The Snow is Falling! Do You Need Anything? If So, We Are Here for You!

Flakes are starting to fall outside!

With the cold conditions and more snow and wind in the forecast,we just wanted to check in on you and see if you need anything?
Forecast

If you or any of your neighbors are in need during this winter weather, don’t hesitate to reach out via email or phone. We have a large list of local resources to assist you with frozen pipes, wind storm clean up and more!
Here are a couple tips to make sure your pipes don’t freeze in this weekend’s storm:
  • Make sure your crawl space vents are closed.
  • If you know your pipes are prone to freezing cover with foam insulation or consult an expert about heat tape installation.
  • Leave a small hot drip on your faucets, especially if they are on a outside wall.
  • Turn up your heat in the house. Maintain this heat the same throughout the day and night.
  • Plumbers recommend a home temperature of 65 degrees, for weather 35 and above, and then one degree more for every 5 degrees it drops outside.

Example: 35 degree temperature outside, 65 degrees inside your home

30 degree temperature outside, 66 degrees inside your home

10 degree temperate outside, 70 degrees inside your home

Stay safe and warm friends! Remember, we are here if you need ANYTHING!  
Call us today at (360) 303-2734 or email us at Info@JohnsonTeamRealEstate.com

The KonMari Method: Helping You Prep Your House For Sale

The KonMari Method: Helping You Prep Your House For Sale | MyKCM

One of the biggest challenges sellers face when listing their house is decluttering. Cleaning out some of the more personal decorating choices allows buyers to imagine themselves living in the house.

Those planning to sell soon are in luck! Marie Kondo, the inventor of the KonMari Method of Tidying Up, has gained popularity with her new Netflix series. She gives some great tips for sorting through years of accumulated possessions that we all collect in our homes.

“The KonMari Method™ encourages tidying by category – not by location – beginning with clothes, then moving on to books, papers, komono (miscellaneous items), and, finally, sentimental items. Keep only those things that speak to the heart, and discard items that no longer spark joy. Thank them for their service – then let them go.”

When you subjectively look at all of your belongings, you can sort through the ones that mean the most to you. Not only will you increase space for more joy-bringing items in your new home, but you will also have a much easier time packing remaining belongings!

“Remember, tidying up isn’t about getting rid of stuff. It is about creating an environment that sparks joy and improves your quality of life.”

When selling your house, first impressions matter! Before you or your agent schedule a photographer to take photos for your listing, make sure to tour your home with fresh eyes. Look for any imperfections that a buyer might notice.

When you sort through your more sentimental items, consider packing them away to ensure that you know where they all are. That way, they are safe during open houses and showing appointments. This will also cut down on the amount of packing you need to do right before you move!

Bottom Line

Whether you are selling your house to move up to a larger one, downsizing, or moving in with family, only bring the items that truly spark joy for you. This will not only help cut down on the items you move, but also ensures that you’re off to a great start in your new home!

One More Time… You Do Not Need 20% Down to Buy a Home

One More Time... You Do Not Need 20% Down to Buy a Home | MyKCM

The largest obstacle renters face when planning to buy a home is saving for a down payment. This challenge is amplified by rising rents, which has eaten into the amount of money renters have leftover for savings each month after paying expenses.

In combination with higher rents, survey after survey has shown that non-homeowners (renters and those living rent-free with family or friends) believe they need to save upwards of 20% for their down payment!

According to the “Barriers to Accessing Homeownership” study commissioned in partnership between the Urban Institute, Down Payment Resource, and Freddie Mac, 39% of non-homeowners and 30% of those who already own a home believe they need more than a 20% down payment.

The percentage of those who are aware of low down payment programs (those under 5%) is surprisingly low at 12% for non-homeowners and 13% for homeowners.

In a recent Convergys Analytics report, they found that 49% of renters believe they need at least a 20% down payment.

The median down payment on loans approved in 2018 was only 5%! Those waiting until they have over 20% may already have enough saved to buy now!

There are over 45 million millennials (33%) who are mortgage ready right now, meaning their income, debt, and credit scores would all allow them to qualify for a mortgage today!

Bottom Line

If your five-year plan includes buying a home, let’s get together to determine what it will take to make that plan a reality. You may be closer to your dream than you realize!

PENDING in just hours! Single Level Home in Bellingham’s Edgemoor Neighborhood

JUST LISTED!.(1)

Wow!  112 Bayside is officially pending, that was fast!

This single-story home 3 bedroom, 1 3/4 bath home features an open bright floor plan.  The updated kitchen is open to the living area with vaulted ceilings and a cozy fireplace. It is a 3 bedroom but may be better served as a 2 bedroom and a large office. The master has a walk-in closet, laundry, en suite bath- plus a door out onto the deck. Outside there is a large fenced yard that is quite private and mature. Just a 7-minute walk to Fairhaven out the Cowgill Ave driveway.

Whether you are looking for a home like this or have a home to sell in the area, we would love to put our proven experience to work for you! Give us a call at (360) 303-2734 or email us at Info@JohnsonTeamRealEstate.com to learn more!

Whose Mortgage Do you Want to Pay, Yours or Your Landlords?

