How Long Will Mortgage Rates Stay this Low?

This week Matthew Gardner, Windermere Real Estate’s Chief Economist, discusses current mortgage interest rates. Interest rates are currently right around 3% and mortgage applications, driven by those historically low rates, are up 25% over the same period last year. It’s amazing to look back to the early 1980s when mortgage interest rates were in the high teens. But, how long will interest rates stay this low and what impact are these interest rates having on home prices?

 

 

 

Posted on October 13, 2020 at 9:00 AM
Robin Myers | Category: buying a home, mortgage interest rates, real estate, Robin Myers, selling a home, Windermere Real Estate | Tagged , , , , , , ,

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.

 

 

Posted on August 13, 2020 at 8:00 AM
Robin Myers | Category: buying a home, condo resale disclosures, condominium speciaist, condominiums, selling a home | Tagged , , , , , , ,

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?

 

 

 

 

Posted on July 29, 2020 at 9:00 AM
Robin Myers | Category: buying a home, condominium speciaist, property values, real estate, selling a home, Windermere Real Estate | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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.

 

Posted on July 28, 2020 at 2:29 PM
Robin Myers | Category: condominium speciaist, condominiums, economy, real estate, Windermere Real Estate | Tagged , , , , , , , , ,

Summertime – Must Be Time to Go “Phishing”

photo courtesy flickr/gotcredit.com

Over the past week I’ve suddenly received several phone and email “phishing” solicitations. I’d like to blame it on a full moon, but that was nearly three weeks ago.

I’ve been contacted twice and advised my Amazon account had been locked due to suspicious activity. Two different people have called to tell me a credit card was being used in another state, that the police had been contacted, and they would need additional personal information to verify they were really talking to the cardholder so that they could assist me. I reached out to both credit card companies – no suspicious activity or security breach reported on my accounts. I also had a call trying to sell me new windows for my home. Told that caller my home has no windows. (You have to have some fun with these calls.) The best calls have been the three from people representing “investors” who are ready to purchase my house immediately – for cash. I had to play along with these calls too. Turns out the caller didn’t know anything about my home including where it was located, when it was built, the number of bedrooms, baths or square footage. After no doubt frustrating the caller for a few minutes, I let them know I was a Realtor® and that when it came to sell my home I had that covered.

Maybe with everything going on in the world scammers think this is an easy time to take advantage of people who might be feeling stressed or vulnerable. In my business escrow and title companies, banks and lenders continually deal with wire fraud. Bad people have figured out how to hack into emails, secure bank and corporate websites and anywhere else they think there might be a quick and dirty way to make money and defraud innocent people.

Be very careful. Be suspicious of phone calls and emails you don’t recognize or can’t verify. Caution and educate your children, parents and friends. If you question something, whether it’s from a friend, relative, business associate, bank real estate broker, escrow or title, and especially if you’re involved in a real estate transaction . . . verify the sender. It only takes a few minutes to protect yourself. It also only takes a few minutes for a wire transfer sent to a criminal recipient to empty a bank account, and those funds can be impossible to retrieve.

We have enough to worry about these days. Be safe. Verify. Verify. Verify. And while you’re at it, wear a mask. Take care of yourself, your family and friends.

 

 

 

Posted on July 21, 2020 at 9:30 AM
Robin Myers | Category: buying a home, home financing, home safety, online security, security, selling a home, Windermere Real Estate | Tagged , , , , , , ,

Matthew Gardner – The Importance of the National Housing Survey

Started in 2010, the information in the National Housing Survey contains information about consumer attitude, intentions and financial confidence as it relates specifically to housing.

 

 

Posted on July 20, 2020 at 3:27 PM
Robin Myers | Category: economy, housing market, real estate, Windermere Real Estate | Tagged , , , , ,

The Important Role First Time Buyers Play in the Long Term Housing Market

This week Matthew Gardner, Windermere Chief Economist, speaks to the importance first time buyers will play in the recovery of the country’s housing market.

