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The problem for homeowners who decide to sell in a hot real estate market like Seattle, is that it turns you into a buyer in a very competitive environment. But for those who do decide to cash in, perhaps because they’re leaving the area for someplace cheaper, there’s big money to be gained in Seattle and other cities across the West.

A new analysis by Zillow found that sellers who had held onto their home for a little bit of time are seeing huge returns on their investment. Oakland and Portland lead the way, followed by San Jose, Calif., Denver, Los Angeles, Sacramento, Calif., and Seattle.

Zillow reports that the typical seller in Oakland in 2016 sold their home for an average of $590,000 after living in it for just over seven years. That’s an

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FILE - This Monday, July 10, 2017, file photo shows a house for sale, in North Andover, Mass. On Tuesday, Aug. 29, 2017, the Standard & Poor's/Case-Shiller 20-city home price index for June is released. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola, File) (AP Photo/Elise Amendola, File)

U.S. home prices climbed higher in June.

The Standard & Poor's CoreLogic Case-Shiller 20-city home price index rose 5.7 percent in June, according to a Tuesday report. The separate national average rose as well, putting it 4.3 points above its housing bubble-era peak in July 2006.

The price increases are different from the bubble period, when subprime mortgages led to a housing bust. There is a shortage of properties for sale, causing the prices to steadily rise at more than double the pace of average hourly earnings. Buyers are also relying on historically low mortgage rates to ease the affordability pressures. Cheaper borrowing costs have kept buyer demand strong despite the price increases.


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$1 million homes are increasingly common, even in neighborhoods once considered middle class.


Zillow, the Seattle-based real estate technology company, found that nearly one in 20 residential ZIP codes in the U.S. meet that definition, and that there are a total of 1,280 neighborhoods in the country where at least 10 percent of the homes are worth seven figures. Zillow found that Seattle is among cities with the highest number of $1 million neighborhoods.

 In the Seattle area, where a booming technology sector led by companies such as Amazon, Google and Facebook has propelled housing demand and prices to record highs, the city has 38 $1 million neighborhoods, putting it at seventh among the top 10 cities nationwide. 

Zillow real estateIf you’re in the…
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The down payment. It’s the only thing keeping you from a home of your own. You’ve got a good job, you’re paying down debt, and mortgage rates are still remarkably low. And rental rates are getting ridiculous.

Let’s see if we can break down this home buying barrier.

It doesn’t always take 20% down

If you’re a first-time home buyer, the down payment hurdle you have to clear may be quite a bit lower than you think. Traditionally, lenders have preferred 20% down, but a lot of low down payment options are available, especially to first-time buyers.

Mortgages guaranteed by the Federal Housing Administration, Department of Veterans Affairs or Agriculture Department can be go-to low down payment loans. In fact, mortgages backed by the VA and the

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The median King County home price has grown more than $100,000 in just a year.

Following up on a record-breaking spring, the county’s real-estate market had its hottest month of July since such monthly records began in 2000, with prices rising 18.6 percent from a year ago.The new median price is $658,000, or $103,000 more than last July, according to monthly data released Monday by the Northwest Multiple Listing Service.  Just a down payment on the median house costs about $20,000 more than a year ago. So first-time buyers who didn’t save up that much in the past year are further from buying a house today than they were a year ago.

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George Moorhead of Bentley Properties in Bothell said his office is working with 60 first-time homebuyers right

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It was another month of record-setting home prices in June as the area yet again took the prize for the hottest real estate market in the country.

For a complete review see: July 2017 Market Review

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