Brooks & Heinze Seattle Real Estate Team – October 2019 Newsletter

October 14, 2019

Seattle Market Update

In the City of Seattle, the median price of $750,000 dipped 3.2% from last year. Prices are up in the rest of King County:
– Eastside ($928,500; 4.33% up from last year)
– North King County ($630,000; 5.09% up from last year)
– Southwest King County ($436,750; 7.84% up from last year)
– Southeast King County ($468,550; 2.98% up from last year)

The median sales price for single family homes in Snohomish County was $492,500 (up from $484,995 last year); in Kitsap County it was $396,263 (up from $355,706 last year); and in Pierce County it was $384,500 (up from $352,750 from last year) (Source: Northwest Multiple Listing Service).

In brief, areas with affordable homes are seeing price increases and areas with more expensive homes are seeing price decreases or prices holding. Directly north and south of Seattle, the more modestly priced cities of Everett and Burien, where prices hover around $500,000, saw year-over-year price growth of roughly 8% and 13%, respectively. Sammamish is a standalone phenomenon where prices are way up because it is one of the few areas with highly sought after new construction inventory for the more affluent.

According to Freddie Mac, the 30-year fixed-rate average fell to its lowest level in a month, dropping to 3.57%, with an average 0.6 point. (Points are fees paid to a lender equal to 1% of the loan amount and are in addition to the interest rate.) It was 3.65% a week ago and 4.90% a year ago.

Our Listings

10717 Burke Ave N #E, Seattle, WA – $365,000 – SOLD, October 2019
Modern Northgate Townhouse – 2bed/1.5bath + garage.

4207 S. Willow St, Seattle, WA – $535,000 – SOLD, October 2019
Mid-Century Rambler in Zen Garden Setting – 3 bed/1bth.

Autumn upgrades

Want to save some money and help the environment thrive? Here are a few key tips that will improve the efficiency of your home this season. Take simple steps like caulking windows, sealing leaks around chimneys and recessed lighting, and sliding draft guards under your doors to save up to 20% on heating costs. Don’t waste money heating or cooling an empty home. Install a programmable thermostat and in colder weather schedule your home’s heat to lower when you are away or asleep and increase when you are returning home or waking-up. Have your furnace cleaned and serviced. Also, change furnace filters regularly. A poorly tuned furnace and dirty furnace filters will make your heating system work harder to keep you warm and cost you more money.

Did you know

October is Fire Awareness Month. This year, the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) encourages everyone to make a home escape plan. This plan includes working smoke alarms on every level of the home, in every bedroom, and near all sleeping areas. It also includes two ways out of every room, usually a door and a window, with a clear path to an outside meeting place (like a tree, light pole or mailbox) that’s a safe distance from the home. Home escape plans should be practiced twice a year by all members of the household.

Thank You – Congratulations

Thank you to Marie Clare Benson for the referral!
Congratulations to Ciara and Alberto on the sale of the townhouse and congratulations to Julie and Joel on the sale of their home!

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 2019 Newsletter

September 11, 2019

 

Seattle Market Update

Long-term mortgage rates are at their lowest point in nearly three years. Lower mortgage rates usually help with affordability, however, in a market like Seattle where prices are still high and wage growth for the average person haven’t kept up with prices, it is doing little to make a home purchase affordable in the city.

However, areas immediately outside the central Puget Sound region and homes along the I-5 corridor continue to see house price growth. Buyers continue to be drawn to areas outside King County in search of affordability.

September is usually a good month for fresh inventory as homeowners who wish to sell their house before the winter season will look to put their home on the market. We are expecting more homes to hit the market in the next couple of weeks.

Our Listings

NEW LISTING / pending inspection / backup offers encouraged:  4207 S. Willow St, Seattle, WA – $535,000

Charming, bright and cheerful 3bd/1bth plus den mid-century rambler set in zen garden space. In-city retreat, gardener’s dream. Private, fully fenced backyard features fruit trees, vegetable & herb garden, gorgeous flowers and stunning ornamental trees. Zen garden space in front. Shops, restaurants and parks nearby. Othello LR station within walking distance. Large den/office/studio space and spacious dining off kitchen. Many system and esthetic updates, including kitchen and bath. Turnkey. Clean. Don’t miss this gem!

