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.

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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.

The Historic Mt. Baker Highway known to locals as the 542

You can’t live in Bellingham or visit Whatcom County for long and not hear the term 542 or Mt. Baker Highway. The Mt. Baker Highway, state highway number 542 is Bellingham’s gateway to the majestic Mt. Baker. Mt. Baker is treasured by local residents and visitors alike for it’s stunning snow capped beauty, world class ski slops and unbelievable hiking opportunities. But, not only is Mt. Baker amazing, so it the historic drive up the highway, the sites, trails, businesses and views along the way.

As you leave Bellingham headed East on the the Mt. Baker Highway you travel over the Nooksack River, through the foothills communities of Deming, Kendall, Maple Falls and Glacier.   Along the way you will pass the unique Northfork Beer Shrine/Wedding Chapel,  vineyards, a variety of restaurants, lodging, a casino and miles of scenic trails through National Forest lands.

The final 24 miles of the highway are designated a U.S. National Forest National Scenic Byway, starting just after the town  of Glacier to Artist Point above the ski area.  Along the way, at milepost 52 is the Mt. Baker Ski Area, offering skiers and snowboarders some of the finest terrain and the best snow conditions in the west. Mt. Baker is know world wide for it’s natural half pipe and the legendary Banked Slalom Snowboard competition.

If you are not lucky enough to drive the Highway yourself check out our Mt. Baker Highway virtual tour below to see some of the beauty for yourself.

Mt Baker highway is a only a short 57 miles but packed into that 57 miles is something for everyone. A trip along The Mt Baker Highway could include a stop by the Mt Baker Winery’s tasting room, views of the Nooksack River as it makes it’s winds it’s way through the Cascades, a stop at Everybody’s Store for lunch, a side trip to Nooksack Falls, the thrill of Deming Speedway and of course a Photo Op of Mt Baker, Mt Shuksan & Picture Lake.

If you are thinking this is an area you might like to call home there are many real estate opportunities and homes for sale  in Eastern Whatcom County and the foothill communities of Deming, Kendall, Acme and Glacier.  Feel free to visit our real estate map search to search for homes or properties that may fit your needs.

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Ferndale, Washington a Thriving Community!

Ferndale is a thriving community surrounded by fertile farmland and is famous for its “Baker to Bay” views for the ridges west of town. It celebrates its history with Hovander Park (featuring a turn of the century Hovander Farm), the Scottish Highland Games and the Civil Way re-enactment. Ferndale’s location on the river also provides it with unique ecological features which the Whatcom County Park Department has made available to the public in the Tennant Lake Interpretive Center, Fragrance Garden and Lake Terrel Wildlife Refuge

Ferndale is also the closest town to the Lummi Reservation, which includes Sandy Point, Gooseberry Point and the ferry terminal to Lummi Island. Sandy Point Heights are the housing areas within the Lummi Reservation, but the land is owned just as it is in any other part of the county. Many homes in these communities have spectacular views of the sound, Mt. Baker and the Canadian Costal Range. Amenities include a marina, golf course, swimming pool and tennis court. The Lummi Reservation is home to the Lummi Indian Nation, a coastal tribe with a rich heritage centering on the wildlife- salmon, shellfish, deer, eagle, and orcas on which it has always counted on for both physical and spiritual sustenance. The Stommish, an annual celebration of victory over the enemy features a canoe race, dancing and royalty.

If you are looking for a home in the Ferndale, Washington area the Johnson Team can help with their customized Ferndale Real Estate Search.  On our website you can search by city or neighborhood, price, view, acreage size and so much more. Visit the real estate search portion of our website to explore for yourself!

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Housing Market Rebound Continues!

Below is an article courtesy of  The Northwest MLS:

Housing market rebound continues,
with “slow, unprepared buyers” settling for “2nd choice” homes

KIRKLAND, WA, October 4, 2012 – Home sales around western Washington continue to outpace activity of a year ago while inventory remains thin, according to new figures from Northwest Multiple Listing Service.  Brokers say that combination is resulting in disappointment for buyers who are slow to accept the reality of a recovering housing market. 

Commenting on September data from Northwest Multiple Listing Service that shows upticks in sales and prices, broker Frank Wilson said buyers who make unrealistic offers and requests are “back on the street looking at their second choice home.”  Meanwhile, some sellers with well-priced, well-prepared homes are receiving multiple offers according to Wilson, a member of the Northwest MLS board of directors and the managing broker of John L. Scott Real Estate in Poulsbo.

Northwest MLS figures for September show the pace of sales slowed from the past six months, but still outgained activity of a year ago.  Members reported 5,535 closed sales, which compares to the year ago total of 4,988 for an increase of nearly 11 percent. Thirteen of the 21 counties served by the MLS reported double-digit gains in the number of completed transactions.

