Real Estate News from Ewing and Clark

The heat is really rising this month and the inventory in the real estate market is still low. For the first time in the King County area, the median home price has increased over $100,000 in just one year. The country had its hottest month of July in the last 17 years, with prices rising 18.6 percent from a year ago. Seattle and the Eastside did show a slight drop in median prices compared to our record-setting June, but were still up 15 percent from last year. Seattle’s median home price is $749,000 and the Eastside is $860,000. Condo median price in Downtown Seattle actually saw a slight drop compared to the prior year ($462,000 vs $465,000).  The condo price drop in Downtown Seattle was due to the Insignia condo which was completed in 2016.  In July 2016, the Insignia accounted for over 25% of the condos sold (105 units) at a median price of $695,900.

Check out our new listings all over Washington State. Click on the photos below to see more!

Extraordinary, sweeping panorama of City skyline, Space Needle, Mt Rainier, Elliott Bay, and Alki Point. MLS#1158119

Newly refreshed 3 bedroom and 2.5 bath 2 story home in Auburn. New paint inside and out, new carpets and appliances. MLS# 1175853

Stuart Silk designed modern residence on the shores of Lake Washington in Washington Park. Sublime, meaningful design exudes serenity & sophistication. MLS# 1176637

Remarkable low bank architectural residence w/sandy beachfront on 3.5+ acres in Anacortes. MLS# 1174896

A boater’s paradise: new dock, boathouse, sandy beach & ramp! Just outside the Locks on Shilshole Bay offers gorgeous views of the Bay, Locks, boating activity & wildlife. MLS# 1173593

Sophisticated, open design- a modern longhouse, w/cathedral ceilings, beautiful wood carpentry, huge windows taking in peaceful, breathtaking views in Sequim, WA. MLS# 1142395

Contact Ewing and Clark for any of your real estate needs.

 

 

Seattle Just Keeps Growing

In spite of the building boom in downtown Seattle, there have been very limited options for buying a home, versus renting. Resembling giant glass Rubik’s cubes stacked 41 floors high, the Nexus Seattle condominiums will be taking ground at 1200 Howell Street in the Denny Triangle. The building will feature 382 units, varying in size and price, ranging from $300,000 to $3.5 million. Sections of the building are twisted to face different directions, views will vary depending which floor the home is located on.

According to the Nexus website, 80% of the units have already been reserved as of this past November (2016). Underscoring the market’s desire for permanent housing and the influx of people for high-paying tech jobs downtown, hundreds of buyers lined up to pay a $5,000 refundable deposit to be guaranteed a spot at a priority presales event on June 4th last year. Some people even camped out overnight to be first in line.

Burrand Group, the Canadian company that owns the site, plans to break ground this month to begin construction. The Nexus building will be within walking distance of at least two large-tech work campuses in the South Lake Union area. An article with Puget Sound Business Journal states a fitness center, common co-working space, the option of renting a guest room, and a rooftop terrace will be some of the amenities available.

As of October 2016, the median price for a downtown Seattle condo was $650,000. The median price for a 1-bedroom rental is currently $1,820 per month, reflecting the 40% hike in rent over the past 5 years. Seattle is now in the top ten of most expensive apartment markets in the United States, as of April 2016.

Sell Your Home This Spring With These Seven Tips

Spring has sprung in beautiful Seattle, and if you’re looking to sell your home, there may be no better time to do so. Think about it, what a lovely time to showcase your home and really put its best foot forward, so to speak? Here are some tips to get your home looking picture perfect for a Springtime sale.

  1. Spring Cleaning
    Nothing says Spring more than a good old fashioned Spring cleaning, and that may be just what your home needs (probably, even if you’re not going to sell it) to get it in tip top shape. Go through those boxes of STILL unpacked home goods, linens and clothes that have sat in a closet or attic since move-in day and get rid of whatever you don’t need or use anymore (trust me, charitable organizations are just as grateful for the donation this time of year as they are in winter).  Get the windows washed, floors scrubbed and everything looking clean and clutter-free. Plus, you’ll have the added bonus of a much easier move after you sell, if there’s less stuff to pack!
  2. Get Your Garden On
    Spring is an excellent time to make your yard look its absolute best. Slip on some gardener’s gloves and pull a few weeds, plant new flowers, prune trees and bushes and make sure any leftover leaves from winter are raked up and the grass is mowed. Potential buyers are definitely going to check out your yard, and just like a delicious meal, presentation is everything. Do your best to seed patchy grass, lay down beauty bark or simply add rock edging to flower beds. Adding more colorful flowers can make a big difference in how appealing your home looks too. It’s the little touches that can make a big difference.

