I know, the one hour time difference has every body crazy for at least a week. Even if I go to bed earlier than I used to, I still wake up an hour later than I usually did. Drives me nuts!!! But, I do like the hour of extra sunshine in the evening. I’m really looking forward to it still being light at 9pm while I’m on the golf course! So yes, I’m springing into Spring…and looking forward to everything that Spring has to offer. As well as more inventory. It’s been a rough haul for the buyers who’ve stuck through the winter trying to find a home on Vashon. It seemed as soon as a home came on the market, it was snatched away before anyone had even a chance to look at it. With the onset of more inventory, I’m really hoping that things will stay on the market a little while longer and everyone will have an opportunity to, at the very least, view the home once! I do think interest rates will rise, but I don’t think they will raise higher than 6% so I believe it will remain a Seller’s market for the time being. If you are a buyer, the best advice I can give you is don’t lose the faith. Keep plugging away until the home of your dreams comes along and when it does, be ready to act. Be pro active with the preapproval process and think about getting that home pre-inspected so that if you do put an offer in, you can do so without an inspection contingency. It is going to be a hot summer, hopefully not just in the housing market but the temps as well!!
Fall is here and I’m truly looking forward to another Halloween at Windermere. Every year we come up with a theme and somehow it always seems to be better than the previous year! This year we are bringing a little bit of Mardi Gras to the town. Of course we will still have our haunted house to walk through, but you may see the Bayou Swamp witch, some scary Cajun spiders popping up as well as a creepy Fortune Teller passing out goodies. We will have some Jazz music, hot apple cider and beignets (those fancy French donuts!). It’s so much fun to see all the kids (and the big kids!) in their costumes. Keeping our fingers crossed the weather co-operates with us and it will be a fun evening for everyone. Hope to see you there!
We are less than a week away for another repeat Seattle Seahawk Super Bowl game. Here is everyone in our office decked out in our Seattle colors showing our "team" spirit!! If my Steeler's can't be in the big one, than I am definitely cheering for the Hawks!!
On a recent trip to Logan, Utah I had the great honor of seeing the statue of one of my personal heroes, Merlin Olsen. These are the words inscribed on the statue which is located in front of the football stadium at Utah State where Merlin was an All American for the Utah State Aggies. What great words to adhere to and live by.
I've just realized Summer is slowly coming to an end and I haven't updated my blog in quite awhile! Shame on me! I guess I have just been so busy in this crazy market that I just haven't had time. Yeaaa, that's it! It's my story and I'm sticking to it! It really has been a crazy 8 months. Interest rates remain low and our inventory was low as well. It seemed we no sooner listed a new property and there would be 2 or 3 offers on it before we turned around. We have reached a sort of lull in the action the past couple weeks. I believe everyone is getting ready for school, last minute vacations with the family and the end of summer all contribute to this lull. I am convinced the market will pick back up again in fall and be just as crazy as it was in June & July. We survived the Strawberry Festival and the fourth of July (all really big events on Vashon) Next up are the Dog/Sheep trials at Misty Isles. Then the famous VIPP ball will take place in September. This is VIPP's (Vashon Island Pet Protectors) big fundraiser for the year. Last year was my first experience as I volunteered to do what ever they needed me to do! I had a blast and I will definitely volunteer again this year. The costumes were outrageous! Plus you can bid on some really amazing art pieces. After the VIPP ball we will be gearing up for our infamous Halloween haunted house at Windermere. Since we have the new, bigger building, we are sure to come up with some spooktacular ideas! More to come on that front. But let's not rush this. Summer isn't over yet, still plenty of nice days to come over to Vashon and spend the day exploring trails, beachcombing, kayaking around Quartermaster Harbor, or just walking the town and chatting with some locals. Oh, and don't forget to stop in at Windermere and see our new digs and say hello to yours truly! 😉
Typically this is the time most real estate agents slow down, if not come to a complete stop! We purge our files and old contacts, we clean our desks and make goals for the coming year. This, however, is not a typical winter! Sales have been brisk and buyers are still out looking for a new home. The problem is, our inventory of homes has fallen very low. We are not only seeing lots of sales, but we are now experiencing multiple offers and offers without contingencies! It is slowly moving into a seller's market again, where we are seeing less and less of the "low ball" offers and more of the competitive offers. A lot of this has to do with the low inventory…the ole supply and demand, but a lot has to do with more people pricing their homes correctly and understanding the market. If you have been waiting to put your home on the market until Spring, when everything looks nice and new..don't wait! There are buyers out there and believe it or not, they are even making offers on homes that are off market. I personally am enjoying not having time to clean my desk , purge my files and update my Facebook page. If this is any indication of how the year will go, I'm buckling up and getting ready for the ride!
