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Posts Categorized: Buying a Home

The Power of One…

The Power of One…

 

Did you know that just a 1% rise in mortgage interest rates can spell disaster for the home buyer looking to make a purchase? It means a loss of 10-12% of buying power. Essentially that could cost a Northwest home buyer their chance of buying a home at the top of their price range and be stuck owning something at the bottom of their range. Scary, right? So when you watch the news and they talk about rising interest rates, it’s something to pay attention too.

 

Here is a great example, let’s say that you buy a 4 bedroom, 1800 square foot home for  $503,000, your mortgage payment with a 4.25% interest rate would be $2475 per month. Now, if the interest rates rise just 1%, you could end up with a smaller, 3 bedroom, 1500 square foot home for $458,000… and your payment would be $2529! Higher payment, smaller house… that is the power of one!

 

Ok, this is a little gloomy, but there is hope! Interest rates are still historically low… but have been creeping up. But ask yourself, “Can I REALLY afford to wait until next year?” The answer is NO… YOU CAN’T! So here is the deal, my team and I want to help… and now is the time.

 

Need to sell so you can Upsize/Downsize? The market is hot, your home will sell faster than you think, and we work with many lenders that can help you finance the purchase of your new home while listing your current home… you have options!

 

Tired of renting? Our team has 2 dedicated, expert buyers’ agents who are ready to help you find your dream home and close the deal in this competitive home buying market!

 

Yes, the Power of One can be great… but just imagine what you could do with a team behind you ?

Breaking News About The Real Estate Market!

Hi everyone, Rosie Rourke here! I have some breaking news for you about the real estate market… it has slowed down for the summer! I know, all you hear on the news is how hot it is, but my years of experience and the numbers don’t lie! But this is a great opportunity for you if you are ready to buy!

renton real estate trends

Using zip code 98058 (Renton/Fairwood) as one example, see above chart. I’m happy to run a report in your zip code–just contact me! The report shows the last 5 years history. As you can see, every year during the summer and holiday months, the sales dip in quantity. Our area has very limited sunshine, so when summer arrives, the buyers and agents disappear. Especially when kids are out of school. Families take their annual vacation and summer sport tournaments take over.

Even in the best of markets, this trend continues. Note the lack of inventory for this year over the last 5 years… wow! Our market is still extremely hot, just in a plateau as buyers take a break for sun & fun. 

I hear so many times… “I thought summer would be best time to sell since the families need to position for school”. In reality, it already happened in late Spring so that buyers/sellers could enjoy the summer months.

Without rapid pace of sales, the inventory is higher than it has been since Spring market, but on par for last year this same time.  Don’t worry! September and October will heat us back up again.

If you are a buyer, now is the time to take advantage of buying without fear of a bidding war and having no leverage. And, sellers – we got this! Your house may not sell within minutes, but we will sell it for top dollar in a timely manner. 

Area Home Prices Are Up… BIG TIME!

Area Home Prices Are up $132,500 in The Last 24 Months… Whaaaat?!

This isn’t a type-o! Can you believe that? We are looking at the hottest real estate market with the highest home values in our area EVER. For example, home prices in Fairwood alone are up over $132k in the last 24 months. AND, mortgage rates are still at historic lows and home inventory is down. What does that mean for you, the happy home owner? That means your house will sell for more than you ever thought was possible… and fast! The majority of my listings are selling above asking price and we are getting multiple offers.

I know, this is a lot to take in, but is THE time and this is YOUR opportunity to cash in if you are looking to upsize, downsize, or cash in on a rental home you are tired of managing. Just know that I am here to help you navigate this crazy market and help you make the best decision for you and your family.

Call me, text me, email me, or just stop by my brand new office in Kent sometime, I’d love to reconnect and look at your options!

Fairwood Featured Business – THERE YA GO ESPRESSO!

With this post, I am happy to be continuing my “Fairwood Featured Business” series with installment #7

My ongoing passion is to highlight and celebrate the neighborhood I live in, raise my kids in and work in.  I believe that a big part of what enhances our quality of life is when we enjoy our surroundings.  So I’m taking an opportunity to focus on our neighborhood specifically and to appreciate all that we have here, so close to home.blog pic 6

Previously on this blog, I have featured Plaza Cleaners, Fairwood Thai Cuisine, and Cosmo Nail Parlor, Fairwood Golf & Country Club, Fire District #40, Station 17, and Shakey’s.

For the month of July, I am so happy to feature There Ya Go Espresso!!

This my favorite coffee stop for so many reasons!  It’s close, it has a convenient drive thru, and They Know My Name!  I love great customer service, and that’s what I get every time at There Ya Go Espresso.

Owners Brian & Shelly Cox bought the Fairwood stand in 2008.  Both local kids, (Brian – Kentridge HS, Shelly – Tahoma HS) their commitment to bringing quality independent business to their community is something I truly admire.  They own two locations, Fairwood and Maple Valley, and have been working in the coffee industry since 1995,

Caffe’ D’arte Coffee

There Ya Go proudly serves Caffe’ D’arte Coffee, which I learned is one of the oldest roasters in Seattle.  They were roasting here when Starbucks and Seattle’s Best were just baby coffee companies!  Caffe D’arte also has a roasting plant in Italy, so it’s like having “real Italian roast” right here in Seattle!  In addition to coffee, There Ya Go serves a variety of teas, food items, and recently began offering SPARK, by Advocare!

The Fairwood location was just remodeled in 2016, employs 6 Amazing Baristas, and offers specials every weekday!  Free Muffin (banana bread) Monday, Two Stamp Tuesday, 4th Shot Free on Wednesday, 50c off Food Thursday, and Free Flavor Friday!!!

Open every day from 5am-5pm, There Ya Go Espresso is one of Fairwood’s Finest!

Thank you Brian and Stacy Cox ~ keep up the good work!

~Rosie

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Fairwood Featured Business – Shakey’s!

With this post, I am happy to be continuing my “Fairwood Featured Business” series with installment #6.shakey's blog pic

My ongoing passion is to highlight and celebrate the neighborhood I live in, raise my kids in and work in.  I believe that a big part of what enhances our quality of life is when we enjoy our surroundings.  So I’m taking an opportunity to focus on our neighborhood specifically and to appreciate all that we have here, so close to home.

Previously on this blog, I have featured Plaza Cleaners, Fairwood Thai Cuisine, and Cosmo Nail Parlor and Fairwood Golf & Country Club and Fire District #40, Station 17.

For the month of MAY, I am proud to highlight Shakey’s Pizza Parlor!

Only 2 in Washington State

Did you know that our Fairwood Shakey’s is one of only two in Washington?  You’ll have to drive to Pasco to find the other! Shakey’s was founded in 1954 and has been a center point of West Coast culture since then.  Shakey’s has a long history in Renton and I am glad that Fairwood is home to this classic family restaurant.

New Owner

In February, 2016 Lori Bender took over the reins as the new owner.  A Fairwood resident herself since 1977 and longtime restaurant owner, Lori is passionate about revitalizing our Shakey’s.  Here are just some of the exciting changes underway:  remodel of restaurant and kitchen, revamped menu, improved beer & wine selections, larger game room, and some lower prices.  With such a long history in Fairwood, Lori wants to ensure that Shakey’s is going strong for years to come.

Family Friendly

Shakey’s has always been a great gathering place for families. It’s kid friendly and comfortable with selections for adults as well. Our sports teams have long enjoyed after game meals and banquets there.  Lori showed me the reconfigured party room, and it is a great gathering place.  Shakey’s has hosted engagement parties, baby showers, sports team banquets, birthday parties and even a wedding reception!  If your group really needs the party room, it is best to make a reservation, but Lori said that Teams are ALWAYS WELCOME – just c’mon in!

Take a New Look!

I am excited to take a new look at an old favorite!  Shakey’s is open daily from 11-9pm and until 10pm on Friday and Saturdays.  Lori has generously offered  to take $2 off of any large pizza order if you mention Rosie Rourke anytime in the month of May.

Thank You Lori!  And thank you Shakey’s for continuing to be our Fairwood family gathering place!

~Rosieshakey's blog pic 2

 

 

FAQ – Inspection vs. Appraisal

What is the difference between an inspection and an appraisal? What do they do for me?  These are questions I am asked all the time, so here is a brief run down of each.

Inspection

  • Optional,  but highly recommended for the buyer.
  • Inspector works for the buyer to find any issue that may make the home purchase unwise or less desirable.
  • The Rosie Rourke Team will always be there at your inspection, representing you and your interests in the home purchase.

Appraisal

  • An appraiser is sent by the bank doing your loan on the home purchase.  They represent the bank’s interest and their function is to determine the value of the home.
  • Appraisers do not inspect a home for hidden structural issues.
  • Appraisals are not required if you purchase a home with cash.
  • A bidding war drives the home price up? An appraiser may determine that the agreed price is above the value of the home, in which case the bank may not loan the full amount.
  • The Rosie Rourke Team will always be there at your home appraisal, offering strategies to help you navigate through the process.

