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Posted on December 21, 2016 at 8:45 am
Oscar J. Diaz | Posted in Local Market Updates |

Local Holiday Light Shows

december-16-web-header

Ready to lift your spirits? Shimmering light shows are a brilliant way to celebrate the winter holiday season. Grab a warm coat and go exploring in gardens, zoos and even on the water. Here are five local venues that are worth braving the cold to see…

1. WildLights at Woodland Park Zoo

5500 Phinney Ave. N, Seattle WA 98103
www.zoo.org/wildlights | click here to get tickets

  • Dates/Times: Open nightly 11/25/16 – 1/1/17 | 5:30-8:30 pm
  • Cost: $7.95-$9.95 per person (ages 2 and under are free)
  • Promotion: Zoo members who purchase tickets by 12/9 get a $2 discount off each adult ticket
  • Parking: Free parking at the north (Bear Lot), inner north (Otter Lot) and and northwest lot (Penguin Lot)
  • Food: Refreshments are available at food kiosks, Pizza Corner, the Rain Forest Pavilion and at the Pacific Chowder House (with covered seating). Outside food and non-alcoholic drinks are permitted.
  • Special Events and Activities
  • Holiday Closures: 12/24 & 12/25

Wildlights at Woodland Park Zoo

 

2. Garden d’Lights at Bellevue Botanical Garden
12001 Main Street, Bellevue WA 98005
www.gardendlights.org | click here to get tickets

  • Dates/Times: Open nightly 11/26/16 – 12/31/16 | 4:30-9:00 pm
  • Cost: $5 per person (ages 10 and under are free)
  • Promotion: Free admission on 11/28, 11/29, 11/30, 12/1, 12/5, 12/6, 12/7 and 12/8
  • Parking: $5 per car in the Garden’s lot (cash only) as space allows OR park for free at Wilburton Hill Park
  • Food: Hot drinks and snacks are available at the Aaron Education Center
  • Holiday Closures: None

Garden d'Lights at Bellevue Botanical Garden

 

3. Snowflake & Celebration Lane at the Bellevue Collection
Bellevue Way & NE 8th Street, Bellevue WA 98004
http://bellevue.com/snowflake-lane

  • Dates/Times: Nightly 11/25/16 – 12/31/16 | 20 minute show starts at 7 pm
  • Cost: Free
  • Parking: Free parking at Bellevue Square, Bellevue Place and Lincoln Square.
  • Food: A variety of dining options (from happy hour, to kid fare, to gourmet meal) are all within walking distance
  • Special Events & Activities: Ice Skating, Santa Parade & Tree Lighting
  • Holiday Closure: 12/25

Snowflak Lane at the Bellevue Collection

 

4. Christmas Ship Festival
Launch locations include Lake Union Park, Kirkland City Dock, Leschi Marina, Des Moines Marina, Poulsbo Marina, Seattle Waterfront – Pier 55, Tacoma (Dock Street Marina), Port of Edmonds Marina, Fishermen’s Terminal, AGC Marina, and Shilsole Bay Marina
www.argosycruises.com | click here to get tickets

Christmas Ship at Lake Union, Photo Courtesy of Seattle Parks

 

5. Zoolights at Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium
5400 N. Pearl Street, Tacoma WA 98407
www.pdza.org/zoolights
click here to get non-member tickets OR click here to get member tickets

  • Dates/Times: Open nightly 11/25/16 – 1/1/17 | 5-9 pm
  • Cost: $8.50-$10.00 per person (ages 2 and under are free)
  • Promotions:
    -$5 tickets for zoo members
    -Combo Pass that includes daytime zoo admission ($12-$16)
    -Military Nights ($8 for US Veterans): 11/28, 11/30, 12/5, 12/7, 12/12 & 12/14
    -Scout Night ($8 for registered Girl Scouts or Boy Scouts): 12/6
  • Parking: Free parking in zoo lots (entrance on Pearl Street)
  • Food: Hot drinks and treats are available at the café and kiosks throughout the zoo
  • Activities
  • Holiday Closure: 12/24

Zoolights at Point Defiance

©Windermere Real Estate/Mercer Island

This blog post originally appeared on the MercerIslandPulse.com blog.

 


Posted on December 7, 2016 at 2:11 pm
Oscar J. Diaz | Posted in Community |

Local Market Update – November 2016

En este blog se pueden enterar de noticias importantes sobre todo lo relacionado con el mercado de bienes raíces en los condados de King, Snohomish y Pierce. Si tienen alguna pregunta (o solo buscan información al respecto), estamos aquí para lo que ocupen y para ayudarlos a comprar o vender su casa.

Home sales outgained new listings again in October, further squeezing already tight inventory and pushing prices higher. Since new listings traditionally decrease in the fall, that inventory shortage is expected to last until spring. Sellers willing to put their home on the market now can expect plenty of interested buyers, and a highly favorable chance of getting the best possible price for their home.

Eastside

Click image to view full report.

Click image to view full report.

Home prices on the Eastside took a big leap in October, fueled by record low inventory. The median price of a single-family home sold that month was $768,000, a jump of 15 percent over the same time last year, and the fastest price growth in several months. With the market so strongly favoring sellers, brokers are hopeful more consumers will opt to list their homes.

King County

Click image to view full report.

Click image to view full report.

The amount of inventory in King County fell to levels not seen since the 1990s with just one month of available inventory. With supply falling well behind demand, prices jumped significantly. The median price of a single-family home sold in October jumped 15 percent over a year ago to $550,000.

Seattle

Click image to view the full report.

Click image to view the full report.

There is no place where the supply of homes is tighter than Seattle, particularly in areas close to the city center. Just three weeks of inventory has kept this market in solid multiple-offer territory. Prices in October increased accordingly. The median price of a single-family home in Seattle rose 13 percent to $625,000.

Snohomish County

Click image to view full report.

Click image to view full report.

Inventory in Snohomish County dropped more than 20 percent from a year ago. With just over a month of available inventory, prices climbed. The median price of a single-family home was up 6 percent over last year to $386,599. Even with that increase, buyers continue to be drawn to the area by home prices that average 30 percent less than King County.


Posted on November 22, 2016 at 1:26 pm
Oscar J. Diaz | Posted in Local Market Updates |

Seattle’s Red Hot Housing Market and Its First-Time Homebuyers

En este blog se pueden enterar de noticias importantes sobre todo lo relacionado con el mercado de bienes raíces en los condados de King, Snohomish y Pierce. Si tienen alguna pregunta (o solo buscan información al respecto), estamos aquí para lo que ocupen y para ayudarlos a comprar o vender su casa.

According to an analysis by The Seattle Times, Seattle-area home prices are now rising at their swiftest pace in 2.5 years. While we missed out on taking over Portland for the top spot on the Case-Shiller index, Seattle did increase its lead over third-place Denver where prices only rose 8.8 percent over last year.

Portland, having led the Case-Shiller index all year, had the fastest-rising home prices up 11.7 percent over a year ago. In Seattle, home prices were up 11.4 percent over 2015. Both Pacific Northwest cities saw home costs increase at more than twice the national rate of 5.3 percent. By this point, the “record-high home price” headlines are trite. So what makes this time so important?

Well, for starters, this is the eighth straight month of double-digit growth. That in itself is something fairly noteworthy. Additionally, as The Seattle Times states, homes across all price levels are getting more expensive, but “the biggest increase was in the cheapest set of homes” which were up 12.4 percent. The smallest jump was for luxury homes, up 10.9 percent.

Home prices have been soaring consistently for more than four years having jumped 59 percent since 2012. Starter homes have seen prices jump 75 percent in that time frame. Our local millennials are ready to take advantage of the low mortgage rates, but the starter home just is not what it used to be.

What does this mean for the Eastside?

We want to take a look at Windermere Real Estate’s latest housing market updatewhere we reported the median home sale price at $750,000. That is a solid 10 percent increase over the home prices we saw last year. By comparison, the median sale price of a single-family home was $630,000 last month.

First-time buyers are faced with these skyrocketing home prices, and even though other housing market factors are playing in their favor, it can be an intimidating time to jump into the real estate world. Make sure you team up with a Windermere broker who can help you navigate the real estate market and can turn your homeownership dreams into a reality.

Read more from our source, The Seattle Times.

This post originally appeared on the Windermere Eastside blog.


Posted on November 9, 2016 at 11:26 am
Oscar J. Diaz | Posted in Community |

What Amazon in Bellevue Means for Our Housing Market

En este blog se pueden enterar de noticias importantes sobre todo lo relacionado con el mercado de bienes raíces en los condados de King, Snohomish y Pierce. Si tienen alguna pregunta (o solo buscan información al respecto), estamos aquí para lo que ocupen y para ayudarlos a comprar o vender su casa.

In case you missed it, Amazon is officially expanding to the Eastside! Back in August there were rumors that Apple and Amazon were looking to add offices across Lake Washington. A recent article from The Seattle Times confirmed Amazon will be returning to its Bellevue roots to lease a space much larger than the garage where it started 22 years ago. The online retail mogul will be the new (and only) tenants of Centre 425, a 16-story building in downtown Bellevue that is due to be completed this fall.

Amazon has already invested billions of dollars in its Seattle campus that occupies 8.5 million square feet in and around South Lake Union. This desirable location has attracted many young creatives in the area, as evidenced by the fact that the company currently employs more than 25,000 people in Seattle. The Bellevue office is expected to accommodate over 2,200 people. Considering the success of other Eastside-based companies such as Microsoft and Valve, Amazon will not have a problem recruiting that amount of local tech talent for Centre 425.

Right now it is unclear why Amazon is deviating from its original plan to develop in more urban areas like Seattle. GeekWire speculates it could be a way to cater to employees who already live on the Eastside or an attempt to lure in talent from Expedia once it relocates from Bellevue to Seattle in 2019.

What does this mean for our local housing market?

Whatever the reason for Amazon’s expansion, it will certainly make the Eastside even more attractive for tech employees and have an impact on our housing market. Although the median home price is lower in Seattle, inventory remains higher on the Eastside. Amazon’s location in Bellevue will allow prospective employees to focus their search on the Eastside and give employees currently living here an incentive to stay.

Read the full article from The Seattle Times.


Posted on October 26, 2016 at 10:20 am
Oscar J. Diaz | Posted in Housing Market News |

Local Market Update – October 2016

En este blog se pueden enterar de noticias importantes sobre todo lo relacionado con el mercado de bienes raíces en los condados de King, Snohomish y Pierce. Si tienen alguna pregunta (o solo buscan información al respecto), estamos aquí para lo que ocupen y para ayudarlos a comprar o vender su casa.

At a time of year when sales traditionally slow down, September saw particularly strong sales growth. Home prices rose yet again compared to the same time last year, but they remain below the peak of several months ago. And inventory, while still low, is at its highest level in two years. The local real estate market continues to be one of the hottest in the country, but there are signs that prices may be rising more slowly than they did in the first half of the year.

Eastside

Click image to view full report.

Click image to view full report.

Home prices on the Eastside remain very strong. The September median price of $750,000 was a healthy 10 percent increase over last September. Inventory remains very low with just over a month supply of homes. Demand in this sought-after market continues to overwhelm the number of properties available for sale.

King County

Click image to view full report.

Click image to view full report.

Home prices are typically lower in the fall, and that was the case in King County for September. The median price of homes sold in September was $538,000, down from the market peak earlier this summer. That number reflects a 10 percent increase over a year ago, which represents a significantly higher appreciation rate than the national average.

Seattle

Click image to view full report.

Click image to view full report.

Inventory in Seattle remains very tight, but is up slightly from a year ago. While multiple offers are still common – particularly for entry-priced homes — some agents are reporting fewer offers than in the past. The median price of a single-family home in Seattle was $630,000 in September, an increase of 10 percent over the previous year.

Snohomish County

Click image to view full report.

Click image to view full report.

Home prices in Snohomish County climbed 11 percent in September as compared to a year ago. The median price of a home was $395,000, just below the all-time high of $405,000 set in July. The area continues to see an influx of buyers trying to find a more cost-effective option to the comparatively high housing prices in King County.


Posted on October 12, 2016 at 9:39 am
Oscar J. Diaz | Posted in Local Market Updates |

More Choices Create More Competition in the Puget Sound

En este blog se pueden enterar de noticias importantes sobre todo lo relacionado con el mercado de bienes raíces en los condados de King, Snohomish y Pierce. Si tienen alguna pregunta (o solo buscan información al respecto), estamos aquí para lo que ocupen y para ayudarlos a comprar o vender su casa.

Our intuition tells us that when home inventory is up, prices decrease. However, according to a recent article from the Puget Sound Business Journal (PSBJ) that is not currently the case in the Seattle area. What is causing prices to continue to climb even with an influx of inventory? As with everything else in the housing market, we can look at the bigger picture to make sense of this situation.

Although local buyers have more homes to choose from, they are competing against more buyers who are also taking advantage of the large selection. The article reports, “There’s demand among buyers for houses of all prices, though it’s highest for entry-level homes.” This is not surprising considering tech salaries go farther in the Seattle area than other tech hubs, which attracts more employees searching for homes. Additionally, even though the number of new listings in August increased 14.5 percent, that still reflects a decrease from August 2015. The PSBJ also cautions that experts don’t expect price hikes to keep moderating because they believe the number of new listings will drop significantly between November and February.

What can home buyers take away from this news?

If you are in the market to purchase a new home, your best opportunity will be within 60 days. Let me know how I can help make the search easier to help you find your dream home.

Find the full article on the Puget Sound Business Journal.


Posted on September 28, 2016 at 8:46 am
Oscar J. Diaz | Posted in Housing Market News |

Local Market Update – September 2016

En este blog se pueden enterar de noticias importantes sobre todo lo relacionado con el mercado de bienes raíces en los condados de King, Snohomish y Pierce. Si tienen alguna pregunta (o solo buscan información al respecto), estamos aquí para lo que ocupen y para ayudarlos a comprar o vender su casa.

While homes prices were up by double-digits compared to a year ago, the market frenzy that has affected most of this year is showing some signs of moderating. With the exception of the Eastside, prices for most of the region were down from their peak. Home sales generally outpaced the same period a year ago, but a shortage of inventory continues to tip the advantage in favor of sellers.

Eastside

Click image to view full report.

Click image to view full report.

Bucking the trend of moderating prices, the Eastside saw the median home price soar 14 percent over last year to a new record high of $769,000. That eclipses the previous peak of $760,000 in May of this year. Very tight inventory in this highly desirable market was reflected in flat sales growth compared to a year ago.

King County

Click image to view full report.

Click image to view full report.

King County saw home prices moderating for the second month in a row. The median price of homes sold in August was $550,000. That represents an increase of 10 percent over last year, but a drop from the high of $570,500 in June.

Seattle

Click image to view full report.

Click image to view full report.

The median price of a single-family home in Seattle was $625,000 in August. While down from the record high of $666,500 in June, that represents a healthy 9 percent increase over the same time last year. Demand continues to exceed the supply of inventory, particularly for entry-level homes.

Snohomish County

Click image to view full report.

Click image to view full report.

Snohomish County’s August median home price of $400,000 was just shy of the record-high of $405,000 set in July. The median price here is $150,000 less than King County, making Snohomish County a more affordable option for buyers willing to trade a longer commute time for lower housing costs.


Posted on September 14, 2016 at 10:34 am
Oscar J. Diaz | Posted in Local Market Updates |

Help for Buying a Home Now

Buying Help  header

Think you can’t afford to buy a house? There are a number of programs that can help make the dream of buying a home a reality.

Are you ready to start looking for a home? A Windermere Real Estate broker can help you find programs that make buying a house more affordable.

  • You don’t need to put 20% down. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have down payment requirements as low as 3%. If you’re a vet or active military, a VA loan requires no down payment.
  • Your family can help with your down payment. Fannie Mae’s HomeReady Mortgage allows a down payment of just 3%, and income from grandparents, parents, relatives, and working children can be used to help qualify for the loan.
  • You don’t need perfect credit. To qualify for an FHA loan, your credit score needs to be just 500 or higher. FHA loans allow a down payment as low as 3.5%, and that payment can come entirely from “gift funds.”
  • BIG PLUS: There are a number of down payment assistance programs in Washington State to help you finance a home and arrange a payment you can afford.

Posted on August 31, 2016 at 11:22 am
Oscar J. Diaz | Posted in Housing Market News |

Local Market Update – August 2016

Home prices are still on the rise compared to a year ago, but there is some indication that prices are moderating. Combine that with an increase in inventory and we may be seeing some relief for buyers. Time will tell whether this is a momentary breather, or if we’re slowly moving to a more balanced market.

Eastside

Click image for full report.

Click image for full report.

Home to the highest concentration of luxury homes in the state, the Eastside continues to be the highest priced region of King County. Median home prices here were up 10 percent over last July to $750,400. That is down from the May peak of $760,000, and virtually unchanged from June. Buyers looking in this desirable market may be seeing the start of easing home prices.

King County

Click image for full report.

Click image for full report.

After five months in a row of record-setting prices, King County saw the median price of a single-family home drop slightly from the high of $570,500 in June to $555,000 in July. However, July’s median price was up 14 percent over a year ago. An increase in inventory, accompanied by a slight slowdown in sales, may indicate that the market is settling down from the frenzied pace we’ve experienced so far this year.

Seattle

Click image for full report.

Click image for full report.

Seattle also saw a small decrease in home prices, with the median price of a single-family home dropping from its record $666,500 in June to $650,000 in July. The July number still represents a hefty 13 percent increase year-over-year. Some buyers are looking to the areas of North King County that include Shoreline, Lake Forest Park and Kenmore for a more affordable alternative. Prices there soared 18 percent over last year, but the median price of $505,000 is significantly less than Seattle.

Snohomish County

Click image for full report.

Click image for full report.

The median home price in Snohomish County topped $400,000 for the first time, setting a record for the third straight month. Prices were up nearly 12 percent over the same time a year ago to $405,000. With prices here about 25 percent less than King County, buyers looking for lower housing costs continue to fuel an environment where multiple offers are common.


Posted on August 17, 2016 at 10:45 am
Oscar J. Diaz | Posted in Local Market Updates |