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October 2013 Newsletter Update

Updated: Jan 12, 2021

Big News in the JBLM Real Estate Market From Phil Sharp HomesOctober 2013

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Interest Rates…Gooooing Down… I have been involved in more discussions than I can count regarding recent interest rate fluctuations.  Most folks don’t realize that one of the primary causes of rate increases thru the summer were comments made by the chairman of the fed, Ben Bernanke, and the decline in rates comes from Mr. Bernanke reversing himself.

Popular opinion seems to be that the greed on the part of lenders has been driving rates.  Rates aren’t “set” by the markets, they are the result of other factors.  You do have to wonder, since the prime rate hasn’t changed, why have rates gone up and then down?

While the prime rate, as well as various indexes, do have a big impact on interest rates, the securities and bond markets have just as much impact.  When investors can make more money by investing in bonds, for example, they will invest in bonds.  When bond prices go up, there-by driving rates down, bonds become less attractive.  When bonds start to pay less interest, mortgages become more attractive to investors and the result is more money available in the mortgage markets…and rates go down.  Kind of a brain twister…

Several months ago, the Fed Chairman, Mr. Bernanke, did something Fed Chairmen never do…he announced in advance that the fed was going cut back on bond buying.  To explain:  The Fed has been buying about 80 billion $ per month of US bonds, creating strong demand, and keeping bond prices high/interest rates low.  When The Fed threatened to stop buying bonds, investors interpreted that to mean that the bond markets would drop, rates would go up, and bonds would become a better investment.  This took money from the mortgage markets, reducing supply and causing rates to go up.  I will let you decide for yourself if The Fed made a mistake…maybe it was a test???

SO…It became apparent to The Fed that the bond buying comments caused an unpleasant effect within the mortgage industry, and across the economy….In the last week of September, Mr. Bernanke announced that the fed would Not stop buying bonds.  He did not say that his earlier statements were a mistake (a multi-billion dollar mistake for the economy, which cost individual tax payers thousands of $).  Did he set the economic recovery back a bit…he did in my opinion, it was just too soon.

The fed will not stop buying bonds, interest rates are down about .5%, from 4.5% to about 4 at the time of this writing…and I would expect that they will stay within a .25% range.  While I don’t think that this nut-roll has seriously affected the economic recovery or the real estate market, I will say that neither needs any more help of this kind.    ~Phil

The Sims Family…An Exceptional Testimonial

We fully acknowledge we had special, “high-maintenance” requirements — we wanted a pet- and livestock-friendly rural setting within certain school districts, while also having quick access to services and a reasonable commute time. Our needs changed even more at the last minute, as we took in an aging extended family member. Phil and his team took it all in stride, researching and filtering behind the scenes to find candidate properties well in advance of our arrival. They were especially internet-saavy, providing us a nice web-based tool that allowed us to review, discard, and “favorite” potential properties. They kept us updated regularly through email and phone. In hindsight, we were able to do 80%+ of our shopping and research prior to arrival.

Once we arrived after a long international flight, Phil and his team were prepared for us to hit the ground running the very next day. After just two days of property visits that mostly confirmed what we’d already reviewed online, we were able to settle on an ideal property that met all of our special requirements and more, and at a price that was well within our range. He advocated for us throughout the financing and closing process, resulting in a lightning-fast closing time. We were impressed with the constant communication, his common-sense approach, his organization, and his sharp attention to details. Phil’s team definitely moves at “internet-speed” (many still do not) and is well-connected online within social media. Phil has fully transitioned to the new online real estate market.

In addition, we got to know Phil as a seasoned regional expert with career experience both within the military (retired Army First Sergeant) and successful local businessman.  He gave us top-notch advice at every step on issues beyond simple home buying and ownership — home maintenance, school considerations, contractor recommendations, farm and garden, shopping, and more. HIs trusted “life lessons” are serving us well as we adjust to our new life in the Pacific Northwest, and re-adjust back to living in the United States.

In closing, our family recommends Phil Sharp Homes in the strongest terms, for either military or other career-oriented families seeking the highest quality real estate options and representation in the Lacey, JBLM, or greater south Puget Sound region. We will certainly seek him out again for our next real estate need, whenever that might be.

Bob Sims

How Affordable is Owning a Home?

Our Comparisons in BUYING vs. RENTING. Information gathered July 26, 2013. Rental ad retreived from The Nisqually Valley News. Real Property listing retreived from the Northwest MLS Home Search on

Rental: McKenna/Roy Area, WA

3 Bed, 1.5 bath, 3 car garage – Remodeled.

RENT: $1400.00 mo.

For Sale: MLS# 543843  Yelm, WA

3 bed, 3 bath, 2 parking 2,044 sq. ft., gas fireplace with brick hearth, country kitchen, bamboo flooring, Master Suite w/double walk-in closets, full bath w/jetted tub & skylight. Covered front porch with 3-sided deck, completely fenced with entry. Mountain views and huge gazebo with patio for entertaining.


Mortgage Calculator Results: (All values are estimates, you will have property taxes and insurance added to this…no fees or taxes included. Your results may vary based on your qualifications)

20% down – $37,800 w/4.5% interest, 30 yr. = $766.00 mo.

0 down – w/4.5% interest, 30 yr. = $957.00 mo.

 *NOTE…Rates have dropped to 4% in the past week.

***Foreclosure Listings:***

Click the links below to go see the latest foreclosure “quick search” listings available.

Thurston County

Short Sales:

Bank Owned/Foreclosures:

Pierce County

Short Sales:

Bank Owned/Foreclosures:

Mason County

Short Sales:

Bank Owned/Foreclosures:

Shelton Belfair Union Allyn Hoodsport Hoquiam Your Resource ToolboxFree Relocation Packet

Get your FREE Relocation Packet via USPS today! We send to APO’s too, of course! Get Pierce & Thurston County Visitor Guides, Area Maps, WA Visitors Guide, Area Lodging, Recreation, Community & JBLM information and MORE! Click the pic above or click here to get your FREE Relocation Packet sent today.

YOUR Personal Relocation Sponsor, Meet Gina

Gina is NOT and agent, sales person, or paid on commission. Gina IS YOUR personal contact who offers FREE information services to those relocating to the JBLM area. She knows about the area, schools, commutes, employment, and more…just ask her! If Gina doesn’t know, she’ll find out. Visit the Relocation Dept or email Gina directly at

The Best Home Search Tools Available

FREE Android Home Search APP. Scan the QR code with your phone to get the “PSHomes Search” App in the Android Market for FREE.


Scan and bookmark for the same great tool. It works on all devices, including iPhone, iPad, Windows phones.


Phil Sharp is the sole agent/Broker at Phil Sharp Homes and uses his extensive network to help YOU find or sell your home. Keeping your needs in mind, his wife Gayle will assist while touring homes, Stephanie will help with paperwork and finding the listings you want, Gina will help with all your relocation needs, and countless other resources and tools Phil has as part of his “network” is available to assist you.


SPECIALIZING IN MILITARY MOVES doesn’t mean PSH only deals with service members. Spouses, family and community members are equally served. Our Relocation Services are especially for Military Spouses to help meet the FAMILY’s needs. We are your personal contact and resource when you are moving to WA. Spouses need info., we have it here just for you.Contact: Phil Sharp Homes 4133 Sleater-Kinney Rd NE, Olympia, WA 98506 360-970-9977


Home Buyer, Seller and Investor Services – Free Real Estate Consulting, Education, Relocation Services & Information – Broker/AgentConnect:


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