How to Buy and Sell Safely in the New Normal

 

While buying and selling real estate was recently deemed essential in Washington State, the landscape looks very different than it did before the COVID-19 outbreak. Real estate offices remain closed to the public with agents (like me) working remotely and hosting virtual client meetings. Important safety regulations prohibit in-person open houses and limit the number of people who can tour a home or attend an inspection. Social distancing will remain at the forefront as we wait for a vaccine or treatment to become widely available.

So how do you buy or sell a home safely in this new environment? Thanks to modern technology, there is a lot I can do to help you through the process while minimizing the risk to you and the community. Here are some tips on how to do it right…

 



 

TIPS FOR BUYERS

  • Do your homework before you tour a home in person. Take a virtual online tour, research the neighborhood and ask your agent to delve into the property and title history. If a virtual tour isn’t available, your agent can give you a preview via FaceTime or Skype while walking through the home.
  • Get pre-qualified. Knowing your exact budget in advance will help you save time and avoid any non-essential showings.
  • Schedule a 1-hour showing window. When you think you’ve found “the one” and are ready to tour it in-person, have your agent book a full hour so that you are less likely to run into other buyers. This will also allow time for each person to see the home since there is currently a limit of just 2 people in the home at once, including the agent.
  • Meet your agent at the home. Instead of carpooling, drive separately and then wait in your car until your agent confirms that the home is empty and ready to tour. Condos may have special rules for showings and you’ll also want to take separate elevator trips if you’re touring a high-rise.
  • Play it safe during the tour. Wear a mask, wash/sanitize your hands when you enter and leave, limit touching of surfaces, and maintain at least 6 feet of social distance from your agent at all times. Assume you might be recorded by the homeowner and observed by neighbors.
  • Meet virtually with your agent. When it’s time to write an offer, your agent can use any number of video conferencing apps to share documents with you and discuss them in real time. You can then sign and authenticate all contracts electronically via a secure service such as Authentisign.
  • Don’t skip a professional home inspection. Due to the difficulties around seeing the home in person, it is more important than ever to make sure you know of any underlying issues it may have. The 2-person rule still applies at inspections so your agent will likely request the seller’s permission for you to be in the home alone with the inspector while the agent waits in the car. You’ll also need to make sure you and your inspector comply with all social distancing and safety rules.



 

TIPS FOR SELLERS

  • Give your listing agent a virtual tour. Rather than meeting in person, utilize an app like FaceTime or Skype to virtually walk your agent through your home using your smart phone. Hold meetings virtually whenever possible and sign documents electronically through a secure service such as Authentisign.
  • Move out first if at all possible. This makes it practical for buyers to comfortably view your home while following the current 2-person limit for home occupancy during showings. It also protects you from any potential exposure—especially important if you are in at at-risk age group and/or have health problems.
  • Time the market with expert advice. Talk to an agent you can trust who follows the ins and outs of regulations from the Governor’s office and also has access to showing data and activity reports that can help you determine the best time to sell.
  • Look your best online. Make sure your agent will coordinate truly stellar home preparation, staging and photography. Consider having a professional video tour and interactive floor plans as well.
  • Have your agent hold a virtual open house. Live-streaming a virtual tour from inside the home is a great way for your agent to reach buyers and answer their questions in real time. Virtual open houses are also now promoted on virtually all home search websites and apps.
  • Prepare diligently for in-person showings. Be sure that you or your agent provides hand sanitizer, single-use booties and masks along with a sign detailing the safety guidelines you would like visitors to follow while in your home. Open interior doors and turn on lights ahead of time to minimize touching. Disinfect high-use surfaces after each showing.

 


 

Find a Home with Windermere Real Estate

 

Find a Home | Sell Your Home | Property Research

Neighborhoods | Market Reports | Our Team

We earn the trust and loyalty of our brokers and clients by doing real estate exceptionally well. The leader in our market, we deliver client-focused service in an authentic, collaborative and transparent manner and with the unmatched knowledge and expertise that comes from decades of experience.

2737 77th Ave SE, Mercer Island, WA 98040 | (206) 232-0446

mercerisland@windermere.com

© Copyright 2020, Windermere Real Estate / Mercer Island


Posted on May 4, 2020 at 1:16 pm
Windermere MI | Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Q1 2020 Reports: Market Update

Q1 Market Snapshot: Seattle & The Eastside

 

As we are fully entrenched in a new normal amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, it is important to note that the Q1 stats you see are based on pre-coronavirus closed sales activity and therefore largely untouched by our current market reality.

 

While Q1 serves as a pre-coronavirus benchmark, Q2 and Q3 will more accurately show the impacts of the (necessary) stay home order and resulting economic fallout. Our region stands to rebound more quickly than many US markets due to its pre-coronavirus strength.

 

Q1 saw a continued inventory shortage, although many homes were just queuing up to come on the market prior to the outbreak. Mortgage interest rates hit new lows in March (down about 1% from a year ago) bringing the typical monthly payment down significantly. For reference, a 1% change in interest rate equates to about a 10% change in buying power (i.e. an $800,000 home at 3.4% costs about the same per month as a $720,000 home at 4.4% interest).

