Tips For Choosing the Perfect Sofa

Let’s face it, we spend alot of our time on the sofa, which makes it all that more important that you pick out the perfect one for you, that you’re going to love for a number of years. A sofa can be a hefty investment for many of us, so you’ll want to pick a comfy durable couch that you won’t get sick of, or resent buying within a short period of time. If you’re moving soon, the Seattle Times has compiled a list of tips on picking out the perfect sofa for your rental.

Don’t buy a sofa with loud fabric you’ll likely get sick of in a few years. If you choose a sofa with is covered in big floral or loud stripes that you enjoy now, you might end up getting sick of it before you wear it out, and a couch in good condition that you hate, is a resented one. Pick a neutral fabric you can jazz up with changeable accent pillows. If you MUST have a loud piece of furniture, you can certainly do so, but maybe choose a bright ottoman, or side chair. Don’t choose a fabric or color that is high maintenance; you’ll likely spill on it, dogs will shed hair, food crumbs will make their way into crevices…you’ll want something you can easily clean and make like new. Don’t buy a sofa you wouldn’t want to sleep on, you might have guests over, fall asleep watching TV, and it’s crucial you don’t buy a sofa until you sit in it like you would at home, and make sure the shoe fits! For more information on finding the right couch for your home, visit the Seattle Times.

King County Home Prices Have Double Digit Rise!

This has been the third straight month in a row that we’ve seen a year over year price increase in King County, and it’s definitely the largest! According to the Seattle Times, for the first time in five years, we’ve seen a double digit increase, with the median value in homes estimated at $380,000, a 10.1% rise since June of last year. The last time there was a year over year double digit increase was back in 2007, when the median also hit an all time high of $481,000.

Denny Blaine Home listed for $3,895,000

After the high, the inevitable countrywide median housing drop occurred, falling nearly 36% nationwide, dropping down to $308,125  this past February. According to the Times, this June was a jaw dropper, with 23 or 29 King County areas experiencing a year over year increase, with 13 of them in the double digits! While not as impressive as King County, Snohomish and Kitsap County also saw slight increases, and condo prices in King County went up nearly 5% as well. For more information on the price of homes in King County, visit Ewing & Clark Inc.

Zillow Reports Home Values See High Monthly Increase

Attention Homeowners: there is hope after all for your beloved family home that holds more personal value than net worth! Last week, Real Estate website Zillow reported that both national home values and rent both rose in the month of April. According to Zillow, home values rose nationwide 0.7%, marking the largest month to month increase in value since 2006, and April is also the second month in a row for the value to increase! While King County home prices are on the rise, rent is also steadily climbing; of the 178 areas covered by the Zillow Real Estate Market Reports, 78% felt a rent increase. The housing recovery appears to be headed in the right direction overall, even though a weighted number of Americans still have homes with mortgages that are underwater, or risk foreclosure.

Buying a Home Might Not Get Much Cheaper

Many renters today are choosing to put off buying a home for several reasons, statistics show that buying a home might not get any cheaper than it is right now. Experts say that 2012 may bet the last year for buyers to take advantage of the weak housing market and foreclosure influx. According to CNN Money, home prices are down 34% Nationally from 2006, and mortgage rates are at an all time low, making it the best year yet to find the bargain deal of a lifetime.

Economists with PNC Financial Services believe that home prices will flatten out by the third quarter of this year, and might begin to climb at the beginning of next year. There are several indicators that the housing market is picking up like the decline in foreclosures, and continued job growth nationwide, and buyers will have more access to affordable mortgages as they build their credit scores. While some prospective buyers who have been wary might be more willing to follow through because of the all-time low mortgage rates and lower home values, some renters still aren’t in a position to take the next step and will ultimately miss the grace period. For more information on the housing market, click here.

