Real Estate Loan, Interest Rate Chart for 13 months

As a buyer you just have to ask much better can it get. Buyers and Sellers for that matter have been asking my agents if we are at the bottom of the market.

I think we are "within" the bottom. Don't know if that is going into or out of the bottom (won't know that until we look back after six months) but we are certainly within the bottom. Buyers who wait are faced with the likely hood that they will miss the bottom and loose because a jump in .5% will offset any further price drop. Chances are in 6 months that rates will be higher than they are today.

Bottom line, if you want to gamble, go to Las Vegas. This is not gambling. If you are going to own your home for the next 5 years or so this is an investment. Remember....I'm a big believer in flipping houses.....the slow, hold for 4 to 6 years then sell.

Trying to do too much with one website

Over two years ago I developed a website which led to this blog. Even then Ozzie, the guy at Graphical Data who helps me with all things web, cautioned me that the site was too broad. I was trying to make it be all things to all people.

Last week I met with Ozzie and we developed a new plan. Essentially I'm breaking down my one website into two which in turn will roll out a second blog as well. The goal is to focus the information and tools to a smaller group. will focus on home buyers and sellers. It will address questions and concerns a typical home buyer or seller might have in today's real estate market. Search for homes, learn about neighborhoods and schools and pick up a little education about the process along the way. This blog will be restructured to pick up the day to day conversations that goes on and refer readers to the website just as you would refer to a reference book.

The new website will be and the new blog will we These will address concerns that real estate practitioners might have. Getting started in real estate, classes to take, technology to use, interesting changes in the market and the like.

Needless to say there is a lot of work ahead to string up my new portion of the net. Fortunately I'm passionate about the topic and eager to share what is happening in our neck of the woods.

Feel free to check out these new sites and learn along with me. I'm setting up the blog first. This gave me a chance to try out a new platform....wordpress. Because I've settled on a specific template I had to have my blog hosted for me, not hosted within wordpress or like this one within Blogger. As I go I'll try to share all of the things I learn....Let me bump my shins as I work through this unfamiliar room called wordpress and hosting. I'll give links as well so you can check out the choices I've made.

Dreamhost (Put the word "Frankly" in the coupon code for a free domain and save $10)
Thesis (template for blog)
GraphicalData (designs real estate websites for agents and companies)

Bremerton Condo Sales

We recently had a new event in Bremerton, which is a city in Kitsap County Washington, an auction of a condo project called The 400. Carol Sue Rogers, the Broker of our Bremerton office wrote this article for our newsletter.

The auction of The 400 by Carol Sue Rogers

The highly publicized and much anticipated “400 Auction” took place a few Sunday’s back. There was quite a buzz in Bremerton and a lot of uncertainty of what the auction really meant.

NBC nightly news ran a story and several local newspapers covered what they perceived as more doom and gloom in the real estate market place. Buyer’s perception was that the building was in foreclosure and they could get a luxury waterfront condo for $109,000.

The auction company is a real estate company with a different method of selling real estate. It is a way to generate activity on their listing. With gorilla marketing efforts which included folks on street corners waving signs, it definitely got attention and the free advertising the media provided it is no surprise it received so much attention. This idea is new to our area and buyers lined up with hopes and dreams of buying a luxury waterfront condo for pennies on the dollar. Many left disappointed with the final outcome.

Below is an example of some of the sales information that we were able to obtain. Final results of the 28 units that were auctioned: 18 are currently sold/in escrow ~ 2 flipped at auction and 8 bids were rejected. The unsold units will be rented for the next few years through a corporate rental service.

Unit – Floor Plan

Original List Price

Starting Bid

Final Bid

Actual Cost after Buyer premium


212 Enetai






300A Illahee






113 Sinclair






205 Manette






112 Veneta





Reserve Met/Sold

108 Sedgwick






111 Keyport





Seller Rejected

301 Illahee





Seller Rejected

114 Sinclair





Seller Rejected

400 Veneta





Seller Rejected

So what else did we learn…..

1. Over 1200 previewed the property, less than 100 attended the auction and approximately 35 were registered bidders. Only 3 of the bidders were from outside Kitsap County.

