seattle real estate: 4 Home Improvements That Will Save You Money - 07/26/13 02:53 AM

Judging by the TV commercials, most home improvements are a blast. You waltz into a store, throw a bunch of new faucets and buckets of paint in your shopping cart, without sweating about the cost, then transform your dingy kitchen into something out of, well, a TV commercial.
Frequently, those TV spots are spot-on. It is fun to have a new kitchen or to show off your newly installed hardwood floors to your friends and family. But it's all too easy to forget about home improvements that will only get you a polite nod when showing them off - … (0 comments)

seattle real estate: Buyers fighting for homes as mortgage rates rise - 07/23/13 02:27 AM

June was only just a little less hot than May, at least as far as the area's real estate market was concerned, according to a new report.
Sales of houses and condos were up 14.1 percent in King County and 8.5 percent in Seattle from a year earlier, the Northwest Multiple Listing Service reported Wednesday. That's a lot, but less than May's increases of 19.3 percent and 21.4 percent, respectively.
New listings and slightly lower sales boosted the county's inventory of homes for sale to 1.7 months (that's how long it would take to sell all the homes listed at the current … (0 comments)

seattle real estate: Why I’m Draining My Savings to Stimulate the Economy - 07/18/13 02:15 AM

For several years, the economy limped along because of me. I scrimped on everything, did it myself if I could do it myself, and hoarded money out of fear that the recent recession had another dip or two left in it.
Things are different now. I’ve turned my savings into spending, rung up thousands of dollars’ worth of purchases on my credit cards and in the process paid a lot more in taxes. And I’ll probably keep spending like this until I nearly run out of money.
In other words, I’ve bought a house.
Since the recession materialized in 2008, … (0 comments)

seattle real estate: Real-world price tags for fictional dwellings TV shows call ‘home’ - 07/12/13 02:38 AM

When it comes to home sweet home, sometimes TV gets it just right. And other times, the small screen is oh-so-wrong.
Face it: The titular “2 Broke Girls” couldn’t afford the rent on their apartment in a trendy neighborhood of Brooklyn (if they paid the rent, that is).
So what would it cost to snag some of today’s popular TV homes? And how practical are the settings for the characters who live there?
From sitcoms to dramas, check out the real-world price tags for the fictional dwellings that six hot TV shows call “home.” Read more here.

seattle real estate: Better to talk more and text less when buying a home - 07/11/13 03:31 AM

Millennials are the most connected generation in history. In fact, The Pew Research Center calls them "history's 'always connected' generation, treating their handheld devices 'almost like a body part.'"
So when it comes to buying a home, Millennials (those born after 1982) are more likely to do most of their research online as well as communicate electronically. This extends to communicating with real estate agents. But real estate appraiser Richard Hagar says if you're buying a home, "talking" through texting  is useful only up to a certain point.
"Once a potential buyer has established initial contact, then an agent … (0 comments)

seattle real estate: Seattle housing market one of the most competitive in the U.S. - 07/10/13 01:47 AM

Low inventory and interest rates are why realtors call Seattle one of the most competitive housing markets in the country.
“Seattle is just crazy bonkers. Most of our listings are going in 30 days,” said Al Uyeno, a local realtor.
According to Uyeno, a declining unemployment rate of 5 percent and an uptick in hiring has increased the number of buyers in an already tight market.
“We’ve got Amazon, we’ve got Boeing, we’ve got Microsoft all hiring and all these people are coming here from out of state so they have to have some place to live,” said Uyeno.
According … (1 comments)

seattle real estate: How to Make a Budget From Scratch - 07/08/13 02:24 AM

The difference between people who are financially secure and those who are not often comes down to one thing: Whether or not they make a budget — and stick to it. Of course, there are many other factors, but that is a consistent one. Not only does budgeting lead to security, but it also can play a role in helping you pay off debt and raising your credit score over time.
So let’s say you don’t have a budget. You don’t even have an inkling of how to start a budget. But you want to get started. It can be … (0 comments)

seattle real estate: 7 Real People Who Are Winning Their Fight With Debt - 07/03/13 01:55 AM

