Sometimes we hear stories about people doing amazing things and it gets us a little inspired. Sometimes we hear stories about people overcoming obstacles or beating the odds and that gets us a little inspired. And sometimes, you get placed in the presence of people that are doing those amazing things while overcoming those obstacles, and without any thought of not being just "what they do". It's being in the presence of those people where you can be inspired to your inner core! That's how my family and I feel about the Vukich Family, and more specifically, Mr. Cole Vukich!
We were lucky to meet the Vukich family through the University Place youth sports program when Cole and his twin brother Case were placed on the Tee-Ball team I coached the spring before the kids started school together. I'd heard about Cole and the cancer fight he'd been dealing with since the age of two. His story had struck a chord with me because I'd lost my Dad to a similar type of cancer in 1994. Knowing what my Dad went through in the last years of his life made Cole's story as a kid even more amazing.
The first day of practice I went out there knowing Cole was on the team but we'd yet had opportunity to meet. I scanned the group of typical rambuncious four year olds in front of me looking for the "kid with cancer" but couldn't find him. "Is he here?" I thought as I asked the kids to tell me their names. As we went down the list I heard this rather outgoing little guy say "Cole" when asked his name. I thought no way is this the kid I'd heard about but sure enough, that kiddo, different from nobody standing there, was him. It was then that I realized I was in the presence of something a little different.
If you didn't know already, you flat out couldn't walk up to my team and pick out the "kid with cancer". You know why? It's because we don't have a kid with cancer. We have Cole, and he just happens to be the kid kicking Leukemia's butt! That surely doesn't define him though. He's as crazy, or crazier than any kid I know. He's as happy, or happier than any kid I know. And he's just as athletic as any kid I know. Hearing about what he deals with on a daily basis no doubt makes him "the toughest kid I know". I tell him all the time he's the toughest kid I know, and the smile he gives back is enough to inspire me like nothing I've ever been around.
The stories over the last couple years are pretty awesome and the stories yet to come are sure to be even better. The next time we cross paths just ask and I'll share a couple with you. In the meantime, take a look at this article from the Tacoma News Tribune's front page. It talks about his Dad doing the Firefighter's Stair Climb to raise money for the Leukemia/Lymphoma Society. That's a great event and I highly recommend you donate to the cause. However, the real story here is one of inspiration and how one kid's blind toughness can inspire others to do everything they can to be their best all the time. Thanks Cole Vukich, and the Vukich family. It's a true honor to have your presence in our lives.
Click here for the News Tribune article: http://goo.gl/0We1d
Click here to donate to the Firefighter's Stair Climb event: http://goo.gl/27q09
Kirkland, WA, January 17, 2013 – Members of Northwest Multiple Listing Service tallied 64,624 closed sales of single family homes and condominiums during 2012, improving on 2011’s volume by 8,332 transaction for a gain of nearly 15 percent.
Last year’s completed sales included 55,699 single family homes and 8,925 condominiums. Together, these sales were valued at more than $19.9 billion, which compares to the previous year’s total of around $16.7 billion (up nearly 19.6 percent).
Median prices area-wide increased by $10,000 (about 4.3 percent), rising from $235,000 to $245,000, although not all areas reported gains. Mason, Snohomish and King counties reported the healthiest jumps.
Prices on single family homes rose, while condo prices fell. The median price for single family homes that sold last year was $255,000 across the 21 counties, improving on the previous year by 8.5 percent. King County claimed the highest median prices for single family homes ($365,000), while the most affordably priced homes – based on 2012 median prices – were located in Pacific County ($111,000).
Condo prices declined about 2.7 percent, with the area-wide median price falling from $180,000 in 2011 to $175,200 for last year’s sales.
Inventory also shrunk from 2011 levels year as a result of stronger sales and fewer new listings. Over the course of the year, brokers added 10,071 fewer new listings to the Northwest MLS database when compared to 2011 for a drop of 9.9 percent.
In its annual statistical summary report for its 20,000-plus brokers, the multiple listing service examined various indicators of activity. Among the findings:
- Single family homes accounted for about 86 percent of the sales volume as measured by units, and nearly 90 percent of the dollar volume.
- About 40 percent of last year’s sales were for homes in King County.
