The numbers are in and February's record snowfall didn't slow down March at all! Both pending sales and new listing activity around Western Washington surged during March as buyers, sellers, and brokers defrosted. The current market is healthy for both buyers and sellers so reach out today to chat about what opportunity lies in store!
Written by Chris Doucet
Given that I have been a Seattle resident since 1969 and practicing real estate for 3 decades, I like to think that I am ahead of the curve on predicting up and coming neighborhoods. And I am--except to my husband.
Opportunity comes from areas in transition and I help my clients take advantage of it. Sometimes, I do it for me too.
Almost exactly four years ago, I saw an opportunity in Columbia City. It was a rundown mid century duplex across from Genessee Park. Those of you who know me understand that I love mid century dwellings for their simplicity and lack of pretension. I don’t seem to be alone as Millennials have discovered them too.
It was in bad shape. Long term renters had occupied the property—or shall I say long term hoarders. It needed almost everything replaced ,but the two units, a top and ground floor were over 1000 square feet each, captured tons of light and had parking. Best of all was the price-under $400,000. Perfect, I thought. I will use my design and real estate abilities and transform it.
What I didn’t plan on was the skepticism of my husband. We had renovated multiple other homes and our combined skills (he is in a contracting related field and VERY handy) are a good match. CC Duplex (as we would call it) would make a wonderful investment located between 2 Light Rail stations and a long block across the park to the burgeoning shops and restaurants of lively Columbia City. It was an area with great upside potential. But he did not like the neighborhood and it was a struggle to convince him to proceed.
I will spare you the saga of our construction hiccups (or, Hubby calls disasters) but 6 months later, and a total rehab, we welcomed our new renters. The place was darling and we ended up doing much of the work ourselves which did give us a lot of satisfaction.
What I didn’t expect is that the opinion of my Hubby did not change once the project was complete. He still did not see the value in Columbia City despite new townhomes being constructed around us and the neighborhood amenities improving. Fast forward to a few weeks ago when Seattle Magazine comes out with a cover story on the 21 hottest neighborhoods in the greater Seattle area. What is on the first double page feature? Columbia City and the Light Rail that has transformed the south of I-90 area.
Do I feel victorious? It would be nice to gloat but I have lots of convincing still to do at home. Despite that, I am on the hunt for the next investment area and I have my husband to thank for humoring, and trusting, me. Onward.
After King County home prices fell to a two-year low in January, the market is already showing signs of a rebound. With more inventory available, buyers now feel like they have something to shop for. Inventory = Opportunity. Not shown in the year-over-year stats: February saw multiple offers returning in some areas. While prices are down from this time last year, the current market is healthy for both buyers and sellers, and having an experienced agent who can translate year-over-year stats vs. real-time conditions is critical. Want to know more? I also have reports for Snohomish and Pierce counties as well.
By Chris Doucet
I start every morning (early, about 4:30 am) by jumping on the Multiple Listing Service and checking on new inventory for all of the many market areas where I work. This area encompasses north to Mukilteo, south to Normandy Park and Seattle east to Sammamish. A broad area, I know, but one where my clients take me. It has been a point of discussion in many of my agent groups that the pickings are slim and the spring listing rush has not yet begun. It is widely known that, historically, spring is the best time to list and sell a home. Flowers are popping up, lawns are green and we are favored with a few more hours of daylight. Every year there are more people who get an early start and list in February. So far, that hasn’t happened and we are now into the 3rd week. Granted, we have been digging ourselves out of a historically long snowfall but this is unusual.
Yesterday, in 9 market areas there were 3 new listings in a 24 hour period.
Why should this be so when the interest rates have decreased and the buyers are out of the holiday hiatus? Prices have stabilized to a more balanced market so perhaps greedy sellers are not as predominant, but this is crazy.
It is the old adage of Supply and Demand. We have buyers but not sellers. The few properties that I have listed over the last few weeks are getting tons of interest and multiple offers. Multiple offers are not a thing of the past, they are happening RIGHT NOW.
If you are a seller, get that home listed NOW before everyone else does who is dragging their feet and waiting for spring to arrive. Take advantage of the demand without the competition that will invariably appear in mid March and April.
The early bird gets the best buyers
My primary residence is a mid century home in Magnolia.
It is a home that my husband and I purchased to rehab and sell in two years. That was 8 years ago and we have grown to like this solidly build, open floor plan home with some views of Mt Rainier, Mt Baker, Queen Anne and the city rooftops. The home was not without its quirks though.
The entry stairs have always bothered me. Three different wood finishes—one on the risers, one on the stair itself and one on the baseboard. Without res-staining the entire stairway (and then the hardwood floors beyond) I needed to come up with a solution.
As a former designer, I always have some crazy ideas that I just need to figure out how to translate to reality and I did. The photos show a work in progress. As usual, I forgot to take a “before” photo until part of the painting started.
First came painting the sides of the stairs white. Sanding, primer and 3 coats finally got the wood covered. Next, I trimmed in the risers with a charcoal paint in preparation for the riser material—STAINLESS STEEL!
My superb tile setter was able to cut a template for each riser (old house and they were all different) and cut the stainless that I had procured to fit.
Now the stairs look floaty but not flashy (stainless is a matte finish) and really improve the look in the entry.
Proof that crazy ideas can sometimes be brilliant!