Living In The Olympic Rain Shadow

Port Ludlow. All Northwest. Half the Rain.

If you’re familiar with the term Banana Belt and you have any experience with the Pacific Northwest, then you know that the term alone can cause excitement and delight.

As Pacific Northwesterners, we find it hard to sit still and remain inside on a nice sunny day. When the sun comes out on the Olympic Peninsula, it’s breathtakingly beautiful, it smells refreshing, and most people are in good moods while their bodies soak in the Vitamin D.

In Port Ludlow, we are not only surrounded by Mother Nature’s beauty, we also have another special quality – a rain shadow (aka the Banana Belt). That’s right – located in a place where out-of-staters claim that it “rains all the time,” we have a weather phenomenon known as the Olympic Mountain Rain Shadow.

Simply put, it means that storms heading inland from the Pacific Ocean dump most of their moisture on and around the Olympic Mountains, leaving a dry spot in North Puget Sound, right where Port Ludlow is located. Port Ludlow receives an annual average rainfall of just 27 inches compared to 40 or more inches that many other Puget Sound communities receive. Additionally, Port Ludlow’s bayside location moderates air temperatures, creating a warming effect in the winter and gentle cooling on hot summer days.

Mild summer temperatures rise for a few “hot days” (80-90 degrees), and winters are seldom below freezing, with only a few light snowfalls each year. All of this adds up to more days for you to enjoy golfing, boating, kayaking, walking, biking or just taking in all of the lush surroundings – but don’t forget the sunscreen!

If living in the Olympic Rain Shadow is something you’d enjoy, Port Ludlow now offers two neighborhoods with craftsman-inspired new homes. Visit us 7 days a week and tour one of the 4 model homes today!
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Want to learn more?

Contact Chris Murphy at (360) 918-6497 or ChrisMurphy@CBBain.com.

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New Happenings At Point Defiance

Tacoma’s skyline is changing, with new vistas opening up in some of the city’s best-loved locations.

There’s no hiding the work underway at 760-acre Point Defiance Park, a regional attraction that draws more than 3 million visitors annually. So we asked Metro Parks officials to tell us what’s going on. The answer: plenty.

Most obviously, a massive earth-moving project has occurred along the waterfront, where a portion of a federally designated Superfund site is undergoing a transformation. Over the next two years, Metro Parks expects to complete two key projects there.

One is Wilson Way, a 600-foot-long, elevated, bicycle-pedestrian trail, and bridge that will link the park’s trails to Point Ruston and beyond to Ruston Way. At its highest point, the bridge will be 50 feet above the ground and offer an unimpeded perspective of Mount Rainier, Tacoma, Vashon Island and Puget Sound.

“It’s going to be panoramic: more than 180 degrees,” said Roger Stanton, Metro Parks project administrator. “You’ve never seen these views before. Without this project, you couldn’t.”

The bridge will carry cyclists and pedestrians over a new boat-trailer parking lot, across the Vashon ferry access road, and eventually deliver them to a new park loop trail, near the Japanese garden and the park’s bowl area.

On its east end, the Wilson Way trail will connect with a new 11-acre park being built on the former Asarco slag peninsula. For the space, Portland-based artist Adam Kuby will create a sculpture called Alluvion that harks back to the origin of the peninsula and the former Ruston copper smelter that previously dominated the adjacent landscape.

Like Wilson Way, the peninsula park will feature dramatic views. It’s an area wide open for events and other recreational activities and is scheduled to open in 2018.

At the park’s Pearl Street entrance, plans call for construction this year of a roundabout to improve traffic flow into and out of the park and to and from the Vashon ferry dock.

Future development plans for the so-called Triangle area, just east of the Pearl Street entrance, will be discussed at Metro Parks “visioning” sessions planned for later this year.

Meanwhile, inside Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium, workers are building:

  • The Pacific Seas Aquarium, due to open in 2018
  • The Environmental Learning Center, a joint project with Tacoma Public Schools. It will serve students of the Science and Math Institute (SAMI), Zoo visitors and staff.

