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What’s Your Home Worth? Get an instant estimate!

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Are you curious about the value of your home if you listed it for sale today? Want to know the sales price of homes in your neighborhood? At Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Northwest Real Estate, we have a great resource for you.

Our website has a home valuation tool that allows you to instantly see the estimated value of your home from Zillow plus two leading real estate industry data modeling systems. To take into account any unique features or recent updates, you may fine-tune the property features for a more accurate estimate. When you’re ready for a more in-depth estimate, one of our agents would be happy to prepare a comparative market analysis (CMA) to review neighborhood trends, current and past sales and factor in the overall condition of your home.

Please visit www.bhhsnwre.com and take advantage of this powerful resource to help you keep tabs on the value of your investment!

 

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Berkshire Hathaway Recognized by the Forbes Global 2000

Business People Listening to a Presentation About Growth

For 13 years, Forbes Global has listed the world’s 2,000 largest, most powerful public companies using a composite score that weighs the following four metrics equally:

  1. Revenues
  2. Profits
  3. Assets
  4. Market Value

This year’s Global 2000 companies came from 61 different countries and accounted for a combined revenue of $39 trillion, profits of $3 trillion, assets worth $162 trillion and a market value of $48 trillion.

Once again, Berkshire Hathaway stays in 5th place, making Warren Buffett’s conglomerate the largest U.S. company this year!

Click here to read the full report: http://www.msn.com/en-us/money/mutualfunds/the-worlds-25-biggest-companies/ar-BBjhgQC#image=1

 

Q1 2015: Homeowners Voice a Shifting Sense of Home Value in New Study

Confidence_Grows_In_Homeownership

Respondents in Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices’ Inaugural Homeowner Sentiment Survey said home value transcends price, location in new age of real estate; Millennials seem willing to sink roots.

 

Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices, part of the HSF Affiliates LLC family of real estate brokerage franchise networks, today released results of its first quarterly Homeowner Sentiment Survey showing that people’s perception of home value in the post-crash era runs much deeper than standard measures of price and location. Today’s property owners and prospective homebuyers define value in broader terms of personal confidence in their housing investment and how a property will meet their family needs now and in the future.

“Homeowners today seem to have a longer-term perspective for their properties,” said HSF Affiliates CEO Gino Blefari. “Owners are telling us a home is more than its price tag, and they’re placing more value in a home’s intrinsic qualities of wealth building, safety, satisfaction and a place to raise a family.”

As housing markets across America continue their steady recovery and with home equity rising for many, homeowners have increasing options. A large majority of owners (89%) expressed satisfaction with their home and current living situation; about a third said they’ve considered selling their home in the near future. Those selling their homes seek properties that better fit their changing lifestyles and life events, among other reasons.

Home-value perception varies through the lenses of different age groups. Boomers and Gen Xers embrace homeownership first as a “smart, long-term investment.” By contrast, Millennials are “thinking in the now” about real estate, placing highest priority on the “ease of a purchase decision” including the ability to close quickly on a property, secure financing and afford monthly payments. Of homeownership’s benefits, Millennials want a place they’re proud to show family and friends; they value a community with great schools; and they seek locations encouraging healthier lifestyles. They also want a lively neighborhood: 61% of Millennials said it’s important to live in a neighborhood with a variety of trendy dining and retail options.

“As Millennials become a larger part of the home-buying market, their preferences become better defined and seemingly more traditional,” said Stephen Phillips, president of Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices. “We have always believed there is more similarity than difference among home-buying groups, and this new data seems to support that view.”

With an eye toward enhancing long-term value, 88% of current homeowners say it is important to update or renovate their home over time, and they want improvements that stress energy efficiency and eco-friendly systems and materials. More than 60% of current homeowners favored “green” improvements even before kitchen, bath and flooring projects. Millennials are most enthusiastic about renovating: 61% want a home they can upgrade to their preferences.

Overall, homeowners and prospective buyers believe housing has turned the corner. A full 94% said homeownership is important to their long-term financial planning. With interest rates hovering near historic lows and the economy and job market growing, respondents said today is a more ideal time to buy a home than a year ago.

Still, a strong majority of respondents expect more competition for homes as housing inventory remains tight in many U.S. markets. A skilled sales professional will help in the search: Of prospective homeowners who hired agent, 93% said the agent has been effective in that home-finding process.

