City of Seattle Population Growth

NWMLS Falsely Inflates Seattle’s Population Growth

It’s time once again for a reporting roundup, where you can read my wry commentary about the news instead of subjecting yourself to boring rehashes of the NWMLS press release (or in addition to, if that’s what floats your boat).

To kick things off, here’s an excerpt from the NWMLS press release:

For frustrated house hunters, there’s hope: the volume of new listings added to inventory during June (13,658) was the highest total for any single month since May 2008 (14,176 new listings), according to the latest statistics from Northwest Multiple Listing Service.

“This time of year we see more new listings coming on the market than pending sales, and June didn’t disappoint,” stated J. Lennox Scott, chairman and CEO of John L. Scott.

Noting the pace of sales is slowing and the number of multiple offers is moderating, broker Gary O’Leyar suggested a summer breather is under way (as anticipated), which could yield “the season for a successful purchase” for weary shoppers.

For a month that saw home prices shoot up to insane new all-time highs, the quotes from home salesmen in this month’s release are surprisingly calm.

I do want to address one glaring error in the release, though:

Seattle’s growing population is another likely factor. Recent U.S. Census Bureau data shows Seattle is gaining about 1,100 residents per week, an “astounding” figure, said MLS director Diedre Haines.

That number is false. The most recent data available shows a growth rate of less than half that level.

The most recent city population data I can find from the US Census Bureau was updated July 1, 2016. However, the Washington State Office of Financial Management (OFM) has annual population estimates through April 1, 2017. According to the OFM data, Seattle gained a little over 500 residents per week between 2016 and 2017.

City of Seattle Population Growth

The problem here is that Diedre Haines is citing a number that is true for the entire Seattle metro area (which includes all of King, Snohomish, and Pierce counties), which was originally published by the Puget Sound Business Journal in March.

The Seattle area is the ninth fastest-growing metro in the nation, gaining about 1,100 residents per week according to population estimates issued this morning by the U.S. Census Bureau.

The Puget Sound Business Journal article was clear that they were talking about the entire metro area, but the NWMLS press release just said “Seattle,” which leads us to assume the number applies only to the city.

Here’s the chart for the whole Seattle metro area:

Seattle Metro Population Growth

I assume that saying “Seattle” instead of “Seattle area” was just an error and a total failure to fact-check, rather than an intentional misrepresentation of the data. But who knows.

Hat tip to commenter “justme” who pointed this out in the comments to yesterday’s post.

Now that we’ve sorted that out, read on for my take on this month’s local news reports.

Seattle Times

Kara Carlson: Million-dollar house is the new normal in one Seattle neighborhood

As Seattle home prices continue to set records, Queen Anne has officially become Seattle’s first big neighborhood to have a median home price of $1 million.

Both Seattle and the Eastside once again set price records in June as prices rose throughout King County and other central Puget Sound counties, according to the latest monthly data from the Northwest Multiple Listing Service (NWMLS).

Melissa Klinnert, a longtime broker with Steve Kennedy Team on Queen Anne, said the high and rising prices in that part of town make sense given the strong demand and the low inventory.

Klinnert said the influx of people moving in with high-paying jobs, especially in the tech industry, is contributing to strong sales and low inventories. According to recent census data, Seattle is gaining about 1,100 residents a week.

Argh. It’s frustrating to see the Seattle Times repeat that incorrect (or at least poorly worded) claim from the NWMLS press release. Other than that error, it’s a good article.


Edit:
The incorrect line in the Seattle Times article has now been corrected to read as follows:

Last year the Seattle metro area, extending to Bellevue and Tacoma, saw a net gain of 1,381 in population per week, according to Census data.

This is still a little inaccurate in my opinion since I wouldn’t consider 2015 to 2016 to be “last year” and “extending to Bellevue and Tacoma” leaves out Snohomish County. However, it is definitely much better and less misleading than what was there before. The web version of the NWMLS press release still contains the false statement.


KOMO News

Herb Weisbaum: More houses for sale around the sound

A little bit of good news for frustrated house hunters who can’t find a place to buy.

