Whatcom County Real Estate Market Update

1502_Northshore_Night-09If 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 Monday, October 22nd, the pending ratio in Bellingham was 37%. 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 27%

The Ferndale pending ratio was 36%

The Lynden pending ratio was 29%

The Sudden Valley pending ratio was 43%

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 Info@JohnsonTeamRealEstate.com

Will Home Prices Continue to Increase?

Will Home Prices Continue to Increase? | MyKCM

There are many unsubstantiated theories about what is happening with home prices. From those who are worried that prices are falling (data shows this is untrue), to those who are concerned that prices are again approaching boom peaks because of “irrational exuberance” (this is also untrue as prices are not at peak levels when they are adjusted for inflation), there seems to be no shortage of opinion.

However, the increase in prices is easily explained by the theory of supply & demand. Whenever there is a limited supply of an item that is in high demand, prices increase. It is that simple. In real estate, it takes a six-month supply of existing salable inventory to maintain pricing stability. In most housing markets, anything less than six months will cause home values to appreciate and anything greater than seven months will cause prices to depreciate (see chart below).

Will Home Prices Continue to Increase? | MyKCM

According to the Existing Home Sales Report from the National Association of Realtors (NAR), the monthly inventory of homes for sale has been below six months for the last five years (see chart below).

Will Home Prices Continue to Increase? | MyKCM

Bottom Line

If buyer demand continues to outpace the current supply of existing homes for sale, prices will continue to appreciate. Nothing nefarious is taking place. It is simply the theory of supply & demand working as it should. If you have any questions, give us a call today! (888) 713-3056 or email us at Info@JohnsonTeamRealEstate.com.

Just Listed 3 Bedroom, 2 Bath Home In Birch Bay!

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Just listed in Birch Bay, an amazing 1,529 sq foot rambler with new marbled and engineered hardwood flooring. This move in ready home is one you will enjoy for years!

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This immaculate one level home is located on a quiet side street. It has a nice floorplan with large open spaces & is waiting for you to enjoy. Inside you’ll appreciate the warmth of the in-floor radiant heat, the spacious kitchen & the huge master bedroom. Put your “Green Thumb” to good use in this large sunny fully fenced backyard. Whether it’s roses, Fido or croquet, it’s a yard you’ll enjoy for years. Within a short walk is a beach to roam and explore, who knows what treasures you’ll find.

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For more information, take a look at the virtual tour!

Pre-Approval: Your 1st Step in Buying a Home

Pre-Approval: Your 1st Step in Buying a Home | MyKCM

In many markets across the country, the number of buyers searching for their dream homes outnumbers the number of homes for sale. This has led to a competitive marketplace where buyers often need to stand out. 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 if your dream home is within your reach.

Freddie Mac lays out the advantages of pre-approval in the ‘My Home’ section of their website:

“It’s highly recommended that you work with your lender to get pre-approved before you begin house hunting. Pre-approval will tell you how much home you can afford and can help you move faster, and with greater confidence, in competitive markets.”

One of the many advantages of working with a local real estate professional is that many have relationships with lenders who will be able to help you through this process. Once you have selected a lender, you will need to fill out their loan application and provide them with important information regarding “your credit, debt, work history, down payment and residential history.”

Freddie Mac describes the ‘4 Cs’ that help determine the amount you will be qualified to borrow:

  1. Capacity: Your current and future ability to make your payments
  2. Capital or cash reserves: The money, savings, and investments you have that can be sold quickly for cash
  3. Collateral: The home, or type of home, that you would like to purchase
  4. Credit: Your history of paying bills and other debts on time

Getting pre-approved is one of many steps that will show home sellers that you are serious about buying, and it often helps speed up the process once your offer has been accepted.

Bottom Line

Many potential homebuyers overestimate the down payment and credit scores necessary to qualify for a mortgage today. If you are ready and willing to buy, you may be pleasantly surprised at your ability to do so. Give us a call today at (888) 713-3056 or email us at Info@JohnsonTeamRealEstate.com.

Whatcom County Morgage Rates for October 11th

Thinking of buying, selling or refinancing? The mortgage rates are a must know! People’s Bank Home Loan Center passed along today’s rates to us. Below is a chart showing the rates as of yesterday, October 11th!

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

Open House Saturday at Stunning Lake View Bellingham Home!

Join Maggie Parker for an open house at Mike Bredeson’s listing on 2305 Agate Heights Lane in Bellingham from 12pm – 2pm on Saturday.

Wonderful setting on this Lake Whatcom View home. Just a short drive out Northshore in Bellingham you will find Agate Heights Lane. The private setting is just a bonus as the view is really what this home is all about. The deck faces southerly and feels very private. 4 bedrooms- means room for everyone, master is on the main plus 2 bedrooms up and one down with the Rec Room. There is even a fenced yard. Oh and the A/C is handy on the hot summer days. This home is at the end of the road.

For more information, visit our website.

 

Just Reduced! Raptor Lane Custom Home in Bellingham With Views

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PRICE REDUCTION! Take a look at this gorgeous custom home in Bellingham with amazing views! This is one you don’t want to miss.

Bellingham Bay, the Islands, Chuckanut Mtn, Lookout Mtns & everything in between, it’s there from the windows & deck of 4660 Raptor Ln. Add some fog, a bit of mist, a setting sun & you then have the lifestyle everyone dreams about but too often slips by. Inside is a gorgeous custom home with beautiful hardwood floors, a kitchen to inspire cook & guests alike & a large master bedroom with elegant bath. Outside is a gardeners dream with sun, plantings, water feature, secret paths & privacy.

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Give us a call today to schedule a private showing! (888) 713-3056

For more information – https://www.tourfactory.com/2006528

2 Factors to Watch in Today’s Real Estate Market Whether Buying or Selling

2 Factors to Watch in Today’s Real Estate Market Whether Buying or Selling | MyKCM

When it comes to buying or selling a home there are many factors you should consider. Where you want to live, why you want to buy or sell, and who will help you along your journey are just some of those factors. When it comes to today’s real estate market, though, the top two factors to consider are what’s happening with interest rates & inventory.

Interest Rates

Mortgage interest rates have been on the rise and are now over three-quarters of a percentage point higher than they were at the beginning of the year. According to Freddie Mac’s latest Primary Mortgage Market Survey, rates climbed to 4.72% for a 30-year fixed rate mortgage last week.

The interest rate you secure when buying a home not only greatly impacts your monthly housing costs, but also impacts your purchasing power.

Purchasing power, simply put, is the amount of home you can afford to buy for the budget you have available to spend. As rates increase, the price of the house you can afford to buy will decrease if you plan to stay within a certain monthly housing budget.

The chart below shows the impact that rising interest rates would have if you planned to purchase a $400,000 home while keeping your principal and interest payments between $2,020-$2,050 a month.

2 Factors to Watch in Today’s Real Estate Market Whether Buying or Selling | MyKCM

With each quarter of a percent increase in interest rate, the value of the home you can afford decreases by 2.5% (in this example, $10,000). Experts predict that mortgage rates will be over 5% by this time next year.

Inventory

A ‘normal’ real estate market requires there to be a 6-month supply of homes for sale in order for prices to increase only with inflation. According to the National Association of Realtors (NAR), listing inventory is currently at a 4.3-month supply (still well below the 6-months needed), which has put upward pressure on home prices. Home prices have increased year-over-year for the last 78 straight months.

The inventory of homes for sale in the real estate market had been on a steady decline and experienced year-over-year drops for 36 straight months (from July 2015 to May 2018), but we are starting to see a shift in inventory over the last three months.

The chart below shows the change in housing supply over the last 12 months compared to the previous 12 months. As you can see, in June, July, and August, inventory levels have started to increase as compared to the same time last year.

2 Factors to Watch in Today’s Real Estate Market Whether Buying or Selling | MyKCM

This is a trend to watch as we move further into the fall and winter months. If we continue to see an increase in homes for sale, we could start moving further away from a seller’s market and closer to a normal market.

Bottom Line

If you are planning to enter the housing market, either as a buyer or a seller, let’s get together to discuss the changes in mortgage interest rates and inventory and what they could mean for you. Give The Johnson Team a call today at (888) 713-3056 or email us at Info@JohnsonTeamRealEstate.com.

The True Cost of NOT Owning Your Home

The True Cost of NOT Owning Your Home | MyKCM

Owning a home has great financial benefits, yet many continue to rent! Today, let’s look at the financial reasons why owning a home of your own has been a part of the American Dream for the entirety of America’s existence.

Realtor.com reported that:

“Buying remains the more attractive option in the long term – that remains the American dream, and it’s true in many markets where renting has become really the shortsighted option…as people get more savings in their pockets, buying becomes the better option.”

What proof exists that owning is financially better than renting?

1. In a previous blog, we highlighted the top 5 financial benefits of homeownership:

  • Homeownership is a form of forced savings.
  • Homeownership provides tax savings.
  • Homeownership allows you to lock in your monthly housing cost.
  • Buying a home is cheaper than renting.
  • No other investment lets you live inside of it.

2. Studies have shown that a homeowner’s net worth is 44x greater than that of a renter.

3. Less than a month ago, we explained that a family that purchased an average-priced home at the beginning of 2018 could build more than $49,000 in family wealth over the next five years.

4. Some argue that renting eliminates the cost of taxes and home repairs, but every potential renter must realize that all the expenses the landlord incurs are already baked into the rent payment – along with a profit margin!

Bottom Line

Owning your home has many social and financial benefits that cannot be achieved by renting. Give The Johnson Team a call today at (888) 713-3056 or email us at Info@JohnsonTeamRealEstate.com.

What Are Today’s Mortgage Rates?

Thinking of buying, selling or refinancing? The mortgage rates are a must know! People’s Bank Home Loan Center passed along today’s rates to us. Below is a chart showing the rates as of yesterday, October 5th!

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