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5 Common Mistakes Of First Time Home Buyers

At Jun 23, 2015

5 Common Mistakes Of First Time Home Buyers

Are you considering buying your first home soon? Congratulations! Owning a home is a huge step, and a huge investment in your future. While the process can be very fun and exciting, it can also be a bit overwhelming, especially to first time home buyers. Before you decide to put an offer in on a house, you’ll want to do a bit of research and be sure you are making the best decision for you.

Here are some common mistakes often made by first time home buyers:

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Financial Benefits of Homeownership When Building Net Worth

At Jan 05, 2015

Financial Benefits of Homeownership When Building Net Worth

In theory, putting your money into the stock market instead of your home could give you higher returns. In practice, however, few renters actually do invest successfully in the stock market. Owning a home has significant financial benefits, especially for people in Seattle where it’s expensive to rent. A report by the National Association of Realtors found homeowner’s net worth ranged from 31 to 46 times that of renters in the past 15 years.

As your home goes up in value, so too does your net worth.

Many people like to set financial goals for the New Year. Increasing your net worth is all about paying down debt and saving more. But homeowners’ net worth is positively influenced by factors beyond their control such as a booming real estate market in Seattle. As your home goes up in value, so too does your net worth. Even if you missed the beginning stages of the housing recovery, it’s still a great time to realize the benefits of homeownership.
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Your Credit Score: What does that number really mean?

At Dec 19, 2014

Your Credit Score: What does that number really mean?

The importance of having a good credit score when buying a home is not something most people find surprising. A person’s credit score provides their lenders with a great deal of important information about the person and how much they could afford to spend on a home.

However, what most people don’t know is what exactly that number means and the role in places in whether or not you get a mortgage or where you are able to get your mortgage from. In addition to determining whether or not you can qualify for a mortgage, it can determine the type of home you can buy, what your interest rate is, and much more!

Minimum Credit Scores

Sure, everyone knows there is such a thing as a ‘good’ credit score or a ‘bad’ credit score. You also know that good credit scores allow you to get a mortgage while bad ones don’t. But what exactly is a good credit score?

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Promising News For Home Sales

At Dec 09, 2014

Promising News For Home Sales

According to the latest statistics announced by the National Association of Realtors (NAR) the rate of pre-existing homes being sold is at the highest for the year. This comes after August’s disappointing news that the rate had dropped 1.8%.

September’s statistics show an increase of 2.4% (this correlates to an equivalent of 5.16 million homes being sold). It is important to note that although this is the highest rate for the year thus far, it is still 1.7% lower than this time last year. In September of 2013 approximately 5.26 million homes were sold.

Economists are optimistic citing a less competitive housing market with low interest rates which lead to stronger home sales.

Additionally, when looking at the sales of single family homes, the trend is similar. There was a 2.0% in September compared to August. However, this is overall lower than the rate recorded this time last year. Economists are optimistic citing a less competitive housing market with low interest rates which lead to stronger home sales.

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What Type of Mortgage Is Right For Me?

At Oct 28, 2014

What Type of Mortgage Is Right For Me?

Are you ready to be a home owner? If the answer is YES, good for you! There are many great benefits of home ownership.

While many future homeowners know the neighborhood, the size, and the price range of their home, many often do not consider an integral piece of the puzzle: what type of mortgage is right for me?

Let’s look at four types of mortgages, and see which is the best fit for YOU.

•  FHA loan. This is a loan insured by the Federal Housing Administration. A great aspect of this loan is they offer a lower down payment than other conventional mortgage loans.  A drawback is an FHA loan limits the size of the loan.

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Seattle’s Latest Statistics Show Price Increase

At Oct 22, 2014

Seattle's Latest Statistics Show Price IncreaseAccording to some of the latest statistics for Seattle’s housing market, the median home price has risen to the highest it has been since August 2007. This is intriguing news for prospective home buyers and sellers alike.

According to The Seattle Times, the median home price has risen dramatically. The word median means middle, so the middle range price of a home has increased. This is not necessarily the same thing as average (the difference might seem negligible, but can actually make a big difference).

The median home price has risen dramatically

In August of 2007 the median price for a single family home in Seattle was $501,000. In August of 2014 the median home price was $543,500. It is also important to note that these are the prices homes actually SOLD for. Interestingly enough the median price for June was only $499,000.

Why the price changes?

Seattle has a very good job market. In June 2014 Washington state’s unemployment rate was only 5.8% according to the most recent statistics. This is the lowest it has been in six years.

