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 , , , , , , ,

Coolest Day Ever at Chambers Bay (without playing golf)

Pretty much the best day ever on Tuesday.  I was lucky enough to be invited by a friend to attend a special "Media Preview Day" for the 2015 US Open Golf Championship at Chambers Bay Golf Course.  The event was hosted by the USGA with all the local tournament directors and national media representatives.  We started the morning with a continental breakfast and an informational presentation by Danny Sink who is the US Open Tournament Director here at Chambers Bay.

After the presentation we all headed out to the course for a guided tour.  We hit six or seven points on the course to learn about changes being made, special viewing locations, and inside information about how tournament preperations are coming along.  One of the highlights was seeing the US Open Tournament Trophy being placed throughout the course for photo opportunities.  Well, I though that was the highlight until what happened after lunch.

From the tour we headed up for a finishing presentation and a very nice lunch in the tent overlooking the Golf Course and the beautiful Puget Sound and Olympic Mountains.  At lunch we were told to hang out for a special surprise on it's way.  That surprise turned out to be the real Super Bowl Trophy from the recent Seattle Seahawks victory in Super Bowl 48!  Wow!  Now we're talking…How cool is this?  I was lucky enough to attend the Super Bowl and I've seen pictures of some of my friends holding the trophy but I haven't yet been able to be in it's presence.  It's cooler than I thought it would be.

An old buddy of mine from my time working for the team Lane Gammel of the Seahawks Media Department was the "Lombardi Keeper".  He was pretty good at his job.  We followed the thing all over the course for photo ops w/ the maintenance staff, the USGA guys, and most of the media there.  One thing stayed consistent….Nobody touched the trophy.  I got a few great shots with both trophies but the one I wanted hadn't happened.  I had to have it in my hands!  Like I said earlier, I'd seen too many of my friends in position to hold it.  I had to make it happen.

So, cut to the finish.  The day was coming to and end and we headed up to the Clubhouse.  When most people moved along I nicely asked my old friend if I could "hold the trophy".  He said I could and showed me where to touch it so my grubby hands didn't mess it up.  I grabbed it and perched it up and had another friend take what will no be my favorite picture ever!

It was a great day out at Chambers Bay.  I was able to connect with some old friends and make some new ones.  I had opportunity to talk about chambersbayhousing.com and what we are doing with private home rentals for the tournament.  Special thanks to Chris Johnson for the invite.  I'll be your caddy any day.  Also, a big thanks to Lane Gammel…Thanks for allowing me the chance to hold that iconic trophy…  Wow!

 

 

 

 

Posted on October 2, 2014 at 10:49 am
Steve Sloboda | Category: Chambers Bay, Football, Memories, Shameless Self Promotion, University Place, US Open Golf | Tagged , , , , , , , , , ,

The US Open Home Rental Page We Started Got Some Pub Today

Pretty cool article in today's Tacoma News Tribune referencing our recently launched 2015 US Open Housing Website www.ChambersBayHousing.com.  It was nice to see my comments were in context and there wasn't much in need of correction.  That isn't always the case, so seeing it in place was refreshing.  If you haven't seen the article it's linked HERE.

If you want to see the actual 2015 US Open at Chambers Bay House rental webpage we've setup click HERE.  As always, feel free to call me direct if you have questions or just want to talk golf, sports, local news, etc.  I'm not one to shy away from a phone call.  253-988-3120 is my number.

Thanks for taking time to read this.

 

Posted on August 6, 2014 at 2:30 pm
Steve Sloboda | Category: Chambers Bay, Movie Quotes, Randomness, Recognition, Shameless Self Promotion, 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 , , , , , ,

Calling All Stat Freaks & Seamheads! The 2012 NWMLS Market Recap is Here!

People ask me all the time; "Hey, How's the market?"  "Are things picking up?"  "Are we out of the down real estate market?"…  I tend to always answer that things are "UNBELIEVABLE" because really, that covers the market no matter what's going on.  It's a little trick I learned from Tom Hopkins in his book "How to Master the Art of Listing & Selling Real Estate".  It's a book so old it's basically written in hieroglyphics.  Even though it's old, that trick has stood the test of time…
 
The Urban Dictionary defines the word "seamhead" as an avid baseball fanatic, especially one who frequently utilizes statistical analysis and urges others to do the same.
 
