real estate: Real Estate Market Update and Advice for Olympia WA Sellers April 2020 During COVID-19 - 04/19/20 03:28 PM

This real estate market update is going to be a little different as we are in unprecedented times, dealing with COVID-19 and its impacts on all of us.  It has left many struggling emotionally, physically and financially.  For this report, I wanted to share with you the questions I have been receiving from my clients.
Click here to watch a recap of the most common questions I’m getting from sellers about the Olympia WA real estate market.

For some of my clients, they find themselves in a situation where they need to sell and have many questions about how to proceed next.  Others … (4 comments)

real estate: E-Notarization now allowed in Washington State - 03/26/20 08:56 AM

This week, Washington State’s Governor Inslee signed an emergency proclamation allowing e-notarizations.  Our Washington REALTORS® and other organizations worked to accelerate this order, which was already planned to be in place by October 1st of this year, but was moved up to now due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the current Stay Home, Stay Safe mandate issued earlier this week.
E-Notarizations have been available for cash buyers, but now all parties to a transaction will be able to e-sign and have the notary stamp the documents electronically.
The signers will need to appear before the notary through a Skype-like technology and will still … (4 comments)

real estate: Will real estate housing prices go down in Olympia WA due to the Coronavirus? - 03/17/20 04:22 PM

In short, probably not, and here’s why.
Supply and Demand
Olympia WA and Thurston County have the lowest standing inventory in its history.  At the end of February, Thurston County had just 242 homes listed for sale.  In contrast, a balanced market is about 1,200 listings.  Our market would need to add 1,000 listings in a month to just get to a balanced market, and even more listings would have to be added to get to a buyer’s market.

Along with this is the absorption rate in Thurston County.  Never have we been below a 1-month supply of homes for sale.

This chart below shows … (2 comments)

real estate: How is the Coronavirus affecting the Thurston County, WA real estate market? - 03/16/20 06:42 PM

It’s no doubt it has been a tough couple of weeks.  I’m hoping this soothing photo can help.
Our daily lives have been impacted and disrupted, and these times are certainly unnerving.  But as history has proved to us, we will bounce back.  We made it through many crises before and we will make it through this one.
How is the Coronavirus affecting the Thurston County, WA real estate market?
Interest Rates.  If there is a silver lining with this crisis, it is interest rates.  With the Federal Reserve’s slashing of costs to borrow, homebuyers are poised to benefit from lower interest rates.  Currently, … (2 comments)

real estate: 4204 Abigail Dr NE, Lacey, WA 98516 - golf course home for sale - 03/14/20 01:20 PM

This 4-bedroom home on a large corner lot is now for sale in the Campus Highlands area of Lacey, WA. Click here for all the details. One of the unique features of this lot is the huge driveway to the 3-car garage, which offers plenty of parking.
The Campus Highlands location in Lacey, WA is within minutes to I-5 Exit 111, shopping including Costco, Cabela's, Home Depot and Best Buy, and many restaurants and eateries.

Take a look at this walk-thru video:

The backyard is fully fenced and the owners have upgraded the yard with sprinklers, curbing, lots of native plants, solar lights and … (7 comments)

real estate: FAQ for Olympia WA Sellers - Is the First Offer the Best Offer? - 02/07/20 01:42 PM
The Olympia WA (in Thurston County) January 2020 real estate marketplace is deep in a seller’s market.  With the low inventory and fewer choices for buyers, many sellers are seeing multiple offers and are receiving offers within hours of listing.  Most offers are over the asking price when buyers are bidding on a property. 
But is the first offer the best offer?* 
There is certainly a lot of anecdotal information out there but we, at my firm, have tracked this in Thurston County so we can provide the facts to our clients.
For January 2020, sellers on average accepted the highest priced offer on … (4 comments)

real estate: Olympia WA Home Sellers See Relief in Sales Tax in 2020 - 01/09/20 12:55 PM

Starting January 1, 2020, many home sellers in Thurston County, WA will see relief in their Real Estate Excise Tax (REET) that they pay to the state of Washington when they sell their home.
In the past, most areas in Thurston County were taxed 1.78% (1.28% state tax rate + 0.50% local rate) of the sales price and were paid by the seller at the time of their home sale.
Now in 2020, the tax rate changed to a graduated structure, lowering the cost for most home sellers in Thurston County.
For a sales price of $500,000, the new combined tax rate is 1.60% … (3 comments)

real estate: Beautiful Shelton WA home for sale on 5 acres and just 1 year old! - 10/01/19 02:01 PM

