Fairhaven Realty
Fairhaven Realty
Fairhaven Realty, a br of Lakeway Realty, Inc.

TULIP FESTIVAL IN SKAGIT COUNTY 2014

Posted on April 10, 2014
It's a beautiful, sunny day this Thursday, April 10, 2014 in Bellingham, WA. The tulips and daffodils are blossoming and many from our area are enjoying the annual Tulip Festival held in Skagit County - only a 25 minute drive from here.
 
Our agents enjoyed visiting the Roozengaarde Gardens and Tulip Town on Tuesday, April 8, 2014. Enjoy the photos below.
 
 

MOVING? TIPS FOR BEST GARAGE SALE EVER!

Posted on March 27, 2014

Are you preparing for a move – either scaling up or downsizing? Whatever the reason, you probably have some unwanted clutter or items that you have accumulated over the years that now need to be cleared away. Some goods you will no doubt want to give to family members with a need or who could use items no longer useful to you (i.e. lawn-mower if  you’re moving into a condo;  dresser you no longer have  the room for; or a patio set as your new home has no deck). If, though, the cash for such items is needed for the move, inform family or friends that you will be having a GARAGE/YARD sale so that  your  loved ones will  have the opportunity to  benefit from garage  sale  prices over buying new.

 

On January 15, 2014 Realtor.com gave 14 Tips for the Best Garage Sale Ever and I will share my condensed version of them with you below:

 

  1. Advertise like crazy. Put an ad on craigslist and detail items you’ll be selling – be creative in your ad-perhaps using a humorous heading.
  2. Price stickers or haggling. If you don’t mind answering questions about price every time someone points to or picks up an item, don’t bother to price every piece; or, if you would rather kick back and relax, get some pricing stickers to put on the items in advance of sale.
  3. Be realistic! Usually those who come to garage sales are not expecting to pay “big bucks.”
  4. Make a bank run the day before your sale to get small bills and change.
  5. Put up signs on busy streets and around your neighborhood. Use black ink on a bright background. (I find strategically-placed signs with a directional arrow are very helpful.)
  6. Be friendly. Greet your customers and show a willingness to answer any quest-ions.
  7. Merchandising is the key to a successful sale. If items are clean, well-organized and displayed in a pleasing way it will result in more sales. (Remove stored items from boxes)
  8.  Place big ticket items  (furniture,  electronics,  eye-catching art)  in a prominent spot close to road for maximum visibility.
  9. A Free Box  filled with odds  and  ends placed  near curb  with an  eye-catching, bright “Free” sign will draw most bargain hunters; and what’s more alluring than free!
  10. Create pathways between tables or merchandise so shoppers are not hindered by  clutter or possibly  tripping  on  boxes. Shoppers who  feel comfortable  will spend more time browsing and buying.
  11. Remove  any emotional attachment  to your  stuff.  Shoppers  could care less about hearing the history behind the items, they’re looking for bargains.
  12. Remember your goal IS  to get rid of stuff and low-ball offers are part of game. Try selling valuable items individually on ebay or Craigslist.
  13. Be flexible on pricing as the day goes by. Knock a dollar or two off a listed price; offer package deals to folks buying multiple items; or encourage persons to grab an item they are remotely interested in and to make an offer - or you suggest a price that will move the item. Remember, you want minimal leftovers!
  14. Donate leftover items at the end of the day; and be sure to get a receipt for your donation to use for a tax write-off.

New Home Owner -What's Next?

Posted on March 12, 2014

It’s a beautiful Wednesday, March 12, 2014 in Bellingham,WA.  People are enjoying the sunshine in our Fairhaven neighborhood by walking the trails, enjoying Boulevard Park and its tremendous bay view, and walking their dogs (…dog park at McKenzie Ave & 4th -  http://www.bringfido.com/attraction/3280/ )

 

New Home Owner-What’s Next?

 

Well, are you now the proud owner of your own home? If so, you’ve stepped through all the hoops-preapproval, kept your credit scores clean by NOT doing any impulse buying or making any major purchases, or heaven forbid. making any late payments or co-signed another’s loan;  and,  above all, you didn’t lose or change your job status (lenders like to see a good, stable income environment). So, WHAT’S NEXT?  “You mean to say there is more?” Yes, whether this is your first home or a repeat home, there are still steps to take.

