Welcome to the largest Sequim Real Estate Blog with over 1,700 articles.
3 Sep 2015
This new Sequim property is right at the top of the Bell Curve for retirees moving to Sequim. One person said to me, “All the good homes have sold!” Well, that’s not true, but it can feel that way when you cannot find your idea of the perfect home and every time you see a possibility, it is suddenly pending. This new listing is likely to sell fairly quickly, too.
You can see more photos and all the incredible features of this Sequim property at 134 Jamestown Road. What makes this home so perfect, or why is it that so many retirees are looking for a Sequim property just like this?
Here’s why. This is a 3 bedroom with 2.5 baths, a modern kitchen with an open floor plan, a gorgeous laundry room, a large master bedroom with a master bath anyone would love (husband and wife sinks and countertops, a full large shower, a separate large tub with jets, and plenty of natural light). The high quality of construction is very impressive. This home originally was built by a custom home builder who planned to sell it for more than $500,000, but he got hit by the recession. You could not buy this land, develop it, excavate with site planning, pay for permits and build this home for this listing price.
The other major reason this Sequim property is such a hot listing is because of the land itself and the location. As they say, “location is everything in real estate,” and this property is 4.9 acres only two miles from Sequim. It sits in a peaceful area, and if you want animals, you could have them. Or you could plant your own apple trees. Adjacent to the outdoor basketball court is a natural growth of large juicy ripe blackberries as I write this.
If this property and home are your idea of the perfect home, I highly recommend you call me directly at 360-775-5424 or text me a message. You won’t find another Sequim property like this at this price.
Possibly Related Posts:
2 Sep 2015
The Sequim Air Affaire was this past weekend, and it was a huge success. A major outdoor event depends so much on good weather, especially an event with airplanes, small jets, experimental aircraft, hot air balloons, and skydivers. All around Sequim it was raining and some areas had nasty storms. Not Sequim. Seattle had nightmares with rain, wind, major power outages, and many car accidents. Fortunately, the Sequim weather cooperated nicely for the Sequim Air Affaire. Saturday sprinkled on and off, but Sunday was absolutely beautiful, and I could not resist taking this photo of one of Sequim’s classic bi-planes.
This red biplane is a 450 Stearman owned by Mike and Marilyn Mason. It is one of the most beautiful airplanes you’ll ever see. They were giving rides at the Air Affaire, and who wouldn’t want a ride in this aircraft? There are a lot of retired pilots in the Sequim area and several small airports. If you’re here next year at this time of year, you might want to join us at the Air Affaire.
Possibly Related Posts:
29 Aug 2015
The Sequim Blue Hole strikes again! Live Doppler Radar shows how Sequim and the little Sequim Peninsula is completely dry while all surrounding areas are raining. This became quite an object lesson this afternoon as the Sequim Airport sponsored their annual Sequim Air Affaire. At 7:00 a.m. the airport was nearly socked in and looking ugly, but by noon, the Sequim Blue Hole opened up, while rain clouds and inclement weather could be seen all around the airport.
The Sequim Blue Hole has put Sequim on the map for retirees from all over the United States and the world. This brokerage has had buyers from as far away as the Netherlands, Japan, and China. Retirees are often looking for a climate without extremes, and a place where they can live comfortably and safely. The Sequim Blue Hole puts Sequim between Alaska and Nevada in terms of climate, and has no extreme temperatures and no extreme weather conditions.
No wonder so many retirees have been researching Sequim and buying their homes here. For many, the first time they find out about the incredible Sequim weather is when they first read about the Sequim Blue Hole.
Possibly Related Posts:
27 Aug 2015
Buying a home is a massive undertaking, and if you’ve read some of my earlier articles about doing your due diligence as a buyer, you have a good checklist of major items to review. Things like the home inspection, the septic inspection, the well inspection, irrigation systems, traffic noise, driveway easements, view easements, the quality of construction, architectural obsolescence, kitchen designs, appliances, and much more.
But there are also a number of lesser known considerations when buying a home. I like to say that something is a minor issue until it becomes a major issue. These are things a buyer and their buyer’s agent could easily overlook, but after buying a home, they could be major headaches for you.
When you’re looking at homes, I recommend doing something most buyers do not do. It is quite normal to walk through a home looking at the floor plan, the quality of construction, the views from the windows, the appliances, and so on. That’s all good, but there are a few simple steps you can take that can save you from a nightmare scenario.
For example, it only takes a minute to fill a glass of water in the kitchen and taste the water. Many buyers miss this important step. Sequim is very fortunate that nearly all our wells have very pure delicious water, but there are some pockets where mineral levels (magnesium, iron, sulfur) can be high. High in minerals does not mean the water is unsafe. The health concern is not minerals–it is bacteria and nitrates.
