Great Tips For Buyers in a Seller’s Market

We’ve been saying it for the past year and a half, but we’ll say it again; Seattle is definitely a Seller’s market at present. There is nothing more frustrating for a buyer than having everything in order for the home purchase, and not being able to make the purchase due to no fault of their own. There are more buyers than sellers in today’s marketplace, and homes are moving quicker than ever in many neighborhoods. The home buying process has evolved, and if you want to close on the home of your dreams, you’ll need to think outside the box, act fast, and be prepared to work hard at the home sale. Here are some useful tips to keep in mind on your quest for the perfect home. wash park colonial

With low inventory, many buyers tend to be looking for the same thing, and the buyers who come out on top aren’t using your typical search methods. You can work with your agent to check out homes without “For Sale” signs in front, expired listings from years past, or pre-market homes that aren’t necessarily listed on the mls. If you’re interested in a home in the neighborhood, don’t be afraid to reach out to them inquiring if they plan to sell, because chances are you’re not the first buyer to inquire. Getting pre-approved for a mortgage before you buy is another great way to stay one step ahead of the game. Buyers who are well organized and ready to move when they find the right home are generally the ones who get the listing, and it’s important to deal with any issues you might have on your credit report before moving forward in this competitive market.

Are you interested in a particular neighborhood in Seattle? Find an agent who specializes in the area. A good local agent will know when to submit the offer, and is usually the difference between getting your offer accepted and making several offers with no success. A local agent might know the selling agent, and might have made a deal with them previously in the neighborhood, and that might be enough for the seller to suggest they accept your offer over another inquiry.  If you’re interested in buying a home in and around Seattle, remember the early bird gets the worm. Contact your local real estate agent today to start the home buying process.

Site Near Pike Place Sells For $16 Million, 400-ft Tower Planned


The Seattle skyline is about to welcome its newest addition – a 400-foot residential tower that is planned for the development site at 2nd Avenue and Virginia Street that Bellevue’s Continental Properties bought for $16 million on Thursday.

According to an article in the Puget Sound Business Journal, it is unknown whether the 324 residential units will be condos or apartments, and there is no definite timeline for construction, yet. Continental Properties also built the Metropolitan Tower Apartments at Seventh and Westlake, and the Cosmopolitan Tower Condominiums at Ninth Avenue and Virginia. According to the PSBJ article, the site, which is one block east of Pike Place Market and is at the highest point in Belltown, is one of the last prime development sites downtown.

Seattle Is 5th Best Home Sellers’ Market in U.S.


If you’re thinking of selling your home in the Seattle area, here’s some good news for you – according to Zillow our market is the 5th best in the nation for home sellers, only trailing San Jose, Calif.; San Francisco; San Antonio, Tex.; and Los Angeles. Zillow reports that home values in Seattle have increased 10 percent in the past year.

Due to a relatively strong job market in the west, which has led to a high demand for housing with a limited supply, the home sellers’ market in the west is outperforming the market in the eastern U.S. Home buyers, on the other hand, will find the strongest buyers’ market in Cleveland, Ohio.

For more information about Seattle real estate, contact your local real estate agent today.

Win Free Tickets To The 2014 Seattle Modern Home Tour


Curbed is giving you a chance to win two free tickets to this Saturday’s Seattle Modern Home Tour! It’s as easy as leaving a comment on on their site with your pick for the home you’re most excited to tour.

This year’s tour will visit six homes spread out all over Seattle and one on the Eastside: a Leschi Park home recently renovated by Robert Hutchinson; local architect James Chiarelli’s Maple Leaf residence; two Eric Cobb-designed residences – an apartment penthouse in Magnolia, and a home in Madison Park; a mid-century modern by Richard Bonner in West Seattle; and “The Rogue House” in the Issaquah Highlands.

Proceeds from the tour will benefit The Seattle Architecture Foundation. Check out the homes and comment to be entered to win!

Click here for ticketing info and for more information about the featured homes.

Neighborhood Group Fights To Lower Residential Building Heights


Seattle Speaks Up is looking for more sky.The community organization wants to “preserve sunlight, greenspace, and the unique character of Seattle’s multifamily neighborhoods”, by bringing the height cap on buildings in neighborhoods designated as “lowrise 3” back to 30 feet, where it stood before a 2010 change to the land-use code by the Seattle City Council. They argue that buildings over 30 feet tall are out of scale with Seattle’s residential neighborhoods, block sunlight and views and reduce tree canopy.

Some are skeptical about the group’s most recent focus – a new five-story apartment building on Franklin Avenue East in the Eastlake neighborhood, built directly across the street from an existing similarly sized building (though the existing building is only four stories, as opposed to five). Is density more important than scale in Seattle’s residential neighborhoods?

For more information about Seattle real estate, contact your local real estate agent today.





