Friday, August 6, 2010

Anyone who has asked me in the last year about where I think housing prices are going has received the same answer... "We are either at bottom or very close to it and we should be see good recovery by 2014." This isn't just my best guess, it's what economists and real estate experts have been predicting. This week it finally appeared in the national press. Here's the an excerpt from the article "Top 10 Housing Markets That Will Be Strongest by 2014" from Yahoo/Business Week:

1. Washington
Biggest home price increase projected in 2014: Bremerton-Silverdale metro

The Bremerton-Silverdale area, on Puget Sound's Kitsap Peninsula, has the highest growth forecast of all MSAs in the country, with prices expected to jump 44.7 percent by 2014, according to Fiserv. Cathy Doney, general manger for Reid Real Estate in Silverdale, says the waterfront community has benefited from government employment, which has helped sustain the job market, and attracted buyers looking to live close to Seattle at a lower cost. Washington’s second-strongest market is Tacoma, with a growth rate expected to be 33.1 percent. Prices in the Seattle area are expected to grow 25.5 percent by 2014.

Index used to calculate historical home price changes: Case-Shiller

Housing values in Pierce County have dropped around 20% since 2006, so 33.1% growth is very good news for anyone who purchased or pulled equity out of their home in the last 8 or so years. Hang in there!

Let's see... With this news and interest rates hovering around 4.25%, when might be the best time to buy?

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Musings on the Real Estate Market

Oh my goodness, I have been a bad blogger of late! There has been a lot to talk about too. Once again the media is writing all this doom and gloom about a double dip recession, but when I ran my sales numbers for various areas of Pierce County we really didn't see a big drop off from April to June (as was being predicted). Also, several expensive waterfront properties in Gig Harbor have gone under contract in the last 2 months and we haven't seen anything like that since spring/summer of 2008. I am not too surprised because interest rates are ridiculously low and jumbo loans are getting affordable again. I have no idea how long interest rates are going to stay low. I stopped predicting a few months ago when everyone was convinced they would rise to 6 or 7% by May and the opposite happened. I am just grateful for where they are now!

Friday, June 4, 2010

Economic Recovery in Washington State

With all the bad news today about the bleak jobs report sinking the stock market, I thought it would be good to look at the positive things going on. There is an interesting website called and shows how much money the Federal Gov't is pumping into the state and how it is being used in each county. CLICK HERE for the Pierce County report. A lot of jobs are being created though the funding of road improvement , clean water improvement, education and numerous other projects. The only way the economy in Washington State is going to improve is through the stabilization of the real estate market and good jobs lead to a more stable market.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Who Can Negotiate a Short Sale?

With so many people attempting to short sale their home, rather than face foreclosure, I thought it would be good to let you know who is legally able to do the negotiation. There are some opportunists out there who a trying to make a quick buck by charging a fee to do the negotiation. Here are the only people legally able to negotiate a short sale, other than the homeowner, in Washington State:

1. An attorney licensed by the Washington State Bar Association.
2. A real estate agent licensed by the State of Washington, though the agent cannot received any compensation above and beyond the regular real estate commission.
3. A loan originator licensed by the State of Washington and working for a company authorized to do so in Washington.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

1 in 10 Homeowners Missed a Payment

An article I found today on states that from January to March 2010 one of every ten homeowners missed a mortgage payment.

I am not at all surprised by this number. It's a national statistic, but it's probably pretty to close to what we are experiencing in the South Sound area. The scary part is that many of these homeowners have traditional conventional loans, not the subprime loans that started the mortgage mess. Part of it is that even though homeowners could technically afford their home they still extended themselves when they bought it or re-fied. The other problem is, of course, there are a lot of people who are just struggling. I see it so often in this business. Hard working people who's hours have been cut back or their own small businesses are barely making it. They are not unemployed, just under employed.

If you are one of these folks and are curious about possible options/solutions check out this page on my CDPE website. It talks about loan modification, reinstatement, short sales, deed in lieu of foreclosure and other options.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Gig Harbor Gets a New Park

It's been 8 years in the making, but the new park in Rosedale is set to open this weekend. Can't wait to check it out!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Realtor Association Giving Back

Were you one of the thousands of people who donated food through the US Postal Service's food drive Saturday? I have no idea how much food was collected in Pierce County, but it was definitely a lot because I sorted a bunch of it this morning at the Emergency Food Network distribution center. I was one of about 50 volunteers from the Tacoma Pierce County Association of Realtors helped sort all kinds of donated food and we had a great time. There are literally 10's of thousands of donated food items that will need to be sorted over the next week. It's amazing to see the generosity of Pierce County residents. I learned a few things to about what the best food items are to donate and what might not be the best idea. If you plan on donating again next year, here a few things to keep in mind:

1. The bags of collected food are piled up in large crates, so anything in a glass bottle can break easily. We learned this the hard way when we found a bottle of salad dressing had broken in one of the bags and then drenched a bunch of other items. I still smell like Italian dressing.

2. Boxed items, like cereal and pasta, get crushed easily. Put them in a separate donation bag from the canned items and they seems to survive better.

3. If it expired a few weeks ago it's still okay to donate, unless it's baby food. However, if it expired in 2006 please do not donate it. It has to be thrown away so you might as well do it yourself.

4. The food banks cannot accept food that it not commercially packaged. Several people donated bulk food items, like dried beans, that they scooped into plastic bags at the store and then closed with a twist tie. It's a shame to have to throw good food away, but apparently the food banks can accept that.

5. There are at least 5 different kinds of canned lunch meat. I had no idea there were so many. They all looked kind of gross. (I'm a vegetarian.)

6. Pets need food too! You can donate cat and dog food.

A big "Thank You" to all the Realtors, lenders and title reps who donated their time today! You did a great service to your community!