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!

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!

Lookout Mountain Forest Preserve Hiking

We have some pretty awesome hiking locations in Whatcom County. If you love beautiful scenery, the addition of 4 miles of new trails in the Lookout Mountain Forest Preserve will definitely be something you will want to check out! These trailheads are the most recent trails built for Whatcom county parkland, and are accessed adjacent to Sudden Valley. The new trails span 8,844 acres on both sides of Lake Whatcom. The land used for the trails was transferred from the state to Whatcom County in 2014. Currently, all new trails are open for use, with the exception of Cougar Ridge Trail, as crews are working on this trails completion.

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The new trails include:

Rufus Creek Trail
Starting at the Lookout Mountain Trailhead, Rufus Creek Trail gently climbs for 4.3 miles. It goes through a variety of forest types, streams, wetlands, and has amazing views of sandstone cliffs.

Waterfall Trail
A stunning waterfall is accessed by a short loop trail near the junction of Rufus Creek Trail and the LM-2000 Road.

Baneberry Trail
This steep trail makes a large loop out of Rufus Creek Trail. Bikes travel uphill only on this trail.

Leila June Trail
This is a hiker only trail and is part of the original Lookout Mountain Loop. There are plenty of options for shorter or longer hikes with this trail!

Cougar Ridge Trail
Cougar Ridge Trail is a descending only mountain bike trail, and is more difficult with optional harder sections. This trail contains technical terrain including drops, steep sections, cliff edges, and sharp corners. Currently closed but is nearing completion.

With the new routes, there are currently over 8 miles of new trails. These new trailheads will eventually total about 98 miles when finished.  The network of larger and smaller trails allows you to decide how long (or short) of a hike you would like to take!

Parking is free, and there is a restroom at the trailhead. Dogs are allowed, as long as they are on a leash. The WTA also provides bus service to the trailhead on the 512 line.

How to get there:

The trailhead access point is at 2537 Lake Louise Road. The Lookout Mountain Forest Preserve trails connect to the mountain bike trails on Galbraith Mountain via 4000 Road. Get out there and do some exploring in our own back yard!!

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How Many Homes Are For Sale In Whatcom County?

Keys HandIf 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, November 16th, the pending ratio in Bellingham was 36%. 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 22%

The Ferndale pending ratio was 27%

The Lynden pending ratio was 33%

The Sudden Valley pending ratio was 25%

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

Three Things Homeowners Are Thankful For

With Thanksgiving just around the corner, we all have a lot to be thankful for this year.

As a homeowner, there are many things to be thankful for. For example, as home values increase, so does your family’s wealth. If you’re interested in finding out all the benefits of homeownership, let’s get together today!

Call us today at 1-888-713-3056 or email us at Info@JohnsonTeamRealEstate.com .

Wage Increases Make Home Buying More Affordable

Wage Increases Make Home Buying More Affordable | MyKCM

Everyone knows that housing affordability has been negatively impacted by rising prices and increasing mortgage rates, but there is another piece to the affordability equation – wages.

How much a family earns obviously impacts how easy or difficult it is for them to afford to own a home. Because of an improving economy, wages are finally beginning to increase – and that dramatically affects home affordability.

According to the National Association of Realtors’ (NAR) September 2018 Housing Affordability Index,wages have increased in every region of the country:

Wage Increases Make Home Buying More Affordable | MyKCM

After applying current salaries, home prices, and mortgage rates to their Home Affordability Index equation, the index, though still lower than this time last year (160.1 to 146.7), increased over the last month (141.2 to 146.7). For the complete methodology used by NAR, click here.

The percentage of income needed to own a home has also decreased each of the last three months. It currently sits at 17% which is substantially lower than historic numbers.

Wage Increases Make Home Buying More Affordable | MyKCM

Bottom Line

If you are a first-time buyer or a move-up buyer who believes that purchasing a home is not within your budget, let’s get together to determine if that is still true.

Are Homeowners Renovating to Sell or to Stay?

Are Homeowners Renovating to Sell or to Stay? | MyKCM

Over the past few years, two trends have emerged in the housing market:

  • Home renovations have shot up
  • Inventory of homes available for sale on the market has dropped

A ‘normal’ housing market is defined by having a 6-month supply of homes for sale. According to the latest Existing Home Sales Report from the National Association of Realtors, we are currently at a 4.4-month supply.

This low inventory environment has many current homeowners worried that they would be unable to find a home to buy if they were to list and sell their current houses, which is causing many homeowners to instead renovate their homes in an attempt to fit their needs.

