Is Seattle’s real estate turning into E-Bay?
It’s a fact that Seattle’s real estate market is looking more like spring time in the Pacific Northwest; not the quiet winter month’s people tend to expect. Buyers are out in full force and it’s not unusual to have 100 buyers through a Saturday or Sunday open house. This is simply due to supply and demand: low inventory of homes for sale. Are buyers frustrated or has it become the norm? Is Seattle real estate turning into E-Bay?
I couldn’t help but smile when my client asked me if the property I was showing him was going to turn into an E-Bay auction. The property was a luxury home and on the market for less than 24 hours. I simply told him “yes”. I then followed by “but what do you have to lose?” If you don’t try then you’ll never know.
Here’s the deal: buyers will either see a new listing (priced accordingly) and the listing agent delays reviewing any offers after 6 days of market exposure. Or buyers will see a new listing where the listing agent omits this remark and its first come, first serve. I’ve sold several homes by just being first in this instance. It saves buyers a lot of money and anxiety. Thankfully I’ve had buyers who are accessible and are motivated to meet me at the property very quickly. If you run into the first scenario, however, chances are the property will most likely go to “the highest bidder”. So how do you get there?
Have a buyer’s agent who is on the ball and can educate you about the market. I’ve seen things selling for about 7% over list price or about $50k. Obviously buyers need to have their finances together. I haven’t seen an FHA in a long, long time. Everything is conventional or cash now. Good thing interest rates are crazy low right now. Get the home pre-inspected IF IT MAKES SENSE TO. If it’s a short sale, probably don’t need to get it pre-inspected. Buyers: if you can’t go enough above the list price (and this is where a good buyer’s agent comes in) then don’t waste $300 to $500 for a pre-inspection. There are other terms and conditions and of course every situation is unique. Feel free to contact me if you’d like more market conditions or making your offer stand out.
I don’t see buyers getting frustrated, at least not the buyers I’m working with. I see more buyers making more offers and if I didn’t know better, I think they’re enjoying the excitement.
Oh and my client with the E-Bay question got the house of his dreams, with multiple offers and his family moves in next month.
See ya next time,
Molly Cartwright, Broker and Green Lake resident
Wallingford Home Sales
While Wallingford’s population is greater than Green Lake or Phinney Ridge, it had fewer closings for the month of November, showing buyers and sellers just how tight the inventory continues to be in the desireable Wallingford neighborhood.
Wallingford saw ten home sales in the month of November with a median price of $585,000, an uptick from the month before. The highest sale in November was $1.049,000.00 and the lowest sale was a $169,000.00 condo. I have plenty of reasons why it’s the right time for a seller to list their home right now in Seattle’s NE and NW neighborhoods.
More of your questions happily answered by emailing me at email@example.com
How To Buy When You Already Own
Do you own your home or condo but want to sell it and buy something with more space, a different location, or perhaps a view?
One option is to take out a HELOC. A Home Equity Line of Credit (ask me for a lender with great programs of these right now) lets you take out a certain percentage of your home’s equity to use as a downpayment on your new home. To find out how much equity you have, contact a Realtor, like myself, to research the value of your home (it changes ALL the time). If you have a certain percentage of equity, you can qualify for a new loan. And if you’re preapproved for your new home loan, I can get the home you want to sell prepped for the market pronto!
Another option is a bridge loan. A bridge loan has some ramifications though. They generally tend to have higher interest rates and need to be paid back in a specified amount of time. It’s like a short term loan on your current property to buy a different property. It’s all about timing with a bridge loan. You can find out more about bridge loans HERE.
You can always make an offer contingent on your home selling. This is perhaps the option offering the least amount of risk. Of course with our current market today, properties are moving fast and a contingent offer isn’t as clean as an offer with a definitive close date, for example. But if are you a homeowner considering the contingent offer option, consider the right list price and a home in tip-top shape, it won’t take long to sell.
molly a. cartwright | seattle realtor
cooper jacobs real estate, llc
“Serving home buyers and sellers in Seattle’s most popular neighborhoods”
Do you ever wonder how this real estate stuff works when you buy or sell a home? Who pays who in a real estate transaction?
