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

Seattle Pent Up Pendings for Core Seattle Real Estate Market

Appraisers should be catching up to our fast Seattle real estate market… Seattle Pent Up Pendings for Core Seattle Real Estate Marketseattle homes for sale
In looking at just the “pending” status for Seattle listings in NWMLS areas 705 and 710 between $700-915 (a current core Seattle real estate market price range):
36 pendings in 705
20 pendings in 710
These are all pent up Seattle homes for sale pendings waiting to close and add value (and therefore higher price points for all with the same competition of a pool of buyers) to each new home that comes on the market from now until summer (at least).  And we personally know that nearly 100% of these pending Seattle homes for sale had multiple offers to the tune of 20 or more of them.
The appraisal world is playing catch up.  Not everyone is lucky enough to have the cash to make up the difference between the purchase price after a multiple offer and a low appraisal from an appraiser who may not be aware of the true market.
We recently had a sale at $910 and an appraisal that came in at $850 even though there were close to  twenty other buyers willing to pay above that number and one willing to pay more than us. It’s the current state of the Seattle real estate market and they are lucky to have found a solid house now because when those pendings change to sold people are going to play more chase with the market.   Appraisers who are not paying attention will need to get on board or find themselves being left behind.
Want to learn more about what’s going on in the Seattle market?
Molly Cartwright 206-841-6800/Courtney Cooper 206-850-8841

Seattle Floating Homes For Sale – Houseboats Holiday?

Seattle Houseboats For The Holidays – Flo Villa Floating Home

Seattle houseboats for sale

If you are interested in living on one of our city’s gorgeous Seattle houseboats then there are only two choices available in the Seattle floating homes real estate market.

There are two Eastlake floating homes for sale currently in the MLS.  One is on the Flo Villa dock and the other is on Wards Cove.

These Lake Union floating homes for sale range in price from $775,000 to $3,295,000 and are quintessential examples of Seattle Houseboats Living℠ and waterfront living in Seattle overall for that matter. What better way to live closer to the water than Afloat In Seattle™ anyway? Let’s look at one of our current favorite Seattle floating homes on the lake.  This gorgeous remodeled Lake Union floating home resides on the Flo Villa dock at 2207 Fairview Ave E in Seattle’s Eastlake neighborhood.  Moorage is secured and with dock approval you may be able to add a recreational boat as well. This gorgeous home was recently listed at $775,000.

2207 Fairview Ave E #11 From the MLS listing description:

The iconic lifestyle you have only dreamed about! Located in Eastlake’s enclave of floating homes, this mid-dock light and bright Lake Union beauty is completely remodeled with an open floor plan featuring 1 BR + flex space, vaulted ceilings, bamboo fl, & new kitchen! Enjoy cozy extras like heated bathroom floor, new electrical, plumbing, windows & insulation. Enhanced further only by the timeless willow tree that also resides here, this home has a great relationship w/ the lake.

  • 1 Bedroom (there is room to add a second bedroom if desired)
  • 1 BathSeattle Houseboats
  • 832 sq feet
  • Built in 1918 but completely remodeled
  • Annual taxes $1,042
  • Bamboo floors
  • radiant heated floors in bath
  • new kitchen
  • newer windows, roof, etc.
  • lots of energy efficient choices went into the upgrade of this one
  • new electrical and plumbing
  • vaulted ceilings
  • open floor plan
  • well organized dock
  • securely owned moorage

We are Seattle Houseboats Realtors and Your Seattle Floating Homes Experts:

We would love to show you this beautiful and thoughtful floating home.  Would you like to see this floating home or are you curious about learning more about Seattle houseboats on Lake Union or Seattle Waterfront Living℠? We would be happy to tell you all about it and show you some of our favorite spots around the lake, including this gem on the Flo Villa dock.

Molly Cartwright | 206.841.6800  | molly@cooperjacobs.com

Courtney Cooper | 206.850.8841 | cc@cooperjacobs.com

©Cooper Jacobs Real Estate

Seattle Houseboats Market Update

Seattle Houseboats Market Update April 2015:

Actives: There are five Seattle houseboats for sale in the “floating homes” category currently. List prices of these active Seattle houseboats range from $510,000 to $1,750,000.  There are Eastlake floating homes, Portage Bay floating homes, and a gorgeous Westlake floating home on the 2420 Westlake dock that we put on last week.

