Washington State’s Mortgage Loan Closing Process: An In-Depth Guide

Your offer’s been accepted, and you’re itching to sign on the dotted line and get those keys in hand.

But first, the closing process.

Closing in Washington isn’t unduly complicated, but there’s still a myriad of steps and dependencies. Some of them are specific to our state.

Below, we’ll walk you through what most Washington homebuyers can expect.

As always, your agent and lender can advise on any requirements that are unique to your property and loan terms.

1. Loan Approval and Clear-to-Close

First and foremost, your lender will dig into the last several years of your financial life. Just like you would research a company before buying its stock, so the lender needs to understand your financial position before committing to a loan.

They’ll do this with the help of an underwriter: a third party (usually) who analyzes your financial details to calculate the likelihood that you’ll repay the loan on time.

Along those lines, the lender needs confidence that the collateral—your property—is worth enough to justify the loan. That’s the main role of the appraisal. (The other role is to satisfy an appraisal contingency, but not all offers include one.)

Once everything checks out, the lender will notify you that you’re “clear to close,” meaning it’s time to proceed with the transaction.

2. Establishing Escrow

A house sale needs to satisfy dozens of conditions that come from the purchase agreement and from state laws. Some conditions are contingent upon others, and some require payment in particular amounts at particular times.

That’s a lot to keep track of, so your lender, brokerage, or title company will recommend a third-party escrow company to manage it all.

The escrow company safeguards the buyer’s and lender’s funds, monitors the requirements and contingencies of the purchase agreement, and records the deed after closing.

Note that Washington is an “escrow state,” meaning the closing process does not require an attorney. (That’s as opposed to an “attorney state” wherein—you guessed it—closing does require an attorney.)

There’s a second type of escrow account that holds funds for things like taxes and insurance. It’s a completely separate matter from the escrow we’ve discussed above. Your lender will typically manage this account and inform you of any required contributions.

3. Delivery of Closing Disclosure

After approval and at least three days before the closing date, the lender will send you a Closing Disclosure, which itemizes every cost related to the transaction.

Review it line by line, and follow up on any surprises or major variances compared to your initial Loan Estimate. Yes, it’s tedious to review, but keep in mind that any issues or inconsistencies generally can’t be adjusted after closing.

4. Final Walk-Through

You’ll have at least a day or two to walk through the property before closing. This is the time to make sure that any agreed-upon issues were fixed and no new concerns have come up.

The walk-through window is typically 24–48 hours from closing, but your agent may push for up to 5 days—especially if major repairs are involved.

5. Preparation for the Closing Meeting

Now that you’re in the home stretch, it’s time to prepare for your signing appointment.

Chiefly, you’ll need to provide funds for closing. That usually entails a cashier’s check or wire transfer, but you’ll get more specific instructions when the time comes.

You’ll also need a valid photo ID for notarization purposes.

If you’re not local, don’t worry: Washington law provides a couple of alternatives to in-person closing meetings. Common options include remote notarization, pre-signing certain documents, and power of attorney. Before making travel plans (or not), ask the title company and lender which options they offer.

6. The Closing Meeting

The closing meeting is the last milestone for most buyers. You’ll typically be accompanied by any co-signers, an escrow agent, and your real estate agent. You’ll sign a mountain of paperwork, including things like:

  • A promissory note that details the terms and obligations of your loan.
  • A deed of trust, giving the lender a lien against the property. (That’s because Washington is a “title theory state,” meaning you retain the title. In so-called “lien theory states,” the lender holds the title directly.)
  • Property tax affidavits, which attest to the sale price.

The seller and seller’s agent may join in the meeting, but Washington law lets them sign at a separate time.

7. Disbursement of Funds

With paperwork in place, it’s time to distribute funds to all the parties involved. In Washington, the escrow officer handles the entire process, including:

  • Paying off the seller’s mortgage, if applicable.
  • Covering all the fees, taxes, and miscellaneous expenses associated with the transaction.
  • Compensating both your and the seller’s real estate agents.
  • Paying the seller any net proceeds.

8. Recording the Deed

The last major step is to record the deed with the county you’ve purchased in. This formally and officially establishes you as the new owner.

In Washington, escrow agents handle this task, too.

9. Receiving the Deed and Title Insurance

Now that the transaction is final and official, you’ll receive a copy of the deed.

It’s covered by title insurance, meaning you’re protected against any unforeseen claims or liens on the property.

10. Mortgage Servicing

Congratulations: closing is complete!

All that’s left is to settle into the regular payment cycle. Your lender or their servicer (a third party who manages payments) will tell you exactly when the first payment is due.

Wrapping up

The mortgage closing process in Washington State is complex but systematic.

Your agent, lender, title company, and escrow officer know the process inside and out. Lean on them for guidance at every step of the way. Don’t hesitate to ask questions if you’re confused about what’s happening or why.

With good communication, and a heap of patience, you’ll be settled in your new home before you know it!

2023 FHA Loan Limits for Counties in Washington State

FHA loans are limited to certain amounts that reflect the type of property, its location, and the nationwide conforming loan limit.

To help you plan, we’ve compiled all the FHA limits in Washington State, followed by a quick explanation of exactly where these figures come from.

Disclaimer: We strive to keep this table up to date, but FHA loan limits can change at any time without prior notice. Before making any financial decisions, consult with a mortgage expert or refer to the HUD website for up-to-the-minute amounts.

Washington FHA Loan Limits by Country & Property Type

County Name MSA Name One-Family Two-Family Three-Family Four-Family Median Sale Price Last Revised Limit Year
Adams Othello, WA $472,030 $604,400 $730,525 $907,900 $277,000 01/01/2023 CY2023
Asotin Lewiston, ID-WA $472,030 $604,400 $730,525 $907,900 $310,000 01/01/2023 CY2023
Benton Kennewick-Richland, WA $472,030 $604,400 $730,525 $907,900 $400,000 01/01/2023 CY2023
Chelan Wenatchee, WA $506,000 $647,750 $783,000 $973,100 $440,000 01/01/2023 CY2023
Clallam Port Angeles, WA $472,030 $604,400 $730,525 $907,900 $386,000 01/01/2023 CY2023
Clark Portland-Vancouver-Hillsboro, OR-WA $672,750 $861,250 $1,041,050 $1,293,750 $585,000 01/01/2023 CY2023
Columbia Non-Metro $472,030 $604,400 $730,525 $907,900 $210,000 01/01/2023 CY2023
Cowlitz Longview, WA $472,030 $604,400 $730,525 $907,900 $364,000 01/01/2023 CY2023
Douglas Wenatchee, WA $506,000 $647,750 $783,000 $973,100 $440,000 01/01/2023 CY2023
Ferry Non-Metro $472,030 $604,400 $730,525 $907,900 $138,000 01/01/2023 CY2023
Franklin Kennewick-Richland, WA $472,030 $604,400 $730,525 $907,900 $400,000 01/01/2023 CY2023
Garfield Non-Metro $472,030 $604,400 $730,525 $907,900 $246,000 01/01/2023 CY2023
Grant Moses Lake, WA $472,030 $604,400 $730,525 $907,900 $300,000 01/01/2023 CY2023
Grays Harbor Aberdeen, WA $472,030 $604,400 $730,525 $907,900 $274,000 01/01/2023 CY2023
Island Oak Harbor, WA $575,000 $736,100 $889,800 $1,105,800 $500,000 01/01/2023 CY2023
Jefferson Non-Metro $472,030 $604,400 $730,525 $907,900 $180,000 01/01/2023 CY2023
King Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, WA $977,500 $1,251,400 $1,512,650 $1,879,850 $850,000 01/01/2023 CY2023
Kitsap Bremerton-Silverdale-Port Orchard, WA $563,500 $721,400 $872,000 $1,083,650 $490,000 01/01/2023 CY2023
Kittitas Ellensburg, WA $474,950 $608,000 $734,950 $913,350 $413,000 01/01/2023 CY2023
Klickitat Non-Metro $472,030 $604,400 $730,525 $907,900 $250,000 01/01/2023 CY2023
Lewis Centralia, WA $472,030 $604,400 $730,525 $907,900 $344,000 01/01/2023 CY2023
Lincoln Non-Metro $472,030 $604,400 $730,525 $907,900 $279,000 01/01/2023 CY2023
Mason Shelton, WA $472,030 $604,400 $730,525 $907,900 $330,000 01/01/2023 CY2023
Okanogan Non-Metro $472,030 $604,400 $730,525 $907,900 $240,000 01/01/2023 CY2023
Pacific Non-Metro $472,030 $604,400 $730,525 $907,900 $230,000 01/01/2023 CY2023
Pend Oreille Non-Metro $472,030 $604,400 $730,525 $907,900 $95,000 01/01/2023 CY2023
Pierce Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, WA $977,500 $1,251,400 $1,512,650 $1,879,850 $850,000 01/01/2023 CY2023
San Juan Non-Metro $497,950 $637,450 $770,550 $957,600 $129,000 01/01/2020 CY2023
Skagit Mount Vernon-Anacortes, WA $545,100 $697,800 $843,500 $1,048,300 $474,000 01/01/2023 CY2023
Skamania Portland-Vancouver-Hillsboro, OR-WA $672,750 $861,250 $1,041,050 $1,293,750 $585,000 01/01/2023 CY2023
Snohomish Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, WA $977,500 $1,251,400 $1,512,650 $1,879,850 $850,000 01/01/2023 CY2023
Spokane Spokane-Spokane Valley, WA $472,030 $604,400 $730,525 $907,900 $383,000 01/01/2023 CY2023
Stevens Spokane-Spokane Valley, WA $472,030 $604,400 $730,525 $907,900 $383,000 01/01/2023 CY2023
Thurston Olympia-Lacey-Tumwater, WA $546,250 $699,300 $845,300 $1,050,500 $475,000 01/01/2023 CY2023
Wahkiakum Non-Metro $472,030 $604,400 $730,525 $907,900 $290,000 01/01/2023 CY2023
Walla Walla Walla Walla, WA $472,030 $604,400 $730,525 $907,900 $394,000 01/01/2023 CY2023
Whatcom Bellingham, WA $603,750 $772,900 $934,250 $1,161,050 $525,000 01/01/2023 CY2023
Whitman Pullman, WA $472,030 $604,400 $730,525 $907,900 $372,000 01/01/2023 CY2023
Yakima Yakima, WA $472,030 $604,400 $730,525 $907,900 $310,000 01/01/2023 CY2023

