Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Great Quote

" do my duty in this world as well as I am capable of performing it, and to merit the good opinion of all men." George Washington

Monday, February 18, 2008

Conforming Loan Limit

Both congress and the Bush administration have agreed to raise the conforming loan limit until the end of the year. This change is part of the economic stimulus package that was approved by congress recently.

For the greater Seattle area (Seattle, Tacoma, Bellevue) it looks like the new formula for determining this limit will be calculated based on the median home price. Fannie, Freddie and the FHA will be allowed to guarantee loans of up to 125% of that value.

From the information I've gathered the greater Seattle area has a median home price of $394,700, which would raise the conforming loan limit to $493,375.

Currently the difference between a conforming loan and a jumbo interest rate is about 1%, which is a lot. For example, a buyer who wishes to purchase a home with a 5% down payment with a 30 year fixed conforming mortgage at 5.75% for $437,850 would have a monthly principle and interest payment of $2,427. However if the purchase price of the home was $437,851 a jumbo loan would be required and the interest rate would likely be about 6.75%. Changing the month payment to $2,698. A difference of $271!

With the change to the conforming loan limit a buyer with a 5% down payment would be able to purchase a home for up to $518,000. Since this is a conforming loan the interest rate would be about 1% less than what is currently available, which could potentially save them $320 per month.

If you are considering purchasing a home for over $440,000 but under $518,000 it may be worth your while to wait until this change has taken effect. As more information becomes available on this topic I'll be sure to provide updates.

Friday, February 08, 2008

Seattle Real Estate Market Review

The number of home sales for January 2008 in the greater Queen Anne, Magnolia, Ballard, and Greenlake areas continues to be off by close to 1/3 as compared to January 2007, but homes are continuing to appreciate!

The average home sold for 6% more and the median home sold for 4% more than in January 2007. Homes that were priced right continued to sell well. The 40 homes that sold within the first 30 days of the listing date were purchased for just under 100% of the listing price (% sp/lp). While the 25 homes that sold between 31 to 60 days were purchased for approximately 97% (% sp/lp). A note to sellers: price your home right. It will save you time and money.

It's possible to speculate that the real estate market may have bottomed out in October of 2007. In the coming months we'll know. Typically home sales increase after the holidays. I expect things to pick up in the spring and summer and then cool back off next fall and winter.

This winter is a great time to buy. The real estate market is unlikely to crash in Seattle as it has in other areas of the country. The economy is good, job growth is good, and experts estimate 135,000 more people to move to Seattle in the next 5 years.

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Louis Anderson at the Ballard Art Walk February 2008

I'll be hosting artist Louis Anderson at the next Ballard Art Walk. It is on Saturday the 9th of February from 6 to 9 PM at the FORUM CENTER. To preview the show go to:

Big Climb for Leukemia

Join my Team!!!

I'm putting together a team to do the Big Climb for Leukemia which is on Sunday March 16th. This is the 4th year RE/MAX Mutual Realty and I have been involved and to date we have raised over $6,000!

It is a New Year and this event is a great reason to get out and exercise. If you are interested click the link below. It only costs $35.00 and there is no minimum fundraising required.

Team membership is not limited to those who work at RE/MAX.

For more information on the Big Climb go to: