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

 

 

All The Single Ladies: Female Homebuyers The New Norm

As a broker for the past eight years, and as a woman with quite a few female friends who are single into their 30s and 40s, I have noticed 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, (Newsday.com, 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, (RISMedia.com, Feb. 13, 2007).

Seattle Waterfront Real Estate: Where To Find ALL Seattle Waterfront Homes For Sale

Seattle waterfront homes come in many different forms.  seattle waterfront homes

We have a lot of water in Seattle and there are some premium Seattle waterfront neighborhoods in many parts of the city and Seattle suburbs. You can find Seattle waterfront homes for sale on our Seattle real estate website.  In fact we have many talented and well qualified Seattle waterfront real estate brokers at Cooper Jacobs Real Estate!  Whether you are a buyer or seller we can help guide you through the intricacies that are involved in Seattle waterfront real estate. Email:  Waterfront@CooperJacobs.com

seattle waterfront homes

 

Some Seattle Waterfront Neighborhoods:


Madison Park

Laurelhurst

Magnolia

Lincoln Park

North Beach

Alki

Seward Park

Eastlake

Westlake

Lake Union

Portage Bay

Broadmoor

Denny Blaine

Cedar Park

Blue Ridge

Ballard

Sunset Hill

Washington Park

Windermere

Sand Point


Some Seattle Suburb Waterfront Neighborhoods:

Medina

Hunt Point

Bellevue

Kirkland

Juanita

Lake Forest Park

Kenmore

Mercer Island

Bainbridge Island

Renton

Richmond Beach

Edmonds

Mukilteo

Everett

Yarrow Point

Sammamish

Newport Shores

Normandy Park

Gig Harbor

Fox Island

Purdy
Regardless of where you are looking for Seattle area waterfront homes, we can probably find something that might suit you and we have many brokers that specialize in the best Seattle waterfront neighborhoods and suburbs to get you the care and diligence you need.

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”