Category Archives: washington real estate market

Tenants 4 Turns: Ski Free At Stevens Pass

To assist employees in finding housing for the winter season, Stevens Pass offers local area homeowners incentives to rent to Stevens Pass employees through the “Tenants 4 Turns” program.

How does it work?

Local landlords advertise their rental at Stevens and they maintain a list of rentals, and make it available to any hired employee.  Once they receive a signed rental agreement the landlord receives a pass or ticket package.

Are you an interested landlord or homeowner?
Do you have a house or room for rent in the area? Would you like to ski or ride this winter at Stevens Pass? Agree to list your rental through the Tenants 4 Turns program and rent to a Stevens Pass employee this winter and you may be eligible for 10 lift tickets good for the 2012-2013 winter season or a $100 season pass!

How can a homeowner sign up?
To request more information on the Tenants 4 Turns program guidelines and eligibility requirements, email

Leavenworth Home Inspection Photo: Stick a cork in it!

I never know what I’m going to come across.  Check out this photo from a recent Leavenworth home inspection.  It’s an interesting way to fill a hole.  Now you know what to do with all those corks you get from wine tasting in Leavenworth!

Lake Chelan Home Inspection Photo

Here is an opportunity to learn from someone else’s mistake.  Check out the photo below taken at a recent Chelan home inspection.  You should never cut a main support beam so that plumbing pipes have an easier route.  Pipes have curved elbows and connections for a reason!  Don’t compromise the overall integrity of your structure.  Use proper plumbing installation practices.

chelan home inspection

Winthrop Home Inspection Photo: Rattlesnakes!

Check out this recent photo from a home inspection in Methow Valley.  I came across a dead rattlesnake in the crawl space.  This deadly guy may have entered through the ventilation while chasing dinner.  Make sure your crawl spaces are adequately sealed!

Winthrop home inspection

Winthrop home inspection in Methow Valley

Washington building industry to recover by end of 2012.

Our Wenatchee home inspection company is a member of the North Central Home Builders Association.  In the May/June issue of the Building Industry Association of Washington’s Building Insight Newsletter they included the chart below.  The green states show the best recovery predicted from 18 months from now.  These are promising numbers.  It is careful to note that the building demand may return but the cost of building may also increase.  With many out-of-work skilled laborers finding different jobs and mills shutting down during this construction lull the labor and materials may be in short supply and thus increasing the cost of new homes.  Those that are able to make investments right now are in a fine position to get the best deals.

Wenatchee Home Inspections

Source: BIAW Building Insight May/June 2011

Kirkland gains 31,000 residents and Woodinville loses a fire department.

We perform a lot of Kirkland home inspections and I’m sure the new home buyers and current homeowners are very happy they’ll receive property tax savings soon.  The Kirkland annexation will boast the benefits of 31,000 more residents, a decrease in property taxes and increased law enforcement, but one neighborhood loses a fire department.  In a KING-5 News video interview the Kirkland mayor says that they are prepared to cover the larger area.  The city had been working on the annexation for 10 years.  The Woodinville area fire department had a closing ceremony today to honor their “second home” and office.

“One of the biggest annexations King County has seen in a long time became official a minute after midnight Tuesday. The Finn Hill, North Juanita and Kingsgate neighborhoods are now part of Kirkland…the city has done extensive research and is confident Kirkland can welcome 31,000 additional residents and 200 new businesses while providing essential city services.   One change will be law enforcement. On Tuesday, the King County Sheriff’s Office patrolled the Finn Hill, North Juanita and Kingsgate neighborhoods. Now Kirkland police take over. That’s why the department hired 24 new officers and still plans on adding 13 more.  The Kingsgate area, however, lost a nearby Woodvinville fire station. Residents there have concerns about what that will mean for service. Kirkland’s mayor said the city has hired additional firefighters and they are working to make sure response times stay low.”

Source KING 5 News, June 1, 2011 at 7:20 AM

2011 Wenatchee Real Estate Outlook (5 of 5)

Guest writer, Rebecca Darley

As the manager of a Wenatchee home inspection company I attend many local real estate events to stay informed of the latest real estate news and developments.  On May 19, 2011, the Wenatchee Valley Chamber of Commerce hosted a discussion panel called “2011 Real Estate Outlook.” This blog entry along with the other 4 entries will summarize the panel discussions of each speaker including a loan officer, appraiser, commercial real estate agent, builder and residential real estate broker.

 Previous Entries:

Alan BiedlerCommercial Real Estate Broker at Sage Real Estate Services

Alan Biedler is a Commercial Real Estate Broker, Certified Property Manager and Certified Commercial Investment Member.  He has specialized in commercial sales and leasing for the last 26  years and has been active in the Wenatchee Valley housing and commercial real estate market for more than 41 years. 

Due to the lack of sales in 2008-2010 Alan feels that appraisers are having a hard time finding comps and are either using non-local or old comps.  This isn’t helping to identify true values.  The commercial leasing market is the most interesting he’s seen 26 years.  Businesses are downsizing and landlords are offering better concessions.  Tenants are asking for free rent and fixed leases for several years.  For example, a recent transaction occurred where the potential tenant started negotiations by asking for 10 months of free rent, a moving allowance and space planning allowance on a 5 year lease agreement.

Alan predicts that there will be a huge problem in refinancing commercial loans.  Businesses that have not performed well over the last couple of years or who have experienced decreased sales will have a tougher time qualifying.  The low commercial rates of 4.5% and the affordable value of raw land make it the perfect time to invest.