To help potential homebuyers realize their dream of owning a home, the Sequim Association of Realtors is participating in the Nationwide Open House Weekend on June 4-5.
There will be hundreds of homes on display in Sequim, about 7,000 across Washington and hundreds of thousands of homes throwing open their doors across the entire nation on that weekend.
“Today there are more opportunities to get into a home here in Clallam County than there have been in nearly a decade,” said Gina Valaske, association executive for the Sequim Association of Realtors.
The median price for a resale home in the first quarter of 2011, Valaske said, is just over $199,000, down from $211,000 in the first quarter of 2010, and down from a peak of $252,000 in 2007.
Prior to 2005, Clallam County had been among the more affordable areas of the state, she said. Now home prices are as low as they were in 2004.
That means a typical family again has more than enough ability to make payments on a median-priced home,” Valaske said.
Al Kruebbe of Peninsula Mortgage noted that mortgage rates are at the lowest levels since the 1960s.
“Lower rates multiply a buyer’s financial power; even one half of one percentage point difference means a buyer could save nearly $744 per year on a median-priced home,” Kruebbe said. “Over a 30-year loan that’s a savings of $22,320 on the price of a home.”
Of the more than one million homeowners who filed for a tax deduction for the interest they pay on their mortgage in 2008, the average homeowners saved $3,565; that’s a lot of money that is most likely earmarked for specific items in a family’s annual budget.
Valaske said an improving home-buying market is a big benefit to the community as well as those purchasing a house.
“A home means stability for our families so they can put down roots in a community, create family memories and lifelong friends,” Valaske said. “Homeowners do not move as frequently as renters, so children are provided stability in a neighborhood and school.
“Home ownership is buying your own piece of the community. You own part of it, that’s why home-owners vote and volunteer more. Research from the National Association of Realtors even shows that homeowners are happier and healthier with higher self-esteem and higher perceived control over their lives,” she said.
A Realtor will be at every open house to offer perspective and expertise.
For more information on the statewide Open House Weekend, call Valaske at 681-5036 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.