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If you’re ready for home ownership the following tips will help you decide if you’re ready to move forward.

1. Take the time to research the selling prices of the type of home you are considering. Use the “Area Listings” search on my website or give me a call and I’ll provide you with all the information you’ll need to make an informed decision.

2. Decide what you can afford. You can use my mortgage calculator to get an estimate of what your payment will be.

3. Get rough estimate of what you are going to pay in insurance by selecting a property in the community where you would like to live and call to a local insurance representative for an estimate. You will not be required to get the insurance, however you will have a good idea of what you’re payment would be if you buy a home in the area. Just keep in mind that the intricacies and exemptions of the local tax law could produce variances between what you’re currently paying and what you can anticipate paying as a new homeowner.

4. Find out what you’ll be expected to pay in closing costs. You don’t want to ignore the up front cost of deciding on your home. Closing costs will include the lender’s origination fees, the title and settlement fees, taxes as well as prepaid items like homeowners association fees and homeowners insurance

5. Take a really close look at your budget and then decide how a home will fit into it. Fannie Mae suggests that buyers avoid spending over 28% of their cash flow on housing costs. If you go over you run the risk of becoming house poor.

6. Hire a reputable real estate agents in your area about the current real estate climate. Take the time to interview each real estate agent until you find one you can communicate with, that knows the community you want to live in and is knowledgeable about all the ins and outs of home ownership.

7. Always take a look at the bigger picture. Home ownership has always been the American dreams but can be expensive and labor intensive. On the other hand it is a great investment and it is a buyers market. Just look at everything before you jump in. Keep in mind that if you’re buying a fixer upper, costs of plumbing issues and roof repairs can crop up and can cost a pretty penny.

Working with an experience Real Estate Agent will make the home buying process a stress free and enjoyable experience as they walk you through the process. They’ll be able to answer all your questions and help you find the perfect home for your budget.

Sell your homeWith the real estate market being as competitive as it is right now, it’s important to set your home and its appeal above the rest of the homes on the market. All home sellers want their homes to sell for top dollar and quickly. Well, it’s not just luck, the community you live in, or the talents of your real estate agent that will make that happen. It’s all about preparation, staging and sprucing up your home that will make home buyers want to buy it, sooner rather than later, and for the price you’re asking. Here are a few tips on how to prepare your home for sale, turning it into an appealing, dream home for potential home buyers.

1. Less is more – Make sure to get rid of excess furniture, overflow of kitchen appliances, personal photos and knick knacks that can make you home look overcrowded and much smaller than it actually is. A clean, open environment allows the home buyer to imagine what the home will look like filled with their personal possessions.

2. Make your home smell appealing – Making sure the home smells clean and fresh is extremely important when it comes to getting it sold. If the home has an unpleasant odor, it can easily throw home buyers off. The sense of smell is one of the strongest senses we have, so you want to make sure the message received by this sense is a positive one.

3. Classic, not aged – Your home might have been built years ago, but it doesn’t have to look that way. Make sure that the home, its appliances and everything in it looks classic, not worn down. Well maintained, older homes can be more appealing than new one because they have that classic look many find appealing, including lush, mature landscaping in many cases. Make sure that the feeling they experience when they walk into your home is that it is a classic, attractive older home, not old and worn down. This means you’ll need to make sure the appliances are working and up to date, the bathrooms are in good shape and appealing and the carpet and walls show no damage or wear.

4. Family proof it – A large percentage of home buyers are families with children, or couples looking for a home where they can raise a family someday. It’s important to keep that in mind and ask yourself if you would want to raise a family in your home. Is everything child proof? Child proofing the home is often overlooked however, whenever possible, should be considered.

5. No smoking – The smell of cigarette smoke is sure to offend and put off a lot of home buyers. If you’re a smoker, make the effort to get rid of the smell. You’ll need to shampoo the carpeting, wash the walls, baseboards and ceilings. Vinegar in a cleaning solution is great for eliminating the smell of smoke, and even though it has a strong smell initially, it will go away with a little airing out.

6. Light to balance space – Proper lighting is crucial when it comes to getting your home sold. Your home should be illuminated, nicely showing all the positive details so home buyers can appreciate them. A gloomy atmosphere can throw off potential buyers, so add, let’s call it mood lighting, wherever applicable.

7. Plain white walls – Most of us love color, but not necessarily painted on the walls. People have their own ideas about what color a wall should be, so let the home buyer decide. Keep the walls white or another neutral color and they will be more inspired to imagine the possibilities for themselves.

8. Carpet Problems – The carpet is a big part of any home, and nothing can mess up the homes appeal like stained, worn carpet. If it’s just a matter of dirty carpet, hire a professional carpet cleaner for the best results. It the carpet is worn, and you want top dollar for your home, it will be worth the investment to have it replaced.

9. Skeletons in the closet – No matter what is in your closets, clean them out. Closet space is often one of the top requirements of home buyers so you want to show just how roomy your closets are. Home buyers won’t able to appreciate your closet space if they’re stuffed with your belongings.

10. Proper decorative elements – Flowers or a colorful, tasteful accent here and there throughout can add a touch of color and warmth to a home. This is a consideration that adds a beautiful aesthetic without being overbearing.

11. Play to the weather – If it is a sunny and beautiful day outside, open up the windows and let some light and fresh air inside. If it’s dreary and cold out, have a fire going in the fireplace if you have one and create a warm and inviting ambiance.

