Real Estate & Community News

Aug. 3, 2021

With Rents on the Rise – Is Now the Time To Buy?

 

With Rents on the Rise – Is Now the Time To Buy? | MyKCM

According to recent data from realtor.com, median rental prices have reached their highest point ever recorded in many areas across the country. The report found rents rose by 8.1% from the same time last year. As it notes:

Beyond simply recovering to pre-pandemic levels, rents across the country are surging. Typically, rents fluctuate less than 1% from month to month. In May and June, rents increased by 3.0% and 3.2% from each month to the next.”

If you’re a renter concerned about rising prices, now may be the time to consider purchasing a home.

Monthly Rents Are Higher Than Monthly Mortgage Payments

When you weigh your options of whether to buy a home or continue renting, how much you’ll pay each month is likely top of mind. According to the National Association of Realtors (NAR), monthly mortgage payments are rising, but they’re still significantly lower than the typical rental payment. NAR indicates the latest data on homes closed shows the median monthly mortgage payment is $1,204.

By contrast, the median national rent is $1,575 according to the most current data provided by realtor.comIn other words, buyers who recently purchased a home locked in a monthly payment that is, on average, $371 lower than what renters pay today (see graph below):With Rents on the Rise – Is Now the Time To Buy? | MyKCM

Rents Are Rising Sharply, and They Continue To Increase

The difference in monthly housing costs when comparing renting and homebuying today is significant, but many would-be homebuyers wonder about the future of rental prices. If we look to historical Census data as a reference, the median asking rent has risen consistently since 1988 (see graph below):With Rents on the Rise – Is Now the Time To Buy? | MyKCMThe rise in rent over time clearly shows one of the major advantages homeownership has over renting: stable housing costs. Renters face increasing costs every year. When you purchase your home, your mortgage rate is locked in for 30 years, meaning your monthly payment stays the same over time. That gives you welcome peace of mind and predictability for many years ahead.

Bottom Line

With rents continuing to rise across the country, renters should consider if now is the right time to buy. There are multiple benefits to buying sooner rather than later. Let’s discuss your options so you can make your most powerful decision.

July 30, 2021

How to Pick the Best Movers for Your Seattle Relocation

 

 

When you have a relocation coming up, you should start preparing for it as soon as possible. Moving your home across the street or town is hard work and, more often than not, requires a helping hand from trained professionals. It is entirely understandable if you feel reluctant when having to choose a moving company to assist you. You want your movers to take the utmost care of your belongings and avoid any chances of getting your property damaged in transit. There are many moving companies in Seattle, and you might feel overwhelmed with all the choices. That is why we will set some ground rules on how to pick the best movers for your Seattle relocation. Be sure to follow these guidelines, and hopefully, you will get the service you deserve.

It is never too early to start looking for the right moving company

One of the first rules of planning a successful relocation is to start doing it as soon as you decide to move. Finding a good moving company takes time, and you should never put yourself in the position to make decisions at the last minute. Giving yourself ample time for searching through so many Seattle-based companies will save you both nerves and money. It is advisable to start even months before your moving day. That way, you can be sure you have the correct support system when the day of your relocating arrives. Whatever the reason for your relocation might be, you should be able to give yourself at least a couple of weeks to prepare for your moving day. The more time you give yourself, the better.

Start your search for the perfect moving company by talking to your friends and colleagues

The best way to ensure yourself a positive moving experience is to talk to someone who has already had a pleasant relocation and is happy to talk about it. If you have friends, co-workers, or family members who have recently moved, speak to them and ask for referrals. Word of mouth is the best marketing tool for any well-equipped and professional mover so if you stumble upon a satisfied client, ask them to give you some details about their experience. 

Even if you don't know anyone, you can always check online reviews. You would use the same approach to find the best real estate agent. You can base your search on finding online referrals, positive feedback from moving company clients, and similar. You can always turn to trusted platforms like the Better Business Bureau and find helpful pieces of information on Yelp and similar sites. Pay attention to negative comments, as well. Sometimes it only takes one negative word to change the whole perspective. 

Keep away from fraudulent movers and avoid getting involved in a moving scam

Like in any industry, there are always those who don't care about playing by the rules. Nowadays, many individuals and companies offering moving services in Seattle can make it challenging to recognize the sketchy ones. However difficult it might seem, there are some ways of determining if a company is legitimate and provides the services it advertises. One of the best ways to spot fraudulent movers is to look at their online presence. Moving companies that don’t give out many details about their address or contact information can potentially be problematic. If you notice that they deliberately avoid giving out any concrete information about their business, consider it a red flag. 

Other than that, look for reviews online, look at their vehicles, talk to their personnel, and ask about payment methods. Paying attention to all those details should give you a clear picture of the type of operation they are running. 

When you select several companies, ask for a moving estimate

In the process of hiring the right mover, you have to be diligent. Always select at least a couple of moving companies that meet your specific moving requirements. Then, ask and request for a moving estimate. The same way you were selling your home and receiving multiple offers, you will be receiving multiple quotes. An excellent way to choose between movers is to compare those quotes. Sometimes companies give out free, non-obligatory quotes, and sometimes you can arrange for an on-site estimate. It doesn’t come as a surprise that an accurate, in-person, on-site estimate is the best way to accurately see how much this relocation is going to cost you. 

When you get your estimates, make sure to get in detail what is included in the price. You don't want any hidden costs or surprising extra charges to get you off guard on your moving day. Ask openly about fuel, moving supplies, mileage, and anything else that comes to mind. Getting a clear picture, in the beginning, will help you choose the option that best suits your needs and your budget. 

Remember that you are the one who knows how to pick the best movers for your Seattle relocation

However complicated it seems, finding the right moving partner is a job you have to do yourself. Of course, your friends, neighbors, co-workers, or friends can help with their advice on how to pick the best movers for your Seattle relocation. However, what you do with their recommendations and referrals is up to you. You can take additional steps and look at online reviews, read comments, and compare moving estimates. As a result, you will undoubtedly have a list of at least a couple of reliable movers to choose from. Hopefully, you will make the right choice and allow yourself to enjoy a seamless and stress-free relocation to Seattle.  

July 27, 2021

Seattle's Best Ice Cream for Hot Summer Days!

 

There's nothing better on a hot summer day than cooling off with some ice cream! Here's a complete list of where to get the best scoops, from chocolate to chocolate fudge…to Mexican chocolate, to dairy-free chocolate date.

#bethghomes #seattleicecream #seattlefoodies #icecreamsocial #seattlesummer #summerinwashingtonstate #seattlewa

https://www.seattlemet.com/eat-and-drink/best-ice-cream-in-seattle

 

 

Posted in Community News
July 26, 2021

Seattle Just Sold - $100K Over Asking!

Congratulations to our Seller who just sold their home for $100K over asking!

#bethghomes #seattlejustsold #seattlerealestate #mtbakerseattle #homesellers #realestateadvisor #multipleoffers 

Posted in Closed Homes
July 23, 2021

Pop Quiz: Can You Define These Key Terms in Today’s Housing Market?

Pop Quiz: Can You Define These Key Terms in Today’s Housing Market? [INFOGRAPHIC]

Pop Quiz: Can You Define These Key Terms in Today’s Housing Market? [INFOGRAPHIC] | MyKCM

Some Highlights

  • The language of buying and selling a home may sound scary at first, but knowing how key terms relate to today’s market can help you. For example, current low mortgage rates and higher wages positively impact affordability for buyers, while home price appreciation continues to grow home equity, which sellers can use to fuel a move up.
  • Terms like appraisal (what lenders rely on to validate a home’s value) and contingencies (which buyers can minimize to make their offer stand out) directly impact the transaction.
  • You don’t need to be fluent in the language of the market to buy or sell. Instead, let’s connect today so that we can translate the process together.
July 21, 2021

Just Sold in Fairmont!

5215 37th Ave SW SOLD! by Cate Ellis

 

Just Sold in West Seattle for $75,000 Over List Price!

Congratulations to our Seller!

#bethghomes #seattlerealestate #westseattlerealestate #homesellers #seattlehomesellers #fairmontwestseattle #multipleoffers #realestatestrategies #realestateadvisor

Posted in Closed Homes
July 16, 2021

King County Real Estate Market Statistics

Copy of Copy of King - RE BKCO Market Stats by Cate Ellis

Posted in Real Estate News
July 9, 2021

How to Brighten a Dark Home

One of the main principles of interior design states that good lighting radically changes a living area. Because we spend so much time inside our houses, lighting should be high on the list of things to consider when remodeling or buying a home. Aside from aesthetics, places with little natural light can also significantly affect our mood. But what if your living room, bedroom, or kitchen isn't well-lit? When moving into a new home, figuring out how to lighten a dark and dreary room is always challenging, especially if the new place lacks windows that let in the sunlight. Thankfully, we have a list of creative and effective ways to help you brighten a dark home and make it appear more spacious.

