Brooks & Heinze Seattle Real Estate Team – November 2018 Newsletter

November 15, 2018

Seattle Market Update

The inventory of homes for sale this year compared to last year has increased for the last four months, all while sales of existing homes have slowed compared to last year’s numbers. For over three years leading up to this point, the exact opposite was true; Inventory dropped as sales soared. Rising interest rates coupled with high home prices and increased inventory have cooled the market. Rent growth has also slowed or reversed.

Good news for home buyers: inventory is up, so there’s more selection and prices have stopped going up. Bad news, Seattle is still an expensive market to buy into. Due to rising interest rates, someone who bought a $700,000 house a year ago is paying the same monthly mortgage bill as someone who pays $640,000 for a house today.
Home sellers have more competition today. Price drops are common now and so are seller concessions and seller paid repairs. Five years ago, the median price in Seattle was $461,000; this spring, the median price peaked at $830,000; and now the median price is down to $775,000. Appreciation has been fantastic over the last few years despite the recent dip. Emotionally, this price correction might be hard to take for some sellers but looking at the gains overall might help keep some perspective.

Sales are taking longer as a lot of buyers are playing a bit of the wait-and-see game. Waiting might not be a good idea, if you want to buy, as rising interest rates will make buying more expensive in the very near future.

For renters, it is getting easier to find an apartment to rent. Rents are still going up slightly in most neighborhoods but in some neighborhoods (i.e. downtown, South Lake Union) rents are going down. You can read more about the rental market here.

Did you know?

Do you know how hot the water should be in your hot water tank? Above 120F and below 130F.
At a temperature above 130 degrees there will be an increased amount of sediment build-up within the tank as well as wasted energy. There is also the health risk of scalding. Below 120 degrees there is a risk of contracting legionnaires disease. According to the Mayo Clinic, the risk of colonization of Legionnaire bacteria is significant in hot water tanks where the temperature is between 104 and 122 degrees.

Our Listings

25812 115th Ave SE #B104, Kent, WA 98030: 2bd/1.5bth Townhouse – SOLD.

Congratulations

Congratulations to our clients Laura and AJ on their new home in North Seattle.

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

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Brooks & Heinze Seattle Real Estate Team – October 2018 Newsletter

October 27, 2018

Seattle Market Update
There has been a small uptick in homes hitting the market but there are more homes available for purchase mostly because homes take longer to sell than earlier this year. So, if you are seeing more for sale signs in your neighborhood it is mostly because those signs are staying up longer.
Rising interest rates and price drops are affecting buyers’ emotions who are now more reluctant to commit to a purchase or at least are taking more time and are more discerning about which property they choose and how much they are willing to pay for it.
As long as the local economy remains strong, there’s little cause for concern about the sudden shift or market correction we are experiencing, and it should not be interpreted as a market crash. However, for sellers currently on the market the adjustment has been very sharp and unexpected.
We are in the middle of the shift and further downward price corrections may be in store as we head into the late fall and winter which can be challenging times for sellers to sell property even in a strong market.
Sellers going on the market this month should make sure their property shines, is in good condition and priced well to beat competition. Buyers seriously considering buying have more leverage now than in the last 5 years to secure a property at a good price in a popular urban market that long-term should always be an attractive investment.

Our Listings
$305,000 – 34212 S 18th Place S, Federal Way 98003 – under contract.
We are working on getting two listings ready for the market: a nicely updated townhouse in Kent and a 1930’s charmer in Everett. Stay tuned.

Did you know?
The baby boomers began turning 65 in 2011. Every single day, roughly 10,000 boomers are turning 65 and many retire at that age. By 2029, when all of the baby boomers will be 65 years and over, more than 20 percent of the total U.S. population will be over the age of 65.
Much of their wealth is in form of equity in their home and many will be faced with liquidating some or all of that equity to pay for daily living expenses, medical bills or renovations to their current home to allow for aging-in-place.
Krisanne and I have helped clients understand the pros and cons of reverse mortgages, downsizing, selling their home, aging-in-place and moving to assisted living depending on what stage of life they are in. We work with a team of trusted retirement community managers, financial advisors, HECM (reverse mortgage) lenders, elder law attorneys, and in-home care professionals to make sure our clients understand their options and can make an educated decision on what’s right for them. Do you know any seniors who are thinking of making a move, either downsizing their home or moving to senior housing? We would love to help them.

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 – September 2018 Newsletter

October 27, 2018

Seattle Market Update
The current market condition can best be described as a major slowdown. Our roaring real estate market, fueled for years by the city’s historic population growth and, at least to some degree, foreign investment, has slowed dramatically in July and August.
It looks like there is more inventory on the market which technically is true in that there are more homes sitting on the market at this time. However, the “increase” in inventory is a byproduct of homes taking longer to sell not an actual increase in selection for buyers. August is often a slow month for new listings as Seattleites enjoy the summer and travels but this year it is combined with an overall slowdown in the market.
Exceptional homes in highly desirable neighborhoods are still selling quickly and we still see some competing offers. However, sellers in less desirable neighborhoods with a home that’s outdated or with deferred maintenance have found that even significant price drops and seller concessions aren’t always enough to attract buyers in this new market.
We have seen downward price corrections in rural Snohomish County, South King County and the suburban condo market. Wondering what has happened to the value of your home as a result of this market slowdown? Contact us, we’d be happy to prepare an individualized report for your home.

Our Listings
$309,900 – 34212 S 18th Place S, Federal Way 98003 – under contract.

Did you know?
Homeownership remains below 2006 levels for all age groups. Homeownership rates were lower in 2017 than in 2006, the year before the Great Recession (2007-2009). The homeownership rate among the largest group of homeowners — those age 65 and over — has returned to within about 2 percentage points of 2006 levels. However, householders under age 35 and 35-44 years old had 2017 rates about 7 and 10 percentage points lower than in 2006. More information on this is available on the Census Bureau website.

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 – August 2018 Newsletter

August 7, 2018

Seattle Market Update

Here is what we are seeing in the real estate market: increased inventory, increased market time and price reductions. Multiple offers and offers over list price are rare now. What does this mean for buyers and sellers?
Sellers need to price their property to match the new market conditions. If the property doesn’t sell in the first 2-3 weeks on the market, it is time for a price drop. Sellers should also be prepared to pay for buyer’s closing costs, especially if the buyer is an FHA or VA buyer and sellers should not be surprised if they have to pay for repairs on defects called out in the buyer’s inspection.
Buyers have more inventory to choose from and more time for due diligence to research the neighborhood (schools, crime statistics, etc.) and condition of the home (structural/pest/sewer inspection, etc.).
There is a lot of confusion and resistance to what’s going on. Sellers are reluctant to adjust and drop their asking price when the property doesn’t sell. Sellers who ignore the new market conditions will remain on the market longer and homes that are sitting on the market longer almost always get less than market value. It is important for sellers to act quickly on these new market conditions.
Buyers are afraid to commit to what they perceive might be the top of the market. The fear of overpaying keeps some on the sidelines as they want to just wait and see what happens. However, this might be the best time for buyers to negotiate as sellers figure out the new playing field and are desperate to get their home sold.
We do not have a crystal ball and cannot predict where prices are going and what market conditions will be like in the months to come. However, we suspect the market has cooled because it needed to. The frenzy of the last few years is simply not sustainable. We see this change as a good change that will keep the housing market strong and healthy which is a good thing for both buyers and sellers in the long run.
Rents have declined in our area due to increased available inventory as a result of an increase in apartment building construction. More supply with the same demand = declines in rent.
There might be a push for more condo construction or condo conversions (apartment buildings being converted to condos) to meet the demand for condos. In fact, one building downtown which was to be an apartment building will now be condos. Read more about the Spire Building here.
There is very little new construction in urban areas for condos and single-family homes and the demand for these properties has not declined so we do not see home prices dropping in the long term after everyone adjust to the current shift unless employment, wages or other factors change.

Our Listings

$326,000 – 34212 S 18th Place S, Federal Way 98003. Wonderful mid-century rambler set high above the street. Great room concept with spacious living room flowing into formal dining room. Updated kitchen and baths. Light-filled informal dining room off kitchen with sliding doors to level backyard perfect for outdoor summer fun and entertaining. 3 bedrooms on main floor plus a spacious lower level with bonus room. Enclosed carport offers additional storage or work / hobby space. Close to shops, restaurants and freeway access. Click here for more info, pictures and a video.

Did you know?

The National Association of Realtors (NAR) keeps historical data on many aspects of homeownership. One of their data points, which has changed dramatically, is the median tenure of a family in a home, meaning how long a family stays in a home prior to moving.
Over the last twenty years (1985-2008), the median tenure averaged exactly six years. However, since 2014, that average is almost ten years.
The main factor for this change is the fall in home prices during the housing crisis which left many homeowners in a negative equity situation (where their home was worth less than the mortgage on the property). Also, the uncertainty of the economy during that time made some homeowners much more fiscally conservative about making a move.
It will be interesting to see how this number changes as a large portion of homeowners are not in a house that is best for their current family circumstance such as baby boomers living in an empty, four-bedroom colonial, or a millennial couple living in a tiny urban one-bedroom condo planning to start a family.

We’d love to hear from you

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

Thank you,
Krisanne and Kerstin

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


Brooks & Heinze Seattle Real Estate Team – July 2018 Newsletter

July 10, 2018

Seattle Market Update

Last month we told you there might be a shift in the air? We reported on an increase in inventory for the first time in years. Well, we can now confirm that the market has changed. It is still a seller’s market but we are seeing signs of a more balanced market. There are fewer bidding wars and more homes are selling for asking price rather than well above list price. Gone are the days where sellers could overprice, especially homes in less desirable neighborhoods or in poor condition; factors that seemed not to matter a couple of months ago. Buyers still have to make strong offers, especially on the better homes, but competitive conditions have eased a little.

Rents Continue Decline

After years of steep increases, Seattle rents are seeing a decline, and those declining returns could persuade some landlords to sell their property. Many rentals are multi-family properties but one in six single-family houses across the Seattle metro area is actually rented out rather than owner occupied. If some of those landlords decide to sell, it could add more inventory to the home-buying market.
The real big change in availability and reduction in rent is happening in new/newer apartments downtown/SLU/Belltown where vacancy rates hit their highest levels since the recession; one-fourth of all apartments there are now sitting empty and move-in specials (one-month free rent, gift cards, free parking, etc.) have become commonplace.
Are you thinking of selling your rental investment property? Let us know.

Median Rent price was Down YoY 3.7%:
May 2017: $2,700
May 2018: $2,600

Average Rent Price was Down YoY 3.23%
May 2017: $2,877
May 2018: $2,784

Our Listings

$326,000 – 34212 S 18th Place S, Federal Way 98003 – NEW ON MARKET. Wonderful mid-century rambler set high above the street. Great room concept with spacious living room flowing into formal dining room. Updated kitchen and baths. Light-filled informal dining room off kitchen with sliding doors to level backyard perfect for outdoor summer fun and entertaining. 3 bedrooms on main floor plus a spacious lower level with bonus room. Enclosed carport offers additional storage or work / hobby space. Close to shops, restaurants and freeway access. Click here for more info, pictures and a video. Open House: Saturday, July 7 from noon to 3pm and Sunday, July 8 from 11am – 2pm.

Did you know?
Together with your income and assets, your credit score is an essential part of your loan application. However, credit scoring methods for mortgages are different than for credit cards and other consumer accounts. FICO® stands for Fair Isaac Corporation, the inventor of the analytics software that produces most credit scores. A person has three FICO® scores, one for each of the three major credit bureaus – Equifax®, Experian® and TransUnion®. Many consumers are led to believe that they only have one FICO® score, but this isn’t true. Currently, 55 different FICO® scoring models are in use. Many are industry-specific and not available to the public. If you recently purchased your FICO® score online, it may be vastly different than your FICO® score used for mortgage loan qualification. To learn more about this speak with your mortgage lender.

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

Thank you,
Krisanne and Kerstin

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

Brooks & Heinze Real Estate Team – June 2018 Newsletter

June 21, 2018

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

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

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

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

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

Thank you,
Krisanne and Kerstin

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


Brooks & Heinze Real Estate Team – May 2018 Newsletter

May 10, 2018

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thank you,
Krisanne and Kerstin

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


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