How Long Things Last

We all know that nothing lasts forever, but when everything is working fine it is easy to forget that all of the systems and appliances in your home have a finite lifespan. Keep this information in mind, whether you are buying or selling a home, budgeting for improvements, or deciding between repairing and replacing.

Here’s a brief look at some of the components of your home and their average lifespans (courtesy of the National Association of Home Builders)

ROOFING, SIDING, WINDOWS & DECKS. You can expect slate or tile roofs to last around 50 years, wood shingles 25-30, metal will get you about 25 years, while asphalts typically last about 20 years. The lifespan for siding can vary quite a bit. Brick will last 100 years or more, aluminum about 80 years and stucco will probably last you 25 years. Wood siding can last anywhere from 10 to 100 years depending on the climate you live in and how it is maintained. Both aluminum and vinyl windows will last 15 to 20 years, while unclad wood windows can have a life of 30 years or more. Cedar decks will average 15-25 years as long as they are properly treated and cleaned, and a high quality composite deck will last 30 years with minimal maintenance.

FLOORING. The natural flooring materials such as wood, marble, slate or granite will all last 100 years or more, while tile has an average life of 70-100 years. Vinyl can last up to 50 years, while laminate and linoleum will get you up to 25 years. Expect your carpet to last 8-10 years, depending on use.

KITCHEN & BATH. Laminate countertops can have a life of 20 years or more, but it will vary depending on use. Wood, tile and stone should last a lifetime, and cultured marble will typically see a lifespan of 20 years. You can expect your stainless steel sink to last you about 30 years, while an enamel-coated sink will give you five to 10 years. Slate, granite, soapstone and copper will be around for 100 years or more. Bathroom faucets should give you about 20 years, and toilets will average a 50-year lifespan, although some of the parts will need replacing.

APPLIANCES. The lifespan of appliances will vary widely depending on the appliance, the brand, model, and use. Use these average lifespan numbers as a rough guide for when it may make more sense to replace rather than repair. Gas ranges tend to have the longest lifespan of your major appliances, giving around 15 years of use. Electric ranges on the other hand, are closer to 13 years, which is also the expected lifespan for standard refrigerators and clothes dryers. Your garbage disposal should give you about 10 years of use, while the dishwasher and microwave will be around nine years. You can expect your electric furnace to last about 15 years, 18 for gas and 20 for oil-burning. Central air systems will live 10 to 15 years on average.

Check out the NAHB website for more information.

Posted on October 2, 2019 at 7:59 pm
Greg and Janet Buehler | Category: Uncategorized

Pumpkin Patch Guide 2019

Nothing feels more like fall than pumpkin picking, hay rides and corn mazes. Get your latte in hand and head out to any one of these great, local farms to have some harvest fun and find that perfect jack-o-lantern to light up your porch.

Times, dates & activities may change, please use the provided links to confirm details and hours of operation.

 

KING COUNTY

Baxter Barn
31929 SE 44th St, Fall City
Pumpkin patch, tractor-pulled hay rides, fresh eggs, gift shop, pony rides, picnic area, farm animals

Carpinito Brothers
1148 Central Ave N, Kent
Pumpkin patch, corn maze, farm fun yard, hay rides, produce stand, concessions

Fall City Farms
3636 Neal Road, Fall City
Pumpkin patch, tractor-pulled hay rides, fresh honey, pre-picked produce, farm animals, snacks and refreshments.

Fox Hollow Family Farm
12031 Issaquah Hobart Rd SE, Issaquah
Pumpkins for sale, hay bale maze, bouncy house, face painting, haunted house, pony rides, petting zoo, farm animals, concessions

Jubilee Farm
229 W Snoqualmie River Rd NE, Carnation
Pumpkins, horse-drawn covered wagon rides, hay rides, hay bale maze

Oxbow Farm
10819 Carnation-Duvall Rd NE, Carnation
Pumpkins, produce, picnic area, playground

Mosby Farm Pumpkin Patch
12747-b South East Green Valley Rd, Auburn
Pumpkin patch, corn maze, tractor-pulled hay rides, snacks and refreshment stand, picnic area

The Nursery at Mt Si
42328 SE 108th St, North Bend
Pumpkin patch, tractor-pulled hay rides