Here is some more on that one since we obviously feel it is the best of the Seattle houseboats on the market right now:

2420 Westlake Ave N   (SOLD)Seattle houseboats

  • 2 bedrooms
  • 1.5 baths
  • amazing rooftop deck
  • ownership in income generating private marina
  • built in 1929, but 2008 remodel is more accurate of its presentation
  • 1065 square feet
  • $500/month dues
  • float size is 42 feet by 24 feet
  • annual taxes are only $1831
  • next dock over from the Sleepless in Seattle houseboat
  • $985,000

Pending Seattle houseboats: Currently there are four Seattle floating homes that are pending in the MLS.  In addition to these Seattle floating homes there is a house barge which is also pending inspection.  List price of these pending Seattle houseboats is $695,000 to $1,690,000.  One of them is on a leased dock, one is on a fee simple dock and two are on co-op docks.

In addition to these pending Seattle houseboats, there are two more which we have helped facilitate and  which are pending in Eastlake – priced at $575,000 and $920,000.

SOLD! Seattle floating homes sold in the last 30 days – Just one has closed according to the MLS.  2351 Fairview Ave E #K  was listed for $1,050,000 and sold for $1,000,000.  It has a garage and is on a condominium dock so the dues are lower and the taxes are higher.

Before I go on, let me clarify what a Seattle houseboat is since there is a lot of bad information out there:

In short, “Seattle Houseboats” is the general umbrella overall term which encompasses ALL of the following:

  1. Seattle floating homes – no motor and more permanently connected to sewer, electric, docks, etc.
  2. Vessel Seattle houseboats – navigable and move of their own propulsion but also act as livaboards.
  3. Seattle House Barges – not self propelled, city has grandfathered a number of them in, some hooked up to utilities.

A little about Seattle houseboats from Wikipedia:

Seattle is home to a relatively large collection of houseboats (capable of moving under their own power) or “floating homes” (houses built on floats) neighborhoods, particularly in Lake Union and Portage Bay. The earliest houseboats in Seattle were recorded in 1905, and peaked with over 2,000 houseboats in the 1930s. There are currently approximately 500 houseboats in Seattle. Most houseboats are designed and built for inland lakes and waterways only.

*Molly Cartwright and I are Seattle houseboats REALTORS not just real estate agents who sell Seattle houseboats.  As actual paying members of the National Association of Realtors, we are able to able to ethically sell homes.  Realtors abide by a strong code of ethics which non-Realtors are not required to.  Make sure that when you are buying Seattle houseboat that your broker is also an actual Realtor – not just a real estate agent. It makes a difference in how they are perceived by industry professionals and you want someone representing you who has a good reputation and who you know will act honestly and ethically in a transaction.

If you are purchasing a vessel type Seattle houseboat then make sure that you are using a licensed vessel broker not just a real estate agent.  Vessels are indeed boats so proper licensing should be in place to sell them.  Molly and I also have our vessel license through our SeattleAfloat.com Seattle houseboats division. You have a choice when it comes to who represents you.

More pictures of our gorgeous Westlake floating home listing:

Please call or text Molly if you would like more info or a private showing: 206-841-6800

Westlake, $985,000 - Image 14


 

Seattle Houseboats Agents: How Did This One Move With No Motor & Why Is It So Special?

Seattle houseboats are a big part of what Molly Cartwright and I do at Cooper Jacobs Real Estate. Lake Union is a large part of our lives and we really care about the well being of the community we serve.  I know, for instance, that right at this moment Molly is personally working tirelessly over at a Portage Bay floating home  in order to get it ready for the houseboats market tomorrow. She wants the property to shine in its best light and knows that without her special agent touches it won’t be everything that it could be.  Molly does not stop until it the property is perfect because she is a perfectionist and a specialist for all Seattle houseboats realty and all Seattle homes for that matter – big or small. We are excited about this latest listing in the Seattle houseboats world because right now there are only TWO floating homes in the MLS that are under a million dollars.

Seattle houseboats for sale

Under a million dollars is big in the world of affordability and Seattle houseboats.

