My Listings

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Wa State Home Sales begin to Stabalize

Western Washington home sales during December nearly equals year-ago levelsKIRKLAND, Wash. (Jan. 5, 2011) – December‟s volume of pending sales around Western Washington nearly matched the total for the same month a year ago, which was the best December since 2006.

Sellers accepted offers from 4,359 buyers last month, only 40 fewer than a year ago when members of Northwest Multiple Listing Service reported 4,399 pending sales of single family homes and condominiums. In 2008, members notched 3,255 pending sales, down from 2007‟s total of 3,950 pendings and the 2006 figure of 5,744 mutually accepted offers.

Eight counties had year-over-year increases in pending sales for December, with two others equaling the year-ago totals.

“If you were in any mall in Washington state in December, you got the feeling that the economy is headed in the right direction,” said OB Jacobi, president of Windermere Real Estate Company and a member of the board of directors of Northwest Multiple Listing Service. “That increase in consumer confidence is the boost the real estate market needs,” he suggested.

Closed sales, another barometer of activity, improved on November‟s volume, but dipped about 6 percent when compared to figures from twelve months ago. MLS members reported 4,430 closings across its 21-county service area during December. A year ago, brokers logged 4,711 completed transactions.

For 2010, Northwest MLS members tallied 52,408 closed sales of single family homes and condos (combined), up slightly from the previous year when there were 52,105 completed transactions.

“Despite the expiration of the tax credit, King County saw about 3 percent more home sales in 2010 than in 2009,” Jacobi noted.

The area-wide median price for last month‟s closed sales of homes and condos was $255,000, up slightly from November‟s figure of $250,000, but down about 3.8 percent from a year ago when the median selling price was $265,000. In King County, where 40 percent of last month‟s closings occurred, the median sales price was $342,400, about 2.2 percent lower than a year ago when it was $350,000.

Listing activity tapered off last month compared to 12 months ago. Northwest MLS members added 5,460 new listings of single family homes and condominiums during December. That‟s down 7 percent from a year ago when 5,873 sellers listed their homes with a member-broker.

Last month‟s additions boosted system-wide inventory to 32,171 at month end. That number nearly equals the selection of a year ago when the NWMLS database encompassed 32,152 active listings, although thirteen counties have fewer properties for sale than at this time a year ago.

Measured by months supply (the time, in months, that it would take to sell existing inventory at the current rate of sales), there is a supply of less than 7.4 months across the NWMLS market area. (A market with a supply of approximately six months is considered balanced, favoring neither buyers nor sellers.)

Nationwide, the National Association of REALTORS® reported a 9.5-month supply. Both King and Snohomish counties have less than a 6-month supply.

“Buyers are taking their time and looking for the „perfect‟ house,” Jacobi observed. “One of our agents worked with a couple for over a year before a higher-end home they'd been eying for months had a price drop and they jumped on it,” he noted, adding, “Whether it's a starter home or a luxury property, to sell in today's market a great home also needs to have a great price.”

Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, described continuing gains in home sales as encouraging and believes all the indicator trends are pointing to a gradual housing recovery. “In addition to exceptional affordability conditions, steady improvements in the economy are helping bring buyers into the market,” he commented. However, he cautioned, further gains are needed to reach normal levels of sales activity, and home price prospects will vary depending largely upon local job market conditions.

NAR president Ron Phipps, broker-president of Phipps Realty in Warwick, R.I., expects good buying opportunities to continue. The third generation real estate professional noted serious buyers have a lot of opportunities during the winter months since “traditionally there are far fewer buyers competing for properties at this time of year.” He believes buyers will enjoy favorable affordability conditions into the new year, even though he expects mortgage rates will gradually rise as 2011 progresses.

Northwest Multiple Listing Service, owned by its member brokers, is the largest full-service MLS in the Northwest. Its membership includes more than 24,000 brokers and agents. The organization, based in Kirkland, currently serves 21 counties in Western and Central Washington.

Snoqualmie Ridge 2010 Real Estate Review

*Prices drop a modest 3% Year over Year
*Sales Volume increases by 3%
*Average Day on Market come down by 21 Days.

