Brooks & Heinze Seattle Real Estate Team – September 2021 Newsletter

September 10, 2021

Seattle Market Update

The housing market was slightly more favorable to buyers in August compared to prior months but it is still a seller’s market. Homes took slightly longer to sell last month and home prices plateaued in most areas. This is normal for Seattle’s summer market when many are traveling and are enjoying time off from school/work rather than house shopping.

Aside from the usual summer slowdown, this could also be a sign that we are hitting a price ceiling and that appreciation is slowing. But with inventory still low and favorable mortgage rates, we predict that homes coming on the market in September and early October will move quickly if priced correctly and that buyers will still face stiff competition for desirable and affordable properties.

Housing is a very interest rate-sensitive part of the U.S. economy, so we will closely watch changes in mortgage interest rates as higher rates usually translate into lower home prices. COVID-related disruptions to consumer spending and supply chains, as well as inflation could also affect economic activity in the housing market for the rest of the year. Here we go from summer limbo into the yet undetermined autumn market.  

Huge Hike in Homeowner Insurance Rates

If you have good credit, prepare for a huge hike (20-50% increase) in your homeowner insurance bill. If you have poor credit, your rates will likely go down. If you haven’t seen such an increase or decrease yet, you will the next time your insurance policy renews.

Washington Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler issued an “emergency rule” without any public input or process back in March, asking the state Legislature to ban insurers’ use of credit scores when determining how much you pay for personal insurance. His ruling means that new rate plans can no longer consider a consumer’s credit history in any way. You can read more about this here.

In addition to rate changes as a result of the “insurance credit scoring ban”, homeowners are also starting to see slight increases in premiums, bigger deductibles and fewer coverage options for extreme weather coverage as insurance companies reassess their risks as a result of a sharp rise in wildfire, flood and storm losses.

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 – August 2021 Newsletter

August 22, 2021

Seattle Market Update

We are seeing a cooling in the urban housing market but that doesn’t mean homes are now affordable or easily attainable. This statement can also not ring true for suburban homebuyers as the majority of those homes are still selling quickly and above list price, particularly in markets about an hour outside the city or in price ranges below $600,000. Competition for homes eased slightly in July but inventory is still tight and it is still a strong seller’s market.

There is usually a little slowdown of activity in August in the Seattle market as people enjoy summer and travel. This year, it feels like this slowdown happened a month sooner, coinciding with the lifting of many pandemic restrictions in the area at the end of June. Online home searches, in-person tours and mortgage applications have all been on the decline. It’ll be interesting to see if the pace picks up again in September or if this is a long-term trend.

In Seattle, the median single-family home price this July of $896,500 is up about 11% from last July but down from a $919,000 peak in May.

The current average mortgage rate for a 30-year fixed mortgage is 3.03 percent. At the current average rate, you’ll pay a combined $423 per month in principal and interest for every $100k you borrow.

Summer Home Maintenance Tips

We have 30 summer home maintenance tips, most of which you can do yourself. Following are four of them. Ask us for a complete list if you are interested:

1, Clean your dryer vent. Clean out all of the dust and lint trapped in the vent and exhaust duct. Dryers vents can be a fire hazard if they’re not cleaned and maintained.

2) Give your deck a once-over. Check your deck to see if there are any boards that look like they’re rotting. Have them replaced. Hammer any nails that are loose. Reseal your deck. 

3) Add a layer of mulch. Extra mulch will help fight off weeds and help your soil retain moisture during those scorching summer months.

4) Protect your home against unwanted guests. Cover any holes that are more than a quarter-inch wide. Get your tree branches trimmed back so they don’t create a highway for squirrels to your attic. Branches should be at least 8 feet from your roof. Do away with yard debris. Leaves and twigs are a haven for animals that might decide to invade your home.

Congratulations to our clients

Congratulations to AJ and Laura on the sale of their Greenlake Rambler!  

