3 Reasons to Sell Your House Now

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Thinking about selling your home? With inventory at historic lows, prices at or near record highs, and multiple offers common, it’s a perfect time to list your home. Here’s why:

1) The market significantly favors sellers.

Last month, 53.6% of homes sold in fewer than 15 days. And 39% of homes sold for over asking price.

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2) Experts believe interest rates are on the rise. Higher interest rates decrease the amount buyers can pay for a property- and decrease your profits.

The median price for a home sold on the Eastside is $803,500. At today’s interest rate of 4.2%, that would equal a monthly mortgage payment of $3,929. If interest rates increase just a half a percent to 4.7%, that same monthly payment allows a buyer to purchase a home worth just $757,400. The bottom line: As interest rates increase, your pool of buyers decreases.

3) Historically, February through June is the period when supply vs. demand favors sellers more than the rest of the year.

It takes time to get a home ready for sale. To take advantage of the peak season for sellers, you need to get started preparing your home now. I can advise you on what you need to do, and I have a team of trusted professionals who can get it done.

Are you ready to sell your home? Contact your Windermere Real Estate broker and they will prepare a valuation of your home based on current market conditions, walk you through the process, and answer any questions you may have.

First Time Buyers, Millennials, and What to Expect in 2017



By Matthew Gardner, Chief Economist at Windermere Real Estate

I believe that the big story for the coming year will be first-time home buyers. Since they don’t need to sell before purchasing, their reemergence into the market ensures that sales will continue to increase, even while inventory is limited. Thirty-one percent of buyers currently in the real estate market are first-time buyers, but it would be more ideal if that figure was closer to 40 percent.

Why don’t we have enough first-time buyers in the market? With Baby Boomers working and living longer, we aren’t making much room for Millennials to start their careers. Plus, the major debt that the younger generation owes on student loans ($1.3 trillion today) hugely impacts the housing market. But the bigger issue is lack of down payments. Before the recession, many Millennials could look to their parents for help with down payments; however, these days that is not as much the case.

I would also contend that the notion of Millennials being a “renter generation” is nonsense. In a National Association of Realtors survey, 75 percent of them said that buying a home would be the most astute financial decision they’d ever make; however, 80 percent said they don’t think they could qualify for a mortgage. I do believe that Millennials will eventually buy, but they’re delaying their purchasing decisions by about three years when compared to previous generations, which is about the same amount of time they’re waiting to start families as well.

Mortgage rates have risen rapidly since the election, and unfortunately, I do not see a turnaround in this trend. That said, they will remain cheap when compared to historic averages.  Expect to see the yield on 30-year mortgages rise to around 4.7% by the end of 2017. For those who have grown accustomed to interest rates being at historic lows, this might seem high, but it’s all relative.

If I were to gaze all the way into 2018, my crystal ball takes me to the dreaded “R” word. Like taxes and death, recessions are another one of those unwanted realities that inevitably comes to visit every so often. Irrespective of who was voted into the White House, my view remains the same: prepare to see a business cycle recession by the end of 2018, but, rest assured, it will not be driven by real estate, nor will it resemble the Great Recession in any way.

This article originally appeared on the Windermere.com blog.

2017 Housing Forecast: Local Market No. 4 in US

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According to Veros Real Estate Solutions, the Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue market is projected to be the fourth hottest real estate market in the U.S. in 2017. The company projects home prices to appreciate 10.2 percent in our region next year, far outpacing the rest of the country.

If you’re thinking about selling, the timing couldn’t be better. With inventory at historic lows, prices at or near record highs, and multiple offers the norm, it’s an exceptional time to get top dollar for your home.

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Are you ready to sell your home?

Get in touch with a Windermere Real Estate agent to receive a valuation of your home based on current market conditions, walk you through the process, and answer any questions you may have.

Millennials Buying Into the American Dream

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Contrary to some predictions, Millennials are making owning a home a priority. While they’re buying their first home a bit later than prior generations, they’re embracing the long-term value that home ownership brings.

1) Millennials are dominating the first-time homebuyer category today.

The median age of first-time homebuyers is 31, according to a National Association of Realtors study.

2) The vast majority of Millennials think owning a home is important.

According to a Merrill Lynch study, 81% of Millennials agree that “homeownership is an important part of the American Dream.”

Percent who agree that “Homeownership is an important part of the American Dream”
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3) Most Millennials consider owning a home more sensible than renting for both financial and lifestyle reasons.

In a survey by Fannie Mae, Millennials who own a home prefer owning over renting for these reasons:

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A strong local economy, rising rents and low interest rates have all helped Millennials reach the tipping point and take the plunge into the American Dream of home ownership.

Your Windermere Real Estate broker can help first-time buyers find the best home for their needs. Reach out with any questions you have, or forward this to a first-time homebuyer you know.

Help for Buying a Home Now

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Think you can’t afford to buy a house? There are a number of programs that can help make the dream of buying a home a reality.

  • You don’t need to put 20% down. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have down payment requirements as low as 3%. If you’re a vet or active military, a VA loan requires no down payment.
  • Your family can help with your down payment. Fannie Mae’s HomeReady Mortgage allows a down payment of just 3%, and income from grandparents, parents, relatives, and working children can be used to help qualify for the loan.
  • You don’t need perfect credit. To qualify for an FHA loan, your credit score needs to be just 500 or higher. FHA loans allow a down payment as low as 3.5%, and that payment can come entirely from “gift funds.”
  • BIG PLUS: There are a number of down payment assistance programs in Washington State to help you finance a home and arrange a payment you can afford.

Are you ready to start looking for a home? A Windermere Real Estate broker can help you find programs that make buying a house more affordable.