I received these excellent questions about Sequim from some potential buyers, and since other clients have raised similar questions, I thought I would post the answers here for everyone.
Question: Are there areas that have less wind, are more sheltered for better weather – or areas to avoid because of wind or fog?
Answer: The windy areas are north of Sequim on the bluffs and beaches. For example, north on Sequim-Dungeness Avenue, which turns into Anderson Road, it gets more windy as you approach the Strait. I lived five miles north of Sequim adjacent to the Olympic Game Farm. That was 14 years ago. I know that because my daughter is going to be 14 in July and she was born there in a 100 year old farmhouse with the assistance of a midwife. Even though we were about two miles from the water as the crow flies, it was always windy. Of course, a lot of people don’t mind the wind, or it is a fair trade for a high bluff or beach front view.
Question: Is the “Mains Farm” area windy?
Answer: Yes in some areas, because Mains Farm has high bluff frontage, but not back in the many areas within Mains Farm that are sheltered by trees.
Question: What about septic systems & wells? Is it risky or fine?
Answer: We are lucky to have really great water and private wells that produce plenty of water, but there are exceptions in a small number of properties, so this is a property specific issue. The same is true with septic systems. Some properties are in lower areas that don’t perc well, and more expensive mound type septic systems are required. Of course, for those properties on public utilities, these are not concerns at all. But even for private systems, I include addendums that require an inspection of the well and the septic, so you would have a full report.
Question: Are the lenders savvy about short sales, or does it take forever?
Answer: As a broker and Realtor I don’t list either short sales or foreclosures. That isn’t because I don’t know them, because I did many foreclosures and short sales as an attorney, so I have more experience on these two than most. But the reason I don’t list them is because we cannot get the banks to cooperate, and because the REOs working for the banks are demanding a 40% referral fee. I have had clients who made offers on short sales that were accepted by the sellers, but after 3 to 6 months of waiting for the bank to make up its mind, they still jerked us around and ultimately would not cooperate except with a ridiculously unreasonable price and terms. The truth is, the best prices are not found in short sales or foreclosures, at least not on the Olympic Peninsula. The best prices and best homes are listed with a Realtor right now. I just sold a home on Bell Hill in Sequim for $150,000 less than it’s fair market value. It wasn’t a foreclosure or a short sale.
By the way, even though I don’t list foreclosures or short sales, I do help my buyers write offers, because I know exactly what fees and costs can be negotiated away and how the banks and REOs work behind the scenes.
Question: Anything else we should think about?
Answer: What my clients from outside the area tell me consistently is that after narrowing down the possible ideal properties listed in the MLS online, there’s nothing like driving around with me and getting a good handle on the best areas and then filtering through the homes as we look at them. Then we draft an offer, and negotiate hard and work through the details to get what makes the most sense. Everything I have ever learned, including 20 years as a real estate attorney, is all yours at no cost. I love being a professional buyer’s agent, because I help my client beat up the seller, . . . but it is the seller who pays my commission at closing. Is this country great, or what?
[You’ll find more articles on every issue raised here with more details to help you avoid traps for the unwary. With over 750 real estate articles on Sequim and Port Angeles real estate, you should find what you are looking for, and if you don’t find the answer to your question, email me, and I’ll do my best to answer it. You can use the search box to find the Sequim real estate issue you want to know more about.]
Last Updated on July 27, 2012 by Chuck Marunde