Relief in Sight for Homebuyers in High Priced West Coast Cities

It’s been tough being a homebuyer on the West Coast. Prices have been surging for years as house hunters fight for the few available listings. Now the tide could be shifting.

As sellers come off the sidelines to lock in gains, they’re starting to boost inventory. New data by brokerage Redfin Corp. shows that supply in several U.S. markets is rising in the places that need it the most, like Seattle; Portland, Oregon; and San Jose, California.


The rise in inventory in these West Coast housing markets has slowed the torrid price increases in the region and, in turn, in the U.S. as a whole, where prices grew at their slowest pace since December 2016. The cooling includes the pace of sales as well. While sales increased in June in many of the nation’s biggest markets, including Chicago (9.8 percent), Washington (5.7 percent) and Houston (2.4 percent), declines out west were so sharp they dragged the national figure down to a drop of 3.3 percent.

The pain isn’t over. The inventory shortage is still very real in many West Coast markets — some have only a few months of supply. And if the skyrocketing trajectory of prices has eased, the increases still consistently outstrip wage growth. The median home in San Jose sold for $1.23 million in June.

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FREE – San Diego’s Master Gardeners help home owners make their yards Earth Friendly

The Earth-Friendly Gardens program is designed to help San Diego County residents evaluate management choices when caring for outdoor spaces.

The program is built around eight simple principles: select appropriate plants, nurture the soil, manage pests responsibly, protect wildlife, grow food, conserve water, protect air quality and reduce waste. To certify your garden as Earth-Friendly, you need to check off a minimum number of items for each of the eight principles. To learn more, visit the UC Master Gardeners website at and click on the picture of the Earth-Friendly sign.

UC Master Gardener Valorie Shatynski became familiar with earth-friendly gardening practices as she grew up in southern Oregon on a family farm. They raised flowers, onions, sugar beets and turf to harvest their seeds for sale to major seed companies. One of Valorie’s tasks was removing weeds and disposing of them outside the field to prevent reseeding. Removing weeds is extremely important in the seed business; companies reject products contaminated with weed seed.

You can evaluate how you are doing as an Earth-Friendly gardener using the Master Gardeners’ idea-filled checklist, available at Click on the Earth-Friendly Garden sign. As a reward for your efforts and to support our non-profit countywide program, purchase an Earth-Friendly Garden yard sign. It is a great way to share with visitors that your garden is sustainable and a conversation starter about earth-friendly gardening.

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Make your home less of a health hazard

These tips aren’t medical; they’re environmental. What’s in your house, condo or apartment can impact how healthy you feel.

Essential indoor air quality

Energy-efficient home building codes can have a big impact by keeping air (and pollutants) locked inside.

“WWYW coined the term Tight Box Syndrome to describe the ventilation issue,” says Cooke. Harmful toxins are in products like paint, furniture finishes, carpeting, flooring, mattresses and even appliances and TVs, she adds. Cleaning products, pesticides and synthetic air fresheners can also adversely affect indoor air quality.

Kitchens and baths

Both of these well-used spaces can create IAQ issues, Cooke and Kreuzinger agree. And both require excellent ventilation systems. In the kitchen, “Recirculating hoods do not remove enough contaminants from the air,” WWYW’s founder advises. Not cleaning them regularly is another problem. “I personally think the solution is as simple as using a hood that supports disposable wool filters. They are compostable and are a natural fire retardant,” Cooke says. They are also easy to change and maintain, she adds. (If you’re not purchasing a new vent hood for your kitchen, check with the manufacturer or appliance instructions to make sure the one currently installed will work properly with disposable wool filters before purchasing them.)

Sleeping areas

“Allergens in bedrooms have the greatest effect on allergies because of the amount of time one tends to spend there,” the doctor says. “The most common indoor allergens are dust mites, pets and molds. Dust mites are very prevalent in beds, so we recommend covering mattresses, box springs and pillows with special casings and washing all bedding in hot water every two weeks.”

“Natural bedding made of cotton, linen, hemp or bamboo should be considered for comfort,” Cooke says. “Mattresses made of quilted or tufted all-natural materials including wool and cotton batting should be your first choice in achieving a healthy bedroom.” The others can include toxins, she says, and should be stored in a garage during their off-gassing period.

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