Periodically, we like to raise awareness of local causes. This time, we are highlighting a very inspiring project that partially originated in Seattle: Autism Compassion Africa (ACA). We think ACA is a very inspiring nonprofit organization for the following reasons:
Insights from our Broker Network
Throughout the years we have befriended many quality real estate brokers around the country and other parts of the world. In our effort to always provide the best possible service to our clients, we have built professional relationships and friendships with the best of these brokers and touch base on a regular basis to discuss how our individual regions are changing and learn about new services and technologies they’ve implemented. This year, we will share a collection of articles co-written with some of these amazing professionals.
This month, we are featuring Christy Curtis and Jane Sheppard, real estate brokers with Coldwell Banker in another beautiful part of the West Coast: Lake Tahoe and Truckee, California. Christy and Jane run a very successful and experienced team in this beautiful region.
In the last 15 years, home staging has become an integral part of selling homes in our market. While necessary, staging is also not inexpensive. In order to evaluate and justify the expense, it is important to understand how buyers make their decisions.
Whether it’s your first or your fifteenth transaction, buying a home is a significant financial decision that demands some measure of caution. Regardless of the property type, it is wise to operate from the point of view that most homes have flaws (even when they’re newly constructed). Hidden safety concerns and significant repairs can add up quick, so it’s a good best practice to avoid surprises and have a prospective home thoroughly evaluated by a certified, experienced home inspector.
My first real estate transaction as a broker was in mid-2016, when I represented a Florida-based investor who was interested in finding a condominium in downtown Seattle. The rapport I built with him was bolstered by market knowledge and later by negotiation skills—and thank goodness for that, because what I didn’t know would have had me dismissed by most. I didn’t speak the language of the investor, nor did I possess the ability to perform a legitimate financial analysis. Glaringly obvious and a little bit embarrassing, I vowed to change it.
Our client’s extraordinary floating home on Ward Cove is featured on a Curbed Seattle article titled “12 houseboats and floating homes for sale in Seattle right now.” Water views don’t get much better than this!
As the holidays draw near, I am filled by a sense of excitement, knowing I will soon celebrate with close family and friends. I hope that you too are looking forward to the holidays as we say goodbye to 2018 and ring in the new year.
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!