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Covenants and Home Businesses

Covenants or CC&Rs are officially called “Covenants, Conditions & Restrictions.” Covenants are the documents that define what you can and cannot do on your property. If you want to have a horse on your property, read the covenants to make sure there is no restriction on horses. If you want to convert a home to a B&B (bed & breakfast) or rent out the home as a vacation rental, make sure you are not prohibited from doing so in the covenants. In this article I’ll share when and how do you can get a copy of the covenants for the property you want to buy.

Covenants

Restrictive Covenants

Covenants are created when a real estate developer creates the plat and the separate document known as the covenants. The covenants may authorize a homeowner’s association (HOA), which may be incorporated or unincorporated. The HOA can be organized with officers, a board, and the membership, or an HOA may be an informal creation that does nothing and has no meetings. The size of your subdivision, and the complexity of the issues will determine whether a formal organization is necessary.

The HOA can create Bylaws, which define how the HOA functions, how officers and board members are elected, and how voting is handled. The percentage of votes required to pass a motion will be spelled out in the covenants. Some HOAs required a 100% vote on motions, others required 75%, and others just a majority.

Where to Find Covenants

Covenants are recorded in the county auditor’s office, and since about 1986, all the real estate documents are available online now. Covenants for a particular property are hard to find, but with some practice they can be found . . . sometimes.

First, go to the Clallam County Auditor’s Site. Once inside the site, you’ll need to enter the appropriate reference number for the property’s covenants. If you have a recording number, enter that in the right box. Sometimes you can get that from a reference in the Statutory Warranty Deed, which you can also find on this same site by typing the current owner’s name in the “Grantee” box, and a search will pull up the deed. If you don’t have the recording number, you can use the volume and page number, which is also found in the legal description on the Statutory Warranty Deed.

If you have trouble finding the Statutory Warranty Deed on that site, go to the Clallam County Tax Assessor’s site and search for the property by address. At the very bottom of the property detail page for an individual property you will see the current and past owners with the recording numbers of their Statutory Warranty Deeds. You can copy that recording number and paste it into the right field on the Auditor’s site referenced above, and that will pull up the Deed. Again, in that deed you can usually find reference numbers to the covenants.

Once you find the covenants, go to the section that deals with the specific restrictions. That is the section that will answer all your questions about what you can and cannot do on the property. Read more about Covenants here.

If you need help finding the covenants for a property, and if you need help interpreting the covenants, email or call me. I’m Chuck Marunde at chuckmarunde@gmail.com. 

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  • Filed under: Covenants
  • How to Read Restrictive Covenants

    Reading the restrictive covenants for the property on which you make an offer is an important part of your own due diligence. Understanding what you can and cannot do on your property is defined in the restrictive covenants

    Restrictive Covenants

    Restrictive Covenants

    To help you facilitate your due diligence, this real estate blog has many articles you can read on restrictive covenants. You can search for “covenants” with our powerful search tool in the right margin, or you can use our enhanced menu system at the top and hover your mouse over “Buyers” and then slide your mouse down and to the right to “Covenants.” That will open up eight articles on restrictive covenants.

    Restrictive Covenants and Property Use

    Can you have chickens on your property? Can you raise animals, like sheep or goats, or a cow or a horse? What is the boundary line setback for outbuildings? Is there a height restriction on your house? Can you build a high fence? Can you have a metal roof on your home or outbuildings? Can you run a B&B out of your home? These kinds of questions are typically answered in the restrictive covenants.

    You’ll get a copy of the restrictive covenants when you receive a preliminary title report, and that’s when you should read them. Interpreting the language in the restrictive covenants is not necessarily easy. We are able to help our clients interpret restrictive covenants because our broker was a real estate attorney for 20 years.

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  • Filed under: Covenants
  • 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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    Covenants You Can Live With

    Covenants, also known as Covenants, Conditions, and Restrictions (CC&Rs), are common in subdivisions where some measure of control is necessary to maintain the quality of a neighborhood. The most common restriction is one which prohibits mobile homes in a stick built neighborhood. Many retirees moving to Sequim do not want a lot of restrictions, and they do not want a homeowners’ association breathing down their neck all the time.

    Covenants

    Covenants You Might Like

    I love these covenants on this Sequim property. This paragraph is the only restriction:

    “There shall be no manufactured housing of any kind, including, without limitation, mobile or modular homes, constructed, placed, left, or situated upon any of said parcels except as incident to the construction of a permanent nonmanufactured residence and for a period not to exceed a total of eight (8) months. The foregoing shall not limit the presence of recreation vehicles (no more than one per parcel) upon a parcel if screened to the reasonable satisfaction of the owners of any adjacent parcel, and at least fifty (50) feet from the ingress and egress easement shared by all of the described parcels.”

    Isn’t that incredible! The owners of this property have tremendous flexibility with their property. They could have a couple of horses on this five acre parcel. They could have chickens. They could build a shop building as long as it complies with the building code. Most properties have far more restrictions, so this property will appeal to many people.

    Covenants – Can You Say Freedom?

    You can see this property at Sequim Home on Acreage and here’s another property with limited restrictions at Sequim Home with few covenants.

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  • Buying Sequim Property with Covenants (CC&Rs)

    Covenants or CC&Rs (Conditions, Covenants, and Restrictions) are restrictions on what you can do with your property.  Of course, the idea of covenants on residential property is that they help maintain the residential character of the neighborhood.  Typically that means restrictions on commercial activities (no raising livestock for commercial purposes, no retail businesses), restrictions on nuisances (no shooting of guns, no firecrackers), and restrictions that keep the area looking nice (no parking RVs on the subdivision roads, no garbage cans left on curbs, no visible TV antennas).

    Covenants

    Covenants – Simple Restrictions

    Some covenants are very simple with few restrictions, but there are many kinds of specific restrictions that can be found in covenants.  I recently sold a beautiful water view lot to a couple from California.  As part of my due diligence for my buyers, I obtained a copy of the covenants and reviewed them.  There was one restriction that I knew would not work for my clients.  No house could be built that would exceed a height of 20 feet.  That’s a single story house.  My clients want to build a two-story house to take advantage of the incredible water view, which includes the Strait of Juan de Fuca and the Dungeness Lighthouse.

    Having been a real estate attorney for 20 years definitely helped me to know exactly how to address this issue to my client’s satisfaction.  I went to the listing agent and ask him to have his seller see an attorney and have an amendment to the covenants drafted removing the single story restriction, and to have all the interested parties (the neighbors in that development) sign the amendment.  Since all the neighbors had already built two-story homes, they had no objection to signing the amendment.

    Isn’t it interesting that so many neighbors did not do their due diligence when they bought their land and built their homes?  And I find it fascinating that their contractors who built their homes apparently did not due their due diligence to make sure they were not violating the covenants when they built the homes.  A contractor could have been served with an injunction during construction, stopping everything, until a judge rendered a judgment on the enforceability of the covenants. 

    Covenants – Amendments

    In this case, we have an amendment with signatures, but what do you do if one or more of the neighbors refuse to sign an amendment like this?  There is another avenue in some cases.  Here we had a blatant disregard for the building height restriction by nearly every property owner in the development.  All the homes were two-story homes and there was only one other vacant lot not yet built on.  The legal doctrine of waiver would apply here, meaning that if homeowners ignore and violate a restriction in the covenants for a sufficient period of time, that restriction become void and unenforceable.  Anyone who did try to enforce the restriction would find out they spent a lot of money on an attorney for nothing, because they would lose.  Not only that, covenants include a provision for reasonable attorney’s fees against the losing party.

    Covenants – Lessons for Buyers

    This story has two lessons for us.  The first lesson is that you really need to do your due diligence when you are drafting an offer and while it is a pending offer.  But the sub-lesson here is that very few Realtors and contractors know some of the traps for the unwary.  You need a professional with the knowledge and experience to know what questions to ask and what stones to turn over.   The second lesson I see in this story is that there are often answers to difficult issues that could otherwise destroy your retirement plans. 

    My father was a plumber who liked to tell this joke.  A homeowner calls a plumber in an emergency.  The plumber fixed the problem in just a few minutes, and the homeowners asks how much.  When the plumber tells him $150, the homeowner says, “Wow, that’s more than I charge as a lawyer for 5 minutes.”  The plumber responded, “Well, removing the blockage is only $10.  Knowing where to look is $140.”

    Understanding covenants are an important part of the due diligence I recommend my clients do before closing on a property.

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  • Covenants, Conditions, and Restrictions

    What kinds of restrictions are found in Covenants (CC&Rs) in the Sequim area?  Covenants, Conditions, and Restrictions are common in real estate developments in and around Sequim.  It’s good to know that surrounding properties are subject to restrictions, because when you buy a lot or a home, the last thing you want is a neighbor destroying the value of your lot.  Here are the kinds of common restrictions you will see in Covenants in Clallam County, including Sequim and Port Angeles.

    Covenants

    Covenants and Specific Restrictions

    Residential Character.  Covenants will set out the intent of the restrictions–to maintain the residential character of the property.  This precludes commercial or industrial uses of any kind.  No one wants a junkyard next door or a pig farm upwind.

    Single Family Homes.  Covenants will also specifically prohibit all but single family homes.  When you build your retirement home, you’re most likely hoping that a 100 unit apartment complex will not be built in your backyard.

    Architectural Control.  Most developments will have limitations on the size or height of a home.  In an area like Sequim where you have gorgeous water views and stunning mountain views, and sometimes both, there will be some restrictions on the location (setbacks) and height of homes.

    View Easements.  If many of the homes have water views, especially on a hillside, there may be a view easement.  Trees on your property that could grow up tall enough or fill out enough to hinder an adjacent property’s water view must be trimmed by you to preserve your neighbor’s water view.

    Covenants and Animals

    Animal Control.  The Sequim valley is an agricultural and farming area, so you will also typically see a clause which states that you can have household pets but not animals raised for sale, and some Covenants with larger lots will specifically state that you can have no more than two horses (or Llamas or sheep).

    Private Nuisance.  A private nuisance can mean a lot of things, but discharging firearms is considered a private nuisance.

    Fences.  There is often a height restriction on fences, for example, six feet.

    Covenants in the Sequim area are not typically much more restrictive than these items.  The idea is to preserve the residential character of the neighborhood, and that is simple enough and a good thing.

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  • Sequim Home Based Business

    What is a Sequim home based business and if you buy a home, will your new home allow you to run your business out of your home?  Here is the analysis.  First, start with the Statutory Warranty Deed, which is the most powerful authoritative document on your property.  Deeds will often indicate restrictions, and often refer to plats with restrictions or CC&Rs.

    Sequim Home Based Business

    Sequim Home Based BusinessSecond, review those restrictive documents, if any, and the most likely place to find a restriction on the use of your residential property is in the CC&Rs.  CC&Rs sometimes have restrictions on home based businesses, but most often they either don’t or the restrictions are no greater than the city or county code restrictions.  Here is language from the Clallam County Code dealing with the Sequim home based business.

    Sequim Home Based Business

    33.47.010 Home enterprise minimum standards.  Home enterprises locating in noncommercial, nonindustrial zones are subject to the following minimum standards:

    (1) The home enterprise is carried on entirely within legally constructed structures on the property and is clearly subordinate to the residential use.  (more…)

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  • Filed under: Covenants
  • Conditions, Covenants, and Restrictions (CC&Rs) are carefully drafted restrictions on the use of real property, which can be a good thing or a bad thing.  Normally a set of covenants are good in a subdivision or real estate development, because they prohibit the kinds of activities or uses that would devalue your own property, and in some cases make your neighborhood an unattractive place to live.

    sequim_covenants

    Who wants a junk yard on the other side of their fence, or a pig farm out back?  Who wants someone raising chickens and roosters 15 feet from their bedroom window, or firearms being dishcarged at 6:00 a.m. on Sunday morning?

