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Archive for the ‘Estate Planning’ Category

Buying a Home with a Revocable Trust

Many people put their homes in a revocable trust, and the most common trust is a living revocable trust. This is a good estate planning idea for a couple of major reasons. First, a living revocable trust avoids the need to probate your estate. I was an attorney for 20 years, but I always told people, “avoid attorneys if you can.” They are expensive, and the “justice” system is not so just. 

Revocable Trust

Years ago I recall seeing the statistic that the average probate took 18 months to settle. During that time, your home, your investments, your money, and all you assets cannot be distributed to your heirs. They are tied up in a lengthy and expensive probate proceeding. You can avoid probate by using a living revocable trust. If your kids have to probate your estate, all the attorney’s fees and legal expenses are coming right out of your heirs’ pockets. Who wants that?

Advantages of a Revocable Trust

Secondly, there is another big reason to use a revocable trust to avoid probate. You save all that time for the sake of your heirs. Instead of waiting for a year or a long time to receive the money or assets you leave them, they have access immediately with a revocable trust. Assets can be distributed or sold by the successor trustee without a legal proceeding. How great is that?

Now here is the key to using a revocable trust when you buy a home. You can use one when you buy a home as long as you’re not getting a personal loan to buy the home. Home loans are made to individuals or to a husband and wife, not to trusts. The solution is to close the transaction with your loan, and then you can immediately use a Quit Claim Deed to transfer your real estate into the revocable trust. In Washington State, you will not incur any transfer taxes for doing that.

And here’s a rare but possible twist to buying a home with a revocable trust. I had clients who were married later in life, so each had adult children from prior marriages. They each had wisely completed their own independent living revocable trust. When they bought their new home, they wanted those two trusts to stay intact. That makes sense, but legally that can get messy. A husband and wife will purchase a home as either “joint tenants with the right of survivorship” or “joint tenants with undivided equal shares” or perhaps some other share as they might agree based on how much each puts into the house from separate funds. But . . .

A Revocable Trust or Two?

If title to the new home is to be in the name of two trusts, the legal relationships that husband and wife can have do not apply, and there needs to be specific language defining how the home will be handled upon the death of the second spouse. A revocable trust will normally state that the home will continue to be controlled and lived in by the surviving spouse, but after the death of that surviving spouse, what will happen if there are two independent trusts with completely different family heirs in each trust? This is where there needs to be a master trust or an umbrella trust to clarify what will happen. After the death of the husband and wife, will the heirs on both sides of the family be forced to sell the home and distribute the proceeds according to the terms of the trusts, or can the heirs from one side of the family buy the home for their own use? Or can the heirs on one side of the family just use the home periodically without buying it? What if one side wants to sell, and the other side wants to keep the home in the family? This is why an umbrella trust or other legal instructions must be in place if there are two independent trusts.

A living revocable trust is a wonderful way to handle the ownership and control and distribution of a home, whether you have one revocable trust or two.

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Buying Real Estate in a Family Trust

You may want your real estate in a family trust, but can you buy real estate in the name of your family trust?  Let’s lay the foundation for this discussion.  First, a revocable living trust is a very good estate planning tool.  It allows you to avoid probate and all the costs and delays associated with probate.  If you don’t use any tools to avoid probate, or if you only have a regular Last Will and Testament, your surviving spouse or heirs will have to hire a probate attorney.  That can cost $3,000 to tens of thousands for a larger estate.  And believe it or not, many California attorneys have retired wealthy from handling one large probate, because they take a percentage of the value of the estate.  The last time I checked, the average probate in the United States was taking 18 months.  During that time the accounts and assets are locked up by the court.  A probate is a horrendous process for surviving spouses and heirs.  The Family Trust can be a good answer.

Family Trust

Buy Real Estate in a Family Trust

A revocable living trust allows you to completely avoid probate, attorneys, and all the delays and costs, provided the assets are titled in the name of the trust.  There are some tax savings provisions in this kind of trust, but the bigger tax savings are built into irrevocable living trusts or other exotic estate planning tools for high net worth individuals.  For a nice list of the kinds of trusts that can be used with explanations of their purpose, see Estate Planning Tools for Real Estate.

You Cannot Buy In The Name of the Family Trust

If you are buying your retirement home in Sequim or Port Angeles (or anywhere in the U.S. for that matter), and if you are going to apply for a loan, you will be required by the lender to make the loan application in your personal name, not the name of a trust.  The real estate offer and the loan application must have the exact same buyer named.  There are some exceptions, most notably if you are paying all cash, you can title the real estate any way you want.

