April 2017 Newsletter


Whatcom Watergate Part 2: Why water rights may increase your property taxes

If you missed part one of Whatcom Watergate you can catch up here.

The House of Representatives hearing on Senate Bill 5239 aka the Hirst Fix bill, was held on Tuesday, March 28.  As of today, the bill has missed a crucial deadline and, absent an attempt to move it forward as part of the budget, is stalled in that committee.  The word on the street is that it will be part of the "negotiations" for the budget.

There is another aspect to this court case that is beginning to be revealed: property valuations.  

Skagit County recently re-evaluated the various properties in Skagit county impacted by the prior Swinomish Tribe case (Skagit River basin) and adjusted taxation values based on the lack of access to legal water sources.  This "adjustment" removed over $22,000,000 of value from the County tax roles and resulted in a tax shift to the remaining land parcels in the County - tax increases for those property owners whose property was not impacted.  

There is a movement to immediately provide tax relief for property owners whose parcels are affected by the Hirst ruling.  Rep. John Koster (R-Snohomish County) has teamed up with other legislators to draft a bill requiring that counties immediately conduct revaluations of properties that now lack access to exempt wells following the Skagit County model.  Whatcom County is already facing revaluation requests so it is safe to say that we would experience a similar tax shift. 

How does this affect you? A shift in property taxes

·      If you own land that is affected by the Hirst bill you may be provided with tax relief.

·      If you own property in Whatcom county you may experience a property tax increase.




Show me the Money: Home flipping profits on the rise


ATTOM data solutions, curator of the nations largest property database, released its 2016 Year-End US Home Flipping Report, which showed that 193,009 single family homes were flipped in 2016. This is up 3.1% from 2015. In fact, home flips in 2016 accounted for 5.7 % of all single family home sales during the year. ATTOM believes the culprit for the increase was low inventory of homes in sellable condition coupled with a flood of capital searching for generous returns and stability available with US real estate. Home Flipping profit reach new record highs in 2016. Home flipped in 2016 sold for a median price of $189,900, a gross flipping profit of $62,624 above the median purchase price of $127,276 and a gross ROI of 49.2%. Both gross flipping dollar amount and ROI were the highest going back to 2000!  

What does this mean to you?

Whether you are investing in real estate or the stock market there is always money to be made. The key in this particular environment is to uncover the asset’s intrinsic value....value investing 101.

If you looking to flip a property, call us we are here to help.


Bellingham's Backhanded Compliment 

With over 2 million subscribers, online lifestyle publication Thrillist, ran an article identifying “The Most Underrated Places in Each State”.  It is an interesting read and surprisinglz  informative.  We know what you’re thinking: What is Washington’s Most Underrated Place?! Spoiler Alert: Yes, the city of Subdued Excitement got the official nod.  In our opinion its great to keep “underrated” status, because of course, no one wants to be overrated.  But the question now becomes, how do we keep our underrated status, right?

And there’s more….

Its no secret that Bellingham is home to some robust businesses and plays host to some unique industries in the PNW, but how does our home town stack up to the rest of the country.  Fortunately, Forbes has done the homework for us and produced some riveting statistics bolstering our community and its business potential. Get more details and the article in its entirety here

What does this mean for you?

People migrating to the PNW is not going to slow anytime soon. If the current economic landscape and interest rates stay relatively stable it looks like 2017 will remain a sellers market.

Wondering what your home is worth? Call us we will give you a free market analysis.