Category Archives: real estate data

King County housing market hits 5-year high

KING-5 News reports that Seattle is experiencing a stronger real estate performing the best in 5 years.  Small home inventory, increase in home values and excited buyers are contributing to the favorable performance.

Check out the full article and news report video at KING-5 News.

AMS Inspection Services is a home inspection company based out of Leavenworth, WA, with inspectors in Seattle, Wenatchee and throughout Chelan and Douglas counties.  AMS Inspection performs blower door tests for on new construction projects. 

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Washington State building permits increase: A positive sign.

Now that our Seattle and Wenatchee home inspection company offers HVAC testing (duct blaster) for new construction homes we like to keep an eye on the new construction permits.  The 2009 Energy Code for HVAC Sealing requires a third-party verifier to make sure the HVAC system complies with the minimum performance requirement, therefore, we are hired to conduct the HVAC duct testing.

In the May/June issue of the BIAW’s Building Insight Newsletter the chart below displayed a positive sign of recovery in the building industry since 2010.  Spokane, Pierce, King, Franklin and Benton Counties helped to push the May 2011 building permits over the May 2010 totals.  The overall improvement for 2011 shows a 38% increase in building permits year-to-date in May.  Chelan, Mason, Kittatas, Cowlitz, Island and Jefferson Counties didn’t have much change from May 2010 to May 2011.  Let’s hope the trend keeps improving for Washington’s building and real estate industries.

Leavenworth home inspection

Source: BIAW Building Insight, Residential Building Permits Issued May 2011

Washington building industry to recover by end of 2012.

Our Wenatchee home inspection company is a member of the North Central Home Builders Association.  In the May/June issue of the Building Industry Association of Washington’s Building Insight Newsletter they included the chart below.  The green states show the best recovery predicted from 18 months from now.  These are promising numbers.  It is careful to note that the building demand may return but the cost of building may also increase.  With many out-of-work skilled laborers finding different jobs and mills shutting down during this construction lull the labor and materials may be in short supply and thus increasing the cost of new homes.  Those that are able to make investments right now are in a fine position to get the best deals.

Wenatchee Home Inspections

Source: BIAW Building Insight May/June 2011

Wenatchee Home Inspector Photo: Do you see the problem?

At first glance you may think the green algae is the issue in the photo, but not really.  This photo was taken under an exterior deck and algae is typical in those areas.  The real concern is the wood laying on the ground next to the home.  This a great place for wood destroying organisms to start residing and to begin gaining access to your lovely home.  Carpenter ants love decomposing wood!

Lake Wenatchee Home Inspection

Wenatchee Home Inspector Photo

Windermere Forms New Entity To Tackle Web Solutions

Photo credit: mobilemarketingwatch.com

Windermere is one of the biggest real estate companies in the Pacific Northwest. We work with their Wenatchee and Seattle area offices all the time. In a time when social media, phone apps and web solutions are the best way to reach your clients Windermere is jump starting it’s techy side to keep up with the competition. Redfin, Zillow, Trulia, Estately and other web-based real estate solution providers are making pretty big waves in the way that real estate professionals advertise their services and stay connected in the industry. Brett Eddy formed Windermere Solutions in January to boost the company’s digital connections. With 50 employees working in Pioneer Square, Eddy (the CTO) plans to reinvent Windermere’s online identity by integrating design, navigation, social media and functionality with mobile platforms.

In our business it’s very important to utilize web and mobile applications. We use palm pilots, smart phone apps and social media to conduct daily home inspection business. We have accounts on Twitter, Facebook, Trulia, Zillow, Blogspot, WordPress, MerchantCircle, Yelp and others to help advertise our business, stay connected with clients and industry vendors and get involved in our community. Geekwire.com conducted an interview with Brett Eddy about his new endeavor with Windermere and he stated that the company’s web properties currently attract “1.2 million visitors per month.” Read more about the new Windermere Solutions in this Geekwire.com article.

Closing Costs Calculator for the Washington Home Buyer

We perform home inspections in about 10 counties throughout Washington from Seattle to Wenatchee.  Occasionally our clients call to book an inspection and are still a little confused about the inspection cost– who pays it, how much it is, etc.  We did a little internet search and found a few closing cost calculators that may help the potential home buyer.  The calculator we are sharing seems to have the most descriptions of the costs, but will only give you a rough idea since the costs are only estimations.  For example, they estimate the cost of an inspection at $175, but our inspections start at $275…this is standard for a single family home.  Condos may be less.  Also, the appraisal fee usually starts around $300.  A loan application fee will be added to the credit report for a combined fee of $75-$300.  With all this in mind you can use the calculator to get an idea of the added costs associated with buying a home.  If you have a good agent to walk you through the buying process then you won’t be blindsided with these costs.  They can also help you negotiate fees that may be shared with the seller.

Closing Costs Calculator from Mortgage-Investments.com

Homeowner Tax Guide: Get All Your Deductions!

In a time where buyers are cautious and are really weighing out all the benefits of home ownership here are some considerations for tax season. Several tax deductions and credits are providing relief to homeowners and making them very proud of their investment decision. Deducting mortgage interest, home equity debt, capital gains on home sales and taking advantage of energy conservation credits are just a few of the tax season benefits that homeowners can cash in on. Do you have a home office? There’s another one. Most of our monthly home loan payment is interest and you can deduct every bit of it. Only those folks with a loan of $1,000,000+ receive a cap on this deduction.

Stephanie Singer, a Realtors.org contributor wrote about this topic in Tax Time Less Taxing for Home Owners. She said that, “ninety-one percent of homeowners who claim the mortgage interest deduction earn less than $200,000 a year, and the ability to deduct the interest paid on a mortgage can mean significant savings at tax time. For example, a family who bought a home in 2010 with a $200,000, 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage, assuming an interest rate of 4.5 percent, could save nearly $3,500 in federal taxes when they file this year.”

We found a great resource from Kiplinger.com. They have listed all the deductions for homeowners at “What’s Deductible? – A to Z.” Check it out to make sure that you’re getting the most deductions as a homeowner. We use a skilled accountant in Wenatchee to guide us through our own tax deductions. We suggest that you hire a recommended accounting professional to point out these important opportunities for you.