I don't consider myself to be a seamhead even though a lot of people that know me well would diagaree.  That said, I do like pretty pictures with lots of colors, graphs, and quick recaps of extensive information.  In this entry I will attempt to convey some valuable information in both formats.
 
First, the quick recap:
 

Kirkland, WA, January 17, 2013 – Members of Northwest Multiple Listing Service tallied 64,624 closed sales of single family homes and condominiums during 2012, improving on 2011’s volume by 8,332 transaction for a gain of nearly 15 percent.

Last year’s completed sales included 55,699 single family homes and 8,925 condominiums. Together, these sales were valued at more than $19.9 billion, which compares to the previous year’s total of around $16.7 billion (up nearly 19.6 percent).

Median prices area-wide increased by $10,000 (about 4.3 percent), rising from $235,000 to $245,000, although not all areas reported gains. Mason, Snohomish and King counties reported the healthiest jumps.

Prices on single family homes rose, while condo prices fell. The median price for single family homes that sold last year was $255,000 across the 21 counties, improving on the previous year by 8.5 percent. King County claimed the highest median prices for single family homes ($365,000), while the most affordably priced homes – based on 2012 median prices – were located in Pacific County ($111,000).

Condo prices declined about 2.7 percent, with the area-wide median price falling from $180,000 in 2011 to $175,200 for last year’s sales.

Inventory also shrunk from 2011 levels year as a result of stronger sales and fewer new listings. Over the course of the year, brokers added 10,071 fewer new listings to the Northwest MLS database when compared to 2011 for a drop of 9.9 percent.

In its annual statistical summary report for its 20,000-plus brokers, the multiple listing service examined various indicators of activity. Among the findings:

  • Single family homes accounted for about 86 percent of the sales volume as measured by units, and nearly 90 percent of the dollar volume.
  • About 40 percent of last year’s sales were for homes in King County.
  • About half the homes that sold last year (48.8 percent) had 3 bedrooms, while more than three-fourths of condos (77 percent) had 2 or fewer bedrooms.
  • Last year’s sales included 7,710 newly built single family homes and 930 newly built condominiums. Of this new construction component, new condos fetched a higher price ($331,888) than newly built single family homes, which had a median sales price of $299,950.
  • Northwest MLS brokers reported 1,254 sales with prices of $1 million or more, including 1,116 single family homes and 138 condominiums. More than half the top-end homes were located in Eastside communities, including Bellevue, Kirkland, Mercer Island and Sammamish.
  • The highest priced single family home in the MLS system that sold last year was on Mercer Island (with a selling price of $21.625 million), while the most expensive condo ($4.25 million) was a penthouse in a downtown Seattle high-rise.
  • Northwest MLS members reported 93,778 pending sales (mutually accepted offers) during 2012. That marked an increase of about 15.6 percent from 2011 when members logged 81,109 pending sales. (Note: Not all pending sales become closed transactions. Failed home inspections, mortgage loan rejections, low appraisals and contract contingencies are among many factors that cause transactions to be cancelled.)
  • The pace of sales as measured by “months supply” (an estimate of how long it would take for all inventory of active listings to sell at the current pace assuming no new inventory is added) showed a system-wide total of 3.15 months, which compares to a figure of 5.02 months for 2011.  Based on this barometer, both King and Snohomish counties averaged less than two months of supply during 2012. (Analysts consider a supply of 3-to-6 months to be a balanced market, meaning the market favors neither buyers nor sellers.)

Northwest Multiple Listing Service, owned by its member real estate firms, is the largest full-service MLS in the Northwest. Its membership includes more than 20,000 real estate brokers. The organization, based in Kirkland, Wash., currently serves 21 counties in Washington state.

Are you still with me?  If so, Here's the complete report……All 37 pages of it.  Read and enjoy!  As always, I'm here if you'd like some of this information broken down into details.  Don't hesitate to drop me a line….

