A Snapshot of American Homebuyers

Posted on March 21, 2015 at 3:50 pm
Shelia Simmons | Category: Uncategorized

A Snapshot of Homebuyers

Posted on March 13, 2015 at 5:28 pm
Shelia Simmons | Category: Economic News, Home improvement, Home ownership, Real Estate News, Uncategorized

Safe Holiday Decorating

Watch out before you string those lights


It's holiday time, and that means Rudolph will be emerging from storage for his annual jaunt on your gable. But before planting that plastic sleigh and reindeer on the roof, put some thought into safety.

December's calendar is booked solid with holidays – Kwanzaa, winter solstice, Hanukkah and Christmas – why not string some lights along the eaves of the house? After all, nothing says "Happy Holidays" quite like a festive string of lighted plastic chili peppers.
Don't become a holiday statistic
But before pulling out a ladder or wrapping a little more electrical tape around last year's extension cord, it would be a good idea to plan for safety. Taking a fall is the leading cause of home fatalities, according to the National Safety Council. Don't become an NSC statistic this holiday season – keep a few safety tips in mind while decorating.
Six tips for safety
  • Inspect all decorating gear before ascending. Ladders should be in good shape, with any moving parts (pulleys, ropes) in "like new" working condition. Rungs should be tight and sound. Repairing a ladder is a waste – toss it instead and get a new one – it's a lot cheaper than a body cast. Extension cords shouldn't have cuts or cracks in their jacket or plugs – refurbish or replace damaged cords. Light strings should be tested before putting them up. Carry a tool pouch filled with everything you need before climbing topside.  

     

  • Wait until the weekend. Shorter winter days leave less light after work for installing decorations. Schedule your decorating project for a Saturday or Sunday when there's ample daylight to work by.
     
  • Match the tools to the job. Remember that aluminum ladders conduct electricity and are therefore potentially hazardous. Choose a wooden or fiberglass ladder instead, both of which are non-conductive when dry. Try using a staple gun, rather than a hammer, for attaching cord to the eaves or fascia. The gun is easier to use with one hand, and its action is less likely to cause a loss of balance while high off the ground.
     
  • Think safety when working with outdoor lights, especially in wintry conditions. Follow the manufacturer's directions when setting up lights or using a ladder. Since even low-wattage lights can still be an electrical hazard when strung outdoors, plug them into a weather-proof, GFCI outlet. For an extension ladder (for use on second-story heights), install a "stand-off bar" (often available as an option) to increase stability at the top of the ladder.
     
  • Get help with bigger jobs. There's nothing wrong with asking for someone to hold the ladder base secure while you are climbing, or unraveling and handing you the cord while you secure it in place. Think about trading off help with a neighbor, giving each other a hand with the annual decorating chores.
     
  • Forget the ladder if you want to make your decorations fall-proof. Instead of scaling your siding, consider creative ways of dressing up the holiday season from ground level. Luminarias, yard decorations, lights strung along the ground floor or in accessible locations are all good options.

    And whatever decorations you choose, please don't leave them up past Memorial Day. Copyright © by Move, Inc.

Posted on December 3, 2014 at 9:54 pm
Shelia Simmons | Category: Uncategorized

Home Sales Generate $52,205 Impact on Economy

 

The National Association of Realtors (NAR) compiled data from research conducted by the Bureau of Economic Analysis & Macroeconomic Advisors on the economic impact of a home purchase.

After reviewing the data, they concluded that the total economic impact of a typical home sale in the United States is an astonishing $52,205.

Here is the breakdown of their report: 

Economic Contributions are derived from:

  • Home construction
  • Real estate brokerage
  • Mortgage lending
  • Title insurance
  • Rental and Leasing
  • Home appraisal
  • Moving truck service
  • Other related activities

When a House is Sold in the United States:

$15,912 of income is generated from real estate related industries.

New homeowners spend an additional $4,429 on consumer items such as furniture, appliances, and remodeling.

It generates an economic multiplier impact. There is a greater sense of community associated with owning a home; therefore there is greater spending at restaurants, sports games, and charity events. The size of this “multiplier” effect is estimated to be: $9,764

Additional home sales induce additional home production. Typically one new home is constructed for every 8 existing home sales. Therefore, for each existing home sale, 1/8 of new home value is added to the economy, which is estimated in the U.S. to be: $22,100

When you add the numbers up it comes to $52,205!

Posted on September 18, 2014 at 8:33 pm
Shelia Simmons | Category: Economic News, Home improvement, Home ownership, Real Estate News, Uncategorized

Should I Rent My House if I Can’t Sell It?

Should I Rent If I Can't Sell | The KCM Crew

There has been a lot written about how buying a home is less expensive than renting one in most parts of the country. Rents are skyrocketing and homes are still at great prices. These two situations are also causing some sellers to consider renting their home instead of selling it. After all, a homeowner can get great rental income now and perhaps wait until house values increase even further before selling.

This logic makes sense in some cases. There is a strong belief that residential real estate is a great investment right now. However, if you have no desire to actually become an educated investor in this sector, you may be headed for more trouble than you were looking for.

Before renting your home, you should answer the following questions to make sure this is the right course of action for you and your family.

10 Questions to ask BEFORE renting your home

  1. How will you respond if your tenant says they can’t afford to pay the rent this month because of more pressing obligations? (This happens most often during holiday season and back-to-school time when families with children have extra expenses).
  2. Because of the economy, many homeowners cannot make their mortgage payment. What percentage of tenants do you think cannot afford to pay their rent?
  3. Have you interviewed experienced eviction attorneys in case a challenge does arise?
  4. Have you talked to your insurance company about a possible increase in premiums as liability is greater in a non-owner occupied home?
  5. Will you allow pets? Cats? Dogs? How big a dog?
  6. How will you actually collect the rent? By mail? In person?
  7. Repairs are part of being a landlord. Who will take tenant calls when necessary repairs come up?
  8. Do you have a list of craftspeople readily available to handle these repairs?
  9. How often will you do a physical inspection of the property?
  10. Will you alert your current neighbors that you are renting the house?

Bottom Line

Again, renting out residential real estate is historically a great investment. However, it is not without its challenges. Make sure you have decided to rent the house because you want to be an investor, not because you are hoping to get a few extra dollars by postponing a sale.

Posted on June 17, 2014 at 5:05 pm
Shelia Simmons | Category: Economic News, Home improvement, Home ownership, Real Estate News, Uncategorized

Easter Egg Hunt coming April 19 – free!

You are invited to the annual Easter Egg Hunt! This exciting free family event features more than 12,000 plastic eggs filled with candy and prizes hidden around Jennings Park Rotary Ranch and Master Garden. The morning also features children’s activities and a guest visit from the Easter Bunny.

The Easter Egg Hunt will be from 10-11 a.m. on Saturday, April 19 at Jennings Memorial Park, 6915 Armar Rd. Additional parking will be available at Marysville Middle School, 4923 67th St. NE.

Youth ages 0-8 will be able to collect 8 eggs from their designated age-specific area of the park. All participants are asked to bring a canned food item for donation to the Marysville Food Bank. Brought to you by the City of Marysville, Marysville Noon Rotary, Steve Fulton State Farm Insurance and Grandview Village, this is an event you won’t want to miss!

For more information call Marysville Parks and Recreation at (360) 363-8400.

Posted on April 16, 2014 at 6:21 pm
Shelia Simmons | Category: Home improvement, Home ownership, Real Estate News, Uncategorized

Why Do We Buy Real Estate?

  

Today we are excited to welcome back Ashley Garner as our guest blogger for today’s post.  Ashley chose to expand on two sections of the most recent edition of KCM as his inspiration for today’s article. – The KCM Crew

American Dream flagWhy do you own your home? Why do you want to buy a home? According to Fannie Mae the top five reasons people buy a home or aspire to buy a home are: To have a better place to raise their children; A place where their family can feel safe; To have more space; Freedom to renovate to their own taste; and Owning is a better investment. Does this hold true for you? How about for a friend or family member you are close to? I know that all five reasons were a factor in my personal decision to own a home rather than rent. While I do think that sometimes for some people it is better to rent than own (or possibly it is the only option), the vast majority of the time there is no question it is better to own than rent.

The reasons we buy a home have stayed constant throughout the recovery of our real estate market and are strengthening all the while.

Freedom

People have to live somewhere and at least in the United States, people want to own where they live. It has a lot to do with freedom. We are a free nation with citizens who strive for financial freedom, enjoy their religious freedom, freedom to say what we want, etc. Something about owning your home gives you freedom.

Every day I work with people who are buying a home and they all have their own unique set of circumstances. Some are newly married and are ready to start their life together. Some need more space. Some have the means to buy a home in a special location to enjoy the beauty of the oceans or mountains. Either way the drive to own is strong.

Recovery

Let’s face it; we have been through tough economic times in the past several years. Many of us have been caught in the midst of short sales, foreclosures and even bankruptcies. The first question I’m asked by someone who has been through a tough time is “how long do I have to wait before I can buy another house?”

The American Dream

In 1931 the phrase “The American Dream” was defined by James Truslow Adams, historian and author, in his book Epic of America- “…life should be better and richer and fuller for everyone, with opportunity for each according to ability or achievement”. Homeownership is a very strong part of the American Dream.

We have all read books, seen movies and heard stories about immigrants who have come to America in pursuit of a better life in a society that allowed them to better themselves based on their own ability and achievement. Most of these people were coming to America from a society that was without opportunity because the class structure did not allow for significant achievement…you pretty much stayed in the class in which you were born.

In America that is not the case, every day we have the freedom to make better choices, work smarter, work harder, take risks, etc. all in pursuit getting to a better place than we came from.

Financial Strength

Owning a home is one of the best ways to better yourself as judged in financial AND non- financial terms. For example, according to the Federal Reserve (2012), on average, Homeowners have a total net worth over thirty times greater than those who rent their home. For most of us the equity in our home is the biggest asset on our balance sheet.

Other Factors

Some of the non-financial related ways we are better off owning a home versus renting include having more room for our growing family by way of buying a bigger house or adding on to our current house… if you rent, your landlord is not likely to allow you to knock down walls and add on to your apartment.

Another way we are better is by having the ability to choose where we want to live.Location is the single most important variable that affects the value of real estate, there is good reason for this…if the location is unsafe, polluted, noisy, high-traffic, prone to flooding, etc. then it less valuable than a location which is safe, quiet, convenient, dry, etc.

Achieving the American Dream is a noble pursuit. I would argue that owning your own home is one of the very best ways to live that Dream. It isn’t the only way but it is so important psychologically and financially that it helped make the USA the wonderfully free and prosperous nation it is and will be.

Why do you own your home? Why do you want to buy a home? Go out and achieve the American Dream!

Posted on October 21, 2013 at 10:47 pm
Shelia Simmons | Category: Uncategorized | Tagged

Prices rise in ‘cyclone’ of local home sales

EVERETT — The median sales price for single-family homes and condos in Snohomish County jumped nearly 16 percent in July from the price posted a year ago.

Members of the Northwest Multiple Listing Service said the threat of rising interest rates, quickly rising prices and growing consumer confidence are creating a "positive cyclone of home sales activity."

The greater Seattle area's robust job market is also spurring sales just north of the King County line.

NWMLS area 610, which includes Bothell, Maltby and areas south of Monroe, stood out in the July sales statistics. For single-family homes, closed sales rose 32.5 percent, from 120 to 159 homes, with the median price rising 20.1 percent, from $342,957 last July to $412,000. Among condos, the closed sales volume rose by only four units, from 22 to 26, but the median price shot up 57.3 percent, from $120,475 last July to $189,500.

The numbers were nearly as rosy in area 730, the southwest corner of Snohomish County. There, condo sales volume rose 45.7 percent from 46 to 67 units. The median sales price shot up from $163,500 to $225,000, an increase of 37.6 percent. The median price for single-family homes rose from $299,950 last July to $345,000, up by 15 percent.

For all homes and condos in Snohomish County, new listings rose 3.6 percent, countering months of deep double-digit decreases. Pending sales were up 5 percent year over year, from 1,400 to 1,470 units. Closed sales rose 10.9 percent, from 1,029 to 1,121 homes and condos. The median sales price among closed sales rose 15.9 percent, from $251,111 to $291,000.

Northwest MLS director John Deely, the principal managing broker at Coldwell Banker Bain in Seattle, said multiple offers are being reported in all price ranges "with properly priced new listings, and we're still seeing a surprising number of all-cash buyers." He also noted many transactions are conditioned on the closing of a pending sale as move-up sellers enter the market to buy a new property.

"We experienced a mini power surge of sales activity that was touched off by a sudden raise of interest rates during the month of May," J. Lennox Scott, chairman and CEO of John L. Scott Real Estate, said in a news release.

He reported more sellers are listing their homes "due to the realization that the next home they purchase will be at a higher interest rate." As these sellers become buyers, they're contributing to the "positive cyclone of sales activity."

Despite an uptick in listings, supplies remained low, particularly in Snohomish and King counties. At the current pace of sales in Snohomish County, it would take just 1.6 months to sell the current supply, while King County's supply would be gone in just 1.5 months. Realtors consider a six-month supply to represent a balanced market.


Kurt Batdorf: 425-339-3102; kbatdorf@heraldnet.com.

 

Posted on August 9, 2013 at 6:06 pm
Shelia Simmons | Category: Uncategorized

Windermere Community Service Day

 

 

Our office had a great time during our Community Service day helping the Everett Hand in Hand/Safe Place.  We packed up rooms in their Safe Place facility in preparation for their upcoming remodel, painted, cleaned up their landscaping and spread bark.  They are a wonderful group of people helping children in need.  

Click here for more information on Hand in Hand Kids and Safe Place. 

Posted on July 5, 2013 at 4:13 pm
Shelia Simmons | Category: Real Estate News, Uncategorized

Sellers Wanted

 

June 22, 2013 3:53 pm  •  

Pent-up housing demand has finally exploded. For sellers who were discouraged months or years ago, is it time to try again?

After five years of steady housing market declines, homeowners are finally seeing light at the end of the recession. For many municipalities and metro areas, it is now a seller’s market.

That means sellers who have been sitting out the recession-level low prices are now being urged to put their homes on the market to meet pent-up buyer demand. Homes are selling faster, for more money and usually with multiple offers.

“If someone is looking to buy in East Sacramento, there are only one or two houses available,” says Tom Gonsalves, broker-owner of Gonsalves Real Estate Properties in Sacramento, Calif. The market is so strong that he’s confident his properties can demand a higher selling price than other recent comparative sales.

Gonsalves says the Sacramento housing market has doubled since last year. “That house that was $80,000 last year is now selling for $160,000 today,” he says. The reason? Limited supply.

Banks are still holding onto foreclosed properties or selling them in bulk to national investors, which strains supply. Homeowners, in many cases, are just starting to wake up to the news that buyers are actively overbidding list prices and are eager to purchase, he says.

All of this means the housing market is off-kilter in many markets, especially in the West.

According to the National Association of Realtors, western states have been calling for an expedited process to get more foreclosures on the market. “They have more buyers than available property,” says Lawrence Yun, chief economist of NAR.

Nationally, all regions are seeing an increase in real estate activity. “In spite of tight access to credit and limited inventory,” Yun says, “buyer traffic is 31 percent stronger than a year ago.”

Yun says the only way to tame double-digit price growth is with new inventory. Existing-home sales are at the highest pace since November 2009, when the first-time homebuyer tax credit caused a spike in sales. Yet, there is only a 5.2-month national housing supply, down from 6.6 months in 2012.

“With homes selling in half the time it took to sell a year ago, buyers must be both decisive and prudent,” says Gary Thomas, president of NAR.

Another example of a seller’s market is Chicago, where homes that generated little interest in previous years are being snapped up by eager buyers.

Marty Winefield, a Coldwell Banker agent in Chicago’s Lakeview neighborhood says he listed a house in 2011 for $575,000 and got no offers in a six-month period. Recently, he re-listed the same house at the same price, and it’s now sold.

“Most of my sellers are happy,” he says. The Midwest is enjoying a 19.5 percent increase in median home sales from this time last year.

“We’re seeing more buyers, but they aren’t willing to aggressively pay more than they need to,” Winefield says. “The market is more disciplined.”

He cites another example of a townhouse he listed that generated multiple offers. “I got five offers but none over list price,” he says.

All real estate is local. Still, national statistics suggest that more and more local markets are looking attractive to sellers. National inventory levels are 20 percent below a year ago, according to NAR. The Buyer Traffic Index hit a high of 72, signifying increased demand, while The Seller Traffic Index clocked in at 41, indicating a shortage of supply, according to Realtors Confidence Index report.

Nearly all agents surveyed in the confidence report said they expect prices to continue rising for the rest of the year.

Gonsalves agrees. He says “I’m telling buyers to come in with more money or go find another house, but they can’t. [The inventory] is just not out there.”

 

Posted on June 25, 2013 at 8:40 pm
Shelia Simmons | Category: Economic News, Real Estate News, Uncategorized