Berries upon Berries

It’s officially Berry Season and what better way to celebrate than to come to the Raspberry Festival this weekend? You won’t be disappointed with so much tasty food, live music, activities, and of course, raspberries! You can satisfy that sweet tooth craving by pairing your berries with Edaleen Dairy ice cream, which costs only $2.00!

This annual event brings everyone together and you will see that there is something for every age. Lynden comes alive in the event as streets are blocked off for basketball tournaments and food venders, scavenger hunts, BBQ, music, a classic car show, prize drawings, and a Kid’s Zone.

There is no entry fee and the event goes from 9:00am to 8:00pm. If you are planning to grab a bite to eat, you can choose from a variety of options: a hotdog meal will cost you $6.00, the fresh Salmon BBQ prepared over a traditional wood fire rack including fixings and drink will cost you $15.00, and the Saturday pancake breakfast served from 7:00am to 11:00am will cost you $5.00.

For more detailed info about the event, visit https://www.bellingham.org/events/northwest-raspberry-festival-2/

The beauty of living in Whatcom County is that there are plenty of U-pick/we-pick berry farms to visit. Gather as many fresh berries as you want and sort through them yourself, making sure they are the perfect ones for your baking or snacking needs!

We thought we’d put a list of some of our favorite farms for you! *Hours of farms may vary.

  • Boxx Berry Farm (Ferndale, WA)
  • Barbie’s Berries (Ferndale, WA)
  • Haugen’s Raspberries (Lynden, WA)
  • Breckenridge Blueberries (Everson, WA)
  • Bellingham Country Gardens (Bellingham, WA)
  • Cascade Blueberry Farm (Custer, WA)

Stay updated with events in our community and learn more about what it’s like to live in Whatcom County by visiting our blog! There is so much our community has to offer.

Demand for Homes to Buy Continues to Climb

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Across the United States, there is a severe mismatch between the low number of houses for sale and the high demand for those houses! First-time homebuyers are out in force and are being met with a highly competitive summer real estate market.

According to the National Association of Realtors (NAR), the inventory of homes for sale “has fallen year-over-year for 36 consecutive months,” and now stands at a 4.1-month supply. A 6-month supply of inventory is necessary for a balanced market and has not been seen since August of 2012.

NAR’s Chief Economist Lawrence Yun had this to say,

“Inventory coming onto the market during this year’s spring buying season – as evidenced again by last month’s weak reading – was not even close to being enough to satisfy demand.

That is why home prices keep outpacing incomes and listings are going under contract in less than a month – and much faster – in many parts of the country.”

Is There Any Relief Coming?

According to the CoreLogic’s 2018 Consumer Housing Sentiment Study, four times as many renters are considering buying homes in the next 12 months than homeowners who are planning to sell, “which is the crux of the available housing-supply imbalance.”

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As more and more renters realize the benefits of homeownership, the demand for housing will continue to rise.

Do homeowners realize demand is so high? With home prices rising across the country, homeowners gained over a trillion dollars in equity over the last 12 months, with the average homeowner gaining over $16,000!

The map below shows the breakdown by state:

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Many homeowners who have not thought about listing their homes may not even realize how much equity they have gained, or the opportunity available to them in today’s market!

Bottom Line

If you are one of the many homeowners across the country who hasn’t quite found their forever home, now may be a great time to list your house for sale and find your dream home! Click Here to begin the search.

We would love assist you in the buying and selling process, if you have questions on what your current home may be worth or what the market is doing in your area, Click Here to Contact us today!

 

Stay Active this Summer!

tennis-2100437_960_720Get the most out of your summer this year by staying busy doing so many fun things with your friends and family! Not sure what’s going on in the community? Here are some ideas for you.

Here in Bellingham, it’s easy to stay active and healthy. For example, grab a friend and head over to Whatcom Community College tonight for a tennis match instead of your regular (or not) stop by the gym. From 6:00-7:30pm tonight,  you can gather with others to play tennis in a 90 min session. Equipment is provided, and you will get started by having a  group warm up, and finish off with a festival style play. Any ages and skill levels are welcome to join!

Not so into tennis? There’s plenty of other activities that you can do outside. Hit the lake while the sun is out and rent a kayak or paddle board, or even take a sailing class at San Juan Sailing and Yachting, or at the Community Boating Center. If you’re a student at either Western Washington University, Whatcom Community College, or Northwest Indian College, you’re eligible for a discount at the Lakewood Boathouse where they have rentals available as well.

Stay tuned for more on exploring the beautiful Pacific Northwest in a fun and active way!

If you have any questions or would like to share your ideas of a perfect way to spend your summer outside, feel free to contact us here!

See Bellingham From the Bay

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What do you have planned for your Tuesday evening?

It might be worth setting an hour of your day for some time on the water either on a paddle board, kayak, rowboat, or a sea kayak to explore Bellingham from a viewpoint that you haven’t yet seen it from. Starting July 10th until August 14th, you can enjoy a full hour of fun on the water and interact with others in your community every Tuesday at no cost! Afterwards, spend an evening full of activities and games with your family and friends. Local food and beer will be available on site provided by Stones Throw Brewery. Whether you’re an experienced kayaker or you’ve never set foot in one, you might find yourself relishing the moment more than you expect.

 

Keep in mind that this is a first come first serve event so plan to be there at 4:30 p.m.! Event goes until 10:00 p.m.

 

*There is a charge for rentals that exceed one hour, as well as for beer and food.

 

Location: Community Boating Center. 555 Harris Ave. Bellingham, WA

 

If you have any questions, contact the community Boating Center via email: Erica@boatingcenter.org or call 360.714.8891

 

We are your local Real Estate Recourse, Click Here to Contact us today

 

 

How to Buy a Home in 10 Easy Steps

  Buying your first home, but don’t know where to start? Let’s face it, the process can be confusing and overwhelming at times. But it doesn’t have to be, not...

The post How to Buy a Home in 10 Easy Steps appeared first on Muljat Group - Bellingham, Lynden, & Whatcom County Real Estate.

Are You Wondering If You Can Buy Your First Home?

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There are many people sitting on the sidelines trying to decide if they should purchase a home or sign a rental lease. Some might wonder if it makes sense to purchase a house before they get married or start a family, some might think they are too young, and still, some others might think their current incomes would never enable them to qualify for a mortgage.

We want to share what the typical first-time homebuyer actually looks like based on the National Association of Realtors’ most recent Profile of Home Buyers & Sellers. Here are some interesting revelations on the first-time buyer:

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Bottom Line

You may not be much different than many people who have already purchased their first homes. Click here to contact us now, we can help you determine if your dream home is within your grasp today.

1053 Sehome

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DREARY TO DREAMY

A Once-Dark Home Is Now a Light-Filled Retreat

WRITTEN BY RONDA SWANEY  PHOTOGRAPHY BY EMA PETER

A two-story veranda helps the homeowners take advantage of the waterfront views, which surround three sides of the property.

A two-story veranda helps the homeowners take advantage of the waterfront views, which surround three sides of the property.

Tired, neglected, and disconnected from its surroundings. For Registered Interior Designer Jodi McKeown Foster, those words describe the home that once sat on this island off the coast of British Columbia. A massive fireplace wall, sunken living room, low ceilings, tiny windows, and a solid brick exterior railing blocked the amazing waterfront views.

The new owners, who purchased the home as a vacation property, felt a remodel could overcome those shortcomings, so they approached McKeown Foster about the project. McKeown Foster owns Jodi Foster Design + Planning, a Victoria, British Columbia–based firm. She had worked with the homeowners previously on an adjacent property, so her firm was the natural choice for the project. “Once you work with a client, you understand where they’re coming from, their personalities, and how they like to work. The relationship becomes more cohesive every time you work together,” she says.

A neutral palette makes the waterfront views the focal point. All living spaces and bedrooms in the home have direct access to the veranda.

A neutral palette makes the waterfront views the focal point. All living spaces and bedrooms in the home have direct access to the veranda.

