10 transit-accessible hikes in and around Seattle

You don’t need a car to hit the trails – By Josh Cohen May 10, 2018, 10:29am PDT

For those who hate driving, and more importantly, those without a car who still want to access the region’s amazing natural areas, it’s possible to go hiking by transit both within the city and nearby. King County Metro’s Trailhead Direct shuttle service from Seattle to trailheads in Issaquah and North Bend is making this exceptionally easy during the late spring and summer when it runs, but there are year-round options for transit hiking as well.  Check out the link below to see all the trails! https://seattle.curbed.com/maps/car-free-hiking-trails-seattle

How Much it Costs to Buy a House in the Seattle Housing Market in 2018

Article By Amanda Harding , May 26, 2018 from https://www.cheatsheet.com/money-career/how-much-it-costs-to-buy-a-house-in-the-hottest-housing-markets-of-2018.html/    | Peter Muller/Getty Images

The Seattle market is expected to grow another 5.4% in 2018. Ahead, check out how much it costs to buy a home in the 3rd hottest real estate market of 2018 according to Zillow’s latest housing report.

Median household income: $78,612
Median home value: $463,800
Median rent: $2,243
Real estate market growth forecast: 5.4%
A bona fide tech hub like Seattle is bound to be popular, which the median home value and rents show. With a projected growth of 5.4%, this is one of the top three most popular housing markets in the country right now.

5 Tips For Making an Offer in a Hot Real Estate Market!

It’s important for home buyers to make a strong, smart offer when the right house comes along. Here are five tips for doing exactly that.

5 tips for making an offer in a hot real estate market
May 12, 2018
Steady demand. Limited supply. That’s what we are seeing in real estate markets across the country right now. Inventory is particularly tight within the lower price ranges. “The starter house is nearly missing in some markets,” according to Jessica Lautz, managing director of survey research and communication for the National Association of Realtors.
Of course, conditions can vary from one city to the next. But the overall trend in housing markets across the country is that supply is still falling short of demand. (See the latest home prices for Snohomish County in this story from our online news partner The Seattle Times.)
Given these conditions, it’s important for home buyers to make a strong, smart offer when the right house comes along. Here are five tips for doing exactly that.
1. Understand the supply and demand situation in your area.
According to housing experts, a so-called “balanced” real estate market has five to six months of supply. This means, in theory, that it would take five or six months to sell off all homes currently listed for sale, if no new properties came onto the market.
Many real estate markets across the country have less than a three-month supply right now. And some cities have less than a two-month supply.
The first step to making a strong offer is to understand the supply-and-demand situation in your area. We are still seeing sellers’ market conditions in many cities, as of spring 2018. And this could persist for some time.
2. Study recent sales prices in your area.
This is something a real estate agent can help you with, but you can do some of it for yourself. The idea here is to get a good understanding of recent sales prices in the area where you want to buy.
This will help you in a couple of ways. It will save you time during the house-hunting process, by eliminating the need for repetitive research and pricing “sanity checks.” It will also help you make a strong, realistic offer backed by recent sales trends. And speaking of offers…
3. Make a strong and timely offer, backed by comparable sales.
In a slow housing market, where sellers are ready to jump on the first offer that comes along, home buyers have the luxury of taking their time. A buyer might start off with an initial offer below the asking price, just to open negotiations. The seller would probably come back with a counteroffer, or accept the first offer.
But it doesn’t work that way in a more competitive real estate market with limited inventory. In a tight market, buyers are better off making their first offer as competitive as possible. Otherwise, the house could go to a competing buyer.
4. Consider writing a love letter to the seller.
A house love letter, that is! Recent studies have shown that buyers in competitive real estate markets can improve their chance for success by writing a heartfelt letter to the seller. Sure, real estate is a business transaction. But there’s a personal side to it as well. Writing a personal letter to tell the sellers what you love about their home might just tip the scales in your favor.
5. Get an agent on your side.
It’s always a good idea to have help from a local real estate agent. It’s even more important in a tight market with limited inventory. An agent can help you move quickly, putting together a strong offer that’s supported by recent sales data.
— Content provided by MetroDepth

Tips to Make Moving Day Seemless

Turning a New Page: Three Tips to Make Moving Day a Seamless Transition

Your family has finally settled on a home, and now you are ready to make the next big leap in your life. Moving is a time of great excitement but can also be filled with stress and high anxiety. You don’t want to leave anything behind, and you don’t want to be caught up in limbo as you transition from your old home to your new one. Here are three tips to help you make moving day go as smoothly as possible so you can start adjusting to your new digs sooner.

