South Sound Property Group Blog

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South Sound Property Group Presents
Jeff, Mark and Miles recently listed 2207 N Washington Street, a 1925 Craftsman that comes complete with a covered front porch and porch swing.  A great home in an even greater location, just blocks from all that the Proctor District has to offer.  The farmer’s market on Saturday mornings, happy hours at Cactus and date nights […]
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Buying a New Construction Home
If you’re thinking about purchasing a new construction home as opposed to an existing home, it’s important to recognize that each option has benefits and drawbacks.  With some help from Zillow and Trulia, I’ve compiled a short list of pros and cons for those thinking of purchasing a new construction home. WHAT ARE THE PROS? […]
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Are There Clues that the Real Estate Market is Starting to Cool?
I’d like to begin this post with a disclaimer.  The information I’m sharing here is anecdotal in nature, and my opinions are based largely on my own personal experience investing in and selling residential real estate since 1993.  I know that quite a few Realtors may disagree with me, but I’m having a distinct feeling […]
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What does the Building Moratorium in Gig Harbor Mean for Home Owners?
In response to increasing buyer demand for housing in Pierce County and a persistent shortage of inventory, developers have been building new homes in Gig Harbor at a rapid rate.  The Gig Harbor City Council recently responded to this development boom by passing a building moratorium on new residential development applications, forcing developers to put […]
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Pierce County’s Over Million Dollar House Market is Heating Up
Jeff Williams and Mark Pinto were recently interviewed by Kate Martin of the Tacoma News Tribune to explore the current trends for the over million dollar housing market in Pierce County.  As the listing agents for three of the over million dollar listings that are currently pending sale in Pierce County, they shared insight about buyers for […]
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Talk to a Lender Before You Start Your Home Search
The number of buyers searching for homes in Tacoma’s North End far exceeds the number of homes for sale, which often results in multiple offer situations that require buyers to compete for the house of their dreams.  For buyers who plan to finance their home purchase, obtaining loan pre-approval before submitting an offer is critical.  […]
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Why selling your house in the winter may not be such a bad idea
Redfin recently conducted a study looking at more than 7 million home sales over the course of the past four years to determine what impact, if any, seasonality had on the sales process.  Not surprisingly, the study confirmed that listing your home for sale in the springtime was likely to result in a quicker sale […]
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Severe Lack of Home Appraisers is Complicating Real Estate Transactions
Diana Olick of CNBC recently wrote an article that sums up the reason for frustration for many home buyers and sellers in the South Sound region.  Olick notes,  “Housing demand is rising rapidly, but a key cog in the wheel to homeownership is in deep trouble. The people most needed to close the deal are […]
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Craft Beer Makers Revitalize Tacoma’s Historic Brewery District
Tacoma was recently featured in a report by KIRO-7 news’ Kevin McCarty.  McCarty notes, “Tacoma has always been a beer town… and these days business is booming”.  “Several independent craft beer makers are reviving the city’s historic brewery district.  Craft breweries large and small are popping up in and around the city’s historic brewery district along Pacific […]
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Why is Tacoma a Top 10 Housing Market to Watch in 2016
Tacoma recently ranked as number 10 on Trulia’s top 10 housing markets to watch in 2016, a list that also included cities like Grand Rapids, MI, Charleston, SC and Austin, TX (see the full report here).  Trulia’s rankings were based on a number of different criteria including strong job growth, low vacancy rates and high […]
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North End Homes Prices Continue to Strengthen
Sales data for third quarter 2015 are in, and unlike previous years where we've seen a weaking in third quarter in north end home values, this year we've seen the market remain strong.  Inventory levels are a incredibly low levels.  We expect a slow down due to seasonality in the fourth quarter but all indications […]
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Foreclosures drop to lowest rate since 2008
The number of homes in foreclosure has hit its lowest mark since January of 2008 – just another sign that the housing market has fully recovered.  Only 1.1% of all houses in Washington State are in active foreclosure.  The rate may be a bit higher in Tacoma’s North End, given the fact that Pierce County […]
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Census Data Suggests a Shift from King to Pierce County
  According to an article in the Seattle Times, Gene Balk examined recent census data surrounding an emerging trend that points to a shift from King County to more affordable Pierce county.  Gene notes, "It's no secret that newcomers are pouring into King County from around the country and the globe.  In fact, we broke a record in 2014 for the […]
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North End Home Prices Weaken
After a very strong spring real estate market, prices for homes in the North End of Tacoma (zip codes 98403, 98406 and 98407) are weakening and inventory is increasing. With interest rates staying low and inventory on the rise the market has created a window of opportunity for buyers this fall.  Click here for full […]
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The Vintage Y – Home in Tacoma’s Theater District
