Sequim Real Estate in Sunny Sequim, Washington

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I Need a Realtor to Draft an Offer Now

Do you need to draft an offer now on a home that just came on the market? You know there is a sense of urgency in this market with such a low inventory and high demand, but you want to make sure you do everything right, and you need a Realtor who can help draft an offer today.

Beautiful Home

Draft an Offer

Call me on my cell phone at 360-775-5424, and I’ll draft the offer for you, but we will still need to do all the due diligence you would do if you were here. You can learn more about what is involved if you are going to draft an offer sight unseen on a home by reading Buying a Home Sight Unseen.

I got a call from a buyer recently who said she and her husband knew the area and found a home in the MLS online that was ideal for them and which they thought was a good listing price, but the real estate broker she called did not answer her phone or call back. This buyer wanted to draft an offer right away without delay, so that’s why she called me.

Draft an Offer and Due Diligence

I always recommend that a buyer get a home inspection by a professional inspector familiar with construction, electrical, plumbing, HVAC and heat pumps, roofing, and so on. A home inspector will thoroughly examine a home and produce a detailed 20+ page report with descriptions of any issues or potential issues he found.

Many buyers attend the home inspection, so that gives you an opportunity to examine the home yourself after you have a signed agreement with the seller. 

I never would encourage a buyer to make a decision to buy a home before they are ready and certain that it is the right time and the right home for them, and I can facilitate the conversation on all the issues that should be considered. But when you decide it is time to buy a home, and when you have found the right home, call me or text me, and let’s draft the offer without delay.

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  • Sequim Cell Phone Towers

    Sequim cell phone towers and cell phone antennas are everywhere, as they are all over the country now. While is it great to have good cell phone reception, which requires cell phone towers, it has also come to our attention that the powerful electric and magnetic emissions from these towers and from our cell phones, our computers, and our wireless networks in our homes are a cause for concern. There are studies indicating that many health dangers are present.

    Sequim Cell Phone Towers

    It is a good idea to do a search of Sequim cell phone towers based on the address of the prospective home you might buy. Not far from where I live, a couple built a brand new house about two years ago, and about six months ago Verizon installed a new mini-tower or antenna on a large telephone pole directly adjacent to their home. The tower is on Kitchen-Dick Road, and it is literally on the boundary of their property. I measured the distance from the pole to the house on Google satellite, and it is only 109 feet. If the bedroom is on that end of the house, this innocent couple is being radiated the entire time they are trying to sleep at night, not to mention all the electro-magnetic emissions that are penetrating the whole house 24/7.

    The Search for Sequim Cell Phone Towers

    I have a tester that shows electric and magnetic levels, and based on our own government’s warnings and standards, the levels I have tested in areas near some of these towers and electric power lines are often 100 times above what is safe for humans. Some of these Sequim cell phone towers emit massive amounts of electro-magnetic waves. People wonder why they are having all these unexplainable health issues, like headaches, discomfort in the hips or joints, short term memory losses, shortness of breath, digestive problems, constant diarrhea, sleep apnea, and the list goes on and on. Doctors take test after test, and they prescribe this drug and then another drug, but no one can figure out what’s going on. Sound familiar? 

    I was shocked when I measured what my wireless modem was emitting throughout the house, especially when I was sitting right at the computer. I was shocked when I measured what my microwave oven emits, my TV screen, and my laptop. Thank God I am 1,423 feet from that new tower on Kitchen-Dick Road. 

    I’m not wanting to put the fear of microwaves into anyone who intends to buy their retirement dream home in Sequim, but isn’t it worth doing a search for the nearest Sequim cell phone towers to make sure you’re planned retirement in Paradise doesn’t turn into unexplainable health issues, one after another?

    Do your own research. Don’t take my word for anything. Youtube has many great videos on these subjects, as well as some wacky videos that fall into the category of conspiratorial. If we have excessive levels hitting us now, wait until they launch the new massive network called “5G.” That is going to be many multiples of what we are now bombarded with. In any event, I hope this article is helpful and is part of your important due diligence when you shop for a home in Sequim. 

    By the way, I hope you’ll consider hiring me as your Sequim Buyer’s Agent. As you can see, I work very hard to provide you with everything you need to make wise decisions when buying a home in Sequim.

    Sequim cell phone towers. Who knew?

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    How to Buy a Home in Sequim

    How to buy a home in Sequim is a query of many retirees who are currently living all over the continental United States and Hawaii and Alaska. If you live in Temecula, Denver, Honalulu, Miami, or Fairbanks you will undoubtedly have many questions about the Sequim real estate market. Every market has its own unique real estate issues, and you can’t be expected to know what the traps for the unwary are in the Sequim real estate market. That’s my job, and that’s why this blog has over 2,000 articles written specifically for buyers, and it’s why I made my Sequim Buyer Video Series. Your need for information on how to buy a home in Sequim is also why I’ve written six books on the subject. Here’s a short video you might enjoy.

    How to Buy a Home in Sequim

    How to Buy a Home

    There are so many issues that you need to be aware of if you buy a home in the Sequim area. You don’t necessarily have to know it all yourself, but my book Sequim Real Estate: A Buyer’s Guide will be helpful in preparing for the transition. I also wrote Buying and Selling Real Estate in the Rain Shadow, which you might find helpful. As you may know, Sequim is known as the Rain Shadow or the Blue Hole because we only get 16 inches of rain per year, one-third that of Seattle.

    I recommend watching this short video, buy one or two of my books, and then you have me as a resource while you gather information and when you come to see homes. You can email me, text me, or call me anytime. I promise, I’ll help you unpack the whole issue of how to buy a home in Sequim.

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  • How to Sell My Home

    Why an article on “How to Sell My Home“? Because many retirees moving to Sequim, Washington need to sell their home first, whether that is in California, Colorado, Texas, Alaska, Hawaii, Florida, Arizona, Portland, or anywhere in the U.S. Many will use the Internet to research “How to Sell My Home” and will do their own due diligence on how to get the highest price in the least amount of time.

