Real Estate Blog

Northwest Real Estate Listings, Market News and Statistics

Feb. 7, 2019

10 Easy Ways to Increase Curb Appeal

First impressions matter. If you’re preparing to sell your home, your curb appeal could mean the difference between wowing your buyer or losing out on an offer. When the outside of your house looks tidy and inviting, it encourages buyers to venture inside. Enhancing your home’s curb appeal doesn’t have to cost an arm and a leg. Plus, your repairs will pay for themselves; homes with greater curb appeal sell faster and for more money than their competition.

Here are 10 Easy Ways to Increase Curb Appeal.

1. Manicure your landscaping.

We’re talking about more than just mowing the lawn. Edge along the sidewalks and driveway, trim back any unruly plants or bushes, and get rid of weeds or dead foliage. Fertilize your lawn if needed to prevent any brown areas in your sod. Buyers want to see lush, green grass when they pull up to the curb.

2. Dress up your flowerbeds.

Never underestimate the power of some fresh mulch and a few new pops of color. Pull weeds from your flowerbeds, plant flowers that will continue to bloom in the coming weeks, and trim back any plants that are past their prime. Adding a touch of color to your garden will draw attention to your home – and that’s the whole idea.

3. Replace outdated light fixtures.

This one requires a little more handiwork, but the payoff is worth the effort. Outdated light fixtures are like a stain on your home’s otherwise beautiful exterior. New fixtures don’t have to be extravagant or expensive, but they’ll add a modern touch that will appeal to potential buyers.

4. Add window shutters.

If the front of your home looks a little too dull, consider adding shutters around the windows to add interest and depth. You can purchase ready-made shutters, or save some money and build them on your own.

5. Power wash your surfaces.

Everything looks better after a good cleaning. Power washing your brick or siding, sidewalks, and patio will make a world of difference in your home’s overall appearance. If you don’t own a power washer, you can rent one from a local hardware or home improvement store.

6. Add planters.

Potted plants or flowers can bring color to any space with relative ease. Add a few planters to your patio, walkways, or driveway to make the space more welcoming. Mix and match greenery and flowers, tall and short, to add dimension and interest to any area. This fix doesn’t need to be costly. Many discount home goods stores offer eye-catching planters at extremely affordable prices. Fill pots with budget-friendly decorative grasses, and voila! A reinvented front yard that will make your buyers swoon.

7. Install outdoor lighting.

Lights soften your space and add charm to your home. Add them just about anywhere: at the entrance to your driveway, along walkways, or along the flowerbeds. Outdoor lighting not only adds beauty but also creates a sense of security and safety. Solar-powered path lights are inexpensive and can be installed in a matter of minutes.

8. Paint your front door.

Draw attention to your home with a fresh coat of paint in an eye-popping color. This easy fix can be done in a matter of hours, but will make a long-lasting impression. While it might not seem like a necessary project, many Realtors insist a freshly-painted front door can make a significant impact.

9. Display patio furniture.

Nothing says “this home is inviting, charming, and lovely” like a porch with cozy, comfortable seating. Make sure your outdoor furniture is clean, free of tears or holes, and is organized neatly in all outdoor areas.

10. Get a new doormat.

While it doesn’t seem like much, your home’s welcome mat can add a special charm. Your doormat should be brand-new, free of dirt and mud, and should be inviting. A witty saying that makes potential buyers chuckle couldn’t hurt, either.

By spending a little time and a little extra cash, you can increase your home’s curb appeal dramatically.

Jan. 29, 2019

2019 Housing Forecast Infographic

Oct. 12, 2018

2019 Everett School District Boundaries

Curious where your children will attend school next year? Or how the changes may impact your home value?  Considering buying a home but wondering what schools will be assigned?

We can help. We know the area and the community.

Real Estate Maps

New Everett School District Boundary Maps


2019 Everett School District Boundary Map

The Everett School District will open the new Tambark Creek Elementary School No. 18 near Sunset Rd. and 180th St in 2019 and with that they have redrawn the Everett School District Boundary Maps. The district is also working to redraw the Cascade High School boundaries, Everett High School boundaries as well as the Henry M. Jackson High School boundary lines. These changes will impact many of our children, our community and real estate. We live, work, and raise our children here too; so I have been keeping a close eye on the map and seeing how this could impact our friends and clients. If you are considering a move into or around the Everett School District Area contact us for expert guidance and in-depth knowledge of the coming changes.

Feb. 5, 2018

2017 Snohomish County Housing Market Review

Quick Summary and Infographic for the Snohomish County housing market 2017

  • Median Price Snohomish County $419,950

  • 7 Billion in closed home sales in 2017

  • 1 Month supply of homes! (Inventory)

  • Less listings in 2017 than in 2016 (down .5%)


Jan. 4, 2018

2018 Housing Forecast

By Matthew Gardner, Chief Economist, Windermere Real Estate

It’s the time of the year when I look deep into my crystal ball to see what’s on the horizon for the upcoming year. As we are all aware, 2017 has been a stellar year for housing across the country, but can we expect that to continue in 2018?



Millennial Home Buyers

Last year, I predicted that the big story for 2017 would be millennial home buyers and it appears I was a little too bullish. To date, first-time buyers have made up 34% of all home purchases this year – still below the 40% that is expected in a normalized market.  Although they are buying, it is not across all regions of the country, but rather in less expensive markets such as North Dakota, Ohio, and Maryland.


For the coming year, I believe the number of millennial buyers will expand further and be one of the biggest influencers in the U.S. housing market. I also believe that they will begin buying in more expensive markets. That’s because millennials are getting older and further into their careers, enabling them to save more money and raise their credit profiles.


Existing Home Sales

As far as existing home sales are concerned, in 2018 we should expect a reasonable increase of 3.7% – or 5.62 million housing units. In many areas, demand will continue to exceed supply, but a slight increase in inventory will help take some heat off the market. Because of this, home prices are likely to rise but by a more modest 4.4%.

New Home Sales

New home sales in 2018 should rise by around 8% to 655,000 units, with prices increasing by 4.1%. While housing starts – and therefore sales – will rise next year, they will still remain well below the long-term average due to escalating land, labor, materials, and regulatory costs. I do hold out hope that home builders will be able to help meet the high demand we’re expecting from first-time buyers, but in many markets, it’s very difficult for them to do so due to rising construction costs. 


Interest Rates

Interest rates continue to baffle forecasters. The anticipated rise that many of us have been predicting for several years has yet to materialize. As it stands right now, my forecast for 2018 is for interest rates to rise modestly to an average of 4.4% for a conventional 30-year fixed-rate mortgage – still remarkably low when compared to historic averages.


Tax Reform

Something that has the potential to have a major impact on housing is the current proposals relative to tax reform. As I write this, we know that both the House and Senate propose doubling the standard deduction, and the House plans to lower the mortgage interest deduction from $1,000,000 to $500,000. If passed, the mortgage deduction would no longer have value for homeowners who would likely opt to take the standard deduction.


If either of the current proposals is adopted into law, the potential reduction in mortgage-related tax savings means the after-tax cost of home ownership will increase for most homeowners. Additionally, both the House and Senate bills also end tax benefits for interest on second homes, and this could have a devastating effect in areas with higher concentrations of second homes.


The capping of the deduction for state and local property taxes (SALT) at $10,000 will also negatively impact states with high property taxes, such as California, Connecticut, and New York. Furthermore, proposed changes to the capital gains exemption on profits from the sale of a home (requiring five years of continuous residence as compared to the current two) could impact approximately 750,000 home sellers a year and slow the growth of home ownership.


Something else to consider is that all of the aforementioned changes will only affect new home purchases, which I fear might become a deterrent for current homeowners to sell. Given the severe shortage of homes for sale in a number of markets across the country, this could serve to exacerbate an already-persistent problem.


Housing Bubble

I continue to be concerned about housing affordability. Home prices have been rising across much of the country at unsustainable rates, and although I still contend that we are not in “bubble” territory, it does represent a substantial impediment to the long-term health of the housing market. But if home price growth begins to taper, as I predict it will in 2018, that should provide some relief in many markets where there are concerns about a housing bubble.


In summary, along with slowing home price growth, there should be a modest improvement in the number of homes for sale in 2018, and the total home sales will be higher than 2017. First-time buyers will continue to play a substantial role in the nation’s housing market, but their influence may be limited depending on where the government lands on tax reform. 

originally published on
Aug. 15, 2017

Fall Home Maintenance Checklist

Fall is a great time to take care of home repair projects before shorter and colder days make it more difficult. Here’s a handy checklist to get your home ready for the season ahead. And if you’re considering making a move, it’s a great time to get started on that too. I can help you here and anywhere in the world, so give me a call today!

  • Schedule chimney cleaning
  • Conduct energy audit
  • Clean dryer vents
  • Add weather stripping
  • Care for trees and shrubs
  • Clean Gutters and downspouts
  • Seal gaps where pests could enter
May 6, 2017

April 2017 Market Snapshot

Shrinking Inventory Puts "Stranglehold" on Sales Around Western Washington

Here's a Quick Summary of the April Real Estate Market

  • Residential Home PRICES ARE UP +10%

  • Number of Homes Available INVENTORY IS DOWN -25%

"The real estate market is going absolutely gangbusters," remarked OB Jacobi, president of Windermere Real Estate. "The remarkably low number of homes for sale can be blamed for the drop in sales," he emphasized, adding, "The uptick in interest rates at the end of last year has clearly done nothing to slow things down."

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May 2, 2017

The Best Time To Sell Your Home

The Best Time To Sell Your Home

Real estate brokers are often asked...."When is the BEST time to sell a home?"

According to multiple studies, most recently by Zillow, the magic window for selling your home is early May. See a portion of their article here republished here:

The Best Time to List? May is the New March

  • U.S. home sellers listing their home for sale in the first half of May earn almost 1 percent more on their final selling price and sell their home roughly 20 days faster than average.
  • The best two-week window to list a home for sale to both earn more and sell it faster used to be in mid-March, and has now moved into May in the face of tight inventory in many markets.

Click Here to See How We Sell Your Home

Legend speaks of a magic time in the housing market, an elusive roughly two-week window each year in which homes first listed for sale in that period both fetch higher sales prices and sell more quickly than at any other point in the year.

The exact dates of this magic window change from market-to-market, but the window’s effects are so potent even homes in the most downtrodden markets tend to sell faster than the national average. Our first experience with this ever-shifting magic window was a few years ago, and we documented our findings for the world in the best-selling book Zillow Talk.

But the market has changed a lot in a couple years, and that elusive magic window has moved in many markets, for the most part from late winter/early spring to late spring/early summer.

Instant Home Value

March to May

In 2011 and 2012, just as the housing market was turning the corner from recession to recovery, the savviest sellers knew listing a home in mid-March was best. Listing just before the swarms of spring home shoppers descended on the housing market meant these sellers’ homes were likely the newest homes on the market.

But in the years since, the housing market winds have changed. Inventory is incredibly tight in many markets, and renters are waiting longer to begin their home shopping journey in large part because rents themselves have only gotten more unaffordable. The magic window that used to appear in mid-March now typically shows up in the first half of May (table 1).

Magic Window, Table1Listing during this time frame allows homeowners to both maximize their sale price, netting them almost 1 percent more on their final sale price (or roughly $1,800 for the typical U.S. home), and sell their home more quickly – almost 20 days faster than average.

Among markets where the effects of the magic window appear most potent, inclement weather seems to be a common thread. In Seattle and Portland, for example, perpetual sprautumn showers (any season that isn’t summer in the Pacific Northwest is generally quite sprautumnal, trust us) tend keep home shoppers pent up until the start of May. And it seems potential home buyers in Minneapolis, Detroit, Boston and Denver likely don’t appreciate shoveling their way to an open house in the dead of winter.

The tool below (figure 2) lets users discover the precise timing and effects of this fleeting magic window in their market. It details the magnitude of the boost or reduction in selling price and the average time homes spend on the market depending on the window in which a seller chooses to list their home for sale.

Originally Published on Zillow by Jamie Anderson who is a Data Scientist at Zillow

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Feb. 1, 2017

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The home buying process is one of the most exciting, and frequently stressful, experiences you’ll ever go through. This holds true whether whether you’re in the market for a new primary residence, an investment property or that perfect vacation getaway. Contact us to see any home or just ask a question. We are always happy to hear from you!

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Jan. 1, 2017

2017 Housing and Economic Forecast


I believe that 2017 will be the year that Millennials get into the market in full force; we will also see substantial growth of non-Millennial first-time buyers. In recent years, many first-time buyers have remained “on the fence”, but the likelihood of continued interest rate increases, in concert with a tightening labor market, will drive many of these buyers into home ownership.


While I expect inventory levels to rise in 2017, it will remain a seller’s market. New construction will pick up steam in 2017, but not to levels that will provide sufficient support to a stretched housing market. Sellers will likely find that it will take a little longer to sell, but demand will still outstrip supply on the back of a job market that continues to tighten.


Existing home sales in the U.S. are expected to rise to 5.57 million units in 2017. I am forecasting existing home prices to rise to a median of $243,000 in 2017—an increase of 4.5% from 2016.


In 2017, I anticipate sales of new homes will continue to increase by about 12.2%; new home prices will see a more modest 3.1% increase as construction costs weigh on prices.


Some markets continue to see home prices escalating well above income growth. This is unsustainable over the long term, so I expect that the rate of home price appreciation will soften in some areas. This doesn’t mean prices will drop, but rather, the rate of growth will begin to slow.


In 2016 the laws of supply and demand were turned upside down in a majority of markets along the West Coast. Home sales and prices rose while listings remained anemic. In the coming year, there should be a modest increase in the number of homes for sale in most major West Coast markets, which should relieve some of the pressure.



I continue to hear concerns about an impending housing bubble, but I believe these fears to be unfounded. While price growth will likely slow in certain areas, there is no indication that the floor will fall on housing prices anytime soon. Everything I’m seeing points towards a modest shift towards a more balanced market in the year ahead.


Although interest rates remain remarkably low, they are expected to rise as we move through 2017. I am forecasting the 30-year fixed rate to increase to about 4.6 percent by year’s end. Yes, this is above where interest rates currently stand, but still very low by historic standards.



Posted in Market Statistics