More Telecommuters Might Want to Move to the Harbor
An interesting article came across my path from the Seattle PI.
“Zillow” found that 75% of Americans working from home due to COVID-19 would prefer to telecommute at least half of the time once the pandemic subsides, and 66% said they would consider moving if their job allowed them to continue telecommuting.”
This means if you are debating moving or downsizing, this may be the time!
Many of my clients live in the Washington State Peninsula. Our homes will be in top demand if more Seattleites or Bellevue dwellers decide to step away from the rat-race. They can buy a better, bigger home in Gig Harbor or Ollala and still be a ferry ride away from the city.
This was the quote that made my heart skip a beat: “Moving away from the central core has traditionally offered affordability at the cost of your time and gas money. Relaxing those costs by working remotely could mean more households choose those larger homes farther out, easing price pressure on urban and inner suburban areas,” said Zillow senior principal economist, Skylar Olsen.
Did you read that? LARGER HOMES FURTHER OUT?? That means our neck-of-the-woods may be store for a buyer boom.
And here is what I believe will be a big deciding factor: “More people will leave San Francisco, New York, and even Seattle, some for nearby towns like Sacramento and Tacoma that are close enough to support a weekly office visit.” Think about this… yes many may move south to Pierce County, but Tacoma isn’t that different from Seattle.
Gig Harbor though…that is another planet. A stunning, green, quiet heavenly planet. So while they may start looking in Tacoma, the traffic and rat-race mentality will eventually lead them to our paradise.
And if you are selling, get ready for a prime opportunity.
When people realize that their future commute might include a monthly Ferry Ride and taxi drive, they will start salivating at the possibilities that the Peninsula offers.
And that might make some sellers salivate at their options.
Call me, and we can talk about strategy! This may or may not be for you…but if you don’t call, you’ll never know.
Zillow is a very popular Real Estate estimation service…but does popularity mean accuracy?
As a real estate agent, I love helping people find, improve, sell or invest in real estate. I think I have the best job in the world. Every day, I get to walk alongside people who see a preferred future and have asked me to help them get to that preferred future.
Along the way, I get to answer many, many questions. And questions about Zillow are usually the first ones I get to answer.
Let’s clarify a few misconceptions about Zillow…
Since I am a positive person, I’ll start with Zillow’s positive attributes. Zillow brings together a ton of information in one place. If a buyer wants to make a first glance at the homes for sale in a given area, Zillow is thoroughly adequate. If someone wants statistics on how prices have changed in a zipcode over time… than Zillow works.
If a buyer wants a quick look at square footage, room numbers and age of a home than again, Zillow gives some great information.
Zillow’s proprietary calculations look at the LAST SALE price of a particular home and compare that price with CURRENT sale prices of similar homes in the area. From here, Zillow calculates their Zestimate.
Oh, one other good point about Zillow is they clearly state that this is an estimate and not an actual value.
Now, let’s talk about the reality. Zillow can not know if you have spent $60,000 on home improvements. Likewise, Zillow can’t tell if you have significant water damage, a crack in the foundation or an old roof.
This is where real estate agents like myself come into the picture. We spend our days looking at and evaluating the values of a home. We are able to take into consideration the up-keep of a home. We are able to actually look at see that the shag carpet hasn’t been replaced since 1960. We look at comparable sales of homes in the neighborhood to give a true context to the prices that are requested.
Also remember that Zillow is funded by ad revenue. Over inflating someone’s home value is a sure way to get people to bring their eyeballs back to a site. The more eyeballs Zillow delivers, the more money they can charge advertisers.
Pricing your home for sale or knowing what price to pay for a home is what real estate professionals spend all our time discussing. When the right time comes, give me a call and we will sit down and make sure your next real estate transaction is your best real estate transaction.
COVID-19 has been a scary time for all of us. If you’re thinking about buying or selling, you may have some questions. I’m going to answer the ones I’m hearing most frequently.
Can I still buy a house during the COVID – 19 Crisis?
Yes, you absolutely can still buy a home during this crisis. There are just a few extra precautions that are implemented for sellers and buyers when showing a home-like: wear a mask, wear gloves, use hand sanitizer, and 2 people in a home at one time.
What do I do if I am in the middle of a move and house hunt?
House moves are still happening, movers are essential types of business. You can search for homes online, then when you find a home you want to see your agent makes a showing appointment for you both to see the home, use Marco Polo video to view the home, or face time.
Are you keeping regular business hours?
Yes, I am. 8am-6pm and answer phone up until 8pm. 7 days a week.
Are there special assistance programs available for purchasing homes?
