Getting involved in my local REALTORS Government Affairs Committee!

Today was my first meeting of the Thurston County REALTORS Association Government Affairs Committee.  And yes, it was as exciting as this picture depicts!!  🙂

But all kidding aside, I’m excited to be a part of this committee because this is really why being a REALTOR (over just a real estate agent) is so important:  this committee works directly on issues that impact homeowners and future homeowners.

As a committee, we will interview local candidates running for office, vote to endorse or not endorse candidates, attend city and county council meetings to learn what’s ahead,  and educate our colleagues on what is happening on the political front.

Politics have never been of interest to me, but what is of interest to me are issues that help or hinder homeownership.  Just recently, the Hirst decision was fixed with the help of A LOT of people including REALTORS.  The Hirst decision put restrictions in place for new homes being built that needed to be on wells.  It strangled the development in rural areas for landowners, homeowners and builders/developers.

The “Hirst Fix” made into law last week will allow counties to rely on the Department of Ecology’s flow rules for determining water availability.  Prior to this fix, developers were required to conduct their own hydrology tests which easily could have been a six-figure study with no guarantee the county would approve a well-site under the vague guidelines of the Hirst decision.

After my first Government Affairs meeting, I’m excited to become more involved in my community, work with some of the most dedicated REALTORS from all different brokerages in Thurston County, and to communicate with you and my colleagues the issues that impact us the most.  There is much we can accomplish together!


Helped my client’s grandfather sell his Lakewood, WA condo

It’s certainly an honor whenever a client refers me to someone who needs help with their real estate needs.  In this case, my client’s grandfather needed to sell his condo in Lakewood, WA and needed to sell rather quickly.

There were a lot of moving parts to this transaction that required A LOT of teamwork to get this sold and closed for the seller.  And the good part was this condo was in great shape and had recently been renovated, so that part was easy!

We received very good multiple offers and choosing one wasn’t easy.  In just 3 weeks, we sold and closed this unit.  I’m sure the new owner will be very happy in their new condo!








If you are looking for a condo in Lakewood, WA, The Bluffs condominium complex is a great neighborhood.  It’s located next to the Oakbrook Golf Club, where you feel secluded yet just minutes from shopping, restaurants, the freeway and JBLM.

The Bluffs has a cabana, outdoor pool, tennis courts, great areas for walking and lots of gardens, trees and nature!

This particular condo was located on the main floor, making it very accessible.  It just had one step into the secured building, and then once inside the unit, two steps down into the living room and kitchen.

This is a 2 bedroom, 1.75 bath condo that has updated kitchens and baths – all new Shaker-style cabinets, tile floors, solid surface surrounds in the baths – all tastefully done!  And all the appliances are included.

This main-level unit faces out into the common green areas, offering a peaceful, nature view!

The covered patio is a private nook to sneak away and enjoy the fresh air!

Call me if I can help you with your real estate needs!






8615 Zircon Dr SW, #H2 Lakewood WA condo – SOLD!

Just Sold October 2017.  Here is the previous listing information when this condo was available for sale.

This is a great opportunity for anyone looking to buy a home for a great price!  8615 Zircon Dr SW, #H2 in Lakewood WA is located in The Bluffs condominium complex next door to the Oakbrook Golf Club and minutes to JBLM!  Click here for all the details.

This condo is on the main floor – just one step into the secured building, and then once inside the unit, two steps down into the living room and kitchen.

This is a 2 bedroom, 1.75 bath condo that has updated kitchens and baths – all new Shaker-style cabinets, tile floors, solid surface surrounds in the baths – all tastefully done!  And all the appliances are included.

This main-level unit faces out into the common green areas, offering a peaceful, nature view!

The covered patio is a private nook to sneak away and enjoy the fresh air!

Be sure to see this condo in The Bluffs soon as the competition for this unit is heating up.  See more photos and details here.

Call your Realtor today to schedule your showing!




Olympia, Lacey, Tumwater WA Real Estate Market Update for Summer 2017

The end of summer is upon us, and the real estate market has been just as hot as the summer weather.

Here is the summer 2017 real estate market update for the Olympia, Lacey and Tumwater areas of Washington.

Click here to watch the 1-minute update:


Supply is LOW, Demand is HIGH, which is driving up SALES PRICES

Supply is VERY LOW with just 1.7 months of supply.  As you can see by this chart, the last time our market was anywhere near this low of supply within the last 17 years was in 2004.

This market has been in a Seller’s Market for a consecutive 35 months.

The buyer activity is going strong.  For August 2017, the market saw the most sales in the last 17 years with 594 sales.

The average sales price in Thurston County for August was $317,763.  That is up from $291,034 in August of last year.


Is a real estate housing bubble coming?

