Archives: March 2010

The Skagit Valley Tulip Festival is right around the corner!

tulips1The Skagit Valley Tulip Festival begins April 1st, but the flowers are evidently anxious to get on with the show! With our mild Pacific Northwest winter, it’s no real surprise that the daffodils, tulips and irises in Mount Vernon are blooming a little earlier this year. Festival organizers always say, “Bloom dates according to Mother Nature,” and it’s true!

Daffodils are already in adorning most fields in bright yellow, and the main attraction — tulips — are already beginning their debut near the Roozengarde Display Garden. In just a few short weeks, most of the fields are expected to be in full bloom, turning the Mount Vernon area into a true Pacific Northwest attraction as people travel large distances to see the gorgeous floral display.

The Tulip Festival is just one reason why life in Skagit County is Pacific Northwest living at its finest.  To learn about exciting deals on homes in Skagit County or Mount Vernon homes, please Contact Me or visit my free, no-hassle Northwest MLS search. To see photos of the tulips, be sure to check out my Pacific Northwest photoblog during the month of April!

Helpful Tulip Festival Links:

Bloom Map

Official Festival Website

Rise in Whatcom County’s Total Property Sales in February

SAL_Chuckanut04Good news for Whatcom County communities — things sure are looking a bit busier, which is good news for those who want to sell a Whatcom County home.

117 properties (residential, commercial, industrial, or undeveloped land) in Ferndale, Lynden, and Blaine were sold in February, up 37.6% from this time last year, according to First American Title in Bellingham. For January and February combined, sales are up 27% compared to 2009.

Last month, there were 100 property sales in Bellingham, up 8.7% from the same month last year; in the Deming/Sumas area, there were 18 property sales in February, up from 6 sales in February 2009.

Used single-family homes are among the most active groups of property sales. During the months of January and February, Ferndale, Lynden and Blaine’s used home sales were up nearly 30%, while Bellingham was up nearly 14%. Sumas and Deming were up 50%.

If you want to sell your Whatcom County home in the near future, it’s best to have an expert Pacific Northwest Real Estate agent on your side! Please Contact Me or call my office toll-free at (888) 319-4939 to get started!

Pacific Northwest Homeowners and Contractor Certification

3474752710_a9d8ae1c88Renovating an older Pacific Northwest home? Here’s some information you need to know!

If you’re renovating your Pacific Northwest home and it was built before 1978, make sure your contractor is certified to perform renovations that might involve disturbing lead-based paint!

Federal law has long required that individuals receive certain information before renovating more that six square feet of painted surfaces in a room for interior projects (or more than 20 square feet of painted surfaces for exterior projects in housing, child care facilities and schools built before 1978 (at which point lead-based paint was banned for residential use because of its severely detrimental health effects for both children and adults).

Renovators are required to give a “Renovate Right” brochure to homeowners, tenants, staff and families affected by these renovations.

Beginning next month (April 2010), new federal law requires contractors who disturb lead-based paint in homes, child-care facilities and schools built before 1978 to be certified and follow specific work standards to prevent lead contamination.

Protect your family — ask to see certification before renovations begin on your Pacific Northwest home!

Don’t miss Whatcom County’s Runnin’ O’ the Green!

425538392_81cdc6a7a7It’s almost St. Patty’s Day, and Whatcom County likes to celebrate each year with the Runnin’ O’ the Green sponsored by Bellingham Parks & Recreation— a chance to get out and get some great exercise in The Pacific Northwest, and, of course, celebrate the wee bit of Irish spirit in each of us.

Two races will take place on Saturday, March 13th at 10:00 a.m.— a 2-mile fun-run/walk and a 5-mile race, both of which begin and end at Bloedel Donovan Park at Lake Whatcom (the courses wind through Whatcom Falls Park and local greenways). Awards will be given to the top 3 males and females overall and there will be many drawn prizes.Refreshments and snacks will be provided for race participants, and there will even be live music and dancing!

Registration is $20 and includes a t-shirt. To register, visit the City of Bellingham’s website or get more information at local running shoe stores. Don’t miss this fun opportunity to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day with family and friends (and of course, remember to come decked out in green)!

Photo credit: Sherlock77

HomePath Mortgage Financing available through Whatcom County banks

pic-8747I’ve recently received word that some of our local Pacific Northwest mortgage lenders are a part of Fannie Mae’s HomePath Mortgage Financing program. If you’re the market for a great deal on a Pacific Northwest home purchase, this program might be for you.

About the HomePath Mortgage Financing Program:

Here is the basic information (please contact me for further details)…

Fannie Mae works with its lending partners to help homeowners avoid foreclosure; however, sometimes it is unavoidable. When foreclosures occur on mortgages in which Fannie Mae is the investor, it is their goal is to sell properties as soon as possible in order to minimize the impact on the local community. The HomePath Mortgage from Fannie Mae eases financing requirements to help facilitate a sale and protect home prices.

Benefits of using the HomePath program to purchase your next Pacific Northwest home:

  • Low down payment and flexible terms for fixed-rate or adjustable-rate mortgages
  • Borrowers may qualify even with less-than-perfect credit
  • Available to both owner-occupiers and investors
  • Down payment (at least 3% – primary residence, 10% – second home, 15% – investment) can be funded by borrower’s savings; a gift; a grant; or a loan from a nonprofit organization, state or local government, or employer
  • No mortgage insurance
  • No appraisal

Limited Time Closing Cost Assistance

Fannie Mae is offering a 3.5% incentive* for buyers who purchase and close on a Fannie Mae-owned home between January 28 and April 30, 2010. Buyers who purchase eligible properties that are closed within this period may receive up to 3.5% of the final sales price for:

  • Closing costs;
  • The purchase of new Whirlpool® appliances by Fannie Mae; or
  • A mix of closing costs and appliances, at the buyer’s discretion, up to the maximum 3.5%*.

To be eligible for closing cost incentives:

  • Offers must be accepted on or after January 28, 2010
  • Property sales must close before May 1, 2010
  • Buyers must be owner-occupants — investors are excluded from the 3.5% incentive

*Some limitations on the use of the 3.5% incentive may apply so buyers should consult their loan officer for guidance.

To find a Pacific Northwest home that qualifies for the Fannie Mae HomePath program and closing cost incentives, please give me a call! An expert Pacific Northwest Real Estate agent, I can help you find an affordable home in Whatcom, Skagit, Island, or San Juan County!