Home Buying in Redmond>Question Details

P, Home Buyer in Redmond, WA

Whats the good time to buy? Which is better a town house or house?

Asked by P, Redmond, WA Wed Aug 20, 2008

I am looking for a house in Redmond/Bellevue area and my budget is $600k. I am looking for new construction only.Lately I saw few new single family homes n Townhouses. What is best value for money when it comes to resalling it? Also, what qualities I should look in a realtor(I am looking for one)?

Help the community by answering this question:


P, It will be difficult to find new construction in Redmond or Bellevue at your $600,000 budget. Regarding single family home versus townhome, knowledgeable realtors used to say that when prices go up single family homes go up first and when prices go down, single family homes go down last.

What is now happening, based on the baby boomer bulge, and the creation of more density closer to each city core, is that townhomes and condominiums hold their value. You almost always find townhomes near the center where you can walk to shops and transportation. That is happening in Redmond and even more so, in Bellevue. As you see the new development, you will see that Redmonds' vision of an urban village is being built now. You will also see that now, and in the last 10 years, Bellevue's condominium and townhome construction has exploded.

Reselling is alwlays strong in the closer in areas and then in the path of growth.

When you look for a Realtor, you want a knowledgeable, experienced, caring consultant who can give you the best advise to help you achieve your goals and solve the problems you want to solve.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Aug 31, 2008
First off, keep in mind, no one person can tell you what our market will do for sure. Our market in Washington has softened around 10% in the past year. Some areas are higher and others are a bit lower. The anticipation is interest rates will not stay where they are at, we will most likely see them start to rise over the next couple months. The combination of the lower price housing with the likely rise in interest rates tend to point that if you have the money, this IS the best time to buy. If you hold off for a while longer you may have likely missed the best opportunity.

If you are looking for new construction then you may consider expanding your search out to Issaquah and Sammamish as there is more of a selection there to be had. Several builders (and home owners for that matter) have a serious need to move their inventory. Because of this you will likely be able to find a great buy in our market today.

As for homes vs. townhomes, a lot of it depends on what you want in a home. Generally speaking a townhome is less maintenance but you have association dues and you likely share walls with neighbors. A home is almost always the preferred residential purchase for most buyers in our market. People like to have a piece of dirt they really can just call their own.

As for qualities in a realtor, everyone here will hope they meet the qualities that you are looking for. My professional recommendation is to call a couple that holds your interest. Schedule an appointment, and interview them. Find the one that you feel is most knowledgeable, and you are the most comfortable with. Another note, an experienced agent is not always the best choice either.

I hope in some way this information has helped. Let us know if there is anything more we can do to help.
Web Reference: http://www.homelantern.com
1 vote Thank Flag Link Wed Aug 20, 2008
Search your home at http://WashingtonsBestRealEstate.com or,
Short Sale homes at http://ShortSaleHomeExpert.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Oct 13, 2010
This answer is in regards to the previous answer given by the "Seattle Home Buyer". Several good points are brought up of which I think need a response and more clarification. First off, I can agree that house prices are not going to come up like they have in the past years any time soon. Second there is a good inventory of homes, or has been a good inventory of homes over the past few months. Thus we find ourselves in more of a buyer’s market. A correction on the inventory though, we do not have a 12 month inventory of homes on the East Side. It is more accurately a 9 month supply if all the homes stay on the market that are on today. It seems this post is also addressing the 600K+ homes. There are plenty of homes starting in the upper 300K, and lower 400K which would be considered a first time buyer home. All depends on the location and size of home you are looking for. Many people buying in these areas are moving into their second or third home.

A statement of needing 100K down is based on the buyer getting a 500K priced home with 20% down. Simple math but again this is not necessary to get in a home. Several people are still buying homes with 10% or even 5% down in many circumstances. However, most people purchasing a home over 500K DO have more to put down on a home because they have traded up. Second, having to pay the 10K+ in closing costs may not be needed as many buyers are getting the SELLER to pay those costs today.

It is true there are not as many first time buyers as there were 2 years ago. But two years ago we were flooded with first time buyers so it is not a good comparison. We are more of a buyer’s market by a good amount however our market is still selling. And yes the mortgage and car payments also do add up. However on the East side, there are several and I mean SEVERAL buyers who either single or as a couple that make well over 80K a year. This time of year we will see a significant drop in homes that are on the market as well.

Last point which I will reiterate is that home prices are lower than they were a year ago, however no one person, news paper, or web site will be able to accurately predict what the market will do tomorrow. Regardless, if you plan to live in a home for 2 or more years you will most likely come on top. Again with interest rates still favorable and looking like they will increase over the next year, you will likely be paying more for that same house.

Now all this being said, you cannot ignore the amount of homes that are in distress. The ones where people have purchased more than they should have. The ones where the owner is unable to make payments. Almost a year ago now we started to see these loans being pulled from the market. This adjustment obviously has an effect on homes that are being sold today. We have been working through this process now for a year. This has created many opportunities for buyers today to get some of the best deals on our market.

