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 , , , , , , ,

Seahawks and Windermere Team Up to #TackleHomelessness

Windermere$5,300 raised during the last Seahawks home game for Mary’s Place!

As the “Official Real Estate Company of the Seattle Seahawks,” all of us at Windermere are proud to kick off our fifth season of partnering with the Seahawks to #TackleHomelessness. For every defensive tackle made at a Seahawks home game this season, Windermere will donate $100 to Mary’s Place in support of their mission to provide safe, inclusive shelter and services that support women, children, and families on their journey out of homelessness. Mary’s Place has provided resources, housing and employment services to the homeless in the greater Seattle area since 1999.

Thanks to the Seahawks’ defensive efforts last year, we were able to donate $30,000 to Mary’s Place, bringing our grand total to $128,200 raised over the past four seasons. We look forward to raising even more this year!

Our partnership with Mary’s Place is in harmony with the mission of the Windermere Foundation—to support low-income and homeless families in the communities where Windermere operates.

 

 

 

Posted on September 30, 2020 at 9:00 AM
Robin Myers | Category: community, Robin Myers, Seahawks, Windermere Foundation | Tagged , , , ,

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.

 

 

 

Posted on September 24, 2020 at 9:00 AM
Robin Myers | Category: Bellevue condominium, condominium speciaist, condominiums, Downtown Bellevue, real estate, Robin Myers, Windermere Real Estate | Tagged , , , , , , ,

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.

 

Posted on September 17, 2020 at 9:00 AM
Robin Myers | Category: condominiums, property tax exemptions, property taxes, real estate, Robin Myers, tax payer assistance, Windermere | Tagged , , , , , ,

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.

 

Posted on August 24, 2020 at 11:35 AM
Robin Myers | Category: economy, real estate, 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 , , , , , , ,

Interesting Look at Historical Data Regarding US Home Ownership

This week with Matthew Gardner  –  interesting information on historical data regarding US home ownership rates. Millennials still represent the greatest increase in home ownership in the last year.

 

 

Posted on August 11, 2020 at 12:44 PM
Robin Myers | Category: condominium speciaist, housing market, real estate, Windermere Real Estate | Tagged , , , ,

Bellevue McCormick Park

McCormick ParkI visit McCormick Park daily with my dog. A couple years ago the City of Bellevue Parks Department planted a new tree, a Mimosa tree, which is unique to this area. I grew up on the East coast where Mimosa trees are common. They thrive in warm southern climates, attract butterflies and hummingbirds and are one of the few trees that bloom in summer with big pink or white puffball blossoms. They’re also very unique in that their fern-like leaves fold closed in the evening or when it rains.

I have fond memories of Mimosa trees. My grandparents had two in their yard. They grow in a wide canopy-like shape and my sister and I would gather the pink puffballs and sit under the tree stringing the blossoms together to create necklaces and bracelets and occasionally adorn my grandmother’s cat with a pink collar. Skippy never seemed to appreciate her puffy pink collars.

I’ve lived in the Pacific Northwest for nearly 40 years and have never seen a Mimosa tree growing locally. It’s fun to enter the park and see the tree in full bloom with those big pink puffballs. Thanks to the City of Bellevue for a little bit of nostalgia.

 

 

Posted on August 6, 2020 at 9:00 AM
Robin Myers | Category: Bellevue Parks & Recreation, condominium speciaist, Downtown Bellevue, lifestyle, McCormick Park | Tagged , , , , , , , ,

Understanding the Case Shiller Home Price Index

This week Matthew Gardner, Chief Economist with Windermere Real Estate, explains the Case Shiller Home Price Index which has accumulated data over the last 130 years of home prices in 20 major cities in the United States.

 

 

Posted on August 4, 2020 at 2:37 PM
Robin Myers | Category: condominium speciaist, economy, real estate, Windermere Real Estate | 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 , , , , , , , , , , , ,