Classic Craftsman in Bellingham’s Happy Valley Neighborhood!

Brand new on the market is 2314 Harris St located in the heart of Bellingham’s Happy Valley Neighborhood!

Click image below to view virtual tour

Virtual Tour

Welcome to 2314 Harris Ave, a Happy Valley Craftsman that, for in excess of 100 yrs, has been well loved & cared for. It’s Happy Valley classic for sure with a floorplan sure to fit a variety of needs. Whether it’s the spacious kitchen with sun-drenched breakfast nook, the large living area or the upstairs mezzanine, there is a fun-filled space packed into this home. Outside you’ll enjoy a huge deck for entertaining, a completely fenced in backyard for Fido or fun & a huge double car garage.

Join Rich Johnson this weekend for open houses on Saturday from 12pm to 2pm and Sunday from 1pm to 3pm or call (360) 303-2734 to schedule a private showing!

Details:

4 bedrooms, 1.75 bathrooms
Taxes $3,916
Lot Size 0.25 Acre (10,890 SqFt)
Garage Size: 2 Car
Exterior :Wood
Heating/Cooling :Forced Air
Roof: Composition Roof
Flooring: Hardwood Floor, Laminate, Vinyl Floor, Wall to Wall Carpet

School Information

District: Bellingham
Happy Valley Elementary
Fairhaven Middle School
Sehome High School

For more information on the home call 1-888-713-3056 or visit the home’s website today!

Build Your Dream Home!

Brand new on the market you won’t want to miss this  1/3 of an acre saltwater view lot located at  2931 Leeward Way in Bellingham!

030_2931_Leeward_Way_Rich_Johnson

Build the house of your dreams on this level view lot overlooking the San Juan & Gulf Islands. If gorgeous sunsets, evening strolls on the beach, the overwhelming sound of “Quiet” & the joy of clean fresh air are what you are hoping to find, then look no further than 2931 Leeward Way. The lot is 13,000+ sq ft & has about 83′ of high bank waterfront. The community maintains a walkway to the Beach for your evening strolls or agate searches.

View a complete virtual tour and learn more here!

View the Tour

For immediate information call us today at 1-888-713-3056 or email us at Info@JohnsonTeamRealEstate.com

 

Are We Feeling the Shockwaves of Seattle’s Market?

The headline on the front page of The Seattle Times this morning is “Home Prices Jump in South Seattle”.  The article goes on to say the City’s median house price is now nearly $820,000. We feel the shock waves of the Seattle market here in Whatcom County as more Seattleites search up & down the I-5 corridor to find an affordable home.

More often than not, one hears “how can local folks afford to buy a home here”? Many times the buyers are people displaced by the high prices of the Seattle market & searching out a place for their family. Terms we are hearing now include “Pressure Cooker Market”, “Surging Prices”, “Instant Response Market” rather than a “Quick Action Market”.  No matter what terms you prefer to use, know that our local real estate market will continue to rise, inventory will be in short supply & while interest rates will continue to rise, it’s doubtful to me that it will do much to slow things down.

Here’s a great visual on the number of homes available overtime:

April 2018 Snap Shot

If you or your friends or family have questions about the market, Mike & I would be more than  happy to help you make some sense out of it.  Give us a call at 360 303 2734.

 

Spring is Here! Is your lawn ready?

Hand LawnSpring is officially here! Even though the sun is not shining today, warmer and brighter days are ahead.

Now is the time to attend to our lawns and get ahead of the curve to achieve a vibrant and healthy turf! Winter can change soil pH, compact the soil and create hospitable environments for weeds and disease.

Here are a few tips to get you started:

 

1. Give your yard a good raking now. This helps with thatch build up and leaf removal left over from last season. This will remove any dead grass blades and give you a fresh start. Also, if you find any “matted patches” from winter, a light raking will help you to avoid a disease called “snow mold”. It’s best to start this step after all the snow is gone for the season… Watch for uneven areas. Low spots cause poor drainage and high spots can get scalped by the lawn mower. A shovel can help you even out the ground…cut back raised areas and fill in the depressed ones. For very large lawns, you can rent a de-thatcher.

 

2. Check for compaction. Compaction happens when there is high foot traffic. Grass can’t take root when there is compaction and weeds can flourish. Moss can signify compaction (among other things). The remedy is lawn aeration. Aeration is best performed in late Spring, in our area of the country. How do you know if your lawn is compacted? Try this trick: stick a garden fork into the ground. If the tines fail to penetrate 2 inches (5.08 centimeters), your soil is compacted and should be loosened with an aerator designed to remove small plugs of soil from your lawn.