On the island, strict laws govern waterfront development. Those laws required keeping the original footprint of the house. Even with those limits, McKeown Foster was able to realize the homeowners’ vision. “They wanted a light-filled, comfortable, easy-to-care-for, and accessible home, with room for extended family and visitors. They were inspired by the Cape Cod style.” After the old home was brought down to its studs, McKeown Foster resurrected a cottage reminiscent of Eastern seaboard architecture. The t-shaped footprint of the home was a challenge, but McKeown Foster used the intuition that a space planner gains with experience. “If you listen to what the house wants to do and what the clients need it to do, the space presents itself to you logically,” she says.

A first step in the remodel was to open the home to the panoramic vista. “I believe a home should relate to its surroundings, whether that is a natural rural landscape, waterfront, or a vibrant cityscape,” says McKeown Foster. This home, bordered on three sides by water and backed by a centuries-old forest, has beautiful surroundings to draw from. One aim of the remodel was to invite that beauty indoors. “The views are spectacular. We wanted the interior palette to be muted and quiet to get the most value from the view,” she says. The remodel took optimal advantage of the sun’s path across the property. “Our design process usually includes taking time in an existing space or site at different times of the day to get a sense of how the light moves and changes.”

The new design seamlessly connects the interior and exterior spaces. Every principal room in the home has direct access to the two-level, wraparound veranda. Light floods in from tall windows and French doors, both topped by transoms. Skylights illuminate darker spots in the home and mirrors are used on interior walls to capture and reflect all available light. Glass, crystal, and nickel hardware and fixtures gleam, while crisp-white walls and creamy trim amplify the daylight and frame the wood and waterfront vistas.

McKeown Foster’s firm makes plain its belief in creating timeless and enduring spaces. “Great bones are essential,” she says. “If a space is planned and designed to function well, then that space will always work no matter the manner of decor or trend applied after the fact.” This vacation home was designed to welcome a crowd and to function as the carefree backdrop for a family on vacation. One-hundred-year-old, reclaimed-hemlock floors take in stride the sand and saltwater tracked in by children, guests, and pets. Slipcovers encase common area furniture and can be easily washed. Wooden pieces can be wiped down. Frequent use only adds to the charm of antiqued bed frames and case goods.

“The project was a great before-and-after experience,” says the designer. “The transformation was truly breathtaking, from a dark and forgotten place to a light-filled cottage with sweeping views.”

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ABOVE: The home’s entry faces the woods, making it a little dark. But judicious window and skylight placement provide just the right amount of light. Reclaimed wood floors and antiqued bed frames can survive the sand, water, and sun that are part and parcel of a waterfront home.

ABOVE: The home’s entry faces the woods, making it a little dark. But judicious window and skylight placement provide just the right amount of light. Reclaimed wood floors and antiqued bed frames can survive the sand, water, and sun that are part and parcel of a waterfront home.

 

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If you have any Real Estate questions or to inquire about what the market is doing in your area, CLICK HERE to Contact us now!

How Current Interest Rates Can Have a High Impact on Your Purchasing Power

How Current Interest Rates Can Have a High Impact on Your Purchasing Power

According to Freddie Mac’s latest Primary Mortgage Market Survey, interest rates for a 30-year fixed rate mortgage are currently at 4.61%, which is still near record lows in comparison to recent history!

The interest rate you secure when buying a home not only greatly impacts your monthly housing costs, but also impacts your purchasing power.

Purchasing power, simply put, is the amount of home you can afford to buy for the budget you have available to spend. As rates increase, the price of the house you can afford to buy will decrease if you plan to stay within a certain monthly housing budget.

The chart below shows the impact that rising interest rates would have if you planned to purchase a home within the national median price range while keeping your principal and interest payments between $1,850-$1,900 a month.

How Current Interest Rates Can Have a High Impact on Your Purchasing Power | Keeping Current Matters

With each quarter of a percent increase in interest rate, the value of the home you can afford decreases by 2.5% (in this example, $10,000). Experts predict that mortgage rates will be closer to 5% by this time next year.

Act now to get the most house for your hard-earned money.

