Category Archives: buyers

The Importance of Getting Loan Pre-Approval

If you have already decided to buy a home, you are probably very excited, have been looking at homes online, and are geared up and raring to go tour. However, if you are getting a loan for your home, there is a very important step you should absolutely take first – getting pre-approved for your mortgage. This step is critical for a number of reasons:

You will know your budget – There have been many situations in which the buyer was looking for homes in a much higher price range than they were ultimately approved for. You can imagine their disappointment when they realized they could only buy about half the house they were looking for. Likewise, there have been buyers who were underestimating their budget.

You will have already done the hard work – When you get pre-approved, the bank has already approved you as a borrower. That means that if there are any issues with credit or late payments that you might have made in the past can get cleared up before you get caught up in an offer on a house. You don’t have to worry if that mistake you made will catch up with you.

The seller will take you seriously – If you make an offer on a house before getting pre-approved and you are competing with a buyer who has already taken that step, the seller likely won’t look at your offer favorably. In fact, it is standard to include a letter of pre-approval from the lender in the offer and in some cases, the listing agent may even call the lender to learn about potential risk factors.

You don’t want to miss an opportunity to get the home of your dreams – What if you find the home that is just right, but you don’t have your financial ducks in a row? You could miss out and be disappointed. Disappointed buyers have a hard time getting over the one that got away.

You may be able to close faster – Since with a pre-approval, you as the buyer have already been approved, it will just be a matter of making sure your chosen house is a good investment for the bank. Depending on your loan type, conventional or government-backed, there may be an inspection of the property and there will surely be an appraisal. Depending on how quickly these can happen which will depend on the lender, you may be able to close faster, which may be appealing for some sellers who need to take their next step.

Don’t underestimate the importance of getting pre-approved. The relief you will feel once a lender has indicated that you are indeed qualified to buy a home is huge. You can move forward with confidence with your pre-approval letter in hand, knowing the top end of your budget and that the seller will be ready to negotiate with you.

If you would like to learn more or be referred to lenders who would be a great match for your lending needs, please call, text, or email: (206) 790-0081 or email: jamie@jamieflaxman.com.

New Listing on Phinney Ridge

My colleague Mark Ashmun and I are excited to announce our latest listing, 749 N 67th St, Seattle, WA 98103.

Enjoy everything Phinney Ridge and Green Lake with this 2007 craftsman, including a permitted 2 bedroom ADU w/ great income potential or perfect for extended family living. The home offers 7 bedrooms and 4 full baths, 2 kitchens, 2 laundry rooms, and 2 off-street parking spots.

There is a large deck for entertaining and the custom designed backyard has an apple tree, rose garden, hot tub, fire pit, and more.

Additional features include:

  • 3,910 square foot home
  • 4,960 square foot lot
  • Tons of storage throughout
  • Central A/C for main and upper floors
  • Gas forced air heat
  • Master suite with gas fireplace, 5 piece bath and large walk-in closet with CA Closet system
  • Peek-a-boo Green Lake views from 2nd floor
  • P-Patch is across the street and 1 block to Green Lake

Download 749 N 67th St Flyer

For more information on this home or on buying or selling a home, contact me at 206-790-0081 or email me.

 

As Summer Winds Down

Summer doesn’t end until September 21st, but for many, summer ends with Labor Day (this year September 4th). With kids heading back to school and summer vacations over, the real estate market usually sees an uptick in September. More listings come on the market so it’s a great month to buy a home. And if you’re on the edge about selling, we should get your home on the market soon before the market slows down for winter.

To talk about your real estate needs, give me a call/text at (206) 790-0081 or an email to Jamie@JamieFlaxman.com.

Wallingford 1911 Bungalow

4010 1st Ave NE, Seattle, WA 98105, Listed at $740,000

I’m excited to announce my latest listing, a wonderful 1911 bungalow in Seattle’s Wallingford neighborhood. This home has 3 bedrooms and 2 full baths and is waiting for your updates. Additionally, the house has cathedral ceilings, loads of natural light, and period touches. Add to that a sun room off the kitchen – imagine sipping your coffee while watching the sunrise over the Cascades, or put in a comfy chair and you’ve got a reading nook.

Gardeners will love the yard with its raised beds, fruit tree, and flora. Right now there are crab apples, tomatoes, and zucchini coming in. There’s a one car detached garage, rebuilt in 2001.

The location is ideal – just blocks to Gas Works park & local shops. Easy access to the University of Washington, South Lake Union, and downtown Seattle.

Upcoming Open Houses

Wednesday, August 9, 11:30am-1:30pm

Saturday, August 12, 1:00-4:00pm

Sunday, August 13, 1:00-4:00pm

For more information:

Email Me

Call or Text Me: 206-790-0081

Download the Flyer: 4010 1st Ave NE Flyer

Watch the video.

What’s Going On With the Market

I was in Iceland for 2 weeks and while I was gone, a slight shift occurred in the market. Inventory increased – in the city of Seattle the number of new listings of single family homes in May increased nearly 30% over April 2017 and nearly 6% over May 2016. This is great news for buyers who have become very frustrated with the lack of available homes for purchase.

Sellers, it’s not time to worry. There’s still a significant shortage of inventory compared to the demand.

Please let me know if there’s anything I can do to help with your real estate needs.

Light Filled Phinney Ridge Craftsman

Do you want to live on Phinney Ridge or west Green Lake? If you answer yes, this home is for you.Phinney Craftsman

I have just listed this beautiful light filled craftsman at 532 N 67th St. Location is key here with only one block to the Phinney Neighborhood Association and the restaurants and shops on Greenwood Ave. Or go two blocks in the other direction and you’re at Green Lake. Access to Metro routes 5 and E are close by.

The home offers 3 bedrooms, 2 of them on the upper floor with views of Green Lake and the Cascades. Each of these bedrooms has its own bathroom and large closet. The third bedroom is on the main floor along with another full bathroom. The main floor also includes living/dining room, kitchen, and family room, which opens to a wood deck for outdoor dining.

Both the front and back yards are beautifully landscaped and the back is fully fenced for your 4-legged friends. Top this off with a detached 2-car garage and everything you need is covered.

Explore the home via video tour.

Stop by one of the open houses to check it out or contact me for a private showing. With our current low inventory, this home is sure to go fast.

  • Friday, June 3rd – 4:00-7:00p
  • Saturday, June 4th – 1:00-4:00p
  • Sunday, June 5th – 1:00-4:00p
  • Wednesday, June 8th – Noon-2:00p

Home Features:

  • Built in 1923
  • 3 bedrooms
  • 2.75 bathrooms
  • 2,570 sq. ft
  • 4,960 sq. ft. lot
  • 2 car garage
  • Gas furnace for main and lower levels
  • Ductless heat pump with air conditioning for second floor bedrooms
  • Partially finished basement with bonus room
  • Earthquake retrofitted in 2001
  • Views of Green Lake and the Cascades

Download the 532 N 67th St. home flyer

Seattle Homeowners Aren’t Selling, But Here’s Why You Should

Did you miss me? After a brief hiatus from blog writing, I’m back with the goal of posting to this blog at least twice a month.

home-for-saleI can’t think of a more timely topic to cover today than our current low inventory. As you may know, Seattle (and the whole of King County) has one of the hottest real estate markets in the country. It’s all about supply and demand: inventory of homes and condos is at record-low levels, yet thousands are moving to Seattle every month, amplifying the demand for real estate.

Many homeowners are holding on to their real estate even though they’d actually prefer to sell. There are three reasons for this:

1) Homeowners hope prices will continue to rise.

2) Homeowners fear they won’t be able to find another place to live.

3) Homeowners do not realize how much equity they have in their homes.

