Summer is Around the Corner, Real Estate Market in Seattle is Hot

In Seattle we have had an incredible year, with a mild winter and wonderful spring, we are getting ready for a great summer.  Our Seattle summers are wonderful, with a calendar full of events from the Blue Angles, Hydroplanes, and concert series in and around the city. What a great place to be during the summer.  My kids and I love to go to Madison Beach and dive off the floating dive platform and watching the big barges building the new massive 520 Bridge.

 

 This weekend I was at my Wallingford open houses this weekend we had great activity. It is a 1929 brick Tudor that was custom built. It’s on the market, for a couple days at $685K hosting 4 bedrooms and 1-1/2 baths.  What is great about a home like this is it hasn’t been renovated in bad taste and they didn’t do any bad updating.. The original mahogany millwork and the tilting windows make this a classic Seattle home.

 

This weekend I’ll be at the Braeburn hosting an open house that is a new listing. Prices continue to increase while the market is still a sellers market.  It makes sense to get into the market now instead of seating out and waiting till things slow down.  When the slow down, most likely form historical data, prices will be up 7% a year.

 

Interest rate’s at a glance, a lot of activity, the rates went form 3.81 to 3.8 last week.

nterest Rates at a glance

           

Exciting news in Seattle, the Polar Pioneer in town and all the excitement around this massive oil drilling rig. It is in town and moored at Foss’s maritime dock for modifications that will bring 400 jobs to the area and a lot of money for suppliers and parts.  It’s amazing people protesting in their kayaks, at least there won’t be much violence on the water from the protestors.

Cruise ships are in town and Pike Place market is busy with lots of people.  We love getting a sandwich at Three Girls Bakery and then heading down for a Priroshky for one daughter.  Don’t forget to visit the bubblegum wall.

 

Posted on May 18, 2015 at 6:35 pm
Tom Fine | Category: Tom Fine's Blog | Tagged , , , , , , , , ,

Don’t Make Mistakes Selling Your Home

 

1.     Not preparing to show your home in the right light. It’s critical to make sure when you are getting your home ready to sell that you put items in the right place.  Don’t have too much clutter; arrange furniture so the rooms flow. If you don’t have the right furniture the best bet is to place staging in place of your furniture.  Remember you are looking to get top dollar.

2.Doing a minor home improvement before selling might make sense.

If you have a ½ bath and have room to make it a ¾ bath to increase your selling price or a kitchen renovation to get more money, doesn’t that make sense? Yes!  But don’t get carried away by doing too big of a renovation.

3.     Not hiring an agent. So many people think they can do what an Agent/Broker can do. Are you willing to go through all the steps t get top dollar and then you don’t deal with an action in the right order or miss a timeframe that jeopardizes the deal, it’s critical that you have someone that can represent you to explain all the details. Studies have shown that hiring an Agent/Broker, you’ll get your money worth and it will eliminate a lot of headaches.  Hire a professional to do a professional job.

4.     Putting too high of a sale price. Wanting to get top dollar is everyone’s dream, but setting too high of a sale price can hurt in more than one way.  It will keep the house on the market longer, the first two weeks is when your house sees a lot of action and people.  When a house is on the market longer than a couple of weeks, then buyers believe they can get a bargain or low ball an offer. It’s key to get a BPO, (Brokers Price Opinion) this will provide an price with comps so you can make the right decision on the pricing.

5.     Not hiring the right agent.  You may have a friend or you see a truck that says “Use this truck for free when Moving, hire me” you get a postcard that says discounted fees or free staging. Do you want to think about discount people when selling your home?  You want the right person and the one that thinks outside the box, has great opinions and options to sell your home.

6.     Not exposing your home to the masses.  When interviewing the agents, what is the agent going to do for marketing?  Is she/he going to market to thousands of local agents, what about a Brokers open and open houses for the masses? Email marketing, Video tours on the Internet. Neighborhood mailer about the home. If the neighbors love the neighborhood, they’ll tell their friend about the great neighborhood, SOLD!

7.     Putting restriction on the buyers, not letting buyers access the home. Some sellers, believe they know better than the agent, so they restrict the agent from showing the home, not allow agents market the home strategically. The right agents know how to go to market and know how to sell your home, let the professionals do their job.