As always, it seems Summer has passed way too quickly. Once the Strawberry Festival has come and gone, it seems only a short time until the leaves begin to fall and our thoughts turn toward Halloween. Halloween on Vashon is very unique. Each year the kids don their costumes and head up town for the annual Halloween Parade. After the parade, all the kids go around to the local businesses in town and go "trick or treating". Windermere has become one of the most visited places on Halloween. Not because we are just an extraordinary bunch of people, but because every year we put together a haunted house that all the kids get to walk through. Two years ago, not only did we have our haunted house, but we all dressed as zombies and periodically treated the audience to the dance from Michael Jackson's Thriller. Last year we became the Addams Family, complete with Gomez, Morticia, Uncle Fester, Pugsley, Cousin It, Lurch, Grandmama and of course Thing. (hand in the box) Some of the brave kids who walked through the haunted house came back again and again! It was a lot of fun and a lot of hard work went into the preparations. All of the agents pitch in and spend a great deal of time and effort into decorating and transforming our office into a ridiculously scary haunted home. This year will be more of the same, with a very special twist planned. If you've never experienced this before, I urge you to come on by and see just how wacky our office can be! Real estate wise, we've had a very busy summer and hopefully an even busier fall. Still lots of homes for sale on the island and more coming on the market daily. I'll leave you with a pic from last year's Halloween adventure….hopefully you will make it out to this year's event which I promise will be bigger & better than ever!
The weather this past week has prompted me to remind people what makes Vashon so special. Answer= SUMMER! Okay, that's not the only reason, but trust me, it's a darn good one! First of all, there are the Parks & Trails. Spend a day walking through Island Center Forest of 370 acres, or Maury Island Park with 300 acres of trails and shoreline. Pack a lunch and spend the day remembering what it was like to be outside all day (like mom used to make us!) Beachcomb on low tide and discover sand dollars, star fish and the thrill of being squirted in the back of the leg by a gooey duck! Secondly, there is boating. Quartermaster Harbor is always a few degrees warmer than the outer Sound which makes things like waterskiing, wakeboarding, tubing etc. a great way to spend a sunny summer day. Not up for water? Try biking! The island is the perfect place to spend the day riding around and enjoying the beautiful scenery. On Saturdays, you can come up to the farmer's market in the Villag Green (downtown area) and browse through local artisans treasures along with some fresh organic fruit & veggies. They also have music & hot food as well. Not up for a full day of exercise? Try browsing around the downtown core and shopping in some of the unique shops. Grab lunch or dinner at one of the many restaurants around town. Don't forget to try one of our local wines or beers with your meal (I can attest to how good both are!!) I haven't even touched on the Strawberry Festival or the fourth of July yet. I'll save that for another blog. The bottom line is, winter, spring, summer or fall are all great times to come and explore the many wonderful things you can do on Vashon, summer, just happens to be my favorite.
Well here we are, a few days into the new Spring and it's already starting to really feel like it as well! Not only are our temps heating up, but the market is too! We went from only 32 active listings in January to over 62 in March. It seems as fast as they are bringing the listings on, they are selling just as fast. The problem being that our inventory was so depleted and the buyers who have been circling around all Winter are finally seeing things that are new and fresh, so they are jumping all over them! The main key here is pricing. It seems if a new listing comes on the market and is priced well, then you better be first in line or you may miss the boat. We have had several homes that receive an offer 1 or 2 days after being listed! I expect to see at the very least, 30 new listings by the end of April. That should help inventory supply, but also help to slow down this fast paced uptick in selling. With low inventory and multiple offers and back up offers on properties, one might think this is a seller's market again, but I think it will all even out soon. It is sometimes hard for even us professionals to tell who might actually have the upperhand when it comes to negotiating! Bottom line is, with the interest rates low, inventory increasing daily, and sellers finally getting very realistic in their pricing—–this is a GREAT TIME TO BUY! Be it an investment, 2nd home or a first time home buyer, you should definitely "spring" into action!
Well Happy New Year everyone! I certainly hope 2013 turns out to be a great year for everyone! The real estate market continues on it's steady uphill rise. We saw a lot of activity in 2012. I believe a great deal of that had to do with the continued low interest rates and the sellers pricing their homes where they needed to be. Don't get me wrong, I still think it's a buyers market, but we aren't seeing the low ball offers that we did in the beginning of 2012. We are actually seeing multiple offers on homes that are priced to sell! Short sales are still prevalent in the market place and I predict will remain that way for the better part of the year. I do believe this will be a very good year in real estate, with low interest rates, better terms and conditions on mortgage loans & the willingness of sellers to actually "listen" to their agents and price their homes according to what the market dictates. Keeping my fingers crossed that we all have a prosperous and healthy new year!