Market Monday’s: Kirkland Condos

I’ve been watching what’s happening in the Kirkland condo market closely as of late, it’s fascinating that such a desirable location can have A LOT of affordable condos still on the market for people looking to make a great investment in their future, or get into their first home. Not only that, the rental market is creeping up in the area making it challenging to find an affordable place to live, which makes buying a condo even more appealing.  So, what’s happening? As of August 18th, 2014 there are 65 active condo listings ranging between $105,000 to over $6 million! The median list price is $315,000 while the average list price is $525,000, it’s pretty clear that the big listing prices are skewing the data.  There were 127 condos sold in the past 90 days in Kirkland, with the sale price being 98% percent of the list price.  This means that people are paying the list price, and in some cases more depending on the property and demand for that location.  

The graph below demonstrates the for sale/sold/pending condos through July 2014:

As of August 18th, 2014 the Kirkland condo market is at 1.54 months of inventory based on closed sales.  This is down slightly from 1.8 months of inventory in July of this year.  Interest rates dropped slightly last week, making buying a home even more appealing as well as affordable.  

The list/sale price ratio has been fairly consistent since last year, being close to 100%.  Again, this data is skewed slightly due to the million dollar + condo listings that aren’t seeing that kind of ratio (the million + residential home market, however, is seeing a 100% + list/sale ratio).

Months of inventory was up slightly in July to 1.8 months, although August is currently looking at 1.54 months of inventory.  This is definitely a hot market, with no signs of it slowing down anytime soon.  It is a great time to get into a condo either as a  first time home buyer or as an investment property.  The listing below is one of the many great condos available in Kirkland…

 

 

 

Open House (1)

 

Stay tuned for a post on financing and a big announcement this week! I have partnered with Full Circle organic produce delivery for an opportunity to give my followers! So, if you haven’t already…follow my blog via email for a chance to win some awesome, organic produce delivered to your door! Have a great week everyone!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Market Mondays: Edmonds

Edmonds is one of Washingtons most picturesque cities, with views of the Puget Sound, Olympic Mountains and Cascade Range.  One can see why it has become one of the Seattle area’s most desired locations to live. Come visit me this weekend at A Taste of Edmonds! A Taste of Edmonds is August 8th, 9th and 10th as well as Washington’s 3rd largest 3 day festival.  There will be arts and crafts, 35 food vendors, entertainment, beer/wine gardens as well as myself with John L Scott Real Estate if you are interested in getting to know me and the area a little more or know someone who is!

Scroll down the page for a snapshot of how home sales and prices have trended in Edmonds over the past  fifteen months. You’ll see sales and inventory levels, $ per square foot values, and inventory levels expressed in months of supply. I use $ per square foot averages as an indicator of how the overall market is trending. Bear in mind the percentages will differ within specific price ranges. It’s interesting to follow the “Pending” sales trend lines which is an indicator of which direction the market is heading. Note that June sales are down 10% from 2013, while Pending are up over 40%. That’s huge!

As of August 4th, the last 30 days have seen an increase in pending sales from 28 to 34 pending sales and a jump from 24 sold in June to 41 sold in July! August will be another big month of closed sales! 

Feng Shui Basics: How your space affects your mood

 

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How often have you walked into a room in your own home or someone else’s and thought things just didn’t “feel” right? Or, perhaps there are certain rooms that also feel exceptionally inviting and open.  It’s easy to forget how important the spaces we live in are to our health and well-being.  The Following are some insights into home decoration and how it can make you more peaceful, productive and happy.

Color:

Colors can alter your mood. It’s important to play around with colors to find the right balance for you. Here’s a quick color to mood chart for reference:

Red: Passion, power, stimulation, and high energy. (Suggestions: dining room, bedroom, or upholstery)

Orange: Creativity, happiness, enthusiasm, and communication. (Suggestions: accenting, throw-overs, or pillows)

Yellow: Cheerfulness, light-heartedness, and mental stimulation. (Suggestions: kitchens, not bedrooms)

Green: Growth, harmony, nature, safety, peace, and healing (Suggestions: bedroom, bathroom, or office)

Blue: Trust, loyalty, confidence, faith (Suggestions: accents around the house and in bedroom)

Purple: Romance, luxury, nobility, wealth, spirituality, and motivation (Suggestions: bedroom)

Black: Power, independence (Suggestions: picture frames)

Brown: Stability, humility (Suggestions: living room)

White: Cleanliness, vibrancy (Use sparingly; too much white can feel cold)

Use this as a general reference and then play around. Look at a color, its various tones, and notice your mood. Have fun and mix and match.

Furniture and Decor:

Many people simply put everything against the wall when it comes to furniture placement. I have been guilty of doing this after moving, leaving artwork to sit against the wall and allowing our busy lives to prevent us from taking care of one of our most important spaces. What I didn’t realize fully was that this creates negative energy and dead space.

Energy must always have flow, so you don’t necessarily need to make everything symmetrical at all times. Balance is more important than symmetry. The rule of thumb is to think outside the box and to decorate in a way that may not necessarily be the most obvious. Mix furniture and decor with a wide range of variety, vintages, and textures.

