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WOW, the Christmas Light Parade was fantastic, this last Saturday. We served over 500 cookies, cups of cocoa, and hot coffee to a big crowd – and ran out of everything! We know some of the kids had more than one cookie and several people had more than one cup of coffee or cocoa, but it worked out well.  Thank you Macy’s for sponsoring such a fun event. We must have had the largest number of floats we have seen over the last five years.

https://www.99acres.com/microsite/articles/files/2016/02/development_charge.jpgI attended the Port Economic Development Advisory Committee Meeting last Tuesday and found out a lot of interesting facts about their activity, and data on growth and housing which I find interesting. The median price of housing has gone up 45% from 2012 to 2017 – to a median price of $220,000. This isn’t crazy in comparison to King and Pierce Counties, where their median price is above $600,000. How does a young family afford to own a home in those areas? It is tough enough with a median price in our Valley of $220,000. The 220,000 does not sound terrible but it is a 45% increase while income has only increased by 15% during that period.

https://i1.wp.com/orlando-rising.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/populaton-growth-750x400.jpgPopulation growth is at 1%. Which is comparable to most of Eastern Washington during the year. Our growth is families moving to Walla Walla and not just new born. Most of the big dollar companies are at Wallula. Boise Cascade is making a huge upgrade from white paper to cardboard products. Several million is being invested, so Pat Rae feels that will keep them in place for several more years.

Unemployment in Walla Walla is in good shape at a 4%. We are the 6th lowest in the State. Benton and Franklin are higher than our County, at 4.5% and 4.8% so all in all, we are looking okay.

Housing is tough. The local MLS on listed 50 homes in November. Many went under contract in the same month. My suggestion is, do not wait for Spring to list your home.   Start now, and you will find a buyer and a better price. Give it some thought. Mortgage rates are still low and who knows what will happen in the coming year.

UntitledSome big changes for College Place for the land that has been sitting vacant for several years just South of Home Depot and East of the Water Tanks. Bob Price and Farran Development have formed a new group to develop that parcel with the Western Segment will be high end multifamily apartments. The East 2/3 will be retail /mixed use. The group have the funds to move forward on the west 1/3 first and break ground in the first part of 2018.

There’s always something happening! If you hear of new things, let me know.

Call if I can assist.

Dennis M. Ledford, Owner/Broker
Coldwell Banker First Realtors

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End of October Blog

https://chambermaster.blob.core.windows.net/userfiles/UserFiles/chambers/65/CMS/convert/www.wwvchamber.com/files/785.jpgFALL IS HERE. It has been just beautiful in the Walla Walla Valley this week. Crisp weather in the morning, with beautiful sunshine in the afternoon – all of the Fall colors are making a show for us all to watch. Take a ride into Pioneer Park this weekend and you will be awed by all the fall colors on display…

https://i1.wp.com/www1.pictures.zimbio.com/bg/Views+Las+Vegas+Shooting+Memorial+Las+Vegas+cLthxNY3Hn4x.jpgI spent some time in Las Vegas this past week for a conference, and it was such an eerie feeling looking at the welcome to Vegas sign and all the white crosses and flowers as we made our way into the strip from the airport. Hundreds of people milling around looking at photos, flowers, stuffed animals and special personal items that represented all the dead. My heart went out to all of the families that suffered losses in the tragedy. God Bless them all.

Kris Sign Draft (800x800)Real Estate is still solid. I saw some statistics from King County over the week and the inventory numbers were amazing. In 2007 they had 15,000+ active listings and currently in 2017 they have less than 3,000. Less than two month’s supply. We are short of inventory here as well, but not at that degree. Sellers still have a great opportunity to sell their homes before the end of the year, and find another home that fits their current needs. Mortgage rates are still just great and look good for the future. The economy is booming and we have a lot of commercial transactions happening as well as new homes being constructed. Oasis Homes is starting some new inventory homes on Whitney Road between Plaza and South Third. If you are looking for an alternative to Hayden Homes call Kris Youd for more information and see if it will work for you. You can reach Kris at (509) 301-3626.

Looking forward to November and December.  I just love the Holidays!

If I can assist in any way let me know.