We’d love to hear from you

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

Enjoy your summer,

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 2021 Newsletter

July 12, 2021

Seattle Market Update

Properties still in high demand but we are seeing some cooling. We have seen more homes hit the market, finally increasing the supply of homes for sale. At the same time, homebuying demand has decreased, leaving the market feeling a few degrees cooler. Despite these changes, it is still very much a seller’s market but the share of homes sold above list price has flatlined in most urban areas. However, most first-time homebuyers in the suburbs looking for more affordable homes still face fierce competition.

NWMLS figures show the median price on last month’s completed transactions was $779,919 in King County (Snohomish County, $675,000; Pierce County $507,375).

Pandemic Mortgage Forbearance

Millions have avoided financial disaster during the pandemic thanks to government-mandated mortgage forbearance, which allows homeowners to skip payments or make reduced payments. As of March 2021, about 2.2 million homeowners remained in forbearance, according to the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.

If you are one of those homeowners, currently on a forbearance payment plan, communicating with your loan servicer prior to the end of your payment forbearance is crucial to avoid damage to your credit and/or foreclosure. Mortgage servicers continue to process millions of forbearances and under the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s new rules, effective Aug. 31, 2021, homeowners can continue to request a forbearance through the year-end. If you are not able to resume payments at the time your forbearance ends, you still may be able to enter into a loan modification with your mortgage servicer, but you should start those discussions before your forbearance period ends.

Our Listings

North Greenlake Rambler – 3 Bds / 1.5 Bths, $725,000 – Pending/Under Contract.

Congratulations to our clients

Congratulations to Michaelle and Randy on the sale of their Lynnwood Mid-Century, $650,000 – Sold.

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 – May 2021 Newsletter

May 7, 2021

Seattle Market Update

Most sellers prefer listing their home between late April and early June when their home and yard look the best. Indeed, we have seen more homes hit the market in the last few weeks. Finally, there is some more inventory for buyers who have been competing in fierce bidding wars with other buyers. It is still a strong seller’s market but it looks like there might be a little more hope for buyers who have been unsuccessful in securing a home so far this year.

The highest price increases and the most competitive areas for homebuyers have been outside Seattle. While single-family home prices are up about 7% in Seattle compared to last year, they’re up about 39% on the Eastside and 25% in Graham, Pierce County.

In Search Of (ISO)

Currently, we have an immediate need to find homes for our buyers in Renton and North Marysville/Arlington. DUE TO A LACK OF INVENTORY ON THE OPEN MARKET, we would greatly appreciate any leads for off market properties in these areas:

ISO – 3bed/2bath/2car home in Renton for our clients Laura and Robert. For more detailed information of what they are looking for click here.

ISO – 3bed/1bth/1parking home/townhouse/condo in North Marysville / Arlington for our clients TJ and Naomi. For more detailed information of what they are looking for click here.

New Construction Delays and Higher Costs

The difficulty in procuring some construction materials and the cost associated with shortages, especially for lumber, steel and electrical supplies is stalling projects and driving up prices for new construction. Some builders are including automatic closing date extensions and automatic price adjustments to the real estate purchase contracts to compensate and protect themselves from price fluctuations in materials and procurement delays. Make sure you work with a trusted real estate agent and lender who can educate you on how this may affect your bottom line and financing.

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 – April 2021 Newsletter

April 10, 2021

Seattle Market Update

We have less than one month supply of homes available for sale. In a balanced real estate market, there should be around a six-month supply of homes. Anything under six months supply is a seller’s market, anything over is a buyer’s market. Inventory cannot keep up with demand at this point. This of course means that prices are moving up as buyer competition drives them up. Area-wide, NWMLS figures show there is only about two weeks of inventory for single family homes.

New mortgage applications fell for the third straight week, the Mortgage Bankers Association reported. The combination of sky-high prices and a slight uptick in mortgage interest rates means prospective buyers have less purchasing power. We are also seeing some fatigue in first time homebuyers playing the “bidding war game”.

