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Real estate trends for 2017

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New home in the Yelm subdivision of Tahoma Terra. Photo credit:,, 253-256-5435

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The beginning of 2017 is shaping up to be a seller's market in the South Sound, and buyers must be prepared in order to find their dream home.

"A seller's market is when there is more demand than supply, allowing for sellers to sell their homes for a premium," explained Angela Aneff, a realtor with Weichert Realtors - Premier Properties. "There is more competition for fewer homes, causing higher prices with multiple offers. In this market, it is important for buyers to complete the preapproval process for a mortgage loan; many (real estate agents) won't show homes without it."     

For buyers moving from out of state, this market can be a challenge.

"I think it's important for a future homeowner coming from out of town to do (his or her) homework prior to (a) move," added Jamie L. Jorgenson, a broker at Paramount Realty, LLC. "Buyers should research the areas they are interested in looking at and have a good grasp of their needs versus wants in a home. It is imperative to create a relationship with a reputable real estate broker and lender in the area to be aware of your budget and market trends.  By obtaining the tools needed to make the decision of purchasing a home, (buyers) will be more likely to secure a property quickly and before the next person makes an offer."    

When deciding on a home near Joint Base Lewis-McChord (JBLM), Aneff recommends North Thurston or South Pierce Counties.

"Puyallup is only a 25-minute drive to the east gate of JBLM.  In the Puyallup and Spanaway area, the Frederickson area is building up with new restaurants and such. It is about a 20-minute drive from the East Gate."

"There are plenty of options for new homes in the area.  Northwest Landing in DuPont is always a popular spot, being conveniently located right off I-5 and a short commute to JBLM main gate.  For more of a small-town feel, Roy and Yelm both offer several options, such as Cherry Meadows and Bella House Village.  The options go on in other areas as well.  Lacey, east Olympia, Spanaway and Tacoma are all great options that are nearby, as well," Jorgenson said.

The "tiny house" trend has not impacted this area, but Jorgenson has noticed a trend toward downsizing.

"As the real estate market recovers, I find more people downsizing their lifestyles and their homes," she said. "Bigger isn't always better, and neither is the payment that goes with it.  While tiny homes haven't completely taken over the market, I am finding that a lot of people are not using their full buying power and are instead choosing to live a simpler lifestyle.  Garden space seems to be more important than a home office these days."

Both agents agree having a real estate agent can be a helpful tool navigating this market.

"Having your own agent means that you have a professional drafting your offers and guiding you through the entire process," Jorgenson explained. "You will receive knowledgeable advice to be able to make the strongest offer possible. Many first-time home-buyers think they are stuck with renting because they can't afford to hire a real estate broker.  This just isn't the case; most times, a buyer has no out-of-pocket costs for an agent to assist them in the home-buying process.  With fantastic interest rates, often it's a more affordable option to buy over renting."

Can a buyer find a dream home in this market?  

"Absolutely," Jorgenson said. "The Pacific Northwest is such a diverse place to live; buyers are bound to find their dream home somewhere. Whether that home is on waterfront, in the mountains, on acreage or in a planned community, we have it.  Our prices are still reasonable here, and low interest rates only increase the buying power and options for a future home owner."

Angela Aneff, realtor, Weichert Realtors - Premier Properties, 13613 Meridian E., Suite 160, Puyallup, by appointment, 360.798.5773

Jamie L. Jorgenson, broker, Paramount Realty, LLC, 2823 Nisqually View Loop NE, Olympia, by appointment, 360.790.5716

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