Inventory around here is going up. There are significantly more homes to choose from right now, according to Lennox Scott, chairman and CEO of John L. Scott Real Estate.

I guess the NWMLS decided that there is a limit to how long they can go on and on about how great things are for sellers before buyers get fed up. The “more inventory” angle that they pushed this month (and was picked up by KOMO and others) is definitely a more buyer friendly message.

Puget Sound Business Journal

Marc Stiles: Little relief in sight for Seattle’s sizzling housing market as prices keep climbing

It used to be unusual for employees of Amazon and other tech companies to hunt for houses in less expensive outlying areas. Not anymore.

The rest of this article is for Puget Sound Business Journal subscribers only, unfortunately.

Tacoma News Tribune

Debbie Cockrell: What people are paying now for area homes and condos

Maybe it’s time to encourage your friends to go on vacation, so you’ll have less competition when you go looking for a house or condo.

After blowing past the $300,000 mark for median closed sales price in May, Pierce County saw the prices hit $317,000 in June.

We’re still the best bargain in the shadow of Seattle.

But the cool-down in home sales and prices could be starting, if June’s numbers are any indication.

Compared with May, statewide the volume of pending sales fell slightly, according to NWMLS, which also could be tied to the tight inventories in certain areas.

Meanwhile, the total volume of new listings added during June was the highest total for any month since May 2008, the service said in its news release.

Heh, I dig the cheeky intro. Unfortunately I think it’s a bit too early to say that “a cool-down in home sales and prices could be starting.” We’ll need to see more than a single month of inventory growth before we can make that kind of statement.

The Olympian

Rolf Boone: Buying a home in Thurston County continues to be an exercise in frustration

If you’re a prospective home-buyer looking for a little relief in a market that favors sellers, you didn’t find it in June, according to Northwest Multiple Listing Service data released Thursday.

Need a silver lining? June’s months of inventory rose to 1.37 months, up from 1.33 months in May, data show.

It’s interesting that the Tacoma News Tribune and The Olympian had totally different stories this month, each focused on their respective counties.

Here’s a bonus story that came out a day before the NWMLS data:

Q13 Fox

Hana Kim: Home buyers seeking relief from skyrocketing house prices look to Bremerton

Directly west of Seattle across the Puget Sound, developers are buzzing about Bremerton.

“It’s becoming more desirable,” said Wes Larson, with Sound West Group.

That’s why brokers such as Ben Hoefer, with John L. Scott Realty, is spending more time in Bremerton lately, showing homes to both first-time home buyers and investors.

Hoefer showed us a waterfront fixer-upper with 4 bedrooms and 2 baths for $425,000.

“You can’t get that in Seattle, let alone on the water. Big developers are coming in and they see the potential benefits,” Hoefer said.

Personally I don’t think I could live across the water from where I work. Good on those who can, though. Bremerton gets a bad rap sometimes, and it’s nice to see the town getting some love.

(Kara Carlson, Seattle Times, 2017-07-06)
(Herb Weisbaum, KOMO News, 2017-07-07)
(Marc Stiles, Puget Sound Business Journal, 2017-07-06)
(Debbie Cockrell, Tacoma News Tribune, 2017-07-06)
(Rolf Boone, The Olympian, 2017-07-06)
(Hana Kim, Q13 FOX, 2017-07-05)


About The Tim

Tim Ellis is the founder of Seattle Bubble. His background in engineering and computer / internet technology, a fondness of data-based analysis of problems, and an addiction to spreadsheets all influence his perspective on the Seattle-area real estate market.

49 comments:

  1. 1

    When you are thinking about the inaccuracies and shortcomings of these articles on housing, try not to think about the fact that the reporting on the other topics covered by the press is no more accurate! Whenever I read an article, or see something on TV, on a topic I’m familiar with I’m appalled by how poorly the press understands the topics that they cover.

  2. 2
    The Tim says:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 1 – Yes, I have found the same problem as well. It can be very frustrating.

  3. 3
    Erik says:

    RE: The Tim @ 2
    Good job Tim. It’s not 1000/mo, but Seattle is still adding a lot of people very quickly. The rate people are moving in has certainly increased in the past 7 years. Hopefully the influx of people drives this next bubble even higher in Seattle.

  4. 4
    whatsmyname says:

    Good points, Tim. Although to be consistent, we should also be clear that the 13,000+ new listings was across (did I read this right?) 23 counties.

    I had personally read the 1100 per week as being for the Seattle Metro, and it looks like it was. Funny thing is that “Just me” has also repeatedly made the point that the 1100 was old data, and therefore invalid. Well, give him his due, he’s right. The current Metro numbers look to be more like 1500. Probably not where he wanted to go, but thanks for making this more current.

  5. 5
    justme says:

    Wow, Tim. I am very impressed how you dug into my this and even made those charts. I’m honored.

  6. 6
    jon says:

    Meanwhile, in the Bay area, Facebook and Google are building housing for their employees. Imagine the panic that will ensue when Amazon announces it is getting into building apartments.

    http://www.cnbc.com/2017/06/14/google-spending-30-million-on-housing-for-silicon-valley-employees.html

  7. 7
  8. 8
    justme says:

    The Tim, you may also be interested in the by-county netmigration estimates that are included in a different OFM spreadsheet, namely
    http://www.ofm.wa.gov/pop/components/ofm_april1_components_of_change_1960_to_present.xlsx, spreadsheet tabs “population” and “residualnetmigration” were used for the below:

    King County OFM data: 2,153,700 (population 2017-04-01)
    King County OFM data: 2,105,100 (population 2016-04-01)
    King County OFM data: 48,600 popchange2016-2017@04-01
    King County OFM data: 26,063 births
    King County OFM data: 12,751 deaths
    King County OFM data: 35,288 residual net migration
    ALL NUMBERS FROM OFM ARE ESTIMATES, THEY ARE NOT CENSUS NUMBERS. CALCULATED:
    King County OFM data: 2,941 netmigration/month
    King County OFM data: 679 netmigration/week

    Calculations:

    CALCULATE: 48,600-26,063+12,751 = 35288 (sanity check, is correct)
    CALCULATE: 35288/12 = 2940.66666666667 netmigration/month
    CALCULATE: 35288/52 = 678.615384615385 netmigration/week

    Netmigration is really the key to demand for housing, whether for purchase or rentals.

    ————————————————

    POPULATION MODEL

    popchange=migration(in)-migration(out)+births-deaths
    netmigration=migration(in)-migration(out)

    HOUSINGDEMAND model

    housingDemandChange=netmigration+maturations-deaths
    housingSupplyChange=apartmentSupplyChange+condoSupplyCHange+sfhSupplychange
    apartmentSupplyChange= apartmentsbuilt-apartmentsdemolished (etc for condo and sfh)
    aptoccupancyratio (etc for condo and sfh)
    maturations mean persons maturing from being a subset of a household to form a household themselves

  9. 9
    justme says:

    In addition to all the above, there is a little discussed fact about all the population estimates that are published by the US Census Bureau and by the Washington State OFM. Are you ready to be shocked?

    The non-decade census estimates AND the OFM estimates are based on (for non-annexed and non-institution population)

    Population = Housing Units x Occupancy Rate x Household Size = HU * OR * HS

    The methodology is dicussed in http://www.ofm.wa.gov/pop/april1/psrc0306.pdf .

    Wow. Just Wow. Basically, it is a build-it-and-they-will-come model. HU are counted through completions and demolitions. OR is estimated by sampling and using various data sources like US mail delivery stats. HS is estimated from most recent census and some additional gyrations. OFM freely admits that especially OR and HS often are errant, ESPECIALLY during times of change. They also say that population is frequently OVERESTIMATED. . No, OFM does not use electrical consumption to estimate OR. There is a ton that can be said about this methodology and its strengths and weaknesses. It is better that people read the methodology document themselves.

  10. 10

    RE: jon @ 6

    I have always wondered why the companies hiring many (notably Microsoft going back decades) didn’t employ someone with a real estate license to write up offers for them (and list their houses) as a perk and part of their relocation incentive. On a Company-wide basis they would save their employees a ton of money.

