MeridianHere is a true story of a client to help illustrate who should sell their condo right now~

The Client:
She is a single woman working in technology (no, not at amazon), very responsible with her money and has some savings.  She is not an all cash investor or a long term Amazonian with 50% down, but she is like a lot of you, with maybe enough savings for 10%-20% down.  She has a budget of maybe $2,400 a month max for a mortgage payment (including dues, taxes and insurance).  She is looking for a nice one bedroom of average size (at least 650 sqft), with parking and storage, and in a building with some amenities like a gym and concierge staff.  She wants a newer building. She wants to be close to downtown where she works, wants to walk to the market every weekend, maybe take a stroll along Myrtle Edwards Park with friend now and then and take a quick cab ride, long walk or light rail ride to a Mariners or Sounders game in Pioneer Square.

Sounds like a reasonable request of Seattle’s downtown area condo market right?  Does this sound like the condo that you own?  Well guess what? This is the most common type of buyer we are seeing right now in Downtown Seattle.  They want the Seattle lifestyle, to be close to activities, work and recreation, and it’s important to them to be in nice building that is either new, or is updated and modern, feels safe, and will be a good investment in the event they need to relocate for work and need to sell in the future or keep it as a rental. 

Why is this important to you if you own a Seattle condo in the Downtown area and are considering selling? Keep reading.

Well let’s look at the numbers to see if it’s even possible for this Seattle buyer:
Rough numbers here, but let’s assume for this type of condo: Roughly $450 a month for condo dues, about $300 a month for taxes and $50 a month for insurance.  That leaves around $1,600 for the mortgage principle and interest payment.  At 4.5% Interest rate, that equals a loan amount of +/- $316,000.  At 10% down payment, she could afford a $350,000 condo, and with 20% down, she could afford a $400,000 condo on her $2,400 per month budget.    

Drum roll, how many options does she have in the downtown area that fit this modest wish list?
Guess what, she only has 8 options, yes I said 8 options that fit right now.  And of those, 2 are in buildings that are currently in litigation making buyer financing very challenging to impossible. That leaves 6 options left. Worse, if she only has 10% down, she only has 1 option right now.

Got your attention condo owners?  If this sounds like the condo that you own and you have been thinking about selling, what the heck are you waiting for might I ask?  We would love to hear your thoughts and trepidation about selling now.  Feel free to comment and sound off.

Our Seattle condo real estate market in areas like Downtown, Midtown, Belltown, West Edge, and South Lake Union are a buzz with new jobs, new office buildings, biotech, startups, and new services.  Buyers would likely receive your condo very well right now.

We very rarely push or “sell” our services on the Seattle Condo Review, but right now I feel it’s my job and responsibility to say that if you are thinking about selling, please do reach out to your realtor, talk about your options and get your condo on the market for gosh sakes.

The Take Away:
If you own a condo that sounds like what this typical buyer is hoping to find, a modern spot in the sub $400,000 price range, supply is low and demand is high. It’s a great time to sell and also to move up into something else while rates are low and before prices continue too far upward for you to get in on the buy side of things.  And this case study talks specifically about the Downtown area, but other areas of Seattle are experiencing similar market conditions so this message applies to other urban areas as well with slightly different price points.

By Marco Kronen with Seattle Condo Review: A guide to Seattle downtown condos.