Rainier Valley Is Rockin’!

 

Seattle has many fantastic neighborhoods. You’ve probably heard of Ballard, Queen Anne or Capitol Hill, to name a few. As these long-standing popular neighborhoods continue to increase in density, it is time to turn our attention to up-and-coming areas blossoming with fantastic restaurants and shops. Rainier Valley is on the top of our list!

 

Rainier Valley Real Estate

For Sale: Fantastic Townhome

Located in south Seattle, Rainier Valley is a hub of excitement growing in conjunction with the communities of Columbia City, Hillman City, Brighton and Beacon Hill. Filled with independent, small and minority-owned businesses, great services and lots of activities, Rainier Valley is the place to be.

 

We created this handy guide to help you get started on exploring all that Rainier Valley has to offer. After hitting all the spots, we are sure you’ll fall in love with the are and want to move in!

 

THE NEIGHBORS

Columbia City

Columbia City is a historic landmark district in South Seattle, known for its international mix of restaurants and cafes, live music venues, Ark Lodge Cinema, and locally-owned shops and businesses. In the 1890’s, Columbia City was the last stop on the trolley line from downtown Seattle.  Now, it is at the heart of the Light Rail line, 15 minutes from Sea-Tac Airport and 11 minutes to Downtown – Columbia City Business Association

 

Rainier Valley Neighborhood Columbia City

Photo Credit – Columbia City Business Association Facebook

Hillman City

A community of collaborators, Hillman City is always abuzz with neighborhood gatherings and new businesses popping up. From breweries to co-working spaces, Hillman City is a wonderful area to relax and be yourself.

 

Brighton

Brighton is a primarily residential neighborhood in the Rainier Valley district. It is just south of the Hillman City neighborhood and about a mile and a half south of the Columbia City neighborhood and retail district. It was reportedly named “Brighton Beach” after the English resort city of Brighton in East Sussex.

 

Beacon Hill

Beacon Hill is a giant, pea pod-shaped neighborhood in south Seattle that is booming with new development. Beacon Hill offers residents – many families and young professionals – an urban feel without being too close to the hustle and bustle with lots of bars, restaurants, coffee shops, and parks.

 

FOOD

Geraldine’s Counter

People come from far and wide to stand in line outside of Geraldine’s. It is continuously voted one Seattle’s top breakfast and brunch destinations – and it is right here in the heart of Rainier Valley! Located on a busy corner in Columbia City, Geraldine’s supports customers from far and wide with Americana comfort food.

 

Empire Espresso

Empire Espresso is a cozy Columbia City gem that manages to feel both bustling and calm enough for reading or working. The staff are known for their seasonal latte art, so every frothy cup — from traditional to matcha to cayenne — ought to feature something Instagram-worthy. And the snacks include crispy waffles (including vegan and gluten-free versions), killer paninis, and hearty hummus plates. – Eater Seattle

 

Amy’s Merkato

Rainier Valley Food Amy's Merkato

Photo Credit – Amy’s Merkato Facebook

Established in 1992 by Amy herself and now owned by Judy and Filli, Amy’s Merkato is a restaurant, deli, and café AND, of course, is also Seattle’s first Ethiopian Market. The Google reviews and Globalist praise are enough for you to be sure Amy’s Merkato is the city’s best Ethiopian restaurant.

 

NW Peaks Brewery

If you didn’t believe us before, you need not worry any longer. NW Peaks Brewery, a stable of the hip Ballard community, has opened its doors in Rainier Valley’s Hillman City! It features unique beers and specialty casks for special occasions. Both tap rooms are open 7 days a week and are family friendly

 

Pizzeria con Cucina

It began as an idea back in 2004 inspired by a trip to Italy and stoked by some life experiences in Washington DC. After the owners moved back to the beloved Pacific Northwest, hosted several backyard fundraising parties, found investors, secured a location and undertook six months of building, the doors of Pizzeria con Cucina opened in Beacon Hill on July 15th, 2011.

 

SHOPPING

Third Place Books

Third Place Seward Park is a general-interest bookstore featuring new and used books with a used-book buying counter open seven days a week. It opened its doors in May of 2016 in the Seward Park neighborhood of south Seattle. It provides a gathering space for its community by hosting over 200 events a year! – Third Place Books

 

Rainier Valley Shopping Furniture

Photo Credit – Jacob Willard Home Facebook

Jacob Willard Home

Family-owned vintage furniture shop Jacob Willard Home operated online before opening its Hillman City showroom. In addition to a wide variety of restored midcentury furniture, it sells a selection of collectibles and LPs—and offers upholstery and refinishing services. Open Tuesday-Saturday, you can swing by the shop while you’re on your way home from work, the farmers market or a stroll! – Curbed Seattle

 

Hello Bicycle

In the winter of 2008, Hello Bicycle was founded with the mission to bring Beacon Hill a bicycle shop that could meet the needs of the diverse ridership in the area. Sam took ownership in 2018 and continues to help, educate, and encourage riders from all skill levels and background. Hello Bicycle approaches every encounter with the highest level of customer experience and detail oriented bicycle repair.