As human beings, there are some traits that we all have in common — two hands, one heart, red blood, and, unfortunately for most of us, a wealth of debt.
The average American carries a $47,000 debt load, and as a nation, nearly $2 trillion of our collective debt is either delinquent or 90 days past due.
Part of the problem in figuring out where to begin getting out of the red is knowing who to turn to for help. Maybe you're too embarrassed to fess up to your issues or you can't afford a financial advisor. So you … (0 comments)

seattle real estate: 10 Things Social Security Won’t Tell You - 07/02/13 02:13 AM

1. “Long-term deficit? We can hardly afford our bills today.”
About a third of workers in their 50s expect Social Security benefits to be their primary source of income in retirement, according to the Transamerica Center for Retirement Studies. That reliance gives pre-retirees reason to worry about the future of the program. The Social Security Administration itself has said that unless something is done to reform the system, it will have to reduce benefit payments to retirees within the next few decades.
Less talked about, perhaps, is the concern that the program is having a hard time paying its bills … (1 comments)

seattle real estate: Why It’s Hard to Build Emergency Savings - 06/28/13 02:12 AM

Despite improvement in the economy, more than a fourth of Americans have no emergency savings. And those who do manage to sock away some money in basic savings accounts get abysmal interest on their funds and sometimes have to pay excessive fees.
Half of Americans have less than three months of expenses saved up, and just a quarter have six months saved, which is the typical recommendation for emergency financial reserves, according to a report from the financial Web site The survey by Princeton Survey Research Associates International queried 1,004 adults from June 6 to 9 using landlines and … (1 comments)

seattle real estate: Rising Mortgage Rates Cause 'Rush to ARMs' - 06/27/13 02:15 AM

After hovering around record lows for the past few years, mortgage rates are rising dramatically. That has consumers not only shopping more but also considering adjustable rate mortgages, which offer lower rates and lower monthly payments.
These ARMs, many requiring interest payments only, were popular during the latest housing boom but quickly fell out of favor when safer, fixed-rate loan rates fell to record lows. ARMs accounted for 36 percent of mortgages in 2006 but just 4.5 percent today, according to Lender Processing Services.
The shift to ARMs is not visible on a grand scale yet, but it is … (0 comments)

seattle real estate: Open houses are a great source of information about the property, neighborhood and local markets. Nearly half of real-estate buyers go to one. - 06/24/13 02:09 AM

1. Look past window-dressing
A full 94% of sellers do some "staging," such as repainting or bringing in new furniture, says Coldwell Banker.
"You can be so wowed by staging that you overlook important things," says San Jose realtor Carl San Miguel. To focus on what matters, lift rugs to look at floors, ask the agent to turn off music so you can listen for nearby noise, and beware of any smells masked by candles.
Also request a disclosure sheet, which lists known structural issues.
2. You can learn a lot from the crowd
Nearly half of buyers visit … (0 comments)

seattle real estate: Seattle is 5th-most competitive housing market - 06/11/13 01:56 AM

Seattle is the fifth-most competitive housing market in the country right now, according to new stats from real estate website Redfin.
It also shows the market has reached a point in which you need to be willing to pay more than the seller is asking and you need to make it personal by writing a letter to the seller.
Redfin’s so-called “Bidding War Report” shows 74.6 percent of offers on homes in Seattle faced competition in April. That’s up from 68 percent a year ago. Of those homes, 67.9 percent of the winning offers were higher than the seller’s … (1 comments)

seattle real estate: How buyers can navigate tight housing market - 06/10/13 02:45 AM