Remlinger Farms
32610 NE 32nd St, Carnation
Pumpkin patch, corn maze, animal barnyard, pony rides, steam train, hay jump

Serres Farm
20306 NE 50th St, Redmond
Pumpkin patch, corn maze, duck races, animal train

Thomasson Family Farm
38223 236th Ave SE, Enumclaw
Pumpkin patch, corn maze, kids korral, tractor train rides, pumpkin sling shot

Tonnemaker Valley Farm, Woodinville Farm Stand
16215 140th Pl NE, Woodinville
You-pick pumpkin patch, you-pick flowers, produce stand, on-site pepper roasting on Saturdays

 

SNOHOMISH COUNTY

Biringer’s Black Crow Pumpkins & Corn Maze
2431 Highway 530 NE, Arlington
Pumpkin patch, corn maze, straw or hay bale maze, tractor-pulled hay rides, farm market, picnic area

Bob’s Corn & Pumpkin Farm
10917 Elliott Rd, Snohomish
Pumpkin patch, corn maze, bonfire & picnic area, hay rides, pony rides, playground, concessions

Carleton Farm
630 Sunnyside Blvd SE, Lake Stevens
Pumpkin patch, train rides, corn maze, haunted corn maze, tractor-pulled hay rides, farm animals, farm market

Craven Farm
13817 Short School Rd, Snohomish
Pumpkin patch, corn maze, tractor-pulled hay rides, face painting, farm animals, snacks & refreshment stand

The Farm at Swans Trail
7301 Rivershore Rd, Snohomish
Pumpkin patch, corn maze, pick your own apples, pig & duck races, petting zoo, putt-putt golf and more

Fairbank Animal Farm & Pumpkin Patch
15308 52nd Ave W, Edmonds
Pumpkins, petting zoo, farm animals, picnic area

Fosters Pumpkin Farm
5818 State Route 530 NE, Arlington
Pumpkin patch, corn maze, hay bale maze, corn cannon, pre-picked produce, face painting, farm animals, snacks and refreshment stand, picnic area

Stocker Farms
8705 Marsh Rd, Snohomish
Pumpkin patch, corn maze, haunted corn maze, tractor-pulled hay rides, jumping pillow and more

Thomas Family Farm
9010 Marsh Road, Snohomish
Pumpkin patch, corn maze, monster truck rides, haunted house, gem mining, Zombie Safari Paintball Hayride, beer garden, putt-putt golf and more

 

PIERCE COUNTY

Double R Farms
5820 44th St E, Puyallup
Pumpkin patch, corn maze, hay rides, farm animals, pumpkin sling shot

Maris Farms
25001 Sumner-Buckley Hwy, Buckley
Pumpkin patch, corn maze, haunted woods, farm animals, hay ride, trout fishing, play ground

Picha’s Farm
6502 52nd St E, Puyallup
Pumpkin patch, corn maze, hay ride, pumpkin sling shot, concessions

Scholz Farm
12920 162nd Ave E, Orting
Pumpkin patch, corn maze, play area

Spooner Farms
9622 SR 162 E, Puyallup
Pumpkin patch, farm animals, face painting, pumpkin sling shot, concessions

Posted on September 6, 2019 at 4:46 pm
Greg and Janet Buehler | Category: Uncategorized

Seattle Metro Quarterly Market Trends – Q2 2019

Seattle Metro Quarterly Market Trends – Q2 2019

2019 provided a very healthy and more balanced spring market! Median price is even year-over-year at $750,000. Prices have started to find their balance as more inventory has come to market compared to the scarcity of years past. While buyers have had more choices over the last year, it is still a seller’s market with just 1.7 months of inventory based on pending sales, resulting in an average of 23 days on market and 99% list-to-sale price ratio in June. Low interest rates continue to drive demand, however sellers who overprice or don’t address condition issues will linger on the market, illustrated by the 66% increase in carryover inventory.

Our real estate market continues to be driven by low interest rates, positive job creation, and upbeat consumer sentiment. Currently, interest rates sit around 4% which is still an historical low, affording buyers the ability to make moves and reduce their debt service. Price appreciation has started to temper to more normal rates, compared to the double-digit appreciation we experienced over the last 3 years due to more sellers coming to market. This has created more balance and greater opportunity for buyers. The generational shift we are experiencing as Baby Boomers move towards retirement and Millennials enter into their prime earning years is an exciting exchange happening in the market place right now.