Estate Planning for a Family Trust

Here’s the answer for estate planning purposes.  Purchase your home in your personal name (or as husband and wife), and after closing transfer title into your Family Trust with a Quit Claim Deed.  There is no transfer tax or excise tax when you do that.  You will only have the cost of the preparation of the Quit Claim Deed from yourself to your trust, and the recording fee (about $11.00).

Since 70% of Americans do no estate planning at all, I strongly recommend that couples get this all done so your surviving spouse or heirs will not have to be stressed out with the costs and delays associated with a probate.  I have met with many widows in Sequim whose husbands never completed any estate planning, and it causes so much stress and anxiety, not to mention financial chaos.  A Family Trust is an excellent estate planning tool and a blessing for your spouse.

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Buying Real Estate and How to Hold Title

Buying real estate involves some legal decisions, and one of those legal issues is how to hold title.  How you hold title to your home or land is an estate planning decision.  I used to do estate planning as an attorney for my real estate clients, and during my legal career to be sure that I was giving my clients good and competent advice, I became a Certified Estate Planner and a Registered Financial Adviser (including a series 7 license and life insurance and long term care).  Here I will share briefly how you might hold title when buying real estate.

Buying Real Estate

Buying Real Estate and Estate Planning

Married couples typically purchase their real estate simply as husband and wife.  In Washington that means you will hold title as “joint tenants with the right of survivorship.”  That means that if or when a spouse passes away, the surviving spouse owns the property.  But buying real estate also means thinking about estate planning tools like a revocable living trust.  This is a trust that allows you to bypass probate and with the use of a trustee you appoint in the document, you can be sure that your property will be transferred to your beneficiary without legal delay and without lawyers.

There are other estate planning tools, and if you have a lot of assets and income, you will probably want to do more exotic estate planning than the average Joe.  I have an extensive description of estate planning tools at Estate Planning with Real Estate.

Buying Real Estate

Buying Real Estate and Business

If you own a very successful and profitable business, you definitely want to do some estate planning to shield your personal wealth from business liabilities, and that may involve revocable as well as irrevocable trusts and other business entities, such as LLCs, corporations (sub chapter S or C), and partnerships.  Buying real estate is no small matter when it comes to tax planning, business planning, and estate planning.  Read also Real Estate and Estate Planning.

I am retired from real estate law practice, but as your buyer’s agent, I will be diligent to give you good counsel when buying real estate in Sequim or Port Angeles.

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What does real estate and estate planning and death have in common?  We all will die eventually.  And a substantial percentage of us will have serious health issues before we die, including diabetes, heart disease, liver failure, Alzheimer’s, and so on.  The truth is we  all eventually grow old and the strength and vibrant youth we once knew fades.

If you own a home, and other possessions, you fall into one of two classes of people.  The first group makes up about 70% of the American population who have not done any estate planning.  When they die, or become incompetent to handle their affairs, the estate is a legal disaster for them and their children.

real_estate_and_estate_planning

The second group is made up of the 30% of Americans who have taken the time and money to think through and complete their estate planning so that in their elder years they and their children will have order, not chaos, good tax planning and an orderly distribution of assets.  Here is a true life example of chaos from lack of planning, and this chaos has caused great problems for the entire family.  It has also put an elderly man into what he feels is a living hell.

The story begins with an elderly couple who lived in rural Alaska.  They raised their family and lived a very humble lifestyle, mostly because the father made very little money in his contracting business.  Contracting in Alaska is a feast or famine business, and that is especially true in the “bush” communities of Alaska.  One of the children moved to Sequim where he raised his own children.

The father was a typical Alaskan, conservative, rugged, independent, and spontaneous.  Despite having conversations with his adult children about the importance of estate planning (i.e., a basic will or a revocable living trust), and agreeing he needed to take care of his legal affairs, he never had any estate planning done.  He procrastinated for almost 50 years until it was too late.  In 2009 his wife passed away after struggling with cancer for many years.  She had written her own will, which was invalid because it did not comply with state law, but it didn’t matter as she had nothing of substance to leave.

