Thursday, April 05, 2012
The Magnolia Art Show will be hosting a Spring Reception to feature the work of past art show winners. It will be held at Museum Quality Framing in Magnolia on May 5th from 5 to 8 PM. Featured artists include David Harrison, Lee Henrickson, John Marzulli, James McFarlane, Lisa Petit, Bruce Savadow, and Brom Wikstrom. Learn more about the Magnolia Art Show at www.MagnoliaSummerFest.org.
Monday, March 26, 2012
When comparing February of 2012 to prior years more buyers have entered the market with 172 homes pending, and 82 homes closed. At the same time the number of active listings has steadily decreased from 467 in 2009 to 170 in 2012, and the average days on market for a home to sell was down to 57 days.
We are in a market where the number of listings available is way down while the interest to buy is way up. When comparing the number of active listings to the number of pending listings a ratio can be created. The ratio in February was at 101% and the ratio in the second week of March was 170%. 55% and up is considered a Seller’s Market. So as you see it is a hot Seller’s Market. For homes that are priced right it is not uncommon to see multiple offers and listing price to sales price ratios of over 100%.
Keep in mind, these statistics are averages. Some price ranges are more active than others. Currently the hottest price range is $350K to $400K, while is is slow over 1.25 million.
Now for some bad news…The median home price was down 9% to $415,500 when comparing February of 2007 to February of 2012. However, it is up from the low 2010 and 2011.
With home values lower and mortgage interest rates hovering around 4% the monthly mortgage payment for a home has become much more affordable. In King County it is cheaper to purchase and pay the monthly mortgage of the average home than it is to rent it.
Northwest Seattle includes the neighborhoods of Ballard, Fremont, Wallingford, Green Lake, Phinney Ridge, Loyal Heights, Sunset Hill, Crown Hill, Greenwood, Blue Ridge, Broadview, Bitterlake and more.
Thursday, March 22, 2012
When comparing February of 2012 to past years, more home buyers entered the market with 54 pending listings. This is up from 38 in January.
Month to month closed sales remained flat with 25 home closed. While the number of active listings moved up slightly from January but remains low when compared to prior years. The average days-on-market for a home to sell was 116 days. Up significantly from January. The absorption rate was at 4.92% making a 5 month supply of homes. Normal is 6 months.
When comparing the number of active listings to the number of pending a ratio can be created. This is a good indicator of what home buyers are doing and how active the market is. The ratio of active and pending listings in February moved up to 46%. The ratio for the 2nd week of March was 67%. This is a sign that the market is shifting from a Buyer’s Market to a Seller’s Market. The supply of homes on the market is low and the demand is on the rise.
Keep in mind, these statistics are averages. Some price ranges are more active than others. The hottest price range is $450,000 to $500,000. While the market is slow above $1.25 million.
In the last 6 years the median home price has moved down 15% to $475,000.
As I mentioned last month, home values and mortgage interest rates are low. The monthly mortgage payment for a home has become much more affordable.
Tuesday, March 20, 2012
In this video Andrew L. Parker with RE/MAX Metro Realty and Craig Walker with Cascade Mortgage discuss loan limits, jumbo loans and renting versus owning.
The type of loan one gets depends on the amount of the loan. In Seattle, Washington, a loan would be considered “Conforming” if the value is less than $417,000. It would be considered a “Conforming Jumbo” if it is valued between $417,000 and $506,000. While it would be considered a “Jumbo” if it is valued above $506,000.
With home interest rates and home values down, more buyers are entering the market. In King County is has become more affordable to pay the monthly mortgage payment for the average home than it is to rent the average home.
Monday, March 12, 2012
In this video Andrew L. Parker with RE/MAX Metro Realty and Craig Walker with Cascade Mortgage discuss home mortgage interest rates, refinancing a home, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and refinancing a with second mortgage.
Home mortgage interest rates are currently hovering around 4% to 4.25% for most borrowers. Current and future rates are based on the value of mortgage backed securities. When economic data is weaker than expected bond prices typically move up and interest rates go down. When economic data is stronger than expected bond prices typically move down and interest rates go up. Rates will very week by week and day by day.
Refinancing a Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac loan tends to be straight forward, even if the loan to value (LTV) is at or is slightly above 100%. New mortgages with a LTV of over 80% will not need mortgage insurance with these programs.
On March 12th and 19th, 2012, the loan to value limit of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac loans will be expanded to unlimited. Which means a home owner with a loan to value of over 100% will be able to refinance.
If a home has a second mortgage when a borrower wants to refinance the first, the second would need to become subordinate to the new first. Meaning it would need to remain in second position. If the lender holding the second will subordinate, it will need to be paid off.
Currently there are no programs to help home owners who want to refinance a home loan that is not backed by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac. President Obama proposed giving relief to these homeowners in his State of the Union Address, but there is no help until it is put into law. To refinance there would need to be a LTV of 80% based on an appraisal of the home. There are programs available to refinance with a LTV of up to 95% but mortgage insurance is required.
Tuesday, March 06, 2012
Andrew L. Parker joined the Seattle office of RE/MAX in 2003 and offers both an outstanding level of real estate knowledge and an exceptional level of professionalism. Andrew is a licensed real estate broker and a regular top producer with over 12 years experience in the real estate business. He has participated in a range of real estate transactions, including residential properties, condos, rental properties, etc in King and Snohomish Counties. His relationships and local experience, combined with RE/MAX national resources, present an exclusive benefit to HIS clients.
