NeighborWorks® of Grays Harbor contributes to the community conversation on housing issues through a weekly column in the Daily World titled "Nailing it Down."


 Since 1999, the "Nailing it Down"articles have been published in the Daily World and other countywide weekly newspapers. NeighborWorks® of Grays Harbor County has collaborated with local newspapers, elected officials and local experts to publish articles covering hundreds of topics.



Nailing It Down

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If home purchases are any indication – and we think they are – people are continuing to discover what a great place Grays Harbor is to live.    The residential real estate stats for the month of May – the latest stats available – show that in nine of the last 15 months Grays Harbor is a seller’s market.

“This seems to be caused by a continued influx of buyers from out of the county; attracted by our temperate climate as well as our home prices and lifestyle values,” said Tom Quigg.

Quigg, who founded the Aberdeen and Ocean Shores Windermere Real Estate offices in 1991 and 1992, respectively, examines the county’s real estate market each month, based on data provided by the Northwest Multiple Listing Service (NWMLS).

“For the first five months of 2019 the North Beach region has experienced a significant increase of homes on the market. For the same time period, the City of Ocean Shores has reported 83 building permit applications for stick-built homes,” Quigg said, adding that fo...

The Grays Harbor County real estate market got off to a great start this year! In the first quarter, it took the top spot for the annual percentage change in the number of home sales of the 15 Western Washington counties.

Encouraging home ownership is one of the goals of NeighborWorks of Grays Harbor, so from time to time we like to share information about what’s happening in the local real estate market. Also, with the spring and summer being popular times to buy and sell houses, we thought we’d give you an idea of the current real estate climate.

Compared to the first three months of 2018, all of the 15 counties were down in sales, but Grays Harbor was by far the smallest decrease at 2.6 percent down. (For comparison, Mason County was down 10.3 percent, King County down 10.6 percent, Thurston County down 12.2 percent,  Pierce County down 14 percent and San Juan County down a whopping 32.3 percent.)

There is some speculation that very poor weather in February impacted the market the firs...

March 19, 2019

Typically we start writing about spring cleanup jobs this time of year, but with our recent snow, we suspect we aren’t the only ones who aren’t quite ready to dig into spring chores.

Besides, in the last two weeks we’ve talked about the importance of building inspectors and discussed if buying a fixer upper house is a good fit for you. So today, we’re advocating that you hire a home inspector before buying any house you’re seriously considering as your next home.

Think about it, if you buy a used car you might kick the tires and check out the interior, but if you’re not a mechanic, you often hire a trusted mechanic to take a deeper look before you invest.

A house is an even greater investment! Yet many people don’t think to hire an expert to “look under the hood.”

We highly recommend that if you plan to take advantage of the low interest rates and lower prices around here to buy a house, you spend a little money to hire an inspector for his expert opinion.



After “f...

March 12, 2019

Is buying a fixer upper house right for you? It’s no secret that you can get more house for your dollar in Grays Harbor than nearly anywhere else in the state! Hoquiam was recently listed as the fifth most affordable city!

Interest rates are still low, too which may help you to consider buying a house!

The down side is that inventory of “for sale” properties is currently low, giving sellers a potential advantage. That fact might entice some buyers who wouldn’t normally consider a less expensive “fixer upper,” to do so.  Frankly, not all “fixer uppers” are created equal; nor are all new homeowners equipped to be fixer-uppers!

How do you know which repairs you can handle? How can you tell the difference between a diamond in the rough and a money-pit? We hope to shed some light on the topic today.


Did you know that sellers and realtors are required to inform a potential buyer of any “material facts” they know about a property? This would include any information that could...

August 14, 2018

House sales in our county have remained strong through the first half of the year with Grays Harbor County a clear seller’s market for three of the past four months, according to Tom Quigg.

Quigg, who founded the Aberdeen and Ocean Shores Windermere Real Estate offices in 1991 and 1992, respectively, examines the county’s real estate market each month, based on data provided by the Northwest Multiple Listing Service (NWMLS).

The Grays Harbor housing units sold in June – 152 – is up 21.6 percent from May and up 2.7 percent compared to June 2017. In addition,   the average price houses sold for in Grays Harbor in June was $202,000, up 1.5 percent compared to May and up 9.2 percent compared to last year. The median price was $194,000, up 10.9 percent from June of 2017. (Average price is determined by adding up the total of all sold and dividing by the number sold. The median price is found by lining up all the prices and finding the middle one.)

