real estate

Real Estate Law
7:05 am
Mon April 18, 2011

Appraisers upset as big banks drag feet on new regulations

Bad appraisals contributed to problems that led to the wave of foreclosures that has swept the nation. But regulations meant to fix them aren't working, according to many in the industry. They're demanding more intervention by the feds.
File photo

Despite the massive fraud that has emerged as the U.S. tries to dig itself out of the foreclosure mess at the heart of the great recession, there are still huge numbers of honest folks working in the real estate business. 

That's according to professional appraisers in Washington state, dozens of whom have signed an on-line petition. 

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Real Estate
9:35 am
Fri April 15, 2011

Relief for strapped borrowers: "Foreclosure Fairness" is now law

Emergency measures in a new law go into effect immediately, creating the infrastructure needed to get more housing counselors working with banks and preventing people from losing their homes.

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Street Cents
1:23 am
Tue April 5, 2011

How high and low can you go?

Some Mercer Island properties are among the highest valued on the current market.
Bing.com

It's that time of year again when KPLU's John Maynard and real estate appraiser Richard Hagar look at the least expensive and the most expensive homes on the market. This time around, they're zeroing in on King County.

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Real Estate
7:22 am
Fri March 4, 2011

King County home prices down 7% compared to last year

A jogger and dog run past a house posted with a new price in Seattle.
Elaine Thompson AP Photo

Foreclosures and uncertainty are clogging up the real estate market, and one local expert says prices won't go up again before next year.

The median price of a home in King County  is down nearly 7% compared to a year ago.  That's one of many tidbits in the mass of numbers released this month by the Northwest Multiple Listing Service. 

Sales data for February show the median sales price in Washington's most populous county down 7 percent compared to last year. The median price of a home in King County has dropped to $320-thousand dollars. That's about $23,000 dollars less than in February of last year. 

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Street Cents
5:17 am
Tue March 1, 2011

Walking away from a mortgage

An abandoned home in Prescott, Arizona, one of the areas with a high foreclosure rate, according to Richard Hagar.
Richard Hagar

It's happening all over the country, including in the Pacific Northwest. People are walking away from their mortgages. In most cases, the homes that are being abandoned are valued for less than their mortgage. 

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NEWS ROUNDUP
6:15 am
Fri February 11, 2011

Friday morning's headlines

Students from Tacoma's Foss High at a recent rally to keep the school open. Last night Superintendent Art Jarvis announced he'll look at other cost-saving options to close a budget gap, rather than temporarily closing the school.
Luan Nguyen-Tran

Making headlines around the Northwest this morning:

  • King County Property Taxes to Rise as Home Values Fall
  • Foss High School Won't Close After All
  • Hempfest Sues Seattle Over Permit Denial

 

Lower Property Values, Higher Taxes

It's a "counter-intuitive" reality according to King County Assessor Lloyd Hara. He tells the Seattle Times that many home owners will see their property taxes go up as the value of their homes goes down. Hara says this reality is primarily the result of new voter-approved levies and bonds. Voters approved 44 tax increases in 2010, 38 of them for schools.

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Real Estate
8:52 am
Thu February 10, 2011

Seattle area foreclosures surpass national average

The rate of foreclosures in Washington State and the Seattle area have soared in January, according to RealtyTrac.
David Zalubowski AP

In the past month, the Seattle area's foreclosure rate has soared to new heights - it's now higher than the national average. One out of every 476 homes has a foreclosure filing, compared with one in every 497 nationally, according to a new report by RealtyTrac, a foreclosure information firm.

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Real Estate
8:14 am
Wed February 9, 2011

One-third of homes 'underwater' in Puget Sound region

Data shows increasing number of residents owe more on mortgage than home is worth.
AP

Update Feb. 10, 2011 - The correct percentage of area mortgage holders "underwater" - as reported by Zillow.com - is 34.3%, not of all homeowners. This post has been updated to clarify that point.

Do you owe more on your mortgage than your house is worth? You’re not alone. One-third of homeowners in King, Pierce and Snohomish counties are “underwater” on their homes. "Negative equity" rose faster in this region than anywhere else in the country.

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Real Estate Commentary
4:02 am
Tue February 1, 2011

Seattle rental vacancies about as low as they can go

Divine Harvester Flickr

Seattle area landlords are breathing a sigh of relief these days due to dropping rental vacancies. Real estate appraiser Richard Hagar tells KPLU's  John Maynard that two forces are driving this.

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Business
6:46 am
Thu January 6, 2011

Home sales send mixed message

Home sales bumped up in December, in King County.  Analysts disagree over whether it’s sign of an important trend or not.  The Seattle Times calls it the biggest month for home sales since a federal tax credit expired last summer. 

But the Seattle P-I quotes Glenn Crellin of Washington State University as saying the real estate market is likely to stay sluggish for several months or longer:

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Real Estate Q&A
7:06 am
Tue January 4, 2011

Seattle Landslides: Slip Slidin' Away

A past landslide in West Seattle, near Hamilton/Viewpoint Park.
Courtesy USGS

In Seattle, there's a lot of potentially dangerous places where the soil could give way any moment. This is especially true in neighborhoods with good views. 

The City of Seattle publishes a landslide map that makes this abundantly clear.  On the map, landslide-prone areas are marked in red. And, boy, is there a lot of red!

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Street Cents
6:28 am
Tue December 7, 2010

Wrongful foreclosures

AP

Is it possible for proud home owners who pay their mortgages on time to have their houses foreclosed on? KPLU’s John Maynard talks with real estate appraiser Richard Hagar who says this sort of thing happens all the time, thanks to sloppy bank practices.

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