Currently, as I said above, there are two Seattle floating homes for sale for under $1M.  They are under $600k in fact. Molly and I are (of course) partial to one of them in particular.  We favor this gorgeous houseboat for a number of reasons besides that it is our listing.

2017 Fairview Ave E, Slip O

Let’s back up a minute to how this Seattle floating home came to be on what I consider to be the best location in Lake Union – the most southern dock in one of the oldest and well run co-ops on the lake… Even the Seattle houseboats which are considered floating homes have moved around a number of times over the last one hundred plus years. They don’t have motors and are generally “permanently” moored to their dock, but from time to time they have moved.  This one as I recall got towed in from Portage Bay years ago and lovingly restored by the king of floating home improvements himself, Sid McFarland.  The dock itself – The Log Foundation owned it while Sid worked on it and they were responsible for the logistical details of bringing it to the dock to replace a derelict houseboat which has fallen to their ownership after the owner passed away.  The houseboats on the dock that were further out then this one were all brought out to the lake and rafted together while this beauty was brought in and secured and then one by one the others were towed in and hooked up as well. It took the entire day and what a feat to make it happen in just one day! (I have pictures if you want to see them in a post from 2010: Can you move a floating home?)Seattle houseboats realty:  they all are unique!

So this special houseboat came to be in the perfect little spot by way of many details, but after it was restored, the current owner purchased it and put her own flair on it.  You can see from the older lake union blog pictures that it has come a long way and is now an artistic oasis.   This is one of the things Molly and I love about Seattle houseboats and floating homes in particular – each owner over the years make it theirs and no two are alike. Ever. This one is called Annie “O” lovingly by its current owner who would never leave except that her family has now grown and she needs something a tiny bit bigger. There are possibilities for tying up boats here, dogs and cats are ok, it has really great channel views, and is pretty much the ultimate in Seattle waterfront living at a non Seattle waterfront real estate price. Annie O has two bedrooms and a beautiful wrap around deck and the slip that this Seattle houseboat is moored in is OWNED moorage.  The Log Foundation is a cooperative dock – meaning that the owners OWN the actual submerged parcel of land in the lake. Dues and taxes are low and it truly is affordable and simple living that somehow also feels like a huge luxury.  They are asking an unheard of low price of $599,000 and Molly or I would love to tell you more about it if you are interested.

Molly may be covered in dust up to her elbows and nose today, but call her and see if she can show you Annie O.  If you want her to be your buyer’s agent  for it, then she can help you with your closing costs as well. It’s a win win.  Call/Text 206-841-6800

Seattle Real Estate: Interest Rates, Affordability, And What’s Next

Looking At Seattle Homes For Sale, Interest rates, and Affordability – Should You Buy Now?  Or Wait?

The fact is that interest rates on 30-year, 20-year and 15-year fixed rate mortgages are some of the lowest in history.  We don’t know how they will increase over the next two years.

In discussions with friends about their plans to purchase a home I often hear them say that they would like to purchase in a year or two.  This is great news for everyone.  However, I usually try to educate them on the current advantages of low mortgage interest rates. – Cooper Jacobs Real Estate

Taking advantage of a 4% or lower loan rate can save prospective homebuyers thousands, if not over $100,000 in the amount of interest paid on the life of a loan.[1] Currently, interest rates on a 30-year fixed loan are setting at 4.02%.  That is the lowest since June 2013.[2] With the economy on track for a solid 3.5% annual growth and inflation rising, investors are beginning to dump bonds for stocks.[3] This, in turn forces financial institutions to raise the interest rates on loan products to keep a profit.

Seattle homes

The economy is no doubt on an upward trajectory.  Baring another economic disaster, the economy will continually improve and force interest rates up.  Can we predict whether interest rates will be significantly higher in 2016?  The answer is no.  However, we can say with confidence that they will be higher and when it comes to your money every dollar matters.

Current homeowners are taking advantage of these low interest rates by refinancing.  They understand the significant savings to be had by leaving their 30-year fixed rate mortgage for a new 20-year or 15-year fixed loan instead.  In fact, 44% of people who refinanced in the third quarter “ditched their existing 30-year fixed rate loan in favor of a shorter-termed 15-year or 20-year loan.  It’s the second quickest exodus from the 30-year fixed rate mortgage in recorded history…”[4]

So, instead of putting off the home buying process for another year or more, people should begin to get their feet wet.

