Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Holidays and the Beach

The beach can be a lot of fun around the holidays and there is no shortage of themed events. Check out the visitors bureau website for updated events. This weekend is a good time to check out some events. The Port of Ilwaco has a festival and holiday market happening and the annual Crab Pot Christmas Tree lighting on the 5th at 5pm. Long Beach continues the events from the long Thanksgiving weekend into the first weekend of December. Check out the information here.  May you all enjoy a wonderful holiday season and get out to the coast for some relaxation and fun. I am keeping it short and sweet this time :)

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Storm Watchers Delight!

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, October 6, 2015

Beach House Deals!

It has been awhile since I did a beach house deals post so here I go! The Washington coast has great deals on coastal and beach property. Imagine owning a home within a 10 minute stroll to the mighty Pacific Ocean. The Long Beach Peninsula offers many opportunities to have just that and at prices you may find shocking.

Look at this great little manufactured home on a huge 0.28 acre lot. This house has 2 bedrooms and two baths with 1188 square feet of space. The lot is wooded for that classic Northwest feel but is less than 1/2 mile to the crashing waves of the Pacific. It is priced at $114,800.

The home is located in Ocean Shores on the Long Beach Peninsula.

This next home is located in Long Beach. It is situated on a 0.16 acre lot just a few doors away from the beach entrance! The house has 896 square feet with 2 beds and 2 baths. It is a short walk to the shops and attractions of Long beach and an even shorter walk to the big blue Pacific. This one is listed at $120,000.

These sub $150k homes may need some TLC but they are livable right now. This can be a getaway house or you permanent residence at these priced they will make your wallet smile.

This final home is a classic 1904 home that has been gentry cared for.  It features 1364 square feet with 3 beds and 2 baths on a gigantic 0.33 acre lot. It abuts the beach so a very short stroll through a lightly wooded area lands you on the shore. This home is fairly secluded and that makes it that much more amazing. It is priced at $229,000.

The Washington coast is the ocean bargain of America! Come pay a visit to this magnificent coastal community and take a peek at some of these fabulous home values.

There are many lots that I have found available in this area as well. You can build you own custom dream house at the beach. Whatever your passion come enjoy the coastal living!

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Are you Ready to Retire?

I came across this interesting article recently and decided to share it with you today. The numbers are startling and those of us nearing retirement need to get those proverbial ducks in their respective rows.

This article was written by Emily Brandon for U.S. News and World Report the original can be found here.

When to retire. For some people, it's a financial calculation. You know you're financially ready when the combination of your Social Security, traditional pension, and investment income produces enough cash flow to cover all of your anticipated expenses for the rest of your life. "Working two or three more years can make an incredible difference to your long-term plan if you continue to save in your 401(k) or 403(b) and continue to pay into Social Security," says Mary Alpers, a certified financial planner and founder of Alpers and Associates in Colorado Springs, Colo. But retirement also often involves an identity shift from your former job title to a free agent. Sometimes this decision is made for you because of a layoff or buyout. Many people also like to coordinate their retirement with a spouse.

When to claim Social Security. You can sign up for Social Security beginning at age 62, but payouts increase for each year you delay claiming until age 70. "Wait as long as you possibly can, because the additional percentages that are added on are enormous," says Jane Nowak, a certified financial planner for Kring Financial Management in Smyrna, Ga. "Since we are living longer, you certainly want your paycheck from Social Security to be as fat as possible."

Health coverage. It's essential to find affordable health insurance if you want to retire before age 65. "If you are not entitled to retiree medical benefits or if they are deferred to a later date, make absolutely certain you have access to and can qualify for individual coverage," says Robert Henderson, president of Lansdowne Wealth Management in Mystic, Conn. "Also verify the costs. Health insurance can be prohibitively expensive in some cases." Even after you qualify for Medicare, the decisions don't end. You have to choose whether to purchase a supplemental policy and shop around for the Medicare Part D plan that best meets your prescription drug needs each year in retirement.

How much you can safely spend each year. If your nest egg isn't sizeable enough to finance your retirement completely, you'll need to calculate how much you can safely spend each year without depleting your savings too quickly. "Three to 4 percent is my comfort zone, and I hope less," says Alpers. An annual draw-down rate of 4 percent on an investment portfolio with 35 percent in U.S. stocks and 65 percent in corporate bonds has an 89 percent likelihood of lasting 35 years or more, according to Congressional Research Service estimates.

How much investment risk. Retirees need to balance their investment needs for safety and continued growth. "Hold as little equities and higher-risk assets as possible, while still enough to meet your long-term goals," says Henderson. "Most retirees need no more than 50 to 60 percent in equity and equity-like investments." You'll also need an emergency fund and several years' worth of living expenses set aside in a safe place. "Always make sure that you have your first three to five years of withdrawals invested in very conservative investments. Good choices are CDs, money market accounts, short-term treasuries or mutual funds that invest in them, and fixed-immediate annuities," says Henderson. "This way, regardless of what the stock market is doing today, you don't have to worry about withdrawing assets that have dropped in value."

