Brooks & Heinze Seattle Real Estate Team – November 2020 Newsletter

November 9, 2020

Seattle Market Update

The Spring Market was a little slower than usual this year due to Covid-related restrictions. The Summer Market was competitive with few listings and high buyer demand. This trend has continued on into the fall season. It’s a seller’s market for single family homes especially in the suburbs. In some urban markets, buyers had more negotiating power, especially the urban condo market and some neighborhoods in West Seattle affected by the bridge closure.  Usually, we see slowing in the market as we head into late fall/winter but we’ll see what happens this year which hasn’t been anything but business as usual.

In brief, home sales are surging in many areas bolstered by low interest rates and high demand but at the same time, some homeowners are struggling to make their mortgage payments. Foreclosure moratoriums are set to expire in December and delinquency rates are expected to increase.

Our Listings

150 Melrose Ave E #204, Seattle, WA 98102 – $499,950. Capitol Hill Condo: Available: 2 bed/1.5 bath – Enjoy a view of the Space Needle and Downtown from your Living Room.

2701 SW Sylvan Heights Dr, Seattle, WA 98106. – $499,950.  Pending/Under contract.  West Seattle Luxury Townhouse:  2 bed/2.5 bath plus den/office, tandem garage – San Francisco Style Townhouse at coveted Sylvan Ridge.

Congratulations to our clients

Brian and Danielle successfully closed on the sale of their Graham home with acreage. 

Madeleine and Zack are in contract on a townhouse in the Judkins Park neighborhood.

Randy and Michelle closed on their purchase of riverfront acreage in Onalaska. 

Should I renovate my house before I sell it

Clients often ask us if they should renovate their home before selling it. The answer in today’s market probably is no. The market is so competitive that buyers are often willing to overlook cosmetics. However, if repairs are necessary, you should absolutely do them. Buyers often do not want to or cannot afford to take on defects or deferred maintenance issues.

If you want to make updates you can personally benefit from until you sell your home the answer is a yes for renovations. If you still plan on living in your home for another 5 years and are tired of the outdated kitchen or doing your laundry in the basement which is only accessible from the exterior, by all means make those updates. You’ll get a return on that investment in enjoyment and most likely a wash in return on money spent on the improvements.

If market conditions change and the market becomes flooded with properties for sale, making renovations might help your house stand out from the competition. But currently, inventory of available homes is low in most neighborhoods and buyers are eager to buy homes whether they are updated or not.

We’d love to hear from you

Any questions, comments, or feedback? Contact us any time.

Thank you,

Kerstin & Krisanne

Brooks & Heinze Team at Skyline Properties, Inc.

Kerstin Brooks: 206.276.5827 and Krisanne Heinze: 206.920.2541

Email: info@propertyinseattle.com Web: www.propertyinseattle.com


Brooks & Heinze Seattle Real Estate Team – October 2020 Newsletter

October 8, 2020

Seattle Market Update

The hottest season in real estate in our area is usually spring (April through mid-June), followed by fall (Labor Day through October). But nothing about 2020 has been normal. With shut-down orders in the spring, summer became the new home-buying season. And now, fall buying season is in full swing.

In the Greater Seattle area, the most affordable homes continue to be the hottest commodities on the market. Prices keep climbing among homes that sell for less than $452,456, which represent the most affordable third of all homes sold. Those homes are concentrated in Pierce and Snohomish counties.

For single family homes in King County, specifically urban areas like Seattle and Bellevue, the market remains competitive as buyers continue to experience bidding wars amid historically low housing inventory. The market for homes priced less than $800,000 is especially intense, as homebuyers and former condo-dwellers look for more space as the pandemic drags into its eighth month.

Instead of price increases, we are seeing steep price drops in the urban condo market. With remote working, commute times aren’t as important as more space for a home office and access to the outdoors. Also, many condos are investment properties and for a number of reasons, Seattle landlords are off-loading their city properties. Less demand for these condos and increased inventory has resulted in a downward pressure on prices.

Everything is taking a little longer

County offices, title companies, escrow closers, lenders and contractors are struggling to keep up or meet deadlines. Getting permits, completing inspection work orders, processing applications for septic inspection approvals (required when transferring property), recording sales transactions at the recorder’s office, etc. all takes a little longer now. Some contractors weren’t allowed to work or only allowed to do emergency repairs this Spring and are playing catchup. Title and escrow offices are doing most of their work remotely. Some of the work force hasn’t returned. All of this is slowing things down. King County offices and businesses specifically are affected and sometimes this can delay the closing of some real estate transactions.