Over the years, I’ve had plenty of buyers ask me how much my realtor fees are if we work together. Likewise, I’ve had sellers shocked to find out what they have to pay for excise tax in our city. A seller’s net proceeds or a buyer’s closing cost worksheet are always in my back pocket to get down to an approximate number. Traditionally the commission percentage (which can vary) come from the seller’s wallet (sorry guys)…but that’s not to say there can be different scenarios.
So why am I a buyer’s agent? First of all, I absolutely love working with buyers! And secondly I LOVE looking at homes. I listen very carefully my clients. First we have to get through the NEEDS and then we talk about the WANTS. I love the satisfaction of walking into a home with my clients and they instantly fall in love with it. But more times than not, there are compromises so I’m all about letting my clients know what their options are. The permit process, the cost of remodeling, the little tweaks you can do here and there. It’s all so much fun to me and I can see the client getting excited as we proceed down the road.
The road is an exciting one too. I can probably explain the transaction process of buying or selling a home about 100 different ways depending on the client (unfortunately not in a 100 different languages because that would be really cool). Sometimes it’s a new home buyer, sometimes its an investor, and sometimes it’s a buy up or a buy down . I talk to the buyer about terms, the market, escrow, inspection, appraisal, the 21 page purchase and sale contract and specifically what to expect and what not to expect. It’s great! The anticipation of presenting a killer offer to the seller is my favorite. Are you interested in talking to me as a buyer’s agent? I’d be happy to talk to you too!
I HEART Green Lake (my ‘hood), Tangletown, Wallingford, Phinney, Ravenna and Ballard. Got car. Will travel.
molly a. cartwright | seattle realtor since 2001
cooper jacobs real estate, llc
206.841.6800 | cooperjacobs.com | greenlakeloop.com
“Serving home buyers and sellers in Seattle’s most popular neighborhoods”
Ready To Sell? List of Things To Do
Is Your Home Physically Fit? To give your home a competitive edge when it’s time to sell, make sure it is in good physical condition. This not only makes your home more attractive and desirable, it also simplifies the negotiation process when the time comes for the buyer’s pre-purchase inspection.According to home inspection experts, approximately half the resale homes in the market today have at least one significant defect. Routine maintenance is the best way to prevent major, costly problems from developing in the first place. If you have been putting off those repairs, now is the time to make them.
A Home Seller’s Check List
Over the years, I’ve identified a list of common problems that typically appear on buyer’s home inspection reports. Early correction of these problems can increase a home’s appeal and its selling price. It also sets the stage for a favorable home inspection report for the buyer, and thereby helps to expedite the sale. The following checklist can help you achieve these marketing goals.
1. CHECK THE MAJOR SYSTEMS
After size, style, and location, a home buyer’s primary concern is the condition of the home’s basic structure and major mechanical systems. Most buyers do not want to invest a great deal of money correcting problems in such critical areas. A pre-listing home inspection of the visible and accessible home components can reveal most of these problems, and include recommended repairs, if needed, on the following major items: Roof structure and covering. Foundation, basement, and/or crawl space. Central heating and air conditioning systems. Electrical system. Plumbing system.
2. MAKE MAINTENANCE IMPROVEMENTS
A number of maintenance improvements are relatively easy and inexpensive to make, yet they can substantially improve a home’s appearance, efficiency, and comfort. A professional home inspector may make helpful maintenance suggestions, such as: Trim trees and shrubs which touch or overhang the house. Apply new caulking and weather stripping as needed around windows and doors. Clean gutters of debris and leaves; repair or replace cracked or broken gutters, downspouts, and extensions to ensure proper drainage. Replace bathroom caulk or grouting where necessary to prevent seepage and improve appearance. Ventilate closed basements and crawl spaces, or install a dehumidifier, to prevent excessive moisture build-up. Regrade soil around the foundation, as needed to keep water away from the house. Replace dirty filters in the heating and air conditioning systems. Have the heating and air conditioning systems professionally serviced. Have chimneys professionally cleaned, and install chimney hoods or caps as needed.
If you’re thinking about selling, a pre-listing inspection isn’t necessarily a bad idea. I have inspector referrals if you are interested. Feel free to contact me for more information about listing your home!