 

Click or scroll down to find your area report:

Seattle | Eastside | Mercer Island | Condos | Waterfront

 


SEATTLE

There were 11.2% more Seattle home sales in Q1 2020 (1,632) compared to Q1 2019 (1,468). Seattle’s median sale price increased by an average of 3.4% in 2019 to $750,000. Lake Forest Park (+8.0%) and Queen Anne-Magnolia (+7.0%) were the area’s top performers. The Central Seattle was down 6.9% over Q1 2019, much of which can be attributed to fewer luxury market sales and a higher percentage of smaller homes transacting during that period.

 

In Q1, 68.0% of Seattle homes (all price points) sold at or above their listed price, while only 13.7% of homes priced above $1 million did so. The average number of days to sell decreased to 41 from 50 in Q1 of the year prior.

 

The highest Seattle home sale was a 1930-built Lake Forest Park waterfront home for $5,000,000 and the lowest was a 1955-built 2-bedroom Skyway home for $215,000.

 

Seattle Q1 2020 Recap

Click here to view the complete report for a neighborhood by neighborhood breakdown of Average Sale Price, size, and number of homes sold.

 

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EASTSIDE

In Q1, 64.6% of Eastside homes, and 28.6% of homes priced above one million dollars, sold for at or above their listed price.

 

The Eastside median sale price was $989,500 in Q1, up 6.8% over Q1 2019. South Eastside (+18.1%) and Kirkland (+14.1%) performed best, while Woodinville saw a 2.5% decrease in its median sale price. The highest sale was an $11.5 million Medina waterfront home and the lowest sale was a 1960’s Lake Margaret area cottage.

 

Eastside Q1 2020 Recap

Click here for the full report and neighborhood-by-neighborhood statistics!

 

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MERCER ISLAND

Mercer Island has seen a record shortage of homes on the market in Q1 with the lack of homes for sale dominating conversations between buyers and their brokers. There were 56 home sales in the first quarter, with only 6 homes sold below $1 million and 19 with sale prices above $2 million.

 

In Q1, 48.2% of all homes, and 12.5% of homes priced above two million dollars, sold for at or above their listed price. The highest Mercer Island sale was a $4.8 million waterfront home on the north-eastern tip of the Island. The lowest was a $815,000 renovation/rebuild ready rambler on West Mercer Way.

Mercer Island Q1 2020 Recap

Click here to view the complete report for a neighborhood by neighborhood breakdown of Average Sale Price, size, and number of homes sold.

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CONDOS – SEATTLE & EASTSIDE

Seattle’s condo median sale price was the same in Q1 2020 as in Q 1 2019 ($460,000) with 605 units transacting. The North Seattle (+28.3%) and Richmond Beach-Shoreline (+18.4%) outperformed the region while West Seattle condos were down 5.0% over Q1 of the prior year. In Q1, 53.7% of Seattle condos (all prices), and 3.1% of condos priced above one million dollars, sold for at or above their listed price.

 

On the Eastside, the median sale price was up 6.5% to $490,000. Woodinville (+21.4%) and Redmond (+17.2%) condos outpaced those in surrounding cities while East Bellevue condos sold for 23.2% less than in Q1 2019. There were 528 units sold on the Eastside this quarter.

 

In Q1, 67.4% of all Eastside condos, and 4.2% of those priced above one million dollars, sold for at or above their listed price.

 

Check out all of these factoids and more in the full condo report.

 

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WATERFRONT

The pace of waterfront transactions has been slowing over the past few quarters, driven in large part by fewer international buyers in the market. Even so, Q1 was markedly off for waterfront sales. The Eastside had 3 private waterfront home sales. Seattle had 8, Mercer Island had 2, and Lake Sammamish had no sales in the first three months on 2020.

 

The highest private waterfront sale in Q1 was on Lake Washington in Medina at $11.5 million. The most affordable waterfront sale was a $1.5 million Beach Drive West Seattle home with 22 feet of waterfront on Puget Sound. Note this report includes privately-owned, rather than shared, waterfront transactions only.

 

This top-level overview of the entire Seattle-Eastside private waterfront market, including Mercer Island and Lake Sammamish, provides a glance into the trends occurring in our region over time. Interesting, and certainly insightful, it in no way replaces an in-depth analysis on waterfront value provided by a savvy broker with years of local waterfront experience.

 

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Find a Home | Sell Your Home | Property Research

Neighborhoods | Market Reports | Our Team

We earn the trust and loyalty of our brokers and clients by doing real estate exceptionally well. The leader in our market, we deliver client-focused service in an authentic, collaborative and transparent manner and with the unmatched knowledge and expertise that comes from decades of experience.

2737 77th Ave SE, Mercer Island, WA 98040 | (206) 232-0446 mercerisland@windermere.com

 

© Copyright 2020, Windermere Real Estate/Mercer Island. Information and statistics derived from Northwest Multiple Listing Service and deemed accurate but not guaranteed.


Posted on April 14, 2020 at 4:12 pm
Windermere MI | Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Economic Insights from Matthew Gardner

How will the coronavirus impact the housing market?

 

As we all hunker down through these challenging times, it is comforting to remember that there will be light at the end of the tunnel.

A voice of calm and reason in this time of uncertainty has been our Windermere Chief Economist, Matthew Gardner. While he is expecting an economic slowdown accompanied by a temporary 15-20% reduction in the number of homes sold, he believes the housing market will bounce back once we find our new normal.

