Kim Thompson, Broker
Windermere Real Estate

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Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Planting a seed

My good friend, Mark Rylant, who is the co-founder of Method Homes made a cut as one of the 7 entrants for the USGBC(U.S. Green Build Council) IMPACT award. Entry with the most LIKES wins, so please go like Planting a SEED if you have a facebook page!

This is what SEED does:
The SEED (Sustainable Education Every Day) is a modular living building classroom that meets the 20 imperatives of the Living Building Challenge. Each SEED comes with a curriculum packet to become a living laboratory. These learning spaces that can be placed anywhere in the world will have the ability to connect with one another. They will teach children the importance of caring and restoring our planet.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Market condition in Bellingham

I get a lot of questions about the market condition. The following graph shows what is going on in Bellingham market.
To sum it all, we have less inventory but more Sold than last year. Less supply and more demand will move the price up eventually. We have seen small rise this year already. Historically low interest rate makes homes more affordable for sure. (WECU's today's posted 30 year Fixed rate for a primary home purchase is 3.125% without points. ) You can find investment homes that will cash flow easily with this interest rate.

                   Curnt vs. Prev Month      Curnt vs. Same Month 1 Yr Ago    Curnt vs. Same Qtr 1 Yr Ago
For Sale               -5.7%                             -13.7%                                     -13.9% 
Sold                     -5.8%                             21%                                         19.8% 
Pended                -2.7%                             22.2%                                       14.6% 

Fall/Winter Check List

Are you ready for winter?
Ready for winter?

Here are a few helpful hints on preparing your home for the fall & winter months.
Courtesy of Pillar to post
P2P Logo

Roof Structure

  • Remove moss from roof. (Avoid pressure washing as this often causes more damage than good. Solutions & instructions can be found at most home improvement centers.)
  • Check condition of flashing & repair any loose or damaged shingles.
  • Clean gutters. (Even small amounts of debris can clog downspouts)
  • Keep trees & branches trimmed 6 feet from roof & off power lines.

Exterior Items

  • Trim all vegetation 12 inches away from siding.
  • Keep earth 6 inches below/away from siding & all other wood while maintaining a gentle slope away from the home.
  • Remove all debris away from home such as leafs to help keep pests away.
  • Store firewood at least ten feet from home to help avoid pest infestation
  • To help protect your home from water keep all gaps and joints in siding, even around doors & windows, caulked and keep well painted and sealed.
  • Add storm windows in older homes for better heat efficiency.

Crawl Space

  • Insulate plumbing lines to help protect them from freezing.
  • Keep all foundation vents unblocked year round, except during freezing weather, to provide adequate ventilation especially in the winter months when it is most damp. (Measure & purchase correct size vent plugs before freezing weather arrives.)


  • Have chimneys & flues professionally cleaned before use. (Soot build-up can lead to flue fires which often cause house fires.)


  • Gas/propane furnaces should be serviced on an annual basis.
  • Replace/clean filters.
  • Have heat registers professionally cleaned (or vacuum out as far as possible) to cut down on dust or other impurities in the air.


  • Check weather stripping around doors & windows. (If you can see light around a closed door improvement is needed.)
  • Replace smoke alarm batteries.
  • Add carbon monoxide monitors if your home uses gas or propane for any appliances or has an attached garage. (They are also needed if you burn wood)
  • Add UV lights where desired to help cope with the not so bright NW winter.


  • If you do have "frost free" hose faucets turn water to facets off or insulate them at interior & exterior.
  • Remove all hoses. Even if you have "frost free"faucets freezing water from hose can damage lines.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Case-Shiller home price index

Our trusty loan officer, Cathy Digby let us know that Case-Shiller home prices index is looking good. Today's 30year fixed rate is 3.5%. It can not get any better.

All 20 cities in the Case-Shiller home price index had monthly increases from May to June. This marks the second straight month in which all 20 cities have posted monthly gains. Of the 20 cities Detroit, Minneapolis, Chicago and Atlanta had the biggest monthly gains. June also represents the first year-over-year increase in 21 months with a 0.5% gain from June of 2011.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Waren Buffett

"Buffett conceded in his letter released Saturday that he was dead wrong to predict the housing market would recover by now. He said Monday that he believes conditions will improve this year."
-Heraldtribune published Feb 28th, 2012

"Confidence among U.S. consumers soared in February to its highest level since February 2011. The Conference Board’s consumer confidence index jumped from 61.5 in January (revised slightly upwards from 61.1) to 70.8 in February. Economists polled in a Bloomberg News survey had anticipated an increase to 63.0. "
-Yahoo Finances published Feb 28th, 2012

In my office at Windermere, we had the best month in terms of sale pending in February in four years. We don't have enough inventory to sell. Interest rate is still historically low. Houses are more affordable than ever. Rent is going up. Time to buy. What would you say?

Friday, October 28, 2011

Bipartisan bill might boost the US real estate market

My client in Korea told me about a news he read from Korean media that might boost American real estate market. Of course I was intrigued so I googled to see what it is about and found LA Times article:,0,6715779.story
"Two U.S. senators have introduced a bill that would allow foreigners who spend at least $500,000 on residential property to obtain visas allowing them to live in the United States."
The legislation would create a new homeowner visa that would be renewable every three years, but the proposal would not put them on a path to citizenship. To be eligible, a person would have to buy a primary residence of at least $250,000 and spend a total of $500,000 on residential real estate. The other properties could be rented. "
"The program would come with several restrictions.
The purchase would have to be in cash, with no mortgage or home equity loan allowed. And the property would have to be bought for more than its most recent appraised value, Schumer said.
The buyer would have to live in the home for at least 180 days each year, which would require paying U.S. income taxes on any foreign earnings. Buyers would no longer be eligible for the temporary visa if the property were sold.
The buyer would be able to bring a spouse and minor children to live in the U.S. but would need to apply for a work visa to hold a job. Neither the buyer nor dependents would be eligible to receive Medicaid, Medicare or Social Security benefits."

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Pumpkin time

Pumpkin time is here. I go to Stoney Ridge Farm in Everson every year on my kids' school field trip. It is the best place in Whatcom county! When you are done taking a wagon ride, picking apples and pumpkins, having fun in corn maze, feeding goats, checking out queen bee & animals, taking millions of pictures with all the cute display of pumpkins, make sure to drop by Rusty donut shop for mini donuts and coffee. Yum!

After I dropped my camera the other day, Hubby came home and he made it to work again(I hate when that happens :). Well, it works but is not taking great pictures. I'm not sure if it has more to do with cloudy weather and wrong auto setting I had on but let's just blame on the camera for now.
Anyway, I looked up some old photos I took a couple of years ago. I can't believe how big these kids are getting! This place provides us good fall time fun year after year.

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