1. Pack With Purpose

When you finally prepare to make a move, it can seem like you are standing at the foot of a gigantic mountain. It’s easy to see why so many feel overwhelmed when there is so much to organize, tear down, put away, and pack. The best way to eliminate unwanted stress and anxiety is by taking on a methodical approach to your packing. Separate the big task at hand into smaller, more manageable tasks. Break it down room by room or start boxing away decorations before moving onto clothing and furniture. Just like with climbing a mountain, there are many different paths you can take. As long as you plan your approach, you’ll reach the summit in no time.

2. Know When to Hire Help

As you set about the task to get your furniture packed up, you’ll quickly realize that even with the proper moving equipment, this is a job that cannot be done alone. You’ll need an extra pair of hands, or more, as you figure out how you ever got that L-shaped couch into your living room in the first place. For many, moving day itself can be one of the biggest hurdles to face, and if you’re balancing being a parent along with a moving an entire house worth of stuff, then it might be time to call in the cavalry. Hiring movers is the most practical solution if you are already juggling enough responsibility as it is. For a set price, you essentially cut the work you have to do in half, giving you more time to focus on preparing your family for the move itself.

3. Keep Pets Out of the Equation

If you think that the moving process is stressing you out, think of what it must be like for your pet. Both cats and dogs are territorially conscious creatures. When something changes in their environment, they are instantly aware and sometimes become unsettled. Now, imagine what it must be like to see your territory essentially uprooted, with all your favorite napping spots occupied by towering brown boxes. Moving can be extremely stressful for your pets, which is why you should consider hiring a pet sitter to watch them during moving day.

These are just a few useful tips to help you manage your move. Just remember that planning is an essential part to making your transition into a new home. Prepare for the unexpected and always keep essential items such as water, food, medicine, and some extra clothes on you while you embark to your new home. Reduce your and your pet’s anxiety by hiring a sitter, and don’t be afraid to hire professionals to give you a lift when you have your hands full. If you manage to do all of these things, your moving day will be a breeze.

Photo Credit: Pixabay
Article by Kelly Brewer – Kelli Brewer is proud of her military family and is passionate about supporting other military families through DeployCare.

Resource links

So much to organize –  https://www.hgtv.com/design/decorating/clean-and-organize/how-to-organize-your-move
Plan your approach – https://www.realsimple.com/home-organizing/organizing/moving/moving-checklist
Hiring movers – https://www.moneyunder30.com/how-to-hire-movers
Both cats and dogs – https://www.cesarsway.com/dog-care/travel/moving-with-your-dog
Hiring a pet sitter – https://www.rover.com/pet-sitting/
Photo Credit: Pixabay – https://pixabay.com/en/box-memories-photos-books-1209969/

 

What affects property values?

Some the features that increase property values are obvious-like a remodeled bathroom, a modern kitchen, or a sought-after neighborhood. But here are a few features and circumstances you have not have realized can affect property values.

  1. The neighbors: Not every neighborhood or community has an HOA that can keep the neighbors from going overboard with decorations or neglecting to care for their home. Homes adjacent to crazy neighbors can potentially be undervalued.
  2. Trendy groceries and coffee: Recent statistics suggest that if your home is a short walk from popular grocery stores like Whole Foods or coffee chains like Starbucks, it can actually appreciate faster than the national average.
  3. Mature trees: A big beautiful tree in the front yard is enviable, and it’s not something that can be easily added to any home. Homes with mature trees tend to get a little boost in value.
  4. Parking: This isn’t too much of an issue if you live in the suburbs or in a rural area, but residents in dense cities can have real problems with parking, and homeowners might need to rent a spot just to guarantee a place to park each night. That’s why having guaranteed parking in urban areas will raise property values.
  5. The front entrance: First impressions matter to buyers-many will cross a home off their list within 10 seconds of stepping through the front door. An appealing front door, a friendly entryway, and a functioning doorbell are all necessities for getting top dollar.

How to Ensure Your Pet-Friendly Home is Catnip to Potential Buyers

 

  1. Take the Dog for a Walk.
    When your prospective buyers are in the house, your pets should be out of it. Even if Fido is friendly and your Persian purrs at all visitors, it’s almost impossible to predict how a potential buyer will react to a strange animal. You don’t want any part of the tour to be negative, and for many people, cat dander and a lick on the hand is a definite no. During tours, arrange for your pet to be out of the house. Your dog is probably up for a trip to the dog park, and your cat… well, your cat could probably stand some sunshine, too. (Crates were built for this.)
  2. Hide the Evidence.

