This graph is a snapshot of the Gig Harbor/Key Peninsula/Fox Island Real Estate Market on May 5th, 2017.  It shows the current number of homes for sale and pending, as well as the total amount of sales over the past 6 months.

Market graph 5-5-2017

As you can see, in the $200-600K price range, we’re looking at a strong Sellers’ Market, but above that $600K price, things change abruptly to a Buyers’ Market.

If you’re thinking of “moving up” from a home valued under $600K, this presents a great opportunity for you as the demand and prices are so high.  Then you can take advantage of the Buyers’ Market in the upper price ranges.   Sound good?


The Truth about the FED and Mortgage Rates!


2017 Real Estate Predictions

The closest thing I have to a crystal ball….

Matthew Gardner 2017 Forecast

Supply and Demand Impact Prices

This graph shows the effect of inventory (number of homes for sale) for buyers to choose from.


Think this is not a good time to sell? Gig Harbor is currently a Sellers Market. Based on pending sales, we have less than a 2 month supply of homes to sell.

Most agents I know have more buyers than sellers now. Please, if you know someone who is considering selling their home, show them this, and if they have questions, tell them to call me.






Live the Canterwood Lifestyle!

Canterwood is Gig Harbor’s premier gated community offering a world-class golf course, swimming pool, tennis courts, a banquet room and excellent dining opportunities.

There are just a few lots left – and this one is terrific! The backyard faces west so not only will you get afternoon sun, but depending on the style of home you build, you should get some nice views of the Olympic Mountains and possibly Henderson Bay.

As an added bonus, a very popular walking/biking route – the Cushman Trail, is going to be extended soon and you’ll be able to access it directly from this lot as well.

Don’t you deserve the Canterwood Lifestyle?


How’s the Gig Harbor Real Estate Market?

6 Toasty Autumn Homeselling Tips

You may think that autumn isn’t the best time to showcase your home, but you’d be wrong. Yes, fall days are shorter, with fewer hours of daylight for buyers to see your home. There may be many days of grey skies, rain, or early snowfall.

But autumn has a unique appeal that’s all its own. You can look forward to gathering with friends and loved ones by a crackling fire, play winter sports in the backyard, or walk on the beach without all the tourists. Most important, homebuyers are motivated; they want to move in before winter. Here are six tips to selling your home during the changing season.

Say welcome with fall decorations

One nice thing about fall décor is that you can put out pumpkins, gourds, scarecrows, and mums now, and they will last through Thanksgiving. Put a nice new welcome mat out for buyers and their agents to wipe their feet, and if it’s been raining or snowing, provide booties that can be slipped on over shoes so mud or road salt aren’t brought into your home. It’s worth paying the neighborhood kids to keep your driveway and sidewalks clear of snow and slush.

Air out your home

As the weather cools, you may tend to shut windows and doors, but closed homes tend to hold odors, so make sure you open the windows for an occasional airing. Run the fans after cooking meals. Moisture also holds odor, so use the exhaust fans in the bathrooms after every bath and shower. While buyers are inside, keep temperatures moderate and even — not too warm or cool.

Let the light in

We already know there’s less sunlight in the fall and winter, so leave lights on for showings. It won’t hurt to pump up the wattage in areas you really want buyers to see details, such as kitchens and baths. Open the drapes and keep windows as clean as possible for showings.

Cut out clutter

When your household spends more time indoors, it’s natural for clutter to accumulate, but too much can have a smothering effect on buyers. Take special care to put coats and all-weather boots away.

Keep a basket in every room so that if you get a sudden showing, you and the rest of the family can do a five-minute cleanup before leaving the premises so your buyer can have some privacy. Store the baskets under the bed or some other place out of sight.

Stage Your Home for the Season

If you’re selling a home in a ski resort, it’s easy to play up the fun of cold weather. Otherwise, you may need a little imagination to stage your home. Ask your real estate professional for ideas, but consider these few to make your home cozy, toasty and inviting.

If you have a fireplace, turn it on, but low. Stage the seating with a comfy Fair Isle throw. If you can find one with snowflakes and reindeer, that’s even better. Put some big fluffy pillows on the floor. Boil some apple cider with cinnamon, and let the delicious aroma waft through the house. Make a beautiful wreath for the front door out of the gorgeous gold and red leaves that have fallen in your neighborhood.

Family photos are supposed to be a no-no with one exception — when they show the home to advantage. Make a quick-flip buyer’s album that includes your beautiful garden in the spring, the backyard pool in the summer, and the gorgeous fall colors of your trees.

Tout the neighborhood

Whereever your home is, it’s part of a community. Show it off! If your neighborhood offers a bike path, playground or community center, list them for the buyer in a feature sheet, and include pictures for your buyer’s album.

Create a map to add to your feature sheet that shows how quickly the buyer can get to various amenities like the nearest grocery store, train stop, and other services. Be sure to point out places unique to your area like the corner book shop or dog groomer.

