Expert Insight from Our Blog

on all things

related to HOME.

 

Find a Home with Windermere Real Estate

Expert Insight from Our Blog

on all things

related to HOME.

Windermere Blog

Homebuyer and homeowner tips to make purchasing, owning and maintaining your home just a little easier. From guidance and advice to checklists to trends, you’ll find insightful information right here.

 

Homebuying Advice

What is FIRPTA certification?
A complete overview on why you need to know about it…   If you are purchasing property from a non-US individual or entity, you may be required to withhold taxes under the Foreign Investment in Real Property Tax Act of 1980 (“FIRPTA”), 26 U.S.C. 1445 (unless one of the exceptions in the Act applies). The […]
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Dreaming of Second Home?
Here are a few tips to make sure it’s worthwhile… These days, having your own home away from home is a compelling concept. There are many clear benefits including being able to use your home how you wish, decorate to your taste, and include your furry friends in your time away. There are also challenges […]
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To Buy or Not to Buy?
Fourteen offers, all contingencies waived, earnest money deposit released to seller on offer acceptance. This is the norm rather than the exception in our current market. Sound crazy? It is! And we’ve been here before. Today’s buyers are likely paying considerably above market values to “win” the war and snag a house that they can […]
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You probably know that interest rates affect your monthly mortgage payments, but most of us aren’t aware of just how big an impact they really have on a home loan.  Each 1% change in interest rate equates to roughly a 10% change in buying power.  This means you can qualify for a much more expensive […]
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Washington State requires sellers of residential real property to thoroughly disclose material facts on a form called the Residential Real Property Disclosure Statement (often referred to as Form 17). Unless the buyer has expressly waived their rights, the seller must deliver this completed disclosure with 5 days after mutual acceptance.  The buyer then has a […]
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When you buy a condo, you are also buying into its community. You get the benefit of its many amenities, along with the restrictions of its rules, and financial responsibility for its upkeep. Most condominiums offer community features such as pools, exercise rooms, media centers, and entertaining spaces that many people could not comfortably afford […]
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It can be very compelling to find a home in a neighborhood you like that is bargain priced. But how do you know if it will be a good investment? The only certainty in a fixer project is that there will be a substantial amount of uncertainty and risk. There can be significant rewards too, […]
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It’s important to remember that the purchase or rental of a home is a lifestyle choice as much as it is an investment. It is not just a commodity to negotiate, but also the place you’ll come home to each day and make your own. Yes, it is important to buy wisely and stay within […]
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Flop or Flop? How to Tell Before You Buy
It seems like the perfect combo of fantastic location and newly renovated home. But is it really? The concept of renovating a tired home for profit (flipping) is a business model that is often naturally averse to the future buyer’s interests. The lower the costs, the higher the profit. And, the lower the costs, the […]
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Contingencies to Protect Yourself When You Buy
When purchasing a home, there are a number of protections—called contingency clauses—that you can write into your contract to allow you to back out of the sale for specific reasons.  For instance, if your inspection reveals major problems with the home that the seller can’t or won’t fix, your loan financing falls through, you find […]
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The Northwest has experienced many changes in residential construction though the eras of home building. While not universal, here are a few typical housing rules of thumb we have seen in the Seattle region…   Styles, floor plans and typical home attributes: 1900-1920’s Craftsman, Arts & Crafts, and Tudor homes dominated this era. They often […]
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Before you plop down $500-$800 for a home inspection, it really helps to identify obvious issues up front and determine if A) you are willing to buy the home despite them or B) the seller appears reasonable about addressing them. If neither of the above are yes, but you might want to keep looking rather […]
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Electric cars help lower emissions and fuel costs, improve fuel economy, and bolster energy security. And considering the volatility of gas prices—and their general skyward trajectory—electric fuel shows promise as an economic alternative. But switching to an electric vehicle entails more than new driving habits and a conversation piece with strangers. It’s also a lifestyle […]
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Market Reports, Trends & Happenings

Q3 2021 Market Review
The frenetic pace of Seattle-area real estate continued in Q3, with the number of sales and median sales prices both up across the region compared to this time last year. Seattle condo sales saw a healthy year-over-year jump as they continued to recover from the COVID slump we saw in 2020.   While buyers still […]
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Oh My Gourd! Best Pumpkin Patches Around the Sound
Grab your boots, pack a thermos…it’s time to choose those perfect Halloween pumpkins! This year, why not explore a new town and make your pumpkin patch experience a true adventure? All of these farms are open every weekend in October, and most are open on weekdays too. Some even welcome your furry family members. Check […]
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Protect Your Home: 5 Things to Do This Fall
Benjamin Franklin once wrote, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” While he was talking about fire safety, we think it applies equally well to home maintenance.  One weekend of prevention this fall can save you many headaches (and a lot of money) down the road.  Here are a few ideas to […]
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Football is back, baby! Schedules. Tips. Recipes.
Are you ready for some football? Fall is just around the corner and tickets are on sale now for 12s who are itching to get back to the stadium (operating at full capacity this season but with enhanced safety protocols). Watching the game from the comfort of home? Check out these great tips on setting […]
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Windermere Kicks for Kids
WHAT: Windermere’s Kicks for Kids event is a back-to-school sneaker drive for low-income youth, distributed through the Eastside Baby Corner. WHY: Kids from struggling families are in need of new back-to-school shoes that fit. When kids feel good about their appearance, it improves both their self-esteem and their performance in school. WHEN: Formal shoe collection […]
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Q2 2021 Market Review
Buyers found no relief as our region’s extreme sellers’ market continued skyward. Strong home buyer demand simply outpaced the number of available properties for sale. Fierce competition drove prices up 15% in Seattle and a staggering 38% on the Eastside as compared to Q2 of 2020. While COVID played a factor in early 2020; all […]
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Free Shredding Event on Sat, May 22nd from 9a-2p
Want to do some spring cleaning and score a doughnut at the same time?  We’ve got your back.  Haul those old bank statements, embarrassing photos, and other sensitive documents to our parking lot on Saturday, May 22nd…you can enjoy a Top Pot doughnut and the satisfaction of watching your old tax returns go through the […]
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Thank You for Helping Us Support Eastside Baby Corner!
UPDATE—Our Drive Made a Difference for EBC! We want to thank all of our clients, friends and family who pitched in to raise items and funds for the Eastside Baby Corner. In addition to your generous donations, our agents and owners personally donated a total of $7,772 along with hundreds of childcare items as part […]
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Q1 2021 Market Review
An extreme sellers’ market, driven by too few homes for sale and incredibly low mortgage interest rates, led to the most aggressive multiple offer bidding wars we have experienced in our region. There are simply dozens of buyers for nearly every home that comes to market. To be competitive, most buyers did their home research […]
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As with anything in life, a remodeling project can come with its ups and downs. Certain phases seem to go a mile a minute, while others feel like they’ve lasted a lifetime and a half, all while it looks as though nothing is being completed. Fear not—this is pretty typical. And, while every project is […]
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Ready for a fresh start in 2021? With home still the place to be, refreshing your indoor and outdoor living spaces can make a big difference in your everyday life. The stresses and challenges of 2020 have influenced the trends of 2021 with a turn toward comfort, nostalgia and independent spaces to work and play… […]
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Year in Review: A Look Back at 2020
Our local real estate market overcame all odds in the surreal and tumultuous year laid at our doorstep. Despite many economic woes, home sellers were the big winners in 2020 as too few homes for sale could not keep up with increased buyer demand, leading to the most aggressive multiple offer bidding wars we have […]
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Terminology These local definitions will not only to help you know the lingo when it comes to waterfront speak, but to give you quick access tools to research waterfront to your heart’s content. Here is a quick resource to commonly used terms related to waterfront real property:   Bluff    Most beaches on Puget Sound are […]
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The volume of Q3 transactions made up for Q2’s fewer sales and then some. Truth be told, the market could have absorbed twice the number of transactions, if only there were more homes on the market to sell. Too few homes for sale is the defining character of the Q3 Seattle region real estate market […]
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Q2 Market Update: Seattle & the Eastside
Q2 was a story of resilience for the Seattle market. It began with our region fully entrenched in a new normal amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, but ended with a strong seller’s market and historic low interest rates. Buyers have returned in droves to battle for the limited supply of homes for sale. With a shortage […]
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How Soon Do Green Upgrades Pay You Back?
Thinking of going green?  Today’s technology offers a whole host of ways to boost your home’s efficiency, reduce your carbon footprint and lower your energy bills.  Some upgrades can pay for themselves in a relatively short amount of time, while others with large price tags might take decades to start paying back.  The good news […]
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Q1 Market Snapshot: Seattle & The Eastside
As we are fully entrenched in a new normal amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, it is important to note that the Q1 stats you see are based on pre-coronavirus closed sales activity and therefore largely untouched by our current market reality.   While Q1 serves as a pre-coronavirus benchmark, Q2 and Q3 will more accurately show […]
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How Much Is Your Waterfront Worth?
While supply and demand clearly play a role in establishing the value of a waterfront property, several unique elements overshadow the typical supply divided by demand equation. The first one is rarity. Examples of this include: point properties—waterfront at the tip of one of our few natural points—with more expansive water frontage and street privacy […]
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Determining Value for Shared Waterfront
The concept of shared waterfront incorporates many different waterfront-sharing situations. Establishing the value of the share isn’t as simple as dividing the overall value of the waterfront parcel by the number of shares…although that’s a good start. The term “shared waterfront” has been used to describe everything from a private parcel shared by two owners […]
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Planning Ahead: The Life Expectancy of Your Home's Components
Nothing in life lasts forever – and the same can be said for your home. From the roof to the furnace, every component of your home has a lifespan, so it’s a good idea to know approximately how many years of service you can expect from them. This information can help when buying or selling […]
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Lakeside Resources That Will Float Your Boat
Shorelines are heavily regulated in King County and, love it or hate it, the tight guidelines help keep our Puget Sound lakes in good order. King County’s Lake Stewardship Program has produced several fact sheets on lakeside regulations. If you’re wondering what you can plant and still be in good graces with the powers that […]
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Home Seller Tips

Why Taking Care of the Buyer is a Smart Move for Sellers
How you leave your home matters more than you think…   In our extreme seller’s market, today’s home buyers are paying top dollar (or beyond) for their home purchase, and like many people paying a premium, they expect to get what they pay for. As a result, they have little tolerance for adverse surprises. This […]
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The Downside of Selling Your Home Off the Market
Who wouldn’t want the enticement of a full price offer on their home before it even comes to market? At first glance it seems like a compelling opportunity, but it comes at a steep price. With the shortage of homes today, friends and neighbors are all on the lookout for up-and-coming listings. They aren’t hard […]
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Washington State requires sellers of residential real property to thoroughly disclose material facts on a form called the Residential Real Property Disclosure Statement (often referred to as Form 17). Unless the buyer has expressly waived their rights, the seller must deliver this completed disclosure with 5 days after mutual acceptance.  The buyer then has a […]
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Ever notice how one home on your street sells well above asking price with a line of buyers out the door and an identical home comes on a month later and sits on the market for two weeks before finally selling at a reduced price?  Every. Day. Counts. It’s not always about the house. It’s […]
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Will Home Remodeling Pay Off?
Did you know some remodeling projects can nearly pay for themselves when it’s time to sell? Remodeling Magazine evaluates which projects bring the most recoup at resale in different markets around the country in their “Cost vs. Value” report.  While returns have dipped nationwide due to growing costs and consumer anxiety, Seattle still sees a […]
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