The South Puget Sound Real Estate Market is Staying Hot!

 

The last four residential units I've marketed for sale have all received MULTIPLE OFFERS.  Two of them received MORE THAN 10 OFFERS!  On the flipside, I just helped investor clients of mine acquire an MLS listed home in Tacoma under $200K that bank appraised before closing for $50K higher than what they paid.

 

Yes, you read that right… I know, it sounds crazy but the article below from The Tacoma News Tribune illustrates what's currently going on in this real estate market.   

 

"Hold on, Steve… How are you able to work both sides like that, in what everyone says is such a super hot Seller's market?" I'm glad you asked because the answer is simple. Being a solid Real Estate Broker and pulling off ridiculous sh*t for my clients is what I do…It's a lifestyle, it's not a "gig" or even a "job"… I do this full time, and I've been doing it for almost 14 years through all time great markets & all time bad markets.

 

Lots of rookies, retirees, and job hoppers run to real estate when the newspaper says it's hot.  With a few exceptions, those same people run out of the industry at the first sign of adversity.  In fact, your 2nd Cousin, your favorite neighbor's friend, or a long lost buddy of yours from high school might have just got licensed.  I'm sure you got the cheesy postcard.  Just sayin'…   

OK…Rant over…  Let's talk about noteworthy news and trends in the local market.
 

Seattle has been named by more than a few publications as one of America's hottest real estate markets.  It's up there with San Francisco and New York when it comes to relocating home buyers.  Because the Seattle market has become so tight, real estate in the South Puget Sound area has experienced a noticeable amount of "overflow".

Pierce County & Thurston County have always been more affordable than King County, and they probably always will be.  However, high tech expansion, large corporate movement, big new retail outlets, consistent military activity, and huge national events like the 2015 US Open at Chambers Bay have made the area much more front of mind when people are considering places to live in the Puget Sound region.
 

 

Even with all that, as this year comes to an end, good deals will show themselves. Long time listed and/or overpriced homes will start to come down into a more realistic range. With that, Seller's will seriously consider offers they at first would have thought were "lowball" so they can get out of their places before January, when everyone knows a large amount of new homes for sale will hit the market "fresh".

 

 

So, if you're thinking of selling next year, it could be in your best interest to do something now before those lingering homes for sale start to drop their high prices and a glut of new listings hits the market after the holidays.  I think the amount of offers my clients have received demonstrates that well priced and thoughtfully marketed homes can sell quickly, and for more than list price if handled correctly from the beginning.
 

 

Also, if you're in the market to buy or invest and you're feeling reluctant or nervous about jumping in right now, I suggest calling me to discuss a strategy to take advantage of what might be "lingering" out there.  Or, for that matter, what might be coming up soon. 
 

 

My Windermere firm does more deals than any competing office in this area.  If there's a good option coming to market soon, the odds are good that I'll know about it before the sign goes up.  That's even more true if I know specifically what you're looking for.  I've helped more than a few clients buy homes that worked for them but NEVER saw the open market. 
 

 

Relationships and reputation go a long way in this industry.  They're even more valuable in markets like this.  I'm sure that long lost high school buddy on the postcard will figure that out soon enough.  I just hope you're not the one missing opportunities because they haven't yet…          

 

By Rolf Boone
Tacoma News Tribune
11/5/2015
 

The South Sound housing market roared all summer and now fall is shaping up to be pretty good, too, according to Northwest Multiple Listing Service data released Thursday.

That’s because the data showed a surprisingly strong October, particularly in Thurston County where sales of single-family residences shot up 36 percent from the same month a year ago.

Sales results weren’t that strong in Pierce County last month — sales rose nearly 6 percent in the past year — but the county still sold more than 1,100 single-family residences.

One-thousand or more single-family residences have sold every month in Pierce County since April, the data show.

Although Pierce County didn’t experience a double-digit increase in sales, the picture was brighter for median price, which rose 10.5 percent in the past year. In Thurston County, the median price rose 8.3 percent over the same period, the data show.

