Snoqualmie Pass Real Estate, Mortgage, and the Economy – 4 Things First-time Homebuyers Need To Know

Snoqualmie Pass Real Estate, Snoqualmie Pass Properties, Snoqualmie Pass Homes, Snoqualmie Pass Lots, North Bend Real Estate, Snoqualmie Real Estate, Suncadia Real Estate, http://www.snoqualmiepassliving.com




4 things first-time homebuyers need to know

My wife and I are hoping to be first-time homebuyers this year. We'll likely blow our savings on the down payment and closing costs. What's the best way to handle the costs for home renovations? Private loan? Just wait a year or two for our savings to replenish some? --Brian & Emily, Jersey City

Congratulations on your adventure into becoming homeowners.
Buying a home is likely the biggest purchase you'll ever make, and it's not always an easy one.
Low inventory has pushed home prices up in cities throughout the country, giving sellers an advantage. Homes sell fast, bidding wars break out and offers above the asking price are common.
All of this means that buyers need to be on their game and have their finances in order before entering the market.
Here's what experts said first-time buyers need to know:
1. What you can actually afford
Before buyers start their house hunt, it's important they know how much they can afford to spend.
"Start with a plan," said Chantel Bonneau, a financial adviser at Northwestern Mutual. "Don't let your imagination take over and don't let what you see from friends' houses drive your budget."
Buyers should list out all of their monthly expenses. Don't forget to include items like groceries, transportation, and discretionary spending, like gym memberships and nights out.
 general rule of thumb is that housing costs shouldn't take up more than 30% of your before-tax income.
But experts said that the percentage can vary, especially if you have other debts, like student loans or car payments.
Spending too much on monthly housing payments can leave homeowners house poor, and unable to afford other expenses -- like saving for retirement.
"A home is not a good excuse to be reckless with the rest of your financial situation," said Bonneau.
In competitive markets, it's common for buyers to get pre-approved for financing to get a leg up. But experts said that just because a bank approves you for a certain amount, it doesn't mean that's what you should spend. Stick to a price limit you're comfortable with.
2. You need a buffer
While it may be tempting to throw everything you've got at your offer to stay competitive, experts recommended having at least some money left over after you close on a home.
"If buying a house takes your checking account down to $1,000, it's probably too expensive," said Bonneau.
Experts advised having at least three to six months in savings the day you become homeowners. One reason is that you'll need emergency savings now more than ever.
"You don't want a flat tire or a deductible on a medical plan to throw you into financial turmoil," said Bonneau. "When you are a homeowner, you have a lot more things that can go wrong."
If a home purchase leaves you with no liquidity, it might be worth considering waiting to increase your savings or lowering your price point, advised Neil Krishnaswamy, a certified financial planner with Exencial Wealth Advisors.
3. The true cost of owning a home
The down payment tends to be the biggest financial hurdle to owning a home, but there are many other costs that pop up along the way: appraisal, origination, credit report and notary fees can all add up.
And the costs don't stop just when the keys are handed over. There's the move, new furniture and costs like lawn care and utility payments that former renters might not be used to paying.
"I don't know if anyone truly understands the total cost of owning a home," said Krishnaswamy. "Things just continually come up that you want to do, either buy something to fill a room or fix or improve something. Most people underestimate the cost."
4. Renovations are not as seen on TV
Buying a fixer-up might allow you to snag a bigger home or afford one in a more desirable area, but experts warned there are huge risks.
"Know that it is always more expensive than what you are imagining ... or what you see on TV," said Bonneau.
If a home needs renovations, factor that into the total cost of buying, recommended Krishnaswamy.
A private loan is an option to finance the project, but can be difficult to secure, especially after just taking out a mortgage.
If your home appraises for more than you purchased it for, you could have the option of tapping your equity to help pay for renovations.
There are some mortgage options that include renovation expenses. For instance, 203k FHA loan allows homebuyers to finance the sale and rehabilitation on a single mortgage.
Another option is asking a friend or family member for a loan.
"If you are trying to secure the best low-rate loan, look at those closest to you, but be mindful of your relationship status if you can't pay back the loan," said Krishnaswamy.

