Ashley Wigren

Snohomish County Real Estate & More

September Housing Market Update for Snohomish County

Wow. The housing market was crazy this summer around Snohomish County. It was the best summer on record for sales activity. So now what? Looking ahead, new listings will continue to drop by about 20% in September and October. So for buyers, the best opportunity for selection and availability is right now before winter comes.  And we all know winter is coming…

  • June, July and August had record number of transactions
  • September and October will be the best time for buyers
  • New listings will drop another 30% in winter
  • Interest rates are the lowest they have been since last November​

 

 

 

 

Snohomish County Housing Market Update for August

Snohomish County is still experiencing a hot real estate market. Sellers are in a great position to get top dollar for their homes. And we have buyers coming into the market place daily due to the low interest rates. We have seen more inventory come on in the higher priced homes in our area.  This summer is turning out to be one of the hottest real estate markets we have ever seen in our area!

See the infographic below for more information. If you have other questions or need more specific info just ask! You can text, email or call!

www.ashleywigren.com

 

July Housing Market Update for Snohomish County

On a monthly basis, during this time of year we see more listings coming on the market than pending sales, and June didn’t disappoint.

Buyers: The increase in the number of new listings, coupled with fewer offers for each individual property,  means more choices and little breathing room for the backlog of buyers who have been waiting to buy a home.

Sellers: The sales activity remains at a frenzy level for new listings selling in the first 30 days, although slightly less intense for each property. Sellers need to be market-ready in order to get the best price.

Check out the infographic below for more information!

My Afternoon at 190 Sunset

Recently I spent the afternoon enjoying happy hour at 190 Sunset located in Edmonds. When you first arrive you enter into the Cascadia Art Museum and see a long corridor. The restaurant is located between Brigid’s Bottleshop and  Scratch distillery. As you enter the restaurant, you first walk past the kitchen then into the dining and bar area. It felt very relaxed while still feeling modern. According to their website the atmosphere is “urban and casual“.

I visited in the early afternoon around 4:00PM on a Monday. We sat up at a higher table in the bar. There were about 5 people there when we arrived. I went with two others and we decided on ordering a few small plates, a couple drinks and dessert, of course. We ordered the pork and fish tacos, lobster macaroni & cheese, BBQ shrimp, green salad, and the chocolate hazelnut mousse cake.  All of the food we ordered came out fast. My favorite was the BBQ shrimp. The grits were cooked perfectly. Also, if you go you MUST get the chocolate hazelnut mousse cake. The two sitting closest to us, asked us what it was and we insisted they order one. They ordered it and said it was to die for.  I ordered one of their signature drinks the Sparkling Nightshade. I planned on trying their Violet Hour Cosmopolitan afterwards, but Sparkling Nightshade was so good, I stuck with it.

Halibut Tacos. The mango-pineapple habanero pico was bomb.com

BBQ Shrimp. With creole seasoning & country boy IPA over four cheese grits. My favorite!!!

190 Sunset House Salad

Pork Tacos. Served with tomatillo chimichurri pico de gallo.

Sparkling Nightshade. Sparkling brut, fresh lemon juice & parfait amour.

Chocolate Hazelnut Mousse Cake. This had espresso meringues and salted caramel, YUM!

They have a very large, inviting outdoor space, some tables even had fireplaces. Which I love, because I am ALWAYS cold. The outdoor area will be perfect for spending summer afternoons and evenings with friends. The space outside can accommodate up 75 guests and would be an ideal location for hosting an event.

I think my favorite part of this pace was the atmosphere. It felt very cool & calm. One of their signature drinks is named the Netflix & Chill.  On my next visit, I plan to go on a Friday night for dinner and try the Pan Seared Alaskan Halibut.  I highly recommend giving this place a try. If you do, please let me know what you thought! I also will be trying Brigid’s Bottleshop, which serves specialty beers so stay tuned…

Below are a few more photos from my visit!

 

Things To Do This Weekend Around Town

Looking for something to do? You don’t have to go far! I have picked my top 3 things to do around town. So stay local, have fun and enjoy your weekend!

 

1. Food Truck Friday

Located in Downtown Everett on Wetmore enjoy food trucks form 11:00AM-2:00PM. This is a pilot program that has been running every Friday since November. If you have not been go check it out! This Friday you can choose from either Express Mexican Grill or Big Dogs. You an also check out the upcoming vendors by clicking here. 

