Ashley Wigren

Snohomish County Real Estate & More

Tag: real estate (page 1 of 2)

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​

 

 

 

 

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!

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!!!

Make Your Home Your Sanctuary

With the arrival of the holiday season our schedules can become overloaded. There just never seems to be enough hours in the day. With that in mind, I wanted to create a blog about how we can make our home our sanctuary. So that when we do finally arrive home from  work, a party, a meeting,  we can relax and really just let the day go. As I was writing this blog and researching ideas, I kept coming back to a blog I had read on freshome.com. After some time, and a few drafts,  I realized that rather than creating my own list, this blog was perfect to share and had many more ideas than I had thought of. So please check out the full article written by Jessica featured on freshome.com. by clicking here. 

 

Here are just some of a few of the ideas presented in the article:

  • Flowers are incredibly soothing both visually and aromatically.
  • White candles add an air of calm and relaxation. Do stay away from the fragrant ones as they can often be overwhelmingly strong.
  • Lighting is so very important. Natural sunlight does wonders to one’s spirit.
  • Remove clutter. Clutter is distracting and immediately instills a sense of chaos and disorderliness.
  • Surround yourself with books and throw pillows and blankets.
  • Hardwood floors and soft area rugs can tie in furniture to help create a focal point and unity. Layering soft textures can create this effect as can fireplaces.

 

 

Take some time to sit back, relax & enjoy the holiday season.

Things to Do This Weekend Around Town!

Fall is here and Halloween is just around the corner. I thought I would take some time to share with you a few cool things that are going on around Snohomish County this weekend that are not your average pumpkin patch and corn maze. Have some fun and enjoy!

Friday 21st 

 

What: Unexpected Productions Presents Haunted Doorways

Description: Haunted Doorways is a theatre production of a ghoulish game show. This runs for two weekends only!

When: 8:05 PM – 10:00 PM

Where: Black Box Theatre at Edmonds Community College

Contact: jennifer.matthews@email.edcc.edu

More Info: Click here

Saturday 22nd

 

 

What: Everett Massacre Centennial Events Day 2

Description: This one might be my favorite and they have a bunch of other dates! Everett Public Library presents a series of programs on the centennial year of the Everett Massacre events that took place November 5th 1916.

When: 1:00 PM

Where: Everett Public Library

More Info: Click here

Sunday 

 

What: Watch the Hawks for Sunday Night Football on the big screen.

Description: This event is free. There are adult beverages and a meal available for purchase!

When: 5:30 PM

Where: Everett Historic Everett Theatre

More info: Click here 

 

Monday 24th

What: The Bride of Frankenstein

Description: This was the 1935 American Sci Fi Horror film classic, the first sequel to Frankenstein.

When: 6:00 PM

Where: The Marysville Opera House

More Info:  lwoodmansee@marysvillewa.gov

 

October Housing Update for Snohomish County

Last month we saw the best September ever!  Inventory is still low, we are at about 1.4 month of supply in our county. But we are seeing a slight decrease in the amount of multiple offer situations for new listings. So if buyers have missed out in the past they can feel more confident moving into fall getting their offer accepted. And 68% of all homes are selling within the first 30 days on market which is excellent for sellers!!!

Check out the infographic below for more details.

snohomishcounty_october2016

September Housing Update for Snohomish County

Our market here in Snohomish County is still intense!  Last month the amount of pending home sales outnumbered new listings. So the countdown to November has begun! A decrease in new listings will begin in November and typically  lasts through about the end of February. The best opportunity for home buyers will be in the next 60 days while more inventory is still available.  See the infographic below for more info!

pdf

 

3 Things to Remember When you Purchase a Home

So you decided to buy a house and you are ready to close. This time can be very exciting and stressful since so many things are going on. Packing, moving, changing utilities over, maybe even switching schools…  When you do purchase a home please make sure to remember these 3 things.

 

1. Sellers Do Not Clean the Way Professionals Do

Many times when I am doing a final walk through with a client or after the house has closed, buyers comment on the uncleanliness of the home. I recommend getting a professional cleaner into the home BEFORE you move in. Personally, I give my buyers a closing gift and this has been something that I have gifted in the past. Sellers will never clean the house the way you want and that’s okay, just prepare for it and hire it out before your belongings move in! A lot of companies clean vacant homes at very reasonable prices that vary with square footage.

 

2. Get a Home Warranty

If the house you purchased did not come with a home warranty; buy one. Lets face it, being a home owner means you are responsible for everything in your home. No more calling a landlord to fix the problem. It is your problem and things can and do malfunction. Home warranties cost $300-$500, so at most, it will cost you maybe $40/month. This will give you a peace of mind knowing that if something stops working, like a water heater, washer/dryer, AC, you can pay $60 to have someone come out and repair or replace it! You also can extend the warranty after the 1 year mark with a lot of companies. Click here for the blog I wrote on home warranties.

 

3. Change the Locks

Call a locksmith and schedule an appointment. You never know who has keys to your house. The sellers may have given family, friends, or even neighbors keys at some point. This cost can range but expect to pay around $200. You can also reprogram the garage door openers. Garage door manuals are readily available online, if the homeowner did not leave one.

 

 

Becoming a home owner comes with its share of responsibilities. But it also comes with the freedom to never have to rent again and pay someone else’s mortgage for them. I think one of the biggest pieces of advice that I can give to a new home owner is to be excited.  You maneuvered through the home buying process and can now enjoy your new home. Making new memories, laughing with friends & family, having a pride of ownership… You did it, now enjoy it!

 

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