How Many Homes Have Pending Offers?

Homes by EmailThe 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, January 19th, the pending ratio in Bellingham was 48%. 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 38%

The Ferndale pending ratio was 28%

The Lynden pending ratio was 36%

The Sudden Valley pending ratio was 56%

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

4 steps to create the home inventory you need if disaster strikes

4 steps to create the home inventory you need if disaster strikes

After a fire, flood or other disaster, the insurance claim needs to list all items lost or damaged. Having a home inventory makes this easy—and speeds up the process.

Step 1. Decide between photos and video. Photos need to be labeled with the item’s description and cost—but some smartphones and digital cameras let you add this when saving. With video, you can just say this info while shooting. Apps are also available.

Step 2. Walk through your home, shoot and describe (or write down) the contents. Turn on all lights and open all cabinets, drawers and closets. Count clothing by category—10 shirts, 6 sweaters, etc. Collect receipts, record serial numbers. Ask your insurance agent if jewelry and collectibles need special coverage. Don’t forget: pictures, mirrors, ceiling fixtures, basement, attic, garage and off-site storage.

Step 3. Store your inventory in an online storage account or on an external drive kept with paper documents safely off premises.

Step 4. Update the inventory with new purchases.

When you’re ready to give your contents a new home, or refinance for an upgrade or lower rate, please text, email or call us any time… Have a great day!

P.S.: Mortgage rates are still near historically low, but don’t wait to contact us about these excellent options. Thanks Sydney Stonecypher at People’s Bank!

61% of First-Time Buyers Put Down Less than 6%

61% of First-Time Buyers Put Down Less than 6% | MyKCM

According to the National Association of Realtors’ latest Realtors Confidence Index, 61% of first-time homebuyers purchased their homes with down payments below 6% from October 2016 through November 2017.

Many potential homebuyers believe that a 20% down payment is necessary to buy a home and have disqualified themselves without even trying. The median down payment for all buyers in 2017 was just 10% and that percentage drops to 6% for first-time buyers.

Zillow Senior Economist Aaron Terrazas’ recent comments shed light on why buyer demand has remained strong,

“Looking into 2018, rent is expected to continue gaining. More widespread rent growth could mean home buying demands stay high, as renters who can afford it move away from the unpredictability of rising rents toward the relative stability of a monthly mortgage payment instead.”

It’s no surprise that with rents rising, more and more first-time buyers are taking advantage of low-down-payment mortgage options to secure their monthly housing costs and finally attain their dream homes.

Bottom Line

If you are one of the many first-time buyers who is not sure if you would qualify for a low-down payment mortgage, let’s get together and set you on your path to homeownership! Give The Johnson Team a call today at (360) 713-3056 or email us at

Thinking of Selling? Now is the Perfect Time

It is common knowledge that a great number of homes sell during the spring-buying season. For that reason, many homeowners hold off on putting their homes on the market until then. The question is whether or not that will be a good strategy this year.

The other listings that do come out in the spring will represent increased competition to any seller. Do a greater number of homes actually come to the market in the spring as compared to the rest of the year? The National Association of Realtors (NAR) recently revealed the months in which most people listed their homes for sale in 2017. Here is a graphic showing the results:

Thinking of Selling? Now is the Perfect Time | MyKCM

The three months in the second quarter of the year (represented in red) are consistently the most popular months for sellers to list their homes on the market. Last year, the number of homes available for sale in January was 1,680,000.

That number spiked to 1,970,000 by May!

What does this mean to you?

With the national job situation improving, and mortgage interest rates projected to rise later in the year, buyers are not waiting until the spring; they are out looking for homes right now. If you are looking to sell this year, waiting until the spring to list your home means you will have the greatest competition amongst buyers.

Bottom Line

It may make sense to beat the rush of housing inventory that will enter the market in the spring and list your home today. If you have any questions, give us a call at (888) 713-3056 or email us at

Today’s Purchasing Rates

If you are buying, selling, or refinancing, the current mortgage rates are very important. You can see below what the current rates are as of January 18th.




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!

The Impact Staging Your Home Has on Sales Price

The Impact Staging Your Home Has on Sales Price [INFOGRAPHIC] | MyKCM

Some Highlights:

  • The National Association of Realtors surveyed their members & released the findings of their Annual Profile of Home Staging.
  • 50% of staged homes saw a 1-10% increase in dollar value offers from buyers.
  • 77% of buyer’s agents said staging made it easier for buyers to visualize the home as their own.
  • The top rooms to stage in order to attract more buyers are the living room, master bedroom, kitchen, and dining room.

