April 29, 2024

How to Win a Bidding War on a House: Strategies for Success

How to Win a Bidding War on a House: Strategies for Success

In today's competitive housing market, bidding wars have become increasingly common. As a prospective homebuyer, it's crucial to arm yourself with the right strategies and insights to emerge victorious. In this post, we'll explore what bidding wars are, key tactics to gain an edge, and the importance of working with an experienced real estate agent.

 

 

What Is a Bidding War?

A bidding war occurs when multiple buyers compete for the same property, often driving offers above the initial asking price. Winning a bidding war requires more than just a willingness to pay top dollar. It's about presenting an attractive, low-risk offer to the seller.

The Balance Scale:

Visualize a balance scale to understand the dynamics of a winning offer. On one side, you have contingencies like home inspections, financing, or the sale of your current home. These contingencies can make your offer less appealing. On the other side is the offer price. The goal is to minimize contingencies while still offering a competitive price.

Strategies for Presenting Your Offer:

  • Use an escalation clause: This allows your offer to automatically outbid others up to a pre-set limit, demonstrating flexibility and seriousness.

  • Provide substantial earnest money: A larger earnest money deposit shows the seller you're committed to seeing the deal through.

  • Offer cash if possible: Cash offers are highly attractive to sellers due to their speed and certainty. If financing, get a robust pre-approval letter from your lender.

The Power of Personal Connection:

Writing a heartfelt letter to the seller can make a difference. Share your story and explain why the home is perfect for you. However, be aware that some sellers prefer not to receive "love letters."

Leveraging Professional Expertise:

An experienced real estate agent is invaluable in a bidding war. They can guide you through decisions, anticipate seller needs, and provide market-based advice. If your agent is less experienced, ensure they have the backing of a well-mentored team.

The Bottom Line

Winning a bidding war requires adaptability and a blend of strategic offers and emotional appeal. By understanding the balance between offer strength and flexibility, personalizing your approach, and leveraging expert advice, you can position yourself for success in this competitive arena.

Posted in Real Estate Tips
April 14, 2024

Is Now the Right Time to Buy a House in Seattle? Pros and Cons Revealed

Is Now the Right Time to Buy a House in Seattle? Pros and Cons Revealed

 

In an era where change is the only constant, the dream of homeownership remains a timeless ambition for many. However, as we navigate the ebbs and flows of today's dynamic real estate market, one burning question looms: Is now the golden opportunity to buy a house, or a challenge best approached with caution? Let's dive deep and demystify this hot topic.

 

 

The Pros of Buying a House Now:

  1. Interest Rates: Although higher than recent historic lows that fueled a 40% home price surge since 2020, current rates are still relatively low from a long-term perspective. Some experts predict they may drop later in 2024, presenting a potential refinance opportunity.

  2. Investment and Equity Growth: Real estate has long been a cornerstone for building wealth, offering both a place to call home and a key investment asset with the potential for significant equity growth over time.

  3. Stability and Personalization: Own your living space free from rent increases or landlord rules. Customize and cherish your home as you see fit, fostering a profound sense of belonging.

The Cons of Buying Now:

  1. Skyrocketing Market Prices: With high demand and inventory shortages driving up costs, finding your dream home within budget can be challenging, often requiring compromises or extended searches.

  2. Highly Competitive Market: Bidding wars are the norm, pushing prices even higher and testing your resolve. Quick decisions, going above asking, and waiving contingencies may be necessary to secure a property.

  3. Economic and Market Uncertainty: Unforeseen events can impact the real estate market unpredictably. There's always a risk that today's investment could lose value amidst future challenges.

Finding Your Path Forward

The decision to buy is deeply personal, influenced by your financial situation, lifestyle needs, and future plans. While the allure of homeownership and its long-term benefits are undeniable, the hurdles of high prices, fierce competition, and economic uncertainty cannot be ignored.

 

We've addressed common buyer questions, from securing financing and finding hidden gems to navigating the process as a first-time buyer. Remember, there's no one-size-fits-all answer, but staying informed and aligned with your goals is key.

 

If you're feeling overwhelmed or have unique circumstances, our team is here to guide you every step of the way. We offer personalized consultations, buyer resources, and invaluable expertise to help you make an informed decision about this major life investment.

 

Don't go it alone – subscribe to my YouTube channel for more real estate wisdom, and let's work together to make your homeownership dreams a reality in the smartest way possible for your specific situation. Contact us today to start your journey!

April 4, 2024

2024 Real Estate Market Update: A Glimpse into Snohomish County, North King County, and the Eastside

2024 Real Estate Market Update: A Glimpse into Snohomish County, North King County, and the Eastside

 

Just like the first signs of spring thawing away winter's frost, the real estate market in Snohomish County, North King County, and the Eastside is beginning to stir with activity reminiscent of the sizzling 2021 market. Despite higher interest rates, homebuyer demand remains fierce in this area. Let's explore the latest February 2024 market snapshot.

 

 

Local Market Performance

While relatively slow in adhering to seasonal trends, the market shows notable anticipation for increased spring activity. Interest rates ticked up slightly by 0.6% to just under 7%, impacting both buyer purchasing power and seller willingness to give up low mortgage rates.

 

Across Washington, closed sales dipped nearly 2% year-over-year, but the median price climbed by 6%. In King County, the median hit $820,000, with Snohomish County close behind at $715,000.

 

 

Inventory levels increased by 4%, signaling cautious optimism. However, the fierce competition among buyers is turning heads, with one of my recent listings receiving 16 offers, closing 14% over the list price as an all-cash, no-contingency deal.

 

Condo sales are booming too, with a robust 9%+ year-over-year increase and a remarkable $496,500 median sales price, reflecting demand for flexible living options.

 

Recent Success Story

Despite the challenges, success stories abound. Past clients reached out about selling, and we strategically targeted an overpriced Stanwood listing that dropped closer to market value. By removing contingencies but asking for a 5% discount, we secured their dream family home!

 

Navigating This Competitive Landscape

While the 2024 market echoes 2021's bidding frenzy and high demand, proper planning with up-to-date information is crucial. As a buyer, consider homes with more days on the market to potentially score a deal and avoid bidding wars.

 

 

Whether buying, selling, or simply exploring options, staying informed is key to making the right real estate decisions in this dynamic market. Subscribe for more valuable insights, including tips on winning bidding wars, the pros and cons of buying now, and affordable curb appeal boosters for sellers.

 

With the proper approach and expert guidance, incredible opportunities await in Snohomish County, North King County, and the Eastside real estate!

 

My team and I would love to be your real estate agency of choice and help you like we’ve helped over 500 people buy & sell their houses in the Greater Seattle area, but especially in Snohomish County. All you have to do is contact us at

 

lisa@lisabender.com

Tel: 425-366-9353 

 

Have more questions or want to learn more about this area? Then make sure to download my Snohomish County neighborhood guide by clicking here. It includes 50 years of local experience information that you won’t find online.

 

You can also subscribe to my YouTube channel to get new videos about living in Greater Seattle & Snohomish County and stay updated with everything from home marketing to personal opinions about this amazing area I call home.

March 26, 2024

10 Budget-Friendly Curb Appeal Boosters for Under $1,000

 10 Budget-Friendly Curb Appeal Boosters for Under $1,000

 

Are you dreaming of a showstopping home exterior to impress buyers, but working with a tight budget? We've got you covered with these affordable curb appeal tips that will have your neighbors doing a double-take – all for less than $1,000!

 

 

  1. The Power of Paint ($50) A fresh coat of paint on your front door in a vibrant, architectural color like black, blue, or red can dramatically elevate your home's first impression. Complement it with newly painted trim or shutters.

  2. New Hardware ($200) Replace dated door handles, house numbers, and knockers with modern brushed nickel, matte black, or brushed gold options. This "jewelry" upgrade is an easy DIY project with major impact.



  3. Pathway Lighting ($100) Solar pathway lights create an enchanting ambiance while illuminating your home's landscaping. Choose styles that coordinate with your home's aesthetic.



  4. Lush Landscaping ($200) Invest in perennial plants, seasonal flowers, and fresh mulch to transform your yard into a lush oasis. Proper planting and upkeep add polish and year-round curb appeal.



  5. A Stylish Mailbox ($100) Don't overlook this focal point! A new mailbox mounted on your home or a post-style box adds character when coordinated with your home's finishes.



  6. Power Washing ($75+ rental) Blast away years of dirt and grime from siding, sidewalks, and driveways with a power washer rental for an affordable deep clean.



  7. Landscape Maintenance (Sweat Equity) Shape overgrown bushes, and trees, and clear debris to reveal your home's full potential through pruning and yard maintenance.



  8. A Welcoming Mat ($50) Let buyers know they're invited with a stylish new welcome mat that complements your home's aesthetic with personality.



  9. Window Boxes ($150) Colorful window box planters brimming with flowers or herbs add instant charm and life to your home's facade.



  10. Professional Power Washing ($500) For a true deep clean, hire pros to revive your driveway, sidewalks, and siding. This service can make surfaces look brand new!


With smart, budget-minded projects like these, you can dramatically elevate your home's curb appeal and perceived value without breaking the bank. Make that first impression count for potential buyers!

 

My team and I would love to be your real estate agency of choice and help you like we’ve helped over 500 people buy & sell their houses in the Greater Seattle area, but especially in Snohomish County. All you have to do is contact us at

 

lisa@lisabender.com

Tel: 425-366-9353

 

Have more questions or want to learn more about the Snohomish area? Then make sure to download my Snohomish County neighborhood guide by clicking here. It includes 50 years of local experience information that you won’t find online.