Raising the Bar

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Getting Started with Raised Garden Beds

WRITTEN BY CATRIONA TUDOR ERLER

Raise gardening to a new level with raised beds—aboveground growing containers that are open to the ground underneath. The benefits are many.

If your property has adverse soil conditions such as poor drainage, low fertility, or poor soil structure, rise above the problem by building a raised bed filled with rich soil. Tired of weeding on your hands and knees? Build a bed with a wide rim that’s high enough to sit comfortably on the edge while you’re tending to the plants. Open the possibility of gardening to people in wheelchairs with beds build at an appropriate height.

A raised bed helps you concentrate and focus your water usage to exactly where it should be, thus reducing weeds. They also reduce the possibility of compacting the soil or damaging plants due to walking in the growing area. To provide access to the plants without the need to walk in the bed, make it narrow enough (about four feet) to reach at least halfway across from either side.

If you’re building a raised bed next to a garden living space, such as a patio or terrace, build it in a style and out of materials that complement the surrounding structures so the look is unified and harmonious. In more utilitarian areas, such as a remote vegetable or cutting garden, wood or composite plastic materials are the most common building materials.

Gardeners are spoilt for choice when it comes to materials for building raised beds. Review the following three main materials and the pros and cons of each before embarking on your new garden design.

WOOD

Rot-resistant woods such as cedar (Eastern White or Western Red), redwood, and cypress contain natural chemicals that make them resistant to decay. These woods are an attractive, natural material; however, even rot-resistant wood eventually will degrade. The lifespan will depend on the type of wood and climate. Wood lasts longer where the air is dry and rots quickly in rainy regions.

If you opt for wood, make sure it is old-growth or second growth. Sapwood (milky white outer wood) will quickly rot. Do not use chemically treated lumber, particularly if you plan to grow food. The toxic preservative materials leach out of the wood, potentially contaminating the soil and the plants growing in it.

RECYCLED PLASTIC (HIGH-DENSITY POLYETHYLENE)

HDPE (High-density polyethylene) is a long-lasting material typically guaranteed for a minimum of fifty years. It is a stable material so the chemicals do not leach, and it is resistant to cracking, chipping, and freeze-thaw cycles. The boards do not shrink, warp, or expand over time, although the linear strength is less than wood, so long lengths need more cross-bracing.

The recyclable material comes in a choice of fade-resistant colors. The major negative is the cost, which is high; however, if amortized over decades, it ultimately costs less than wood, which will need replacing much sooner.

Raising the Bar

Photography provided by ©iStockphoto.com/cjp.

COMPOSITE WOOD (BLEND OF WOOD FIBER AND UV-PROTECTED RECYCLED POLYPROPYLENE)

Because they are joined with screws, composite woods are easy to assemble. The printed wood grain pattern conveys a quasi-natural look; nothing in nature repeats so uniformly. The material is weather and rot resistant, and the joint system with straight and curved sections allows for enlarging beds and for shape flexibility, including circles and ovals.

The hollow boards can easily be damaged, and tall and long beds are likely to bow outward. In addition, the color is less stable than the HDPE material, fading in just a few years.

Whether built of wood, plastic, brick, stone, or other building materials, raised beds can add immeasurable value to your gardening pleasure and success.

Best Soil for Raised Beds

There is no one-size-fits-all soil for raised-bed gardening. Some plants, such as blueberries, require acidic soil; others prefer a neutral or alkaline base. In an arid climate you will want a mix that retains moisture; in wetter parts of the country, a good draining soil is best. The beauty of a raised bed is that you can custom-tailor your soil to the plants’ needs.

A good, all-purpose raised bed soil is a well-blended mix of 50 percent each topsoil and compost. Be sure of the quality of both ingredients. Some companies will deliver dirt taken from the top layer of the ground and call it topsoil. Do your research before you place an order.

Shannon & Gordon Neufeld

Shannon & Gordon Neufeld

360.393.1183 Shannon

360.393.8299 Gordon

www.NeufeldNW.com

Lic.# Shannon: 94057

Lic.# Gordon: 118864