Let me know what YOUR questions are ~ I am happy to help!

~ Rosie

Seattle job market among country’s hottest!

blog picOnly 3 cities across the country had a hotter job market than Seattle last year!

The Puget Sound Business Journal reported that Seattle added over 78,000 jobs in 2015.

Dallas was #1, followed by San Jose and Los Angeles.  Finding and keeping talent is a hot topic across the Puget Sound region. More than 25,000 technology jobs in the state have remained open for at least six months, according to the Washington Technology Industry.

What that says to me is that we are perfectly placed in our area to see an increase in buyers looking for that perfect home in a central location.  My team is ready to help you find that home!  If all of this activity has you wondering what your home might be worth in today’s market, I will be happy to meet with you.

Is it time to start dreaming about your next home??

~ Rosie

Seattle housing market is HOT for 2016, according to Zillow

Zillow has posted it’s new hottest housing markets list for 2016, and guess what?  Seattle is #2 nationwide, right behind Denver.  To make the list, Zillow uses home value appreciation, unemployment rates and income growth.Featured Home | Rosie Rourke

Based on their research, Seattle home prices will rise 5.4% this year (second only to Dallas-Fort Worth at 5.6%).  Seattle’s income is projected to rise 1.1%.

Trendy tech centers hogged the spotlight for 2015. But this year, the markets that shine brightest will be those that  manage to strike a good balance between strong income growth, low unemployment and solid home value appreciation.

Remember as well that I can always provide a more accurate value of your home than Zillow can. I am happy to let you know how to increase the value of your home as well.

Happily serving the community and answering your Real Estate needs!

~ Rosie

 

 

 

We’re #66! Renton Ranks in Top 100 Best Places to Live

You’ve heard the “We’re #1” chant at high school football games. I personally believe Renton is #1 when it comes to great places to live and work. According to Livability.com, Renton is the 66th best place to live in the U.S. Okay, so it ain’t #1, but close enough!

So, how’d Renton make #66? Livability ranked more than 2,000 cities with populations between 20,000 and 350,000. They ranked the cities in areas such as amenities, demographics, economy, education, health care, housing, social and civic capital, transportation and infrastructure.

Of Renton, Livability said:

Population: 93,601

Median Household Income: $64,141

Median Home Price: $285,800

Residents Who Own Their Homes: 20,148

Median Monthly Mortgage: $2,024

“Located just southeast of downtown Seattle, lining the shore of Lake Washington, is Renton, a city with magnificent views of the Cascades and Mount Rainier. Adding to the beauty is Cedar River that runs through the downtown district.

The city is best known for assembling Boeing 737 commercial airplanes, while other key industries are information technology and service companies.

The NFL’s Seattle Seahawks have a training facility in Renton, and residents have access to quality of life conveniences like Valley Medical Center and an acclaimed Renton School District No. 403.”

Hot Place to Live

The Renton real estate market is still extremely healthy. We’re seeing low inventory, low interest rates, and money to lend. We just sold a home in Fairwood Greens in a bidding war and it went for above asking price.

5-Bedroom Stunner in Renton

Here’s one of our current listings in The Parks neighborhood of Renton:

Renton home for sale in The Parks neighborhood - Rosie Rourke

Built in 2000, this beautifully appointed 5-bedroom home has nearly 3,800 square feet of stylish elegance, with a soaring entry and 9-foot ceilings on both floors.

The home is situated on a quiet cul-de-sac in The Parks, a sought-after community with miles of King County trails steps from the back door. There’s easy access to freeways and public transportation, and the neighborhood is close to major shopping amenities such as Renton Landing.

The home features many designer touches. The elegant formal living room has coffered ceilings, crown molding and custom blinds; a marble surround gas fireplace and gorgeous mantel piece.

There’s also a formal dining room; a family room bathed in natural light; a dream kitchen with granite counters, custom raised panel maple cabinets, custom knobs and stainless steel appliances, a commercial grade gas stove and walk-in pantry, double oven, planning desk, breakfast bar, and more.

A guest bedroom and bath on the main floor is a rare feature. Don’t miss the 4-car tandem style garage, air conditioning, stand by generator and air purifier. The fully fenced, private yard with patio has been professionally landscaped for low-maintenance outdoor enjoyment.

If you’re looking to buy a home, this one is definitely a “keeper.” Join us for an open house Saturday, September 26, from 1-4 p.m., or contact me at 206.719.5870; rosie@rosierourke.com, to schedule a walk-through. Ask for listing #843473.