Snohomish County Real Estate Blog, News, & Statistics
The Snohomish County real estate blog address news and statistics which are pertinent to the real estate buyer, seller, and investor. Our goal is too provide educational information so people can make the best housing decision for them and their lifestyle. Please feel free to ask questions, participate in discussions, and share your experiences.
You might be thinking "I am receiving a lot of real estate cold calls lately" and what "why is that?". Twice a year our brokerage, Keller Williams Realty Marysville, encourages its real estate brokers to participate in a 7 week prospecting course. Otherwise known as lead generation. The course teaches prospecting behaviors with special emphasis on communication and increasing an agent's number contacts. Okay, but what does a real estate class have to do with cold calling?
We haven't published Snohomish County real estate and housing statistics since June 2014 and over the last 3 months a lot has happened. From our perspective, we can feel a market change with increased listing times, less buyer urgency, and generally slower feel, which is not uncommon for this time year. However, could the slowing last into 2015?
June 2014's Housing Inventory
Since late 2013 to till around June/July, Snohomish County's housing inventory has declined from almost a balanced market, 6 months of standing inventory, down to a low of 2.3 months. However, the increase since June/July hasn't been a cause of concern since Snohomish County hasn't been flooded with homes. On the contrary, it shows negotiating leverage is still in the seller's favor at 2.8 months.
In the 10 Things Your Real Estate Agent Doesn't Do we must start at the beginning. In a real estate transaction there are different parties involved and many, upon many, unique variations of a real estate transaction.
However, for this example we'll keep it fairly generic and assume: the buyer needs financing, the seller has to sell, there will both a buyer and listing broker, there will be an escrow and title company, and the transfer of property isn't between family members.
The image to the right, shows a funny look at the perception of what real estate agent do; drink all day, act important in meetings, get rich of each transaction, heard cats, perpetuate the used car salesman persona, and stress out.
Its seems all funny, but in all honesty, its what some think we do as real estate. Yet, on a more serious note, lets look at what real estates don't do.
HomePath financing has been a useful financial vehicle for Fannie Mae products: rep homes, rehab properties, no-appraisal required purchases, and even multiple property owner refinancing.
That is all about to change. According to HomePath.com's website:
"Effective October 7, 2014, Fannie Mae is retiring the HomePath Mortgage (HPM) and HomePath Renovation Mortgage (HPRM) products". [SOURCE]
How Does Ending HomePath Financing Impact Borrowers?
The impact is minimal and most folks won't even noticed. Why? There are plenty of home loan programs for first time home buyers and investors.
Will this Change Impact the Availability HomePath Properties?
No. As of now, HomePath.com has no information stating properties will be discontinued even though real estate brokers are seeing REO inventory is decline.
What are Alternatives To HomePath Financing?
Two great alternatives are Home Advantage Mortgage and My Community Mortgage.
The weather is changing, leaves are beginning to display colors, and people's lives are filled with sports, school activities, plans to snow bird and so-on. Also, it may be the time to look for a new home, a new neighborhood, or something special. Yet where? Where does one look for something special? For that we travel back to Everett in September's Neighborhood Spotlight and the quaint community of Hilton Lake.
Many of us have faced this, seen it action, or heard stories about it; neighboring property owners accessing a different part of their property through a gate. Not uncommon. I mean, it's nice and convenient. It allows the homeowner to park a boat, travel trailer, remove debris, and/or access a portion of property that otherwise maybe very difficult.
The last decade has seen the rise of the Nanny Cam and for good reasons. YouTube has video after video of people exposing atrocities and capturing crooks. Homeowners are now able to peer into a world that was otherwise a mystery, especially when selling a home.
I've shown many homes with security systems, not sure if there have been Nanny cams per say, over the years: self monitored, monitored, and with a variety of cameras and window and door sensors. In our line of work, these cameras bring a unique aspect to the purchase and sale transaction and one component I've never considered, audio recording.
Depending on who writes/designs a home buying diagram the process can look slightly different. Reviewing a lender's, escrow's, or title's buyer flow chart they all start a bit different yet end at the same place, closing. The below buyer's diagram starts at the real estate broker but experience shows the buyer starts in 1 of 3 places: the real estate agent, the lender, or home searching on their own.
In a neighborhood not so far away and in the heart of Snohomish County, we stop the Neighborhood Spotlight caravan at Lake Stevens' Soper Hill. Borrowing its name from Soper Hill Rd, and annexed into Lake Stevens in 2007, Soper Hill is a smaller community with approximately 1,200 residents all in a 292 acre area.
Being a real estate broker it may be easier to sense the changing weather patterns. The winds are calming and the multiple offer storms and perilless negotiations could be subsiding.
We probably aren't the only ones; appraisals are starting to come in 'low' forcing negotiations of a different kind, the renegotiation. With that said, other real estate brokers may be having a difference experience yet review the statistics for yourself and see if the market is shifting, again.
June 2014's Housing Inventory
As of 4:31pm there are 2,483 residential units for sale in Snohomish County - these are properties listed on the NWMLS and don't include FSBO's or other for sale properties.