Southern Oregon Real Estate Show - Water Testing
Southern Oregon Real Estate Show - Water Testing with Kim Ramsay
Full Video Transcript Below
[00:00:00] Alice Lema: Well, good morning, everybody. Welcome to the real estate show. I'm Alice Lema. I'll be your host today. I'm a broker at John L. Scott here in lovely Southern Oregon. And what an interesting week we had, we had a little bit of everything, you know, weather-wise this is the end of October, tomorrow's Halloween.
[00:00:23] We've had some wind, we've had some rain. We've had some sunny days. There's been times when you needed your air conditioner. There's been times when you needed your heater. So that's, that's all what October is about. And you know, this week, our local real estate market was very much like that too.
[00:00:37] We had a little bit of everything. We had some new listings coming on. Some of them sold right away. Some of them didn't, some are languishing. We have an awful lot of price reductions. We've got a lot of back on the market, especially in Jackson county and in Klamath county. And then we have some bidding wars still, you know, so it's really mixed, but again, just to reminder, that's what a transition market is.
[00:01:02] The other thing that's kind of weighing in is we're having low appraisals again. I'm not saying everybody's having a low appraisal, cause we did have one that was $50,000 high, but then we've had a whole bunch that are five to $30,000 low in all neighborhoods, all counties. So if that's happening to you, it's okay.
[00:01:23] It's normal in a transition market, actually in real estate, sometimes even in a normal market, it happens. But the're all things you can do to prepare. So talk to your agent about that. In the meantime, we're going to get ready to do our show here, and we're so happy to have Kim Ramsay from Nielsen research labs here today.
[00:01:42] And we're going to talk mostly about water because you know what happened during the drought, these last few months, the water purity changed. So we definitely want to hear what Kim Ramsay of Nielsen research labs has to say about that because she actually had people come in with their water and things were different and they didn't use to be like that.
[00:02:02] Nielsen also does other kinds of environmental testing for different things. We're going to talk about that. It's going to be great. We love having Kim Ramsey of Nielsen research labs on. But especially to document this weird thing that happened with the water purity in Southern Oregon we think because of the drought.
[00:02:18] Okay. So stay tuned for that. We're also welcoming for our market watch segment at the end. So stay tuned for dave and Shelley Culberson of John L. Scott. They're going to be joining me for a few minutes to talk about the market in general. What happened this week? Start making some predictions of what's gonna come for 2022.
[00:02:38] So it's going to be a great show. I hope you'll stay tuned. We're going to be back here shortly after a quick word from our sponsors. And we're happy to be sponsored by John L. Scott of Southern Oregon. Rogue Valley Association of Realtors and Guy Giles mutual ,of Omaha mortgage. Do not touch that dial. We have a great show. We'll be right back.
[00:03:01] Well, welcome back folks to the real estate show. I'm Alice Lema broker John L. Scott here in Southern Oregon. And today we are super, super excited. When we're favorite all-time favorite guests, Kim Ramsay from Nielsen research labs. How are you, Kim?
[00:03:15] Kim Ramsay: I'm great. Thanks. Thanks so much. That was a nice introduction.
[00:03:22] Alice Lema: Well, it's so true. Our listeners love, love, love when you're on, because you're a wealth of information. And you always have some really great stories.
[00:03:31] Kim Ramsay: Okay, well, I'll see what I can do.
[00:03:34] Alice Lema: So first of all, how is everybody at Nielsen research labs doing with the COVID and the shutdown and labor problems? Like how, how has everything going for you?
[00:03:44] Kim Ramsay: No, surprisingly it's fine. We haven't, we, we actually didn't stop working at all. We, I had, I think one or two employees work from home couple of days. That was it. We decided it wasn't working for us because of the, distance we had with the laboratory the staff. We split our lab up into two different departments in the very beginning.
[00:04:08] Yeah, we were trying. We didn't know how bad the virus was going to be. I'm like, just like everybody else. And so what we did was we had two different shifts. So we had the first group coming in around 6:00 AM working until like three. And then the second group came in around three 30 and work till I don't know, like nine or 10.
[00:04:24] And so that way, if somebody contracted the virus, then we wouldn't have to shut our entire lab down. Because you can imagine with us being part of our community and the health department with our health, if we couldn't test the water, what could, what would happen to Southern Oregon? We ended up doing that for awhile and it was really hard on our staff because we're really, really tight. We're real tight family.
