Sequim Real Estate in Sunny Sequim, Washington

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A Home With Privacy

Do you want a home with privacy? Many couples who move to the Sequim area do want a home with privacy, although how that is defined may vary slightly. When buyers tell me they would like “some privacy,” I asked more questions. This article will share some insights on what a buyer’s options are when it comes to getting a home with privacy, and how to find a home with privacy in the Sequim, Port Angeles, Port Townsend, Port Ludlow, and Port Hadlock areas.

Home With Privacy

Home With Privacy Defined

I ask buyers who want privacy how much acreage that means to them. Almost 100% have told me that “it’s not a matter of acreage as much as it is how the lot is situated, the trees, and the vegetation that separates them from neighbors.” So that could be a half an acre in some areas, but many times it means one to 3 acres, or more. It’s rare that someone finds a 10 or 20 acre parcel out here that defines a home with privacy for them. It’s also nearly impossible to find a parcel of land that large these days. Five acres is the largest common size a buyer will find in the Sequim area, but even a five acre parcel in the right area is very hard to find.

How to Find a Home With Privacy

Here are a couple of suggestions if your ideal property is a home with privacy. First, use Sequim-Homes.com to search for homes with at least one acre and no more than five acres. If five acres would be a lot more than you want to maintain, than search one to 3 acres. On this Sequim MLS site, there is a map on the detail page, and you can look a property with the satellite view so you can see what is all around the property. The photo above is a home with privacy on 2.5 acres. What a gorgeous property, and with the trees on either side, total privacy.

What about maintenance? Who wants a lot of acreage if you have to work outside all the time? You’re supposed to be retired, right? You can do what a lot of Sequimites do. You can mow a small fenced area around the house, plant some flowers, and leave the fields to grow naturally on the rest of your property. That’s what I do, although I do mow the fields a few times in the spring when the grass takes off after being dormant all winter. The cute home with privacy in the photo is my home. I absolutely love my little place. It’s my idea of Heaven on this earth. A home with privacy.

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How Do I Sell My Home? Free Book for Sellers in Sequim

How do I sell my home? Sequim homeowners have been asking this question. I’m about to do something I’ve never done before. I’m going to give this book away to Sequim homeowners who are thinking about selling their homes. This is a 271 page paperback book written specifically to homeowners who want the truth about selling their home today. I share insider secrets you have never heard from a Realtor before.

How do I Sell My Home

If you sold a home 15 or 20 years ago, I have news for you. The world has changed dramatically, especially when it comes to marketing your home on the Internet and connecting with highly qualified buyers who may be on the far side of the country. How do I sell my home is a question homeowners are asking all over the U.S. Things have gotten complicated, and sometimes it’s hard to get straight answers from a Realtor about what works and what doesn’t work. Most of us abhor sales gimmicks and games. So I wrote a book that answers your question, “How do I sell my home?” Read on, because I’ll tell you how to get your free copy.

How Do I Sell My Home – Free Book

There’s a lot of content in this book. The paperback is $29.95 and the Kindle version is $9.95 on Amazon, but if you own a home in Sequim and you want a copy of this book because you are thinking about selling, and you’ve asked yourself, “How do I sell my home?,” I’ll come to your house and hand you a free copy of Seven Myths of Selling Your Home. I wont’ stay and visit, unless you want to visit for a few minutes. I’ve lived in Sequim for 22 years, raised my family here, and retired from a real estate law practice in Sequim. I now have what I call the largest virtual brokerage in Sequim and perhaps on the entire Olympic Peninsula. I share the most important things I’ve learned in real estate in this book, and I’m giving all this knowledge away–free! 

How Do I Sell My Home

To get your free paperback copy of Seven Myths, email me at ChuckMarunde@gmail.com. There is a serious demand for my time, and I’m thankful for that, but that also means I need a little lead time to deliver your book. I also have a limited number of paperbacks in stock as of this writing, about 50 copies. So when these copies run out, this offer expires. 

By the way, you can also get a peek of what I do to help people sell their homes by watching this video at How Do I Sell My Home Video.

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A Real Estate Broker Who Puts Clients First?

