Living the crazy, great life!

Archive for October, 2012

Fall Splendor & Zagapalooza!

Spokane in the Fall is one of my favorite places to be! This Fall has been particularly gorgeous – the colors of the leaves so dramatic and vivid. I have seen reds, oranges and yellows the likes of which I’ve don’t think I’ve ever seen before! I love living in this part of the world that enjoys four distinct seasons. Ok, give me Fall for a few more weeks and then bring on the snow!

This weekend was Zagapalooza. What is Zagapalooza you ask? Zagapalooza is Gonzaga University’s 125th birthday celebration. This year also happens to be my 20 year reunion having graduated from undergrad in 1992. The folks at the alumni department threw one heck of an all-weekend party!

Friday night kicked off with a huge party at the Spokane expo center. Close to 2,000 Zags, family of Zags and Zag fans gathered. We took the kiddos with us as there was a child care room. Cole was content to stay in the children’s area, but Emerson wanted to come check out the big kid party. She had a total blast! She ate her weight in the cheese appetizers, drank yummy punch, loved the 125th year cupcake display (think Cupcake Wars which we love to watch), checked out all the booths from different departments in the University and collected all the freebies they had to offer, danced with her dad and I and best of all, went into the photo booths. We took home around 10 different sets of prints! I think if she could have signed up to go to GU right then and there, she would have. She kept saying, “Thanks, Mommy, for letting me come to the adult’s party!” Truly, I’m not sure which one of us had the better time!

Saturday (after soccer games of course, after all, it was Soccer Saturday USA!), we took the kiddos on a driving tour of the GU campus. We pointed out where mommy took classes in undergrad and law school (the old law school was torn down and new dorms built in their place), where mommy lived (Catherine-Monica dorm is still there), ate all my meals (the COG, also still there), where mommy attends meeting for the GU Alumni Board (The Huetter Mansion) across the street from the Bing Crosby Center (“Mommy, who’s that?”) and even where mommy and daddy were married (St. Al’s). We’ve always lived here in Spokane and I am ashamed to say that this was the first time we took the kiddos over to campus and truly looked around. It was a gorgeous, sunny day and there were tons of people walking around campus – students and alumni. Emerson was enthralled. Cole mainly was interested in what they offered to eat at the COG.

Saturday evening Jeff and I attended my 1992 class social. It was so great to see folks I hadn’t seen since graduation. It is amazing how little everyone had changed. I think we are all getting younger! Then off to the casino night where we caught up with a few additional friends. Then a night cap at Geno’s since the line into Jack and Dan’s was around the block. Back 20 years ago, I would have waited in line in the cold, as a smarter, more mature 42 year old, I decided Geno’s would work just fine! Got to hang out with friends of ours that also live here in Spokane and another classmate and his wife I hadn’t seen in 20 years. What a fun night! My four years of undergraduate at Gonzaga were the best four years of my life until I met Jeff. I am holding out hope that Emerson and Cole might someday be Zags, too. This weekend planted the seed in Emerson for sure!

Tuesday, I leave for sunny Nashville for our annual Exit convention. I will miss the Fall colors of Spokane, but won’t mind a little warmer weather for a few days. I will blog about my experience there in a couple of weeks. It will be an experience to be sure. I cannot wait to learn and grow in my real estate career.

Don’t forget to check out my website at SabrinaSellsSpokane.com and please let me know if I can ever help you with your real estate needs.

Have a great week everyone!

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Spokane Market Continues to Recover!

The Spokane Association of Realtors reported the following statistics for the end of the third quarter of this year.

385 closed sales of single family homes on less than one acre including condos were reported for September. Sales in August totaled 457. The average sales price for September was $180,117 while the median sales price for September was $167,500. Year to date sales continue ahead of last year. Sales through September 2012 total 3,319. This figure is up 9.8% over last year through September when sales totaled 3,022. The average price year to date is $175,025 up 3.6% over last year when the average price was $168,961. Year to date median price is up 3.2%, $159,900 compared to $155,000. Inventory is down 5% compared to last month, 2,689 compared to 2,834 and down 10.1% compared to last year at this time, 2,689 v. 2,992. New homes sales in September stood at 49 compared to 46 last month. However new homes sales are down7.9% year to date, 340 compared to 369.

So what does it all mean? It means the market continues in recovery mode. Lower supply and higher demand is driving prices up for the first time in over five years. With every month of improving numbers, I feel more and more secure that the worst of the market is behind us and that we are definitely in recovery mode.

