Sequim Real Estate in Sunny Sequim, Washington

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Everything is Selling

It seems like everything is selling in the Sequim area. Homes haven’t sold like this for 8 years. I suppose it’s a cliche to say that “homes are flying off the shelves,” but it feels like they are.

Everything is Selling

Everything is Selling in Sequim

Why are homes selling like hot cakes? We are in the midst of a series of simultaneous events, and together they are creating high demand on a short supply. Here’s what’s happening.

Builders Have Not Been Building. For the past 8 years home builders have not been building. Buyers have been motivated to buy an existing home rather than buy a new one, because existing homes have been about 30% less than new homes. But that is changing now. Builders are finding it makes economic sense to build again, and some retirees are choosing to build.

The Inventory Has Decreased. Retirees have been slowly moving to the Sequim area during the entire recession, and they have been buying the best homes in the best areas, and those homes have not been replaced by new homes or additional inventory.

Retirees Are Moving to Sequim in Larger Numbers. Retirees all over the country are making their moves to Sequim. Californians are “escaping California,” as they call it. But escaping the southern states has reached more intense levels as people are not only escaping crime and traffic congestion, they are also leaving high taxes, the high cost of living, intense heat, and now severe drought. One of my buyers from California told me her water bill is $700 a month, and the cost of water is about to go through the roof in the next few years. Even utility bills are extraordinarily high in California compared to Sequim.

Interest Rates About to Increase. Many retirees are expecting mortgage interest rates to increase in the next six months to a year. That is another reason everything is selling now.

Homes Selling at Full Listed Price. Many buyers are finding that as soon as they find the ideal home, it sells before they can get to Sequim and see it. And not only are many homes selling at full listed price, some are selling above listed price. While we aren’t seeing a lot of competitive bidding, we are seeing some, and all of this activity is slowly pressuring prices upward.

Everything is Selling

It’s really no surprise that everything is selling. But with the inventory so low, it is creating some challenges for buyers trying to find their perfect retirement home. I recommend communicating with your Sequim Buyer’s Agent weeks or months in advance of coming to Sequim. This is what my clients are doing, and it’s working very well as we work together to find and buy that home.

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How to Terminate a Transaction

You may need to know how to terminate a Purchase & Sale Agreement. There are many legitimate reasons a buyer may choose to terminate a transaction. For example, if a loan is not approved and your purchase is contingent upon financing, you will need to know how to terminate the transaction. If your home inspection report requires it, you will need to know how to terminate. And if the septic inspection fails, or the well inspection fails, or the appraisal comes in too low, you will need to know how to terminate.

how to terminate

How to Terminate v. Rescission

There is a great deal of confusion in the real estate industry across the U.S., and it often results in buyers using a contract rescission instead of the proper notice of termination. When a purchase and sale agreement (PSA) is terminated, two things must happen. First, the contract must be properly terminated, and second the escrow company must receive written instructions approved by both parties in order to release the earnest money and deduct any title cancellation fee. A rescission and a termination are two different contract options. They are completely different legal concepts with different purposes.

How to Terminate Correctly

A more detailed analysis of how to terminate a transaction is found in this five page downloadable document. Here’s an example.

If a buyer needs to terminate based on the home inspection, there is a very specific procedure. When a buyer issues a Form 35R (Inspection Response) to a seller stating that he is terminating the contract, that is clearly a termination. Using a Rescission Form 51 is not appropriate and NOT authorized in the contract. The Form 35R terminates the contract under the terms of the Form 21 and the Form 35R in para I. The notice affirms the buyer’s contractual right to return of the earnest money. This notice only requires the buyer’s signature to terminate, but both parties must also sign instructions to the escrow company addressing the return of the earnest money to the buyer, and the payment of any title cancellation fee.

You can see how important it is that your Realtor has the knowledge and experience to deal with contract issues like termination. This is more detail than I usually share in a blog article on this site, but since this subject is so important, I wanted to make sure buyers as well as other Realtors would know how to terminate a transaction. Terminating a contract may not happen very often for a buyer like you, but when it is necessary, you definitely want to have a Realtor who can guide you through the process properly. Knowing how to terminate is just one of many important aspects of buying.

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Hurricane Ridge

Hurricane Ridge is one of our national treasures, and with all this gorgeous sunshine, many of us will be driving up to hike Hurricane Ridge and take photos. It’s only a 40 minute drive from Sequim through Port Angeles and into the mountains from there. The trails are very easy, and the natural beauty of the mountains and valleys reminded me of why so many of us love the Olympic Peninsula. You can enlarge these two photos, and I think you’ll see what I mean about stunning beauty.

Hurricane Ridge

Hurricane Ridge Beauty

Getting out to see nature like Hurricane Ridge seems to re-connect us with something much bigger than ourselves and our individual problems in life. Looking at the majestic glory of these mountains and valleys, and the Strait of Juan de Fuca to the north, I always walk away refreshed and renewed for the week. Everyone I saw hiking had a look of delight on their faces.

Hurricane Ridge Hiking

Hurricane Ridge Hiking

If you come up during the spring or summer, by all means try to make this one of your afternoon sightseeing trips. Hurricane Ridge is well worth the trip.

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Buying a B and B (B&B)

Buying a B and B (Bed and Breakfast) is far more difficult than buying a home, and there are a number of traps for the unwary buyer. If you are considering buying a B and B, I have a few suggestions for you. (I am typing B and B because blogs do not like to optimize “B&B” with the ampersand.)

Buying a B and B

Buying a B and B

A buyer and client of mine wanted to purchase a B and B in the Sequim area, and he did his homework on what the numbers need to be to justify a price. He knew what B and Bs were valued at based on income and expenses, and the capitalization approach to value. When it came to buying a B&B anywhere in the country, he knew what the basic formulas should be. Yet the problem was that sellers of B and Bs in the area wanted more than the justifiable economic value. After observing and advising B and B owners for two decades, I can say a couple of things about how sellers end up demanding more than a B and B may be worth.

Buying a B and B and Financials

Few who have come to the Olympic Peninsula with the idea of buying a B and B had any prior experience owning and running a B and B. For this large majority of buyers, the idea of owning a B and B had been a dream for a long time, and it began to look more like a fairy tale than a careful financial analysis of a business. As a result, some B and B owners have paid too much for their B and B by large sums, like $200,000 or $300,000. The primary reason they overpay is because they don’t know how to do their due diligence on the financials as well as the marketing, and maintenance. And almost every B and B buyer underestimates the 7 day a week work schedule and stress involved in running a B and B. Too many B and B owners end up operating at a loss as well. For some, their dream turns into a nightmare. And then when they try to sell, they are in trouble, because they overpaid, and their only hope is to get a buyer who buys like they did–on emotion and not careful financial analysis.

But there is another huge trap for the unwary. That trap involves the hidden or undisclosed skeletons in the closet or undisclosed expenses. I won’t get specific here, because this list is lengthy, but this is truly where the latin rule “caveat emptor” or “buyer beware” applies.

By the way, my buyer clients did find a B and B off the Olympic Peninsula, and with professionals who protected them, they discovered the seller was about to leave them with a potential undisclosed nightmare. It was intentional. Fortunately, they were well represented by a good attorney, and they were able to close holding the seller liable for the misrepresentations.

A seller is entitled to every dollar of fair market value, but not a dollar more, and certainly not $200,000 more. So if you are buying a B and B, make sure you do your due diligence, which includes hiring a Realtor who knows how to help you, and perhaps an accountant or an attorney.

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Sequim Real Estate Market Video March 2015

This is the Sequim Real Estate Market Video for March of 2015. The number of active listings was up 7% from one year earlier and up 11% from the previous month.

