Where Are Mortgage Rates Headed?

The interest rate you pay on your home mortgage has a direct impact on your monthly payment. The higher the rate the greater the payment will be. That is why it is important to look at where rates are headed when deciding to buy now or wait until next year.
According to a recent article in Kiplinger, 30 year mortgage rates are about to increase:
 “Now around 4.1%, rates will edge slowly toward 4.4% by the end of this year. Then they’ll follow the Treasury bond rate’s upward move in early 2015. Thirty-year home loans should end 2015 at around 5.1%, still low by historical standards.”
Here is a graph created by using interest rate projections in Freddie Mac’s August 2014 U.S. Economic & Housing Market Outlook:

 
 
 
 
 
 
How will this impact a mortgage payment?
Research released this month by Zillow reveals:
“We examined how a 1 percentage point rise in mortgage rates would impact monthly payments for the typical home in 35 metro areas, and found that the difference this year versus next year varies dramatically from market to market. In the San Jose/Silicon Valley area, for example, potential buyers should expect to see a monthly payment increase of more than $700 if they waited a year to buy the same home they were considering today. By contrast, in St. Louis, the difference is only $65 per month.” (emphasis added)

Bottom Line
Again, we turn to the Zillow research:
“As rates rise, new home buyers will confront higher financing costs and monthly mortgage payments. For many, this will mean tightening their budgets and sacrificing some luxuries they may take for granted today.”

If you are ready to make a home purchase, give us a call, text or email. We would love to put you in touch with a reputable lender who works quickly on your behalf in today's competitive real estate marketplace,

-Steve and Sandra



Steve Hill and Sandra Brenner

SEATTLE-NORTHWEST

Windermere Real Estate

 

Posted on August 21, 2014 at 10:00 pm
Steve Hill and Sandra Brenner | Category: Seattle WA Homes for Sale | Tagged , , , , , , , , ,

5 Reasons You Shouldn’t For Sale by Owner (FSBO)

Some homeowners consider trying to sell their home on their own, known in the industry as a For Sale by Owner (FSBO). We think there are several reasons this might not be a good idea for the vast majority of sellers.
Here are five of our reasons:
1. There Are Too Many People to Negotiate With
Here is a list of some of the people with whom you must be prepared to negotiate if you decide to FSBO.
  • The buyer who wants the best deal possible
  • The buyer’s agent who solely represents the best interest of the buyer
  • The buyer’s attorney (in some parts of the country)
  • The home inspection companies which work for the buyer and will almost always find some problems with the house
  • The appraiser if there is a question of value
  • Your bank in the case of a short sale
2. Exposure to Prospective Purchasers
Recent studies have shown that 92% of buyers search online for a home. That is in comparison to only 28% looking at print newspaper ads. Most real estate agents have an extensive internet strategy to promote the sale of your home. Do you?
3.  Actual Results also come from the Internet
Where do buyers find the home they actually purchased?
  • 43% on the internet
  • 9% from a yard sign
  • 1% from newspapers
The days of selling your house by just putting up a sign and putting it in the paper are long gone. Having a strong internet strategy is crucial.
4. FSBOing has Become More and More Difficult
The paperwork involved in selling and buying a home has increased dramatically as industry disclosures and regulations have become mandatory. This is one of the reasons that the percentage of people FSBOing has dropped from 19% to 9% over the last 20+ years.
5. You Net More Money when Using an Agent
Many homeowners believe that they will save the real estate commission by selling on their own. Realize that the main reason buyers look at FSBOs is because they also believe they can save the real commission. The seller and buyer can’t both save the same commission.
Studies have shown that the typical house sold by the homeowner sells for $184,000 while the typical house sold by an agent sells for $230,000.   This doesn’t mean that an agent can get $46,000 more for your home as studies have shown that people are more likely to FSBO in markets with lower price points. However, it does show that selling on your own might not make sense.
Bottom Line
Before you decide to take on the challenges of selling your house on your own, sit with us and see what we have to offer.
-Steve and Sandra