Molly Cartwright, Broker
These days if you’re in the market to buy a piece of Green Lake real estate, act fast. Green Lake is one of the highest ranked neighborhoods for number of successfully closed transactions in the month of May with 167 sold homes…in one month! Green Lake, Wallingford, and Ballard combined closed 167 homes in May 2012. Second runner up was over 30 miles away east in North Bend, Issaquah, Sammamish, and Snoqualmie (for the eastside single family homes) with 163 closed transactions.
As a Green Lake native for 17 years, I’ve seen some moderate growth in the area but nothing like Ballard or downtown Seattle. Moderate meaning a new PCC with 250 apartment units above it to replace a Vitamilk plant. It’s a quaint place to raise a family or be single. It has the convenience of in-city suburbia with a little wholesome sustainability throw in. If you walk down any street in Green Lake, Tangletown, or Wallingford (which are all located in the coveted core commuting central), you’ll hear kids laughing, dogs barking, chickens nesting and possibly the smell of coffee roasting or donuts frying. Mighty-O Donuts, Zoka Coffee, Irwins Bakery just to name a few are on my walk-the-dog route. Did I mention the five different public parks within walking distance? Oh, and I think I almost forgot to mention the two AMAZING farmer markets – Wednesdays 3-6pm in the summer and every Saturday (year-round). Cheese anyone? Last week, my daughter I rented one of those paddle boats. Next time, I’m moving up to a paddleboard. I want to at least look like I’m a surfer. Green Lake has a killer 3 mile path where you can run, walk, bike, skateboard, speed stroller (I just made that up), go fishing, tanning, frisbee, walk on a tightrope tied between two trees…oh the list goes on and on.
To put the cherry on top, the new McDonald Elementary (language immersion program) is opening its doors Fall of 2012. Wow! I think I’ve seen my home value increase by this statement already. With some public schools experiencing increased campus sizes, McDonald Elementary school will help alleviate this. Believe me, the PTA is as strong as ever and the school has been in complete remodel mode since last year at this time. I live two blocks from it and it’s exciting to see the improvements – new windows, furnace, black top, bark, and play structure for the playground – and more.
I don’t mean to brag about my neighborhood because Seattle has other amazing neighborhoods which I can showcase for you, but nothing else feels more like home than my Green Lake.
Green Lake Resident and Realtor
Cute One-of-a-Kind Green Lake House Open This Weekend
Here’s the link to the listing: As a Phinneywood specialist and longtime resident I am holding a very special open house this Saturday and Sunday April 28 and 29th from 1-4 for National Open House weekend. This home is truly one of a kind in the area. Located just a couple of short blocks from the Woodland Park Zoo. A few years ago it was a neglected original Green Lake cabin from the beginning of the last century (maybe even older) then it was completely reinvented as a charming family home on a small foot print with a second story and a finished basement. It might have had one of the smallest floor areas five years ago, but it lives big now. Perched above the street it boasts privacy and and a quiet backyard complete with a water feature and granite retaining walls.
Beautiful Lanscaping and Shade Gardens
Safe to say you haven’t seen another lot like this, and the house is completely remodeled top to bottom. What was once a garage is now a finished bedroom (buyer to verify) or office space and a 3/4 bath. It’s the kind of house that you could easily drive right by on the street without noticing it perched proudly above the street and out of the way, but once you are inside you will find light filled spaces and views over Greenlake Park towards the Cascade Mountains and beyond in your own little private “treehouse”. The master is on the top floor along with another bedroom and a spacious full bath. The ground floor entry level has gleaming hardwood floors, a kitchen with granite counter tops and Stainless Steel appliances, the original brick fireplace in the living room, dining space and a powder room all in an open floor plan.
Open Ground Floor Plan
Downstairs is the laundry room and the converted garage. This house doesn’t scream” look at me”, tucked behind and underneath mature trees but you will appreciate the privacy the mature plantings provide when you are inside. Outside is a well executed landscape plan with low maintenance in mind and year-round color. It’s a charming oasis without a lawn to mow. Complete with a functioning pond,backyard deck and other outdoor “rooms”. OK, it might be a stretch, calling this a” treehouse” with it’s firm concrete foundation and traditional stick built construction. I am referring to how it feels to live in this space. Perched high above the street and sidewalk, placed well above the neighbor to the east, buffeted by the beautiful granite walls to the west (they don’t make them like they used to!), under the large tree to the back of the lot, and the unique tree south of the front door. What I am alluding to is the sense of peace and quiet and privacy with the views looking over the neighbor’s home to the views to the east from the master bedroom and balcony and to the views towards the south in the second upstairs bedroom and ground level.
