Sequim, WA Real Estate News

By Chuck Marunde, Sequim Real Estate Broker
(Sequim & Port Angeles Real Estate)
Sequim and Port Angeles home sales activity for the first three months of this year compared to last year is instructive. Here we have a graph of the number of single family homes listed for sale in the local MLS and expired or withdrawn in the first three months for 2008 and 2009 (only the Olympic Listing Service has all MLS listings for our area, the NWMLS only includes some of our local listings, so be sure you are searching with the OLS MLS). That we have so many listings that have not sold, but have been removed from the market should be no surprise when we look at this graph showing how the actual sales of single family homes in the first three months of this year compares to the first three months of 2008.   For hundreds of articles on real estate issues, see Sequim Real Estate.
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By Arthur Buhrer MLO 114080, Owner Broker/ Washington State
(Arthur Buhrer, Olympic Mortgage Services CL 1456034)
Results from my informal 2009 Sequim Home Show survey.  23 People were surveyed. 1. How do you feel about the new President (Positive or negative)? 13 responded positive. 7 responded negative and 3 neutral. 2. On a scale of 1-10 how do you feel about the economy with 10 being good? -5,2.5. , 2, 2, 1, 2, 1, 6, 8, -1, 4, 3, 1, 2, 3, 4, 4, 3, 3, 5, 1, 4, 4. 3. Will you be making a big purchase in the next 12 months? 16 Responded No, 7 responded Yes. 3 said they were planning on purchasing a home, 2 said furniture for the house, and 1 said a car. 4. Will you be doing any traveling this year? 18 people said Yes, 5 said No. Out of the 18 eight said they would be traveling domestically and six said they would be traveling abroad. 5. Are you retired? 10 responded Yes. 6. Are you self employed? ...
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By Arthur Buhrer MLO 114080, Owner Broker/ Washington State
(Arthur Buhrer, Olympic Mortgage Services CL 1456034)
There is a lot of hype surrounding this. However, I don't think it will be all roses for good responsible borrowers.  These new loans will have to be FHA. How else are they going to insure them and the lenders who originate them? That means funding fees and monthly MI. Just to get down to 4% ?? What about the loan modifications? Will that be something a broker will be able to do? OR Are they going to rely on the lenders just like the failed HOPE program? Solution: Get Fannie and Freddie to play nice and move in a positive direction. They can remove all adverse market overlays, ltv restrictions, etc.. Bring back verbal verification for solid borrowers, and some SIVA loans for certain Borrowers. Take away hits for investment properties. Now I am talking about balance here. I am not sugges...
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By Arthur Buhrer MLO 114080, Owner Broker/ Washington State
(Arthur Buhrer, Olympic Mortgage Services CL 1456034)
Want to go Green? Don't worry you will be able to get financing. All lender agencies - Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and FHA - will have no problem funding a mortgage for a Green Built Home. Sometimes there might be incentives for such a home; however I haven't seen any of them. The Energy Efficient Mortgage is where you get an energy audit of the home. Then based on the recommendations of the audit you can increase your mortgage to pay for improvements without it disqualifying due to higher income to debt ratios. By saving money on the utilities the borrower will then be free to pay for a slightly higher mortgage. Another way to look at a Green Mortgage would be to look at where the monthly payments are going. Are they going to a corporately responsible company? Or is the mortgage being sol...
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By Chuck Marunde, Sequim Real Estate Broker
(Sequim & Port Angeles Real Estate)
Want to help Sequim and Port Angeles grow in the right direction? Ever wonder what you can do to make a valuable contribution toward that end? Are you passionate about some issues but not others? Do you want to make your opinion count with hundreds or thousands of other Sequim and Port Angeles residents? Complete this survey and we'll enter you in our monthly drawing for the $100 cash giveaway! (Sequim & Port Angeles Residents Only, see survey for details) This survey seeks insight into what drew you to move here, what you love most about living here, and what you would change. You'll have simple multiple choice and a couple of essay questions you can choose to answer or not. Tell the truth about how you feel, and identify yourself or remain anonymous. It's up to you. Now you can help b...
