Thinking of Buying, Selling, or Refinancing?

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.

July 11th rates

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!

4 Questions To Ask Before Hiring An Interior Designer

Whether you’re styling a new room, renovating an existing one, or simply hoping to bring some fresh style to your home, putting together an aesthetically pleasing space can be a challenge. That’s when some people will start to consider hiring a professional to help them out. If you’re looking at working with an interior designer, here are four questions to ask yourself first to make sure it’s the right decision for you.


4 Questions To Ask Before Hiring An Interior Designer


What’s your style? Do you want a Scandinavian style? Industrial? Shabby chic? Mid-century modern? Your interior designer can provide guidance if you’re not sure what kind of look you’re going for, but knowing what styles you like and dislike can offer some important guidelines to make sure you end up with a finished product you’re happy with. Here are 10 interior design style quizzes to help you narrow down what you like!

What do you need help with? You can do it yourself or you can hire a full-service interior designer who will handle every step from concept to execution, but most people need something in between. Each designer has their strengths and specialties, so it’s important to know what skills you’ll need before choosing the designer. Check out these questions before you hire a designer to make sure they are the best fit for you and your project.

Are you ready to give input? It might sound appealing to hand off a room or a home to a designer and then come back to a finished space, but in actuality, you will be answering a lot of questions and making a lot of decisions. If you aren’t ready to be decisive, it might be better to DIY your decor, so you have as much time as you need to experiment.

What’s your budget? Interior designers, like most professionals, can tailor their offering to your budget — as long as you know what it is. Make sure you’re prepared with a number or range, because many designers ask for the amount in a lump sum. Need some tips on how to determine your budget? Here’s a guide that will walk you through how to maximize your decorating budget, and tips on how to stick to it.

If you’ve answered all these questions, you probably have a good idea not just of whether or not you should hire an interior designer, but of what sort of designer you should be looking for. No matter which direction you take, best of luck putting together a home or room with a look you love!

Thank you to Sydney Stonecypher of People’s Bank for the great article!

4 Tips to Sell Your Home Faster

4 Tips to Sell Your Home Faster | MyKCM

Since June of last year, we have seen an increase in the inventory of homes for sale month per month. Every spring and summer, the inventory increases because people want to sell their home. For those with children, they may want to be in their new home for the beginning of the school year.

If you are one of those sellers, you may find these 4 tips helpful in getting your home sold more quickly.

1. Make buyers feel at home

Declutter your home! Pack away all personal items like pictures, awards, and sentimental belongings. Make them feel like they belong in this house! According to the Profile of Home Staging by the National Association of Realtors,

“83% of buyers’ agents said staging a home made it easier for a buyer to visualize the property as a future home.”

Not only will your house spend less time on the market, but the same report mentioned that,

“One-quarter of buyers’ agents said that staging a home increased the dollar value offered between 1 – 5%, compared to other similar homes on the market that were not staged.”

2. Keep it organized

Since you took the time to declutter, keep it organized! Before the buyers show up, pick up toys, make the bed, and put away clean dishes. It is also a good idea to put out some cookies fresh from the oven or a scented candle. Buyers will remember the smell of your home! According to the same report, the kitchen is one of the most important rooms to stage in order to attract more buyers.

3. Give buyers full access

One of the top four elements when selling your home is access! If your home is available anytime, that opens up more opportunity to find a buyer right away. Some buyers, especially those relocating, don’t have much time available. If they cannot get into the house, they will move on to the next one.

4. Price it right

As we mentioned at the beginning, more inventory coming into the market guarantees there will be some competition. You want to make sure your home is noticed. The key to selling your house in 2019 is ensuring it is Priced to Sell Immediately (PTSI). That way, your home will be seen by the greatest amount of buyers and will sell at a great price before more competition comes to market!

Bottom Line

If you want to sell your house in the least amount of time at the best price with as little hassle as possible, your local real estate professional is a useful guide. Contact the Johnson Team today to find out what you need to do to sell your home more quickly.

Sailing Schedule for Squalicum Harbor Marina Gate 3


Squalicum Harbor Marina will be hosing Lady Washington this July. Pictured above is the Schooner Zodiac, a 160-foot sailing vessel certified by the Coast Gaurd and operated by a licensed captain and crew. On dates in July, family oriented vessel tours and sails will both be offered aboard the Lady Washington. The sailing experience will be one for the memory books, as it will be similar to the ones done for hundreds of years. You will see amazing views and meet the modern day crew that travels up and down the West Coast.

For more information, or to buy tickets, take a look at the schedule.

Current July Mortgage Rates!

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.


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!