8.     Sellers should not be in the home while showing are happening. Several of my clients wanted to show the potential buyers their home, they felt they knew what to show buyers and they wanted to be there for the showings.  This is a big No-No. Buyers and sellers should not be together, buyers want to feel free to talk about the house what they like and don’t like. They may want to do a remodel and the sellers can’t imagine why someone would want to change their home. The best scenario is to have the sellers out of the home during any showing and any open or brokers open.  If they forget something, oh well they can come in after the showings.  Believe you want top dollar, this will shoot them in the foot if they are there while a showing is going on.

 

These are the main items that can help get you on the right rack for positioning your home with the right agent, maximizing your return and getting maximum exposure.  If you are in the Seattle and surrounding areas and you would like to discuss how we Tom Fine could help you, contact Tom today. Todays market is hot for sellers, positioning your home can potentially get more than market value.  Have fun selling your home.

 

 

 

Posted on May 16, 2015 at 7:09 pm
Tom Fine | Category: Tom Fine's Blog | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

West Seattle New Starbucks and Chipotle are Coming to the Alaska Junction

It was just released on the Seattle DPD, (Department of Planning and Development) site that permits are being submitted for spaces on the East side of California just South of Alaska Avenue. It looks like Starbucks will be on the SE corner of Alaska and California and Chipotle will be approx. across the street from Husky deli. Well my daughter is excited about Chipotle. We have more Mexican restaurants in West Seattle than any other ethnic restaurants. This gives West Seattle a bigger variety of Mexican food.

Posted on February 18, 2015 at 7:02 pm
Tom Fine | Category: Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , ,

Elon Musk plans to build Hyperloop

Elon Musk plans to build Hyperloop test track
SpaceX and Tesla CEO wants to speed up the development of a 800-mph tube transport — and is willing to pay for testing in Texas to make it happen.
by Nick Statt
@nickstatt January 15, 2015 1:00 PM PST
comments

Elon Musk calls the Hyperloop a fifth mode of transportation. Using electromagnetic pulses and pressurized tubes, Hyperloop can hit high speeds.
HTT/JumpStartFund
Billionaire and entrepreneur Elon Musk is getting more hands on with the Hyperloop.

Musk, who heads up both space transportation outfit SpaceX and electric vehicle maker Tesla Motors, casually announced on Twitter Tuesday that he’s decided to help accelerate development of his vision for near-supersonic tube transportation, first outlined in August 2013.

Musk said he will build a five-mile test track for the still-theoretical system for students and companies to use. A possible location would be Texas, he added, where presumably there is plenty of flat land to go around.

Will be building a Hyperloop test track for companies and student teams to test out their pods. Most likely in Texas.

— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) January 15, 2015

Musk originally floated the idea of the Hyperloop with help from fellow SpaceX and Tesla engineers, releasing their collective work in a 57-page concept paper that generated headlines worldwide. Until today, Musk has been notably hands-off about the project and has said it remains an open source and collaborative process. SpaceX declined to comment further on Musk’s plans or whether the test track will involve additional collaboration from members of his two companies.

Musk is known for dropping bombshell announcements on his personal Twitter account, like when a rocket from his space transportation outfit SpaceX exploded mid-flight because “rockets are tricky” or how he thinks artificial intelligence may be more dangerous thannukes.

Though Musk speaks of the Hyperloop with similar nonchalance, the idea could revolutionize land transportation. It’s simpler than it sounds. A Hyperloop would work similarly to an air hockey table, but instead of floating on a cushion of air, solar-powered electromagnetic pulses would propel pressurized cabins inside elevated tubes. T

Theoretically, the resulting system could reach speeds approaching 800 mph, faster than the speed of sound, through tubes held up by pylons placed between strategic cities like San Francisco and Los Angeles. The system still needs years of testing, and as much as $10 billion to create even just one 400-mile stretch.

Yet Musk’s willingness to get involved after almost a year and a half of silence on the subject shows he’s serious about the idea and will, as he has with his other ventures, spend some of his own money to get it off the ground.

hyperloop-routes.jpg
Hyperloop Transportation Technologies, a collection of crowdsourced engineers working on the system, is already underway working out routes around the country.
HTT/JumpStartFund
Musk is known for taking risks and transforming industries. He did it with mobile payments and PayPal during the first dot-com era — then again with electric vehicles and private spaceflight.

Critics, including members of the US High Speed Rail Association, say high speed rail is a more-viable option. High-speed rail is widely used throughout Asia and the state of California this month broke ground for its high-speed rail system costing $70 billion. Musk has criticized the project’s high costs and sees the Hyperloop as leapfrogging the technology.

Musk isn’t alone in trying to make the idea a reality. A group of entrepreneurs and scientists have banded together to create Hyperloop Transportation Technologies. Put together first on a crowdfunding platform called JumpStartFund, it’s a loose collective of around 100 engineers, unaffiliated with Musk, who exchange free time for potential equity. Each works in small teams focused on specific interests, such as designing passenger pods and propulsion prototypes.

Hyperloop Transportation Technologies has also partnered with UCLA’s SUPRASTUDIO design and architecture program to design capsules and stations, as well as work out prospective routes around the country that could be potentially be linked into a nationwide Hyperloop network.

JumpStartFund did not comment on Musk’s plans, but CEO Dirk Ahlborn said the company will know soon where a finalized test site will be located.

Posted on January 15, 2015 at 9:11 pm
Tom Fine | Category: Tom Fine's Blog | Tagged , , , , , , , , , ,

I love working with my clients!

November 5, 2014

To Whom it May Concern:

Tom Fine was our buyer’s agent for our recent home purchase in Green Lake, Seattle. We have decided to pen an unsolicited testimonial to his services.

Our family recently relocated from Australia to Seattle and decided to purchase a home. Luckily for us, we found Tom. Tom was able to explain the real estate market and buying and selling process in Seattle (which differs greatly from what we were used to in Australia). He was tireless in identifying properties that met our criteria and spent countless hours on the road with us explaining the positives and negatives of different localities, housing and building styles while viewing ‘open homes’. He was very flexible and understanding in his approach and his availability.

Tom’s knowledge gained as a building contractor was invaluable. He was able to walk through houses with us explaining potential benefits or pitfalls of the construction, layout, style, materials used and potential areas for improvement or maintenance. Several times he drew our attention to problems with construction that we would not otherwise have noticed.

In the end we found a house we wanted to make an offer for and Tom was able to calmly handle negotiations, helping to secure the house below the asking price in a highly competitive real estate market. He kept us in the loop every step of the way.

Subsequent to closing on the house, Tom has been happy to provide advice and expertise in relation to our plans to improve the property.

We’ve been impressed with Tom and would wholeheartedly recommend his services to others looking to buy or sell a home in Seattle.

Mark and Caroline Gordon
Green Lake, Seattle.

Posted on January 9, 2015 at 6:05 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 , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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 , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Options to Keep our Parents in their Homes as Long as Possible

Many seniors prefer to stay in their homes as long as possible. Of course, your ability to do this hinges on many factors, including the nature of the challenges you face in your current home. Major home renovations may be required, but there are also numerous inexpensive steps you can take to improve your living situation, including:

 

SAFETY IMPROVEMENTS

Flooring: carpeting is preferable to area rugs because it reduces tripping hazards and can cushion falls. But if area rugs are used, make sure they’re secured to the floor.

Handrails: on stairways, add a second handrail along the opposite wall for improved stability.

Footwear: to prevent falls, non-slip shoes are preferable to slippers or socks.

Non-skid safety strips: adhered to the floor of a tub/ shower, non-skid strips are preferable to removable in-shower bath mats.

Bathroom grab bars: ideally these should be anchored into the wall, but if that’s not possible opt for a safety rail clamped onto the side of the tub.

Quality step ladder: purchase a broad-based heavy-duty step ladder with a hand-hold bar across the top to safely reach items stored out of reach.