Our Listings

West Seattle Luxury Townhouse: Available: 2 bed/2.5 bath plus den/office, tandem garage – San Francisco Style Townhouse at coveted Sylvan Ridge: 2701 SW Sylvan Heights Dr, Seattle, WA 98106. – $499,950.

Capitol Hill Condo: Available: 2 bed/1.5 bath – Enjoy a view of the Space Needle and Downtown from your Living Room: 150 Melrose Ave E #204, Seattle, WA 98102 – $499,950.

Graham Home on 5 acres: Pending Inspection/backup offers welcome: 4 bed/2.5 bath, 3-car-garage – Live where the elk roam: 30610 70th Ave E, Graham, WA – $550,000.

We’d love to hear from you

Any questions, comments, or feedback? Contact us any time.

Thank you,

Kerstin & Krisanne

Brooks & Heinze Team

at Skyline Properties, Inc.

Kerstin Brooks: 206.276.5827

Krisanne Heinze: 206.920.2541

Email: info@propertyinseattle.com Web: www.propertyinseattle.com


Brooks & Heinze Seattle Real Estate Team – September 2020 Newsletter

September 11, 2020

Seattle Market Update

Low interest rates continue to give buyers great buying power but they also face rapidly increasing home prices and sparse inventory. Competition from other buyers is so fierce that many buyers are waiving inspections, offer well above asking price and waive financing and appraisal contingencies. Waiving some of these contingencies greatly increases the financial risk to buyers but more and more  buyers feel it is the only way to combat competition from other buyers.

The median King County home sold for $742,950 last month. Other median price stats: Seattle $825,000, Eastside $1,050,000, North King County $683,900, Southwest King County $500,000, and Southeast King County $549,900.

New Technology Tools

New tools like virtual walkthroughs, 3-D mapping and drone surveys were adopted years ago, but only on a case-by-case basis or for high end properties. Coronavirus has made these tools more common. Despite the coronavirus-accelerated move to more sophisticated digital marketing tools, most buyers want to see the property in person before they commit to a purchase but they are using these tools to narrow down the number of properties they want to tour in person.

Eviction Protection for Tenants

Mayor Jenny Durkan has handed yet another pandemic rent reprieve to the city’s residential and small business tenants, extending Seattle’s current eviction moratorium through the end of December 2020. 

This City Council legislation passed in May already gave residential tenants eviction protection through the end of the year. The biggest beneficiaries of the new order are small businesses and nonprofits, which now have the same assurance.

Our Listings

Spacious 2 bed/1.5 bath Capitol Hill Condo: 150 Melrose Ave E #204, Seattle, WA 98102. Enjoy views of the city, mountains & Space Needle. Walking distance to grocery, shops, restaurants & transit. Large windows allow natural light to brighten the space. In-unit laundry room, gas fireplace, garage parking, storage unit and hardwood floors. No rental cap. Pets allowed. Low HOA dues incl w/s/g. Well run HOA. Don’t miss this opportunity to live on vibrant Capitol Hill, close to downtown & South Lake Union. https://www.matrix.nwmls.com/Matrix/Public/Portal.aspx?ID=29770533030

We’d love to hear from you

Any questions, comments, or feedback? Contact us any time.

Thank you,

Kerstin & Krisanne

Brooks & Heinze Team

at Skyline Properties, Inc.

Kerstin Brooks: 206.276.5827

Krisanne Heinze: 206.920.2541

Email: info@propertyinseattle.com

Web: www.propertyinseattle.com


Brooks & Heinze Seattle Real Estate Team – July 2020 Newsletter

July 17, 2020

Seattle Market Update

We are seeing an extreme shortage of homes for sale.  The supply/demand imbalance is causing prices to ratchet up. Multiple offers are back with a vengeance. Buyers only have about half the inventory of a year ago to choose from. When buyers find a home they like, it is likely that they will find themselves competing against multiple other shoppers.

After our clients make an offer, more often than not, we have to tell them “sorry but the seller took another offer”. Usually, the winner will have waived all contingencies that are designed to protect buyers and will have made an aggressive offer much higher than asking price.  

Potential sellers might take note that if they have given any thought to selling, this may well be a particularly good time for them to do so.

Over the past several weeks, Freddie Mac has reported the average 30-year fixed mortgage rate dropping to record lows, all the way down to 3.03%. Last week’s reported rate reached the lowest point in the history of the survey, which dates back to 1971.

Shopping for a Home during Stay Home, Stay Safe

Showings are allowed by appointment only and available time slots to tour a home fill up quickly. CDC guidelines for social distancing and a few other precautionary measures have to be followed and masks are mandatory for brokers and their clients.

Our Listings

SOLD July 14, 2020 – 28514 71st Dr NW, Stanwood, WA –Congratulations to our clients Aaron and Jillian on the sale!

We’d love to hear from you

Any questions, comments, or feedback? Contact us any time.

Thank you,

Kerstin & Krisanne

Brooks & Heinze Team at Skyline Properties, Inc.

Kerstin Brooks: 206.276.5827 & Krisanne Heinze: 206.920.2541

Email: info@propertyinseattle.com

Web: www.propertyinseattle.com


Brooks & Heinze Seattle Real Estate Team – June 2020 Newsletter

June 9, 2020

Seattle Market Update

It is a seller’s market and the local real estate market is hot. Inventory is critically low and there are not enough homes available to meet demand. Brokers added 9,871 new listings to the MLS database during May, which compares to 14,689 for the same period a year ago. Buyers are eagerly waiting for and competing for each home that comes on the market, especially in the more affordable and mid-price ranges. Multiple offers and waived inspections are common.

More than ever, our homes have become an integral part of our lives. Today they are much more than the houses we live in. They have become our workplaces, schools for our children, and safe havens that provide shelter, stability, and protection for our families through the evolving health crisis. Just a few months into the pandemic, we see buyers move further out of the city, wanting to get more space and a useable yard. Some employers have made work-from-home options available long-term and commute times no longer play as critical a role for some buyers as they used to.

Loan underwriting requirements have tightened a bit. Mortgage rates are still very low.

Shopping for a Home during Stay Home, Stay Safe

Brokers and homebuyers adjusted quickly to the restrictions imposed on the real estate industry. Open houses are not allowed and probably won’t be for several more months as social distancing is nearly impossible to achieve in that setting. Virtual open houses are the current work-around. Before Phase 1.5 in King County and Phase 2 in Snohomish and Pierce Counties, only one broker and one client were able to tour a property at a time. Now, a broker and two clients at a time can tour a property. However, there are still some limitations. Showings are allowed by appointment only and available time slots to tour a home fill up quickly. CDC guidelines for social distancing and a few other precautionary measures have to be followed.

Our Listings

$455,000 – 28514 71st Dr NW, Stanwood, WA – https://tour.vht.com/434062836/28514-71st-dr-nw-stanwood-wa-98292. Lovingly maintained home with lots of natural light throughout. Main level includes formal dining room, spacious kitchen and inviting living room with vaulted ceilings leading out to the back patio. The master wing is spacious and the en-suite bath is well appointed. Huge loft upstairs has two additional bedrooms, full bath and enormous game room / flex space. 3-car garage and extra off-street parking in driveway.

We’d love to hear from you

Any questions, comments, or feedback? Contact us any time.

Thank you,

Kerstin

Brooks & Heinze Team at Skyline Properties, Inc.

Kerstin Brooks: 206.276.5827 and Krisanne Heinze: 206.920.2541

Email: info@propertyinseattle.com Web: www.propertyinseattle.com


Brooks & Heinze Seattle Real Estate Team – March 2020 Newsletter

March 12, 2020

Seattle Market Update

Even as concern over the rapid spread of the novel coronavirus mounts, the market for Seattle-area homes remains hot. It’s too early to tell just what the impact of the novel coronavirus will be in the coming weeks, however, low inventory, low mortgage rates and excited spring buyers are keeping sales moving. Traffic through homes for sale has not slowed.

Mortgage Interest Rates

When there’s fear in the world, we see lower mortgage interest rates as investors flee stocks for the safety of U.S. bonds. The average 30-year fixed-rate mortgage hit a record 3.29 percent this week, the lowest level in its nearly 50-year history. If your current rate is over 4% and you intend to stay in your home for several more years, we recommend you take a look and see if you can save some money on your current mortgage payments or maybe shorten your term. Talk to your preferred lender or feel free to reach out to Rodney Coulombe, Senior Loan Advisor at RPM Mortgage, NMLS #70209: www.rpm-mtg.com/rcoulombe

Property Taxes Up

Did you receive your property tax statement? Counties usually mail it in the middle of February. For most of you, property taxes went up and for some of you they went up quite a bit. Ouch!