Source: https://www.hud.gov/program_offices/housing/sfh/lender/origination/mortgage_limits

What Determines FHA Loan Limits?

First, the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) sets a limit for “conforming loans.” These are conventional mortgages via Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

Then, the FHA sets its nationwide “floor” and “ceiling” to 65% and 150% of the FHFA limit, respectively.

Finally, the FHA sets it loan limit to 115% of each county’s median house price, but never less than the floor nor more than the ceiling.

In other words, limits are local, but still subject to the FHFA’s absolute limit.

All the above are updated every year. In principle, Congress could also pass new laws that would change these limits at any time.

There are quite a few figures and federal agencies to keep track of, but the only number that matters is the limit for your property type in your county.

The Mountlake Terrace East Neighborhood

Mountlake Terrace East is a popular and rapidly growing neighborhood in Mountlake Terrace, Washington. As of the 2020 Census, it’s home to roughly 3,500 people.

Known for quiet streets and a secluded feel, this enclave of generally spacious homes is only half an hour’s drive north of Seattle, and within 15 minutes of picturesque downtown Edmonds and the bustling Alderwood Mall. It’s also a stone’s throw from Mountlake Terrace’s own burgeoning city center.

Homes

The roomy homes around Mountlake Terrace East fetch a moderate to high price per square foot, in keeping with other desirable spots in Snohomish County.

Owner-occupied single-family homes are the norm. Houses aren’t often for rent, although there is a large apartment complex in the neighborhood, and several more just beyond.

As you’ll find throughout Mountlake Terrace, prices are changing quickly as more people seek to settle here.

Education

The well-regarded Edmonds School District serves Mountlake Terrace East and several adjoining areas. Most local families attend Cedar Way or Terrace Park Elementary School, Brier Terrace Middle School, and Mountlake Terrace High School.