You can bring out the cozy best in your home by showing buyers that this is a great place to make pleasant memories.

Written by Blanche Evans

FHA Minimum Credit Score Lowered by Lenders

The Federal Housing Administration (also known as FHA) is a government agency within the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development which “backs” or provides mortgage insurance for mortgages made by FHA-approved lenders. It was created in 1934 in response to the Great Depression and the housing crisis that ensued to provide affordable housing options to the public and to stimulate the economy through those home purchases.

FHA loans are popular due to the 3.5% down payment allowed and more-lenient underwriting criteria. These loans are popular among first time homebuyers and would-be homebuyers getting back on their feet after a foreclosure or bankruptcy

In order to qualify for a FHA loan, requirements must be met including minimum buyer FICO credit scores which are set by both FHA and the lender. The average minimum score allowed by most lenders was 640 and recently was reduced to 580 by major FHA lenders. However, FHA itself only requires a 500 minimum FICO score with additional down payment required for those in the 500-580 range.

Lenders often have stricter requirements than the FHA requirements which can be confusing to buyers who think they just need to make the FHA requirements. However, lowering of the minimum FICO credit scores by many leading lenders could spell opportunity for qualified buyers.

If you think you or someone you know could benefit from an FHA loan but want to understand more, please give me a call. I work with a number of lenders who offer FHA mortgages and can help you find the right mortgage for your finances and what you are planning on purchasing. Call me at (253) 732-0534 or send an email to:


Peace, Quiet and Cooler Temps on the Olympic Peninsula

20 acres of paradise in Quilcene

Our weather in Gig Harbor is exceptionally hot and dry this year, so I took the opportunity over the weekend to escape the heat by visiting the Olympic Peninsula.  What a totally relaxing weekend it was – life out of the hustle and bustle of the city is very therapeutic.

As I was relaxing, I was reminded of friends who live in Quilcene – in an amazing home built with many Green features and upgrades on 20 gorgeous, private acres.  Quilcene is on the Hood Canal, protected by the mountains so it has less rainfall than surrounding areas, which most years is a good thing.   The 2754 sq ft house is built with ICF blocks (Insulated Concrete Forms) with SIPS (Structurally Insulated Panels), and so well insulated that it only needs a Lopi wood stove to heat it.  Not quite off the grid, but close….

To me, the simplicity of life there has some appeal.  The 20 acres represents a little piece of paradise where you can get peace and quiet and privacy, and maybe raise some chickens, goats, horses, or llamas, reap the health benefits from growing your own veggies (started in your own greenhouse), and harvesting fruit from your own fruit trees – a place where dogs can run free, you can’t see the neighbors, but you can see the stars.  And yet it’s less than an hour’s drive to the ferries that will deliver you to the hustle and bustle of the city when you want it – on your terms.  Ahhhh – my blood pressure dropped just thinking about it.

Did I mention that this totally cool place just happens to be for sale?  Check it out – 942 Big Leaf Lane – it really is amazing.

Advertised with Permission from Sonja Tijmann, Coldwell Banker Bain

How’s the Gig Harbor Real Estate Market?

“How’s the Gig Harbor Real Estate Market?”

I’m asked that question a lot. And there’s not really a “one
answer fits all” response. It depends…

As in my previous post, there are different price ranges that are more active than others. The bulk of
our current inventory (56%) is priced between $250K and $600K. Within those
price ranges, there is about a 3-4 month supply of homes. That means that
if no other homes came on the market within that price range, it would take 3-4
months to sell the ones that are currently listed. That might sound like
a lot of time, but it actually indicates a market which favors sellers. A
“balanced market” is a 6-month supply of homes.

Now for the distressed properties in Gig Harbor. In July of 2013, the
percentage of distressed (bank-owned and short sale) homes on the market was
6.5%. Currently that percentage is 5.25%. In July, 2012 it was
9.4%. As for the sales of those distressed homes, the decrease is more
significant: 9.9% in July 2014 as compared to 13% in 2013 and 23.2% in

The number of homes sold in the Gig Harbor area from January to June, 2014
was 523, down 2.8% from the first half of 2013.

Now for prices – as of June 30, 2014 our median price (year to date) was
$316,000 as compared to $310,000 in 2013 – representing a 1.9% increase.

Interest rates are still so low, it might make good sense to finance, rather
than pay cash for a home.

Whether you’re a buyer or a seller in the Gig Harbor real estate market,
don’t expect to see huge price increases over last year. But do expect to
see fewer homes available as our inventory dwindles. Good for sellers,
not so great for buyers.

With that said, there are 49 homes available priced at over $1M with only 2
sales in that price range over the past 30 days. This provides a great
opportunity for high-end buyers, but not so much for high-end sellers.

So as you can see, there are many answers to the question “How’s the
Gig Harbor Real Estate Market?”