You need to get a pre-approval from your lender or I can refer you to a few great people I work with that will go over all the loan programs, payments, rates, etc.
Are you still showing houses?
Yes I am.
Can you help me find a place to rent while I wait this out?
The Rental Market is very tight but you can check on Zillow rentals, Spinaker Property Management, & HCS Property Management.
How are you making sure the houses you show are clean and safe for my family?
When making showing appointments for buyers I ask the agent if the home has been cleaned and if there are masks, booties, hand sanitizer and I carry it all in my car in a showing basket that we can use before and after a showing.
Any community resources you know of?
I’m following the Governor’s recommendations, the NWMLS & CDC for the COVID-19 disease.
I am always here to help in any way that I can, don’t hesitate to give me a call if you need help selling or buying a home during the pandemic.
Why is ‘Curb Appeal” such a big deal in getting your home sold? I’m glad you asked. This blog is a short primer on why the outside of your home matters almost as much as the inside!
While HGTV gets great ratings on shows that talk about staging the INTERIOR of your home… I want to raise a quick flag about making sure the EXTERIOR of your home is equally considered when selling your home.
Sadly, people do judge books by their covers. And buyers will PRE-judge your interior before ever seeing inside if they are taken back by the exterior. So let’s talk about some essentials.
First, let’s agree on what exactly is curb appeal. In its most straightforward form, curb appeal is a subjective appreciation for a physical asset. Specifically, this refers to the level of attractiveness one may feel for a property when viewing it from the street. The house presents itself well, and all of the typical components are in place: the yard is well-kept, the paint is vibrant, the siding looks good, the roof is intact, and things are in order. Curb appeal sets expectations. Prospective buyers are more inclined to look inside if they like what they see on the outside.
Everyone wants their home to have a “wow” factor… but let’s be honest; not every home will have that “wow” factor. But, at a minimum, your property shouldn’t turn off a vast majority of buyers. So, in many regards, our job here is to minimize any negative elements.
Don’t be overwhelmed…most of these improvements aren’t too difficult.
Driveways full of weeds or cracks won’t present your property in the best light. Fixing this can be as easy as a bottle of weed spray and twenty minutes of labor.
Few features will either turn away or attract prospective buyers more than a home’s roof. If the roof is old and has only a few years left, you will receive a positive return on your money by replacing it and trying to sell the home for a higher price. If the buyer doesn’t get a HUGE discount, they won’t want to spend to replace the roof. It is an option for the seller, but I like to keep my clients getting top dollar even if it requires them investing some money before the sale.
Landscaping improvements can be as simple or as complex as you want to make them. Start with the grass and go from there. Then you should focus on the area immediately nearest to the house. A fresh layer of mulch can completely transform a property’s exterior. My advice to get a full picture of the home’s curb appeal, drive down your street, and take note of the first thing that stands out upon pulling up. These items are what others will notice, as well.
In addition to the roof, you also should look at the siding and exterior of the property itself. A dirty exterior is something that should not be ignored. Power washing a deck or the siding of your property won’t take very long but will have a significant impact.
Instead of replacing the door entirely, start by seeing if a fresh coat of paint will be enough to give it an updated look. If you are looking for a more permanent fix, a new door is certainly money well spent and will come with an impressive ROI.
So, this was a quick primer on Curb Appeal. I’m not a fan of working with buyers who are always trying to low-ball my sellers. A small amount of effort on your home’s curb appeal will pay off where it matters most: your profit!
A great article came across my desk the other week about the home featured in the mid-eighties movie “Money Pit.” This was the hysterical movie with Tom Hanks and Shelly Long who were two yuppie home buyers who decided to buy a fixer and …well, fix it! Every home-fixer on the planet laughed until they cried at their never-ending parade of disasters. Of course, the reason the laughter turned to tears is we all remember the tears we’ve shed working on a ‘fixer-upper.’ This article focused on the fact that the same house used in the movie was recently sold for a huge LOSS. The couple who purchased the house set out to remodel, and spent close to $6 MILLION fixing up the home they purchased for just over $2 million.
Eventually, our owners decided to put the home on the market and asked a cool $12 million.
And so they dropped the price.
And…dropped it again. And again… until they finally sold the property for $3.5 million dollars.
So what is the moral of this story? I’m glad you asked.
Remodeling is a two-edged sword. The upside is you invest money to get the home that meets your needs and hopefully satisfies a few desires. The downside is, something you may love might not be something a potential home buyer may even like. The experts looking at this story all agree the couple spent too much money on their very personal, very ornate tastes. They added en suite bedrooms, an elegant pool (complete with a pool house), stunning fireplaces, and a modern, open kitchen. Plus, their desires were to create an over-the-top entertaining
palace that would reek excess and elegance. Sadly, the experts agreed that they over-developed for the time and for the area.
How then does a couple know what they should remodel and how much should they spend? They should make sure to have a friend like me in their corner.
As a rule, bathrooms and kitchens are safest, but be sure that your remodels don’t push your price above what your neighborhood can sustain when your home goes for sale. And, when it comes to return on investment, pools sink your return on investment to the bottom. I’d love to talk to you before you remodel if you are thinking of making a few changes before you list! I
spend all my days looking at homes like yours and seeing how buyers respond. Before you make any changes- give me a call!
Thank you for reading…and keep me in mind if you are looking or thinking of listing. I’d love to make the
whole process easier and make sure you get the best financial result!
A couple of articles came across my desk this week that I found… interesting.
Redfin, a Seattle based Real Estate brokerage did some research and the Wall Street Journal expanded it into an article.
Their research showed them that home ownership has increased from an average of eight years to around thirteen years! This average increase has increased in just the last nine years.
If this five-year increase happened over a few decades, no one would notice much. Or, they would have attributed the change to an aging demographic. But this increase was five years occurring over a period of around nine years. A homeownership change like this has created a marked decrease in the available homes for sale!
Redfin Chief Economist Daryl Fairweather told The Wall Street Journal: “If people aren’t moving on, there just are fewer and fewer homes available for new-home buyers,”
As I suspected, Baby Boomers ages 67 to 85 are not moving. Freddie Mac blamed this reality for creating a shortage of 1.6 million homes
While I haven’t personally done similar research in the Pacific Northwest, I would concur that this is also happening here. More and more first-time buyers are finding it harder to find a home that is affordable. If you are a ‘statistic junkie’ like I am, you’ll love the info at the bottom of this post.
Now…don’t take this new reality as all bad news.
First, this information shows that the long-term investment in homeownership is stronger than ever. People who consistently pay off their homes will make their strongest investment!
If you are looking…don’t despair. You are on the right path and I would love to help you start making equity that will benefit you for decades.
But…if you’ve been in your home for a while… this would be a great time to at least test the waters. If you can downsize, or if you are thinking about moving somewhere new, now is a great time to call me and we can look at some comps and evaluate your possibilities.
In the real estate world, bad news to some people can be GREAT news to you…as long as you have a real estate agent who knows how to navigate the process.
I’d love to talk and weigh out some options. A tough time for buyers can be the perfect situation for someone wanting to maximize their selling price!
Contrary to popular belief- buying homes in the Fall and Winter can be the best times if you know what to look for…and what to avoid.
Fewer Buyers Mean More Motivated Sellers!
This time of year, usually means the families with kids are already situated. Those owners of homes that didn’t sell will be extra motivated. Find a few homes you like and start the discussion. As your realtor, I can make sure you are negotiating from a place of strength to maximize your budget!
The year-end clock is ticking!
Many sellers will want to have their home sold by year-end! Tax considerations for the seller are a very real financial issue.
For a buyer, ‘Auld Lang Syne’ should be your theme song. Certainly, jump on the house you love at the price you can afford…but if you have a little flexibility in your timeline, waiting till the clock strikes twelve is to your advantage!
Winter Exposes Many Flaws
It’s easy to make a home look perfect when the grass is nice and green. But no leaves and drab gardens will give a buyer some more information and negotiating room. If the seller has been watching their home go from glorious Summer to drab-and-dreary Winter, they may start to panic a bit.
‘Days on Market’ Mean Dollars Off Price
Memorial Day…Mother’s Day…Father’s Day…Fourth of July… as those Holidays go buy and Thanksgiving and Christmas approach, a seller may get nervous. Especially as the Calendar says December and January.
If you have time on your side, you can score an amazing value if a seller has to get out from under their property. As your realtor, I’ve been watching homes age on the market and can inform you of when a great time might be to offer an extra-low price. This means you’ll either get more home or pay less for the home you want.
While most people are thinking of Football, Turkey and Mistletoe…we can be thinking about snagging the Real Estate bargain of the year!
Send me an email and we can start talking!
