Seattle Real Estate News

North King County which includes KenmoreLake Forest and Shoreline dropped by 16.8% from 5/2022 to 5/2023 per NWMLS.

Seattle home prices dropped by 11.7% from 5/2022 to 5/2023 per NWMLS

Eastside home prices dropped by 8.8% from 5/2022 to 5/2023 according to NWMLS. 

BurienDes MoinesFederal WayKentNormandy ParkSeaTac and Tukwila - areas in Southwest of King County dropped by 7.1% from 5/2022 to 5/2023 according to NWMLS. 

AuburnBlack DiamondEnumclawMaple Valley, and Renton - areas in Southeast of King County dropped by 7.1% as well from 5/2022 to 5/2023 according to NWMLS. 

Live close by South Lake Union, downtown Seattle and commute to Amazon office on Terry Avenue in no time. 

Posted by Sam Kader on September 8th, 2023 10:17 AM
Here are some staging secrets for a successful sale: 

1. Research. One of the biggest mistakes home sellers make is underestimating their competition. Ask yourself. "Who will buy this house?" From here, it is important to present your home in its best possible light. Once a property is placed on the market, it is no longer your home but a product that will be compared with others on the market. 

2. Paint. If you do nothing else to your home to prepare it for sale, be sure to paint. From painting walls a neutral color to covering up marks and scuffs, a fresh coat of paint can go a long way. 

3. Repair. From re-caulking a bathroom to repairing a broken railing or step even small repairs are important. Not fixing your home's flaws can trigger a potential buyer to believe that it is in poor condition. 

4. Purge. The first step in preparing a property for sale should be to to the removal of all excess, from furniture to clothing. Now is the time to make your home feel as spacious as possible. De-cluttering is another simple way to get buyers  to focus on the bones of the house. Clearing kitchen and bathroom counter-top. Pack them in boxes and neatly stack them in corner of the garage. Anything extra should go in a small storage unit.

5. A seller may need their real estate agent's help creating a basic marketing plan. The goal is to decide who your target buyer is as in some cases this may influence the staging process. 

6. De-personalize. When a potential buyer walks into a property, it is important for them to feel that it could be their home. Packing away your personal stuff such as pictures, sports memorabilia and even religious items if one the easiest things you can to stage your house. You want to depersonalize your home because you want buyers to view it as their potential home.

7. Neutralize. Even something as simple as repainting or replacing carpeting can be a deterrent for potential buyers if it's the wrong color. Taupes and grays are ideal colors to create a neutral soothing color palette. 

8. Back to its roots. Return all rooms to their intended uses. For example, a bedroom that's being used as a home office must be staged and styled as a bedroom. 

9. Create timeline. When you place your property on the market can be critical in capturing the most amount of potential buyers. Earlier in the selling season is the best. 

10. Hire a pro. You may prefer to pass the staying of your home along to a professional. The Real Estate Stagers Association is a great place. 

11. Don't forget to beautify the exterior too. Replacing the front door and your garage doors and adding stone veneer to the exterior have the highest return on investment. A fresh coat of paint, freshening up the landscaping including adding greenery and flowers.

12. Rearrange rooms and give them purpose. Rearrange the rooms in your home and make sure each room has a distinct purpose. Tour model homes to see how the rooms are furnished.

13. Scrub and deodorize. No one wants to visit a dirty house especially prospective buyers so make sure your house is squeaky clean. Have the house professionally cleaned so that everything is spotless, windows, sliding glass door tracks, garage, basement, ceiling fans etc. You can base cookies in the over, bringing cinnamon sticks to a slow boil in a port of water or using air freshener before each showing.

14. Enhance curb appeal. Curb appeal is just as important as cleaning the inside of your house. Mow the lawn, make sure the sidewalk and driveway are free of clutter and debris and make sure the house number is easy to see. Pressure-clean your driveway and sidewalk.

