My Veterans Day Talk at Seaview Elementary

Last Thursday, I had the honor of speaking to a gymnasium packed full of first through sixth grade students. It was the first time I’ve been asked to speak at a Veterans Day event since leaving the military almost ten years ago. I was impressed and humbled by how engaged the students were, all the way down to the first graders.

The sixth grade project was a slide show where students took pictures with vets that were friends or family members. If they didn’t know any, they took to the streets and went door to door to find people who had served. This not only spread awareness and recognition for the vets, but proved to the kids that there are more vets among them than they may have previously thought.

I was moved by the experience and very encouraged by seeing the way the kids honored our country’s veterans. It convinced me that the storied traditions of our veterans and their service will not be forgotten.


VA Loan

Are you ready to buy a home and qualify for the VA loan? Let me help you out! As a local real estate broker in Bellevue, WA and a Veteran of foreign wars, I am committed to help you find the home you deserve through the VA loan.

Posted on November 14, 2016 at 10:57 am
Steve Harwood | Category: Veterans in Real Estate

Bosa Development to Add 21-Story Building to Bellevue Skyline

Bosa Development, a Canadian development company, has moved forward with a 21-story condominium tower in downtown Bellevue. Earlier this week, they shared that they had purchased a large property just three blocks away from their other property on Eighth St.

Bosa’s U.S. Director of Sales and Marketing Bemi Jauhal said it is still too early to discuss plans for the second property, but it will have high-end residences. There is currently no start date for sales.

The Puget Sound Business Journal states that “development of urban condos in the Puget Sound region slowed to a halt during the recession,” but it resumed when Bosa broke ground on Insignia in 2012. Last year, when Bosa first came to Bellevue, I noted how “Nat Bosa, the head of the company, is known as a pioneer who enters markets ahead of the pack.”

Multiple companies have recently set their sights on Bellevue and are planning or currently developing new apartment and condo projects. This, and especially trendsetter Bosa’s interest in the suburb, is a testament to our area’s strong economy and the abundance of jobs in Seattle and the Eastside.

Read more from the Puget Sound Business Journal.


VA Loan

Are you ready to buy a home and qualify for the VA loan? Let me help you out! As a local real estate broker in Bellevue, WA and a Veteran of foreign wars, I am committed to help you find the home you deserve through the VA loan.

Posted on October 28, 2016 at 10:27 am
Steve Harwood | Category: Local News, Veterans in Real Estate

Local Market Update – October 2016

At a time of year when sales traditionally slow down, September saw particularly strong sales growth. Home prices rose yet again compared to the same time last year, but they remain below the peak of several months ago. And inventory, while still low, is at its highest level in two years. The local real estate market continues to be one of the hottest in the country, but there are signs that prices may be rising more slowly than they did in the first half of the year.

Eastside

Click image to view full report.

Click image to view full report.

Home prices on the Eastside remain very strong. The September median price of $750,000 was a healthy 10 percent increase over last September. Inventory remains very low with just over a month supply of homes. Demand in this sought-after market continues to overwhelm the number of properties available for sale.

King County

Click image to view full report.

Click image to view full report.

Home prices are typically lower in the fall, and that was the case in King County for September. The median price of homes sold in September was $538,000, down from the market peak earlier this summer. That number reflects a 10 percent increase over a year ago, which represents a significantly higher appreciation rate than the national average.

Seattle

Click image to view full report.

Click image to view full report.

Inventory in Seattle remains very tight, but is up slightly from a year ago. While multiple offers are still common – particularly for entry-priced homes — some agents are reporting fewer offers than in the past. The median price of a single-family home in Seattle was $630,000 in September, an increase of 10 percent over the previous year.

Snohomish County

Click image to view full report.

Click image to view full report.

Home prices in Snohomish County climbed 11 percent in September as compared to a year ago. The median price of a home was $395,000, just below the all-time high of $405,000 set in July. The area continues to see an influx of buyers trying to find a more cost-effective option to the comparatively high housing prices in King County.


VA Loan

Are you ready to buy a home and qualify for the VA loan? Let me help you out! As a local real estate broker in Bellevue, WA and a Veteran of foreign wars, I am committed to help you find the home you deserve through the VA loan.

Posted on October 14, 2016 at 8:44 am
Steve Harwood | Category: Local Market Update, Veterans in Real Estate

Seattle Times Market Digest – September 2016

The Seattle Times has just released the September 2016 issue of the Seattle Market Digest that is full of current market information for our area. These areas include the labor market, retail market, regional development, travel market, economy, and of course, the real estate market.

The review features highlights of each with promising rankings for Washington and Seattle:

  • Labor Market: Seattle area’s jobless down, statewide unemployment remains high
  • Retail Market: Brand-new restaurants popping up all over the region
  • Regional Development: Paul Allen announces Upstream music festival
  • Travel Market: BMW expands car-sharing service to Sea-Tac
  • Economy: Driven by tech, Washington state outpaces nation in GDP growth
  • Real Estate: Seattle and Portland home prices rise at twice the national rate

The Digest features a few statistics and articles on the real estate market, including …

Seattle and Portland home prices rise at twice the national rate

Owners flip new Seattle condos for big profit before they even open

To read the market digest in its entirety, click here.


VA Loan

Are you ready to buy a home and qualify for the VA loan? Let me help you out! As a local real estate broker in Bellevue, WA and a Veteran of foreign wars, I am committed to help you find the home you deserve through the VA loan.

Posted on September 15, 2016 at 10:54 am
Steve Harwood | Category: Seattle Market Digest, Veterans in Real Estate

Spring District Project Moves Forward

Construction is moving forward for a new apartment project in Bellevue's newest neighborhood, the Spring District. The Puget Sound Business Journal recently reported Security Properties is moving forward with the second phase of their $210 million Sparc apartment project in the district. 

According to the Puget Sound Business Journal, the Seattle-based Security Properties paid "just over $8.3 million for nearly 2 acres of land, where it will build 279 units" in the second phase of this project. Their first phase is scheduled to be completed next spring with 309 units along with 15,000 square feet of commercial space. This is all in addition to the 220-unit project also in the Spring District from Chicago-based AMLI Residential.

With the central location to some of our region's biggest tech companies and easy access to freeways and the new light rail station, the Spring District is anticipated to be a huge asset to Bellevue and the rest of the Eastside. 

The mixed-use redevelopment of the warehouse district will carry many benefits for Bellevue. According to the PSBJ, the Spring District at the southeast quadrant of I-405 and SR 520 will have office and retail space with parks and a new light-rail stop. The Global Innovation Exchange – a partnership between the University of Washington, China's Tsinghua University, and Microsoft – made headlines last year with the announcement of their space in the district.

Read the full article for more information on the Puget Sound Business Journal.


VA Loan

Are you ready to buy a home and qualify for the VA loan? Let me help you out! As a local real estate broker in Bellevue, WA and a Veteran of foreign wars, I am committed to help you find the home you deserve through the VA loan.

Posted on September 1, 2016 at 3:52 pm
Steve Harwood | Category: Local News, Veterans in Real Estate

Puget Sound Housing Market Regaining Balance

Windermere’s president OB Jacobi delivered great news for would-be home buyers in a recent article on Northwest Multiple Listing Service (NWMLS): “We might actually be starting to move very slowly back toward a more balanced market.” While the Puget Sound region is still seeing rising home prices, we’re also seeing an increase in inventory and record-breaking numbers that should make us feel optimistic.

Previously, many potential local home buyers were discouraged by inventory shortages. Not only did shortages lower their chances of finding their dream home, but they created more competition and higher prices. Now is a good time for those people to resume their search as the MLS report summarizing last month’s activity shows active listings are at the highest level since September 2015. Additionally, the Puget Sound area had a record-breaking July with over 8,500 pending sales.

Home buyers should also be aware that even with these improvements, the region still has less than two months of supply and surrounding regions are still facing limited inventory and multiple offer situations. Even so, it is important that we acknowledge positive shifts when they occur to keep us hopeful for the future and encourage us to take opportunities as they arise.

Read the full article from the NWMLS.


VA Loan

Are you ready to buy a home and qualify for the VA loan? Let me help you out! As a local real estate broker in Bellevue, WA and a Veteran of foreign wars, I am committed to help you find the home you deserve through the VA loan.

Posted on August 18, 2016 at 9:51 am
Steve Harwood | Category: Home Buying, Veterans in Real Estate

Seattle Times Market Digest – August 2016

The Seattle Times has just released the August 2016 issue of the Seattle Market Digest that is full of current market information for our area. These areas include the Labor Market, Retail Market, Regional Development, Travel Market, Economy, and of course, the Real Estate Market.

The review features highlights of each with promising rankings for Washington and Seattle:

  • Labor Market: Seattle metro area's jobless rate shrinks a bit
  • Retail Market: Shug's Soda Fountain: a sweet spot for absurdly good ice-cream treats
  • Regional Development: Seattle to install hundreds of charging stations for electric cars
  • Travel: Seattle loves its light rail
  • Economy: Boeing lands Poseidon aircraft contract
  • Real Estate: Latest Washington real-estate gold rush: farms

The Digest features a few statistics and articles on the real estate market, including …

Seattle rents now growing faster than in any other U.S. city

Seattle-area home market hits new peak but shows signs of possible cooling

Latest Washington real-estate gold rush: farms

To read the market digest in its entirety, click here.


