Commercial Real Estate

commercial real estate

The good and bad of investing in commercial real estate.

Commercial real estate, like residential real estate, can offer an advantageous return on investment. Commercial real estate can offer a larger financial reward, although it can also be a larger upfront financial investment.

There are many types of commercial properties. These include

  • warehouses
  • apartment buildings or complexes
  • restaurant/retail space
  • office building
  • mixed use ( a variety of different businesses)
  • industrial space
  • land

Real estate in general can offer a nice return on investment. Commercial real estate has some definite pros and income potential. We offer some insight on both the pros and the cons of commercial real estate. (more…)

Happy Day of Independence

Happy 4th of July
4th-of-July    fireworks-in-whatcom-county

July 4, 1776, the day we declared independence from the British.  Today is a day to celebrate a day on time in history that has allowed us to be where we are today. Friends and family come together to celebrate and enjoy each others company, as well bright, bold firework displays.

So what’s going in Whatcom?  We have put together a list of festivals and fireworks going in Whatcom.

Blaine’s Parade– Parade during the day, vendors, food, music and firework show at 10pm. Downtown and Marine Park.

Haggen’s Fourth– At Zuanich Pint park and Squalicum Boathouse lots of fun is going down starting at 11 am. Beer garden, live music, food and a great firework show that begins at 10:30 pm.

And celebrate Lynden Street being named the best Main Street in America at the Lynden Block Party. Food and festivities will be going on all day until 2pm.

Whether you stay home and throw ribs on the grill, or go out and enjoy the local festivities, we say happy independence day to you! Be safe and enjoy this Monday being a holiday, celebrating the progress we’ve made to be where we are.

Happy 4th to ALL! 



Whatcom County Real News

What’s going in with Real Estate? 

We decided to post some new tidbits in relation to real estate and the market at whole.

Whatcom County home sales are on an upward rise. Could it slow down?  If we look at national trends, home sale prices have continuously increased the last few years. 2014 they were up by 6.7% and 2015 followed with a 3.4% price growth. Economists conclude 2016 home prices will increase an additional 3-4% nationally.

What does this mean for Whatcom County? Let’s take a peak at Bellingham’s market. The number of homes sold, along with the average home sale, have both increased steadily. It sits low with inventory, and the ones available, have increased in price. The inventory is down by 40% and pending sales are up. The median home price is up 7.4% from the first quarter of 2014. Market trends have increased.

This does make it quite less affordable for first time home buyers.  With the supply of homes being low, homes under the 300K mark are far and few in between.

Mortgage rates are expected to increase some as well. This will add additional expense to the already increased price of a home.

Should you buy now?

The question of the day.  Markets will always cycle. So when to buy can be hard, especially since most people think back to housing slide in 2007.  The answer is yes, it can be.  It depends on the property you seek, is it an investment property? A fix-nFlip? Or a first time residence? What do you qualify for? What are your terms?

If you are a first time home buyer, there still may be the right home out there for you. Maybe you will have to put a little bit of sweat equity into the property for the price to seem right for you. Are you able and willing to do that? If your a first time home buyer that plans to stay in your home for 5-10 years, then yes the opportunity may still be great. It’s how you look at real estate and what you want to do with it.

We encourage you to do some more research. Read about trends, research the area you seek, whether in Whatcom County or Orange County.


Properties and Mold

moisture detectionMOLD

In past posts we touched on some areas of interest in Whatcom County and some fun, outdoor activities to engage in. Now lets talk a little about things to be aware of when purchasing in Whatcom, or really anywhere for that matter. And today’s topic is Mold, “fungus among us”.  Mold has been around for centuries. We are recently beginning to realize more about mold and become more educated on it and the health hazards of exposure.

Drew, a recent Bellingham homeowner and soon to be mold inspector in Whatcom, gave is the scoop on the fungus. He was a past owner of Phoenix Water Damage in Phoenix, Arizona.  He says Phoenix was dry, but homes were very prevalent to developing mold. His concern with now being a homeowner in Washington is the rain and constant moisture.

There are many types of mold, over 100,000 of species of fungus. They need oxygen and organic materials to feed on and moisture to grow. Your home offers many types of organic materials for mold to feed on (drywall, wood, cement and more) If you have a water leak from somewhere in your home, or water/moisture from outside leaking in, creating moisture, you have the perfect breeding place for mold.  Not all mold is toxic.  The toxic strains are what create health problems, ventilation problems, and allergies. (more…)

Lummi Island

Lummi Island, located at the southwest corner of Whatcom, is a quaint, historic little island to adventure to when living or visiting Bellingham or Whatcom County.  With just a short ferry ride over to Lummi Island, you have a variety of events, activities,  a thriving art community and beautiful places to explore.

We love to take a little two to three day trip over to Lummi to hike, explore the beautiful shores and taste a little wine.

Whether your a Washington native, visiting, or just moving to the area, Lummi Island is a great relaxing getaway with shorelines to explore and naps to take.  There are not bars, clubs, shopping extravaganzas, or tons of restaurants, but there are friendly people and a quiet paradise to take advantage of.

