Seattle Real Estate Market Update: Balance

Balance is the word I would use to describe our 2018 Seattle real estate market.  Here’s a quick update/forecast on the housing market in Seattle.  _MG_8918_20Balanced
Seattle Market
Well, we have reached our peak Seattle home prices as of approximately March 2018.  Sometimes in real estate, the data is more of a tailwind than a headwind.  The trend for the last six + months is sellers are having to take 5-10% less for their homes and it is taking twice as long to get offers in place.  We can contribute some of this to the S&P 500 (down 20%) and Big Tech stocks (down 30-50%) plus another 3 or 4 more interest rate hikes in 2019.  Another expected Fed Interest Rate hike is forecasted for December 19th.  Unfortunately we aren’t seeing inflation accelerate as much as we’d like since corporate profits are slower than expected.
We also look to new construction trends.  When the Big Recession hit, it was harder for banks to loan money.  New construction of homes and condos virtually were at a standstill for long enough to affect the lack of inventory we have experienced for the last few years.  Basically new construction hadn’t kept up with the demand once we got the demand back.  So new homes and condos couldn’t be built fast enough…until now.  Now there are arguably too many which weakens the rental market.  The Seattle rental market for a two bedroom decreased 5.7% from a year ago.  It was $2,650 now it is $2,500 per month for the same two bedroom.  Whenever we see rental markets flatline, it typically means sellers reevaluate their cost to sell.
 
What’s the Bottom Line?
Pricing becomes under pressure when there is more inventory, like we see today.  If we continue this trend, we will have the inventory of homes like we saw in 2012 in several months.  Inventory is up 4% from year to date.  In 2017 we saw 24.7% homes on market.  Today it is 47.2%.
It’s too late to sell for top dollar in Seattle.  However our downturns generally last 2 to 5 years before it gets worse.  Keep in mind Seattle saw such a generous appreciation of home values since 2008 (when Amazon landed in Sea-town) that it has set a new standard for the median Seattle home.  Still if you are a seller, look to sell within the next couple of years.
Buying in Seattle ?
If you can withstand a 20% + correction over the next 5 to 7 years, then buy.  In other words, if you want to buy a home because you’re not a flipper, then by all means buy a piece of real estate.  It’s all about your EXIT PLAN.  If you plan on being in your home for 7 years (maybe 5 years in Seattle’s market) then it’s a good time to buy without worrying about the stock market, taxes breaks, and especially market ups and downs.  But what about interest rates you say. Higher interest rates do affect your borrowing/purchasing power.  But interest rates change, purchase price does not.  You can always refinance.  Keep in mind, however, the average income only increases roughly 2% a year.  So if interest rates increase significantly, then the harder it takes to recoup your cost of home ownership/purchasing.  Everyone’s situation is unique.  It’s best to have a personal conversation with a trusted financial planner, realtor, and lender to understand what’s best for you.
The Amazon Question – will it hurt Seattle’s market?
The short answer is no.  HQ2/3 will not change the landscape of Seattle’s real estate market.  Seattle is still numero uno for Amazon’s headquarters. It took Amazon ten years to gain the 45,000 to 50,000 “Amazon” population in Seattle.  We will certainly not see any developments that will rock our real estate world as quick as people think, if at all.  Amazon helped bring our Seattle home median values up 84%… 55% in the broader Seattle area (think Everett).  The numbers constantly change but in 2010 the median home value was $373,000 now we are around $690,000 +/-.  This is the new reality; Seattle is forever on the map as a major contender for high paying tech jobs, aerospace, and innovators alike from around the world.
And Finally
We are in the business to personally guide you.  Let’s talk about your scenarios and options.  Maybe it’s time to remodel or upgrade an existing Seattle area house to list in 2019?  Maybe you’re ready to buy more investment properties.
Perhaps you have specific questions – a unique home? an estate sale? Seattle neighborhood specific home values? Buying to add to your portfolio?  Let us know so we can work together on your goals.  We are your source for Seattle real estate expert advice.
You can reach us a number of ways.  Call/Text Molly Cartwright at 206-841-6800 or Courtney Cooper at 206-850-8841 email:  molly or courtney @cooperjacobs.com

Floating Homes vs Houseboats in Seattle…

Seattle Floating Homes vs Seattle Houseboats: A Cost Comparison Report During a Hot Real Estate Market

seattle houseboats

Let’s start with the terms…  Intro by Courtney Cooper   Call/Text 206-850-8841 courtney@cooperjacobs.com