Fortunately, limited-income seniors (61 and older) with incomes below $58,423 in King County ($55,473 in Snohomish County & $45,708 in Pierce County), disabled homeowners and veterans are getting a break, with a more generous property-tax exemption taking effect this year. It is estimated that only 20% of eligible seniors, disabled homeowners and veterans are taking advantage of this tax break simply because they don’t know it exists or they don’t think they qualify.  If you would like to learn more, contact us and we’ll let you know how you can apply for a deferral or exemption.

Did you know?

Since the Empire State Building was opened during the Great Depression, much of its space initially went unrented. As a result, many New Yorkers referred to the building as the “Empty State Building.”

Our Listings/Sales

SOLD 02/27/2020 – 19514 Burke Ave N, Shoreline – $640,000.

We’d love to hear from you

Any questions, comments, or feedback? Contact us any time.

Thank you,

Kerstin

Brooks & Heinze Team at Skyline Properties, Inc.

Kerstin Brooks: 206.276.5827 & Krisanne Heinze: 206.920.2541

Email: info@propertyinseattle.com

Web: www.propertyinseattle.com

 

 


Brooks & Heinze Seattle Real Estate Team – February 2020 Newsletter

February 10, 2020

Seattle Market Update

It’s a seller’s market. We are well on our way to another market like we saw in the spring of 2017. Buyers are competing in stiff multiple offers for the chance to buy one of the few available homes for sale in our area. Paul Roberts of the Seattle Times summed it up well by saying “open houses feel more like stampedes”. Ultra-tight inventory, paired with low interest rates and a strong job market, are driving home prices up.

U.S. long-term mortgage rates fell last week for the third straight week, as the benchmark 30-year loan marked its lowest point in three years. According to Freddie Mac, the average rate for the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage declined to 3.45% from 3.51%.

Homebot

We are excited to let you know that we have invested in a new technology called Homebot. If you are one of our past clients, you will be receiving an email called the “Homebot Digest”. Homebot offers homeowners a highly personalized report containing valuable information about their home. What will Homebot track for you? Current estimated market value, appreciation since you purchased your home, net worth/equity in your home, a breakdown of principal and interest paid and much more.

Initially, your current value will be estimated based on appreciation since you purchased the property, however, If you think the value of your home is incorrect, you can challenge the value to improve the accuracy AND you can request a CMA (comparative market analysis) from us and we’ll readjust the value for you. Alas, Krisanne and Kerstin will not be replaced by robots and we are happy to offer you the same human touch and expertise as always, just let us know.

If you are not one of our past clients but would also like access to homebot, please contact us and we will gladly sign you up (no charge!). Or sign up here.

Did you know?

2020 is a leap year. The chances of being born on a leap day is about 1 in 1,461. People born on February 29 are called leaplings.

Our Listings / Sales

Congratulations to our clients, Maia and Joey, who will get to move into their new home in Shoreline at the end of the month.

We’d love to hear from you

Any questions, comments, or feedback? Contact us any time.

Thank you,

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


Brooks & Heinze Seattle Real Estate Team – January 2020 Newsletter

January 26, 2020

Seattle Market Update

2020 is starting out as a seller’s market! In December, buyers had fewer homes to choose from in King County than any time since February 2018. To some extent, seasonal factors are at play as housing markets generally contract in December but the shortage in inventory was more than just a seasonal trend. Inventory for single family homes and condos (combined) was down by more than 30% in seven counties: Thurston (-54%), Pierce (-38.9%), King (-38.8%), Snohomish (-35.6%), Mason (-32%), Kitsap (-30.6%), and Skagit (-30.5%). There is only about 1.2 months of supply (6-month supply would be a balanced market). Available homes were quickly snapped up by buyers.
What does this mean for buyers looking to buy right now? Few homes to choose from and stiff competition from other buyers, as well as bidding wars driving up home prices. Whew!
Krisanne and I are working with motivated buyers and we can hardly get to the good homes fast enough with our clients before they go under contract! There are just too many buyers chasing too few properties. What a frenzied start to the new year!

Did you know?

The most expensive home to sell in 2019 in our area was in Hunt’s Point, WA. The 9,420 square foot home sold for $37,500,000. The second biggest sale was a $30,000,000 home on the waterfront in Medina. In 3rd place, another home in Medina on the waterfront which sold for $16,050,000.

Our Listings / Sales

We don’t have any home for sale right now but we are working with a seller in Shoreline and one in Kenmore to bring their homes on the market in the coming weeks. Stay tuned.

We’d love to hear from you

Life transitions such as growing a family, empty-nesting, dissolving a relationship, or other life circumstances often necessitate a change in living arrangements, let us know if we can help you with your next move.
Any questions, comments, or feedback? Contact us any time.

Happy New Year,
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 Seattle Real Estate Team – December 2019 Newsletter

December 8, 2019

Seattle Market Update
The middle of November through the middle of January usually is a good time for homebuyers to get a good deal. However, extremely low inventory in the last few weeks, has been sending prices higher, especially in more affordable and mid-price ranges. Few new listings have come on the market and inventory on the market has been snatched up. With December typically marking a low point for new listings coming on the market, it doesn’t look like there are any deals to be had or properties available for buyers this winter.
Most buyers and sellers sit out the market between Thanksgiving and the New Year. So we don’t expect to see much activity the next few weeks. But what will 2020 bring? Our best guess, if mortgage rates stay below 4% and inventory remains tight, we will see a competitive market for buyers and a lucrative market for sellers. Of course, predicting market conditions can be tricky and a myriad of factors (location, price points, demand, economy at large, employment, income, etc.) play into the equation.

Did You Know
From 1908 – 1940, Sears, Roebuck and Co. sold over 70,000 mail-order houses. They arrived as a kit and came with most modern conveniences. Some of them still exist today. Sears Catalog Homes were sold primarily through mail order. Most were sold in North America.

Happy Holidays
We wish you Happy Holidays, complete health, much joy and success in the New Year! Kerstin will be travelling to Germany to visit with family and friends and Krisanne will be vacationing with family in the Grand Canyon. We hope you will get to spend quality time with your loved ones, as well.

We’d love to hear from you
Any questions, comments, or feedback? Contact us any time.
Thank you,
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 Seattle Real Estate Team – November 2019 Newsletter

November 20, 2019

Seattle Market Update

Buyers don’t have much of a selection. In King County, there were 25.7% fewer homes on the market in October this year compared to last year. Snohomish and Pierce Counties saw similar dips, of 23.5% and 30.0%. In the fall, the number of homes for sale start dropping, so we expect inventory will continue to decline and we don’t expect to see a significant influx of new inventory until spring.

Nonetheless, late fall and winter can be a good time for buyers to get a good deal. It is true there are usually fewer homes on the market this time of the year and house shopping on a dark foggy and wet night might not be as fun as in the summer but there are also a lot fewer other buyers competing with you. And rates are great! The 30-year fixed mortgage rate averaged 3.78% for the week ending October 31.

In Seattle, the median price of homes sold rose 3.3% from a year ago, to $775,000 — the largest percentage increase in 12 months, according to data from the Northwest Multiple Listing Service (NWMLS).

Our Listings

No current listings available – we sold all of our inventory. 😊 There are still some great homes on the market though. We’d love to help you buy your new home.

Did you know?

Did you know, it takes about $114,535 household income to buy a $750k house? You need to speak with a home lender to find out exact details for your household and situation. The information below is not a guarantee you would qualify for a loan and provided for informational purposes only:

If you assume a 50% debt-to-income ratio (as allowed by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac), 10% down payment, 4% interest rate, 1% property taxes, upfront mortgage insurance, $75/month homeowners insurance, $500 in car loans/leases per month, $200 in student loans per month, and $150 in monthly minimum credit card payments…here’s what you’d have to earn to buy in today’s market:

Median home price of $750,000 = minimum household income of $114,534
Tacoma median home price of $419,000 = minimum household income of $73,787
Renton median home price of $680,000 = minimum household income of $105,922
Bothell median home price of $700,000 = minimum household income of $108,385
Everett median home price of $459,000 = minimum household income of $78,712

Hint, there’s a reason the Everett and Tacoma housing markets are on fire – these areas offer home prices that are still considered affordable

Veteran’s Day! 

We wish our Veterans well. We appreciate all who have or are serving. May peace prevail.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Enjoy your time with friends and family and a Good Meal. We hope you have much to be grateful for.

We’d love to hear from you

Any questions, comments, or feedback? Contact us any time.

Thank you!

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


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