GRAND OPENING – NEW MODELS AT Trilogy® at Tehaleh®

Get ready for the big reveal TOMORROW
at the 55+ community, Trilogy® at Tehaleh® 
Saturday, March 16th from 12-4pm

Trilogy® will celebrating with a fun day of food, music, dancing, photo booth, root beer tastings, AND tours of the two gorgeous new models – the Evia and the Valletta.

GET DIRECTIONS,-122.177246,386m/data=!3m1!1e3!4m13!1m7!3m6!1s0x0:0x0!2zNDfCsDA3JzMzLjgiTiAxMjLCsDEwJzM0LjMiVw!3b1!8m2!3d47.126058!4d-122.176191!3m4!1s0x5490fafee26d0331:0x3ef3e0c4704488b7!8m2!3d47.126059!4d-122.176184

Are Your 2018 Taxes Done?

Tax Information
Free In-Person Tax Help

AARP Tax-Aide and Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) volunteers provide one-on-one tax consultations in locations throughout Pierce County from February through mid-April. Post-season tax help is also available.
IRS-certified volunteers help prepare and e-file personal tax returns
VITA sites serve households with incomes up to $54,000 /year; no income limits at other locations.
Most sites offer help on a first-come, first served basis. Arrive early and allow plenty of time.
Bring all necessary paperwork
Tax prep dates: 
Saturday, Feb. 2, 9, 16, 23; March 2, 9, 16, 23, 30; April 6, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. at Sumner Pierce County Library1116 Fryar Ave.
Saturday, Feb. 16, 23; March 2, 9, 16, 23, 30; April 6, 13, 1-4 p.mat Parkland/Spanaway Pierce County Library13718 Pacific Ave. S.
Saturday, March 911 a.m.-4 p.m. and Tuesday, April 23-6 p.m. at Eatonville Pierce County Library205 Center St W.
Additional tax help
You can request a tax assistance appointment at the local Tacoma-area IRS Office:
1201 Pacific Ave. (fountain level of the Wells Fargo Building), Tacoma, WA 98402
Monday-Friday,  8:30 a.m.- 4:30 p.m. by appointment
Call 1-844-545-5640 to schedule an appointment.

2019 VITA Post-Season Tax Preparation: Tax Years 2016-2018

Sound Outreach 
1321 MLK Jr Way
Tacoma WA 98405               
2nd & 4th Tuesdays
from May – September
12 p.m. – 4 p.m.
By Appointment only: or 253-719-3700.
Tax help from Associated Ministries available in Pierce County

Free Online Filing

Prepare and file your federal income tax return online for free.
MyFreeTaxes: For households with incomes up to $66,000
IRS Free File: Brand-name tax software or online fillable forms plus electronic file

Income Tax Forms and Instructions

Available at Pierce County Library locations
Select free forms and instructions are available from late January/early February through April 15, while supplies last.
Print additional forms and instructions at the IRS website from library computers for 10 cents per page.
Ask at the Help Desk for tax forms and instructions you can copy at the library for 10 cents per page.
Forms by mail
To have tax forms delivered by mail, contact the IRS: Order Forms & Publications
Other forms
W-2, 1099 or other multi-part or machine-readable employer forms are available at office supply stores or from the IRS at 800-829-3676.
Out-of-state income tax forms
Many states provide state tax forms online for printing. See Federation of Tax Administrators – State Tax Forms for links to all the states.

General Tax Information

Pierce County Assessor-Treasurer: Property tax information and parcel search. (Pierce County)
WA Business Taxes: Online filing and information on business taxes in Washington state, includes area sales tax rates. (State of WA)
IRS Small Business/Self-employed Tax Center: Resources for small business, self-employed or contract employees. 

New Tehaleh Listing on Greenbelt!

This gorgeous 4 bed, 2.5 bath, 2,603 sq ft house on large, level green belt lot in Tehaleh is ready for you to call home! Great location on quiet cul de sac just a few doors down from the park and walking trails. Main floor features hardwood floors throughout, open concept kitchen (all appliances stay!), fireplace with built ins, and den/office could be used as a 5th bedroom. Upstairs boasts huge media room, enormous laundry room, master suite and more! House is located near the Sticks ‘n’ Stones Park which has a beautiful view of Mount Rainier. Tehaleh features 11 parks and 15+ miles of trails.

7 Things to Know About Whole-Home Generators

Saro Cutri

There’s little more frightening than losing your electricity in the middle of a big winter storm or even a spring tornado. Whatever natural disaster is common in your area, you have probably experienced at least one major disaster in your life. Because of that, you may tend to linger around the generators at your favorite home improvement store when bad weather season starts.