  • Build a relationship with a local Seattle Realtor
  • Ask your Realtor for their trusted resources such as a referral for a lender.
  • Find out what kind of loan options you can qualify for and what is available.

By taking advantage of these resources you can be prepared to pull the trigger when you find a home that you love.  It should also be noted that using a Realtor that is from your neighborhood is a service that will cost you, as a potential home buyer, nothing out of pocket.  So, let a professional help you do the searching and narrow down the choices for you.  In the end, it is all about making things smooth and easy while saving money.


[1] Lisa Ward, “The Steep Cost of Not Refinancing,” The Wall Street Journal, November 9, 2014.

[2] Average 30 Year Fixed Mortgage rates, http://www.mortgagenewsdaily.com/data/30-year-mortgage-rates.aspx

[3] The Detroit News, “U.S. 30-Year Mortgage Rate up to 4.02%,” http://www.detroitnews.com/story/business/personal-finance/2014/11/10/mortgage-rates-rise/18779027/

[4] Dan Green, Today’s Low Mortgage Rates Push Borrowers Away From 30- Year Loans, http://themortgagereports.com/16858/freddie-mac-refinance-report-transition-15-year-30-year-mortgage-loan

Cooper Jacobs Real Estate  realestate@cooperjacobs.com

 

 

Seattle Houseboats Inventory Trickling In……

The Seattle Houseboats market:  Finally starting to get some listings trickling in….

There are still more buyers than sellers. Inventory is low!  This is similar to other Seattle neighborhoods where inventory is difficult to come by. We do know of a few Seattle houseboats on the horizon as far as market inventory, so stay tuned and we will keep you posted, but in the mean time, I wanted to get a Seattle Houseboats floating homes market update online. Seattle houseboats for sale

Seattle Houseboats Market Update for floating homes on Lake Union and Portage Bay:

Currently there are four Seattle houseboats listings which are Seattle floating homes. Interestingly enough, these Seattle houseboats are priced across the board.  There are two Seattle houseboats that are one bedrooms and listed at $449,000 and the new listing priced at $525,000.  These are both in Eastlake and are wonderful choices and happen to be on the same dock.  The dock these two are on is one of the most well run Seattle floating homes co-ops on Lake Union.  It consists of three docks belonging to “The Log Foundation” and is known for its great reputation.  The three docks in The Log Foundation are the most Southern Eastlake docks that there are so they are a great choice for views and also if you happen to be commuting to South Lake Union (Amazon).  Cats are ok and small lap dogs, too, but you still have to get them approved by the board.

seattle houseboats

2025 Fairview Ave E #R is the newest one listed of these four.  It is a one bedroom/one bath home with the awesome roof top deck everyone wants when they think Seattle houseboats. It is 950 square feet and has a great spot to have your boat alongside.  This home is part of the larger cooperative (The Log Foundation) and they own the moorage slips,  so it is a secure way to own a Seattle floating home.  Let myself or Molly know if you want to see this one or any of them.

There is a great Portage Bay houseboat for sale right now and also another end of dock Eastlake home.  These are priced at $750,000 and $2,888,000.  Personally, I think the Portage Bay floating home is a great buy. Molly and I have sold end of dock Seattle houseboats and look forward to seeing some great ones come on the market as we have a few buyers ready and willing and eager to purchase an end of dock home.  After all, this is Seattle waterfront living at its best!

OH!  Almost forgot!  If you are interested in Seattle New Construction floating homes, then there is one more slip available in the MLS for the newest Seattle houseboats dock, Ward’s Cove.  This is floating homes – not vessels or barges and the new floating home does have to meet certain building requirements and specifications.

We are happy to walk you through any of this. Have a great day! (OH! If you want to list your Seattle floating home or Seattle Houseboat, let us know, please – we would be happy to also just evaluate it for free. no strings attached…)

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Penthouse Unit Available In Veer Lofts!

The two level Veer Lofts Penthouse is available!

Veer Lofts Penthouse

Inspiring South Lake Union Penthouse with sun-drenched floor to ceiling windows & 18 foot ceilings. Urban luxury living at its best has exciting spaces including open hip kitchen & floor plan, beautiful master bed/bath, & flexible spaces for guests/office.

