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More Than Just Real Estate News
Two Overlooked Facts about Seattle’s Real Estate Market
You’ve probably read some headlines recently about real estate prices dropping, fewer homes selling, and other signs of worry with Seattle’s real estate market. If you’ve been reading this newsletter for a while, hopefully you understand some of the context behind this.
For instance, a couple months back we showed some data revealing that though prices have come down from their summer 2022 historic highs, prices are still higher than before that surge began. And many homes are still selling almost immediately after going up for sale.
Here are two more interesting facts to consider.
First, because of zoning laws shifting and property owners starting to get creative with their lots, Seattle, Kirkland, and other King County cities are starting to build smaller homes, multiple homes, ADUs, and DADUs. On lots that used to have one large home, they’re now building two or three smaller ones.
What does this mean?
It means more homes on the market, but they’re smaller. That means they sell for less money than one larger home would have. That makes the average sale price go down. But because more people can now buy homes, it doesn’t indicate a depressed market.
You can see this when you look at the right set of data. Yes, overall median prices have come down a bit. But look at this graph.
The average price per square foot has gone up decisively in that same time period!
Why? Because two homes half the size of a larger home won’t sell for half the price of that home. They’ll sell for more than half. So the value of real estate is going up when you look at the sizes of the homes, even if the overall data appears to be trending the other way.
The second fact to remember is that interest rates are about double what they were a year ago. People who bought or refinanced when rates were historically low are now looking at the higher rates they’d have to pay if they sold and bought a new home.
That makes some people hesitant to sell, even when it might still be in their best interests to do so. The hesitancy is understandable and real. But what you really need to think about is your life situation and the type of home that is best for you at this time. Maybe your best move is to stay put. Or, maybe you can shift to a slightly smaller home and still pay less for the mortgage, even with a higher rate.
If you know someone in this situation who is looking to sell, please send them our way – by email, phone or through our website weisbarth.com/referral. Our 5-step system lays out the plan for selling fast and for the most amount of money. And a good portion of our income then goes to support the kids at Childhaven.
Two Small Moments, Two Big Wins
A teacher at Childhaven was putting down a 3-year old for a nap, and the little girl clung tightly to her doll. As she snuggled with the doll against the pillow, she whispered to it, “It’s OK. You’re safe. You’re at Childhaven.”
On a different occasion, another teacher watched as the staff set up tunnels and obstacle courses for a bunch of kids so they could crawl through and have a blast. Of course, they loved it.
Both these stories give a glimpse into the small wins that happen each day at Childhaven.
The girl whispering to her doll showed how kids will treat their precious things just like they are treated. She was talking to her doll the way she feels in real life – loved and nurtured. Later on, kids like this grow into confident and compassionate adults who will care for their kids and break the cycle of abuse, which is often generational.
The kids crawling through obstacles are learning to shake off some of their aggressive behaviors and dispel their anger. These activities calm them down and help with cognitive development. Later on, the same kids who had been hitting and kicking in their anger a few days before began talking about their feelings, and solving problems with their teachers and classmates.
Every time I hear another story like these, I’m so thankful to be supporting such a great organization. We give Childhaven a portion of the proceeds from every home we sell, and these are just two more examples of why. If you feel moved and want to donate to Childhaven directly, go to donate.childhaven.org.
Our donations to date for Childhaven!
Your business and referrals help
the kids at Childhaven
Through all of COVID-19 the Childhaven staff continues to care for every child, delivering counseling, developmental therapy, wrap-around
supports, home learning, meals, family meetings, and much more. Every referral you send our way helps the kids at Childhaven, because we donate a substantial portion of our income from every home sale to this amazing organization. If you know anyone considering buying or selling, you have three options:
1. Send an email with your referral’s name, phone and email to firstname.lastname@example.org
2. Call me direct or pass on my number - 206.779.9808
3. Go to our website at Weisbarth.com/refer
7 Landscaping Tricks to Make Your Yard the Talk of the Neighborhood
Maintaining a yard can be a lot of work. You want it to look good, but you also don’t want to toil away for weeks every year. See if you can use any of these ideas to spruce up your yard and reduce your workload.
1.Define the Edge of Your Garden
Whether a flower garden, vegetable garden, or planter area, it’s a constant battle to keep it separate from the grass, driveway, and other outdoor features. Installing a border delivers instant curb appeal, and keeps things ordered and separated.
You can use natural materials such as stone or wood, especially in more prominent areas. Plastic will do a good job, but tends to be less attractive.
2.Beautify that Pesky Slope
Sloped areas in the yard are tough to deal with. You can’t mow them very easily. But if you do nothing, they fill with weeds, or the soil erodes.
A great solution is to plant ground cover like kinnikinnik, periwinkle (vinca), or lithodora. This costs a lot less and is less labor-intensive than installing a retaining wall. Make sure you pick the right plant for the amount of sun or shade.
3.Use Packing Peanuts in Your Large Pots
Yes, there is a use for those environmentally problematic packing peanuts that arrive in some of your packages. If you have large and deep pots or planters, these can be tough to deal with because once you fill them up with soil, they are very heavy and hard to move.
But most plants don’t need soil that deep. Instead, you can fill the bottom half with packing peanuts, and then put the soil on top. This lightens the load, reduces soil costs, and gives you something good to do with those peanuts. Your plants will be none the wiser.
4.Pour Boiling Water on Select Weeds
Boiling water will kill weeds instantly, and it’s completely harmless to the environment. This trick is especially useful for weeds growing up between cracks in the driveway. But remember, you don’t want to do this in your garden because it could harm your plants and flowers too.
5.Artificial Turf to Reduce Dog Messes
You love your dog. But all that digging makes it tough to keep an attractive lawn. Consider installing artificial turf. This one-time investment will eliminate the need to water or mow, reduce the mud your dog tracks in the house, and stop the digging. You get all the benefits of owning a dog, but with less mess.
6.Plant Year-Round Color
Get more strategic with your bulbs, annuals, and perennials. If you plant a mix of bulbs like lilies, dahlias, and snowdrops, you can do all your planting at one time and have color blooming for months. Do a little research and find out when various flowers bloom, and your garden will have almost year-round color.
7.Drought Resistance Natives
We in the Pacific NW are blessed with so many native, evergreen plants that require little work and absolutely flourish in our area. A few choices: Salal, Oregon grape, different native ferns, rhododendron, and huckleberry that will deliver yummy fruit in the fall.