 

Southcenter

Okay, so it is not in Rainier Valley per say, but Southcenter is a fantastic area and shopping mall that is super close to Rainier Valley. There you will find everything you need from Target to iFly Indoor Skydiving and beyond!

 

BEAUTY, HEALTH AND WELLNESS

Rainier Valley Exercise

Photo Credit – Rocket CrossFit

Rocket CrossFit

Rocket is owned by husband and wife duo Brady and Alyssa. It was started in 2011 by Brady, who had a vision about creating community through fitness. “We are pretty sure we’ve got the best trainers in the city, and our incredible members deserve no less. We are the place where you can set aside all of your fears and insecurities while you find strength you didn’t know you had, cheered on by a remarkably diverse group of people who are doing the same thing.” – Rocket Crossfit

 

Tina’s Hair & Nail Salon

With top ratings on Yelp, Nextdoor and more, the community members of south Seattle and Rainier Valley LOVE Tina’s Hair & Nails Salon. They basically describe Tina and her staff as beauty wizards. It is quite possibly the most beloved hair/nail salon in Seattle. You be the judge!

 

PARKS

Rainier Valley Parks

Photo Credit – City of Seattle

Kubota Gardens

The greater Seattle area has oh so many parks including the magical Kubota Gardens. It is a stunning 20-acre landscape blending Japanese garden concepts with native Northwest plants. Since 1987 it has been owned by the city and is an historical landmark. Visit the park to enjoy the beautiful landscaping or join in one of its many year-round events!

 

Seward Park

Just over the hill is one of the most peaceful parks Seattle has to offer. Named for William H. Seward, the Secretary of State who was responsible for America’s purchase of Alaska in 1867, Seward Park boasts 300 acres of something for everyone. It is home to eagles’ nests, forest land, old growth forest, a 2.4 mile bike and walking path, an amphitheater, a native plant garden, an art studio, a playground, shoreline, beaches and more.

 

SEASONAL

Columbia City Farmers Market

Seattle has a vibrant farmers market scene. The Columbia City Farmers Market, which began in 1998, is a beautiful gathering point for local farmers and community members to come together. Small farmers come in person to sell their food products to neighborhood residents while also providing education about their farm products and the importance of supporting and preserving local farmland. Check it out every Wednesday from May – October!

 

Rainier Valley Music

Photo Credit – BeatWalk

HONK! Fest West

HONK! Fest West is a free, non-profit, community music festival driven by the energetic performance of street bands in public spaces. Completely volunteer-planned and organized, HONK! festivals are a part of a global renaissance of community street band culture. For three days in Seattle area parks and streets, 25+ bands deliver music and celebration that is accessible to all. – HONK! Fest West

 

BeatWalk

For over 25 years, BeatWalk has brought incredible live music to the heart of Columbia City! Thanks to our generous sponsors, Beatwalk remains FREE for all ages! BeatWalk always features a great line-up of first-rate, local musicians hosted by neighborhood businesses for audiences of all ages. Since 1995 BeatWalk has brought music lovers together for a fun and safe night out on the town. – BeatWalk

 

SERVICES

Light Rail

Rainier Valley Real Estate Kari Haas

Photo Credit – Kari Haas

The whole of Rainier Valley is conveniently situated along Sound Transit’s light rail including the new Othello Corridor. With numerous stops in the area, the whole city is at your fingertips! Such easy access makes Rainier Valley an excellent place to live.

 

Kari Haas – Windermere

After just 6 years in the industry, Kari Haas has risen to a top producer in her office of over 100 agents for the past 2 years in a row! Make sure to check out all the reviews she has on Zillow. If you or your friends are looking to buy or sell in the area, she’s the one you want.

 

Utilities

There is nothing more satisfying than easy access to your utilities. For that reason, we have all that info for you right here!

Cable, Internet & Phone: Comcast 800-934-6489; Wave 855-971-1252

Electricity, Garbage, Sewer & Water: Seattle Public Utilities/Seattle City Light 206-684-3000

Gas: Puget Sound Energy 888-225-5773

 


Posted on July 22, 2019 at 6:02 pm
Kari Haas | Posted in blog roll, Food, Kari's Blog, Neighborhoods, South Seattle | Tagged , , , , , ,

How to Boost the Value of Your Vacation Rental

 

Seattle at Dusk - Pixabay

 

Tens of thousands of dollars — that’s how much you could be making by renting your property out to vacationers if you do it right. Boosting the overall level of comfort and aesthetic appeal could turn a modest dwelling into a cash cow. Potential guests are willing to shell out for the extras, as long as they’re the right ones. If you want to turn their heads, as well as a tidy profit, you need to have a top-notch rental in a great area to get an excellent return on investment.

 

Location Is Important

Having a rental that’s close to activities, shopping, and dining makes all the difference. And when marketing your vacation rental, you want to highlight these nearby attractions — especially since you’re likely to have competition in a hot market like Seattle. If your rental is in one of Seattle’s many unique neighborhoods (Shoreline, Ballard, Queen Anne, Capitol Hill and West Seattle to name a few!) you’re well on your way to attracting guests. And even if you aren’t in one of these neighborhoods, look for other ways to make your rental stand out.

