West Seattle Bungalow in the Roxhill Neighborhood

Wonderful 3-bedroom home with a large lot, green house and shed in the backyard with a vine bearing grapes for producing your own jelly. Enjoy the home with a nicely laid out floor plan, large master bedroom, nice size bathrooms, family room on the lower level and able to walkout to a secluded patio off the lower level.  If you exit out the main floor through French Doors you'll be on a maintenance free deck that overlooks the lovely backyard.  Don't miss out on this cute West Seattle charmer.  

 


Posted on April 7, 2016 at 4:54 am
Tom Fine | Posted in Tom Fine's Blog | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

6 Economists Forecast the 2016 Housing Market

Trends, forecasts and more from some of the most prominent economic minds in the industry

As we ring in a New Year, Housing News Report asked six prominent economists to forecast what 2016 will bring for the U.S. housing market.

For housing, 2015 was a strong year, with home sales high and home prices continuing to rise.

Overall, the economists surveyed were cautiously optimistic about 2016 when it comes to home prices, home sales, interest rates and the impact of loosening lending standards that have recently been introduced by government agencies. Since 2016 is a Presidential election year, the economists were cagey when it comes to regulatory changes to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

Here’s what they are forecasting for 2016:

What will be the most important housing market trend(s) in 2016 and why?

Alex Villacorta, chief economist, Clear Capital: The two most important housing market trends to watch in 2016 will be the continued growth of rental rates and the moderating trend in home prices. The pattern seen in 2015 was largely characterized by a white-hot rental market, and if this continues, more households will likely choose to rent over buy in 2016.

In addition to driving rental prices up and vacancy rates down, this trend disengages an increasing proportion of potential home buyers — evidenced by the lowest homeownership rate in almost 50 years. Adding insult to injury for the purchase market, increasing rental rates continue to make it more difficult for potential buyers to save up for a down payment.

In 2016 we’ll use data from Clear Capital’s Home Data Index to see, at a local level, when the tide turns from rental to purchase demand. Many markets are already hospitable for buyers, but we have yet to see the demand. This implies that consumer confidence and the inability to overcome the barriers to purchase are a real headwind to a fully engaged housing market, especially for first-time home buyers.

As the year evolves we’ll be watching both rent and purchase trends closely, as a waning pattern in rental prices will suggest that momentum is shifting to the broader housing market, which should result in a more robust price growth in 2016.

A waning pattern in rental prices will suggest that momentum is shifting.

A headshot of Jonathan Smoke

Jonathan Smoke

Jonathan Smoke, chief economist, realtor.com:Demand for for-sale housing will grow and will continue to be dominated by older millennials, aged 25 to 34. This demographic has the potential to claim a third of home sales in 2016 and represent 2 million home purchases.

Two other demographics will also be dominant forces on the buy side but will also be a key part of providing the necessary inventory on the sell side. Gen-X is in prime earning years and thus is also experiencing improvements in their economic circumstances, which include more relocations and seeking better neighborhoods for their families. Older boomers are approaching — or already in — retirement and seeking to downsize or lock in a lower cost of living. Together, these two generations will provide much of the suburban inventory that millennials desire to start their own families.

Supply will also improve as a result of additional growth in new construction and particularly in more single-family construction. The growth will be in more affordable price points, which will help bring down the average new home prices and average size of new homes, which have grown dramatically so far in the recovery as builders principally focused on the move-up, luxury, and active adult segments.

Mortgage rates should also begin their long-anticipated ascent as the Federal Reserve attempts to “thread the needle” on influencing rates up without negatively impacting economic growth. The increases in mortgage rates will likely be lower than the increases in short-term interest rates created by Fed policy as global weakness and a strong dollar limit more pronounced movement in long bonds. Mortgage rates will also be volatile, moving up and down by day and week, similar to how we’ve seen the market in 2015, but the key difference will be a more pronounced longer trend towards higher rates.

New Home Sales & NAR Existing Home Sales - Jan05-Dec15

The move up in mortgage rates should be a net positive to the market as fence-sitting sellers and buyers begin to understand that rates are moving higher and decide to jump into the market while they remain at such historically low levels.

