What’s a Reverse Mortgage?

“What goes up must come down,” so goes the saying. And, to that end, what goes forward must also go in reverse. Turns out the same also applies to mortgages, sort of. Except, instead of being a direct inverse from a “forward” mortgage, reverse mortgages are kind of their own special thing.

If you don’t read beyond this opening section, just remember that the big takeaway here is going to be that some reverse mortgages are good, some are bad and you need to always, always read the paperwork before signing on the dotted line. This goes doubly if your parents are considering a reverse mortgage and you’re going to be helping them deal with their finances as they age.

Reverse Mortgages and Their Bad Reputation

When reverse mortgages were first becoming fairly popular, banks willing to make the loans proliferated. And so did con artists who took advantage of an aging population made of people who were often desperate to hold on to their homes or simply were medically incapable of understanding the consequences of the monthly payment they’d receive.

This was good for no one but the scammers.

That’s why a whole lot of legislation has been written to remedy these kinds of situations. Now, if you or your parents are worried that a reverse mortgage offer might be a scam, you can opt for an FHA reverse mortgage. It’s easy to verify that an FHA lender is legit, where it may be less clear if certain brokers are on the up and up. You may get a better deal with a non-FHA reverse mortgage, but they provide confidence that you’re on the right path and that’s worth something, too.

How Do Reverse Mortgages Work?

Reverse mortgages are designed to help people who are retirement age afford to stay in their homes longer. Generally, this means that mortgage payments stop and there might even be some form of payment to the homeowner. So, if your grandmother shows up to the next family gathering in a brand new convertible roadster, it might be a good idea to ask her about the terms of her reverse mortgage. Some are genuinely helpful and decent; others are not so much.

The good part is that reverse mortgages are now heavily regulated by the government, so it’s much harder for scammers to take advantage of older people who may be having money problems already.

They don’t require a credit pull or even decent credit. You just need a home that’s free and clear, or has a significant amount of equity, and be 62 or older. You’ll pay some fees upfront and be required to complete HUD-approved counseling (you will pay a fee for this, too) that will help you determine if you’re really a good fit for a reverse mortgage.

If you happen to die while you still own the house, your heirs have the option to redeem it from the reverse mortgage lender by paying off the borrowed amount in full. Usually this is achieved with another “forward” mortgage.

Reverse Mortgage Payment Options

One of the best things about a reverse mortgage is the money that comes back into the pocket of the borrower. You or your parents can choose how that money is distributed, too. Essentially, you have three options: taking a lump sum, taking a monthly payment or using it as a line of credit. There are also ways to mix and match these, so you might take a percentage as a lump sum for that flashy convertible and the rest as a line of credit to use as you need to fill up on gas.

For a lot of seniors, a reverse mortgage will allow them to age in place without fear of losing their home (provided they keep up with the taxes and insurance). This can be a great option as long as the source of the funds is fully vetted, all the paperwork is in order and read from top to bottom and they have a plan to make the money last as long as possible.

Liz Johnson  |  Liz@LizKeepsItReal.com  |  253.670.0357

Liz Johnson  |  Liz@LizKeepsItReal.com  |  253.670.0357

5 Things to Consider When Planning a Family Picture Wall

One of the best parts of owning your own home is that you can do pretty much whatever you want when it comes to hanging things on the wall. No landlord will charge you $5 per hole you poke through the sheetrock. It’s kind of nice. You can let your creative side have a heyday with a hammer and a bunch of nails.

For a lot of families, putting a family picture wall together is a high priority in their new homes. It can be a fun project that can be the very first of many happy memories in the new place.

Planning Your Picture Wall

If you hop on Pinterest and search for “family picture wall,” you’re going to find an overwhelming number of ways to put one of these together. There’s no one way to do a family picture wall, since every family is different. There are lots of things to consider while you’re planning your wall, though.

Don’t just start hanging pictures willy-nilly. Do some real prep work to ensure that your wall turns out as special as what you have envisioned rather than yet another #PinterestFail. These tips should help:

Pick a theme. You need something concrete to get you started in the planning stage. Choosing a theme can be a good place to start, since it’ll inform your image choices as you go through your Google Drive. A theme could be anything from “vacation photos” to “photos with the color blue in them.” The best photo walls have some kind of unifying theme, choose one before you get started.

