How to Avoid Carbon Monoxide Poisoning in your Home

Fuel-powered devices can provide wonderful benefits in your home when used properly. But they also underscore an important necessity in the home: the need for a carbon monoxide alarm.

Carbon monoxide poisoning can result from faulty furnaces or other heating appliances, portable generators, water heaters, clothes dryers, or cars left running in garages. At its worst, carbon monoxide can cause severe side effects or even death.

Below are some tips to help you avoid accidental carbon monoxide poisoning in your home”

• Have your heating systems serviced every year by a qualified technician.

• Have your fireplace chimney cleaned and inspected every year.

• Install at least one CO detector in your home and replace the batteries twice per year.

• Open the garage door prior to starting your car; drive the car out promptly. Do not leave it idling in the garage. Do not use a remote car starter when the car is in the garage.

• Do not use a charcoal or propane barbeque in the home

Stay safe and warm this holiday season!

Pumpkin Bread Recipe for Thanksgiving

Pumpkin Bread I absolutely love this pumpkin bread recipe and it’s always a hit with my family. The recipe was passed along to me from Lylene and was a recipe taught to her by her late Mother.  I have some baking in the oven right now filling our home with wonderful Fall scent.  Below is the famous recipe for you to try at home as well.

Ingredients:

  • 3 1/2 cups flour
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp nutmeg
  • 3 cups sugar
  • 1 cup oil
  • 4 eggs
  • 2/3 cup water
  • 2 cups pumpkin

Mix all the dry ingredients together. Combine remaining ingredients blending into dry mixture until moistened.  Pour into three greased loaf pans. Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour.  Cool slightly before removing from pans.

Prepare Your Home For Winter Weather

It’s Fall but Winter is not far away. Temperatures have been chilly around Bellingham and Whatcom County and keeping your house warm and safe can sometimes be harder than it appears. Here’s some great tips to help ready your home for winter.
Seal Drafts - Seal holes, cracks, and openings in your home to stop the flow of heat through the walls and ceiling.

Keep Your Pipes Pumping – Pay less for hot water by insulating pipes. This will also decrease the chance of pipes freezing.

Clean Those Gutters – Once the leaves fall, remove them and other debris from your home’s gutters so that rain, melting snow, and ice can drain properly.

Bundle Up - If you have a tank style water heater, wrap it in an insulation blanket to prevent needless energy use.

Turn It Down – Many conventional water heaters are set too high. Try lowering the temperature setting a notch. A lower setting may be hot enough. When you leave the house, turn down your thermostat so you aren’t paying for heat you don’t need – or consider installing a simple programmable thermostat that will adjust the temperature automatically.

Furnace Care – A simple way to keep your home warm while cutting down on energy waste is by replacing your furnace filters or cleaning them as needed. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions.

Insulate – One of the most effective ways to keep a home warm is to install adequate insulation. This is especially true in attics and crawlspaces. Insulation helps keep the home cool in summer and warm in winter.

Use Energy Star® – Energy Star qualified products help you save energy and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The Energy Star label can be found on more than 40 different kinds of products for the home including heating and cooling equipment, electronics, lighting, and appliances.

Thank you to Jefferson Livingston with Pillar to Post Home Inspections for the wonderful home tips!

Learn about Bellingham and Whatcom County Pending Ratios

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 Saturday, November 15th the pending ratio in Bellingham was 28%. Click the links to view a report of how many homes are for sale in each area and price range and how many of them are pending showing just how active certain sectors of the market are.

Birch Bay has a pending ratio of 22%

The Ferndale pending ratio was 19%

The Lynden pending ratio was 23%

The Sudden Valley pending ratio was 33%

If you would like to search for Real Estate in Bellingham and Whatcom County that is currently for sale visit www.JohnsonTeamRealEstate.com where you can search for homes for sale in Bellingham and real estate around Whatcom County.

Bellingham and Whatcom County Real Estate Update

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 Saturday, November 8th the pending ratio in Bellingham was 28%. Click the links to view a report of how many homes are for sale in each area and price range and how many of them are pending showing just how active certain sectors of the market are.

Birch Bay has a pending ratio of 24%

The Ferndale pending ratio was 19%

The Lynden pending ratio was 22%

The Sudden Valley pending ratio was 33%

If you would like to search for Real Estate in Bellingham and Whatcom County that is currently for sale visit www.JohnsonTeamRealEstate.com where you can search for homes for sale in Bellingham and real estate around Whatcom County.

Holding Steady- Bellingham Real Estate Market Update

After September’s lackluster showing against 2013 in what are typically the strongest markets in Whatcom County, October sales ran neck and neck with a year ago.  Average and median sale prices increased in all areas except Bellingham, where the average sale price was down 4.6% from a year ago, and the median was off by 7.8%.  This was the result of a higher percentage of sales in the lower price ranges.

A strong recent trend has been the continued decline of the average number of days a home spends on the market before it has an accepted contract.  As an example, the average Bellingham home sold in 2011 (through October) was on the market 120 days.  That has declined to 74 days in 2014.  Of course, that is not consistent across all price ranges, as in shown in the table below.

