UPCOMING HOMEBUYER SEMINAR

Upcoming seminar for all first-time homebuyers! Washington State Housing Finance Commission-sponsored homebuyer education seminars are one of the first steps in purchasing a home. It is a free, open & unbiased seminar and includes information about the Commission’s first mortgage programs, downpayment assistance, and other loan programs; and are accepted by all affordable housing loan programs. Washington State Housing Finance Commission is a publicly accountable, self-supporting team that works with lenders, investors, developers, nonprofit organizations and more to bring private investment dollars to benefit families & achieve goals throughout Washington.
Please RSVP in advance:

Homebuyer Education Class

WHEN A LENDER DENIES YOUR MORTGAGE APPLICATION


Interesting article on Mortgage Applications….
“You’re ready to make an offer on a house, and your mortgage is denied. But as your mother told you, there are plenty of fish in the sea.”
Some jumbo-mortgage lenders, often smaller banks or credit unions, will be more flexible about the three key factors to qualify – credit score, proof of income and the percentage a borrower needs to put toward a down payment.
Lenders who reject a borrower are required by federal law to issue a written “adverse action notice” or statement of credit denial giving a reason for the denial. This document is issued typically within 48 hours after the verbal notification.
The top denial reason reported by lenders across both purchases and refinances was applicant credit history, according to the federal data collected from lenders under mandates from the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act. Other top reasons include a high debt-to-income ratio, a reflection of the borrower’s income relative to monthly payment amounts, and borrowers with insufficient collateral, also know as reserves.
Anyone changing jobs and purchasing a new home should obtain a guaranteed compensation plan in writing from the new employer.
Borrowers should also keep in mind that a mortgage denial doesn’t turn up on their credit report.
Of course, it’s always better to have one’s credit history in line before applying for a mortgage. Read the complete finance article by: Anya Martin, The Wall Street Journal, right here:
When A Lender Denies Your Mortgage – The Wall Street Journal

MOST IMPORTANT ROOMS TO STAGE

If you are getting ready to sell your home and are wondering what rooms to stage – especially if you are unable to stage every inch. The National Association of Realtors® 2015 Profile of Home Staging ranks the most important rooms to be staged, based on a survey of real estate buyer agent’s. Here’s how the rooms stack up:
1. Living Room
2. Kitchen
3. Master Bedroom
4. Dining Room
5. Bathroom
6. Children’s Bedroom
7. Guest Bedroom

Overall, the survey found that staging can influence buyers’ perceptions of a home and even the home’s perceived value.
If you are looking for selling agent that also is an Accredited Staging Professional, please call the Muljat Group North!

WHAT BUYERS SHOULD KNOW ABOUT HOME INSPECTIONS

For many first-time buyers, buying a home can be a scary experience. They know they’ll be maintaining or improving a home with little to no maintenance experience, so the solution is to buy a home in perfect condition. So they hire a home inspector to point out all the flaws.

The problem is — no perfect home exists. Air conditioners break, plumbing pipes leaks, and roof tiles blow off in the wind.

If you’re buying a home, start with a reasonable expectation of what home inspectors can do. Their job is to inform you about the integrity and condition of what you’re buying, good and bad.

A home inspection should take several hours, long enough to cover all built-in appliances, all mechanical, electrical, gas and plumbing systems, the roof, foundation, gutters, exterior, windows and doors.

An inspector doesn’t test for pests or check the septic tank. For those, you need industry-specific inspectors.

Here’s what else you need to do.

1. Make sure the inspector you hire is licensed. The responsibilities of home inspectors vary according to state law and their areas of expertise.

2. Ask what the inspection covers. Some inspection companies have extensive divisions that can provide environmental for radon and lead paint. Be prepared to hire and schedule several inspectors according to your lender’s requirements and to pay accordingly.
source: Blanche Evans, Realty Times, 1/28/15

BUSINESS OPPORTUNITIES!

Thriving Floral Shop in downtown, Lynden for sale! This store has a strong client base and sales. It is the only custom full service shop in town! Great Cash floor. All occasion floral shop for weddings, funerals, tuxedo rentals, plants, flowers, arrangements, gifts and delivery.

508 Front Street | Lynden | $79,900 | MLS# 727098

Liquor Store has been established for 27 years! Retail store for liquor, beer, wine, mixer & bar services in downtown, Lynden. Off-loading area and alley access on the back side of the building. Large receiving and staging area for filling orders.