Don’t forget to check out my website at SabrinaSellsSpokane.com and please let me know if I can ever help you with your real estate needs.

Have a great week everyone!

FALL CRAZINESS!

Once we returned from our Summer vacation to Whistler (where I left off in my blog I believe), we had one week of Summer left, then Labor Day Weekend (another great weekend at the lake with family) and then the kiddos started school. Where did the Summer go? Seemed like just yesterday I picked the kiddos up from the last day of school and the Summer was stretched out before us! Now, they are back in school again.

Cole started first grade this year. Yup, he’s a big kid now going to all day school. At his class open house he found out that his desk would be right next to his best buddy Trenton. Man, he was so excited! Here we are a few weeks in and I believe his teacher has already separated them. Cole loves first grade, his teacher and lunch! He is a hot lunch fanatic and comes home most nights raving over the cafeteria offerings of the day – hot dogs (“They’re the best, Mom!”), pizza, cheeseburgers, turkey sandwiches and more. It sure makes my life a little easier not to have to pack a lunch every morning!

At the end of Kindergarten, Cole was reading a little bit, but by the end of Summer, he wouldn’t read even if I begged. I was so worried that he’d forgotten all those kindergarten core words and would be starting over. I am amazed at how just a few weeks into the year, he is reading again to me and doing really well. He read me the book “I Love You, Stinky Face” last night before he went to bed. I have to say having your child read to you is one of the most profound and touching moments as a parent. I love to read and hope that my kiddos love it as much as I do. It is a hobby that will serve them well in their lives and thankfully, they both seem to love it!

Cole also decided he was ready to start soccer this year. He has grown up watching his cousins and big sister play soccer, but never exhibited an interest in it. In fact, he was in karate all last year and loved that.

May I take a little detour here? Jeff and I have talked quite a bit about all the extracurricular activities that are available to children today – sports, music, dance and so much more! We have made a decision as parents that our kiddos will only participate in one or two max activities at a time. I worry that with so many activities, when do children today get a chance to just play? Anyway, based on this, Cole had to make what I thought would be a tough decision for him: soccer or karate? It was no contest, he was ready to play soccer and he’s been having a blast! He joined a team that had played together last year and is “playing up” meaning as a first grader, he is playing mainly with second graders. As his is small to begin with, this makes him one of the smallest players on the team. Once again, the mama bear has been worried. However, this past weekend, in his third career soccer game, he scored three times. Yup, a hat trick! He was so excited, jumping up and down, fist pumping and hugging his teammates. Another intensely proud moment for us as parents! His jersey is lime green and so his team name is, of course, the Ninja Sounders – makes complete sense to me!

Emerson is a big fourth grader now. She also loves her teacher and class. It was a bit of a nail biter this Summer though as she wasn’t sure who she would know in her class. Every one of her girl friends we called when the teacher assignments came out had been assigned another teacher. When we walked into her classroom, she was seated right next to a classmate from last year, Tommy. Whew, disaster avoided! As it turns out, Tommy was as happy that Emerson was next to him, as she was that he was next to her! Apparently, he’d had a similar experience with all his buddies being assigned different teachers. Well, needless to say, the mama always worries needlessly and both children have settled right in to school and are doing extremely well!

Emerson is playing soccer again on a new team. This team is more competitive than her prior teams and the coach demands a bit more from his players – none if this is a bad thing in our book! She is being challenged to become a little more assertive on the field and honing her skills. Again, I was terrified for her at her first game. Would she be able to hang with these girls who had been playing together for some time? Would her skills be where they needed to be? Again, the worry was unfounded as Emerson scored one of the teams many goals in the first half and then helped complete the shut out game in the second half by not allowing any goals as the goal keeper. Her shirt was white, so the team decided to go with white shorts and socks, too. They call themselves the Mini-Breakers though I have dubbed them the Mini-Might-Marshmallows myself! There will be a mother-daughter scrimmage in a couple of weeks. Wish me luck that I don’t make a fool out of myself. I am the only one in the family that doesn’t play soccer.

As for Jeff and I, we are both staying extremely busy. The real estate market has improved for sure this year! We are hoping the market stays strong through the Winter. My firm has been able to make some serious headway financially and operating in the black is within reach for the first time in some time (since the market turned in 2007, really). Personally, my production has also picked up. I am so thankful for my clients, as well as those who refer my clients to me. It is a blessing to be in this business and experience to job or repeat and referral clients.

Don’t forget to check out my website at SabrinaSellsSpokane.com and please let me know if I can ever help you with your real estate needs.

Have a great week everyone!

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