Steve Hill and Sandra Brenner

SEATTLE-NORTHWEST

Windermere Real Estate

 

Posted on August 18, 2014 at 10:00 pm
Steve Hill and Sandra Brenner | Category: Seattle WA Real Estate | Tagged , , , , , , , , ,

5 Reasons to Hire a Seattle WA Area Real Estate Professional

Whether you are buying or selling a home, it can be quite an adventurous journey. You need an experienced Real Estate Professional to lead you to your ultimate goal. In this world of instant gratification and internet searches, many sellers think that they can For Sale by Owner or FSBO. The 5 Reasons You NEED a Real Estate Professional in your corner haven’t changed, but have rather been strengthened in recent months due to the projections of higher mortgage interest rates & home prices as the market continues to recover.
1. What do you do with all this paperwork?
Each state has different regulations regarding the contracts required for a successful sale, and these regulations are constantly changing. A true Real Estate Professional is an expert in their market and can guide you through the stacks of paperwork necessary to make your dream a reality.
2. Ok, so you found your dream house, now what?
According to the Orlando Regional REALTOR Association, there are over 230 possible actions that need to take place during every successful real estate transaction. Don’t you want someone who has been there before, who knows what these actions are to make sure that you acquire your dream?
3. Are you a good negotiator?
So maybe you’re not convinced that you need an agent to sell your home. However, after looking at the list of parties that you need to be prepared to negotiate with, you’ll realize the value in selecting a Real Estate Professional. From the buyer (who wants the best deal possible), to the home inspection companies, to the appraiser, there are at least 11 different people that you will have to be knowledgeable with and answer to, during the process.
4. What is the home you’re buying/selling really worth?
It is important for your home to be priced correctly from the start to attract the right buyers and shorten the time that it’s on the market. You need someone who is not emotionally connected to your home to give you the truth as to your home’s value. According to the National Association of REALTORS, “the typical FSBO home sold for $184,000 compared to $230,000 among agent-assisted home sales.” Get the most out of your transaction by hiring a professional.
5. Do you know what’s really going on in the market?
There is so much information out there on the news and the internet about home sales, prices, mortgage rates; how do you know what’s going on specifically in your area? Who do you turn to in order to competitively price your home correctly at the beginning of the selling process? How do you know what to offer on your dream home without paying too much, or offending the seller with a low-ball offer?

Dave Ramsey, the financial guru advises:

“When getting help with money, whether it’s insurance, real estate or investments, you should always look for someone with the heart of a teacher, not the heart of a salesman.”

Hiring an agent who has their finger on the pulse of the market will make your buying/selling experience an educated one. You need someone who is going to tell you the truth, not just what they think you want to hear.
Bottom Line:
You wouldn’t hike up Mt. Everest without a Sherpa, or replace the engine in your car without a trusted mechanic. Why would you make one of your most important financial decisions of your life without hiring a Real Estate Professional?
When you are ready to make your first or next home pruchase, give us a call, text or email. We would love to work for you!
-Steve and Sandra



Steve Hill and Sandra Brenner

SEATTLE-NORTHWEST

Windermere Real Estate

 

Posted on August 14, 2014 at 10:05 pm
Steve Hill and Sandra Brenner | Category: Seattle WA Real Estate | Tagged , , , , , , , , ,

Salmon Chanted Evening – Support Seattle Parks!

DATE: August 31st, 2014 ~ One night only!
TIME: come anytime between 12-6 PM
LOCATION: Victor Steinbrueck Park (just north of Pike Place Market)
PRICE: $30, all proceeds goes directly to Seattle Parks Department

A warm breeze, a golden-hour view of Elliott Bay and the Olympics, a perfectly grilled piece of salmon with scrumptious sides…. that alone may sound like the perfect summer day in Seattle.

Tom Douglas and his chefs are preparing your dinner in this tasty summer picnic hosted in Victor Steinbrueck Park, just north of Pike Place Market. All proceeds of the $30 ticket goes directly to the Seattle Parks Department. Because we are only doing one picnic dinner this year, we have extended the time to 12-6 pm, and guests are encouraged to stop by anytime between at their leisure. There will also be live music by Blvd Park from 1-3 pm to provide some spirited entertainment!

