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

Fall 2016 Brooks & Heinze Newsletter

January 20, 2017

A hint of fall is in the air as we move into the Labor Day Weekend. Please read our fall newsletter below to learn more about current real estate market conditions and other topics related to your house and home.

Seattle Market Update: 

Home prices are still rising although the pace of appreciation has slowed down a little. Extremely low inventory in the past couple of years, an influx of buyers relocating to Seattle, low interest rates, as well as foreign investors have been the main drivers in prices skyrocketing.

It is still a seller’s market but not as strong as just 6 months ago. We have seen the supply of homes improve slightly in some areas, nonetheless, inventory remains well below the supply needed for a more balanced market, so buyers are still competing for homes and are having to make strong offers with few or no contingencies for a chance to secure a home, especially in popular neighborhoods with good schools. However, there are some rural areas that we would no longer consider to be in a seller’s market.

Most people know that the best time to sell a house in Seattle is between April – June. However, did you know that September is the second best time to sell your house! We expect to be very busy, in fact we will have several listings coming on the market in the first two weeks of September.

Our Listings

Burien Rambler – 11641 16th Ave S, Burien, WA 98168: 4 bedroom / 1.5 bath – spacious rambler on large lot. $295,000. More info at http://www.propertyinseattle.com/listings.html

Shoreline Condo – coming soon: 2 bedroom / 1.5 bath beautifully remodeled Shoreline condo.

Seattle Townhouse – coming soon: 3 bedroom / 2.5 bath Jackson Park townhouse.

We’d love to help you sell your home if you are thinking of selling.

Get your house ready for the Wet/Cold Season

1) Furnace Inspection: Call an HVAC professional to inspect your furnace and clean ducts. Change your furnace filter.

2) Get the Fireplace Ready: Cap or screen the top of the chimney to keep out rodents and birds. Call a chimney sweep to remove soot and creosote. Inspect the fireplace damper for proper opening and closing.

3) Use weather stripping around doors to prevent cold air from entering the home and caulk windows. If you have storm windows, install them.

4) Inspect Roof, Gutters & Downspouts: Check flashing to ensure water cannot enter the home. Replace worn roof shingles or tiles. Clean out the gutters and use a hose to spray water down the downspouts to clear away debris.

5) Check Foundations: Rake away all debris and edible vegetation from the foundation.Seal up entry points to keep small animals from crawling under the house.

6) Buy new smoke detector batteries and change them when daylight savings ends. Install a carbon monoxide detector near your furnace and / or water heater.

7) Prevent Plumbing Freezes: Locate your water main in the event you need to shut it off in an emergency. Drain all garden hoses. Insulate exposed plumbing pipes.

Fun Things To Do In the Fall

Seattle is a great city with lots of diverse indoor and outdoor events – take a look at the Seattle Events calendar to find out more about activities like beer tasting, dancing, carnivals, arts shows, car shows, parades, sports events and more.

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

Happy Fall!

*** Kerstin & Krisanne ***


Summer 2016 Brooks & Heinze Newsletter

June 15, 2016

Seattle Market Update: 

It is still a strong seller’s market. However, statistics point to gains in the volume of new listings during the last two months. Nonetheless, inventory remained well below the supply needed for a more balanced market, so buyers are still competing for homes and are having to make strong offers with few or no contingencies for a chance to secure a home especially in popular neighborhoods with good schools.

Low inventory and low interest rates are still putting upward pressure on prices. However, prices showed some signs of moderating. Given the lack of new home construction and the huge pent-up demand, the seller’s market will likely continue though for some time.

There are growing signs “of buyers’ fatigue” – some buyer’s deciding not to buy in a market that seems too aggressive and out of control.

We are also seeing some sellers being too optimistic and missing the mark as they price their property too high and then end up languishing on the market and in the end getting less than list price.

Our Listings

513 NW 197th St, Shoreline, WA 98177 – $635,000. Beautifully maintained, spacious Shoreline home close to Syre Elementary & Einstein Middle School. Enjoy the park-like backyard setting great for year-round entertaining. This home features 5 bedrooms plus bonus and rec room, 2.5 baths, and 2 car-garage with extra storage.  For more information and pictures of this home, please go to Our Listings on our webpage.

87066 NE Old Cascade Hwy, Skykomish, WA – $70,000. Skykomish Off-Grid Cabin. Escape into the beautiful Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie Forest on weekends or live off-grid year-round in this cozy 1 bedroom cabin off Hwy 2. Tucked away in the woods, yet easily accessible. Wood burning fireplace for heat and ambiance. Plumbed for propane. Wired for generator. Kitchen plumbed via cisterns. Propane and wood cooking stove in kitchen. Outhouse ready for portable sani-toilet. River frontage. Over an acre of land. Just a little over an hour from the city. 6 miles west of Stevens Pass.

