As if life was back to normal…
Greetings all. Hope this finds you well.
Only 10 shopping days left ’til Christmas…when did that happen?
In retrospect, I think it’s fair to say that I have no idea where 2009 has gone. None!
While that may or may not be a bad thing, it startles me to think how close we are to 2010.  2010?  That’s a number not a year!  “Back in ’67”.  I understand what that means. “In 2010, we’ll be…”. I don’t get it. It doesn’t SOUND like a year. It doesn’t LOOK like a year. Nothing about that number says “next year” to me. OK, now that I have officially designated myself as an old fart, I suppose I should just get into the blog and ponder the unfathomable on my own time… sheesh!

First Aid and CPR Classes are coming up this Saturday, the 19th. From 9am to 5pm, the class will run you $30 and you ought to be registering NOW by calling 564-1623.

And speaking of Saturday, PLEASE rummage through your can cupboard and ask yourself if you couldn’t help restock the food bank?  No kidding.  This year the need is huge.  A bunch of U.P. volunteers are doing something this Saturday to make a dent in that problem but they won’t be successful without you.  (See below)

The next time you’re sitting around wondering why we can’t buy a decent pro football team, consider the difference you can make with a bit of your spare time.  (No, not for the Seahawks.)  The U.P. Volunteer Center is a real gem in our community and they would love to hear that you can dig up a couple of hours here or there to pitch in making U.P. a better place.  Consider giving them a call at 223-0039.   (Now, about that football team… )

I was having a conversation yesterday with a fellow who told me about being in a tailor shop downtown when members of the Tacoma Police Department Honor Guard stopped in with their new uniforms in need of a rush job of tailoring before the memorial for their fallen brethren from Lakewood.  What impressed the gentleman who told me about it was the fact that during a rather brief visit, no less than a half dozen passers-by bothered to take the time to walk into the shop and offer their hands in thanks to each of the uniformed officers, for the jobs they do for us.  We’ve all heard similar stories as of late and many of us have, ourselves,  taken an extra step to express appreciation.  Why let that stop?  Can’t we just make it our habit to stop what we are doing  when we see a uniformed officer and take less than a half of a minute to look them in the eye, extend our hand and sincerely thank them for what they do on our behalf.  It’s natural for us to feel emotionally motivated to do so right now in the wake of our local tragedy but why let that show of support fade.  Talk to any of them.  Ask them how they feel about that.  You’ll see the look on their face change and you’ll hear a response from the heart.  It DOES make a difference to them!  And don’t they make a difference to us?  Don’t stop thanking them.  They deserve to hear it every day, every week, every month.  Many of you know that I’m retired Air Force and in the early days of my career it was not at all popular to be seen in a military uniform and that hurt.  You can guess how important it is to me to take the time to thank our young servicemembers and their families for the sacrifices they make for us every day of their lives.  Well, our debt does not end there.  Those four Lakewood officers were wearing their uniforms because we need police to do just that.  Not unlike Air Force bombers on alert, we need the deterrence that our police professionals provide for us, just by their uniformed presence.  We need them uniformed, visible and out in the community but that simple act, as we have so clearly seen, puts their very lives in jeopardy.  Is our thanks enough?  Maybe not but it’s a damned good place to start!

REAL ESTATE SALE OF THE DAY: In an effort to help you keep tabs on this continually changing real estate market in University Place here’s another recently sold U.P. home with details from public information. SOLD:  6913 Twin Hills Drive West.  Here was a perfect example of a house chasing the market.  That is to say, it appeared for sale first at $389,000 which was a bit above comparable homes in the marketplace, yet $1,000 less than they had bought it for just three years before.  Well, of course, other homes began selling but not this one.  It had a lot going for it, nice bright, good sized kitchen, huge common rooms both upstairs and down, five bedrooms or offices or playrooms or whatever…the floorplan was certainly flexible. It was located in the U.P. School District on a very low traffic street in the heart of a nice development of like-valued homes.  But again, it was priced just a bit above the market and that market was depreciating.  So, rapidly, the market “ran away from the house”.  By that, I mean, other comparable homes appeared for sale but at lower and lower prices and those others competing with this house which had already been on the market, they were cutting prices right and left.  However, the homeowners here, while advised to do so, couldn’t see their way clear to making their home competitive with the others.  The only way to do so would have been to make the price reductions in a timely manner.  Now, is this what we want to deal with when we sell our home?  Of course not but it is what’s happening all around us in the market right now.  Well, certainly earlier this year it was but this house just didn’t keep up.  So, two things happened as a result of that.  First, it was on the market for 292 days!  No fun.  And more importantly, in the end, it sold for less than it would have had it been made competitive early in that lengthy listing period.  Agents and buyers begin to see a home as “damaged goods” after it’s lingered on the market far beyond the competition.  Even if they can’t find a thing wrong with it, they “perceive” that there are problems…they just come to see the home as less valuable than it’s competition and in the end, to get it sold, it must be PRICED BELOW the competition.  Hence, the seller gets less than they would have had they priced it even with the competition early on.  It’s an expensive lesson.  My advice to future sellers is this.  Learn from other’s experiences.  Don’t pay that price, too.  When you realize your home is not selling BUT others are, get your price truly competing with your rivals.  If you don’t, your home is simply helping theirs to sell by showing itself as the one that is overpriced, while the comps are comparative deals. 

It’s still a nasty market out there and it will be for some time to come.  To compete in it, you must KNOW it and not at a gross level but intimately.  Trust your REALTOR and ask him for the information behind his recommendations.  He’ll be happy to share his market knowledge and research. So, you can be well informed, too.

Well, don’t let the shopping crowds get to you and beware of being ‘swept away’ in your favorite stores.   What?  You know what I mean. It might be REI, Sports Authority, Macy’s that gets ahold of you or you might be held captive, as I was the other day,  in Border’s Books.  I came home after a multi-hour visit to buy one book, with two bags full of volumes.  I didn’t shop the store. The store shopped me!  Beware! 

PAT MADDOCK   Coldwell Banker Bain REALTORS              3560 Bridgeport Way West,  University Place, WA 98466                (253)682-1182


Who is this guy?

As a top producer with Coldwell Banker Bain REALTORS in University Place, Pat Maddock is the former President of the Tacoma-Pierce County Association of REALTORS and a current Vice-President of the Washington REALTORS, the statewide trade association of professional members of the National Association of REALTORS (NAR). He also serves the University Place – Fircrest Division of the Tacoma-Pierce County Chamber of Commerce on it’s Board of Directors and he serves the City of University Place on the Economic Development Commission. But most importantly, he’s been a University Place native since 1953. Pat is also a 20-year Air Force veteran.