    I remember their having seminars about how to approach listing agents and ask for the 3%, which didn’t work too well except in the weakest of markets. Why not just have an employee with a real estate license who could write offers for their employees? They would have to work a bit of a setup to comply with State regs, but it wouldn’t be too difficult.

  11. 11

    RE: Ardell DellaLoggia @ 10 – You mean like a relocation company? They basically already offer those services, but they involve more than just helping them find a home, depending on the package. There’s no real savings to the employee on the buy side, but they get other benefits, depending on the package.

    BTW, the government makes out like a bandit on the sale side of those transactions because for obscure income tax reasons the employee cannot be the seller. That means excise tax is paid twice, once when the seller sells to the relocation company and once when the relocation company sells to the buyer. Often those transactions occur on the same day (which is why you’ll often see such things on Realist when you look at a house’s history).

  12. 12

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 11

    I was talking about the buy side and not the sell side. I was a CCPS for Coldwell Banker back when only one agent was given all of those buyout houses, so am familiar with the system.
    The seller used to have 60 days to sell for more than the buyout price.

    But those are contracts the companies have with Brokerages and only available to a small fraction of employees, usually within 18 mos. of the hire date. I was referring to a long term program for all employees.

    Will be interesting to see how they structure houses or apartments built for employees. I have only seen and managed one of those built for Professors at UCLA. There was a built in cap on appreciation making it easier for them to hire from out of area. The employees bought the homes, but the land ownership was retained by the employer vs jointly owned by the “unit” owners. It was how they protected their buying employees from escalating home prices. But they weren’t too happy with the price limitations at time of sale.

  13. 13

    By ARDELL DellaLoggia @ 12:

    But those are contracts the companies have with Brokerages and only available to a small fraction of employees, usually within 18 mos. of the hire date. I was referring to a long term program for all employees.

    Actually they are contracts with relocation companies, and those companies then deal with the brokerages. But relocation benefits go well beyond just finding a house with an agent. They include lending, moving household goods and cars and short term housing, again depending on the package. And for lending and real estate brokerage services I don’t think the benefit to the employee is savings–it’s having a professional who is screened and can do the job well.

    But I really don’t understand why you think companies would offer buy side services to all employees. That is not their business. Why not offer them automobiles, groceries, gasoline and entertainment too? It could be like the old days of company towns! ;-)

    Maybe an employer could arrange some sort of discount, sort of like how as a JLS agent I can get a discount on AT&T or Verizon, but why? It’s not that big of a deal in the scheme of things when deciding where to work. But it also might not work because each agent is an independent contractor. Brokerages can’t (or at least don’t) decide to set all their agents’ fees–probably at best they could have a discount program that agents could opt into.

  14. 14
    wreckingbull says:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 13 – Exactly. Why would a company add the complexity, cost, and liability when the service already exists in the form of independent buy-side agents in the geographical area of the employee. It would be far cheaper to simply give the employee a cash stipend, to be spend how the employee sees fit.

    Secondly, I would want an independent agent, who is working for me, not my employer. If there is one lesson to be learned from those of us who have been chewed up and spit out of corporate America, it is that HR is on the side of the company, not the employee.

  15. 15
    Jon says:

    RE: wreckingbull @ 14 – Same reason companies buy snacks and meals for their employees: to build a bond that helps retention by reducing stress.

  16. 16

    RE: Jon @ 15 – Not hardly the same thing. The issue is whether it’s a good employee perk, not whether it simply is one.

  17. 17

    RE: Jon @ 15

    Yes…like free childcare onsite. For employee retention.

  18. 18

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 13

    I think you missed the part where I used to run that program. :) Those contracts haven’t changed hardly at all in decades. It’s time for something new.

  19. 19

    By ARDELL DellaLoggia @ 18:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 13

    I think you missed the part .

    LOL on who’s missing what (buy side/sell side topic). But how about this, rather than claim you know something, how about saying how what I said was wrong. Do you deny that there are relocation companies, and that they deal with the brokerages on behalf of the employers?

