free孕妇video毛茸茸Welcome to the personal weblog of Justin Nickelsen, a home inspector from Southwest Washington and part of the Nickelsen Home Inspections, LLC inspection firm.The musings found herein deal with all things "around the house", from real estate news to construction, and home inspection notes to home maintenance.Enjoy!


Portland, Vancouver, Beverton, Longview and SW Washington Continue to Stand Out in Housing Appreciation Across the Country


News from MSN, "House price appreciation by metro area", the Southwest Washington area continues to stand out among the hot markets across the country.

Listing the top 276 markets (1 being the best), the Southwest Washington and the Portland Metro Area were listed as follows:

Longview, WA
Ranking: 86
1 Year: 15.41
4th Qtr: 3.83
5 Year:36.02

Ranking: 54
1 Year: 19.84
4th Qtr: 4.43
5 Year:54.26

Other hot spots in the Northwest were Spokane, which was number 56; Wenatchee at 95; Yakima at 160; Tacoma at 51; Mount Vernon-Anacortes, 58; Kennewick-Richland-Pasco, 235; Eugene-Springfield, OR, 52.

Source: (March 22, 2006)

Up, Down, Up, Down--The Media Can't Quite Figure it Out

It has been amazing to see the fluctuation in media analysis during this last year.I recall stories on the front page of major newspapers that were rather apocalyptic and they, the media, were the "prophets of doom"--the housing craze is over!The economy is going to crash!The world is coming to an end!

Okay, perhaps that is exaggerated, but sometimes you just get the feeling that the media has an invested interest in seeing this economy collapse.Or better, they seem to have a stake in making sure "good news" becomes "bad news" soon, as if there isn't any "business" for them when there is "good news" in the United States.

But it hasn't always been bad.As quickly as they can print their prophecies of "doom and gloom" they come out with a back page admission that they might be wrong.

The newest piece from the Associated Press (Updated: 12:46 p.m. ET March 23, 2006) which appeared on MSNBC's website is one of those "back page admissions".Nonetheless, let's not allow that to mar the fact that we have something to celebrate: home sales are unexpectedly high!


Associated Press, WASHINGTON - Sales of existing homes unexpectedly rose last month as a warmer than usual winter boosted demand in many parts of the country, but a slack demand in some areas produced what one analyst called a “tale of two cities.”

The National Association of Realtors reported Thursday that that sales of existing single-family homes and condomiums [sic] rose by 5.2 percent in February to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 6.91 million units.

Analysts said the weather-related boost was likely to be short-lived with sales expected to slow again in coming months as rising mortgage rates further cool the housing market which has posted record sales levels for five straight years.

“Weather conditions across much of the country were unseasonably mild in January and likely were a factor in higher levels of buyer activity, which boosted sales that closed in February,” said David Lereah, chief economist for the Realtors.

The Realtors have been forecasting that sales of previously owned homes would fall by about 5 percent this year compared to last year’s record pace. But Lereah said he may have to revise that forecast given the unexpected strength in February.

The price of homes sold in February rose to $209,000 for the nationwide median, the point where half the homes sold for more and half for less. That was 10.6 percent above the median price in February 2006 [Note: this seems to be a mistake.Are they not comparing the price to February 2005?--Justin Nickelsen] But analysts are forecasting those double-digit price gains will also moderate this year as demand slackens.

In other economic news, the Labor Department reported that the number of newly laid off Americans filing claims for unemployment benefits fell by a larger-than-expected 11,000 week to 302,000, signaling that the labor market remains healthy.

The increase in sales in February represented the first gain in demand after five consecutive monthly declines, the longest stretch of weakness since 1999.

Economists believe that both new and existing home sales will dip by around 5 percent this year as rising mortgage rates cuts into demand. The concern is whether the decline could be more sizable than that. Some analysts are worried about that the [sic] speculative fervor in housing over recent years could come crashing down similar to the bursting of the stock market bubble in the early part of this decade.

But Lereah said all indications so far were pointing to a gradual slowdown in sales to a more sustainable pace.

By region of the country, sales rose by 19.2 percent in the Northeast and were up 11.1 percent in the Midwest and 5.1 percent in the West in February. Only the South showed weakness last month with sales there dropping by 2.5 percent from the January pace.

Lereah said sales activity at present was really a “tale of two cities” with some of the hottest markets showing declines while some medium priced markets still posting strong sales gains.
He said that sales were down by double-digit levels in such hot sales markets as Phoenix, Fort Lauderdale and San Diego. He said, by contrast, sales were up by double-digit amounts in aeas such as Indianapolis, Albuquerque and Houston.

The drop in jobless claims of 11,000 marked the first decline in four weeks and left claims at a level consistent with strong labor market growth in coming months.

The overall strength, however, does not conceal the fact that some U.S. industries such as autos are struggling with serious problems.

Just Wednesday, General Motors Corp. and its major supplier, Delphi Corp., announced plans to offer buyouts to more than 125,000 hourly workers under an agreement with the United Auto Workers. Workers are expected to start leaving GM by June 1.

GM wants to eliminate some 30,000 jobs by 2008.

It was one of the largest buyouts in corporate history, and came as GM sought to deal with massive losses by trimming labor costs. GM, which has been losing market share to foreign competition.

Jobless claims dropped below the 300,000 mark for seven straight weeks at the beginning of this year as the labor market rebounded from sizable layoffs in the final months of 2005 reflecting widespread disruptions caused by Hurricane Katrina and the other Gulf Coast hurricanes.

In February, the economy created a 243,000 jobs with construction, retail, financial services, health care and education all showing healthy gains for the month. Those gains helped to offset continued weakness in manufacturing, which reflected job losses in the struggling auto sector.

Source: (March 23, 2006)


Justin Nickelsen
Nickelsen Home Inspections, LLC.


Falling Sales in January?Not in SW Washington

NW Real Estate News (Feb. 7, 2006) is blaming it on the "S Factor"--soggy skies, Seahawks (football), and shortage of listings--for a decline in sales during the month of January in the Seattle area.

Click here to read the article.

SW Washington has an "S Factor" too: STABILITY.

It seems that the news is the opposite in SW Washington.Most real estate agents I know have been "bogged down" with sales, and home inspectors are very busy.One of us did over 15 inspections during the regular week in all of the last three weeks of January!That is summer-time business.

As I have mentioned elsewhere, SW Washington has been a sign of stability in the last many years.I don't see an end in sight.


Justin Nickelsen
Nickelsen Home Inspections, LLC
"Serving SW Washington From the Mountains to the Coast"


Thursday, February 09, 2006

Home Inspection for Sellers?The Evolution of the Pre-Listing Inspection... It Makes Sense!

Seller paying for home inspection
USA Today - Friday, January 13, 2006

Now that the lift is starting to dissipate from the real estate bubble, home sellers are turning to new strategies to sell quickly and at the right price. Thus the boomlet in homeowners hiring inspectors before they put their homes on the market.

For the last two decades, home inspectors routinely have been hired and paid by buyers; many states require inspections.

"If I had to ballpark it, I would say around 10% of business today would be pre-listing inspections, and 10 years ago it was virtually non-existent" says Mallory Anderson, director of the 2,400-member National Association of Home Inspectors.

The major motivation is to head off demands for costly price reductions from buyers. It's cheaper to fix it than to negotiate the price down," says Dan Steward, president of Pillar to Post an inspection company with offices in 500 locations. "Its been suggested that for every $1 of identified repairs, the buyer would be looking for double that in price reduction."

Liz Moore, a broker in Newport News, Va., says her firm pays for a pre-listing inspection for all her sellers. Average price: about $380.

"It’s fair to say that is the reason our listings sell 30% faster than the market average," she says. And early anecdotal evidence suggests that inspected houses "consistently sell for a few thousand dollars more."



Justin Nickelsen
Nickelsen Home Inspections, LLC
"Serving SW Washington, From the Mountains to the Coast"

Related Information:

-- Home Sellers, Nickelsen Home Inspections
-- For Sale Buy Owner--#1 Tip... a Pre-Listing Inspection

About Nickelsen Home Inspections, LLC

Nickelsen Home Inspections, LLC., while relatively new as an individual inspection firm, is the climax of converging Northwest experience in the real estate professions. For the last couple years we have been the fastest growing home inspection company in SW Washington.