Bottom line: It remains a seller’s market.

“It’s a very good time to sell,” said Ken Anderson, managing broker and owner of Coldwell Banker Evergreen Olympic Realty, in a statement. “Owners who are eager to make the next move don’t have to wait six months or until spring to act.”

But prospective buyers, it appears, will still be forced to act quickly because inventory levels also remain low.

Pierce County months of inventory — the number of months it would take to exhaust the current supply of single-family residences for sale — was 2.44 months in October. In Thurston County, it was 2.55 months, the data show.

Six months of inventory is considered a balanced market for buyers and sellers.

In King County, meanwhile, months of inventory was 1.33 months and the median price, $480,000, up 7.3 percent in the past year, the data show.

A closer look at the South Sound single-family residence data:

▪ Pierce County: Sales rose 5.7 percent to 1,126 units from 1,065 units in October 2014. Median price rose 10.5 percent to $255,250 from $231,000 over the same period. Pending sales rose 15 percent to 1,465 units from 1,275 units.

▪ Thurston County: Sales rose 36 percent to 398 units from 292 units in October 2014. Median price rose 8.3 percent to $249,000 from $229,925. Pending sales rose 3.3 percent to 436 units from 422 units.

Read more here: LINK TO ARTICLE

Posted on November 6, 2015 at 3:32 pm
Steve Sloboda | Category: Chambers Bay, Randomness, Real Estate News, Shameless Self Promotion, Suggestions, Technology, Tips, University Place, US Open Golf | Tagged , , , , , , ,

Why Real Estate “Could” Be a Better Investment Than Stocks

Hi….Thanks for taking time to checkout this somewhat timely article I saw today on US News & World Report.  I cut and pasted into my blog to save you from the super annoying video ads that kept running out of nowhere…Man, those vids bug me!  Sorry, I digress….As I was saying,
this piece about why real estate is usually a safe "long term" bet spoke volumes.  With the Stock Market craziness over the last few days, some
of my stockbroker friends have been sending out "Settle down…everything is OK" emails to clients.  That seems like a good time to drop one of my own discussing the "safe" investment real estate can be.  Feel free to call or email if you have questions or would like to discuss some long term investement strategy.  There are quite a few solid investment properties available right now.  You just have to get someone on your team that knows where to look….In case you're wondering…Yes, I know a guy. 
Have a great week…Enjoy!  SS

By Kristin McFarland – US News & World Report

Once you're on track with your financial goals – such as retirement contributions or repaying student loan debt – you may find yourself exploring real estate investments in lieu of the stock market. Buying real estate as an investment can be lucrative, but it's also cash-intensive and carries risks.

As you weigh your options, consider the following points in your analysis.

Risk versus expected returns. Whether putting cash into the market or purchasing real estate, you need to assess the risk versus expected returns. Traditional equity investments are much easier to analyze in this way. You have historical data, and although past performance is not indicative of future results, you have a bit more control over how much risk you're exposed to when deciding what amount to invest, the asset allocation and so on. Investing in single stocks versus an index fund is a calculated risk some are willing to take in search of higher expected returns.

The risks when buying real estate can be much harder to quantify. While there is data available, such as comparable home prices in the area and average rents, unpredictable changes in the market can be costly. When investing in the equity market, your risk of loss is limited to your initial investment. This isn't the case with real estate – you could wind up owing the bank more than the value of your property if the market experiences a downturn, or even due to changes that negatively impact a neighborhood.

For landlords, vacancy and repairs can eat into profits. Once you calculate your expected mortgage, operating costs, taxes and maintenance, how much can you expect to earn in net rental income? The answer for every investor will be different, but for some, the anticipated return will not be worth the risk and effort involved in owning real estate.

Required capital. Virtually anyone can invest in traditional equity assets. Some shares can be very inexpensive and you can often determine the volume as well. The same cannot be said for real estate. To purchase a property, you need to either come up with a down payment yourself, or enlist partners to invest with you. Typically, you need to put down 20 percent for a traditional mortgage, and although various programs can help you to put down a smaller percentage, there are fewer options for investment properties.