  20. 20

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 19

    Newer companies don’t set up that way. It’s an outdated system. Go back to comment 6 where this started. You’re off on a tangent. Talk about the future; not the ancient past that created your present.

  21. 21
    Geoff says:

    By justme @ 9:

    In addition to all the above, there is a little discussed fact about all the population estimates that are published by the US Census Bureau and by the Washington State OFM. Are you ready to be shocked?

    The non-decade census estimates AND the OFM estimates are based on (for non-annexed and non-institution population)

    Population = Housing Units x Occupancy Rate x Household Size = HU * OR * HS

    The methodology is dicussed in http://www.ofm.wa.gov/pop/april1/psrc0306.pdf .

    Wow. Just Wow. Basically, it is a build-it-and-they-will-come model. HU are counted through completions and demolitions. OR is estimated by sampling and using various data sources like US mail delivery stats. HS is estimated from most recent census and some additional gyrations. OFM freely admits that especially OR and HS often are errant, ESPECIALLY during times of change. They also say that population is frequently OVERESTIMATED. . No, OFM does not use electrical consumption to estimate OR. There is a ton that can be said about this methodology and its strengths and weaknesses. It is better that people read the methodology document themselves.

    Wow! Good digging! So when they say the population is going to increase, they just mean more units are going to open and assuming the occupancy rate and household size are the same. You’de think that was based on some fancier reckoning. The ladies and gentlemen of the press need more budget or a good hard look in the mirror or something for not catching that.

  22. 22
    Question Mark says:

    Tim, re: Bremerton, maybe Q13 was riffing on KUOW’s recent “Region of Boom” series …

    http://kuow.org/post/bremerton-may-soon-be-miiiighty-enticing-homebuyers-seattle

    http://kuow.org/topic/region-boom

  23. 23
    Geoff says:

    RE: Geoff @ 20

    Also this accounts for the correction bumps is census years here.
    https://www.google.com/#q=population+of+seattle

    Back of envelope calc – If we are as wrong about population of Seattle Metro Area as we were about Seattle in 1999. then the figures would be over 187,000 out.

  24. 24

    By ARDELL DellaLoggia @ 20:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 19

    Newer companies don’t set up that way. It’s an outdated system. Go back to comment 6 where this started. You’re off on a tangent. Talk about the future; not the ancient past that created your present.

    How about I go back to post 10 where you wonder why something new hasn’t happened? Now you’re claiming it’s different, without giving an single example. Which is it? Nothing new is happening or it is?

    You’re also claiming the newer companies don’t set up the way I’m claiming. I guess Amazon isn’t a newer company? Amazon works through relocation companies. And they take on just about every other task imaginable in their business. They even take on delivery tasks from UPS, Fed-Ex, etc.

  25. 25

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 1
    I’m Preaching to the Choir

    When I say “Fake News”….open border moron types will allege anything to get savvy investors or real people with jobs fooled, but its changing now, we’re not listening to ’em anymore and we find our own news from the raw data…with no spin.

    And yes, its horrifying.

  26. 26

    RE: softwarengineer @ 25
    Even MSFT’s Bill Gates Did a Reset Recently

    He’s against taking in Syrian Refugees, he supports no fly zones in Syria and Trump’s cease-fire to start international charity to keep them in Syria…just say no to Fake News.

    https://www.numbersusa.com/news/bill-gates-help-refugees-home-regions

  27. 27

    RE: softwarengineer @ 25 – That’s a bit different than what I was addressing. That’s biased reporting. I was just addressing where the reporter doesn’t understand the topic.

    Probably due to a combination of biased reporting and ignorant reporting, the press apparently has a lower approval rating than Trump. I’ve pretty much given up on TV news, except NPR.

  28. 28
    justme says:

    RE: Geoff @ 23

    Geoff, very interesting to see how wrong the OFM and Census Bureau (CB) yearly population estimates have been compared with the decennial full-census population counts. The thought had crossed my mind to cross-check the numbers but I did not have the time.

