Starting the Search for Your Dream Home? Here Are 5 Tips!

Starting the Search for Your Dream Home? Here Are 5 Tips! | MyKCM

In today’s real estate market, low inventory dominates the conversation in many areas of the country. It can often be frustrating to be a first-time homebuyer if you aren’t prepared.

In a article entitled, “How to Find Your Dream Home—Without Losing Your Mind,” the author highlights some steps that first-time homebuyers can take to help carry their excitement of buying a home throughout the whole process.

1. Get Pre-Approved for a Mortgage Before You Start Your Search

One way to show you are serious about buying your dream home is to get pre-qualified or pre-approved for a mortgage before starting your search. Even if you are in a market that is not as competitive, understanding your budget will give you the confidence of knowing whether or not your dream home is within your reach.

This step will also help you narrow your search based on your budget and won’t leave you disappointed if the home you tour, and love, ends up being outside your budget!

2. Know the Difference Between Your ‘Must-Haves’ and ‘Would-Like-To-Haves’

Do you really need that farmhouse sink in the kitchen to be happy with your home choice? Would a two-car garage be a convenience or a necessity? Could the ‘man cave’ of your dreams be a future renovation project instead of a make-or-break right now?

Before you start your search, list all the features of a home you would like and then qualify them as ‘must-haves’‘should-haves’, or ‘absolute-wish list’ items. This will help keep you focused on what’s most important.

3. Research and Choose a Neighborhood You Want to Live In

Every neighborhood has its own charm. Before you commit to a home based solely on the house itself, the article suggests test-driving the area. Make sure that the area meets your needs for “amenities, commute, school district, etc. and then spend a weekend exploring before you commit.”

4. Pick a House Style You Love and Stick to It

Evaluate your family’s needs and settle on a style of home that would best serve those needs. Just because you’ve narrowed your search to a zip code, doesn’t mean that you need to tour every listing in that zip code.

An example from the article says, “if you have several younger kids and don’t want your bedroom on a different level, steer clear of Cape Cod–style homes, which typically feature two or more bedrooms on the upper level and the master on the main.”

5. Document Your Home Visits

Once you start touring homes, the features of each individual home will start to blur together. The article suggests keeping your camera handy to document what you love and don’t love about each property you visit.

Making notes on the listing sheet as you tour the property will also help you remember what the photos mean, or what you were feeling while touring the home.

Bottom Line

In a high-paced, competitive environment, any advantage you can give yourself will help you on your path to buying your dream home. Give The Johnson Team a call today at (888) 713-3056 or email us at

Saturday Waterfront Open House in Bellingham

Brown Just Sold Postcard

Join Rich Johnson for an open house this Saturday, May 25th from 1pm – 3pm at 1502 Northshore Drive in Bellingham.

Live your dream with 132′ of Lake Whatcom west-facing waterfront property. Savor the quiet mornings on your enormous deck; stunning sunsets and starry nights on your secluded beach. Dock your boat and make that tough decision: lake or hot tub? Delight in your friends’ enjoyment of the lakeside guest house. Artfully landscaped fenced yard and a gazebo give privacy to remodeled 4 BR+office main house. Sport court, 3 car garage, and abundant storage allow for all of your toys. Welcome to Paradise! Listed at just $1,995,000.

Click here for the virtual tour.

Top Days to List Your Home for Sale

Top Days to List Your Home for Sale [INFOGRAPHIC] | MyKCM

Some Highlights:

  • ATTOM Data Solutions conducted an analysis of more than 29 million single family home and condo sales over the past eight years to determine the top days to list your home for sale.
  • The top five days to list your home brought in a 10% premium over market value and are all in either May or June!
  • “Families start their home search when they know their kids will be out of school and when the weather is ideal for home viewing and moving, giving home sellers an upper hand in price negotiations.”
  • There is still time to list your home before these dates pass you by! Give The Johnson Team a call today at (888) 713-3056 or email us at

Level Lot Overlooking San Juans and Gulf Islands – Just Reduced

Level Lot Overlooking San Juans and Gulf Islands

Build the house of your dreams on this level view lot overlooking the San Juan & Gulf Islands. If gorgeous sunsets, evening strolls on the beach, the overwhelming sound of “Quiet” & the joy of clean fresh air are what you are hoping to find, then look no further than 2931 Leeward Way. The lot is 13,000+ sq ft & has about 83′ of high bank waterfront. The community maintains a walkway to the Beach for your evening strolls or agate searches.

For more information, give The Johnson Team a call at (888) 713-3056 or email us at

Price Reduction on Amazing Lot With Views!

Amazing Lot with Stunning Views - Just Reduced!

This building lot has spectacular views of the City, Bellingham Bay & the San Juans. It’s shovel ready for your builder with an installed 4 bedroom septic system, water permit from water district 7, natural gas & power in the street & completed survey. The owner / builder has a beautiful architecturally designed home created specifically for this lot that you may be interested in as well. The location is ideal as it’s just outside of the city limits but still a short drive to Barkley Village.

Additional Information

Taxes: $835
View: Sound, City, Mountain, Territorial, Bay
Lot Size: 0.49 Acre (21,344 SqFt)

School Information

Elementary: Northern Heights Elementary
Middle: Shuksan Middle School
High: Squalicum High

To learn more about the lots and the options available call 360.303.2734 or visit the lot’s virtual website to learn more today!

Saturday and Sunday Open Houses on Lummi Island

Don’t miss out on this one of a kind Lummi Island home and property!

1471 Seacrest Drive on Lummi Island is the oasis  you have been looking for. Join Clair from the Muljat Group on Saturday from 1pm – 3pm and Rich Johnson on Sunday from 10:30am – 3pm for open houses.

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Peace, quiet, total seclusion & an expansive view of water & mountains could be yours in this unique home & property. This custom designed & built home overlooks a private cove, Haro Strait, Mt Baker & Twin Sisters. The floor plan is open, airy, well lit & inviting with expansive windows keeping you in touch with the beauty around you. A private path provides access to either the beach of Sun-Rise Cove with your boat anchored in front or up secret trails to explore. This is a dream come true. For more information call 360.303.2734

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If you can’t make the open houses, click below to visit the virtual tour

Or, give us a call to schedule a private showing at 360.303.2734 today!

May 17th Pending to Listing Ratios

Pending Ratios Template (1)

If you have been following the local real estate market you know it’s active and inventory is low. If you are thinking of selling now is the time!

The number of real estate signs you see in yards can be deceiving as to the number of homes actually for sale WITHOUT offers on them. If you are seeing new signs around your neighborhood and curious if any of those homes already have offers on them, we have your answers!

Every week we keep track of how many homes are for sale around Bellingham and Whatcom County and how many of those homes have pending offers on them. Pending is the time frame between when an offer has been mutual accepted between the buyer’s and the seller’s of the home and when the title actually transfers hands. This give the buyer’s time to get the financing, do inspection, review the title reports and more.

As of Friday, May 17th, the pending ratio in Bellingham was 47%. Click the links to view a report of how many homes are for sale in each area by price range and how many of them are pending showing just how active certain sectors of the market are.

The Birch Bay Pending ratio was 36%

The Ferndale pending ratio was 49%

The Lynden pending ratio was 49%

The Sudden Valley pending ratio was 48%

If you are thinking of selling your home or property, Johnson Team Real Estate would love to help! We are here to help you will all your real estate needs! You can reach us toll free at 1-888-713-3056 or email us at

3 Things To Avoid After Applying for a Mortgage

Before making any big purchases, moving money around, or making any big-time life changes, consult your loan officer. They will be able to tell you how your decision could impact your home loan. Give The Johnson Team a call today at (888) 713-3056 or email us at

Thinking of Buying, Selling, or Refinancing?

Thinking of buying, selling, or refinancing?  The mortgage rates are a must know! Interest rates are the rates at which money can be borrowed for a set period of time. The higher the rate, the more money a borrower must pay in the form of interest on the loan. When mortgage rates are lower, this makes the purchasing of a home more affordable. Although the cost of mortgages is closely tied to the interest rate, the price at which homes are sold does not always appear in direct correlation.


Thank you Sidney Stonecypher at People’s Bank Home Loan Center for the rates. If you have any mortgage questions you can reach her at 360-650-5365!

A Wide-Ranging Market Update

Today we’re excited to give you a closer look at each level of our real estate market. We’ll start
with the national market and drill the numbers down to the region, state, county, city, and even
neighborhood markets in our area.

Here’s an outline of our update, with timestamps so that you can skip ahead to the
section(s) that interest you most:
0:15- A quick look at interest rates
1:00- The year-over-year price change both nationally and by region
1:27- Home price changes by state
2:15- The National Association of Realtors’ predictions for home appreciation through 2022
2:45- Some quarterly stats for Whatcom County
3:15- Active listings versus home sales for Bellingham from 2014 to 2019
4:05- What pending ratios tell us about our market
5:17- Active listings versus pending sales for the Columbia District
6:00- Market activity for the last six months on Eldridge Avenue
6:35- Some final thoughts about the future of our market and how you can benefit from it

If you have a nonprofit organization and you’re interested in using our moving truck,
don’t hesitate to reach out. Also, if you’re interested in getting in shape, reach out to us
about a free $50 gift card from Fitness Gear and Training.

If you have any other questions about the market or about real estate in general, don’t hesitate
to give us a call or send us an email. I look forward to hearing from you soon.