This is only a snapshot of the trends in the Seattle Metro area; please contact me if you would like further explanation of how the latest trends relate to you.

Posted on July 15, 2019 at 3:45 am
Greg and Janet Buehler | Category: Uncategorized

North King County Quarterly Market Trends – Q2 2019

North King County Quarterly Market Trends – Q2 2019

2019 provided a very healthy and more balanced spring market! Median price is up 1% year-over-year at $760,000. Prices have started to find their balance as more inventory has come to market compared to the scarcity of years past. While buyers have had more choices over the last year, it is still a seller’s market with just 1.6 months of inventory based on pending sales, resulting in an average of 23 days on market and 99% list-to-sale price ratio in June. Low interest rates continue to drive demand, however sellers who overprice or don’t address condition issues will linger on the market, illustrated by the 60% increase in carryover inventory.

Our real estate market continues to be driven by low interest rates, positive job creation, and upbeat consumer sentiment. Currently, interest rates sit around 4% which is still an historical low, affording buyers the ability to make moves and reduce their debt service. Price appreciation has started to temper to more normal rates, compared to the double-digit appreciation we experienced over the last 3 years due to more sellers coming to market. This has created more balance and greater opportunity for buyers. The generational shift we are experiencing as Baby Boomers move towards retirement and Millennials enter into their prime earning years is an exciting exchange happening in the market place right now.

This is only a snapshot of the trends in north King County; please contact me if you would like further explanation of how the latest trends relate to you.

Posted on July 14, 2019 at 2:44 am
Greg and Janet Buehler | Category: Uncategorized

Outdoor Movie Schedule – Summer 2019

SOUTH SNOHOMISH

Arlington’s Movies @ Olympic Theater

Olympic Theater

  • 6/21     The Lego 2 Movie
  • 7/19     Spider Man: Into the Spider-Verse
  • 8/2       Dumbo

Edmond’s Outdoor Movie Night

Frances Anderson Center Field

  • 7/26     Trolls
  • 8/2       A Wrinkle in Time

Everett’s Cinema Under the Stars

Thornton Sullivan Park, Camp Patterson Field

  • 7/19     Incredibles 2
  • 7/26     Ralph Breaks the Internet
  • 8/2       The Lego Movie 2
  • 8/9       Spider Man: Into the Spider-Verse
  • 8/16     How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World

Everett’s Sail-In Cinema

Port of Everett North Guest Docks 6 & 7 (by boat) or Boxcar Park (by land)

  • 7/19     Battleship
  • 7/26     Transformers
  • 8/2       Remember the Titans
  • 8/9       Pirates of the Caribbean
  • 8/16     The Proposal
  • 8/23     Moana

Marysville Popcorn in the Park

Jennings Park

  • 7/13     A Dog’s Way Home
  • 7/20     Ralph Breaks the Internet
  • 7/27     Bumblebee
  • 8/3       Incredibles 2
  • 8/10     The Karate Kid

Monroe Movies Under the Moon

Lake Tye Park

  • 8/2       The Incredibles 2
  • 8/9       Ralph Breaks the Internet
  • 8/16     Mary Poppins Returns
  • 8/23     Black Panther

Movies in the Park

Willis Tucker Park (Snohomish)

  • 7/25     The Incredibles 2
  • 8/1       How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World

 

Lake Stevens Community Park

  • 8/8       Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom
  • 8/15     Mary Poppins Returns

 

 

EASTSIDE

Bellevue Movies in the Park

Downtown Park

  • 7/9       Hotel Transylvania 3
  • 7/16     A Dog’s Way Home
  • 7/23     Smallfoot
  • 7/30     How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World
  • 8/6       The Lego Movie 2
  • 8/13     Ferdinand
  • 8/20     Wonder Park
  • 8/27     Back to the Future

Crossroads Movies in the Park

Crossroads Park

  • 8/1       Christopher Robin
  • 8/8       Ralph Breaks the Internet
  • 8/15     The Incredibles 2
  • 8/22     Mary Poppins Returns

