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Admiral District

Think you will never be able to afford to buy a Seattle area home? Well, think again...

Think you will never be able to afford to buy a Seattle area home? Well, think again...

    You don’t feel like you make enough money, you haven’t saved enough, your students loans and debts are a burden and you live in Seattle, one of the most expensive places to live in the country. If this sounds familiar to you, you might question my sanity if I told you might very well be able to (and should) buy a home now. A dip in the market, increased housing inventory and continued historically low mortgage rates = great opportunities for home buyers!

    I completely understand the hesitation and uncertainty association with becoming a homeowner - in the recent past, you may not have only personally experienced a substantial rise in your rent and cost of living in this highly desirable city but you have likely seen some of the sensational recent headlines, Facebook posts and memes about how pricey real estate has become and how we are becoming the next San Francisco as the median house price is North of $700,000.

    Lets face it, being constantly fed disappointing news can sour our outlook... but how can you reject something when you don’t have the full story? While I’ve heard plenty from the news about how home Seattle home values have plummeted in the last 8 months, the reality is that they are actually up 2% year-over-year and are expected to continue going up at a similar rate for the foreseeable future, as the Seattle economy and job market is still booming. If you could see the larger context of the Seattle market and take the time to fully understand the home buying process, you may be surprised that it is actually much more doable (and personally beneficial) for many Seattle renters to transition into Seattle area home owners!

    I recently realized that one of the largest barriers and hesitations for younger Seattleites to buying their own home was that they didn’t think they could afford it or didn’t understand the value and wealth creating potential that home ownership provides. To help dispel some of these rather commonly held beliefs, I decided to create and start a first-time home buying class in West Seattle... to inform, discuss and answer questions all about the process and realities of becoming a homeowner. We meet at The Westy, provide the drinks, appetizers and a fun laid-back class and have aptly called it the “Beers + Home Buying” Class. I’ve partnered with Stephanie Maulding, from Guild Mortgage to explain the first step of the process - getting prequalified for a mortgage. During last weeks initial class, we had a great turn out and were able to answer some real good questions, exchange ideas and experiences over our years in helping our clients with their home ownership needs.

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Some of the big takeaways and myths we tried to dispel with the class were:

  • If you can afford rent in Seattle, you can likely afford to buy a home.

  • Why pay your landlords mortgage and help them accumulate equity and wealth, when you could be doing that for yourself?

  • You don’t need as much money for a down payment as you probably think you do!

  • The combination of the Seattle housing market having cooled off in the last 8 months, increased number of homes available and still historically low interest rates are providing great opportunity for Home Buyers RIGHT NOW!

    The feedback from the “Beer + Home Buying” class was so positive and it was such a success that we plan on doing this class monthly. If this may be something you are interested in joining us for in the future,go over to our Facebook page and “like” the Sea-Town Real Estate page, so you’ll see when we post our events each month.

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Thanks for sharing in this journey with me.

 Until next time, be well and be excellent to each other!



How to not just survive... but also thrive during the holidays?

How to not just survive... but also thrive during the holidays?

     “It’s the most wonderful time of the year” is a much heard refrain going into the Christmas Season… and I tend to agree. I love the festive holiday season… But this isn’t everyone’s experience. For some, the holidays can be sad reminders of days gone by or missed loved ones. For many of us, it can trigger stress as our perfectionistic tendencies come to the surface in our attempts to find the perfect gift or create a memorable holiday experience through hosting that decorated and catered holiday party.   

    When our minds are consumed with planning get togethers with family, present lists and creating a pleasing holiday dish, we can often forget the priority of self-care. Some of us keep the term “self-care” sacred to us while others are unfamiliar with it. Self-care isn’t just important for your health mentally and physically… it also affects those around you (for better or worse). When society tells us it’s that time of year to start giving back (something I try to do all year-long) and spreading holiday cheer, that can be increasingly challenging if you don’t have the energy, are stressed out or feeling depressed; All things “self-care” can help you if you’re eating right, getting enough sleep, living an active lifestyle and finding ways to “unplug” and cope with the things that create stress in your life.

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Self-care needs to be an essential part of your daily routine because not only will you feel better and think clearer, you first need to have the resources and energy available when wanting to offer or give back.


    The term “self-care” has been commercialized in the form of expensive green juices, yoga wear and gym memberships, when really it is your own, individual way of enhancing your overall well-being. Individuals like myself who don’t necessarily enjoy working out, can only settle for exercise alternatives if it is enjoyable and rewarding at the same time. This is how my own self-care regime came about; early morning wake ups for brisk bicycle rides with a friend of mine.