Through three quarters of 2012, closed sales are up 14.6 percent from a year ago (48,022 versus 41,906). 

Prices on last month’s closed sales rose 9.2 percent from twelve months ago.  The area-wide median price on single family homes and condominiums that sold last month was $255,500. 

Prices on single family homes (excluding condominiums) increased more than 12 percent, rising from $240,000 to $269,000.  The most expensive homes sold in San Juan County, which reported a median sales price of $380,000, and in King County, where the median selling price was $375,000. 

Brokers added 7,300 new listings to inventory last month, the fewest number since January.  With those additions, there were 25,476 active listings in the MLS system at the end of September. That total is down 27.7 percent from the year-ago selection that encompassed 35,254 listings.

The sharpest drop in active listings occurred in Snohomish County, which has about half the inventory of a year ago (2,187 currently versus 4,308 active listings at end of September 2011).  Northwest MLS figures show year-over-year prices there jumped 14.6 percent.

The imbalance between supply and demand is “wreaking havoc” with some buyers and sellers, said Northwest MLS director George Moorhead, branch manager at Bentley Properties in Bothell.  Some sellers are lamenting “missed opportunities,” but he believes positive momentum will continue with the combination of below-normal inventory, record-low interest rates and changing views on home ownership. “We are seeing clients’ views change from a home being a short-term investment vehicle to being a place where we raise and teach our families,” Moorhead remarked.

MLS members tallied nearly 600 more pending sales last month than a year ago. Brokers reported 7,494 mutually accepted offers for an increase of 8.7 percent from the year-ago total of 6,897 pending transactions. Sales results were mixed across the MLS market area, with 12 counties reporting increases, eight reporting declines and one unchanged.

The rapid pace of sales in some areas coupled with dwindling inventory means below-average months of supply in some counties. Area-wide there is about 3.4 months of supply, with five-to-six months considered to be average.  King, Pierce and Snohomish counties all report levels below three months.

All cash buyers are returning to the entire market, observed MLS director Darin Stenvers. “Cash offers are being made across the price spectrum, including the million dollars-plus ranges,” he added.

Stenvers, the office managing broker at John L. Scott, Inc., in Bellingham, said the ingredients are in place for “a perfect buying season,” citing rapid absorption of inventory and well-priced homes as two factors. How long such conditions will last is “the $64,000 question,” he stated, noting pent-up demand in some areas has buyers feeling the pressure to move quickly to get their offers accepted.

New home construction will continue making a rebound, Stenvers believes. He said builders are moving cautiously in most markets, being careful to build only the sizes and quality of homes that are likely to sell before completion, and not starting too many foundations at one time.

Despite brisk activity, Stenvers noted foreclosures and owners who are delinquent on mortgage payments remain a concern. The number of owners nationwide who are 90 days or more late in making payments is again on the rise, a situation that will continue to affect foreclosure rates, he explained.

“The lack of foreclosed homes not coming on the market has successfully stabilized prices but also created a lack of homes for buyers to buy,” Stenvers stated.

Buyers are also weighing the pros and cons of renting or buying.  “The rent versus buy conundrum is still the biggest obstacle facing buyers today,” Stenvers reported. 

Referring to new reports on recent and planned rent increases and low availability of good rentals in some areas, Stenvers said home ownership is “a better investment in many areas even if buyers are thinking of holding the home for a relativity short time frame.”  It is hard for someone to move into an apartment after having the freedom of a larger home, so displaced home owners are looking to rent homes first, he reported, adding, “This alone is driving investors back into the housing market,” he stated.  

MLS director Wilson said while the story of a few years ago has flipped, the path to ownership remains constant. “We used to say the seller who priced and staged their home the best would get buyers. Today we’re saying buyers who are most realistic with their offers and pre-approved with a lender, and who are the most aggressive might get the house they want.”

“This is what a normal market looks like — buyers and sellers negotiating fairly with each other and each feeling they may have left a little on the table,” Wilson remarked. One of the benefits of a “normal” market is that it is not all about sale price, he explained, noting closing costs, type of loan, closing date, possession date and work orders are all things that balance out a normal transaction.

Setting up buyers for success remains the paramount goal, according to Wilson. A buyer’s path for success includes pre-approval with a lender, sufficient funds to pay their own closing costs, and the patience to wait through the closing process, especially if they are buying a short sale or bank owned home, he explained.

George Moorhead, another MLS director, echoed that advice, saying “Smart recovery is what everyone should be considering as we heal from the neglected financial actions of the past.”

Current buyers are cautiously optimistic, Moorhead reported.  Clients in general are united in debt reduction, building up savings and reserves, spending more wisely than they ever have, and have an optimistic outlook of the economy as a whole.

Northwest Multiple Listing Service, owned by its member real estate firms, is the largest full-service MLS in the Northwest. Its membership includes more than 21,000 real estate brokers. The organization, based in Kirkland, Wash., currently serves 21 counties in Washington state.

