Living the crazy, great life!

Archive for July, 2012

Baseball and Fireworks!

We had another great, all-American weekend. Saturday morning the family went for a long bike ride (Cole’s first on his own bike). What a gorgeous morning for a ride! Then off to Grandma’s house for a swim. Our office went to the Spokane Indians baseball game Saturday night. Mind you, we only get to watch part of the game as the kiddos are way more interested in the kid’s play are that has a bouncy castle, batting cage and super slide. It was a great game (the Indians won!) and the evening was capped off by a pretty great fireworks show. It is always great to spend time with the people I work with outside of the office. I work with a great bunch of folks! A great time was had by all!

Sunday, we went to church and then Jeff and I played in a softball All-Stars tournament. Mind you, I am no “All Star” though Jeff is quite good! “All Stars” was really comprised of anyone who was available to play. We came in third and more importantly had a good time in the sun. It was really hot! I have to say though, that after a full season, I feel as though I am a little bit better than when we started. Perhaps next year I will improve some more and actually earn the “All Star” title!

On the business side, I received a call from a potential buyer on Saturday. He was just here for the weekend before going back to California to pack up and move to Spokane. As I have told my agents so many times, half the battle is simply showing up – answering your phone and being available. After squeezing in giving him information, showing a house, writing an offer and negotiating the deal in-between all our other weekend activities, I anticipate signing around a deal today. And it is scheduled to close by Friday! What a nice, unexpected gift to close a deal that quickly! I am\ so thankful and blessed. The market is definitely picking up!

Have a great week everyone!

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NEW CARBON MONOXIDE LAW ADOPTED

The following information was recently provided by the Washington Association of REALTORS®:

A new law was adopted in the state of Washington designed to protect Washington residents from the dangers of carbon monoxide (CO) – an odorless, tasteless, colorless gas that can be deadly. As of April 12, 2012 any owner-occupied single family residence must be equipped with a CO alarm before closing. CO is a poisonous gas that is the leading cause of accidental death in the United States. Young children and pets are typically the first affected. CO levels can rise quickly and become lethal if not detected. A CO alarm is the only safe way to find out if carbon monoxide is present in your home.

What for this mean to you?
Sellers of residential property in Washington must now have CO alarms installed in their home prior to closing. In addition, anyone doing a “significant” remodel that requires a building permit must also install the alarms.

What are the installation requirements?
Single station carbon monoxide alarms complying with UL 2034 must be installed outside of each separate sleeping area in the immediate vicinity of each bedroom, on each level of the residence and in accordance with the individual manufacturer’s recommendations.

Where do I get a CO alarm?
CO alarms are easily found at many home improvement retailers.

Where do I find out more?
Visit the Washington State Department of Health website at http://www.doh.wa.gov for more information on carbon monoxide.

I hope you find this information useful. Even though currently occupied homes are not required to be equipped with CO alarm, I would strong suggest that for the $25 per alarm cost, it is a small price to pay for your family’s safety.

Hope you all have a great week!

Thunder Storms Rock!

We are spending another great weekend at Newman Lake. Yesterday was warm with the sun coming our periodically to help me with my tan. Emerson and I went for a walk/hike up a hillside to incredible views of the lake. The kiddos swam and played in the lake which is warming up quite nicely with the hot weather we’ve been having. Then we had some friends come out and hung out with them and had a yummy Sonnenberg’s Italian sausage with peppers and onions dinner! If you haven’t had Sonnenberg’s sausage, you have not experienced one of the most wonderful culinary events in your life. You gotta try it! Then we watched Mirror, Mirror with Julia Roberts. One of the best movies I’ve seen in a while. Just saw it in the theater not too long ago and bought it as soon as it was
available on DVD. Love, love, love the costuming in that movie. You gotta see it!

Then off to bed with Cole outside on the deck. Around 6:00 am I woke up for my usual morning potty break and saw that Cole had moved off the sleeping cushion onto the deck in his sleeping bag. No idea how he moves around so much. So, I repositioned him on the mat. Sometime between then and 6:30 am, he moved himself inside as it was starting to spit rain. Stealthily, he took a blanket out of the closet in our room (neither Jeff nor I heard it) and crashed on the futon. During that half hour, Emerson also snuck into our room and cuddled up with me on my side of the bed complaining that the thunder was right there outside her window. Jeff got up around 6:30 as it was really starting to rain and went to get Cole from the deck only to see that he wasn’t there. So, he moved the sleeping mat and bag inside then went to look in on Emerson in the kid’s room only to find out she wasn’t there. He started freaking out about our kiddos missing until he found Cole on the futon and Emerson in our bed with me. By then, the rain was coming down in nothing short of a torrential downpour (in Emerson’s words, “Mom, it’s like a blizzard out there!”) and the thunder was quite impressive. All-in-all a crazy, loud, impressive morning! Nothing quite like an incredible thunder and lightning storm!

So, now we’ve had a relaxing morning and since the rain has stopped, the kiddos are ready to go swim! I’m off to show a few houses this afternoon and then meet up with the family for dinner. I do love Summer!

As for the real estate market, how about a little update. The first six months of the year have brought the beginnings of market recovery in Spokane. The Spokane Association of Realtors reports the following:

For the fifth consecutive month sales for the month exceeded the previous months’ sales. 449 sales of single family homes on less than one acre (including condos) were reported for June. Sales are up 2.3% over May. The average sales price for June was $179,537 up 2.8% over May while the median sales price was $159,500 virtually the same as May. Half year figures show sales up 9.4% over last year with the average and median sales price the same as last year. The average sales price through June is $169,298 while the median sale price is $154,000. Inventory compared to last year is down 6.2%. As of this report inventory stood at 2,792 homes compared to 2,977one year ago. New construction closed sales reported for June totaled 35. Year to date new construction showed sales are down 9.3% however prices are up. The biggest increase is in median sale price which is up 9.5% over last year.

So, the market is improving and I think we will look back on 2012 as the defined bottom of the yucky real estate market we’ve been dealing with since 2007. Five years . . . that’s a long time to be struggling with the market.

Hope you all have a great week!

FREEDOM!

I finally got around to reading The Hunger Games (I am two books in, just starting the third book in the trilogy). If you haven’t read the books, they are written in a futuristic society where many freedoms we appreciate today are non-existent in the different districts where the characters lice. It got me thinking this morning about our freedoms. My next thought was, oh, but that’s a fictional world. And then the immediate thought after that . . . but that fictional world of limited freedom does exist in other parts of our world today. So, as I prepare for our annual 4th of July celebrations complete with red, white and blue decorations; hotdog, hamburger and watermelon meals; boat parades and water balloon fights; fireworks and patriotic music, I am reminded that our freedom is not to be taken for granted. And, our freedom was and is not free. It was hard won and costly and is constantly being threatened. So, this blog should stand as a tribute to those that fight to protect our freedom and help other people in the work gain theirs. But most importantly, my hope is that this blog is a reminder to all of us to not take our freedom for granted, but rather to cherish it!

Happy 4th of July everyone. Stay safe and have a fabulous celebration of our freedom!

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