Open House, Sunday December 16th 1 to 3pm in Bellingham’s Parkhurst Neighborhood!

Open House this Sunday, December 16th from 1pm to 3pm at 4660 Raptor Lane in Bellingham!

Raptor Tour

Click to view a full virtual tour of the home today.

Just Reduced to $835,000!!!

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.

Looking forward to seeing you on Sunday at 4660 Raptor Lane in Bellingham.

If you can’t make the open house, but would like to schedule a showing, call us today at 1-888-713-3056 or email us at Info@JohnsonTeamRealEstate.com to set up a time!

How to Simply Increase Your Family Wealth by Paying for Housing

Everyone should realize that unless you are living somewhere rent-free, you are paying a mortgage – either yours or your landlord’s. Buying your own home provides you with a form of ‘forced savings’ that allows you to use your monthly housing costs to increase your family’s wealth.

Every month that you pay your mortgage, you are paying off a portion of the debt that you took on to purchase your home. Therefore, you own a little bit more of your home every month in the form of home equity. As your home’s value increases you also gain home equity.

Every quarter, Pulsenomics surveys a nationwide panel of over 100 economists, real estate experts, and investment and market strategists and asks them to project how residential home prices will appreciate over the next five years for their Home Price Expectation Survey (HPES).

The latest data from their Q4 2018 Survey revealed that home prices are expected to round out the year 5.8% higher than they were in January. For the next 5 years, home values will appreciate by an average of nearly 3% a year.

This is still great news for homeowners!

For example, let’s assume a young couple purchases and closes on a $250,000 home in January. Simply through their home appreciating in value, those homeowners can build their home equity by nearly $40,000 over the next five years.

How to Simply Increase Your Family Wealth by Paying for Housing | MyKCM

Let’s look at the potential equity gained over the same period of time at some higher price points:

How to Simply Increase Your Family Wealth by Paying for Housing | MyKCM

In many cases, home equity is a large portion of a family’s overall net worth.

Bottom Line

If your plan for 2019 includes entering the housing market to purchase a home, whether it’s your first or your fifth, let’s get together to make your plan a reality!

What If I Wait A Year to Buy a Home?

What If I Wait A Year to Buy a Home? | MyKCM

National home prices have increased by 5.4% since this time last year. Over that same time period, interest rates have remained near historic lows which has allowed many buyers to enter the market and lock in low rates.

As a seller, you will likely be most concerned about ‘short-term price’ – where home values are headed over the next six months. As a buyer, however, you must not be concerned about price but instead about the ‘long-term cost’ of the home.

The Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA), Freddie Mac, and Fannie Mae all project that mortgage interest rates will increase by this time next year. According to CoreLogic’s most recent Home Price Insights Reporthome prices will appreciate by 4.8% over the next 12 months.

What Does This Mean as a Buyer?

If home prices appreciate by 4.8% over the next twelve months as predicted by CoreLogic, here is a simple demonstration of the impact that an increase in interest rate would have on the mortgage payment of a home selling for approximately $250,000 today:

What If I Wait Until 2019 To Buy A Home? | MyKCM

Bottom Line

If buying a home is in your plan for this year, doing it sooner rather than later could save you thousands of dollars over the terms of your loan. If you have any real estate questions, give us a call at (888) 713-3056 or email us at Info@JohnsonTeamRealEstate.com.

It’s Wassail Time! Our Favorite Holiday Tradition.

Johnson Team Holiday TraditionsHope you and your family are enjoying the holiday season and all that it brings!

No matter what holiday you embrace and choose to celebrate there always is some sort of tradition that symbolizes the holiday season to you. For The Johnson Team the holiday tradition Lylene making her famous “wassail”.” Those that do not know what Wassail is, it is a wonderful holiday drink that is a combination of fruit juices and spiced that will keep you home smelling like the holidays and provide a cup of cheer for all ages. We all enjoy the incredible smell, and feelings of warmth and holiday memories we hold dear.

If you would like to try making Wassail for yourself or your next holiday party follow the recipe below:

  • 1 can frozen apple juice concentrate
  • 1/2 can orange/pineapple juice concentrate
  • 3 1/2 cans water
  • 3 cinnamon sticks
  • 10-12 whole cloves
  • 1 tsp ground nutmeg

Make in a pot on the stove, a crock pot or a coffee maker used solely for wassail.

Enjoy and Happy Holidays from the whole Johnson Team!

