Sequim Real Estate in Sunny Sequim, Washington

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Reverse Mortgages: Blessing or Curse?

Reverse mortgages are advertised every day on many cable and satellite channels, and the companies promoting reverse mortgages are using some of the most credible actors to help them sell these loans. Who doesn’t love T.V. personalities like Fred Thompson, Pat Boone, Robert Wagner, Alex Trebek, and Henry Winkler? Reverse mortgages are packaged as the salvation of the elderly, and selling these mortgages has been a cash cow for the mortgage companies. Are reverse mortgages a blessing or curse for homeowners? Are they the panacea like the commercials would like us to believe, or is there a downside or danger for retirees?

Reverse Mortgages

Reverse Mortgages Dangers

Reverse mortgages are sold purely on a simplistic financial benefit to older homeowners (62 and older). The benefit of getting a big check that you don’t have to pay back while you are alive is simply too tempting for many retirees, especially those who are on a very tight financial budget or have such a limited retirement that they can’t meet all their needs. For those who don’t have enough to live, a reverse mortgage may be their salvation. But there are some very serious downsides to reverse mortgages. Many retirees have lost their homes as a result, and there are numerous Internet articles which you can find by searching Google. What I want to touch on here is the less obvious and what is not being talked about, which are the long term financial implications and philosophical issues involved.

Reverse Mortgages Implications

In the past seven years the vast wealth of the middle class in America took a huge hit by the economic recession and by the devastating real estate crisis, which itself has taken away most of middle class Americans’ home equity. The losses for the middle class are not in the billions, but trillions of dollars. People have had to rob their retirement IRAs and 401(k) plans just to survive. Not only has vast sums of equity in real estate disappeared, retirement accounts have been depleted. According to the Employee Benefit Research Institute more than half of American workers say they and their spouses have less than $25,000 in savings and investments. As a result, here has been a slow but dramatic change in Americans’ approach to financial planning and retirement, and the idea of passing wealth on to children has almost disappeared. We even have bumper stickers that express this philosophy:

children's inheritance

Previous generations had a philosophy of life that included concepts like hard work and independence, long term planning on building equity in real estate, delayed gratification, living debt free, and passing on wealth to the next generation. Today America has largely thrown all of those philosophies over the bridge and traded them for the popular entitlement mentality, immediate gratification, living on debt, and spending it all before death. This is a dangerous trend, and unfortunately reverse mortgages fit nicely into this dangerous philosophy. Granted, for the couple who absolutely have no way to live and need to pull their money out of their home, then maybe nothing else matters except the money. But for those who want to do everything they can to live with traditional values, like financial freedom and living debt free and passing on something to their children, reverse mortgages are not consistent with that way of life.

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Use the Sequim MLS on iPhone App Anywhere

Search the Sequim MLS on your iPhone app from anywhere. Ever wonder what the price of Sequim homes are while you’re driving around in your car?  You can sit in your car at the curb and look up the price, interior photos, and all the important information about that home.  Simply use your iPhone to download the free iTunes app for the Sequim MLS.  Chuck Marunde created the first iTunes app for real estate in the entire Sequim and Port Angeles real estate market back in 2010, and he wrote about it last in July of 2012. It’s such a powerful mobile tool to search the Sequim MLS from anywhere, you’ll want to know about it. All you have to do is search for “Sequim” in the iTunes app store, and Voila!  Look for the Sequim & Port Angeles Real Estate app. Download it and start to use it anywhere anytime.  Buyers have been using this app for about four years now, and they love it!

Sequim MLS From Your iPhone

Sequim Homes from Your iPhone

Sequim MLS – iPhone or iPad

Of course, this same app works on your iPad.  I had this app programmed for your mobile device so it would be super convenient for you, as a buyer, to drive around and search the Sequim MLS from your iPhone anytime you arrive in Sequim.  Of course, this works in Port Angeles, too, and it works in Port Townsend, Port Ludlow, Port Hadlock and most of the state of Washington.  I’ve tapped intoFind Sequim Home Prices From Your iPhone two MLS’s so you could look up the price and photos and full MLS information for any home from anywhere. It even includes foreclosures.

Sequim MLS from Your iPhone 24/7

It’s great to be driving around and see a home for sale and be able to instantly look up the price and see the inside photos, right from your car at the curb in front of the house.  Viewing the Sequim MLS from your iPhone is the answer. While this powerful app is convenient, most of my clients like to plan ahead and filter through the online Sequim MLS and narrow down their list of Sequim homes to view 8 or 10 homes.  I recommend doing that, and then email me ahead of time so we can plan to view your list of Sequim homes.  But many of my clients will be driving around and want access to the Sequim MLS from their car, and that makes this app a perfect companion to find out everything using the Sequim MLS from your iPhone anytime anywhere.