  3. Create A Patio Worth ‘Sitting A Spell’ On
    Once the yard is looking good, it’s time to turn your attention to any outdoor living space your home offers. Simple improvements like clean, well-kept patio furniture with bright and colorful pillows and a few nicely potted plants can create a lovely and inviting outdoor space as well as help to evoke images of enjoying the Summertime there, in a home-buyer’s mind. That’s the kind of image that may just get you an offer. Also, it’s a good idea to stage the patio area with a pitcher and glasses of a refreshing beverage on the patio table when showing the home, especially on a nice sunny day.
  4. De-Gunk the Driveway
    A very simple yet often overlooked way to add extra curb appeal and freshen your homes appearance is with a good power wash to the driveway and any sidewalks outside. Moss, oil stains and other undesirable things can collect on paved surfaces outside of your home and make it look neglected or just plain grungy. A nice power wash should do the trick and rid those surfaces of any ‘blemishes’, instantly boosting the overall ‘put-together’ look of your home.
  5. Let There Be Light
    We are blessed this time of year with much more abundant sunlight than just about any other time of year (save for summer, of course). Why not take advantage of it by opening your house up to more light? Weather permitting, open windows and patio doors to let in plenty of light, fresh air, and maybe even the oh-so-Springy scent of freshly cut grass and flowers.  Use light the way ladies use lipstick for a night out, as an easy finishing touch that adds immense appeal, quickly and easily.
  6. Make Sure Things Are Up to Snuff
    Hiring an inspector to give your place the old once over is usually a good idea, no matter how well maintained it may be. If you have even a tiny inclination that something may need to be fixed before it hits the market, you should have a pro take a peek. Plus, getting things fixed and in great condition can significantly drive up the selling price of your home, which is generally a good thing. Your realtor (or a potential realtor) should be able to help you find a professional in your area to conduct an inspection.

7. All The Home’s A Stage
Staging can play a BIG part in attracting a buyer. Just as garden improvements and      landscaping are hugely important for the outside of your home, staging is key for the inside of your home. Regardless of whether you’re currently living in the home, or moved into your new abode, you want to create a space that’s warm, inviting and, well, homey. People need to be able to picture themselves living their daily lives there, so making it feel like home is important. Add a vase of fresh flowers to the dining table, a basket of fresh apples to the kitchen counter, have art on the walls (but not too much, and try to minimize the presence of personal or family photos) and fun throw pillows/blankets on the couches. You can even add the scent of fresh laundry or freshly baked cookies (a scented candle should do the trick) to get an extra edge, as our sense of smell is most directly tied to memory and scents like that can ‘take you home’ in an instant.

With these tips, the task of readying your home for sale should be a little bit easier. Remember to take it easy though. Don’t try to bite off more than you can chew and do it all in one weekend. Home buying and selling can take time, and you should take the time needed to get all your ducks in a row before you put that sign out in the yard. Preparing your home for the market can be a breeze if you just take it one step at a time to get your home looking it’s best, and, with any luck, it will be someone else’s home in no time!

Washington State Home Sales Soar Past Previous Highs

sold-sign2015 may have been an interesting year for many reasons, but in the world of Washington real estate, it sure felt like the good old days.

Not since the way-back-when of 2007 had so many homes and condominiums sold in the Evergreen State. According to the Northwest Multiple Listing Service, 2015 saw a whopping 88,331 homes changed hands last year, about  14% more sales than in the previous year. Those who have done the math say that works out to about 75,975 single family homes and 12,356 condominiums, valued at  approximately $34 billion, about 23% more than the dollar volume sold the year before. Those impressive figures make 2015 one of the best years for Washington State real estate in recent memory.

The last time this state saw real estate figures like that was in 2007, before the bubble burst and sent the country into what is not-so-affectionately known as The Great Recession. Even in 2007, the figures only added up to about 82,197 sales valued at $32.3 billion, according to the Northwest Multiple Listing Service.

Furthermore, despite a ‘lower inventory’, so to speak, prices and number of sales continue to grow. In King County, the median home price was $480,000 and more than 26,600 homes sold. Compare that to a median price of  $440,000 and 26,600 homes sold, in 2014 and you’ll notice a jump of close to 10%. Snohomish and Pierce counties can top those figures with growth figures for both median home price and number of homes sold over last year at nearly 16.80% ($355,000, up from $326,360 with 11,303 homes sold) and 17.39% ($249,950, up from 230,000 with more than 13,200 homes sold) respectively.

Overall, region-wide, the growth was about 8.8% from 2014, with a median price for single family homes and condominiums at about  $310,000, up from $285,000  last year.

Numbers like this are a positive and encouraging sign for the state of the  real estate market and the country’s economy as a whole. Let’s just hope nothing comes along and tries to ‘burst our bubble’ this time.

