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The Brave New Market

This is the strongest market we have experienced around here since 1990.  I remember that since my beautiful wife and I were newlyweds and looking to buy our first home. That summer of 1990 we had to look at houses like this: We met back in the living room and said, “do you want to write an offer?”  Things were moving that fast.  Remember, there was no internet yet, so there was no “offer review date.”

So, yeah, things that are priced right and look great really move.

Which brings me to the point of this post: What difference does your real estate broker actually make?  Before I answer that, ask yourself this question: How many thousands of dollars do you want to risk?

The new brokerage in our area advertises aggressively about the low commissions they charge with billboards about “1% Listing Fee!!!”  Woo Hoo!  Of course there’s no mention of the commission that you’ll pay to the cooperation broker.  I charge a total of 6% to 7% and offer half that to the cooperating broker. If you feel that’s outrageous, then let’s talk, I am negotiable, I’m a small business guy at the end of the day and I don’t need Windermere’s approval, or any managers approval like at a car lot.  You are dealing directly with the owner.

Recently I have handled multiple offers with most of my listings, and the seller’s have benefited tremendously.  Buyers that I have represented have been able to win with their offers as well.

So why pay the extra money in commission, whatever it might be?  Because it’s highly likely you will end up making thousands more!  Which do you want, the lowest dollar amount that says “commission” on the closing statement?  Or, the biggest check with your name on it?  It’s up to you. Hopefully it’s the latter.

Here’s another byproduct of this market.  Everyone’s getting a real estate license again.  I know, I know, your cousins sister’s ex-father-in-law just got his license and well, you know, you want to work with family.  I get it, blood is thicker than water, and well, you know, he’s a really great guy and all that.  Again, how many thousands of dollars is it worth for you  to use a broker with no experience?  I love working with them on the other side, I’ll say that!

After 25 years of helping buyers and sellers negotiate a great deal, you can be assured and confident you are not leaving money on the table.

 

 


Posted on May 2, 2018 at 3:54 pm
Greg Pubols | Posted in Uncategorized |

RE Forecast from our owner

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Pierce County Housing Report 
2016 Recap / 2017 Outlook

The U.S. economy is providing a very positive backdrop of low unemployment, new highs in the stock market, and housing appreciation is firmly on the march. Pierce County is also enjoying it’s share of good news and economic fortune, 2016 was a great year of continued recovery.  Looking ahead, Pierce County has some serious considerations that will determine it’s future and the role it plays in our region’s economy. First, here are the end of year end numbers as measured December 31, 2016.

 

Inventory – DOWN – 17%

 

Closings – UP – 7.9%

 

Median Price – UP – 10.5%

 

New Pending Contracts – UP – 13.8%

 

Pierce County, by these numbers, has only 1.7 months worth of inventory. We consider 3-5 months worth of inventory to be a balanced market so there is clearly need of more homes to sell in order to satisfy current buyer demand.

 

Prices in Pierce County are up 26% in the last 3 years (compounded rate of 8% annually) and the median price has fully recovered from the great recession.

As shown by our Pierce County Median Price Index we are at our pre-recession peak. By comparison,  King County prices are 13% above their previous peak. The affordability index in Pierce is fully 45 points better than King County.

 

This recovery in price also means we have far fewer homeowners with negative equity. When a homeowner owes a mortgage balance greater than their home value they have negative equity.  In 2011 & 2012 we were seeing negative equity rates in Pierce County upwards of 26% of all mortgages.  Measured in the second quarter of 2016 the rate was a much improved 9.7%.

 

Price recovery is accompanied with Velocity and Volume recovery.  Last year Pierce County sold 15,082 residential units representing a 13% increase over 2015.  This amounted to just over 5 billion in sales and is expected to top 6 billion in 2017.

I feel bad clouding this good news with the following, but it clearly is an issue that is relevant to the health and future of our Pierce County Housing Market.Here it is: Jobs, Jobs, Jobs.

The King County market is red, no….white hot!  Why?  The King County number of jobs per resident is 207, in Pierce County the number of jobs per resident is 82.  The unemployment rate in Seattle is 3.7% while in Pierce County it is 6%.  Compare Pierce to U.S. with unemployment rate of 4.7% and see the weak recovery path in the graph below.

After each of the 3 previous recessions, Pierce County unemployment recovery was better. In the 90’s Pierce recovered to 4.5% unemployment, the pre-recession recovery was in the 5’s, while the current recovery has only reached 6% and it appears to be a post recovery low.

Pierce County’s per capital income is $45,000 and would not be that good were it not for King County jobs.  We are fighting a trend of becoming a bedroom community.

