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Good Real Estate News!

On January 19, the RI Association of Realtors issued a press release that single family homes sold in December (2011) increased 19% from a year ago. This was the 6th consecutive month of year over year increases! Pending sales (homes that are under contract but not yet closed), rose 17% from the year before.

Incredibly low interest rates, increased affordability and buyer demand are all given as reasons for the increase.

Having lived through the endless consumer retail sales reports of the "holidays", beginning on Black Friday and ending just before the new year, I think the "attitude" of the public is more upbeat, more hopeful, and more willing to spend than in years past.

So much of what we each do is motivated by how we "feel" and then what we say to each other in conversation about our "feelings"........ so I rejoice in this upbeat January 19 report. 

Spread the word. There is good real estate news. Let's keep it going.


New Year, New Batteries

*TIP: With the start of the new year, it is a good time to get on an annual schedule of changing the batteries in your smoke alarm. Batteries need to be changed at least once per year and the entire smoke alarm unit should be replaced every 8-10 years.

The NFPA and U.S Fire Administration have lots of information on fire safety and tips.


Have a safe and Happy New Year!



Welcome New Jamestowners

Last week I sold a house to a couple with an 11 year old child.  Due to the hurricane, they moved to town from another area of the country just before school began.  The parents told me that one thing that helped to make the transition smooth was that their daughter got a part in the upcoming Jamestown Community Theater play.  Their comment made me think for a moment about what it might be like to move as often as this family has, and how important it is that there is a welcoming atmosphere to allow people to acclimate quickly to their new home and have a sense of "belonging".  In this case, Mary Wright, the founder of the theater, took time to get to know this family and, in doing so, gave them all a sense of the community. Some of us have moved very infrequently in our lives, and others move every few years.  It's good to keep in mind that a simple "welcome" can mean a lot.

If you are new to our community, give us a call here at Island Realty.  Our agents are involved in lots of different activities/organizations (Jamestown Arts Center, Jamestown Philomenian Library, Jamestown Soccer and much more).  We would love to tell you how to get involved and where you might meet some new friends.   -Ginny


Jamestown was Full of Fools this Weekend

This past weekend was the 34th Annual Fools Rules Regatta here in Jamestown.  This foolish tradition, sponsored by the Jamestown Yacht Club, is a unique sailing event where participants (fools) must concoct a vessel out of any non-marine items, and then attempt to race their ship 1,500 feet along the shore at East Ferry.  Fools have two hours to assemble their boats.  In the past, boats have been made from everything from ice, to Volkswagons, doghouses and toboggans.  Awards given out include the Karl Smith Most Ingenious Design, Worst Example of Naval Architecture and the Frank Newman Judges' Award, given to the boat and crew with the best historical theme.  For beginners, the advice given by Chris Powell, chief fool, is to "basically try to build something that will stay together. Remember, you have to be able to steer it. It's not just a downwind course."

There is no cost for participating in the event, but proceeds from the sale of T-shirts and hats go to local charities (Sail Newport, the Conanicut Island Sailing Foundation, the North Kingstown High School sailing team) after expenses are paid.  This year, according to Candy Powell, "There were 50 entrants, the majority of whom came from Jamestown and other RI communities. There were also entrants from Oregon, Maryland, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, and Massachusetts, and spectators from as far away as South Africa. A great time was had by all!"


What A Bay!

DeWolf Tavern, BristolLast week was a big anniversary celebration for my husband and I. There was only one place we wanted to be: on the water in Narragansett Bay. We sailed off our mooring on the east side of Jamestown and headed for Bristol late one morning. After a lovely, short sail which took us along Prudence Island we arrived at the harbor. The friendly Harbormaster gave us a mooring # and told us that because we were just stopping for charge. We rowed into the closest dock, hoping it was "allowable" to store our dinghy. The sign said the dock is reserved for patrons of a number of places, and one of them is where we had planned lunch, the DeWolff Tavern. We walked up the dock, into a charming, historic stone building and out to the terrace. We enjoyed a fabulous lunch (my husband recommends the seared sea scallops with garam masala sauce) and then had another beautiful sail home. We were in Jamestown by 5 after a glorious outing. Another Narragansett Bay gem.



And They're Off! The Transatlantic Race 2011

This week, thirty sailboats have begun leaving Newport on the 2,975 nautical mile Transatlantic Race 2011 to England. Due to the various classes and sizes of the 30 boats entered — ranging from 40 to 289 feet — there are three separate starts. The first two waves left Sunday and Wednesday. The last boats depart on July 3.

While trans-Atlantic races have traditionally left from New York, this is the first to go from Newport. The boat that finishes with the fastest elapsed time will set the benchmark from Newport to Lizard Point in southwestern England, to be ratified by the World Speed Sailing Council.

Pictured above is The Maltese Falcon, which departed on Wednesday in the largest group of yachts.  Built by Perini Navi, the 'Falcon' is a clipper sailing luxury yacht, commissioned and formerly owned by American venture capitalist Tom Perkins. It is one of the largest privately-owned sailing yachts in the world at 88 m (289 ft).


The Return of Dockwise

Each year in the late spring, the huge orange ship shows up in Newport Harbor to begin its delivery of yachts transported here to Narragansett Bay to spend summer in arguably the best sailing/cruising area in the United States. 

I checked out their website a little while ago. There are 4 ships, including one super sized ship, that travel to about 18 destinations worldwide to pick up and deliver. Destinations include the cruising grounds many of us are familiar with, including St. Thomas and the Bahamas. But in fact, New Zealand, Tahiti, Turkey, France and Italy are among the other interesting ports where Dockwise makes regular stops.

I took this excerpt from their website, but there is lots of interesting information, so I’d suggest you check it out. Meanwhile, if you’re out in the bay, it’s fascinating to watch the unloading of the yachts. And in the fall, the ship reloads and takes its cargo to winter cruising grounds.

Dockwise Yacht Transport (DYT) is the world's leading yacht logistics company offering hassle-free yacht & boat transport to the most desirable cruising grounds of the world.
DYT serves its customers with a global network of 10 offices and representatives. With its own fleet of semi-submersible yacht carriers, DYT provides top quality service and reliable scheduling throughout the year.

-Ginny Prichett


Harbingers of Spring 2011, Jamestown Style

I received a big pot of  pansies for my birthday last week. I put them outside during the day and in the garage at night. I may have killed them. The temperatures last week? Well, let’s just say the daytime temperatures were about 10 degrees below the norm for this time of the year.

This morning, it was 38 and, with the wind felt like 25. But I noticed some things. It’s April 1. The
daffodils are up and have buds (though tightly closed). The pussy willows are actually just past their
prime and are starting to sprout.

At Dutch Harbor, in West Ferry this week, I saw 3 cars in front of covered boats, and heard the whirring sound of industry readying boats for the season. Bill and May Munger and their able crew at Conanicut Marina are putting out the moorings and readying the docks on the harbor front. At Clarke’s Boatyard there is lots of work going on indicating the hope of the boating season approaching.

Last week I noticed something on Sunday. The first is that in the north end where my husband and I walk our dog each week, there were quite a few cars. This is not completely rare, but what I noticed is a true harbinger of spring.  About 5 of the cars had out of state license plate and were driving very slowly, taking in the views and looking at the homes.

I may be an optimist, but in real estate, this truly is a harbinger of spring. I’ve been selling real estate since 1989. I’ve always lived in the northeast neighborhood of Jamestown on or just off, East Shore Road. Never does a spring approach that I don’t notice the cars, driving slowly , taking in the views and looking at the homes. That’s how it begins. There is hope.