Survey Shows Renters More Optimistic About Buying

Renters in today’s market may have seen the value of their parent’s homes sky rocket, then deplete, or they most likely know someone who’s home is up for foreclosure. According to a survey done by the PulteGroup, The hope of home ownership is still in the air for many who rent and want to buy. Survey results showed that 60% of renters who said they would like to buy a home in the future have increased their intent to buy a home in comparison to a year ago. 61% of those folks also said they planned to purchase a home within the next two years.

When asked if they thought buying a home was a good investment, 44% of those poled said yes. According to Builderonline.com, the PulteGroup’s responded to the overall survey results with “We are seeing a renewed sense of optimism, especially from young professionals and young families visiting our communities nationwide,” Deborah Meyer, PulteGroup senior vice president. Many factors went into this survey and interestingly enough the pole also found that just over 1/4 of those poled believe that renting is cheaper than buying, and a little shy of a quarter are still worried about a stable job. For more information on Rentals and For Sale listings in the area, visit Craistlist.

US Goverment Proposes New Mortgage Rules

The US government has proposed some new mortgage lending rules that could help many homeowners avoid foreclosure. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau‘s proposed the rules this morning that would require mortgage companies to to offer all borrowers standard monthly statements, and inform customers of any interest rate or insurance changes. Companies would also be responsible for certain “good faith efforts” to inform borrowers at risk of foreclosure, and find options for them to salvage their homes.

An estimated 8 million Americans have faced foreclosure since the housing  market began to sank in 2006. Many homeowners have pledged that mortgage companies failed to inform them of foreclosure threats, or verify information on important foreclosure documents. For more information on the foreclosure proposal, visit the Seattle Times.

New NW Housing Search Tool

King County has created a new website geared to help Seattle residents search for housing that fits within their budget, (income based housing, and non-income based housing). HousingSearchNW.org is a free resource where property managers and owners throughout King county can post their apartments or homes for rent anytime, and their updated daily, meaning these listings should always be current. This website is sponsored by the City of Seattle, King County, United Way of King County, Seattle Housing Authority and King County Housing Authority. This website is always free for both landlords and tenants, and along with rental properties also provides useful tools such as a rent checklist, affordability calculator, and even links to other helpful tools. If you’re looking for a place to rent in the Puget Sound Area, this new website is a very useful tool to help you find the right home for the right price. For more details visit HousingNW.org.

Seattle Rental Rates Continue to Rise Through 2012

Are you currently a renter who believes you’re paying too much for your rental house on Queen Anne, your Ballard apartment, or your West Seattle condo? If you are not then consider yourself lucky because the cost of rent continues to rise as vacancies around Seattle continue to shrink. While rates are predicted to continue steadily rising through 2012, next year real estate analysts say the trend may come to a halt. 

Rent is continuing to rise in the King and Snohomish counties and according to the Seattle Times, several experts suggest these rates will continue to rise until next year, when a surge of current projects are scheduled to be completed, creating more vacancies around the city. According to the Apartment Insights Washington, the average monthly cost of rent in Seattle is currently $1,094, up 1.7% from last quarter. Our region is in the largest apartment construction boom we’ve seen in over two decades, and should expect rental rates to drop, or at least begin to rise more modestly after this year. For more information, please visit the Seattle Times.

Seattle Rental Rates Continue to Rise Through 2012

Are you currently a renter who believes you’re paying too much for your rental house on Queen Anne, your Ballard apartment, or your West Seattle condo? If you are not then consider yourself lucky because the cost of rent continues to rise as vacancies around Seattle continue to shrink. While rates are predicted to continue steadily rising through 2012, next year real estate analysts say the trend may come to a halt. 

Rent is continuing to rise in the King and Snohomish counties and according to the Seattle Times, several experts suggest these rates will continue to rise until next year, when a surge of current projects are scheduled to be completed, creating more vacancies around the city. According to the Apartment Insights Washington, the average monthly cost of rent in Seattle is currently $1,094, up 1.7% from last quarter. Our region is in the largest apartment construction boom we’ve seen in over two decades, and should expect rental rates to drop, or at least begin to rise more modestly after this year. For more information, please visit the Seattle Times.