    There is a lot more about the OFM and CB methodology online. A good place to start is http://www.ofm.wa.gov/pop/april1/overview.pdf .

  29. 29

    Well this should moderate prices within the city limits of Seattle, at least for the six months until it’s struck down.

    http://crosscut.com/2017/07/seattle-passes-an-income-tax-next-court-action/

  30. 30
    Ross says:

    By Kary L. Krismer @ 29:

    Well this should moderate prices within the city limits of Seattle, at least for the six months until it’s struck down.

    http://crosscut.com/2017/07/seattle-passes-an-income-tax-next-court-action/

    What an ill-conceived idea. Very likely to fail in court, so this amounts to political grandstanding and a big waste of money on legal fees. If by some means, it does pass, I see the long term effects as pushing those making $250K/$500K to living beyond the Seattle borders. That would incrementally put pressure on the more expensive Seattle homes and incrementally reduce the tax base (excise tax, car tabs, sales tax etc.) It could be a big boom for the eastside though.

  31. 31
    StupidLifeDecisions says:

    By jon @ 6:

    Meanwhile, in the Bay area, Facebook and Google are building housing for their employees. Imagine the panic that will ensue when Amazon announces it is getting into building apartments.

    http://www.cnbc.com/2017/06/14/google-spending-30-million-on-housing-for-silicon-valley-employees.html

    so they will house about 30 people?

    i just read the article about how facebook is building a little city to house 1500. mark zuckerberg needs to hang, but that is another story and another lesson for most people to learn the hard way.

    on another but totally related note to the original topic, a lot of the people coming here are not going to stay. they are coming for several years of tech experience and then they will leave. compound this by the lesser known fact that now tech is having a serious look at the midwest.

    every dog must have it’s day, and then it’s got to pay and pay.

    we have another year or so of this, and then many people will have so much to lose, and then it will be my turn.

  32. 32
    StupidLifeDecisions says:

    By Ardell DellaLoggia @ 10:

    RE: jon @ 6

    I have always wondered why the companies hiring many (notably Microsoft going back decades) didn’t employ someone with a real estate license to write up offers for them (and list their houses) as a perk and part of their relocation incentive. On a Company-wide basis they would save their employees a ton of money.

    sounds like an great opportunity for you (or one of your colleagues if you don’t want to do it). you should approach one of these companies with your idea, they might like it and you might as well make some money off of market conditions (even if they screwed me over).

  33. 33

    By Ross @ 30:

    That would incrementally put pressure on the more expensive Seattle homes and incrementally reduce the tax base (excise tax, car tabs, sales tax etc.) It could be a big boom for the eastside though.

    Excise might get a bump as people leave, and I don’t see the others being all that impacted due to their regressive nature. The biggest impact will probably be the cost to set up and implement the program and then fight the lawsuits.

    Note Seattle’s gone down this road before with the ammunition (and gun?) tax. It’s reportedly collected very little and reduced other taxes (sales and B&O). But of course that’s all worth it since gun crime fell so dramatically. /sarc

  34. 34

    SB readers might enjoy this book–only $1.99 for the Kindle version, which can be read on virtually any tablet or Windows computer. 9 Presidents Who Screwed Up America and Four Who Tried to Save Her. https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B017QL99OI/ref=oh_aui_d_detailpage_o01_?ie=UTF8&psc=1

    I’m only half way through–the 9 Presidents part–but so far it’s a rather interesting well-written read. The most annoying thing is the author calling everything “unconstitutional” but if you get beyond that it’s an interesting discussion of the expansion of the power of the Executive Branch and also the federal government.

    Not surprisingly the author is particularly hard on Presidents in time of war (e.g. Lincoln, Wilson, FDR, Bush I), and also financial crisis (FDR, Bush II, Obama). And often it’s not so much the particular result, but the lack of power of the President to actually take the action–e.g. kidnapping Noriega. Oh, and there’s also discussion of banking–the 2nd National Bank of the US, setting up the Federal Reserve, the bailout, etc. About the only modern President who goes without mention is Carter (unless he’s in the second half as one who tried to save her). Surprisingly, no discussion of drones!