Whose Mortgage Do You Want to Pay? Yours or Your Landlord’s? | MyKCMThere are some people who haven’t purchased homes because they are uncomfortable taking on the obligation of a mortgage. However, everyone should realize that unless you are living with your parents rent-free, you are paying a mortgage – either yours or your landlord’s.

As Entrepreneur Magazine, a premier source for small business, explained in their article, “12 Practical Steps to Getting Rich”:

“While renting on a temporary basis isn’t terrible, you should most certainly own the roof over your head if you’re serious about your finances. It won’t make you rich overnight, but by renting, you’re paying someone else’s mortgage. In effect, you’re making someone else rich.”

With home prices rising, many renters are concerned about their house-buying power. Mike Fratantoni, Chief Economist at MBA, explained:

“The spring homebuying season is almost upon us, and if rates stay lower, inventory continues to grow, and the job market maintains its strength, we do expect to see a solid spring market.”

As an owner, your mortgage payment is a form of ‘forced savings,’ which allows you to build equity in your home that you can tap into later in life. As a renter, you guarantee the landlord is the person building that equity.

As mentioned before, interest rates are still at historic lows, making it one of the best times to secure a mortgage and make a move into your dream home. Freddie Mac’s latest report shows that rates across the country were at 4.46% last week.

Bottom Line

Whether you are looking for a primary residence for the first time or are considering a vacation home on the shore, now may be the time to buy. Give us a call at (360) 303-2734 or email us at Info@JohnsonTeamRealEstate.com

Take A Look At This Week’s Real Estate Market Update

45386780 - house sale.

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, February 1st, the pending ratio in Bellingham was 44%. 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 25%

The Ferndale pending ratio was 32%

The Lynden pending ratio was 32%

The Sudden Valley pending ratio was 31%

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

Check out Whatcom County’s Current 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.

mortgage rates 1-31

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!

Walk to Fairhaven from this lovely Edgemoor Neighborhood Home!

Welcome to 112 Bayside Place located in Bellingham’s historical Edgemoor Neighborhood!

 

View the Tour

 

Bayside 4This single-story home 3 bedroom, 1 3/4 bath home features an open bright floor plan.  The updated kitchen is open to the living area with vaulted ceilings and a cozy fireplace. It is a 3 bedroom but may be better served as a 2 bedroom and a large office. The master has a walk-in closet, laundry, en suite bath- plus a door out onto the deck. Outside there is a large fenced yard that is quite private and mature. Just a 7-minute walk to Fairhaven out the Cowgill Ave driveway.

Directions:  Old Fairhaven Pkwy, to 12th Street. Turn on Hawthorne. Follow up the hill and turn right on Bayside Place. Follow down the hill and the home is on the right hand side.

Bayside 3

Take a virtual tour by clicking here

Would you like to schedule a private showing?

Call us today at (360) 303-2734 today to set up a time that works for you!

No Matter What the Groundhog Says… You Should Sell Before Spring!

Whether your favorite groundhog sees their shadow or not, you should list your house for sale before Spring! The winter is a perfect time to list with less competition and more access to the buyers in the market! Let’s get together to chat about a strategy to make your dreams come true! Give The Johnson Team a call today at (888) 713-3056 or email us at Info@JohnsonTeamRealEstate.com.

4 Proven Ways Real Estate Can Build Sizable Family Wealth

4 Proven Ways Real Estate Can Build Sizable Family Wealth | MyKCM

Recently, David Greene, co-host of the BiggerPockets podcast and a nationally renowned author and speaker, wrote an article in Forbes explaining how investing in real estate could help build wealth. Many of the points he made also apply to a family owning their own home. Here are a few:

1. Appreciation

“The rising of home prices over time, is how the majority of wealth is built in real estate. This is the ‘home run’ you hear of when people make a large windfall of money. While prices fluctuate, over the long run real estate values have always gone up, always, and there is no reason to think that is going to change.

One thing to consider when it comes to real estate appreciation affecting your ROI is the fact that appreciation combined with leverage offers huge returns. If you buy a property for $200,000 and it appreciates to $220,000, your property had made you a 10% return. However, you likely didn’t pay cash for the property and instead used the bank’s money. If you consider that you may have put 10% down ($20,000), you actually have doubled your investment, a 100% return.”

2. Leverage

“By nature, real estate is one of the easiest assets to leverage I have ever come across—maybe the easiest. Not only is it easy to leverage the financing of it, but the terms are incredible compared to any other kind of loan. Interest rates are currently below 5%, down payments can be 20% or less, and loans are routinely amortized over 30-year periods.”

3. Paying Off the Debt

“One of the best parts of investing in real estate is the fact that … you’re slowly paying down your loan balance with each payment to the bank… After enough time passes, a good chunk of every payment comes off the loan balance, and wealth is created.”

4. Forced Equity

“Forced equity is a term used to refer to the wealth that is created when an investor does work to a property to make it worth more…

Example of this would be adding a third or fourth bedroom to a property with only two, adding a second bathroom to a property with only one, or adding more square footage to a property with less than the surrounding houses.”

Though Green was talking about investors, the same could be said about a family upgrading their own home.

Bottom Line

Green put it best by saying:

There are many ways to build wealth in America, but real estate might be the safest, steadiest and simplest way to do so.” 

If you have any question about building your wealth, give The Johnson Team a call today at (888) 713-3056 or email us at Info@JohnsonTeamRealEstate.com.