Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Preparing For Homeownership

Buying a home is a major decision for anyone, especially first-time buyers. A slower market means there are deals to be had, but you must be prepared to jump when the iron is hot.

These seven tips will help get ready to buy a home when the time is right.

1. If you are a first-time buyer, take a first-time home buyer class. The homebuying process will be less stressful if you know what to expect.

2. Be realistic. Being house poor and putting yourself in the position of only eating hot dogs and not being able to have a night out once in awhile doesn't make homeownership enjoyable.

3. Get organized. Organize documents for your loan application such as a pay stubs, W-2s, and bank and retirement account statements, etc.

4. Get pre-approved. Before starting the homebuying process, get pre-approved by at least one lender. This will avoid you falling in love with a home you really can't afford. In addition, sellers will ask for a lender letter of qualification when you make an offer.

5. Play house. Every month, bank the amount that you would have to pay if you owned a home. It's good practice and you'll be ready for the real thing.

6. Consider all the costs. There is more involved to owning a home than paying the mortgage. Repairs, assessments, and other costs of homeownership can add up quickly. Make sure you have budgeted for these items.

7. Call Karen. Call me at 425-308-3669. We will schedule a Home Buyer's counseling session in preparation for finding you the perfect home!

Labels: , , , ,

Saturday, February 17, 2007

King County and Snohomish County Home Sales

The National Association of Realtors reports consumers are responding to more favorable housing market conditions and are expecting sales to gradually rise throughout 2007. Time will tell whether or not this holds true locally, but let's take a look at January statistics.

Active listings in King County in January 2007 increased by 1,536 homes or 25 percent compared to the same time period in 2006. Sales in January increased by 2 percent, in comparison. The average market time in January increased by 28 percent from January 2006.

King County experienced healthy appreciation, with the average sales price was 9 percent higher in 2007 than 2006 with an averages sales price of $464,283.

King County's increase in sales and prices is notable with much of the country seeing declines in the number of sales.

Snohomish County, on the other hand, had a 15 percent decrease in sales. the number of homes sold in Janaury was down by 153 homes compared to January 2006.

The number of active listings increased by 31 percent from Janaury a year ago and January market times increased 25 percent or 13 days. The average sales price increased by 12 percent compared to January 2006, increasing to $373,193.

Interested in what the housing market is doing in your neighborhood? Visit I would be more than happy to email you the market activity - Actives and Sold statistics - in your Neighborhood!

Statistics compiled by the Northwest Multiple Listing Service and are deemed accurate but not warranted.

Labels: , , , ,

Saturday, February 10, 2007

Washington REALTORS® Make Homes a Priority

Washington REALTORS® believes there is a housing crisis in WA. You know we've got a problem when even middle-income citizens, the backbone of our communities -- the firefighters, teachers, police officers and nurses -- can't afford to live in the communities they serve. You shouldn't have to be rich to buy a home.

Therefore, the REALTORS® association has launched a major media campaign to increase housing opportunities in Washington State. This public awareness campaign will inform the public about legislative solutions for the growing problem of the lack of homes for middle-income families and the relationship between adequate housing supply, housing affordability, jobs, traffic, and the quality of life in Washington. Visit the association site, It' to learn how you can help make affordable housing a priority for our lawmakers.

If you are interested in buying a home in Snomohish or Kings counties, give me a call, 425-308-3669, I'm here to help.

Labels: , , ,

Friday, February 02, 2007

Free Credit Report for Snohomish County Home Buyers

One of the first steps in buying Snohomish County real estate is to get your finances in order. This includes taking a look at your credit report to determine its accuracy. It is not uncommon for there to be mistakes. Your report may show an account that is actually the account of a family member with a similar name, or, an unrelated person with a similar name.

Under the Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act, every American is entitled to a free annual report from all three major credit bureaus–Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion–available at

Data may differ among the bureaus, so you will want to contact all three to evaluate their records. If you're uneasy about submitting your Social Security number online, you can write to Annual Credit Report Request Service, PO Box 105281, Atlanta, GA 30348-5281 or call (877) 322-8228.

Labels: , , ,