This is certainly debatable, but the current market doesn’t look like the market ten years ago.  Ten years ago, reckless lending was a major factor to the bursting of the housing bubble.  Buyers today are more financially solid than the buyers ten years ago.  Today’s buyers have more cash to put down, have solid credit scores, and are still enjoying low interest rates extending their buying power.

Most sellers today are profiting from the sale of their home, whereas ten years ago, many sellers were equity-poor. These sellers are now buyers and have the financial means to make their next move.

What do buyers do in a low-inventory market?

The good news for buyers is that there are A LOT of new listings coming on to the market.  Just because STANDING inventory is low, doesn’t mean there are not any homes available.  Check out our record-setting chart with the number of new listings entering the market:

Year-to-date, Thurston County added 4,571 new listings to the market.  Between 2006-2008, there were many new construction listings that bumped up those numbers.  This was also when the market started its decline, and the market became saturated with listings.

Today, buyers are snapping up these listings, keeping the standing inventory of homes very low.

Have questions?  Not sure if you should buy or sell?  

Contact me today and let’s have a conversation!  My job is to help buyers and sellers like yourself make their next move.  Call me today!

Olympia WA real estate market update for August 2017

Like our August weather, the Olympia WA real estate market is continuing to be smokin’ hot!

This update is short and sweet, but please contact me for customized information about how your home fits into the market.

Check out my video update here about the real estate market in Olympia WA.

As an Olympia WA seller, here is what to love about this year’s real estate market:

Buyers competing for your home – driving up the price

You may have heard that inventory levels are down.  They are but we are also adding new listings at a record pace.  Even with all the new listings coming on the market, buyers are snapping up the well-positioned and well-presented homes, and are competing with other motivated buyers.  Buyers are looking to buy your home!

Sellers are making higher profits

The simple principle of supply and demand is just one of the reasons why home prices have increased – there are more buyers than homes available for sale.  Buyers are also enjoying low interest rates, which is making home ownership attractive.  And buyers are finding that their potential mortgage payment on a house is cheaper than rent, which is also driving more people to become homeowners rather than home renters.

Homeowners waiting to sell can now sell – and for a profit

Since the top of the market in 2006 and 2007, where home prices were at their peak in Thurston County WA, those homeowners are now, on average, able to see a profit.  Many of these owners have had to wait until the market turned in order for them to sell at a profit.  And many became unintentional landlords.  But the time is here for most sellers to successfully sell!

For more details about your home and how it fits into the current market, please contact me.  With no obligation, I’m more than happy to sit down with you and tell you the facts so that you can make the best decision for you and your family.

Have a great rest of the summer!



Thinking of selling your Olympia or Lacey WA home in 2017?

Thinking of selling your home in Olympia, WA or Lacey, WA this year?  Now could be the time.

Here is just a sample of the sellers I represented who took advantage of the 2017 market.  The Olympia and Lacey WA inventory of homes for sale remains at an all-time LOW, while buyer activity remains at an all-time HIGH.

Think you missed out on the spring/summer market to list your home?

You didn’t.  This market is going strong and is not showing any signs of slowing down. (In fact, our ratios for buyer activity and sales was actually higher in December than in July of 2016.)

Talk is cheap – and free!

Gathering information is the first step in deciding if selling your home now is the right move.  Please contact me and we can talk about different options, with no obligation or pressure.  (Read what my clients have said about me here, and you’ll see that my clients appreciate that I keep it real!).

And if you email me, I can email you my pre-listing packet with the top strategies to get your home sold and you can see marketing examples of what I do for my seller clients.

I look forward to talking with you soon!

Why all the negativity in such a great real estate market?

Why all the negativity in such a great real estate market?

The real estate market for 2017 has been a good year.

After years of short-sales, bank-owned properties, an unstable economy and low buyer confidence, 2017 is a breath of fresh air.  But sometimes, you just can’t make people happy, especially the media.

Last week, The Olympian, our local newspaper headlined an article, “Buying a home in Thurston County continues to be an exercise in frustration.”

The first two paragraphs read:

“If you’re a prospective home-buyer looking for a little relief in a market that favors sellers, you didn’t find it in June, according to Northwest Multiple Listing Service data released Thursday.


The inventory of single-family homes remains low and few listings were added in June. In fact, the number of new listings increased by only 10 units last month compared to June 2016. Meanwhile, existing inventory fell nearly 25 percent over the same period, the data show.”


Whoa-there Negative Nelly!

What a sour view in just the first sentence!  Buyers are actually finding much success in this market.  (If they weren’t, how is it we are having record sales?!)  New listings are coming on the market, offering buyers many choices.  The only caveat is they need to act quickly.  But buyers are finding and buying newly-listed homes that meet their needs, and if the right home isn’t there today, it will probably be there tomorrow.

The second paragraph makes it sound like we only added 10 new listings in June.

Here’s what really happened in June in Thurston County

In June 2017, 697 new listings came on the market.

In June 2016, 687 new listings came on the market.

