Getting your yard ready for fall

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Anacortes Home of the Week!

L ove where you live…this mint condition townhome is only steps from the beach! Stainless steel appliances, gas heat, hardwood floors from foyer thru dining area, gas fireplace in two-story living area, lots of natural light, and an amazing view of bay from the master bedroom. This townhome also comes with equally amazing view of Skyline Marina from guest bedroom, a courtyard entry, and a waterside patio for BBQ or lounging. Priced $75,000 below assessed at a time when our average sale is at the assessed value – this is a great value! Possible seller financing with zero interest note to qualified  buyer. waterfront,anacortes,home,for sale,condo,marina,moorage,value

If being at the water’s edge restores your soul, imagine what living here might do for you!

Click here for photo’s and information on this listing!

Community Service Day 2011!

T oday is a very special day here at Windermere Real Estate Anacortes Properties, it is our annual Community Service Day.  Every year our Northwest offices dedicate a day to working in our community to make things a little brighter for our neighbors. Our Southwest offices have Community Service Day on October 21st.

We will be spending the day cleaning up the landscaping at the W.T.Preston Snagboat in Old Town Anacortes. The W.T. Preston was the last sternwheeler to work the Puget Sound, and one of only two remaining snagboats in the contiguous United States.

We appreciate your patience if it takes us a little longer to return your call or respond to your email.

Every year since 1984, Windermere associates have dedicated a day of work to complete neighborhood improvement projects as part of Windermere’s Community Service Day.

Creating vibrant communities is one of the things that inspire all of us at Windermere to be involved in Community Service Day as it gives us an opportunity to give back to the communities where we live and work.

After all, real estate is rooted in our communities. And an investment in our neighborhoods gives us all a better place to call home.

See a list of some of the projects happening across the region. More information about the projects, organizations and photos will be share on our facebook page:






Kahului – Maui

Boy’s & Girls Club- Makawao

Paia – Maui

Boy’s & Girls Club- Makawao

Kona – Big Island

Therapeutic Horsemanship of Hawaii

Waimea – Big Island

Kawaihae Canoe Club





Bend Community Center

Cannon Beach

Gearhart Elementary School

Eagle Point

Upper Rogue Community Center in Shady Cove

Lake Oswego

Yard Maintenance for local Lake Oswego Elementary School


Julliette’s House – home for abused children

Portland Heights

Ainsworth Elementary

Portland – Lloyd Tower NE

Habitat for Humanity


Boys & Girls Club/ Blazers/ BBC

Portland – NW Johnson

Friendly House clean-up and organizing for after school program

Portland – Raleigh Hills

Yard Clean-Up at Hopewell House Hospice in Hillsdale

Portland – Westmoreland

SE Neighborhood Yard Cleanup for Low Income and Elderly

Shady Cove

Upper Rogue Community Center in Shady Cove

The Dallas

The Dalles Parks & Recreation

West Linn

West Linn Food Pantry- Local food bank

Stellar Group (Officers Row & Mill Plain-Vancouver)

Food Drive for Clark County Food Banks





Centennial Park

Auburn – Lakeland Hills

The Auburn Food Bank


Jubilee REACH

Bellevue Commons

Little Bit Riding Stables

Bellevue East

Bellevue Botanical Garden

Bellevue South

YMCA in Lake Heights

Bellevue West

Evergreen Court Retirement Home

Bonney Lake – Lake Tapps

Auburn Food Bank


Quilcene Community Clean up


Ruth Dykeman Center

Camano Island – Camano Country Club

Davis Place Teen Center and the Community Resources Foundation

Cle Elum


Everett South

The Little Red School House & Hand in Hand

Federal Way

Truman High School- Community Gardens


Baby Corner


Juanita Beach

Kirkland – Northeast

Friends of Youth

Kirkland – Yarrow Bay

DASH- Downtown Action to Save Housing (Evergreen Court)


CAP Help Warehouse in Longview

Mercer Island

Mercerdale Park

Methow Valley

Yard work

Moses Lake

Washington Fish & Wildlife Fishing Kids event

Port Ludlow

Port Ludlow Community

Property Management – Bellevue

Camp Korey

Property Management – Seattle

Whitman School

Property Management – South

Kent NW Harvest


Pullman Chamber of Commerce


Quilcene Community Cleanup



Seattle- Relocation & Referral Services

Noel House


Rebublic Elementary School

Seattle – Ballard

Golden Gardens

Seattle – Capitol Hill

Pantages Apartments

Seattle – Downtown Services


Seattle – Wall Street

Kinnear Park

Seattle – Wedgwood

Theodora, an affordable housing complex for veterans

Seattle – West Seattle

Delridge Cottage Grove Park Cleanup

Seattle – West Seattle/Fauntleroy

Seattle Parks and Rec

Sequim – East

Sequim Food Bank

Sequim – Sunland

Sequim Food Bank


Turning Pointe


Food Lifeline


Clean up Kitsap County Fair Grounds

Spokane – City Group

BBC: Spokane County Parks Clean up Gleneden Park

Spokane – Liberty Lake

BBC: Spokane County Parks Clean up Gleneden Park

Spokane – Manito

BBC: Spokane County Parks Clean up Gleneden Park

Spokane – Manito South Regal

BBC: Spokane County Parks Clean up Gleneden Park

Spokane – Mullan

BBC: Spokane County Parks Clean up Gleneden Park

Spokane – North

BBC: Spokane County Parks Clean up Gleneden Park

Spokane – Valley

BBC: Spokane County Parks Clean up Gleneden Park

Tacoma – Central

Emergency Food Network

Tri-Cities – Richland

Jubilee Youth Ranch


Camp Korey

Market Activity Report

S o I’ve heard a few times in passing recently  that the housing market is worse than a year ago, and folks wondering aloud when it will change, so I took a  look at some market activity numbers this morning and found that things are indeed much better than a year ago and I can’t see them moving backwards at this point.  Through August, Anacortes has seen a 27% increase in homes going under contract versus the same period of time in 2009. We have seen a 32.5% increase in closed sales the same time period. Our inventory, the number of homes listed, was only 11% higher in August, than at the beginning of the year. This same January to August time period in 2009 saw a 58% increase in inventory, in 2008 it saw a 44% increase in inventory. I believe it’s a great sign that the inventory is starting to level off, and if I calculate the average number of homes on the market in any given month, we are actually starting to lose inventory overall. This is needed for a healthy market, which the National Association of Realtors pegs as a market in which there are six months of inventory available. In 2010 our Months of Inventory based on closed sales dropped 27% from its 2009 levels. We are still high, but headed in the right direction.

This all means to me that the market activity has picked up and we are past the bottom of the activity market. This doesn’t mean we’ve reached the bottom of the value market, but if we haven’t we must be close. Our average price per square foot is down 5.5% this year to $167.50, and there is a chance that will drop a bit more – but not much. If sales continue to pick up at the pace we’ve seen happen in 2010 versus 2009,  we will be fairly close to 2007 numbers which will cement my theory that we are past the activity bottom.  On a pricing note, more activity plus fewer listings equals upward pricing pressure.  On an affordability note, which is different than pricing, interest rates literally have no place to go but up. If there is a one point change, any small remainder of value loss will be more than offset by the interest savings on your 30 year mortgage.

Next year you will wish you had bought this year, that’s my story and I’m sticking to it.

Look Beyond The Headlines

T he other day I read “Existing home sales sank 27.2% in July, twice as much as analysts expected…”, who are these analysts? What are they analyzing? I looked at our local numbers after I read that and a few other articles last week and found that they are only telling you part of the story. See the problem is, reporters and the news industry in general are actually the entertainment industry in disguise and they sell news by using fear and scary statistics to get us all to buy their rag and read. Here are a few local statistics, and my layman’s explanation of them.

