Walla Walla, WA Real Estate News

By Amanda Ewoniuk
(Preferred Properties/Walla Walla Grape Havens)
The saying is there is never enough hours in the day or I wish I had more time.  Everything we do revolves around time frames and time lines. Time dictates everything that we do in our lives and real estate is no different.  All contingencies have time frames, like 10 days on an inspection or 30 days for a letter of loan commitment on a financing contingency.  Then there are some time frames that aren't standard like the time you set for a response on an offer. Time frames and time lines have a purpose, they keep everything moving in a timely matter.  When an offer is submitted to a seller and the buyer sets lets say a 2 day response time.  In Washington State, the  time expires at 9:00 pm on the last day.  After that the offer is dead....expired.....done.  So, basically if you haven't ...
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By Amanda Ewoniuk
(Preferred Properties/Walla Walla Grape Havens)
I have done a lot of thinking lately, and sometimes I over think things.  I know when I am up at 11:30 at night going over the new listings I saw in the mls, I wish I could just turn it off.  Lately, my 11:30 pm over thinking has a lot to do with what I see in the media about the current state of our market. I know that the media has propogated mass panic on a daily basis that has made it harder for everyone to push forward.  That is why I try not to watch the news and read the negative headlines, but I also like to be prepared to talk to my clients about what they have heard in the news.  What I stress to my clients is that your local market is what matters.  Don't worry about the housing crisis in California....we live in Washington.  Don't worry about the downtrend in the Western Was...
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By Amanda Ewoniuk
(Preferred Properties/Walla Walla Grape Havens)
When I started in real estate, most people would say it was the worst time.  The housing market was slumping, our economy was apparently crashing and the future was uncertain.  I say it couldn't have been a better time!  The things I am learning right now are things every agent is learning and working through.  I was familiar with my local real estate agencies and after I got my license, went to work with a local broker.  I worked really hard my first year and closed 4 deals.  Now, that may not look like a huge number, but to me facing the difficulties in the market that felt like a small piece of success. However, after my first year in real estate I switched brokers.  As real estate agents we all follow the same code of conduct laws and rules.  Most of us are members of the Associatio...
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By Amanda Ewoniuk
(Preferred Properties/Walla Walla Grape Havens)
I have been thinking a lot about how the business of real estate is going and how the economy has affected everyone.  In Walla Walla the number of practicing agents has almost been cut in half.  When you look at it, that is really sad.  What this has done though is create an even more competitive market.  Usually it would be the other way around...less competition....less competitive.  The thing is the agents who are all left are at the top of their game.  They are successful and have enough business to "survive" the hard times. Our Market is unique in that just 10 miles from downtown you cross over into the Oregon border.  Now I have a Washington license,  but I am not licensed in Oregon.  If a client of mine is interested in Oregon property I refer them to an agent that can show them ...
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By Amanda Ewoniuk
(Preferred Properties/Walla Walla Grape Havens)
Beyond Walla Walla's exceptional early education comes opportunities for exemplary higher education.  One little known fact about Walla Walla that some might find surprising is that within our city is 3 very good colleges.  Rich in the foundations and history of Walla Walla, these colleges create a diversity and balance that you might finds surprising, but we are not your typical college town.  Most might think with 3 colleges in such a small community that the quiet peaceful lifestyle we enjoy would be tainted by frat parties and unruly college like behavior, but it is actually just the opposite.  Our colleges bring students interested in enriching their education experience in everything from wine and viticulture to liberal arts and religion. Whitman College, the oldest college in Wal...
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By Amanda Ewoniuk
(Preferred Properties/Walla Walla Grape Havens)
Yesterday I wrote about how great our elementary schools are in Walla Walla, and the same is true for the rest of our schools as well.  For a small community of about 40,000 people we provide our children a great jump start for the future.  This includes both public and private schools. For Elementary, there are 2 main private schools.  Liberty Christian, a small christian based school with grades k-6.  I am kind of partial to this school because that is where I went as a kid.  Liberty Christian gave me a foundation in education that was priceless.  While the focus is on the main staples of education, I also learned etiquette.  Assumption is the local private catholic elementary school.  A little larger than Liberty, Assumption still has small classrooms and a great foundation in educat...
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By Amanda Ewoniuk
(Preferred Properties/Walla Walla Grape Havens)
Its kind of a sad day at my house, although glorious in other ways.  Summers over but that means tomorrow is back to school!  I can't believe that the time is already here.  The nights are already getting cooler which means that fall is just around the corner.  Bittersweet, but fast approaching my favorite season.  Don't get me wrong, I love summer in the Walla Walla Valley, but fall holds that special place in my heart. My daughter Lilli is 9 and she is going into 4th grade this year.  I love this age because they still are excited about school.  Today we are going to meet her teacher.  She attends one of the 6 local elementary schools, Prospect Point.  Walla Walla is fortunate to have such a great public school system.  Providing families and students in the area with excellent progra...
