Sequim Real Estate in Sunny Sequim, Washington

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Sequim Real Estate 2013

It’s been a very good year for Sequim real estate. The Sequim market picked up substantially over last year and real estate sales were the best they’ve been during the past many years of this recession. Thank God for that. Of course, that means we also had an equal number of new residents move to Sequim. Why were sales so much better in 2013?


Sequim Real Estate Sales Up

At the end of December I’ll post a full graph showing Sequim sales for 2013 and compare that with previous years, but here I want to share what I perceive as the driving forces that gave Sequim such a boost in 2013. Many retirees from around the country made their move in 2013 to Sequim. Buyers told me repeatedly that this recession has lasted six years, and they simply were not going to put their lives on hold any longer. Fortunately, home sales did pick up in 2013 many parts of the country, which means buyers had cash to buy in Sequim. 

Sequim Buyers Arrived in 2013

Buyers moving to Sequim are very smart. They have been telling me interest rates are going to rise, and they were right. For those who might get loans, this has been a motivator to buy in 2013 rather than later. They also have had the insight to know that Sequim real estate prices are at or near a bottom. Several of my buyers purchased homes in 2013 even though they won’t be retiring and moving to Sequim next year.

There are many reasons people are retiring to Sequim and Port Angeles. Sequim has been voted one of the 10 Best Place to Retire in the U.S., and it is surprising how many people around the country talk about Sequim. As a result of all this and more, 2013 has been the best year in real estate sales in Sequim in many years.

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  • The Dungeness River

    One very hot summer day three boys who lived on a farm near the Dungeness River could no longer resist their boyish inclinations, and even though the river was cold, they spent the afternoon swinging from a rope and jumping into the river. Their laughter and hoots were sounds of music along with the steady gurgling of the river. The scene was a piece of Americana, a scene you might see in a movie about a family living in the country in the 1950s. Healthy, happy, engaged in outdoor activities, and creating good memories for life. Those are good memories for me. You see the boys are mine, and I raised them for a while on a farm on the Dungeness River. Moving to Sequim in 1994 when my boys were young was the best decision I ever made.

    The Dungeness River, also known as the Sequim-Dungeness River, is Sequim’s major river attraction. It’s popular for it’s beauty, for fishing, and even for swimming on the hottest summer days.

    The Dungeness River

    The Dungeness River

    The Dungeness River comes down from the Olympic Mountains to the south of Sequim. I took this photo way up in the mountains. The air is fresh up there, and the only noises you hear are sounds of trickling water, birds, and an occasional squirrel. 

    Dungeness River is Life

    The Dungeness River feeds the valley and has for hundreds of years. Farmers have relied on the water and the extensive irrigation ditches that feed the precious river water to thousands of acres of farmland. Fish and wildlife depend on the water. It’s been said throughout history that water is life. The Dungeness River is unquestionably a source of life in the Sequim-Dungeness Valley. And good memories.

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  • Sequim Schools Are The Best

    Sequim schools are the best, and I’ve seen a few school districts in three states. I even worked in one as a high school teacher long ago in Alaska. Of course, the vast majority of buyers moving to Sequim are retired, and that means the kids have flown the coup. So your thoughts may not be on Sequim schools and how good they may be, but I thought it might add to the aura of Sequim if you knew that the Sequim Schools are some of the best in the nation.

    Sequim Schools Are Outstanding

    I recently attended a Sequim Choir event at the Sequim High School Auditorium. I am constantly amazed at the talent our kids have, but equally amazed at the skills of the high school teachers and their leadership qualities. My boys are grown up (all graduates of Sequim H.S.), but I have a daughter who is a senior and participates in the Select Choir. Here’s an example of one song the kids sang on this opening choir night.

    Sequim Schools

    There are many great things about living in Sequim, and the kids are one of those great reasons. They are polite, considerate, generous, smart, and many are extraordinarily gifted. You may not have kids at home or in school anymore, but to live in a community with such great kids adds to the quality of life for all of us. When was the last time you went to a high school play or concert? What a great way to spend an evening, even if you don’t have kids of your own participating. I can testify that Sequim schools are the best.

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  • Florida to Sequim

    Who would move from Florida to Sequim? Believe it or now, a lot of retirees are moving from Florida to Sequim, as are people from Alaska, Montana, Texas, Colorado, and California. How about this–a couple who traveled in this motor home for 7 years and then moved to Sequim?