Carillon Point Outdoor Movies

Carillon Point Plaza

  • 7/6       Mean Girls
  • 7/20     Crazy Rich Asians
  • 8/3       The Incredibles 2
  • 8/17     Solo: A Star Wars Story

Movies at Marymoor

Marymoor Park

  • 7/10     Ferris Bueller’s Day Off
  • 7/17     Bohemian Rhapsody
  • 7/24     Spider Man: Into the Spider-Verse
  • 7/31     Top Gun
  • 8/7       The Incredibles 2
  • 8/13     The Sandlot
  • 8/22     Grease
  • 8/28     The Princess Bride

 

 

SEATTLE

Bite of Seattle

Seattle Center Mural Amphitheatre

  • 7/19     Wayne’s World

Cinema under the Stars

Columbia Park

  • 7/20     Spider Man: Into the Spider-Verse
  • 8/17     The Lego Movie 2

International District Summer Cinema

Hing Hay Park

  • 8/3       Crazy Rich Asians
  • 8/10     Iron Monkey
  • 8/17     Mirai
  • 8/24     Up

Movies at the Mural

Seattle Center Mural Amphitheatre

  • 7/27     The Princess Bride
  • 8/3       Crazy Rich Asians
  • 8/10     Bohemian Rhapsody
  • 8/17     Dirty Dancing
  • 8/24     Black Panther

Outdoor Movie Nights @ Peddler Brewing

Peddler Brewing Co Beer Garden

  • 5/30     The Goonies
  • 6/6       Bridesmaids
  •  6/13     Super Troopers
  • 6/20     Indiana Jones: Raiders of the Lost Ark
  • 6/27     Mean Girls
  • 7/11     The Hangover
  • 7/18     The Princess Bride
  • 7/25     10 Things I Hate About You
  • 8/1       Back to the Future
  • 8/8       Point Break
  • 8/15     Pitch Perfect
  • 8/22     The Sandlot
  • 8/29     The Big Lebowski

Seattle Outdoor Cinema

South Lake Union Discovery Center (21+)

  • 6/22     The Matrix: 20th Anniversary
  • 7/20     Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure: 30th Anniversary
  • 8/17     The Life Aquatic

Seattle Skyway Outdoor Cinema

Skyway Outdoor Cinema

  • 8/2       Incredibles 2
  • 8/9       The Princess Bride
  • 8/16     Aquaman
  • 8/23     Spider Man: Into the Spider-Verse
Posted on June 19, 2019 at 9:12 pm
Greg and Janet Buehler | Category: Uncategorized

Campership Drive

Sending Kids to Summer Camp

Every year, our office comes together to provide summer camp scholarships for local kids who may not otherwise have the opportunity to experience the adventures of overnight camp. We partner with YMCA Camp Orkila and Camp Colman; local programs dedicated to nurturing the potential of youth, promoting healthy living, and fostering social responsibility.

This year, we collectively donated $16,125 for these camp scholarships. With a Windermere Foundation match of $1,000, our 2019 total of $17,125 is our highest number ever! But that wasn’t the end. An anonymous YMCA donor matched an additional $4,338, bringing us to $21,463 – Wow!

Overall, since 1994, we are responsible for $186,918 in summer camp scholarships for local kids who may be homeless, in transitional living shelters, living through family crisis, or existing within economic means that does not allow them the opportunity to experience the adventures of summer camp that other kids do. We are so proud to be part of an office that cares so deeply for the community!

 

 

Posted on May 22, 2019 at 10:02 pm
Greg and Janet Buehler | Category: Uncategorized

2019 Farmer’s Markets Schedules

When you shop at a local Farmers Market, you’re buying outstanding freshness, quality and flavor. Knowing exactly where your food comes from and how it was grown provides peace of mind for your family. Plus, you’re supporting a sustainable regional food system that helps small family farms stay in business; protects land from over-development, and provides the community with fresh, healthy food. Find one near you on the list below!

