Archives: July 2010

Northwest Washington Fair Coming Soon August 16-21

The Northwest Washington Fair is coming to Lynden soon, and Whatcom County locals know it’s not something you should miss!

From the Lynden Rodeo to a Demolition Derby, from open-air concerts to all the rides your stomach can handle — there is something for everyone this year at the Northwest Washington Fair.

Oh . . . and did we mention the food?

Here is a short list of events so you can plan your perfect family evening at The Fair:

Demolition Derby — Monday, Aug. 16, 1 p.m. & 7 p.m.

Weird Al Yancovik in concert — Tuesday, Aug. 17 at 8 p.m.

Kenny Rogers — Wednesday, Aug. 18 at 7:30 p.m.

Casting Crowns – Thursday, Aug. 19 at 7:30 p.m.

Rick Springfield – Friday, Aug. 20 at 7:30 p.m.

Metal Mulisha Motocross – Saturday, August 21, 6 p.m.

For more information, including ticket info, please visit Please visit my informative site at to learn more about what makes Lynden a great Pacific Northwest community in which to live, work and play.

Check out the Bellingham Arts Festival July 31-August 1

Once again, Allied Arts of Whatcom County is putting on a fantastic show in Downtown Bellingham this year!

For two days this coming weekend, the 1200, 1300 and 1400 blocks of Cornwall Avenue will be alive with color, as over 60 of The Pacific Northwest‘s finest artists display their paintings, pottery, fiber art and more! Local Whatcom County bands will perform music on the Main Stage, and the ArtBar will feature local wines and brews for your tasting pleasure.

Also taking place on Saturday from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. is the 18th Annual Chalk ArtFest, an event open to families, children, adults & community groups. There will be prizes awarded and professional photography of the chalk creations. This community event attracts thousands of visitors to Downtown Bellingham to see people of all ages and backgrounds celebrating creativity through the simple act of drawing with chalk on a sidewalk. Wagon rides will allow visitors to tour the chalk creations. Don’t miss this fun community event — if you’d like to participate, adults can buy a square for $25, and children’s squares are $12. For more information call 360-676-8548 ext 5 or email

The vibrant arts community in Bellingham and Whatcom County is just one of the reasons that living in Bellingham is a wonderful experience. To find a work of art that you can come home to each day, please take a look at our FREE Pacific Northwest MLS Search!

Changing Retirement Home Trends — and What They Can Mean for You

Start Planning Early

We all know that if we want the live in the home of your dreams at retirement, it’s essential to start retirement planning early.  But in many cases retirement goals and plans have changed since earlier generations, and so it’s important to think through what kind of retirement you’re actually planning for.

Former Retirement Trends

It used to be that, as soon as the kids were gone and the nest was empty, our parents traded in the larger family home for a smaller, cheaper condo in a warm-weather location like Florida or Arizona.  They would then use the difference to see them through their retirement years.  Some baby-boomers are clearly following that trend, but many are not.

Other Retirement Choices and What They Mean for You

There has been a marked increase in boomers who are planning to buy a nicer home, invest in a second home, or renovate their current home with some luxury comforts.

What does this mean?  Well, for starters, it may mean that you’ll need to plan for home expenses to take up a bigger chunk of your retirement income each month.  This requires greater savings than our parents often required.  It requires more intentional planning. And the earlier you start your retirement planning, the greater your choices for how you’d like to live when you retire.

One smart way to plan is to first consider the daily retirement lifestyle you’d like to have before deciding on what kind of home you’d like. A pros and cons list of your current living situation can also help clarify your goals. It’s important here to make sure you’re not just considering financial considerations, but personal lifestyle goals as well, since a healthy balance between both can ensure a happy, peaceful retirement.

Here is just a brief list of questions you (and your spouse or partner) should consider when it comes to lifestyle choices at retirement:

  • What kind of climate would you prefer to retire in?
  • What kind of environment would you like — the city, the suburbs, the country, a retirement community?
  • How important is your proximity to children, grandchildren, friends, and other loved ones?
  • Is it important to have room for overnight guests or long-term stays (i.e. aging parents)?
  • What kind of amenities do you want to have close-by?
  • How close do you need to live to medical facilities and community facilities, such as the library?
  • Do you need access to buses, airports, etc?
  • What kind of recreational activities would you like to have close-by?

For your finances, it’s important to consider:

  • Mortgage or rent payments, and how much you’re willing to pay in retirement
  • How much equity you have in your current home
  • Potential association, condominium, or other community related fees
  • Keeping up your intended property, from housekeeping to mowing the lawn to shoveling snow to replacing the roof
  • Utilities
  • Home improvements to accommodate your future physical needs and limitations
  • Property taxes

If you’re currently looking to retire in the Pacific Northwest, Susan Stecher and her team of real estate professionals are ready and waiting to answer any questions you have, as well as provide helpful tools for planning the Pacific Northwest retirement of your dreams. Call (360) 319-4939 or toll-free (888) 319-4939 to talk to Susan today!

Visit Hovander Homestead Park in Ferndale!

For a day of fun you won’t soon forget, bring the family out to Hovander Homestead Park in Ferndale, WA!

This 350-acre park, well loved by Whatcom County residents, preserves the rich history of pioneer farming in The Pacific Northwest. It’s filled with recreational activities for children, adults and seniors alike.

On your visit, you can tour the historic farmhouse and big red barn. Children will love visiting and even feeding the animals in the farmyard — cows, chickens, rabbits, pigs, goats and horses. Gardening aficionados will enjoy perusing the Master Gardeners Demonstration Garden or the award-winning Fragrance Garden.

View a video about Hovander Park and all that it offers Ferndale residents here: