Great Tips For Spring Sellers

The flowers are starting to bud, and the sun is peaking through the clouds; Spring is in the air and For Sale signs are emerging around Seattle like crazy. How do you stay ahead of the game? As the housing market begins to heat up, sellers can take these extra steps to help stand out among the rest. At first glance, potential buyers are scrutinizing your property before they even step foot in the door, and having a clean entrance and yard can make a big difference for first impressions.  Adding a beautiful potted plant to the front porch, or staining the front deck could be relatively small projects that could add generous appeal to your home. laurelhurst11

Staging your home is another great way to entice buyers to choose your home. Hiring professionals to arrange your home to appeal to a broad array of buyers could be the difference between a buyer choosing your home, or choosing one just down the street. Removing personal belongings helps buyers envision themselves living on the property- not you. Also remember to give your home a good cleaning before showings; a clean home feels bigger and more inviting. For more information on Seattle real estate, contact your local real estate agent today.

Make Financially Sound Housing Decisions

When it comes to managing finances, many people tend to make simple mistakes along the way that could have been easily avoided. Here are some useful tips to make financially sound decisions when getting your housing finances in order. Utilizing a money management tool such as mint.com allows users to track their income, set budgets, goals and track what is coming in, and what is going out. Users can stay easily organized while saving for housing projects, and can avoid spending more than is within your budget. roanoke

Another big financial mistake people tend to make around this time of year is failing to claim all of the housing tax breaks which can save quite alot in the scheme of things. For a list of tax breaks for homeowners, check out this collection of useful tips from Zillow. Also taking into account the little things you spend money on everyday, like a Starbucks latte for $4 can really make an impact on your home purchase- cutting back to drinking coffee at home and buying your beloved Starbucks latte just once a week can save you hundreds of dollars a year, and inch you one step closer to making a larger down payment than you’d expect, and could save you thousands on your mortgage – the small decisions you make, will add up to a big scale change! For more information on Seattle real estate, contact your local real estate agent today.

King County Home Prices Rising More Slowly, Inventory Still Low

housing market

While home prices have continued to rise in King County over the past year, they are rising at a slower rate than they were a year ago. According to The Seattle Times the median home price in January was 17 percent higher than it was over the previous 12 months, but in February it was only 11 percent higher. In March, the median home price in King County was $414,950, up just 6 percent from $392,000 a year ago. In the Seattle market, the median home price actually fell by almost 3% over the last 12 months to $450,000.

It appears that buyers are also using more discretion with their money, as the number of active listings has increased, but the number of pending deals has decreased in the tri-county area comprising King, Snohomish and Pierce counties.

In some good news for local buyers, investors bought far fewer homes in February (40) than they did in January (126), which could mean more entry-level housing inventory available to first-time home buyers. Investors have been purchasing homes in lower price ranges and turning them into rentals, especially in South King County and Pierce County. Real estate agents are hoping for a jump in inventory as we progress further into spring, but believe the market will continue to see low inventory through the rest of the year and into 2015.

If you are interested in buying or selling a home in Seattle, contact your local real estate agent today.

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.

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

for-sale-sign

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.

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

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.

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.

 

Home Sales And Prices Dip For Second Straight Month

371 Prospect

The Seattle area saw median home prices and number of home sales fall for the second consecutive month in February, according to new data from the Northwest Multiple Listing Service. The price of single-family homes in King County fell from $410,000 to $405,400 in February, and that there was little growth in the number of homes for sale. The number of pending home sales is also down about 13% from the same month last year. However, the median price of single-family homes in King County is still 11% higher than it was in February 2013.

Members of the NWMLS believe the dip in sales is not due to a shortage of buyers, but a severe shortage of housing inventory. King and Snohomish Counties both have less than a four-month supply of homes available. According to the NWMLS report, bidding wars are common in markets with less than four months of inventory. Some sellers are also delaying selling their homes because they’re underwater on their mortgages and are holding out for a continued rise in home-price appreciation. Zillow reports that one in five homes in the Seattle metro area has a mortgage with an outstanding balance higher than the home’s value.

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

 

 

 

 

Buying A Home In Seattle 34% Cheaper Than Renting

Wash Park Homed

High rent and high home prices in Seattle can often make it feel like the decision between buying and renting isn’t so cut and dry – either way you’re paying a premium for housing. But a new report from Trulia makes a strong case for home ownership, reporting that it is 34% cheaper to own a home than to rent in Seattle at today’s 4.5% mortgage rate. According to the report, mortgage rates would have to hit 9.3% before renting would be cheaper than buying in Seattle.

Nationally, home ownership is 38% cheaper than renting in all of the 100 largest metro areas, but in some extreme markets small changes in mortgage rates could tip the scales in favor of renting. For example, in Honolulu, a mortgage rate of 5% would make renting a better value, and a rate of 5.8% would make renting cheaper than owning in San Francisco.

Try Trulia’s Rent vs. Buy calculator to see how the numbers work out for you. If you’re interested in buying a home in the Seattle area, contact your local real estate agent.