Ashley Wigren

Snohomish County Real Estate & More

Tag: local

Why You Need Loan Pre Approval

The Story:

Recently I received a request to show a home to a new client. She was referred to me from a past client of mine. She had been looking online at homes for quite some time and saw one she loved and wanted to see the inside and submit an offer.  The very first thing I asked was if she was pre approved and who her lender was. This buyer was not pre approved. She said she knew what price range she could afford from doing an online mortgage calculator. I explained that I could show her the house, but that she needed to talk to a lender immediately and get pre approved first. I gave her a referral of a lender that I trusted . She contacted him and applied online. Three days later I showed her the house and we submitted an offer.

Moral of the Story:

You have to be pre approved prior to looking at houses. I do not think any good realtor would show a buyer a home until they were pre approved.

I have pre approval discussions with clients all of the time so I thought it was time to put some information into one place so buyers understand why. If you have any questions just comment below and I will reply!




Potentially Sets the Buyer up for Disappointment

What if the relator showed the buyer a house that ended up being way out of their price range? Now that buyer is going to compare every other home that they view, that is in their price range, to the first one the realtor showed them that was out of their price range.



Find Issues or Mistakes with Your Credit Report

Getting pre approved means that your lender looks at your credit history. What if something shows up that is inaccurate? Or what if something shows up that you had no idea about? For example, I had a client learn in the pre approval process that their ex spouse did not pay the mortgage as ordered in the divorce.  The wife’s credit report showed it as a default on her and she was not able to obtain a loan. She had no idea!!!  I have also had clients find issues of identity theft in their report. It is better to get all of these issues resolved prior to finding a home. Not only will it save the buyer time it will also save the buyer money.  There is no point in paying for an inspection, or possibly appraisal,  on a house that you cannot buy.



Purchase Price

This one is pretty obvious but it is very important that the realtor knows the amount the buyer is approved for. A buyer should not be looking at houses that are $400,000 when they are only approved for up to $350,000. Also, very important to note just because the buyer is pre approved for $400,000 does not mean the buyer should spend that much. The lender can tell the buyer how much their payment would be at different price points.  A buyer needs to be in a position where they can budget for the new expenses that come with homeownership. A buyer also needs to be make sure that can still afford to do the things they enjoy.  There is no sense in buying a home that you cannot afford to furnish or replace a water heater if it goes out.




Type of Loan

The type of loan that the buyer qualifies for or chooses to use, will play an important part of being able to purchase a home. Some homes will not qualify for an FHA home loan. Some homes are cash only. What if the buyer is eligible for a conventional loan but they can keep more cash on hand if they go FHA? The only way the buyer will know this is if they are preapproved. This will also make a big difference in how the realtor writes you offer which I talk about in closing costs portion below.



Down Payment Amount

Differnet loan types require different down payment amounts. Is the buyer going conventional with 20% down? Is the buyer going FHA with a down payment assistance program? How much cash total does the buyer have to go towards the entire home purchase? There are also closing costs that need to be paid in cash that the buyer needs to consider. Say for example you have a house you like that is $300,000. 20% down is $60,000. Then closing costs can be around 3% of purchase price so that could be $9,000. So you would need $69,000 cash to use a conventional loan.  But if you go FHA you would only need 3% downpayment which would be $9,000. Then closing costs could be around 3%  of purchase price  which is also $9,000. So you are looking at $18,000 cash to close. Same house, same price. But a big difference in cash you will need to close. Remember, sellers cannot assist buyers with down payment. Sellers can however assist with closing costs. See closing costs section.



Closing Costs

Typically closing costs are around 3% of a purchase price. This can vary, that is why a buyer needs to talk to a lender to find out how much they are. A buyer can ask the seller to contribute money towards closing costs. This is called a seller concession. So lets take a look at how that would work using a the above example. Lets say the house is $300,000 and you have to pay $9,000 in closing costs. You have decided to offer full price.  When you submit your offer you could do this two ways.

  1. You can offer purchase price of $300,000 with seller paying nothing towards closing costs.
  2. Or you can offer purchase price of $309,000 with the seller paying $9,000 towards closing costs.

