Bellevue Real Estate Recap: January 2014

Inventory is still extremely low; in January 2013 compared to January 2014 there are approximately 70 less homes on the market in the Bellevue area.  Inventory that is available seems more likely to have not been updated or maintained as well.  With inventory low, buyers are more apt to overlook certain shortcomings in properties, especially if it is in a desired area or neighborhood. bellevue home

This is definitely still a sellers’ market in most of Bellevue.  Home values are rising and homeowners are getting excited to find out they have equity in their property again.  There are still some homeowners that bought at the height of the market on the last cycle that may benefit from holding off and waiting longer to sell.

Interest rates are still looking great, but rates could go up once people see rates start to rise, they will hurry and buy any kind of property and this could artificially increase market price for a short period of time.  For more information on Seattle real estate, contact your local real estate agent today.

Seattle-Area Appreciation at Highest Rate Since 2005

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Despite seeing prices for single-family homes in the Seattle area slip for the last three months of 2013, annual appreciation in December was at its highest rate since 2005, according to the S&P/Case Schiller 20-city index released on Tuesday.

Home prices in the Seattle area dropped by 0.5 percent in December (compared to 0.1 percent in November), edged out by the 20-city index, which dropped 0.1 percent in the same time period. Similarly, prices for the 20-city index rose by 13.4 percent in December, beating out the local market, where prices increased 12.4 percent.

However, gains nationally may be slowing, owing to rising home prices and mortgage rates. Although home prices increased across the 20-city index during 2013, 11 cities saw a decrease in appreciation. Some in the real estate community also believe the inclusion of the sales of bank-owned properties to third-party investors is causing reported appreciation rates to skew higher.

Breaking It Down: How Much Are Real Estate Transaction Fees?

While beginning the home search, many prospective buyers believe that real estate transaction costs are only the 3-6% commission, but the actual cost of selling a home are much higher. To avoid recurring transaction costs, here is a comprehensive estimate of this breakdown: bellevue home

If you bought a home for $200,000 five years ago, let’s say you put 10% ($20,000) down, and you’re left with a $180,000 mortgage. Now you plan on selling the property for $235,000. Agent commission will likely be 5-6% and cost about $13,000, Escrow costs will be roughly $1,000, title insurance will run $600, and you might want to allot $2,500 for repairs to the home before putting it on the market. The total transaction cost will likely be around 10% of the sale price, and it’s also important to consider the current equity you have on your home which is the difference between $235,000 and your mortgage balance of $180,000. If you take into account what you’re paying in transaction fees, you are eliminating nearly 30% of the equity you had accumulated, which is why ideally it makes sense to hold onto real estate for longer periods of time. If you are interested in selling your Seattle home, contact your local real estate agent for more information today.

How Home Values are Affected by Seattle Ranking as #2 Western City for Public Transit



According to Walk Score Seattle ranked #2 in the Western states for having  the best public transit and ranked #8 in the nation. The city’s transit score was 57 compared to San Francisco’s 80. Home value in cities are affected by transit scores in the way that the better transportation options a city has, the more desirable that city will be. People are more apt to purchase a home that is close to public transit which helps make it easier to commute to work. Living near public transit saves you money as well by not having to spend so much money on gas. Transportation is the 2nd largest expense in American family households. Being able to take public transportation also takes away the stress of having to deal with traffic.