The initial cash outlay is what deters many would-be real estate investors, as you could easily spend upwards of $100,000 on a down payment and initial repairs. Furthermore, real estate requires additional capital to maintain the property, often not at the owner's behest. With stocks, you can make a one-time investment or purchase additional shares later, at your discretion.

Taxes. Another aspect to consider when deciding to invest in real estate or the stock market is taxes. If you own property, you will be required to pay property taxes every quarter, based on the assessed value as determined by the city or country. This is included in your mortgage payment. Whether you want to flip the property or hold onto it as a landlord, you will also have to pay tax on the sale or rental proceeds.

There are certain tax benefits unique to owning real estate as a landlord, however. The interest expense on your mortgage is tax deductible, along with operating expenses, property taxes, insurance and depreciation. Exactly how much you can deduct will likely depend on the rental income. In most situations, under the passive activity loss rules, you cannot write off deductions that are more than the rental income, which would generate a loss. Working with a CPA can be very helpful, particularly when investment properties or multiple residences are involved.

Stocks have tax consequences as well; first, you are required to pay a capital gains tax on any profits you made from selling stock. Furthermore, even without a sale, you are also required to pay a tax on any dividends you receive.

Inflation. Real estate can be a potential hedge against inflation as historically, rental rates and home prices rise with inflation. This provides a potential inflation hedge for both your rental income and sale of the property. Since your mortgage payments will not increase with inflation, it offers a benefit over time.

Traditional equity investments are not as directly linked to inflationary measures.
Although prices do tend to rise over time, the market cannot offer the same potential
inflation protection as real estate.

Time. Another factor to consider when choosing to invest in real estate or the stock market is to factor in your time as a cost during the analysis. While you do need to do some research when deciding which funds to buy, you can purchase traditional equity investments in a matter of moments. There is a lot more time required in buying and maintaining a property, as well as managing any improvements. As a Landlord, you
will be on call for the tenants as problems arise. Hiring a property manager is an option, but depending on the size of your property, could eliminate your profit margin.

With the right property, neighborhood location and cash reserves, investing in real estate can be a great option. Many investors are drawn to the ongoing "coupon" payment of rental income, and as a long-term strategy, the ultimate sale of the property can fund a large portion of their retirement. If you're considering whether you should invest in the equity market or buy an investment property, carefully weigh these factors and determine whether your expected income is worth the risk it carries, especially in light of other investment options.
 

Steve Sloboda – Managing Broker – Windermere Real Estate – Professional Partners
stevesloboda.com – 253-988-3120 – sloboda@windermere.com

 

 

Posted on August 25, 2015 at 11:47 am
Steve Sloboda | Category: Chambers Bay, Real Estate News, Shameless Self Promotion, Suggestions, Tips, University Place | Tagged , , , , , , ,

Tickets are on sale for the 2015 US Open at Chambers Bay!

Excitement is building for the US Open Golf Championship being played at Chambers Bay in 2015.  Tickets went on sale to the general public June 9th.  Take a look at the link below for information from King 5 News.

US OPEN TICKET INFO FROM KING 5

DIRECT LINK TO PURCHASE TICKETS FOR THE 2015 US OPEN at CHAMBERS BAY

 

Contact me direct If you'd like information on how to rent your home to US Open spectators or if you're looking for a list of homes available to rent while you're in town for the 2015 US Open at Chambers Bay.

253-988-3120
sloboda@windermere.com

Posted on June 10, 2014 at 4:15 pm
Steve Sloboda | Category: Business Spotlight, Chambers Bay, Real Estate News, Shameless Self Promotion, Suggestions, Tips, University Place, US Open Golf | Tagged , , , , , , , ,

Make 2014 Your Best Year Ever Using These Challenges & Lists

If you're like me, making resolutions is something you try to do every year but they don't last.  This year I decided to challenge myself on a few things rather than "make a resolution".  The link below helped me come up with some fun challenges for myself and my family.  Take a look and see if something catches your eye.  Good luck and may 2014 be your best year ever!!!

