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What You Need To Know About Buying a Home in Seattle in 2024

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What You Need To Know About Buying a Home in Seattle in 2024

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Let’s get real and have a Diva chat about what you actually need to know about buying a home in Seattle in 2024! This is going to be a bit bossy, but let’s be honest, your favorite Aunt is probably a boss. The Divas are aunts. And Aunts give advice and tips that are direct and to the point!

Most “adults” aka boomers bought a house when school loans were not a thing and you could live off of one income. And trust me. I have been working in real estate for over 15 years which includes the Great Recession. This year, the changes coming to the industry and homebuyers are bigger than potentially the changes that happened during the Great Recession. 

Luckily for you, our team knows a thing or two about what it really takes to buy a home this year. Her are our tips!

What You Need To Know About Buying a Home in Seattle in 2024

In this blog, I am going to dive into the five Auntie Diva tips you need to know about buying a home in 2024. Let’s do this!

  1. Owning Real Estate Creates Tax Benefits and Generational Wealth
  2. Your Mortgage Rate is Not Forever
  3. Expect to Pay 4-10% More For a Home in 2024 than 2023
  4. Know Your Rights – New Buyer Agency and Representation Laws in 2024
  5. Always Follow the Team Diva Method of Buying a Home to Beat the Market

Start Here – How to Buy a Home in Seattle in 2024

Make sure to read the blog below about the nuances of how to win in this market. But before you go any further you need to educate yourself about the home buying process. The smartest Diva Dwellers are the ones who do a deep dive into each step it takes to buy a home in Seattle this year. 

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Let’s get started!

What You Need To Know About Buying a Home in Seattle in 2024

Graphic saying What YOu Need to Know About Buying a Home in Seattle in 2024 with a home in the background

This next year we are going to see the biggest change to real estate we have seen since the Great Recession. You might have heard about the lawsuits and settlements that have rocked this industry. Overall the biggest impact is to buyers. In the past it was assumed that the sellers would pay for the buyer’s agent’s commission through the purchase price of the house. In the Fall of 2022 most of Washington state stopped doing real estate this way and now the seller can choose or not choose to pay the buyer’s broker. It is NOW up to the buyer to not only come up with their downpayment and closing costs, but they also need to be prepared to pay their real estate agent as well. 

Also before I forget: Starting in January of 2024, there are additional layers of legal requirements and notices that MUST be delivered to the buyer. Right now we are in a bunch of classes learning how to best inform buyers about these new forms and disclosures. I promise we’ll be diving more into this as the year goes on and as we are better informed about the changes. You know we love educating our Diva Dwellers!!!!

Whew that was a lot! Ok let’s do this! 

1st Tip for Buying a Home in 2024: Break the Cycle of Landlord Supremacy and Create Generational Wealth

Graphic Saying Owning Real Estate Creates Tax Benefits and Generational Wealth

Right now I have friends who are renting luxury apartments in Seattle’s core neighborhoods paying a ton of money for rent. That money goes to landlords who are heavily investing in Seattle’s politics to make sure we sanitize everything that is great about Seattle. Paying a mortgage is basically paying yourself back and creating equity for you and your family in the future. 

The Secret Cash in Your Pocket That the Government Gives You for Owning a House 

And do not get me started about the tax benefits. There is a reason why there is so much misinformation out there to keep people from buying a home. You basically can write off your interest rate and taxes as part of owning a home. Think about who is not buying a home right now (young people and people of color). That same contingent are missing out on benefits that mostly white and upper middle class people have benefited from for generations. 

Let us know if you need a referral for an awesome tax accountant to figure out if this is a benefit for you >

Case Study on What Happens When Diva Dwellers Buy and Hold Homes

A perfect example of this is Lindsy’s clients who bought a little home in West Seattle. They owned that home for over 40 years and just recently sold it to buy their forever home. The equity they built up from buying and holding a property has been instrumental in that family creating generational wealth. 

What To Do When You Don’t Have a Down Payment for a Home 

Go to one of Lindsy’s First Time Homebuyer classes. Team Diva and other progressive real estate brokers in Washington state fought long and hard to make sure there is money available for the downpayment assistance fund. For qualified home buyers, you can get free money to help you buy a house. 

Sign Up For for the Down Payment Assistance Class

Send us an email at thediva@teamdivarealestate.com and we will make sure you are on the list for the next class. 

2nd Tip for Buying a Home in 2024: Your Mortgage Rate is Not Forever

Graphic saying your mortgage rate is not forever with the space needle as the background.

There have been a lot of conversations about mortgage rates, buying power, and “waiting until the time is right.” Take it from someone who has been doing this for 15 years and from Kim who has been doing this for 25. Our advice “the time is never right and it is always the right time.” 