A real estate broker has a business model and personal values that guide how and what he does for his clients. Too often a real estate broker is focused purely on his commissions, and so everything he does is deeply influenced by the profit motive. The average client would assume their real estate broker is putting their interests above all else. Today I want to share for the first time the core principles that guide this real estate broker, and this is really more about than it is about me.

Real Estate Broker

Real Estate Broker Principles

First, my clients are at the center of the Universe. This means my entire business, all my marketing, my customer service, what I do and how I do it for clients is guided by my client’s best interests. They are at the center of the Universe and everything I do revolves around them, not me. I never compromise my clients’ needs and preferences.

Second, life is all about relationships. Life is not about things and money. Life is about people living their lives and enjoying their relationships. Buying a home is about quality of life, and that means relationships with your spouse, children, and friends. As a real estate broker I understand my small but important role in my client’s life.

Third, at the end of every decision is a person. I love this principle, because it puts what I do in perspective and reminds me that everything I do for my clients affects someone’s life. 

Fourth, this real estate transaction may be the most important transaction of my client’s life. Every real estate transaction is important, but for my client, this transaction is everything. That makes what I do in each transaction far more important than myself. 

Real Estate Broker Focus on Clients’ Best Interests

Every single client gets my undivided attention, and I give each of my clients all my all my focus and all my emotional energy. I hope this is helpful, and I hope this is a gentle reminder that your real estate broker should be more than just a sales person.

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  • Appraisal Management Companies

    Appraisal management companies are the bane of a buyer’s existence. This is the biggest problem right now for a buyer who is getting a loan and will need to have their future home appraised. Here is exactly why this will be your biggest challenge, and I’ll tell you how to handle this issue.

    Appraisal Management Companies

    Appraisal Management Companies Created

    The mortgage debacle that was part of the real estate crash a decade ago gave politicians all the encouragement they needed to pass new laws restructuring how appraisers are hired. You may recall that the complaint was that a very small number of appraisers were in cahoots with a small number of real estate agents and they were committing fraud by over valuing homes. The best answer would have been to require enforcement of the laws against fraud, i.e. put the frauds in jail.

    Instead, politicians completely restructured the entire mortgage and appraisal business in the United States, and they authorized new entities called “Appraisal Management Companies.” These companies are third party entities that appoint appraisers from a list they create. They charge appraisers a fee to be on their list, and they take part of the appraisers’ fees for each appraisal they do. Appraisers hate this new way to extort money from them. It’s another layer of bureaucracy and more fees that are simply passed on to buyers. Read the rest of this entry »

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    Flip or Flop Vegas with Marunde

    Flip or Flop Vegas is a very popular HDTV show. It’s almost surprising how many people from all walks of life across America are passionate fans of these house flipping shows. Flip or Flop Vegas is the last edition of young couples buying trashed houses, remodeling them, and then flipping them to buyers in the shortest time possible. But here’s why this HDTV show comes home for me. My own son Bristol Marunde and his wife, Aubrey, are the stars of the newest Flip or Flop Vegas.

    Flip or Flop Vegas

    Flip or Flop Vegas From Sequim

    When Bristol was very young, we lived in Las Vegas where I was serving in the USAF at Nellis AFB as a JAG. We moved to Sequim 22 years ago when Bristol was in 6th grade. I never had a car in my garage, because I turned it into a weight room for my boys. Bristol’s older brother, Jesse, became the second strongest man in the world in Chengdu, China, and Bristol became a world class mixed martial arts fighter. 

    He moved back to Vegas, because that is the fight capital of the world, but that’s where he met Aubrey. Of course, they married, had the two cutest boys on the planet, and began to flip houses together. Aubrey was a Realtor, so with Bristol’s brawn, they make a great team for Flip or Flop Vegas. I like to call them “Beauty and the Beast.” My daughter-in-law is one of the prettiest girls in the world, and my son is one of the most dangerous men in the world. 

    Flip or Flop Vegas & Real Estate Investing

    The first two weeks of Flip or Flop Vegas have been great, and if you want to watch the rest of the HDTV series, tune in on Thursday evenings. Check your local listings to see what time it broadcasts in your area. It’s a lot of fun to watch, but especially for me with my son and daughter-in-law starring. Who would have guessed they would one day be on a popular national TV show, Flip or Flop Vegas?

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  • Filed under: Investing
  • Sequim Homes for Sale: How Much to Offer

    Looking at Sequim homes online is fun, but it is also hard work when you are on the hunt for your ideal retirement home. But what happens when you find the ideal home and want to make an offer? How much should you offer? How can you know what true fair market value really is for the home you like?

    Sequim Homes

    Sequim Homes for Sale

    I’ve written extensively on this blog as well as in my paperback and Kindle books (and iTunes books, including the one above in the iBookstore, “Buying Your Retirement Home”) about Sequim homes and how to determine fair market value and how to decide how much to offer. Figuring out how much Sequim homes are worth is much more challenging than you might think. Why?

    In a metropolitan market or any urban area with a large population, finding comparable sales for a home is easy. Where you have 10 or 20 homes just like yours that all sold within the past six months, the true fair market value of your home can be calculated within a few hundred dollars. But now look at Sequim homes in a market with a small inventory, a limited number of buyers, and where most homes built here by retirees from around the country are unique and sometimes one-of-a-kind. It is almost impossible to find any mathematical approach that will accurately show you the true fair market value of Sequim homes for sale. There may be zero comparable sales to use in a CMA (comparative market analysis).

    Sequim Homes and True Fair Market Value

    As I explain in Buying Your Retirement Home (and in many articles on this blog), there are several approaches to arrive at true FMV (fair market value). I use all of these methods for my buyers before I draft an offer: Read the rest of this entry »

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    Buy a Home in Sequim Sight Unseen?

    The idea of buying a home sight unseen is most likely not your first choice. Normally, I would not recommend buying a home until you’ve walked through it and around it yourself. But the Sequim real estate market is a strong seller’s market with a very low inventory, and demand far exceeds supply. Buyers from around the United States are watching the Sequim real estate market closely, and this means by the time you arrive in Sequim, the home you saw in the MLS and planned to see is probably sold.

    Sight Unseen

    Buy a Home Sight Unseen

    I’ve helped nearly a dozen clients purchase homes sight unseen. As a buyer you will have to rely on your buyer’s agent to do everything you would do and a lot more. I just sold a home sight unseen this week to a couple from New York. Here’s how we did it.

    For months my clients searched the local listings using the best Sequim MLS site, which includes every home for sale in Sequim and Port Angeles and the entire county. I recommend this site because it is much more accurate than Zillow, and in this market, you need accurate information on homes. As my clients planned their trip to Sequim, they saved their favorites. Unfortunately the homes on their short list were all selling before they could get here.

    They were under a lot of stress, because they had already sold their own home in New York, and the closing date was coming soon. They had to be out of that home, and would be driving to Sequim with a big moving truck full of everything they owned, but they had no place to live, and every home they liked was selling before they could even see it. Read the rest of this entry »

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    How to Find a Sequim Home

    How to find a Sequim home with video help is today’s topic. I’ve talked with hundreds of buyers in the past few years, and I’ve shown hundreds of homes. I’ve helped a lot of buyers find their ideal retirement homes. In the process I’ve learned what buyers are doing to search for their homes. I think you’ll find this useful, because some are doing it right, and some are not.

    How to Find a Sequim Home

    How to Find a Sequim Home – The First System

    Every buyer today is using the Internet to search for their next home. That’s a given. But how buyers search the Internet can be divided into two approaches. The first approach is what a majority of well intentioned buyers are doing. Because they use the Internet to search for almost everything these days, they’ve gotten pretty good at finding answers to their questions, or finding the best price for a used car, or selling something on Craigslist. So when they decide to start searching for a home, they simply jump on the Internet like they always have, and they find a couple of real estate portals and start randomly searching. 

    Whatever nationally syndicated site these buyers are using, and many of these sites are full of inaccurate information, these buyers are using a chaotic approach, and it is full of traps for the unwary buyer. I understand they honestly think they have a good system, but I can promise you, it is not the best approach to finding the home you intend to live in the rest of your life. But wait, because it gets better (or worse). The majority of buyers also use a chaotic approach to finding and hiring a Sequim real estate agent. They tend to hire any agent who answers the phone without any due diligence.

    How to Find a Sequim Home – The Second System

    A smaller percentage of buyers are using a different approach on how to find a Sequim home. They understand that searching for a home requires some Internet savvy. So the first thing they do is find a reliable Sequim MLS site that is 100% accurate and has all the local listings, a site that is very powerful but easy to navigate. I give you Sequim-Homes.com.

    The second thing they do is find the best answers to their real estate questions. I give you the largest Sequim real estate blog with over 1,800 articles for buyers written by a veteran real estate broker and 20 year real estate attorney at Sequim Real Estate Blog

    They also find more free tools and information linked from that Sequim Real Estate Blog than they can find anywhere else on the Internet answering their questions about how to find a Sequim home.

    The third thing they do is qualify real estate agents, because they want someone who has the experience and competence to do a great job for them, and they also want an agent is honest and trustworthy. I recommend the articles on the real estate blog and the checklists and interview questions you’ll find there.

    To get started, I suggest you watch the connected videos on the playlist above. This will help you use the Sequim MLS effectively. I hope this article hleps you answer the question on how to find a Sequim home.

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    Fame and fortune are not all they’re cracked up to be, and let’s face it, in our culture fame and fortune are constantly promoted as the keys to happiness and a wonderful life. I’ve spent time with several Hollywood success stories who lived that lifestyle for decades and now live in Sequim, Washington. What they told me, not only about their own experiences, but about many of the biggest names in Hollywood, is extremely revealing. In this article I’ll share what I learned.

    Fame and Fortune

    The Fame and Fortune Culture

    Our culture worships the rich and famous. We honor them with awards and ceremonies. We are bombarded and brainwashed with the idea that we should pursue fame and fortune, and many of us spend our lives in that pursuit. But what do the rich and famous actually say about all this? In their most private moments of honesty, what do they say about living a life of fame and fortune? Is it really all it’s cracked up to be?

    Living in a mansion sounds great. Owning a sports car collection would be cool. Flying your own jet would be very cool. But imagine never being able to live a normal life, not being able to go to a store or a mall, or never being able to go to a coffee shop or a restaurant. Imagine if you could never go out in public and walk around freely. I asked one Hollywood “success story” if it was like being imprisoned, and he said, “That’s exactly what it is. It’s a prison, and you cannot escape.”

    I’ll share in this article how famous people do find peace and contentment in a place like Sequim, Washington. They are living a rich life, but this time it is a different kind of riches. Read the rest of this entry »

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    How to Sell Your Home

    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.

    How to Sell Your Home Video

    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.

    How to Sell Your Home

    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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    Buying a Home? Disaster Strikes With Bad Advice

    Buying a home is no small matter these days. I’m using the phrase “no small matter” like the Vikings used it. In the movie The 13th Warrior starring Antonio Banderas, his Viking friends used the phrase “no small matter” to describe situations that rose to the level of life threatening. If something was a small matter, while it would be a major matter for you and me today, the Vikings were extraordinarily tough, and it took a lot for them to call something “no small matter.”

    Buying a Home

    Buying a Home Today No Small Matter

    The truth is that buying a home is no small matter these days. There are several reasons I say that. First, the extensive legal documents required today are almost overwhelming for most buyers and sellers. Did you know that when Realtors draft your offer with all the addendums and legal language, they are held to the same standard as licensed lawyers? That’s true, but unfortunately 99% of Realtors have no legal experience.

    Second, the negotiating skills required today are head and shoulders above the simple days of the past. You negotiate not just price, but a lot of terms now, including various “what if” scenarios. Third, as a buyer, you are obligated to do your own due diligence on the property you want to buy. The list of due diligence items are beyond the scope of this brief article, but this is where expertise is really needed. Today with all the complexities and liabilities of buying and selling real estate, you cannot afford not to have an expert in your corner. Read the rest of this entry »

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  • This Port Townsend commercial building is right downtown a few hundred feet from the beach. With two restaurants on street level, two apartments on the second floor, and a penthouse sweet on the top floor, this is a very special building. Built in 1889, it is on the national historic registry, and when you look closely at the quality of the brick work, it is amazing. Artisans built this classic Port Townsend Commercial building.

    Port Townsend Commercial Property

    Port Townsend Commercial Building, Restaurant and Tea Shop

    Port Townsend is unique on the Olympic Peninsula. There are a lot of creative people living there, including artists, authors, entrepreneurs, and there are a lot of incredible family owned restaurants with phenomenal food. On my bucket list is a goal to eat at every Port Townsend restaurant. That may take a while to accomplish.

