Rain City Radio with Justin of the Capitol Hill Blog at 4pm!

Capitol Hill Blog ScreenshotAs I mentioned last week, this next episode of Rain City Radio will feature Justin of the Capitol HIll Blog!  So, if you want to learn about the ins-and-outs of this great neighborhood in Seattle, then check in with us at 4pm today (July 8th).

And if you want to call in to ask your own questions of our guest, then you can follow the simple instuctions on this page… and if all you want to do is stream the conversation live, then a few minutes before the show, you should see that option on the talkshoe widget on our sidepanel!

One of the things I’m most excited to learn about is the new format that their using for this community site.   It’s got all kinds of ways for people to interact on a very local level and I’ll be curious to get Justin’s feedback on how this is working.


The recorded conversation is now live and you can listen to it using the player on the sidepanel!    Justin was a most gracious guest and shared lots of great insights about Capitol Hill with us… including the best place to get waffles!  The new platform their running at Capitol Hill blog is extremely interesting and has spurred a lot of ideas for ways I might be able to add similar features to RCG…

Housing sales fall in 40 states; but not in Northwest

[photopress:sputtering_starts.gif,thumb,alignright]Interesting story of the differing views from US (not U.S.) and those outside of the Rain City. One of my development partners (Mike) is from Michigan and is one of those 40 states with falling sales (not to mention increasing unemployment).  As if the bubblers need any more endorsement to foster their cause the Seattle Times reported Housing sales fell in 40 states… but not the NW yesterday.  Before I read the story in the times Mike sent me the view from the vast majority of the country as seen on CNNMoney.com ‘Housing starts plunge‘.

The CNN reported that housing starts fall much more than forecast, to their lower level since ’97.  They go on to add what in turn I call the LARGE BUILDER EFFECT; permits also fall as single-family permits hit 6-year low.  The Large Builder Effect is a trend that occurs and will effect new housing starts about 12 months down the road when the permits are issued (permit times vary in each municipality).

So what does this mean?  The nation’s leading homebuilders have all reported declining sales and prices for new homes(hence the fall in permits).  Another partner of mine Snohomish County builder I know actually expressed the same views in November, but said since the first of the year his sales have bounced back to their expectations and he is continuing to submit for permits.

Do people behind the Rain City Curtin have their blinders on? Time will only tell, but if history is any guide (and I am NOT a historian) I would guess in time, with a smaller supply of products, demand will eventually grown so even though sales may be sluggish, over a 3 year window sales will continue to grow.

NOTE: I am leaving town after today, but I will do my best to reply to comments.

Guilty of Slandering Seattle

Irony only goes so far and apparently, my list of things you should know before moving to Seattle was only the tip of the iceberg in terms of the way I’ve been known to slander Seattle…

The story behind the story… Apparently, the powers that be on wikipedia agree that “Rain City” is not an appropriate nickname for Seattle! (It’s not listed at the time of publishing!)

I changed the nickname. As a Seattle native, I have never, ever heard it called “Rainy City.” It is not, nor ever has been a common nickname of Seattle. For one, we get less rain than most cities East of the Mississippi River. Seattle is most commonly called “The Emerald City” followed by “Jet City.” If you folks want to continue this nonsense, of re-posting a lsanderous nickname, please provide some documentation.

[photopress:starbucks_logo_with_RCG.jpg,thumb,alignright] This got me thinking of other ways I’ve slandered Seattle in the past and this photoshop of one of our prized institutions feels so wrong…

In all seriousness, does the name of a website really matter? Would you be a regular reader/contributor of a site that was named Emerald City Guide or Jet City Guide? How about if it were AnnaLuther.com as originally planned?

Time for some sleep!

At around 8pm, I woke up from a late afternoon nap to see that Ardell still had over 30 posts to write and I got a worried… So I took a Newcastle out of the fridge and started writing. I figured that should it become necessary, I could pass along a few extra posts to Ardell… (Greg’s not the only one with a competitive streak!) But she obviously didn’t need my help as she has just made it to 100 on her own! Awesome stuff!!!

Congrats to both Greg and Ardell… You’re both amazing.

However, because I hate to see things go to waste, I’ll go ahead publish the mini-blog posts I was going to pass along to Ardell. My intention was only to write a few “filler” posts, but…

1) I believe Greg when he says he could hit 135 in one day… The man in an animal!

2) Speaking of jobs! Give this man the full-time job as the Open House blogger… With articles like this fun one on an whimsical (artist) house and timely articles like this one on the number of NWMLS price reductions. Steve has come a long way in a few weeks since he asked me how to get some traction to his blog.

3) I steal a lot of “Rain City” traffic, so here’s my chance to give back:

  1. Rain City Video (local video chain)
  2. Rain City Rocks (rocks and minerals)
  3. Rain City Grill (yum)
  4. Rain City Dogs (dog walking)
  5. Rain City Hearse Club (car)
  6. Rain City Choppers (bikes)
  7. Rain City Shwillers (125% punk by volume)
  8. Rain City Yoga (hot!)
  9. Rain City Story (a personal blog)
  10. Rain City Studies (website design)

4) Greg points out this post on the Trulia Blog… Considering all the work that Sami and Pete have done to bridge the gap with the broker community, I’m surprised they let that post slip through…

5) In search of a snippet

6) Kris turns a strange day into a great 12-step program for blogging… However, note that most 12-step programs try to ween you of addictions while Kris is trying to give you one. You’ve been warned.

7) Review of the Bloodhound Blog… Nobody, and I mean nobody, feels more comfortable calling real estate B.S. when and where he sees it. With a fluent style, a quick wit, and a massive quantity of writing under his belt, the man has become addicting.

