Insolvency Clause Tax-Saving Alternative to Mortgage Forgiveness Debt Relief Act in 2015

Mortgage Forgiveness Debt Relief Act Extended Retroactively for 2014:
Future of Mortgage Debt Relief Uncertain in 2015

On December 16, 2014, President Obama signed a bill that extended the Mortgage Forgiveness Debt Relief Act retroactively to cover mortgage debt cancelled in 2014. The Mortgage Forgiveness Debt Relief Act (MFDRA) prevents homeowners who went through a short sale from being taxed on the amount of their home mortgage debt that had been forgiven. For homeowners to qualify for a tax break in 2014, their short sale must close by December 31, 2014.

The Act has only been extended through 2014. Congress is expected to debate further extension of the Act as part of a larger tax package in 2015. In the meantime, mortgage debt forgiven by a lender in 2015 might count as taxable income.

According to a brief from the National Association of Realtors (NAR), about 5.3 million homes are still under water. In addition, there are still more than 1 million homes in the process of foreclosure. If the Mortgage Forgiveness Debt Relief Act is not extended further, hundreds of thousands of American families who did the right thing by short-selling their home will have to pay income tax on income they never received.

IRS “Insolvency Clause” Offers Tax-Saving Alternative

Short sale sellers can still be exempt from tax liability under the “insolvency clause” of the Internal Revenue Code. The clause states that a seller is exempt from paying tax on any forgiven debt to the extent that they are insolvent. In other words, if the seller’s debts and liabilities exceed their assets by more than the amount of debt forgiven, they do not have to pay taxes on the forgiven debt.

Here’s an example of how the Insolvency Clause works:

A seller has a home valued at $300,000, but the mortgage debt is $400,000. We short sell the property for $300K and the bank elects to forgive the debt on the $100,000 shortfall amount. Since debt that has been forgiven counts as taxable income, the IRS would treat the $100,000 of forgiven debt as income.

MORTGAGE DEBT

$400,000

SALE PRICE

-$300,000

FORGIVEN DEBT
(Taxable income)

$100,000

This is where the insolvency clause formula comes in. Begin by adding up all of your debts/liabilities in one column and all of your assets in another. For this formula, the IRS wants you to include the mortgage debt as a liability, and the fair market value of your house as an asset. Let’s say you have $600,000 in assets and $700,000 in debts/liabilities. You are insolvent by $100,000.

ASSETS

$600,000

LIABILITIES

-$700,000

INSOLVENCY

[$100,000]

Since your insolvency amount of $100,000 equals the forgiven debt amount of $100,000, it’s a wash and you will not have to pay taxes on that forgiven debt. You are shielded dollar-for-dollar on the amount of forgiven debt up to your insolvency number. Let’s say you were only insolvent by $80,000. In that case, you would still have to pay income tax on the remaining $20,000 of forgiven debt.

INSOLVENCY

[$100,000]

FORGIVEN DEBT

-$100,000

TAXABLE INCOME

-0-

It is critical that homeowners considering a short sale meet with a professional to review their options and discuss the potential legal and tax implications.

 

Richard Eastern is a Windermere broker in Bellevue, WA and co-founder of Washington Property Solutions, a short sales negotiating company. Since 2003 he has helped more than 900 homeowners sell their homes. A Bellevue native and a University of Washington grad, Richard is an avid sports fan and a devoted Little League and basketball coach. You can learn more about Richard here or at www.washortsales.com.

Making Memories: Fun holiday traditions for you and your family

Get Outdoors! Just because it’s winter doesn’t mean the great outdoors are off limits! Even if you don’t ski or snowboard, there’s still plenty to do outside. Sledding, ice-skating, and carriage riding are great places to start. Plus, it’ll give you a reason to cozy up inside with hot cocoa in hand. 

 

Deck the halls! Into DIY? Not into DIY? This is the one time of year where a little “do it yourself” is a requirement. Making holiday ornaments and decorating your home is something the whole family can participate in and give their own personal touches to.

Visit Santa: Whether you have kids or not, stop by a Santa display to figure out whether you’ve been naughty or nice this year. Santa pictures are timeless and never seem to go out of style, no matter what your age.

Decorate Gingerbread houses: The perfect holiday challenge. There are definitely tricks to building gingerbread houses and some turn out better than others. Regardless of how it looks in the end, the process is where all the magic is.  

