Home services a Realtor’s referral list.

Under construction REFERRAL RECOMMENDATIONS FOR CLIENTS

An inspector I use, and highly regard, composed this list on tradesman he has used and trusts. If you click on the below link it will bring you a “tool box” in alphabetical order of almost every type of service, you could need in the Puget Sound area. Click here

Below are some that I (with the *) have used, recommendations from other agents and our area neighborhood recommendations.

General Contractors Handy Man 

  1. *RM Landscaping and Renovation – Roland 206-818-5078. Small or large projects. Fences, decks, lawn care, lighting, roofs, waterfalls, ponds, concrete driveways, retaining walls and more.
  2. *We Honey Do.com http://www.wehoneydo.com
  3. Justin Powell (GA Powell construction) 425-356-9022. gapowellconstruction.com
  4. Classic Remodeling NW, INC- Ward Hampson- 425-224-2004; cell-425-530-6818 http://www.classic remodelingnw.com; info@classicremodelingnw.com
  5. mrhandyman.com; 1-877-MRHANDYMAN (674-2639)
  6. Jim’ll Fix It- Handyman- 425-220-3749. http://www.jimllfixit.info/
  7. G-Versitile construction.Gymie Kelly 425-422-2101
  8. Jerry Green @ Image Fence 425-343-6604
  9. Josh Ross contractor/painter who likes to take on small remodels projects! Rosscontracting@zoho.com 206-225-1616

Gutters

  1. *The Gutter Guys- Steven Alley; 206-595-0771; stevencalley@comcast.net

Plumbing/Heating 

  1. *First Response Heating and air solutions 206-643-1525
  2. Solution Plumbing & Heating. Ryan Hurd 425-231-8599 solutionplumbingheating.com
  3. 411 Plumber Ambrose Herrera 206-229-4225
  4. Kings Heating – 206-361-1818
  5. Hamblen & Sons Heating Office: 360-658-0124 Mobile: 425-501-0123
  6. *CM Heating- furnaces, heat pumps, air conditioning, fireplaces (chimney sweep)

Landscaping

  1. *RM Landscaping and Renovation – Roland 206-818-5078. Fences, decks, lawn care, lighting, waterfalls, ponds, concrete driveways, retaining walls and more.
  2. King Landscaping 206-856-1267
  3. Lawn aerating-thatching Stewart Armour @ 206-214-5595 aerating-thatching.com/aeration.com

 Carpet Cleaning

  1. *Patrick Kelley Kelley’s Cleaning & Restoration http://www.kelleyclean.com/ 425-303-8294

Crawl Space

  1. *American Crawlspace- Brian 206-795-5844 or 425-308-1888

Carpentry work

  1. *Stuart Ross 425-268-2299

Kitchen/bathroom cabinets

  1. * Jim – architecturalcabinets.com 425-501-3642- Custom made and great prices!

House Cleaning Service

  1. *Jessica Shields 425-346-0485
  2. *King & Queen Cleaning and household services kingandqueencleaning.com 425-954-3337
  3. Alpine Cleaning http://www.alpineclean.com/

Pest Control

  1. *AA Advantage Pest Control- Stephen Gillis – 360-658-8811- aadvantagepest.com
  2. Eagle pest eliminators 425-398-7365 eaglepesteliminators.com

Electrician

  1. Dad’z Electric in Mukilteo (425) 493-1541
  2. Left Coast Electric 360-920-8484 Toby Foulke
  3. Renfro electric. 425-923-5088

Garage Doors

  1. *Allphase garage doors too. Kevin 360 651 7830

Security Systems

  1. *Jimmie Beam 206-261-1903. Jbeem@freedomsystemsinc.com

Septic

  1. Tri County Septic monitoring & septic services 360-659-7077

ORGANIZATION

  1. Top Shelf Organizing. Jill 425 283 9265 topshelforg.com

 ROOFING

  1. Davison Roofing Inc. 425-344-6151
  2. *Always Roofing in Snohomish info@allwaysroofing.com 425-345-5863

 TREE TRIMMER

  1. All in 1 Tree Service 347.7253
  2. Evergreen Tree Care 800-684-TREE (8733)

Windows and glass replacement and insulation

  1. *Superior Weatherizationjayaskus@yahoo.com 425-350-1194
  2. Washington Energy Services washingtonenergy.com 800-398-4663

 

Have someone you would recommend to a friend? Let me know I am always looking for great people to recommend. As I love to recommend great people and services please remember me for your Real Estate needs or those of your friends and family.

I am never too busy for your referrals!

 

Jenifer Murrweiss               REMAX Elite Realtor Consultant                           425-422-7243

snohomishcountyhomes@hotmail.com

Buyer Frustration Builds as Inventory Shrinks

News Release

March 7, 2016

KIRKLAND, Washington (March 7, 2016) – Home prices in King County hit new highs in February as buyers tried to outbid each other for the sparse inventory in much of Western Washington.

“We’re in for another crazy spring real estate market,” predicts J. Lennox Scott, chairman and CEO of John L. Scott, Inc.

With the number of single family homes for sale in King County down nearly 30 percent from a year ago, prices on last month’s sales surged 19.8 percent, jumping from $429,900 to $514,975. Ten other counties in the 23-county area served by Northwest Multiple Listing Service also reported double-digit price gains for single family homes that sold last month, according to its latest statistics. Condo prices surged 19.6 percent.

“Buyers who are looking for houses cannot start looking at the top of their affordability range — they should look 15 or 20 percent below their limit and be prepared to go over list price if they have any hope of success,” suggested Frank Wilson, immediate past chair of the Northwest MLS board.

Northwest MLS brokers scrambled to replenish depleted inventory as pending sales outpaced new listings, resulting in a sizeable drop in the total number of active listings by month end.

Member-brokers added 7,931 listings area-wide to inventory last month for a slight improvement from a year ago when they added 7,852 homes and condominiums to their database. At month end, they reported 12,107 active listings, a sharp drop from a year ago when there were 16,946 properties offered for sale.

Current levels of inventory translate to 2.4 months of supply, well below the four-to-six months that industry experts use to indicate a balanced market. In the four-county Puget Sound region, supply is hovering near or below two months, with King County having the lowest level at only 1.3 months of supply. Snohomish County reported about 1.5 months, Pierce had slightly more than 2.1 months, and Kitsap County was at about 2.3 months.

“Buyer frustration continues to build as inventory levels drop and a mixed quality of homes comes on market,” reported MLS director George Moorhead, designated broker at Bentley Properties.

The fast pace of sales combined with shrinking inventory means many areas remain in the throes of a sellers’ market, stated MLS director Bobbie Petrone Chipman.

Despite the frustration for buyers and brokers, pending sales improved on year-ago figures. Northwest MLS members reported 9,052 pending sales, up 5.3 percent from a year ago when they tallied 8,599 mutually accepted offers.

Scott described current activity as a “Pac-Man” market – “Houses are being gobbled up as soon as they come on the market,” he stated.

Seven counties, including King County, reported year-over-year declines in pending sales during February in the wake of inventory shortages. Pending sales in King County fell about 5.6 percent compared to twelve months ago. The selection in the state’s most populous county plummeted nearly 32 percent from year-ago levels while asking prices jumped about 22 percent.

“The big story this month is the nearly 20 percent jump in King County prices which has brought the median home price to an all-time high,” observed OB Jacobi, president of Windermere Real Estate. “Affordability is on the decline in King County which is part of the reason why sales of single family homes are down,” he noted, adding, “So where are those priced-out buyers going? The answer for some is condos. With the rent-versus-buy ratio at about two years, many buyers are seeing the wisdom in investing in a condo as a means to take advantage of low interest rates and get into homeownership.”

Moorhead also commented on growing demand for condos. “We have noticed increasing demand for condos and townhomes as they are becoming more affordable for first-time buyers, so this activity is drawing down that inventory too,” he reported.

Pending sales of condos increased about 4.8 percent area-wide, despite shrinking inventory. The number of active listings dropped 36.6 percent from a year ago, resulting in only 1.4 months of supply. In King County, which accounted for six of every 10 condo sales that closed last month, there is only about a month of supply. Condo prices in that county jumped 26 percent from a year ago, rising from $257,000 to $323,975. That compares to a median selling price of $514,975 for single family homes that sold last month in King County.

For others, a longer commute is the ticket to homeownership.

“This is the type of market that has people who work in Seattle thinking more seriously about moving west,” suggested Wilson, the branch managing broker at John L. Scott’s Poulsbo office. “Typically people who have a Seattle area job look north or east, but with lack of inventory in those areas and prices that have gone through the roof, they are now considering a ferry commute and shopping for homes in Kitsap.” Wilson said they’re even seeing an increase of activity west of the Hood Canal Bridge with more people looking to Port Ludlow and beyond.

Pending sales in Kitsap County rose 9 percent in February compared to a year ago. Prices increased 7.7 percent year-over-year, but Wilson expects even more escalation. “It would not be unreasonable to think we might see double-digit price increases this year,” he commented.

Rapidly rising prices are worrisome to some brokers.

“In some situations sellers, in efforts to glean as much from a sale as possible, and buyers, in efforts to have their offers accepted in competitive presentations, might find themselves the subject of anecdotal stores regarding low appraisals,” noted MLS director Bobbie Petrone Chipman, principal managing broker at John L. Scott in Puyallup.

“Buyers line up at houses that are available and find themselves in bidding wars,” said Wilson. “This market squeezes all the fun out of buying a home. Prospective purchasers who are coming up short tend to be first-time buyers or those who are using anything other than cash or conventional loans,” he added.

Moorhead cautioned sellers about being overly aggressive on pricing. Sellers are pushing price harder than ever, he said, and some are missing market price, resulting in longer market times. “Buyers perceive this as ‘there must be something wrong with the home,’ especially if the home is still on the market past an offer review date that was set when the home came on the market.”

Even though the current market poses challenges, brokers remain optimistic about the market’s strength.

Mike Grady, a past chairman of the MLS board, anticipates “a long steady increase in pending sales projecting favorably into 2017.” He cited projections suggesting long-term interest rates will remain stable, job growth in the region will remain strong, and new housing starts will continue to lag behind demand as factors in his prediction. These factors “create the simple formula of high demand, low supply equaling increasing prices, creating the consumer confidence we continue to see,” stated Grady, the president and COO of Coldwell Banker Bain.

Scott also expects robust activity during 2016. “Six months ago we predicted the major decline in inventory throughout the winter months would create a more intense market starting the first of the year. It’s déjà vu all over again,” he commented.

Noting this pattern has existed for the the last three years, Scott said the current lack of inventory is taking its toll on homebuyers. “We are facing the most intense market yet.”

Starting this month, Scott said “We’ll start to see an explosion in the amount of sales activity for the next eight months. That’s the good news. The bad news? Market conditions still require buyers to make an instant response because there are so many other hungry buyers out there.”

Northwest Multiple Listing Service, owned by its member real estate firms, is the largest full-service MLS in the Northwest. Its membership of nearly 2,100 member offices includes more than 25,000 real estate professionals. The organization, based in Kirkland, Wash., currently serves 23 counties in Washington

Lack of Inventory “A Game Changer”

News Release

KIRKLAND, Washington (February 4, 2016) – Depleted inventory is contributing to “overwhelming” traffic at open houses, shifts in strategies for both buyers and sellers, and escalating prices, according to officials with the Northwest Multiple Listing Service.

Dick Beeson, a former chairman of the MLS board, said the lack of inventory in almost every county is, “without question, a 2016 game changer.” He described traffic at open houses as sometimes simply overwhelming. “There haven’t been any battle royals on the premises, but it could happen any day now,” quipped Beeson, the principal managing broker at RE/MAX Professionals in Tacoma.

The latest figures show a drop of nearly 28 percent in the number of active listings in the MLS database compared to a year ago. Members added 6,670 new listings during the month across 23 counties in the MLS service area. That’s down nearly 4.6 percent from twelve months ago. At month end, members reported 12,357 active listings, which compares to 17,082 at the end of January 2015.

Measured another way, there is just under 2.5 months of inventory which compares to 3.8 months the MLS reported for January 2015. Supply was especially tight in King County, at 1.4 months of inventory, and Snohomish County, with just under 1.6 months.

Condo inventory (excluding single family homes) fell sharply, from 1,793 active listings a year ago to last month’s total of 1,145 at month end, a plunge of 36 percent. In King County, the inventory of condos dropped 42 percent.

For the area overall, there is just 1.7 months of condo inventory, with Snohomish County reporting the tightest supply (1.1 months) followed by King County (1.2 months).

The inventory shortage took a toll on last month’s sales. The number of pending sales (mutually accepted offers) fell about 5.3 percent area-wide during January, although half the counties in the report tallied increases compared to a year ago. The 5.3 percent drop marked the first negative change in year-over-year comparisons since April 2014.

Member brokers reported 7,253 pending sales last month, down from 7,658 for the same month a year ago. Despite January’s downturn, industry leaders remain upbeat.

“Only three other Januarys since 2000 had more homes go under contract in the four-county region area of King, Snohomish, Pierce and Kitsap counties,” noted Mike Grady, president and COO of Coldwell Banker Bain. “This, in the face of stock market scares, shows the viability of real estate as the better investment for both homeowners and investors,” he suggested.

