condominiumshome property valuesmortgage interest ratesreal estateRobin MyersWindermere December 8, 2020

2021 US Housing Forecast – What to Expect Next Year

This week Matthew Gardner, Windermere Chief Economist, takes a look at the US housing forecast for 2021. Topics include mortgages, existing home sales, existing home values, new construction, the impact of homes in forbearance  and the urban condo market. Overall the outlook is positive for a continuing strong real estate market and low interest rates.

condominium speciaistcondominiumshousing marketreal estateRobin MyersWindermere Real Estate November 25, 2020

Matthew Gardner’s Housing & Economic Update

This week Matthew Gardner, Windermere’s Chief Economist, shares his thoughts on the latest US home sales data.

Single family and multi family home values continue to rise while available inventory levels continue to decline. What’s the news for condos? Condo prices are trending higher nationwide, up 10% year-over-year. It’s difficult to know how long this trend can be sustained as we close 2020. What could impact values next year? We may hit an affordability issue, which could push some buyers out of the market, and increasing inventory levels may create more selection for buyers but more competition for sellers.

I specialize in Bellevue’s condo and townhome communities. If you have questions about the market or what’s been happening in your community, call, text or email.

Happy Thanksgiving. While this year may be very different from years past, if you have an opportunity to safely share the holiday with family, enjoy the day. Be safe and stay healthy.

Bellevue condominiumcondominium speciaistcondominiumsDowntown Bellevuereal estateRobin MyersWindermere Real Estate September 24, 2020

Downtown Bellevue’s Condo Market is Doing Just Fine

downtown Bellevue skyline

Downtown Bellevue Skyline

As we enter the seventh month of pandemic survival all indications are the downtown Bellevue condo market has remained strong. Media articles predicted homeowners, driven by pandemic concerns, might choose to abandon the city for suburban homes offering more indoor and outdoor space. Homeowners  may be departing Manhattan and San Francisco, but Bellevue’s urban condo marketplace is doing just fine. There was a slight and not unexpected decline in real estate activity in the early weeks of the pandemic  –  we all had to learn how to move about safely  –  but recent NWMLS data shows condo sales in downtown Bellevue have rebounded. Fifty  condos in the central business district sold in the last 3 months and half of those sold at or over the list price. Those homes were on the market an average of 34 days and had a median sales price of $865,100. (An increase of just over 6% over last year.) Currently 68 condos are listed for sale with a median list price of $874,975.

While many are still working remotely, it’s unlikely that will continue either full time or permanently. Half a dozen office projects are under construction downtown, most of which are already leased. Amazon, along with many other companies, are continuing to expand or relocate to downtown Bellevue and the Spring District. Employees are expected to start returning to downtown office buildings next year which is likely to add to the demand for housing near workplaces, amenities and light rail.

Bellevue is a great example of a desirable live/work/play community. It has a vibrant central business district with an active arts and entertainment scene supported by world class dining and shopping options. Easy freeway access and the completion of light rail will add convenience and speed to getting around Bellevue and the Eastside.

Is everyone rushing to the suburbs? No. The pandemic may have inspired some to seek a permanent, more  remote lifestyle. As the city returns to normal and continues to grow, urban living will continue to be in demand.

 

 

 

condominiumsproperty tax exemptionsproperty taxesreal estateRobin Myerstax payer assistanceWindermere September 17, 2020

Are You Eligible for a Property Tax Exemption or Deferral?

property taxes

courtesy flickr/401(K) 2012

Did you know . . . there are King County real estate property tax relief programs for qualified senior citizens, disabled persons and veterans. It is estimated that many qualified seniors and disabled persons are not registered for available exemptions and only 1 in 100 of those eligible for deferrals are enrolled.

The application process is fairly easy. There are income, age, disability and ownership/occupancy guidelines that must be met. Details can be found on the King County Assessor’s Office website.

There is also a tax relief program that may assist those who own property damaged in the recent wildfires. The program assists homeowners of properties damaged or destroyed by flood, storm or something beyond the property owner’s control. Owners may be eligible for a reduction of assessed value resulting in lower property taxes. Information and forms for the destroyed property tax relief program are on the King County Assessor’s site.

 

Detailed information, forms and instructions for applying for all tax exempt or tax deferral programs are  available from the King County Assessor’s Office. Applications for the 2021 tax year may be submitted starting in January 2021. Contact the King County Assessor’s Office at 206-296-3920 or on line at www.kingcounty.gov/depts/assessor/taxrelief.

 

 

Robin Myers is a Realtor® with Windermere Real Estate/East, Inc. specializing in Bellevue’s urban condominiums and townhomes.

 

economyreal estateWindermere Real Estate August 24, 2020

Good News – Nationwide Mortgage Delinquency Rates are Down

Matthew Gardner, Windermere Real Estate’s Chief Economist, is back from vacation (sporting a new look) and talks about the relatively unknown U.S. Household Debt and Credit Report. While this may not sound very sexy, it actually contains interesting information. The report provides insights and data on national housing finance. Not surprising, mortgages and student debt represent the largest debt numbers, but the good news is that mortgage delinquency rates are down. Take a quick look, and have a great week.

