Sequim Real Estate in Sunny Sequim, Washington

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Archive for the ‘Home Builders’ Category

What is a Walk Through Prior to Closing?

A walk through is an opportunity for a buyer to walk through their brand new home just prior to closing so they can do a final check to see if their home builder completed construction of the home according to their contract and the architectural plans. I wanted to write about the walk through because too many buyers and buyer’s agents are confusing the walk through with the normal contingencies of buying an existing home.

The Walk Through

Walk Through

The phrase “walk through” only applies to brand new construction, not existing home sales. That means there is no such thing as a walk through if you are buying an existing home. When the phrase is used by a real estate agent representing a buyer, it creates confusion for a seller who is wondering what the heck a walk through is for an existing home. Let’s look at what a buyer is really thinking about.

Walk Through for a Buyer

There is no “walk through” language in the purchase and sale agreement, nor is there any walk through language in any addendum. Those contracts do provide a buyer with the right to do some due diligence. For example, there is a Home Inspection Addendum, and that is the buyer’s opportunity to have the home examined to see if there are serious problems that need to be addressed. There is a Septic Inspection Addendum, which similarly gives the buyer the right to approve or disapprove the septic report. There is also a Well Inspection Addendum, and again a buyer can require repair work or terminate the transaction based on the well report.

A buyer has other options, depending on the addendums attached, such as the right to do a feasibility study, a neighborhood study, a title report review, and so on. Once the buyer complies with his contract options, the contract he had drafted, and after the buyer has used his contract options, he then either terminates the transaction under the contract terms, or he moves forward to closing.

That means there is no walk through. There’s no such thing for an existing home. But if you have a brand new home built, you are entitled to a walk through prior to closing. Now that you know as a buyer that “walk through” is the wrong legal phrase when you buy an existing home, tell your buyer’s agent. Unless, of course, you hire me to be your buyer’s agent. Wait, that’s a great idea, don’t you think?

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Sequim Home Builder

This Sequim home builder is building gorgeous custom homes in the Sequim area, and he has been for decades. The company is Legacy Homes, and the builder is Steve Lamb. Steve’s clients call him a master builder, and one of my clients called him an artist after he created their master piece. If you’re looking for a Sequim home builder, I encourage you to call Steve. He is in high demand as you might expect, but isn’t it true that everyone who is the best in their profession, and it’s true of this Sequim Home Builder.

Sequim Home Builder

Sequim Home Builder – Building Quality Custom Homes

I took this aerial photo of one of Steve’s newest projects. As you can see, the site is being prepared for a foundation, and in the background to the south are the Olympic Mountains. To the north, which would be looking directly behind this camera which is 100 feet in the air, is a view of the Strait of Juan de Fuca. When this Sequim home builder is done with this project, the views from this home will be stunning.

I can’t wait to see this home when it is completed. I’m thinking about taking photos during the construction, like time lapse photos and putting them together in a video. Wouldn’t that be fun to see?

Sequim Home Builder

One of the reasons I wanted to share this article about this Sequim home builder is because the quality of his homes and attention to detail that he gives every home are extraordinary and second to none. How do I know? I’ve seen a lot of new homes over the years, and I’ve been trained by several builders. And during the 20 years I practiced real estate law, I saw the problems that many clients had with builders. So when a builder builds a gorgeous custom home to perfection, and when his clients are so happy, they are giddy, and when he does it over and over again, I know we have a master builder.

If you would like to check out Steve Lamb’s website, you’ll find it at Legacy Homes. I do not hesitate to recommend this Sequim home builder.

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  • Filed under: Home Builders
  • Architect or BuilderWho should I hire first, architect or builder?  That is the question I address in this article.  This article has been one of the hottest articles I’ve ever written if the comments are any indication.  So I’ve republished this important issue for those who have not gone back in time to find it.  I am neither an architect nor a home builder, but in all my work I have always had a sincere desire to seek the truth, wherever that may lead.  As a real estate attorney for 20 years I saw repeating patterns in which consumers kept getting the short stick in their relationships with other professionals (lawyers, accountants, financial advisers, architects, contractors, real estate agents, auto mechanics, and the list goes on).  After years of recognizing the pattern that was far from consumer-centric, I learned to ask new questions.  I learned that it was not wise to assume, but much wiser to do one’s due diligence and to carefully reconsider conventional wisdom.  So the question of who should be hired first, architect or builder, is a relevant question for any consumer who intends to build a home today.

