Merry Christmas

From all us to you….May peace and happiness be yours this Christmas and throughout the New Year! Merry Christmas!
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Lynden Highlights

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It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas in Lynden. Lynden’s 26th annual Lighted Christmas Parade was on December 3. It was a beautiful site watching the colorful lighted parade of trucks, tractors and floats roll by. Edaleen Dairy was the title sponsor for the event. The sidewalks on Front Street were packed with parade spectators. The Realtors® at our office ladled up home made complimentary cups of hot soup during the parade. We were serving seafood chowder, taco soup, broccoli cheddar soup, meatball soup, salmon corn chowder, chicken noodle & more! If you missed out on our soup night, please be sure to visit us next year as this has turned into an annual event. Just remember to come early as we run out of soup in just over an hour! We all enjoy something free and delicious, right!
The whole day was fun-filled with family activities. Sinterklaas, from The Netherlands, entertained children and adults during a breakfast at the Lynden Community Center. The Elf on the Shelf Scavenger Hunt was throughout town at participating businesses. The scavenger hunt draws a huge crowd and if your lucky enough to win the gifts are pretty spectacular. Lynden also has a tree lighting and community caroling. We hope you were able to participate in the festivities around town! If not this year we hope you can make it next year! Be sure to check out The Lynden Chamber of Commerce for year round events happening in Lynden, Washington.
For your latest real estate news and events around Whatcom County, visit and ‘like’
The Muljat Group North facebook page

City-Wide Trick-Or-Treating!

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Our office is participating in the City-Wide trick-or-treating event. We can’t wait to see all the children dressed up in their costumes on October 31st.
We will be handing out candy from 3:00-5:00 pm. Businesses that have orange balloons will be handing out treats!
Visit The Lynden Chamber of Commerce to find out more information on all upcoming community events!
Rita Rudner
Halloween was confusing. All my life my parents said, “Never take candy from strangers.” And then they dressed me up and said, “Go beg for it.” I didn’t know what to do! I’d knock on people’s doors and go, “Trick or treat.” “No thank you.”

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:

Home Buyer Confidence on the Rise

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Home purchase sentiment reached an all-time survey high this summer, an indication that Americans are feeling more upbeat about the housing market, according to Fannie Mae.
Overall sentiments rose 3.3 points to a reading of 86.5. Each of the index’s six components including selling outlook and personal finances – also rose last month. One interesting potential bright note for housing in July survey is that younger households may finally be shifting toward buying rather than renting in greater numbers. Whether the shift in sentiment in July toward buying rather than renting on their next move holds up or is a temporary reaction to their view that rents are on the rise and mortgage rates will be lower, we will see.
Here are some findings from the latest survey:
* 33% of Americans say it’s a good time to buy a house, a 1 percentage increase over June.
* 20% of Americans say it’s a good time to sell a home, a 2 percentage point increase from June (a new survey high).
* 41% of Americans believe home prices will rise, an 8 percentage point increase from June.
* 36% of Americans believe mortgage rates will drop over the next year.
* 69% of Americans say they are not concerned with losing their job, a 1 percentage point increase from June.
* 11% of Americans say their household income is significantly higher than it was 12 months ago, a 3 percentage point increase from June’s sharp decline
Source: Fannie Mae

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!

Billy Waples Day in Lynden!

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Upcoming chowder feed, beer garden, kids’ games and a day of family-fun activities in celebration of Billy Waples Day! Half a block of Fifth Street will be blocked off for outdoor seating.

The Mercantile building has been revitalized to once again claim it’s rightful place as the heart of Lynden. The historic Waples Mercantile Building was owned and built by Billy Waples, one of the original founding fathers of Lynden. The Mercantile Building was formerly the Lynden Department Store. The Lynden Department Store was the gathering place, and the market place, of the Lynden farming community. The Waples Mercantile Building is the vibrant new home for The Inn at Lynden, one of very few hotels in Washington State that resides in a structure listed on the National Registry of Historic Places. It is also the home for new businesses…Village Books And Paper Dreams, Drizzle, Overflow Taps, Avenue Bread and Bellingham Baby Company.

Come celebrate Billy Waples Day in the heart of downtown, Lynden, on May 1st!

Place: Waples Mercantile Building | 100 5th Street, Lynden
Date: Sunday, May 1st
Time: 12:00 pm to 5:00 pm

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

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