    Florida to Sequim

    Florida to Sequim

    Greg and Marilyn have been traveling for 7 years in their motor home, and after visiting every state in the Union, and after spending time in some of the most beautiful places in the world, they chose Sequim, Washington as their ultimate retirement home. What does that tell you?

    Alaska to Florida to Sequim

    Sequim has been written up in magazines for decades and called “One of the 10 Best Places to Retire,” and Greg and Marilyn apparently decided it was the number one place to retire. I love their story. I first heard from Greg and Marilyn when they were in Florida and checking out Sequim on the Internet Super Highway. Then I discovered they had spent time in Chicken, Alaska, which I know very well having grown up 60 miles from Chicken in Tok, Alaska. They even have a blog of their travels from Florida to Sequim (and from many other places), which is worth visiting at Moving to Sequim.

    Arizona to Alaska to Florida to Sequim

    Greg and Marilyn bought their dream home in Sequim, and you can see a photo of it at Sequim Log HomeI love hearing stories about how people discover Sequim and ultimately decide to visit and then buy their home in Sequim. If you have a story, please share it with me so others can read about it, too.

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    What is The Value of a Home

    There is a way to calculate the value of a home, aka the fair market value (FMV). If you know the FMV, you have very valuable information when it comes to making an offer. There are several methods to determine the value of a home

    Value of a Home

    The replacement cost approach is where I start, because it is always interesting to know what it would cost to build a similar home on a similar lot. If you can buy the lot and build a home cheaper than you can buy an existing home, you will probably choose to build. Of course, in a recession the replacement cost will be much higher than buying the same or similar home (20% to 30% in this market).

    The Value of a Home

    In a weak market, if I’m showing a home to buyers, and I calculate the replacement cost at $400,000, if the home is currently listed at $345,000, I can have confidence my buyers are not going to pay more than the true value of the home based on replacement cost. We still have to look at comps, of course, but the greatest fear most retirees have today when they buy their home is the fear of overpaying.  (more…)

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  • Why Do People Love Sequim?

    Why do people love Sequim so much? There are many reasons. Sequim is one of the premier retirement communities in the Northwest. It is surprising how many people around the United States are aware of or know about Sequim. Sequim has been written about in magazines for a couple of decades, especially retirement magazines. But it is absolutely amazing what word of mouth has done for Sequim. People sit in coffee shops in San Diego, Denver, Dallas, Naples, Phoenix, Anchorage, and Seattle talking about Sequim, only to be interrupted by someone at the next table who knows Sequim.


    What makes Sequim such a popular topic of conversation in coffee shops around the country? Probably the same thing that makes Sequim such a popular place to retire. Sequim is a wonderful place to live, and I’m going to share why. I moved to Sequim 20 years ago, finished raising my children here. I’ve also talked to hundreds of people who moved to Sequim and bought a home. Here’s why Sequim is so popular.

    I suppose there’s no such thing as perfect, but Sequim comes close. Sequim really has a rain shadow, and with only 16 inches, it rains only 1/3rd as much as our neighbor Seattle. Sequim is uniquely nestled between the beautiful Olympic Mountains and the gorgeous Strait of Juan de Fuca. With plenty of sunshine, a panorama of nature’s glory on all sides, and pristine air coming gently off the ocean, Sequim is definitely unique.  (more…)

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  • Sequim WA is Farm Country

    Sequim WA is farm country and has been for well over a century.  This is one of the appealing things about the Sequim area.  It’s a rural area with a peaceful agricultural setting, but we are lucky to have the modern infrastructure of a well organized county and city.  We have subdivisions, albeit small ones, and we have country acreage (1 to 20 acres) with mountain views and water views, and plenty of fields with grazing cows or horses.  But we are fortunate to only be two and a half hours from downtown Seattle.

