Living in Bellingham, Washington

If you are looking for information on Bellingham Washington, you've come to the right place. Our Bellingham Blog features information on events and activities taking place in the area as well as information on neighborhoods, parks, schools, recreation and more.

We invite you to request a Bellingham Relocation Package including information from the Bellingham Chamber of Commerce, the Bellingham Visitors Center as well as current magazines of properties for sale.

Bellingham is located about an hour and a half south of Vancouver British Columbia and approximately an hour and fifteen minutes north of Seattle.

July 2, 2012

Seattle’s new 175 foot tall Ferris Wheel open for business

Seattle's latest tourist attraction, destined to be a landmark, is a 17-story Ferris wheel billed as the tallest to go into year-round operation in the United States.

It opened to the public last Friday, giving riders a new panoramic view of theSeattle

Called the "Great Wheel" it has 42 enclosed gondolas with space for up to 252 passengers total. It stands 175-foot-tall and cost $20 million to build as part of a private-sector initiative to revitalize Seattle's waterfront.

The tallest wheel in the world is  Singapore's 541-foot Singapore Flyer, is more than twice as tall as Seattle's new wheel.

"Our whole idea was to create an attraction that was a neat thing to make people want to come down to the waterfront," said Griffith, vice president of Great Western Pacific Inc.

Seattle's new wheel extends 40 feet over Puget Sound's Elliott Bay at Pier 57  and weighs more than 280,000 pounds.

It's deluxe, each enclosed gondola has heating and air-conditioning and seats six passengers for the 12-minute, three-spin ride.

Tourism officials hope the Great Wheel will lure some of Seattle's 9.9 million annual overnight visitors to its central waterfront, a 1.5-mile (2.4-km) walk from the Space Needle, the city's most famous attraction.

High-tech Ferris wheels are undergoing a resurgence after being out of vogue for 30 years,

Staten Island, New York, has plans are in the works for a 600-foot-tall "observation wheel" to become the world's tallest.

Image courtesy of flickr.com by PJ Peterson

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June 22, 2012

Now in Western Washington: Low Inventory + Low Interest Rates

According to our Northwest Multiple Listing Service, a low inventory of homes for sale combined with record low mortgage rates are igniting Western Washington home sales.  In the 21 counties in the MLS market area, home inventory is down almost 28% from a year ago.  Locally, Whatcom and Skagit counties each have less than 5 months of supply of homes for sale.

In the midst of this low inventory market, record-low interest rates are paving the way for homebuyer affordability.  As of May 31st, rates were reported at an all-time record low of 3.75 for a 30-year fixed average, and 2.97 percent for a 15-year fixed average.

Locally, this all translates into sales.  Pending sales  in Western Washington are up almost 22% from last year.  The number of closed sales is up more than 20% to over 6000, the highest point since September 2007.

For more information, or to view some homes for sale in the area, please feel free to give me a call at (360) 298-0968,  I'm happy to help.  Thanks!

~Tamar Lister

[caption id="attachment_7377" align="alignleft" width="300"] Tidal Flats from Marine Drive Park[/caption]

 

 

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June 19, 2012

Open House, 316 West Lake Samish Drive #16

Open House Sunday, June 24th 2012 at 316 West Lake Samish Drive #16
Please feel free to join us for an open house on Sunday, June 24th 2012 from 12:00 PM to 2:00 PM. This home is located at 316 West Lake Samish Drive #16 and is in good condition. There are two bedrooms with a bonus room/office and 1 1/2 bathrooms. This home has had many updates including new paint and flooring.
The price of this home has just been reduced to $17,500 and has many community amenities such as clubhouse and lake/dock access. Stop by and take a look, I would be happy to see you there!
 For more details please visit: http://www.postlets.com/repb/7619857
Also for more information you can visit my website: http://www.judyshouses.com
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June 19, 2012

