Mukilteo home listings and buy real estate value investing Snohomish county - Bruce Hilliard

The Beach Boys by Bruce Hilliard

For five decades, The Beach Boys — America’s first pop band to reach the 50-year milestone — has recorded and performed the music that has become the world’s favorite soundtrack to summer. Founded in Hawthorne, California in 1961, The Beach Boys were originally comprised of the three teenaged Wilson brothers: Brian, Carl and Dennis, their cousin Mike Love, and school friend Al Jardine. In 1962, neighbor David Marks joined the group for their first wave of hits with Capitol Records, leaving in late 1963, and in 1965, Bruce Johnston joined the band when Brian Wilson retired from touring to focus on writing and producing for the group.

The Beach Boys signed with Capitol Records in July 1962 and released their first album, Surfin’ Safari, that same year. The album spent 37 weeks on the Billboard chart, launching the young group known for its shimmering vocal harmonies and relaxed California style into international stardom. The Wilson/Love collaboration resulted in many huge international chart hits, and under Brian Wilson’s musical leadership, the band’s initial surf-rock focus was soon broadened to include many other themes, helping make The Beach Boys America’s preeminent band of the 1960s.


Check out the podcast episode…click here!

Posted on April 1, 2018 at 2:23 am
Bruce Hilliard | Posted in Uncategorized |

Podcast Adventure — by Bruce Hilliard Copy

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Once again, thank you all for checking out my blog. I apologize for the hiatus in entries. I’ve been busy researching and organizing my plans to launch an entertaining and informative podcast. I’m excited about the new project and I know it will be great. A huge part of its quality will depend on input from you. Some of the details that need close attention at this stage of planning are connecting with interested people, i.e. who would like to listen to it? And what content are they interested in hearing about?  How do my background and expertise fit? Somewhere they intertwine. That is a good starting line for the content of my podcast.

Please direct your ideas to:

The Better Each Day Podcast Radio Show

The Facebook Podcast Page

It’s probably best to start off with a little background on me. My bio is attached to this website but here is an additional quick rundown that’s a little bit more detailed.

My journey: I was born in Seattle in 1955 to a veterinarian and his wife (I called her Mom). They met at WSU and she discontinued her medical studies to be his wife and a mother of three boys, me be being the baby. I grew up in Aberdeen Washington. I was involved in among other things athletics and music. Music and audio production have been an overlying theme throughout my entire life. I too attended WSU and received degrees in both music and journalism. After graduating I went to work for General Electric, Sears and another major international company, NEC. All awarded lay-offs that enriched my otherwise non-eventful (kidding here) life.

I have been a licensed real estate broker for almost 7 years.

It’s been somewhat of a Forest Gump life, floating around like the feather in the Tom Hanks movie. I wrote speeches, music, news and technical copy. I was a music teacher, performer and huge rock/pop fan. I was fortunate enough to open for regionally known and internationally known bands including Heart, the Ramones, Dr. Hook, Lee Michaels and Eric Burton. I’ve been a high school track coach, radio DJ and an MC for a male strip show (remained clothed, too prudy). I’ve owned a few businesses including residential/commercial painting and party costume rental and sales.

Sounds like I don’t know what path to follow doesn’t it? That’s why I’m reaching out to everyone everywhere to help me steer my ship.

The obvious topic for me to focus would be real estate. This could include a wide demographic with topics including how to buy your first home, financing, how to prepare and sell your house, general pitfalls in real estate transactions. Anything you can think of real estate.

Music? A more universal topic? This could include specific or all genres, music and commentary or notable guests. Music theory, history or composition. What makes music good or what makes music not so good.

The podcast could even be a variety show. All topics, a single host or a shared mic with a partner or guests of various expertise. Topics could be arts, sciences, science fiction, sports, history, humor, Smurfs, vampires. Or new inventions like diet water and teflon peanut butter. The sky’s the limit. You can just sit back and listen to me make a D-bag out of myself. But please note: I’ll leave politics and religion up to someone else.

Maybe just a straightforward reading of news or stories directed to people that can only use their ears—be they driving, resting their eyes or eyesight impaired.

Use this scenario as an example. You drive to and from work in 30+ minutes of traffic. You select a podcast. What would you like to hear?

Posted on April 1, 2018 at 1:59 am
Bruce Hilliard | Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , ,

Real Estate Agent vs. FSBO — by Bruce Hilliard

Real Estate Agent vs. FSBO — by Bruce Hilliard

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I have to grin sometimes. Even though you hear the term FSBO almost daily if you’re in the real estate market, I still run into people who look at me and ask, FSBO? What’s a FSBO? It sounds like it could mean Perrier…and bow is short for Botox. Club soda? Injections?

