Eastside Seattle Real Estate Blog

Landscaping Ideas for the Modern Home

Popular Ways to Rethink Home LandscapingSavvy homeowners oftentimes look for ways of increasing a home's value, earning them a greater return upon sale. Improving a home's landscaping is one way to increase its value by helping to boost overall curb appeal, as well as improve homeowner enjoyment of the property. The trick is to create a practical balance that works for the people who live in the home. These ideas help homeowners maximize space and use of their yards.

Contrasting Landscaping and Hardscaping

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Best Smart Home Upgrades for Homeowners

Most Impressive Smart Home Upgrades for HomeownersSmart home upgrades do a lot to improve quality of life around the house. Some smart upgrades can save energy, others can save time or increase security. There are so many smart products that some homeowners find it difficult to choose. Below are some of the most creative and useful smart home upgrades sought by modern homeowners.

Thermostat

Smart thermostats take the idea of a programmable thermostat to an all new level. Every model and brand is different, so homeowners can pick and choose the best model for them. Some typical features of a smart home thermostat...

How to Design a Home Showing for a Better Offer

How to Design a Home Showing for a Better OfferA home showing doesn't have to have shock value to be memorable but that doesn't mean a seller shouldn't consider the ways in which they can make their home stand out. No matter how cookie-cutter a home may seem to the seller, there are ways to highlight its best features to encourage enthusiasm (and ultimately, better offers for the home.)

A Fresh Perspective

No matter what season the seller puts their home on the market, they'll need to make their home look as fresh as possible—starting with the outside. Flowerbeds, walkways, fences, yards, door stoops, and...

Definitive Guide to Private Mortgage Insurance

PMI Guide for HomebuyersHomebuyers who make down payments less than 20 percent on a home often must purchase private mortgage insurance (PMI) before lenders will approve a home mortgage loan. PMI protects lenders from losing thousands of dollars if borrowers fail to make house payments and foreclose on their homes. Private Mortgage Insurance is also required if borrowers refinance mortgages that have less the 20 percent equity.

How Much Does Private Mortgage Insurance Cost?

Annual fees vary for PMIs from 0.3 percent to 1.5 percent of original loans. PMI costs also ...

Common Down Payment Options

Best Down Payment OptionsA down payment is usually the single biggest hurdle when it comes to turning a buyer's dream into reality. The expense can be enough to make anyone hit the Pause button on their search. But there may be more options for a buyer than they realize when it comes to affording the down payment. See how different loans have different terms and minimums and how buyers can use this to their advantage.

In a Perfect World

A 20% down payment is a minimum that was established for practically as long as modern banks have been in existence. It remains the number the buyer should strive to hit if they're...

How Much Down Payment Do I Need?

Buying A Home: How to Handle the Down PaymentMany people think they need 20 percent down to buy a home, but it may not be necessary. Home buyers, particularly first time home buyers, could have several alternatives to making a large down payment. Gaining a better knowledge of typical down payment arrangements will help borrowers to make the right choice for them.

Understanding the 20 Percent Down Payment Myth

Lenders offering traditional mortgage loans might cite 20 percent as a standard down payment, but there is a little nuance to this assessment. Putting down a 20 percent payment to get into a house has been a typical...

How to Use the 203k Loan to Your Advantage

Understanding the 203k FHA LoanA 203k loan is a way for home buyers to both buy a home and fix it up without being subjected to outrageous interest rates. This is a specific type of FHA loan created to stimulate homeownership rates and bring attention to some of the nation's more decrepit neighborhoods. It takes a lot of gumption to buy a home in need of repairs, and the government would like to see more of that go-getter attitude. See how to use the 203k loan to your advantage, so you can end up in the home (and the block) of your dreams.

How 203k Loans Work

A 203k loan isn't the same as a typical FHA loan, although they are granted through...

Understanding VA Loans: A Guide to Alternative Home Financing for Military and Veterans

Understanding VA LoansVA loans are perfect for those in the US military who want to purchase a home without breaking the bank. These loans don't require the potential home buyer to make a major down payment, which is usually the biggest hurdle in purchasing a home. VA loans may be made through private lenders, but they're backed (up to a certain amount) by the VA, provided the applicant meet all of the requirements.

Eligibility Requirements

Veterans Affairs (VA) loans are available to any active or formerly active member of the military. Certain spouses of deceased military members are also eligible, if their spouse passed away due to injuries...

FHA Home Loan Basics: What Homebuyers Should Know About the FHA Loan

FHA Home Loan BasicsIt can be hard to come up with a 20 percent down payment. However, this does not mean that prospective homeowners need to delay getting into a first home. Lenders do prefer a larger down payment but will approve a home mortgage with a smaller down payment.

Homeowners can put as little as 3.5 percent and step into their first home. Learn more about FHA home loans and how you may qualify today.

Own Your First Home

FHA loans make it more affordable for individuals to own their first Snoqualmie Ridge home...

High ROI Home Improvements For Home Sellers

High ROI Home Improvements For Home SellersWhen you're trying to sell your home, strategic home improvement projects can help boost your home's resale value. Home improvement projects can also help make your home stand out among the competition in your area. Knowing what to upgrade and which projects deliver the highest ROI can help you get started.

Deck Addition

Deck additions are relatively low in cost but they have a high ROI, which makes this type of home improvement a favorite among home sellers. With over 80 percent ROI, deck additions deliver great bang...

Real Estate SEO: 5 Critical Steps to Building a Real Estate Website

solid real estate SEO

No matter what Google and other experts say, the real estate SEO world remains obsessed with backlinks, and too often, how to take shortcuts. The hope of quick organic rankings is oh-so-tempting - and unfortunately, memories are short. I have to wonder how many real estate SEO’s who first suffered the effects of Penguin, have re-focused their efforts towards creating and promoting great content in the past 2 years. Certainly Penguin’s favorite playmate “Panda” is not forgotten… is it?