I call all of them Seattle houseboats.  That’s my choice and also one of many of the old timers on the lake.  I live on a 100 plus year old Seattle floating home in Portage Bay.  Long before the more recently added  categorization of Floating On Water Residences came into being to add liveaboards to our MLS database, they were all houseboats.   Houseboats was an umbrella term and still is for some like myself. It’s a lifestyle and I will continue to call floating homes “houseboats”, too.  I use the terms interchangeably, actually.   Molly, my business partner tends to go a different direction on terms.  She breaks them out into EITHER floating homes, houseboats (what I consider the vessel type), and barges.  See below if you need a visual on our views.  Neither is correct or wrong, but Molly wrote most of this post so I am clarifying….

Courtney’s way:


“Houseboats”  are any of the following:

  • Floating homes
  • Liveaboard Barges
  • Liveaboard Vessels

Molly’s way: 


Specific terms for each (although I have also heard her use my way on occasion…..):

  • Floating homes
  • Houseboats
  • Barges

And now… Back to the originally scheduled program.

Seattle Floating Homes vs Seattle HouseboatsSeattle floating homes

by Molly Cartwright call/text 206-841-6800  molly@cooperjacobs.com

We’d like to give a little insight for those who are looking to purchase (or have purchased) an iconic floating home or houseboat in Seattle.   Do they appreciate the same as land Seattle homes? We get this question quite a bit.  What do I look for in these types of properties?  We get this one a lot too.  We’d love to hear from you to better answer your questions on an individual basis.  

But above all the questions, this is the number one most asked question:

“Do I buy a floating home or a houseboat?”  We know it can be confusing!  So hopefully with this break down and after talking to a Floating Home Lender, we can help answer that question.

Since January 1, 2016 until TODAY August 10, 2017.  Here’s the breakdown:

Of Seattle Floating Homes, there have been a grand total of 31 sales.  This DOES NOT including Private Sales which we know of at least four on the lake between the $1M and $2M price tag.  

Sold Floating Homes                   31

Median Price                               $1,209,676

Average Square Foot                  1,172

Average Price Per Square Foot  $1,147

Average Days On Market            38

 

Of Seattle Houseboats, here is the break down:

Sold Houseboats                         22

Median Price                               $354,148

Average Square Foot                  564

Average Price Per Square Foot  $651.00

Average Days On Market            37          

Please call me if you are curious about getting more information. I am happy to talk to you about buying or selling Seattle real estate.  Seattle floating homes are the ultimate in Seattle waterfront living and we are happy to show you these or other Seattle waterfront homes. I look forward to showing you this lifestyle.  – Molly  206-841-6800

Madison Park Real Estate Market Update 2015

Seattle’s Madison Park Real Estate Market In 2015

Madison Park RealtorsHave you been thinking about making a move to Madison Park?  Best known for the beautiful Arboretum it borders, Seattle’s Madison Park neighborhood also has a public beach on the shores of Lake Washington, views of Mercer Island and Bellevue facing east and some of the most beautiful luxury homes you’ve ever seen.

According to Realtor.com,  3,200 people live in Madison Park.  By comparison, in Ballard there are 36,500 people.  And believe it or not there are 7% less people who live in Madison Park today than this time last year.  The average person is about a 46 years old, but more folks in the 60 to 69 range actually live here.

What type of person enjoys living in Madison Park?  A person who likes boutiques, great food, and near waterfront living.  It’s dotted by local vendors such as Madison Park Hardware, Martha E. Harrison Flowers, The Original Children’s Shop, and what establishment wouldn’t be complete without an old fashion ice cream store (to eat while you walk towards the beach).

62 homes have sold so far this year ranging from $325,000 to $3,840,000.  So the average sold price is basically $1.2M resting at about $509.00 per square foot.  Gorgeous homes reside on street lined streets, there is one gated community named Broadmoor, and local schools for kids to walk to.  The proximity to downtown Seattle makes it attractive to people too.  Just cruise through Capital Hill and drop down the other side to be in Seattle’s financial district.

Madison Park Real Estate Market for 2015 is considered a neutral market:  Meaning there is 3 to 6 months of inventory (homes available).

Home For Sale in July 2015: 7 units.

