The other day I got to talking to a friend, Greg Horn, who builds docks. His company is Pacific Dock Builders, LLC. Greg lives and works primarily in Lakewood, which is Shangri La if you are a dock builder because wherever you are in Lakewood you’re near a lake. He estimated that two out of every three homes on Lake Steilacoom, for example, have a dock, many of which are in pretty sad shape because they were not built to last. The docks Greg is building today will be here 40 or 50 years, and the steel pilings they sit on at least twice that long. For the decking, Greg recommends TimberTech, a durable decking product that also resists slipping. Typical docks are 8 feet wide and about 30 feet long. They can run from $10,000 to $20,000.
Docks are an investment, both in your own personal enjoyment and in your property’s value. You want a dock to function well, look good and last a lifetime. I believe it makes sense to do it right. Here are some examples of the docks that Pacific Dock Builders has built. If you would like to get in touch with Greg Horn, let me know. Let me also take this opportunity to tout a beautful home that our team is offering on Lake Steilacoom. It does not have one of Greg's docks at present, but it does feature an Aqua-Lift, which is handy for keeping the underside of your boat clean. Here is a link to the virtual tour: Lakefront home offered at $550,000.
The latest NWMLS Report is unquestionably positive. It shows inventory for the entire service area at its lowest level since May and pending sales up 20% from a year ago.
Locally, we are seeing the same encouraging trends. In Pierce county inventory is 11% below where it was at this time last year and we have 9.7% more pending sales. Our closed sales are also up, by 23%. Now make no mistake--we do have a ways to go. This market still favors buyers and will for some time. Also, prices are down as compared with 2010. The first step is to get supply and demand back in line and that is one aspect of this report that speaks to me--trends toward equilibrium. We are moving in the right direction. The other news here is that this month and last month the reports had a tone that was unquestionably positive. We’ve been getting a steady diet of bad news for four years, so the tone is itself noteworthy.
As if insanely low interest rates, rock bottom prices and a great selection of real estate inventory here in Tacoma weren’t enough of an inducement, here is one more reason to look at buying a home now. There is still a federal credit for first time homebuyers! I suspect most of you didn’t know that. It’s not exactly the same as the popular one from last year, but buyers who have taken advantage of it can’t believe what a great deal it is. It’s an incentive that isn’t doing much for the economy because no one is talking about it. Unlike the $8000 one-time tax credit that helped spur sales in 2010, this is a gift that keeps on giving--an ongoing tax CREDIT of 20% of the interest you paid for the year EACH YEAR. I’m talking about a credit for tax payers who take the standard deduction—e.g. most first time buyers. You need to meet a few requirements, which most first time buyers will. If you want to find out if you qualify, call me. I can put you in touch with Becky, who will be happy to explain the requirements and program in more detail.