Proud to be from Tacoma

Yesterday i met up with a new client who hasn’t been to Tacoma in years, let alone downtown Tacoma. She is on a mission to buy an investment property and she has decided she likes the “idea” of Tacoma. As we were coming into the city on the cable bridge a sun beam lit up all of downtown. The streets were clean, traffic was moving and the even the mountain was “out”. It was a pleasure to see Tacoma thru her eyes, her idea of investing is now a reality!

Never before

Never before have I experienced a market like this! In the early 90’s Seattle buyers kick started our real estate values because they were willing to pay more then local buyers were for housing.  We experienced multiple offers for the first time, we broke the million dollar mark in North Tacoma for the first time.

In 2005 and 2006 money was free and homes gained equity over night. Everyone could buy a house, and they did. Home values surged again.

The difference now, as i am sure you have heard, is the complete lack of inventory.

People aren’t moving out, they are only moving in.  They aren’t just coming from King County, they are coming from all over the country.  For jobs, for retirement, for investment – they are just pouring in. Our restaurants and neighborhoods are thriving.  Commercial spaces are filling up and our downtown has its best shot at a comeback since the 60’s.

But, the huge disparity between supply and demand creates a dynamic both unfamiliar and unpredictable. Its easy to make mistakes.  If I had only one word of advice for a buyer or seller today, it would be:

  • Buyers don’t waive inspections – ever
  • Sellers – don’t get greedy, the market dynamics will assure you the best price.

Like all the times before, this market will come back to center but for right now, every day in real estate is a new adventure!


Here comes Spring!?!

Neither the weather nor the local real estate market is very welcoming right now. Unless you are a seller, you are being asked to brave rain and sleet  and view limited inventory   just to be one of multiple bids on the house of your dreams. Buyers take heart, this won’t last forever, sellers make hay while “the sun shines”.

These stats have been released by the Northwest Multiple Listing Service and represent the Puget Sound region as a whole. If you would like stats for your particular part of Pierce County just let me know.


Seaport Alliance Promotes Tacoma Job Growth

Are you aware of the proposed Seaport Alliance between the ports of Tacoma and Seattle? Do you know the impact this alliance can and will have on the City of Tacoma and Pierce County?

Tacoma stands to reap huge benefits from this alliance. Our two ports combined will make us the third largest container gateway in North America. Combined, the ports currently support 48,000 jobs.

Visit the Seaport Alliance’s Website

The alliance is being formed in order to leverage our region as a primary container goods distribution center. Our proximity to Asia, naturally deep harbors, strong rail and highway connections to the Mid-West and Canada position us as an attractive gateway.

The success of this alliance depends on increasing the utility and productivity of the terminals as well as investing in our road and rail infrastructure. Federal and State dollars are earmarked to begin this work now. The recent approval of the extensions of State Routes 167 and 509 are only the beginning.

This is a ten year plan. Job growth is going to continue and because we offer affordable housing, Tacoma and Pierce County have the most to gain. Real estate values will continue to climb as we move forward. If you are on the fence about buying real estate, now might be the best time to make the jump.

The Seaport Alliance is huge news for our area! Celebrate!

Tacoma March 2017 Market Review

Since 2008, Pierce County homeowners have hoped for a rejuvenation of the real estate market. Happily, confidence and optimism are returning. Plans to move, retire, upsize, downsize or remodel that were placed on hold or cancelled indefinitely as our economy tumbled are turning into plans for the future This report shows the increase of sales and the positive direction of both prices and activity in 3 geographic areas of Pierce County over the past 12 months.

North Tacoma – This geographic area includes historic neighborhoods like the Stadium District, the trendy neighborhood of Proctor, the happening neighborhood near 6th avenue and the up and coming area of Ruston. North Tacoma is especially appealing to those folks wanting older style homes, walk ability, pocket parks and good access to the waterfront and I-5. All portions of the Tacoma area including downtown and New Tacoma have shown a rebound in real estate values since the low in 2012. We have gained back close to 100% percent of the values lost as a result of the imploding economy.

Gig Harbor – encompassing a huge geographic area, this region has homes ranging from the most expensive to most affordable. Waterfront homes dipped in price until they were just too attractive to ignore and the further you were willing to travel from the bridge the better value for land and homes. Infrastructure in the harbor now includes a hospital and shopping, and dining opportunities that make coming “into town” avoidable. The Harbor has successfully combined quaint with upscale and provides something for everyone. New construction has taken off in a big way with multiple mixed use projects under way off Borgen Avenue. Apartments, senior housing and residential neighborhoods are all being fast tracked.

The cities of University Place and Fircrest have always evoked pride among its residents. University Place is known for its good public schools and high standards in education, the now world renowned Chambers Bay recreational area and tidy subdivisions of “newer” homes are prevalent. Fircrest is the place people want to come home to. The pull of Fircrest centers on its small town feel and community events; features young families are craving.

These areas share an element that is bolstering real estate values and inflating their prices at a faster rate than other areas of Pierce County. Retirees looking for milder climates and those following family members to the great northwest represent a large demographic but by far, the greatest boost is coming from King County residents priced out of their own communities. Pierce Counties inventory of affordable real estate is historically low as we enter the Spring buying season.