2nd Quarter of 2019 is complete!

This is a brief summary of the Quarterly Gardner Report.

Things are still seeing positive growth from a Real Estate perspective.

In Western Washington YOY price growth is 2.8% higher. When compared to 1st Quarter it’s 12%. County by County is a bit different – for King County we saw a -0.4% price drop. This speaks directly to the affordability in that area. Days on market is still relatively low (21 Days in King County) and if a home is priced and marketed well – it will attract attention and sell rapidly. One strong take away is that interest rates are still at an all time low – with inventory up this is a great time to buy. And for those needing to sell before you can buy contingent offers are a viable possibility again!

Posted on August 7, 2019 at 6:23 pm
Denise Perkins | Category: Bellevue, Denise Perkins, Eastside, Helpful Home Tips, Home Sweet Home, In the News, Market Stats, North Kirkland, Redmond, Snoqualmie, Woodinville | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , ,

The Cost of Waiting!

Interest rates are at a two year low. Who knew!

There have been so many predictions over the past several  years that rates were headed higher and higher and while they have fluctuated a bit – today it’s like free money! Our economy as well as the real estate market is unpredictable.  But one thing is for certain, if you are or were on the fence about buying – either for the first time, selling and getting a bigger house or even ready to downsize and get into your retirement home – now could be a great time to make that happen.  Most markets in our area are still great for sellers if the home is marketed and priced accordingly – and inventory is up (24.5% as of May) which means more for buyers to choose from.

Multiple offers are still the story again in some markets – but with more to choose from it’s doesn’t seem as frenetic.  So why does all this hub-bub matter when it comes to interest rates – well it really can effect what you can buy.  BUYING POWER is the answer – and with low interest rates you can afford more.  And in our area – that makes a big difference.   Which brings me to the information seen here – it’s a great depiction of what waiting, or what a changing interest rate can mean to you and your bottom line.

So when you’re ready to talk about finding your next community – let’s chat – I can help!

Posted on July 24, 2019 at 11:22 pm
Denise Perkins | Category: Denise Perkins, Eastside, Helpful Home Tips, Home Sweet Home, In the News, Market Stats, North Kirkland, Redmond, Snoqualmie, Uncategorized, Woodinville | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

What’s Happening in the Market?

Wanted to quick share what’s happening in the Market. It’s been ticking up every month since February and is gradually catching last years numbers after the 4th quarter dip of 2018.  Market times are down again and pairing that with sub 4% interest rates it is making the prospects of buying vs. renting very enticing! Sellers are now seeing increased traffic, but are also competing with additional homes for sale. Location, Location, Location is still the theme of todays market and the hotter marketplaces in June has been North Kirkland (Finn Hill), Mercer Island and Renton.

Click here to see the the stats in your area for June 2019

 

Posted on July 10, 2019 at 10:22 pm
Denise Perkins | Category: Denise Perkins, Eastside, Helpful Home Tips, Home Sweet Home, In the News, North Kirkland, Redmond, Snoqualmie, Woodinville | Tagged , , , , , , , , , ,

Farmer’s Markets: Where to Shop Local on the Eastside

If you’re a fan of the “Shop Local” movement, chances are good that I don’t have to clue you in on local farmer’s markets. But, just in case you don’t already plan your weekends around these markets, let’s break it down.

Farmer’s markets on the Eastside give you access to the freshest, most flavorful produce you can imagine. And it’s usually offered at rock bottom prices to boot. You’re supporting local farmers (some of whom drive to the Eastside from Spokane every week!), probably getting better food, and showing your kids about business. It’s really a win-win-win. Here’s where to Farmer’s Market this spring.

Redmond

Season: May 4-October 26

The Redmond Saturday Market is a staple in the Farmer’s Market scene. The event is held on Saturdays, as the name would suggest, but you’ll find so much more than just food here. Crafts, flowers, pet supplies, and even live musicians are here every weekend. The event has a permanent home near the Redmond Town Center and always draws a large crowd. Often called the “Cadillac of Farmer’s Markets.” 2019 marks the 44th consecutive year of operation for this group.

Bellevue

Season: May- October

The Bellevue Farmer’s Market operates on Thursdays, rain or shine, from 3-7pm. With less infrastructure than the bigger Redmond market, this one really feels like visiting the farm. Vendors sell out of tents and stations, and everything for sale is made or grown right here in Washington. Just like in Redmond, you’ll find eggs, fruit, vegetables, crafts, flowers, meats, and artisan designs.

Kirkland

Season: June-September

With a much shorter season than the big markets on the Eastside, Kirkland’s answer to local produce pops up on Wednesdays through the summer. The market pops up in the downtown waterfront park, which means the kids can chase ducks and splash in the lake after you shop. With all of the restaurants and vendors downtown, visiting this market feels like urban shopping at it’s finest.

These are not the only markets on the Eastside, just the most well known. You’ll also find markets in Issaquah, Sammamish, and Woodinville. Which market is your favorite? In fact – what are the farmer’s market items that you just HAVE to have? I want to know so that I can try them, too!

Posted on May 1, 2019 at 5:56 pm
Denise Perkins | Category: Denise Perkins | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

How Much Is Capital Gains Tax on Real Estate? What Homeowners Need to Know to Avoid It

I know…tax season is over (hopefully you got yours done already!!)  But this question about CAPTIAL GAINS TAX is a question I get on a regular  basis from my clients —  about what it is and does it apply to me?  This was an article I recently sent out in my monthly ‘paper’ newsletter (I know so  old school) to my mailing list.  It was super helpful for me to understand what it actually is and how it works — I hope you find it as informative.  

 

What is capital gains tax? This is a prime question that might creep up when you sell your home for more than you paid for it. That’s good news for you, but the downside is, you may have to pay taxes on those profits in the form of capital gains tax. Yep, just as you pay income tax and sales tax, home sale profits are subject to taxation, too.

Complicating matters is the new Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, which is changing the rules. So if there’s ever a time to brush up on all things capital gains, it’s right now. Here’s what you need to know.

What is capital gains tax—and who pays it?

In a nutshell, capital gains tax is a duty levied on property and possessions you’ve held onto for more than a year that you sell for a profit—including your home.

The IRS gives each person, no matter how much the person earns, a $250,000 tax-free exemption for a primary residence.

“So if you and your spouse buy your home for $100,000, and years later sell for up to $600,000, you won’t owe any capital gains tax,” says New York attorney Anthony S. Park. However, you do have to meet specific requirements to claim this exclusion:

  • The home must be your primary residence.
  • You must have owned the home for at least two years.
  • You must have lived in the home for at least two of the past five years.

If you don’t meet all these requirements, you may be able to take a partial exclusion for capital gains tax. For more information, consult a tax adviser or IRS Publication 523.

How much capital gains tax will you have to pay?

For capital gains over that $250,000-per-person exemption, just how much of a bite will Uncle Sam take out of your real estate sale? In the past, that depended on your tax bracket. Under the new tax law, capital gains rates are now based on your income, explains Park. Let’s break it down.

Single Filer

Married Filing Jointly

Head of Household Capitol Gains Tax Percentage
Earning Less Than $39,375 $78,750 $52,750 0%
Earning Between $39,376 – $434,550 $78,751 – $488,850 $52,751 – $461,700 15%
Earning More Than $434,550+ $488,850+ $461,700+ 20%

Don’t forget, your state may have its own capital gains tax. And very high earners may owe an additional 3.8% net investment income tax.

Do home improvements reduce capital gains tax?

How much capital gains tax you’ll pay may also be reduced because of home
improvements you’ve made. The money you spent on any home improvements—such as replacing the roof, building a deck, replacing the flooring, or
finishing a basement—can be added to the initial price of your home to give you the adjusted cost basis of your home.

For example, if you purchased your home for $200,000 in 1990 and sold it for $550,000, but over the past 29 years have spent $100,000 on home improvements, that $100,000 would be subtracted from the sales price of your home this year. Instead of owing capital gains taxes on the $350,000 profit from the sale, you would owe taxes on $250,000. In that case, you’d meet the requirements for a capital gains tax exclusion and owe nothing.

Make sure to save receipts of any renovations and repairs, since they can save you big-time come tax filing season.

How capital gains tax works on inherited homes

What if you’re selling a home you’ve inherited from family members who’ve passed away? The IRS also gives a “free step-up in basis” when you inherit a family house. But what does that mean?

Let’s say Mom and Dad bought the family home years ago for $100,000, and it’s worth $1 million when they die and leave it to you. When you sell, your purchase price (or “basis”) is not the $100,000 your folks paid, but instead the $1 million it’s worth on their date of death.

How to avoid capital gains tax as a real estate investor

If the home you’re selling is a second home (i.e., vacation home) rather than your primary residence, avoiding capital gains tax is a bit more complicated. But it’s still possible. The best way to
avoid a capital gains tax if you’re an investor is by doing a 1031
exchange. This allows you to sell your property and buy another one without recognizing any potential gain.

“In essence, you’re swapping one investment asset for another,” White says. He cautions, however, that there are very strict rules regarding timelines and guidelines with this transaction, so be sure to check them with an accountant.

If you’re opting out of the rental property investment business and putting your money in another venture, then you’ll owe the capital gains taxes on the profit.

Source: https://bit.ly/2CDrl5n

Posted on April 24, 2019 at 11:01 pm
Denise Perkins | Category: Denise Perkins, Helpful Home Tips, Home Sweet Home, In the News, Market Stats, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Housing Market to Spring forward!

Many potential sellers believe that waiting until Spring is in their best interest. Traditionally, they would have been right.

Buyer demand has seasonality to it. Usually, this falls off in the winter months, especially in areas of the country impacted by arctic conditions, although that has not been the case this year!

Demand for housing has remained strong as mortgage rates have remained near historic lows. Even with an increase in rates forecasted for 2019, buyers are still able to lock in an affordable monthly payment. Buyers are increasingly jumping off the fence and into the market to secure a lower rate.

Those who act quickly and list now, before a flood of increased competition, will benefit from additional exposure to buyers.

Bottom Line: If you are planning on selling your home in 2019, contact me and we can evaluate the opportunities in your market.

Posted on April 17, 2019 at 5:24 pm
Denise Perkins | Category: Denise Perkins | Tagged , , , , , , , , , ,

Fall into Winter — home checklist of things to do before winter sets in!

Checklist of 10 Things You Gotta Do Before Winter Sets In

Such as look for roof leaks before the first winter snow. Preventative maintenance is key.

 

When the last of summer’s heat is a faint memory, and you’re pulling out your hoodies (and puffy coats!!) more than your shorts, it’s time to tackle a few simple chores that’ll make winter more pleasant and prevent some nasty surprises next spring.

This fall checklist helps:

Fall maintenance checklist Image: HL

#1 Clean and Stow Your Mower

If you’re not familiar with fuel stabilizer, get to know it. If your mower sits for months with gas in its tank, the gas will slowly deteriorate, which can damage internal engine parts. Fuel stabilizer ($10 for a 10-ounce bottle) prevents gas from degrading.Add stabilizer to your gasoline can to keep spare gas in good condition over the winter, and top off your mower tank with stabilized gas before you put it away for the winter. Run the mower for five minutes to make sure the stabilizer reaches the carburetor.

Another lawn mower care method is to run your mower dry before stowing it.

1. When the mower is cool, remove the spark plug and pour a capful of engine oil into the spark plug hole.

2. Pull the starter cord a couple of times to distribute the oil, which keeps pistons lubricated and ensures an easy start come spring.

3. Turn the mower on its side and clean out accumulated grass and gunk from the mower deck.

 

#2 Remove Garden Hoses From Faucets

Remove garden hoses from outdoor faucets. Leaving hoses attached can cause water to back up in the faucets and in the plumbing pipes just inside your exterior walls. If freezing temps hit, that water could freeze, expand, and crack the faucet or pipes. Make this an early fall priority so a sudden cold snap doesn’t sneak up and cause damage.

Turn off any shutoff valves on water supply lines that lead to exterior faucets. That way, you’ll guard against minor leaks that may let water enter the faucet.

While you’re at it, drain garden hoses and store them in a shed or garage.

 

#3 Drain Your Sprinkler System

Time to drain your irrigation system. Even buried irrigation lines can freeze, leading to busted pipes and broken sprinkler heads.

  1. Turn off the water to the system at the main valve.
  2. Shut off the automatic controller.
  3. Open drain valves to remove water from the system.
  4. Remove any above-ground sprinkler heads and shake the water out of them, then replace.

If you don’t have drain valves, then hire an irrigation pro to blow out the systems pipes with compressed air. A pro is worth the $75 to $150 charge to make sure the job is done right, and to ensure you don’t have busted pipes and sprinkler head repairs to make in the spring.