[00:04:48] So we actually did something crazy and we adopted two cats from cats, the Committed Alliance for Strays.
[00:04:56] Alice Lema: Is that right?
[00:04:57] Kim Ramsay: Yeah two office cats now. And they live in the office. They live in the office part and one's name is Copper. The other one is molybdenum. We call her Molly B and together, and we became this really nice tight unit.
[00:05:12] And we're all back to normal schedules that didn't last that long. And we haven't had a staffing shortage. We've had a really, really good retention. Yeah, we didn't, we actually ended up hiring a bunch of interns to work for us this summer because of the fires. So we actually been overstaffed.
[00:05:34] Not affect at by COVID other than Molly.
[00:05:39] Alice Lema: Wow. Wow. So I'm guessing that those kitties are named after elements of some kind.
[00:05:47] Kim Ramsay: Of course they are.
[00:05:48] Alice Lema: But I can figure what copper is. What's the other one. I can't even say it.
[00:05:51] Kim Ramsay: It's a metal.
[00:05:53] Alice Lema: Okay. You guys are so clever. That is so fun. So one of the things that's happened this year, besides the fires and the COVID is we've had kind of drought conditions. And so I was just wondering how that is affected if at all, any of the test results that are coming back from people's wells.
[00:06:16] Kim Ramsay: Actually it has, it's substantially changing and not for everybody. So it's hit and miss. We'll see somebody that's had really great water and all of a sudden come in and say, something's not right.
[00:06:28] It's, it tastes funny. It's, it seems harder, you know, can you retest it? And we'll retest it and it is completely different, really, to the point where it first, when they started coming in, I was questioning did we make a mistake? I mean, cause we have such tight quality control that it's pretty hard to do that. But I mean, we are human and, but it is, it's definitely different.
[00:06:54] It's hit and miss. I mean, we'll get some, somebody that the neighbor and their water's completely fine. And then next door, all of a sudden, really hard water, we're getting more salt water. People are running out of water. It's, it's definitely impacted our community substantially. And I don't know if it's necessarily the drought or if it's, if it's maybe because there's a lot more wells because of our cannabis industry.
[00:07:15] And I don't want to put blame on the cannabis industry, but there are a lot more wells that were drilled because of that. So I don't know what it is, but it's significant.
[00:07:24] Alice Lema: Well, did I hear you say the word salt.
[00:07:28] Kim Ramsay: So chloride and sodium together, make your salt content. And there are saltwater wells around here, a lot of them. And so when you get a salt water, well, it's really expensive and hard to treat. And unfortunately, some people just cap those wells.
[00:07:45] Alice Lema: So cap them and then drill another one at a different property.
[00:07:50] Kim Ramsay: And a different depths, and then hoping, hoping they find water. We're finding it's usually mostly the hardness that's changing really hard water is popping up more.
[00:08:03] Alice Lema: What does that mean for those who don't know what hard water means? Chemically what are you talking about.
[00:08:08] Kim Ramsay: Hard, hardness is a calculation between calcium and magnesium. And so we get the calculation and then we determine how hard the water is. And so there's, there's levels of hardness and it's, we calculate milligrams per liter.
[00:08:21] It's also the same thing as parts per million, but the pump companies, water treatment they calculate in grains per gallon. And then I'm going to give you a math number and you don't have to memorize it. We'll call you up. If you have your number, you can call us, excuse me. And we'll calculate it for you.
[00:08:35] But you basically are going to divide your parts per million by 17.118. That gives you your grains per gallon. We say that anything over six grains per gallon, you might want to consider water softener. You're going to see some spots and staining on your fixtures that, you know, your, your whites may not be as whitened out of the laundry.
[00:08:55] It's going to be harder on your hair, your skin. I mean, it's just harder water, city, water, Medford city water, you know, isn't normally soft. And so we're used to that and same with a lot of other cities. And so when you have a, well, that significantly hard it's, it's hard on your plumbing, on your, on, you know, your clothing, everything.
[00:09:14] Alice Lema: So if these changes are happening and people are starting to notice that I just, I think you caught me by surprise. I'm a little alarmed. I wasn't expecting to hear that drastic of a, of a report of changes.
