All blog entries by Amber Louback de Souza RSS Icon
Found 17 entries published by Amber Louback de Souza.

A new survey finds Americans are woefully misinformed about the nation’s mercurial housing market, even as millions of them prepare to buy homes.  

Twenty-eight million Americans plan to purchase a home in 2023, according to a survey released Tuesday by NerdWallet, the personal finance company. On average, they hope to spend $269,200. 

But that figure falls more than $100,000 short of the median home price, which was $388,100 in December, according to the real estate brokerage Redfin. Home prices crossed the $269,000 threshold sometime in 2013, Federal Reserve statistics show. 

If prospective homebuyers sound oddly optimistic about prices, that may be because they are pessimistic about the state of the housing market. Two-thirds of Americans

221 Views, 0 Comments
Read Full Post

What began as an extension of 2021’s high-flying real estate frenzy soon enough tumbled and fell to a near standstill by the Federal Reserve’s hiking of interest rates, rendering borrowing costs too pricy for most would-be homebuyers, who, no matter how hard they tried, couldn’t bend the numbers to their will. 

As rates rose, existing-home sales fell, builders pumped the brakes, price growth decelerated, and property sat on the sidelines far longer than forecasted. Real estate companies, meanwhile, braced for lean times after riding high through most of 2020 and 2021, with thousands of workers laid off and quarterly earnings reports showing losses — in some cases, to an unprecedented degree. 

To better measure an immeasurable 2022, we searched high

146 Views, 0 Comments
Read Full Post

KIRKLAND, Washington (January 6, 2023) – Last year was a tale of two housing markets, suggested broker Dean Rebhuhn in commenting on the latest statistics from Northwest Multiple Listing Service.

  •          In the first half of the year, we had low interest rates, rising prices, and little inventory
  •          The second half of the year brought increasing interest rates, some lowering of prices, and increasing inventory
  •          The local housing market in 2022 ended with a whimper rather than a bang
  •          Overall, the housing market is going to continue falling off the artificial ‘sugar high’ that was a function of the artificially low mortgage rates during the pandemic
  •          Gardner, the Windermere economist, expects prices will
224 Views, 0 Comments
Read Full Post

Mortgage rates are continuing their downward trend as investors keep a lookout for more signs of cooling inflation.

“This week, labor cost data provided a ray of hope as it showed that hourly compensation was lower than previously reported in the second and third quarters for all sectors except manufacturing,” writes Danielle Hale, chief economist at Realtor.com, adding that gas prices are also plunging.

Nadia Evangelou, NAR senior economist and director of real estate research, commented: 

“Mortgage rates continue to move down. According to Freddie Mac, the rate on a 30-year fixed mortgage dropped to 6.33% from 6.59% the previous week. Housing affordability rose about 8% in the last four weeks as mortgage rates moved closer to 6%. If inflation

293 Views, 0 Comments
Read Full Post

Mortgage rates continued their plunge from a peak of 7.08% in November, marking their biggest three-week drop in 14 years.

“Mortgage rates continued to drop this week as optimism grows around the prospect that the Federal Reserve will slow its pace of rate hikes,” says Freddie Mac chief economist Sam Khater.

Mortgage rates this week

30-year fixed-rate mortgages

The average 30-year fixed-rate mortgage dropped to 6.49%, down from 6.58% the week prior, Freddie Mac reported Thursday. A year ago, the 30-year rate averaged 3.11%.

Mortgage rates began to slide below 7% after the most recent inflation data was released in mid-November. The consumer price index was at 7.7%, coming in below economist's expectations.

“Data shows that mortgage

201 Views, 0 Comments
Read Full Post

What a difference just a few months can make. As the year comes to a close, the red-hot housing market has been brought to its knees by soaring mortgage interest rates.

  •          “Seattle, Phoenix, San Francisco could all see 20% price drops.”
  •          Wolf, of Zonda, expects prices could fall by 15% nationally over the next year
  •          “A really important thing to remember is housing is cyclical,” says Wolf. “We came from a massive run-up in prices, sales, demand in the housing market, and now it’s contracting. This is not new.”
  •          Nationally, home list prices rose 40.6% in just over two years’ time
  •          So, a 10%, 15%, or even 20% drop over a two-year span isn’t as significant as it might seem at first.

It now

303 Views, 0 Comments
Read Full Post

Our Top 8 Tips

Whether you are getting ready to put your house on the market, or just need some advice to keep your home in tip-top shape, autumn is the perfect time to prepare your home for the cold months ahead. A well-cared for home not only looks good, it also can attract more buyers. Following these easy, inexpensive maintenance tips before winter arrives can really pay off big!  

  1. Clean Roof and Gutters
    Before inclement weather arrives, check your roof for potential problems; shingles that are buckled, cracked, or missing; moss; and rust spots on flashing. Any loose, damaged, or missing shingles should be replaced immediately. Moss should be removed as it retains moisture and can promote rot. While you’re up there, check that the gutters are
154 Views, 0 Comments
Read Full Post

Brokers with Northwest Multiple Listing Service (NWMLS) are reporting a return to some creative financing methods as motivated home buyers and sellers grapple with higher mortgage rates. Despite that, and the seasonal slowdown in activity, 6,435 hopeful homebuyers succeeded in having sellers accept their offers to purchase during October.  

“Buyers are benefiting from more choices in inventory and less competition, while sellers are more negotiable when it comes to contingencies,” reported NWMLS director Meredith Hansen. “We are seeing more 2/1 buydowns and adjustable-rate mortgages with buyers planning to refi when the rates come back down,” added Hansen, the founder and operating principal at Keller Williams Greater Seattle.

The latest Northwest

279 Views, 0 Comments
Read Full Post

“As for the interest rate ‘elephant in the room,’ the time has come for buyers and sellers to revisit financing methods from previous markets,”

  •          “Mortgage programs are offering below-market rates with various buydown options – something we have not seen for years!”
  •          Buydowns, adjustable-rate loans, carrying back second deeds of trust, and closing cost allowances as possible options.
  •          Sellers need to be “laser focused on price and condition
  •          “What your neighbor’s house sold for six months ago has very little bearing on your home’s value today.”
  •          This is the new normal until interest rates go down.”

KIRKLAND, Washington (November 7, 2022) – Brokers with Northwest Multiple Listing Service

221 Views, 0 Comments
Read Full Post

It’s the witching month once again, and as Halloween approaches, now’s the time to tell tales of ghosts, goblins, and ghouls. But some scary stories aren’t fake — and real estate professionals have some of the creepiest real-life anecdotes.

Anything can happen when you’re out in the field, and we’ve heard horrifying tales of vacant properties where “someone’s home,” ghostly figures in listing photos, and ghastly encounters during home tours.

  • I had a first-time home buyer with a limited budget, and we found a small Cape Cod that was completely redone from top to bottom and being offered at an incredible price. This home showed like brand-new: new drywall, doors, windows, roof, carpeting, kitchen, and baths. My clients were so excited as they
201 Views, 0 Comments
Read Full Post