No one likes the smell of a litter box, and you can bet that it will be noticeable to potential buyers, even if you’re used to the odor. So, a few hours before a showing, open a few windows to get the smell out, then relocate the litterbox to the garage. You don’t want to leave a bad smell in a buyer’s nose.

  1. Pick Up the Toys.

Your pet’s playthings probably have a way of turning up in unexpected places. That’s why, if you don’t have one already, it’s a good idea to designate a particular storage place — a box or closet — for them. Keep an inventory, and before any tour, find each plaything. You don’t want your prospective buyers tripping over a squeaky mouse, or sitting down on the couch only to be jabbed by a drool-soaked rawhide bone.

  1. Leave Carpets to the Pros.

Carpet cleaners and vacuums might have made astronomical progress over the past few decades, but they still often find themselves conquered by Pomeranians. Instead of obsessing over your carpets before every single showing, arrange to have them deep-cleaned. It will save you hours of time fussing with carpet shampoos and vacuum cleaners. (And it goes without saying: Post-cleaning, try to keep your four-legged friends to hardwood or tile areas.)

  1. Lint-Roll Everything. And Clean Up the Yard.

Potential buyers probably bear no ill will toward your pet. But that doesn’t mean they want to spend the rest of the day after touring your house picking cat hair off their clothes. So please: Buy a lint roller. Use it on every fabric surface you think a buyer might touch. Then use it again.

And just because your yard is outdoors, that doesn’t mean that you’re not responsible for its contents. Your dog might do his business out of sight in the back yard, but it shouldn’t be out of mind for you — and it definitely won’t be for buyers. Take a shovel to the evidence.
Sam Radbil is a contributing member of the marketing and communications team at ABODO, an online apartment marketplace. ABODO was founded in 2013 in Madison, Wisconsin. And in just three years, the company has grown to more than 30 employees, raised over $8M in outside funding and helps more than half a million renters find a new home each month.

 

New Home Buyer Guide

What to Expect when you get a Home Inspection

When purchasing a home, it is a good idea to have the home checked out by a professional home inspector.  I recommend making your offer subject to a satisfactory home inspection. These are some of the questions the home inspector should answer for you.

  • Action Steps First Time Home BuyersIs the home structurally safe?  Is it soundly built?
  • What condition is the home’s exterior?
  • What condition is the roof in?
  • Is the ventilation and insulation adequate?
  • Are the heating and AC systems working properly?
  • Are the windows and doors in good working order?
  • Are the plumbing fixtures working properly?
  • Where is the main water shut-off valve?
  • Is the electrical panel properly labeled?
  • Is there any evidence of water leaks in the basement or crawlspace?
  • Are the gutters and downspouts working as intended to control water?
  • Are smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors installed and working properly?
  • Does the home have a security system?
  • Is there evidence of pests (ants, termites, rodents)?
  • Is there mold, radon, or asbestos present?

Once the home inspection is completed,  the inspector usually emails you a report with photos that you can use to negotiate any deficient items with the sellers. If inspector referrals are needed, just ask.  I know several good ones!

 

New Home Buyer Guide

Credit score Myths

Myth: Checking your credit score will lower your score. You can check your own credit score as many times as you want without impacting your score as long as you are pulling it from a consumer website or directly from one of the 3 Bureaus.

Myth: I pay for everything with Cash, I have no debt, I have great credit. Absolutely False! This person probably has a N/A for a credit score and most lenders will automatically turn him/her down.

For more credit score mythsemail me at cwahlin@windermere.com
For credit repair and advice – email seanreidloans@gmail.com

98032 Area Market Update

December 2016 Market Update Report

Area: 98032 (Kent, WA)

This is a Snapshot of the local real estate market for 98032 only as of 1.24.17 for Single Family Homes

These Stats Compare  12-2015 Thru 12-2016

New listings are UP 14.4%                Pending Sales are UP 7.6%  

Closed Sales are UP 1.1%    

Median Sales Price is UP 21.3% (Currently $330,000)        

Average Sales Price is UP 16.3% (Currently $323,565)   

Days on Market Until Sale are DOWN From 30 to 25 Days

Inventory of Homes for Sale December 2015 to December 2016 is DOWN  From 23 to 20 Days

Months Supply of Inventory is DOWN  1.6 to 1.3 Months (This is very low)

The summary is that home prices are up and inventory is down over the previous year.  It is taking a shorter amount of time to obtain an offer for a seller. For a buyer, there is less supply or homes to choose from and a Seller has less competition from other sellers.  It is still a Sellers Market