Real Estate in Seattle 2013

 

It’s been a good year for real estate.  Sellers are happy to receive higher than list price for their homes.  Buyers are happy to, well, have found a home with multiple offers.  Real estate professionals are happy to see the upswing in median home values to the tune of 7.5% from last year at this time.  If you remember, July 2007 was our peak with a median price of a single family home was $481,000.  Wowsers.  The low was back in February 2012 at $308,000.  Now we’re resting nicely at $455,000.  Home values have steadily increased since the 2012 but not so fast that we see double digits.

_MG_6887_88_89_90NaturalNorth King County, including Green Lake, saw the highest percentage of closed home sales with 40% growth from November 2012.  This would make sense with the low (two months) of inventory we’ve consistently seen through this year.  Six months or more of inventory is considered a buyer’s market.  Anything less is a seller’s market.

Condos really did great this year of 2013.  The median price for condos in King County jumped 17% from a year ago.

Green Lake has 18 active single family listings right now – with 7 being townhomes.  I’ve seen it fluctuate between 33 and 18 active listings this year and the homes have been selling quickly with offers being reviewed in 7 days or less.  Yes, it was a great time to sell and likewise buy since the sale of your home usually brought in $10k to $80k more than list price.

This is a perfect example of why, if you’re a home owner or own a rental, you should keep up on any deferred maintenance.  By keeping up on the general maintenance, it could save you weeks of market preparation AND the difference of thousands of dollars – particularly during a buyers frenzy.  Always be ready to sell!  So are you?

 

June Real Estate Results In Green Lake Seattle

A recent Cooper Jacobs Green Lake sale

Combined with historic low interest rates and low inventory, June 2013 proved to be a huge gain in Seattle’s real estate market compared to a year ago.  Green Lake, and the neighboring communities, made big strides.

The combination of closed condos and single family homes for King County in June gained 14.08% from a year ago.  I believe once July’s numbers are disclosed, the percentage will be even greater since I’ve seen some impressive competing offers and pending (to close) sales for July are already over 10% for King County.

Green Lake had 42 sold homes in the last 31 days.  The median home selling in Green Lake was nearly 2,000 square feet, averaged 14 days on the market, was listed for $564,592 and sold for $578,253 or 2.86% over asking.  High sold property in Green Lake was $1.36M and lowest (which was a condo) was $265,000.

Whether you’re a buyer or seller and would like more info on Green Lake and surround neighborhoods, feel free to call or email me.

Molly Cartwright, Broker
molly@cooperjacobs.com
206.841.6800 direct line

 

Is Seattle’s Real Estate Turning Into E-Bay?

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
molly@cooperjacobs.com

direct  206.841.6800

How To Buy When You Already Own

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
206.841.6800
“Serving home buyers and sellers in Seattle’s most popular neighborhoods”

Cute One-of-a-Kind Green Lake House Open This Weekend

 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.

Back Yard

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 kim@cooperjacobs.com 206-579-9066

Should I buy a Co-op?

Should I buy a Co-op?

Should I buy a Co-op?” asked my client.   Hmmm…good question!  We’ve been looking at condominiums in a higher end neighborhood in Seattle.  It’s a good shoe-in for an expensive neighborhood.

I think we can largely agree it’s a good time to buy real estate in general right now.  But let’s back up for a sec.  First let me answer the question what is a condo association and what is a co-op association.

Condominium is a big building with individual units.  Each unit has a tax parcel number and the owner has ownership of the interior walls inside.  They also own the Title for the unit.  Each owner pays a home owner due (HOD).  Which it turn goes into an account managed by the home owner association.  If there are any needed assessments (aka repairs) on the building or lawsuits to pay out, it is debited from this account.  You qualify.  You buy.  You’re in.

Co-Op is a big building with individual units.  The building is the company.  The units are the shareholders within the company.  You don’t hold Title.  The co-op committee does.  And usually the building is one big parcel number.  There are home owner dues just like condo ownership.  You interview with the co-op board.  You buy.  You’re in.  Oh yeah, and no dogs (usually) and no leasing (usually).

Should you buy a co-op?  Yes, you should.  If you are a person who likes people, who likes sharing, who likes working together for a common goal, then yes buy a co-op.  If you like relinquishing some of your control issues and collaborating with your fellow shareholders, then yes you should think about buying a co-op.  If you don’t want to pay 1.78% excise tax as a seller in King County, co-op is a way to avoid this tax.

Should you buy a co-op?  No, you should think twice about buying a co-op if you own a dog (usually), if you like larger buildings (co-ops are generally smaller buildings), if you are an investor/landlord and intend to rent.  Oh, and perhaps you don’t want to know who your neighbors are.

Financing is no different for co-ops.  You can do an FHA loan if you want.  Just make sure you ask for the Financials Addendum from the building.  This is similar to the Resale Certificate for a condo building.  It contains meeting minutes, financials, and future assessments.

Hope this bit of info helped you make the right move.  Questions?  I’m here.

Ciao.

Molly@cooperjacobs.com
206.841.6800

Business & Technology | King County home sales in December strongest since summer | Seattle Times Newspaper

Interesting read about Seattle Homes and Seattle neighborhoods with graph data.

 King County home sales in December strongest since summer | Seattle Times Newspaper.

Tangletown Real Estate

Looking to buy some Tangletown Real Estate?  Is it a wise purchase?  What kind of neighborhood life is Tangletown?  What about the schools?

Tangletown Home

Geographically, Tangletown is nestled between south Green Lake and north Wallingford.  Living here you can still take advantage of Green Lake’s paddle boats and basketball courts while walking to Wallingford for a glass of wine and live music.  But Tangletown has its own main drag (North 56th Street) you don’t want to miss!  Get an updo at Beehive Salon then walk across the street to grab one of many hotdog selections at Diggity Dog Hot Dog & Sausage stand and wash it down with a brew at the local Elysian Brewing Company ~ just kiddy corner from Might O Donuts.

Tangletown is probably most proud of ZokaZoka is a super cool cafe which roasts its own coffee beans, has delicious pastries and lot of seating for those important meetings with your wedding planner or hunkering down to write that mid term paper for school.

Because of the quaint parameters of Tangletown‘s borders, it has seen average solds for the last six months.  13 solds to be exact.   $214,000 buys you a 500 square foot studio or an expansive $1,280,000 beautiful home with over 3,000 square feet of living space.  So the average days on the market are only 24 days from these sold properties and the average price is around $564,000.  This is just under the FHA loan limit of $567,500.  Believe me, a minimum downpayment of 3.0% is worth buying a home in Tangletown.

The schools are amazing!  Let’s start with daycare and pre-kindergarden.  Green Lake Day Care and Preschool, managed by Anne Kelly, is a safe place you can trust.  Located at 63rd and Green Lake, it has three separate rooms for the Poohbears, Piglets, and Tiggers in a huge brick church.  My daugther went there from 1 year old as a Poohbear and graduated at age 5 as a Tigger.  She’s seven now and STILL talks about her teachers from Green Lake Day Care and Preschool.

The Elementary school will be McDonald in 2012 after a complete facelift but for now, it’s Lincoln Elementary.  Middle School is going to be Hamilton, and Roosevelt for high school.  I recommend going to the Seattle Public Schools Website for more detailed information.

Tangletown has some charming homes on the market right now!  There are 10 single family homes and 1 condo for sale in Tangletown.  Find more at Cooper Jacobs Real Estate.

Condos vs Lawsuit: How does Green Lake Compare?

Condos vs Lawsuit:  How does Green Lake Compare?  Recently I had the need to look up some downtown Seattle condos for a buyer.  One right after another I would find the perfect place.  And one right after another there were pending lawsuits  ~ some even lingering for 4 years.  From a faulty roof to some twisting their ankle to the builder’s shoty construction. 

Green Lake's Circa Condos

Oh boy, this is going to harder than I thought.  Then I encouraged my buyer to look just 5 minutes north to Green Lake.  I held my breath as I researched my Condos vs Lawsuit predictament.  What did I find?

13 ACTIVE CONDO and/or townhome listings right now in Green Lake.  Only one has a pending lawsuit.  I can now exhale.  

Lenders + pending litigation = red flag. 

Lenders see the number of units going up for sale but none of them closing.

If you’re a buyer who has cash or a healthy downpayment – 20…30% or more and want rock bottom prices then by all means – consider buying that bank owned condo.  Just make sure the builder has agreed to pay for litigation and remedy the problem in full.  Also make sure any assessments are spelled out in the condo association. 

The first question I raise when my client is thinking about purchasing a condo is whether the Home Owner Association is healthy.  Does it have lawsuits pending, how are the reserves, what condition is the building in, are the monthly HOD in sync with the condition and ammenities of the condo building.

Green Lake is more populated with single family homes but there are some amazing deals right now for condos too ~ as low as $163,400 for a 1 bed 1 bath and clean as a whistle!  

I look forward to hearing from you!  Feel free to write any comments, questions, or feedback.  If you’re in the condo or townhome market, Cooper Jacobs Real Estate would be happy to show you these excellent investments.

Green Lake Blog: Condo Market VS Townhouse Market

Green Lake Blog: Condo Market VS Townhouse Market.

I was curious what the latest and greatest were on the Green Lake condo vs. townhouse market.  If you’re in the market to buy either a condo or townhome, chances are you have your eye on both types of housing structure.

Okay, so let’s look at the Green Lake CONDO conditions first:

Currently there are only 16 ACTIVE listings looking to get sold.

Ranging from $179,000 for a 1987 2 bed/2bath unit to a gleaming 2003 $639,000 unit with views. 2 bed, 2 bath, 1522 square feet of living space and just steps to the lake! These pedestrian lifestyle condos are loaded with amenities anywhere between granite and garages, creative storage, and rooftop decks. The average number of days on the market is 99.

8 condos SOLD in the last six months! Average days on the market is 31. And of these 31 days, the seller received 97.3% of their asking price. Between 31 and 60 days, seller received 99% of asking price. Bottom line: Priced right = it will sell. But the inventory is low low low for condos in Green Lake and only 8 selling in the last six months tells me people are holding them or renting them.  Many of the buildings originally planned for condo living coverted to apartments so this would explain the inventory lack of inventory.

So let’s look at Green Lake Townhouse stats. Currently, a whopping 23 lovely townhouses for sale in Green Lake.

The prices range from $259,000 to $540,000. And just like the range in pricing, so are the range of homes. From brand new structures with views, eco-efficient uses, and modern twists with 2 bed 2 bath and 1256 square feet of luxury to an adorable 1000 square feet townhome with private fenced areas and priced right! All walking distance to Green Lake which supplies an endless array of sport activities, a very popular community center, restaurants, bars, cafes and local merchants.

How many sold townhouses within the last six months in Green Lake?

Answer: 55
These don’t include pending sales (which are just about to close). To including pending sales that figure bumps up to 64.  Out of 55 solds, 33 were in the $300,000 to $350,000 price range.

Average Days On The Market: 45
Percent Of Original Asking Price: 99.5%
Average Square Footage: 1549
Average Sold Price: $353,091
Which gives us a grand total of roughly $227.00 per square foot on average.

It’s a healthy condo and townhouse market in Green Lake!