I was holding an open house in Mt Baker last week. 8 townhomes available, none with parking. The builder is Green Canopy. Beautifully built 4star green homes, so well designed they feel like standalone homes, several with much more out door space than your typical modern townhome. Green Canopy is passionate for green building, and the added value of a green home, beside energy saving, is superior structural integrity. They seamlessly combine form, function, and energy savings. But…no parking at this particular development. Only street parking. I had more than ten groups come to the open. Only one was a seasoned home shopper. The rest were well qualified new buyers. Another indicator of a healthy market. But I digress. So, there is no parking. The couple that said no parking was an absolute deal breaker looked around and decided to buy after all. The homes are not only very well designed, they are also a very short walk to the light rail, next to a school, and in a blossoming neighborhood. The homes are over 1700 square feet and under $700k.
The idea of living in a place where you do not need a car is still very new here in Seattle. It’s a trend I would like to push. Whenever a building goes up in Seattle with no parking I hear people complain loudly and blame the city for allowing it. But an abundance of cars is a luxury our environment cannot afford. I hope lack of parking will put pressure on public transportation to become larger and more efficient. For many years I lived in a city where public transportation was used by millionaires and paupers alike. Perhaps pushing the trend will allow this city to grow in a way that might accommodate a wider range of income, and that would stimulate the economy in the best possible way.
I have an idea. You have an opportunity to take advantage of the market right now. An advantage that may not exist for longer than a few months. Even PCC Markets knows this won’t last because they’re opening up on 4th and University soon. Prices have dropped the most in Belltown and downtown condominiums. Fear of the head tax, lid tax, and the election cycle has temporarily paralyzed the market. Maybe you should find a nice 2-bedroom condo downtown in a building more than 10 years old. Offer 10% below asking and even get an inspection contingency, because you should and can. You’ll very likely get it. The older building will most likely have parking but sell your car anyway and rent out the space to another resident in the building. A couple hundred bucks a month now for the space. But maybe double or triple that in a few years. So there. 10/16/2018
A note on the last ‘Wednesday, So There’
I said, “In fact there are many indicators that show this cooling as a necessary adjustment that could actually stimulate the market.” And many may ask what exactly are those indicators?
1: The average credit score of home buyers in August, according to Fanny May was 751
2: Sub Prime lending is no more
3: Down payments are much higher than they were before the crash
4: Average days on market in a balanced market is about 90 days. In the run up to the recent slowdown average days on market was a week. And even that is miss leading because listing brokers were delaying reviewing offers to create a frenzy a get bid up. Buyer’s greatest fear then was losing the home. Now the biggest fear is missing out on something they haven’t seen yet. And we are not yet at 90 days.