Date Archives: August 2022

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Bellevue WA | 16 Posts
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Portland OR | 65 Posts
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Seattle WA | 67 Posts
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August
22

Portland

Portland homes for sale are smack dab in the middle of one of America's most unique and vibrant cities. Portland has long been known for following the beat of its own drum, and you'll find this reflected in all the city has to offer – from businesses to nonprofits, historic sites, and parks.

You truly can explore Portland every day for a year and only scratch the surface. Our brokers think that's one of the most exciting parts of living in The City of Roses, but it can also be a lot to take in. So, we have a selection of just a few local "hidden gems" to get you started.

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August
19

After several years in LA and Ventura County, Southern California native Tarice Fairhurst took an impulsive trip to Seattle, and says she knew the minute her plane landed at Sea-Tac that this was the place for her. Ironically, even this summer, she claims she came to the Pacific Northwest to beat the California heat.

As a refugee from 12-hour workdays in retail, Tarice chose to pivot into real estate when she arrived here in 2019 – bought the courses and everything. Then the pandemic hit, so she took advantage of the shutdown to study for her exams and network with other realtors. The intel she got in her networking efforts pointed to Seattle CB Bain broker Cyrus Fiene as the perfect mentor. With Cyrus as a resource and CB Bain's excellent training package, Tarice joined the team, and she's never looked back. "It was absolutely the right decision to join Cyrus and Coldwell Banker Bain," she says.

It's safe to say every day is a Dog Day for Tarice, whatever the time of year. She grew up with three big dogs in her home and has sustained that passion. She couldn't have a dog in her California apartment, so she volunteered for two years at the Ventura County Animal Shelter where she cleaned the kennels, fed the dogs, and fed her love for canines at the same time. In search of a new volunteer opportunity here, Tarice started spending time at the Forever Home Dog Rescue in Edmonds in November 2019, where she began with dog walking.

"I asked them to give me the big ones that no one wants to walk, the ones that pull you," she says. Tarice taught herself how to handle the big dogs; she did some training as she walked the dogs and gave them 'a decompression experience' away from the kennels. Soon, she was working adoption events lining up potential new adopters. Then she started fostering dogs.

When she worked long hours in retail, Tarice couldn't have a dog of her own. Now, her time is flexible, and she's been able to bring Benny – a boxer mix puppy – into her life. Though Benny started as a foster, it was love after three days and a quick adoption. Now she calls this calm youngster her "shadow" because he follows her everywhere.

That love for pets has given Tarice a sort of specialty in her real estate work. She knows what pet owners want in a home, and very often they're looking for a place specifically suited to their dog. "There are," she notes, "more dogs than kids per capita in Seattle," and that gives her an edge.

Indeed, a 2021 Zillow Consumer Housing Trends Report notes that pet owners are 7% more likely than those without pets to buy a house with more than 3,000 square feet. In 2021, 36% of buyers who own a pet chose homes with four-plus bedrooms. Just 24% of non-pet owning buyers purchased homes that large.

Tarice gets it, and she connects with pet owners. "What people look for is a big fenced in yard that's dog friendly." They want a place under the stairs that can be tailored for a little pet retreat. Pet washing stations in mudrooms are popular. Pet owners are looking for properties that can be recalibrated for their pets. If they can't walk their dogs around a neighborhood, it's a deal breaker.

That Zillow report also showed that 73% percent of survey respondents with pets ranked private outdoor space as "extremely important," compared to the 65% of respondents without pets. It's reasonable to conclude that with the dramatic increase in pet acquisition during the pandemic, so too has the sale of larger homes. It's an equation that Tarice Fairhurst has applied to her success with Coldwell Banker Bain.

August
15

West Seattle

The original settlers of Seattle landed at Alki Beach in 1851, giving West Seattle a permanent place of honor in the city's history. There's always something new to discover, and our brokers share some of their favorite activities and attractions around this unique neighborhood.

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August
8

Despite media "gloom and doom" over the hike in interest rates cooling our over-heated PNW real estate market, the truth is it's simply returning to a healthy balance. Today's rising interest rates are still historically low, and that has leveled the field for buyers, especially first-time home buyers. CBB Tacoma Broker Keith Hayden says, "I told my first-time home buyer that 'right now' is a fantastic time to buy a new house."

Indeed, inventory in the region has picked up substantially and prices have dropped slightly. That opens more great properties for buyers to choose from, while a less frenzied pace allows them to tour more than one home. Keith adds, "Listing agents actually call me after every showing and ask what their sellers can do to help my buyer make an offer."

More sellers are willing to offer deals such as covering closing costs. Home inspections are back, and sellers are willing to make repairs to accommodate buyers. The days of buyers having to shovel money out-of-pocket to win the bidding war on a property are in the rearview mirror, for now. Buyers are breathing a collective sigh of relief as it becomes possible, once again, to offer list price and below in today's 'cooler' market.

Sellers willing to flex a bit can still get their list prices. All It takes is to employ 'best practices' again. This means working closely with brokers to price properties appropriately for the changing market. Broker experience becomes even more valuable when it's time to navigate the negotiation process with potential buyers, so that each deal ends with a win-win for buyer and seller.

Keith Hayden isn't the only broker with good anecdote about today's market. CBB Redmond agent, Karen Eschbach, just closed for a couple from California on their first-time home purchase. It's an encouraging story, "I started working with them in January. They were initially looking for a condo since at that time they couldn't afford a single-family home with their $650K budget.  They were ready to buy a condo in April, but it turned into a multiple offer situation, and they realized they couldn't afford it in our crazy market."

Karen continues, "They took a couple months off and when they started looking again, they quickly found that even though the interest rates went up, they had barely any competition for homes. They ended up buying an adorable home in Renton for $550K. That home would have easily sold for $700K during our peak in the spring."

These are just two stories from today's cooling market. Historically low interest rates and expanding inventory are combining to make ours a more attractive market for first-time buyers and those in the mid-price range. That can be good news for brokers, buyers, and sellers alike.

August
8

Portland Lake Day

While Portland features fantastic forests and stunning mountain views, the city is also surrounded by incredible lakes. When our brokers seek a day of activity or relaxation, they head for these lakes around Portland that fill either need. 

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August
1

Thrift Shops

With so many small businesses and nonprofits operating in the area, Seattle homes for sale are never far from great thrift store finds. 

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