    How to Sell My Home

    But there is much more that sellers need to know, and again most are searching the Internet for topics like, “How to Find a Good Real Estate Agent,” or “For Sale By Owner,” or “Marketing a Home For Sale on the Internet,” or “How to Price a Home,” or “How Does The MLS Work,” and so on.

    How to Sell My Home

    If you are planning to sell your home anywhere in the country, this book, The Seven Myths of Selling Your Home, will be immensely helpful. I share secrets that real estate brokers don’t share with anyone. You’ll be surprised at the truth behind some of the common practices that brokers use to get you to list your home with them. Many are using ineffective marketing techniques to get you to think they have a great marketing system and that they are working so hard to sell your home, but in reality many of their approaches do not sell homes but help them reach more buyers. In other words, beware of the listing agent who uses you and your listing to get more clients for himself while your home sits on the market going stale.

    I’ve been in this business going back 40 years, so I could go on and on about what home sellers do NOT know about how the real estate industry really works, and I could go on and on about what marketing works and what marketing does not work. And I do go on and on in this book addressing “How to Sell My Home,” so you can make wise decisions for yourself. 

    When you’re done studying “how to sell my home,” and when you are ready to find your home in Sequim, Washington, let me know, because I have a free book for you entitled, “Sequim Real Estate: A Buyer’s Guide.”

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    The Sequim Bell Curve: Sequim Homes Hard to Find

    There is a Sequim bell curve in real estate, and after working with hundreds of buyers retiring to Sequim, that bell curve pattern has become clear.  At least 2/3rds of all retirees are looking for the same property, a single level, three bedroom, two bath home on a nice lot, preferably with a mountain or water view (but not if it costs a lot more), a nice modern kitchen, a two car garage, and not far out of town.  Anywhere from 1,800 square feet to as much as 2,600 square feet is good.  A low maintenance yard would be preferable.  Neighbors are fine as long as you have some privacy.  The more the better.  Does this all sound familiar?  Here’s what the Sequim bell curve looks like.

    Sequim Bell Curve Representing Buyer Preferences

    The Sequim Bell Curve

    Sequim Bell Curve Effect on Sellers

    No wonder a seller with two stories, 4,000 square feet, four bedrooms and three baths on a lot with houses 20 feet on either side is having trouble selling his home.  No wonder homes from the 60’s and 70’s with vintage kitchens are not selling to the 67%.  No wonder homes on commercial streets just sit in the MLS forever.  Homes on the outer margins of the Sequim bell curve are not in high demand.

    Sequim Bell Curve Effect on Inventory

    All of this is also very relevant to buyers, because the inventory of homes available for retirees in the center of this Sequim bell curve have been selling, and that means the inventory available has been shrinking.  See my previous article entitled, Sequim Home Inventory Shrinking.

    I’ve been telling my buyers recently, when we find the ideal home and the listing price is reasonable, don’t dilly dally.  Draft an offer and start negotiating, because you’re in the Sequim bell curve and that means someone else is gong to buy this home if you don’t.

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    City of Poulsbo

    The City of Poulsbo is an amazing little town, although compared to Sequim, it is not so little. Poulsbo is about an hour’s drive from Sequim. It was a Sunday afternoon, and the sun was out, and it was a gorgeous day. So I took a drive to Silverdale, ate lunch at the Olive Garden, and on the way back to Sequim I stopped at the Poulsbo Marina downtown Poulsbo, which is right on the waterfront. I only had my iPhone with me, but I decided to take some photos and video as I walked around. This video is my idea of an enjoyable Sunday afternoon. Leave comments if you enjoy it, and I’ll do some more like this of the area. You can enlarge the video to full screen.

    Poulsbo Washington

    Poulsbo is Fun to Visit

    You’ll notice in the video that I took some shots of my favorite bakery. I’m not a junk food guy, but this bakery in Poulsbo is one of the best bakeries I’ve ever seen, or should I say tasted. Everything they bake is so fresh, it’s irresistible. 

    Of course, there’s a lot of unique shops downtown Poulsbo that are really fun to walk through. And my favorite would be coffee shops, and there are plenty. And here’s the great news for those of us living in Sequim. We’re only about an hour’s pleasant drive to Poulsbo.

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    Sequim Water Front Home for Sale

    This Sequim water front home is absolutely extraordinary, and you won’t find anything like this in our Sequim MLS, especially in these times when the inventory is so darn low. But this really is an amazing home for a number of reasons.

    Sequim Water Front a Rare Find

    This home is on beautiful West Sequim Bay just minutes from the east end of downtown Sequim and on a quiet cul de sac. This lot is a little further out than neighboring properties, which means you get a 180 degree panoramic water view of Sequim Bay. Here’s the narrative description in the Sequim MLS:

    “This Sequim water front home is beautifully landscaped and impeccably maintained on Sequim Bay and includes separate guest quarters, large heated shop with room for a boat and RV storage, large landscaping shed, stairs to private beach, and a mooring! This property is a piece of paradise! Watch aerial video (embedded below) and three 3D virtual tours at: 1.) https://bit.ly/2shGIer and 2.) https://bit.ly/2soqpLZ and 3.) https://bit.ly/2H0eklF [Hint: copy and paste these URLs into your browser address to watch these interactive virtual tours of the main floor, the lower level, and the detached shop.

    Sequim Water Front

    I would say this aerial video of this Sequim water front home tells the whole story, but actually it only tells part of the story. You’ve got to watch the interactive three dimensional tours, and you really ought to see this home, walk the property and see the inside of this custom built home. 

    You can see the Sequim MLS listing information with more photos of the inside of this Sequim water front home at: Sequim Water Front Home For Sale.

    And if you would like to known more about this home or schedule a viewing, may I suggest you retain a buyer’s agent to represent you, and why not hire one of the most experienced buyer’s agents and negotiators in the northwest? Call Chuck Marunde at 360-775-5424 or text me at this same number. 

    And lastly, because the inventory is so low and this home just went on the market, it may sell very quickly. After all, it’s hard to find a Sequim water front home for sale.