VA Loan

Are you ready to buy a home and qualify for the VA loan? Let me help you out! As a local real estate broker in Bellevue, WA and a Veteran of foreign wars, I am committed to help you find the home you deserve through the VA loan.

Posted on August 4, 2016 at 4:27 pm
Steve Harwood | Category: Seattle Market Digest, Veterans in Real Estate

Mortgage Rates Begin Their Brexit Decline

The effects of Brexit are beginning to make their way across the U.S. as mortgage rates begin to drop. Everyone anticipated some form of economic change, and our mortgage rates are showing it. If you're thinking about purchasing a new home, or you've been considering refinancing your current mortgage, now may be one of the best times.

In November of 2012, we hit our all-time lowest mortgage rate of 3.31 percent. Last week, we saw rates at 3.42 percent. This is a notable decrease from the rate of 4.09 percent one year ago. According to The Seattle Times, "investors fled to the safety of U.S. Treasury bonds after Brexit, driving up their prices and lowering their yields." 

Even The New York Times has noted that American homeowners, and soon-to-be homeowners, can thank British voters for our recent decline in mortgage rates. It was predicted that Brexit would have a significant influence on our market, and it looks like we'll be seeing more of this decline in the weeks ahead. You might even want to think about refinancing right now if you aren't ready to buy a home.

Refinancing your mortgage can be helpful for a number of different reasons. If you're wanting to switch your loan from a 30-year fixed rate to a 15-year loan in order to pay off the loan sooner, you can thank Brexit for making this an easy choice for you.

Read the full article on The Seattle Times.

 


VA Loan

Are you ready to buy a home and qualify for the VA loan? Let me help you out! As a local real estate broker in Bellevue, WA and a Veteran of foreign wars, I am committed to help you find the home you deserve through the VA loan.

Posted on July 21, 2016 at 1:11 pm
Steve Harwood | Category: Veterans in Real Estate

Seattle Times Market Digest – July 2016

The Seattle Times has just released the July 2016 issue of the Seattle Market Digest that is full of current market information for our area. These areas include the Labor Market, Retail Market, Regional Development, Travel Market, Economy, and of course, the Real Estate Market.

The review features highlights of each with promising rankings for Washington and Seattle:

  • Labor Market: Mixed signals on the Puget Sound-area jobs front
  • Retail Market: CVS giving local pharmacies some competition
  • Regional Development: Seattle convention center expansion hits $1.6 billion
  • Travel: Sound Transit puts $54 billion light-rail plan on ballot
  • Economy: Boeing says it signs historic sales agreement with Iran Air
  • Real Estate: Seattle-area home prices surge to new high

The Digest features a few statistics and articles on the real estate market, including …

Seattle-area home prices surge to new high

Apartment rents surge, vacancies plummet

Seattle-area home prices set record; 2nd-fastest rising in nation

To read the market digest in its entirety, click here.

 


VA Loan

Are you ready to buy a home and qualify for the VA loan? Let me help you out! As a local real estate broker in Bellevue, WA and a Veteran of foreign wars, I am committed to help you find the home you deserve through the VA loan.

Posted on July 8, 2016 at 10:32 am
Steve Harwood | Category: Seattle Market Digest, Veterans in Real Estate

Home Prices Soar Across Washington State

When you think about the Washington housing market, you probably focus on Seattle. After all, the Emerald City is home to several prominent companies that have brought home buyers to the city en masse, and two weeks ago it was recognized for officially having the hottest housing market in America. Previously people who wanted to live in Washington but weren’t too attached to city life could move to a number of suburbs just outside of Seattle. According to The Seattle Times, that may not be an option for long, as home prices are rapidly soaring across the entire state.

According to CoreLogic, Washington home prices in April rose 10.6 percent compared with a year ago. That’s the biggest jump of any state in the nation for the third month in a row – and it’s happening everywhere, from Bellingham to Spokane. Some attribute this spike to the steady flow of transplants from the Puget Sound region looking to escape traffic and higher costs.

The Seattle Times notes that many of these cities tend to have lower wages and fewer job opportunities, making it difficult for long-term residents and potential home buyers to cope. For example, Grays Harbor has an unemployment rate of 8.3 percent, third worst in the state and nearly double that of King County. It is also among the cities experiencing soaring housing costs. Director of the University of Washington’s Runstad Center for Real Estate Studies Peter Orser says, “There’s no reason to believe that this is going to stop anytime soon.”

Read the full article here at The Seattle Times


VA Loan

Are you ready to buy a home and qualify for the VA loan? Let me help you out! As a local real estate broker in Bellevue, WA and a Veteran of foreign wars, I am committed to help you find the home you deserve through the VA loan.

Posted on June 23, 2016 at 2:04 pm
Steve Harwood | Category: Home Buying, Veterans in Real Estate