Taking the Seattle Real Estate Polar Plunge

In addition to the reasons below, a cozy fireplace and tasteful holiday decor can go a long way in selling the lifestyle of a home.

Why You Should Consider Selling Your Seattle Home In The “Dead Of Winter”

Typically, Seattle homeowners believe that they should wait until spring to sell their home. Most years, for us, the winter has been one of the busier times in real estate.  The idea that someone would wait to list their home when they are ready to sell also doesn’t make sense to me. There is always a buyer pool out there and while it’s true that it may be smaller typically in the winter time, the Seattle market overall is very much in a seller’s market. There are other reasons, though.  Even with this, most homeowners don’t understand why they would want to sell their home in the “dead of winter”. Here is why you should sell your home now if you are thinking about selling in spring:

Some sunny days here and there – try to get pictures on those days! If you can’t then your broker should have an extremely talented photographer who can add extra light and life to our sometimes grey Pacific Northwest world.
  1. You know how much your home is worth now. While Seattle is typically a strong real estate market, it still was hit in the last cycle.  Many economic forecasters say we are heading for another lull. There are no guarantees in this real estate game except that it is cyclical. There are always ups and downs in the market and you won’t always see a shifting market before it happens.   Luckily, Seattle is one of the most insulated markets, but again, no crystal balls here. Time is always of the essence. 
  2. There are fewer competing homes for sale. Inventory is low right now – even lower than usual for the season. Fortunately for you, the holidays and the overshadowing belief that one should wait until spring will keep your competition at bay. Take. Advantage. Of. This. Fewer competing homes means more competing buyers and in this case – serious buyers  – which brings us to #3…. Wait for it… 
  3. Real Buyers: That’s right! The Seattle homes buyers who are out there in the freezing cold and “dead of winter” are the ones that are serious. This is not the season of “looky loos” and even the classic “nosy neighbors” tend to not want to venture out into the cold of the Pacific Northwest to check out the digs next door.  It gets dark at 2:30 on some days for goodness sakes. Even the most dedicated looky loo will not be haunting your open houses. 
  4. The political climate continues to be volatile with regards to many facets of life and that affects real estate. Uncertainty can cause the Seattle real estate market to slow down and can also make Seattle’s “upper left” buyers reconsider future purchases.

Are you interested in learning more?

Seattle Realtors Molly Cartwright Courtney Cooper

Courtney Cooper and Molly Cartwright are seasoned and successful Seattle Realtors. 

They are happy to provide you with a CMA to show you how much your home is worth now.  They can also provide pointers on small or large things to do to get your home ready for the market. Courtney and Molly can tell you roughly what your buyer pool looks like today as well so that you can decide if you want to go ahead and take the “polar plunge” into selling your home in the winter. Call/Text Courtney & Molly  – 206-850-8841 or email homes@cooperjacobs.com

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 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: 2014 Floating Homes Show Was A Hit!

Seattle Houseboats Brokers

Thank you to all the amazing volunteers who showed up in full force to make the 2014 Seattle Floating Homes Tour a success!

floating homes tour poster

Cooper Jacobs Brokers were on site to volunteer as well!

Thank you to all the members of Cooper Jacobs Real Estate.  This tour is a way for our office to give back to a phenomenal community! The Seattle floating homes neighborhood is very near and dear to our hearts and all proceeds of this tour go to the Floating Homes Association.

floating homes tour map

There were twelve Seattle floating homes on the tour this year in both Eastlake and Westlake.  We had 6 electric boats going back and forth across Lake Union as well as buses for ticket holders to go back and forth.

The theme this year was Wonderful Water Colors and co-chair Sue Jostrom was responsible for the beautiful pieces of art in the ticket/brochure. Courtney and Molly coordinated roughly 100 volunteers over two different shifts.  Jann , Melissa, and LeAnne were at Will Call passing out tickets to the purchasers of the sold out tour.  There were 1200 tickets sold this year and it was a success all the way around.

seattle realtors

Thanks to Brian Olsen and Jim Dougherty for being two of the twelve Captains crossing Lake Union on what was a very busy day on the lake! Thanks to Rick and Joyce Miner for providing the signage for us and thank you to Tricia Rendina and Joyce Black for being co-chairs and organizing sponsors, etc. This was a huge collaborative effort which goes back many months.