 

Whether seeking a vacation rental or searching for a forever home, location is key. Make it as easy as possible to envision the geography of the area and what activities, shops and services are nearby. This property is in the heart of Queen Anne with a gorgeous view of Puget Sound, easy access to downtown, and around the corner from the Seattle Center.

 

 

Upgrade the Kitchen

Vacationers often rent homes rather than stay at hotels in order to cook for themselves, so offer them a pleasant experience preparing their meals. First, make any necessary changes to the layout. Then, continue with popular upgrades that focus on function and appearance, such as new countertops and fixtures.

 

Upscale custom cabinets, new appliances and imported granite? Yes please! This home has gorgeous updates in every room including two master suites. Searching for an investment property to use for a vacation rental? Look no further than right here!

 

Add Some Appliances

New appliances could seal the deal when a potential client is considering your property for rental. They’ll expect the basics, such as an oven, refrigerator, and microwave, while toasters, blenders, and food processors make for attractive bonuses — as long as they don’t take up too much space.

 

Redo the Bathrooms

You can save money by doing a bathroom remodel yourself. You’ll significantly boost value with a coat of paint, some fresh grout, and a new vanity. Of course, if you’re not handy with a hammer and drill, hiring a contractor to install these wouldn’t be a bad idea. If you want to do a full remodel, make sure there’s room in your budget. Even a mid-range bathroom remodel averages $19,000. However, the Kari Haas team has great resources and new bathrooms are often less than $7,000 for designer details!

 

If they are looking into renting a home for their vacation, these vacationers are probably most interested in being a tourist in the city. If you want to really impress them with your property, don’t just stop with the kitchen remodel, bring the vacation into every room, including the bathroom. Who ever said no to a giant luxurious soaking tub?

 

Install New Lighting

New lighting will make the whole interior look more spacious, warm, and inviting. There are a few ways to do this quickly and easily using recessed fixtures and sconces, with perhaps some under-cabinet task lighting in the kitchen to make cooking that much easier. And don’t forget the outdoors, particularly the path that leads to the doorway.

 

Give It a Unique Decor

Provide an experience that’s one of a kind rather than run of the mill. You can do that without busting your budget by buying furnishings and decorations at secondhand or outlet stores, estate sales, consignment shops, and auctions. There’s treasure to be discovered there.

 

Make the Patio Special

Your guests want to chill outside with a drink in their hand, one of the most pleasant parts of any vacation. Ensure they can do that in style and comfort with seating that fits the climate, along with some shade from umbrellas or a retractable awning. If space permits, consider setting up an al fresco dining area.

 

Every extra thing you do to enhance your property gives vacationers more of a reason to give you their business.

 

Plan for Maintenance

When it comes to maintenance, a preventive approach comes highly recommended and could save up to 20 percent in repairs when it comes to major appliances, as well as the heating, ventilation, and air-conditioning systems. Regular tasks like cleaning filters should be carried out according to a strict schedule, which should also include periodic visits from qualified technicians.

 

Keep It Spotless

If your vacation home isn’t clean, you may get a nasty review from one of your guests that scares off future business. Pay close attention to the kitchen, bathrooms, and bedrooms, as those draw the most scrutiny. Hire a cleaning service to keep your vacation rental sparkling clean. In the Seattle area, this will typically cost you between $123 and $239.

 

Learn How to Market

These improvements are for nothing if potential clients don’t know about them. Pictures are the best way to show them what’s on offer, so they should be taken by a professional. They will make an impact when you spread the news of your property far and wide on the internet and social media. Call Kari Haas for great photographer referrals costing between $300-$500!

 

With these upgrades and savvy salesmanship, you’ll get rave reviews that’ll bring a steady stream of clients flowing through your doors. Any successful business person will tell you that regular business is the best kind.

 

 

This post was originally submitted by Erin Reynolds and has been edited by the Kari Haas Team. Erin Reynolds is the creator of DIYMama.net, which provides resources to help others with home improvement projects and repairs.

 

 


Posted on July 16, 2019 at 7:23 pm
Kari Haas | Posted in blog roll, Investing, Kari's Blog, Real Estate Related, Tips & Tricks, Upgrades & Renovations | Tagged , , , , , , ,

July 2019 Real Estate Market Update

The market in our region appears to be moderating. Inventory is up, prices are relatively stable and homes are taking a bit longer to sell. However, with less than two months of available inventory, supply is still far short of demand. Steady buyer activity, low interest rates and a thriving economy are making for a strong summer in the housing market.

Eastside

>>>Click image to view full report.

The median price of a single-family home on the Eastside was $950,000 in June, down 3% from the same time last year and up $21,000 from May. Many buyers are looking to take advantage of the Eastside jobs boom with Amazon announcing plans to build a 43-story tower in Bellevue and Google expecting to reach 1 million square feet of office space in Kirkland.