Dennis M. Ledford, Owner/Broker
Coldwell Banker First Realtors®

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Mid-October Updates

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Vegas shootings/wildfires/controversy. What else could we face in October? I was so shocked with the killing and wounding of so many people in Vegas, who were just trying Image result for disneyland california firesto watch a concert. Wildfires in California have destroyed entire neighborhoods and killed several people in the wake – they still are not under control and more damage to come. And by comparison the most minimal issue is the kneeling when the anthem is played at football games for the NFL. All of these topics are tough ones that have arisen this month but I know we will get through them as One Nation, Under God.

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Where are you at for the voting for the City Council race November 7? Good candidates are available with new and previously existing members. Read carefully about each and make an informed vote. The Chamber is hosting a Q&A this Thursday, which would help you understand what each feel about the operation of our City Government. We need good people to represent the City, and none of us know how much work is involved in their day-to-day work, it is not just attending the monthly meeting.

And as always, do not forget the Real EstateImage result for residential new construction Market. We have less than 150 active listing that are not under contract. If every Broker in Walla Walla sold a home, we would have no inventory. New construction is still a big piece of our inventory, and Hayden Homes have met a lot of the demand in our Valley. We really do not have many alternatives for our families to choose from in buying a new home. The good news is, Oasis Homes are starting homes on Whitney Road soon. I have seen their product line in the Tri-Cities area, and the owner Les Savitch is very creative. He stays in tune with all the new ideas that are coming out in the construction world. Call Kris Youd or Jason Vicari to get information on the new homes Oasis are bringing to our Valley.

Support our Flag and our Country.

God Bless America.

Dennis M. Ledford, Owner/Broker
Coldwell Banker First Realtors

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I could not believe it but the other day, Monday, September 25th, I saw snow at the top of the Blues. I do not think it lasted long but it was there, believe me. Cool mornings and evenings feel great and that is what I enjoy about FALL – the wonderful weather we have in Walla Walla in September and October. Get out and enjoy it while it lasts. That snow might be down on us soon.

Image result for oregon coast oceanMy brother Jerry and I went fishing on the Oregon Coast at Pacific City two weeks ago on the 16th.  Something we have never tried to do but it was amazing. We went out on a Dory boat with a launch from the beach. We were fishing within 10 minutes and we limited on Black Rock Sea Bass, Ling Cod, and Crab. We ate like Kings for two days, with crab salads each day and more on our return. If you ever want to try your luck call me and I will give you a referral to the best captain in the fleet, Mark Lytle. He knows the bottom of that ocean like the back of his hand and he is always coaching on how to hook your fish. They clean your fish and vacuum seal them and cook and clean your crab.   Amazing fun.

If you are thinking of buying a home in the next six months keep these tips in mind.

  1. Talk with a lender to find out what you can afford, however, keep in mind their Image result for home buyingidea what is reality might be different. Look at the cost of your hobbies and their cost and fun with the kids. You want to have funds to still live a real life.
  2. Review your credit score in advance of meeting a lender. HUD recommends going to some home ownership classes before choosing a lender
  3. Once you are pre-qualified and have a Broker, start looking at homes that fit what you want to commit to a housing payment. If you will be using FHA, USDA home loans or other special financing tools, ie; firefighter, teachers, law enforcement, and maybe some state financing.
  4. Negotiation, work with your Coldwell Banker Broker to decide on a strategy that they feel will put you in the best position to get the home. Multiple offers complicate the process but listen to your Real Estate Professional
  5. Always have a home inspection by a professional before you close your transaction.

These ideas and notes should help.

Let me know if I can answer any questions.

Thanks,

Dennis M. Ledford, Owner/Broker
Coldwell Banker First Realtors®

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Smoke from the surrounding fires is really creating health issues, even for myself. I worked in my garden over the Labor Day weekend and my eyes were watering, coughing, sneezing, and my sinus drip was terrible. We had a small break in the smokey air early this week.. But now it’s back! Photos of the Eagle Creek Fire in the Gorge are amazing. I cannot believe they were able save the Lodge at Multnomah Falls from destruction. They must have had a river of water pouring over the building. It is such a classic building and it would have been so sad to have it burn down.