Commenting on last month’s activity in King County, MLS director Joe Deasy said sales are down nearly 15 percent compared to last January because inventory is down more than 31 percent. “Demand is still really strong based on multiple offers and high-volume open house traffic,” added Deasy, the co-general manager of Windermere Real Estate/East.

Other industry leaders agreed. “We’re selling virtually all new listings, many with multiple offers in all the market areas of King, Snohomish, Pierce and Kitsap counties in the price range where 90 percent of the sales activity is happening,” said J. Lennox Scott, chairman and CEO of John L. Scott.

Scott also said his analysis of the number of homes selling in the first 30 days is double what a normal, healthy market would look like.

“The Greater Seattle area housing market remains out of equilibrium,” stated OB Jacobi, president of Windermere Real Estate. He said sales will continue to suffer at the current pace of transactions without adding new inventory. “At the same time, prices will continue to appreciate and could outperform our expectations if inventory levels and mortgage rates remain at current levels.”

MLS director Frank Wilson said the Kitsap County market is “taking off again right out of the gate,” adding, “We are seeing an increase in open house activity as well as more multiple offer situations.”

Wilson said Kitsap County, where there is only 2.4 months of inventory, is “deep into a seller’s market.” He expects the market will become more unbalanced throughout the first half of 2016. “First-time home buyers are probably being hit the hardest in this type of market,” observed Wilson, the branch managing broker at John L. Scott’s Poulsbo office. In general, he said financial resources are thin for this segment, their confidence is low, and the types of loans they use are often not as favorable.

A strong fourth quarter in 2015 is reflected in January’s closed sales of single family homes and condos (combined), which rose 11.6 percent from a year ago. Members reported 4,985 completed transactions; a year ago, they tallied 4,467 closings. The year-over-year median price on these sales increased 7.5 percent, rising from $279,000 to $300,000. Ten counties reported double-digit gains.

Single family home prices (excluding condos) jumped 7.6 percent from a year ago for the area overall. For the four-county Puget Sound region, the median price for a single family home rose 12 percent, from $325,000 a year ago to last month’s figure of $363,975. Snohomish County reported the largest increase at 16.6 percent. A comparison of prices by county shows King County tops the chart with a median sales price of $490,970, up 11.2 percent from a year ago.

Condo prices spiked 16.3 percent from a year ago, rising from $219,900 to $255,750.

Rapidly rising prices and low inventory are worrisome, according to some brokers.

“A true conundrum exists,” said George Moorhead, designated broker at Bentley Properties. “For sellers there is no better time in history, but the concern we hear is there’s no place to move.” He said since most sellers are looking to move up to larger homes, the ripple effect is “more like a tidal wave as it rolls back to the first-time buyers in the market who are quickly getting priced out of the possibility of purchasing a home.”

Moorhead, a member of the Northwest MLS board of directors, reported doing a recent search of homes for sale in Bellevue with asking prices between $500,000 and $800,000. That search yielded only about a dozen properties in the database, a result he described as “staggering” and well below the norm.

Despite such challenges and complaints by buyers, Moorhead said buyers are still presenting offers that are very aggressive.

The increasingly competitive market is prompting hesitation among some would-be sellers, reported Bobbie Chipman, principal managing broker at John L. Scott in Puyallup. She said potential sellers are expressing reluctance to list their existing home prior to finding a home to move into due to limited inventory.

“A strong strategy is for sellers to list their home, sell and close, and move into temporary housing,” suggested Chipman, one of the MLS directors. “This approach allows offers to be written that are not conditioned upon their sale closing, and it strengthens their position as a buyer,” she explained.

Echoing the notion of being flexible, Frank Wilson said a seller’s decision to accept an offer does not come down to sales price alone. “Type of loan, lender, closing time, amount of earnest money, and other concessions like closing costs and offer price all play into a seller’s decision,” he stated. “On top of that, a seller can choose any offer for any reason, even a lower price offer if other variables are favorable. Escalation clauses, back-up offers and finding funds or a bridge loan are all tools that buyers will need to employ to be successful in today’s market.”

Northwest Multiple Listing Service, owned by its member real estate firms, is the largest full-service MLS in the Northwest. Its membership of nearly 2,100 member offices includes more than 25,000 real estate professionals. The organization, based in Kirkland, Wash., currently serves 23 counties in Washington state.