar's Clam Lights is just one of many family-friendly events held in and around Renton every year. There is always something to do in Renton for the entire family. Contact Sheri Goldman today to start your search for homes for sale in Renton WA.


Holidays in Maple Valley WA

Maple Valley WA Christmas Tree Farms

Holidays in the Northwest are a wonderful affair. Residents of Maple Valley, WA live in an area full of holiday cheer, a variety of events, and beautiful, green trees. Finding a place to get your Christmas tree is easy, but selecting the perfect one can be a challenge when there are so many to choose from. Whether you want to go for fresh cut, or prefer a precut tree from a local family-owned seller, here are six wonderful nearby places to find the ideal Christmas tree.

1.  Wilson Tree Farm and Nursery

Find quality trees, wreaths, and a small gift store at Wilson Tree Farm and Nursery in Maple Valley. Open on Saturdays and Sundays from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m., or weekdays by appointment, come and select your tree. Services offered include flocking, bailing, shaking, cutting, and custom fresh made wreaths. The Wilson Tree Farm has been in the family for 110 years.

2.  Three Tree Farms

Get the whole country Christmas experience at Three Tree Farms. Nestled in the Cascade Foothills in Maple Valley, you can wander well-maintained trails, indulge in hot chocolate and cider, and choose from a fresh-cut selection of Nobles, Nordmanns, Grands, and Fraziers. The helpers at Three Tree Farms are happy to assist you with loading your dream tree. The farm is open Thursday through Sunday 9 a.m. to dusk.

3.  Crystal Creek U-Cut Tree Farm

Create the family tradition of searching, finding, and cutting down your own Christmas tree. At Crystal Creek in Maple Valley, WA, you'll search through Nobles, Nordmanns, and Turkish trees. Make the outing even better with a quick round of hide and seek in the trees. Remember to bring the right tools for cutting (gloves and a good saw). Open daily from 9 a.m. until dusk. Don't forget to ask about their Charlie Brown specials.

4.  Enchanted Winds Tree Farm

Enjoy events, décor, gifts, trees, and more at this delightful u-cut farm near Maple Valley and Renton in Issaquah. On December 12th you can see the Newfoundland dogs in action, or choose and cut your own tree Thursdays through Sundays.

5.  Mountain View Tree Farm

There are plenty of amenities at the Mountain View Tree Farm. Get a live tree, u-cut, or receive cutting assistance when you choose from from a large selection of Northwest favorites. The farm is open on weekends, or during the week by appointment.

6.  Papa's Tree Farm

Papa's is a popular place that is open daily and offers plenty of fun for the whole family. Enjoy face painting, a gift shop, and stunning trees. Get there quick before the stock runs out.

Christmas Trees Maple Valley WA


Creating a Family Tradition

Memories are built on special family traditions. In a place like the Northwest, tree farms make a wonderful alternative to grocery store lots. Gather the family and embark on an entire day of fun. Start with finding your tree. When you get home, put on the Christmas tunes, pull out the hot chocolate and marshmallows, and decorate your home together. To pick the right tree for your family, follow these simple tips:

  • Measure your space, width and height, before you go
  • Know what you like, a little research can help
  • Test for freshness of precut trees
  • Cut straight
  • Transport the tree in your vehicle or under a tarp blog banner
If you'd like to make this beautiful area of Maple Valley your home for the holidays and the rest of the year, contact Sheri Goldman today.


Taking the Hassle Out of Your Home Search

Streamlining Your Home Search

House hunting is an exciting adventure, but it can also be frustrating, time-consuming, and emotionally draining. Our Team makes it our mission to do everything possible to make it easy for you to find your perfect home, and that includes streamlining your house hunt.

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Dining Guide for Renton Residents

Renton WA Best Restaurants

Reserving a table for dinner in Renton, WA is never a problem.  Newcomers to the Renton community have so many choices, it may be hard to decide.  That's why we have compiled this list of our top 10 restaurant choices in Renton.  Renton is thriving and continues to grow--including the food scene.  Each week brings new opportunities to try different cuisines and settings.  If you're ready to get started, here is our list of the top 10 restaurants in Renton, WA.


1.  Melrose Grill
The Melrose Grill has existed since 1901. A wonderful slice of Seattle history, it's a neighborhood gem. The steakhouse serves tasty cuts and favorite sides, as well as offering options for people who prefer seafood, salad, or chicken. Located at 819 Houser Way South, it's a family-owned establishment that opens daily at 5 p.m.

2.  Blossom Vegetarian
This Vietnamese hotspot serves fresh, authentic cuisine and has a menu that's heavy on the vegetarian, but caters to carnivores as well. Some of the house favorites include the Blossom Fresh Rolls, Pho, and Fried Rice. Blossom is open daily for lunch and dinner and located at 305 Burnett Avenue South.