Both scenarios net the seller  full price, $300,0000. So why would you want the seller to pay all of the closing costs. It can be helpful  for a buyer to keep as much cash as they can. Maybe they want to buy furniture for the new home. Maybe they want to replace the carpet. Maybe they want to paint their new home. Rolling the closing costs into the purchase price can be very helpful! The lender can tell the buyer how much that will increase their monthly payment. It may only  increase your mortgage $20 extra every month to go from $300,000 to $309,000.



Closing Timeline

A good realtor will talk to your lender about closing timeline prior to submitting an offer. Some loans can close in 20 days. Other loans need 45 days to close. This is important when it comes to presenting the offer. If the house is vacant the sellers may desire a quick close, and 20 days would be ideal. Now lets say that the house is owner occupied and they prefer a longer close like 45 days so they can start looking for their new home and move everything out. Those owners would not care if your lender cuddle close in 20 days. Buyers also do not want to put 20 days into the offer,  only to find out later that the lender needs another 10 days to close the loan. The seller may only agree to an extension  if the buyer pays additional costs and fees.




There are many reasons why buyers need to be pre approved before viewing homes & submitting offers. Hopefully this post will help buyers understand why pre approval is important.The purpose of my blog is to provide my clients with useful information. I firmly believe the more that I can inform my clients the better!


Make Your Home Your Sanctuary

With the arrival of the holiday season our schedules can become overloaded. There just never seems to be enough hours in the day. With that in mind, I wanted to create a blog about how we can make our home our sanctuary. So that when we do finally arrive home from  work, a party, a meeting,  we can relax and really just let the day go. As I was writing this blog and researching ideas, I kept coming back to a blog I had read on After some time, and a few drafts,  I realized that rather than creating my own list, this blog was perfect to share and had many more ideas than I had thought of. So please check out the full article written by Jessica featured on by clicking here. 


Here are just some of a few of the ideas presented in the article:

  • Flowers are incredibly soothing both visually and aromatically.
  • White candles add an air of calm and relaxation. Do stay away from the fragrant ones as they can often be overwhelmingly strong.
  • Lighting is so very important. Natural sunlight does wonders to one’s spirit.
  • Remove clutter. Clutter is distracting and immediately instills a sense of chaos and disorderliness.
  • Surround yourself with books and throw pillows and blankets.
  • Hardwood floors and soft area rugs can tie in furniture to help create a focal point and unity. Layering soft textures can create this effect as can fireplaces.



Take some time to sit back, relax & enjoy the holiday season.

May & June Local Events in Snohomish County

What should we do? Where should we go? Whats going on tonight? We have all had these conversations with friends and family. And we usually fall into our typical routines and end up in the same places. I wanted to give people some ideas of things that are happening locally that are worth checking out! I encourage you to attend at least one of these during May and June to see what is happening in our community!




Do I need to say more!? Check out a yoga class by Carly Hayden followed by a mimosa on select Saturdays May through June at the Bluewater Distillery in Everett. If you go,  please let me know and we can go together! Classes are from 10:00am-11:30am on:

Saturday May 14th
Saturday May 28th
Saturday June 11th
Saturday June 25th


Saturday May 21st 11:30am-6:00PM the food truck will set up for the Fishermans Music Festival by the beer garden on Colby. Follow Live In Everett on Facebook for more happenings around Everett!


The weekend of May 20th – May 22nd, check out bands that are playing at the Historic Everett Theatre, Tony V’s, and the Anchor. You can purchase a wristband online by clicking here. The best is you PAY WHAT YOU CAN. You can get a free wristband, a $50 wristband,or  any amount whatever you can afford. You pick your wristband up at will call. The wrist band is good for the ENTIRE weekend. Below is the schedule calendar. You can check out the website by clicking here.


Downtown Snohomish on Sunday May 15th. This is so much fun! If you want to participate you can ride in and register from 9:00am-12:00pm.  If you don’t ride show up at 1:00 and have fun. There are vendors and you can also check out all the shops! For more info click here.


