xmlns:og='http://ogp.me/ns#' Wil Coloma: December 2014

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Christmas in Seattle

buy a seattle home before christmas

If you do a quick research online on the Seattle real estate market, you will easily see that present conditions tend to favor the seller. Does this mean that this year is not a good time to buy a home in the northwest? “Not necessarily” is what most experts would carefully say. While this may not seem like a real answer, you have to consider that there are a few factors at play. This includes which time of the year you plan to scour homes for sale in Seattle and finally become a settled homeowner.

There are some obstacles that buyers will have to face despite the optimistic pronouncements that agents and brokers are making today. It is only prudent to be aware of them before you dive right in. Here is a brief overview.

Low housing inventory – According to Seattle Housing News, housing bottomed out last September 2010 with only 4,200 building permit applications submitted. Then it increased in March 2013 when it went up to 8,200. While this is a positive trend, it is apparently not an oversupply. Whatever the broad conditions may be; the frequent phenomenon that more houses are available on the market in spring and summer continues. If it was just a matter having more options to choose from, these seasons still have the most to offer.

High competition for offers – With the news that the real estate market is recovering, more people are thinking about buying. Unfortunately the current supply may not be catching up with the demand. The logical result is that more buyers are going to be competing for the same well-priced and viable properties. To win a bidding, you will naturally have to offer more than the value presented in Seattle real estate listings. Thus some experts suggest that buying a home might actually be better during the holiday seasons rather than summer, simply because of the low competition. Take note though that this is also the time of the year when housing inventory is lowest.

Short days on market – With short supply and high demand, the real good Seattle homes for sale don’t stay long on the market. There are market research data that point out how practically 50% of pending listings are snatched up within the first week it goes on the market. This can certainly put some pressure in buyers which in some cases may lead to an ill-timed and ill-considered purchase.

Besides these market conditions there are also practical things that you have to take into account. Take for example the seasonal rains that usually start sometime October. If you want to see the real status of a house’s roofing and drainage system, this might be the best time to visit them. Meanwhile, there is also a suggestion that after Christmas or early the next year is a good time to make an offer. Sellers tend to be less motivated during this period when properties tend not to show in the “best light”. Perhaps they just received their credit card bills for Christmas spending and are feeling financially insecure. It is also easier to get through your standard deductions early in the year if one of your concerns is tax benefits.

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Who knew a home for sale listing could be so ridiculously funny?

I seriously can’t remember the last time I laughed so hard.  A man has listed his row home for sale in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, but my guess is that there haven’t been any bites with his realtor because he’s listed his home on Craigslist and the way he describes it is absolutely hilarious:

Do you want a low-maintenance home in a relatively stabby-free neighborhood?  Do you want to live within walking distance of 5 bars?  In the event of a cardiac emergency wouldn’t it be nice to be only 3 blocks away from Lancaster General Hospital?  Well, I have the home for you.

Casa Dobermino is on the market.  Built in the 1940s by skilled artisans and stone masons, this property at 739 N Marshall St. could be the work of angels.  Probably Hell’s Angels, but no matter.  I bought this house in 2004 because I wanted to adopt a dog from the Humane League and my roommates at the time didn’t want a dog.  So naturally, I walked out of my apartment and bought the house for sale by owner directly across the street.

In the short 10 years that I’ve owned this property I had to replace the roof (2012), Central Air (2012), Gas Furnace (2006), Gas Stove (2013), Hot Water Heater (2010 & 2013 fml) and Dishwasher (2006).  Last month I had the interior and exterior painted and the floors refinished.  Basically you’ve got a house that someone has already taken a beating on so you can move in and live worry free.

There are 3 bedrooms, of which 3 are normal bedrooms and the 3rd one is tiny.  That one would be good for a nursery, office, dark room, massage parlor, really tiny home theatre, or panic room.  In the Master bedroom I left a wall mount for your flat-screen TV so you too can enjoy the pleasure of playing Grand Theft Auto from bed.

There is only one bathroom but in a pinch there is a nice laundry sink in the basement.  Speaking of basement, half of it is finished so you have somewhere to hide when your spouse is an a**h***.

There is one off-street parking spot out back so even if all of the neighbors have guests hogging the street spots, you can still easily pull into your spot laughing at the neighbors without such amenities.  There is a tiny fenced-in yard out back that over the years helped confine 4 different Dobermonsters.

Are you lazy like I am?  Well don’t worry, there is no grass in back and the front yard you can mow in less than 5 minutes.  Or you can hire Stephen, he’s a neighborhood kid (I think he’s 20) that stutters and rides a BMX bike, he charged $10 to mow the lawn or shovel snow.

If you are hungry or wanna get a load on you can walk to Turkey Hill, Stubby’s, Lancaster Brewing, Quips, Cork and Cap, Bakers Table, Rumplebrewskins, ABAG or the Friendly Greek.  If you have a medical emergency you can take a quick jog to the ER – Good Times!

But wait, there’s more!  My last 3 ex girlfriends all have keys to the place and they rarely do pop-ins.  The bathroom sink is located directly in front of the toilet so in a Flu-Emergency you can expel in both directions.  The neighbors will pretty much leave you alone as I set the bar pretty high as being the “crazy fat guy with a gun and Dobermans”, so if you move in discreetly they might think I’m still there and stay out of your business.

**** UPDATED PICS. One pic is of my old big red couch with two of my former dogs. The couch and dogs are all buried now but I miss them so they made it into the photos. There are pics of the back yard or basement yet because as the photographer said, “It is a hot mess." So I painted the basement mostly today and sooner or later I’ll get around to pulling the dead Morning Glories off my fence.