We’d love to help you sell your home if you are thinking of selling. Did we mention that it is a seller’s market?

Fun Things To Do This Summer

Seattle is a great city with lots of diverse indoor and outdoor events – take a look at the Seattle Events calendar to find out more about activities like beer tasting, dancing, carnivals, arts shows, car shows, parades, sports events and more.

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

Happy Summer!   *** Kerstin & Krisanne ***


Buying a Home is Better than Renting, right?

December 19, 2015

The truth is, there’s no one right answer or one size fits all when it comes to determining whether to rent or buy a house. There are a number of considerations you must make when making this decision. Renting and buying both present a number of pros and cons, and your own financial situation and personal preference may be the biggest factor of all.

Pros & Cons of Renting: Despite the fact that you can’t build equity, renting offers you the most freedom and flexibility, especially if you are on a month-to-month lease.

prosconsrenting

Pros & Cons of Buying a Home: Homeownership is not for everyone, but there are some financial and emotional advantages that can be enticing.

proconsowning

Initially, renting is almost always cheaper than buying but in the long run (often after 3-5 years), buying is more affordable depending on your local market, income, tax situation and current financing costs.

If you want us to help you determine whether renting or buying is a better choice for you in the Greater Seattle Area, please contact us for a free, no-obligation consultation.

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


Brooks & Heinze Seattle Real Estate Team – Winter Newsletter

December 17, 2015

It’s hard to believe but the year is almost over. Seems like life is just rushing by at times. We hope you will have a chance to slow down over the holidays. May you have time to reflect on this year and make plans for a happy and healthy 2016.

Seattle Market Update: Year in Review & the Year Ahead

Inventory levels were critically low all year, making 2015 a strong seller’s market. Acute shortages are still evident in King and Snohomish counties, both with less than two months of supply. Six months of inventory supply is considered a balanced market – we are definitely in a seller’s market. Seattle has a great job market with many families relocating to the area and increasing demand for housing. We expect sales prices and rents to continue increasing in 2016.

All year, analysts expected the Federal Reserve to increase interest rates. This last Wednesday, the Fed finally raised its key short-term* interest rate by 0.25%. It was the first rate hike in a long, long time. The Fed slashed interest rates to zero in December 2008 to stimulate the economy and boost the housing market during the depths of the Great Recession.

The change in the fed’s short-term rate, however, does not mean that the average rate on the 30-year fixed mortgage will now automatically be a quarter point higher. Nevertheless, we expect to see mortgage rates to climb as a result of the Fed’s decision.

* Definition of Short-term interest rates (https://data.oecd.org/interest/short-term-interest-rates.htm) Short-term interest rates are the rates at which short-term borrowings are effected between financial institutions or the rate at which short-term government paper is issued or traded in the market. Short-term interest rates are generally averages of daily rates, measured as a percentage. Short-term interest rates are based on three-month money market rates where available. Typical standardized names are “money market rate” and “treasury bill rate”.

Our Listings

We have no current listings, but we’d love to help you sell your home if you are thinking of selling in 2016. Did we mention that it is a seller’s market?

We have moved

We have moved our office. We only moved half a block down the street. So, we are still in Northgate near the transit center and the Northgate Mall. Our new address is 9750 3rd Ave NE, Suite #425, Seattle, WA 98115.

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 holidays.

Happy Winter!

   *** Kerstin & Krisanne ***

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


Fall 2015 Newsletter – Brooks & Heinze Real Estate Team

September 13, 2015

Seattle Market Update:  Expecting a Busy Fall!

The astronomical fall begins September 23 but emotionally for most of us fall begins after Labor Day. It’s Back-to-School for the kids and in a way for us adults, as well. We  have taken some time off for vacations or enjoyed long, sunny weekends outside, bbq-ing, hiking and camping.

The real estate market usually slows down in the summer and is the busiest in the spring and fall. This July, however, pent-up demand continued to fuel home sales around Western Washington. First-time buyers entering the market, existing homeowners changing homes, and relocating workers moving to Seattle all vying for limited inventory.

In August, we did see a little of the typical summer slowdown but we are expecting a busy September and October before the market will likely move into a slowdown for winter.

It is STILL a seller’s market – the Seattle real estate market is still suffering from severe inventory shortages.

The Northwest Multiple Listing Service tracks sales stats for the Greater Seattle Area and it shows that supply is about 1.2 months in King County. Several neighborhoods near Seattle job centers have less than one month of supply. Six months of inventory supply is considered a balanced market – we are definitely in a seller’s market.