    Sequim WA Farm Houses

    Sequim WA

    Sequim WA Farming

    Sequim WA Farm Country

    Farm fields and grazing cattle has been a common scene in Sequim WA for as long as any human has lived here.  It’s not just the Sequim Blue Hole or the 16 inches of rain per year, or the sunshine, or the fact that we are off the beaten path of traffic and crime, it’s the peaceful setting and the friendliness of the people.  It’s the boating, the fishing, the biking and hiking, the Olympic Mountains, the golfing, and much more.  It’s everything that combines to create a nearly perfect retirement community, which simply has never had a flood of people moving here.  Growth has been slow but steady. That’s good, because real estate prices are not being pushed to ridiculous levels.  Prices are stable and moving upward, but slow and steady.

    Sequim WA Dairy Farms

    There are two small family owned dairy farms in Sequim.  At one time the Sequim valley supplied fresh milk to the Seattle market almost a 100 years ago.  Today the family farms are the last of a dairy empire.  Read more about one Sequim WA Dairy Farms.

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    Sequim Bay

    Sequim Bay is one the Northwest’s most beautiful inland Bays, and since this is also the location of the famous Blue Hole, this has become a retirement destination for many people from around the country.

    Sequim Bay

    Sequim Bay

    Sequim Bay Playland

    I took this photo yesterday.  Sequim Bay has been absolutely gorgeous lately–sunny of course.  This photo was taken on a medium high bluff lot right on the Bay and this is a shot looking to the northeast with the neighbor’s doc.  Does it get any better than this?  I doubt it. 

    Sequim Bay Real Estate

    It’s not easy to find vacant land for sale on Sequim Bay.  When a home does come up for sale on the Bay, it usually demands a good price.  You can do a search on this Sequim MLS site by typing in address phrases like, “sequim bay,” or “E. Sequim Bay,” or “East Sequim Bay,” and you’ll get a list of available listings.  Of course, Sequim Bay real estate is in the Blue Hole, so it’s always inviting. 

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  • Sequim Chamber of Commerce

    The Sequim Chamber of Commerce represents many local Sequim businesses in reaching out to the public and to potential customers, as well as promoting Sequim WA to all who are considering moving to Sequim.  Like the Sequim Chamber of Commerce, this Sequim Real Estate Blog promotes the lifestyle and opportunities in the Sequim area.  Sequim is such an incredible retirement community, it’s not a hard sell.  When people learn about Sequim and then come to visit, more often than not, it’s love at first sight.

    Sequim Chamber of Commerce and Local Businesses

    Sequim Chamber of Commerce

    Sequim Chamber of Commerce and Future Expectations

    What are business expectations for the future in Sequim?  We have high expectations, and here’s why.  The recession was hard on members of the Sequim Chamber of Commerce just like it was for businesses all over the country, but Sequim has a unique economic base most communities do not have.  We have a large retiree population here, and Sequim is very fortunate that the retirees moving to Sequim for decades are financially strong, financially stable, and financially conservative. Sequim has an above average net worth per capita and an above average net income per capita.  This means we have a more stable economy because of all the related service industries supporting a large retirement population, and we have a stable real estate market with very few foreclosures.

    Sequim Chamber of Commerce and The Good Life

    Guess where all the big box stores have been moving for the last decade?  Not Port Townsend.  Not Port Hadlock or Port Ludlow or even Port Angeles.  After extensive long-term demographic studies, these large corporations have all the proof they need that Sequim is the best community in which to invest millions of dollars because of the high expectations for the future economy of Sequim.  This is good news for members of the Sequim Chamber of Commerce, because this means our future is bright.  It also means if you are buying a home in Sequim, you are buying a home that the biggest corporations are betting will grow and appreciate.  This is good news for retirees and for the Sequim Chamber of Commerce member businesses.

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    What’s so Great About Sequim WA?

    Sequim WA is one of the premier retirement communities in the Northwest. It is surprising how many people around the United States are aware of or know about Sequim WA. Sequim has been written about in magazines for a couple of decades, especially retirement magazines. But it is absolutely amazing what word of mouth has done for Sequim. People sit in coffee shops in San Diego, Denver, Dallas, Naples, Phoenix, Anchorage, and Seattle talking about Sequim WA, only to be interrupted by someone at the next table who knows Sequim.

    Sequim WA

    Living in Sequim WA

    What makes Sequim WA such a popular topic of conversation in coffee shops around the country? Probably the same thing that makes Sequim such a popular place to retire. Sequim is a wonderful place to live, and I’m going to share why. I moved to Sequim over 18 years ago, finished raising my children here, and have worked and played here all these years. I’ve also talked to hundreds of people who moved to Sequim and bought a home. Here’s why Sequim WA is so popular.  (more…)

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  • Another Day in Paradise

    It may be December 27th, the middle of winter, but it is Another Day in Paradise in Sequim, Washington.  After an enjoyable lunch at Stymie’s Bar & Grill at the 7 Cedars Golf Course, I stolled on the beach at Port Williams Bay.  The sun wasn’t shining brightly today in Sequim (I know, surprise surprise!), but the pristine breeze coming in off the water from the northwest reminded me that this is just another day in paradise

    Another Day in Paradise on the Beach

    Other couples were also strolling on the beach, several with their dogs.  Even the dogs looked happy.  Of course, I had to take this photo with my iPhone, and even on a misty overcast day, I had a very pleasant walk on the beach.  There was something about the mood on the beach on this day that made me contemplative and mildly content.  (Someone is going to want to know what “mildly content” is.  I don’t know, but after typing that phrase, I like it.)

    Another Day in Paradise

    My walk on the beach was after lunch at Stymie’s Bar & Grill at the 7 Cedars Golf Course.  Every once in a great while I enjoy a hamburger and fries.  Where’s the best hamburger and fries in Sequim?  After today, I will tell you it is Stymie’s Bar & Grill. 

    It’s Just Another Day in Paradise

    I saw a client today in QFC shopping, and she told me how happy she and her husband are in their new home.  I represented them as their buyer’s agent.  She shared how they had done some remodeling, and how much they loved their view of the valley of Sequim farmland, of the apple and cherries growing in their back yard, and how the same doe comes back each year to have a lamb on their property.  Her genuine happiness warmed my heart.

    Life in Sequim is very good.  Thousands of retired couples have moved to Sequim over the past 20 years, and nearly all of them say what I say, “There’s no place I would rather live in the entire world.”  I say all the time, mostly to myself, “It’s just another day in Paradise.”

    Another Day in Paradise

    Read some of our reasons for living in Sequim with my article entitled “100 Reasons Sequim is The Best Place to Live.” I’m not the only who regularly says that it’s another day in Paradise.

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  • Thanksgiving in Sequim

    Thanksgiving in Sequim this year is cool at 42 degrees and relatively quiet.  It seems like everyone has settled in for a thankful day of good food and family at home.  Of course, Sequim is largely a population of retirees, so many are having a quiet Thanksgiving at home as a couple.  And for those who are alone, I hope they are enjoying time with friends.  Thanksgiving in Sequim for me is a time of reflecting on fond memories.  I think as we get older, and I’m 58, the good memories of our childhood and of raising our own children become more and more precious.

    Thanksgiving in Sequim a Time for Fond Memories

    I’ve been reflecting on how I grew up and what our Thanksgiving holidays were like.  I grew up in a town of 400 people in rural Alaska.  It’s called Tok, pronounced like the first part of Tokyo.  The nearest major city was Fairbanks, and that was 205 miles away. Tok is a remote town in Alaska, but my childhood is full of incredible memories of good times.

    Thanksgiving for me always meant a house full of family, and that meant 12 to 18 of us.  And during the day we would have a drop in or two.  My mother was a real life Edith Bunker from All in the Family.  She never had the opportunity to get an education, and she married young, but she was the most loving person I’ve ever known.

    Thanksgiving in SequimMy father was definitely not Archie Bunker.  He was much more like Gene Hackman in Enemy of the State.  He was very smart, and had a dry wit when called upon.  I have many fond memories of hunting and fishing with my father.  I was in the front of the canoe when I took this photo of my father in 2005 on Four Mile Lake in Alaska.  We caught some beautiful trout and cooked them over an open flame as soon as we got to shore. 

    My favorite hunting was Dall Sheep in the Alaska Range near the Tok Glacier.  I loved climbing high into the pinnacles where the sheep gracefully navigated the narrow ledges.  I would sit by myself for hours with binoculars looking at wild game (grizzly bears, caribou, moose, sheep, wolverines) and the beauty of the massive mountains and wild rivers.  To this day, those images are set in my mind like a photo album from National Geographic. (more…)

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  • Finding a Home in Sequim WA

    Finding a home in Sequim WA is not as easy as it should be.  You would think that in this real estate recession, it wouldn’t be hard to find a home at a bargain price in such a large inventory and with so few buyers.  Not so, at least not in Sequim WA.  For the past  week I’ve been out showing houses to buyers from outside the area, and we’ve looked at homes from $300,000 to $400,000.  In this price range we searched for homes that have 3 bedrooms, 2 baths, and had 1,800 square feet to 2,600 square feet.  Out of 488 homes for sale in Sequim, how many homes do you think are for sale in the Sequim MLS with these simple parameters?  Would you believe only 27 homes? 

