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)
There have been 27 REO properties sold and closed in Maple Valley, WA in the last 6 months. Half of those sold for $244,000 or less and the highest priced sale was $685,000. What's noteworthy is the Sales Price to List Price ratio. Many buyers think they are going to be able to negotiate deep discounts on bank owned properties, when the reality is, the bank or asset manager almost always prices the property to move and have discounted the price on the front end. Of the 27 sold properties,  13 sold within 90 days for 100% of list price, while the remaining 14 properties sold within 6 months at 98.6% of list price. As an example, say there is a bank owned property you really have your heart set on that's listed for $300,000. You are only approved for $250,000 so you're hoping the bank wil...
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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)
If you're out and about in Maple Valley this coming Saturday, please stop by for our 1st annual Little Miracles garage (parking lot) sale. Over the last four years we have raised over $250,000 for Children's Miracle Network through our annual dinner auction but we are branching out and looking for other ways to raise much needed donations for the Uncompensated care fund at Seattle Children's Hospital. We will have lots of previous auction decor items (have a party coming up?), staging items, furniture and much much more. We hope to see you there!
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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)
Maple Valley is blessed with several small, peaceful, picturesque lakes within it's community.  Lake Lucerne, a sister to Pipe Lake (connected through a small channel) is located  in the South Western portion of Maple Valley and is an oasis of peace and quiet in the heart of the City. The surface area of the lake is 16 acres and at it's deepest-37 feet. On average I believe the depth is around 17-18 feet.   Private homes surround the water, and there is no public boat launch or fishing area. Lake Lucerne is also a no-motor boat lake. Any given afternoon you're likely to see fishermen in their canoes or paddlers soaking in the surrounding evergreens and scenery. The Lake holds many memories for local families as it was once a weekend vacation destination for many Seattle families. Small ...
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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)
Just Sold in Maple Woods! We successfully negotiated a short sale on this 5 Bedroom home in the Maple Woods community of Maple Valley, WA. From the time the offer was received to short sale approval was approximately 5 weeks. Short sales are a viable option to foreclosure for many families who have to sell but have no equity.   Thank you to Cheryl Crutcher of Keller Williams who represented the buyers and Merry Smith of First American Title for yet another VERY smooth closing!
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By Paul McFadden, Pest Control, Seattle, WA.
(Responsive Pest Control)
Hi all: I just got back from Maple Valley Days. My wife thinks we've been before. I disagree. It seems like we've always got something else to do. This year was fun. The weather was beautiful and we got to see all the parade participants. Maple Valley Days starts on Friday afternoon and concludes on Sunday. The highlight today was to hold my grandson Sam on my shoulders. He loved that. He's only 9 months old so doesn't really get all the revelry yet but he enjoys being there. Next year I may make it to Lake Wilderness Park. There are all kinds of arts and crafts as well as food. If you're in the area, go. It was a great way to spend a Saturday morning! Enjoy your weekend!
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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)
If you want to do a short sale in the Sacramento area, Elizabeth Weintraub is the pro to call! Not only has she written a book on the subject, but every week she helps more and more homeowners avoid foreclosure through the short sale process. In addition to being a high producing Realtor, Elizabeth is a very prolific blogger. Recently she wrote a blog post entitled "The Number one Short Sale Question". (For her, the number one question she's asked is if a home seller should stop making payments. When talking with sellers in Maple Valley and throughout South King County about helping them Short Sale their house, the number one question I seem to get is "How long is this going to take"?   Sellers who are serious about short selling, are looking to the future....anxious for the time to mo...
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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)
Another  successfully negotiated short sale in Maple Valley, this two story home in Eastwood Forest now has a new owner. The sale took approximately 4 months to negotiate full release on both liens and the home ended up selling to the 2nd buyer (As many short sales do). We were able to successfully negotiate a full release on both the first and second liens for this property. The first mortgage was with Suntrust and the 2nd with Guaranty Bank. Lisitng price: $229,950 Selling price: $220,000
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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 have been 24 Single family homes sold in Maple Valley for the month of April. The lowest priced home sold was $184,000 and the highest price was $875,000. The median sales price for all homes sold was $295,975 and the average days on market for these listings was 85 days. Maple Valley Homes Sold Year to Date There have been 118 Single family homes sold in Maple Valley so far this year through April 30th*. The lowest priced home sold was $110,800 and the highest price was $875,000. The median sales price for all homes sold was $290,500 and the average days on market for these listings was 73 days. *Represents single family homes listed through NWMLS only and does not reflect private party sales.
