Olympia, WA Real Estate News

By Sandy Nelson, your Olympia area Realtor
(Riley Jackson Real Estate Inc.)
  ...is fortunately becoming more and more popular in the US. On Saturday the 6th of October the National Solar Tour, now in its 12th year, will showcase the use of solar power. One of the many tour locations is Olympia, where residences, as well as commercial buildings that use clean sources of energy and energy efficient design are open for visits by the public. Most locations will have docents on site to explain the special sustainable energy features. Among the places to visit in Olympia is the Batdorf&Bronson Coffee Roastery, the Olympia Farmer's Market and Dee Williams' 84 sq. ft. "little house". For more information and a list of homes on tour visit the Chapter of American Solar Energy Society's website here.   Sandy NelsonRealtor for Olympia Area Real Estatewww.sandynelsonreales...
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By Larry Wright
(nwRealty.Com)
I noticed the NWMLS announcements this weekend welcoming new Olympia and Thurston County members to the NWMLS ... and announcing the new Olympia Satellite Office.  I wasn't really surprised, but didn't expect this to happen at this time.  This is similar to what happened with the ole Tacoma-Pierce County MLS.Staff from the Olympic Multiple Listing Service (OMLS) are now NWMLS employees and will continue operating the office at 556 Lilly Road SE, Suite D in Olympia as the new satellite.Related links:Olympia real estateThurston County real estate by city
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By Sandy Nelson, your Olympia area Realtor
(Riley Jackson Real Estate Inc.)
 According to national media reporting, the average national foreclosure start rate is at record levels. This is blamed mostly on irresponsible sub-prime mortgage lending practices. A detailed picture shows that in most of the states the foreclosure start rates have actually declined.According to the Mortgage Bankers Association the extreme conditions in four states severely skew the national average. These state are: California, Nevada, Arizona and Florida. Home prices in these states have dropped significantly and inventory is at an all time high. This situation leaves home sellers anxious to sell at any price and home buyers uncertain whether to wait until prices drop further.This illustrates that looking at an average national scenario is not always helpful in determining local mark...
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By Debi Wright
(nwRealty.com)
We've all heard the adage and it does hold true.  Two weeks ago I took the kids to Olympia, Washington (my home town) to be tourist!  It was a novel idea, as it turned out.  We visited the fountain at Capital Lake... watched the set-up of Lake-Fair... watched a train run-over a quarter (just smashed it!  I'd never done that as a kid... and not as an adult either... a "kid" and his girlfriend were out for a walk, the train was a comin', set down the quarter on the track and presto... smashed quarter.  I don't recommend doing this, it means racing onto the tracks ahead of an on-coming train... but it was cool none-the-less) walked past a café... and around Sylvester Park... and had a Starbucks! You can go home again... just as a tourist...  Enjoy the photos...  Down town Olympia          ...
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By Sandy Nelson, your Olympia area Realtor
(Riley Jackson Real Estate Inc.)
... and you'll see why Olympia is considered the best place to live in Washington.Olympia is located on the southern tip of Puget Sound and offers great views of the Olympic Mountains, as well as Mt. Rainier. It is located right along the I-5 corridor and lies between Seattle and Portland. Housing in and around Olympia is plentiful and still affordable. As the Capitol City, Olympia offers good employment opportunities, lots of public art, fountains, parks, theatres, art galleries and restaurants, yet it retains its small town charm. Take the virtual tour and see for yourself why Olympia is such a great place to live.        Sandy NelsonRealtor for Olympia Area Real Estatewww.sandynelsonrealestate.com 
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By Sandy Nelson, your Olympia area Realtor
(Riley Jackson Real Estate Inc.)
Do you have kids at home from school, or company staying with you, and you're wondering what to do and where to take them? Here is a list of events, attractions and things to do in the Olympia area during the summer.  Pioneer Farm Museum and Ohop Indian Village: http://www.pioneerfarmmuseum.org/FramesSite/PFOIVFrames.html Experience life in the 1880's by visiting the historic Washington home stead. Children can milk a cow, try their hands in the metal smith shop, ride in the horse drawn wagon and much more. In the Indian village tour guides will explain life for the Ohop Indians before the first contact with Europeans. These hands-on tours are fun for families and children of all ages. Drive-In Movie Theater: http://skylinedrive-in.com/ Load up the car and head out to Shelton for a doub...
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By Sandy Nelson, your Olympia area Realtor
(Riley Jackson Real Estate Inc.)
It's not just the rain that makes things flourish here. Forbes Magazine recently ranked Washington as having one of the best business climates in the country. The state has gone from a budget deficit just a few years ago to a $1.2 billion in reserves. According to a news article in "The Olympian" newspaper, welfare rolls at 1.8% are the lowest the state has experienced in 40 years. Unemployment is at 4.6%, which is one of the lowest unemployment rates in 30 years. These positive economic indicators are good news for investors, local businesses and the people of Washington. Sandy NelsonRealtor for Olympia Area Real Estatewww.sandynelsonrealestate.com 
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By Sandy Nelson, your Olympia area Realtor
(Riley Jackson Real Estate Inc.)
I live in Olympia's South Capitol Neighborhood, which is a nationally recognized historic district. As such, any remodeling plans have to be approved not just by the city, but also by the Olympia Heritage Commission. Many home buyers will not be aware of this requirement until they submit their permit requests and then may possibly get turned down. If you're a Realtor with clients who fall in love with the charm of a historic home, but have plans to add on a sun-room, tear out the steep spindled staircase or pave the back yard, please have them check with the Heritage Commission's guidelines first before they hire an architect for the design work. I would hate to get that phone call from a client who bought a historic home with the mindset to make significant changes to it, only to find...
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By Sandy Nelson, your Olympia area Realtor
(Riley Jackson Real Estate Inc.)
 With real estate prices at a premium, developers, builders and home owners naturally seek to maximize on their investments. Providing low-income housing is not usually a motivating cause for the private sector. The lack of low-income housing, or transitional housing, however, impacts the entire community. Here in Thurston County, the number of homeless is estimated at around 800 people. There are less than 300 temporary shelter beds available. The rest of the homeless population most likely camps out. I don't know enough about the causes of homelessness and the circumstances of the individuals. It would seem to me that in a state with record high minimum wage pay (at $7.93 the highest in the nation) and extremely low unemployment (currently 4.2 in Thurston County), it should follow tha...
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Last night I attended a public information session regarding some proposed changes to parts of Olympia's Comprehensive Plan. In particular, the transition areas that are along the High Density Corridors along Harrison Avenue on the Westside and to the North of State on the Eastside.       The City council received a request for a rezone of a single lot, in 2006. They did not grant it, but it did cause the attention of the Council to be drawn to that area. And at the beginning of 2007, that portion of the Comprehensive Plan was identified as needing review, if not revision. They asked Planning to see if there was a way to encourage greater density, which is the goal for that area.Staff & Planning came up with three Options, and last night was the first step in getting public feedback abo...
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Today I saw five different kinds of bees!You may ask, How in the world did I have time to spot that many teensy flying critters?During an Inspection, of course!While my buyer client was discussing the property with the inspector, looking in attics, sticking his head in cobwebby places, and learning about the whereofs and the whynots and the whatisthats... I was discussing the world with his very sweet, precocious, inquisitive, bright, investigative four year old daughter, and distracting her from the tenants' cats and personal belongings. We looked at flowers! And of course the accompanying buzzing things.And of course, since I always have my camera (and I had alread used the what-is-in-your-purse distraction routine with her), I was required to take pictures of all the interesting thin...
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By Phil Sharp
(Phil Sharp Homes)
Cooper Point is a very diverse and desirable West Side Olympia area.  The peninsula is made up of many residential neighborhoods, as well as rural, agricultural and waterfront properties.  Geography is the primary reason for the areas popularity, with a very short commute to the freeway, downtown Olympia, The evergreen State College, and shopping at the Capital Mall. The neighborhoods of Cooper Point are too numerous to list here, some of the more popular are Cooper Crest, Gold Crest, and Country Club.  Cooper Crest is one of the newest, and has been very popular with home buyers.  If you are looking for larger lots, and more upscale homes, Gold Crest and Country Club are also off of Cooper Point Rd.  Gold Crest is minutes from the freeway and the mall, Country club is a little further ...
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By Phil Sharp
(Phil Sharp Homes)
If you want to talk about growth and desirability in Thurston County, the Hawks Prairie area should be at the top of your list.   With big plans for new development, and many ongoing developments, the population of the area has grown exponentially, and for good reason.   For Military personnel moving to the area, Hawks Prairie is convenient to the freeway and the bases.  I personally made the commute for about seven years, and anywhere in Hawks Prairie to the Dupont gate of Ft. Lewis is 15 minutes tops.  McCord is another 3-5 minutes up the highway, perfect for Air Force personnel as well. What is so attractive about Thurston County, and Hawks Prairie?  Geographic location is key.  Straddling I-5, with a lower cost of living than communities 20 miles to the north, the area is firmly on ...
