Sunday, January 25, 2009
Aside from the fact that my listing is only 35 miles West of Port Angeles and 20 miles East of Forks, Washington (where the movie is set), there is absolutely no connection. We all know that when it comes to marketing, it is all about perception. But how do I create a perception? The location of my listing was not featured or mentioned in the book or movie. I had to look at the facts to come up with an idea.
The publication of the book Twilight and the subsequent sequels has brought a wave of recognition to Forks and Port Angeles Washington where the story is set. It is reasoned that Forks, Washington with over 100-150 inches of rain a year is conducive to vampires due to the lack of sunshine.
With the release of the hit movie, the interest of the Olympic Peninsula has skyrocketed to frenetic proportions. There are stories of tourists driving cross country just to say they have been to Forks. One lady is rumored to have moved there temporally from Kansas to open a Twilight store during the wave. It is said that she plans on moving back after the craze is over.
Normally, there is increased traffic on HWY 101 West during the summer months as people head for the ocean or visit the Sol Duc Hot Springs resort. With the increased popularity, the seasonal treks have been abandoned in favor of year round pilgrimages. It is estimated that tourism to the area has increased by the thousands.
I did know that my listing sits in the heart of the old pioneer township of Heckelsville. Little is known about the lost township of Heckelsville where my listing lies except that in 1948 there was a grocery store, a schoolhouse and living quarters for the headmaster. The foundation for the school, the living quarters and the old orchard is all that remains on the seller's property. It was only through the Forks museum that anything at all is known about this pioneer township which has been gone for half a century.
There was my story from nothing at all. Why did a township with great fishing in the Sol Duc River, rich soil, fruit trees and plenty of firewood suddenly disappear? Did it have something to do with vampires?
See what I came up with here: Twilight Movie Connection
Although, the mountains, water and lowlands all contribute to the most diverse weather in North America, you might be surprised to learn that Seattle ranks 54th in metro cities (100,000+ Population) with an average rainfall of about 38" a year. (Winner is Mobile, AL. with 65 inches). So let us put that rumor to bed.
However, holding the record for the lower 48 states is the small town of Forks, Washington (pop 7000) with an average annual rainfall of a whopping 120 inches. That is 10 feet a year! The locals joke that if you see someone with an umbrella; they are a tourist. Amazingly, the annual rainfall decreases one-half inch for every mile you travel east.
Keep heading east and you will find yourself in the "Blue Hole or Rain Shadow" known as Sequim, WA. One of Sequim's claims to fame is the average annual rainfall of only 16" a year. That is equal to Hollywood, California. If that isn't dry enough for you, head another 7 miles north to the Dungeness Spit and you lose 5 to 7 inches more per year.
How is it possible to go from the wettest area in the nation to an area that matches Southern California by driving only 70 miles?
The secret is Sequim's proximity to the Olympic Mountain range. As most of our rainy weather blows in from the southwest, the wet air starts rising up the southwest corner of the Olympics becoming heavy as it rises dumping a good portion of it's goods on the lucky folks living in Forks. By the time it reaches the summit, most of the moisture is gone. The air sinks down the Northeast side of the Olympics right over Sunny Sequim.
What does this mean to the residents and why is everyone interested in Sequim Real Estate?
The weather allows for year round produce growing seasons you won't find anywhere else. Imagine fresh produce in the dead of winter. The home prices are lower than southern California and make it an excellent place to retire. Most transplants find that a luxury water view property can be purchased for half the price of a similar property in California.
Don't worry; we have property in every price range with most either with Water or Mountain View or both. If that isn't enough, Sequim is accommodating to retirees with state of the art medical facilities and the whole gambit of outdoor activities.
Sequim is often listed on 100 best places to retire and I invite you to visit and find out what all the fuss is about.
Coldwell Banker Town & Country
Saturday, January 24, 2009
Tuesday, January 15, 2008
Market value is what a buyer is willing to pay in today’s market.
Market value is NOT
How much you owe.
How much your Cousin twice-removed who once sold a home says it is worth.
How much you need to net to buy your next home.
What you paid for the home.
The higher estimate received from the agent who is bidding on your listing.
