The Clark County Veterans Assistance Center, which opened in April, will have its grand opening from 3 to 6 p.m. Sunday May 1st, 2011 at 1305 Columbia St., Suite 100. The 204th Army Band will play at the 3 p.m. ribbon-cutting.
Male and female Veterans, members of the armed forces and their families are invited to visit and use the center any time to get help filing claims with the Veterans Administration or to get referrals for housing or medical assistance. Homeless veterans are invited to visit in a safe environment. For more information contact Gayle Hepler, Sr. VA Loan Specialist in WA and OR, at Creekside Mortgage, Inc., and Emily Stoutsenberger of the Vancouver Women’s Veterans Center. Veterans with disabilities in Washington as well as in Oregon and Paralyzed Veterans of America can find much needed resources here; as well as with the OPVA by contacting Byron Loosli of the Oregon Paralyzed Veterans of America. April is Paralyzed Veterans Of America Awareness month.
Serving Those Who have Served Us
VA Loan Specialist
360-567-3773 WA, OR
503.445.1038 ext. 114
Foreclosures in Clark County WA, are down about 29%. Foreclosures in the month of March were 272, compared to last year, 2010 at 334, and the height of 2009, 605. The fact that foreclosures are down is obviously a good sign that there is the possibility that the banks are working more with their customers to go through and negotiate lower premiums. The most improved area are Battle Ground WA, Ridgefield WA, Camas WA, and Washougal WA. From the inside, in my opinion, it has more to do with the delay of the foreclosure processing. Yes, in some cases people are selling a home before it goes into foreclosure, but I think a lot of foreclosures in the last 60 to 90 days have been delayed due to what was happening and how foreclosures were being treated. So, only Pierce and Snohomish counties ranked worse than Clark County WA, where 1 out of 600 homes were in foreclosure in the month of March. In Feburary, it was 1 in every 426. The lenders are just making a great deal of effort to negotiate and to settle or modify by the law versus going to the next step of foreclosure.
Sr. VA Loan Specialist
The Portland Oregon housing market seems to be recovering and stabilizing nicely. Our opinion at Creekside Mortgage Inc. is that we have noticed over the last 2 to 3 months of 2011 a strength in the Portland OR Metro area on VA home purchases, which seem to have increased greatly. Hopefully this trend continues in Oregon State throughout the rest of 2011. The key to this is the stabilization in the price of houses, they are either going up or down. There is volatility in either waiting or jumping in too early, but when you get stabilization and consistency in buying houses in Portland metro area, it seems to be helping overall in the market.
Sr. VA Loan Specialist
The Cowlitz County Washington foreclosure rate is still at an all-time high. There are positive signs of stabilizing in the markets overall in Cowlitz County WA, but still the different areas of Longview WA, Castle Rock WA, Woodland WA, and Kelso WA, have an abnormally high number of foreclosures. The rate has started to slow down somewhat, and banks have seemed to be negotiating and modifying loans at an all-time high by stopping the foreclosure rate form increasing. There have been signs of stabilization of values in Cowlitz County WA, which is a good sign pointing toward either being at the end, or near the end, of the financial and housing crisis.
Sr. VA Loan Specialist
Kennewick WA, Pasco WA, and Richland WA, still rank at the lowest level in the State of Washington for foreclosures in March, which is a good sign of showing our consistency and stability in values in Tri Cities Washington. Our markets held steady and in most cases even increased in values. The number of VA home loan purchases in Tri Cities has shown great strength. VA ranks the lowest in the county for foreclosures. VA home loans are one of the best options for a Veterans, as it offers 100% financing, with $0 down payment, and the seller typically pays, in most cases, all closing costs. We have seen a high trend in buying new construction in the Tri Cities WA, especially in Kennewick WA. Former apple orchards are now becoming large developments, in large volume. This trend should continue in Tri Cities Washington over the rest of 2011 and we should remain strong in home values and economic factors in Tri-Cities WA.
Sr. VA Loan Specialist
Foreclosures in the month of March still ranked at a rather high level, but signs of stability overall in Boise, ID and the Ada County area overall, make things look like we’re in or near the end of the housing crisis. Boise ID will go down on the books in Ada County as one of the hardest hit areas because of our influx of residents and our increase in value between 2004 and 2007. Due to this, we had a much farther fall than most cities had to go through. Additionally, our economic factors, including employment, affect our home values, and we were hit here harder than many, taking into account the influx of borrowers and homeowners who moved up from California who were buying second homes. This caused an inflated home valuation during those time periods and made the fall on the other side that much harder. The stability over the last three months so far in 2011 in Ada County shows strength and a leveling off of overall values. Hopefully that was the end and we will see continued stability through the rest of 2011 in Idaho.
