The true cost of buying a home can be a lot more than the agreed-upon sale price. Along with your monthly mortgage payment, you will likely find yourself shelling out for other upfront and ongoing expenses. Closing costs, homeowners association fees, property taxes, utility bills and imminent home repairs can add hundreds — if not thousands — to your expenditures.

Avoid unpleasant financial surprises by familiarizing yourself with some of the more common expenses associated with buying or building a new home. Budgeting for added monthly expenses — and setting some aside for emergencies — will help ensure your new dream home is also an affordable one.

  1. Closing costs: Add in an estimated 2% to 5% of home price.
  2. Homeowners insurance: Add…

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Just 0.4 percent of all homes in the Seattle region were on the market at any given time last year — a lower rate than in any U.S. metro area except the San Francisco Bay Area, according to a new report from

In other words, just one of every 263 houses and condos in the Seattle area was for sale. That’s more than three times worse than the national average, creating a market heavily tilted against buyers.

Seattle homebuyers have known for a while how competitive the market is; 41 people recently made offers on a toxic West Seattle house that was too dangerous to enter and ultimately sold, as a likely teardown, for $427,000.

But the new data shows just how much fiercer the competition is here compared with other hot markets around…

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For home buyers hoping to snag a deal, they may want to make a move now. Home prices in January usually decrease compared to the spring and summer buying season.

There’s plenty of research to back that up too. NerdWallet recently crunched two years of® data that reflected the 50 largest U.S. metros. Researchers found that January and February were the top months for those looking to get a bargain. In those months, home sales prices were 8.45 percent lower on average than in June through August.

However, this year may be a little different. Buyer demand has remained high throughout the fall, and home prices did not take their usual dip this January, says Jonathan Smoke,®’s chief economist. Still, he maintains right now is…

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We hope that most of you walked away with lots of new information and some helpful tips and strategies to use in both your professional and personal life.

But, what's the next step? Come check out Cary's course next week: "Eat That Frog" Business Plan Implementation Class. We handed out business plan booklets to all this week's attendees and now we want to help you use the content in that book, take it to the next level, and put it into action! 

RSVP early to guarantee yourself a spot, there is only one day available for this class with a limit of 30 reservations- don't miss out!

When: Wednesday, January 25th from 10am - 1pm (and yes, that time is correct :P )

Where: The Cascade Team Headquarter Office


Here are links…

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The Cascade Team Real Estate would like to take a moment to say that it is with heavy hearts that we say goodbye to the Issaquah Press and family of papers. Over the years we have done a lot of advertising with The Issaquah Press Group from our Open House Treasure Hunt, Mobile App, and more.  The Issaquah Press, Sammamish Review, SnoValley Star and Newcastle have also been a wonderful partner in helping promote community events such as Project Crayon Drive, YMCA Halloween Events in Sammamish and Snoqualmie, and also the Free Horse Drawn Carriage Rides and Santa photos in Issaquah, Snoqualmie and Sammamish.

More than that, they have also been great community members promoting stories that matter and relate directly to the communities they feature.…

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What Is My Seattle, Phoenix or San Diego Home Worth?

Inventory shortages persist, but Northwest MLS brokers notch record-setting sales totaling $40.3 billion during 2016 

Among other highlights in its annual compilation of statistics, Northwest Multiple Listing Service reported: 

  • About 45 percent of last year’s single family home sales had three bedrooms, while the vast majority of condos (nearly 76 percent) had two bedrooms or fewer.
  • The median price for a 3-bedroom home that sold in 2016 was $311,000, about 9.8 percent higher than the previous year’s figure of $283,250. A comparison by county shows the median price for a 3-bedroom home ranges from $120,000 in Ferry County to $485,000 in King County.  
  • Of the condo sales, about six of every 10 (61.7 percent) were located in King…

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Have you heard from clients who want to delay listing their home until the season begins? Because sales and prices tend to peak in the spring and summer, it's a common request in many markets.

However, this year is different, and the conventional wisdom of waiting for spring and higher prices isn't correct this winter. Conventional wisdom in real estate holds that sellers should time the market to maximize their price. Why? Because home sales are extremely seasonal: They peak in spring and summer, when prices peak as well. That’s why in most markets, most years, the optimal time to list is in the spring, so that the maximum number of potential buyers view the home.

But we’re in an era in which conventional wisdom is becoming an…

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Trudging through snow and sleet in boots and heavy coats might not seem ideal when you’re shopping for a home, but there are many good reasons to buy in the dead of winter. For example, you’ll have less competition from other buyers or encounter more sellers eager and willing to make a deal.

But as you may have heard, we’re coming up on what may be the worst day of the entire year to buy a home: Jan. 19.

That’s what RealtyTrac (now ATTOM Data Solutions) found in a 2015 study that culled data from 32 million home sales from 2000 to 2015. Researchers compared premiums paid over estimated market price to define the best and worst days. (For the record, they found the best day to be Oct. 8.)

Buyers who closed on Jan. 19  paid, on average,…

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Highwaystarz-Photography/iStock; sjo/iStock

Friday the 13th is an unlucky day if you’re superstitious. And in case you haven’t noticed, it’s here! But we like to think we are people who see the glass as half-full. We prefer to look at the doomed day as an opportunity to reflect upon some unexpected nuggets of—you guessed it—real estate wisdom.

To prove that valuable real estate knowledge truly can be found anywhere, we’ve turned to Jason Voorhees from “Friday the 13th” and (spoiler alert!) his nutty, murderous mother for inspiration. The hockey mask–wearing horror icon is an unlikely choice, but no one personifies the dreaded date better than the fictional fright master. And, as it turns out, there are some helpful housing lessons buried deep…

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When your clients are opening their doors to the public for showings, they need to take extra precautions. Share these suggestions to help them keep their belongings safe.

After Christmas, many people put the empty boxes their expensive gifts came in out on the curb. What do you think that says to potential burglars? It screams, “I just got a brand-new TV! Come and rob me!”

That’s just one example of some unwise habits homeowners have. If those owners are sellers opening their doors to the public for showings, habits such as these put them in even greater danger. The above example is a good warning to give to your clients now, since we’re in the holiday season. But use it as a jumping-off point to have a deeper conversation about safety - how to…

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