 

CLICK HERE FOR ARTICLE

 

 

 

Posted on January 2, 2014 at 3:26 pm
Steve Sloboda | Category: Randomness, Shameless Self Promotion, Suggestions, Tips | Tagged , , , , , , ,

Useful Tips for Selling a House in the Fall!

Fall is upon us!  Soon the leaves will be falling and the days will be shorter.  The change of the seasons is always a good time to go over some home maintenance items that may need attention.  Checklists are my favorite way to stay on top of these potential problems.  Hopefully there are some things listed here that will be helpful to you.

 

– Inspect your furnace or heat pump to ensure that it can achieve maximum efficiency

– Check to make sure your thermostat works properly

– Schedule to have your chimney serviced and cleaned

– Clean your gutters and downspouts throughout the season

– Repair and window cracks or holes in weather stripping or caulking.

– Check your crawlspace for flooding after the first long rainfall

– Make sure you have new batteries in all flashlights and you have a specific place to keep them.

– Have your lawn irrigation system professionally drained and winterized

– Make sure your attic and crawlspaces have adequate insulation

– Clean out your bathroom fan

– Test all smoke and carbon monoxide detectors

– Make sure you have at least one fire extinguisher on each floor of the house and in the garage

– Make a fire escape plan for your house and take time to review it with all family members

– Disconnect garden hoses and drain water still in faucets

 

Paying attention to these items will help prevent costly and/or emergency repairs and will allow you piece of mind as the weather changes.

 

Steve Sloboda is a Managing Broker & Premier Associate with Windermere Real Estate in University Place, WA.

 

 

         

 

Posted on October 31, 2013 at 1:31 pm
Steve Sloboda | Category: Real Estate News, Shameless Self Promotion, Suggestions, Tips | Tagged , , , , , ,

Want to Sell Your Home in The Fall? Here Are Some Helpful Tips to Consider.

Want to Sell Your House This Fall?

 

If you're looking to sell your home this Fall you'll want to do everything you can to make your house look its best. Contrary to popular belief, Fall can actually be a great time to sell.  Keep these tips in mind and you're likely to achieve positive results:

  • Curb appeal. A home shopper's first impression is everything. The moment they pull up to the curb, they'll make an instant judgment. You'll want to be sure it's positive. You can begin by making sure leaves are raked, and your shrubs and bushes are pruned.  Hang a festive fall wreath on your door.
  • Make sure your walkway is free of leaves and debris.
  • The Northwest is rainy…Be sure you have a good doormat so visitors can wipe their feet and not traipse mud and water through the house.
  • Make sure gutters are free from debris and drain properly.
  • Keep the house cozy. Entering a cold house could leave an unfavorable impression. Instead, set the thermostat at a comfortable temperature.
  • Make sure the back yard and your roof aren't covered in leaves.
  • Make sure your windows are sparkling clean.
  • Keep wall colors neutral and light. A light yellow or beige will make the room feel cooler than a brick red or dark taupe.
  • Let the light in. Open blinds and curtains so plenty of light can brighten up the home's interior.
  • And, just like any other time of year, get rid of the clutter throughout your house. And get rid of any odors that might be a distraction.
Finally, if you're selling your home during the fall, there's nothing more inviting to a potential home buyer than the aroma of a freshly baked apple pie!
 
– Steve Sloboda is a Managing Broker and Premier Associate at Windermere Real Estate – Professional Partners in University Place, WA
 
Don't forget to like my Facebook Real Estate page.  Click here to make that happen.
 
