Ashland Summer Not So Hot

This has really been another mild Summer in the Rogue Valley. For an area that has normally seen a handful of 100+ degree days by now, they are nowhere to be seen.

Image by Cle0patra via Creative Commons

This is good news to many who do not like that hot weather…plus good news to keep the forest fires down, and the rivers and lakes full.

Unfortunately, Ashland Real Estate is not as hot as it could be either. Since Summer Solstice, there have been 36 sales in Ashland. There are currently 30 pending sales to go along with that.

But there is a supply of another 195 houses still on the market. With an average of about 19 houses per month selling, that has Ashland at a 10 month supply.

So to relate that back to the weather analogy.

If the normal real estate temperature at this time of the year is pushing 100 degrees, then this year we probably are looking at temps around 85 degrees. Still fairly pleasant, but definitely not hot.

Okay, enough silly weather analogies. I’m going to go out and enjoy the pleasant 85 while we’ve got it…cause you all know that fall is right around that next corner.


P.S. Remember…if you want to look at what houses are currently on the market you have find Ashland Real Estate Listings Here.

Ashland Not Dog Friendly

I first wrote about this last year in the post about the downsides of Ashland.

But the article in the Ashland Daily Tidings last week brought it up again. I don’t think the non-dog owners around Ashland understand how restrictive this town is. And why that is unnecessary.

I’ve semi-joked for years that I was going to run for Mayor of Ashland (mayorinakilt) and that one of my platform points would be to make Ashland more dog friendly.

I propose one out of every 4 Ashland parks is dog friendly. Ashland spends a lot of money on it’s Parks Department and many of the parks I have NEVER seen anyone in.

I propose that those parks have readily available waste management systems. I believe that part of the dog waste problem has to do with dog owners having to walk their dogs on the sly. Like walking them after dark when picking up after them is an issue. Plus if you are already doing one illegal thing by letting your dog in the park you are more likely to do another and not pick up after it. But with more dog owners using the areas, dog owners would police themselves, because we really do want to be looked upon favorably.

OR: if the city wants to be adamant about peoples pets being quarantined to one “dog park” that is a drive (read: making Ashland less walkable: more driving: bad for the environment) for most Ashland residents. Then there should be consistency for all pets. There are at least 10 cats on my block that roam the streets freely. They are pets, most of them having collars. Ashland should ban all cats from being out on city streets except we could give them Garfield Park (pun intended).

P.S. This is my first post from the iPad. The app apparently doesn’t have a save as draft function. I will attach links to my last blog post and the DT article when I return to my computer, but my only option at this point is to publish.

Now updated: Ashland Real Estate

Southern Oregon turns Gray

I just wanted to make one quick rant about the weather we are having in Southern Oregon this year. (And had last year too I suppose.)

What is up with the extended gray days? Is this a new weather pattern that is going to continue for the next decade? I remember back in the late 70’s when I lived in Klamath Falls that we used to get a lot of snow in the winter that stuck on the ground for a long time. Then in the next couple of decades, that all seemed to change.

It seems like there are definite cycles we get into. I might attribute it in part to our geography. Ashland seems to be at a line in the weather pattern. There is a definite difference in weather patterns starting 15 miles North, and 15 miles South. So any small change in the atmosphere may be more prominent here than in other locations.

But let me say I sincerely hope that this is the last of these long winter/spring years we have in a while. It is bad for the garden, and it seems to make everyone just a little down.

Every month we put an ad for our Ashland Property Listings in the Sneak Preview newspaper with a message. Something like “Homes are Affordable, It’s a Great Time to Buy” or “April Showings bring May Closings”…..

We try to be a little clever, or a little informative. (If they let me have the full say, we would be a whole lot sillier).

This month we joked in the office that maybe the message should be “Tired of the Weather? We can sell you house so you can move somewhere warm”. But the boss didn’t think that was the message we should send out. I think it would have made a bunch of people smile…but…..guess it was a no go.

Okay, enough of the whining. It is very green and beautiful here still, and I haven’t had to turn on the sprinkler system at my house yet. So I’ll just dose up on some more Vitamin D. Besides, it gives me more time to sit and learn how to use my new computer. Video editing, podcasting, and regular updates to my blog, website and social media sites.


P.S. Check out the new look of my website. Still needs some revisions, but it looks better than the last incarnation.

