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.

June 1, 2012

4th Annual Appliance Art Revival

 

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Come out and see the soap box derby style race of odd vehicles made of old, used appliances. Racers heading down the hill in souped up, converted, decked out, art mobiles.
It's the Appliance Depot’s 4th annual Appliance Art Revival, happening June 2,

The revival focuses on art and draws attention to the company’s mission, which is to keep our community healthy and to model environmental sustainability by reducing the number of appliances entering the waste stream. And it's about putting fun into recycling.

You can get a close up  look at the unique derby cars from 10am-3pm Sat., June 2
during the Bellingham Farmers Market at the Depot Market Square.

The race is at 5pm on Maple Street and State Street. Art Auction, music and fun to follow at the Boundary Bay Brewery.

Posted in Life in Bellingham
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May 26, 2012

Ski to Sea Weekend is Here

It all began with the 1911 Mt. Baker Marathon and evolved into the "Ski to Sea" race here in Bellingham,  every Memorial Day weekend.
This years Ski to Sea Race is on Sunday -May 27, 2012  It's a Relay Race of Seven Legs - Seven Different Sports - Over 90 Miles from Mt Baker to Bellingham Bay, where it all ends in Fairhaven.
A Ski to Sea Race team will have 8 racers (2 in the canoe leg) for the seven race legs (Cross Country Ski; Downhill Ski/Snowboard; Running; Road Bike; Canoe; Mountain Bike; Kayak). The race is a showcase of Whatcom County's recreational playground and the 'Ski to Sea' Experience.
QUOTES FROM RACERS IN 2009 AND 1911
"This race is so epic and engrained in our culture.... even the watchers wait for us who have been training in the dark wet months to tell them its time to be alive, like the groundhog on groundhog day. When we do ski to sea, the rest can wake up and get out there and shake off winter and move....."
-Mary MacDonald, Racer/Captain, Saggy Bottom Girls, April 10, 2009
"Speed, molise, speed! the trail is past, Heisler's house appears at last. And peeps like moss grown rocks half seen, half hidden in the copse of green. There may'st thou rest, thy labor done, Hugh Diehl and "Betsy" shall speed thee on."
-Joe Galbraith wins the first Mount Baker Marathon on August 11, 1911. He wrote this to the editor of the Herald, Oct 4, 1911
image courtesy of flickr.com by mikebaird
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May 20, 2012

Bank of America Offers Up to $30,000 to Some Short Sale Sellers

Bank of America says it will provide up to $30,000 in relocation assistance to some borrowers who can't pay their mortgage. They want to work with the borrowers to obtain a preapproved short-sale price before submitting purchase offers.

To be eligible for the program and payment Short sales must be started by the end of this year and close by Sept. 26, 2013. The amount given to delinquent homeowners will be from $2,500 to $30,000 if the qualifying short sale closes.
The amount will be chosen on a case-by-case basis using calculations which will include the homes value, the amount owed and other considerations.

The program is based on a similar incentives  Bank of America tested last year in Florida. They will now be available nationally.

If you think you may qualify for Bank of America's short-sale relocation assistance program, contact the Bank's program specialists at (877) 459-2852.

Bank of America  short-sale initiatives have generated 200,000 short sales in the past two years and another 30,000 in the first quarter of this year.

It seems pretty hard to believe that Bank of America is going to pay anyone who is delinquent on there loan $30,000 to do a short sale. I'd like to see the statistics on how much they actually give homeowners, when it's all said and done, wouldn't you?

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May 8, 2012

Bellingham Real Estate Market Report - April, 2012

Here's a quick analysis of the Bellingham Residential Real Estate Market for April 2012.

 

Could this really be the market turnaround. The stats are telling us it's a fairly balanced market with about 6 to 7 months worth of homes on the market. The graph also shows we have had 3 steady months of price increases since January's 5 year low point.

The number of homes on the market is unusually low for this time of year, so buyers will be competing for a smaller number of homes which tends to push prices up.

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

Stay tuned.

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May 5, 2012

Waterfront Redevelopment Plans Scaled Down

At a joint meeting of City Council and the Port of Bellingham commission the announcement was made of a slimmed-down plan for a redeveloped central waterfront.
Of course the plan won't be finalized until fall, but some key changes from earlier proposals seem to be:

• Postponement of the port's beloved plan to have a marina inside the old Georgia-Pacific Corp. waste water treatment lagoon.
• The demolition of the Granary Building, which historic preservation advocates hoped to restore, it's just to costly.
• Elimination of a proposed "Log Pond Park" along the shoreline between the old G-P pier and the port's shipping terminal, so the area can be developed as a waterfront industrial job source.
• Indefinite postponement of relocation of BNSF Railway Co. tracks that now cut through the site.
• Indefinite postponement of a new Cornwall Avenue railroad bridge to link downtown to the waterfront.
• Commercial Street bridge, once thought of as a late-stage project, could be built somewhat sooner than envisioned in previous plans, (no dates were offered for the estimated $30 million project.)

The grand vision of the downtown redevelopment was began in the boom times of 2005, the city had revenue and the economic engine was churning, well times have changed, scaled down and slowed down.
The port and city seem to be working together on this plan, and the conflicts over key issues by the two entities appear to have been resolved.
But the plan still faces a long and windy road ahead including public hearings before the Planning Commission, followed by City Council review.
Port Environmental Director Mike Stoner made it clear that the port still wants to see a marina as part of the plan.

If all goes well, the first phase of the waterfront re-development could be done by the end of 2015 and would include:
• a new street link where the Granary now stands
• turning the existing Central Avenue into a bike and pedestrian route;
• cleanup and redevelopment of the Cornwall Avenue landfill site as a new park, complete with an over-water walkway to Boulevard Park.
area for light, marine-related industry indefinitely, instead of designating it for eventual conversion to commercial, office and residential use.

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May 4, 2012

Whatcom County Real Estate Market Report - April, 2012

Here's a quick analysis of the Bellingham Residential Real Estate Market for April 2012.

Looks like the numbers are starting to rise in Whatcom County. That general downward trend may be coming to a halt and turning around. We'll have to wait a few months to see. It still looks like a buyers market in the county even though Bellingham is almost at a balanced market.

Interest rates are still amazingly low. This may be a great time to buy a home.

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

 

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May 1, 2012

Mount Vernon WA Neighborhoods

What is special about a neighborhood? I think most of us have a "feeling for" the neighborhood that we choose to live in. Maybe you like the location because it has walkways or trails. An active Homeowners Association. Close to parks or shopping. Lots of trees and a feeling of privacy. I live in the Rosewood community, which is near Centennial Elementary school. There are several small park-like common areas where the neighborhood kids can shoot hoops and play on swings. There is a paved walkway, which I like to use when I walk my dog and I always see people jogging or taking walks. What do you like about your neighborhood?

For more information about Mount Vernon neighborhoods and real estate in Skagit County please feel free to contact me directly at (360) 540-6357 or email me at chuck.burkhart@exprealty.com

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April 23, 2012

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to Streamline Short Sales

The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) has directed Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to streamline the short sale process in order to help more homeowners avoid foreclosure.

This news came out last week.   The first stage of the new process will begin in June. The new timelines include the requirement that mortgage servicer's review and respond to requests for short sales within 30 calendar days from receipt of a short sale offer.
New guidelines will require the following:

  • Review and respond to requests for short sales within 30 calendar days from receipt of a short sale offer and a complete borrower response package;
  • Provide weekly status updates to the borrower if the short sale offer is still under review after 30 calendar days;
  • Make and communicate final decisions to the borrower within 60 calendar days of receipt of the offer and complete borrower response package.

By the end of this year, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac will announce additional enhancements addressing issues such as borrower eligibility and evaluation,  documentation simplification, property valuation, fraud mitigation, payments to subordinate lien holders, and mortgage insurance.

Along with Bank of America's new short sale timeline improvements, this is a great step forward in helping out both "underwater" homeowners and home buyers.

If you have any questions or want to see any Bellingham Real Estate or  need to sell your home or are interested in buying a short sale email me at or give me a call at 360-739-6981

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April 23, 2012

Whatcom County Foreclosures for Sale - Bank Owned Homes Are a Good Value

There are presently 23 Foreclosures for Sale in Whatcom County, WA.  These are all the Bank Owned homes listed for sale as of 4/22/12. These homes are all ready for new owners. Contact me if you'd  like to tour a home in your location and price range.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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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April 23, 2012

Downtown Mount Vernon Tulip Festival Street Fair

One of the many special events that takes place during the Skagit Valley Tulip Festival is Mount Vernon's annual Downtown Street Fair. I like it because it's a chance for many people who come to my valley when they tour the tulip fields to see our historic downtown. There is live music, arts & crafts and of course lot's delicious treats! Have you ever tasted a Dingleberry!

For more information about fun things to do in the Skagit Valley or information regarding Skagit Valley real estate contact me direct at 360.540.6357 or drop me a quick email at chuck.burkhart@exprealty.com

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