Posts Tagged ‘real estate’

Whidbey Island Real Estate Market Conditions

August 31st, 2015 at 2:09 pm by Rick Schutte

It has been a while since I have posted real estate market conditions here on Whidbey Island.  It has been a very busy market this Spring and Summer and it appears that it will continue into the Fall. On North Whidbey we are expecting the new Navy personnel to begin arriving sometime in the late Fall, early Winter, and to then continue throughout the next couple of years. That will definitely keep us busy helping them find housing.  With the continual volatility of the stock market and the low interest rates available, we are seeing investors and second home buyers on South Whidbey purchasing without any financing and paying cash.

To get an idea of how today’s market is compared to five years ago, I ran some stats on a typical 3 bedroom, 2 bath, 1600 – 1800 sq. ft. home.  It was interesting to see that on South Whidbey the homes that match that criteria have sold for the same price as they sold for in 2010 and that the median price of all home sales for the same area had rebounded to where they were equal to 2010.  Between 2010 and 2015 home prices had dropped but they are now back to 2010 levels and trending up.

Home sales prices on North Whidbey for the same criteria (3 bd, 2 bath, 16 – 1800 sq. ft.) have actually increased by 16% over the 5 year period from 2010 – 2015, while the overall market on North Whidbey has regained price losses that occurred during that five year period and are now back up to 2010 price levels and trending upward also.

Due to the continual low amount of listings of both the South and North Whidbey real estate markets, together with low interest rates,  I would expect to see a continued upward trend in home prices.  I would also expect to see an increase in new home construction, but with not much residential developments currently available to build, it may be a few years before we see much construction.

That’s it for now. If you would like more in-depth information, please feel free to contact me.

 

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Can My Real Estate Agent Offer to Buy My Home If There are No Offers?

The short answer is “yes,” but know what you’re signing up for.

In a seller’s market it seems like most homes should sell — given enough time and exposure on the market. But there are some situations where a home MUST sell: the owners need to move for work or because of a job loss; or, the home was left in a will and proceeds need to be split among the inheritors; the sellers are experiencing divorce, or any number of other reasons a home needs to sell quickly.

With a quick sale required, sellers may be temped to go for an agent’s offer that sounds too good to be true: The agent will “buy your home if it doesn’t sell!”

According to Angie’s List, such offers are not scams. They are, in fact, marketing tactics that might work for you in your situation — a win-win — or, might be a really bad deal. Before signing on the bottom line, make certain you know what you’re agreeing to.

Home sale guarantees

Real estate professionals may offer a variety of types of guarantees. Each has its own value to both the agent and the seller:

  • “If I don’t sell your home, I’ll buy it” — Often, this type of guarantee offer comes from agents that work with investors. An investor wants to buy a home either to rent or to sell at a profit. In this scenario, you should plan to part with a chunk of your equity. This program may work for you if you need to sell quickly but don’t need top dollar from your home, if you need to sell to settle an estate, or if you’ve found a new home at a substantial discount and just can’t afford the two mortgages at once. Just know that you will see less return on this type of sale. If your agent only sells under this program and not to the general public, you’ll end up with less in your pocket.
  • “If I don’t sell your home in X months, I’ll buy it” — When a program has time stipulations, it usually also has price stipulations. You’ll most likely be agreeing to a schedule of markdowns (monthly, bi-weekly or weekly) so that by the “I’ll buy it” date it reaches the price the agent will pay for it.
  • “We guarantee you X% of the value” — In this approach, the agent offers a specific discounted price if your home doesn’t sell. Often, this is about 90% of its fair market value, plus fees and commissions.

The bottom line

Before you agree to any home sale guarantee plan, know that if the agent does not sell your home outright and the plan goes into effect you’ll be accepting far less for your home than on the open market. While this seems like a lose-lose for the typical home seller, it can be a win-win if the sale is urgent or the sellers have extenuating circumstances.

The best scenario

When selling your home, the best scenario is to work with a real estate professional that knows the home’s market, can advise you on the best way to prepare your home and create curb appeal, and offers all marketing resources (online, offline, print, local, signage, MLS, etc.).

Compliments of Virtual Results

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Latest North Whidbey Island Real Estate Facts

October 1st, 2014 at 10:53 am by Rick Schutte

I thought that I would share a couple of interesting graphs with you today.  These are graphs of the sales and active listings for North Whidbey Island  January 2013 – Sept. 2014.  As you can see, the sales have continued to increase and the number of active listings has decreased, leading us into a good seller’s market.  This is really unique though, since interest rates continue to stay low, probably not being raised until mid 2015, and our prices continuing to stay relatively stable.  These conditions still make it very affordable for buyers also.  In fact, we are seeing quite a few first time home buyers entering the real estate market.  I will write another blog in the near future with complete stats and a video for the third quarter.

 

ACTIVE LISTINGS BY MONTH NORTH WHIDBEY ISLAND

ACTIVE LISTINGS BY MONTH NORTH WHIDBEY ISLAND

LISTINGS SOLD BY MONTH NORTH WHIDBEY ISLAND

LISTINGS SOLD BY MONTH NORTH WHIDBEY ISLAND

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Review your Annual Credit Report

June 23rd, 2014 at 3:05 pm by Rick Schutte

Rick Schutte, Broker/Owner of Coldwell Banker Koetje Real Estate in Oak Harbor, Wa. interviews Lyn Bankowski, senior loan originator, from AlaskaUSA Mortgage about the need of checking your annual credit report.

In this interview, Lyn mentions the free reports can be found at https://www.annualcreditreport.com/. This central site allows you to request a free credit file disclosure once every 12 months from each of the nationwide consumer credit reporting companies. AnnualCreditReport.com is the official site to help consumers obtain their free credit report. You can also go to http://ftc.gov/freecreditreport for more information.
The Fair Credit Reporting Act guarantees you access to your credit report for free from each of the three nationwide credit reporting companies every 12 months.

For more information on credit reports and real estate, please contact us at any time.

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Do You Need A Buyer’s Agent to Purchase A Home

May 2nd, 2014 at 10:02 am by Rick Schutte

In today’s real estate environment, buyer’s representation is an important aspect of your real estate transaction. A buyer’s agent is always representing your best interest and is obligated to inform you of options you may have that will impact your purchase. The buyer’s agent has been trained in negotiations and local market conditions to help you get the best buy possible.

If you are a senior, there are buyer’s agents that have been trained and certified to work specifically with seniors and to understand some of the unique challenges that are created due to down-sizing, financing, etc. These agents have the Senior Residential Specialist Designation issued by the National Association of Realtors. If you are a senior, I would recommend asking for a buyer’s agent with this designation.


Do you need a buyer’s agent to purchase a home?  Not necessarily, but in all honesty, it is one of the best things a home buyer can do to ensure a smooth transaction, best buy possible, and at the end of the day, peace of mind.

 

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Now Is A Unique Period in History

November 13th, 2012 at 4:11 pm by Rick Schutte

This article is written by one of our experienced agents, Gil Daigle.

I got a flu shot last week. Because it was a workday, I was wearing my nametag, which advertises me as a Realtor®. The nurse who was giving me the shot started to talk about real estate. The conversation started out like all of these conversations do with the nurse asking me “How’s the market?” I gave my stock answer that it could be better and then went on to say what a great time it is to buy real estate. I talked about the depressed prices and the low interest rates. When I was finished, he told me a story.

A Remarkable Story

Last November he and his wife started to invest in real estate. Between November 2011 and April 2012 they purchased four condominiums in Kirkland for $300,000 cash. He went on to tell me that all four are rented and they generate $4,000 a month. After condominium fees and other expenses, the monthly net is $2,500. A very quick and basic calculation indicates this is a 10% return on his investment per year. You might be asking yourself “so what?” The simple answer is where else can you get 10% interest on an investment that will increase in value.

What Other Investments Are Available?

I searched the Internet and discovered the best interest rate you can get for a certificate of deposit is 1.1%. The big catch is you must deposit $25,000. The stock market might be the answer. Unfortunately, the average gain of the Dow Jones Industrial average since 2000 is only 2.57% with the big catch being its wild fluctuations. In 2003, the Dow gained 25.32%; however, in 2008 it lost 33.84%.

Do we all have $300,000 cash on hand to invest? I’m guessing the answer to that is no. However, interest rates are very low even on investment properties. Check with your banker for rate information. Talk to me about the availabilities of property. Whatever your circumstances it make good sense to think about investing in real estate.

If you are a renter, take the plunge and buy. If you have a good credit rating, there are multitudes of financing opportunities available. Talk to your banker and see what works for you. Then talk to me, I’m sure I can find you something you will like.

We Are In A Unique Period of History.

We are in a unique period of history. Since World War I interest rates have been this low only once, between 1933 and 1950. Remembering your U.S. History that was the Great Depression and World War II. Currently the US economy is down and the government is doing everything it can to bring about a recovery. These real estate conditions will not last. Get your piece of the American Dream while is it at its most affordable!

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Buying A Home? These Apps Can Help!

June 18th, 2012 at 4:12 pm by Rick Schutte

Each day technology becomes even more impressive as new tools, products and apps are rolled out that truly have a place in your daily life. It can be exciting and exhausting to try to find the ones that will benefit you. As a homebuyer, it can be overwhelming to narrow down all the choices.  With that in mind, I’ve made my real estate website tech and mobile friendly in the hope that you will find the results you need in your search, however, when it comes to buying a home, these apps may of benefit to you as well.

Many of these apps are even offered free of charge, although they may request your location information in order to produce the results you desire. If you want more specific information or ideas on specialized apps for your tech devices, please give me a call so we can brainstorm on how I can help meet your real estate needs.  In the meantime, though, check these out!

Not sure where you want to live?

  • Nabewise Get to know neighborhoods in-depth, complete with pictures, reviews and ratings ond rankings on the things you care most about.
  • GreatSchools Get to know local school options and read reviews by staff and parents of children attending the schools. Schools are also scored based on scores and ratings.
  • Yelp Find the best restaurants, shopping, and entertainment in the area you are researching directly from the people who live there. A true “insider’s view.”

Trying to keep track of everything?

  • Evernote Keep track of your buying process, including the information on homes you have seen, complete with your personal notes!

Want to compare?

  • House Hunter This tool allows you to set priorities on your wants and needs and match them to homes you are considering with the feature list and also has a mortgage calculator built in.
  • Trulia – Easy to use and even includes a help button! Depending on your mobile device, you can check and compare listings and even search by feature using your voice.

Looking for actual numbers?

  • Zillow Zestimates and make me move allow you to get an idea of what homes cost on any street and even permit you to make offers to home owners who do not have their property for sale.
  • Realtor.com Get stats on new homes, sold homes, and homes for sale easily and quickly, including price changes in any neighborhood.
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Tips to Reduce Your Heating Bill

January 30th, 2012 at 5:17 pm by Rick Schutte

Like you, we are always trying to discover ways to save money. This interview with Rick Bunzel of Pacific Crest Inspections gives us five great tips on ways to reduce our heating bills.

  • Lower your hot water heater to 120 degrees
  • Use a programmable thermostat to drop night time temps to 55 degrees
  • Change your furnace filter regularly and make sure the furnace is tuned.
  • Have your duct work checked and vents balanced
  • Add insulation to the attic

By following these tips and watching your energy consumption, you should be able to save some money and help the planet. We hope that you have enjoyed these energy saving tips. Please feel free to contact Rick Bunzel at Pacific Crest Inspections,  1-866-618-7764, or contact any of us at Coldwell Banker Koetje Real Estate in beautiful Oak Harbor, Wa. for any other real estate related questions or comments. We are here to serve you.

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Whidbey Island Real Estate Sales

December 27th, 2011 at 3:12 pm by Rick Schutte

As we approach the end of 2011, we start to evaluate the statistics for the year. Since we are still in December, the final results won’t be available  to be posted for a few weeks, but I thought I would give you a taste of the real estate market here on beautiful Whidbey Island.  I will show you a snapshot of total sales and median prices for the three areas of Whidbey Island; North, Middle, and South.  In my next post I will include graphs and explanations for the total 2011 sales.

  • North Whidbey Island, which includes every sale north of Libbey Rd, was down both in total transactions and median sales price. Sales were down approximately 6% from 2010 and the median sales prices was down approximately 5%.
  • Central Whidbey Island saw a year where the sales increased approximately 6% but the  median sales price remained about the same as 2010.
  • South Whidbey Island experienced an increase in sales of approximately 1.5% but declined in median sales price of close to 13%.

As we have always been told, real estate is very local. These few statistics only give a snapshot of the overall market in these areas. Individual homes and locations can vary by quite a large differential. Your local real estate specialist can help you with your particular property’s value and ability to be sold. I will be posting a much more in-depth market report in a few weeks.

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A Day In The Life Of A Property Manager

October 14th, 2011 at 2:21 pm by Rick Schutte

Have you ever wondered what a day in the life of a property manager looks like? What can be expected when the phone is answered?  

  • My faucet leaks - My front door squeaks - My toilet’s full of pooh -

 But I’m as helpless as can be, so there’s nothing I can do

  • I turned the gas off to my stove –  The outlets I did overload –  My front yard sure needs to be mowed

 But I’m as helpless as can be, so there’s nothing I can do

  • My smoke detector’s beeping –  I see spiders that are creeping - My windows they are weeping

But I’m as helpless as can be, so there’s nothing I can do

  • The light bulb burned out in my frig –  The water’s out in Indian Ridge –  My carpet’s old, can I have new?

But I’m as helpless as can be, so there’s nothing I can do

  • I broke a window while mowing the grass –  I locked myself out and I ain’t got cash –  The dumpster surround is really trashed

But I’m as helpless as can be, so there’s nothing I can do

  • The power’s out in two neighborhoods - I saw a rat yesterday in the woods –  I want new screens for my whole unit…….

But I’m as helpless as can be, so there’s nothing I can do

So I hope you appreciate  your property manager and know that they are doing the best they can for you. Keep smiling, have patience and enjoy your home.

Content Provided by: Gordon Collick; Koetje Property Management

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About Rick Schutte

Rick is the owner/designated broker of Coldwell Banker Koetje Real Estate and Koetje Property Management. He has been involved with the real estate industry on Whidbey Island for over 32 years. He is a past president of the NWMLS as well as a current board member of the North Puget Sound Association of Realtors. He has been designated by the National Association of Realtors as a Certified Real Estate Brokerage Manager as well as a Graduate of the Real Estate Institute. Rick can be reached at 360-675-5811 or cbk@WhidbeyRealEstate.com You can also check out his website at http://www.cbkoetje.com

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