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.
What is a home inspection? Sounds intuitive enough, an inspection of a home. Right?
For the most part, yes. However, there is much more to a home inspection that just looking at a home.
Here in western Washington, we real estate brokers are members of the Northwest Multiple Listing Service, NWMLS or MLS for short. As part of our membership, we have access to State generated contracts and forms which we call a Purchase & Sale Agreements.
In these contracts, a buyer can add addenda to cover many things with the most common being the Inspection Addendum to Purchase and Sale Agreement. Otherwise known as a Home Inspection or a Home Inspection Contingency. A buyer has to request the right to conduct one upfront in the Purchase & Sale.
That is where the home inspection addendum comes into play but more on that later.
The home inspection addendum allows a buyer(s) to hire independent party, a licensed and bonded home inspector, to assess the home's condition for informational purposes. A typical home inspection includes, but isn't limited too, a look at the home's systems and fixtures, electrical and circuit panels, plumbing, attic and crawl space, siding, and the roof.
It is also advised to attend the home inspection as to get first hand experience, hear information relating to the home's condition directly from the expert, and ask questions during the process. Home inspectors like to be a resource, just like us real estate agents, to their clients.
Most home inspectors these days provide a deliverable to the home buyer. The deliverable comes in report form that includes the inspector's notes, pictures and other pertinent information related to the home's inspection.
How Much Do Home Inspections Cost?
The inspection is a buyer expense and typically costs about $400 - cost is usually dictated by a home's square footage.
It seems just like yesterday that we were getting into the swing of things. 2014 was rolling along and homes were being sold but as quickly as the year started, it abruptly ended. Now, we're looking back and reviewing what the 2014 housing market looked like and more specifically, the Snohomish County's 2014 New Construction and Builder segment.
Since housing inventory remained low and home values steadily increased, 2014 yielded good news for builders with new construction homes sales filling the equity sellers void. New homes sales kept the housing market moving which helped the new construction / builder segment to prosper.
The charts below cover lot sales, lot sales by volume, top lot sales per city, top buyer and sellers of lots, top 10 new construction builders, and top 10 cities for new construction home sales. We are curious to hear your thoughts on Snohomish County's new construction segment. Share in the comments in the comments below.
The New Year marks a time for goal setting, resolutions (I'm having problems keeping mine), and deciding to make positive changes for the New Year. Commons ones like losing weight, stop smoking, career changes, going back to school, buying a new car, and even buying a house seem to pop year-in and year-out. In this blog post, How to Buy a House in 2015, we'll dive into the process, the players involved, housing inventory, and how to make it a successful venture.
There is nothing new about creating a real estate or property tour. Usually, not always, home tours are a image based slideshows containing some textual property details and the listing agent's information. However, drones, or more correctly UAS (unmanned aircraft systems), are the hot marketing item entering for real estate agents.
Not to bore you with the legalities, FAA guidelines, Congressional decision of drone use for real estate (commercial purposes), and our progress with seeking an FAA exemption, we have already started low risk flight home tours. Here are 5 videos we've put together.
Take a look at the builder and new construction segment do in 2014's 2nd quarter. Below you'll find the seven most meaningful charts from the Snohomish County's Builder Report (there are many more but couldn't publish them all).
- Number of Lot Sales by County
- Lot Sales Volume by County
- Lot Sales by City
- Top Snohomish County Lot Buyers & Sellers
- Top 10 Snohomish County Builders
- New Home Sales by County
- Median New Home Price by City
Don't forget to share your thoughts in the comments below.
You might be thinking "Why am I receiving a lot of real estate cold calls?" 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. The course teaches real estate brokers prospecting behaviors with special emphasis on communication and increasing an agent's number of 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.