Craftsman Home with 150 feet of Riverfront on the Raging River in Issaquah

10421 324th Pl SE, Issaquah-2

Listed at $595,000

Beautifully maintained and updated two story home in the desirable Upper Preston area of Issaquah. The great room style floorplan boasts 1,780 s.f. and features 3 bedrooms and 1.75 baths. The home is ideally positioned on a 71,002 s.f. lot with lush trees and 150 feet of frontage on the Raging River. Recent updates include – new wood floors, updated kitchen and baths.

The great room is an inviting space with soaring ceilings, a gas fireplace and is drenched in light from the large windows and skylights. The dining area is a great space to share a meal with friends. It features seating for 8 and built-in benches with storage. French doors provide easy access to the deck and covered area which is perfect for entertaining or BBQing. Updated kitchen with abundant cherry cabinets, ample slab granite counters with leathered finish, new stainless appliances, breakfast bar and pantry closet too! The main floor laundry room has new flooring, storage cabinets and includes a front-loading washer & dryer.

The main floor master is a welcome retreat at the end of the day. Big windows overlook the yard and a slider to the deck and hot tub. The attached bath is updated with tile floor, new shower, double vanity, huge soaking tub, ample built-in storage and a walk-in closet too!

Upstairs you will find two spacious guest rooms with soaring ceilings, a private deck and a tastefully appointed 3/4 bath in between the two bedrooms.

Amazing setting and yard! Huge shop with office area, storage and car lift. RV parking, large lawn for play, garden beds, dog run, deck with covered area & hot tub. Outstanding Issaquah Schools all with the stunning backdrop of your own private park and 150 feet of access to the Raging River!

Complete details at the property website here

Sold with 17 offers and $110,005 over the Seller’s asking price! One step closer to retirement!

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Tony recently helped us sell our Woodinville area home, and we have been impressed with his service throughout the entire process. We had been in our house for over 20 years, and decided to down-size. A friend recommended Tony to us, and we’re very happy that he did. Rather than write a long run-on paragraph, I’m going to just provide a list of points that stood out as positives during a time that is going to be hectic and sometimes stressful no matter how smoothly it proceeds.

From the initial phone contact and home visit, and throughout, Tony has been on-time, quick to respond to questions/concerns, and personable.
– Phone calls were answered or a return call made within minutes.
– Tony helped us decide how to prepare the house prior to listing. He didn’t sugar-coat anything, and we followed his advice. We’re glad that we did.
– Tony explained his view of the current real estate market, and his thoughts on the best way to market our home. Looking back, now that the home has sold, I can say that everything he told us was correct.
– We were initially skeptical of the pre-listing home inspection, but I now think it played a big part in the sale of our house.
– The marketing/listing information/photographs package that Tony put together for the house was fantastic.
– Ask him about the drone.
– Some timeline adjustments had to be made during the closing, and Tony kept us informed throughout. He also monitored the process and made sure that all the paperwork was promptly taken care of.

We had multiple offers on our home, and Tony helped us sort through them all. We ended up selling for a significant amount over our asking price. We credit Tony with this result, and would definitely recommend him to anyone who is planning on selling their home.

Tim and Lois Adams – Sold in Woodinville – 2016

20015 NE 148th St - Woodinville

NWMLS Market Report July 2016 – Western Washington Brokers See Early Signs of “A More Balanced Market”

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KIRKLAND, Washington (Aug.4, 2016) – Home prices are still rising but the supply of homes is improving, prompting brokers to suggest some relief is in sight for would-be buyers. “We might actually be starting to move very slowly back toward a more balanced market,” said OB Jacobi, president of Windermere Real Estate, in commenting on July’s figures from Northwest Multiple Listing Service.

The MLS report summarizing last month’s activity shows active listings (including single family homes and condominiums) are at the highest level since September 2015 and the volume of new listings added to inventory topped the 12,000 marked for the third consecutive month.

With inventory shortages apparently easing in some areas, once-sidelined and frustrated house-hunters may be resuming their search, based on the latest statistics. Pending sales for the 23-county service area rose nearly 4 percent compared to a year ago, setting a new high for volume during July.

Member brokers reported 11,657 pending sales system-wide last month, a slight drop from June when they notched 11,995 mutually accepted offers. Despite that dip, the four-county Puget Sound region had its best-ever volume of pending sales for July (8,545), eclipsing last year’s record number (8,248).

