Brooks & Heinze Real Estate Team – June 2018 Newsletter

June 21, 2018

Seattle Market Update
Is there a shift in the air? We are seeing some changes BUT it is too early to say there is a real change. For the last few years we have been telling you about how record low inventory mixed with high demand have fueled steady property value increases. Last month, we saw an increase in inventory! According to the Northwest Multiple Listing Service, local agents added “14,524 new listings during May, the first time that volume topped 14,000 since May 2008.” There are also fewer cash sales involving Chinese nationals as China is making it more difficult for people to take cash out of their home country.
It is still a strong sellers’ market in most of Seattle but instead of homes seeing 10 or more offers, there are now about half as many offers on each home and outside of Seattle the buyer competition has slowed, too.
For our buyers, the recent uptick in new listings hitting the market might be a slight relief. However, for our sellers, increased competition from other sellers and less demand might mean it is time to lower expectations on how fast and for how much their property will sell for. Despite these changes, prices were still trending up.
Again, we are not sure this is a new trend in the market but we have our eyes peeled for potential long-term shifts in the market.

How to Buy a Home in Seattle: A Survival Guide
In May, Mike Rosenberg who is a real estate reporter at the Seattle Times, wrote an excellent article on what buyers are currently facing in the market. Mike comprehensively writes about all the aspects that have to be in place for a buyer to be competitive aside from just offering the highest amount and buying the house as is. He also explains why it is important to work with an experienced team (real estate agent, lender and inspector, etc.) to protect you and secure the home you want in this highly competitive market. To read the article, follow this link.

What’s happening to Mortgage Rates
Mortgage rates are on the rise because of a stronger economy. According to the latest data released by Freddie Mac, the 30-year fixed-rate average climbed to 4.66 percent. It was 3.95 percent a year ago. The 15-year fixed-rate average jumped to 4.15 percent. It was 3.19 percent a year ago. Rates are still historically low. With ARMs (Adjustable-rate Mortgages), the interest rate increases or decreases at a set time, depending on what is happening with market interest rates. As a result, your monthly mortgage payments may go up or down. If you have an ARM, your monthly payments have or likely will go up.

Did you Know?
Did you know, Father’s Day was not celebrated in the US, until the 20th century. As a civic celebration in the US, it was inaugurated in the early 20th century to complement Mother’s Day by celebrating fathers and male parenting. Father’s Day this year is on June 17.

We’d love to hear from you
Any questions, comments, or feedback? Contact us any time, we’d love to hear from you … and if you are a seller, it is your market, give us a call. We’d love to provide you with a free pricing analysis on your home and offer you proven strategies on how to get the most money for your home.

Thank you,
Krisanne and Kerstin

Brooks & Heinze Team
at Skyline Properties, Inc.
Kerstin Brooks: 206.276.5827
Krisanne Heinze: 206.920.2541
Email: info@propertyinseattle.com
Web: http://www.propertyinseattle.com

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Brooks & Heinze Real Estate Team – May 2018 Newsletter

May 10, 2018

Seattle Market Update
Spring Frenzy is in full swing! There has been an uptick in inventory which jumped 14% in April when compared to March. However, it is still a strong seller’s market with an area-wide 1.3 months of supply which is still well below what would be considered a balanced market of 5 months of inventory. Why is there more inventory now? Homes show better in the spring then at any other time of the year. Longer days with more sun and the much of the are in full bloom. Also, a lot of families like to move toward the end of the school year rather than in the middle of the year. Homes hitting the market now will close right as school gets out for most kids.
Home prices are still trending up. The median home price in Seattle is $820k; in King County it is $725k.

Where are people moving from/to?
According to Realtor.com, the 10 most popular states that people are moving to are: Idaho, Washington, Nevada, Tennessee, Alaska, Maine, North Carolina, Oregon, Alabama and Rhode Island. However, in some states people seem to want to flee their home, those states are Illinois, West Virginia, Nebraska, South Dakota, Hawaii, Indiana, Delaware, New York, Louisiana and Kansas. Job opportunity (or lack thereof) is the driving factor for people either moving into an area or out of, especially younger people. The second most common reason for moving is cost of living, especially for baby boomers entering retirement.

Criminal Conviction Not a Reason to Deny Housing
Important reminder for landlords, The Fair Chance Housing Ordinance enacted last year makes former convicts akin to a protected class. Landlords cannot deny someone tenancy because of a criminal conviction. The ordinance offers property owners little flexibility, even on grave offenses. So, whether the ex-con forged a prescription or butchered a spouse, it matters not (the only exception is sex offenders).