 

Kari Haas Stat:

Since April 2019, Kari’s buyers have bought at an average of 97% of list price. That means that Kari’s clients are buying for less than the industry average and therefore closing with more money in their pockets! Call Kari Haas today at 206-719-2224 to discuss your real estate goals.

 

King County

>>>Click image to view full report.

There was good news for buyers in June as a growing supply of homes helped boost inventory close to 2012 listing levels. The median price of a single-family home in King County was $695,000. That figure is a 3% drop from a year ago and virtually unchanged from May. 33% of homes sold above list price; another sign prices are moderating when compared to 52% of homes sold over list price this time last year.

 

Click here to see Kari’s current listings!

 

Seattle

>>>Click image to view full report.

Home inventory in Seattle inched slightly higher in June. However, with less than two months of supply, the city is still a solid seller’s market. Apple’s plan to turn Seattle into a key engineering hub can only add to demand. The median price of a single-family home in Seattle was $781,000, down 4% from a year ago and nearly unchanged from May.

 

Connect with Kari on Twitter

 

Snohomish County

>>>Click image to view full report.

After hovering around $500,000 since March, home prices in Snohomish County crept up in June. The median price of a single-family home was $515,500, as compared to $511,500 last June. Snohomish County continues to attract buyers priced out of the King County market, putting an additional strain on supply which stands a just 1.5 months of inventory.

This post originally appeared on the GetTheWreport.com.


Posted on July 16, 2019 at 6:43 pm
Kari Haas | Posted in blog roll, Kari's Blog, Statistics | Tagged , , , , , , ,

Nextdoor 2019 Neighborhood Favorites

Vote Kari Haas in the 2019 Neighborhood Favorites on

Nextdoor!

Voting is open through July 7th!

Neighbors on Nextdoor are voting now for their favorite local businesses of 2019, and Kari Haas Real Estate Team is in the running!

Help your neighbors connect with the Kari Haas Real Estate Team to help them sell their house & find their home by voting for us in the 2019 Neighborhood Favorites!

Kari Haas Nextdoor Headshot

Please use this link to vote for our team directly: https://tinyurl.com/y6j93sny You can also find us when you log into your Nextdoor.com account—or create your new account!—and search for Kari Haas Real Estate Team, located at 100 116th Ave SE, Bellevue.

Voting closes July 7th. If we have received 20 recommendations, on Monday, July 8th we will choose a winner who both recommended us AND left a comment/review to receive a $50 Amazon gift card.

Vote Kari Haas by July 7th!

More about the 2019 Neighborhood Favorites:

  • Nextdoor Mobile App Each year, customers have the chance to vote for their favorite neighborhood businesses in a variety of categories
  • The top voted businesses during the 2019 voting period are featured as a Nextdoor Neighborhood Favorite in the Recommendations section of the app
  • Winning businesses are awarded a custom window sticker to showcase on their storefront

 

More about Nextdoor:

Nextdoor is the world’s largest social network for the neighborhood. It enables truly local conversations that empower neighbors to build stronger and safer communities.

Building connections in the real world is a universal human need. That truth, and the reality that neighborhoods are Nextdoor Favorite Stickerone of the most important and useful communities in our lives, have been a guiding principle for Nextdoor since it was founded in 2011. Neighbors in the United States, United Kingdom, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Italy, Spain, Australia, Denmark and Sweden are using Nextdoor to:

  • Find a trustworthy babysitter or recommended house painter
  • Spread the word about a lost dog
  • Organize a neighborhood watch group or quickly get the word out about a break-in
  • Share information during a natural disaster
  • Receive information from local public agencies
  • Find a new home for an outgrown bicycle
  • Connect with a trusted real estate agent

Nextdoor is a privately-held company based in San Francisco with the backing of prominent investors including, Benchmark Capital, Greylock Partners, Kleiner Perkins, Axel Springer, and others.

 

*Information in the “More About Nextdoor” section is from: https://about.nextdoor.com/


Posted on June 26, 2019 at 6:08 pm
Kari Haas | Posted in Kari's Blog, Neighborhoods, Social Media | Tagged , , , , , , , ,

March Real Estate Stats for King County

March Real Estate Stats for the King County

The spring home buying season started early this year. Open houses had increased attendance and bidding wars returned. After months of softening, home prices in most of the region jumped significantly from the prior month. With just one month of data, we’ll have to wait and see if this is the start of a longer upward trend.

If you are a buyer, you need an experienced agent on your side to win in multiple-offer negotiations. I, Kari Haas, am the broker you need! I win in over 95% of negotiations for my buyer when there is more than one offer. Call me today at 206-719-2224 to make a plan to achieve your goals!

Eastside

>>>Click image to view full report.

The Eastside was one area of King County that continued to see prices moderate. The median price of a single-family home on the Eastside was $900,000 in February, a drop of 5 percent from a year ago and down slightly from last month. However, supply here isn’t nearly enough to meet demand, a fact that most likely won’t change any time soon. Amazon’s latest expansion in Bellevue is expected to bring a significant wave of new employees to the city.

King County

>>>Click image to view full report.