Is this the year you’ll finally install a whole-home generator? Before you swipe that card, take a look at these must-know things about choosing a whole home generator.

A Generator Can Be An Investment In Your Home

You probably know that in some areas you can get tax credits for installing efficient whole-home generators, but what you may not realize is that a permanently installed generator can also increase your home’s value. According to Consumer Reports, a three to five percent increase in appraised value after a generator is installed isn’t uncommon.

But, you can’t just stick any old generator in the yard and call it a home improvement. The generator you choose will be part of your home’s electrical system for the foreseeable future, so it has to be able to do the job you need it to do. Here are seven things to keep in mind while you’re shopping:

  1. Generators are far from universal in size. You should make a list of the items you intend to keep turned on while you’re running on generator power before you start to shop. Appliances, HVAC systems, hot water heaters and even light bulbs add up when you’re talking about an entire home. Although your appliances may differ in their power consumption, in general, refrigerators use about 600 watts of electricity, your lights can soak up to 600 watts, even your computer may need 300 watts to stay running.
  2. Portable generators can be an inexpensive alternative. If you’re only hoping to keep a few lights on and maybe a small refrigerator running during a power outage, you might be able to limp along with a portable generator. These smaller units can be loud and require lots of manual intervention, including refilling their fuel tanks multiple times during prolonged use, but can push out 3,000 to 8,500 watts reliably for under $1,000.
  3. Generators run on different types of fuel. Those portable generators almost exclusively run on either gasoline or kerosine, though some can be converted to run on propane or natural gas with a special kit. A whole house generator connects to a gas line by default, be that propane or natural gas. Depending on where you live and what your utility supplies, you’ll want to choose one that matches your fuel supply. If you live in a rural area, you may have to rely on your propane tank to run your generator, keep it full through the toughest weather of the year.
  4. Regular maintenance on generators includes running them frequently throughout the year to ensure that there isn’t an unplanned problem when an emergency does crop up. Some whole home generators have an automatic maintenance cycle, allowing you to ignore them most of the time. However, these auto-run cycles can be very noisy, so you’ll want to consider the decibel level of the generator you choose.
  5. You’ll need a transfer switch, but there are several options. Transfer switches are electrical devices that allow you to change the power source that runs your home from the utility grid to your home generator. There are many different types, rated both by amps and switching type. Manual switches are less expensive, but require you to make the connection in all kinds of weather, automatic switches will flip on the generator when they detect a lack of power from the grid.
  6. Older homes may need electrical panel upgrades. Even homes that aren’t considered antiques can have very limited electrical systems that aren’t compatible with a large transfer switch. If you want to use, say, a 200 amp transfer switch and your house will only support 100 amps, either your system needs to be upgraded or your generator transfer switch will need to be downgraded.
  7. It needs to be installed by a professional. There are people who have installed their own whole home generators, but because of local building codes and the general difficulty of the project, this is not something that’s generally encouraged. You’ll be tapping into gas lines, electrical systems and you’ll need to place the unit a very specific distance from combustible materials and above areas that may flood.

Don’t Spend One More Season Without Power

Storms can blow in fast and ice will bring powerlines to the ground, but you don’t have to worry with a whole home generator that’s properly sized for your house and carefully installed. You never know who might come out when you have the guy working for the home improvement store do the job, but when you ask for a referral from your HomeKeepr community, you can be assured that you’re getting the best.

Look What’s Happening in Trilogy® at Tehaleh®

Get a SNEAK PEEK at the new 55+ Resort Collection before
the Model Home Grand Opening March 16, 2019.

Saturdays and Sundays 9:00am-5:00pm

Stop by the Tour Center where a Community Rep will escort you through the models affording you the opportunity to check out the current progress.
Please wear closed-toe-shoes!
Hard hats are provided.

 Take advantage of the pre-grand opening pricing starting at $344,900.

The Resort Collection Models Grand Opening
March 16th from 1-4pm

Have You Made Any of These 5 Credit Mistakes As a Homebuyer?

You’ve been renting for a while now and it feels like the timing is right to make the leap to homeownership. After all, your friends are all buying houses and your job feels pretty stable, how many more hints that it’s time to settle down could you really need?

Well, if you’ve given it considerable thought, are certain you can cover emergency costs like unexpected roof replacement or furnace repair and you have a realistic expectation of what you can afford, then full speed ahead. Buying a house is a trying experience, only made significantly worse by credit mistakes.

