If you have been following the local news you are probably aware that our torrid hot real estate market is shifting. What should we make of this? Is this 2008 to 2012 all over again? The good news is no.Historically, our real estate market fluctuates with 5-to-7-year up-cycles and then takes a 6-to-12-month breather where prices may drop 5-to-10-percent before heading back up for another 5-to-7-year-up-cycle. This shift can happen quickly and that is exactly what happened this time. Back in December, clients were asking me how long the crazy market would last and my response was that I saw no indication of an end, yet a few short months later, it happened. This is a macro-trend and it is important to know that each neighborhood has its own micro-trend dynamics and degree of change.
Seattleites know how hot the real estate market is right now and are closely monitoring the conditions of their neighborhood. The market is changing quickly and many of my friends and clients are wondering if it’s the right time to buy or sell.
Most people have a short-term mentality when it comes to real estate, but they should have a long-term mentality. Real estate should always be a long-term investment.
When to Buy
It doesn’t matter when you buy an investment property in the long run. Every time you sell a home, it costs you about 8.5%, so each investment you make is more profitable the longer that you own it. It’s always a good time to buy a property that you will hold onto for a long time!
Where to Buy
You should buy the right property for you, in the right location. What neighborhood do you want to invest in? What will connect with you personally? A real estate broker understands investing and can help you study the neighborhood for the long-term potential.
Residential is Different
What are you proud of owning? Buying a home for you and your family is a big financial investment. The home you choose should really depend on your quality of life, and what will serve you the longest.
For example, if you’re single and want to buy a one-bedroom condo, it might be worth stepping back and assessing the next few years. Do you want to have a live-in partner in the next 10 years? If your answer is yes, and a two-bedroom apartment is in your budget, this might be a better choice for you.
I got my start in real estate investment a handful of years ago while we were remodeling our house. We bought a little condo, located near the downtown Seattle core, to stay in during the remodel. We held onto it over the years and bought another condo shortly after. In the years that I’ve owned the properties, they have more than doubled in value, accumulating $500,000 worth of profit, plus the monthly income. Even though the real estate market is hot right now, I’m not thinking about selling. I really love owning these properties.
The biggest mistake I see investors make is buying a property that requires a lot of work. You will make less money in the time that you own the property. In the two years that I’ve owned my condos I’ve done just one full day of work, fixing small things like garbage disposals or air conditioning units. I purposely buy condos because I don’t have to worry about the roof or any major issues. Though I have to pay HOA fees, it’s worth it to me to not have to worry about the hassle. The most I ever have to do is manage the cleaning and painting that comes with each new tenant.
Many of my clients are considering investing in the real estate market and turn to me to explore different investment avenues. If you’re interested in having a conversation about real estate investment, please call me!
What do you think of when you think of Issaquah? Do you think of the big Salmon Days event? The Costco headquarters? The beautiful Olde Town neighborhood? Maybe you think of the great school system!
On June 14th, SeattlebyDesign’s Chris Kallin attended a private presentation by Jen Davis Hayes, Issaquah’s Economic Development Manager. Developer’s and tier-1 tenants were the primary audiences, but Chris learned a lot of information that might be of interest to the residential real estate investor and/or owner-occupied homebuyer!
Chris would love to share the full presentation for any interested readers, but here are a few interesting tidbits that you won’t find in the presentation:
– Issaquah boasts more C-Level executives than any other area of the Puget Sound. Astonishing, given some of the more high-profile neighborhoods one might think of first.
– Currently, 70% of the Issaquah valley floor is covered in asphalt. City planners aim to change this dramatically, by requiring structure parking in key areas and for projects of a certain scale.
– The City of Issaquah has lifted their 1.5-year moratorium on new commercial development. The goal during this time was to develop a comprehensive view of a future-Issaquah and to produce an architectural fit / urban design manual. The requisite zoning changes align with the prescriptive objectives.
– Just 9% of residents currently live and work in the city. With several anchor tenants dramatically increasing their footprint (e.g. Costco’s doubling of its corporate office space), planners hope to see this figure improve dramatically. One of the ways they aim to increase this is to add “play” to the live-work-play equation. Projects that provide entertainment value are sure to get more support from the City of Issaquah than others ignoring this element.
– A review of the presentation reveals a number of residential real estate opportunities. Areas of interest might include the area of likely ST3 light rail expansion, the soon-to-be improved transit center, and the several roads being added to the area, including at least one overpass connecting the two halves of the city bisected by I-90.
Please contact Chris Kallin if you’d like more information or a copy of the city’s presentation! You can email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
And if you’re interested in making an investment in the area, be sure to check out the Issaquah Active Projects Map: http://bit.ly/2KJNCnd
For many of us, our children have either already grown up and left home, or they will be leaving the nest soon. We are no longer interested in spending long hours keeping up our yards, and our homes are larger than what we need. If you are among those in this boat, the good news is it is a fantastic time to sell a home! The bad news is that buying a home can be challenging in the current Seattle-area housing market. If your goal is to stay in the area, there are a couple of good long-term and short-term strategies.
Many homeowners in the Seattle area are hesitant to sell their homes right now unless they can purchase their new home before selling their existing home. The Seattle housing market is the hottest real estate market in the country, with no signs of slowing down. January 2017 marked the 17th month in a row that Seattle has led the country in home price increases. Because of this, homeowners feel secure in owning a home and worry that they will not be able to find another home that they love in the hyper-competitive market. This has made low housing inventory a common theme in our area, driving up competition and prices for buyers. If you are worried about buying a new home in this market, you can explore creative methods, like a home equity line or other financing options that will allow you to purchase before you sell.
