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
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Veteran’s Day

veterans-day-2016Today we thank and honor all those who served.

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

Real Estate Market Heating Up Locally

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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

Jolie Winkler, Realtor®

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The Muljat Group North real estate office recently welcomed
Jolie Winkler, Realtor® to the firm.
We hope you get the opportunity to meet, Jolie, soon!
About Jolie
Jolie Winkler, experienced Realtor with Muljat Group North, wife and mother of two, is passionate about and loves the game of real estate! Jolie is an experienced residential and vacation rental landlord and also owns a local interior design business. With this background she is constantly working with many members of the community and would love to help you find potential in a future home and/ or help stage your own home to get it on the market and sold! Not only does Jolie have an amazing work ethic and a gift to serve, she is part of a team that has been in the real estate business for 85 years. With many resources and her connections to the community she is sure to make all of your real estate transactions as seamless as possible. When Jolie isn’t working with clients or building her business, she is enjoying her time with her family and friends.

Contact Jolie Winkler at:
cell: 360.319.1075
email: jolie@muljatgroupnorth.com

Destination San Juan Islands, Washington State

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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

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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!
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Information: Inman.com

Painting to Sell: What Color Homes Sell Best?


Call it exterior painting to sell. One underscored rule of what’s selling, is to go mainstream. Try to appeal to the widest possible swath of buyers.
Some tips on exterior painting to sell:
– Drive around your neighborhood and get inspiration that way.
-Think about your part of the country. There’s definitely regional color. Spicy tones might work in the Southwest; tropical areas might be more used to a little blue.
Earth tones abound. A great color to start with is definitely earth tones, nothing too bold and nothing too taste-specific. No lime greens. No oranges. No pink unless you have an old Victorian and you are fixing it up.
– Take a look at new construction, and copy what builders of new construction are doing.
– Make sure that your front door is beautifully painted. Front doors matter!
Think about painting the exterior to please. When selling homes: “It’s a business, not an emotion.”
Read complete article Painting to Sell by Christopher Moore

8 HOME SELLING TIPS FOR FALL


When listing your home during the fall, there are a few things to keep in mind to keep your home looking fresh regardless of the weather outside.

1. As fall weather descends, leaves fall and plants turn in for the winter. We recommend a weekly landscaping tidy-up of the yard and plant beds, removing any dead foliage and raking the ground. In the event of a windstorm, additional yard tidying may be necessary.

2. A clean roof is imperative for making the buyer feel comfortable in the stability of the home. Therefore, it is also recommended that leaves and other debris are regularly cleared off.

3. Since it is getting darker earlier, lighting is even more important. Outdoor lighting can be a great way to enhance the curb appeal of your home. Home improvement stores usually have outdoor lighting on sale or clearance this time of year and a small investment in a hard-wired system can provide quite an impact.

4. Unless you will be setting the stage for each showing, we recommend keeping the lights on throughout the day. Although this may add a few dollars to your electric bill, in our experience this pays off in a quicker sale.

5. Although you may keep more heat in your house by closing blinds, and curtains, resist the urge to do so during the day. Buyers need to feel that a home is open and bright.

6. In order to keep your house smelling fresh and clean, opening the windows once a week on a sunny day can circulate the air. Changing the filters in the furnace or using a carpet freshener may also help although avoid strong-smelling air fresheners as many buyers are sensitive to these strong smells.

7. Resist the urge to turn the thermostat during the day. Adjusting to below 68 degrees can make the home viewing experience uncomfortable which is not conductive to a home sale.

8. If bringing out your winter clothes has your closet looking packed, consider removing some of the bulkier items to provide some breathing room. An overstuffed closet sends the message that it is not big enough to hold a household’s belongings, so you are better to store lesser-used items offsite while the home is listed.

There are many advantages to selling during the fall and winter months – with less inventory buyers are more serious about finding the right home and homes that stand out and look fresh will get attention. If you are considering selling your home, please give the Muljat Group Realtors® a call: 360.354.4242