Category: Curran Apple Orchard


July is upon us and that means so many earth-shatteringly significant things, well, maybe…
July 1st is Canada Day…ok, enough on that.
You can set off legal fireworks in University Place from 9am to 11pm now through July third.  You get an extra hour, until midnight, on the fourth.  (By the way, if anyone’s setting off fireworks around my house at 9am, you’ll get to see… No, I think I’ll let it be a surprise.) 

In U.P. you must be 16 years old to purchase, posses or discharge any fireworks.  Kids younger than that involved with fireworks must be under the direct supervision of an adult. No, a 16 year old is not an adult.

 Hey, would you be careful, please.  Even the legal fireworks can be dangerous.  Sparklers…safe, right?  Well, if handled appropriately, sure. However, please note that sparklers burn at a temperature which is hot enough to melt gold!  Between 1,000 and 2,000 degrees farenheit is where sparklers burn.  How do you think a little kid’s fingers would do in contact with that or someone’s eye?  I’m not saying don’t light off fireworks. What I’m saying is:

  • Buy fireworks only from licensed retail outlets;
  • Never hold fireworks in your hand or throw them;
  • Don’t lean over fireworks or relight duds;
  • Have a RESPONSIBLE, SOBER adult present;
  • Know your local emergency numbers, your address/location and basic first aid.
  • Why not opt for attending a public fireworks display. They are much cooler than what you can do in your driveway!
  • That’s what I’m saying.  And you know what?  It’s a good time to remind you about the University Place Emergency numbers:

    Emergency Number:
    911

    In case of an emergency, to report a crime in progress, or if you need an officer to be dispatched.

    Non-Emergency Number:
    (253) 798-4722

    To reach the dispatch center for non-emergencies where the perpetrator is gone and you want an officer to investigate.
    All Other Calls:
    (253) 798-4058
    For general inquiries Monday through Friday during the hours of 9:00 a.m. to 4 p.m.
    Firearm Permit
    (253) 798-7441
    For questions relating to gun permits.

    So, what else is significant around here? 

     July 8th is the date for the next concert in the park at the Curran Orchard park. It’s the Washington National Guard 133rd Army Band playing patriotic and popular music. The Thursday concerts begin at 6:30 and run until 8pm and you can bring your own picnic dinners or purchase food from the Kiwanis, there.   Upcoming shows include the Motown sounds of Fingertips, July 22nd and the always popular Dead Edsels with their old rock and roll show on August 12th.    

                                    
    You’ve heard reference to the PLAYGROUND BY THE SOUND (PBTS), haven’t you? It’s that “not small” undertaking that groups of U.P. citizens have committed to, aimed at funding and constructing, next year,  a sizeable and unique playground on the Chambers Creek properties overlooking the golf course and Puget Sound. They’ve found a great way to help fund it but you’ve got to help to make this work.

    Pepsi has accepted the Playground By The Sound project as a July candidate for their $50,000 Refresh Everything grant. With a total budget of $200,000, the Pepsi grant would make a significant contribution to achieving the goal. The Pepsi grant is a competitive grant which is won by popular vote – YOUR VOTE!  Fire up your computer then online, go to  www.Refresheverything.com  to register and vote EVERY DAY during July. Ask all your friends to vote. too. It will take TONS of votes to beat other communities competing with us for their own projects. For more information on the project, go to the PBTS website  www.playgroundbythesound.org

    This one fund-raising effort could make it or break it for the PBTS project and it’s SOOOOO easy to help. You know what’s even more important than YOU clicking online and voting EVERY day in July?  Asking more and more of your friends to vote, too. They can be email friends on the other side of the planet. They don’t need to be in U.P.  Just forward this to them and BEG them to click on every day throughout July. It could sure put a smile on a lot of little kids faces!  That’s enough motivation for me. I have three different computer addresses. I’ll be voting three times every day. How often will YOU vote? (How many friends will you get to vote?) Let’s not pass up this grant!  The kids are worth it.  Thanks!  (Pass the word)

    By the way, if you would like to garden AND do you Green part, there’s a Rain Garden Class set for July 13th from 6 to 8pm at Narrows View Intermediate School.  It’s all about learning how to put your rain water to work supporting your gardening.  Register by calling 460-2505 or email  sbuter@cityofup.com

    OK, I’ve over stayed my welcome but in the next edition of the UNIVERSITY PLACE:  WHAT’S UP?  Blog, we’ll get into the fact that May’s unemployment numbers are a continued improvement and we’ll take a look at what U.P. home prices are doing.  Those two factors go hand-in-hand in determining our recovery from this recession.  By the way, it’s good news!    And maybe,  just maybe, we’ll take a look at that back-in, angle parking on Bridgeport.  I’ve already gotten one query about it and the city is providing a response. So, come back soon and we’ll see what that topic’s all about.  If I don’t catch you before, have a safe July 4th and remember that it’s not just BBQ, beer and fireworks that we’re celebrating.   Be well and God Bless America!

    PAT MADDOCK     

    Coldwell Banker Bain REALTORS      3560 Bridgeport Way     University Place, WA  98466      patmaddock@cbbain.com

    cbbain-intranet-header2

    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 the 2009 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. ( And he ain’t runnin’ for nuttin’! )

    You can find Pat at the Bridgeport office of Coldwell Banker Bain.  If you want to know most anything about University Place real estate, talk with someone who knows it, understands it and can explain it !

    __________________________________________________

    ________________________________

    IMG_2940I wanted to delay this edition of the blog until after I had made a visit to the CURRAN home at the U.P. apple orchard park, yesterday. After living for so many years here I realized that I had never been in the home.
    Allow me to say right up front that I’m in favor of preserving it.  I could not be any more straight forward about that.
    Also note, that I look at homes differently than most of the blog readers. Why? Because some weeks, I walk through dozens and dozens of homes in my real estate business. I see more homes than Carter has….(do you remember how to finish that?). Well, I do…visit a lot of homes that is, and I will also go on record saying the following about the Curran home.
    In a sense, it’s unique because of where it is and how the city acquired the orchard and home. Famous architect? OK I’ve really got to respond with a hearty “Whoopie!”.  He’s not that famous. But I won’t argue with the fact that the architect is part of the reason to preserve the home.
    “But Pat, it’s such a unique home!” No, it’s really not. I can walk you through others here in Pierce County which are considerably more unique in design and treatments. I can walk you through other homes built in the same style, some grand, some modest and a number of them, like this one, in between.  I won’t argue with the fact that it is unique in the sense of where it is and what it represents and I think the possibilities here are many.
    I understand that a major objection to keeping it and preparing it for IMG_2937public use is the cost involved. No argument. It needs a considerable amount of work from top to bottom. Water leaks, mold, very worn interior, broken windows…the list goes on. If I were listing it for sale, I would have to call it something MORE than just a cosmetic fixer… it needs more work, that is.   Further, to prepare it for public use it would have to be brought up to the standards for such activity. Yes, an interior sprinkler system, ADA considerations and more. It would NOT be a cheap project.
    So, what do I think should be done? I think preventative maintenance should be applied now so as to stem further deterioration and then let a community group, which does, in fact, exist, lead the fund raising efforts for restoration and retro-fitting to make the property suitable for public use. Of course, the city should bear a level of that responsibility as well and it’s the city which has been so successful with development grants from a variety of sources. Why not pursue assistance for this project, likewise?
    The Curran Apple Orchard Park is a unique treasure and that’s no more apparent than today when a whole bunch of U.P. residents are picking and squeezing and making delicious cider from those beautiful apples. What a great afternoon to let your kids ruin a tee shirt and learn and experience and taste and have a ball right here at home in our city. Our summer open air concert series is hosted here in the park and it’s a joy just to take a wander through. Families adopt and care for the trees.  This IS a unique place and it’s certainly a unique park and Yes, the home is park of that…or it can be again with restorative work and ongoing care.  The home is part of what this place is.  Would the park live on without it?  It’s fair to say that it would.  Would it be a richer place if the home was restored and used in ways appropriate to it’s setting?  You bet!
    IMG_2942The park is a gem. The house is part of that.  The city should find a way to participate in what’s needed here while the bulk of the fund raising should be a community effort. Preserve it. Rehab it. Use it and cherish it. It’s worth it!

    In this final photo (above) is Chuck Curran, son of the late owners, chatting Saturday at the home with Cindy Bonaro, Councilperson Lorna Smith and Denise McClusky, council candidate. 

