It is NOT ‘business as usual’

Real estate was mostly shut down for couple weeks.
However, we have just received notice that Governor Inslee agreed that some real estate activities are essential. Yes, some people have to sell their homes right now, or find one to buy.

This does not mean it is ‘business as usual.’
There are strict guidelines that all real estate professionals have to follow; including limiting house showings to one person at a time with social distancing. Home inspections are allowed. Open houses, staging and professional photography are not.
Get ready to peruse some really bad photos on real estate listings.

I believe we all have to do out part to stay home and keep society safe.
If a client truly needs me, I am ready and armed with my gloves, wipes and common sense.
At Windermere, we have pledged to only show homes to buyers who are ready to buy. No reason for any of us to be out there meeting people unless there is a real need for this.

As far as listing homes, I would suspect we are mostly going to be listing vacant properties. If you or someone you know has to sell a home, but the home is still in use, we can come up with systems to keep you safe.
I am a decent photographer and I have equipment to make walk-through videos.

Are you worried about paying your mortgage?

Many people are worried about making their next mortgage payment right now. There is no great government plan in place on how to help homeowners with this. However, there is some effort being made. You can find some more information at the FHFA site.
The advice I have received is to contact your mortgage servicer ASAP, before you miss any payments. Be persistent. There may be a chance you can delay those payments and not have to pay penalties or delinquency fees.
Please let me know your experiences with this if you start the process. Your story can help others. I will also send out any updates, stories and if I hear of ‘easer’ ways to handle the mortgage payments dilemma.

Going forward?

At my home we are taking things day by day. Much of the same as everyone else; stressing about making the mortgage payment, Cory lost his job, homeschooling the kids and trying to keep sane and exercised. Zoom happy hours with friends and family are pretty funny.

By nature, I am a positive person so all I can think is ‘oh well’ – I am happy to spend this extra time with the kids and Cory is going to take the time building the sauna in our basement – we already had most of the material sitting there waiting for this opportunity. Might as well do some other inexpensive home improvement projects. Wash the windows? Re-caulking windows and trim? Hours can be spent scrubbing grout with a toothbrush. Hot tip! – do not use white grout when tiling your shower surround.
Better yet, have the kids help with these projects. There, nobody is ‘bored’ anymore!

I keep thinking of my nurse, doctor, caregiver friends and all I can say is THANK YOU for being out there and doing what you do.
Nothing I do in my job comes close to being as essential as what you are doing. You are appreciated.

Economy and Seattle Area Real Estate – Predictions

I don’t know how anyone can make predictions about the economy for when this thing is over, we don’t even know how long ‘this thing’ will last. But I like to keep myself updated on the projections. If you do too, here is the latest video from Windermere’s economist Matthew Gardner