Welcome to the news page.  Here you will find the latest real estate news and informative articles to help you successfully navigate today’s Leavenworth real estate market.  To the right you will find a list of recent articles to browse. 

July 16, 2018

Vacation Rentals - Why Leavenworth is Your Best Real Estate Investment Opportunity

The vacation rental (VR) industry was invented by my broker and business owner, Mike West, some 35 years ago as a way of justifying the price of buying a second home here.  Everyone now knows that with the income from a vacation rental, marketed through a local company like Destination Leavenworth, or AIRBNB and VRBO.  And unlike a monthly rental home, you get to use your vacation home whenever you want, while at the same time bringing in as much income as you would on a monthly rental, without being locked out, and without the upkeep of a monthly rental.

The graph provided by the City located in my Market Reports page clearly shows the consistent business income growth in the city, setting records every year since 2009.  So, Leavenworth is the place to spend your real estate investment dollars.

VR’s fall into a unique category.  They are not a business, so no business license or business tax requirements.   No sales tax, no use tax, or transient accommodation taxes to pay because a single family residential lease (SFRL) is not “transient accommodations”.   No more than required of a monthly rental single family residence, because a Vacation Rental is no more or less than a SFRL.  Washington courts declare that the length of stay makes no difference.  It could be for a year of an hour, a SFRL is a SFRL, then end.

Regardless of local government saber rattling to the contrary, there is no authority in cities or counties in Washington state to enforce the state Landlord/Tenant Act, which is what VR’s fall under, and they cannot change the nature of an apple by defining it as a skunk.  Which is exactly what they’ve done in their quest to weasel control over VR’s.  An illegitimate ploy to fear owners into compliance with their illegal desires.  Which works for the most part.  People generally avoid confrontations, and in the process give up their rights, but for those owners that do stand firm, there’s a great reward in the extra income, the increased value of the property, and the resale demand for a home that helps carry it’s weight.

Having lived beside a VR home, I’d much rather have VR guests staying than non-resident owners.  You can’t do anything with discourteous owners breaking the noise curfew, but guests violate their lease agreement when they do and can be thrown out on their ear by calling the rental manager.  VR guests come in with an attitude of knowing they are using someone else’s home in a neighborhood that is not theirs under a contract to pay for damage and so are more sensitive to disturbing the neighborhood.

So call me for more information on the benefits of owning a VR and let me help you purchase one for yourself.




Aug. 23, 2016

Open House!

I will be having an open house Wednesday August 24 from 12:30 pm to 1:30 pm at this location. Come and take a look at what we've got!

Posted in open house
Jan. 11, 2016

My Marketing Plan for Your Listing

The key to success in listing and selling real estate is a marketing plan. My marketing plan relies much on the 35 year reputation of our office...a well know and highly respected establishment in our community.  Both my broker, Mike West, and I grew up in Leavenworth.  Mike in the city, me in Merry Canyon.  Mike’s had his real estate license for over 35 years, I’ve had mine for 25.  Our office is in a good location close to the City Park (where everything happens), with easy access and comfortable parking, and it’s staffed 7 days a week. 

We have an office community fund where 1% of all our office gross receipts (and all receipts from event parking fees) go to aide community members in emergencies.  For example: We were able to give financial support to a family in a tragic automobile accident at the beginning of this winter.  And several times over the years we have been there with aid to families suffering from home fires.  We are consistent and dependable contributors to our local food bank.  We got our high school girls soccer team started some 20 years ago with a donation of funds to purchase their uniforms and equipment.  And out of the community fund we continue to support our community’s schools. We've given back to our community over $100,000, the community we love and that keeps us in business. The point being that Mike West Leavenworth Realty is known for its ready and willing participation in and contributions to the community, resulting in a steady stream of customer referrals to our office from our agent’s circles of influence.

I also rely heavily on the internet, as do all agents in today’s world.  Your listing would go into our North Central Washington MLS, where 260 agent members will have opportunity to show your property to their buyer’s.  It will be accessible through our office websites, all pointing to www.mikewestleavenworthrealty.com , as well as my personal website: www.tommerry.com, where properties may be interactively searched by map, or located by MLS # or location. We don’t use the Northwest MLS as we’ve learned buyers from the west side of the Cascades don’t look for Leavenworth area real estate in west side venues.  They search in Leavenworth, where we are.  

If you want the best real estate office in Leavenworth you'll choose Mike West Leavenworth Realty. If you want the best agent, you'll ask for me ;)

Tom Merry


Jan. 2, 2016

What we can buy and sell.

I'm always asked why Leavenworth area real estate prices seem so high compared to other eastern Washington areas. In large part it has to do with the amount of private property in Chelan County.  Chelan is the third largest county in the state of Washington, behind Okanogan at #1, and Yakima at #2.  Yet some 90% of it is owned by the government in some form or another, 6% is owned by timber companies, leaving the balance for you and I. 

If we take that 4% as 100% of the available property in Chelan County to buy and sell in, the Leavenworth/Lake Wenatchee to Steven's Pass area makes up 10% of that.

Then we have the matter of 4 million people living just 2 hours away who would love to own a property here if they could.  In a normal healthy economy the imbalance between supply and demand is great, causing the generally higher prices found in the Leavenworth area.

Home and cabin prices have been climbing since banks started lending again on home purchases in January of 2015.  Currently inventory is small in the home category, where lots are still plentiful.  The primary reason being that banks are still not lending on the purchase of raw land.  But if you have the right real estate agent, there are ways to overcome that obstacle, allowing you a beauiful site to build your dream retreat ;)

Posted in Leavenworth