Bird's eye view from the sunny side of the street
One can’t help but feel above it all in their own private light-filled spaces away from whatever might be happening down below at street level. It’s a very walkable neighborhood, zoo concerts blocks away in the summer along with the Woodlawn and Greenlake parks just down the hill. Up the hill with a Walk Score of 69 is Phinney Ave North with all the restuarants, pubs and galleries. The PNA has zip cars as well as classes and it’s myriad of other activites. To learn more about this special jewelbox of a home please contact: Kim Mulligan kim-mulligan.com firstname.lastname@example.org 206-579-9066
Have you ever walked, biked, drove past a house a million times on your way to work and thought to yourself “I wonder what that house looks like inside?”. As soon as you see a for sale in the yard, you immediate make a b-line to the colorful flyer hoping to find a price, just out of curiosity of course.
I had one of those today. This really cool, perfect starter home in Green Lake has been on the market just a short time which is on my way to Duke’s Chowder House one block southwest. I’m very smitten of the beautiful fir tree in front for privacy, convenient alley, and an acutely maintained yard.
Once I walked up to the welcome mat, the house is better than I imagined. Clean, mid-century lines, updated kitchen with eating nook, two bedrooms + full bath up and a completely refurbished lower living space including a cozy fireplace around the oversized sofa, another bathroom and extra storage. The soft carpet under my feet compliment the twist of a modern edge throughout the home. It’s a nice touch of the old and the new – which translates Green Lake homes to a “T”.
Great home, great price – under $500,000 – and close to everything in east Green Lake. You can walk your kids to Daniel Bagley Elementary (Montesory to 5th grade) on 80th Street, get some amazing Pho Vietnamese soup, or just kick it at Green Lake park in the wadding pool. Perhaps you’re in need of a 3 mile jog with your dog. If you do, grab a beer on the outside deck at Duke’s Chowder House on your way home to this totally efficient Green Lake home.
Will you be impressed as much as I was? Give me a ring or email and I’d be happy to show you the thoughtfullness of this home and why I think it’s such a great deal.
My client is pregnant with twins. And while this new experience is super exciting for her and her husband, the four story townhome is not so much exciting. There is literally a bedroom on every floor. Not screaming practical here.
Time to stock up the car with plenty of bottled water and m&m’s.
They live in the uber-urban neighborhood of Wallingford and didn’t want to venture too far away since schools are a major focus now. So my checklist reads:
- Great Schools
- Walkable and Safe Neighborhood
- Practical Floorplan with Four Bedrooms, 2,000 sq ft.
- Easy Commute to Work
- $500,000 to $600,000 Range
Do any of these ring a bell?
Green Lake Beach
First we look in Greenwood because of an amazing 2011 home just built. Almost a perfect fit: 4 out of 6. Bonus: Two car garage! Overall, the neighborhood wasn’t for them. No sidewalks (one of those things I keep hearing about Greenwood) and walkability was poor. And I’ll give it a 5 out of 10 on the school-meter.
We look in Ballard. Too far West for commuting purposes. Plus they weren’t familiar with the neighborhood and I think this psyched them out a bit.
Wallingford was up next. They found some wonderfully updated bungalows in this uber-urban neighborhood. They were shocked by the price per square foot and really – when you’re having twins plus a nanny – you want square footage.
I guess I left the best for last. Green Lake was our final destination. Bingo!
Wallingford Park and Wading Pool
It was a Sunday afternoon and I was at an open house for my own Green Lake listing. She and her husband went to an Open House and fell in love with it. Who said Open Houses don’t sell houses? We wrote it up the next day. They can walk to PCC, Green Lake Park is across the street and when they get hungry they can walk to Duke’s, Blu Water Bistro then Ben and Jerry’s for dessert. Daniel Bagley Elementary is one of the top desirable k-5 elementary schools and they also have a Montessori. If private schools are more your thing, St. Joseph’s is right up the road on 80th Ave.
Happy Mommy. Happy Daddy. And soon to be Happy Twins this Fall.