Category: short sale


 So, it was the driest January on record here?  It just felt kinda-yucky There is something VERY important I need to you do.  Frankly the people who need you to do this are a lot shorter than I am, come to think of it.    We need you to go dig up your ballot…now!  You, know, the one you received in the mail the other day.  Inside it’s labelled “Special Election Ballot – February 9, 2010, etc…”  Now, if you wait until February 9th, you’ll probably forget, as I would.  And instead of me just saying “Mark Yes” and mail it back in, I should set the record straight on an item of concern or two. 

NO, NO, NO this is not in any way tied to the Town Center!  Sheesh!  I couldn’t believe it Friday when I was talking with our School District(UPSD)  Superintendent, Patti Banks, and she noted that there are people out there who are actually under the impression that the two are somehow connected. NO, NO, NO!   Please pass that word on, would you? 

And while you’re at it, NO, NO, NO this is not a levy for capital improvements!  That means, this is not a tax so they can build new buildings. No! This is, as your ballot explains, a REPLACEMENT levy.  In other words, a few years back we voted to fund the operations, maintainance, staffing, materials, books, etc…the “stuff” needed to educate our youngsters. Well that runs out at the end of this year and this levy will REPLACE those funds.  It will NOT build new buildings. Those monies come from a totally different place.  This vote is essentially saying Yes, we want school to continue in University Place.

Let’s take a quick peak at where funds do come from that keep the doors open through our schools.  State funds provide 68.28% of the revenue used by the UPSD and 21% of their revenue comes from local levies such as this one. That’s about 1 out of every 5 dollars used to operate our schools that is dependent upon this election.  Whew!  I would not want to see what would happen if we took 1 our of every 5 dollars away from the operations of our school district!  And I don’t even have kids in school!

  Which brings up another important point. I was in a conversation with a gent the other day who was bitchin about the fact that this was bound to pass and he was gonna have to keep paying for the UP Schools when his kids had all graduated from Curtis and now have families of their own.  I wanted to slap him but I’ve taken a personal vow to be nicer and I have no desire to inspect the inside of a Pierce County Sheriff’s facility.  If that thought every crosses your mind (No, not the slapping)  please think of two things.  When you were putting your kids through school, here or wherever, you were not alone in funding that.  Parents whose children were long gone were helping you fund your childrens’ education. Single folks who never had kids were helping to fund it.  Even my parents and so many like them who helped pay the cost of students in University Place while they also paid tuition to St. Charles where all six of us Maddock kids attended, then Bellarmine and so on.  But Dad didn’t gripe about having to pay twice because it was his choice to send us to Catholic school and  (Here’s that second reason I promised you) he knew that by maintaining a strong school district there was a direct impact on the rate of appreciation of his biggest monetary investment, our home. 

In my business I cannot tell you the number of times I’ve had clients come to me and list the U.P. Schools as THEE number one reason why they wanted to live here.  Of course you realize that the same home in U.P. and in Fircrest will bring two different prices, don’t you?  It’s primarily because of the schools!  The day I stop supporting U.P. Schools is the day I no longer care about the resale value of my home!  

By the way, in 2010 we have a voter approved rate of taxation in support of the schools (bond, M&O and tech levies) of $6.85 per $1,000 of assessed valuation of our homes.  With the passage of this levy this week (don’t put it off) in 2011, the voter approved estimated total will be $6.62 per $1,000.  Ah, yes, that WOULD be less. Now wouldn’t it?  Do you think I’m going to fill out my ballot with a YES and send it in BEFORE the February 9th deadline?  Yes?  NO!  … I already did it!

Please get to your friends and neighbors and politely remind them to get their YES vote in early and if you think it’s going to be a NO vote, then let’s hijack their ballot.  Yes, I’m kidding.  But you certainly know how to correct any misconception they might have about the election.  If not, give me a shout. I’ll be all too happy to chat with them.  It really is that important.  Thanks!

The City of University Place Economic Development Office is about to start their Business Workshop Series again.  February 24th will be the first lunchtime session and they are worth their weight in ownership/managerial gold!  They really are.  I’ll tell you more as the date nears but grab a pencil and your calendar and write “U.P. Food for Thought” on Feb 24th.  They will happen about every other month this year and all you pay for is your lunch.  Last year’s sessions were worth TONS more than that!  Seriously, mark your calendar and check back here and I’ll tell you the details of the first one. So, you can make it a point not to miss it.  Outside experts talking specifically about issues we face with our businesses every day.  This is powerful stuff.