Aside from local demand and low inventory, international and national factors also have an effect on the Seattle market. Most analysts expect the Fed to increase mortgage rates in the fall of 2015, in conjunction with their September 16 – 17 committee meeting. If that occurs, we could see higher mortgage borrowing costs toward the end of this year and into 2016, affecting affordability for some borrowers and causing a slight cool down in some price ranges. The influx of foreign buyers, mostly Chinese cash buyers, has fueled the Seattle market for a few years now. As long as China is allowing Chinese people to invest outside of their country this trend should continue. The recent market turmoil in China may actually encourage the Chinese to move more money out of the country and invest it in real estate in the Puget Sound. Most Chinese buy high-end or view properties.

Our Listings

We currently have one new listing in Haller Lake: 13345 3rd Ave NE, Seattle, WA 98125 for $425,000.

This great Mid-Century Rambler offers a bright, open layout on a quiet lane with easy access to I-5, Northgate and amenities.  The kitchen updates include new cabinets, hardwoods, stainless range, and granite countertops.  The original hardwoods in the bedrooms have been beautifully refinished. There are new windows & new paint throughout. The living room is huge and has been updated with new carpet and fixtures.  The separate, formal dining room has beautiful built-ins.  The large, level backyard with southern exposure is great for gardening and entertaining. This truly is a special, turn-key, nicely updated home with a great open & airy feel.  One level living with a huge attached garage with work area and extra storage. Absolutely move-in ready.

More information and pictures are available at http://www.propertyinseattle.com/listings.html.

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.

Fall Contest

Our summer photo contest was a hit! So, we thought we’d do it again this fall. Join our “fall colors and decorations” photo contest. Submit a picture from your house, balcony or yard that shows how you decorate or what art projects you like. It can be a picture of pumpkins you carved, fall foliage in your yard,  Halloween decorations, etc. – surprise us! Rules: Only one picture – must be submitted by November 1, 2015. Submit to us via email or 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 fall colors.

Happy Fall!

 *** 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


Fall 2015 is a great time to sell – 5 Great Reasons to Sell Your House Today

September 13, 2015

We are often asked “is now a good time to sell my home?” The answer to that question is based on what your family’s personal and investment goals are.  If you have been thinking about selling, now definitely is a good time. Here are five reasons why:

Reason #1: Your House Will Get More Exposure Now in Late Summer and Fall Than the Winter

Housing sales usually are greatest in the spring, level off in the summer and then regain momentum in September and October before slowing down significantly between mid-November to the end of January.

Reason #2: It is a strong Seller’s Market in Seattle

Northwest MLS figures show only about 2.2 months of inventory, well below the 4-to-6 months that many analysts say constitute a balanced market. King County continues to have the tightest supply with less than 1.2 months of inventory. Several neighborhoods have less than a month of supply. Multiple offers are common in the Greater Seattle Area, especially in hot spots like Bellevue, downtown Woodinville, Greenlake, Phinney Ridge, but also suburbs with easy commutes to major employers and good schools, such as Shoreline.

Reason #3: Interest Rates are expected to go up

Small increases in interest rates do not seem to have had any noticeable impact on activity and the area is still experiencing multiple offers in most of our market areas, heavy open house traffic, and moderate to high appreciation in values, however, most analysts expect the Fed to increase rates in the fall of 2015, in conjunction with their September 16 – 17, 2015 committee meeting. If that occurs, we could see higher mortgage borrowing costs toward the end of this year and into 2016. This will reduce affordability and may cool off the market a bit. So, if you have been holding on to your property because you have enjoyed seeing the dramatic increases in values, we’d like to point out that although most analyst predict continued growth, the expected trend is a more moderate growth rate.

Reason #4: It is the Perfect Time to Move-Up

With prices where they are and interest rates at all time lows, there may have never been a better time to move-up into your dream home. If you move into a more desirable home now, you will be in position to gain larger equity as prices continue to appreciate. If you are worried about having to sell your current home first before being able to afford the next time, we are happy to educate you on how to make that transition happen. Rates are expected to go up so buying that new house now makes sense and allows you to locking in a good rate.

Reason #5: You Get to Move On with Your Life

If you have been thinking about selling for a reason, the most important reason to sell is so you can get on with your life. Tired of managing a rental property? Have you been wanting to downsize? Have you been thinking of moving closer to family? Take advantage of this great seller’s market.

Most want to invest when prices are low and sell when prices are high. Timing the exact point of the lowest low and the highest high is impossible. What we do know is that this is a strong seller’s market and prices are high.

We’d love to meet with you for a free, no-obligation consultation and if you are going to sell, we hope you choose to work with us. Feel free to email us with questions any time.

Kerstin G. Brooks
Brooks & Heinze Real Estate Team
Cell: 206.276.5827
Email: info@propertyinseattle.com
Web: http://www.propertyinseattle.com/listings.html


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