Profile picture for shivav

what advise would you have for a first time home buyer in redmond/sammamish?

I am a first time home buyer, looking for a single family home on the eastside of seattle (redmond/sammamish pref.). what advise do you have for me?
1. should I buy now or wait for market to go down?
2. what should I look for in a new home?
3. how should I finance it? (mortgage, mortgage+renting part of it)?
4. will the real estate market bounce back in seattle? when?
5. how should I select my home? what neighborhoods? what builders? etc

thx in advance

shiva
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August 19 2007 - Redmond
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Replies (14)

Profile picture for mrsmorgan
Dear Shiva,

We too were first time home buyers. We bought the home you can see for sale (16003 NE 106th St, Redmond, WA 98052) and worked hard to improve it. Then we decided to move out to the more rural areas of woodinville and sell that home. It was the perfect home for a first time home purchase, and still is! You should come by and see it. The prices in our area are steadily increasing still. As far as selecting and area, my husband works for Microsoft and this place was a perfect location, close to all the shops yet still quiet. We'd love to see you and show it too you! Stop by our open house on Sunday.

Good Luck,

Kelly Morgan
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August 30 2007
Profile picture for fillm0re
im in the same boat as you, but if you look at the sales graphs there is a HUGE bubble from the previous two years. the market has quite a ways to drop off before purchase prices more accurately reflect the actual value of homes. if your credit is in good shape and youre financially stable its best to wait it out a while because the national credit situation is going to choke out a LOT of potential buyers that shouldnt be buying in the first place. a lot less buyers equals normalizing prices.
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November 27 2007
Profile picture for jrgregory

I think if you are waiting for housing to drop even more than it has in the last year then you may well end up renting for longer than you had planned.  But now is a great time to get out there and look at homes where sellers are willing to negotiate some pretty favorable terms.  

Another advantage that you might want to consider is the natural real estate trends for this time of the year.  In general  the market is a little slower this time of year, which allows you as a home buyer a unique opportunity that enables you to take a serious look at properties, ask lots of questions and still have time to do your homework without the pressure of worrying that the house will be sold immediately. This may not be the case in springtime 08.  

In answer to your question on mortgage+renter or just mortgage.  I have have done both.  In this area, there are many great ways to find and rent to other easy-going reputable professionals.  Disclaimer:  You should never plan on over buying a house in hopes that you can pay your mortgage with a renter's income (even though we have all done this :)

Contact me and I would love to give you more advice on some of your other questions, I have had a lot of experience in buying and selling.  ( I am currently selling my home at  23817 Ne 61st street, Redmond Wa., but these comments to your post are not meant to  to market my property). You can contact me by using my listing info to write me.

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December 28 2007

Shiva - Great advice by everyone!  You should really get with some friends and/or family who have purchased before in down times and see how they benefited or not from that time.  If anything get with a professional you trust and get some data thrown your way for the past 6 months on current homes active, sold, and pending for sale to see where the market is going in Redmond/Sammamish.  Who knows when the market will bounce back, who knew when it would crash.....could be in 1 year, could be 5 years, or could be 10.  Depends on a lot of variables, but I say this as a bias statement so please don't take this the wrong way.  I'm firm believer in buying real estate and waiting, not waiting to buy real estate.  That's just my opinion, and again I'm skewed a bit.......but it's proven to work for me financially over the years.  Basically it all depends on what exactly you want to accomplish.

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December 29 2007
Profile picture for fillm0re

waiting to drop?  the price drop hasnt even hit seattle yet, but it will.  the economy in the region is strong, but not immune to the national credit situation and pending recession concerns.

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January 01 2008

Buy!   If you are looking to purchase a home that you will be in for a number of years, you would benefit greatly to take advantage of the amazing buyers market right now.  You will be able to get alot of house for less than you could a few years ago...and when the market begins to accelerate (as it always does) you will be in a very good equity situation.  Home prices in King county rose over 1% last year-you dont read that in the newspapers ...not gloomy enough :-)  Also...the seattle market has insulated itself more than the rest of the country due to our incredible job market and lack of land to sprawl to.   My best advice to you would be find a home with a minimal commute and in a desireable neighborhood. 

As Warren Buffet always says, when a known "good quality" stock price falls...buy more of it!

hope this helps, best of  luck to you.

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February 18 2008

Great advice from many different points of view.  Who knows where the market will be in 6 months, 1 year, or 10 years.  The bottom line is interest rates are at an all time low and if you want to own, go for it!   I am bias, a little too, as I have a home for sale on 1.3 acres in Issaquah.  If you are interested take a look at 15418 231st Ave SE Issaquah, Wa 98027.  We love this home but are moving to Northern California.  The market down there has really dropped but we are still going to buy.  Again, rates are great and everythings gonna be alright!!! 

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February 22 2008
Profile picture for bandito1

For anyone looking to purchase a home in the Redmond/Sammamish area, I would like to say that there were 4 homes in my neighborhood that were on the market, all of which have sold in under 2 months!  Interest rates are good, school district is really good and Microsoft (both Redmond and Issaquah campuses) are extremely close.  The trend here seems to be people are "simplifying" and are downsizing abit.  Looking for close amenities so they don't have to burn alot of gas, and close enough to work, that many are actually riding their bicycles.  Our home will be officially on the market in about 2 more weeks.  We have a great view of Lk.Sammamish, extremely close to Microsoft and shopping, etc.  Our home is just under 2000 sq.ft., 1500+ sq. ft. of cedar decks, quiet neighborhood and best of all...private beach rights!  You can see some pics of our home.  Address is 910 207th Ave NE, Sammamish, WA  98074.  Lot size is 10,000 sq.ft.   The home will be move-in ready!  Wish us luck.

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July 06 2008

Hi Shivav,

Let me try to answer your specific questions and I will probably go over the text limit, so this will be in two postings.

Posting One:
There are a lot of excellent builders on the Eastside. With any builder you need to make sure the builder has a good portion of his development sold, that all sub-contractors have been paid and there are no leins on any homes in the development.  Builders have had a very difficult time in this economy.
Resale homes versus New Construction. There are some incredible new construction prices out there, depending on your price point, depending on the lot size.  Prices are very negotiable, builders need to sell, so they are offering many incentives, such as buying down your interest rate, paying closing costs etc. 
Buy NOW!  There is no reason to wait. Interest rates are excellent and there is a lot of real estate inventory on the market. Many homes at great prices to choose from and a good agent can help you negotiate the best price.
What to look for in a new home partially depends on what you want in a home and a good investment for future resale. For instance a 2 bedroom, 1 bath home may not be a good choice for long term investment. Also, I may get shot here, but Split Entry homes are dificult to resale and do not typically hold their value. We would probally want to negotiate seller paid closing costs.

Cont.

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February 16 2009
Cont. Posting one:
Financing, before you begin the home search process you will need to get pre-approved thru a good lender and I would certainly have some excellent referrals for you if you have not had a GOOD referral. Your lender will talk to you about the different loan options, down payment options, etc.
We would need a crystal ball to know exactly when the real Estate market will bounce back, however that being said, I would expect when home buyers start buying the market will improve, job market will improve and so on. It is my opinion the when the home sales improve, economy will return to "normal". Will it be the same as in the past several years, probably not for some time. I also anticipate when the current new contruction inventory sells through, resale home price will go up.  New home construction permits are way down, so there will fewer new homes over the next 3 or so years.
New homes, while the builder is important, so is location, construction quality etc. Make sure you have a home inspection regardless of whether it is new construction, or a resale.  Honestly, I really think you need to work with a good agent. They will look at the market in the area, help you with the best locations for return on value. Frankly, there are many sellers still out there the have homes over valued and an agent can be the in between person to help you get the best price. Equally there are sellers that have very good prices,, however the most recent comparable sales will result in them needing to lower there prices as well.   Feel free to email me if I can answer additional questions-
Best regards,
Linda Bagley 
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February 16 2009
My 2 cents is that builders right now are selling homes for less money than it cost to build them.  They will only keep this up until they run out of inventory and then the balance of supply and demand could swing back in line again.

Next year, less than 50% of the builders out there right now will be in business including several very large names that we are all familiar with.  This equates to not much new product and not much selection for you the buyer.
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February 16 2009
Profile picture for wetdawgs
Ms Bagley:   As 18 months have passed since the original post, chances are good that the person has made a decision.   Hopefully they decided to wait.

Now is an excellent time to wait in Redmond/Sammamish as Microsoft goes through the layoffs.   Give it a few more months (or even a year) and homes will be begging for buyers.


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February 16 2009
We have an outstanding buyer's division, that has helped many first time home buyers get the best deal possible. 

First, I would set your criteria and priorities.  Most of the buyers we deal with are primarily concerned with making a wise investment, so our strategy to match that goal would be to get a discounted property that meets your needs and desires.  Just this month, we have sold two houses to very satisfied buyers who were hesitant about values.  To their surprise, we negotiated sales prices far below what their lender appraised the houses for!  One buyer got a house that appraised for $620K for a price of $530K.  Another buyer got a $430K house for $340K!  Work with an agent that has the knowledge and experience to make these deals happen.

Second, find an agent who is not only willing but experienced in working with distressed properties.  Many brokerages refer away this type of property, but it is likely where you will find the best deal.


Third, work with an agent that you like and who you get along with! 

Lastly, work with a highly recommended and experienced mortgage professional.   Shop around and make sure you have chosen the best!

Although you cannot know for sure how the market will perform in the future, you can choose to work with a great team who can help you meet and exceed your goals!
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February 23 2011
From what I hear from out of state lenders, title, and whole sale banks is Seattle is one of the best markets out there. I bought, I recommend Buying, and I will buy more, and recommend more.

The only real thing you need to do is talk with a local expert and get per-approved. Through the per-approval process you will learn much more about real estate, mortgages, and the benefits of home ownership.
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July 02 2012
 
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