When to pay taxes. After decades of deferring taxes on your retirement savings using 401(k)s and IRAs, the tax bill becomes due upon withdrawal in retirement. The timing of these withdrawals could affect how much you pay in taxes. "Try to balance out your withdrawals from taxable and nontaxable accounts each year so you are not kicking yourself into a higher tax bracket at some point," says Henderson. Taking a large IRA withdrawal in a single year could result in an oversized tax bill. Withdrawals from traditional retirement accounts become required after age 70½.

Where to live. Once you are no longer tethered to a job, you can live anywhere that suits your tastes and budget. Moving to a place that costs less than where you live now can boost your standard of living and help stretch your nest egg. You could also test out a place with better weather, more opportunities for recreation, or move closer to family.

Whether your home should help finance retirement.* A paid-off mortgage can help finance your retirement because it eliminates one of your biggest monthly expenses. In some cases, downsizing to a smaller home or moving to a place where the cost of living is significantly lower can even give a significant boost to your nest egg. "Especially if you live on the East or West coast, where housing can be extremely expensive, you may have an opportunity to downsize and realize quite a bit of the appreciation you had in your real estate," says Henderson.

Whether to keep working. A part-time job is increasingly becoming common in the retirement years. Many people downshift to a job with shorter hours and less responsibility before retiring completely, while other people return to work after a break. The income, and sometimes benefits, a part-time job provides allows you to withdraw less of your retirement savings each year. Some people also find jobs they enjoy that allow them to interact with former colleagues, consult on the occasional project, or learn a new skill.

What you will do. Retirement isn't only about quitting your job. It's an opportunity to have complete control over how you spend your time. Make sure you have a few ideas about how you will fill the eight or more hours per day you previously spent working and commuting. Some people miss the sense of purpose and friends that their job provided for them, while others finally have the time for hobbies and projects they have been waiting years to tackle.

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Beat the Heat at the Beach!

That has been a running theme all summer long this year. The Oregon and Washington coast is relatively cool when the mercury is popping the top inland. Last week when I had my first triple digit heat in nearly three years, Pearson Field in Vancouver hit 103 degrees. Long Beach was a comfortable 86 degrees that day!

For full time residents the coast provides a cool summer with temps that tend to stay in the 60s and 70s by day with ocean breezes and some lows clouds and fog. In a nutshell it's just damn pleasant! Look at that July calendar of weather for Long Beach, WA.

We may not be able to swim in that icy cold North Pacific water, but we can sure as heck enjoy the cool refreshing air it provides along our gorgeous coastline. Wifey and I are going to hang out next week and soak up a cool summer's breeze. You should too!

Monday, July 6, 2015

I'm on Vacation!

I wrote this last summer but lately it applies, right? I'll be back next time :)

Yesterday was hot and sticky in the metro Portland/Vancouver area with temps buzzing around a hundred degrees and humid conditions. Today will be a little better but still a touch uncomfortable. Meanwhile at the coast things are much cooler. Sure there might be a few sprinkles and maybe even a shower or two, but the temps will stay very comfortable in the mid sixties. Coastal living has its perks.

One of the attractions to living at the coast is the very temperate climate. The weather really doesn't fluctuate that much on temperature. You get long steady streams of mild weather that you can count on. Sure it can be breezy and wet, but it is dependable. In fact the forecast for the next ten days is mid sixties by day and mid fifties by night. Go ahead, set your watch.

The lifestyle is lazy and comfortable and who doesn't like that; at least once in awhile. Out at the coast life is just better. Come on out for a visit and hey, why not buy a house while you're at it :)

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Take a Drive on the Beach

Originally posted as "Drive on the Beach at Least Once in Your Life " March 2nd, 2014

From the Long Beach City Website
How many states can boast that they have a state hwy that is not just on the beach but IS the beach! Washington is one such state that can make that claim. Driving on Long Beach is not as easy as it seems. Often the entrances have loose sand that cars with low clearance can easily get stuck in. Once you are past the soft sand at the entrance is is pretty easy to drive on the hard packed sand closer to the water. As mentioned above this is an official state highway and that mean troopers will write you a ticket for exceeding the 25 mph speed limit or any reckless driving. They are quite serious about it and the fine are HUGE so drive safe.

Driving on the beach. Circa 2006
There is much to do in Long Beach. Adults and children alike can enjoy this great coastal retreat. The best part about it is the ability to purchase your own home to live in or vacation at for a reasonably price.

You can check out this website info about the Long Beach Peninsula and driving on the beach here.

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Beach Deals!

Long Beach, WA $149,900
Every now and again I like to find some great deals on beach property. I have invested a fair number of keystrokes on this blog in the idea that property on the Washington State coast may be the greatest value on the planet. Sure, like any coastal area with gorgeous scenery there will be million dollar mansions but the Long Beach peninsula offers a range of prices that allow even the more modest earners and opportunity to live or play at the beach.

I have two listings I found on the MLS that I think represent a great opportunity to own a coastal property. Neither of these listings are fancy by any measure, but they are very good deals. Imagine living within a five minute walk of the mighty Pacific Ocean. Every morning you get up crack the window and hear the thunderous sound of crashing waves. In most instances to own property in this environment is the stuff reserved for the likes or Gates or Buffett. But not these my friends these are within reach of the middle class and better yet they are within reach of the beach!

Long Beach, WA $176,000
The first property is listed at a mere $149,900. It doesn't look like much from the outside, but inside, this home has three bedrooms and one bath spread among 1632 square feet of space. The house lies the equivalent of six blocks to the beach. Six blocks! The home is located in Long beach and is close to the main hwy and all the fun activities and shopping as well as the famed Long Beach itself. The price includes two lots totaling 0.19 acres. it is in decent shape and can be lived in right away. It may be a bit dated but we are talking about six blocks to the ocean and less than $150k. That gets a big fat WOW!

The second property is even closer to the beach. This one is just a couple of blocks away. This is a townhouse unit with an HOA that is just $110 a month. It was built in 2006 so this is modern and frankly very nice. Here you get 1571 squares two bedrooms and two and half baths. From this property you can walk right down a path to the sea or go the other way and walk a couple blocks to play a round of golf at Peninsula Golf Course. All of this at an amazing price of just $176,000. I love the Washington Coast, I really do.

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Clam Festival Time Again

Washington State Department of Fish and Wildlife
It's Back! Yes the classic Razor Clam Festival is back in Long Beach. Clamming has long been a favorite past time on the beaches of the Pacific Northwest and the Long Beach Razor Clam Festival has roots dated back to the 1940s.

The community has teamed up with private sponsors and the State Department of Fish and Wildlife to put on a great big festival April 18th and 19th. Check out the website for the event here.

The Southwest Washington Coast is a great place to visit and a fabulous place to live. I have spent many a word writing about the great value afforded to property in this Long beach Peninsula market and now could be an ideal time to buy your dream getaway home or retirement home in tax friendly Washington State.

Whatever you fancy, get out to the coast and check out the Razor Clam Festival starting on the 18th.

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Fort Canby and Cape Disappointment State Park

Spring is almost here and that means fun trips to the coast. I love Fort Canby. I wrote a post last year extolling its virtues, take a look below. 

Originally posted March 11th, 2014

The Town of Ilwaco Washington sits at the very base of the Long Beach Peninsula. Right in the heart of the town is the former Fort Canby State park, now called Cape Disappointment State Park. This is a really nice park located on the north shore of the mouth of the Columbia River and the southern reaches of the Long Beach Peninsula.

The park features the Colbert House museum, In Ilwaco which is a restored Victorian era home listed on the National Register of Historic Places and the Lewis and Clark Interpretive Center with an amazing perch overlooking the confluence of the Columbia River and the Pacific Ocean.

Two of the best known features are the lighthouses. Cape Disappointment Lighthouse first lit in 1856 and its companion the North Head Lighthouse added to cover the Norther approach and first lit in 1898. Of course the park has no shortage of great hiking trails and scenic wonders along with camping, picnic area and the usual assortment of State Park activities.

This park is part of the greater Lewis and Clark National Historical Park with state and national facilities in both Oregon and Washington.

History excerpted from Wikipedia:

In 1862, during the American Civil War, a camp called Post at Cape Disappointment was established and fortifications existed here from that date to protect the northern approaches to the mouth of the Columbia River from possible attacks by Confederate raiders or foreign fleets. It was garrisoned by Company A, U.S. 9th Infantry Regiment and Company A, 8th Regiment California Volunteer Infantry in the District of Oregon. In 1863, its mate Fort Stevens was established on the south bank of the Columbia River. In 1864, the post was renamed Fort Cape Disappointment. Some Civil War-era fortifications still exist. They were called the Tower (or Right) Battery, Left Battery, and Center Battery.
Fort Cape Disappointment was renamed Fort Canby in 1875. Later Fort Canby became part of the three fort Columbia River harbor defenses as a subpost of Fort Stevens along with Fort Columbia.

This is a must visit when out at the coast and a great getaway spot for the locals as well.

Tuesday, February 3, 2015


I will be away form the blog for a little bit, I'll catch up next time :) Meanwhile here are some fun Coastal Events you can check out! Check out more here.

There is much to see and do and this winter has been mild so far. Check out the crashing waves of the mighty Pacific and while your there check out some real estate.

I'll be back next time with some more great Coastal properties.

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Look what I found today!

This is too juicy to pass up. I haven't seen the inside so it could be atrocious, but this home sits on a third of an acre on the bay side of Ocean Park. This does need work including repairs of a soft floor spot and likely allot more. But the bank will actually entertain carrying a note back for this one. Listed at... wait for it... $54,900.

This is a manufactured home, late model so it feels like a stick built not a trailer. This is a golden opportunity to own at the coast for what amounts to real estate chump change! No HOA. I will drive out there and show it myself. I love a great deal.

This is something even modest income people can afford as a second home or vacation home. Again as a cautionary note, it definitely needs work, but a nice chunk of dirt with a house on it for $55 large is work a peek don't you think? A little drive to the beach is in order methinks.