Open House on June 23rd at 2400 Donovan Ave. #7

Open House Saturday, June 23rd 2012 for Home at 2400 Donovan Ave #7 in Bellingham, WA
Please accept my invitation to attend the open house for this wonderfully maintained three bedroom, two bathroom home located at 2400 Donovan Ave. #7 in Bellingham, Washington on Saturday, June 23rd 2012 between 12:00 PM and 2:00 PM.This is a public open house and everyone is welcome. Price has just been reduced to $22,000.
This home is located in a quiet senior park (age 55+) and is close to walking trails, bus routes, shopping, dining and Historical Downtown Fairhaven.This is a wonderful option for affordable senior living in the Happy Valley neighborhood. Feel free to give me a call or send me an email if you have any questions.
If you are interested in more details or pictures of the property you can visit the website provided below.

Please view more details at: http://www.judyshouses.com

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June 10, 2012

Bellingham Real Estate Market Report - May, 2012

Bellingham didn't do as well as Whatcom County, with both the number of sales and price both taking a sight slide, from last year at this time and from last month. With the inventory pretty low for this time of year and interest rates really low it will be anybody's guess where we are headed. I'm predicting a slight increase in price for June.

It will be interesting to see where the prices and chart go in the next few months leading up to election day.

If you have any questions or want to see any Bellingham Real Estate feel free to email me at or give me a call at 360-739-6981

 

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June 10, 2012

Whatcom County Real Estate Market Report - May, 2012

It's easy to see that the number of sales were up a bit and the prices are down a bit  It's spring and summer buying season upon us. Interest rates have remained at an extremely low rate but may be on the rise due to what's going on halfway around the world. The financial markets seem to be worried about the events in Greece and the Euro zone and that is having an effect on the bond market which has an effect on interest rstes.

This may be a great time to buy before interest rates get higher.

If you have any questions or want to see any Bellingham Real Estate feel free to email me at or give me a call at 360-739-6981

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June 6, 2012

Bellingham's Major Employers & Finding a Job in Whatcom County

Certain things about Bellingham are hard to miss- like the beauty of the San Islands across Bellingham Bay, or Mt. Baker looking down on us on a clear day.  But when people visit Bellingham, especially when thinking of relocating here, one important question inevitably rises to the surface:  What do people do here for work?

[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="Dramatic Sky Over Bellingham, courtesy of Vince Lamphier at www.whatcomstudio.com"][/caption]

To help answer that question, I have put together a list of the major employers in the area, as well as some great resources for finding a job here in Bellingham and Whatcom County.  The following list is of top 20 employers in Whatcom County, in varying fields such as education, manufacturing, commercial services, retail and grocery stores, building and construction, and local government.

1. Western Washington University
2. St. Joseph's Hospital
3. Bellingham School District
4. Whatcom County Government
5. Haggen
6. Alcoa Intalco Works
7. Sodexho Services
8. Brown and Cole
9. British Petroleum
10. T-Mobile
11. Fred Meyer
12. Whatcom Community College
13. Lummi Indian Business Council
14. Health-Techna
15. Everyday Staffing, LLC
16. Mt. Baker School District
17. Walmart
18. Diamond B Constructors
19. Haskell Corp.
20. Anvil Corp.

There are many more employers in these and other industries, this list is just to give you an idea of the top 20 employers with over 300 employees.

To find a job in the area, here are a few good resources available:

  • Worksource  is the State of Washington's official site for online employment services, and has an employment services office in Bellingham
  • The Bellingham Herald has a great online local classified help wanted section
  • Bellingham craigslist is used by local employers to post job listings

If you have any questions or to continue with your home search, please feel free to give me a call at (360) 298-0968.

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June 4, 2012

Bank of America to reduce mortgage principle

Bank of America has said they will begin mailing 200,000 letters offering a select group of customers mortgage principal reduction.

If you are a have a mortgage with B of A and are behind on payments and "underwater", you may be eligible.   Don't toss away the letters you get from B of A, open them up and look for good news.