Statistical Summary by Counties: Market Activity Summary – September 2012

+ Condos
# Pending
King 3,009 6,312 3,072 2,312 $424,085 $335,000
Snohomish 987 2,187 1,206 880 $284,833 $261,658
Pierce 1,128 3,731 1,247 773 $231,335 $200,500
Kitsap 379 1,552 346 238 $282,866 $240,250
Mason 102 791 75 68 $202,012 $180,000
Skagit 156 904 146 121 $267,587 $230,000
Grays Harbor 100 858 93 59 $142,108 $130,000
Lewis 107 717 64 68 $159,612 $155,000
Cowlitz 137 526 102 78 $141,492 $127,450
Grant 70 571 52 57 $147,326 $137,000
Thurston 323 1,283 317 289 $223,461 $211,000
San Juan 18 408 35 29 $736,017 $375,000
Island 114 848 132 90 $311,867 $270,900
Kittitas 67 506 55 38 $259,489 $196,500
Jefferson 47 515 52 39 $239,002 $225,500
Okanogan 35 438 18 22 $206,500 $192,150
Whatcom 272 1,529 271 216 $277,558 $239,944
Clark 45 229 37 30 $194,755 $175,450
Pacific 34 414 34 23 $138,635 $119,000
Ferry 8 82 1 0 0 $0
Clallam 49 422 39 37 $223,025 $220,000
Others 113 653 100 68 $219,385 $214,750
MLS TOTAL 7,300 25,476 7,494 5,535 $323,747 $255,500

4-County Puget Sound Region Pending Sales (SFH + Condo combined)
(Totals include King, Snohomish, Pierce & Kitsap counties)

  Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
2000 3706 4778 5903 5116 5490 5079 4928 5432 4569 4675 4126 3166
2001 4334 5056 5722 5399 5631 5568 5434 5544 4040 4387 4155 3430
2002 4293 4735 5569 5436 6131 5212 5525 6215 5394 5777 4966 4153
2003 4746 5290 6889 6837 7148 7202 7673 7135 6698 6552 4904 4454
2004 4521 6284 8073 7910 7888 8186 7583 7464 6984 6761 6228 5195
2005 5426 6833 8801 8420 8610 8896 8207 8784 7561 7157 6188 4837
2006 5275 6032 8174 7651 8411 8094 7121 7692 6216 6403 5292 4346
2007 4869 6239 7192 6974 7311 6876 6371 5580 4153 4447 3896 2975
2008 3291 4167 4520 4624 4526 4765 4580 4584 4445 3346 2841 2432
2009 3250 3407 4262 5372 5498 5963 5551 5764 5825 5702 3829 3440
2010 4381 5211 6821 7368 4058 4239 4306 4520 4350 4376 3938 3474
2011 4272 4767 6049 5732 5963 5868 5657 5944 5299 5384 4814 4197
2012 4921 6069 7386 7015 7295 6733 6489 6341 5871      
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FOR SALE! North Western Red Cedar Home in Eastern Whatcom County

Have you ever dream of having a story book home in a fair tale setting? This incredible home at 552 Sprague Valley Drive in Maple Falls is that story book house! Constructed of North Western Red Cedar this 3 bedroom, 1 3/4 bath home is everything you could imagine in a Pacific Northwest Home. 

The spacious 1/3 acre lot provides just the perfect setting for this picturesque home.  Inside you’ll find soaring ceilings, an interior brightened by over sized skylights, a wood fireplace with crackling fires for those winter nights – simply a warm & cozy atmosphere. Outside, entertain either on the back deck overlooking the yard, gardens & woods or watch the deer, raccoons, steller jays & eagles go by from the front porch.

Located in Maple Falls, Washington the home is centrally located to provide the best of all worlds. Just a 30 minute drive west you will find the city of Bellingham, Washington. Bellingham offers a wonderful salt water marina on the shores of Bellingham Bay, Western Washington University and ample shopping, recreation and health services. On the other end of the spectrum just a short 3o minute drive East on the Mt. Baker Highway you will be greeted with the snow covered ski slopes of the world renowned Mt. Baker Ski Area.

Below you will find a virtual tour of this lovely home. If you would like to schedule your own showing call (360) 303-2734!


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Bellingham's Zuanich Point Park and Squalicum Harbor

Bellingham Fisherman's Memorial

I sure am lucky to call Bellingham, Washington my home. Last week with the incredible weather we had I was able to sneak away from my desk and enjoy a wonderful walk along Bellingham’s waterfront along Roeder Ave, Squalicum Harbor and Zuanich Point Park. The sun was shining, Mt. Baker was peaking over the hills and everyone was out enjoying the day.