Over the years Kim and I have had mortgage rates as high as 8.5% and as low as 2.90%. But if we had been intimidated by our initial rate of 8.5% at the beginning of our home ownership journey we would not be living in the house we currently live in. 

Here is a personal example from the Kim and my home buying journey: 

Our first house had a mortgage of 8.5% which is still higher than today’s mortgage rate. And our cost of living jumped up 50% to pay for this mortgage. Trust us. Before you get uppity about “Oh but houses were so cheap back then.” Remember I was working in a non-profit making $26,000 a year and Kim was doing political community organizing when we bought our tiny house in Rainier Beach. 

Our first home only had one bedroom and one closet. But we bought the best house we could find at the time. We bought it for $115,000 in 1998 with a 8.5% interest rate. Sold it in multiple offers for $240,000 in 2004. We used the equity from that first house to help us buy our house in Seward Park for $340,000 also in 2004. Over the years we have invested about $200,000 by updating the kitchen, bathroom, adding landscaping, and more. Our house is now worth over $1.1M and all of this started with a $4,000 down payment on a one-bedroom house in Rainier Beach. 

And now almost 20 or so years later, that initial investment of $4,000 has turned into equity of $600,000. 

The point of creating generational wealth is getting the best home you can buy in the best neighborhood you can buy in and build equity. Below I have some tips and tricks on how to reduce the mortgage rate to make it easier to buy a house in this market. 

Options to Date the Mortgage Rate

Treat the rate like a short term relationship. The Feds are trying to slow down the real estate market because when you slow the market you also slow consumer spending (paint, new furniture, landscaping, curtains, etc.). 

The general idea is that this slow down impacts everyone. But the people who it impacts the most are those who have been shut out of the real estate market historically (coughs… young people and people of color). People with lots of generational wealth are still buying homes and using cash to go around this issue. Do not despair. There are ways around this bit of inequity. 

Here is what Hannah does with her clients.

“My buyers typically do a conventional loan with a short term buy down program that the seller pays for. Grace and Jason were able to use the 2.5% cash back they got from the seller to opt into a 3-2-1 program. This means that for the first year their loan interest rate is 3% less than the market rate, the second year is 2% less, and the third year is 1% less than the currently stated mortgage rate.”

– Hannah Wilson-Hillard
Here are your Options for You to Buy Down the Mortgage Rate
  • Ask about a 2:1 Buy Down – Basically your rate is around 5.5% for two years and then it shifts to the 7-8% rate that is currently available. But the expectation is that these recent rate hikes will be over and you can refinance into a better rate once this inflation situation passes. 
  • Seller Closing Costs to Buy Down Your Rate – You pay 6% instead of the stated rate because you used closing costs to buy down the rate. 
  • Talk to the team about other options!!! – We are here to help and we have been cultivating several awesome lenders who have strategies to help you come up with a solution for this market. 

Let’s chat and get you connected with an awesome Diva approved lender who knows how to make this market work for our clients. Remember the goal is for you to create generational wealth. And you have to get that first foot on the rung of the real estate ladder.

3rd Tip for Buying a Home in 2024: Expect to Pay 4-10% More for a Home in 2024 than 2023

Graphic saying expect to pay 4-10% more for a home in Seattle in 2024 than in 2023

There are two markets right now in Seattle. The super competitive one and the one where there is more inventory. The rates dropped a smidge this Fall and suddenly we saw multiple offers again for some types of homes. The average price point for a resale single family home went from $900K to $940K between October and November. I am writing this in mid-December and I am shocked at some of our listings that sold in multiple offers this month that I thought for sure would still be on the market in January. 

Meanwhile the market is still a buyers market for new construction, townhomes, and condos. All of these are great first time home buyer options in 2024.

In 2024 Here is What You Can Expect to Pay for a Home in Seattle

Generally, we are expecting a stronger than expected market based on what we are seeing in this weirdly competitive market between Thanksgiving and Christmas. Normally this is the sleepiest of markets. But instead we are seeing multiple offers in areas we do not expect. Most economists are expecting about a 1% growth in home values. We think you should expect about 4-10% for detached single family homes in Seattle. And for townhomes and condos we expect to see a more stable market. 

Seattle Home Prices in 2024 (Average Prices) (Let’s make a separate graphic for this section)
  • Single Family Detached Homes: $950K-$1.2M. Expect to buy one of these homes in a multiple offer. 
  • New Construction Homes: $985-1.1M. Expect to be able to get the sellers to provide to pay for your closing costs to buy down your rate.
  • Townhouses: $800-950K. Depending on the condition and location you can expect to pay the asking price and get the seller to pay for closing costs. 
  • Condos: $600-650K. Expect to be able to negotiate about 2% off the asking price and possibly get closing costs paid for. 
  • Luxury Homes (Over $3M): $4-4.1M. Expect to negotiate about $150,000 off of the purchase price. 

