Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Blog Squad Site Up And running

The Real Estate Blog Squad official website is up and the blogging has begun.

Please visit, and we welcome all comments.

I am also still posting current Wenatchee area real estate info, news and trends on my other blog, !

See you there,

Realtors Join Relief Effort

The National Assn. of REALTORS® took the lead in relief efforts this week and real estate professionals around the country have been responding in kind. NAR announced today it will contribute an additional $1 million to funds established by REALTOR® associations in Louisiana, Alabama and Mississippi to provide emergency relief to victims of Hurricane Katrina. Earlier this week NAR made an initial donation of $50,000 to each of three state REALTOR® associations to help them establish funds to provide emergency assistance.As the extent of the suffering and devastation caused by Katrina becomes clear, NAR is stepping up its efforts to raise funds from Realtors for emergency relief in the Gulf Coast.

To read the complete text of this article, click here. NAR has set up a relief fund, from which they are absorbing all administrative fees. In other words, if you donate to the National Association of Realtor's relief fund, ALL (100%) of your donation will go to help those in need. There will not be any administrative fees deducted! As you may know, many charitable organization do take a large percentage of their donations to administer the organization. Please consider making a donation, no matter how small.


Sunday, August 28, 2005

Oh... The Irony

Dear Readers,
Did you see the interview on CNN the other day with the woman who said gas prices were really hurting her family? She had to shop alone, so the kids didn't beg for things at the store. She was having to cut back in several ways because of the high cost of gas. As the story ends, she drives off in her 2005 GMC Danali. If it weren't so sad, I'd have to laugh. Does anyone see the irony in this?

I'm constantly amazed at the number of new, gas guzzling, SUVs on the road now. These are expensive vehicles, then the owners have the audicity to complain about oil prices. Are these the same people who sit in line (with their vehicle idling) waiting to be served their $3.50 Double Tall Vanilla Latte (or whatever flavor they like). Whatever happened to the $1 cup of coffee or (heaven forbid) brewing your own!?!

Sadly, I suspect many of these new SUVs are being purchased with home equity loans. To me, this is a travesty. Home equity loans should be used to pay off high interest bills or investing in some equity growth tool, such as buying real estate or some other income producing investment. If you have to take out a home equity loan to buy a car, my opinion is you should be buying something a little more conservative than an SUV. Remember the old saying, "if you have to look at the price, you can't afford it"? Well, if you can't afford the gas (and don't forget insurance), you shouldn't be buying the vehicle.

If we're really concerned about oil prices, we need to reduce consumption, conserve, make some adjustments. If everyone did just a little, it would make a big difference and not be painful at all. We could carpool, take mass transit, telecommute. We could make one less trip a week to town. We could park at the bank and actually go inside instead of idling in the drive-through. The exercise certainly wouldn't hurt us! The possibilities are endless.

My husband & I took a trip to southern Alberta last week, as we do every summer, to visit his sisters and other relatives. Usually, we drive our 1989 custom van, which gets 15-18 miles per gallon... depending on driving conditions. The van is, admittedly, an older model but we keep it in good mechanical condition, looking nice, and it is so comfortable to drive. Plus, we can crawl in the back and take a nap if we get tired. But, this year we decided we were going to do something to contribute to reducing our oil consumption. We drove our 1999 Mitsubishi Galant instead. It's small, but comfortable, and the seats recline for some occassional shut-eye. It gets 30 - 33 mpg on the road. For the 1188 miles we drove, I figure we saved about 80 gallons of fuel. I love the idea of the cost savings, which was over $200... but I also like the idea of doing my part to conserve. If everyone figured out a way of reducing their consumption by 80 gallons by the end of the year, it would be huge.

Just my $200 worth!

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Gone Traveling

Dear Readers,
I will be on vacation until Saturday, August 27th. Check my other blog for posts from the road later today or tomorrow.

Have a great week!

Saturday, August 20, 2005

Trump University

Dear Readers,
Anyone who is interested in real estate has to be fascinated (or at least intriqued) with Donald Trump (aka: The Donald) and what he has done, and is doing, in business.

I just discovered a weblog connected with the " Trump University", with posts from "The Donald" himself, as well as other approved "experts". Since I just discovered this blog's existence, I haven't had a chance to study it in depth, but I did find many of the posts interesting and thought provoking. Also there are many links to a multitude of "successories".

Please check it out and let me know what you think.

Have a great week-end,

Thursday, August 18, 2005

Apartment Rented

I put a small classified ad in the paper Monday and received several calls. The first person who looked at the apartment committed to a one year lease. I love it when a plan comes together.

Have a great week-end,

Monday, August 15, 2005

Cashmere, WA - Apartment For Rent

Available September 1st:
* $595 / month
* Spacious 2 bedroom, 1 bath
* Central heating & air conditioning
* 2 Parking spots
* Convenient location near downtown

Call Carol for more info or a preview:

Saturday, August 13, 2005

East Wenatchee - Multi-Family

Dear Readers,
Here is some info on a new-on-the-market listing for a multi-family property. It is actually two 4-plex buildings on two tax parcels, selling together:

$3800 per month stated income
$125 - laundry income

Taxes: $3468

Please let me know if you're interested in a preview or additional information on this property.


Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Help Needed For Buyers

Dear Readers,
I am working with several buyers looking for multi-family income properties. So far we have not found just what they are looking for through the Multiple Listing Service. If you, or someone you know, is interested in selling please call or e-mail me:

* 20+ rental units (prefer brick structure): $ Negotiable depending on income
* Always need: Duplexes, 4-plexes and other multi-family income properties

* Always need: Fixer upper single family residences $ Any price range

On my other blog, I have posted an extensive list of needs for primary residence and land buyers. Any help will be appreciated.


Saturday, August 06, 2005

Shared Appreciation Home Loans

Dear Readers,
As the real estate markets across the country continue to be hot, lenders are getting creative to compete for the business these days. One thing to remember is that, for the most part, any loan is available in any locale. All the lenders (big and small) work under the same federal guidelines. In other words, if you see an ad on TV for a great loan program, contact your favorite local lender and ask if is available. It has been my experience that the TV ads are not all they're cracked up to be and end up being a big nuisance because you're not dealing with a local lender who knows the local market. So, whether you're buying Wenatchee real estate or real estate in New York City... don't be fooled by a "come on" ad. Do your due diligence and work with a local lender whenever possible.

One of the more recent developments is the 40 year mortgage as compared to the standard 30 year mortgage. This, of course, helps reduce the monthly payment... but stretches out your payments another 10 years. In analyzing some ammortization tables, the monthly reduction doesn't seem to justify the extended payment period but, as always, it's something to be considered depending on the individual circumstances.

A new concept that I had never heard of before is the "Shared Appreciation Home Loan". This is where the borrower gets a reduction in the interest rate in return for agreeing to share a percentage of future appreciation with the lender. I don't know if this type of loan is only available for single family residences or if an investment property would qualify. Neither do I know if the lender shares in the selling costs before calculating "equity".

I will see if I can learn more and report back. Whenever you are shopping for a loan, consider all options then choose the best one for your individual circumstances. One of the keys to doing this is finding a good mortgage officer who will be honest with you and not try to sell you on a loan option that will result in the highest commission to them.

Hope you're enjoying the week-end,

Friday, August 05, 2005

Multi-Family / Income Properties Available

There are only 9 Multi-family/income properties available
in the immdiate Wenatchee real estate market area, ranging
in price from: $125,000 - $1,050,000

Here is a summary of the properties:
$125,000 - 2 units (one 3-bedroom, one 2 bedroom) $1,000 per mo. stated income
$139,900 - 2 units (both 2-bedrooms) $1,100 per mo. stated income
$149,500 - 2 units (both 2 bedrooms) $ No stated income
$167,900 - 4 units (three 2 bedroom, one 2-bedroom) $1,600 per mo. stated income
$289,000 - 3 units (one three bedroom, one 2-bedroom, one 1-bedroom) $1,570 stated inc.
$399,900 - 3 units + 2 acres of pears and shop $ No stated income
$459,000 - 7 units (4 separate parcels with multiple possibilities) $3,100 stated income
$725,000 - 20 units (14 studios & six 1-bedrooms) $6,678.66 stated income per month
$1,050,000 - 32 units (all 1-bedroom, 1 bath) $12,640 per month stated income

Please call me for complete details and recommendations. You may also search for these and other properties on my main real estate website. Also, visit my other blog for current news, info and trends regarding the Wenatchee and East Wenatchee real estate market area.

Have a great week-end,

All information is deemed reliable but cannot be guaranteed.

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Cashmere: 2.63 Acres - $700,000

Dear Readers,
The most interesting investment piece that's come up in the last few days is a 2.63 acre parcel for $700,000. Seems a little steep at $266,159.69 per acre... but what do I know. I have ceased to be amazed at what's going on in the real estate market.

This particular property is located next to the property currently being developed into the huge new Apple Annie's Antique Mall in Cashmere, along the main highway. I believe this property is owned by the same people developing the mall. With the mall running significantly over budget (and behind schedule), perhaps they are trying to cover some of the costs with the sale of this property. Just speculation on my part.

There have been several articles in the Wenatchee World over the last few months. If you go to the paper's website, go to the "archives" and do a search for "Apple Annie's Antique Mall" or just "antique mall".

This mall, when completed, is really going to be a very fun and interesting place. There will even be bus tours from the West side of the state bringing people in for the day.

Remember to check in with this blog and at my other blog for updates on the mall's progress and Grand Opening.

Have a great day!

Monday, August 01, 2005

Fruitful Bus Stop

Dear Readers,
Here is a link to a post about the most interesting bus stop I've ever seen! Scroll down to the "watermelon". Perhaps we could increase ridership on our Link transit system in Wenatchee with a variation of this idea in apple country.


Flood Insurance

Dear Readers,
I've been working with a young couple who is relocating to Wenatchee from Sparks, Nevada. After spending several weeks looking at Wenatchee real estate, including existing houses and a slew of options in new construction, they've more or less settled on having a home built in a new subdivision in Wenatchee. The one drawback to this particular subdivision is that it's in a designated flood zone. It's not that we're particularly concerned about flooding BUT you never know and it IS in a flood zone, so we have to deal with the consequences.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency ( FEMA ) controls the regulations overseeing this issue. The consequence of being in a blood zone means the builder has to work with certain Federal regulations AND the buyers have to secure flood insurance. Flood insurance rates will depend, among other things, on the insurance company and the type of construction of the home (whether it has a basement or not and how deep the crawl space is if there is no basement). It's actually better not to have a basement in a flood zone because, if there ever is a flood, the crawl space would get flooded not the basement where it would cause actual damage to the interior of the home and the contents.

If you ever consider purchasing a home or investment property in a designated flood zone, do your insurance rate research before finalizing a Purchase and Sale Agreement.

Not all flood zones are created equal... so do your due diligence and make an informed decision.

Have a great week!

Be sure to check out my residential blog too!