Winter Time, and Best Time to Buy a Home?

Upcoming Free (& non-promotional) Home Buyer Classes:
…we also have home seller classes available.  Link on left on website page

Saturday, November 16th, from 11am-2pm (ish)
​       Vancouver YMCA, conference room
       11324 NE 51st Circle, Vancouver WA (corner of SR500 & Gher Road/112th Ave).

Saturday, December 7th, from 9am-12pm (ish)
Marshall Community Center, conference room
       1009 E. McLoughlin Blvd, Vancouver WA (kitty corner from Clark College)

Monday, December 9th, from 5pm – 8pm (ish)
        Marshall Community Center, Conference room
       1009 E McLoughlin Blvd, Vancouver WA (kitty corner from Clark College)

Saturday, December 14th, from 12pm-3pm (ish)
​       Vancouver YMCA, conference room
       11324 NE 51st Circle, Vancouver WA (corner of SR500 & Gher Road/112th Ave).

If these class dates and/or times don’t work for you, please let us know.  We understand that you have lives, and families, and work.  We will work something out that works better with your schedule.  Just let us know….                                                        
Remember…with reservation…we will throw in lunch, or dinner!  😀 ~~~~~~~~~

Happy Veterans Day…
  I want to take a quick moment to thank our veterans… those who have served, and those who are serving.  I appreciate the sacrifices you have made, and are making.  I have many clients, friends, and family who’ve served, or are serving, and I’ve had many tell me that the hardest part is being so far from family & home.’s a powerful word….and for many folks one of the reasons why they do serve.  So…thank you…
  Now, today is November 12th…and like many I am enjoying the new Disney+!  Oh my, so many movies that I a remember as a child, and when my older kids were much younger… Blackbeard’s Ghost, Pollyanna, Bedknobs & Broomsticks, and so much more.  It’s a glorious thing!    Don’t forget about the Client Appreciation Event coming up for 11/23 from 3pm-6pm (or thereabouts) for Frozen 2!  Chris Berg buy out the entire theater for these events a few times a year to say, Thank you, to our clients.  We appreciate you!  Now…Frozen 2 is sold out in the general area, but there are some seats available in the 21+ area, and we are going to start rsvp’ing for Star Wars IX in December!!  Thank you for your business and for your referrals…  
 So, this week, let’s talk about the current market for a quick moment…..I know that it’s gray and dreary, and everyone has the holidays on their mind, but honestly, if you are even ‘thinking’ about buying a home….NOW is the best time.  Yes, there are not a whole lot of homes on the market, but the market is not as competitive as it is during the spring time.  Remember that from offer to keys it will take about 6-7 weeks.  The market tends to pick up and start getting crazy again right about late February/early March-April when folks start getting their tax refunds.    

Now…please remember that my magic wand is broken, and the magic 8 ball exploded all over my house with the coming holidays… so no one really knows what is going to happen.   Typically in an election year we don’t see a whole lot of movement with interest rates, or any major changes that could disrupt the economy.  Seattle and the Portland Metro are still very solid markets, and we are still in a sellers market, but it isn’t as strong or fierce as it was a few years ago.  We are still seeing multiple offers on homes in certain price ranges, but for many other homes we are seeing sellers paying some closing costs for the buyers.  What will happen for the coming year though?  This is a lot like foretelling the weather right now… as it really depends on when things happen.  Most industry sources do say that home prices should start plateauing though.  This doesn’t mean that the home prices will not go up…they just shouldn’t go up like last year.  They should steady out. As people see the change in the market coming, more homeowners should put the home on the market so they can begin their move to their new home, and this will help all the price ranges see more homes on the market. So, yes, there aren’t as many homes on the market right now than there will be say around…spring break… the homes that are on the market though are solid sellers.   
  Yes, prices are still going up, but not as much as they were the past few years, so let’s talk about how all that works.  I bought my old home in late 2001, with a 6.875% interest rate….don’t feel bad, or shocked….in a ‘healthy’ market, a ‘normal’ interest rate would be about 7%.  We were THRILLED to be under 7%!   We sold that home in 2017, and it was harder than I thought it would be.  It was our first home, and we had lived there for 16 years.  It was the craziest thing, but did you know that when our buyers purchased our home for the $285,000 it was worth, with the 3.5% interest rate…. our mortgages were almost THE SAME!   Wait…I’m not (that) crazy…it’s economics.  Yes, they bought it for more than I owed, but with a much lower interest rate.   That equaled my lower owed amount, but higher interest rate. How crazy is that???  Now, here’s the crazy part… in 2016, my old house was only worth about $245,000, and right now, that same home is worth $330,000! NUTS!!!  My mother purchased a home in the 80’s for $70,000, but her interest rate was 18.375%!!!   ….now that is crazy!!    The point of this is that while yes, prices are going up, the interest rates are still really low, so you can purchase more home.   When this changes, and interest rates rise it doesn’t mean that home prices will immediately start dropping, they should start leveling off …it will take a bit of time to balance out though.  
   I have clients asking me if they should just settle then on a home, and frankly this is a tough question.   No, you shouldn’t ‘just settle’ on a home, but you may have to adjust either the type of home you want, the location, or be able to go up in purchase price to get what you want.  Please remember that this most likely is not your last home, but your home for the next 5-10 years….that’s the average.  Know what your top 3 things are that you need in a home.  Whether you are buying a home, or selling a home…it is exciting, scary, fun, and frustrating.  It’s a lot like a roller coaster, or driving down Mill Plain during rush hour,….or during that last month of pregnancy. I tell you….there’s a reason I don’t drink often…..I’m afraid once I start that I won’t stop!  ;-D  (just kidding)  Buying and/or selling a home always going to be a a roller coaster when you’re on the ride.  We’re here though to help…that’s what we do. 
  When you are looking for a home,  you need to consider more than just the house.  You are also buying the neighborhood, the schools, the property taxes, the local parks, the neighbors, and the local infrastructure.  The home needs to ‘fit’ you like your favorite pair of pj’s. For example….this last weekend I had a client look at a home that she liked.  On paper it was everything she said she wanted, and she couldn’t find anything against the house that would cause her to not want to write an offer. So why was she hesitant?  Because this home was that sweater or shirt that looks good on the rack, and so you try it on.  It fits ok, and it looks all right, but there is just ‘something’ that is ‘off’ with it… can’t figure it out either.  Sometimes you buy it, but never wear it, and sometimes you put it back.  Buying the ‘right’ home is a lot like that.  You can, and will, see homes you like, but they just don’t ‘fit’.  Put that home back.  Sometimes you see an item of clothing on the rack that you really don’t know about….but you try it on anyway and BAM!  you look AMAZING!  Some homes don’t look like much from the outside, but you get inside and they are amazing.  Remember that internet home photos are a lot like internet dating….you never know what you are going to see when you get there, and many agents hire professional photographers for a reason.  I can always tell which photos an agent did themselves, and who hired someone.   Finding the ‘right’ home is like sliding into your favorite jeans, or boots…..there is just something about it that ‘fits’.  I see homes I ‘like’ all the time, but just because I like it doesn’t mean it fits.  If you are obsessed with a home that you have seen though.   You really like the home, and you keep going back to the pictures, and driving by the house…..that’s the ‘right’ home….even if it was one of the first homes you saw, or it was something you didn’t think you wanted, or weren’t sure about.  That home is that sweater/shirt/shoes that you just weren’t sure about….until you tried it on.  Darling, you look AMAZING!   Trust your instincts….this is YOUR home, and YOUR mortgage.    With rents going up so much lately you can buy for about what your renting…or close to it. 
   What is the best time to buy, or sell?  Whenever YOU are ready.  Sometimes waiting makes sense, and sometimes it really doesn’t.  I am a firm believer that the right home will always be ready when you are, and that it will all fall into place.  Remember….your agent works for you.   YOUR agent isn’t a salesperson.  We shouldn’t be trying to ‘sell’ you on anything.  YOUR agent works for YOU….not the other way around.  When you hire an agent you are hiring a representative; someone who should be looking out for your best interests. Always ask questions. We do this all the time, and we love it, so use our knowledge to your advantage.  There really is NO stupid question in real estate. There is always learning opportunities, and that is goes for us as well.   If i can’t answer your question; I will help you find someone who can.  We’re in this together.  

Don’t forget though… that the first step in ANY adventure is education. Take a home buyer class, or a home seller class….that’s what they’re there for.  

Informationis power,  and as always…May the odds be ever in your favor out there….  If you are looking for a real estate agent, I would love to be able to help you.  If you have any questions, or comments please get a hold of me anytime.  You can call, text, email, or even facebook me.  Please remember that while I mean these emails/blogs to be helpful, and educational, I am still hoping that you will call, or email me as I would be honored to help you with your home buying, or home selling adventure.
    As always….this is just a quick overview…. again…and I can’t say this enough…please remember that your agent is NOT a salesperson, and should not be acting like one.  Real Estate is not really about houses, it is about relationships.  Your agent, and your lender work for YOU.  You drive the bus…we are merely GPS to help you get to your goals.  Like the classes, this weekly blog email is to help you with your home adventure.  The goal is to be informative and non-promotional.  🙂  We are, however, hoping you will call and want us to help with your adventure.   Thank you again for your business and your referrals!!  …and thank you for referring these classes to your friends, family, and co-workers.   ….disclaimer…if you have already purchased a home, or would no longer like to receive these emails, please let me know and I will be happy to remove you from any further mailings…   Upcoming Topics:
Winter Home Maintenance & things to look for…

Last Week:  Delayed Possession…what is this madness?

Have a great day, and I will talk to you soon,   
Tracie DeMars   
Real Estate broker 
Re/Max – Van Mall   
360/ 903-3504 cell   
360/ 882-3600 fax

“Interested in free and non promotional home education classes?  Go to for local upcoming home buyer and home SELLER classes, or facebook: Tracie DeMars Real Estate for my home buyer education blog.”“Listen to the mustn’ts, child. Listen to the don’ts. Listen to the shouldn’ts, the impossibles, the won’ts. Listen to the never haves, then listen close to me… Anything can happen, child. Anything can be.”    
   – Shel Silverstein, American poet, cartoonist and composer, (1930 – 1999).