The final key trend is that rents will rise more rapidly than prices, adding to the already burdensome level of rents that exist in more than 85 percent of the markets in the country. In the near term, this reinforces the consumer’s decision to buy, but higher rents also start to negatively impact the pipeline for future purchases by keeping renting households from saving towards a down payment.

Where is the housing market headed in 2016?

Douglas Duncan, chief economist, Fannie Mae: Lots of discussion of the need for subsidy but the real problem is lack of income growth for low and moderate income households. There will be a discussion of the regulatory cost of land development which is an inhibitor to production of low to moderate income affordable housing. Rents will remain strong as a result.

A headshot of Matthew Gardner

Matthew Gardner

Matthew Gardner, chief economist, Windermere: I expect that we will see more homes for sale. Homeowner equity started to recover in 2013 and has been steadily improving since that time.  As such, I expect that it will increase their likelihood of selling. At last — more inventory!  But I fear that it will still fall short of the supply needed to match demand.

Mark Zandi, chief economist, Moody’s Analytics: The most important housing market trend in 2016 will be the developing housing shortage. New housing construction has picked up in recent years, but it remains well below that needed to meet demand from newly formed households, second home buyers, and obsolescence of the existing stock of homes. Rental and homeowner vacancy rates, which are already very low, will continue to decline. This will continue to push house prices and rents up quickly. The housing shortage will be most acute for lower prices and affordable housing.

Peter Muoio, chief economist, Ten-X: Wage growth will be the key new ingredient for the housing recovery. We have been watching signs of accelerating wage growth percolate through different data sources, but 2016 will see clear and convincing evidence of rising wages. This will help with housing affordability and be the final ingredient for higher household formations and housing demand.

Wage growth will be the key new ingredient for the housing recovery.

The other key 2016 trend will be the pace of interest rate increases. We know the Fed will pull the trigger, but the key question is how fast and strongly they continue to tighten in 2016, as that will affect mortgage rates.

This article was written by 


Posted on February 11, 2016 at 10:10 pm
Tom Fine | Posted in Tom Fine's Blog | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Choosing a Broker

Choosing a Broker Page 1 Choosing a Broker Page 2 Choosing a Broker Page 3 Choosing a Broker Page 4


Posted on February 9, 2016 at 12:07 pm
Tom Fine | Posted in Tom Fine's Blog | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Seattle and Eastside Real Estate Sales Report for Week of October 23rd vs. 16 Week Averages

 

My Team has compiled a weekly Real Estate Sales Report for the Neighborhoods in and around SeattleEastside and Waterfront, click on the drop-down menu on the top right of each page for more information. Additional information is available for local schools.

This report provides a snapshot of This Week  vs. 16 Week Average

1.     Active Listings

2.     Pending Listings

3.     Months of Inventory

Click on the area below to see the numbers:

SEATTLE

West Seattle – under $400,000; 500's; 1-1.5 million
South Seattle – $250,000-400,000; 600,000-800,000
Central Seattle – $600's; 800,000-1 million
Queen Anne – $500,000-900,000
Ballard/Greenlake – $250,000-500,000; 600,000-1.25 million
North Seattle – $250,000-700,000

 

EASTSIDE
South Bellevue – $400,000-600,000
Mercer Island – $1-1.5 million
West Bellevue – $1.5-2 million
East Bellevue – $250,000-600,000; 1.25-2 million
East Lk Sammamish – under $600,000
Redmond – $250,000-700,000
Kirkland – $250,000-600,000; 700,000-1 million
Woodinville – $400's; 600's
Renton Highlands – $250,000-600,000

 


Posted on October 24, 2015 at 10:09 am
Tom Fine | Posted in Tom Fine's Blog | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Not your Average Open House, But one to go through

This is not what I do for Open Houses, It doesn't help sell it, unless it fits the right family.

Follow me to this Open House, Click Here

 

To see a Real Open House This Sunday on Queen Anne, Beatiful Brick Tudor inside and out,  1-4 This Sunday 10-25-15

I look forward seeing you.