12. Make it Unique – Potential buyers love a home that has unique features. Make sure to play to your home’s unique strengths like the entertainment sized deck, hot tub, alcoves, upgrades, whatever makes it special.

13. Last but certainly not least, curb appeal is key to getting your home sold. If potential home buyers won’t even get out of their real estate agent’s car because they don’t like the way the exterior of your home looks, you’ll never get them inside.

Third Place books is a is a fun, laid back, and safe place to browse, linger as you read through a good book, get a bite to eat and thoroughly enjoy yourself.  This fantastic Lake Forest Park bookstore also has events for the whole family – follow the link to find out more –  http://www.thirdplacebooks.com/about#sthash.jGZlEgwH.dpuf

The Lake Forest Park Town Center now has more to offer than ever before; it’s the perfect neighborhood shopping center.  If you haven’t been there for a while make it a point to stop by.  It has a lot of the same stores including the Great Harvest Bread, Co, Albertson’s and of course Third Place Books, but now it also is home to Ross (been there awhile), Chocolate Man (awesome Chocolates) and Planet Fitness.

Click here to find out what’s going on at the Lake Forest Park Town Center.

NWMLS, January, 2013. Home buyers around western Washington made offers on 5,314 residences during December, out numbering the 3,857 owners who listed their homes for sale.

The imbalance helped push up prices and further thin the already depleted inventory.

While the expected seasonal slowdown occurred last month, determined buyers were undaunted by sparse inventory and record-breaking rainy days, according to December statistics from Northwest Multiple Listing Service.

This is a unique housing market marked by an unprecedented fourth straight month when pending sales outnumbered new listings.

MLS members tallied 5,267 closed sales during December, outgaining the same month a year ago by 526 transactions for an increase of about 11.1 percent.  The 2012 total of 64,624 closed sales was 14.8 percent higher than the volume reported for 2011.

Brokers expect the housing market rebound to continue, while cautioning sellers to refrain from becoming too aggressive and are expressing hope for “controlled natural growth” to sustain the recovery. They also believe distressed properties, rising rents and re-engaged investors will have an impact on activity for the foreseeable future.

The median price for King County was $342,000, while the average price in King County was $425,000, reflecting a gain of more than 17.5 percent.  Prices rose by double digits in ten of the 21 counties in the Northwest MLS service area.
Prices and the number of multiple offers may be rising in part because of shrinking inventory. At the end of December, there were only 17,718 properties for sale, which compares to 26,639 active listings for the same time a year ago (down 33.5 percent). Months of supply declined to 3.3 months, down from about 5 months of supply for the same period a year ago.

Low unemployment, less inventory, low interest rates and rising rents are among factors that will create a strong housing market in 2013.  The return of first-time buyers who find it is becoming cheaper to own than rent given today’s low, low interest rates!

Your questions regarding these fine properties, your property, other properties or the real estate market in general, are welcomed. I look forward to your call. My direct number is: #206-528-4432 or send me an email at: mpeters@sellingseattle.com. Or go to: www.michaelpeters.net for more photos of great homes.

The Seattle area real estate market is finally gaining momentum after a couple years of sluggish results.  The lower prices coupled with fantastic interest rates has created excitement in the savvy buyers minds.

They are seeing montly payments significantly lower than rents would be for the first time home buyer homes.

Then after you take off the tax savings, buyers again have big smiles on their faces.

This means if you are thinking about buying a new home or selling your current home, you might want to act now because depending on the condition of your home, it can take 2-3 weeks or 2-3 months to prepare you home for market and the prime spring selling season is here.

If you would like a free, no-obligation, strategic pricing  analysis for your home, call 206-528-4432 and find out how you can take advantage of this upswing in the roller coaster housing market.

Investment Opportunity in EverettInvestment Opportunity In South East Everett!!!  Excellent Cash Flow from this great side by side town home duplex located on a quiet Seattle Hill residential cul-de-sac. 2 units, each with 3 bedrooms, 2.5 bath rooms, a large living room with brick fireplace, a private deck, large back yard area, 3 bedrooms and 2 baths on the 2nd floor and each unit has its own 2 car garage.  This unique investment property is located in the convenient South East Everett neighborhood just north of 132nd and just west of Seattle Hill Road.

Click here for more information.

There’s always something going on in Seattle from the Seattle Center to Pike Place Market. Regardless of the weather you can find something in any number of Seattle’s charming communities to do, indoors or out. If it’s a nice, sunny day Pike Place Market is perfect with it’s fun variety of shops, restaurants and night clubs. Besides Pike Place market the Seattle waterfront itself offers stunning views, the Seattle Aquarium, the Odyssey Maritime Discovery Center and the spectacular Myrtle Edwards Park. Got the rainy day blues? Check out Seattle’s best activities.

Click here for more information.

Can you believe it’s almost February?  Well, Third Place Books in Lake Forest Park is the perfect place to kick back and relax, especially during chilling weather.  Their calender for February is brimming with fun things to do and book club get together’s.  Stop by for a bite to eat, good company and great books!

Click here for more information.

Totally Remodeled Mountlake Terrace HomeStunning Reincarnation Of This Classic Mid-Century Modern Daylight Rambler Redesigned For Today’s Active Life Style.  Besides being a great deal and a beautiful home, it’s located in highly sought after Mountlake Terrace.  Interest rates are incredibly low.  ake advantage of the window of opportunity that exists for todays savvy buyers.

Click here for more information.

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