    Architect or Builder – The Chicken or the Egg

    It is conventional wisdom that if you are planning to have your next home built,  you should first hire an architect.  Because of my experience with a large number of clients over 20 years who had nightmare experiences with both architects and builders, I learned to question conventional assumptions and to review the entire process and experiences of many who have gone before.


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  • Filed under: Home Builders
  • Home BuilderDealing with a home builder and building your retirement home can be stressful, and there are a few traps for the unwary.  I received a call this week from a client who owns a gorgeous high bluff water front lot on Bainbridge Island.  She and her husband are near retirement, and they found a home builder on the Island and began making plans to build their dream home.  This home will be the fulfillment of a long term plan they have had for many years to build their financial security for their retirement years and then to build their ultimate home and live happily ever after.  That’s the plan for most of us, right?

    Home Builder Nightmare

    Unfortunately, as they began striking up conversations with people on the Island, they learned their home builder had a trail of bad relationships, unpaid subcontractors, and a questionable history as a home builder.  And then they found out that their house was to be the last home the builder intended to build.  He was planning to move overseas.  I’ve said it before, and I’m compelled to say it again, “Truth is stranger than fiction.  You simply can’t make this stuff up!”

    Unfortunately, they had advanced the builder $6,500.  Fortunately, they had not signed a contract yet, and so they would only lose the $6,500.  They can ask for it back, of course, but they’ll never see a dollar of that money.  There’s no doubt about that.  I practiced real estate law for 20 years, and I’ve seen this same scenario many times.  The attorney’s fees to chase the money would exceed any recovery, but typically the builder has already spent the money anyway.  This is an example of a case when it is a good time to cut one’s losses and chalk it up to an expensive education.

    Finding a Good Home Builder

    Finding a good builder is something I’ve written about extensively.  I’ve written about the exact scenario above and other similar nightmares, and I’ve described precisely how to avoid these traps for the unwary and how to find and identify the best home builder.  Here are some of those articles.  These articles were written with 20 plus years of experience of hearing from hundreds of clients, each of whom had trouble working with a home builder.  You could say that the lessons in these articles, and the other articles on this blog about building and working with contractors, cost many people hundreds of thousands of dollars from the school of hard knocks.  Why not take advantage of the lessons they paid for, and from which you can now benefit at . . . let’s see, how much?  Oh, absolutely free on this real estate blog.

    Home Builder Works With Architect

    You might wonder how the client in the story above found that builder.  Their architect gave that builder a high recommendation.  Turns out there may be a cozy relationship between the two.  Great.  I wrote a very important article about the danger of hiring an architect first, and it is a very real problem.  Read the article above about “Who Should I Hire First – Architect or Builder?”  If you read that article, you’ll see a very ugly comment from an architect who tells me how out to lunch I am.  Since the client above just lived through the exact scenario I described in that article,  I would say I may be wet, but if I am it is just a little dampness.  [P.S. I have nothing against the architectural profession, just against dishonest or unethical individuals.  Every profession has a few of those.]

    If you are planning to hire a Sequim home builder, I recommend you talk to Rick Anderson of Anderson Homes, LLC.  He is, in fact, a man of integrity, not to mention a really great custom home builder.

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  • Filed under: Home Builders
  • Sequim Home Builder: Price Guarantee

    Finding and hiring a good Sequim home builder is the most important step in building your retirement home in the Sequim or Port Angeles area.  There’s another way to say that.  Hiring the wrong builder could create a nightmare you do not want to have.  Building your retirement home should be a positive experience, although any major transition and project will necessarily involve some stress.  I’ve talked with many clients who had wonderful experiences, and I’ve talked with clients who experienced the nightmares.  This short video highlights the two most important keys to understanding the process of looking for and hiring a Sequim home builder.