Some parents also opt for one of several private schools within about 5–10 miles of the neighborhood.

Transportation

Like most of Mountlake Terrace, Mountlake Terrace East is roughly halfway between Seattle and Everett.

The neighborhood has good freeway access, a couple miles east of I-5 and only slightly farther from SR 99. An upcoming light rail station immediately west (beside I-5) will give locals a great option to leave town—and leave their cars behind.

Recreation

Close to home, residents can enjoy the fresh air and greenery at Terrace Creek and Terrace Ridge Parks. Dozens of other parks, trails, and green spaces are also accessible within a few miles’ drive.

Seattle’s big-city amenities and Everett’s burgeoning cultural scene are both readily accessible, while outdoorsy types enjoy easy access to the Cascades via Highway 2.

Moving to Mountlake Terrace East

It’s easy to see why so many out-of-towners opt for Mountlake Terrace East, and why plenty of Mountlake Terrace locals hope to own their first house here.

If you’d like to call it home, too, then here are three tips for an easy transaction and transition.

1. Don’t be scared!

If the homebuying process seems a bit overwhelming or mystifying, you’ve got nothing to worry about. Even if it’s not your first house, it’s still normal for the whole thing to feel like…a bit much.

Remember that a big part of your agent’s job is to help you stay on top of all those moving pieces!

2. Find a local expert to guide you

Speaking of agents, it’s essential to find someone who knows Mountlake Terrace East and its vicinity like the back of their hand.

Agents who can fill out paperwork are a dime a dozen, but there’s no substitute for the street-by-street knowledge of someone who actually lives and works in the Mountlake Terrace area.

3. Talk to lenders & get pre-approved

Before doing anything else, it’s important to consult a lender and have a mortgage pre-approval in hand.

This will let you move quickly and make a successful offer—fingers crossed!—once you’ve found the ideal Mountlake Terrace East home.

Mountlake Terrace’s City Center Neighborhood

The City Center is a popular and rapidly growing neighborhood in Mountlake Terrace, Washington. As of the 2020 Census, it’s home to roughly 4,200 people.

Known for its mix of quiet streets and an emerging urban vibe, this trendy enclave is about 20 minutes north of Seattle, and within 10 minutes of picturesque downtown Edmonds and the bustling Alderwood Mall. As development progresses, it’s also becoming a livelier and more walkable spot in its own right.

Homes

Homes around the City Center vary considerably in size. Most fetch a fairly high price per square foot, in keeping with other desirable spots in Snohomish County.

Owner-occupied single-family homes are the norm, although townhomes and condominiums are more readily available than most other parts of the city. Houses aren’t often for rent, but there are numerous apartment complexes in the neighborhood, and several more just beyond.

As you’ll find throughout Mountlake Terrace, prices are changing quickly as more people seek to settle here.

Education

The well-regarded Edmonds School District serves the City Center and several adjoining areas. Most local families attend Terrace Park and Mountlake Terrace Elementary Schools, Brier Terrace Middle School, and Mountlake Terrace High School.

Some parents also opt for one of several private schools within about 5–10 miles of the neighborhood.

Transportation

Like most of Mountlake Terrace, the City Center is roughly halfway between Seattle and Everett.

The neighborhood has good freeway access, being adjacent to I-5 and a couple miles from SR 99. In the heart of the City Center, an upcoming light rail station will give locals a great option to leave town—and leave their cars behind.

Recreation

Close to home, residents can enjoy the fresh air and greenery at Veterans Memorial Park and Forest Crest Playfield. Dozens of other parks, trails, and green spaces are also accessible within a few miles’ drive.

Seattle’s big-city amenities and Everett’s burgeoning cultural scene are both readily accessible, while outdoorsy types enjoy easy access to the Cascades via Highway 2.

Moving to Mountlake Terrace’s City Center

It’s easy to see why so many out-of-towners opt for the City Center, and why plenty of Mountlake Terrace locals hope to own their first house here.

If you’d like to call it home, too, then here are three tips for an easy transaction and transition.

1. Don’t be scared!

If the homebuying process seems a bit overwhelming or mystifying, you’ve got nothing to worry about. Even if it’s not your first house, it’s still normal for the whole thing to feel like…a bit much.

