Sequim, WA Real Estate News

By Chuck Marunde, Sequim Real Estate Broker
(Sequim & Port Angeles Real Estate)
Real estate prices have stalled and dropped in some areas in and around Sequim and Port Angeles, Washington, but appreciation has far exceeded the minor price decreases as shown in this data from Standard and Poor's: Seattle is a substantially different market than the Olympic Peninsula, but the price history has been similar. Since 2000 home prices in the Seattle area have appreciated 189.86%, and even in the last year, Seattle prices have increased 3.3%. The winter months always slow down on the Olympic Peninsula, and the spring months will tell us how 2008 will turn out for home sellers in the area.Inventory is up as expected in this market, but we simply have not seen a crashing of prices by any measure in Sequim and Port Angeles. We are on a plateau for home prices, and we're seein...
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By Judy Sage
(Windermere Sequim East)
As the new year is in its spiral to expire (to '09) we are faced with decisions regarding real estate marketing. Should we remain in this field, is there anything that we can do to open it up again or do we just resolve and hang in until we can not maintain any longer? I really would like your opinion.
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By Chuck Marunde, Sequim Real Estate Broker
(Sequim & Port Angeles Real Estate)
Did you know you could purchase a lot or vacant land that cannot produce drinking water? Did you know that you could purchase a home with a private well that dries up part of the year, or has a low water flow? Imagine having to haul drinking water and having to install a storage tank for all your residential water use! It's a nightmare, but it happens!If you live in California or the Seattle-Tacoma metropolitan area, or anywhere outside Sequim and Port Angeles, and you are planning to purchase property in the Sequim or Port Angeles areas, one of the Traps for the Unwary that could cost you a small fortune involves private wells and drinking water.The vast majority of private wells produce excellent water flow and excellent quality on the Northern Olympic Peninsula. We are very fortunate...
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By Chuck Marunde, Sequim Real Estate Broker
(Sequim & Port Angeles Real Estate)
While much of the county struggles with a depressing real estate market, Washington State does not, and the Sequim and Port Angeles areas do not. We struggle with a slowing market, but not a crisis market by any measurement.The luxury home market is unique, and especially interesting in this market. In a depressed market, luxury homes typically find their prices slashed by 20%, 30% or more. Take, for example, Burt Reynold's home in Florida (see photo). It is listed for sale at $10.5 million, which is 30% below its original list price.In a less than vibrant market, luxury homes still hold their value well. When they don't sell within a reasonable period of time, assuming they are priced at fair market value, it is not because of price but because the right buyer has not arrived at this t...
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By Chuck Marunde, Sequim Real Estate Broker
(Sequim & Port Angeles Real Estate)
New construction of homes in Sequim and Port Angeles has slowed with the pause in the real estate market, but exactly what does the volume of new construction look like recently, and how does that compare to the historical record? Here is the data. For the same time period, the average sales price is represented by the second graph.  Click on Graphs to Enlarge.New construction from 2000 through November of 2007, which gives us the bigger picture is represented by the following two charts, first sales volume and then average price. Click on Graphs to Enlarge.Data courtesy of Real Market Data. One caveat regarding the definition of "new construction" in their data: New construction only includes first time sales of land and home together. In other words, new construction is when a builder...
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By Alan Burwell
(McHugh Realtors)
In January 2008, The Washington State Department of Licensing will begin issuing a new Enhanced Driver License and Identification card (EDL/ID). The EDL/ID provides travelers with a low cost, convenient alternate travel document to a passport for entry at land and sea ports between the U.S. and Canada, Mexico, Bermuda and the Caribbean. The EDL/ID is voluntary. The cost is $15 more than a driver license or identification card and you can make an appointment to apply by calling any of the 11 participating Licensing Service Office locations throughout the state. Applicants must provide documentation to prove U.S. citizenship, identity and Washington State residency. They must provide their social security number and have a digital photo taken, along with an interview with a Licensing Serv...
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By Alan Burwell
(McHugh Realtors)
Located at the tip of the 5 mile long Dungeness Spit in Sequim, WA, the New Dungeness Lighthouse was first lit on December 14, 1857.  150 years later the New Dungeness Light Station still lights the way for seafarers plying the waters of the Strait of Juan de Fuca.  For its first 137 years the US Coast Guard has taken meticulous care of the Light Station and kept it lit.  In 1994 they withdrew and transferred operations to the New Dungeness Light Station Association.  The New Dungeness Light Station Association formed in early 1994 with a mission of protecting and preserving the light station.  The light station has been maintained and operated by the NDLSA under license with the US Coast Guard ever since. "The New Dungeness Light Station will be the finest example of historic restorati...
