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  206-236-9696

Cooper Jacobs Real Estate Has BIG News!

Thanks to all of you for your support over the years. We have grown and really enjoy our place in this community.  It is because of our amazing clients, our special brokers, and the communities in which we serve that we are able to do our jobs so well and we thank you all!

nw real estate brokersWe have had some recent big news and are pleased to announce:

First of all, Therese Byrne has accepted the open position of Branch Manager for our Wallingford Branch.  Not only is she taking on a managing role, but Therese also is becoming one of our newest owners.  Therese has been a very talented Broker here for years, specializing in Richmond Beach, but also has been leading the way for excellent mentoring programs within the company. We are all very excited because she offers contractual diligence and experiment, but also brings with her the positive support our Brokers really thrive with.  If you are interested in learning more about becoming a Broker at Cooper Jacobs and our competitive company split, please email Therese at tbyrne@tmbyrne.com

Secondly, we have brought in Kayla Cooper to provide marketing services for our brokers.  She is a recent University of Washington graduate and skilled in many levels of marketing, design, and layout.  She is also quite technically skilled and offers a wonderful support for the Brokers in house. She is available for scheduled one on one marketing appointments and a great resource.  You may reach her at Kayla@CooperJacobs.com.

Lastly, please join us Wednesday, March 5th from 10AM to 7PM at our Wallingford Branch – whether you are a local broker or a community member, we invite you in for light snacks and conversation to talk to you about what we can do for you.  There is even a drawing… 3645 Wallingford Ave N, Seattle, WA 98103

Wallingford Condos For Sale: 3401 Wallingford Ave N #23

Listed By Cooper Jacobs Real Estate (SOLD):

wallingford condos for sale

3401 Wallingford Ave N # 23, Seattle, WA 98103

  • 1 Bedrooms
  • 1 Bath
  • 500 Square Feet
  • Built in 1987

Corner unit with peek a boo views of Lake Union and Downtown Seattle. Quiet building just a few steps from Gas Works park and Burke-Gilman trail.

Convenient in-city location and close to all of the great restaurants in Wallingford.

Espresso stained hardwoods, stainless appliances and granite breakfast bar compliment this modern home. Private balcony to enjoy the view as well as a community roof top observation deck to take in 4th of July fireworks.

Common garage assigned parking. W/D in unit. Asking $205,000

 

For more information on this Wallingford home for sale:
Please contact Cooper Jacobs Real Estate at realestate@CooperJacobs.com

You can also find additional info on Wallingford Real Estate here:

Wallingford Homes For Sale

Wallingford Townhomes

Wallingford Condos

Wallingford Condo For Sale!

Just Listed:  3401 Wallingford Ave N #23 Seattle, WA 98103   (SOLD)

3401 Wallingford Ave N

$205,000

  • 1 Bedroom
  • 1 Bath
  • 500 Square Feet
  • Built in 1987
  • Low dues of $223/mo
  • Lake and City View
  • Low taxes of $1833

Corner unit with peek a boo views of Lake Union and Downtown Seattle. Quiet building just a few steps from Gas Works park and Burke-Gilman trail. Convenient in-city location and close to all of the great restaurants in Wallingford. Espresso stained hardwoods, stainless appliances and granite breakfast bar compliment this modern home. Private balcony to enjoy the view as well as a community roof top observation deck to take in 4th of July fireworks. Common garage assigned parking. W/D in unit.

For more information, Contact Cooper Jacobs Real Estate at realestate@CooperJacobs.com

Additional links:

3401 Wallingford Ave N #23

Wallingford Homes For Sale

Wallingford Condos

Seattle Condos for sale

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).

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”

Wallingford Home On The Market For THREE Days!

Want Wallingford Realtors That Can Get Your Home Sold?
Wallingford Luxury Home For Sale Sale Pending after 3 Days!

3802 Interlake Ave N, Seattle, WA 98103

From the NWMLS Listing for this Wallingford home for sale:

Ahh..Luxury. Feel at home. Well appointed. Culinary experiences shared. Wide open kitchen-dining & living to die for! Bead board laced full wall library.Tools include: six burner professional gas range, wine cooler, tremendous slab granite. Baking needs met. Wood-heated stone-cork flooring. Ornate. Walls of sunny windows. Westerly outlooks. Great master-spa bath-giant custom closet. Stone patio garden. Landscaped sunny exposure. Oversized garage. Gas Works Park-Fremont-bike to all points. $518,000

  • 3 Bedrooms
  • 2.5 Baths
  • 1690 Square Feet
  • Built in 2006

About Cooper Jacobs Real Estate’s Wallingford Branch:

Cooper Jacobs Real Estate LLC is located centrally in Wallingford just a few blocks up from Lake Union. We specialize in different Seattle neighborhoods, but call Wallingford our home and love Wallingford real estate!

3645C Wallingford Ave N, Seattle, WA 98103

If you are interested in Wallingford homes for sale, we would love to show you some of our favorites! We also have brokers who specialize in different Seattle neighborhoods across the Puget Sound.

realestate@cooperjacobs.com

Cooper Jacobs

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

4022 Pasadena Pl NE, Seattle, WA 98105
$334,900

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!    realestate@cooperjacobs.com.

Listed by Cooper Jacobs Real Estate: (SOLD)

Wallingford Real Estate Market Update

Wallingford Real Estate Update Summer 2011:
Looking at what is going on in the Wallingford Real estate Market in Seattle, WA.
Cooper Jacobs Real Estate is located in Wallingford – let us know if you are looking for great Wallingford Realtors!  realestate@cooperjacobs.com 206-236-9696

If you are wondering what Wallingford homes for sale are on the market now and what is selling, then here is a quick update for the beginning of summer 2011 in the Wallingford Real estate market.

Actives – Wallingford homes for sale currently on the market and listed in the MLS:

There are 12 current Wallingford homes for sale listings ranging in price from $318,000 to $820,120 with a median price of $478,560.  The average days on market for these is 97 days.  The average square feet of these Wallingford homes is 2110 square feet. The average dollar per square foot is $227.87.  You can find these homes on Thackeray Place NE, 5th Ave NE, Interlake Ave N, Latona Ave NE, N 46th St, N 50th St, and Corliss Ave N, but you can also see everything for sale here – updated with changes from the MLS:  Wallingford homes for sale

Pending Sales in the MLS for Wallingford Homes:

Already passed inspection and just going through the loan and escrow process, these are theWallingford homes that are pending. There are 11 marked pending in the MLS ranging in price from $310,000 to $1,680,000 with a median list price of $599,900.  The average days on market for these Wallingford homes for sale is 106 days.  You can find these on Carr Place N, 5th Ave NE, Thackeray Place NE, NE 47th ST, Woodlawn Ave N, Eastern Ave N, Meridian Ave N, N 40th St, Ashworth Ave N, and N 38th St.

Pending BU in the MLS – Pending Back Up – for a variety of reasons – not always good ones, some homes are listed this way.  The listing agent or the seller is looking for a back up offer on their pending Wallingford home.   There is one on Densmore Ave N listed at $597,000 which has been on the market for only 6 days.

Pending Inspection Wallingford Homes For Sale – The buyer has found their dream home and is in their inspection period.  There are 7 Wallingford homes for sale that are marked as pending inspection in the MLS as of today.  These range in price from $419,000 to $595,000 with a median price of $515,000 and an average days on market of 49 days.

Sold Wallingford Listings – the last 180 days

There have been 36 closed Wallingford homes for sale in the last 180 days.  These range in price from $335,000 to $849,888 with a median price of $559,500 and an average days on market of 76 days.