Click here to watch his latest videos, or scroll down for some key takeaways…

 

 


 

The US economy will contract sharply but should perk up by Q4.

We’re in for a rough few quarters as the economy enters a recession. Just how rough—and how long—is still under debate. What economists do agree on is that the 4th quarter is looking remarkably positive…assuming we get through the COVID-19 crisis and the economy can resume somewhat normal activity before the fall.

 

 


Housing prices will likely remain stable.

Seattle home prices should remain steady—or even rise slowly as we come out of the recession—for a few reasons:

  1. DIVERSE INDUSTRIES IN OUR AREA which allow us to better weather the economic storm.
  2. SOLID FINANCIAL FOOTING as one third of local home owners have 50% or greater equity in their homes.
  3. STRONG DEMAND with more buyers than homes available, as well as rock-bottom interest rates.

 

 


This will be different than 2008…

We’re experiencing a health crisis, not a housing crisis.

  1. WE’LL SEE A PAUSE, NOT A COLLAPSE. Unlike last time, the housing market was strong going into this crisis and should rebound quickly. Why? Because this recession will be due to specific external factors rather than any fundamental problem with the housing market.
  2. FORECLOSURES WILL BE FEWER with most lenders offering relief to homeowners in distress due to temporary employment issues. Unlike 2008’s mortgage crisis caused by lax lending standards and low down payments, today’s home owners are better qualified and have more equity in their homes.

 

 


 

Find a Home with Windermere Real Estate

 

Find a Home | Sell Your Home | Property Research

Neighborhoods | Market Reports | Our Team

We earn the trust and loyalty of our brokers and clients by doing real estate exceptionally well. The leader in our market, we deliver client-focused service in an authentic, collaborative and transparent manner and with the unmatched knowledge and expertise that comes from decades of experience.

2737 77th Ave SE, Mercer Island, WA 98040 | (206) 232-0446

mercerisland@windermere.com

© Copyright 2020, Windermere Real Estate / Mercer Island


Posted on April 7, 2020 at 1:43 pm
Windermere MI | Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , ,

COVID-19 Resources

A Healthy Distance: Resources to Stay Sane While You Stay Home

 

Make Working From Home Work for You…


 

Kids at Home?


 

Bring Your Favorite Restaurants Home


 

Feeling Vulnerable?

Here Are Stores Offering Special Hours for Seniors and the Immunocompromised…

  • Albertsons: Tuesdays and Thursdays from 7-9 a.m.
  • Costco: Tuesdays and Thursdays from 8-9 a.m. (must have a membership)
  • Fred Meyer: Monday through Thursday from 7-8 a.m.
  • Metropolitan Market: Daily from 7-8 a.m.
  • PCC: Daily from 7-8 a.m.
  • QFC: Monday through Thursday from 7-9 a.m.
  • Red Apple: Tuesday and Thursday from 7-9 a.m.
  • Rite Aid: Mondays from 8-10 a.m.
  • Safeway: Tuesdays and Thursdays from 7-9 a.m.
  • Target: The first hour of Tuesdays and Wednesdays. Check Target’s website for specific opening hours at locations throughout the Greater Seattle area.
  • Thiftway: Tuesdays and Thursdays from 7-9 a.m.
  • Town & Country Markets: Monday and Wednesday, 7-9 a.m.
  • Trader Joe’s: Daily from 9-10 a.m.
  • Uwajimaya: Daily, 8-9 a.m. in Seattle; all other locations on Tuesdays from 8-9 a.m.
  • Walgreens: Tuesdays from 8-9 a.m.
  • Walmart: Tuesdays from 6-7 a.m.
  • Whole Foods: Daily, one hour before the store opens to the public. Check Whole Foods’ website for specific opening hours at locations throughout the Greater Seattle area.


 

More Resources…

 


 

Find a Home with Windermere Real Estate

 

Find a Home | Sell Your Home | Property Research

Neighborhoods | Market Reports | Our Team

We earn the trust and loyalty of our brokers and clients by doing real estate exceptionally well. The leader in our market, we deliver client-focused service in an authentic, collaborative and transparent manner and with the unmatched knowledge and expertise that comes from decades of experience.

2737 77th Ave SE, Mercer Island, WA 98040 | (206) 232-0446

mercerisland@windermere.com

© Copyright 2020, Windermere Real Estate / Mercer Island


Posted on March 30, 2020 at 10:44 am
Robert Craven | Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

2020 Home Trends

2020 Interior Design Trends: 5 Takeaways to Refresh Your Home

 

With 2020 now in full swing, we’re seeing some clear shifts in how homes are being designed and decorated. Most notable for our area is the Modern Farmhouse trend with its juxtapositions of old & new, light & dark, and clean & rustic. Softer grey and lagom neutrals are here to stay, but are now being contrasted with deep hues and warm metals. Organic materials such as natural wood and potted plants are also gaining prominence. Here are some key trends to consider as you refresh or renovate…

 

#1: High Contrast Hues


Deep blue is the “it” color in home decor, with Pantone’s “Classic Blue” and Sherwin-Williams’ “Naval” each taking color of the year honors. Navy accent walls are gaining popularity in smaller spaces such as foyers, dining rooms and powder rooms. Black is also back as an accent set against white in kitchens, living rooms and bathrooms. High-contrast graphics are making an appearance on wallpaper and bathroom tile.