Visit neighborhood light displays: Do you love over-the-top holiday decorations as long as they’re not on your house? If so, find a local neighborhood that goes all out and revel in their overdone lights and displays. Even if you are one of those houses, it’s not a bad idea to go check out the competition for next year. 

Community Service: Everyone can use a helping hand during the holidays, so consider giving back by volunteering as a family, Help serve food at a local church, sort donations at a food bank, distribute gifts to families in need, or volunteer at your local animal shelter. Not only will you be helping others, but also setting a great example for your kids.  

Find more holiday traditions on our Pinterest page: http://www.pinterest.com/windermerere/holiday-traditions/ 

If you are interested in finding local Holiday activities in your community, here are resources for some of the areas Windermere serves:

 

Seattle, WA: http://seattlepipeline.com

Bellevue, WA: http://425magazine.com/calendar/

Tacoma, WA: http://www.tacomaweekly.com/calendar/

Spokane, WA: http://www.visitspokane.com/things-to-do/events-calendar/

Portland, OR: http://pdxpipeline.com/monthly-event-list/

Kona, HI: http://www.gohawaii.com/big-island/plan-a-trip/events

Coeur d’Alene, ID: http://www.coeurdalene.org/event-calendar

Salt Lake City, UT: http://www.visitsaltlake.com/events/

Bozeman, MT: http://www.downtownbozeman.org/events.php

Phoenix, AZ: http://www.azcentral.com/things-to-do/events/

Las Vegas, NV: http://vegasfamilyevents.com/2014-holiday-events-vegas/

Redding, CA: http://events.redding.com

San Diego, CA: http://www.sandiego.org/events.aspx

Fort Collins, CO: http://www.visitftcollins.com/events

No Child Should Have to Sleep Outside

 

A few weeks ago the Windermere Foundation was approached with a remarkable opportunity to support the #NoChildSleepsOutside campaign, which is trying to raise $250,000 by December 23 to open a crisis-response winter night shelter for homeless families in Seattle. The Windermere Foundation was able to contribute $35,000 towards this campaign, started by Dick's Drive-in Restaurant, and benefiting Mary's Place in Seattle. Please read more about this issue that is facing all of our communities, and contact us at the Windermere Foundation for ways to help in your neighborhood. 

 

No Child Should Have To Sleep Outside

Imagine you are a young woman with two boys who gathers up the courage to save your children from an abusive spouse. When you arrive at a shelter, you’re told you can’t stay because your boys are too old. It’s cold, it’s dark and you’re alone.

Lend a hand & donate at bitly.com/nochildoutside

As leaders, wives and mothers, we’ve joined forces with Mary's Place to make sure this family and others like them have a safe and warm place to go this winter!

Homelessness is a major challenge facing Seattle and it’s hard to miss if you live, work or drive downtown. But, there is a group of homeless individuals you don’t see – families with children.

Homeless families live in the shadows. They can’t apply for temporary housing if they are staying with friends. They must be sleeping in a shelter or on the street to apply. Most of the emergency shelters available in Seattle are gender specific and require that married couples or parents and children split up. For many, the only other choice is to sleep in their car, a tent, or a public bathroom. This is unacceptable.

Imagine you're a single dad with a 5-year-old daughter. You lose your job and you can’t find work. You lose your apartment and you have nowhere to go. You call around, but you can’t find a shelter that will accept a single father. Your greatest fear is coming true. If you can’t find shelter you will have to place your daughter in foster care. It’s cold, it’s dark and you’re alone.

Mary’s Place is one of the few organizations in the city that provides emergency shelter to families. In addition to the much-needed services offered at their day shelter, Mary’s Place provides 160 family members with meals and a safe, warm place to sleep every night. But with over 500 families without shelter in Seattle, it’s not enough.

We don’t have to wait for political debates or city budgets. If we can raise $250,000, we can move more families into transitional housing, freeing emergency shelter spaces and open a new emergency shelter to bring many more homeless families inside.

There will always be emergencies; the lost job, the house fire, the diagnosis, the abuser, the natural disaster that cannot be planned for or anticipated. Getting families and children out of the cold and into a warm, safe place is the first step. We cannot allow these families to sleep in public bathrooms, cars, or tents for one more night. It’s cold, it’s dark, but they are not alone.