In comparing 2010 Residential Sales at Snoqualmie Ridge to 2009 overall prices were fairly flat with volume and average days on market showing slight signs of improvement.

In 2009 Snoqualmie Ridge saw 179 Single Family Home Sales. In 2010 that number increased to 185. The Average Single Family Home at Snoqualmie Ridge sold for $493,569 in 2010. That is down for an average of $509,794 in 2009. (A drop of $16,370 for the average home or just over 3%)

In 2009 the average home was: 2,823 sq ft, took 142 Days on Market to sell, had an average starting list price of $559,424 and a final SALES price of $509,795

In 2010 the average home was: 2,876 sq ft, took 121 Day on Market to sell, had an average starting list price of $529,449 and a final SALES price of $493,569

All of these are very good trends after back to back years of double digit price drops in 2008 and 2009. We’re still a long way from moving 300+ homes in a year and seeing price improvement, but actual market stabilization may be seen by midyear and with rates remaining low and prices down to near 2003 levels it is very conceivable that we see well over 200 Single Family Homes move at Snoqualmie Ridge in 2011.

Monday, January 3, 2011

New Location for The Cascade Team RE Main Office

We are happy to announce a new location for the Main office of The Cascade Team Real Estate. We have secured the western side office in St George Square in Gillman Village in Issaquah.

We will be opening our doors in the new location on January 1st, 2011.

The address is: 355 NW Gilman Blvd., Suite 101, Issaquah, WA 98027

In celebration of the new location we are hosting a public Open House on Friday January the 7th from 4:00 until 7:00. Please feel free to stop in and say “Hello”. We will have appetizers, champagne on hand and also gifts for the public and for agents who stop in.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

The death of Santa

Friday, December 17, 2010

Better than NEW & NOT A SHORT SALE at Snoqualmie Ridge!

Priced at $525,000
34803 SE Leitz Street
Snoqulamie, WA 98065
Desirable Deer Park in Snoqualmie Ridge

Bedrooms: 4 Bathrooms: 2.75
Home Size: 3,190 sq.ft. Garage: 3
Lot Size: 5,308 sq.ft.
Community: Snoqualmie Ridge
Year Built: 2006
MLS Number: 162939

Better than NEW & NOT A SHORT SALE. With too many upgrades to mention, this tastefully decorated Meadow floor plan comes with 4 beds, large bonus room, den and backs to a green belt. Highly desirable location in Deer Park. The gourmet kitchen is appointed with slab granite counters and SS appliances, adjacent is a cozy family room with gas fireplace. Upstairs you have a large master suite, with attached bath and large walk in closet. Outside you'll find a custom built gazebo with lights, water and gas for grilling. For added peace of mind, home comes with 1 year Fidelity Home Warranty.

Features List

• FREE Home Warranty • $25,000 Gazebo • Numerous Upgrades
• Extended Hardwoods • Granite Counters • Custom Built Ins

Website with additional pictures and information HERE

Thursday, December 16, 2010

The Top Home Remodeling Investments

Click Here to see the Top Options for Seattle Area Remodels or click the map below to search by national region. Unfortunately, unlike in some area of the country, remodeling cost compared to return are still taking a downward turn in western Washington.

Owners Recoup More with Exterior Home Projects

As part of the 2010-11 Remodeling Cost vs. Value Report, REALTORSÒ recently rated exterior replacement projects among the most cost-effective home improvement projects, demonstrating that curb appeal remains one of the most important aspects of a home at resale time.

“This year’s Remodeling Cost vs. Value Report highlights the importance of exterior projects, which not only provide the most value, but also are among the least expensive improvements for a home,” said NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORSÒ President Ron Phipps, broker-president of Phipps Realty in Warwick, R.I. “Since resale value can vary by region, it’s smart for home owners to work with a REALTORÒ through the remodeling and improvement process; they can provide insight into projects in their neighborhoods that will recoup the most when the owners are ready to sell.”