    I started cycling in high-school as my primary mode of transportation. Then got into Mt. biking in my twenties, having built up my own bike frame up using a hard-tail Cannondale CAD 3 frame. Riding that bike was great and a lot of fun... until some A-hole cut the cable and stole it in the middle of the night from the side of our West Seattle house :(  Moving on from that incident, I  just recently invested in a Trek Crossrip 3 “cross bike”. My-oh-my has bicycle technology come a long ways in the last couple of decades! This bike actually makes rides fun and relatively effortless... until I have to go up a hill.

    Last month, after having gone on a few bike rides with a friend of mine, looping around West Seattle and remember how frequently I used to ride, when I was invited on a 40 mile ride with some more experienced riders, I thought to myself  "I got this". Against my better judgement (and my wife's caution), I went for it. As my wife accurately predicted, it did in fact destroy me. I felt completely drained about half-way through the ride, somewhere on Capitol Hill (we started on the South end of West Seattle). Fortunately, we stopped for espresso and pastries while the riders I was with gave me some supportive words. Note to self... get acclimated to longer rides before trying to hang with the big boys (and girls) ;-)
 

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Despite my exhausting attempt of overachieving, bicycling has been a healthy way for me to get outside, get a good workout and enjoy the company of my friends. From finding this balance of mental and physical activity and enjoyment, I have cultivated my own self-care regime.
 

As 2018 comes near to its end, what are you doing to create better "self-care" routines?

    Working out regularly, keeping a consistent sleep schedule or personal learning through reading the stack of books that seems to keep growing (or maybe that's just me). All of these are key to development for being your best self and having more to give to other. So maybe this coming holiday season, we can modify our thoughts of “I need to buy or do this” to “how can I be my best self to positively serve others?”

Relaunch - STRE Grand Opening Announcement & Non-Profit Community Partnership Program

Relaunch - STRE Grand Opening Announcement & Non-Profit Community Partnership Program

I've Done It!

I've Launched My Own Independent West Seattle Real Estate Brokerage!

By Christian Harris | November 6th, 2017

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It's been over a year since I've sent out an email to this distribution list for "The Sea-Town Monthly" and boy has a lot happened since then!

  • In January of 2017, I took and passed my Managing Broker License, left the RE Brokerage I was at and officially launched Sea-Town Real Estate!

  • After working out of my home office for a couple weeks, I quickly realized that arrangement wasn't going to work (too many distractions with a wife and kid at home) and was fortunate to find an cozy office space in the Admiral District of West Seattle to lease for my new Indie Brokerage endeavor.

  • This space worked great for me for several months as I built out the foundation of my brokerage, until I brought on my first agent (and his assistant) and I was suddenly at capacity for the tiny office.

  • The need for growth now outweighed the need to keep the overhead low... fortunately, a much larger space across the hall from me was available. After negotiating the terms, I signed a new lease and invested some money in really fixing up the space to fit the clean modern industrial look I was going for. Now I have a much larger 1,400 square foot office space with a spacious common area for community events, meetings and flex-space and 3 good sized office spaces for other agents.

With having just recently finished the office details and signage for our new space, we are throwing a Sea-Town Real Estate Grand Opening Celebration coupled with showcasing a friends artwork for the evening of the November West Seattle Artwalk (more details about the monthly WS Artwalk).


Come celebrate with us on the evening of November 9th (5-9PM) with free Georgetown Beer and local wine, check-out our new space and the artwork of local artist, Ben Calhoun.
More details and RSVP on our Facebook event HERE


Community Partnership Is Central To Our Purpose and Mission

There are so many exciting things we are implementing and working on to roll out at Sea-Town Real Estate but one of the most exciting things right now is our Community Partnership Program, where we partner with local non-profits to help create content for their marketing efforts and raise awareness by shooting a short video for them, highlighting what they do to serve the community. We also commit to donating 25% of the proceeds of any real estate purchase or sale, back to our non-profit partner, that is a result of them referring a client to Sea-Town Real Estate. 

We have also built charitable giving into our business model by donating a portion of each home sale's proceeds to a local non-profit of our clients choice.

I'm also still going strong hosting the Sea-Town Podcast (currently on Episode 43!), where I interview Seattle business owners and community leaders to help them share their stories with their customer or clients and the community at large.

Read more about the frustration and pain that was the catalyst for me opening my own Tech Enabled Real Estate Brokerage and my passion and mission to make impact in our write up on the West Seattle Blog HERE.


 Until next time, be well and hope to see you at our Grand Opening Event this week!