Seattle Homeowners Buy Air Rights

The newest trend in the Seattle Real Estate Market isn’t adding another story, or buying a summer home on the Eastside; its all up in the air. According to King 5, The growing hype over “air rights” has homeowners in neighborhoods like Magnolia, Blue Ridge and Somerset in Bellevue scrambling to own the air above their homes. It is becoming more popular as our population density increases, and homeowners can’t spread out and extend their homes, so as the population increases, we build up. To prevent a neighbor from building upwards and blocking the view, many homeowners are will to pay a hefty price to protect their views. seattle sunset

According to King 5, two homeowners in Magnolia purchased the home next to theirs for $600,000 because they were worried about the damage a new neighbor could do to their waterfront view. They rented out the home for 9 years, and then finally sold it, but still retain the air rights above the property. They ended up asking for $100,000 less than the average asking price, and as a result the new homeowners aren’t legally allowed to build up or add a second story to the home. Generally these are rights can be anywhere between $50,000 to $250,000, but every home is different. Bill Gate’s air rights are in the upward millions. But homeowners that do own their air rights agree it’s money well spent to protect their views.

Seattle Home Show This Weekend

Are you thinking about updating your home, but having a difficult time coming up with savvy ideas for improvements? The Seattle Home Show is in town this weekend, and is the perfect place to gain inspiration for new home projects. The Home Show is the Northwest’s largest consumer home show with everything indoor and outdoor home related.

Photo Courtesy of the Seattle Home Show

The expo begins tomorrow at the Century Link Field Event Center, and will showcase hundreds of exhibits from builders, developers and re-modelers, with the latest models of new appliances, fixtures, and landscaping. There will be seminars throughout the weekend, and special events such as wine tasting to boot! Tickets are $10 in advance, or $12 at the door for adults,  and $7 in advance for seniors. All ticket pricing includes free parking at Century Link Field Event Center, and a free cup of F.X. McRory’s chowder. For more information on the Seattle Home Show, visit their website.

Real Estate Development in Madrona

There has been signs of a stronger real estate market for months and the numbers have proven that Seattle’s real estate market is improving.  In addition to the strong sales numbers, I have noticed that construction has picked up in Madrona.  Everyone in Madrona is aware of the Pike Station project on the corner of 34th and Pike, but that is not the only Madrona real estate project.  For example, there are two new homes being built on separate lots on one square block in Madrona in between 30th and 31st Avenue and East Olive and East Howell Street.

Madrona Real Estate

Madrona Real Estate

On the corner of 30th and Olive an old blue home was torn down and a new larger single family home is being built while in the middle of the block on 31st a new modern home is being built in what once was the backyard of another Madrona home.

Madrona Real EstateIn another part of the Madrona neighborhood on 35th Avenue between Union and Spring, another old home was torn down and it will be replaced with two new view homes.  One house will be 1120 35th Avenue and the other will be 1124 35th Avenue.

Madrona Real Estate

The Madrona real estate market is strong, if you want more information feel free to contact me with any of your real estate questions.

CORRECTION:  Two Madrona view homes are being built on 35th rather than just one as previously reported.

Prime Madrona Real Estate For Sale

Madrona HomeA gorgeous 1920’s Dutch Colonial on prime Madrona real estate with fantastic views of Lake Washington, Bellevue skyline, Mt Rainier & Cascades recently came on the market.  The completely remodeled Madrona home presents a modern, open floor plan, with pretty entry gardens and front porch open to the oak floors and crisp lines of the interior. Fir windows and doors, with two sets of French doors opening to spacious deck. Kitchen with impressive limestone island and high end appliances. Huge master bedroom suite fills the entire 2nd floor with two additional bedrooms in lower level.

Click the link to see more pictures, details and location of this fabulous Madrona home.

Status: For Sale
Bed/Bath: 3/2.25
List Price: $1,365,000

Madrona Home Featured in Pacifc Northwest Magazine

Contemporary HomeA beautiful Madrona contemporary home was featured in the Pacific Northwest Magazine in this Sunday’s paper.  The home was built in 2009 after the owner noticed the real estate was for sale while jogging in the Madrona neighborhood.  Click the link to the Seattle Times to see more pictures and read more about this Madrona home.

Cash is King in Real Estate

Cash_is_king

The Seattle Times had an article regarding how cash is king in the real estate market.  One-third of all U.S. home sales this past December were cash deals.  Clean offers – one with limited contingencies – especially those with no financing contingency are in high demand.   One would not automatically assumed this is a bad thing, but the issue is these cash deals are putting downward pressure on home values because sellers are accepting lower offers for a sure deal.  No where is this more prevalent than with homes owned by banks.  Banks are motivated to get real estate off their books and are not emotionally attached to the homes they sell so a sure deal is the deal they prefer.  But buyers who need to finance their home purchase do not need to fret.  For example, in foreclosures Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac prefer first time home buyers and people who are buying the house to live in it.  Also, not all owners are like banks who are willing to take less for a sure sell.  So while cash is king, it is not the ultimate determination in real estate transactions.

It is an unusual real estate market, inventory is down, sales are up, but at least in part due to these cash deals there is downward pressure on home prices.  To navigate this unusual real estate market, one should contact a local real estate agent for professional advice.