Danielle Groeneweg

The Northwest Washington Fair!

Can you believe it’s finally FAIR week starting on Monday? I always feel like fair week means the end of summer and school will start soon. I’m hoping most of you are able to attend the fair at least one day. It’s a great time to meet up with friends that you haven’t seen all summer and have a great day with your family. I’m also excited that a couple of our Lynden Bellwether Agents are going to be having a Bellwether Derby Car on Monday in the demo derby!

I just wanted to share a few of the 2017 Small Stage Entertainment. I’m sure everyone already knows what’s happening at the grandstands all week. So here are just a few of the acts happening throughout the week at the different small stages at the fair ground. As always, these acts are free & provide so much entertainment.

GRAND STAND HORSE SHOW:

Tuesday-Friday, 12:00 p.m. & 5:00 p.m.

Saturday, 12:00 p.m. only

Located in the Grandstands

ADAM THE GREAT: 

Monday-Wednesday, 12:15 p.m. & 7:00 p.m.

Located at the Banner Bank Festival Stage
HISPANIC BANDS: 
Saturday, at 6:30 p.m.

Located at the Banner Bank Festival Stage
TIME BENDERS:
Monday-Friday, 1:15 p.m. & 4:30 p.m.
Saturday, 12:00 p.m. & 3:15 p.m.
Located at Banner Bank Festival Stage
Listed are just a few of the small stage performances going on throughout the week.
Check out the Event Calendar here for the full schedule and to find out more information regarding each act
I hope I see ya at the fair!

January-June 2017 Lynden Stats

The above graphs show the stats from Lynden in January to June 2017. The first graph shows the number for sale, sold & pending at the end of the month. This helps determine that it is currently  a sellers market. The second graph shows the price per square foot in Lynden. By looking at house prices currently, Lynden homes have been increasing in value. This graph just justifies that YES the price per square foot has been going up recently.

Since I am not able to to get the current stats for July and it is almost the end of the month I just did a quick search to see what is currently available in Lynden. Out of the 66 homes currently on the market here they are categorized by price:

Homes:

$0-$250,000: 3

$250,000-$350,000:10

$350,000-$400,000:5

$400,00-$450,000:13

$450,000-$500,000:10

$500,000-$600,000:6

$600,000 & Above:19

Are you curious what your house is worth? By taking all of this information into consideration ( by it being a sellers market, price per sq.ft going up & current inventory of homes) I highly suggest getting a currently estimate of value. Even if you aren’t interested in selling your home, it is good to know the current VALUE of your home.

Please give me a call for a free estimate or if you have any questions about the current market in Lynden. I would love to chat with you. ☺

THANK YOU!

In honor of my Client Appreciation BBQ I just wanted to say a huge THANK YOU to all my past, present & future clients. I have definitely been blessed these past nine years. I realize that without my clients & their referrals I wouldn’t be where I am today. So once again, THANKS!

Here are a few recent reviews I have received from some AWESOME people:

“Danielle goes above and beyond. She was always available when I needed her or had questions. always friendly and kind to me, she asked questions I wouldn’t think to ask when buying a house. She really had my best interest in everything and I couldn’t brag about her enough. Buying, selling or both with no doubt recommend her! I am keeping her info for future purchases or sales I might have”

” She is an “above and beyond” type of person in the best of ways. I felt well supported and comfortable during the entire process of selling my home.”

“We have used Danielle to buy/sell for over 6 years. She is friendly, extremely knowledgeable and always ready to help/answer any questions or concerns. We highly recommend her!”

“Danielle is PHENOMENAL!!! My husband and I were first time home buyers with not a clue what to do  to buy a house. Danielle helped us along, every step of the way, always (and I mean always) available to answer any questions, offering advice on things we didn’t even think to consider, friendly and sincere… the list goes on! I don’t know how any realtor can compare to Danielle. The passion and love she has for her job shows, her knowledge is an incredible asset. Any home buyer or seller should place their trust in Danielle, you will not be disappointed. ”

 

 

RAZZ FEST! 2017

I hope everyone is able to make it to the RAZZ Fest this weekend. It is definitely one of Lynden’s biggest events of the year. If you don’t love watching basketball, no worries, there is so much more to do! Below, I have included what the Lynden Chambers of Commerce has to say about it:

