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)
More than almost anything in the course of my daily business, I hate being late. Late to appointments, late on closings....Late in real estate is rarely a good thing. But unfortunately, my delay in delivering my Monday Market update was due to two unexpected offers received yesterday and somehow this just got moved down the list a little. So without further ado, here is the Monday Market Update for home sToday's Monday update for the Maple Valley Real Estate Market arrives on Tuesday, thanks to two unexpected offers received on properties yesterday! It appears buyers are once again hopping in the saddle (after  last weekend's hiatus from home shopping) and making purchase decisions. Here's a market snapshot for single family homes in the greater Maple Valley, WA area (defined by Tahoma...
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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)
A quick look at short sale activity in the greater Maple Valley, WA market. This graph represents Single Family properties only, listed through NWMLS which have been identified as sales which must be approved by underlying lien holder(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)
It would seem the drought of new construction listings in the Maple Valley, WA market is over. There for awhile, as the standing inventory of the 2007-2008 market was reduced and slowly absorbed, many builders found it increasingly difficult to obtain spec financing. Local neighborhoods under construction began to resemble ghost towns. I'll never forget previewing homes for a client relocating to the area back in mid-2008. It was a Monday afternoon and as I walked from home to home with my MLS key in  hand, I suddenly stopped and realized that it's Monday afternoon!  Where was everyone? There wasn't a single truck or construction worker to be seen. The entire plat was eerily quiet. Some builders/developers have since sold their lots, while others have made product adjustments in order t...
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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)
What a difference a week makes! Last weekend, a driver in Maple Valley WA suffered a seizure, drove off the road and ended up t-boning the drive up window of our local McDonalds restaurant. Fortunately the injuries were minor, and so too apparently was the damage. The restaurant was only closed for about 5 days and back in business in no time.  
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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)
Aside from the topic of short sales,  the most common questions I'm asked by clients these days is about the extended first time home buyer tax credit and lately, the "move up" tax credit. Here are a few answers to those questions:         FIRST TIME BUYERS Q: If I'm a first time buyer, do I need to repay the $8000? A: No. The tax credit from 2008 was in the form of a repayment, but anyone who bought between January 1, 2009 and is in contract to close on a home by April 30, 2010 (and the sale actually closes on or before June 30, 2010) will qualify Q: I've owned a home in the past, but now for a  few years. Do I still qualify? A: Yes. The first time home buyer status has been defined by the IRS as anyone who has not owned a principle residence during the three years preceding their pur...
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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)
The sign hasn't been in the Kitchen for long, but this has been my motto for years. Adopted it long ago and haven't had too many complaints...I raised some smart boys (and married a smart man). You're welcome over anytime, just know that this is my policy!  
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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)
The first month of the new year recorded 19 single family properties within the Tahoma School District close sales…a slight drop from last year’s 23 and 21 in the same month in 2008. The majority of sales still fall within the “regular” category, rather than mostly being made up of short sales or bank owned foreclosed properties. Interesting that our average Sales price for closed homes in 2010 rose by approximately 8.5% although finished down 11% from those which closed in January 2008
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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)
The strength of the Tahoma School district has many families, both local and out of state, focusing on the Maple Valley area as a possible place to put down roots. A common question I am asked from those who do not currently live in the area, is what types of sports programs are available. As the mother of three boys, I am very familiar with how important this can be in the relocation decision making process. My husband and I have shuttled many carpools, and cheered as Football/Baseball/Lacrosse/Wrestling and Soccer fans. It was a blast and we met many wonderful people along the way. The long answer to the short question is YES! Maple Valley has many youth sports programs for both boys and girls. Here's a quick reference:   Soccer: Maple Valley Soccer Association: I can tell you from fi...
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By Ken Crotts, Combining Experience and Innovation
(eXp Realty)
The debate over banking reform rages as President Obama's efforts to reign in the "too big to fail" institutions are endlessly debated. Capitalism vs. over reaching government is the debate of the day. A comment on the topic by a friend brings some focus to me as to why I became a Short Sale Specialist and launched StopForeclosureinMapleValley.com.The question posed was "Why do people hate the rich? Would you give up 1/2 your income in order for all to be equal?". My response is I would not give up 1/2 my income to make every one equal. The possibility of becoming wealthy keeps me striving to become more than I am. In that endeavor I serve more people and society benefits as a whole. It's the essence of Capitalism. I'll confess that my primary objective is to provide for my family. My 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)
This market report is for home sales in the Valley Green Community in Maple Valley; specifically the single family homes in Division 1, 2 and 3. It does not include the zero lot line "Townhomes". We will run that report separately. The Average Sales Price of homes sold in Valley Green is down approximately 19% from 2007, with the majority of that drop happening this past year. The average sales price in 2008 was $328,332 and in $2009, that number fell to $273,375....driven largely by foreclosures. Average market times also increased, while total number of sales are down approximately 57%.
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By Ken Crotts, Combining Experience and Innovation
(eXp Realty)
While watching President Obama's news conference I found myself feeling a deep sense of satisfaction. The President outlined a new tax on large banks who he referred to as being the primary cause of the current economic crisis. With news reports of multi million dollar bonuses being paid out to executives who's lending institutions were bailed out by the taxpayers many Americans feel they were being taken as fools for helping save these companies. After seeing the devastation in the eyes and homes of average average American I am one of them who felt a sense of betrayal. Negotiating daily with lenders and experiencing their indifference towards their customers and the attitudes and actions they engage in suggests they feel immune to paying any consequence for their actions. Telling cus...
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By Ken Crotts, Combining Experience and Innovation
(eXp Realty)
Loan Modifications are supposed to allow a borrower to redeem themselves and regain their financial footing long enough to survive their hardship. Short sales are supposed to help lenders reduce their losses and help homeowners stop foreclosure. These transactions make up a significant percentage of the current real estate market and should be helping us to recover from the economic woes we all face. Short sales and loan modifications are very similar in their execution in that the lender requires a financial disclosure, copies of bank statements and proof of income. In each case the borrower and lender come together for a mutual benefit which is to mitigate the lenders financial losses and limit the damage to the borrower's credit and finances. It seems to be symbiotic relationship in ...
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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)
  Whether you’re thinking about renting a single family home in the Maple Valley area or are a Landlord, or owner thinking about becoming a Landlord, you may find the following numbers helpful as you gather research in the decision making process. In 2009, there were 64 Single Family homes listed as “Rented” on NWMLS.  Rental properties are entered into the MLS database as a courtesy to the membership and because rental listings are not required to be entered (as other properties for sale are, it’s entirely likely these numbers could be higher. But working with what we have, it’s interesting to note that of those 64 properties listed and rented, the highest listed rental amount was $2600 per month and the lowest was $550.The average monthly rent for ‘09 was $1663. Compared to 2008, thi...
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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)
Photo GalleryDescriptionLocated in one of Maple Valley's most popular neighborhoods, this 5 bedroom home is situated on a lot backing to greenspace & within a short walk to one of many neighborhood parks. Soaring 2 story ceilings, hardwood floors, 6 panel doors, main floor BR/Den plus 3 car garage! Upstairs are 4 more bedrooms (closet added to bonus for 5th BR) included Master with 5 piece bathroom. Maplewoods has numerous parks, walking trails and is close to shopping PLUS located within the Award Winning Tahoma School District!FeaturesBedrooms: 5Bathrooms: 2.75Year Built: 2003Subdivision: MapleWoodsLot Size: .117Garage Size: 3School District: TahomaSquare Footage: 2510Agent Name: Colleen FischesserBroker: RE/MAX SelectMLS #: 1851Location28011 Maple Ridge Way SE Maple Valley WA 98038Po...
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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 or someone you know is ready to get into this prime buying market, you (or they) may have questions about the recent changes and enhancements to the Home Buyer Tax credit. If you're thinking about taking advantage of the 1st time buyer (or now, move-up buyer) tax credit this Spring, good for you! There's going to be a great deal of activity in the Tri-County area of King, Pierce and Snohomish as buyers try to snap up "available" (bank and non-short sale) properties before the April 30 deadline, so the sooner you get started, the better! Here's a great video explanation of how the credit works, who qualifies and what the restrictions are.
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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've been adding to our collection of photos which have been taken as we go about our business showing and selling homes in Maple Valley. We hope to present a unique collection of photos to share for those of us who live here, have lived nearby or those who are considering calling Maple Valley home. If you have a photo (or two or three) you'd like to have posted, email us and we'll add it to our photos page.   My Commute Home-How Lucky Am 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)
  Every real estate agent finds the end of the year a time for reflection, goal setting and contemplation about what may lie ahead in the coming months. In honor of having survived completed two decades in service to the real estate industry, I thought I'd live dangerously and publish my first ever official list (as in Colleen's Official List) of predictions for the local real estate market here in Maple Valley, WA.   Here's how I see things shaking out for 2010 (in no particular order):   Short Sales will continue to put downward pressure on pricing Currently 20% of our active inventory are short sale listings, however they account for 54% of pending sales because their prices are so attractive. Buyers will only step into the short sale pit if there is financial incentive...meaning, i...
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By Ken Crotts, Combining Experience and Innovation
(eXp Realty)
The National Short Sale Center sent out a notice 3 days before Christmas that they are closing up shop.This is going to leave a significant number of homeowners who are currently in process with NSSC out in the cold after having wasted precious months trying to avoid foreclosures by relying on the services of this company. MY mission is to stop foreclosure in Maple Valley to the extent possible and any assistance to that end is welcomed. I personally have a listing in Renton Washington with NSSC which was put on the market in June of this year and was sold in July. The property has been pending ever since. On 12 /22/09 I received a formal notice that the NSSC will be closing up operations as of January 15th 2010. It is very unfortunate that the customers relying on their services are go...
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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)
Out with the Old, in with the New….and I don’t mean the new year. Every year, post Christmas, I feel the need to purge and streamline. Maybe it’s the idea of bringing more “stuff” into the house without getting rid those things no longer needed.  The Living room of our Maple Valley home has returned to some semblance of normalcy today, although we still have some boxes, Styrofoam and several bags of wrapping paper to dispose of properly. The wrapping paper is easy, that can go in the normal recycle. But what about everything else? Batteries, old cameras, furniture that may or may not be charity-worthy? According to King County’s website, these are the items which are OK to go into the normal recycle: plastic, aluminum, glass, paper & plastic and scrap metal (size retrictions so check t...
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By Ken Crotts, Combining Experience and Innovation
(eXp Realty)
We are currently in the process of completing a short sale with one of the lending industries giants, Wells Fargo. This is a tale of the beauricratic morass that gives rise to the to the question, "Too big to fail or too big to succeed?". Take a nice one story house in a well known neighborhood that is up side down on the mortgage. The seller can no longer afford to make the payments on the property through a series of events and you are left with a short sale. This one seems to be the perfect candidate for working out a short sale transaction as the first and second mortgage are both with Wells Fargo Bank, reputedly one of the better lenders to deal with. I take the listing and over a reasonable period of time we are able to secure and offer on the property that represents fair market ...
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