    Sequim WA Homes

    Sequim WAIf you consider that a retired couple will want to narrow down that list of 27 homes to a much smaller list that more accurately meets their needs and wants, we typically end up with a short list of about 8 to 12 homes.  How do buyers narrow down that list?  Just like you would.  They want a nice location and an ideal lot.  You can’t tell much from MLS photos, but when you arrive at the property, you will immediately know if the curbside appeal is good or bad.  That alone eliminates several homes.  Of the homes remaining, buyers walk through a house and again they know right away whether they like the floor plan or not.  Then they look closely at the kitchen, mater bedroom,  the garage or shop, and the quality and other features of their top picks.

    Sequim WA Homes That Catch Your Attention

    You might find the perfect home, but it is on a busy street.  You might find a peaceful lot and the house is ideal, except the kitchen is a small galley.  And you might find a perfect floor plan and a nice lot, but the house is dark with little natural light.  Finding a home that has everything you want and nothing you don’t want is tough.  Now you can see why finding a home in Sequim WA is not easy.  I’ve written elsewhere that, “The best homes in the best areas at the best prices are selling.”  Or course, once one of these homes is sold, it won’t be back on the market for 10 or 20 or 30 years.

    Finding  a Home in Sequim WA

    When you search for your perfect Sequim retirement home, you will be careful and discerning.  After all, this is where you expect to live for many years and maybe for the rest of your life.  You have a vision of what you hope to find.  Believe me, finding a home in Sequim WA that is perfect won’t be easy, but that’s why we are here to help.  Email me as you begin searching for your ideal home, and I’ll help you weed out the areas that do not fit your parameters, and I’ll help you narrow the list down to the best of the best consistent with your preferences.  If it exists, we will find your perfect home in Sequim WA.

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  • Best Place to RetireWe continue our 100 Reasons Sequim is the Best Place to Retire with this third edition, reasons 51 through 75.  Sequim retirees have 100 reasons why they moved here and why they love living here.  Actually, they have hundreds of reasons, but we’ve narrowed that down to a readable 100 reasons Sequim is the best place to retire.  Don’t miss reading the other reasons with the links below.

    100 Reasons Sequim is the Best Place to Retire

    • Sequim has several private airports with homes and hangars for pilots.
    • Sequim has many homes on golf courses for passionate golfers.
    • Sequim has 3 golf courses.
    • Sequim has one of the driest golf courses on the west coast.
    • Sequim has many 100 year old barns still standing.
    • Sequim has a Casino with Shows and Entertainers.
    • Sequim has an Aquatic Center for indoor year round swimming and exercise.
    • Sequim has Master Gardener club and private gardens.
    • Sequim has Carrie Blake Park with walking lanes, ponds, pines and a band shelter.
    • Sequim has a new dog park, because everyone in Sequim has a dog.
    • Sequim has the famous Roosevelt Elk Herd occasionally in town.
    • Sequim has geese, swallows and yellow finch in spring.
    • Sequim sometimes has snow in the winter.
    • Sequim has downtown hanging flower baskets on light poles in summer.
    • Sequim has an uncrowded, clean Costco, Home Depot, Walmart and a coming soon a Fred Meyer.
    • Sequim has a Saturday Farmers market with fresh produce, arts and crafts.
    • Sequim has high speed Internet, cable and satellite.
    • Sequim is politically balanced evenly.
    • The Sequim economy is stable with so many financially solid retirees.
    • Sequim has a stable real estate market.
    • Sequim has very few foreclosures.
    • Sequim is uniquely positioned off the busy metropolitan superhighways but only an hour from a major mall.
    • Sequim is a pleasant 30 minute drive from one of the Northwest’s deepest lakes, Lake Crescent at 1,000 feet deep.
    • Sequim is a short distance from some of the best hunting and fishing on the Olympic Peninsula.
    • Sequim is well connected with the rest of the world since the Internet has eliminated both time and distance for us.

    Sequim is the Best Place to Retire

    Read the first 25 reasons Sequim is the Best Place to Retire and read 26 through 50 reasons Sequim is the Best Place to Retire.

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    Sequim is the best place to liveSequim residents and many retirees have 100 reasons Sequim is the best place to live and the best place to retire, so sharing these with people thinking about making Sequim their home seemed like a good idea.  Because the list is lengthy, I have broken it down into four articles with 25 reasons in each article.  Here are reasons 25 through 50.

    100 Reasons Sequim is The Best Place to Live

    1. Sequim has Hurricane Ridge. Oh yea.
    2. Sequim has medical facilities way above average.
    3. Sequim has more Churches than taverns.
    4. Sequim (and area) has local award winning wineries.
    5. Sequim has many organic farms.
    6. The Sequim valley has some of the richest organic soils in the U.S.
    7. Sequim has eagles everywhere.
    8. Sequim is the birdwatching capital of the Olympic Peninsula.
    9. Sequim has one of the best school districts in the country.
    10. Sequim has lots of horses.
    11. Sequim has music concerts at Carrie Blake Park.
    12. Sequim has a thousand serious quilters.
    13. Sequim has the Olympic Theater.
    14. Sequim has an Open Aire Market.
    15. Sequim has Alpaca farms.
    16. Sequim has Washington’s best B&Bs away from all the noise.
    17. Sequim has a deer behind every tree.
    18. Sequim has two family run dairy farms.
    19. Sequim has the Juan de Fuca Festival Street Fair.
    20. Sequim has a Balloon Festival.
    21. Sequim has the Dungeness Center Audobon Center.
    22. Sequim has MAC Users Group (PCs are on their way out).
    23. Sequim is the place for sail boating.
    24. Sequim is a short drive to Sol Duc Hot Springs and Sol Duc Falls.
    25. Sequim offers retirees water views or mountain views, or both.

    People who move to Sequim find that the longer you live here, the more you love it.  Read 100 Reasons Sequim is The Best Place to Live (1-25), and stay tuned for the next edition.  If you have reasons you love Sequim, let us know with your comments.  Read reasons 51 through 75 of why Sequim is the Best Place to Retire.

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    Sequim is the BestSequim is the best place to live if you ask thousands of retirees who did their research before moving here and who now have lived here for many years.  In an effort to understand why so many retirees feel so strongly about that, I’ve compiled the reasons I’ve been hearing for 18 years.  To make the list manageable and readable, it is in four parts, each with 25 reasons why Sequim is the Best Place to Live.  Here is the first installment.  The linked text will take you to articles and photos of the subject.

    1. Sequim has an unique climate with a rain shadow or blue hole.
    2. Sequim is only 2.5 hours from Seattle.
    3. Sequim gets 1/3rd the rainfall of Seattle.
    4. Sequim air is ocean fresh and unpolluted.
    5. Sequim has the Olympic National Park.
    6. Sequim is ideally located between the Strait of Juan de Fuca and the Olympic Mountains.
    7. Sequim is still an agricultural rural area.
    8. Life is far from fast paced and stressful. It is peaceful and enjoyable.
    9. Sequim has the Discovery Trail.
    10. Sequim has incredible bays and rivers for kayaking.
    11. Sequim has hiking trails into old growth forests.
    12. Sequim has an annual marathon and half marathon.
    13. Sequim is the Lavender capital of the U.S.
    14. Sequim has an annual Irrigation Festival over 100 years old.
    15. Sequim does not have hurricanes, tornadoes, floods, forest fires, or droughts.
    16. Sequim has a lot of property with water views (being on a peninsula).
    17. Sequim rivers are great fishing.
    18. Sequim has miles of beaches for hiking.
    19. Sequim is populated by extraordinarily gifted and interesting retirees.
    20. Sequim has the Dungeness Lighthouse.
    21. Sequim is a short ferry ride from beautiful Victoria, B.C.
    22. Sequim is a pleasant drive from pristine beaches like La Push.
    23. Sequim has winding rural mountain roads ideal for motorcycling.
    24. Sequim has extremely low crime rates, some of the lowest in the entire country.
    25. Sequim has children who are all above average.

