Market Watch: December 2016

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Here are 5 new listings that caught my eye this week. Contact me anytime to schedule a showing.

1. https://www.redfin.com/WA/Seattle/305-Valley-St-98109/unit-C/home/112352939

2. https://www.redfin.com/WA/Seattle/2419-8th-Ave-N-98109/unit-301/home/54501

3. https://www.redfin.com/WA/Seattle/321-W-Olympic-Pl-98119/unit-D/home/112389693

4. https://www.redfin.com/WA/Seattle/2606-W-Boston-St-98199/home/124515

5. https://www.redfin.com/WA/Seattle/619-5th-Ave-W-98119/unit-302/home/63865

Winter is C̶o̶m̶i̶n̶g̶ HERE!

This photo was taken from the roof of my Queen Anne townhouse in 2008.

This photo was taken from the roof of my Queen Anne townhouse in 2008.

In Seattle, winter weather usually arrives a bit earlier than December 21st. Here are 3 of my top tips to make sure your home is ready for frigid temperatures:

1. Cover outdoor faucets and any exposed pipes-

It rarely gets below freezing in Seattle, but in case it does, make sure all outdoor faucets and exposed pipes are covered to prevent the pipes from freezing.

2. Look around the perimeter of your house to ensure standing water can’t penetrate your home’s exterior-

A common problem in Seattle is a bit of a drip/wetness in basements. As anyone around the world will tell you, it rains frequently in Seattle, especially in the winter months. I recommend home owners walk around the exterior of their home to ensure water is draining away from the home. It is a good idea to have your gutters and down spouts cleared yearly. This will prevent water from causing problems in your basement.

3. Change the filter on your furnace-

One of the most forgotten maintenance items in a home is the furnace. People tend to only think about the furnace if it isn’t working properly. To ensure your furnace is running at full speed all winter long, I recommend changing your filters at least once a year. It is also a good idea to have a yearly servicing of your furnace by a local professional.

These are just a few suggestions to prepare your home for winter weather. Feel free to contact me anytime if you are interested in more home preservation tips. Stay warm Seattle!

Space Needle Goes Dark

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A couple of nights ago I was walking my dog and I noticed the Space Needle was missing from the Seattle skyline. After a quick twitter search, I found out that a planned maintenance outage was taking place. I have lived in Seattle for over 30 years and I have never seen the Space Needle not lit up, so I knew I had to get to Kerry Park to get a picture. This photo was taken just after midnight on Monday 10/24/2016. #NoTimeForSleep

What Is The Best Seattle Area Real Estate Search Engine?

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When I first set out to build a real estate website, my first thought was ‘I need to have a great real estate search engine.’ After browsing other realtors websites in both the Seattle area and throughout the country, I realized that most sites did not have a search feature. The realtor website search engines that I did come across were hard to use, out of date, or flat out did not work. The conclusion that I came to was maintaining a website with a superior real estate search engine would be a full time job on its own. I then set out to find the best search engine for both my clients and myself to monitor the market. Realtors have access to the Northwest MLS website which is the source of all listings. While the NWMLS website is a great resource for professionals, it does not have the features and quality that some large real estate tech companies have. For instance, Zillow has become one of the go to websites for researching a home. Their picture quality and real estate data is unmatched by its competitors. That being said, Zillow has its shortfalls when it comes to searching for current listings. They list a large number of off market listings such as future short sale listings (sometimes as far out as 12 months from being offered for sale) and ‘make me move’ listings. In addition to that, Zillow does not currently have an agreement with the NWMLS to use their data, therefore they rely on realtors to update their own listings when they are listed for sale, or go pending. This leads to frustration from home seekers that get their hopes up regarding a listing that they eventually find out has already sold (or has been removed from the market). For those reasons, I refer my clients to Redfin to search for current listings. Other than the NWMLS’s own website, Redfin is the most current search engine for the Seattle area market in terms of active listings. They have great picture quality and most of the real estate data that the NWMLS website offers. While redfin is great for searching for homes, their shortfall is their service. Their current structure passes a home buyer from agent to agent to agent for each part of the home buying process. When I am making a large purchase/investment in a home, I want to speak with 1 person throughout the entire process. In 2016, customer service has taken a backseat to technology. That is why I strive to provide the best customer service first, and technology tips and resources second. Anyone can use Redfin’s search engine, but Redfin cannot provide the customer service experience that I do for my clients. I encourage my clients to search on Redfin and call/text/email me with questions or to see homes in person. Happy searching!