 

#2: Vintage Meets Modern


Whether it’s antique artwork, floral wallpaper or vintage tile, old world charm is making a comeback…with a twist. This time around we’re seeing vintage framed art, patterns, woods and statement pieces being incorporated into modern spaces with clean lines. The Modern Farmhouse epitomizes this trend with its fresh new take on the old.


 

#3: The Non-White Kitchen


The all-white kitchen is making room for grey and painted cabinets to take the stage. For the daring, “color pop” cabinets in deep blue, black or even red have been cropping up in the modern kitchen. Kitchens that do have white cabinets are being spiced up with decorative tile floors and backsplashes, along with darker wood shelving and contrasting light fixtures.


 

#4: Comfy and Cozy


Soft shearling, rustic leathers and fluffy textured mohairs are gradually replacing the luxe velvet we saw in years past. High performance outdoor-style fabrics have also gotten an upgrade and are appearing indoors on upholstered dining room chairs and couches. Cushy wing-backed dining benches and chairs are another notable trend, part of an emphasis on making dining rooms less formal and more comfortable. Another fun trend? Curved sofas for the dining room and kitchen.


 

#5: Warm & Earthy Accents


Matte brass continues its popularity in fixtures and frames, often mixed with silver metals. We’re seeing an infusion of aged wood accents, patina, rustic leathers and earthenware softening the clean lines of today’s minimalism. Potted plants are also popping up on shelves and in windows with olive trees usurping fig trees as a favorite statement piece.


 

Need an instant home update? Try adding throw pillows, blankets or artwork in hues from Pantone’s Spring/Summer 2020 color palette.

 


 

Find a Home with Windermere Real Estate

 

Find a Home | Sell Your Home | Property Research

Neighborhoods | Market Reports | Our Team

We earn the trust and loyalty of our brokers and clients by doing real estate exceptionally well. The leader in our market, we deliver client-focused service in an authentic, collaborative and transparent manner and with the unmatched knowledge and expertise that comes from decades of experience.

2737 77th Ave SE, Mercer Island, WA 98040 | (206) 232-0446

mercerisland@windermere.com

© Copyright 2020, Windermere Real Estate / Mercer Island


Posted on March 5, 2020 at 10:58 am
Windermere MI | Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , ,

Remodeling Cost vs. Value

Will Remodeling Pay Off?

 

Every year, Remodeling Magazine evaluates which projects bring the most return at resale in different markets around the country in their “Cost vs. Value” report. While returns have dipped nationwide due to growing costs and consumer anxiety, Seattle still saw better pay-off on remodeling than the national average. The chart below shows cost vs. value on the most common remodeling projects…

 

Cost vs. Value for Common Remodeling Projects

 

When looking at the full list of projects, curb appeal projects seem to bring the most bang for your buck.

According to Remodeling Magazine, these are the six top projects in our region that currently have the best return on your investment when it comes time to sell. To see the full report, click here.

 

Manufactured Stone Veneer

As long as the new stone veneer is consistent with your neighborhood’s overall look, this siding accent was rated the most profitable project in the Seattle area.

Stone veneer can replace your home’s existing siding, adding a fresh, modern look that conjures a cozy vibe all the way from the street, before buyers ever step foot inside. In Seattle it can recoup 118.5 percent of the cost when you sell.

 

Garage Door Replacement

In the Seattle area, replacing your garage door will cost an average $3,882, but will increase your resale value by $4,136, recouping 106.6 percent of what you paid for it.

Due to its size, a garage door can have a big impact on a home’s curb appeal. But adding to your home’s aesthetic is only one advantage; the warranty that comes with the new garage door is also a selling point for potential buyers who can trust that they likely won’t have to deal with any maintenance issues in the near term.

 

Wood Deck Addition

While building a deck might seem like a big undertaking, it’s actually a pretty cost-effective way to add to your enjoyment and positively impact your home’s resale value. Seattle-area homeowners can expect to pay about $19,000, but they’ll recoup 95.1 percent of that when they sell.

Adding a deck extends the living space of your home and provides even more area for entertaining, relaxing, and enjoying the outdoors. Whether you choose a natural wood deck or a low-maintenance composite deck, you can pick from a variety of styles based on the lay of your land and the areas of your backyard you wish to highlight.


Siding Replacement

Depending on the size of your home, replacing the siding can be an expensive undertaking. However, it’s a project that comes with high returns. For the Seattle area, sellers can expect 94.9 percent of the costs recouped.

Not only is siding one of the first things a buyer sees, but it also serves as an indicator of the overall health of the home. Broken or damaged siding could mean that there are other problems with the home, such as pests and rot. Replacing old siding is a cost-effective way to boost your home’s curb appeal and ensure buyers are going to walk through your front door.

 

New Vinyl Windows

Vinyl windows can add an instant update in both appearance and energy efficiency. The average cost to replace 10 windows is about $19,501 but you’ll recoup 89.5 percent of that cost when it’s time to sell. If any of your windows are fogged from broken seals then replacement will probably be a must before it’s time to sell.

