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February 2013

Found 9 blog entries for February 2013.

Let’s take a brief follow-up look at new listings. When we checked in two weeks into the new year, new listings in the Seattle area were down 25% from 2012. The data from this post is largely pulled out of a larger-scale analysis I did at work last week.

After six weeks, the picture looks better, with new listings down just 1.7% from last year, but the full story is a bit complicated:

New Listings Added by Week: Seattle Metro

So what’s the deal with that huge drop-off in week 3 last year? If you recall, that was when the region was slammed with a massive ice storm that basically shut everything down for a week.

But what’s really interesting is what you see when you split out new listings by their distressed status:

Change in New Listings 2012-2013 by Type

Non-distressed listings are up 14%, while short sale and bank-owned

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This story has been updated to include the cost of the development.

More of the blue will be washed out of Ballard’s collar this spring, when a luxury hotel opens where the neighborhood’s first bowling alley once operated.

Hotel Ballard is at 5214 Ballard Ave. N.W., next to the Olympic Athletic Club, which hotel developers Jim and Debera Riggle also own. Rooms and suites will go for $189 to $429 a night when the hotel opens in May.

The 29-room property is Ballard’s first full-service hotel, according to the Riggles, who also own the Ballard Inn, which is across the street from the hotel. The hotel, which will have a street-level restaurant and a rooftop pavilion with views of the Olympic Mountains, replaces a warehouse. Before that, the property

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Do you need support or advice during this exciting and stressful time? Just call or email us any time.

Once you've made an offer on a home and all contingencies have been met by both parties, closing on the property becomes final. Closing costs are generally 4% of your loan amount, but this can vary. To help you get a sense of what's left to be done, here are 10 steps involved in closing the deal:

  1. Draw up a purchase offer with detailed contingencies in place
  2. Submit your deposit, also known as "earnest money"
  3. Seller accepts the deal or counteroffers with contingencies and price changes of their own
  4. Apply for your loan if you aren't already pre-approved
  5. Get the house appraised
  6. Have the home inspected by a licensed home inspector
  7. Perform
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Daily Real Estate News |     Monday, February 18, 2013  

After a meteor struck western Siberia and more meteors threatened the entire globe on Friday, CNNMoney asked the question: Who pays for damage to a home if hit by a space object?

Rest easy, “your insurance covers falling objects," says Robert Hartwig, president of the Insurance Information Institute. In the rare events when meteors have crashed through home owners’ roofs over the years, insurers have paid the damage for those insured, Hartwig says. 

“Blue ice” — the frozen sewage that sometimes falls from airplanes — is more common and is also covered if it falls from the sky onto your home, Hartwig told CNNMoney.

A remnant of a meteor struck in the Urals region of western Siberia Friday

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A home buyer does not want to be caught off guard in a seller's market. It's one of the reasons that the most important thing a home buyer can do is trust his or her real estate agent to advise on market conditions. If it is a seller's market, it could very difficult, if not almost impossible, to buy the first home a buyer wants to buy.

Because home buyers generally have very little interest in the real estate market when they are not buying a home, they don't always know how the market moves from one season to another, much less from month to month. It is often uncomfortable for a buyer to be told the market is a seller's market when the buyer may believe otherwise -- especially a buyer who is trying to buy in a down real estate market.


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After spiking last week, fixed mortgage rates held their ground this week as the economy showed signs of stability, at least for the near future.

According to Freddie Mac’s Primary Mortgage Market Survey, the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage (FRM) averaged 3.53 percent (0.8 point) for the week ending February 7, unchanged from last week. This time last year, the average FRM was 3.87 percent.

The 15-year fixed average dipped, meanwhile, dropping to 2.77 percent (0.7 point) from 2.81 percent.

Adjustable rates saw more movement, with the average 5-year adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) dropping 7 basis points to 2.63 percent (0.6 point) and the average 1-yearARM falling 6 basis points to 2.53 percent (0.4 point).

“Mortgage rates were either

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In Blue Ridge, a bargain-hunter's dream comes true.


This is David, not Craig, Henderson, who found many of the materials used in the remodel of his family's home on Craigslist. He and his wife, Karen Anderson, worked on the home together. Odyssy Builders did the framing and roof. Maureen Caruso on Queen Anne designed the remodel. Dave Sorensen was the finish carpenter.

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This is David, not Craig, Henderson, who found many of the materials used in the remodel of his family's home on Craigslist. He and his wife, Karen Anderson, worked on the home together. Odyssy Builders did the framing and roof. Maureen Caruso on Queen Anne designed the remodel. Dave Sorensen was the finish carpenter.


THIS IS THE house that Craigslist built.

"We call it Craig's house, in fact," says David Henderson, stay-at-home dad, first-time general contractor and, more to the point, ace hunter-gatherer.

And it is. From the fir-ply kitchen cabinets to the old-growth, clear-fir ceiling; from the

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Now that we’ve got a full month of 2013 under our belt, let’s have a look at our stats preview. Most of the charts below are based on broad county-wide data that is available through a simple search of King County and Snohomish County public records. If you have additional stats you’d like to see in the preview, drop a line in the comments and I’ll see what I can do.

First up, here’s the summary snapshot of all the data as far back as my historical information goes, with the latest, high, and low values highlighted for each series:

King & Snhomish County Stats Preview

Summary: Foreclosures are still up, sales dropped from December but are up from a year ago, and inventory appears to have inched up just slightly, which is a definite

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The low supply of housing stock recently reported is giving Capital Economics reason to believe home price forecasts under 5 percent are actually conservative estimates.

Realtors in December expected prices to rise by about 3.5 percent over the next year, while consumer estimates were more modest at 2.5 percent for the same time period, the analytics firm noted in its monthly housing report. The estimates show a growing optimism among those groups.

For example, in March 2012, Realtors expected prices to rise by about 2.5 percent and consumers projected a 1 percent increase, according to a chart in the report.

But, with the low supply of inventory, Capital Economics anticipates much bigger gains. Recently, the National Association of

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