The median single-family home in King County sold for $655,000 in February. While up slightly less than 1 percent year-over-year, it was an increase of $45,000 over January. Southeast King County, which includes Kent, Renton and Auburn, saw the greatest gains with prices rising 4.5 percent over the previous year. While inventory has grown, it is less than half of the four to six months that is considered balanced.

Seattle

>>>Click image to view full report.

More inventory and low interest rates helped bring buyers back into the market. The median price of a single-family home in Seattle hit $730,000 in February, down 6 percent from a year ago, but up $18,500 from January. With just six weeks of available supply, Seattle continues to have the tightest inventory in the county. Seattle’s record development boom shows little signs of easing, so we can expect strong demand to continue.

Snohomish County

>>>Click image to view full report.

The median price of a single-family home in Snohomish County reached $474,947 in February. Although that is a 2 percent decrease from last year, it is $5,000 more than January. As buyers push outside of King County to search for more reasonably priced homes, Snohomish County continues to struggle to find enough inventory to meet growing demand.

This post originally appeared on the WindermereEastside.com Blog.


Posted on March 20, 2019 at 4:36 pm
Kari Haas | Posted in Kari's Blog, Statistics | Tagged , , , , , , , , , ,

January Market Stats for King County & Beyond

January brought more good news for homebuyers. Prices were down, inventory was up and interest rates hovered near a nine-month low. Those factors drove more buyers into the market and resulted in an uptick in sales for the month. We’ll see how this transitioning market evolves as we head into the prime Spring home buying season.

Eastside

>>>Click image to view full report.

The most expensive region in King County saw prices soften in January. The median price of a single-family home on the Eastside dropped 3 percent over last January to $910,000. It’s an excellent time for buyers to leverage the cooling market and negotiate terms that work best for their needs. Last January, 39 percent of the homes in this area sold for over asking price. This January, that figure dropped to 12 percent. With its favorable business climate and high rankings for both economic growth and technology capabilities, demand on the Eastside is projected to remain strong.

King County

>>>Click image to view full report.

January marked the first time home prices in King County decreased year-over-year in seven years. The median price of a single-family home was $610,0000, a drop of 3 percent over the prior year. Inventory more than doubled. Unlike recent months, this was due primarily to more people putting their homes on the market, as opposed to homes taking longer to sell. Despite the surge in listings there is just two months of available inventory, far short of what is needed to meet demand.

Seattle

>>>Click image to view full report.

The median price of a single-family home in the city was $711,500 in January, a decrease of 6 percent year-over-year. Despite a 107 percent increase in homes for sale compared to a year ago, Seattle continues to have the tightest inventory in King County with less than two months of supply. A booming economy that shows no signs of slowing continues to draw more people to the city. The area will have to significantly add more inventory to meet that growing demand.

Snohomish County

>>>Click image to view full report.

The median price of a single-family home in January inched up 1 percent from last year to $455,000. That price is down from the median of $470,000 recorded in December. Snohomish County also saw a surge in inventory with the number of homes on the market double of what it was last year at this time.

This post originally appeared on the WindermereEastside.com Blog.


Posted on February 14, 2019 at 8:23 pm
Kari Haas | Posted in Kari's Blog, Statistics | Tagged , , , , , ,

2018 Windermere Gardner Report Quart 4

The following analysis of the Western Washington real estate market is provided by Windermere Real Estate Chief Economist Matthew Gardner. We hope that this information may assist you with making better-informed real estate decisions. For further information about the housing market in your area, please don’t hesitate to contact your Windermere Agent.

Economic Overview

The Washington State economy continues to add jobs at an above-average rate, though the pace of growth is starting to slow as the business cycle matures. Over the past 12 months, the state added 96,600 new jobs, representing an annual growth rate of 2.9% — well above the national rate of 1.7%. Private sector employment gains continue to be quite strong, increasing at an annual rate of 3.6%. Public sector employment was down 0.3%. The strongest growth sectors were Real Estate Brokerage and Leasing (+11.4%), Employment Services (+10.3%), and Residential Construction (+10.2%). During fourth quarter, the state’s unemployment rate was 4.3%, down from 4.7% a year ago.

My latest economic forecast suggests that statewide job growth in 2019 will still be positive but is expected to slow. We should see an additional 83,480 new jobs, which would be a year-over-year increase of 2.4%.

Home Sales Activity

  • There were 17,353 home sales during the fourth quarter of 2018. Year-over-year sales growth started to slow in the third quarter and this trend continued through the end of the year. Sales were down 16% compared to the fourth quarter of 2017.
  • The slowdown in home sales was mainly a function of increasing listing activity, which was up 38.8% compared to the fourth quarter of 2017 (continuing a trend that started earlier in the year). Almost all of the increases in listings were in King and Snohomish Counties. There were more modest increases in Pierce, Thurston, Kitsap, Skagit, and Island Counties. Listing activity was down across the balance of the region.
  • Only two counties—Mason and Lewis—saw sales rise compared to the fourth quarter of 2017, with the balance of the region seeing lower levels of sales activity.
  • We saw the traditional drop in listings in the fourth quarter compared to the third quarter, but I fully anticipate that we will see another jump in listings when the spring market hits. The big question will be to what degree listings will rise.

