The 5 Best Things About Living in South Everett

What’s so great about living in South Everett? There are several reasons why people choose to call South Everett “home,” and we asked locals what they love about the area so much. Here’s what they shared:


1. Quick access to Boeing and Paine Field.

As local Heather P points out, South Everett’s easy access to Boeing is definitely a perk of living in the area! This location will only become more desirable when Alaska Airlines starts running commercial flights from Paine Field in fall of 2018. For those in the area who have to head to SeaTac often, this will be a *huge* timesaver.

2. Several great transit options.

In addition to upcoming commercial flights, South Everett already has several excellent transportation options whether or not you have a car. With access to several freeways (including Interstate-5), local and regional bus routes, the Sounder Train (find stations in nearby Mukilteo and of course in Everett), and the light rail expansion, getting around the area just keeps getting easier. Having options like the train and light trail (in the future!) make it so you don’t even have to deal with car traffic, a definite bonus as our highways become more and more congested. (Be sure to take advantage of these South Everett commuting tips!)

3. Nice neighborhoods with affordability.

According to local Brian H, South Everett is a top choice for many people due to its “nice neighborhoods and affordability.” As Zillow reports, the median home price in Everett is $337,700 (August 2017). With prices steadily increasing, it’s significantly more affordable than nearby cities like Seattle (with a median home price of $690,200 for August 2017).

4. Unique outdoor opportunities.

Many people don’t know all that South Everett has to offer, and this includes some unique outdoor activities! Local Jen B especially loves McCollum Pioneer Park: “McCollum Park is a fabulous Park and Ride but there are other unique amenities including an outdoor seasonal pool, BMX park, and walking trails linking to Mill Creek Town Center. For even more tips on what to do outdoors, don’t miss our Outdoor Lover’s Guide to South Everett!

5.  There’s tons of great shopping!

…And we really mean *tons*. Costco and T.J. Maxx are Heather P’s favorite places to stop by, but no matter what you’re looking for, you’ll probably be able to find it in South Everett. The Everett Mall is packed with shopping, dining, services, and entertaining, and here you’ll find Regal Cinemas, LA Fitness, Bed Bath & Beyond, PetSmart, Best Buy, Sears, and so much more. Nearby you’ll also find Walmart, Target, WinCo, not to mention several sit-down restaurants and fast food options!

Posted on October 4, 2017 at 12:11 pm
Cori Whitaker | Category: Area Profiles, So Everett | Tagged , , , , , , , ,

Live in South Everett? Here’s What You Need to Know About Commuting

Many people choose to live in South Everett for its central location, affordability, and great commuting options. According to local Heather P, it’s “Close enough to the city and the I-405 interchange yet far enough to feel like you’ve somewhat escaped!” She also shares that it’s a “Quick commute up north if you’re headed to Lake Stevens or Bellingham.”

Whether you work at Boeing or need to commute into Seattle for work, we have several commuting tips to share. From taking the train or bus to developments you can expect in the future, here are a few things you need to know:

  • Easy access to highways, including Interstate-5 and Highway 99.

No matter where you live in South Everett, you’re never more than a few minutes away from highways if you’re getting around by car. Both Interstate-5 and Highway 99 conveniently run right through the area, and 526 and 525 cut through the area as well.

  • The Sounder Train has stops in Everett Station and in Mukilteo.

The Sounder Train runs from Everett all the way south to Lakewood (just past Tacoma), presenting another excellent commuting option that helps you avoid roads altogether (a definite perk during rush hour)! While the Sounder typically only runs in the mornings and afternoons on weekdays, it also runs when there are big weekend events going on, like Mariners or Seahawks games. Avoid the hassle of parking and traffic if you’re heading to a game! You can plan your trip on the Sounder here.

  • South Everett Freeway Station Park & Ride

Located at I-5 & 112th Street S.E., Everett, this handy park and ride includes 399 parking spaces in addition to bike racks and lockers. Park and catch the 510, 512, or 532 buses, and various Everett Transit buses as well. Learn more about the freeway station here, and check out 510 and 512 bus routes into Seattle here.

  • Everett Transit

Everett has its own transit system for navigating the city, and there are several stops for your convenience! From routes and schedules to tips on planning your journey, EverettTransit.org has everything you’ll need to know to take advantage of this great community amenity.

