Vancouver, WA Real Estate News

By John Slocum, Broker, SFR - Vancouver WA Real Estate
(Premiere Property Group, LLC - Vancouver Washington)
If These Walls Could Talk! Uncovering the Potential in Your Client's Home Do YOU have clients who's house could use a NEUTRAL MAKEOVER? Have you just met seller and were shocked by the colors and the wallpaper issues? I have a few ideas that have worked for us and I will share them with you. I have seen many homes that if the walls could talk...they'd be screaming! "Remove this awful color and this peeling wall paper!" Personally I feel that if you are NOT addressing these issues with your clients, you are not looking out for your clients best interests. Why not? These things can cost your sellers THOUSANDS in LOST equity. --Wallpaper vs. paint...neutral is better: Any answer from the sellers, other than "we know, we're going to remove the wallpaper and paint" is the wrong answer and t...
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By Sheila Reynolds, Home Stager Vancouver Wa & Portland
(StageUsNow, LLC, dba; Presentations Home Staging)
I feel blessed living in Clark County, you know, there are so many FREE programs available to learn about this wonderful area!  WSU has an extension that I've taken called Living on the Land, for people with small acreage, with a plethora of information about how to care for your property in the most cost effective and desirably green way. We at Presentations Home Staging have implemented all of Naturally Beautiful Backyards "pesticide free" home solutions, where bad bugs get eaten by good bugs, where cleaning the house (this was an added bonus") became something to look forward too, yes, I said look forward to, no harsh chemical odors, what a relief! We recycle, reuse, and even have a worm bin for scraps! Every house we stage gets information on how to live better, and how to lessen ou...
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By John Slocum, Broker, SFR - Vancouver WA Real Estate
(Premiere Property Group, LLC - Vancouver Washington)
Infusing Paint - Going GREEN Recently a friend of mine introduced me to a great idea that is both GREEN and Positive! I mentioned to her about finding recycled paint (Metro Paint) that is a fraction of the price of regular paint and is great for one coat coverage, downside...it has a really strong odor. Michelle let me know about a friend of hers who uses essential oils in the paint to infuse "scents" in a room. To simply remove the odor use Peppermint Oil (and stir very well) and it will eliminate the strong paint smell! So I thought I would share this with anyone on the blog who is interested! There are several varieties of Essential Oils, one for every room and mood, here are some suggestions for infusing paint in specific locations: Home Office - Infuse with Abundance, Inspiration F...
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By John Slocum, Broker, SFR - Vancouver WA Real Estate
(Premiere Property Group, LLC - Vancouver Washington)
The other day we were networking at one of our favorite Starbucks Vancouver locations and were talking on the topic of how earth friendly, green living has been working its way into the real estate and building industry. Of course the three Big “R’s” of the Green Movement are Reduce; Re-Use, and Recycle. So we discussed how we ourselves are being green right that moment at Starbucks. During that we came with a few more Starbucks related R’s to add to the basic three R’s mentioned above. To Reduce we often bring our own mug or order our beverage and request a porcelain cup, which reduces the need for a paper cup. We wondered how much difference that could make, and read from AboutMyPlanet.com that 16 Billion paper cups are used for coffee each year in the USA. That equals about 6.5 mill...
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By John Slocum, Broker, SFR - Vancouver WA Real Estate
(Premiere Property Group, LLC - Vancouver Washington)
Vancouver Washington Home Ownership Tips: Turf-bits about Lawns Believe it or not, the green, grassy lawns that are common in Vancouver came from the English aristocracy in the mid-18th century, which were the only home-owners of the time to be able to both afford the expanse of land required and the manual labor required to maintain them. According to American-Lawns and the History of Lawns in America mechanical mowing came about early in the 19th century but it wasn’t until Elwood McGuire of Indiana in 1870 devised a machine that could be made for the masses.  By 1885 50,000 lawnmowers a year were being built! One of the challenges we face growing a grass-lawn in Vancouver Washington and the Pacific Northwest are the 3 or 4 months of very dry conditions we have in the summer.  Withou...
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By John Slocum, Broker, SFR - Vancouver WA Real Estate
(Premiere Property Group, LLC - Vancouver Washington)
Happy Father's Day! To those of those of you who are father's and looking through AR today, I wish you a Happy Father's Day!  My Father  - by Kathryn When I was born in the 60's my father was already a father, 8 times over!  I became his 9th child (yes, to the same woman and no we were not Catholic) with 5 sons and 4 daughters, my poor father didn't ever get a "glorified" Father's Day like the father's of today. My father, David, worked every day, even on Sunday, right after church he would change into his grubbies and head out to his shop (a make shift automobile repair shop) on our property.  Cars, big expensive gas-guzzling cars, would be lined up outside his shop waiting for him.  He was truly a wonderful mechanic and his clients requested only him and always knew where they could ...
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May data was recently released by RMLS and it shows that the number of homes for sale in Clark County is climbing again.  In the month of May, there were 5,048 active listings (up from 4,775 in April).  There were 400 homes sold in this same period (up from 386 in April).  This translates to 12.6 months of inventory (active listings divided by the number of closed sales).  Another way to look at the inventory calculation is at the current rate of home sales, it would take 12.6 months to sell everything that is currently on the market, assuming no other homes were listed in that period. Following is a graphic representation of monthly inventory levels starting in January 2006 through May 2008: SOURCE: Based on data reported by RMLS.  Graph created by Patty & Scott Carroll.   The high inv...
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By John Slocum, Broker, SFR - Vancouver WA Real Estate
(Premiere Property Group, LLC - Vancouver Washington)
Moving to Vancouver Washington Part 103 - Calendars Exploring Vancouver Washington This is part 3 of the series on Vancouver Washington. John and I took these pictures of the area, and along with this calendar, is a good start on our local area. We love the Farmer's Market, the produce is so fresh and local. About the pictures: The first is of Maryhill apples, the second is flags and banners marking the entrance to the Farmer's Market and the last picture was taken when we made a stop at the Frenchman's Bar Area along the Columbia River. It's a public park right along the water with lots of parking and picnic areas.   City of Vancouver Amphitheater at Clark County Chamber of Commerce City of Camas Clark County Calendar Clark County Fairgrounds & Exhibition Center Clark County Historica...
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By Paul W. Thompson, Going Above and Beyond...
(Homestreet Bank)
And, no, 80-20% combinations are not coming back, and no there will not be a 100% one loan on a 600 score 1 day out of bankruptcy, as one lender offered back in 2005. However, there is 100% financing one loan out there for one who can go full doc, most likely looking at a score above 600(this one is not minimum-score driven), and 2 years out of a bankruptcy, 4 years out of a foreclosure, and that is a VA loan. Of course, one has to be eligible for VA financing, which includes, but is not limited to: One who served in the military and received an honorable discharge as long as he or she served for 90 continuous days during wartime or 181 days during peacetime A spouse of a deceased veteran who died while in military service. Why VA financing? Here are some reasons: 100% financing for a p...
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By Patty Carroll
High Inventory of Homes for Sale Means More Choice for Buyers! According to the National Association of Realtors, inventory of homes for sale is at a 15 year-high.  There are currently more than 5,000 residential properties for sale in Clark County, alone.  This means more choice for qualified home buyers. Mortgage Rates Near Historic Lows According to the National Association of Realtors, mortgage rates for buyers who qualify are near historic lows.  They have been hovering around 6% ... the same as they were 45 years ago!  Low interest rates, coupled with recent market corrections and increased inventory levels, give buyers a unique opportunity right now. Thinking of Buying? ... or Know Someone Who Is? Click Here to request free reports by email including "10 TIPS FOR FIRST-TIME HOME ...
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By John Slocum, Broker, SFR - Vancouver WA Real Estate
(Premiere Property Group, LLC - Vancouver Washington)
Moving to Vancouver Washington Vancouver Washington 102 Vancouver Washington sits on the north bank of the Columbia River directly across from Portland Oregon. The Pacific Coast is less than 90 miles to the west. The Cascade Mountain Range rises on the east. Mount St. Helens National Volcanic Monument and Mt. Hood are less than two hours away. The spectacular Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area lies 30 minutes to the east. Vancouver combines the excitement of a major metropolitan area with small-town charm and abundant recreational opportunities.   Our Colorful Past History of Vancouver Tour Through Time - Historic Properties of Clark County George C. Marshall and Vancouver   Around Town Summer Concerts at Esther Short Park SW Washington Sustainability Conference & GreenFest Park...
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By Paul W. Thompson, Going Above and Beyond...
(Homestreet Bank)
I wanted to give you my opinion of John Slocum and Kathryn Alexander, a husband-wife team in Vancouver, WA. John works only with buyers and Kathryn only does listings, and I would have to say they are the most professional team of realtors that I have worked with. They have a very professional website called www.clarkcountyexpert.com which I recommend you check out. I would recommend them to anyone in the Clark County area looking to list their home or looking to sell. They can be reached at 1-888-KALL-KAT or 1-888-525-5528 extension 81.
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The number of homes for sale in Clark County continues to be high.  In the month of April, there were 4,775 active listings.  There were 386 homes sold in this same period.  This translates to 12.4 months of inventory (active listings divided by the number of closed sales).  Another way to look at this is at the current rate of home sales, it would take more than 12 months to sell everything that is currently on the market, assuming no other homes were listed in that period. Following is a graphic representation of monthly inventory levels starting in January 2006 through April 2008: SOURCE: Based on data reported by RMLS.  Graph created by Patty & Scott Carroll.   The high inventory levels is both a function of an increase in the number of homes for sale and a decline in the number of ...
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By John Slocum, Broker, SFR - Vancouver WA Real Estate
(Premiere Property Group, LLC - Vancouver Washington)
Moving to Vancouver Washington Vancouver Washington 101 This is the first part of a series on Vancouver Washington Moving Information. New articles will be posted regularly and numbered 101, 102, etc. (check for links below to view those posts). If you are considering moving to our area, you may want to bookmark this site and watch these articles as we will go in-depth on the entire area. We want to provide you with all the tools so you may make an educated decision! (Links are designed to open in a separate window) Please leave comments and/or feedback. Thank you and enjoy!    City of Vancouver   Our Community    Living in Vancouver Neighborhoods Neighborhood Associations   Neighborhood Action Plans   Neighborhood Toolbox   Vancouver Office of Neighborhoods Vancouver Sparkles   Senior ...
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Clearly, we are not the first to learn about this tool but, judging by our own informal poll, it sounds like it's worth repeating. Most cell phone providers charge you every time you dial 411 to use directory assistance.  The charge is often as much as $1.50.  Google will give it to you for free and you don't need a computer or an internet connection.  All you need is a phone (mobile or land line).  GOOG-411 is a free, voice-activated and completely automated.  Here's how it works: Call GOOG-411 (1-800-466-4411) Say where you want to search (typically city/state) Say what person or company you're looking for GOOG-411 will connect you with the business you choose for free! If you are calling from a mobile device, GOOG-411 can even send you a text message with more details.  Just say "Tex...
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Before Friday, we had never heard of National Doughnut Day.  In fact, when we saw National Doughnut Day on the home page of MSN last week, we thought it was a joke of some kind.  After some quick Google searches, though, we learned that it was legit. National Doughnut Day was established in 1938 by the Chicago Salvation Army to raise much-needed funds during the Great Depression, and to honor the Salvation Army "Lassies" of World War I, who served doughnuts to soldiers on the front lines.  It is celebrated each year on the first Friday in June. We are not exactly sure why this was the first year we had heard of National Doughnut Day, but even owners and employees of the Donut Nook in Vancouver WA were surprised by the overwhelming response.  It seems that there were a lot of other peopl...
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By John Slocum, Broker, SFR - Vancouver WA Real Estate
(Premiere Property Group, LLC - Vancouver Washington)
Vancouver WA Real Estate | Cascade Park; Fishers Landing Market Report for May 2008 With Summer on its way, the month of May has seen an increase in listings AND an increase in Vancouver WA Homes For Sale going pending. This market is still in an adjustment period, with all the appearances of a Buyer's Market, with savvy buyers making offers. In May the price tiers below $300,000 appeared more like a "Normal Market," while the activity was much slower above $300,000. Owing to certain limitations in the MLS real estate reporting system, this month we have split the Vancouver East areas into the North East (east of Andresen and north of Mill Plain); and the South East (east of Andresen & South of Mill Plain). This South-East area includes: Cascade Park, Fishers Landing, and the East Heigh...
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By John Slocum, Broker, SFR - Vancouver WA Real Estate
(Premiere Property Group, LLC - Vancouver Washington)
Vancouver WA Real Estate | Fircrest, Orchards, Maplecrest Market Report for May 2008 This Vancouver WA Real Estate market report is a simple matrix of the RMLS North East-areas homes in the real estate data base, separated into price ranges, and: Active, Pending and Sold categories, for the historical month of May, 2008. Owing to certain limitations in the Vancouver MLS real estate reporting system, this month we have split the Vancouver East areas into the North East (east of Andresen and north of Mill Plain); and the South East (east of Andresen & South of Mill Plain). Of the Vancouver Washington real estate areas, this set has the largest number of homes for sale. With Summer on its way, the month of May has seen an increase in listings AND an increase in homes going pending. This ma...
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By Vancouver Real Estate Expert
(Team Quintana - MJ McAdams)
Hi Everyone,  Home staging has caught on like a wildfire accross the nation. Thanks to HGTV people are finally learning what top agents have known for a long time. Presentation is everything. Are we ready to start paying for these services from independent companies, that remains to be seen, but one thing is for sure, in a competitive market Staging can make the difference. People have to remember when home shoppers are looking at homes, they are working off a list and comparing. How the home feels makes a big difference and good home stagers are arranging things to chage how a room feels. At the end of the day they will write the offer just like getting married, not based on statistical data, but on how they felt about the homes and which one they felt best impressed them. The market i...
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Not long ago, we watched Akeelah and the Bee.  It is a movie about a gifted eleven year old girl who overcomes challenges at home and makes it to the National Spelling Bee.  When we saw the descriptor on NetFlix, we questioned whether we really wanted to order it or not.  We are glad we did, as we very much enjoyed the movie. There was a quote that really resonated with us and we want to share it: "Our worst fear is not that we are inadequate, our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, 'who am I to be so brilliant, gorgeous, talented and fabulous?' Actually, who are we not to be? You are a child of God: Your playing small doesn't serve the world. There is nothing enlightening about shrinking so tha...
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