We are women helping women, mothers helping mothers, families helping families. We won’t give up until we have enough shelter to bring all 500 families inside.

Donate, Share & Change a Life: www.crowdrise.com/NoChildSleepsOutsideSeattle

Contributors:

Marty Hartman, Executive Director of Mary’s Place
Jasmine Donovan, VP Dick's Drive In Restaurant
Christine Wood, Executive Director Windermere Foundation 
Kelli Schneider, Seahawks Women’s Association (wife of Seahawks Special Teams Coach, Brian Schneider)
Lindsey Hauschka, Seahawks Women’s Association (wife of Seahawks Kicker, Steven Hauschka)

No Child Should Have to Sleep Outside

 

A few weeks ago the Windermere Foundation was approached with a remarkable opportunity to support the #NoChildSleepsOutside campaign, which is trying to raise $250,000 by December 23 to open a crisis-response winter night shelter for homeless families in Seattle. The Windermere Foundation was able to contribute $35,000 towards this campaign, started by Dick's Drive-in Restaurant, and benefiting Mary's Place in Seattle. Please read more about this issue that is facing all of our communities, and contact us at the Windermere Foundation for ways to help in your neighborhood. 

 

No Child Should Have To Sleep Outside

Imagine you are a young woman with two boys who gathers up the courage to save your children from an abusive spouse. When you arrive at a shelter, you’re told you can’t stay because your boys are too old. It’s cold, it’s dark and you’re alone.

Lend a hand & donate at bitly.com/nochildoutside

As leaders, wives and mothers, we’ve joined forces with Mary's Place to make sure this family and others like them have a safe and warm place to go this winter!

Homelessness is a major challenge facing Seattle and it’s hard to miss if you live, work or drive downtown. But, there is a group of homeless individuals you don’t see – families with children.

Homeless families live in the shadows. They can’t apply for temporary housing if they are staying with friends. They must be sleeping in a shelter or on the street to apply. Most of the emergency shelters available in Seattle are gender specific and require that married couples or parents and children split up. For many, the only other choice is to sleep in their car, a tent, or a public bathroom. This is unacceptable.

Imagine you're a single dad with a 5-year-old daughter. You lose your job and you can’t find work. You lose your apartment and you have nowhere to go. You call around, but you can’t find a shelter that will accept a single father. Your greatest fear is coming true. If you can’t find shelter you will have to place your daughter in foster care. It’s cold, it’s dark and you’re alone.

Mary’s Place is one of the few organizations in the city that provides emergency shelter to families. In addition to the much-needed services offered at their day shelter, Mary’s Place provides 160 family members with meals and a safe, warm place to sleep every night. But with over 500 families without shelter in Seattle, it’s not enough.

We don’t have to wait for political debates or city budgets. If we can raise $250,000, we can move more families into transitional housing, freeing emergency shelter spaces and open a new emergency shelter to bring many more homeless families inside.

There will always be emergencies; the lost job, the house fire, the diagnosis, the abuser, the natural disaster that cannot be planned for or anticipated. Getting families and children out of the cold and into a warm, safe place is the first step. We cannot allow these families to sleep in public bathrooms, cars, or tents for one more night. It’s cold, it’s dark, but they are not alone.

We are women helping women, mothers helping mothers, families helping families. We won’t give up until we have enough shelter to bring all 500 families inside.

Donate, Share & Change a Life: www.crowdrise.com/NoChildSleepsOutsideSeattle

Contributors:

Marty Hartman, Executive Director of Mary’s Place
Jasmine Donovan, VP Dick's Drive In Restaurant
Christine Wood, Executive Director Windermere Foundation 
Kelli Schneider, Seahawks Women’s Association (wife of Seahawks Special Teams Coach, Brian Schneider)
Lindsey Hauschka, Seahawks Women’s Association (wife of Seahawks Kicker, Steven Hauschka)

 

December Perspectives

A few weeks ago, we heard a term that was new to us: “emerging adulthood.” It was defined as the life stage where young adults in their 20s take time to find themselves. Otherwise known as the time when kids graduate from college and move home because they don’t know what the heck they want to do with their lives. We have a student like that graduating this spring, so this topic is definitely of interest to our family.