4th Tip for Buying a Home in 2024: Know Your Rights – Big Changes to Buyer Agency and Representation

Graphic saying new buyer agency laws could mean that buyers need more money to buy a home

There are huge changes coming to buyer representation and agency agreements in 2024. Historically, in our real estate culture (bad and good), the seller paid for the buyer’s agent’s fees through the price of the home. Recently the National Association of Realtors was sued because of the thought that Realtors were “price fixing” commissions. And the seller was at an advantage over the buyers because they were paying the commission for the buyer’s broker. 

It’s complicated!!!! A lot of this is still being played out in the courts. We will update you all on this as it continues. But for now here is some history to help! 

Please check out our blog and video where we explain in detail the new forms and your rights as a buyer >

What Changed Locally in 2022 For Real Estate Agents?

Here in the Pacific Northwest, as of Fall 2022 the NWMLS decided to make the buyer’s agent compensation change outside of all of these lawsuits. The seller is no longer required to pay the buyers’ agent’s compensation. Sellers can offer compensation if they want to and if they think it will attract more buyers. But they are not required to pay for your agent’s fees. This means that the buyer is responsible for paying for their buyer’s agent’s compensation if one is not provided by the seller. 

And this part right here is the biggest change. Buyers in addition to coming up with their downpayment, closing costs, inspection fees, and paying for the appraisal ALSO might need to come up with additional money to pay your buyer’s broker. 

Please check out our blog and video where we explain in detail the new forms and your rights as a buyer >

Wait? How Much Money Do I Need to Buy A Home in Seattle in 2024?

Good question! Now all of these numbers shift depending on how your broker can negotiate on your behalf. In a lot of our recent negotiations we have been able to get the seller to pay for closing costs and the buyer’s agent’s fees. But not every real estate agent out there is as skilled as Team Diva. 

Cost of Buying a Home in Seattle in 2024

Below is a quick breath down of what you need to buy a home in Seattle. 

Do not worry – we go into way more detail about how much money you need in 2024 to buy a home on the blog.

5th Tip for Buying a Home in 2024: Always Follow the Team Diva Method of Buying a Home to Beat the Market

One of the biggest strengths of our small and mighty team is that we have a ton of content on how to buy a house in Seattle. We use this to help educate our buyers to make a smart buy that typically results in an exceptional sale when they go to sell the home. Why? Educated buyers make smart buying decisions. Period!!!!

Go head and get yourself educated about the entire process of buying a home in Seattle in 2024 >

Below are the general steps to buying a home in Seattle using the Team Diva Method 

  • Find a Broker Who is Going to be There for You
  • Choose Your Top Priorities Using our Size, Condition, and/or Location Method
  • Do a HOme Buyer Intake and Get Educated About the Process
  • Get Your Financing in Order
  • Search for a Home Using the Smart Team Diva Method
  • Make a Strategic Offer (remember the seller paying for closing costs and the buyers commissions above)
  • Mutual Acceptance – Offer Signed!
  • Pest and Structural Inspection of the Home
  • Review the Title Report
  • Review the Home Owners’ Association and Resale Certificate (Condos)
  • The Lender’s Appraisal Process
  • Getting Homeowners Insurance
  • Final Home Loan Approval
  • The Buyer’s Walkthrough of the Home
  • Signing Your Closing Documents for the Home
  • Closing Day!!!

Make an appointment with Kim and get connect with one of our team members to better understand the whole process >

Thanks For Reading Our Tips for Buying a Home in Seattle in 2024

Graphic saying What You need to know about buying a home in Seattle with a sunset

For more information about specific types of homes you might be interested in, check out our blogs from the team below. And remember Team Diva is here to help. We have a deep passion for helping people make these big moves. 

Tips for Making a Big House Move in 2024

  1. How to Buy a House in Seattle in 2024
  2. Tips From the Team For Buying a House in Seattle in 2024
  3. Tips From the Team For Buying a Condo in Seattle in 2024 
  4. Tips From the Team For Buying a Townhouse in Seattle in 2024
  5. Tips From the Team For Buying a Luxury Home in Seattle in 2024
  6. How Much Does it Cost to Buy a Home in Seattle in 2024
  7. The New Buyer Agency Law in Washington State

Next Steps for Buying a Home in 2024

  1. Download Our Homebuyer Guide
  2. Sign Up for Lindsy’s First Time Homebuyer Class
  3. Make an Appointment with Kim to Have a Private Chat About Buying a Home
  4. Start Your Process of Buying a Home
  5. Get an Awesome Diva Dwelling and Join the Community 

We are here to help. Our team understands that this process can take a year or two. And we are more than willing to give you a personalized plan to get the ball rolling. Feel free to contact us directly at thediva@teamedivarealestate.com or call/text 206-271-0264.

Chavi Hohm

Chavi Hohm

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