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By Amanda Ewoniuk
(Preferred Properties/Walla Walla Grape Havens)
A lot has been happening in Walla Walla this past July.  For one, we had one of the hottest months on record, and I am talking weather here....not our real estate market.  While sales have picked up, the hottest price range right now is the under $200,000 set.  Currently Walla Walla County (Dixie, Lowden, College Place, Walla Walla, Touchet and Waitsburg) has 654 active homes on the market.  WOW! That is a lot of homes.  For Walla Walla, that is approaching a 18 month supply.  The average list price is $272,000 with an average days on market of 175.  The biggest thing to note in our market is that in the month of July, 100 new homes were listed on the market, but there were only 62 closed deals in the month....a small increase over June, but not significant. The average home on the mark...
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By Amanda Ewoniuk
(Preferred Properties/Walla Walla Grape Havens)
Honesty is the best policy...ALWAYS!  This should be everyone's motto, no matter what the market is like.  No one is real estate has a crystal ball, and we really have no idea of what will happen to our markets.  The most common question of a real estate agent today is, "What is going to happen with our market?"  I can tell you what is going on now, and the challenges we are facing within our market, but I can't give you a prediction of what will be happening this time next year. If you watch the media, which most people do, your feed conflicting answers everyday.  The market is turning around, the market hasn't hit the bottom yet, the housing market posted gains or wait was that a loss?  Everyone is making predictions, and that is what they are, predictions.  One day the market can sho...
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By Amanda Ewoniuk
(Preferred Properties/Walla Walla Grape Havens)
In these tough times as real estate agents, we have a lot on our plates to do.  We spend a lot of time with our buyers navigating the overstocked market, narrowing down choices and educating our buyers.  As a real estate agent if you are working with a buyer right now the first thing you should do is ask them to sign your agency agreement!  Duh, this seems so simple, but it is often the forgotten and most important piece to your job.  The competition is stiff and every agent is looking for potential clients. When I sit down with a buyer for the first time, I explain to them what they can expect from me.  I am simply not just the person with a key that can show them any house on the MLS they want to see.  I explain to them agency laws and how I plan to work hard to help them find a home....
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By Amanda Ewoniuk
(Preferred Properties/Walla Walla Grape Havens)
Oh the things you learn in life along the way.  The most important thing I have learned over the past year through tough times and ups and downs is never to doubt my instincts.  There is always that someone or something that comes along to test this.  It makes you second guess yourself and doubt yourself, and that is what this economy has done for most agents.  I think when it started getting bad we all went through a moment of self evaluation.  And why not?  We had all become accustom to the giving market and maybe forgot our main objectives along the way. Then we realize that these market conditions can only make us stronger, better real estate agents, and maybe we will  even learn something new along the way. Most closings these days aren't cut and dry, a lot of the times something c...
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By Amanda Ewoniuk
(Preferred Properties/Walla Walla Grape Havens)
With so many houses on the market it is really important to know a couple of things about selling your house.  If your real estate agent hasn't had this discussion with you, maybe you should have this discussion with them.  As a real estate agent when listing a home, this is probably the most important thing to discuss with your clients before you take the listing.  Availibility to show- Be as flexible as possible about allowing agents to show your home.  Sometimes this means last minute or later in the evening, but never say no...this might just be the one that is going to by your home and you don't want to delay a possible offer. Appeal to your buyers- Create and ambiance that says....You want to live here.  Turn on all the lights before a showing.  The agent that is showing your home...
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By Amanda Ewoniuk
(Preferred Properties/Walla Walla Grape Havens)
My job consists of a lot of things, and many of the things I do people probably don't even know about.  Real Estate is my job and I work really hard.  The biggest misconseption about real estate agents I think is that we do nothing and get paid the "Big Bucks".  For me though, it is not about the money, but the commission I get paid I earn.  If I wanted a job that paid on a regular basis I would probably go get one.  Instead I weather the ups and downs and work hard so that I can get paid. As a real estate agent, I am always on call, and mostly available for anything my clients need.  My phone starts ringing early in the morning and sometimes doesn't quit until after 9.  My days are usually booked with clients wanting to see homes, or list their homes.  Sometimes the majority of my day ...
