Home-Buying Power Close to the Highest in 20 Years

As we step into the Fall season and the 4th quarter of 2019, it’s a great opportunity to reflect on the year so far and what the current real estate market is looking like. If you’ve been on the fence about buying or selling, one way to strengthen your decision moving forward is to stay educated on the current trends of the local housing market.

In the first infographic shown above, you can see the fluctuation in home sales starting in January of 2014 all the way up to present time. There was a definite drop in sales at the end of 2018, but activity has increased since then and the graph shows a steady rise in sales since spring time this year.

As for the time it’s taking for homes to sell, days on market continues to hover around a month for the majority of the country. Residential properties in Whatcom County specifically have averaged around 40 days to sell since the beginning of the year.

One of the most enticing aspects of the housing market right now is mortgage rates. The average rate on 30-year fixed-rate mortgages in the most recent Freddie Mac survey was 3.49%, which is the lowest average since October 2016! Purchasing power is almost the highest it’s been in 20 years. Capitalize on this!

Give our office a call if you have questions about this information or the market in general… Happy Tuesday!

New Agent: Welcome Lesley!

Its been a busy summer around here at Muljat! In the midst of all the activities we added an addition to our team. We would like to introduce to you Lesley Alexander-McVie! She comes with lots of life experience and is ready to kick off her real estate career. Read about Lesley below. If she is a good fit for you, contact her today for your real estate needs!

Lesley

Lesley Alexander-McVie

Main: 425-443-7873

Office: 360-354-4242

Fax: 360-354-6033

Email: Lesley@muljatgroupnorth.com

 

“Whether you are buying or selling, I’m here to guide you through the process. My goal is to help you with the best approach, share my insights and experience, and help you reach your real estate objectives.

 

Over the past 15 years I have personally purchased land, built custom homes, bought and sold numerous houses. This has given me the passion to become an agent and has provided me with a wealth of hands on experience in real estate. I’m ready to assist you in buying, selling, or finding the perfect plot of land.

 

As a recent transplant to Lynden and Whatcom County, I’ve been through the process of investigating schools, property values, neighborhoods, builders and looking for the perfect home and community for my family to grow up. Lynden is a great location for me, my husband and three young girls. We love the sense of community, the schools, sports activities and the friendliness of the town. Easy access to the border, airports and the natural resources, combined with the amazing landscapes of the Northwest make Whatcom County an easy choice for so many people. Let me help you find your perfect home, find you a property to build on, or assist you in selling to move to your next adventure.”

2019 Northwest Washington Fair- ‘Remember this Summer Forever’

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The annual Northwest Washington Fair is fast approaching here in Whatcom County. In just 13 days the fun kicks off on Monday August 12. With fun and entertainment to keep the week packed full, the theme this year is to ‘Remember this Summer Forever’.

For over 100 years the Northwest Washington Fair has highlighted the agriculture of the Whatcom County area. Dairy and beef cattle, horses, and many other species of livestock are shown by 4H, FFA and Open Class exhibitors. There are hundreds of exhibits featuring baked goods, canning, flowers and fresh produce grown locally. Take some time to walk through those exhibits and appreciate the hard work that is put into fair week from all ages!

Six fun-filled days of carnival rides, fair food, Grandstand entertainers; Demolition Derby, Rodeo, Comedians, Bands. Be sure to stop by and check out all the animal exhibits, quilts, canning, arts, photography, 4H and FFA exhibits……..they have it all! There is always something new to see or do so plan your day to see it all.
Listed below are the evening Grandstand entertainment shows in order from Monday through Saturday night!
derby
Monday 8/12 Demolition Derby:”Drivers will be smashing and crashing – and some will be cashing – during the Northwest Washington Fair’s action-packed Demo Derby, presented by Manna Insurance Group, scheduled Aug. 12 to begin the Bank of the Pacific Grandstand Entertainment Series. Approximately 70-80 entries are expected to compete for the largest demolition derby prize pool on the West Coast, according to Mike Scholten, president of the Whatcom Demo Derby Club. Anyone interested in entering should visit wddclub.com. “
rodeo

Tuesday 8/13 & Wednesday 8/14 Lynden PRCA Rodeo: “Tough and talented members of the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association will compete at 7 p.m. both days. Lynden PRCA Rodeo events include bull riding, bareback riding, saddle bronc riding, steer wrestling, tie-down roping, team roping and barrel racing.

Youth 10 and younger will be admitted for free to the grandstand when in possession of a Free Youth Rodeo Ticket, which can be picked up at the fair office or CHS Northwest locations in Whatcom County.”
larry
Thursday 8/15 Larry the Cable Guy: “Known for his blue-collar humor and “Git-R-Done” catchphrase, Larry the Cable Guy has made millions of people laugh for nearly two decades through personal appearances, television, movies, videos and albums. His road to stardom included the Blue Collar Comedy Tour, which included Jeff Foxworthy and Bill Engvall, and performing in the “Cars” franchise of animated movies as the voice of Mater. “
mark chestnut

Friday 8/16 Mark Chesnutt: “Country star Mark Chesnutt, known as one of the top classic country singers has 14 No. 1 hits, 23 top ten singles, four platinum albums and five gold records with fan favorites including “Brother Jukebox,” “I’ll Think of Something,” “Almost Goodbye” and “I Just Wanted You to Know.” Remaining true to himself as a traditional country artist, Chesnutt has been praised for delivering songs with world-class vocals and heartfelt emotion.”

cheaptrick

Saturday 8/17 Cheap Trick: “Delighting generations with their unique union of massive melodies and razorblade riffs, Cheap Trick continues to be fresh, energized and explosive with 20 million records sold and three new albums since 2016, when it was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. The band is one of the most popular to see in concert, having performed in more than 5,000 shows. Hits such as “I Want You To Want Me,” “Dream Police,” and “Surrender” have cemented the group as one of America’s top rock ‘n’ roll bands of all time ”

 

Information taken from www.nwwafair.com. Visit their website to purchase grandstand tickets and to get fairground maps along with any detailed info you may need!

Happy First Day of Summer 2019!

Friday June 21st, It’s the first day of Summer! If you’ve been thinking about selling this season here are some great reasons to help solidify your decision! Call us today if you have any questions or would like to inquire about buying or selling your home!

 

Summer soldSome Highlights:

  • Buyer demand continues to outpace the supply of homes for sale. This means that buyers are often competing with one another for the few listings that are available.
  • Housing inventory is still under the 6-month supply needed to sustain a normal housing market.
  • Now may be the time for you and your family to move on and start living the life you desire!

 

 

*Article from Real Estate with Keeping Current Matters: https://www.simplifyingthemarket.com/en/2019/06/21/4-reasons-to-sell-this-summer-infographic-2/

Veterans and Military Families, Save the Date! Saturday January 27, 2019

One of our agents Cherisa Hoekema is teaming up with two of Umpqua Bank’s Home Loan Officers to educate you on the benefits and financing options of buying a home with a VA loan. This is a great opportunity to come discuss your buying options!

VA Mortgage Class

Cherisa Hoekema | 360-922-4122 | cherisa@muljatgroupnorth.com

Muljat Group North | 360-354-4242

Spring Shows!

When the sun is shining we all can’t help but feel a little bit of Spring fever! A little snow won’t discourage our desire for sunshine, warmth, the outdoors, gardening, and more! Over the next few weeks there are a lot of opportunities to catch a craft and/or antique show around town! Come check out a few or all of the shows to see hundreds of vendors that provide different services in our community. Signs, plants, bags, baby accessories, boutiques, gardening necessities, make up, skin care, etc… the list goes on! There is something for everyone. Here are just a few listed below that begin tonight! Grab dinner with the girls, a coffee with mom, or even take some quiet time to yourself and browse!

redbarn

The Red Barn Spring Market begins TONIGHT @ The Northwest Washington Fair & Event Center.  A Fresh New Market that you don’t want to miss!
Featuring: Vintage, Craft, Home-Décor, Boutique Clothing, and so much more!
Friday 6-9- Yummy Drinks, Prizes, Goodies and other special surprises! AND Saturday 10-4
Admission is just $4.00 (general) and $6.00 on Friday for VIP (option of either general or VIP on Friday night)


50226141_2044665742254124_6497657616104161280_o

March 14th, 15th, & 16th will be the 33rd Annual Spring Lynden Craft and Antique Show!
Enjoy all the fabulous booths featuring unique handcrafted wares, home and garden décor, gourmet treats, one of a kind gifts, repurposed and vintage treasures.
Meet the local artisans and be inspired by all the creativity on display!