 

3. Moss also signals acidity. Grass likes it neutral, so lime is a good idea to help this situation, although it’s a slow fix. ONLY lime if there is truly an acidity issue, otherwise, you can go backwards as your lawn may become alkaline, which is not helpful either. Consider having your lawn tested to identify its condition. Also, consider an iron application which is usually in spray form. Within days, the turf should respond to the iron applications and turn darker green in color.

 

4. You may need to overseed if you have dog spots, heavy traffic or neglect *(bare, brown spots). A slow release nitrogen fertilizer should be applied while overseeding. Five weeks later, after the grass germinates, apply a quick release nitrogen fertilizer.

 

Special thanks to our friends at Corion Landscape Management for the great article. If you need professional help with getting our lawn ready for spring, Corion Landscape Management is here to help. Corion offers exceptional landscaping installation and maintenance services for Bellingham, Ferndale, Mt. Vernon, Burilington and all of Whatcom, Skagit and Island Counties.

Green Spring Cleaning Solutions

Natural Cleaning Ideas

The sun is shining and Spring is almost here!  With Spring often times comes the feeling to spruce things up around the house. But, don’t rush out and buy all the kitchen and bathroom cleaning chemicals you can find. You might be surprised to learn that you have many ingredients you could use to clean already in your pantry. Below are some green cleaning solution mixtures to help you keep your home sparkling clean.

 Floors: Mix 4 cups of white distilled vinegar with about a gallon of hot water. If desired, add a few drops of pure peppermint or lemon oil for a pleasant scent. After damp mopping the floors, the smell of vinegar will dissipate, leaving behind only the scent of the oil.

Glass: Mix 1/4 cup vinegar with 1 quart of water in a spray bottle. Spray on glass and wipe clean with old newspaper or a lint-free cloth.

Counter tops and bathroom tile: Mix 2 parts vinegar and 1 part baking soda with 4 parts water. Apply with a sponge, scour, and wipe away.

Wood furniture: Mix equal parts of lemon juice and olive and oil. Apply a small amount to a cloth, and rub onto the furniture in long, even strokes.

– Toilet bowl cleaner: Sprinkle a toilet brush with baking soda and scrub away! Occasionally disinfect your toilet by scrubbing with borax instead. Wipe the outside of the toilet clean with straight vinegar.

– Disinfectant: Mix 2 teaspoons borax, 4 tablespoons vinegar, 3 cups hot water, and 1/4 teaspoon liquid castile soap. Wipe on with dampened cloth or use a spray bottle. Wipe clean.

– Mold and mildew: Wipe with straight vinegar.

– Air freshener: Sprinkle essential oil on a cotton ball, and stash it in a corner of the room. If you have kids, make sure it is out of their reach as essential oils are very strong and could irritate their skin. Lavender is a relaxing scent that is great for bedrooms, and cinnamon, clove, and citrus oils are great for the rest of the house. You can stash a few in the car too—try peppermint, which may help you to stay alert.

Source: Sparkpeople.com- Lisa Barnes

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Is Now a Good Time to Rent?

Rent pic 1

People often ask if now is a good time to buy a home, but nobody ever asks when it’s a good time to rent. Regardless, we want to make certain that everyone understands that today is NOT a good time to rent.

The Census Bureau recently released their 2017 fourth quarter median rent numbers. Here is a graph showing rent increases from 1988 until today:

Rent pic 2

As you can see, rents have steadily increased and are showing no signs of slowing down. If you are faced with making the decision of whether or not you should renew your lease, you might be pleasantly surprised at your ability to buy a home of your own instead.
Bottom Line

One way to protect yourself from rising rents is to lock in your housing expense by buying a home. If you are ready and willing to buy. The first step is to contact a lender. We have  a great database of experienced local lenders to choose from. Call us today for a lender reference and to get the ball rolling at 1-888-713-3056.

Your Monday Morning Real Estate Update!

Bellingham HomesThe 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, February 23rd, the pending ratio in Bellingham was 53%. 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 41%

The Ferndale pending ratio was 40%

The Lynden pending ratio was 40%

The Sudden Valley pending ratio was 36%

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

Let it Snow! Winter Driving Tips

SnowDrivingIt’s officially here!  Snow is currently lightly falling at the office with more expected throughout the day. The tips below are courtesy of AAA.