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    Who is Daniel Binswanger?

    Daniel Binswanger is a real estate broker with iRealty Virtual Brokers, but since I work with him nearly every day, I thought I would share my answer to the question, “Who is Daniel Binswanger?”

    Daniel Binswanger

    I’ve known Daniel Binswanger for many years since he and his family moved to Sequim, and one of the very first things he and I had in common was his positive outlook on life, his faith, and his personal honesty and integrity. For me integrity is everything, and we’re living in a world where integrity is not exactly a priority in politics and business 

    Daniel has integrity, and that’s why he is working with my brokerage.

    But there’s more to the story. I have worked with many agents over the years, and I’ve had other agents working for me, and I thought at one point that I would just prefer working alone. I’m not much for babysitting agents who need constant attention, and from a brokerage perspective, it doesn’t make a lot of sense to have an agent taking up real estate space in an office if they can’t generate business and close transactions while building positive long-term relationships with clients.

    Daniel Binswanger a True Professional

    Daniel Binswanger does all of these things exceedingly well. I’ve not seen many agents who could build such a positive and transparent relationship with clients so quickly as Daniel can. He has a gift for connecting with people. But there is much more to Daniel that I appreciate. 

    I am impressed with someone who has been successful in business, and Daniel Binswanger was very successful with his huge California business. He’s accomplished what few men have accomplished in a lifetime, so that kind of business savvy impresses me, especially because he operates with integrity and is very generous with everyone.

    Daniel has an incredible wife and his children are incredible, too. That doesn’t happen by happenstance. He is loved by a lot of people, and he has a lot of people who count Daniel as a “best friend.” That doesn’t happen out of luck either.

    Daniel Binswanger in Real Estate

    I enjoy working with Daniel on real estate listings, because we work so well together. I have some skills I bring to the table (ex-lawyer, Realtor for decades, author and Internet geek), and he has skills he brings to the table (marketing and sales, business development, and people skills), and between us, I honestly believe with great conviction that no team can do a better job selling a home. We have all the professional digital SLR equipment, a 9-lens three dimensional virtual tour camera with online interactive functionality (the only one here), an aerial video drone (and we have the only FAA registered drone pilot among Realtors here), and we have the largest online marketing system with staff pros who know how to reach buyers. Frankly, between us, we also have more real estate knowledge and experience.

    Daniel Binswanger is a critical member of this team, and I’m very glad he is on board. You can email him at Daniel Binswanger. [danieljbinswanger@gmail.com]

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  • John Wayne Marina in Sequim

    Here’s John Wayne Marina in Sequim coming into the marina from a very pleasant tour of Sequim Bay on a McGregor owned by Kevin Elders. What an incredible day. The temperature was about 70 degrees, and believe it or not the water temperature in the middle of the Bay was actually 60 degrees. Unbelievable! Don’t tell anyone, but there was hardly anyone else at John Wayne Marina on this day. Here we are in Paradise in one of most temperate even climates in the world where Sequim is known to have the famous Blue Hole or the Rain Shadow because we only get 16 inches of rain each year compared to Seattle’s 45 inches, and hardly any human beings are taking advantage of this. This is incredible. If southern Californians knew about Sequim and about John Wayne Marina, they would get the heck out of crazy land and get to Sequim as soon as possible. But wait, maybe we don’t want the world to know how incredible it is here. Hmm. Well, I’ll share this with you, but don’t tell anyone else.

    John Wayne Marina

    John Wayne Marina

    John Wayne Marina is not only ideally located in protected Sequim Bay, but the facilities are top notch and there are hardly any lines to launch your boat, if you don’t have a slip in the marina already. The restaurant has some amazing sea food, steak, and the coffee is very good, too. I’ve lived in Sequim for 23 years, and John Wayne Marina is one of my favorite hangouts.

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  • Sequim Summer Breaks

    Sequim summer has broken out all over the place. In this short Sequim video, I’m sitting in one of my favorite places in a chair in my back yard looking at my gorgeous panoramic view of the Olympic Mountain range from Sequim all the way over to Hurricane Ridge above Port Angeles. Listen for the birds singing in this video. 

    Sequim Summer

    This is a great time to come and visit Sequim if you are still trying to decide where to retire. Schedule your tour to see homes with ChuckMarunde@gmail.com. P.S. If you don’t already know it, we should tell you that Chuck Marunde is the most experienced buyer’s agent on the entire Olympic Peninsula. Not only do you get decades of real estate sales experience, you get the experience of a 20-year real estate attorney. Do your due diligence, but don’t you want to be represented by the most qualified broker who will protect your interests and negotiate the best price and terms?

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    Crazy Sequim Winter

    It’s been a crazy Sequim winter as far as real estate goes. I’ve had some clients comment that I haven’t been writing articles on my blog as much this Sequim winter, and that is true. I have been busy writing books and working on the next generation Internet tool for real estate, which is still top secret as we have not launched it yet. The reason I say it’s been a crazy Sequim winter is because the inventory of the ideal retirement home is so low, buyers cannot find their home.

    Sequim Winter Long

    This was an unusually long Sequim winter. Normally by the end of February the sun is out and temperatures are in the high 50s and low 60s, and everything is blooming. But not this year. It snowed in February! What? Are you serious? After living here for 23 years I can tell you it was the longest Sequim winter I can recall, but summer just broke wide open, and the last two days have been sunny and hot. Suddenly the grass is growing like weeds, and everything is blooming quickly.

    Many of my buyers who can’t find a home have extended their home search beyond Sequim and Port Angeles to Port Townsend, Port Ludlow, and Port Hadlock. Over the years I’ve sold many homes in these areas. I’ve also shown homes on Marrowstone Island recently. I love showing beautiful homes, and we have so many gorgeous water front and high bluff views on the Olympic Peninsula and our neighboring islands.

    If you want to have some fun, check out one of my websites showing all the home listings from the Olympic Peninsula to the Seattle shoreline and every island in between. These are some of the most expensive homes in the Northwest, and you’ll find them at Luxury Water View Homes.

    Sequim Winter Over

    Thank God the long Sequim winter is over, and with the sun, buyers are eagerly looking for their perfect home. I just sold a home in Port Ludlow on a beautiful lake for $955,000. It’s an incredible home, and the water view is beyond description. I’ll share more photos in the future. 

    Sequim Winter

    Meanwhile, I’m sure my Sequim readers are all out mowing their lawns this week after a long Sequim winter.

     

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    Bristol Marunde of Sequim on HGTV Flip or Flop Vegas

    Bristol Marunde and his wife Aubrey start season two of HGTV’s Flip or Flop Vegas on HGTV starting March 15, 2018. Bristol Marunde is from Sequim, so we are very proud to see him on HGTV on the best home remodeling show on the network. Of course, I am personally very proud, because Bristol Marunde is my son.

    Bristol Marunde on HGTV Flip or Flop Vegas

    Bristol Marunde

    Bristol Marunde and Aubrey Flip and Flop Houses

    If you want to catch Season 2, you’ll find Flip or Flop Vegas on channel 229 on Direct TV starting at 6:00 p.m. in Washington State this coming Wednesday, May 15, 2018.

    Check out the video intro from HGTV: Bristol Marunde and Aubrey Marunde on Flip or Flop Vegas.

    Some of you in Sequim will remember Bristol’s older brother, Jesse, as a world class professional strongman who became the 2nd strongest man in the world in Chengdu, China. Bristol became a great wrestler and eventually a mixed martial arts professional. He has earned a championship belt in two MMA organizations, and he was also on UFC TV. Bristol is also an MMA promoter in Washington State. He and Aubrey and their two boys, Kane and Kale live in Henderson, Nevada.

    As if they didn’t have enough to do, Bristol and Aubrey are starring in their own TV show remodeling their own homes. Buying the right home, remodeling it, and selling it is a lot of work, but now they do it on a film crew’s schedule, 13 homes for the season. What a schedule!

    Now you know about Bristol Marunde and Aubrey Marunde. I’m exhausted just thinking about everything they do in a single week.

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    If the stock market collapse is imminent, or at least on the near horizon, now is the time to take money off that table and put it into your retirement home sooner rather than later. Why would I suggest this? I’ll tell you exactly why.

    Stock Market Collapse

    Stock Market Collapse v. Real Estate

    If you listen to the talking heads and your financial adviser handling your retirement account, you are undoubtedly being told not to panic in the midst of these huge declines in the stock market and your retirement fund. In fact, many of them are saying this is a buying opportunity. One of their favorites is this one, “remember, you’re investing for the long term, so now is not the time to sell.” What they cannot tell you with any certainty is whether you are about to suffer a stock market collapse.

    Every time there is a major market crash, they say you should stay in the market, and they also like to say you should actually put more money in the market. Many retirees have sat on their hands while they lost 30% to 70% of their life’s savings. I’m not making this up. This is what many of my clients from California have told me in past years after a stock market collapse. Imagine your retirement account losing $400,000 in value in a matter of weeks because of a stock market collapse. You could have bought a retirement home with cash in Sequim, Washington.

    I’ve been a lawyer (retired), registered financial adviser (no longer), and own my own virtual real state brokerage now, and it is my opinion that your money is safer in a solid real estate purchase than it is in this stock market. I could be wrong, but there are too many signs we are in a stock market bubble that is about to burst. I’m not giving you financial advise here. Talk to your financial adviser, but we know what he will say. Remember, it is so darn easy for your financial adviser to gamble with . . . your money, but how do you feel about gambling with your life savings?

    Stock Market Collapse Coming

    I could be wrong, but if there is a stock market collapse on the near horizon, how will that impact you? Will you wish you had sold a part of your retirement holdings and put them in a retirement home? I’m 63 years old, and I’ve seen a few market cycles, including real estate and stock market collapse scenarios. I’m just trying to give you another perspective, which you won’t get from your financial advisers. 

    Yes, I’d love to sell you a home in Sequim as your buyer’s agent, but this article is not exactly going to make me rich doing that. You do what is in your best interests, but just remember, no one is going to stay awake at night worrying about your retirement account–certainly not your financial adviser who makes money as long as you keep your funds in the market. Except you. You are the only one who will worry about your retirement account, and you owe it to yourself to do your own research to figure out how to protect your financial future as you get older. You and I are too old to start all over, right? Especially if there is a stock market collapse.

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    Why Retirees Are Moving From California to Sequim

    There is a mass exodus of middle class and wealthy people from California, and they have been moving in large numbers to the Northwest after doing their due diligence on where the best places to live in America are. I know this because I am a Realtor in Sequim, Washington, and more people move to Sequim from California than any other state. I’ve been asking Californians for a couple of decades why they are leaving California and why they choose Sequim.

    From California to Sequim

    I stumbled upon a video that explains in plain language what hundreds of Californians have been telling me for over 20 years. By the way, I don’t consider myself a Republican or a Democrat, so don’t be put off by the title of this video. This video does not express my views, because I don’t live in California, and I have no idea what it would be like since I’m not tuned into the politics of the State. But this video expresses what about 97% of all California buyers in the Sequim area have been telling me. Also, I’m not interested in the politics that are represented by the person who produced this video, but I am interested in the financial statistics he provides, which are the reason people seem to be leaving California.

    It’s fascinating, but sad. California seems to be chasing the most extraordinary people away in droves. Having said that, I am very pleased to welcome you to Sequim and to help you find your retirement home. Housing prices here are not low, unless you compare them to California housing prices.

    Sequim, Washington: The Best Place to Retire

    You can look at homes in the Sequim and Port Angeles area by going to the best Sequim MLS site in the area, and you can always email me or text or call for more information about any homes you see. I hope I’ll see you in Sequim.

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    Winning with Competing Offers

    Competing offers on a listing do occasionally come in on the same day, and I’ve written about multiple offers, but one of my clients reminded me that sometimes it is about more than just the price. This is a true story about two offers on the same day at the same price and why the seller picked my client’s offer to seal the deal.

    Competing Offers

    Competing Offers a Realty

    Larry and Shirley won the competing offers contest. Larry reminded me of this in his email yesterday:
     
    There were 2 offers on this house at the same price, on the same day. I asked the seller why he chose our offer. It was not any contigencies that the other buyer or we requested. Neither requested any. It was our plans for the house versus the other offerer’s plan. The other buyer was not moving in right away and planned to rent the house out for a year or two. We planned not rent and move in ASAP. The seller didn’t think “renters” were the best idea, considering the neighborhood. So the seller accepted our offer.

    Winning with Competing Offers

    It’s not hard to understand how one offer like this would win when there are competing offers. Sellers have an emotional investment in their homes. This is especially true for the seller who designed their home and had a contractor build it to their exact specifications. They lived in their dream home, and they loved it during that phase of their life. So selling their home when there are competing offers will come down to more than price. How a buyer intends to use their home is a consideration. Larry and Shirley fell in love with the home they wanted to buy, and the seller learned that they were going to live there and make it their retirement home. All other things being equal, that beat any competing offers at the same price when others planned to rent the house for a while.

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  • Filed under: Listing Price
  • Noise Pollution and Your Health

    Noise pollution can effect your physical health and it can affect your psychological and mental health. There is ample evidence of that, but how many buyers consider noise pollution when they are looking at homes near a freeway or busy road?

    Noise Pollution

    Noise Pollution

    Dr. Joseph Mercola, has written on this subject: “Noise pollution is an often-overlooked source of environmental stress that can raise your risk of serious health conditions, including heart disease. In the US it’s estimated that 100 million people are exposed to unhealthy levels of noise, typically from automobile and aircraft traffic (although everything from leaf blowers and lawnmowers to loud music can also contribute).” Noise pollution is a very real issue.

    It may surprise you, but noise pollution can contribute to heart disease. Dr. Mercola writes, “One of the key ways is by elevating stress hormones such as cortisol, adrenaline, and noradrenaline, which, over time, can lead to high blood pressure, stroke and heart failure. One review of research showed that arousal associated with nighttime noise exposure increased blood and saliva concentrations of these hormones even during sleep.”

    Noise Pollution and Your Home

    Fortunately Sequim doesn’t have major freeways and the busy roads that most metropolitan areas have, and if you are coming from an area like Los Angeles or Seattle or Phoenix, you’ll find almost anywhere in the Sequim area quite peaceful. However, we do have our own little freeway known as Highway 101, and we have the Olympic Highway, the Sequim-Dungeness Highway, and other “busy” roads for a rural area like this. Some locations suffer from substantial noise pollution even here.

    You can use Google Satellite to examine a listed property to see how close it is to a busy highway, and in my opinion, properties that suffer from noise pollution are worth less than homes that are in quiet and peaceful neighborhoods. Unfortunately, you will rarely see that reflected in appraisals or listed prices, so it is up to you (and me if I am your buyer’s agent) to pay attention to the issue of noise pollution when you are shopping for a home. One of my favorite quotes is from a classic movie, The Princess Bride, “If you haven’t got your health, you haven’t got anything.” You have plenty to consider on your list of things to do when you are shopping for a home in the Sequim, Port Angeles, and Port Townsend areas, but may I suggest noise pollution should be one of them?

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    Thanksgiving in Sequim

    Thanksgiving in Sequim is a wonderful time. All the way through the Christmas holiday is wonderful in Sequim, although it can get cold, even below freezing. Believe it or not, I’m showing houses and land throughout the holidays. I’ve been busy coordinating transactions that are closing before and after Thanksgiving day, and I’m showing land on Saturday after Thanksgiving.

    Thanksgiving

    Thanksgiving Every Day

    Thanksgiving in Sequim is more than a once-a-year celebration. Many of us in Sequim give thanks every single day we live here, and there are many reasons to do so. Here are 75 reasons Sequim is so wonderful: Why Sequim is So Wonderful. You’ll notice the article says “100 Reasons,” but there are only 75. That’s because I’m still  working on the other 25. You can submit your suggestions to me for the other 25 by email at chuckmarunde@gmail.com.

    Thanksgiving in Sequim

    I’m not kidding when I suggest we have reasons to give thanks every day. I do, and I’m a very happy person. There’s no question that having a positive mental attitude and focusing on the good things in life brings psychological, emotional, and spiritual health to a person’s life, business, and relationships.

    I hope your Thanksgiving is full of joy, whether you spend the holiday with a huge family and a table full of food, or spend it entirely alone eating a simple but healthy meal. May you be blessed this Thanksgiving holiday and every day.

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    Sequim Resources for Buyers

    Sequim Resources for Buyers is a better way of organizing a tremendous number of valuable tools for buyers. Because this site and the tools created here are always being improved for buyers, it became obvious that there had to be a better way to help buyers find these resources easier. You will now find a tab at the top of the Blog called “Resources for Buyers.” This includes some of the primary resources available with links directly to each of them. And . . .

    Sequim Resources

    Sequim Resources Online

    You’ll find a new list of “Sequim Buyer Resources” that will always be up-to-date in the right margin of this Blog. These great links have been online for a while, some of them for years, but great tools are only great if you can find them.

    Sequim Resources – Maps and Books

    You’ll also find a newly created page with all of Chuck Marunde’s Sequim real estate books in this list of Sequim resources. And we have a new tool for buyers added to the list: a new Sequim map designed exclusively for Chuck and only available though Sequim & Port Angeles, LLC.  I strongly urge you to go though each tool in the Sequim Buyers Resources list so you can find the tools that you feel will help you most in your home search. Enjoy these tools, and if they are helpful, please let us know. Chuck Marunde never stops creating valuable Sequim resources for buyers.

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    Appraisal Management Companies

    Appraisal management companies are the bane of a buyer’s existence. This is the biggest problem right now for a buyer who is getting a loan and will need to have their future home appraised. Here is exactly why this will be your biggest challenge, and I’ll tell you how to handle this issue.

