Housing Market 2017


These 3 trends will shape the housing market in 2017

1. Rates: In December, the Federal Reserve raised interest rates for only the second time since 2006, and a majority of the members of the Fed’s rate-setting board predict there will be three more increases coming in 2017.

2. More Credit: Though mortgage rates may fall, mortgage credit will likely be more widely available due to slightly looser lending standards. The Federal Housing Administration will likely lower fees it charges first-time homebuyers. In addition, starting in 2017, government-owned mortgage companies will begin backing large mortgages for the first time in over a decade, making it easier for buyers in expensive markets to finance their purchases.

3. More New Homes: The overall trend in home construction is clearly positive, with the average annual rate of new groundbreakings reaching a 1.163 million rate so far in 2016, up about 5% from 1.108 million in 2015. Expect this to continue in 2017, as home buyers are encouraged by higher wages, looser credit, and increased demand from buyers.

According to 2016 data from the Northwest Washington Multiple Listing Service the average listing price for a 3 bedroom home in Lynden was $317,3999. The average sold price for a 3 bedroom home in Lynden was $310,954 and the the average square footage: 1,835.

So will you be jumping into the 2017 marketing market? The mortgage rates are still low and if you have strong credit we encourage you to take the plunge. Really, any day is a good day to invest in real estate. Call our office and talk to a licensed and experienced, Realtor®, whether it be purchasing real estate or selling real estate. We have an onsite mortgage consultant, Casey Porter, Caliber Home Loans who would gladly answer your mortgage inquiries.


Caliber Home Loans

We have a new on-site Loan Consultant. It’s been a welcome addition to have Casey at the office! Casey will provide you with superior and personal expert guidance throughout the home financing process.

Casey Porter, Caliber Home Loans
Tel: 360.398.5834
Mobile: 360.510.2840
Email: casey.porter@caliberhomeloans.com
Office location: 505 Front Street, downtown, Lynden
Website: Casey Porter Caliber Home Loans

Kid’s Design An Ad Contest – Lynden Tribune Newspaper

We want to thank all the 5th grade kids from Isom Elementary that participated in the Design An Ad contest. We enjoyed all the entries that were designed specifically for our real estate office. The winner we chose was created by, Khushi. Congratulations Khushi!! We loved that you had our company logo, office contact information and the tag line……”Come to Muljat Group where we get your house sold in no time” design-an-ad-2016-winner43

Lynden – 2016 America’s Main Streets Contest Winner

Independent We Stand created a beautiful video showcasing Lynden! It pretty much sums it up why the City of Lynden won America’s Main Street competition this past July. New businesses have started up, the population is growing, and we have new schools being built. So much progress since the 2008 fire in Delft Square. Once you visit Lynden you will be drawn back! Our office is independently owned and has been located in Lynden since 1925. Our Realtors® would be happy to assist you in your property search today!
Bringing Lynden to you – watch the following video:

Real Estate Market Heating Up Locally

On June 29, 2016, Jerry Blankers, from our firm was interviewed by Tim Newcomb of the Lynden Tribune Newspaper about the hot real estate market. Here are some of the highlights from the interview.

Right now, anything under $400,000 in Lynden is selling well, fitting into the sweet spot of single-family housing. Jerry Blankers, managing broker for Muljat Group North said that as inventory remains short – “there’s not a lot out there” – and interest rates hold low, often under 4 percent, prices of homes have begun to increase. That said, predictors of rising interest rates have moved buyers into the market. “If people are going to get in, they better get in,” Jerry says. “Inventory is down, almost scary low. There is not a lot out there.
As prices go up, the low interest rates still make it affordable to buy. You buy according to what you can afford. If rates go up, it makes a huge impact on what you can afford to buy. It isn’t only homes in Lynden selling well, as property – both residential and commercial has strengthened across north Whatcom County. The local uptick really started earlier this year with the prediction of higher interest rates by the end of 2016, and the initial wave of higher pricing on homes started in Bellingham and few months before moving north.

So if you are planning on buying a home you better jump right in! Contact a Muljat Group North Real Estate Broker today, 360-354-4242

Whatcom County Home & Garden Show

  • Poster
    The 2016 Whatcom County Home & Garden show will be March 4, 5 & 6 at the Northwest Washington Fairgrounds in Lynden.

    Friday | March 4 Time: 11:00 am – 9:00 pm
    Saturday | March 5 Time: 10:00 am – 9:00 pm
    Sunday | March 6 Time: 11:00 am – 5:00 pm

  • A great place to visit if you are interesting in gardening and anything to do with construction ideas, renovations & more! The home show will have over 200 booths, seminars and wine & beer tasting. Gardening with CISCOE will be at the event on Sunday, 2:00 pm.
    For more info please visit the Building Industry Association of Whatcom County

    Destination San Juan Islands, Washington State

    Come visit the San Juan Islands in Washington State. The slower pace appeals to both nature-loving artists and to just about anyone looking for tranquility, endless shorelines. The San Juans have one of the highest concentrations of bald eagles in the lower 48. Orcas sing in Haro Strait. Thanks to the rain shadow cast by the Olmpic Mountains, the summers are gloriously bright and mild. The San Juan Islands are just a ticket away by taking a Washington State Ferry
    Read Washington’s San Juan Islands: an Ideal Tour by Shane Mitchell ~ you will truly want to live the island life!
    If you are searching for a San Juan property, please call The Muljat Group North @ 360-354-4242.

    5 Reasons Why You Still Need A Real Estate Agent

    1. Better Access/More Convenience
    A real estate agent’s full-time job is to act as a liaison between buyers and sellers. This means that he or she will have easy access to all other properties listed by other agents. Both the buyer’s and seller’s agent work full time as a real estate agents and they know what needs to be done to get a deal together. For example if you are looking to buy a home; a real estate agent will track down homes that meet your criteria, get in touch with sellers’ agents and make appointments for you to view the homes. If you are buying on your own, you will have to play telephone tag yourself. This may be especially difficult if you’re shopping for homes that are for sale by owner.

    Similarly, if you are looking to sell your home yourself, you will have to solicit calls from interested parties, answer questions and make appointments. Keep in mind that potential buyers are likely to move on if you tend to be busy or don’t respond quickly enough. Alternatively, you may find yourself making an appointment and rushing home, only to find that no one shows up.

    2. Negotiating Is Tricky Business
    Many people don’t like the idea of doing a real estate deal through an agent and feel that direct negotiation between buyers and sellers is more transparent and allows the parties to better look after their own best interests. This is probably true – assuming that both the buyer and seller in a given transaction are reasonable people who are able to get along. Unfortunately, this isn’t always an easy relationship.

    What if you, as a buyer, like a home but despise its wood-paneled walls, shag carpet and lurid orange kitchen? If you are working with an agent, you can express your contempt for the current owner’s decorating skills and rant about how much it’ll cost you to upgrade the home without insulting the owner. For all you know, the owner’s late mother may have lovingly chosen the décor. Your real estate agent can convey your concerns to the sellers’ agent. Acting as a messenger, the agent may be in a better position to negotiate a discount without ruffling the homeowner’s feathers.

    A real estate agent can also play the “bad guy” in a transaction, preventing the bad blood between a buyer and seller that can kill a deal. Keep in mind that a seller can reject a potential buyer’s offer for any reason – including just because they hate his or her guts. An agent can help by speaking for you in tough transactions and smoothing things over to keep them from getting too personal. This can put you in a better position to get the house you want. The same is true for the seller, who can benefit from a hard-nosed real estate agent who will represent their interests without turning off potential buyers who want to niggle about the price. (In order to benefit from hiring an agent, you need to choose a good one.

