Real Estate Investment Property
Investing in Washington State Real Estate
Are you interested in investing in real estate in Thurston County? As the owner of Sharp and Sharp Holdings LLC, a real estate investment company, I am uniquely qualified to assist novice and experienced investors alike.
Experienced investor or not, all of us are aware of the current state of the national real estate market; but are you up to speed when it comes to the local situation? The Thurston County real estate market is in pretty good shape compared to other parts of the country. Our economy, geographic location, and property values make us one of the stronger markets in the nation; future growth is inevitable, and savvy investors will make the most of all of the good things we have going for us in the Olympia area.
The “Buyers Market” is a condition that spells opportunity to investors. As investors, we make our money when we buy. Sure…locations, cash flow, all are important; but what is much more important is buying a property that has unique upside potential. Potential will certainly be influenced by location and cash flow, but it will be influenced to a greater degree by the local economy, demographics, and growth….all three are working in our favor as investors.
Why is the local market a buyers market?
Our real estate market in Thurston County has been affected by the national market and the national media. Within the County, the only tangible factor we are facing is a recent increase in the inventory of homes on the market. This increase is the result of builders and investors, many from other parts of the country, recognizing the long term potential for real estate in the Olympia area.
In 2005 there were more buyers in the market than there were homes for sale. Since then, investors and builders have gone a building spree that has given us a 6-12 month supply of homes. Other parts of the country have the same number, although they are counting in years; None the less, supply and demand are out of whack. In Thurston County I believe that our buyers market will continue until our inventory is reduced; It is not dependant on what happens in the rest of the country. We are currently selling in the vicinity of 400 homes per month, building has slowed considerably, and we should return to a balanced situation in 2008.
Why be optimistic about real estate in South Puget Sound: OR.. Why is the local market a good one for the long term?
Why am I optimistic? I am not being emotional when I point out that the local economy is fantastic. We are creating new jobs at a brisk pace; the State Government (Located in Olympia) is growing in size, as well as in its need for new employees and housing to support them. The Military bases are the “force projection platforms” for the entire Pacific/Asian region; and the bases are growing, with new units and large numbers of personnel be added regularly.
All of the above is great news for the local economy, but when you talk about real estate you have to discuss location. Pull out your map and take a look. Thurston County is right in the path of growth for the most populated region in the North West. If you make comparisons to other parts of the country, namely the central east coast and southern California, it becomes apparent that the “steamroller” is headed our way. There is no question that Thurston County is becoming a part of the megalopolis (remember that one from high school?) that will soon blanket the entire eastern edge of Puget Sound. I love owning real estate that falls in the path of growth and urban development…..it tends to go up in value.
Why should you invest in Olympia and Thurston County Real Estate?
I think that home ownership is a good idea almost anywhere. I would steer away from markets that are in trouble for quantifiable reasons. For example, Detroit is probably not a great place to be because the automotive industry is both moving away and becoming more and more automated…they are losing population. Southern California and parts of Florida have seen prices get so out of control that purchasing property for rental is simply not feasible.
Thurston County has not been on the national map until very recently. Although we did see significant price increases in 2005 and 2006, we still have the least expensive homes in the Puget Sound region, with a median home price of 250K. These factors have brought home buyers from as far as Seattle and Portland; people willing to commute in exchange for more house/less money. Also new to us are out of area investors; as I stated earlier, we have recently gotten national media attention recognizing Thurston County’s investment potential and anticipated growth….you could say that our area is a diamond in the rough.