Enjoy your outdoor entertaining spaces & Space needle views: 3 decks with hundreds of square feet of space! A block to streetcar, 2 blocks to Lake Union Park, near Amazon, storage, 2 Parking spots, 2 approved bike racks, + this unit can have a BBQ!   $885,000

For more information, please visit our Veer Lofts page, South Lake Union Real Estate page, or the full MLS listing:  401 9th Ave N.  Additionally, here is a photo gallery of more pictures of this luxurious Penthouse loft in the desirable heart of Lake Union!

For your own private showing:  Molly Cartwright at 206.841.6800 or Courtney Cooper 206.850.8841.  You can also email us at molly@cooperjacobs.com  or courtney@cooperjacobs.com

Live Sleepless In Seattle Style On A Lake Union Floating Home

Beautifully Updated Seattle floating home for sale…

seattle floating homes for sale

2031 Fairview Ave E, Houseboat “P”

$775,000

Stunning Eastlake Seattle floating home for sale and new on the market—2 bedrooms, 2 baths, bamboo floors, new windows, new exterior paint, roof top deck, window seat, room for your small craft or water toys, LARGE 10 x 4 ft kitchen island for entertaining & a cook’s dream!

  • 2 Bedrooms
  • 1.75 Baths
  • 1100 Square Feet
  • Built in 1985
  • Owned Moorage
  • $385/month dues
  • LOW yearly taxes at $2005/year
  • roof top deck
  • updated finishes throughout

Beautiful surfaces and finishes everywhere you look! Hip glass“garage door” let’s in the light & the fresh air and is just one of the reasons you will fall in love with this home!  Here are some more pictures or you can see the full listing here:  2031 Fairview Ave E #P

For Your own private showing or for more information on this Seattle floating home or other Seattle houseboats, please get in touch with Seattle floating homes Realtors Courtney Cooper (courtney@cooperjacobs.com) or Molly Cartwright (molly@cooperjacobs.com or 206-841-6800) of Cooper Jacobs Real Estate. If you are interested in other Seattle floating homes for sale, we would love to show you what is available besides this beautiful property.

Seattle Floating Home For Sale With End Of Dock Views!

2031 Fairview Ave E, Floating Home #G, Seattle, WA 98102 on the Lake Union Co-op Dock

2031 fairview ave e

This immaculate Cape Cod one level Seattle floating home is at the end of the dock with both privacy and unobstructed views of Lake Union.

If you have been shopping for Seattle houseboats, then don’t miss this one! It has 2 bedrooms, 1 very large exquisitely remodeled bathroom, and a desirable open floor plan. This floating home is roughly 1184 square feet with a large wrap around deck, and working fireplace.

seattle floating homes for sale

Originally built in 1957, it had a complete remodel in 2001 and has been updated since including a new roof in 2013. Fully renovated with flexibility as it can be perfect as is or take advantage of large float size with a 2 story 3200 square foot home.

  • Large float:  1827 square foot float.  In top 5% of floats on lake and home only occupies slightly over 50% of float.  This home is great to live in as is or can be a expanded to up to 90% of float size

  • Expand up (18 feet from water line) or out for larger Lake Union dream floating home

  • Den/office/mudroom has its own entry and room for an additional ½ bath

  • Parking available at an additional costseattle floating homes for sale

  • New roof in 2013 with reinforcements added for roof top deck expansion

  • All new floors – maple hardwoods

  • All new electrical panel, wiring, and fixtures

  • All new Anderson windows, wood trim, French doors

  • All new stainless appliances in kitchen and large washer and dryer in mudroom

  • 360 degree views from roof which has charming circular staircase ascending to it

  • Room for 24 foot boat tied up to home included plus additional kayak space.

  • Pet friendly dockSeattle floating homes for sale

  • Dues:  $385/mo cover general dock fund for maintenance, real estate taxes for co-op, and any matters of vote

  • Offered for:  $1,188,000

For Your own private showing or for more information, please get in touch with Courtney Cooper (courtney@cooperjacobs.com) or Molly Cartwright (molly@cooperjacobs.com or 206-841-6800) of Cooper Jacobs Real Estate.  If you are interested in other Seattle floating homes for sale, we would love to show you what is available besides this gem.