Within a couple of months of her passing, the father was rushed to Anchorage Providence Hospital where the doctors told him that he must be on dialysis for the rest of his life, and since his little town clinic did not have expensive dialysis equipment, he could never go home.  At 75 years old and now completely blind, not being able to go back home where he had lived for 48 years was nearly a death sentence.  Alone in a hospital in a room with someone else who was incapable of conversation and far from family who could not afford to visit regularly, life went from difficult to hellish.

Because there was a lack of estate planning for such a scenario, applications for federal assistance through medicare/medicaid programs have become paperwork nightmares of denial after denial.  Before a Fairbanks facility is willing to take the father in, where he could be closer to some of the adult children and grandchildren, the facility is demanding that he sign a lien or deed giving up his house.  Income and asset limitations have created an impossible scenario.  The father has essentially lost everything he ever owned, feels like a prisoner in a room, and being blind has eliminated what little independence he had left.   In addition, he has nothing to leave his children as an inheritance since it will now all be taken for medical bills.

Good estate planning could have avoided much of this chaos.  Of course, health issues are beyond estate planning, hence the need for good estate planning.  But for those who neglect good nutrition and regular exercise for a lifetime, you know that you substantially increase the risk of serious sickness or disease when you get old.

If you own a home, you have an important asset that ought to be handled for estate and tax purposes, for health and welfare purposes, and as an expression of love and care for your children.  By the way, the child who moved to Sequim  . . .  is me.  The photo above is of me, my father and my late mother.

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Real Estate and the Probate Process

A majority (70%) of homeowners have NO estate plan, except the state’s statutory default plan. Almost as bad, the majority of those who do have an estate plan have a Last Will and Testament. Both have to be probated. So, what’s the big deal?

Perhaps a true story will make the point best. A couple take care of the husband’s elderly mother until one day she passes away. In those last months, the couple care for her with love and great personal sacrifice, even great financial sacrifice.

The mother left a sizable estate, and her written will divided her substantial estate equally among the four adult children. Seems simple enough, right? Every once in a while, and far too often, there is an adult black sheep in the family who is so dysfunctional, he or she will hire attorneys to get more than his or her fair share. So determined is such a person, he or she will intentionally seek to hurt and destroy the other siblings to get what he wants, which is more than the money. Usually such a person is full of hate deep down, unexplainable hate that motivates them to behave incorrigibly toward their siblings.

Greed is alive and well in the world today, and it finds fertile soil in a probate process that is subject to a defective judicial process, fostered by attorneys with their own agendas and judges who wouldn’t know what Solomon’s wisdom was if it bit them in the nose. It is in this fertile soil that the black sheep finds a support system to do his or her evil.

This probate lasted five (5) years, and the siblings’ inheritance was eaten by attorney’s fees and costs, and interestingly enough, by the black sheep’s theft of much of the estate prior to their mother’s death. That’s too long a story to tell here.

There is no question that if the deceased mother had known what her adult child would do to her other children, and that that child would completely annul her Last Will and Testament, she would be rolling over in her grave. You can bet if she had know that her children’s inheritance would go to attorneys, she would have burned the money first, or more likely, she would have set up an indestructible estate plan.

There are intelligent ways to make sure this never happens to your estate, but you have to create an effective and intelligent plan while you are yet alive. Avoid probate at all costs! Attorneys are quite famous for stacking up massive attorney’s fees, and then they get paid first out of the estate funds. And while the average probate takes as much as 18 months, many take much longer.

Use techniques that avoid probate, such as the revocable living trust, the irrevocable life insurance trust, payable on death instruments, the right of survivorship (in appropriate cases), insurance benefits (life insurance payoffs are tax free), and there are many more.

Be sure that the title to your real estate is vested appropriately to accomplish your estate plan, and if you own a business, incorporate a business succession plan into your comprehensive plan. Create an indestructible estate plan, and do it today.

Not motivated to take action yet? Okay, let’s try another approach. Think of the one attorney you dislike the most. Imagine buying him or her a brand new Lexus or Corvette with your money, the money you intend to leave to your own children. Wait, it gets even better. Imagine buying a Cadillac for your attorney, a Cadillac for the opposing attorney representing the black sheep, and a Cadillac for the estate attorney (yes, the estate as an entity gets an attorney too). Motivated yet?

Chuck Marunde, J.D.
Retired Real Estate Attorney
Owner/Broker/Realtor
Sequim & Port Angeles Real Estate, LLC
SequimPortAngeles.com

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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
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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
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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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