Sequim Real Estate Market Data

The median listing price was $320,000. Compared to last year, the average days on market before selling was up 11%. The median sales price was $240,000. The number of homes sold increased 73% year over year and 44% month over month.

Sequim Real Estate Market Doing Well

The one statistic that is most interesting is the increase in the percentage of homes sold, an increase of 73% over last year at this time. Wow! That’s a nice stat. But it’s no surprise. This has been a very active year so far, and we are just entering the spring market now. I am predicting that 2015 will be the best year we’ve had in eight years in terms of home sales. That’s a good thing for the Sequim real estate market.

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Septic System Inspections

When you buy a home with a private septic system, you most likely want the seller to perform a septic system inspection. That inspection will tell you if the components of the system are all working properly, including the tank itself and whether it needs to be pumped, the condition of the pump and electronic controls, and the condition of the drain field.

Septic System

Here’s the trap for the unwary buyer. Some sellers or their agents may tell you they don’t have to have a septic system inspection done even though you have attached a Septic Addendum to your agreement. They point to language in the Addendum that states:

If Seller had the OSS inspected and, if necessary, pumped within 12 months of mutual acceptance by an OSS service company and Seller provides Buyer with written evidence thereof, including an inspection report, Seller shall have no obligation to inspect and pump the system unless otherwise required by Buyer’s lender.

If they have done an annual or three-year evaluation and filed that with the county, they are thinking that qualifies as an “inspection report” in the above language, but they are wrong. The Clallam County Health Authority has made it clear that an annual or three-year evaluation is completely different than the inspection report required within 12 months of the sale of a home. 

Septic System County Code

Under Clallam County Code (CCC) 41.20.170 a property owner with a private septic system must file an evaluation (report) every three years for a gravity system, and annually for all other systems.

The filing of this evaluation does not require a filing fee of $40, and does not require staff review.

When a home is sold, however, there is a different section of the Clallam County Code that applies, and that is CCC 41.20.190:

(1) At the time of property transfer, the property owner shall provide to the buyer a copy of the current system status report performed within 12 months of the property transfer by a licensed designer or licensed OSS maintenance provider.

(2) The property owner shall ensure that a current report of system status is on file with Environmental Health Services when the property changes ownership.

The Clallam County Health Authority told me today that a “report of system status” that is to be “on file” means that the septic inspection report has been filed with that agency and a filing fee of $40 has been paid. This is different than the annual or three-year evaluation which does not require a filing fee. The two reports have different purposes, although they are very similar. The two reports are mandated under different provisions of the CCC.

Septic System Report Bottom Line

The bottom line is that the standard Septic Inspection Addendum does require that the seller obtain a new septic inspection, even if they filed an annual or three-year report within the past 12 months. However, if they filed a septic inspection report with the county for the purposes of a sale and paid the $40 fee within the past 12 months, they would not have to do a new septic inspection. 

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Where Do I Want to Retire?

Where do I want to retire is a question that must be asked and answered definitively before you start shopping for houses. That doesn’t mean you can’t take a look at what is available in an area, but you can actually do that online from anywhere you have an Internet connection. Of course, you can and should visit any town under consideration. But some buyers start looking at homes before they even have answered the question, “Where do I want to retire?”

Where Do I Want to Retire

Where Do I Want to Retire?

The reason this is important is because you will confuse the heck out yourself looking at houses in Sequim, then Duvall, then Bellingham, then Ocean Shores, then Spokane, then Eugene, then South Bend, and so on. Too much chaos ends up with confusion and no decision at all. I only know this, because many buyers have taught me this over the past 20 years. Those who come to look at houses, but also tell me they are looking at half a dozen other places, never end up buying anything for many years. They end up going back home frustrated. But there is a practical answer.

Where Do I Want to Retire? The Answer.