Posted by Sam Kader on May 21st, 2023 9:51 PM

1. What does my credit score need to be for me to buy a house? We preferred if you have at least 720 to obtain optimum rates. However, a minimum score of at least 620 is required by most banks. We offer FHA insured loans with imperfect credit score with as low as 550 with 10% down. Please consult with me if you have lower than 620 for special options available for you.

2. How much do I need for a down payment? We preferred if you have 20% to avoid paying for mortgage insurance. However, we also have low down payment options as well as no down payment options that you may qualify for.

3. What are closing costs, and how much are they? Closing cost are the cost incurred to close a loan and consist of bank charges, third party fees such as escrow, title and prepaid items such as property insurance and property taxes. In general, on a $200,000 house - the rule of thumb is between 2-3% of the sales price depending on the variables.

4. I want my monthly mortgage payment to be $X per month... how much house can I afford? Excellent question. Ideally, your Debt-To-Income (DTI) ratio should be at 45%. Since each property is taxed at a different rate - please consult with me for details. Live within your means and do not over leveraged yourself.

5. Should I pay off my car and installment loans so that I can qualify for more? Please consult with me for free consultation before paying any debts off or doing anything that will affect your FICO score.

6. I don't have enough cash for closing costs AND a down payment... Can I still buy a house? Closing Cost can be paid by the seller, in addition taking a premium rate the lender can credit back some closing cost help as well. USDA and VA loans do not require any down payment.

7. What type of loan product is best for me? It depends on several factors, such as your down payment, credit score, and DTI ratio. If these factors are not a concern - then a 15-year loan will save money due to lower rates and lower maturity/duration than 30-year loans.

8. Rent Vs. Buy - Analytical tools to assist you in evaluating both options.

9. Be patient during underwriting. Don't charge up your credit cards and don't apply for new credit while the mortgage is going through the underwriting process. Lender will soft-pull your credit shortly before closing to survey your credit again. If there is a substantial change, the lender might have to delay your mortgage closing.

Please consult with me to evaluate your options. It's free and you don't even have to sacrifice your hectic schedules. You can email, text me at 408-605-5927 or swing by my office in Seattle at your convenience.


Posted in:Home Financing and tagged: Home Financing
Posted by Sam Kader on April 28th, 2023 11:47 AM

In February 2023, King County home prices tumbled 7% with the median home sold for $800,000. The biggest difference in 2023 is the increase in mortgage rates. Higher rates mean less purchasing power for potential homeowners and in turn creating less competition for homes.  Some home sellers are waiting to see if rates would dip down again and markets would pick back up.  Others want to make sure their jobs are safe before making a move. 

The inventory was already tight before but now with homeowners with lower mortgage rates – they are staying put longer and not listing their homes. Others are becoming a landlord instead of selling especially if they have extremely low interest rates on their current property. 

To attract potential buyers, sellers are taking on more home improvement projects such as painting, upgrading carpets or replacing light fixtures and faucets before listing their properties.  Buyers are demanding more to compensate for higher  mortgage rates. 

Find an experienced local mortgage broker. If you find yourself in a bidding war, a local broker as opposed to a big bank can make all the difference.


Posted by Sam Kader on April 28th, 2023 11:45 AM

Why are home prices in Seattle so high so quickly?  The answer is simply - supply and demand.  There are just not enough inventory for sale. In King County last month, 2,000 homes were for sale last month (on average for the last two decades, the region had more than 7,800 homes for sale.)  On average, today's homeowner who sells has owned the home for about 10 years and makes about 64% return on investment (4th highest in the nation). The problem is people who are staying in the area would have to turn around and buy in the same crazy market. Thus, only people who are moving to a cheaper area or downsizing have real financial incentive to sell reducing the number of home sellers. Seattle homeowners also wait longer to sell than anywhere else in the country.   

