Washington State – Water – Hirst Victory


The Washington State House and Senate reached a deal and passed SB 6091 on January 18, 2018, which fixes the 2016 Washington State Supreme Court ruling known as the Hirst decision. Governor Inslee signed the Hirst fix legislation at 12:25 p.m. on January 19, 2018.

Whatcom County will now be accepting permit applications for wells!

SB 6091 includes:
•Local governments can once again rely on Ecology as the state’s resource manager.
•3,000 gallons per day per connection for domestic wells in certain basins with existing watershed planning.
•In certain basins without watershed planning, household wells could withdraw 950 gallons per day per connection. This would change to 350 gallons per day for indoor use only in drought conditions. However, outdoor use would be permitted for fire buffers. Water enhancement and restoration committees will also be created for these local basins. These committees will invest $300 million dollars into improving the state’s water resource.

The Hirst fix signed into law provides a solid solution for families, businesses and rural communities in Washington.

The new law impacts only new domestic uses. Existing homeowners and water users are not affected by the new law, which went into effect on January 19, 2018.

Existing wells are exempt from the provisions of the new law. The Legislature wrote the new law so that wells constructed in the Hirst-affected basins before the effective date of the act would serve as proof of an adequate water supply for a building permit. Wells constructed in these basins in compliance with chapter 18.104 RCW are not subject to the new restrictions, limitations, and fees. This is regardless of whether the well was put to beneficial use prior to January 19, 2018.

2018 Real Estate Predictions

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Below are predictions for the 2018 real estate market, based on data that was available at the time this was written:

Interest Rates – With the Tax Reform Bill and new infrastructure, we expect interest rates to rise. A climb to 4.0%-4.5% is probable but it is possible that if the economy grows at a good clip next year, we could see rates as high as 5%. We believe the average for the year will be about 4.6%. Although this rise will cause some buyers to regroup, it will not be enough to make a strong market shift and cause buyers to leave the market in droves.

Home Price Growth – With double-digit percentage price increases in many markets across the country in 2017, we believe we will move back to price inclines below 10% in those busy markets. In fact, it is foreseeable that the average for those areas that did see such strong increases in 2017 will scale back to about 4-7% gains in 2018. Nationally, prices are expected to increase about 3.2%. Between November 2016 and November 2017, in Whatcom County the median sales price grew by 9.8%; in our Lynden market, it grew 16.5%.

New Construction – Our country needs about 1.5 million new starts per year to maintain inventory, but since 2009 we have been short a cumulative almost 6 million units. This is one of the primary causes of our inventory shortage and what is driving prices up – demand outweighs supply. Local issues in many areas such as zoning and water rights are also capping new construction opportunity. In addition, the cost of building supplies is causing problems for our builders and we expect this problem to worsen in 2018.
Housing Inventory – Although there are improvements in this category because we are adding some new housing units, it may take years or more for inventory levels to get back to a balanced level. Additionally, it is predicted that more buyers will be entering the market for a home as our economy is strong with low unemployment, which we suspect will get even lower due to our economy. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the national unemployment rate stands at 4.1% for November 2017, which is the lowest it has been since December of 2000. it is predicted unemployment to be in the high 3% range by the end of 2018.

Market Stability – we are often asked when the bubble will burst or we will see another crash. We do not foresee this in the upcoming year. Although we are seeing prices rise quickly, the conditions that our national market is facing now are not the same as what we saw just a decade ago. There isn’t the easy access to credit as there was before the last crash when banks were more de-regulated. There aren’t enough new or resale homes to satiate current demand, unlike the building boom of the mid-2000s. Buyers are not overleveraged and, in many cases, have to put more cash down to compete in multiple-offer situations, allowing buyers to start in a higher equity position. Based on our history and the facts that are in front of us, I don’t believe another crash is likely at all.

The Muljat Group North real estate office is excited for what 2018 has in store! For additional information and predictions on our local market, please call our office at 360-354-4242.

Mortgage Rates Hold Steady

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Mortgage rates were in a holding pattern this week, even after the Federal Reserve voted Wednesday to hike its benchmark interest rate.

“As widely expected, the Fed increased the federal funds target rate this week for the third time in 2017,” says Len Kiefer, Freddie Mac’s deputy chief economist. “The market had already priced in the rate hike, so long-term interest rates—including mortgage rates—hardly moved. Mortgage rates held relatively flat across the board, with the 30-year fixed mortgage rate inching down 1 basis point to 3.93 percent in this week’s survey. Mortgage rates have been in a holding pattern for the fourth quarter, remaining within a 10 basis point range since October.”

Freddie Mac reports the following national averages with mortgage rates for the week ending Dec. 14:
•30-year fixed-rate mortgages: averaged 3.93 percent, with an average 0.5 point, dropping from last week’s 3.94 percent average. Last year at this time, 30-year rates averaged 4.16 percent.
•15-year fixed-rate mortgages: averaged 3.36 percent, with an average 0.5 point, the same as last week. A year ago, 15-year rates averaged 3.37 percent.
•5-year hybrid adjustable rate mortgages: averaged 3.36 percent, with an average 0.3 point, rising from last week’s 3.35 percent average. A year ago, 5-year ARMs averaged 3.19 percent.

Source: Freddie Mac

19th Annual Curt Maberry Memorial Classic 3-On-3

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The Curt Maberry 3-On-3 literally took over Lynden last weekend. Our office presents and organizes this community event every year and next year will be the 20th year. We welcomed over 200 teams to Lynden with athletes from kindergarten to men’s competitive.
The 3-On-3 is held in conjunction with the Northwest Raspberry Festival with fun-filled activities on Friday and Saturday.
Live music, a classic car & truck show, street market, kid’s zone, a food court, and street vendors were just a few of the highlights that were held downtown.
The $2 icecream icecream from Darigold topped with local raspberries from Maberry Farms is always a delight and favorite dessert.
If you missed the 2017 Northwest Raspberry Festival or the Curt Maberry Memorial 3-on-3 mark your calendars for the 3rd weekend of July, 2018! See you next year!

Northwest Raspberry Festival

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The Northwest Raspberry Festival is this weekend, July 14-15, 2017, in downtown, Lynden. Don’t miss out on all the fun events happening in “Berry Beautiful Lynden”
The Muljat Group North Real Estate office will be presenting the 19th Annual Curt Maberry Memorial Classic 3-on-3 Basketball Tournament on Friday & Saturday. This is a huge event that draws 200+ teams from multiple counties and Canada. Teams play right smack in downtown on Front Street with thousands of people cheering on their favorite 3-on-3 basketball team.
The $2 icecream with raspberries is supplied locally by Edaleen Dairy and Curt Maberry Farms. This dessert is so popular that it has ran out in previous years. So get in line for this refreshing treat.
On Saturday the 3-on-3 basketball games continue to be played! The Razz and Shine Classic car and truck cruise in is happening on Saturday with classics parked along tree-lined Front Street. The weather will be beautiful this weekend in the eighties. Perfect weather to stroll around the polished classics of yesteryear!
A street stage will be set up on 6th Street on Friday, July 14, and will feature, Scot Ranney from 3:00pm-5:00pm and The Anissa Quartet, from 5:30pm-8:00pm. On Saturday the Street Stage will host at 11:00am-12:00pm, the Bellingham Youth Jazz Band; 12:30pm-2:30pm Out of The Ashes; 3:00pm-5:00pm Clearbrook Dixieland.
A variety of family fun events for all! Check them out right here or contact the Lynden Chamber of Commerce for more details. The Lynden Chamber of Commerce telephone number is 360-354-5995. We look forward to seeing you this weekend at the RAZZ!
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Annual Spring Craft & Antique Show

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Lynden Craft Show
The first day of Spring is next week Monday! We are so excited as we were hit with a ton of snow and rain this winter. The snow was beautiful but it lingered on and on. I know that I’m ready for some sunshine, how about you?
If you are anticipating Spring you may want to check out Lynden’s 31’st Annual Spring Craft & Antique Show. It starts today at the Northwest Washington Fairgrounds in the Expo Building. Meet local artisans and be inspired by all the creativity. Enjoy all the fabulous booths featuring handcrafted wares, home and holiday décor, gourmet food, re-purposed and up-cycled vintage treasures. It truly is one of the largest shows of its kind in the Northwest. Meet over 100+ artisans who will inspire you with their creativity. Do you enjoy handcrafts, antiques and original art? Looking for home décor to spruce up your home? Well, please visit the Craft and Antique Show ~ you won’t be disappointed! For more information click the following: Lynden Craft and Antique Show
Thursday & Friday Hours: 10:00am – 8:00pm
Saturday hours: 10:00am-5:00pm
Admission: Adults $6.00 | Senior (60+) $5.00 | Children 12 and under are free | free parking & return privileges

Happy Thanksgiving

Wishing you and your loved ones a Happy Thanksgiving! If you are still searching for an amazing Thanksgiving dessert you may want to take a check out our neighbor the Lynden Dutch Bakery. Their amazing bakery team has made 675 whole pies, thousands of rolls, cookies, bars and other amazing baked goods that are packaged and ready for Thanksgiving. They are located at 421 Front Street, Lynden, Washington. Give them a call 360-354-3911; they take pre-orders!
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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

Whatcom County Home & Garden Show

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

    HOME & GARDEN SHOW HOURS
    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

    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