    Those of us who have lived in Sequim for many years have come to believe that Sequim is the best place to live.   Read the next installment of 100 Reasons Sequim is the Best Place to Live.

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    Many feel that Sequim is the best place to retire in the U.S.  Here are some of the reasons so many retirees from all around the country believe that Sequim is the best place to retire in America.

    Sequim is the Best Place to Retire

    Number 1.  Sequim has one of the most agreeable climates and weather patterns of any American city.  Exhibit number 1 is the Sequim Blue Hole, aka the Sequim Rain Shadow.  Read the full description of the Sequim Blue Hole.

    Number 2.  Sequim has a very low crime rate.  Exhibit number 2 are the tiny police blotters.  On June 21, 2012, the entire Sequim Police Blotter consisted of these 4 minor entries (compare this to any other city in the U.S.):  1:57 p.m. — Malicious mischief, in the area of Carlsborg Road and the Olympic Discovery Trail, 2:16 p.m. — Burglary, 9000 block of Old Olympic Highway, 7:31 p.m. — Vehicle prowl, 100 block of Hurricane Ridge Drive, 8:27 p.m. — Trespass, 600 block of Turnstone Lane.  Low crime is a major reason many of us feel that Sequim is the best place to retire.

    Sequim is the Best Place to Retire with Few Natural Disasters

    Number 3.  Sequim does not have a history of forest fires.  We have never suffered the horrendous losses of residents in Colorado or Arizona or California.  See how Forest Fires Hurt or Help Sequim Home Sales.

    Number 4.  Sequim does not have a history of tornadoes, or hurricanes, or flooding.  Tornadoes across the mid-west, hurricanes in the southeast, and flooding in several states have destroyed thousands of homes, caused many deaths,  and disrupted lives forever.  Sequim is insulated from these terrible disasters, and this alone would make Sequim the best place to retire.

    Number 5.  Sequim has no poisonous snakes.  If you’ve lived in the desserts of California, Arizona, or Nevada, you know how dangerous a rattle snake can be on a camping trip.  The “wilds of Sequim” are free from the threat of poisonous creatures.

    Number 6.  Sequim has a low cost of living.  Property taxes are low, bond issues are limited, and many have their own organic gardens, and some hunt and fish for food and recreation.  Many Sequim residents also raise sheep, cows, Llamas, Alpacas, or chickens for food or for an extra source of income.

    Sequim is the Best Place to Retire – The People

    Number 7.  Sequim does not have the extraordinarily high temperatures that hit many states every summer.  While others suffer 100° to 110° temperatures in sweltering heat, Sequim temperatures may hover in the 70’s and 80’s on a typical summer day.  The news of the worst drought 50 years in the midwest foretells higher food prices and other consequences, but Sequim has never had a drought.  And how could I forget to add that we also don’t experience the icy cold temperatures of much of the northeast and all the northern states, including Alaska where I grew up.

    Number 8.  Sequim has great golf courses.  The Cedars at Dungeness is the driest course in Western Washington, and that includes all the Seattle area courses.  Read more about this Sequim Golf Course.  For passionate golfers, this alone is reason to say Sequim is the best place to retire.

    Number 9.  Sequim has the Olympic National Park with hiking and camping in untouched old growth forests.  See photos at Hurricane Ridge and Lake Crescent.  It has been said that Sequim has more recreational activities than any other American city.  I can’t say for sure if this is true, but it may be.  I can’t think of anything you can’t do here, except downhill skiing on a major ski hill.  But you can do that at Mount Baker or Crystal Mountain or several other nearby ski areas.

    Number 10.  Sequim has Bays, the Strait, rivers and lakes, and the Ocean for serious boaters, kayakers, and fishermen.

    Come and see for yourself.  Sequim is the best place to retire.


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    Sequim homeowners heard things they had never heard before at last night’s seminar, How to Sell a Home in This Market, conducted by real estate broker, author, and attorney (ret.) Chuck Marunde.  There was serious talk as well as some laughter by all who attended.  The gist of the seminar was that Sequim homeowners should be aware that marketing a home and selling it has dramatically changed in the past few years.

