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 | Category: 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 | Category: 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
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Understanding Closing on your New Home

So you are going to buy a home and you hear the word Closing, Title, Escrow, what does this mean to you and how does it affect you and the buying or selling of a property. Closing is also known as the settlement, the settlement of the property you are buying or selling. The settlement includes the accounting of the funds transferred between the two parties by the closing firm also known as the Escrow firm.

The funding source (Buyers Lender) will transfer funds from the lender to Escrow and Escrow will settle all debts associated with the property, such as the sellers mortgage, any utilities, taxes, and insurance or outstanding debts of the sellers associated with the property. The balance after the payoff is known as the capitol gains to the sellers.

Escrow will also transfer the needed funds for the buyer for insurance and taxes.

Escrow is the firm in which typically handles the settlement of the funds, transferring of the funds and coordinating the signing of all the documents by the buyers and sellers. Escrow protects all parties involved by making sure that no funds or properties change hands until all conditions in the agreement have been met.

Title, which is very important establishes who actually owns/owned the property and tracts whom has owned the property over the years. Title must be free and clear, this will make it a marketable title and must be free of any encumbrances (A clouded Title). A clouded title is a property that is not a marketable title (such as an easement issue, a lien against the property, or an encroachment on the property are just a couple of issues that could cloud the title and make the property not have a clear title, therefore should not be transferred to anyone else. Title was set up hundreds of years ago, when travelers where coming across the country and they needed to be reassured that the land/property they where buying was their property. Title was a way to guarantee that the property that they where buying was theirs and not someone else’s.
California or Seattle. Closing is explained in-depth at http://www.homeclosing101.org/index.cfm
and explains what Title is, what Title Insurance is and why you should have Title Insurance.

What is escrow?

Escrow will also transfer the needed funds for the buyer for insurance and taxes.

Escrow is the firm in which typically handles the settlement of the funds, transferring of the funds and coordinating the signing of all the documents by the buyers and sellers. Escrow protects all parties involved by making sure that no funds or properties change hands until all conditions in the agreement have been met.

Title, which is very important establishes who actually owns/owned the property and tracts whom has owned the property over the years. Title must be free and clear, this will make it a marketable title and must be free of any encumbrances (A clouded Title). A clouded title is a property that is not a marketable title (such as an easement issue, a lien against the property, or an encroachment on the property are just a couple of issues that could cloud the title and make the property not have a clear title, therefore should not be transferred to anyone else. Title was set up hundreds of years ago, when travelers where coming across the country and they needed to be reassured that the land/property they where buying was their property. Title was a way to guarantee that the property that they where buying was theirs and not someone else’s.
California or Seattle. Closing is explained in-depth at http://www.homeclosing101.org/index.cfm
and explains what Title is, what Title Insurance is and why you should have Title Insurance.

Posted on November 6, 2014 at 10:05 am
Tom Fine | Category: Tom Fine's Blog | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Great Video Called a Time-lapse Study

It is great when we run accross articles, videlo's or photo's of great substance or content. A photographer and director made this Timelapse video and I am fan of cideos like these.

Durring my contruction days, weeks, months  well years, I loved to create timelapse photogtraphy. if shows so much in such a short time.

The Shard: A Timelapse Study – A Film by Paul Raftery and Dan Lowe

http://vimeo.com/portfoleo/theshard

 

Here is another Time-lapse video, about Vancouver

http://vimeo.com/95384593

 

Thank you

Tom Fine

Posted on May 18, 2014 at 11:10 am
Tom Fine | Category: Tom Fine's Blog | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

What Happened with Housing in January and What to Expect

    The beginning of February brings us with an incredible time for sellers, it is a sellers market with limited inventory and lower interest rates. Buyers are having a tough time with the limited inventory, that are stimulating multiple offers and offers going over 15% above listing price in some instances.
 
    This is discouraging for many buyers and I am encouraging my buyers to hang in there and be ready to jump as soon as we hear of a new listing that matches my clients requirements.  With the limited properties coming on, we are doing a lot of jumping.
 
    From what we can see, it appears this spring and summer will be heavy activity in the real estate market, heated up from the limited inventory over the last several months.
 
    Exciting times are coming and buyers should be patient and sellers should be getting their homes on the market to take advantage of the limited inventory, this should provide a better sale price now than this summer when more home flood the market. 
 
If you have any questions r or comments please contact me.  If you need assistance in the market wiht buying or selling please contact me.
 
To see what your home is worth, contact me for a CMA, (Comparable Market Analysis) 
 
Tom Fine
Fine Homes NW, Inc.
 
Windermere RE, Capitol Hill
206-434-6561  direct
 
 
 
 
 
Posted on February 11, 2014 at 3:02 am
Tom Fine | Category: Tom Fine's Blog | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Are you thinking of a new neighborhood to live in? Let’s talk about Wedgwood.

 

Seattle is so fortunate to have many great neighborhoods. It's all about what you are looking for?  Location close to Amazon, Broadway, Downtown, need to be North of town? Well there are others that are located in great areas, Ballard, West Seattle, Capitol Hill and on.  I am not here to talk about these but what about Wedgwood, that's how you spell it, with no "e" in it.  Wedgwood is located just North of Downtown Seattle and North of the University of Washington and East of I-5. Wedgwood has sidewalks and tree lined streets. 

