Welcome to the largest Sequim Real Estate Blog with over 1,900 articles.
Knowing how to sell your home is the key to getting the biggest check at the closing table, and it is also the key to selling your home as quickly as possible with the least amount of stress. Trust me, that first sentence has all the components to a successful sale, but you really need to know how to sell your home before you even begin that entire process.
If you are living in the Sequim, Port Angeles, or Port Townsend areas, this video will help you get the answers you need on every important issue revolving around the issue of how to sell your home. But even if you are in southern California, and you intend to sell your home so you can move to Sequim and buy a home, this video will have value, and if you want to learn much more specifically about how to sell your home anywhere in the U.S., you may want to read my book, “The Seven Myths of Selling Your Home,” which is available on Amazon in paperback or a Kindle edition.
I hope you found this video helpful. If you have any questions, you’re welcome to email me anytime, and if I know the answer to your question, I’ll be glad to share what I have learned about how to sell your home.
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What if you want to buy a house that needs a new roof? This might be a simple question, but the solution can get complicated. Here are your options if you find the ideal property in the right location but the house needs a new roof.
First, you could negotiate your best price and after closing have a roofing contractor put on a new roof, assuming you have the cash to do that. Depending on the total square feet, that will cost $12,000 to $18,000. Second, if your lender requires a new roof before they will fund your loan and close (because the roof has less than two years left), you could have a dilemma. But there is an approach that often works, and it’s an approach I used for the sale of the home in this photo.
This home has two roofs that are full of moss, and the roofs are 38 years old. The buyer’s lender required a new roof for both houses prior to closing. So then the question is, “Who will pay for the roofs?” A buyer isn’t going to put money up prior to closing to repair the roofs, and a seller isn’t going to advance money to put on a new roof before closing. There’s always a possibility the buyer won’t close, so a seller doesn’t want to risk it, and the seller may not have the funds anyway.
In this case we simply raised the price by the amount of the roofing contractor’s bid to a new roof on both houses (one roof is the main house, and the other roof is the guest house above the shop). The total roofing bid was $28,000, so we raised the agreed selling price by that amount, and we hired a roofing contractor to do the work prior to closing. Since the roofing contractor has a 10 day grace period to pay his roofing supplier, the roofing contractor could do the work and get paid out of escrow at closing. That way neither buyer nor seller had to come up with the funds to put on a new roof.
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Who needs a real estate expert? Two people come to mind–buyers and sellers. Your home, the one you buy, will be one of the most important and largest purchases of your life, and it’s the home where you will spend the majority of your time, maybe for the rest of your life. With that in mind, would you want a Realtor or an attorney who is not a real estate expert? Would you trust someone who dabbles in real estate, or someone who is a part-time Realtor? Believe it or not, 85% of all buyers hire the first Realtor they talk to with no interview, no due diligence, and they do not know what qualifications a real estate expert should have.
What could happen if you try to buy a home without a real estate expert? Since I was a real estate attorney for 20 years, I can actually tell you what happens when buyers are not well represented. There’s a reason there are so many attorneys in this country, and there’s a reason they make so much money. I recall a couple telling me their buyer’s agent didn’t advise them to get a home inspection, and they ended up with a nightmare after closing. Their agent didn’t know the importance of a home inspection. The truth is, most agents are not real estate experts. Most consider themselves sales persons with basic real estate knowledge.
Another agent missed the deadline for a well inspection response, and the well turned out to be contaminated. That meant the buyers lost their earnest money. A couple decided to buy a 100 year old farm house, but their agent lacked expertise on the need to have the electrical panel and wiring checked out by an electrician. It was too late when they discovered they had to do a complete rewire of the whole house at a huge expense. Unfortunately, their agent was not a real estate expert.
A buyer relied on her agent to give her advice about the seller’s disclosure statement, but the agent missed the red flag, and the buyer had to replace the heat pump at a cost of several thousand dollars. There are so many things that can and often do go wrong in a real estate transaction, but until it happens to you, you may not realize the need for a real estate expert. You might think you can just hire any Tom, Dick, or Jane to help you buy a home. You might get lucky and everything might go smoothly, but do you really want to rely on luck with so much of your hard earned money?
If you wanted to hire a real estate expert to represent you as your buyer’s agent in the state of Washington, what would you look for? Here you have to be a bit cautious, because in the sales business, many agents will give you the answers you want to hear, so you need discernment, but you also need to know what kind of credentials your buyer’s agent should have, and you need to know how to do your due diligence. Have you heard the phrase, “Buyer beware?” Well, when it comes to buying something as expensive as a home, the warning is still good advice after 2,000 years.
By the way, be very careful about hiring a Realtor simply based on a referral by a neighbor, a friend, or someone in your Church or your favorite club. People are quick to give their brother’s name to someone else (or their best friend’s name), but that can be as bad as it could be good. Read “Real Estate Referrals: Blessing or Curse?”
I would encourage you to do your research before you decide on a buyer’s agent. Do your due diligence on me. I welcome it. Read more of my real estate blog articles (there are over 2,000), read some of my real estate books, watch my Sequim real estate videos for buyers, take a look at the real estate training site linked to the image above, use one of my three Sequim MLS sites, and interview me yourself. Whomever you hire as your buyer’s agent, make sure for your own sake that you hire a genuine real estate expert.
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This Sequim Real Estate Blog is by far the largest local real estate blog in Sequim and possibly the largest on the Olympic Peninsula with over 2,000 articles written for buyers. At the end of each year, I like to share some of our most popular articles for the calendar year.
It’s no surprise that our most popular article is itself packed full of powerful resources for buyers and has been read over 1,300 times during 2016 by almost 300,000 visitors to this Sequim Real Estate Blog. [Total hits on our blog were over 3.8 million.]
#1 Sequim Real Estate: 10 Powerful Buyer Resources
#2 Your Closing Date May Be a Moving Target (a surprisingly popular article)
#3 Sequim Real Estate and Private Well Issues
#5 Blizzards, Tornadoes, and Floods (But Not in Sequim)
I certainly hope you enjoys these articles, but don’t stop with these six. You can search any subject on Sequim real estate, and you’re likely to find an article that answers your specific question. You see, I’ve been answering the questions that people moving to Sequim have been asking for two decades.
BONUS: There are two other articles that have been unusually popular, even though they are older articles. The first has 15 comments, and some of them are quite angry. Their comments only affirm the gist of the article. The article is entitled Who Should I Hire First–Architect or Builder? The other article is also garnering a lot of interest around the State of Washington (16 comments), and it is about how loans are being turned down because of a ridiculous government regulation. The article is entitled Private Road Maintenance Agreements.
architects and private road maintenance
You can search in 3 ways. First, you can simply type in a word or phrase in our powerful search box, and all articles on that subject with appear. You’ll find our search box on the home page in the right margin, and it looks like this. You can click on this image, and it will take you to the search page.
Second, you can use our incredible drop down menu on the home page, and you’ll see all the major categories people like to search. When you pull up a category, it gives you all the articles on that subject. In some cases, that will mean over a dozen articles on a single question you want to get answered. Just hover your mouse over the links at the top of the home page, like “Buyers”, “Sellers”, “Sequim”, “Real Estate Books”, “Buyer’s Guide”, and “Seller’s Guide”.
Third, you can find many of these articles and many of our other online resources for buyers with a simple Google search. We have optimized more articles, photos, and videos for the search engines than any other single brokerage in our market. But the most direct path to getting your answers is to use our search box above.
Of course, we also have the most accurate, most powerful, and easiest Sequim MLS site to navigate at Sequim Real Estate MLS.
Wishing all our readers and future clients a very Happy New Year and a prosperous 2017. Now you know the most effect way to search for your Sequim real estate.
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What will happen to the Sequim real estate market this coming year? What will prices do? What will the Sequim inventory look like? What about land prices? How much will interest rates go up? My Sequim real estate prediction for 2017 is an educated view of what the Sequim real estate market will be like this coming year, especially under a Trump administration.
The Sequim real estate market bottomed out about a year and a half ago, and it’s been slowly improving since then. Prices have been creeping upward, and most homes are selling at the listed price as long as it is fair market value. The inventory of homes retirees want has been reduced to a crisis level. [Read Sequim Real Estate Inventory and Sequim Home Inventory written over 3 years ago]. People are starting to build homes again, because they cannot find a suitable home in the existing inventory. Prices have not increased as much as they should have based on the economic formulas of supply and demand in the Sequim real estate market.
We’ve all known that mortgage rates would be going up, and we’ve known that for several years. [Read Mortgage Interest Rates Going Up written in 2013.] We’ve seen a recent bump in interest rates, and as of today the 30 year fixed rate is at 4.18%. You can check on interest rates for 30-year, 15-year, and ARMs at the bottom right of this Sequim Real Estate search page.
Here is my logical prediction for the Sequim real estate market this coming year. While interest rates got a recent bump in anticipation of Janet Yellen’s announcement of a quarter point increase and 3 more likely increases in 2017, I think it is highly likely with a growing and healthy economy that we will see the 30-year fixed rate at 4.75% by the end of 2017.
With respect to the Sequim real estate inventory, it will continue to shrink and new spec homes will not replace them fast enough. This is a small market, and local builders cannot afford to build out large numbers of spec homes for future sales. That means almost all new homes are custom homes started only after you sign a contract with a builder. Then you can expect a construction timeline extending about 8 months out. That assumes you’ve already purchased a vacant lot for your home and drilled a well and put in a septic system (unless you’re on municipal utilities).
Because of the low inventory, prices will continue to slowly increase over 2017. I anticipate that by the end of 2017, home prices will increase by 5% from today (Dec 2016). Because more new homes will be built, land will start to sell again here, which means a steady increase in prices on vacant land.
Increased mortgage rates and a 5% increase in home prices in 2017 will affect some buyers’ ability to purchase their ideal home, but for buyers who will pay in cash, they will have an advantage among buyers. And there will be more competition for homes, so the buyer who finds their ideal home will probably lose it to a more assertive buyer who gets an agreement signed with the seller. Remember, you will have plenty of time to do your due diligence with a home inspection and other inspections once you have a signed agreement with a seller. Days or weeks of research prior to even making an offer is going to be a sure way to lose the home to another buyer in a market like this.
Some are concerned about a Trump Presidency, but his background bodes well for the Sequim real estate market. He certainly understands real estate and the mortgage business, more so than any president in my lifetime. If he can implement his promises for an improved job market, a tax code and regulatory environment more conducive to businesses, we may see an economy that does grow by 4% in 2017. No matter what your political persuasion, a Trump Presidency is going to be a good thing for the Sequim real estate market in 2017. Already, nearly everyone on both sides of the aisle are surprised at the records being set in consumer sentiment, home builder sentiment, and the financial markets. The Dow is up 8.6%, the NASDAQ is up 4.8%, the S&P 500 is up 5.6%, and the Russell 2000 is up 14%, and all this since the election. Excluding weekends and holidays, that’s only 35 days. Never have the pundits and naysayers been so wrong as they were this year. We’re a long way from the vibrant Sequim real estate market of 2005, but I anticipate a healthy 2017.
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I have a client who found a home he really liked, and it immediately went under contract. In fact, it had five offers, all above listed price. The seller accepted one, and also accepted two of the other offers as backups. So my client found another home he thought he might like to see, but it immediately went under contract. He thinks he has the magic touch, that any home he wants to see will sell before he gets to the front door. If that were true, he could make a lot of money, but his dilemma is not so uncommon for retirees planning to look at Sequim Homes. In this article I’ll explain exactly why this happens to so many people looking at Sequim homes.
It is absolutely amazing how similar the preferences are among those of us in the 50s and 60s generation. I kid you not–we tend to want the same home. This is the home I like to say is at the top of the Bell Curve. About 95% of my buyers want this home. It is 3 bedrooms, 2 baths, 1,800 to 2,300 square feet, newer with a modern kitchen, an open floor plan, all on a single level, and in a nice area with some privacy. Chances are this is what you are looking for, too, among all the Sequim homes for sale.
No wonder so many retirees looking at Sequim homes online discover that before they can actually view the home, it is pending. Homes at or near the top of the Bell Curve will sell in a short period of time right now in the Sequim area, and if the listing price is reasonable, they will sell at full price.
There is another home that sells quickly, although it is not the ideal retirement home. This is the steal of the century. There aren’t very many of these, but 95% of the retirees are not looking at an investment home that needs work. One home recently sold for somewhat over $120,000, and while it was a manufactured home, it was in very good condition and on one acre of nice property in a quiet area. That home will make an inexpensive retirement home for someone, but more likely it was bought by someone who intends to clean the property up and rent it out. That kind of property sells for cash quickly.
If you want to be able to see the status of a listing, whether it is active or pending, you can use my Sequim4Sale.com site, and you’ll see a data field called “Status” which will show you if it is “Active” and still available, or if it is pending, which is called “Act-Under-Contr” short for Active Under Contract. That is the same as pending. If you need help from an experienced and trustworthy Realtor, don’t hesitate to call or text or email ChuckMarunde@gmail.com (360-775-5424).
Are you looking at Sequim Homes?
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Sequim real estate listings and the shortage of homes that retirees want has created a difficult market and a slow down in sales, too. Local Realtors are struggling to get good listings, and that has created a serious challenge for real estate brokers.
Sequim Real Estate Listings Shortage
The traditional real estate brokerage has relied heavily on listings to make money, and the way the vast majority of traditional brokers have generated buyer leads is through their real estate listings. In other words, their business models focuses on getting listings, not creating a marketing system of free information for buyers. Their listings have been their marketing system, but it’s not really a marketing system for real estate listings as far as buyers are concerned. Now with the shortage in listings, this is creating a tremendous challenge or dilemma for the traditional brokerage.
Sequim Real Estate Listings and Marketing
If I am correct on this point, this means that the traditional brokerage may be in trouble, because without lots of good listings, they suddenly have lost their primary tool for generating buyer leads. This is not a small issue. It is so big, we could see brokerages with big overhead and a shortage of closings close their doors. I hope not, but this is unquestionably a crisis for brokerages who rely so heavily on real estate listings for their income.
What is so dramatically different about iRealty Virtual Brokers is that we are the number one brokerage providing massive resources for buyers, thousands of articles, several MLS sites designed and programmed for buyers, and a staff with more real estate knowledge and experience than any other. iRealty does not rely exclusively on real estate listings to generate buyer leads. Buyers love all the free information we provide on the Internet, and we’re the only brokerage to provide this level of relevant and credible real estate information.
If you’re a buyer looking at Sequim real estate listings, you just found the biggest and most powerful source of buyer information on the entire Internet for the Sequim area. Browse this blog and browse all our resources, including our MLS sites, and we think you’ll love what you find. You can not only find the answers to all your questions, you can also look at all our real estate listings.
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This is the place to get your real estate questions answered, but we have a very unique approach. Earnest Hemingway once wrote, “There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed.” I understand what he meant.
I’ve been answering real estate questions for a couple of decades, specifically questions that buyers have been asking about buying homes and land in the Sequim area. I enjoy answering real estate questions, and I answer them very carefully, but a blog must be more than just cold calculated answers, right?
Who would bother reading a blog if it was boring or written poorly, or if it was just boilerplate staid facts? So every day I write an article on this blog, I seek to connect with readers on an emotional level, too. Any author worth his or her salt connects with clients on an emotional level. But that is not easy.
Many years ago this blog received an award for being “Content Rich,” and that’s a good thing, but that’s not enough. So in my striving to make this blog enjoyable for buyers to read, I find I have to pour myself out emotionally. To do that consistently is hard work, and this is why I identify with Hemingway’s statement, “There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed.”
The last year I looked at the stats, the 2,000 articles on this blog were read over 3 million times in one calendar year. This blog has a lot of readers around the United States who want their real estate questions answered.
So that’s what I do here. Well, I don’t use a typewriter any more, but to answer your real estate questions I do sit down and type at the keyboard and . . . I bleed.
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Attic ventilation is one of the important items on a long checklist of things to watch for when you buy a home. It’s also important if you have a home built–the home should have the right attic ventilation designed into the home. I learned long ago that the answers you get in life are only as good as the questions you ask. The challenge too often is that we don’t know what questions to ask. This real estate blog with almost 2,000 articles written specifically for Sequim buyers, helps you to know what questions to ask, and then I answer the questions.
I just represented some buyers in the purchase of a home in Sequim, and when the home inspector came down from inspecting the attic, what he shared set off some big alarms. Apparently the owners had someone blow insulation into the attic years ago. The insulation guy covered all the attic soffit vents with insulation. Dumb and very bad. But wait, because it gets better. The vent from the laundry room ended in the attic and for years had been dumping moisture into an attic with no circulation at all. There were no vents at the ends of the attic, and there was no ridge vent. The result was mold in the attic. Not good.
There’s another important reason for good attic ventilation. A hot attic will shorten the life span of composition shingles. Since roofing a typical home in Sequim can cost $12,000 to $18,000, this is a big deal. And of course, a very hot attic can contribute to higher temperatures inside the home.
Soffit vents are required in the eaves under the Uniform Building Code, but you could also have a vent (and even an automatic fan) that vents out the end of the attic or through the roof. Another great way to get good attic ventilation is with a ridge vent. You can easily recognize if a home has a ridge vent, because at the top of the ridge there is a heightened ridge with shingles about an inch above the rest of the roof.
Attic ventilation in a mild climate like Sequim’s climate is not as critical as it is in Las Vegas or Phoenix, but it is still important. Even with temperatures in the 70s and 80s, an attic can get quite hot without good ventilation.
If the home you want to buy doesn’t have good attic ventilation, you could add it, but first you want to hear from your home inspector as to whether there is a problem now. Knowing what to ask the seller to do and what you can do later yourself is part of the negotiating process, and it’s important to know what Sequim sellers are willing to agree to when it comes to repairs or improvements to attic ventilation.
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We are excited to announce the all new 4th edition of Sequim Real Estate: A Buyer’s Guide, which is now available on Amazon in either a paperback version ($24.95) or a Kindle version ($9.95). It is hot off the press as we just finished publishing this update this morning.
Thousands of buyers have read Sequim Real Estate: A Buyer’s Guide and found it very helpful. This is the 4th Edition, and I hope you also find it helpful, but I want you to know what the purpose of this book is, and how to use it to help you if you are thinking about buying real estate in beautiful Sequim, Washington.
This is a book written specifically for buyers of Sequim real estate, and my intent is to give you good content, accurate information on the most important issues, checklists, and helpful suggestions that will guide you through the process. But this book is also a window to many free Sequim online resources, including thousands of articles, websites, multiple MLS sites, and smartphone tools. In other words, don’t stop with this book, because this will lead to a lot more free information for you, all online and at your fingertips anytime 24/7.
I’ve been listening to the questions buyers have been asking for the past 20 years about Sequim real estate, and this book and the online resources answer those questions. By the way, this book could have been named, “Port Angeles Real Estate: A Buyer’s Guide,” because it applies to Port Angeles, too. If you’re looking at Port Townsend, this is still the most relevant book on the market today.
This book is a labor of love from a lifetime in real estate. You can click on the image above to purchase a copy, or go to Amazon and search for the title. If you do, please consider leaving a positive review on Amazon. I hope you enjoy Sequim Real Estate: A Buyer’s Guide.
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Some home sales are terminated before closing. A client from California asked me today, “What are the main reasons that would cause Sequim home sales to get terminated?”
There are three main reasons home sales get terminated. First, if the buyer’s loan is not approved because the buyer doesn’t qualify, the transaction must be terminated. Second, if the lender’s appraisal comes in too low, and the buyer cannot make up the difference, or if the seller will not reduce the price, the transaction will be terminated. Third, if the home inspection does not meet with the buyer’s approval, they can terminate the transaction. There are other possibilities, but these are the three main reasons.
If you are using Sequim-Homes.com for your Sequim and Port Angeles MLS search, you can look at the “status” of a listed home. Very few online MLS sites show you the status of a transaction, but this MLS site does. If it is “active,” it is still available. If the status is “pending,” it is under contract right now. Another phrase used for “pending” is “Act-Under Contr.” which is active under contract.
If you see a home you like, but it is currently pending, and then after a few weeks the status goes back to active, that means it was terminated for one of the reasons above, and now it it available again. You can use our email alert system on our MLS site to tell you the home sales status of any listed properties.
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Do you know how to search the Internet for real estate? Today I want to share how to search the Internet for your next home in a way that gets you the best answers to your questions. The best search results will be direct answers to your questions, and they will be accurate and reliable. But to get these kinds of results, you will need to know how to search the Internet (and how not to search the Internet).
In life the answers you get are only as good as the questions you ask, and when it comes to searching the Internet for your next home and trying to find answers to all your real estate questions, the search results you get are only as good as the accuracy of your Internet search. Type in a query slightly wrong, and you’ll get mediocre results, or you won’t get the answer you need.
This real estate blog was designed to give buyers the best and most accurate answers to their questions about Sequim and Sequim real estate, and with over 1,900 articles, you may not need to search for answers beyond this real estate blog [See Search Sequim Real Estate Blog, How to Find a Sequim Home, and Search Sequim Real Estate], but I’m going to teach you how to search the entire Internet anyway.
You can search an individual MLS site for homes, but make sure you’re using an accurate MLS site for the area you search. [See Does Zillow Have Bad Data?], but let’s move past that to what so many of you like to do on the Internet. You like to use a search engine like Google to type in phrases. Buyers who are looking for a home with a shop in Sequim will type “Sequim home with shop” for example, and they will type that phrase without the quotes. Buyers looking for a horse property will type “Sequim horse property,” without quotes and someone who wants a water view may type “Sequim water view property” without quotes. And so on.
But if you want to get very specific results to your search phrase, you need to use quotes in your search. By using quotes, only articles with that exact phrase will show up. For example, if you want a buyer’s agent to represent you in a particular area, type the city or area name followed by the words “buyer’s agent”. If you’re looking in Sequim, you would type “Sequim buyer’s agent” in a Google search. Search the Internet this way, and you will get the best results.
This also is tremendously helpful if you are searching for answers to questions about “Sequim septic systems” or “Sequim home inspections” or “Sequim well inspections” or any specific issue.
In addition to using quotes, you can type a question with quotes. You can also type a phrase within quotes followed by “AND” (without the quotes) immediately followed by another phrase in quotes. This would give you very specific search results. For example, if you wanted an experienced buyer’s agent, it is unlikely that you would find an article with that phrase, but you might find a real estate agent who is both a “buyer’s agent” and an “experienced real estate agent.” So you would search the Internet like this:
“Sequim buyer’s agent” AND “experienced real estate agent”
If you want to search for articles about “buying a foreclosure” specifically in the Sequim area, you would type:
“buying a foreclosure” AND sequim
Using Google to search the Internet is fun, and Goole search is very powerful. I hope these tips on how to search the Internet for your next home and to help you find the answers to your real estate questions has been helpful.
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This Sequim real estate blog can be read on mobile devices on your iPad or your Kindle or on any tablet. That’s been true for years, but we have something new you might like. It’s a magazine format for your tablet. You use your finger to turn the pages on your tablet just like a real magazine. You tap on an article to open it up. It’s a wonderful way to browse articles and read about Sequim.
Technology can be a wonderful tool, especially when you are far away in another state trying to find answers to all your Sequim questions. It’s only been about two decades that we’ve had the power of the Internet, and only in the last decade that information resources like this real estate blog became available to buyers like you. It’s fun to be able to use the Internet on your tablet like a traditional print magazine where you can turn the pages. The graphics of this Sequim magazine are great. Just to to Flipboard.com and search for “Buying Real Estate” by Chuck Marunde, or use this link: Sequim Real Estate. The pages turn on your tablet, but not on your PC or laptop.
You can use your Kindle, if you have one, and take advantage of the same technology. You can even submit questions from your tablet to your local real estate expert (real estate atty, ret., author and buyer’s agent). Enjoy! This is another of many firsts for iRealty Virtual Brokers, also registered as Sequim and Port Angeles Real Estate.
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Do you have real estate questions? Questions about Sequim, Port Angeles, or Port Townsend? Questions about retiring on the Olympic Peninsula? What life is like on the Olympic Peninsula, what the cost of living is, and a hundred other questions? What if you could find one place, one source that would answer all your real estate questions with straight and honest answers? Well, you’ve found it here. With over 1,900 articles written that answer these real estate questions, this is the largest real estate blog on the Olympic Peninsula and one of the largest in the entire Northwest.
You can search this blog with any of thousands of phrases or words, and all articles written with that phrase or word will pop up. Many articles include links to more information on specific topics. All articles are written by nationally recognized real estate expert Chuck Marunde, retired real estate lawyer and real estate broker, and author of ten books, mostly on real estate.
In the right margin you will see links to affiliate sites with more information. There are links to the books, links to three MLS sites, links to photos sites, and much more.
If you cannot find the answer to your question(s), you can email Chuck at ChuckMarunde@gmail.com, or you can schedule an appointment online with the link in the right margin. If you have subjects you would like to see covered on this blog, suggestions are very welcome.
A big part of Chuck’s philosophy as a real estate broker and buyer’s agent involves giving you as a buyer the best and most accurate information you can get to make wise decisions. “I believe in giving and giving, all free and without any obligation. I also believe that eventually it comes back.” If you like to read books, you can order the books on Amazon.com. With all these resources, you are almost certainly going to get all the answers to your real estate questions.
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Veteran’s Day is an important day, and I’m grateful for our veterans who protect this great nation and our freedom. Some use the word “freedom” casually, but there’s nothing casual about the word “freedom.” Many have given their lives for you and me, and many have come home severely wounded. I never served on the front lines, but I’m proud to say I served in the USAF as a JAG (Judge Advocate General’s Office) during the first Kuwait war. I found this photo from 1989. I was a lot thinner then, had a giant pair of glasses, and still had hair, but I’m proud to have worn the uniform.
Veteran’s Day reminds me that my father served in WWII driving a tank in the Army. He was part of “The Greatest Generation.” Today many veterans who served since WWII are retired in Sequim. Veteran’s Day reminds me of my own service at Nellis AFB in Las Vegas. I loved wearing the uniform. I loved the chain of command, the respect we had for each other, and the discipline we practiced.
My job during the first Kuwait war was to prep the troops who were deployed to the Middle East. I had to brief them on what NOT to do in Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, and Iraq. Placing Americans, even disciplined members of our military, right in the middle of any Arab country was fraught with risk, and I’m not talking about the war risks. The sharp divide between the two cultural, social, religious, political, and judicial systems created a daily risk of potential conflict.
A captain who returned from Iraq told me that one of the females under his command was seen driving a jeep by an Arab prince, and since women were not allowed to drive in Saudi Arabia, the prince chased her back to the base and angrily confronted General Norman Schwarzkopf in his tent by hitting the General in the leg with a small stick (like a little horse whip). While it is probably not on the record anywhere, the word was that the good General sent that prince flying across that tent with a single punch. Believe it or not, that incident did a lot to raise moral among the troops. Every single day our troops were there was a day in a boiling pot of intense circumstances. All these memories come back on Veteran’s Day.
I miss wearing the uniform. I miss the order and respect in the chain of command. I remember the dedication of the enlisted people I worked with as well as the other officers. I’m proud to have served, but I’m prouder still of all our active duty veterans today. God bless them on Veteran’s Day!
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What’s a Sequim interview deluxe? It is the Buyer’s ultimate interview about Sequim. Let’s set the context so I explain the benefits of a Sequim interview like this. You’re either retired or about to retire. You’re in your late 50s or early 60s, and you have been doing a lot of research online to help you decide where to retire. You have a lot of questions that need straight and thorough answers.
Buyers planning their retirement have many questions about very important issues, such as these: What is the climate and rainfall really like? What is the cost of living? What about property taxes, homeowner association dues, and water and gas? How is the traffic? What about shopping, like Costco, Home Depot, and grocery stores? How are the medical services? What about activities for seniors? What about recreational opportunities? Does the area have high speed Internet? And there are many questions about real estate, locations, drainage, wells and water management, septic systems, the state of the real estate market, and prices.
Here is what buyers love–the ultimate Sequim interview with a 20-year resident, Chuck Marunde. The offer is a one hour interview or Q&A with Chuck when you come to Sequim. Chuck raised his children in Sequim, retired after a full career as a real estate attorney, and now runs the most successful virtual real estate brokerage in the area. He’s been answering questions for buyers for two decades. Learn more in this one hour than you will with hundreds of hours of online research or by talking to dozens of people who all have different ideas or agendas. Get the truth and get your questions answered so you can decide if Sequim is your retirement destination. You can email Chuck, but you can also schedule your time with him online right now in the link to the right called “Book Your Appt Online”.
Now you know what a Sequim interview deluxe is all about.
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Chuck Marunde created a number of Sequim real estate checklists over the past two decades, and buyers from around the country have been using these to keep themselves out of trouble and to make wise decisions about buying Sequim real estate. So today we will share some of our most popular checklists. (You might want to bookmark this article for future reference.)
I hope you don’t feel overwhelmed by the details in these Sequim real estate checklists. Buyers email and call me regularly to tell me these checkists have been extremely helpful. In addition to these checklists, I offer a free bonus to all my clients. You don’t have to know everything about all the issues on these checklists, because I do, and you can trust me to protect you and guide you throughout the process. I would consider it a pleasure to work for you and with you as you look at Sequim real estate.
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Let’s compare the San Juan Islands with Sequim. If you’re planning to retire to the great Northwest from California or Arizona or Texas, you’re undoubtedly looking for a milder climate, but what else are you looking for? Your online search may lead you to the beautiful islands of the Northwest outside the Seattle metropolis, the San Juan Islands. So how do we compare the San Juan Islands with Sequim?
Sequim has annual rainfall of 16.2 inches while Friday Harbor on San Juan Island has annual rainfall of 28.2. That means the San Juan Islands get 12 more inches of rain annually. Sequim is famous for its Blue Hole or Rain Shadow getting one-third the rainfall of Seattle. The San Juan Islands are just a little beyond the Blue Hole. The temperatures in the summer and winter are similar. Sequim recorded the warmest temperature of 94°F in 2007, and Friday Harbor recorded the lowest temperature of -8°F in 1950. In both places most of the time summer temperatures are in the 60s and 70s, and the winter temperatures in the 40s and 50s.
Living on San Juan Island means access to the mainland is by ferry only. The ferry trip is one hour and five minutes one way. That takes you from Friday Harbor on San Juan Island to Anacortes. From Anacortes to Seattle is one hour and 30 minutes, if you’re not driving in rush hour traffic. You may want to plan additional time for potential ferry or driving delays. Sequim is a two hour drive from Sea-Tac or a two and a half hour drive from Seattle, or you can take the Bainbridge ferry, which is one hour from Sequim and a 30 minute ferry ride to downtown Seattle. Sequim has Highway 101 access in all directions. Depending on your personal preferences for travel, this is an important consideration when you compare the San Juan Islands and Sequim.
The islands are fairly remote when it comes to shopping. Residents who want to shop will need to go to the mainland for most shopping. Sequim is fortunate to have a number of major stores, including Safeway, QFC, J.C. Penney’s, Home Depot, Petco, Costco, and of course Starbucks. Both San Juan Island and Sequim have boutique shops. Sequim is a 50 minute drive from Silverdale, which has a large mall and lots of shopping. When you compare the San Juan Islands and Sequim on shopping, most women will clearly prefer Sequim.
Compare the San Juan Islands Recreation.
Both the San Juan Islands and Sequim boast extraordinary recreational opportunities on the water, and on that level they are probably equal. Sequim is blessed with the Olympic National Forest to the south and hundreds of miles of hiking trails in old growth forests. From Sequim around the Olympic Peninsula are plenty of inland fishing and hunting opportunities.
Compare the Sailing and Boating
The San Juan Islands have plenty of sailing and boating opportunities, but Sequim and Port Angeles have plenty of surface water and sheltered bays, too. This may be a wash in terms of comparison, but Port Angeles does have substantially more maintenance facilities and equipment repair facilities along the Port Angeles Marina than the San Juan Islands by an order of magnitude.
Compare the San Juan Islands Real Estate Prices.
San Juan Island real estate prices are much higher than Sequim’s. A home that is $1.6 million in the Islands may be half that price in Sequim. Here are the search results for a 3 bedroom+, 2 bathroom+, 1,600 minimum square foot home in both locations, listed from the most expensive to the least expensive:
There is no doubt the northwest is one of the most beautiful destination retirement areas in the entire country. If you have questions about any of the homes on these lists, email me at ChuckMarunde@gmail.com or simply call me on my cell at 360-775-5424. Of course, one of the best things anyone could do to compare the San Juan Islands and Sequim is to spend a little time in both locations.
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This new Sequim property is right at the top of the Bell Curve for retirees moving to Sequim. One person said to me, “All the good homes have sold!” Well, that’s not true, but it can feel that way when you cannot find your idea of the perfect home and every time you see a possibility, it is suddenly pending. This new listing is likely to sell fairly quickly, too.
You can see more photos and all the incredible features of this Sequim property at 134 Jamestown Road. What makes this home so perfect, or why is it that so many retirees are looking for a Sequim property just like this?
Here’s why. This is a 3 bedroom with 2.5 baths, a modern kitchen with an open floor plan, a gorgeous laundry room, a large master bedroom with a master bath anyone would love (husband and wife sinks and countertops, a full large shower, a separate large tub with jets, and plenty of natural light). The high quality of construction is very impressive. This home originally was built by a custom home builder who planned to sell it for more than $500,000, but he got hit by the recession. You could not buy this land, develop it, excavate with site planning, pay for permits and build this home for this listing price.
The other major reason this Sequim property is such a hot listing is because of the land itself and the location. As they say, “location is everything in real estate,” and this property is 4.9 acres only two miles from Sequim. It sits in a peaceful area, and if you want animals, you could have them. Or you could plant your own apple trees. Adjacent to the outdoor basketball court is a natural growth of large juicy ripe blackberries as I write this.
If this property and home are your idea of the perfect home, I highly recommend you call me directly at 360-775-5424 or text me a message. You won’t find another Sequim property like this at this price.
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Sequim listings can be dramatically different. Do not assume that all sellers and their listing agents are on the same sheet of music. Similar homes can be priced substantially different. I showed homes today to a couple from Iowa. We had a great time, and every home we looked at was totally different, although each property had some acreage and offered some privacy, important criteria for my buyers. But the prices were all over the map.
For example, one property had a quiet location and beautiful level acreage, and it had a great shop, but the house is arguably a tear down. It is a vintage late ’60s or early ’70s home that has never been remodeled. There are some very bad smells in the house. My buyer estimated the upgrading cost at $100,000+, and yet this home was priced higher than another home that was absolutely immaculate with a perfectly landscaped property, albeit less acreage but still quite private. The word that comes to mind is “disparity.” Disparities are likely to happen in any market. Not all sellers and their listing agents will all value properties with the same standards. But today was a glaring example for my buyers that not all homes are judged in the same way, so Sequim listings may have dramatically different prices.
What does this mean? It means you should do your comparisons of Sequim listings in the MLS as best you can, and then communicate with your buyer’s agent before you arrive to filter out the homes that would be a total waste of your time. Then when you come to look at your short list of properties with your buyer’s agent, you will make the best of your time and increase the chances of finding the ideal home at the right listing price.
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