 

SOUTH SNOHOMISH:

Arlington Farmers Market
Legion Park: 200 N. Olympic Ave
Saturdays. 10am-3pm
June 1 — August 31

Bothell Park Ridge Community Market
Park Ridge Church: 3805 Maltby Road, Bothell
Wednesdays 4pm-8pm
June 5—September 25

Edmonds Garden Market
Historical Museum: 5th & Bell Street
Saturdays 9am-2pm
May 4—June 8

Edmonds Summer Market
Downtown: 5th St from the fountain
Saturdays 9am-3pm
June 15—October 5

Everett Farmers Markets
Boxcar Park: 615 13th Street
Sundays 11am-4pm
May 12—October 6

Everett Transit Center: 2333 32nd St
Wednesdays 4pm-8pm
June 5—August 28

Marysville Farmer’s Market
Location TBD
Saturdays 10am-2pm
June 22—August 31

Mill Creek Farmer’s Market
City Hall: 15720 Main St.
Tuesdays 3pm-7pm
June 18-August 20

Snohomish Farmers Market
Cedar Ave & Pearl St.
Thursdays 3pm-7pm
May 2—September 26

 

EASTSIDE:

Bellevue Farmers Market
First Presbyterian: 1717 Bellevue Way NE
Thursdays 3pm-7pm
May 16—October 10

Bellevue Crossroads Farmers Market
East Parking Lot: 15600 NE 8th St
Tuesdays 12pm-6pm
June 4—September 24

Issaquah Farmers Market
Pickering Barn: 1730 10th Ave NW
Saturdays 9am-2pm
May 4—September 28

Juanita Friday Market
Juanita Beach: 9703 NE Juanita Dr
Fridays 3pm-7pm
June 5—September 27

Kirkland Wednesday Market
Marina Park: 25 Lakeshore Plaza
Wednesdays 2pm-7pm
June 7—September 25

Mercer Island Farmers Market
Mercerdale Park: 7700 SE 32nd St
Sundays 10am-3pm
June 2—September 29

Redmond Saturday Market
Redmond Town Center: 7730 Leary Way NE
Saturdays 9am-3pm
May 4—October 26

Sammamish Farmers Market
City Hall Plaza: 801 228th Ave SE
Wednesdays 4pm-8pm
May 8—September 18

Woodinville Farmers Market
DeYoung Park: 13680 NE 175th St
Saturdays 9am-3pm
May 4—September 28

 

SEATTLE:

Ballard Farmers Market
Ballard Ave NW
Sundays. 10am-3pm
YEAR ROUND

Capitol Hill Broadway Farmers Market
Seattle Central Comm College: Broadway & Pine
Sundays 11am-3pm
YEAR ROUND

Columbia City Farmers Market
37th Ave S & S Edmunds St
Wednesdays 3pm-7pm
May 8—October 9

Fremont Sunday Market
Corner of 3410 Evanston Ave N
Sundays 10am-4pm
YEAR ROUND

Lake City Farmers Market
125th St and 28th Ave NE
Thursdays 3pm-7pm
June 6—October 3

Lake Forest Park Farmers Market
Third Place Commons: 17171 Bothell Way NE
Sundays 10am-3pm
May 12—October 20

Madrona Farmers Market
1126 Martin Luther King Jr. Way
Fridays 3pm-7pm
May 17—October 11

Magnolia Farmers Market
Magnolia Village: 33rd Ave W & W McGraw
Saturdays. 10am-2pm
June 1—November 23

Phinney Farmers Market
Neighborhood Center: Phinney Ave N
Fridays 3:30pm-7:30pm
June 7—September 27

Pike Place Farmers Market
Pike Place & Pine St
Saturdays 9am-5pm
June 1—November 23

Queen Anne Farmers Market
W Crockett Street & Queen Anne Ave N
Thursdays 3pm-7:30pm
May 30—October 10

Shoreline Farmers Market
15300 Westminster Ave N
Saturdays 10am-3pm
June 8—October 5

University District Farmers Market
University Way NE “the Ave”
Saturdays 9am-2pm
YEAR ROUND

Wallingford Farmers Market
Meridian Park: Meridian Ave N & N 50th St
Wednesdays 3pm-7pm
May 15—September 25

West Seattle Farmers Market
California Ave SW & SW Alaska St
Sundays 10am-2pm
YEAR ROUND

 

You can also search for farmers markets in other counties here.

Before planning your visit, be sure to check market websites for possible holiday or weather closures and special events.

Posted on May 14, 2019 at 6:15 pm
Greg and Janet Buehler | Category: Uncategorized

Seed Drive!