Top Credit Mistakes to Avoid When Buying a Home

Everybody makes mistakes, especially when it comes to their credit. The process by which your credit score is generated has long been veiled in shadows, making it doubly easy to misstep without even knowing it. However, there are certain mistakes that homebuyers make again and again, including these items that are obviously impactful to your credit score:

1. Not knowing what’s in your credit file to begin with. The last thing you need is a bit of a surprise when you go to apply for a mortgage. If you have collections that you’re unaware of, judgements that were never served to you or just plain bad information in your file, these items have to be handle now. It can take a while to completely erase the effects of any negative information in your credit file, so you need to get started right away.

Go to for your once a year free credit report, download that thing and print it out. Check it line by line for accuracy and contact any collection agents that may be listed so you can work out a payment plan on that cable bill you left behind in your college apartment and totally forget to pay.

2. Applying for mortgages over a long period of time. Sure, it makes sense to pull your credit file six months to a year ahead of when you plan to purchase, since there might be surprises that will require time to fix. If you pull your scores yourself, it’s not as big of a hit to you as it would be it you had a lender checking your scores, say, monthly. When you are definitely ready to buy, do all your mortgage shopping within a 14 to 45 day window (depending on the scoring model and version). Ask your lender how long credit inquiries for mortgages will remain grouped, only being counted as a single credit pull. Otherwise, so many hard pulls will ensure that you don’t move forward to purchase.

3. Opening new lines of credit in anticipation of closing. Did you give any thought to skipping the line and buying a new couch today, rather than after your closing? How about doing that while maxing out a brand new credit line? This is a huge and terrifyingly common mistake that people make. It makes sense, it really does, you just want to be ready to get your move over with quickly once you get the keys.

The problem with a new inquiry is sort of a double whammy. First, it’s a hard pull on your credit, which will reduce your score slightly. Secondly, if you use that credit line, your debt to income will increase. In fact, depending on how much of that credit line you use, your utilization rate may also increase.

TL;DR: don’t take out new credit. Your credit score, debt to income ratio and possibly your credit utilization will take a big hit and your loan may be cancelled at the last minute when underwriting is re-verifying your application.

4. Maxing out existing credit lines. Moving is really expensive, even if you’re just moving across town. The moving truck alone can cost hundreds of dollars, and that’s if you do the job yourself. There’s nothing wrong with renting a truck, hiring a mover or even hiring a whole lot of movers, just do it after closing. If anything changes to the negative about your credit score, credit utilization and your debt to income ratio, as stated above, your loan can be cancelled. This is not a drill.

5. Failing to forward your bills. After closing, you could still make a few credit mistakes problems related to your move. Did you remember to pay the last utility bill at your old place? How about the broadband? It may seem like an obvious error to avoid, but when you’re in that moving stress haze, sometimes it’s all you can do to grab a pot of coffee and get moving again. Your credit is pretty good right now, don’t forget to pay those final bills.

Buying a house with a mortgage can feel like an exercise in paperwork collection, but the truth is that all of it is necessary for you to get the very best price from your lender. After all, what they’re really doing is trying to ensure your success with their loan. When you succeed, they succeed.


Meticulously kept resale in Tehaleh! This stunning 4 bedroom, 2.75 bathroom located on the green belt will wow you! Enormous kitchen featuring double ovens, over-sized island, pantry and loads of counter and cabinet space! Rich wood flooring graces the main floor except for main floor den (currently used as a guest room). Huge loft provides extra wiggle room. Large covered patio with gas fireplace is the perfect place to enjoy the natural forest in your fenced back yard. House is located on a quiet dead end street close to trails, parks & more!  

Call Liz Johnson for your private showing (253) 670-0357.

The Latest Tehaleh Updates

Our Schools need your box tops!

Now through Feb 1st….it’s all about gathering those box tops! Scour your pantries, snip them out, and send them to
school in those go-home folders so that your student’s teacher can add them to their collection and win the contest!

Tehaleh Heights & Donald Eismann Elementary Schools


Blood Drive

THIS Saturday, January 26, 2019

8:30am – 12:30pm

Donald Eismann Parking Lot
Please Donate Blood

To make donating as convenient as possible, we’re bringing the bloodmobile to Tehaleh –
Please sign up for the time that is convenient for you.

 NOW! With online sign ups to make it easier for you to give blood!

Contact CRBS at 1-877-24-BLOOD or to sign up


There’s LOTS Happening at Trilogy at Tehaleh!