Home Prices

  • With greater choice, home price growth in Western Washington continued to slow in fourth quarter, with a year-over-year increase of 5% to $486,667. Notably, prices were down 3.3% compared to the third quarter of 2018.

  • Home prices, although higher than a year ago, continue to slow. As mentioned earlier, we have seen significant increases in inventory and this will slow down price gains. I maintain my belief that this is a good thing, as the pace at which home prices were rising was unsustainable.

  • When compared to the same period a year ago, price growth was strongest in Skagit County, where home prices were up 13.7%. Three other counties experienced double-digit price increases.

  • Price growth has been moderating for the past two quarters and I believe that we have reached a price ceiling in many markets. I would not be surprised to see further drops in prices across the region in the first half of 2019, but they should start to resume their upward trend in the second half of the year.

Days on Market

  • The average number of days it took to sell a home dropped three days compared to the same quarter of 2017.

  • Thurston County joined King County as the tightest markets in Western Washington, with homes taking an average of 35 days to sell. There were eight counties that saw the length of time it took to sell a home drop compared to the same period a year ago. Market time rose in five counties and was unchanged in two.
  • Across the entire region, it took an average of 51 days to sell a home in the fourth quarter of 2018. This is down from 54 days in the fourth quarter of 2017 but up by 12 days when compared to the third quarter of 2018.

  • I suggested in the third quarter Gardner Report that we should be prepared for days on market to increase, and that has proven to be accurate. I expect this trend will continue, but this is typical of a regional market that is moving back to becoming balanced.

Conclusions

This speedometer reflects the state of the region’s real estate market using housing inventory, price gains, home sales, interest rates, and larger economic factors. I am continuing to move the needle toward buyers as price growth moderates and listing inventory continues to rise.

2019 will be the year that we get closer to having a more balanced housing market. Buyer and seller psychology will continue to be significant factors as home sellers remain optimistic about the value of their home, while buyers feel significantly less pressure to buy. Look for the first half of 2019 to be fairly slow as buyers sit on the sidelines waiting for price stability, but then I do expect to see a more buoyant second half of the year.

 

As Chief Economist for Windermere Real Estate, Matthew Gardner is responsible for analyzing and interpreting economic data and its impact on the real estate market on both a local and national level. Matthew has over 30 years of professional experience both in the U.S. and U.K.

In addition to his day-to-day responsibilities, Matthew sits on the Washington State Governors Council of Economic Advisors; chairs the Board of Trustees at the Washington Center for Real Estate Research at the University of Washington; and is an Advisory Board Member at the Runstad Center for Real Estate Studies at the Unversity of Washington where he also lectures in real estate economics.

This post originally appeared on the Windermere.com Blog.


Posted on February 1, 2019 at 9:26 pm
Kari Haas | Posted in Kari's Blog | Tagged , , , , , ,

December Market Statistics for King County & Beyond

The real estate market continued to improve for buyers in King County and beyond in November. Interest rates dropped slightly, price increases slowed and inventory soared. It’s important to note that inventory increases, while significant, are being compared to the record low supply of last year. We’re still far short of the inventory needed for a truly balanced market, however buyers have greater choice and less competition than they’ve had in years. Sellers who price their home according to current market conditions continue to see strong interest. Heading into the holiday season, there’s something for everyone to celebrate.

Eastside

>>>Click image to view full report.

The Eastside economy continues to be very strong. Heavy investment in commercial construction from companies such as Vulcan boost expectations that the area will continue to thrive. The median price of a single-family home in November hit $885,000 on the Eastside. Although an increase of 4 percent from a year ago, home prices have remained steady since this fall. With continued demand and only 2.4 months of inventory, the market has a long way to go to becoming balanced.

King County

>>>Click image to view full report.

Price increases continued to slow in King County. The median single-family home price was $643,913 in November, an increase of 2 percent over a year ago. South King County, where the most affordable homes in the county are located, saw significantly greater increases compared to a year ago. North King County also posted greater increases than the county overall. Inventory has skyrocketed as the number of homes for sale in King County more than doubled year-over-year. While that’s good news for buyers, there is only 2.1 months of available inventory in the county, slightly down from October and not nearly enough to meet demand.

Seattle

>>>Click image to view full report.

The median price of a single-family home in Seattle was $760,000 in November. This is up 3 percent from a year ago and slightly up from October. Inventory jumped 177 percent year-over-year however, at just two months of supply, the Seattle area has the tightest inventory in King County. With the city’s strong economy and lifestyle appeal, that’s not expected to change any time soon. Forbes recently named Seattle as the best place for business and careers in the nation. U.S. News & World Report ranked the University of Washington among the top ten universities in the world with Money Magazine rating Seattle the #5 Best Big City to Live In.

Snohomish County

>>>Click image to view full report.