The festivities kick off on Friday, July 14 in downtown Lynden including; live music on two stages, face painting and inflatables for kids, the Rookies” 3-on-3 Basketball Tournament. Dine on luscious raspberry & ice cream sundaes, parfaits and pies made from local products, or purchase a flat of raspberries, picked fresh daily from nearby farms to take home! Shop at Lynden’s downtown merchants and street vendors at the “Berry Fair” Street Market, and enjoy a ice cold raspberry beer at the Timeout Razz Beer Garden. Don’t miss out on Bellewood Acres raspberry infusion vodka & Honey Moon Winery’s Raspberry wine and hard cider being featured at the festival. Start Saturday morning off right with an all-you can-eat pancake breakfast topped with local raspberries at the Lynden Community Center“…

From 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday July 15, festival attendees will discover many classic and restored cars and trucks at the Razz & Shine Cruise-In along tree-lined Front Street between 7th and 10th streets. Registration for the Razz & Shine, sponsored by Lynden Lube & Auto, is free and starts at 8 a.m. on a first-come, first-served basis. For information, call (360) 303-7610.

A five-kilometer fun run/walk will start at 8:30 a.m. Saturday, July 15 at Lynden Christian High School, 515 Drayton St. anyone 12 and younger can participate for free. Proceeds benefit the Kornerstone Kids Non-profit Therapy Center. For registration forms visit www.Lynden.org.

For the full event details please visit here.  

I hope to see you there! I’ll be cheering on my kids as my daughter will be wearing her BELLWETHER jersey!

Stop by & say Hi if you see us.

 

2777 Sedge St

2777 Sedge St, Lynden

$306,000

~Presale available, only 5 lots left in the North Prairie Cottages! Plan A has over 1,500 sq ft w/3 bds, 2 1/2 ba, 2 car garage & fronts shared greenbelt. Standard amenities of this home include gorgeous vinyl plank wood flooring, granite countered kitchen w/extra tall cabs & stainless steel appliances. Great size island w/eating bar open to spacious vaulted dining & living room. Master boasts large walk in closet & full ensuite bath. Several selections for buyer to choose from!~

For Virtual Tour Click HERE.

Happy Summer!

School is officially out and SUMMER is here! I just wanted to share a few quick links if you looking for any activities for your kids this summer.

  1. Visit the Lynden Chambers of Commerce to see what events are coming up in Lynden.  http://business.lynden.org/events/calendar/2017-07-01
  2. All Whatcom County Libraries have lots of different events and classes going on during the week.   http://wcls.libcal.com/calendar/events/?cid=5625&t=m&d=0000-00-00&cal%5B%5D=5625
  3. Here is a link to the City of Bellingham Events Calendar. http://www.bellingham.org/event-calendar/

 

This is just a few links to give you a couple ideas of local events going on in Whatcom County this summer. Are there any family traditions you have every summer? I would love to hear about them.

First Time Home Buyers: Downpayment Options

I feel like one of the major concerns, especially with first time buyers, is saving up for their down payment. Yes, saving for a down payment is a lot of money but there are SO many options out there to help. Of course, the actual amount you need to have depends on the type of loan you are getting and the purchase price of the home.

I wanted to highlight a little bit of an article from The Mortgage Reports that talks about how much money you need for a down payment with different types of loans. If you want to read the entire article, which I highly recommend, please click here.

How Much Downpayment Is Required To Buy A Home?

As a first-time home buyer, you have access to a wide range of mortgage loans and mortgage loans can be customized to meet your needs.

Your loan amount is one of your choices.

The downpayment can be as large as you wish, or as small — so long as you make the minimum investment required by your lender.

The five most-common low- and no-downpayment mortgages used by first-time home buyers are the FHA loan, the VA loan, the USDA loan, the Conventional 97, and the HomeReady™ mortgage.

Each is described below.

The FHA Loan

FHA loans require a downpayment of 3.5% of a home’s purchase price, at minimum.

These products are popular with first-time home buyers because the program allows below-average credit scores.

FHA mortgage approval standards are considered to be the most friendly toward first-time buyers.

The VA Loan

VA loans are available to members of the U.S. military and veterans of the Armed Services.

These mortgages provide a 100% financing option, and VA mortgage rates are often lower than those of other programs.

The USDA Loan

Rural Housing  or USDA loans also allow 100% financing. The program is available for homes in rural areas and less-dense suburban neighborhoods nationwide.

USDA mortgage rates are often as low as VA mortgage rates.

The Conventional 97

The Conventional 97 is available to home buyers with above-average credit scores. A Conventional 97 loan allows buyers to receive cash gifts for their downpayment, which is only 3%.

This program has a loan size limit of $424,100.

The HomeReady™ Mortgage

The HomeReady™ mortgage is another 3% down program. This program is geared toward multi-generational households, but all home buyers are welcome to apply.

Home buyers using HomeReady™ get access to discounted mortgage rates, and can use the income of boarders and other household residents to help get mortgage-qualified.”

 

If you are in the market of buying a home,  I highly suggest talking with a lender and discussing your options. Get a plan for your downpayment, get a pre-approval letter and let’s find you a house!

If you have any questions or don’t know where to start give me a call. 360-483-6490

FIVE Mistakes to Avoid When Making An Offer

The National Association of Realtors just put out this article this month and I feel like it deserves to be shared. It is a great article that discusses five mistakes a lot of buyers are making in the current market. It is definitely a sellers market  here in Whatcom County. Most homes are flying off the market, receiving multiple offers and buyers are getting into bidding wars. By avoiding these five mistakes buyers can be sure to make their best offer.

For the full article click here.

Delaying

“Time kills deals,” says Andrew Sandholm of BOND New York Properties in New York. “Dragging your feet means you could wind up paying more in a bidding war situation or missing out on the property altogether.” Buyers need to be ready with their paperwork, such as bank statements, a preapproval letter, and documents supporting proof of funds, from the day they begin house-hunting mode. That way they can pounce quickly with an offer when they do find a home they like.

Making an offer for their preapproved amount

Smart buyers are getting preapproved to show a seller they’re financially able to purchase a home. However, Chuck Silverston, principal at Unlimited Sotheby’s International Realty in Brookline, Mass., warns buyers against using that document to come up with an offer amount.

“Many buyers come in with a preapproval for the exact offer price, but when you’re competing against other offers, including cash offers, you want to show financial strength,” Silverston says. “An exact preapproval could make a listing agent nervous because not only does the buyer not have any wiggle room to negotiate, but they might no longer qualify if interest rates rise.”

Submitting a lowball offer

Lowballing a seller often backfires, particularly in a seller’s market. “A lowball offer that isn’t backed up with math or comparable sales data is disrespectful and could turn off the seller and possibly mean you will miss out on the property completely,” Sandholm says.

Waiving inspection contingencies

“I don’t care whether it’s new construction or even your mom’s house you’re buying from her – get it inspected,” urges Joshua Jarvis of Jarvis Team Realty in Duluth, Ga. Further, if you waive the inspection contingency in your offer, you may lose the earnest money if you later back out of the deal.

Not presenting yourself well enough

In a seller’s market, buyers need to take steps to make sure they look good in the eyes of the seller. “In today’s highly competitive environment, the listing agent is trying to determine which buyer will be the easiest to deal with,” Silverston says. Buyers may want to avoid pointing out every defect, making nitpicky queries, or questioning the seller’s tastes.

“Basically buyers who act less than enthusiastic will see themselves at a competitive disadvantage when sellers are comparing multiple offers,” he says.”

I hope this article helps your decision making the next time you decide to write an offer on a home. It also helps using a Real Estate agent who has been in multiple offer situations before and can help you write your BEST offer from the very beginning.

Please call me if there is a home you don’t want to miss out on.

Danielle @ 360-483-6490

Appraisal Myths

With the current housing market, appraisals are especially important and very unpredictable.  Just recently I have dealt with a home that under appraised and a home that over appraised.  I thought it would be a good idea to inform buyers & sellers on a few Appraisal Facts. I came across this great article that discusses some of the biggest myths regarding Appraisals. This article is written by Cathie Ericson, for the full article click here. 

