Do you watch House Hunters on HGTV? I do sometimes, and I have to admit it's kind of a guilty pleasure. It's always been a program that entertains me. Especially since it's a show based upon what I do every day with clients…Help them buy and sell residential real estate. The video below caught my eye this morning because it actually explains a few things about what's wrong about the show without demeaning what it really is….Entertainment.
Full disclosure, I actually "auditioned" and was approved to be on the show a few years back. Unfortunaely, the timing for my clients and the logistics of the show made it too hard to make happen in the time frame allotted. Hey, maybe this refresh about the show will light the fires again and get me proactive to try again. Then again, maybe not.
One last thing before the video…SPOILER ALERT! Yeah, you know those houses they tour? Well, they don't even start filming until the show's featured buyer HAS CLOSED on one of them. They walk through one of the three homes knowing they already own it. Next time you watch, see if you can notice any differences in the participant's demeanor at one of the houses.
OK, Here's the video….Enjoy!:
I don't often endorse Zillow, but when I do, it's usually because I've just received another stellar cliet review.
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'…
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".
By Rolf Boone
Tacoma News Tribune
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
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 – firstname.lastname@example.org
In the world of real estate marketing, new technology seems to come out every week and frankly, it can get a little overwhelming. I tend to let the fads show themselves before jumping 100% on board. However, in the case of this new 3D walkthrough technology, I'm all over it from the start.
You can tour a property like you're walking through it similar to Google Street View. Take a look at downstairs then upstairs, and then take a look upstairs again. Take a look at the floorplan….Then take a look like it's a dollhouse. All those options are there for the viewer.
It really is a remarkable tool that could change the way pictures are used for real estate listings. Take a look at my latest version here. Walk through the house and let me know what you think. I love to talk about the latest and greatest technology tools.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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!!!
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.