Riding the Seattle Housing Market - ParentMap
January 1, 2017
Home is where the heart is, the old adage goes. Chester Georgi-Densmore and his wife hoped their future would include children, and so they spent a year searching for a house that fit their dreams. They envisioned extra bedrooms for kids and visiting family, a modern kitchen, nearby parks and a fenced yard for their dog.
They were first-time home buyers navigating the Puget Sound region’s competitive real estate market. They made offers on three homes; all were declined. The couple was planning to take a break from what they call the “emotional roller coaster” of house hunting when they tried one last time.
Thanks to experienced guidance about how to play the market, together with cooperation between their Realtor and mortgage broker, they closed on a four-bedroom, century-old house south of Columbia City. Their son was born the next year.
What did the couple learn? When you have dreams of owning a home in a hot market, it pays to be prepared in every possible way for every possible outcome.
“Even if you’re currently not interested or ready to buy a home, it’s important to learn about the process. Get a sense for the terminology, the process and guidelines. It’s helpful to have that information down the road,” Georgi-Densmore says.
First steps: advance planning
Maybe you’re not currently ready to buy a home. Maybe you want to upgrade to your next home but think it might be impossible, given the Puget Sound area’s skyrocketing prices. Whether dreaming about owning your first home or your fifth, it pays to plan ahead, even years into the future.
“Sit down with a loan officer and discuss goals,” says Tamara Fiorentini, senior real estate loan officer at Peoples Bank. “If you can’t make it work at that particular moment, you can at least start a plan for future homeownership. Maybe that means improving your credit score, saving money for a down payment or finding a more stable job. Those are things you can find out from a loan officer you wouldn’t otherwise know.”