Seattle/ Eastside Market Update – November 2016

Home sales outgained new listings again in October, further squeezing already tight inventory and pushing prices higher. Since new listings traditionally decrease in the fall, that inventory shortage is expected to last until spring. Sellers willing to put their home on the market now can expect plenty of interested buyers, and a highly favorable chance of getting the best possible price for their home.
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Posted on November 28, 2016 at 4:14 pm
Stephanie Kristen | Posted in economy, market trends, statistics |

Local Holiday Light Shows


Ready to lift your spirits? Shimmering light shows are a brilliant way to celebrate the winter holiday season. Grab a warm coat and go exploring in gardens, zoos and even on the water.  Here are five local venues that are worth braving the cold to see…
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Posted on November 23, 2016 at 12:34 pm
Stephanie Kristen | Posted in bellevue, community, seattle |

Happy Veterans Day

“Ask not what your country can do for you; ask what you can do for your country.” (1)

On this day and everyday THANK YOU to all the Veterans who have answered the call.

Posted on November 11, 2016 at 4:28 pm
Stephanie Kristen | Posted in community, giving back, words to live by |

The Trump Effect – How will it impact the US economy and housing?


The American people have spoken and they have elected Donald J. Trump as the 45th president of the United States. Change was clearly demanded, and change is what we will have.

The election was a shock for many, especially on the West Coast where we have not been overly affected by the long-term loss in US manufacturing or stagnant wage growth of the past decade. But the votes are in and a new era is ahead of us. So, what does this mean for the housing market?

First and foremost I would say that we should all take a deep breath. In a similar fashion to the UK’s “Brexit”, there will be a “whiplash” effect, as was seen in overnight trading across the globe. However, at least in the US, equity markets have calmed as they start to take a closer look at what a Trump presidency will mean.

On a macro level, I would start by stating that political rhetoric and hyperbole do not necessarily translate into policy. That is the most important message that I want to get across. I consider it highly unlikely that many of the statements regarding trade protectionism will actually go into effect. It will be very important for President Trump to tone down his platform on renegotiating trade agreements and imposing tariffs on China. I also deem it highly unlikely that a 1,000-mile wall will actually get built.

It is crucial that some of the more inflammatory statements that President-Elect Trump has made be toned down or markets will react negatively. However, what is of greater concern to me is that neither candidate really approached questions regarding housing with any granularity. There was little-to-no-discussion regarding housing finance reform, so I will be watching this topic very closely over the coming months.

As far as the housing market is concerned, it is really too early to make any definitive comment. That said, Trump ran on a platform of deregulation and this could actually bode well for real estate. It might allow banks the freedom to lend more, which in turn, could further energize the market as more buyers may qualify for home loans.

Concerns over rising interest rates may also be overstated. As history tells us, during times of uncertainty we tend to put more money into bonds. If this holds true, then we may see a longer-than-expected period of below-average rates. Today’s uptick in bond yields is likely just temporary.
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Posted on November 10, 2016 at 4:31 pm
Stephanie Kristen | Posted in economy, interest rates, market trends |

Seattle/ Eastside Market Update – October 2016

At a time of year when sales traditionally slow down, September saw particularly strong sales growth. Home prices rose yet again compared to the same time last year, but they remain below the peak of several months ago. And inventory, while still low, is at its highest level in two years. The local real estate market continues to be one of the hottest in the country, but there are signs that prices may be rising more slowly than they did in the first half of the year.


Click image to view full report.
Click image to view full report.

Home prices on the Eastside remain very strong. The September median price of $750,000 was a healthy 10 percent increase over last September. Inventory remains very low with just over a month supply of homes. Demand in this sought-after market continues to overwhelm the number of properties available for sale.
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Posted on October 30, 2016 at 11:21 pm
Stephanie Kristen | Posted in real estate |

Bellevue Schools Foundation

HRR Logo teal 2016

When we moved to Bellevue, it was because of the schools.  My daughter, Mary was 5 years old and getting ready to start kindergarten.   We found Somerset Elementary, not only because of their test scores and achievements, but also because of the parent involvement.  They had 100% PTSA participation.

Getting a good education is more than test scores and national rankings.  It’s about creating emotionally healthy, curious minds and lifelong learners.  Bellevue Schools Foundation supports a wide variety of programs that make this possible through their innovation grants.

Mary is now in her first year at University of British Columbia in Vancouver and loving it.  One of the grants that helps makes the college search process easier is the BSF investment in the Naviance program.  It is a college and career planning platform that starts students out in middle school looking at their strengths and interests, then begins to research college options. In high school, Naviance helps to organize all the aspects of the college application process, communicates with their counselors and tracks their to-do list all the way to college acceptance.

We know one of the reasons people are moving to our area is because of our highly regarded schools.  I am pleased to be an Honor Roll Realtor, giving back to a program that has had a huge impact not only for our family, but also our community.

Please consider supporting the fall fund drive.  For more information or to donate click  ALL IN FOR KIDS or text KIDS to 71760 to give from your mobile device. Every gift dollar makes a difference for Bellevue students!


Posted on October 24, 2016 at 10:40 am
Stephanie Kristen | Posted in bellevue, community, giving back, somerset |

We’ve Got You Covered

we've got you covered

Windermere and the Seattle Seahawks have partnered in our #tacklehomelessness campaign.  For every home game tackle made by the Seahawks, the Windermere Foundation is donating $100 to YouthCare, a non-profit that provides support services to homeless youth throughout the Puget Sound area.

Now we’re excited to announce Windermere’s “We’ve Got You Covered” winter clothing drive benefiting YouthCare.

Here’s what we are collecting:

  • Warm socks
  • Hats
  • Scarves
  • Gloves/mittens

Between now and November 14, feel free to stop by my office with donations or send me a message and I am happy to pick your donation up.

Gentle Giant Moving Company will pick up all of the donations from local Windermere offices. Donations can also be dropped off directly to YouthCare in South Lake Union at the James W. Ray Orion Center: 1828 Yale Avenue.

So please help our youth stay warm this winter and consider making a donation to our “We’ve Got You Covered” winter drive.

Posted on October 20, 2016 at 12:31 pm
Stephanie Kristen | Posted in community, giving back, seahawks, seattle |

Octoberfest 2016


Octoberfest is a time for pumpkin patches, harvest festivals and haunted houses.  Enjoy fall in the Northwest at some of these favorites. Wear your boots and grab a jacket.  Get ready to experience a bit of farm life, and make some fall memories!

Remlinger Farms

32610 NE 32nd St, Carnation 98014 ~ Saturday & Sunday in October 10am-6pm

This patch isn’t just place to pick up your future jack-o-lantern. Although you can do that for 10 cents a pound!  This is an entertainment center with corn mazes, petting zoo, train and amusement rides.

 Jubilee Farms

229 W. Snoqualmie River Rd. NE Carnation, WA 98014 ~ Saturdays & Sundays in October 10 am – 5 pm

Free admission & free parking! This local favorite CSA celebrates the harvest more traditionally. They offer rides on the hay wagon to the pumpkin patch to find your perfect pumpkin. Come back to the barn for hot spiced cider.

Thomas Family Farm

9010 Marsh Road Snohomish, WA 98296 ~ Saturday & Sunday in October 10am-6pm and Fridays and Saturdays 6 pm – 12 am

Beyond the day activities Thomas Family Farm offers evening activities including Haunted House and Zombie Safari Paintball where you take a ride out in the field to takeout the Zombies.

Wild Waves

36201 Enchanted Pkwy S, Federal Way, WA 98003 ~ Friday, Saturday and Sunday evenings

Well this isn’t a farm but a place to enjoy some Halloween fun.  Take a ride on some of their thrill rides in the dark and check out their three haunted houses.

The Scarlet Curtain

5620 119th Ave SE, Bellevue, WA  98006 ~ Wednesday through Saturday from 10:30 – 6:30

Looking for something different for your Halloween costumes. Check out this huge, seasonal vintage clothing shop with gently used costumes curated over the year. The owner provides personalized service in pulling together everything you need for that one of a kind costume!

Posted on October 15, 2016 at 10:06 am
Stephanie Kristen | Posted in community |

Key to Hope Luncheon 2016


I was delighted to serve with Joan Caine as co-chair for the Plymouth Housing Group – 13th Annual Key to Hope Luncheon.  This year’s event theme “Beyond Stability: The Healing Power of the Arts” celebrated the power of the arts to help formerly homeless men and women heal and leave life on the streets for good. We also highlighted Plymouth’s cultural partnerships, including connections with the Seattle Symphony and Path with Art.

Our keynote speaker was Vijay Gupta a violinist from the Los Angeles Philharmonic.  He played and shared information about his work with the Street Symphony in LA.

I am so pleased to be part of an organization having such a powerful and positive impact in our city.  We raised $770,000 to support a housing first model that is working to end homelessness here in Seattle. Here is an article from Puget Sound Business Journal.

Every time you buy or sell a home with me, a portion of that goes back into the community to support the work that Plymouth Housing Group is doing and provide housing for someone in need.  Thanks for helping us give back.

Posted on September 30, 2016 at 11:37 am
Stephanie Kristen | Posted in community, giving back, seattle |

Seattle/ Eastside Market Update – September 2016

While homes prices were up by double-digits compared to a year ago, the market frenzy that has affected most of this year is showing some signs of moderating. With the exception of the Eastside, prices for most of the region were down from their peak. Home sales generally outpaced the same period a year ago, but a shortage of inventory continues to tip the advantage in favor of sellers.


Click image to view full report.
Click image to view full report.

Bucking the trend of moderating prices, the Eastside saw the median home price soar 14 percent over last year to a new record high of $769,000. That eclipses the previous peak of $760,000 in May of this year. Very tight inventory in this highly desirable market was reflected in flat sales growth compared to a year ago.

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Posted on September 28, 2016 at 12:47 pm
Stephanie Kristen | Posted in bellevue, economy, market trends, real estate, seattle, statistics |