Thursday and Friday: 10am – 8pm
Saturday: 10am – 5pm

Northwest Washington Fair Expo Building

Admission:
$6.00 Adult
$5.00 Senior 60+,
12 & under Free,

Return Privileges
Event Parking is FREE
Admission to the show gets you full admission privileges for all three days of the show.


lynden spring

This year will be the 6th fair growing every year. With over 70 vendors selling all kinds of arts and crafts. This is an event that the art department at Lynden High School is putting on and look forward to this fair along with continuing to do the Christmas Fair, which is in its 13th year now.

Date: March 23, 2019
Time: 9 AM – 4 PM
Venue: Lynden High School
1201 Bradley Rd, Lynden, Washington 98264

LCartisan

You won’t want to miss the LC Artisan & Vendor Market! Come out and shop the diverse group of more than 70 local Artisans, Crafters, and Directs Sales Vendors. There really is something for everyone at this fun market!

ENTRANCE IS FREE!

For more information on these events or to find others in the area, you can find them on Facebook! Happy Spring

The Housing Market Will “Spring Forward” This Year!

spring

“Just like our clocks this weekend, in the majority of the country, the housing market will soon “spring forward!” Similar to tension in a spring, the lack of inventory available for sale has been holding back the market.

Many potential sellers believe that waiting until Spring is in their best interest. Traditionally, they would have been right.

Buyer demand has seasonality to it. Usually, this falls off in the winter months, especially in areas of the country impacted by arctic conditions.

That hasn’t happened this year.

Demand for housing has remained strong as mortgage rates have remained near historic lows. Even with an increase in rates forecasted for 2019, buyers are still able to lock in an affordable monthly payment. Buyers are increasingly jumping off the fence and into the market to secure a lower rate.

The National Association of Realtors (NAR) recently reported that in 2018 the top 10 dates sellers listed their homes all fell in April, May, or June.

Those who act quickly and list now, before a flood of increased competition, will benefit from additional exposure to buyers.

Bottom Line

If you are planning on selling your home in 2019, let’s get together to evaluate the opportunities in our market.”

Article Posted from Simplifyingthemarket.com

 

Call or stop by to meet with a realtor at the Muljat Group North office for your buying OR selling needs this Spring! We are here and happy to help!

The Best Reasons to Buy a Home This Year!

If you’ve been thinking about purchasing a home but haven’t fully committed, read the article below from Realtor.com to see why 2019 can and should be your year to buy!


 

home

Take the Plunge: The 4 Best Reasons to Buy a Home This Year

| Feb 6, 2019

The housing landscape of the past several years hasn’t exactly been friendly to buyers: the bidding wars, the eye-popping prices, the houses that sold before a “For Sale” sign even went up. It’s enough to make any of us put our search on hold until we have a fighting chance at landing a home—without draining our bank accounts.

If you’ve been sitting on the sidelines, we’ve got good news and we’ve got bad news: Things are finally slowing down. But they might not slow down fast enough for your liking.

Don’t despair, though—this year still stands to look better than last for aspiring home buyers.

“If your resolution is to buy a home in 2019, you’ll have some challenges to contend with, but also some opportunities,” says Danielle Halerealtor.com‘s chief economist.

But the devil’s in the details, and there are quite a few factors that could dictate whether this is your year to buy. Here are the four biggest reasons to take the plunge now

1. There will be more available homes—or at least, not fewer

Tight home inventory has sidelined would-be buyers for several years now. Even if you could afford a home, too few of them were hitting the market to keep up with demand. Or, when they did, there was a good chance they were snapped up before you could even call your real estate agent.

House hunting felt especially bleak last winter, when nationwide inventory hit its lowest level in recorded history. By the end of 2018, though, things finally started looking up, and in 2019, experts predict more opportunities—and less frustration—for buyers.

But there’s a catch: Not everyone will be able to afford those opportunities. That’s because the markets seeing the most increases in available homes tend to be more expensive, Hale says.

“For buyers, there is going to be more inventory. So that’s a bright spot,” she says. “The downside of that bright spot is it might not be in their price range.”

If you don’t have big bucks, though, all is not lost. The news is still good—just tempered. The supply of affordable homes for sale (under $300,000, which is about the median home price right now) might not be growing dramatically just yet, but it’s certainly not decreasing anymore.

2. Skyrocketing prices will slow their roll

While inventory went down, down, down over the past few years, home prices did the opposite. Will we still see staggering dollar amounts throughout 2019?

It’s another mixed bag here: Expect home prices to continue to rise (blah), but at a slower pace than they have been (yay). Hale predicts a 2.2% increase in home prices this year—compared with a nearly 5% increase last year.

That’s not nothin’. And if you can get in the market before those moderate increases, all the better.

“We do still anticipate rising home prices, particularly for below-median-priced homes, so buyers in that price range may have some incentive to buy sooner rather than later,” Hale says.

And there’s a silver lining to those climbing home prices, too—again, for some of you.

“As rising costs raise the bar to homeownership, some would-be buyers will be knocked out of the market, so that remaining buyers may have less competition to contend with than they saw in 2018,” Hale says.

3. Mortgage rates are lower than expected

There was a lot of discouraging talk at the end of 2018 about increasing rates—and there was good reason to be nervous. Rates on a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage, the most popular home loan, were approaching 5%—and expected to trend upward throughout 2019.

But that hasn’t happened.

In fact, rates have been falling—perplexing the pros but creating a prime opportunity for home shoppers. Rates did tick up slightly last week—for the first time in 2019—to 4.46%. But that’s still historically low.

“That’s definitely a huge opportunity for buyers because it drastically improves affordability,” Hale says. “And I think that if these low rates persist for a little while, then we’ll actually see stronger sales than we originally forecast.”

“Lower mortgage rates will get buyers off the sidelines,” adds Ali Wolf, director of economic research at Meyers Research. “Consumers should take advantage of the returned purchasing power, and in fact, we’re already seeing early 2019 data that suggest they are.”

But don’t get complacent, Hale warns: “I do think that the long-term direction of mortgage rates is going to be back up. We’ve still got a strong economy.”

4. Rents are rising—and won’t be falling anytime soon

Buying a home is a scary-expensive endeavor in the best of circumstances, and when prices are climbing, it can be downright soul-sucking.

But bear this in mind: Rents are rising, too. In fact, they very rarely decline, Hale says. And while buying a home is generally going to cost you more in the short term than renting, you have to look at the bigger picture. Buying means you’re building equity—and not forking over your hard-earned dollars to a landlord.

“The challenge will be finding a home that fits needs, some wants, and still stays within the monthly budget,” Hale says.

If you can afford to buy now, you’ll thank yourself in the long run—and whenever your friends get their annual rent increases.

Rachel Stults is a deputy editor at realtor.com covering all things real estate, including buying, selling, home decor, renting, moving, and more. Contact her at rachel.stults@move.com.

“Why You Shouldn’t Put a Home Search on Hold in December”

Happy Holidays! We may be in the midst of busy season for all, but if you are in the market to buy, don’t let December halt your search! Take advantage of the slowest month in the housing market and shop around.. you might just stumble upon that home you’ve been waiting on! Read this article below for all the reasons why you should continue looking through the slower months of the year!

 

search

“December is typically the slowest month in the housing market, but it can be a great month for home buyers who have been sidelined to finally make their move. This month may be busier than previous December’s for that reason, too, economists say. Some buyers may be looking to take advantage of steadier mortgage rates—which are still averaging below 5 percent—and home prices that are easing somewhat.

“I see more people buying right now because they’re afraid rates will be higher in 2019,” Lynn Fairfield, a real estate professional with RE/MAX Suburban in Chicago, told CNBC.

Mortgage rates are still nearly a percentage higher than they were a year ago, but they are still under 5 percent. Freddie Mac reported last week that the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 4.75 percent. Rates are largely predicted to move higher in 2019.

Housing affordability has become a mounting issue in the housing market, but home prices are showing signs of easing. Home prices usually are lower in the winter months, and housing reports are showing more properties are seeing price cuts. Nearly 29 percent of listings in major markets during the month ending Oct. 14 saw price reductions, according to the real estate brokerage Redfin.

But house hunters in search of a deal may also find lower inventories of homes for sale during this time of year.

“Though the holiday season is not going to give you plenty of options to choose from, there are reasons why you should not put your home search on hold for the holidays,” says Danielle Hale, realtor.com®’s chief economist. “Chief among them, December is the best time of year if you want to avoid competitions.”

According to realtor.com®, views per property are 21 percent lower in December than the rest of the year.

Motivation can be high for buyers to make a move before the end of the year. “Either they have a lease expiring Jan. 1 or they have saved enough money for their down payment, so they are motivated to buy,” Fairfield told CNBC. “A lot of people are motivated price-wise from the selling standpoint too, because they too want to get to their next location.””

New Realtor, Maaike Vogel!

Welcome Maaike! We are excited to see where this journey takes you!MeetMaaike