Use technology to simulate your photo wall. Art.com’s iOS app gives you the capability to not just imagine what an image or set of images will look like on your wall, it actually can virtually add those photos to the wall using augmented reality. The same technology that powers Pokemon Go can help you get great results with your family picture wall.

Choosy kids choose cool frames. The frames you choose are just as important as the images. If you’re looking for something pretty unusual, scour flea markets and antique shops for old frames with unique designs. If you can’t find anything that tickles your fancy, your home improvement store’s trimwork aisle will have some really fancy trim that you can use to build your own frames!

Incorporate more than photos. Sure, it’s called a “family picture wall,” but who says you have to stop there? Memorabilia from favorite spots, items that reflect interests and hobbies, even accolades like medals have a place on a wall like this. Just make sure that you’re using sturdy materials and secure shelves tightly to the wall to avoid long term issues.

Sometimes, fewer is better. Family picture walls can get pretty overwhelming fast. Instead of hanging every photo you’ve ever taken of your kids, pick the two best from now and the two best from their early childhood. Capture those moments that really meant something and remember that sometimes less is way more. Besides, you’ll want to save some of those embarrassing pictures for leverage later.

PRICE REDUCED $10,000!!! Make Tehaleh your home!

PRICE REDUCED $10,000!!!
Make Tehaleh your home!

Why wait for a new build when this barely lived in 5 bedroom home in Tehaleh on corner lot is ready for you to call home?! Gleaming wood floors throughout main level aside from the bedroom & 3/4 bath on main. Kitchen with huge island open to great room w/ tons of natural light. Upstairs you’ll find a huge master suite, 3 more bedrooms, laundry, bath & loft. Backyard is level & features a covered patio with gas fireplace. Walking distance to dog park plus Tehaleh features 15+ miles of trails & 11 parks.
18717 135th St E, Bonney Lake, WA 98391
MLS #1431490

Happy National Pet Day – April 11th

Carpet Cleaning 101 for Pet Owners

Keep the Carpets and the Pets…
It’s amazing how much a pet can give you just by simply existing. According to the Centers for Disease Control, owning a pet can help increase your fitness level, lower stress, help improve your health and generally make you happier. And, although not specifically mentioned by the CDC, any pet owner can add a few more contributions, like urine stains on the carpet, fur clinging to every surface and the occasional hairball (unless your pet is a fish, then all bets are off).
For owners of terrestrial animals, cleaning the carpet is going to be a necessity sooner rather than later. And doing it right means not having to do it over and over again (hopefully). Because animals tend to do their business where they’ve done it in the past, getting that particular smell out of the rug is an important art to learn if you intend to share your life with a cat or a dog.
First, About Carpets and Liquids
There’s a lot of very bad advice online about how to clean up your pet’s urine spots. You know the ones. You walk through the bedroom at night and — bam — there it is. Some random bloggers would have you put down a paper towel and then basically try to absorb the liquid by stomping it out. Unfortunately, that’s about the worst thing you can do.
Carpets are really absorbent, but much of that absorbency is down below, in the pad, which is covered up by the rug. So when you stomp on a liquid mess, what you’re really doing is spreading it further through the pad, creating an even wider puddle in a place where your flimsy paper towels can never go.
Unless you’re prepared to rip up the carpets and deal with the puddle, consider purchasing a tool that can extract fluid from rugs, like a handheld extractor, a floor cleaner with an extract-only mode or, in a pinch, a wet/dry vac (this one is harder to get smelling fresh and clean again). Any of these tools is far more effective than a paper towel — or even a whole roll.
When it comes to cleaning urine out of carpet, always follow the same procedure:
Use an extractor to pull as much fluid as possible out of the carpet and pad. Remember that the small spot on top of the carpet may be hiding a lake of urine that’s locked in the pad. Keep extracting in a wide arc until nothing else comes out.
Treat your carpet with a bio-enzymatic cleaner like Nature’s Miracle Urine Destroyer. Don’t use a carpet cleaner first or you may lock any stains in to the carpet permanently.
If a spot remains, use a stain remover to help break it up. You’ll want to be sure the enzymes have finished doing their thing, though.
Of course, liquids aren’t the only gifts your pets will leave behind. When it’s a bit more solid, you’ll want to follow similar guidelines, except when you clean the solids, use a putty knife to avoid pushing the solids deeper into the carpet. If it’s any serious kind of solid, you’ll want to swap the bio-enzymatic cleaner for one that’s also oxygenated.
So Much Hair, Everywhere
You love your pet. You do. But he has so much hair and he’s just carelessly leaving it wherever it happens to fall. This is why it comes to you to clean up behind what may be the worst roommate there has ever been. Pet hair in carpets can require a lot of effort to keep cleaned up, but if you can’t choose between the pet or the carpet, give these tips a try:
Wrap masking tape around an old paint roller attached to a broom handle. You’ve literally just built a giant lint roller, now go forth and roll all the hair off the surface of the carpet. You’ll still need to vacuum afterward, but you might not have to empty the bin as often.
There’s a device called a carpet rake that is basically what you might imagine.Choose one with rubber bristles, like this one, then run it over the carpet collecting hair until you regret having purchased a carpet rake.
Choosing a high powered, pet-focused vacuum with a HEPA filter is probably the best general purpose tool you can get for dealing with hair in carpet. You’ll need to vacuum frequently, as much as three times a week, to keep ahead of your favorite hairball.
Ultimately, many pet owners decide that they spend way too much time cleaning up after their pets instead of interacting with them and install hard flooring. Sure, the dog hair may start piling up in the corners and behind the doors, but those ten hours a week you could be spending with him rather than cleaning up after him are a pretty important part of his short life.