9911 197th Ct NE, Redmond, WA – $1,225,000 –   Exquisite Novelty Hill Home – Under Contract.

10717 Burke Ave N #E, Seattle, WA – $369,000 – Northgate Townhouse – Under Contract.

917 23rd Ave, Seattle, WA 98122 – $620,000 – Central District Charmer – Sold 09/03/2019.

 
Did you know?

More residents will be eligible for property tax reduction in 2020. King County Assessor, John Wilson, announced that low-income senior citizens, individuals with disabilities, and disabled veterans, with 2019 annual incomes below $58,423 may be eligible for property tax relief in 2020 under guidelines published by the state Department of Revenue. The previous threshold had been $40,000. Applications for the expanded programs will be available in January 2020. Contact us if you need more information on this topic and how to apply for the reduction.

 
Thank you / Congratulations

Thank you to Mary Clare for referring Katherine!

Congratulations to William and Zoe on the sale of their home!

Congratulations to Heather and Phillip on the purchase of their new home!

 

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 2019 Newsletter

August 13, 2019

Seattle Market Update

Single Family Homes: In city sales have cooled. Buyers are seeing increased selection at reduced prices. Mortgage rates are low and usually this provides a lift to sales but it doesn’t seem to be having much effect on sluggish sales in town where property values are too high for many.  The story is different outside of Seattle, especially in Snohomish and Pierce county where homes often sell quickly and buyers are competing for homes still considered affordable.

Condo Market:We are seeing falling prices and rising inventory in the Seattle condo market. The trend is fueled by sellers who find being a landlord is harder than it used to be. According to a study from the University of Washington, nearly 40% of Seattle investors who rent out condos are selling in response to city regulations such as restrictions on move-in fees, criminal background checks, and regulations on how to qualify tenants. One exception are downtown condos where the market has been picking up.

Our Listings

9911 197th Ct NE, Redmond, WA – $1,225,000–   Exquisite Novelty Hill Home  – New Listing!

4 bedrooms, 3.5 baths, 3-car garage. Enjoy a bright, open floor plan & rambler style living. 3 bedrooms on the main level with nicely updated master bathroom and Jack & Jill bathroom. Guest suite & rec room upstairs. Fully fenced, huge yard on beautiful .78 acre lot with various outdoor entertaining areas. Newer furnace & A/C, 50 year roof, 1380 SQF unfinished basement w/permit ready plans. Updated kitchen w/granite, stainless appliances, large pantry & breakfast bar. Hardwoods. 7 minutes to MSFT, amazing schools, and conveniently close to just about everything.

10717 Burke Ave N #E, Seattle, WA – $369,000– Back on Market. FANTASTIC VALUEfor Northgate!

Modern Townhouse – 2bed/1.5bath + garage. Convenient location near everything Northgate has to offer – shopping, restaurants, transit center, future light rail and easy access to freeways. Well-maintained. Bright and open floor plan, kitchen with ample cabinets and counter space, inviting dining room. Spacious main bedroom with walk-in closet and cheery second bedroom on upper level. Exterior in great condition. Zero-lot line townhouse. No homeowner dues!

917 23rd Ave, Seattle, WA 98122 – $620,000–  Pending/Under Contract. Central District Charmer.

Welcome home to this cheery, clean and updated home in one of Seattle’s most diverse, hip and lively neighborhoods. 3bd/2bth, 2-off street parking spots. Walk to nearby Central District cafes, dining & shopping. Just minutes away from downtown. Many of the systems have been updated (electric, lighting, plumbing).  Inviting, private rear deck perfect for BBQs and outdoor entertaining. Urban micro garden space.  Two large off-street parking spaces. Lots of extra storage in walkable crawlspace under the home. Turnkey!

Did you know?

Kerstin works with a Group called Boomers Plus. Many of our clients are seniors and in addition to needing help with buying and selling real estate, some of them need additional services such as Reverse Mortgages, in-home care, aging-in-place remodelers, relocation assistance to assisted living, etc. We’d be happy to help you or any seniors in transition with finding trusted and skilled professionals that specialize in these services.

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 – July 2019 Newsletter

Seattle Market Update

The trend from last month continues. Prices in Seattle are still dropping as inventories build and buyers continue to search outside the city limits for more affordable housing.  Last month, the median home price in Seattle fell to $781,000, a 3.9% drop from June of 2018. In King County overall, median prices dropped by 2.3% in June from the same period last year, to $695,000.

Will we soon see more MILs and ADUs

We might soon see more backyard cottages, mother-in-law suites and basement apartments. In an effort to address our city’s affordable-housing shortage, the Seattle City Council recently voted unanimously to enable the construction of more ADUs, while removing requirements that property owners live on site and provide off-street parking. These smaller units typically rent below market rate, and one in 10 provides free housing, usually to friends or family of the primary homeowner.  For more information on the recent changes click herefor an article in the Seattle Times.

Our Listings

10717 Burke Ave N #E, Seattle, WA – $399,950– BACK ON MARKET, buyer’s financing failed. Modern Northgate Townhouse – 2bed/1.5bath + garage. Convenient location near everything Northgate has to offer – shopping, restaurants, transit center, future light rail and easy access to freeways. Well-maintained. Bright and open floor plan. Kitchen with ample cabinets and counter space, inviting dining room. Spacious main bedroom with walk-in closet and cheery second bedroom on upper level. Exterior in great condition. Zero-lot line townhouse. No homeowner dues! MLS#1451735.

Buying a new house but all your funds are tied up in your current house

Some buyers choose to buy the new home contingent on the sale of their current home, meaning they will make an offer on the new home they want to purchase and ask the seller to agree that they will only go through with the purchase if they can sell their home. Sounds good, except most sellers will include a clause that they are allowed to entertain other offers and can bump you unless you remove the contingency if a better offer comes along. Buying contingent on the sale of your current home means you are not obligated to buy the new home unless you sell your current home but it does not guarantee you can stave off competition, especially in a seller’s market.

There are different solutions to this problem and the best solution depends on the current market conditions and your financial situation. However, If you have enough existing equity in your current home, you may qualify to purchase a new home non-contingent BEFORE selling your existing home with 100% financing, when financing with a cross collateralization loan. If you would like to research this option and get more information on this program, I would be happy to put you in touch with Paul Scobee at Evergreen Home Loans.

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 – June 2019 Newsletter

June 11, 2019

Seattle Market Update

In urban areas prices are decreasing, in most suburbs prices are still increasing slightly, and in markets with greater affordability prices are still soaring. Follow this link to view the decrease/increase in your neighborhood.

One of those hot markets where prices are still shooting up is Tacoma, where greater affordability and high demand are the driving factors. However, condominium prices in King County continue to fall. Figures show condo prices in King County dropped about 9.6 percent and inventory surged nearly 122 percent compared to this time last year.

Mortgage Interest Rates

According to Freddie Mac’s Primary Mortgage Market Survey, interest rates for a 30-year fixed rate mortgage are currently at 4.35%, the lowest for 2019. Quite a change from the near 5% rates in mid-November. At 4.32%, the second week of February 2018 was the last time rates were this low.

graph rates

Our Listings

10717 Burke Ave N #E, Seattle, WA – $423,000 – BACK ON MARKET.  Buyer’s financing failed so we are back on the market. Modern Northgate Townhouse – 2bed/1.5bath + garage. Convenient location near everything Northgate has to offer – shopping, restaurants, transit center, future light rail and easy access to freeways. Well-maintained. Bright and open floor plan, kitchen with ample cabinets and counter space, inviting dining room. Spacious main bedroom with walk-in closet and cheery second bedroom on upper level. Exterior in great condition. Zero-lot line townhouse. No homeowner dues! MLS#1451735.

Did you know? 

Did you know that Seattle City Law requires vehicles be moved every 72 hours.  This can be a real pain if you only drive your car on weekends and take the bus to work on weekdays because you’ll have to move your car on Wednesday even if you don’t really need to drive anywhere. Or else, face a pricey parking ticket, as well as stiff towing and impound fees costing hundreds of dollars; and your car can be sold to cover the fees if you don’t pay up and get your car out of impound.

You might wonder why we bring this up in a newsletter about housing. More than 2,300 people (20% of the county’s homeless population) counted in 2017 lived in vehicles. King County Superior Court Judge Catherine Shaffer recently ruled that the city had violated a homeless man’s rights against excessive fines (tickets, tow and impound) under the Eighth Amendment, she also ruled the man was protected by Washington’s Homestead Act (Frontier-Era Law), which protects homes from forced sale due to certain debts. Basically, in her interpretation if a vehicle is used as a home these protections apply.

Opponents of the judge’s interpretations of the law fear this will translate into anyone being able to remain parked wherever and however long they want to as long as they claim they live in the vehicle because police will stop enforcing the 72 hour maximum parking restrictions.

For more insights on this topic, read what The Stranger and Seattle Times reported.

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 – May 2019 Newsletter

May 16, 2019

Seattle Market Update

Some properties are hot and some not so much. What are the deciding factors: Affordability. Location. Type of Property.

Housing activity during April signaled good news for most home buyers as inventory continued to grow and the rate of price increases slowed, especially in urban areas.

Home buyers shopping for higher-end homes in pricier cities like Seattle and Bellevue aren’t paying any more than they did a year ago and at the same time enjoy more selection than a year ago.

However, home buyers looking for something affordable in the suburbs are in stiff competition with other buyers and inventory there is still too low to meet demand.

Single-Family Homes in King County under $650,000 are considered a bargain; in Snohomish and Pierce Counties homes under $400,000 are a bargain. In these price ranges, homes generally receive multiple offers and sell the first week on the market.

Last month’s median price of a single-family home in King County came in at $690,000 which is down 4.8% or $35,000 from the April figure last year. The median price for a condo unit came in at $403,750 in April this year and is 9.6% lower than last year.

In Snohomish County, the median price of a single-family home last month came in at $500,000 which is 1.2% lower than a year ago.

Rents

What it costs to rent, and how that’s changing – check out this interactive map. The first quarter of the year saw steep increases in rents in rural Snohomish County; in the south, Tukwila, Burien and Renton also saw some rent increases. If you are an investor, it might be time to adjust rents to reflect the changes in the market.

Did you know?

The best time to sell your home are the months of May and June according to a national study conducted by ATTOM Data Solutions. Seller premiums were calculated as the percentage of the median sales price that is above the estimated market value at the time of sale and were about 10% higher during these months than the rest of the year. The specific dates to watch are May 24, June 20, June 21, May 31, and June 28, according to the study. We agree with May and June being great months for sellers. However, the national study mentions that July is also a great month but our past experience in the Seattle Area has been that sales actually slow down between the middle of July and end of August and as a result sale prices don’t usually increase during this time.

Our Listings

New Listing! Modern Northgate Townhouse  – $423,000 – 10717 Burke Ave N #E, Seattle. Convenient location near everything Northgate has to offer – shopping, restaurants, transit center, future light rail and easy access to freeways. Well-maintained 2 bed / 1.5 bath townhouse with attached garage. Bright and open floor plan, kitchen with ample cabinets and counter space, inviting dining room. Spacious main bedroom with walk-in closet and cheery second bedroom on upper level. Exterior in great condition. Zero-lot line townhouse. No homeowner dues!

5818 East Dr, Everett, WA – $310,000 – 3bed/1.75bath – SOLD! Congratulations to the Utter Family.

Thank You

Thank you to Jacqueline P. for the referral!

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 – April 2019 Newsletter

April 8, 2019

Seattle Market Update

The spring home buying season is in full swing! Yowza!!! Open houses are “mad” houses and bidding wars have returned. Home prices in the region have jumped up in the last couple of months.

King County’s median single-family house sold for 3.2% less in March 2019 than a year prior in March 2018. We saw home values dip between June 2018 – December 2018 but since the beginning of 2019,  prices are definitely on their way up again.  Single family homes (under $500,000 especially) have seen great gains and interest from buyers. The condo market is not quite as hot but we are seeing some gains here, too.

Both pending sales and new listing activity around Western Washington surged last month. Prices in Snohomish County jumped nearly 5.5 percent, while King County’s median prices rose more than 3 percent in March when compared to February.

The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 4.08% the first week of April, according to Freddie Mac. The 15-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 3.56%.

Property Taxes 2019 – some up, some down

Did your property taxes go up or down for 2019? Here is a list of property tax rates for each city in King County. Some cities saw property taxes go up, some down. Some examples: Bothell up 14.6% (ouch!), Shoreline up 6.6%, Burien down 2.1% and Seattle down 1.2%.

Our Listings

5818 East Dr, Everett, WA – $310,000 – 3bed/1.75bath – For more information and a video tour, click here. UNDER CONTRACT.

20620 60th Ave W #F, Lynnwood, WA – $242,950 – 2bed/1.75bath – SOLD April 2019. Congratulations to our clients John C. & Mary H. on this sale.

Did you know?

The Seattle Kingdome was so expensive that the building wasn’t paid off until 2015 – a full 15 years after it was demolished.

Thank You

Thank you to Jennie J. & Edie T., Stacey K., as well as Taylor S. for the referrals!

We’d love to hear from you

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

Happy Spring,

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 – March 2019 Newsletter

March 12, 2019

Seattle Market Update

The Seattle Real Estate Market is heating up! We had very cool temperatures this last month but the housing market is heating up again. Buyers and sellers are no longer sitting on the sidelines waiting to see what will happen – they are taking action. What a difference a month can make!

During last month’s Snow Storms, showing activity dropped more than 41 percent the week of the heaviest snow, according to the NWMLS which tracks agent access to homes on the market. Despite the weather disruptions, brokers added lots of new properties to the market during the month. Inventory is starting to be absorbed much more quickly, unlike the last 4-5 months when homes sat on the market a little longer.

In brief, sales are happening! Prices are shooting back up. Mortgage interest rates are low, economic indicators for our city are looking good, and buyer demand is high. Some buyers who had given up last year are back on the prowl.  We are even seeing multiple offers and bidding wars making a slow comeback in some areas.

The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 4.35% during the week of February 28.

Our Listings

20620 60th Ave W #F, Lynnwood, WA 98036 – Do you know someone looking for a condo in the Lynnwood area? We just listed a spacious 2 bedroom / 1.5 bath condo / 2-car carport. This is a top floor townhouse style unit with a nicely updated continental bath including jack-n-jill sinks. For more information take a look at this video.

Affordable Housing Upzone Rezone

Making more affordable housing available is one of many priorities for Seattle’s City Council. One of the many options under consideration are allowing for denser construction in the hearts of 27 neighborhoods while also imposing affordable-housing requirements on developers. This is met with applause by some and stern criticism from others. Click here to learn more about this, including a map feature that allows you to check on your neighborhood. We often have clients contact us and ask us what effects certain rezones have on their property value. If you are concerned about this for your property feel free to contact us.

Did you know?

This “bank” made one in five home purchases in the U.S. possible. What is the name of this bank? The “bank of Mom and Dad”.  Homeownership is out of reach for many young people — and those who don’t have family members to turn to for help are often out of luck. The down payment is the biggest hurdle to a home purchase. Many renters who would be able to meet monthly mortgage payments can’t qualify for a mortgage because they’re unable to save enough for a decent down payment to either get a loan or get a loan with reasonable terms.

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

 


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