    Sequim Home Builder

    Sequim Home Builder Cost Plus

    Most builders use cost-plus contracts.  I strongly recommend that you use a builder who is honest and confident enough to guarantee the contract price up front.  The trap for the unwary is the builder who gets you to sign a contract based on the fact that it is the lowest bid, and then he surprises you with “extras” and “change orders” during the construction process that you did not agree to.

    Sequim Home Builder

    Sequim Home BuilderThe materials used by a builder should be carefully listed in the spec manual, but I’ve seen a lot of spec manuals and the vast majority of Sequim home builders and builders around the country do not use a complete spec manual listing all the materials they will use to build your home.  That leaves them a lot of discretion, and a lot of room to cut corners and still comply with the contract you signed.

    I’d be delighted to discuss how to hire a Sequim home builder and how to compare bids, and as your buyer’s agent, I can help you do that.  Email your questions, and I’ll be glad to find your Sequim home builder.

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  • Filed under: Home Builders
  • Sequim Home Builder Does it Again

    Sequim home builder Rick Anderson has done it again.  This beautiful Sequim custom home was just completed on schedule and within the guaranteed contract price.  But then Rick has built over 400 homes in the Sequim and Port Angeles area since 1981, and with the best project manager and crews, Rick has a stellar record of completing homes within the construction time period of six months.  This home was completed in under five months.

    The reason I write so enthusiastically about this Sequim home builder, Rick Anderson, is because what he does is not the standard, and how he works with his clients is not the standard.  His standards are so much higher than other builders, I wish more retirees could know all that goes on behind the scenes of the home building industry and on a building site during construction.

    Sequim Home Builder Quality

    Here’s a dirty little secret:  All custom homes are not built with the same quality.  In other words, every Sequim home builder is not the same.  As a Realtor I have learned from home builders and contractors how to look for quality and how to examine a home under construction.  When your eyes are opened and you begin to discern the differences in materials and workmanship, a whole new world opens up.  The difference in quality and workmanship of this Sequim home builder is far ahead of the crowd of builders out there.  What amazes me is that his contract price per square foot is so often less than other Sequim home builders, but retirees don’t typically know how to do an apples vs. apples comparison with contracts and specification manuals.

    Sequim Home Builder Completes Home in Less Than 5 Months

    Sequim Home Builder

    Sequim Contractor

    Sequim Home Builders

    Sequim Custom Home Builder

    Sequim Mountain View

    Sequim Home Builder Has Highest Customer Satisfaction

    I’ve known many home builders and how they manage their projects and how they contract and work with their clients.  Rick Anderson wouldn’t sleep at night if he did not continue to build quality and give every single client honesty and integrity throughout the project.  Rick Anderson does have a website where you can look at home plans, photos, and read articles and testimonies at  I know this builder and I unabashedly recommend him as your Sequim home builder.  In fact, I am planning to have him build my own home.

    You can see more photos of this beautiful home following the entire construction from beginning to end at

    Sequim Home Builder and Price Per Square Foot

    Retirees still are having their homes built in the Sequim and Port Angeles area, and the main reason is that they can’t find a retirement home that is the ideal floor plan and quality of home in the location they want.  In the current market you can probably find an existing home at a price somewhat less than the price per square foot of building your ideal retirement home, but . . . what price do you put on living in the perfect custom home for the rest of your life?  If you’re custom home cost $40,000 more than an existing home for sale that wasn’t exactly what you wanted, would it be worth $40,000 to have your dream home for the rest of your life?

    Photos by Chuck Marunde taken with the permission of Sequim home builder Rick Anderson.

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  • Filed under: Home Builders
  • Contractor Building Homes

    We know lot sales are down and new home construction has been slow, but are Sequim or Port Angeles contractors building homes?  The answer is yes.  Rick Anderson, founder of Anderson Homes, LLC, is building homes.  RAnderson Homes Contractorick has built over 400 homes in Clallam County since 1981, and has a reputation for quality homes at affordable prices.  It is almost certain that Rick Anderson has the highest customer satisfaction rate of any local home builder, and I can say that because hundreds of clients talk to me about their builder experiences.  There are other good builders, but I know of no other builder who has so many clients who are truly pleased with the end product and the entire process.

