Buying a Home this Spring? Be Prepared for Bidding Wars

Buying this Spring? Be Prepared for Bidding Wars | MyKCM

Traditionally, spring is the busiest season for real estate. Buyers come out in force and homeowners list their houses for sale hoping to capitalize on buyer activity. This year will be no different!

Buyers have already been out in force looking for their dream homes and more are on their way, but the challenge is that the inventory of homes for sale has not kept up with demand, which has lead to A LOT of competition for the homes that are available.

A recent Bloomberg article touched on the current market conditions:

“It’s the 2017 U.S. spring home-selling season, and listings are scarcer than they’ve ever been. Bidding wars common in perennially hot markets like the San Francisco Bay area, Denver and Boston are now also prevalent in the once slow-and-steady heartland, sending prices higher and sparking desperation among buyers across the country.”

Sam Khater, Deputy Chief Economist at CoreLogic went on to explain why buyers are flocking to the market in big numbers:

“In today’s market, many buyers think the trough in [interest] rates is over. If you don’t get in now, it’s just going to be worse later. Rates will be higher, prices will be higher, and maybe inventory selection will be lower.”

In some markets, “thirty-five percent of properties are selling within the first week or two of hitting the market.” Homes are selling at a rapid clip in places like:

  • Denver, CO
  • Seattle, WA
  • Oakland, CA
  • Grand Rapids, MI
  • Boise, ID
  • Madison, WI
  • Omaha, NE
Source: keepingcurrentmatters.com


Posted on April 5, 2017 at 8:38 am
Bellevue Commons | Posted in Home Buying, Windermere Bellevue Commons News | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Skagit County Tulip Festival 2017

What to Expect

There are two display gardens with more than a million bulbs in every color imaginable! Stroll through the gardens to find your favorite picture spot.

You can order bulbs, buy cut flowers and purchase gifts. The display gardens (RoozenGararde and Tulip Town) offer completely different experiences. Make sure to take in an event or activity.
Note: Drones are not allowed in the gardens or fields. Visit tulipfestival.org to see what’s scheduled during the festival and to download the official brochure.

Best Time to Visit

Tulips are expected to show early color in the first week of April and reach peak bloom in mid-April. Of course this could change depending on weather conditions. The two display gardens have several different varieties planted that will bloom throughout the season. The least crowded times are weekdays or on weekends during early morning (right at opening time) or late afternoon. The gardens are open daily in the month of April from 9am-7pm.

Getting There

The gardens are 60 miles north of Seattle. Use exits 221-231 off I-5. All of these exits have tulip brochures at nearby businesses. The festival is designed as a driving tour. Walking or biking is an option, but keep in mind that events and activities are miles apart

Admission is $7 per person at RoozenGaarde ($6 military with I.D.) and $7 per person at Tulip Town. Children 5 and under are FREE. Parking is FREE. Pets are not permitted.

 


Posted on March 29, 2017 at 4:40 pm
Bellevue Commons | Posted in Windermere Bellevue Commons News | Tagged , , , , ,

Here’s Your Spring Maintenance Checklist

Now that spring has sprung, let’s clear the cobwebs and get your home ready! Here is our quick guide to spring home maintenance:

 

Inspection top to bottom: Now that the weather is temperate you will want to check on how your home weathered the winter. Check the roof for leaks, the gutters for damage, and the siding for cracks. You will also want to inspect your basement or foundation for any shifts. Make repairs now to prevent further damage.

 

Clean out the gutters: April showers bring May flowers… so clear out the gutters to keep rain from pooling on your roof or near your foundation.

 

Pest control: Spring is mating season for eight legged critters, so sweep out cobwebs, clear debris, and check the nooks and crannies. If you live in an area prone to dangerous species like brown recluse or black widows, you may want to contact your local pest control, but otherwise household spiders do help eliminate other bugs. Check your basement and attic for signs of other infestations.

 

HVAC system: If you have an air conditioner now is the time to check to make sure it is ready before summer gets here and everyone else is clamoring for maintenance. Now is a good time to check your home air filters and replace or upgrade to keep allergens at bay.

 

Clear the clutter: Do a sweep around the house and get rid of junk that you don’t use! Take a little time each week to tackle a room. Closets, playrooms, and basements can be especially daunting, but getting rid of old stuff and refreshing your space will go a long way!

 

Deep clean: On a nice day open the windows, dust, wipe, scrub, and clean. You will get a nice work out and your home will look and feel so fresh after a winter of being cooped up.

 

Update your decor: Add a splash of color to your home with small embellishments. Add a colorful vase, a lighter throw for your sofa, pretty pastel pillows, or spring-time candles, to upgrade your living space.

 

Take it outdoors: Let your throw rugs, curtains, and other tapestries air out outside. Shake off the dust, spot clean what you can and let everything bask in the sun for an afternoon.

 

Don’t forget the back yard: It may not be time to start up the grill, yet, but you can get started on your outdoor entertaining checklist. Check your lawn, and if you have some spare spots start filling in with seed. Check your outdoor plants, prune, plant bulbs, start to replenish soil for your garden, and mow, so you are ready to start when the season allows.

Speaking of the grill – if you have a gas grill you will want to pull this out and perform a maintenance check. Clean everything up and check to make sure all the gas lines are clear, as these can get clogged after sitting idle all winter. Make sure the grill is clear of spiders too, as they can build webs in the tubes, causing damage to your grill. You can start to bring out your garden furniture too, or clean it up if you left it covered outside all winter. Because before you know it, it’ll be barbeque season!

Source: keepingcurrentmatters.com

Posted on March 29, 2017 at 8:22 am
Bellevue Commons | Posted in Home Sweet Home, Windermere Bellevue Commons News | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Millionaire to Millennials: Buy Now!

Self-made millionaire David Bach was quoted in a CNBC article explaining that “the single biggest mistake millennials are making” is not purchasing a home because buying real estate is “an escalator to wealth.” Bach went on to explain:

“If millennials don’t buy a home, their chances of actually having any wealth in this country are little to none. The average homeowner to this day is 38 times wealthier than a renter.”

In his bestselling book, “The Automatic Millionaire,” Bach does the math:

“As a renter, you can easily spend half a million dollars or more on rent over the years ($1,500 a month for 30 years comes to $540,000), and in the end wind up just where you started — owning nothing. Or you can buy a house and spend the same amount paying down a mortgage, and in the end wind up owning your own home free and clear!”

Who is David Bach?

Bach is a self-made millionaire who has written nine consecutive New York Times bestsellers. His book, “The Automatic Millionaire,” spent 31 weeks on the New York Times bestseller list. He is one of the only business authors in history to have four books simultaneously on the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, BusinessWeek and USA Today bestseller lists. He has been a contributor to NBC’s Today Show appearing more than 100 times, has been a regular on ABC, CBS, Fox, CNBC, CNN, Yahoo, The View, and PBS, and has been profiled in many major publications, including The New York Times, BusinessWeek, USA Today, People, Reader’s Digest, Time, Financial Times, The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, Working Woman, Glamour, Family Circle, Redbook, Huffington Post, Business Insider, Investors’ Business Daily, and Forbes.

Bottom Line

Whenever a well-respected millionaire gives investment advice, people usually clamor to hear it. This millionaire gave simple advice – if you don’t yet live in your own home, go buy one.


Posted on March 28, 2017 at 8:56 am
Bellevue Commons | Posted in Home Buying | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Housing Market Expected to “Spring Forward”

Housing Market Expected to “Spring Forward” | MyKCM

Just like our clocks this weekend in the majority of the country, the housing market will soon “spring forward!” Similar to tension in a spring, the lack of inventory available for sale in the market right now is what is holding back the market.

Many potential sellers believe that waiting until Spring is in their best interest, and traditionally they would have been right.

Buyer demand has seasonality to it, which usually falls off in the winter months, especially in areas of the country impacted by arctic temperatures and conditions.

That hasn’t happened this year.

Demand for housing has remained strong as mortgage rates have remained near historic lows.

The National Association of Realtors (NAR) recently reported that the top 10 dates sellers listed their homes in 2016 all fell in April, May or June.

Those who act quickly and list now could benefit greatly from additional exposure to buyers prior to a flood of more competition coming to market in the next few months.

Bottom Line

If you are planning on selling your home in 2017, call one of our agents to evaluate the opportunities in our market.


Posted on March 21, 2017 at 4:47 pm
Bellevue Commons | Posted in Home Selling | Tagged , , , , , , , , , ,

How to Price a Home Right?

Six Factors That Affect the Sales Price of Your Home

Pricing a home for sale is not nearly as simple as most people think. You can’t base the price on what the house down the street sold for. You can’t depend on tax assessments. Even automatic valuation methods (AVMs), while useful for a rough estimate of value, are unreliable for purposes of pricing a home for sale.

AVMs, like those used by Zillow and Eppraisal, have been used for many years by banks for appraisal purposes. They are derived from algorithms based on past sales. But producers of AVMs agree that they are not accurate indicators of home value. For example, Zillow.com states, “Our data sources may be incomplete or incorrect; also, we have not physically inspected a specific home. Remember, the Zestimate is a starting point and does not consider all the market intricacies that can determine the actual price a house will sell for. It is not an appraisal.”

So what does Zillow recommend sellers do instead? The same thing the real estate industry has been advising for decades: Ask a real estate agent who knows your neighborhood to provide you with a comparative market analysis. To accomplish that, I typically consider the following factors—plus others, depending on the house:

 

Location

The location of your home will have the biggest impact on how much it can sell for. Identical homes located just blocks apart can fetch significantly different prices based on location-specific conditions unique to each, including: traffic, freeway-access, noise, crime, sun exposure, views, parking, neighboring homes, vacant lots, foreclosures, the number of surrounding rentals, access to quality schools, parks, shops, restaurants and more.

Recommendation: Be willing to price your house for less if it’s located in a less desirable area or near a neighborhood nuisance.

 

Market

Another major factor that also can’t be controlled is your local housing market (which could be quite different from the national, state or city housing markets). If there are few other homes on the market in your local area (a situation known as a “sellers market”), you may be able to set a higher price. However, if there’s a surplus of homes like yours for sale (a “buyer’s market”), your pricing will also reflect that.

Recommendation: If it’s a buyer’s market and you can delay selling your home until things change, you should consider doing so. If you can’t wait, be willing to price your home extremely competitively, especially if you are in a hurry to sell.

 

Condition

The majority of buyers are not looking to purchase fixer-uppers, which is why any deferred maintenance and repair issues can also significantly impact the selling price of your home. When your home’s condition is different than the average condition of homes in your location, AVMs tend to produce the widest range of error.

Recommendation:  Hire a professional home inspector to provide you with a full, written report of everything that needs upgrading, maintenance or repair, then work with your real estate agent to prioritize the list and decide what items are worth completing before the property is listed for sale, and what should be addressed through a lower list price. Also, some defects are best addressed during negotiations with buyers.

 

Widespread appeal

If you want to sell your home quickly and for the most money, you have to make it as appealing as possible to the largest pool of prospective buyers. The more universally attractive it is, the greater the interest and the faster competing offers will come.

Recommendation:

Hire a professional home stager (not a decorator) to temporarily stage the interior of your home. Also spend time making the exterior look its best: address any peeling paint, make sure the front door/ door hardware is attractive, prune bushes and trees, remove old play equipment and outdoor structures, etc.

 

Compare homes

The only neighboring homes that should be used to estimate the value of your home are those that have been carefully selected by a real estate professional with special training, access to all sales records, and in-depth knowledge of the neighborhood.

Recommendation: If you’re considering selling your home, ask your real estate agent to recommend a professional appraiser.

Searchability

When working with a prospective buyer, most real estate agents will search the available inventory only for the homes priced at (or less than) their client’s maximum, which is typically a round number. If you home is priced slightly above or below that amount (e.g., $510,000 or $495,000), it will appear in fewer buyer searches.

Recommendation: Be willing to adjust your selling price to maximize visibility.

 

Periodic price adjustments

Pricing a home isn’t a set-it-and-forget-it proposal. As with any strategy, you need to be prepared to adapt to fast-changing market conditions, new competition, a lack of offers and other outside factors.

Recommendation: After listing your house, be ready to adjust your asking price, if necessary.

Posted in Windermere Blog by Tara Sharp


Posted on March 17, 2017 at 2:42 pm
Bellevue Commons | Posted in Home Selling | Tagged , , , , , , ,

Are You 1 of the 59 Million Planning to Buy a Home This Year?

59 Million Americans Are Planning to Buy This Year.

Are You 1 of the 59 Million Planning to Buy This Year? | MyKCM

According to a survey conducted by Bankrate.com, one in four Americans are considering buying a home this year. If this statistic proves to be true, that means that 59 million people will be looking to enter the housing market in 2017.

The survey also revealed 3 key takeaways:

  1. Those most likely to buy are ‘Older Millennials’ (ages 27-36) or ‘Generation X’ (ages 37-52)
  2. Minorities, particularly African-Americans, were twice as likely to respond that they were considering purchasing a home this year than white respondents.
  3. Many potential buyers believe they need to put 20% down and need to have perfect credit to own and are unaware of programs that would allow them to buy now.

Holden Lewis, a mortgage analyst for Bankrate.com, pointed to one big reason why many Americans are starting to consider homeownership:

“Having kids and raising a family is a primary reason why Americans take the leap into homeownership—many consider it a key component of the American dream.”


Posted on March 15, 2017 at 10:16 am
Bellevue Commons | Posted in Market Stats, Windermere Bellevue Commons News | Tagged , , , , , , , , , ,

King & Snohomish County Market Stats – February 2017

What’s Happening in the Market

Home sales continue to be slightly above last year’s totals in the areas tracked in this report.  We are continuing to see double digit price increases spread out from the core of Bellevue and Seattle due to the somewhat exorbitant prices now demanded from the metro area Sellers.

Low Inventory

Inventory hit an all-time low in February which at last count was 3 weeks of inventory if nothing new came on the market.  (That’s weeks, not months!) We do expect to see an increase in listings in March and April, but Sellers are still wary of putting their home on the market with nowhere to go. Buyers and Buyers agents are having to be creative with their offers as we are seeing at least 50% of the sales occurring are done in multiple offer situations. We don’t expect this to change anytime soon!


Posted on March 9, 2017 at 10:39 am
Bellevue Commons | Posted in Market Stats, Windermere Bellevue Commons News | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Fun Facts About Our Presidents

Presidents’ Day

Presidents’ Day is an American holiday celebrated on the third Monday in February. Originally established in 1885 in recognition of President George Washington, it is still officially called “Washington’s Birthday” by the federal government.

Here are some facts about two of our presidents:

16. ABRAHAM LINCOLN

• Among his favorite foods were bacon, apples and oysters.
• He was a wrestler when he was younger.
• Lincoln had a serious girlfriend named Mary. They broke up, and he later married a different woman named Mary.
• Lincoln’s desk was disorganized, but he had a stack of papers that was labeled, “When you can’t find it anywhere else, look into this.”
• Lincoln had two cats, Tabby and Dixie. His wife chastised him when he fed them from the dinner table.

1. GEORGE WASHINGTON

• He Didn’t have a middle name.
• That is his real hair. It looks white because he powdered it.
• He was made an honorary citizen of France in 1792.
• He was one of the sickest presidents in U.S. history. He suffered from: diphtheria, tuberculosis, smallpox, dysentery, malaria, quinsy (tonsillitis), carbuncle, pneumonia, and epiglottitis—to name a few.
• He is known as the “Father of the American Foxhound,” and kept more than 30 of the dogs. According to his journals, three were named Drunkard, Tipler, and Tipsy.


Posted on February 14, 2017 at 4:55 pm
Bellevue Commons | Posted in Windermere Bellevue Commons News |

How Much Did Residential Home Prices Rise in 2016?

King County Residential Home Price-Increase in 2016

King County Residential home prices increased an average of 12.7%. Here is the list of median home price-increase in different areas.

Shoreline/Richmond Beach $439,725–> $503,393
Lake Forest Park $432,250–> $505,350
Ballard $587,000–> $655,000
North Seattle $575,000–> $679,950
Queen Anne/Magnolia $780,500–> $882,500
Central Seattle $689,999–> $774,995
SODO/Beacon Hill $420,000–> $501,975
West Seattle $450,000–> $511,500
Southeast Seattle $441,500–> $500,000
Kirkland/Rosehill $801,000–> $899,500
Redmond $650,000–> $709,793
West Bellevue $1,751,000–> $1,948,000
East Bellevue $638,950–> $730,000
East Lake Sammamish $645,000–> $736,001
South Bellevue/Newcastle $713,000–> $788,888
Mercer Island $1,195,000–> $1,315,000
Juanita/Woodinville/Bothell/Duvall $525,000–> $610,000

 

All data compiled from information supplied by Northwest Multiple Listing Association on 1/01/2017 Accuracy of information herein is not guaranteed.
This information was only taken of single-family homes, and does not include condominiums or vacant land.


Posted on February 1, 2017 at 9:21 am
Bellevue Commons | Posted in Market Stats | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,