Snoqualmie Pass Real Estate, Snoqualmie Pass Properties, Snoqualmie Pass Homes, Snoqualmie Pass Lots, North Bend Real Estate, Snoqualmie Real Estate, Suncadia Real Estate, http://www.snoqualmiepassliving.com


Snoqualmie Pass Real Estate, Mortgage, and the Economy – Homebuilders Look To Starter Homes

Snoqualmie Pass Real Estate, Snoqualmie Pass Properties, Snoqualmie Pass Homes, Snoqualmie Pass Lots, North Bend Real Estate, Snoqualmie Real Estate, Suncadia Real Estate, http://www.snoqualmiepassliving.com

Homebuilders switch gears, look to starter homes

Begin move away from luxury homes

Nearly all major builders are making this shift as Millennials, the newest generation of homebuyers who were born from the early 1980s to mid 1990s, increase their presence in the market, according to the article.
From the article:
“There’s an increasing confidence level in that part of the market,” said Gregg Nelson, co-founder of California home builder Trumark Cos. “The recovery is finally starting to take hold in a broader way.”
While the share of first-time buyers fell to a 30-year low in 2015 of 32%, that number increased in 2016 to 35%, according to the article. The historic average of the share of first-time buyers sets a bit higher at 40%.
From the article:
The housing recovery has been divided, as the luxury market has soared in recent years while the more affordable end of the market has struggled to make up for lost ground. Tough lending standards, slow wage growth, growing student-debt obligations and a newfound fear of ownership have combined to crimp demand among millennials in particular. The return of the starter-home market means the housing bifurcation is finally starting to narrow.

Snoqualmie Pass Real Estate, Snoqualmie Pass Properties, Snoqualmie Pass Homes, Snoqualmie Pass Lots, North Bend Real Estate, Snoqualmie Real Estate, Suncadia Real Estate, http://www.snoqualmiepassliving.com

Snoqualmie Pass Real Estate, Mortgage, and the Economy – Homebuilders Look To Starter Homes

Snoqualmie Pass Real Estate, Snoqualmie Pass Properties, Snoqualmie Pass Homes, Snoqualmie Pass Lots, North Bend Real Estate, Snoqualmie Real Estate, Suncadia Real Estate, http://www.snoqualmiepassliving.com

Homebuilders switch gears, look to starter homes

Begin move away from luxury homes

Nearly all major builders are making this shift as Millennials, the newest generation of homebuyers who were born from the early 1980s to mid 1990s, increase their presence in the market, according to the article.
From the article:
“There’s an increasing confidence level in that part of the market,” said Gregg Nelson, co-founder of California home builder Trumark Cos. “The recovery is finally starting to take hold in a broader way.”
While the share of first-time buyers fell to a 30-year low in 2015 of 32%, that number increased in 2016 to 35%, according to the article. The historic average of the share of first-time buyers sets a bit higher at 40%.
From the article:
The housing recovery has been divided, as the luxury market has soared in recent years while the more affordable end of the market has struggled to make up for lost ground. Tough lending standards, slow wage growth, growing student-debt obligations and a newfound fear of ownership have combined to crimp demand among millennials in particular. The return of the starter-home market means the housing bifurcation is finally starting to narrow.

Snoqualmie Pass Real Estate, Snoqualmie Pass Properties, Snoqualmie Pass Homes, Snoqualmie Pass Lots, North Bend Real Estate, Snoqualmie Real Estate, Suncadia Real Estate, http://www.snoqualmiepassliving.com

Snoqualmie Pass Real Estate, Mortgage, and the Economy – Homebuilders Look To Starter Homes

Snoqualmie Pass Real Estate, Snoqualmie Pass Properties, Snoqualmie Pass Homes, Snoqualmie Pass Lots, North Bend Real Estate, Snoqualmie Real Estate, Suncadia Real Estate, http://www.snoqualmiepassliving.com

Homebuilders switch gears, look to starter homes

Begin move away from luxury homes

Nearly all major builders are making this shift as Millennials, the newest generation of homebuyers who were born from the early 1980s to mid 1990s, increase their presence in the market, according to the article.
From the article:
“There’s an increasing confidence level in that part of the market,” said Gregg Nelson, co-founder of California home builder Trumark Cos. “The recovery is finally starting to take hold in a broader way.”
While the share of first-time buyers fell to a 30-year low in 2015 of 32%, that number increased in 2016 to 35%, according to the article. The historic average of the share of first-time buyers sets a bit higher at 40%.
From the article:
The housing recovery has been divided, as the luxury market has soared in recent years while the more affordable end of the market has struggled to make up for lost ground. Tough lending standards, slow wage growth, growing student-debt obligations and a newfound fear of ownership have combined to crimp demand among millennials in particular. The return of the starter-home market means the housing bifurcation is finally starting to narrow.

Snoqualmie Pass Real Estate, Snoqualmie Pass Properties, Snoqualmie Pass Homes, Snoqualmie Pass Lots, North Bend Real Estate, Snoqualmie Real Estate, Suncadia Real Estate, http://www.snoqualmiepassliving.com

Snoqualmie Pass Real Estate, Mortgage, and the Economy – Homebuilders Look To Starter Homes

Snoqualmie Pass Real Estate, Snoqualmie Pass Properties, Snoqualmie Pass Homes, Snoqualmie Pass Lots, North Bend Real Estate, Snoqualmie Real Estate, Suncadia Real Estate, http://www.snoqualmiepassliving.com

Homebuilders switch gears, look to starter homes

Begin move away from luxury homes

Nearly all major builders are making this shift as Millennials, the newest generation of homebuyers who were born from the early 1980s to mid 1990s, increase their presence in the market, according to the article.
From the article:
“There’s an increasing confidence level in that part of the market,” said Gregg Nelson, co-founder of California home builder Trumark Cos. “The recovery is finally starting to take hold in a broader way.”
While the share of first-time buyers fell to a 30-year low in 2015 of 32%, that number increased in 2016 to 35%, according to the article. The historic average of the share of first-time buyers sets a bit higher at 40%.
From the article:
The housing recovery has been divided, as the luxury market has soared in recent years while the more affordable end of the market has struggled to make up for lost ground. Tough lending standards, slow wage growth, growing student-debt obligations and a newfound fear of ownership have combined to crimp demand among millennials in particular. The return of the starter-home market means the housing bifurcation is finally starting to narrow.

Snoqualmie Pass Real Estate, Snoqualmie Pass Properties, Snoqualmie Pass Homes, Snoqualmie Pass Lots, North Bend Real Estate, Snoqualmie Real Estate, Suncadia Real Estate, http://www.snoqualmiepassliving.com

Snoqualmie Pass Real Estate, Mortgage, and the Economy – Homebuilders Look To Starter Homes

Snoqualmie Pass Real Estate, Snoqualmie Pass Properties, Snoqualmie Pass Homes, Snoqualmie Pass Lots, North Bend Real Estate, Snoqualmie Real Estate, Suncadia Real Estate, http://www.snoqualmiepassliving.com

Homebuilders switch gears, look to starter homes

Begin move away from luxury homes

Nearly all major builders are making this shift as Millennials, the newest generation of homebuyers who were born from the early 1980s to mid 1990s, increase their presence in the market, according to the article.
From the article:
“There’s an increasing confidence level in that part of the market,” said Gregg Nelson, co-founder of California home builder Trumark Cos. “The recovery is finally starting to take hold in a broader way.”
While the share of first-time buyers fell to a 30-year low in 2015 of 32%, that number increased in 2016 to 35%, according to the article. The historic average of the share of first-time buyers sets a bit higher at 40%.
From the article:
The housing recovery has been divided, as the luxury market has soared in recent years while the more affordable end of the market has struggled to make up for lost ground. Tough lending standards, slow wage growth, growing student-debt obligations and a newfound fear of ownership have combined to crimp demand among millennials in particular. The return of the starter-home market means the housing bifurcation is finally starting to narrow.

Snoqualmie Pass Real Estate, Snoqualmie Pass Properties, Snoqualmie Pass Homes, Snoqualmie Pass Lots, North Bend Real Estate, Snoqualmie Real Estate, Suncadia Real Estate, http://www.snoqualmiepassliving.com

Snoqualmie Pass Real Estate, Mortgage, and the Economy – Foreign Investors Buying Up Properties


Snoqualmie Pass Real Estate, Snoqualmie Pass Properties, Snoqualmie Pass Homes, Snoqualmie Pass Lots, North Bend Real Estate, Snoqualmie Real Estate, Suncadia Real Estate, http://www.snoqualmiepassliving.com

Chinese investors buying up Puget Sound properties, affecting housing market as a whole

SEATTLE — When you think the housing market couldn’t get any hotter, it does and continues to set records.
The median price of a home sold in the Seattle area went for more than $700,000 last month.
On the Eastside, the price was even higher at nearly $900,000.
The skyrocketing prices can be a good thing if you already own a home but for buyers the market is tough.
And foreign investors are making it even harder.