Inventory in Snohomish County continued to climb, surging 88 percent in November as compared to a year ago. That said, the area has fewer homes for sale than King County with just 1.8 months of inventory. This is still far short of the four to six months of supply that is considered a balanced market. The median price of a single-family home sold in November was up 6 percent from last year to $470,000, virtually unchanged from October.

This post originally appeared on the WindermereEastside.com blog.

Contact Kari Haas at 206-719-2224 to discuss your best strategy for buying and selling today!


Posted on December 14, 2018 at 5:33 pm
Kari Haas | Posted in Kari's Blog, Statistics | Tagged , , , , ,

Experienced Real Estate Broker Gives Strategies for Success in Today’s Market

In November I was invited to appear on The Money Hour hosted by Tina Mitchell on 1150 AM KKNW. The guest panel included:

  • Randy Bannecker – President of Bannecker Public Affairs and founding partner of ClearPath Partners
  • Kari Haas – Managing Real Estate Broker of Kari Haas Real Estate Team, associated with Windermere Real Estate / Bellevue Commons, Inc.
  • Danielle Madrid – Founder and Executive Director of Haven Community Connections

"Strategies for Success in the Current Market" with Real Estate Broker Kari Haas

Together we discussed population growth, strategies for success in today’s real estate market and domestic violence.

Thank you to Tina Mitchell and co-host Keelan Harvey for bringing us all together. Scroll to the bottom of the page for links to the whole show and to my segment!

Below I have elaborated on the topics and questions touched upon during my segment. Enjoy and please reach out to me at 206-719-2224 if you have questions or comments!

Are we ready for 1.8 million new people? - Strategies in the current Market - Domestic Violence - EPisode 260

Strategies for Success in Today’s Market

  1. Listeners want to know if they should be buying and selling homes now or wait until the spring.

At any time of year, the market has a different set of pros and cons. Statistics will tell you that June/July is the best time to sell. I believe every time of year is a good time to buy and sell. There is more competition in the spring time for both buyers and sellers. For sellers in the spring, they need a real estate broker who knows how to set their home apart from the rest and market it to get the maximum viewership and buyers in the door. For buyers in the spring, with so many people out looking at homes and putting down offers, the price of buying a home increases.

In the fall and winter months there is less inventory and less buyers. But the buyers who are out in the fall/winter are very serious about their mission. In springtime buyers might just be window shopping, but not in the winter. Winter is a great time to view homes because you will be able to tell if important items like the state of the heating system and which windows and doors have drafts. For sellers, have a broker who will stage your home creatively is an excellent way to impress buyers and get them in the door.

The time to go on market is extremely subjective. I work with my clients to understand their goals and help them make the right decision about when to go on market to exceed their goals and get the highest return on their investment.

  1. What are the most important things for people to do to get their houses ready for sale in this tough market?

Selling your home is an emotional process. It represents one of, if not your biggest investment; it is the place where you raised your children; you’ve poured endless passion into personal touches from artwork and rugs to remodels.  As difficult as it is, it is paramount to remove your self from the emotions attached to the home. The best thing you can do is hire a real estate broker who is deeply in touch with the buyer’s market and can advise you on renovations necessary. These often include dated wallpaper, old carpet and popcorn ceilings.

  1. When selling, how can you differentiate your home from other homes on the market?

Marketing and presentation are the two biggest factors in differentiating your home from the competition. Your real estate broker needs to stage the home or hire a stager that will make the home feel clean and fresh. The staging should expertly balance the need for enough furniture so that the home is warm and welcoming, but not too much so that the buyer can imagine herself and her belongings in the home.

A strategic marketing plan ensures that your home will be seen and be seen by the right people. Your real estate broker must identify target audiences and develop a strategic marketing plan that will highlight the home, the property and the location in a way that maximizes viewership. These marketing plans differ from property to property and client to client. A strategic marketing plan might focus on catering to a foreign market, people moving up to the greater Seattle area from California, or a neighborhood campaign.

  1. How do our listeners decide what needs to be remodeled and what is good as is?

Kari Haas at Hubard Radio Seattle

Kari Haas Recording at Hubard Radio Seattle

Deciding what needs to be remodeled is tough. The right real estate broker will be able to advise you on what to prioritize. Your real estate broker will do this by understanding market standards, and then working with you to understand your budget for the projects identified as needs. When working with the Kari Haas Team, a project manager is provided in order to keep track of and complete these projects so you can have as stress-free an experience as possible and focus on preserving your cherished items.

  1. What should you be looking for in a real estate broker?

A good real estate broker will demonstrate honesty, integrity and commitment as well as be knowledgeable and active in the market place. You will have the most positive experience possible if you choose somebody who you are confident has your best interests at heart. As in other industries, checking customer reviews is a great way to learn more about the real estate broker you are considering. I am incredibly proud of the customer-centric business model I have developed for my team. We treat each client like our favorite aunt or uncle, we engage in continued education to stay ahead of the game, and we do what we do because we love it.