Fully 135,000 Pierce County residents have jobs outside the county.  Put another way, 40% of the non-military work force don’t work here.
The effect on real estate is the commuter buyer/renter is a big part of our market and will continue to be that way until Pierce County improves it’s workforce skill and attracts new businesses. 

With the Pierce County shortage of inventory and the pressure of high prices in King County, homeowners in our area will enjoy another year of increased values, likely in the 9-10% range.

Buyers will need to be fully pre-approved, able to react quickly, and be open to the idea they will likely compete for their dream home.

Yes, it will be a good year for real estate in 2017, but there is work to do if Pierce County wants to be more than just a place for Seattle skilled workers and executives to come home and sleep until they can afford a home closer to their job.


Posted on February 10, 2017 at 4:01 pm
Greg Pubols | Posted in Uncategorized |

2017 Market forecast from Greg

 

2/10/17

Here’s a bit of a market update and what we can expect to see over the next few months and the rest of 2017.  First of all, inventory is down 45% from where it was this time 2 years ago.  What that means as an example is let’s say there were 10 buyers looking for a home, they had 9 homes and 1 condo to look at.  Today, those same 10 buyers would have 5 homes and 1 condo to look at.  So, obviously there are likely going to be multiple offer situations which always drives prices up.  While we’ve seen interest rates go from 3.5% to about 4.25%, and expect them to perhaps reach 4.75% this year, it shouldn’t affect the number of buyers in the market and their motivation.  The economy in our area remains good, people have jobs and want to buy houses.  That will not be changing this year.  So, with demand remaining constant, the supply shortage will continue to drive prices up.  We’re expecting somewhere around a 7% increase this year—most of which will occur from March through June.

 

So, what does this mean for sellers?  If you want to sell this year, let’s start talking now about getting your home ready to sell.  Usually it takes a couple of months.  Even though there’s a shortage of homes on the market, buyers are discerning and most buyers today don’t want to move into a fixer.  What that means is your home will sell for significantly more money if you take the time to prepare it for market.

 

What this means for buyers is if you’re ready to go, start looking right now and be prepared to write a strong offer right now.  You can either “ride the escalator” to the 7% increase, or you’ll be “taking the stairs”, meaning you can expect to pay 7% more when you find the right home.  In real terms, a house that sold for $200,000 2 years ago will sell for $250,000 today, and will probably sell for $267,500 by this fall.

 

Whether you’re looking to buy, or thinking of selling, Greg would be happy to take some time to consult with you on your needs.

 


Posted on February 10, 2017 at 11:34 am
Greg Pubols | Posted in Tacoma Real Estate | Tagged

Home Prices on the Rise!

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Posted on June 10, 2016 at 10:53 am
Greg Pubols | Posted in Uncategorized |

Would You Like to Sell Your Home This Summer? – U.P. Flyer

 

 

Vista JPEG


Posted on June 1, 2016 at 1:48 pm
Greg Pubols | Posted in Uncategorized |

1137 Garden Circle – Fircrest, WA 98466

Stunning Princeton Place Unit in Fircrest

Very nice, well cared for unit in Princeton Place. This is a wonderful community of well cared for yards and consistent, very nice homes. The floor plan is inviting and perfect for entertaining. The back patio provides fantastic western exposure for afternoon sun and time spent around the BBQ. The spacious master features a large walk-in closet and a beautiful master bath. The 2 car garage is just what you're looking for as well, it keeps the car clean and you dry during the winter.

$339,000.00

SALE PENDING

Click here to view the listing!


Posted on May 17, 2016 at 11:44 am
Greg Pubols | Posted in Uncategorized |

6414 47th St Ct W University Place, WA 98466

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$310,000

Sale Pending!

4 Bedrooms, 1.75 Bathrooms

Wonderful kitchen remodel with quartz countertops. Both baths updated as well. Lovely, bright family room, perfect for entertaining and movie nights. Large back yard with firepit, perfect for patio BBQ's and whiffle ball parties. Gas fireplace in the living room makes for enjoyable evenings as well! The nice, attached garage keeps the car clean and you dry during the rainy returns home.

Click Here to View the Listing!

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The beautifully updated livingroom features warm hardwood floors and a handsome gas fireplace. 

 

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The kitchen has an efficient layout and view of the private back yard.
 

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This home features one full bathroom, and a three-quarter bathroom as well. 
 

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Gorgeous family room, perfect for entertaining. 
 

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Serene and private outdoor spaces!
 

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This large backyard filled with possibilities.

For more photos, CLICK HERE to view the listing!