It got us thinking about the millennial generation and first-time home buyers. A lot has been written about this generation’s barrier to home ownership due to school debt, high unemployment, and tight lending standards. But times they are a changing. For one, the recent loosening of credit conditions is making it easier for first-time buyers to secure a mortgage.  Secondly, economists say that all of the jobs that were lost locally during the Great Recession have now returned. In fact, Seattle’s unemployment rate is now at levels we haven’t seen since before the 2008 financial crash.

We’ve all heard the horror stories about kids graduating from college with absolutely no job prospects, but in some cities, like Seattle, things appear to be getting a lot better. In fact, the National Association of REALTORS® recently published the top five most affordable cities for millennial home buyers based upon home prices, unemployment rates, and income growth. Seattle was number four. In part, we can thank the growth spurts of local companies like Amazon for this, as well as several Silicon Valley-based behemoths that have taken up residence in Seattle. All of this is helping create a solid job market.

First-time home buyers are critical to the health of the overall market; they’re the vital first link in the all-important housing chain. So it’s encouraging to see that lending standards are loosening, and Seattle’s employment outlook is sunny. It makes us optimistic that the dream of homeownership won’t die with the millennial generation. And that the housing market will continue to strengthen. It also gives us hope that, someday, our soon-to-be college graduate will find somewhere other than our basement to call home.  

Preparing Your Home for a Winter Wonderland

As they say, winter is coming, and while it is tempting to curl up and hibernate in bed for the next few months, you shouldn’t put off these important home maintenance duties.

Clean and check the gutters: While you are on the roof hanging holiday lights, make sure your gutters are clear of leaves, secured to the house, and in good condition. If you do find problem spots, seal, secure, and make note to fix these in the spring. You want to divert water away from your home.

Insulate external water sources: In cold climates pipes can freeze, which can then lead to cracked pipes and flooding. Bring hoses and sprinklers inside for the winter and use insulation to wrap external faucets. Insulating interior pipes can help prevent disaster. If you don’t have insulation, you can keep a faucet dripping during particularly cold days so water is flowing through the pipes.

 

Check your water heater: One way to save money during the winter months is to wrap your water heater, so it doesn’t have to use as much energy to keep the water hot in a tank. You should check on your heater to make sure it isn’t leaking and in good repair regularly.

Interior insulation: Keep the heat in and the cold out with increased insulation in your attic and basement. This is an investment, and best done before the winter hits, but can make a big difference in how warm your house feels and how high your heating bill goes.

Check for cracks and leaks: Do you feel a draft? Check the sealing on your windows and doors. You can add weather stripping and silicon to seal these leaks. Foundations can leak as your home settles, so you should also check your basement for water coming through the walls, pipes, and older windows. You will want to seal these appropriately to minimize damage from flooding or mold.

Weatherize your windows: Your windows can be a great source of heat leakage depending on their age and condition. If you have older windows, you can use a clear film to help insulate them during the winter. If you don’t want to film the windows you can install extra thick drapes or curtains to help keep the interior of your home warm.  

Check your heating system: What is one thing gas fireplaces, wood burning stoves, and central air heating systems all have in common? They all need to be cleaned and maintained. Check and clean your indoor heating system thoroughly. If you use an old fashioned wood stove, make sure there are no leaks and that all soot build up or nests are removed. If a furnace is what you have remember to change the filters as recommended or clean out your reusable filters.

Check your chimney with care: Nothing is as cozy as sitting by the fireplace during the winter, but use with care! Have your chimney checked by a professional to ensure that it’s in good condition and clear of critters or nests. You can also use a creosote log at the start of the season to help break down any old residue.

Invest in home security:  The holidays are prime times for burglars looking to score some extra gifts so make sure your home is safe and secure at all times. Check your locks to make sure these are secure and consider a home security system with visible cameras to act as a deterrent. Keep evidence of big gifts hidden from view too. And make sure you discreetly get rid of any large boxes that might alert a prowler that you have new big-ticket items in your home.

Deck the halls and be merry: Decorate your home and prepare for guests. If you have a Christmas tree, keep it from drying out (and creating a fire hazard) by watering regularly. Keep decorative candles and menorahs away from children and flammable materials. You may want to consider battery powered candles, these can be a safe alternative to traditional candles.

Wishing you and yours a happy and safe holiday!

 

 

 

Why Not White Marble?

Are you thinking about replacing your kitchen or bathroom countertops? The choices are endless; tile, granite, soap stone, wood, or maybe marble? White marble often gets a bad rap because it’s a more porous metamorphic stone than most (which means it’s prone to stains and scratches), but we beg to differ, and here’s why.

White marble is as timeless as it is modern. Adding white marble to your kitchen or bathrooms is like bringing home flowers for your significant other; always a good idea. It looks great on kitchen counters, but also just about anywhere in your bathrooms, from the floor to the shower walls.  Adding white marble countertops to a dressing vanity in bedrooms is also a great way to incorporate it throughout your house.

After you’ve made the decision to install white marble into your home, you’ll need to decide on a finish. Honing gives a matte finish, whereas polishing crates a shiny, reflective surface. If you want to reduce etching, choose a honed finish instead of a polish. If you don’t mind some added etching, then polished white marble is as stunning as it sounds.

How do you keep your marble happy? Make sure to apply a seal prior to using it. To reduce staining, wipe away spills immediately, and only use a neutral detergent to clean your marble. These simple things will keep your white marble in shipshape condition.

When it comes to your marble, it’s more like you than you think. Marble goes through good times and bad times and some scars fade better than others. It will never be perfect, but in the end, we think you’ll love it—imperfections and all.

Check out white marble looks we love on Pinterest.

Oregon and Southwest Washington Real Estate Market Update

Regional Economics

Job growth in the Oregon and Southwest Washington markets in third quarter saw an annual increase of 2.5 percent. Growth was most robust in Clackamas County, where employment grew by 5.7 percent (8,100 jobs). This was followed by Deschutes County which grew by 5.4% (3,570 jobs), and Clark County rounded out the top three with an increase of 4.5 percent (6,300 jobs).

When compared to second quarter, third quarter growth remained relatively unchanged with the addition of 17,318 jobs compared to 17,508 jobs in Q2. September of this year picked up somewhat, adding a total of 43,654 jobs compared to the same month a year ago. Job losses during this time were very modest with just four counties seeing declines in employment, amounting to just 420 positions. The largest losses were seen in the Klamath and Clatsop markets where 120 jobs were lost in each market. Although we are modestly above my forecast for the whole of 2014, I still maintain my estimate that the region should add 35,000 jobs in 2014.

Given the job growth over the past 12 months, it is not surprising to see the unemployment rate continuing to drop in every county discussed in this report. The lowest unemployment rate was in Hood

River County at 4.1 percent, and the highest in Josephine County where 8.3 percent of the labor force was out of work. Compared to second quarter, the unemployment rate dropped in all but one county, with Wasco County seeing the rate rise from 5.1 percent to 5.6 percent. The average unemployment rate across the region has now shrunk from 7.1 percent to 6.23 percent, which is not bad at all.

I am still maintaining the “C+” grade that I have given the region for each quarter in 2014. The numbers are improving but the unemployment rate is still higher than I would like to see.

Regional Real Estate

The shortage of available homes for sale is still a major factor in the housing market, with total sales through the first nine months of this year coming in 1.8 percent lower than those seen during the same time period in 2013.

Twelve counties showed a decline in sales, with one county remaining static and ten counties reporting sales growth. While the declines essentially match those seen last quarter, I remain concerned that slacking sales may eventually lead to the slowing of home prices.

Some believe that a lack of supply should push home prices higher, but in this case, I disagree. Without a sufficient supply of homes on the market, we may be left with housing inventory that is either overpriced or undesirable.

When you compare the first nine months of 2013 and 2014, home sales rose the most in Clark County where there was an increase of 118 sales. Growth in the other nine counties covered in this report where home sales increased was very modest and under 100 units. Unfortunately, in areas where home sales dropped, the numbers were larger. The most substantial declines were seen in Jackson County where sales dropped by 537 units. Other markets that saw declines were Washington and Multnomah Counties where sales fell by 168 and 126 units, respectively.

While sales might be starting to see a slowdown, prices are still moving higher with the average home price growing by 6.6 percent over the past year. When we compare prices in the current quarter to those seen last quarter, the growth is an equally impressive 4.7 percent.

Compared to a year ago, prices rose in 18 of the 23 counties surveyed. The largest gains were seen in Clark (+9.6%), Benton (+8.8%), and Polk (+8.7%) Counties. There were five counties where prices fell, with Wasco County seeing the greatest drop (-9.2%). This was followed by Skamania County (-7.4%) and Yamhill County (-6.9%). You’ll note that Skamania County actually saw a huge 47 percent increase in home prices compared to second quarter, but this was likely due to a couple of unusual sales that lifted the average artificially.

Lack of inventory remains a concern and, even though the market is still performing adequately, I am maintaining a “C+” grade.

Conclusions

I am pleased that we can, at last, say that the Oregon economy is expanding. Although this rate of expansion is certainly not at the level that I would like to see, it is now outperforming the U.S. as a whole, which is a promising sign.

Unemployment rates continue to fall and it is encouraging to see that the losses are in concert with growth of the civilian labor force. This means that the rates are going down as we add jobs, and not due to people leaving the labor force.

The recovery in the housing markets in the Oregon/SW Washington region continues to be uneven. Prices were up by 4.7 percent compared to last quarter and they are 6.6 percent higher than we saw a year ago. This is about where I expected them to be. However, when you compare home sales during the first three quarters of 2014 to the same time period last year, they are down by 1.8 percent. Furthermore, the number of homes for sale is also still well below historic averages.

Interest rates so far in 2014 have not trended as I had anticipated. In Gardner Reports from first and second quarters, I said that I expected rates to rise—albeit modestly—in the second half of the year, but that has clearly not been the case.

At the start of the year, the average 30-year fixed rate in the U.S. was 4.53 percent. After dropping quite dramatically for a month or so, it started to rise again in February and continued up through the end of March. Since that time, the rate has trended down and, at the end of September, landed at 4.2 percent.

As of the publication date of this document, average rates dropped below four percent to

3.92 percent in the third week of October (excluding fees and points). We are now back at levels not seen since early 2013 and rates are certainly far lower than I or anyone else could have anticipated.

So the question now is, will they rise and, if so, when? I certainly believe that rates cannot stay at these levels forever. Global instability and “frothy” equity markets have led to a flood of money moving into the fixed income markets. As we know, mortgage rates follow the yield on the 10-year treasury, and as long as buyers are prepared to accept low interest rates for their money, mortgage rates will remain low. But if the economy continues to improve, rates will start to trend higher. It’s just a matter of time.

About Matthew Gardner

Mr. Gardner is a land use economist and principal with Gardner Economics and is considered by many to be one of the foremost real estate analysts in the Pacific Northwest.

In addition to managing his consulting practice, Mr. Gardner chairs the Board of Trustees at the Washington Center for Real Estate Research at the University of Washington; sits on the Urban Land Institutes Technical Assistance Panel; is an Advisory Board Member for the Runstad Center for Real Estate Studies at the University of Washington; and is the Editor of the Washington State University’s Central Puget Sound Real Estate Research Report.

He is also the retained economist for the Master Builders Association of King & Snohomish Counties. He has twenty-five years of professional experience in the U.K. and U.S.

He has appeared on CNN, NBC and NPR news services to discuss real estate issues, and is regularly cited in the Wall Street Journal and all local media.

 

Windermere Real Estate is proud to partner with Gardner Economics on this analysis of the Oregon and Southwest

Washington real estate market. This report is designed to offer insight into the realities of the housing market.

Numbers alone do not always give an accurate picture of local economic conditions; therefore our goal is to provide

an explanation of what the statistics mean and how they impact the Oregon and Southwest Washington housing

economy. We hope that this information may assist you with making an informed real estate decision. For further

information about the real estate market in your area, please contact your Windermere agent.

 

Are cool places and unique spaces your thing? Follow us on Instagram!

We’re excited to introduce Windermere’s new Instagram account! @WindermereRE features luxury homes, unique spaces, Windermere events, community projects, and more. Stay up to date with us in a fun new way and tag us in your Windermere-related photos.

We’re also excited to roll out #milliondollarlisting – the hashtag we use when posting luxury homes. A few times a week we plan to feature some of Windermere’s snazziest pads from throughout the Western U.S. These luxury properties offer some serious eye candy, but they don’t have to stop at a daydream. They can also serve as inspiration for your own home – just scale it down to size and price depending on your budget.

Some of our recent posts include an over-the-top wine cellar, a heavenly master bathroom, and a posh Hawaiian estate with jaw-dropping views. Follow us on Instagram at @WindermereRE; you can also find us on Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, LinkedIn, and YouTube!

 

 

 

‘Tis the season to be grateful

With Thanksgiving just around the corner, many of us will reflect upon this past year and remind ourselves of what we are thankful for in our lives. It’s also a time when many of us get together and work towards helping those that have not been so fortunate. This season, our Windermere Real Estate offices and agents have been hard at work collecting food, clothing and other necessities to help out our neighbors in need. These are just a few of the activities taking place throughout our Windermere network…

The Windermere Prescott and Prescott Valley offices in Arizona helped collect and sort winter clothing for the homeless and families in need in the Greater Tri-City area at the annual Southwest Windermere Community Service Day on October 17. They sorted nearly 500 jackets, along with hats, gloves, socks, scarves, sweaters, pants, turtlenecks and shoes. Donated items were distributed through the First Congressional Church.

The Windermere Ballard office is collecting new and lightly used adult clothing and gear for The Bridge Care Center in Ballard, which benefits the homeless men and women in their neighborhood. Donations are being collected now through the end of November.

The Windermere Bellingham-Bakerview office is collecting donations of coats and blankets now through December 2nd for the men, women and children of Whatcom County that are being helped at the local Lighthouse Mission. With the cold weather upon us, they are hoping to help fulfill the mission’s great need for warm clothing for the families they serve.

The Windermere Edmonds office raised nearly $11,500 and collected over 12,000 pounds of food which was donated to the Edmonds Food Bank.

The Windermere Federal Way office is collecting non-perishable food items for the Federal Way Multi-Service Center now through December 5th. Donated items will be distributed through the Federal Way MSC food bank, which serves the Federal Way community in South King County, Washington.

The Windermere Kingston office is holding a Thanksgiving Food Drive for the Kingston Food Bank to fill their Thanksgiving baskets for local families. Donations can be dropped off at the Windermere Kingston office during regular business hours.

The Windermere Medford office has partnered with KDRV TV for the past 15 years on their coat drive for kids. Throughout the month of October, Windermere agents helped with picking up coats twice a week to deliver to the cleaners. They also sorted the coats into sizes and delivered them to the local schools. An estimated 2,000-2,500 new and used coats were distributed to schools (Head start through twelfth grade), with another 1,000 donated to local shelters. Additional coats will be purchased with funds through the Windermere Foundation, if the need exceeds the amount of coats collected.

The Windermere Mukilteo office participated in the 2014 Snohomish County-Camano Association of REALTORS Food Drive in October and collected over 4,600 pounds of food and over $1,000 in cash donations. Watch this time lapse video of Windermere Broker Bill Callahan deliver and unload over 600 pounds of food at the Mukilteo Food Bank.

Thirty-five Windermere offices throughout Oregon and SW Washington are holding their annual Share the Warmth Coat & Blanket Drive now through December 17thClick here for more details and a list of participating office locations to drop off donations.

The four Windermere Professional Partners office locations held a food drive the first half of this month to benefit The Families Unlimited Network Food Bank. The food bank provides at least a three-day supply of food for individuals and families of Pierce County. Donations collected will be delivered to the food bank a week before Thanksgiving.

The Windermere Shoreline office has a coat drive and food drive scheduled for November and December. Food donations can be dropped off at the Shoreline office for distribution to local food banks. Coats and clothing collected will go to local organizations such as Jacob’s Well.

The Windermere Stellar offices in Oregon recently pledged $2,000 through the Windermere Foundation to Oregon City’s Backpack Buddies, an organization that supplies backpacks full of food for low-income kids to take home over the weekend. The food is simply slipped into each child’s backpack during recess to prevent the kids from feeling embarrassed about receiving help. They are also holding a food drive for the organization, in addition to the $2,000 donation which will supply 500 backpacks.

Every year, the Windermere Whidbey Island-Oak Harbor office purchases winter coats and supplies for the women and children in their local area shelter. This year, 22 children will receive warm coats for the winter.

The Windermere Foundation is thankful for the continued support and contributions of our Windermere Real Estate offices, agents and staff, and for the generous donations made by those in our communities. If you’d like to learn more about the Windermere Foundation, visit http://www.windermere.com/foundation.