    If you want to know more or get involved in the preservation efforts, contact Cindy at cbonaro@msn.com

    I have not written for some time about our Tacoma Rainiers but I should say something in putting the lid on their season.  I stopped writing about them because #1.) They’re not in University PlaceRainiersanymore. You see, their corporate offices were just upstairs from mine in what’s commonly refered to as the Coldwell Banker building, across from the new Town Center near 35th and Bridgeport.  Well, they’ve gone to a facility on Union across from Life Christian and they tell me they’ve got more room there. (There was more available room in the CB building. So, that excuse hits me as pretty limp. )  At any rate, they moved to Tacoma.  2.)  It’s easy to follow the Rainiers in other publications.  3.) Cheney Stadium is in Tacoma and thus the end of the U.P. relationship with the Rainiers?  Naw, go to a Rainiers game and see your neighbors. My good friend John Lunkes and I were there the other night and I saw neighbors, retired coworkers, friends and cold beer.  Which one did I enjoy the most?  (Don’t ask a question like that!)  But it was the final win of the season that night against the buzz saw that kills our playoff hopes seemingly every time we get there, the Sacramento River Cats, and low and behold, they did it again this year.  So, the season is over but I’ve gotta tell ya, the Pacific North title is nothing to sneeze at and considering the slumps they survived this year, that’s a damned good finish.

    Manager Daren Brown can be proud of his accomplishment especially considering the frequency of runs taken this season onDaren Brownthat elevator between Seattle and Tacoma.  Just look at the guys who are finishing the season with the Mariners who started with the Rainiers to say nothing of all of the other guys who went up to the dance and returned.  Then there are all the guys traded away this year. I would have to say, however, that if we lined up those we lost against those we gained, I’d say we outta respect the Mariners back office. It smells like they know what they’re doing. 

    However, my favorite Mariner/Rainier play is now a Washington National.  In the trade that brought left fielder Ryan Langerhans, we12-Morse gave up Mike Morse. That kid is talented and I ALWAYS enjoyed watching him play.  I watched him play on his birthday in Peoria.  I watched him at Spring Training as he racked up the highest batting average of ANY major league player at ANY Spring training camp…how’s .492 sound for a complete preseason?  I watched him take that elevator up and take that elevator back down again but no matter where Mike ended up, when he stepped onto the field or he reached for his bat, he was a young professional.  Keep an eye on that talented utility player.  I think his potential for good things in the majors is high.

    And as for our Tacoma Rainiers, I believe the new ownership is doing good things.  The price of a Rainier’s dog is still ridiculous but I like the updated rosters, The Dirt, a different player each night signing autographs out front, the new scoreboard, the freshnessrainiers fireworksthey’ve given back to Cheney, what you see when you sit in any of the good seats and baby, they’re ALL good seats at Cheney Stadium. (Except maybe for the seat directly behind the bronze of Ben Cheney.)  Not bad for a 50 year old ballpark, eh?  Yeah, officially, next year is the 50th Anniversary.  I remember that first season in 1960 watching the Tacoma Giants and that’s when I fell in love with pro baseball.  I still get that feeling in a good seat at Cheney Stadium watching the Rainiers…but it’s gotta be one of the good seats!

    I should mention that a lot of sports and other Fall activities are getting underway in U.P.  To find out what all is happening and to get registered for the programs and events, check the official UP website.  See it listed there over on the right?  OK upper right.

    I should tell you that some friends are doing something pretty smart.  Are you familiar with a University Place company known as CORNERSTONE FINANCIAL STRATEGIES?   Cornerstone is really Bob and Deanna Cleaveland and their team of financial professionals.  I first met Bob and Deanna through my work with the University Place – Fircrest Division of the Tacoma-Pierce County Chamber of Commerce but then I came to absolutely trust these two most ethical financial planning pros as they did what was absolutely appropriate for some aging members of my family.  They are both superb members of our greater community and we should be pleased to have their business in U.P.    What they are doing tomorrow night (Monday September 14th) is sponsoring one heck of a financial planning expert as he visits our area and he’s to be featured on KBTC Television beginning at 8pm.  His name is Ed Slott and he’s a nationally recognized IRA distribution expert.  He’s theSlott author of Growing And Protecting Your Money In Turbulent Times and other successful books.  Ed is often refered to as America’s IRA expert.  I just wanted to give you a heads up about something that I think is pretty darned sharp, that one of our local U.P. businesses is up to.  You just  might profit but tuning in Monday night.  That’s KBTC Channel 12 Comcast and Channel 3 on CLICK!  Thanks toBob and Deanna Cleaveland and the Cornerstone Financial gang.

