Have you ever wondered what happens to the earnest money deposit when residential transactions fail to close? The answer is found in a piece of legislation created by the State of Washington called the Interpleader. Intending to resolve uncertainties surrounding the proper disposition of earnest money deposits, this process was clarified for SeattlebyDesign, by one of our favorite Title & Escrow companies, and we felt obliged to share it with you. Note that earnest money can be held by title companies, escrow agents, and real estate licensees.
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!
The Queen Anne/Magnolia area of Seattle comprises these two areas as well as a western portion of South Lake Union, near Amazon’s campus. Magnolia is the site of Discovery Park and The Homes at Fort Lawton, a community of restored homes offered by Realogics Sotheby’s International Realty. This area includes The Center School, one of the top-rated public high schools in Washington. It also includes the Seattle waterfront northwest of Belltown, where F5 Networks’ headquarters are located.
We are proud to present the Market Report: Puget Sound Real Estate Trends & 2015 Year in Review, a comprehensive look at the 2015 real estate market in an exploration of seven key counties of Western Washington: King, Snohomish, Kitsap, Pierce, Jefferson and Island counties, as well as 29 neighborhoods for our current and prospective clients. The report touches on macroeconomic trends, the primary demand drivers influencing our regional real estate market in addition to micro markets that vary greatly from neighborhood to neighborhood.
October’s numbers are in and inventory continues to wane for King County residential homes, down 15% compared to last month and 40% year over year. The median listing price was just under $530K, with an average sale price of $427K, up nearly $40K compared to the previous year. Buyers came out strong, as homes were on the market for an average of just 28 days, down 30% from last year’s numbers. In downtown Seattle, condo inventory was down 15% from the previous year but rose slightly compared to last month. The median sale price held steady from month to month but was up $35K from last year’s average.