    The MLS description states, “More than 6000 square feet with 2 second floor apartments and a magnificent penthouse apartment on the top floor, 2 retail spaces plus a secluded brick courtyard. Port Townsend Victorian architecture with original wood floors and windows.”

    You can learn more about this classy Port Townsend commercial property right downtown, view more photos, and peek inside the restaurant and penthouse at Port Townsend Commercial Property.

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    Sequim Homes Selling: Hottest Market in Decades

    Sequim homes are selling in what is the hottest market in Sequim’s history going back decades. Sequim homes did sell in larger numbers back in 2005, but the reason this is a hotter market is because our inventory is so low. The short supply and the strong demand has created a seller’s market and the toughest competition among buyers I’ve seen in the Sequim real estate market.

    Sequim Homes

    Sequim Homes and a Horse Ranch

    I recently sold this five acre horse ranch at full listed price. The listing describes this ranch like this, “The finest horse ranch between Sequim and Port Angeles on 5 acres, with 5 horse stalls and 5 horse runs, constructed with ground cover and layered with gravel to keep the horses out of the mud + a barn. The main home is a custom home with granite kitchen countertops, a propane cooktop, ceramic tile floor in kitchen and wood laminate in dining room.” There’s a second home on the property that brings in $700 in rent, and who doesn’t love old barns, especially a 1941 barn in perfectly maintained condition? There’s a lot more to this property, but one thing for sure, it is the perfect little horse ranch for anyone serious about their horses. This property sold for $575,000, and there is no other horse ranch like this in the inventory.

    Sequim Homes Selling Fast

    The challenge buyers are having lately when it comes to looking at Sequim homes is first finding the ideal home, and second getting an offer submitted before someone else does.

    This might sound a little desperate, but a buyer should never feel pressured to make desperate decisions. This is not a time in your life to make anything less than careful and wise decisions. This may be the most challenging time in this market to look at Sequim homes and buy one, and with so much at stake, I would recommend you find a wise real estate broker with experience and integrity. I promise you, you will not be disappointed if you hire me as your buyer’s agent. I am sometimes a little surprised at how some buyers simply hire any Tom, Dick, or Jane to represent them in one of the most important decisions of their life. Why would anyone do that with so much money and so much at stake? If you can find someone better equipped to represent you than me when it comes to Sequim homes, by all means, hire him or her. But do yourself and me a favor, and do your due diligence on agents BEFORE you hire one, including me. Enough said.

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    OLS v. NWMLS: The Big MLS Battle in Sequim

    OLS v. NWMLS is a continuing battle between two MLS systems in Clallam County, which includes our two biggest cities, Sequim and Port Angeles. If you’re not familiar with the terminology, the OLS is the Olympic Listing Service, our local MLS (multiple listing service), and the NWMLS is the Northwest MLS based in King County outside of Seattle.

    OLS v. NWMLS

    Sequim and Port Angeles real estate brokers largely feel obligated to belong to both MLSs, which means entering their listings twice in two completely different systems with different data fields, different entry requirements, and different rules and penalties. There are a few holdout brokers who have refused to join the NWMLS as of this date. While I once thought it was wise and beneficial for my clients to belong to the NWMLS, I now realize having two MLSs is bad for everyone and all of us would be better off if we only used the OLS. As I will explain in this article, that is not likely to happen, so the OLS v. NWMLS battle will continue.

    OLS v. NWMLS

    The OLS includes the listings of Sequim and Port Angeles, and 100% of local brokers are members of the OLS. The NWMLS is based on the Seattle side of the pond and includes the listings of 25,000 brokers in the Seattle-Tacoma metropolis and the surrounding counties.

    I used to think that a Sequim homeowner who wanted to list and sell their home needed to be in the NWMLS in order to give their home the greatest possible exposure to the most buyers and the greatest possible exposure to the most buyer’s agents. With that in mind, I have been a member of both MLSs for about 10 years. Here’s what I’ve learned. Read the rest of this entry »

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  • Filed under: Sequim MLS
  • Buying a House That Needs a New Roof

    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.

    My 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.

    New Roof

    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.