“We are experiencing a record breaking market,” exclaimed J. Lennox Scott, chairman and CEO of John L. Scott, Inc. “Last month was the best July in history in the Puget Sound real estate market. We’re in a frenzy hot market with a large backlog of buyers.” He credits improving inventory with spurring sales. “That additional inventory gave us the boost to not only be able to claim an all-time, best ever July, but to also position the last three months as the best in history for [pending] sales activity in the Puget Sound region.”

Some brokers, including MLS director Frank Wilson, expect the robust activity will slow in August as families focus on vacations and back-to-school preparations.

Brokers added 12,178 new listings to the selection during July, which compares to 11,198 additions during the same month a year ago for an improvement of nearly 8.8 percent. At month end, there were 18,287 active listings for sale versus the year-ago figure of 21,069. That represents a year-over-year drop of “only” 13.2 percent; it’s been hovering in the minus-20 ranges for most months since spring 2015.

King, Snohomish and Pierce counties still have less than two months of supply, with double-digit increases in prices compared to a year ago, prompting some buyers to expand their search to outlying areas.

“Buyers are feeling the squeeze every day, and now, outlying areas are seeing multiple offers like the major cities have been experiencing the last two years,” noted Northwest MLS director George Moorhead.

Buyers are using driving apps with their searches to determine whether or not to consider a home and its proximity to their workplace, according to Moorhead, the designated broker at Bentley Properties.

“Our difficulty with limited inventory and multiple offers continues in Snohomish County,” reported Diedre Haines, a past chairman of the Northwest MLS board. “The biggest problem right now is a resurgence of low appraisals – often between $30,000 and $35,000 below the agreed upon price.”

Also concerning to Haines is a tendency to forgo due diligence during competitive bidding situations, something she says she sees nearly every day. “In my opinion, sellers and buyers should not consider offers with waived financing, inspection, investigations, etc. as good offers,” she stated, adding, “They should be mindful of our state’s ‘buyer beware’ protections and allow buyers the time and ability to perform their due diligence.”

Haines, Coldwell Banker Bain’s principal managing broker for South Snohomish County, said the appraisal problem is plaguing all market areas of the county, and involves different appraisers.

“This is indeed a strange situation, especially when taking into consideration that most sellers are cautious in their decision to not take the highest offer – even in multiple offer scenarios,” Haines remarked. She is also troubled by appraisers’ current practice of using comparable properties that are only with one-half mile of the subject property, rather than the historically typical 2-to-3-mile radius, resulting in a “not good comp” that sometimes leads to failed sales.

One notable exception to the existence of low appraisals is new construction, according to Haines. “It continues to return to our marketplace at a slow but steady pace.”

“Our brokers in Seattle proper, and now more broadly in King County, say sales are slowing down. With the increase in inventory, there may finally be some relief for home buyers,” suggested Mike Grady, president and COO at Coldwell Banker Bain. However, he added, “Prices continue to rise at impressive rates in many areas.”

Grady also mentioned the “ripple effect” is continuing, with Seattle’s experience of shrinking inventory and rising prices occurring in surrounding areas.

The median price for last month’s 9,466 closed sales of single family homes and condos (combined) was $350,000. That reflects a jump of 9.6 percent from a year ago when it was $319,250. Within the 23 counties in the report, the median price ranged from $57,950 in Ferry County to $505,000 in King County.

A comparison of prices by counties shows San Juan County topping the chart. The median price on last month’s sales (including single family homes and condos) was $507,500, a jump of nearly 21 percent from a year ago. That edged out King County where the median sales price of $505,000 was up 15 percent from twelve months ago when it was $439,000, but down slightly from June’s figure of $510,000.

For single family homes (excluding condos), the area-wide median selling price was $358,150, a 9.2 percent gain from a year. King County had the highest median price for single family homes at $555,000. That’s a 14.4 percent year-over-year increase.

Condo prices for July surged 17.3 percent from a year ago, from $260,000 to $305,000. Inventory shortages persist, with less than 1.3 months of supply area wide, and less than a month (0.90) in King County.

Commenting on the market in Kitsap County, where his office is based, MLS director Wilson said there’s a significant backlog of buyers. Multiple offers on new listings and steady traffic at open houses are continuing, he added.

Scarce inventory and end-of-summer priorities will likely create “a bit of a pause” in the market, predicts Wilson, the branch managing broker at John L. Scott, Inc. Poulsbo. He expects vacations and back-to-school shopping will divert some prospective buyers and sellers, but come mid-September “the market will take off again until Thanksgiving.”

Elaborating on his comment about a possible shift to a more balanced market, Jacobi said King County “really sticks out for me” when looking at the entire region. Single family home inventory levels match those of a year ago, yet home sales have slowed year-over-year. “Price growth also appears to be slowing from the rapid growth that we’ve become used to in recent months.”

Brokers who commented on the latest MLS report dismissed murmurs of a housing bubble.

Wilson emphasized this market is not like it was in 2005-2007 when it was driven by speculation and loans to people who could not afford them. He believes the market’s future holds two certainties: “Home prices are heading up and interest rates are soon to follow.” Wilson also described this market as “need driven based on an improving job market in King County as well as simple supply and demand.” Remember, he added, “normal markets have adjustments . . . ours will come in a couple of years.”

“An imminent bubble is not likely,” said Moorhead. “Even though we cannot predict the future, if interest rates remain low and inventory levels remain at historic lows, a bubble is unlikely,” he said.

Scott expects current market conditions will continue at least into the summer of 2017. “The best opportunity for homebuyers to find a home will be in the next three months,” he suggested, noting new listings coming on the market historically taper off in November. “Because of the current increase in inventory, now may be a great time for buyers who were discouraged from entering the market to rethink their decision,” he added.

Northwest Multiple Listing Service, owned by its member real estate firms, is the largest full-service MLS in the Northwest. Its membership of nearly 2,100 member offices includes more than 25,000 real estate professionals. The organization, based in Kirkland, Wash., currently serves 23 counties in Washington state.
NWMLS

Baby Boomers Are On the Move

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According to a Merrill Lynch study“an estimated 4.2 million retirees moved into a new home last year alone.” Two-thirds of retirees say that they are likely to move at least once during retirement.

As one participant in the study stated:

“In retirement, you have the chance to live anywhere you want. Or you can just stay where you are. There hasn’t been another time in life when we’ve had that kind of freedom.”

The top reason to relocate cited was “wanting to be closer to family” at 29%, a close second was “wanting to reduce home expenses” at 26%.

A recent Freddie Mac study found similar results, as “nearly 20 percent of Boomers said they would move closer to their grandchildren/children compared to 13 percent who said they would move to a warmer climate.”

Not Every Baby Boomer Downsizes

There is a common misconception that as retirees find themselves with fewer children at home, they will instantly desire a smaller home to maintain. While that may be the case for half of those surveyed, the study found that three in ten decide to actually upsize to a larger home.

Some choose to buy a home in a desirable destination with extra space for large family vacations, reunions, extended visits, or to allow other family members to move in with them. According to Merrill Lynch:

“Retirees often find their homes become places for family to come together and reconnect, particularly during holidays or summer vacations.”

Bottom Line

If your housing needs have changed, or are about to change, let’s get together to discuss your next steps.

Should I Wait Until Next Year? Or Buy Now?

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Some Highlights:

  • The Cost of Waiting to Buy is defined as the additional funds it would take to buy a home if prices & interest rates were to increase over a period of time.
  • Freddie Mac predicts interest rates to rise to 4.6% by next year.
  • CoreLogic predicts home prices to appreciate by 5.3% over the next 12 months.
  • If you are ready and willing to buy your dream home, find out if you are able to!

3 Questions Every Buyer Should Ask Themselves

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If you are debating purchasing a home right now, you are probably getting a lot of advice. Though your friends and family will have your best interest at heart, they may not be fully aware of your needs and what is currently happening in the real estate market.

Answering the following 3 questions will help you determine if now is actually a good time for you to buy in today’s market.

1. Why am I buying a home in the first place?

This truly is the most important question to answer. Forget the finances for a minute. Why did you even begin to consider purchasing a home? For most, the reason has nothing to do with money.

For example, a recent survey by Braun showed that over 75% of parents say “their child’s education is an important part of the search for a new home.”

This survey supports a study by the Joint Center for Housing Studies at Harvard University which revealed that the four major reasons why people buy a home have nothing to do with money. They are:

  • A good place to raise children and for them to get a good education
  • A place where you and your family feel safe
  • More space for you and your family
  • Control of that space

What does owning a home mean to you? What non-financial benefits will you and your family gain from owning a home? The answer to that question should be the biggest reason you decide to purchase or not. 

2. Where are home values headed?

According to the latest Home Price Index from CoreLogic, home values are projected to increase by 5.3% over the next 12 months. 

What does that mean to you?

Simply put, if you are planning on buying a home that costs $250,000 today, that same home will cost you an additional $13,250 if you wait till next year. Your down payment will need to be higher as well to account for the higher home price.

