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


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


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