2. National media attention on your listing doesn’t guarantee a higher sales price.

3. A property that is being auctioned does not always mean it is in foreclosure.

4. Market Value was just established on New Waterfront Condos in Bremerton.

5. The auctioneers commented that this was a tough crowd. Tuxedos and all , they just couldn’t Kitsap County buyers to bid to the undisclosed reserve amount on 25 of the 28 units.

Kitsap County, WA, Real Etate Graph

This is a great snap shot of what is happening in Kitsap County, WA.....From a Real Estate prospecitve:
Note the red line which indicates pending is trending up. This will lead to a more balanced market if the trend continues. As pending goes up, invenory will go down.

We currently have over 2400 homes on the market in Kitsap County. I've seen a low in the lower 700 range and this is a high. I would like to see it closer to 1500 or so. Stay tuned....the adventure continues.....................

Bullet points from changes of new RCW 18.85. Real Estate License law in Washington State

For those of us who were involved in these changes a few years ago....this comes as a bit of a surprise. It appears that the revisions to WA States real estate license law has now been brought before our state legislators and is now ready for the Governors signature.

Though this was a hot topic 2 or 3 years ago many of us thought this had been stalled and set aside. It is time to start letting our agents know that this is now our future. Like many changes of this nature there will be some who are happy about the change and some....not so much. This has been a long time coming. Our industry has changed a lot since RCW 18.85 was last addressed.

Below are "Just the facts Mam" I'm sure there will be a lot of discussion about how this will affect our industry, our agents and the consumer.

Three levels of Broker:

Designated Broker
Managing Broker

New Licensees for Broker:
90 clock hours to sit for the Brokers exam
First renewal additional 90 clock hours

Managing Broker:
3 years as a Broker
90 clock hours of instruction (specialized classes)
Pass an examination

Designated Broker:
Licensed as a Managing Broker
Registered by DOL as a Designated Broker
Designated Broker may act as such for more than one firm

30 hours for each 2 year renewal
15 hours may be carried over from previous 2 years

Non licensed people may provide referrals to licensees provided their compensation is not contingent upon receipt of compensation of the licensee.

Licensees (all three flavors) must be fingerprinted and have a background check conducted. The Director may institute a schedule by which this information is renewed on a regular basis.

If a Broker is in a position to supervise or exercise control over other Brokers they must be licensed as a Managing Broker.

During the first two years a new Broker must have a “heightened level of supervision” provided by a Managing Broker.

Licensees must now provide a copy of singed documents to their principles “within a reasonable time after signing”. (instead of at the signing of those documents)

A salesperson will now be considered a Broker and must take a transitional course prior to their first renewal after this goes into effect.

The real estate market, much the same but at least we are used to it.

Well here we are, almost through the first quarter of 2008. By now many thought we would be through the tough times. I think realization began to set in towards the end of 2007 or certainly by mid February as more and more sub-prime woes spilled out.

So...where are we now? I actually think we are better off this year than last. Even if it is a psychological factor of once you get past the shock you begin to acclimate. Sellers are becoming more realistic about their homes value. Agents are focusing more on sold data. Buyers are asking more questions about their loans and are actually much more informed than I think in the past.

Where we are is not all that bad, at least in this neck of the woods. I'll hear agents indicate it will be another year before we are done with they think someone will through a switch at 12:53 pm on April 18, 2009 and the market will return to what it was 3 years ago??? What we will be seeing is a slow increase in market health. None of us want it to shoot upwards, just a nice slow improvement.

What does improvement look like? 1)Reduced inventory, we currently have 2259 listings on the market in Kitsap County. Getting below 2000 will indicate we are headed in the right direction. I've seen a low of 700 or so. 2) Slight increase in sales. Last week we had 45 homes go into a pending state. This means we currently have 50 weeks of inventory, certainly a buyers market. Both of these items will help to bring down our "days on market" which is currently 98...which is not bad compared to other parts of the country that are well into the triple digits. It will also allow homes to begin a more sustainable value growth. A 3% to 5% increase in your homes value each year is a nice place to be.