Waterfront Real Estate Oppurtunities in Bellingham and Whatcom County.

Whatcom County is a majestic place where the beauty of the surrounding nature, in particular Bellingham Bay, have inspired much of the architectural design there. The county hugs the saltwater from the Southwest along Chuckanut Drive to the Northwest border at Blaine’s Drayton Harbor. Waterfront properties are in abundance along this coastline and offer an array of locations to work the body and nourish the soul. Select from one of the communities listed below to learn more about the area and real estate available there. Search for all Waterfront Real Estate in Bellingham and Whatcom County on our website here, sign up to receive new listings via email or search from the list below:


Eliza Island Waterfront Real Estate
This private island escape is just a boat or plane ride from Bellingham. Tranquil and serene, Eliza Island is a is tranquil, Eliza Island is ideal for a weekend getaway or a permanent escape from city dwelling.

Lummi Island Waterfront Real Estate
A short ferry ride from Gooseberry Point will take you to Lummi Island. This wooded, rural island offers unspoiled natural beauty and is a favorite weekend escape among Whatcom County locals. Beachfront homes here boast spectacular views of Hales Passage, Mt. Baker and the City of Bellingham.

Sandy Point Waterfront Real Estate
This lovely waterfront community is breathtaking. Views of Mt. Baker and The Twin Sisters dominate the skyline to the east, while westward facing homes look out toward the Straight of Georgia and the San Juan Islands.

Birch Bay Village Waterfront Real Estate
Birch Bay Village is nestled between the rustic and charming cities of Blaine and Birch Bay. This gated community is truly an urban retreat, complete with private marina, golf course, club house, pool and other convenient amenities.

Drayton Harbor Waterfront Real Estate
This picturesque village is located just South of the Canadian Border and north of Semiahmoo. Characteristic of its neighboring communities, Drayton Harbor’s residents share unprecedented views and an uncommon proximity to the surrounding nature and wildlife.

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If you have specific questions about waterfront communities around Bellingham feel free to give us a call toll free at 1-888-713-3056

The State of the Bellingham and Whatcom County Real Estate Market

Real Estate snapshot

The following details breakdown the figures from the chart above.

  • 34 homes (54%) sold either at or greater than the list price.
  • 4 homes sold up to $5,000 over the list price.
  • 15 homes sold in excess of $5,000 over the list price.
  • 1 home sold in excess of $65,000 over the list price.
  • While the average days on market was 43 days, 25 homes pended within 5 days of the list date
  • There are currently 100 homes in Bellingham that are pending. Of the 100, 39 homes pended within 5 days or less of their list dates.

So my take away is this:

  • Bellingham inventory will remain low with no end in sight.
  • Interest rates have dropped on 2-28-2019 at 4.375% for a 30 year fixed with 5% down to 3-28-2019 with an interest rate of 4.125% for a similar loan. This will continue to fuel sales.
  • Based on the number of people coming through my open houses & the number of buyers from out of area, we will continue to see demand out stripping supply with prices continuing to increase.
  • For buyers hoping to compete in this marketplace, it’s imperative to have your financing in place & be prepared to compete with buyers who are willing to write offers without some of the usual contingencies.
  • For sellers, it’s important to note that while several of these homes pended in record time at sometimes head shaking prices, there were still 19 homes that took in excess of 40 days to go pending with several pending in excess of 100 days of their list date. That said, this is definitely a seller’s market. However, even in this market, one has to price appropriately, stage a home so that it’s presented in its best light & make it readily available to be shown.

Certainly if you or your friends have questions about the market in general or about a specific property, do not hesitate to give us a call at 1-888-713-3056 or email us at Info@JohnsonTeamRealEstate.com.  We’d be happy to help any way that we can.