More builder inventory should finally be hitting the market in the coming months after slow-downs in construction due to restrictions and supply shortages had delayed construction last year.  

3D-Printed Houses Arrive

Last month, the first publicly listed 3D-printed house went on the market in Riverhead on Long Island in New York. Soon, other homes will be available for purchase, such as the East 17th Street Residences in Austin, TX by ICON.  As the technology gets perfected and communities accommodate their permitting process, entire communities are likely to be built this way. Industry leaders estimate that these extruded concrete or polymer structures can save 30% off conventional building costs and months of construction time. They are also much more energy-efficient and resilient to the elements.

Congratulations to our clients

Wyatt and Jessica closed on their Puyallup Highlands sale in Puyallup.

Sally closed on her Capitol Hill condo sale in Seattle.

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 – February 2021 Newsletter

February 7, 2021

Seattle Market Update

Few homes came on the market between Thanksgiving and the first half of January. We have seen an increase in homes hitting the market in the last week of January and first week of February but it is not enough inventory to meet buyer demand. It is a hot seller’s market – buyers are facing stiff competition and fierce bidding wars. Our concern is that the economics of scarcity are driving prices up at an unsustainable rate.

In January, the median home sold for $725,000 in King County, $599,990 in Snohomish County, $440,000 in Pierce County and $791,471 in the City of Seattle.

Tired of Staring at your Walls

Most of us have spent more time in our own four walls over the last year. Are you tired of staring at your walls? Maybe a new paint color can bring back some excitement. Painting a whole room for a fresh feel or just painting an accent wall could be just the medicine you need. Better Homes & Gardens just revealed the colors of 2021. Kerstin’s favorite is Aqua Fiesta and Krisanne loves Aegean Teal . What’s your favorite?

Our Listings

$599,950 – Townhouse in Greenwood (North Seattle): 3Bdr/2.5Bth/1-car-garage. 734 N 92nd Street, Unit A, Seattle, WA 98103. Well-kept, spacious townhouse with so many extras. 2 en-suite bedrooms on top floor, one large bedroom on lower level. Vaulted ceilings, skylight and lots of windows for a bright, airy feel. Hardwoods on main level, cherry cabinets and other nice finishes. Large fully-fenced backyard for outdoor space plus two balconies. Extra outdoor storage in shed. Near the newly expanded Greenwood Park. Walk to Greenwood shops. Easy bus access.

$479,950 – Condo on Capitol Hill: Pending Inspection – Backup offers welcome. 2 bed/1.5 bath – 150 Melrose Ave E #204, Seattle, WA 98102. Enjoy views of the city, mountains & space needle from this conveniently located condo with ample storage. 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 include w/s/g. Well run HOA. Don’t miss this opportunity to live on vibrant Capitol Hill, close to downtown & South Lake Union.

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 – January 2021 Newsletter

January 11, 2021

Seattle Market Update

Six of the ten most competitive cities for buyers in the US are in Washington State, according to a Redfin analysis, but Seattle is not one of them. Instead, relatively affordable Seattle-area suburbs are the sizzling hot markets, especially Spanaway, Lacey and Tacoma.

We are barely 1 ½ weeks into the New Year and we are seeing a lot of traffic through single family homes that just hit the market in the suburbs and many are going under contract quickly.  Properties in the city are not moving as fast but it is still a seller’s market. Condos in the city are selling but that market is a little cooler.  

What is our prediction for 2021? We never have a crystal ball and therefore cannot predict exactly where the market is going. This year, making predictions is even more challenging than in past years. Two very distinct things are happening in our real estate market right now: demand for homes is surging in many areas bolstered by low interest rates and high demand which is driving prices up; yet, simultaneously some homeowners are struggling to make their mortgage payments and may be forced into foreclosure when assistance programs end or their income continues to be negatively affected by the pandemic which could dampen home values if it results in an increase of inventory that is not quickly absorbed.

