Last week I did something that I have not done since high school; I donated blood. It wasn’t just a spur of the moment decision; I have a friend that receives transfusions, almost weekly, while he awaits a transplant.
The donor experience was not the same as my high school days where a couple buddies and I gave blood…one fainting as he started to leave the mobile blood center. Today there is more time spent screening the donor, thus it’s strongly suggested to set up an appointment to maximize the efficiency of your donation. You can set up an appointment over the internet by downloading the Red Cross app.
The screening was mostly done at a computer console, along with some individual questions asked by the nurse. The computer questions were eye opening….I have rarely been asked such personal questions and it brought to mind the seriousness of donating blood. And, the importance of keeping your blood clean, away from sexually transmitted diseases, antibiotics, drugs, and other precautions noted in the questions.
There’s not just one option for donating either! Imaging my shock walking into a blood center and being asked “What do I want to donate?” I gave the receptionist a confused, blank, dopey smile and said “huh?”. I chose just straight blood, and then received more information from the nurse as she drew my blood about the other possibilities; and the pro’s and cons of each. A donor can donate:
- Whole Blood
- Red Blood Cells (plasma and platelets returned to donor)
From start to finish, it took me about 25 minutes to donate blood. It would have been much faster had I done the screening and set an appointment through the Red Cross App. The App will set up an appointment, suggest future appointment dates, track the number of donations, show you where your blood was used, and give a lot of other important and interesting information.
STATE OF THE STATE
Last week I was fortunate to be able to attend a “State of the State” conference with 2 very prominent speakers: Steve Lerch, Executive Director for the Washington Economic and Revenue Forecast Council (He’s the guy that puts the forecasting budget together for Washington) and Scott Bailey, a S.W. Washington economist for the Employment Security Department. It looks like 2018 has a good outlook; with some unknowns.
Economic growth in Washington is outpacing the national average, and should continue to perform in the same manor. The upside is:
- Leading Economic Index continues to climb
- Optimism is up
- Job growth is up
- Employment growth is up, retail trade has exploded with Amazon while Aerospace has declined.
- Unemployment down around 4%
- Retail sales are up
- Truck Freight to businesses is up
- Household net worth is up 75%
The unknowns that could affect the economy:
- North Korea, Russia, and the Middle East
- Wage growth has been stagnant
- Labor productivity is stagnant
- International trade and fiscal policy uncertainty
Below are some graphs to help visualize what is anticipated for 2018 in Washington State. I have a lot more slides available if you have any interest in seeing them; just shoot me a quick email and I will forward them to you: MattMorris@Windermere.com
Leading Economic Indicator (EIN) suggest recession is not imminent
JOB GROWTH IN WASHINGTON IS STRONG
OPTIMISM AND SALES EXPECTIONS ARE UP, UP, UP
STEADY GROWTH OF RETAIL SALES POST RECESSION
U.S. HOUSEHOLD NET WORTH UP 75%
Below are 3 links to a sample market analysis that is prepared exclusively for Realtors by “Realtors Property Resource” group. This is another algorithm model that can be compared with Zillow and Redfin to help determine a listing value for a home. All algorithm models have their shortfalls and should not be solely relied upon for determine listing value. When you are ready to list; contact me and I will prepare a detailed listing proposal that will incorporate this information along with your specific property amenities, and your goals/objectives in selling your home.
A current look at what is happening to interest rates. Mortgage rates are linked to the bond markets; if bonds are low then mortgage rates are low. Previously, the demand for bonds was high; so Mr. Bond could offer low rates to attract investors…thus keeping mortgage rates low. But after the election; investors saw many opportunities in the stock market and quickly shifted their assets from bonds to stocks….forcing Mr. Bond to offer higher yields to keep as many assets in the bond market as possible. Thus the higher bond prices caused higher mortgage rates. But will this have a significant negative impact on home prices in the Portland/Vancouver market? For more information: Click Here
In September 2016, Windermere held a great Gala Auction to provide financial support for the Clark County Children’s Justice Center; a charity that we have supported for the last few years. The theme of the night was “An Evening with The Great Gatsby”. Take a peek at some of the highlights:
You have now made a major investment in a home, or you are getting ready to sell your home and need a few updating ideas, this is one of many sites I visit to purchase items or to get idea’s on how to update a home. Houzz does a great job of keeping you informed on current trends and letting you know when items you viewed are coming on sale. Here is a link to the site:
It now appears that the Country has found out what a beautiful place Portland/Vancouver is to live; take a quick read of this article. Wait until these people notice that Vancouver does not have an income tax and that a dollar goes further in Vancouver real estate. Also, unlike Portland where prices are continuing to go up and up, along with multiple offers, in Vancouver we are seeing a plateau in pricing and typically price concessions.