Seattle retains title of hottest housing market in the country with Portland right behind

According to a recent report from Geekwire Seattle is still King of Housing.

Seattle home values continue to skyrocket, rising at a rate of more than double the national average in July.

According to the latest installment of the Case-Shiller National Home Price Index, Seattle home prices shot up 13.5 percent on a year-over-year basis. Portland saw the second fastest home price growth at 7.6 percent, according to the report. The national average for July was 5.9 percent.

Seattle has consistently been the hottest housing market in the nation over the last few years, buoyed by the city’s thriving technology industry. This summer, Zillow found that Seattle is among the cities with the highest number of $1 million neighborhoods. Seattle has 38 $1 million neighborhoods, putting it at seventh among the top 10 cities.

And while Seattle is gaining $1 million neighborhoods rapidly it is also grappling with a homeless crisis. A separate Zillow report found that Seattle has the third highest homeless population in the nation, behind only New York and Los Angeles. Seattle is one of several cities where Zillow ties rent increases to a rising homeless population.

Developers are building record numbers of apartments in the Seattle area, but it still is not enough to keep up with the demand from the constant influx of new people as well as potential buyers stuck in the rental market due to high costs. Rising home values and lack of available starter homes make it tough for younger buyers, even the techies working at Amazon and Microsoft, to get into the market.

Case-Shiller’s data shows that the biggest competition for houses over the past few years has been at the lowest price tiers. High-end housing prices have been pretty stable, while cheaper homes have been extremely volatile. However, things do appear to be leveling out somewhat, as even the low-priced homes aren’t seeing as extreme price spikes as they did back in 2013 and 2014.


Guild Mortgage helps raise $430,000 for Redmond’s Liberty Road Foundation

Demonstrating its commitment to giving back and improving the local community, Guild Mortgage recently served as the primary sponsor of the 13th Annual Liberty Road Foundation Charity Golf Tournament and Dinner Auction, which raised more than $430,000 for those in need.

One of the largest independent mortgage lenders in the U.S., Guild was the Master Sponsor ($15,000) of the fundraiser, held Aug. 8 at The Golf Club at Newcastle. Guild provided $50 TaylorMade/Adidas gift cards to more than 120 tournament participants.

Additionally, company representatives served as individual hole, lunch and happy hour sponsors, while Guild branches in Bellevue, Kirkland, Mill Creek and Tacoma purchased $750 tables at the dinner and auction. All told, 85 Guild employees plus their guests attended the evening’s festivities.

Proceeds from the event will benefit the Liberty Road Foundation, based in Redmond, which partners with seven nonprofit organizations helping at-risk children and families. The auction also supported SAFE, a nonprofit working to assist women get out of the sex trafficking trade.

Founded in 1960, Guild Mortgage has more than 3,600 employees operating from 250 branch and satellite offices in 25 states. The company has a total of 27 branches in the state of Washington.

The company’s Guild Giving Program encourages employees to donate time and money to charitable causes in their own communities.

Nun Rocks with A Chainsaw After Hurricane Irma

The cleanup after Hurricane Irma is a massive undertaking, after the destructive storm hit Florida and neighboring states over the weekend. In Miami, a nun chipped in to clear trees in her neighborhood — and no one, it seems, can resist a story about a chainsaw-wielding nun.

Sister Margaret Ann was spotted at work by an off-duty officer of the Miami-Dade Police Department, which posted video and images from the scene in the community of Kendall West Tuesday.

The department calls the sister’s work another sign that Miami’s community will work together to repair what Irma broke, writing on its Facebook page, “Thank you Sister and all of our neighbors that are working together to get through this!”

Sister Margaret Ann is the principal of Archbishop Coleman F. Carroll High School, southwest of downtown Miami, which wrote on its Facebook page early Wednesday, “We are so blessed to have her and the Carmelite Sisters at our school. We are proud of the example they show for our students and other members of the community every day.”

The phrase “chainsaw-wielding nun” is one we didn’t know we would need to use in the wake of Irma, but it shows the breadth of the work it will take to recover from this storm — in Florida, in neighboring states and in the Caribbean.

The nun with a chainsaw habit quickly drew interest beyond Miami. She made headlines in England; CNN interviewed her Tuesday night.

Enlarge this image

Sister Margaret Ann was spotted at work, chainsaw in hand, by an off-duty officer of the Miami-Dade Police Department.

Miami-Dade Police Department

“The road was blocked, we couldn’t get through,” Sister Margaret Ann told CNN. “And I saw somebody spin in the mud and almost go into a wall, going off the road. So, there was a need, I had the means — so I wanted to help out.”

The chainsaws were sitting in a closet at her school, Sister Margaret Ann said, “and they didn’t belong there. They needed to be used.”

By using the chainsaw, the nun said, she was trying to live up to something her school teaches its students: “Do what you can to help.”

Sister Margaret Ann’s example resonated online. On the Miami-Dade police page, Annette Zayas wrote a comment saying, “She attends my parish and always has this warm smile with everyone she meets.”

People thanked the nun — and discussed the difficulty of handling a chainsaw wearing a habit.

“Somebody made a comment that she was not handling the chainsaw correctly. I was raised ‘do the best you can and after the day you can go home proud.’ That is all we ask for, she rocks,” Eggert Edwald wrote on the Miami-Dade Police page.

The Forgotten In Our Booming Economy

Blog Post by Louis Howard

Community Impact: The Forgotten People and Areas in this Booming Economy.

Even with the U.S. economy boasting impressive job growth and domestic equity markets near record highs, a fragmented recovery has left many states struggling to close budget deficits nearly a decade after the 2008 financial crisis S&P Global has downgraded 11 states compared to just two upgrades since January 2016. It has 11 states on negative outlook, which means the ratings agency believes more than 20 percent of states are in danger of a credit downgrade.sis.

Most economists believe that America is at full employment. After all, the official unemployment rate is a mere 4.5%, the lowest level in years

“I’d say we’re doing pretty well,” Janet Yellen, the head of America’s central bank, west level in in years.

1.Unemployed People who have disappeared or exhausted benefits They aren’t counted in the official unemployment rate, which only tallies people who actively searched for work in the past month.

  1.  Public Assistance:

As of July 7, 42.6 million Americans were receiving SNAP benefits during the current fiscal year, down from 44.2 million in 2016. The 2017 figure is the lowest since 2010, when 40.3 million people were on food stamps. The number peaked in 2013, at 47.6 million.

  1. The 14.4 million in need of a full-time job

Every month, the Labor Department puts out the official unemployment data. Its latest count says there are 7.2 million unemployed. These are the people who are represented in the 4.5% unemployment rate. Too many people are stuck in part-time jobs, and not enough people are working at all in their “prime years” between ages 25 and 54.

  1. A New Milestone in Household Debt

In the first quarter of 2017, consumer debt rose to $12.73 trillion, exceeding its peak in the third quarter of 2008. Student loans account for 10.6 percent of that total, up from 3.3 percent in 2003, while housing’s share, though still great, has fallen back to 2003 levels One of the major factors behind the latest debt binge has been student loans, a mounting burden that can stifle economic growth by preventing Americans from buying homes or spending on big-ticket consumer items.

  1. Lack of Structure:

       For some a lack of built on job opportunities like factories and production lines impact the ability for some to get good paying jobs in their area where they live

  1.  Where is your place in the Economy:

1 At the Bottom: If you are on the millions with no voice at or below the poverty line are one on public assistance and low ages then it is the same economy it as always been which is a struggle

  1. The Middle: If you are part of middle America making the median which $51,000 income up to 100k a year. You are impacted by debt especially consumer and student loan debt and course our favorite taxes. You are not saving enough to keep up with your monthly  housing and and save up enough for retirement or investments
  2. The Top %: The median income is $214, 000. Life is freer and has more choices for you because you have higher income, credit, assets, investments and a growing retirement fund. The top 5% are the ones who feel the  best of the economy because there is more insulation and protection than those at the bottom




Equifax Credit Company Hacked

Accoording to the New York Post Hackers may have the names and social security numbers of 143 million Americans after a massive breach of credit-reporting agency Equifax, the company said Thursday.

That’s more than half of the nation’s adult population, according to census figures.

Hackers also trawled through birth dates, addresses and driver’s license numbers, as well as 209,000 credit card numbers, during a massive breach between mid-May and July 29, the company reported.

“I deeply regret this incident and I apologize every affected consumer and all of our partners,” CEO Richard Smith said.

The hackers “exploited a U.S. website application vulnerability to gain access,” a company statement said.

Upon discovering the massive breach, Equifax hired a “leading, independent cybersecurity firm” to review the attack and recommend ways to prevent future attacks, the company said.

Equifax is offering every U.S. consumer in the country free identity-theft protection and credit-file monitoring through the website — regardless whether their information was compromised, Smith said.

Trump Rescinds DACA Program Sends To Congress

WASHINGTON — President Trump on Tuesday ordered an end to the Obama-era program that shields young undocumented immigrants from deportation, calling it an “amnesty-first approach” and urging Congress to pass a replacement before he begins phasing out its protections in six months.

As early as March, officials said, some of the 800,000 young adults brought to the United States illegally as children who qualify for the program, Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, will become eligible for deportation. The five-year-old policy allows them to remain without fear of immediate removal from the country and gives them the right to work legally.

Mr. Trump and Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who announced the change at the Justice Department, both used the aggrieved language of anti-immigrant activists, arguing that those in the country illegally are lawbreakers who hurt native-born Americans by usurping their jobs and pushing down wages.

Mr. Trump said in a statement that he was driven by a concern for “the millions of Americans victimized by this unfair system.” Mr. Sessions said the program had “denied jobs to hundreds of thousands of Americans by allowing those same illegal aliens to take those jobs.”

Drone Shows Damage to Houston Area

The sheer magnitude of flooding Houston is facing from Tropical Storm Harvey has taken on an entirely different perspective thanks to drones.

Videos like those captured by University of Houston freshman, Ahmed Gul, originally from California, provide a cinematic experience unlike anything a cellphone on the ground can provide.

Harvey’s impact on Houston and surrounding cities is unprecedented. The storm has triggered 316,000 power outages, dumped 11 trillion gallons of rain, and initiated more than 2,000 water rescues across Texas as of late Sunday night, according to CNN. Harvey is expected to linger over the Houston area through the middle of the week.

Nine Ways To Support A Veteran

On the weeks show i share some powerful ideas from a story produced by 

  1. Give a veteran a ride

Medical care may be needed for some veterans for the rest of their lives. Disabled American Veterans provides free transportation to men and women who can’t travel to Veterans Affairs medical facilities on their own.

2. You can volunteer to d2. Donate frequent flier miles

The Fisher House Foundation has a network of homes on the grounds of military and VA hospitals around the country. These homes help family members be close during the hospitalization of a loved one for a combat injury, illness or disease. Fisher House operates theHero Miles Program, using donated frequent flier miles to bring family members to the bedside of injured service members. You can also volunteer or donate household items.

3. Sponsor a companion dog for veterans with PTSD

More than a third of all Iraq and Afghanistan veterans have or will experience post-traumatic stress disorder. And veterans of past wars are still dealing with the ghosts of their time in the service. Coping with PTSD can put stress on not just veterans but also their families and friends.

Puppies Behind Bars is a program in which prisoners train companion dogs for veterans with PTSD. Donors can sponsor a dog and receive updates on the dog’s training and life with its veteran.

(If you know a veteran dealing with PTSD, the VA offers the PTSD Coach Online to help veterans learn to manage symptoms, come up with ways to cope and find professional help.)

  1. Help build a home for severely injured vets

Severely injured veterans often come home needing a place to live that better accommodates their physical disabilities. Building Homes for Heroes builds specially modified homes for veterans that help them live independently. These homes are provided at no cost to the veterans. The organization also provides financial planning services.

  1. Keep veterans off the streets

In times of war, exhausted combat units were removed from the battlefield to “stand down” in a place of relative security to rest. The Department of Veterans Affairs’ Stand Down program is designed to help homeless veterans “combat” life on the streets. Stand Downs are usually one- to three-day events to provide food, shelter, clothing and health screenings to homeless and unemployed veterans. To find a Stand Down program in your community, contact your local VA hospital in the VA Medical Center Directory.

A phone call can also make difference in the life of a veteran who is homeless or at risk of becoming homeless. Call 877-4AID-VET, or 877-424-3838, to be connected 24 hours a day, seven days a week with help at the VA.

  1. Send a care package or a letter

Operation Gratitude has sent more than 1.5 million individually addressed care package to the military community. The packages are sent to current military members as well as veterans, wounded warriors and their caregivers. As more American troops return to civilian life, the Operation Gratitude veterans program has been growing. It also has a letter writing campaign encouraging everyone to write handwritten letters of gratitude to veterans.

  1. Help them take flight

The Honor Flight Network helps veterans of the “greatest generation” make a free pilgrimage to the World War II Memorial on the National Mall in Washington. You can volunteer to escort these men and women on the flight to see this memorial. Honor Flight also helps terminally-ill veterans who served in any conflict visit memorials to those wars in Washington as well.

  1. Share their stories

So many veterans’ stories have been left untold, but the Library of Congress is collecting the tales of veterans of every war with the Veterans History Project. If you are related to a veteran or know one who has a story to tell, the Library of Congress wants to hear it. Help veterans share their stories before it’s too late.

  1. Say thank you

It’s simple, but it can make an impact. And so many veterans have never heard the words “thank you.” If you know a veteran or see someone in a military uniform, say something. It may make his or her day and yours.

Drive a van for those who need a lift.








The Amazing Eclipse Photo

Photo credit: AP

SALEM — With its radiant corona, shadows that appeared to shimmer across the ground and 360 degrees of twilight, Monday’s total solar eclipse awed millions of onlookers across the northwestern United States.

Some called it a mystical experience while others praised the power of science. Either way, the spectacle seemed to leave most pretty impressed.

“I was looking for the diamond ring and when that diamond ring came, I had tears in my eyes. I’ve read about it, but it was . indescribable,” said Julie Vigeland, a 73-year-old Portland, Oregon resident who watched from the Oregon State Fairgrounds in Salem. “It was a very primal experience, it really was. I’ve seen other really magnificent things but there is nothing, nothing like this.”

John Hays drove up from Bishop, California for the total eclipse in Salem and said the experience will stay with him forever. He watched from a deck overlooking the Willamette Valley and the foothills of the Coastal Range.

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