Thanksgiving Wishes and Market Update

With Thanksgiving on the horizon and the holiday season now in full effect, many would tend to believe the real estate market has slowed down; that it’s time to sit back and wait until next year when the market “heats back up” to sell your home.  On the contrary, though.  The Real Estate market continues to stay strong as we head into the holidays.  A shocking set of statistics, but home prices continue to increase over last year’s numbers, there is still a lack of inventory, and luxury home prices have soared, which is a great sign heading into 2015!  On the Eastside alone, home prices have risen by 7% to roughly $615,000, continuing this strong seller’s market and a very strong competition for homes.  In Seattle, prices have increased 8.3% from last year to roughly $515,000, with supply being particularly low in the communities close to the city.  Would you believe that half of all new listings are selling in the first 30 days in King County?  The median price of single family homes sold in King County last month was up 5% over last year to roughly $447,000, and the inventory has stayed steady at the 2-month supply mark, continuing to prove it is still a seller’s market!

So, while you’re indulging in all that the holiday season has to offer, you can ease some of the stress knowing that the real estate market is continuing it’s onward and upward strength!

Energy Saving Accessories!

Winter has hit, forcing many of us to stay bundled up inside more often.  This tends to lead to higher heating and electrical bills.  Here is a great collection of products that can help lower energy usage and lower bills this season.

The Nest is a new contemporary style thermostat that is being used in many new homes, and is becoming a favorite with many builders.  It is a practical, modern and attractive thermostat that can be controlled by anywhere from just your cell phone.  You can also pre-set the Nest around your schedule, avoiding wasted heat throughout the day while saving you money on your electrical bills.  The Nest is super easy to use and even gives you monthly reports of your energy consumption, which allows you to adjust your habits accordingly.

Another great energy saving accessory is the Bolt Solar Charger.  For how much we as society have become reliant on our smart phones to stay connected, as a result, we have become reliant on our chargers to keep our beloved technology running.  The Bolt Solar Charger uses the sun, USB port or the wall to charge – leaving you a multitude of options.  Never run out of battery in an emergency again!  If you’re looking for a slightly smaller, sleeker, and less expensive option, try the Bamboo Solar Charger, which is roughly the size of your smart phone so easily portable.

One more alternative that is something more commonly sought after is energy-efficient bulbs.  This seems like the easiest and most efficient way to cut back on our monthly energy consumption (while saving money).  The problem is, a lot of people don’t like the look of (and lack of style in) energy efficient bulbs.The power of beautiful design tackles the light bulb, resulting in an energy-efficient, design award-winning bulb – the Plumen 001 Original. It fits into any standard sized socket, and  uses 80% less energy than standard bulbs while having a lifetime of 8,000 hours, about EIGHT years.  Wow!!

Hope these energy-efficient tips helped those looking to cut back on their heating and electrical bills while staying eco-friendly during this chilly winter!

Attain Housing’s Community Supper – Hosted by WRE Yarrow Bay

Another great and successful Community Supper hosted by Windermere Real Estate Yarrow Bay.  On the eve of November 11, the Windermere RE Yarrow Bay office hosted Attain Housing (formerly KITH)’s Community Supper at the Holy Spirit Lutheran Church in Kirkland, and what a wonderful event it turned out to be. Volunteers were there early to prepare the dinner and ensure we had a wonderful mean to serve!  This was one of the larger Community Suppers of late, as it was not only our normal families but Unity Camp was invited to dinner, making it quite the crowd.  The special menu was lasagnas, salads, garlic breads and rolls, as well as brownies, cookies and fruit snacks for dessert.  Thanks to our amazing Windermere agents and even Patrick, our Commonwealth Title Rep, we were able to feed the entire crowd with plenty of leftovers for our guests to take home with them!

Thank you to everyone who were there to help, to those who couldn’t make it but still found time to bake cookies and brownies to donate!  We look forward to doing it again soon!!

Importance of a Professional

Whether you are buying or selling a home, it can be quite the whirlwind of a journey.  In this world of instant gratification via our lovely internet, many sellers are starting to list their home For Sale by Owner or FSBO, but in all reality, you need an experienced Real Estate Professional to lead you to your ultimate goal.

Below are 5 MAIN reasons to hire a professional to handle your Real Estate needs:

1. What do you do with all this paperwork?

Each state has different regulations regarding the contracts required for a successful sale, and these regulations are constantly changing. Making your dream a reality is where your Real Estate professional steps in to guide you through the paperwork and into your dream home!

