“Colette did an amazing job for us…. she really listened to what our needs and wants were, and it started with getting us into look at our house quickly and knowing that it wouldn’t last long…. It was exactly what we wanted. Then we ran into some hiccups and Colette kept her head and helped us to not bail when it didn’t look like this would work out. We love our house, and from the first phone call Colette was fast, helpful, knew everything about the area, and found us our HOME. We couldn’t be happier with her service and won’t use anyone else, if we ever want to move :)”
Currently, in the middle of October, we find ourselves seven months into the coronavirus pandemic. The majority of the workforce is still working from home and the perks of commuting two minutes down the hall and attending department meetings in pajama pants are starting to wear off.
Who knew our homes would also become a workplace, recreation hub, and in some cases – school? A recent survey by conducted by architecture and design firm, Vocon, found that employers are starting to witness a decrease in productivity with many employees are eager to get back to the office.
We may not have control around when things will get back to normal, but we do have control over our mindset and our space. Below we have outlined ways you can make your home and life continue to optimally function while your home is multi-tasking.
Have a Clear Division of Space
Separate your working areas from the leisure areas if possible. Try to set up a designated home office that serves the purpose of strictly working. If this is not possible, try to pick any space but your bedroom. Your mental health will appreciate the separation of work and relaxation by keeping the office away from where you sleep.
Know When to Stop Working
When your work is right at your fingertips it is tempting to check your email at 10:30 pm as you get into bed with your tablet. Make a conscious effort to disconnect from work outside of your work hours. The reality is that email can most likely wait until the next day and your work performance will benefit greatly when you don’t become resentful about being always plugged in.
Practice Mindfulness to Make Transitions
One of the difficulties about working from home is the indistinct way the day unfolds. We experience significant brain drain when we move from one task to the next without a clear transition. Before beginning the work day take a couple of minutes to take some deep breaths and set some intentions for your workflow. Additionally, when you finish working take 5 minutes to practice a quick meditation to clear your mind. This will allow you to disengage from work stressors and be ready for home and family life.
The reality is we are all juggling a lot more than we are used to within the confines of our home. Nobody is immune from the inconveniences and irritants of being home 90% of our time. Remember that perfection is unattainable.
However, what do you do when your space is just NOT conducive to all these tasks it is now expected to host? If you have tried various setups, I recommend first asking for an outside opinion who can give you advice on solving your space and function challenges. However, there are some spaces that are just not destined to be functional in the way you are envisioning. If you are ready to think about a big change, give me a call. I would be happy to think outside the box with you and see if there is another space on the market that is a better fit for today’s needs as well as what tomorrow may bring.
Owning real estate is a key component of the American Dream. Are your finances ready for your first homeownership purchase – or an upgrade? Most people only prepare themselves for the mortgage application and home buying process.
They think about their credit rating and how much they have saved for a down payment and closing costs. However, it is important to remember there are other expenses that need to be taken into account that are associated with owning a home:
After the home purchase is complete, homeowners can expect to have ongoing home maintenance. It is recommended that each year homeowners set aside 1% of their home’s value for maintenance costs. That means if you are buying a home for $500,000, having $5,000 in home maintenance is on par. Replacing a room or furnace can take a big chunk out of this budget and need to be prepared for.
Utilities are another cost that tend to increase after purchasing a home. People who are used to their landlord footing the bill for these or paying less in a smaller space when upgrading can be surprised when those first bills begin to arrive. I advise asking the seller for what was paid in utilities in the last year.
If you are moving to an area with an HOA or Condo Association, the regular payment amount is usually listed front and center. But what about special assessments or if the HOA votes for an increase? When buying in an HOA, I encourage buyers to review the HOA minutes for the last year or so to make sure the HOA is financially sound, is functional, and see if there are clues regarding upcoming assessments.
A survey on consumer spending data conducted by the National Association of Builders found that new homeowners spend $4,500 more per year on appliances, furnishing, and home improvements than a similar non-moving homeowner. In fact, a non-moving homeowner will spend about $7,568 per year on furnishings and upgrades, where new homebuyers will spend $12,023.
To be comfortable in your new home and to avoid surprises, take all of these factors into account to determine the true cost of owning a house and make sure it is affordable. Overall, the costs of homeownership are well worth the sense of pride in calling something your own. And don’t forget about how homeownership builds your net worth! If you are thinking about a purchase or an upgrade, let’s talk! We can discuss your goals and I can help you determine if your dreams fall in line with your finances.
The coronavirus pandemic created an economic freefall experienced across the country this spring, causing a lot of uncertainties in the real estate market.
At a time when the real estate is gearing up for its hottest season of the year, the country was experiencing record unemployment claims. Some sellers have cancelled their listings, while many opted to wait to list their homes until things settled down.
Here’s the good news: stay-at-home orders are being lifted across the nation and we are finding our new normal as the real estate market shows promise for a strong resurgence this summer.
Summer Will Pick Up Spring’s Slack
Experts predict that the summer will be hotter than usual as it picks up some of traffic that the spring season would have seen.
Chief Economist Danielle Hale, from Realtor.com, told Yahoo Finance, “There are a lot of indicators showing that the summer is going to be a good period for the housing market. I think we’re going to see some of the buying that would have happened in the spring shift into the summer.”
Housing prices and mortgage applications support these predictions.
Heading into the month of March, mortgage rates were starting to rise, making a promise for a spring market with a lot of pent up demand as buyers tried to lock in rates before seeing any additional increases.
However, as the pandemic set in, mortgage rates dropped to a 30 year low. This, in combination with Americans who are ready to resume life despite the pandemic, has caused a surge in mortgage applications.
Data from the Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey conducted by the Mortgage Bankers Association shows that mortgage applications have increased in the beginning of June by 13% higher than June of 2019.
Throughout the pandemic, housing values have shown resiliency. In April the median home value in the Cle Elum area increased by 2.9% of the year prior and by mid-May values had increased by 1.8% year over year. Even June saw growth over last year’s performance, finishing the month with a current median home price of
Rising home values coupled with historically low rates and lower available inventory indicate an active and busy summer real estate market.
Here’s a look at how our local market is shaping up:
Median Home Value
Avg. Days on Market
During an unprecedented time, it is reassuring the see the real estate market recovering in this strong of a manner. If you were planning to make a move in real estate this year, the summer is looking to be a great season to do it.