    A New Roof Solution

    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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    Luxury Homes for Sale

    Finding your luxury home starts with your online search, and here I’ll share two powerful and easy to use Luxury Homes websites. These are two of the best Luxury Homes websites in the entire Northwest. You’ll find 100% of all luxury homes listed on these two sites, including Sequim, Port Angeles, Port Townsend, and all the islands between the Olympic Peninsula and the Seattle shoreline. You’ll find the most expensive homes in the Northwest on these two sites.

    Luxury Homes for Sale in Sequim and Port Angeles

    Luxury Homes

    Sequim and Port Angeles is a small real estate market, so if you are looking for an incredible luxury home, don’t be surprised when you discover we don’t have a large inventory of luxury homes. To see our inventory of gorgeous homes, go to Sequim Luxury Homes (which includes Port Angeles). Every home listed in the Olympic Listing Service MLS is on this site.

    Luxury Homes for Sale in Port Townsend

    Luxury Homes in Port Townsend

    Port Townsend luxury homes are listed on a different website, which you’ll find at Port Townsend Luxury Homes for Sale.

    Luxury Homes for Sale on the Islands

    If you would like to look at luxury homes on the several dozen islands between the Seattle Shoreline and the Olympic Peninsula across the Strait of Juan de Fuca at LuxuryWaterViewHomes.com. This is the same site you’ll use for Port Townsend. Every home listed in the Northwest MLS is on this site, which includes every Realtor’s listings for the entire Northwest.

    When you are filtering through our luxury homes, you’ll obviously want a highly qualified buyer’s agent who can represent your interests, protect you, and negotiate the best price and terms. I recommend you hire the number one buyer’s agent of luxury homes in the Northwest, Chuck Marunde. You can reach Chuck at 360-775-5424 or ChuckMarunde@gmail.com.

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    Manage Your Energy Not Your Time

    Manage Your Energy Not Your Time” is now available in audio as well as the previously published Kindle and paperback versions. Manage Your Energy is Chuck Marunde’s latest book. While Chuck’s last 10 books have been about real estate, and specifically about Sequim real estate, this book is not about real estate at all.

    Manage Your Energy

    Manage Your Energy is a Fun Read

    What is Manage Your Energy all about? “Who doesn’t want to be free to be happy, successful, and have great relationships? This book taps into something every one of us has: physical, mental, emotional, psychological, and spiritual energy. All of these key areas can drain us of energy, or they can work together to increase our energy levels in all areas of life, and the result is so powerful, you’ll wonder how you get so much done in a single day–every day.”

    Manage Your Energy

    My clients are all real estate clients, and the vast majority are retirees who are already mature and successful and happy, but this book will challenge anyone to think in new ways. Retiring is the next big exciting phase in life, and despite the fact that our bodies are getting older and slowing down, in every other way, we have an opportunity to make the next decade the best years of our lives. Manage Your Energy is a fun read in either paperback or on your Kindle or iPad, and if you prefer, you can download the audio version and listen to it in the author’s own voice.

    You can learn more or purchase at Amazon: Manage Your Energy.

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  • What About Sequim Wells and Sequim Septic Systems?

    Are Sequim septic systems high maintenance, and are they potential problems for buyers who have lived in the city on public utilities their whole lives? And what about Sequim wells? These questions come up regularly from buyers all over the U.S. Even today a buyer called me to ask about Sequim septic systems.

    Septic Systems

    Here are six articles I wrote that answer many of the questions about private septics and private wells. What you’ll find out is that private wells and septics are very reliable, low maintenance, and not at all the problem most people might think. Private wells are usually low maintenance, and so are septic systems. Private wells in the Sequim area are known for having pure water, and most of us have no reason to have a water purifier.

    Sequim Septic Systems Article 1: Septic Inspections

    Sequim Septic Systems Article 2: Private Septic Systems

    Sequim Septic Systems Article 3: Septic Systems Regulations

    Sequim Wells Article 1: Private Well Issues

    Sequim Wells Article 2: What is a Well Cistern?

    Sequim Wells Article 3: Are Private Wells Safe?

    When you are buying a home in Sequim, I always recommend a well inspection and a septic inspection, and of course, a home inspection. You can read at least a dozen article on this blog about home inspections, what is involved, and how to respond to needed repairs. If you have any questions after your read the articles above on wells and septic systems, you can always email me at ChuckMarunde@gmail.com or simply call me at 360-775-5424.

