An important factor in today’s market is the number of homes for sale. While inventory levels continue to sit near historic lows, there are indications we may have hit the lowest point we’ll see. Odeta Kushi, Deputy Chief Economist at First American, recently said of our supply challenges:

It looks like inventory may have hit a bottom (we’ve seen this in the higher frequency data as well). Unsold inventory in May was at 2.5 months supply, up from 2.4.”

To put it into perspective, the graph below shows levels of inventory rising since the beginning of the year: We’re still not close to a balanced market, which would be a 6 months’ supply of homes for sale. However, we are seeing a slow but steady increase in homes coming up for sale. 

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With home prices continuing to deliver double-digit increases, some are concerned we’re in a housing bubble like the one in 2006. However, a closer look at the market data indicates this is nothing like 2006 for three major reasons.

1. The housing market isn’t driven by risky mortgage loans.

Back in 2006, nearly everyone could qualify for a loan. The Mortgage Credit Availability Index (MCAI) from the Mortgage Bankers’ Association is an indicator of the availability of mortgage money. The higher the index, the easier it is to obtain a mortgage. The MCAI more than doubled from 2004 (378) to 2006 (869). Today, the index stands at 130. As an example of the difference between today and 2006, let’s look at the volume of mortgages that…

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Although currently dimly lit and a little rough on the eyes, your unfinished basement still has a lot of potentials. With just a little love and the help of the following ideas, you can spice it up in no time and get some great use out of the space.


  1. Add a pop of color. Give your basement a whole different look without a big renovation by adding some color to space. Consider painting and sealing the floors, opening up the room by painting the rafters white or a light color, or creating a bold accent wall.
  2. Divide the space. Want to make your basement a multi-use room? Partition out the area by installing an inexpensive curtain system. This can be done either with a curtain track or a simple wire, some hooks, and curtains will suffice.
  3. Add foam…

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In today’s real estate market, mortgage interest rates are near record lows. If you’ve been in your current home for several years and haven’t refinanced lately, there’s a good chance you have a mortgage with an interest rate higher than today’s average. Here are some options you should consider if you want to take advantage of today’s current low rates before they rise.

Sell and Move Up (or Downsize)

Many of today’s homeowners are rethinking what they need in a home and redefining what their dream home means. For some, continued remote work is bringing about the need for additional space. For others, moving to a lower cost-of-living area or downsizing may be great options. If you’re considering either of these, there may not be a better…

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There’s no doubt that 2021 is the year of the seller when it comes to the housing market. If you’re a homeowner thinking of moving to better suit your changing needs, now is the perfect time to do so. Low mortgage rates are in your favor when you’re ready to purchase your dream home, and high buyer demand may give you the leverage you need to negotiate the best contract terms on the sale of your house. Here’s a look at what’s driving this sellers’ advantage and why there’s so much opportunity for homeowners who are ready to move this season.

1. Historically Low Inventory

The National Association of Realtors (NAR) explains:

 "Total housing inventory at the end of March amounted to 1.07 million units, up 3.9% from February's inventory... Unsold…

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BELLINGHAM, WA, APRIL 29, 2021 - RE/MAX Whatcom County is pleased to welcome Karl Hadland to the Lakeway office in Bellingham. He will focus on residential real estate.

Born and raised right here in the Pacific Northwest, Karl uses his outgoing personality, extensive real estate skills, and marketing background to help people buy and sell homes. Karl started an online advertising company in 1997 at the age of 15. In the olden days of the internet, advertising was built around "banner ads." In only a year, Karl built a successful advertising company with over 30,000 partner websites. At the age of 17, Karl sold his first successful advertising business to a company in California. That same company was eventually bought out by Microsoft's "Link…

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BELLINGHAM, WA, APRIL 22, 2021 - RE/MAX Whatcom County is pleased to welcome Sydney Weitzel to the Sudden Valley office. She will be joining the Weitzel Home Team and will focus on residential, investment, first-time home buyers, and new construction.

As a second-generation realtor and Sudden Valley Native, Sydney loves everything that the PNW has to offer. Prior to joining RE/MAX Whatcom County, she spent 4 years working at Zillow, where she acquired a dynamic perspective on the real estate market and a finance-oriented background to deliver quality results. Sydney is proud to help clients unlock the next chapter of their lives and draws on her experience in residential and investment home buying, remodeling, and renovations.

In her free time,…

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The financial benefits of buying a home as compared to renting one are always up for debate. However, one element of the equation is often ignored - the ability to build wealth as a homeowner. 

Most experts are calling for home prices to continue appreciating over the next several years. The most recent Home Price Expectation Survey, a survey of over one hundred economists, real estate experts, and investment and market strategiests, expects home appreciation to increase as follows:

  • 2021: 6%
  • 2022: 4.5%
  • 2023: 4%
  • 2024: 3.6%
  • 2025: 3.5%

Using their annual projections, the graph below shows the equity build-up a purchaser could earn, using a $350,000 home as an example:

A homeowner could increase their networth by over $80,000…

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There has been a lot of discussion as to what will happen once the 2.3 million households currently in forbearance no longer have the protection of the program. Some assume there could potentially be millions of foreclosures ready to hit the market. However, there are four reasons that won't happen. 

 

1. Almost 50% Leave Forbearance Already Caught Up on Payments

According to Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA), data through March 28 show that 48.9% of owners who have already left the program were current on their mortgage payments when they exited.

  • 26.6% made their monthly payments during the forbearance period
  • 14.7% brought past due payments current
  • 7.6% paid off their loan in full

This doesn't mean that the over 2 million…

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