Economy · Real Estate

Thinking of Moving your Business?

Ever wonder where the best place is to have your business? Consider moving your business to Vancouver, WA!

Check out Forbes special report dated Sep. 23, 2009. Below are the top 10 states reported by Forbes.

#1 Virginia
#2 Washington!!! Consider Commercial Business Opportunities in Clark County, WA!
#3 Utah
#4 Colorado
#5 North Carolina
#6 Georgia
#7 North Dakota
#8 Texas
#9 Nebraska
#10 Oregon

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Law/Regulations · Real Estate · Selling Real Estate

Washington State Residents, Did you know…

Did you know that effective July 1, 2010 Washington state adopted the 2009 International Building, Residential, Mechanical and Fire Codes?

One change that is of particular interest to the real estate market is the requirement that all existing residences (Residential Building Group R1, R2 and R3) sold on or after July 1, 2011 must have carbon monoxide (CO2) alarms (complying with UL 2034) installed based on this new code and the manufacturer’s installation instructions. This means sellers will be required to install them before selling. Fortunately, a seller should be able to easily purchase carbon monoxide detectors in the smoke alarm section of any local building or hardware store or department.

Starting January 1, 2011 all new construction homes (Residential Building Group R-1, R-2 and R-3) will also be required to have CO2 detectors installed.

According to the Washington State Building Code Counsel, Group R-1 includes hotels & motels, R-2 includes apartments and R-3 single family, except owner occupied single family.

According to the US Consumer Product Safety Commission, Carbon monoxide (CO) is a deadly, colorless, odorless, poisonous gas. It is produced by the incomplete burning of various fuels, including coal, wood, charcoal, oil, kerosene, propane, and natural gas. Products and equipment powered by internal combustion engine-powered equipment such as portable generators, cars, lawn mowers, and power washers also produce CO.

The US Consumer Product Safety Commission reports that on average, about 170 people in the United States die every year from CO produced by non-automotive consumer products. These products include malfunctioning fuel-burning appliances such as furnaces, ranges, water heaters and room heaters; engine-powered equipment such as portable generators; fireplaces; and charcoal that is burned in homes and other enclosed areas. In 2005 alone, CPSC staff is aware of at least 94 generator-related CO poisoning deaths. Forty-seven of these deaths were known to have occurred during power outages due to severe weather, including Hurricane Katrina. Still others die from CO produced by non-consumer products, such as cars left running in attached garages. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that several thousand people go to hospital emergency rooms every year to be treated for CO poisoning.

For more information about this upcoming change check out the Washington State Building Code Counsel or your local building code office.

For information about the dangers of carbon monoxide, refer to the US Consumer Product Safety Commission.

Please note that I am not endorsing the above brand of CO2 detector, I merely included a picture to show what one looks like.  They look very similar to smoke detectors. There are also combo smoke and CO2 detectors on the market.

And now for my disclaimer, I’m not a lawyer, so please consult a legal professional if you have questions.

Buyers · Real Estate · Selling Real Estate

New Search Feature Added!

I’m pleased to announce my new Property Search feature has been activated on my website. I’m very excited about adding this powerful feature to my site. It allows you to search for properties, save property searches, have new listings sent directly to your email, request additional information or showings and much, much more.

My website is your doorway to the SW Washington real estate market. Google: JoElla Realty to find me. How easy is that? Please check it out soon and let me know what you think. byjoella.com

Economy · Real Estate

Home sales are up…

Real Estate is picking up as home sales increase.  We are seeing more and more bidding wars on the lower priced homes.  Look in the rear view mirror folks and you’ll see the bottom of house prices as they start to slide back up ever so slowly.

Investors aren’t making much money in the banks, so many of them are buying up real estate.  Many of them are pooling their assets to purchase low priced homes. These money pools enable them to offset the risk of buying homes, making it a desirable venture.  This means the regular family home buyer needs to be prepared to make a competitive offer if they want to buy a home.

No word if Washington DC will extend the tax credit as the deadline inches closer. If you want to take advantage of the tax credit, it’s best to avoid short sales and, in some cases, bank owned properties that are notorious for taking a long time to close.  On the flip side, waiting could save you as much or more than the actual tax credit.

It’s a numbers and waiting game where everyone wants to win. If you’re a home buyer, buy because you want the house so you won’t regret the purchase later. There’s nothing worse than compromising to get a deal instead of getting the house you really wanted.

Real Estate

Time is ticking on…

There’s an urgency in the air. If you’re keeping up with the real estate market at all, you know that time is running out to get in on the $8000 income tax credit.

The closer we get to the deadline, the less time a buyer has to close a deal in time. Lenders are getting busy, they are running out of time to work the loans in time for the deadline.

Thinking of buying a short sale before the deadline? You might as well forget it unless you’re already in line at the bank. They take a long time with no guarantee the bank will look at your offer in time, much less make a decision. And if the bank doesn’t take your offer after all your waiting, you have no deal and then you have to start over again–with less time. On top of all that, most short sale homes already have multiple offers waiting in line at the bank. Key word: “WAITING.” Waiting means time and as we know, time is running out.

Yes, I’m being blunt. When you are running out of time, you have to focus your search efforts and look for the deal you know you can close.

It’s all a timing and waiting game.  I’m reminded of the rabbit in Alice in Wonderland, …I’m late, I’m late, for a very important date. No time to say “Hello!” “Good bye!” I’m late, I’m late, I’m late… 🙂

Of course there is the option of not caring if you get the $8000. In that case, you can spend your time searching for the perfect deal.  Maybe you will get a short sale for such a good price that getting the $8000 becomes insignificant because of the amount of money you saved on the house.

Honestly, the deals are out there. Getting the $8000 can be less significant if you save a lot of money on the price. Of course, then there’s the issue of interest rates going up and down!  UGH!  It is always something.

It’s all about perspective (how you look at things) and where you place your priorities. Perfect timing shows itself after it happens!

Determine your needs and wants.  Do you need the $8000 to buy? Do you need a good interest rate? Do you need the lowest price? Do you need to buy now?

Do you want to buy in the Clark County area? I’m available to discuss the buying opportunities here–pressure free!

Real Estate · Statistics

The market stats are in…

Stats for June are in!  The inventory of homes on the market for the month is DOWN from 11.1 in May to 7.9 in June for SW Washington.  That compares to 12.6 a year ago and 6.8 two years ago!!! Portland is down 10.2 to 8.2, which compares to 9.5 a year ago and 5 two years ago.

The Inventory in Months statistic means that based on current trends, if no more homes went on the market, the current inventory would exhaust itself in 7.9 months.  This supports my comment I made in my May 29 post, “… this waiting game can give a false illusion that there are more houses available than there really are. When the bank finally responds, the short sale homes will finally drop from the active list, but remember, the activity was generated months before.”

Market time in June dropped to to 153 from 167.  That means if you put your house on the market, the average days on market before it sells is 153 days.  YTD pending sales are up 6.2%.

The average sale price change is down 13.2 from a year ago.  That means homes are selling for an average of 13.2% less than a year ago.  Since this is an average, one might wonder what areas are doing better?  Good question!  The YTD average sale price with the least change reported in SW Washington is SE County (16.0%), Cascade Park (-0.4%) ,  Battle Ground (-9.5%), and West of I5 County (-5.2%).  That means that home in these areas are selling for closer to the same price they sold a year ago.

These statistics are based on monthly figures reported by RMLS™ of which I am a member.

Buyers · Real Estate · Statistics

Foreclosure list shorter…

I get an automatic foreclosure list from HomeSteps.com, A Freddie Mac Unit, emailed to me weekly for my area.  Lately I noticed the list has consistently had less homes on it.  There were 11 listed on June, 10, 8 listed on June 17 and 8 listed today, compared to nearly double that earlier in the year. (Hindsight: Wish I would have tracked the number of homes that were listed on there from the beginning.)

I hope this decrease is an indicator that less people are losing their homes and/or more banks are working with their customers to keep their home!

Home prices and interest rates are still low. Locking into a low priced home with a fixed low interest rate is a good hedge against future inflation!!!