 
 
 
 
Posted on February 4, 2013 at 1:02 pm
Steve Sloboda | Category: Memories, Randomness, Real Estate News, Shameless Self Promotion | Tagged , , , , , , , , ,

48 Room Mansion For Sale w/ No Bathrooms! Huh? What?

My new obsession with HBO’s “Game of Thrones” made it so I had to share this.

One of Britain’s most historic country mansions has gone on the market for the bargain price of $3.8 million. Not bad considering the British government bought it just eight years ago and spent $6 million dollars renovating it. You’ll have to live without bathrooms though because this palace is missing its ‘throne room.’  The whole story is here.

Just more proof that buyers want updated baths! I hope you’re having a great day – Let me know if you need anything.

 

Talk to the Hand

The King Slayer

Posted on May 31, 2012 at 4:42 pm
Steve Sloboda | Category: Funky Houses, Randomness, Real Estate News, Shameless Self Promotion | Tagged , , , , , , ,

Dumpster or Deluxe One-Room Home? You Decide.

Would you live in a dumpster?  This one has hardwood floors and stainless steel appliances.  No joke!

Here are some other unusual homes.  Don’t miss the one in Pullman made from used car parts.  Rumor has it the President of WSU is interested.  He said it would be an upgrade from campus…Kidding, of course.  (Go Dawgs)

 

Posted on March 22, 2012 at 5:09 pm
Steve Sloboda | Category: Funky Houses, Randomness, Real Estate News, Videos | Tagged , , , , , , , , ,

This Dude Says “Buy Now” & He Knows What He’s Talkin’ ‘Bout…

So there’s this guy named John R. Talbott.  He seems like a pretty smart dude.  His bio says he’s a bestselling author and former Goldman Sachs Investment Banker.  He wrote a book in 2006 called “Sell Now! The End of the Housing Bubble”.  That book basically said the housing market was gonna crash and it was in your best interest to get your real estate sold before it lost serious value.  As we know now, he was right.

Anyway, now the guy has seriously changed his tune.  Recently he penned an article that was featured on the Huffington Post entitled “Homes – Buy Now!”.  The article got me thinking…  I know, crazy right?  My peeps are always asking how the real estate market is flowing and what the latest trends are showing.  This seems as good a time as any to share the opinion of a noted expert.  Take a look and let me know your thoughts…  If it gets you jacked up, let me know and we’ll go find a place that can make you some money short term or long…

Enjoy- SS

John R. Talbott
John R. Talbott
Author, “How I Predicted the Global Economic Crisis: The Most Amazing Book You’ll Never Read”
HOMES – Buy Now!

I have been waiting for more than five years to offer this advice. It is now time in most cities across the country to buy a new home or refinance your existing home with thirty-year fixed rate mortgage debt. And this from the author of The Coming Crash in the Housing Market published in 2003 and my 2006 book, Sell Now! The End of the Housing Bubble. Let me explain why.

Home Prices Relative to Peak Prices During Bubble
Home prices are off anywhere from 10% to more than 60% in cities across the country. There is no reason to believe that prices were “fair” during the bubble as we have seen they were largely caused by loose and aggressive lending by banks and non-banks. But, it is always better to buy at a discount rather than at a historical peak, and these seem like awfully big discounts. And by my calculations, in most cities across the country, real prices adjusted for inflation have just about come into line with where prices were in 1997, before all this crazy bank lending started, so there should be little additional downside risk by buying today. There are still some neighborhoods across the country that have not seen very dramatic declines in price, many of them very wealthy and expensive enclaves, but given the distribution of incomes lately heavily weighed toward the wealthy, these areas may never see a really large home price decline.

Home Prices Relative to Construction Costs or Replacement Costs
Homes in many cities across the country are now selling for as little as $60 to $70 a square foot. Depending on the quality of construction and the underlying land value, this represents a 50% to 65% discount to the costs you would incur if you tried to build a similar home today in these cities. While there is no guarantee that there will be a strong rental market in the short run, in the long run it just seems to make sense to buy if you can acquire assets at half or less of the cost of building them.

