Bainbridge Island, WA Real Estate News

When Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac started offering "Premium Pricing" again -- is a way for a lender to charge you a higher interest rate but pay for closing costs -- the move also benefited those wanting to lower the rate on their rental property. This move can benefit those that have four or less total properties (at Golf we currently can help those with more than four properties in certain circumstances) and just want to lower the rate. Fannie and Freddie add on 1.75 points automatically to a rental/investment property. Without Premium Pricing, those with rentals had to pay hefty points to get a lower rate. But today an investor with great credit and lots of equity can lower their interest rate to 5.375% with no points for a 30 Year Fixed Rate loan. Again, superior credit (720 mid credi...
Comments 0
By Maureen Buckley, Managing Broker/ Owner
(Buckley & Buckley Real Estate)
Edward and I have have just listed the most elegant and well designed coastal home on Pleasant Beach on Bainbridge Island. This home (www.PleasantBeachHome.com) is a new construction 4 bedroom gracious home with elements of turn of the century eastern coastal homes. The Builder, Gene Knox of Blue Fish was designer, architect, & builder. Having roots in Boston, Gene brings both traditional elements together with current north west styling. (check out the viking kitchen and luxurious master bath) This home will be open Sunday november 15th from 1 - 4 at Pleasant Beach Drive. Maureen
Comments 1
By Maureen Buckley, Managing Broker/ Owner
(Buckley & Buckley Real Estate)
One Call for All, a unique Bainbridge Island tradition, started almost 50 years ago when a few forward-thinking Islanders decided to combine the individual fund appeals of multiple organizations into one annual mail drive.  Every Fall, Red Envelopes appear in our mailboxes and Islanders know this is the time to donate to our favorite local non-profit organizations.  By combining the fund appeals of all participating groups into one campaign, One Call for All gives you the opportunity to support the local organizations you choose without being swamped by more than 85 individual appeals!   The diversity of non-profit organizations operating on Bainbridge reflects the breadth of the island's interests and concerns. For more information, visit:  www.onecallforall.org or phone 206-842-0659  
Comments 0
By Maureen Buckley, Managing Broker/ Owner
(Buckley & Buckley Real Estate)
It seems that everyone I talk to asks how our Bainbridge real estate market is doing. Home sales have remained steady through September and October. Inventory fluctuated in the 250 active listings range with around 30 to 40 under contract for an average absorption rate of 16%. Not exactly the 28% rate of early 2007 but much better then the 8% to 10% rate of late 2007 and 2008. Is it still a buyer's market? Yes, but some price ranges have seen multiple offers again, especially homes in the $600,000 price range. Meanwhile, non waterfront homes over $800,000 have continued to languish on the market. There are some excellent values seen here with properties offered at less than replacement costs. With jumbo loans available at 5% or less we hope to see more of these homes going under contrac...
Comments 0
By Brenda Prowse
(Prowse and Company)
Bainbridge Island residential properties were selling for an October median price of $492,000, about 6% lower than in September. The more stable three month moving average of closed sale price fell 8% from last month to $536,333 and is 12% lower than it was a year ago. Sales at the top of the market lagged - there werre only 5 closed sales above $900k in Kitsap County last month. The Kitsap County 3 month moving average median price has fallen 6% over the past year. Note that prices tailed off at the end of last year so we expect this gap to close in the coming months. The 3 month moving average for Bainbridge Island's number of  closed sales is 35% higher than a year ago. The 3 month moving average number of pending sales in October rose 57% from a year ago. The 3 month moving average ...
Comments 0
By Paul Pival, A Realtor with the soul of a professor.
(Coldwell Banker Bain)
I was chatting with  Karl Buchmeier this week about insurance matters and asked him to share a story about why health insurance is valuable.  Last November Jim, a 42-year-old general contractor from Port Orchard, met with Karl to explore health insurance options.  Jim had no coverage at all.  He chose a high-deductible plan with a monthly premium of $160. In February, after suffering for several weeks with an intense headache, Jim went to the doctor.  A series of tests revealed a large and growing brain tumor. Jim immediately went into surgery but it did not go well.  Another surgery was performed in March, and then again in June.  Finally in mid July, Jim learned that he was going to be okay.  But the good news had some bad mixed in. Jim's medical bills exceeded $800,000 dollars, of wh...
Comments 1
By Brenda Prowse
(Prowse and Company)
Bainbridge Island residential properties were selling for an September median price of $592,000, about 11% lower than in August. The more stable three month moving average of closed sale price fell 17% from last month to $580,417 and is 2% lower than it was a year ago (recall that the median price can be misleading when the price distribution of sales is changing). Sales at the top of the market lagged - there was only 1 closed sale above $900k in Kitsap County last month. The Kitsap County 3 month moving average median price has fallen 8% over the past year. Note that prices tailed off at the end of last year so we expect this gap to close in the coming months. The 3 month moving average for Bainbridge Island's number of closed sales is 15% higher than a year ago - a testament to last ...
Comments 1
Condo rule changes from both Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac as well as FHA are radically altering the condo lending landscape.   Condos sales have been distressed and unfortunately, many of these changes are unlikely to help spur condo sales.  But Realtors need to know about these changes if they are going to make an offer a condo. Most condo loans have been approved through a process called Limited Review or Streamline, used for established condominium projects.  In recent years, for new condos, Fannie and Freddie required the lender to handle the approval, but now there is a formal approval process established with Fannie and Freddie to make sure the new condo complex meets their more stringent requirements. As part of this formal approval, which the builder often pays for, Fannie and Fre...
Comments 0
Many homeowners who have been unable to sell their homes and take it off the market have been surprised by a lending rule when they go to refinance their home. It's called the "Time off Market" rule.  Because of it, many lenders require the homeowner to wait for six months after their listing expires before they will allow them to refinance. The clock starts when the application is taken, not when the loan funds. That puts homeowners in a bind. First they couldn't sell their home, now they want to take advantage of today's record low interest rates because they plan to be in the home for a while and would like to save money but are told they can't refinance. But there is hope as not all lenders have this rule.  At most of the big brand name banks, the rule is pretty much the same: you c...
Comments 0
By Paul Pival, A Realtor with the soul of a professor.
(Coldwell Banker Bain)
Slowly we turn, inch by inch . . .  . Activity this week was less than last week, but ahead of this time last year. Average selling prices were higher. I expect activity to increase in the coming weeks as the deadline for first-time homebuyers approaches.  If you are interested in the details of the home that sold in your neighborhood, email me.                  
Comments 3
Lenders continue to tighten their rules and the latest salvo is that a credit report, which for years has had an expiration date of 120 days from the time it was pulled until the loan recorded has now been shortened to 90 days. What can that mean for home buyers? If they get pre-approved too soon, before they are ready to make an offer, they are going to be looking at their lender pulling a credit report mid-way through their transaction. That means: More credit report fees charged to the buyer That could mean: The borrower's approval status could change and they could end up being denied if their credit score fell below their loan program's threshold or a derogatory item appeared on the new report that did not appear on the old one. The borrower's loan terms could change. If the loan's...
Comments 1
FHA is the loan of choice for parents that want to help their kids buy their first home.  Even if your son or daughter is in college and has no income, if you are on the loan with them, FHA will allow your income and assets to be used to qualify for the home purchase. As long as you meet the lending requirements to qualify, your kids can be in their first home while they are attending school. How cool is that? That's been a big advantage to using an FHA loanL conventional loans require sufficient income and are not as accomodating for a "non-occupying" coborrower. Another big advantage is the down payment: today's minimum down payment is only 3.5 percent and the ENTIRE down payment can be a gift from you to your children.  Add on another huge plus: FHA loans are at or below 5.00% today....
Comments 2
There are 30+ pending transactions currently and the Jumbo Fixed mortgage market is showing some signs of thawing.  While we only had 20 single-family detached home sales in August according to the Peekmeister (aka Jim Peek at John L. Scott, one of my favorite data gurus) vs. 26 in August 2008, we are likely to catch up in September. We only had 16 home sales last September. Sitting a Broker's Open House with Susan Murie Burris of Windermere on Cherry yesterday, we saw buyers come by from as far away as Florida and Virginia.  That's a very good sign, seeing buyers at an Open house repeat, albeit the home just had a very nice price improvement (reduction).
Comments 0
If you are looking for more good news in the real estate market, don't talk to local appraisers. They have a pretty dim view of the next few months.   Appraisers are seeing more distressed properties coming across their desk and its making them a bit pessimistic about values. Just ask anyone who is in the middle of a refinance what the thought of their appraisal.  That's bound to continue to spill over to appraisals on sales. Buyers are out there: I have 16 different couples and singles pre-approved for a home purchase and only three are actively making offers this week. The rest are dipping their toes in the water, but not jumping in just yet.   Sure would like to see an nice fall where they make the big leap, wouldn't you?
Comments 1
Fannie Mae is making so many changes with their newest announcement that the link to the full document is listed below. Many of the changes will result in more paperwork for borrowers, but some guidelines are being radically altered, such as the one real estate columnist Ken Harney covered this weekend: no more trailing spouse income can be counted for those relocating. Here are some of the categories being impacted: - Age of Credit Documents (90 days max vs. 120)- Construction-to-Permanent Financing and Single-Closing Transaction (re-approval of the borrower)- Credit Card Financing (may allow up to 2% of loan amount outside closing)- IRS Form 4506-T (will require up front, urges lenders to pull tax returns during underwriting to verify income)- Home Equity Lines of Credit (expands use ...
Comments 0
U.S. News & World Report placed the Bremerton-Silverdale area on its top ten list for the nation where home prices are expected to appreciate the most over the 10 years. The news magazine predicts home prices will increase an average of 5.2 percent annually in the next decade. Among the positive factors, the magazine noted a large military presence that adds greater employment stability to Kitsap County, as well as stronger employment prospects on the other side of the pond in the Seattle and Tacoma areas. PDF copy go to http://www.bainbridge-island.us/email/usnews.pdf  
Comments 0
By Susan Peters, The Better it Looks the Better it Sells
(Dove Realty Inc.)
On Bainbridge Island, just a 35 minute ferry ride away. When it comes to interior design my philosophy is “fast and cheap,” with one exception: artwork! Take some of the money you’ve saved on furniture and spend it on something you’ll love for the rest of your life. Director’s Gallery on Bainbridge Island is my new favorite resource for beautiful, evocative, original paintings. Owner and director Jack Mclaughlin not only has an incredible eye (there was not one thing in the place I didn’t like), but he is so knowledgeable and so not pushy! While his taste is exquisite, his prices are very reasonable. When you buy artwork, buy something you absolutely love! Director’s Gallery 126 Madrone Lane Bainbridge Island, WA 98110 206.842.6000 www.TheDirectorsGallery.com
Comments 5
Finally, it drives me nuts when I pick up the Seattle Times and they run a chart of "local lenders" and mortgage rates.  First, there is not one major lender on this monthly list, just companies you have never heard of before.  Second, the rates are a week old and mortgage rates can change daily and even several times in one day.  Third, how can you have the same loan amount and show the exact same fees, but the APR they list in the Times is wildly different between lenders offering the exact same thing??? Here's the truth about APR: it can be manipulated.  An APR or Annual Percentage Rate is supposed to be used as an apples-to-apples comparison between lenders quoting mortgage rates as it supposed to unveil the real cost of the loan and indicate if there are hidden fees. Unfortunately,...
Comments 0
If you threw away a recent "disclosure" notice from your credit card company thinking it was junk mail, you better check your interest rate online or in your next statement. Dozens of my customers -- many with nearly perfect credit -- have told me their interest rates have recently been raised, some as high as more than 29 percent! Apparently there are new regulations coming next summer and credit card issuers are rushing to raise rates now as they will be more limited in the future.  If you pay your bill off each month, you still may be impacted as some companies will charge you interest from the moment the charge is made.  Recommendation: do read the fine print. NEW RULES COMING: http://www.creditcards.com/credit-card-news/help/what-the-new-credit-card-rules-mean-6000.php  
Comments 1