The Washington State Housing Market: Northwest Explosion in 2018

According to the new forecast, both demand and pricing are on the rise for the state of Washington. In recent market research by Veros Real Estate Solutions, WA is the state to watch in 2018, especially Seattle as supply is exceedingly low and the population continues to grow.

Usually, housing prices in the US tend to rise 3-4%, however, in Washington State, the median home value has increased 10%. The median home price in Seattle just hit a record $757,000. Prices are rising evenly across all types of housing, from starter homes to luxury estates. This is in contrast to the rest of the nation, where the cheapest homes are gaining value the fastest.

Realtors are noticing a downside to the boom with the short supply of homes. The lack of inventory has pushed starter home prices out of reach for first time home buyers. With a new tax bill in place, realtors are thinking it may slow the rolling boulder enough for the supply to catch up with demand but only time will tell.



Maryland Architect Renewal FAQ

What are the continuing education requirements for Maryland architects?

Maryland architects must complete a minimum of 24 HSW continuing education hours every two years by the anniversary of initial licensure.

How do I renew my Maryland architect license?

You will receive a renewal notice approximately 60 days before your license expires. Before renewing you must:

  1. Complete 24-hours of continuing education
  2. Renew your license online by paying the $76 renewal fee
  3. Enter your registration number exactly as it appears on your data card.

NOTE: You will be charged a $100 late fee in addition to the $76 renewal fee if you do not renew your license on time.

Do I need to complete continuing education requirements for my AIA membership?

Yes, as an Architect member of the American Institute of Architects (AIA), 18 learning unit hours are required per calendar-year for membership renewal.  Of these 18 hours, at least 12 hours must be in subjects designated as Health, Safety, and Welfare (HSW).

Are AIA approved classes accepted to renew my Maryland architect license?


I have extra Maryland architect continuing education hours, can I apply them to the next renewal cycle?

No, learning units must be completed in their respective cycle.

Where can I find classes to renew my Maryland architect license?

Architects Training Institute offers online HD video & fully narrated courses for license renewal. All classes are approved by Maryland and course packages are approved by the state and the AIA.

Who notifies Maryland of my architect continuing education?

The licensee must submit their own continuing education to the state. Architects Training Institute will provide a printable certificate of completion immediately after course completion.  You must keep your records for at least 2 years, a CPC Reporting form can be found here. Random audits are conducted after renewal application is received. Architects Training Institute will store your records for 6-years at no additional cost.


Online HD Video Courses for Architect License Renewal


Start Your Continuing Education Before You Get Busy


It's springtime in Michigan....or is it?  Sometimes it feels like the snow and cold will never go away.

The State of Michigan requires all Real Estate licensees to complete 18 hours of continuing education each year. Why not make the best of these dreary winter/spring days and spend time getting a few of those continuing education hours out of the way.  It's easy! All you need is an internet-ready mobile device or tablet. Settle down in the comfort of your own home, office or anywhere else for that matter. You can stop and start anytime as you please. Just click on the red button below to get started!

Brokers and Salespersons are required to complete 18-hours of continuing education during each 3-year licensing cycle. Each year of the licensing cycle, licensees are required to complete 2-hours of legal updates continuing education classes (for a total of 6-hours of legal updates in each licensing cycle). Licenses must be renewed by October 31, 2018.

Real Estate Training Institute offers great 18 Hour packages complete with everything you need to make a dent in those 18 hours of required continuing education. Pick a package or choose from our many interesting "a la carte" courses. Remember, you don't have to take them all at once. Buy now and chip away at it a little at a time. They're great for filling in the gaps between showings, or while waiting for open house visitors.


Social Media Marketing for Plumbers

How do you reach potential customers? Homeowners and businesses are not apt to look at a phone book or printed directory anymore. Instead, most people turn to Google or social media when searching for a service provider. A Google listing is effective in getting your name out there but a social media presence can help you stand out from the competition. Here are a few helpful hints for getting your social media up and running.

  1. Post for your customers. A rooky mistake that many professionals make is posting content that is not easily understood by the laymen. So, make sure you leave any technical plumbing terms out of your posts. You want it to feel easily accessible and comfortable to every potential client.
  2. Post quality content. Give customers a reason to follow your page. Post information that is useful to them. For example, posting helpful tips for keeping plumbing in working order is a good way to build trust with a client and be their first call when something goes wrong.
  3. Post often. The only thing worse than having no social media presence is having a page without recent posts. Many customers assume a company is out of business if they do not have recent posts on their social media pages.
  4. Respond to customers. Starting a conversation is a great way to build a relationship with potential customers. Even if someone is combative in their response to your post try to diffuse the situation and thank them for their feedback. 
  5. Share your success stories. If you've tackled a particularly difficult plumbing issue ask the customers permission to document it on your social media. If you've recently completed a Code Update or passed an exam to advance your license share it on your social media. These success stories help you relate to clients and stand out from your competition.

Michigan Plumbers, Complete A Code-Update Course by April 20 and Avoid Late Fees!

Michigan Plumbing Code Update Requirements
Michigan plumbers must complete a 5-hour code update course by April 20, 2018. The course must correspond to the 2015 Michigan Plumbing Code Rules set forth by the Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs on April 20, 2017.
NOTE: For the first time, Michigan is allowing plumbers to complete their code update course online.

What is included in the Michigan plumbing code update course?

The Michigan plumbing code will cover code changes pertaining to both commercial and residential plumbers.

Where do I find a Michigan Plumbing Code Update Course?

Plumbers Training Institute offers an online, Michigan approved 5-hour Code Update course. This course is available 24/7 at your convenience for 6 months after the date of purchase.

Who submits my 5-hour code update certificate of completion to the state?

The state of Michigan does not require certificates be submitted unless they are audited. Plumbers Training Institute provides printable certificates immediately after course completion, we are also happy to mail certificates to plumbers without access to a printer.


Cage Trap vs. Live Traps

Spring is arriving and that means we are going to start seeing more of our vertebrate friends. Sometimes they even make themselves at home where we really wish they wouldn’t! Over the month of April, we’ll be looking at options for managing the vertebrate wildlife that makes itself at home where it’s not welcome.

Cage Traps vs. Live Traps: What’s the difference?

The first step to managing your new vertebrate guest is to choose the right equipment. When the average homeowner says “live trap” they’re usually referring to a cage trap. As professionals, we know that a cage trap is a live trap, but not all live traps are cage traps. We asked our expert Stephen Vantassel to fill us in on the different types of live traps, the various styles of cage traps, and what to look for when purchasing your equipment.

The following video is a snippet from our Cage Trapping Techniques Course. Find this and other video continuing education courses at

1-800-727-7104 |


A Quick, Easy Way to Re-certify for Nebraska Pesticide Applicators

What are the requirements to renew a Nebraska pesticide license?

You must re-certify every three years by the April 15 renewal date. Licenses are renewed by submitting proof of completion of an approved re-certification course to the state and paying a renewal fee based on your license. The Nebraska Department of Agriculture will send a renewal notification specific charges. Applicators can pay their renewal fee by mail or online.

Where can I find courses to recertify my pesticide license in Nebraska?

Certified Training Institute offers an online video course approved by the Nebraska Department of Agriculture for your license renewal. The course is completed at your convenience on any device with internet access with the benefit of staff dedicated to answering your questions and helping with tech support.

Why is this training better?

Certified Training Institute has partnered with Mississippi State University to deliver the highest quality online video training ever produced for the pesticide industry. Combining cutting-edge video technology with an online learning system that is extremely easy to use. These courses are raising the standard for online education in the pesticide industry. Gene Merkl, the on-screen instructor, walks applicators through each and every topic, making sure they know exactly what is required of them both at the state and national level.

How does it work?

Completing your applicator re-certification program through Certified Training Institute is extremely easy. Simply call 1-800-727-7104 and our training advisory staff will assist you in registering and starting your course, or click this link (Nebraska Re-certification Program) and register yourself online. Once the registration and checkout are complete, you will be able to start your course immediately.

Do I have to do it all at once?

No, you may come and go as you please. The system will keep track of your progress so you can begin again, right where you left off.

How do I submit my completed re-certification course to Nebraska?

Certified Training Institute will submit your program completion to the state. You will also be able to print a copy of your course certificate immediately after finishing the course.


1-800-727-7104 |


Meeting FAA Requirements for Commercial Drone Use

Commercial Drones or Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) must be operated in accordance with FAA operational rules.

What constitutes commercial drone use?

