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Challenges for First-Time Homebuyers

(Published on - 4/12/2018 3:22:12 PM)

 

Every potential homebuyer has something specific in mind when they begin searching for a home. Some want a quiet, small-town atmosphere, while others prefer the excitement of the big city. Where school districts matter to some, others may be more interested in the nightlife. But one thing every potential buyer wants is an affordable option.

That's where it gets tricky. Finding an attractive home that suits one's lifestyle is hard enough, but affording it is another matter entirely. Let's look at four obstacles that tend to intimidate homebuyers in 2018:

1. A shortage of affordable homes -- Finding an affordable home is a difficult hurdle to clear, especially for the first-time homebuyer. According to Experian's 2017 Homebuyers Survey, affordability is the real issue. Strong demand and limited inventory have driven prices up across the board.

2. A lack of education on the homebuying process -- Many first-time homebuyers are under the impression that a 20 percent down payment is non-negotiable when buying a home. But there are state programs and other options that can help make buying more affordable.

3. Student debt -- While wages have stagnated, college costs have continued to rise. This means younger homebuyers are burdened with student debt that previous generations didn't have. It's not that millennials don't want to own homes; they just don't think they can afford them.

4. Bad credit -- According to Experian, 43 percent of potential homebuyers are having a tough time obtaining home loans. Nearly 30 percent cite poor or limited credit history as the problem.

Are your clients facing these challenges? Talk to them. See what's on their minds. This will help you provide the education and resources needed to help them complete the journey to homeownership.

 


Redfin Ranks 2017’s Most Competitive Neighborhoods for Homebuyers

(Published on - 12/31/2017 8:08:38 PM)

We are aware that the real estate market in Seattle and the surrounding Puget Sound areas have been extremely competitive the last few years. As we entering into 2018, let take a look at the ranking of the most competitive neighborhoods nationally by Redfin. 

Nineteen of the Top 25 Were in the Seattle Area. The Rest Were in San Jose, Boston and Denver.

Click on link for the original article.

Most competitive neighborhoods for homebuyers in 2017


Ready to buy property? Look to Seattle and the Pacific Northwest.

(Published on - 11/3/2017 7:08:52 PM)

Seattle_Kerry_Park

Seattle, WA is now the best large city in America to to purchase real estate, according to a study by WalletHub. It's not too surprising that the West Coast city has eclipsed some of the country's more prominent metropolises, because Seattle has been on an upward swing for decades now.

In fact, the Emerald City has always been a boomtown. Historically, it was one of the quintessential frontier towns of the 1800's, but today it's experiencing a thoroughly modern renaissance, bolstered by a rapidly growing tech scene and ever-expanding cultural cachet. Home to Microsoft and Amazon, Pike Place, Chihuly Garden and Glass and, yes, Christian Grey, Seattle is having a moment.

Now, it also boasts the nation's hottest real estate market, ranging from sleek urban condos with views of the Sound to quaint Norman-style homes on the fringe of the urban hustle-and-bustle. Home values have shot up 13.5% in the past year, according to Fortune — great news for people already invested in the region.

Despite the rise in price, this still might be the right moment to strike for prospective buyers looking West. WalletHub based their report on a wealth of factors, ranging from foreclosure rates to home value forecasts. Seattle beat out other burgeoning hubs like Nashville, TN and Denver, CO for the top spot.

Of course, there are plenty of other communities earning accolades for their hot real estate markets. Seattle may be the best big city (defined by the report as having 300,000 people or more), but the overall winner was actually the small Texas city of Frisco.

And a few cities, inevitably, wound up at the bottom of the list. Detroit, MI was dubbed the worst big city real estate market of 2017, while two New Jersey cities, Newark and Paterson, finished last for mid- and small-sized cities.

 

The article originally appeared on Elle Decor by Becca Endicott - IT'S OFFICIAL — SEATTLE IS THE BEST CITY IN THE COUNTRY TO BUY REAL ESTATE

 


The 10 Hottest Neighborhoods in Seattle in 2017

(Published on - 6/2/2017 9:18:42 PM)

A peek into the statistics, stories, and local history of the city’s most desirable locales for homebuyers.

 

THE LOCAL HOUSING MARKET isn’t so much hot as it is blazing at temperatures only measurable by NASA. Between 2015 and 2016, Seattle grew more than it has in any single year in the past century, adding nearly 90,000 new residents in just 12 months, making it one of the country’s fastest-growing cities and its single hottest housing market. The reasons for this historic influx are no secret: a thriving tech industry, distinct and lively neighborhoods, breathtaking summers, and really good oysters.

Many pockets of the city are heart-eyes desirable for families looking to put down roots in traditional neighborhoods while taking on a relatively short work commute to one of the many booming companies that call Seattle home.