    This photo was taken as the sun is setting across the tree tops.  When a home is under construction, it is hard to tell what it will look like as a completed home, but stay tuned because we are going to provide you with a video of the entire construction process of this home when it is complete.

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  • Filed under: Home Builders
  • sequim-home-warrantyHow do you know if your Sequim home builder will really build your retirement home with the kind of quality you have dreamed about for years?  Of course, one answer is that you won’t until you are living in it for a while.  The other answer, which is the better one is to find a home builder whom you are certain can guarantee that you will get the custom home you have dreamed about for so long.

    You will know right away if your home was built with quality and attention to detail right after you move in, and typically you will have an opportunity to give the builder a checklist up to the point at which the one year warranty period ends.  In this article I’m going to share a little insider knowledge with you, but I think you will see the clear logic of what I share.

    Some home builders around the country advertise that their home warranty team will come  after you move in and fix anything that wasn’t built right the first time.  That’s not how they phrase it.  The advertisements make it sound like this is a special benefit that only this builder offers, and that you should realize how lucky you are to have this warranty team to fix your home.  Frankly,  if I was a builder, I wouldn’t be advertising that I couldn’t get it right the first time.  The fact that a builder has to send carpenters to fix things in your home, and that this is part of his business model ought to tell you something.  Apparently there are so many things wrong in so many of their homes, they have to have a  regular repair team.  (By the way, you don’t need a home warranty team to fix standard fixes like screw heads that have punched through Sheetrock.)

    If you hire the best custom home builder, your home will be nearly perfect when you move in.  There simply won’t be a list of problems to fix, because the quality builder has his own quality control right up to the walk-through before you move in.  Once you’ve been living in your new home for up to a year, you may have things that need to be fixed, but with a quality builder these will not be construction defects.  They will be simple things like a screw head that has popped through the plaster.  New homes do expand and shrink, and minor Sheetrock repair is normal.  The other noticeable issue will be small hairline cracks in the concrete floor in the garage.  In fact, a few small cracks in concrete are to be expected–this is the rule rather than the exception.  Concrete shrinkage is normal, but major cracks or droppage by a quarter of an inch is not normal.  That would indicate the subsurface was not properly filled and/or compacted.

    Most builders do offer a one year home warranty.  That’s good because there may be some normal things that do need fixing.  But we’re not talking about major problems because the home wasn’t built right.  A one year warranty checklist might include an examination of the following items:  driveway, sidewalk, front stoop, patio, landscape/grading, siding, trim, windows, doors (including threshold, weatherstripping, locks), roof shingles, gutters and downspouts, flashings, deck, caulking, heat and a/c, electrical, and any Sheetrock issues in the house.

    When you are interviewing builders in Sequim or Port Angeles, I recommend asking about their warranty, but it should be a red flag for you if the builder starts talking about how he has a regular crew of repairmen who come to fix all of your home’s problems right after you move in.  If that’s a standard practice, then defects are also standard.

    Looking for a quality custom home builder?  Call me or email me for a referral.  You will not be disappointed.

    How do you know if your Sequim home builder will really build your retirement home with the

    kind of quality you have dreamed about for years? Of course, one answer is that you won’t

    until you are living in it for a while. The other answer, which is the one you really ought to

    seek, is that you need to find a home builder whom you are certain can guarantee that you will

    get the custom home you have dreamed about for so long.

    The two times you will know for sure if a home was built with quality and attention to detail

    are right after you move in and up to the end of the one year warranty period. In this article

    I’m going to share a little insider knowledge with you, but I think you will see the clear

    logic of what I share.

    Some home builders around the country advertise that their home warranty team will come immediately after you move in and fix anything that wasn’t built right the first time. Frankly, I wouldn’t be advertising that I couldn’t get it right the first time. The fact that a builder has to send

    carpenters to fix things in your home, and that this is part of his business model ought to

    tell you something. Apparently there are so many things wrong in so many of their homes, they

    have to have a repair team. (By the way, you don’t need a home warranty team to fix standard things like nails that have punched through sheetrock.)

    Most builders do offer a one year home warranty. That’s good because there may be some normal things that do need fixing. But we’re not talking about major problems because the home wasn’t built right.

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  • Filed under: Home Builders
  • Building your retirement home in Sequim or Port Angeles?  How are you going to decide how to find and hire your home builder.  Hiring a general contractor is no small decision.  Does your home builder need adult supervision, or can you trust your builder to be competent and trustworthy?  Believe me, this is not a demeaning or unfair question.  I saw so many people who had nightmares with home builders as a lawyer, what happened in this video is not nearly as unusual as one might think.   All I suggest is that you do your due diligence in selecting your home builder, and if I can offer some tips from the school of hard knocks of hundreds of clients, what have you got to lose by watching this video?  Here’s another true story heard far too often by good retirees.

    I want your move to Sequim or Port Angeles to be a positive experience, not a nightmare.  If I can help, email or call.

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  • Filed under: Home Builders
  • Sequim Home Builders

    Selecting the right Sequim home builder is one of the most important decisions you’ll make as you make your retirement plans, so a little due diligence on your part would clearly be wise. Here’s a short video on hiring a great home builder.

    If you would like to discuss building your next home, email or call.  This is a free service with no obligation.  I know the Sequim home builders and Port Angeles home builders.

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  • Filed under: Home Builders
  • Sequim Custom HomesSequim home surplus–is there one and is it effecting home builders?   There is a surplus of homes that buyers don’t want, and there are some foreclosures and short sales out there.   There are also some homes that spec builders have had on the market for months and even years.   Do these homes on the market at discounted prices effect home builders?   Absolutely.

    For the vast majority of buyers from California, Arizona, Nevada, Texas, and Montana these homes in the existing inventory with discounted desperation price tags are not appealing.   There will be a buyer who looks at one and says, “Oh my God!   This is it!”   They’ll buy it and live happily forever.   But that’s the exception.

    I wrote above that, “There is a surplus of homes that buyers don’t want.”   These are homes that have been for sale for a long time, and either because of their location, the age and/or architecture of the home, or some really unattractive feature that does not appeal to 99% of the population, these are homes buyers generally just don’t want.   So they sit.   These are not the homes that home builders are concerned about.   They are not competition for a new home.

    The homes that builders will be glad to see gone are the deep discounted spec homes and the few foreclosures that are on the market.   While the majority of buyers do not want these homes because they do not fit their parameters, still some buyers will chose to buy one of these instead of having a custom home built.

    But the biggest factor for home builders is not the existing inventory.   Clients who would hire a builder to have their retirement home built in Sequim or Port Angeles have largely put their plans on hold this past year.   That seems to be changing just in this past two months as buyers are purchasing lots and hiring builders again, but the stock market crash combined with the real estate market crash put building plans on hold for many retirees during 2008 and the first half of 2009.

    If you are considering buying a lot in Sequim or Port Angeles, I recommend you search free online for lots at:

    Sequim Lots for Sale

    And if you are considering hiring a home builder with integrity and a proven track record for quality and customer satisfaction, I recommend:

    Sequim Custom Home Builder

    And if I can answer any questions, you know how to reach me. or 360-775-5424.

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  • Filed under: Home Builders
  • Consumer Complains of Home Builder Ripoff

    One of my greatest concerns for consumers involves home builders who suck people into their office with ads promoting ridiculously low price per square foot rates.   Once might ask why I write about this issue, and the answer is because people keep falling into this trap for the unwary.   Again and again.   Here is a real testimony of a consumer who hired one of these “low price per square foot” builders.   I’ve left her words as she wrote them.   I prefer not to specifically name her builder in this article, but this company is not the only one like this.   This is the reason I harp on doing one’s due diligence when hiring a home builder.   Here’s her true story.

    Where does one begin when dealing with [name deleted]? They make it sound like a breeze (promised 4 months and our house would be done) HA! About 1 year and 3 month later we moved in but the house still wasnt complete. We have been in the house 4 months and the house is still not done. Of course they say that once you move in (which we were told to do by the site supervisor since we were way past out move in date) nothing on the punch list will be completed. So we withheld the last payment for carpet (about $3500) and they put a lein on our house! All this after our first back wall fell over (with the windows in!) so they were just going to put up the wall again. My husband told them NO WAY so they rebuilt the wall and put the damaged windows back in! So needless to say we had to fight for a month or more to get them to replace the windows and I think one is a damaged one. My husband was there everyday checking on things and making them do things over and over again. It was NEVERENDING.