Remember that a big part of your agent’s job is to help you stay on top of all those moving pieces!

2. Find a local expert to guide you

Speaking of agents, it’s essential to find someone who knows the City Center and its vicinity like the back of their hand.

Agents who can fill out paperwork are a dime a dozen, but there’s no substitute for the street-by-street knowledge of someone who actually lives and works in the Mountlake Terrace area.

3. Talk to lenders & get pre-approved

Before doing anything else, it’s important to consult a lender and have a mortgage pre-approval in hand.

This will let you move quickly and make a successful offer—fingers crossed!—once you’ve found the ideal City Center home.

Lynnwood’s Martha Lake Neighborhood

Martha Lake is a popular and rapidly growing neighborhood in Lynnwood, Washington. As of the 2020 Census, it’s home to just over 7,300 people.

Known for quiet streets and a secluded feel, this enclave of generally spacious homes is only half an hour’s drive north of Seattle, and ten minutes northeast of the lively commercial areas around Alderwood Mall.

Homes

The roomy homes around Martha Lake fetch a fairly high price per square foot, in keeping with other desirable spots in Snohomish County.

Owner-occupied single-family homes are the norm. Houses aren’t often for rent, although there are a couple apartment complexes along the neighborhood’s southern edge.

As you’ll find throughout Lynnwood, prices are changing quickly as more people seek to settle here.

Education

The well-regarded Edmonds School District serves the majority of Martha Lake and several adjoining areas. Most local families attend Oak Heights Elementary School, Alderwood Middle School, and Lynnwood High School.

The northernmost portion falls within the Mukilteo School District, and attends Discovery Elementary School, Voyager Middle School, and Mariner High School.

Some parents also opt for one of several private schools within about 5–10 miles of the neighborhood.

Transportation

Like most of Lynnwood, Martha Lake is roughly halfway between Seattle and Everett.

The neighborhood has good freeway access, being adjacent to I-5 and just minutes north of the I-5/I-405 interchange. Five miles south of Martha Lake, an upcoming light rail station will give locals a great option to leave town—and leave their cars behind.

Recreation

Close to home, residents can enjoy the fresh air and greenery at Martha Lake Park and the former Martha Lake Airport, which was converted to a large park after the airfield’s closure. Dozens of other parks, trails, and green spaces are also accessible within a few miles’ drive.

Seattle’s big-city amenities and Everett’s burgeoning cultural scene are both readily accessible, while outdoorsy types enjoy easy access to the Cascades via Highway 2.

Moving to Martha Lake in Lynnwood

It’s easy to see why so many out-of-towners opt for Martha Lake, and why plenty of Lynnwood locals hope to own their first house here.

If you’d like to call it home, too, then here are three tips for an easy transaction and transition.

1. Don’t be scared!

If the homebuying process seems a bit overwhelming or mystifying, you’ve got nothing to worry about. Even if it’s not your first house, it’s still normal for the whole thing to feel like…a bit much.

Remember that a big part of your agent’s job is to help you stay on top of all those moving pieces!

2. Find a local expert to guide you

Speaking of agents, it’s essential to find someone who knows Martha Lake and its vicinity like the back of their hand.

Agents who can fill out paperwork are a dime a dozen, but there’s no substitute for the street-by-street knowledge of someone who actually lives and works in the Lynnwood area.

3. Talk to lenders & get pre-approved

Before doing anything else, it’s important to consult a lender and have a mortgage pre-approval in hand.

This will let you move quickly and make a successful offer—fingers crossed!—once you’ve found the ideal Martha Lake home.

Lynnwood’s Cedar Valley Neighborhood

Cedar Valley is a popular and rapidly growing neighborhood in Lynnwood, Washington. As of the 2020 Census, it’s home to just over 4,200 people.

Known for quiet streets and a secluded feel, this enclave of generally spacious homes is only half an hour’s drive north of Seattle, and a couple miles southwest of the lively commercial areas around Alderwood Mall.

Homes

The roomy homes around Cedar Valley fetch a moderate to high price per square foot, in keeping with other desirable spots in Snohomish County.

Owner-occupied single-family homes are the norm. House rentals are not common, although there are a few apartment complexes in the neighborhood, and several more just beyond.