 

At closing, you received settlement papers. These are extremely important – so be sure keep them! For one thing, they can help establish tax deductions for the year in which you purchased your home; and, down the road, they are needed for tax purposes when the property is sold or for calculating estate taxes.

 

When your sale closed, all utilities should have been paid by the previous owner. You will  want  these services transferred to your  name for billing and usually   this can be done  without turning off utilities.  In  advance of your closing, a REALTOR® should have given  you contact  numbers  and  addresses  for  utilities  (…water, sewage, gas, electricity or oil) to help make this transition as smooth as possible.

 

Obviously, your next step is to move in; but for  the  most part, it is probably not as you would want it in the way of CLEAN, as in, SPOTLESS. You’ll  no doubt want to paint, shampoo carpets, and do your own form of spring cleaning.

 

Also, as a home owner, this may be your single most important  asset. Protect  it  with insurance ( fire,  theft,  liability )  and  follow  any  recommendations   made  by  your insurance  professional/agent  (possibly  taking photos  or videos  of  possessions  and securing them).

 

In approximately two weeks, check online or contact your local property records office to confirm that your deed has been officially recorded. *

 

Enjoy your home! Give it your personality - plant your gardens, flowers and  trees to suit your tastes and likes.  Get to know your neighbors.  Do whatever it takes to make this house your home!

 

* www.realtors.com  has provided the basis for this blog and has much more useful and helpful information.

 

A Time for New Beginnings!

Posted on February 13, 2014

It’s a beautiful, sunny, crisp and clear Thursday, February 13, 2014 in Bellingham, WA.

  

A Time for New Beginnings!

Spring is near and with it the desire for change and new beginnings! This is often seen in the real estate world around this time of year. The sun comes out and people are ready to move forward, even enthusiastic about it. They tour neighborhoods and communities looking for just the right home to suit their needs and the changes/adjustments in their lifestyle. Perhaps they find themselves as empty nesters; or another child has been added to the family making present quarters cramped; or they are now caregivers for elderly parents and require an in-law suite. Whatever the circumstance, NOW is the time to make the change!

 

Why buy now? Well, members of the Northwest Multiple Listing Service (NWMLS)* reported 75,517 closed sales during 2013 surpassing the 2012 sales by 11,000 transactions. That’s a 17% increase in sales. How do we measure that in dollars? The completed sales of 65,122 single-family homes and 10,395 condominiums were valued at nearly $25.5 billion, up by $5.5 billion from last year.

 

And, further evidence of the housing recovery – prices for single family homes (excluding condominiums) rose 10.2 percent from 2012, increasing from $255,000 to $281,000. Condo prices jumped 15.3 percent, rising from the 2012 figure of $175,200 to the 2013 median price of $202,000.

 

Whatcom County for the month of January 2014 added 300 new listings making a total of 1,102 active listings (single-family homes & condos) in its inventory. Closed sales were 148 with an average price of $283,370 and a median price of $251,750.

 

So, if you are thinking of selling your home, inventory is down and prices are on the rise making this a good time to list. In fact, there are a lot of buyers but not enough inventory to satisfy buyers’ wants and needs.  Buyers are now motivated to take advantage of the interest rates while still low and prices still realistic and affordable.

 

*(NWMLS service area includes 21,000 real estate brokers in 21 counties)

 

CAN YOU AFFORD IT?

Posted on February 4, 2014

It’s cold, very cold on this Tuesday, February 04, 2014 in BellinghamWA. Canada is sharing its cold front with us and we expect to “enjoy” it for a few days to come! Brrrrrrrrrr – it’s a whopping 28°!

 

                                                          CAN YOU AFFORD TO IT?

 

And yet again we bring up the subject of renting versus buying! Can you afford it? Did you know that if you are paying $900/mo in rent, in just 1 year you have paid $10,800 and after 15 years, $162,000; 30 years $324,000? Now, let’s up the monthly rental amount to $1,250- a more realistic view! In 1 year, you will have paid $15,000 and in 15 years $225,000; 30 years, $450,000!

 

With the above in mind, let’s add to the scenario the fact that per MPF Research, apartment rental rates rose 5.5 percent during 2013 in Seattle’s metro area. In King, Snohomish and Pierce counties, the average rent for a 1BR unit was $1,051 and 2BR units were running on the average $1,255. The city of Everett, within Seattle’s metro area, had an 8 percent average rent increase. In other areas in South Seattle, the rent increases ranged from 6.4 percent to 7.1 percent.

 

What about 2014? Dallas-based MPF Research foresees a 3.8 percent rent hike in the Seattle metro area. Yes, we live in Bellingham, but rents are increasing here as well. With this in mind, wouldn’t it be a good time to stabilize your monthly housing payments?  Buy instead of rent; and then at the end of 15 years if selling is necessary, you can, at least, recoup your equity and perhaps more.* Why not get pre-approved with a loan officer and see what you can do to get into your own home!

 

*Material gleaned from The Bellingham Herald, Apartment rental rates rose a healthy 5.5 percent during 2013, Tuesday, February 4, 2014.

Want to retire in Bellingham? Read this!

Posted on January 22, 2014

The clouds are lifting and the sun is presently shining in Bellingham, WA on this Wednesday, January 22, 2014. Our bay view is tremendous with the blue skies above! 

 

WANT TO REBOOT YOUR LIFE?  HEAR WHAT SOME EXPERTS ARE SAYING!

Sunset Magazine, after querying urban experts about what makes a great place to live and then interviewing local community residents from the places deemed the best, came up with a list of the 24 best places to live and work in 2014.  Sunset readers were then asked to vote on their favorites from the list of semifinalists. With 19,000 responses, six top winners and 18 runners-up were selected. Our community in Bellingham, WA made it on the runners-up list as one of the best places to reboot your life. The following is their description of our city on page 57 of their February 2014 Sunset issue:

 

BELLINGHAM, WA

Population 82,310

 

Median Home Price

$240,584 *

 

This waterfront city is home to Western Washington University. A legion of techies have relocated here; start-ups range from farm-to-table restaurants to app developers. The city’s annual gathering of Linux developers is one of the world’s largest. Bonus: There is no state income tax.” *

 

With a recommendation like this, does Bellingham, WA with its diversified setting-waterfront to mountains - and educational opportunities etc., appeal to you? Come visit us and get a feel for yourself of all that Bellingham has to offer!

 

*Material from February 2014 issue of Sunset Magazine, page 57.

More Blog Entries
SENSIBLE COLLEGE HOUSING! - Posted on January 9, 2014
EDUCATIONAL VERSATILITY IN BELLINGHAM! - Posted on September 26, 2013
NEW AT FAIRHAVEN REALTY & AFFORDABLE - Posted on September 17, 2013
CEC helps you save money on energy costs! - Posted on July 31, 2013
NEW LISTING & 2013 TULIP FESTIVAL PHOTOS - Posted on April 22, 2013
SENIORS! TIPS FOR DOWNSIZING & SELLING - Posted on April 10, 2013
Feathered Friends on the Ferndale Flats! - Posted on February 19, 2013
HESITANT TO SELL NOW? REVIEW THE TREND… - Posted on February 5, 2013
GLORIA CALDERHEAD, BRANCH MANAGER, HONORED BY WCAR ! - Posted on January 31, 2013
IS THIS A GOOD TIME TO LIST MY HOME? - Posted on January 28, 2013
Should You Wait Until Spring? - Posted on November 15, 2012
ARE YOU READY FOR WINTER? - Posted on November 6, 2012
EXPERIENCED FORCLOSURE? COMPENSATION POSSIBLE! - Posted on October 3, 2012
Events in Fairhaven/Fairhaven Studio Condo just listed! - Posted on August 14, 2012
Want the Home of Your Dreams? Check out Washington State's new HomeAdvantage program - Posted on August 8, 2012
Newly listed: South Hill Victorian! - Posted on August 7, 2012
CHECK OUT OUR NEW LISTINGS! - Posted on July 25, 2012
NEW LISTINGS-CHECK THEM OUT! - Posted on June 18, 2012
GRADUATION EXERCISES/EVENTS ARE IN FULL SWING! - Posted on June 11, 2012
Farhaven Farmer's Market today! - Posted on June 6, 2012
 
Fairhaven Realty, a Branch of Lakeway Realty Inc. | 1100 11th Street, Bellingham, WA 98225 | Office: 360-676-8990 | Fax: 360-734-5109
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