(readers say) Abolish Live Theater…It’s just Not Green

NPR does story on Oregon Shakespeare Festival

It was a good day of news for our little town of Ashland Oregon. NPR Weekend edition did a niece story about how even in this economy, the Oregon Shakespeare Festival had a record setting season last year. Fearing the worst, they cut the budget last year, and against predictions sold more tickets than expected.

You can read and listen to the news story HERE.

Now, I have to decide if I am going to break up my comments on this subject into multiple parts, or just rant.  If you go to the news story on, you can scroll to the bottom and read the comments of the listeners. Let me start by saying that being able to post anonymous comments on the internet is one of the worst features of the internet. The vile that is expressed on some comments makes me really question the goodness of humanity at times. So as a general rule, I do not read anonymous comments.

But, I thought what kind of hatred or vitriol could possibly come as a result of this story. It’s just going to be people saying how much they love Ashland and the Oregon Shakespeare Festival. Again, I was slapped by the bizarre face of  what people will say when they don’t think people know they are writing it. It wasn’t really hatred, like you see in news stories about politics…but it was…..well…….odd.

Essentially, the comments started with

Mark  wrote:  “Why don’t they hold their events during the day time? This way they can use sunlight to illuminate the stage and they can feel good about being green?”

David wrote: “Sorry, been there and this production doesn’t pass the “green” sniff test, or even close…..There is no reason these productions can’t be recorded and replayed via the internet. There is no place for productions like this in our “green” society. Using precious energy to repeat the same performance, over and over, is counter to “green” beliefs, I mean realities. Save the planet, abolish theatre.

Now where do you even start with that?

REALLY? Abolish live theater to save the planet? I have been known to be on the left fringe of what I see as politics. I believe that global warming is real. I believe that there needs to be a conscious effort to make this country a more sustainable place, and even in many “radical” ways to make that happen. But abolish live theater?  Or only hold theater events outside in the daytime? When does that start being kooky.  And what makes people get on the internet after hearing a story about a theater company being successful and start ranting about how they are not “Green” enough.

Mark goes on to rant about parking and valet service and lit parking lots at the OSF….obviously never having been here. Which makes it even stranger to me. At least that David dude said he had been to the Festival before. So does this Mark dude just go on every NPR story and accuse all business of being anti green because they have indoor offices? I wonder if the computer he uses runs on electricity, and if he pedals his bike powered generator to make it run.

Okay, I admit, I am on a Rant. And some people took up the cause on the site and refuted the people I am complaining about. I am not interested in giving them the satisfaction that I read it on the site.  But I couldn’t let that go without comment.

But for those of you who are interested in Real Estate in Ashland Oregon, and are interested in this green leaning town with the highest proportion of hybrid vehicles of anyplace that I know of, lets go find us a solar, straw bale house with a rain catchment systems, and plenty of land to grow your own vegetables. Maybe even room for chickens, a cow, a couple of sheep and bee hives. That’s my idea of how to save the environment…not Abolishing Live Theater. Honestly

Ashland Weather Compared to Bend Weather


The biggest difference is the temperature…and the low temp in Bend is makes it unbearably cold to me at night in all but the summer months. The averages are only about 5 degrees difference, but look at the charts for the extremes. The exteme low on record for Ashland is -5 degrees, where in Bend the extreme low is about -25 degrees.


ashland extremesASHLAND, OREGON (350304)

Period of Record Monthly Climate Summary

Period of Record : 7/ 1/1892 to 4/30/2009

  Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Annual
Average Max. Temperature (F) 46.4 51.9 56.6 63.0 70.3 77.8 86.8 85.9 78.6 66.8 53.5 46.2 65.3
Average Min. Temperature (F) 29.9 32.0 33.8 36.8 42.0 47.3 51.8 51.1 45.5 39.3 34.2 30.5 39.5
Average Total Precipitation (in.) 2.66 2.04 1.97 1.52 1.54 0.99 0.38 0.44 0.83 1.56 2.79 3.07 19.78
Average Total SnowFall (in.) 3.5 2.4 1.8 0.6 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.5 2.2 11.1
Average Snow Depth (in.) 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0

bend extremes


BEND, OREGON (350694)

Period of Record Monthly Climate Summary

Period of Record : 4/ 1/1901 to 4/30/2009

  Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Annual
Average Max. Temperature (F) 40.9 45.3 51.0 58.3 65.8 72.9 82.8 81.8 73.6 63.4 49.5 41.7 60.6
Average Min. Temperature (F) 21.5 24.0 26.3 29.6 35.2 40.9 45.5 44.3 38.0 32.0 27.2 22.8 32.3
Average Total Precipitation (in.) 1.78 1.19 0.88 0.67 0.98 0.91 0.49 0.45 0.45 0.72 1.51 1.86 11.90
Average Total SnowFall (in.) 10.6 5.6 3.4 1.3 0.3 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.3 3.5 8.3 33.4
Average Snow Depth (in.) 2 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0



Next time on compare Oregon Weather, we will look at the difference in cloud cover between Ashland and Portland.


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Ashland Oregon Fire

As a departure from the real estate news of this blog, I wanted to share some photos of the fire that is burning in Ashland, Oregon today. I want to start with saying that my thoughts and energy is with the people fighting this fire, and hope they are all safe. I personally know a couple of friends who I know are part of the fight. My wife who trained with CERT (Community Emergency Response Team) was called and dispatched to help…although I hope only with traffic control or the like.

I took some photos at about 11:00 this morning from Mistletoe Road. The intention of the photos was to show that even a town as beautiful as Ashland Oregon can on the wrong day, from the right angle look a little apocalyptic.



Reports from the Mail Tribune indicate that 

A fast-moving fire has scorched between 30 and 50 acres on the southern edge of Ashland and filled the skies over town with thick smoke and hot ash.


Witnesses said homes and structures had burned, but fire officials didn’t have details yet. The burnt remains of a home in the 1500 block of Tolman Creek could be seen.


(Mail Tribune Online  1:29pm on Monday September 21st).   I hope this is under control soon, and that the loss of property is at a minimum. And most importantly the loss of life is non-existent.   Animals included. Tomorrow I hope to be back to talking about Ashland Real Estate.


Ashland 4th of July

Ashland is great for celebrating holidays. And one of the best holidays of the year for Ashland residents is this weekend.

A firework in Bratislava, Slovakia, 2005
Image via Wikipedia

If you have been in Ashland for the 4th, you know what I am talking about. It is a great time to socialize with you fellow residents…and all of the people who have left town and return for this holiday.

My day usually starts with Breakfast at the Elks lodge, followed by watching the parade.
The parade is always entertaining, frequently controversial, and shows the best of a small town charm. The El Tapatio horses are always good. Plenty of people making political statements. And the question of how many naked people you may see.
Following the parade, a trip through Lithia park and the craft and food booths, and more finding and visiting with friends.
After that, I usually have hooked up with someone I know and go to Alex’s or the Siskiyou Pub for some music, beer, and more food.
During the course of the day, and years hanging around, a couple of BBQ’s usually require some attendance at. Preferably where a swimming pool is in operation.
Then to round off the night…dinner or drinks with friends. My house has great views of the fireworks, as do some good friends and neighbors. So a spot is staked out, and the fireworks are watched…
When that is all done, you are generally pretty exhausted and make your way to a good nights sleep.
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New Year–New Way to Search for Real Estate in Southern Oregon

Happy New Year all….mappicture

I am very pleased to announce the launch of a new property tool for Southern Oregon. For many years now, in fact longer than I have been in real estate, the general public has had limited options on how to effectively search the Internet themselves for homes in Ashland, Medford, or any part of Jackson County. If you are anxious to see the new tool, click on one of the links below.

Search for area properties by style

Search for area properties by map

I remember about 6 years ago, I was trying to get a handle on real estate…and did not have my real estate license yet..and I searched all over for the best way to keep up on what was going on with houses currently for sale in Medford and Ashland.

Sara Walker at Patricia Sprague Real Estate had a website that provided the best ability to search for real estate in Southern Oregon. In fact, 6 years later she still has the same site there. When I did get my license…I duplicated her websites ability on my own website. However, I always felt that there should be a more friendly way to look for properties. Maybe a search by map. Other areas in the U.S.  had much better tools than we had available here.

So I started to search for other companies that could take the information that we had available as Realtors, and turn it into a format that looked friendly to non-Realtors.

They were actually easy to find…however the stumbling block became the rules of our local MLS. The companies existed to format the information, our MLS just didn’t allow them to have it. In my opinion, this was a big disservice to everyone.

I went about trying to change the rules….2 years on the board later, 1 CEO change, 1 year pushing the tech committee that this move was not only the right one, but inevitable..and hours of research…finally this service is available.

In years to come I will work to make more and more tools available to Realtors and the general public. My value as a Realtor is not in the information I hold and protect, but in the information and expertise that I am willing and capable of sharing.

At this time, I am the only Realtor in Ashland who has this service..but I am not keeping it a secret. I have emailed every agent that I have in my database a link to it, and let them know it is available to them as well.

But for now, if you want to search for Real Estate in Ashalnd Oregon, visit


I look forward to a great 2009, and may you all have a prosperous year.

Ashland and Medford Oregon Real Estate Stastics show the Bottom of the Market Is Now

Okay, that headline was just meant to get you into the blog to read it. It is not really possible to know when the bottom of the market is, until 6 months after it has come and gone.


I will try to figure out a better way to insert graphs into my blog. However, if you follow the link below, it shows the 2 year trend of housing inventory in Ashland.


We are down considerably in inventory from the high of July and August of 2007. This is a good sign that the market locally has stablized.

It looks like there have been close to 18 months where the inventory is less than it was in the previous year. I believe as the confidence grows in the economy as a whole, and the housing relief that are being put into place by the government, that Ashland will have a healthy, stable market that many in the valley and Oregon will still consider to be overpriced.

 Medford is even more dramatic when you look at the graph. I really shows that last year was when the best selection of homes to buy was.

Medford Oregon Residential Supply of Homes 2 year graph (note, I figured out how to give this a better name, and cannot figure out how to edit the name of the Ashland chart)

Now I will not stake my reputation on it, because this really is crystal ball stuff. But I do want it on the record that I believe that this October/November/December will be the “bottom” of the market. And as I have said before…we really won’t know when the bottom is, until 6 months after it has gone.

So someone could keep me honest, and next June have me run the stats to see if that prediction is true.



New Property Tax Info for Jackson County is Out

 The information in this blog is provided courtesy of Jamie Baker, now of Ticor Title. It is mainly taken from an email that she sent out to Realtors in Ashland. But it is very good information.




2008/2009 Taxes have rolled for Jackson County!


(Ashland taxes have gone down!)



I just wanted to let you know that the 2008/2009 tax values are now available from the County. 


You may be surprised to learn that the Ashland taxes actually went down this year.  This is due to the fact that the 07/08 taxes included a bond for the schools.  Most accounts will see a decrease by a couple hundred dollars, but it has to do with the assessed value of the property itself.


I know a lot of you may be asking if you will see a decrease in your taxes because the property values are declining.  The answer to that question in a nutshell is “NO”Here’s why:


·         When Measure 50 was approved by voters in 1997, a MAV, or Maximum Assessed Value was established for each property.  That value was calculated for each property by subtracting 10% from the property’s 1995-96 Real Market Value (RMV).  Under Measure 50, property tax is based on the lower of either the RMV or the MAV. 


·         The MAV increases by 3% each year as long as the Real Market Value of the property is greater that the MAV.  As always, the Real Market Value changes with the real estate market. 


·         Since 1997 the real estate market (and Real Market Value) has seen unprecedented growth while the MAV has continued to go up the constitutional 3% per year.  This has caused the MAV to remain much lower than the Real Market Value, ranging from 35% to 65% of the RMV, with the average property’s MAV being 52% lower than the RMV. The Real Market Value would have to drop by 52% before the taxes would be affected. 


Per the County’s calculations, the changes in Real Market Value for the 08/09 year are as follows:


                        ASHLAND                                                    -11 TO 13%

                        PHOENIX/TALENT                                     -9 TO 12%

                        EAST MEDFORD                                        -18-21%

                        WEST MEDFORD/APPLEGATE             -17 TO 24%

                        CENTRAL POINT/SAMS VALLEY          -17 TO 20%

                        ROGUE RIVER AREA                                -9 TO 14%

                        NORTH COUNTY                                        -7 TO 11%


(The information above was shared with us(Ticor Title) by Dan Ross, the County Assessor.)




TAXES ARE DUE BY NOVEMBER 15TH, BUT THIS YEAR THE 15TH FALLS ON A SATURDAY, SO THE PAYMENT MUST BE IN BY MONDAY, THE 17TH.  If you pay in full by the 17th, you will receive the 3% discount.