Seattle’s home-price increases keep surging ahead of the rest of the nation even as the local housing market is showing a clear trend of slowing a bit. Across Greater Seattle, the typical single-family house cost 10.4 percent more in November than a year ago, the biggest increase of any metro area in the country, according to the Case-Shiller home-price index. It’s the third straight month that the Seattle area led the nation as the hottest housing market after a nine-year stretch without being on top. Continue reading
Fill the spots you hate with stuff that you love. If you loathe busy wallpaper in hallway, cover it with a gallery wall of family photos. Can’t figure out what to do with an oddly placed shelf the previous owners hung? Use it to show some meaningful knick-knacks.
Don’t underestimate the power of a houseplant. A well-placed succulent or fern can bring life (literally) into a dull space. They’re beautiful, can camouflage eyesores, and offer Continue reading
- Allow winter’s rain and melting snow to properly drain by removing fall leaves and other debris from your gutters.
- Consider having your furnace professionally cleaned and turned annually. Replace those furnace filters monthly, if needed.
- Repair any obvious leaks in the most common drafty areas: recessed lighting, window and door frames and electrical outlets.
- Feeling drafty? Check the attic to make sure you see a minimum of 12 inches of insulation.
- Check crawlspace for flooding after the first long rainfall.
- Check your heating ducts and clean out any abundant dust, animal hair and other debris that can gather and cause respiratory issues.
- Reverse your ceiling fans to force warm air downward, keeping your home more comfortable. Note to self: As you look up, blades should be turning clockwise during the winter months.
- Make sure you have at least one fire extinguisher on each floor and in the garage.
- If you haven’t checked the operation of your home’s smoke detectors.. now is a great time to do so. Check batteries too!
- Invest in a carbon-monoxide detector: Every home should have at least one. They also make great, utilitarian holiday gifts!
You may have thought that coming up with a down payment was the greatest financial hurdle you’d face, but as you’ll soon come to learn, there are numerous expenses associated with owning a home. Here’s how to handle them.
1. Create a new budget
Given that your monthly mortgage payment is bound to differ from your previous rent payment, it might seem like a no-brainer that you’ll need to adjust your budget accordingly. But there’s more to it than that, because you may find that other costs change by virtue of your new home. For example, if you move from a two-room apartment to Continue reading
What if you could invest in something that earned enough profit to pay for your child’s college tuition and still kept your initial investment growing towards your own retirement? That’s the picture when you purchase a home or condo as an investment for college. There are options in every price bracket and investment models that work no matter how soon college starts for your kids.
Interest rates are historically low and the demand for housing is continually rising in our tech-rich, mild-weathered, green, economically-advantaged neck of the woods. Companies like Amazon, Microsoft, Google, SpaceX, Boeing and Facebook attract over 5,000 net new people per month to the Sound, giving the Pacific Northwest a very hot housing market that’s grown strongly for generations. Don’t you wish you had bought Mercer Island waterfront in the 1980’s? In a few years Continue reading
Start with the exterior
As with any time of year, make sure that the house looks well maintained and cared for, with eaves clean and minor repairs taken care of. While you can’t paint in winter, washing paintwork and siding with warm soapy water on a mild day can make a big difference. Make sure the windows are freshly washed as well; winter light has a way of highlighting grime.
Tend to foliage
Make sure that shrubs and Continue reading
2 Less is more. Simple decorations
can speak volumes more than a room
crowded with all kinds of knick-knacks. Choose recipes that are tried and true favorites.
3 Leave the cooking to someone else.
A caterer may cost the same as buying the
ingredients yourself. And even if it’s more expensive, it may be worth the time and headache you save. Continue reading
You wake up in a cold sweat. There’s something lurking in the dark, visible by flickering computer light. Something’s haunting you. It’s… the real estate listings! Deep down, you’d love to own a home, but whenever you take steps beyond idle window-shopping, a chill runs up your spine, and paralyzes you from moving ahead.
So in case you’re harboring some heebie-jeebies, here are some of home buyers’ top concerns — tackled head on so you know what you’re really dealing with.
Fear # 1: ‘I’m afraid I can’t afford a home’ Continue reading
Should I negotiate the commission when I’m selling real estate?
We did an analysis of over 35,000 closed sales in King, Snohomish and Pierce Counties to see if the S.O.C. had any impact on a home’s selling price and on the time on market. For this project we looked at closed sales for all of 2015, but we only looked at residential resale under $1,000,000. We did not include new construction, short sales, bank owned properties, land or mobile homes. Here is what we found. Continue reading