Combine the increase in employed workers with good interest rates and more people are now able to purchase homes. This gives the market more competition.

Seattle’s unemployment rate is the lowest it has been in six years.

The Seattle Times article also lists specific statistics for many of the neighborhoods in Seattle. The median home prices are certainly an interesting statistic to keep an eye on. They can be indicative of the overall housing market and economic climate of our area.

For more information about buying and selling a home, please contact us.

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Seattle Named a Millennial Real Estate Hotspot

At Aug 19, 2014

Seattle Named a Millennial Real Estate Hotspot

Last week we focused on how Seattle is becoming a hot spot for retirees. But for Millenials it remains a sought after hot spot when searching for a home. Seattle is an area with a lot of young energy as well as new money for real estate. A recent report by the National Association of Realtors named Seattle as one of the best cities for Millennial home buyers or young adults in their 20s and early 30s. According to an article by CNN Money that cited the report, some of the factors that made Seattle and several other cities stand out included strong job growth and affordable home prices. Living in Seattle has several perks for younger buyers.

The National Association of Realtors named Seattle as one of the best cities for Millennial home buyers or young adults in their 20s and early 30s.

Tech jobs

One of the reasons real estate is booming in Seattle is due to tech jobs that attract young workers. According to CNN Money, between 2010 and 2012, 28 percent of those moving into Seattle were Millennials compared to 23 percent for the average major city. Job growth is at about 2.6 percent. In addition to start-up companies, some of the major employers include Microsoft, Amazon and Starbucks.

Hip neighborhoods

According to an article by Forbes, Seattle is credited as being the birthplace of the hipster craze. For young people wanting to buy real estate in Seattle, one of the most “hip” areas is Capitol Hill, Seattle, WA. Another hip neighborhood noted by Forbes was the Ballard neighborhood. Homeowners in Ballard, a Northwest Seattle area, can walk to antique shops, restaurants, a movie theater, the Ballard Farmers market and parks. Nightlife and coffee shops make Capitol Hill a popular place for Millennials to buy homes.

In Seattle’s Queen Anne Hill neighborhood, Martha Rose Construction in Seattle built “extreme green homes.”

Green homes

Seattle is home to several green or eco-friendly homes. For example, the woman-owned GreenPod Development builds new Seattle modular homes. In Seattle’s Queen Anne Hill neighborhood, Martha Rose Construction in Seattle built “extreme green homes.” The homes were awarded the 5 Star Built Green award. When shopping for real estate in Seattle, young house hunters can find many homes with high “Green IQ’s.” Some resale homes are also landscaped with native plants to protect the native butterflies, birds and other wildlife.

For more information on buying real estate  in the Seattle area as a young buyer or one who is just young at heart, please contact us.

 

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Purchasing a Home in a Hip Seattle Neighborhood as a Retiree

At Aug 12, 2014

Purchasing a Home in a Hip Seattle Neighborhood as a Retiree

Many baby boomers are retiring to urban areas, including Seattle. According to one article by the Wall Street Journal, many boomers born between 1946 and 1964 like the young energy of hip, urban neighborhoods. The article cited an American Housing Survey that revealed almost 10 percent of households headed by someone 55 and older in central cities lived in condos compared to about 7 percent in 2005. Experts say boomers are creating a demand for luxury townhomes and condos in prime neighborhoods in the Seattle area. If you are a baby boomer hoping to retire to Washington State, there are plenty of attractive neighborhoods in Seattle.

Baby boomers are creating a demand for luxury townhomes and condos in prime neighborhoods in the Seattle area.

Ballard

Northwest Seattle area is an appealing area for baby boomers purchasing a home for an active retirement. Named by Seattle Magazine as one of the Best Seattle neighborhoods, Ballard boasts antique shopping, a much-loved independent movie theater, parks and foodie-favorite restaurants. Boomers can enjoy the Norwegian Independence Day parade, the Ballard Farmers market and cooking classes at The Pantry.

Queen Anne

Queen Anne was also listed as one of the top Seattle neighborhoods by Seattle magazine. The 2.8-square-mile area is home to ballet, opera and theaters. Boomers may enjoy the Queen Anne Farmer’s Market as well as the Seattle International Film Festival. Boomers interested in homes with character may be interested in the Queen Anne-style houses from the late 1800s.

South Lake Union

The South Lake Union neighborhood is alive with the energy of creative people working. Baby boomers may be interested in purchasing a home in South Lake Union with its many bakeries, shops, restaurants, coffeehouses and the old Seattle ambiance of industrial warehouses and fishing boats.