“This magnifies the value of sound real estate guidance today,” said Blefari. “Sales professionals are the localmarket experts with a keen understanding of home value, availability and negotiation. All things considered, when your agent finds you a great home in the right location and price point, it’s time to make your move.”

Full survey details are available upon request.

A Word From Mike Gain

RECAP AND OUTLOOK: Q2 2014

By Mike Gain, President and CEO Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices

Prices Rising

Seattle is the fastest growing big city in the U.S.  We’ve come a long way from the, Will the last person leaving Seattle—Turn out the lights, of the early 70’s. Last year Seattle grew faster than any other major American city according to estimates just released by the Census Bureau. Seattle grew by 2.8%—the highest rate among the 50 most populous U.S. Cities. Seattle added nearly 18,000 residents in a one year period, bringing our population to 652,000. So what’s the reason for Seattle’s population boom? The Census Bureau offers no explanation, but surely the city’s healthy economy is responsible for attracting new residents. According to Seattle’s Office of Economic Development, the city added nearly 15,000 new jobs between 2012 and 2013.  The new census data also shows the Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue metropolitan area added 57,000 people and remains the nation’s 15th largest metro area, with 3.61 million residents. The State of Washington’s population grew by 76,000 and is now estimated at 6.97 million.

 

A growing economy, pent up demand, competitive mortgage rates and affordable home prices will keep housing on an upward trajectory. Consumer confidence is back to pre-recession levels and they are becoming increasingly positive over their perception of the real estate market. RISMedia’s recent survey shows 77% of respondents had a favorable view of the housing market, a 12 point increase compared to a year earlier. Millennials were the most optimistic group, with 85% feeling confident about buying real estate. This is a particularly good sign as it shows first-time buyers and younger buyers and sellers are thinking about moving this summer. Results of the survey also showed a 6% increase of people becoming more committed towards buying or selling property now. The real estate market is improving every day. It’s time for buyers and sellers to get off the sidelines.

 

Locally, our home prices continue their upward climb and the trend is expected to persist. The only actual problem we are experiencing in real estate in the greater Seattle marketplace is lack of inventory. We just don’t have enough supply of homes for sale in the desirable neighborhoods to satisfy the demand. We desperately need good quality inventory. Although our number of active listings increased in May, it is just not the right inventory, at the right prices and locations, to satisfy our purchasers’ wants and needs. We have a less than a two-month supply of housing. A normal or healthy supply locally is a five to six month supply. We are experiencing more multiple offer situations than I have experienced in all of my 37 years of practicing real estate in this marketplace. For every purchaser that gets a home, we have many that lose out. This is a very difficult market for purchasers, our agents, and our brokers, to work in. If we had enough inventory to handle the demand, our pending and sold numbers would be greatly increased. We can only sell what is available and it must satisfy our purchasers’ desires.

 

There are many reasons potential sellers should consider selling now. Locally the summer selling season can be the busiest time of the year. This year, with the lack of inventory, it is probably the best market sellers will ever experience. There is less competition now so sellers should not wait to put their homes on the market. Interest rates are still very low and will continue to rise. Now is a great time for move-up sellers/buyers who can sell their home quickly today and secure another home at today’s prices and at today’s low interest rates.

 

The majority of homeowners have experienced significant gains in their equity over the past two years. They should now consider putting them on the market. Sellers who took their homes off the market in the down-turn can now get the prices they were wanting when they made their decisions to rent out rather than sell. The prices are back.

 

Renters should buy now. Locally, homeownership remains cheaper than renting in most situations. Typically the mortgage payment will be less than the rent payment on similar properties. Homeownership is a self-imposed savings plan, which through time, leads to greater wealth accumulation as compared to similar renters. It creates extra wealth mainly through its ability to force owners to save and the appreciation that is usually experienced. In short, buying a home just makes sense. Looking at the financial advantages of homeownership from every angle reveals that it is a much better investment than renting.

 

 

Pending Home Sales Gain for First Time in 9 Months

Pending Home Sales Gain for First Time in 9 Months

Daily Real Estate News | Tuesday, April 29, 2014

The housing market is showing signs of picking up again after a sluggish few months. Pending home sales rose 3.4 percent in March over February, according to the National Association of REALTORS®’ Pending Home Sales Index, a forward-looking indicator based on contract signings.

Contracts were most on the rise in the West and South, increasing 5.7 percent and 5.6 percent in March, respectively. The Northeast saw an uptick of 1.4 percent in contracts month-over-month, while contracts in the Midwest fell by 0.8 percent.