If you have any questions, give us a call at (888) 713-3056 or email us at

Wondering If You Can Buy Your First Home?

There are many people sitting on the sidelines trying to decide if they should purchase a home or sign a rental lease. Some might wonder if it makes sense to purchase a house before they are married and have a family, others might think they are too young, and still, others might think their current income would never enable them to qualify for a mortgage.

We want to share what the typical first-time homebuyer actually looks like based on the National Association of REALTORS most recent Profile of Home Buyers & Sellers. Here are some interesting revelations on the first-time buyer:

Wondering If You Can Buy Your First Home? | MyKCM

Bottom Line

You may not be much different than many people who have already purchased their first homes. Let’s meet to determine if your dream home is within your grasp. Give us a call at (888) 713-3056 or email us at

93% Believe Homeownership Is Important in Attaining the American Dream

93% Believe Homeownership Is Important in Attaining the American Dream | MyKCM

Americans continue to believe that homeownership is important in achieving the American Dream. A recent survey by NeighborWorks America reported that:

“Owning a home remains a core element of the American Dream.”

When asked “How important a part of the American dream is owning a home?”

  • 18% of those surveyed said it was the most important part
  • 53% of those surveyed said it was very important
  • 22% of those surveyed said it was somewhat important

Homeownership and Financial Stability

The survey also revealed that 81% of Americans believe that owning a home leads to a family being more financially stable. This feeling was reiterated by Zillow Senior Economist Aaron Terrazas who, in a recent press release, explained:

“After about a two-year slowdown, rent growth is starting to pick back up across the nation…Looking into 2018, rent is expected to continue gaining.

More widespread rent growth could mean home buying demands stay high, as renters who can afford it move away from the unpredictability of rising rents toward the relative stability of a monthly mortgage payment instead.” (emphasis added)

Bottom Line

Owning a home always has been, and always will be, a crucial part of attaining the American Dream.

If you are curious how you can make your homeownership dreams come true, contact Johnson Team Real Estate today, we are here to help! Call us at (360) 303-2734 or email us at today!

Team Talk- What’s The Johnson Team Been Up To?

team1bWell the Bredesons all made it through the holidays. Lots of family in town on Kim’s side. Now that Lauren is 14, and in 8th grade- she really loved the time away from homework. But, the grades have to stay good to keep in the sports. She just finished school basketball , volleyball is coming up and fastpitch practice has started. With the fastpitch team, Whatcom Reign, this is a whole family affair. It’s a travel sport, so over the course of the next few months they will spend several days in the hotel in Lacey. In the spring time, most games are played down south.


For Mike & Kim, they made a trip to Whistler for their 15th Wedding Anniversary and are kind of thinking about a trip next year to where it all started- Catalina Island. On the home front, Sandy Point is windy, but the sun does shine a little more out there. Actually, starting to feel a little like spring, short lived surely. Winter Blackmouth Chinook fishing has started and the boat is out of storage. It should be a great 2018 and they are excited.

WOW – what a crazy business real estate is! A recent weekend was spent working with folks who have been looking for a home in Bellingham for quite a while. A home came on the market that I was sure they’d be interested in. They looked at the house, knew it had their name on it & wrote the offer. Unfortunately, several other people liked it & wrote offers as well. The good news is that in the course of offers, counteroffers, escalation clauses, streamlining offers & crossing fingers, we came up with the gold ring. I have to admit there is a bit of excitement & a lot of satisfaction that come along with the job…to include meeting some really interesting & appreciative people. I guess that’s part of what keeps me in the game with my real estate hat on.



Speaking of people that don’t have their Real Estate hats on any more, that darn Lylene is loving life & likes nothing more than spending time in the yard skooting along on her rear end and getting her finger nails dirty along with everything else. Other than the fact that my lists seem to get bigger & more comprehensive, I’d have to say I’m handling her retirement quite admirably.

