Tag Archives: Seattle

BUY NOW! Interest rates are down….

For the Week Ending March 29, 2019

Check out the latest forecasts!

Global economic concerns have sent bond prices soaring this week as investors move to safety. Improved bond prices have helped bring mortgage rates lower.

The 4th quarter GDP number was reduced from 2.6% to 2.2%, signaling economic growth slowed even more than was initially reported.

Consumer confidence slumped in March, missing forecasts. This was the 4th decline in 5 months and could contribute to slowing the economy.

Housing starts fell 8.7% in February, the most in 8 months. Construction of single-family homes dropped to more than a 1-1/2-year low.

Home prices, however, continued to rise in January. Nationally, prices rose 4.3% year-over-year, which is near the long-term average pace.

Despite lower mortgage rates, pending home sales dropped 1% in February compared with January. Further rate drops in March could bring more sales.

Typical Steps when writing an offer

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1. Find a home you like  – work with your Realtor to find a home that fits your specific needs and desires.
2. Run comps – Your realtor will run comparables to make sure the price is justified based on other homes in the area. A good Realtor knows how appraisers evaluate value which is critical to getting a great deal.
3. Make an offer – you will need a pre-approval letter from a lender  to make an offer (I have referrals if you need!) AND you will need to put earnest money down as collateral which is typically 3% of the home’s offer price. This shows you have “skin in the game,” and allows the seller to feel comfortable taking it of the market for you to continue your investigation. Once your offer is accepted, you have 2 days (excluding weekends) to get your money to escrow. 
Most offers, unless it’s a competitive situation, have 3 ways to protect your earnest money. You can get your earnest money back…
  • If you are dissatisfied with the inspection OR even get cold feet before the inspection timeline is over.
  • If the property doesn’t appraise at or above value.
  • If the seller can’t pass on clear title – they have liens.
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4. Do an inspection – most of the time I have a 4 day inspection window (real estate doesn’t count weekends if the timeline is 5 days or less).
The inspection contingency allows you to…
  • walk away entirely for any reason at all and get your earnest money back
  • accept the home as-is
  • negotiate based on findings

Inspections run about $600 for the home itself, and if there is a sewer line, you should get that inspected also which is about $285.

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5. Lender orders appraisal – the lender orders your appraisal to ensure the home is worth what you are paying so if you default and the home goes back to the bank, they are holding something of value. If it doesn’t appraise you have 3 options.
  • The seller can lower the price to the appraised value
  • You – the buyer – can make up the difference between the offer price and the low appraised value in cash
  • You both can’t agree and you get your earnest money back and walk away
I’m also including a title contingency which means, if they have liens on the property, you can walk away if they can’t clear the liens. 
6. Work with title and escrow and lender to get all your docs they need.
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7. Close and get keys! This typically happens about 30 days after you get under mutual acceptance. THIS IS A BIG CONGRATULATORY MOMENT!

Alaskan Way Viaduct Replacement Program News

Alaskan Way Viaduct Replacement Program header

Jan. 8, 2019

In this issue:

  • Three-week #Realign99 closure begins Friday at 10 p.m.
  • Get your free tickets for walking on the viaduct and in the new tunnel
  • New video: why tunnels are safer in an earthquake

Three-week #Realign99 highway closure begins Friday at 10 p.m.

Are you ready? The full closure of SR 99 through downtown Seattle begins at 10 p.m. this Friday, Jan. 11. Crews will close SR 99 from South Spokane Street to the south end of the Battery Street Tunnel. The closure is expected to last about three weeks while crews build the new alignment of SR 99 into the new SR 99 tunnel.

The 90,000 vehicles that use the viaduct every day will need to find a different way to travel and we anticipate significant traffic congestion throughout the Puget Sound region.

WSDOT and its partner agencies are encouraging everyone to do their part. Inspiration for how you might be able to alter your travel is available online, along with resources to help you plan your commute. You can also sign up for traffic alerts so you’re always in the know about traffic conditions before heading out the door.

When SR 99 reopens, the highway will run through the new SR 99 tunnel. We created a four-part video series that explains how the tunnel and its ramps will work.

Questions? Contact our 24-hour program hotline (1-888-AWV-LINE (298-5463) or email us at viaduct@wsdot.wa.gov. Regular updates about the program are available on our website and on Twitter by following @BerthaDigsSR99.

Your last chance to walk on the viaduct is Feb. 2-3

The SR 99 Grand Opening celebration is less than 30 days away so if you haven’t already, get your free ticket today! The first few time slots for the viaduct-tunnel combo tickets are already sold out, but there are still times available later in the afternoon. Those who register ahead of time will gain entry priority.

Bookended by a fun run and bike ride, the weekend festivities also include a ribbon cutting, an art festival on the viaduct to celebrate the future waterfront, a public walk through in the new SR 99 tunnel, and interactive science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) activities at the tunnel’s portals. Find more event details at www.99stepforward.com.

Please also note that the festival will temporarily close local streets near both ends of the tunnel. We will be posting details about these closures in the coming week so stay tuned.

