Posts Categorized: Real Estate Market Updates

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! 

More Listings Needed!

what is going on with real estate during covid19

 

Happy May Day everyone! Did you get the Market Insights report in your inbox? You are probably wondering what this graphic means, right? It means that there are literally no houses for sale! Ok, yes, there are houses for sale, but the number of listings is so low that it is counted as a ZERO. This combined with a historic number of qualified buyers looking = a HUGE opportunity for sellers RIGHT NOW! Don't believe me? Take a second and see how many buyers have a home exactly like yours in their search criteria RIGHT NOW here: www.rosierourke.com/buyernow

Learn more about buying and selling during COVID-19 at www.rosierourke.com/spring

We are here to help you not just with your real estate needs and goals, please reach out if you need anything! #stayhome #staysafe #rosierourketeam #homesforsale #househunting

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!
 

LIVE TO LIST

From Living in Your Home to Listing Your Home!

People always ask me, "Rosie, how is your team different from other real estate agents?" We take the time and put in the work BEFORE your home lists to help you get it ready! Most agents sign the listing agreement and you don't hear from them until listing day... that is NOT US! I've always found that pre-inspections, work orders and simple updates to a home is the secret sauce for a successful listing.

My team and I meet with vetted contractors, help you declutter/organize, and we know what today's buyer is looking for. We are there to hold your hand every step of the way, we want this to be a stress free experience! Here is a great example of a recent listing in Fairwood and how they went from LIVE TO LIST with the Rosie Rourke Team, enjoy! 

 

 

After watching the video you'll first hand how we were able to help this client! Yes, they did get top dollar, which is important, but they also had a stress free experience! Here is a great testimonial from them:

"We have watched Rosie and her team in action over the years and thought perhaps her group would be a good choice when it was time to sell our home and find a new one. We were impressed from our first meeting with her team. To say she knows the area she sells in is an understatement. Rosie and her group are long-standing community members who truly have the business experience to put their knowledge and connections to work for clients. Let me be clear-we also chose Rosie and her group because we really had confidence that they were working in our best interest at all times-not something we feel is true of all agents in our area. Rosie’s team was there for us at every level with advice, assistance and excellent business contacts for banking, contractors, inspections...the works! We brought a home to market with a clean inspection, completed a purchase of a new home and sale of existing one in a few short weeks. Looking back, I know for certain we would have spent more money and taken much longer to get to the finish line had we worked with anyone else. We are so grateful for all the hard work and responsiveness of her entire team. Questions were answered, problems solved, good humor an professionalism right down the line. This is not our first home and we recall all the setbacks and frustrations that can come about during this process if details are missed or someone has their bottom line as a priority over your own. We are doubly aware of the quality of services we received. Do not hesitate to give Rosie’s group a call. I’d put them at the top of your list. Set up a meeting, do your homework and let them impress you."

Need Help?

Thinking about buying or selling? Fill out the form below to get in touch with me (Rosie) or you can call or text me anytime with questions! 

Virtual CMA’s With Rosie!

free virtual home valuation

 

High Touch Meets High Tech... Rosie has gone virtual! She is scheduling virtual CMA (Competitive Market Analysis) appointments via ZOOM video call now! You'll get the in-person, one on one level of service you come to expect from our team while practicing social distancing! It's a win-win!

Schedule your free home valuation appointment and let Rosie show you what your home is really worth in this market, something a computer algorithm can't do! She will also be able to answer all your questions about how COVID-19 affecting the real estate market! https://rosierourke.com/homevalue/

Stay Home, Stay Safe Order

buying or selling a house during COVID 19

 

Hi everyone, Rosie Rourke here! I thought you may be wondering how the COVID-19 Stay Home, Stay Healthy Order is affecting the local real estate market. Today (March 28th) Governor Inslee lifted portions of his mandated shut down for our business. Realtors were originally not listed as an “Essential” company on Gov. Inslee’s list. Geez… I thought I was essential (hahaha). Here is what is permitted with his new decree as of today:

real estate during stay home, stay healthy order in washington state

 

The MLS also has strict COVID-19 protocols for in-person meetings, inspections, and showings. Our team has already sprung into action to implement these new protocols at all of our listings as well as showing appointments with our buyer's agents. There are also no more open houses, you need to connect with a licensed real estate agent if you want to see a property.

We also understand if you are still uncomfortable with an in-person interaction at this time, we are serving our clients in a virtual mode! My listing team is doing listing presentations & home valuations by video conference. We are also strategizing with clients virtually to keep them set up for success in this market.

There are some clients that NEED to sell or buy right now and we have been able to help them get their home on market without stepping outside. We actually had 4 listings hit the market last week! For each listing we now create smart phone video walkthroughs of the home. Our goal is that active listings will be viewed by eager buyers with idle time (everyone is at home and online, lol) and hoping they will put us on their favorite list when mandate lifted. Or, better yet, buy it virtually (believe it or not, it happens, we just had a home go pending site unseen last night)! This is considered a blessing for buyers in the first time home buyer price range where they can actually have a chance to buy a home without bidding wars right now! 

Will Home Values Decrease? 

As you can imagine I am getting this questions a lot. My 25 years of professional real estate experience is banking on my crystal ball answer – no. We were slammed with bidding wars right up until the eve of the shut down. We even wrote virtual offers after shut down. You have to remember that we have an extreme shortage of inventory (homes on the market for sale) and historically low interest rates for buyers. Unlike 2008 our housing market is on a solid footing, there are more qualified buyers then there are homes for sale, period! The stock market is crazy right now, but interest rates remain low. Supply and demand is creating a hot market cooled only by this isolated event of the horrific virus.

Unfortunately, people getting layoffs, especially in hospitality, restaurant and travel industries are not in a position to buy. But many other industries in our diverse economy are simply working from home and are still in the market. When COVID-19 gets under control, businesses can open back up and employees can get back to work again. I have a hunch we will have penned up demand of buyers ready to surge after mandate lifted as well. Experts are saying we could see a Spring-like surge this Summer or Fall. Values do not decrease when there is demand, actually the opposite is true, and we are seeing that every day right now despite the Coronavirus. 

Let's Recap...

  • Are people still selling their homes? YES
  • Are people still buying homes? YES
  • Can you see a home in-person? YES
  • Can you see a home virtually? YES
  • Can you go to an open house? NO
  • Is now a good time to sell? YES
  • Is now a good time to buy? YES

I’m here for you. My entire team is here for you. How can we help you? I am happy to chat and discuss any real estate concerns or questions you have. I am solution-oriented and utilizing my experience of surviving other economy crisis’.

Here’s a tip - I’ve been advising my listing clients to consider putting their home on market NOW or late Spring/Summer. I’m concerned when flu season comes back in fall/winter, that COVID-19 will rear its ugly head again. 

We will overcome! Sending blessings, and looking forward to hearing from you.

Warm regards,

Rosie Rourke

Message from Rosie on COVID-19

There is an extreme shortage of inventory. Interest rates are at their lowest and might even go lower – this is to help drive the economy. The MLS has shut down all open houses so we can’t do that, but we have a huge marketing machine to get the word out globally and locally. Open houses are just one tool in our effective tool box.  People need to buy and people need to sell – it will be our job to make connections 😊 We are confident we can do that, but we are in unprecedented times. The one thing that does concern us is if we have a mandated town shutdown. Then we are all stuck until we get to the other side—and we WILL make it to the other side.

 

We already have virus precautions in place when showing homes. We educate our clients and public coming through home when they enter the home. We are doing our best to have solutions and to meet folks at their level of concern to help alleviate fears. Such as virtual walk through tours, recommending pre-inspections to upload to the listing as well as all pertinent information such as title, plat map, etc. Lenders and appraisers are still business as usual as most of their work is virtual.

 

My team is working virtually from home now with access to all necessary technology. Electronic signing, face-time conferencing, etc. We all stand ready to help you with your real estate needs when you are ready.

Is Covid 19 Affecting Real Estate

how is covid 19 affecting the real estate market in renton, seattle, kent

 

How is Covid-19 Affecting the Real Estate Market?

As you can imagine I’ve had these questions posed to me quite a bit recently from my local real estate clients.

“How is the Coronavirus going to affect the sale of my home?”

“How is Covid-19 affecting buyers, are they still looking?”

Here is my take on things and what is going on right now in front us.

Real estate transactions are still taking place, people need to buy homes or sell homes regardless of what is happening around us. Our open house last weekend was busy, and clients are still planning on listing their home in the coming weeks. Buyers are also extremely active both online and in-person, we really haven’t seen a slowdown.