 

 

Posted on September 26, 2013 at 10:48 am
Steve Sloboda | Category: Funky Houses, Randomness, Real Estate News, Suggestions, Tips, Uncategorized, University Place | Tagged , , , , , , , ,

Sold: University Place’s First Million Dollar Listing of 2013

University Place, WA, June 27, 2013:

Steve Sloboda of Windermere Real Estate – Professional Partners in University Place has closed University Place's first million dollar listing of 2013. Only the fifth residential property in University Place city limits to sell for more than a million dollars since 2008, this magnificent home located in the gated neighborhood of Augusta lasted only five days on the market.

"Homes like this with a rare combination of size, location, and elegance don't often become available" said Steve Sloboda. "In a real estate market like we're currently experiencing, even luxury homes can sell fast if they're priced right and marketed correctly."

The residence checks in at 5822 square feet with five bedrooms and five bathrooms. It's situated on a 1.5 acre lot above Chambers Creek. Features include a temperature controlled wine cellar, a master suite with separate sauna, a billiards room, and a commercial quality HVAC system. The new owners, also represented by Windermere, are already residents of University Place.

 

 

  •  Steve Sloboda is an award winning Residential Real Estate Broker with Windermere Real Estate – Professional Partners in University Place. He was voted "Best Real Estate Agent" by readers of South Sound Magazine and is one of only two Windermere Premier Associate Agents in Pierce County. The Windermere Premier Program is specialized to luxury homes priced $700,000 or higher.

 

  •  University Place is located in Pierce County, Washington. It's home to beautiful parks, highly rated schools, wonderful views, and Chambers Bay Golf Course – Host of the 2015 US Open Golf Tournament.

 

Contact Information:

 

Steve Sloboda Windermere Real Estate – Professional Partners
2700 Bridgeport Way West, Suite F University Place, WA 98466

253-988-3120
sloboda@windermere.com
stevesloboda.com

 

 

Posted on June 28, 2013 at 11:15 am
Steve Sloboda | Category: Chambers Bay, Real Estate News, Recognition, Shameless Self Promotion, University Place, US Open Golf | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Cole Vukich is “The Toughest Kid I Know”

Sometimes we hear stories about people doing amazing things and it gets us a little inspired.  Sometimes we hear stories about people overcoming obstacles or beating the odds and that gets us a little inspired.  And sometimes, you get placed in the presence of people that are doing those amazing things while overcoming those obstacles, and without any thought of not being just "what they do".  It's being in the presence of those people where you can be inspired to your inner core!  That's how my family and I feel about the Vukich Family, and more specifically, Mr. Cole Vukich! 

We were lucky to meet the Vukich family through the University Place youth sports program when Cole and his twin brother Case were placed on the Tee-Ball team I coached the spring before the kids started school together.  I'd heard about Cole and the cancer fight he'd been dealing with since the age of two.  His story had struck a chord with me because I'd lost my Dad to a similar type of cancer in 1994.  Knowing what my Dad went through in the last years of his life made Cole's story as a kid even more amazing.

The first day of practice I went out there knowing Cole was on the team but we'd yet had opportunity to meet.  I scanned the group of typical rambuncious four year olds in front of me looking for the "kid with cancer" but couldn't find him.  "Is he here?" I thought as I asked the kids to tell me their names.  As we went down the list I heard this rather outgoing little guy say "Cole" when asked his name.  I thought no way is this the kid I'd heard about but sure enough, that kiddo, different from nobody standing there, was him.  It was then that I realized I was in the presence of something a little different. 

If you didn't know already, you flat out couldn't walk up to my team and pick out the "kid with cancer".  You know why?  It's because we don't have a kid with cancer.  We have Cole, and he just happens to be the kid kicking Leukemia's butt!  That surely doesn't define him though.  He's as crazy, or crazier than any kid I know.  He's as happy, or happier than any kid I know. And he's just as athletic as any kid I know.  Hearing about what he deals with on a daily basis no doubt makes him "the toughest kid I know".  I tell him all the time he's the toughest kid I know, and the smile he gives back is enough to inspire me like nothing I've ever been around.

