Jun 19

For Sale: Lakehills 3-Bed 2-Bath Rambler

Virtual Tour

Updated Lake Hills rambler, light-filled with vaulted ceilings, new hardwoods, new tile and fresh paint. 3 beds, 2 full baths, 1320 s/ft, with large new Trex deck plus a level backyard with garden space. New cabinets in kitchen and laundry area. Breakfast bar, new gas fireplace insert and low maintenance yard. Perfect location near Lake Hills Library, Kelsey Creek Shopping Center, Crossroads and the Lake Hills Greenbelt walking trails. Your perfect smaller home in a prime Bellevue location that’s move-in-ready! Asking $640,000.

Call/Text/Email me for more information including the Pre-Inspection Report and the Seller Disclosure.

Jun 30

2 Myths Holding Back Home Buyers

2 Myths Holding Back Home Buyers

2 Myths Holding Back Home Buyers | MyKCMIn Realtor.com’s recent article, “Home Buyers’ Top Mortgage Fears: Which One Scares You?” they mention that “46% of potential home buyers fear they won’t qualify for a mortgage to the point that they don’t even try.”

Myth #1:  “I Need a 20% Down Payment”

Buyers overestimate the down payment funds needed to qualify for a home loan. According to the First Quarter 2017 Homeownership Program Index (HPI) from Down Payment Resource, saving for a down payment was the barrier that kept 70% of renters from buying.

Rob Chrane, CEO of Down Payment Resource had this to say,

There are many mortgage-ready renters today, but they don’t know it. Often, homebuyers remain sidelined for years due to the down payment.

Many believe that they need at least 20% down to buy their dream home, but programs are available that allow buyers put down as little as 3%. Many renters may actually be able to enter the housing market sooner than they ever imagined with new programs that have emerged allowing less cash out of pocket.

Myth #2:  “I Need a 780 FICO® Score or Higher to Buy”

The survey revealed that 59% of Americans either don’t know (54%) or are misinformed (5%) about what FICO® score is necessary to qualify.

Many Americans believe a ‘good’ credit score is 780 or higher.

To help debunk this myth, let’s take a look at Ellie Mae’s latest Origination Insight Report, which focuses on recently closed (approved) loans.

2 Myths Holding Back Home Buyers | MyKCM

As you can see in the chart above, 53.2% of approved mortgages had a credit score of 600-749.

Bottom Line

Whether buying your first home or moving up to your dream home, knowing your options will make the mortgage process easier. Your dream home may already be within your reach.

Jun 07

No escape for priced-out Seattleites…

Home prices set record for an hour’s drive in every direction

If you’re searching for a piece of somewhat good news for home seekers, the Eastside’s median price fell $5,000 from last month’s record, and now sits at $875,000. That’s still up 15.1% from a year ago.

For the first time since before the recession, the entire central Puget Sound region — from Kitsap to Tacoma to Snohomish — has set new records for median home prices. And Seattle, which has been setting new price records every month, is now on the verge of a once-unthinkable milestone: $1 million for the typical house across some large neighborhoods.

Seattle’s new record price for the median single-family house is $729,000, an extra $7,000 from a month ago and up 13.7 percent from a year prior, according to the Northwest Multiple Listing Service.

Seattle’s new record price for the median single-family house is $729,000, an extra $7,000 from a month ago and up 13.7 percent from a year prior, according to the Northwest Multiple Listing Service.

Buyers are getting nailed at both ends of the price spectrum.

Seattle is about to get its first big million-dollar neighborhood, with prices in the Capitol Hill/Madison Park area having grown to $997,000. That’s up an extra $100,000 from a year ago. The Queen Anne/Magnolia area isn’t far behind, at $900,000. (The data doesn’t drill down further, though some smaller neighborhoods near the water likely already surpassed the $1 million mark earlier.)

And in the cheapest part of town, in southeast Seattle, prices soared an astounding 31 percent from a year ago. Even cheaper areas around the county like Enumclaw and Des Moines had similar increases.

John L. Scott Real Estate said its brokers expect the frenzy to continue until at least summer 2018.

At Windermere Real Estate in Belltown, managing broker Jed Kliman is also bullish on the “super intense” market continuing.

“My personal and professional opinion is we are not in a bubble,” Kliman said. “Everybody is asking about that, it’s on everybody’s mind.” But he noted that Seattle is the fastest-growing city in the country, while homes for sale are at historic lows — a sign of an underlying supply-and-demand imbalance. “I don’t see any of that changing. I do believe things will keep trending in the same direction.”

If you’re searching for a piece of somewhat good news for home seekers, the Eastside’s median price fell $5,000 from last month’s record, and now sits at $875,000. That’s still up 15.1 percent from a year ago.

The Seattle metro area has led the nation in home price increases for the last seven months, according to the Case-Shiller index. And statewide, Washington home prices were up 12 percent in April, easily the most of any state in the country, and nearly twice the national average increase, according to a CoreLogic report also released Tuesday.

Adding frustration is the seemingly never-ending huge drop in the number of homes for sale. That’s driven up competition — making Seattle the city with the most bidding wars in the country — forcing buyers to waive inspections and offer more cash up-front, and pushing the home shopping experience into an endeavor that often takes six months to a year.

Seattle Times, June 6, 2017

 

 

Jun 06

5 Reasons You Should Sell This Summer

 5 Reasons You Should Sell This Summer

5 Reasons You Should Sell This Summer | MyKCMHere are five reasons listing your home for sale this summer makes sense.

1. Demand Is Strong The latest Buyer Traffic Report from the National Association of Realtors (NAR) shows that buyer demand remains very strong throughout the vast majority of the country. These buyers are ready, willing and able to purchase… and are in the market right now! More often than not, multiple buyers are competing with each other to buy a home.

Take advantage of the buyer activity currently in the market.

2. There Is Less Competition NowHousing inventory is currently at a 4.2-month supply, well under the 6-months needed for a normal housing market. This means, in the majority of the country, there are not enough homes for sale to satisfy the number of buyers in that market. This is good news for home prices. However, additional inventory could be coming to the market soon.

There is a pent-up desire for many homeowners to move, as they were unable to sell over the last few years because of a negative equity situation. Homeowners are now seeing a return to positive equity as real estate values have increased over the last two years. Many of these homes will be coming to the market this summer.

Also, builder’s confidence in the market has hit its highest mark in over 11 years. Experts are predicting that new construction of single-family homes will ramp up this summer.

The choices buyers have will continue to increase. Don’t wait until all this other inventory of homes comes to market before you sell.

3. The Process Will Be QuickerFannie Mae anticipates an acceleration in home sales that will surpass 2007’s pace. As the market continues to strengthen, banks will be inundated with loan inquiries causing closing-time lines to lengthen. Selling now will make the process quicker & simpler. According to Ellie Mae’s latest Origination Insights Report, the time to close a loan has dropped to a new low of 42 days, after seeing a 12-month high of 48 days in January.

4. There Will Never Be a Better Time to Move UpIf you are moving up to a larger, more expensive home, consider doing it now. Prices are projected to appreciate by 4.9% over the next year, according to CoreLogic. If you are moving to a higher-priced home, it will wind up costing you more in raw dollars (both in down payment and mortgage payment) if you wait.

You can also lock in your 30-year housing expense with an interest rate around 4% right now. Rates are projected to increase in the next 12 months.

5. It’s Time to Move on with Your LifeLook at the reason you decided to sell in the first place and determine whether it is worth waiting. Is money more important than being with family? Is money more important than your health? Is money more important than having the freedom to go on with your life the way you think you should?

Only you know the answers to the questions above. You have the power to take control of the situation by putting your home on the market. Perhaps the time has come for you and your family to move on and start living the life you desire.

That is what is truly important.

Jun 01

‘Shedquarters’… Perfect for home-based businesses, and…

Introducing “Shedquarters”: The Hot New Trend Home-Based Business Owners Are Drooling Over

With remote workers and in-home start-ups becoming increasingly common, more and more people are working from home. But you always want to have separate living and working spaces, so your whole home doesn’t just morph into an office you can’t escape from.

The new trend is taking the offices out of the house altogether and keeping them in a backyard. In a Shedquarter!

The basic package is an 8×8-foot shed that starts around $5,900 and you can add on a bathroom, kitchenette, and front porch for additional cost.

Kanga Room: Based out of Austin, Texas, Kanga Room has backyard studios in three styles: modern, country cottage, and bungalow.

 

 

Modern Shed: This Seattle-based company was founded by husband and wife, Ryan Grey Smith and Ahna Holder.

Apr 22

8 Earnest-Money Deposit Mistakes Home Buyers Live to Regret

Once a buyer settles on a home, they often show their commitment with an earnest-money deposit. But if they’re not careful, they could lose thousands of dollars.

earnest-money-mistakes

When home buyers find a home they love, they declare their commitment to the seller with a sizable chunk of change known as an earnest-money deposit. Yes, it sounds so sincere and serious because it is—and if you get it wrong, you could lose thousands of dollars. To scare you straight, here are eight mistakes with earnest-money deposits that home buyers can make.

Failing to understand exactly what an earnest-money deposit is

Earnest Money is proof that a buyer is committed to completing the sale. Earnest money is used as credit toward the down payment and closing costs. It’s often a negotiable amount between the buyer and seller and usually about 1 percent to 2 percent of the purchase price, although it could be much higher. This money is generally held by the seller’s broker or the escrow company, to be used as a credit toward the down payment and closing costs.

Not offering up enough

When a market is competitive, offering more earnest money may be one way to get your offer to stand out. Real estate agents frequently can advise clients to offer an earnest-money deposit that will get attention. For example, on a $500,000 home, in a competitive market, it can be recommended that the buyer offer up $20,000 to $25,000, or up to 5 percent, depending on the competing offers.

Bottom line for buyers: Weigh losing the earnest money against the possibility of losing the home.

If a high earnest-money deposit scares you, remember you’ll have to come up with the down payment 30 to 45 days after making an offer, anyway. The EMD is just a way for a buyer to pay part of the down payment upfront. On a $500,000 mortgage, a 15% down payment is $75,000, so a $25,000 EMD shouldn’t be a hard pill to swallow.

Removing contract contingencies

Sometimes buyers agree to remove a loan contingency and then if their loan falls through, they could lose their earnest money. Never give up your right to cancel your purchase until you are 100 percent certain that you’re going to be able to close… be sure you are pre-approved by your lender’s underwriting department. Watch for giving up other contingencies, like waiving inspection issues, appraisal issues, or problematic title searches.

Not abiding by contract timelines

Buyers must stay on the schedule dictated by a contract, or they can unwittingly breach their sale contract and lose their earnest-money deposit. Trust your Realtor to guide you through this… it’s her job.

Buying ‘as is’ and not knowing the risks

“As Is” properties typically will have the sellers stipulate that the earnest money deposit is nonrefundable. As a buyer, protect yourself by doing your due diligence before making an offer on such a property, because if you don’t, you’ll have to kiss your EMD goodbye if you decide to bail. The same is true in a multiple offer situation where, to strengthen a buyer’s offer, all contingencies are waived. It’s always ‘Buyer Beware.’

Impulsively purchasing a home that’s not a good fit

This may seem like a no-brainer, but it’s easy to get swept away by a home’s cool features when you first see it. A buyer may put in an offer only to realize days later that the soaking tub may be fabulous, but the kitchen isn’t functional. So make sure that you’re 100% serious about buying a home before making an offer with an EMD.

If you get cold feet and back out, it’s more likely that you won’t get your money back.

Check out two more

Feb 19

FEBRUARY 2017 STATS… Eastside Update by Zip

Double click 1) on image, and then 2) on subsequent image to increase size. Don’t see your zip code here? Just email me and I’ll send it out to you!

BELLEVUE 98004 Market Update

BELLEVUE 98005 Market Update

BELLEVUE 98006   Market Update    

 BELLEVUE  98007  Market Update    

BELLEVUE 98008  Market Update   

REDMOND 98052 Market Update  

SAMMAMISH  98075 Market Update     

WOODINVILLE  98077 Market Update    

 

Click for FEBRUARY 2017 pdfs:  98004, 98005, 98006, 98007, 98008,98027, 9802998052, 9805398075, 98077

 

Feb 13

Seattle slowest home price gains in three years

Seattle home prices grow at slowest pace in three years

But with Seattle condo prices and Eastside home costs still surging, the region remains among the hottest housing markets in the country.
Home prices usually cool off in the winter, but this time the change is more pronounced. The median cost for a single-family house in the county was $525,000 in January, the cheapest it’s been in 11 months, the Northwest Multiple Listing Service data shows.

homesalesJan2017

The slowdown hit Seattle especially hard. Single-family home prices in the city ticked up only 2.7 percent compared to a year prior, way down from 24 percent annual growth last winter. It’s the slowest home price growth in Seattle in nearly three years.
Seattle’s median house price of $635,000 is down about $31,000 from the record heights reached last summer.

Low inventory persists

However, the pickings are slimmer than ever: Fewer than 1,600 houses in the county were on the market at the end of the month, breaking a record-low set just a month before. Few people are selling their homes, and those houses that do hit the market are snatched up faster than in any city in the country.
homeking Numb Sales Jan2017
As a result, the region has the 2nd-lowest level of homes per sale in the country, and brokers say sellers are still fully in control of the market. Sales were up 20 percent across the county.

Seattle prices rising fastest in country

Seattle-area home prices are still rising faster than in any other major region in the country, according to the Case-Shiller home price index.
And other segments of the market are still on fire. Condo prices in Seattle surged 23 percent from a year ago, and the median now stands at $440,000.

Continue reading at The Seattle Times

Feb 04

5 Reasons Homeowners Throw Better Super Bowl Parties!

5 Reasons Homeowners Throw Better Super Bowl Parties! 

5 Reasons Homeowners Throw Better Super Bowl Parties! [INFOGRAPHIC] | MyKCM

Highlights:

  • Watching the Big Game at home with your friends & family offers many advantages.
  • There’s more room to entertain a large crowd, and you don’t have to worry about complaints to your landlord if you cheer too loudly!
  • The kitchen is big enough to make as many appetizers as you want, and if some of your guests are only there to watch the commercials, they can do so on a different TV in another room!

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Honda Super Bowl Ad:  Schooling their younger selves!

Tina Fey yearbook photo

As part of its “Power of Dreams” campaign, Honda’s new Super Bowl LI ad brings celebrity yearbook shots to life. In the one-minute spot, stars including Tina Fey, Robert Redford, Amy Adams, Earvin “Magic” Johnson, Steve Carrell, Missy Elliott, Stan Lee, Jimmy Kimmel and Viola Davis sound off with some words of encouragement for their younger selves.

Best Super Bowl Parties in Bellevue

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