Madison Park real estate market

Up 75% compared to the last month

Home Closed in July 2015: 2 units.

Down 50% compared to the last month

Home Placed under Contract in July 2015: 2 units.

Down 50% compared to the last month

Take a look at what has sold in the last 30 days for your  Seattle Real Estate Madison Park Market 30 Days market update.

The current inventory shows there are 4 condos and 7 single family homes for sale (including Broadmoor).  $399,000 will get you a one bed, one bath 813 square foot condo.  Top of the range is a $4,500,000 home with 4 beds, 4 baths and 7754 square feet of home cited on a 12,200 square foot lot.  For more Madison Park Real Estate listings, you can find them here:  Madison Park Homes For Sale Listed In the NWMLS now.

If you have any questions about Madison Park Real Estate, feel free to contact me.

Molly Cartwright
Seattle Realtor
206-841-6800 or molly@cooperjacobs.com

How To Buy When You Already Own

How To Buy When You Already Own
Do you own your home or condo but want to sell it and buy something with more space, a different location, or perhaps a view?

One option is to take out a HELOC. A Home Equity Line of Credit (ask me for a lender with great programs of these right now) lets you take out a certain percentage of your home’s equity to use as a downpayment on your new home. To find out how much equity you have, contact a Realtor, like myself, to research the value of your home (it changes ALL the time). If you have a certain percentage of equity, you can qualify for a new loan. And if you’re preapproved for your new home loan, I can get the home you want to sell prepped for the market pronto!

Another option is a bridge loan. A bridge loan has some ramifications though. They generally tend to have higher interest rates and need to be paid back in a specified amount of time. It’s like a short term loan on your current property to buy a different property. It’s all about timing with a bridge loan. You can find out more about bridge loans HERE.

You can always make an offer contingent on your home selling. This is perhaps the option offering the least amount of risk. Of course with our current market today, properties are moving fast and a contingent offer isn’t as clean as an offer with a definitive close date, for example. But if are you a homeowner considering the contingent offer option, consider the right list price and a home in tip-top shape, it won’t take long to sell.

molly a. cartwright | seattle realtor
cooper jacobs real estate, llc
206.841.6800
“Serving home buyers and sellers in Seattle’s most popular neighborhoods”

What is a Buyer’s Agent?

What is a Seattle Buyer’s Agent? Do you ever wonder how this real estate stuff works when you buy or sell a home? Who pays who in a real estate transaction?


Over the years, I’ve had plenty of Seattle area buyers ask me how much my Realtor fees are if we work together. Likewise, I’ve had sellers shocked to find out what they have to pay for excise tax in our city. A seller’s net proceeds or a buyer’s closing cost worksheet are always in my back pocket to get down to an approximate number. Traditionally the commission percentage (which can vary) come from the seller’s wallet (sorry guys)…but that’s not to say there can be different scenarios.

So why am I a Seattle buyer’s agent? First of all, I absolutely love working with Seattle neighborhood buyers! And secondly I LOVE looking at Seattle homes. I listen very carefully to them. First we have to get through the NEEDS and then we talk about the WANTS. I love the satisfaction of walking into a home with my clients and they instantly fall in love with it. But more times than not, there are compromises so I’m all about letting my clients know what their options are. The permit process, the cost of remodeling, the little tweaks you can do here and there. It’s all so much fun to me and I can see the client getting excited as we proceed down the road.

The road is an exciting one too. I can probably explain the transaction process of buying or selling a home about 100 different ways depending on the client (unfortunately not in a 100 different languages because that would be really cool). Sometimes it’s a new home buyer, sometimes its an investor, and sometimes it’s a buy up or a buy down . I talk to the buyer about terms, the market, escrow, inspection, appraisal, the 21 page purchase and sale contract and specifically what to expect and what not to expect. It’s great!
The anticipation of presenting a killer offer to the seller is my favorite. Multiple offers  in hot Seattle neighborhoods don’t scare me. It’s all about making the right choices.

Are you interested in talking to me as a buyer’s agent? I’d be happy to talk to you too!

I HEART Green Lake (my ‘hood), Tangletown, Wallingford, Phinney, Ravenna and Ballard. Got car. Will travel.

molly a. cartwright | seattle realtor since 2001
cooper jacobs real estate, llc
206.841.6800
cooperjacobs.com | greenlakeloop.com
“Serving home buyers and sellers in Seattle’s most popular neighborhoods”