 

Minor Kitchen Remodel

No need to move walls or appliances around, a minor kitchen remodel will do the trick to recoup 89.1 percent of the cost in our area.

An outdated kitchen can go from drab to fab and become a focal point with a fresh palette. Replace the cabinet doors with new shaker-style wood panels and metal or metal-looking hardware. Switch out the old counter tops with a cost-efficient option that matches the new look. Think about adding a resilient flooring option, then finish the project with a fresh coat of paint to the walls, trim, and ceiling.

 


ABOUT WINDERMERE MERCER ISLAND

We earn the trust and loyalty of our brokers and clients by doing real estate exceptionally well. The leader in our market, we deliver client-focused service in an authentic, collaborative and transparent manner and with the unmatched knowledge and expertise that comes from decades of experience.

 

 

© Copyright 2020, Windermere Real Estate/Mercer Island. Adapted from an article originally posted on Windermere.com. Remodeling data © 2020 Hanley Wood Media Inc. Complete data from the Remodeling 2020 Cost vs. Value Report can be downloaded free at www.costvsvalue.com.


Posted on February 4, 2020 at 12:19 pm
Windermere MI | Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Annual Seattle-Eastside Real Estate Report: A Look Back at 2019

Annual Market Review: Seattle & The Eastside

 

A strong local employment sector, very low mortgage interest rates, and the most balanced market we’ve seen in two decades each contributed to increased sales velocity in 2019.

 

While the number of homes for sale increased overall in 2019 as compared to 2018, the higher rate of sales throughout the year resulted in nearly a third fewer homes on the market at year-end in 2019 than at the end of 2018. The inventory of homes available to purchase in 2020 will be a dominating factor in the local real estate market in the coming year.

 

Click or scroll down to find your area report:

Seattle | Eastside | Mercer Island | Condos | Waterfront

 


SEATTLE

There were 9.6% more Seattle home sales in 2019 (a total of 8,362), bringing Seattle back to its typical annual sales velocity following an off year in 2018. Seattle’s median sale price softened by 3.9% in 2019, with the Central Seattle region performing best (-1.6%) and the Ballard-Green Lake region down the most (-4.6%). In the north end of Seattle, Lake Forest Park-Kenmore and Richmond Beach-Shoreline showed the strongest five-year growth trend at 47.1% and 45.5% respectively.

 

In 2019, 53.9% of all Seattle homes sold at or above their listed price. The average number of days to sell jumped notably to 36 from 22 the year prior, indicating movement towards a more balanced market. The upper price segments of the market were far less competitive with just 10.4% of homes sold above one million dollars transacting at or above their list price.

 

The highest Seattle home sale was in Washington Park (Central Seattle) for $13,750,000 and the lowest was a Lake Union houseboat for $80,000.

Seattle Market Recap

Click here to view the complete report for a neighborhood by neighborhood breakdown of Average Sale Price, size, and number of homes sold.

Seattle Report

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EASTSIDE

On the Eastside, neighborhoods central to core employment hubs continue to see older, more affordable housing stock replaced with new and more expensive development. On the periphery, reasonably priced homes are highly competitive as homebuyers and investors alike scramble for homes that offer greater appreciation potential.

 

Development in East Bellevue, particularly surrounding the Spring District, is predicted to significantly drive prices upward in the coming years as employment centers expand and light rail service to Seattle begins.

 

In 2019, 49.7% of all homes, and 18.8% of homes priced above one million dollars, sold for at or above their listed price.

 

Median sale prices in Eastside cities fared better than those in Seattle, with the overall Eastside median sale price down 1.0% from 2018. Kirkland performed best on the Eastside with a median sale price gain of 3.8% to $1,350,000. Looking at the five-year trend, Kirkland came in on top with a 67.1% increase in its median sale price over the past five years, followed by Juanita-Woodinville-Duvall at 48.0%, and East Bellevue at 44.5%.

Eastside Market Recap

Click here for the full report and neighborhood-by-neighborhood statistics!

Eastside Review

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MERCER ISLAND

Mercer Island, central to the Seattle-Eastside region, held the middle ground with prices softening slightly—not as much as in Seattle, but more than on the Eastside.

 

A total of 299 homes changed hands in 2019 according to Northwest Multiple Listing Service. The highest Mercer Island sale was a $10,050,000 waterfront home on the North End. The lowest was a $685,000 renovation/rebuild ready rambler on West Mercer Way.

 

In 2019, 39.8% of all homes, and 12.7% of homes priced above two million dollars, sold for at or above their listed price.

 

Well-priced homes in move-in ready condition, with good lighting and access, and with functional floor plans, command the most attention from market-savvy buyers hoping to make a good investment in the place they will call home.

Mercer Island Recap

Click here to view the complete report for a neighborhood by neighborhood breakdown of Average Sale Price, size, and number of homes sold.

Mercer Island Report

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CONDOS – SEATTLE & EASTSIDE

The Seattle and Eastside condo markets could not be more different. Seattle has seen the number of available units increase significantly while the Eastside has suffered from a lack of inventory.