3.  Himalayan Cafe
The Himalayan Cafe prides itself on choosing high-quality ingredients and spices and preparing savory dishes in the most authentic way possible. The Nepalese and Indian cuisine boasts things like Momo (steamed dumplings), Tandoori, Naan, and much more. You can find this casual spot at 202 SW 43rd Street.

4.  El Burrito Loco
El Burrito Loco is ideal for meals on the run. The simple menu satisfies Mexican food-lovers from all over the Seattle area. This hopping neighborhood eatery is at 314 Park Avenue North. Don't forget to try the legendary carne asada fries.

5.  Sushi Today
Reviewers joke that Sushi Today should actually be, "Sushi all the Time." It's an easy place to get hooked on, and offers excellent service and delicious food. It tends to be packed at lunch, but is open for dinner as well. The atmosphere is cozy and located at 330 Southwest 43rd Street.

6.  Ma La Kor Thai Restaurant
Fresh, delicious, and authentic are the three words to describe Ma La Kor Thai. The chef, Natee, has been passionate about cooking since the age of 5. The food is made without MSG, and prepared with love and joy. It is open daily from 11 a.m.-9 p.m. at 101 Southwest 41st Street.

7.  Marianna Ristorante
At 310 Wells Street is a delectable Italian diner. Warm and inviting, Marianna Ristorante serves traditional Italian food in a friendly setting.

8.  Peyrassol Cafe at Southport
This cozy bistro serves New American food with a rustic edge. One draw for many is the brunch served on Saturday. Peyrassol Cafe is also open for lunch or dinner most days, and sources food as locally and organically as possible. Find them at 1083 Lake Washington Boulevard North #30.

9.  Red House Beer & Wine Shop
Beer, wine, and tapas brings regulars back to Red House again and again. It's an ideal place to meet up with friends, share a meal, drink, and have a good time. The extensive selection of beer and wine is worthy of any connoisseur. The restaurant is located at 410 Burnett Avenue South.

10.  La Fuente
La Fuente has been delighting Renton with salsa, tacos, and a lively atmosphere long before the area was popular. Enjoy classic Mexican dishes and great service at 3221 Northeast Sunset Boulevard. blog banner

Whether Renton, WA is your current home or "soon-to-be" home, contact, when you're ready to buy and sell homes in the Renton real estate area.


Family Fun at Coulon Memorial Beach Park

Renton WA Coulon Park

Lake Washington has long been a local hub for entertainment and fun things to do in Renton.  Whether you're looking to find the perfect fishing spot, celebrate summer with a barbecue, or simply take a scenic stroll with gorgeous views of Renton in every direction. Gene Coulon Memorial Beach Park is the perfect spot to enjoy everything that Lake Washington has to offer. Autumn and winter are ideal for secluded walks and sight-seeing; while the warm weather months come with bigger crowds and plenty of outdoor activities

If you looking for things to do in Renton, look no further than From family fun activities to the best neighbhorhoods to buy a house in Renton--we're your local Renton community experts.

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5 Benefits of Buying a House

The decision to buy a house is a choice to invest in your future. Not only does it provide you a safe, comfortable place to live and raise a family, the four walls and a foundation you choose to make your home can provide a solid financial foundation for you to build your dreams upon. When it comes to home ownership, we've compiled five of the most important benefits of buying a home.

1. A home typically appreciates in value

Real estate prices increase over time. Sometimes the increase is slow, sometimes it's more rapid. This evens out over the long-term and the value of a home 5, 10, 20 years from now is almost certain to be worth more than it is when you purchase it. When you go to sell your home, chances are you won't have to pay capital gains on the sale which means that your home is as good as money in the bank. In fact, all those years of mortgage payments will go right back into your pocket and not be filtered away into the pockets of your landlord.

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Buying a House Open House Tips

Open houses are an excellent opportunity to find out more about the homes you're interested in. Not only can you walk through and get an overall sense of the place while inspecting it firsthand, but you can also ask questions to the hosting agent as they come up. The ability to ask those questions when they pop into your head is nice; however, it's also essential to have some planned. If you are going to visit open houses in the near future, here are five questions you should make sure ask, and why the information is helpful for you.

#1 Are there any offers on the home?

Before you fall in love with a home, make sure you know where you stand. Are there already active offers? How many offers have been made?  This question is crucial for many reasons. If an offer has been accepted, they are probably well on the way to inspections and financing. You never know what will happen—offers fall through—but it wouldn't be wise to count on that particular house. If offers have been made but the homeowner won't be looking until that evening, you have the chance to get your offer on the table as well. Using an experienced REALTOR® in the situation of multiple offers is preferable, especially if you are determined to buy a specific house. You'll find many real estate agents are happy to let you know the offer situation, especially if it means the price could get driven up.