Now in its fifth year, the picnic dinner helps support a summer park concierge and maintenance of the park, which is heavily used by tourists and locals, particularly in the summertime.

Join with friends and community as we celebrate great local food, our beautiful Puget Sound, and an important cause that benefits everyone around us!

MENU:
Grilled Salmon with Fennel Aioli
Toasted Hazelnut and Wild Rice Salad
Green Beans with Mustard Vinaigrette
Watermelon, Mint, and Feta Salad
Fruit Crisp
Beverages provided by Rachel's Ginger Beer and Talking Rain

Let's support our parks! -Steve and Sandra



Steve Hill and Sandra Brenner

SEATTLE-NORTHWEST

Windermere Real Estate

 

Posted on August 14, 2014 at 10:00 pm
Steve Hill and Sandra Brenner | Category: Seattle WA Parks | Tagged , , , , , , , , ,

Harvard’s 5 Financial Reasons to Buy a Home

Eric Belsky is Managing Director of the Joint Center of Housing Studies at Harvard University. He also currently serves on the editorial board of the Journal of Housing Research and Housing Policy Debate. Last year, he released a paper on homeownership – The Dream Lives On: the Future of Homeownership in America. In his paper, Belsky reveals five financial reasons people should consider buying a home.

Here are the five reasons, each followed by an excerpt from the study:

1.) Housing is typically the one leveraged investment available.

“Few households are interested in borrowing money to buy stocks and bonds and few lenders are willing to lend them the money. As a result, homeownership allows households to amplify any appreciation on the value of their homes by a leverage factor. Even a hefty 20 percent down payment results in a leverage factor of five so that every percentage point rise in the value of the home is a 5 percent return on their equity. With many buyers putting 10 percent or less down, their leverage factor is 10 or more.”
2.) You're paying for housing whether you own or rent. 
“Homeowners pay debt service to pay down their own principal while households that rent pay down the principal of a landlord.”
3.) Owning is usually a form of “forced savings”.
“Since many people have trouble saving and have to make a housing payment one way or the other, owning a home can overcome people’s tendency to defer savings to another day.”
4.) There are substantial tax benefits to owning.
“Homeowners are able to deduct mortgage interest and property taxes from income…On top of all this, capital gains up to $250,000 are excluded from income for single filers and up to $500,000 for married couples if they sell their homes for a gain.”
5.) Owning is a hedge against inflation.
“Housing costs and rents have tended over most time periods to go up at or higher than the rate of inflation, making owning an attractive proposition.”
Bottom Line
We realize that homeownership makes sense for many Americans for an assortment of social and family reasons. It also makes sense financially. Give us a call, text or email and let us show you how homeownership makes sense.
-Steve and Sandra



Steve Hill and Sandra Brenner

SEATTLE-NORTHWEST

Windermere Real Estate

 

Posted on August 13, 2014 at 9:45 pm
Steve Hill and Sandra Brenner | Category: Seattle WA Real Estate | Tagged , , , , , , , , ,

How Much Is Your Ballard Home Worth?

Find out for yourself immediately without talking to anyone right here.

http://www.seattlewahousevalues.com/

Posted on August 13, 2014 at 6:30 pm
Steve Hill and Sandra Brenner | Category: Seattle WA Real Estate | Tagged , , , , ,

You’ve Played the Housing Market Perfectly. Don’t Blow it Now!

Many people suffered through the housing crisis. We realize that most of the heartache was the result of a housing and mortgage market gone wild. Many consumers were swept away by the waters of a frenzied real estate market that resulted in a crisis even the experts didn’t see coming.

However, some of the suffering was caused by home buyers and home owners simply making bad decisions. NOT YOU! You didn’t buy that house that stretched your family finances past the point of sustainability. You didn’t take out a home equity loan and buy new water skis. You didn’t do a cash-out refinance for the maximum amount possible.