    On the other hand, if you buy a 10 or 20 acre parcel of land out in the country, you may want the freedom of no covenants, so you can raise animals or shoot your gun.  If you’d like to see what a good set of covenants normally include, go to Sequim Covenants.  When you buy your Sequim home or land, make sure you understand the CC&R’s before you purchase.

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  • Restrictive Covenants

    Beware Restrictive Covenants.  Buying real estate (both land and homes) is full of Traps for the Unwary, and one of those traps includes covenants, also known as CC&Rs (Covenants, Conditions, & Restrictions).

    Restrictive Covenants

    If you purchase property and have no idea what the restrictive covenants are, you could be in a world of hurt later. When you purchase real estate, the most important documents is the Statutory Warranty Deed, and the second most important document would be the restrictive covenants.  The restrictive covenants define the restrictions effecting your property, and the penalties if you violate those restrictions.

    For example, you may be restricted to a stick built home, residential use only (no businesses), no more than two cars parked along your curbside, no garbage cans permitted on the road except on garbage day, no more than two household pets, a height limitation on fences, height restrictions of a house roof line, and so on. You don’t want to purchase property, build a home, bring in your beautiful motor home, only to find out you can’t park a motor home outside your house.

    Some restrictive covenants are very specific.

    You may be required to keep the grass mowed no longer than seven inches, and there may be restrictions on the types of trees you can plant. There may be minimum maintenance standards for your landscaping and home exterior.

    Now, here is where it most often gets sticky. This is where the vast majority of disputes fester within an Association. This is the black hole into which most of the Association legal fees disappear.

    Restrictive Covenants Give Power & Take Power

    restrictive covenantsRestrictive covenants authorize the creation of a Homeowners’ Association, and once the Association is organized (and typically incorporated), a Board of Directors is appointed, and the Board then creates a set of Bylaws, which govern the rules and procedures of the entire Association. The Board decides how much assessments should be for the association. Assessments are like property taxes. You pay them or a lien can be filed and foreclosed. The Board can make assessments for whatever they deem appropriate within the subdivision.

    The Board answers to the homeowners, but that’s a little like saying the President answers to the people, or your Congressman answers to the state citizens. Okay, it’s not exactly the same, because there are fewer voters in your association, and so each one has more power. Still, I can testify under oath after 20 years of real estate law practice that this is an area fraught with conflict.

    I’ve included another section on Homeowners’ Associations, and that section includes much more on Boards, case law, and facts to show you what you should know before you buy into a neighborhood.

    Conclusion. Before you buy property, know what the restrictive covenants say, and find out about how the Homeowners’ Association operates. Is everything running smoothly. Is there a good set of documents from the restrictive covenants to the Articles of Incorporation to the Bylaws, and does the Board operate smoothly with good leadership?

    Many people have had to retain attorneys and spend thousands of dollars on attorney’s fees in disputes about their rights and obligations under the restrictive covenants and the Bylaws. Assessments are usually the issue.

    This would be one of the best reasons to make sure your Realtor is a knowledgeable and experienced agent. I realize this sounds like I’m trying to sell my services as a Realtor to you. I am, but don’t you think I’m working awful hard to do that? Even if you don’t hire me, I’m still giving you value. Whatever you decide to do, the information I have given you here and in the links above, will keep you in good company, out of trouble and help you enjoy your new home. What’s better than peace in the neighborhood? How much is peace of mind worth?

    Know your restrictive covenants.

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  • 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 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.

    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
    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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