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.

Tuesday, July 2, 2019

Crazy Beach on America's Crazy Holiday!

The 4th of July on the Long Beach Peninsula is quite the spectacle and I would say you should pay them a visit. Check this out from the Long Beach Website:

LONG BEACH PENINSULA, Wash. – June 9, 2016 – Independence Day celebrations on Washington’s Long Beach Peninsula, a long-time gathering place for those wishing to salute the nation’s freedom from British rule, will be marked by a renewed sense of making the beach approachable for the general citizenship and enjoyable for all.
“Pacific Northwest families have a long-standing tradition of celebrating the 4th at the beach, and we love being a part of that,” said Andi Day, executive director, Long Beach Peninsula Visitors Bureau. “This year, there will be extra encouragement to keep the beach safe and clean during and after the celebration.”
Beach-Friendly Fourth is a new campaign launched to raise public awareness of how to minimize the impact of Independence Day celebration on the beach, a Seashore Conservation Area managed by Washington State Parks. Visitors and residents are asked to use common sense, be respectful to others and the environment, and pay attention to posted regulations, which include no overnight camping on the beach.
The Visitors Bureau suggests making hotel and motel, RV and campsite reservations in advance, as lodging historically sells out on the holiday weekend.
The Long Beach Peninsula will continue to host free-to-the-public Fourth of July events. They include the following:
Feel the Thunder Fireworks at the Port and Firecracker 5K at the Port of Ilwaco on July 2. Run or walk the course and settle into one of the best seaside spots to watch fireworks over the water.
Old-Fashioned 4th of July Parade, at 1PM on July 4, in downtown Ocean Park. Enjoy a hometown parade with kids on bikes, horseback riders, classic cars, homemade floats, chalk art, waving flags and more, followed by Art in the Park.
Long Beach Independence Day Fireworks on the Beach, July 4, dusk (9:30) to 10PM. The City of Long Beach puts on one of the best fireworks displays in the region. Bring your blankets and folding chairs, and view this huge, colorful display on the beach in front of the Long Beach boardwalk.
Beach Clean Up, July 5, from 9:30 to 11:30AM. Fourth of July celebrators are invited to meet up with the Grassroots Garbage Gang at the major beach approaches to rid the beach of litter from fireworks as well as trash that washes ashore at this one of four community-initiated cleanups that happens on the Long Beach Peninsula each year. Visit ourbeach.org for details.
About the Long Beach Peninsula – Renowned for its mix of sensational restaurants, ocean view lodging, lighthouses, parks and trails, unique museums and attractions, galleries, marinas, and, above all, a 28-mile long, easily accessible public beach, the Long Beach Peninsula continues to be one of the Northwest’s most enjoyable and refreshing travel destinations. For vacation ideas and visitor information, please call the friendly volunteers at the Long Beach Peninsula Visitors Bureau at 360.642.2400 or access www.funbeach.com.

Tuesday, June 4, 2019

Coast Has Busy Summer Schedule

Coastal areas definitely pack the bulk of scheduled activities and events into the brief summer envelope. The Long Beach Peninsula is no exception. In fact you can check out the events agenda on the web by clicking here. I do wonder how many people go to the beach to escape the inland heat only to find what a great value real estate is on the Southwest Washington Coast.

I have posted a great many listings on this site with fabulous deals on spectacular homes right down to cute little cottages and all for a fraction of what similar properties might cost in the Metro Portland-Vancouver area.

I can't stop recommending the fun things to do on the Long Beach Peninsula and I won't stop reminding you that there are excellent values on property as well.

I have spent a great deal of time showing move-in ready stuff, but what about that crazy fixer opportunity? Take a look at this.

NWMLS #1462742
$55,000 for this rough but still standing little cottage on a 6100 square foot lot. One can throw $20-$30k into this little charmer and suddenly you have a livable place for may $80,000.

This heavy fixer is located off Sandridge Road on the bay side of the peninsula. I would imagine anyone that buys this place and fixes it up is going to be nominated for neighbor of the year ;)

For someone living at the coast already this could be a great little rental unit with some fix up work and for someone looking to getaway on the cheap, this could be excellent as well.

There is no sugar coating this, it is a heavy fixer, but the price is so cheap and the potential is pretty high. I would figure that $30,000 spent in repairs makes this a $85,000 investment with an easy $125k resale. Just sayin'

OK enough of that, the coast is entering into its boom time for tourists and that means some of the biggest events of the year are now on the near horizon. One of my favorites is the 'Rod Run to the End of the World' which is the first week of September. But on the near side of the Calendar is the famous 4th of July on the beach at Long Beach and that is just a few short weeks away.