Building a well-structured website with unique content, and natural inbound links is challenging… but vastly less-expensive...

Capital Gains Tax and the Sale of Your Home

Homeowners interested in selling a primary residence may want to know more about the capital gains tax and applicable exclusions to avoid handing over a chunk of the profits to Uncle Sam. Whether a seller is able to qualify for a full or partial exclusion, either translates to less money given to the IRS.

Learn more about capital gains tax and full and partial exemptions on the sale of a home today.

What is Capital Gains Tax?

This is a tax on the profit from the sale of a home or other major asset. If a homeowner has owned their home for over one year, any profit would be a “long term” capital gains and the rate of taxation would depend on the seller's tax bracket. Significant exemptions exist for those ...

Is Home Staging Worth It?

When selling a home, how it looks is key. Both inside and out, everything from how the furniture is arranged to the color of the paint impact what buyers think of the home. For homeowners who want to help give their home an edge on the housing market, staging is an option that can help homeowners make their home as appealing as possible to buyers. Here are the advantages and disadvantages of home staging homeowners should keep in mind when planning to stage their home or hire someone to stage their home.

Disadvantages of Home Staging

One of the biggest disadvantages home staging has is that it can potentially cost a lot of money and be time consuming. Home stagers will charge just to meet with potential clients, and that can cost anywhere from $150-400. If the homeowner decides to work with the stager, they will then have to cover the cost of furniture, which will vary depending on how much furniture...

Dreaming of a Home Out in the Country? Using a USDA Loan to Finance Your Home Purchase

Whether your dream home is a refurbished Joanna Gaines style farmhouse or a modern home out in the country, a USDA loan may help you make your dream a reality. The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) single-family loan program assists qualified homebuyers by guaranteeing mortgages or making direct loans for the purchase of homes and land.

Types of USDA Loans

While the USDA has a number of loan products available, the organization's Section 502 Direct Loan Program and Section 502 Guaranteed Loan Program are available to US citizens and other legal residents who wish to purchase a single-family residence. Unlike other government loan programs, like the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) loans, the home must be located in a designated rural area like Kirkland in order to ...

Eco-Friendly Strategies for a Green Home

Green energy is the way of the future: now more than ever, homeowners are becoming conscious of the environment and what they can do to reduce their carbon footprint. Here are different strategies homeowners can use to help make their home environmentally friendly and use less energy.

Use LED Lightbulbs

Light Emitting Diode (LED) lightbulbs have been around for a while now, but they are a tried and true method for making a home just a little bit greener. Not only do LED bulbs use less energy than their CFL counterparts, but they also have a smaller impact on the environment when they’ve been disposed of. LED lightbulbs also use less electricity than normal...

What are Home Inspectors Looking For?

Even brand new homes should undergo a home inspection. After all, a home is the one of the largest financial (and emotional) investments a person will make. Therefore, home inspections are necessary, and it's wise to have a professional home inspector do the job.

What Does a Home Inspection Include?

Generally, home inspections are included as part of the buyer's contingency requests to protect them from buying a home with hidden issues. Depending upon the agreement, sellers are responsible for having the requisite inspection completed in their Bellevue home. However, the exact specifications...

Seattle's First Hill: All About the Hottest Neighborhood in the Country

The market is still booming in Seattle, with houses flying off the market almost as soon as they are listed and prices continuing to skyrocket to record-setting levels month after month. Seemingly, there's no end in sight for this hyper-competitive market. However, there's one neighborhood in Seattle that is even more competitive than the rest of the city – First Hill. According to an article published on GeekWire, First Hill has been named as the top neighborhood for expected home sales for the remainder of 2017. Not only is it predicted to be the top neighborhood for sales in the city, but the top neighborhood for home sales in the entire country!

All About First Hill

Named because of its location...

Seattle Housing Development Falls Behind Job Growth

The tech industry has settled nicely in Seattle, making the city one of the best hubs in the country for these kinds of jobs and more. From start-ups to large corporations, the tech companies that are creating headquarters in Seattle have driven the economy to new heights. For those who are looking for a great job in a vibrant city, this is wonderful news. However, this impressive job growth does come with its own challenges for residents to overcome.

The Gap Between Job Growth and Housing Development

A recent Curbed Seattle article published data from an Apartment List report that showcased the divide between job growth and housing development. The report noted that between the years 2010 and 2015, job growth was twice as fast as new construction and housing development in the city....

King County Real Estate Breaks More Records: Analyzing Each Community

Just when you think the real estate market in Seattle and throughout King County can't get any hotter, there's news of yet another shattered record. The Seattle Times recently reported that for the first time, the median price of a King County home rose by more than $100,000 between July 2016 and July 2017. The median sales price of a home in King County is now a whopping $658,000, according to data published in the article and released by the Northwest Multiple Listing Service. With an 18.6 percent increase in prices since the previous July, this also is the hottest July market since the year 2000. 

So, as a whole, King County is enjoying a booming real estate market. But let's break it down by community: 

Seattle Home Sales

As the county...

As Tech Industry Thrives, Seattle Real Estate Adapts

The conditions in Seattle were perfectly aligned for a technology boom. Known for its innovative atmosphere, Seattle became a natural choice for many technology corporations and emerging start-ups to do business. For the last several years, Seattle has been climbing the ranks as one of the up-and-coming tech markets, but now it's earned the number two spot in the nation.

According to GeekWire, Seattle clocked in as the third best tech market in the country last year, falling behind Washington D.C. and unable to compete against long-time leader San Francisco. However, the city has now climbed into second place, and there's no denying that the tech industry is making its mark on the city more than ever before.

From the fancy high-rises that are being constructed downtown to...

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