Tasting the water is a good simple test, but you can do more. Smell the water, like you might if you were sampling wine. If there is a sulfur smell, look for a water filtering system. And there’s another important step. Tap water may smell pure and taste good, but if there is a filtering system for minerals, that just tells you the system is working properly. The next step is to go into the master bathroom and turn on the shower, and turn on the hot water. The smell of high mineral content, particularly a sulfur smell, may not be noticeable in the kitchen, but hot water that is atomized into the air has a way of accentuating any sulfur scent. This is a trick few people would think of when buying a home.
If the well is deep, and there is plenty of water, and if mineral content is high, a good filtering system usually solves the issue entirely, and you can live happily ever after. But a good mineral filtering system can cost $4,500. By the way, here’s a nuance worth knowing. Mineral content can increase and decrease at different times of the year. In the rainy season, mineral content usually decreases.
Another question worth asking when you’re in the process of buying a home is, “Is this property in or near a final approach to an airport?” You may not hear any planes overhead when you’re looking at a home, but after you move in, will planes be flying over regularly? And if so, how often?
It is worth observing where the current owner’s cable or satellite TV is located, where their Internet connection is located, and whether there are connections in other rooms where you might locate those services. Find out about their Internet service. Is it fast or exceedingly slow? Also, check the bars on your cell phone. Will this location have good cell phone service, or none at all. That could be a crisis.
While these are all minor issues, they could quickly become major issues, and you don’t need that. You don’t have to know everything when buying a home, but if you don’t, your buyer’s agent should if he or she is going to protect you. Clearly, the importance of doing your due diligence when buying a home cannot be understated.
Possibly Related Posts:
26 Aug 2015
Are you searching for a special Sequim property? I think each of us searches for what we perceive as our ideal property, a home and property where we could be comfortable and happy forever. Over the past two decades I have jogged, bicycled, and driven thousands of miles on local back roads looking at Sequim property. I’ve shown and sold Sequim homes to many buyers from around the U.S.
But I recently learned something new about Sequim property when I purchased my own home. It has been a very pleasant surprise, and I’m thinking you might like to know what I discovered.
I bought a Sequim property about 6 miles northwest of downtown. My 2.58 acres are about half a mile from the bluff on the Strait of Juan de Fuca. If you tell anyone who lives in Sequim that you’ve bought a house out in this area, their immediate response is almost always the same, “Oh, it’s really windy out there.” But have they actually lived in this area? Most of the time the answer is no.
In my first week on my Sequim property, it has been a little gusty in the afternoon, but guess what? Recently it has been gusty in and around most of Sequim, too. I talked to an old timer who lives near the bluff, and he said it’s gusty about 30% of the time. Many days it is perfectly still with no breeze at all. So it really isn’t windy all the time or even most of the time.
Even though I knew the area well, I’ve had two big pleasant surprises on my special Sequim property. The first is the freshness of the ocean breeze that comes from the northeast. It is so fresh, it surprised me. Miles inland that breeze looses some of its ocean freshness. If you’ve ever stood on the shore of an ocean or sea, you know exactly what I mean. I love it. And when there is a breeze, it gently passes through my house when I open windows on the north and south sides.
The location was very important to me. I wanted what I call “useable property.” All of my land is useable (not steep hill sides), and I got an added bonus of being on a large irrigation system, and as you probably know, water is worth its weight in gold these days. As the TV infomercials like to say, “And wait, there’s more.” I also have a delightful panoramic mountain view from my back deck and back windows.
The second big surprise is that I can actually hear the waves crashing on the beach, even though I’m at least a half a mile inland. Holding a cup of hot gourmet Starbucks in my hand and walking my property early in the morning or in the evening with that fresh ocean smell and the sound of waves has added a whole new dimension to my life. And it is good. This is my kind of Heaven–my little Sequim property.
Conclusion: Be cautious about free advice about where you should live. Such advice is often missing out on some of the greatest delights you may experience on your Sequim property.
Possibly Related Posts:
23 Aug 2015
Moving to Sequim is not a walk in the park. Moving is hard work, full of stress, and not something anyone looks forward to doing. I certainly did not look forward to moving to Sequim recently, and I already lived in Sequim. I only moved a few miles. It went as well as can be expected, although I am exhausted. I bought a gorgeous home on some peaceful acreage about 6 miles from downtown Sequim. Unfortunately, I made one bad mistake. This photo probably tells you the story well enough.