In the first quarter of this year (Januar...

The real estate market is heating up here on the Harbor. As we mentioned in last week’s column, Grays Harbor County was the second of the 15 Western Washington counties by percentage increase of homes sold in the first quarter of 2018 as compared to the first quarter of 2017. Yes, we’re up 7.7 percent in sales from January through March as compared to last year!

We were also ranked the first in price increases for the average sale price – up 27.5 percent from a year before.

Of course if you are looking to buy a house, that price increase likely won’t thrill you. However, if you look around at all, you’ll realize that you can get a lot more house in Grays Harbor County for your dollar than you can just about anywhere else. Besides, the relatively low interest rates still make it a great time to buy or sell a house.

So, all that talk about buying houses, may just have you considering whether you want to look for a house to purchase on the Harbor this summer.

Perhaps you’ve found yourself wit...

After many years when things didn’t look so bright, the last couple of years the housing market in Grays Harbor County has rebounded beautifully with signs it will continue to grow.

In fact, in the first quarter of this year, Grays Harbor ranked first out of 15 Western Washington counties for the average sale prices increase – with prices up a remarkable 27.5 percent over the first quarter of 2017. It was also listed second of the 15 counties in the percentage increase in the number of homes sold compared to the year before – up 7.7 percent.

“This was big news for us,” said Tom Quigg, founder of the Aberdeen and Ocean Shores Windermere Real Estate offices in 1991 and 1992, respectively.

“In all the years I’ve been in real estate, we’ve never ranked so high in any category,” he said.

Those statistics come from what is known as The Gardner Report, written by the chief economist for Windermere Real Estate.

In addition, Quigg compiles a monthly report of the housing market

in Grays Harbor County...

It’s not just the summer sun that’s making things seem bright in Grays Harbor, in many ways things are just looking up around here!

Perhaps you’ve experienced that rise in optimism yourself as new neighbors move into the empty house down the street, you see construction of another new business, and one more of your friends finally finds a good job.  

In the last couple of weeks we’ve talked with Tom Quigg , owner of Windermere Real Estate Ocean Shores,  who let us know that home sales are up and home values here are on the rise.

Not only do housing statistics show that more people are making Grays Harbor their home, but there’s also been an uptick of people discovering what a great place this is to visit.

Last week we talked with Mike Bruner, director of the Grays Harbor County Tourism Office, and learned that Grays Harbor County saw a 9.4 percent increase in tourism from 2015 to 2016. 

 That is approximately three times the increase in tourism the state had during the same period...

 Here at NeighborWorks of Grays Harbor we’re not just interested in helping others buy, fix-up or rent a home, we like to encourage the overall health of our community – including the economic health!

That’s why we were so encouraged recently when the 2017 Grays Harbor Economic Vitality Index was released.

This document is compiled by the staff at Greater Grays Harbor, Inc., our regional Chamber of Commerce, Economic Development Council and Visitor Information Center all rolled into one.

CEO Dru Garson took us on a little tour through the numbers recently. And, to   
sum it up, overall the right numbers are up and the right numbers are down!


“The unemployment rate is an important indicator of economic well-being,” Garson said. It is the percentage of the total labor force that is unemployed but actively seeking employment and willing to work.

Grays Harbor County has one of the higher unemployment rates in the state, but the good news is it’s on its way down!


Summer is a typical time to buy a new house. Often parents wait to move until the end of the school year, plus houses just sparkle better in the sunshine.

Currently the low interest rate – under 4 percent – makes a home purchase that much more affordable and thus more attractive.

And here on the Harbor, our significantly lower prices for both houses and land, coupled with our relaxed, outdoorsy way of life, is beginning to draw people to the area again.

More available jobs are also drawing – or keeping – residents here! In fact, the latest labor statistics from the Employment Security Department show 25,475 employed people in Grays Harbor in April. That’s up from about 24,658 in April 2016, and will likely continue up with some new employers in the area and more coming.

“Any economist will tell you that as the job market improves, so does the housing market,” said Tom Quigg, owner of Windermere Real Estate, Ocean Shores.
 You all probably know about the Mattress Ranch...

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