 

 

2.Indoor Paddle Board Yoga

Located in Everett at the Forest Park swimming pool this Saturday from 10:00AM-11:00AM. The cost is $25 and you can register by clicking here or you can call 425-257-8300 to reserve your spot.

 

 

3. Big Four Mountain Snowshoe

Ever been snowshoeing? If not here is your chance to check it out. This Sunday from 8:30AM -2:30PM, take a snowshoe trek guided by a park ranger! A $20.00 donation is suggested. You can make reservations by clicking here or by calling 360.436.1155. Snow shoes are provided! Just show up to Verlot Public Service Center. Bring some water and lunch. Make sure you wear water proof clothing and also bring a fresh pari of socks to change into on the ride home 🙂

 

Have fun!!!

 

 

Snohomish County Housing Update for February

Over the last couple of months we have seen a higher sales activity than new listings, which means we are still lacking houses to sell. February is always the bridge month between the winter and spring markets. So very soon, we will start to see an increase in the number of new listings coming on the market. So homebuyers there is hope, don’t give up! And sellers, if you are ready, now is the time to sell. See infographic below for more infmoration!

As always, if you have any questions I am here to help. You can post in the comment section, send me an email, or tex/call. I am always here to help. Each county is different so if you are interested in King County data, just let know!

 

My Afternoon at The Lotus Lounge

After months of driving by & waiting for it it to open, I finally made it to The Lotus Lounge, an Asian Bistro and bar.  The restaurant serves sushi and other asian fare. I met a friend for a late lunch.  We ended up staying for a long time catching up, having excellent food, delicious drinks & great service.

The restaurant has two levels. Downstairs is for all ages. It is small downstairs. When my friend first arrived she didnt know that there was an upstairs and could not find me. The upstairs is the lounge area. Very open feel. There is bar that people can sit at. They have smaller tables looking over Silverlake. Also, there is a back room area with other tables, that could be easily be used for larger party if needed. Click here for their FB page.

The menu offers something for everyone. It was really hard for us to decide. My friend was a good sport & didn’t order anything with meat since I am a vegetarian.

 

 

Appetizer

We ordered the Jalepeno Bomb. This was like a jalepeno popper but a 100x better. I really like spicy food, but my friend doesn’t and we both enjoyed this very much. Make sure you order this when you go. You will not be disappointed.

Dumplings

We ordered the shrimp dumplings. The order came with 10. We ate every single one. They also have pork or chicken options as well.

Sushi Rolls

This is when our ordering really became difficult. Every roll sounded delicious. Next time I will try the Jessica Roll & the Una-Ju Bowl. While we were there we had:

Crunch Spicy Tuna Tempura Roll. Loved this one!

Double Shrimp Roll. This was my friend’s favorite.

Drinks

I ordered the Dragon’s Kiss. Maybe more than 1, because it was so good. The drink had Prosecco, which is my favorite. I planned on trying a different drink on the menu but I liked this one so much, I stuck with it. My friend ordered the Asian Pear Martini. It had a very strong spiced flavor.

ASIAN PEAR MARTINI
Grey Goose La Poire, pear nectar, St. George spiced pear liqueur with a lime twist.

Overall my experience was very positive. The service we had was outstanding. I am excited that this place opened up. I will definitely be going back to try more of the menu.  Below are some pictures that I took while we were there.

 

The side of the building.

Bar upstairs.

Room off to the side upstairs.

View from our table.

Lounge area upstairs.

The Top 3 Things You Need to Know About the Real Estate Market in Snohomish County Right Now

Whether you are wanting to buy or sell your home the best thing that you can do is educate yourself. Learn the process, hire a relator, and know your market! In Snohomish County these are the top 3 things that will help you succeed in your real estate transaction.

1. We are in a Seller’s Market

So what is a seller’s market and how do we know that we are in one. Currently in Snohomish County we are at about 1 months of inventory. And that is down nearly 16% from last month!! Typically anything that is 3% or less is a seller’s market. Anything 3-5% is a neutral market, and anything above 6% is a buyer’s market. This is so great for sellers! Less inventory, means less competition, which can drive home values up. Which is what everyone is seeing right now.  So if you are thinking about or wanting to sell your home, now is the time to do it. So, that’s all good for sellers, but what if you are a buyer? Does that mean you are screwed and are paying too much for a house? Does that mean buyer’s should wait to purchase until more inventory becomes available? The answer to that is no.  The reason  the answer is no, is because  a buyer’s purchasing power is still strong due to the low interest rates that we are currently experiencing and we do not know how long that will last, see #2.

