Home Buying Know-How from Windermere’s James Fisher and Boggs Inspection Services

For many of us, buying a home is the largest financial transaction we’ll ever make. Whether apartment or condo, single- or multi-family, taking the plunge is always a little scary. But knowledge is power, as they say, and partnering with trusted realtors and home inspectors provides peace of mind every step of the way. Locally, Boggs Inspection Services has worked with Windermere’s James Fisher finding first – or forever – homes that are always a good investment in any market.

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Windermere’s James Fisher understands the ups and downs of our recent housing market roller coaster. Photo courtesy: James Fisher

Windermere’s James Fisher Helps Explain 2022’s Housing Crunch

Like pretty much everything in 2022, the housing market was chaotic. Fisher, who specializes in residential single-family homes, relocation with the military, investment properties and multi-family housing, explains that: “According to the Lieutenant Governor’s 2021 Housing affordability study, Washington State is dead last in production of new housing starts to the number of household formation. We have an underbuilding problem and an affordability problem.”

Finding the right home in just the right area is something Fisher knows well. A native of San Antonio, Texas, he grew up in a military town in a military family. “Housing stock isn’t anywhere near where it needs to be to supply the number of residents,” he says. “Being from out of state and discovering the beauty of Washington was one factor we chose to remain here. It isn’t just me who notices the beauty, many of the military families I work with tell me once they buy, they will either keep their home as a rental for another service member or sell and buy again here for retirement. It’s not a secret that Washington is a great place to live.”

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Fisher says that buyers and sellers today face new challenges, but thankfully the Pacific Northwest market always levels out in a positive way. Photo courtesy: James Fisher

Understanding the Numbers Behind Buying or Selling a Home in Washington

It’s starting to cool down, but when Puget Sound’s housing market was red hot, potential buyers were even paying money up-front before they knew their offer was accepted. “Buyers were opting to have what is called a pre-inspection completed on a home prior to even knowing if they would win the bid to go into contract,” says Fisher. “Add in a number of other incentives buyers were offering like ‘rent back’ periods that would allow sellers to remain in their homes while they found a new home. In that rent-back phase, buyers were having to not only pay the cost of their current rent or mortgage, but they were also taking on the mortgage for their new home purchase.”

Recent slowdowns are a good thing for homebuyers. “It was highly unsustainable to operate how we were in the housing market with double-digit gains year over year,” says Fisher. “A retraction or correction was imminent. But from what I have been noticing in the South Sound, we are relatively stable in housing appreciation.” He adds that the market will have hiccups in value spiking for a little while before leveling out.

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A Texas native, Fisher fell in love with our area, which echoes his childhood home in a military-friendly town with families galore. Photo courtesy: James Fisher

In the Pacific Northwest, Housing is Always a Good Investment

Despite what he calls “a jam up on the housing ladder,” Fisher says people look for homes for a variety of reasons. There is growing knowledge that real estate creates generational wealth, he explains. “Some people also use real estate assets to plan for retirement. I like to say that with ownership, you get to participate in equity gains and losses. With a rent payment, you are subject to market rate rental increases and do not participate in any of the equity that is gained in your unit.”

He and others in the industry are also tracking inflation and interest rates as well as how our state legislature makes future permitting and land use decisions. “Hopefully, they’ll make building more accessible in Washington State,” says Fisher.

Protect Your Investment with a Home Inspection

But whenever and wherever you buy, make sure you always get a home inspection from a licensed company like Boggs Inspection Services. Even in the case of a pre-inspection, “you may not win the home you’re bidding on, but you will know whether you want to continue forward with your purchase,” says Fisher. At Boggs, their Pre-Offer Review, Evaluation, and Consultation work with potential buyers and their realtors on a walk-and-talk basis to thoroughly discuss the property before any money changes hands.

And like a home inspector, remember that your broker or agent isn’t going to make decisions for you. They’re simply providing unbiased information, so you’re comfortable with the process and final results.

Reach Out Today on Your Home Sweet Home

If you’re ready to buy, reach out to Fisher today for advice, guidance and expertise in the Pierce and Thurston county areas. You can call 253.830.6000, email jfisher@windermere.com or follow his blog and Facebook pages for additional info. He can help schedule a walk-through with Boggs, or you can call their offices directly at 360.480.9602 to get started. With many different inspection packages, Boggs makes sure your home (current, future, or new-build) is functioning at 100%.

The act of buying or selling property is a juggling act with many people, piles of paperwork and endless signatures on the dotted line. Thanks to skilled partners, your journey to homeownership can be worry-free from start to finish in any housing market.