Retires who answered the question, “Where do I want to retire?,” long before arriving to look at homes for two days, spent months (years for some) researching to find the exact climate and community and activities and social life they wanted long before they jumped in a car. First they define how they want to live. Then they find that kind of place, and if there is more than one such place, they refine and filter even further until they locate the town or area that seems nearly perfect. Then they visit, and they also contact a buyer’s agent in advance to view some prospective homes. Buyers who go through this orderly process are the ones who seem to find their perfect home, and many years later, these are also the happiest people I’ve ever met. 

So there is a process that helps answer the question, “Where do I want to retire?” And it is orderly and has worked for thousands of retirees around the country. Thank God for the Internet and all the wonderful information available at your fingertips 24/7. Including, if I may say so, this real estate blog packed full of answers to thousands of buyer questions. It is our pleasure to serve you by helping you gather information so ultimately you can answer that single most important question, “Where do I want to retire?”

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Be Careful with Research

Buyer’s are doing a lot of research online these days, and there are many free online resources to do a tremendous amount of research on homes and land, but there is a huge trap for the unwary. This real estate blog with almost 1,800 articles, the free online tools (including mobile devices), the books, the great links, and the affiliate sites for buyers that are all linked from this blog, give buyers more resources than any other broker on the entire Olympic Peninsula. But there’s a huge caution that I want to share today that you need to know about. 

Research

Do Not Destroy All Your Research

This is how you can throw away all your months of research in just a few minutes. It doesn’t happen to very many buyers, but I believe it happens periodically, and it’s a tragedy. Here it is.

You spend months online looking at various properties on a host of sites, and you do numerous Google searches on specific subjects to learn more about what you want. You might even use many of the links on this blog to examine a specific property, boundaries, maps, topography, restrictions, and so on. And to further your research before you arrive in Sequim (or Port Angeles or Port Townsend), you talk to someone on the ground, a broker, and you gather more information and insight. And then after months of research you throw it all away in a few moments by talking to someone who tells you something that is either not true, a misrepresentation, or even a lie. And you believe it. And you cancel all your research, do a 180 degree turn, and decide to go a completely different direction based on one person’s misrepresentation about a property or about an area. What a shame!

Research Wasted

Why would someone tell you on the phone or in an email something that is not true? I’m not a psychologist, but let’s face it, we are part of a human race that is dysfunctional. I like to say, “we are all dysfunctional, it’s just a matter of degree.” Here’s a word of wisdom for you. If you spend weeks or months doing research, and a single person tells you something that completely obviates your work on a particular property or an area, you owe it to yourself to find out the truth. Do not let one dysfunctional person steer you into a completely different direction. I like to say that data is important, but your interpretation of that data is just as important.

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  • Filed under: Buyer's Agent
  • Sequim Weather and Real Estate

    Sequim weather is one of the major attractions to the Sequim area. The climate and weather could not be better, and Sequim has become famous for it’s Rain Shadow or Blue Hole with only one-third the rainfall of Seattle, 16 inches, which was the same as the Los Angeles area before their drought.

    Sequim Weather

    Sequim Weather and Real Estate

    Sequim is uniquely located between the gorgeous Olympic Mountains and the Strait of Juan de Fuca with its many sheltered bays. The question I want to address today is how does rainfall and weather effect Sequim real estate based on the location of a home? Sequim sits right in the blue hole, and as you drive outside this radius of about seven miles, you begin to move into more rainfall. The Sequim Blue Hole is bigger than most people realize. Port Angeles, which is 15 miles west of Sequim, has only 4 to 6 inches more rain, but as you move west of Port Angeles, that is where the rain begins to dramatically increase. 

    Sequim Weather and Elevation

    As you drive into the hills on the south side of Sequim, the elevation increases, and at 1,000 feet elevation, the rainfall and snowfall (when we have snow) increases. While we don’t get much snow, and some winters see no snow at all, it will stick longer above 1,000 feet elevation than it does in Sequim at only  200 or 300 feet elevation. There are some beautiful areas in the hills overlooking Sequim and with stunning water views looking at the islands and British Columbia, but the Sequim weather does change up there. If you want to be as much as you can in the Blue Hole, that is between Sequim and the water to the north. This is where the Sequim weather has made Sequim famous.

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  • Buyer’s Closing Checklist

    This Buyer’s Closing Checklist is intended to give you as a buyer an idea of what is involved once you have reached an agreement with a seller. Once you agree on the price and all the terms, and once you and the seller have signed the purchase and sale agreement and all the addendums, you officially have mutual acceptance. That starts the clock ticking for all that follows, and there is a lot that needs to be done.

    Closing Checklist

    Download Buyer’s Closing Checklist

    You can download my full Buyer’s Closing Checklist. You will notice that I call this a “Brief Buyer’s Closing Checklist,” because there are many tasks that happen behind the scenes for every player. Consider all the players in a real estate transaction. There is a buyer, seller, listing Realtor, selling Realtor, listing side Brokerage, selling side Brokerage, loan officer, loan processor, loan underwriter, appraiser, home inspector, septic inspector, well inspector, escrow company, and the title company. And there may be other people helping either the buyer or seller, like financial advisers, attorneys, trust officers, contractors, and moving companies. Every one of these players has their own internal checklist to do their jobs.

    Buyer’s Closing Checklist

    As a buyer, you don’t need to get overwhelmed by all that goes on between mutual acceptance and closing, and even my brief Buyer’s Closing Checklist is a lot to take in. The key for a buyer is to have a buyer’s agent who will essentially be the adult supervisor to make sure everything goes smoothly for you all the way to closing. That takes experience, hard work, and professionalism. But uncertainty is a great source of stress, so I hope this Buyer’s Closing Checklist is helpful to you.

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  • The Sequim Real Estate Market – Hot?

    The Sequim Real Estate Market is hot. I recently talked with two homebuilders, and they both are busier than they have been in 8 years. This is amazing, because homebuilders have not been building at all for 8 years, and now suddenly they are building again. As a Realtor, I am seeing more buying activity of existing homes than I’ve seen in 8 years. There’s no doubt the Sequim real estate market is hot. It’s been a long recession, but maybe it’s over. (Emphasis on “maybe.”)

    Sequim Real Estate Market

    Sequim Real Estate Market

    Many factors are coming together at the same time, causing buyers to make the decision to buy now, and here they are. 

    1. The current inventory of nice homes in nice areas is getting smaller every day, meaning some buyers can no longer find the home they want;
    2. Buyers are arriving in larger numbers early this year, ahead of spring;
    3. Homes that are reasonably priced are selling at full listing prices;
    4. Some homes are now selling above their listing prices;
    5. Some buyers are finding the home they want, but when they decide to make an offer, they are very disappointed to find out it just sold;
    6. Interest rates are still below 4%, but with recent changes in monetary policy announced by Janet Yellen, interest rates are going to start rising in the near future after being held down artificially for 8 years, and buyers know this so they are buying now;
    7. The seriousness of the drought in California, Nevada, Arizona, and elsewhere is driving more buyers to the Northwest and to the Sequim area than ever.

    Sequim Real Estate Market

    Sequim has not had a shortage of housing and large numbers of buyers arriving like this since maybe 2005. Based on the economics of supply and demand, it is inevitable that the Sequim real estate market is going to see prices begin to go up in the coming months. And many buyers are going to be forced to build a new home if they cannot find what they want in the existing inventory. The Sequim real estate market appears to be hot once again.

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    Best Time to Buy a Home

    What is the best time to buy a home? The best time to buy a home is when prices are at or near a low and when the inventory gives you plenty of choices. In the Sequim area (as well as Port Townsend and Port Angeles), prices are at or near the bottom, but the inventory is tight.

    Best Time to Buy a Home

    Best Time to Buy a Home

    There are some years that clearly would have been a best time to buy a home, but we can’t go back in time. The home in this photo was built in 1992, and that was a very good year to buy or build a home. From 1992 to 2005 home prices steadily increased, and those who sold in 2005 were lucky, because that was the peak of prices and the peak of buyer demand and sales volume.

    Demand dropped off dramatically after that and prices started to plummet in 2007. In 2013 in some areas of the country, prices started increasing as demand picked up. But the recovery was not sustained. Price increases have paused as buyer demand slowed in California and other hot markets around the country. But what about the Sequim area?

    Best Time to Buy a Home in Sequim

    The Sequim area has not seen significant price increases yet. Rural areas tend to be behind national trends, and even though demand has increased and buyers have been competing to purchase homes again, prices in the Sequim area have not significantly increased. Some homes are selling now at full listing price, and some above, but we have yet to see 5% to 10% price increases. The bigger problem for buyers right now is the shortage of homes for sale in the MLS. The best homes in the best areas at the best prices are hard to find because the inventory has been shrinking. 

    Since prices have not substantially increased yet, this is still a good time to buy . . . if you can find the ideal home and property. It’s not 1992, and you can’t go back in time, but with respect to the future or the next 10 years, now probably is the best time to buy a home.

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    How much would a pier or boat dock add to the price of a home? Many buyers would like a waterfront home with a boat dock, but they aren’t willing to pay a huge premium for the dock. So let’s take a closer look at what is involved. First, the Olympic Peninsula may be surrounded by water, but there are not very many waterfront homes for sale with a pier or boat dock. If you would like a waterfront home, and you would like a pier, these numbers will help you evaluate the prices of homes with a pier.

    Pier

    How Much is a Pier or Boat Dock?

    The value of a waterfront home has three components. The first is the land itself. Of course, location is everything and the view is a part of the value attributed to location. The second is the value of tidelands ownership. If waterfront property includes ownership of the tidelands, that adds significant value, although it’s hard to say precisely how much. Tidelands can be owned all the way to the low tide mark, or tidelands might be only partially owned, which means not all the way to low tide. And there is also something called “commercial tidelands,” and that would add more value. Adding $30,000 or more for non-commercial tidelands would be reasonable.

    Pier or Boat Dock

    The third component of value is the dock or pier itself. This is where you may be surprised by the cost or the amount that a pier adds to the total value. I just talked today to a gentleman today who has a pier, and between the permits and costs of obtaining the permits, which took many years, plus the construction of a basic pier with posts and timbers, he has about $100,000 in hard costs.

    What does all this mean? It means that if a vacant waterfront property is worth $300,000 by itself, then add another $100,000 in costs for the pier and maybe $30,000 to $50,000 for the full tidelands ownership. This vacant land would then have a value of at least $450,000. Then it’s a matter of what a ready, willing, and able buyer is able to negotiate with a willing seller. Now you know how much value a pier adds to waterfront property.

    Here is a list of all the waterfront homes in the Sequim area with either a boat launch, marina, dock slip, or moorage: Sequim Homes with a Pier.

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  • Filed under: Water Views
  • Chuck E. Marunde, J.D.

    Founder and Broker of
    Sequim & Port Angeles Real Estate dba iRealty Virtual Brokers
    435 W. Bell St. Suite A, Sequim, WA
    (360) 775-5424
    ChuckMarunde@gmail.com
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    Who is Chuck Marunde?

    Chuck's background includes real estate sales going back 37 years, including 20 years as a real estate attorney. He has closed hundreds of real estate transactions, authored thousands of articles on Sequim and Port Angeles real estate, and written several books on real estate. He has lived in Sequim for almost 20 years. Buyers from around the country seek Chuck out and retain him as their buyer's agent. Chuck was the number one individual selling agent of single family homes by volume in the county for 2013.

    How to Search the Best MLS

    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.
    Sequim Real Estate Market Report

    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
    Sequim Real Estate Q&A

    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
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