Moving to Sequim from anywhere in the country requires planning and perseverance. Apart from the schedule and trucks or trailers, there is the question of how much will you do yourself and how much help will you hire. When we are in our twenties, we can do anything and we are invincible, or so we think. But there’s a little surprise waiting for us when we reach our 50s or 60s. It translates into aches and pains in the back, or in the hip or the knees. We discover we have limitations we didn’t used to have, and so we can’t do it all any more.
And there are a hundred little details to attend to when moving to Sequim. There is shutting off power, water, and other services. There is connecting utilities at your new home. There’s a public electric company, a water company and sewer connection, and there’s the telephone company and refuse service. Little items, like getting your Internet connected can become time consuming issues. Which Internet service gives you the fastest speeds for the best price? And what about your cell phone service? Will you get cell phone service at the location of your new home?
When the seller moves out, did they take everything, or did they leave a lot of items, like my sellers did. I’m still cleaning out shelves. I’ll have a full trailer load to take to the dump. It’s not a big deal, but the sellers surely should have taken everything and cleaned the house thoroughly. Most Sequim sellers are diligent and do a great job cleaning, but a few do not.
After the sellers moved out, I realized the walls and ceiling needed fresh paint, so that delayed my move as I hired a busy painter, who needed a week to completely paint the interior with two coats of paint. If you’re moving to Sequim from another state, you won’t necessarily have the option of delaying a week to paint when you’re paying the moving company by the day.
What was my big mistake? I secured everything on every trip, except the last trip. It was late, and I was tired after a week of moving and coordinating. I was by myself, and finished loading the trailer using a dolly to put a large dresser into the trailer. I used bungee cords to secure a headboard, but forgot to secure the dresser to the wall of the trailer. Miraculously, no marks were left on the wood anywhere, but I lost the glass in one large photo of my son playing college basketball. The photo was slightly damaged, but it’s okay. Close call.
Moving to Sequim is challenging, but once the move is over, like me, you will be so darn happy to be settled. One of the big benefits of moving for me was getting rid of a lot of clothes and junk I did not use or need anymore. And I only lost one item. I can’t find the charger to my laptop, and I’ve searched every box. Hmm.
I love Sequim and have for over 20 years. I think you will too. My only advice is to double check all your bungee cords or tie downs before moving to Sequim.
Possibly Related Posts:
20 Aug 2015
Sequim listings can be dramatically different. Do not assume that all sellers and their listing agents are on the same sheet of music. Similar homes can be priced substantially different. I showed homes today to a couple from Iowa. We had a great time, and every home we looked at was totally different, although each property had some acreage and offered some privacy, important criteria for my buyers. But the prices were all over the map.
For example, one property had a quiet location and beautiful level acreage, and it had a great shop, but the house is arguably a tear down. It is a vintage late ’60s or early ’70s home that has never been remodeled. There are some very bad smells in the house. My buyer estimated the upgrading cost at $100,000+, and yet this home was priced higher than another home that was absolutely immaculate with a perfectly landscaped property, albeit less acreage but still quite private. The word that comes to mind is “disparity.” Disparities are likely to happen in any market. Not all sellers and their listing agents will all value properties with the same standards. But today was a glaring example for my buyers that not all homes are judged in the same way, so Sequim listings may have dramatically different prices.
What does this mean? It means you should do your comparisons of Sequim listings in the MLS as best you can, and then communicate with your buyer’s agent before you arrive to filter out the homes that would be a total waste of your time. Then when you come to look at your short list of properties with your buyer’s agent, you will make the best of your time and increase the chances of finding the ideal home at the right listing price.
Possibly Related Posts:
19 Aug 2015
Real estate brokers around the United States seem to be missing the point, at least from a client perspective. If you read the regular stream of articles published about how real estate brokers must change, and about the so-called “new brokerage models” that are supposed to give consumers better service or more choice, you’ll notice (if you have the discernment to see what is behind the curtains) that the emphasis is always on money, not the consumer’s best and ultimate interests. This subject may be a bit deep for most people just searching for a home online, but not for my readers. My readers are smart and sophisticated, and they like to know how things really work. If you read this blog, you know my personal passion is summed up in a little word called “truth”. Unfortunately in the real estate industry, many real estate brokers don’t understand how their own business model or corporate culture can play against consumers like you. As a result, they miss the entire point–serving your best interests, all the while claiming (and sincerely believing) they do put you first. It’s not necessarily the fault of real estate brokers you and I know–good people. They don’t always understand, because few of them have a background in business development, marketing and sales, real estate law, and customer service. They fall into the trap of believing the talking points of their brokerage. As a result, they miss the most important focus of all–how to best serve YOU as the client.