    Sequim Homeowners and Traditional Marketing

    Sequim Homeowners

    Sequim Homeowners

    When you look at this list of how homes have been sold in the past, it becomes obvious that many of these techniques are just not very effective anymore, and there’s a good reason for that.  Buyers have developed new habits and preferences in their search for a home, how they hire a Sequim real estate agent, and how they do their due diligence.

    The seminar covered the most effective strategies to market a home and connect with qualified buyers today using technologies and the power of the Internet.  The next seminar is not yet scheduled, but if you are a Sequim homeowner and want to attend the next seminar, you can register for it, and you’ll be contacted when we have a date and time.  Learn more and register at Sequim Homeowners Real Estate Seminar.

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  • Filed under: Sequim
  • Sequim photos in the Sequim Photo Album have arrived.  Our clients have been asking for more photos of Sequim, the city, the mountains, the country, the beaches, and the water views.  Voila!  The Sequim Photos site is here for your viewing pleasure.  If a picture is worth a thousand words, I should probably make this a very short article and let you just look at Sequim photos.

    Sequim Photos for Everyone

    Sequim Photos

    Sequim Photos of Waterfront Property

    Just go to Sequim Photos and you’ll see there are various photo albums with drop down menus to more photos.  Clients who are thousands of miles away can view our online Sequim MLS site, but until now they haven’t been able to see what Sequim looks like.  Sequim Photos is the partial answer to seeing what Sequim really looks like from way east of Sequim to way west of Port Angeles.  In fact, we have photos from Port Hadlock and Port Ludlow to Port Townsend to Sequim to Port Angeles and all the way west to La Push Beach near Forks.

    Sequim Photos Welcome

    If you have a beautiful photo that you’ve taken in Sequim, and you’d love to see it added to Sequim Photos, please email it, and if we can, we will include it.  Who is responsible for Sequim Photos?  So glad you asked.  Your team at Sequim & Port Angeles Real Estate.  We’re here to serve you and bring a little joy into your life along the way.

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  • Filed under: Sequim
  • Sequim Grain Elevator

    The Sequim grain elevator is a Sequim landmark.  I couldn’t resist this photo today, which was a beautiful sunny Sequim day.  The Sequim grain elevator sits right downtown in Sequim surrounded by businesses, but in the early years there wasn’t much around the grain elevator, except the railroad tracks.  The first structure built on this site was a storage facility for lettuce built by the Peninsula Grain Company.  In the 1920s this was a delivery and transfer station for local farmers who sent their produce to the Seattle metropolitan area. In 1935 Cecil Dawley purchased the building.  The word is Dawley ran his feed and farm equipment business until 1941, and then he leased it to the Clallam Co-operative Association.  The Clallam Co-Op operated the business from the mid-1940s through the mid-1970s.  Now the building is a Mexican restaurant called El Cazador.  The structure now also serves the area as a multi-purpose communications tower, including a Verizon communications center.

    The Sequim Grain Elevator

    Sequim Grain Elevator

    In the ’50s and ’60s 40 tons of grain was lifted by belt to the top and dropped into railroad cars every day.  The Sequim grain elevator, aka the granary, has walls made of one inch by ten inch wooden planks.  They are stacked horizontally to create a solid wall of wood 10 inches thick and incredibly strong.  No wonder the building is still standing proud and erect.

    Sequim Grain Elevator History

    In the decades following WWII, Sequim farmers produced seed for cabbage, beets, mustard, carrots and other vegetables. The Sequim-Dungeness Valley was a thriving farm community, and there were at one time over 200 dairy cattle herds in the  Valley.  Somewhere along the way the price of milk was not keeping up with costs and farmers looked for other opportunities.  Today there are only two dairy farms left.

    Some creative farmers discovered a little gold mine in the late 1960s in the form of high-quality grass seed that was especially prized for  golf courses.  At one point the Sequim-Dungeness Valley had the largest production of bent grass in the U.S.  These farmers started the Dungeness Agricultural Supply, which bought the Sequim grain elevator in 1969.

    The Sequim grain elevator ceased operations in 1977 ending a treasured bit of local history.  Now you know the precious history of the Sequim grain elevator when you drive past it or when you see it on the city’s horizon.

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  • 1 Comment
  • Filed under: Sequim
  • Search Sequim Blog

    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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    Sequim Real Estate Agent
    Chuck Marunde Text or Call 360-775-5424