Daily Real Estate Blog

We hope you enjoy keeping up on the latest happenings in Snohomish and King County Real Estate market, trends, and real estate tips for buyers and sellers. 

June 22, 2022

What’s Going On in Our Market?

 

Rising rates have started to balance out our real estate market again.

 

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I get a lot of questions from homeowners and prospective buyers about what's happening in our area, if sellers should wait to sell their homes until the market goes up, and if buyers should wait for a correction. The answer depends on your situation. Today I'll explain what's happening in the market and tell you where I think we're heading.

 

We’re still in a seller's market, but it’s getting better for buyers. We're finally getting some inventory relief since interest rates have risen. We have just over one month of inventory in both King and Snohomish Counties, compared to the 0.78 months of supply that we had earlier in the year.

 

Rising interest rates have slowed demand so there are fewer buyers than earlier this year. That means that there are more opportunities for buyers. Our current rates are still historically low, so it's a good time for buyers to secure financing on a property and be more aggressive in their negotiations. Sellers must present their houses in the best possible light to attract buyers.

 

If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to reach out to me by phone or email. I look forward to hearing from you.

Posted in Market Reports
June 3, 2022

What Must Sellers Disclose in Washington State?

 

Here’s what you need to know about seller’s disclosures in Washington.

 

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Most states require some kind of seller’s disclosure during a real estate transaction, but the requirements vary by state. Today I’m going to focus on what’s required here in Washington state.

 

The entire point of the disclosure is to provide transparency and allow the seller to disclose things that are going to affect the value of a property. Any material facts that a seller is aware of must be disclosed. 

 

There are certain cases where a seller is to be exempt from making disclosures. In the case of a foreclosure, an estate sale, or a transfer between family members, the seller is exempt from making most disclosures.

 

 

   
Your agent should help guide you through the disclosure process.

 

 

Even when the seller is exempt from making them, they’re still required to disclose any material facts about the home related to environmental impacts. This could include lead-based paint, asbestos, standing water, flood zones, underground oil tanks, and more. 

 

If the property doesn't qualify for an exemption and the buyer has not waived their right to receive the seller disclosure form, sellers are required to disclose any known material defect in the property. Whether it’s a leaky sink or a small hole, it’s best to disclose as much as possible and be transparent. The seller’s disclosure is the main catalyst of lawsuits in the real estate industry. 

 

When you’re in the process of selling, your agent should be there to guide you through exactly what to disclose so that you’re fully protected in the transaction. If you have any questions about disclosures or anything else related to real estate, don’t hesitate to reach out via phone or email. I look forward to hearing from you soon.

Posted in Sellers
May 19, 2022

Should You Be Worried About a Bubble?

 

 

Three reasons our real estate market is not in a bubble in 2022.

 

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Are we in a housing bubble? This question is causing plenty of conversation right now, and some people are worried we’re heading toward a housing crash like we had back in 2007. Many buyers and sellers think our current market is very similar to the one we had back then because of our high home prices. However, three main factors make our present market very different from that of 2007:


1. Real estate bubbles are rare. The 2007 housing bubble was brought about by a series of events and decisions that just wouldn’t happen these days. Lending standards were relaxed, and adjustable-rate mortgages became extremely popular. Homeowners ended up getting risky mortgages and had almost no equity in their homes. Once the market fell, their loans were worth far more than the houses themselves, so many people were forced to sell, which caused a massive amount of inventory to hit the market in a short period. Nowadays, most homeowners are in very good equity positions, and adjustable-rate mortgages are less common.

 

 

   
It's likely to take years before supply and demand balance out again.

 

 

2. New construction lagged behind. They’ve been focusing on building mostly higher-priced houses and much fewer starter homes. So it’s likely to take years before supply and demand balance out again. 

 

3. Buyers are well qualified now. Today, buyers are either paying with cash or are well qualified for their financing, which means they’ll be capable of holding on to their homes until they’re in a great equity position to sell. 


Due to these factors, we’re not in a real estate bubble. If you have any questions, feel free to reach out to me via phone or my website. I’d love to chat about this market, how it differs from 2007, or anything else concerning real estate.

Posted in Market Reports
May 5, 2022

How To Decide Whether To Buy or Sell First

 

Three questions that can help you decide whether to buy or sell first

 

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In today’s real estate market, low inventory and high demand are dominating the conversation. It’s easy to sell, but it’s much harder to buy. Many homeowners are in a position where they need to complete both transactions in a short period. Deciding which one to do first comes down to several factors. Each route comes with pros and cons, but the right option for you depends on your particular situation.

 

If you need to sell your home and buy a new one, here are three key questions that you should consider before starting the process:

 

1. Can you afford two mortgages? If possible, most people choose the buy first, then sell option. However, qualifying for two mortgages at once is difficult and can add a lot of stress to your situation. If you can carry both payments for a few months, you’ll have plenty of time to find a new home while also preparing your current property to sell for top dollar.