We are collecting vegetable seeds and starts for the Martha Perry Garden, where volunteers grow thousands of pounds of fresh produce every year for local food banks.

Our office will be spending a volunteer day in the garden for our annual Community Service Day in June. In addition to our labor, we will gift them all of the vegetable seeds and starts collected between now and then. 

Partial packets of seeds are gladly accepted! All seeds should be no more than a year old, although fresh seeds are preferred. 

Wish List: 

BasilBeetsCabbageCarrots*CauliflowerChardCucumbersGreen BeansHerbsMarigoldsPeppersRadishesSummer SquashSnow PeasTomatoesWinter SquashZucchini 

*High Demand! 

Starts of cucumbers, winter & summer squash, cole crops (cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli, kale, etc) are especially welcome. 

Drop seeds off at our office through June 6th
4211 Alderwood Mall Blvd #110, Lynnwood
Mon-Friday: 8am-5pm & Sat-Sun: 9am-3pm 

 Windermere Community Service Day is coming! This tradition was established in 1984 to offer agents and staff a chance to volunteer an entire workday to give back to the neighborhoods in which they live and work.

On June 7th, our office will spend the day

with the Snohomish Garden Club working on the Martha Perry Veggie Garden, constructing trellises, staking beds, planting, weeding, labeling and sprucing everything up.

Last year, the Snohomish Garden Club provided 8,000 pounds of fresh produce to the Snohomish and Maltby Food Banks. The land for the garden is generously donated by the Bailey Family Farm. 

Posted on May 8, 2019 at 6:06 pm
Greg and Janet Buehler | Category: Uncategorized

April 2019 Newsletter

I am pleased to present the first-quarter 2019 edition of the Gardner Report, which provides insights into select counties of the Western Washington housing market. This analysis is provided by Windermere Real Estate Chief Economist Matthew Gardner. I hope that this information will assist you with making better-informed real estate decisions. For further information about the housing market in your area, please don’t hesitate to contact me.

Click to view the full report

When you shop at a local Farmers Market, you’re buying outstanding freshness, quality and flavor. Knowing exactly where your food comes from and how it was grown provides peace of mind for your family. Plus, you’re supporting a sustainable regional food system that helps small family farms stay in business; protects land from development, and provides the community with fresh, healthy food. Find one near you!
We are collecting vegetable seeds and starts for the Martha Perry Garden, where volunteers grow thousands of pounds of fresh produce every year for local food banks.

My office will be spending a volunteer day in the garden for our annual Community Service Day in June. In addition to our labor, we will gift them all of the vegetable seeds and starts collected between now and then.

All seeds should be no more than a year old, although fresh seeds are preferred.

Wish List:
Basil, Beets, Cabbage, Carrots*, Cauliflower, Chard, Cucumbers, Green Beans, Herbs, Marigolds, Peppers, Radishes, Summer Squash, Snow Peas, Tomatoes, Winter Squash, Zucchini
*High Demand!

Starts of cucumbers, winter & summer squash, cole crops (cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli, kale, etc) are especially welcome.

Thank you!!

Thank you for another successful Shred Day!

Two full truckloads of paper were safely shredded and recycled.

We love providing this service for our clients, friends and neighbors, but what we’re really excited about is how you all gave back to the community. Your donations provided 534 pounds of food and $1,129 to benefit Concern for Neighbors food bank. Thank you!

Do you want to be “In the Know” in your neighborhood? Sign up for a monthly overview of what’s happening in the zip code(s) of your choice. Neighborhood News is a great tool to stay informed about the home values and activity in your own backyard or to study a new market you may be interested in.Click here to sign up on our website.
Posted on April 22, 2019 at 6:35 pm
Greg and Janet Buehler | Category: Uncategorized

February Newsletter

Most recently, we have experienced an uptick in market activity. In fact, in King and Snohomish counties we saw a 53% increase in pending sales from December to January. While it is seasonally normal to see activity increase at the first of the year, it was 16% higher than the previous January. This increase is being driven by multiple factors, such as our thriving economy and job market, price acceleration softening, and the recent decrease in interest rates.