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  • Filed under: Private Wells
  • You will be selecting a real estate agent. The purpose of this brief article is to share one tip with you–how to avoid the big mistake that some buyers make when selecting a real estate agent.  If you screw up selecting a real estate agent who can represent you well, it will cost you, not me. Take this advice with a grain of salt if you want to, but it comes with almost 40 years in real estate, including 20 years as a real estate attorney. I share this hard learned experience with you absolutely free. Do with it as you will, but it is solid and sage advice.

    Selecting a Real Estate Agent

    Selecting a Real Estate Agent

    I got a phone call a few days ago from a gentleman, but I was on the line with another person, so I didn’t pick up. I called back within 3 minutes, and the gentleman said, “I just went down the list and called the next agent, and he answered the phone, so I have an appointment to view a home with him.”

    I don’t doubt this gentleman was doing what he thought made sense, but he was making a big mistake selecting a real estate agent, not for me but for himself. Think about what he did. He was about to spend a large sum of money, and he was selecting a real estate agent by just grabbing the next name off a list. And not a refined list of highly qualified Realtors. Just an unfiltered list on the Internet. Really? Is buying a home like buying a pair of socks on a shelf? Is selecting a real estate agent like finding the next clerk at the Post Office, or the next Barista at Starbucks? Or is hiring an agent just a matter of cold calling people off a list, and the first one to answer wins? May I speak plainly? It’s hard to imagine that anyone would use such a reckless approach for such an important task, and with so much money at stake.

    Would you hire a financial planner and give him your life savings without some research on him and his company? Would you hire a babysitter without references? If you needed serious legal help, would you hire the first attorney to answer the phone in the Yellow pages with no interview, and no research? Read the rest of this entry »

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  • How Do Reverse Mortgages Work?

    Today we have an article about reverse mortgages written by mortgage expert Buck Gieseke. Reverse mortgages are one of the most misunderstood home financing tools available today. As a mortgage originator for over two decades, I was adamantly opposed to writing this type of loan until mid-2006. That’s when I got the facts that changed my thinking. First and foremost let’s put some of the Reverse Mortgage myths to bed:

    What if I outlive the benefit? You can not outlive a reverse mortgage. If you live to be 120, you still will not have to make a mortgage payment. Can I get upside down in value? Because the loan is insured by the FHA, you will never be obligated for more than the sale of the home (even if it depreciates).

    Reverse Mortgages

    Could you lose the title or lose control of the property with reverse mortgages? Title always remains in the homeowner’s name. Could the burden or responsibility be passed on to my heirs? Your reverse mortgage is secured by the equity in your home so your heirs are never personally liable. Upon my death, is there a possibility that my heirs would not inherit my home? Your heirs do inherit your home according to your own estate planning, and your heirs have the option to sell the home or refinance it.

    Reverse Mortgages Qualifications

    The majority of reverse mortgages originated today are FHA or HUD Home Equity Conversion Mortgages (HECM). These are insured by the FHA and have been growing in popularity over the recent years.

    To qualify for reverse mortgages, you must be at least 62 years of age, have an equity position in your home and undergo nominally priced (approximately $100) counseling from a HUD approved agency. In contrast to past guidelines, you can have a co-borrower that is less than 62 years of age. The surviving spouse (borrower) can still remain in the home without repayment of the loan but does not have the ability to continue making draws on the loan. Read the rest of this entry »

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    Chuck E. Marunde, J.D.

    Sequim Buyer's Agent (Atty Ret.)
    Founder and Broker of
    Sequim & Port Angeles Real Estate dba iRealty Virtual Brokers
    435 W. Bell St. Suite A, Sequim, WA
    (360) 775-5424
    ChuckMarunde@gmail.com

    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
    Sequim Real Estate Q&A

    From Los Alamos New Mexico

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

    From Sun Lakes Arizona

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

    From California

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

    From Sequim

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

    From The Netherlands

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

    From Fremont California

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

    From Fontana California

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

    From Tacoma

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

    From Wendell Idaho

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

    From Sequim

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

    From Seattle

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Intro by Chuck Marunde

    From Sequim to California

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

    Who is Chuck Marunde?

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