2. Ok, so you found your dream house, now what?

According to the Orlando Regional REALTOR Association, there are over 230 possible actions that need to take place during every successful real estate transaction. This is where your agent’s knowledge, expertise, and experience come into play to ensure a smooth and successful process.

3. Are you a good negotiator?

Negotiations play a key factor in getting you the best deal on the purchase or sale of your home.  A Real Estate professional is experienced and is there to get you the best price possible for your home.  From the buyer/seller, to the home inspection companies, to the appraiser, there are at least 11 different people that you will have to be knowledgeable with and answer to during the process.

4. What is your home really worth?

Pricing your home accurately from the start is crucial in attracting the right buyers and shortening the market time.  Having an agent who is not emotionally connected to the home will allow a sense of truth to your home’s value.  According to the National Association of REALTORS“the typical FSBO home sold for $184,000 compared to $230,000 among agent-assisted home sales.” Get the most out of your transaction by hiring a professional.

5. Do you know what’s really going on in the market?

Due to the vast amount of resources on the internet and news about home sales, prices, and mortgage rates, buyers and sellers are becoming more knowledgeable; but how do you know what’s going on specifically in YOUR area?  Who would you turn to in order to correctly price your home competitively or to make the offer on your dream home without paying too much?

Dave Ramsey, the financial guru advises:

“When getting help with money, whether it’s insurance, real estate or investments, you should always look for someone with the heart of a teacher, not the heart of a salesman.”

Hiring an agent who has their finger on the pulse of the market will make your buying/selling experience an educated one.  You need someone who is going to tell you the truth, not just what they think you want to hear.

Bottom Line:

You wouldn’t replace the engine in your car without a trusted mechanic. Why would you make presumably the most important financial decisions of your life without hiring a Real Estate Professional?

New Construction Design Trends

“Traditional” style homes are out – no literally, they’re OUT.  The new term being used for “Traditional” is “Classic”.  That said, the majority of new construction homes you will see on the market these days are taking on a much more modern approach.  Even if the neighborhood doesn’t bear it, you’ll see builders go Classic on the outside, and Modern on the inside.  Floorplan and functionality have become an essential part of building new homes as well.  Walls are out, and open floor plans are in.  With less hallways and wasted rooms, open floor plans allow for more usable space, and homeowners are better understanding that 100% of their spaces should be completely usable.  Outdoor living has also become a must-have in new homes.  We’re seeing an abundance of glass doors as well as lift-and-slide doors designed to open and disappear, and bring the outdoors in.  More and more homeowners are wanting outdoor kitchens and living rooms to entertain and dine in style.

Of all of the design trends in new construction, the spa-like bathrooms are seeing some of the largest upgrades.  Bathrooms are no longer strictly functional, they have become a place of relaxing retreats.  Custom built, walk-in showers are the ultimate lapse of luxury.  Home spas and steam showers can serve as a personal sanctuary from the routine of every day life.  Freestanding bathtubs have become more commonly sought after, causing design firms to roll out an array of aesthetic and economically viable bathtubs.  Though granite is still drawing the highest demand, quartz, marble and onyx are making their way into the modern bathrooms as well, offering natural beauty and a sense of luxury and elegance in higher-end homes.

The beautiful thing about these new trends is that it with all of the new materials being used, it is very difficult to mimic one finish, one room, one design, or one home.  This causes YOUR home to be unique… and your experience to be lasting!

This Weekend on the Eastside: Kirkland Uncorked, July 18-20

Kirkland Uncorked, Washington’s summer food and wine festival, is taking place this weekend! Taking place at scenic Marina Park (25 Lakeshore Plaza Dr), the festival, benefitting Homeward Pet Adoption, features wines from world-class Washington wineries, bite-sized feasts from notable Eastside restaurants, and appearances from the Northwest’s most prestigious celebrity chefs and culinary personalities.

The festival is split into two parts, a 21+ Tasting Garden and an all ages Street Fair. The Tasting Garden features wine tasting, grilling demonstrations, live music, a Friday Burger Brawl and a Saturday Grill-Off. The Street features a Boat Show, the Uncorked Market, the CityDog Dog Modeling Contest, and a Sunday Food Truck Feast.

Check out the event schedule here!

The Annual Collection Magazine Has Arrived!

Introducing the new 2014 edition of The Collection Magazine – it has arrived!  Our 100-page custom publication produced exclusively by Realogics Sotheby’s International Realty, debuts today with 12,000 Puget Sound Business Journal newspaper inserts and delivering to savvy businesses in downtown Seattle and Bellevue.  Featuring editorial articles on Beijing Sotheby’s International Realty, Millennial trends and a showcase of our brokers and their unique listings – it’s the best of Northwest living!  Additionally The Collection will be polybagged with the July issue of Luxe Magazine top subscribers,  private airports throughout the region and even the ferries will call our new magazine home. We invite you to experience the extraordinary today.  It’s a Collection truly unlike any other.

Read through the magazine, and my personal spread, here!

The 2014 Collection Mock-up2 RGB

Tips for Year End Giving!

Happy Holidays!!

I hope you have been enjoying a great holidays season and have a very fun New Years planned!!


As most who know me know, I am very into giving back to the community and especially to homeless families. I wanted to share this great link to tips of year end giving for 2013.

http://www.irs.gov/uac/Newsroom/IRS-Offers-Tips-for-Year-End-Giving-2013#!

Wishing you all a healthy and prosperous 2014.
Lynn

15% Rise in King County Housing!

The median price of single-family homes sold in King County last month rose to $426,000, a 15 percent increase over the year.

After a remarkable frenzy of homebuying in early summer sent the median price to $434,000 in July, the highest level in five years, October’s activity showed a more balanced market, with more inventory for sale.

Buyers closed on 2,187 homes, 10 percent more than in the previous October, the Northwest Multiple Listing Service (MLS) reported Tuesday.

While extremely tight inventory drove bidding wars in spring, October was the first time this year that inventory of single-family homes was higher than a year earlier.

In King County, there were 4,575 single-family homes listed, 6 percent more than a year earlier. In the condominium market, there were 1,133 units listed, 8 percent more than a year ago.

The Eastside, as usual, had the highest median price in King County: It was $575,377, up 14 percent from a year ago. Southwest King County had the lowest median price at $240,000, about 7 percent higher over the year.

Pending sales are where the shutdown’s impact would have shown up, but it’s hard to tease that out from other possible causes, said Glenn Crellin, associate director of research at the Runstad Center for Real Estate Studies at the University of Washington.

Regionally, inventory remains tight: King, Snohomish and Pierce counties all have less than three months’ supply, the MLS reported.

A balanced market generally has enough supply for four to six months.
So, the increase is expected to continue!

Home prices in most metropolitan areas grew significantly in the third quarter, with the national median price rising at its fastest annual clip in nearly eight years, according to the National Association of Realtors (NAR).

During the same period, existing homes sold at the fastest annual rate recorded in more than six years, according to NAR’s latest quarterly report on metro area median prices and affordability.

Despite the robust price growth, NAR estimated that potential buyers still had adequate income in most areas to purchase a home in the third quarter. Nonetheless, market momentum is changing, according to Lawrence Yun, chief economist at NAR.

“Rising prices and higher interest rates have taken a bite out of housing affordability,” Yun said. “However, we have the ongoing situation of more buyers than sellers in the market, so lower sales will help to take the pressure off home price growth and allow them to rise slowly at a single-digit growth rate in 2014.”

The national median existing single-family home price increased by 12.5 percent year over year to $207,300 in the third quarter, the strongest year-over-year gain since the fourth quarter of 2005 when it shot up 13.6 percent, according to the trade group.

In the second quarter, the median price reportedly rose 12.2 percent year over year.

- See more at: http://www.inman.com/2013/11/06/home-prices-post-highest-annual-gain-in-nearly-8-years/#sthash.8XLrp2Sg.dpuf

Home
prices in most metropolitan areas grew significantly in the third
quarter, with the national median price rising at its fastest annual
clip in nearly eight years, according to the National Association of
Realtors (NAR).

During the same period, existing homes sold at the fastest annual rate recorded in more than six years, according to NAR’s latest quarterly report on metro area median prices and affordability.

Despite the robust price growth, NAR estimated that potential buyers
still had adequate income in most areas to purchase a home in the third
quarter. Nonetheless, market momentum is changing, according to Lawrence
Yun, chief economist at NAR.

“Rising prices and higher interest rates have taken a bite out of
housing affordability,” Yun said. “However, we have the ongoing
situation of more buyers than sellers in the market, so lower sales will
help to take the pressure off home price growth and allow them to rise
slowly at a single-digit growth rate in 2014.”

The national median existing single-family home price increased by
12.5 percent year over year to $207,300 in the third quarter, the
strongest year-over-year gain since the fourth quarter of 2005 when it
shot up 13.6 percent, according to the trade group.

In the second quarter, the median price reportedly rose 12.2 percent year over year.

- See more at: http://www.inman.com/2013/11/06/home-prices-post-highest-annual-gain-in-nearly-8-years/#sthash.8XLrp2Sg.dpufTEST

Home prices in most metropolitan areas grew significantly in the third quarter, with the national median price rising at its fastest annual clip in nearly eight years, according to the National Association of Realtors (NAR).

During the same period, existing homes sold at the fastest annual rate recorded in more than six years, according to NAR’s latest quarterly report on metro area median prices and affordability.

Despite the robust price growth, NAR estimated that potential buyers still had adequate income in most areas to purchase a home in the third quarter. Nonetheless, market momentum is changing, according to Lawrence Yun, chief economist at NAR.

“Rising prices and higher interest rates have taken a bite out of housing affordability,” Yun said. “However, we have the ongoing situation of more buyers than sellers in the market, so lower sales will help to take the pressure off home price growth and allow them to rise slowly at a single-digit growth rate in 2014.”

The national median existing single-family home price increased by 12.5 percent year over year to $207,300 in the third quarter, the strongest year-over-year gain since the fourth quarter of 2005 when it shot up 13.6 percent, according to the trade group.

In the second quarter, the median price reportedly rose 12.2 percent year over year.

- See more at: http://www.inman.com/2013/11/06/home-prices-post-highest-annual-gain-in-nearly-8-years/#sthash.8XLrp2Sg.dpuf

Home prices in most metropolitan areas grew significantly in the third quarter, with the national median price rising at its fastest annual clip in nearly eight years, according to the National Association of Realtors (NAR).

During the same period, existing homes sold at the fastest annual rate recorded in more than six years, according to NAR’s latest quarterly report on metro area median prices and affordability.

Despite the robust price growth, NAR estimated that potential buyers still had adequate income in most areas to purchase a home in the third quarter. Nonetheless, market momentum is changing, according to Lawrence Yun, chief economist at NAR.

“Rising prices and higher interest rates have taken a bite out of housing affordability,” Yun said. “However, we have the ongoing situation of more buyers than sellers in the market, so lower sales will help to take the pressure off home price growth and allow them to rise slowly at a single-digit growth rate in 2014.”

The national median existing single-family home price increased by 12.5 percent year over year to $207,300 in the third quarter, the strongest year-over-year gain since the fourth quarter of 2005 when it shot up 13.6 percent, according to the trade group.

In the second quarter, the median price reportedly rose 12.2 percent year over year.

- See more at: http://www.inman.com/2013/11/06/home-prices-post-highest-annual-gain-in-nearly-8-years/#sthash.8XLrp2Sg.dpuf

Home prices in most metropolitan areas grew significantly in the third quarter, with the national median price rising at its fastest annual clip in nearly eight years, according to the National Association of Realtors (NAR).

During the same period, existing homes sold at the fastest annual rate recorded in more than six years, according to NAR’s latest quarterly report on metro area median prices and affordability.

Despite the robust price growth, NAR estimated that potential buyers still had adequate income in most areas to purchase a home in the third quarter. Nonetheless, market momentum is changing, according to Lawrence Yun, chief economist at NAR.

“Rising prices and higher interest rates have taken a bite out of housing affordability,” Yun said. “However, we have the ongoing situation of more buyers than sellers in the market, so lower sales will help to take the pressure off home price growth and allow them to rise slowly at a single-digit growth rate in 2014.”

The national median existing single-family home price increased by 12.5 percent year over year to $207,300 in the third quarter, the strongest year-over-year gain since the fourth quarter of 2005 when it shot up 13.6 percent, according to the trade group.

In the second quarter, the median price reportedly rose 12.2 percent year over year.

- See more at: http://www.inman.com/2013/11/06/home-prices-post-highest-annual-gain-in-nearly-8-years/#sthash.8XLrp2Sg.dpuf

Home
prices in most metropolitan areas grew significantly in the third
quarter, with the national median price rising at its fastest annual
clip in nearly eight years, according to the National Association of
Realtors (NAR).

During the same period, existing homes sold at the fastest annual rate recorded in more than six years, according to NAR’s latest quarterly report on metro area median prices and affordability.

Despite the robust price growth, NAR estimated that potential buyers
still had adequate income in most areas to purchase a home in the third
quarter. Nonetheless, market momentum is changing, according to Lawrence
Yun, chief economist at NAR.

“Rising prices and higher interest rates have taken a bite out of
housing affordability,” Yun said. “However, we have the ongoing
situation of more buyers than sellers in the market, so lower sales will
help to take the pressure off home price growth and allow them to rise
slowly at a single-digit growth rate in 2014.”

The national median existing single-family home price increased by
12.5 percent year over year to $207,300 in the third quarter, the
strongest year-over-year gain since the fourth quarter of 2005 when it
shot up 13.6 percent, according to the trade group.

In the second quarter, the median price reportedly rose 12.2 percent year over year.

- See more at: http://www.inman.com/2013/11/06/home-prices-post-highest-annual-gain-in-nearly-8-years/#sthash.8XLrp2Sg.dpufTEST

Home prices in most metropolitan areas grew significantly in the third quarter, with the national median price rising at its fastest annual clip in nearly eight years, according to the National Association of Realtors (NAR).

During the same period, existing homes sold at the fastest annual rate recorded in more than six years, according to NAR’s latest quarterly report on metro area median prices and affordability.

Despite the robust price growth, NAR estimated that potential buyers still had adequate income in most areas to purchase a home in the third quarter. Nonetheless, market momentum is changing, according to Lawrence Yun, chief economist at NAR.

“Rising prices and higher interest rates have taken a bite out of housing affordability,” Yun said. “However, we have the ongoing situation of more buyers than sellers in the market, so lower sales will help to take the pressure off home price growth and allow them to rise slowly at a single-digit growth rate in 2014.”

The national median existing single-family home price increased by 12.5 percent year over year to $207,300 in the third quarter, the strongest year-over-year gain since the fourth quarter of 2005 when it shot up 13.6 percent, according to the trade group.

In the second quarter, the median price reportedly rose 12.2 percent year over year.

- See more at: http://www.inman.com/2013/11/06/home-prices-post-highest-annual-gain-in-nearly-8-years/#sthash.8XLrp2Sg.dpuf

Home prices in most metropolitan areas grew significantly in the third quarter, with the national median price rising at its fastest annual clip in nearly eight years, according to the National Association of Realtors (NAR).

During the same period, existing homes sold at the fastest annual rate recorded in more than six years, according to NAR’s latest quarterly report on metro area median prices and affordability.

Despite the robust price growth, NAR estimated that potential buyers still had adequate income in most areas to purchase a home in the third quarter. Nonetheless, market momentum is changing, according to Lawrence Yun, chief economist at NAR.

“Rising prices and higher interest rates have taken a bite out of housing affordability,” Yun said. “However, we have the ongoing situation of more buyers than sellers in the market, so lower sales will help to take the pressure off home price growth and allow them to rise slowly at a single-digit growth rate in 2014.”

The national median existing single-family home price increased by 12.5 percent year over year to $207,300 in the third quarter, the strongest year-over-year gain since the fourth quarter of 2005 when it shot up 13.6 percent, according to the trade group.

In the second quarter, the median price reportedly rose 12.2 percent year over year.

- See more at: http://www.inman.com/2013/11/06/home-prices-post-highest-annual-gain-in-nearly-8-years/#sthash.z8VaTdoD.dpuf

Kirkland Housing Market Slows A Bit!

Higher home prices, interest rates and low inventory impacted real estate sales activity in Kirkland in August. according to statistics just published by the Northwest Multiple Listing Service, pending sales (contracted, not yet closed) were down 7% for August compared to July. However, pending sales were a significant 40% higher than they were in August one year ago.

The inventory level for single family homes remained at 1.8 months of supply, a low level and one which indicates we are still in seller’s market. The median price was slightly lower at $534,000.

The condo market was a little stronger, with pending sales higher by 6% over July levels and 40% higher than one year ago.

Condo inventory edged higher to 1.3 months of supply, but is at low levels. The median condo price was slightly lower at $240,000.

It remains to be seen how the combination of higher home prices AND higher interests will impact Kirkland home sales. I suspect it will slow the market to more of a normal pace. Sellers will need to be a bit more patient and more realistic with prices. The good news for buyers is there is less competition for homes and they are less likely to face multiple offer scenarios.