It’s no mystery, FSBO stands for “for- sale-by-owner.” What is the mystery? Does it make more sense to pay 6% without really understanding what you getting or worse yet, to go ahead and list your home by yourself without understanding what you’re getting into.

Well, the one major pro by listing yourself, you would think, is saving the 6% commission that real estate agents usually charge to market, broker a deal for your home and monitor it through closing.

You could avoid paying this bill entirely if you sell it yourself. That looks like it could be quite a savings but since selling your house is probably something most of us would only do once or twice in a lifetime, most of us would be uncomfortable going it alone. But is it really worth 6% of the purchase price of your home in fees to have personal guidance throughout the process? Are a few things to consider.

Better price. Real estate agents can get you more money and there are numbers to support this.  I’ll leave it up to you to do the research so you are confident you got the information you want. But, some of the services provided by the real estate agent are hard to measure: the art of negotiation, leverage of the local knowledge, use of incredible marketing tools such as the MLS (multiple listing service) and access to a greater marketplace.

Another key ingredient is a good real estate agent’s ability to qualify buyers. Real estate agents will cover things like screening potential buyers for financial statements that determine if the buyer is credit worthy, and in the case for all-cash offers, verify the funds. Most sellers would rather not waste time showing their home to not preapproved, not so serious buyers and looky-loos.

A knowledgeable broker (real estate agent, I use the two interchangeably, in today’s world they mean the same thing) knows how to verify exactly where the funds to purchase a home are coming from. Is the offer contingent on the buyer’s pending home sale? What kind of mortgage? By covering these bases there is a far less likely chance of the deal falling apart in the contract stage.

(I’m standing and finger wagging.) Anyone who’s had the lovely experience of going on contract, having to hassle with loose ends that should’ve been taken care of upfront, and having the deal (Nightmare On Elm Street) fall apart before closing, having to rearrange schedules including moving, staging, preparing the property to go back on the market and hassling with what should’ve been a smooth transaction, knows where I’m coming from. Hire a pro. (I’m sitting back down now.)

In addition, the property will appear on the MLS as if it’s been on the market for additional days, more than its competition. The current days on market won’t restart at zero. In the current market, it looks bad to potential buyers because, with all the other properties to choose from, this one appears to have problems so they skip over it and move on to the next home that’s actively on the market but for less days.

So, the FSBO seller is on their own with respect to requesting financial statements from potential buyers. They’ll need to know the difference between prequalified in preapproved buyers who will be using a mortgage to buy their home.

Another huge issue is saving time. Personally, I wouldn’t have the time or the inclination to properly stage my house, set up an inspection, manage phone calls from would be buyers and interview attorneys. Good real estate agents can guide sellers to reputable attorneys and inspectors as well as service providers in the case that repairs and miscellaneous odds and ends need some lovin’. This expertise from a real estate agent could represent substantial savings in time and money.

In addition, there are issues including leaded paint, mold, carbon monoxide and smoke detectors. In short there are legalities that could far exceed any savings a seller could have in an attempt to save money by not seeking professional help.


If you’ve had any experience with selling your own home, or if you know anyone that has FSBO experience, please direct your comments, questions to or That’s me, Bruce Hilliard at Windermere Mukilteo. I’m happy to do my best to help you in any way I can.

Posted on April 1, 2018 at 1:58 am
Bruce Hilliard | Posted in Uncategorized |

Rock and Roll Heaven When Hell Freezes Over –by Bruce Hilliard

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To follow the path of these ancient clichés, one a song title and one the album title, tour name and the inside meaning to one of the great reunions in recent music history could lead to only one legend, the Eagles.  With the death of Glenn Frey January of 2016, many a story has been released regarding the rise, fall and resurrection of the “L.A. sound” band.  (None of the Eagles were, in fact, from Los Angeles).

Co-founders Frey (Detroit, MI) guitar and drummer Don Henley (Gilmer, TX) were later joined, but not all simultaneously, by Bernie Leadon (Minneapolis, MN), Randy Meisner (Scottsbluff, NE), Don Felder (Gainesville, FL), Joe Walsh (Wichita, KS) and Timothy B. Schmit (Oakland, CA).

Early on Frey and Henley lived in close proximity to Jackson Browne, Joni Mitchell, and Crosby, Stills and Nash.

Having been around them and many other notables, Frey is quoted as saying, “This unspoken thing was created between Henley and me, which said, ‘“If we want to be up here with the big boys, we’d getter get our game together and write some f’ing good songs.”’

The Eagles went on to be one of the world’s best-selling band of all time, having sold more than 150 million records.  Their Greatest Hits (1971-1975) sold over 42 million copies alone and was the best selling album of the 20th century in the U.S.  They are the highest selling American band in U.S. history.