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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)
They say the more things change the more they stay the same. I've shared before how my passion for real estate and the house-hunting process grew from spending Sunday mornings with my parents, perusing the paper for open houses. (There was a brief time my folks entertained the idea of moving to acreage so I might have my own horse, but then I blinked and that those homes were quickly removed from consideration). Back then we'd get home from Church, have a big breakfast and then dive into the coupon-stuffed Sunday Paper. Dad would take most of it, but I'd get the real estate classifieds and hope to find a house or three to go tour.  Fast forward twenty thirty some odd years. Sunday mornings are much the same only with a modern twist.  My husband and I skip the big breakfast most of the t...
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By Ken Crotts, Combining Experience and Innovation
(eXp Realty)
I've only been doing short sales for a couple of years but have noticed a disturbing trend as of late. When I started doing shorts the 2nd lien holders were typically getting 10% of their balance approved by the first. Later on that went down to 5%, and more recently with direction from Fannie Mae and the HAMP program they have gone to $3,000.  Greentree seems to be bucking the system. I have two right now where the first has all but approved the deal but Greentree is demanding 5% of the PURCHASE PRICE! Now we are used to outragous claims but after weeks of negotiating they are not coming off the price and seem more than willing to let the borrower and the first burn rather than accept 3% of the purchase price. At 3% they are getting far more than most in these deals.  Since they are si...
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By Ken Crotts, Combining Experience and Innovation
(eXp Realty)
Automated home valuation web sites offer the promise of a free market value for your home without the hassle of having an agent spend hours of your time during a free CMA presentation. I think they are great, and more than a little addictive once your start logging into the site and popping in the addresses of any home you are curious about. Best of all they portend to give you the monthly fluctuations in graph form and will even email you letting you know how much your home has gone up or down in the last 30 days. Pretty miraculous wouldn't you say? The last email I recall from Zillow said my house went up $26,ooo over the previous 30 days. Cool! I felt like celebrating. When it actually comes to determining what the actual market value of your home is are you willing to leave it to a...
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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)
Approved Short Sale in Maple Valley's Eastwood Forest. The irony is, we received approval on the 2nd loan for this house the same day the buyer was laid off. What can I say? Life Happens! This lovely 3 BR two story is a short sale but after several long months negotiating with both the first and second lien holder's we have received approval at this list price with the seller paying 3% towards buyer's closing costs. The home has newer hardi-plank siding, 6 panel doors, updated lighting, a nice covered deck in the fully fenced yard AND is located on a cul-de-sac lot. Offered at $220,000 and ready to close !  
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By Ken Crotts, Combining Experience and Innovation
(eXp Realty)
Many of the loan modifications in process are running into challenges when the second mortgage holder is asked to cooperate. Homeowners trying to stop foreclosure in Maple Valley are having success with their first lien holders just to find out that the second mortgage holder is refusing to cooperate. House Financial Services Committee Chairman Barney Frank (D- Massachusetts) has sent out a petition to some of the nation's largest junior lien holders demanding that they take "immediate steps to write down second mortgages" to create a clear path for sustainable loan restructurings. Reducing a homeowner's overall debt to 31% of their monthly income so that modified payments are within their budgets requires cooperation from both the first and second lien holders. In a letter to the CEOs ...
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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)
Who doesn't like new? Whether it be a car, pair of shoes, coat of paint....ok, there have been a few new hair-dos I could have lived without, but for the most part new is always exciting and fun. Here in Maple Valley, new construction was a strong driving force behind the run up of prices in '05 and '06 as demand far (FAR) out paced supply. Things have leveled off to a more even point and builders not only have more affordable product now, but some are offering some hefty incentives upon sale. If you're looking for a brand new home here in Maple Valley, you may have to consider the presale option. This is where the builder does not begin construction (sometimes the permit hasn't even been pulled yet) until there is an agreed upon contract. Most of the available presales right now indica...
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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)
Lower home values in the greater Maple Valley area have contributed to a larger number of single family homes being converted to rentals. Owners are drawing the line on their bottom line and resolve to wait out the real estate recovery. It's easy to find a tenant right? While the concept of renting is simple; find tenant, tenant moves in, tenant pays rent, landlord makes mortgage payment....the realities are much different. Especially today. Who's Renting Today? Many of today's tenants are former homeowners. People who have good incomes but due to some sudden, unforeseen circumstance, fell behind on payments or had an adjustable  loan reset which subsequently priced them out of the market. They either sold their home short, or let it go back to the bank. But other applicants are looking...
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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 seems we are finally starting to see some progress with short sale closings here in Maple Valley. Previously, the number of closed sales was very low compared to the pending sales clogging the escrow funnel. As of today, there are 44 Active Short Sale Listings in the greater Maple Valley area. Those homes have an average asking price of $292,000. Pending sales total 50, with the majority (60%) priced between $200,000 and $300,000. The Average price is $290,151 with the high being $669.950 and the low $150,000. Within the last 6 months, 26 homes have been successfully negotiated and closed at an average sales price of $315,705. The good news is, more homeowners are beginning to understand the benefits of going the short sale route vs letting the home go to foreclosure.  
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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 always been fun to sell a brand new home (as in new construction) and watch my client's excitement as things eventually come together. Sheet rock is done, cabinets are in, they've chosen their colors and finally it's all come together! One of my favorite steps in the process is the walk-through. Armed with blue painters tape, we mark little dings here and there, places where paint has been missed or scratched, and any areas throughout the home that might need repair or replacement. As a side note, I used to tell my husband I was going to bring a roll  home and leave blue tape throughout our house rather than nag him about repairs I wanted done.   Of course the look he gave me made me realize that probably wasn't the best thing to do if I wanted to maintain marital harmony.  A few ...
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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'm not a city girl. Having lived my entire life in the suburbs of various metropolitan cities (Cincinnati, Washington DC, Philadelphia and for the last 23 years Seattle), I'm used to having a little less bustle amidst my hustle...not to mention elbow room. We now live on 5 acres in the bedroom community of Maple Valley (apx 20 miles SE of Seattle), surrounded by acres of privately owned land with 100 acres of DNR forest across the street. Suffice to say, we have our share of wildlife making an appearance now and then. Coyotes, bears, cougars, Elk, deer, Eagles....we have them all. This past weekend, while watching the Acadmey Awards, I heard the familiar sound of distant Coyotes...only this time, they weren't so distant. They were closer than I had ever heard them, and for me (with a n...
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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)
Many buyers, investors and local homeowners are interested in staying on top of foreclosures in the area. I am excited to announce a new search function on the MovingMapleValley.com website which allows for the tracking of Bank Owned homes as well as those properties currently in default which are scheduled for a Trustee Sale.   It's important to note, all properties scheduled for Auction are not always sold on the courthouse steps.Some will be in short sale status and will close prior to auction date, others will be worked out or postponed due to Bankruptcy or other factors taken into consideration by the Lender.     The one snafu with this search function is that in order to view detailed information on more than one property, it's necessary to enter your information for each home. I...
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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)
Negotiating short sales can be an exhausting, frustrating, bang-your-head-against-the-wall experience, and in the past year, more the norm than the exception I've experienced while working out short sale listings in Maple Valley and South King County communities. Every now and then there is one that's easier than most, but is more often the process is a big ball of UGH!  The most frustrating part of the process is just getting through the maze of moronic red-tape to actually be able to speak with the Negotiator on the other side-that person who will be working with the investor on the loan and is able to give me accurate, current information. They may not be the final decision maker, but they are usually only one or two steps removed.   I've had a few heated conversations with negotiato...
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