    Holes in walls that wires were coming through going nowhere.
    Bowed walls from sheetrock over warped boards.
    Cabinets sitting in our living room for over 4 weeks.
    Doors not shutting or fitting properly.
    Wrong counter top installed in bathroom.
    Crooked siding.
    Downspout placed in wrong location.
    No ducting or vent in laundry room.
    No electricity to the jetted tub.
    Cabinet drawers and cubboards not operating properly.
    Outlets wired backwards.
    No power to outlets on one wall in bedroom.
    No window screens ever delivered.

    Unfortunatly their repairs were almost worse than the original problem. To fix one of the problems with the sheetrock they sent out 2 guys who worked for 6 hours (we also fed them lunch) to repair 2 spots the size of a small book. And still it looked horrible so he said ‘your done’ and we had his brother fix it. In fact we paid ALOT of $ out of our pocket to my brother in law to fix their mistakes. We went through 2 site supervisors and many delays. The things I have listed above are still not corrected. The company was ALWAYS calling us on the 5th of the month if they didnt get their draw check but do you think we ever got a call about our problems OMG NO! We got NO response from them until filing a complaint with the BBB. NOW they are willing to meet with us. Please Please Please read their contract it was written by them to profit ONLY them. They dont care about you only your CASH $$$$.

    There you have it.   How do you avoid this kind of nightmare?   Find the best builder in the area. How do you do that?   Talk to the right people.   Be careful, even this builder in the story above had employees and some others saying how great they are.   Be very careful.   If you’re building in Sequim or Port Angeles, let’s talk.   I won’t mislead you.   Did I tell you I offer my advice free?   Where are you going to get a retired 20-year real estate attorney who knows most of the builders in the area, and who is a real estate broker who can advise you on building your next home . . . all free of charge?   Right here.   Chuck Marunde at 360-775-5424.

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  • Filed under: Home Builders
  • A couple move to the Sequim area from California and plan to build their retirement home.   They’re excited about it, but it proves to be stressful just finding the right architect and the right builder.   How do they select their builder?   (Be careful of architects who try to lock you into “their” builder.   That’s another story for another time.)

    They meet with three builders and get bids from all three.   The first builder they go to is Rick Anderson of Anderson Homes, LLC.   Rick has built over 400 homes here since 1981, and has a solid reputation for honesty and the highest quality of homes, but he also has extremely competitive rates when you compare apples with apples.   Rick plays no games and doesn’t boast.   He shows them exactly what he will do for them and gives them the honest-to-God truth about the true cost per square foot, and he is willing to guarantee that price in a written contract.

    The second builder they go to looks at Rick Anderson’s bid, because the owners share that information with him.   He says, “Oh yea, I can beat that bid.”   Of course he can.   Shave here, shave there.   Use lesser material, don’t install this or that, cut this out.   That was easy.   But the nice clients don’t realize how this works, and they think, “Oh, good he beat Rick’s price.   Rick must have given us a high bid.”   (Not true.)

    The third builder they go to looks at Rick Anderson’s bid and at the second bid.   He says, “Oh yea, I can beat both those bids.”   Of course, he can.   He just takes the second bid with those lesser specifications, and since he works out of the back of his pickup truck and plans to do ALL the work himself at what will work out to minimum wage, his bid is lower than the cost of the other two builders.

    They select the builder who gave them the lowest bid.   He seems like a nice guy.

    So what happens?   Let’s play this out with two possibilities.   First, what could happen if they choose the lowest bidder?   Well, he may not be able to finish the house as a one-man show who is struggling financially to survive and cutting every possible corner to get the cheapest materials.   He may not have the experience of a more experienced and financially stable builder, so this is also the kind of scenario you may have read about where the house only gets partially built and the builder bails.   Can you say, “nightmare scenario.”   That was the lowest bidder.   Do you really want to the lowest bidder?   I know.   Seemed good at the time.   How much stress would you like to add to your life when a different decision could have saved you a lot of money, stress, and time?