Sr. VA Loan Specialist
How will the budget cuts affect Vancouver, Washington? The state of Washington is going through dramatic budget cuts. Unlike the federal government, it has to have a balanced budget. What comes in is what can go out without any exceptions. So, in the course of 2011 for fiscal budget 2012, there are going to be significant cuts in the overall budget. A lot of economists predict this could have an effect overall in housing prices and markets if the State of Washington has to cut employees like teachers or other key state employees. This will have an effect on the markets. It is hard to predict or say how these will affect Vancouver WA, and Washington as a whole. A lot of our economic factors are attributed to the State of Oregon by the fact that we are so close to Oregon, but our purse strings are held by Olympia, WA,so the effects of this can only be a guesstimation of how Vancouver WA overall will be effected for the rest of the fiscal year 2011 and going into 2012.
Sr. VA Loan Specialist
Earth Day, started in 1970 by Senator Gaylord Nelson (D-Wisconsin), was created to teach awareness and appreciation for the Earth's environment. It is celebrated in many countries every year and the first Earth Day was in 1970. ...
This Friday April 22, is Earth Day, and Whatcom County has some ideas on how their residents can celebrate by being more environmentally friendly. There are several things going on throughout the week in Whatcom County to celebrate:
Monday the 18thAppliance Depot will offer free curbside collection of old, and unwanted appliances. The non profit refurbishes the appliances or recycles them if they are unable to remove parts or refurbish them. To schedule a pickup click the Appliance Depot link above.
You also have the opportunity to recycle by bringing used writing instruments, regardless of brand, to Office Depot in Bellingham. They will be sent to TerraCycle Inc. and turned into new office-supply products such as trash cans and desk organizers.
Wednesday the 20th is another recycle day. You can drop off unwanted electronics at Alcoa Intalco Work’s plant in Ferndale, WA. There is also a “climate talk” scheduled for 7pm at the Northwest Indian College. There will be a reception to honor human rights activist, Oren Lyons and this event is open to the public.
Thursday the 21st is set aside to help the Newhalem Creek Campground by landscaping and maintaining campsites while improving trails. To assist here, contact the park headquarters. This event is also a part of the National Park Week. There will be a workshop open as well that runs from 7-9pm at the Sustainable Living Center in Bellingham, WA to talk about pollution reduction. The workshop is called “Umbiquitous Plastic: How to get a grip”. It will be above the RE store at 2309 Meridian Street.
Friday the 22nd will be a day for relaxing and learning. At 4pm, Boundary Bay Brewery & Bistro in Bellingham, WA will hold a BBQ, Earth Day inspired tunes by DJ Kitchen Sink along with a Sustainability Fair featuring local businesses. Learn about urban gardening, cooking, and sustainable food. This event is free! You can also drop off your used flip flops at the Old Navy in Bellis Fair Mall to be recycled and used in playgrounds. This project is a partnership between Old Navy and TerraCycle Inc.
Saturday the 23rd will wrap up the Earth Day week with a few events to choose from. There is a Cloth Diaper Event that hopes to set a record as a part of the Great Cloth Diaper Exchange. The goal is to set a world record through Guinness Book of World Records for the most diapers changed at the same time. The event is being organized by the Real Diaper Association. Register at greendiaperdemos.com and review the rules. This event will be held at the Cordata Community Food Co-op in Bellingham, WA.
There will also be a work party to help plant trees at Landingstrip Creek near Acme. The event is from 9-12pm and organized by Nooksack Salmon Enhancement Association (NSEA), REI and Whatcom Land Trust. Parking is available at Acme Elementary School. Check in at the blue NSEA tent.
Another option is a park cleanup at Larrabee State Park from 9am -2pm. Here you can help clean garden beds, and rake out a play structure. Volunteers are asked to bring hand tools. To learn more call Alex Moularas and Amber Forest at 360-676-2093.
Earth Day is a wonderful opportunity to get involved in your community and learn some new ideas on how to be more friendly to the world that you live in. So come on out and help Whatcom County get its green on!
Oregon Zoo's beloved Packy turned 49 today!! Packy made headlines on his birth by becoming the first elephant born in this part of the world in 44 years! Visitors flooded the zoo and the gifts poured in over this "little" miracle. Packy was even featured in Life magazine to celebrate his arrival. He was one of the biggest announcements in the world at the time.
The Oregon Zoo will hold a celebration Saturday, April 16 that they are calling "Elephantastic". They are encouraging visitors to stop by from 11-4 for games, crafts, elephant ears and more. The event is free with zoo admission and birthday cake will be provided for free at noon. There will be a chance for kids to enter a drawing to help deliver Packy's cake.
This should be a lot of fun for young and old alike. It isnt everyday that we get to celebrate a local celebrities birthday with so many fun festivities. Saturday is supposed to be sunny in Portland, if our local news is correct, so it will be perfect for the celebration. While youre there dont forget to say HI to Packy's kids, Rama and "Shine", who also live at the Oregon Zoo. If it is sunny Saturday the elephants should be out and in great spirits!!
Spokane, WA has had a lot of new inventory come on the market in the last few weeks and that is good for you, the buyer. The more the supply of homes goes up the more house prices have to come down to be competitive. For you buyers out there that should be music to your ears! Even if you arent crazy about foreclosures, these homes also drive down the prices of the other homes in the area.
With lower interest rates and lower prices the time to buy is now!!