2017 Northwest Washington Fair

Fair 2017
Five days until the Northwest Washington Fair in Lynden. You don’t want to miss out on any of the fun! Carnival rides, great food fair, awesome grandstand entertainers, demolition derby, rodeo, animal exhibits, quilts, canning, arts, photography, 4H and FFA exhibits. 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.

The Fair is located at 1775 Front Street, Lynden.
The gates open at 9 a.m. each day and close at 10 p.m.. Carnival hours are 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.

Demo Derby is on Monday, August 14, with shows happening at 12:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.

Lynden PRCA Rodeo is happening August 15 & August 16. The top cowboys in the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association will compete in the 13th annual rodeo. The event includes bull riding, bareback riding, saddle bronc riding, steer wrestling, tie-down roping, team roping and barrel racing. Children 10 and younger will be admitted for FREE to the performances, which start at 7:30 p.m., both nights. Tickets are on sale now – get them while they last!

Grandstand entertainers this year include the rock band, Night Ranger, which performs 80-100 live shows annually and they continue to release new music even though the band is 35 years old. Night Ranger will be rocking the stage on August 17. Musical country star and ‘American Idol’ winner of 2011, Scotty McCreery will be performing on August 18. “Fluffy” Gabriel Iglesias, first time comedian to headline a fair grandstand show on Saturday, evening August 19.

Ride free to the Fair and everywhere! WTA is community driven and ride the buses free during August 13-19. Also, watch out for the many parking lots around town that offer free bus rides to and from the fair!

Our real estate booth will be set up in the commercial exhibit building – please drop by and say hello! Hope to see you at the Northwest Washington Fair!

Escalation Clause With Competing Offers


It’s a hot real estate market! The brokers at the office are dealing with competing offers and some buyer’s are willing to pay more that what the seller is asking. With multiple-offer situations, we see escalator clauses being more widely used. Adding an escalation clause to your offer is strategy you can use when competing with another bidder. It is designed to keep your offer competitive and there is no guarantee that the seller will accept your offer, even if it is the highest bid. A seller is free to accept the offer they choose to work with. In some instances, a seller sees a lower cash offer being better than a higher financed offer. Buyers should write an escalation that retains an appraisal contingency, so that the actual price will conform to the lender’s appraisal.
Check out the graph depicted showing the median amount of days that homes are on the Market – Whatcom County being the green line and the red line being homes in Lynden. What a difference from 2015 to 2017!
Call our office 360.354.4242 and we will set you up with a licensed Realtor that knows the Whatcom County real estate market. It’s a seller’s market out there – don’t hesitate!

10 Tips To Increase Your Home’s Value!

home value

#1. Fix All Repairs! Remember that not all improvements are cosmetic. Fixing roofs, inspecting for termites and hidden water leaks are just some of the things to keep an eye out for. Consider hiring an inspector to help.
#2. Add Fresh Paint. Simply purchasing a $25 gallon of neutral paint (to appeal to a broader audience) you’re enhancing the value of your home by making it look clean and updated!
#3. Replace Carpet. Replacing old, dusty carpets with new ones or wood floors improves air quality & creates a modern look!
#4. Low-Maintenance Landscaping. Planting trees and shrubs adds valuable curb appeal & is great for the environment!
#5. Enhance the bathroom. If you don’t have the money to make large bathroom upgrades like replacing old toilets and showers, try simply replacing outdated wallpaper or upgrading the rest of the décor.
#6. Upgrade, Upgrade, Upgrade! Don’t stop at upgrading the bathroom! An upgraded kitchen adds a TREMENDOUS value to your home! Again if you can’t afford big upgrades simply replace a countertop or paint over your cabinets with a new paint finish. Consider upgrading other rooms in your house as well!
#7. Consider a Ceiling Spruce. 1/6 of your room’s total area is the ceiling. Again, even if you don’t have a lot of money, consider adding a molding or box beams to increase the value of the room by improving the look of the ceiling.
#8. Create a Welcoming Entrance. Consider going to a home improvement store to give your old, outdated front door an attractive replacement. Front doors should compliment your home’s overall design.
#9. See the Light! Consider hiring an electrician to add lights to rooms that are dim or smaller than others. Adding lights make the rooms look larger and shows you have nothing to hide.
information by HGTV

Whatcom County Water Rights

The Washington Supreme Court decision in Hirst et al. vs. Whatcom County, WA Sup. Ct. No. 91475-3, took away the right of rural property owners to develop small household sized wells. This case, you may recall, concerned Whatcom County’s use of exempt wells to allow construction in the unincorporated portions of Whatcom County, particularly in areas where the watershed had not been closed. The County argued that it was able to rely on the Dept. of Ecology’s determinations concerning water availability to make such decisions and to grant permits for construction where the water would be provided by an exempt well.
The Senate’s effort to save household wells was highlighted at a hearing Tuesday, February 21, 2017, before the Senate Ways and Means Committee. Property owners from Whatcom County and elsewhere said they have been devastated by the Supreme Court’s decision last fall that took away their rights to drill wells, and with it, their right to build on the land. A vote on SB 5239 is expected this week.
A hearing in Olympia makes a compelling case for household wells, property owners. Please watch the following Hearing:


Follow effort to save household wells on Washington State Senator, Doug Erickson’s, webpage: Senator Doug Erickson Webpage

Housing Market 2017

housing-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.

fortune.com/2016/real-estate-trends

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

America’s Main Street Winner Is Lynden!

Yes, it’s true! The beautiful community of Lynden, Washington, really won America’s Main Street contest.
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After an incredible display of support for Main Streets from coast to coast, Independent We Stand, recognized Downtown Lynden, Washington, as the grand prize winner of the America’s Main Streets contest. More than 280,000 total votes were cast by the public nationwide. Lynden’s Main Street will receive $25,000 in cash and related prizes to help revitalize Main Street. Lynden is definitely on the upstream with many new businesses opening shop, namely: The INN at LYNDEN, OVERFLOW TAPS, Avenue Bread, Village Books, the Mill, Bellingham Baby Company and more! Be sure to visit The Muljat Group North real estate office in downtown, Lynden ~ located on beautiful Front Street, in downtown, Lynden Washington! It’s a terrific time to list your home & buy real estate in Whatcom County.
We have the most helpful Lynden Chamber of Commerce ~ Lynden is a great place to live ~ work ~ play!

5 Reasons Why You Still Need A Real Estate Agent

house
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