Beautiful Seward Park Listing Hits the Market

seward park home

This stunning and picturesque Colonial style home in Seward Park has recently been listed for sale for $1,495,000. With remarkable craftsmanship and detailing,  this beautiful home is ready for tailored updates. Beautiful grounds surround this 1900 Estate on the legendary Seward Park Avenue. Circular drive past mature plantings, and Kubota gardens adding to the mystique scene. The classic front porch is a fun feature to welcome visitors, and the home opens to sunny interiors with gracious rooms, fantastic moldings, refinished oak floors, and huge windows. For more information on this list or other Seattle homes, contact your local real estate agent today.

Status: For Sale
Bed/Bath: 6/3.5
Price: $1,495,000

New Homes Big And Getting Bigger

housing price

Bigger is not necessarily better, but new-home builders believe buyers are looking for more – more bedrooms, more bathrooms, more space. The average new home is now 2,679 square feet, up from 2,362 square feet in 2009, according to recently released Census Bureau data. Average sale prices have risen along with square footage, rising from $248,000 in 2009 to $318,000 in 2013.

Along with more bedrooms and full bathrooms, the increase in average home size is the result of builders adding amenities such as more garage space, walk-in closets and “great” rooms, according to a report from National Association of Home Builders. Other features builders are most likely to include are the ever-popular granite counter tops, double sink and central island in the kitchen, linen closet, high ceilings, and a front porch. Not so popular today are laminate counter tops, outdoor kitchens, and two-story foyers.

For more information about buying a home in the Seattle area, contact your local real estate agent today.

Bellevue February Real Estate Recap

The Real Estate market in Bellevue has continued to improve at a striking rate.  Although the number of homes closed in February 2014 was nearly identical to February 2013, the median selling price rose 10.1% to $670,000.  The average single family home sold for $909,494, and the average selling price for a condominium was $302,694 in Feb 2014.  In February 2013 the average selling price for a single family home was $677,773 and for a Condominium was $399,002.  The ratio for the listing price versus the selling price in 2013 was 99.6% and in 2014 it was 100.09% (according to the Northwest Multiple Listing Service).

The average days on the market for a single family home in February 2013 was 40 and for Condominiums was 71.  In February 2014 the average for a single family home to be on the market was also 40 days and for Condominiums it was 55.  For single family residences, homes containing 3 or 4 bedrooms sold in about 25 days, versus 37 days in February 2013 and homes having 5+ bedrooms taking around 3 months to sell versus 61 days in February 2013.  Bellevue’s most expensive home sold in February was an Italian Style Villa that sold for a vast $4.8 million.  The home rested on a half acre of Lake Washington Waterfront and was 7,606 square feet and built in 2003 and took 226 days to sell. bellevue home

Bellevue continues to be extremely desirable right now which is highlighted by the increase in sales prices and the amount of home selling for above their asking price.  The numbers discussed clearly demonstrate that it is a great time to sell in the Bellevue and King County areas. If you would like more information about the current value of your home in this strong real estate market, please contact me for a free market analysis and discussion about your home.

US 30-Year Mortgage Rate Slips To 4.28%

housing market

After three weeks of increases, the average rate on fixed 30-year mortgages fell from 4.37 percent to 4.28 percent this week. The rates for 15-year mortgages fell from 3.39 percent to 3.32 percent. Still, rates are roughly a percentage point higher than they were a year ago. That increase was driven by speculation that in response to an improving economy the Federal Reserve would decrease its $85-million-per-month bond purchases, which it did in December and January.

For more information about Seattle real estate, contact your local real estate agent today.

You Could Win a $5 Million Dollar Mansion for $150!

If you have never had a chance to live in a $5 million dollar house, now you might get that opportunity and live in 10,200 square feet house settled on Lake Sammamish for only $150. This beautiful house with 20-foot ceilings, five bedrooms, eight bathrooms, a library, a fitness room, a 7,500-bottle wine cellar, a game room, a theater, a recording studio is the the grand prize in Special Olympics Washington’s Dream House Raffle.

Photo Courtesy of Special Olympics Washington

Photo Courtesy of Special Olympics Washington

However if by May 16 fewer than 75,000 tickets are sold, the prize will not be awarded. In that case the prize will be a choice between half of the net raffle proceeds paid over 20 years, up to $4 million, or a one-time payment of 70 percent of the above amount, up to $2.8 million.

The house, with a 160 feet of lakefront on a half-acre lot has its own dock with a boat lift. Outside, there are two fire pits, multiple decks and patios, a sport court, a guest cottage, and a hot tub among many other amenities.

Not interested in a 5 million dollar home? If you win the house, but you are not  interested in keeping it you can choose to get $4 million instead. If you aren’t the lucky grand prize winner you still get a chance to win one of more than 1,700 prizes including luxury cars, cruises, vacations, televisions, cameras, tablets computers, and fridges or suitcases.

Ticket prices are $150 for one, $400 for three and $550 for five, and you can purchase tickets here. Anyone who decides to purchase more than a one ticket would be eligible for a drawing for a 2014 Mercedes-Benz SLK 350 Roadster or $50,000. All proceeds will go towards Special Olympics Washington.