Maple Valley, WA Real Estate News

By Ken Crotts, Combining Experience and Innovation
(eXp Realty)
For decades to come business students will study the events that led up to the great recession of 2008. There will be a lot of debate and finger pointing. Politicians will attempt to make fall guys of their opponents in the rewrites of history, and corporate leaders will attempt to devise new rules and systems to avoid another situation like this. In the broadest sense we are in our current morass because both short term profits and gains blinded banking elites to the longer term ramifications of their actions (its called greed). With a blind eye towards their customers well being, and actual ability to repay the money that they were lending them, they flooded the market with lending capital to fund their highly profitable mortgage backed securities. Lending standards were relaxed (elim...
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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)
Although the real estate market here in South King County usually slows down over the holidays, it is really only on Christmas itself that things pause....and then just for that day. We are thankful to be steady at this time of year.... meeting with  sellers and getting several inquiries from new buyers.  Although many home shoppers may not be ready or have the time to physically go touring homes right now....with all the holiday parties, shopping and "to-do's"  we do know they are positioning  themselves to make their move in 2010. (wow, that seems like a really bad pun). It's clear from our website numbers and tracking sites that buyers are looking, even if it's just from the comfort of their decorated living rooms.     Christmas waves a magic wand over this world, and behold, everyth...
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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)
Home buyers hoping to find a bargain-priced foreclosure property in Maple Valley don't have much inventory from which to choose. Currently there are only 11 bank owned or REO properties available within the Tahoma School District and only 35 have sold and closed within the past 6 months. Here's a snapshot of current inventory: Bank owned homes in our area are typically priced fairly aggressively and sell fairly quickly. If you're looking to capitalize by purchasing an REO in Maple Valley, your best strategy is to work closely with an agent who can let you know as soon as one of these properties hits the market. A full market report of Active, Pending and Sold Bank owned/REO properties within the Tahoma School District can be viewed here.
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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)
In November of 2006 (back before the real estate market in my area plummeted) I treated myself to a few days at the Alderbrook Resort on Hood Canal to hunker down and hammer out my business plans; I do one for my personal business and one for the office as Broker/Owner. There is nothing like a beautiful sunny afternoon in the Pacific Northwest to inspire and motivate, and I lucked out on the weather. One of the legs of my office plan was to become more involved in our Community....to give back. I had a few different ideas and was excited to present them at our next office meeting. I had two community event ideas to share, not sure if we could embrace both or if we would have to choose one. Most of the agents felt doing two each year would be too much (thank you everyone because you were...
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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 are any number of reasons why a home owner in Maple Valley may need help selling their home as a short sale....usually it's a change in life circumstances, combined with the decline in property values. When I get a call from a Maple Valley home owner who thinks they may be in a short sale situation, I usually spend awhile on the phone discussing the process with them, their circumstances and goals. Some owners want to try to stay in their homes, and if that's the case I can point them in the direction to get more information and education. But more times than not, the circumstances of their hardship necessitates a sale, and they are ready to move on and put the house/loan/hardship behind them.   I met with another couple today who will be listing their Maple Valley home soon. It w...
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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 a cold night here South of Seattle, a good night to catch up on stats and market activity. Although we're just weeks away from Christmas, the first time home buyer's tax credit extension has kept many buyers in the market. I would say showings on listings are steady....not heavy, but not super slow either. Here's a breakdown of activity for single family homes listed and sold through NWMLS members within the last six months. (The analysis follows)  Active Listings: 239 Average List Price: $405,631 Pending Listings: 92  Average List Price: $320,807 Sold & Closed (6mo): 239  Average List Price: $356,477 The highest priced Active Listing is $3,375,000 and the lowest priced home currently on the market carries an even $130,000 asking price. The highest sale price in the last six month...
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By Ken Crotts, Combining Experience and Innovation
(eXp Realty)
If you are thinking of short selling your home, or are already in the process DON'T MOVE! Why? President Obama passed legislation earlier this year which allows you to stay in your home for 90 days AFTER a foreclosure sale. You may be thinking "the entire reason we are short selling is to avoid foreclosure so how does this affect us?". Here's how it affects you. Your lenders motivation to grant a short sale is based purely on weighting whether taking the house back at auction is going to cost them more than granting a short sale. For them it is not a matter of making or losing money, it's a matter of how much. For them it is a matter simply of short sale or foreclose, short sale or foreclose. By staying in your primary residence while you are marketing the property for a short sale you ...
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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)
Throughout my career I've typically updated my marketing photo every few years. It's an agonizing process. I think I'd rather have two root canals than have a new head shot taken.   They say with age comes wisdom, right? So a few years ago I was feeling very wise and decided to go the art-illustration route to avoid the need for future photos. (I figure I won't have to update that until I turn completely gray-at least that's the plan) But for some new marketing materials, I thought we need a team photo. Bad idea. After about 60 shots, many bloopers we couldn't all agree on one good shot.     Here were the highlights:      Let's just say it's hard to be serious. Sharon was the photographer and not helping the situation at all! [/caption] Look at what a good girl Andrea is, this is why I ...
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By Ken Crotts, Combining Experience and Innovation
(eXp Realty)
When you present your preapproval letter to the listing agent does it help, or hinder your chances of getting an accepted offer? Financing preapproval letters are widely dismissed by the real estate industry as not being worth the paper they are written on. The reason is there are no consequences for the loan officer who issues a preapproval letter and is unable to follow it up with a full approval. It's especially true in this market when underwriters (the people who actually approve your loan) are under strict scrutiny and are nitpicking every detail of every potential loan looking for potential problems. This is also the result of earlier years when loan officers were disinclined to spend allot of time getting initial approvals and would produce letters like flyer's knowing some woul...
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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)
Situated down a private road, where there are no CCR's and your privacy is ensured by your own surrounding acreage, this 4 Bedroom one-owner home is ready for you to make it your own! Super private grounds-approximately 1 acre landscaped with lawn, perrenials and rose bushes and the remaining property left natural for maximum privacy. The lot does slope so is not conducive to livestock or horses. Recent updates include a newly finished detached two car garage and gleaming slab granite counters in the Kitchen. Spacious great room is light and bright due to numerous windows. Cozy propane fireplace for chilly Winter evenings! Over 2600 square feet plus Tahoma Schools! Now being offered at $349,950 Take the virtual tour now!
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By Ken Crotts, Combining Experience and Innovation
(eXp Realty)
This is the Greatest Real Estate Market Ever! You may be thinking I'm nuts, you're likely not alone. I have been selling real estate in the Maple Valley, King County Market for the past 23 years and with each year of increased exposure to the daily challenges of practicing real estate my experience has grown. During the last 10 years listing and selling houses became such a common experience that the industry became flooded with new licensees as real estate became the career of the masses and real estate investing became a required hobby for everyone. The actual level of skill required to make a good living selling homes fell to an all time low as money flowed like a river to buyers, and every seller got more than they wanted for their properties. Who the heck needs a veteran agent to 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)
Many first time buyers dream of that traditional 2 story home on a dead-end/cul-de-sac street where the lots are larger than a postage stamp and there's a little architectural variety to the neighborhood. Today my team and I listed this very cute 3 BR home in Maple Valley's Eastwood Forest neighborhood. Built by Polygon homes in 1993, it features a Formal Living and Dining Room and spacious Family Room off the Kitchen/Nook area. The 2nd story boasts the Master suite with private bath and walk-in closet as well as 2 bedrooms served by a main hall full bath with Tile floors.  Recent updates include newer roof, lighting, laminate flooring, wood 6 panel doors as well as replacing the furnace within the last few years. Currently being offered at $229,950, this sale is a short sale, but is we...
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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 GalleryDescriptionWelcome to the golf course community of Elk Run! This open concept rambler features Formal Living Room as well as Family room off Kitchen. The Formal Dining room has a bow window which overlooks the large treed backyd. Kitchen & Family Room have laminate flooring & skylight for gray days. Large patio is perfect for outdoor entertaining. Vaulted ceilings, wood-burning fireplace, newer furnace, roof, gutters & cedar siding! Fridge stays. Boat or RV Parking (subject to restrictions.) Close to shopping PLUS Tahoma Schools!FeaturesBedrooms: 3Bathrooms: 1.75Year Built: 1990Subdivision: Elk RunLot Size: 7245Garage Size: 2School District: TahomaSquare Footage: 1380Agent Name: Colleen FischesserBroker: RE/MAX Select Property ManagementLocation27427 227th Pl SE Maple Valle...
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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)
Home buyers in Maple Valley and across the Country got one step closer to getting the first home buyer's tax credit extended past the November 30 deadline. The Senate has approved the Homebuyer Tax Credit and we now await a vote in the House of Representatives. Industry experts feel it's likely the bill will pass and then will be signed into law by President Obama. I haven't read the bill, but according to a release by the Washington Association of Realtors, the $8000 credit would be extended to April 2010 (sooner than the June date which had been floating around) and will also include a $6500 credit for buyers who have lived in their homes for at least 5 years.Whether they will need to purchase that home as a primary residence or be able to use the credit for investment properties rema...
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By Ken Crotts, Combining Experience and Innovation
(eXp Realty)
Short Sale properties which fell out of favor for those seeking the $8,000 first time home buyer tax credit last August may come back into favor with the current proposal in the Senate. If passed by the Senate the bill would have to be reconciled with the House version before being implemented. The bill would extend the $8,000 tax credit to first time home buyers and add a new provision for homeowners who have lived in their properties for the past 5 years. With some limitations current 2nd time home purchasers would be eligible for a tax credit of $6,500. Bloomberg Article Short sale properties often represent outstanding values to frugal home buyers due to their lower prices relative to non-short sale listings. This makes them very tempting even though they have longer wait times to c...
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By Ken Crotts, Combining Experience and Innovation
(eXp Realty)
Raise your awareness Sometimes financial hardship hit us like a car crash, literally.  More often it creeps into our lives slowly by taking away simple pleasures like dining out or keeping the house at a comfortable temperature. Belt tightening is common in almost every household these days but when you are doing it just to make the house payment this can be the first signs of trouble. When cutting back isn't working the savings are next to go. Using a little savings one month and then a little more the next quickly consumes your financial buffer. This is where we need to take an honest look at what is happening now, and what will happen over the next 6 months to a year. I see homeowners depleting savings, sacrificing their retirements, college education funds, and other assets that sho...
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By Ken Crotts, Combining Experience and Innovation
(eXp Realty)
Are you a struggling homeowner who is contemplating your next move to resolve a financial crisis or foreclosure? As a Certified Short Sale Specialist I talk with homeowners every day that are in the midst of one of the most difficult decisions of their lives. The real challenge is seeing through the threat of foreclosure to the longer term financial position you will be left in when the dust settles. Where are you going to be in 2 years? Where will you be in 5 years? The actions you take today will have a dramatic impact on your future. When advising my clients the goal is always to regain financial stability. That means your mortgage is no more than 31% of your gross monthly income and steps have been taken to mitigate damage to your credit. With that goal in mind I created the Loan 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)
Homes sales within the Tahoma School District continue to favor the under $400,000 price ranges as first time home buyers jockey for the November tax credit finish line.   Of the 127 Pending Sales in Escrow, 82% are under $400,000.     Here's a Monday Market Snapshot of Residential Single Family Homes within Tahoma School District boundaries listed and/or Sold through NWMLS   ACTIVE LISTINGS:  277     AVERAGE LIST PRICE: $424,703   HIGH: $3,375,000     LOW: $99,000 PENDING SALES: 127     AVERAGE LIST PRICE: $331,414    HIGH: $1,049,000  LOW: 124,900 SOLD: 529     AVERAGE LIST PRICE: $362,814      HIGH: $3,800,000    LOW: 65,000   It will be interesting to see with all the short sales pending, what the final SOLD numbers will look like at year's end. Time will tell!
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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)
Until the process of short sales is streamlined and made to be more uniform, it will continue to be a frustrating experience for most parties involved; the home seller, the home buyer, the real estate agents involved, closing parties. They require more time and tenacity than most "regular sales" on the part of all who are trying to keep the home from going to foreclosure. I'm asked on a regular basis why a homeowner would put him or herself through this stressful process, rather than just walking away and letting the bank have the house back. The other day I found this video on the RE/MAX International youtube channel. I will let this seller explain it. She does it far better than I ever could.
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