19 November 2010

From the Realtor ~ Observations from the Field

From time to time, I report on the trends we are seeing both in the body of statistical infomation on hand and in what is currently happening "on the ground" with buyers and sellers.  Here are some of my latest observations.

October and November Bump.  The feeling on the street is that both buyers and sellers got a little more serious and decisive as we moved towards year’s end.

More Old Inventory, Less New Inventory.  It’s true:  we have more total inventory in Seattle than we did last year at this time. Diminished sales since the expiration of the tax credit certainly plays a role in our increased stock of homes. Conversely, we are seeing less new inventory come on the market in the same time period, and desirable new listings can sell fast, leaving the same, tired old listings to languish longer.

Low Balls and Multiple Offers.  With lengthy market time comes low ball offers, though not all of the time.  While some buyers choose to go this route, many will simply dismiss an overpriced home or wait and watch to see what happens—sometimes only to lose the home. Conversely, nice new listings at fare prices are selling every day in 2, 3, 7, 9, 13, and 24 days. A strange dichotomy, yes, but it makes perfect sense when considering the importance of a good value today.

12 November 2010

From the Cook: Uncle Joe's Turkey Pot Pie

I used to host a huge Thanksgiving bash the weekend prior to Thanksgiving. I’d supply two roasted 25 lbs. birds, stuffing, and homemade eggnog, and my guests would contribute their favorite side dishes. It became an annual competition—who could whip up the kitschiest dish?  Imagine all of the legendarily weird Thanksgiving-Americana dishes you’ve ever seen assembled on one table—curious casseroles of unknown origins, Aunt Sill’s marshmallow-ed this alongside Great Grandma Mayflower’s jello-ed that—and you’ll get the picture. Of all the oddities that showed up at my table, there was nothing that I feared as much as the dreaded turkey pot pie—who knew what horrors lurked beneath that golden Crisco crust?

But alas, times change. I stopped holding that wild turkey rager - scraping pecan pie from the ceiling at 3 am lost it’s charm. And thanks to Uncle Joe, I got over my silly turkey pot pie queasies—I cannot wait for this year’s batch! Joe, take it away… “Years ago, we were sitting at my in-law’s beach house on Vashon the day after Thanksgiving, contemplating the mound of leftover turkey in the fridge. ‘Let’s make turkey pot pies!’ I suggested. Despite their questioning glances, the recipe was a huge hit, and it has now become a family tradition.”

Purchase or prepare a double recipe of your favorite pie crust.  Grease a couple of 9” pie pans or several individual pie pans and casserole dishes. Heat 6 T. butter in large pan over med.-high heat. Add: 1 cup chopped onion; 1/2 cup chopped celery; salt & pepper to taste, and cook for 2 min. Add 6 T. flour and cook 3-4 min., stirring constantly. Add 2 cups chicken stock and bring to boil. Reduce to med.-low and simmer until sauce thickens, about 5 min. Add 1 cup half and half and cook 4 min. Add: 1 cup peeled and diced potatoes; 1 cup diced carrots; 1 cup peas; 2 cups shredded leftover turkey; 2 T. chopped parsley; salt & pepper to taste. Fill pie pans—there’s no bottom crust. Cover with pie crust. Vent crust.  Bake in preheated 400º oven for 25-30 min., cool briefly, and enjoy! 

Casa Fiore #55 - Published and in the mail!

This month's offerings include:
  • Fiore = 5 Star Realtor 4 years in a Row! as selected by Seattle Magazine
  • Uncle Joe's Turkey Pot Pie recipe
  • Just Sold!  Cool Lake Washington View Property
  • Observations from the Field: October Bump; More Old Inventory, Less New Inventory; Low Balls and Multiple Offers 
Stay tuned to CasaFioreOnline.com for the web release of selected articles.  Care to join the hundreds who receive their own old fashioned, snail-mail version at your doorstep?  Send along your address and let me know!

01 November 2010

Pesto, Puttanesca, Pecan Pie! Just a Couple of Spots Left for Casa Fiore's Cucina!

There are still a couple of spots left for this Saturday's cooking class - Pesto, Puttanesca, Pecan Pie!  And, oh yes, other things to eat and drink, probably a surprise recipe, and my vaunted homemade liqueur tray, now featuring 10 confections to sip from.  I've been featuring recipes I love in my real estate newsletter Casa Fiore for years now, and I've listened to the requests of my audience and offered this class.  Now you can see some of these recipes in action - this will be a good group and a lot of fun!  Let me know and you are in.  See my post below!