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

Just Listed in Maple Leaf!

Maple Leaf Homes For Sale:  Just Listed By Cooper Jacobs! (SOLD)maple leaf home for sale

Situated high above the street to capture the best views, take in Greenlake, the Seattle skyline and the Olympic Mountains. 3 bedrooms/1.5 baths with a finished non-comforming 4th bedroom/office in the basement, a perfect place to hide away for quiet. Modern kitchen with granite counters and stainless appliances. Full height ceilings in the basement. 1 car attached garage and fully fenced yard.  $629,950

More info:  502 NE 82nd St

Please email us for more info on this Maple Leaf home or others:

maple leaf home for sale

All The Single Ladies: Female Homebuyers The New Norm

A growing phenomenon. The Single Female Buyer.

With women more employed than ever, and with the average couple marrying later and bringing their own assets and properties to the relationship, women are not waiting until marriage to buy their first home.

According to the State of the Nations Housing: 2009 report, compiled by the Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University, “social and economic trends have given women a more powerful presence in housing markets. Between 1980 and 2000, the number of households headed by unmarried women increased by almost 10 million.” The same study, however, also states that, “because women still earn less on average than men do, they are more likely to face housing problems than either married-couple households or households headed by unmarried men.”

Statistics on Women and Homeownership

  • Interestingly, single female buyers accounted for nearly twice as large a share as single male buyers for both first-time buyers (23 and 15 percent) and repeat buyers (17 and 9 percent).
  • Twenty percent of recent home buyers were single females, and 10 percent were single males.
  • More women (15.5 million) than men (11.8 million) lived alone. Among these, women were more likely than men to own their homes (56% vs. 47%).
  • About one-quarter of the nation’s nearly eight million single mothers spend more than half of their incomes on housing, compared with one-tenth of households headed by single fathers.
  • Over the time period of 1994-2002, the number of unmarried females owning homes climbed from 13.9 million to 17.5 million.

Below is a slew of articles chronicling this rapidly growing phenomenon and suggesting to you, the Single Female Buyer, what you ought to do in terms of real estate investment. My advice is from the heart: buy a home. If you can find a way to do it, especially now that we have gotten through the slump and are in a healthier economic climate, do it.  Nobody can evict you, raise your monthly housing cost, tell you not to paint the kitchen yellow, restrict your pets, etc. Because land ownership has not historically been a woman’s place, it was hard for me to find a great quote by a woman pertaining to this. But as a wise man once said, “Buy dirt, they aren’t making any more of it”. Ownership of one’s home is powerful, both financially and personally. There is nothing I love more than seeing someone become more empowered. Unless that person is trying to take my parking spot.

Sources: 2011 NAR Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers, (Chicago, IL: National Association of REALTORS®, 2010) and The State of the Nation’s Housing: 2012, (Joint Center for Housing Studies at Harvard University, 2012).

Single, female and shopping for a home, (MSN Real Estate, Jan. 29, 2013).

Guess Who’s Driving the Demand for Rental Apartments?, (CNBC, Jan. 29, 2013).

Here’s Some Advice For All The Single Ladies Flooding The Housing Market, (Business Insider, May 16, 2012)

Singles dive into the real estate market, (MSNBC, July 12, 2011).

What Women Home Buyers Want, (Builder, Jan. 14, 2011).

Women Home Buyers, a Major Economic Force in the Industry, Have a Language All Their Own, (NAHB, Aug. 23, 2010).

Single Women Home Buyers: Key to the Housing Recovery?, (AOL Real Estate, May 14, 2010).

Wanted: Single Women Home Buyers, (SmartMoney, Apr. 9, 2010).

Singles, especially women, a growing share of homebuyers, (Chicago Tribune, Feb. 28, 2010).

Women make up their mind faster when buying a home, (Inside Tucson Business, Sept. 11, 2009).

Gender differences abound in the home-buying process, (RISMedia, Sept. 1, 2009).

Single women skilled in house buying, (Washington Times, July 11, 2008).

Women homebuyers growing in number, (Ventura County Star, Jan. 27, 2008).

They’re buying solo, (, Mar. 15, 2007).

Singles taking stride in the home buying market, (The Hammond Times,Feb. 17, 2007).