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Moving Mistakes People Make

A Survival Guide for Moving Your Home

Moving can be ... well, let's just say a real pain.  Lack of planning can cause hassle and unnessary stress. We've put together this survival guide for moving your home so you can avoid some of the most massive moving mistakes people make.

1.  You Wing it or Worse--DIY

Even a move across down takes some planning. If you think of yourself as a DIY-er ... don't do it when you're moving. You risk personal injury or damage to your household goods which ultimately costs more in the long run.  Allow plenty of time to research how to move and learn about everything involved.  Make a list of all the questions you might have and interview movers before you decide.

2.  Failing to Clear the Clutter

Whenever you move to a new home, it is best to go through your belongings and donate or gift any items that you do not really need. There is no point in packing and taking things with you that you have not used in years. Think "reuse and recycle". Donate items that you no longer wear or use or hold a garage sale. Purging unused items will save you a lot of time and even money in the long run. You will not need to try to figure out where to put everything or pay for moving things that you do not really need.

3.  Not Researching Local Schools

Good schools are very important whether or not you have kids. Houses that are located in good school districts tend to sell quicker and for more money. This is important should you sell your home sometime down the road. In addition, communities located in good school districts tend to have more amenities. Therefore, if you are considering home ownership, do some online research ahead of time to find the best school districts in the community that you are considering moving to. 

4.  Forgetting to Label Boxes

Don't forget to label each box on top and on a minimum of two sides with the boxes' contents and in which room it belongs. Use a large permanent marker so your writing is easy to read for whomever ends up carrying the box.

5.  Not leaving enough time for your things to arrive

It can take a long time to get things organized for a move. To avoid a last minute panic, do not plan for your things to arrive immediately before you want to be in your new home, especially if you are starting a new job, as well. It can take a while for all of your things to arrive at your new home. Weather delays and road shutdowns can throw your timeline off. Therefore, add a bit of a cushion into your schedule to plan for these things.

6.  You didn't check on insurance

Do not forget about insuring your belongings before the move. No matter how carefully you pack, accidents will happen. Hence, check out options for insurance before you move. This will help you rest assured that your new flat screen television will be covered against any unfortunate damages.

7.  Not Taking Time to Prep Your Pets

If you thought moving was stressful on you, what about your pets? Try to keep their routine as normal as possible before, during and after the move.  Schedule a pre-move vet visit for booster shots and any needed medications.

8.  You Didn't Back Up Your Computer

Prior to your move, make a back up of your computer.  It's a good idea to make copies or scan paper documents like insurance forms, tax returns, birth and marriage certificates for safekeeping. blog banner

If you are in the market to buy or sell a home in the South King County real estate area, contact today.



5 Questions Buying a Condo
When make the decision to buy a home, opting for a condo instead of a single-family residence might be the best choice for you. Buying a condo has its advantages; however, there are specific questions you need to ask prior to signing on the dotted line.  Our team at has created this list of questions so you fully understand what owning a condo entails.

1. What do People Think of the Management or Association?

Condos are run by condo associations, and often have a manager or management team. Take some time to understand what this leadership group offers. One way to do this is to get the minutes from the last association meeting. This will show what the concerns current owners might have and how these issues were addressed. You can also ask to meet the manager for a face-to-face meeting.

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Your Offer is Accepted - You've Only Just Begun  

Purchase Offer Accepted

There's a thrill that runs through you when you hear your agent say, "Your offer has been accepted!" It's that magical moment, the one you've waited for throughout the planning and searching and finally finding that perfect home. You are one step closer to buying a house. But what's next? Do you have to do anything between the offer acceptance and closing? The answer is, yes. There are several steps, and each must be timed correctly to make sure the deal goes through.

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Commute Time Matters When Buying a House
You've heard it a thousand times when it comes to buying a home.  The three things that matter most in real estate are: location, location, location.  Quality of life, entertainment, schools and career opportunities are all connected to a home's location.  One of the most important questions  to ask yourself when you're searching for a new home is "How long will my commute to work be?" 

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Confused about beginning your home search?  Start with the right neighborhood.

Buying in the right neighborhood

When you're ready to begin your search for a home in South King County, start the process by choosing one or two neighborhoods you want to live in and then scope out the available homes for sale in those zip codes. Not only does starting with the neighborhood streamline your house hunt, it also spares you the heartache of falling in love with a property that's located in a part of town that's far from the amenities you enjoy every single day.

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Tips for Competing in a Seller's Market

 Tips for Competing in a Seller's Market

If your plans for the summer include buying a home in South King County
, you could be in for a few twists and turns--especially if you're competing for a home in a "red hot" seller's market.  Many communities across the country are experiencing a seller's market. Essentially, what this means in real estate is that the demand of homes is larger than the supply of homes for sale. 

Now, please don't misunderstand--it certainly won't be impossible to buy your dream home, but you need to have a plan in place to compete with other home buyers in your area.  To help you get your plan in place, use these tips from our team at

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