Additional reading if you are interested in this lifestyle or other Seattle neighborhoods:

Blog with lots of info about Seattle Houseboats

Seattle Floating Homes for sale

Seattle waterfront homes

Seattle neighborhoods

Greenwood Townhome For Sale

Welcome home to Greenwood:

10222 1st Ave NW #C (SOLD)

greenwood homes

Great in-city townhouse has it all!

Light & spacious day rooms, open floor plan. Cook’s kitchen w/gas range, stainless appliances, granite counters & rich cabinetry. It opens to light filled living & dining room w/hardwood floors & gas fireplace. End unit for added light on all levels. 2 bedrooms, 2 baths plus utility closet up. Vaulted ceilings & walk-in closet too! Entry level has secure access from garage, covered entry, tile floor, closet & 3rd bdrm + 3rd full bath for a thoughtful design.

greenwood homes for sale


Close to Carkeek Park, too…..


Bath Off Master, Double Pane Storm Windows, Dining Room, High Tech Cabling, Vaulted Ceilings, Walk-in Closet

  • 3 Bedrooms
  • 3.5 Baths
  • 1530 Square Feet
  • Built 2007

SEattle townhomes

More info:

This Greenwood home is listed by Seattle Realtors at Cooper Jacobs Real Estate

Additional Seattle Real Estate Information:

10222 1st Ave NW #C, Seattle, WA

Greenwood homes for sale

Seattle Townhomes

Renton Open House – Under $300,000!

Open Sunday 1-4 PM
This stunning 3 bed 2.5 bath home boasts both comfort and a functional design. Features include an open layout, island kitchen, utility/laundry room, gas fireplace, hardwood floors, master suite, a landscaped backyard great for entertaining, and a 3 car garage all situated on a corner lot. Easy access to I-405 and located near Cedar Park, Maplewood Golf Course, and Community Center. Minutes away from the Landing shopping center. Priced to sell! Not a short sale/bank owned property.
Let us know if you would like to see this Renton home for sale or other Renton Real Estate!

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!    realestate@cooperjacobs.com.

Listed by Cooper Jacobs Real Estate: (SOLD)

Just A Few Hot In City Seattle Neighborhoods

Here’s a short analysis on the in city hot areas which includes many neighborhoods like Green Lake, View Ridge, and Maple Leaf, and Ballard.

Molly touches on Green Lake Real estate below, but I thought I would also touch on at least one other so check all of these great Seattle neighborhoods and others out on the Cooper Jacobs Seattle neighborhoods page.  (PS -One of my favorites is Ballard.   If you are interested in Ballard real estate, please let us know!  We have a great selection of Ballard Realtors who live and/or work in Ballard!)

Seller’s Market!

by Molly Cartwright Molly@CooperJacobs.com  206-841-6800

ONE month of inventory in Green Lake equates to a seller’s market, indeed.  We haven’t seen inventory this low since 2005 and ’06.  Multiple offers are definitely not unheard of.   Because the inventory is so tight, it’s keeping buyers  squirming in their seats for a solid home in some of our most attractive neighborhoods – Ballard, Green Lake, Ravenna, View Ridge, and Maple Leaf.  Translation:  It’s in-city mania.

First time home buyer, moving up, scaling down – the target price is all across the board.  A good Realtor will give you a laundry list of “to do’s” to get your home in tip top shape for hitting the market.  Savy buyers still want to see a value (who doesn’t?) and they’ll know when a house is overpriced.  Pricing will always be the pivotal strategy but if the home is clean, well staged or organized and is easy to show, the seller will see their return.

Financing is the biggest hurdle I’ve seen lately.  So make sure you’ve got your financing nailed down first and happy buying!