    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: 8801 45th Street West in Beckonridge.  Well, it’s time I talked about it.  The home that has become the scurge of our business. No, not this particular home but houseSHORT SALE homes in general.  Across the board, they are most always a nightmare.  By that I mean, they are most often not in the best of shape and they are usually an AS IS sale and why not?  A Short Sale is when you can’t sell your home for what you owe on it. You, the homeowner will walk away with nothing. So, why would you do repairs or keep it in tip top shape?  And by the way, once you accept an offer it still has to go to the bank for their approval and the bank says they’ll cooperate which implies that they will take a loss. So you go get what you can for it and then find out whether or not the bank really will cooperate. They often do not.  And too many times they tell the homeowner they will and then the homeowner get’s to the closing table and to get out from under the home they just moved out of they must sign a note to the bank for the deficit. Yes, they now loose their home and begin paying what they DIDN’T get in the sale, back to the bank and again, remember, they just LOST that home.  The bank isn’t cooperating at all!  They are not taking a short. They are simply letting you sell the hose to someone for less than you owe on it and now you owe the bank an unsecured loan at “what interest rate?”.  For the homeowner, it’s ugly but for the home buyer it’s ugly, too.  We have to remember that in a short sale, the homeowner is still making the monthly payments on that house up for sale.  You see it, like it make an offer that the seller approves but then you have to wait for the mortgage holder to approve it, too and here comes the ugly part.  That will take MONTHS!!!  If you make an offer on a bank owned property they are motivated to get it sold so they respond often in a matter of hours but with a Short Sale, again, somebody is making the payments so why should the bank be motivated to take a short (which in the end they often don’t do, anyway).  They drag their feet, deal very badly with the clients… I mean, MEAN, nasty, rude, offensive…get the picture?  And short sales are taking three, four, five, six months and more!  It’s a nightmare and No, the pricing is not necessarily anything near a bargain, to begin with.

    This particular home was a Short Sale but I chose it because it was the rare exception to that model I described above.  This 1972 split level U.P. home offered 4 bedrooms, 2.25 baths and as I recall it was pretty clean inside and had been maintained fairly well but NOT updated at all, again, as my memory serves from when I saw it when it was first listed back in March.  They started at $279K which wasn’t bad but had to drop it first to $259K then to $249 to finally get a buyer.  So, it took about 70 days to get that buyer but then it took another two and a half months to get it closed (thanks bank!).  Now that one wasn’t too bad.  There ARE exceptions to the rule but that is NOT what your average Short Sale is like.  It’s more like the one I have in progress on North 30th Street in Tacoma right now.  Eight weeks we have been waiting for ANYTHING from the bank.  No answers.  They keep saying things like, they are still reviewing the file.  We check for an updated states every single week and most weeks there is none.  It’s a long, ridiculously drawn out process and (here’s the bombshell) MOST BUYERS WILL NOT PUT UP WITH IT.  They just march down the street and buy the one that isn’t a short sale or the one that was foreclosed on and it’s now a bank owned property for sale.  Those buyers know they will receive timely answers and they have good reasons to expect their purchase to go smoothly and they will be treated with the respect they deserve. More and more of the practitioners in my profession are not showing Short Sales because they don’t want to put their buyers through that nightmare. And more and more buyers when they see what the average Short Sale looks like, they don’t want to have anything to do with it either.  By the time you even get a response from the bank about your offer, you could have purchased, closed and moved into many other homes.  So, why bother?  On rare occasion we find short sales like this one where it only took two and a half months to get it closed.  Folks, that’s still two and half months most buyers don’t want to wait, especially when they don’t have the final answer and what about those sellers who don’t know if they are going to walk away clean or if they are absorbing a new and often sizeable debt.  The banks take the bailouts and then the screws get put to the mortgage holders.  That’s the reality of it.

    To determine what you should do if you need to sell and you suspect this market might not support what you owe on the home or to find out if you really do want to consider short sales in your buying efforts…on either issue, one way or another…to reach an informed decision, just give me a shout.  It’s what I do and I’ll be happy to make sure you get the straight word!

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

     patmaddock@cbbain.com

    cbbain-intranet-header2

    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.

    ____________________________________________________

    ———————————————————————

    I just asked my grandson Evan (Brand new 3rd grader at Chambers… that would be Mrs. Geren’s class) I asked him, “What should I write about today in the blog?” and Evan answered, “Write about how I whipped you at Wii Baseball”.

    IMG_2092OK, on now to the next grandson. “Hey, Ethan, (Another brand new 3rd grader at Chambers, Mrs Lawrence’s class) what do YOU think I should write about?” “Evan’s girlfriend!”
    Well, so much for asking the twins for guidance!

    How about a brief look at the U.P. calender, first…

    CURRAN APPLE ORCHARD CIDER SQUEEZE is coming up this Saturday, Sept. 13th from 1 to 4pm.  It’s one of the most unique public events of the year in U.P.  Don’t miss it.  I can taste that fresh squeezed cider right now!  Can’t wait.

    By the way, the afternoon before, Friday, Sept. 12th IN the Curran house at the orchard, the University Place Historic Society is inviting you to drop by and share your opinion about the future use of the Curran home.  You see, there are some very divided opinions around town about the structure’s future and the society would like as many folks to weigh in, as possible.  They doors will be open Friday afternoon from 1-4pm. 

    Don’t forget the PUBLIC HEARING, September 28th from 7 to 8pm in the Town Hall meeting room being held to get your opinions about the PROPOSED RATE INCREASE likely headed our way FROM THE TWO REFUSE DISPOSAL COMPANIES  serving U.P.  If you want a look at the proposed changes which involve more than just rate increases, you can stop by the City Clerk’s office where, I believe, those proposals are now posted.  Am I saying they should or shouldn’t increase our rates?  Nope.  I’m saying, if you care about it, stick your nose in and find out.  Then perhaps you WILL want to give public comment.  And if you don’t, as they say, …forever hold your peace!

    FLAG FOOTBALLRegistration is almost here. Early bird registration: Sept 9th.  Final registration deadline: Sept 16th.  Divisions: 1st/2nd, 3rd/4th, and 5th/6th.  It’s a recreational league focusing on participation andHAVING FUN!  This is a non-tackle, pass only league with emphasis on teamwork, participation and sportsmanship.  They are seeking volunteer coaches and officials.  If you’re interested contact Brason Alexander 460-5432 or at balexander@cityofup.com 

    You know our Parks and Rec also runs an INDOOR SOCCER program that operates in the same way. It’s not so much a competitive environment as it is an educational one. In fact, the city refers to both programs as Instructional.   While the flag football eligibility is 1st through 5th grade, Indoor Soccer is open to 4 year olds up through the 4thgrade.  The same registration information applies to both sports and the FEES for soccer and/or football are: Early Bird: $55 resident, $60 for non-residents.  Then before the final deadline it’s $65 for residents and $70 for non-residents.

    Guess where I was this week?  Not in the mood for games?  OK How about on top of what is becoming the new municipal building housing the University Place Library and the U.P. City offices.market square   The Board of Directors of your localUniversity Place-Fircrest Division of the Tacoma-Pierce County Chamber of Commerce climbed up to have a first hand look at the plan in progress.  So, it seems like a good opportunity to set the record straight on a few topics related to the new University Place Town Center.  It’s a given that a LOT of misinformation is widely circulating around town and it’s important to get it straight. So, lets…

    FACT:  When you hear “UP Center” know that it’s a plan covering about 90 acres from 35th to 40th and approximately Bridgeport to Drexler.   It exceeds those boundaries in a number of locales but that’s about it.   Town Center is really the under-development 18 acre portion of that from 35th Street to Homestead Park.

    FACT:  There is a plan to relocate the U.P. Police to the east side of Town Center, thereby freeing up all of the current Public Safety building for the U.P. Fire Department.  That also gives the police more space (Double what they have now) and besides, we can’t expect them to trounce each other annually in the Hogs & Hoser’s game and still live together!

    FACT:  There will eventually be some 550 parking stalls throughout Town Center, more than 100 have already been funded by federal funds supporting public transit.

    FACT:  Town Center is NOT Market Square and vice versa.  While Town Center is the overall development, itself, Market Square is the public area between the west side of the new municipal building and Bridgeport Way. It already encompasses the outdoor fireplace (No kidding, I felt the flame) the fountain (I resisted), the site for the Christmas Tree (That’s what’s great about a blog.  I don’t have to be a pansy and call it a “holiday tree”.  It’s always been a Christmas Tree. It IS a Christmas Tree and it will always be a Christmas Tree.  Political correctness be damned!  It’s CHRISTMAS, not a shopping holiday genericized for the good of all beliefs….sheesh!).  OK, back on track, now.  Also in Market Square, tons of crushed granite. I thought it was concrete I was walking on. Then I saw it kind of crumbling and I wondered what was wrong. Not a thing. It’s all crushed granite and it’s sooo very smart!  A bunch of room for a lot of outdoor tables and chairs, more parking, etc.  A neat public gathering spot.  I saw one like it in a new development in Centennial,  Colorado, last year and it was the most brilliant thing!  I was eating in a restaurant next to it. This is all near Aurora, Colorado and the Southland Mall.   They had the windows open and we were enjoying a public open air concert as we ate our dinner and watched the hundreds of folks in THEIR Market Square, enjoying THEIR dinners, THEIR concert, each other and all-in-all, the heart of THEIR city but in a number of restaurants and other businesses ringing that square, we were ALL enjoying it.  It really was very, very cool.  So, I am a BIG supporter of this design  we’ve got because I’ve seen it come alive.  towncenterI’ve seen the space and the public use of it actually pull a community together.  This is very forward thinking and my hat is off to the planners!

    FACT:  Don’t believe the nay sayers. Stortini’s wasn’t kicked out of the Windmill Village. In fact, if that restaurant wanted to be there still, they could be.  It was THEIR decision to go.  Joe and the family sold out to other owners. THEN the other owners announced their plans to relocate to Puyallup. THEN the city developed the Town Center plan and the space where the restaurant was, is still sitting there available.  As I said, if they wanted to, they could still be serving spaghetti on Bridgeport.  Don’t believe rumors.

    FACT:  The commercial REALTORS working the project ARE currently courting what is referred to as an “Anchor” Business, one which brings traffic, specifically foot traffic, to a location.  Why?  Because that brings patrons for neighboring businesses. So, once the anchor business is signed, watch the others follow.  As of this month, they are somewhere around 90% sure they have an anchor business prepared to buy, develop and build and that anchor will be a state-of-the-art movie theater complex.  But as with any business in this economy, theater attendance is down and major chains are not yet expanding. So, we have patience. We have no control over it. It’s bigger than all of us.  It’s that simple.  For the past couple of years the businesses we would want in Town Center have been very frugal with expansion.  They are not ready yet.  It’s all dependent upon the economy but watch for it!  All of the preparatory development work already accomplished make the UP Town Center more and more attractive to a lot of businesses.  But again, the economy has the final word. So, we wait, like everybody else.

    FACT:  Here’s another rumor you can flush down the old…    Town Center has the city’s bond rating  in the dump.  Ha! Nothing could be further from the truth.  Just this last month, “the big boys” all rated U.P’s bonding at A+.  You don’t get any better!  There are many reasons for that but credit our current governmental leadership with the win!  Not bad, folks. Not bad at all.  Oh, by the way, the City also has more than $4M in strategic reserves.  The next time one of these knucklehead candidates for city council refers to the city as broke, ask them about those facts.  Surplus of strategic reserves and an A+ S&P bond rating.  The neighboring cities jealous of both can line up at the door!

    FACT:  Did you know that plans were underway to answer the need for library expansion even before the Town Center plan was developed.  The new library will “rock” and it’s only about a year away.  “But, but, but…the city got rid of a perfectly good library”  Oh, puhleeze.  The Pierce County library system was looking for a way to get more space and to make it all state-of-the-art. The city gave it to them!  And by the way, what a very nice visibleplace that will be for a library, right in the heart of the biggest draw in the area, in an absolutely featured location with TONS more room and amenities than they had or they likely could have afforded without outside assistance. 

    FACT: (Here’s my favorite) ” The city paid off $1.75M to make a developer go away.”   ARRRRGGGHHHH!  I feel like a Charlie Brown cartoon.  If we are going to flap our gums about it, let’s get it straight. The city DID dish out about $1.75M to a developer in this way… At one point, the city reimbursed a developer’s earnest money, purchased architectural drawings and engineering plans (the building of which is underway) and then he went away and we were able to move forward to where we are today.  Good move.  He and his subcontractors got some good things accomplished but couldn’t get us where we wanted to go. So, we got what was good from it and moved on.  Good move.  That’s commercial development.  The biggest stumbling block to the development of  Town Center is very, very clearly the national economy and the resultant “stinginess” on the part of commercial entities in reference to new expansion.  A number of retail companies are certainly interested in Town Center but most are sitting on their hands waiting for the national economy to turn. It’s the only safe way to do business right now.  Does ANYBODY in this town or anyone we might hire have control over that?  Well, if you think so…   Oh, be nice, now, Pat.CityofUP_logo