This offer is the real deal, eligible borrowers could get an average of $150,000 deducted from the balance of their mortgages.  This program is part of a $26 billion settlement reached this year between government agencies and the nation's five largest mortgage servicer's over the processing of  fraudulent foreclosure documents ("robo-signing".)

Bank of America has committed $11 billion for mortgage-principal reduction, but executives say they will go beyond that if enough borrowers respond to their offer.

5000 borrowers have already received a total of $700 million in principal reduction in a pilot program. There are 200,000 borrowers being targeted now that  may have  exhausted other  modification options or may have yet to contact the lender.

Borrower's need to be 60 days late on the mortgage payment as of Jan. 31, 2012 to be eligible and owe more on the mortgage than the home is currently worth, and the loan must either be owned or  serviced by Bank of America.

If one qualifies, Bank of America will take the monthly mortgage payment down to 25% of the borrower's gross income and there is no limit to the amount of the mortgage.

Not all of the 200,000 borrowers who receive the letters are expected to respond. Executives say there is a level of fatigue among delinquent borrowers who have already received several notices or who may have gone through a failed modification process already. Some borrowers simply don't want to stay in their homes, while others may think the offer is a scam.

Bank of America is sending about 6,500 letters this week by certified mail in hopes they will get opened and taken seriously, 200.000 letters will be sent by the end of summer. They are also halting foreclosure actions against these 200,000 borrowers until the process is complete.

 

f you have any questions or want to see any Bellingham Real Estate feel free to email me at or give me a call at 360-739-6981

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June 4, 2012

One Good Reason To Relocate to Washington

Back Country Skiing!  As home to the most glaciers in the lower 48 states, Washington is a back country skiing wonderland.  We are skiing twelve months of the year here with the North Cascades in our backyard.  Granted, it takes a  healthy effort and a proper amount of outdoor education, but reaching the most beautiful places on our planet usually does!

Here in Bellingham there are lots of great resources to educate yourself to stay safe while enjoying our natural environment.  If you are interested in Back country skiing, taking an avalanche safety course is a must.  Mt. Baker ski area and our local REI store both offer classes.  The American Alpine Institute is another great school where I took my avalanche safety course, and I highly recommend them.  The teachers are very professional and have lots of experience.  The American Alpine Institute has many schools in North America and across the globe, and was called "The best all-around climbing school and guide service in North America" by Jon Krakauer of Outside Magazine.

So if you are thinking about relocating, and have adventure and outdoor recreation at the top of your list, come to Washington!  Oh yeah, and besides sharing advice on your next adventure, click here: I am happy to help you find your home too!

Feel free to give me a call at (360) 298-0968

[caption id="attachment_7326" align="alignnone" width="200" caption="June ski tour at Kangaroo Pass, Outside Mazama, WA"][/caption]

 

 

 

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June 3, 2012

What is the Mutual Agreement Date?

The Mutual Agreement Date is the date the last party making an offer or counter offer receives notification that their offer (or counter offer) was accepted and both parties have  agreed to all terms and conditions of the Purchase and Sale agreement.

We often say it is the date the contract was "signed around", or day of "Mutual Acceptance." All  deadlines in the agreement start with that date. Essentially, it is when the "clock starts ticking."  It is the countdown date for your due diligence period, inspection contingency, financing contingency, and any other items that may be specified in the contract.  If a contingency has a time line of 10 days, then day one  of the 10 days starts the day after the Mutual Agreement Date. Any specified period of 5 days or less shall not include Saturdays, Sundays or legal holidays.

It is a joyful date for both Buyers and Sellers. They are now in contract to buy and sell.  However, it also means "okay, we are in contract and things need to move forward in a timely fashion."  The work begins, the clock is now ticking ...A common term in often heard in the world of Real Estate is "Time is of the Essence."

If you have any questions or want to see any Bellingham Real Estate feel free to email me at or give me a call at 360-739-6981

 

 

Image provided by flickr.com by Candie_N

 

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