Coldwell Banker On LocationSM Surpasses 2 Million Views!

 Coldwell Banker proudly makes history once again. We’re excited to let you know On Location, our YouTube® channel, now has surpassed the two million channel views mark!

On Location continues to pave the way for video use in real estate. But make no mistake, the continued success of On Location channel is because of the thousands of Coldwell Banker sales professionals who continue to add more videos to the site on a daily basis. In fact, the channel experienced its highest rate of growth over this past year alone.

Internationally Speaking

More foreign buyers showed interest in purchas­ing U.S. properties in 2009, according to the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® (NAR)’s 2010 Profile of International Home Buying Activity. More than one-fourth of REALTORS® (28 percent) say they worked with at least one international client in the past year, up from 23 percent a year ago. Nearly one in five REALTORS® (18 percent) completed at least one sales transaction with an international client, up from 12 percent in 2008. Sales involving foreign buyers represented about 7 percent of the overall residential market.

International buyers came from 53 countries; the top four were Canada (23 percent), Mexico (10 percent), the United Kingdom (9 percent) and China/Hong Kong (8 percent). The most impor­tant factors in a buyer’s decision to purchase U.S. property are the proximity to their home country and the convenience of air transportation.

Florida typically attracts European, Canadian and South American buyers, while the East coast draws Europeans. The Southwest attracts Mexican buyers and the West Coast attracts Asians.

Guemes ferry out of commission until Oct. 20

The Guemes Island Ferry is out of commission through Oct. 19 for maintenance and repair.

The ferry was hauled out of service late Sunday night, and is scheduled to return to the water at 6 a.m. Oct. 20. While the ferry is out, a passenger-only boat is available for transport during regularly scheduled sailing times.

The passenger-only boat holds 49 passengers and carries bicycles and small motorbikes. A Skagit Transit bus will be available on Guemes Island for transportation.

During the haul-out, Skagit County will remove one main engine, conduct ultrasound readings on the hull to determine hull thickness and life expectancy, paint and perform other small maintenance items.

Guemes Island Ferry Haul-Out

(SKAGIT COUNTY)— The Skagit County Public Works Department says the 2010 Guemes Island Ferry haul-out will take place from Monday, October 4th, to Tuesday, October 19th.

The ferry’s last run will occur Sunday, October 3rd at 8:00 pm.

The vessel is scheduled to return to service Wednesday, October 20th, at 6:00 am.

During the haul-out, Skagit County will remove and replace one main engine, conduct ultrasound readings on the hull to determine hull thickness and life expectancy, paint void spaces and portions of the superstructure, perform other small maintenance items, and complete the USCG dry-dock credit.

Arrow Launch will provide a passenger-only service that will run on the regularly-scheduled sailing times.

The passenger-only boat accommodates 49 passengers and carries both bicycles and small motorbikes.

Skagit Transit will provide a bus on Guemes Island to provide transportation.

For more information, contact Rachel Beck at 333-1496 or at rachelb@co.skagit.wa.us.

Housing activity: “not as bad as some think; not as good as some would like”

KIRKLAND, Wash. (July 6, 2010) – Home sales around Western and Central Washington remained sluggish, but not all the numbers were down. June’s pending sales (mutually accepted offers) outgained the total for May by 5.8 percent. Closed sales were up from both a year ago and the previous month. Brokers also applauded congressional approval of legislation to extend the tax credit deadline on contracts signed by the April 30 deadline. That measure, which President Obama signed on July 2, pushes the deadline to Sept. 30.

“In general consumers seem to be stuck in uncertainty surrounding the world’s economic concerns, our lack of jobs and the rollercoaster of the stock market. They seem to be hunkering down despite the lowest interest rates in years,” said NWMLS director Frank Wilson.

On a more upbeat note, Wilson said the deadline extension for the tax credit is good news. “Congress has acknowledged the length of time it is taking banks to close a transaction by passing this extension,” he remarked. Without the extension, the National Association of Realtors estimates as many as 180,000 buyers wouldn’t have qualified for a tax credit of up to $8,000 because they couldn’t meet the June 30 deadline to close on their purchase.

The latest report from Northwest Multiple Listing Service shows mixed news across its 21-county market area, with arrows going in both directions. “The current market is not as bad as some people think, and not as good as some people would like it to be,” observed NWMLS director Pat Grimm. He also said the combination of low interest rates and affordable prices are the best he’s seen in his 25 years of experience in real estate.

The MLS summary statistics for June show:

  • Pending sales of single family homes and condominiums (combined) fell 28 percent from a year ago, but rose 5.8 percent from May.
  • Year-to-date (through June), pending sales are up 12.4 percent compared to midyear 2009.
  • Closed sales for June outgained the same month a year ago by 617 transactions (up 12 percent), and rose 8.9 percent from May’s total.

“The economy is still recovering and that makes some consumers hesitant to buy,” Grimm stated, adding, “On the other hand, with prices down and mortgage rates at their lowest in 50 years, homes are more affordable now than they were before the tax credit went into effect.”