Starting May 11th every Thursday at  the Opera House In Marysville from 5:30-7:30. Local blues bands and local beer!! I am super excited to check this place out. They just renovated the Opera House and have a lot going on every week! The Everett Herald wrote an article recently and you can read it here.


Celebrating the release of the new Star Trek moving coming out this July, the Historic Everett Theatre is showing all of the StarTrek Movies for FREE. They start at 7:30PM.


May 28th at 7:00 PM Drinks with the Director of “Reservations” at the Historic Everett Theatre. $10 suggested donation. Check out more information here .



June 11th at 7:00PM at the Historic Everett Theatre. Tickets are $15 online or $20 at the door. Purchase tickets by clicking here.


Thursdays & Saturdays 6:30-8:30 starting June 23rd at Port Gardner Landing. Enjoy live music from a lawn chair, blanket or on the patio at Lombardis. You can bring a picnic if you like! There is also a cash only Marina Beer Garden. To see the line up and for more info click here.


The Edmonds Waterfront Festival is June 3rd, 4th and 5th. Check out live entertainment, beer & wine gardens, food, arts & crafts, and much more. Check out more info here.


Sunsets in Snohomish Wine Walk is on June 11th at 4:30. You go to each shop and get a tasting of wine. You can bring your own glass or buy one there. This will sell out so buy your tickets now by clicking here.


June 10-12, 2016 Legion Memorial Park in Everett. Sorticulture is basically a huge farmers market for gardeners! This year they have introduced the “Attended package pick-up”. You can  leave your purchases safe with Housing Hope and return to the park with your car to get your goods! Check out more info here.
June 10, Friday – 10 am to 8 pm
June 11, Saturday – 10 am to 6 pm
June 12, Sunday – 10 am to 4 pm


June 25th 8:00am-1:00PM at Craven Farm 13817 Shorts School Road in Snohomish. From the site “Dealers with pick-ups and vans full of antiques line the field of Craven Farm. Pre-60’s antiques of all kinds and descriptions will be for sale. This sale is a true treasure hunt and a thrill for those with the love of “old stuff”. ” Check out more info here.

There is so much to do in our community so lets support each other and have fun doing it! We live in a beautiful place that has a lot to offer. If you attend once of these events, I would love your feedback! Stay tuned for an upcoming post featuring events in July & August!

Farmers Markets Around Snohomish County

With the Springtime in full swing getting outside is what we all need in the Pacifc Northwest. In Snohomish Couty we are lucky to have many farmers markets in the area to choose from. So get out, buy fresh, buy local and help support our communities one meal at a time!


Mukilteo Farmers MarketOld Town Mukilteo near the Ferry at Lighthouse Park

Wednesdays, 3pm until 7pm, June 3rd – September 23rd



Snohomish Farmers MarketA short walk from Historic Downtown Snohomish

Spring Market
Thursdays, 3pm until 7:00pm, May 7th – June 25th

Summer Market
Thursdays, 3pm until 7:30pm, July 3rd – Aug 20st

Fall Market
Thursdays, 3pm until Sunset, August 27th – September 24th



Bothell Farmers MarketThe Bothell Farmers Market is located at Country Village Shops.

Fridays, Noon until 6pm, June 5th – October 2nd

Everett Mall Farmers Market: Located in the Everett Mall

Fridays, 3pm until 7pm, June 12th – September 25th


Edmonds Museum Summer Market:Located in Downtown Edmonds

Garden Market
Saturdays, 9am until 2pm, May 2nd – June 13th

Full Summer Market
Saturdays, 9am until 3pm, June 20th – October 3rd

Marysville Farmers Market: Located at 1035 State Avenue

Saturdays 10am until 2pm June 27th – October 3rd



Snohomish Farmers MarketLocated at Lincoln Avenue and 3rd Street.

Sundays, 11am until 3pm, June 7th – September 27th.

Everett Farmers MarketLocated at Port Gardner Landing on West Marine View Drive.

Sundays, 11am until 4pm, May 10th – October 18th




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