 

#4 Seal Air Leaks

Grab a couple of tubes of color-matched exterior caulk ($5 for a 12-ounce tube) and make a journey around  your home’s exterior, sealing up cracks between trim and siding, around window and door frames, and where pipes and wires enter your house. Preventing moisture from getting inside your walls is one of the least expensive — and most important — of your fall maintenance jobs. You’ll also seal air leaks that waste energy.

Pick a nice day when temps are above 50 degrees so caulk flows easily.

 

#5 De-Gunk Your Gutters

Clogged rain gutters can cause ice dams, which can lead to expensive repairs. After the leaves have fallen, clean your gutters to remove leaves, twigs, and gunk. Make sure gutters aren’t sagging and trapping water; tighten gutter hangers and downspout brackets. Replace any worn or damaged gutters and downspouts.

If you find colored grit from asphalt roof shingles in your gutters, beware. That sand-like grit helps protect shingles from the damaging ultraviolet rays of the sun. Look closely for other signs of roof damage (#5, below); it may be time for a roofing replacement.

Your downspouts should extend at least 5 feet away from your house to prevent foundation problems. If they don’t, add downspout extensions; $10 to $20 each.

 

#6 Eyeball Your Roof

If you have a steep roof or a multistory house, stay safe and use binoculars to inspect your roof from the ground.

Look for warning signs: Shingles that are buckled, cracked, or missing; rust spots on flashing. Any loose, damaged, or missing shingles should be replaced immediately.

Black algae stains are just cosmetic, but masses of moss and lichen could signal roofing that’s decayed underneath. Call in a pro roofer for a $50 to $100 eval.

A plumbing vent stack usually is flashed with a rubber collar — called a boot — that may crack or loosen over time. They’ll wear out before your roof does, so make sure they’re in good shape. A pro roofer will charge $75 to $150 to replace a boot, depending on how steep your roof is.

 

#7 Direct Your Drainage

Take a close look at the soil around your foundation and make sure it slopes away from your house at least 6 vertical inches over 10 feet. That way, you’ll keep water from soaking the soils around your foundation, which could lead to cracks and leaks.

Be sure soil doesn’t touch your siding.

 

#8 Check Your Furnace

Schedule an appointment with a heating and cooling pro to get your heating system checked and tuned up for the coming heating season. You’ll pay $50 to $100 for a checkup.

An annual maintenance contract ensures you’re at the top of the list for checks and shaves 20% off the cost of a single visit.

Change your furnace filters, too. This is a job you should do every two months anyway, but if you haven’t, now’s the time. If your HVAC includes a built-in humidifier, make sure the contractor replaces that filter.

 

#9 Prune Plants

Late fall is the best time to prune plants and trees — when the summer growth cycle is over. Your goal is to keep limbs and branches at least 3 feet from your house so moisture won’t drip onto roofing and siding, and to prevent damage to your house exterior during high winds.

For advice on pruning specific plants in your region, check with your state extension service.

 

#10 Give Your Fireplace a Once-Over

To make sure your fireplace is safe, grab a flashlight and look up inside your fireplace flue to make sure the damper opens and closes properly. Open the damper and look up into the flue to make sure it’s free of birds’ nests, branches and leaves, or other obstructions. You should see daylight at the top of the chimney.

Check the firebox for cracked or missing bricks and mortar. If you spot any damage, order a professional fireplace and chimney inspection. An inspection costs $79 to $500.

You fireplace flue should be cleaned of creosote buildup every other year. A professional chimney sweep will charge $150 to $250 for the service.

Related: Maintenance for the Easily Overwhelmed

Posted on December 1, 2018 at 2:54 pm
Denise Perkins | Category: Eastside, Helpful Home Tips, Home Sweet Home, North Kirkland, Redmond, Uncategorized, Woodinville | Tagged , , , ,

November Market Stats

Increased inventory, slower sales and more price reductions all point to a balancing market—welcome news for price-shocked buyers. Sales prices are up from last October and down from the all-time high reached this spring. Despite the slowdown, it’s important to point out that we’re only moving back toward what a normal market looks like. King and Snohomish counties each have over two months of available inventory. While that is double the inventory of a year ago, it’s far short of the four to six months supply that is considered a balanced market. Sellers looking to list their home now can be sure there remains plenty of interest among home buyers.

Eastside

>>>Click image to view full report.