    I haven’t fact checked the book, but it is consistent with things I’ve learned about from other sources (e.g. Wilson’s behavior during WWI). But again, the constitutional analysis is very concervative–e.g. a very limited reading of the Commerce Clause, so I’d take that with a huge grain of salt or even completely ignore it.

  35. 35
    Minnie says:

    Are you making this statement as a real estate professional? Is this your professional evaluation?
    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 29

  36. 36

    RE: Minnie @ 35 – Well it’s not going to help for the high end, but the effect in the median would likely be relatively slight–as opposed to the mean.

    As I’ve noted several times, the amount of real estate taxes and HOA dues (particularly condo) impact the prices paid for properties. This is just another tax that is tied to a specific location, so yes it will have in impact on the high end houses.

    As to it being eventually struck down, that’s my opinion as an attorney. I don’t even think it will become a test case for a state income tax, because I think it will be struck down based on the statute which prevents localities from imposing an income tax.

    FWIW, if I was interested in selling such a house in Seattle I’d wait, if possible, until this is resolved. Not good to sell at a point in time where you’d limit your potential buyers.

  37. 37
    greg says:

    By softwarengineer @ 26:

    RE: softwarengineer @ 25
    Even MSFT’s Bill Gates Did a Reset Recently

    He’s against taking in Syrian Refugees, he supports no fly zones in Syria and Trump’s cease-fire to start international charity to keep them in Syria…just say no to Fake News.

    https://www.numbersusa.com/news/bill-gates-help-refugees-home-regions

    BS. Gates is NOT against refugees arriving in the USA, that is a lie.

    Gates and many others have been consistent for many years, there is NO big change here. Gates and many others believe people should be helped at home where they can and that mass emigration out of africa is not the solution. but of course refugees are real and need help , but the real goal is to help africa become safe and healthy place to live .
    Furthermore nobody in mainstream US has ever suggested “open borders” that is “fake news” spread by liars and fools who want to scare people. Alt rights , sectarians and racists like to spread these types of lies to keep people fearful and thus voting against their best interests out of fear.

    Frankly softwarengineer , you should go find some alt right site to peddle your fear mongering and bs.

  38. 38
    Nick says:

    Ardell and Kary arguing on this post makes day at work much more bearable.

    Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

  39. 39
    Voight-kampff says:

    I come for the data, but I stay for Kary and Ardell.

  40. 40

    RE: Nick @ 38 – Your job must really suck! ;-)

  41. 41

    RE: Voight-kampff @ 39

    Haha! I bet you had Punch and Judy puppets as a kid. :)

  42. 42

    Not quite what Ardell was talking about, but apparently Amazon might be getting into agent referrals for the general population, talking on Zillow sort of the way Amazon is taking on Best Buy’s Geek Squad.

    https://www.geekwire.com/2017/zillow-shares-slump-amazon-webpage-hints-expansion-real-estate-referrals/

  43. 43

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 42

    I think that is going to work the same way as the old Costco program and not the way it is being reported at present. Time will tell.

  44. 44

    RE: Nick @ 38

    Sometimes we “argue” because we work in different areas and so have different realities. Other times it’s just because I have been in the business 3x+ longer than he has and his perspective is a bit shorter. Other times it’s just because he’s the kind of guy who used to pull girls’ pigtails and pretend he didn’t and never grew up. :)

  45. 45

    By Ardell DellaLoggia @ 44:

    RE: Nick @ 38

    Sometimes we “argue” because we work in different areas and so have different realities. Other times it’s just because I have been in the business 3x+ longer than he has and his perspective is a bit shorter. Other times it’s just because he’s the kind of guy who used to pull girls’ pigtails and pretend he didn’t and never grew up. :)

    More often than not it’s because you don’t have a clue what you’re talking about and like to argue with lawyers about legal matters. That’s about 90% of it. You can pretend it’s something else, but it’s really just your own ignorance.