  • Biking in Everett

Featuring a maze of convenient trails in addition to the Interurban Trail, biking is a popular way to exercise or just get around Everett. There is an extensive network of bike trails, and the popular Interurban Trail runs north and south. You can see a map of the Snohomish County portion of the trail here. For a map of all of the bike trails and the Interurban Trail in Everett, click here!

  • Light Rail Expansion

It’s still awhile out, but the light rail is coming to South Everett with a projected completion in 2036. Currently, the light rail runs from Angle Lake (just past SeaTac) to University of Washington. There are stops planned at Southwest Everett Industrial Center, SR 526/Evergreen and Everett Station in the future! (There is also a provisional station, at SR 99/Airport Road, but this stop can only happen if additional funding is acquired.) Click here to see an interactive map of the plan!

  •  Commercial Flights out of Paine Field

In the fall of 2018, Alaska Airlines will begin offering commercial flights out of Paine Field! Alaska Airlines will begin announcing flight routes in early 2018, so stay tuned. You can learn all about this new service here.

Posted on October 4, 2017 at 12:08 pm
Cori Whitaker | Category: Area Profiles, So Everett | Tagged , , , ,

The Outdoor Lover’s Guide to South Everett

The great outdoors are calling! Gorgeous parks, opportunities for golfing, and farms are all in the mix—adventures await!

Here’s a look at the outdoor lover’s guide to South Everett:


GOLF

For local golfers looking to practice their skills, no place is better than Jen B and Brian H’s pick. “Columbia Super Range is the best spot to work on your golf game,” says Jen. “Located just east of I-5 on 128th, it’s easy to stop and hit a bucket of balls on your way home! Open til 10pm in the summer!” Or, if you just want a relaxing space to play a couple rounds, the Walter E. Hall Golf Course offers a tranquil forest setting and stunning views of the Olympic and Cascade mountain ranges. No matter which course you pick, you will be treated to a top-notch experience that will make you want to return again and again.


PARKS

There’s certainly no shortage of great local parks to enjoy while out and about in the South Everett area. For example, Jen shares that “McCollum [Pioneer] Park is a fabulous Park and Ride but there are other unique amenities including an outdoor seasonal pool, BMX park, and walking trails linking to Mill Creek Town Center.” Sports fans can also head over to Kasch Park and catch a game of softball, Little League, soccer, or lacrosse.

Searching for something extra adventurous? Jen also recommends High Trek Adventures at the Paine Field Community Park. Rope obstacle courses and ziplining offers something new and exciting to try out, and with over 60 challenges to try, you can keep coming back to try something new! (It’s also a great place for corporate events or parties!)

Finally, those with four-legged friends can bring them down to Loganberry Lane Park to enjoy the wooded trails off-leash. There really is something for everyone at these parks!


FARMS

According to Jen B, “In the fall, South Everett residents head down the hill to the Snohomish River Valley where pumpkin patches, hay mazes, and harvest fun can be had!” One farm in particular to take advantage of all of this fun at is the nearby Farm at Swan’s Trail. A 50-acre pumpkin patch, the Washington State Corn Maze, wagon rides, and much more promise a great time for the whole family. For adults and older kids, the Thomas Family Farm features unique nighttime activities like zombie paintball, a haunted house, and a flashlight corn maze. It’s only the best way to spend this spooky time of year in the South Everett area.

Posted on October 4, 2017 at 11:48 am
Cori Whitaker | Category: Area Profiles, So Everett | Tagged , , , , ,

Demystifying the Zillow Zestimate – Real Estate Update – Cori Whitaker

Knowing the value of your home is helpful in many ways. It can help determine one’s net worth, help decide if a home sale or purchase is a financially feasible move, determine the ability to get a loan – and it’s just nice to know where your largest investment stands. Consumers have the option to access several websites such as Zillow® to search the AVM or Zestimate® on their property.

A Zestimate is an AVM (Automated Valuation Model). The product of an automated valuation technology comes from analysis of public record data and computer decision logic combined to provide a calculated estimate of a probable selling price of a residential property. An AVM generally uses a combination of two types of evaluation, a hedonic model and a repeat sales index. The results of each are weighted, analyzed and then reported as a final estimate of value based on a requested date.