As you’ll find throughout Lynnwood, prices are changing quickly as more people seek to settle here.

Education

The well-regarded Edmonds School District serves Cedar Valley and several adjoining areas. Most local families attend Cedar Way or Cedar Valley Elementary School, Alderwood or Brier Terrace Middle School, and Lynnwood or Mountlake Terrace High School.

Some parents also opt for one of several private schools within about 5–10 miles of the neighborhood.

Transportation

Like most of Lynnwood, Cedar Valley is roughly halfway between Seattle and Everett.

The neighborhood has good freeway access, being just a couple miles southwest of the I-5/I-405 interchange. Right within Cedar Valley, an upcoming light rail station will give locals a great option to leave town—and leave their cars behind.

Recreation

Close to home, residents can enjoy the fresh air and greenery at Scriber Lake, Scriber Creek, and South Lynnwood Parks. Dozens of other parks, trails, and green spaces are also accessible within a few miles’ drive.

Seattle’s big-city amenities and Everett’s burgeoning cultural scene are both readily accessible, while outdoorsy types enjoy easy access to the Cascades via Highway 2.

Moving to Cedar Valley in Lynnwood

It’s easy to see why so many out-of-towners opt for Cedar Valley, and why plenty of Lynnwood locals hope to own their first house here.

If you’d like to call it home, too, then here are three tips for an easy transaction and transition.

1. Don’t be scared!

If the homebuying process seems a bit overwhelming or mystifying, you’ve got nothing to worry about. Even if it’s not your first house, it’s still normal for the whole thing to feel like…a bit much.

Remember that a big part of your agent’s job is to help you stay on top of all those moving pieces!

2. Find a local expert to guide you

Speaking of agents, it’s essential to find someone who knows Cedar Valley and its vicinity like the back of their hand.

Agents who can fill out paperwork are a dime a dozen, but there’s no substitute for the street-by-street knowledge of someone who actually lives and works in the Lynnwood area.

3. Talk to lenders & get pre-approved

Before doing anything else, it’s important to consult a lender and have a mortgage pre-approval in hand.

This will let you move quickly and make a successful offer—fingers crossed!—once you’ve found the ideal Cedar Valley home.

Lynnwood’s Alderwood Manor Neighborhood

Alderwood Manor is a popular and rapidly growing neighborhood in Lynnwood, Washington. As of the 2020 Census, it’s home to just over 5,100 people.

Known for quiet streets and a secluded feel, this enclave of generally spacious homes is only half an hour’s drive north of Seattle, and adjacent to the lively commercial areas around Alderwood Mall.

Homes

The roomy homes around Alderwood Manor fetch a moderate to high price per square foot, in keeping with other desirable spots in Snohomish County.

Owner-occupied single-family homes are the norm. Houses aren’t often for rent, although there is only one large apartment complex in the neighborhood.

As you’ll find throughout Lynnwood, prices are changing quickly as more people seek to settle here.

Education

The well-regarded Edmonds School District serves Alderwood Manor and several adjoining areas. Most local families attend Lynnwood or Spruce Elementary School, Alderwood or Meadowdale Middle School, and Lynnwood or Meadowdale High School.

Some parents also opt for one of several private schools within about 5–10 miles of the neighborhood.

Transportation

Like most of Lynnwood, Alderwood Manor is roughly halfway between Seattle and Everett.

The neighborhood has good freeway access, being just minutes west of the I-5/I-405 interchange. Immediately southwest of Alderwood Manor, an upcoming light rail station will give locals a great option to leave town—and leave their cars behind.

Recreation

Close to home, residents can enjoy the fresh air and greenery at Pioneer Park. Dozens of other parks, trails, and green spaces are also accessible within a few miles’ drive.

Seattle’s big-city amenities and Everett’s burgeoning cultural scene are both readily accessible, while outdoorsy types enjoy easy access to the Cascades via Highway 2.

Moving to Alderwood Manor in Lynnwood

It’s easy to see why so many out-of-towners opt for Alderwood Manor, and why plenty of Lynnwood locals hope to own their first house here.

If you’d like to call it home, too, then here are three tips for an easy transaction and transition.