 

You can also subscribe to my YouTube channel to get new videos about living in Greater Seattle & Snohomish County and stay updated with everything from home marketing to personal opinions about this amazing area I call home.

Posted in Real Estate Tips
March 19, 2024

Mastering Real Estate Negotiations: Balancing Buyer Wants and Seller Expectations

Mastering Real Estate Negotiations: Balancing Buyer Wants and Seller Expectations

 

In today's dynamic real estate market, navigating the delicate balance between buyer desires and seller expectations is crucial for a successful transaction. As an experienced real estate professional, I'm here to guide you through the intricacies of negotiating the perfect deal.

 

 

The Seller's Perspective

From the seller's point of view, the primary goal is to sell their home at the highest possible price with the most favorable terms. However, this seemingly simple objective is often layered with complexities. While high offers may seem tempting, the path to closing is paved with contingencies that can make or break the deal.

 

The Buyer's Expectations

On the other hand, buyers seek a harmonious equilibrium. They want their dream home, but within the confines of their budget and with the assurance that they're making a wise investment. Contingencies like inspections, financing, HOA reviews, and the right to rescind based on disclosures act as safety nets, ensuring the investment's soundness.

 

Finding the Sweet Spot

Achieving the perfect balance, where the seller feels rewarded and the buyer feels secure, is the ultimate goal. It's not just about the money; it's about structuring the deal, timing, and navigating contingencies skillfully.

 

Contingency Considerations

  • Inspection Contingency: Crucial for uncovering potential issues, skipping this can lead to costly repairs down the line. (Some sellers provide inspection reports as part of disclosures.)
  • Financing Contingency: Essential for many buyers, yet sellers fear financing falling through. Agreeing to bridge an appraisal gap can alleviate concerns.
  • Subjective Contingencies: HOA and title contingencies are subjective and may deter sellers if included.

 

Sweetening the Deal

Buyers can sweeten their offer with higher prices, fewer contingencies, faster closing times, or an escalation clause (offering to beat the best bid up to a set limit). Sellers may weigh competing offers to find the perfect balance.

 

The Importance of a Skilled Real Estate Agent

More valuable than any fancy tool are the real estate professionals who know the right ingredients to make your offer irresistible. A reputable agent with strong negotiation skills and rapport with the listing agent can significantly influence the outcome, especially when offers are identical.

 

In the end, every real estate transaction is unique, but understanding the balance between seller expectations and buyer protections is key to a successful deal. Partner with an experienced real estate agent, get your finances in order, and let's negotiate the deal of your dreams!

 

My team and I would love to be your real estate agency of choice and help you like we’ve helped over 500 people buy & sell their houses in the Greater Seattle area, but especially in Snohomish County. All you have to do is contact us at 

 

lisa@lisabender.com

Tel: 425-366-9353

 

Have more questions or want to learn more about this area? Then make sure to download my Snohomish County neighborhood guide by clicking here. It includes 50 years of local experience information that you won’t find online.

 

You can also subscribe to my YouTube channel to get new videos about living in Greater Seattle & Snohomish County and stay updated with everything from home marketing to personal opinions about this amazing area I call home.

Feb. 29, 2024

Everything You Need To Know Before Renting Or Buying A Seattle Home

Everything You Need To Know Before Renting Or Buying A Seattle Home

 

Are you thinking of a move to the Greater Seattle area but you’re not sure if you should buy a home or if you should rent one?

 

I’m here to solve this problem for you.

 

 

Whether you are wondering which is going to be the best option for you, I’ll guide you through the best answer and solve all your questions.

 

 

Your Timeline

 

The first and main question you need to know the answer, that applies no matter where you’re going to move, is: how long do you plan to stay?

 

If you know you are not going to stay for more than 2 years, then the answer is that you should probably rent; unless you have a really good reason to believe that home prices are going to appreciate.

 

But one thing you need to keep in mind if you choose to buy a home is that, if you have lived there for 2 out of the past 5 years, you do not have to pay capital gains tax for a single person, which makes a gain of around $250K per person.

 

On the other hand, if you decide to sell it before completing 2 years, you will need to pay those gain taxes, even though there are ways to offset some of that gain by, for example, considering some of your closing costs.

 

Let’s say you lived in that house you bought for 1 year and a half and now you want to sell it, but you made some adjustments while living there like changing the roof, building a whole new kitchen, etc. That will help you take the basis that was your purchase price and then increase that basis.

 

 

Either way, homes are investments that only make you money when you sell them, so if you’re not going to stay here for at least 2 years, rent will be the best option.

 

Seller’s Market Or Buyer’s Market?

 

The next thing we need to talk about is the buying market situation.

 

We are in early 2024, and currently, the housing market can be classified as a seller’s market. It hasn’t been a buyer’s market since 2009.