  1. What areas should people be investing in right now to get the best bang for their buck?

We have seen more and more businesses create branches outside of Seattle or move away from the big city all together. With that in mind, buyers are developing more of a taste for areas to the south between Seattle and Tacoma – Federal Way, Des Moines, Kent, Auburn – and areas north between Seattle and Bellingham – Mt. Vernon, Arlington, Stanwood. Another group moving north is our elderly population so they can easy go across the border for pharmaceutical care.

  1. What are some options for baby boomers looking to down-size?

When you have lived in one place for so long you have collected so many things that you love, which makes downsizing painful. Our team provides you the support you need to sort through your belongings and determine your next steps. We are there for you every step of the way, including finding a suitable next or final residence.

  1. What do millennials need to consider when buying their first home?

The first step for millennials interested in buying a home is to develop a five-year-plan. Buying a home is a huge long-term investment. These buyers should be considering their professional goals, when they might want to start a family and what kind of neighborhood they want to live in down the line. People stay in their houses for an average of 7 years. A good real estate broker will ask you about these kinds of plans to ensure the best service.

  1. Tell me about your team. What makes it special?

I have a super exceptional team of high-quality individuals who all have different talents and make meaningful contributions to the success of our clients. Having a team allows me to better help my clients because I’m able to focus on the marketing and negotiations while my support staff takes care of inspections, appraisals, escrow and other aspects of buying and selling. I am so grateful for these awesome people. And so are my clients!

The Kari Haas Team

The Kari Haas Team

Click here to listen to Kari’s show segment.

Click here listen to the full episode.

 

 


Posted on December 13, 2018 at 12:30 am
Kari Haas | Posted in Kari's Blog |

Kari Haas’s Top 5 Places to Give on #GivingTuesday

 

Kari’s Top 5 Places to Give on #GivingTuesday

#GivingTuesday ushers in the charitable season, immediately following Thanksgiving and the popular shopping days of Black Friday and Cyber Monday. There are so many amazing organizations deserving donations on #GivingTuesday near and far. Here are my top 5 local organizations!

  1. Bellevue Youth Theatre

Mission Statement: BYT’s mission is to provide opportunities in the performing arts for all young people, regardless of income or ability, and allow them to perform before a live audience. At the same time, the theater provides the community with quality productions, which are both entertaining and socially relevant for the entire family.I am proud to have been a board member and and to have helped raise funds to build the new Bellevue Youth Theatre at Crossroads Park many years ago. I am also proud to still be a strong supporter today. Click here to be part of Bellevue Youth Theatre’s mission this #GivingTuesday!

  1. Camp Solomon Schechter

Mission Statement: Camp Solomon Schechter (CSS) has a 65-year tradition of fun, friendship, and Jewish education in the Pacific Northwest. CSS values each child as an individual and strives to support their social and spiritual growth. Campers have the opportunity to be independent in a safe and nurturing environment. CSS is a fully immersive, welcoming, and spiritual Jewish environment. CSS emphasizes the values of integrity, derech eretz (respect), and tikkun olam (repairing the world), all while fostering life-long friendships. At CSS, Judaism and Joy are truly one!Camp Solomon Schechter has been an integral part of my life and has helped shape the person I am today. I attended CSS as a camper and later worked there as a lifeguard. My children also attended (and one of them still attends!) CSS. Even my mother attended CSS! I am following my grandmother’s footsteps by being an active board member for CSS to ensure that future generations can benefit from this wonderful organization. I give to Camp Solomon Schechter on #GivingTuesday and every day! Join me by clicking here!

  1. Eastside Winter Shelter for Women and Children

Mission Statement: To help families and women experiencing homelessness on the Eastside.

Helping our community’s population of people in need is a huge passion of mine. I’ve been working with the Eastside Winter Shelter for a number of years now and it is incredibly rewarding. Though #GivingTueday is generally about giving donations, what they really need is food, paper goods and your time. We are in our 5th year sponsoring the paper goods drive and are still collecting! Call me at 206-719-2224 for more information or for a paper goods pick-up. Click here to get involved!

  1. Hebrew Free Loan Association

Mission Statement: To aid worthy Jewish people to be and remain self-supporting and self-respecting persons by aid of loans, grants, and such services as the individual may require. Such loans, grants, and services shall be rendered without interest or other charge.I cannot overstate how important this organization is. I was the recipient of one of these loans many years ago as a struggling single mother. This organization was there when I was in need. It lifted me up so that I could help myself. Now I am incredibly privileged to help support this organization and therefore many people who need a little extra help. If you need help, contact HFLA today to apply for a loan! And if you are planning your #GivingTuesday donations, please include HFLA and click here!

  1. Little Bit Therapeutic Riding Center

Mission Statement: Little Bit Therapeutic Riding Center is a community where horses transform the bodies, minds, and spirits of people with disabilities.Every year I volunteer at Little Bit with my office, Windermere Bellevue Commons. We’ve been doing this as a group for 17 years and I’m proud to support such a vital, caring and nurturing service to our community. It is a beautiful place filled with beautiful people doing incredibly meaningful work. Check it out today and give to Little Bit this #GivingTuesday by clicking here!

 


Posted on November 26, 2018 at 9:54 pm
Kari Haas | Posted in Kari's Blog |