Archive for the 'Seattle Times RE articles' Category

Three Tips for Savvy Seattle Home Buyers Shopping for a Real Estate DEAL

Sunday Seattle Times Real Estate article, March 29, 2009: "Inside Tips From Savvy Agents"

Sunday Seattle Times Real Estate article, March 29, 2009: "Inside Tips From Savvy Agents"

Yesterday, when I saw the title for the Sunday Seattle Times Real Estate section: "Inside Tips From Savvy Agents".   I thought  "cool"  let's see what kinds of tips other real estate agents are sharing with their clients.....  * Sigh *     *Jumps onto soapbox* The tips in the article are more like resumes (or advertising)  for those agents rather than geared as INSIDE Seattle Real Estate Tips from Savvy Agents for Home Buyers and Sellers.  Today, while writing this article, and linking it, I see that the online article now has a different title:  "Top Seattle Area Real Estate Agents Share Their Secrets for Sucess".  Which is a better title for the article than the title for the content of the printed article.  *Jumps off soapbox*  So, now I will  share with You,  Three "INSIDE" Tips for Home buyers looking for a DEAL in todays' Seattle real estate market.  These have come up recently with one of my clients......
  1. Be Patient.  Take the time to throughly look at what is on the market before you buy, to make sure you choose the best house for You.  You are going to live there for a while, and there are no quick turn arounds like in recent years.  Thankfully the Internet allows easy access to excellent home search sites so you can shop away!  Wish I could have done the same when I bought my house is 1997. 
  2. Don't pass a on great home (and DEAL) due to poor marketing.  One of my pet peeves is the poor marketing done on many short sale and bank owned homes.  There are some really great deals out there now right now, if you can find them.  Some listings are not noted in the public marketing remarks that they are short sales or bank owned homes, so that can be a challenge.   Many of these end up being passed over, and languish on the market because of the listing agents half-hearted marketing photos and marketing remarks.  Also, be sure your real estate agent is willing to look into the past sales history of the house, and send you those listings too, since those can have valuable information, as well as much better photos.  Your agent should include their insight on what that can mean to you.
  3. Don't become complacent.  When you do find THE house, don't allow yourself to become complacent and think you can ask for the world....especially if it's already a  DEAL.  You will likely miss out to another buyer who recognizes the DEAL and acts swiftly with a stronger offer.
Now...let's find a DEAL!

Spoken by Deborah Burns | Discussion: No Comments »

“The Seattle Times” Article on Bank of America’s Much Needed Entry into the Jumbo Loan Market

"The Seattle Times" article "'Jumbo' Mortgage Market Reviving" March 22, 2009

"The Seattle Times" article "'Jumbo' Mortgage Market Reviving" March 22, 2009

Here is some good news for at least one of my clients.  In Sundays'  "Seattle Times", real estate columnist Kenneth Harney wrote an article called "'Jumbo' Mortgage Market Reviving".  Harney writes that Bank of America is entering into the very under-served Jumbo Home loan market this spring.  This will really help the Seattle / Bellevue real estate markets, which have high median home prices.  The median home price in King County for both single family homes and condos for Feb. 2009 was $348,000  (Feb. 2008 was $395,000, down 11.9% courtesy of the NWMLS).  Jumbo loans are loans above the Conventional loan limit of $506,000, and we have been waiting for that limit to rise again to $567,500.  Christi Meats from Evergreen Home Loans sent me an email last night to let me know that "We expect in the next week or 2 to see Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac sort out the final details for the increased loans amounts for Conventional loans from $506,000 to $567,500". Christi also let me know that she will have more Jumbo loans available from B of A too, since Evergreen Home Loans; " will be participating in this when it happens through our correspondent relationship with Countrywide."  Countrywide is part of B of A and according to Harney in the article, Countrywide will be changing it's name to Bank of America Home Loans. The availability of Jumbo loans for high-end home-buyers began to contract in August 2007,  so this is Good News!

Spoken by Deborah Burns | Discussion: 5 Comments »

“The Seattle Times” Real Estate Article: “It’s a Good Time…to be a First Time Home Buyer” and MY First-time Homebuyers

The Seattle Times Real Estate Article: "It's a good time...to be a first-time homebuyer"

The Seattle Times Real Estate Article: "It's a good time...to be a first-time homebuyer"

Sunday mornings and it's The Seattle Times, and a cup of coffee...ahhh.... So, this morning when I got to the Seattle Real Estate section, the first thing that caught my eye was the photo....I showed THAT house to my first-time home buyers last September!  It was for the article "It's a good time to be a  first-time homebuyer" While that home did not suit my clients, together we eventually found a great deal last fall, on a wonderful new construction, 4 bedroom, 2 bath home in Beacon Hill over looking Columbia City, I am glad that the buyer in the article, with the help of her Seattle real estate agent,  found what she was looking for.  The article did a good job of pointing out why for many first-time home buyers it is a good time to buy:
  • Lot's of inventory - this is how my clients wound up with such a great deal, the builder needed to sell some of his inventory and was willing to take a much lower price than what the house was originally listed for.
  • Lower prices on homes - the downward pressure of lots of inventory beause of potential home buyers watching and waiting.
  • Low interest rates -  my lender, Christi, updates me on how the rates are and they are very good.
  •  Up to $8,000 tax credit- available for first time home buyers who qualify, and who buy between Jan. 1st 2009 and Dec. 1st 2009.
Anyway, it was funny to see that house again in the newspaper, good thing I had already swallowed my coffee, or my photo would be of a coffee stained article...LoL!

Spoken by Deborah Burns | Discussion: 2 Comments »

First Time Home Buyers $8,000 Housing Tax Credit for 2009: Great Article in “The Seattle Times”

The Seattle Times Real Estate article: "Good Look at New Housing Credit" from Feb. 22, 2009

The Seattle Times Real Estate article: "Good Look at New Housing Credit" from Feb. 22, 2009

Last Sunday "The Seattle Times " had a good article "Good Look at New Housing Credit " by columnist Kenneth R. Harney, explaining the $8,000 Housing Tax Credit for 2009.
 
Briefly, the $8,000 Housing Tax Credit that was passed for 2009 improves on the $7,500 Tax Credit for 2008 by making it a true credit, and not an interest free loan.  To qualify, you must be a "first time home buyer" (as defined in the plan) and earn less than $75,000 (single income) or $150,000 (joint-filing couples).  The article goes into more details concerning eligibility, other beneficial aspects of the plan and is worth reading.
 
It's unfortunate that the main change to improve the Tax Credit by making it a true credit, and not an interest free government loan, is not retro-active for first time home buyers who bought a home last fall.

Spoken by Deborah Burns | Discussion: No Comments »