SEATTLE -- Home prices around Western Washington in May were up around 13 percent from a year ago, according to the Northwest Multiple Listing Service. It's a seller's market again, so its buyers that need to do their homework.
The lack of inventory is driving up a competitive market and homes are getting multiple offers.
“What that really means is we have half-months of inventory. A healthy market is somewhere between 3 and 6 months. With a half-months of inventory, that means if no new homes come on the market, we’re going to sell out of inventory in about … (1 comments)

seattle real estate: Surging home prices fuel fears of a new bubble - 06/07/13 02:26 AM

Shoppers fighting over the few homes listed for sale in the Seattle area  pushed up prices again in May, prompting fears of a fresh housing bubble,  according to a new report.
The median sales price of a King County house in May was $417,500, up 15.3  percent from a year earlier and 4.4 percent from April, the Northwest Multiple  Listing Service reported Wednesday. Seattle's median house price was $460,000,  up 8.1 percent from a year earlier and 1.4 percent from April.
"We certainly can't sustain 15 percent annual price increases," said Glenn  Crellin, associate director of the Runstad Center for Real … (0 comments)

seattle real estate: More buyers than sellers push King County home prices up - 06/06/13 03:57 AM

Peter and Myrna Hillyer opened their North Seattle home of 45 years to potential buyers Wednesday.
One was Meaghan Frisbee. She and her husband are trying to decide between adding a second floor to their house in Phinney Ridge or moving. They’ve seen 20 homes in the last month.
“All the houses are getting snapped up,” said Frisbee, cradling her 3-month-old daughter in her arms. “It’s hard to find a house.”
The Hillyers are in a good spot. They put their home in the Bryant neighborhood on the market a week ago at $650,000 and already are mulling an … (0 comments)

seattle real estate: Homes Get Less Affordable as Prices, Rates Rise - 05/30/13 01:55 AM

If you’re a homeowner, recent news about double-digit price increases sounds terrific. But for buyers hoping to get a great deal on a house, the window of opportunity may be starting to close.
For the past several years, housing affordability has been at or near record levels. Three basic factors determine affordability: home prices, mortgage rates and household incomes. The optimal moment for buying a home now appears to have occurred in early 2012, when the median price was about $156,000 and the average interest rate on a 30-year mortgage was 4.2%. Mortgage payments for a typical family totaled … (1 comments)

seattle real estate: Housing is back! Best moves for homebuyers - 04/18/13 02:08 AM

Real estate has finally started to bounce back across the country -- even roar back in some places.
<!-- ADSPACE: real_estate/quigo/ctr.220x200 --> Low mortgage rates and pent-up demand have coaxed buyers back into the market, and homeowners who list their houses are seeing more traffic. That quaint relic of the bubble, the bidding war, has even started to reemerge in some cities. Consider the mounting evidence that the long national real estate nightmare is over: During the past year, home prices increased in 92 of the country's 100 largest metropolitan areas, according to data provider CoreLogic, with prices rising as … (1 comments)

seattle real estate: Home-staging tips: Scents and songs may snag you a buyer - 04/04/13 01:57 AM

We’ve all done it: Baked cookies or lit a scented candle before dinner guests arrive. Maybe you even turned on some Frank Sinatra to set the mood.
But new research shows that while popular scents or songs may elicit positive emotions, they can distract from our ability to make decisions.
“If you’re trying to sell your home, having the wrong smell or music playing is worse than having none at all,” said Eric R. Spangenberg, dean for the College of Business at Washington State University and longtime professor specializing in environmental psychology. “There is a lot of cognitive processing involved … (2 comments)

seattle real estate: What every home seller should know - 03/28/13 02:20 AM

WASHINGTON —Architect Chris French and his wife, Anya Landau French, turned up the volume on their vacant condominium apartment with designer-inspired contemporary furnishings — leather living-room furniture, glass and metal side tables, a black dining-room table and a fake TV.
The aim of the makeover was to draw a buyer who would snap up the property — a person their professional stager imagined would be in his or her late 20s or early 30s, seeking the stability of homeownership. Click here to access the full article.

Jerry Wright, MLO 181458 (Absolute Mortgage)

Jerry Wright

MLO 181458

Marysville, WA

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