“After a dismal winter, more buyers got an opportunity to look at homes last month and are beginning to make contract offers,” says Lawrence Yun, NAR’s chief economist. “Sales activity is expected to steadily pick up as more inventory reaches the market, and from ongoing job creation in the economy.”

Pending home sales in March remained 7.9 percent below year-ago levels. While home sales are expected to rise over the rest of the year and into 2015, they likely won’t match their 2013 level, NAR reports. Existing-home sales will likely reach slightly over 4.9 million this year, shy of the nearly 5.1 million in sales in 2013, NAR projects. But with inventory shortages continuing nationwide, NAR predicts that the median existing-home price will rise between 6 percent and 7 percent this year.

Source: National Association of REALTORS®

Read more:

A Word From Mike Gain

RECAP AND OUTLOOK: Q1 2014

By Mike Gain, President and CEO Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices

Microphone

I can’t believe the 1st quarter is already behind us and we are now into the spring selling season. April, May and June are typically our peak selling months of the year. Let’s take advantage of it. I hope you are all as ready and prepared for it as I am.  I guess time flies when you are having fun and moving in a positive direction.  Congratulations on an outstanding 2013 and 2014 will be prove to be even better.

 

Recently returning from the convention and receiving all of your awards for your production in 2013, I thought I would give a brief reflection on last year and what is happening today in real estate at our company and locally in real estate.

 

Our brand conversion from Prudential to Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices was successful and went even better than expected. I had no idea this brand change would be as good for us as it has already proven to be. It has exceeded my expectations of what a brand can add or just “What’s In A Name”.

I had no idea when we made the decision to convert to Berkshire Hathaway that Berkshire Hathaway would beat out Apple Inc. and Walt Disney Co. to top  “Barron’s 2013 Most Respected Companies” in the world at # 1 or that Fortune Magazine would name Berkshire Hathaway the fourth most admired company in the world. Most recently the Harris Poll, a very reputable and respected poll just named Berkshire Hathaway the” #1 Real Estate Brand Of The Year”.  All this recognition has affirmed my belief that we made the right decision, at the right time when we transitioned  from Prudential to Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices. The strength of the new brand combined with the strength that our company has already attained is a winning combination that can’t be beaten. We have been gifted the use of an incredible name. Now it is up to us to leverage that gift.

 

A lot too changed in real estate in 2013. After over five years of declines and stagnation, home values skyrocketed in many markets, mortgage rates have risen from their bottom and negative equity fell at the fastest pace ever. Industry experts predict a continuation of this positive trend with prices to continue to rise at a solid pace through 2018.

 

The even better news is that Seattle and the surrounding areas are predicted to be one of the hottest real estate markets in the country. MSN just ranked Seattle #2 for the top cities to live in.  Zillow predicted Seattle to be one of the hottest housing markets ranking it # 2 as well.  Zillow also said Seattle is the nation’s fifth-best market for home sellers. Forbes magazine named Seattle, Bellevue, Everett and surrounding areas to be one of the top places to invest in housing in 2014. Seattle was Sunset Magazine’s runner-up for the best place to “live and work” and the  “best place to launch a career”.  Realtor magazine ranked Seattle the sixth healthiest housing markets.  We are fortunate to have such a diverse and strong job market locally to help spur demand, which is currently being met with a very limited supply of homes for sale. Real estate has always been local, and this spring as the market continues to gain momentum, it is our time to make the most of it.  The old adage location, location, location will only become more pronounced.

 

We are now on a clear and healthy path of recovery. The Case-Shiller index reported home prices in 20 of the largest metro areas, of which we are a part, was up 13.4% in 2013 and are expected to continue to rise in 2014. As a result they say that more are likely to commit to purchasing or selling homes in 2014.

 

Homeownership is very important to most people who still feel owning a home is part of the American Dream. People are once again seeking homes for all of the right reasons – to gain shelter, some security, a place to raise a family and to generate long term wealth.  With the economy improving and the real estate market continuing its recovery more people are feeling positive about their personal situations. Many are wanting to take advantage of today’s low prices while they are still affordable and of interest rates that are still historically low.

 

With rents continuing to rise it makes buying a home today a very smart decision. When one rents, at the end of the year all one has is a pile of cancelled rent checks and worries about just what the rent increase will be. A homeowner on the other hand has a pile of cancelled mortgage checks and is building their equity. There are also many tax advantages to homeownership.

