August Update

My son just completed a two week backpacking trip through Olympic National Park, incommunicado except for one phone call when his group resupplied. This was a special kind of agony for his parents. If he only knew how many times he was attacked by bears in my imagination, impaled on the horns of crabby mountain goats and washed over Niagara... Read More »

State Farm in T-Town

The Tacoma News Tribune reported today that leases are in place for State Farm to occupy the Russell Building downtown and four floors at Columbia Bank Center. As I sit to write to you this month, the news raises questions about the likely impact on Tacoma real estate. When Russell left for Seattle, some worried about the impact on high-end... Read More »

Renting Your Old Home in Tacoma to Buy a New Home

A couple of years ago I spoke to Julia, a woman whose family’s needs and wants had evolved beyond their home and neighborhood. Unfortunately the house was no longer worth what they owed. Like a lot of people, they felt shackled to their home. Every so often Julia emails. “How about now?” Although the market is improving, values are still... Read More »

Tacoma Elks Building to be Transformed by McMenamins

We’ve been hearing for some time about the Elks building downtown being bought by McMenamin’s (brewer/distiller/hotelier) but prior to a few weeks ago I had zero concept of what that might mean. Then Nicole and I spent two nights at their Edgefield Resort just outside of Portland. It was a remarkable experience. Once upon a time that property was a... Read More »

Early 2013 Update (with gratuitous sports commentary)

Tacoma real estate 2013 (with gratuitous sports commentary) We erroneously think of January 2 as being the day the new buyers come out and the market wakes from its holiday snooze. In reality there is a lag. Most years it is around the second week of the month when our phones start ringing and we begin the process David calls... Read More »

Running in Place

Running in Place Last month I did a piece on aging in place—the concept of building homes designed to evolve with us as our needs change with age. I was nominated for a prestigious award for both the reporting and writing. Not really. But I did accomplish something. I elicited a critical response. I moved the needle enough to receive... Read More »

Age in Place in Stadium District

Some of our buyers only want to see one-level homes. Even if their knees and hips are fine today, these people are often planning ahead to a day, maybe far off in the future, when stairs may not be manageable. That is wise planning. Homes can be long term investments. I recently met someone who took this thinking and turned... Read More »

Save The Blue Mouse

Last month I wrote about the Proctor District and what made it great. One business I cited by name was Blue Mouse Theater, a Proctor District landmark since the 20s. I since learned that Blue Mouse is fighting for survival. They still use only 35mm projectors, a format that movie studios will stop providing after next year. Converting to digital... Read More »

Why Proctor?

We listed an interesting home this month. There are a few places where updates are needed, but sometimes that is the best kind of home to buy–the kind where someone hasn’t already imbued it with their personal taste. The property is unique for its size, first of all. The home measures 4,736 square feet including the unfinished basement and the... Read More »