Did you know?
Did you ever notice that a lot of homeowners have a red front door? In Feng Shui, it invites welcoming energy; in some religious groups, it offers protection; in Scotland, it means the mortgage has been paid off. Also, a red door adds a lot of fun color, don’t you think? What color is your front door?

Congratulations
Congratulations to our clients! Matt found a home in Bothell and Jennifer and Kevin found a home in Phinney. All will be closing on their purchase this month.

We’d love to hear from you
Any questions, comments, or feedback? Contact us any time, we’d love to hear from you … and if you are a seller, it is your market, give us a call. We’d love to provide you with a free pricing analysis on your home and offer you proven strategies on how to get the most money for your home in this hot seller’s market.

Thank you,
Krisanne and Kerstin

Brooks & Heinze Team
at Skyline Properties, Inc.
Kerstin Brooks: 206.276.5827
Krisanne Heinze: 206.920.2541
Email: info@propertyinseattle.com
Web: http://www.propertyinseattle.com


Brooks & Heinze Real Estate Team – April 2018 Newsletter

April 9, 2018

Seattle Market Update

There is, yet again, no sign that Seattle’s seemingly never-ending market surge is letting up … quite the contrary. The local market has been getting increasingly more expensive for six straight years now and has soared a total of 82 percent during that time. In Seattle, the number of available homes for sale dropped 21% from last year. Seattle’s median home sale price climbed to $819,500 in March, gaining $43,000 in value over the last month.

High demand from buyers, coupled with rapidly decreasing inventory makes securing a house for most buyers a miracle. If you are a buyer in today’s market, be prepared to not only waive all contingencies that were traditionally used to protect the buyer but also pay $30k to 80k in Earnest Money, pay cash or have 30%+ down if financing the purchase and extra funds available to cure a low appraisal. Even with all that, it may not be enough to get that home you fell in love with. It is not uncommon for buyers to make 15 offers before they secure a home. Some buyers actually just give up and stay in their current home or keep renting because it is such an exhausting and frustrating journey at the moment.

Rents have cooled somewhat as a result of thousands of new units hitting the market.

Affordability of Housing Here vs. Elsewhere

The affordability index for homeownership is based on three factors: median single-family home price, 30-year monthly mortgage rates, and estimated median household income. The historic standard for “affordable” housing is that monthly housing costs do not exceed 30% of one’s income. So, affordability is a relative concept in housing. Markets that seem affordable, because their median home price is lower than other areas, may actually be unaffordable for people who live there local wages don’t keep up. The following 3 markets were the most affordable among the 50 largest metro areas at the end of 2017: Oklahoma City, OK, Pittsburgh, PA and Indianapolis, IN. The three least affordable metro areas were San Jose, CA, Los Angeles, CA and San Francisco, CA. Here is a complete list of the 10 most and least affordable metro areas: https://www.zillow.com/research/most-affordable-markets-homes-18906/ . Ready to move to Oklahoma City? We are happy to refer you to an agent elsewhere and will prescreen them for you to make sure they are the right fit for you. Just let us know.

Did you know?

You can save money and reduce water and pesticide use by applying wood-based mulch or compost to your garden beds this spring. Natural mulch materials suppress weeds, hold water and promote plant growth by providing nutrients as they decompose. So, get out there during the brief moments of sunshine we have this time of the year to soak in the sun and prep your beds for this summer.

We’d love to hear from you

Any questions, comments, or feedback? Contact us any time, we’d love to hear from you … and if you are a seller, it is your market, give us a call. We’d love to provide you with a free pricing analysis on your home and offer you proven strategies on how to get the most money for your home in this hot seller’s market. It might not be what you would think …

Thank you,
Krisanne and Kerstin

Brooks & Heinze Team
at Skyline Properties, Inc.
Kerstin Brooks: 206.276.5827
Krisanne Heinze: 206.920.2541
Email: info@propertyinseattle.com
Web: http://www.propertyinseattle.com


March 2018 Newsletter – Brooks & Heinze Seattle Real Estate Team

March 20, 2018

Seattle Market Update:
The pool of interested buyers significantly outweighs what is available for sale. Seattle’s home values keep rising. This isn’t just true for sizzling hot Seattle and Bellevue but all of the Eastside, Everett, Tacoma and other surrounding areas which are all seeing tremendous demand and rapidly increasing home values.
Since the beginning of the year, mortgage rates have moved up from roughly 4% to 4.25%. For a 20% down, 30-year-fixed loan that has changed monthly mortgage payments for a $300,000 loan from approx. $1472 to $1545. This doesn’t seem like much but it is important to note that this has decreased the amount a borrower can borrow. A buyer who was approved for a purchase price of $375,000 at the beginning of January with a $300,000 loan now is only approved for a $357,000 purchase price with a $285,0000 loan.
We expect the hefty price gains to ease. Incomes aren’t going up at the same rate as housing prices and mortgage rates are going up. What does this mean? It means fewer people will be able to afford homes and this may slow down the runaway prices a bit but pent up demand is still so great for housing that making a reliable prediction on prices is difficult.
Huge Property Tax Increases
Property tax statements were mailed by the King County Treasury between February 14 and February 20, so you should have received your bill by now. Kerstin’s property taxes increased by $958; Krisanne’s property taxes increased by $1420. Property taxes across King County will increase about 17 percent on average this year, primarily due to additional taxes passed by the Legislature to increase funding for K-12 education. About 57 percent of property tax revenues collected in King County pays for schools. Property taxes also fund voter-approved measures for veterans and seniors, fire protection, and parks among other services.
Low-income seniors, veterans and disabled homeowners may qualify for a property-tax exemption offered by King County. Information on how to apply for an exemption, along with other property-assessment-related information, can be found at kingcounty.gov/assessor
To avoid interest and penalties, the first half property taxes must be paid or postmarked by April 30, 2018. The second half property taxes must be paid or postmarked by Oct. 31, 2018.
Did you know?
Responsible dog owners bag their pet waste and put it in the trash. This keeps harmful bacteria out of your yard, streams, parks and homes. Some bacteria in dog poop can live up to four years in your yard where it can make your pet sick or get tracked into your home. Yuck! So, bag the poop and throw it in the trash.
We’d love to hear from you
Any questions, comments, or feedback? Contact us any time, we’d love to hear from you.

Thank you,
Krisanne and Kerstin

Brooks & Heinze Team
at Skyline Properties, Inc.
Kerstin Brooks: 206.276.5827
Krisanne Heinze: 206.920.2541
Email: info@propertyinseattle.com
Web: http://www.propertyinseattle.com


Winter 2017/2018 Newsletter

January 2, 2018

Seattle Market Update – it is a seller’s market – low supply/high demand

In Seattle, year-over-year prices jumped 17.6 percent, from $625,000 to $735,000. On the Eastside, the median price for a single-family home rose 10 percent from a year ago, increasing from $768,000 to $845,000.
Where are prices headed or which factors will dictate market conditions and pricing in the future? For the immediate future, it is our assessment that home values are continuing to increase because the low supply cannot fill the high demand of housing.
For those who are worried that lending standards are again becoming too lenient and fueling the demand, we do not believe that’s the case. We also do not think that there is blind faith or irrational speculation causing extra demand on housing. Plain simple, for now, the continued increases in prices follow the theory of supply and demand.
Whenever there is a limited supply of an item that is in high demand, prices increase. In real estate, it takes a six-month supply of existing salable inventory to maintain pricing stability. In most housing markets, anything less than six months will cause home values to appreciate and anything more than seven months will cause prices to depreciate. In King County, the supply is less than a month!
We are not sure how buyers and sellers feel about the announcement of a provision in a GOP tax proposal to cap the mortgage interest deduction and how it might affect seller’s decision on selling their property or affect affordability for buyers. According to the proposal, if you purchase a new home (new to you), and your mortgage is greater than $500,000, your interest deduction is being capped. The current mortgage interest deduction cap is 1 million dollars.

Our Listings

13343 3rd Ave NE, Seattle 98125 – 4bd/2.5bth, 2-car carport: Spacious Haller Lake Home – $650,000 – One owner only! Lovingly maintained home. Spacious & updated kitchen. Huge dining area. Hardwoods throughout upper/main floor (under carpet). 3 bedrooms/1.5 baths on one level. Possible MIL/Airbnb with separate walk-in entrance w/ one bed/full bath downstairs. Lovely deck off the kitchen and beautiful mature landscaping. New furnace, newer roof, exterior paint, newer interior doors, new water line. Lots of upgrades. Quiet neighborhood w/ easy access to I-5 & 99 & upcoming Northgate Lightrail. Click here for more information and pictures.

Did we mention it is a seller’s market? We are ready to list your home – let us know if you are thinking of selling.

Quick Winter Tip for Homeowners

Cold weather is here, please remember to disconnect your garden hoses from the house, this is the number one cause of frozen pipes. Cover exterior faucets to insulate them and keep them from freezing.

We’d love to hear from you
Any questions, comments, or feedback? Contact us any time, we’d love to hear from you.

Happy Winter,
Krisanne and Kerstin

http://www.propertyinseattle.com


Fall 2017 Newsletter

January 2, 2018

Seattle Market Update – it is a seller’s market / prices are up / inventory is low:
(published 09/10/2017)

Seattle continues to “lead the nation in home-price growth”, no city has seen this kind of growth we have here for the last year; except for San Francisco three years ago. Our current year-to-date price increase is double the national average.

Working with buyers this year has proved difficult as prices kept rising every week and competition has been fierce. The emotional toll was all too real and raw for some of our clients but most persisted and moved into their new home. Some of our sellers, of course, were delighted with the gains.

It isn’t just buyers and sellers feeling the real estate roller-coaster and soaring property values. Rents are up, too, especially in urban centers with easy commutes and availability of rentals is a problem, as well.

Have you checked your property tax assessment? The tax rate has gone up and your property value has gone up, so you are paying considerably higher property taxes now than a few years ago.

Where are prices headed? Amazon and other employers have attracted talent to the city and played a major role in its economic growth, the rise in rents and home prices; but now that Amazon has announced plans to open a second, “equal” headquarters somewhere else, Seattle’s housing prices, rents and development boom might slow a little, especially in the core of the city. Time will tell.

Our Listings

None at this time. Did we mention it is a seller’s market? We are ready to list your home – let us know if you are thinking of selling.

Quick Tips for Sellers

1, Make sure your home is properly priced. Pricing too low or too high can result in a lower sales price.
2, Create curb appeal. Many potential buyers assume a house that shows poorly on the outside will show poorly on the inside, as well.
3, Make sure everything is in good working order. Even smaller defects like a drippy faucet can raise concerns about the overall condition of the home for a potential buyer.
4, Clean and paint. A house that shines and feels clean will sell faster and for more money.
5, Consider staging your home. It will help potential buyers envision themselves in your home.

We’d love to hear from you
Any questions, comments, or feedback? Contact us any time, we’d love to hear from you.


Winter 2016/2017 Brooks & Heinze Newsletter

January 20, 2017

Seattle Market Update – it is a seller’s market / prices are going up:  

The end of the year is just a few weeks away. The weather is cooling with winter knocking on the door. Real estate prices are not cooling – quite the opposite actually.

We are seeing a lot fewer listings hitting the market which is common for winter. Home listings have been scarce all year and supply has been critically low leaving many would be buyers in their current home or rental longer than they wish.

Low inventory, coupled with low interest rates, a robust job market, staggering foreign cash investment in real estate (mostly from Chinese buyers) and our exceptional Seattle lifestyle keep driving demand and property prices up in urban areas. Prices in rural areas are increasing more moderately but we are still seeing prices go up.

The Federal Reserve is meeting on December 14 and is expected to raise the Federal Funds rate. If the Fed indeed raises this rate, banks will have to pay more to borrow money – which could in return result in a higher mortgage interest rate for buyers.

Normally, we recommend sellers not list their home between Thanksgiving and mid-January, as there is generally less interest from buyers over the holiday season. However, with the current imbalance in supply and demand, fueling multiple offers and with so many willing and able buyers still looking for a home, we expect December and January this season to be just as good a time as any of the year to sell.

Winter Contest

Our quarterly photo contest continues. The theme this quarter is “Winter Wonderland at Our House”.  Submit a picture from your house highlighting the season. It can be a picture of holiday decorations at your home, a snow man you made in your backyard, a special holiday treat you made, etc.  – surprise us! Rules: Only one picture per person – must be submitted by January 5, 2017. Submit to us via email – we will publish it on our facebook page. The winner will get a $30 gift card, the 2nd and 3rd prize will be a $10 gift card to a venue/store of the winner’s choice.

We’d love to hear from you

Any questions, comments, or feedback? Contact us any time, we’d love to hear from you. We hope you enjoy the upcoming holidays.  Happy Winter !

  *** Kerstin & Krisanne ***

Brooks & Heinze Real Estate Team
Skyline Properties, Inc. 
Kerstin Brooks - 206.276.5827
Krisanne Heinze - 206.920.2541
Email: info@propertyinseattle.com 
www.propertyinseattle.com

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