My Newest listing – Pending in 8 hours!

bedroom

This 2003 home in Kent was only active on the market for 8 hours.

I staged the home using the owner’s furniture, used professional photography and after aggressive marketing, I had 1 offer, over full price in 8 hours!

kitchen

Ready to list your home with me?

http://www.zillow.com/homedetails/20128-105th-Ave-SE-Kent-WA-98031/61767203_zpid/

front

Call me to schedule a listing consultation/appointment. (206) 954.1099

-Candice Oftebro – RE/MAX Junction

Home Buying 101: Step 1 – Get Pre-Approved

This is the first post in a series of posts that will take you through the process of buying a home.

1. Get Pre-Approved

Many buyers want to start seeing houses right away, before getting PreApproved. Most of them have great credit, good income to debt ratios, and no real reason to be denied for a loan. So, why is it important to visit with a lender first?

  • There are many other factors involved with a home loan from employment & job type to your tax returns. It is best to visit with them first to make sure there are no hiccups in the process.
  • They will also check to make sure the debts list under your name are actually yours (identity theft!).
  • If you will be using gift funds for your down payment, your lender will help you figure out exactly how it has to be done so there is no delay in processing your loan.
  • Many sellers require that there home is shown only to pre-approved buyers.
  • Make sure we are searching for homes that match your investment criteria so you are not disappointed by settling for a home too far below your means or falling in love with a home that is above your actual approval.

Check out the quick tips below.

STAY LOCAL

Trust us on this one. Local lenders will often have more flexibility which is especially important if something goes awry. We provide our clients with a list of quality lenders who are honest, realistic and communicate well through the process. We will connect you with the best in the business locally.

LIVE WELL

86% of borrowers purchase within 10% of their maximum approval. We don’t necessarily encourage that if it puts a strain on your budget. It is more comfortable throughout the process if you aren’t maxed on downpayment and will be more comfortable after you close if you aren’t maxed on on monthly payments. This is the same advice your grandmother (and Dave Ramsey) would give you.

DON’T CHANGE

Once you are prepared and ready to go, it is important to keep your financial & job situation somewhat frozen until you buy. This ensures that your rate won’t change or that you wouldn’t be disqualified when they check everything a day or two before closing. Definitely don’t buy a new car or do anything that may alter your debt to income ratio. Less obvious items may be prepaying your movers or preorder furniture or appliances to have delivered.

Is It Better to Rent or Buy?

This is such a great tool. You will likely find buying is a much better decision. Decide for yourself!

The choice between buying a home and renting one is among the biggest financial decisions that many adults make. But the costs of buying are more varied and complicated than for renting, making it hard to tell which is a better deal. To help you answer this question, our calculator takes the most important costs associated with buying a house and computes the equivalent monthly rent.

http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2015/06/17/upshot/100000002894612.app.html?smid=fb-nytimes&smtyp=cur&_r=4

“You don’t have to swing hard to hit a home run. If you got the timing, it’ll go.” Yogi Berra.

May was a good time for the housing sector, as several reports came in strong.

New Home Sales hit their highest level in seven years in May, rising 2.2 percent from April to an annualized rate of 546,000. April’s figures were also revised higher to 534,000. Sales of new single-family homes are up nearly 20 percent from May 2014! Existing Home Sales also rose 5.1 percent in May from April.

However, the economy overall isn’t batting as well, as the final reading for first quarter Gross Domestic Product (GDP) showed that economic growth contracted by 0.2 percent, though less severe than the -0.7 percent from the second reading. In addition, the negative reading for the quarter was the fifth time in the six-year recovery that the economy couldn’t produce at least an anemic reading of 1 percent.

Growth in the first quarter was stunted by a negative trade balance due to the stronger dollar, harsh weather and the West Coast port closing. And with inflation still tame, rest assured the Fed will be watching economic reports closely this summer, as they determine when to raise the benchmark Fed Funds Rate (the rate banks charge each other to lend money overnight).

Overseas, the uncertainty surrounding Greece continues. Mortgage Bonds reversed course and moved lower in recent days, in part because signs have pointed to a possible deal. This will be a key story to watch in the next week.

Home loan rates are near 2015 highs, but are still very close to historic lows. If I can answer any questions at all for you or your clients about a home purchase or refinance, please get in touch!

-Candice

Painted brick

I would absolutely love to do this to my house but it would take sooooo long.  If I could get about 100 people to volunteer, I would do it! ;)

But seriously, I really want this on my home. Instead of this rainbow theme however, I think I would do different shades of blue.

Seattle Traffic Update!

Highlights:

June 26 – 28: Multiple Pride Weekend events will close streets on Capitol Hill.

June 26 – 29: Full closure of SR520 Friday night to Monday morning: eastbound lanes closed between I-5 and Bellevue; westbound lanes closed between Bellevue and Montlake Blvd.

June 27: Greenwood Car Show will close Greenwood Ave. N. between N. 90th St. and N. 65th St. Saturday.

June 27: Kenny Chesney and Jason Aldean concert Saturday at CenturyLink Field.

June 27 – 29: W. Emerson St. closed over 15th Ave. W. Saturday morning to Monday morning.

June 28: Seattle Pride Parade will close 4th Ave. between James St. and Denny. Wy. Sunday.

July 1: Construction along the central waterfront pauses for the summer, and businesses reopen.

July 4: Annual Seafair Summer Fourth fireworks show will close streets in neighborhoods around Lake Union next Saturday.

Apartment rents rise as vacancy rates plummet

Jun 24, 2015, 12:48pm PDT Updated Jun 24, 2015, 1:04pm PDT

Rob Smith – Puget Sound Business Journal

The Seattle-area apartment market is booming.

The apartment vacancy rate in King and Snohomish counties has dropped to 4.05 percent, the lowest since Seattle company Apartment Insights Washington began tracking the market 10 years ago.

The Seattle-area apartment market is booming.

Rents, however, are surging. Average rent rose more than 6 percent to $1,408 per unit when compared to the previous quarter. Rents have increased 10.4 percent the past year.

The increase adds to concern that rising costs are pricing out traditional renters, though some data suggests otherwise.

  • — The average rent in Bellevue is now slightly more than $2,000 per month.
  • — At an average of $2,226 per unit, rents in Seattle remain the highest in the region.
  • — Average rents in Des Moines and Edmonds cracked $1,000 per month for the first time.
  • — The Ballard neighborhood has the highest vacancy rate, 17.3 percent.

The report, by Tom Cain, also found that 22,948 units are under construction, 19 percent more than last quarter and 42 percent more than a year ago.

The Seattle company had previously predicted that developers could break a 26-year-old construction record based on projects that have either opened or are under construction with a 2015 completion date, but now says construction delays will prevent that.

Apartment Insights analyzed properties with at least 50 units in King and Snohomish counties.

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