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

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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How COVID-19 is Affecting Buying Trends
Coronavirus has made many of us rethink what is important to us…and our homes are no exception. According to the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR), the top feature desired by buyers is now a home office (or even more than one). 22% of buyers are less concerned about their commute, which means homes in affordable […]
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How Interest Rates Impact Your Buying Power
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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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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While buying and selling real estate was recently deemed essential in Washington State, the landscape looks very different than it did before the COVID-19 outbreak. Real estate offices remain closed to the public with agents working remotely and hosting virtual client meetings.  Important safety regulations prohibit in-person open houses and limit the number of people […]
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What You Need to Know Before You Buy a Condo
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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What's the Real Cost of a Fixer?
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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A Note on COVID-19 and what we're doing about it...
Updated March 23, 2020 On March 23, Washington State Governor Jay Inslee issued a statewide “Stay Home, Stay Healthy” order for a period of at least two weeks. As a part of this order, all “non-essential critical infrastructure” businesses have been forced to close, including real estate brokerages. But that doesn’t mean we’re closed for […]
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Should You Rent or Buy?
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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Is That Flip a Flop? How To Find Out 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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Seller Disclosures: Because there's no such thing as a flawless house
So, you just made an offer on your dream home and are now lying awake at night wondering… “What if there’s a big problem with the house that I missed?” Well, it may help to know that Washington State requires sellers of residential real property to thoroughly disclose material facts on a form called the […]
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How Can You 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 Eras of NW Home Building: Get the Scoop Before You Buy
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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How to Spot Big Issues Before You Pay for a Honme Inspection
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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Electrify Your Home: How to Prep for an Electric Vehicle
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

The Four Phases of Remodeling
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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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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Your Seattle waterfront resource…with definitions, maps, and quick links.   Waterfront terminology is ever elusive and nearly always subject to interpretation. We tracked down several Puget Sound and Washington State resources not only to help you know the lingo when it comes to waterfront speak, but to give you quick access tools to research waterfront […]
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Q3 Market Update for Seattle/Eastside
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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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 will the coronavirus impact the housing market?
Concerned about how the COVID-19 pandemic might affect your home value or ability to move in the future?  As we all hunker down through these challenging times, a voice of insight and reason has been our Windermere Chief Economist, Matthew Gardner.  He is expecting a sharp economic slowdown accompanied by a 15-20% reduction in the […]
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A Healthy Distance: Resources to Stay Sane While You Stay Home
Make Working From Home Work for You… 5 Small Things You Can Do to Improve Your Home Office Windermere Real Estate’s “Work from Home” Spotify playlist Working remote tips from Time Magazine Staying productive during the coronavirus while managing stress/anxiety/fear Making the perfect office to work from home   Kids at Home? Information about how […]
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2020 Interior Design Trends: 5 Takeaways to Refresh Your Home
With 2020 now in full swing, we’re seeing some clear shifts in how homes are being designed and decorated.  Most notable for our area is the Modern Farmhouse trend with its juxtapositions of old & new, light & dark, and clean & rustic.  Softer grey and lagom neutrals are here to stay, but are now […]
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We Want YOU...to Know About the Excise Tax Change
Now that Washington State Senate Bill 5998 has been signed into law, our local real estate excise tax—the tax paid when you sell a property—will be getting a facelift in 2020.  The flat rate of the past will make way for a new tiered system which gives owners a tax cut on the first $500,000 […]
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Annual Market Review: Seattle & The Eastside
A strong local employment sector, very low mortgage interest rates, and the most balanced market we’ve seen in two decades each contributed to increased sales velocity in 2019.   While the number of homes for sale increased overall in 2019 as compared to 2018, the higher rate of sales throughout the year resulted in nearly […]
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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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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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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

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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How COVID-19 is Affecting Buying Trends
Coronavirus has made many of us rethink what is important to us…and our homes are no exception. According to the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR), the top feature desired by buyers is now a home office (or even more than one). 22% of buyers are less concerned about their commute, which means homes in affordable […]
Read More
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 […]
Read More
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 […]
Read More
While buying and selling real estate was recently deemed essential in Washington State, the landscape looks very different than it did before the COVID-19 outbreak. Real estate offices remain closed to the public with agents working remotely and hosting virtual client meetings.  Important safety regulations prohibit in-person open houses and limit the number of people […]
Read More
Timing the Market to Get More for Your Home
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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Every year, Remodeling Magazine evaluates which projects bring the most return 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 saw better pay-off on remodeling than the national average. The chart below shows cost vs. value […]
Read More
We Want YOU...to Know About the Excise Tax Change
Now that Washington State Senate Bill 5998 has been signed into law, our local real estate excise tax—the tax paid when you sell a property—will be getting a facelift in 2020.  The flat rate of the past will make way for a new tiered system which gives owners a tax cut on the first $500,000 […]
Read More
Remodel or Move?
There are a number of things that can trigger the decision to remodel or move to a new home. Perhaps you have outgrown your current space, you might be tired of struggling with ancient plumbing or wiring systems, or maybe your home just feels out of date. The question is: Should you stay or should […]
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