“Myth No. 1: An appraisal is the same thing as a home inspection

Although both the appraisal and the home inspection are used as safeguards for the buyer (and the buyer’s lender), don’t confuse the two. Home inspectors and appraisers have completely different jobs. Sure, they both poke around your home. But the inspector’s job is to uncover everything that’s problematic—or could potentially become problematic—with the home, while the appraiser’s job is to find the objective market value of the property. Got that?

To do the job, the appraiser will use comps (the same thing you used to determine your list price), but that’s just for starters. Appraisers take into account a home’s condition, square footage, and location. Appraisers also note the quality and condition of the plumbing, flooring, and electrical system. With data in hand, they make their final assessment and give their report to the lender.

Myth No. 2: The appraiser works for the buyer

The buyer pays for the appraisal, but the appraiser works for—and is hired by—the lender. It doesn’t matter if you and the buyers have agreed on a price. The buyer’s lender needs to be on board because it’s the lender’s investment, too.

But don’t fear: Even though the appraisal is meant to protect the buyer’s lender from a bad deal, appraisers are trained to be unbiased and ethical. In fact, it’s a crime to coerce or put any pressure on an appraiser to hit a certain value.

Myth No. 3: An appraisal will give you the magic number of what the buyer will pay

The appraisal process isn’t an exact science. In fact, the appraisal is only one opinion of what your home is worth. It doesn’t dictate how much the buyer should pay, or how much the seller should accept.

So what happens if the appraisal doesn’t match the contract price?

If your home is appraised lower than the price you and the buyer agreed upon, the lender isn’t going to pony up more money to make up the difference. Instead, it’ll be up to you and the buyer to figure out who pays for the shortfall. Can the buyer throw in more? Or do you, as the seller, need to cover the difference just to make the deal go through? Well, let the discussions begin.

“The seller and buyer can agree to negotiate a new purchase price to match the appraisal, or a seller might consider finding someone willing to offer cash, which doesn’t require an appraisal,” says Roberta Loughman, a real estate agent with Shorewood Real Estate in Colorado Springs, CO.

“Buyers can pay any price they determine for the house, regardless of the appraisal,” adds Janice Buchele, senior vice president of residential operations at the William Fall Group, a national provider of real estate valuation and analysis services in Toledo, OH. “The report simply provides guidance for the lender.”

Myth No. 4: The bigger the house, the higher it will appraise

Consider a supersized home built on an average-size lot in an otherwise modest neighborhood. Although the home might dwarf its neighbors, that doesn’t mean it will be appraised for that much more than neighboring homes.

The value of the home is measured as if it were similar to others in the area that would commonly be expected on that same lot, Buchele says. In fact, some people might consider the bigger home more of a burden—after all, there’s more to be heated, cooled, insured, and maintained.

Myth No. 5: The more bells and whistles, the higher the appraisal

Wait a minute: What do you mean your $100,000 investment in fancy appliances isn’t worth $100,000 extra in the appraisal? OK, take a step back. This situation can be hard for sellers to wrap their heads around. But if you’ve overly improved your space with amenities that don’t exist in surrounding homes, there’s no nearby sales data the appraiser can use to decide just what those amenities are worth.

“If no one else in the neighborhood has a home theater, then typical buyers in that neighborhood probably don’t demand a theater,” Buchele points out.

And that goes for your décor, too. You might think your home is worth more because of the impeccable vibe that you—or your stager—have given the house. But appraisers ain’t got time for decorating divas. They make a straight value judgment on the quantifiable aspects of the house—that is, the square footage, number of rooms, and other measurable data.

Myth No. 6: All amenities are created equal

If you’ve equipped your home with an in-law suite, a sexy Tiki bar, or a home exercise space that actually makes you want to work out—well, we applaud you. But if you converted your garage to do so, don’t expect the home appraiser to give you props.

Your house has a garage for a reason, points out Austin Fernald, a home appraiser in Orange County, CA. “Most people want to park their cars where they are safely protected from the elements and break-ins,” he says.

The moral of the story? Be careful any time you remove one amenity in order to add another—it might come back to bite you in the appraisal.

 

Do you have any other questions regarding Appraisals? Please let me know, I would be more than happy to help answer any questions!