 

Posted on July 7, 2020 at 1:39 PM
Robin Myers | Category: affordable housing, condominiums, economy, real estate | Tagged , , , , , , ,

Available Homes for Sale Significantly Below Last Year

The number of homes available for sale declined in April and May for obvious reasons – there were health and economic concerns brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic. Since late May local home sales have been ahead of the same period last year. Buyer demand remains high but what is different about this year compared to last year is there are fewer homes for sale. The graph below, provided by the Northwest Multiple Listing Service for the Seattle Times, shows that new pending sales are well above the same period last year but new listings of homes for sale are 20% below the same period last year.

With barely a one month supply of inventory in many areas, homes are selling quickly. Multiple offers are more common, and many homes are selling above the list price. Buyers are finding more competition for the weekly supply of newly listed houses and condominiums coming on the market.

What’s driving this demand? Interest rates are at record lows making mortgages more affordable. Potential buyers can afford a larger home. And, after three months of quarantine, owners and renters whose homes offered adequate space when working off-site are seeking larger homes with more indoor space, a dedicated home office area and more outdoor live/play space. Buyers are ready to buy, but sellers don’t appear to be as motivated right now.

Posted on June 24, 2020 at 2:45 PM
Robin Myers | Category: buying a home, condominium speciaist, condominiums, real estate, selling a home | Tagged , , , , , , , ,

What Does King County’s Phase 1.5 Mean for Real Estate?

colorful face masks

flickr/Rain Rabbit

 

 

King County has progressed to Phase 1.5 of the Governor’s “Safe Start Proclamation”. How does that impact buyers and sellers as they search for homes or list their homes for sale?

 

 

 

  • Real estate firms may open their offices again. In compliance with State guidelines, staff, brokers and guests will be required to wear face masks when in the office. Common areas and conference space will have restricted access. The number of staff and brokers permitted to be in the office will need to follow State guidelines.
  • The most significant change is that now three people (vs. two) are permitted at a property for real estate activities. This permits a husband and wife or partners to view the property together along with their broker. A buyer may now attend an inspection along with the broker and inspector.
  • Sign installation companies are again permitted to install/remove real estate signs.

As we begin to move about more freely, an abundance of caution will continue in an effort to keep everyone healthy. Showing homes will continue to be by appointment only with sufficient time between appointments. Buyers and brokers will be required to wear face masks while inside a home and observe all health protocols required by the State along with any additional guidelines requested by the homeowner. Public open houses are still prohibited. Brokers, in an effort to maintain social distancing guidelines, will not transport clients in their car but continue to meet them at properties.

These guidelines are in place to continue to keep everyone safe and healthy as we begin to resume our normal lives. Brokers have become more comfortable working within these guidelines and assuring buyers and sellers that they can safely search for or sell their homes. This is the new normal and we aren’t likely to see the “old normal” for a while.

 

Posted on June 10, 2020 at 9:00 AM
Robin Myers | Category: buying a home, condominium speciaist, real estate, selling a home | Tagged , , , , , ,

How’s the Local Real Estate Market?

We’re 12 weeks into more experience dealing with the impact of COVID-19 on the economy and specifically the local real estate market. After a significant market decline in new listings, buyer interest and closed sales in March and April (not at all surprising) real estate came back strong starting in early May.

  • the number of pending sales is trending higher and homes are selling quickly
  • more new housing inventory is coming on the market reflecting prices comparable to February prior to the COVID-19 pandemic and Washington State’s stay home/stay healthy order
  • sales prices in the last two weeks are also rising with multiple offers more common and homes selling above list prices
  • buyer applications for new mortgages are on the rise – interest rates are at record lows making buying a home more affordable

Matthew Gardner, Chief Economist for Windermere Real Estate provides his weekly look at the economy and specifically the real estate marketplace in our area.

 

Posted on June 9, 2020 at 11:26 AM
Robin Myers | Category: buying a home, condominium speciaist, condominiums, economy, housing market, mortgage interest rates, real estate, selling a home | Tagged , , , , , , ,