You can read more about the exciting improvements at DestinationPointDefiance.org.

Broker Spotlight: Stephanie Brooks

captureI got my real estate license in November 2016. Before that, I served as a dental assistant for 13 years and have developed a passion for helping people so the transition to real estate felt natural. After clocking in and out for so long, working hard day in and day out, to make someone else a ton of money, a lightbulb went off and I realized how valuable I am.  It was a scary thing to do (giving up my steady income) but I made the commitment to go 100% real estate the first of the year because holding a part-time job was too difficult. It was getting in the way of my real estate business.

I choose Coldwell Banker Bain because of the amazing training! Like I said I was a dental assistant for 13 years and knew nothing about real estate. It was like a foreign language but in the new agent training class, I was welcomed into a fun, energetic and encouraging environment where I have learned so much. No question is a stupid question and I have lots!

When I’m not helping clients, I really enjoy treasure hunting! In the summer my husband and I spend our free time looking for things to repurpose. Almost everything I own is second hand. I also really enjoy cooking and spending time mingling at the farmers market.

I choose real estate as a profession because you get out what you put in, plus you get to make your own schedule. Right now, I don’t have kids so, therefore, I have the time to dive into my business full time but in the future, I do plan to be a mom and when that time comes being an agent allows me the freedom to work when I want. Also, I want to build a business that I’m able to pass on to my children.

Stephanie Brooks
T: 253-754-8078
E: stephaniebrooks@cbbain.com
stephaniebrooks.coldwellbankerbain.com

A Little Education Goes A Long Way

When it comes to buying (or selling!) a house, knowing what to expect can make the experience much smoother.  Knowing there may be help for the down payment and a variety of financing options to fit your situation—can make the dream of owning your own home a reality.

The Washington State Housing Finance Commission has put together a Homebuyer Class to make homeownership more affordable and the process of buying a home more understandable.  Once a buyer has taken the Free Commission-sponsored 5-hour class, they are certified for the next two years to access special loans and possibly down payment assistance, depending on the location of the home they want to buy.

Classes are lead by a Commission-trained real estate and mortgage professionals who present their expertise in an unbiased way.  Attendees will leave not only with a guide to home loans workbook, but also a starting point for their home-buying project, peace of mind, and answers to many questions they may have.  Additional resources will be available for anything that may come up along the way.

A Lender Representative will cover topics such as how many homes you can afford, how to budget, options to repair your credit if needed, kinds of loans, how to choose the best one for your situation, and options for down payment assistance.

A Real Estate Broker will cover topics like choosing your Real Estate Agent, selecting a home, negotiating a sale, the importance of a home inspection, the loan closing process, and foreclosure prevention.

Homebuyers looking to make the most of their budget by finding a home that qualifies for down-payment assistance may want to check out the culture and convenience of the Lincoln District in Tacoma’s South End.  Also known as the International District, it is home a variety of historic architecture styles and a diverse choice of cafes, specialty markets, and longstanding mom-and-pop stores.  The City of Tacoma recently dedicated funds to rejuvenate the area and to highlight the area, they will be hosting a Homebuyer Class in the heart of the Lincoln District on February 25th from 9 am – 2:30 pm.

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For more information about the Homebuyer Education Seminar or to plan a casual coffee chat about your current estate needs, contact Kristina Loper at 253-778-6255 or www.kristinaloper.com.

 To register visit: http://bit.ly/LincolnHES

2017 is the time to sell with inventory selling so very fast

c1-old-city-hall-photoHOME SALES STATISTICS 2015 TO 2017

According to Northwest Multiple Listing Services data, the most important points revealed were not sales, instead, the inventory for sale (supply).

We all realize that the best time to sell anything is when demand is high and the supply of that item is selling fast.

