Custom Lake Whatcom View Home Only $599,900!

Dark Gray House Just Sold Postcard

Don’t miss your opportunity to own this  amazing Lake Whatcom view home located at 2305 Agate Heights Lane in Bellingham!

Agate Heights 4

This gorgeous home is on a wonderful setting on this Lake Whatcom View home. Just a short drive out Northshore in Bellingham you will find Agate Heights Lane. The private setting is just a bonus as the view is really what this home is all about. The deck faces southerly and feels very private. 4 bedrooms- means room for everyone, master is on the main plus 2 bedrooms up and one down with the Rec Room. There is even a fenced yard. Oh and the A/C is handy on the hot summer days. This home is at the end of the road.

View a virtual tour of the home here today!

Give The Johnson Team a call today to schedule a private showing of this home at (888) 713-3056 or email us at Info@JohnsonTeamRealEstate.com.

The Cost of NOT Paying PMI

The Cost of NOT Paying PMI | MyKCM

Saving for a down payment is often the biggest hurdle for a first-time homebuyer as median incomes, rents, and home prices all vary depending on where you live.

There is a common misconception among homebuyers that a 20% down payment is required, and it is this limiting belief that often adds months, and sometimes even years, to the home-buying process.

So, if you can purchase a home with less than a 20% down payment… why aren’t more people doing just that?

One Possible Answer: Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI)

Freddie Mac defines PMI as:

“An insurance policy that protects the lender if you are unable to pay your mortgage. It’s a monthly fee, rolled into your mortgage payment, that is required for all conforming, conventional loans that have down payments less than 20%.

Once you’ve built equity of 20% in your home, you can cancel your PMI and remove that expense from your mortgage payment.”

As the borrower, you pay the monthly premiums for the insurance policy, and the lender is the beneficiary. The monthly cost of your PMI depends on the home’s value, the amount of your down payment, and your credit score.

Below is a table showing the difference in monthly mortgage payment for a $250,000 home with a 3% down payment and PMI vs. a 20% down payment without PMI:

The Cost of NOT Paying PMI | MyKCM

The first thing you see when looking at the table above is no doubt the added $320 a month that you would be spending on your monthly mortgage cost. The second thing that should stand out is that a 20% down payment is $50,000!

If you are buying your first home, $50,000 is a large sum of money that takes discipline and sacrifice to save. Many first-time buyers save for 5-10 years before buying their homes.

To save $50,000 in 10 years, you would need to save about $420 a month. On the other hand, if you save that same $420 a month, you could afford a 3% down payment in less than a year and a half.

In a recent article by My Mortgage Insider, they explain what could happen in the market while you are waiting to save for a higher down payment:

“The time it takes to save a (larger) down payment could mean higher home prices and tougher qualifying down the road. For many buyers, it could prove much cheaper and quicker to opt for the 3% down mortgage immediately.”

The article went on to say,

“Since renters typically devote a higher percentage of their income to housing than homeowners, providing flexible down payment options can help renters with solid earnings purchase a home – and gain a fixed-rate mortgage with principal and interest payments that will not increase over the life of the loan.”

If the prospect of having to pay PMI is holding you back from buying a home today, Freddie Mac has this advice,

“It’s no doubt an added cost, but it’s enabling you to buy now and begin building equity versus waiting 5 to 10 years to build enough savings for a 20% down payment.”

Based on results of the most recent Home Price Expectation Survey, a homeowner who purchased a $250,000 home in January would gain $50,000 in equity over the next five years based on home price appreciation alone (shown below).

The Cost of NOT Paying PMI | MyKCM

Bottom Line

If you have questions about whether you should buy now or wait until you’ve saved a larger down payment, let’s get together to discuss our market’s conditions and help you make the best decision for you and your family. Give The Johnson Team a call today at (888) 713-3056 or email us at Info@JohnsonTeamRealEstate.com.

Fall Happenings In and Around Whatcom County

How Do You Celebrate Fall_

Looking for some fun ways to celebrate fall here in Whatcom County? Here are just a few ideas for events that are offered locally.

– Cloud Mountain Farm Center: Pumpkin Patch and Fruit Tasting: Pick out your pumpkin and taste over 200 different varieties of fruit grown on the farm.

 
– Bellewood Acres U-Pick Orchard and Pumpkin Patch: Take a ride through the you pick orchard or stop by their pumpkin patch.

 
– Lore and Gore: Good Time Girls Historical Tours: Take a tour of historical downtown Bellingham and Fairhaven with a spooky twist.

 
– Lynden FFA Corn Maze: Only offered in September so make sure you stop by this corn maze ASAP.
– Nightmare on Railroad: Boundary Bay Brewery and BAAY: Plan to stop in here for a meal and a trip through the haunted house.

 

– Stoney Ridge Farm is open again this year after a two year break: They are bringing back several of the things that made the farm a popular fall destination spot, including the train ride, corn maze and wagon rides. The pumpkin patch and apple trees will also be open for u-pick.

Have any other ideas or traditions? Let us know your plans!

Where Are Mortgage Interest Rates Headed In 2019?

Where Are Mortgage Interest Rates Headed In 2019? | MyKCM

The interest rate you pay on your home mortgage has a direct impact on your monthly payment; the higher the rate, the greater the payment will be. That is why it is important to know where rates are headed when deciding to start your home search.

Below is a chart created using Freddie Mac’s U.S. Economic & Housing Marketing Outlook. As you can see, interest rates are projected to increase steadily over the course of the next year.

Where Are Mortgage Interest Rates Headed In 2019? | MyKCM

How Will This Impact Your Mortgage Payment?

Depending on the amount of the loan that you secure, a half of a percent (.5%) increase in interest rate can increase your monthly mortgage payment significantly.

According to CoreLogic’s latest Home Price Index, national home prices have appreciated 6.2% from this time last year and are predicted to be 5.1% higher next year.

If both the predictions of home price and interest rate increases become a reality, families would wind up paying considerably more for their next homes.

Bottom Line

Even a small increase in interest rate can impact your family’s wealth, so don’t wait until next year! Let’s get together to evaluate your ability to purchase your dream home now.

Inventory is Low and Homes are Pending! See How Many Here…

Bellingham Washington Real Estate Market

If you have been following the local real estate market you know it’s active and inventory is low. This Fall might just be the perfect time for you!

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, September 21st, the pending ratio in Bellingham was 35%. 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 24%

The Ferndale pending ratio was 29%

The Lynden pending ratio was 33%

The Sudden Valley pending ratio was 60%

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

Bellingham Open House Sunday 1pm – 3pm

Elegant Real Estate Monochromatic Postcard

Looking for a new home? Join Rich Johnson this Sunday, September 23rd from 1 to 3pm at 4660 Raptor Lane in Bellingham.

Bellingham Bay, the Islands, Chuckanut Mtn, Lookout Mtns & everything in between, it’s there from the windows & deck of this stunning home. 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.

Have questions or want to learn more call us today at (360) 303-2734 or visit the home’s virtual tour. http://www.tourfactory.com/2006528

Rich Johnson, The Johnson Team The Muljat Group Real Estate (360) 303-2734

If You Are Thinking of Selling You Must Act NOW!

If You Are Thinking of Selling? You Must Act NOW! | MyKCM

If you thought about selling your house this year, now more than ever may be the time to do it! The inventory of homes for sale is well below historic norms and buyer demand is skyrocketing. We were still in high school when we learned about the concept of supply and demand, so we understand that the best time to sell something is when the supply of that item is low and demand for that item is high. That defines today’s real estate market.

Lawrence Yun, Chief Economist at the National Association of Realtors, recently commented:

Contract signings inched backward once again last month, as declines in the South and West weighed down on overall activity.”

Yun goes on to say:

The reason sales are falling off last year’s pace is that multiple years of inadequate supply in markets with strong job growth have finally driven up home prices to a point where an increasing number of prospective buyers are unable to afford it.”

In this type of market, a seller may hold a major negotiating advantage when it comes to price and other aspects of the real estate transaction, including the inspection, appraisal and financing contingencies.

Bottom Line

As a potential seller, you are in the driver’s seat right now. It might be time to hit the gas. If it’s time for you, give us a call at (888) 713-3056 or email us at Info@JohnsonTeamRealEstate.com.

Learn The Value of Your Bellingham Home

Curious what the value of your Bellingham home is as summer comes to an end and we welcome in fall?

The Bellingham real estate market is active and can sometimes be hard to keep up with.  We are here to help! Learn the value of your home in today’s real estate market. Simply enter your home’s address and have your home’s value emailed directly to you free of charge and with no obligation.

Bellingham Home Value

 

If you have immediate question about real estate don’t hesitate to contact us toll free at 1-888-713-3056 or via email at Info@JohnsonTeamRealEstate.com

Buying, Selling, or Refinancing? Know The Mortgage Rates!

Thinking of buying, selling or refinancing? The mortgage rates are a must know! People’s Bank Home Loan Center passed along today’s rates to us. Below is a chart showing the rates as of yesterday, September 13th!

Sept13

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!

Are Homebuyers Starting to Hit the ‘Pause’ Button?

Are Homebuyers Starting to Hit the ‘Pause’ Button? | MyKCM

For the last several years, buyer demand has far exceeded the housing supply available for sale. This low supply and high demand have led to home prices appreciating by an average of 6.2% annually since 2012.

With this being said, three of the four major reports used to measure buyer activity have revealed that purchasing demand may be softening. Here are the four indices, how they measure demand (methodology), what their latest reports said, and a quick synopsis of the report.

The Foot Traffic Report
by the National Association of Realtors

Methodology: Every month SentriLock, LLC provides NAR Research with data on the number of properties shown by a REALTOR®. Lockboxes made by SentriLock, LLC are used in roughly a third of home showings across the nation. Foot traffic has a strong correlation with future contracts and home sales, so it can be viewed as a peek ahead at sales trends two to three months into the future.

Latest Report“Foot Traffic climbed 3.2 points to 55.8 mid-summer in July. Additionally, the diffusion index is higher than last year by 13.5 points. Despite a healthy economy and labor market, supply and new construction remains unable to keep up with buyer demand.”

Synopsis: Buyer demand remains strong.

The Showing Index
by ShowingTime

Methodology: The ShowingTime Showing Index® tracks the average number of buyer showings on active residential properties on a monthly basis, a highly reliable leading indicator of current and future demand trends.

Latest Report“Showing activity throughout the country increased by 0.3 percent year over year in July, the third consecutive month that the U.S. ShowingTime Showing Index recorded buyer interest deceleration compared to the previous year. The June 2018 figures revealed a 0.0 percent change in showing traffic from 2017, while May showed a 1.2 percent year-over-year increase. The 12-month average year-over-year increase was 4.6 percent.”

Synopsis: Buyer demand is softening

Realtors Confidence Index
by the National Association of Realtors

Methodology: The REALTORS Confidence Index is a key indicator of housing market strength based on a monthly survey sent to over 50,000 real estate practitioners. Practitioners are asked about their expectations for home sales, prices and market conditions.

Latest Report“REALTORS reported slower homebuying activity in July 2018…The REALTORS® Buyer Traffic Index registered at 62, down from the same month one year ago (69). This is the fifth straight month (since March 2018) that Realtors reported a decline in buyer activity compared to conditions one year ago.”

Synopsis: Buyer demand is softening

The Real Estate Broker Survey
in the ‘Z’ Report by Zelman and Associates (subscription needed)

Methodology: Proprietary survey results of real estate executives.

Latest Report“While we continue to expect a resumption of growth in resale transactions on the back of easing inventory in 2019 and 2020, our real-time view into the market through our Real Estate Broker Survey does suggest that buyers have grown more discerning of late and a level of “pause” has taken hold in many large housing markets. Indicative of this, our broker contacts rated buyer demand at 69 on a 0-100 scale, still above average but down from 74 last year and representing the largest year-over-year decline in the two-year history of our survey.”

Synopsis: Buyer demand is softening

Bottom Line

Again, three of the four most reliable measures of buyer activity are reporting that demand is softening. We had a strong buyers’ market directly after the housing crash which was immediately followed by a strong sellers’ market over the last six years.

If demand continues to soften and supply begins to grow (as is projected to happen), we will return to a more neutral market which will favor neither buyers nor sellers. This “more normal” market will be better for real estate in the long term. If you have any questions about the real estate market, give The Johnson Team a call today at (888) 713-3056 or email us at Info@JohnsonTeamRealEstate.com.