In addition to not having enough inventory for sale, the demand side is not helping either. King County's population has grown 26% and job growth of 28% which translates that people who are moving here  are financially well off to buy a house. It all adds up to people making a lot more money fighting over a lot fewer houses. Historically, the county had 1 home for sale for every 230 people. Now, there's one home available for every 1,060 people creating bidding war beyond what a home should be worth. 

Are we setting ourselves for another real estate market bubble? Most critics agree that there are not clear signs of another crash because the elements causing previous housing collapse i.e. rampant subprime lending and home owners over extending themselves with  a "liar (stated income) loan"  are not presence this time around. Lenders now are lending to people with good credit and full income and asset documentation. 

Start your Seattle home search here



Posted by Sam Kader on April 28th, 2023 11:39 AM

Since March of 2020 and the COVID-19 Pandemic, "normal" has been difficult to describe and for those thinking of buying a home over the last few years, the market has been anything but what used to be though as "normal".  Property appreciation ascended rapidly due to high demand and lack of inventory  and mortgage rates jump significantly due to economic concerns. 

To buy now or wait. Higher mortgage interest rates  generally mean a larger monthly payment. Mortgage rates change daily and PLEASE do not expect rates will come back down to 2021 level again.  There are options to lower your rate such as with temporary rate buy-down option or with an Adjustable Rate Mortgage (ARM). 

Your goal is to have a monthly mortgage payment that is within your budget and not to overstretch yourself financially leaving nothing for repairs, living expenses and emergency savings. If you can comfortably afford the mortgage payment, then now is the time to buy. Else, waiting would be more prudent. 

Timeline. If you are planning to stay put for only a year or two, in this current economic cycle, waiting would be more prudent. 

Housing market. Buying a house in a more balanced or "normal" market when you are up against 1 or 2 other buyers rather than 20 and where you can actually inspect the house may be better fit your risk appetite than buying during the 2021 housing market.

Posted by Sam Kader on April 28th, 2023 11:37 AM

Winter is an excellent time for making improvements to your home. Temperatures might be cooler but contractors' schedules are lighter. The season is perfect for making changes to your home that improve your comfort as well as your resale value.  Here are six ways to bring more comfort to your home and give you better chances to sell during the homebuying and selling season. 

Updated Wood Floors - Wood floors provide a timeless, classy look to any home. Plus, they're built to last. A well-cared-for wood floor can be a beautiful part of your home for more than 100 years. These floors also collect less dust and debris than carpets which is good news for allergy sufferers. If you are planning to have a professional do the installation, you should plan on investing about $6,000 to $12,000 per 1,000 square feet. 

Updated New Appliances - A relatively inexpensive upgrade would involve replacing your kitchen appliances. Not only will you enjoy the streamlines look of matching and more energy-efficient appliances, but you can also see about a 3% to 7% increase in home valyue. This upgrade usually costs roughly $3,000 to $8,000 depending on  how many pieces you replace, what brands you choose and whether you DIY or have them professionally installed. 

Upgraded HVAC system - New requirements have emerged for air conditioners so newer models are more efficient than previous ones. While new HVAC unit can run anywhere between $5,000 to $10,000 - Money Magazine reports you can get between 5% to 10% ROI on your home value. 

Finished Basements. Finishing your basements can give your home the extra space you need such as adding bedrooms or playroom while increasing  your home value. According to HGTV, you can get about a 70% ROI for your basement remodeling costs (assuming your budget is between 5% to 10% of your house's current value). 

Posted in:Home Maintenance and tagged: Home Maintenance
Posted by Sam Kader on January 8th, 2023 7:58 PM
These tips will help you keep your garage organized for good: 

1. Think like an organizer.  Go through your belongings  and decide what you want and need to keep. Be homes with yourself and ruthlessly pare down what you don't need. De-cluttering is a liberating process and freeing up some space in your garage. 

2. Prioritizing by size.  The biggest stuff should receive the most consideration. Freezer, secondary refrigerator and lawn mower/tractor take up the most space and are hardest to move. Determine where the big stuff foes and work around it from there. 