Currently, rates are as low as 4.5% for a 30-year fixed conventional mortgage – 0.75 points down from the fourth quarter of 2018. In fact, the interest rate in November was the highest we’ve seen in five years!  The current rate level is the lowest we have seen in a year. This is meaningful because the rule of thumb is that for every one-point increase in interest rate, a buyer loses ten percent in purchase power. For example, if a buyer is shopping for a $500,000 home and the rate increases by a point during their search, in order to keep the same monthly payment, the buyer would need to decrease their purchase price to $450,000. Conversely, for every decrease in interest rate, a buyer can increase their purchase price and keep the same monthly mortgage payment.

Why is this important to pay attention to? Affordability! If you take the scenario I just described and apply it to the link above, you can see that the folks who choose to jump into the market this year will enjoy an interest cost savings when securing their mortgage. This lasts the entire life of the loan and can have a huge impact on the monthly cash flow of a household. This cost savings is also coupled with a slow-down in home-price appreciation. Complete year-over-year, prices are up around 8% in both King and Snohomish counties, but note that from 2017 to 2018 we saw a 14% increase. Price appreciation is adjusting to more normal levels and is predicted to increase 4-6% in 2019 over 2018.

As we head into spring market, the time of year we see the most inventory become available, the interest rates will have a positive influence on both buyers and sellers. Naturally, buyers will enjoy the cost savings, but sellers will enjoy a larger buyer pool looking at their homes due to the demand the lower rates are creating. Further, would-be sellers who are also buyers that secured a rate as low as 3.75% via a purchase or re-finance in 2015-2017, will consider giving up that lower rate for the right move-up house now that rates are not as big of a jump up as they were during the second half of 2018.

This recent decrease in rate is making the move-up market come alive. What is great about this, is that it opens up inventory for the first-time buyer and helps complete the market cycle. First-time buyers are abundant right now as the Millennial generation is gaining in age and making big life transitions such as buying real estate. According to Nerd Wallet, 49% of all Millennials have a home purchase in their 5-year plan.

Will these rates last forever? Simply put, no! According to Matthew Gardner, Windermere’s Chief Economist, rates should increase into the 5’s in 2019. While still staying well below the 30-year average of 6.85%, increases are increases, and securing today’s rate could be hugely beneficial from a cost-saving perspective. Just like the 1980’s when folks were securing mortgages at 18%, the people that lock down on a rate from today will be telling these stories to their grandchildren. Note the 30-year average – it is reasonable to think that rates closer to that must be in our future at some point.

So what does this mean for you? If you have considered making a move, or even your first purchase, today’s rates are a huge plus in helping make that transition more affordable. If you are a seller, bear in mind that today’s interest rate market is creating strong buyer demand, providing a healthy buyer pool for your home. As a homeowner who has no intention to make a move, now might be the time to consider a refinance. What is so exciting about these refinances, is that it is not only possible to reduce your monthly payment, but also your term, depending on which rate you would be coming down from.

If you would like additional information on how today’s interest rates pertain to your housing goals, please contact us. We would be happy to educate you on homes that are available, do a market analysis on your current home, and/or put you in touch with a reputable mortgage professional to help you crunch numbers. Real estate success is rooted in being accurately informed, and it is our goal to help empower you to make sound decisions for you and your family.

Celebrate Earth Day with us! Bring all your sensitive documents to be professionally destroyed on-site by Confidential Data Disposal. Limit 20 file boxes per customer.

We will also be collecting non-perishable food and cash donations to benefit Concern for Neighbors Food Bank. Donations are not required, but are appreciated.

Saturday, April 20th, 10am – 2pm.
4211 Alderwood Mall Blvd, Lynnwood 98036

*This is a shredding-only event. Only paper will be accepted – no electronics or recyclables.

We are pleased to present the fourth-quarter 2018 edition of the Gardner Report, which provides insights into select counties of the Western Washington housing market. This analysis is provided by Windermere Real Estate Chief Economist Matthew Gardner. We hope that this information will assist you with making better-informed real estate decisions. For further information about the housing market in your area, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

Click to view the full report

Do you want to be “In the Know” in your neighborhood? Sign up for a monthly overview of what’s happening in the zip code(s) of your choice. Neighborhood News is a great tool to stay informed about the home values and activity in your own backyard or to study a new market you may be interested in.Click here to sign up on our website.
Posted on February 26, 2019 at 9:15 pm
Greg and Janet Buehler | Category: Uncategorized