 

The majority of homeowners have experienced significant gains in their equity over the past couple of years. Many sellers who took their homes off the market in the down market can now get the prices they were wanting when they made the decision to rent them.  Sellers who have been sitting on the sidelines for years should consider putting them on the market. The prices are back and their homes will sell if priced properly.

 

Always remember that real estate is a contact business. Contacts = Contracts = Success. Almost 80% of all real estate business is done by referral. 73% of consumers in America today believe now is a good time to buy real estate. No matter what was in your past your future is up to you. You are in complete control. Our management team and staff are here to help and support you. Give 100% of your time, energy and effort to accomplish your 2014 goals. Be the very best that you can be. Now is your time to shine and take advantage of this market that is finally moving in a very positive direction. Yes!  J

 

Mike Gain

 

Prudential Northwest Launches New FREE Mobile App!

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INTRODUCING OUR NEW APP

Start using and sharing the Prudential Northwest Realty new mobile app today designed for your IOS or Android devices!

Contact your local Prudential Northwest Realty broker for a quick link to their personal app or go to your App Store and search for Prudential Northwest Realty. Follow the prompts to install and open.

My New Mobile App is HERE

ACCESS ALL OF WESTERN WASHINGTON

 

START house hunting on the go

EXPLORE Property Search to get full details and larger photos

MAP easy driving directions, plus use the GPS locator to find homes near you

SEARCH virtually all homes and properties for sale in Western Washington

FIND open houses and get easy directions to the listing of your choice

SAVE your favorites–revisit them later in the app or on your website

Prudential Northwest Realty Mobile App Launch Party

On Thursday, September 5, 2013, the Prudential Northwest Realty team boarded Argosy Cruise Line for lunch, drinks, music and fun while touring Puget Sound to celebrate the launch of their brand new Mobile App. Cheers! To Everlasting Success and Innovation!

APP FEATURES INCLUDE:

  • Find homes and open houses near you using your device’s built-in GPS
  • Get one-touch driving directions from where you’re at to any listing
  • Enjoy complete, current access to all NWMLS-listed homes in Western WA
  • Browse large color photos and expanded listing details on each property
  • Search by city, zip code, price, style and more
  • Find homes for sale near you using our virtual search tool: Home Scan
  • Save favorites and share them with your friends via email or social sites
  • Access favorite properties and save searches from your PNW account

 

 

HomeServices Acquisition of Prudential Fox & Roach, Realtors(r)/Trident Group

Watch Us Grow!

Posted on August 14, 2013 by admin
Welcome to the family Prudential Fox & Roach Realtors(r), the 5th largest provider of brokerage services in the U.S.! An occasion so big it needs an entire convention center!

Welcome to the family Prudential Fox & Roach Realtors(r), the 5th largest provider of brokerage services in the U.S.! An occasion so big it needs an entire convention center to celebrate!

MINNEAPOLIS (August 14, 2013) – HomeServices of America, Inc., a Berkshire Hathaway affiliate, today announced the acquisition of Prudential Fox & Roach, Realtors®, the fifth largest provider of brokerage and related services in the United States and its subsidiary, The Trident Group, which is comprised of market- leading financial services companies including Trident Mortgage Company, Trident Insurance and Trident Land Transfer Company. Terms were not disclosed.

Headquartered in Philadelphia, Prudential Fox & Roach is the largest Realtor® in the Tri-State region of Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware, and is the largest single-market residential real estate brokerage in the U.S., with more than 4,000 sales associates in 62 offices located in major markets across the three states. Through the Trident Group, the company provides one-stop shopping to its clients including mortgage financing, title insurance and escrow services, and property and casualty insurance. In 2012, Prudential Fox & Roach had more than $8.3 billion in sales volume and nearly 25,000 transactions; Trident Group originated $2.4 billion representing more than 9,800 home mortgages, closed nearly 6,000 title and escrow transactions, and had more than 7,200 property and casualty insurance transactions for a total of 48,000 transactions across all services.

Prudential Fox & Roach retains its name until it transitions to the new Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices franchise brand in late Fall 2013.

The acquisition represents HomeServices of America’s expansion in the Mid-Atlantic and entry into the Tri-State region. With this transaction, HomeServices of America has 30 brands and more than 21,000 real estate professionals operating in 24 states. In 2012, the company’s associates facilitated nearly $53 billion in residential real estate sales, nearly 186,000 transactions and nearly 153,000 mortgage, insurance, title and escrow transactions. HomeServices of America’s growth strategy focuses on identifying market-leading companies that have established deep and enduring reputations within their community and long-standing traditions for excellence.