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By Trisha Cobb, Results that move you!
(RE/MAX Prime)
Since the first Baby-Boomer filed for Social Security this month, I believe Sequim has a sunny forecast in the future for our real estate market.Across the nation, there are reports of doom and gloom throughout the real estate market; new home starts are down, spec homes are not selling and prices have dropped, forclosures are rampant, lenders are much more limited on the loans they can issue. How does that relate to us here in Sequim, Washington?We live in a unique place.  Surrounded by mountains and water, geography limits the amount of real estate available.  Sequim is continually getting good press nationally as a highly desirable place to retire. As vast numbers of affluent Baby Boomers retire, I believe we will see many of them wanting to come here.Invest in real estate now? At th...
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By Chuck Marunde, Sequim Real Estate Broker
(Sequim & Port Angeles Real Estate)
One of my pet peeves is overpriced real estate. An overpriced home on the market can actually cost a seller a lot of money. A home only sells for fair market value (FMV), not more than buyers are willing to pay. That's what FMV is--what a ready, willing, and able buyer is willing to pay for a home. Yet we still see both FSBO's and agent listings on the market above FMV, and some are substantially above FMV.If your home is for sale at a price above FMV, you can end up selling it for even less than FMV down the road. I've been preaching this for almost 20 years now, but finally there is authoritative proof. [See my earlier blogs on this: Save $10,000 Buying and Port Angeles and Sequim Overpriced Listings]The proof is in the Sunday, October 28, 2007 issue of the Seattle Times at page E7:"R...
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By Chuck Marunde, Sequim Real Estate Broker
(Sequim & Port Angeles Real Estate)
Sellers Can Carry the Contract Thirty and forty years ago it was not uncommon for sellers to carry the note for their buyer. In fact, many of those contracts were still being created 20 years ago, but with a mortgage market that became intensely competitive and focused upon getting everyone possible into a home, seller contracts faded.Seller contracts in Sequim and Port Angeles faded for two major reasons. First, buyers could find lower interest rates and higher loan to value ratios than sellers could reasonably offer for the risk. Second, sellers were favored by IRS treatment, which has reduced the capital gains tax threat for anyone selling their own home.For a retired person who wants to sell their own home (and especially a rental or investment property), it might be a great time t...
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By Alan Burwell
(McHugh Realtors)
From me to you.Ingredients3 ½ C    flour                            1    C  salad oil2     tsp  soda                           4     eggs1 ½ tsp  salt                              2/3 C  water3     tsp  cinnamon                    2    C (1 can) pumpkin3     tsp  nutmeg                        3    C  sugar¼    tsp  all spice DirectionsSift dry ingredients.  Make a well in the dry ingredients and add remaining ingredients.  Mix until smooth.  Divide into greased & floured loaf pans.  Cook for 1 hour at 350 degrees.This makes 2 large loaves or 3 smaller loaves.  Eat it warm or room temp.  Warmed is the best though.The photo borrowed.
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By Alan Burwell
(McHugh Realtors)
Sometimes there are days when we just need a blanket.Blanketskeep us warmmake great snuggle buddiesare soft and fuzzybabies love themgive us comfortkeep our feet warmkeep our bumms warm sitting on the bleacherscan be beautiful Somedays even the hills need blankets.photo property of Kathy Scott
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By Chuck Marunde, Sequim Real Estate Broker
(Sequim & Port Angeles Real Estate)
 While the real estate market takes a long needed pause to breath deep, the reality is that we have not yet seen significant reductions in the number of homes sold in Sequim and Port Angeles, at least not of recession significance. Sequim actually sold one more house in this time period in 2007 than it did in 2006, and Port Angeles sales dropped by only 12 homes. Pricing is more significant.As this chart illustrates, in 2006 (for the six month period from March 1 through August 31), the median price of homes sold in Sequim was $285,000, and in Port Angeles it was $271,500, and in 2007 $280,00 and $255,500, respectively. The drop in average prices in Sequim is larger than the reduction in Port Angeles. The Sequim average sales price of a home in 2007 is down to $283,347 from $294,407 in ...