The stories over the last couple years are pretty awesome and the stories yet to come are sure to be even better.  The next time we cross paths just ask and I'll share a couple with you.  In the meantime, take a look at this article from the Tacoma News Tribune's front page.  It talks about his Dad doing the Firefighter's Stair Climb to raise money for the Leukemia/Lymphoma Society.  That's a great event and I highly recommend you donate to the cause.  However, the real story here is one of inspiration and how one kid's blind toughness can inspire others to do everything they can to be their best all the time.  Thanks Cole Vukich, and the Vukich family.  It's a true honor to have your presence in our lives. 

Click here for the News Tribune article: http://goo.gl/0We1d

 

Click here to donate to the Firefighter's Stair Climb event:  http://goo.gl/27q09  

 

Posted on March 2, 2013 at 3:45 pm
Steve Sloboda | Category: Memories, Randomness, Recognition, Schools, Uncategorized, University Place | Tagged , , , , , , , , ,

Tacoma Man Plays “Taps” Nightly…

I stumbled across this story today and felt it necessary to share.  People like this make the world around them better.  It amazes me how 24 notes on a trumpet can stir about so much emotion.

Take a look:

http://goo.gl/CMnqW

Have a great day!

 

SS

Posted on October 30, 2012 at 8:04 pm
Steve Sloboda | Category: Memories, Randomness, Recognition, Videos | Tagged , , , , , ,

Jon Kitna Does Things Right

In 1997 I started working in ticket sales for the Seattle Seahawks.  It was my dream job (at the time) and everything about it was pretty much awesome.  One of the coolest coincidences was the Seahawks acquisition of Jon Kitna from Tacoma's Lincoln High School.  Jon had starred at baseball and football at Lincoln then went on to a great career at Central Washington University.  If not for a chance meeting with Coach Dennis Erickson, whose son was also a student at CWU, that would have been the end of it and Jon would have gone on to a teaching career with some football coaching on the side.

That wasn't the end of it though.  Coach "E" saw Jon play and decided he needed a "shot" at the NFL.  He had an NFL body and the mind of a mathematician.  That combination is rare, so a chance he got.  First the practice squad, then the NFL Europe where he ripped it up for the Barcelona Dragons.  From there, Jon made the active Seahawks roster and actually started quite a few games while battling Hall of Famer (and Husky Legend) Warren Moon for playing time.

One of my favorite things about working for the Seahawks was the fun interaction I experienced with Jon.  I was sales guy and he was a practice squad player turned NFL starter….That didn't matter though.  We were both kids from Tacoma walking through NFL halls and absolutely loving it.  There were more than a few times when we talked about the old neighborhood and how cool it was to represent our home town together.  Jon knew that he could have been making ticket sales calls like the other former college athletes that were in my department.  He was living the dream…And I was happy to be witnessing it first hand.

Then came Mike Holmgren and the fit for Jon wasn't right.  Jon signed with Cincinnati and went on to play with Detroit and Dallas….15 years in the NFL!  While playing pro football Jon never lost sight of his first dream….Teaching math and coaching high school football.  Last year, when his career finally came to end, Jon immediately jumped into the "dream" career he always wanted.  A month into his "retirement" Jon started teaching and coaching at his alma mater, Lincoln High School.

It really is a story worthy of front page news.  He doesn't have to be there.  He doesn't need to be there.  He's chosen to be there with intent to make a true difference.  It's great when pro athletes make appearances at schools and hospitals to lift spirits and sign autographs.  What Jon is doing at Lincoln is amazing, inspiring, and absolutely fantastic.  It's more than an appearance, it's immersion in the community.  To him, it's what seems right.

There have been nice articles written locally but this national one I've linked below really tells the story well.  There is a lot more to be written about Jon's journey but the start is something pretty legendary already.  Coach Kitna is doing things right.  Stay tuned…

http://goo.gl/tA7UC

 

 

Posted on September 21, 2012 at 10:36 am
Steve Sloboda | Category: Football, Memories, Recognition, Schools, Videos | Tagged , , , , ,