Rents Down

It is not just homebuyers who are looking for better deals and more space in the suburbs. Apartment vacancies in Seattle have gone from 4.4% in February 2020 to 10.3% at the end of 2020. As vacancies rose, rent prices went down in the city. At the end of the year, Seattle rents were down 22% since the start of the pandemic in March, according to the latest report from ApartmentList. Seattle rent prices declined the second fastest among the country’s 100 largest cities. According to USPS data, large cities lost the most people during the first seven months of the pandemic. People are moving out of cities and relocating to the suburbs. As a result, more affordable mid-sized cities and smaller suburbs have seen rents rising throughout the pandemic and vacancies going down.

Washington Eviction Ban Extended Again

The eviction moratorium has been in place since March 2020 and was already extended several times. Washington Gov. Jay Inslee has again extended the moratorium; this time through the end of March 2021. The moratorium bans, with limited exceptions, residential evictions and late fees on unpaid rent. It also requires landlords to offer residents a repayment plan on unpaid rent.

Our Listings

We are working on bringing new inventory on the market in the next couple of weeks: 2 bedroom condo in Capitol Hill and 3 bedroom townhouse in Greenwood.

We’d love to hear from you

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

Happy New Year!

Kerstin & Krisanne

P.S.: We are moving our office to the other side of I-5 next week. We found a better location with more sunlight, expanded parking, easy access for you and great views of Mt. Rainier in a fantastic class A building at 10700 Meridian Ave N, Seattle, WA 98133.

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 – December 2020 Newsletter

December 11, 2020

Seattle Market Update

The median sale price in Seattle was $820,000 in November, up 12% from a year ago; on the Eastside, the median price cracked $1 million to slightly below $1.1 million, an 18% jump from last year and in North King County, the median price rose 19% to $737,000 (NWMLS).

It’s a seller’s market for most properties and locations. Buyer demand is particularly strong for single family homes in suburban markets.

Urban condos in Seattle (like Belltown, Capitol Hill, etc.) are the exception where it is a buyer’s market. There are several reasons condo owners are selling and why new buyers aren’t interested in this market. Social unrest in the city’s core especially earlier this year made the area less attractive to some. Short work commutes and easy access to entertainment used to attract many younger buyers to the condo market but with Covid these factors are less important. The pandemic is driving some people from urban condos toward houses in suburbs and rural areas as they seek more space to make their homes serve as offices, schools and gyms. Some investors are also offloading their investment rental condos as they see tightening landlord restrictions imposed by the city of Seattle and the current eviction moratorium as too great a risk, especially as their incomes are also decreasing at a time when urban rents are dropping.

For buyers still interested in an urban condo and with Covid surely not to dampen demand in these central neighborhoods forever, now may just be the best time to get a good deal on a condo and take advantage of record low mortgage rates.

Looking ahead to 2021

At the end of a tough year, many of us wonder what 2021 will bring. Making predictions is always difficult. In most areas, property prices went up, mortgage rates were extremely favorable and foreclosure rates were low. However, this isn’t the whole picture.

Unemployment remains high and much of the housing market has been propped up by stimulus money, forbearance programs, and moratoriums on evictions. We are simply not through this health and economic crisis of Covid. By the end of 2020, several million borrowers who have received mortgage forbearance will have gone nine months without making a mortgage payment.

We expect an increase in foreclosure activity. The extent will depend on how much assistance state and federal governments will be able to give to distressed homeowners and how much longer the economic effects from Covid will carry on.

We do not see a repeat of the last financial crisis in the real estate market which is a lot more robust due to better lending practices, however, some areas will be negatively affected at least for a short time.

Our Listings

Capitol Hill Condo: Temporarily off market over the holidays but we are happy to arrange a showing if you are interested: 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. $479,950. Pet friendly, no rental cap, fantastic location, low dues.

Congratulations to our clients

Madeleine and Zack closed on their Judkins Park townhouse purchase in Seattle.  

Gabe and Erica sold their Sylvan Heights townhouse in West Seattle.  

We’d love to hear from you

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

Happy Holidays,

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 – 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


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