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Real Estate Buying Power for 2014~Interest Rates Have a HUGE Impact!

This coming May 2014, I will have been a Real Estate Broker for 10 years!

At the start of my real estate career, the average 30-Year Fixed-Rate Mortgage came in around 6.27%! As you can see from the attached Infographic, rates have fluctuated over those 10 years hitting a low of 3.35% in November 2012 to the current rate of 4.46% at the end of 2013.

What’s crazy is that when we purchased our 1st home in 1981 the average  mortgage interest rate was 16.63%! I hope we never see those rates again!!!!!

Take a look, find yourself in the numbers below…

Infographic compliments of Zillow.

Vacation…Becoming the best YOU!

DSCN1618I don’t know about most people, but I learned something about myself this last week on VACATION…Everyone should take some REAL time off.    By REAL, that wasn’t a pun on Real Estate…REALLY!  Because anyone who knows me, knows I love my real estate career.

What I learned was everyone is in need of a ‘battery re-charge’, a relaxing vacation, time away from work, fresh air, late lazy-mornings with coffee and a morning conversation.  Add ocean air and wooded walks to clear your head.  Throw in a boat-load of fun, literally!  Prepare awesome meals!  See the sights of the PNW harbors…wash, rinse and repeat.  That’s a vacation!  Be the best YOU you can be…take a REAL vacation!

Seattle Is A City Expected To Be One Of The Healthiest Real Estate Markets For 2013

What makes a healthy real estate market?  Check out this infographic below and see what you think…Seattle is headed for a healthy real estate rebound for 2013, due in part to a healthy job growth by some of the big-boys (Microsoft, Google, Amazon, Boeing, Costco HQ)…and from all of those, support/feeder businesses are ramping-up as well.  Consumer confidence is back…YEA!  And interest rates are still teetering at 50+ year lows…

If you’re a seller, you couldn’t be in the market at a better time (inventory is extremely low, with many pockets of Seattle and the Eastside Seattle Real Estate seeing multiple-offers happening)…if you’re a buyer, time to get going with that purchase because prices are rising due to buyer competition & limited inventory…

See below how #SeattleRealEstate fares out in the TOP 10 Healthiest Real Estate Markets…This is an exciting time in real estate!!

Healthy Real Estate Markets - Infographic

Source: AppFolio.com

What makes a healthy real estate market?

The Psychology of Color … As It Relates To Your Home.

What can color do for your home?  WOW!  That’s a big question…color is so important for helping set a mood or a feeling we get or want to get when we enter or use a particular room.  I see a variety of homes regularly and I hear from clients who want some advice on color…so here’s my take…(hope you see something you can use!)

Let’s start with exterior colors.  Fifteen years ago, the exterior color was 15 Shades of Taupe!  Taupe is out and deeper, richer,earthy tones are in.  Many homes can draw upon  a 3-color scheme (body, trim, accent, such as craftsman shingles) plus a single BOLD color known as the “PUNCH” color for the front door.  Black can be your “punch” color, but so can deep, rich brown or fire engine red!  Have fun with your front door!  You only get one chance to make a first impression…make it you!!

Interior colors should also be bolder than taupe.  They should accent your furnishings, be room appropriate, not hurt your eyes or your mind, but make you acquire that “Zen” feeling when you enter or encounter the room for it’s intended purpose (kitchen vs family room vs child’s room vs the master bedroom suite).  Color has a lot to do with our mood, the amount of light the room reflects and the feeling we get from our use of the room.  Let your color choices compliment or highlight your solid surfaces already in your home.  The InfoGraphic below helps depict what colors do for our mood and for our rooms.

Paint is one of the most inexpensive ways to update a home and change the overall tone/feeling of a home.  I feel color enhances any home, both inside and out.  A big caveat to the overall color change is…do a quality job or hire a professional.  Worse than no color is color done without clean, crisp lines.

So jump into the color wheel and get the most out of your home, whether it’s for you or for getting your home ready for sale.  Chances are, if a color makes you feel good, it’ll make others feel good as well.

I’d love to hear from you…share your thoughts.  Does color change your quality of life?
Psychology of Color [Infographic]

Courtesy of NowSourcing, Inc

Real Estate Review…FREE!

FREE Real Estate Review

Here’s what I’ve found to be a great tool to better serve my clients before they buy or sell.  I’ve called it a Real Estate Review…and it’s FREE!  This is a complimentary service I perform for my clients and future clients.

Whether you know it or not, you’ll be moving.  Surprise!  Maybe not in the next 180 days, but you will be contemplating a move in your future.  The average American lives in a single home for 7 years…to some that seems long & to others who have lived in a home for 40+ years, they don’t understand the “nomadic” lifestyle.

 So I’ve prepared a document similar to a market analysis but in most cases reports more info.  It reviews the immediate neighbors home values so the client has a good feel of their neighborhood trend.  Also, it includes various statistics and local demographics.  I end it with a very pictorial view of what’s happening in the Seattle Eastside Area as well as history on interest rates.

 The combination of all the info presented will put a client in touch with the current real estate market in their specific area.  My clients are thrilled with this analysis!  If nothing else, it will establish a baseline for when we prepare the Real Estate Review again next year, making them more informed when they do enter the real estate market.

 Are you interested in your Real Estate Review?  Contact me today!

What’s Up with the Real Estate Market?

DSCN1540What’s up with the Real Estate market?  During the month of December 2012, 54 homes were sold from this Totem Lake/Kirkland Windermere office…Are you sensing a changing market from even a year ago?  Here’s the local Seattle Eastside stats you can relate to since November 2011:

  1. 41%  less Active Inventory
  2. 9% less Active Market Time
  3. 22% more Pending properties(properties under contract)
  4. 3% higher Median Sales Price (Closed properties)
  5. 22% more Closed Transactions

Everything in these stats are part of a bigger picture, and that is that the market has experienced a rebound.  The biggest thing that will change in the coming months will be the Active Inventory…Jan – July are traditionally the months where the most inventory is available on the market, changing the landscape slightly from a strong seller’s market (now…Red on the color map), to a more balanced market as we get more into 2013.  Buyers will have more to choose from and more negotiation power with sellers.  Luckily, interest rates are   supposed to stay really LOW, as stated by the Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke, well into 2015, stimulating buying and bringing buyers more buying power for their dollar.

I still can’t emphasize enough that a home MUST be priced for the market…overpriced properties will sit far longer than the average market time and usually succumb to a far lower sales price than if originally priced according to the market.

Keep watching…I’ll continue to share the market stats.  The market is really heating up…if it’s your time to make a move, don’t get caught on the sidelines!

Are Ramblers the New 2-Story Home?

Redmond Wa RamblerRamblers…have you thought ramblers?  What about the demographics of the population?  The baby-boomer generation is one of the largest segments of the overall population…and what would the baby-boomers be thinking about?

  • Down-Sizing
  • Empty-Nesters
  • Simplifying Lifestyle
  • No Stairs (this is HUGE!)
  • Thinking of Retirement
  • 2nd Home/Vacation Property

What about the first-time home buyers?  What are they looking for?

  • Turn-Key/Move-In Ready
  • Updated/Current Trends
  • Easy Living
  • Convenient to Work/Friends/Social Life
  • Affordable

Here’s a great example of a rambler that has so much to offer…like all of the above!  So, are ramblers the new 2-story?