Chinese investors make up the majority of foreign buyers in our area. They have always been interested in the Puget Sound area but several local realtors are telling Q13 News they are buying up residential properties at a rate they never seen before.
Many Chinese investors are purchasing luxury homes, and even if you are not personally playing in that arena, experts say the frenzy is affecting the housing market as a whole.
Q13 News recently went home shopping with Heather Scherie Manzer.
When Manzer walks into a home she is looking for love.
“I am of the mindset you have to love a house,” Manzer said.
And it`s happened. She’s fallen in love five different times.
“I’ve had my heart broken yes,” Manzer said.
She`s lost every single property she`s bid on for the past three years.
Among the competition are Chinese investors who many times overbid and pay in cash.
Broker Gary Lu with John L. Scott specializes in the cash-bidding world.
“Seattle is the top city for Chinese investors,” Lu said.
Lu has an interesting perspective -- he represents local buyers frustrated over the fierce market.
“I grew up here and I completely understand,” Lu said.
At the same time, wealthy foreign investors hungry for a good investment are keeping him busy.
“I am their personal shopper,” Lu said.
In fact, Lu says some Chinese investors have never even set foot in the Emerald City.
“Not just one client, many of my clients they have never even been to Seattle,” Lu said.
The attraction to the Puget Sound  region is multifaceted -- from panoramic views to higher education and the burgeoning tech industry -- there is much to be coveted in our region.
“If you look at the whole West Coast by comparison we are very affordable,” Lu said.
Adding to the attraction -- Vancouver, Canada, imposed a 15% tax on foreign buyers last year. Quickly, searches for Seattle properties surged.
For example, in November 2016 inquiries went up by 125%, according to Juwai.com, a Chinese version of Zillow.
“You can see that as a good sign or a bad sign,” Lu said.
The good is the economy is getting a boost but the bad is that it`s drying up inventory.
And in some cases, properties are even sitting vacant, purchased by Chinese investors who never moved in. And that kind of practice is one reason Vancouver voted to tax foreigners.
“Not sure we`ve become the next Vancouver,” researcher James Young said.
Young, with the UW’s Runstad Center for Real Estate Studies, isn`t concerned so much about investor vacancy rates as he is with pace of development locally.
“There is no way to build enough houses right to meet the demand, it`s almost impossible,” Young said.
And for people looking to buy an average home in our area, what`s going on in the luxury market matters.
“If there are fewer opportunities for people to move up, they are going to stay in that house longer, which means there are fewer opportunities for first-time home buyers,” Young said.
There`s a lot of current to move up from the middle, and that trickles down to first-time buyers who can`t get that entry-level house.
“When you can’t buy a house because they are getting bought up, it`s a hard pill to swallow,” Manzer said.
The emotional roller coaster means Manzer’s realtor Mitch Lomax is also playing therapist.
“Let’s count to 10, let's sleep on it, I am sure the sun will come up tomorrow,” Lomax said.
He`s preaching patience and unbridled optimism.
“What is happening right now is unusual, it will become a more balanced market,” Lomax said.
When that will happen is anyone`s guess. In the meantime Manzer is not giving up.
“We are saving in cash so we can compete,” Manzer said.
One realtor on the Eastside told me that last year 70% of her listings were sold to foreign investors, mostly to Chinese investors.
But Chinese investors are not the sole reason why we are seeing skyrocketing home prices.
Lu says even if Chinese buyers were to leave the market tomorrow, he believes the trend would still continue because of the strong economy.

Snoqualmie Pass Real Estate, Snoqualmie Pass Properties, Snoqualmie Pass Homes, Snoqualmie Pass Lots, North Bend Real Estate, Snoqualmie Real Estate, Suncadia Real Estate, http://www.snoqualmiepassliving.com

Snoqualmie Pass Real Estate, Mortgage, and the Economy – Foreign Investors Buying Up Properties


Snoqualmie Pass Real Estate, Snoqualmie Pass Properties, Snoqualmie Pass Homes, Snoqualmie Pass Lots, North Bend Real Estate, Snoqualmie Real Estate, Suncadia Real Estate, http://www.snoqualmiepassliving.com

Chinese investors buying up Puget Sound properties, affecting housing market as a whole

SEATTLE — When you think the housing market couldn’t get any hotter, it does and continues to set records.
The median price of a home sold in the Seattle area went for more than $700,000 last month.
On the Eastside, the price was even higher at nearly $900,000.
The skyrocketing prices can be a good thing if you already own a home but for buyers the market is tough.
And foreign investors are making it even harder.

