Northwest Living

Tag Archives: Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices

$9.8M Oceanfront Blakely Island Paradise

Island paradise with 4 housing structures offering a combined 5,690 SQFT,                           5 Bedrooms and 5.75 Baths on this 2.24 acre coastline property 




Sit on the deck built around mature trees while watching Orcas play, sipping on your morning coffee. One of the 4 structures is the open floor-plan concept beach house that hugs the San Juan Islands coastline.

Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Northwest Real Estate broker Monica Ulmer says, “You can’t even build this close to the water anymore, you won’t find this anywhere else on the nearby islands.”



What’s a beach house without a floor to ceiling granite steam room? Spend the evening at a honey onyx bar, custom made in Seattle with a glass of wine from your 2,500-bottle wine cellar. Open the surrounding accordion glass walls to the stunning 180-degree views of the West with a sea-breeze.




Sand pails wont be the only beach toys you’ll be playing with! This property is considered four-in-one, you get to keep the ATV, Jeep Wrangler, and Ford pickup truck as well as the equipment in the airplane hangar.

This home comes fully furnished with artwork and dream-like sculptures and water features that play off the movement of the Puget Sound.



The estate features 4 housing structures with 400+ft of waterfront, all on a private 2.24 acres of pacific northwest paradise. See more photos on Monica’s website and let the pictures speak for themselves.

Contact Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Northwest Real Estate

Agents Monica Ulmer at 206-619-6173 and Paul Poirier at 206-915-6881.



Lease-Own Option provides Path to Home Ownership

IMG_0184Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Northwest Real Estate broker, Jeff Kuhns, was the first agent in the company to close a home with Home Partners of America using the Lease-With-A-Right-To-Purchase Program.

His clients chose this program as a stepping stone in their home buying process. They are now happily living in their new Bonney Lake home. Jeff was quoted as saying, “Working with Home Partners was GREAT! They were so friendly every step of the way.”

Home Partners aims to provide “a new path to homeownership” for those who can’t obtain a mortgage. The real estate investment company started offering a lease with purchase option program in November 2012.

Through the program, qualified applicants work with brokers, like Jeff Kuhns, to find a house they would like to buy. The house must also meet minimum investment criteria. Home Partners then buys the house, in cash, and leases it to the resident with an option to purchase at a set price. About 53 percent of the people who fill out the online pre-application are ultimately approved to participate in the program.

The applicant then agrees to a one-year lease and has to come up with a security deposit equal to two months rent. The resident can get financing to buy the home at a 5 percent premium over the initial cost of the home. Home Partners returns the security deposit, which can be used to help with a down payment.

The resident can also choose to continue to lease on a yearly basis, with rent increasing 3.75 percent a year, for up to five years.

Likewise, the purchase price increases 5 percent annually for up to five years.

The resident also can decide not to buy the house. In this case, the security deposit would be returned minus any expenses for repairs.

Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Northwest Real Estate is excited to be a part of this new path toward home ownership. Call us today to learn more and to see if you qualify.




Way to go Jeff!

Carrie Foley Appointed Again to BHHS REthink Council


Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices announced members to its REthink Council, a national group of 15 top-producing, motivated young agents from Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices brokerages around the country.

Carrie FoleyCarrie Foley of our Lynnwood office, will once again serve on the council. Members from across the nation were selected based on their outstanding professional achievements and contribution to their communities and offices, each member an exemplary agent or broker with proven integrity, business acumen and drive. Carrie will continue to enhance the Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices network, provide feedback to network leadership and benefit other professionals in the industry.

“We are extremely proud to have Carrie represent our company and the REthink Council,” said Mike Gain, CEO, Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Northwest Real Estate. “The REthink Council is an important program to help us better serve a large and emerging generation of home buyers and sellers, and Carries perspective and experience will be valuable in the process.”

Carrie said, “I am honored to have this opportunity to represent Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Northwest on the National REthink Council. It is an amazing experience to be on a council surrounded by the nation’s ‘best in class’ in the real estate business. I look forward to using our collective knowledge and passion for real estate to help others succeed in making 2015 the best year yet.”

The REthink Council launched in December of 2013.  Since its inception, REthink has expanded to include local chapters across the U.S., a blog, REthink Report, and a growing Facebook and Twitter presence.

“The REthink Council is a bridge we’re building across generations,” said Stephen Phillips, president of Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices. “This initiative connects young agents with colleagues from other generations and helps Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices provide quality service for consumers of all ages.”

RUN OR DYE: Lynnwood Shows Its Colors!

Run or Dye

Run or Dye

Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Northwest Real Estate Lynnwood Branch is getting ready to show its colors! Will you be there too?


Run or Dye, the world’s most colorful 5K, is headed to downtown Lake Stevens on July 12!  Bring all your friends and run a color-blasted 5K, where you get showered in safe, eco-friendly, plant-based cornstarch dye every kilometer.  Then enjoy our world-famouse Dye Festival afterward, where you can Tie-Dye the Sky in this ultimate celebration of life friendship, fitness and fun.

Register as a team (4 or more people) or as an individual.



FIRST RULE: Don’t worry – be happy! Run or Dye is for everyone. No need to worry about if you are too fast, too slow, too old, too young, or too sexy! Just come experience the magic of the most colorful 5K this world has to offer!

SECOND RULE: You are your own canvas! Wearing all white may show off the color–or get Costume-Crazy wearing that old wedding dress, 80’s leg warmers, or those snakeskin pajamas. See you at the starting line!

LAST RULE: Get ready to DYE and go to Heaven! The Dye Zone is where the magic happens! Our Color Crew is specially trained to administer Random Acts of Color with total efficiency. (HINT: We also love subliminal messages, such as: begging and pleading, striking that pose that makes us all uncomfortable, or dancing like a maniac. These are all code for “HIT ME WITH COLOR!”



Gold Stevie “2014 Startup of the Year” Award


Congratulations Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices! Gold Stevie American Business Award: “2014 Startup of the Year”

The Stevies

Warren Buffett’s new real estate franchise, Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices, was recognized with a Gold Stevie Award in the Startup of the Year category of the 12th annual American Business Awards presented on June 13 in Chicago.

American Business Awards are the nation’s premier business awards program. All organizations operating in the U.S. are eligible to submit nominations – public and private, for-profit and non-profit, large and small. The awards drew more than 3,300 nominations in a wide range of categories; 240 executives worldwide participated in the judging. Startup of the Year category judging considered entrants from across U.S. industries.

“We are pleased and honored to accept the Gold Stevie Award in the Startup of the Year category,” said Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices President Stephen Phillips, who attended the ceremonies at the Fairmont Chicago Millennium Park Hotel. “Our real estate brokerage network has come a long way in a short period of time.”

Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices has grown exponentially since it transitioned its first affiliates in September 2013.  As of mid-June, the network counted more than 29,000 agents and 850 offices operating in 42 states. “Our network carries the name of Berkshire Hathaway Inc., one of the world’s most trusted and respected corporations,” said Phillips. “When you have a really great brand, strong and passionate affiliates and a lot of hard-working people on your team, wonderful things can happen.”

Puget Sound-based Prudential Northwest became the ninth brokerage to make the transition to the Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices brand in November 2013.

“It just keeps getting better!” exclaimed Mike Gain, president and CEO of Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Northwest Real Estate. “The stronger the brand, the greater the bond and this just proves what we already knew: there is no better brand in real estate than that of Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices!”

Stevie Awards are conferred in five programs: The American Business Awards, The International Business Awards, the Asia-Pacific Stevie Awards, the Stevie Awards for Women in Business, and the Stevie Awards for Sales & Customer Service. A sixth program, the German Stevie Awards, will debut later this year. Honoring organizations of all types and sizes and the people behind them, the Stevies recognize outstanding performances in the workplace worldwide. Learn more about the Stevie Awards at


A Word From Mike Gain


By Mike Gain, President and CEO Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices

Prices Rising

Seattle is the fastest growing big city in the U.S.  We’ve come a long way from the, Will the last person leaving Seattle—Turn out the lights, of the early 70’s. Last year Seattle grew faster than any other major American city according to estimates just released by the Census Bureau. Seattle grew by 2.8%—the highest rate among the 50 most populous U.S. Cities. Seattle added nearly 18,000 residents in a one year period, bringing our population to 652,000. So what’s the reason for Seattle’s population boom? The Census Bureau offers no explanation, but surely the city’s healthy economy is responsible for attracting new residents. According to Seattle’s Office of Economic Development, the city added nearly 15,000 new jobs between 2012 and 2013.  The new census data also shows the Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue metropolitan area added 57,000 people and remains the nation’s 15th largest metro area, with 3.61 million residents. The State of Washington’s population grew by 76,000 and is now estimated at 6.97 million.


A growing economy, pent up demand, competitive mortgage rates and affordable home prices will keep housing on an upward trajectory. Consumer confidence is back to pre-recession levels and they are becoming increasingly positive over their perception of the real estate market. RISMedia’s recent survey shows 77% of respondents had a favorable view of the housing market, a 12 point increase compared to a year earlier. Millennials were the most optimistic group, with 85% feeling confident about buying real estate. This is a particularly good sign as it shows first-time buyers and younger buyers and sellers are thinking about moving this summer. Results of the survey also showed a 6% increase of people becoming more committed towards buying or selling property now. The real estate market is improving every day. It’s time for buyers and sellers to get off the sidelines.


Locally, our home prices continue their upward climb and the trend is expected to persist. The only actual problem we are experiencing in real estate in the greater Seattle marketplace is lack of inventory. We just don’t have enough supply of homes for sale in the desirable neighborhoods to satisfy the demand. We desperately need good quality inventory. Although our number of active listings increased in May, it is just not the right inventory, at the right prices and locations, to satisfy our purchasers’ wants and needs. We have a less than a two-month supply of housing. A normal or healthy supply locally is a five to six month supply. We are experiencing more multiple offer situations than I have experienced in all of my 37 years of practicing real estate in this marketplace. For every purchaser that gets a home, we have many that lose out. This is a very difficult market for purchasers, our agents, and our brokers, to work in. If we had enough inventory to handle the demand, our pending and sold numbers would be greatly increased. We can only sell what is available and it must satisfy our purchasers’ desires.


There are many reasons potential sellers should consider selling now. Locally the summer selling season can be the busiest time of the year. This year, with the lack of inventory, it is probably the best market sellers will ever experience. There is less competition now so sellers should not wait to put their homes on the market. Interest rates are still very low and will continue to rise. Now is a great time for move-up sellers/buyers who can sell their home quickly today and secure another home at today’s prices and at today’s low interest rates.


The majority of homeowners have experienced significant gains in their equity over the past two years. They should now consider putting them on the market. Sellers who took their homes off the market in the down-turn can now get the prices they were wanting when they made their decisions to rent out rather than sell. The prices are back.


Renters should buy now. Locally, homeownership remains cheaper than renting in most situations. Typically the mortgage payment will be less than the rent payment on similar properties. Homeownership is a self-imposed savings plan, which through time, leads to greater wealth accumulation as compared to similar renters. It creates extra wealth mainly through its ability to force owners to save and the appreciation that is usually experienced. In short, buying a home just makes sense. Looking at the financial advantages of homeownership from every angle reveals that it is a much better investment than renting.



Brand Power!


Stephen Phillips

February 13, 2014

By Stephen Phillips

As the first-ever post in REthink Report, let’s begin where it all starts for us at Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices—the brand.

In an increasingly competitive business world, we are all searching for a sustainable competitive advantage, but it’s very difficult to find, especially the “sustainable” part. A competitive advantage might be identified, but how long can it be sustained, and at what cost?