As the Nation Changes, So Do Home Buyers, (, Feb. 13, 2007).

Buying Equestrian Property Requires More Than Horse Sense

One constituent of the Seattle-area real estate market is equestrian property. And in fact all around the Puget Sound, beautiful locations minutes from urban hubs offer the chance to live the ‘country’ lifestyle without trading briefcase for pitchfork. One of my favorite things about the greater Puget Sound area is the abundance of natural beauty, within close proximity to major centers of commerce, like Seattle, Redmond, Bellevue, Olympia, and Everett. If you work in one, you may want to live close enough to drive in but far enough away to keep your children more connected to the simpler things, or perhaps you got a taste of urban farming and decided chickens weren’t good enough for you.  But right now in the market, low inventory means those looking in such a specific property niche may have trouble finding the right property ready and waiting.  As a result, many people are instead building what they wish they could find for sale. It’s a thrilling process for some, a stressful one for others. Only you can weigh the benefits and pitfalls of choosing to buy land and build exactly what you want. And if what you want is equestrian property, there are some finer points to consider.

Purchasing an equestrian property involves a lot more than simply finding enough land to keep a horse on–zoning restrictions, property drainage, trail access, land clearing, building setbacks for structures specific to the animals, etc. When looking for property, bear in mind that there are sides of mountains, zoned for horses, that are more suitable for mountain goats. And inside city limits, horsekeeping may be prohibited by statute. Even if you see horses in the area, they may be grandfathered in, so make sure livestock are actually allowed.

What you know from previous building experience may or may not apply. According to the King County Department of Permitting and Environmental Review, barns are classified as agricultural buildings.  In fact, many aspects of an equestrian property fall under the jurisdiction of the agricultural zoning- drainage and manure management, for example. In King County’s horse-keeping regulations, you will need an approved manure management plan (it must be hauled off site for disposal in most cases or you will need to install a 3-stage composting system).

Always research the specific regulations and land use law in the county you’re planning to buy in. To build a barn and outdoor arena, you’ll need all the usual building permits, and your county planning department can tell you what permits are required if you submit a site plan. There are setbacks to consider that you should take note of prior to purchasing a parcel of land, since your plan to build a covered riding arena, for example, may require such a large setback that you find yourself looking for a larger piece of property than you had originally thought you’d need. Covered riding arenas are difficult to permit in King County these days, a little less so in Snohomish and Pierce, because quite a bit of land and a means to mitigate the environmental impacts is needed. Barns and pastures are easier to get a permit for, as are outdoor riding arenas, as they create less impervious surface/runoff. You will need a clearing and grading permit to do the groundwork, and a WA state DNR Forest Practices permit to clear any significant quantity of trees. The real cost in tree removal (if they are marketable timber) is not the timber removal, but it’s the destumping and disposal costs. In most cases the stumps can’t be burned, and so must be loaded and hauled to a composting facility/landfill.

Barns can cost from $1-2,000 per stall for Noble panel sheds/modular barns to $1,000,000 or more for a custom, state of the art facility with heat/bathrooms/living quarters, wash & veterinary bays, etc.  Much like houses, barns are a matter of individual taste and budget.

What you should do, (wink) is look for a beautiful custom home on good acreage (cough) which borders the 30-plus miles of Snoqualmie Valley trail (perfect for riding), and then build a great stable.  You should look at….something like my beautiful new listing in Fall City!

Happy trails, househunters.  Whatever your wishes for your dream property, share them with your realtor. Make sure they know enough to help you navigate the murky waters of land use regulation. There are an abundance of great locations close to your chosen Seattle-area metropolis, waiting for you to saddle up and ride. I mean buy.

What kind of a market is this, anyway?

With news headlines that are no less constant than they are sensational focusing on housing starts, inventory, home prices, and foreclosures, it’s hard for most people to decipher just where we are on the roller coaster.  I don’t like the roller coaster mentality, because it suggests the ride has an end. Since the dawn of time, man has tried to own and control the land on which he dwells. It’s obvious there will continue to be only the same amount of that dirt which we already have, and a growing number of people to inhabit it. It doesn’t take Mark Twain to tell anyone, “Buy land, they aren’t making any more of it”. In this way, I have a hard time with the myopic attitudes of many people during what is surely a historically affordable time in the housing market. Interest rates haven’t been this low since World War 2, and many of the world’s richest men have gotten there at least in part by their investments in real estate. There are still really wonderful lenders working with buyers who have been through the credit wringer, and who have very little to no money to put down (these are private porftolio loans but they come with the same kind of amazing rates- Key Bank is a great source).  Let’s celebrate! Right?

