Saturday, April 19, 2008 Newsletter ~ 04.2008

Springtime at the Beach!
Spring is back! We had an 80 degree day last Saturday. It was summertime in the springtime. And then of course it rained on Sunday... Ugh. Spring is coming they tell us. The past few weeks the town has been busy as families and kids were visiting the beach during their Spring Break. Summer's right around the corner....

Ocean Shores Featured in Coastal Living
What has been known as the "richest little city" has made it into one of the largest national publications about living in a coastal community. Ocean Shores has been featured as one of the top 16 most affordable coastal communities in Coastal Living magazine. The article, "So You Want to Live on the Coast," hit magazine stands a couple weeks ago. The magazine has a subscription base of 650,000, but reaches an audience of more than 3.2 million readers. About a year and a half ago, the magazine did a feature on the town of Seabrook, also in the North Beach area. While staff from the magazine visited the area, they also toured Ocean Shores. That brief visit may have been one of the reasons the magazine decided to do a separate feature on Ocean Shores, according to Ken Mercer, director of tourism at the Ocean Shores Convention Center, "They made the judgment that it's a pretty cool town," Mercer said. "They liked what they saw." (of course they did!) Click HERE to read the full article.

Real Estate Update
Real Estate activity has been semi-steady during the 1st quarter of 2008. Here is a summary and comparison of the market today in Ocean Shores versus 2007.
37 Homes sold during 1st quarter 2008 for an average sales price of $211,534 versus 46 Homes sold during 1st quarter 2007 for an average sales price of $192,175. Sales are down, average sales prices are up.
50 Vacant Lots sold during 1st quarter 2008 for an average sales price of $42,573 versus 48 Vacant Lots sold during 1st quarter 2007 for an average sales price of $53,082. Sales are up, average prices are down.
Conclusion: Sales are slower in town. It's been colder than usual this year. There's also less agents around which is a good thing. Inventory is still too high and once it comes down, prices will continue to rise. All numbers & stats are from the NWMLS. If you have any questions regarding these numbers or activity in the real estate market, please call Jeff Daniel of Coldwell Banker Ocean Beach Properties at 360.581.9020.
"Hot Properties"
Click HERE to see the best deals in town right now!

Are Condo Sales Dead?
Only 2 condos sold in Ocean Shores during the entire 1st quarter of 2008 versus 8 condos sold during 1st quarter of 2007. Is the condo craze over or has the marketing for them gone down the tube? The Dreamscape Condo for example has only sold one Condo so far this year (sold by Coldwell Banker Ocean Beach Properties of course).

Upcoming Events
* North Coast Folk Festival - April 18-19
John Stewart (original member and song writer of the famed Kingston Trio), Tillers Folly (Canadian Celtic performers), renowned blues artist Del Ray, Tom May and Prairie Flyer (an award winning bluegrass band from Spokane) are just part of the bill. In addition to a great weekend of music, there will also be vendors, food and drink. You won't want to miss this exciting event.

* Razor Clam Dig Approved on four Ocean Beaches
Clam diggers will proceed with a morning razor clam dig starting April 19 at four ocean beaches after marine toxin tests showed the clams at those beaches are safe to eat. Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Copalis and Mocrocks will all be open for digging April 19-20. Twin Harbors will be open for three additional days, April 21-23, according to the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW). No digging will be allowed after noon on any beach. Kalaloch Beach will remain closed to harvest.
Depending on harvest numbers after the April opener, there may be enough clams left in the quota on some beaches for additional digging opportunities in May, said Dan Ayres, WDFW coastal shellfish manager. "With the variable digging conditions we've experienced since the first of the year, the harvest has been lower than expected," Ayres said. "Following this April opener we'll know if there will be enough clams for some May digging on one or more beaches."
Ayres advises diggers to check the Washington Department of Transportation website, which provides project updates and traffic cameras: Dates and low tides are: Copalis Beach, which extends from the Grays Harbor north jetty to the Copalis River and includes the Ocean Shores, Oyhut, Ocean City and Copalis areas.

* Bash at the Beach

The Quinault Beach Resort and Casino is returning to the fight game when it hosts "Bash At The Beach" on Thursday, April 24. Five bouts are tentatively scheduled for the event card, including heavyweight prospect Eric "Night Train" Boose, a women's Washington state welterweight title defense and the professional debut for Moclips' Sky Bell. Tickets are on sale now at the Quinault Beach Resort and Casino. Ringside tickets are $40, VIP tickets are $25 and general seating is $15. For tickets, either walk up on the night of the fights or call (888) 461-2214.