“We’ll get together when hell freezes over,” Frey had told Henley when the band broke up.  After a 14-year hiatus from 1980-1994 they released a live album named in the honor of that statement that immediately went to No. 1 on Billboard.

With the passing of Glenn Frey in January of this year, it’s another reminder of a time and youth gone by. Thanks Mr. Frey, “you belong to the night.”

Posted on October 4, 2016 at 4:11 pm
Bruce Hilliard | Posted in Uncategorized |

Spanish Castle Magic –By Bruce Hilliard


A long time ago in a 1960s Galaxy far, far away there was a teen dance club between Seattle and Tacoma called the Spanish Castle Ballroom. Built in 1931, it was a caricature of an ancient Moorish fairytale storybook castle highlighted with neon lights.  It was located an area known as “Midway” located just outside of city limits in unincorporated county land (now Sea-Tac) in order to escape the towns’ efforts to minimize nightlife.
In late ‘50s through the ‘60s the venue featured touring attractions from Roy Orbison to Johnny Rivers and the Beach Boys.  Several local bands, the Wailers, the Sonics, the Kingsmen (“Louie Louie”) and the Amazing Aztecs (Merrilee Rush of “Angel of the Morning” fame on vocals and keyboards) also performed.
Pat O’Day, one of Seattle’s legendary DJs of the era tells a story of a skinny little kid that hung out there and offered to help out.  In those days guitar amplifiers were small, too small to crank up and play at the volumes the bands played.  To make matters worse they would plug two guitars into one amp. Consequently, the amps blew up and that would be the end of the music for the night.
According to O’Day, one night a skinny young kid came up to him and said, “I always have my amp in my car. It’s a big Gibson so if the amps ever blow you can use mine…as long as I can stand in back and play.  Don’t worry, I know all the licks they do.”
O’Day, recalling the incident in a 2011 interview goes on the explain that 2 or 3 weeks later, sure enough Tiny Tony and Statics were playing. They blew their amps.  So who came to the rescue?  The skinny kid showed up and asked O’Day if the band needed his amp.  The up and coming promoter said, “Yeah, go get it.”  The band played on.
Years later Pat O’Day, by this point one of the owners if Concerts West, the largest concert company in the world at the time, was sitting in a dressing room with client superstar Jimi Hendrix.  Jimi asked him, “Do you remember where we first met?”
Pat asked, “With the attorneys?”
“Do you remember the kid at the Spanish Castle that loaned you the amp when the band’s blew up?”
The kid was James Marshall Hendrix, a.k.a Jimi Hendrix, later the writer of “Spanish Castle Magic” from the album Axis Bold as Love.

Posted on September 20, 2016 at 12:43 am
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McCartney on Ringo –by Bruce Hilliard

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He would say to us, “God, it’s been a hard day’s night.” We’d say, “Say that again.”

He would say to us, “God, it’s been a hard day’s night.” We’d say, “Say that again.”“Tomorrow Never Knows” is also one of his. According to Paul McCartney, Ringo talked in titles.

We had to follow him around the notebook and pencil. You never knew what he would say next.

McCartney says Ringo had a native wit. He didn’t know when he was being funny.

The three of us went to grammar school, Ringo didn’t. Ringo said he only went to school for three days because of this bad operation he had when he was a kid. Ringo had peritonitis (inflammation of the stomach lining). His stomach had a lot of scars on it. His parents were told that he would die age 3, so with Ringo everything was always a bonus.

“Yellow Submarine”, “With a Little Help From My Friends”, “Octopus’s Garden” and the hushed lullaby “Good Night” from The Beatles a.k.a. “The White Album” were some of his best known lead vocals with the Beatles.

He was responsible for a massive amount of percussion contribution to the rhythm section that backed the vocals of one of the greatest rock bands of all time.

Since 1989, Starr has toured with more than twelve variations of Ringo Starr & His All-Starr Band.  He gets by with a little help from his friends.

Posted on September 1, 2016 at 7:21 pm
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New Grin Guy –by Bruce Hilliard

Bunny BruceHello Mukilteo! I just moved here from Grays Harbor County, Aberdeen to be exact. Why? Not because I didn’t enjoy my previous six years while living there but because I have friends and family in this area and it was time for a new adventure.

Irregardless (the jury is still out on whether or not “irregardless” is a word) of my 6+ years in the real estate business, I feel like a new guy. That’s because basically I am. A new location, a new market and some new ideas. One of them will be this blog. I intend to write about compelling and hopefully insightful, humorous perspectives that may not make you laugh but…maybe, just maybe will make you will grin.

Grin is good,smiley

Posted on July 29, 2016 at 2:05 am
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