Saturday, April 6th from 12pm-3pm

📍 18818 135th St Ct E, Bonney Lake 
💰 $410,000
🚪 2,032 sq ft
🛏 3 bedrooms
🛁 2.5 bathrooms
🚙 2 car garage
📝 Fully fenced backyard
🌲 3,955 sf lot
MLS #1431309
Contact Us If You Would Like To View This Home Or Have Any Questions


🏠Open House in Tehaleh🏠
📝Saturday, April 6th 1pm-4pm📝 

📍 18717 135th St E, Bonney Lake, WA
💰 $534,950
🚪 2,709 sq ft
🛏 5 bedrooms
🛁 2.5 bathrooms
🚙 2 car garage
📝 Fully Fenced Backyard
🌲 6,107 sf lot
MLS # 1431490

Contact Us If You Would Like To View This Home Or Have Any Questions.


Bonney Lake April Events

Kids’ Easter Egg Hunt

Saturday, April 20, 2019
11:00 a.m.
Allan Yorke Park, 7302 West Tapps Hwy, Bonney Lake

This event is FREE!
Bring your baskets to The City of Bonney Lake community Easter Egg Hunt. The hunt begins promptly at 11:00am at Allan Yorke Park, rain or shine.

Children ages 1-11 are welcome. Bring your camera for free pictures with the Easter Bunny!
Don’t be late – once the gun goes off, it’s over in a matter of minutes!

Haulin’ Eggs 5k Fun Run

April 20, 2019 –
Allan Yorke Park, 19501 Bonney Lake Blvd. E., Bonney Lake, WA 98391

The Haulin’ Eggs 5k Fun Run is a hilly course where you literally haul eggs as you run!  During this unofficially timed 5k event, participants will collect one egg at each kilometer; each egg corresponds to a goodie at the end of the race. The 5th, and final egg will be an egg shaped finisher prize.

Awards will be given to the overall first place male and female finisher. After the race, join us for the family Easter Egg hunt through Allan Yorke Park!

For more information visit the City Facebook event page or register online at https://www.raceentry.com/races/hauling-eggs/2019/register

Adult Flashlight Egg Hunt*

Sumner/Bonney Lake Recreation

Date: April 20 2019
Location: Bonney Lake High School
Line up starts at 8:00 p.m.
$5.00 per person – 18 and older only (children not allowed) 

The annual Adult Flashlight Egg Hunt event is sponsored by the Sumner/Bonney Lake Recreation Program. For more information visit www.sumnersd.org > For Families > Recreation, or call (253) 891-6500.

Spring Clean Up Week – DM Disposal

Week of April 29, 2019 – Free Pickup
April 27, 2019 – Shredding & Recycling Event

During Spring Clean Up Week the City’s solid waste company, DM Disposal, will pick up extra garbage, recycling and/or yard waste and one appliance at no additional charge for customers inside the Bonney Lake city limits. For more information call DM Disposal directly at (253) 414-0347.

In addition, a FREE SHREDDING and RECYCLING EVENT will be available on Saturday, April 27th as part of Spring Clean Up Week, in conjunction with Parks Appreciation Day events. See details below.

Clean Up Week Details & Requirements

  • Extra Garbage/Yard Waste
    • For DM customers inside the city limits of Bonney Lake only. Does not include Murrey’s Disposal customers in unincorporated Pierce County.
    • Curbside pick-up only (no alley access).
    • Up to 3 extra cans/bags of garbage and/or yard waste.
    • Additional cans/bags must weigh no more than 45 lbs when full.
    • Extra cans or bags of garbage or yard waste should be placed for curb-side pick up by 7:00 am on your regular garbage pick up day.  
  • Applicance Disposal
    • For DM customers inside the city limits of Bonney Lake only. Does not include Murrey’s Disposal customers in unincorporated Pierce County.
    • One (1) appliance per household.
    • Acceptable appliances include: Refrigerators, stoves, microwaves, dishwashers, freezers, hot water heaters, washers or dryers.
    • Appliances must be placed for pickup by MONDAY morning.
  • Free Shredding & Recycling Event – April 27, 2019
    10am to Noon at Midtown Park (WSU Forest, behind Fred Meyer – 20901 SR 410) during Parks Appreciation Day
    • Shredding: Individuals are permitted to bring up to 1 file box or 2 grocery bags of documents. Do not bring stiff metal, plastic bags, DVDs or other items that will jam the shredder. For more information and tips on what to shred, visit the WA Attorney General’s website www.atg.wa.gov
    • Fluorescent Bulbs: Limit of 10 bulbs per person. All mercury-containing lights are accepted, including fluorescent, compact fluorescents (CFLs) and high intensity discharge bulbs.
    • Other Recycling Services: UpTekk Recycling will accept recycling items free of charge during this event, including electronics, computers, monitors, printers, scrap metal, household goods, batteries, etc. For more info call 206-497-9979 or visit www.uptekk.com

      A special thank you to Bonney Lake Fred Meyer for supporting this event!
Parks Appreciation logo

Parks Appreciation / Arbor Day 
& Free Shredding & Recycling Event

April 27, 2019
Location: Midtown Park (WSU Forest)
Time: 9:00 a.m. to Noon

Come join residents from all over Pierce County as we clean up our local parks! Events are scheduled all around Pierce County for Parks Appreciation Day, including in Bonney Lake! For more information see the Metro Parks website: www.metroparkstacoma.org/.

Bonney Lake volunteers meet at the Midtown Park (WSU Forest) entrance behind Fred Meyer & Regal Cinemas on the South side of SR 410 between South Prairie Rd and 214th Ave E. For more information contact Facilities & Special Projects Manager Gary Leaf or Special Events Coordinator David Wells.Free Recycling & Shredding Event
Free shredding and recycling services will be provided during Parks Appreciation Day, to cap off Spring Clean-Up Week in Bonney Lake! For more information see the Spring Clean-Up Week event, above.


Rides, Food, Animals, and
at the Washington
Spring Fair!

Spring is upon us! Come celebrate the beauty of spring at the Washington State Spring Fair April 11-14. You and your family can enjoy exciting rides, farm animal exhibits, a variety tasty fair foods, comedy, live music, and more.
Purchase tickets online by April 10 to save up to 31% on admission and rides! Get tickets on your phone. Save time and avoid the lines, purchase mobile tickets. Rides, Food & Animals. Get Tickets On Your Phone. Print Tickets At Home.
110 9th Ave SW, Puyallup, WA‎ – ‎Open today · 8:00 AM – 4:30 PM
For Tickets Click Here >>

 Military Appreciation Day:
Friday, April 12

Gate admission is FREE to all active, 
retired and reserve military and their dependents, 
plus disabled veterans with a valid military ID 
at any Fair gate all day on April 12th.

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.