Home Prices Relative to Incomes and Rents
During the peak years of the housing bubble, entire cities like San Diego were seeing their homes priced on average at 11 times the area’s median family income. Such prices financed primarily with debt are by definition unsustainable. Now, because banks have pulled back on their lending formulas, homes in many cities are changing hands at three to four times average family incomes. Similarly, at the peak, houses traded at such large multiples of possible rents that it made the projects uneconomic from the start. Now, with homes trading at more reasonable multiples of rents, houses and condos can be purchased that are immediately cash flow positive in year one and enjoy all the upside of any appreciation that will occur as inflation returns.

Home Prices in Real Terms, Not US Dollar Terms
We still talk about home prices in dollar terms, which is silly because the dollar has lost 98% of its purchasing power relative to a more stable asset like gold over the last fifty years. If instead of pricing houses in dollars, we look and see what a home would cost in ounces of gold, we see that houses today are a real bargain. As a matter of fact, this graph shows that average homes, measured in the number of gold ounces it would take to buy them are now trading at forty year historical lows.

 

2011-12-20-Screenshot20111220at3.24.35PM.png

You might argue that this is because gold is priced highly today. I would argue that gold’s purchasing power has changed very little over time, it is the dollar that is depreciating and thus giving the appearance that the price of gold is rising. Actually, gold is quite stable relative to other assets and commodities and it is the dollar that is highly volatile and declining in value due to the US funding its deficits by printing dollars.

The Real Bubble – US Treasuries and Future Inflation
The real bubble out there is longer US Treasuries and 30-year fixed rate mortgages for homebuyers. With US debt equal to its GDP and equal to more than four times our government’s total tax revenues and with annual deficits of $1.3 trillion and growing, it is amazing to me that people will lend to the US for thirty years for less than 3.0% a year. Even more amazing is that individual homeowners can borrow at 4.0% (around 3% after tax) for thirty years on a fixed rate basis, some 300 basis points better than Italy which has a lot more people and makes much better shoes. Homes may not appreciate greatly in real terms over the next twenty years, but they don’t have to if inflation comes back, which is the only way the US and Europe are going to get out from under the huge debts on their countries and their banks. You may not make a lot in real terms on the house, but if inflation returns, you could make a killing on your investment as your thirty year debt becomes worth less and less in real terms. Run the numbers, but if inflation and interest rates go back to say, 7% to 8%, you could easily make eight to ten times your equity investment on the house because you locked in your borrowing costs and home appreciations historically have always correlated well with unanticipated inflation.

So, run, do not walk to your neighborhood banker and either finance a new home purchase or take out the maximum amount of money he or she will lend you on a home equity loan and buy hard assets, not financial securities, with the money. When inflation comes roaring back the only perfect hedge is to be a borrower, not a lender or investor. Shakespeare said “Neither a borrower nor a lender be,” but they didn’t have huge government deficits and the risk of future inflation back in the Bard’s time.
John R. Talbott, previously a Goldman Sachs investment banker, is a best selling author and economic consultant to families. You can read more about his books, the accuracy of his predictions and his family consulting activities at www.stopthelying.com.

 

I can get you a Texas ranch for cheap.

No cookie cutters here...

Posted on February 13, 2012 at 10:29 am
Steve Sloboda | Category: Business Spotlight, Funky Houses, Real Estate News, Shameless Self Promotion | Tagged , , , , , , , ,

Attention Dead People in Alabama: Spend Eternal Rest Next to Bear Bryant

Are you dead or near death?  Are you in Alabama?  Do you honor the life and memory of your former football coach more than you do that of your own flesh and blood?  Well, have I got the deal for you!  For a modest sum, you can spend eternity, having maggots eat at your rotting corpse, right along side the Bear himself! Five plots have opened up in Elmwood cemetery right next to the legendary Alabama coach and can be had for only $2,200 a pop.  A small price to pay to have you and your family laid to rest at the Bear’s right hand, if it’s still attached after all these years, of course.

Follow the link here…

http://goo.gl/UViKO

Like they always say…Real estate is all about location, location, location…

Guessing this guy has already bought one...

Posted on January 25, 2012 at 9:52 am
Steve Sloboda | Category: Randomness, Real Estate News, Schools | Tagged , , , ,