King County Property Taxes average 13.7% Higher for 2020

The King County Tax Assessor has issued a press release two days before 2020 property taxes will be released. From the press release:

“About 55 percent of property tax revenues collected in King County in 2019 pays for schools. Property taxes also fund voter-approved measures for veterans and seniors, fire protection, and parks. King County receives about 18 percent of your property tax payment for roads, police, criminal justice, public health, elections, and parks, among other services. [Read more…]

Major recording issues in King County

If you are closing on a refinance or home purchase in King County, you need to be aware of an issue going on with the recorders office. It’s my understanding that on Tuesday, title companies received this message:

“Hello Everyone,

I wanted to update you and keep you aware of a technical issue we are experiencing in the King County Recorder’s Office. We are having substantial problems with our recording system which is causing slow downs and interruptions to service in all aspects of the recording process. Our software vendor and our IT department are working together to resolve this issue as quickly as possible. While the problem persists we may not be able to meet our commitment to providing same day service even for those packages received before cutoff. We will work hard to ensure that all items are recorded either after hours or first thing the next day.

My apologies for the inconvenience on this. I know that this is a busy time for everyone and we are doing all we can to resolve it quickly.

Today, I’m told that King County’s recorders office closed at 5pm stranding hundreds of transactions from recording.”

If your transaction, refinance or purchase, does not “record” then it’s not of public record. Hopefully people can be flexible and nobody is seriously financially damaged by what’s going on with King County.

Hat tip to Lorie Cantu Wiest of Fidelity National Title Insurance Company.

 

My first time at a foreclosure auction

2015-02-13 09.44.30I recently attended my first trustee sale on the King County courthouse steps. The house next door to us, that has been vacant for a couple years was scheduled to be auctioned. My husband and I were curious as to who might be purchasing the property and I’ve always wanted to see what happens at a foreclosure auction.

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Coming Soon: 2015 Property Tax Bills

detctiveIn a couple weeks, King County along with others, will begin posting property tax bills for 2015. This may be a non-event for most…unless you’re in the process of buying a home and your debt-to-income ratios are tight. It’s possible that should the tax assessor decide the home you have a contract on now or during the next month has a higher value, and therefore a higher tax bill, that this may jeopardize some loan approvals and/or transactions.

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Washington State Down Payment Assistance Programs and Grants

2013-03-07_0746Washington State home buyers have several various down payment assistance programs available and they’re not just limited to first time home buyers.  These funds can go towards closing cost and the down payment of primary residence.

Here’s an updated list of what I have available.

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Median Home Prices up 18.5% in King County

A few days ago, I shared an article about how the greater Seattle – Bellevue – Everett area is one of the top 5 places in the country to be a home seller.  Yesterday’s article in the Seattle Times appears to back that up.

A record-low inventory of homes for sale in King County, very low interest rates and a growing Puget Sound economy combined to push the median price of houses sold in February to $365,000, an 18 percent jump over a year ago.

Only 2,947 homes were listed for sale in King County last month, down from 5,178 a year ago, according to Tuesday’s report by the Northwest Multiple Listing Service.

I’m currently working with several pre-approved buyers who are ready, able and wanting to buy a home in this area. What they need is more inventory.

If you have been considering selling your home, now could be the time. You may find that you have an advantage being listed before other homes plan to go on the market for Spring.

If you are planning on buying a home, I cannot stress enough how important it is to be prepared for competition. It’s crucial to be fully preapproved with a local, reputable mortgage professional.

If you’re considering buying a home in King County, or any county in Washington state, I’m happy to help you with your mortgage needs. 

Seattle PI reports Surging Home Prices in King County

This week Aubrey Cohen from the Seattle PI reported that sales prices in King Count jumped up just shy of 20% last month:

The median price of a King County house that sold in November was $385,000, up 19.7 percent from a year earlier and 4.1 percent from this October, the Northwest Multiple Listing Service reported Wednesday. The median price in Seattle was $425,000, up 18.1 percent from last November and 1.2 from October.

Some non-distressed homes continue to experience bidding wars as inventory remains low. Here are some tips on what you can do to prepare for a “bidding war”.

Experts speculate that part of the jump in sales price could be from home buyers taking advantage of extremely low mortgage rates to buy a higher priced home.

If you are interested in buying a home, whether it’s your primary home, a vacation home or an investment property, I strongly recommend getting preapproved first. Being preapproved will help give you an advantage over unprepared buyers. 

If you are considering buying a home anywhere in Washington, I’m happy to help you with your mortgage needs. I have helping people buy and refinance homes in Washington at Mortgage Master Service Corporation since April 2000.

King County Home Prices are up 7% from last year

The Seattle Times reports that home prices for King County have jumped up 7.2% from July last year. This pencils out to $25,250 with the median sales price of $375,250. The article also notes that closings are up 26% YOY which is great news for the housing industry. It doesn’t matter how low mortgage rates or home prices are unless transactions can actually close.With less inventory, many buyers are finding themselves in bidding wars or having a property in contract before they can get their offer together. From the article:

“Another recurring theme is the dramatic drop in the number of homes for sale. Home listings have been sliding for a full year; in July the number of home listed for sale was down 38 percent year-over-year…

…distressed home listings — bank-owned properties and short sales — are down 60 percent from last year. This also contributes to the small number of listings and brings up home prices.”

Part of the reason for the low inventory, per Seattle real estate economist Matthew Gardner, is that many people are not able to sell because they are underwater with their mortgages and don’t want to go through a short sale.

If you’re considering selling and your property is non-distressed (you have enough equity to sell), this could be a great time with more buyers than sellers.

If you’re underwater with your home and would like to sell once you have equity, you might consider a HARP 2.0 refinance (if your last conforming mortgage closed prior to June 2009) or an FHA streamlined refi (if your existing mortgage is FHA). While you wait for home values to continue to trend higher, why not save on your monthly mortgage payments?

If you’re a home buyer, I cannot stress enough how important it is to be fully preapproved BEFORE you start shopping for a home. If you’re considering buying or refinancing a home in Seattle, King County or anywhere in Washington state, I’m happy to help you!