Archives: September 2009

September housing update: Western Washington home sales are up!

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Western Washington pending home sales up nearly 21% from a year ago

New figures from the NW Multiple Listing Service show a surge in sales activity in Western Washington. Pending August home sales (offers accepted but not closed yet) rose almost 21 percent above 2008’s figures, while inventory dropped more than 18 percent.

While summer is usually the busiest time of the year for real estate, August is typically a slow-down month, but that slowing never happened for Pacific Northwest real estate this year as consumers began to regain confidence in the economy.

According to NWMLS director Kathy Estey, Puget Sound real estate agents are quite busy with both first-time and move-up buyers and are reporting multiple offers on homes priced up to $700,000.

Puget Sound-area market expected to continue high activity due to tax-credit deadline

Due in part to many first-time buyers wanting to take advantage of the $8,000 tax credit, September and October are also expected to be brisk in the Pacific Northwest housing market. With the first-time buyer tax credit scheduled to end November 30th, I advise new home buyers to get the ball rolling as soon as possible! Buyers must be in possession of their new home by November 30th to qualify, and with banks and appraisers spending more time cautiously examining potential sales, delays are to be expected.

If you’re considering a first-time home purchase in Western Washington and want more information about the tax credit or available homes in your area, call (360) 319-4939 (or toll-free: (888) 319-4939) to speak with me, or request one of my free Pacific Northwest home-buying guides. I’m happy to help!

5 Reasons to Live in Bellingham… Straight out of Sunset Magazine!

Bellingham residents, your secret is out! Bellingham is consistently high-up on lists of “Best Places to Live,” and Sunset Magazine is also joining in the praise. In their August 2009 issue, Sunset dedicated an entire article to reasons why life in Bellingham is so fun-filled:

Bellingham, WA featured in Sunset Magazine!

1.  Whale watching in Bellingham

Several local companies offer whale-watching cruises sailing out of Bellingham Bay.  With opportunities to see orcas and humpback whales at play, as well as stunning views of the San Juan Islands and Mount Baker, this is an unforgettable experience not to be missed!

2.  Shopping in Fairhaven

Historic Fairhaven, with its old-fashioned brick charm, is a fantastic place to shop and relax.  Unique boutiques and plenty of quality local eateries abound in Fairhaven, making it a favorite destination for locals and visitors alike.

3.  Fresh, local Bellingham coffee

Though there are several Woods Coffee locations throughout Bellingham, there can be no doubt that their most popular location is right on the water at sprawling Boulevard Park.  You won’t find a better place to sit and enjoy a caffeinated beverage while watching the sunset out over Bellingham Bay.

4. Beautiful hikes in Whatcom County

Fragrance Lake is one of many hikes available to outdoor-lovers in Bellingham.  Two-and-a-half miles into the woods, trekkers are rewarded with deep breaths of cedar and pine — as well as a little peace and quiet around the still, secluded lake.  In all, there are more than 50 miles of Whatcom County parks and recreation trails, offering residents a chance to revel in their green home.

5.  Fresh, local Bellingham food… with flair!

Sunset featured two very popular Downtown Bellingham establishments in their article — Little Cheerful Cafe, on Holly Street (look for Charlie Chaplin on the window), and Mallard Ice Cream, on Railroad Street next to the Bagelry.  Where else can you find crab-cake eggs Benedict, or Pinot Noir ice cream?  With plenty of restaurants to explore here in Bellingham, dining is never dull.

To find a home that allows you to enjoy all that Bellingham has to offer, check out our free Bellingham MLS home search.