Instead, you bought a home your family could enjoy – and afford! You waited for interest rates to drop to historic lows and then refinanced your mortgage; not for the sake of taking cash out but instead to lower your monthly payment. You have equity in your house and a nice, low mortgage payment. You played the housing market perfectly.
 

Don’t Miss the Last Move

Yet, there is one more move many should consider. With interest rates still at historic lows, and prices projected to increase by almost 20% over the next four and a half years, this may be time to buy a new home.

Whether, you are a growing family ready to move-up to that waterfront home you always wanted or an empty nester downsizing to a home that makes more sense, now may be the time to buy. If you have considered buying a vacation/retirement home, there may never be a better time to move forward with that plan.

You have been fiscally astute enough to navigate the treacherous waters of a housing market that sank many a homeowner. Now, that the seas have settled, don’t think there aren’t even greater opportunities on the horizon.

You're ready, so give us a call, text or email. Let us help you make the next move.

-Steve and Sandra



Steve Hill and Sandra Brenner

SEATTLE-NORTHWEST

Windermere Real Estate

 

Posted on August 12, 2014 at 10:15 pm
Steve Hill and Sandra Brenner | Category: Seattle WA Real Estate | Tagged , , , , , , , , ,

Classic Seattle Home – Price Reduced!

11836 8th Ave NW Seattle, WA 98177

MLS 639756

$609,000

Privacy in a park-like setting is just the beginning of what this well-maintained classic brick home has to offer.

The gracious living room with large picture windows is perfect for entertaining year-round. When the sun comes out, move the party outside to the large west-facing deck. This home features a desirable layout with 3 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms on the main level. You’ll appreciate the space this home offers with a lower level 4th bedroom, a 3/4 bath and large family room.

More information HERE

For more information or a private showing of this home, give us a call, text or email.

-Steve and Sandra



Steve Hill and Sandra Brenner

SEATTLE-NORTHWEST

Windermere Real Estate

 

http://brennerhill.withwre.com/listing/WA/Seattle/11836-8th-Ave-NW-98177/25044215

Posted on August 11, 2014 at 10:00 pm
Steve Hill and Sandra Brenner | Category: Seattle WA Real Estate | Tagged , , , , , , , , ,

Seattle Median Home Price Leaps Past 2007 Peak!

The median price of single-family homes sold in Seattle rose last month to $543,500, blowing away the last peak of $501,000 set in August 2007 — before the housing bubble burst and the country went into the Great Recession. The Eastside isn’t far from its previous peak.By Coral Garnick and Sanjay Bhatt

Seattle Times business reporters

The median price of single-family homes sold in Seattle rose last month to $543,500, blowing away the last peak of $501,000 set in August 2007 — before the housing bubble burst and the country went into the Great Recession.

It’s too soon to say whether the Seattle market can sustain that level; in June the median price of homes sold was $499,000. Nationally, in July existing homes in the top 20 markets were 18 percent short of their summer 2006 peak, as measured by the S&P Case-Shiller index.

“The Seattle marketplace is a very special place in the nation because of our robust job sector,” said J. Lennox Scott, CEO of John L. Scott Real Estate. “We are just in one of those places in the nation where this recovery took place, and all the fundamentals are in place for it to continue.”

Interest rates and jobs are the key indicators to a strong housing market, Scott said — and interest rates are still low by historical standards, while in June the state’s unemployment rate dropped to 5.8 percent, a level not seen since September 2008.

On the Eastside, the median price of single-family homes sold in July was $624,900, just 2.6 percent off its peak of $640,975 set in May 2007.

Eastside price gains have been less steady than Seattle’s this summer: July’s median price was down slightly from June’s median of $630,000.

For King County, the median price of single-family homes sold has been steadily increasing since February. Last month, the countywide median rose to $468,000, a 7.8 percent increase over the year, the Northwest Multiple Listing Service (MLS) reported Wednesday.

That’s only 2.8 percent off the peak of $481,000 set in July 2007.

In Snohomish County, the median price of single-family homes sold in July was $335,000, a 10.2 percent increase over the year.