Wedgwood was created right after WWII by a developer who built Cape Cod style homes in this area. The name Wedgwood came from the landowner’s wife who had china that was named "Wedgwood". This neighborhood consists mainly of the middle class America. There is dental clinics, hair salons, restaurants, you don't have to leave this area unless you wanted to. If you have a  craving for donuts, then you can go to Top Pot Donuts, or you can grab pizza at Fiddler’s Inn or Wedgewood Ale House & Cafe

If you would like to check out the Wedgwood Blog

It's a great place to take a drive to and check out this area. Go for a stroll and enjoy your afternoon and enjoy a great meal. You can't go wrong in or around Wedgwood, it's only a 15 minute drive to downtown.

Keep an eye out for more information about other neighborhoods.

 

Tom Fine, Broker

Windermere RE, Capitol Hill

Posted on January 31, 2014 at 12:42 am
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Tree Masters Makes a Tall Order

 

Tree houses like none other, a creative contractor is creating some very unique and fun tree houses.

Mike Nelson from Fall City, Washington, (Northeast of Seattle) Mike creates a magical outdoor space, bringing happiness in many forms. Mike Nelson is a bubbly energetic contractor with incredible vision. These tree houses are not the typical tree house your father built for you or your friend’s tree house.  See these links for some of the tree houses Mike and his crew has built.

Portfolio

Nelson Treehouse and Supply

This is a cool link to a tree house retreat in Fall City, Washington,  Treehouse Point

Mike has a show on Animal Planet on Fridays; my family enjoy watching this funny cast of characters.

 

You most likely won't get your return on investment as monetarily, yet I would think you would maximize a fulfillment of happiness and pleasure knowing your family has a unique item that other homes in your area may not have. 

 

 

Posted on January 25, 2014 at 5:29 am
Tom Fine | Category: Tom Fine's Blog | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

17 Steps to Purchasing a Home

 

Here 17 Steps to purchasing a home. 

This list will prove guidance to understanding the steps to obtaining a home.

As any investment person would say, create a realistic budget and stick with it. This will give you a good perspective of what you can afford a month for a mortgage payment.

The realtor you have selected should be utilizing a process as shown below, will make finding your home a smooth process.

In each of the steps below there are details to understanding each of these steps

The 17 steps to home ownership

  1. Save money for down payment
  2. Select a Realtor
  3. Understanding financing methods
  4. Finding a lender
  5. Get Pre-Approved
  6. Determine your home search criteria
  7. Research and view homes
  8. Select a home
  9. Make an offer/negotiate, leave emotions out of it
  10. Sign a purchase and sale agreement
  11. Get inspections, Home inspection and any other inspections
  12. Apply for mortgage application
  13. Realtor/Broker will confirm a clean title
  14. Get home insurance
  15. Final walkthrough
  16. Closing, signing documents
  17. Documents recorded, keys are turned over to you

 

As with any part of the real estate process, if at any time you have any questions or concerns ask your realtor.  That is what they are there for, to provide you guidance that you can trust and believe in.

 

Do you have questions in the Seattle area, contact Tom Fine, tomfine@windermere.com or 206-434-6561

 

Tom's next blogs break down the 17 steps of purchasing a home.

 

Happy Home Hunting!

Posted on January 16, 2014 at 10:08 pm
Tom Fine | Category: Tom Fine's Blog | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Buying a New Home, What Steps to Take?

Thinking of buying a home?

What are the first steps? What do you do?  

These steps below will get you started in the right direction.  The best thing to do is to engage with a professional Broker (Realtor) that you work wwell togetrher with. They will should have  aprocess that will make the home buying event easier and more fluid. 

 

The Beginning

First step is to check out mortgage brokers, to get Pre-Approved, research 2 or 3 to see what their rates are, such as Cobalt Mortgage or Cornerstone Home Lending

 To make a commitment wit the mortgage broker and get the pre-approval process in the works.

There is a difference between pre-approval and pre-qualified, here is the difference between the 2 of them.

Pre-qualified is a simple process of the mortgage broker asking simple question, such as income and debt and then you are pre qualified for  X amount.

Pre approval is more in depth financial information to determine what your purchasing power is.  Typically both require a credit check, yet the approval process will require you digging deeper into your financial world, break to the W-2’s, 401K docs, and investment paperwork, pay stubs.

Once your broker (Real Estate Agent) has the paperwork/letter stating what your purchasing power is, all may be in order with your finances if they are not, then you may need to pay a little or a lot of attention to fixing any issues that popped up during this process.

Now is the time to figure out what you are going to look for?

What areas you like, rate 1, 2 and 3rd

What schools area do you want to be in?

Public transportation? Is this important

Work, how close to work?

What style of home do you like? Contemporary, Modern, Tudor, Rambler?

What size of home?

How many floors, this goes with style of home

How many bedrooms? Size of rooms

How many bathrooms?  How extensive of bathroom finishes are you looking for?

Den/ library are they in your future?

Property, how much property are you looking for?

Kitchen, what are you looking for in a kitchen, simple, or extensive

Garage, 1,2 or 3 cars?

Living room, media rom?

There are so many things to think about when purchasing a home.

When looking for a home it’s important to enjoy the search and make it a good experience.

Fireplace/s  Gas or wood burning

Backyard amenities?

Are you looking for a basement, finished?

 

This is not my complete list, though it is fairly long and encompasses a lot of items.

I hope this helps you get pointed in the right direction.  Be smart and just because it has a nice paint or great paint colors doesn’t mean it’s a great house.  Use a very good home inspector; the home inspector should not be used to get a lower price but to get a very good idea of what the condition of the house is in and what repairs are needed.

If you have a great Broker (Realtor) then utilize them for their expertise and advice, a true Realtor will be worth all their money.

Good luck and enjoy your search.

Tom Fine

Fine Homes NW, Inc.

Windermere Real Estate Capitol Hill, Seattle

206-434-6561

 

 

Posted on December 11, 2013 at 6:20 am
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