Structuring Your Offer to Dominate the Competition

In our current market, we’ve noticed an influx of buyers making cash offers on the homes they
want. This is great news for the seller, but if you’re another buyer who also wants to make a bid
on the same home as a cash buyer, this can present some challenges. You’ll need to make
your offer especially enticing to compete with cash buyers.

One way to do this is to get a letter from your lender—one that is so strong that it puts your offer
on par with that of a cash buyer. Now, this letter isn’t a pre-approval letter, but rather an
underwritten approval letter that’s subject only to title and appraisal . If you do that, you will
be miles ahead of any other financed offer.
Above and beyond that, another thing to consider is to shorten—or eliminate entirely—some
contingencies in your offer . For example, you could shorten the inspection contingency from
the typical 10-day period to one or two days. In fact, if you get permission from the listing agent,
you could schedule the inspector to come to the house prior to the seller examining their offers.
Though it might not seem like a big deal, having an open, positive line of communication
with the listing agent can make all the difference between a seller accepting or rejecting your
offer. Too many agents take things for granted and have an aggressive demeanor when it
comes to representing their clients, but a good agent avoids coming off harsh or aloof.
Adding an escalation clause to your offer may well keep it on the table , too. Essentially,
this is a clause in your contract that states you’re willing to pay X amount for the home, but if a
competitor offers a higher price than that, you’re willing to increase your offer to Y amount. With
this clause, you could potentially outbid your competition without necessarily exceeding your
budget, and it may just entice the seller to strongly consider your quality financed offer over a
cash offer.
Additionally, try writing a “love letter” to the seller . This letter should explain what you love
about the seller’s home, why you’re so motivated to buy it, and what it would mean for you and
your family to live there. This makes the seller feel good, and it also helps them get to know you,
which can give you the edge in a multiple-offer situation.
Finally, make sure your offer is complete . We’ve had scenarios in which there were several
competing buyers, some of whom failed to fully complete their offers by leaving certain boxes
unchecked or providing inaccurate or confusing information. This doesn’t necessarily happen
that often, but diligence and accuracy are both qualities that can set your offer apart, as well.

Call us today at (360) 303-2734 to learn more today!

Own a Waterfront Retreat – Lummi Island Saturday Open House

913 W Pacificview Dr Open House

Retire on the Beach!!! Join Rich Johnson for an open house this Saturday from 11am – 3pm at 1471 Seacrest Dr on Lummi Island.

Bring your hot dogs & cozy up to the beach fire on your own 420+ feet of private waterfront.

Peace, quiet, total seclusion & an expansive view of water & mountains could be yours in this unique home & property. This custom designed & built home overlooks a private cove, Haro Strait, Mt Baker & Twin Sisters. The floor plan is open, airy, well lit & inviting with expansive windows keeping you in touch with the beauty around you. A private path provides access to either the beach of Sun-Rise Cove with your boat anchored in front or up secret trails to explore.


Call Rich Johnson @ 360 319 3267 for directions or questions. View the virtual tour for more information.

First Day of Summer Whatcom County Pending Ratios!

Pending Ratios Template (1)If 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, June 21st, the pending ratio in Bellingham was 47%. 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 32%

The Ferndale pending ratio was 49%

The Lynden pending ratio was 50%

The Sudden Valley pending ratio was 53%

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

Lake Whatcom Waterfront Home Open House This Saturday!

Open House

Join Rich Johnson for an open house this Saturday, June 15th from 1pm – 3pm at 1502 Northshore Drive in Bellingham.

Live your dream with 132′ of Lake Whatcom west-facing waterfront property. Savor the quiet mornings on your enormous deck; stunning sunsets and starry nights on your secluded beach. Dock your boat and make that tough decision: lake or hot tub? Delight in your friends’ enjoyment of the lakeside guest house. Artfully landscaped fenced yard and a gazebo give privacy to remodeled 4 BR+office main house. Sport court, 3 car garage, and abundant storage allow for all of your toys. Welcome to Paradise! Listed at just $1,850,000.

Click here for the virtual tour.

Ocean View Open House in Ferndale!

Join Myrriah Train with The Muljat Group this Saturday, June 8th from 1pm – 3pm at 4834 Alder Street in Ferndale.

Amazing saltwater view property is just under 2300 sq. ft. and is a 2-bedroom 1.75 bath. Air Conditioning for the hot days but most of the time there is a breeze off the beach just a couple doors away. Easy access to the sand just down the road. The view from the upper rec room/ hot tub/ work out deck area is wonderful. Open kitchen looks onto the rear yard loaded with flowers and fauna. Make sure to see the shop- its large, has workspace and plenty of parking around it. Main floor master too!

For more information, visit our website today!