 

2. Interest Rates are Still at Historic Lows

Currently the interest rate on a 30 year fixed is at 4.05%. To put that into perspective this same time in 1997 it was at 7.82%. Then in January of 2007 it was at 6.22%.

So, all of those numbers are great, but what does that mean for buyers?  Simply put, this gives buyers more buying power, more bang for their buck! Lets break it down:

  • Home price: $350,000
  • 30-year fixed rate: 4%.
  • Total payment: $1,503.86/month plus taxes, homeowner’s insurance and PMI

Now lets take a look at the same price with a higher rate:

  • Home price: $350,000
  • 30-year fixed rate: 4.5%
  • $1,596.06/month

While $92 extra  month does not seem like a lot, it is!That extra $92.20/month is $33,191.54 over the 30-year life of your mortgage. If rates climb to 5% the incremental cost jumps to $184.40/month and $66,383.08 over 30 years!!! Click here for link to article.

 

 

3. The Average Days on Market is 38 Days

Currently in Snohomish County the average days on market for homes is 38 days. This may seem like a long time. After all, we know we have a shortage of inventory and willing and able buyers so what gives? First of all, let me say that this is an average of all sales in all of Snohomish County, Including short sales, foreclosed properties and all price ranges & areas. I also believe this may be a result of sellers over pricing their homes, causing them to stay on the market longer. Click here for link to graph.

If you are a seller, the reason why you need to know this, is to make sure your price your home correctly. And more importantly make sure that your relator will tell you what price is too high. When homes are listed too high,  they just will not sell, no matter what the market is like. And if you do get a buyer, the appraisal will not support the price.

If you are a buyer, the reason why you need to know this is because if things are priced correctly, they move fast in this market. It is not unheard of to have a home receive multiple offers on the first day of listing. Make sure that your realtor understands your market and knows the value of the home you wish to purchase.

Snohomish County Cumulative Days on Market

  • $200,000-299,000- 38 days
  • $300,000-399,000- 34 days
  • $400,000-499,000- 37 days
  • $500,000-599,000- 38 days
  • $600,000- 699,000- 39 days

 

Summary

Being prepared for what to expect in the market will help you through the process, whether you are buying or selling. Hire the right professional to guide you through. And remember, the more you know, the better.

 

Why You Need Loan Pre Approval

The Story:

Recently I received a request to show a home to a new client. She was referred to me from a past client of mine. She had been looking online at homes for quite some time and saw one she loved and wanted to see the inside and submit an offer.  The very first thing I asked was if she was pre approved and who her lender was. This buyer was not pre approved. She said she knew what price range she could afford from doing an online mortgage calculator. I explained that I could show her the house, but that she needed to talk to a lender immediately and get pre approved first. I gave her a referral of a lender that I trusted . She contacted him and applied online. Three days later I showed her the house and we submitted an offer.

Moral of the Story:

You have to be pre approved prior to looking at houses. I do not think any good realtor would show a buyer a home until they were pre approved.

I have pre approval discussions with clients all of the time so I thought it was time to put some information into one place so buyers understand why. If you have any questions just comment below and I will reply!

 

 

 

Potentially Sets the Buyer up for Disappointment

What if the relator showed the buyer a house that ended up being way out of their price range? Now that buyer is going to compare every other home that they view, that is in their price range, to the first one the realtor showed them that was out of their price range.

 

 

Find Issues or Mistakes with Your Credit Report

Getting pre approved means that your lender looks at your credit history. What if something shows up that is inaccurate? Or what if something shows up that you had no idea about? For example, I had a client learn in the pre approval process that their ex spouse did not pay the mortgage as ordered in the divorce.  The wife’s credit report showed it as a default on her and she was not able to obtain a loan. She had no idea!!!  I have also had clients find issues of identity theft in their report. It is better to get all of these issues resolved prior to finding a home. Not only will it save the buyer time it will also save the buyer money.  There is no point in paying for an inspection, or possibly appraisal,  on a house that you cannot buy.

 

 

Purchase Price

This one is pretty obvious but it is very important that the realtor knows the amount the buyer is approved for. A buyer should not be looking at houses that are $400,000 when they are only approved for up to $350,000. Also, very important to note just because the buyer is pre approved for $400,000 does not mean the buyer should spend that much. The lender can tell the buyer how much their payment would be at different price points.  A buyer needs to be in a position where they can budget for the new expenses that come with homeownership. A buyer also needs to be make sure that can still afford to do the things they enjoy.  There is no sense in buying a home that you cannot afford to furnish or replace a water heater if it goes out.

