Ocean Shores/North Beach Newsletter
"2009 in Review"
Presented by April Swenson,
Realtor & Associate Broker for Coldwell Banker Ocean Beach Properties
HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!
I thought I would start out this e-mail with a good laugh. This is what Jeff Foxworthy has to say about living in Washington:
1) If you've worn shorts, sandals and a parka at the same time, you live in Washington.
2) If you know several people who have hit a deer more than once, you live in Washington.
3) If you install security lights on your house and garage but leave both doors unlocked, you live in Washington.
4) If you can drive 75 mph through 2 feet of snow during a raging blizzard without flinching, you live in Central, Southern or Eastern Washington.
5) If you design your kid's Halloween costume to fit over a 2 layers of clothes or under a raincoat, you live in Washington.
6) If driving is better in the winter because the potholes are filled with snow and ice, you live in Washington.
7) If you know all 4 seasons: almost winter, winter, still winter, and road construction, you live in Washington.
8) If you know more than 10 ways to order coffee, you live in Washington.
9) If you know more people who own boats than air conditioners, you live in Washington.
10) If you stand on a deserted corner in the rain waiting for the "Walk" signal, you live in Washington.
11) If you consider that if it has no snow or has not recently erupted, it is not a real mountain, you live in Washington.
12) If you can taste the difference between Starbucks, Seattle's Best, and Dutch Bros, you live in Washington.
13) If you have actually used your mountain bike on a mountain, you live in Washington.
14) If you think people who use umbrellas are either wimps or tourists, you live in Washington.
15) If you buy new sunglasses every year, because you can't find the old ones after such a long time, you live in Washington.
16) If you actually understand these jokes and forward them to all your Washington friends, you live or have lived in Washington.
2009 NOTABLE NEWS/EVENTS
MERRY CHRISTMAS 2009
Christmas Day was a beautifully sunny and clear day. Click on the following link to view the pictures: www.oceanshoresinfo.com/pics/christmas2009.html
WINTER STORM 2009
November was hit with the first true Winter storm and it was a spectacular site to watch the stormy waves hit the Jetty. Click on the following link to view pictures: www.oceanshoresinfo.com/pics/jettystorm2009.html
INDEPENDENCE DAY 2009
The weekend was packed and the beaches lined with cars and people letting off fireworks, including myself. Click on the following link to view pictures: www.oceanshoresinfo.com/pics/july4th2009.html
SAND & SAWDUST FESTIVAL 2009
This is one my personal favorite yearly events with the sandcastle competitions held in June. Click on the following link to view pictures: www.oceanshoresinfo.com/pics/sand&sawdustfestival2009.html
FLAG DAY PARADE 2009
One of the largest Flag Day parades in Western Washington was held in June. Click on the following link to view pictures: www.oceanshoresinfo.com/pics/flagdayparade2009.html
THE BOARDWALK SHOPS of OCEAN SHORES GRAND OPENING
These cute beach-looking condo retail shops opened in April with 4 shops already bought/leased, and another on the way. These shops are located next to the Coldwell Banker/Caffe Amici building. Still a couple left for purchase or lease! Click on the following link to view pictures and more info: www.oceanshoresinfo.com/commercial/boardwalkshops.html
WINDSURFING at DAMON POINT
There was a great site of many windsurfers at Damon Point State Park/Protection Island in January 2009. Click on the following link to view pictures: www.oceanshoresinfo.com/pics/windsurfers.html
ROAD CONSTRUCTION 2009
This year brought massive road construction, especially in the downtown area. There were many road closures and detours due to the repaving of the streets and the installation of a traffic circle at the intersection of Chance a La Mer and Pt Brown Ave. It is almost complete. They are finishing the concrete curbs and sidewalks and will do plantings in the springtime.
NEW FIRE STATION OPENS 2009
The downtown fire station moved in November/December from their older, smaller building on JK Lewis St to the brand new, over $4.6M fire station on Pt Brown Ave next to the Police Station. It is very impressive.
BUDGET SHORTFALL 2009
In November, Ocean Shores citizens, including myself, voted on the proposed EMS Levy. It was defeated by approximately 69% to 31%. With this defeat, the City found themselves with a shortfall of approximately $1.3M for 2010. So the Mayor and the City Council have had to find ways to balance the budget through layoffs, closing the Library and Interpretive Center, and they are looking into imposing an EMS Tax. The Library is staying open through March for limited hours. Fund-raising is occurring to keep both places open, which is great to see the citizens unite for a common goal.
Many cities and counties, such as ours, are facing budget issues and I do believe there must be stronger and deeper analyses of the City's budget. There are many tough questions to be answered and even tougher decisions to be made. We must move forward with the right business principles and implement them.
The City has moved forward with improvements, such as the much-needed repaving of all of our roads and a nicer, more pedestrian-friendly downtown area. Some more good news is that we are seeing greater numbers of tourists flock here than in 2008. We offer so many attractions, ie the accessible beaches, lakes, canals, parks, a clubhouse, hotels, restaurants, arcades, etc. Not to mention affordable real estate with water, sewer and power available to all properties. This truly is a great place to live!!!! I do!
OTHER NOTABLE LOCAL NEWS
- The well-known and established gift shop, The Flying Cats, moved into the north-wing of the Coldwell Banker building in October.
- Coldwell Banker Ocean Beach Properties is the #1 listing and selling office in Grays Harbor County for 2008 and 2009 (per NWMLS data).
- Tentative Clam Digs, Jan 29-31: dig razor clams on our local beaches.
- Antique & Collectible Show, Feb 13-14: over 80 booths, seminars, etc are held at the Convention Center.
- Beachcombers Fun Fair, Mar 6-7: beach walks, exhibits, seminars, children's activities, etc.
Welcome to a new year. My colleagues and I have been extremely busy in real estate. The buyers are out there. It has been surprising to us that this much activity has been occurring in December and January. So I am excited about this new year. Inventories are down, but prices are still low. Click on the links to see some Great Buys.
Homes Under $150K
2009 MARKET ACTIVITY
January 1, 2009 to December 31, 2009
OCEAN SHORES MARKET:
|Sold Median Price||$158,500||$23K||$100,500||$163,500||$169K|
NORTH BEACH (Ocean City to Moclips) MARKET:
|Sold Median Price||$176,500||$23,500||$0||$150K|
SOUTH BEACH (Westport/Grayland/Ocosta) MARKET:
|Sold Median Price||$108,500||$65K||$168K||$170K||$227,500|
LONG BEACH PENINSULA (Ilwaco to Surfside Estates) MARKET:
|Sold Median Price||$159,500||$40K||$141,500||$330K||$135K|
NOTE: All of the above date was pulled from the NWMLS and is not guaranteed.
In conclusion, Ocean Shores/North Beaches provide the greatest selection and lowest prices, plus the most bang for your buck.
MOVE-UP HOME-BUYER CREDIT
The Worker, Homeownership, and Business Assistance Act of 2009 has established a tax credit of up to $6,500 for qualified move-up/repeat home buyers purchasing a principal residence after November 6, 2009 and on or before April 30, 2010 (or purchased by June 30, 2010 with a binding sales contract signed by April 30, 2010).
- The buyer(s) must have owned and resided in the same house for at least 5 consecutive years out of the last 8 years prior to the purchase date ("long-term resident"). For married taxpayers, both spouses must qualify as long-time residents.
- Repeat home buyers do not have to purchase a home that is more expensive than their previous home to qualify for the tax credit.
- The tax credit is equal to 10% of the home's purchase price up to a maximum of $6,500.
- The income limit for single taxpayers is $125,000; the limit is $225,000 for married taxpayers filing a joint return.
- See your tax accountant for more information.
You can read more information at http://www.federalhousingtaxcredit.com/faq2.php#1.
NEW RESPA RULES NOW IN EFFECT
The new year brought significant RESPA changes affecting the Good Faith Estimate (GFE) and the HUD-1 settlement statement. These changes are intended to help home buyers fully understand the costs of loan origination and other settlement services, and protect them from big surprises when it comes time to close.
The new three-page GFE has been designed to help buyers compare costs between different lenders and brokers. It also lays out which charges can change before settlement and which charges must remain the same.
For more help on getting pre-approved/qualified, contact our local lender, The Bank of the Pacific. You can call Carol Warfield, the Vice President Residential Loan Officer, at 360-580-0187 (cell) or e-mail her at firstname.lastname@example.org. Interest rates are still very low.
Once again, if you ever have any questions about Ocean Shores, the North Beach, the surrounding Grays Harbor cities, and/or real estate, please do not hesitate to call or e-mail me.
Your Beach Destination Awaits You at the #1 Washington Coast Town!
Associate Broker & Realtor, Coldwell Banker Ocean Shores
888-469-3100 office 360-289-3111 fax 360-589-2777 cell