Brooks & Heinze Real Estate Team – April 2018 Newsletter

April 9, 2018

Seattle Market Update

There is, yet again, no sign that Seattle’s seemingly never-ending market surge is letting up … quite the contrary. The local market has been getting increasingly more expensive for six straight years now and has soared a total of 82 percent during that time. In Seattle, the number of available homes for sale dropped 21% from last year. Seattle’s median home sale price climbed to $819,500 in March, gaining $43,000 in value over the last month.

High demand from buyers, coupled with rapidly decreasing inventory makes securing a house for most buyers a miracle. If you are a buyer in today’s market, be prepared to not only waive all contingencies that were traditionally used to protect the buyer but also pay $30k to 80k in Earnest Money, pay cash or have 30%+ down if financing the purchase and extra funds available to cure a low appraisal. Even with all that, it may not be enough to get that home you fell in love with. It is not uncommon for buyers to make 15 offers before they secure a home. Some buyers actually just give up and stay in their current home or keep renting because it is such an exhausting and frustrating journey at the moment.

Rents have cooled somewhat as a result of thousands of new units hitting the market.

Affordability of Housing Here vs. Elsewhere

The affordability index for homeownership is based on three factors: median single-family home price, 30-year monthly mortgage rates, and estimated median household income. The historic standard for “affordable” housing is that monthly housing costs do not exceed 30% of one’s income. So, affordability is a relative concept in housing. Markets that seem affordable, because their median home price is lower than other areas, may actually be unaffordable for people who live there local wages don’t keep up. The following 3 markets were the most affordable among the 50 largest metro areas at the end of 2017: Oklahoma City, OK, Pittsburgh, PA and Indianapolis, IN. The three least affordable metro areas were San Jose, CA, Los Angeles, CA and San Francisco, CA. Here is a complete list of the 10 most and least affordable metro areas: https://www.zillow.com/research/most-affordable-markets-homes-18906/ . Ready to move to Oklahoma City? We are happy to refer you to an agent elsewhere and will prescreen them for you to make sure they are the right fit for you. Just let us know.

Did you know?

You can save money and reduce water and pesticide use by applying wood-based mulch or compost to your garden beds this spring. Natural mulch materials suppress weeds, hold water and promote plant growth by providing nutrients as they decompose. So, get out there during the brief moments of sunshine we have this time of the year to soak in the sun and prep your beds for this summer.

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. It might not be what you would think …

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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March 2018 Newsletter – Brooks & Heinze Seattle Real Estate Team

March 20, 2018

Seattle Market Update:
The pool of interested buyers significantly outweighs what is available for sale. Seattle’s home values keep rising. This isn’t just true for sizzling hot Seattle and Bellevue but all of the Eastside, Everett, Tacoma and other surrounding areas which are all seeing tremendous demand and rapidly increasing home values.
Since the beginning of the year, mortgage rates have moved up from roughly 4% to 4.25%. For a 20% down, 30-year-fixed loan that has changed monthly mortgage payments for a $300,000 loan from approx. $1472 to $1545. This doesn’t seem like much but it is important to note that this has decreased the amount a borrower can borrow. A buyer who was approved for a purchase price of $375,000 at the beginning of January with a $300,000 loan now is only approved for a $357,000 purchase price with a $285,0000 loan.
We expect the hefty price gains to ease. Incomes aren’t going up at the same rate as housing prices and mortgage rates are going up. What does this mean? It means fewer people will be able to afford homes and this may slow down the runaway prices a bit but pent up demand is still so great for housing that making a reliable prediction on prices is difficult.
Huge Property Tax Increases
Property tax statements were mailed by the King County Treasury between February 14 and February 20, so you should have received your bill by now. Kerstin’s property taxes increased by $958; Krisanne’s property taxes increased by $1420. Property taxes across King County will increase about 17 percent on average this year, primarily due to additional taxes passed by the Legislature to increase funding for K-12 education. About 57 percent of property tax revenues collected in King County pays for schools. Property taxes also fund voter-approved measures for veterans and seniors, fire protection, and parks among other services.
Low-income seniors, veterans and disabled homeowners may qualify for a property-tax exemption offered by King County. Information on how to apply for an exemption, along with other property-assessment-related information, can be found at kingcounty.gov/assessor
To avoid interest and penalties, the first half property taxes must be paid or postmarked by April 30, 2018. The second half property taxes must be paid or postmarked by Oct. 31, 2018.
Did you know?
Responsible dog owners bag their pet waste and put it in the trash. This keeps harmful bacteria out of your yard, streams, parks and homes. Some bacteria in dog poop can live up to four years in your yard where it can make your pet sick or get tracked into your home. Yuck! So, bag the poop and throw it in the trash.
We’d love to hear from you
Any questions, comments, or feedback? Contact us any time, we’d love to hear from you.

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


Winter 2017/2018 Newsletter

January 2, 2018

Seattle Market Update – it is a seller’s market – low supply/high demand

In Seattle, year-over-year prices jumped 17.6 percent, from $625,000 to $735,000. On the Eastside, the median price for a single-family home rose 10 percent from a year ago, increasing from $768,000 to $845,000.
Where are prices headed or which factors will dictate market conditions and pricing in the future? For the immediate future, it is our assessment that home values are continuing to increase because the low supply cannot fill the high demand of housing.
For those who are worried that lending standards are again becoming too lenient and fueling the demand, we do not believe that’s the case. We also do not think that there is blind faith or irrational speculation causing extra demand on housing. Plain simple, for now, the continued increases in prices follow the theory of supply and demand.
Whenever there is a limited supply of an item that is in high demand, prices increase. In real estate, it takes a six-month supply of existing salable inventory to maintain pricing stability. In most housing markets, anything less than six months will cause home values to appreciate and anything more than seven months will cause prices to depreciate. In King County, the supply is less than a month!
We are not sure how buyers and sellers feel about the announcement of a provision in a GOP tax proposal to cap the mortgage interest deduction and how it might affect seller’s decision on selling their property or affect affordability for buyers. According to the proposal, if you purchase a new home (new to you), and your mortgage is greater than $500,000, your interest deduction is being capped. The current mortgage interest deduction cap is 1 million dollars.

Our Listings

13343 3rd Ave NE, Seattle 98125 – 4bd/2.5bth, 2-car carport: Spacious Haller Lake Home – $650,000 – One owner only! Lovingly maintained home. Spacious & updated kitchen. Huge dining area. Hardwoods throughout upper/main floor (under carpet). 3 bedrooms/1.5 baths on one level. Possible MIL/Airbnb with separate walk-in entrance w/ one bed/full bath downstairs. Lovely deck off the kitchen and beautiful mature landscaping. New furnace, newer roof, exterior paint, newer interior doors, new water line. Lots of upgrades. Quiet neighborhood w/ easy access to I-5 & 99 & upcoming Northgate Lightrail. Click here for more information and pictures.

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.

Quick Winter Tip for Homeowners

Cold weather is here, please remember to disconnect your garden hoses from the house, this is the number one cause of frozen pipes. Cover exterior faucets to insulate them and keep them from freezing.

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

Happy Winter,
Krisanne and Kerstin

http://www.propertyinseattle.com


Fall 2017 Newsletter

January 2, 2018

Seattle Market Update – it is a seller’s market / prices are up / inventory is low:
(published 09/10/2017)

Seattle continues to “lead the nation in home-price growth”, no city has seen this kind of growth we have here for the last year; except for San Francisco three years ago. Our current year-to-date price increase is double the national average.

Working with buyers this year has proved difficult as prices kept rising every week and competition has been fierce. The emotional toll was all too real and raw for some of our clients but most persisted and moved into their new home. Some of our sellers, of course, were delighted with the gains.

It isn’t just buyers and sellers feeling the real estate roller-coaster and soaring property values. Rents are up, too, especially in urban centers with easy commutes and availability of rentals is a problem, as well.

Have you checked your property tax assessment? The tax rate has gone up and your property value has gone up, so you are paying considerably higher property taxes now than a few years ago.

Where are prices headed? Amazon and other employers have attracted talent to the city and played a major role in its economic growth, the rise in rents and home prices; but now that Amazon has announced plans to open a second, “equal” headquarters somewhere else, Seattle’s housing prices, rents and development boom might slow a little, especially in the core of the city. Time will tell.

Our Listings

None at this time. 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.

Quick Tips for Sellers

1, Make sure your home is properly priced. Pricing too low or too high can result in a lower sales price.
2, Create curb appeal. Many potential buyers assume a house that shows poorly on the outside will show poorly on the inside, as well.
3, Make sure everything is in good working order. Even smaller defects like a drippy faucet can raise concerns about the overall condition of the home for a potential buyer.
4, Clean and paint. A house that shines and feels clean will sell faster and for more money.
5, Consider staging your home. It will help potential buyers envision themselves in your home.

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


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 ***


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