What is the most valuable piece of advice you’d give yourself?

What is the most valuable piece of advice you could give your younger self today regarding building financial wealth? 💸

For me it’s a no brainer “BUY DIRT”! Not only do I love that song by Jordan Davis and Luke Bryant the video just speaks to my heart and soul of what life is all about AND I have seen it repeatedly with many of my clients.

📖 STORY TIME: in June of 2020 I sold the pictured home for $639,950. The buyers have since had a change of life plan and are moving out of state. Thankfully they have been in the home for 2 years as their primary residence so it will save them on the capital gains tax. WHEW! This month, April 2023, the home is now pending under contract and will be closing soon for around $900,000. That is a profit of around 💰$260,000💰 in 2.5 years!!!! Do the math if you must and see the 📈appreciation they received in this short time. I may be a Realtor and yes, this is my job but it’s a career I love and I believe very strongly the most solid way to build wealth and secure your future is to buy a home. Your own piece of dirt.

Inventory is still low, prices continue to go up, by the time the rate is where you want it, that price home won’t be what you want anymore, so you will have to spend more to get the same house. I always tell my buyers that it’s important to “marry the house, date the rate” Find the home you want in today’s prices and then when rates go down, refinance to save. If you wait for the rate to go down for 12 months or, more, and prices increase 5-10% during that time, what are you really saving? And, the main reason you are moving cannot be achieved if you stay put (need more space, closer to family, etc. )

You are investing in yourself when you purchase a home. We purchased our first home at 7.5% and that was normal!! Over time home values will always continue to rise, homes are a long term investment and let’s face it it’s better than paying the 100% interest you are currently paying on the rental you have.😟

Let me know if you want me to help you build your financial wealth!

Houses across the county are selling FAST!

In today’s whirlwind real estate market, houses are selling at astonishing speed – from sea to shining sea. Four years ago, the average house spent 39 days on the market. Two years ago, homes were on the market for about 24 days. Today, that number has dropped to just 17 short days. If you’re looking to sell your house quickly and on the best possible terms, today’s market can’t be beat. DM me to discuss how to secure a speedy, top-dollar sale for your house.

Home Buyers in 2021!

Monday Meme. 👀 Dedicated to all the home buyers out there! Today we put in an offer for a home $85,000 over list and made all the details sweet, simple and easy for the seller. Did we get it NO! 🤬


House Hunting Checklist For Home Buyers

Here is the Snohomish County Homes Team’s  home buyer checklist that we give to our buyers besides a side by side comparison sheet and other tips. For your own click here homebuyingchecklist Or better yet contact us and let us help you find a new home!

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National Homeownership Month

Every June, we recognize National Homeownership Month as a way to celebrate the many ways buying and owning a home is a solid step forward for American families.

The Snohomish County Homes Team loves to assist home buyers. Whether you are a first time home buyer, or have done this before, we are here to guide you along the way. Our knowledge as a Certified instructor for the Washington State Housing Finance Program has given us a wealth of information to help guide our buyers. Teaching home buyer classes in Snohomish, at Josh Taps and Caps, has been fun and we hope to do so again soon. As a Relocation Specialist I have helped many families move here and saving them money along the way.

Are you Military and relocating? With our Military lender and Homes For Heroes program.  We have great bonuses in cash incentives for all Military plus Homes for Heroes also gives large incentives to Law Enforcement, Teachers, Firefighter’s, EMT and Healthcare too!

We have advanced education to serve and give our clients the best possible service and communication. Over 10 years in the industry has fine tuned our service and skills and all to make the path of home ownership successful and fun for you!

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Take a moment this month to contact me about your housing goals and the questions you have. We can work together to help you achieve them.

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The Home Connection for June

It’s that time again for your monthly newsletter! Notice QR codes seem to be back? While I like QR codes and think they are handy I sure hope we all can “experience” some of the beautiful places the Pacific Northwest has to explore in person and soon!

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New Listing~ Snohomish Schools

Fircrest Meadows home sitting on a corner lot of a culdesac is a must see! 3 beds/2.5 baths w/custom touches throughout. 1-Year WARRANTY! Wood wrapped windows, designer shades, hardwood floor, skylights, 2 brick fireplace & A/C. Kitchen w/2 dining areas. Spacious living rm, vaulted ceilings & newer carpet. Stretch out in your Master suite showcasing 3d-wall covering, 5-pc bath, rain shower & walk-in-closet. Fully fenced yard w/gazebo & fire pit. 2-car garage, RV park, No HOA, Snohomish schools + close to all!

Click for full info and virtual tour

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Has Real Estate Shutdown in Washington State?