According to Home Advisorhomeowners spent an average of $6,649 on home improvements over the last 12 months. If that number seems high, it also includes homeowners who recently bought fixer-uppers.

A new study from Zillow asked the question,

“Given a choice between spending a fixed amount of money on a down payment for a new home or fixing up their current home, what would you do?”

Seventy-six percent of those surveyed said that they would rather renovate their current homes than move. The results are broken down by generation below.

 

Are Homeowners Renovating to Sell or to Stay? | MyKCM

More and more studies are coming out about the intention that many Americans have to ‘age in place’ (or retire in the area in which they live). Among retirees, 91% would prefer to renovate than spend their available funds on a down payment on a new home.

If their current house fits their needs as far as space and accessibility are concerned, then a renovation could make sense. But if renovations will end up changing the identity of the home and impacting resale value, then the renovations may end up costing them more in the long run.

With home prices increasing steadily for the last 6.5 years, homeowners have naturally gained equity that they may not even be aware of. Listing your house for sale in this low-competition environment could net you more money than your renovations otherwise would.

Bottom Line

If you are one of the many homeowners who is thinking about remodeling instead of selling, let’s get together to help you make the right decision for you based on the demand for your house in today’s market.

5 Tips When Buying a Newly Constructed Home

5 Tips When Buying a Newly Constructed Home | MyKCM

The lack of existing inventory for sale has forced many home buyers to begin looking at new construction. When you buy a newly constructed home instead of an existing home, there are many extra steps that must take place.

To ensure a hassle-free process, here are 5 tips to keep in mind if you are considering new construction:

1. Hire an Inspector

Despite the fact that builders must comply with town and city regulations, a home inspector will have your best interests in mind! When buying new construction, you will have between 1-3 inspections, depending on your preference (the foundation inspection, the pre-drywall inspection, and a final inspection).

These inspections are important because the inspector will often notice something that the builder missed. If possible, attend the inspection so that you can ask questions about your new home and make sure the builder fixes any problems found by the inspector.

2. Maintain good communication with your builder

Starting with the pre-construction meeting (where you will go over all the details of your home with your project manager), establish a line of communication. For example, will the builder email you every Friday with progress updates? If you are an out-of-state buyer, will you receive weekly pictures of the progress via email? Can you call the builder and if so, how often? How often can you visit the site?

3. Look for builder’s incentives

The good thing about buying a new home is that you can add the countertop you need, the mudroom you want, or an extra porch off the back of your home! However, there is always a price for such additions, and they add up quickly!

Some builders offer incentives that can help reduce the amount you spend on your home. Do your homework and see what sort of incentives the builders in your area are offering.

4. Schedule extra time into the process

There are many things that can impact the progress on your home. One of these things is the weather, especially if you are building in the fall and winter. Rain can delay the pouring of a foundation as well as other necessary steps at the beginning of construction, while snow can freeze pipes and slow your timeline.

Most builders already have a one-to-two-week buffer added into their timelines, but if you are also in the process of selling your current home, you must keep that in mind! Nobody wants to be between homes for a couple of weeks.

5. Visit the site often

As we mentioned earlier, be sure to schedule time with your project manager at least once a week to see the progress on your home. It’s easy for someone who is not there all the time to notice little details that the builder may have forgotten or overlooked. Additionally, don’t forget to take pictures! You might need them later to see exactly where that pipe is or where those electrical connections are once they’re covered up with drywall!

Bottom Line

Watching your home come to life is a wonderful experience that can sometimes come with hassles. To avoid some of these headaches, keep these tips in mind!

If you are ready to put your current home on the market and find out what new construction is available in your area, let’s get together to discuss your options! Give The Johnson Team a call today at (888) 713-3056 or email us at Info@JohnsonTeamRealEstate.com.

Just Listed Incredible Lynden Country Home in the Meridian School District.

Just listed 226 W King Tut Rd!

  You won’t want to miss this incredible country home with high end designer finishes located in the highly sought after Meridian School District.

226 W King Tut Rd

An iron entry gate, a winding blacktop driveway, a stable in the center of a green pasture with a white-railed fence, beautifully landscaped gardens featuring a delightful tunneled grape arbor walkway, several outdoor patios, a play area to include a life-sized dollhouse, a miniature “Red Barn” potting shed, a glorious Mt Baker & Twin Sister view & finally a completely remodeled Country Home with designer finishes throughout along with a huge wraparound deck & veranda is all waiting to be yours.

Call (360) 303-2734 to schedule an appointment to view the home today. Out and about on Sunday?

Visit Rich Johnson Sunday from 12pm to 2pm as he hosts an open house at the home.

View a full virtual tour and more information by clicking here today.

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