Another option is to get started on a two-year strategy. If in-city life appeals to you, purchasing a condo presale could be a good option. Developers prefer to sell future condominium homes prior to breaking ground on the project. For an empty nester that isn’t quite ready to move, there are a few excellent benefits for taking this route!
- First, you are purchasing at current market prices, which will very likely save you money in this skyrocketing housing market. All that is required is a small deposit (usually 10%) with no additional payments until closing. If our market continues to appreciate as it has, by the time you move in you will already have significant equity in the home.
- Second, you will be moving into a brand-new home that suits all your needs. Many empty nesters appreciate the smaller size of condominiums, the convenience of location, the lack of yard to care for, and the lock it and leave it lifestyle that is perfect for travelers.
- Finally, you will have plenty of time to get your home ready to sell, pack up, and downsize your belongings. This will result in maximizing the sale price of your home!
The SeattlebyDesign team is always available for consultation on your specific circumstances.
Please don’t hesitate to contact us!
This fully renovated 1910 Arts and Crafts is now on the market. This remarkable home features a formal entry way that opens to a grand living room with high ceilings, hardwood floors and a mahogany surrounded fireplace. This home is a true joy for the whole family! Kids will have loads of fun playing hide and seek in all the nooks and crannies, and adults will delight in the chef’s kitchen, wine cellar and outdoor dining area. This is truly a gem of the neighborhood.
Open House: March 3rd and 4th, from 1-4 PM.
Seattleites have been known to complain about our local transit options, or lack thereof, on a daily basis. With Seattle residents sitting in traffic for 55 hours per year, Sound Transit is a frequent topic of conversation in Seattle, especially in the neighborhoods most affected by ST3.
Sound Transit 3 (ST3) was a measure passed by voters in November 2016. This plan will almost double the size of the current light rail system, extend the Sounder rail line, as well as improve the rapid bus transit of the region.
The West Seattle and Ballard Link Extensions are part of the regional ST3 package and these neighborhoods are in the planning phase known as “early scoping”. Earlier this week West Seattle was the first neighborhood to host a Sound Transit Open House. Held at the Alki Masonic Center in the Junction, it was well-attended by passionate West Seattle representatives and stakeholders, including Deb Barker, the Stakeholder Advisory Group for the project, and City Councilmember Lisa Herbold, who is on the Elected Leadership Group. Roughly 200 people gathered to hear a presentation and pour over route maps and rough renderings. Attendees debated both with Sound Transit officials, as well as one another, about ways to improve upon the existing plan. Sound Transit officials collected notes, comment cards, and exit surveys.
Here are few interesting takeaways from the West Seattle Open House:
1) West Seattle residents have made it clear to Sound Transit officials that they needed to speed up the building process. Citizens of King County overwhelmingly voted to approve ST3 (at great expense) and the feedback that Sound Transit received was that they needed to be functional much more quickly than previously planned, as many as 3-5 years more quickly. Though ST3 will be inherently faster than ST1 and ST2 (because the technology systems and construction processes have been refined) there is pressure to be faster still.
2) In order to respond to the mounting pressure, Sound Transit has modified the planning phase for ST3. Instead of putting enormous energy into route design prior to going public (and then defending it), the approach has been modified to make public a very loose representative project and then make it available for public comment. It’s clear that they’ve come to see the value of the hive mind and, moreover, that long-term inhabitants have a keen understanding and perspective to share. Exactly how much the public actually influences the route and design remains to be seen, but the new process will no-doubt increase stakeholder support.
3) This early scoping period, the only real period for public input, is very, very short. The primary messages of the Open House event were “We need your input. We depend upon your input. Now is the time to speak up!” The period for public input will end in early March. Input can be given by mail (West Seattle and Ballard Link Extensions c/o Lauren Swift, Sound Transit, 401 S Jackson St, Seattle, WA 98104), email: email@example.com, online, or in person at these neighborhood events. The Downtown Seattle Open House will be on 2/20, from 5:30-7:30, at Union Station.
November 2017 was Seattle’s 15th month leading the nation on the S&P/Case-Shiller’s Home Price Index, the nation’s pre-eminent measure of single-family home prices.
Having briefly subsided from September into October, residential prices in Seattle resumed their upward trek, with the index turning positive by 0.18% in November. The official report from Case Shiller noted that “Seattle, Las Vegas, and San Francisco reported the highest year-over-year gains among the 20 cities. In November, Seattle led the way with a 12.7% year-over-year price increase, followed by Las Vegas with a 10.6% increase, and San Francisco with a 9.1% increase.”
Our client’s Westlake floating home closed at $1,150,000! It was a pleasure working with them and we wish the new owners the best of luck in their new space.
Following a record apartment construction surge that delivered more than 12,000 new rental housing units in downtown Seattle, it’s curious that, since 2011, only 866 condominiums were added. What’s more extraordinary is that so few of those new condominiums remain available to purchase today. Simply put, 99-percent of what was built for sale in the last five years has been sold and more than two-thirds of what’s planned for delivery by 2019 is already reserved through priority pre-sale.