Paul's Bellingham Blog

My thoughts on Bellingham, the Real Estate market, and more


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When working with buyers looking at homes or condos in Bellingham and Whatcom County, they have the luxury of incredibly low interest rates today, lower prices, and more selection.

What has happened  though, is buyers expectations have gone up at the same time.  Buyers want the $300,000 house for $275,000, or the house that was selling for $600,000 (last year) for $500,000. They want value, which makes sense, and that is what it’s all about!

But even when a buyer finds a good value, he/she still need to consider trade-offs. From the upper end to the lower end, it’s hard to get it ALL. Unless you pick a lot in your perfect location, and custom build it, buyers need to accept that there will be some trade-offs in your search, always.

The sooner the buyer separates needs from wants, the better experience they will have in there home search…And the better decision they will ultimately make.  When looking at homes, it can be very emotional, and so it is important to use rational to consider your priorities.

Example being many buyers prefer, new or newer construction. If you want a newer home, you may have to accept less square footage for your money, or a smaller yard, or moving into a development that is not totally established.

If you want a big yard, and more square footage, you may have to seriously consider how much work you are willing to put in. Many times I find solid homes that fit a buyers criteria perfectly, but they can’t get passed the cosmetics, if the finishes/colors are outdated. Many times this may be the perfect match with some updating and personal touches.  Also, deciding how important location is to you. Many buyers look at on-line classifieds and look at the houses first, and consider the location later. Often times a  better way to search is to use the map search feature, and draw out the areas you’d prefer to be in, and start your search that way.

So in summary, it is best to analyze what trade-offs your willing to accept when considering a move.