Open House Sunday 1–4 Come and See Tom Fine[/caption]

 


Posted on October 23, 2015 at 10:40 am
Tom Fine | Posted in Tom Fine's Blog | Tagged , , , , , , , , , ,

Market Reports, What’s Happening in and Around Seattle, Mercer Island and the Eastside

Are you looking for statistics, we have them!, the Windermere Mercer Island office produces 8 market reports for anyone that loves statistics. Here is a list of all the reports to review, just click on the report that you're interested in.  If you are looking for additional information contact my team to get you what you are looking for.  If you are looking for update information click here

Market Reports

Residential Q3 2015 Reports:

Click to view quarterly market reports for Mercer Island, Seattle and The EastsidePublished October 2015

Waterfront Q3 2015 Reports:

Click to view quarterly market reports for Mercer Island, The EastsideLake Sammamish and SeattlePublished October 2015


Posted on October 20, 2015 at 9:08 pm
Tom Fine | Posted in Tom Fine's Blog | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Buying a Home, What’s the Difference Between a Buyers Agent and a Listing Agent

Buying a Home: What’s the difference between a Listing Agent and a Buyers Agent and why should I care?

By law, a Designated Seller’s Agent MUST “promote the interests of the seller with the utmost good faith, loyalty and fidelity” and MUST “protect the seller’s confidences…” A smart seller will hire a good seller’s agent to work for them in this fashion – As they should.

Listing Agent, represents the sellers

Buyers agent, (Selling Agent) represents the buyers

Why should I use a buyer’s agent, (Broker)?

The seller’s agent is only looking out for the seller. Understanding this, it is important to realize that what you say and act to a seller’s agent may compromise your ability to negotiate the best deal for you. If, for example, during an open house, you casually mention to the seller’s agent that your family must be relocated by the end of the month to accommodate the start of a new job, the seller’s agent, by law, must “promote the interests of the seller” by letting the seller know about your situation. As a result, the seller is now aware that you are somewhat desperate and must move quickly, thus compromising your ability to negotiate the best deal.

How does this affect your bottom line?

Remember, the seller’s agent is “promoting the interests of the seller… and protecting the seller’s confidences…” Usually, the interests of the seller consist mainly in getting the best price for their home within a given time period. Even if the seller’s agent knows the seller has enough equity and is willing to accept $10,000 less than the asking price and, in fact, the home may not be worth what the seller is asking, the seller’s agent cannot, by law, disclose that information to you. Without a real estate professional working hard on your behalf by providing you with experienced and accurate market information, you may end up paying more than necessary to purchase that particular home.

What’s Next?

Working with Tom Fine, a Windermere Real Estate Broker, has in-depth experience in home construction, remodeling and design, with this Tom’s knowledge helps buyers by explaining the good and bad aspects of homes. Tom looks at the construction materials, installation and finishes of these materials and he’ll explain why a home you are looking at is what you see a well built home or a band aid to mask hidden problems. Working with Tom as a buyers agent doesn’t cost you money, the buyers agent fee is paid typically from the sellers side of the transaction.  So why not work with someone like Tom, with knowledge and experience to save you, time, money and energy. Contact Tom Fine, today to help Buy or Sell your home,

 

 

Tom Fine, Broker, CNE & SRES

Fine Homes NW, Inc.

Windermere Real Estate, Mercer Island

Direct: 206-434-6561

Email: TomFine@windermere.com


Posted on September 13, 2015 at 5:26 pm
Tom Fine | Posted in Tom Fine's Blog | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Summer is Around the Corner, Real Estate Market in Seattle is Hot

In Seattle we have had an incredible year, with a mild winter and wonderful spring, we are getting ready for a great summer.  Our Seattle summers are wonderful, with a calendar full of events from the Blue Angles, Hydroplanes, and concert series in and around the city. What a great place to be during the summer.  My kids and I love to go to Madison Beach and dive off the floating dive platform and watching the big barges building the new massive 520 Bridge.

 

 This weekend I was at my Wallingford open houses this weekend we had great activity. It is a 1929 brick Tudor that was custom built. It’s on the market, for a couple days at $685K hosting 4 bedrooms and 1-1/2 baths.  What is great about a home like this is it hasn’t been renovated in bad taste and they didn’t do any bad updating.. The original mahogany millwork and the tilting windows make this a classic Seattle home.

