01-08-2013 05:48 PM - edited 01-08-2013 05:48 PM
I am a first time buyer and initially was targeting eastside (Redmond / Kirkland / Bothell). But Redmond seems to be really expensive location to stay, irrespective of where it is located. Even Redmond Ridge, which is quite a bit of distance away from RTC or Microsoft Campus has houses in range of 570-650 for a 4br, 2500 sqft house approximately. Education hill is even more expensive. I work in downtown Bellevue, so the distance from Redmond Ridge or Bothell (around Canyon Park) to Bellevue Downtown is pretty much the same, however the price for Bothell homes are atleast 100k less than ones in Redmond. Also, given that the prices in Redmond have reached so high, not sure how much more will they appreciate in next few years. So far, it seems to me that Bothell is more value for money than Redmond / Kirkland.
Given that there are only a few sellers and meager new constructions compared to the demand, I was wondering if there is any room for negotiation; be it upgrades or the base price. I have been looking around a few houses for over a month and all the sellers were firm on the price with hardly any room for negotiation. They pin point to the fact that there are multiple buyers out for the same house, so if you don't buy one, someone else will buy at the listed price. Furthermore, some listings sell for a higher price because of bidding. But to me, it is obvious, sellers try to sell with such tricks. I have been looking up the county website / zillow / redfin / remax for recently sold houses, but that would cite all the details. Since I am very new to this process, I thought I would share this in the forum and learn something from you and your insights. Thank you so much.
If this helps: Our (me and my wife, no kids) max budget is 600k and am looking for a house in eastside (don't want to drive from Sammamish/Issaquah). 4br preferred.
01-09-2013 12:03 AM
There is basically nothing on the market right now. There's a smattering of new construction in Issaquah and Bothell, but it's more or less entirely of the packed together tract home variety.
The existing stock that's for sale seems to either get bought right away, or it's sitting on the market for months because it's way overpriced.
You can try negotiating with the latter group, but bear in mind that the reason that they haven't sold is usually because the owner can't really afford to sell it for less. The exception is probably fixers, if you're feeling brave enough to handle a remodel.
I'd wait. There doesn't seem to be a huge risk of interest rates going up, and it's all but certain that there will be better selection come spring. Set up a saved search on redfin to let you know when new properties in your price range pop up and sit tight.
01-09-2013 02:28 AM
Unfortunately for buyers, it is a sellers' market at the moment and the competition isn't pretend. I do hope that more comes on the market and it gets easier for buyers, but my money is on other factors making it more difficult for buyers by the time more inventory comes on line. If you find a house you like and can afford, buy it- don't worry about appreciation unless you know you'll be selling within the next decade. How much your house is worth only matters the day you put it on the market. People who hold a house for a long time rarely regret the price they paid for it. (I'd say never, but there have to be a few exceptions.) What is important is what you can afford and if it suits your needs. If you like Bothell perfectly well, then take the discount and live there!
I do hope the inventory situation starts to turn around this season.
01-09-2013 04:53 PM
Thank you for the suggestions. I hope the inventory goes up soon, unfortunately, so will the price, but atleast there would be options to buy.
Hibiscus, do you mind explaining why not to worry about appreciation ? Did you mean there is no point worrying because the future is unknown or is there a calcuation behind that suggestion ? Statistics indicate that people on an average hold their houses in this area for about 7 years.
01-09-2013 11:01 PM
What I mean is that short term speculation is meaningless unless you are likely to sell short term, and if you are in the market for the long run, you can count on appreciation if history is any guide. The people who lose out are those who buy when a market gets red hot and people say such irrational things as "the market can only go up- you can't lose in real estate." Or people who buy purely on spec, not as a means to house themselves long term. I don't know anyone at all who bought a house young to live in and regretted it later in life. I think buying young is almost always hugely advantageous unless the buyer is someone who has no business owning real estate. (E.g.Insecure job, no down payment.)
01-10-2013 09:59 AM
""" I don't know anyone at all who bought a house young to live in and regretted it later in life"".
I know people from the US and 3 other countries that all regret purchases made. Of course mostly people dont come out and say "i regret xyz" but talking to them they would love to turn back the clock.
Dont forget, very city, or area is a "special case" until it is not. Once it is not all the exact same people who banged on about buying cause its going up are the same ones who tell you "they knew" the bubble was going to pop but kept thier house cause of the kids, etc ec.
I think the hot areas are getting frothy , pull out any leg and this stool will tumble.
01-10-2013 10:19 AM
Oddman, I believe you, but can you give an example- a case history? I certainly know people who made bad purchases, but I'm talking about people buying what they can afford because it suits their life situation. I wonder if you and I are talking about different things.
01-10-2013 01:22 PM
Oh boy do I regret it!
Bought a house I could afford (2007) and put a LOT of work and money in to it. The main problem besides the loss of value is being stuck. You can attempt to rent it which is hard to break even if you have an interest bearing loan, try to short sale it or just walk. All are not ideal. So when your family expands and you need to move in to a larger house? Screwed.
And yes, the "Prices were unsustainable" crowd who claim they knew better is BS. The same wage \ house price difference had been going on for year and years and years.
01-10-2013 06:03 PM
Jayson, do you need to sell? When you bought the house was it as an investment or did you buy it as a permanent residence and then factors in your life changed? Have values now rebounded in your neighborhood? (In mine they are now over 07 values- a central Seattle neighborhood, so not exactly typical.)
I really did know the market was about to crash in -06. The tip off to me apart from the absolutely brilliant article in Harper's (which caused me to successfully talk two good friends out of buying before the crash) was that there was day trading going on in the Florida real estate market. So much for the "people have to live somewhere" argument.