The reality is, we have seen double-digit appreciation for many years, and almost all homeowners who bought prior to 2011 have positive equity in their real estate. While I am generally optimistic about the market for 2016, I do expect we will see a slowdown in appreciation this year. With the upcoming presidential election and increasing interest rates, this year could be a challenge.

The big takeaway: If you’re considering selling your home, the time to do so is NOW!

If you find yourself experiencing holding on to your real estate for any of the three reasons listed above, I can provide you with a complimentary market analysis of the value of your home, and I can also advise you on strategies for finding housing—either for purchase or rent—for when you do decide to sell your home. There is no crystal ball to tell us what will happen in the real estate market in the next 6–12 months, so why take the risk that prices won’t level out or decrease? With King County’s current limited inventory, you could go for the sure sale today.

I will be teaching a how-to class on March 1 about selling your home in the current market. (Download a flyer about the class.) If you are interested in selling in the next few years, this class is for you. Not interested in selling, but have friends and family who might be? Please share the flyer with them.

I want to help you make a sale now while the market is hot. Call or text me at 206-790-0081, or email me at Jamie@JamieFlaxman.com, with questions or to discuss your needs further.

Market Update

Last month I reported that we expected to see the market slow down in October, both because of new mortgage rules and seasonal adjustments. Well guess what, we were WRONG!

Newly released Northwest Multiple Listing Service figures for October show pending sales are up 7.8 percent from a year ago. Nearly half the counties in its service area reported double-digit gains in the number of mutually accepted offers. For the four-county Puget Sound region encompassing King, Kitsap, Pierce and Snohomish counties, Northwest MLS members tallied 6,977 pending sales, the highest October volume in a decade. Closed sales rose 7 percent from a year ago, increasing from 7,257 to 7,769. Broker Mike Gain agreed. “If we just had more homes to sell the number of closed units would have increased even more during October,” he stated. “Selling more homes at a faster rate than we are replenishing supply shows just how good the local real estate market really is,” remarked Gain, CEO and president of Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Northwest Real Estate.

Low inventory continues to drive the market, leading to multiple offers and higher prices. It is definitely still a sellers’ market although patient buyers are ultimately successful in purchasing homes.

Here’s the number of active and closed listings for single family homes in the city of Seattle:

Median sales price for single family homes in Seattle has remained steady this fall.

Contact me with any questions or for further information.

It’s Fall in the Northwest

greenlake fall photo - stock photoIt’s fall in the northwest – rain, leaves on the ground, pumpkins creatively carved in front of houses – and a quieter time of year in the real estate market. November through February typically see the smallest number of home sales, but let me share with you why I think this is a great time of year to both buy and sell a home.

Great Reasons to Buy Now

  1. If you close on your transaction before the end of the year, you may benefit from on your 2015 taxes as you’ll be able to deduct any mortgage interest paid as well as any points paid and property taxes.
  2. Fall/winter offers you an opportunity rarely seen in summer – the opportunity to see if there are any water intrusion problems with a house. With frequent and sometimes powerful storms, if there are any water intrusion problems, they’ll be more likely to show up on a home inspection or to the naked eye.
  3. Think about it, celebrating Hanukkah, Christmas, Kwanzaa, and/or ringing in 2016 in your own place.
  4. Interest rates are still incredibly low, below 4%, and no one at this point can predict when that will change. Lock in your record low rate right now.

Great Reasons to Sell Nowsold-606688 stock

 

  1. Inventory is at it’s lowest this time of year. With less inventory, there’s less competition yet you are more likely to obtain a higher price for your home. And there’s research to back this up.
  2. Serious buyers are out there shopping. Many buyers frustrated by the multiple offer market come back during winter when there’s less competition.
  3. With interest rates at record lows, buyer affordability is higher. Sell your home while rates are down and buyers may be able to pay more.
  4. Get a fresh start to the new year. A new living situation may be just the way to start the new year.

For more information or to discuss your real estate needs, contact me at (206) 790-0081 or Jamie@JamieFlaxman.com.