Grimm said the market has created its own incentive for buyers who missed out on the most recent tax credit. “Lower prices and lower interest rates more than offset the benefit of the tax credit. Homes are actually more affordable than they were three months ago, and that factors in the tax credit,” he emphasized. To illustrate his point, he said the purchaser of a $500,000 property this month with a $400,000 mortgage would save more than $250 per month as a result of the interest rate drop. “Do the math and you can see you are way ahead if you stay in the property for more than three years.”

House-hunters have plenty of choices. Brokers added 10,354 new listings to inventory last month, bringing the selection to 42,940 residences being offered for sale system-wide. That’s up about 4 percent from a year ago. Included in the current listings are 36,027 single family homes priced from $8,500 to $25 million, and 6,913 condominiums priced from $20,000 to $15.6 million.

Asked if now is the right time to buy, Grimm replied, “You can’t time the real estate market any more than you can time the stock market,” but added, “If you want to buy a home, and can afford it, I haven’t seen a better convergence of affordable prices and low interest rates in the 25 years I’ve been working in real estate.”

Last week’s benchmark 30-year fixed-rate mortgage fell to 4.75 percent, according to the Bankrate.com national survey of large lenders. That’s the lowest rate for the 30-year fixed in the nearly 25-year history of Bankrate’s weekly survey. Freddie Mac reported an average of 4.58 percent, the lowest level in more than five decades.

Click to view large chart

Northwest Multiple Listing Service, owned by its member brokers, is the largest full-service MLS in the Northwest. Its membership includes more than 24,000 brokers and agents. The organization, based in Kirkland, currently serves 21 counties in Western and Central Washington.

Visit Me at Bark in The Park – Saturday, June 26, 2010

Is your dog a star?


Dogs of Anacortes 2011 Calendar – Vote for Jingles!

] Get your Dog’s Photo in the new Calendar, coming out late 2010!

] Click on the link below for all the information & the submission form to get your dog(s) in the calendar.
FRONT COVER WINNERS will be chosen by the public attending Bark in the Park Saturday, June 26, 2010. So get your entry in early! Don’t miss the chance to have YOUR DOG on the cover of our first Dogs of Anacortes Calendar! Bring your family and your dog(s), visit the Coldwell Banker Island Living booth, have a blast, and VOTE!! Cutoff for submitting photos August 31, 2010. Don’t forget to stop by the Coldwell Banker Island Living Booth for a great tatoo of me and other freebies!

Click here for Calendar information & Forms

Thank you for all your support of our dog park!
My friends and I really appreciate it!!!


If you have any questions, comments or feedback, please send us an e-mail: info@anacortesdogpark.com


FOR SALE: Guemes Island Charmer $399,000

Like owning waterfront & acreage without paying the price!  This charming 3-story nautically-themed home sits just above and next to the greenbelt and expansive community beach of Cook’s Cove.  Nothing will ever be built there!   It has a very private feel with woods on two sides and the beach directly in front.

The view from the 2-bedroom home & deck is to die for:  boats galore from sailboats to shipping traffic on the Guemes Channel.  Eagles and other water birds are a common site.  The saltbox-style home is full of nautical touches:  oars for handrails, porthole windows, anchors, ships wheels.  The bottom floor was recently remodeled as a guest suite.  

Call Coldwell Banker Island Living’s Karen Everett on Guemes Island to catch a peek:  360.202.7373 or e-mail Karen at karenguemes@aim.com for more information.

Pending Home Sales Surge Continues

 RISMEDIA, June 7, 2010—Pending home sales have risen for three consecutive months, reflecting the broad impact of the home buyer tax credit and favorable housing affordability conditions, according to the National Association of Realtors.

The Pending Home Sales Index, a forward-looking indicator, rose 6.0% to 110.9 based on contracts signed in April, from an upwardly revised 104.6 in March, and is 22.4% higher than April 2009 when it was 90.6. That follows gains of 7.1% in March and 8.3% in February. [Read more…]

Moving This Summer? Check Out These Tips

This month, the kids will be out of school and for a lot of families relocating, it is time to pack up and move. Moving brings on an entire new set of stresses and tasks for the family.

Here are some tips for moving, courtesy of Move.com. It might just help save you a bit of time, stress and headache for the move ahead.

4 weeks from move date: Get organized and start notifying the right people and companies that you’ll be moving soon and give them a date to forward or terminate service. Start looking for licensed and professional moving companies, moving guides and relevant coupons.

Tip:
If using a professional mover, get quotes from multiple moving companies to get the best deal that is right for you and your needs. Ask plenty of questions like whether or not they give binding quotes and what kind of insurance is included. Be sure to talk with them about the different options available with full-service moves such as packing and unpacking services and providing boxes and packing supplies.

Tip: Important documents such as your child’s school records may need to be accessible during your transition. Make sure to put these items aside and make copies of any records for yourself, in case you forget what box they’re packed in.

3 weeks from move date: Once you’ve selected a mover, begin by taking inventory of your belongings and their worth and decide what will be coming with you to your next home.