Often when I am talking with potential sellers, their Zestimate (or other AVMs) come up in the overall conversation, and I understand why. This is information that is relatively easy to access and gives the seller a starting point on the value of their home. Where an AVM can become problematic is when a consumer thinks it’s accurate. Even worse, when a consumer makes a major financial decision solely based on this information. According to Zillow, less than half of all Zestimates in the Seattle metro area are even within 5.4% of the actual value, and they only give themselves a 2-star (fair) rating on their accuracy. In fact, they publish an accuracy report that you can access here.

In August, the average home price in the Seattle Metro area was $824,000. With less than half of all Zestimates within 5% of the actual value, that is a beginning margin of error of $41,200! Further, they claim that 72.3% of their Zestimates are within 10% of the actual value, which is a marked difference – up to $82,400. AVMs are incomplete because the basis of their formula is tax records, which in my experience are often inaccurate. Also, and most importantly, an AVM does not take into consideration the condition of the home, the neighborhood and other environmental impacts such as school district, road noise and unsightly neighboring homes, to name a few.

An accurate accounting of the value of a home in today’s market requires actually physically touring the home and the surrounding homes that compare, as well as considering current market conditions such as supply and demand and seasonality. An algorithm cannot accomplish this, but a real estate broker can.

So why does the Zestimate exist? Zillow is a publicly traded company (ZG) and their website is the vehicle to create profit. The Zestimate drives consumers to the website who are often dipping their toe in the pool to see what their home might be worth, or searching available homes for sale. When a consumer is searching on the website they are surrounded by real estate broker and mortgage broker ads on every page. These real estate brokers and mortgage brokers are paying for that advertising space, which is how Zillow makes its money and why there is a Zestimate. The Zestimate is not a public service, it is a widget to bring eyes to their advertising space which in turn, sells more ads.

Another important item to note is that Zillow does NOT have all available real estate inventory in the Greater Seattle area on their website. In May, they cut off access to manually input listings, leaving some real estate firms unable to get their listings on the site any longer. Some firms just plainly chose not to syndicate to them. It is estimated that Zillow has between 70%-80% of the total available inventory on their site. In an inventory-tight market like the one we are in now, it is important for consumers to understand that if Zillow is the only source they are searching with, they may be missing out. Brokerage firm websites, such as Windermere.com have a direct IDX feed from the Northwest Multiple Listing Service which refreshes every 15 minutes, insuring the accuracy and completeness of all listing data.

The best use of Zillow is to think of the site as one of the many tools in your real estate evaluation and search toolbox. Zillow provides a great starting point and contains a ton of information to whet your palate when embarking on a real estate endeavor. Nothing beats the evaluation and discernment of a knowledgeable and experienced real estate broker to help you determine accuracy, which will lead to the empowerment of clarity.

If you are curious about the value of your home in today’s market, please contact me. I can provide an annual real estate review of all of your real estate holdings, and can even dive deep into a complete comparative market analysis if you would find that helpful. It is my goal to help keep my clients informed and empower strong decisions.

 

Zillow® and Zestimate® are trademarks of Zillow, Inc.

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Equifax Data Breach

If you have a credit report, there’s a good chance that you’re one of the 143 million American consumers whose sensitive personal information was exposed in the data breach at Equifax, one of the nation’s three major credit agencies.

Here are the facts, according to Equifax. The breach lasted from mid-May through July. The hackers accessed names, social security numbers, birth dates, addresses and in some cases, driver’s licenses numbers and even credit card numbers.

There are steps you can take to help protect your information from being misused. Visit Equifax’s website, www.equifaxsecurity2017.com to find out if your information was exposed and set up protections. Click here to access the entire press release from the Federal Trade Commission that includes step by step instructions to help you navigate the website.

 

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Nothing feels more like fall than pumpkin picking, hay rides and corn mazes. Get your latte in hand and head out to any one of these great, local farms to have some harvest fun and find that perfect jack-o-lantern to light up your porch.

