Great Reads – August 2014

Stunning Seattle Garage Makeover

Watch this 250 square foot garage morph into an amazing artist’s home

Seattle Named #3 Fastest Moving Market in the U.S.

Homes here selling in less than a month

Seattle in Top 10 Places for Families to Live in the U.S.

Scores high for top schools with most affordable housing

Seattle Market Update – July 2014

This may be the greatest market for sellers that I have seen in all the years I’ve been in the real estate business. Strong appreciation, multiple offers and escalation clauses are translating into record prices for homes.

Part of the story is lack of inventory, particularly in neighborhoods close to the city core. Currently there is less than a two-month supply of homes on the market. Four to six months is considered to be a balanced market.

With not enough supply to meet demand, prices continue to go up.   The median price of homes sold in King County in June was $453,500, up  6 percent from a year ago. Home prices on the Eastside increased 6 percent to $630,000. Seattle’s median price was $499,000, up 9 percent from last June.

Sellers: Homes in hot neighborhoods that are well-priced and in good condition can expect multiple offers and escalation clauses. If you’ve been on the fence, I’d jump off. You’d be hard-pressed to find a better time to get top dollar for your home.

Buyers: Competition is tough, so the home search can be frustrating.   Make sure you are fully approved for financing before making an offer. Assume that you will be dealing with multiple offers, and work with your broker ahead of time on strategies for getting the home you want. This is a market where creative negotiating on your broker’s part can really pay off.

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

Great Reads – July 2014

Here are some interesting tidbits we thought you’d like:

Inside Richard Sherman’s New Maple Valley Mansion

See how “the best in the game” lives

Top 10 Outdoor Bars in Seattle

The best spots to have drinks in the sun

How to Pick the Right Paint Colors

Secrets from a color consultant

Seattle Market Update – May 2014

Tight inventory in King County is taking its toll on the market. The number of listings is down, however, prices are up.

How tight is inventory? King County has only 1.7 months of active listings. A 4-6 month supply is considered balanced, so it is solidly a seller’s market. We have a very motivated group of buyers, but the problem is there aren’t enough sellers. The closer to the city core, the tighter the inventory.The good news: We are starting to see inventory increases. The strong demand seems to be encouraging homeowners  who have considered selling to make the move.

With multiple offers the norm in most cases, sellers can expect strong returns for their property. The median sale price for single family homes sold in Seattle in April was $430,500, up 8 percent over a year ago.

The number of sales is down, but the only thing holding the market back is lack of inventory. Interest rates are still low, but economists are predicting that they will rise this year. If you can find a home you love at a price that works for you, it’s a good time to buy.

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

Great Reads – May 2014

Here are a few interesting things we thought you’d enjoy:

Guide to Seattle’s Best Restaurants

High-End Hoods: Seattle’s Wealthiest Neighborhoods

Rent Vs. Buy Calculator: Have rising rents made buying a better deal?

Guide to Seattle’s Best Restaurants

Foodie blog Tasting Table rates the city’s best eats

High-End Hoods

Seattle area has 11 of the nation’s wealthiest neighborhoods

Rent Vs. Buy Calculator

Have rising rents made buying a better deal?

Great Reads – April 2014

Here are a few interesting things we thought you’d enjoy:

33 Truly Over-The-Top Home Features

Seattle Ranks #7 in U.S. for Finding A Job

Stunning Costumes from Carnival Celebration in Rio

Seattle Market Update – February 2014

Jan 2014 home prices rise

The 2014 real estate market got off to a strong start. Positive job growth and still-low interest rates added up to solid sales and sizable appreciation.

Inventory in King County was up slightly, but still remains tight with about 2.4 months of supply. A 4-6 month supply is considered balanced; a supply below four months tips the scale to a seller’s market. We are seeing lots of buyers looking, but not enough of the right inventory to meet demand.  This is particularly true for move-up buyers looking for move-in ready homes in neighborhoods close to downtown Seattle.

With inventory low, it’s not surprising that prices are up.  Single-family home sales in King County reached a median price of $410,000 in January, up 17 percent over the prior year.

The luxury market had a stellar year. The number of $1 million+ properties sold in 2013 was up nearly 40 percent over 2012.

The Seattle area’s strong job and population growth should keep the market strong through 2014. Zillow ranks the Seattle area as the nation’s second hottest housing market in 2014, just behind Salt Lake City. They forecast home prices in the Seattle area to rise 5.9 percent in the coming year.

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

The market in Seattle today is a head scratcher. Certain homes are selling quickly while others are requiring sellers to be patient.

Entry-level priced homes are particularly hot. New construction and turn-key homes are moving well, however there is scant inventory in those categories. Waterfront inventory is down, which has increased demand. However, buyers making a seven figure purchase are choosy about amenities and savvy with negotiations.

Compared to a year ago, the number of transactions are up, and home values are significantly higher. The median price of homes sold in Seattle in October was up 13% over last year. Inventory spiked mid-year but it has come back down again – not to the levels of the first quarter of 2013, but well below 2011-2012 inventory.

The gusty weather has blanketed the area with fallen leaves and branches. Make sure and check that your gutters and downspouts are clear. Have a happy and safe holiday season!

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Ask the Home Advisor – Best Time To Sell

Q: We’re thinking about selling our home. When is the best time to list it?

A: Many factors drive the decision of when to put a home on the market. If you don’t need to sell your home quickly because of a lifestyle change, you’ll get the best price if you list your home when demand is high and supply is low.   Of course, just like the stock market, that’s difficult to time.

Typically, spring is the most popular time to list a home.  Why spring?  Homes generally look better in the spring when the garden is in bloom and the sun (hopefully) is out. Buyers, especially those with kids, want to close in time to move in by summer and be settled by the time the kids are ready to go back to school. Plus, many have deposited their tax refund checks and feel like they have a financial cushion. With inventory still at very low levels in King County, this Spring looks like it will be particularly strong.

That said, people buy homes all year long. Buyers that are relocating often look at properties towards the end of the year when there are fewer homes on the market to compete with your listing.  And since few buyers want to house-hunt during the holidays, you those people looking for a house in December are serious buyers.

One caveat: no matter how much of a seller’s market it is, make sure your home is move-in ready.  The hottest market won’t overcome a house that looks shabby.   

Great Reads – February 2014

Here are a few reads that we thought you’d enjoy:

Ravenna Fire StationTurned HomeTour a 1930s Ravenna Fire Station Turned Home

5 Insider Stats Every House Hunter Should Know

Washington Named the Most Innovative State in the U.S


Ask the Home Advisor – Selling During the Holidays

Q: What are your thoughts about selling during the holiday season?

A: Most people think of spring as the ideal time of year to list a home. Generally speaking, we would tend to agree. The sun is out (hopefully) and the flowers are in bloom. However, there can be advantages to listing during other seasons.

Inventory is typically at its low in December, and less inventory means less competition. Buyers who are  looking for  a house during the holidays are either shopping for a very expensive Christmas gift, or they most likely are being transferred to the area from out of the region. Either way, those buyers are typically quite motivated. Also, if you have a house that looks its best during the holidays, and don’t mind an occasional visitor in your home, it could be a way to show your home to its best advantage.  Again, springtime is probably the ideal time to market a home, but remember – houses sell 12 months out of the year.