Posted on April 26, 2016 at 2:19 pm
Greg Pubols | Posted in Uncategorized |

The Top 5 Reasons You Should Not For Sale By Owner

The Top 5 Reasons You Should Not For Sale By Owner | Keeping Current Matters

In today's market, with homes selling quickly and prices rising, some homeowners might consider trying to sell their home on their own, known in the industry as a For Sale by Owner (FSBO). There are several reasons this might not be a good idea for the vast majority of sellers. Here are five of those reasons: 1. There Are Too Many People to Negotiate With Here is a list of some of the people with whom you must be prepared to negotiate if you decide to For Sale By Owner:

  • The buyer who wants the best deal possible
  • The buyer’s agent who solely represents the best interest of the buyer
  • The buyer’s attorney (in some parts of the country)
  • The home inspection companies, which work for the buyer and will almost always find some problems with the house
  • The appraiser if there is a question of value

2. Exposure to Prospective Purchasers Recent studies have shown that 89% of buyers search online for a home. That is in comparison to only 20% looking at print newspaper ads. Most real estate agents have an internet strategy to promote the sale of your home. Do you? 3. Results Come from the Internet Where do buyers find the home they actually purchased?

  • 44% on the internet
  • 33% from a Real Estate Agent
  • 9% from a yard sign
  • 1% from newspaper

The days of selling your house by just putting up a sign and putting it in the paper are long gone. Having a strong internet strategy is crucial. 4. FSBOing has Become More and More Difficult The paperwork involved in selling and buying a home has increased dramatically as industry disclosures and regulations have become mandatory. This is one of the reasons that the percentage of people FSBOing has dropped from 19% to 8% over the last 20+ years. The 8% share represents the lowest recorded figure since NAR began collecting data in 1981. 5. You Net More Money when Using an Agent Many homeowners believe that they will save the real estate commission by selling on their own. Realize that the main reason buyers look at FSBOs is because they also believe they can save the real estate agent’s commission. The seller and buyer can’t both save the commission. Studies have shown that the typical house sold by the homeowner sells for $210,000 while the typical house sold by an agent sells for $249,000. This doesn’t mean that an agent can get $39,000 more for your home as studies have shown that people are more likely to FSBO in markets with lower price points. However, it does show that selling on your own might not make sense.

Bottom Line

Before you decide to take on the challenges of selling your house on your own, sit with a real estate professional in your marketplace and see what they have to offer.
 

 


Posted on March 28, 2016 at 8:59 am
Greg Pubols | Posted in Uncategorized |

8823 Weller Road SW – Lake Steilacoom Area

This is a truly gorgeous rambler in a nice community with access to Lk. Steilacoom.  You will love the fantastic kitchen and the amazing master suite with see through fireplace tucked in with the soaking tub. The closet is ample as well. If you're looking for bedrooms AND an office look no further, this home has it. The 3 car garage is wonderful for keeping the cars and toys clean, yet still has plenty of storage. Also has a nice sized yard for pets or play, yet not too much care needed.
 

Click here to view the listing!


Posted on March 23, 2016 at 2:25 pm
Greg Pubols | Posted in Uncategorized |

Study Again Finds Homeownership to be a Better Way of Producing Wealth

Study Again Finds Homeownership to be a Better Way of Producing Wealth | Keeping Current Matters

 

According to the latest Beracha, Hardin & Johnson Buy vs. Rent (BH&J) Indexhomeownership is a better way to produce greater wealth, on average, than renting. The BH&J Index is a quarterly report that attempts to answer the question: 

Is it better to rent or buy a home in today’s housing market?

The index examines the entire US housing market and then isolates 23 major markets for comparison. The researchers use a “'horse race' comparison between an individual that is buying a home and an individual that rents a similar quality home and reinvests all monies otherwise invested in homeownership.” Ken Johnson Ph.D., Real Estate Economist & Professor at Florida Atlantic University, and one of the index’s authors states:

“The nation as a whole is in buy territory. Continued near record low mortgage rates, unsteady stock market performance, and rents (on average) now out pacing the cost of ownership (maintenance, taxes, insurance, etc.) all combine to favor owning and building wealth through home equity over renting and reinvesting in a portfolio of stocks and bonds.”

Dallas, Denver and Houston currently remain deep in rent territory but, “there is some degree of good news from these markets for homeowners as the cost of renting is now increasing at a faster rate than the cost of homeownership — reducing the advantage of renting over buying.” 

Bottom Line

Buying a home makes sense socially and financially. Rents are predicted to increase substantially in the next year, so lock in your housing cost with a mortgage payment now. To Find Out More About the Study: The BH&J Index and other FAU real estate activities are sponsored by Investments Limited of Boca Raton. The BH&J Index is published quarterly and is available online at http://business.fau.edu/buyvsrent

 

 


Posted on March 9, 2016 at 11:03 am
Greg Pubols | Posted in Uncategorized |