    Appraisal Management Companies

    Appraisal Management Companies Created

    The mortgage debacle that was part of the real estate crash a decade ago gave politicians all the encouragement they needed to pass new laws restructuring how appraisers are hired. You may recall that the complaint was that a very small number of appraisers were in cahoots with a small number of real estate agents and they were committing fraud by over valuing homes. The best answer would have been to require enforcement of the laws against fraud, i.e. put the frauds in jail.

    Instead, politicians completely restructured the entire mortgage and appraisal business in the United States, and they authorized new entities called “Appraisal Management Companies.” These companies are third party entities that appoint appraisers from a list they create. They charge appraisers a fee to be on their list, and they take part of the appraisers’ fees for each appraisal they do. Appraisers hate this new way to extort money from them. It’s another layer of bureaucracy and more fees that are simply passed on to buyers. Read the rest of this entry »

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    Can I Have Chickens?

    Chickens, fresh eggs, an organic vegetable garden, and healthy living are some of the reasons why so many retirees are moving to the Sequim area. Here are some tips about chickens. If you want to be able to have chickens on your property, the first step is to check the covenants, also known as CC&Rs (Conditions, Covenants, and Restrictions). 

    Chickens

    Chickens and Covenants

    CC&Rs are the governing rules for a property. Not all properties have CC&Rs, but most do, and certainly all properties in a subdivision do. The typical covenants will restrict certain activities on your property. For example, the CC&Rs may say “no commercial livestock,” or “no commercial breeding of animals,” or “no poultry,” which prohibits all chickens. And there are some covenants which prohibit only roosters.

    Here’s the challenge if you’re looking for a property that allows chickens. The MLS listings do not offer an option to listing agents to identify which properties allow chickens, which means there is no way to search this in the MLS. The only way to find out if a property could have chickens is to read the CC&Rs, and that’s a recorded document that buyers do not usually get their hands on until they have a pending transaction and their title company finds the CC&Rs and produces them for everyone to read. Listing agents will not typically know if the CC&Rs allow or prohibit chickens. Listing agents do not usually have a copy of the CC&Rs, let alone have read them. If the property is in a city, there will be zoning restrictions on farm animals.

    Chickens Tips

    Here’s a tip. If having chickens is a priority, you will need to avoid city properties, subdivision lots, and get further out of town. Even then a short plat will typically have CC&Rs and may prohibit chickens. It will be important to have a buyer’s agent who can help you filter through properties, but do not just send your buyer’s agent a list of listings and ask him or her to tell you which ones allow chickens. There’s no way to know without ordering CC&Rs from the title company for each property and then reading all of them. That could take a while, and unless you know for sure that a certain property is one of your top three, you could be sending your buyer’s agent on a wild goose chase. Pun intended.

    It is possible to find some CC&Rs online, but that requires some know how on real estate research online and how to use document numbers and the local auditor’s database. Even then, it can take hours to pull together CC&Rs on various properties. I’ve helped several buyers find their ideal home where they could have their dream of raising chickens, but it was not easy.

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    Chuck E. Marunde, J.D.

    Sequim Buyer's Agent (Atty Ret.)
    Founder and Broker of
    Sequim & Port Angeles Real Estate dba iRealty Virtual Brokers
    125 Olympic Ranch Ln, Sequim, WA
    (360) 775-5424
    ChuckMarunde@gmail.com

    From Los Angeles

    It's rare, but once in awhile life provides the perfect collaborator for an important endeavor such as buying your new home. For me that person was Chuck Marunde. His two decade background as a Real Estate Attorney, his prolific career as an author of articles and books on Real Estate and his forthright and moral character made choosing Chuck a no-brainer. Chuck is dedicated, thorough, incredible at the negotiating table, knowledgeable about all local laws & regs but, most importantly, Chuck loves what he does. And what he does is find his client the perfect property. Chuck isn't about making the sale, he's about making the sale that is OPTIMUM for his CLIENT and this makes Chuck a rare bird indeed. I love my new home in Sequim and I am indebted to Chuck for making it happen. Kevin E.

    From Seattle

    I’ve had the pleasure of working with Chuck over the past three years in selling my parent's estate. It was a tough time to sell during the housing recession, but Chuck always kept things on the positive side. With his real estate law background, he offers sound, practical advice. He helps you along with the process using discussions and reason, rather than opinions and speculations. If Chuck doesn’t know the answers, he will get them for you. In several instances, Chuck took the initiative to meet with county officials to get up-to-date facts about zoning and regulations. I was always impressed with his company’s tech savvy communi-cations and internet presence: weekly email updates, blogs, videos, links, Linked-in networking, etc. He is truly pioneering the future of buying & selling real estate. Brian M.

    From Florida

    We do our homework for the task at hand and we look for and expect to enlist partners that do the same. It was our good fortune to select Chuck Marunde of Sequim and Port Angeles Real Estate to represent us as a buyer's broker in our search for a home in the Sequim/Port Angeles area. Chuck's site is all encompassing and super fast compared to many others, he knows the market at every conceivable level and his guidance through the process of selecting and purchasing a home is priceless - above and beyond that of anyone with whom we have ever worked. Add to all this his 20 year background in real estate law and you have discovered a superb asset in the adventure of purchasing a home. Greg and Marilyn

    From Gilroy California

    As an out of state buyer unfamiliar with the area, it was important to me not only to have a real estate agent who knew the area well, but also one who knew the value of the properties. I chose Chuck because he is also a real estate lawyer and it is reassuring to have that extra degree working for you. I selected the houses I was interested in on line before taking a two day trip to Sequim to look at them in person. I sent my list to Chuck, who gave me feedback, then organized our tour so we could see 16 properties in a short time. He was very accommodating, driving me all over Sequim, and rescheduling appointments when we fell behind on our time. On day two, I found my home and we drafted an offer on it that evening. By the time I arrived back home on the plane the next evening, my offer had been accepted. Chuck was honest about what it would take to get me into my new home, while having my back the entire transaction. Since I was unable to relocate immediately after closing, he and his assistant Ade, have been taking care of many additional responsibilities for me. He was a pleasure to work with. Chris D.

