booth escrow: Introducing the Dungeness Spit - 03/01/13 03:08 PM
Introducing the Dungeness Spit
February 24th, we took our granddaughter to the Dungeness National Wildlife Refuge in Sequim to explore the 5.5 miles of beach that jets out into the Straights of Juan de Fuca. 
"At Dungeness National Wildlife Refuge, one of the world's longest natural sand spits softens the rough sea waves to form a quiet bay and harbor; sand and gravel beaches, and tideflats. Eelgrass beds in the bay and harbor provide food for Pacific black brant and a nursery for young salmon and steelhead.  Tideflats teem with migrating shorebirds in spring and fall; flocks of waterfowl find food and … (1 comments)

booth escrow: Employment Security goes after income-tax refunds to resolve debts - 12/05/12 10:17 AM
Employment Security goes after income-tax refunds
to resolve debts
 OLYMPIA – When is an income-tax refund not a refund? When it’s intercepted by the Employment Security Department to repay wrongly claimed unemployment benefits.
 This week, Employment Security is notifying more than 25,000 people that their 2012 income-tax refunds may be intercepted to repay benefits they shouldn’t have received.
 The department was recently approved to participate in the federal Treasury Offset Program (TOP), which allows Employment Security to cross-match its computer files with the Internal Revenue Service and flag individuals who are delinquent in paying back benefit overpayments. Generally, Employment … (0 comments)

booth escrow: Washington State Employment issues job-vacancy report - 10/08/12 12:47 PM
Employment Security issues job-vacancy report
OLYMPIA – Washington employers had an estimated 52,000 job vacancies last spring, according to a new report from the state’s Employment Security Department.
More than 78 percent of the vacancies were in urban Western Washington.
Occupations with the most vacancies were in sales, registered nursing and customer service. Industries with the most vacancies were healthcare and social assistance, with 11,000 job openings; retail trade, with nearly 7,000 vacancies; and accommodation and food services, with about 5,600 available jobs.
The findings are contained in the “2012 Job Vacancy and Hiring Survey Report,” which is based … (0 comments)

booth escrow: Spokane Business Honored with Hire-A-Vet Award - 06/27/12 08:23 AM
Employment Security Department/FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – June 27, 2012/#12-029
Spokane business honored with Hire-A-Vet Award SPOKANE – Two state cabinet officials visited Spokane today to honor Haskins Steel for its track record of hiring military veterans.
Employment Security Commissioner Paul Trause and John Lee, director of the Washington Department of Veteran Affairs, presented a Hire-A-Vet Award to the company’s general manager, Craig Dias.
“It would be hard to find a business more deserving of this award than Haskins Steel,” Trause said.
In accepting the award, Dias acknowledged the contribution veterans have made to the company.
“Today, veterans are among the best-trained … (3 comments)

booth escrow: Washington States Department of Revenue Wins a National Award - 04/05/12 05:07 PM
Revenue wins national award for its implementation of taxpayer amnesty
Washington, D.C., April 5, 2012 – The Washington State Department of Revenue has won a national award for what judges said was its swift and taxpayer-friendly implementation of a 2011 taxpayer amnesty.
The Federation of Tax Administrators (FTA) today named the agency co-winner of its 2012 Taxpayer Service and Education award in recognition of how it launched the three-month amnesty period only seven weeks after the Washington State Legislature authorized it in a one-day special session.
“We put a great deal of thought and work into making Washington’s first-ever tax … (0 comments)

booth escrow: Washington State To Lose 26 Weeks of Long Term Unemployment Benefits - 04/03/12 10:17 AM
Washington to lose 26 weeks of long-term unemployment benefits
 OLYMPIA – Washington state’s improving unemployment rate will reduce the maximum weeks of unemployment benefits from 99 to 73 for most eligible workers after April 21.
 The Employment Security Department will soon mail notices to all workers who are claiming long-term benefits, with information about how their benefits will be affected.
 “We are at a difficult point, where our unemployment rate is greatly improved, yet still relatively high,” said Employment Security Commissioner Paul Trause. “Losing up to six months of benefits will make the unemployment situation a lot more urgent … (0 comments)

booth escrow: The CFPB is Making Changes to the HUD-1 Settlement Statement - again... - 03/23/12 08:45 AM
The CFPB Is Making Changes to the HUD-1 Settlement Statement - again...
Imagine a combined Truth-in-Lending Statement and HUD 1 Settlement Statement.  That is precisely what the Consumer Financial Protection Board has been working on for a number of months.   If this is the first you have heard about this topic, you will want to sign up for their email alerts and perhaps "friend" them on Facebook.The CFPB is proposing that this document be in it's final form and available to the borrower 3 days before signing.  As you know, there are many moving parts to a HUD, including but not limited … (0 comments)

booth escrow: Earnest Money Notes Payable to Escrow - WHY? - 03/23/12 08:33 AM
Earnest Money Notes Payable to Escrow - WHY? Please do not make your promissory notes for earnest money payable to escrow/title, make the Note payable to the seller.If the buyer backs out of the transaction and the seller seizes the note for compensation, what good will it do the seller if the Note is payable to your escrow or title company?Remember that escrow is a Neutral Third Party - not a representative of either the buyer or the seller.  I have seen many, many notes payable to escrow and or title.  Thankfully none of these deals fell through - but in this … (0 comments)

booth escrow: February's Drop In Unemployment Rate May Shorten Unemployment Benefits - 03/21/12 10:22 AM
February’s drop in unemployment rate
may shorten unemployment benefits
OLYMPIA – Washington gained an estimated 4,200 jobs in February, adding to the state’s gradual climb up the employment ladder, according to the state’s Employment Security Department.
The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate dipped to an estimated 8.2 percent in February, down from a revised rate of 8.4 percent in January.  It was the lowest unemployment rate since January 2009, when it was 7.7 percent.
As a result of the improved unemployment rate, the maximum weeks of unemployment benefits in Washington will likely be reduced from 99 down to 73 … (0 comments)

booth escrow: Aviation Based High Schools. Really?? - 10/25/11 03:57 PM
Aviation Based High Schools? Aviation High School, located next to the Museum of Flight is the only aviation, college prep school in the Northwest.  According to an article written by Holly Smith Peterson at the Business Examiner on September 5th, one-third of all Boeing engineers will be eligible for retirement in the next four years.The high school, pictured here will relocate students from the current Highline location and is scheduled to open in 2013.  This school is focused on aviation-themed topics and projects rather than more general subject matter.  Emphasis is heavy on science, mathmatics, engineering and technology.  So far, AHS … (2 comments)

booth escrow: Is Your Buyer Using VA Financing? - 10/25/11 03:53 PM
Is Your Buying Using VA Financing?If so, that is terrific but just remember that the seller is then required to pay both sides of the escrow fee along with any loan finance charges that the VA buyer is restricted from paying (non allowables).
I always get so surprised by how many sellers say they weren't told about this when we go over their Settlement Statement.   Sellers:  be sure to read your contract thoroughly so that you know what to expect at closing and make yourself some notes about the discussion you have with your broker. 
There is so much information to absorb … (0 comments)

booth escrow: Are you Reading Your Short Sale Approval Letters Carefully? - 10/25/11 03:41 PM
Are you Reading Your Short Sale Approval Letters Carefully? Several Banks now include an Arms Length Affidavit with their short sale approval letters which require the parties to certify "That the sale of the property is between parties who are unrelated and unaffiliated by family, marriage or commercial enterprise".One Affidavit has the buyer certifying that they will not re-sell the property within 120 days without having substantially refurbished or added value to the property and goes on to require that the closing agent will not act as the closing agent of subsequent transactions involving the property within one year of closing the short sale.The … (2 comments)

booth escrow: WorkSource Helping Growers Find Orchard Workers - 10/20/11 11:17 AM
WorkSource helping growers find orchard workers
OLYMPIA – With Washington’s apple harvest once again in full swing, local WorkSource centers are doing what they can to help growers find pickers.
Currently, WorkSource centers are working to fill more than agricultural 1,000 job openings across Central and Eastern Washington. 
WorkSource offices have expanded their operating hours and opened temporary satellite offices in the middle of major farming areas.  Employment specialists check in daily with local growers to assess the current labor needs, and visit gathering places in nearby communities to recruit workers. 
“Most growers want experienced workers who can … (0 comments)

booth escrow: It Started With A Request on Facebook for Some Assistance - 09/20/11 01:46 PM
It started with a request on Facebook for some assistance from Rhonda Gray, an agent that I had not yet met.  Sure, why not?  I had a couple of hours that I could spare that Wednesday morning and isn't the point of developing your business via on-line "marketing" on places like Facebook, to meet potential customers and build some relationships?
Rhonda likes to volunteer at the Puyallup Food Bank and she needed some people to sort food that was brought in at the Puyallup Fair.   I agreed to meet her at the new location of the food bank and the day started off with a … (4 comments)

booth escrow: Claim Your Returns a Record Number of Refunds in Washington State - 09/13/11 05:40 PM
Revenue returns unclaimed property to a record number of claimants
OLYMPIA – Sept. 13, 2011 – The Washington State Department of Revenue returned unclaimed property to a record 108,441 claimants in Fiscal Year 2011, thanks in part to a sharp increase in the number of businesses reporting unclaimed property to the state.
The number of individuals who claimed property during the fiscal year ending June 30 was more than 10,000 higher than the 98,362 claims paid in Fiscal Year 2010. These individuals claimed $46.5 million in Fiscal Year 2011.
Revenue Director Suzan DelBene said the number of businesses reporting unclaimed property … (4 comments)

booth escrow: Invest $500k in the SR 520 Bridge & Receive Green Cards for you and Your Family! - 09/10/11 01:08 PM
Invest $500,000.00 in the SR 520 Bridge & Receive Green Cards for you and Your Family! 
Yes, that was one of the many things that I learned at the South King County Chapter of the Womans Council of Realtors luncheon last week.  I was so surprised at this, that I had to learn more about it.  So it isn't quite that easy, of course.
There are some other considerations like being able to employ at least 10 U.S. workers and your family members must all be under the age of 21.
This government needs money and so they are thinking outside the … (0 comments)

booth escrow: International Principals are Discussed at Yesterdays South King County WCR Luncheon - 09/02/11 04:41 PM
International Principals are Discussed at Yesterdays South King County WCR LuncheonJason Watabe, John L. Scott and Jess Salazar, Benchmark Realty and Elizabeth Davidson, Coldwell Banker Danforth were the speakers.  The discussion focused on the importance of email communication, the nature of some cultures need to start with a low offer (not to offend) make sure that your seller is aware of this and also asking the client if they would prefer to be referred to a broker/lender that speaks their language.  Jason brought up a statistic that was somewhat surprising to me:  25% of all Bellevue buyers are Asian.  1 in 4.  Flyers were handed out … (0 comments)

booth escrow: I Finally Make the Splash and Go West of Westport! - 09/02/11 04:22 PM
I Finally Make the Splash and Go West of Westport  I am a Pacific NW Native and have heard stories of the tumultuous waters out of Westport all my life and as a result, I have a serious respect for the ocean and spent my time in the Puget Sound and Lake Washington.  August 20th, I decide to join my fisherman, John and give it a whirl.  If you can't beat em', join em', right?  The harbor was crystal clear and glassy when we left.As soon as we got past the bar, the water kicked up pretty seriously - by the time we got back late that afternoon … (0 comments)

booth escrow: Putting Washington back to work this Labor Day - 09/02/11 01:24 PM
Putting Washington back to work this Labor Day
OLYMPIA – “Success! Offer received today!”  That’s just one of many jubilant messages from those who used WorkSource to get a wide variety of jobs, from aerospace to software testing and composite manufacturing. 
Already this year, WorkSource has helped more than 4,000 job seekers navigate the complex hiring process at Boeing and other firms through special workshops in Skagit, Snohomish, King, Kitsap and Pierce counties.  In Snohomish County alone, the heart of Washington’s aerospace industry, 22 percent report getting hired after using the important skills they learned.
Michael Jee of Seattle is one. 

booth escrow: U.S. Department of State Issuing New Diplomatic Tax Exemption Cards - 08/15/11 05:20 PM
Retailers: U.S. Department of State Issuing New Diplomatic Tax Exemption Cards
OLYMPIA – Aug. 15, 2011 – Retailers should be aware that the Office of Foreign Missions in the U.S. Department of State is issuing new Diplomatic Tax Exemption Cards.
The redesigned cards authorize the exemption from sales, occupancy, restaurant/meal, and other similar taxes on the official and personal purchases of foreign diplomatic and consular missions and their members in the United States.
The new cards contain security features intended to defeat any attempts to manufacture counterfeit cards.  The Office of Foreign Missions began issuing them in June and expects to … (0 comments)