Does it Make More Sense to Rent or Own?

The current break-even horizon* in the Seattle metro area is 1.6 years!
*The amount of time you need to own your home in order for owning to be a superior financial decision.


With rising rental rates, historically low interest rates, and home prices on the rise, the advantage of buying vs. renting is becoming clearer each month.

In fact, Seattle has seen some of the sharpest rent hikes in the country over the last year! Snohomish County has seen a huge increase in apartment growth and rising rental rates as well. There are several factors to consider that will lead you to make the best decision for your lifestyle and your financial bottom line. Zillow Research has determined the break-even point for renting vs. buying in our metro area. In other words, the amount of time you need to own your home in order for owning to be a superior financial decision. Currently in Seattle the break-even point is 1.6 years – that is quick! What is so great about every month that ticks away thereafter is that your nest egg is building in value.

I am happy to help you or someone you know assess your options; please contact me anytime.

These assumptions are based on a home buyer purchasing a home with a 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage and a 20 percent down payment; and a renter earning five percent annually on investments in the stock market.

Posted on May 3, 2018 at 8:55 pm
Jen Bowman | Category: Local Market Analysis

November 2017 eNewsletter

What Does Median Price Buy you in Each Area?
Most recently, the Seattle Times published an article about Seattle being the hottest real estate market in the country. This phenomenon has been taking place for over a year and experts don’t see this slowing down. According to the Case-Schiller Index, over the last 5 years since the market started to recover from the downturn, there has been an 80% increase in prices! I thought it would be interesting to take a look at the median price in each of our market areas to illustrate the price differentiation and affordability. If you are curious how this increase relates to your home, please contact me. It is my goal to help keep my clients informed and empower strong decisions.
North Snohomish County
Sale Price:  $380,000
Bedrooms/Bathrooms:  3/2
Square Footage:  1,551
Year over Year Appreciation:  13%
South Snohomish County
Sale Price:  $500,000
Bedrooms/Bathrooms: 3/1.75
Square Footage:  1,784
Year over Year Appreciation:  14%
North King County
Sale Price:  $715,000
Bedrooms/Bathrooms:  3/1.75
Square Footage:  1,980
Year over Year Appreciation:  14%
Seattle Metro
Sale Price:  $725,000
Bedrooms/Bathrooms:  3/1.75
Square Footage:  1,780
Year over Year Appreciation:  14%
Eastside
Sale Price:  $855,000
Bedrooms/Bathrooms:  4/2.5
Square Footage:  2,170
Year over Year Appreciation:  14%
South King County
Sale Price:  $400,000
Bedrooms/Bathrooms:  3/3.75
Square Footage:  2,400
Year over Year Appreciation:  13%
Windermere Foundation Quarterly Update

I am excited to share the most recent update from the Windermere Foundation. Thanks to the generosity of Windermere agents and the community, the Windermere Foundation collected over $1,537,000 in donations through the third quarter of 2017. This is an increase of nine percent compared to this time last year! Individual contributions and fundraisers accounted for 62 percent of the donations, while 38 percent came from donations through Windermere agent commissions. So far, we have raised a total of $34,643,324 in donations since 1989.

Each Windermere office has its own Windermere Foundation fund account that they use to make donations to organizations in their communities. Year to date, a total of $1,179,202 has been disbursed to non-profit organizations dedicated to providing services to low-income and homeless families throughout the Western U.S. Check out my office’s specific contributions below!

Through the Windermere Foundation, my office had the privilege to donate $13,360 this year to YMCA Camp Orkila and Colman; sending 40 kids to summer camp that would not have otherwise had the opportunity. This past spring, we also spent a full day helping the Snohomish Garden Club provide thousands of pounds of fresh produce to local food banks, and this holiday season we will be able to provide approximately 24 foster boys a plentiful Christmas morning and give full holiday dinners to families receiving aid from Pioneer Human Services. These are all causes that are close to my heart, and I am so glad to partner with an office that strives to make a difference.

If you would like to help give back to your community, you can do so through the Windermere Foundation here.

Happy Holidays!

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 my website.
Facebook
Facebook
LinkedIn
LinkedIn
Website
Website
Email
Email
Posted on November 11, 2017 at 1:21 am
Jen Bowman | Category: eNewsletter, Local Market Analysis, Real Estate News

What You Need to Know About the Condo Market  

 

Over the last two years, the affordability of Greater Seattle area real estate has become a rising concern. Many buyers have decided to move a bit more north or south of major job centers to find the price point that works for them, or have foregone a single family residence (SFR) and turned to a condominium (condo) as an alternative. Because of this, along with many more baby boomers moving to a more right-size home for their lifestyle, demand for condos has been on the rise.


The median price for a condo in King County in June was $385,000 compared to the median price of a SFR of $660,000, which is a 71% difference! In Snohomish County, the median price for a condo in June was $295,000 compared to the median price of a SFR of $450,000, which is a 53% difference! Condos are providing a substantial cost savings if the condo lifestyle works for a buyer.

The condo lifestyle can be wonderful! Imagine not having to do yard work and living space-efficiently. There are many condo buildings that cater to the more simplified life that baby boomers are craving, featuring secured parking, elevator access, high-end features, great walk scores and possible views.

Much like the SFR market, the condo market has experienced high demand resulting in low inventory. Our thriving job market and rising rents have drawn folks to condos as well. Many of the job transferees coming into the area due to the tech industry are younger, unattached and without children, making a condo a natural fit and in some cases, less expensive than rent. In fact, condo inventory currently sits at 0.5 months of inventory based on pending sales in King County, and 0.6 months in Snohomish County. Theoretically, this means that if no new condos came to market we would be sold out in two weeks. That is quick!

While inventory has decreased, sales have slightly increased! Pending sales have almost mirrored new listings over the last 12 months, resulting in 1% more sales in King County and 5% more in Snohomish County. There were 4% less new listing in King County year-over-year, yet Snohomish County posted a 6% increase in new listings. This is due to some new condo developments to the north and more and more re-sale owners regaining their equity position and making moves.

Prices are on the rise too! An important aspect to measure in regards to condos is price per square foot. In King County the price per square foot is up 15% complete year-over-year and up 12% in Snohomish County, which is a big jump. This is on top of double-digit price growth the year prior. The average cost per square foot in King County in June was $404 per square foot, and $240 in Snohomish County. This illustrates the affordability difference between both counties, which is why the increase in sales in Snohomish County is markedly up. Condos provide a more affordable option for buyers, and if one is looking to land in Snohomish County, condos can be the most affordable housing purchase option available, while still being close to job centers.

The good news for condo sellers is that days on market are down by 11% in King County, and 31% in Snohomish County. In June, the average days on market was 16 days in King County and 10 days in Snohomish County.  Also, in June the average list-to-sale price ratio in King County was 105% and 103% in Snohomish County.

So, what does all of this mean? The condo market is much like the SFR market in regards to demand, price appreciation and the affordability divide between King and Snohomish Counties. It is a great market for sellers to realize a positive return, and buyers who can’t afford or don’t want the maintenance of a SFR can find opportunity with a condo. If you or anyone you know would like more information on the Greater Seattle condo market, please contact one of our agents. It is our goal to help keep you informed and empower strong decisions.

 

Posted on July 26, 2017 at 3:48 pm
Posted on July 29, 2017 at 6:15 am
Jen Bowman | Category: Local Market Analysis