1. Don’t be scared!

If the homebuying process seems a bit overwhelming or mystifying, you’ve got nothing to worry about. Even if it’s not your first house, it’s still normal for the whole thing to feel like…a bit much.

Remember that a big part of your agent’s job is to help you stay on top of all those moving pieces!

2. Find a local expert to guide you

Speaking of agents, it’s essential to find someone who knows Alderwood Manor and its vicinity like the back of their hand.

Agents who can fill out paperwork are a dime a dozen, but there’s no substitute for the street-by-street knowledge of someone who actually lives and works in the Lynnwood area.

3. Talk to lenders & get pre-approved

Before doing anything else, it’s important to consult a lender and have a mortgage pre-approval in hand.

This will let you move quickly and make a successful offer—fingers crossed!—once you’ve found the ideal Alderwood Manor home.

Lynnwood’s Alderwood Manor South Neighborhood

Alderwood Manor South is a popular and rapidly growing neighborhood in Lynnwood, Washington. As of the 2020 Census, it’s home to just over 5,000 people.

Known for quiet streets and a secluded feel, this enclave of generally spacious homes is only half an hour’s drive north of Seattle, and immediately southeast of the lively commercial areas around Alderwood Mall.

Homes

The roomy homes around Alderwood Manor South fetch a moderate to high price per square foot, in keeping with other desirable spots in Snohomish County.

Owner-occupied single-family homes are the norm. Houses aren’t often for rent. However, there’s a selection of apartment communities, primarily toward the northwestern edge of the area, near I-5.

As you’ll find throughout Lynnwood, prices are changing quickly as more people seek to settle here.

Education

The well-regarded Edmonds School District serves Alderwood Manor South and several adjoining areas. Most local families attend Cedar Way or Hazelwood Elementary School, Alderwood or Brier Terrace Middle School, and Mountlake Terrace High School.

Some parents also opt for one of several private schools within about 5–10 miles of the neighborhood.

Transportation

Like most of Lynnwood, Alderwood Manor South is roughly halfway between Seattle and Everett.

The neighborhood has good freeway access, being just minutes south of the I-5/I-405 interchange. Immediately west of Alderwood Manor South, an upcoming light rail station will give locals a great option to leave town—and leave their cars behind.

Recreation

Close to home, residents can enjoy the fresh air and greenery of several city and county parks near the neighborhood. Dozens of other parks, trails, and green spaces are also accessible within a few miles’ drive.

Seattle’s big-city amenities and Everett’s burgeoning cultural scene are both readily accessible, while outdoorsy types enjoy easy access to the Cascades via Highway 2.

Moving to Alderwood Manor South in Lynnwood

It’s easy to see why so many out-of-towners opt for Alderwood Manor South, and why plenty of Lynnwood locals hope to own their first house here.

If you’d like to call it home, too, then here are three tips for an easy transaction and transition.

1. Don’t be scared!

If the homebuying process seems a bit overwhelming or mystifying, you’ve got nothing to worry about. Even if it’s not your first house, it’s still normal for the whole thing to feel like…a bit much.

Remember that a big part of your agent’s job is to help you stay on top of all those moving pieces!

2. Find a local expert to guide you

Speaking of agents, it’s essential to find someone who knows Alderwood Manor South and its vicinity like the back of their hand.

Agents who can fill out paperwork are a dime a dozen, but there’s no substitute for the street-by-street knowledge of someone who actually lives and works in the Lynnwood area.

3. Talk to lenders & get pre-approved

Before doing anything else, it’s important to consult a lender and have a mortgage pre-approval in hand.

This will let you move quickly and make a successful offer—fingers crossed!—once you’ve found the ideal Alderwood Manor South home.

Moving to the City of Mountlake Terrace

The small, scenic city of Mountlake Terrace is one of the most sought-after spots in south Snohomish County.

Known for its desirable real estate and overall prosperity, this town of generally spacious homes is less than 20 minutes north of Seattle. The coming light rail connection has sparked a development boom in this previously sleepy suburb, as new residences and restaurants pop up regularly.