As Seen on TVWe are just starting our adventure into TV advertising with my office on the Charter network. We are trying to work on building our name in the community more than it currently is. We have picked channels like Food Network, HGTV, History, Discovery, and a few more. It will be interesting to see how it will work. It will not advertise properties but instead the Brokers at Coldwell Banker First Realtors and what they do in our community, the technology we have, and the marketing we do to make our company the best in the Valley. Try to see some of our ads and give me comments.

GroupMortgage rates are still good and the market strong. Lots of buyers and they are looking hard. Remember to always to get pre-approved before starting your search. Work with a lender to get that started. I suggest Tera Davis from Academy Mortgage. If you need help, she is definitely the one to ask. Then find a Broker to talk with and start your search – of course, I recommend a Realtor® from Coldwell Banker First Realtors®. Go to our Website and look at them, read their profiles and find the Broker which you feel will be the person for you to work with.

Let me know if I can assist.

Dennis M. Ledford, Owner/Broker
Coldwell Banker First Realtors®

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IMG_7051The Solar Eclipse was so cool. We stood outside the office with the special paper sun glasses and stared at it for about thirty minutes. It was an amazing site to see. I hope some of you did get to see it. Traffic in the Oregon areas was just terrible with all the main viewing areas be run over by on lookers.

Special day for us on Earth.

Real Estate is still going strong. Pricing is a problem with too many being put on the market at a higher price than the market will handle. Sellers be aware of how important pricing is in the sale of your property.  Also, cleaning and organization of the home are big parts of selling at a good price and in a timely manner.

Reading material on the national housing market shows a significant drop in home sales across the country.  Why????  Prices going up and current median price across the country is now above $310,000. Affordability makes it more difficult to purchase a home in many areas. We are seeing our pricing going up but not at the level we see in the Portland area and the Seattle area. They are seeing year over year increase at 12-15%.   Hard to stay with the market without significant income increases.

1A lot happening still downtown. The parking lot next to the Post office on Second just sold to an investment group with plans to do something with it in the future. I am sure the Port is glad to get some of their money back on the land which they had no plans for.

Also, I went by the Mall and saw actual new construction at the site. They are adding a big  addition onto one of the buildings they had sitting vacant for years on the Myra and Poplar corner. Let’s hope it moves forward.

https://i1.wp.com/www.ocregister.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/08/llws_baseball_walla_24342481.jpgCongratulations to Valley Little league team and their victories to get to the Little League World Series in Williamsport Pennsylvania. What an experience. I am so proud of our community for the financial support put together to the families there that could not afford to make it happen.

Great job boys.

If I can help give me a call.

 

Dennis M Ledford, Owner/Broker
Coldwell Banker First Realtors®

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It’s Hot.

https://cdn.patchcdn.com/users/272847/2014/07/T800x600/37fa9cb9dd26edcca040b533a6bb97b7.jpgWell it is hot. (Understatement!!!!) I see where it is to be 106 later this week. That will slow down my garden time. I mowed my pasture this morning at 7:15 AM and fortunately I am out away from homes so I could start early while it was still cool. Be safe this week, heat stroke is a real issue and can kill you. Stay well hydrated and stay out of the heat.

Image result for salmon fishingI just got back from my annual trip to salmon fish at the Coastal Springs Floating Lodge.    I caught some great salmon, my biggest was 20 pounds but we brought back over 40 pounds of fillets. That will last us another year. The weather was great, no wind, and around 70 degrees.  It’s really a wonderful lodge.

Real Estate is still moving quickly in Walla Walla and some new subdivisions are starting up. We are lucky to have some new construction in place and more to come. New residential listings for July in Walla Walla and College Place were 111 and of that total, 47 already have pending offers on them. That is heavy activity. It is good to see and when we get new coming up we will see even more closings. If you need help call one of my Image result for quickly sold real estateBrokers for assistance at Coldwell Banker First Realtors. All are trained at the highest level and will assist in all your needs.

Rates are still low and I really feel you need to be prepared to make a solid offer with as few contingencies as possible. Make sure you have a pre-approval letter for submission because in multiple offer situations it is mandatory.

Let me know if I can assist.

Regards,

 

Dennis M Ledford, Owner/Broker
Coldwell Banker First Realtors®

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