Larry Flick, chairman and CEO of Prudential Fox & Roach, Realtors/Trident Group, is among real estate’s most recognized and influential leaders, known for his exemplary leadership, vision, integrity, and his extensive philanthropic contributions, both personally and through the Fox & Roach Charities organization. Flick will continue in his current role running the day-to-day operations along with Gerry Griesser, President Trident Group; Joan Docktor, President, Prudential Fox & Roach, and their leadership teams.

“We are thrilled that Fox & Roach is joining the Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices network,” said Earl Lee, CEO of HSF Affiliates LLC, which operates the Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices real estate franchise brand. “Larry, together with his executive team, sales managers and agents, has built an extraordinary organization and exemplify a level of expertise, vision and leadership that is second-to-none in the real estate business today. We look forward to having a company of such tremendous caliber carry the Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices brand into the Tri-State marketplace.”

“Under Larry’s and Gerry’s foresight, expertise and leadership, Prudential Fox & Roach/Trident has become one of the foremost real estate and financial services companies in the U.S. renowned for its innovation, agility and unwavering commitment to delivering an exceptional customer experience,” said Ron Peltier, chairman and CEO of HomeServices of America. “Prudential Fox & Roach and the Trident Group are trusted resources within the communities in which they serve and to their buyers and sellers. Their culture of integrity, work ethic and creativity closely aligns with our corporate vision and our emphasis on customer value and results. This is an important transaction to HomeServices and we are very proud to have Fox & Roach and the Trident Group join the HomeServices family.”

“We are proud to be a part of HomeServices of America,” said Flick. “We are joining an organization known for its strength and stability, one that is consistent with our high standards of service and integrity, making this a win/win for our customers and our sales associates.”

Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices’ Expanded Footprint…

3 Brands in Motion3 Brands In Motion

What will the new Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices look like, and what’s the plan for existing Prudential and Real Living franchisees?

Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway affiliate, HomeServices of America Inc., made news last October when the company acquired two of the nation’s largest real estate franchise networks—Prudential Real Estate and Real Living Real Estate. The two franchisors, along with a third newly created brand called Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices, will be managed under HSF Affiliates LLC, a joint venture created by HomeServices of America and Brookfield Asset Management.

Here’s what’s in store at the three companies: Prudential franchisees will eventually transition into Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices offices, while Real Living will announce new franchise opportunities later this year with what company president Robert McAdams Jr. calls an “expanded footprint” and extended national reach. “We’re going to keep growing but we’re the same Real Living everyone has come to know and appreciate,” he says. For the moment, however, Real Living has halted franchise sales.

As part of Prudential’s conversion plan, existing franchisees can choose to become a BHHS affiliate or else continue to operate under the Prudential name until the end of their contract. HSF Affiliates Chief Operating Officer Stephen Phillips expects the vast majority of franchises will convert by the middle of next year. The last Prudential contracts are set to expire in 2026.

The new BHHS brand identity is being carefully crafted. A “cabernet and cream” color scheme for marketing and advertising materials will set it apart from the color palettes of other major franchises. The company’s lead generation and management systems are being updated from Prudential’s offerings, while a new operating platform technology suite is being developed for franchisees as well. New franchisees will come aboard later in the year. As HSF Affiliates CEO Earl Lee says, “It’s important to us that we signify the depth of the brand so we reflect well on the organization whose name we now carry.”

Article courtesy of July/August 2013 REALTOR(r) Mag.

 

Berkshire Hathaway Tops Barron’s World Most Respected Companies!

Berkshire Hathaway Inc. beat out Apple Inc. and Walt Disney Co. to top Barron’s 2013 World’s Most Respected Companies list. Rankings are compiled based on company performance and investment strategies. Berkshire Hathaway jumped to No. 1 from No. 15 last year.

 

HomeServices of America, joint owner of HSF Affiliates LLC—which operates Prudential Real Estate, Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices and Real Living Real Estate—is a Berkshire Hathaway affiliate.

 

The Top Ten World’s Most Respected Companies are as follows:

  1. Berkshire Hathaway Inc.
  2. Walt Disney Co.
  3. Apple Inc.
  4. Google Inc.
  5. Coca-Cola Co.
  6. Amazon.com Inc.
  7. 3M Co.
  8. McDonald’s Corp.
  9. United Parcel Service Inc. (UPS)
  10. International Business Machines Corp. (IBM) s