Are you a business owner or manager in University Place?  If so, you really ought to look into the University Place-Fircrest Division of the Tacoma-Pierce County Chamber of Commerce.  It is a very active and successful arm of the main chamber and it’s one that certainly makes a difference for you and your business here in U.P.   One small thing you might want to just show up for and yes, that’s totally welcomed…you don’t need to be a member to come join in…it’s called Wake U.P. and it happens the last Friday morning of each month. The February event is set for 7:30 a.m., Friday, February 26th and it always takes place at the U.P. Presbyterian Church (C’mon around back) at 8101 27th St West.  It runs until 9:00 a.m. and it’s packed full of information which benefits most all of us as business owners/managers here.  It’s different every month and it’s valuable every month.  Plus, that first half hour as most of us are drinking coffee and just trying to think lucidly, it’s a good time do a little networking with other business owners from the area.  Give it a try. I believe you’ll be surprised and if you want to, just tell anyone who asks that I invited you! 

So, what is going on in the real estate realm now? We see all the for sale signs around University Place but what’s happening elsewhere. Yes. We heard the news that Pierce County essentially crashed in December, something over a 16% loss from the prior month. Does that mean the value of my home fell 16%? No. Certainly not. What it means is that we closed more than 16% fewer sales than in the prior month. But isn’t December traditionally a slow month? Yes. It is but that doesn’t cover the 16%. A player in that number was that so many first time buyers sprinted to meet the deadline to qualify for the $8,000 federal tax credit for buying their first home or the first they’ve owned in more than three years. There was a deadline to hit which did get extended until this June but many were sprinting and they closed in October and November and the rush was done by the time December rolled around.

New-home buyers responded to the tough times in 2009 by opting for smaller houses, driving down the average size of a house built in the United States for the first time in 27 years. Data recently released by the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) found the average size of a new home that was completed in 2009 fell to 2,480 square feet from 2,520 square feet in 2008. That doesn’t seem like a big adjustment but many of us feel the trend will continue.  I really think we’ll settle somewhere around 2,000 square feet.

RealtyTrac, one of the leading online marketplaces for foreclosure properties, released its Year-End 2009 Metropolitan Foreclosure Market Report, which shows that cities in four sun belt states accounted for all top 20 foreclosure rates in 2009 among metro areas with a population of 200,000 or more, but foreclosure activity showed signs of spreading into previously insulated areas as unemployment became more of a driving factor.

California accounted for nine of the top 20 metro foreclosure rates, followed by Florida with eight, Nevada with two and Arizona with one. The highest-ranked metro area outside of those four states was in Boise City-Nampa, Idaho, which ranked No. 24 with 4.66% of its housing units receiving at least one foreclosure notice in 2009.

Many of us in the industry feel that we’re entering a new wave of foreclosures, driven more by unemployment and economic hardship than what we’ve seen over the past few Areas like Provo, Utah, Fayetteville, Ark., Portland, Ore., and Rockford, Ill., all posted foreclosure rates above the U.S. average in 2009. And markets like Honolulu, Minneapolis and Seattle saw foreclosure activity increase at more than twice the national pace over the past 12 months—although all three of those markets still had 2009 foreclosure rates that were at or below the U.S. average.

Las Vegas posted the nation’s highest metro foreclosure rate for the year, with more than 12% of its housing units receiving a foreclosure notice in 2009—more than five times the national average. Las Vegas reported a quarter-over-quarter decline in foreclosure activity in the fourth quarter—as did all the other metro areas with foreclosure rates ranking among the top 10 for 2009.

Las Vegas never ceases to amaze me and for so many reasons. Did you know that there are more Catholic churches in the greater Las Vegas area than there are casinos?  (If you think about it, one sort of leads to the other.)  What I didn’t know was that the churches in Las Vegas accept casino gambling chips in the Sunday collection plate? No kidding. The churches have organized and figured out that if, each week,  they gather their chips together, hand them over to a local monastery of Franciscans, they get them exchanged for cash. The Franciscans, of course are the …. chip monks. (Didn’t even see it coming, did ya?)

Next week we’ll look at a couple more recent, local home sales.  Have a great week!

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.

You can find him at the Bridgeport office of Coldwell Banker Bain.  If you want to know something about University Place real estate, talk with someone who certainly does!

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Boy! It’s been awhile and I’m glad to “be back”. I hope you are having a great new year in this 2010 and why not? I mean, yes, there’s rampant unemployment and bills need to be paid and businesses are not reaching their goals and schools need to be funded and the state has no idea where they will actually find sufficient sources of what they perceive to be necessary funding and our own city council is in crumbling disarray and… Whew! I’m starting to bring MYSELF down. Sorry. I’ll get off that. But why?

For a very good reason. Positive begats positive. Negative begats negative. That is to say that life proves to us over and over again that the more positive our attitude and actions are the more positive our experiences and outcomes will be. It’s just an undeniable fact of life.

In recovering from my open heart surgery, (exactly four years ago this week), I was one bitter son-of a gun and I let that linger for much too long of a  time. How did I expect to have positive things and positive people around me if I didn’t seem to have a positive bone in my body? The more positive I try to be, the more focused I am on BUILDING for the future, not tearing down but BUILDING….that’s a purely positive action…the more of that I exhibit, honestly, the more positive things flow my way and you know what, I love it!  And surprise – I get twice as much accomplished!

I could dwell on that topic for a month of Sundays but that’s not what you “tune in” here for, now is it?  So, what’s UP in U.P?

Hey. I got a postcard from a friend of mine who’s in the south sea islands on his well-deserved annual vacation!  He was around here about a month ago.  Thought you might agree…he deserves this.

Speaking of hard work, we’ve got a staff over there at the city that’s scrambling like a dozen eggs, doing more with less. That’s for sure. After the end of year staff cuts, staff members still have a bit of a hard time explaining all the hats they are wearing simultaneously. The harsh part of that were those who were let go. It’s the economic times we are in. I understand that. The only thing to do now, is to support the people who are here to support us. Those who are juggling jobs like a circus entertainer need to be given the rights that go along with the responsibilities. We’ve given them a lot to do. Now, we need to let them do it or they are absolutely bound to fail, with micromanagement, interference, etc. I hate to sound boring but treat them Positively and the quality of people we have in this city will care well for us and our neighborhoods.

Set them up to succeed.  Don’t harass them toward failure!

Mommy/Daddy and Me starts their Kids Love Soccer program Monday 1/25 for the 2-3.5 year olds.  Want to know more?  Hit the city website at www.ci.university-place.wa.us   While you are there, watch for info on the other YOUTH SOCCER programs for the various age groups.

Did you read the “big news” in the Tribune about the development at the Chambers Bay golf course?  Well, before you conclude that they are about to break ground on a hotel and everything else, understand that there’s no money on the table, yet and without it, it’s talk.  The developer happens to be an old friend of mine and actually a damned fine person (who I used to fight with constantly as kids…but that’s a different story….he really is a good guy).  But we do need to understand that if development of the nature being proposed does not have all the major glitches worked out and if it isn’t funded and ready to break ground aggressively within  about the next year or so, it’s not going to happen.  A committment has been made by our county to the USGA that Chambers Bay WILL be ready to host the U.S. Open in 2015 and if a development of this nature is not completed, well, let’s just say that a construction site is NOT where the USGA will host their tournament.  They always have an alternate site ready.  So, it’s either time to put up, strike the full agreement and break ground or go find another project.  All I’m saying is they’ve got to get a move on.  That’s the developer’s responsibility.  Commercial development monies are tight (Oh, THAT’S the understatement of this year!) as evidenced by the pace at Town Center but investment monies ARE there.  If the project is right and there is sales job extraordinaire being conducted…the $$$ will flow.

Since former Pierce County Exec, John Ladenberg first made it known that he wanted to see the course sited there, I always thought view residences could fund a lot of good things on site.  That is to say, the sale of impeccable view lots for multi-million dollar homes which would not be in the way of anything planned or in place today, could produce revenue to fund the building of a number of the other amenities you want in a destination resort such as Chambers Bay COULD become.  The developer  with a memo on the table, Jim Burkhouse, is a smart and successful guy.  If there’s a way to do it in this economy, he’ll figure it out.  The county would love to see it but it CANNOT get in the way of preparations for or the hosting of the US Open just five short years from now.  So, I suspect it’s an Elvis deal.  “It’s now or never”.

What else is up in UP?  I hate to sound like a broken record but if you’ve got somebody at your house interested in ballet, Polynesian dance, guitar or so many other instructional options, check out the city website.  Some are underway but many have more sessions starting shortly.  www.ci.university-place.wa.us

And for the not-so-young youngsters around here, the AARP Driver Safety course is set for Wednesday and Thursday 1/27 & 28 at the Senior Community Center on Grandview. Call 564-1992 to complete the required pre-registration.

Hey, by the way, let’s thank those folks, offices and companies who stood up to foot the bill to sponsor our Youth Basketball Coed League.  When you see the folks associated with these sponsors, please take the time to express your THANKS.  Sponsors make it possible for our kids to have this experience!  AHBL, Mercedes Nepute LMP, the Law Office of Clayton R. Dickson, Way Out Records, the UP Volunteer Center, Tacoma Bike LLC, Westside Community Bank, Owens Press Inc, the Pain Clinic, Alarm Works NW and Team Insurance. When city funds are tight, WE ARE THE CITY!!!  Isn’t it time for us to step up and make sure the programs which make this such a desireable place to live are maintained?

Sponsored youth athletics IS possible, isn’t it?  We can’t quite now, though.  We’ve really got to ratchet it up for the upcoming sports seasons.  Just think how many youngsters play softball and baseball. 460-2530 is the number to call at Parks and Rec to find out how you or your company can be a sponsor for U.P. Youth Athletics.  It’s important!

There’s so much more going on around University Place these day and we’ll get back to it all but before I close out with an updated look at U.P. real estate allow me to finish with just one simple thought.  If you never support any taxation levy ever again in your voting life, support the current request for University Place Schools.  There are those who say “Now is not the time, not in this economy.”  While I put off things I would like to buy right now for my wife and myself, I cannot put off funding for our school system. Yeah, sure my kids are all grown and long out of school.  That’s not the point and I take issue with ANY senior who says, “Don’t tax me. It’s somebody else’s turn.”  Well, you know what?  When we were putting our kids through school, we needed the support of the seniors who already had and you know that’s the truth!  It’s our turn to step up and support what those youngsters need, what our school district needs to remain one of the best in the state.  By the way, if you want to negatively affect the value of your home and property, just stop supporting our schools.  They backslide and so does your home’s value!  Undeniable Fact!  See that old black and white photo of Mr. George Curtis and friends in front of the old original U.P. Elementary School? (Yes, yes I did.)  Do you see what the sign said?   And now,  U.P. schools still need our support.  U.P. kids DESERVE it!

So, what has the U.P. real estate market been up to lately?   (Shhhhh Do you hear that quiet?)  It might be an overstatement to say you could hear a pin drop but it’s been very, very quiet.  In fact, since the day after Christmas there have only been seven U.P. residential sales close.  That included one condo.  Seven!   I have closed seven in one day…No, I haven’t. Five is my record but seven is very, very slow for a city of our size, especially for a period of nearly a month.  Two factors are to be kept in mind. Yes, the obvious…we’re in the heart of a very slow market but on top of that is the reoccurring factor of “Seasons”.  This is NOT the season for big sales in residential real estate.  We are approaching a traditionally stronger period but January is just a slow month and that’s ALWAYS a fact.  Now, couple that with the down market we are in and you get the picture.  Is that to say U.P. homes won’t sell now?  No, not at all. In fact, I’m listing a VERY marketable U.P. home next week and I promise you, it’s going to sell!  It’s a great 5-bedroom, beautifully remodelled home with a fantastic fenced yard, ringed by evergreens and … I’ll tell you all about it when I put it on the market.  In the meanwhile, WHAT’S SELLING?

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.  (In fact, to catch up, here are several)  SOLD7607 Chambers Creek Road West.  It started at $497,500 and after  dropping the list price to $449,950, they sold it for $412,000 in a mere 753 days….WHAT?!?  That’s over two years!  Yep, it is.  But that includes a period of time when they were offering a developement as part of the listing.  Overcomplicated deals aren’t going together right now. Those monies are hard to find.  Simple, well priced home deals work.     SOLD:  4108 Brouse Blvd West in the Heitman Addition near Curtis.  They listed it for $229,900 and sold it 53 days later for $225,000.  Another rambler, this one from 1963 offering 1,447 square feet including 3 beds and 1.5 baths. This home had some remodelling inside with Corian counters, cherry cabinetry, vinyl windows and hardwood floors and even as small as it is, it was relatively desireable and the price was right on.  So, it didn’t linger on the market as so very many are, here today.  The house on Sunset (above) sold in 247 days.  SOLD:  8314 63rd St St West. Now here was an owner-occupied home that was neither a Short Sale nor a bank owned property.  Oh, the market is just loaded with those at the moment and WILL be for some time to come.  Here was a home in comparatively excellent condition and it was originally listed for $395,000 but it was dropped to $330,000.  Why?  Because those cut rate deals on the bank owned and short sale properties effect EVERY home on the market.  In 91 days they took $335,000 for this 3 bedroom, 2.5 bath, 2,125 square foot home built in 1990 in the Danbridge community above Chambers Creek Road.  It’s only fair to add that they pay $157 per month in homeowner’s dues, there.  When you are looking at value and monthly payments, you’ve really got to look at the whole picture and those association dues are a legitimate part of that.  SOLD: 2019 Sunset Drive West.   Listed at $315,000 then eventually dropped all the way down  to $249,000 then sold for $245,000.  It was a bank owned 1954 rambler with 3 beds and 1.75 baths on a third of an acre with a 2-car garage. 2,644 square feet.  It closed on 12/30.  It took 434 days for this house to finally sell and close. Oh they had earlier sales…FOUR OF THEM!  None of them got past the inspection phase.  Think there was a problem with this house?  Oh, just maybe?

 

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.

You can find him at the Bridgeport office of Coldwell Banker Bain.  If you want to know something about University Place real estate, talk with someone who certainly does!

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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

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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.

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