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By Amanda Ewoniuk
(Preferred Properties/Walla Walla Grape Havens)
With the downturn in the market a lot of home owners have been trying the for sale by owner route.  Now the question is....is it a good thing?  Now I am a real estate agent so of course I want you to list it with me, but not for the reasons you might think, and when I work with buyers I look at everything out there on the market including FSBO. Now as a seller, you are probably thinking, if I sell this on my own I will be saving money on a real estate agent commission.  That might be true to a point.  Most likely a real estate agent will bring you a buyer and you should be prepared to pay a commission.  The risks of a FSBO also increase if you do not know much about real estate.  I would suggest that FSBO sellers hire a lawyer that specializes in real estate law to write up your paperwo...
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By Amanda Ewoniuk
(Preferred Properties/Walla Walla Grape Havens)
The most frequently asked question today is "Should I sell my house?"  Well that all depends,Do you have to sell your house?  Do you need to sell your house, or do you want to sell your house?  These are all very different reasons, and in today's market the answer is important. Do you have to sell your house?  If you are relocating and have to sell your house, you should be prepared to probably hear things you don't want to hear.  Prices are down and your home might not be worth what you think it is worth at this moment.  I'm not necessarily talking huge losses though, and it doesn't mean that your home is worth nothing.  What I'm talking about is instead of coming out of it with 100,000 in equity, you might be looking at $80,000. It all depends on your situation.  Has your home been ma...
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By Amanda Ewoniuk
(Preferred Properties/Walla Walla Grape Havens)
Walla Walla Real Estate Market JUNE 2009Summer is traditionally one of the busiest times in the Walla Walla Real Estate Market.  The heat of summer and nice days prompts most buyers to start their search for a new home before summers end.  So what is currently going on in todays market?  Well, there is some good and some... less good. It really depends on your perspective and where you fit into the market. The market for first time homebuyers remains strong with the $8000 first time home buyer tax credit.With 594 homes on the market in June inventory is very near an all time high. (Walla Walla and College Place Only) The number of monthly closings has steadily increased since the beginning of the year-and was in fact better than June of last year-but is still far below the highs we saw ...
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By Amanda Ewoniuk
(Preferred Properties/Walla Walla Grape Havens)
Today I am researching properties for a first time home buyer.  So I make myself a cup of coffee and sit down at my computer.  I sat down with them yesterday to find out about what they are looking for so that I can pull homes for them to see that will meet there needs.  I enter in the search criteria and hit enter.....and 156 homes come up! That is huge numbers for a price range of 150,000-200,000.  I look over what has come up on the search and narrow it down.  They want to stay in Walla Walla, and aren't wanting to purchase in College Place.  They need at least 3 bedrooms and school district is important.  With my new criteria we still have just over 100 homes.  That number is huge!  The good news for them there is a lot to choose from.  The bad news, this price range is hot right no...
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By Amanda Ewoniuk
(Preferred Properties/Walla Walla Grape Havens)
So Webster dictionary just came out with its latest definition list of new words, and the word frenemey was on the list.  The definition is an enemy that acts like a friend, wow how pop culture and Paris Hilton likenesses have changed our vocabulary!  Im not so sure it is for the better either.  I just spent my morning hosting a Realtor open at one of my listings complete with food and coffee to get the morning started.  I have to say that it was really enlightening to visit with my fellow colleagues about the current state of our market, all the while familiarizing them with my listing.  I appreciated them taking the time out of their morning to come and see what I have to offer their clients.  This got me thinking, I don't spend nearly enough time cultivating my relationships with oth...
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By Amanda Ewoniuk
(Preferred Properties/Walla Walla Grape Havens)
Its no secret that we are in a buyers market.  With the inventory of homes on the market and the prices of housing dropping this has shifted the market to give buyers an advantage.  So what are you waiting for?  Lets make a deal! With interest rates still at stellar lows, there is no better time to buy a home.  There are lots of choices in many different price ranges for buyers to choose from, and the home prices in Walla Walla have come down to a more realistic level for first time home buyers and working families.  And the best part, homes are still a sound investment.  Buying a home will always be a good investment, no matter what the market conditions are.  You just have to make a wise decision.  A owner occupied home was never really intended to be a short term equity making machin...
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By Amanda Ewoniuk
(Preferred Properties/Walla Walla Grape Havens)
I have worked a lot with first time home buyers in the last six months, and I really enjoy this part of my job.  I understand what it is like navigating the housing market and really take the time to educate my clients about real estate in general.  About 10 years ago, I purchase my first home at 20 years old and I can honestly say if I only knew then what I know now.  I never want a client of mine to say that, I want them to know what I know now. Being a first time home buyer is scary.  Lets face it, buying a home is a huge commitment with huge responsibilities.  That shouldn't scare someone away though because its all about research and education and knowing everything there is to know.  Its about seeing what is out there and exploring the possibilities of home ownership and then maki...
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