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Real Estate Firm

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!



The "KonMari" method raises awareness of issues much deeper than a decluttered home...

The "KonMari" method raises awareness of issues much deeper than a decluttered home...

    Although it is not a new concept in America, the hit Netflix series “Tidying up with Marie Kondo”, has made the art of minimalism mainstream. The show follows the Japanese author and organizing consultant, Marie Kondo, to homes around the U.S., helping families organize and declutter their homes with the simple yet Shinto-inspired “KonMari” method- hold each item in your hands. If it “sparks joy,” keep it. If not, thank it for serving you and give it away to serve someone else and possibly “spark joy” in their life.  

    There is no coincidence that the show was aired on New Years, in the midst of many Americans creating resolutions and ideas of how to improve their lives and wellbeing. Searching the web, you may have come across multiple articles and blogs on the art of purging books and clothes that have not been worn. Though decluttering and minimalism has been brought to light for years with the “hip” and minimalist aesthetic it exudes, the infatuation with the “KonMari” method introduces an issue that goes beyond a simple aesthetic - it is tied primarily to mental health. 

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So, how exactly can decluttering improve one’s mental health? There has been various psychological reasons that have proven why decluttering improves not only your mental, but physical health as well. One is, having too much “stuff” is detrimental to your cognitive control. Studies have shown that habitual hoarders are prone to issues with learning and memory, planning and problem solving. You may also uncover issues or goals that you have been ignoring with the help of the mess covering it up. While decluttering, it’s common to come across language learning material, sentimental photos of friendships that have faded or important financial documents. Finding this and objects that serve no purpose can bring a clearer sense of direction in your life of what is important to you and what’s not. Lastly, living in an organized environment has been tied with improved physical health. Studies have found that those living in a decluttered space, were more likely to be active and make healthier food choices than those who live in a cluttered space, who are more likely to feel tired and snack on junk foods, due in part to the subtle but powerful subconscious anxiousness that living in a state of messiness and disorder causes.

    With Seattle becoming an increasingly expensive city, there has been a rise of minimalism among Seattleites due not only to the aesthetic appeal of a simple minimalist environment but also the practical need of simply needing to make the most efficient use of living of smaller living spaces. You can already find a wide array of organizing consultants in the Seattle area who are using and advertising the “KonMari” method. Though it is very possible that this is a hyped up trend or a phase that will soon die out, we need to remember that your environment at home is crucial to your mental and physical health.  So, using the “KonMari” method or not, decluttering can be beneficial for one’s mental and physical health.


    If you feel like you could benefit from a decluttering experience and less mentally draining clutter around your home, consider a free consultation from one of my recent podcast guestsJanis Lemert of Lemert Organizing Company. She specializes in helping individuals and businesses take control of their surroundings, their time, and their systems for life.

 

Thanks for sharing in this journey with me.

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

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!