Listed for $445,000, see all the details at
1051 SE Binns Swiger Loop Rd, Shelton WA 98584

This 2018 custom-built tri-level has been upgraded in the last year with even more features including:
-a new 18’ x 25’ outbuilding w/a single garage door & 220 service
-leaf guard gutters
-new GE Profile induction range & dishwasher
-designer blinds
-converted the wood-burning fireplace to a new propane fireplace

This home boasts efficiency with a heat pump providing heating and cooling, and a heat pump hot water tank, lowering energy bills.
On the main level is the master bedroom and attached 5-piece master bath with a linen … (4 comments)

real estate: 1926 69th Way SE Tumwater WA - home for sale $375,000 - 09/18/19 08:06 PM

Click here for all the details on this beautiful home.
Are you looking for a CLEAN and UPDATED home that is truly move-in ready? This Tumwater, WA home in the Deschutes River Highlands neighborhood has it all. Check out the walk-thru video.

4 bedrooms 2.25 baths 2,468 SF 2-story home built in 2010  
The owners took this standard, builder home and transformed it into a very high-end home. Did you check out the price?! All for $375,000!
Just the exterior light package alone elevates this Tumwater WA home to a higher standard.
The interior lighting is just as impressive. The owners added this night … (10 comments)

real estate: Housing in 2019 is more affordable than last year in Olympia WA - 08/27/19 01:53 PM
Buyers in Thurston County, WA (which include Olympia, Lacey, Tumwater and Yelm) are seeing higher home prices but are enjoying near-historic low interest rates, making homes more affordable now than last year at this time.
The average home price in Thurston County, WA is $371,323, up 4 percent from last year. But because interest rates have plummeted 1 percent from last year, buyers are seeing their dollars go further. 
The average-priced home of $371,323 with the national average 30-year mortgage rate of 3.55% realizes a monthly principal and interest payment of $1,678 (taxes and insurance would increase this number).  Comparing the average home … (2 comments)

real estate: Attn: Sellers in Madrona Park, Lacey WA - Buyers are looking in your neighborhood - 07/30/19 10:59 AM

Are you a homeowner in Madrona Park in Lacey, WA? As you might have seen, you live in a "hot" neighborhood where buyers are actively looking for homes to buy.

Your neighbor's home at 8836 Natooka Court SE received multiple offers on the same day, and three days later the seller decided on one of eight offers received. The home was listed at $269,900 and sold for $285,000.

Why did this home sell so fast and receive so much interest?
Seller Prepped the Home for Sale - the sellers repaired known issues, cleaned the home inside and out, improved the landscaping and created … (1 comments)

real estate: Buyers are looking for homes in the Bigelow neighborhood in East Olympia WA - 07/01/19 02:54 PM

Do you own a home in the Bigelow neighborhood and are thinking about selling?

My listing at 420 Henry Street NE, Olympia WA 98506 sold in June 2019 for $280,000 ($30,100 over the asking price), received seven formal offers with more on the way, and a bidding war ensued.  After three days of being on the market, the sellers had to decide on just one buyer.  Six buyers did not get this home and may be still looking to buy. 

What made these sellers successful in their sale?
The sellers prepped the home by cleaning it.  I cannot emphasize enough how cleaning a … (1 comments)

real estate: 5135 Hilton Lane NE, Olympia, WA 98516 Home for Sale - 04/16/19 04:43 PM

Private, peaceful botanical gardens, easy one-floor living, solar energy are just a few words to describe this immaculate home in Olympia, WA. Click here for all the details.

5135 Hilton Lane NE is located in the north Hawks Prairie area near I-5 exit 114 and is just a few minutes from the freeway for commuting.
Interested in reducing your carbon footprint? The outfit of rooftop solar panels also creates passive income for you! On average, the current owners pay $350 per YEAR for electricity AND receive an annual check for the energy sold back to the grid of $2,500 on average. (Your usage … (9 comments)

real estate: Thurston County WA where you can find affordable housing - 03/14/19 03:38 PM

The University of Washington Center for Real Estate Research in Seattle, WA publishes reports about the economy and the real estate sector in Washington State. One of their reports is the housing affordability index.