Serving over seven counties, and able to satisfy your inspection needs seven days a week, our home inspection professionals bring almost two decades of home inspection, fire safety and playground inspection experience, over two decades of contracting and construction expertise and the constant education it takes to stay on top of this field into each and every home we examine.

Licensed, insured and bonded, Nickelsen Home Inspections, LLC understands the decisions which go into purchasing or selling real estate first hand and offers to join in helping make your experience a positive one.

We believe that our client’s real estate decisions are very personal and we wish to accent that sentiment with the personal touch of our locally owned and operated business.

As long established residents of SW Washington, and proud home owners ourselves, we offer the personal touch of understanding the emotional and financial decisions that go into purchasing a home.We, along with the real estate professionals you are working with, will be there even after our initial service is over to answer any questions or concerns you may have.

The personal touch of computer generated reports delivered on site in an understandable format, which we will go over with you, face to face, will better acquaint you with your home—we will inspect your house as if we were purchasing the home ourselves!

Nickelsen Home Inspections, LLC has found success in SW Washington on the firm ground of our personal touch and a history of trust—trust which we want to earn from you!

We would like to thank you for choosing Nickelsen Home Inspections, LLC when you make that next real estate move.

And to the thousands of people we have worked with in the last many years: thank you for the greatest compliment that we have received—a referral of our services to your family, friends and clients.We are grateful for your trust!


Justin Nickelsen
Nickelsen Home Inspections, LLC
"Serving SW Washington, From the Mountains to the Coast"

Reated Information:

-- About The Company
-- Real Estate Professionals
-- Home Buyers and Sellers
-- Services

Some Comments on the Regulation of Home Inspectors in Washington State

News came last fall that there was proposed legislation in Washington State that would regulate home inspection professionals. The legislation has moved forward, and is now Senate Bill 6229 and is being ussured in by Senators Spanel and Kohl-Welles.

There are certain people who, no doubt, will not support this legislation. With a "Libertarian in All Instances" attitude, they will shy from the involvement of the State. Or, perhaps, there are some inspectors in Washington State that are perfectly comfortable with the "way things are".

"The way things are"... really?

While I personally find that legislation in Washington State--and all of the Western States--can really go overboard at times, I am personally amazed by the reaction of some home inspectors who would dare to say that they are happy with "the way things are".

How are "things"?

Today, in Washington State, the requirements that regulate home inspectors are very little.

The Washington State Department of Agriculture currently mandates that anyone reporting the presence of WDOs (Wood Destorying Organisms, such as Termites, Carpenter Ants or Rot) or Conditions that are Conducive to WDO's (like water in a crawl space) must be licensed with the State. Since any reputable home inspector would comment on the presence of WDOs or Conducive Conditions which could lead to WDOs, all home inspectors, in a round about way, must be licensed with the State.

Ok... but what does such licensing require from the individual?

-- $45 Dues
-- A 70% or higher on a test of 100 questions, multiple choice, relating to WDOs.
-- Don't forget: it only regulates the portion of a home inspection that comments on WDOs or Conducive Conditions.

While I, in no way, wish to disrespect the Washington State Department of Agriculture and actually applaude them for regulating at least this aspect of a home inspection, the reality is this:

To become a full time home inspector in Washington State you need to get a C- on a multiple choice test and fork over an amazing... $45! (!)

When it comes down to it, anyone can go around calling themselves a "home inspector" after a few hours of study and a $45 investment.

I remember taking my test and studying for it very well. While I have since continued my education in that regard, I spent only 7-8 hours studying for the test just days before I took it. And trust me, the $45 that it took to get my license was paid for within minutes.

Well, no wonder some home inspectors would be against this legislation! It would actually require them to do... something and invest some money into the profession.

The new legislation would require great monetary and educational involvement on the part of the inspector. Great finantial and educational investment can seperate the wheat from the chaff in this industry.

All home inspectors, real estate professionals and consumers statewide must support the impetus that is driving Senate Bill 6229. Greater regulation in Washington State will protect the consumer and aid in the professional image that the home inspection industry wishes to demand.

There will be a lot of information about this legislation in the coming months.

Stick here for all the news, muse and views you need in that regard.

Justin Nickelsen
Nickelsen Home Inspections, LLC