It’s expected that central neighborhoods like Capitol Hill and Ballard would continue to blind prospective homeowners with the radiance of their respective markets. But this growth also means neighborhoods that were once considered sovereign outliers are being inducted into Seattle Proper.

The following 10 neighborhoods are some of the hottest, picked for either rises in home value, drops in inventory, new attention from developers, or all of the above. Voices from within these communities—longtime residents, transplants, local business owners—illuminate what it’s like to live surrounded by such rapid expansion.

 

1) Ballard

Est. population: 13,000
Median Home Value: $499,100 
Home Value Increase Since 2016: 12.5%  


2) North Queen Anne

Est. Population: 11,300
Median Home Value: $826,900
Home Value Increase Since 2016: 5%


3) Beacon Hill

Est. pop: 13,000
Median Home Value: $499,100
Home Value Increase Since 2016: 12.5%


4) White Center

Est. population: 13,500
Median Home Value: $347,800
Home Value Increase Since 2016: 14.1%


5) Central District

Est. population: 7,300
Median Home Value: $671,700
Home Value Increase Since 2016: 11.7%


6) Roosevelt

Est. population: 8,800
Median Home Value: $717,500
Home Value Increase Since 2016: 13%


7) South Lake Union/Downtown

Est. population: 24,000
Median Home Value: $666,400
Home Value Increase Since 2016: 6%


8) Capitol Hill

Est. population: 36,800
Median Home Value: $560,200
Home Value Increase Since 2016: 12.9% 


9) Columbia City

Est. population: 10,000
Median Home Value: $513,700
Home Value Increase Since 2016: 15.3%


10) West Seattle Junction

Est. population: 10,000
Median Home Value: $613,100
Home Value Increase Since 2016: 13.3%


 

This is a summary of an article by Darren Davis 4/20/2017 at 4:00pm Published in the May 2017 issue of Seattle Met. 

The 10 Hottest Neighborhoods in Seattle in 2017

 


4 Tips for Effectively Making an Offer

(Published on - 5/17/2017 8:56:28 PM)

So, you’ve been searching for that perfect house to call a ‘home,’ and you finally found one! The price is right, and in such a competitive market, you want to make sure that you make a good offer so that you can guarantee that your dream of making this house yours comes true!

Freddie Mac covered “4 Tips for Making an Offer” in their latest Executive Perspective.Here are the 4 tips they covered along with some additional information for your consideration:

 

1. Understand How Much You Can Afford

 

“While it's not nearly as fun as house hunting, fully understanding your finances is critical in making an offer.”

This ‘tip’ or ‘step’ should really take place before you start your home search process.

As we’ve mentioned before, getting pre-approved is one of many steps that will show home sellers that you are serious about buying, and will allow you to make your offer with the confidence of knowing that you have already been approved for a mortgage for that amount. You will also need to know if you are prepared to make any repairs that may need to be made to the house (ex: new roof, new furnace).

 

2. Act Fast

 

“Even though there are fewer investors, the inventory of homes for sale is also low and competition for housing continues to heat up in many parts of the country.” 

According to the latest Existing Home Sales Report, the inventory of homes for sale is currently at a 3.7-month supply; this is well below the 6-month supply that is needed for a ‘normal’ market. Buyer demand has continued to outpace the supply of homes for sale, causing buyers to compete with each other for their dream homes.

Make sure that as soon as you decide that you want to make an offer, you work with your agent to present it as soon as possible.

 

3. Make a Solid Offer

Freddie Mac offers this advice to help make your offer the strongest it can be:

“Your strongest offer will be comparable with other sales and listings in the neighborhood. A licensed real estate agent active in the neighborhoods you are considering will be instrumental in helping you put in a solid offer based on their experience and other key considerations such as recent sales of similar homes, the condition of the house and what you can afford.”

Talk with your agent to find out if there are any ways that you can make your offer stand out in this competitive market!

 

4. Be Prepared to Negotiate

“It's likely that you'll get at least one counteroffer from the sellers so be prepared. The two things most likely to be negotiated are the selling price and closing date. Given that, you'll be glad you did your homework first to understand how much you can afford.

Your agent will also be key in the negotiation process, giving you guidance on the counteroffer and making sure that the agreed-to contract terms are met.”

If your offer is approved, Freddie Mac urges you to “always get an independent home inspection, so you know the true condition of the home." If the inspector uncovers undisclosed problems or issues, you can discuss any repairs that may need to be made with the seller, or cancel the contract.

 

Bottom Line 

Whether you’re buying your first home or your fifth, having a local professional on your side who is an expert in their market is your best bet in making sure the process goes smoothly. Happy House Hunting!

 

Source: Keeping Current Matters 4 Tips for Effectively Making an Offer


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