A Place to Call Home

<p>Mark Alvarez</p>

Mark Alvarez

25 year old Mark Alvarez is a brand new homeowner.

For year's he's lived at home with his parents, and in apartments, until last month, when he decided to purchase this home.

"It was very important for me to have my own place, and come home to a place where I feel safe and comfortable," said Alvarez.

Alvarez is one of the many people in Yakima County who have purchased homes.

The Real Estate Studies Center at the University of Washington says home resales this summer increased over 25% from the summer of 2012 in the Yakima area.

Resale prices have also increased about 6% from last year -- the median is listed at over $160,000.

Alvarez says finding a home in Yakima was not difficult, especially for his budget.

"Compared to larger cities, it's more affordable, and houses are priced at a very affordable rate for anyone to own," said Alvarez.

Realtors say the busiest time for home sales is during the summer.

This past summer, they found themselves swamped with clients, and they don't see it slowing down heading into winter.

"People are now understanding interest rates may not stay low forever, and so they're going after the low interest rates," said realtor Jerry Heyen, "We have quite a few that are wanting to get into their new homes before Christmas."

As a new homeowner, Alvarez says he doesn't see himself going back to renting apartments, or staying with mom and dad.

"I'd prefer to have my own home for the reason I can set my own rules, I can do whatever I want with my own home," said Alvarez, "There's nothing better than that."

Overall, in the state of Washington, home resales have increased about 30% in the summer compared to the year before.

Benton and Franklin Counties saw an increase of about 23%.