Tips for a Buyer of a Fixer-Upper

Over the last few years weekend warriors have been delighted to find an abundance of television shows devoted to fixing up homes. More specifically, they show viewers how to take a fixer upper and turn it from an ugly duckling to a special property that they can call home. It sounds so easy but before you grab a sledge hammer and head out to buy that cheap bank owned building on the corner, there are things to consider.

First and foremost, how handy are you really? Fixer-uppers can vary from cosmetic paint and carpet, maybe changing a countertop or fixtures; then there are fixers which have electrical problems and slab leaks. It’s important to understand what you are capable of handling – either yourself or supervisory level.

 

Tips for a Buyer of a Fixer-Upper

1) Do Your Research – Don’t assume anything. Check for local ordinances and zones to
make sure the plans you have for the property are truly available to you.

2) Hire a Professional – Regardless of your level of “handiness” you need professional
help. Start with a professional home inspection and understand the true condition of the home.

3) Know Your Limits – A great deal is only a deal if you can take on the project. Be honest
with yourself. If you need to, hire a General Contractor to handle the renovation.
Fixer-uppers can be great investments. These properties can be converted to beautiful homes
or flipped for quick profit, but either way, handled well these ugly ducklings will live up to the
best episode of HGTV.

Posted on April 15, 2019 at 1:24 pm
Ted Mansfield | Category: Uncategorized

Slaying the Largest Homebuying Myths Today [INFOGRAPHIC]

Slaying the Largest Homebuying Myths Today [INFOGRAPHIC]

Slaying the Largest Homebuying Myths Today [INFOGRAPHIC] | Simplifying the Market

Some Highlights:

  • The average down payment for first-time homebuyers is only 6%!
  • Mortgage interest rates have been on the decline since November! Hop in now to lock in a low rate!
  • 88% of property managers raised their rents in the last 12 months!
  • The average credit score on approved loans continues to fall across many loan types!
Posted on April 12, 2019 at 12:36 pm
Ted Mansfield | Category: Uncategorized

Seattle, Eastside, and King County Market Update

The spring home buying season started early this year. Open houses had increased attendance and bidding wars returned. After months of softening, home prices in most of the region jumped significantly from the prior month. With just one month of data, we’ll have to wait and see if this is the start of a longer upward trend.

Eastside

>>>Click image to view full report.

The Eastside was one area of King County that continued to see prices moderate. The median price of a single-family home on the Eastside was $900,000 in February, a drop of 5 percent from a year ago and down slightly from last month. However, supply here isn’t nearly enough to meet demand, a fact that most likely won’t change any time soon. Amazon’s latest expansion in Bellevue is expected to bring a significant wave of new employees to the city.

King County

>>>Click image to view full report.

The median single-family home in King County sold for $655,000 in February. While up slightly less than 1 percent year-over-year, it was an increase of $45,000 over January.  Southeast King County, which includes Kent, Renton and Auburn, saw the greatest gains with prices rising 4.5 percent over the previous year. While inventory has grown, it is less than half of the four to six months that is considered balanced.

Seattle

>>>Click image to view full report.

More inventory and low interest rates helped bring buyers back into the market. The median price of a single-family home in Seattle hit $730,000 in February, down 6 percent from a year ago, but up $18,500 from January. With just six weeks of available supply, Seattle continues to have the tightest inventory in the county. Seattle’s record development boom shows little signs of easing, so we can expect strong demand to continue.

Snohomish County

>>>Click image to view full report.

The median price of a single-family home in Snohomish County reached $474,947 in February. Although that is a 2 percent decrease from last year, it is $5,000 more than January. As buyers push outside of King County to search for more reasonably priced homes, Snohomish County continues to struggle to find enough inventory to meet growing demand.

Posted on March 12, 2019 at 1:33 pm
Ted Mansfield | Category: Uncategorized

Don’t Get Caught in the Rental Trap in 2019

Every year around this time, we take time to reflect and plan for next year. If you are renting your current home but have dreams of homeownership, your plan for the new year may include buying, and you wouldn’t be alone!

According to the 2018 Bank of America Homebuyer Insights Report, 74% of renters plan on buying in the next 5 years, with 38% planning to buy in the next 2 years!