8) How to discuss Marlow’s recent post about Trulia’s expansion without sounding self-serving??? I put together a Excel spreadsheet that examines not only how many listings each service has, but also how many “accurate” listings each service has for one zip-code (98117) in Seattle. The results highlight a bunch of interesting things like (1) Redfin’s zip-code search is broken (i.e. a search on 98117 returns results for other zip codes like 98203 and does not return all the homes that Redfin has with a zip-code of 98117), (2) Realtor.com is missing more than a few Windermere listings (I was surprised when Marlow mentioned this, but the results pan out), and (3) Trulia has a long way to go before they are comprehensive. If someone wanted to take this data and add one more zip code in some other part of the country, I’d love to post the results. Maybe a Bay Area agent can take this on since all the sites in question have operations there!

9) One of the things I most admire about Ardell is that she focuses on the service (and then delivers a rebate). While it Bill’s approach makes for great blog posts, focusing on the “discount” doesn’t work for me.

10) I still haven’t made sense out of what it means to be part of a “Christian Real Estate Network”, but the guy does some great real estate blog posts… I like his latest on ways to learn about your competitor’s website is another doozy… although he does miss out on the most obvious trick, which is to use technorati to see who else is linking to them!

11) Interesting to see the competitiveness of the rental market

12) I’m not sure who, but someone once said… “It is amazing what you can accomplish if you do not care who gets the credit.” That’s the theme for these blog posts!

13) However, I must give credit to Jim for his excellent post on “why blog?”

14) Jay makes a bunch of valid points when he says it is time to “raising the bar” on becoming a real estate agent… Since stricter requirements would serve to keep out additional competition, I’m assuming that most successful agents would agree.

15) Tom echos this point, andapplauds the Governator’s move to require more education for California agents

16) Merv continues to deliver with his price trend analysis… If you’re looking for good ways to display real estate data start with Merv!

17) Then go check out Mike’s Altos Research blog because he makes price trend analysis easy…

18) While just about anything is possible, tracking my net worth based on my home’s zestimate and MyYahoo stock tracking performance is going to far for me… and then making a button for the whole wide world to see? No thanks!

[photopress:realty_blogging_book.jpg,full,alignright]19) The real estate blog marketing book is available for pre-purchase on amazon… I spoke to these guys while they were writing the book and will be curious to read it!

20) Thinking of amazon wish lists… This four bedroom home in Malibu is currently on the market

21) They are easy enough to find, but Hanan alerted me to this ironic clip of Bush

22) “Seller will pay 6 months of mortgage payments“… (I’m all for good incentives, but is this loan fraud?)

23) The Inman Blog follows up on Trulia’s post where they asked a few real estate professionals to predict the August numbers… It seems no one really knows what’s going on, and if they do, they sure aren’t letting you know in a blog post! 😉

24) As usual, if you want the real scoop on the numbers, turn to Jonathan.

25) The group at Inman also wonder if the people over at Freddie Mac have their pulse on the Latino culture… I’m not holding my breath.

26) Jonathan is also wondering where are all the foreclosures… interesting stuff. I think there are a lot of bubble bloggers that are ampted up and ready to pounce should these trends ever change. I wonder how long they can keep up their intensity before their bubbles deflate… 🙂

27) Speaking of numbers… Peter over at the Business Week blog does an excellent job explaining one example where housing numbers have been so obviously manipulated

28) I always like reading a blog posts from Sandy, but I just wish that she kept her posts short-and-sweet as oppose to long-and-infrequent.

29) Joel points out an unorthodox use of Zillow’s data… I haven’t looked through their API documentation, but do they insist that you add their name/logo when you use their data? How about refelcting them in a good light? Interesting stuff.

30) Now that they clog up our inboxes, real estate leads are a legitimate business [link removed]… On any given day, I literally get 100s of spam and my guess is that over 3/4 or them are real estate related. Thank you google for putting together such a good spam filter. I wouldn’t be able to handle the email I get to my blog email account with the filters on Outlook… I think I would just give up on email!

31) Elizabeth Razzi says that we should get to know the neighborhood before we buy a place. Not exactly brilliance, but it serves as a good reminder that there really are some intangibles that require more than an aerial view of a property!

32) Cherokee is looking for information on the Snoqualmie area… Pak gave one answer, but I’m sure there are others who could help! 🙂

33) The Seattlest gives hogwash a rave review as a fun for the whole family.

Hogwash – An Improvised Tall Tale For Small Children
Runs Saturdays at 2 p.m. until October 28, 2006
Historic University Theater, 5510 University Way NE (University District)
$10, Reservations – 206-297-1767

34) I like Rory’s approach: “I assert that a Real Estate Agent’s expertise and professionalism should be visible in their service and knowledge of the housing market and inventory. Their expertise should never be based on a carrot and stick ploy to drip feed clients MLS information.

35) Do you get comfort knowing that the home of the NAR president is lingering on the market? 🙂

36) If you’re curious, I’m going by the code name “tyr” in the Inkling Market set up by Keven Boer. At this point, I’m down… It seems more and more people are voting for Greg… Will a last minute spurt of posts from me help out???

37) The title may be a mouthful, Creative agreement may enable advantageous use of otherwise unavailable homesite, but Marlow points out a great example of the benefits of getting creative!

38) Welcome to the neighborhood

39) When Shaquille O’Neal makes a $1B real estate investment, that’s a great story!

40) Claudia lets us know about the renevotations that hurt!

41) David organizes another fascinating (and colorful) post on the connection between home life and healthy aging