I wanted to reach out to you today as I have been receiving many texts, calls and emails on how this outbreak maybe affecting the busy real estate season. This is a difficult time for all of us and the months ahead will bring uncertainty and challenges, of that, there is no doubt. This morning the owners of our five RE/MAX Elite offices had an online meeting with all of us to share the recent changes that the Northwest Multiple Listing Service (NWMLS) is advising based on social distancing, lowering the group threshold to 50 and best practices to protect our clients, ourselves and the public. We shared thoughts and ideas to keep working and helping our clients with their real estate needs but also to take action to keep everyone safe.

At the time the virus started to rear its ugly head there was a housing shortage. Meaning there were not enough homes for all the buyers that were currently looking. In the last month I have listed 3 homes with each one receiving multiple offers. The last home was two weeks ago, received double digit offers and a listing price that soared the final purchase to over $66,000 from listing price. That fact has not changed. We still are at low levels of inventory and in the last week I have seen homes come on the market and then sell in 3-5 days. I have three closing this week and while I know they are thankful, they are through the process, others are now very concerned what it may mean to them.

With that said in the last few days these are the most pressing questions I have been receiving regarding real estate. I hope I can shed a bit of light for you on what I know to be true currently.

What are interest rates, should I refinance?

Am I going to close on time?

Are open houses still going to be happening?

Should I wait to list or buy?  

Sorry, this is long I will highlight the above question and try to answer the best I can with the information that is continually coming in.

Should I refinance now? I love how so many past clients and friends reach out to me with this question! While I am not a lender, I do try to read all the information coming in and what my preferred lenders are saying. When I am speaking to them I ask what they are seeing and what effects they are feeling. One of my preferred lenders, Duane Martin, at Caliber Home Loans indicated last week that they are inundated by those requesting refinancing. He mentioned that there may be a cap on refi’s right now and they may run out into 60 days to get completed. With so many wanting to refinance this is going to put a large strain on the lenders, title/escrow, appraisers and lending institutions. Home sales and purchase must be the priority.

So, to help answer questions, home mortgage interest rates did dip to a historically low rate and some were able to take advantage of this. They have since come back up to normal rates. This may change. They could go down again, rise or go higher. What you may be hearing more of right now are the interest rates for consumer debt being lowered. Another one of my lender colleagues, Jeff Tisdale from VIP Mortgage out of Tempe, AZ area states “The Fed Funds rate does NOT directly reflect in mortgage rates. The Fed rate impacts shorter term rates like credit cards, HELOCs, car loans, etc. Mortgage rates generally parallel the 10-year treasury bond. HOWEVER, there was a liquidity and volume issue due to the massive amounts of refinance volume, so rates spiked last week. We won’t know how this will affect mortgage rates until tomorrow and the coming days, weeks, etc. The industry can only take on so much at one time. Nobody truly knows what will happen, but I would expect continued volatility in the near future.

What is true is we are in uncharted territory and nobody knows what the short- or long-term effects of this will be.” Jeff goes on to say for anyone interested in refinancing or purchasing to get their application in with ALL supporting documents. The mortgage industry is beyond capacity right now and the complete files will get worked on first. The clients that need to be chased down for paperwork will suffer and wait.

Am I going to close on time? Our team has several clients that are scheduled to close the end of the month. Will we close on time? That is our goal. I am telling all of my clients that we are working behind the scenes to keep up with, and make sure, we work together quickly with Escrow/title your lender, insurance, mortgagor and all the other moving parts involved with a real estate transaction This is our goal! If we make sure all is in order beforehand and you are quick and diligent about getting any last-minute documentation requested into them we should. If, however, the county shuts down and there is no one to complete the transfer and recording process this very likely will delay homes closings.

There is that wish again for a crystal ball!   Best Crystal Ball Stock Photos, Pictures & Royalty-Free Images - iStock

Are open houses still going to be happening? Well that changed very quickly. As of this morning they were advising to not have open houses but you could do one with limiting people through a few at a time, taking safety precautions and letting your seller decide based on if the home was vacant or occupied. After speaking with a seller this morning and coming up with a plan for them and their needs it has since changed. The NWMLS stated this afternoon they are disabling the Open House and Broker feature until the end of the month. What does this mean? Essentially no open houses.  The consumer real estate sites are fed from the NWMLS. All the information on open houses regarding days, times, information and updates feed to sites like Zillow, Realtor.com, Redfin etc. If you go looking on Saturday morning for the open houses for the weekend you are not going to find any. I suppose there may be a rebel out there who puts up an open house sign in hopes that you are wandering aimlessly around and see their sign and say “Wow let’s go” but I doubt it.