    From Corona California

    The best decision I made, once I settled on Sequim as the ideal place to spend the rest of my days, was to hook up with Chuck Marunde as my broker/go-to guy. He happily took on the entire complicated merry-go-round associated with a long distance move that involved selling in Southern California (with a different agent) and buying in Sequim – all in the span of just over a month. The unexpectedly quick sale of my previous home was already a week into a 30 day escrow when I got to Sequim for my house hunt. We had two days to find my slice of heaven. And day one was less than stellar, each home having at least one major issue. The killer was the dream home that turned out to be an unmitigated disaster once we got inside. I was crushed. Chuck had his work cut out for him that night. And he worked his magic. On day two there was one beautiful possibility, but not quite right. Suffice to say, in the early afternoon we pulled into a driveway and the first words out of my mouth were “That’s my house.” 29 days later I took possession of my new home. Every sale has its issues, but throwing in the complications of a short escrow on top of 1200 miles of separation from all documentation, etc. gives new meaning to “challenging”. Thanks to his encyclopedic knowledge coupled with a great sense of humor, Chuck was able to keep me on an even keel when things got dicey. He knows when to step in and when to let it evolve. I cannot imagine making this move without him. Rebecca B.
    Sequim Real Estate

    From Bakersfield California

    "During the months of February and March 2012, Chuck showed my wife and I over two dozen homes from Port Angeles to Port Townsend. We found Chuck to be very helpful, friendly and courteous. With Chuck there is no pressure; It is all about finding the best home for the buyer. As a Buyer's Agent, Chuck will give you his honest opinion of a property, including a fair market price. In one instance Chuck wrote up an offer for us which was accepted. Chuck was very helpful arranging for home and well inspections which involved multiple trips to the property. Unfortunately, escrow failed to close when, during the home inspection process, it was determined that a septic system repair was needed which the seller was unwilling/unable to make. We will continue to work with Chuck as there is no better Buyer's Agent on the North Olympic" Bert and Sally

    From Los Alamos New Mexico

    "Over a year ago, during a visit to the Olympic Game Farm, we developed what we eventually called the “Sequim Syndrome.” We live in New Mexico and decided Sequim was where we wanted to live in retirement. On our second visit to Sequim, we met with Chuck and asked him to help us. Chuck's web site provides such amazing search capabilities. Chuck's site also contains a 1000 blog postings and a real estate video series detailing buying real estate in Sequim. We bought Chuck's book about Sequim real estate and set out to follow his advice carrying on an ongoing email and phone conversation with Chuck. Doing our due diligence “Marunde style” and using his MLS search site, we came up with about 50 homes that met our needs. We narrowed the list down to 15 properties that best met our needs. We came back to Sequim a third time with our list in hand, and Chuck spent two days with us showing us all the homes on our list. Not only did Chuck help us find that dream home, he spent time to educate us about the quality of construction, fair market values of various properties, home layouts, and the joys of Sequim living. We had a great time as we traveled from house to house. By mid afternoon of the second day, my wife said we had found “the house.” Chuck helped us draft our offer and sent our offer to the seller's agent. It turned out there was a second offer made on the property at the same time. Chuck's help to make a clean offer paid off. At breakfast two days later, we got a call from Chuck saying our offer had been accepted by the sellers. We are now back home in New Mexico. Chuck attends every inspection on our behalf, updating us at every turn by email and phone. Our dream home is becoming a reality because of Chuck and because we were smart enough to follow his advice. We absolutely would NOT have been able to do this without Chuck Marunde's expertise and enthusiasm. We recommend Chuck to everyone planning a move to Sequim, Port Angeles, or anywhere on the Olympic Peninsula. Chuck is a gold mine of information and expertise for home buyers everywhere, not just on the Olympic" Larry and Shirley
    Sequim Real Estate Bookstore

    From Sun Lakes Arizona

    "We are ex-Washington residents who currently live in Arizona. We had been searching the Puget Sound area four years for a waterfront property to build a retirement home when we first contacted Chuck Marunde through his website. We had made multiple trips to various areas but most of the Realtors we contacted simply sent us an email, provided no follow up and did next to nothing to help us locate a property. On our first trip to Port Angeles, after connecting with Chuck, we purchased our dream property. We now own a high bank waterfront lot overlooking the Straight of Jaun de Fuca, and are excited to become part of the Peninsula community." Paul and Linda

    From California

    "Andy Romano is a successful motion picture character actor with over 40 years in 'the Biz.' Mr. Romano has a home in beautiful Santa Barbara, California, but he chooses to live most of the time in Sequim, Washington on the Olympic Peninsula in the great Pacific Northwest. Why? In his own words, 'Because it's even more beautiful and surrounded by more beauty in this incredibly peaceful and quiet place. With respect to real estate agents or brokers, well my friend Chuck Marunde, owner of Sequim and Port Angeles Real Estate, is hands down the best there" Andy R.

    From Sequim

    I’ve known Chuck Marunde for several years. My wife and I bought and sold one house through his services, and now have another listed through him for sale. Whether Chuck was representing us as the buyer or seller, I am confident he always had our best interests at heart. He helped us set or negotiate a reasonable price, and made sure there was a clear and open line of communication. He responded rapidly to email and phone calls and always knew the best person to contact for the various services involved in a transaction. I have worked with quite a few real estate agents and Chuck is right at the top of my list of good ones. Actually, Chuck is first and foremost just a good person, and he carries his personal honesty and integrity over into his profession. He has the greatest depth of experience in real estate of any agent or broker I have known. His years of practicing real estate law prior to becoming a broker are evident in the meticulous care he takes with the process and documentation. I am impressed by the way Chuck has integrated internet services into his real estate business. He probably knows more about this process than any other realtor in the country. In this tight market it is important to use every possible means to spread the word about available properties…to reach the few people who might be interested in a particular property. Steve L.

    From The Netherlands

    "We contacted Chuck about six months ago to help find a retirement property in Sequim. We had visited Sequim several weeks before and decided that this was the place for us to retire. We liked the friendly people and the natural beauty of the area. We had been looking for some time in other parts of the country - California, Oregon, North Carolina, and Vermont. In most of these other areas, we found real estate agents that were knowledgeable but did not follow up with us to continue narrowing down real estate possibilities. Once we were out of earshot, communications would stop. That is one of the reasons we were interested in working with Chuck. Besides having great knowledge of both the local real estate market and of law, his testimonials on the internet indicated a willingness to actively communicate with his clients. Chuck demonstrated this immediately. Even before we met, he responded very quickly and helpfully to any email question. After arriving for a second visit to Sequim in September, we finally met Chuck face to face. He was friendly, encouraging, and readily shared good practical information. We worked with him on a number of candidate properties - including an offer on a property while visiting that week. Although we could not come to terms with the owners on the final property price, we look forward to continuing to work closely with Chuck. He is an invaluable resource to help us identify and purchase the retirement property that's right for us." Paul and Virginia

    From Fremont California

    We can't say enough about working with Chuck Marunde. Luck would have it that we discovered his web site, spoke with him on the phone and had an instant feeling that we had found our realtor. And we were right. With Chucks help and expertise, our longtime dream to retire to the Pacific Northwest came to fruition with Chuck assisting us in finding the perfect home for us. Buying a home is always a big decision and these days can be complex with unexpected delays etc. In fact, our whole experience from offer day to closing, was very smooth. Chuck took all the time we needed to explain processes and made us feel at ease, even though we lived 800 miles away, tying up loose ends and getting ready for the big move to our new home in Sequim. We were impressed with Chuck's ability to listen to our needs and understand our concerns in buying from a distance. Chuck kept us informed all along the way, during the process and was so good at getting right back to us if we had another question. All went so well and Chuck really went above and beyond for us, taking time out from his busy schedule to assist us with some details regarding our beautiful property, even after the closing, because we were not yet arrived there. Without hesitation, our son and his wife will be contacting Chuck this summer, as they plan to follow us to paradise in this lovely town. Thanks again Chuck, for everything! Mary and Jerry

    From Fontana California

    My husband and I went to Sequim intending to interview several realtors to find one to help us locate and buy a home in Sequim. We knew we wanted someone we could trust and who would have our best interests in mind. Since we would be handling the transaction from S. California this was very important to us. We met Chuck and looked no further. We felt a connection right away and spent some time looking at homes together so Chuck could get a feel for what we wanted. Well, we left Sequim having made an offer on a home which the owner accepted. Chuck has helped us through the purchase process. We are positive it would not have gone so smoothly without his help. We give him 4 thumbs up. Wally & Cathy

    From Tacoma

    Chuck Marunde’s level of expertise in real estate investment is amazing. His knowledge, experience and legal training have given me a dramatic advantage in real estate investing. He works hard to stay on the cutting edge of real estate marketing, sound advice and value-added service for his clients. Kirk Wald, Financial Planner

    From Wendell Idaho

    My wife and I moved to Sequim six weeks ago, and prior to our move here I contacted Chuck Marunde and enlisted his help as our buyer's agent. Once we got here, it took us about two weeks looking at houses, and Chuck did a superb job of showing us places and letting us make our own decisions and guide us through the purchase of our home. We now completed our transaction and are very happy. We would recommend Chuck to anybody. Don & Marilyn

    From Sequim

    "Buying property either commercial or residential can sometimes be a tricky proposition. That’s why I would recommend Chuck to help you with purchasing or selling property. His background as a real-estate lawyer and his no nonsense to the point advice will help you make the right decisions. Experience and Integrity, what you need when you can’t afford to make a mistake. Dail Hurdlow, CEO, Hurdlow Enterprises

    From Seattle

    I am an experienced real estate buyer, but I am not from the Sequim area. I am somewhat flexible, realistic, but also particular. So the question was, “how do you choose the RIGHT real estate agent?”

    I made my appointment with Chuck on a Sunday morning in March, 2013. He showed me 5 houses. Every house he showed me was within my parameters! I was amazed: a real estate who listened, did his research, and didn't waste my time showing me houses I would never buy! I made an offer a few days later. That was the easy part…

    Buying a house is always a stressful time in life. Advice to Buyers: choose an agent who is competent, communicates well, and has exceptional follow-up and follow-through! You will spend a lot of time with your agent during the process. Choose someone likable. Go with your gut. I got to know Chuck during the process, and he's a great guy!

    You need an agent who is competent to handle and help you negotiate the issues that come up during disclosure, home inspection, appraisal, etc. Chuck's competence is superb! I got truly professional, sound, straightforward advice.

    Chuck's communication skills are exceptional: phone, email, fax. He has a wonderful ability to stay "on-point" with what is actually important and doesn't lead you astray on issues that aren't so important.

    Chuck's turn-around time on questions, issue resolution, etc. was virtually always within 24 hours. He follows-up, follows-through. He does what he says he will do timely. This relieves a lot of Buyer stress!

    Having a difficult time finding the right agent? Simplify your life! Choose Chuck Marunde. I did. [Name withheld by request]

    Intro by Chuck Marunde

    From Sequim to California

    "In our Sequim real estate broker Chuck Marunde we found a Realtor who knew not only how to list a property, but most importantly, he knew how to sell a property. Chuck is very skilled in current technology and uses that skill to advertise your property nationally. We were very pleased with Chuck, his honesty and integrity." Jerry Levitan and Donna "Teva" Tetiva

    Who is Chuck Marunde?

    Chuck Marunde is the #1 Sequim Buyer's Agent, having sold more homes (by volume) to buyers than any other agent or any "team" of agents for the past seven years. He is the author of thousands of articles for buyers on this real estate blog, and he is the author of several real estate books for buyers and one for sellers. He is the creator of many free tools that buyers use and love every day. He is recognized as a national expert on real estate transactions, marketing, and negotiating. Please schedule your appointment to view homes with Chuck well in advance of arriving in Sequim.
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    Chuck Marunde Text or Call 360-775-5424