Tips from The Cascade Team Agents

  •         Sales of previously owned homes decreased 4.3% from the prior month.
  •         30-year fixed mortgage jumped by nearly a quarter percentage point to 7.1%

The U.S. housing market is coming under renewed pressure, buffeted by mortgage rates that rose above 7% again and uncertainty over changes to the commission system for buying and selling a home.

The average rate on the standard 30-year fixed mortgage jumped by nearly a quarter percentage point to 7.1%, according to a survey of lenders released Thursday by mortgage-finance giant Freddie Mac. That is the highest level since late 2023 and the largest weekly increase in nearly a year.

Low inventory continues to fuel competition among area buyers in Western Washington However.…

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If you’ve got a move on your mind, you may be wondering whether you should wait to sell until mortgage rates come down before you spring into action. Here’s some information that could help answer that question for you.

In the housing market, there’s a longstanding relationship between mortgage rates and buyer demand. Typically, the higher rates are, you’ll see lower buyer demand. That’s because some people who want to move will be hesitant to take on a higher mortgage rate for their next home. So, they decide to wait it out and put their plans on hold.

But when rates start to come down, things change. It goes from limited or weak demand to good or strong demand. That’s because a big portion of the buyers who sat on the sidelines when rates were…

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You may have seen reports in the news recently saying it’s more affordable to rent right now than it is to buy a home. And while that may be true in some markets if you just look at typical monthly payments, there’s one thing that the numbers aren’t factoring in: and that’s home equity. Here’s a look at how big of an impact equity can have and why it’s worth considering as you make your decision.

What the Headlines Are Based on

The graph below uses national data on the median rental payment from Realtor.com and median mortgage payment from the National Association of Realtors (NAR) to compare the two options. As the graph shows, especially if you’re not looking for a lot of space, it can be more affordable on a monthly basis to rent:

 


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National Association of Realtors' settlement on home-sale commissions will go into effect July if approved.

I want to start by addressing the "misinformation" involving the landmark settlement that could impact real estate practices and commissions as we know them.  There is a lot of uncertainty out there. And there are tons of people who thrive on that, they love to stir the pot and tell you “The Sky Is Falling.”

I know I speak for a lot of real estate professionals when I say that we’re upset with a lot of the misinformation that is getting circulated about the proposed settlement. What these proposed changes will do is clean up a lot of real estate agents who don’t run their business like an actual business or keep up with new rules and…

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In the realm of buying or selling a home in Phoenix, Arizona, the expertise of a seasoned real estate agent can be a game-changer. Such an agent can guide you through the market with ease, saving you both time and resources. 

Gauging an Agent's Experience: Instead of merely inquiring about an agent's years in the field, consider asking how frequently they've renewed their real estate license. The term of real estate licenses differs from state to state, and understanding the frequency of an agent's license renewal can provide a glimpse into their experience and success rate. 

The Edge of a Seasoned Real Estate Agent: While anyone can peruse homes online, a seasoned real estate agent offers a depth of local knowledge and expertise that is…

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If commissions are decoupled, researchers believe the competition will drive real estate commissions down.

A groundbreaking $418 million legal agreement could drive down commission rates and shrink the number of real-estate agents.

As an example, the DOJ cites Northwest MLS (NWMLS), which no longer requires listing agents to make offers of buyer broker compensation in order to list a property. Despite this being allowed, the practice of cooperative compensation continues, and agent commissions have not changed.

“As long as sellers can make buyer-broker commission offers, they will continue to offer ‘customary’ commissions out of fear that buyer brokers will direct buyers away from listings with lower commissions — a well-documented phenomenon…

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Western Washington saw one of the largest year-over-year decreases in active inventory last month. There were 3,333 properties for sale in January — a 23.2% decrease from January 2023, when there were 4,342 homes on the market. Only Las Vagas had a steeper nation drop in inventory levels.

As a result of the low housing inventory levels around Western Washington, we are returning to bidding war situations. Seattle area home sales increased by 7% in January, marking the first year-over-year increase since March 2022. Meanwhile, home sale prices increased by 3.4% year over year.

Additionally, the new commission rules are allowing Sellers to save 10’s of thousands in Buyer Agent commissions.

Cascade Team Saves Commissions For Sellers

Taking advantage of low inventory before more homes…

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Introduction:

Understanding the financial implications of owning and selling residential real estate can be a daunting task, especially when it comes to taxes. One of the key tax considerations for homeowners is the capital gains tax. This blog aims to demystify the concept of capital gains and how it applies to residential real estate. 


What are Capital Gains? 

In simple terms, capital gains refer to the profit made from the sale of an asset or investment, which has increased in value over time. For instance, if you purchased a house for $200,000 and later sold it for $300,000, the $100,000 profit is considered a capital gain. 


Capital Gains Tax and Residential Real Estate

When you sell your home for a profit, you may be subject to…

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As Valentine's Day approaches, love is in the air. But this year, instead of focusing solely on chocolates and roses, why not consider a different kind of matchmaking? Just like finding the perfect partner, finding the perfect home can be a journey of discovery, filled with excitement, anticipation, and even a few butterflies.

1. Love at First Sight: The Importance of First Impressions Just like a first date, the first impression of a home can be a game-changer. A well-maintained exterior, a welcoming entrance, and a clean, inviting interior can make potential buyers fall in love instantly. As a seller, it's essential to ensure your property is looking its best for every viewing. As a buyer, remember that while first impressions are important,…

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After a particularly rough stretch, the frozen housing market has begun to thaw.

Mortgage rates have tumbled, more homes are being listed, and sales are rising as buyers are pouncing on their sudden change in fortune.

“The worst is over for the housing market,” says Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody’s Analytics. But “it will take a number of years for the housing market to fully normalize.”

Indeed, the signs of a gradual sea change have been abundant in the past two months.

Market Recap

Real estate market activity has remained slow in accordance with typical seasonal patterns. Interest rates held steady through the month of January to end at 6.69%; at the time of this publication, there was a slight decrease to 6.63%. For the…

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