Archive for July, 2007|Monthly archive page

Local Business Spotlight: Lady of LETTERS, Inc.

When I met my friend and former boss Caren Trapp for lunch a couple years ago, we had both recently set out on new career paths. Between bites at P.F. Chang’s, we shared our excitement about where we were and where saw ourselves going.

Before that time I had never heard of a Virtual Assistant. She explained to me in detail the services Lady of LETTERS, Inc. offered, and helped me see the immense value of these services to organizations and businesses of all sizes.

For example, say you own a home-based business. You’ve started showing a positive cash flow, but it’s not yet big enough to hire an employee. This can be a hard hurdle to jump, because an increase in business means an increase in workload. You find yourself spread thin and operating on less sleep as you try to keep all the plates spinning. And as most who’ve ever owned a business know, employees are expensive and can be time consuming – and you still have to pay them even if you can’t keep them busy consistently.

This is what makes the concept of a Virtual Assistant so compelling. No payroll. No tax withholding/reporting. No scheduling. No absenteeism! You don’t need to worry about supplying office space, equipment, or supplies, because your project is completed off-site. And you only pay for the time Caren and her team actually spends working.

When chatting with Caren over morning coffee recently, I wasn’t surprised to hear that Lady of LETTERS is growing by leaps and bounds. Caren is one of those rare people who will go to any length to create a satisfied customer – a quality that has no doubt contributed to her company’s success.

Lady of LETTERS, Inc.

Caren can be reached 7 days a week, 365 days a year, 6:00 AM to 8:00 PM Pacific Standard Time at (425) 337-5773 or by e-mailing

cltrapp (at) ladyoflettersinc (dot) com   

(Tell her Jay from sent you!) 

Lady of LETTERS, Inc. website  

Additional printed material, in PDF format: 

Lady of LETTERS, Inc. Color Brochure

Lady of LETTERS, Inc. Specialties (Service Rates)


Bothell Real Estate Recap – June 2007

Please see the Bothell Housing Market category for the most recent market reports. 

Here’s a recap of what happened in the Bothell, Washington real estate market during June 2007. The area this information pertains to is shown on the map to the below (provided courtesy of the NWMLS). Though slightly cut-off, this area’s southwestern border is Hwy 522 (east to west) and 68th Ave NE in Kenmore (north to south). Click on the map to enlarge.

Bothell, Washington Real Estate Market Area, according to the NWMLS


Single-family resale homes Fewer houses sold for slightly less money in June, but also sold two weeks quicker (on average) than in May. Interestingly, nearly the exact same amount of these homes had sold by this time last year. The difference this year is there are many more sellers but still the same amount of buyers.

If you’re planning to sell your home, I recommend allowing no less than 90 days. The average market time in the Bothell area last month was 62 days, but in order to sell within this timeframe your home has to be priced very competitively. To me, “very competitively” means 5-10% less than any brand new homes in your neighborhood, and lower than 80% or more of the homes that are direct competition to yours. The days of the scorching hot market are gone, at least for the time being. The buyer’s market continues for these properties.

Resale condos – Sales are up significantly, but also are market times – and prices dipped between 6-8% last month. It’s still not a bad time to sell and upgrade to a detached home though. A buyer’s market for resale homes means the equity in your condo may get you more home than it would have in the past.

New single-family homes – Compared to last month, fewer of these homes sold. As a result, the median price fell slightly and average price increased slightly. Year-to-date however, new home sales are up significantly over last year. The Seller’s market waned for this housing type, and if July’s numbers mirror June’s we may see an emergence of a buyer’s market in this segment.

New condos –  More new condos are being sold this year than last year, though June prices dipped compared to May’s. It’s still not a bad time to consider investing in a new condo as a rental. As interest rates rise, vacancy rates decrease (more people rent because the cost of borrowing on a house goes up). Currently vacancy rates are very low in many local areas.

Resale single-family and condominium homes: (“Resale” means pre-owned/not newly built.)

  • A total of 308 resale homes were listed for sale last month – 38 of these were condos. This brought the total number available to 936 in June.
  • 198 of these homes sold – 47 were condos.

The median selling price* of resale single-family homes was $470,000 in June, down 2% ($9,975) from May’s $479,975 median. The average sale price was $509,257, down 0.6% ($2,897) from May’s $512,154 average.

The median selling price* of resale condos was $236,730 in June, down 8% ($20,770) from May’s $257,500 median. The average price was $245,147, down 6.4% ($16,766) from May’s $261,913 average.

* “Median” means half the homes sold for more than this amount and half sold for less than this amount.

  • Resale single-family homes sold in June were on the market an average of 62 days – two weeks less than in May and two weeks longer than during June 2006.
  • Year-to-date, resale single-family home sales (in terms of total sold) are nearly exactly what they were at this time last year. (From Jan. 1 through the end of June 2006, 873 homes had sold; as of the same time last month, 874 sold.) 
  • Resale condos sold in June were on the market an average of 63 days – 23 days longer than in May and 40 days longer than during June 2006.
  • Year-to-date, resale condo sales are 81% greater than last year at this time.

New single-family and condominium homes: 

  • A total of 79 new homes were listed for sale last month – 2 of these were new condos. This brought the total number available to 400 in June.
  • 56 of these homes sold – 4 were condos.

The median selling price of new single-family homes was $511,700 in June, down 3.5% ($18,300) from May’s $530,000 median. The average price was $563,188, up 1.3% ($7,214) from May’s $555,974 average.

The median selling price of new condos was $253,777 in June, down 6% ($16,213) from May’s $269,990 median. The average price was $254,843, up 16.5% ($36,180) from May’s $218,663 average.

  • New single-family homes sold in June were on the market an average of 101 days – 19 days shorter than in May and 12 days longer than during June 2006.
  • Year-to-date, new single-family home sales are up 18.2% compared to the same time last year.
  • New condos sold in June were on the market an average of 54 days – 27 days longer than in May and 17 days less than in June 2006.
  • Year-to-date, new condo sales are up 31% compared to last year.

Could this data be presented in a way that’s more visually appealing and/or understandable? Do you have questions about how to interpret what’s been presented? Please let me know by leaving a response below, giving me a call at (206) 465-3698, and/or sending an e-mail to jay (dot) matthews (at) century21 (dot) com.  I’m also happy to provide the same data for specific neighborhoods outside the Bothell area.  

This data was taken from reports published by the NWMLS.