Despite interest rate approach, real estate ticking onward

Despite interest rate approach, real estate ticking onward

A real estate snap shot from John L. Scott Real Estate.

  • Tuesday, February 12, 2019 1:30am
  • Business

By Erin Flemming

Special to the Reporter

As January came to a close, the Federal Reserve chose to hold its key interest rate steady, noting the central bank will be “patient” when deciding on future rates. This new wait-and-see approach means that for the time-being, federal interest rates will remain stable, which can directly influence adjustable-rate mortgages and home equity lines of credit.

Though the Fed is in a wait-and-see mood, Karen Lindsay, managing broker and branch manager of John L. Scott’s Bellevue-Issaquah office, said there are benefits to buying now versus waiting, including potentially locking in a rate of 4.5 percent on their mortgage. Besides interest rate incentives, Lindsay noted buying now can make the overall process a less stressful experience, with greater home selection.

“Sellers – especially those who have been through the holidays on the market and haven’t yet sold – can be willing to negotiate a bit and it can be possible to buy a home with protective clauses in your contracts such as inspection, financing and title review,” Lindsay said. “If you’re a move-up buyer, you can find the home you want to move to before selling your current home. Some sellers are willing to accept a sale contingent on the sale of another property – so if your home doesn’t sell, you won’t be obligated to buy the new home, and you’ll receive a refund of your earnest money deposit.”

As the month of January progressed, Lindsay said brokers in John L. Scott’s Bellevue-Issaquah office saw more activity from those looking to buy or sell in the area.

“The first 10 days of January were pretty slow but then activity began to pick up,” Lindsay said. “The open houses mid-month had lots of traffic. We’ve had buyers making offers on homes and getting them accepted. Additionally, a couple of sellers’ agents reported multiple offers on several new listings within days of going on the market. All of these factors lay the framework for a strong spring market.”

Transportation in Seattle has been top-of-mind for many in the Seattle area in the past month, with the Alaskan Way Viaduct closing in January and preparations being made to open up the new state Route 99 tunnel. It’s one of many transportation projects in the works in Seattle and beyond.

“Access to light rail in neighborhoods within Seattle like Beacon Hill can give us an idea of what will come with further expansion on the Eastside,” Lindsay said. “Demand for housing in areas served by light rail went up as well as prices. Once it’s possible to leave your car behind and commute from the Eastside to Seattle for work, we’ll see demand for those neighborhoods close to the rail stations go up dramatically.”

Currently, the south Kirkland-Issaquah Link is in the voter approval stage. If approved, the light rail route would begin near the current south Kirkland park and ride and would end in downtown Issaquah. Already under construction is the East Link Extension, a 14-mile route that begins in the International District and travels through Mercer Island, Bellevue and eventually ends at the Redmond Technology Station.

“The light rail projects are pretty exciting for those currently living on the Eastside or others considering a move,” Lindsay said. “New housing is being built all around the future stations, both apartment and condominium. In Bellevue’s Spring District, the plans call for building an entirely new community, complete with housing and shops and restaurants in an area that was formerly industrial.”


In consideration of how we voice our opinions in the modern world, we’ve closed comments on our websites. We value the opinions of our readers and we encourage you to keep the conversation going.

Please feel free to share your story tips by emailing editor@issaquahreporter.com.

To share your opinion for publication, submit a letter through our website https://www.issaquahreporter.com/submit-letter/. Include your name, address and daytime phone number. (We’ll only publish your name and hometown.) We reserve the right to edit letters, but if you keep yours to 300 words or less, we won’t ask you to shorten it.

More in Business

The Moe Vegan food truck serves meals at the city of Kent’s annual Community Thanksgiving Dinner on Nov. 21, 2020. Sound Publishing file photo
King County fire marshals offer regulatory relief to food trucks

39 fire authorities have reportedly agreed to standardize fire codes and inspections.

Teaser
First large-scale, human composting facility in the world will open in Auburn

“It’s what nature meant us to do. We just do it faster.”

Whole Foods grocery store entrance (Shutterstock)
King County considers grocery store worker hazard pay for those in unincorporated areas

The King County Metropolitan Council will vote during its next meeting on… Continue reading

Screenshot
WA Democrats consider new tax on billionaires

Plan could raise $5 billion from fewer than 100 taxpayers. Detractors fear it could drive Washington’s wealthiest out of state.

Last summer, people took advantage of the outdoor dining along First Avenue between Gowe and Titus streets in downtown Kent. In Phase 2 of the governor’s reopening plan, which was announced Jan. 28, restaurants can reopen at a maximum 25% capacity and a limit of six people per table. Photo courtesy of Kent Downtown Partnership
Restaurant reprieve: State to relax some indoor restrictions

On Monday, area restaurants and certain entertainment venues may resume indoor service, the governor said.

Stock photo
State Senate passes $1.7 billion in unemployment insurance tax relief

Targets relief to the most affected businesses; helps low-wage workers by raising their benefits

Jason Wilson is a James Beard Award-winning chef and owner of The Lakehouse in Bellevue. Courtesy photo
James Beard Award winner wants to cook with you – virtually

Chef Jason Wilson can give customers an interactive dining experience in their own homes.

2021 Chevrolet Blazer. Courtesy photo
Car review: 2021 Chevrolet Blazer

By Larry Lark, contributor When it comes to certain car models they… Continue reading

2021 Lexus RX 350L. Courtesy photo
Car review: 2021 Lexus RX 350L

By Larry Lark, contributor It’s always a good day when a Lexus… Continue reading

The Cadillac CT4 is designed to appeal to a new generation of Cadillac buyers with its athletic design and astute driving dynamics. Courtesy photo
Car review: 2020 Cadillac CT4 Premium Luxury

By Larry Lark, contributor With apologies to Oldsmobile, “the 2020 CT4 Premium… Continue reading

2021 Mercedes E-350 luxury sedan. Courtesy photo
Car review: 2021 Mercedes E-350 luxury sedan

By Larry Lark, contributor Mercedes-Benz occupies rarified air in the automobile pantheon.… Continue reading