Redfin is a example of good intentions gone awry. Redfin was created because real estate brokers thought by reducing real estate commissions to 1.5% on the listing side and 3% on the selling side (total 4.5%), and by offering buyers an additional refund of part of the commission, and by paying their agents salaries, they could give consumers like you something you really want.
Reducing fees always seems like a good idea to consumers, until you realize where the focus is NOT. The focus is NOT on attracting or hiring the most experienced professional real estate brokers in the business–it is about hiring real estate brokers who will work on small salaries. New and inexperienced real estate brokers may be attracted to a small salary with little room for career progression, but when you hire a listing agent to sell your home, do you really want that real estate broker? Of course not. You want the best who can most effectively market your property, who has the experience to negotiate the best price, and much more. Read the rest of this entry »
Possibly Related Posts:
15 Aug 2015
How do you prorate propane at closing? When you buy a home, if the tank still has some propane in it, the seller is entitled to be reimbursed, and as a buyer you will be charged an amount on your closing statement to prorate the propane in the tank. But how does the escrow agent prorate propane? As a buyer, you should know how this works so you don’t get into an argument with a seller at the 11th hour.
You would think that it is super easy to prorate propane. Like anything else, you simply calculate how much the propane is worth per gallon, multiply by the number of gallons, and you reimburse the seller that amount. Unfortunately, it’s not that simple, and there’s a very logical reason.
If you call a propane distributor and ask how much propane is per gallon, you won’t be able to get a short answer. In fact, your conversation will probably be at least five minutes, and if you clarify the answers with more questions, you may be talking for 10 minutes before you understand. I know, because I’ve done this.
Here’s why it is hard to calculate how to prorate propane. Propane companies will quote a current retail price, which may be $2.39 per gallon. But that’s not necessarily what you will pay if you’re filling a residential propane tank. The price you pay will “depend.” It will depend on how big a propane tank you have, how often you refill it, and how long a contract you are willing to sign. There isn’t just one fee–there are multiple fee schedules based on all these variables. With three variables, that means there are nine possible fee schedules. And there’s another price they will quote. It is the first time customer price, which may be as low as $1.69 (in the current pricing model). But you’ll only see that price once. Now you know why it is so hard to prorate propane.
The standard real estate contract (Form 21) that is used in Washington states in para “h. Closing Costs and Prorations and Charges and Assessments,” the following:
Buyer shall pay for remaining fuel in the fuel tank, if, prior to closing, Seller obtains a written statement from the supplier as to the quantity and current price and provides such statement to the Closing Agent.
Everyone assumes that this language includes propane, and I won’t challenge that assumption, except to say that it is not 100% clear that propane is “fuel” in this contract. Let’s assume it is, and move on to the bigger ambiguity. The language refers to “current price,” but does not define the formula for determining what current price is. As you read above, current price can be any of multiple prices from various price schedules, and even those prices can vary from company to company. How to prorate propane is not so easy.
The local Sequim practice has been to reimburse the seller for the seller’s actual costs as calculated from his propane company. That makes sense from the seller’s perspective, but what if a buyer says, “Well, as a first time propane customer, I can get $1.69, instead of the seller’s cost (which may be $1.85 per gallon). Why should I pay the higher fee?”
Going with the seller’s actual cost is probably the most objective approach if you have to prorate propane, but there is room for differences of opinion here. At least now, you know what to expect when it is time to prorate propane on your closing statement.
Possibly Related Posts:
13 Aug 2015
Bell Hill in Sequim has always been one of the most popular developments on the Peninsula, largely because Bell Hill has such a great perch above Sequim Bay and the Strait of Juan de Fuca with views of the San Juan Islands, Mount Baker, and British Columbia. Here’s an excellent example of a Bell Hill home currently for sale with a wonderful view from the windows and from the deck. Take a look at this 3 dimensional virtual tour, which allows you to talk through the entire home with your computer mouse or the arrows on your keyboard. Just click on this 3D virtual tour, and be sure to widen your browser so you can see the full virtual reality.
Bell Hill homes are known for having incredible water views, the kind of views that would bring millions of dollars in California at a fraction of that in Sequim. While the market has been shifting slowly from a buyer’s market toward a seller’s market, you can still buy a home on Bell Hill for substantially less than you could build the same home. Many of the homes that have been selling recently on Bell Hill are selling for 5% to 15% less than the cost to replace. Of course, that doesn’t take into consideration the lengthy time and all the stress of building a home.
Possibly Related Posts:
12 Aug 2015
Another Sequim home just sold. This home was only on the market for 22 days before it sold. It sits on a beautiful little one acre parcel with an old but small barn. With 2,082 square feet, three small bedrooms, and a kitchen that could use remodeling, it sold for $200,000. It isn’t the home that most retirees are looking for, but it was an ideal starter home for a younger couple. It was listed at $209,000. Homes in this price range seem to be flying off the shelf lately.
There’s another Sequim home available that has been completely remodeled, and while it isn’t large in square footage (1,400), it is on almost an acre and totally updated like new. The three bedrooms are larger than the other home, and the kitchen is a brand new modern kitchen. In fact, the entire interior of the home is brand new, new everything, including new appliances (stove/oven, dishwasher, refrigerator, and washer and dryer). You can see this home online at Sequim Home for Sale with acreage.
When you do your Sequim home search, be sure to use an accurate MLS site that includes all the local Sequim listings. Yes my friend, there are syndicated MLS sites with terribly inaccurate information. Sequim-Homes.com includes all the Olympic Listing Service homes for sale, and you’ll notice at the bottom of Sequim-Homes.com there is a second MLS site that you can use, which includes any Northwest MLS listings in the Sequim area. All local Realtors uses the OLS, and while it is rare that an outside Realtor will list a Sequim property, if they do, it would be in the NWMLS system.
Possibly Related Posts:
10 Aug 2015
“If you get, give: if you learn, teach,” is a quote from Dr. Maya Angelou who was a remarkable woman, an author and a civil rights leader. She died last year at the age of 86. Why do I quote her on this real estate blog? Because her philosophy and the way she lived her life echoes my beliefs about how I work with real estate clients, and how I live.
Dr. Angelou also wrote, “My mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive; and to do so with some passion, some compassion, some humor, and some style.” This statement describes how I live every day. I may be lacking in humor, but I am passionate and compassionate, and I hope along the way I have a little style.
I recently helped a buyer purchase the home in this photo. This 3 bedroom, 2 bath single level home is about 5 miles outside of Sequim on a little over 2.5 acres, all fenced and with a couple of outbuildings, including two beautiful horse stalls. The back deck faces south, and what a peaceful spot to enjoy a cup of gourmet coffee and the Sequim sunshine. There’s an irrigation system for outside watering and a pond on one end. At $385,000, this buyer is not just pleased–he’s giddy. This is what I do. I teach buyers how to buy and guide them through the entire process. I’m a buyer’s agent.
Another favorite Dr. Angelou quote is, “Courage is the most important of all virtues, because without courage, you cannot practice any of the other virtues consistently.” When I first read this quote, it really hit home for me. A person might work hard regularly, and might be honest most all the time, and generous at times, but it takes courage to practice these virtues consistently.
I find that my own daily practice takes all my emotional energy, because I pour myself into my client’s best interests, and that often means working from morning ’till night, and often seven days a week. But I love what I do, mostly because it helps improve the quality of my clients’ lives, and that is why I teach and guide buyers. It is my gift and my pleasure.
Possibly Related Posts:
8 Aug 2015
Sequim homes are hot right now. Many buyers are experiencing some frustration, because when they find what they think could be “the one,” it is either pending or goes pending before they can get to Sequim. One of the advantages of using Sequim-Homes.com to monitor Sequim listings is that you can see the “Status” of all listings. In other words, you can see if a favorite on your list changes from “Active” to “Act. Under Contr.-Cont.” This stands for “active under contract” which means it is pending. You can also have email alerts sent to you if a listing changes status.
This home in the photo was on the market for almost 70 days before it sold. I represented the buyers. It’s always unpredictable when Sequim homes will sell or how long any particular home will be on the market before it sells. What has been happening this spring is that Sequim homes have been selling much quicker than they have been over the past 8 or 9 years.
While prices have not substantially increased, the time on market (days on market or DOM) has been decreasing, and more Sequim homes are selling for the full listed price. It’s not clearly either a buyer’s market or a seller’s market, but it is tilting toward a seller’s market. The Sequim real estate market (and Port Angeles and Port Townsend) is a small market with a slow but steady pipeline of buyers. That means it is statistically hard to define the market until a trend has been long established.
My recommendation to my buyers is to know exactly what you want in a property, the kind of location you want, the floor plan, and much more. Then watch Sequim homes on Sequim-Homes.com and save your favorites and monitor them until you come to view your short list of favorites. Email me questions, and I will help you filter the homes on your list so you don’t waste your time when you get here. As you know, the photos and information in the MLS do not always give you a complete and accurate representation of what you will see in person.
And lastly, when you do find the ideal home, don’t dilly dally. Draft the offer and get it submitted right away. In this market, if you love a home, you can almost bet that one or two other buyers with similar preferences have been looking at it, too. We haven’t seen Sequim homes sell like this for almost a decade.
Possibly Related Posts: