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Posts made in 2016

  • Seattle Real Estate Is King

    June 24, 2016 /
    Pickett Street Properties Team /

    Longtime residents of Seattle are surely amazed these days. They’ve seen the city transform from the Capital of Grunge to a sleek and bustling hub of industry. By the same token, they've also seen the cost of living soar along with the business boom. While these added expenses might be a deterrent for some homebuyers, there are actually many compelling reasons to buy Seattle real estate as soon as possible.   At the forefront is Seattle’s muscular job market. Currently, Seattle is experiencing a massive influx of industry, as multiple prominent companies are increasing their presence here. Leading the industrious charge are some of the most important tech companies in existence. Over the last few years, Seattle has welcomed the presence and expansion of companies like Uber, Facebook, Google, and Twitter.   And then, of course, there’s Amazon: a venerable giant in the tech industry, Amazon has always been a Seattle mainstay, and it’s only becoming more important with the passage of time. Overseeing several construction expansion projects, Amazon’s office space is soon expected to include over 10 million square feet. That’s a hefty sum of Seattle real estate.   What this expansion of industry means for Seattle is, of…Read more

  • Living in Washington State: The Sea

    June 20, 2016 /
    Pickett Street Properties Team /

    Each summer, my family gathered at a local beach, known locally as the Spit, to dig for “gooey-ducks,” a particularly hideous species of mollusk that burrows beneath the sand and belches fountains of salt water. On these occasions, a gaggle of relatives and family friends trudged down to the tidal flats with shovels, buckets, galoshes, metal cans or tubes, and snack-filled coolers to search for our quarry. Finding the plumed spurts of water announcing the presence of a clam, the digging would begin, and it wouldn’t stop until some poor schmuck found himself lying with one of his arms wholly submerged beneath the sand, scrabbling for the fleeing neck of the ‘duck while everyone hollered words of encouragement. Though I personally never dug for a clam (usually, I elected to perform some passive and useless task, such as alphabetically organizing our cooler of snacks, while the prone digger gasped and sputtered in a puddle of goop), I relished these occasions. They were, after all, some of my earliest trips to the Puget Sound, and that has to count for something. The Sound is unlike any other maritime environment on earth: sandwiched between the Olympic and Cascade mountain ranges, the Sound…Read more

  • So I went on a date…. a story by Mo.

    June 14, 2016 /
    Pickett Street Properties Team /

    So.....yes. Last Tuesday I was set up by a dear friend of mine. I never like set ups. But I trust this person, so I went for it. It was a delicious dinner and lovely setting at Manolin in Wallingford. If you go- get the "Fun Fun Fun" drink. It's a pink lemonade that is way too easy to drink. I am not someone that dates a lot- I tend to fall into relationships when its supposed to happen I think (I hope) and I don't do a lot of casual dating in between. If you've had a blind date recently, you might be able to relate a bit more to me at this moment in time. How crazy and strange is it to meet someone you've never met before at a restaurant, and hope to have a somewhat interesting and entertaining conversation for at least the time it takes you to get through that delicious smoked salmon and rockfish ceviche. So we met at 7 and talked until 10pm. If anything I can always bring conversation to the table. At Pickett Street I run all of the initial screening interviews- so I told the guy "Just FYI, you may…Read more

  • Do you know what a 1031 Exchange is?

    June 10, 2016 /
    Pickett Street Properties Team /

    Two things in life are unavoidable: death and taxes. However, while avoiding your personal taxes altogether isn’t possible, there are ways of avoiding them in the world of real estate. Particularly handy is the 1031 exchange, a transaction that allows you to defer capital gains taxes in the sale of certain kinds of property. Overall, the 1031 exchange is a great way to build wealth but, in order to do so, it’s important to familiarize yourself with the transaction’s basic rules. 1031 Exchange: The Basics Before we start discussing the benefits of the 1031 exchange, it’s necessary to understand exactly what this transaction entails. In simplest terms, a 1031 exchange applies to transactions in which you sell and then buy properties of like kind within a specified window of time. The term “properties of like kind” might seem formidably ambiguous, but it basically refers to real estate that is NOT your personal residence. Therefore, you could swap a parcel of undeveloped land for wealth-producing commercial real estate, or you could exchange business property for business property. Many different combinations exist, but the bottom line is that a 1031 exchange deals with investment or business property, and your personal residence can’t…Read more

  • Have you ever wanted to live in Ballard?

    June 3, 2016 /
    Pickett Street Properties Team /

    It’s common knowledge that Seattle has a long and proud maritime history. Whether you’re enjoying a ferry ride to Bainbridge Island, visiting the aquarium on the pier, or simply renting a paddleboat out on Green Lake, you'll never be far from the water. In the midst of all this briny heritage is Ballard, a nook of northwest Seattle with especially strong ties to the sea. By coincidence, it’s also one of the most popular neighborhoods in the city. Ballard has a long, rich history that stretches back to the 1850s. Originally an independent town populated by fishermen of Scandinavian descent, Ballard has since been incorporated into Seattle and blossomed into a hotspot for culture, food, and drink. One of Ballard’s most popular attractions is the Nordic Heritage Museum, which specializes in preserving and celebrating Nordic culture through dance, film, music, and an extensive series of classes and lectures. On particularly sunny days, visitors can stroll down to Ballard’s popular Golden Gardens Park, a coastal recreation area with forest trails, sandy beaches, and ample views of the Puget Sound. If you’re going to visit Ballard, however, you’ve got to emphasize eating and drinking. In a city renowned for its culinary scene,…Read more

  • Ten Reasons You Should Work With A Real Estate Expert

    June 1, 2016 /
    Pickett Street Properties Team /

    Everything seems automated these days. Self-service stations are proliferating in grocery stores, cars are parallel parking themselves, and everyone seems to be jumping on the robotic bandwagon. The real estate world is not immune to this electronic trend; the vast number of online resources has lead some house hunters to believe that real estate agents have gone the way of the dodo. While searching for a house alone is an option, it’s important to understand that navigating the real estate world without an agent is difficult at best, and disastrous at worst. Below, you’ll find the top ten reasons why you should always work with a real estate expert. Access to Listings Yes, it’s true: the Internet is amazing, and it contains more information than any human could consume in a lifetime. That said, it’s guaranteed that any real estate agent will have access to more listings than the Average Joe surfing the web. For instance, many properties might be available but won’t be advertised publicly, and most websites are not as up to date as the multiple listing service (MLS). As such, agents can help you access more and better listings. However, while access to listings is great, it’s…Read more

  • Pickett Street Properties: Named as One of the Best Places to Work in 2016!

    May 26, 2016 /
    Pickett Street Properties Team /

    Bothell, WA—May 26, 2016—The Business Intelligence Group today announced that it has awarded Pickett Street Properties a Best Places to Work in their inaugural business award contest. The organization sought to identify companies that are actively working to improve their own performance through efforts to challenge employees in environments that makes work fun and engaging. “We firmly believe in creating a work environment where team members have autonomy and are challenged to be experts in their area of real estate.” said Jesse D. Moore. “If we hire intelligent, self-motivated and driven individuals, why not create an environment where they never want or have to leave?” Researchers, including Gallup, have determined that employee satisfaction and engagement are key indicators for employee productivity and customer satisfaction, which ultimately results in improved profitability and growth. “Congratulations to the entire team for making employees satisfaction and performance a priority at Pickett Street Properties,” said Russ Fordyce, managing director of the Business Intelligence Group. “Employees have voted and provided clear evidence that this is a special company, one where executive leadership and management focuses on making work more than…just work!” Nominations for the Best Places to Work award were submitted to the Business Intelligence Group…Read more

  • The Pros and Cons of a Pre-Inspection

    May 20, 2016 /
    Pickett Street Properties Team /

    These days, Seattle’s real estate market is on a hot streak. A low inventory combined with a robust and growing job market is driving the region’s demand for real estate sky-high. With an outlook like this, it’s a phenomenal time to be a seller, but, if you’re a buyer, it’s easy to be tempted to rush through a sale and squeeze in an offer immediately. Of course the market demand necessitates a certain level of swiftness, but it’s worth considering the pros and cons of a pre-inspection to ensure you’re getting the right house for the right price. What is a pre-inspection? A pre-inspection is exactly what it sounds like: an inspection undertaken prior to making an offer that aims to uncover any potential defects. The process has the same scope of a standard home inspection, and buyers who move forward with a pre-inspection can choose to waive the inspection contingency, a negotiated agreement allowing the buyer to inspect the home shortly after closing a deal. Pros Obviously, the main benefit of completing a pre-inspection is that it uncovers any potential problems. In a worst-case scenario, you might discover a hidden catastrophe and avoid buying a house with significant defects.…Read more

  • Living in Washington State: Rain

    May 13, 2016 /
    Pickett Street Properties Team /

    Back in high school, I had a peculiar winter routine: each morning, I woke up at 6 am (also known in layman's terms as Utter Darkness O’clock), tried to remember where I mislaid my socks, ate a piece of blackened toast in the kitchen, and then spent about half an hour trying to break into my own car. The problem, you see, with my car (which, it’s worth mentioning, was a ‘99 Geo Metro whose engine seemed inclined to explode once every six months) was that its doors’ wizened and decrepit locks froze overnight during the winter. As such, I spent each morning from the end of November to the end of February jamming my keys with Neolithic stupidity into the lock on the driver’s side door. Usually, I had to resort to prying open a rear passenger door (often with an unused coat hanger) and then, through a backbreaking series of acrobatics and advanced yoga poses, crawl into the front seat. Thankfully, I lived in the woods, and so was spared the embarrassment of performing this ritual in front of neighbors. I mention this elaborate routine because it was always accompanied by a lavishly icy rain. Indeed, it was…Read more

  • Did you know that in the 80’s the mortgage rate was 16.6% at one time?

    May 4, 2016 /
    Pickett Street Properties Team /

    On Wednesday, the Fed voted to maintain the current rate of interest but did signify the possibility of rate hikes later in the year. As such, the federal funds rate will remain in the current range of 0.25-0.5%. In its press release, the Fed indicated a sense of optimism in regards to the presence of improvement in both household incomes and the labor market. Additionally, the Fed noted the housing sector has continued to improve since the beginning of 2016. However, inflation is still below the Fed’s ideal rate of 2%, while consumer spending, investment in the business sector, and net exports are not as strong as they could be. The Fed’s overall consensus is that, while the economy is still showing steady signs of improvement, there are still a few obstacles in the way. As such, the Fed has chosen to keep the federal funds rate unchanged for the time being. The Fed’s next meeting will take place in June, and there is a possibility that we’ll be seeing rate increases by July. At any rate, the Fed hopes to authorize about two rate hikes during the remainder of 2016. How Does This Affect Mortgage Rates? Contrary to a…Read more

  • Top 3 Reasons You Shouldn’t Sell “For Sale By Owner”!

    April 22, 2016 /
    Pickett Street Properties Team /

    Often, society encourages us to cut the “middleman” out of our numerous daily transactions. In some situations this plan makes sense, as it tends to make things more efficient. However, in the context of a real estate transaction, cutting out the middleman (aka, your real estate agent) could be downright disastrous. If you’re selling your home, you might be tempted to save money by attempting a For Sale By Owner (FSBO) transaction. A FSBO is a sale conducted solely by the owner of the home, and so he or she circumnavigates the commission fee and cost of hiring an agent. While this idea might seem attractive on paper (“No commission fee? Sounds great! What could possibly go wrong?”), it’s important to understand that, in most cases, a FSBO means big losses for the seller in more ways than one. Read on for an explanation detailing why every homeowner selling a house needs a real estate agent. Agents Are Professionals While sellers are obviously driven to sell their homes, this motivation does not make most of them experts in the varied minutia hidden in a real estate transaction. A real estate agent, however, is an expert, and this expertise is vital…Read more

  • Living in Washington State: Pine Trees

    April 15, 2016 /
    Pickett Street Properties Team /

    My mother never let me shirk trash duty. No matter how much I begged, no matter how much I railed against the Machiavellian family dynamics that forced me to take out the trash every night after dinner, my mother remained unmoved. “Listen here, buckaroo,” she used to say, pointing at me with a wooden spoon. “I just spent half the day slaving over dinner and the least you can do is take out the trash. Besides, it’ll build character.” “But Mom!” I wailed, “Coyotes will eat me!” “Fine. Take Emily Dickinson with you.” (Emily Dickinson was the name of our basset hound, a pitiful creature who waddled through life in a remarkably portly and morose fashion. Her companionship was little consolation.) Before you scoff at my cowardly reluctance to finish my chores, it’s important to understand that our house was surrounded by a vast forest of pine trees. When I took out the garbage, I wasn’t blithely strolling to the end of a suburban driveway; instead, I was venturing out into utter darkness, into a wilderness rustling beneath a web of stars. Taking out the garbage at night was less like performing a mundane duty and more like participating in…Read more