 

This weekend I’ll be at the Braeburn hosting an open house that is a new listing. Prices continue to increase while the market is still a sellers market.  It makes sense to get into the market now instead of seating out and waiting till things slow down.  When the slow down, most likely form historical data, prices will be up 7% a year.

 

Interest rate’s at a glance, a lot of activity, the rates went form 3.81 to 3.8 last week.

nterest Rates at a glance

           

Exciting news in Seattle, the Polar Pioneer in town and all the excitement around this massive oil drilling rig. It is in town and moored at Foss’s maritime dock for modifications that will bring 400 jobs to the area and a lot of money for suppliers and parts.  It’s amazing people protesting in their kayaks, at least there won’t be much violence on the water from the protestors.

Cruise ships are in town and Pike Place market is busy with lots of people.  We love getting a sandwich at Three Girls Bakery and then heading down for a Priroshky for one daughter.  Don’t forget to visit the bubblegum wall.

 


Posted on May 18, 2015 at 6:35 pm
Tom Fine | Posted in Tom Fine's Blog | Tagged , , , , , , , , ,

Don’t Make Mistakes Selling Your Home

 

1.     Not preparing to show your home in the right light. It’s critical to make sure when you are getting your home ready to sell that you put items in the right place.  Don’t have too much clutter; arrange furniture so the rooms flow. If you don’t have the right furniture the best bet is to place staging in place of your furniture.  Remember you are looking to get top dollar.

2.Doing a minor home improvement before selling might make sense.

If you have a ½ bath and have room to make it a ¾ bath to increase your selling price or a kitchen renovation to get more money, doesn’t that make sense? Yes!  But don’t get carried away by doing too big of a renovation.

3.     Not hiring an agent. So many people think they can do what an Agent/Broker can do. Are you willing to go through all the steps t get top dollar and then you don’t deal with an action in the right order or miss a timeframe that jeopardizes the deal, it’s critical that you have someone that can represent you to explain all the details. Studies have shown that hiring an Agent/Broker, you’ll get your money worth and it will eliminate a lot of headaches.  Hire a professional to do a professional job.

4.     Putting too high of a sale price. Wanting to get top dollar is everyone’s dream, but setting too high of a sale price can hurt in more than one way.  It will keep the house on the market longer, the first two weeks is when your house sees a lot of action and people.  When a house is on the market longer than a couple of weeks, then buyers believe they can get a bargain or low ball an offer. It’s key to get a BPO, (Brokers Price Opinion) this will provide an price with comps so you can make the right decision on the pricing.

5.     Not hiring the right agent.  You may have a friend or you see a truck that says “Use this truck for free when Moving, hire me” you get a postcard that says discounted fees or free staging. Do you want to think about discount people when selling your home?  You want the right person and the one that thinks outside the box, has great opinions and options to sell your home.

6.     Not exposing your home to the masses.  When interviewing the agents, what is the agent going to do for marketing?  Is she/he going to market to thousands of local agents, what about a Brokers open and open houses for the masses? Email marketing, Video tours on the Internet. Neighborhood mailer about the home. If the neighbors love the neighborhood, they’ll tell their friend about the great neighborhood, SOLD!

7.     Putting restriction on the buyers, not letting buyers access the home. Some sellers, believe they know better than the agent, so they restrict the agent from showing the home, not allow agents market the home strategically. The right agents know how to go to market and know how to sell your home, let the professionals do their job.

8.     Sellers should not be in the home while showing are happening. Several of my clients wanted to show the potential buyers their home, they felt they knew what to show buyers and they wanted to be there for the showings.  This is a big No-No. Buyers and sellers should not be together, buyers want to feel free to talk about the house what they like and don’t like. They may want to do a remodel and the sellers can’t imagine why someone would want to change their home. The best scenario is to have the sellers out of the home during any showing and any open or brokers open.  If they forget something, oh well they can come in after the showings.  Believe you want top dollar, this will shoot them in the foot if they are there while a showing is going on.

 

These are the main items that can help get you on the right rack for positioning your home with the right agent, maximizing your return and getting maximum exposure.  If you are in the Seattle and surrounding areas and you would like to discuss how we Tom Fine could help you, contact Tom today. Todays market is hot for sellers, positioning your home can potentially get more than market value.  Have fun selling your home.