The median home on the Eastside sold for $890,000 in October, up 5 percent from a year ago and unchanged from the previous month. While year-over-year price increases were in the single digits for the Eastside overall, several areas, including Kirkland, Woodinville and Mercer Island, experienced double-digit price gains. Buyers are still having to pay a premium for desirable Eastside properties. However, with more choices and less buyer urgency, sellers need to price their home correctly to maximize their chances of getting the best possible return.

King County

>>>Click image to view full report.

Inventory in King County for all homes, both single-family and condominium, soared 102 percent over last October. The increase was due to an influx of new listings and the fact that homes are now taking longer to sell than at the peak of the market this spring. While buyers now have more breathing room to make their decisions, the 2.4 months of inventory in King County is still far from a balanced market. The median price of a single-family home in October was $670,999, an increase of 7 percent from the same time last year, and virtually unchanged from August and September. South King County showed larger increases, with prices rising more than 10 percent from a year ago in Auburn, Kent and Renton.

Seattle

>>>Click image to view full report.

In October, the median price of a single-family home in Seattle was $750,000, up 2 percent from last October and down slightly from last month. While inventory doubled over a year ago, Seattle falls behind most areas of King County in supply with just under two months of inventory available. Demand is predicted to stay high, with Seattle’s population projected to grow at twice the national rate next year. That said, buyers are in the position to be able to negotiate. A recent analysis named Seattle as one of the top markets in the country where it makes the most sense to buy this winter.

Snohomish County

>>>Click image to view full report.

Inventory in Snohomish County soared 65 percent in October as compared to a year ago. The area now has 2.4 months of inventory, about the same relative supply as King County. As with most of the Puget Sound area, the increase in inventory was due to a higher number of sellers listing their homes and fewer sales. Year-over-year, the median price of a single-family home sold in October in Snohomish County grew 8 percent to $473,000. The median price in September was $485,000.

This post originally appeared on the Windermere Eastside Blog.

Posted on November 28, 2018 at 7:52 pm
Denise Perkins | Category: Eastside, Helpful Home Tips, Home Sweet Home, In the News, Market Stats, North Kirkland, Redmond, Uncategorized, Woodinville | Tagged , , ,

September Real Estate Market Stats

The number of homes for sale in August increased dramatically over the same time a year ago. This is the result of a moderate increase in new listings and a much slower pace of sales. Homes are staying on the market longer, giving buyers more choices and more time to make an informed decision. While home prices are up compared to a year ago, the rate of increase was in the single digits rather than the double-digit surges of past months. It’s still a seller’s market, but sellers need to have realistic expectations about pricing their homes as the market softens.

Eastside

>>>Click image to view full report.

The median price of a single-family home on the Eastside was up nearly 10 percent from the same time last year to $935,000. Home prices have declined each month from the all-time high of $977,759 set in June. Inventory increased 73 percent over last August. With supply soaring and home prices moderating, sellers need to work with their broker to price their home to meet the current market conditions. A year ago 47 percent of the homes on the Eastside sold for over list price. This August that number was down to 29 percent.

King County

>>>Click image to view full report.

King County experienced yet another flood of inventory with the number of homes for sale jumping 65 percent over the previous year. Despite the growth, the county has just 1.9 months of inventory and remains a seller-oriented market. The market has slowed but it remains fast-paced, with 62 percent of the properties here selling in fewer than 15 days. While home prices were up 3 percent from a year ago, the median price of $669,000 represented the third straight month of declines from the record-high of $726,275 reached in May.

Seattle

>>>Click image to view full report.

After leading the nation in home price growth for nearly two years, Seattle is finally cooling off. The median home price in August was $760,000, up just 4 percent from last year and down from the record $830,000 reached in May. Inventory soared in August, but the city still has just two months of supply, far short of the four to six months that is considered balanced. Bidding wars are becoming less common and price drops more common. Sellers must adjust their expectations to what appears to be a long waited moderating of the market.

Snohomish County

>>>Click image to view full report.

Mirroring the market slowdown in King County, Snohomish County also experienced a cooling off in August. The median price of a single-family home was $492,000, up 8 percent from a year ago but down from the record high of $511,000 two months prior. Inventory increased nearly 30 percent, but at just 1.6 months of supply the market remains very tight and sales are brisk. Sixty percent of homes here sold within 15 days.

This post originally appeared on the WindermereEastside.com Blog.

Posted on September 18, 2018 at 6:19 pm
Denise Perkins | Category: Eastside, In the News, Market Stats, North Kirkland, Redmond, Uncategorized, Woodinville | Tagged , , , ,