So the reporter was correct by stating we only added 10 more listings than we did in June 2016.  However he really had to dig for this negative spin on a market where we have added close to what we did at the height of the downturn in 2006 and 2007.

High-quality new listings

The Thurston County market not only is adding many new listings but these listings are of better quality than in the past, meaning there are less distressed (short-sales and bank-owned) properties.

Few buyers can tolerate the extended timelines for a short-sale to close, and just as few buyers can tolerate a neglected home in need of major repairs like as typically seen in distressed properties.

As of now, only 9% of our market is made up of short-sales and bank-owned properties compared to 34% in 2012.

Too bad good news doesn’t sell newspapers

Record number of buyers and sellers are having success in the 2017 market.  Every month we are breaking records that are good not just for sellers, but buyers, too. Buyers are more financially sound with responsible lending practices, are mindful of staying within budget and not buying more than what they can afford.  It’s just too bad good news doesn’t sell.


It was my pleasure to help another buyer find their perfect Tumwater Hill WA home!

I had the pleasure of working with this gentleman for quite some time as we looked and waited for the perfect home to come up on Tumwater Hill, WA.  After a long search, we found the right home at the right time!

He recently closed on his new home, and he wrote this kind review for me on Google:

“Francine is everything you could ask for in a realtor, start to finish!”

Short and sweet.  But this is how our working relationship was because I had to work with him through an interpreter.  For me, I had to choose my words carefully and be as exact and precise as possible, not just for my client but also for the interpreter.  Yes, we did have some miscommunications but fortunately, we both asked each other enough questions to hammer out those misunderstandings quickly.

I’d like to thank…

If you are not a Realtor or a recent home buyer or seller, you may forget that huge relief of getting to the closing table.  At times, it really seems like you just won an Oscar!  And therefore, you need to give a speech to thank those that helped you get to the finish line.

I’d like to thank… colleague and listing agent, Karen for her relentless follow-up!

I’d like to thank….the sellers for doing a stellar job in preparing their home for sale.

I’d like to thank….Theresa, the lender, for her persistence!  Another lender basically gave up on my client when we hit an obstacle.  This was no challenge for Theresa.

I’d like to thank….Annette at the escrow company who went over the settlement statement through the interpreter!  Wow – awesome job as most people don’t understand that thing no matter what language it’s in!

And I’d like to thank my client who didn’t give up after a few disappointments in the home search process.  It isn’t easy being a buyer in a seller’s market.

Thank you, everyone!  We have a happy new homeowner!


If I purchased my home at the height of the market, can I finally sell now?

Get ready to do the happy dance, Olympia, WA homeowners!  

If you purchased your home at the height of the market in 2006 and 2007, you probably have been watching and waiting for the market to correct itself in order to sell.  That time has come!

April 2017 was the first month that we saw gains for homeowners who purchased in 2006/2007.  Although a modest gain, it’s the first time this number has been in the positive.

The data consists of non-distressed sales (no short-sales or bank-owned properties), grouped by length of ownership where there was no significant remodeling.  The original price paid and what the home sold for in April was then factored to determine the average compounded annual gains.

Year Purchased / Average Compounded Gain for April 2017

2007:  +0.3%

2008:  +0.5%

2009: +0.5%

2010: +2.0%

2011: +2.9%

2012: +4.0%

2013: +4.2%

2014: +9.6%

2015: +7.7%

2016: +9.6%


If you are looking to move, to upsize, to downsize or to get a change of scenery, call me to find out where your home fits into today’s ever-changing market. This year may be the year to stop waiting and get your home listed to sell!


Buyers are looking for homes in Stikes Woods, Lacey WA

Buyers want to live in your neighborhood, Stikes Woods homeowners!

The two sellers I recently represented in your neighborhood experienced the joys of a seller’s market!  And you can too if you are thinking of selling.

5514 Jackson Farm Loop SE, next to Stikes Woods
Sold for $273,450 (over the asking price) in 1 day.
Sold February 2017


3605 Silver Maple Ct SE
Pending in April 2017 just 4 days after being listed.
Seller had to decide on 1 buyer from the multiple offers!

Both of these sellers prepared their homes for sale, priced the homes right, and had professional promotion; all of these actions created the perfect storm for a successful home-selling experience.

Right now, there are limited listings available for buyers in your neighborhood. And with two recent sales, I know this first-hand.  Buyers are looking for homes in good condition, in a great location with backyards bigger than a postage stamp!  And Stikes Woods has this.

If you’d like to know more about how your home fits in the market place, contact me today!

Also EMAIL me and I’ll send you my pre-listing packet with the same top strategies I shared with these sellers to get your home sold.  You’ll also see marketing examples of what I do for my seller clients to properly and professionally market your home.

Don’t be shy—contact me today! I’m here to provide you with the facts so you can make the best decision for YOU.