When those same renters were asked why they disliked renting, 52% said that rising rental costs were their top reason, and 42% of renters believe that their rent will rise every year. The full results of the survey can be seen below:

Don't Get Caught in the Rental Trap in 2019 | Simplifying The Market

It’s no wonder that rising rental costs came in as the top answer! The median asking rent price has risen steadily over the last 30 years, as you can see below!

Don't Get Caught in the Rental Trap in 2019 | Simplifying The Market

There is a long-standing rule that a household should not spend more than 28% of its income on housing expenses. With nearly half of renters (48%) surveyed already spending more than that, and with their rents likely to rise again… why are they renting?

When asked why they haven’t purchased a home yet, not having enough saved for a down payment (44%) came in as the top response. The report went on to reveal that nearly half of all respondents believe that “a 20% down payment is required to buy a home.”

If the majority of those who believe they haven’t saved a large enough down payment believe that they need 20% down to buy, that means a large number of renters may be able to buy now!

Bottom Line

If you are one of the many renters who is fed up with rising rents but may be confused about what is required to buy in today’s market, let’s get together to help you on your path to homeownership.

 

Posted on December 13, 2018 at 12:11 pm
Ted Mansfield | Category: Uncategorized

How Will Home Sales Measure Up Next Year?

How Will Home Sales Measure Up Next Year? | Simplifying The Market

There are many questions about where home sales are headed next year. We have gathered the most reliable sources to help answer this question. Here are our sources:

Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) – As the leading advocate for the real estate finance industry, the MBA enables members to successfully deliver fair, sustainable, and responsible real estate financing within ever-changing business environments.

The National Association of Realtors (NAR) – The largest association of real estate professionals in the world.

Freddie Mac – An organization which provides liquidity, stability, and affordability to the U.S. housing market in all economic conditions extending to all communities from coast to coast.

Fannie Mae – A leading source of financing for mortgage lenders, providing access to affordable mortgage financing in all markets.

Here are their projections:

How Will Home Sales Measure Up Next Year? | Simplifying The Market

Bottom Line

Every source sees home sales growing next year. Let’s get together to chat about what’s going on in our neighborhood.

Posted on November 1, 2018 at 11:08 am
Ted Mansfield | Category: Uncategorized

Good Start Back to School

To give students every possible advantage, we are having a school supply drive for lower income Bellevue kids. Please consider purchasing some of these items (or a gift card and I will purchase the items) – I will even come to you and pick the items up!

Posted on July 24, 2018 at 9:58 am
Ted Mansfield | Category: Uncategorized

GREEN Homes Introduction

In the next few weeks, I’ll be posting many new features and information about Green Homes that I’ve learned from earning my National Association of Realtor’s GREEN designation.

Whether you want to improve the resale value of your home or are looking for a new, more resource-efficient property, a REALTOR® with NAR’s Green Designation
can help.

NAR Green Designees really know green. While considering updates to your home, I can help you understand the advantages of resource-efficient upgrades to existing homes, interpret the benefits of high performance features, select the best products and professionals, research information on improving resource use, and access a variety of credits, incentives, and programs designed to help you make your home more resource efficient.

Why use a GREEN Designee? (click the link to be taken to the Green Designee website with specialized answers for Buyers, Sellers, or Builders.

Posted on March 28, 2018 at 11:08 am
Ted Mansfield | Category: Buying a home, Green homes, Investment, Move Up Buyers, New Construction, Real Estate, Remodel, Selling your home, Uncategorized

March Neighborhood Update


Neighborhood Update
from Ted Mansfield

LOCAL MARKET UPDATE

The local real estate market set new home price records in many parts of the region in February. Prices here have grown faster than anywhere else in the country for the last 16 months in a row. Demand remains high and inventory very low. Brokers are hoping the normal seasonal increase in listings this spring will help give buyers some relief.

Read the full Local Market Update, including statistics for the Eastside,Seattle, King County and Snohomish County.

  EASTSIDE

  


If you’d like information on your specific neighborhood, give me a call and I’ll be happy to send you a report.

See more over-the-top homes on our Pinterest board!

IN THE KNOW a few things I think you’ll like:

Ted Mansfield – Broker
Mobile: (425) 502-2201

Office: (425) 643-5500
If there is any additional information I can get you, please give me a call.   
– Ted
Windermere Real Estate East, Bellevue South, 14405 SE 36th St., Suite 100, Bellevue, WA 98006
Posted on March 13, 2018 at 9:42 pm
Ted Mansfield | Category: Uncategorized

Latest NAR Data Shows Now Is a Great Time to Sell!

Latest NAR Data Shows Now Is a Great Time to Sell! | Simplifying The Market

We all realize that the best time to sell anything is when demand for that item is high, and the supply of that item is limited. Two major reports released by the National Association of Realtors (NAR) revealed information that suggests that now is a great time to sell your house.

 

Let’s look at the data covered in the latest REALTORS® Confidence Index and Existing Home Sales Report.

REALTORS® CONFIDENCE INDEX

Every month, NAR surveys “over 50,000 real estate practitioners about their expectations for home sales, prices and market conditions.” This month, the index showed (again) that homebuying demand continued to outpace the supply of homes available in January.

The map below illustrates buyer demand broken down by state (the darker your state, the stronger demand there is).

Latest NAR Data Shows Now Is a Great Time to Sell! | Simplifying The Market

In addition to revealing high demand, the index also shows that compared to conditions in the same month last year, seller traffic conditions were ‘weak’ in 22 states, ‘stable’ in 25 states, and ‘strong’ in only 4 states (Alaska, Nevada, North Dakota & Utah).

Takeaway: Demand for housing continues to be strong but supply is struggling to keep up, and this trend is likely to continue throughout 2018.

THE EXISTING HOME SALES REPORT

The most important data revealed in the report was not sales but was instead the inventory of homes for sale (supply). The report explained:

  • Total housing inventory rose 4.1% from December to 1.52 million homes available for sale.
  • Unsold inventory is 9.5% lower than a year ago, marking the 32nd consecutive month with year-over-year declines.
  • This represents a 3.4-month supply at the current sales pace.

According to Lawrence Yun, Chief Economist at NAR:

“Another month of solid price gains underlines this ongoing trend of strong demand and weak supply. The underproduction of single-family homes over the last decade has played a predominant role in the current inventory crisisthat is weighing on affordability.”

In real estate, there is a guideline that often applies; when there is less than a 6-month supply of inventory available, we are in a seller’s market and we will see appreciation. Between 6-7 months is a neutral market, where prices will increase at the rate of inflation. More than a 7-month supply means we are in a buyer’s market and should expect depreciation in home values.

As we mentioned before, there is currently a 3.4-month supply, and houses are going under contract fast. The Existing Home Sales Report shows that 43% of properties were on the market for less than a month when sold.

In January, properties sold nationally were typically on the market for 42 days. As Yun notes, this will continue unless more listings come to the market.

“While the good news is that Realtors in most areas are saying buyer traffic is even stronger than the beginning of last year, sales failed to follow course and far lagged last January’s pace. It’s very clear that too many markets right noware becoming less affordable and desperately need more new listings to calm the speedy price growth.”

Takeaway: Inventory of homes for sale is still well below the 6-month supply needed for a normal market and supply will ‘fail to catch up with demand’ if a ‘sizable’ supply does not enter the market.

Bottom Line

If you are going to sell, now may be the time to take advantage of the ready, willing, and able buyers that are still out searching for your house.

Posted on February 26, 2018 at 12:09 pm
Ted Mansfield | Category: Uncategorized

The relation between interest rates and your purchasing power

Hoe does interest affect home buying power?

We all know that higher interest means higher payments. But what does that mean in real world numbers? The following infographic shows just that. A 1 point jump in interest basically means 10% less house when looking at a $700,000 house. The highlighted numbers in the table show what the same payment buys across a range of home prices.

What does it mean to me right now?

As we are foreseeing a slight bump in interest in the next year, you might want to consider making your jump now to get the most house you can.

Posted on February 23, 2018 at 10:52 am
Ted Mansfield | Category: Buying a home, Finance, First Time Buyers, Investment, Mortgage, Move Up Buyers, Real Estate, Uncategorized