What shape is your Doggie in

Posted by Jim Reppond

Published November 19, 2014


These days they do surveys for about everything. And Hotpads likes to see what trends are going on in cities around the US. One recent survey they did in collaboration with Whistle, shows that Seattle pooches get an average of 76.6 minutes of exercise a day. That sounds pretty good until you see the chart that shows we are number 6 in the country. That’s right. We were beat out by our southern neighbors, Portland for the number one position, substantially! Portland doggies get over 90 minutes of exercise per day.

Doggie Excercsie Inforgraph

Portland is also leading in the number of dog parks nationally, although Seattle comes in at number two. Maybe in the near future there will be a doggie sport rivalry as well - like our soccer teams the Sounders and the Timbers. We will see.

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Using WalkScores and Other Scores Together

Posted by Jim Reppond

Published October 16, 2014


Walkscore logo
Many people have heard of Walkscore.com, and use it to tout the “Walk-ability” of a neighborhood. It’s a bit of a fine line for agents to talk about this. “Walking distance” to or from a property is prohibited in marketing materials by Federal Fair Housing Laws based on non-discrimination requirements about disability. But without being biased, people want to know how close homes are to major amenities. And this is one of the ways people express that. So agents use Walkscore.com to share the information because it is just a statistical reference, not a judgement of value.

WalkScore.com webpage
What a lot of people don’t realize is that there are some other great neighborhood statistics at the same site. You can find about crime rates, public transit options, and the “bike-ability” of a neighborhood, or even a specific address. I imagine this will expand to include even more information as Zillow continues to dominate the real estate web space. There is a site for ParkScores (ParkScores.org) but it just gives macro information about cities as a whole. They don’t give specific neighborhood data, but do offer city maps that give you a good idea where parks are located and where there is a lack of them.

The trend is to be want to be closer to major amenities and home values reflect that. A recent article in Better Cities & Towns compares the increase in values in areas of less urban density, and more urban density. It’s clear that inner-city home values are escalating faster rate than outlying locations. But outlying areas with close-by amenities doing pretty well too.

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Upcoming Home Buyer Education Class (updated)

Posted by Jim Reppond

Published October 14, 2014


Homebuyer ClassRhonda Porter and I will be teaching a Home Buyers Education Class on Saturday, November 8th, 2014 at the Greenwood Public Library. This class is sponsored by the Washington State Housing Finance Commission.

Those who attend will learn a lot about the home buying process and will receive a certificate at the end of the class making them eligible for down payment assistance programs and other mortgage programs, such as Home Advantage, House Key Opportunity (state bond) and Home Possible MCC (Mortgage Credit Certificate) tax credits.

You need to a flashplayer enabled browser to view this YouTube videoLunch is provided (usually something like pizza). If you have special dietary needs or concerns, please bring a sack lunch.

When: Saturday, November 8th, 2014 from 11:00 am till 4:00 pm.
Where: Greenwood Public Library at 8016 Greenwood Ave N, Seattle, WA 98103
Cost: FREE

Space is limited so click here to RSVP today!

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We had Anthony Vincent in our videos before he went viral!

Posted by Jim Reppond

Published April 26, 2014


Anthony VincentViral videos are almost always rags-to-riches type stories, and Anthony’s story is too. He was one of Fiverr’s top rated sellers for his 10 Second Songs that he would produce for (starting at) $5. He is a master at turning a simple jingle into quality music and voice. So I hired him to do the intro for our Seattle Home Buyer Seminar promotional video. It’s a good thing I hired him when I did. Because about a month ago he created a video showing 20 different styles to sing a Katy Perry song, “Dark Horse” - and it went viral on YouTube. Not just sorta popular, I mean VIRAL! He currently has over 6 MILLION views and 197 THOUSAND subscribers, all within about a month period. It’s made him famous overnight. He’s been interviewed and published on The Rolling Stone’s website, offered to tour with Boyz II Men, asked to be on “America’s Got Talent” TV show, featured in the Entertainment section of the Huffington Post,and the list goes on-and-on. I knew when I first saw his work that my videos would get a much wider audience if I could have him in them. And sure enough they have. I’ve been able to re-use his intro jingles for all our Seattle Home Buyer Seminars. Here’s the one for our upcoming Seattle Home Buyer Seminar in July:

You need to a flashplayer enabled browser to view this YouTube video

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Economics Group - Special Commentary

Posted by admin

Published February 12, 2014


Housing Chartbook: February 2014

Several Mortgage Professionals with Wells Fargo have sent me this report over the last couple of days. It’s a very thoughtful analysis of the near-term housing outlook based on historical data and near-term predictions using a number of factors. They look at GDP, energy and material costs, demographics and changing family makeups, multifamily and single family homes, both in rentals and ownership. These economist come from all over (NAR, Case-Shiller, Corelogic, NAHB, US Dept of Commerce, and Wells Fargo) to put their heads together to help get a picture of where we are and where we are going. This is detailed thoughtful stuff!

Questions between figuresThe short news is that these predictions and models are showing that things will be slowing down for a bit. But we shouldn’t see massive increases in interest rates either. These are very macro-economic national predictions and may not be reflective of our local real estate market here in Seattle. But it is helpful information all the same. There are tons of charts for those of you who like this sort of thing. I’ve put a PDF link to the report so you can download it.

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Seattle Median Sales Price - by Heat Map or Charts

Posted by Jim Reppond

Published February 6, 2014


Both Zillow and Trulia offer some great tools for consumers. And they are mostly accessible without needing to register and get on a mailing list that clutters up your inbox. The one I like the most from Trulia is their Local Info Heat Maps. These maps help someone get a visual and geographical representation of the numbers. This can be extremely helpful to those not intimately familiar with the neighborhood names. You have several points of data at your disposal and Home sales prices and rental prices are two of them.

Trulia Heat Map

Zillow has a great feature that can give you historical values or “Zestimations” (based on their own algorithms) . These can be quite handy when looking for trends or comparing between areas. Just go to their “Local Info area” and drill down to the cities you want to see and compare. And then you can refine it further by neighborhood. Remember, these are mostly median numbers and sometimes they are off a good bit. Your REALTOR can get you more accurate evaluations based on your specific criteria. But for just side-by-side comparisons this can be a great tool to gauge where a market has been, and where it is going, in general terms. There are lots of other variables and data points to play and make charts with as. If you are a statistics person you will love this stuff. Let me know if you need deeper or more specific information!
Zillow Chart 2

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New 2014 Home Buyer Class Offered in Green Lake

Posted by admin

Published December 27, 2013


Greenlake Home Buyer ClassAre you thinking about buying a home for the first time? Do you want to learn more about the home buying process?

Rhonda Porter from Mortgage Master Service and I will be teaching a free Home Buyers Class on Saturday, February 1st 2014 at the Green Lake Library. First-time home buyers are such a pleasure to work with because of their enthusiasm and desire to better their lives through home ownership. I am honored to assist in that process anyway I can.

This class is sponsored by the Washington State Housing Finance Committee. Class participants are eligible for the programs offered through the WSHFC, like Home Advantage. In fact, in order to qualify for the WSHFC down payment assistance programs, a home buyer education is required.

WSHFC requires that the class is at least five hours, so we will be starting at 11:00 am and trying our best to end at 4:00 pm.

When: February 1st, 2014
Starting promptly at 11:00AM, ending at 4:00PM
Where: Green Lake Library
7364 East Green Lake Dr. N.
Seattle, WA 98115
Cost: Free
(Pizza lunch and snacks included. However, please bring a sack lunch if you have dietary issues.)

Although the class if free, space is limited. All parties who will be on the loan for a WSHFC program must attend an approved class. You do not need to be a first time home buyer to attend the class or to qualify for the Home Advantage Program, which offers down payment assistance up to four percent at zero interest with deferred payments for 30 years.

To sign up, call 253-234-2228 or click here.

Please feel free to share this information with anyone you know who is considering buying a home.

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Time to Prepare for Year-end Homeowner Tax Deductions

Posted by Jim Reppond

Published October 17, 2013


House Energy RatingHomeowner Tip: Time to start thinking about how you are going to end your tax year with regard to home deductions. Some purchases and repairs need to be finished by end of year, and others just need to be started. Think about those energy-saving systems like furnaces and solar systems. Puget Sound Energy has a whole list of appliances that qualify for rebates, at least till the end of the year. Check into the state or federal tax credits and timelines - some may disappear at the end of the year as well.

Check out these helpful tips from Inman News

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Home Buyer Class Offered in Green Lake

Posted by admin

Published September 9, 2013


Greenlake Home Buyer ClassAre you thinking about buying a home for the first time? Do you want to learn more about the home buying process?

Rhonda Porter from Mortgage Master Service and I will be teaching a free Home Buyers Class on Saturday, October 5th at the Green Lake Library. First-time home buyers are such a pleasure to work with because of their enthusiasm and desire to better their lives through home ownership. I am honored to assist in that process anyway I can.

This class is sponsored by the Washington State Housing Finance Committee. Class participants are eligible for the programs offered through the WSHFC, like Home Advantage. In fact, in order to qualify for the WSHFC down payment assistance programs, a home buyer education is required.

WSHFC requires that the class is at least five hours, so we will be starting at 11:00 am and trying our best to end at 4:00 pm.

When: October 5th, 2013
Starting promptly at 11:00AM, ending at 4:00PM
Where: Green Lake Library
7364 East Green Lake Dr. N.
Seattle, WA 98115
Cost: Free
(Pizza lunch and snacks included. However, please bring a sack lunch if you have dietary issues.)

Although the class if free, space is limited. All parties who will be on the loan for a WSHFC program must attend an approved class. You do not need to be a first time home buyer to attend the class or to qualify for the Home Advantage program, which offers down payment assistance up to four percent at zero interest with deferred payments for 30 years.

To sign up, call 253-234-2228 or click here.

Please feel free to share this information with anyone you know who is considering buying a home.

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Climate Change and Rising Tides in Seattle

Posted by Jim Reppond

Published January 15, 2013


Seattle Flood Zones 2050I’m not sure if this is really a major concern for most people. But long-term real estate investment and development groups should be paying attention. With the expected rise in sea levels over the next 40 years or so, some areas of Seattle could become flooded. Seattle Public Utilities released this map yesterday showing the anticipated affected areas.

http://www.seattle.gov/util/groups/public/@spu/@conservation/documents/webcontent/02_030004.pdf

You can read more about it here:

http://www.seattle.gov/util/AboutUs/SPU_&_the_Environment/ClimateChangeProgram/index.htm

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