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Outdated water pipes can cause huge problems if cold temperatures cause them to freeze or burst.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!

New Pending Ratios!

Homes by EmailThe 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 2nd, the pending ratio in Bellingham was 50%. 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 42%

The Ferndale pending ratio was 32%

The Lynden pending ratio was 42%

The Sudden Valley pending ratio was 61%

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

Christmas Lighting Tips to Keep Your Home Safe

Can you believe that Christmas is less than 10 days away? My how the time around the holidays flies by. If you are like many than you plan on decorating your home for the holidays. While decorating your home it’s important to take safety and not just “looks” into consideration. Hundreds of homes are damaged by holiday decoration electrical mishaps every year.

-Avoid using the larger seven-volt light bulbs. Sure, they are bigger and brighter, but they also burn much hotter than mini Christmas lights. One of the most common causes of holiday-time house fires results from these bulbs being too close to gutters filled with dried out leaves.

– Make sure that the strings of lights you are using outside have built-in fuses on the lines. Sometimes, these fuses are located in the actual plug.

– Make sure to use Christmas lights that are designated for outdoor use only. If you use indoor-rated lights, they may not be able to withstand the weather conditions which will cause them to break down much faster.

– You should only use Christmas lights and electric equipment that has been tested and verified by a reliable testing laboratory. Two reputable laboratories are UL and ETL. Any equipment or lights that have been tested safe will have one of their logos on the packaging. If it doesn’t have it, don’t use it!

– If you have a string of lights with a blown bulb, be sure to replace it with a bulb of the exact same wattage.

– Never tap into your home’s feeder line to power your outdoor Christmas lights or hang decorations on the line.

– Avoid using nails, tacks or metal staples to secure your outdoor Christmas lights. Use insulated hooks instead, and be sure your lights are strung tightly to avoid damage from the wind.

– Use only outdoor rated extension cords. Plus, avoid connecting more than three strings of lights to a single extension cord.

– All plugs should be plugged into a GFCI protected outlet when used outside.

– When it comes time to take your Christmas decorations and lights, never remove the strings of lights by pulling on the wires. This causes the wires to break free from the sockets and the bulbs to break.

Source: DoItyourself.com

Are You a Veteran Wanting to Buy a Home?

Veterans Home

Veteran’s Day week is here and it’s time to honor our the Veterans around us.

As a Veteran you understand making big life decisions and you should have a real estate agent who understands the same.  Buying a home is likely to be one of the biggest purchases of your life and a trusted and experienced real estate agent to walk you through the process is crucial.  This is especially true if you are a Veteran and plan to use a VA loan for your purchase.

Johnson Team Real Estate, located in Bellingham, Washington is proud to have two Veterans on our real estate Team, Rich Johnson and Mike Bredeson. As former Marine’s and Veterans, both Rich and Mike are here for you to offer their first hand expertise on navigating the home buying process using a VA loan.

Meet and learn more about Johnson Team Real Estate’s Veteran Agents today!

Having the ability to use a VA mortgage comes with many benefits, but sometimes they can be a bit hard to understand as well. Johnson Team Real Estate is here to offer our experience to help guide you through purchasing a home or property using a VA Home Loan.

Established in 1944, the Department of Veterans Affairs has made buying a home more accessible via the VA Home loan program. As a Veteran, you and your family deserve the American dream of owning a home, and deserve to be able to do so with ease.

VA Home Loans Offer Many Benefits including:

  • No down payment requirement
  • Lower than average interest rates
  • Low Closing Costs
  • Less stringent Credit Requirements

Curious if you are eligible for a VA Home Loan?

Typically, Veterans and active-duty service members are eligible for a VA home loan if they have met one of the following:

  • 90 consecutive days on active duty during wartime
  • 181 consecutive days on active duty during peacetime
  • 6 or more years in the National Guard or Reserves

Some spouses of military members who died in the line of duty or of a service-related disability may also be eligible for a VA loan. There are many factors that affect the terms of Veteran’s VA qualifications so speaking with a qualified VA Home Loan Specialist for a personalized qualification is crucial. Call Johnson Team Real Estate at 1-888-713-3056 to learn more today.

Veterans Flag House

The Johnson Team’s Veteran Real Estate Agents are passionate about helping those who have served and are excited to help serve you in finding you a home or property.

Whether you are a retired Veteran or currently serving in the US Military we understand that life is busy.  The Bellingham and Whatcom County real estate market is very active and inventory is moving quickly.  Johnson Team Real Estate offers a “Homes by Email” service to instantly email you when a home or property that fits you criteria comes on the market.  Click the image below to learn more and sign up today!

New Bellingham Real Estate Listings

If you or your family are new to the area or possibly being transferred to Bellingham or Whatcom County our website has a wealth of relocation information to include neighborhood information, education information and generMap Searchal community information to make your move easier!

You may also search for real estate using our interactive map search to help you better understand areas geographical layout while exploring our real estate options.

