Category Archives: buying a home

Moving Tips

 

 

 

 

 

I’m going to be putting together a handout on moving tips. There are so many steps to moving besides packing the boxes, from changes of address to preparing your new home for your pets.

This week I’m going to share the experience of a friend who moved recently. Don’t pack your important documents in a box – instead carry them with you!

This friend finished her move on a Saturday and then realized she was missing some boxes. She looked everywhere including driving back to her old place and could not find those boxes anywhere. The missing boxes included copies of her tax returns and boxes of checks, among other things. She was freaking out because if someone took her boxes, they might be able to steal her identity. Important documents such as credit cards, checks, financial records, passports, wills, etc. should be carried with you for the move, not placed in the truck.

My friend got lucky, someone found her boxes and put them in a safe place. She got them back unopened, after having a sleepless Saturday night.

Moral of the Story: Important documents such as credit cards, checks, financial records, passports, wills, etc. should be carried with you for the move, not placed in the truck. Also, inventory your boxes so you know how many went into the truck and how many came out.

Do you have a moving tip or story to share? Email it to Jamie@JamieFlaxman.com and it might make the Moving Tips Handout or show up on the Blog.

 

Tri-County Market Report

March statistics from the Northwest Multiple Listing Service were released last week and showed that we are continuing to see substantial price increases.

Prices overall are up about 13.2 percent from a year ago, and even more so in the four-county Puget Sound region. Among these four counties, Kitsap had the largest year-over-year increase at 19 percent, but King County homes are still the priciest. The median price for last month’s sales of single family homes and condos combined in King County is $625,000, up 17.9 percent from a year ago. For single family homes, excluding condos, the median price for last month’s sales was $689,950. Year-over-year prices are up more than 18 percent in Pierce County and about 14.3 percent in Snohomish County.

We have returned to an extremely intense market for each new listing due to extremely strong job growth and eager buyers who want to purchase before interest rates go higher. We are witnessing high levels of sales activity intensity for each new listing coming on the market.

Until we see more inventory on the market, expect home prices to continue to increase. For more information on the market, contact me at 206-790-0081 or Jamie@JamieFlaxman.com.

March Inventory Report

In Seattle and King County, we saw a slight increase in inventory over March of last year for single family homes, 3.1% in King County and 6.6% in Seattle. For condos, the number for sale in King County decreased 4.5% but increased 21% in Seattle. The Seattle increase may be because of pre-sales at buildings under construction.

Snohomish County saw a significant decrease in the number of single family homes for sale, with an 11.9% decrease. Condos for sale stayed at the same level as 2017.Lack of inventory is still driving the region’s housing market. The chart below shows 3 year inventory levels for King (green) and Snohomish (orange) Counties as well as for Seattle. The biggest decrease has been in Snohomish County as King County buyers are being priced out their market.

Please give me a call/text at (206) 790-0081 or email to learn more or discuss your options for buying or selling a property.

How Do I Compete in this Crazy Real Estate Market

If you’re a buyer in our crazy, hot market, you may be wondering, how do I compete? While most properties are receiving multiple offers and bidding wars, it is very possible to be successful in our market.

I have an 8-step process for helping my buyers be successful. These steps begin with being pre-approved for a mortgage and knowing the maximum amount you can afford. I have a list of wonderful lenders who can help you with your pre-approval.

My 8-steps include recommendations on pricing and how to make your offer stronger. If you’d like to learn more about the 8-steps, please contact me.

Another option in our market is to look for homes that have been on the market for more than 2 weeks. It’s very possible these homes have been overpriced, so even if the list price is higher than your max budget, you may be able to negotiate to a price in your range.

Let’s talk about your home buying needs. Phone/text 206-790-0081 or email me.

2017 in Review

The story of the Seattle real estate market in 2017 continued similar to the past few years. Low inventory drove our market, with the number of new listings down from 2016 and prices up significantly. While the median sales price for a single family home citywide increased 13.7% to $705,000, in many neighborhoods that increase was even higher. For the 23 counties in the MLS area overall, inventory shrunk 19% from the end of 2016 to the end of 2017. That’s the smallest selection for any month in the past decade.

December is traditionally a slower month, but that wasn’t the case this year. While the inventory was low, the number of buyers seemed to be high, with multiple offers the norm (I heard a story of 28 offers on a Queen Anne listing as well as multiple offers even during the week between Christmas and New Year’s) and packed open houses (100+ visitors at times). At year end, there were only 256 single family homes and 95 condos for sale in Seattle, a decrease of approximately 30% from 2016.

Until we see an increase in inventory, we can expect the market to be strong. We need property owners to list their homes at higher rates as well as an increase in new construction. See my predictions on the next page for more details.

Please give me a call/text at (206) 790-0081 or email Jamie@JamieFlaxman.com if you have any questions or would like further information on the market or your specific area.

 

What a Crazy Month

When I think of December and real estate, I think of quiet. Everyone is getting ready for the holidays or going on vacation. It’s a great time for me to catch up on paperwork and plan for my business in 2018.

This past December did not hold to market trend. It was crazy out there. Open houses with a 100 visitors. Listings receiving 28 offers. Multiple offers being received the week between Christmas and New Year’s.

What’s going on you ask? The data for December isn’t out yet but based on what I’ve seen, here’s my theory to why we had a crazy month: We have almost no inventory of properties for sale and people want to buy before interest rates go up and tax reform goes into effect.

Do you want to buy a property? Do you have a property you’ve been debating about selling? Give me a call/text at (206) 790-0081 or email at jamie@jamieflaxman.com for a complimentary consultation.

Market Update

November and early December market activity is not showing as much slowdown as usually seen this time of year. Open houses over the past couple weekends have had lines to get in, with some receiving more than 100 visitors on a weekend day. With our low inventory and pent up buyer demand, we don’t expect to see as much a slow down this winter. Additionally, with some proposed changes to the tax code affecting home ownership, some buyers are jumping into the market, hoping to buy before tax reform is passed and implemented. There are also signs that the interest rate may increase slightly.

Let’s talk about the market, give me a call/text at (206) 790-0081 or email me.

 

Market Update

Is the market starting to slow down? We are seeing signs that the market is changing, although rather than calling it a slow down, I would say it’s a market stabilization. There are fewer and less intense bidding wars and the price increases are less dramatic than we have seen over the past couple years. Additionally, we are seeing homes not receiving offers by their review date and there have been more price reductions.

These changes are not a reason to worry. They may signal that we are moving toward a more balanced, healthier market. Because we still have a serious shortage of inventory, I don’t foresee that we will see a major change in the market. Instead, the market for buyers may become less challenging.

For sellers who have been holding off on selling because they’re waiting to see how much more money they could get on their homes, I wouldn’t wait much longer. If you want to get top dollar, you should get your home on the market while there still is a shortage of inventory.

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.

 

How To Price a Home

There is an art to pricing a home but in the end, Economics 101 and seller needs determines how to price a home.

To get an accurate picture of market activity in your area, I will give you a report that looks at houses similar to yours in size, location and features, whether they’re for sale, have sold, are pending, or failed to sell. Understanding the realities of the current market allows us to accurately assess your home and arrive at a price that properly positions your home for a successful sale.

However, the real market value of your home is determined when someone tells us what they are willing to pay for your home, you decide to accept that price, and escrow closes!

This may sound odd, but until this event happens, determining market value is really a matter of making an educated guess. Are you kidding, you guess? There are lots of opinions on price, yet only one set of facts. We will examine the facts of record (current, pending, sold, and expired listings) and together we will determine a pricing strategy designed to sell your home for the most money in the shortest period of time.

No one can tell me what my home will sell for? Not really. Someone might tell you a figure but no one knows the market value of your home because it is not established until someone buys it for a specific price. That’s why we use facts of record to determine a pricing strategy. Zestimates, tax assessments, and other automated values are not good estimates of market value – they are, however, pieces of information that can be looked at as part of pricing a home.

Therefore, in pricing a home, we must look at a variety of factors, including recent sales, current listings, homes in contract, location, condition, and amenities. I will gather information on recent and pending sales, as well as active listings, to identify current fair market value. This is a called a Comparative Market Analysis (CMA), and both buyers and sellers will want to have their broker complete a CMA to help them understand price.

Chances are that your home will sell at its fair market value. Pricing it realistically at the outset simply increases the likelihood for a timely sale with less inconveniences and greater monetary return.

Buyers educate themselves by viewing many homes. They know what is a fair price. If your home is not competitive in value with those seen, it will not sell. Overpricing causes most homes to remain on the market too long. Buyers, aware of a long exposure period, are often hesitant to make an offer because they fear something is wrong with the home. Often homes on the market for a long time eventually sell for less than fair market value.

80% of the marketing of your home is done the day we decide at what price to list your home. If you are unwilling to list your home at or just below the current market value, you are better served to not put it on the market at all.