  46. 46

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 45

    Be honest there Kary. You don’t want ANY agents arguing with attorneys about “legal” matters…EVER. You don’t want agents disagreeing with lawyers about “legal” matters EVER. You don’t want agents to be correct in common practice and do things differently in the marketplace than attorneys recommend EVER. It’s obvious, and it’s not about “me”. It’s a market…we do what we gotta do to keep up.

  47. 47

    RE: Ardell DellaLoggia @ 46 – It’s not about disagreeing. Attorneys disagree all the time. That’s normal. It’s about not having a clue what you’re talking about. That is a common problem with real estate agents. Their understanding of the basic contracts that they work with is typically horrible. And that is what is irritating about discussing these matters with you. It’s not that you disagree. It’s that you typically don’t have even a basic understanding of the topic.

    I did have a very good situation with an agent last month. A rather simple transaction failed to record due to an issue with the escrow, and title offered to insure the transaction as if it had recorded. That’s a trend I think many in the title industry want to go to–consider transactions closed when they’re ready to close rather than when they record. It’s basically just a continuation of the fact that they take a risk for late occurring events anyway, so recording isn’t that important to them from a title insurance point of view.

    The problem with that way of thinking is that hazard insurance companies might not take the same approach, and if something happens to the property before recording you might have two different insurance companies claiming the other’s insured owned the property at the time of loss, and neither covering the loss. Fortunately the listing agent saw the same issue and made sure her seller’s insurance was remaining in place through the weekend. We agreed to just extend the closing, but we also discussed using an early possession addendum as an option. It was very pleasant to have someone who understood the issues and actually contributed to the process.

    Contrast that with an agent from several years ago who was very much reminded me of you. I had a 22T title contingency that was necessary due to my client’s intended use of the property. This agent insisted that the title contingency no longer existed due to the fact that my client had waived their inspection contingency. Complete lack of understanding of the process. And this was an experienced agent with many years under her belt. And that was hardly the only issue with her, but some of the issues actually benefited my client, and injured her client (two failed transactions on the same listing).

  48. 48

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 47

    I will give you that I have very little, if any, first hand experience with failed transactions. I don’t have too many Title problems either. 99% of the time a future Title problem is predictable and best to just walk away and not make the offer in the first place.

    I don’t expect all agents to be equally adept at all things real estate. My bigger problem recently is the Listing Agent telling my client at an Open House things that just aren’t true, like “sub-dividable” which sends me over to the City to get “screen shots” of why that is not true.

    Probably the biggest issue in Seattle Area Real Estate today, that no one is talking about. Expanded buffer zones for creek and wetland areas has finally passed. I mentioned it before, but it is now a reality.

    This is important because many people, due to low inventory and rising prices, are buying homes that need significant improvements and expansion and they think they can do that later. Just because you see a neighbor having done it doesn’t hold water anymore…if there is water in the form of wetlands or creeks nearby.

  49. 49

    By Ardell DellaLoggia @ 48:

    I will give you that I have very little, if any, first hand experience with failed transactions. I don’t have too many Title problems either. 99% of the time a future Title problem is predictable and best to just walk away and not make the offer in the first place.

    That wasn’t a failed transaction, just one that took an extra three days (counting the weekend days) to close. Near as I can tell it was just escrow company incompetence since it was a cash transaction and they had the cash the day before. We had been checking on it and were assured it was sent out for recording, when apparently it wasn’t–something they didn’t disclose until 5:30.

    I don’t expect all agents to be equally adept at all things real estate.

    Not my goal either, but I would like higher average competency, particularly on routine contract terms.

    Probably the biggest issue in Seattle Area Real Estate today, that no one is talking about. Expanded buffer zones for creek and wetland areas has finally passed. I mentioned it before, but it is now a reality.

    Not an area I have a lot of dealings with, but yes, that is a problem. Particularly frustrating in my mind are those issues on small lakes, where basically over 90% of the lake has been developed with houses, and you have a smaller than 10,000 square foot lot in-between two houses. At that point I think it’s a bit late to be worrying about wetlands and critical areas. Plus you often have to deal with septic too within those constraints. It basically makes land worthless. If it’s substantially all swamp area I can see that, but if it’s on a well sloped lot, I’m not seeing the point.

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