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Archive for the ‘Olympic National Park’ Category

Hurricane Ridge

Hurricane Ridge is a short drive from Sequim to Port Angeles and then 17 miles up into the Olympic National Park.  This is part of almost a million acres of National Park lands in the Olympics west of Seattle.  You could say this is a national treasure.  I enjoyed a hike on the trails of Hurricane Ridge this beautiful sunny Labor Day weekend, and I thought you might enjoy the photos.

Hurricane Ridge is Beautiful

Hurricane Ridge

Hurricane Ridge from Many Angles.

Hurricane-Ridge-Hiking

Hurricane Ridge is Very Impressive

Hurricane-Ridge-Park

The drive up to Hurricane Ridge is a very pleasant drive, and if you’ve ever driven up to a ski hill, then you can imagine what this drive is like, only without the snow this time of year.  There’s a lot to see, and when I first arrived at the top, I found myself just starring at the mountains and breathing in the fresh mountain air.  A lot of other people were caught in the same trance, and I saw tourists from all over the world, and almost everyone had a camera in their hands.

I strongly recommend Hurricane Ridge as one of your little tours while your here.

 

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The Olympic Peninsula

The Olympic Peninsula is an incredible place to live surrounded by the Strait of Juan de Fuca and the Pacific Ocean, and we have the Olympic National Park with old growth trees, the rain forest, and stunning beaches where couples walk hand-in-hand.  Sounds like Heaven, doesn’t it?  It is.

Olympic Peninsula

Olympic Peninsula

A pleasant drive around the Olympic Peninsula is a wonderful way to spend an afternoon or a Saturday or Sunday.

Olympic Peninsula Rain Forest

Most of the rain forests around the world are in warm, tropical areas, and they are typically dominated by evergreen trees that are flowering plants. But on the Olympic Peninsula you find conifers. The trees are evergreen rather than deciduous (they don’t lose all of their leaves at the same time each year).  The Olympic rain forest has abundant epiphytes (plants that live on other plants). Our rainforests are well developed in the valleys of the Bogachiel, Hoh, Queets, and Quinault Rivers.

Olympic Peninsula Beaches

Driving west of Port Angeles, you’ll have opportunities galore to take in the beauty of nature, walk along the beaches, and don’t forget to bring your camera.  The photo above was taken by Dan Grove.  What a fantastic photo Dan!

The Olympic National Park can be divided into three basic regions: the Pacific coastline, the Olympic Mountains, and the temperate rainforest.  You can spend all the time you want in each of these regions.  The Olympic Mountains have hiking trails that run as many miles into the mountains as you can hike, and there are some camping areas (walk-in only).  The Olympic Peninsula coastline is full of cliffs that tower 100 and 200 feet above the water, as well as beaches that gently slope into the ocean and create a stunning environment for anyone who loves nature and beauty.

So why aren’t you here?  This is an incredible time of year to walk our beaches.  Come and see the beauty and peace of the great Olympic Peninsula for yourself.

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Olympic National ForestIf you’re planning to drive around the Olympic Peninsula from Sequim west through Port Angeles and out toward Forks, you can plan your trip with the help of a very powerful online resource that Google offers.  I use this all the time.

There are so many places to see, and as they say, so little time.  One of the best ways to plan your trip is to pull up Google maps on your computer, and type in either Port Angeles or Forks, and then zoom out so you can see more of the Peninsula.  Then in your Google maps options, go to the “More” button and check some of the boxes available.  This will make videos and Wikipedia descriptions and other services show up on your Google map instantly showing you videos, photos, and descriptions of key places around the Olympic Peninsula.  It’s really cool.  La Push Beach is a nice place to hike to and picnic, if it isn’t raining.  And, I guess this goes without saying since the movie Twilight was made out there, watch out for vampires!

The photo was taken by Chuck Marunde high up in the Olympic National Park in old growth forests.

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La Push Beach from Sequim

La Push beach is a gorgeous stretch of beach on the west shore of the Olympic Peninsula, approximately an hour’s drive from Port Angeles and an hour and a half from Sequim.  This is allegedly the beach that was filmed in the famous movie Twilight starring the now famous Kristen Stewart and  Robert Pattinson.

La Push Beach

La Push beach is at the mouth of the Quillayute River and surrounded by the Olympic National forests.  If you are a photographer, you’ll love the photo opps in the forests, especially when the sun beams are breaking through the thick mossy branches of old growth trees.  La Push is inhabited nearly entirely by the descendants of the ancient Quileute Indian tribe, which is reported to have resided in this part of Washington for thousands of years. The area is well-known for its ocean fishing, and has seen a revival in the past few years. Fish include Coho, Chinook and Silver Salmon, as well as Halibut and Cod.

La Push

I took this photo on La Push beach on a typical hazy day.  The further you get around the Olympic Peninsula toward the city of Forks, the less sunshine and more rain you will see.  Still it is beautiful, and a great weekend drive.  A part of the Peninsula includes The Flattery Rocks National Wildlife Refuge, which is more than 100 miles long and is home to millions of birds during migration.

You can see why those of us who live in Sequim or Port Angeles love the quality of life here.  There is so much to see and do.

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Sequim v. Las Vegas

Sequim is green and beautiful.  I can personally testify to how green and how beautiful.  I served in the USAF as a JAG at Nellis AFB on the North end of Las Vegas during the Kuwait war.  I enjoyed my five years in Nevada.  It was a great experience, and my body acclimated to the desert heat.  The desert has a certain beauty, especially right after it rains, but the desert is also a pretty barren place.  You get used to bland colors, varying hues of sand colors and rock colors.  Still I loved it, and I enjoyed jogging through the desert daily.  I love getting out in nature and seeing its beauty.  Rick Crimmel caught the essence of the Nevada desert in this photo taken out in the Lake Mead area.  I took my three boys to Lake Mead almost every hot weekend.

And our contrast is this photo taken by yours truly from deep within the Olympic National Park.  The Sequim and Port Angeles areas are so green.  The first time I drove my family to Sequim from Vegas, pulling a trailer with everything we owned in 1994, I found myself saying repeatedly out loud, “Wow, look at those big green trees!  Aren’t they beautiful!”  Having lived in the desert for five years and coming back to the Northwest was a wonderful experience for me, and that was never so pronounced as when I saw how green it is in the Sequim area.

In 1994 my three boys were still young.  My oldest, Jesse, was in Junior High, and Bristol and Brady were in elementary school.  My decision to move here was motivated by the need to get my sons out of gang infested schools in Vegas and finish raising my boys in a safe community.  We found that community in Sequim.  My daughter, Sabrina, was born with the assistance of a midwife in Sequim in a 100 year old farm house adjacent to the Olympic Game Farm.  She is 13 years old now.  All of my children thrived here.  I’m thriving here, too.  Sequim is not only a beautiful place, it is a great place to live.

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A Delightful Trek in the Olympic National Park

Olympic National ParkIt was Saturday morning, and being Mr. Spontaneous (not!), I decided to take a hike up the trails of the National Olympic Park just a few miles west of Port Angeles, Washington.   The sun was already climbing above the tall pine trees when I parked at the base of the trail, which is about six miles into the Park up a winding narrow dirt road.

Having grown up in Alaska and spent my childhood running around in the woods in the bush community of Tok, and spending a great deal of time in the mountains of the great Alaska Range, I’m at home in the woods and mountains.   I miss watching wildlife with my father’s binoculars while perched high in the pinnacles of a mountainside.   I still remember in one sitting seeing 13 bears (grizzly and black), two moose, a caribou, a small group of Dall sheep and several lambs with a wolverine lurking in the shrubs nearby.   This was near the Tok Glacier, and it was 40 years ago.   Even then I felt the power of nature all around me.

There’s a quiet voice in nature that somehow speaks to us.   It’s the same message everywhere in the wilds, in the mountains of Alaska, Nevada, or Washington, in the dense old growth forests, or on a 32 foot fishing boat on Bristol Bay.   (I named my middle son Bristol.)   I hear the message when I dismiss all the noice and clutter of the world.

“I am as old as time itself.   I am beautiful to the eye that can see the depth and breadth of my mountains and valleys.   I am a friend who brings joy and pleasure to your life, and at the same time I am dangerous and unforgiving.   I reveal myself to you in every step you take, and I am much greater and far more awesome than your little mind can comprehend.   You see me in part, but you do not know me in full.   Enjoy me, but respect me.”

Olympic National Park TrailMy hike into the Olympic National Park brought back a flood of memories from my childhood experience in Alaska.   Crossing creeks and balancing with my arms out as I worked across the fallen trees made me feel like a kid again.   The great big trees that are as straight and tall as any I’ve ever seen blocked most of the sunshine from reaching the moss covered vegetation below.   Still there were beams of light breaking through and creating a portrait I only wish I could capture and share with the world.

These photos are my humble attempt to capture a vignette of something much greater.   This far into the mountains I cross the Elwha River on a walking bridge before the Elwha grows big and powerful.   In a few places it crashes and churns as the elevation drops dramatically.   There’s nothing as thrilling as standing in the presence of a mighty ancient forest high in the mountains with the thunderous applause of a river beginning its long journey to the ocean.

Is it any wonder that I love living on the Northern Olympic Peninsula?

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Olympic National Park West of Port Angeles

The Olympic National Park is near Port Angeles, and has beautiful hiking trails. This is a photo I took many miles in the mountains. It was serene and a peace of heaven. If you love nature, if you love hiking, if you love the outdoors, you’ll love the Olympic National Park.


Did you know that the Olympic National Park protects the largest unmanaged herd of Roosevelt elk in the world? Want to see more? Go to Olympic National Park photos and hiking trails.

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Olympic National Park Near Port Angeles

The Olympic National Park is incredible, if you love nature, the outdoors, stunning scenary, photo opps, hiking, jogging, biking, steep trails, rivers, lakes, and serenity.

The park is a hop and a skip outside of Port Angeles, Washington. If you are within driving range, you’ve got to get out here. Check out the TRAIL CONDITIONS, or check out the Park Main Website.

This photo is one I took of some old growth trees far up a mountain trail. I love this stuff!

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Olympic National Park Hiking

I’ve got to say one of the most enjoyable activities on the Olympic Peninsula is hiking in the Olympic National Park. It’s absolutely beautiful. Here’s a pic I took hiking above Sol duc Hot Springs.

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Olympic National Park Hiking

One of the reasons I love living on the Olympic Peninsula is the beautiful outdoors, the mountains, the ocean, the rivers. Jogging, bicycling, and hiking in the Olympic National Park is incredible. You can hike a few miles into the mountains, soak in one of seven natural hot springs, and hike further up into the mountains, and there are places to pitch a tent.

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Chuck E. Marunde, J.D.

Founder and Broker of
Sequim & Port Angeles Real Estate dba iRealty Virtual Brokers
143 Higgins Lane, Sequim, WA
(360) 775-5424
ChuckMarunde@gmail.com
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Who is Chuck Marunde?

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

How to Search the Best MLS

From Seattle

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

From Florida

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

From Gilroy California

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

From Corona California

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

From Bakersfield California

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

From Los Alamos New Mexico

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

From Sun Lakes Arizona

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

From California

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

From Sequim

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

From The Netherlands

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

From Fremont California

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

From Fontana California

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

From Tacoma

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

From Wendell Idaho

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

From Sequim

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

From Seattle

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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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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