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Archive for November, 2010

Winter is here…

Snow and ice greeted my return from Los Angles this past Tuesday.   Slow drive from Portland where we flew in and out of.  Lots of ice and accidents on our return trip up the gorge. It is always good to get home in time to celebrate Thanksgiving with my family and friends and just be back in my own bed.    We all have a lot to be thankful for in Walla Walla and we need to be grateful to live in such a wonderful community.

The prices in Walla Walla have not suffered the devastating drops other areas have suffered the past few years.

Walla Walla average sales price in 2009 was $198,874 and through Oct 31, 2010 it was  $221, 909.

College Place average sale price in 2009 was  $193,899  and through Oct 31, 2010 it was  $203, 507.

We have seen a lower number of sales from 2009 in both Walla Walla and College Place.

2009 residential sales in Walla Walla through 10/31 werw 139 and in College Place 43 but in 2010 through the same period of time period the number of sales fell to  Walla Walla 103 and College Place 24.

Values are not dropping but the number have sales have suffered and I feel the drop off of the tax incentive to first time home buyers created the issue of a lower number of sales in 2010.   The positive is the rates for home loans are still at all time lows and the number of homes to choose from is at a wonderful level.    The time to look at finding your new Walla Walla home is now.   Call one of our great Realtors or go line at www.coldwellbankerfirstrealtors.com.   We are there to assist.

Fun time coming this Saturday with the Christmas Light parade.    Remember we set up for the parade in front of our office at 218 West Main with canopies and chairs with hot coffee, hot chocolate, cookies and candy.   Kids stop and get a bag to load up on all the candy the floats throw out from the street.   We love helping with this fun event each year so stop in and get something warm.    Hope to see you there.

DM Ledford,  Broker/Owner

Coldwell Banker First Realtors

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Sales are up in new home construction and existing home sales.    The market is, however, impacted by the foreclosures and short sales, as high as 39% nationwide. And we are blessed that the Walla Walla Valley always seems to remain stable compared to the national market.   We see distressed sales having a lesser impact here, but we still have our normal market process of people moving out of town and into town, moving from larger to smaller or the reverse, and marriage, death, and birth.   

A change in mindset from when I first purchased a home in 1972 is how we looked at building equity in real estate.    It seemed the only way I would create equity is to reduce my loan balance.   Appreciation was not really that big of an issue 40-50 years ago.   Today people look at real estate ownership as a purchase of an investment commodity.  These last couple of years people seems to sss equity as rapid appreciation and  quick sales to realize their profits.   It created a frenzy to buy and sell, not seeing the bubble.   

We have seen that problem in the stock market with the over valuation of stocks and now we see what it did to the real estate market in the past three years.   Real estate, though, has always rebuilt  because we always need a place to call home and real estate is never worth zero. (unlike some stocks!)

It is a great time to look for investors! Not for the short term but for the long term.    Mortgage rates are lower than any time in the last 70 years! And there are lots of good values in the Walla Walla Valley.  Buy a small single family home as an investment and rent it out, and review its value in a couple of years.   Make a wise purchase, set the rent competitively  and your return on investment will be much higher than your return on your saving accounts!

And here’s a new idea (for me) but not for some of you on how to direct some of your 401 k and IRA funds into cash to purchase real estate.   But as always, talk with your CPA and investment consultant on how it fits your individual case.

“Use your IRA to Invest in Real Estate”, courtesy of Tom Lundstedt, CCIM, www.tomlundstedt.com

Any way I can assist or you have questions please call me and we will talk.  Have a great day.

DM Ledford, Managing Broker/Owner

Coldwell Banker First Realtors

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