Chinese investors make up the majority of foreign buyers in our area. They have always been interested in the Puget Sound area but several local realtors are telling Q13 News they are buying up residential properties at a rate they never seen before.
Many Chinese investors are purchasing luxury homes, and even if you are not personally playing in that arena, experts say the frenzy is affecting the housing market as a whole.
Q13 News recently went home shopping with Heather Scherie Manzer.
When Manzer walks into a home she is looking for love.
“I am of the mindset you have to love a house,” Manzer said.
And it`s happened. She’s fallen in love five different times.
“I’ve had my heart broken yes,” Manzer said.
She`s lost every single property she`s bid on for the past three years.
Among the competition are Chinese investors who many times overbid and pay in cash.
Broker Gary Lu with John L. Scott specializes in the cash-bidding world.
“Seattle is the top city for Chinese investors,” Lu said.
Lu has an interesting perspective -- he represents local buyers frustrated over the fierce market.
“I grew up here and I completely understand,” Lu said.
At the same time, wealthy foreign investors hungry for a good investment are keeping him busy.
“I am their personal shopper,” Lu said.
In fact, Lu says some Chinese investors have never even set foot in the Emerald City.
“Not just one client, many of my clients they have never even been to Seattle,” Lu said.
The attraction to the Puget Sound  region is multifaceted -- from panoramic views to higher education and the burgeoning tech industry -- there is much to be coveted in our region.
“If you look at the whole West Coast by comparison we are very affordable,” Lu said.
Adding to the attraction -- Vancouver, Canada, imposed a 15% tax on foreign buyers last year. Quickly, searches for Seattle properties surged.
For example, in November 2016 inquiries went up by 125%, according to Juwai.com, a Chinese version of Zillow.
“You can see that as a good sign or a bad sign,” Lu said.
The good is the economy is getting a boost but the bad is that it`s drying up inventory.
And in some cases, properties are even sitting vacant, purchased by Chinese investors who never moved in. And that kind of practice is one reason Vancouver voted to tax foreigners.
“Not sure we`ve become the next Vancouver,” researcher James Young said.
Young, with the UW’s Runstad Center for Real Estate Studies, isn`t concerned so much about investor vacancy rates as he is with pace of development locally.
“There is no way to build enough houses right to meet the demand, it`s almost impossible,” Young said.
And for people looking to buy an average home in our area, what`s going on in the luxury market matters.
“If there are fewer opportunities for people to move up, they are going to stay in that house longer, which means there are fewer opportunities for first-time home buyers,” Young said.
There`s a lot of current to move up from the middle, and that trickles down to first-time buyers who can`t get that entry-level house.
“When you can’t buy a house because they are getting bought up, it`s a hard pill to swallow,” Manzer said.
The emotional roller coaster means Manzer’s realtor Mitch Lomax is also playing therapist.
“Let’s count to 10, let's sleep on it, I am sure the sun will come up tomorrow,” Lomax said.
He`s preaching patience and unbridled optimism.
“What is happening right now is unusual, it will become a more balanced market,” Lomax said.
When that will happen is anyone`s guess. In the meantime Manzer is not giving up.
“We are saving in cash so we can compete,” Manzer said.
One realtor on the Eastside told me that last year 70% of her listings were sold to foreign investors, mostly to Chinese investors.
But Chinese investors are not the sole reason why we are seeing skyrocketing home prices.
Lu says even if Chinese buyers were to leave the market tomorrow, he believes the trend would still continue because of the strong economy.

Snoqualmie Pass Real Estate, Snoqualmie Pass Properties, Snoqualmie Pass Homes, Snoqualmie Pass Lots, North Bend Real Estate, Snoqualmie Real Estate, Suncadia Real Estate, http://www.snoqualmiepassliving.com

Snoqualmie Pass Real Estate, Mortgage, and the Economy – Foreign Investors Buying Up Properties


Snoqualmie Pass Real Estate, Snoqualmie Pass Properties, Snoqualmie Pass Homes, Snoqualmie Pass Lots, North Bend Real Estate, Snoqualmie Real Estate, Suncadia Real Estate, http://www.snoqualmiepassliving.com

Chinese investors buying up Puget Sound properties, affecting housing market as a whole

SEATTLE — When you think the housing market couldn’t get any hotter, it does and continues to set records.
The median price of a home sold in the Seattle area went for more than $700,000 last month.
On the Eastside, the price was even higher at nearly $900,000.
The skyrocketing prices can be a good thing if you already own a home but for buyers the market is tough.
And foreign investors are making it even harder.

Chinese investors make up the majority of foreign buyers in our area. They have always been interested in the Puget Sound area but several local realtors are telling Q13 News they are buying up residential properties at a rate they never seen before.
Many Chinese investors are purchasing luxury homes, and even if you are not personally playing in that arena, experts say the frenzy is affecting the housing market as a whole.
Q13 News recently went home shopping with Heather Scherie Manzer.
When Manzer walks into a home she is looking for love.
“I am of the mindset you have to love a house,” Manzer said.
And it`s happened. She’s fallen in love five different times.
“I’ve had my heart broken yes,” Manzer said.
She`s lost every single property she`s bid on for the past three years.
Among the competition are Chinese investors who many times overbid and pay in cash.
Broker Gary Lu with John L. Scott specializes in the cash-bidding world.
“Seattle is the top city for Chinese investors,” Lu said.
Lu has an interesting perspective -- he represents local buyers frustrated over the fierce market.
“I grew up here and I completely understand,” Lu said.
At the same time, wealthy foreign investors hungry for a good investment are keeping him busy.
“I am their personal shopper,” Lu said.
In fact, Lu says some Chinese investors have never even set foot in the Emerald City.
“Not just one client, many of my clients they have never even been to Seattle,” Lu said.
The attraction to the Puget Sound  region is multifaceted -- from panoramic views to higher education and the burgeoning tech industry -- there is much to be coveted in our region.
“If you look at the whole West Coast by comparison we are very affordable,” Lu said.
Adding to the attraction -- Vancouver, Canada, imposed a 15% tax on foreign buyers last year. Quickly, searches for Seattle properties surged.
For example, in November 2016 inquiries went up by 125%, according to Juwai.com, a Chinese version of Zillow.
“You can see that as a good sign or a bad sign,” Lu said.
The good is the economy is getting a boost but the bad is that it`s drying up inventory.
And in some cases, properties are even sitting vacant, purchased by Chinese investors who never moved in. And that kind of practice is one reason Vancouver voted to tax foreigners.
“Not sure we`ve become the next Vancouver,” researcher James Young said.
Young, with the UW’s Runstad Center for Real Estate Studies, isn`t concerned so much about investor vacancy rates as he is with pace of development locally.
“There is no way to build enough houses right to meet the demand, it`s almost impossible,” Young said.
And for people looking to buy an average home in our area, what`s going on in the luxury market matters.
“If there are fewer opportunities for people to move up, they are going to stay in that house longer, which means there are fewer opportunities for first-time home buyers,” Young said.
There`s a lot of current to move up from the middle, and that trickles down to first-time buyers who can`t get that entry-level house.
“When you can’t buy a house because they are getting bought up, it`s a hard pill to swallow,” Manzer said.
The emotional roller coaster means Manzer’s realtor Mitch Lomax is also playing therapist.
“Let’s count to 10, let's sleep on it, I am sure the sun will come up tomorrow,” Lomax said.
He`s preaching patience and unbridled optimism.
“What is happening right now is unusual, it will become a more balanced market,” Lomax said.
When that will happen is anyone`s guess. In the meantime Manzer is not giving up.
“We are saving in cash so we can compete,” Manzer said.
One realtor on the Eastside told me that last year 70% of her listings were sold to foreign investors, mostly to Chinese investors.
But Chinese investors are not the sole reason why we are seeing skyrocketing home prices.
Lu says even if Chinese buyers were to leave the market tomorrow, he believes the trend would still continue because of the strong economy.