STATISTICS SHOW FROM 2015-2017

  • Total housing inventory is down 27.4% to 768 homes available for sale in the greater Tacoma area.
  • That represents a 1.9-month supply. At the current sales pace, that’s down 34.5%since 2015.
  • This is forcing prices up 9.7% to an average sales price of $256,130. 2015 average sales price is $207,931.
  • Homes average days on market is down 27.1% to 35 days.
  • Closed sales in Tacoma are up 9.2%
  • Homes sold at or above list price up 35%

WOW! What are you waiting for? Call today and get a jump-start on the competition.

If you are going to sell, now may be the time to take advantage of the ready, willing, and able buyers that are out looking for homes. The buyers are hungry; lets feed-em!

– Richard Houldsworth

WHAT DOES 1.9 MONTH SUPPLY MEAN? IT MEANS THE WOLVES (BUYERS) ARE HUNGRY!

1-6 month supply seller’s market | 6-7 month supply balanced market | 6-12 month supply buyers market.

So you can see we are in an extreme seller’s market. Unfortunately, there won’t be much relief from new home construction, which continues to be grossly inadequate in relation to demand.

CALL TODAY TO SEE WHAT YOUR HOME IS WORTH
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Richard Houldsworth 253-468-8673
RichardHouldsworth@CBBain.com
http://www.RichardHouldsworth.com

Broker Spotlight: Jennifer Davidson

From the first moment I called, Coldwell Banker Bain made me feel part of the team. The support, education, and tools that Coldwell offers is hands down the best around!

Ijennifer-davidson‘ve been in Real Estate for about two years. My background has been in Human Resources and Customer Service. Real Estate affords me the opportunity to combine both. Clients are always looking for a solution to their reason for seeking a new home. This role allows me to be solution oriented and gives me a driven purpose to provide service excellence.

Choosing Real Estate makes sense. I love architecture, the details of contracts, working with people and I’ve always enjoyed working in sales. For me, it’s the perfect match!
I love the outdoors. We hike, kayak, camp, snow shoe and fish as often as we can. Living in the Great Northwest gives us millions of places to explore and we love our family adventures.

I took up “wogging” several years ago. This would be my version of walking/jogging. Since then, I’ve now completed two full marathons. Yes. That is 26.2 miles. I’ve decided I’m a much better 1/2 marathoner and I’m looking forward to the runs I’m participating in this year and I’m always working to improve my personal record.

I live by the motto of I hope to always be a little better or do a little more today than I did yesterday. So far, it’s working.

Find out more about Jennifer Davidson on her website here.

Proctor: Where History and Tradition Find a Home

proctor-clockWell-maintained century-old houses shaded by tall, even older trees (come with a tire swing attached) mark the historic Proctor neighborhood, a place that just feels like home.

Named after John G. Proctor (1854-1925), a community leader who, as an architect, designed many of the homes here, the neighborhood today is the very essence of an urban village, boasting charming storefronts and local small businesses, a convenient, walkable retail core and restaurants that satisfy just about every palate. The University of Puget Sound keeps intellectual pursuits high and ensures a steady stream of cultural events. Other year-round events, including history walks, the Junior Daffodil Parade, cooking classes, art classes and more, mean there’s something for every member of the family in Proctor. Including your furry family member, who’s apt to find a doggie treat or water bowl set outside many a District business.

Unique to Proctor is the Blue Mouse Theater, one of the oldest in Washington, and the Chalet Bowl, where a game of 10 pins still provide hours of fun for young and old alike.

More than anything, though, it’s the residents themselves who make Proctor one of the most sought-after neighborhoods in Tacoma. People who live here honor it, celebrate it and support the efforts to keep it’s rich character alive and well.  “It’s just one of the many reasons I choose to join Coldwell Banker Bain | Proctor,” Hollie Johnson noted.

hollie-johnson-photoShe also remarked that “After meeting so many welcoming members of the Proctor Business District Association, I knew I was going to be at home working here. These small, local, and family-owned businesses come together regularly to support each other serve their community and I am excited to participate in the cause!”

Visit Hollie Johnson on her webpage: HollieJohnson.com