    So what happens if you are wise enough to avoid the one-man lowest bidder?   You hire the middle bidder.   Okay.   Here’s how that plays out many many times. When the house is completed, three months past its completion date, you calculate that you have paid more than the original guaranteed bid that Rick Anderson gave you.   There were extras, change orders, and surprises during the entire construction process, starting with the excavation and concrete and all the way through to the end.   You’re tired of fighting with the builder.   You feel like he has misrepresented the construction process and costs from the get go, but once you had signed the contract and work began, you felt you were in too deep to go back.

    You talk to your neighbors who had their house built by Rick Anderson.   You ask them how it went, and they start smiling and chatting enthusiastically about how much they love their home, about how enjoyable it was working with Rick, and how their home was finished on time and at the original guaratneed contract price.   You look at the quality of their home inside, and you can’t help comparing the trim and the cabinets and the flooring, and the doors and hardware to your own home.   You end up saying what a lot of people say, but they hate to admit it.   “We should have hired Rick Anderson.”

    I kid you not.   This is an honest and real scenario.   This happens all the time.   This is not sales hype or exaggeration.   I’ve written this bold honest article to try to break through to good people moving here from California and Arizona who make the two mistakes above.   Do you know the biggest mistake these folks made?   They never brought those two lower bids back to Rick Anderson to have him do a honest apples verses apples comparison.   He would have been absolutely honest about the comparison, and he never pressures anyone to sign a contract.   Anyone who wants to make fully informed and wise decisions about building their retirement home ought to do a true comparison.   They could have and should have brought those bids back for another meeting with Rick Anderson.   Then they could have made intelligent and fully informed decisions.   Now they know that.   Now you know this.

    So, what are you going to do?

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  • Filed under: Home Builders
  • What about discount home builders?

    There are some home builders advertising very very low prices per square foot. This is the kind of hook that gets the phone ringing and gets people to come in, but is it honest advertising? See this video for the answer.

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  • Filed under: Home Builders
  • Sequim Home Builders Discounting?

    Building a home today is challenging enough working through the complex credit and loan issues, finding the right lot in the right area, and negotiating a good price, and then finding a good builder who can build your dream home at a price within your budget. It can get real complicated if your builder is a discount builder who doesn’t tell you all you need to know before you sign the contract. Watch this short video on the subject.

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  • Filed under: Home Builders
  • Beware the Discount Home Builder

    Building a new home or a custom home?   What a buyer’s market this is for you, both the lot and in hiring a home builder.   But there are discount home builders out there who are sharing less than the whole truth in their advertising.   In fact, many home builders are leading with what I believe is unquestionably deceptive advertisting or what you could call fraudulent advertising.   Here’s a short video intended to help you avoid a nightmare.

    Be so careful who you hire for your next home builder. You’ll be glad you were.

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  • Filed under: Home Builders
  • Home Builders Offering Incentives

    Sequim Home BuildersHomes and Land are still selling, albeit at a slower pace.   The northwest region of the U.S. has been one of the strongest real estate markets nationwide.   In Pierce County, for example, the median price of homes appreciated from $151,900 in 2000 to $254,221 in 2008.   In 2008 those sames homes are worth only 8% less than they were in 2007.   This is pretty darn good, all things considered.

    Home builders are hurting across the country right now as the demand for homes has decreased, and the devastated mortgage market has not helped.   But there is good news in the silver lining here for people who have been planning to build their next home.

    The good news is that the cost of building materials are down, and subcontractors have been shaving their bids down, too.   On top of that, the price of lots has been dramatically effected by the slow down, more so than existing homes.   Interest rates are low, and combined with the low cost of land and building, there has not been a better time to build a home in many years.

    Some builders are offering incentives.   For example, Rick Anderson of Anderson Homes in Port Angeles, Washington, is offering referral fees of up to $2,500 to those who send him business.   Builders are also very competitive with their bids and the services they offer.

    So what are you waiting for?   The bottom?   By the time the bottom of the market is officially recognized, interest rates will already be climbing above where they are now, and builders will be getting orders, and material costs will find a new, higher, equilibrium.