 

Bellevue condominiumcondominium speciaistdownsizinglifestylepet servicesWindermere Real Estate August 15, 2020

Urban Pet Potty Solution – Perfect for Condo Living

Bellevue townhome courtyardI like to support local businesses, especially these days, and this one has special importance as a townhome owner with a pet. Condo Pet Pals has been a lifesaver. I live downtown and while I walk my dog several times a day, sometimes there isn’t enough time between business appointments to fit in a walk. It’s also not nearly as much fun to walk in the wind and rain and there’s a safety issue when nature calls at odd hours of the night. I’ve worked with Condo Pet Pals for nearly four years – this is a great solution for urban pet owners and coping with foul weather and late night potty trips.

Condo Pet Pals provides a tray and fresh grass delivered to your deck, patio, courtyard or garage. (Not “fake” grass that can retain odor.) Tray size options are available as well as a bi-weekly or weekly delivery schedule depending on the size or number of dogs. The crew is efficient, always on time and quickly remove soiled sod and replace it with fresh new grass. The soiled grass is taken back to their facility and composted or used as fill. Its an ecologically friendly and sanitary alternative for keeping your pet’s potty area fresh and clean. (Keep poop bags handy for clean-up of solid waste.) It took no time for my dog to figure out this was his personal potty space  –  even bought a little fire hydrant to improve his aim.

Love the convenience and the sanitary, odor-free, safe alternative for both my dog and me – makes those occasional midnight potty trips a lot easier and safer too.

https://www.condopetpals.com

 

 

 

 

 

buying a homecondo resale disclosurescondominium speciaistcondominiumsselling a home August 13, 2020

Selling Your Condo? Here’s Why the Condo Resale Certificate is Important

What is a Resale Certificate?

The condominium resale certificate is a critical part of every condo sale.  Condos  and homeowner associations are governed by documents that outline the duties and responsibilities of the homeowner and the community. When a buyer purchases a condo they are entitled to review those documents. The “resale certificate” is a 5-6 page summary supported by many other documents that contain information and disclosures that include the HOA’s governing documents (Declarations, ByLaws and Articles of Incorporation), budget and financial reports, assessments, reserves, reserve study, rules and regulations, pet and rental restrictions, meeting minutes, etc.

Why is a Resale Certificate Needed?

In Washington State the seller is required by law to deliver a current resale certificate to a buyer for review and approval. If not approved, the buyer may terminate the sale. The buyer’s lender will also review sections of the resale certificate as part of the buyer’s loan approval.

 

Who Prepares the Resale Certificate?

The documents are prepared by the HOA’s association manager (or a board member if the community is self-managed). The resale certificate is ordered by and paid for by the seller. Anticipate a fee of $275+.

In Washington State the seller is required to deliver the HOA resale certificate to the buyer per the terms of the Purchase and Sale contract (within 10 days unless otherwise specified). The buyer, once the package has been received, has five days to review the information and either approve or disapprove the resale certificate. If the buyer does not terminate within 5 days the resale certificate contingency is automatically waived.

I frequently review resale certificates and understand the importance these documents have for sellers, buyers and the successful sale of a condominium residence. If you have questions or need additional information, feel free to contact me.

 

 

buying a homecondominium speciaistproperty valuesreal estateselling a homeWindermere Real Estate July 29, 2020

How’s the Real Estate Market?

townhomesHow’s the Real Estate Market?

This is a question I hear a lot. Real estate was dormant this spring due to the coronavirus pandemic. Since mid-May the housing market has made a robust and positive rebound.

The number of buyers currently in the market far exceeds the available inventory of homes for sale. Why are so many buyers searching for homes? Record low interest rates give buyers more purchasing power. They’re taking advantage of those low interest rates to purchase a first home, move up to a larger home or, since we’ll be working from home/learning from home for many months to come, find a home that is a better fit for changing live/work/learn lifestyles. We are fortunate to live in an area with a strong economy. Local and national companies continue to grow and recruit employees, but that growth is bringing more home buyers to the area who want to purchase a home.

Lifestyle needs change . . . job and workspace needs change . . . housing needs change. Right now housing inventory is the biggest challenge for buyers looking to purchase a home. It’s a competitive market. The shortage of homes is definitely tipping the scale in favor of sellers, and that trend is expected to continue through the end of the year.

If there’s a change or a move in your future . . . how can I help?

 

 

 

 

condominium speciaistcondominiumseconomyreal estateWindermere Real Estate July 28, 2020

How Much Are Home Values Expected to Increase in 2020?

This week Matthew Gardner, Windermere Real Estate’s Chief Economist, provides an update to his 2020 housing forecast. Interesting economic information relating to the local and nationwide real estate market.

 

economyhome property valuesreal estate July 13, 2020

COVID-19 Impact on the Housing Market – You Might Be Surprised