 

2. What type of home are you buying? If you have a specific neighborhood or school district that you’re targeting, you can’t always afford to sell first from a timing perspective. You might need to make a contingent offer, use a bridge loan, or take out a home equity line of credit. It might be worth it to secure your dream home. If you don’t have a super-specific wish list for your next home, selling first might make more sense for a multitude of reasons.

 

 

   
The right option for you depends on your particular situation.

 

 

3. Do you want to move twice? Most people don’t, but you might not have a choice. If you need the money from your home sale to fund your subsequent purchase, you may have to find temporary housing while you search for your next property. With rent on the rise due to inflation, that’s not always the wisest move. On the other hand, depending on how high demand is in your specific price range, you may be able to negotiate a rent-back agreement with the buyer who purchases your home and avoid the dreaded double move.

 

We’ve helped many clients in this situation, and we’d be happy to help you too. There is more than one way to sell before you buy and vice versa. 

 

If you have any questions about your specific situation or real estate in general, don’t hesitate to reach out via phone or email. We look forward to hearing from you soon.

Posted in Sellers
April 21, 2022

What Should I Do While Living in the Home I’m Selling?

Read this if you’re thinking about listing your home to buy a new one. |

 

Buying a home? Click here to perform a full home search
Selling a home? Click here for an Instant Home Price Evaluation

 

How can you continue to live in your house once you put it on the market? Your home has always been your sanctuary, your one true personal space, but now it’s listed for sale and will soon get a ton of foot traffic. This can get very stressful and make it difficult to continue living your normal life in your house, especially if you have young children. So here are five tips to help you continue living your life in your for-sale home and keep things a bit less hectic:

 

1. Start packing now. Packing and storing boxes in the basement or garage is completely acceptable. We want to open up as much space as possible; we’re emphasizing floor space and square footage, so the larger it feels, the more money you’ll get.

 

2. Sell, donate, or throw it away. While you’re packing, try to get rid of things you don’t need. My recommendation is if you haven’t touched an item in a year and it’s not an heirloom or memory, it’s time to part with it. Try to at least donate items that are still in decent condition.

 

3. Get squeaky clean. A clean, cared-for house can net you $5,000 to $10,000 more for your sale. Shoot for five-star hotel perfection when cleaning, and focus particularly on bathrooms, the kitchen, windows, and floors. Make it sparkle!

 

 

   
While you’re packing, try to get rid of things you don’t need.

 

4. Maintain privacy and safety. Buyers are going to be looking through closets and other areas people wouldn’t typically see. Ensure there’s nothing valuable or personal anywhere that they could find. If you’re unsure about an item, be on the safe side and lock it away somewhere secure (this includes medications).

 

5. Involve your kids. Nothing is better than having your kids be part of the selling process. The easiest way to get them involved is through games or a reward system so they’ll help you clean the house and prepare it for showings. You won’t believe how motivated kids can get when there’s something fun tied to a chore!

 

If you’d like to dig deeper into the tips above or have any questions about real estate in general, please shoot us an email or give us a call. We would love to help in any way we can.

Posted in Home Buyers
April 7, 2022

Positive and Negative Impacts of Inflation on Real Estate

Here’s how inflation will impact the real estate market in 2022.

 

Buying a home? Click here to perform a full home search
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Inflation is the topic of many conversations these days across all industries, including real estate. Today I have a quick update on how this rising inflation will affect the real estate market.

 

With inflation on the rise, we expect to see increases in rent across the board. If you’re currently renting, this could be a big problem.

 

On the flip side, home appreciation has consistently beat the rate of inflation over the last 50 years according to the National Association of Realtors. Inflation is better for you as a homeowner than as a renter. Your rent will go up, but if you’ve already purchased your property, your equity will increase while your monthly mortgage payment remains flat.

 

"Inflation will put more pressure on our housing shortage."

 

Inflation also affects the cost of building materials. We’ve already seen a rise in costs because of material shortages over the last couple of years, and that’s only going to go up with our record-high inflation. This is going to make new homes much more expensive and cause delays in the process. That will put more pressure on the housing shortage that’s already an issue in our area.

Considering both of these factors and the rising interest rates we’ve seen so far in 2022, it’s pretty clear that homeowners are going to be in the best position to hedge against inflation over the next few years.

If you have questions about inflation, buying a home, or anything else related to real estate, don’t hesitate to reach out via phone or email. I look forward to hearing from you soon.

Posted in Real Estate Tips
March 17, 2022

3 Tips for Buying in This Market

Three tips to help your offer stand out to sellers in this market.

 

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We’re in an extremely competitive market right now, so today I’m sharing how buyers can still set themselves apart and win a home. Much of what you do will depend on the property you’re trying to buy, but here are three tips that will help every buyer:

 

1. Work with a great lender. Sellers will be looking to see if you can close on time and get the money you’ve promised. Working with an excellent lender who’s on top of communication, has all their ducks in a row, and has a good reputation will make a massive difference in whether the seller chooses your offer or another.

 

2. Consider waiving contingencies. Each situation will be different, but if you can do much of your due diligence before you write the offer and feel secure in waiving some contingencies, you’ll be in a better position to purchase the home and get your offer accepted. Consult with your real estate agent about this because you also need to know the risks involved.

 

"There are many ways you can make your offer more appealing to sellers."

 

3. Remember that cash is king. Don’t worry; it isn’t crucial that you purchase the house with cash. However, if you have extra cash, you can use it to make your offer stronger. For example, you can submit a larger earnest money deposit and allow the seller to have it sooner in the transaction. Another thing you can do is offer more cash above the appraised value.

 

Both of these come with some risk, so again, consult with your agent to see if they make sense for you. However, these two things often help buyers win in the current market.

 

The bottom line is that there are many ways you can make your offer more appealing to sellers. Our market is very competitive these days, and you don’t want to write 20 offers before you get one accepted.

 

Feel free to reach out via phone or on my website if you have any questions or want to discuss these strategies further. I would love to be your real estate resource.

Posted in Home Buyers
Feb. 25, 2022

Why Our Market Will Stay Hot This Year

Three reasons why 2022 will be another strong year for real estate.

 

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Will the market slow down this year? I get this question all the time, and the answer is a solid no. It looks like 2022 will be another strong year for real estate, and there are three reasons why:

 

1. The market is still strong despite interest rate increases. When interest rates go up, buyers lose buying power, and demand usually drops. However, despite two increases already, the market has stayed incredibly strong.

 

2. There is a lack of inventory. I’ve been singing this song all last year, but it remains true. We would need to triple our inventory to service all the buyers in this market.

 

3. Sellers aren’t pressured to sell. If something forced sellers to list their homes, that would bring a lot of inventory to our market, and maybe the market would start to balance out. Right now, there isn’t any such pressure that would force sellers to go to market. 

 

It looks like 2022 will be yet another strong year for real estate. If you’d like to talk about what this means for your home’s value or discuss strategies to help you buy a home, feel free to call or email me. I would love to help.

 

 

Posted in Real Estate Tips
Feb. 4, 2022

The Advantages of Investing in Real Estate

These are the three biggest advantages of investing in real estate.

 

Buying a home? Click here to perform a full home search
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Today I’ll discuss the advantages of investing in real estate. The first advantage is cash flow. The amount of cash flow you’ll get from a property is something you should be looking for when you're buying an investment property. Having a cash flow that covers expenses and leaves some in your pocket allows you to hold on to that property in the long term and stay financially stable.

 

The second advantage of real estate investing is equity. You're building equity through two different mechanisms: by paying down your mortgage every month and the growth in the market.

 

The third advantage of real estate investing is that you’ll have a larger position than the amount of cash you put down. You'll only be putting 20% or 30% down on an investment property, but when the market grows, you'll be receiving equity of a much larger sum than the investment.

 

If you'd like to talk more about real estate investing and how it might fit into your financial future, please feel free to reach out to me by phone or email. I look forward to hearing from you.

 

Posted in Real Estate Tips
Jan. 18, 2022

When Buyers Find Maintenance Issues

Here’s my advice for buyers who find maintenance issues with a home.

 

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Home inspections can be anxiety-provoking for buyers. After falling in love with a home, the last thing you want is to find issues with it. However, some problems (even large ones) are more concerning than others, so today I’m discussing which ones you can walk away from and those you should make sure to repair.

 

If a water heater or furnace needs to be replaced, you’ll know how much that will cost you, and you can budget for it. On the other hand, when you run into a problem and you can’t tell how serious it is, you may want to be a little more hesitant about following through. One example is water intrusion; if you’re finding water leaking into the basement or crawl space and don’t know where it’s coming from, you likely can’t predict what will be needed to fix the issue. The problem isn’t that it could be an expensive fix; the problem is that you just don’t know what it will cost, so you don’t know how much to ask the seller for or to budget to mend it.

 

Some homes have been updated cosmetically, but the seller hasn’t kept up with maintenance. For example, it has an excellent kitchen, but the roof needs major repairs or needs to be replaced. These homes can be very attractive and make people forget the other costs they’ll incur after they purchase them. I caution buyers to consider homes objectively and think through the costs of any maintenance items needed.

 

The moral of the story is to get a home inspection. It’s better to get into a situation knowing as much as possible so that you can plan for it, rather than going in blind and hoping for the best. If you need a great home inspector, I have contacts I can recommend. Don’t hesitate to reach out via phone or my website if you need anything or have questions. I would love to help you.

 

Posted in Real Estate Tips