The Index tracks affordability in all Washington counties. We are tracking King (where Seattle is located), Pierce (Tacoma) and Thurston (Olympia) counties and how Thurston County compares to its northern neighbors.
The Index looks at median income and median-priced homes if the buyer was buying a home with a 20% down payment on a 30-year fixed-rate loan.
An index higher than 100 means the market is affordable; below 100 is … (4 comments)

real estate: 8724 Shepard Way NE, Lacey WA - home for sale - 03/12/19 04:32 PM
This open and bright 3-year-old home is located in Campus Peak in Lacey, WA, an ideal and convenient neighborhood with sidewalks, golf views, parks and beaches, just minutes from I-5. 
This 4-bedroom, 2.5 bath home extends over 2,100 SF of spacious elegance with upgraded hardwood floors on the main level and a modern gourmet kitchen with quartz countertops.
Backyard BBQs are a breeze in the nicely-sized fully-fenced yard and covered patio. Low maintenance and move-in ready!
Built by the reputable Rob Rice Homes, you know you'll be investing in a quality, long-lasting home for years to come.
Low maintenance yard and nearly a brand new … (5 comments)

real estate: We may do the same job but the outcome varies greatly - 03/06/19 11:01 AM

The family I helped purchase a home sent me this terrific mug in the mail - I love it! The message of "Keep calm, I'm your Realtor" hits home with these buyers of mine because they had a not-so-stellar experience with their lender, and the experience caused so much stress on them, the wife ended up quite ill.

But I'll get to the ending first. It all worked out beautifully in the end....with another lender.
Real estate professionals may all respectively do the same job but the outcome for the consumer varies greatly.
In this case, my buyers used a national lender to … (3 comments)

real estate: 4121 Abigail Ct NE, Lacey WA - 6-bedroom home for sale - 03/04/19 03:42 PM
Sharing bedrooms is a thing of the past with this SIX bedroom home!
See all the details here:
Guests may not ever leave when they come to visit you as they have their own private main floor master suite with attached ¾ bath.
This home is move-in ready and has the features you are looking for:
-Light hardwood floors on the main level
-Granite counter tops
-Wall oven/microwave combination
-Gas range with hood
-Walk-in pantry
There is also plenty of storage including a walk-in linen closet upstairs.  The master bedroom has an enviable walk-in closet, too.  Outside is a large shed that matches the home, a man-door from the 3rd … (5 comments)

real estate: Is now a good time to buy or sell in Olympia, WA for January 2019? - 02/15/19 09:28 AM

There is a lot of misinformation out there about the real estate market in Olympia, WA that is causing all kinds of problems for both buyers and sellers.  Buyers and sellers are asking, is this a good time to buy/sell? 
It’s no wonder there is so much confusion.  Even today, the real estate headline in our local paper touts how great this “balanced market” is for buyers.  Huh?  A balanced market?  This is just not correct.  The Olympia, WA market is squarely in a seller’s market. 
If buyers were solely guided by what they read in today’s paper, they would be missing out … (5 comments)

real estate: A Walk in Tenino WA - 01/27/19 05:15 PM

Looking for a great trail to walk, run or bike?  Be sure to check out the Chehalis Western Trail that runs north and south through Olympia to Rainier, WA.  This trail was a railroad line that is now a flat, paved trail, perfect for getting some fresh air and burning a few calories.
Today, we walked a couple of miles on the trail outside of Tenino. We saw a few friends along the way and stopped by the Monarch Sculpture Park.

The Monarch Sculpture Park is open to the public, seven days a week from dawn to dusk.  The sculptures in the park … (7 comments)

real estate: My Vision Board is my Thank-You Board - 01/23/19 11:38 AM

My Vision Board is my Thank-You Board
I am all in on the power of vision boards where you have a visual representation through pictures and words of your goals.  But I’m shy with my vision board as I don’t want anyone else to see it!  If I have the vision board buried under my computer keyboard or stuck in a drawer, that defeats the purpose of how a vision board works.    
My solution to having a vision board that I can display has morphed into what I now call my Thank-You Board.
I am fortunate to have an office with four walls … (29 comments)

Francine Viola, REALTOR®, In Tune with your Real Estate Needs (Coldwell Banker Evergreen Olympic Realty, Olympia WA)

Francine Viola

REALTOR®, In Tune with your Real Estate Needs

Olympia, WA

More about me…

Coldwell Banker Evergreen Olympic Realty, Olympia WA

Address: 3333 Capitol Blvd S, Olympia, WA, 98501

Mobile: (360) 359-0689

Email Me




RSS 2.0 Feed for this blog