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By Chuck Marunde, Sequim Real Estate Broker
(Sequim & Port Angeles Real Estate)
I finished raising my children in Sequim from 1994, and prior to that we lived in Las Vegas for five years, and prior to that seven years in Spokane, and prior to that 22 years in Alaska where I grew up. I hereby testify that the weather and climate in Sequim is precisely between the two extremes found in Nevada and Alaska. I do not miss 70 degrees below (Farenheit) in Tok, Alaska, nor the ice fog that greatly reduces visibility on the streets of Fairbanks at 50 degrees below. We burned 10 cords of wood every winter, and guess who had the privilege of cutting and splitting the wood? I loved it. Nor do I miss 115 degrees in the sunny climate of Vegas. I've been a jogger my whole life, and running daily in the desert heat at 90 to 110 degrees was . . . well, it was sweaty. But I loved it....
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By Marti Winkler, Certified Residential Appraiser
(North Coast Appraisal Service)
I did an FHA appraisal inspection this morning, and the owner casually mentioned what she and her husband thought their house should be worth. Of course, I always make a note of what they say, just for my records, and then proceed to explain the current reality of the market. Funny how while I'm explaining that the market has dropped off about 12% in 2008 vs 2007, I can see the glazed over look in their eyes, and the reaction on the owner's face... you know, the one that says 'Well, that may be what the numbers say and how the overall market's doing, but that doesn't apply to my house.' Of course not, your house is the exception. Your house is worth WAY more than everyone else's, even though you still have the original vinyl flooring and formica counters from 1987 in the bathrooms, and ...
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By Marti Winkler
(Windermere SunLand)
So the results are in for 2008 real estate sales, based on data in OLS (Olympic Listing Service), Area 300 (All of Sequim address), and while they're not great, they're not so bad either... Here are the highlights: For 2008, this includes sales of site built homes, off-site built homes (manufactured homes on non-leased land) and condos: Total number of sales: 349 Average price: $294,298 Median price: $272,500 Average DOM: 128 This is a 12% decline in Average price, and an 8% decline in Median price vs 2007, and a 22% decrease in the number of transactions. I have an Excel spreadsheet with more detail if anyone would like to see it... just send me an email and I'll send it to you. Marti  
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By Marti Winkler, Certified Residential Appraiser
(North Coast Appraisal Service)
So the results are in for 2008 real estate sales, based on data in OLS (Olympic Listing Service), Area 300 (All of Sequim address), and while they're not great, they're not so bad either... Here are the highlights: For 2008, this includes sales of site built homes, off-site built homes (manufactured homes on non-leased land) and condos: Total number of sales: 349 Average price: $294,298 Median price: $272,500 Average DOM: 128 This is a 12% decline in Average price, and an 8% decline in Median price vs 2007, and a 22% decrease in the number of transactions. I have an Excel spreadsheet with more detail if anyone would like to see it... just send me an email and I'll send it to you. Marti  
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By Marti Winkler, Certified Residential Appraiser
(North Coast Appraisal Service)
The real estate sales market may still be slow in Sequim, but I'm really busy with appraisals now, and with the exception of 1 sale I did a couple of weeks ago, the rest are for refi's. I talked to one of the reps at RELS today, and she said they were really busy too, which is great news... Let's hope the sales market picks up too.
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By Chuck Marunde, Sequim Real Estate Broker
(Sequim & Port Angeles Real Estate)
Sequim and Port Angeles seem to be escaping some of the nasty winter blizzards in Western Washington, in large part because of the rain shadow that shields our area. The National Weather Service reports: A blizzard warning will shortly replace the current winter storm watch for the Western Strait (from about Joyce westerly) and the North Coast in Clallam County, including Forks, LaPush, Neah Bay, Clallam Bay, and Sekiu. Blizzard conditions are expected to start Saturday afternoon and continue through the evening, moderating by Sunday morning. The NWS defines a blizzard as large quantity and/or a blowing snow with winds of 35 mph or stronger, and visibility of 1/4 mile or less for more than three hours. For Western Clallam County the NWS expects 6 - 12" of snow accumulation, and winds of...
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By Trisha Cobb, Results that move you!
(RE/MAX Prime)
November was the slowest sales month Sequim has experienced since 2002 when we started tracking that info. 3 parcels of land sold in the Sequim area with 575 parcels for sale; and 20 residences on owned land sold in Sequim, with 480 active residential listings.  Of the 13 site built Single Family Residences that sold in Sequim in Nov, (one was our listing, and we have another listing under contract)  6 of them were foreclosures.  I'm certain much of the downturn can be contributed to the decrease in the stock market, and with the market fluctuating so much and real estate prices dropping, in December we are now seeing a little bit of an increase in activity with more Buyers looking. With the drop in interest rates, I believe we will see more properties going under contract. The homes th...
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By Chuck Marunde, Sequim Real Estate Broker
(Sequim & Port Angeles Real Estate)
What does the Sequim real estate market look like and how does it compare to previous years? Here is a graphic covering the past five years showing the total number of homes sold and the median sales prices. I've weighted the data to get more accurate results by eliminating very low and very high priced homes. The price range of $150,000 to $400,000 includes 94% of homes sold in Port Angeles recently. The very small number of high priced homes sold to millionaires would unfairly skew the data. Not showing on this chart, but interesting, is that in November of 2008, only 10 hours sold in Sequim and 15 in Sequim in this price range. All homes included in this data are site-built only. Click on this image to enlarge it.
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By Chuck Marunde, Sequim Real Estate Broker
(Sequim & Port Angeles Real Estate)
It was a challenging day at work, and I was looking forward to a nice jog in Robin Hill Park in Sequim. So I opened up the sliding glass door to my deck and walked across the back yard where I opened the gate to the winding serene trails of Robin Hill Park. I took the 2.4 mile loop, which gently meanders through the trees and across meadows, falls into a sweet little gulley and works its way up and around to my back yard again. I didn't see anyone. I rarely do, although I know others are out there walking, jogging, riding their bikes, and some are riding horses on the trails designated for that purpose. The sun was already low in the sky as evening approached, and the beams of bright light were streaking through the pine trees, which were emitting the fresh scent of pine needles and all...
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By Chuck Marunde, Sequim Real Estate Broker
(Sequim & Port Angeles Real Estate)
Sequim Homes Sold compared to Port Angeles Homes sold in the first nine months of this year are shown in this graph in $50,000 increments. Courtesy Sequim & Port Angeles Real Estate.
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By Chuck Marunde, Sequim Real Estate Broker
(Sequim & Port Angeles Real Estate)
Are homes being built in Sequim and Port Angeles?  How many new homes are being built so far in 2008? Has the slowing real estate market and the troubled economy hurt the building industry? No doubt it has, but the picture is brighter than I might have thought just by reading headlines and listening to the talking heads. I’ve tracked building permits issued by Clallam County from 2005 through September of 2008, and here are the results: I’ve included data for single family stick-built homes, manufactured homes, and duplexes. We see again proof that 2005 was a banner year in real estate with 359 permits issued for homes. Since then we have a steady decline, and for the first nine months of this year, we have 160 building permits. Annualizing this number would give us a rough equivalent t...
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By Chuck Marunde, Sequim Real Estate Broker
(Sequim & Port Angeles Real Estate)
Sequim is a wonderful place to live. Here are seven reasons I love Sequim, and why you might love it, too. 1. Sequim is a beautiful and peaceful community with water views, mountains, and old growth forests; 2. Sequim has retirement communities, lots and homes built to suit retirees in close proximity to shopping and community activities (but you can also buy a farm or 5 acres outside of town); 3. Sequim’s school district is one of the best in the country, and the children are all above average (4 of them are mine); 4. Sequim has an extremely low crime rate, and you’ll feel like you went back in time 30 years; 5. Sequim doesn’t suffer the traffic nightmares of most cities (do you love the country?); 6. Sequim has great weather and is popular for its rain shadow, meaning it gets about a ...
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By Chuck Marunde, Sequim Real Estate Broker
(Sequim & Port Angeles Real Estate)
What's the secret of Sequim weather? Is there a rain shadow? Is it warmer and does the sun shine more in Sequim than in Port Angeles? Well, this is a topic of conversation from Port Angeles to Santa Barbara and Houston. Finally, you can compare the weather in Sequim and Port Angeles LIVE right here. See this live comparison of the weather in Sequim and Port Angeles.
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By Chuck Marunde, Sequim Real Estate Broker
(Sequim & Port Angeles Real Estate)
The Broker of Sequim and Port Angeles Real Estate, LLC talks about real estate and the Internet, finding buyers and selling in this market on this brief video interview.
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