Earthquake video: We’re making SR 99 safer by putting it underground

Running SR 99 through a tunnel instead of the viaduct means it will be much safer in the event of an earthquake. Our new video dives into the engineering behind these facts.

Alaskan Way Viaduct Replacement Program 
Web: www.alaskanwayviaduct.org 
Email: viaduct@wsdot.wa.gov
Phone: 1-888-AWV-LINE
Twitter: @BerthaDigsSR99

New on-street parking rates are coming to Seattle neighborhoods. Here’s what you’ll pay

The adjustments are being made throughout Seattle’s 34 paid parking areas, after an annual analysis of city parking data.

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Street parking rates are changing again in Seattle, with some going up and some going down.

The rate adjustments are being made throughout Seattle’s 34 paid parking areas, after an annual analysis of city parking data.

These areas, which contain about 12,000 on-street paid parking spaces, were evaluated for how full they were during morning, afternoon and evening hours on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays in mostly March and April of this year.

 Traffic Lab is a Seattle Times project that digs into the region’s thorny transportation issues, spotlights promising approaches to easing gridlock, and helps readers find the best ways to get around. It is funded with the help of community sponsors Alaska Airlines, CenturyLink, Kemper Development Co., NHL Seattle, PEMCO Mutual Insurance Company, Sabey Corp., Seattle Children’s hospital and Ste. Michelle Wine Estates. Seattle Times editors and reporters operate independently of our funders and maintain editorial control over Traffic Lab content.

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The city aims to keep parking occupancy — the percentage of spots filled with cars — in a target range of 70 to 85 percent, leaving one to two open spaces available per block.

The city then makes pricing changes based on supply and demand: If rates are too high, not enough people are parking and spaces sit empty; if rates are too low, too many people try to park and it becomes harder for those who need a space to find one.

Areas above or below target are adjusted by 50-cent increments up to a maximum of $5 per hour. Areas within 5 percent of target are placed on a “watch list,” with rate changes deferred for one year.

All rate changes will be implemented this fall, according to the analysis. SDOT plans to collect data in spring 2019 to inform rate changes for fall 2019.

The highest rates will be in the downtown core and Pioneer Square, where prices will increase to $5 per hour between 11 a.m. and 6 p.m.

Seattle is expected to collect $39.4 million in street-parking revenue this year, said SDOT spokeswoman Mafara Hobson.

Here are a few of the changes being planned.

Evening parking

Based on 2017 data, SDOT extended paid parking hours from 8 p.m. until 10 p.m. in Capitol Hill and the Pike-Pine paid parking zones.

This year, SDOT will increase rates to $3.50 an hour in the evening in the southern portion of Capitol Hill and the Pike-Pine area.

“Charging for parking during the late evening is intended to improve access and provide more reliable parking availability for people visiting Capitol Hill for restaurants, retail, and night life,” according to a city report on the parking analysis.

SDOT will also increase rates to $3 from $2.50 in the Ballard core in the evening and consider extending paid parking to 10 p.m.

First and Cherry Hill

The analysis spotlighted First Hill and the Cherry Hill hospital district, which were identified as having “high rates of vehicles not subject to payment.”

In Cherry Hill, many drivers display state-issued disabled parking permits in their vehicle windows.

Under Washington state law, vehicles with a valid disabled permit can park on the street for free and for longer than the posted time limits.

Raising rates is unlikely to improve parking availability, the analysis found. Instead, SDOT is considering creating two new sections of paid on-street parking near medical offices, adding new designated spaces for vehicles with disabled permits, and restricting all on-street paid parking spaces in the Cherry Hill area to 4-hour parking.

On First Hill, many vehicles also display disabled parking permits or use SDOT-issued Restricted Parking Zone (RPZ) permits.

Vehicles with RPZ permits for the area can park on certain blocks in First Hill at no cost and for up to 72 hours.

Parking occupancy in these areas was at times measured above 100 percent — meaning more cars were parked than space was supposed to allow. Vehicles with RPZ permits occupied most spaces.

The agency will reassess blocks that allow RPZ parking, create designated spaces for people with disabled permits, add a 4-hour time limit, and study ways to improve access near hospitals.

Columbia City

In late 2017, SDOT implemented paid parking, load zones, disabled parking, unpaid time limits and RPZ spaces in Columbia City.

Prior to implementation, “parking on commercial streets in Columbia City was completely full for much of the day. Following implementation, “drivers are much more likely to find a space,” the report found. Rates will increase from $1 an hour to $1.50 an hour between 5 p.m. and 8 p.m.

The Real Estate Journey

After 2.5 years as an Executive Recruiter, I have decided to make my break in the Real Estate world.  I am extremely ambitious, hungry for face to face communication, and love meeting to people and seeing fantastic properties!headshotfor sale sign

I started with RE/MAX in January of this year.  This blog is intended to tell you what it takes to become a real estate agent, and keep you informed on the Seattle/Bellevue/Eastside markets.

You can find my webpage at http://www.brokercandice.com or e-mail me at: brokercandice@gmail.com