This last Christmas my 14 year old Son requested a Nintendo Wii. This is one of the hottest game systems this year and is very much in demand. Last Summer, the basic unit could have been purchased at the list price of $249.00. As Christmas 2007 approached, it became increasing clear that the demand was considerably higher than supply. A search on e-bay (no retailer seemed to have them) soon revealed that you could get a system from anywhere from $400.00 to $700.00. Those with an inside track on the supply were making a bundle as most postings sold with multiple bids. Not one to buy at demand based pricing, I hedged and appealed to my Son’s economic reasoning. Sure enough, one could see that prices were already starting to drop the day after Christmas. I imagine that in a couple of months, the unit will be available everywhere at list price.
What does this have to do with real estate? Everything! Remembering the definition of what market value is, we find that parents were willing to pay the inflated prices to make sure Johnny was delighted on Christmas morning.
Does anyone recall the movie Jingle all the Way with Arnold Schwarzenegger who searched the whole movie for a Turbo Man?
Picture a street corner that has a gas station on each corner in your town. Rarely, do you find that the name brand stations are advertising the exact same price on gasoline. Without getting into an argument about which franchise has the best gas, gas is gas to most people. They serve the same purpose and fulfill the same need. They are equal.
Which of the four gas stations do you stop at assuming the all have equally attractive clerks? (As compared to each home having granite countertops or bathroom upgrades)
I believe that gas was approaching $4.00 a gallon in our area in 2007 as compared to the $3.12 I saw this morning. Can the gas station that was selling gas at $4.00 keep that price while others are now charging a little over $3.00 a gallon? Using this strategy, who will sell gas and who will not?
If you are not ready to list your home at market value, you are not ready to sell. There is a real estate saying that goes like this. Those that list at market value, move and those that list above market value, stay. Perhaps it is not the right time to sell your home.
Tuesday, September 12, 2006
The flounder lies on the bottom of the sea, waiting for food to come to it. It allows the tides to control its movements and it doesn't resist natural forces. Consequently, it can be easily caught.
The trout swims against the currents, chooses carefully what it will eat, decides when to resist, when to rest and consequently, is very difficult to catch.
Correspondingly, the flounder person reacts only to what comes his or her way. The trout person acts with forethought and self-discipline. The flounder person waits for something to happen while the trout person makes things happen. The flounder person concentrates on activities, and the trout person concentrates on goals and objectives. If you're not a trout person, you can be. Take charge of your life by controlling your habits, don't let them control you. Hard work alone won't get you ahead you need to also work smart. When you do, there will be plenty of time to take care of all your needs.
Tuesday, May 23, 2006
Coming into Sequim from the East, you are instantly stricken by the majestic mountain range to the south and the sweeping water views from the north. You might even notice the subtle change in the cloud cover as you drive into the valley. That is because Sequim is the driest spot in Western Washington, getting just an average of 18” of rain per year. However, there is just enough of a mix of rain and sun to keep the town and surrounding neighborhoods lush and green practically year round.
The natural layout and location of Sequim allows for an eclectic variety of outdoor activities. The surrounding area offers a paradise of fishing, hunting, hiking, bicycling, nature walks, river rafting, skiing (both snow & water), scuba diving, beach combing, swimming, boating, gardening, farming, vineyards and a variety of other activities.
The organization of the City of Sequim appears to be setup with the foresight of accommodating the people who would settle here.For such a small town, Sequim boasts of state of the art medical facilities, world class golf communities and some of the best restaurants on the Olympic Peninsula.
Sequim is a very social place and the residents assure that it stays that way. Visitors need only visit one of the many festivals hosted during the year to feel the sense of pride & community.
If you have never visited Sequim, Washington, I invite you to do so and find out what all the fuss is about. When you are here, drive around and see for yourself. Perhaps, you could visit the nearby historical city of Port Townsend, take the ferry across the water to Victoria, Canada or sit in the natural hot springs of Sol Duc.
Send me you address via e-mail and I will send you a free Visitor’s Guide to Sequim & the Olympic Peninsula.
Don Fourtner is a Coldwell Banker real estate agent in Sequim, Washington
Wednesday, May 10, 2006
Source: National Realty News, a BEXT Inc. publication http://nationalrealtynews.com/
Tuesday, May 02, 2006
In the 12 month period between March 2005 and March 2006, the value of Site Built Homes in Sequim jumped an amazing 25.6%. The average price of Sequim homes in the same time frame in 2005 was $283,286 compared to $355,904 in 2006. That is a dollar jump of $72,618! Try to match that rate of return in the stock market. With the increased influx of retirees moving to this area to take advantage of the low 18" of rain per year, that rate of return is likely to continue.