Nine of the top 10 most cost-effective projects nationally in terms of value recouped are exterior replacement projects. The steel entry door replacement remained the project that returned the most money, with an estimated 102.1 percent of cost recouped upon resale; it is also the only project in this year’s report that is expected to return more than the cost. The midrange garage door replacement, a new addition to the report this year, is expected to recoup 83.9 percent of costs. Both projects are small investments that cost little more than $1,200 each, on average. REALTORSÒ identified these two replacements as projects that can significantly improve a home’s curb appeal.

“Curb appeal remains king – it’s the first thing potential buyers notice when looking for a home, and it also demonstrates pride of ownership,” said Phipps.

The 2010-11 Remodeling Cost vs. Value Report compares construction costs with resale values for 35 midrange and upscale remodeling projects comprising additions, remodels and replacements in 80 markets across the country. Data are grouped in nine U.S. regions, following the divisions established by the U.S. Census Bureau. This is the 13th consecutive year that the report, which is produced by Remodeling magazine publisher Hanley Wood, LLC, was completed in cooperation with REALTOR® Magazine.

Realtors® provided their insight into local markets and buyer home preferences within those markets. Overall, Realtors® estimated that home owners would recoup an average of 60 percent of their investment in 35 different improvement projects, down from an average of 63.8 percent last year. Remodeling projects, particularly higher cost upscale projects, have been losing resale value in recent years because of weak economic conditions.

According to the report, replacement projects usually outperform remodel and addition projects in resale value because they are among the least expensive and contribute to curb appeal. Various types of siding and window replacement projects were expected to return more than 70 percent of costs. Upscale fiber-cement siding replacement was judged by Realtors® the most cost effective among siding projects, recouping 80 percent of costs. Among the window replacement projects covered, upscale vinyl window replacements were expected to recoup the most, 72.6 percent upon resale. Another exterior project, a wood deck addition, tied with a minor kitchen remodel for the fourth most profitable project recouping an estimated 72.8 percent of costs.

The top interior projects for resale value included an attic bedroom and a basement remodel. Both add living space without extending the footprint of the house. An attic bedroom addition costs more than $51,000 and recoups an estimated 72.2 percent nationally upon resale; a basement remodel costs more than $64,000 and recoups an estimated 70 percent. Improvement projects that are expected to return the least are a midrange home office remodel, recouping an estimated 45.8 percent; a backup power generator, recouping 48.5 percent; and a sunroom addition, recouping 48.6 percent of costs.

Although most regions followed the national trends, the regions that consistently were estimated to return a higher percentage of remodeling costs upon resale were the Pacific region of Alaska, California, Hawaii, Oregon and Washington; the West South Central region of Arkansas, Louisiana, Oklahoma, and Texas; the East South Central region of Alabama, Kentucky, Mississippi and Tennessee; and the South Atlantic region of the District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Maryland, North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia and West Virginia.

The regions where Realtors® generally reported the lowest percentage of costs recouped were New England (Connecticut, Massachusetts, Maine, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont), East North Central (Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio and Wisconsin), West North Central (Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota and South Dakota), and Middle Atlantic (New York and Pennsylvania).

“It’s important to remember that the resale value of a particular improvement project depends on several factors,” said Phipps. “Things such as the home’s overall condition, availability and condition of surrounding properties, location and the regional economic climate contribute to an estimated resale value. That’s why it is imperative to work with a REALTORÒ who can provide insight and guidance into local market conditions whether you’re buying, selling or improving a home.”

Results of the report are summarized in the January issue of REALTOR® Magazine. To read the full project descriptions, access national and regional project data, and download a free PDF containing data for any of the 80 cities covered by the report, visit

Source: NAR

Congratulations Krista Mehr for passing the Managing Broker's Exam!

We are very happy to announce that Krista Mehr has passed the Managing Broker Exam for Washington State.

Krista has over seven years real estate experence and will become the new Managing Broker for The Cascade Team's Seattle office. I will keep most things to myself for now, but we have big plans for the Seattle market in 2011 and Krista is going to be leading that charge.

If you had a chance to meet her at the Holiday party on Tuesday that is great. If not, we will be planning a Grand Opening for the new main office in Gillman Village in Issaquah on Friday January 7th (Time to be announced) and you should get a chance to get to know her better there.

Congratulations Krista! We are very happy to have you on the Team!