The great promise of competitive advantage in the real estate industry over the past 15 years has been technology. The theory: Create a new, online capability and the buyers and sellers of the world will beat a path to your door. But what happens when your toughest competitor adopts very similar technology almost as soon as you do? The once-promising advantage becomes anything but sustainable. And the barriers to technology development, which have never been high, are lowering all the time. In a nutshell, technology is an arms race; it’s a battle that must be fought, but can’t be won.

So where do we look for the elusive sustainable competitive advantage? At Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices, the answer to that question is easy: We look to our brand. The brand is our network’s shared identity and shared image in the marketplace. It is the foremost component of our value proposition. Like all brands, ours is a promise … a promise of strength, integrity and trust in the buying and selling of real estate. And unlike technology or patented processes, our brand can’t be copied and doesn’t expire; it’s ours and it goes on indefinitely.

The essence of any brand is consistency, or meeting the promise day after day. It’s the same with a lot of things in life. A breakfast cereal must be the same each time a buyer tastes it; a pair of jeans must fit the same way every time someone tries it on. The experience customers have with us and our affiliates must be absolutely dependable. Their experience must always be consistent with the brand promise.

We feel honored and privileged to have the Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices brand. Our brand means something very positive and powerful to consumers across the country, and with each yard sign placed or each business card handed out, it becomes better recognized and more highly respected every day. So when you think about how you are going to be competitive in the real estate industry of the future, lean on our brand. It’s the perfect sustainable competitive advantage.

STEPHEN PHILLIPS is COO for HSF Affiliates LLC, responsible for the daily operations of the company. He also serves as president of Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices. Find him on Twitter@SPhillipsBHHS.

Brand Power

Welcome To Our New Gig Harbor Office!

Watch Us Grow!Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Northwest Real Estate has acquired the Gig Harbor office of Prudential Northwest Real Estate!

Gig Harbor

This office, with it’s established team of Top Real Estate Brokers,  including Russell Tanner, Michael Drake, Kay Bickford, and Tim Benz, is the premiere real estate company located in Gig Harbor and servicing Pierce and Kitsap Counties, specifically Tacoma, Gig Harbor, Port Orchard, Bremerton, Silverdale, Belfair, Poulsbo and many communities beyond.

The office building is strategically located at:
5727 Baker Way, Suite 101, Gig Harbor WA 98332
(253) 851-9199

Please welcome them into our growing family as they proudly transition to become Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Northwest Real Estate.

Now Hiring…If you are interested in learning more about joining our team, please contact us or visit us online at

Gig Harbor3Gig Harbor2Gig Harbor1Gig Harbor




Real Estate Agency Brand of the Year


Congratulations Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices! Harris Poll Real Estate Agency Brand of the Year 2014

Harris Poll

Warren Buffett’s new real estate franchise, Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices, has the strongest brand equity of all the real estate brands in the industry according to Harris Poll EquiTrend(R) 2014 Rankings.

The 2014 consumer survey ranked brands in dozens of industries by how powerfully consumers connect with them based on a survey of more 41,000 Americans.

Using a “pure ranking”  sample of real estate brands, Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices ranked the highest “equity score” among real estate brands in the Harris Poll survey.

Puget Sound-based Prudential Northwest became the tenth brokerage to make the transition to the Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices brand in November 2013 and more than 70 brokerages have committed to the network to date. Pretty exciting for a brand less than six months old to dominate such a prestigious poll!

“It just keeps getting better!” exclaimed Mike Gain, president and CEO of Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Northwest Real Estate. “The stronger the brand, the greater the bond and this just proves what we already knew: there is no better brand in real estate than that of Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices!”

Brands that fell below average in the real estate category were (in alphabetical order: Coldwell Banker Real Estate, ERA Real Estate, RE/MAX, Sotheby’s International Realty and Weichert Realtors.