Bussing Broker: Week 24

Not even sneaking out for a short Capitol Hill lunch break tour saved me this week.  I suspect this won’t be the last time it happens, either.  This will be the last time I post just to note that nothing happened.  However, I will try to drop in with other goodies for you as the summer wears on.

Location: Nowhere
Time: N/A
Transit modes: N/A
Cost: $0
Cats petted: 1
Tea consumed: Too much
Properties Viewed: 0

Bussing Broker: Week 23

The business continues, so it’s another sneaking out on Thursday lunch break for tour week.  I originally intended to see only three properties for a fairly quick tour, but the weather was so nice that a tossed in a fourth that wasn’t that much further away.  Also, it was a penthouse with a view, and it’s rarely a mistake to spend a little time taking a look at those.

This is definitely another week where I’d have skipped tour if not for my dedication to science.  Even if I’d had a car I probably would have walked; parking in Capitol Hill is not fun and things were close enough that they’d have likely had overlapping parking spots.

Location: Capitol Hill / East Lake
Time: 1.5 hours
Transit modes: Foot
Cost: $0
Cats petted: 1
Tea consumed: Strawberry milk tea
Properties Viewed: 4

Bussing Broker: Week 22

This week has been so busy and it was insufferably hot until yesterday.  I want to hug today’s weather and invite it to stay all summer.

I ducked out for a walk and hit three properties on tour today.  I wouldn’t have bothered except I wanted to have something to report here.  I’d been to three counties and on five kinds of transportation by the end of the day Tuesday. So instead of rambling about today’s tour, which happened but isn’t terribly, interesting, I’m going to share a story from Monday.

In the last two years I’ve been doing a lot more work on vacant land deals than I had in my career before.  Vacant land is just making a lot more sense for buyers than it used to.  They can’t live on it, but frequently they can’t afford to buy something they can live on right now, anyway.  At the same time, they have some resources at their disposal.  At the rate the market is growing, and with the rents keeping up with that growth, a lot of buyers are in a position where they won’t be ready to buy in today’s market for a year or two, by which time the market will be out of reach again.  So they buy land, and that gets those resources tied into the market at large.  Eventually they’ll save enough to build, or they’ll be able to sell it and have a down payment that has grown with the market.  Since transactions on vacant land aren’t moving as quickly has transactions on houses, it also means those buyers have time to think about the purchase and make sure it’s a good idea for them in a way they don’t buying a house or condo.  It’s not a path I’d recommend for everybody, but there’s a significant portion of my clients where this is a really viable option in a market that would, otherwise, block them out.

Showing vacant land, however, does not work the way showing houses does.  A point illustrated very elaborately for me on Monday.

I had a client who wanted to see a lot in a gated community outside Seattle.  I’d contacted the listing broker ahead of time to arrange access; there was a box we could put a code in to open the gate and go into the community.  Great!  Except, not so much.  The box was dead and completely unresponsive when we got there.  So I called the listing agent for advice.

And that, gentle reader, is what led to me scaling the fence to a gated community, in broad daylight, during rush hour on a busy street, then flailing my arms like a mad woman to trigger a motion sensor so the gate would open.  Nobody called the police or stopped to ask me what I was doing.

I can now say that I’ve professionally broken into a gated community.  Credentials like that are just one small part of why I love my job!

Location: Capitol Hill
Time: 1.25 hours
Transit modes: Foot
Cost: $0
Cats petted: 0
Tea consumed: Iced basil-infused oolong with honey
Properties Viewed: 3

Reminder: June Home Buyer Education Seminar

We’re just a couple weeks out from this seminar, and advanced registration is very useful.  I’ll go ahead and quote the previous announcement for an updated description.

This is a great class to take, especially for first time home buyers.  It covers a ton of material, including whether you should buy, how to budget, how to get a mortgage, and how to find a house.  The class is free and doesn’t come with any obligations.  I literally will not even send you a “Thanks for coming,” after the class unless you explicitly give me permission to.  This is about giving you information that’ll help you make the right choices for you.

It also meets the education requirement necessary to qualify for WSHFC commission programs.  If you’re a challenged buyer (meaning low income, low savings, or shaky credit), these programs can be a huge help.  The class is worth going to on its own, but this is a big bonus.

The class is happening in the big meeting room of the Rainier Beach branch of the public library.  This time I’m teaching with Jan Watkins from AP Mortgage.  RSVP to me for a seat and I’ll get you registered.

June 23, 2:30pm – 7:30pm
Rainier Public Library
9125 Rainier Ave S, Seattle, WA 98118

Bussing Broker: Week 21

This week has been super busy the good way.  Lots of time with clients, lots of time out and doing showings.  Today’s been the first day where things have been slow enough for me to get some time in at my desk, which I really need.  Nevertheless, I took some time to slip away for a short tour today.  I ducked out to three different condos in Capitol Hill.  They were all fairly near each other, and did a really great job of showing off the spread of options available in established condo buildings in the neighborhood.  It was a fun tour!

I’m a cook, so when I’m touring like this, I pay a lot of attention to how the kitchens are laid out.  This can wind up telling you a lot about a unit, too, since kitchens are both fairly expensive to update and also the most effective in terms of increasing a unit’s marketability.  People want modern kitchens, even when they generally favor a more vintage or historic look.

One of the units today managed to really impress me with its kitchen layout.  It was a small one bedroom in an older building – arched doorways, old hardwood floors, plastered walls.  It had an eat-in kitchen with a galley layout which means small but, if well done, extremely functional.  They crammed in a ton of cabinet space, and by choosing their appliances really carefully, got in a fridge/freezer unit and a dishwasher.  Both were small, but they were there.  I don’t normally wax on about a given property I see when I’m touring, but that impressed me enough I had to share.  Getting to see that was, on its own, enough to call today’s tour a win.

Location: Capitol Hill
Time: 45 minutes
Transit modes: Foot
Cost: $0
Cats petted: 0
Tea consumed: Assam Black Tea
Properties Viewed: 3