Snoqualmie Pass Real Estate, Snoqualmie Pass Properties, Snoqualmie Pass Homes, Snoqualmie Pass Lots, North Bend Real Estate, Snoqualmie Real Estate, Suncadia Real Estate, http://www.snoqualmiepassliving.com

Snoqualmie Pass Real Estate, Mortgage, and the Economy – Foreign Investors Buying Up Properties


Snoqualmie Pass Real Estate, Snoqualmie Pass Properties, Snoqualmie Pass Homes, Snoqualmie Pass Lots, North Bend Real Estate, Snoqualmie Real Estate, Suncadia Real Estate, http://www.snoqualmiepassliving.com

Chinese investors buying up Puget Sound properties, affecting housing market as a whole

SEATTLE — When you think the housing market couldn’t get any hotter, it does and continues to set records.
The median price of a home sold in the Seattle area went for more than $700,000 last month.
On the Eastside, the price was even higher at nearly $900,000.
The skyrocketing prices can be a good thing if you already own a home but for buyers the market is tough.
And foreign investors are making it even harder.

Chinese investors make up the majority of foreign buyers in our area. They have always been interested in the Puget Sound area but several local realtors are telling Q13 News they are buying up residential properties at a rate they never seen before.
Many Chinese investors are purchasing luxury homes, and even if you are not personally playing in that arena, experts say the frenzy is affecting the housing market as a whole.
Q13 News recently went home shopping with Heather Scherie Manzer.
When Manzer walks into a home she is looking for love.
“I am of the mindset you have to love a house,” Manzer said.
And it`s happened. She’s fallen in love five different times.
“I’ve had my heart broken yes,” Manzer said.
She`s lost every single property she`s bid on for the past three years.
Among the competition are Chinese investors who many times overbid and pay in cash.
Broker Gary Lu with John L. Scott specializes in the cash-bidding world.
“Seattle is the top city for Chinese investors,” Lu said.
Lu has an interesting perspective -- he represents local buyers frustrated over the fierce market.
“I grew up here and I completely understand,” Lu said.
At the same time, wealthy foreign investors hungry for a good investment are keeping him busy.
“I am their personal shopper,” Lu said.
In fact, Lu says some Chinese investors have never even set foot in the Emerald City.
“Not just one client, many of my clients they have never even been to Seattle,” Lu said.
The attraction to the Puget Sound  region is multifaceted -- from panoramic views to higher education and the burgeoning tech industry -- there is much to be coveted in our region.
“If you look at the whole West Coast by comparison we are very affordable,” Lu said.
Adding to the attraction -- Vancouver, Canada, imposed a 15% tax on foreign buyers last year. Quickly, searches for Seattle properties surged.
For example, in November 2016 inquiries went up by 125%, according to Juwai.com, a Chinese version of Zillow.
“You can see that as a good sign or a bad sign,” Lu said.
The good is the economy is getting a boost but the bad is that it`s drying up inventory.
And in some cases, properties are even sitting vacant, purchased by Chinese investors who never moved in. And that kind of practice is one reason Vancouver voted to tax foreigners.
“Not sure we`ve become the next Vancouver,” researcher James Young said.
Young, with the UW’s Runstad Center for Real Estate Studies, isn`t concerned so much about investor vacancy rates as he is with pace of development locally.
“There is no way to build enough houses right to meet the demand, it`s almost impossible,” Young said.
And for people looking to buy an average home in our area, what`s going on in the luxury market matters.
“If there are fewer opportunities for people to move up, they are going to stay in that house longer, which means there are fewer opportunities for first-time home buyers,” Young said.
There`s a lot of current to move up from the middle, and that trickles down to first-time buyers who can`t get that entry-level house.
“When you can’t buy a house because they are getting bought up, it`s a hard pill to swallow,” Manzer said.
The emotional roller coaster means Manzer’s realtor Mitch Lomax is also playing therapist.
“Let’s count to 10, let's sleep on it, I am sure the sun will come up tomorrow,” Lomax said.
He`s preaching patience and unbridled optimism.
“What is happening right now is unusual, it will become a more balanced market,” Lomax said.
When that will happen is anyone`s guess. In the meantime Manzer is not giving up.
“We are saving in cash so we can compete,” Manzer said.
One realtor on the Eastside told me that last year 70% of her listings were sold to foreign investors, mostly to Chinese investors.
But Chinese investors are not the sole reason why we are seeing skyrocketing home prices.
Lu says even if Chinese buyers were to leave the market tomorrow, he believes the trend would still continue because of the strong economy.

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