Seattle Market Update March 2015

Real Estate continues to skyrocket throughout the Seattle Market with Eye-popping sales figures
happening daily.  Both NE and NW Seattle show a less than one month supply of inventory active on the
Market.  A three month supply of homes is considered a strong market for sellers.  Of the 82 homes sold
in NE Seattle over the last 30 days, 59 were sold at or above the listing price.
The Maider & Knowles Team continues to invest in your neighborhood and was a proud sponsor for the
Laurelhurst Elementary School Auction this past weekend.  2015 marks the 15th consecutive year for
sponsorship.  Additionally, we continue to sponsor a little League Baseball team in the Majors Division.
This year’s team is being coached by Stu and Dale Ford.  Good luck guys!   Let’s go Laurelhurst.com!!!

Great Reads – November 2014

Help Your Trees Weather A Storm

Prepare your trees for a winter storm

November Maintenance Guide

Prepare your home for winter

Local Finds – November 2014

Weight loss for life now has 6 convenient locations. With a mind/body approach to weight loss as well as a successful track record, its a great place to get a head start on your New Year’s resolution.

Seattle Market Update – November 2014

The reason housing prices keep climbing in the Puget Sound region comes down to simple economics: demand is outstripping supply. According to the Census Bureau the Seattle grew by 7.2% last year.  Have you seen the commute times from Everett or Tacoma to Seattle lately?  It is not uncommon for those 30 mile drive to take 90 Minutes! While the city and county grew, the infrastructure, unfortunately, is still the same.
The number of pending sales in the four-county metro area increased nearly 4 percent last month from October 2013, while the number of houses and condos for sale remained unchanged at about 11,580. This is according to a report that the Northwest Multiple Listing Service (NWMLS) issued Wednesday.
We currently have a two month supply of homes in King county. That means that if no new
homes came on the market for two months, we wouldn’t have anything to sell.  Half the homes
that come on the market sell immediately, while the rest take 90 plus days on average.
The bottom line is that your home is worth more today than it was 12 or 24 months ago.  It might very well be as valuable as ever.  We expect the trend to continue into 2015.    If you were waiting for that time to come again, I think it is here!

Ask The Home Advisor -Protecting Your Home From Burglary

The Halloween Home invader in Laurelhurst is a reminder that no one is completely safe from falling victim to an in-home burglary. What are some tips to help avoid falling victim to having your house burglarized? 7 Tips to Prevent a Burglary or Home Invasion with thanks to the People from Hanover insurance.

Tip #1: The Obvious…LOCK Your Doors and Windows!!…

It’s one of those head slappers that you might not believe you’re reading. However, ask any police officer and they’ll tell you that one of the things that cause the most home burglaries is the fact that the burglar or home invader simply walked through an unlocked door. In fact, 34% of burglars in the U.S. enter through unlocked front doors while 23% are able to enter through unlocked first-floor windows.

No matter what you think about how safe your area or neighborhood might be, always lock your doors and windows even when you’re in the home. If an intruder is able to just walk into your home, you may not have a payable claim on your hands. Nearly all insurance companies will require there to have been “forced entry,” before they pay out on a claim.

By leaving your home unlocked you’re basically inviting burglars and invaders into your home. This one little simple step can deter an offender and save you from a ton of loss, and possibly physical harm.

Tip #2: Install Strong Locks for the More Persistent Burglar…

While locking your doors and windows is a great first step, you’ll want to make sure that you’re deterring more persistent home invaders a little more stringently by making it harder for them to shimmy your locks. One of the things that the persistent bad guy will do is simply kick in your door. They’ll kick your door in, break the lock, and run in and grab as many valuables as they can find. Using deadbolts instead of factory locks and chain locks is a great tool to stymy this type of burglary.

