Recently, I got together with my team to discuss some of the best reasons to invest in the Yakima Valley.
These are some of the questions they asked and the reasons why I think the Yakima Valley is an excellent place to invest in commercial property.
The agricultural industry in the Yakima Valley somewhat stabilizes the economy. Are there other factors that would entice apartment or duplex owners to own properties in Yakima?
I agree. The ag-industry is a stabilizer for us. If you chart the economic activity in Yakima, it’s pretty steady.
When other places, like Seattle, have huge gains of 20-30%, we will have 10-12%. However, when they have huge losses, we generally just go flat.
Another thing to consider is that with a stable economy, the population also remains stable or grows. There are fewer mass exoduses due to economic decline.
Is there anything the city/county government is doing to promote growth in the region?
Sean Hawkins, who is in charge of economic development and growth for the City of Yakima, is doing a great job. His department has put together many productive plans for business incentives and future building sites.
Aside from government, I’d like to mention Hogback Development. They are doing a great job of bringing retail here. They’ve built two retail/business shopping squares and will break ground on a new Home2 Suites by Hilton next year near the airport. Watching what companies like Hogback are doing can usually be a good indicator of where the economy is going.
I know we are a place that large companies look at because the labor force is strong and not highly paid. It’s the same story with land – there’s a lot of it and the price is reasonable.
Paragon Films is a good example of this. In 2012, I helped bring them into the Valley. They manufacture the shrink wrap you see around pallets. Paragon is based on the East Coast but wanted a West Coast manufacturing facility. Initially, they were looking at five cities but it came down to Union Gap or Reno, NV. Seeing the great opportunity for growth and stability, they choose us and purchased a 135,000 warehouse and have added tons of jobs to the area.
Sometimes people want to live in the same area in which they are managing and leasing properties. Why might people want to migrate over from the Westside to the Yakima Valley?
Simply put, our cost of living is much more reasonable. Not to mention that we have nearly 300 days of sunshine per year. Being originally from San Diego, that alone is worth it! It becomes a matter of what you value. Would you rather spend more time at work to afford what ends up being a much costlier lifestyle or have more time to enjoy your home and your community? Returns are excellent east of the mountains – even without the traffic.
You’re a Certified Commercial Investment Member. Are there other CCIMs in this immediate area? Why wouldn’t a person use a regular commercial broker to buy, sell, or lease commercial properties in the Yakima Valley?
Yes, there are a few other CCIMs in the area, but only Bill Almon, Jr. is a CCIM that sells commercial real estate like me.
CCIMs have much more education, experience, and software to do investment calculations. Getting this certification was just one more way I could over serve my clients. I tell people straight up how things work and what a property is worth. Having the advanced education and tools allows me to not just list properties but to actually sell them. It also allows me to set reasonable expectations for my clients. To do that, we need to be realistic on price and what it will take to sell their property. When the property sells, we both win.
Do you still have questions about why Yakima is a great place to invest?
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