Maple Valley, WA Real Estate News

By Colleen Fischesser Northwest Property Shop, A Tradition of Trust in the Pacific NW since 1990!
(RE/MAX Advantage | Managing Broker)
For the last eighteen months or so we have seen new construction inventory slowly being absorbed. Builders (wisely) halted many of their planned new starts; offered enticing incentives and made aggressive price reductions in order to get many finished product off their books. An encouraging sign for the Maple Valley housing market can be found in a few new recently listed projects. Although these are "presale only" inventory (which means the builder will not start the house until an offer is signed around) the fact that money is flowing again and builders have the ability to get these projects moving forward is step in the right direction. Of course, builders have to adjust their product to what's in demand, and right now that's first time home buyer (aka affordable) price ranges. If yo...
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By Ken Crotts, Combining Experience and Innovation
(eXp Realty)
When is the best time to consider a short sale? Deciding to Short Sale your property is usually considered an option after homeowners have exhausted their savings, spent weeks or months trying to get a loan modification and after a Notice of Trustees Sale (in King County ) has been filed. I meet people weekly who are at the end of their available options in a foreclosure action and are just beginning the short sale process 30 to 60 days in advance of a foreclosure sale. Reviewing their history gives me the opportunity to consider what would have been a better strategy to addressing financial hardship. The best time to consider a short sale on your property occurs prior to dipping into your savings to make your monthly mortgage payment. It should be a part of a designed strategy that pre...
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By Colleen Fischesser Northwest Property Shop, A Tradition of Trust in the Pacific NW since 1990!
(RE/MAX Advantage | Managing Broker)
For every real estate professional, the new year starts out with uncertainty and no small amount of anxiety. We do not pull a bi-monthly paycheck, or have an annual salary upon which to base our budgets. I don't care how experienced or successful, no one in real estate sales knows exactly what the year ahead will bring. Which is why so many of us like to plan and analyze and look to industry experts for forecasts and predictions.    This year has been much stronger for real estate sales than many of us had anticipated (or hoped for). But if there's one thing the last few years have taught me it's that nothing in real estate is "ordinary" any more.  While  NAR, tells us that pending homes sales have increased for the seventh straight month (longest streak since 2001), I know that in my m...
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By Colleen Fischesser Northwest Property Shop, A Tradition of Trust in the Pacific NW since 1990!
(RE/MAX Advantage | Managing Broker)
Single Family homes are make up the majority of Residential real estate in the Maple Valley market, however there are several PUD and Condominum complexes for buyers looking for lower maintenance living. Water Gardens and Lake Wilderness Villa are 55+ gated communities, but there are Townhome, Zero Lot Line homes and true "condominium" style flats also available in communities like Parkhaven, Valley Green, Valley Meadows, Glacier Valley, Tiburon and Cedar Downs. The year has not been a good one for Condo-sales throughout King County however it seems things may be starting to pick up (as prices have come down).   Here's what's going on right now with Condominium sales within the Tahoma School District (as published by NWMLS):   ACTIVE  Listings: 12        Average Price: $278,312         ...
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By Colleen Fischesser Northwest Property Shop, A Tradition of Trust in the Pacific NW since 1990!
(RE/MAX Advantage | Managing Broker)
I was blessed to have been trained by an amazing broker when I first began my real estate career. She held the most fabulous sales meetings which were motivating and enlightening. One meeting in particular sticks in my mind where she was creatively impressing upon us the lesson that it's not enough to say the right thing, but rather, the right thing must be said in the right way. She passed out a piece of paper to about 5 of us. On the paper was written the phrase "you're not getting your earnest money back" and then below that an emotion: angry, sad, happy, embarrassed. Then each person read the phrase with the accopanied emotion out loud to the group. Even though we had some theatrically challenged agents iparticipating, the point was well made. How we deliver news and information is ...
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By Colleen Fischesser Northwest Property Shop, A Tradition of Trust in the Pacific NW since 1990!
(RE/MAX Advantage | Managing Broker)
There has been so much written in the news, reported on TV and talked about around the cul-de-sac with respect to Short Sales and whether they are worth a Seller's time or effort. I don't know why, but for some reason everyone in the Universe seems to think they are an expert when it comes to dispensing real estate advice. Here are a few myths I've heard recently: If you're not behind in payments, the bank won't consider your short sale. Not true! While you'll likely have to demonstrate a hardship to your lender, you do not always have to be behind in payment in order for the bank to consider your offer. Once you've received a Notice of Trustee's Sale, there's no help for selling so you might as well hand the keys over to the bank. Not True! Once you have a signed listing contract, some...
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By Ken Crotts, Combining Experience and Innovation
(eXp Realty)
Short sales are difficult enough when you are prepared for them at your initial listing appointment. I have come across several listings where the agent and owner were unaware that their sale would require the underlying lenders approval to complete the sale. I know this sounds crazy but it is happening with ever increasing frequency as prices continue to fall. A few simple steps can help you avoid this catastrophe. When preparing for your listing appointment check the MLS records for the previous purchase price and date. This is often a good indicator since the majority of purchases in the last 3 years were for prices equal or greater than what the house is going to sell for now. Many of those purchases included 90% to 100% LTV loan. In the Northwest MLS click the property history link...
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By Colleen Fischesser Northwest Property Shop, A Tradition of Trust in the Pacific NW since 1990!
(RE/MAX Advantage | Managing Broker)
  First time home buyers are driving the entry level market, enabling "move-up" buyers to finally be able to consider a change. It will be interesting to see what happens come November when the first time home buyer tax credit deadline is imminent. It will be tough to tell whether a slowdown (if any) is to be attributed to the end of the credit, or a seasonal slowdown. But for now, this is what's going on with Single Family homes located within the Tahoma School District:   Active Listings: 263   Average List Price $431,761    Lowest Price: $115,000    Highest Price: $3,375,000   Pending Listings: 115    Average List Price: $344,786  Lowest Price: $124,786   Highest Price: $1,049,000   Sold (6 months) Listings: 488   Average List Price: $362,281  Lowest Price: $65,000   Highest Price: $...
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By Ken Crotts, Combining Experience and Innovation
(eXp Realty)
An agent called me upset the other day because I had called on a cancelled listing that she had represented. The client had a beautiful home on acreage in a desirable area and was by all measures a great listing..... except two things. The buyer was upside down on their mortgage and they were relocating out of state so they had to sell. When I contacted the owner I had already done my research and knew these facts. In this type of case a short sale is a good option for the homeowner as it limits the damage to their credit and would allow them to qualify for a mortgage years earlier than a Deed-In-Lieu or foreclosure. She was upset with me because my advice directly contradicted the advice she gave them which was to give the house back on a Deed-In-Lieu or Foreclosure rather than short s...
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By Colleen Fischesser Northwest Property Shop, A Tradition of Trust in the Pacific NW since 1990!
(RE/MAX Advantage | Managing Broker)
As Summer winds down, it seems there is suddenly a flurry of rental activity in the Maple Valley area. Many owners have made seasonal adjustments to prices and suddenly properties are renting right and left. Whether you're a would-be investor, tenant or landlord, you may find it helpful to stay on top of market trends with respect non-owner occupied properties. Here is a snapshot of rental activity within Tahoma School District boundaries as of today and what has rented within the last 6 months* Properties Currently Available:   14 Average Rental Price: $1600/month   Properties Rented Last 6 Months: 30 Average Rental Price: $1570   If you're an owner thinking about leasing your property, I encourage you to consider RE/MAX Select Property Management services. We are the only locally owne...
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By Julianna Hind, REALTOR, 206-679-4768, Tacoma Federal Way, Auburn, Kent, WA
(eXp Realty)
Maple Valley, WA Open House: Saturday, August 22nd, 2009: 9 AM - 12 PM...Pride of ownership shines in this meticulously kept home in the quiet neighborhood of Rock Creek Meadows. Open floor plan w/contemporary design features huge island kitchen w/tons of cabinet /counter space, oversized family room w/cozy gas fireplace and bright dining area. Gorgeous home inside & out wrapped in HardiPlank siding & surrounded by impeccably landscaped yard. Grandiose master suite w/ 5pc bath and generous walk-in closet. Community sports court & two playgrounds. Award winning Tahoma Schools.   $279,950 Bedrooms: 3 Bathrooms: 2.5 Sq Ft: 1,762 SQFT Built: 2005 Lot Size: 4129 SQFT GarageSpaces: 2 Interior: Garage/Other: 2Bathroom Off Master BedroomDining RoomDouble Pane/Storm WindowsFamily Room/Great Room...
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By Ken Crotts, Combining Experience and Innovation
(eXp Realty)
For the past 3 years I have been working with a client base that, more than normal, consults with their lawyers regarding the issues surrounding their real estate transactions. I am speaking, of course, of distressed homeowners who are facing foreclosure. As a Certified Short Sale Specialist in King County my clients face a myriad of legal issues surrounding their real estate that most homeowners don't have to consider. Issues such as the following: How is foreclosure going to affect me legally? Will I have to pay back any money that the lender is not able to recover from a short sale or foreclosure? Should I declare bankruptcy? What should I do if the lender files a lawsuit against me? I recommend all of my clients seek legal advice from their attorney. The results from different attor...
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By Ken Crotts, Combining Experience and Innovation
(eXp Realty)
Photographs are the primary medium where buyers and agents form their first impressions of a property. Whether we like it or not we form opinions about each property as we look through the 5 to 15 photos of each property. To properly market a property it is essential to have those photos tell a good story about the house. God lighting, proper focus, and other elements combine for a great layout. Unfortunately lighting, weather, and our clients don't always work together to present the best side of a property. In Maple Valley Washington you're more likely to have the gray skies suck all of the color out of your photograph than to have the sun make everything bright. This is a listing in Kent WashingtonI just took and will use as an example. This is the raw picture taken with a Nikon 70D ...
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By Ken Crotts, Combining Experience and Innovation
(eXp Realty)
Here in King County we are having one of the best summers ever! There is no more beautiful place to live thanSeattle/King County when the weather is cooperating. With the sun comes the need to water our lawns more often to keep the emerald green in our lawn that King County residents have come to expect. Looking at my water bill from the Covington Water District I noticed that the irrigation meter is billed at $9.69 per cubic foot for water. A cubic foot is 7.48 gallons which calculates out to $1.26 per gallon. I checked several web sites for recommendations for watering a fescue lawn and the general consensus was 1" per week. My lawn area measures about 4,000 square feet which works out to 4,000 cubic inches or 27.77 cubic feet.   It looks like it is going to cost me $276.66 per week t...
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By Ken Crotts, Combining Experience and Innovation
(eXp Realty)
The thing I am finding out about short sales is that you have to remain flexible and you never know what is going to happen next. One of my career short sales was referred to me almost a year ago. A good friend of mine referred a nice young couple to me and we proceeded to market the house as a short sale. After being stalled by the lender for almost 6 months my negotiator got a call directly from Fannie Mae apologizing for the unnecessary delays from the servicer. With a pending offer on the property it looks like we are going to close. Until yesterday. The latest twist came in an email from my negotiator that the BPO came in at $129,000. This was great news, I thought, since the offer was at $149,950. I figured the bank would give me a pat on the back and close the deal. NOT!! As it t...
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By Ken Crotts, Combining Experience and Innovation
(eXp Realty)
I know many articles have been written about short sales and their impact on our market. I have spent the last two years immersed in the short sale arena working every day to improve our processes and closing ratio's. By their very nature short sales are difficult. I won't go on about the challenges of working out deals with over worked lenders and distant investors. For the real estate professional I have historically held that it is an all or nothing proposition as to whether or not you want to represent short sale sellers. My reasoning behind that is the time and energy required to complete a short sale requires systems, staffing and an ongoing commitment to keep abreast of a rapidly changing environment. For the average real estate agent the time and energy put into one or two short...
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By Colleen Fischesser Northwest Property Shop, A Tradition of Trust in the Pacific NW since 1990!
(RE/MAX Advantage | Managing Broker)
Wondering what's going with real estate in Cherokee Bay?   ACTIVE LISTINGS: 12 on the market. Average List Price $308,040 Average Market Time 55 Days PENDING SALES: 6 Sales in Escrow Average List Price $257,892 Average Market Time 57 Days   SOLD IN LAST 6 MONTHS 16 Properties Average Sales Price: $229,433 Average Market Time 43 Days *This information is for Single Family Homes listed through NWMLS only. Private or "by owner" sales are not included. Find Out Online What Your Cherokee Bay Home is Worth!   Behind on Payments? We May Be Able to Help! Find out what your Maple Valley home is worth. Find My Maple Valley Dream Home! Colleen Fischesser is the Broker/Owner of RE/MAX Select in Maple Valley, WA. She has been successfully selling and marketing properties all over South King & North ...
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By Julianna Hind, REALTOR, 206-679-4768, Tacoma Federal Way, Auburn, Kent, WA
(eXp Realty)
Maple Valley, Wa Home for Sale/Open House...Presented By Julianna Hind    I am ecstatic to debut this home with a Public Open House! Better than new & Fantastic price for move-in quality on beautiful 4 bedroom home with office and large bonus room. Kitchen features granite counters with stainless appliances & Porcelain cherry hardwoods. Large master suite with stunning 5 piece master bath with elegant tile soaking tub. The convenient upstairs laundry room is steps away from where you need it. Upgraded trim, molding, carpet & blinds. Large entertaining deck plumbed for gas - your BBQ will love you and your guests may not leave. Please note: I am not the Listing Agent, and present the home as a Buyer's Agent, ready to work exclusively with you as a potential buyer of this home, and I am p...
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By Colleen Fischesser Northwest Property Shop, A Tradition of Trust in the Pacific NW since 1990!
(RE/MAX Advantage | Managing Broker)
It's not just Maple Valley that is feeling the slowdown in Condo sales, but it was surprising when I logged on to pull stats and realized there hasn't been ONE condo/towhome sale to close in Maple Valley this year. Keep in mind, not every Townhome community in the City is a condominium. Valley Green townhomes for instance, are single family units and were not recorded as condominiums.     Here's a Year to Date Market Report of Condominium/Townhome Activity: Active Listings: 17 Average List Price: $259,185 Median Price: 258,950 Average Market Time: 88 Days   Pending Sales: 4 Average Listing Price: $239,713 Median Price: $214,975 Average Market Time: 148 Days       See Additional pictures on the new Maple Valley Photo Blog Behind on Payments? We May Be Able to Help! Find out what your Map...
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By Colleen Fischesser Northwest Property Shop, A Tradition of Trust in the Pacific NW since 1990!
(RE/MAX Advantage | Managing Broker)
We have a saying here in the Seattle area, "Summer starts on July 5th". The weather is usually less than ideal for July 4th celebrations; backyard picnics, swimming and pyrotechnics. But not this year, the sun is shining and the grills will be working overtime. Be safe and have fun! Maple Valley Moments from the Week of July 29:   Above the Barn Door Spotlight on Tahoma Schools Sunshine & Summertime Bank Owned Market Report       See Additional pictures on the new Maple Valley Photo Blog Behind on Payments? We May Be Able to Help! Find out what your Maple Valley home is worth. Find My Maple Valley Dream Home! Colleen Fischesser is the Broker/Owner of RE/MAX Select in Maple Valley, WA. She has been successfully selling and marketing properties all over South King & North Pierce counties ...
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