Originally from Boise, Idaho, Andrew has lived in Seattle since 1986 and has a home in Queen Anne where he and his family relax and enjoy walking in the neighborhood and bike riding on the Burk-Gillman trail. He studied music at Cornish College of the Arts and received a degree in jazz performance in 1996. Although his career as a Realtor is his primary focus, Andrew continues to write and perform music. Boating is another way Andrew enjoys spending his time. Whether he is reefing the sails in some heavy weather or relaxing, being out on the water is Andrew's favorite place to be.
Navigating the multifaceted decisions needed in today’s real estate market requires an agent with dedication, experience, and professionalism. Andrew is devoted to service with an emphasis on accountability, reliability, and enthusiasm. Especially during shifting market cycles, Andrew provides his clients all the information they will need to help them make informed real estate investment decisions.
The power of relationships and the experience to know how to get things done is the foundation of a successful real estate transaction. Andrew is well regarded by his peers and has created valuable working relationships with other professionals in the business, including title companies, attorneys, lenders and appraisers.
Tuesday, February 28, 2012
The real estate market in Seattle, Washington neighborhoods of Queen Anne and Magnolia appears to be shifting from a Buyer's Market to a Balanced Market. The supply of homes is low and the demand is rising. When comparing January of 2007 to January of 2012 the median home price is up 1%. With home prices lower and mortgage interest rates around 4%, in King County the monthly mortgage payment is less expensive than the monthly rent for the average home.
Saturday, February 25, 2012
The real estate market in Northwest Seattle appears to be shifting from a Buyer's Market to a Seller's Market. The supply of homes is low and the demand is high. However, when comparing January of 2007 to January of 2012 the median home price is down 19%. With home prices lower and mortgage interest rates around 4%, in King County the monthly mortgage payment is less expensive than the monthly rent for the average home
Tuesday, February 21, 2012
When making an offer to buy a home it is important to get yourself in the right mindset. This video was made to help coach home buyers with negociating stratagies for making a strong offer on real estate.
Thursday, February 16, 2012
With every real estate transaction that is funded with a loan, an appraisal is ordered to justify the value. This is to help protect the interests of the Buyer and the Lender. An Appraiser is hired to look at the property and compared it to others that have sold recently in the area. A value is then placed on the property. Once complete, the appraisal is then sent to an Appraisal Management Company to review the appraisal and compare it to the MLS Listing and the County Records.
All parties want an appraisal that is at or above the purchase price. If the value of the appraisal is less than the purchase price, the Lender will not fund the loan. In this case, the appraisal can be challenged if there is an error and the price adjusted. Otherwise, the Seller will need to sell the home for less, the Buyer will need to pay a larger down payment, or the sale fails.
Homeowners who remodel or update their homes significantly without getting the proper local permits may have difficulty selling. The change may cause a red flag for the Appraisal Management Company who may not approve the appraisal. At which point the Homeowner would need to get the updates permitted, or the home would need to be reappraised without the updates. These two options are not ideal. To save time and money it is best to get permits during construction.
Thank you, Craig Walker with Cascade Mortgage for help with this video. Craig may be reached at 206-999-5600 or visit www.cascademc.com/content/cw.
Sunday, February 12, 2012
Artists are invited to submit up to three works each that represents the theme of Summerfest. From all of the entries, one art work will be selected to be the official artistic representation of the 2012 Summerfest. The winning image will be the backdrop for the 11" X 17" poster and will be featured on this website and on the cover of the Official Summerfest Program. The winning artist is also entitled to a free 10' X 10' booth at the Festival, August 3rd & 4th.
For more information visit www.MagnoliaArtShow.org
Saturday, February 04, 2012
The decision to rent a home versus own a home is one that receives a lot of attention. The correct answer depends on a person’s situation.
Renting is a better option for those who need flexibility. If you expect to move within a couple years or you are uncertain of your employment, renting is likely the better option.
For those who expect to live in the same area for 5 or more years and have job security, owning a home is something to seriously consider because over the long term it is financially better.
Currently in Seattle, Washington, the cost of renting is increasing because vacancy rates are dropping, as the cost of owning a home is decreasing. On a monthly basis it is cheaper to own than rent.
In King County, home values are down 8% and condominium values are down 22% in the last 12 months. In addition mortgage interest rates are at historic lows, averaging just above 4%. The median home in King County sold for $349,950 and the median condominium sold for $195,000 last fall.
With a 10% down payment, the monthly mortgage for the median priced single-family home is $1,522 per month, while the cost of renting a typical house is $1,930 per month. The median condo would have a mortgage payment of $849 per month, while the cost of renting a typical apartment is $1300 per month.
Now may be a good time to contact a Realtor to explore options.
Friday, February 03, 2012
Here is a story about Aaron Von Snicklefritz a dog my family had before I was old enough to remember. When growing up I loved to hear about the crazy things he did. Recently, my mother told my daughter about him. She laughed with glee.
Aaron Von Snickle Fritz was a bad dog!
Aaron Von Snicklefritz charged threw the house and knocked down the children. "BAD DOG!"
Aaron Von Snicklefritz ran off and was gone for days. We’d search the neighborhood calling, “Aaron Von Snicklefritz!... Aaron Von Snicklefritz!... Aaron Von Snicklefritz!” When Aaron Von Snicklefritz came back he was dirty and stinky. "Yuck! BAD DOG!"
Aaron Von Snicklefritz chased and ate all the chickens in the chicken coop. "BAD DOG!"
Aaron Von Snicklefritz broke the window of the house to get to Lady who was in heat. "BAD DOG!"
Aaron Von Snicklefritz chewed his way out of the garage. "BAD DOG!"
The ad read, “One dog too many. Aaron Von Snicklefritz must go!” The farmer came and said, “Aaron Von Snicklefritz get in the truck!” and he did… “By…by Aaron Von Snicklefritz…GOOD DOG!”