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Answers to common questions

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What makes Seattle Neighborhoods Unique?

From my perspective, I find the uniqueness of Seattle to be in its layout of iconic neighborhoods. Whereas living in a suburb, you’ll find that mainly you have your houses with your big box stores, chain restaurants, and shops.

In Seattle there tends to be more of what I would call a core/heart to each neighborhood. An area for those who live close by to connect, from the local coffee shops and restaurants to the retail shops and farmer markets. They have their parades, special celebrations, and parks, with access to water and varying views of the city, lakes, mountains, and sound. The only name brand stores you’ll find is for the more essentials items, like groceries and pharmacies.

Seattle neighborhoods tend to be a reflection of its inhabitants, showing diversity to be alive and well! Each with its own ways to connect on blogs and other media, it really comes down to exploring each to find the one that best fits you.

How has Covid-19 affected the Seattle Real Estate Market?

These days are certainly unprecedented and we all are trying to get a sense of where the market is headed, especially the longer we are under the “stay at home” mandate.

Where Seattle is concerned since we were already in a negative inventory market prior to the pandemic our market even now remains strong for the most part, though new listings have slowed. With every passing week, there are new adjustments, such as the elimination of Jumbo loans, for the time being, raising of the bar for entry to qualify for a loan and the looming forbearance debacle. But as long as interest rates stay low and lenders are holding strong the Seattle market will continue its current course.

Year over year, the Seattle market has dropped 36% since last March for the overall number of listings on the MLS. A trend that is now in its fourth month. There may not be as many buyers as there were before the pandemic but those who have remained are enjoying a little less competition.

How is my Interest Rate Decided?
With all the talk of Interest Rates these days you may be wondering if the Interest Rate you see on a website is the rate you’ll be qualified for when the time comes. Honestly, I find them to be a bit misleading. While the rates you find online are the actual rate at that moment, you need to understand that they are skewed to those with the A+ credit/debt ratio. A majority will fall somewhere shy of the actual rate.

Factors that can’t be known until you apply for a loan with a lender but truly matter are: credit score, current debts, earned income, assets and type of loan with percentage of down payment. These critical pieces will be the determining factor between the lowest rate available vs. an 1/8 to ½ % higher based on where land with these 6 items.

One last thing, as you know interest rates can change on a daily basis. Just because you apply for a loan and qualify for a certain interest rate does not mean that when you go under contract on a home that the rate will still be where it was when you first applied. They are typically locked in once you have gone pending, so please make sure you are in constant communication with your lender.

If you would like to discuss further, please call, text or email me and I will make sure to connect with you within 24 hours.

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“Laura is focused and supportive. She listened to what I wanted, helped me clarify my preferences with focused while still allowing room to see possibilities. She has an upbeat and positive outlook, and was encouraging and patient (it took me over a year to find my home). We both learned a lot during the process, and Laura remained supportive and knowledgeable through the entire experience, and even after I purchased the home. She’s a great person to have in your court!
-Kristin A.

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