Monthly Archives: February 2019

How You Can Navigate the Property Market to Find an Accessible Home

Source: Natalie Jones

Buying a home should be an adventure, not a nightmare. Still,
it can be daunting process nonetheless, especially when you’re
looking for something accessible. Thankfully, there are plenty
of ways to help you find the house you need.

Know What You Need

You know better than anyone about what you require from an
accessible home. Check the doorways in every room to make sure
they are wide enough, and remember that hallways need to offer
enough space to be easily navigable. Things like door handles
and faucets can be switched out, but it is nice if they are
already in lever form.

You also want to look for any possible
repair issues. Make sure the floors, especially near the
bathroom, are even, as warping indicates water damage. Plus,
you want an even surface to prevent falls.

Further, there should be no cracks in the walls, as this can mean the home is
poorly constructed. The most important thing, though, is to be
sure you can move through the home comfortably.

Research the Area

Once you have a list of items you need, you can begin to
research a neighborhood. When you buy a home, you are also
getting the surrounding area. If you can go visit in person,
speak to potential neighbors. Ask what they love about the area
but also what needs to be improved.

Examine the paths around
the home, and see if the sidewalk is in good repair. Lastly,
you want to be certain that crime levels for the neighborhood
are low so you can feel safe in your home.

Look at the Community

Just like with the neighborhood, you want to be confident that
the town itself fits your needs. Similarly, look at the
sidewalks throughout the town. Are they even and well-
maintained?

The aisles in shops should be wide enough for you
to easily get through. As well, consider the landscape. You may
not want to live in an area that has rolling hills or steep
inclines.

Is there a hospital close by? Do you need to be near
a school? What about proximity to work? Is there a local
organization that provides help or information to disabled
individuals? If so, they may have insights into the community.
These things impact whether you should make a bid on a home.

Use Your Resources

Finding the house itself can seem daunting. Thankfully, you
have a few options at your disposal. The first is to deal
directly with a realtor. You can give them a full list of your
needs, and they can work with you to give you options.

Additionally, there are websites you can use to expand your
investigation. While many sites have search functions to narrow
down your hunt, there are other pages dedicated to accessible
housing.

You don’t need to feel like you are at a dead end;
these websites deal only with houses that can work for you.

Prepare for the Move Itself

Some exhausting aspects of moving itself are organizing,
packing, and then hauling your goods to a new home. Save
yourself some stress by hiring professional packers. They are
trained in the art of wrapping and packing, and can protect
your things. It will save you time, both from the packing
itself, but also with shopping for supplies.

Just be certain that you do your research and compare companies.

Most importantly, get accurate quotes before you make a decision.
Depending on how far you are moving, you may want to read up on
different companies. A mover can make things easier, but
confirm that they are reputable and fully licensed.

Don’t let the stress overwhelm you. Get the help you need, and
further your chances at success with thorough research. You can
find the home perfect for you and your family.

Homebuyers Resuming Search Amid Improving Inventory, Attractive Terms

Source: NWMLS

KIRKLAND, Washington (February 7, 2019) – Homebuyers around Washington state are making their
way back to the market, hoping to take advantage of improving inventory, attractive interest rates, and
more approachable sellers, according to officials with Northwest Multiple Listing Service.

Northwest MLS statistics for January show year-over-year improvement in the volume of new listings
and total inventory, along with moderating selling prices. Although fewer pending sales (mutually
accepted offers) were reported than a year ago (down about 3.3 percent), January was the smallest year-
over-year decline since May 2018 when the drop was about 2.7 percent.

Commenting on the MLS statistics summarizing last month’s activity, broker Gary O’Leyar said
January’s post-holiday real estate activity doesn’t normally pick up until later in the month, but this year
the uptick began early. “January started as a bit of a surprise. Open house activity was very robust, and we
saw multiple offers in numerous instances again,” reported O’Leyar, the owner of Berkshire Hathaway
HomeServices Signature Properties in Seattle.

Brokers tallied 7,564 pending sales during January, a decline from a year-ago when they recorded 7,820
transactions.

Seven counties had increases in pending sales of single family homes and condos compared with 12
months ago, including King (up nearly 7.5 percent) and Snohomish (up 3.8 percent).

James Young, director of the Washington Center for Real Estate Research at the University of
Washington, commented on pending sales. The mixed results, including “healthy growth” in King and
Snohomish counties, “corresponds well to upward movement in mortgage applications late in December,
a leading indicator for the month to follow,” he noted, adding, “One should expect to see increased sales
activity in the coming months throughout the region if mortgage applications continue to stabilize or
increase.”

J. Lennox Scott, chairman and CEO of John L. Scott Real Estate, said buyers “came out of the
woodwork” after the holidays, eager to take advantage of better housing conditions. “Areas close to the
job centers are seeing improved affordability from spring 2018,” he said, attributing it to lower interest
rates, strong job growth, and adjusted pricing.

Scott said buyers are also attracted by expanded inventory resulting from the addition of new listings and
a higher number of unsold inventory, although he noted “inventory levels are still considered a shortage.”
Prospective buyers who sat out the second half of 2018 or were pushed to the sidelines during last year’s
heated market are finding better buying conditions, agreed Robb Wasser, branch manager at Windermere
Real Estate/East. “Interest rates are near a nine month low and buyers have a stronger platform for
negotiating, which have helped drive a 9 percent increase in pending sales of single family homes in King
County,” Wasser stated.