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By Alan Burwell
(McHugh Realtors)
The great Pacific Northwest is home to many things.  The Olympic National Park, rain, Boeing, rain, Microsoft, Dungeness Crab, rain, Seahawks, RAIN, Mt. Rainier, and RAIN.  There really is way too much wonderful stuff in the PNW to mention.  OH, did I mention we have rain?  So much rain in fact that the North Olympic Peninsula is home of the Hoh Rainforest, the northern most temperate rainforest in the world.You might think why would anyone want to live in a place with so much rain falling most all the time?  Originally, people came here for the timber.  But that is another story.  Take heart, there is one place in this whole large area that doesn't get so much rain.  Airline pilots affectionately call it the Blue Hole. Sequim (pronounced Skwim) is where you can find a 15 inch annual ra...
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By Chuck Marunde, Sequim Real Estate Broker
(Sequim & Port Angeles Real Estate)
Are you checking out homes or land in the Sequim area? You may have started out from the comfort of you own home computer, and you're just checking to see what the market looks like right now, and what prices are for your ideal property.Now is an Excellent Time to Buy Real Estate in Sequim.Some would call the Sequim real estate market a buyer's market. Maybe. Maybe not. But I can tell you that the market has noticeably slowed down, meaning sales have dipped significantly, and you know what that means? It means as a buyer you are in an excellent position to find the perfect home, whether it is a water view or mountain view, or a home or land with some acreage. Don't misunderstand. Now is a good time to hold real estate here, too. The market has been very good to Sequim for quite a few ye...
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By Alan Burwell
(McHugh Realtors)
I promised a finished picture and story.  It's been a long time coming, but finally, I have finished pictures.  Yea!!!When our son came home from boy scout camp and walked into his room, he saw blue walls with tape on them.  He stopped and just stared.  His first words were, "I got a new light!"Since his room wasn't finished and his brother's room was the storage space for all the stuff, the boys had no beds to sleep in.  Poor guys had to set up their camp cots in the living room.  There they slept for the next week. (and then some.)Ian helped us with the final taping of the walls and painting of the stripes.  He was excited to help until he put his first tape on the wall.  All of a sudden, it was harder than he expected.  (Well duh!)  So, I finished most of the remaining taping with he...
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By Chuck Marunde, Sequim Real Estate Broker
(Sequim & Port Angeles Real Estate)
I compiled this data from the Olympic Multiple Listing Service for the time period July of 1999 through July of 2007. It shows the number of residential properties sold each year in both Sequim and Port Angeles. It's interesting to see the pattern. Sequim has outsold Port Angeles consistently, and the trend of properties sold in both cities is consistent. Of course, 2005 had the highest number of residential properties sold, and we've been seeing a cooling offer period now, which is visible in the 2006 and 2007 bars.
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By Alan Burwell
(McHugh Realtors)
Have you ever been to a Salmon Bake?  Our local Rotary club hosts a Salmon Bake every year.  Along with the fabulously cooked Salmon, you get beans, cole slaw, rolls, soda, and ice cream.  For your listening enjoyment a band is playing great country music.     Don't forget to check out the fire pit with the rows of salmon cooking around it.  On cold days it also doubles as a hand warmer. :)This year the local Boys & Girls Club were on hand to help with the clean up.A good time was had by everyone!
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By Chuck Marunde, Sequim Real Estate Broker
(Sequim & Port Angeles Real Estate)
Sequim Real Estate and DivorceDon't Get Beat Up Sadly enough, people do get divorced, and as most everyone knows (some from personal experience), this can destroy the family financial security. Most times, the home must be sold, and the net proceeds divided as spelled out in the property settlement agreement as part of the final divorce decree. One should not make major decisions in a time of extremely high stress without good and trusted counsel. For goodness sakes, get some solid advice if you are or will be going through a divorce. Too many men or women get taken to the cleaners, and this means they often do not get half of the net proceeds from the sale of their home and other real estate.  Please make sure you have a Realtor who understand how to help. May I make a suggestion? If y...
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By Chuck Marunde, Sequim Real Estate Broker
(Sequim & Port Angeles Real Estate)
I'm often asked by people, "What's the average days on market for selling a house in Sequim?" What peaks my interest is what that person will do with that information. It is useful information, but if one assumes it will take that number of days to sell your home, one could assume wrongly. There are Sequim homes and land on the market that have recently sold quickly, and there are others that have been on the market for 200+ days. Assuming a property is listed at the right price (and many are not), when the right buyer comes along, it will be sold, and it does not matter to that buyer if your property has been on the market for one day or 232 days. We get buyers who arrive from California or elsewhere, we learn what they are looking for, and when we find it.  If it priced right, it will...
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