 

 

 


Posted on May 16, 2015 at 7:09 pm
Tom Fine | Posted in Tom Fine's Blog | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Elon Musk plans to build Hyperloop

Elon Musk plans to build Hyperloop test track
SpaceX and Tesla CEO wants to speed up the development of a 800-mph tube transport — and is willing to pay for testing in Texas to make it happen.
by Nick Statt
@nickstatt January 15, 2015 1:00 PM PST
comments

Elon Musk calls the Hyperloop a fifth mode of transportation. Using electromagnetic pulses and pressurized tubes, Hyperloop can hit high speeds.
HTT/JumpStartFund
Billionaire and entrepreneur Elon Musk is getting more hands on with the Hyperloop.

Musk, who heads up both space transportation outfit SpaceX and electric vehicle maker Tesla Motors, casually announced on Twitter Tuesday that he’s decided to help accelerate development of his vision for near-supersonic tube transportation, first outlined in August 2013.

Musk said he will build a five-mile test track for the still-theoretical system for students and companies to use. A possible location would be Texas, he added, where presumably there is plenty of flat land to go around.

Will be building a Hyperloop test track for companies and student teams to test out their pods. Most likely in Texas.

— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) January 15, 2015

Musk originally floated the idea of the Hyperloop with help from fellow SpaceX and Tesla engineers, releasing their collective work in a 57-page concept paper that generated headlines worldwide. Until today, Musk has been notably hands-off about the project and has said it remains an open source and collaborative process. SpaceX declined to comment further on Musk’s plans or whether the test track will involve additional collaboration from members of his two companies.

Musk is known for dropping bombshell announcements on his personal Twitter account, like when a rocket from his space transportation outfit SpaceX exploded mid-flight because “rockets are tricky” or how he thinks artificial intelligence may be more dangerous thannukes.

Though Musk speaks of the Hyperloop with similar nonchalance, the idea could revolutionize land transportation. It’s simpler than it sounds. A Hyperloop would work similarly to an air hockey table, but instead of floating on a cushion of air, solar-powered electromagnetic pulses would propel pressurized cabins inside elevated tubes. T

Theoretically, the resulting system could reach speeds approaching 800 mph, faster than the speed of sound, through tubes held up by pylons placed between strategic cities like San Francisco and Los Angeles. The system still needs years of testing, and as much as $10 billion to create even just one 400-mile stretch.

Yet Musk’s willingness to get involved after almost a year and a half of silence on the subject shows he’s serious about the idea and will, as he has with his other ventures, spend some of his own money to get it off the ground.

hyperloop-routes.jpg
Hyperloop Transportation Technologies, a collection of crowdsourced engineers working on the system, is already underway working out routes around the country.
HTT/JumpStartFund
Musk is known for taking risks and transforming industries. He did it with mobile payments and PayPal during the first dot-com era — then again with electric vehicles and private spaceflight.

Critics, including members of the US High Speed Rail Association, say high speed rail is a more-viable option. High-speed rail is widely used throughout Asia and the state of California this month broke ground for its high-speed rail system costing $70 billion. Musk has criticized the project’s high costs and sees the Hyperloop as leapfrogging the technology.

Musk isn’t alone in trying to make the idea a reality. A group of entrepreneurs and scientists have banded together to create Hyperloop Transportation Technologies. Put together first on a crowdfunding platform called JumpStartFund, it’s a loose collective of around 100 engineers, unaffiliated with Musk, who exchange free time for potential equity. Each works in small teams focused on specific interests, such as designing passenger pods and propulsion prototypes.

Hyperloop Transportation Technologies has also partnered with UCLA’s SUPRASTUDIO design and architecture program to design capsules and stations, as well as work out prospective routes around the country that could be potentially be linked into a nationwide Hyperloop network.

JumpStartFund did not comment on Musk’s plans, but CEO Dirk Ahlborn said the company will know soon where a finalized test site will be located.


Posted on January 15, 2015 at 9:11 pm
Tom Fine | Posted in Tom Fine's Blog | Tagged , , , , , , , , , ,