The other thing the table above does not show is how many homes were removed from the market unsold during October…but the table below does.

Do homes priced over $500,000 ever sell in just a few days?  Of course.  As can be seen above, however, the higher the price, the lower the odds.  So what is the take-away from this exercise?  For a seller, it means the higher the price range, the more important it is to price your home realistically.  But even in the lowest price range, 27% of the homes which left the market in October did not do so because of a sale.  Markets change, but the basics of real estate do not:  the best homes relative to pricing in their segment market always sell.  Location & condition are very important, but at the end of the day, they have to justify the price.

Interest rates are really good…in some cases under 4%.  5% down mortgages are available.  Inventory is a bit higher than last year at this time, and pending sales are a bit lower, which is the trend we have been on for the past year.  So what does the crystal ball hold?  I see steady sales and fairly flat prices in Whatcom County into the new year, with the strongest activity continuing to be in the lower price ranges.

If your neighborhood would like a presentation or a link to your website of up-to-date information on real estate in the neighborhood, we can provide it – just give us a call.

www.JohnsonTeamRealEstate.com also includes a constantly updated list of newly listed properties and a list of properties being offered as short sales & foreclosures (REOs), as well as the entire listing database of the Northwest Multiple Listing Service, fully searchable to your specifications.

Bellingham and Whatcom County Real Estate Update

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 Saturday, November 1st the pending ratio in Bellingham was 28%. Click the links to view a report of how many homes are for sale in each area and price range and how many of them are pending showing just how active certain sectors of the market are.

Birch Bay has a pending ratio of 24%

The Ferndale pending ratio was 19%

The Lynden pending ratio was 22%

The Sudden Valley pending ratio was 33%

If you would like to search for Real Estate in Bellingham and Whatcom County that is currently for sale visit www.JohnsonTeamRealEstate.com where you can search for homes for sale in Bellingham and real estate around Whatcom County.

Halloween Safety Tips for Your Home

Halloween is tomorrow  With this spooky holiday can come a few spooky hazards as well. Below are some tips to help keep your home and family safe this Halloween:

- Be careful when placing candles in your carved jack-o-lanterns and keep them far away from any furnishings, drapes or Halloween decor that may be flammable and never leave them burning unattended.

- Do not overload electrical outlets with holiday lighting or movable decorative objects.

- Be sure and take time to check around our porch or sidewalk for any garden hoses, low lying tree limbs or decorations that might prove to be a tripping hazard for young children trick or treating at your home.

- If you are not participating in trick or treating be sure and turn off your porch light or other lights around  you home as to not attract trick or treaters.

- If you have pets who maybe stressed by the visitors are costumes consider crating them or placing them in a safe room in your home with some of their favorite treats until the night is over.

Hope you have a safe and happy Halloween!

Just Listed! 2812 Plymouth Drive in Bellingham

Welcome to 2812 Plymouth Drive in Bellingham just listed for sale for $264,750!

This Tidy mid-century 3 bedroom bungalow has just had a face lift and is ready for new owners. Updated kitchen and bath (both with skylights), new tile, laminate floors & refinished hardwood floors, new paint & crown molding. Detached garage/shop is heated & has 3/4 bath and laundry hookups plus additional off street parking for RV. Wonderful location – walk to Cornwall Park or Haggen. Easy access to hospital and freeway.

Features:

Cable TV, Partially Fenced, Gas Available, High Speed Internet, Outbuildings, Patio, RV Parking, Shop, Ceiling Fan(s), Double Pane Storm Windows, Dining Room, Skylights

Taxes: $2,208
Lot Size: 0.16 Acre (6,970 SqFt)
Garage Size: 1 Car
Exterior: Wood
Fireplaces: 1 Fireplace
Heating/Cooling: Forced Air, Insert
Roof: Composition Roof
Flooring: Ceramic Tile Floor, Hardwood Floor, Laminate

School Information

District: Bellingham School District
Elementary:  Parkview Elementary
Junior High Whatcom Middle School
High:  Bellingham High

To view a virtual tour or to schedule a private showing visit our website or call 1-888-713-3056

Carpet Care. Help Your Carpet Last Forever

A clean nice carpet can make your home appealing and cozy.  With these simple suggestions, you could make your carpet last seemingly forever.

1. Get rid of pet hair. Put on a rubber glove and run your hand over the carpet – pet hairs should magically cling to the glove.

2. Vacuum this way. To get rid of deep down dirt move the vacuum in several directions.

3. Remove dents. Place an ice cube in the dent and let it melt, then blot the wet spot. Use a spoon to re-fluff the fibers.

4. Protect it from the sun. For carpet in a sunny area, close the drapes to prevent fading.

5. Put on socks. The oils on your feet stick to the carpet and attract dirt and grime that harm the fibers.

6. Fight odors. Sprinkle baking soda over your carpet and let it sit for an hour. Then vacuum away for a smell-free room.

Thank you to Pillar to Post Home Inspection Service for the great tips!