    You can tell that the nay sayers frustrate me because they DON’T get the facts straight.  They think the Town Center should be complete, operational and a thriving success by now.  Get real.  Wishing shall not make it so.  Talk to any commercial REALTOR today and you are talking to a desperate character!  As a Vice President of the statewide association of REALTORS,  I work across the table from one of their key leaders and she just rolls her eyes every time the topic comes up.  She points out how far into the mire our commercial market has sunk. That has a direct impact on the U.P. Town Center.  So, we stay the course. Trust in our leadership as they continue to earn federal and state grants, No I didn’t say loans, GRANTS  in the MILLIONS of dollors to make the very effective dream of this city reach reality.  I have no doubt that it will but then I’m one of those positive thinkers who believes the housing market will turn around, too…and it will.

    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: 290911148715 61st St W  Here’s yet another example of how, if you price the property accurately, even in THIS market, it will sell in a timely manner.  The old real estate adage, “There’s a right price for every home.” is, while obvious, also absolutely correct.  This 4 Bedroom, 2.75 Bath, 1978 home first appeared on the market with an asking price of $269,500 and they must have asked nicely because the 2,300 square foot Woodlake home took a $260,000 offer in  just 25 days!  They could have asked $300K for it and we would probably be reading about it’s sale oh, somewhere around December but only after they had dropped it to about $250K.  That’s the way it works!  So,it’s nice to see it work the RIGHT way.  Congratulations!

    By the way, if you’ve been wondering about that $8,000 tax credityou’ve been hearing is available for buying a home, just check out last week’s blog, issued 8/30/09 and watch the brief video I included there.  It really does tell the story quite clearly.

    As always, if you have questions about real estate, perhaps you’re wondering what your home would bring on the market or maybe it’s time to get that family home ready for when the market turns. Well, let’s talk.  It would be my pleasure to provide an analysis for you to help you plan accordingly and then you can press on, heading for the day you put it on the market WITH an accurate understanding of what it will take to earn top dollar and just what that top dollar should be. I’ve been around U.P. since 1953 and I’ve sold a lot of homes in this town.  It’s always a pleasure to help another neighbor!

    Well, dry out and we’ll see you again at the end of the week. Be well…

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

     patmaddock@cbbain.com

    cbbain-intranet-header2

    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.

    ____________________________________________________

    ———————————————————————

    Looked like a lot of Pups in the Park on Saturday.  Hope you and your pooch had a ball. 

    IMG_2873I was frankly, amazed at the hundreds andhundreds of bodies at the high school football stadium Saturday morning. Holy Fran Tarkenton!  It was the annual jamboree to kick off  “little league” tackle football, club ball from around the county and it involved teams from here to Graham andmaybe even beyond. I couldn’t keep track. As a matter of fact, I couldn’t even THINK over the din of what seemed like a hundred or so shrill, high-pitched pre-teen female voices screaming at the top of their lungs. Yes, the cheerleaders were there, too.  OMG!  Am I getting old?  What a racket!  Oh, well.IMG_2880

    ON the field, the youngest of the U.P. Junior Vikings, I think they are called, looked good, even if their shoulder pads were so big they made them look like sailing vessels about to launch.  I played tackle football at that age but somehow I remember us being so very much bigger.  I guess I was wrong. 

    IMG_2881But size meant nada, when it came to evaluating effort.  Some of those kids gave as much as any NFL lineman.  No kidding.  What a show they put on! It was the youngest squads, the 4th grade teams, I was watching.  Some are still figuring it all out but some were just plain hungry to hit (Mom, that’s a compliment.). I’ll look forward to upcoming games. The 4th graders will play next at 9am, Sept 12th at Mt  Tahoma.   Truly, it IS great entertainment.

    Well, Patti Banks and her gang of swarthy thugs will be back at it officially on Tuesday, September first as they kick off opening day of the 2009-2010 school year at the superb U.P. School District. ( OK, OK…I thought I would represent it from the high school student’s perspective but I’ll leave that to them.)

    George_Curtis_in_front_of_UPPAt any rate, what has been  the most respected school district around for many, many years,  kicks off the new year on Tuesday and you should know that for all the details about any of the UP schools you simply have to consult their home website at www.upsd.wednet.edu  It’s a very well done website.

    One of the most important pieces within the site is the Superintendent’s recent warning to parents about Swine Flu.  If you have a youngster attending UP Schools, you should have received that letter within the past few days. PLEASE read and heed it.  It seems nuts that the school district needs to teach our children how and where to sneeze and other such health practices designed to minimize the spread of any infection. However, one child who’s parents haven’t bothered or one youngster who doesn’t remember to, can contaminate hundreds and then where will our schools be?  What will be the impact on our families andcommunity?  Even in the important basics such as how to cover your mouth when you cough or sneeze, there’s our school district, again acting to solve a problem. 

    Let’s not take them for granted.  One of the backbone’s of the effectiveness of any school district is PARENTAL INVOLVEMENT.  I know, I know, you work and take care of a house and family and when do you have time!?!  I don’t know but I do know that many others in your same boat find the time. They curtis J Hprioritize.  That is to say, they know how important it is for them to be involved and they FIND the time or they MAKE the time because to them and their children it’s that important.  So, if  it’s important to YOU, find the forms right on the website, complete them and get them to the Educational Services Center on Grandview near that gorgeous brand new Junior High School.

    Or you might find your niche in the Parent Teacher and Student Association (PTSA).  They can fulfill a vital role in the success of each of our schools and each has it’s own unit. Again, see the website for details under Parent and Student Resources.

    The University Place School District has been such an amazing success for so very many years for many, many reasons but one consistent one has been the positive influence of quality families and the involvement of those parents in school activities.  Those factors will go a long way toward ensuring that continued success into the future.  Remember, it’s NOT just the responsibility of Superintendent Banks and her tremendous staff and faculties. It’s the responsibility of our community to make those schools great. If we each do one little part, our kids will all be the better for it!

    You know what’s just around the corner?  The CURRAN APPLE appleORCHARD CIDER SQUEEZE, is set for Sunday afternoon, September 13th from 1-4pm.  You know, that’s just around the corner.  I have no idea how it snuck up on me but September is Tuesday!  I must have dozed off.

    It’s a day at our unique park where you show up and press apples into cider and it really does appear to be that simple but behind the scenes there are a lot of volunteers pitching in. Do you want to get involved?  An email to  firstcoy@juno.com or a call to 564-2562 will get you in touch with Molly Wolfe and rumor has it, she’ll put you to work!  What fun!

    house and cashWell it’s that point of the blog where it’s real estate time but rather than the usual SALE OF THE DAY, please allow me to take a moment to answer a question I’m hearing a lot recently. “Do I qualify for this $8,000 federal tax credit for buying a home, this year?”
    Not because I’m tired of explaining it but because my friend Steve explains it better, here’s Steve’s video to answer that question.

    How about the “Why?” of it all?  Well, that’s simple, organizations such as the Washington REALTORS are working to get the home market kick started back to life and frankly, REALTORS across America are, too. So, it’s not just the White House or Congress or the builders or the mortgage guys and gals. It’s a lot of us whose livelihood depends on the health of the housing market but I mustreal estate signssay one more thing about the REALTORS. We see the plight of our clients in all of this. We see the foreclosure signs lining up one after another and that includes right here in University Place and we know that behind every one there is a personal horror story of a family who has lost their home and now, their good credit, as well. It IS a horror. It IS a tragedy and the REALTORS of Washington and across the U.S. are banding together with partner organizations to get the answers out there. To get the market kick-started again. Yes, it IS about my income but if you are loosing your home or you don’t think you can afford to buy your first one, then there’s no income for us to earn. So, as REALTOR, no not just a real estate agent (Frankly, I don’t know what THEY are doing except for finding other jobs.) but the REALTORS are taking steps to help American families save their homes, their lifestyles and in some cases, their families and we are working to stimulate the marketplace so those homeowners have buyers. So, they don’t have to walk away from a home that won’t sell.
    Somebody’s got to do it. So, we are. Yes, in partnership with another organization, that video was produced by the Washington REALTORS and we’ll continue the fight until it’s won!web_banner3

    OK, OK enough already!  I’m supposed to be taking today off….HA!Enjoy your week and know that any feedback is always welcome to this blog. I enjoy it and often feature it in follow ups, too. 

    Be well…

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

     patmaddock@cbbain.com

    cbbain-intranet-header2

    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.

    ____________________________________________________

    ———————————————————————