Saturday, February 07, 2009 Newsletter ~ 02.2009

Springtime at the Beach!
Well, it's not really here yet (one can wish!) and apparently a little gopher or groundhog or whatever he is decided to give us a few more weeks of winter. However, there are no groundhogs out here at the beach, so it doesn't count! Plus, it sure doesn't feel like winter around here as it's been sunny and warm most of the past week...

Real Estate Update

January was one of the strangest months in real estate that I've ever seen out here on the beach. Usually, in these winter months, when a buyer comes to town to look at houses or lots, usually, they're ready to buy now because it's kinda cold & windy and not many people go house shopping in the winter unless their ready to buy. This isn't really the case the right now. Sure, I've got a few deals going with some current buyers who've made offers and such, but I (and I'm hearing the same from other agents as well) have had a lot more buyers than usual for this time of year looking now and then planning on buying later this year. I'm not sure if they're waiting for prices to fall, hoped that prices had fallen more already or perhaps they're waiting for better interest rates... Either way, I think it's a sign that something's changing... A lot of people are looking... and that's a start. Here's some other news regarding the current state of real estate....

"Senate approves $15,000 tax credit for homebuyers"
The Senate voted Wednesday night to give a tax break of up to $15,000 to homebuyers in hopes of revitalizing the housing industry...

"Home sales show surprising strength in December!"
Sales of existing homes posted an unexpected increase last month, closing out the worst year for the U.S. real estate market in more than a decade on a surprising up note.

"Pending home sales post increase of 6.3 percent"
Buyers wade back into market as prices fall along with mortgage rates
An index that tracks signed contracts to purchase existing homes rebounded in December, as buyers snapped up properties at deep discounts...
Looking for a deal? Here's a list of Sweet Deals for Sale at the Beach!
Upcoming Events

Four-day razor clam dig approved starting February 6th
Clam diggers have received the go-ahead to proceed with a razor clam dig starting Friday, Feb. 6. Three evening digs are scheduled at Twin Harbors, Copalis and Mocrocks Feb. 6-8, while Long Beach is scheduled for two digs Feb. 7-8. As with previous openers, digging will be allowed only during the hours between noon and midnight.

Harvesters are allowed to take no more than 15 razor clams and must keep the first 15 they dig, regardless of size or condition. Each digger's clams must be kept in a separate container. A license is required for anyone age 15 or older. Any 2008 Washington state annual shellfish/seaweed license or combination license is still valid. Another option is a razor-clam only license available in annual or three-day only versions. Descriptions of the various licensing options are available on the WDFW website at Washington's beaches, which are managed by the Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission, are considered state highways and all rules of the road apply.

Opening dates and evening low tides:
Friday, Feb. 6 (3:55 p.m., -0.1 ft.) Twin Harbors, Copalis, Mocrocks
Saturday, Feb. 7 (4:50 p.m., -0.4 ft.) Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Copalis, Mocrocks
Sunday, Feb. 8 (5:39 p.m., -0.6 ft.) Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Copalis, Mocrocks

Beaches scheduled to open are:
Long Beach, which extends from the Columbia River to Leadbetter Point.
Twin Harbors Beach, which extends from the mouth of Willapa Bay north to the south jetty at the mouth of Grays Harbor.
Copalis Beach, which extends from the Grays Harbor north jetty to the Copalis River, and includes the Copalis, Ocean Shores, Oyhut, Ocean City and Copalis areas. Mocrocks Beach, which extends from the Copalis River to the southern boundary of the Quinault Reservation near the Moclips River, including Iron Springs, Roosevelt Beach, Pacific Beach and Moclips.

Ocean Shores Antique & Collectible Show - Feb 14-15
The 7th Annual Show at the Ocean Shores Convention Center. Show hours are Saturday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Admission is a $2.00 donation to local charities and nonprofits. Over eighty vendors will offer a wide variety of antiques including dolls, glass, furniture, American Art pottery, vintage baseball cards, postcards, and much, much more. Hourly Door Prizes. Available on site will be food booths and Roy's Glass and Crystal Repair Service.

Beachcombers Fun Fair - March 7-8
Event features exhibits, seminars, information booths, and vendors on Saturday and Sunday; a kid's science fair Saturday morning plus beach walks on Sunday morning.

Razor Clam Festival - March 27-28
Put on by the Ocean Shores Chamber of Commerce. 360.289.2451. We'll have a lot more info next month as it's not available yet.

Shorebird Festival - April 24th - 26th

Discover the incredible variety of shorebirds that pass through Grays Harbor in April at this 14th annual event. Multiple locations for viewing around Ocean Shores include Protection Island, Damon Point and the North Jetty! Join scheduled watching tours or set your own birding agenda and enjoy the view!

Again, this is the beach and we don't really make news. We do have a Mayor though and he likes to talk.

Mayor & City Union at Odds
In a story titled "Unions Reject Pay Concessions" in the January 15th The Daily World, Mayor Bunkers "announced that making pay adjustments to city employees' salaries doesn't seem to be an option to help ease the city's ongoing budget crisis," he says. He goes on about how he hoped that the pay adjustments could generate $300,000 for the city. "They said no, but it's fine," Bunker's also said. "It's their prerogative." Bunker's then adds that he's not sure how he will recoup the $300,000 if it won't come through pay adjustments." Then, he adds "I'm still not comfortable with the budget as it is," Bunker's said. "I don't want to have to lay any more people off." That must be a negotiation tactic...

Mayor & State Auditor's Office at Odds
Also in TDW, an article on January 24th titled "Utility fund will have to wait," the latest audit report of the City revealed that they had not taken any action to repay the $1.9 million overcharged to the utility fund between 2001 and 2006. The State Auditor's Office has recommended that the city pay back the fund as soon as possible. "We be laying off people to do that at this stage of the game," said Mayor Bunkers. With a budget in crisis, the city recently laid off eight employees. Until the budget situation improves, Bunkers said repayment will have to be put on hold. "We'll just have wait and see how our revenues turn out," he said. Warning: traffic tickets = city revenue...

Jeff Daniel
Associate Broker
Coldwell Banker Ocean Beach Properties

749 Point Brown Ave NW/PMB 1568, Ocean Shores, WA 98569
1.360.581.9020 (cell) - 1.888.469.3100 (toll free) - 1.360.289.3111 (fax)

Friday, February 06, 2009