When it comes to the decor and furniture, if you want a strong and independent look, you may consider incorporating circular, oval, and arched shapes along with granite, marble, and flagstone. Artwork and decor with metal, stone, brass, iron, copper, or gold is integral as well.

For leadership and creating a healthy emotional interaction between people, it is suggested to use artwork that involves sunshine or any form of natural illumination along with pyramids, cones, natural sunlight, feathers, silk, or wool.

For more order and sensuality, use furniture with squares, rectangles, ceramic, tile, and brick.

For creativity, intuition, and flexibility, integrate more wood, floral upholstery, wall coverings, drapes, pillars, and columns.

For a more relaxed and spiritual environment, integrate anything with water, crystals, glass, or mirrors.

It’s important not to overdo too much of any element. Use variety and balance. HAVE FUN!

Using Scent to Uplift your Home Environment:

One of the greatest senses we have is smell. Smell is like touching or tasting something from a distance. It’s a subtle thing that can have a huge impact on our mood.

I am a huge fan of candles and notice that I am drawn to different scents at different times and seasons. Start lighting more candles, incense, and oils to produce pleasing smells throughout the day. You can also add more flowers like jasmine, violets, and gardenias throughout your home.

What’s wonderful about creating a pleasing home environment is that it’s not necessary to spend a fortune to make your space inviting and clear. Less is more. Just start experimenting with what feels good to you!

It’s time to take a look at your space so that you can remove anything that brings negative energy, add things that bring you positive energy, and that makes your family feel comfortable and happy around the house.

Remember, your home is your sanctuary.

 

Market Mondays: Woodinville

 

 

 

The city of Woodinville is most well known as Seattle areas “wine country” and is increasingly known for its local wineries, which showcase wines from grapes grown in Eastern Washington including Chateau Ste. Michelle (well known for their popular summer concert series), Columbia Winery and dozens of other smaller ones. The Woodinville Tourist District is also home to the Redhook Ale Brewery and several fine restaurants including The Herbfarm “destination” restaurant. The downtown area includes Molbak’s Garden and Home, a nationally acclaimed garden center! All that being said, Woodinville is a sought after place to live and has seen only a slight change in market statistics over the past year.

As of July 28th, 2014 there is 2.5 month supply in inventory based on closed sales, which is up slightly from June of this year.  What is interesting is that when the current pending sales are added to the mix, months supply of inventory drops down to 1.5.  Woodinville itself is a consistently stable market, the months inventory fairly stable over the past year, hovering somewhere between 1.5-2.3 months supply except for a spike in January of this year, which is to be expected during the “slow” season. This makes Woodinville unique when compared to some of it’s neighboring cities, it’s stability and high desirability make Woodinville a safe place to buy a home.  The median sale price of homes over the last 90 days was $525,000 while the median current listing price is 475,000.  The median sale price and listing price have seen only a slight increase since July 2013.

Buzzwords explained: “green home”

 

 

With phrases like global warming, greenhouse effect and sustainable management being tossed around in everyday headlines, more people are focusing on the effects of their actions. It’s not just about what manufacturing companies are doing to help or hurt the environment; it’s also about what people do in their everyday activities.

How many of you have noticed the term “green home” weaving its way into your life? “Green” is a big trend in homes right now, but you’re forgiven if you’re not sure exactly what that means.  In fact, I wasn’t completely sure what it meant until I did some research of my own.  When I think “green home” I think of energy conserving, water miser Energy Star appliances, composting toilet and a home with solar panels.  But what about a home with traditional heating and electrical systems that also has low-VOC (volatile organic compounds) drapes, paint and carpet? Or, can it be as simple as making our environmental impact as small as possible, given the tools we already have?

What I found is that any of the aforementioned are steps in the right direction.  Going green can be anything from where you buy a home, how you build a home and the ways in which you cut water and energy waste.

It is possible to be a little bit green. Everything helps, even if you simply choose a floor of sustainable cork instead of Brazilian rain-forest cherry or a kitchen counter top of recycled glass tiles rather than granite. Not only will you help the planet, but doing so often helps your own bottom line through lower energy bills and your home’s potentially higher resale value.

So, how can you make improvements without breaking the bank?

  • Use certified (sustainably harvested) wood products
  • Buy products made of recycled materials
  • Cut energy use with insulation and a highly efficient furnace and appliances
  • Install renewable energy sources like a wind generator or solar panels
  • Reduce light pollution
  • Maximize open space on your land

You’ll be happy to know that some of the best investments are also the easiest to implement. These four will give you the most return for the money spent:

  • Replace incandescent light bulbs with compact fluorescent bulbs. They last seven or eight years and use less energy, saving about $100 per year in electricity. Cost: $2+.
  • Install a timer on your lights and heating-and-cooling system so you can program your home to consume less energy when you’re gone or sleeping. Cost: roughly $30.
  • Put aerators on faucets to dramatically reduce water use. Find them at hardware stores for about $3 each.
  • Caulk and weather-strip air leaks around windows, doors and other places where the wall is penetrated. Cost: Roughly $5 for a 10-ounce tube.

Yes, there is some extra effort involved in going “green”, however, the lower monthly utility bills might just be worth the up front work.  Not to mention, according to the National Association of Home Builders, 85% said they were more satisfied with their green homes then with previous, traditional houses.  I know that I will be making some changes in my own home, what about you?