Ways to brighten a dark home

Lighting has a significant impact on the ambiance of a space, and it can even alter your mood. But what if you don't have many (or any) windows in your rooms? Or if a small and dark area of your home is making you feel gloomy and claustrophobic? These decorating tips will help you quickly brighten your home. Most of the solutions are simple enough to accomplish in no time and with minimal expenses.

Add windows

Windows allow natural light to illuminate our living spaces. It is vital for our mental and physical health that the area where we spend most of our time is bright and open to the outside world, mainly through windowpanes. And though we may not always be in the position to pick the size and the layout of our home, we can always make the best of what we have.

You can bring light into your space through ceiling apertures in addition to the openings on the walls. You can also convert an entire wall into a window, allowing the maximum amount of natural light into your home.

However, a project of this size can be costly and requires time and thorough planning. You might also need to search for storage solutions for your furniture to protect it during the home renovation. To make the whole project simpler, it might be a good idea to rent portable storage units. This way, you won't have to worry about your pieces, and you will be able to devote your full attention to brightening your home.

Opt for bright furniture and décor

When a home has enough natural light, dark furniture typically works well. But if your place is a bit gloomier, it's best to opt for furniture and accessories in a brighter color palette.

White is an ideal solution if you want to illuminate your home due to its ability to reflect and amplify light. Although it is not the most practical choice of color for maintenance, you can choose key white pieces to brighten your dark home. For example, even white details such as pillows and blankets will make a big difference when you decorate your living room.

Leave enough space

There is the concept of negative space in interior design - space intentionally left empty next to a piece of furniture. Although this space seemingly serves no purpose, it is vital for the feeling of spaciousness. It lets the room breathe. Therefore, when you want to bring more light into a dark home, always keep in mind the negative space. This trick opens the room and helps it be brighter and more spacious. Even small and dimly lit spaces can appear larger and more radiant by simply moving the furniture and opening the space.

Use mirrors

If you want to brighten a dark home, mirrors are your best ally. Their reflection helps the light penetrate through the room as much as possible. And, most importantly, they are easy to place or remove from the wall! You can change their position and see which angle creates the best effect. 

Large mirrors with thin frames bring in more light less conspicuously and more elegantly. It is best to place a mirror directly across the light source. You will be amazed at how much this simple trick can make the space brighter.

Choose artificial lighting wisely

Of course, we all like natural light the most. But, in the absence of it, add lighting in the form of lamps or chandeliers. You can use various hanging lights everywhere throughout your home. Floor lamps are great too - they illuminate the space but also have a decorative effect. 

Instead of just pointing your lights in any direction, consider aiming the lighting towards walls or ceiling. When you bathe the walls and ceiling with light, you fill every part of the space with a warm glow, making it feel both cozy and spacious. Evaluating your lighting is also one of the key steps when getting your house ready to sell.

Bring in some greenery

Plants can adorn darker corners, too. Simply pick flora that thrives in low-light conditions. Clean white walls and flashes of color from vibrant art, along with the natural feel of indoor plants, can lighten any room. The greenery in your home will thus become a bright contrast to the gloominess of a dark space.

Minimize wall art

Trying to accomplish too much is a typical error made by novice designers. This is especially true for decorative items such as artwork. If a room lacks illumination, the walls should be as plain as possible to reflect all of the light. You should carefully choose pieces to hang on walls of a poorly lit room. However, this doesn't have to impede your creativity when arranging the artwork - a well-placed, lightly-toned wall art can set the mood in a fabulous way.

Learning how to brighten a dark home may be challenging, but it can also be fun and creative! Additional ways to fill your home with natural light and keep it bright include washing the windows regularly and clearing the area around them to open the space up. Good luck!

Images used:

https://www.pexels.com/photo/white-wooden-cabinet-beside-white-wall-5644711/

Posted in Homeownership Tips
July 6, 2021

First Time Home Buyer? Here are 4 Key Mortgage Tips to Keep in Mind

Posted in Buying a Home
June 22, 2021

Best Low-Maintenance Plants for Your Seattle Garden

 

 

Gardening has many benefits, from exposing you to vitamin D, improving your mood, and reducing stress to lowering the risk of many common diseases. However, enjoying the perks of this relaxing hobby is a bit more difficult if maintaining your garden turns into a full-time job. Your location and the plants you choose can either make or break your attempts at spending an enjoyable time outside. Because of this, opting for low-maintenance plants for your Seattle garden is essential.

Get to know your yard

Before you rush off to a nursery with a list of plants, you might want to get to know a thing or two about your outdoor space.

Let's start with the obvious - Seattle has a temperate climate. The winters are cold and wet, while the summers are warm and dry. Seattle gets a lot of rain, which is also important to mention as you can use this to your advantage by making a rain garden. These kinds of gardens are designed to collect rainwater and runoff, thus minimizing the maintenance and your water bill.

However, even though the climate is the same in each part of the city, that doesn't mean that the same plants will be able to thrive in all backyards. When choosing suitable plants for your garden, you must consider the size, amount of sun and rain it gets, the type of soil, etc.

Only once you know what kind of conditions you can provide for your future seedlings will you be able to choose the best low-maintenance plants for your Seattle garden. If you still haven't found your ideal home in the Emerald City, make sure to let your real estate agent know that a good garden or outdoor space is one of your priorities.

Trees and shrubs

Trees and shrubs are ideal choices for low-maintenance gardens. Once they are settled in and established, they require very little to no care. If you choose the right species for your backyard, you will be able to enjoy the shade, greenery, and maybe even fruits for many years to come.

Evergreens

Seattle has earned its nickname the Emerald City because of the stunning evergreen trees surrounding it and giving it life all year round. Because of this, it shouldn't be difficult to understand why they are the first on this list. Seattle provides excellent conditions for evergreens, so you shouldn't think twice about getting a few trees and shrubs for your garden. If their size worries you, know that there are many different kinds, so you will surely find something that fits into your backyard. Here are a few good options: 

 

·        Western Red Cedar - A durable and weather-resistant plant that will give plenty of shade and charm to your garden. This tree can reach up to 150 feet; therefore, it's probably not the best choice for small backyards.

·        Douglas Fir - Another gentle giant that will elevate the look of your garden.

·        Sprinter Boxwood - Grows well in containers and is perfect for creating privacy with hedges. This shrub grows up to 4 feet tall, and you can shape it according to your liking.

·        Wintercreeper - An evergreen vine that can add variety to any outdoor space. It grows well both in full sun and shade, so you won't have to worry too much about positioning it in the right spot.

Fruit trees

What's a garden without a few fruit trees? If you want to grow a snack in your backyard without a lot of fuss, consider planting apple, pear, plum, apricot, or peach trees. Once the trees are established, your only task will be to pick the fruits when ripe and enjoy them.

Seattle natives

Wherever you live, you can never go wrong with native plants if your goal is to create a low-maintenance garden. Native plants are used to the conditions, so you won't have to spend much time caring for them. Luckily, Seattle has a lot to offer.

Flowers

If you want to add some color to your garden, you might want to opt for Black-eyed Susans, Coneflowers, or Begonias. These cheerful garden jewels bloom several months of the year, and they tolerate both the sun and shade. They also attract bees, which are the best compliment any garden can get.

 

Perennials

A low-maintenance garden can't do without a few perennials. These plants go through a dormant period during the winter, but they come back stronger than ever when the season is according to their liking.

·        Bleeding Heart - prefers shady spots, and is not drought tolerant, so don't forget to water it when needed;

·        Red Valerian - blooms from early summer to late fall, and attracts butterflies! It does best in full sun and is drought-tolerant;

·        Milky Bellflower - easy to grow, since it is disease and pest-free. Thrives in full sun but can also tolerate partial shade.

Ferns

If your Seattle garden doesn't get much sunshine, don't despair. You can still create a low-maintenance home jungle with ferns. Ferns are pest-resistant, drought-tolerant, and don't mind a bit of neglect. Washington state is home to many different kinds of ferns, so you probably won't go wrong no matter which you choose.

 

Maidenhair, Sword, Lady, Oak, and Deer fern are all Seattle natives. They are easy to care for and won't require much of your attention. You can plant them in pots or directly into the soil.

Final thoughts

Spring is the ideal time for moving to a new home and starting a garden. However, if you want to prepare for relocation and settling down in Seattle, you have to devise a good plan. By doing this, your long-distance relocation will be less tiring, and you will have more time and energy to find the best low-maintenance plants for your Seattle garden. Therefore, besides hiring a reliable real estate agent, you might want to hire a good moving company as well. With the right assistance, you will be wearing your gardening gloves in no time!

 

Photos used:

https://unsplash.com/photos/JjT_7MwREm4

https://unsplash.com/photos/RpvC77-exG0

https://unsplash.com/photos/eWFh_CUp_eA

https://unsplash.com/photos/CPO6JdyLHMw

Posted in Homeownership Tips