Should I wait to list or buy? Of course, we have a huge concern for our clients many of whom we have been working with for months!  

For sellers to get them to the point of selling its not always easy! If you have not sold a home you may not realize the time, energy, cost and all the prep work that goes into doing so. I have 2 sellers right now that I have been working with since September and one since August! We were going to be listing in April/May. So now what? We have some buyers and sellers that are moving on to their next adventure in life. Some are moving across country for jobs or family. Some are downsizing and some are looking for a different home to fit their family’s needs. There is so much thought that goes into buying or selling a home and our job is to direct them while keeping them moving forward to their goal. This service we provide to our clients prior to ever being compensated. Our advice, suggestions, referrals for contractors, lenders, timelines and helping them coordinate for their new home takes great thought, planning, experience and counseling.  We want our clients to know that we will continue to do all we can to direct and guide them. If they have a job they have to be at here in Washington, or another state, then we move forward and help them buy or list their home when planned. If they are moving because they have a new home being built, and do not want 2 mortgages, or need to move to take care of a family member we move forward as planned the best way we can. For each client it’s going to be a different scenario.

When you’re selling a home exposure is key. The more potential buyers see your home and feel themselves living in it the more likely you will get an offer. If we are limited on showings, open houses, Brokers opens, advertising then it will affect the entire experience and days on market will be longer. That is a determination that each needs to make based on their future goals. If, by chance, your kids are now home with you and that idea of decluttering and packing while they were at school has now turned into home-schooling then well, we may have to re-adjust your goal.

For our buyers you may be looking on line but you need to see the home and feel how you would flow in it and make sure it meets your needs. This is very difficult to do without physically viewing and we want you to know that Britt and I will be available for private showings at this time, and as the needs arise, if the home allows it. 

It will be okay and together we can do it! We need to go with the flow but flow we must.  I feel the worst thing we can do is just freeze and not move forward. Yes, we may be hitting the pause button for a bit but, we must move forward.

Please remember during this time of uncertainty, I want you to know that we are thinking of you and will do whatever we can to support our clients and their goals. Yes, this outbreak is very scary, but we can’t let it dismantle our economy. Small businesses will suffer and there will be effects down the road that will affect us all. We need to be caring and do all we can to support/shop local.

Please don’t live in fear. Be smart, stay safe, stay healthy and keep in touch.

I would be happy to go into this deeper with anyone that has questions.

Feel free to reach out!

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Jen Murrweiss and Britt Maltos

 

Home buyers in Western Washington “hit the ground running” in January

KIRKLAND, Washington (February 6, 2020) – “All indicators point to a vigorous spring market,” suggested broker Dean Rebhuhn when reviewing just-released statistics from Northwest Multiple Listing Service. The report covering 23 counties shows pending sales outgained new listings, record-low inventory that’s down 33% from a year ago, and double-digit price increases.

This information above taken from the NWMLS is exactly what my team has been seeing! We just got a buyer under contract on a home and it was their third offer! Another buyer lost out to a “cash” offer and there were 14 other offers on the same property! Yet another buyer competed with 10 offers. Yes, it is making for a busy January and start to the spring selling season for the Snohomish County Homes Team! 

Snohomish County Statistics as of January 2020

Active Inventory +11% January 2020 vs. January 2019. 1504 available homes came on the market that is up 673 from December.

Pending Transactions +13% January 2020 vs. January 2019/1727 units +458 vs. December

Sold Transactions +12%! January 2020 vs. 2019 /975 homes sold.

Days on Market Snohomish County Active to pending 47 days vs. 49 a year ago.

Median home price in Snohomish County 505,000 +7% last year. Up $21,000 from last month! Our months of inventory has gone up giving more choice for buyers but keeping it a sellers’ market. There is currently 1.43 months of inventory in Snohomish county which is up 12%. In King County there is currently 1.40 months.

Area price and % based on last month (includes new construction

Bothell-$659,000 -2% from last month.

Edmonds/Lynnwood $520,000 +14%.

Everett/Mukilteo $478,000 +11%.

Snohomish/Monroe $510,000 + 25%—– WOW!!

Lake Stevens/Granite Falls $459,995 +18%

Marysville $424,600 +13%

King County Median home prices are $610,000 +3% over last year but down $77k from last month! With an average day on market of 76 days. King County does have a slower percentage growth over last year and days on market is up plus the price point dropped quite a bit over the end of 2019. However, bouncing around monthly depending on inventory and will keep us hopping into 2020.

Here is a snapshot of statistics for all counties under the Northwest Multiple services.