Monday, September 24, 2007

Mo' Q!

It's been about thirty years since I lived on brown rice, vegetables and tofu.
These days, I'm partial to smoked meat.
There are certain foods I could eat almost daily. Pizza. And ribs.
...And so another BBQ joint has opened in downtown Renton, and of course I had to try it.
It's Sandra's Place, 509B S 3rd St, 425-277-4121, adjacent to Bella Napoli, in the same space where Uncle Macs and Three Sisters were. And like most restaurants, it has its good and it's not so good.
The good: The people there are friendly and funny; it's a welcoming place, all desserts are house made..I had some awesome bread pudding there, and they also have sweet potato pies, cheesecakes, and banana pudding. The sauce is really good, obviously house made, and not too sweet. They have greens! Yay! I always see it as a good sign when a BBQ joint has greens, and their greens are top notch. You could get a chefs salad there too, or a chicken and pasta salad.
The ribs? I love ribs. These were pretty good, maybe they took them off the smoker just a tad bit too soon, but they were big and meaty, and had that fine sauce to go with it.
I'll be back. It's nice to have a few decent BBQ joints in the Renton area. Seems like Cedar River Smokehouse is the most popular, and they too are pretty good, and Gabby's in Skyway has very good ribs, as does Bill's Bodacious up on NE 4th St., but Sandra's place is worth a visit.

Saturday, September 01, 2007

Renton Real Estate

As Yogi Berra once said " Predictions are hard to make, especially about the future."
I am now a Real Estate Agent, something I could never have predicted in a million years.
What I have noticed is that there is an official line coming from the Real Estate industry, and then there is reality.
The industry line is that home prices in the Seattle area are continuing to rise, so you better buy that house right now before house prices go even higher.
....And yet, in the Seattle area right now, the number of homes for sale is way higher than a year ago, and the number of days houses are staying on the market is quite a bit longer than it was a year ago. So what does all that mean? Well, if it's taking longer for houses to sell, and there are more houses on the market, what's the next logical step? How about lower prices?
Yes, the employment picture around here is very good, and they do expect the population here to keep growing, but nationally, in many markets, including areas with healthy employment and growing populations, house prices are dropping. It happens. If you buy property now and hold on to it for a long time, chances are that you will do very well, but if you want to buy now and sell quickly, it may be frought with risk.
But many in the industry have blinders on, and say a price drop can't happen here.
Add to the mix that a number of people who were formerly eligible to buy homes can no longer qualify for loans due the subprime meltdown, and loan eligibility is being tightened for jumbo loans (that of 417,000 dollars and up), the immediate future doesn't look too rosy. But it's a mixed bag. Many Seattle houses would require a jumbo loan, so some of those folk (the smart ones) would look south to Renton, where you just get more house for your money. So maybe Renton home values will hold up better than other Seattle area homes.
So what's the point of all this?
I may be a Real Estate agent, but I'm telling you: It's going to be hard to find truly impartial advice from someone whose livelihood depends on a Real Estate commission. Some other agents and lenders will tell you to buy right now. They will also tell you to sell right now.
Me? I'd be happy to talk to you if you want to buy or sell a house right now, and I'd work my buns off trying to find you the right house at the right price, or ensuring that the house you wanted to sell received maximum exposure and looked sellable. But if you want to buy, and don't have to do it right away, I think it would be worth the risk of waiting a few months.

Freakazoid Freddy