Feel free to visit our relocation page on our website to call 1-888-713-3056. Johnson Team Real Estate thanks you for your service to our great country and we would be honored to help serve you and help you with your real estate needs!

Zillow REviewsTo see what our clients have to say about us visit our Zillow Reviews to learn more about the level of service and knowledge you will experience working with Johnson Team Real Estate!

Non-Profit Moving Truck User of the Quarter

Your referrals let us provide help to  Whatcom county non-profit organizations who benefit our community. Please think of us when a friend or relative talks about moving and tell your favorite non-profit to give us a call when they need a truck!

The Whatcom Humane Society believes that all animals, as sentient beings, have value beyond economic measurements and are entitled to legal, moral, and ethical consideration and protection.

The Whatcom Humane society advocates for  animals, educates the community to promote humane treatment and respect as well as well as provide for abandoned, injured, abused or neglected animals.

For over 110 years, Whatcom Humane  Society has been sheltering abandoned  animals, fighting animal cruelty and  neglect and working to build a caring, compassionate and humane community.

Our work is made possible by the generosity of people like you

Your real estate  referrals fund our truck and help us all  make a difference!

The Current Rates!

If you are buying, selling, or refinancing, the current mortgage rates are very important. You can see below what the current rates are as of Thursday, November 2nd.

 

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Thank you Sidney Stonecypher at People’s Bank Home Loan Center for the rates. If you have mortgage questions you can reach her at 360-650-5365

4 Reasons to Sell This Fall

 

4 Reasons to Sell This Fall [INFOGRAPHIC] | MyKCM

Some Highlights:

  • Buyer demand continues to outpace the supply of homes for sale! Buyers are often competing with one another for the listings that are available!
  • Housing inventory is still under the 6-month supply that is needed for a normal housing market.
  • Perhaps the time has come for you and your family to move on and start living the life you desire. Give The Johnson Team a call at (888) 713-3056 or email us at Info@JohnsonTeamRealEstate.com.

Halloween Home Saftey Tips

Bellingham HalloweenHalloween is creeping up on us fast and so are some potential dangers to your home as a result of the fun holiday.  Below are some tips to help keep your home and family safe this Halloween:

– Be careful when placing candles in your carved jack-o-lanterns and keep them far away from any furnishings, drapes or Halloween decor that may be flammable and never leave them burning unattended.

– Do not overload electrical outlets with holiday lighting or movable decorative objects.

– Be sure and take time to check around our porch or sidewalk for any garden hoses, low lying tree limbs or decorations that might prove to be a tripping hazard for young children trick or treating at your home.

Hope you have a safe and happy Halloween!

Sunday Open Houses

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Join Mike Bredeson on Sunday from 1pm – 3pm for an open house at 3704 Connecticut Street in Bellingham.

Wow what a location. Silver Beach 5 bedroom (or 4 with an office) 3.5 bath home on a level lot in a cul de sac. It just doesn’t get any better. Nice rec room with 2 bedrooms and a bath above the 3-car garage. Open kitchen with Granite counters looks onto the family room. Slider onto the patio, enjoy the sun filled, south facing, back yard. The lot is huge and the parking spot is there for the RV or Boat. Home is close to lake, in great condition and ready for new memories.

For more information, visit our website – http://johnsonteamrealestate.com/WA/Bellingham/3704-E-Connecticut/1183852/direct

 

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Join Rich Johnson for an open house on Sunday from 1pm – 3pm at 1306 E Victor Street in Bellingham.

Opportunity beckons in this classic vintage home in the Columbia District. It’s a 1920’s charmer in original condition that is just waiting for your touch and ideas. The basics include 1636 sq ft of living space, 3 bedrooms, 1.5 baths, some interesting living areas and lots of opportunities for a new owner. Outside, there is plenty of room for gardens, play & parking of boats or RV’s. There is even a 616 sq ft shop for cars or projects!

For more information, visit our website – http://johnsonteamrealestate.com/WA/Bellingham/1306-E-Victor-St/1199268/direct

 

Just Listed in The Columbia Neighborhood!

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Opportunity beckons in this classic vintage home in the Columbia District. You can own a piece of this amazing neighborhood for just $393,000. It’s a 1920’s charmer in original condition that is just waiting for your touch and ideas. The basics include 1636 square feet of living space, 3 bedrooms, 1.5 baths, some interesting living areas and lots of opportunities for a new owner. Outside, there is plenty of room for gardens, play & parking of boats or RV’s. There is even a 616 square foot shop for cars or projects!

Additional Information

  • Property Description Cable TV, Partially Fenced, RV Parking, Shop
  • Taxes $3,174
  • Lot Size 0.28 Acre (12,197 SqFt)
  • Garage Size 2 Car
  • Exterior Wood
  • Heating/Cooling
  • Roof Composition Roof
  • Flooring Fir / Softwood Floor, Vinyl Floor

School Information

  • District BEL
  • Elementary Parkview Elem
  • Junior High Whatcom Mid
  • High Bellingham High

For more information, visit our website!