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July 2021

News In Brief

July 7, 2021

  • With coastal states like Florida, North Carolina and Maine among the most popular places people relocated to last year, the personal-finance website WalletHub today released its report on 2021's Best Beach Towns to Live in, as well as accompanying videos. To determine the most livable beachside communities, WalletHub compared 191 cities across 62 key metrics. The data set ranges from housing costs to share of for-sale waterfront homes to quality of beach water.

    Our study divides beach towns into two categories, those by the ocean and those by lakes.

Top 10 Ocean Beach Towns

Top 10 Lake Beach Towns

1. Naples, FL

1. Traverse City, MI

2. Laguna Beach, CA

2. Folsom, CA

3. Lahaina, HI

3. Redmond, WA

4. Newport Beach, CA

4. Mercer Island, WA

5. North Myrtle Beach, SC

5. Cornelius, NC

6. Sarasota, FL

6. Davidson, NC

7. Kailua, HI

7. Kirkland, WA

8. Boca Raton, FL

8. South Lake Tahoe, CA

9. Destin, FL

9. Highland Park, IL

10. Santa Monica, CA

10. Brookfield, WI

  • Seattle's moratorium on evictions has been extended until Sept. 30, Mayor Jenny Durkan announced recently. The moratorium originally was scheduled to end on June 30, leading many to fear that mass evictions would follow for many tenants who are unable to pay rent as the economy just begins to recover from the ravages of the COVID pandemic. A census survey indicates about 8% of renters statewide and 9% in the Seattle area are behind on rent. That's more than 80,000 people in the Greater Seattle area who are in trouble. The extension of the moratorium is bound to be painful news for many landlords, who say it's time to end the moratorium and that there's been plenty of help for tenants which includes about $900 million in rental assistance, according to the Rental Housing Association.

  • President Joe Biden signed legislation establishing a new federal holiday commemorating the end of slavery - a move state lawmakers made for Washington state earlier this year. Washington Gov. Jay Inslee last month signed a measure making Juneteenth a legal state paid holiday, starting in 2022. In 2007, the Legislature had designated Juneteenth as a day of remembrance. Juneteenth commemorates June 19, 1865, when Union soldiers brought the news of freedom to enslaved Black people in Galveston, Texas - two months after the Confederacy had surrendered. That was also about 2 1/2 years after the Emancipation Proclamation freed slaves in the Southern states. It's the first new federal holiday since Martin Luther King Jr. Day was created in 1983.

  • The Level the Field Tournament hosted by the Sequim Association of Realtors will be held at The Cedars at Dungeness on July 23. Funds from the four-person scramble tournament will go toward students in need of financial assistance to fund extracurricular activities. Registration will open at 11:30 a.m. with a 1 p.m. shotgun start. A dinner and auction will follow play. The cost is $100 per player. For more information, email Garrett Smithson at garrett.smithson@caliberhomeloans.com or call/text 360-477-2718.

  • Insurance companies in Washington state can no longer use credit scores to calculate rates for home, auto and renters insurance policies. Washington Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler issued an emergency rule back in March, asking the state Legislature to ban insurers' use of credit scores when determining how much you pay for personal insurance. This new rule took effect on June 20 for new and existing policies. According to AAA Washington, people with low credit scores will celebrate a rate drop, and consumers with high credit scores should prepare for a rate increase. Senior citizens should expect to pay at least 20% more. Commissioner Kreidler says companies should rely on risk factors that matter, such as how safely you drive and how well you maintain your property to determine costs. If you do have a rate increase, they recommend you sign up for your insurance company's usage based insurance, or bundle your home, auto and other policies under one company to get the best deal.

  • The Evergreen State has just been ranked the 7th most fun state in the country, by the personal finance website WalletHub. They compared each state across 26 metrics. Here's how Washington ranked:
    • 11th in restaurants per capita
    • 8th in movie theaters per capita
    • 30th in golf courses and country clubs per capita
    • 9th in performing arts theaters per capita
    • 12th in fitness centers per capita
    • 19th in access to national parks
    • 9th in casinos per capita
    • 25th in variety of arts, entertainment and recreation establishments