Now contributing real estate related stories to the Suburban Times serving UP, DuPont, Lakewood, Fircrest, and Steilacoom.

Real Estate Agent with Windermere Real Estate/Professional Partners

New real estate column

My name is Steve Sloboda. I work with clients all around the service area of this publication and live in Lakewood. I'm Associate Broker with Windermere Real Estate/Paragon Co. in the University Place office.

From this point forward I plan to contribute real estate related stories, statistics, and opinions a couple times per month. As this develops I welcome your feedback, suggestions, and questions. Please feel free to visit my website at to learn more about my business and to contact me direct.

Now that the introductions are over, let's get to the bones of my first contribution. According to a recent release by, residential real estate average values in our local neighborhoods have dropped over the last year. You probably knew that already. What you didn't know (more than likely) is specifics by town.

The numbers by town are: (1 year change)

  • DuPont -7.1%
  • Steilacoom -8%
  • Fircrest -8.4%
  • Lakewood -8.6%
  • University Place -8.7%

These numbers seem large but in comparison to the big gains over the last 5 or 6 years, it is really nothing more than a small blip on the long term stat chart. These numbers are still below the United States average of -9.7%.

My take is that we are close to the bottom of declining values for awhile. In our area, recent activity has been increasing and most people I come across (in and out of the real estate industry) seem to be optimistic about local real estate trends in 2009.

If you are considering an investment in residential real estate now is the best time in recent history to take advantage of a rock solid buyer's market. If selling now, or considering selling soon, be patient. Educate yourself and be realistic about current local values as you negotiate your sale.

More will follow in the coming weeks. I look forward to your comments as I contribute to The Suburban Times.

Steve Sloboda is Associate Broker at Windermere Real Estate/Paragon Co. in the University Place office. Steve lives in the Oakbrook neighborhood of Lakewood with his wife Amity, and their two young children. For more information or to contact Steve direct please go to