 

After that year, we had a balanced market with a 4 to 6 months worth of inventory. But after that, the amount of inventory just dropped and it continues to do so. It’s been 13 years since we had a seller’s market even though they say that real estate is a 7 years cycle.

 

Nowadays, we have something happening that we call “seller’s lock”, which means that many sellers do not want to sell because they have a really great interest rate.

 

Either way, if you can buy a home now, keep in mind that you are doing so at a time when you are not able to get a deal.

 

Where You Want To Live

 

If you're moving to the area, my next tip is: if you haven't been here and you don't have friends here, or if you never visited during the gloomy seasons – winter and spring; you should probably plan to rent a home for at least 6 months.

 

The reason why I recommend that is because it gives you some time to go around, see the neighborhoods, see how you shop, see where your favorite restaurants are, etc. 

 

It is important to get to know where you actually want to live.

 

One thing to keep in mind is that Seattle is known for its freeze and rainy days. I personally like the rain because it gives me a good reason to be inside, but if you don't like to get wet, you might not like it here.

 

 

Either way, my main advice is for you to actually come here, see for yourself, see the house you are interested in, and get your neighbors, all before buying a house.

 

Cost Comparision

 

Now, let’s talk about the real crust of the biscuit which is the median rents versus what you would be paying.

 

Whenever you pay rent, you need to know that you are paying 100% interest, or in other words, when you move out, the best you are going to get back is your security deposit.

 

You will probably save money compared to a purchase, and if you take that gap and invest it someplace else, then you would perhaps make up for the appreciation that you're not getting by purchasing a home. But if you're going to be here long term, then it makes more sense to buy.

 

Let’s compare some payment prices for rent in Seattle and some suburbs nearby.

 

  • A one-bedroom apartment in Seattle is $1,977, while the average rent for a house is $3,400.
  • In Bellevue, a one-bedroom apartment is $2,319 and the average for a house is $4,150.
  • If we look in Everett, a one-bedroom apartment is $1,573 while a house is $2,528.
  • For Bothell, the average for a one-bedroom is $1,902 and a house is $3,500.
  • Last, we have Kirkland with an average of one bedroom for $2,162 and a home for $3,650.

 

 

Now, let’s talk about the cost of buying a house comparing the average price of a house versus renting a house to see how those payments are different. The numbers here are based on an average price with a 20% downpayment and 7% interest rates without taxes and insurance.

 

  • In Seattle to rent a house the price is $3,400 while the principal interest on the average house is $5,104.
  • Looking at Bellevue, the average house rental cost is $4,150 while the principal interest for a mortgage is $9,426.
  • The difference in Everett is not as big, with an average house rental of $2,528 and an average house payment of $3,305.
  • In Bothell, the average rental cost for a house is $3,500 and the house payment is $5,426.
  • For last, in Kirkland, the average house rental is $3,650, and the average house payment will be $7,451.

 

So you can see the difference varies wildly depending on where you are. The super huge difference in Bellevue and Kirkland is probably due to it being where Meta and Google offices are located, making houses appreciate more.

 

But no matter where you are, the truth is that you are always paying a mortgage. The question is if that is your mortgage or the landlord's.

 

Being your mortgage, you get some tax and appreciation benefits while assuming the costs of making adjustments on the house.

 

The truth is that is going to depend on your current situation.

 

 

Either way, my team and I would love to be your real estate agency of choice and help you like we’ve helped over 500 people buy & sell their houses in the Greater Seattle area, but especially in Snohomish County. All you have to do is contact us at

 

lisa@lisabender.com

Tel: 425-366-9353

 

Have more questions or want to learn more about this area? Then make sure to download my Snohomish County neighborhood guide by clicking here. It includes 50 years of local experience information that you won’t find online.

 

You can also subscribe to my YouTube channel to get new videos about living in Greater Seattle & Snohomish County and stay updated with everything from home marketing to personal opinions about this amazing area I call home.

Feb. 22, 2024

7 Worst Things About Living In Seattle

7 Worst Things About Living In Seattle

 

Are you thinking about moving to the Greater Seattle area but you are unsure if it's going to be the right fit for you?

 

Let me help you.

 

 

I will share with you 7 things that you need to know that are the worst aspects about the Greater Seattle area and will probably make you think twice before packing your bags and moving.

 

 

#7 - The Seattle Freeze

 

Yes, this is a real phenomenon that locals and transplants alike complain about.

 

The Seattle freeze means that it's challenging to make real friends. Some theories suggest it's because there is a high contingency of introverts who live here; because Seattle was founded by many Scandinavian countries with more reserved cultures; and even due to the gray weather.

 

Houses in Seattle weren't built around the idea of sitting on your front porch and waving at passersby. In fact, people tend to hurry off from their jobs and retreat back to their houses.

 

My advice is: get some hobbies and be patient, as it will be challenging, especially if you are an outgoing person.

 

#6 - Schools Are Hit Or Miss

 

If you have kids, you would want to know that some schools here are ranked 5 out of 10 on the Great Schools website, while others are 10 out of 10.

 

I highly recommend my clients with kids get on Great Schools, the County and State Superintendent websites as well, and look at the reviews. There, you will find an in-depth dive into all the schools in the area, their test scores, demographics, etc.

 

Something to keep in mind while you do your research is that there is also a dip in quality, so it's really important that you research all the specific schools near the home you're considering to ensure you are comfortable with what they offer.

 

#5 - Traffic

 

You've probably heard me say this in almost every video, but traffic in Seattle is terrible, and you need to remember that.

 

 

I had clients coming from LA saying they didn't want to spend 2 hours in traffic like they did there, and clients relocated from Hawaii who were used to driving only 15 minutes to get to the other side of the island.

 

So it's all about your own perspective, what you're already accustomed to, and what you're comfortable with.

 

But while the traffic is crazy and can be challenging for those who get frustrated easily, some alternatives are being planned and built, such as a Light Rail system.

 

The challenge is how to connect all the major employment centers since they are located all over the Greater Seattle area.

 

I also see some residents going to work by riding their bikes, especially if they live close to the city center and close to their workplace; this can also be used as an alternative.

 

#4 - Road Conditions

 

The physical condition of the roads is terrible!

 

I don't know what's happening with the money from the highest gas taxes, but I can tell you that roads are not well-paved; you don't travel over them smoothly, but rather, you feel all the bumps everywhere.

 

Especially on Highway 2, if you head there for camping, you will have to deal with crazy road conditions with many potholes.

 

Another thing you need to keep in mind is that streets here aren't named; it's a whole bunch of numbered streets, and for some, this can be disappointing and difficult to adjust to.

 

#3 - Homelessness & Public Safety

 

Homelessness and public safety have been significant issues, especially in downtown Seattle and other city centers.

 

When I was growing up, I would walk in downtown Seattle and feel perfectly safe; the streets were very clean, the highways were in good condition, the air was cleaner, and I remember feeling very proud of living here.

 

The situation has obviously changed since then, so depending on where you live, you're going to want to walk around a neighborhood and decide what you're comfortable with.

 

I always recommend that my clients check Crime Maps or Nexus to review the crime statistics in the area they're considering.

 

#2 - The Weather

 

The weather in Seattle can be really draining for people, especially if you tend to experience Seasonal Affective Disorder during winter, with the sun rising after 7 am and setting just shortly after that, making it dark for much of the day.

 

 

During winter, be prepared to face the big giant freeze, with temperatures getting gloomy, drizzly, and rainy.

 

Speaking of rain, you can experience flooding. Many homes here need to have pumps in their crawl spaces to remove water, and you can end up with a muddy backyard because of it.

 

But the main thing you need to know is that Seattle can experience a giant earthquake at some point, unlike other areas, but it is something to keep in mind. On the other hand, we don't have hurricanes and tornadoes.

 

#1 - Housing Prices

 

The number one worst thing about living in Seattle is how crazy high the housing prices are.

 

Let me show you some prices:

 

In Seattle, the average cost of rent is $2,063, while to purchase a single-family home, it's $891K, and for a condo, it's $483K.

 

In Everett, for rent, you will pay around $1,875, to purchase a single-family home, you will pay $627K, while condos have prices starting at $274K.

 

But it is in Bothell where things get scarier. Here, the average cost of rent is $2,700, to buy a single-family home, you will pay around $990K, while condos are $568K.

 

The truth is that it can be quite expensive, but there are ways of making it slightly more affordable, such as, for example, if you want a townhome with no yard and without a big garage, you can save some more money.

 

It's all about perspective and preferences, but prices in the Greater Seattle area have been growing year over year.

 

On the other hand, there are positive sides to living here.

Either way, my team and I would love to be your real estate agency of choice and help you like we've helped over 500 people buy & sell their houses in the Greater Seattle area, but especially in Snohomish County. All you have to do is contact us at:

 

lisa@lisabender.com

Tel: 425-366-9353

 

Have more questions or want to learn more about this area? Then make sure to download my Snohomish County neighborhood guide by clicking here. It includes 50 years of local experience information that you won't find online.

 

You can also subscribe to my YouTube channel to get new videos about living in Greater Seattle & Snohomish County and stay updated with everything from home marketing to personal opinions about this amazing area I call home.

Posted in Seattle
Feb. 19, 2024

What Type of Home Can You Buy With $600K in Snohomish County?

What Type of Home Can You Buy With $600K in Snohomish County?

 

If you are thinking about moving to the Greater Seattle area, you should consider relocating to Snohomish County with its endless home opportunities.

 

Here, you can find homes for $600K or less, from single-family to condos, near the water or not, easy to commute to downtown Seattle or more into the countryside; there are endless living options.

 

In this post, I'm going to use the OneHome Portal to show you some opportunities you have and prove to you how Snohomish County is the best and most affordable choice you could make.

 

 

Setting Your Criteria

 

First, you need to set the criteria for your research, whether you're looking for residential or condominium homes. Set the price for $600K or less, add the number of bedrooms and bathrooms you desire, and see the results.

 

Another thing you can do is look around places of interest. So, for example, if you love lakes, you can see all the available homes near Lake Stevens, the biggest one here in Snohomish County, where you can do water skiing, jet skiing, and other water-related activities.

 

You can also check the homes near the city where you work. So whether you work in Seattle, Bellevue, Redmond, or Kirkland, you'll see many home options near the highways and routes you use most often.

 

 

It is important to consider the traffic situation and how long it will take for you to commute to these cities. Major employment centers can be very crowded to arrive at, especially during big occasions like ski season or summertime.

 

Checking The Homes

 

As you go through the map, you'll see all your single-family and condominium options, some homes with prices around $450K.

 

One thing you can do is simulate how much your monthly costs will be.

 

Looking at a home selling for $600K, it shows you that monthly costs will be around $3,982, including taxes, insurance, interest rates, if you have a mortgage, etc. But you have the option to simulate how much your monthly costs will be based on your own data.

 

It is important to pay attention to the details in the description and check if the prices match what you're able to afford. Something I recommend is to think about your long-term plan, especially if you have an interest in a condo.

 

 

For example:

 

Do you want to rent it out? If so, make sure that there is no rental cap because if there is, you might not be able to rent it, or you might have to wait a year before you can rent it.

 

Another option that will save a little bit of money is to consider a manufactured home. The downside is that they do not appreciate at the same rate as a stick-built home, but they're more affordable.

 

Snohomish County also gives you townhouse options for around $300K, where you can downsize your monthly costs to $2,200 compared to a condo but have the same comfort as you would in a bigger home.

 

How To Find The Perfect Fit?

 

With incredible options in Snohomish County for affordable prices, it can be difficult to find the right fit, especially when we start to consider what the towns have to offer and what our goals are.

 

It is important to think: do you need acreage? Do you need a garage? Do you hate yard work? Do you need to live within 30 minutes from where you work?

 

 

There are so many things to discuss, and I will be glad to help you with everything you need.

 

So, if you need to relocate, you're looking for a new home, and want to see all your options, make sure to check the OneHome Portal and consider moving to Snohomish County and its many amazing living options.

 

Either way, my team and I would love to be your real estate agency of choice and help you like we've helped over 500 people buy & sell their houses in Snohomish County. All you have to do is contact us at:

 

lisa@lisabender.com

Tel: 425-366-9353

 

You can also subscribe to my YouTube channel to get new videos about living in Snohomish County and stay updated with everything from home marketing to personal opinions about this amazing area I call home.

Feb. 7, 2024

Don’t Move To Seattle, Move To Snohomish County Instead

If you just got a job offer from companies like Amazon, Meta, Google, or Boeing and have to relocate to Seattle but aren’t sure where to live, let me help you.

 

In this post, I’ll tell you all the reasons why you should consider moving to the East Side or Snohomish County instead of living in Seattle downtown.

 

 

First, let me explain to you what we consider the East Side of Seattle.

 

 

 

We use Lake Washington to track, so the East Side of Seattle is where Kirkland, Bellevue, and Redmon are located, or in other words, where you’re going to find the companies Google, Meta, and Microsoft.

 

 

Living In The East Side

For those working at Google building in Kirkland, you might want to consider cities like Bothell or Woodinville. To commute to these cities, you’re going to use roads like Hwy 405 and Woodinville Dr 522, having a 30-minute drive.

 

Bothell is known for being home to the University of Washington Bothell campus, where all the crows fly around and roost overnight.

 

In Woodinville, you’ll be in the wine capital of the area, with places you can go to do wine tasting or places like Chateau St. Michelle which often offers live music concerts. This city has been receiving a lot of improvements lately.

 

But if you have the schedule, towns like Alderwood Manor, Martha Lake, or Mill Creek in Snohomish County are the better choices and are only going to add 5 to 10 minutes into this drive on a Monday morning.

 

Let me tell you a little bit more about these towns.

 

Alderwood Manor is where you’re going to find all the shopping, since is where Alderwood Mall is located, offering tons of stores like Nordstrom and Macy’s, and dining places like PF Chaing’s and Claim Jumper.

 

 

Martha Lake has two lakes nearby and a wide variety of homes, while Mill Creek is more of a planted community with lots of sidewalks and golf clubs.

 

At Bellevue, you have Rd 520, Hwy 405, and 90 to commute, but depending on which neighborhood you live in, it can take 20 minutes to get to the actual road to commute to Seattle. 

 

Here, you have areas like Yarrow Point, Hunts Point, Clyde Hill, and Medina, which can be super expensive when it comes to finding a home since is an area where most wealthy choose to live.

