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November 2013

News In Brief

By NWREporter

November 2013

  • It's back-to-school season and a good time to review home safety tips. Kids come and go at all hours and doors need to be secure and walkways well lit. Here are six safety tips from the National Association of Realtors┬«: Make sure all doors to the outside of a home are metal or solid hardwood and have good, sturdy locks. Sliding glass doors should be secured with commercially available bars or locks. Make sure all windows - especially those at ground level - have good locks, and use them. Lighting is important, so be sure all porches and other possible entrances are well illuminated. Motion-sensing lights are an especially good option for outdoor lights. Keep any bushes or trees that hide doors or windows trimmed. Keep a tight rein on trash. Those homeowners who recently bought big-ticket items, such as a new entertainment system, should not put the empty boxes out by the curb. It can attract the attention of would-be thieves. A better idea is to cut the boxes down and stuff them in trash bags.
  • As the housing market recovers, older homeowners are selling. Investors are banking on a big recovery for the sector and redirecting their assets in anticipation of a senior housing boom. Several major builders and Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs) are beginning to sell some of their commercial assets to raise money to redirect toward senior housing and care facilities, the CoStar Group reported.
  • Seattle ranks number 2 for overall wage growth among big U.S. cities. Average wages have increased across America since the recession hit in 2007, especially in Seattle. In a study conducted by Martin Prosperity Institute, which calculated the average change in wages and salaries for all large U.S. cities between 2009 and 2012, found that Seattle ranked second for the largest wage and salary increase over that period of time.
  • Seattle sets national example for job growth. As the national labor picture slowly improves, Seattle is outpacing most others in job growth. The secret to Seattle's success is its mix of industries, a combination of technology, service, and manufacturing that have hired more readily than other parts of the country. Seattle has added factory jobs at a rate of nearly four times as fast as the rest of the U.S. in the past two years, according to the Wall Street Journal.
  • Homebuyers are willing to pay a premium in order to live in a top-ranked school district, according to a new study from Seattle-based Redfin. Buyers are forking over an average of $50 more per square foot for homes near top-notch schools, according to Redfin. The brokerage used MLS databases to calculate the median sales price and price per square foot of homes within school zones during the period of May 1 to July 31. Redfin's analysis found that even within the same neighborhoods, homebuyers are willing to pay substantially more for homes that fall in a top school district than for homes served by average-ranked schools.