Upper Kittitas County – June 2021 Real Estate Market Round-Up

The heat is on—and we’re not just talking about the weather.  The summer surge is upon us as families look for a place to settle before the school year and those who vacation here consider taking up part-time residence. The market was positively buzzing last month, with new properties coming on and then flying off the market almost as fast.

In fact, 74% of homes that closed in Upper Kittitas County last month spent 2 weeks or less on the market! The average time on market was only 16 days. (There was one outlier that spent 213 days on the market. If we exclude that one listing, the average becomes 13 days!)

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Real Estate Agent vs. REALTOR®

Although the terms may be used interchangeably, they are not the same thing. All REALTORS® are real estate agents, but not all real estate agents are REALTORS®. So what’s the difference between a real estate agent and a REALTOR®? And how does it impact your bottom line?

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Kittitas County Real Estate Update – May 2021 Market Activity

The summer market is in full swing, with many new properties entering—and quickly leaving—the market. In fact, the median days-on-market in Upper Kittitas County last month was just 9 days! This year is moving faster than most, but a surge of activity is always expected as families transition between school years.

Here are the Rarden Team, we’ve been working hard to help our clients in this busy season. From listings to Let’s look at the rest of May’s statistics

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Welcome Briscoe! (and Congratulations Hailey!)

We have a new addition to the Rarden Team trail family: Briscoe, the blue roan quarter horse.

Briscoe is just 4 years old, so he is the youngest of our group of five horses. His birthday was May 18th, the day we got to Sandpoint Idaho to pick him up. (Happy birthday, new buddy!) He’s trail broke and we’re going to be learning a lot together. Hailey is thrilled to have Briscoe as her new partner in crime adventure.

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Kittitas County Real Estate Market Update – April 2021

Have you been searching for a second home property in Kittitas County? Looking for a piece of land or even looking for an upgraded primary residence? If so, you probably know how tough it is for buyers right now in our limited-supply market in Upper Kittitas County. That is why you need the Rarden Team at your side! We are strategists when it comes to buying in this super-competitive market and hope to put our skills to work for you.       

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Horsing Around in Cle Elum? You better believe it!

We love this time of year! The flowers are blooming, the sun feels great, and the horses love love love to get out on the trails. Real estate in our area is booming due to the recreational opportunities throughout the year – hiking, biking, fishing, and tube floating in the summer, skiing, snowboarding, snowshoeing, and snowmobiling in the winter. Fortunately/unfortunately, Kittitas County’s secret is out and demand for Cle Elum’s homes have been flying off the market due to our access to recreation and the amazing sunny days.

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Kittitas County Real Estate Market Update– March 2021

It has been great to get out and about in Kittitas County this spring! The birds are singing, the arrowroots are in bloom, and our horses are LOVING being on the trails.

Our real estate market is already red-hot and it is still April! Although the market has been warmer than usual for the last several years, in March when the pandemic hit, it went crazy with many homes selling in record days on market and for record prices.

Let’s take a closer look at the numbers!

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Kittitas County Real Estate Market Update– February 2021

Spring is right around the corner and in Kittitas County, that means the buyers are looking forward to putting away their snowshoes and ready to get out on the trails in boots and sneakers. This is a very interesting time for our area as we are experiencing EXTREME demand for housing – not just from area residents, but also from folks on the westside, searching for drivable vacation homes. How much has our area’s real estate market been changing? Let’s take a look:

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Combating Work from Home Fatigue

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.

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.

Are Your Finances Ready for Homeownership?

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.

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:

Home Maintenance

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

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.

HOA

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.

Furnishing

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.