Seattle’s overall condo median sale price declined by 9.3% in 2019 to $458,500. The Ballard-Green Lake market was down the most (-16.4%) while Lake Forest Park-Kenmore was the only market not in the red (up 3.3%). In 2019, 45.9% of all Seattle condos, and 2.9% of condos priced above one million dollars, sold for at or above their listed price.

On the Eastside, the median sale price was down 2.4% overall to $469,000. The communities south of I-90 did quite well with a 9.0% increase over 2018. Redmond fared worst with a 15.3% decline in its median sale price. In 2019, 49.3% of all Eastside condos, and 2.7% of condos priced above one million dollars, sold for at or above their listed price.

Check out all of these factoids and more in the full condo report.

Condo Report

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WATERFRONT

The Eastside had 42 private waterfront home sales in 2019. Seattle had 41, Mercer Island had 20, and Lake Sammamish had 31 sales during the same period.

The highest Eastside—and regional—private waterfront sale of 2019 was on Hunts Point for $37,500,000. The highest 2019 sales in the surrounding areas include a Washington Park (Seattle) home at $13,750.000, a north end Mercer Island property at $10,050,000, and a $5,750,000 home on the west side of Lake Sammamish.

This top-level overview of the entire Seattle-Eastside private waterfront market, including Mercer Island and Lake Sammamish, provides a glance into the trends occurring in our region over time. Interesting, and certainly insightful, it in no way replaces an in-depth analysis on waterfront value provided by a savvy broker with years of local waterfront experience.

Waterfront Report

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ABOUT WINDERMERE MERCER ISLAND

We earn the trust and loyalty of our brokers and clients by doing real estate exceptionally well. The leader in our market, we deliver client-focused service in an authentic, collaborative and transparent manner and with the unmatched knowledge and expertise that comes from decades of experience.

 

 

© Copyright 2020, Windermere Real Estate/Mercer Island. Information and statistics derived from Northwest Multiple Listing Service and deemed accurate but not guaranteed.


Posted on January 14, 2020 at 1:08 pm
Windermere MI | Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , ,

Q3 2019 Reports: Market Update

Q3 Market Snapshot for Seattle and the Eastside

 

Q3 was the most stable and balanced market we have seen in years. With very low mortgage interest rates compelling buyers to act and fewer homes for sale than we saw last fall (when a flood of homes came to market), buyers and sellers are each finding their own place in a more equitable real estate arena.

 

Approximately 41% of homes for sale in Q3 sold at or above their listed price. This segment was on the market for an average of just seven days and included the most highly desired and well-priced properties in mainstream price points. Of the remaining homes for sale, just over one third underwent a price reduction before resulting in a sale. That number increased steadily as we moved deeper into Q3, ending the quarter with an average of 43% of listed homes with sales occurring following a price reduction.

 

From a home buyer’s perspective, the best properties sold quickly and at a premium. Of the homes that remained on the market, there was ample room for negotiation to a fair price. Q3 home sellers were generally more informed and more likely to price realistically from the start and adjust quickly if they were off target.

 

This more balanced market afforded many more consumers the ability to comfortably complete a sell/buy transaction and with enough time and space to thoroughly conduct due diligence on prospective properties.

 

Click or scroll down to find your area report:

Seattle | Eastside | Mercer Island | Condos | Waterfront

 

Is it a Buyer's or Seller's Market?

 


SEATTLE

The Seattle in-city real estate market slowed from a racetrack inferno to cruising speed over the past year and a half. Prices softened an average of 2% in Q3 with the Central Seattle region feeling the biggest impact (down 7.6% from Q3 2018). The Ballard-Green Lake region had the highest number of Q3 sales (582) while the Lake Forest Park-Kenmore area boasted the most affordable cost per home square foot ($340). When it comes to returns, Lake Forest Park-Kenmore, South Seattle, and Richmond Beach-Shoreline were nearly tied for the strongest five-year growth trend at 73.9%, 73.3% and 73.2% respectively.

Seattle Q3 2019 Recap

Click here to view the complete report for a neighborhood by neighborhood breakdown of Average Sale Price, size, and number of homes sold.

Seattle Report

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EASTSIDE

Stimulated by announced expansion from the top names in tech, the Eastside is the place to be right now. Buyers found far fewer homes for sale—nearly 25% less—in Q3 than they did just one year ago. Sale prices in Kirkland, bolstered by recent announcements from Google and Tableau, were up an average of 15.4% over Q3 2018. Prices near the Microsoft campus, where the Spring District is coming online, where up 3.2%. The West Bellevue market saw a lower Median Sale Price which was attributable to fewer high-end sales in Q3 this year compared to last year. All in all, the Eastside had a very good quarter. Home sellers should be pleased with their returns and home buyers should feel good about purchasing in a robust market.

Eastside Q3 2019 Recap

Click here for the full report and neighborhood-by-neighborhood statistics!

Eastside Review

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MERCER ISLAND

Mercer Island experienced continued slowing in the luxury market with fewer waterfront sales (5) than typical in Q3. Conversely, many moderately-priced renovation-ready homes transacted this quarter bringing the overall Q3 Median Sale Price down 4% to $1,678,000. The Island is finally beginning to see a moderate number of building and remodel applications submitted after a two-year lull sparked by major changes in the city’s residential building code. The North End had the highest average cost per square foot ($620) while Mercerdale ($435) was most affordable. First Hill had the shortest average market time with just 5 days and East Mercer had the longest (117 days). Demand remains steady and we expect well-priced, turnkey condition homes to continue to do quite well as we move further into the fall market.

