Traditionally the Tacoma market slows after the 4th of July. For that reason, I reasoned that this past weekend would be a great weekend to take the kids camping. It turned out to be a very bad idea. Besides being very hot, I spent most of the time negotiating FIVE offers that came in Friday and Saturday. Maybe they came in at the same time by chance, or maybe there is good energy in the market at this unlikely time of year. Many in our industry here report being very busy.
One factor that could help this summer is the first time home-buyer tax credit for military personnel. Unlike the tax credit for everyone else, the credit for qualifying military buyers is good until spring 2011. The great news for our area is that 18,000 troops are returning to Lewis-McChord from tours of duty. About 3,000 of those troops are here, with the rest coming some time before October 1st. We thank them for their service to our country. We are glad to have them back!
Today on CNN.com among “Latest News” on their front page is a list of the top places to buy a home, as ranked by Money Magazine. Tacoma ranks number 8 on their list, with 3.9% projected appreciation. They cite our metro area's proximity to spectacular scenery as a reason, as well as depressed prices in the wake of the recession.
Sometimes you have to blog about things other than the real estate market in Tacoma, even as that market has finally started showing signs of life. I like to try to mention businesses in the area that I like.
First is Valhalla Coffee Roasters on 6th Avenue. I have walked past it countless times on my way to one of the national coffee chains for an Americano. One day I stopped in to introduce myself and asked if they also sold drinks. They do. Byron proceeded to pull the darkest, richest espresso shot I ever recall enjoying. I buy beans from them as well. Often the beans I get were roasted that same day. I am told the beans I buy at national coffee chains may have been roasted in a previous year! Fresh is good. Local is great! Give Valhalla a try. They are on 6th Ave in Tacoma, just west of Proctor.
I have also rediscovered roller skating with my kids at Wheelz Arena at 2101 Mildred St W. I am happy to have a place to take my kids to skate. They offer free skate nights, which are free if you have your own skates; otherwise you do pay a $3 rental fee, but that’s still an affordable night out.
I hope you will support local businesses like these and keep dollars circulating within our local economy. Perhaps those same business owners may one day support your business!
I wanted to post a link to an interesting article speculating on the cities most likely to go from slump to bump—or in other words recover from the down market of the past two years.
Tacoma is ranked first! Moody’s Economy.com expects the Tacoma real estate market to bounce back strongly, with home prices increasing 22 percent by the first quarter of 2012 and 41 percent by the first quarter of 2014. They cite the military bases here in the Tacoma area, a diversified ecomomy, and The Port of Tacoma as reasons the outlook for our real estate market is so promising.
75 days left on the 1st time home buyer tax credit!
If you hope to qualify for the $8,000 1st time home buyer tax credit, you are running out of time. The credit, which is part of the President’s stimulus package is set to expire December 1st. So in order to close by that date, a home would really need to be identified and placed under contract by mid September in order to close on time.
The Gintz Group, the developer I am working with to sell 27th Street Station Condos, have launched a push “blow out” all condo units by the time the stimulus expires. To this end they have dropped prices across the board. Their fully renovated, beautifully appointed homes range from $99,900 to $139,900. There is also a $4000 preferred lender bonus towards closing costs. They offer choice of one or two bedroom floor plans. More information can be found at www.27thStreetStation.com.
My suspicion is that the expiration of the tax incentive will slow the lower end market, but the big question is whether the market will have enough momentum at that point that we can avoid slipping into a winter slump. More to come...