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Ray & Lynn Trzynka

 

 


Milari Olexa

 

 


Alyssa Irwin

 

 


Mike & Chris Russell

 

 


The Everetts

 

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To these buyers that closed recently:


Gilbert & Patricia Holzmeyer

 

 


Jacob & Shannon Foran

 

 


Ann O’Connor

 

 


Mike & Chris Russell

 

 


Chris & Sarah Larson

 

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Active Listings:


1820 NW 195th St, Shoreline 98177
2 Bedrooms/1.75 Baths, 1592 Sq Ft.
Listed at $589,950

 

 

16736 76th Ave W, Edmonds 98026
4 Bedrooms/3.25 Baths, 3808 Sq Ft.
Listed at $798,950

 

 

8809 Olympic View Dr, Edmonds 98026
4 Bedrooms/2.75 Baths, 3956 Sq Ft.
Listed at $1,289,950

 

 

Listings currently under contract:

Pending
7010 177th St SW, Edmonds 98026
4 Bedrooms/3 Baths, 2684 Sq Ft.
Listed at $635,000

Pending
23834 113th Place W, Woodway 98020
5 Bedrooms/2.5 Baths, 3000 Sq Ft.
Listed at $869,950

Pending
9222 183rd Place SW, Edmonds 98020
4 Bedrooms/2.5 Baths, 3084 Sq Ft.
Listed at $659,850

Pending
410 Dayton St, Edmonds 98020
Bed & Breakfast
Commercial listing & business opportunity
Listed at $750,000

Thank you for trusting me to help your friends and family!

Posted on October 1, 2017 at 10:17 am
Cori Whitaker | Category: Current Real Estate Issues, Just for Fun | Tagged , , , , ,

3 Reasons Why We Are Not Headed Towards Another Real Estate Bubble

I get asked this question often, and I can understand why. With the 2008 Great Recession not too far back in our rear-view mirror it is understandable that folks don’t want history to repeat itself, as that was a very painful time for many. Also, price appreciation has been rapid across the country, but especially in our region. The large price gains might seem familiar to the gains of the previous up market of 2004-2007, but the environment is much different, and that is why we are not headed toward a housing collapse.

Lending Requirements
As the graph shows, lending requirements are much more stringent now than what they were prior to the fall of the housing market.

Previous lending practices allowed people to get into homes with risky debt-to-income ratios, low credit scores and undocumented incomes. They called this sub-prime lending. A large part of why the housing bubble burst 10 years ago was due to people getting into mortgages they were not equipped to handle, which lend to the eventual fall of sub-prime lending. Currently, the average credit score over the last 12 months according to Ellie Mae was 724. During the days of sub-prime lending people were funding loans with scores as low as 560! This, coupled with many zero-down loan programs and the risky terms mentioned above left many new homeowners with little to no equity. When you have little or no equity it very easy to just walk away.


The graph above shows the percentage of homes in our state with significant equity (20% or more) according to CoreLogic. Today many homeowners, especially in our region are making large down payments to begin with. Believe me, when reviewing multiple offers on a house, the size of down payment matters – hence many buyers landing homes are making large down payments. Unlike the market prior to the crash, when people have high equity levels they are not likely to abandon their home or miss payments.

Inventory Levels & Our Job Market
The biggest challenge in our market has been low inventory levels and high housing demand. It’s simply the concept of supply and demand. Our thriving job market has afforded folks already in our area the ability to make moves, and it is bringing people into our area from other parts of the country. Washington State’s net in-migration is 43% higher than it was 10 years ago. This has created increased demand, especially for homes closer to job centers resulting is shorter commutes. When you have increased demand and not enough homes to absorb the buyers, prices go up. Over the last three years we have easily seen a 10% increase in prices year-over-year. That is above the norm and should slow down as inventory increases. As inventory increases we anticipate a leveling out of appreciation rates to historical norms of 3-4% annually, but not decreasing home values like the 2008-2010 crash.

I understand that the recent increase in home prices has been big and that it might remind you of the previous up market before the crash. I hope that digging into the topics above has shed some light on how it is different. According to Matthew Gardner, Windermere’s Chief Economist and nationally sought after expert on all things real estate, buyers should not wait this market out, due to future price appreciation and today’s historically low interest rates. Check out his latest vlog (video blog) that addresses this topic.

As always, it is my goal to help keep my clients informed and empower strong decisions. Please let me know if I can answer any questions or help you or anyone you know with their real estate needs.

 

Posted on September 1, 2017 at 9:29 am
Cori Whitaker | Category: Current Real Estate Issues | Tagged , , , , ,