Mercer Island Q3 2019 Recap

Click here to view the complete report for a neighborhood by neighborhood breakdown of Average Sale Price, size, and number of homes sold.

Mercer Island Report

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CONDOS – SEATTLE & EASTSIDE

Competition from new and pre-sale buildings, aging structures, a larger percentage of affordable units transacting, and urban flight have contributed to the 12.3% Median Sale Price decline in Seattle to $438,500 (from $500,000 in Q3 2018). To be fair, the Five-Year Median Price Trend shows prices up 71.9% since Q3 2014, giving most condo owners a nice cushion to fall back on.

The Median Sale Price was down 1.9% on the Eastside to $471,000 from $480,000. An extremely low number of resale units for sale, coupled with many of the same attributes impacting the Seattle condo market, contributed to the slight softening seen in the Eastside condo market.

Recent changes in Washington condo laws will eventually bring more condos and townhomes online in the next economic cycle, but potential buyers may have to wait 5-7 years to see that morph from concept to reality.

Check out all of these factoids and more in the full condo report.

Condo Report

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WATERFRONT

Seattle had 13 private waterfront home sales in Q3, the highest of which was a $10.6 million Laurelhurst estate on a shy acre with 150 feet on the water. The Eastside (Bellevue-Kirkland) had nine sales in Q3, including a $15.4 million 1925-built Yarrow Point home on 1.15 acres with 100 feet along the water’s edge. Further east, Lake Sammamish had eleven waterfront sales in Q3 ranging from $2.0-4.5 million.

Centrally located to the Seattle-Bellevue metro areas, Mercer Island had five private waterfront sales ranging from a $10.1 million, 2002-built North End home with 124 feet of waterfront on one and a half acres to a $3.6 million, mid-century Eastside home with 85 feet on the water and just over half an acre.

This top-level overview of the entire Seattle-Eastside private waterfront market, including Mercer Island and Lake Sammamish, provides a glance into the trends occurring in our region over time. Interesting, and certainly insightful, it in no way replaces an in-depth analysis on waterfront value provided by a savvy broker with years of local waterfront experience.

Waterfront Report

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ABOUT WINDERMERE MERCER ISLAND

We earn the trust and loyalty of our brokers and clients by doing real estate exceptionally well. The leader in our market, we deliver client-focused service in an authentic, collaborative and transparent manner and with the unmatched knowledge and expertise that comes from decades of experience.

 

 

© Copyright 2019, Windermere Real Estate/Mercer Island. Information and statistics derived from Northwest Multiple Listing Service and deemed accurate but not guaranteed.


Posted on October 15, 2019 at 10:27 am
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Planning for the Life Expectancy of Your Home

Planning Ahead: The Life Expectancy of Your Home's Components

 

Nothing in life lasts forever – and the same can be said for your home. From the roof to the furnace, every component of your home has a lifespan, so it’s a good idea to know approximately how many years of service you can expect from them. This information can help when buying or selling your home, budgeting for improvements, and deciding between repairing or replacing when problems arise.

 

According to a National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) study, the average life expectancy of some home components has decreased over the past few decades. (This might explain why you’re on your third washing machine while Grandma still has the same indestructible model you remember from childhood.) But the good news is the lifespan of many other items has actually increased in recent years.

 

Here’s a look at the average life spans of some common home components (courtesy of NAHB).

 

APPLIANCES. Of all home components, appliances have the widest variation in life spans. These are averages for all brands and models and may represent the point which replacing is more cost-effective than repairing. Among major appliances, gas ranges have the longest life expectancy, at about 15 years. Electric ranges, standard-size refrigerators, and clothes dryers last about 13 years, while garbage disposals grind away for about 10 years. Dishwashers, microwave ovens, and mini-refrigerators can all be expected to last about nine years. For furnaces, expect a lifespan of about 15 years for electric, 18 for gas, and 20 for oil-burning models. Central air-conditioning systems generally beat the heat for 10 to 15 years.

 

KITCHEN & BATH. Countertops of wood, tile, and natural stone will last a lifetime, while cultured marble will last about 20 years. The lifespan of laminate countertops depends greatly on the use and can be 20 years or longer. Kitchen faucets generally last about 15 years. An enamel-coated steel sink will last five to 10 years; stainless will last at least 30 years; and slate, granite, soapstone, and copper should endure 100 years or longer. Toilets, on average, can serve at least 50 years (parts such as the wax ring, flush assembly, and seat will likely need replacing), and bathroom faucets tend to last about 20 years.

 

FLOORING. Natural flooring materials provide longevity as well as beauty: Wood, marble, slate, and granite should all last 100 years or longer, and tile, 74 to 100 years. Laminate products will survive 15 to 25 years, linoleum about 25 years, and vinyl should endure for about 50 years. Carpet will last eight to 10 years on average, depending on use and maintenance.

 

SIDING, ROOFING, WINDOWS & DECKS. Brick siding normally lasts 100 years or longer, aluminum siding about 80 years, and stucco about 25 years. The lifespan of wood siding varies dramatically – anywhere from 10 to 100 years – depending on the climate and level of maintenance. For roofs, slate or tile will last about 50 years, wood shingles can endure 25 to 30 years, the metal will last about 25 years, and asphalts got you covered for about 20 years. Unclad wood windows will last 30 years or longer, aluminum will last 15 to 20 years, and vinyl windows should keep their seals for 15 to 20 years. Cedar decks average 15-25 years if properly cleaned and treated, while high quality composite decks should easily last 30 years with minimal maintenance.

 

Of course, none of these averages matter if you have a roof that was improperly installed or a dishwasher that was a lemon right off the assembly line. In these cases, early replacement may be the best choice. Conversely, many household components will last longer than you need them to, as we often replace fully functional items for cosmetic reasons, out of a desire for more modern features, or as a part of a quest to be more energy efficient.

 

Are extended warranties warranted?

Extended warranties, also known as service contracts or service agreements, are sold for all types of household items, from appliances to electronics. They cover service calls and repairs for a specified time beyond the manufacturer’s standard warranty. Essentially, warranty providers (manufacturers, retailers, and outside companies) are betting that a product will be problem-free in the first years of operation, while the consumer who purchases a warranty is betting against reliability.

 

Warranty providers make a lot of money on extended warranties, and Consumers Union, which publishes Consumer Reports, advises against purchasing them. You will have to consider whether the cost is worth it to you; for some, it brings a much-needed peace of mind when making such a large purchase. Also, consider if it the cost outweighs the value of the item; in some cases, it may be less expensive to just replace a broken appliance than pay for insurance or a warranty.

 


ABOUT WINDERMERE MERCER ISLAND

We earn the trust and loyalty of our brokers and clients by doing real estate exceptionally well. The leader in our market, we deliver client-focused service in an authentic, collaborative and transparent manner and with the unmatched knowledge and expertise that comes from decades of experience.

 

 

© Copyright 2019, Windermere Real Estate/Mercer Island. Adapted from an article originally posted on Windermere.com.


Posted on September 4, 2019 at 10:08 am
Windermere MI | Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

2019 Football Schedules, Venues, Recipes & Tips…

Football Fans Assemble! Schedules, Venues, Food & Tips

 

Are you ready for some football? Scroll down for printable schedules, favorite places to watch, game-day recipes and awesome tailgating hacks…

 


Download the Seattle Pro Football ScheduleDownload the UW College Football ScheduleDownload the WSU College Football Schedule

 


 

5 Favorite Seattle Area Spots to Watch the Game

Can’t make it to the stadium? Here are some tried and true local hot spots where you can catch the game in good company. All of these venues are family friendly for your little 12s, too!

1. Tavern Hall, Bellevue

Right in the heart of Bellevue Square, Tavern Hall offers 30 (!!) flatscreen TVs and 4 shuffleboard tables. Brick oven pizzas and pretzels accompany the 20+ different beer varietals on tap. All-ages restaurant + bar seating.

Tavern Hall

Photo courtesy of tavern-hall.com

2. Buckley’s in Belltown, Seattle

A 5-foot projection screen accompanies the 22+ TVs and 24 beer tabs in this family-friendly favorite. Check out the Queen Anne location as well (complete with a 10-foot projection screen!).

Buckley's in Belltown

Photo courtesy of buckleyspubs.com

3. Flying Pie Pizzeria, Issaquah

If you’re watching the game with kids (or just love good pizza), Flying Pie in Issaquah offers a full arcade, mounted TVs, pitchers of local beer and plenty of 1980s nostalgia. Gluten-free and vegan options provide a modern twist on the classic pizzeria.

Flying Pie Pizzeria

Photo courtesy of flyingpiepizzeria.com

4. Elliott Bay Brewery & Pub, West Seattle

Touted for its organic handcrafted ales, great food and kid-friendly atmosphere, the Elliott Bay brew pub also broadcasts local games on its mounted TVs. Don’t miss the local Stout Wort ice cream (made right across the street at the Husky Deli). Take a victory lap–or burn off all your stress eating–at nearby Alki Beach.

Elliott Bay Brewery & Pub

Photo courtesy of 5280lensmafia.wordpress.com

5. McMenamins Woodshop at Anderson School, Bothell

Northeast of Seattle, this converted schoolhouse in newly re-imagined downtown Bothell is well worth the drive. Enjoy shuffleboard, pool or pinball while you catch all the action on big screen TVs. Bribe kids with post-game pool time in the incredible North Shore Lagoon (with its own Tiki pub for mom or dad).

McMenamins Woodshop at Anderson School

Photo courtesy of parentmap.com.

 


 

12 Clutch Gameday Recipes


 

Click Here for Our Favorite Tailgating Hacks

 


ABOUT WINDERMERE MERCER ISLAND

We earn the trust and loyalty of our brokers and clients by doing real estate exceptionally well. The leader in our market, we deliver client-focused service in an authentic, collaborative and transparent manner and with the unmatched knowledge and expertise that comes from decades of experience.

 

© Copyright 2019, Windermere Real Estate/Mercer Island. Main photo courtesy of https://joenicholsonphotos.wordpress.com.


Posted on August 6, 2019 at 11:41 am
Windermere MI | Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,