The State of the Bellingham Real Estate Market


The following details breakdown the figures from the chart above.  If you look at the 74 homes sold in the past 30 days, exactly half sold below the list price.  Of the remaining sales, 18 sold at the list price & 17 sold above the list price.   Of those selling for greater than the list price,

  • 5 sold at up to $2000 over the list price,
  • 4 sold between $2001 & $5000 over the list price
  • 2 sold between $5001 & $10,000 over the list price
  • 6 sold in excess of $10,000 over the list price

So the take away is this:

  • Inventory continues to remain low with no end in sight
  • Interest rates, while tipping the scales in Dec @ 5.249% for a 30 year fixed with 5% down are today 4.957% for the same loan
  • There is still competition among buyers as evidenced by the breakdown in the above sales, although it appears buyers are not willing to pay as much over list price as they have previously.
  • Moving into 2019, interest rates and inventory will determine where prices are headed.
  • Based on the number of people coming through my open houses & the number of buyers from out of area we will continue to see demand out stripping supply with prices continuing to increase, but at a slower rate

Certainly, if you or your friends have questions about the market in general or about a specific property, do not hesitate to give us a call.  We’d be happy to help any way that we can. We wish you the best in 2019!!

Where Did Americans Move in 2017?

Where Did Americans Move in 2017? [INFOGRAPHIC] | MyKCM

Some Highlights:

  • Atlas Van Lines recently released the results of their annual Migration Patterns Survey in which they tracked their customer’s movement from state-to-state over the course of 2017.
  • Idaho held on to the top spot of ‘high inbound’ states for the 2nd year in a row followed by Washington.
  • The ‘outbound’ states seem to draw a line straight across the country from Connecticut to Wyoming.
  • If you have any questions on the market, give us a call at (888) 713-3056 or email us at Info@JohnsonTeamRealEstate.com.

Green Spring Cleaning Mixtures and Tips for Your Home and Real Estate

Spring is here and 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.

Happy First Day of Spring from the Johnson Team Real Estate!

Source:  Sparkpeople.com- Lisa Barnes

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PeaceHealth St. Joseph Hospital and Medical Center- Bellingham Employer Spotlight

PeaceHealth St. Joseph Hospital and Medical CenterPeaceHealth St. Joseph Hospital and Medical Center is located in Bellingham, Washington and is one of Bellingham’s largest employers with over 2,600 employees and 253 hospital beds for patients.

The PeaceHealth facility boasts new state of the art cardiovascular facility, a cancer center and an award winning childbirth facility. St. Joseph hospital is a major hub for all medical services in Bellingham and around Whatcom County.

Employees of  PeaceHealth are offered competitive industry wages and generous benefit packages, and are provided with a safe and secure workplace. If you would like to see a list of current positions open at PeaceHealth in Bellingham visit their career openings page. PeaceHealth careers include surgeons, doctors, administrative support, nurses and more.

View more videos from Rich Johnson

If you are seeking employment at St. Joseph Hospital or any of Bellingham’s PeaceHealth medical facilities, we would be happy to provide you with an information and relocation package on the communities around PeacHealth St. Joseph Hospital.

Request your FREE Personalized Bellingham and Whatcom County Relocation Package
Courtesy of The Johnson Team Real Estate.

In your personalized relocation package you will learn about the city of Bellingham, statistics on area schools, art and cultural events, and local community and neighborhood information. If while waiting for your package to arrive you would like to further explore Whatcom County, feel free to visit the community virtual tours we offer on our website that give you a front seat tour around the sites and events of Bellingham and Whatcom County.

Bellingham is home to over 20 neighborhoods and provides a vast array of real estate options from luxury and waterfront real estate, to more modest subdivisions and historical neighborhoods: there is something for everyone in the area.  To get an idea of real estate available in the area visit the PeaceHealth and St. Joseph Medical Center Real Estate Page to search for homes or property specific to your needs.

Prime Commercial Location!

Just listed 2124 James Street. Located in one of the most desirable locations in Bellingham. Just a few blocks south of Trader Joes. The space is currently a luxurious hair salon-but the commercial location would work for most any business. The building has been completely remodeled electrical, plumbing, heating, cooling, roof, walls, flooring, lighting and more Professional private offices would be easy, as a reception area already in. ADA access is in back with a ton of parking. Ask about owner/seller terms. To view a virtual tour of the property and learn more see below:

View the Tour

Thinking of Upgrading Your Home's Windows?

upgrading your windowsDoes your home have old windows? If you have been thinking of upgrading your home’s windows, now is the time!  Aside from just saving money on heating costs there are many positives to new windows.

Save Energy
Replacing old drafty windows with modern windows will save energy, but the cost will not likely justify the energy savings. Break even will only occur after twenty to thirty years. Beware of claims such as 40% savings on your energy bills. Realistically, you may save 10% – 20%. If saving money is your only goal, consider weather stripping and repairing the windows you have. The decision depends on the condition of your current windows and your desire for the benefits discussed below.

Comparing Windows

A standardized rating system called the “U-factor” provides a single number with which to compare windows. The U-factor is a number between 0 and 1: the lower the number, the better. 0.35 is good. In cold climates, the U-factor is the most important factor for selecting a window.

Solar Heat Gain Coefficient (SHGC)
In climates where air conditioning is more important than heating, the SHGC is the most important factor for choosing a window. The SHGC represents how much heat from the sun penetrates the window. The SHGC is a number between 0 and 1. For air conditioning climates, a number less than 0.4 is good. For heating climates, a larger number, such as 0.6, is better.

Single Pane
A single sheet of glass does not provide sufficient insulation in most climates. If you have single pane windows, consider an upgrade.

Single Pane with Storm Window or Secondary Glazing
A storm window or a second pane of glass inside the home, provides an additional barrier of glass. Mounted over existing windows outside or inside the house, can significantly increase efficiency of the window. Ideal when a home owner wants to keep the existing windows.

Double Glazed
The most common type of glazing used today is double glazed, involving two panes of glass hermetically sealed with a small air gap in between.

Triple Glazed
Three panes of glass hermetically sealed with a small air space in between each. More efficient than double glazed, triple glazing also effectively blocks sound.

Argon Filled
Some manufacturers put argon gas, a better insulator than air, between the panes, resulting in a more efficient window. Most experts agree that the argon does not last forever.

Glass Coatings
Coatings or films can dramatically improve the efficiency of a window. In a heating climate, low-E glass allows short wave solar radiation into the home for a heat gain, and prevents heat loss by reflecting the longer wave heat from inside your house back into the room. In hot climates, the window can be coated or tinted to reduce heat gain from the sun.

Thank you Pillar to Post Inspections for the great tips on upgrading your home’s window.


Perspectives on the Local Economy, What's Yours?

Hands HouseLast Thursday, November 14, I had the opportunity to attend an Economic Summit sponsored by the Whatcom Business Alliance.  The first speaker was Jim Paulson, an economist with Wells Capital Management of Wells Fargo Bank, and his topic was Economic & Market Perspectives.  Hart Hodges, from WWU, was the second speaker on the program, to discuss the local economy.  Unfortunately, very little time remained for his presentation.

From Jim Paulson’s perspective, there were 3 years between the beginning of the recession and the beginning of the recovery in June of 2009.  He now describes us as being in the middle of a 10 year recovery.  During the recession the US lost 25% of its net worth, and he expects it to have gained 30% by the end of 2014, although he doesn’t expect more than 2% growth in GDP, if that much, over the next few years.   Since the 1980s, there have been 3 recessions, after all of which the economy has taken about 3 years to begin recovery.  He described this as different from recoveries of the past, which happened much more quickly, and blames at least part of the slow recovery on the low rate of growth in the labor resource base, saying that labor growth has fallen from 3.5% to .6%, and suggesting we open Ellis Island.     

So why do we have these boom/bust cycles?  They are due to our obsessive optimism.  When everything looks good, Americans think it will always stay that way, but, of course, the bubble bursts and a lot of people lose money because a lot of other people can’t pay their bills.  On the other hand, this cleans the slate, lowers debt loads, and allows us to do it all over again.  A quote to live by:  “When everything looks good, get conservative.”

The speaker was a believer in the “invisible hand” of economic theory, which holds that the efforts of individuals to make money results in benefits to society as a whole, and this force is stronger than government intervention and controls.   Therefore, he sees the following factors as the primary reasons behind the economic upturn:

  • The turnover rate of money will increase in 2013
  • Homebuyer affordability is extremely high and there is pent-up demand
  • Household balance sheets are stronger because they dumped debt
  • Company balance sheets are very strong with unspent buying power and no capital spending push
  • The value of the US dollar is low, although its international markets are having financial issues which limit their purchases
  • Inflation rates are still low, increasing buying power
  • Increased oil and natural gas production has provided an Energy Independence Dividend in the form of lower gasoline prices  
  • And the biggest stimulus of all:  Increasing confidence, which is being restored at the rate of about 3% per month

On the other hand, he sees the low interest rates and other stimulus efforts by the FED and the federal government earlier of minimal impact.

To a question regarding the national debt, he responded the number didn’t matter; what matters it its relation to GDP.  He also suggested we not worry about what government does; what matters is what the markets do.

The second speaker of the morning, Hart Hodges, economist from WWU, had just a few minutes to give us a very brief overview of our local and state economies, but he was able to offer a few interesting facts. 

  • We are seeing slower growth in key sectors and slower wage growth than the country as a whole.
  • Bellingham population growth is down from 1990
  • The Whatcom County GDP growth generally tracks with the state and national GDP

He left us with an interesting question:  Since our incomes are rising more slowly than elsewhere in the country, what impact will that have on population mobility and in-migration to Whatcom County?

My overall impression of the morning?  Jim Paulson was very entertaining and had some great charts and graphs to illustrate his historical background of the economy.  I found his evaluation of current economic conditions and vision of the future rather shallow and ignoring some of the elephants in the room. He did not talk about the future impact of the shrinking middle class or the loss of high paying manufacturing jobs (not just abroad, but to other areas of the country as with Boeing), and stated several times that the sequester was going away as of next year.  On the other hand, his theory about the founding fathers trying to design a central government without power seems bolstered by recent events in Washington, D.C.

Hart Hodges, as I said earlier, had very little time, and I would have enjoyed his perspectives on the prior speaker’s comments in the context of our local economy.  

Top Public Sector Employers in Bellingham and Whatcom County.

Bellingham EmployersBellingham, and Whatcom County as a whole, is blessed with a very diverse economy. The employers listed below are the largest public sector employers in the county. Whatcom County’s is home to one of Washington State’s largest universities, several large school districts and many cities all of which employ many people in our community.

Western Washington University
516 High St, Bellingham
(360) 650-3000
Number of Employees: 2,196

Bellingham School District
1306 Dupont St, Bellingham
(360) 676-2793
Number of Employees: 1,278

City of Bellingham
1306 Dupont St, Bellingham
(360) 778-8000
Number of Employees: 840

Whatcom County
311 Grand Ave, Bellingham
(360) 676-6700
Number of Employees: 838

Ferndale School District
6041 Vista Drive, Bellingham
(360) 383-9200
Number of Employees: 685

Bellingham Technical College
3028 Lindbergh Ave, Bellingham
(360) 752-7000
Number of Employees: 560

Lynden School District
1203 Bradley Rd, Lynden
(360) 354-4443
Number of Employees: 375

Mount Baker School District
4956 Deming Rd
(360) 383-2000
Number of Employees: 300

Blaine School District
765 H St, Blaine
(360) 332-5281
Number of Employees: 270

Nooksack Valley School District
3326 E. Badger Rd, Everson
(360) 988-4754
Number of Employees: 265

Meridian School District
214 W Laurel Rd, Bellingham
(360) 398-7111
Number of Employees: 217

Whatcom Community College
237 W. Kellogg Rd, Bellingham
(360) 383-3000
Number of Employees: 205

Whatcom Transportation Authority
4111 Bakerview Spur, Bellingham
(360) 676-7433
Number of Employees: 197

Port of Bellingham
1801 Roeder Avenue, Bellingham
(360) 676-2500
Number of Employees: 89

City of Lynden
300 4th St, Lynden
(360) 354-4270
Number of Employees: 70

City of Ferndale
2905 Main St, Ferndale
(360) 384-4302
Number of Employees: 60

City of Blaine
344 H St, Blaine
(360) 332-8311
Number of Employees: 59

City of Sumas
433 Cherry St, Sumas
(360) 988-5711
Number of Employees: 15