    3. Contracts Can Be Hard To Handle
    If you decide to buy or sell a home, the offer to purchase contract is there to protect you and ensure that you are able to back out of the deal if certain conditions aren’t met. For example, if you plan to buy a home with a mortgage but you fail to make financing one of the conditions of the sale – and you aren’t approved for the mortgage – you can lose your deposit on the home and could even be sued by the seller for failing to fulfill your end of the contract. (Keep in mind that the details of any contract may vary based on state law.)
    An experienced real estate agent deals with the same contracts and conditions on a regular basis, and is familiar with which conditions should be used, when they can safely be removed and how to use the contract to protect you, whether you’re buying or selling your home.

    4. Real Estate Agents Can’t Lie
    Well, OK, actually they can. But because they are licensed professionals there are more repercussions if they do than for a private buyer or seller. If you are working with a licensed real estate agent under an agency agreement, (ie. a conventional, full-service commission agreement in which the agent agrees to represent you), your agent will be bound by common law (in most states) to a fiduciary relationship. In other words, the agent is bound by license law to act in their clients’ best interest (not his or her own).

    In addition, most realtors rely on referrals and repeat business to build the kind of clientèle base they’ll need to survive in the business. This means that doing what’s best for their clients should be as important to them as any individual sale.

    Finally, if you do find that your agent has gotten away with lying to you, you will have more avenues for recourse, such as through your agent’s broker, professional association (such as the National Association Of Realtors) or possibly even in court if you can prove that your agent has failed to uphold his fiduciary duties.

    When a buyer and seller work together directly, they can (and should) seek legal counsel, but because each is expected to act in his or her best interest, there isn’t much you can do if you find out later that you’ve been duped about multiple offers or the home’s condition. And having a lawyer on retainer any time you want to talk about potentially buying or selling a house could cost far more than an agent’s commissions by the time the transaction is complete.

    5. Not Everyone Can Save Money
    Many people eschew using a real estate agent to save money, but keep in mind that it is unlikely that both the buyer and seller will reap the benefits of not having to pay commissions. For example, if you are selling your home on your own, you will price it based on the sale prices of other comparable properties in your area. Many of these properties will be sold with the help of an agent. This means that the seller gets the keep the percentage of the home’s sale price that might otherwise be paid to the real estate agent.

    However, buyers who are looking to purchase a home sold by owners may also believe they can save some money on the home by not having an agent involved. They might even expect it and make an offer accordingly. However, unless buyer and seller agree to split the savings, they can’t both save the commission.

    The Bottom Line
    While there are certainly people who are qualified to sell their own homes, taking a quick look at the long list of frequently asked questions on most “for sale by owner” websites suggests the process isn’t as simple as many people assume. And when you get into a difficult situation, it can really pay to have a professional on your side.
    Call The Muljat Group North Real Estate office in downtown, Lynden to assist you whether it be buying or selling real estate
    Article by Tara Struyk | investopedia | 5/18/10

    Real Estate Industry Buzzwords

    Here’s a quick reference guide so that you may keep up with the intimidating lingo. This may be helpful especially for the first-time home-buyer. If you ever have any real estate questions, please call the Muljat Group North real estate office. We have 20+ licensed Realtors® ready to assist you!
    Information: Inman.com

    Ten Things To Do In Lynden

    1. Explore Berthusen Park with its historical barn and old growth forest.

    2. Pick up a baked from scratch treat at the Lynden Dutch Bakery.

    3. Climb on the 24,000 sqft Million Smile Playground, constructed by volunteers.

    4. Experience all the sights and sounds coming from the Jansen Art Center.

    5. Walk along Lynden’s interurban trail system for a leisurely afternoon.

    6. Learn about the rich history of the Pacific Northwest at Lynden Pioneer Museum.

    7. Shop in one of the many eclectic shops including antique and thrift stores.

    8. Pick a variety of fresh berries straight from the fields during the season.

    9. Taste the wines at family-owned Samson Estates Winery.

    10. Enjoy a delicious farm-made ice cream cone from Edaleen Dairy.
    Visit Lynden Chamber of Commerce for community information and more! Call the Muljat Group North if you are relocating to Whatcom County ~ 360-354-4242