* Country Music Jam - May 3-4Saturday & Sunday afternoon open Jam SessionsSat. 1:00 pm - 4:00 pm / Sun. 1:00 pm - 4:00 pm at the Ocean Shores Convention CenterSaturday Night Dinner-Dance6:00 pm - 11:00 pm at the Ocean Shores Convention Center

* US 101 Simpson Avenue Bridge Getting Set to Reopen

The Washington State Department of Transportation has closed the US 101 Simpson Avenue Bridge to all traffic. During the closure, traffic will be detoured over the nearby Riverside Bridge. The Riverside Bridge will be reconfigured from two westbound lanes to one lane in each direction. Crews will replace the electrical and mechanical components of the bridge's draw span during the closure. Here is the link to the project web page: Plan in advance so you don't spend too much time stuck in traffic. The bridge should be back in action by early May or the end of this month. Yeah!
* Funky fish washes up near Ocean Shores

Another oddity has washed up along the Washington coast. KING 5 viewer Curtis Fowler found this fish about 15 miles north of Ocean Shores. Three weeks later, he found another. It turns out to be a critter called the Long Nose Lancet, something experts say has washed up on our coast before. The fish mainly lives in deep tropical and subtropical waters, but will venture out for food or to breed. And it's got a mouth of razor-sharp teeth. Creepy. - Source: The Daily World.
* The Ferry is Closed
Tourists looking for a scenic shortcut between Westport and Ocean Shores this summer are out of luck. The buildup of sand and silt in the Ocean Shores Marina has caused the passenger ferry linking the two cities to close. "It's hard on the equipment," said ferry owner Bill Walsh. "It's hard running on the mud and the sand." The buildup at the entrance and inside the marina has steadily worsened over the past three years, said Walsh.
The ferry, El Matador, lost income because it couldn't run on time. Ridership declined when people tired of the extended waits between trips and that forced him to raise the fare -from $10 per round trip to $12.50. Walsh has discontinued ferry service intermittently over the past few years, but this is the first time since it began in 1986 that he has been forced to shut down completely.
The only way to make the ferry operational would be to dredge the channel to the Ocean Shores Marina as well as the basin inside it. According to Walsh, the marina has never been dredged since it opened in 1962. Section 10 of the Federal Rivers and Harbors Act doesn't allow dredging without a permit from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. So far, no local government entity in Grays Harbor County has applied for a permit to begin dredging. In addition to obtaining a permit from the Corps, the proponent would need approval from the Quinault Indian Nation's Enterprise Board, since the Nation owns the marina.
But seeking that approval is difficult, according to Guy Capoeman, vice chairman for the Quinault Indian Nation. Dredging means disturbing natural habitat and would require mitigation, which means providing land to compensate for the affected habitat. Authorizing dredging is only part of it. How to pay for it still has to be hashed out between the Corps of Engineers and the Quinault Indian Nation. The Corps is responsible for paying for federal navigation projects, which include dredging. That funding comes from Congress. The catch is that only the entrance channel to the marina qualifies as a federal navigation project. The Quinault Nation would be responsible for the basin, according to Lester Soule, chief of civil programs and projects of the Army Corps of Engineers.
In 2000, the Quinault Nation initiated a feasibility study that included dredging the entrance channel for a vehicular ferry and moving a section of breakwater in the marina. The study examined placing additional docks at the marina for the Quinault's commercial fishing fleet and building a resort on the shore. The Corps ran out of federal funding to back the study in 2005 and it was never completed. The study estimated the cost for the project at $9.5 million, only $1.5 million of which would be federally funded. The other $8 million would have to come from the Quinault Nation.
Soule said Congress quit funding the project because it didn't view the project as a good investment. Officials from all across Grays Harbor County are forming a task group to figure out how to get the ferry operating next year. - Source: The Daily World.

* Lady Drowns in the Surf
A 50-year-old Bremerton woman drowned at the beach at Ocean Shores while on a family outing. Carol Davidson was with her adult daughter and grandchildren on a trip to the beach when she walked out to play in the surf, according to the Grays Harbor Sheriffs Office. The daughter, an Aberdeen woman, was looking after her children when she heard her mother calling for help. The daughter couldn't find Davidson when she looked at the last place she had seen her, and she and other people on the beach searched for Davidson and called 911, said Undersheriff Rick Scott. After a short time they saw her floating in the water, unconscious.
The death appears to be a case of the woman falling victim to the vicious riptides that run off the shore. "You can be in surf one second, able to stand, and then a riptide will come along and pull you out over your head the next," Scott said. "It doesn't matter how nice it is outside," Scott said, noting the sunny weather attracted many people to the beach Saturday. "The water is just as treacherous as on a cold, cloudy day."

See you on the Beach! (but please don't play in the surf unless you're properly prepared)

Jeff Daniel
Designated Broker
Coldwell Banker Ocean Beach Properties749 Point Brown Ave NW/PMB 1568, Ocean Shores, WA 985691.360.581.9020 (cell) - 1.888.469.3100 (toll free) - 1.360.289.3111 (fax)