Friday May 1, 2015

"The Current Local Residential Real Estate Market - Is it Really Red Hot?"

Local Real Estate Professionals

Realtor Local Real Estate firms

Introduced by: Bob Holert

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Trends in the Local Real Estate Market – ShelterBox/Nepal –  Student of the Month -Message from Enky  – Preliminary Race Report — Do You Have BBRC Pride?


Tony Kasunic, Tanya Franzen-Garrett and Dick Brown gave an interesting presentation about the local real estate market.  Although the market has recovered in Seattle and Bellevue, it has not recovered in South King County.  Statewide, we are still 10% below the peak.

What is driving the market?

  • Historically low interest rates
  • Strong job market
  • Previously distressed owners are getting back into homeownership
  • Lack of buildable land
  • Lack of selling inventory
  • Foreign buyers who want to live in our communities
  • Foreign investors (Chinese ghost investors who buy property and let it sit empty and immigrants who are part of the Immigrant Investor Program, also know as “EB-5.”  This program was created by Congress in 1990 to stimulate the US economy through job creation and capital investment by foreign investors.)

In today’s red hot market, buyers are waiving inspections and escalation clauses are common.   An escalation clause is a real estate contract, sometimes called an escalator, that lets a home buyer say “I will pay x price for this home, but if the seller receives another offer that’s higher than mine, I’m willing to increase my offer to y price.”

A lot of older people in Medina and Clyde Hill would like to downsize to a low-rise condo in downtown Bellevue but there is no inventory.

Over the next five years, prices are expected to rise more slowly, the current buying frenzy will fade and fewer people will be able to afford homes as interest rates rise.

Club Business

Wendi Fischer called the meeting to order at 7:30am.

Chris Boland gave the invocation and pledge and Chris Monger introduced visiting Rotarians and guests.


Martin Clavijo spoke about the dire situation in Nepal, where 5,000 have been killed, 8,000 have been injured, 2 million have become homeless and 8 million are affected.  ShelterBox  is an international disaster relief charity that delivers emergency shelter and vital aid to people affected by disaster worldwide and is providing shelter, warmth and dignity to families who have lost their homes and possessions following the devastation in Nepal.  Martin asked us to donate to ShelterBox to help the people of Nepal and told us that BBRC would match members’ contributions dollar for dollar.

Student of the Month

Larry May introduced Caryn Ausenhus, a senior from Bellevue Christian, who is our Student of the Month.  Caryn is very involved in student government and an avid soccer player.  During Spring Break last year, she accompanied doctors and dentists to Nicaragua to help them set up a clinic.  Caryn has applied to Wheaton College to study Applied Health Sciences and would like to be a Pediatrician or Physical Therapist.

Message from Enky

Wendi played a video of Enky, a student the BBRC is sponsoring at Imagine Scholar.  Enky is an animated young woman and she told us that school is going well and how much she enjoys learning new computer skills.   One day, she hopes to be a dietician to prevent diseases like diabetes and to help schools prepare nutritious meals for students.  Imagine Scholar is a highly selective four-year mentorship program for talented, disadvantaged youth across the Nkomazi region of South Africa.

Preliminary Race Report

Paul Chapman announced that we had 1,411 race participants at the Bellevue 10K/5K All in for Autism Charity Race and netted approximately $65,000.  These figures are down from last year.  Although we raised more sponsorship dollars than we’ve ever had in the past, we need to greatly increase the number of race participants if we want to have the community impact we aspire to.

Do You Have BBRC Pride?

Past Sergeants-At-Arms John Martinka and Wendi Fischer called up a number of our members wearing BBRC-logoed apparel including Mike Ralph, Sheldon Sweeney, Tanya Franzen-Garrett, Chuck Kimbrough, Brian Evison and Desiree Yuzawa.  John then showed a photo of Tim Leahy and Paul Chapman officiating at the Bellevue 10K/5K All in for Autism Charity Race and guess what — they weren’t wearing BBRC apparel.  What’s wrong with them?  Don’t they have any BBRC Pride?  Their lack of pride cost them each $20.


1.  Although Rotary International hasn’t designated a theme for the month of May, Wendi designated it the “Be Kind and Connect” month.  A great place to connect is at the Rotary 5030 District Conference, held May 15-17 at the Tulalip Resort.

2. Fred Barkman announced that former member Mary Bell’s house burned down in West Seattle.  This might be a good time to reconnect with her.

3. Michel Carter encouraged us to sign up for the Rotary First Harvest work party on May 9.

4. John Schwager announced that the BBRC Golf Charity Classic will be held on September 14.

Thought for the week

“Someone else is praying for the things you take for granted.”

About the Speaker

Today's three presenters are all members of Bellevue Breakfast Rotary. They are: Dick Brown with Windermere Real Estate East, Bellevue; Tanya Franzen-Garrett with Windermere Real Estate, West Campus, Federal Way, and the Sound Properties team; and Tony Kasunic, a broker and East-Side specialist with RE/MAX Exemplary, Sammamish.