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  • Filed under: Home Builders
  • Port Angeles Custom Home Quality

    Port Angeles Custom Home BuilderA Port Angeles or Sequim custom home might be built with the highest quality materials and workmanship . . .   or NOT. Here’s the challenge. The average person does not have the trained eye to be able to distinguish the two.

    I wish they could.   I wish we all could.   Take the room in the photo to the left.   Was this home built with the highest quality materials and the skilled hands of framers, finish carpenters, electricians, plumbers, sheetrockers, and painters, none of whom took short cuts or skimped on materials and labor?

    I realize it’s hard to tell anything from a two dimensional photograph, but if we were walking through this room could you tell?   Few could.

    What a difference it will make when you live in your home for many years, or the rest of your life.   I hear this testimony again and again from many people.   Perhaps a real life example will make the point best.


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    Sequim Home Builders – Does Size Matter?

    You’re going to hire a home builder to build your next home.   Should you hire a small builder or a large builder?   There’s much more to this question than meets the eye, and this short article addresses assumptions that good people often make.   By the way, for purposes of Sequim and Port Angeles, I’m considering a small builder as most people do, a contractor who builds one to six or seven (plus or minus) houses per year.   There are a number of contractors who build one to four houses each year.

    Can a small builder provide greater personal service or quality?   Not necessarily.   The reality is that many small builders:

    1. do not have the skills offered by specialized subcontractors hired by a larger builder;
    2. do not have a good bookkeeping system and good financial management;
    3. do not have the financial strength or security of a larger builder;
    4. do not have good project management;
    5. do not get the substantial quantity discounts of larger builders on materials; and
    6. do not have well oiled systems in place to handle construction from beginning to end.

    Having practiced real estate law for 20 years, I repeatedly saw these issues come up with small builders.     These are real issues that are true more often than not.   Consider each of these important issues, and you can imagine how much they can impact the quality of your home, the cost per square foot and the timeline.

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  • Filed under: Home Builders
  • Selecting a Builder for Your Custom Home

    Are you building a new home or a custom home in Sequim or Port Angeles? If you’ve decided to build your next home, this article answers the question, “What is the next step.”
    Author Rick Anderson is the founder of Anderson Homes, LLC, and with over 25 years of experience he shares his insights in this six part series to guide you in this exciting process.

    Part One of Selecting a Builder
    Once you’ve made the decision to build rather than to buy a home, the next thing you need to do is find a builder who can make it all happen. There are many qualities to seek out when selecting a “good builder,” and although the characteristics of a builder are sometimes difficult to evaluate, they are important.

    Management Skills
    First and foremost, you will want someone who can successfully manage a team of craftsmen skilled at constructing a quality home.

    Because buying or building a home is such a considerable investment, you want a builder who makes you feel comfortable. Building your home from the ground up is an emotional experience. You should feel at ease asking questions, and confident that there will be open communication throughout the entire process. A builder should be honest and fair, with the ability to listen, and the willingness to be a partner with you in solving problems along the way.

    (This article written by Rick Anderson and posted by Marketing Consultant Chuck Marunde.)

    The Series:
    Read Building a New Home or Custom Home (Part 1 of 6)
    Read Building a New Home or Custom Home (Part 2 of 6)
    Read Building a New Home or Custom Home (Part 3 of 6)
    Read Building a New Home or Custom Home (Part 4 of 6)
    Read Building a New Home or Custom Home (Part 5 of 6)
    Read Building a New Home or Custom Home (Part 6 of 6)

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    Chuck E. Marunde, J.D.

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

    From Los Angeles

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

    From Seattle

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

    From Florida

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

    From Gilroy California

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

    From Corona California

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

    From Bakersfield California

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

    From Los Alamos New Mexico

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

    From Sun Lakes Arizona

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

    From California

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

    From Sequim

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

    From The Netherlands

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

    From Fremont California

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

    From Fontana California

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

    From Tacoma

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

    From Wendell Idaho

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

    From Sequim

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

    From Seattle

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Intro by Chuck Marunde

    From Sequim to California

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

    Who is Chuck Marunde?

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