  One of the things I love most about selling real estate in downtown Tacoma is introducing clients to the different condominium buildings there – some shiny and new and others tastefully restored.  The Vintage Y at 714 Market Street falls into the tastefully restored category.  Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the […]
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Misconceptions about Tacoma’s Historic Homes and Neighborhoods
There are a lot of misconceptions about historic homes and historic districts in Tacoma.  As a Realtor, a former board member of Historic Tacoma and a current member of the Tacoma Landmarks Preservation Commission, I’m often asked about the potential impact that historic designation might have on a property.  Many people worry that historic designation is a negative thing.  I believe (and […]
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What Makes a House a “Craftsman?”
As a Realtor who comes from Pasadena, California (the birthplace of Craftsman architecture), and a current member of the Tacoma Landmarks Preservation Commission, nothing makes me crazier than real estate agents who incorrectly market houses as a Craftsman.  It is our job as Realtors to understand houses!  Craftsman is a distinct historic architectural style, and 95% of the […]
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Five Major Considerations When Buying an Old House
As a commissioner for the City of Tacoma's Landmarks Preservation Commission and a former board member of Historic Tacoma, I've had a lot of experience with historic properties.  I've also been buying, renovating and selling historic homes myself for more than twenty years (45 houses and counting).  Not surprisingly, clients often seek my advice when they're thinking about buying an […]
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Investing in Houses in Tacoma’s North End
The demand for rental homes in Tacoma’s North End is high, with landlords charging as much as $1800-$2000 per month for a nice three bedroom house in a desirable location like Proctor or the Stadium District.  Many homeowners were able to secure extremely low interest rates by refinancing when the market was low, which prompts […]
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Top 5 Reasons to Live In Proctor
The Proctor District is one of  North Tacoma’s most popular neighborhoods.  Historic homes, great public schools, tree lined streets, views of the water and a charming central business district are just a few of the things that make this neighborhood so special.  For those who aren’t familiar with Proctor (and for those who are already […]
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How Much is a Water View Worth in North Tacoma?
  With market values in Tacoma’s North End on the rise, we’re often asked by our clients to “keep our eyes open” for a house exactly like theirs but with a water view.  The implication being that if they found a view home that was as nice as their current residence, they would want to buy […]
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North Tacoma Home Prices End 2013 Just Above 2012
  As we start the New Year, we thought it might be a good idea to take a quick look back at what happened to the housing market in Tacoma’s North End in 2013 and to make a few predictions about what to expect in 2014.  The market in Tacoma’s North End essentially took two steps […]
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Jeff Williams named to the City of Tacoma Landmarks Preservation Commission
Congratulations to Jeff,  recently nominated and approved by the Tacoma City Council to serve a two year term on the Tacoma Landmarks Preservation Commission.  The mission of the group is as follows: The Commission reviews and approves applications for changes to registered Landmarks and buildings within local historic districts, reviews nominations and advises City Council regarding […]
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The Value of a Garage in Tacoma’s Coveted North End
Homeowners in Tacoma’s coveted North End really like their garages, whether they’re attached or detached, one car or two.  Some people use their garages as workshops.  Others use them for overflow storage.  Some people actually use them the old fashioned way – for parking cars.  Regardless of how it’s used, the presence of a garage in […]
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List of Considerations When Buying or Selling Horse Property
As a Realtor who also happens to be President of the Washington State Quarter Horse Association, I’m often asked to help clients who are purchasing or selling a horse property.  Buying or selling a horse property involves a special set of considerations above and beyond those associated with a typical real estate transaction.  Below is […]
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Words of Advice for First Time Home Buyers
If you’ve been thinking about buying your first home, you may be experiencing a whole host of emotions.  Excitement, fear and confusion tend to top the list.  The process can admittedly be daunting, particularly for first time home buyers, but it’s important to keep things in perspective.  Step one – take a deep breath.  Step […]
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Thea’s Landing – Waterfront Condos in Downtown Tacoma
Have you ever wondered about the multicolored contemporary building next door to the Museum of Glass on Dock Street?  Well, wonder no more.  The building is called Thea’s Landing, which makes sense given its location on the historic Thea Foss Waterway.  The mixed use complex was built in 2002 and offers spectacular views of downtown […]
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Tacoma’s Historic Stadium District
Driving through Tacoma’s stylish Stadium district is a popular activity for out of town visitors and Tacoma residents alike, this writer included.  The Stadium Seminary National Historic District was first listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1977 and occupies the area between North I Street and the shoreline and between First Street […]
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Why the Triangle Townhomes in downtown Tacoma are so great!
  We had dinner Tuesday night with a friend of ours on her rooftop deck at the Triangle Townhomes in downtown Tacoma.  We helped her purchase her unit there a few years ago, and she couldn't be happier.  The Triangle Townhomes were designed by Seattle-based Johnston Architects and built in two phases in 2005 and […]
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Jeff Interviewed by Fox 13 News Regarding the City “Flipping” Houses
I was was recently interviewed by Fox 13 News regarding a proposal going in front of the Tacoma City Council that recommends the city start "flipping" derelict properties.  Given my experience flipping houses I feel that an $800K grant is not enough money for the city to impact the many derelict properties in Tacoma.  I believe the […]
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Western Washington – 2nd Quarter Economic & Real Estate Recap
Western Washington | second quarter 2013, Volume XXII Posted in Market News by Matthew Gardner We have been looking for balance within the real estate market for several years now. During the crash, there were clearly far more sellers than buyers, but when we found the bottom of the market and prices started to rise, the tables were […]
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Western Washington Home Prices Continue to Rise
  Windermere Real Estate is proud to partner with Gardner Economics on this analysis of the Western Washington real estate market.   Matt Gardner provides indepth analysis of first quarter 2013 economic and real estate data on Windermere.com.   In his first quarter 2013 recap Gardner observes, "The Samuel Taylor Coleridge quote, “Water, water everywhere, nor […]
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The Perkins Lofts – Downtown Tacoma
  The Perkins Lofts in Downtown Tacoma   If you're looking for lofts for sale in downtown Tacoma, the historic Perkins Building is sure to show up on your list. The Perkins was designed by the architectural firm of Russell & Babcock and constructed in 1907 as a newspaper plant for the Tacoma Ledger and Daily News, founded by […]
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Why Replacing Wood Windows is a Costly Mistake
As a member of the Tacoma Landmarks Preservation Commission, former board member of Historic Tacoma and a long time restorer of historic homes, Jeff is frequently asked by friends and real estate clients about restoring their houses.  In Tacoma, and across the country for that matter, many home owners believe vinyl windows are an inexpensive […]
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What is it about Proctor?
We're constantly asked… why is Proctor so hot?  Our listings in the Proctor area of Tacoma sell faster than anywhere else in the city.  We live in Proctor in a 1885 Victorian that is on the Tacoma Register of Historic Places.  We know a thing or two about the area.  We love Proctor, but you […]
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Nationwide home prices are increasing at a fast pace
  WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. home prices rose in January at the fastest pace since the summer of 2006, just before the housing bubble burst. The gain shows the housing recovery is strengthening ahead of the spring buying season. The Standard & Poor's/Case-Shiller 20-city home price index climbed 8.1 percent in the 12 months ending in […]
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A Charming North Tacoma Bungalow – Before and After Restoration
4715 N. 33rd Street, Tacoma This charming 1948 brick-faced bungalow was an abandoned property that Jeff purchased from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.  Misguided renovations had left the property sub-optimized.  One of two downstairs bedrooms had been converted to a bathroom, the original bath was converted to a laundry, and there was no […]
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NW Furniture Bank Receives Windermere Donation
  Windermere Professional Partners Agents Present $9,000 Check to Northwest Furniture Bank! Caring for the Community, Local News, Windermere This week Windermere Professional Partners agents returned to Northwest Furniture Bank to present them with a check for $9,000. Last time the agents were atNorthwest Furniture Bank they were delivering mattresses, assembling furniture, and painting walls. So what happened? […]
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Mike Slevin
Jeff recently participated in the Urban Land Institute’s study of the Hilltop Neighborhood of Tacoma
  Tacoma, WA   Fellowship Cities Austin, TX Charlotte, NC Detroit, MI Hartford, CT Houston, TX Kansas City, MO Louisville, KY Minneapolis, MN Nashville, TN Oakland, CA Philadelphia, PA Phoenix, AZ Providence, RI Sacramento, CA Tacoma, WA Tampa, FL Tacoma, Washington: Leveraging existing and future assets to attract investment along the Martin Luther King Jr. […]
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A Peek Inside McMenamin’s Elks Lodge
    We here in Tacoma have been anxiously awaiting the start of construction by boutique hotel chain McMenamins to restore the Elks Lodge in downtown.  Well the latest from McMenamins website shows some amazing "before" pictures of the heavily vandalized property, and predicts an opening in late 2013.  Oh, please let me it be […]
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Historic Tacoma Buildings – Status Updates
    Watch List Updates February 11, 2013     Quick Links Visit our Website  About Us Latest Newsletter Join Us Historic Tacoma maintains a Watch List of vulnerable properties; click through on the links for more details and photos. Elks Lodge-McMenamins project In the original redevelopment plans, the 1937 annex to the north was to be demolished to […]
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Take Action! Digital Billboard Legislation is Back
    Action Needed: Digital Billboard Legislation back in Olympia   February 3, 2013     Quick Links Visit our Website  About Us Latest Newsletter Join Us We've just received news of House and Senate bills (HB 1408 and SB 5304) moving at breakneck speed to public hearing in the House Transportation Committee on Tuesday, Feb 5th, at 3:30pm. […]
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Historic Tacoma Nominates Hilltop buildings to historic register
  Browne's Star Grill & Pochert Building Kellogg-Sicker Building (aka Browne's Star Grill) Address: 1114-16  Martin Luther King Jr.Way Construction Date: 1906 Architect: Carl August Darmer AND Pochert Building  Address: 1110-1112 Martin Luther King Jr.Way Construction Date: 1904 Architect: Carl August Darmer Architect Significance:      A pioneer architect in Tacoma, Darmer was responsible for designing a number of prominent buildings in […]
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Tacoma Schools Endorsed for Historic Designation
  Historic Tacoma Tuesday Landmark's Preservation Commission Endorses Proposition 1 Bond Measure Last week the City of Tacoma's Landmarks Preservation Commission unanimously voted to endorse Proposition 1 Bond Measure supporting improvement to neighborhood schools. The commission supports the bond because of the district's commitment to preservation, particularly through the recent designation of 6 historic schools, and […]
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New Plans for Prairie Line Trail in Downtown Tacoma
  New Plans for the Prairie Line Trail, UWT Station By Exit133 at 25. January 2013, 11:17 : – 5 Comments At this week’s City Council study session we got a look at the new design plans for the Prairie Line Trail – UWT Station. About a year ago, we saw the first set of proposed designs for the project, which UWT was calling the […]
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Before and After photos of Jeff’s North Tacoma Flip Project
Finished in just six weeks and sold in only four days, this charming North Tacoma bungalow now has a new lease on life! Click here for all the before and after photos.           
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Jeff’s next flip is in escrow
How does one describe Jeff's next project…  dirty, weird, sad, has potential, could be cute?  Let us know what you think (click the photo for details).  
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South Sound Property Group on YouTube
Jeff and Mark recently started hosting all of their active listings on YouTube.  Check out the videos of our listings, and follow us!
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