 

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Negotiating the Best Price

There is much more to negotiating the price on a real estate transaction than meets the eye. Negotiating price and other critically important terms in your transaction is full of traps for the unwary buyer. My father told me when I was only 14 years old, “Never assume you know something you do not. It could cost you your life.” I grew up in a cabin in one of the coldest regions in Alaska, and my father was talking about the dangers of living in the harsh climate of Alaska. In the ’60s and ’70s we saw many cheechakos travel to Alaska from the “lower 48″ assuming they knew enough to survive the cold and the wilds of the Last Frontier. Some did not survive. Others lost everything and went home. Granted, buying a home in Sequim or Port Angeles is not like surviving in the Alaskan wilderness in a cabin for a full winter. But assuming that you are a master at negotiating the purchase of real estate (if you are not) could have its own disastrous consequences.

Negotiating

Negotiating Price

Negotiating to buy your retirement home, presumably the last home you intend to own, requires knowing several very important pieces of information. To effectively negotiate, you must start at the right price (within a range) and with the right terms. That means having a good grasp of property values and fair market value for a home like the one you want to buy, and how to evaluate the listed price. Starting from a position of strength means you will need to know the strength or weakness in the market for homes like the one you want to buy. It means knowing the specific area where this home is located, the issues of concern that may arise in that area regarding drainage, well water, and septic systems. Don’t forget to consider Internet access, since not all homes have high speed Internet, and you’ll want to know how many bars Verizon gets in that area. After all, who can survive without cell phone coverage? But there are a hundred issues to consider when buying real estate, and all of this must be part of your repertoire of knowledge and experience. If they are not, you negotiate from a position of weakness and with a huge disadvantage.

Negotiating Like a Pro

There are many due diligence issues that need to be addressed to protect you from buying a nightmare. At this phase in your life, you definitely don’t need to get involved in a financial disaster or a legal battle with the seller. If issues do come up during the home inspection, the well or septic inspection, or your own due diligence on other issues, you must know exactly how to handle the negotiating on those issues.

As a buyer, if you have a lifetime of experience negotiating real estate and are familiar with local issues, you are ready to start negotiating. But if you do NOT have a lifetime of experience negotiating–specifically real estate–don’t start negotiating without an expert in your corner. There’s too much money at stake–your money! You never have to worry about underpaying. Sellers do not underprice their homes. But you do have to worry about overpaying. Sellers want you to overpay, and Realtors all make a commission at any price.

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Sequim Crime Rates

How do you compare Sequim crime rates with other areas? If you are thinking about retiring in the Sequim, Washington area, you might like to know how Sequim crime rates compare to where you live now or other areas where you might retire. There are many websites with crime statistics, and even Trulia has a crime map, which is interesting and worth looking at. It shows you where crimes occur, although their map includes events you and I would not consider crimes, such as traffic stops and policeman just checking out an area with a driveby. So the map is exagerated, because most of us want to know about crimes against a person or property crimes. There are literally dozens of Internet sites purportedly showing Sequim crime rates and comparing Sequim with other cities, but none of these websites interpret their stats or put them in a proper context for interpretation.

Sequim Crime Rates

Sequim Crime Rates Low

Sequim crime rates are very low, but you would not know that from looking at various Internet sites with crime statistics. I discussed this with the Sequim police department, and received a strong affirmation on this. There are three reasons for that. First, even minor and insignificant events are added to the database as crimes, and you have to spend hours analyzing Sequim crimes over the past decade to begin to get the bigger picture. I promised myself I would not delve into a massive analysis of statistics. How interesting would that not be? Instead, I’ll share my general conclusions, which is much more readable. This crime map above shows a lot of events that are not crimes against a person or property. Remember, all of these Internet sites are using automated software that creates these graphs and charts and spreadsheets. No humans are involved, so the data is scraped from the Internet and dropped into a program that creates something all by itself. So we have to be careful about drawing conclusions. Read the rest of this entry »

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  • Most Popular Articles for Buyers

    Are you interested in articles for buyers written specifically to help you do your research and find a home in the Sequim and Port Angeles area? This is the largest real estate blog on the Olympic Peninsula and one of the largest real estate blogs in the nation with over 1,700 articles written specifically for buyers. With articles for buyers on almost every conceivable subject, buyers have called this a gold mine of information. We have been answering questions that buyers have been asking for 20 years in the Sequim area. If you don’t find your answer with our powerful search tool, email us, and we will find the answer for you. We’ve put together some of our most popular articles for buyers with links below.

    Articles for Buyers

    Over 1,700 Articles for Buyers

    Search the Best Sequim MLS and Port Angeles MLS
    (with 5 videos)

    Search the Olympic Listing Service and Northwest MLS
    at the Same Time

    How to Find Foreclosures

    Negotiating Price (Multiple Articles)

    What’s Involved in a Home Inspection?

    Sequim Real Estate Books for Buyers

    The Home Buying Process

    Sequim Maps and Documents for Research

    The Sequim Blue Hole

    Answers in Articles for Buyers

    These eight articles are the tip of the iceberg of information for buyers that goes very deep. You can also search all of the articles on this real estate blog with any word or phrase, and here’s how to do that:

    How to Find The Answer to Any Real Estate Question (for Sequim and Port Angeles)

    If you do not find the answer to your question, email chuckmarunde@gmail.com and be sure to put “Question Please” in the subject line, and we will answer your email, and if it is appropriate, we will add an article addressing your issue so other buyers can benefit also. We hope all our articles for buyers are helpful.

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    Sequim Weather

    Sequim weather is entering the fall and winter transition, and it’s been beautiful. We’ve had a warm and sunny fall, more than normal, and here we are in October, and it’s still sunny and warm. With the leaves turning, it is gorgeous. I took this photo from the deck of a home overlooking Port Angeles, and while the photo doesn’t give you the same sense of awe you get in person, you can get a feel for our Sequim weather and our Port Angeles weather this time of year. Even with some clouds out, we had sunshine breaking through to create this rainbow in this owners front yard. [See photos of this Port Angeles Water View Home.]

    Sequim Weather

    Sequim Weather and The Blue Hole

    One question I get from buyers regularly is, “How far does the Sequim rain shadow or the Sequim blue hole extend outside Sequim?” Here’s my answer. The blue hole extends much further than most people realize. Sequim has done a great job promoting the blue hole, and it’s been written about in many magazines and talked about for decades. There really is a blue hole, so Sequim weather is one of the major reasons people retire to the area. But there is a misconception about the rain fall heading west of Sequim toward Port Angeles. The myth that is still repeated is that, “for every mile you drive toward Port Angeles from Sequim, the rain increases by one inch.” That would mean 15 more inches of rain, but in fact, Port Angeles only has 4 to 6 more inches of rain than Sequim. That is negligible to the human eye. I’ve driven back and forth for 20 years, and I have not been able to see a significant difference between Sequim weather and Port Angeles weather. Does it rain more in Port Angeles? Yes, but the Sequim blue hole covers a much bigger area on the Olympic Peninsula than most people realize.

    Come and See Our Sequim Weather

    By the way, this is a wonderful time of year to come and look at homes. Buyer traffic has slowed down somewhat as it normally does in the winter months, and with the Sequim weather and Port Angeles weather giving us such a gorgeous fall, this is a perfect time to come.

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  • Sequim Traffic v. Los Angeles Traffic

    How does Sequim traffic compare to Los Angeles traffic? If you’ve driven on Highway 101 from Los Angeles to Santa Barbara you know the answer. Traffic around L.A. is something else, with stoppages during rush hour, and then spurts up to 80 miles per hour and then back down to 5 mph. It gets interesting, or even entertaining because you also have people who will fly by while weaving in and out. And then there are those who really live on the edge by driving a motorcycle at high speed passing cars while driving in between lanes with the handle bars barely squeezing between vehicles, all while doing 80 or 90 mph. Driving to or from work every day must be stressful to every organ of the body. If you are from the L.A. area, you may recognize this location with an exit to Ventura, Santa Monica, and Sacramento. I was driving. This was nothing like the Sequim traffic I’m used to.

    Sequim Traffic

    Sequim Traffic Compared to What?

    When I flew back from LAX to SeaTac, suddenly the I-5 traffic I thought was so bad wasn’t bad at all. But it still was heavy freeway traffic. By the time I got halfway to Sequim, the traffic had thinned so much there were only a couple of cars in my rear view mirror, and they were about a half a mile behind me. Coming from Highway 101 in L.A. to Highway 101 in Sequim is a dramatic contrast. I was so delighted to see the worst of Sequim traffic, like Heaven compared to Seattle traffic and certainly Los Angeles traffic.

    Sequim Traffic a Wonderful Reminder

    I stood on five acres this afternoon where no traffic could be heard, and there was no other noise whatsoever. It was stunningly quiet. My clients from California who just bought this little home on 5 acres in the country just stood there for the longest time enjoying the peace and quiet. There’s a saying, “You don’t realize what you have until you lose it.” I’m thinking there should be another saying, “You realize what you have when you do lose it.” Of course, I’m talking about loosing L.A. traffic for Sequim traffic.

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  • Should Buyers Look for a FSBO?

    When you are looking for a home in the Sequim or Port Angeles area, should you also look at the For-Sale-By-Owner, also known as the FSBO. There are several big hurdles for buyers when it comes to hunting for a FSBO.

    FSBO

    The first big challenge for a buyer is finding the FSBO. Buyers are using online MLS sites, and FSBOs do not show up on MLS sites (with some minor exceptions). Even for the buyers who use Zillow or Trulia, those IDX data feeds are also coming from the local MLS, so if a FSBO is not listed by an agent and put in the local MLS, it doesn’t show up as a listing for sale in Zillow or Trulia. It will still show up as all properties do in Zillow, because Zillow is now including every home in America, whether it is listed or not. But that is no help to buyers. Sometimes you can’t tell if a home on Zillow or Trulia is for sale, or if it is just part of the massive database.

    The FSBO Search

    Buyers are searching in a number of ways from different sites, and one of the ways they often search is by using a search engine. To be found in the search engines, one must have high search engine ranking, and that happens through good organic search engine optimization (SEO). FSBOs lose out here, too. It takes years and a lot of expertise to build high search engine ranking for listings and real estate information, and FSBOs do not have that. Even the FSBO sites where they can pay to post their property do not have good ranking, so buyers simply don’t find those homes when they are seaching. You can be on the Internet and still be invisible, and that’s what is happening with FSBOs. FSBOs suffer from being invisible to buyers.  Read the rest of this entry »

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  • Lawsuits Against Auction.com

    Lawsuits against auction.com are coming, and there will be class action lawsuits and individual lawsuits, and it is going to be one big legal mess. If you think auction.com is a pure auction site for real estate and foreclosures and short sales, think again. What many of us believe is fraud is now common practice at auction.com, and it has come to light that auction.com is anything but a transparent and honest auction service for real estate.

    Lawsuits against Auction.com

    Lawsuits Against Auction.com

    There are many legal issues that may involve consumer fraud, but perhaps the biggest fraud against ordinary consumers like you and me is a shock to investors when they first find out. Did you think that if you bid on a property on auction.com that you were bidding against other buyers or investors and that it was an open and honest auction? Oh, how wrong you would be.

    It turns out you may be bidding against yourself in one of the biggest multi-billion dollar frauds this retired real estate lawyer has ever heard of. I run a real estate brokerage and periodically work with buyer clients to purchase properties on auction.com, but we have discovered we are not the only ones who have gotten caught by auction.com’s fraudulent auctions.  Read the rest of this entry »

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    Homes With Acreage

    It’s hard to find homes with acreage in the Sequim area. If you want 5 acres or more, even if price is irrelevant (and it never is), it will still be hard to find a home with 5 or more acres. I recently sold this home to buyers who were looking at homes with acreage, but couldn’t find the perfect property until we found this one. This one is between Sequim and Port Angeles in the hills to the south. This was a rare find.

    Homes With Acreage

    Homes With Acreage

    Homes with acreage, if priced decently, tend to sell fairly soon after they are put on the market. The listing period or DOM (days on market) will normally increase as the price gets higher, but that’s because as price gets higher, there are fewer buyers. For example, a home on five acres that is priced under $250,000, like the one in this photo, will sell within six months and often within weeks of going on the market. But a home on 20 acres that is priced above $400,000 is more likely to be on the market for 6 months to a year, or even a little longer.

    Homes With Acreage Often Remote

    The trade-off for homes with acreage is being further from town. Remote is a relative term of course. One person thinks living 13 miles from downtown Sequim is “way out in the boonies,” while another person thinks the privacy and quiet is absolutely perfect.

    You can have fun searching all the Sequim homes with acreage (and Port Angeles) by using the “Basic” search for 4 or more acres. I used 4 rather than 5 because some properties are slightly under 5 acres. Here’s a link for homes on 4 or more acres priced from $200,000 to $440,000:  Sequim homes with acreage.

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    Chuck E. Marunde, J.D.

    Founder and Broker of
    Sequim & Port Angeles Real Estate dba iRealty Virtual Brokers
    143 Higgins Lane, 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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