Full historical data was not immediately available, but the median price for single-family homes in the county so far this year is $324,970, about 12 percent below the last full-year peak of $371,000 in 2007.

The number of homes listed for sale in King County continued to increase in July, slightly reducing the frenzy of homebuying that has led to bidding wars all spring and summer.

But brokers say the listings tend to be in less sought-after areas and won’t make much of an impact on price.

“We just don’t have enough of the right inventory in the right neighborhoods to satisfy the demand,” Mike Gain, CEO and president of Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Northwest Real Estate, said in a statement.

“The lack of supply leads to multiple offers, and many properties selling for above their list prices.”

Inventory in King County was under two months in July, with the hottest markets — Ballard, Green Lake and North Seattle — having only a one-month supply.

A balanced market generally has enough supply for four to six months, meaning four to six homes are listed for sale for every one sold in a month.

In King County, there were 4,862 single-family homes listed in June, 6.1 percent more than a year earlier.

However, pending sales in July were 3.6 percent lower than last year, at 2,901. The number of homes sold stayed almost flat at 2,666.

First-timer

After months of searching and multiple offers, Kevin Wilson, a first-time homebuyer who had hoped to land in Kirkland, was forced to expand his search south.

With a low credit score and limited loan options, he found a town house in Renton for $124,600, and closed last month.

“I wanted to stay on the Eastside … but it is what it is, I’ll have to wait five or 10 years,” he said. “The place that I got, there were three other offers, and I put in my bid on the first day — with an escalation clause.”

Wilson also looked at condos on the Eastside, but said they were snatched up fast and usually out of his price range.

The median price for condos in King County last month was $250,000, with the Eastside higher at $263,000, and Seattle even higher at $287,225.

As home prices around Puget Sound continue to increase, brokers are hopeful that new construction will increase inventory and ease the shortages.

“Developer and builder confidence in the Seattle market has been steady, with real-estate developers shifting away from building apartments and moving to condos,” John Deely, principal managing broker at Coldwell Banker Bain in Seattle, said in a statement.

He added that new groundbreakings announced in July will add to the 500 units under construction in the area.

The generally tight inventory of houses has influenced prices across the county.

Southwest King County had the lowest median price at $270,000, up from $248,500 the same time last year.

The median price of homes sold in North King County was $400,000 up from $382,000 last year.

Meanwhile, in Kitsap County the median price rose 6.5 percent to $255,050. Pierce County’s median price increased 3.7 percent to $234,700.

Coral Garnick: 206-464-2422 or cgarnick@seattletimes.com. On Twitter @coralgarnick

Do you have questions about our areas real estate market? Give us a call, text or email. We would be happy to answer any questions you may have.

-Steve and Sandra



Steve Hill and Sandra Brenner

SEATTLE-NORTHWEST

Windermere Real Estate

 

 

Posted on August 8, 2014 at 10:00 pm
Steve Hill and Sandra Brenner | Category: Seattle WA Real Estate | Tagged , , , , , , , , ,

Home Prices…Where are they Headed?

Today, many real estate conversations center on housing prices and where they may be headed. That is why we like the Home Price Expectation Survey.
Every quarter, Pulsenomics surveys a nationwide panel of over one hundred economists, real estate experts and investment & market strategists about where prices are headed over the next five years. They then average the projections of all 100+ experts into a single number. 
The results of their latest survey
  • Home values will appreciate by 4.6% in 2014.
  • The cumulative appreciation will be 19.5% by 2018.
  • That means the average annual appreciation will be 3.6% over the next 5 years.
  • Even the experts making up the most bearish quartile of the survey still are projecting a cumulative appreciation of 11.2% by 2018.
Individual opinions make headlines. We believe the survey is a fairer depiction of future values. If you would like to know the current value of your property, please give us a call, text or email today!
-Steve and Sandra

Steve Hill and Sandra Brenner
SEATTLE-NORTHWEST
Windermere Real Estate

 

 

Posted on August 6, 2014 at 10:00 pm
Steve Hill and Sandra Brenner | Category: Seattle WA Real Estate | Tagged , , , , , , , , ,