Paul's Bellingham Blog

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

Buy with Zero Down in Bellingham

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Buying a home with Zero Down in the city of Bellingham and throughout Whatcom County just became an option for an expanded group of buyers beginning Monday July 2nd.

Previous to this announcement, the lowest down programs have been:

Inside city of Bellingham, Conventional 3% down and FHA 3.5% down. No income limit.

Outside of city of Bellingham, USDA zero down, income limit applies.

What this new program offers is a loan for down payment assistance. So if you qualify for an FHA 3.5% down loan, or another low down loan program, you can borrow up to 4% of the purchase price to assist with the down payment.  This can effectively make the loan Zero Down.

This opportunity buy with zero down in the city is now offered to ALL buyers (not just first time buyers) making up to $97,000 a year.

This also provides a zero down option for those looking in the county that did not qualify for USDA (because they made too much money to qualify USDA) but now may qualify if they are between approximately $78,000 and $97,000 a year.

More information can be found at You can also contact me direct if you or someone you know is considering buying and want more information about how to get signed up to qualify

November Home Sales Update for Whatcom County

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Pending home sales were up slightly this November, compared to November of 2010, which is encouraging news. We’re also seeing a reduction in homes for sale, which is typical for this time of year.

The trend I’m noticing that is most encouraging, is the last 4 months have shown a steady pace of sales. Usually sales spike up in the late summer, and then drop down in November, but that is not the case this year.

Bellingham and Whatcom County home values are down slightly since the tax credit expired in April, and buyers have taken note-jumping on the many good deals that have been hitting on the market.  And so there is a lot of activity happening considering the time of year. I am getting lots of calls, and more and more buyers are entering the market, believing that we must be at (or close enough) to the “bottom” to start getting serious about investing in Real Estate again.

So with home prices down, and rates still in the mid 4’s, homes in Whatcom County are absolutely at there most affordable level in many years.  Factoring in the affordability, along with the recent sales trend, the local Real Estate market is poised to have a slightly improved winter compared to last year.