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Buyers Benefit with Windermere Real Estate

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We’re in a seller’s market, no doubt. But I work hard to make sure that buyers see every benefit available to them. Before they help you buy your home, Windermere Real Estate brokers help you find the perfect home for you. They go the extra mile and scour the listings to find the home that best fits your needs and lifestyle. In our 2015 survey of Windermere customers, 44 percent of buyers said their broker introduced them to the property while 37 percent found it themselves online. Our brokers do more than help you with the paperwork. They help you navigate the housing market with ease. Windermere Real Estate brokers also hold the advantage in multiple offer situations when home sales often go over list price. With their expert knowledge and education, our brokers work hard to get you your new home and make your offer stand above the rest. Our brokers will get the job done quickly. We’re all too familiar with the cost of waiting to buy a home, so trust that your broker will help you get into your new home as quickly and stress-free as possible. If you’re ready to jump into our spring housing market, make sure you get in touch with me soon! I’ll help you buy the home of your dreams.

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Tips for Buyers in a Hot Seller’s Market

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There is no doubt that the local real estate market is hot. Last month in King County: 57% of homes sold in less than 15 days. 4 out of 10 homes sold for over list price. 25% of home sales were cash sales. With more people competing for fewer homes, it can be frustrating to be a home buyer. Here are some tips that can help you gain an advantage and get a home that you love. 1) Get ready to compromise. Separate your needs from your wants. In a competitive market, most buyers will have to compromise on location, amenities or condition of the home. Make a list of your must-haves and features you’d like (but can live without), and prepare to be flexible. 2) Get pre-approved for a mortgage. With many buyers now offering cash, it’s critical to get pre-approved for a mortgage before you start looking at homes. If financing is needed, sellers prefer conventional loans to FHA or VA loans. 3) Be ready to move fast. With homes selling within days – or even hours – you can’t afford to wait on a decision. If you see a house you like, be ready to act on it that day. 4) Work with an agent who is a great negotiator. Your agent needs to do much more than just write up an offer. A good negotiator can find out what terms are most important to the seller, and write an offer (and maybe additional counter-offers) that best meet their needs. 5) Find creative ways to make your offer more appealing. Every seller has their own wish list. It may be a large earnest money payment, or they may want to stay in the home a few months after the sale. A savvy agent can use that knowledge to sweeten your offer and give you an advantage over other potential buyers. You don’t want to navigate this frenzied market without the best possible representation. Contact a Windermere broker to help you get the home you want at a price you can afford. This post originally appeared on WindermereEastside.com.

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Congratulations – River Dance Ranch!

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Congratulations to David and Cathy Petrie on their purchase of my Green Valley Road listing in Auburn. It took 3 years to find the new destination for River Dance Ranch! Their focus will be twofold … 1. Being a recognized and refined breeder of KFPS registered Friesian sport horses with a focus on dressage suitability. 2. Developing the property to become a training facility with an emphasis in the disciplines of dressage under the expert training of Paige Ruhl. It was so wonderful to work with you and help find you the perfect home and equestrian property to fit your needs. Here’s to the success of your new ranch!

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4 Reasons to Sell Your House Now

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1) Sale prices are at all-time highs. Home prices in King County hit new highs last month. The median price of a single family home sold in King County in February was $514,975, a whopping 20% increase over a year ago. The median price in Seattle was up 24% to $644,950. The Eastside’s median price was up 20% to $739,975. You may be surprised at how much your home is worth today. 2) Competition among buyers is driving prices even higher. Despite increasing prices, there is intense competition among buyers because inventory is at all-time lows. That means multiple offer and bidding wars, increasing the likelihood that your home will sell above your asking price. 3) Homes are selling fast. With such limited inventory, homes in King County are selling rapidly – sometimes in days. If you list your house now, chances are you’ll get a buyer quickly. 4) You can make the sale work to your needs. With competition for homes so fierce, you have the freedom to make the deal that works best for you. Many buyers are paying cash. They’ll also make concessions. Do you want stay in the home a few months after the sale? Want a large earnest money payment? You’re in the driver’s seat, and many buyers are willing to do what it takes to get the home they want. It’s a seller’s market. Are you ready to take advantage of it?

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Why Buying Beats Renting Today

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Buying a home in the Puget Sound area beats renting in less than two years, according to a new study. The “breakeven horizon” – the number of years after which buying is more financially advantageous than renting – is 1.9 years. Why the short timeframe? Interest rates are at historic lows. (But experts expect them to rise soon.) Rents are at record highs. If you paid the average cost of monthly rent towards a mortgage payment instead, here’s what you could buy: Based on principal & interest on a 30 year mortgage at 4% interest with 0% down. Bellevue Monthly mortgage: $2,666 Home value: $558,400 Seattle Monthly mortgage: $2,401 Home value: $502,900 Snohomish County Monthly mortgage: $1,884 Home value: $294,600 Are you ready to invest the money you spend on rent to buy a home? Get in touch with a Windermere broker on the Eastside so they can help you take advantage of the “breakeven horizon” and turn your monthly rent into a mortgage payment.

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Windermere Leads in Luxury Home Sales

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The boom in luxury homes sales on Eastside continued in 2015 as technology executives and foreign buyers snapped up high-end homes. Windermere maintained its leadership in the luxury home segment with Windermere brokers representing clients in 60 of the 98 sales. Sellers who work with Windermere brokers receive unparalleled exposure through the Windermere Premier Properties program, along with extensive international marketing via Luxury Portfolio and Juwai, which specifically targets affluent Chinese buyers. In addition, Leigh Canlis has joined Windermere to develop a full-service luxury marketing division that will provide clientele with concierge services including financial services, landscaping and more. 2015 Luxury Home Sales Snapshot   Sales continue to climb. The number of $3 million+ home sales on the Eastside increased 20% over the previous year. The majority of buyers paid cash. 53% of those buying high-end homes paid for the home in cash. Waterfront homes are becoming scarce. The value of waterfront homes continued to increase as buyers competed for a dwindling supply of these highly coveted properties. The Eastside is becoming more global. Whether they are buying a home to live in or as an investment, international buyers – particularly those from China – continue to favor the Eastside. According to the National Association of Realtors, 2015 was the first time that buyers from China edged out those from Canada as the largest group of foreign buyers of homes in the U.S.     You can view the full report for more detailed information. Make sure you see the report of $5 million+ home sales in King County, too!

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The Tax Benefits Every Homeowner Should Know About

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This article originally appeared in Times of San Diego  The housing market on the West Coast is predominantly very strong and more and more people are becoming homeowners. While there are many intangible benefits to owning a home, such as pride of ownership and setting down roots in the neighborhood, the tangible benefits are just as great. In addition to benefitting from possible appreciation, there are many tax deductions available that help reduce your annual income taxes. Tax breaks are available for any type of home — single-family residence, town house, mobile home, or condominium. However, to take full tax advantage of owning a home, property owners need to understand the expenses they can deduct, and learn some tips to get the most tax advantages out of home ownership. Mortgage Interest A house payment is comprised of two parts: principal and interest. The principal goes toward reducing the amount you owe on your loan and is not deductible. However, the interest you pay is deductible as an itemized expense on your tax return. You can generally deduct interest on the first $1 million of your mortgage. You can also deduct interest on the first $100,000 of a home equity loan. Property Taxes Another big part of most monthly loan payments is taxes, which go into an escrow account for payment when the taxes are due. This amount should be included on the annual statement homeowners get from their lenders, along with their loan interest information. These taxes will be an annual deduction as long as the home is owned. Home Improvements If using a home equity loan or other loan secured by a home to finance home improvements, these loans will qualify for the same mortgage interest deductions as the main mortgage. Only the interest associated with the first $100,000 is deductible.Making improvements on a home can help you reduce your taxes in two possible ways: Tracking home improvements can help when the time comes to sell. If a home sells for more than it was purchased for, that extra money is considered taxable income. You are allowed to add capital improvements to the cost/tax basis of your home. If a home sells for more than it was purchased for plus any capital improvements, that extra money is considered taxable income. Keep in mind that most taxpayers are exempted from paying taxes on the first $250,000 (for single filers) and $500,000 […]

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