“Seattle fun in the winter?” you ask. You might be surprised at all of the opportunities for fun even with the blustery weather and chilly-winded snowfall. There’s a lot of freedom for recreation in the city, and much of it is signature Seattle.
The Polar Bear Plunge is your best (and likely, only) chance to dive into the frigid water at Matthews beach with almost 2,000 other people. The event is free, and you’ll be able to take home some fresh swag to prove you did it. It’s a great way to meet some other crazy people, and you’re covered for the day’s shower.
Winter Feast is a food truck festival taking place at the European-style Fremont Sunday Market on the second Sunday of every month. With a weekly rotation of 20 trucks along the road providing variety, you can visit several times through the winter and try some of the choicest foods available in Seattle. The market’s usual attractions go along, like local crafters offering their uncommon creations and beer taps flowing the suds at nearby establishments.
The Chilly Hilly Bicycle Race is a choice opportunity to get wind-whipped while you compete with your fellow wheeled riders for first place on this local 33-mile ride along the hills of Bainbridge Island. It’s a challenging ride making the last pedal across the finishing line especially sweet. Expect hot food and a lot of celebration at the ride’s completion.
Coming from up north, the snow geese find Seattle’s Port Susan Bay quite a warm place to hang out. The local Snow Goose and Birding Festival celebrates their arrival on February 24th-25th. Birding enthusiasts will be thrilled at the sighting of these squawking white fowl’s landing spot, and there’s plenty of camaraderie with fellow birders to be had.
With all of these chilly activities, you’ll want to warm up at the Banya 5 Urban Spa where the sauna tops a roasty 240 degrees, and the experience completes with a vodka shot in the lounge. The cold plunge is available to roasters too, so you can alternate temperature extremes for the maximum therapeutic benefit. They also offer massage for your iced-up muscles and facial treatments.
This is all only the top of the iceberg. Seattle has so much to offer, but these choice adventures are sure to bring you wintertime joy.
The Seattle real estate market is one of the hottest markets in the country. Over the past few months, home prices have started to accelerate even more quickly. The economy of Seattle is strong, and this is encouraging many people to move to the area. Not only that, but there is less traffic in Seattle than other major cities.
The biggest driver behind higher housing prices in Seattle is a lack of inventory. It is fairly common for a home to sell within a day or two of going on the market. There are many people who want to buy a home in the area. The problem is that there are few homes within an affordable price range.
The good news is that many building companies are working on new homes. However, it is going to be several years before the new homes will catch up with demand from buyers. Over time, this should be an issue that gets worked out with more homes being built.
As a buyer in the Seattle market, reacting quickly is essential. If you see a property that you are interested in, you need to submit an offer quickly in order to be considered.
Over the past year, home prices in Seattle have increased by more than eight percent. This is a massive increase in prices during one year. Many real estate experts believe that this trend is going to continue into 2018. With more demand from buyers than ever before, sellers have an incentive to continue increasing the list price on their home.
Real Estate Investors
Investing in real estate is a great financial decision over a long period of time. There are many real estate investors who are looking in Seattle for a property to purchase.
This is another factor that is increasing the overall cost to live in the area. Real estate investors typically react quickly when a home goes on the market. Seattle is a great market to find a rental property in because of all the population growth. Rent prices in Seattle have also been rapidly increasing in recent years.
Although Seattle is a great place to live, many people are having a hard time finding a home in the area. Some people are starting to look at cities around Seattle in order to find more affordable homes to purchase. The inventory shortage in Seattle will continue in the next year.
If you’ve tuned into HGTV recently, you’ve likely stumbled upon one of their many shows about tiny homes. These small accommodations have swept the nation, and many people are now looking to downsize for their next home buying endeavor. These small houses have made such an impact on not only people’s personal well-being but the nation as a whole. Many cities around the world have embraced the concept of tiny homes as a solution to homelessness. Whether it’s for personal or communal gain, these tiny homes have swept the nation and are likely not leaving anytime soon.
There are an abundant amount of reasons that people are choosing to live small. The main benefit to having a smaller home is the financial savings it provides. People who have downsized to tiny homes have saved money in the buying process and beyond. Tiny homes average selling point is between $19,000 and $50,000, over half the cost of a standard single-family home. Due to its size, these homes also save on almost all utility bills. For those who have a stationary tiny home, you are looking at an average savings of 50% on your electric and gas bills. For those with the ability, splurging on items such as cars and vacations becomes more feasible when living in a tiny home. There are endless benefits that come with being a tiny home owner. Everything from sustainably to eliminating clutter is achievable when choosing to downsize to a tiny home.