- About half the homes that sold last year (48.8 percent) had 3 bedrooms, while more than three-fourths of condos (77 percent) had 2 or fewer bedrooms.
- Last year’s sales included 7,710 newly built single family homes and 930 newly built condominiums. Of this new construction component, new condos fetched a higher price ($331,888) than newly built single family homes, which had a median sales price of $299,950.
- Northwest MLS brokers reported 1,254 sales with prices of $1 million or more, including 1,116 single family homes and 138 condominiums. More than half the top-end homes were located in Eastside communities, including Bellevue, Kirkland, Mercer Island and Sammamish.
- The highest priced single family home in the MLS system that sold last year was on Mercer Island (with a selling price of $21.625 million), while the most expensive condo ($4.25 million) was a penthouse in a downtown Seattle high-rise.
- Northwest MLS members reported 93,778 pending sales (mutually accepted offers) during 2012. That marked an increase of about 15.6 percent from 2011 when members logged 81,109 pending sales. (Note: Not all pending sales become closed transactions. Failed home inspections, mortgage loan rejections, low appraisals and contract contingencies are among many factors that cause transactions to be cancelled.)
- The pace of sales as measured by “months supply” (an estimate of how long it would take for all inventory of active listings to sell at the current pace assuming no new inventory is added) showed a system-wide total of 3.15 months, which compares to a figure of 5.02 months for 2011. Based on this barometer, both King and Snohomish counties averaged less than two months of supply during 2012. (Analysts consider a supply of 3-to-6 months to be a balanced market, meaning the market favors neither buyers nor sellers.)
Northwest Multiple Listing Service, owned by its member real estate firms, is the largest full-service MLS in the Northwest. Its membership includes more than 20,000 real estate brokers. The organization, based in Kirkland, Wash., currently serves 21 counties in Washington state.
Are you still with me? If so, Here's the complete report……All 37 pages of it. Read and enjoy! As always, I'm here if you'd like some of this information broken down into details. Don't hesitate to drop me a line….
I stumbled across this story today and felt it necessary to share. People like this make the world around them better. It amazes me how 24 notes on a trumpet can stir about so much emotion.
Take a look:
Have a great day!
In 1997 I started working in ticket sales for the Seattle Seahawks. It was my dream job (at the time) and everything about it was pretty much awesome. One of the coolest coincidences was the Seahawks acquisition of Jon Kitna from Tacoma's Lincoln High School. Jon had starred at baseball and football at Lincoln then went on to a great career at Central Washington University. If not for a chance meeting with Coach Dennis Erickson, whose son was also a student at CWU, that would have been the end of it and Jon would have gone on to a teaching career with some football coaching on the side.
That wasn't the end of it though. Coach "E" saw Jon play and decided he needed a "shot" at the NFL. He had an NFL body and the mind of a mathematician. That combination is rare, so a chance he got. First the practice squad, then the NFL Europe where he ripped it up for the Barcelona Dragons. From there, Jon made the active Seahawks roster and actually started quite a few games while battling Hall of Famer (and Husky Legend) Warren Moon for playing time.
One of my favorite things about working for the Seahawks was the fun interaction I experienced with Jon. I was sales guy and he was a practice squad player turned NFL starter….That didn't matter though. We were both kids from Tacoma walking through NFL halls and absolutely loving it. There were more than a few times when we talked about the old neighborhood and how cool it was to represent our home town together. Jon knew that he could have been making ticket sales calls like the other former college athletes that were in my department. He was living the dream…And I was happy to be witnessing it first hand.
Then came Mike Holmgren and the fit for Jon wasn't right. Jon signed with Cincinnati and went on to play with Detroit and Dallas….15 years in the NFL! While playing pro football Jon never lost sight of his first dream….Teaching math and coaching high school football. Last year, when his career finally came to end, Jon immediately jumped into the "dream" career he always wanted. A month into his "retirement" Jon started teaching and coaching at his alma mater, Lincoln High School.
It really is a story worthy of front page news. He doesn't have to be there. He doesn't need to be there. He's chosen to be there with intent to make a true difference. It's great when pro athletes make appearances at schools and hospitals to lift spirits and sign autographs. What Jon is doing at Lincoln is amazing, inspiring, and absolutely fantastic. It's more than an appearance, it's immersion in the community. To him, it's what seems right.
There have been nice articles written locally but this national one I've linked below really tells the story well. There is a lot more to be written about Jon's journey but the start is something pretty legendary already. Coach Kitna is doing things right. Stay tuned…
Here are the schedules for our favorite football teams… Get 'em on your calendar…Football season is HERE!!!
Here's an interesting news piece from a recent Philadelphia newscast. It talks about how people are getting ready for the US Open Golf Tournament that will be in their area at Merion Golf Club in 2013. Specifically it focuses on people renting their homes out for the weeks leading up to and after the tournament.
As you probably know, University Place, Tacoma, and Pierce County will be hosting the event at Chambers Bay Golf Course in June of 2015. This will mark the first time our area will host an event like this. In fact, this is the first time ever the US Open has been awarded to a Northwest course.
The US Open will bring lots of people to the area and with that comes opportunity. Opportunity to show off the area we love so much, opportunity to shine in the areas of transportation and logistics, and opportunity for local people to earn some extra money by leasing their homes during the event.
To learn more, take a look at the "US Open" tab on stevesloboda.com. Please feel free to email or call me direct should you want more information. I'm currently taking names and addresses of interested homeowners looking to join the list. I'll be working closely with national firms, travel providers, local venues, and official tournament organizers to deliver housing that can fit all the various needs they'll have. Corporate clients, media members, players with their families, and visiting golf enthusiasts will all need places to stay. Most people want to be nearby but unfortunately, University Place has exactly ZERO hotel rooms. Sure, Tacoma, Lakewood, Seattle, and surrounding areas will have hotel rooms for rent but close to Chambers Bay is where people will want to be.
There will be leasing opportunities that come up way before, and for many years after the US Open as well. Chambers Bay is one of the only public courses to ever host this event. That means it's one of the few prestigious US Open courses that anyone can play. People will come from near and far to play the course where Tiger, Phil, Bubba, and Ernie are going to battle for the US Open Championship.
Think about it…Would you pay $100 to play football with some friends in a stadium about to host the Super Bowl? Would it be worth a few bucks to shoot hoops on the court before the NCAA Final Four? Well, here at Chambers Bay, people will have the chance to play on the same course where it will all go down in 2015! Pretty exciting if you ask me…
Take a look at this link to see how other areas are gearing up for the US Open in the years before it arrives here in University Place.
Have you seen Oscar Pistorius run yet? He's the South African double amputee who fought for the right to compete against able bodied athletes. This summer he will be competing for gold in both the 400 meter and 4×400 meter relay.
Seriously….How cool is that?
My Dad lost part of his leg in 1993 and he all he wanted to do was golf again. He worked hard to get there and did eventually achieve that goal! Memory of his struggle is something that inspires me to do better.
I hope you are enjoying the Olympics. My family sure is… I'm here if you need help with anything.
My new obsession with HBO’s “Game of Thrones” made it so I had to share this.
One of Britain’s most historic country mansions has gone on the market for the bargain price of $3.8 million. Not bad considering the British government bought it just eight years ago and spent $6 million dollars renovating it. You’ll have to live without bathrooms though because this palace is missing its ‘throne room.’ The whole story is here.
Just more proof that buyers want updated baths! I hope you’re having a great day – Let me know if you need anything.
This week we are spending time in Fairmont Hot Springs, Canada. Way up in the Canadian Rockies, this resort features golf, hot springs pools, kids activities, and beautiful scenery. It’s been a family tradition for my wife since she was a kid. It’s been fun to share the experience with our kids. We’re having a great time -
If you’ve never been here, I suggest you add it to your list of “must do’s”. It’s way up here but worth the drive for sure. Check it out here:
Have a great week…I’ll be in the pool, eh -
Are the longest breaks you take these days stopping for red lights and standing in line at the grocery store? Sometimes I feel like mine are. Why are we so bad at taking breaks, even when one would improve our energy level and our concentration?
Here are some ideas on how to take better ones. I like the “thumb and pinkie brain break.” What is your favorite?
Have a great day! Please let me know if you need anything.
Speaking of Breaks. Here’s a great way to spend four minutes….And put a hop to your step for the rest the day.