Lighting: whether it’s making a bathtub brighter or installing motion-activated night lights in the hallway, better lighting can help prevent falls and make hobbies, reading, etc. more enjoyable. Lighting improvements might be as simple as changing the bulbs (to higher wattages or to bulbs that mimic daylight instead of “yellow” soft lighting) or adding battery-operated units.

 

CONVENIENCE FACTORS

Hand shower: convert a standard fixed shower head into a hand-held system with a flexible hose.

Raised toilet seats: no need to buy a new toilet when a removable seat can be added to most standard toilets.

Mail catcher: mail delivered via a slot in the door may be easier to retrieve than from a mail box, especially if a narrow basket is mounted below the door opening so the recipient doesn’t have to pick mail off the floor.

Knobs: replace round door and/or faucet knobs with lever styles, which are easier to turn. Likewise, loop pulls can make drawers easier to open.

Eating: specially-designed cups and eating utensils can minimize food spills, including weighted options that help counterbalance shake-prone hands.

Cooking utensils: lightweight and ergonomically-designed options are readily available now, many offering non-slip handles and bright, attractive colors.

Keep things handy: move often-used items to easy-to- access locations.

Eliminate excess “stuff”: having fewer items to store, sort, juggle and handle can make aging in place an easier and more enjoyable proposition.

 

 

Posted on January 17, 2014 at 2:34 am
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
Tom Fine | Category: Tom Fine's Blog | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

How to Sell your Home, Several Simple Steps to Increase the Value of you Home

This is scary, challenging and exciting all at the same time. The thought of selling your biggest investment.  Well being wise and realistic you'll do fine. I knw you're thinking you can do the FSBO, of course as a realtor I don't believe in FSBO (For Sale By Owner), here you have your biggest asset and you have a fulltime job and know you are thinking of taking on this huge endeavor, is this smart?  Do you know how much time it will take? Do you have experience in selling a home? Marketing a home, Interacting with potential buyers?  Do you know what to say and how to close the deal or negotiate?  What are these values worth?

The right realtor will make the cost of their services pay off, they will make you as much money as possible and will engage with potential buyers and buyers agents.  Well let's get down to why you are here.

Here are some steps to get your home prepared for selling for the maximum amount.

1. Curb Appeal, this is the first impressions a potential buyer will see your home, beside the pictures online.  Clean the yard, make the yard attractive, simple plants and bark in the beds can make your yard stand out from other homes for sale.

2. The first thing to do is to declutter your home, this means getting rid if all the excess items, possibly too many chairs in the living room, too much furniture is a turn off. The rooms should feel larger and by minimizing them, making the rooms look clean, larger this will give the rooms more volume. Clean your home, this means dusting, washing windows, this means deep cleaning and keep it clean, you never know when a potential buyer will want to see your home.

3.  Make necessary repairs, do a walk thru and look at everything and make a list, that is what a good inspector will do and you'll loose money on the house if there any issues. Once you have the list, prioritize the list and go over the list with your realtor, they can help make key judgments on what should be repaired or replaced.

4.  Prepare a list of what you like about the house and what repairs and improvements you've made on the property.

5.  How about another list of what shops, restaurants and other great places are around your home that buyers can associate with and can see the proximity of these places. Anything special like this: "Look thru Living room window to see the Space Needle", "Walk to the Waterfront", "Pike Place Market are within walking distance from the house".

6.  Once you hire a realtor to represent your home, they will provide a CMA, (Comparative Market Analysis) which will have comparative properties to provide you with a good idea of what your home is worth and what price range the home can sell for.  A realtor is here to provide you with details and information and it is your job top make the decision on price from t he information they have provided. It's important to try to leave the emotion out of this process and try to look at it as a business transaction. i know that's tough, but emotions get in the way of a realistic price. Emotions increase the price.  Keep your emotions out, be realistic what your home is worth, otherwise it's a waste of time to try to sell an overpriced home

7.  Tell your friends and neighbors that you are selling your home, word of mouth is an incredible power full source, utilize it. Spread the word.

With the right presentation and price and terms, it should sell fast in the right market.

Good luck on your home sale and I hope you do well.

Contact me to help you sell your home.

 

Tom Fine

Posted on August 29, 2013 at 9:30 am
Tom Fine | Category: Tom Fine's Blog | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,