3. Maximize wall spaceHang trimmers, extension cords, long-handled tools and even bikes on simple hooks to free floor space and assign each item a dedicated place. Mount a peg board on the wall to neatly store tools. 

4. Raise the roof.  Use overhead storage to make the most of otherwise wasted space. Many garages have built-in attics that lend themselves perfectly to skyward storage. Many off-the-shelf storage solutions can stash your entire family's bicycle collection, camping gear or holiday decorations all above your parking space. 

5. Spring for shelves. Deep shelves are a must whether they are custom-built cabinets or a simple stand-alone rack. Ideally garage shelves should be at least 24 inches deep and strong enough to hold the weight of your stored belongings and more. Keep the items you use infrequently in the back and the tools and equipment you use most frequently in the front for easy access.

6. Put safety first. Store hazardous items like engine oil, paints and household cleaners safely and out of reach of little hands. Dispose of them property and check with your local municipality regarding rules for potentially toxic waste. 


Posted in:Remodeling, Garage and tagged: RemodelingGarage
Posted by Sam Kader on January 8th, 2023 7:39 PM

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) adopted a new rules recently against robocallers which let phone companies crack down on these spoofed numbers. Here are some additional steps on what you can do now: 

  1. Do not answer the phone if you don't recognize the number. I know this is hard especially if they are calling our business phone lines. 
  2. Should you pick up the phone and detect robocalls/unwanted calls - hang up immediately.
  3. Do not engage or talk to them or press any buttons because they may flag you as someone who's responsive and inundate you with more calls.
  4. Block the numbers after the call. I used Nomorobo to block all unwarranted calls.
  5. Turn the tables and have fun with it with Jolly Roger Telephone Co. This program allows customer to put the phone on mute and patch telemarketing calls to a robot. 
  6. What what you say. One recent scheme involves getting customers to say "Yes" and later sing a recording of the response to allow unauthoried charges on the person's credit card account. Best answer when the callers asks "Can you hear me?" is to answer with "I can hear you". 
  7. Do not give callers personal information like bank account or Social Security Numbers.

Here are some additional tips on how to protect ourselves online.

Posted in:Advertising and tagged: Advertising
Posted by Sam Kader on January 8th, 2023 7:38 PM
Ring video doorbells, Nest Hello and other connected security cameras are the fastest-growing home improvement gadgets since garage door openers. These cameras alert your phone when someone is at your door and save footage online.  Here are some tips from lawyers and city officials to make an ethical field guide for people who want technology to help us stay safe.  

  1. Don't point your camera at neighbors. If your doorbell is located in an awkward place, you can try to use wedges to angle the camera toward your door. Some cameras let you mark zones to limit recording only to action that's important for your home. Also let people know that they're on camera and put up a sign to flag that you're filming might also deter a burglar. 
  2. Share footage sparingly. Some people love posting clips of "suspicious/looking characters" on social network app. But are you actually an expert in what counts as "suspicious"? Sharing on these sites can help fight crime but also perpetuate racial profiling of actual crimes. 
  3. When police get involved, it should be voluntary. Police should only access to your footage on a voluntary basis. Law enforcement doesn't have  aright to the footage without a court order. 
  4. Delete old footage. The more you have the more vulnerable you are. You should only keep your footage for two months. You can always download and save the ones you want to keep. 
  5. Keeping hackers out is a serious responsibility. Make sure that you update software, using unique passwords and taking other security protections. 
  6. Facial recognition is not a product feature, it's a super power. The ability to keep tabs on a person's whereabouts by reading their face is a super power that we don't have yet the legal or ethical framework to handle. Initially, our cameras will offer to flag family members faces. Next, they'll link to a few public databases such as a terrorist watch list, missing kinds and sexual offenders The real question is who gets to make those lists and how accurate are the systems flagging people? 
Posted by Sam Kader on January 8th, 2023 7:38 PM


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