Archives: May 2010

Retire in Bellingham!

Award-winning Bellingham, Washington has long been recognized as a great place to live — from Outdoor Magazine’s “Top 10 Dream Towns” to CNN/Money.com’s “27th Best Place to Live,” many have recognized what people who live in Bellingham have known for a long time: this community is definitely something special.

What you may not know is that retiring in Bellingham is also becoming nationally known! AARP Magazine has listed Bellingham in it’s Best-Of retirement rankings several times, with Bellingham coming in 2nd on its list of “10 Best Dream Towns” for boomers looking to retire. Bellingham also came in on the list of “15 Best Places to Reinvent Your Life.”

And for you golfers out there — Bellingham also came in 7th in the US for golf, according to Golf Digest.

Why all the recognition? For starters, Whatcom County is home to diverse natural beauty, from Bellingham Bay, to rolling dairy farmland, to Mount Baker  . . . and all those evergreen trees in between. This close proximity to nature means that Northwest active adults and seniors can get out and enjoy the great outdoors with ease.

But Bellingham also offers the convenience of a medium-size city. You’re never far from modern conveniences, and if you really desire big-city fun, you’re located halfway between Vancouver BC and Seattle. From live music to museums to visual arts and the theater, Bellingham also offers a wide array of cultural delights!

To find your own dream retirement home in Whatcom County, or to get more information on retiring in Bellingham, give me a call at (360) 319-4939 or toll-free at (888) 319-4939!

Whatcom County property sales are up!

Good news for Whatcom County real estate — property sales were up all across the county. Though some of the boost was due to homeowners trying to get in on the federal tax credit for homebuyers (which expired at the end of April), categories other than used single-family homes were up, too.

Here’s a quick glance of the numbers according to The Bellingham Herald:

Bellingham Property Sales

—158 property sales in April (10.5% increase from March and a 19.7% increase from April 2009). These include residential, commercial, industrial and undeveloped land.

—473 property sales January-April 2010, a 9.2% increase over the same period last year.

—New home sales are way down in 2010. Only 2 new homes were sold in Bellingham in April, and there have been only 16 new home sales this year.

Ferndale, Lynden & Blaine Property Sales

—Combined, these communities sold 154 properties, a slight increase from March, but up 51% compared to April of last year.

—New home sales have fared slightly better here, where 38 new homes have sold in the first 4 months of 2010 (39 new homes were sold in the same period in 2009).

My team and I are keeping a close eye on these numbers, and continuing to assist families with finding the best values in local Pacific Northwest properties. To get more information, take a look at our free MLS Search or call my office at (360) 319-4939 or toll-free at (888) 319-4939.

Pickford Film Center’s Children’s Festival

Since 2007, the Pickford Film Center in Downtown Bellingham has been bringing the best of the Seattle Children’s Film Festival to families in Whatcom County. On May 22 and 23rd, the festival showcases animation, live action and documentary short films by filmmakers both local and global.

The Children’s Film Festival aims to be far more than just a passive viewing experience, however. The Pickford teams up with local Pacific Northwest arts and theater organizations to provide free hands-on workshops to kids and their families. Storyboards, claymation, improvisation and acting workshops are just a few that have been offered at previous festivals.

This year, there’s a new piece: families can head over to the Whatcom Museum Lightcatcher Building to create their own manuscripts or multimedia characters. Admission to the Museum is $3 with a film festival stub.

Whatcom Home Sales Surge as Tax Credit Deadline Looms

It should come as no surprise that with the first-time homebuyer and repeat homebuyer tax credits set to expire in April, many Pacific Northwest homebuyers were moving quickly to take advantage of this great opportunity.

Pending home sales (in process, but not yet closed) in Whatcom County last month totaled 372 in April, up nearly 27% from March, reports the NW Multiple Listing Service.  Closed home sales last month were about the same as in March (203 homes).

Whatcom County homebuyers with pending sales have until the end of June to qualify for the tax credit, so the market is expected to remain active.  And just because the tax credit has expired doesn’t mean that there won’t be good buyer incentives in the months ahead.  Expert Pacific NW Real Estate Agent Susan Stecher can help you find a Bellingham home that’s just perfect for your family and your budget, so give her office a call today at (360) 319-4939 or toll-free at (888) 319-4939!

Get an Up-Close View of Bellingham History May 9!

If you love history, you’re in luck this weekend! The Daughters of Pioneers are hosting an open house and tours of the Pickett House — the oldest building in Bellingham and the oldest wooden structure in Washington State!

Captain George E. Pickett first moved to Bellingham as leader of Company D of the Ninth Infantry to offer early Bellingham settlers protection.  Soon after his arrival in Whatcom County, he began building his house overlooking the Roeder-Peabody Lumber Mill on Whatcom Creek. Built of undressed planks in 1856, the house is an important historical landmark for Whatcom County and The Pacific Northwest.

Pickett himself left Bellingham in 1861 when he went back to Virginia to lead Confederate troops in the Civil War. After becoming a General, Pickett led the 1863 charge at Gettysburg.

The Pickett House will be open to the public from 1-4 p.m. on Sunday, May 9th. The house is located at 910 Bancroft St., Bellingham, WA, 98225.

Photo Courtesy City of Bellingham