How to get there:

A quick 6 minute ferry will deliver you to the 9 mile, 1000 resident island. You can take you rcar, bike or yourself for anywhere from $7 to $13.

What to do:


Ride a bike, take a hike, or go for a stroll on the shore

Take an Art Studio Tour…Memorial Day and Labor Day. A variety of artists showcasing their work at many locations throughout the island.

Taste Wine..Visit Legoe Bay Winery or Artisan Wine Gallery, or Both!

Where to stay:

Willow Inn (dining available at the Inn), Nettles Farm

Please keep in mind that Lummi Island is small. There is a general store and a few places to eat, but think about bringing some of your own supplies.  When you need to escape chaos and enjoy some peace and quietness, visit Lummi Island.


WhatCom School Districts

School districts are an important part of the home buying decision, even if you don’t have children. A good or bad school district directly effects the cost of a home. So how are the schools in Whatcom County rated? What is the student to teacher ratio? And so on.

Today we will explore the schools in Whatcom. We will cover statistics, as well as some inside information from a friend of mine, Rebecca. She is a Bellingham Realtor, with kids that attended public schools in Whatcom County. Becca’s children attended elementary school and high school in Bellingham. One continued on to go to Western Washington University, while the other moved to Arizona and is a real estate agent and co owner of a carpet cleaning company in Tempe, AZ.

There are 97 schools in Whatcom County. The public schools average A and B ratings.  The average student to teacher ratio is 18:1. The Bellingham School district, with 24 schools,  is the 29th largest school district in Washington and ranks higher in education achievement than the state average. It has a 7 out of 10 GreatSchools rating. Bellingham High School ranked 1887 in the national rankings.  This earned Bellingham High School a silver rating. Sehome High School ranked 1307 nationally and also was awarded a silver medal. (more…)

Things to do in Whatcom

Whatcom Falls Park

As I wrote in my last post, Whatcom is an outdoor lovers Haven.  It also is home to many breweries for the beer connoisseurs out there.  Let’s explore some great place to enjoy the outdoors, whether you hike, bike trail run, or fish.  We will follow it up with few breweries to check out after the great outdoors.

Some of the must see/must do hikes include:

Whatcom Falls Park– We love this because not only is there something for everyone and every fitness level, but there is water! With three and a half miles of trails, you can explore the creek, meadows or wind through forests.

Lake Padden Park– Located in Bellingham, a great place to catch some fish….rainbow, cutthroat and kokanee trout.

Chuckanut Mountain Park-Just south ofBellingham you will find the Chuckanut Mountains.  Here you will find numerous trails that access beautiful forests, waterfalls, streams and views of surrounding mountain areas.

Find more at Whatcom County Parks

Visit any one of the above areas, and get a little exercise out in the beautiful Washington weather, even if it rains a bit!  And then head on over to one of our local breweries to enjoy a frosty cold one or a great burger (meat or veggie)

Chuckanut Brewery and Kitchen– Great award winning beers, and locally sourced delicious food

Aslan Brewery– A fave. We love the Batch 15 IPA and the Portobella fries

Boundry Bar Brewery and Bistro– Smoked Salmon Chowder-yum! Especially if you get a little rained on!

There are many awesome places to check out in Whatcom. The area boasts laid back fun. With a variety of outdoor activities and places to visit, we Whatcom should be “Here I Come!”


Bellingham, Washington

Whatcom County, WABellingham is Whatcom County’s largest city, with a population of over 85,000 people.  Bellingham sits on Bellingham Bay, and opens into the Strait of Georgia and is the northernmost city in the United States. Being that it is just 100 miles north of Seattle, it shares the same weather, with a little less annual rainfall.

Bellingham has a culture of outdoor recreation, abundant attractions and beautiful scenery. With Whatcom Falls, Lummi Island, Lake Padden, numerous trails for hiking, biking, and lakes for boating, the outdoorsy types are in a great place to explore. For city lovers you have the amenities of a larger city without the large city population.

Bellingham is fitness friendly with diverse neighborhood styles and the school systems are highly ranked. It also house many private schools. There are a mix of families and working singles that make up of the majority of the population. The average people that reside and work in Bellingham work for the government, being there is not much of any particular industry. Otherwise residents commute to Seattle for work. The housing industry has had it’s highs and lows. Although Bellingham is much more affordable than Seattle, the inventory of homes has decreased, driving up the prices slightly. The median home sales price is $247,750.

The Median annual household income is $47,648, while the average annual income is $61,925.

Bellingham over all tends to be at or below average in crime, versus the national crime rate. It is a great option for young families, active folks and those looking to enjoy local business….including craft beer.  There are many independent breweries throughout Bellingham.




Whatcom County

Whatcom county is home to over 200,000 people and covers 2,503 square miles. Bordering our neighbors to north, Whatcom county offers pristine views, unchartered terrain and beautiful wildlife. If you are curious to learn more about living in Whatcom county please contact our staff today about our properties. We have a lot of resources and expertise and would love to introduce anyone who is interested to our beautiful county.