To keep you and your family safe while inside, always lock the deadbolt as well as utilize a security doorjamb tool so that nobody can get in if they do decide to kick the door down. (Hint: Talk to your home insurance agent about this and there may be a premium discount waiting for you with this one)…

Tip #3: Keep the Lights On Like Motel 6…

It may seem funny how many burglary prevention tips are simple and logical fixes. One of those is lights. You simply have to put yourself in the burglar’s position. If you were about to rob a home, would you pick one that was bright and lit up so that you’re totally exposed, or the dark home on the street where you can get away without being seen?

To take it another step further, motion lights that go on automatically when someone walks by are even better. While there are dark moments, they actually make people that live near and around your home notice when they go on. This is not something that the people who want to rob your home don’t already know.

Tip #4: A Dog Is Man’s Best Friend (and Great Protector)…

Dogs are great deterrents of robbers. Dogs of all shapes and sizes are good. Dogs are vocal about intruders and will definitely let you know that something (or someone) is amiss.

For the most part, burglars and home invaders are cowards. They’re looking to sneak in and sneak out without any trouble. Therefore if they here the sound of a dog, they’re very likely going to keep going to the next house. They won’t want to tangle with Fido.

Don’t forget the “Beware of Dog” stickers as well. These combined with a barking dog can be plenty to make a person second guess messing with your home. If you don’t have a dog and don’t have any plans to buy one in the future, having “Beware of Dog” stickers on your doors can still help turn away would-be criminals.

Tip #5: Security Alarm…

Security alarms are big businesses. That’s because they’re very good at preventing burglaries and home invasions. A security alarm and it’s whining siren when someone enters your home will scare away a criminal, as well as alert you that someone has entered your home so that you can protect yourself …which is probably even more important.

Like the “Beware of Dog” sign, being sure to utilize the stickers that the alarm company gives you to alert potential robbers that you have an alarm system may be the biggest deterrent of all. Use them. This is not the time for surprises, it’s time to prevent a home invasion.

At the very least get a hold of some of those stickers whether you have an alarm or not.

Tip #6: Stay Aware of and REPORT Any Suspicious Activity Around Your Home…

Very often after a home invasion or burglary, there becomes a 20/20 hindsight moment. People begin to realize that there was something that may have tipped them off to the burglary, yet they didn’t think anything of it at the time.

The bad guys/gals often like to do some surveillance and stake out your home before they decide to act. They may be looking for patterns or even good reasons to steal from you. In other words, they’re wondering if you have anything worth the risk to them.

There’s no harm in reporting suspicious activity in your neighborhood, even if it turns out to be nothing. You’re not only protecting yourself, you’re protecting your neighbors as well. Call the police, let them know what you see so that they can be on the lookout themselves. They’ll be glad for the tip, and you may prevent something tragic from happening to you or your neighbors.

Tip #7: Don’t Announce When You’re NOT Going to Be Home…

These days with all the social networks that exist, people seem to love putting their life stories…including plans for the future… out for the world to see.

You’ll constantly see people announcing vacations and weekend getaways, or letting the world know how mad they are that they have to work an unexpected double shift at work. This is a recipe for disaster. You’re basically telling burglars “Go on in, I won’t be there to bother you.”

Sure, your Facebook “friends” might be people that you actually know and trust. But would you risk all of your worldly possessions on the assumption that none of those people want to do you harm, or tip off someone else that they know to gladly do the dirty work for them?

So there you have it. The more of the above steps that you take to prevent a burglary; the less likely you’re going to be faced with a crisis. Do what you can now and make it a goal to get the rest done as soon as possible, and always by aware.

Seattle Market Update – October 2014

After a bit of a lull in August, prices just took off in September. The median price of single family homes sold in King County in September was up 9.5 percent from last year to $460,000. Prices in Seattle jumped 12.1 percent to $517,000. The Eastside saw home prices increase 6.3 percent to $605,000.

Inventory continues to inch up, but it’s still tight – particularly in neighborhoods close to the city core.  King County has a little more than two months of inventory. Four to six months is considered to be balanced, so we remain solidly in a seller’s market.  It does feel like buyers may be experiencing a little frenzy fatigue. After a summer of weathering multiple offers and escalation clauses, we’re seeing buyers being more discriminating in the home buying process. It’s a good reminder for sellers that even in a hot market, a home needs to be priced correctly to sell.

