Ashley Wigren

Snohomish County Real Estate & More

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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

 

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!

 

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!!!

Neighborhood Spotlight: Old Town Mukilteo

Old Town Mukilteo is one my favorite neighborhoods in Snohomish County. It has an old town feel with lots of shops, restaurants and charm. You can always find people walking their dogs, mowing their yards and waving as you drive by. Close to the ferry, Mukiteo Beach, Arnies, The Red Cup Cafe and Diamond Knot… there is a litte something for everyone to be found in Old Town Mukilteo.

 

Rose Hill Community Center

The Rosehill Community Center is a beautiful state-of-the-art building with a sweeping view of picturesque Puget Sound. Rosehill Community Center offers guests an exceptional place to hold a wedding ceremony and reception. http://www.wedding-spot.com/venue/3562/Rosehill-Community-Center/.

 

 

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John’s Grill

This is one of my favorite restaurants and I love the location. Right on 5th street with views of the Sound. They offer New York steaks, grilled cajun shrimp, pasta, and more. Their standout is their crab cake!!!! Honestly, the best that I have ever had. Happy hour is offered 4:30-6:30. They are closed on Sundays & Mondays. He even does catering!!! Do yourself  favor and check this place out and get the crab cake !http://johnsgrillmukilteo.com

 

Sorenia Skin Care & Wellness Center

In the heart of old town Mukilteo you will find Sorenia Skin Wellness, nestled inside what use to be a church 100 years ago and is now a Salon and Spa.Becky Porter is the owner and esthetician. She offers a wide variety of treatments that are tailored for exactly what you need. Whether you are looking to treat your self, do a corrective treatment, or just start treating your skin better, Becky will take care of you. She also offers an infrared sauna. When you go here you are truly pampered and feel great when you leave. http://healthyskin-dayspa.com

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Houses Full of Charm

My favorite part of Old Town Mukilteo are the houses. Each home has its own unique character that helps to make the neighborhood what it is- truly special. There are new houses, old houses, remodeled houses, a little bit of everything.  Here are some of my favorites in the pictures below.

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Incredible Views

Stunning views of the Puget Sound. The Pacific Northwest is beautiful and the views from this neighborhood really capture what The Pacific Northwest is all about.

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Current Homes On the Market

$750,000 MLS#888954

$750,000 MLS#888954

$674,950 MLS#899400

$674,950 MLS#899400

$799,000 MLS#903028

$799,000 MLS#903028

A Few Photos Around the Neighborhood

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