Live Well Wellness Fair January 26th 1-4pm

Wellness is a way of life at Trilogy®. It’s all about finding balance in our lives so that we can feel strong, energized, and connected. Join us at the Seven Summits Lodge on Saturday, January 26th from 1:00pm to 4:00pm for the Live Well Wellness Fair, to explore all the areas of our community that support a healthy, balanced lifestyle. We’ll have a healthy cooking demonstration with The Mantel’s Chef Dino, fun giveaways, deliciously nutritious snacks, and more. Connect with local wellness experts and spend the afternoon nourishing body, mind, and spirit alongside your future Trilogy neighbors.

Bring your friends and family along and discover the many ways that the Trilogy lifestyle makes it easy and fun to make wellness a top priority.


Resort Collection Models Hard Hat Tours Every Weekend!
Be among the first to get a sneak peek of Trilogy at Tehaleh’s new Resort Collection Models before the grand opening in March! This is your opportunity to walk through the homes and check out the progress.  Hard Hat Tours will be led by our community representatives every Saturday and Sunday from 9:00am-5:00pm. Be sure to wear close-toed shoes.  Trilogy will provide the hard hats! 
And don’t forget – time is running out to take advantage of pre-grand opening pricing starting at $344,900*!


Save The Date!

Chinese New Year – 2019 is The Year of The Pig

We’re celebrating at The Post with complimentary Fortune Cookies &
Caffé D’Arte is offering Free Organic Oolong Tea and Chinese New Year Fortune Teller Games for our customers

Wednesday, February 6 *while supplies last


Do Me A Favor Cookies Pop Up Shop

Sunday, February 10th At The Post

10:00am – 2:00pm

Do Me A Favor Cookie Platters and Favors is delighted to have the opportunity to set up our cookie pop up shop on
Sunday February 10th from 10-2 at The Post

Our pop ups and holiday special ordering is such a fun experience! We offer individual cookie favors with no minimum order and also bring exclusive special gifts that are not available for pre orders! It sure is a treat to bring these special cookie collections to Tehaleh. Every cookie is made right here in our cottage food licensed home kitchen in Tehaleh and made with freshness and fabulousness in mind! We adhere to the state department of agriculture guidelines for food handling and sanitizing and strive to make the best cookies for the best community around!
Come see us at The Post at Tehaleh,
we’d love to do you a favor and make your day sweet!

Pre-Orders are available at

Cookie pre orders begin February 1st and go until the 8th or while supplies last
Pricing starts at $3; we can accept cash or card


2019 Rides of Tehaleh Car Show

We’re making plans for this year’s car show and if you have a car & you want to participate, we want your input for a preferred date. Cast your vote….when do you think would be the best month to hold the 2019 Rides of Tehaleh Car Show?

This has been posting this on both Tehaleh resident Facebook pages, as well as the Rides of Tehaleh Club Facebook group & you can vote on any of those pages.
If you have a car you want to show and you’re not on facebook and want to vote for your preferred date please contact
Tina at

This will stay active until 1/31, with the official date announced on 2/1,
so get your vote in NOW!

Months to be considered:

-June 2019

-July 2019

-August 2019

-October 2019


Hero Day

In a tribute to all active or retired military, police, firefighters, nurses and paramedics, the Tacoma Home + Garden Show is offering FREE admission to all heroes on Friday, January 25th! Please bring your valid ID to the box office to claim your free admission ticket. *Please note this does not include a ticket for friends or family members.

Teacher Day

In honor of those who make a difference in our community, the Tacoma Home + Garden Show is offering FREE admission to all teachers on Sunday, January 27th! Please bring your valid ID to the box office to claim your free admission ticket. *Please note this does not include a ticket for friends or family members.


Enumclaw Wine & Chocolate Festival
February 1 & 2, 2019

The Enumclaw Wine and Chocolate Festival will be Feb. 1-2 and more than 20 wineries are expected to return to the
Enumclaw Expo Center for the 11th annual event. This event averages more than 2,000 attendees who sample from 25 wineries,
a dozen chocolatiers and many gift and specialty vendors.

Full details can be found here:

What is Mortgage Insurance?

If you currently have a mortgage or are looking at taking one out, you’ve probably come across a concept so notorious, so vile, that it can cause blood-curdling screams and fainting in the boldest of people.

You know the one.

“Mortgage insurance.”

Before you throw your phone across the room, take a minute to read to the bottom of this blog. Mortgage insurance doesn’t deserve the horrible reputation it has earned over the years — in fact, it can help you a whole lot.

What is Mortgage Insurance?

There’s a lot of confusion over mortgage insurance, what it is and what it isn’t.

Some people think that mortgage insurance is the same as homeowners insurance. Sadly, the two aren’t twinsies. Homeowners is yet another monthly expense you need to count on when buying a house.

Others think that mortgage insurance is some nebulous thing that bankers are billing you for just to get your money for no reason. This is also missing a few facts.

Let’s take a step back.

In the days before mortgage insurance, practically no one could get a mortgage with less than a 20 percent downpayment. That meant, at best, years of saving up or in many cases, simply never getting a chance at homeownership at all.

Over time, banks agreed that if there were some sort of insurance policy protecting their interest in the mortgages they wrote, they might be willing to take a smaller down payment, thus opening up homeownership to a lot more people.

And that’s exactly what it does today. It protects banks and enables more people to buy homes. If it weren’t for some form of mortgage insurance, there’d be no chance a bank would agree to a mortgage for someone with as little as 3.5 percent down.

This is the primary benefit for homeowners. Obviously the main benefit for banks is that they don’t get hit nearly as hard in case of a foreclosure, since the insurance will pay a percentage of the mortgage value directly to the lender.

Types of Mortgage Insurance

There are several entities that offer mortgage insurance (though you generally don’t get to choose), including MGIC, National MI, the Federal Housing Administration and the Department of Veterans Affairs. These private companies and government departments have procedures in place to help determine how risky you are as a borrower and then assign a price to your mortgage insurance costs. There are three main types of MI to be aware of:

Private Mortgage Insurance. When you get a conventional loan with less than a 20 percent downpayment, you’ll also be paying for a private mortgage insurance policy. Generally the price of these policies is based on a combination of your credit score and the terms of your mortgage. MGIC has a handy matrix here that can help you figure out what you’ll be paying. Some lenders may offer you an option to pay part of the policy upfront and the balance monthly, or they may offer to pay it for you in exchange for a higher interest rate.

Mortgage Insurance Premium. Mortgage Insurance Premium (yes, it’s really called that) is the insurance program that all homes purchased or refinanced using an FHA loan with less than 80 percent loan to value require to secure the note. While having MIP means you’ll be able to take advantage of FHA mortgage benefits like lower qualifying scores and those 3.5 percent downpayments, you do so with one big disadvantage.

Unless you bring a downpayment of at least 10 percent to the closing table, your mortgage insurance will stick around as long as the loan does. That means if you pay your mortgage off in 25 or 30 years, you’ll still be making MIP payments, too, even though you long ago built a pad of more than 20 percent equity in your home (more on this later). Oh, and MIP is a split premium, meaning you’ll pay an upfront fee plus a monthly fee.

VA Funding Fees. Although you don’t pay it monthly and it’s not called “mortgage insurance,” the VA funding fee functions in the same way as other mortgage insurance programs. It protects the lender, allowing them to make more loans to more military vets. The funding fee itself is highly variable based on a whole matrix of qualifiers, but at least it’s a one-time fee that you can wrap into your mortgage.

Saying Goodbye to Mortgage Insurance

When you get a conventional loan, you don’t have a lot to worry about when it comes to mortgage insurance. Just make all your payments on time and occasionally check your bills to see just how much equity you’ve managed to earn. Once your home has at least 22 percent of its value paid down (based on the appraisal made when the loan in question was acquired, or a fresh appraisal that you’ve paid for on speculation), making your loan to value 78 percent, mortgage insurance should drop right off. This is the most common situation homeowners with conventional loans find themselves in.

However, conventional mortgage insurance may also be cancelled once you’ve reached an 80 percent loan to value if you ask for it specifically and have a good payment history with no late pays in the last year. If you’re still paying mortgage insurance by the time you’ve reached the midway point of your loan, you can request the MI be dropped — this might happen if you’ve had a mortgage with a very high interest rate, for example.

When it comes to FHA loans, unless yours was made prior to June 3, 2013 or you had a 10 percent downpayment (as mentioned above), you can’t get rid of your MIP and keep your mortgage. This is a distressing thought for a lot of borrowers, but many end up selling before it really becomes an issue. Those that don’t still have the option of refinancing, with some notes eligible for the low-pain FHA streamline programs.

Ready to Find the Mortgage That’s Perfect for Your Purchase or Refinance?

Whether you’re trying to get rid of your mortgage insurance payment or you want to buy your first home, it’s time to check in with your HomeKeepr family. Through high quality professional referrals from people like your own real estate agent, you’ll meet the best mortgage lenders and brokers in your area. Why wait? Check in to the community to get started.