 

Bellevue in general is an expensive area, offering very high-end malls like Bellevue Square and other commercial areas with fancy stories. You also have Overlake Medical Center, a non-profit healthcare system.

 

To commute in Redmond, you have to use Rd 520, but living in the city is also a great choice, especially with downtown under construction and the roads getting improvements.

 

Around there, you’ve got a place called Bridal Trails, with large lots to choose from and places where you can do horseriding.

 

Commuting To Seattle Using The Bridges

Whether you choose a place on the East Side, the commute to Seattle will be mainly through the Rd 520 bridge and the Hwy 90 bridge.

 

At the Rd 520 bridge, you’ll have traffic that fluctuates based on the time of the day, while the Hwy 90 bridge has more lineage and tends to not get as crowded.

 

Other options to commute without using the bridges are through Rd 405, but it can take way longer to arrive than using the bridges.

 

OneHome Portal

 

To help you out even more, you can use our custom portal to help you check all the home options in the greater area of Seattle.

 

 

There, you can see the available homes throughout the area and personalize your preferences, whether you want a home within 30 minutes from downtown or the average price you’re looking for the places nearby you want to have, the school districts, and things the home must have, like how many beds and baths.

 

You can also make a simulation of how much your monthly housing costs would be, for example, change the interest rates and the home insurance to check the estimated monthly cost.

 

Very intuitive, this portal can help you keep track of homes that got your attention by marking them as “liked” or the homes you don’t want to see by marking them as “dislike”, or choosing some homes to compare them.

 

Living In Snohomish County

Now, let’s discuss more about the areas in Snohomish County you should consider if you’re going to work in Seattle or the East Side.

 

First, we have Bothell as a great option, a city that boasts nightlife and things to do.

 

Residents often go to the Sammamish River for kayaking, and the city offers tons of dining options, has the Bothell Landing Park that’s simply gorgeous, and so much more. Bothell is also pretty well located, right in a major intersection of Rd 522 and Hwy 405, and it takes less than 30 minutes to arrive in downtown Seattle or Kirkland, Bellevue, and Redmond.

 

Next, we have Snohomish, with awesome antique places and that typical small-town feeling.

 

Is a town with local food places from sandwich shops to fine dining restaurants like Fred’s Rivertown Alehouse, Toto Mexico; antique shops, an Aquatic Center, and a farmer’s market during summer, besides all sorts of rivers and creeks. 

 

 

Snohomish is the perfect spot for those seeking a slower pace of life, walkable streets, and a very tight-knit community. The town has really old Victorian-style homes and gives you access to Rd 9 and I-2.

 

Last, we have Lake Stevens, with a lot of shopping options nearby.

 

This quiet and beautiful town is highly recommended for those working in Everett since you can jump right into I-2 and arrive there in no time without having to worry about traffic. Is also a town with a very good school district that many families consider when relocating.

 

The greater Seattle area has a lot of places to choose from if you don’t want to live inside the downtown craziness but need to be around for work.

 

My OneHome Portal is a tool that was planned to help you through the process of finding and buying a home, and I hope it can help you make your relocating an easy task.

 

So, if you need to relocate, make sure to check the OneHome Portal and consider moving to Snohomish County and its tons of amazing living options.

 

Either way, my team and I would love to be your real estate agency of choice and help you like we’ve helped over 500 people buy & sell their houses in Snohomish County. All you have to do is contact us at

 

lisa@lisabender.com

Tel: 425-366-9353

 

Have more questions or want to learn more about this area? Then make sure to download my Snohomish County neighborhood guide by clicking here. It includes 50 years of local experience information that you won’t find online.

 

You can also subscribe to my YouTube channel to get new videos about living in Snohomish County and stay updated with everything from home marketing to personal opinions about this amazing area I call home.

 

Jan. 23, 2024

Everything You Need To Know About Seattle’s Best Suburbs In Snohomish County

Picture yourself living near gorgeous landscapes and top-tier schools in the charming suburban towns of the greater Seattle area.

 

Welcome to Snohomish County.

 

 

With places where nature meets convenience and community spirit that is alive and well, this county has so many gorgeous spots.

 

 

Let me take you on a virtual journey through this unique area to help you figure out if it’s the right place for you and your family.

 

Snohomish County Overview

 

I like to say that houses are like spouses, what’s right for one person may not be right for another, and even though I’ve been living in Snohomish County for 50 years and absolutely love it, for others it may not be a great fit.

 

What I want to do with you is go over the streets of Everett and its relaxed atmosphere with unique antique shops, take a walk in downtown Lynwood, do some tranquil trails in Edmonds, and show you everything these small towns have to offer.

 

Snohomish County is a microcosm of the Pacific Northwest splendor, here we have outdoor adventures awaiting at almost every corner, from kayaking on serene lakes or water skiing on Lake Stevens to exploring towns like Mill Creek and Bothell. 

 

 

But since we’re talking about a huge area, I’ll only focus on the south & east side of Snohomish County, and talk about how they’re sought-after alternatives to the sword process of Seattle while maintaining their small-town charm and close-knit community feel.

 

Housing Options & Job Market

 

Let’s start by talking about the housing options and the job market in Snohomish County.

 

With a huge diversity like its landscapes, the housing market in the area offers from charming historic Craftsmen and Victorian homes, nestled in mature neighborhoods, to luxurious new developments catering to modern tastes.

 

However, with the influx of Seattle commuters seeking refugee from the city’s high housing cost, the market has become competitive, particularly in areas with renowned school districts.

 

This surge has led to a dynamic real estate market, where finding the right home requires a keen eye and sometimes, a bit of patience.

 

 

While in the job market, we have a hub of economic activity, thanks to the presence of aerospace titans, the growing tech industry, and the thriving healthcare sector which provides numerous opportunities for professionals.

 

Companies like Boeing, Microsoft Meta, and Google helped the rapid transformation of the area and the diversification of the job market, creating an economic landscape and improving the range of career opportunities for residents.

 

So whether you’re a seasoned professional or you’re just starting out, the job market here is as inviting as the scenic fuse.

 

Lifestyle & The Weather

 

Life in Snohomish County is a blend of adventure and tranquility.

 

Imagine starting your summer weekends with a hike through the Cascades followed by an afternoon of antiquing downtown Monroe.

 

Each town with its historic downtowns offers a unique slice of americana, complete with local festivals, farmers markets, and community gatherings. It’s a place where you can enjoy the great outdoors and then unwind in a cozy cafe or a boutique shop, being particularly appealing to those who love a mix of outdoor activity and small-town charm.

 

During the winter, you can enjoy skiing or snowboarding at Steven’s Pass, and then go to a relaxing dinner and a movie in Monroe. Throughout the year, there’s a variety of outdoor activities to enjoy, everything from paddle boarding to water skiing, and snowshoeing to snowboarding.

 

 

Snohomish County also allows you to be in a completely different place within 2 hours drive.

 

If you drive north, you’ll be in Canada; if you drive east, you’ll be in the mountains; go a little further east, and you’ve got fields and plains almost like the desert; if you drive west, you’ll be in Puget Sound, or a little further, and you’ll arrive in the ocean; go south, and you’ll be in Seattle.

 

The weather here is something that also helps create this atmosphere.

 

 

With mild enjoyable summers where the sun lingers in the sky with sunsets being around 9:15 pm, you have the perfect light to enjoy after-work picnics or do late hiking. There’s nothing truly quite as great as a summer in western Washington.

 

However, during winter, the region adopts a more introspective mood, with a frequent gray sky and rain clouds, with the sunset going until around 4 pm. But even that way, we have the winter charm, encouraging indoor activities and community events.

 

Is an area full of contrast, offering something for both the sun seekers and those who find solace in the quiet of a rainy day.

 

Education, Healthcare & Commuters

 

Let’s discuss some important topics: education, healthcare, and how it is for commuters to live in Snohomish County.

 

Education is a cornerstone here, with districts like Northshore, Mukilteo, and Edmonds, making the area a magnet for families seeking the best for their children.

 

From innovative elementary schools to high schools boasting advanced programs and extracurricular activities, the educational landscape here is rich and diverse, beyond the high academic standards.

 

These schools are known for their inclusive environments and community involvement, making them not just institutions of learning, but hubs of community growth.

 

When it comes to healthcare, Snohomish County stands out in facilities like Providence Regional Medical Center, offering top-notch medical services and ensuring residents have access to excellent care.

 

 

Seattle’s world-class hospitals and research centers are also just a short drive away, providing an extra layer of medical assurance, whether it’s a routine checkup or a specialized treatment.

 

For daily commuters, thanks to highways and local roads, it’s easy to go to Seattle but be prepared for busy traffic, especially during peak hours.

 

Public transportation options include an upcoming commuter rail, which is going to help those looking to reduce their carbon footprint.

 

While owning a car is advantageous for exploring Snohomish County's most remote areas, public transportation will provide a reliable alternative for daily commuters and city trips.

 

 

Snohomish County has tons of areas to look for, and you must set your preferences before heading this way. 

 

Either way, if you’re planning to move to this area and are looking for your new home, my team and I would love to be your real estate agency of choice and help you like we’ve helped over 500 people buy & sell their houses in Snohomish County. All you have to do is contact us at

 

lisa@lisabender.com

Tel: 425-366-9353

 

Have more questions or want to learn more about those two areas? Then make sure to download my Snohomish County neighborhood guide by clicking here. It includes 50 years of local experience information that you won’t find online.

 

You can also subscribe to my YouTube channel to get new videos about living in Snohomish County and stay updated with everything from home marketing to personal opinions about this amazing area I call home.