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When people refer to Steamboat Island, they are generally refering to the penninsula leading to the Island and not the Island itself; although Steamboat Island really is an island with its own community.  It can be reached by traveling north on Steamboat Island rd. to the end, and across the bridge (be forewarned, there isn't much room).Steamboat Island Road is off of highway 101 about one mile after it splits from hwy. 8. If you are traveling from Olympia to Shelton, you can't miss it.  I believe that the appeal of this area is that it is rural, but 5 minutes to the westside of Olympia.  The penninsula and Island feature saltwater views (and waterfront lots), as well as views of the Olympic's and Mt. Rainier.The other piece of this that I haven't mentioned is Carylon Beach.  Carylon Be...
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The Farm is a wonderful upscale community located off of Yelm Highway in Olympia, WA. All of the homes in this community are custom homes of the up-most quality many with very impressive architecture. The community was started approximately 20 years ago and I am currently preparing for the very last available building lot. The homes here range in square footage from around 2000 sq. ft. to over 4500 sq. ft. and lot sizes rang from around 1/4-1 acre in size. Many of the homes in the Farm over look Stunning golf course and valley views. The community is extremely well kept with all yards almost impeccable. This is such a wonderfully established community with that tight knit feel to it. The Farm is home to families and senior citizens alike, it is a place I think people feel welcome.The lo...
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By Phil Sharp
(Phil Sharp Homes)
The Meadows is certainly a well Known neighborhood in the Hawks Prairie area.  Build in the late 70's and early to mid 1980's, the subdivision was designed with a template from the 1950's and 60's.  When Neighborhoods were meant to be just that, communities designed for families  to thrive, socialize, and spread their wings a little.The Meadows is located at the top of the south western edge of the Nisqually Valley, 3-5 minutes from the freeway, and 12-15 from the military bases (I made the drive for my last seven years in the Army).  Until recently the neighborhood was almost considered "rural", and it still has that feel.  Although Hawks Prairie is growing like crazy, The Meadows is an island; it's own community with an elementary school, community spaces and play areas, and middle/se...
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By Phil Sharp
(Phil Sharp Homes)
This post is an introduction to my favorite area in Thurston County.  I am a resident of South Bay and a realtor serving the area Thru my Real Estate Buyers Web Site, www.PhilSharpHomes.com. South Bay is generally considered to be the area north and east of downtown Olympia, bordered on the south by the City of Lacey, to the north is the sound, with Johnson Point and Hawks Prairie to the east.  The area is generally rural, with several large lot subdivisions and numerous small farms and acreages.  View a map of the South Bay Area here.Residents of South Bay live primarily within the Olympia postal area, with a very few in Lacey.  Zoning, permitting and law enforcement juristictions are all Thurston County.  Our residents include a wide variety of folks, including those who work in and a...
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   The Arbors is located right off of Carpenter and Mullen road in Lacey, WA. This community is located right next to Long Lake and in fact actually has a community lake front park right on the main community road. The park albeit not large, is nice. You enter through a locked security gate and walk through a serene wooded walking trail down to the waters edge. There is enough room for a nice picnic as well as a floating swimming dock. Long Lake is a beautiful and mostly quiet lake although you can enjoy water sports on it as well. In fact, the public boat launch is only half a mile away. The Arbors is mostly comprised of families and is a great place for families with children of all ages. There is even a park in the center of the community with climbing toys, slide, and a large grasse...
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By Peter Doane, Olympia Wa Home Inspector
(Realty Check Inspection Service)
What Really Matters - With A Home Inspection      Buying a home? The whole process can be stressful.  During the home inspection period alone, you will be asked to absorb a lot of information in a short period of time.  This often includes a written report, photographs, testing/ sampling reports, WDO/Pest inspection findings etc.   All this combined with the seller's disclosure statement, what you notice yourself and getting your financing approved makes the experience even that more overwhelming.  What should you do?  Relax.  Most of your inspection will be preventative/ maintenance recommendations, life expectancies and minor imperfections. These are nice to know about.  However, the issues that really matter will fall into four categories: Major defects.  An example of this would be ...
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By Susan Draper, Results to Move You!
(Realist Group)
In my typical last minute fashion a trip to the card section of the grocery store was part of my February 14th schedule. You have to appreciate a personality like mine that has to pick the EXACT RIGHT VERSE. Because of that I am forced to read each and every card in the appropriate section. This years PLANNED last minute trip was eye awakening as my selection was down to 5 "I love my husband" options. Whew, what a time saver.However, with the extra time which was already planned into my trip I found myself pulled to the next isle where "Easter Baskets" candies, and my favorite Cadbury Eggs were already on display. WOW....... I almost scrapped the Valentine card in favor of the Tazmanian Devil Easter Basket as Taz is my husbands best friend. I paused to ponder the multitude of stuffed cr...
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