Interest rates are extremely low right now which gives more buying power to home buyers and they are taking advantage of it. We are seeing record levels of online activity as well as multiple offers on homes. This combined with historically low inventory of homes is driving the market right now. Record number of buyers + low home inventory = a frenzy market at certain price points and areas in Fairwood, Renton, Maple Valley, Kent, and all-over South King County.  

If you are thinking of selling, I would love to have a conversation with you. Now is a great time to have me give you a free one to one home valuation and come up with a game plan. We are also scheduling private showings with anti-viral protocols to make sure everyone is healthy and safe. 

Contact me directly with any questions! 

Call/Text 206.719.5870

Email: rosie@rosierourke.com

Or fill out the form below! 

sellnow

best real estate agent near me to sell my home

 

The real estate market in the Renton, Fairwood, Kent, Maple Valley, Seattle and South King County as a whole has been going through an unprecedented sellers market so far in 2020. With low interest rates and a booming local economy buyers are qualified, eager and ready to make offers... but there are NO HOUSES! Ok yes, there are houses for sale, but we are trending about 38% less inventory (homes for sale) than we did this time last year. Less houses means more competition for buyers, which in turn is GREAT for YOU the seller!

We usually don't see a market frenzy like this until the warmer Spring months, it came early this year. But will it last until Spring? What about the election and now the threat of Coronavirus, how will this affect the house market if you are thinking of selling? Nobody has a crystal ball, but my team does have 40+ years of local real estate experience, and this experience is telling us to react to what is in front you RIGHT NOW! 

Before we get to the 5 reasons why you should list your home NOW and not wait until Spring, I want you to watch the short video below. My clients the Kirks were just like you, their timeline was to list in the Spring but the market dictated otherwise! We guided them through the expedited process of getting their home ready to list, listing it, and selling it literally before the sign even hit the ground! Because they decided to take action now they are currently laying poolside in Palm Springs enjoying their retirement! 

 

  1. Interest Rates – Interest rates at historic lows, which means more buying power for people house hunting right now! This is one of the reasons why there are so many buyers right now! Will these interest rates last? No one has a crystal ball, but if you wait and the rates go up, it could cool off the sellers’ market we are in!
  2. You Will Stand Out – With less homes going on the market right now, your home will stand out from the crowd! If you wait a couple of months you run the risk of a massive flood of listings like yours. With more competition the likelihood of a bidding wars diminishes. Once again, we don’t have a crystal ball but historically later in the Spring we see a surge in listings. Right now, inventory is low, it is a great time to take advantage of this!
  3. You Are in Control – In a sellers’ market like this, you have the upper hand when it comes to negotiating terms. With multiple buyers bidding for your home you will have more options. Waved inspections, over asking offers waving 22AD, etc. For more information about this talk with our team leader and expert listing negotiator Rosie directly!
  4. Off Market – Many homeowners love the idea of selling their home, but don’t want to do the extra work to get it show ready! Or maybe the thought of having people walking through your home is causing you anxiety. Our team has buyers agents with clients looking for a home like yours and we also have a network of top agents we work with buyers too. There is a chance that we could sell your home without all the hassle of listing it in a market like this. Once again, please talk to Rosie about this option!
  5. This is an Election Year – Historically the market slows down the closer we get to a major election. We don’t have a crystal ball, but we can see what is right in front of us. We are telling all our clients to get their home on the market earlier just in case!

Check out this cool tool that we have that can show you how many REAL buyers are looking for a home that matches yours! It’s cool, just enter your email below, then your address on the next screen, and get yourself prepared to be amazed!

January Market Update – Is it a good time to sell my home?

real estate market update

 

It's the last day of January, let's take a look at some market stats for this month. Interest rates continue to be SUPER low which is increasing the number of buyers actively looking right now. House inventory continues to be low which is why homes are selling at a faster rate than usual for this time of year. We usually don't see a frenzy like this until Spring, it has come early!

Bottomline for sellers: You might want to move up your timeline for listing this year. Listing now will help your home stand out!

Bottomline for buyers: Get in before Spring hits, if it is busy now I can't imagine what Spring will be like!

The Rosie Rourke Team doesn't have a crystal ball but we have over 40 years of combined experience. We are here to answer all your questions regarding buying or selling in 2020. Schedule an appointment with our team if you want to talk about selling or buying in 2020! No pressure, just a conversation and a cup of coffee! https://rosierourke.com/contact/