We just heard from Chandler that later this month he is interviewing for a position with a University in Monterey CA. Of course there is nothing that Lylene & I would like better than for him to be closer to home – quite frankly almost any place on the globe would be closer to Bellingham WA than where he is now. Of course the other piece of it is that if he lived here locally, he might get a bunch of his stuff out of our garage Funny how I have to have a storage unit so the kids can store everything from their comic book collections to a gigantic tortoise shell that they got from someone long forgotten…everything in between.
Graham, on the other hand, seems to be settling into his new position at INSITU at Hood River. He is a huge mountain biker & taking advantage of all the trail riding that Hood River has to offer. Unfortunately, he had a bit of an accident on the bike the other day – at least that’s what he told his Mom. Truth of the matter was that he managed to break his elbow. It’s since healed but he has a new respect for the protective arm & leg gear that one can buy. According to last reports, he is actually using it as well. He’s just purchased a camper van that he’s been doing some work on to include everything from a wood stove to kitchen sink. Every now & then he sends us photos to keep us abreast of the project.


Fawn, Casey and McKenna had a wonderful holiday season enjoying some time with Fawn’s sister Holly who flew home from Kansas. McKenna just wrapped up her winter go kart series in Monroe. She pulled off 6 top 3 finishes and one win. McKenna was the Season Champion of her class in her quarter midget racing series at Skagit Speedway last summer. She can also be found racing her Junior Sprint every Friday night at Deming Speedway, April to September. She’s really keeping Fawn and Casey busy!


So from our house to yours, we wish you  & yours the very best. If there is ever anything we can do for you, we are only a phone call away.

Bellingham Real Estate Market Update & Happenings!

Market Snap Shot Jan 18

As we look into our real estate crystal ball, the question always is “so where have we been & where are we going?”

The “where have we been part” is pretty simple as it’s already logged into the history books. Closed Bellingham residential sales for 2017 were 1042 homes as opposed to 1145 homes in 2016. The median sales price for a home in Bellingham in 2016 was $363,465 as opposed to $393,249 in 2017. We are started the year off with approximately 111 active listings with an additional 79 homes pending as opposed to 193 active listings a year ago with, at that time, 86 pending listings.

So with that in the rear view mirror, what does the road ahead look like & what are some of the chuck holes in the way that could throw a monkey wrench in things?

First, we have a new Tax Code.  As it was initially stated, it had all of the real estate pundits up in arms, but as it went through the Congressional “Grinder” it was trimmed down to the point where it may not have the negative impact people initially felt.  Now in the interest of full disclosure, even though I graduated fairly high in my class at the U of W (sorry Cougar fans), accounting was not necessarily my bailiwick.  Even if it was, I’d ask you to consult with your personal accountant or financial planner to see how it impacts you personally.

So “Where are we headed in 2018”? 

A local lender posts a current 30 year fixed rate of 4.125%.  All indications are that rates will increase in 2018 with Freddie Mac projections to 4.6 in the 4th quarter of 2018.

Population data indicates that between 2010 and 2016, Whatcom County has seen a significant increase of people in their 60s and 70s. During the same time there’s been a decrease in the number of people in their 20s and 40s

A recent article in the Bellingham Herald quoted Zillow Economists as predicting a 3.1% increase in Bellingham home prices over the next 12 months, saying that the hottest neighborhoods ie: Lettered Streets, will have a 12 month increase of 4%, the York District an increase of 3.8% & the Columbia District of 3.7%.

As of today’s date, there are 87 residential homes pending in Bellingham.  Of this number, 34 pended within 5 days or less of the list date.  While we won’t know until the homes close, my guess is that with the quick pending dates, the probability is that the homes sold in excess of their list prices.  In the past 30 days, 69 residential homes sold.  Of that number, 27 sold either at or greater than their list price.

With that ground work, from what I hear on the streets, in my open houses & see statistically, I think, in Bellingham,

  • Inventory will remain at historically low levels.


  • While rising interest rates will make it more difficult for entry level buyers to find homes, it will have less or no effect on an older population that appears to be moving into the area & many times buying without the need of a home loan.


  • As climate change affects other parts of the US, our weather & lifestyle in the Pacific North West will be more appealing to others, causing them to move in increasing numbers.


  • Demand for Bellingham real estate will continue to outstrip supply resulting in increased prices. Quite frankly, I think the increases we experience will outstrip those projected by Zillow’s forecasters

In a nut shell, prepare for more of the same from our fast & furious real estate market.

If you have questions about the market in general or about your property specifically, Mike, Fawn & I would be happy to help you any way that we can.