Actually the unfortunate thing is that this housing market came yoked to a bad economy–what economists say is the worst since the Great Depression, and in some ways even comparable.  Life circumstances often outweigh market circumstances, and many people are forced to sell low after having bought higher.  Many people would buy, if they could just get a decent job. Are those people apt to look through Mark Twain’s long lense of history and feel like this downturn is a blip on the radar? Probably unlikely. Enter wave after wave after wave of short sales and foreclosure properties. We’ve seen years of this, and are we near the end? The numbers suggest a slowing but not an end anytime soon- technically and broadly speaking, property values have to return to their previous levels in order for these homes to be worth what most homeowners still owe on them.  How long will that take? Call me when you find a crystal ball.  I am already seeing prices edging back up here and there, by small increments, in select areas around Seattle (Ballard, Phinney Ridge, Bryant, View Ridge, Queen Anne, Ravenna, Greenlake, and Maple Leaf are a few locations where I’ve recently pulled information for a specific property and seen values adjust higher than last year). My guess is a few more years for us, longer for more depressed areas in the state and the country.  Because this looks to be the case, What’s called ‘Strategic Default’ (and is technically classified by the FBI as fraud) now comprises a huge portion of these foreclosures and short sale files. People who were ‘A paper’ loans (the good e credit, steady financials buyer), who are not in financial trouble necessarily, but feel that it’s a better business decision to walk away from this debt than to continue paying, not knowing how long it will take the property to regain its previous value.  Lienholders are glutted with delinquent files. It’s a mess.

My point? Buy when there’s blood in the street, as one notoriously rich real estate investor has said. If you can find a way to capitalize on this time of opportunity and focus on the options available to you as a buyer (even you, previous short-salers– if you wait 3 years post close), you will be tickled pink that we’re all sitting around talking about this being the ‘bottom’. The ground floor is always the best place to get in on something good!  What little inventory there is, is really flying off the market here in Seattle, most often with multiple offers.   The low number of homes for sale creates a strong competition among the buyers out seriously looking for a home to purchase, causing many to lose out multiple times to other higher offers. Bidding wars are de rigueur on reasonably priced homes in high-demand areas like Seattle proper.

So is it a Buyer’s Market? In the way of you getting a great deal as a buyer, yes. In the way of being able to boss the seller around and come in swinging with a really low offer- no.  These days, I like to call it a ‘Buying Market’.

Queen Anne Open House Today Until 4PM

New Queen Anne View Homes For Sale Listing:

1901 Taylor Ave N #PH 6, Seattle 98109


Open Today Until 4PM

Spacious penthouse condo in prime Queen Anne location has it all: Massive master suite & huge walk-in closet, 2nd bedroom, spacious office with wall of built-ins. Open floor plan, gas range, cherry cabinets & granite counters. 2 secure parking spots, huge storage room & plentiful storage throughout. Full size laundry, sound system, A/C, hardwoods & skylights.queen anne view homes

  • 2 Bedrooms
  • office
  • 2 Baths
  • Built in 1999
  • 1804 Square feet
  • Private Laundry
  • Fireplace
  • City views
  • Mountain views
  • Lake Views
  • Territorial Views

Big deck with great views of Lake Union & downtown!

Lives like a house in a quiet, green neighborhood with the convenience of downtown!  Come see why there are very rarely homes available in The Verandas on Queen Anne!

Listed  Cooper Jacobs Real Estate

If you would like more information on this amazing Queen Anne View home or other Queen Anne Real Estate, let us know!

812 5th Ave N #416, Seattle 98109

Queen Anne View Condo For Sale!

812 5th Ave N #416, Seattle 98109


Stunning View Condo on Queen Anne Hill!

This lavish 1 bed 1 bath top floor corner unit condo in the heart of Queen Anne boasts vaulted ceilings, modern architecture, s.s. appliances, and an open floor plan. Spectacular city, territorial, and Space Needle views. Other features include secure lobby entrance, assigned secure parking space, new carpet, elfa closets, and huge common patio great for barbecues.

Within walking distance to Queen Anne fine dining, performing arts, and shopping.

Easy access to I-5, Hwy 99, and 520.

Listed by Cooper Jacobs Real Estate

Are you interested in more Queen Anne homes for sale?  We are happy to help you buy or sell your next Queen Anne property!  We have Queen Anne real estate brokers who can help you with your next move.

We live, play, work, and know Seattle’s Queen Anne neighborhood!

Great Seattle Homes For Sale Highlight: 4022 Pasadena Place NE, Seattle 98105

4022 Pasadena Pl NE, Seattle, WA 98105

Peek a boo view of Lake Union, enjoy the fireworks show on New Year’s and 4th of July. The view greets you daily with an easy walk to the Burke-Gilman Trail and Lake Union; this home borders Wallingford and the University District.

Short commute to downtown and the UW. This urban townhome lies in the midst of the hustle and bustle. Modern design with a private deck, attached garage and small fully fenced yard. No homeowner’s due. Seller will rent for $1,850 a month.

  • 2 Bedroom
  • 1.5 Bath
  • Built 2009
If you are interested in this Seattle home or others,  please let us know!  Cooper Jacobs has great Seattle Brokers!

Listed by Cooper Jacobs Real Estate: (SOLD)

Green Lake Listings At Cooper Jacobs

Green Lake Listings Recently Put On The Market By Our Cooper Jacobs Brokers
Cooper Jacobs has been going strong in 2010 and we are pretty excited about our wonderful agents and clients.  Let us know if you have any questions or need help with Green Lake real estate.  Here are three of the latest and greatest Green Lake listings you should definitely go see if you get a chance:
8552 Densmore Ave N:  This house and happens to be in better than new condition – Green Lake home for sale with room for about everything you can imagine with 9 foot ceilings throughout, three levels of living space, garage, gleaming hardwoods, large formal living and dining rooms, kitchen with granite, butler’s pantry and quite possibly the biggest pantry in all of Seattle, family room, jumbo basement with high ceilings and bathroom, generator, fenced, landscaped, double master suite, 4 bedrooms plus office, 4.25 baths, city and Green Lake views.  3761 square feet.  MLS# 131724 $1,100,000 Molly Cartwright  206-841-6800 or Courtney Cooper  206-850-8841

8017 Meridian Ave N:  Dramatic remodel of grand 1910 Green Lake craftsman home – this one has an open floor plan, granite, stainless, and tons of upgrades, plus a true master suite retreat.  Just a block and a half from the lake!  3 bedrooms, 2.5 baths, 2288 finished square feet plus 900 unfinished additional space.  Fully finished to sparkling condition inside and out – a true work of art. MLS# 142932  $649,000  Therese Byrne  206-660-9698

737 N 81st St:  Another great 1910 remodel  (we are so excited to have two of the best remodels in Green Lake that we have seen in a long time listed at once!) with beautiful spaces and easy floor plan – raised ceilings, cook’s kitchen, gas fireplace, entry hall and room, office, more.  4 bedrooms, 2.5 baths, 2450 square feet and remodeled to perfection from top to bottom!  MLS# 134114  $599,900  Molly Cartwright  206-841-6800  or Courtney Cooper 206-850-8841
Green Lake is a wonderful Seattle neighborhood full of interesting activities and lovely scenery.  The neighborhood has long been popular due to its outdoor spaces and friendly faces.  The loop around the lake is roughly 2.78 miles and is a great place to walk, run, or bike.  There are tennis courts, sports courts, playgrounds, ball fields, rowing and kayaking facilities, fishing, swimming, and more all here – not to mention the retail, easy access to I-5, close range to Downtown Seattle, UW, and more – Green Lake is a great choice if you are thinking about moving to Seattle.
Feel free to browse more Green Lake MLS listings here:

Cooper Jacobs Real Estate Services: Please let us know if you would like to see any of these Green Lake homes or if you are interested in selling your Green Lake home: