Archive for January, 2011

Last Saturday was the Walla Walla Association of Realtors annual Awards and Installation Banquet.  The room was decorated in a 50’s theme with several of the attendees dressed to match.  Congratulations to our very own Peter Swant who was recognized as the Realtor of the Year and also to Jerry Holm, recently retired from Coldwell Banker First Realtors, who was give the highest award from our organization, The Lifetime Achievement Award. They are both very deserving.   I would like to add that without the support their spouses neither would have been able to commit the time they have to real estate, our office, community, and other local organizations.   Thank you Anne Swant and Joyce Holm for all you do for your men and your contributions to Coldwell Banker First Realtors.

We are experiencing a lot of activity.   Open Homes are up and going again.  The weather is mild and football is coming to a close.   Remember you see the open houses for the week on our website:  coldwellbankerfirstrealtors.biz.  You can also review any of our advertised homes in more detail.  Our site is one of the easiest sites in Walla Walla to use for access to home information in the Walla Walla Valley.   We hope you use it often.

Several lenders I have talked with recently have also seen a significant increase in their loan inquiries and applications.   Tim Applebee, owner of Home Loan Center, told me they had the best closing month of the year in December which in itself is unusual with all the holiday issues and weather.  To have December your best month is off the charts.   Congratulations Tim and the entire Home Loan Center team.

Megan Eaton, my marketing manager is in the process of re-designed our web site with new colors and easier to use formatting.  From access to community information, the local MLS, career opportunity, Realtors and much more.   We continue to see positive comments on the ease of use of our site for.   Take a look again and send Megan any comments you might have at meaton@cbfr.biz.  She welcomes any comments that would help to improve the use of our site.

Rates are moving higher and the time to buy is now.   Do not wait until spring to start your search or it might be too late.   One percent increase in rate is equal to any real savings in pricing.  Call one of Realtors or send an email and start the process.   Work with a lender and find out your limits for a loan and confirm your credit is strong enough to support the home you wish to own.   We will help in any way we can to make the process smooth and comfortable.

Thanks again for your time.   Remember I am here to assist.

DM Ledford, Firm Broker/Owner

Coldwell Banker First Realtors


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I always like to give you my opinion of the past year and what I expect for the coming 12 months for the Walla Walla Valley in the area of Real Estate.   Generally I felt the year 2010 was very much a normal year for the area.   Gone are the days of 2005-2007 where prices were jumping up every month and the inventory was almost non-existent and the days on market was at the lowest number I had seen in most of my forty year professional life.   The market drove prices beyond the limits of income needed to qualify for a loan for our key families; firemen, police, teachers, and other key young people needed to maintain vitality in a community.    If they cannot afford to own a home in our area they will not live in our area which is a real negative for our community.  However, research done this past year by Eastern Washington University finds the affordability index in Walla Walla the best in Washington at 146%, 100 being neutral, below negative, and above good for affordability.   As a result, prices have been stable even though prices did not collapse in Walla Walla.   Review the information below showing the pricing and trends in the Walla Walla Valley in both Walla Walla and College Place.

Walla Walla 2010 2009 2008
Total Sales 319 314 341
Average Sales Price $223,799 $208,836 $228,357
Median Sales Price $190,000 $185,000 $194,000
Average List Price $234,344 $216,628 $233,437
Median List Price $199,000 $189,250 $199,000
Avg Days on Market 150 167 141


College Place 2010 2009 2008
Total Sales 81 105 63
Average Sales Price $196,470 $191,941 $224,550
Median Sales Price $179,900 $175,000 $208,000
Average List Price $201,581 $197,114 $231,433
Median List Price $183,300 $179,000 $209,000
Avg Days on Market 150 147 146

Of homes sold in 2010, 54% in Walla Walla sold under $200,000.00 and 70% sold under $250,000.00.  In College Place 63% sold under $200,000.00 and 84% sold under $250,000.00.

2011 I feel is going to be good.   The print material and the talk shows are bringing a much more positive dialogue to the media than we received in 2008-2009.   The mental attitude is up and we feel positive we will see more family’s desire to improve in their housing needs either by making the investment for the first time or to step up or move down.    Walla Walla Real Estate is steady.   Look at other areas in the Northwest and they have not been so lucky.  Another reason to feel blessed we live in Walla Walla.

Real Estate in Walla Walla will be a solid investment.   Take a look at your needs and talk to one of our experienced associates and one of our Home Loan mortgage consultants to see if this is the time to make the change in your current housing situation.   2011 could be your year as well.


DM Ledford, Firm Broker/Owner

Coldwell Banker First Realtors

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