Friday, March 31, 2006

Online Home Valuation Sites

Announced on Inman News today, RealEstateABC has a new online home valuation site that is supposed to rival Zillow. I've played around with both of these sites and find them to be useful to help potential Buyers and Sellers get an idea of prices in their neighborhoods, but will these online tools ever be able to replace the accurate market analysis of an experienced real estate agent? There are so many factors involved with pricing a home, I just do not think a fancy program will ever be reliable enough to trust with our largest investments.

I recently sold a home in Wallingford for $635,000. Zillow had this home valued at $520,000 and RealEstateABC at $555,000. Thankfully the Seller didn't decide to go the FSBO route and base his price off of these online sites! He may have missed out on $100,000 or more!

Again, I do think it is great to provide Buyers and Sellers with as much information and education as possible. I'm all in favor of having this information easily at their fingertips. I just hope this info is used wisely. You should never underestimate the value of having an experienced Agent on your side.

Seattle Leads the Nation in Building "Green"

I recently read an article in the Seattle Times about "green" building techniques and how Seattle is proving to be a role model for the rest of the nation. Now, what exactly does it mean to build "Green"? According to, there are a number of factors required to qualify, but here are a few of my favorite things a green home may include:

  • Recycled building materials, like reclaimed doors
  • Environmentally-friendly insulations
  • Low-toxicity carpet (or no carpeting at all)
  • Use of rapidly-renewable bamboo for flooring
  • Solar-powered outdoor lighting
  • Rooftop gardens

Way to go Seattle! (maybe another reason to call us "The Emerald City!") Hopefully we can continue to lead the way with these environmentally-friendly building techniques.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Seattle Home Prices to jump 30-40% in Next 2 Years?

There's been a lot of talk about the real estate "bubble" over the last few years. I've been asked by many potential Buyers and Sellers what I think might happen with our rapidly rising prices in the Seattle area. I have always maintained that I do not think a "bubble" exists in our area. Seattle is still growing rapidly and the economy is doing well. With increased jobs comes an increased demand for housing. Also, with such geographical limitations (Puget Sound, Lake Washington, Mountains) there just is not much room to expand or add new housing in the Seattle area.

Please read what Lawrence Yun, Senior Economist for the National Association of Realtors,
predicts for the greater Seattle area.

Monday, March 20, 2006

Seattle Neighborhoods -- Fremont

Well, I told myself I was going to try my best to write on a weekly basis. Guess I've been failing at that! LOL! One more try....perhaps now that I have recently found some fantastic new videos about the different neighborhoods in Seattle I will have more to write about. :-)
Big thanks to for making these wonderful insightful videos. I love the fact that they interview real people and they have not been commercialized -- they are not trying to sell anybody anything, but rather are documenting *real* people in *real* neighborhoods.

The first one I'd like to share with you is about Fremont -- The Center of the Universe.
Please stay tuned for more of these to come....

Directed by Tim Tyler

Here are some related Fremont links: Please feel free to share your favorite things about Fremont with us!
Visitors Info
Fremont Sunday Market
Fremont Outdoor Cinema
Sonic Boom Records
Fremont Coffee Shop
Roger Wheeler's Mask Madness
Local Weather