  • Any drone used to provide contract services, i.e. Industrial equipment or property inspection.
  • Selling pictures/videos taken from a drone.
  • Drones used to monitor the progress of your company’s work.
  • Using drones for professional services, i.e., security or telecommunications.

What are the requirements for commercial drone use?

Any person using a drone for commercial purposes must be at least 16 years old and hold a remote pilot airman certificate with a small UAS rating or be under the supervision of an individual with a remote pilot certificate and pass applicable TSA vetting.

How do I obtain an FAA Remote Pilot Airman certificate?

Step 1: Pay the $5 fee and register all aircraft weighing more than 0.55lbs.
Step 2:  Pass the $150 Small UAS Remote Pilot Exam – exam prep is available here.
Step 3: Pass a TSA background check
Step 4: File FAA Form 8710-13

Are there continuing education requirements for remote pilots?

Yes. Pilots must pass the $150 FAA Remote Pilot Airman exam every two years.

What are the requirements for the drone/UAS?

The drone must weigh less than 55 lbs and undergo a pre-flight check by the FAA Remote Pilot Airman certificate holder.

What are the commercial drone operating rules?

  • Fly under 400 ft above ground level unless you are within 400 ft of a structure.
  • Keep the UAS in sight of either the remote pilot in command or an observer.
  • Fly during daylight hours or 30 minutes before and after official sunrise and sunset.
  • Fly at or below 100mph.
  • Yield right-of-way to manned aircraft.
  • Do not fly over people.
  • Do not fly from a moving vehicle in densely populated areas.


Individuals piloting drones for commercial purposes must pass the FAA Remote Pilot in Command  Exam in order to obtain a certificate.
Certified Training Institute offers online video exam prep to ensure you pass the exam on your first try!


Self-Defense for Men

Self-defense for men is often a forgotten but incredibly important skill. Males between the ages of 18 and 25 are more likely to be attacked than anyone else in American society. Some men may feel pressured to engage in dangerous situations to avoid appearing weak but, any self-defense professional will tell you that it is best to talk your way out of a dangerous situation rather than resort to violence. 

  1. Don't try to emulate TV or movies. Most on-screen fights are nonsense. Assuming your assailant will behave in any way similar to an on-screen attacker is a good way to get injured. 
  2. Your first course of action should always be de-escalation. Try to speak in a slow calm voice. Avoid touching your attacker or standing with your arms crossed, these are often seen as signs of aggression.
  3. Don't let your ego run the show. Many men avoid de-escalation because they feel it makes them seem less "manly". Instead, remember the other guy is also a human. Try ignoring your ego and diffusing rather than furthering a situation where you both may be hurt.
  4. If these options fail, be prepared to defend yourself. Some self-defense holds can render your attacker incapacitated without causing long-term harm. If possible, start with less harmful methods and resort to the more harmful counterattacks only when necessary.

Why Become A Plumber?

Very few people make it through home ownership without calling a plumber at some point.  The persistent need for plumbers makes it a lucrative career to pursue. In 2016, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported that the national average salary for plumbers was $51,450. The annual mean wage in Michigan ranges between $50,240 and $59,220.

Regardless of your ability, Michigan plumbers must be licensed as either a Journey plumber, Master Plumber, Plumbing Contractor, or registered Apprentice. Plus, a licensed master plumber must be in charge and responsible for the job.  All Plumbers must be licensed even if they are working for a licensed plumbing contractor.

The first step in starting a career as a plumber is to secure a job as a plumbing apprentice under a licensed master plumber. You must also register with the Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA). You need to be at least 18 years old, submit the plumbing apprentice registration within 30 days of employment and pay the $15.00 fee.

You must be pre-approved by LARA before becoming a
Michigan Journey or Master Plumber

After 3 years of experience as a registered plumbing apprentice under the supervision of a licensed authorized master plumber, you are eligible to apply for your license and take the journeyman examination. The exam is taken through PSI Examination Services and it is not easy.  You might consider taking a journeyman plumber exam preparation course to increase your odds of passing on the first try.

Getting a Master Plumber license is a bit trickier in that 4,000 hours of experience as a Michigan journeyman plumber is required, but these hours must be as a journeyman plumber over a period of not less than 2 years immediately preceding the date of the application. After this requirement is met, you are then eligible to apply for your license and take the master plumber license exam.

Link to LARA for Plumbers