Pierce County Market Update – October 2019. Follow our market as a whole or (more specifically), your neighborhood or area of interest. Median Price, Days on Market and Chance of Selling (# of Active Homes/# of Sold Homes) are three metrics that we track and expand upon to gauge Market Activity.
For more info. TEXT/CALL/EMAIL Realtor Jenny Wetzel
(253) 381-9788. Jenny@jennywetzelhomes.com
For those who have been tracking the Real Estate Market for years, you will not be surprised to see that during the Month of October, Days on market has increased and Median Price has decreased. We’ve seen this consistently for the last 3 years! Less buyers AND sellers in the market, hence why we see no change in chance of selling. Consult with a Professional to see if listing your home during the winter months would be advised.
Hot Areas like North Tacoma have seen an increase in Median Price. Days on Market is influenced by homes that are overpriced (outliers). Don’t be fooled by this. Homes are still selling in 3 – 5 days and with multiple offers.
PRO TIP FOR BUYERS: As we enter into the Holiday season, don’t give up! Continue to House Hunt, you maybe able to get your next home by scooting in while others are taking a break.
I don’t expect that we’ll see this Median Price for long. South and East Tacoma are the two most affordable communities within Tacoma. Proximity to freeways, Inventory of charming older homes and the bandwidth to support small and large business. Mark my words, we will see a median price of over 300K in 2020.
Given the higher price point of homes in Gig Harbor, it’s a relief to sellers to see Median Days on market at only 21 days this time of year. I expect this number to increase over the next 2 months, chances of selling to decline, but see Median price stay stagnant or increase. Gig Harbor is home to the most expensive housing inventory as a whole. Homes priced at 2Million or above may keep the Median days at or above the current Median Price.
The Spanaway Community has been the hottest House Marketing in Pierce County through 2019. Despite the slower season, chances of selling are over 100%.
Puyallup. For Seattle commuters this is a community that is highly considered as transportation and drive times are less compared to Tacoma. Newer homes, most of which are located within communities governed by Home Owner Associations (HOA). Or homes with more than 1/2 an acre of land and privacy. If you are hoping to invest in a home that has half an acre of land or more, expect to pay over 500K,
Fircrest is a Small Community with few homes for sale at any given time. (Currently there are less than 15!) We see dramatic fluctuation month to month because of this. If you are looking to invest in a home in Fircrest, expect to pay above $400K for a home that is not a fixer upper.
For homeowners and renters alike, keeping your energy bills down during the Fall and Winter months can be a focus. Thankfully, making small adjustments to your home and daily routines can result in huge savings that, (in the long run) have a large impact on your bank account. Here I will share with you simple tips to save money on your heating bill.
Lower your Thermostat
We all know of the old tale of not touching your thermostat, but as we move into the new decade, equipped with more information than ever, we have to change this narrative. Instead of never touching your thermostat, you should actually be lowering the temperature when we aren’t at home. Before leaving for work, lower 3-5 degrees below what you normally keep it. (Hopefully no more than 70 and between 66 and 68 degrees for efficiency). If your home is well insulated, it won’t take long to warm up again. If however you have an older home with no insulation, consider insulating your home before doing anything else. A larger investment that can pay for itself in just a few seasons. And you will literally feel a difference.
To help you stay on top of monitoring your household temperature consider investing into a smart device that tracks the temperature and gives you easy access to adjust, even when you aren’t at home. Smart systems allow you to adjust the heat remotely, meaning you can turn the temperature up, as you start your commute home! So it’s nice and cozy when walk in the door.
No Space Heater
Turning off your thermostat completely and setting a space heater to 90 degrees in the rooms you use most often (living room, bedroom, or office) seems ideal and more efficient but that is another tall-tale. In fact, putting a space heater into individual rooms actually uses more energy, rather than letting your home’s heating (or cooling) system work evenly. If there are rooms you desire to be a different temperature, open/close vents in those specific rooms, investing in a heating-cooling system that allows you to set rooms at varying temperatures and use humidifiers or dehumidifiers. Smart home systems, are the most efficient way to adjust temperature in your home room by room.
Change out Light Bulbs
This is a big one. If the lights in your home aren’t Light Emitting Diode (LED) , make it so. Have you noticed outlets that frequently trip? Changing your light bulbs to LED maybe the solution. Utility companies often offer rebates this time of year for upgrading to more efficient lights. And here is a no brainer, (but one so many of us are guilty of!) replace burnt-out light bulbs. In summary; using efficient light bulbs could potentially save you hundreds of dollars a year on your power bill and last a lifetime. Well worth the investment.
Unplug Chargers When Not in Use
Make a routine of unplugging your chargers before you leave for the day. Leaving your chargers plugged into the wall socket, whether it be a phone, laptop, or tablet charger, is not good energy efficiency practice. Simply removing your chargers from the sockets saves energy. Consider this: store all of your chargers in a basket. Use outlets that are close to the basket exclusively as the Charging Station. Intentionally placing these in a location that is visible before you leave for work in the morning. You will be reminded to unplug them before you leave.
Insulate your Attic and Basement
Insulating your basement and crawlspace. Most all homes already have this. However if you don’t, put it at the top of the list to get done! Your crawl space/basement and attic are the first to get done. Next would be the exterior walls. If you are buying a newer home, you absolutely have these items as they are requirements for new homes.
Before insulating your home (or adding insulation!), check with your city to see if there are rebates available. A localt insulation professional will know this information as well. Best to hire a professional who is local and knowledgeable of current rebates your city is offering. If you are in the process of buying a home, you will discover during the inspection if your home is insulated. This (like anything else) can be negotiated and complete before the home is officially yours.
CALL/TEXT Realtor Jenny Wetzel for more information (253) 381-9788. or EMAIL Jenny@jennywetzelhomes.com
It’s football season, which means that summer is well behind us and blankets, apple cider and boots are in! But before you go and hibernate for the winter, there are a few things to do around your home and yard. If you complete these items, they will, without question, prevent larger issues down the road and also beautify your home and property!
1. Clean Your Gutters
If your home has a tree (over several) that hang over your home, it’s time for a clean! Why now? The leaves have fallen and the rain is coming. It’s extremely important that you have gutters that are working properly and directing water away from your home. The last thing you want is to have a larger project replacing siding that is rotten from downspout/gutter issues OR (even better) start getting water in your crawl space or basement. It is not fun, I promise.
2. Fill Concrete & Asphalt cracks
Fill these before it rains, freezes and creates more cracks in your concrete/asphalt. Hairline cracks naturally occur overtime from settling. By fillings these smaller cracks in the fall before the ground freezes again, you’ll prevent them from getting larger.
3. Winterize Exterior Faucets
You have GOT to do this. Winterizing your exterior faucets and hoses simply means drain the lines of water and put an insulated cap over the head of the faucet. That’s it. If you don’t you could have burst water lines that cost you thousands of dollars in repairs.
4. Service your Furnace + Fireplace
If you haven’t had your furnace serviced and cleaned, pay the $120 that is costs to get a professional HVAC technician to your house and do it! If you have already done that this year, simply replace the filter. Do you have a heat pump or Air Conditioning unit? If so, it’s best to get these serviced at the tail end of summer or during the warmer months. An AC unit cannot be used or tested when the temperature is lower than 55 degrees (this variest based on unit and manufacturer).
5. Clean your outdoor furniture & bring it in!
Outdoor furniture isn’t cheap people. Give it a good scrub or pressure wash and bring it into the garage or basement. Ideally anywhere that maintains relatively low humidity to slow the wear and tear of your outdoor pieces. You’ll probably need to wash it again after it accumulates spiders, cobwebs and dust. But don’t let this be a reason to not clean before taking it inside! You will appreciate not having to scrub so intensely in the spring. 😊
Our rainy weather requires us homeowners to do a little more when it comes to exterior maintenance and we HAVE to do it! Or it will create substantially more work and headache in our future. Look around the trim of your windows to see if you need a new bead of caulk, if you do, just peel off the existing line and lay down a fresh one. Less is more when it comes to caulking. For me personally I leave this up to my general contractor. It IS noticeable when you do a bad job! This activity can single handedly lower your heating bills and make your home more airtight.
7. Reverse the Ceiling Fan
Your fan traditionally runs Counter Clockwise, which is what we want in the summer to create a breeze. In the winter however if you flip the switch and run your fan clockwise, warm air will be pushed from the ceiling and circulate the warm air!
8. Prune Your Fruit Trees
The trees are now going dormant. The are sucking in nutrients into their roots to prepare to produce fruit or for next season. If you haven’t pruned a tree before, consult with a professional arborist. If you feel confident in doing it yourself, or would like to learn more on how to do it properly, refer to Master Gardeners of WSU! They offer training, guidance and also help answer any plant questions you may have.
Full disclosure! I do very few of these things myself. It’s worth it to me to high a general contractor and local handy person to lay a fresh bead of caulk around my windows because I know if I do it, it will look like my 4 year old nephew did it!
If you do these things every Fall you’ll save yourself time, energy, money and frustration in the long run. Happy Fall My Friends.
Call/Text Realtor Jenny Wetzel (253) 381-9788 or Email – Jenny@jennywetzelhomes.com
I’ll start by admitting that I have purchased every one of the homes I have owned in the Fall or Winter. This headline isn’t for click bait advertising. I really mean it. If you are able to purchase your next home between the months of October and February, you should.
BEST time to have your home inspected
Typically it rains A LOT in the fall and winter months, which is great as a home buyer because you want to see and inspect your next home when in the worst weather condition. For example, maybe you are curious if your basement get’s water during the rainy season (if you aren’t curious, you should be!) Having the opportunity to view the home during the toughest weather conditions vs when it’s 80 and sunny will leave you feeling extra confident moving forward with you home purchase. Likely having to spend less money on surprise fixes, because you already knew about then.
There are fewer home buyers shopping. That’s a fact. Statistically the Average Days on market climbs drastically during the Fall and Winter months. After the 4th of July Inventory levels begin to rise and they historically peak at the end of December. With more homes on the market, you as the buyer have more negotiating power and a little more time to decide.
Lower Interest Rates
Interest rates traditionally do not climb in the Fall/Winter months. They are more likely to decrease, to motivate more buyers to enter the market.
We would like to think that all sellers are motivated but the reality is that those who have listed their home during the winter months, may have some extra motivation to sell before the new year. Taxes? Move up Home Investment (contingent)? Moving out of state? Or perhaps they don’t want to pay the bills during the winter months, especially when they are not living there!
In summary, start shopping in the winter months and you will be able to see and inspect your home in the most harsh weather conditions; making it more likely to expose deficiencies and needed repairs that otherwise may have gone unnoticed, had you purchased in the sunny spring and summer months. Negotiate repairs with the seller, saves you money, time and future headache! Interest rates stabilize and although there are fewer homes for sale, there are significantly less buyers shopping. Allowing you a slight leg up with negotiating and not having to compete against other offers.
WHAT makes Gold Creek different from other Condos in Tacoma?
24 HOUR – GUARD ON DUTY
Gold Creek is the only community in Tacoma that has a guard on duty 24 hours a day. If you are a member of the Gold Creek Community, the guard will hold your packages for you rather than leaving them at your door step, unattended. In addition, the guard will call you anytime a guest arrives to see you. They guards are a warm welcome home to residence at Gold Creek a strong deterrent for anyone looking to cause mischief.
Outdoor Pool at Gold Creek Condos; Tacoma, WA
Community Room at Gold Creek. Tacoma, WA
2. COMMUNITY AMENITIES
Outdoor Pool – Open during the summer months, the pool is fabulous for residence, their family and friends to enjoy. On a personal note, my Grandparents have resided at Gold Creek for the past 30 years. My sister and I have many fond memories of swimming in the pool for hours.
Outdoor Hot tub – Open year round, it comfortably fits 5 – 6 at once.
Community Room – Residence of Gold Creek can rent out the community room for events they host at no additional charge. This was our families favorite meeting spot for Reunions, birthdays and celebrations. Just recently they installed new stainless steel appliances. This room opens to the pool and hot tub. Weather permitting you can enjoy ALL of these communities features at once!
Park – There is a large private park, just before visitor parking. Small pets are allowed at Gold Creek. Go for your morning walk, bring the tennis ball and let your dogs get their energy out! Or if you have kids or grandkids that you’d like to go play catch with, it’s perfect for this also. Surrounded by full large Evergreen Trees, the scenery here stunning and peaceful.
With so many new residence moving to Tacoma, (60,000 expected to move in the next 5 years!), designated parking is a huge perk to have. All residence at Gold Creek get AT LEAST 2 permanent parking spots. One garage (with additional storage) and one uncovered parking spot. If you purchase a large unit, it may come with as many as four reserved parking spots.
Gold Creek Condo in Tacoma. Building C
3. GENERAL INFO. ABOUT GOLD CREEK
Built in 1982; The structure was built with steel and concrete
All buildings; A, B and C have access without having to go up and down stairs
There are a total of 8 unit layouts. There are several units that have been combined! Making them 2400+ square feet or more!
Immaculate Grounds, year round. It’s hard to put a dollar value on something like this. There grounds at Gold Creek are kept immaculate year round AND are larger and more private than newer builders in and around Tacoma.
Best views in Tacoma!
Best views in Tacoma
4. THE BEST VIEWS IN TACOMA
Last but not least, all units at Gold Creek face West. Views of The Narrows Bridge, Puget Sound, Gig Harbor and Salmon Beach can be seen from most all balcony’s. It is not an exaggeration to say that Gold Creek has the very best views in Tacoma.
Eric lived in Seattle up until about a year ago (2018). He went to school to become a teacher, immediately upon graduating received his first position as a teacher (woot woot!) and has been saving and dreaming of buying a home since graduation.
His dream of owning a home while living in Seattle were becoming dismal. The cost of his 1 bedroom apartment doubled in a matter of 2 years. Daily amenities and financial stability that he once had, were quickly diminishing. Eric could have stuck his feet in the mud and said “Well, that’s it! Guess I’m not buying a home!” And continued to spend the majority of his monthly earnings on rent, but he didn’t. Eric continued to save despite the frustrations of seeing homes sell for millions around him.
Eric moved to Port Orchard (a short 30 min. Ferry ride away from Seattle!) where he started renting an apartment for hundreds of dollars less than what he was paying! This gave him greater earning power and expedited the process of soon, buying his first home. At the time he moved to Port Orchard, Eric had been putting money aside for his down payment for almost 9 years 😮. I’m still so amazed by this. I’m sure there was a lot of PB&J sandwiches, saying no coffee dates, late nights and more he sacrificed to get housing and financial stability. But his desire to OWN a home was so great and so CLEAR. He stayed on course with his savings for a decade to make Home Ownership his realty.
Eric was now ready to start shopping for his home. His goal was to spend less than $300,000. He had saved enough to put 20% down and pay for his closing costs (if we weren’t able to get the seller to cover them). Eric was searching online after work, looking at homes and anxiously thinking about reaching out to a Realtor to represent him on the biggest financial purchase of his life.
Sent me an e-mail and two days later we were sitting down in my office going through the entire Home Buying process.
After Eric and I had our first meeting we were both confident that we would be a good fit for each other. He was thoughtful, detailed, asked questions and yet was unafraid to jump in and get the process going. Three days after our meeting, we start viewing homes! We toured about 10 homes before placing an offer on this gem of a home (photos shown). We toured homes in the area he knew he wanted to be based on his own research and also the insight I had provided from 6 years of experience of helping both selling and buyers in Tacoma.
The home was build in 2003, located in Central Tacoma with great access to shops and the freeway. He knew he wanted convenient freeway access because he would be driving to Gig Harbor every day, where he teaches middle school math.
After viewing the home, Eric called me and said he was ready to write an offer.
Eric was driving into my office so we could meet face-to-face to go over the offer and sign together. In the mean time I called the listing agent to get the skinny on other offers and ask some general questions so we can create the best offer. I learned the sellers were out of state, they wanted a quick closing (Eric was happy to accommodate) and the listing agent didn’t have any offers in hand but had scheduled more than 2 dozen showings in the first 36 hours it was listed 😭. Having viewed almost every home in the North End and Central Tacoma and actively selling in these areas for the last 6 years, I knew that this property was well priced and would likely receive multiple offers.
We submitted a full price offer and closing within 25 days. We asked the seller to provide a response by the end of the day (less than 24 hours). Within that time, the seller received 3 more offers and was requesting all buyers to submit their highest and best offer. After speaking with the listing agent again, I learned that one of the buyers might have waived their inspection, which was something that I didn’t advice Eric do. But in order to compete with that, we needed to do something a little extra. We were still going to have our home inspection (and sewer scope!) but we agreed that it would be for buying informational purposes only and no work orders would be requested of the seller. Should we find something significant that made Eric was to withdrawal his offer and get his earnest money back, he would have that option. But to reassure the seller we wouldn’t be making any requests, we included this additional language.
AND THEN the painful waiting game. The listing agent calls me about 24 hours after we submitted his highest and best offer. And HE GOT THE HOUSE! The seller accepted his offer. ♥️ Eric was so excited and also couldn’t help but feel like “wait… that was it!!??” 😆 And my answer was “not quit yet!” We scheduled our home inspection and sewer scope and were elated to find no significant deficiencies with the home. The appraisal was ordered, we review the title report and Eric stays connected with our lender to assure that they continued to receive any documentation needed and before you know it, I was handing over the keys to Eric, for his 1st home. 🏡 🔑 .
As a buyer you are NOT required to put 20% down on a home. There are many great loan programs that will allow a buyer to put as little as 3% down and in some cases zero! (VA buyers take advantage of your benefits!) Eric saved for so long, to give him the monthly mortgage payment he was very comfortable with. He ended up putting slightly less than 20% down and the lender will refinance within 3 to 5 years and remind the $35 a month Premium Mortgage Insurance (PMI) he is currently paying. His mortgage payment now is less than what he was paying in rent for a small apartment in Port Orchard.
If you have any questions about the home buying process OR what it takes to get qualified for a loan, reach out to me directly.
Sometimes a view really can take your breath away. Immediately upon entry of this Goldcreek condominium, you’re met with postcard worthy view of the Puget Sound, Narrows Bridges and the Olympic Mountains. A full-length balcony truly capitalizes on the stunning Western exposure! Open concept design including a modernized kitchen with glass-front cabinets, under mount mood lighting & Corian countertops. The spacious living room has custom built-ins with a discreet office space. Curbless master shower with ornate tile, recessed medicine cabinets for extra storage and & dual vanities. Half bath for guests has also been nicely updated. See the video and pictures below!
1,010 square feet
One garage space + one reserved parking space
Huge master suite
One and a half baths
HOA dues include 24-hour security, maintenance of the immaculate grounds and the common areas which include: a clubhouse with an outdoor pool & hot tub, fitness room & sauna and party room — which can be reserved for free by condo owners!
There are actually three condo communities within this neighborhood, and all are connected by well maintained landscaping. The end result is a highly walkable community that is very dog (and people!) friendly. No pets — no problem! It’s not unusual to see deer on the front lawn, or bald eagles in the sky thanks to the private, wooded setting.
Although the entrance to Gold Creek is hidden from Narrows Drive, the community is just a few minutes from on ramp to Highway 16 and the ever-expanding Westgate shopping center. Westgate is an area enjoying lots of growth right now, with new shops like The Habit and Souper Pho joining established favorites like Joeseppi’s Italian and El Toro. There’s also a grocery store (Safeway) and independent hardware store (Ace) and cleaner (New Era) within blocks!
There’s also great recreation nearby, with Tacoma’s recently renovated Point Defiance Park just under three miles away, Kandle Park playground and pool and the impressive campus of Wilson High School less than a mile away. This is a great location for cyclists, with designated bike lanes running past the Gold Creek entrance and continuing North to Point Defiance, or South via the Scott Pierson trail to the Narrows Bridge or East across town on North 26th.
FOR MORE INFORMATION
Call/text Realtor Jenny Wetzel for more information or to schedule a private showing: 253-381-9788.
Tacoma’s Real Estate Market continues to appreciate. Yes, we are still “The Hottest Real Estate Market in the Nation” favoring Sellers. And yet we continue to see opportunities for both Buyers and Sellers. Here is a quick overview of what we’ve seen in the last month and the underlying variables that are driving it.
MEDIAN PRICE remains the same as last month at $330,000. Median Days on Market has increased just a couple of days to 7. (Yes we increased to 7 whole days 😆) Chance of Selling is derived from the number of Pending Home over the number of Sold Homes. If you are selling in a particular area and price point, it’s important to understand those specific market trends to best position yourself as a Seller or Buyer. These statistics vary significantly based on what you are shopping for and where. Let’s dig in!
SELLERS/BUYERS what you need to know:
Interest rates are at an annual low. As a buyer it’s in your best interest to capitalize on this and lock in your rate! Which means getting your offer accepted. On the flip side – Sellers; time is of the essence, but lack of preparedness isn’t worth it. Complete any work orders that are safety or funding items to maximize the price by capturing the largest buyer pool possible.
Day on Market is increasing. Sellers if you don’t get an offer within the first few days of being listed, it’s not necessarily an indicator that your home is over priced. This time of year is packed with vacations and community events. Hold tight, you might just get that offer you were hoping for later than expected. BUYERS – if you want to gain a competitive edge, keep your availability open on weekends and days that other buyers may not be looking and keep the terms you present competitive. Competitive terms may vary for each seller. Your Broker will be able to share with you what these are for each seller!
If you take away anything from this information, let it be this; the Real Estate Market varies considerably based on the niche location and price point of which you are shopping or selling. Not every house and location is going to have multiple offers AND there are some that we just KNOW will.
North Tacoma Real Estate Market – July ’09
Central Tacoma Real Estate Market – July ’09
South Tacoma Real Estate Market – July ’09
East Tacoma Real Estate Trends – July ’09
Fircrest Real Estate Market Trends – July ’09
University Place Real Estate Market Trends – July ’09
Browns Point Real Estate Market Trends – July ’09
Lakewood Real Estate Market Trends – July ’09
CALL/TEXT Realtor Jenny Wetzel for more information on Selling/Buying in the Greater Tacoma Area (253)381-9788, Jenny@jennywetzelhomes.com
What a ride it’s been! This Old Town Modern Estate is finally COMPLETE ✔️ Here are the before and after photos, showing the transformation that took place. My goal in sharing this journey is too shed light on the Home Renovation process to better prepare home owners and investors for the finance and resource commitment it will take to make it all happen.
CALL/TEXT Realtor Jenny Wetzel for more information on investing in Real Estate (253)381-9788
We are DONE! ✅ After 6 long months of home remodeling, the Old Town Renovation Project is complete!
The intention in creating this video series throughout my home renovation project was to shed light on what the ENTIRE process looked like. (HDTV gives us false ideas of costs, time and required upgrades of older homes!) Here are my 3 big take-aways and lessons I’ve learned. NOTE; these recommendations are based our current market condition in Tacoma, WA and some of my personal beliefs of maintaining and preserving older homes.
Hiring the right Contractors takes time and patience. Reputable and reasonably priced contractors are hard to find and when you do they maybe booked for 4 – 6 months. Sometimes it’s worth the wait. A) Interview multiple contractors B) Sign a contract C) Define CLEARLY what their scope of work is. Spend time unpacking the scheduling and work flow of each contractor. It’s worth your time and 💰 💰💰!!!!
Budget. A) Have a budget! You’ll need this especially if you are remodeling your personal home. Why? Because you’ll want to splurge on all the fancy things (I’m guilty). B) Have at least 25% more funds available than what you think it will cost. Just do it.
Remodeling Old Houses IS NOT the same as remodeling a newer (modernized) Home. I am the first one to admit, that I WANT that cute older Bungalow, Victorian Craftsman, or anything older home! I personally prefer their home features and find them more attractive. Buying older homes comes with it additional responsibility and care. Update The electrical and plumbing systems that will over time fail or be a safety hazard. It’s no small (or cheap) task. If done correctly it will more than pay for itself and you’ll have a gem of a home and Real Estate Investment.
Cheers to you making the absolute most of your next Real Estate Investment or Home! Holler if you need a savvy Realtor to represent you on the sale or purchase of your home/investment. (253) 381-9788.
Here Links to all the videos, (if you want little walk through memory lane) or a refresher on a certain item or stage of the Reno.