Squalicum Harbor Bellingham


The docks of Squalicum Harbor were filled with lovely sail boats, pleasure boats and fishing vessels all of which enjoy the lovely water’s of Bellingham Bay and the San Juan Island’s beyond. Zuanich Point Park located along the shores of Squalicum Harbor was busy with kite fliers, runners, in line skaters and a whole handful of kids taking full advantage of the marine themed childrens play area while their caretakers and parents enjoyed the sun, lunch and even in some cases a good book with the stunning views of the bay and beyond.

The Bellingham Waterfront has a little something for everyone from the park, to local resteruants such as Anthony’s and the Bayside Cafe to the Marine Touch Tank for the kids everyone in your family is sure to find something to do here.  Below is a virtual tour of the Bellingham waterfront along Roeder Ave, and Squalicum Harbor. If you have never been down there before be sure and check it out!

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Great Mid-County Home on Acreage Just Minutes From Bellingham

Welcome to 1411 E Smith Rd, Priced at $309,000

If you have been looking for the perfect mid-country location only minutes from Bellingham then 1411 E Smith Rd could be the perfect fit for you.  To get there, take the Hannegan North to the East Smith. Turn right headed East on the East Smith going past Market Rd on your left & just past Murieal on your left – 1411 E Smith is on your right.

Imagine if you dare, woods to explore, a pasture for horses, a view of Mt Baker, a large shop with external parking for all the toys in the world, fruit trees/garden space, squirrels for Fido to chase ¢entral to it all is a lovely remodeled 3 bedroom home with a totally new redo to include hardwood floors, carpet, paint & a sparkling kitchen & baths. You can quit imagining because it all exists on a level, sunny 5 acre parcel just minutes from town & at a super affordable price.

We Hope You Enjoy Your Home Tour of 1411 E Smith

If you would like a private tour of 1411 E Smith Rd , The Johnson Team can easily accomodate your schedule. If you’d care to call them at 360-303-2734 or toll free at 888-713-3056 they can arrange for your private showing. If you live out of the area or country and would like additional information about this wonderful property, The Johnson Team would be happy to send you a complete property package. Just give them a call or send them an email and you’ll receive the information immediately.

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Bellingham Farmer's Market Season Is Upon Us!

If you are looking for a great place to pick up local produce, try amazing food or purchase local crafts the Bellingham Farmer’s Market is the place to do it.   Every Saturday April to Christmas the Bellingham Farmer’s Market takes place at the Depot Market Squre at the corner of Railroad and Chestnut Street from 10am to 3pm, rain or shine!

The Depot Market Square is an open-air gathering space perfect or showcasing all the Bellingham and Whatcom County has to offer from gorgeous flower bouquets to locally grown vegetables and fruit there is something for everyone. If you are just looking to get out and take in the sights and sounds there is also talented local musicians that perform at the Market throughout the day as well.

In addition to the Bellingham Farmer’s Market on Saturdays there is also the Wednesday Market held in Fairhaven on the Village Green behind Village Books June to September from 12 to 5pm

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Electric Car Charging Station Coming to Sehome Village

Construction began in Dec 2011 on the Sehome Village Electrical Charging Station.  The equipment and installation is partnered  by the City of Bellingham & the Washington State Department of Transportation & is part of the West Coast Electric Highway which will provide electrical vehicle (EV) drivers with fast chargers every 50 miles or so, all the way from Oregon to Canada. This in turn is part of a larger project called the West Coast Green Highway, which will someday cover the length of Interstate 5 from British Columbia through Washington and Oregon to Baja, California.

The Bellingham charging station is located just to the South of Sehome Village Starbucks and is anticipated to be operational within a few weeks.  If you happen to stop by, you’ll see some bright new equipment that will be capable of charging your car with either a “Level 2” or “Level 3” charger. 

Anyway, it sounds like a great step forward along the way to becoming less dependent on fossil fuel. To learn more about electric cars & what the future may hold for them, access the on-line information at Plug in America

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Northwest Economic Council Sponsors WA Income Tax Workshop

Northwest Economic Council Sponsors WA Income Tax Workshop

?'s about Income Tax - Attend a FREE Workshop

?'s about Income Tax - Attend a FREE Workshop

The WA State Dept of Revenue is hosting free tax workshops in Bellingham that will go over the basics of Washington State taxes. As a small business or new business owner, attending a workshop will help you understand your tax reporting responsibilities.

Attend a Business Outreach workshop to learn the basics of Washington State taxes. This free workshop will help you understand your tax reporting responsibilities. Tax reporting classifications, deductions, sales tax collection, and recordkeeping requirements will be discussed. You’ll also have the opportunity to ask questions regarding taxes that apply specifically to your business

The Workshop is being held Tuesday Mar. 13, 2012 1:00 PM – 4:00 PM at WSP/DOT Conference Room, 3920 Airport Way For questions, call the Northwest Economic Council (EDC) at 360 676 4255 or register at 360 594 4849.

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