  • Accelerate and decelerate slowly. Applying the gas slowly to accelerate is the best method for regaining traction and avoiding skids. Don’t try to get moving in a hurry. And take time to slow down for a stoplight. Remember: It takes longer to slow down on icy roads.
  • Drive slowly. Everything takes longer on snow-covered roads. Accelerating, stopping, turning – nothing happens as quickly as on dry pavement. Give yourself time to maneuver by driving slowly.
  • The normal dry pavement following distance of three to four seconds should be increased to eight to ten seconds. This increased margin of safety will provide the longer distance needed if you have to stop.
  • Know your brakes. Whether you have antilock brakes or not, the best way to stop is threshold breaking. Keep the heel of your foot on the floor and use the ball of your foot to apply firm, steady pressure on the brake pedal.
  • Don’t stop if you can avoid it. There’s a big difference in the amount of inertia it takes to start moving from a full stop versus how much it takes to get moving while still rolling. If you can slow down enough to keep rolling until a traffic light changes, do it.
  • Don’t power up hills. Applying extra gas on snow-covered roads just starts your wheels spinning. Try to get a little inertia going before you reach the hill and let that inertia carry you to the top. As you reach the crest of the hill, reduce your speed and proceed down hill as slowly as possible.
  • Don’t stop going up a hill. There’s nothing worse than trying to get moving up a hill on an icy road. Get some inertia going on a flat roadway before you take on the hill.
  • Stay home. If you really don’t have to go out, don’t. Even if you can drive well in the snow, not everyone else can. Don’t tempt fate: If you don’t have somewhere you have to be, watch the snow from indoors.

Stay warm and safe!

Vacancy Rates at Historic Lows. Looking to Invest? Now is the Time!

The Bellingham and Whatcom County rental vacancy rates have been hovering around 1% for the past 5 years. Owning a rental in our area is an incredible investment. The Bellingham and Whatcom County real estate market has many options for those looking to make a real estate investments from large commercial sites to apartment buildings and small rentals homes, there is something to fit your every need.

J Team Vacancy Rate

From large condominiums complexes in Bellingham’s historic Fairhaven District to modest townhouses and apartment click here to search for multi family real estate in Bellingham and around Whatcom County. Bellingham is home to Western Washington University, Whatcom Community College and Bellingham Technical College making rentals highly sought after in the city.

Bellingham Single Family Investment and Rental Real Estate

Bellingham and Whatcom County is home to many college students and business executives seeking rental housing. Take advantage of a great real estate market and low interest rates and invest in a rental home. Search from our list to see what the Bellingham Real Estate market has to offer

 

Want to stay informed on the latest investment properties to hit the market? Sign up for our Homes by Email service to be alerted via email as new properties become available!

For more information on investment real estate in Bellingham or Whatcom County feel free to call us toll free at 1-888-713-3056 or email us at Info@JohnsonTeamRealEstate.com, we’d be happy to help!

Burrrrrrr! How to Weather The Winter in an Older Home

Thermometer

Burrrrrrrrrr! It’s cold outside today in Bellingham and around Western Washington!

Many Bellingham and Whatcom County were homes built  in the early 1900 and even late 1800’s. Weathering the cold and dark winter months is a challenge for anyone, but can be especially difficult if you live in an older home. Older homes carry a lot of appeal but older homes also come with problems and a lot of them are brought to light in cold winters. These are common issues that should be addressed and corrected so that your focus is on friends, family and holidays, and not with home repairs.

Many older homes come with beautiful glass work but unfortunately, these drafty, single-pane windows allow heat to escape, wasting energy and money. Replacement windows can be expensive but they are often the most effective way to increase energy efficiency and comfort.

Insulation overall can be a problem in older homes, and inadequate insulation should be supplemented with additional insulation, particularly in attics. In order to ascertain how much insulation you need, check with local sources to determine if minimum insulation ratings (R-values) are required in your area for new homes and then meet or exceed those levels in your older home if you can.

Outdated water pipes can cause huge problems if cold temperatures cause them to freeze or burst. Older pipes made of galvanized steel, iron, or lead may need to be replaced if they are not in good condition. Good replacement options include copper or CPVC.
Early sunsets can make the winter seem dreary and long, so simple steps to brighten the interior of your home can go a long way to lifting those winter blues. Add bright color to any room with pillow covers, flowers, or indoor plants. Likewise, giving a small space like a powder or laundry room a fresh coat of paint in a cheerful color can help brighten an indoor space without becoming a major project. If you’ve got a green thumb, you can also take this time to plan out your spring garden, reminding yourself of sunnier, longer days to come.

Thanks you to Jefferson Livingston with Pillar to Post Home Inspections for sharing this great information with us!  Stay warm everyone!