Make this year the year you look at the opportunity to own property at the coast or better yet, dive in.

Tuesday, May 7, 2019

Coast Remains a Value

The Long Beach Peninsula continues to be a great value in real estate. I have been showing property in Ocean Park and Oysterville recently and continue to marvel at the amazing deals one can find at the beach.

Last fall my sister and brother-in-law bought a tidy little house on a 'jumbo' acre. They managed to get it for a real song of a price compared to the values for a similar property in the Portland-Vancouver metro area. Frankly about 1/2 price. Now she has referred someone to me and that person is looking for a beach property as well.

My newest beach client is looking in the $300k - $400k range and should have no problem at all finding the right home. The Long Beach Peninsula remains under-valued in the market place, but I don't think this will last forever. It will be "discovered" soon and that could lead to a run up in values. Get yours while the 'gittin' is good :)

Here are some value properties I found recently in a search. 
2 beds, 1 bath 808 SF listed at $155,000

2 beds, 1 bath, 1040 SF listed at $164,900

3 beds, 2 baths, 1435 SF Ocean View! Listed at $239,000
Now don't go thinking the beach doesn't have upper end properties. Au contraire, my friends. I also found this stunning beachfront home on 3.2 acres butting right up against the beach. This one has 3 beds, 3.5 baths, 4035 SF. It is listed at a reasonable, all things considered, $1.585 million.

Tuesday, April 2, 2019

Razor Clam TIme!

I wrote about the Razor Clam festival a few years back. I am having a lazy moment and decided to repost the original from 2014. The website is the same and there is a long list of events scheduled for 2019. Do you really need an excuse to go to the coast? Well, just in case you do, now you have one.

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 19th and 20th. 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 19th.

Tuesday, March 5, 2019

Chilly Weather and Hot Deals

March at the beach is not typically filled with frosty mornings, yet here we are with exactly that. Maybe this chilly but sunny weather will bring out the house hunters.

I have often showed value oriented properties here, inexpensive properties for the budget minded beach goer. But the deals don't stop at the entry level price range; what if I told you there was a beautiful house on a nine acre parcel of beach front property for less than $600,000? Now will you take the red pill? OK for those of you that haven't seen the Matrix, both of you ;) That was a movie reference. It is real and only on the Long Beach Peninsula could such a great estate be priced so reasonable.

Sotheby's International Realty has this fine property listed and I figured I would feature it right here on the blog. This fantastic retreat style home has 1590 SF 3 beds and 2 baths. The chalet style fits with the wooded forest meadow the house sits on. The property leads down towards the beach. for which there is a 200 foot wide piece all the way to mean high tide.

All this, right on the beach for $595,000, no way, I must have taken the blue pill by accident, is this real? Yes it's real friends. The Long Beach Peninsula offers excellent values like these and for those that can't swing the half-million dollar stuff, I found older single wide mobiles on 0.25 acre lots for less than $50k.

I never cease to be amazed at the huge difference in value between the Northwest Oregon Coast and the Southwest Washington Coast. All just separated by a bridge across the mighty Columbia River.

Take a ride out to the coast, enjoy the sun and surf, or the strong storms crashing the beach, but while you're out there, peak around at the real estate. You never know what treasures you may find.

Tuesday, February 5, 2019

Snow at the Coast!

Photo by Montel Graves
Southwest Washington doesn't get a whole lot of low elevation snow with a couple of incidents a year on average typically delivering 6-12 inches a year. The beach however averages more like an inch or so per year and that typically comes in an every few years event. Sunday and yesterday was one such  event. My sister lives at the coast and she provided some pictures of the rare winter wonderland at the beach.

This system that came through clipped the coastline from Northern Oregon up through the Olympic Coast but inland it more or less missed the Portland Metro which only got a light dusting in the valleys. Seattle on the other hand got a much bigger shot of snow with a few inches clogging up the Pacific Northwest's largest metro area.

There is something magical about snow on the coast. Out here on western side of North America we don't get a lot of coastal snow even in the northern reaches. The onshore flow and relatively warm ocean waters create a very mellow climate. So when a good old fashioned snow dump does happen it is really special. The crashing waves splashing up against a snowy beach rather than the usual sand is awesome.

Photo by Montel Graves
Temperatures at the coast were unusually chilly as well and this morning dropped well below freezing. It is possible another round of light snow may mix in with rain at the end of the week. Inland in places like Portland and Seattle, more snow is likely.

Keep it toasty inside this week, the moderating effects of the Pacific are off duty and the beach will get a special look at inland style winter temps. Isn't that snow pretty :)

Photo by Montel Graves