Homes in Mountlake Terrace

The roomy homes in Mountlake Terrace fetch a fairly high price per square foot. Recent sale prices generally fall in the upper tier of the market for south Snohomish County, but remain a good value compared to Seattle proper.

The core of the city comprises single-family homes. There are also several apartment communities—generally high-end and often newly built—primarily toward the western and southern edges of town.

As you’ll find throughout greater Seattle, prices are changing quickly as more people seek to call this area home.

Education

The well-regarded Edmonds School District serves Mountlake Terrace and most neighboring areas. Local families generally send their kids to Mountlake Terrace High School, Brier Terrace Middle School, and one of three public elementaries.

Some parents also opt for one of three private schools within city limits, or several others just a few miles outside.
Transportation
Mountlake Terrace is roughly halfway between Seattle and Everett.

The city has good highway access, being adjacent to I-5 and WA-104 (Ballinger Way/NE 205th/Edmonds Way), and a stone’s throw from WA-99. In the southwest corner of the city, the existing transit center will soon host a light rail station, giving locals a great option to leave town—and leave their cars behind.

Recreation

Close to home, residents can enjoy the well-kept Mountlake Terrace Recreation Pavilion, the popular Veterans Memorial Park (and several neighborhood ones), the wooded Lyon Creek path, and even a public golf course. Dozens of other family-friendly recreation opportunities are located within a few minutes’ drive.

Seattle’s big-city amenities and Everett’s burgeoning cultural scene are both readily accessible, and outdoorsy types enjoy easy access to the Cascades via Highway 2.

Tips for Moving to Mountlake Terrace

It’s easy to see why so many out-of-towners opt for Mountlake Terrace, and why plenty of locals hope to own their first house here.

If you’d like to call it home, too, then here are three tips for an easy transaction and transition.

1. Don’t be scared!
If the homebuying process seems a bit overwhelming or mystifying, you’ve got nothing to worry about. Even if it’s not your first house, it’s still normal for the whole thing to feel like…a bit much.

Remember that a big part of your agent’s job is to help you stay on top of all those moving pieces!

2. Find a local expert to guide you
Speaking of agents, it’s essential to find someone who knows Mountlake Terrace and its vicinity like the back of their hand.

Agents who can fill out paperwork are a dime a dozen, but there’s no substitute for the street-by-street knowledge of someone who actually lives and works in south Snohomish County.

3. Talk to lenders & get pre-approved
Before doing anything else, it’s important to consult a lender and have a mortgage pre-approval in hand.

This will let you move quickly and make a successful offer—fingers crossed!—once you’ve found the ideal Mountlake Terrace home.

Feldman: What’s one of the newest things you feel that advisors should be thinking about today?

Jordan: I’ve recently become an advocate for reverse mortgages. I used to hold up a garlic and the crucifix whenever I heard about reverse mortgages. But for people over age 62, there’s $10.2 trillion tied up in their houses. And reverse mortgages are not just for the wealthy people.

You’ve got some poor guy who bought a house for $25,000 some 30 years ago. It could be worth $250,000 now. For the first time in his life, he has access to funds.

And so there could be the possibility of using a buffer asset. If you’re in a situation like recently, when the Dow went down 1,000 points in a day, that’s volatile. Well, guess what? You shouldn’t be taking money out of your account. Perhaps you could shift to another pocket. And it could come from your reverse mortgage. And the money comes out on a tax-free basis. And so it allows the portfolio to heal, the classic buffer-asset type of approach. That’s one thing to do.

Another benefit a reverse mortgage could provide for someone who reaches age 62 is to provide a Social Security bridge. This would allow you to obtain the funds you might need and then wait until age 67 or 70, when the monthly payout would be significantly more. If you wait till 70, it’s 77% more.

With IRMAA [income-related monthly adjustment amount], how much money you make in retirement dictates the premiums you pay for Medicare. Well, if you use some of your income from your reverse mortgage, it’s tax-free, and so using it could help lower Medicare premiums.

So there’s a lot of flexibility there.

People have to begin to use the wealth they have in their home. For the most part, it’s three-quarters of a person’s net assets in terms of the average person. And they’re able to use that wealth instead of just saying, “The house is paid off.” This could be helpful, especially because people are living a lot longer.

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