Price Reduction on 4660 Raptor Lane

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Just Reduced to $835,000!!!

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.

For more information, take a look at our virtual tour. 

Real Estate Market Update

Bellingham REal Estate for saleIf 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, December 7th, the pending ratio in Bellingham was 39%. 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 23%

The Ferndale pending ratio was 32%

The Lynden pending ratio was 29%

The Sudden Valley pending ratio was 28%

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

51% of Homeowners Love Their Forever Homes …Do You?

Studies show that over 50% of homeowners love their homes and have no plans to sell. What’s holding you back from finding your forever home? Let’s get together so we can find you your dream home today! Give The Johnson Team a call at (888) 713-3056 or email us at Info@JohnsonTeamRealEstate.com.

Where Are Mortgage Rates Today?

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.

Here are the mortgage rates as of today, December 6th!

Capture

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!

Home Maintenance You Should Do Monthly

Monthly Home Maintenance

As a homeowner, do you worry about costly repairs? There is one thing you can do to avoid the chances of these repairs being necessary; Weekly/Monthly maintenance! Some of this list could/should happen more often, but some of the items on this list isn’t needed very often!

  1. Clean your drains and disposal. Pouring boiling water down a drain is a quick way to clean out sludge. If the drain is still moving sluggishly, baking soda and vinegar can help break up obstructions. Tossing some ice cubes into your disposal will both sharpen the blades and help flush out debris.
  2. Check vents and filters. Clogged-up filters and vents can increase utility costs, as well as present a safety hazard in some instances. You may not necessarily need to replace HVAC filters monthly but keeping an eye on them will help you spot when they do need to be changed.
  3. Demineralize faucets. Faucets and shower heads can build up mineral deposits slowly or quickly depending on how hard your tap water is. Hard water buildup can reduce water flow and even cause faucets to spray water in all the wrong directions. Soaking the faucet filter in vinegar is a quick and easy way to remove mineral deposits.
  4. Check up on safety devices. Your smoke detectors, carbon monoxide detector, and fire extinguisher can only save your life if they’re functional! Be sure to replace smoke alarm and CO2 detector batteries every year, and double check that your fire extinguisher is up-to-date.

If you can stay up to date on these items and some other maintenance, you will most likely avoid some repair bills! Thanks to Sidney Stonecypher at People’s Bank for these tips!

If you have any questions about if your house may be ready to sell, give The Johnson Team a call today at (888) 713-3056 or email us at Info@JohnsonTeamRealEstate.com.

2008 vs. Now: Are Owners Using Their Homes as ATMs Again?

2008 vs. Now: Are Owners Using Their Homes as ATMs Again? | MyKCM

Over the last six years, we have experienced strong price appreciation which has increased home equity levels dramatically. As the number of “cash-out” refinances begins to approach numbers last seen during the crash, some are afraid that we may be repeating last decade’s mistake.

However, a closer look at the numbers shows that homeowners are being much more responsible with their home equity this time around.

What happened then…

When real estate values began to surge last decade, people started using their homes as personal ATMs. Homeowners would refinance their houses and convert their equity into instant cash (known as “cash-out” refinances). Because homes were appreciating so rapidly, many homeowners tapped into their equity multiple times.

This left homeowners with little-or-no equity left in their homes, so when prices started to fall many homeowners found their houses in a negative equity situation (where the mortgage amount was greater than the value of the home). When some of these homeowners saw that there was no value left in their houses, they just stopped paying their mortgages altogether.

Banks eventually foreclosed on those homes and the foreclosures drove prices down even further and put more homes in the negative equity category. This cycle continued, leading to the worst housing crash in almost one hundred years.

What’s happening now…

Again, Americans are seeing their home equity grow. Today, over 48% of all single-family homes in the country have over 50% equity, and yes, some families are tapping into that equity. However, this time around, homeowners are not making irresponsible decisions. According to the latest information from Freddie Mac, the total equity being “cashed out” is a fraction of what it was leading up to the crash. Here are the numbers:

2008 vs. Now: Are Owners Using Their Homes as ATMs Again? | MyKCM

Bottom Line

The recklessness that accompanied the build-up in equity prior to the last crash does not exist today. That makes this housing market much more secure than the one we had heading into 2008. If you have any questions about the housing market, give The Johnson Team a call today at (888) 713-3056 or email us at Info@JohnsonTeamRealEstate.com.