As the chart below shows, just a one-half percent difference in your interest rate makes a huge difference in your monthly payment. For example, when purchasing an $800,000 home with 20% down, a half-point difference is $181/monthly, $2,172/annually, or $65,160 over the course of a 30-year loan.
What does this mean for you?
If you’re a homebuyer, this is the time to get into the real estate market. With interest rates this low, you may be able to purchase more than you think.
If you’re a homeowner and considering a move, whether downsizing or to a new neighborhood or larger home, this is the time to do so. With interest rates so low, you’ll likely be able to afford more than you think.
If you’re a homeowner with no plans of selling in the next couple years and your interest rate is in the upper 4’s or higher, it might be worth talking to a lender about refinancing.
I have several excellent lenders that can help you determine what would be best in your situation, a refinance or a move. I would love to sit down and talk with you about your needs. Give me a call at 206-790-0081 or email me to schedule a time to chat.
I’m excited to announce my latest listing in Seattle’s Wallingford neighborhood. This home, built in 1941, has 3 bedrooms and 2 1/4 bathrooms and is move-in ready. It is listed for $850,000. Check out the video or the detailed listing.
Gardeners will love the yard (seller is a member of the Garden Club). Wonderful bonus space in the basement – a perfect spot for the weekly poker game or movie night. Space for a huge wine cellar as well. Home is seismic retrofitted and has lots of storage.
The location is phenomenal, just blocks to all that Wallingford offers, including:
Dining at places such as Pablo y Pablo, Bizarro’s, Dick’s Burgers, Tutta Bella, Molly Moon’s Ice Cream, and many local breweries
Near bus routes 26, 31, 32, 44, and 62
Summer Farmers Market at Meridian Park
Community organizations such as Seattle Public Library, Wallingford Boys & Girls Club, Wallingford Senior Center, and the Good Neighbor Center
Schools nearby include Hamilton Middle School, Lincoln High School, BF Day Elementary, John Stanford International School, and Meridian School
Wallingford Park with tennis courts, playground, and wading pool across the street
Please stop by an open house to check out the home:
Appraisals are one of the most confusing aspects of buying or selling real estate. When a buyer and seller agree on a sales price, it can be frustrating to hear that the appraisal came in with a value too low. It’s not enough for the buyer and seller to agree to the price, the appraisal is the lender’s way to ensure they are not loaning money over the actual market value of the property.
The appraised value is reached by a licensed professional who looks at the real estate market in which the target property is located. They start with the target property and then look for recent sales in the area of comparable properties. These comparable properties will be located within a short distance of the target home. They should also be of comparable size and often fall within the same housing development.
Once these homes are identified, the appraiser will adjust for the specific differences. For instance, does the target home have an upgraded kitchen or swimming pool? They add or subtract value based on such things as location, view, lot size, upgrades, additions, condition, and many other factors. They can then arrive at a valuation for the target home.
Once the appraisal has been completed, the lender is notified of the value. At this point, the loan amount is either confirmed or declined. If the appraisal comes in too low, the buyer and seller can choose to make up the difference in the sales price, lower the sales price, or cancel the transaction.
An experienced real estate broker will help you manage the appraisal process. By learning about recent sales in your area ahead of time, you can price your home appropriately up front; then the appraisal should come back as expected.
Several things stand out when looking at market statistics for the 2nd quarter of 2019.
There are a lot more condos and single family homes for sale.
For both condos and single family homes, prices are still down from the peak of 2018.
Days on Market is down for condos and relatively stable for single family homes.
It is important to note that we hit the peak of the market in May/June 2018. We have had a market adjustment since then, primarily driven by increased inventory. However, for single family homes, we have around 2 months of inventory, meaning we are still in a market that favors the seller.
This increased inventory is great news for buyers who have more choice in finding a home. We have seen some return to multiple offers but not at the pace we saw over the past few years.
With condos, in June we had just over 3 months inventory. The condo market is being driven by more condo projects under construction and being announced, meaning that the inventory level for condos should continue to rise. The increase in the number of available condos is great for buyers and home affordability—condos usually allow for buyers to get into the market at a lower price than for single family homes. In fact, my first purchase of a residential property to live in was a condo as that was what I could afford back in 1995.
The best news for both buyers and sellers is that we’re at a 12 month low for interest rates which are under 4%.
For more information on buying or selling, please reach out to me at Jamie@JamieFlaxman.com or (206) 790-0081.
In my experience I have found that most buyers are looking for a 3 or 4 bedroom home. They usually want 4 and often end up with 3. At the same time in working with sellers, I have found that a large proportion of the homes I list are 3 bedrooms. Does the number of bedrooms make a difference in the price you pay or receive?
I looked at sales of single family homes throughout the city of Seattle for the past 30 days and here’s what I found.
The 333 three-bedroom homes sold on average for $793,070 while the 192 four-bedroom homes sold for just over $1.1 million. I have to tell you while I expected there to be a difference, I did not expect to see a $300,000 difference.
For sellers, having or adding a 4th bedroom makes a huge difference. I listed a Phinney Ridge home last summer that was a 3 bedroom home. However, it had a fully finished room in the basement with large windows and heat. What it didn’t have was a closet. My clients spent a little money to create a closet, and now we had a 4 bedroom home. The room was staged as a guest room and looked great. (In most jurisdictions, the criteria to call a room a bedroom are: large window or exterior door for egress, a heat source, and a closet.)
If you’ve got a finished room that meets not all of the criteria for a bedroom, it might be worth a little money to make it a legal bedroom. Closets and heat are usually pretty easy to address. However, egress is not, so if there’s not a large window or the window is too high, this might not work for you.
For more information or to discuss the real estate market, give me a call at 206-790-0081 or email Jamie@JamieFlaxman.com.
Mortgage rates have recently been at a 12-month low. Depending on your credit and financial situation, you might currently be able to get a mortgage at around 4%. Here are some reasons why it’s critical you get pre-approved for your mortgage. I have a list of wonderful mortgage lenders, please drop me an email and I’ll be happy to forward to you.
Seattle prices continue to decline slightly for single-family homes, with a 4.6% decrease from the first quarter of 2018 to the first quarter of 2019. However, it’s important to note that we hit the peak of our market in spring 2018, so prices were near their highest point last March. Condos are where we’re seeing the biggest changes, with a significant amount of inventory on the market and a 9.6% decrease in prices. With our increased inventory we’re seeing that the number of days it’s taking a property to sell has increased substantially. But for properties priced properly, they are selling quickly, often on the first day it comes on the market and often with multiple offers. Yes, multiple offers are back, and not just 2 or 3 offers, but more than 10 on many properties.
What does this mean for you? If you’re a homeowner considering selling your property, do NOT overprice. Price is the number one determinant of buyers coming to see your home and placing offers. Overpriced homes will sit on the market. And as we’re now in spring, the busiest time of the year for our real estate market, do not wait to list your home.
Buyers, this is a great time for you. With the increase in inventory, you have many more choices. Interest rates are the lowest they’ve been in the past 12 months, so your money will go further right now. It’s definitely the time to buy.
Let’s talk about your real estate needs. Give me a call at (206) 790-0081 or email me.
If you’re considering whether it’s the right time to buy a property, the answer is definitely yes! There is a lot of inventory on the market right now, so that means that there is less competition among buyers. And interest rates have dropped substantially and are the lowest they’ve been in around a year, meaning your money will go further.
Whether it’s a condo, townhome, or house you’re considering, let’s talk about your buying needs. You can reach me at (206) 790-0081 or Jamie@JamieFlaxman.com.
We live in the information age; the Internet offers advice on every topic and real estate is no exception. With more and more home buyers starting their home search online, they are bombarded with advice and information – it can be easy to think that you can learn everything you need to know just by reading articles online.
The truth is your real estate agent does much more than answer your questions and open doors with a special key. A professional real estate agent will be there every step of the way. They have the experience necessary to navigate the complicated home buying process and solve common hiccups that present themselves in every real estate transactions.
Your real estate agent is a local professional. They will start by presenting themselves to the other agent as someone who will work with them to see the transaction through to a successful conclusion. They have a network of professionals who will work as a team to help you through the process. These include such professionals as: lenders, title reps, escrow officers, transaction coordinators, home inspectors, contractors, and handymen, among others.
Most importantly, your agent is your ally in the home buying process. They negotiate on your behalf – armed with experience and understanding of customary charges, costs, and terms. They will ensure that the price you pay for the home is fair for the condition and neighborhood. They will negotiate repairs, if needed and make sure you are protected with the proper contingencies.
The Internet offers lots of great information, but the most important step you can take when buying a new home is hiring a local professional real estate agent. Their knowledge and expertise can’t be found by reading an article or two online.
Contact me at Jamie@JamieFlaxman.com or 206-790-0081 to discuss how I can help you with the real estate transactions.