Discover Gorgeous New Construction in Olalla! Pristine 3-Bedroom, 3-Bath Home on Idyllic 5 Acres Awaits
Built in 2018, this 2,672-square-foot masterpiece presents a fantastic opportunity! Brimming with stylish high-end details (like soaring ceilings and granite counters) and top-notch amenities (find mini-split heating with AC and a heat pump water heater!), this Olalla gem is ready for you to enjoy the luxurious lifestyle you’ve always dreamed about. In addition to 3 bedrooms and 3 baths, this residence also includes fabulous open-concept living spaces, a 3-car garage, and picturesque outdoor areas. Located at 15232 Rosemary Lp SE Olalla, WA 98359, this brand new beauty is listed for $599,950. *There’s also a $5,000 buyer bonus!*
Surrounded by the Pacific Northwest’s signature greenery and tall emerald trees, this home offers a sense of seclusion. Neat landscaping welcomes you home, and an extra-large driveway leads up to the Craftsman-inspired exterior. Each time you arrive home, you’re sure to feel a sense of pride in ownership, and when you step inside, this home’s interior continues to impress.
In the great room, vaulted ceilings, large windows, gorgeous hardwoods, and a tasteful contemporary color palette make for a sophisticated setting to transform with your own unique furniture and decor. In the living area, a stately fireplace anchors the space, offering the perfect scene to gather around with loved ones. Imagine how this home will shine during the holiday season!
The layout flows right into the dining area and open kitchen, and those who love to entertain are sure to appreciate being able to host a crowd in this versatile space. Festive laid-back get-togethers and formal dinner parties alike are all at home here, and the efficiency of the kitchen makes it all possible. Rich cabinetry offers ample storage for essentials, while stainless steel appliances and shimmering granite counters complete this delicious package. Bar-style seating at the center island adds another option for hosting guests—imagine gathering around the island sipping a glass of wine with friends while you put the final touches on dinner!
This home’s generous 2,672-square-foot floor plan includes 3 bedrooms plus a bonus room, and the master suite is a standout, not-to-miss highlight. Not only is the bedroom itself a haven of rest and relaxation with its vaulted ceiling, eye-catching light fixture, and views into nature, but it also features a huge walk-in closet and a glorious ensuite bath! Natural light pours into this spa-inspired retreat, and luxurious finishes make wellness routines all the more wonderful and indulgent.
Outdoor opportunities are aplenty with this 5-acre property, and a sprawling deck shows off a view of it all! With plenty of room for comfy lounge chairs and outdoor dining sets, the deck is sure to become your go-to hangout spot all summer long. Take in tranquil views of the trees in peace and quiet, or host weekend barbecues where everyone you know is invited. Backyard bliss awaits!
Living in Olalla
At 15232 Rosemary Lp SE Olalla, WA 98359 you have the best of both worlds at your fingertips: peaceful nature surrounds you, but you’re also just minutes to city conveniences in North Gig Harbor. Highway 16 is a short 8-minute drive from home, and a long list of amenities can be reached along Borgen Boulevard in only 9 minutes. Places like the YMCA, Target, Albertsons, The Home Depot, Walgreens, St Anthony Hospital, Costco, and too many other shops, restaurants, and services to name are all right here. You’re also only a 12-minute drive to Downtown Gig Harbor, making it easy to take advantage of all the waterfront has to offer.
Dreamy New Construction! 3-Bedroom, 3-Bath Home on Gorgeous 5-Acre Property in Olalla (Close to Waterfront & North Gig Harbor!)
Brand new and nestled on a picturesque 5-acre property, this Olalla beauty presents a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. Boasting an expansive 2,672-square-foot layout brimming with stylish living spaces, top-notch amenities (including mini/split heating with A/C), and tons of room for you to spread out in, this 3-bedroom, 3-bath masterpiece is a dream come true. Years and years of cherished memories are sure to be made in this home-sweet-home! Located at 15236 Rosemary Lp SE Olalla, WA 98359 and no more than 10 minutes to the excellent city conveniences of North Gig Harbor, this Olalla treasure is listed for the reduced price of $579,950.
Each time you arrive home and pull in the driveway, this new construction gem presents you with a vacation-inspired setting replete with the magical natural beauty of the Pacific Northwest. The pristine, lush lawn extends to idyllic greenery, offering a tranquil view and privacy. The classic exterior features timeless style, and the same classic elegance awaits when you step inside.
In the great room, those who love to entertain are definitely in for a treat. Large windows fill the space with abundant light, while soaring ceilings and hardwood floors set the scene for your personal style and decor. In the living area, a stately fireplace anchors the space, and the versatile color palette ensures there’s ample opportunity for you to infuse this haven of entertaining with your own aesthetic. The layout opens up into the dining area, and here you can have a huge full-sized dining table to host a crowd if you desire it!
The adjacent kitchen is brimming with an attractive blend of classic and contemporary style, and rich finishes await. Stainless steel appliances and granite counters are in the mix, and generously sized cabinetry promises ample room for storing kitchen essentials. There’s even the opportunity for bar-style counter seating at the center island, and an eye-catching light fixture hangs overhead for an extra splash of modern style. The potential to entertain guests awaits with the downstairs living area as well!
This home’s 3 bedrooms are sure to inspire restorative rest and relaxation, and each comfortable retreat features cozy carpets and a spacious layout. But the master suite is in a category of its own—this indulgent sanctuary boasts vaulted ceilings, a serene view into the natural greenery outside, a walk-in closet, and a delicious spa-like ensuite bath. Sophisticated finishes elevate each delicious amenity, and double sinks, a soaking tub, and a separate shower with a bench make it easy to take advantage of rejuvenating wellness routines right from the comfort of home.
A wealth of possibility awaits with this home’s outdoor offerings, and 5 acres means you can let your imagination run wild! Enjoy entertaining and relaxing on the deck, and you could easily add in a patio as well. If you enjoy staying active, perhaps a sport court is in your future, and you’ll also find room for a play toy, too. Create a cozy fire pit area, add in storybook water features, or put your green thumb to work growing garden beds overflowing with flowers and cultivate your own fresh fruits and veggies! Plus, the 3-car garage offers ample room for storing outdoor tools and toys.
Living in Olalla
At 15236 Rosemary Lp SE Olalla, WA 98359 you’re not only close to the waterfront, but you’re just minutes from North Gig Harbor and its many conveniences. Head south for just 10 minutes, and you find places like Canterwood Golf & Country Club, Target, Costco, St Anthony Hospital, Albertsons, Walgreens, The Home Depot, and so much more all within reach. Downtown Gig Harbor is close by as well—it’s just an 11-minute drive from home! Connect to Highway 16 in just 8 minutes, and reach the Southworth ferry in only 19 minutes.
Showing off gorgeous contemporary style in a storybook setting, this Olalla rambler is wonderfully move-in ready! Enjoy spacious one-level living with this home’s generous 1,992-square-foot layout and take advantage of its many sumptuous opportunities for entertaining. Built in 2015, this 3-bedroom, 2-bath beauty on an acre lives like a brand new home! Located at 15858 Peacock Hill Rd SE Olalla WA 98359, this residence is listed for $499,950.
Showcasing picturesque Craftsman-inspired exterior design that’s framed by a park-like atmosphere, this home-sweet-home is absolutely brimming with opportunity. When you arrive home, a charming little path leads right to the welcoming front entrance, and as soon as you step inside, this masterpiece does not disappoint! From the rich flooring to the vaulted ceilings, stylish finishes (like crisp white trim!) delight the eye.
The great room promises to become the center of daily life, and here you’ll find a light-filled living room anchored by an elegant fireplace. The space seamlessly flows into an adjacent open room, perfect for an office or playroom. In the expansive magazine-worthy kitchen, ease and efficiency await at every turn! Thoughtful upgrades ensure this space is ready for all that life brings, whether you’re whipping up a holiday feast for a crowd or simply enjoying a snack at the bar-style counter seating. Large shimmering counters and walls replete with cabinetry offer tons of space for storing kitchen essentials and meal prep, and a built-in shelf is perfect for keeping your cookbooks handy!
Right around the corner, you’ll discover the formal dining room, a well-appointed space with classic wainscoting. Whether you choose to keep things on the casual side or desire something more elevated and suited for fancy dinner parties, this versatile area is an entertainer’s dream!
When it’s time to turn in for the day, one-level living ensures your bedroom retreat is conveniently at your fingertips. This home’s versatile 3 bedrooms includes the must-see master suite, a haven of privacy and comfort. The large layout of the bedroom includes direct outdoor access, and a 5-piece ensuite bath straight from Pinterest! A fabulous soaking tub, a large shower, double sinks, and a walk-in closet are all wrapped up into one perfect package.
This listing’s one-acre property also includes some excellent outdoor amenities, including a covered patio that’s ideal for grilling rain or shine. When the sun comes out, a large patio is ready to be transformed, and the yard provides a blank canvas for you to create the yard of your dreams with. Envisioning a sprawling carpet of lush grass that leads to a play area and raised garden beds? There’s room for all of this and more with this Olalla retreat!
Living in Olalla
At 15858 Peacock Hill Rd SE Olalla WA 98359, you’re just north of Gig Harbor. Enjoy being in a more secluded area that’s surrounded by scenic nature, all while being close to city amenities! You’re only a 10-minute drive to connect to Highway 16, and from here you can easily access shopping, restaurants, services, and more in Gig Harbor. Golf enthusiasts are also sure to appreciate being only a 6-minute drive from the Canterwood Golf & Country Club!