Tuesday, February 4, 2020

Coast Has Seen Some Snow despite WARM Winter

The coast doesn't see snowfall very often and this winter thus far has been undeniably warm. Portland, OR recorded the second warmest January on record! Yet there were a couple of days that produced some snow on the Long Beach Peninsula, mostly on the northern tip up near Oysterville and Leadbetter Point.

Now the photo at left was taken last month by my sister who lives in Oysterville. That isn't a lot of snow, but it is sea level at the beach, so having one of the warmest Januaries on record and still getting a light dusting of snow is, well, kind of weird.

Such is life on the wild and wet coast! Speaking of wet, the Peninsula reported more than 20 inches of rain last month and that is a fair wallop of water. Our rain gauges all over Southwest Washington and Northwest Oregon have been running a bit dry for several seasons so this is a welcome drenching.

All of these warm and wet systems tend to produce excellent storm watching opportunities along the shore. Just be careful, stand back away from the crashing waves and NEVER turn your back on the mighty Pacific Ocean!

Tuesday, January 7, 2020

Happy New Year!

It is storm watching season, take a peak at this article from the winter's past.

Originally posted on November 3rd, 2015, by Rod Sager

Many people flock to the coast during the autumn to revel in the majesty and power that is delivered to the coast in our fall storms. This time of year can bring strong and even violent storms that churn up the Pacific Ocean into a frothing menace. Although the ocean can be dangerous and caution is always advised it is extra important whilst strong weather disturbances are present.

For storm watchers the autumn provides a more mild temperature than the winter. Storm watching in January can be a freezing cold experience, literally. This time of year offers the excitement of an angry sea with the comfort of temperatures in the 40s and 50s rather than the 20s and 30s.

This past weekend we had a doozy of the system wallop the coast with high winds, foaming ocean and big waves. Nearly four inches of rain pelted the beach the last two days of the month. There is something awe inspiring about these storms. It is so much so that people come in hordes to witness its display of power.

Come out to the coast sometime and enjoy the weather, it matters not if it is sunny and mild or angry and wet, you can still enjoy it. For information on other great fall activities at the beach, check out the Long Beach Peninsula Visitor's Bureau.

Tuesday, December 3, 2019

Yet Another Reason to Choose the SW Washington Coast

Washington State has very favorable taxes for retired people on a fixed income. In fact our tax situation is far better than the other two Pacific Coast States. The coast offers a mild climate that is warmer in the winter and cooler in the summer compared to the Washington State interior. But that lack of an income tax is a big benefit to all residents and in particular, retirees. The blog post below talks a bit about it.

Originaly published on Retire to Washington, April 23, 2019 by Rod Sager

Let's look at why an income tax is more of a killer than a sales tax especially for retirees. Retirees often do not have many tax deductions or exemptions. So a retired couple earning a taxable household income of 35,000 will pay about $3150 in Oregon State income tax. Contrast that with the a typical annual sales tax paid in Washington at $1200.

Sales tax is something you only pay when you buy a taxable item. In Washington food for example is not subject to sales tax. An income tax is levied before you receive your net check. You are going to pay it whether you buy things or not. Sales tax is almost always a lower expense than income tax with the notable exception of being poor. Those in Oregon who have a taxable income of $0 will not pay any income tax, obviously. But in Washington a person with a taxable income of $0 will still need to buy things and some of those things will be subject to sales tax.

Please take note I am using taxable income, because retirees are not subject to income taxes on a sizable portion of their Social Security, ROTH IRA's are tax free, and standard exemptions and deductions reduce taxable income. So someone earning $20,000 could in fact have a taxable income of $0.

So the rule of thumb is, if you are poor live, in Oregon, if you are middle or upper income, move to Washington. Well it isn't always quite that simple, but that simple solution is not to far from reality in actuality.

So in case you needed another reason to move to the coast, there it is, taxes in Washington and better than Oregon.

Tuesday, November 5, 2019

Coast is warmer

As autumn forges ahead towards the holidays the coastal areas get cooler. But the inland areas around Portland get cooler faster and that creates a transition for the coast as a warmer spot rather than a cooler spot. In the summer the coast is often 10-20 degrees cooler than inland locales. In the winter the opposite is true but closer to 5-10 degrees warmer beach side versus the chillier inland.

This is that coastal flat temperature curve that keeps everything reasonably consistent over night, during the day and all year long. So if you want to warm up for the holidays check out the Long Beach Peninsula events. 

Meanwhile if you want to retire to the beach, be sure to consider the Washington Coast as most retirees will do much better financially in Washington than they will in nearby Oregon. Check out "Retire to Washington" for more info.

Coastal Living in SW Washington is amazing, especially for retirees.

Tuesday, October 1, 2019

Autumn Smacks the Inland Spares the Coast

This past week the inland areas around Portland and Vancouver got a full smack upside the head with some naughty Fall weather. The temps plunged and the rain and hail came with some damaging effects. Meanwhile out at the coast, it was sunny and nice.

This is the case with the coastal regions in the Pacific Northwest during both Autumn and Winter. It can be socked in cold, rainy or snowy, and dark in Portland or Vancouver while the coast is relatively warm and sunny.

The maestros of meteorology can explain the forces that lead to this phenomenon, but it is a thing. Autumn along Washington's coast can be delightful and often just as warm as summer. The heavy marine layer sometimes moves offshore during the fall allowing for clear and warmish weather. Meanwhile inland temps generally start their precipitous march to the basement from the mid fall to mid winter.

Along the coast there is not as dramatic a swing in temps between the seasons as we have on the I-5 corridor. The Pacific Ocean is a moderating force that keeps most of the bitter cold temps away in the winter as well as the scorching heat of the summer.

Autumn can be a great time to get away to the beach with mild temps, sometimes warmer than inland and at least until mid October, not a lot of rain.

The beach is not just a summer experience, it will impress all year long.

Tuesday, September 3, 2019

Still a Value in Pacific County

The Long Beach Peninsula continues to offer home buyers excellent value. This home is listed on the MLS at $255k and has 2 beds, 2 baths and 1024 SF. You can walk to the sea in a matter of a couple of minutes from this one!

There are dozens of available homes in and along the Long Beach Peninsula and several neighborhoods are a short walk to the beach.

I sold my sister a place in Oysterville last summer and she loves it out there. The beach just has that effect on people. Whether its the salty breeze, the crashing waves, or the whole beach town vibe, the peninsula is hard to beat on price and its a nice place too.

Maybe you fancy a condo on the beach. Here is a small unit right at the beach entrance listed at $135k. It has a bed and a bath with 395 squares. What more do you need?

Be sure to check into all the fine detail before making a purchase at the coast. Like any area it has its own quirks and local-isms to be aware of.

For many a beach property is the stuff of dreams, well Long Beach makes those dreams doable, and that's OK with me.

Tuesday, August 6, 2019

Renting your Vacation Home Out?

I am celebrating my 25th wedding anniversary in the home town of my wife, Aberdeen, Scotland. So enjoy the beach and have a great time, I'll be back next month right here at Evergreen Coastal Living! In the mean time take a look at this article I posted last week on my real estate blog!

Do you own a vacation rental? Maybe a cabin up at Mount Hood or a Beach House at the Coast? Are you thinking about owning one? Maybe renting it out when you are not using it via Air B&B or a similar service? Well this can be an effective way to lower the cost of ownership but it can also have some legitimate legal risk. I would consult and attorney be renting out such a house, that said the article below has some good insight into prepping for a dual purpose vacation home.

By Michele Lerner, Special To The Washington Post
Published: June 17, 2019, 6:04 AM

If you’re one of the lucky ones who own a vacation home — and you plan to rent it this summer or next year — you may want to follow up on a few suggestions from Marnie Oursler, owner of Marnie Custom Homes in Bethany Beach, Del., and host of DIY Network’s “Big Beach Builds” and HGTV’s “2018 Dream Home.”
Here are her ideas to make your vacation home more appealing to renters and to increase your peace of mind while renters are in residence:
1. Lock up personal items. We often build owners’ closets that can only be accessed with a key so owners can lock up anything they want to keep for their own personal use, such as linens, supplies, etc.
2. Remove sentimental items. Stow away photos, artwork, anything sentimental you do not want to get damaged. It keeps the house neutral for renters, and owners can easily add the items back when they are staying at the house.
3. Install a safe. By adding a fireproof and waterproof safe that fits between studs, either in the owner’s or master closet or in another area of the home that has limited access, you can ensure treasured items are safe, adding a little more peace of mind when renting.
4. Slipcover sofas. Often with renters, there are multiple families or guests in the same house, especially when getting together for cookouts or beach days. Wet bathing suits and sand easily find their way onto sofas and chairs, so by using slipcovers on the furniture, you can remove the covers and wash them as needed. Consider a white canvas/Sunbrella material that will look beachy and be easy to clean.
5. Add games. Having a pingpong table and/or corn hole in the garage or carport is another great way to utilize space and provide activities for rainy days, evenings or to get a break from the sun. The games are also a bonus amenity for renters.