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seattle

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!