Our very own Seattle is making great strides at putting the tiny house phenomenon to a good use. As affordable housing is a constant concern for many cities around the world and such locations are struggling to find answers. Seattle is making strides, through tiny homes, to improve homelessness. Earlier this year, it was found that there were only around 100 affordable housing apartments available in the Seattle area. This was nowhere near enough to accommodate the number of homeless citizens in our city. Seattle city council members agree that tiny homes are a more appropriate solution to homelessness. The tiny homes that the city is providing for its homeless residents are sustainable and sufficient living situation. As of now, there are five communities that exist. The tiny homes cost around $2,000 and are assembled by volunteers. If the expansion of tiny home communities continues, the city can expect to a decrease in homelessness. This means fewer people sleeping in tents or cars and more people getting their lives back.
There is no doubt that having a successful real estate photo shoot for a new apartment or home you are trying to sell can be a really tricky situation. Too often photos are dark, from a strange angle, or simply fails to capture the beauty or attractiveness of the home in general.
With newer, more centralized real estate platforms such as Trulia and Zillow becoming increasingly common for agents across the country, better images are now the norm for home buyers in the digital world. Below are some ways to maximize appeal for any company on the market.
- Make the beds with linens that complement the colors of the room and overall interior.
- Clean the house: get the carpet shampooed, vacuum and mop all hardwood floors to make everything as clean as possible/visually appealing to any homebuyer’s eye.
- Don’t forget to clean the bathrooms!
- Make sure there is maximum natural and in house lighting before anyone comes to view the house or apartment.
- Remove all traces of personalized paraphernalia throughout the home so visitors can envision it as their own.
- Take the time to put away all cleaning supplies in the kitchen.
- Double check the house to see if everything has been put away in an orderly fashion.
The trickier part is definitely getting in touch and figuring out which real estate photographer is the best fit for you. Do bear in mind that photography fees vary according to experience, location and how large the property is. Connecting and meeting with various photographers is the best way to discern which professional you’d like to work with.
After the photos are taken, Chris Palmer the president of PhotoUp takes pride in the editing work his team is crafting. He has recently told the Huffington Post that “We’re the only ones out there doing this transparently, and real estate happens to be our niche. We have a team in the Philippines that work in a Google-like office. It’s a very creative environment. We find great ways to impact the photographers and the communities in which we work.”
Regardless of your profession, if you enjoy working for yourself and want to achieve the American dream of homeownership, use the following tips to when applying for a mortgage:Clean up your Finances
Banks that offer mortgages to self employed consumers will highly scrutinize business financials. This means that your personal and business accounts must be separate and that you’ll need to minimize the amount of deductions you take over the course of 12 months prior to your application.
Make sure you’ve kept good financial records that are ready to be presented to the mortgage broker.
Apply for an Alternative Loan
Standard mortgages are often hard to come by for the self employed millennial, which is why some banks are offering alternative financing.
Similar to the “no doc” loans of a decade ago, alternative loans use different income verification methods for the self employed. This process involves examining 12 months worth of bank statements against the profit and loss statements for the same time period. A cash flow analysis is created to determine suitability for obtaining a mortgage.
The Basics that You’ll Need
Like any other buyer, self employed individuals will need to provide specific requirements to the bank during the mortgage approval process. Those can include:
- Bank statements - Both personal and business, bank statements will show that you have the necessary funds to pay the down payment and initial monthly payment.
- Profit and Loss statement - A profit and loss statement is essential to creating an analysis for mortgage approval.
- Proof of business formation - If your business is formed as an LLC or corporation, you’ll need to provide proof as well.
- Solid credit history - In most cases, self employed consumers will need a credit score of at least 680 to qualify for a mortgage.
- Sizable down payment - Banks often consider self employed people more of a risk for mortgage lending and they’ll require a down payment of around 20 percent.
While obtaining a mortgage as a self employed millennial is difficult, it isn’t impossible. The right amount of research combined with careful planning and record keeping will help make the process much easier.