 

 

 

Type of Loan

The type of loan that the buyer qualifies for or chooses to use, will play an important part of being able to purchase a home. Some homes will not qualify for an FHA home loan. Some homes are cash only. What if the buyer is eligible for a conventional loan but they can keep more cash on hand if they go FHA? The only way the buyer will know this is if they are preapproved. This will also make a big difference in how the realtor writes you offer which I talk about in closing costs portion below.

 

 

Down Payment Amount

Differnet loan types require different down payment amounts. Is the buyer going conventional with 20% down? Is the buyer going FHA with a down payment assistance program? How much cash total does the buyer have to go towards the entire home purchase? There are also closing costs that need to be paid in cash that the buyer needs to consider. Say for example you have a house you like that is $300,000. 20% down is $60,000. Then closing costs can be around 3% of purchase price so that could be $9,000. So you would need $69,000 cash to use a conventional loan.  But if you go FHA you would only need 3% downpayment which would be $9,000. Then closing costs could be around 3%  of purchase price  which is also $9,000. So you are looking at $18,000 cash to close. Same house, same price. But a big difference in cash you will need to close. Remember, sellers cannot assist buyers with down payment. Sellers can however assist with closing costs. See closing costs section.

 

 

Closing Costs

Typically closing costs are around 3% of a purchase price. This can vary, that is why a buyer needs to talk to a lender to find out how much they are. A buyer can ask the seller to contribute money towards closing costs. This is called a seller concession. So lets take a look at how that would work using a the above example. Lets say the house is $300,000 and you have to pay $9,000 in closing costs. You have decided to offer full price.  When you submit your offer you could do this two ways.

  1. You can offer purchase price of $300,000 with seller paying nothing towards closing costs.
  2. Or you can offer purchase price of $309,000 with the seller paying $9,000 towards closing costs.

Both scenarios net the seller  full price, $300,0000. So why would you want the seller to pay all of the closing costs. It can be helpful  for a buyer to keep as much cash as they can. Maybe they want to buy furniture for the new home. Maybe they want to replace the carpet. Maybe they want to paint their new home. Rolling the closing costs into the purchase price can be very helpful! The lender can tell the buyer how much that will increase their monthly payment. It may only  increase your mortgage $20 extra every month to go from $300,000 to $309,000.

 

 

Closing Timeline

A good realtor will talk to your lender about closing timeline prior to submitting an offer. Some loans can close in 20 days. Other loans need 45 days to close. This is important when it comes to presenting the offer. If the house is vacant the sellers may desire a quick close, and 20 days would be ideal. Now lets say that the house is owner occupied and they prefer a longer close like 45 days so they can start looking for their new home and move everything out. Those owners would not care if your lender cuddle close in 20 days. Buyers also do not want to put 20 days into the offer,  only to find out later that the lender needs another 10 days to close the loan. The seller may only agree to an extension  if the buyer pays additional costs and fees.

 

 

Summary

There are many reasons why buyers need to be pre approved before viewing homes & submitting offers. Hopefully this post will help buyers understand why pre approval is important.The purpose of my blog is to provide my clients with useful information. I firmly believe the more that I can inform my clients the better!

 

January Housing Update for Snohomish County

2016 set a new record for the best ever sales activity in our region! At the end of the year we saw a huge increase in the number of houses that were selling compared to the number of new listings that were coming on the market. Basically a mini surge. Most likely fueled by the increase in interest rates. Buyers wanted to get into a home before interest rates were raised.  The good news for buyers is that interest rates are still historically low. Which means they can get into a home at  good rate and stop renting. On the flip side, the good news for sellers is that there is a backlog of well qualified buyers just waiting to get into a home.  Sellers are still getting multiple offers on their property if they are priced correctly.  Ending 2016 and rolling into January 2017 here are some things that stood out to me:

  • 1 month of inventory
  • Interest rates at 4.05%
  • 68% more homes were sold than were listed in December
  • Backlog of buyers is creating a severe shortage of homes for sale in the more affordable price ranges

We will continue to see more listings come onto the market as we get closer to February. This will be just in time for the spring housing market rush.  Check out the infographic below for more information. If you want this information for any other county just let me know!!!

« Older posts

© 2019 Ashley Wigren

Theme by Anders NorenUp ↑