In Skagit County our sales (closed home sales) dropped 37% in July from June’s numbers; even worse than the National statistics I read on However what they don’t tell you is why. On April 30th the Homebuyers Tax Credit expired, creating a rush to buy in that month. Skagit County saw 160 homes go pending in April, and that represents 61.6% more than the average number of pendings over the past 12 months. April was HUGE in terms of pendings. Well, guess what happens 45-60 days after a home goes pending – it closes. This created a huge uptick in closings in June; to be exact we had 122 homes close which is 73% more than the 12 month average. What’s this mean? This means that July had no place to go but down in terms of closings. A 37% drop is to be expected, and isn’t a bad thing. In fact, July was up 23.9% in pendings from June – the buyers are still buying and the market is fine. July saw 109 homes go pending, our 12 month average is 99 homes in a month, so we are beating the average despite the entertainers/analysts headlines at and other news outlets. Closings had to drop in July, that’s not news, that’s the ebb and flow of buyers and closings juiced up by the tax credit. There are still amazing deals to be found in Skagit County and elsewhere, that can be financed at amazing interest rates and it remains a buyers market. Look past the headlines when you see them, and remember that real estate is a long term investment, not a month to month stock.

$100,000 Challenge

R ecently a group of our agents went through an exercise wherein each agent had $100,000  of play money to spend, and good credit. They were asked to answer the question; If you had these funds, what is the best value on the market and why? At our weekly meeting the agents presented the best buys in the Anacortes/La Conner market and there were some absolutely amazing buys available. If you have any interest in a first time home, or an investment home, shoot me an email ( and I’ll have one of the participating agents send you a list of the homes our office came up with.

Northwest to lead the housing rebound!

M oodys said a few days ago that housing prices will be 7.2% higher by 2014. Moodys also pegged the markets that will rebound the best, with the Northwest leading the charge, Bremerton-Silverdale is to expect a 9.7% annual increase for 44.7% value increase over that time period. Wow! Even if they are half-right that’s a great number, and in fact might be better if they are half-right as that big of an increase in such a short period might not be healthy. Tacoma and Seattle follow closely behind, with of course this all impacting the rest of the Puget Sound region.

Good news for everyone in the Northwest!!! Oh, any by the way, increase mortgage rates by just a bit and that will render any small downward movement in prices worthless; you can afford more now than you will be able to afford within a few months…..Buy Now! This by the way doesn’t mean stretch your spending comfort level and buy bigger and more expensive, it means buy the house you want and enjoy a much lower payment today than you will get tomorrow.

Anacortes Art Festival

G et out to Anacortes this weekend to check out the Anacortes Art Festival, tons of wonderful art, music, and fun!

Jumbo’s Coming Back?

G ood news on the Jumbo loan front, the first securitization since 2008 closed late this spring which may point to the beginning of a recovery in the higher price range for real estate. Until this $238 million dollar securitized deal was sold all jumbo loans had to be portfolio loans which banks are reluctant to do. This transaction, representing 255 loans, may have broken the ice in the private mortgage securitization market, which will open the gates a little and allow for more banks to enter this market, and therefore more loans available for higher end homes.

With 14 homes over $750,000 going pending over the last 6 months in Anacortes we have seen a huge uptick in this market locally. Those 14 pending in a six month span outpace the prior year which saw 12 going pending in a 12 month period. Good news seeing this upper end pick up as savvy buyers understand there are bargains to be had, and the cheapest money we will likely ever see in the mortgage market.

Windermere Community Service Day

B etter late than never right? Today our Anacortes office is spending the day at the Boys and Girls Club in Anacortes for Windermere Community Service Day. Last Friday all the offices across our network closed for the day and volunteered in their respective communities; we waited a week to accomodate the Boys and Girls Club and their needs which we will be taking care of today. We don’t just work, live and play in our community, we also spend countless hours giving back to it.

Boys and Girls Club of Skagit County