I hope in some way this additional information helps those who are trying to decide what to do next. If you are looking to make a move to live in the home for at least a few years, there is no reason to sit on the fence any longer. Get out there and do it.
Web Reference: http://www.homelantern.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Sep 2, 2008
Honestly, this is not the best time to buy a house in this area. Prices are coming down and it will do more so in the coming few months. Nobody expects prices to climb backup like it did for past several years - not anytime soon. It is just a matter of common sense. If you look at the inventory in the area you are looking at that is Redmond/Belleville/Sammamish - you will find hundreds of houses priced at or above your target price of 600 K or above. Who are selling in this market? Those who are really compelled? Buyers? Not many. There is about 12 months of inventory left in the market at the moment. Where are the buyers going to come? Most people who wanted to have a house and those who can afford already have one. Then there are those who move in from other areas. There are also a few people who want to "move up" - but they can't sell their existing house to begin with. There a few first time buyers and they are pretty much priced out of the market. A first time buyer who wants to buy a starter home anywhere in the area would pay no less than 500K. In order to qualify for a loan, they need to have at least 100K in cash for down payment and another 10 K for closing. How many people have that much cash in hand - even with a good paying job? Lets pretend that someone came up with that much cash and if so how much will have to pay in monthly mortgage payments and property tax? He will have to come up at least $3500. What about car payments, groceries, bill payments and other living expenses? This person would need at least $8000 after tax to get by. Now how many folks out there make that kind of money except for dual income families with good jobs in good companies

So long story short - real estate prices have to come way down for the market to function properly. Current prices are simply unrealistic and will be corrected.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Sep 1, 2008
I answered your question and forgot to address your first question. Now is the best time to buy that we've seen in decades. Interest rates are at a 40 year low and will go up due to the high price of oil, which fuels inflation. Rates go up when mortgage bond purchasers fear inflation is happening or going to increase.

The ratio, right now of homes sold versus inventory is around 13% and has been so most of the year. What that means is there is a lot of inventory to choose from. Seattle has not been hit very hard by the "housing crisis" and some of our local towns have experienced appreciation while other towns or zip codes have experienced up to 8% depreciation. As soon as that inventory starts to get absorbed more quickly, sellers will not be as willing to negotiate as they are now.

Also, this is the best time of the year, based on year to year statistics, to buy. Add to that the fact that our inventory is higher than it's been in years, I encourage you to buy now, or you'll miss a great opportunity. On my website, http://www.mcknightrealty.com, if you click on the Market Statistics button and read my Blog, you will better understand what I am writing about the current market.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Aug 31, 2008
Now is a good as time as any. Mortgage rates are low (6.5% fixed) and there's lots of inventory. As far as house or townhouse, it depends upon your needs. Townhouses tend to be more affordable when compared to homes in the same neighborhood. They also provide less maintenance. But that comes along with possible shared walls and CC&Rs. On the other hand, a single-family home offers more independence but generally costs more and requires more involvement. The house will likely appreciate better than a comparable townhouse in the same neighborhood if that's your overall concern. If new construction rather than old world charm is your thing then townhouses will dominate your options. Whether 6 months from now prices will be lower and mortgage rates will be higher it's anybody's guess.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Aug 21, 2008
Single family homes have statistically had higher appreciation than attached homes or townhomes. I have done a run on the Multiple Listing and here is the link to view these homes (a few that are South
Bellevue have a Issaquah city address). Here is the link to paste into your browser:


You should receive some very good answers on this site and may call those agents and you, as one agent suggested, may choose to visit open houses and meet agents and you can also ask your friends and family for a referral of agents they were very happy with. After getting a few names you can meet persoanlly with those agents and find out what services they offer as buyer's agents and which agents you feel you would work best with. Some questions you might want to ask are: experience, negotiating skills, services they provide to buyers, references from past clients, do they do dual agency? Good luck, it is great time to buy.
Mary Sunde
Resident of Kirkland
Windermere East in Bellevue
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Aug 21, 2008
I believe it all depends on the price range, the size and location. I would say location is the most important as it would determine what your can afford in that particular area. Redmond might offer new homes with your budget but they would be a bit further out in the zip 98053. If you are looking to stay closer to Bellevue, you can find great deals on new construction townhomes! Hope to speak with you soon.
Web Reference: http://www.verabrodsky.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Aug 20, 2008
Your realtor can help you with the first few questions.
As to finding the right realtor for you, here is a suggestion:
Go to 5 open houses in a neighborhood you like.
Talk to the realtors holding the house open.
These realtors are actively working in that neighborhood and they are also looking for potential buyers.
They will be familiar with other neighborhoods as well.
Like any business, 20% of the realtors are doing 80% of the transactions.
The ones who are dedicated enough to hold open houses on a Sunday are working and have enough time to hold open house. That means they can accommodate another buyer right now. If they had many buyers and sellers, they would not have time to hold the house open.
So, talking to the realtors at open house gives you the opportunity to see how you like talking to them.
You will probably find that you feel more comfortable with one than another.
That's the one you want.
Some qualities I would look for are:
a sense of humor
a feeling of trust
You have already qualified that they are actively working in real estate by meeting them at the open house. (there are a number of real estate agents with licenses who actually work full time in another field and do real estate on the side.)
And, since they are holding this house open instead of showing homes to buyers, you know that they will have time for you.
Once you determine which one you would like to work with, arrange to meet them at their office as soon as possible. (while they can comfortably accommodate another client)
Have them explain Agency, Pre-Approval vs Pre-Qualified, and give you a brief rundown of how the buying process works. Ask them how they work. If you are satisfied with their answers, sign the Exclusive Buyer's Agency Agreement. They will inevitably have questions for you as well. Be honest with them. They cannot help you very well if you exagerate your income, price range, or credit worthiness.
The realtor should ask you questions about where you work, how long you've been there, how much income you receive, how much money you have to put towards a downpayment, EMD, and closing costs. They will also ask about your hobbies, children, pets, and other things that will affect the type of housing that you need. Each realtor will ask these questions differently and not necessarily in order. Some of this information is confidential and we are accustomed to people being rather sensitive when disclosing such things. Once you have selected your realtor, you should ask for several of their business cards. Give these out when you go to view homes without your realtor; direct all questions by other realtors to yours. That way your realtor can protect and promote your best interests. Be sure to tell your realtor when you do look at homes without them. If at all possible, take them with you. This is the best way because they can arrange to show you the homes with no one else present and point out anything they see whether it be negative or positive.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Aug 20, 2008
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