Luxury home sales have been very strong.  Seattle’s economic boom has attracted a number of highly-paid professionals, and there aren’t enough high-end homes on the market to meet demand.  There has also been a large influx of foreign buyers, particularly from China, that has added to the strength of the luxury home segment.

Want to know what’s happening in your neighborhood? Check out our monthly Neighborhood Report for:

Laurelhurst

Windermere

View Ridge

Sand Point Country Club

Bryant

Wedgwood

Capitol Hill

Madison Park

Montlake

Portage Bay

Ask the Home Advisor – Selling in Fall and Winter

Q: I know spring and summer are usually the peak seasons to sell a house. Now that it’s fall, do you think the market will settle down a bit?

A: It is true that spring and summer are the busiest seasons for real estate. It brings the most buyers and sellers, therefore the most transactions. However, the other seasons often bring extremely motivated buyers looking for homes when inventory is down. People buy homes every month of the year.

A good example is someone relocating from out of town.  In the “off-seasons” there are usually fewer homes or the market. Since there are fewer homes to choose from, it increases the chance of selling a good home. It might seem crazy to list your house in the middle of winter, but if there is nothing comparable on the market, you can put yourself in a good position to sell.

Great Reads – October 2014

Here are a few things we thought you’d like:

Pike Place Market Named Best Farmers Market in U.S.

Another reason to love living in Seattle

Seattle Has Steepest Rent Hikes in the U.S

Now it makes even more sense to buy

Video Tour of $85 Million Beverly Hills Spec House

An over-the-top designer’s dream

Seattle Market Update – August 2014

Inventory is edging up. More sellers put their homes on the market last month compared to a year ago, but there is still less than two months of inventory in King County. And hot markets like Ballard, Green Lake and North Seattle have only about a month of inventory. Four to six months is considered to be balanced, so the market continues to favor sellers. The summer heat has put the brakes on somewhat, but we still are in a fast paced market.

This enormous demand for homes close to the city center has resulted in rising prices. The median home price in King County in July was up 8 percent over last year to $468,000. Seattle saw prices jump 17 percent to $543,500. On the Eastside, home prices were up 10 percent from a year ago to $624,900.

We continue to see multiple offers and bidding wars in highly desirable neighborhoods. A Seattle Times analysis shows that almost 40 percent of homes in King County sold for more than list price between April and June. There just isn’t enough inventory of the right homes in the right locations to satisfy demand. As I write this there are just 28 homes for sale in Green Lake, and 11 homes on the market in Laurelhurst.  Needless to say, whether you’re looking to move up or fly the empty nest, it’s a great time to sell a home.

Want to know what’s happening in your neighborhood? Check out our monthly Neighborhood Report for:

Laurelhurst

Windermere

View Ridge

Sand Point Country Club

Bryant

Wedgwood

Capitol Hill

Madison Park

Montlake

Portage Bay

Ask the Home Advisor – What Improvements Are Needed When Selling

Q: My elderly mother just moved out of her home and we’re getting it ready to sell. It’s pretty dated, but I don’t want to spend any more than necessary to fix it up. What kind of improvements are needed to make it marketable?

A: We see situations like this all the time, and the answer always varies. The first question that we ask is: “What are the goals of the seller?”.   Money can be made by flipping your own house, but it also takes considerable time and money, and not everyone is in the position execute that strategy.

We always recommend that you start by clearing the house of unneeded items.  De-cluttering will make the home feel larger and have better flow.  Determine if fresh paint and new flooring are needed, since each can make a very strong visual impact. Have someone evaluate the condition of the roof, sewer, plumbing and utilities to see if repairs are necessary. Street appeal is very important, so spend some time outside the home fixing up the yard and making sure the home makes a good first impression.   Staging the home is the final piece to having your property really shine.

The bottom line is that you need to take a look at your specific home and your goals.  A good agent can take you through the process.  Whatever the strategy, we want to make sure that if you spend a nickel, you make a dime.