Despite ‘wait-and-see’ approach from Feds on interest rates, real estate ticking onward

Though the feds are in a wait-and-see mood there are benefits to buying and/or selling now versus waiting.

  • Thursday, February 7, 2019 8:30am
  • Life

By Erin Flemming

Special to the Reporter

As January came to a close, the Federal Reserve chose to hold its key interest rate steady, noting the central bank will be “patient” when deciding on future rates. This new “wait-and-see” approach means that for the time-being, federal interest rates will remain stable, which can directly influence adjustable-rate mortgages and home equity lines of credit.

Though the Feds are in a wait-and-see mood, Mona Spencer, branch manager for John L. Scott’s Redmond office said there are benefits to buying and/or selling now versus waiting, due to historically low rates, continued home appreciation (though at a slower pace) and a strong local economy. For sellers, Spencer said it can be worth it to put your home on the market now, rather than waiting for increased competition to hit in the spring.

“What we are seeing in the Kirkland area is that buyers in the market during January were truly motivated purchasers who want to buy now,” said Spencer. “With limited inventory currently available in most markets, sellers are still in a great position to negotiate. A seller should consider if they can price their house a ‘little ahead’ of the market and still ensure it sells. This depends on many factors, with key factors being location, nearby schools and home condition.”

For many people, their home is their family’s greatest financial asset. Accordingly, Spencer said many consumers who are considering selling their home want to know things like how strong buyer demand is currently and how much competition listings have right now versus in the springtime.

“Consumers must get past fearful headlines and gain a deep understanding of what is truly happening in the local housing market in order to make educated decisions,” Spencer said. “Understanding the individual pieces that influence the sale or purchase of real estate is important. The best way to build a complete understanding of the current market is to get help from a professional who can expertly guide you on the journey to reach your housing goals.”

Transportation in Seattle has been top-of-mind for many in the Seattle area in the past month, with the Alaskan Way Viaduct closing in January and preparations being made to open up the new State Route 99 tunnel. It’s one of many transportation projects in the works in Seattle and beyond.

“Some buyers are focused on purchasing near Sound Transit light rail stations or other areas serviced by convenient bus routes,” Spencer said. “These buyers may value convenience as well as the probability of home appreciation due to the proximity to public transit options.”

Currently, the South Kirkland-Issaquah Link is in the voter approval stage. If approved, this light rail route would begin near the current South Kirkland Park and Ride and would end in downtown Issaquah. Already under construction is the East Link Extension, a 14-mile route that begins in the International District and travels through Mercer Island, Bellevue and eventually ends at the Redmond Technology Station.

More in Life

Courtesy photo
                                Sophia Gonzalez of ICS was the 151st Coca Cola Scholar at this year’s Scholar’s Banquet in Atlanta, GA.
Two LWSD students receive $20,000 Coca Cola scholarships

Sarah Raza (RHS) and Sophia Gonzalez (ICS) were selected for their community service work.

St. Jude Parish members assembled Need Kits with hygiene products at the annual Service Day on March 30. Need Kits were also assembled by elders of 10 assisted living communities. The elderly also donated motivational art cards to put inside each kit. Stephanie Quiroz/staff photo
St. Jude’s Service Day Program helps combat poverty

The annual service day helps organizations that help Eastside communities experiencing poverty and abuse.

Eastside market heats up as major tech news hits

What does Amazon’s move to Bellevue mean to surrounding communities?

Panel luncheon audience members predict survey results in regard to what Eastsiders consider to make up the American Dream. From left: James Whitfield, Dr. Amy Morrison, Anne Morisseau and Anne-Marie Diouf. Madison Miller / staff photo
Leadership Eastside hosts panel discussing the American Dream

The panel consisted of Dr. Amy Morrison, president of Lake Washington Institute of Technology, Anne Morisseau, Planning Commissioner for the City of Bellevue, Residential Real Estate Agent, LE Board of Directors, and Anne-Marie Diouf, VP Human Resources for Symetra.

Kirkland community invited to celebrate Earth Month with city

Events throughout April will help residents go green.

Juanita Elementary recognized by county green school program

Juanita Elementary achieved a recycling rate of 55 percent.

New design for Juanita Beach Park to create accessible playground

The project also establishes two new picnic pavilions and a new bathhouse.

Rose Hill Middle School will present “Mulan Jr.” on March 22 and 23. Front row from left: Annika Shinoda, Audrey Yu, Vada Chambers, Grace Gentile, Brooke Barr, Jasmine Alsorour, Noella Johnson, Ariane Pereira, Simran Brar, Sadie Klinkenberg, Katie Davis. Middle row from left: Robert Schrimsher, Lena Mancano, Erisa Baba, Izzy Nelson, Kennedy Tuson, Ashley Locke, Ash Hodgson, Kayomi Prieto, Ananya Unnikrishnan, Michelle Lee. Back row from left: Lili Ponder, Danielle Burchard, Quinn Malick, Parker Mathews, Max Fanning, Kylan Guest, Cade D’Agostino, Elissa Ondrusek Sophia Mattie, Camryn Martin, Levi Cheung, Alena Speirs, Madeleine King, Kinley Moss, Lauren Jernigan, Abby Hebert. Photo courtesy of Shanna Barr.
Rose Hill Middle School to present Disney’s ‘Mulan Jr.’

It will be performed at the Lake Washington High School theater March 22 and 23.

Derek Bermel, Seattle Symphony composer in residence, visited Thoreau Elementary after their composition was selected to be performed at Benaroya Hall. Photo courtesy of Seattle Symphony
Fifth grade students become musical composers

Thoreau Elementary was selected to have their composition played by the Seattle Symphony.

Community invited to comment on Kirkland’s stormwater management program plan

Draft plan outlines city’s actions to comply with state permit.

Help with heating bills available through Hopelink

The organization’s energy assistance program is fully funded in 2019.

Kirkland Community Musical, “The Music Man,” will be debuting at KPC March 9. Madison Miller/staff photo.
Community theater returns to Kirkland

The community production of ‘The Music Man’ will run March 9-16 at KPC.