610 Front Street | Lynden | $150,000 | MLS# 658417

2014 REAL ESTATE MARKET ENDED ON A HIGH NOTE!

Whatcom County’s real estate market ended 2014 on a high note.

Based on date from the Northwest Multiple Listing Service home sales and prices were strong in the beginning of the year, lagged in the middle, and finished strong.

Whatcom County – Median price, $280,000, up 7.7 percent; average price, $314,719, up 8.4 percent; units sold, 2,532, up 5.1 percent; DOM, 103, up 3.0 percent.

Bellingham – Median price, $298,883, up 1.3 percent; average price, $349,461, up 2.4 percent; units sold, 1,140, up 2.2 percent; DOM, 75, unchanged.

Birch Bay/Blaine – Median price, $230,000, up 3.6 percent; average price, $275,033, up 6.9 percent; units sold, 293, up 2.1 percent; DOM, 145, up 12.4 percent.

Ferndale – Median price, $267,500, up 0.9 percent; average price, $284,440, up 5.0 percent; units sold, 391, up 17.1 percent; DOM, 114, up 11.8 percent.

Lynden – Median price, $264,000, up 3.5 percent; average price, $287,131, up 4.3 percent; units sold, 225, up 7.7 percent; DOM, 105, up 8.2 percent.

Mount Baker – Median price, $135,000 up 28.8 percent; average price, $162,290, up 11.2 percent; units sold, 168, up 12.0 percent; DOM, 150, down 11.2%.

Nooksack Valley – Median price, $228,500, up 0.9 percent; average price, $237,667, up 5.2 percent; units sold, 104, up 19.5 percent; DOM, 98, down 26.3 percent.

Sudden Valley – Median price, $226,000, up 7.6 percent; average price, $235,361, up 5.4 percent; units sold, 160, down 0.6 percent; DOM, 112, up 3.7 percent.
Source: Bellingham Business Journal, Lylene Johnson

MAKE A MOVE IN THE WINTER!

The housing market doesn’t hibernate in the winter! Sellers who list and buyers who buy often find the winter season the most advantageous time to make a move in real estate, according to studies. Researchers say the winter market is less competitive for sellers since many people tend to wait until spring to list. The smaller inventory of active listings help sellers get more attention from buyers on their properties. Winter buyers tend to be more serious buyers. Source: “Best Time To List a Home for Sale? Want to sell your home during the holidays — Call a Muljat Group North Realtor®

COMMUNITY EVENTS

The festive holiday season has hit Lynden! Lots of events to enjoy for the family. Starting Friday, December 5, enjoy an evening of desserts and community fun at the Jansen Arts Center! If you are a baker this is your chance to enter the holiday dessert baking contest. On Saturday, December 6, have breakfast with Sinterklaas at the Lynden Community Center from 8am – 11am.
The Elf on the Shelf Scavenger Hunt starts on Saturday, from 11am – 5pm (that sneaky little Elf may be hiding at our office :) This little Elf is worth searching for, lots of prizes to be won! We will be open from 10am – 2pm. Community Tree Lighting & Caroling is from 5pm – 6pm. The Grand Finale will be the 24th annual Lighted Christmas Parade at 6pm starting at Fairway Center and arrives downtown at 6:15pm. Come downtown to our real estate office and pick up a complimentary cup of soup served by our friendly realtors! We hope to see you – Merry Christmas!
For a calendar of events visit The Lynden Chamber of Commerce

WINTER COAT DRIVE!

You can make a warmth of difference in someone’s life! Muljat Group North Real Estate office is having a Coat Drive from November 17 through December 1.
Please donate new or slightly used winter clothing, i.e.,:
* Coats * Mittens * Hats * Hooded Sweatshirts * All sizes
For each clothing item dropped off you will be entered into a drawing to win a Woods Coffee gift card
Your donation will be distributed to a Whatcom County family in need and will be greatly appreciated.
Please feel free to call with any questions 360.354.4242

LYNDEN’S NEWEST COMMUNITY!

Brand new development North Prairie Cottages is located on the East side of Lynden and features low maintenance luxury cottages! A shared greenbelt, irrigation, worry-free landscaping & clubhouse are coming soon! Pick your low maintenance cottage design with options featuring vaulted & wood beam ceilings, cozy fireplaces, and open concept living. Each and every home is built with luxury in mind! Inquire about our presale listings MLS# 707438 & MLS# 707426. Come and tour two homes that are ready for ownership MLS# 707415 & MLS# 707381. Four plans to choose from starting in the $200's!