West Bellevue

Although Bellevue isn’t in the city of Seattle, this community is just a quick drive over the I-90 bridge right into downtown. Bellevue is likened as a mini-Seattle but with lower crime and a more community-type feel. Purchasing a home in West Bellevue is a good move for baby boomers who want to be close to Bellevue Square and fine restaurants which are all within walking distance and intertwined by convenient skybridges.  Hop on I-90 east and you are also minutes to many hot hiking spots as well as nature scenes. Also just a 30-mile drive east to Twin Falls and Chism Beach Park.

 If you are hoping to retire to Washington State, there are plenty of attractive neighborhoods in Seattle.

Purchasing a home in one of the many hip, urban neighborhoods in Seattle can be an exhilarating experience for pre-retirees and retirees. By hiring an experienced Realtor who knows the area well, you can have that competitive edge when bidding on prime real estate properties.

For more information about finding a condo, townhome or single-family home in Seattle’s best neighborhoods at any stage of life, please contact us.

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Market Forecasts Could Be Good News for Buyers

At Jul 29, 2014

Market Forecasts Could Be Good News for Buyers

Seattle house hunters who have been frantically saving for a down payment on a new home may get the second chance they wanted to step into the market. Judging from this past year’s housing boom in Seattle, it’s still a very hot seller’s market. However, a recent report by Bloomberg indicates the housing recovery is faltering at least on a national level. Because of stagnant wages and tougher lending standards, home prices are starting to plateau in many parts of the country.

Because of stagnant wages and tougher lending standards, home prices are starting to plateau in many parts of the country.

Revising Bullish Forecasts

Bullish national housing market forecasts from earlier this year have been revised, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association. They lowered their new and existing home sales forecast to 5.28 million, which represents a decline of about 4 percent. They also cut forecasts for mortgage lending volume by 8.7 percent to $595 billion.

Finding an Entry Point

According to home value reports by Zillow, the median home value in Seattle is up 10.9 percent compared to a year ago with the median home price at $465,300. Zillow estimates home values in Seattle will rise 9.5 percent in the next year. For Seattle renters who are paying the median rent of about $1,750 per month, it’s extremely important to find an entry point into the market.

 Like the weather forecasts, market forecasts are just educated guesses.

Crunching Your Numbers

Market forecasts aren’t the only factors to consider when deciding whether or not to buy a home. No one can predict whether mortgage rates will escalate quickly or stay at historic lows. No one knows whether home prices will rise in the double digits. Like the weather forecasts, market forecasts are just educated guesses. When trying to figure out whether to rent or to buy in the Seattle area, crunch some numbers. Also, consider what you’ll gain by investing in a home.

For more information on how we can help you find a home you can afford in the Seattle area, contact us.

 

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Millennials Quickly Realizing Benefits of Homeownership

At Jul 19, 2014

Millennials Quickly Realizing Benefits of Homeownership

Older Millennials who bought their first homes during the Housing Boom haven’t given up on home ownership. If anything, move-up buyers in their 30s are growing more determined to buy step-up homes in the Seattle area. Meanwhile, experts say younger “property virgins” in their 20s still have dreams to take that next step into adulthood as homeowners.

According to a recent article by Bloomberg, the more than 85 million people born between 1980 and 2000 have created pent-up demand for housing.

74 percent of Millennials said they plan to buy a home in the next 5 years

As the economy improves, housing analysts say Millennials will lead the way. Most young people realize the benefits of home ownership, according to a Harris Bank Study that showed 74 percent of Millennials said they plan to buy a home in the next 5 years. Thirty-two percent intend to make a home purchase within a year.

Gaining Independence

Many Millennials are tired of living with their parents, grandparents or sharing an apartment with friends. Owning a home gives them a tremendous amount of freedom and independence. The key to staying independent is to only buy a home that you can afford.

Building Up Equity

Some older Millennials may have been underwater on their mortgages for several years, but it was a temporary situation. Now, many Millennials can use their home equity to purchase step-up homes. They can can see some benefits of home ownership happen over time rather than in the first one to five years. Once they retire, their home equity will be a great resource.

A lot of younger people have become disillusioned with being renters

Having Security and Predictability

After having their rent go up once or several times, a lot of younger people have become disillusioned with being renters. Having a mortgage provides some financial predictability. Some of the other benefits of home ownership are intangible such as feelings of warmth and security.

For more information about how we can help you find the right home for you in the Seattle area, contact us.

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