These last few months I have been paying closer attention to the weather than I usually do. In December we went to Hawaii and I was really hoping for sun and heat, basically a break from our winter cold and rain. Unfortunately, we caught the end of Tropical Storm Dolphin. The first two days of our trip were a little hairy. Tremendous amounts of rain and wind. I scanned the internet hourly, hoping the storm would pass before our vacation did. Luckily, it did and we had five fun days of sun and heat.

When we returned home to Bainbridge Island, snow was falling. We arrived at the beginning of a very unusual system that ended up dumping about two feet of snow at our house. We were snowed in, school was called off and we had some fun afternoons sledding at Ordway Elementary and the high school. But, after the novelty of the snow wore off and Christmas shopping still needed to be done, I was back on the internet, wondering when this white stuff that was slowing down my life was going to go away.

What I relied on the most for an accurate weather prediction for this area was the Cliff Mass Weather Blog. Cliff is a Professor of Atmospheric Sciences at the University of Washington, has written a book about weather in our area and his wonderful The Weather of the Pacific Northwest, and can be found at places like REI talking about, you guessed it, weather. The Pacific Northwest is made up of several different micro-climates, so weather predictions for the city of Seattle don’t necessarily match what is going on on Bainbridge Island or further west into Kitsap County. Cliff is great at focusing in on all the areas in our region and I have found his predictions to be right on.

If you are as curious about the weather as I am, check it out his blog.

On January 12, 2009, in Community, by

Some interesting numbers from the National Association of Realtors.

Number of Existing Home Sales in the United States:
chart
1998 – 4.2 million
2000 – 4.6 million
2004 – 4.7 million
2005 – 7.1 million (with a 38% appreciation rate in 2005)
2006 – 6.48 millioin
2007 – 5.66 million
2008 (projection) 5.7 million

The media makes things look really bad, but 2005 was just really “good” as far as pricing went for sellers. But, in regards to homes sold, we’re still better than 1998.

Home Equity Borrowed:
chart
2000 – 26 billion
2004 – 139 billion
2005 – 450 billion
2007 – 620 billion (stats from the Mortgage Bankers Association)

This is the scary part. Real estate is still moving, but now many sellers are upside down.

On March 18, 2008, in Moving, Real Estate Business, by

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