[00:09:28] Kim Ramsay: And it's not all of them. It's, it's, you know, one, we probably get one a week where we have a homeowner and their water changed. It's I mean, and we get hundreds of samples. So it's not that many, but it's enough that we, you know, we'd never had it before.
[00:09:43] Alice Lema: Yeah. Yeah. So and water table level changes could do it. Is that kind of what we're thinking?
[00:09:51] Kim Ramsay: Yeah. Maybe our aquifers are changing, so we're hitting a different aquifer or, you know, something's happening or maybe we're in another aquifer that somebody else's has joined with. You know, maybe they drilled a well, as you know, and now we're sharing the same aquifer.
[00:10:08] Alice Lema: So if a home, if a homeowner's concerned about this, what kind of test, what do you test for. Somebody comes in and says, something's gone weird with my water. What do you, what do you suggest they test for?
[00:10:22] Kim Ramsay: That's a good question. So we actually have a pack that we do for the top 35. What that is is it's the 35 most common contaminants that we found in Southern Oregon. So we built this little package. And it's going to have a lot of the Nim, so that like that the nitrate and nitrite sulfates, chlorides and then we also have a heavy metals, arsenic seds, or not plural, but arsenic, cadmium, chromium.
[00:10:47] And then we have seen what these static things like hardness and iron and so in turbidity. So we built this package. It's come in, you, we need a quart of water for it. We need it within 24 hours. You bring your sample in on ice and we test it for you and get the results about three to five days, how long it takes us.
[00:11:06] And then it's a comprehensive test. So then we'll go through it with you and help you kind of figure out what's going on with it.
[00:11:13] Alice Lema: Yeah, you guys are amazing. I love when results come back. If there's any question you, you get right on the phone with people and help them understand given some suggestions. So that's always been really great. That's partly why we love you.
[00:11:26] Kim Ramsay: Thank you. I always say it's like the ingredient list. And so, you know, when you go to eat something or drink something, you always want to know what's in it. Well, it's kind of the same thing with the drinking water. So this is your ingredient.
[00:11:38] Alice Lema: Yeah, that's a great way of looking at it now, if are there any elements that maybe people that are elderly or young children might be more sensitive to.
[00:11:47] Kim Ramsay: Definitely. So nitrate is one that we worry about with young, you know, six month and under babies, pregnant women that causes the, the blue baby syndrome.
[00:11:58] And so that actually is one of the Southern Oregon Jackson county is one of the hotspots for Oregon. So. We have some of the highest nitrate levels in the entire state of Oregon, us and Harney county. And so we're on the hotspot list and that's because of our agriculture. Nitrate comes from fertilizer.
[00:12:19] We always worry about arsenic. Arsenic is another hotspot in Jackson county. I don't know why we got so lucky, but we did. And so arsenic is something that we worry about with, with everybody. I mean that one's dangerous. Lead, lead is not naturally occurring. It's not going to be in the well. It comes from plumbing and it comes from like led soldering or whatnot from that type of thing.
[00:12:44] So you, we typically see that in the home, but know if you have something that as an older home and your well, water is a little bit corrosive, then it's going to leach that lead. And then, so we certainly worry about that with children. Aluminum, they're trying to link it with Alzheimer's. And so back to the elderly, they're trying to link that with Alzheimer's disease.
[00:13:04] It's not proven yet, but it is something that they're watching. They meaning the EPA and of course, heavy metals that we worry about, but they're the big, big two are arsenic and nitrate risk because of our location.
[00:13:20] Alice Lema: wow. So if, if that shows up in your purity tasks, your top 35 than there are possible solutions, you can talk to a well person about it.
[00:13:32] Kim Ramsay: You can, can treat almost anything. The ones that are hard to treat are boron you can only treat about 60% of it, and it's not toxic to humans, but it's very toxic to your plants. And so that one is hard to treat and especially if you're going to use it for irrigation purposes and you're going to treat it, it's a very costly and then the other ones that are easier to treat. And you can do like a reverse osmosis unit for, for nitrate, for arsenic.
[00:13:59] They have whole house units for those. Salt is, like I said, is a little bit harder to treat because you're gonna need a whole house, system for that. And again, that's substantially expensive. And then bacteria, which we didn't mention, coliform bacteria, we test for, and we look for icoli as well that you can get a UV light or a chlorinator or something like that.
[00:14:19] And that's not very costly, but I have a UV light at our house.
[00:14:23] Alice Lema: Yeah, I think those are great. Those are good. Then you don't have to worry about it at all.
[00:14:28] Kim Ramsay: Yeah. Well, when my neighbor flood irrigates is when I need to worry about my bacteria for some reason.
[00:14:34] Alice Lema: And that's interesting water. Fascinating. It really is the chemical.
[00:14:39] Yeah. So ecoli shows up like when we're buying and selling houses, it's surprising how often that shows up.
[00:14:47] Kim Ramsay: Oh yeah. Yeah. It is surprisingly common.
[00:14:50] Alice Lema: So, and people, some people do get alarmed, especially if you've never owned real property before. Can you talk a little bit about the bacteria and like how it gets in the well, Or how it shows up on the test?
[00:15:03] Kim Ramsay: Well, sure. e coli from bacteria is really common it's we test it on a regular basis. And it's, it's also something that we find in more shallow wells. So the shallower the, well, I mean, less than a hundred feet shallower the well, the more likely you're going to have bacteria. The deeper the well, likely not unless your aquifers contaminated.
[00:15:22] And so, you know, we look for coliform. If coliform is present, then we'll go further and look for e coli. And e coli is the one that's human or animal waste. And so that aquifer you can assume is contaminated. Usually we see high levels of e coli we also are concerned, maybe there's nitrates. Cause remember nitrate comes from fertilizer, then concerned about surface water influence.
[00:15:45] Is this well cased well, and. Is it a hand dug well, or is it properly dug? What kind of well is this and then construction. And that kind of gives us an idea of what we're looking at as far as this the, well, in general, as far as the, the health and safety of it. And that'll give us an idea of whether or not it's true.
[00:16:06] Alice Lema: Wow. That is so interesting. Well, we've got a break coming up. We're talking to Kim Ramsay of Nielsen research labs here in Medford, Oregon. Just getting all kinds of great information. We'll be right back after a word from our sponsors. We're brought to you by the Rogue Valley Association of Realtors, John L. Scott at Southern Oregon and Guy Giles and Mutual Omaha mortgage. Do not touch that dial.
[00:16:30] Well, hi again, folks. Welcome back to the real estate show. I'm Alice Lema. I'm your host today. I'm a broker at John L. Scott here in Southern Oregon, and we're having a really great conversation with Kim Ramsay Nielsen research labs in Medford, Oregon.
[00:16:44] And before the break came we were talking about e coli and bacteria and how common it is in some of our local wells. And and then speaking about some of the changes maybe because of the extra well drilling that's been going on. And I wanted to talk a little bit about how water tables react when you have a lot of demand on them and how that might lead to contamination.
[00:17:06] Kim Ramsay: Well, that's more of a geological question. I'm not a geologist, but, or hydrologists, but anyhow it's in general when you're going to pull from the same aquifer, anytime anybody can contaminate an aquifer from whether they have agricultural issues or not.
[00:17:23] I mean, if you have a say, for example, you have a a farm and you have all these, all these cattle. And your well is contaminated. Not properly sealed your well is ha has the ability to be contaminated and it could contaminate the aquifer as well. But in usually what's happening when we're punching into the same aquifer is we're all using the same water. And then they're going to have a water shortage.
[00:17:51] And so that's, that's been kind of, what's been happening is people are noticing that, you know, there's more wells that are being drilled and all of a sudden they're running out of water. And when, when people, when you run out of water, I mean your water, you can go from 15 to 20 gallons per minute, down to three to four.
[00:18:09] And some people are, you know, we're hearing people putting on holding tanks and drilling new wells, and they've never had to do that before. And a lot of it could be the drought.
[00:18:20] Alice Lema: Yeah. Now you've been around quite a while in Southern Oregon. Your family's been here a while. So is this different? Is this this year different or does this happen every so often where you start seeing changes in the chemical makeup of water?
[00:18:35] Kim Ramsay: No, this is different. This is, this is something that's new. I mean, this is very different. This is something that we have not experienced before with the the water chemistry, you know, we've heard about people running out of water. You know, Sam's valley has a problem. And you hear about that every now and then.
[00:18:49] So we've heard about that. The amount of water that that is changing and the amount of wells. And this is, I mean, honestly, I've talked to the state geologist about it because this is something they're seeing on a regular basis here. And it's, it's unusual to all of a sudden have a well pristine and wonderful. And we've had something like a bed and breakfast where, you know, you're serving, water toall these wonderful people and charging them money to come and stay, and now you can't even serve your water because it tastes terrible. Completely changed the chemistry of the water and they did nothing. They didn't do anything. It just, all of a sudden changed. And that's something that we haven't seen before. And like I said, I contacted the state geologist, let them know we're seeing this. I can't give them everybody's data. It's all confidential, but I can give them a general idea of what we're seeing.
[00:19:39] Alice Lema: Did they have any response?
[00:19:43] Kim Ramsay: I mean, it's state government, so they're not into it.
[00:19:47] Alice Lema: Yeah. Yeah. Keep it on the hush hush till they figure it out too. They probably don't want to come out in the public and say anything until they know for sure. So are there different parts of the valley that traditionally have different predictable chemistries? Like when, when you see something coming from Cave Junction versus Eagle Point, are there any chemical makeups that are kind of like specifically local to a certain area?
[00:20:14] Kim Ramsay: Yeah, we have hotspots. Well, there's, there's hotspots for boron, fluoride, nitrate arsenic, bacteria. We have known areas in our valley where somebody says, I live on this street and I'm like, Ooh, you want to do some testing?
[00:20:32] So, yeah, definitely. There's known areas. You know, if you're looking at buying a house, you might want to give us a call and we'll tell you what tests to buy or to do. And like, you know, likely it's obviously going to be the top 35, but we might be, we really pushed in the boron or the flora area.
[00:20:50] Alice Lema: And you also have one of your lab packages, if you will can test, the can test the ditch water. Did I understand that correctly from your, or is it just?
[00:21:02] Kim Ramsay: We have an irrigation package?
[00:21:03] Alice Lema: Irrigation package, that's what it was. What is that?
[00:21:06] Kim Ramsay: Yeah, it's, it's very similar to the top 35. It's just going to give you a little bit more information, like the sodium absorption ratio on the live package, which is for the vineyard package, that's going to give you a little bit of, I think it's sodium absorption as well, and some other things, and don't ask me what those mean.
[00:21:25] I'm not a gardener but it obviously means something very important to our cannabis industry and our vineyard industry. And that those numbers are important to them. So we can do them and they, they find them very fascinating.
[00:21:41] Alice Lema: Yeah, I didn't realize you have like a vineyard package.
[00:21:46] Kim Ramsay: Yeah. And we do gap testing gap is a good agricultural practice. And so they require, the FDA requires coliform count. So it's not just a presence/ absence. Do you have it or you don't have it. It's an actual number. So we give them a count of how many bacteria and they have to do that on a regular basis.
[00:22:04] We do all kinds of stuff here. If you, if you got some reason, you need to have your water tested, whether it's you're buying or selling a home, or whether you're you have a vineyard or a farm or something where we can help you get you all straightened out.
[00:22:19] Alice Lema: It's just amazing. The selection you guys have. Super, super cool. So. Even in town, people asked me about testing their water. Are you seeing any more people doing lead from their in town, kitchen sinks, or are they doing testing? Do you see much testing from water in town?
[00:22:37] Kim Ramsay: Well, that's still required. So they're in fact that the rule just changed again, the EPA has changed it, but it's required for all schools to do testing. Still it's required for all daycares to do testing. It's required for all public water systems and public water system is anybody that provides water to the public.
[00:22:54] So this water public water system can be as large as the city of Medford or as small as maybe a school, a mobile home park, something that's on a well that's providing that water to the public. And so that that's required under the public water system regulations to do lead and copper testing and school leads and daycare.
[00:23:15] Leads so, yeah, we get those on a regular basis and we get them from a whole state. I don't know if you know, but our lab is the largest lab in the entire state of Oregon. Yeah, it's funny cause we're in Medford, but we really are the biggest lab. And so the other labs subcontract their samples to us.
[00:23:31] And so we ended up getting leads from all over the schools. Every, all the schools in the state, they come down and little daycares from all over.
[00:23:39] Alice Lema: And that is quite an honor. That really is. Hardly anybody knows that.
[00:23:44] Kim Ramsay: Well it's yeah, cause we're Medford, but it's by, we're not the largest by how many employees. We have 24 employees and we're not the largest by our square footage. Our buildings are about, oh 15, 20,000 square feet, but we're the largest by our accreditation. So we have more capability in our laboratory than any other lab in the state and we're licensed, accredited for it.
[00:24:08] Alice Lema: That's super cool. Congratulations. That really is awesome. So what are some of the more unusual requests your lab might get then if you have like such a breadth of testing that you can do, what are, what are some of the more unusual things that we would just not think of?
[00:24:24] Kim Ramsay: Well, I, we do Legionella testing Legionella. So Legionnaires' disease. Legionella is so it's a waterborne bacteria and we're the only CDC lab accredited in the state of Oregon as well. So we do get some samples from all over the state for Legionella. And that's when water has been sitting in the up pipe at stagnant stagnation and it kind of aerosols. So we worry about that. Like in showers, gym showers, or whatever. Motels and if they haven't been using that water for a long time, so we do, we get a lot of Legionella.
[00:24:54] We do a lot of soil testing. So during the fires that we had here locally unfortunately they, they were doing all the cleanup. And so just to make sure that the. The ground, you know, the soil was okay to start rebuilding and putting back these homes before the infrastructure went in, they did all testing for soil. So we were testing the soil for heavy metals on for the fires here. We do stormwater testing. We test methamphetamine for the, for the meth. Oh my goodness. You name it. We do.
[00:25:27] Alice Lema: So how does somebody bring a sample for a, you're talking about a building that may have been exposed to methamphetamine, sowhat kind of a sample do you bring.
[00:25:38] Kim Ramsay: It's a wipe samples, so, okay. So basically take four sections and they're four square feet, and then you're going to do a wipe sample, and then we put on these bowl vials and analyze it for methamphetamine.
[00:25:50] This is when they've actually. You could test it if you think somebody was, you know, doing meth in the house. But it's usually for the meth makers. Sowhen their, you know, manufacturing, meth. He goes to the Oregon health authority and then, you know, that goes through that program and then they have to do the testing to get a certificate of fitness.
[00:26:13] Gotcha. But yeah, asbestos, lots and lots of asbestos on bulk materials, basically anything that has to go to the landfill, that's a building material. The DEQ wants that tested for asbestos to make sure that it's, you know, free of asbestos. Does have a, you have to bag it separately and submit it differently.
[00:26:34] And that's just because, you know, one, we're protecting our environment. Two, we're protecting our workers that work over there as well. I don't want to just put something on them.
[00:26:43] Alice Lema: So I wanted to loop back to the fires just briefly in the few minutes we have left because some of the mobile home parks had wells and many of the mobile homes have tons of metal in them, especially the older ones.
[00:26:56] So what was that like? Were you guys getting all those tests, samples coming in for the water? Yeah. For the water and perhaps the you're talking about the soil.
[00:27:06] Kim Ramsay: Well, yeah, we definitely had all the soil samples and we tested a lot of the water that was coming in. A lot of homeowners actually did a lot of testing, because one, we're worried about bacteria with, you know, You know, pulling these pumps and a lot of pumps actually fell in the wells. I don't know if you know that, but no. Yeah. The pipes melted and then of course was the fire was so hot. And so that makes sense. Pump companies all over, we're pulling out these, these pumps and starting over again, we were worried about the plastic pipes, leeching benzene, because that, that was a thing in Santa Rosa area.
[00:27:41] So a lot of benzene testing, they've been testing for heavy metals. They've been testing for bacteria because of so much water usage that we have trying to put these fires out. And then that brings me to let you know that there is a program through the Oregon health authority and it's the, it's a voucher program.
[00:28:01] So the Oregon health authority teamed up and with a bunch of local labs and you can go if you have a, well, that was within a hundred feet of a fire, then you can apply for a voucher and get free, well testing. And so you'd basically just go get the, you get the voucher. Bring it into our lab. We'll get you all set up.
[00:28:21] And then we submit the data to the state and a copy to you and it's all free. And then it's take, it's going to stay in place for the rest of the year. And I think iteven goes into next year.
[00:28:32] Alice Lema: Wow. Well, and that's actually helpful. Isn't it? That's something that they did for the fire victims.
[00:28:40] Kim Ramsay: It is nice that it's for arsenic, nitrate led and a bacteria.
[00:28:44] Alice Lema: Very cool. Very cool. Well, Kim Ramsay, I wish we could have you on more often and we might just have to make it a regular thing. Thank you so much for joining us on the real estate radio show today. We're speaking with Kim Ramsay. She is the vice-president of Nielsen research lab here in Medford, Oregon, and apparently the largest yeah, the largest lab in the state of Oregon. Thank you so much. We'll see you next time.
[00:29:12] Kim Ramsay: Sounds good. Thank you so much.
[00:29:13] Alice Lema: Okay, folks, stay tuned. We have our market watch segment next. Stay tuned for these sponsors.
[00:29:19] Well, welcome back to the real estate show everybody. I'm Alice Lema. I'm a broker here at John L. Scott in Southern Oregon. Your host for today, and I'm welcoming Shelley Culbertson of John L. Scott also for our market watch segment. Welcome Shelley.
[00:29:33] Shelly Culbertson: Well, hello Alice.
[00:29:35] Alice Lema: This is so exciting. We're so happy to have you on you're one of my favorite real estate brokers, and you have a depth of perception about all things, real estate and Southern Oregon. You've been doing it a long time. And you know, it's been such a weird world out there. We were talking, you know, during the break, I just kind of wanted to get your assessment about the changes and what it's been like for you and Dave.
[00:30:00] Shelly Culbertson: You know, it's been really interesting Alice, and there's a word that a lot of people have thrown around since the beginning of 2022. And that's the word new normal. And it's really interesting because prior to what went down, the first part of 2022 prior to COVID, we knew what a normal market was. And now I couldn't even define what a normal market is because it's done one extreme to the other in the matter of 18 months.
[00:30:32] Alice Lema: Yeah. Yeah. You were mentioning during the break, you know what it was like to be a buyer before versus now.
[00:30:39] Kim Ramsay: Yeah. Do you know? It's interesting because a buyer in January of 2020, before COVID hit, it was, it was a market to where a buyer didn't have a whole lot of competition out there. There was some inventory. If there were houses they were looking for, they sometimes had 10 to 12 to choose from wouldn't you agree.
[00:31:00] Alice Lema: Yeah. And they had time. They had time to think about it.
[00:31:02] Shelly Culbertson: They had time to think about it. And we, we go forward to what's happened the last 18 months and a buyers had to learn as one, do I even want to be in this market? And if I'm in this market I could be up against multiple offers. So how do I put my best foot forward?
[00:31:20] So I get the house and somebody else doesn't. And then this other word of backup position came about, which does sometimes work. It does. And it works actually more often than other times in the last year and a half, because a lot of buyers will get caught up in the competition of being against other offers.
[00:31:44] And when they went out, they wake up the next morning and go, what did I do?
[00:31:50] Alice Lema: That is exactly what happens. What did I do?
[00:31:53] Shelly Culbertson: Yeah. So it's just, you know, if buyers have to be much more savvy in this market they have to know what their, I call it their no regret pricing is.
[00:32:03] Alice Lema: That's a great way of putting it. No regret pricing.
[00:32:08] Shelly Culbertson: And the way we look at it and educate our buyers is in the sense of when you enter in and we can look at a house, I want you to walk away and let's look at that house. And as to what is the highest that I'm willing to go. And if I don't get it, I'm okay.
[00:32:23] Alice Lema: Yeah. That's a great way of putting it. Yeah. So have you had a lot of buyers when they do backup offers have, have very many of them been gotten that phone call back again?
[00:32:33] Shelly Culbertson: Oh yeah. We, in fact at one, one of the houses, we went into fourth backups. And my buyers are now living in that house.
[00:32:45] Alice Lema: You are the bomb. My goodness. That's awesome.
[00:32:49] Shelly Culbertson: Yeah. And you know, and what's really nice about being as a buyer being in that backup position. There is no really they have nothing to lose, right. Because they have nothing on the line and, and they can still go look for other things. Until that first, first buyer that's in the first position walks away. Then they have to realize if they're going to step up to the plate or not.
[00:33:11] Alice Lema: And I don't think people realize that why don't you describe, you know, when the phone call comes, says you're in backup, what your choices are in that moment? Because I don't think people realize how easy it is.
[00:33:20] Shelly Culbertson: You know, when you are offered that back a position, or a lot of times as a buyer, you could ask to go into backup. You do not have to put up earnest money at that point. Basically all you're doing is go Mr. Seller, please hold my position. If the first decides to walk away, no inspection to have to be done, appraisals do not have to be ordered.
[00:33:40] You do not have to apply for your loan and your timelines in the contract don't even come around unless the first walks away.
[00:33:49] Alice Lema: Yep. It really is Bulletproof. Isn't it?
[00:33:52] Shelly Culbertson: Yeah. And when that first walks away, you still get a time period to decide if you still want to move forward with that house or not.
[00:34:00] Basically what it means is you usually have 24 to 48 hours to make a decision. Do I still want that? Before it goes back out to the public and the MLS.
[00:34:09] Alice Lema: Isn't that fun? Yeah. Great. Great. So let's talk about your sellers. What's what's been going on with your sellers attitude.
[00:34:18] Shelly Culbertson: Well, you know, it's interesting. Cause a lot of times we'll get the questions, especially from people that are curious in the market of what their value, their home. Because they're thinking about selling, they throw that question out there. How's the market. Yeah we hear that all the time. And as you would probably agree with me, the market Eagle Point is very different than the market east Medford, which is very different than Jacksonville.
[00:34:42] None of our markets are identical. So it's kind of a loaded question. And so with, with somebody that's thinking about selling we play a lot of future talk with our sellers in the sense of where are you going to land? Why do you want to sell? If you're looking to sell just to cash in on where they think the market's at, you got to have a landing point. Because if your house is in a certain price point, a hot, hot place, it's still moving quickly and they are, they need to have an exit strategy. There's no more thrown out there to see what we're going to get.
[00:35:16] Alice Lema: Good. That does happen. Yes. I'll give you over your full price, but you have to be out in 10 days or something crazy like that.
[00:35:24] Shelly Culbertson: So, you know, you got to really have those discussions with your seller on exit strategy and it needs to be pretty solid.
[00:35:30] Alice Lema: So where are people going? Like when you what is your experience since the shutdown? Are people staying in the area or are they relocating outside southern Oregon.
[00:35:40] Shelly Culbertson: You know, the biggest things that we've seen, we seen a couple of things. There was a mad exis to Idaho this year. We had four people moved to Idaho.
[00:35:47] I don't know they're high, high rent district out in Idaho right now. But the other two very intriguing things we saw with people was when people had to start working from home, their house has got very small. So we found a lot of people needed bigger houses.
[00:36:05] Alice Lema: Yeah. More rooms, bigger rooms. Yeah. Yeah.
[00:36:08] Shelly Culbertson: And we also saw an influx of people wanting to go from being in the city to rural property. And we're still seeing a lot of that, I don't know about you, but seeing a lot of people want acreage now.
[00:36:20] Alice Lema: Are those locals or relocators.
[00:36:23] Shelly Culbertson: I got a lot of locals that are looking to, to move, to spread their wings out to some acreage.
[00:36:28] Alice Lema: Oh, that's good. Cause you know, with the interest rates so low, our locals can afford it.
[00:36:33] Shelly Culbertson: Yep. And it's very, and the interesting dynamics of this market is that we, I call it kind of a lateral move. You're going to make a lot of money on your house right now. I mean, house values, we learned this week over a year, over year, the average house in Jackson county went up $40,000.
[00:36:54] Yeah. And, and in that same note, if you're going to get high dollar for your house, if you're going to stay in the valley, it's a lateral move. You're going to pay high dollar. So this day of selling high buy low, this is not quite the market for that. But if you think that maybe I want to make a move out to rural, or I want a larger house or a smaller house, you know, it's an ideal time.
[00:37:17] Alice Lema: Yeah, well, Shelly, it's so great to talk to you. If somebody wants to get ahold of you or Dave, how did they do that?
[00:37:23] Shelly Culbertson: You can go to our website and it is the Culbertson team.com And Dave's better answering his phone than I am. And his phone number is 541-941-9559
[00:37:43] Alice Lema: that's awesome. Well, I hope you'll come back and give us another update. It's always fun talking to you. Shelly Culbertson, the Shelly and Dave Culbertson team. John L. Scott here in Medford. Thanks so much. Thank you folks for tuning into our radio show. This broadcast will be repeated again tomorrow on Sunday at 6:00 PM.
[00:38:02] Thanks to John L. Scott Southern Oregon Rogue Valley Association, Realtors and Guy Giles, Mutual Omaha mortgage. Have a beautiful week.