Posts Categorized: Buying a Home

Spring Market

 

Is there a shift in the market? 

Here is Rosie Rourke's spring real estate market update! With the volume we do we tend to see changes and shifts on the horizon sooner than most agents, and the media is usually 6 months behind in their reporting! 

Whether you are thinking of buying, selling or you are just curious about what your house is worth in this market, please reach out! We are all about relationships and everything starts with a conversation, no pressure! 

Believe in Real Estate

Should I buy a house during COVID19

 

During a recent team meeting some of my agents who work with our buyer clients said they are hearing rumors about a real estate bubble bursting, just like in 2007 and 2008. Their clients were asking about it and if they should wait to buy. Yes, prices are rising and at times it may feel like a bubble that is about to burst, but you need to look at all angles before making that judgment. Real estate is a great investment. Renting is essentially throwing your money away and paying for the landlord’s mortgage. There is risk with any investment and research is key. I decided to write this blog to show you what I am seeing in the market place as well my own real estate investing experience, you can be the judge for yourself 🙂

I decided to do some research on one of my own properties that I own to give you a concrete example why you should always believe in real estate as a great long term investment. I own a rental home on the West Hill in Auburn. It is an average split level home built in 1983, 4 bedrooms, 2.5 bathrooms and 2500 square feet.

I bought it in 2001 for the price of $220,000

2006: $320,000 – height of market before the fall of major recession

2008: $275,000 – the recession

2020: $475,000 – current value as of the fall

is there another housing bubble

You can see how the market fluctuates over the years, but real estate in the long run will always be a good investment, especially around Seattle. Here is a part of a great article I read from Realtor.com last August, it explains why we aren’t seeing another housing bubble like we did in 2007/2008, even during a pandemic.

Why won't we see another Great Recession-era housing bubble?

Published by Realtor.com – August 2020

The sky-high prices of 2020 are being driven by an influx of buyers bidding up prices on a historically low number of homes on the market. Until more properties come online, that dynamic is unlikely to change.

The Great Recession had the opposite problem: There were many more homes available than qualified buyers.

In the aftermath of the housing bust, it's become harder for buyers without good jobs and strong credit to score mortgages. This weeds out riskier borrowers. And unlike the last go-around, when builders were erecting residences at what seemed like a break-neck pace, the under-building of the last few years has exacerbated the housing shortage.

Even if the economy doesn't improve by next year and a vast swath of Americans remain unemployed, we are not likely to see the flood of foreclosures that characterized the housing crash, partly because government protections could be extended.

"It doesn't feel at all like last time, when the market was getting all pumped up by easy mortgage credit," says Mark Zandi, chief economist of Moody's Analytics.

The housing bubble burst in 2007/2008 was driven by too much supply and not enough demand. We have the opposite problem right now. If you include low interest rates into the mix, it will continue to be a healthy market.  

I also found this recent article that I thought was interesting especially in the post 2020 election era.

Is Seattle a good investment these days with all the turmoil?

Published by Norada Real Estate Investments – October 4th, 2020

Seattle has long been a second-tier technology hub, bolstered by companies like Boeing, Amazon, F5, and Real Networks. Seattle’s strong tech ecosystem has led to a number of startups choosing to start here, but more importantly, many tech giants are setting up “outposts” here. They’re moving jobs to Seattle so they can afford to expand or simply afford to remain in business. The influx of new high paying jobs plus relocating employees to Seattle is driving demand for homes in Seattle.

Over the past 10 years, Amazon has grown more than tenfold in the city of Seattle, from about 4,000 employees in its hometown to over 45,000. During the same time, the median home price in the city has shot up from $420,000 to $720,000 (according to the Northwest MLS) and home prices in the metro area as a whole have gone up 47 percent. Between 2008 and 2018, over 535,000 homes have sold in the entire Seattle metro area. For comparison, that’s 41 percent more than in the similarly-sized San Diego metro area.

Much of this growth in the local housing market can likely be attributed to growth at Amazon. The Seattle real estate market shares many of the constraints that drove up real estate prices in San Francisco. You can’t realistically build on water. It is hard to build in the mountains. You can build up, but that takes time and is expensive. And all the while, everyone wants to live close to the city center and jobs. This helps keep property values in the Seattle housing market high.

The areas around Seattle and the Eastside like Renton, Kent, Fairwood & Maple Valley in the south and Bothel, Kenmore, Woodenville & Lynwood in the north have seen an influx of new buyers. These suburbs are more affordable and when you can work remotely, you can live anywhere!

Ok, none of us have a crystal ball here, but I have firsthand experience of not only being in the real estate business for 25 years, but I am also a homeowner and investor who lived through the last recession and housing bubble. The prices will continue to rise in our area, most industry experts agree on this. Now is a great time to buy with low interest rates, in many cases you can own a home for what you are currently paying in rent! Contact our team and let’s talk numbers, we want to be your guide to homeownership in 2020 and beyond!

North Renton Home For Sale

Affordable, Walkable City Living in North Renton! 

Historic & Walkable North Renton + Farmhouse Style & Rustic Charm! Welcome home to North Renton & this charming 3 bedroom/1 bathroom home. This historic, fully updated home welcomes you with an adorable covered front porch & fully-fenced yard. The cozy living room opens to large dining area. The updated kitchen has stainless steel appliances, concrete counters, whitewashed brick, wine cooler & shiplap ceilings throughout. It also includes an oversized utility/sunroom/mudroom that flows into a large, fully-fenced back yard with a detached garage that provides extra storage & tool shed. RV/boat parking with no HOA. Walkable location to Downtown Renton, The Renton Landing, and easy access to freeways! This home is stupide cute and move-in ready + includes a home warranty! Check out more photos, learn more about the listing, take a 3D tour & schedule a contactless showing before it's gone here: https://bit.ly/3lPIGfE

Dual Agent Vs. Team

real estate team near me

 

Team vs. Dual Agent

Clients often ask us, “why did form a team instead of just doing everything yourself?” In the beginning of Rosie’s 25 year career she did it all! She chose to form a team for several reasons such as being able to help more people, growing the business, streamlining the process and also ethical representation for her clients on both the buying and selling sides. In this blog we are going to focus on the latter…

What is a dual agent?

A dual agent is when a real estate agent works with the buyer and the seller on the same transaction simultaneously. Here’s a common scenario when dual agency may occur:

A real estate agent is hired to sell the home of a client named Mary. That real estate agent has a second client, named Rob, who is in the market to buy a home. Rob tours Mary’s home and decides he wants to purchase the home. Because both Rob and Mary are clients of the same real estate agent, the transaction is considered an example of dual agency.

Sounds pretty cut and dry, right? WRONG! It can muddy the waters because it creates a huge Conflict of Interest. When a real estate agent represents a seller, they are supposed to obtain the highest possible price for their seller with the least amount of contingencies. Similarly, when an agent represents a buyer, they are supposed to help them get the lowest possible price while making them feel comfortable with the condition of the home, usually through an inspection. However, if the same agent is representing both the buyer and the seller, getting the client the best price becomes extremely difficult. If the real estate agent is selling a home that is overpriced, they cannot disclose that to the buyer because they are going against their loyalty to their seller. However, they are also doing a disservice to their buyer because they are knowingly selling an overpriced home and are unable to advise the buyer against purchasing it out of loyalty to the seller. Without realizing it, the agent may also favor one side of the party a bit more than the other, depending on how long the real estate agent has known the buyer/seller, personal relationships, etc. This may be completely unintentional but can happen without the real estate agent realizing it. 

A dual agent is more likely to overlook important details as well!  Being a dual agent is extremely stressful and puts the real estate agent in a precarious situation. Managing both a buyer and a seller on the same transaction simultaneously may lead the real estate agent to mix up certain documents or miss important information altogether without meaning to do so. They also have the inability to negotiate price or inspection issues. In dual agency, the real estate agent is working in the best interests of both the buyer and the seller, making negotiations tricky. In a standard transaction scenario where a buyer’s agent and seller’s agent are both involved, the seller’s agent will advocate on the seller’s behalf to ensure the seller does not have to pay excessive repair costs if an inspection report comes back with several issues. The buyer’s agent will do the same for their buyer, negotiating that the repairs are taken care of or the buyer is credited in some way for excessive repair costs. However, this is difficult to do as a dual agent because the real estate agent’s interest is divided equally between the buyer and seller.  

For the reasons outlined above, this is why we formed a team.  An ethically-minded real estate agent always puts their clients’ needs first, even if that means giving up a larger commission. We have buyer’s agents who work exclusively with our buyers and seller’s agents who work exclusively with our sellers. As listing agent Melissa Hudson always says, “it’s like church and state”, meaning we as a team keep everything separate to protect the clients. This is the way we have chosen to do business and it must be working, we are the top real estate team in the King County area and top 1% nationwide! It pays to put your clients first!

Home Office/Homeschooling Spaces

homeschooling workspace ideas

Need a Home Office/School Space?

Ideas for Work From Home Spaces, Homeschooling Areas & Maybe It's Time For More Space!

One trend we are seeing right now in real estate is clients wanting a home office or homeschooling space. Like it or not, working from home and distance learning for the kids are both here to stay. After months of being at home, do you still love your house? Does it suit you current family needs? Here are some cool ideas for converting areas of your home into homeschooling spaces or a home office for those ZOOM calls!

https://www.pinterest.com/rosierourke/

Many of our clients are also finding out that being home for so long has shown them some of the limitations of their space. Remember when you bought your house and you said,

“What do I need that extra bedroom for? Why do I need a home office, I work in a building downtown? That bonus room is a waste of space?”

Open concept homes are great until you need a quite space for a ZOOM call or an area for the kids to set up their “classrooms.” You have options, maybe it’s time to upsize? Odds are you have some great equity in your home!

“But Rosie, if I sell my house how can I afford a larger home, home prices are up all over?”

This is where the low interest rates come in. Lower rates mean more buying power for you. So yes, home prices are up, but with your equity in your current home + low rates, it might be more obtainable than you think! All it takes is a simple phone call, text or email to our team and we can give you a better idea of what your home is worth and what is available in the market for you. Just reach out, let’s chat!

It is a great time to sell, buyers are circling and looking for a home like yours, trust us! Everyone is climbing the real estate ladder right now. Renters are buying condos, condos are upsizing to starter homes, starter homes are upsizing to forever homes, forever homes are downsizing to ramblers, and everything in-between! Our team has helped over 100+ clients already this year go from one end to the other, we have this dialed in.

“But Rosie, the thought of packing up and moving is scary and overwhelming, where do I start?”

RELAX, this is what we do! We don’t just throw a sign in the ground and leave you to do it all, we take care of everything! The moment you decide to let us guide you on your home sales journey we lean in to make sure you have a stress free experience! From scheduling contractors, movers, people to help you de-clutter, we’ll even be the ones to meet with the vendors for you so you don’t have to miss work! We are full service!

“Ok, but what about selling then trying to buy something, I don’t want to be displaced!”

Another great question, we have solutions for that as well! Using the equity in your home to buy a new one all while trying to sell it is both an art and a science. We work with some of the top lenders in the area who specialize in just that. We have several outside the box options to ensure you get top dollar for your current home and find you your new home. We can make it a seamless process, but you need to reach out to us to discuss these options because every situation is unique. There is also a possibility of an off market solution! Being the top team in the area we are connected to active buyers as well as other agents. In some cases selling your home without listing it is a great way to help you achieve your real estate goal without the anxiety of putting your home on the market. Once again, contact us and let’s chat about your options!

In closing I just want to say… HANG IN THERE, YOU CAN DO THIS! We hope this post was helpful and let us know if we can do anything for you! – The Rosie Rourke Team

TIME TO SELL!!!

what is the best time to sell my home in fairwood

 

With Rosie Rourke being one of the top agents not only in the King County, Fairwood, Renton, and Kent areas of Washington, but the entire country, she is invited to speak and be a part of round tables and webinars for other realitors. The theme is the same during every discussion... what is going on with the SE King County Real Estate Market???

Experts from all of the country are calling our local real estate market one of the most resilient in the ENTIRE United States!

Check out the reasons why above and let's have a conversation about your needs, both buying and selling! 

Summer Market Update

Now Is The Time!

Now is the best time to sell your home in the Fairwood, Renton, Kent, Maple Valley & South King County! It all starts with a conversation and a REAL home valuation done by one of the top real estate teams not only in the Northwest, but the entire nation! 

State of Real Estate in Kent

Buying & Selling Real Estate in Kent & the South Sound During COVID-19

Recently Rosie Rourke was asked to be an expert panelist for the Kent Chamber of Commerce's State of Real Estate ZOOM call. Skip ahead minute 4:39 get Rosie's real estate update! 

Buying & Selling Real Estate in Kent & the South Sound During COVID-19

Recently Rosie Rourke was asked to be an expert panelist for the Kent Chamber of Commerce's State of Real Estate ZOOM call. Skip ahead minute 4:39 get Rosie's real estate update! 

Save Money During COVID-19

how to save money during COVID-19

 

Here is a quick message from Rosie about this post and the money saving ideas she's compiled to help you get COVID-19! 

 

Tip #1 Save Money on Your Mortgage!

Contact your loan servicer to find out how they can help if you can’t make the payment. Forbearance is one way, but buyer beware-nothing is free! I recently sat down with one of our preferred lenders and asked everything my clients should know! 

 

If would like to reach to Nichole Stearns directly here is her contact info!

Nichole Stearns - Branch Manager
Fairway Independent Mortgage Corporation
709.4136 nicholes@fairwaymc.com

#2 Still Paying PMI?

Still paying Private Mortgage Insurance (“PMI”) for your home mortgage? Your bank does not automatically remove it-you have to request for it to be removed! Save big each month if you have at least 20% equity in your home. Contact me and I can help determine that for you.

#3 Bank Loans

Bank loans – contact your debt companies and you may be pleasantly surprised to find helpful payment plans. Such as Bank of America. In response to COVID-19, Bank of America is offering payment deferrals for home loans, auto loans, and credit cards for up to 90 days. - https://www.businessinsider.com/personal-finance/bank-of-america-covid-19-2020-4

#4 Utilities

Utilities – contact your utility companies. Some are waiving late fees and creating a payment plan. Puget Sound Energy has a relief program and will not disconnect your power during Covid crisis. For more details - https://www.pse.com/press-release/details/learn-about-our-covid-19-response-plan

#5 Refinance

If your interest rate is over 4.5%, you may benefit from refinancing your home mortgage. Call your loan servicer to learn more.

#6 Stock Market

Stock Market – Want to learn more about market volatility and five actions to consider today? Watch this video provided by John Schneider, a Financial Advisor at Edward Jones. He is a Kent Chamber of Commerce Member, check out this video to learn more:


https://www.edwardjones.com/market-news-guidance/client-perspective/navigating-pullbacks-video.html

Here is John's info if you have any direct questions:

(253) 872-2600
john.schneider@edwardjones.com
www.edwardjones.com

#7  Real Estate Taxes!

Real Estate Taxes – if you are over 61 and fit into a financial category deemed by King County as eligible, you could drastically reduce your real estate taxes. Visit is helpful website to learn more: https://dor.wa.gov/content/property-tax-exemption-program-senior-citizens-and-disabled-persons

#8 Tips From a CPA

Local CPA, Lois Vankat from Shannon & Associates, has a website packed with great tips and information such as…


* Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (watch for your money in the mail if you qualify!)


* attention employers, there is a great read about the Family First Coronavirus Response Act


* Emergency Economic Relief Update – SBA loan programs summary


* What you should know about your retirement plan and how it is affected by the CARES act


* The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act – what does it mean for you?


* Relief for Washington Business and Employees


Learn more at https://www.shannon-cpas.com/resources/blog/

Here is Lois's information if you would like to reach out to her directly:

Lois D. Vankat, CPA
Senior Manager
Shannon & Associates 253.852.8500
lvankat@Shannon-CPAs.com

#9 For Tenants & Landlords

If you are a Tenant or a Landlord, learn about changes due to COVID crisis such as rent freeze, eviction bans, etc.  Read this Rental Housing Association of Washington article:
https://www.rhawa.org/blog/governor-enacts-rent-freeze-expands-evictions-ban-due-to-covid-19-crisis

THANK YOU, HOW CAN I HELP?

If you need anything real estate related please reach out to me and my team! People are still selling, and buyers are still buying, and we are ready to assist you anyway we can! 

Are People Still Buying Homes?

are people buying homes during COVID-19?

 

Literally everyday a friend, client or even someone at the grocery store asks us the same question, "How is real estate during all of this, are people still buying and selling?" The short answer is YES! The market is very healthy for both buyers and sellers, take a look at the market stats for King County last week.

Learn more about the steps we are taking to keep our clients safe during covid19 and the #stayhome #staysafe order at www.rosierourke.com/spring

Please reach out to Rosie directly if you have any questions or need help in anyway!