3. Where are mortgage interest rates headed?

A buyer must be concerned about more than just prices. The ‘long term cost’ of a home can be dramatically impacted by even a small increase in mortgage rates. 

The Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA), the National Association of Realtors, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have all projected that mortgage interest rates will increase over the next twelve months as you can see in the chart below:

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Bottom Line

Only you and your family will know for certain if now is the right time to purchase a home. Answering these questions will help you make that decision.

Rents Skyrocket at Highest Rate in Almost a Decade

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The Consumer Price Index (CPI) was released by the Labor Department last week. An analysis by Market Watch revealed the cost of rent was 3.8% higher than a year ago for the second straight month in June. That’s the strongest yearly price gain since 2007.

This coincides with a report released earlier this month in which AxioMetrics announced that rents are continuing to increase in 2016. The report revealed:

  • There was a 3.7% increase in effective rents in the second quarter of 2016 as compared to the same period last year.
  • That the effective rent growth this quarter compared to last quarter was 2.3%.
  • Annual effective rent growth was positive in 49 of the top 50 markets, based on number of units. Only Houston was negative, at -1.4%, as the fallout from energy-industry job losses and excess construction continues

Here is a graph to illustrate the rate of increase over the last several years:

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Bottom Line

With rents continuing to rise and mortgage interest rates still at historic lows, let’s meet up today to determine if you could turn your monthly rental cost into a home of your own.

Gorgeous 5,120 s.f. Estate on Private Lot with Pool and Outdoor Living in Woodinville

20121 NE 186th Ct, Woodinville-1

Listed for $1,200,000

This custom built home is located on a private 51,836 s.f. lot. Ideally positioned in the highly desirable neighborhood of Deer Run Estates of Woodinville, the home features 4 bedrooms, 4 separate baths, den, bonus, rec. room, 5,120 s.f. and a park-like lot.

Wonderful home for entertainment with cozy spaces in a flowing layout. Craftsmanship and livability shows throughout with ample molding, river rock and easy care flooring. Formal living room with river rock gas fireplace and big windows. Elegant dining room is perfect for a dinner party. Relaxing family room with gas fireplace and built-in storage. Private den with abundant built-in shelving.

State of the art kitchen includes: Top of the line appliances including a 60” Wolf range, built-in refrigerator and dual drawer vegetable refrigerator. Granite counters, breakfast bar, prep island, ample cabinets, and pantry closet too!

The lush master is a welcome retreat at the end of the day. You can enjoy a relaxing evening reading by the gas fireplace. Sumptuous 5 piece master bath with heated floors, jetted tub, glass block shower, double sinks, toilet closet – all finished in beautiful stone and tile. Huge walk-in closet too!

Three spacious guest rooms. One bedroom includes an attached study. All bathrooms have been remodeled and finished in stone and tile.

Big bonus room has a built-in desk – perfect for a home office. Huge recreation room with wet bar, gas fireplace and exercise area – all with access to the covered patio and pool. Extra finished room with a sauna and storage closet too. Elegant, climate controlled wine room with abundant storage. Laundry with storage cabinets, folding counter and soaking sink.

Stunning yard is your own private park! Two covered patios for year round enjoyment, gas fire pit, generous pool with stamped concrete deck, ample garden areas, green house and garden shed – all with a tree-lined backdrop! Simply gorgeous! Outstanding Northshore Schools – Bear Creek Elementary, Timbercrest Jr. High & Woodinville High.

Complete details at the Property Website here:

Olympic Hills Charmer! Updated Craftsman Home on Oversized Lot.

12740 15th Ave NE, Seattle-1

Listed for $400,000

Well cared for and updated craftsman style home. The light filled floorplan features 1,620 s.f., 2 bedrooms, 1 bath, plus family room, den and bonus room on a private 7,520 s.f. lot. Recent updates include vinyl windows, neutral paint, white millwork, refinished hardwood floors, updated kitchen and bath.

Inviting living room with rich hardwood floors and big windows overlooking the front yard. Dining room with china hutch is a perfect place to share a meal with friends. Completely updated kitchen with maple cabinets, solid surface counters and newer appliances. Two bedrooms on the main floor. The hall bath is updated with a new tile surround.

On the lower level… Cozy family room is a great place for play or a home theater. Private den with ample windows. Bonus room for your imagination. Workshop and laundry areas too!

Oversized lot is fully fenced. Garden areas, lawn for play and beautiful trees. Convenient location with easy access to shopping, mass transit and all the benefits city living offers!

Full Details at the Property Website Here