Broker's Byline

Well folks, fall is upon us! Hunters, for both
flora and fauna, are haunting the woods. Fall colors are beautiful on the passes and we've had our first frost of the season. We've had a phenomenal year, number one office year-to-date in our east county region. We so appreciate all of your business! I want to let you all know about some real estate related things we are excited about.

First, the market here is heading toward normalcy. Although inventory is still low and selling time still short, we are moderating on all fronts. Rentals are still very scarce as many new owners are converting to the VRBO and Airbnb vacation rental models instead of renting for the season.

The exciting thing about the market is that we are finally seeing folks buying vacant land. This is my definition of a recovered market. (See the featured article in this newsletter.) Our local contractors are very busy so some serious lead time should be expected on starting new construction.

On the vacant land front, the Lewis County Planning Department and Planning Commission are working on a potential zoning map change which would establish a new Rural Development District- 1 (RDD-1) in the Packwood area. This change is near the existing High Valley LAMIRD (limited area of more rural development) but outside of the mapped channel migration and flood zones. This would rezone approximately 391.5 acres that are currently in RDD-10, RDD-5 AND RRC-R1. Basically, in plain English, this means one house per acre instead of only one house per five or ten acres.

Tracy, Maria and I attended the Public Hearing last week and voiced our support for the change. We all appreciate the recognition by the Planning Department and Planning Commission that many of the
currently developable areas have flooding and channel migration issues. They agreed at the hearing to pursue the zoning change. I'll report as anything is approved.

Happy Halloween from all the goblins here at Mountain Valley Real Estate.
Photo credit:Lisa Davis
Tracy Croshaw, Broker/Realtor
Maria Andrews, Broker/Realtor Maree Lerchen, Designated Broker/Owner
Under construction by Randle Woods

You probably have heard this saying a time or two, " Land is the ONE thing they're NOT making more of." Well, it's true, and it should be something to consider as to why investing in land can put some serious money in your pocket. But, if that isn't reason enough then here are some other things to consider when purchasing vacant land.

  1. With vacant land, you don't need to do anything to the property. It's a "Hands-Off," Investment. No structures then no headaches.
  2. Land is cheaper to own as a long term investment, especially since property taxes are lower than on developed land.
  3. Land value goes up over time and if you do want to build later then you can use it as a collateral for a construction loan and convert to a conventional loan without having to re-finance.
  4. Since land purchase is a "cash," investment there is less competition in purchasing than in residential properties.
  5. Selling your land investment later will give you the opportunity to carry an "Owner's Contract." You become the bank to which the buyer pays monthly payments directly to you.

Like with any investment, do your homework, and make sure this is the right choice for you in the long term. If it is, then now is the time to invest in vacant land as a hard asset. Over time as vacant land continues to be further developed and growth outside of urban centers expands, it becomes more apparent on just how scarce vacant land will become. So, consider land as one of the investments in your portfolio.

See below on additional information and links if you decide to develop and build.

Application Checklist: This checklist includes: site plan, septic application or sewer availability form, building application, two sets of building plans, energy code compliance, well-drillers statement/well log/WAN forms, address application, road approach application, water permits, septic/sewer permits, and other miscellaneous permits.
Sewage Permit Application: This checklist is very informative about the preparation of the land and what the county will be looking for. They make it very clear that you should not clear the property.
Building Permit: Lewis County Handout

Building Permit Application: This permit is very Lewis County Building Permit Application

Well Site Application: Choosing a site for your well is very important. Be sure to inquire about how the Hirst decision might apply.
Mobile Home Application: Buying a manufactured home and placing it on a vacant piece of land is sometime a more affordable route to go. To do so, however, you still need to go through a permitting for placement. Mobile Home Placement Application
Go to our website for a printable copy of utilities and services in our Local Services Providers
Photo: Currently under construction by Randle Woods

Year-to-Date Statistics
Year-to-Date Statistics
Area 436
Sold, Pending, & Actives

Sold (Closed)
Commercial     2
Multi-Family     0
Single Family    142
Vacant Land     78

Commercial     0
Single Family    14
Vacant Land     8

Commercial     5        
Farm & Ranch   2        
Multi-Family     2        
Single Family    41
Vacant Land     79       

Information and statistics derived from Northwest Multiple Listing Service.
Upcoming Events
Courtesy of White Pass Scenic Byway 

2018 Season
  The King and His Cutlery
Renaissance Mystery Dinner
October 20, 6pm at the Tiller Arts Center
Tickets $30
A night of interactive whodunit…  Costumes are highly encouraged. The best costume will receive an award. To rent a costume, leave a message for Louise at the BCJ Gallery (360) 496-0542.  Please purchase dinner tickets by October 18 or sooner and contact  paul@lewiscounty.com  to find out about your character and start getting clues!


November 11 - Veterans Day
November 23 - Autum Day
The Discover Pass is not needed on this fee free day in recognition of the Veterans Day and Autumn Day. This applies only to daytime, not overnight hours.
October 31, 6-8 pm
For a donation of AT LEAST $10, Morton city limits residents can have a flashmob of dancers perform the Thriller dance on your lawn on Halloween evening. Performances will start happening around town at approx. 6 pm.
If you would like to sponsor a performance for yourself or someone else within Morton city limits, please email Genny Greiter at  mortonroxyonstage@gmail.com  or call her at 360-496-5060. It’s a THRILL!
Command Performance – USO Show
November 10 at 7 p.m.
Tickets: $15 General Audience, $10 Veterans, $7 Students/Children
Celebrate and honor our Veterans with 1940’s USO-style entertainment: skits, vocalists, dancers, plenty of laughs, and dancing to the Sound of Swing Big Band.

November 16 - December 31
Elbe, Washington
The magic of THE POLAR EXPRESS™ comes to life in Elbe, Washington. This story of a child’s Christmas Eve journey comes alive on-board THE POLAR EXPRESS™ Train Ride. All ages can enjoy the warmth and fun of the Christmas season as you depart for a trip to the North Pole.
THE POLAR EXPRESS™ Train Ride, like the movie, is a 90 minute roundtrip immersive theatrical experience. Passengers will be entertained by Chefs, enjoy Hot Chocolate and Cookies, and listen to a reading of THE POLAR EXPRESS™. Upon arrival at the North Pole, Santa will board the train and give each child the first gift of Christmas (a silver bell).  This event will surely become an annual tradition for the whole family. Families are encouraged to wear their pajamas for the ride and join in on the magic of Christmas!
Mountain Valley Real Estate
P.O. Box 952 / 13068 US Hwy 12
 Packwood, WA 98361 
Office: 360-494-2323 Fax: 360-494-2324
We will be closed on the following days this holiday season-
Thanksgiving Day, November 22nd & Friday, November 23rd
Christmas Eve, December 24th & Christmas Day, December 25th
New Year's Eve, December 31st & New Year's Day, January 1st
Lets flood some local charities with warm jackets this season. From September-November the following offices will have boxes awaiting your donations! New or gently used coats only please.
ACADEMY MORTGAGE (601 W. Main St, Centralia)
ADOLPHSEN REAL ESTATE (210 Market Blvd # Main, Chehalis)
CENTURY 21 LUND REALTORS (1169 S Market Blvd, Chehalis)
CHEHALIS VALLEY REALTY (481 S. Market Blvd, Chehalis)
JOHN L. SCOTT (900 W Main, Centralia)
LEWIS COUNTY TITLE ( 625 S Market Blvd, Chehalis)
PRIME LENDING (2401 Kresky Ave #A, Chehalis)
REALTY WORLD COSSER & ASSOC (282 SW 13th St, Chehalis)
TITLE GUARANTY (200 NW Pacific Ave, Chehalis)
WINDERMERE (411 W Main St, Centralia)