Tip: Start cleaning out closets, drawers and storage areas of your home and divide things into categories: “pack,” “recycle” and “give to friend.” You can always have a garage sale or donate old items to charity. This will make packing day a lot easier and you may reduce the total weight you’ll be paying for to move.

Tip: If you’re moving yourself or contracting for a self-service move, pack the items you know you won’t need until 30 days after the move. It will feel great to get started early.

Tip: If possible, take pictures of rooms and areas inside the home or apartment you’ll be moving into so you can start thinking about placement of furniture, artwork and other items. This will help save time, headaches…and money…on moving day.

2 weeks from move date: If you choose not to take advantage of full service mover packing services, or are planning to do it yourself and rent a truck, start packing things into boxes. Figure out the logistics of the move, travel plans and if other specialized plans need to be made.

Tip: If you are using a professional mover find out what items are on their “non-allowables” list and discard those items or find a way to transport them separately.

Tip: Instead of stacking plates, pack them vertically; they will travel safer this way.

Tip: If you are moving long distance, remember travel arrangements for your pets. There are pet-exclusive airlines available such as Pet Airways but regular airlines have travel options for pets as well.

Tip: If you have young children, you may want to make childcare arrangements so you can be 100% focused on moving day and your little ones remain safe and busy with fun activities.

Tip: Schedule “move out” cleaning service, carpet cleaners and heavy appliance disposal if necessary for once you’ll be out of the home you’re vacating. Even if you’re selling your current home, it’s a nice welcome for the buyers to move into a clean and tidy home.

1 week from move date: Set aside valuable items and keep those with you. Clean before moving and leave your house or apartment as clean as it was when you moved in.

Tip: Make sure the details for paying the moving company are taken care of. Some will require money orders or cashier’s checks upon delivery; know their policy in advance to avoid stress on moving day.

Tip: Start eating all the frozen foods you have, or give them to a neighbor or friend. This way you won’t have to throw them away on moving day, or worry about packing an ice chest.

Tip: Also think about necessities for managing moving day like confining your pets and anticipating the amount of time you will need.

Tip: Place necessities such as toiletries, toilet paper, rags, “must-have” cooking supplies and organize them in boxes marked “open first” so it’s easy to find the initial items you’ll want handy on those first few days of being in your next home. Don’t forget the flashlight!

Tip: If possible, take one last tour of the new location and identify water and gas shut off locations, as well as the electrical breaker box just in case something happens in the first few days so you’re prepared. Might be smart to drop off a fresh box of light bulbs too!

Moving day and beyond: Take one last walk through and make sure nothing has been forgotten or overlooked. Also, make sure all doors and windows are locked and switches turned off, then you are on your way to your new house or apartment.

Tip: Go back to the photos you took when you began to pack up. Now you can show the movers or those helping you unpack exactly where everything goes with photos.

Tip: Unpack one room at a time according to basic needs starting with the kitchen and at least one bathroom…and don’t forget to make a bed as early in the day as possible if you’ll be sleeping in your home that evening! Remember, you don’t have to unpack everything in one day, or even in one week.

Tip: After you’ve settled in a bit, introduce yourself to some neighbors, ask for advice on the best places to eat, grocery shop, etc. This way you will feel like part of the community and can get some great local tips. Don’t forget, you can contact Coldwell Banker Island Living for any information you may need to find a new home & for relocation information. You can call any of our professional agents or email us at islandliving@coldwellbanker.com

Jingles says: Buy a Brick, Help a Dog!

Fund-our-Fence & Buy-a-Brick  

Fundraising Campaign

The Coldwell Banker Office manager, Jingles is trying to help all her friends at the Ace of Hearts Dog Park. The permanent home at Ace of Hearts Rotary Park (38th & H Aves) opened in July 2009!   The site has a 1.5 acre fenced dog park, a baseball field and an extensive wetland and pond system from the Ace of Hearts Creek. The new park complex is a community and City of Anacortes project.  Anacortes Noon Rotary Club as well as FIDO (Fidalgo Islanders for Dogs Off-leash) are assisting through fundraising and volunteer efforts.

 

 The new park will be developed in stages:

The dog park portion is the first area being worked on and the gazebo & water features are now in!   The next projects to be installed this summer are the fundraising bricks and several benches.

Our Dog Park needs new members on our FIDO STEERING COMMITTEE … Email us at info@anacortesdogpark.com if you’d like to help!  Make sure and visit the Coldwell Banker Booth at the 2010 Bark in the Park, June 26th where you can meet Jingles in person and get a tattoo of the image above!

 

Donate $75 for an engraved brick to be installed in a walkway around the dog park, and you will help us to buy benches, a gazebo, trees, and other cool stuff!  

Donate $200 to the dog park, and receive a personalized, permanent fence plaque, which will go on an 8’x10′ section of the fence just installed at the Ace of Hearts Creek Rotary Park dog park.

Jingles and her friends thank you for all your support of our dog park!!