March Newsletter 2017


The Whatcom Watergate 

The topic creating hoopla around our office water cooler these days is, well,…well water. By now you may have heard that the Washington State Supreme Court issued a ruling in the case of Whatcom County v. Western Washington Growth Management et al, which basically shut down all new rural development in Whatcom County. This ruling was a shock to many and has hundreds of vacant land owners wondering if they will ever be able to develop their land using a building permit dependent on an exempt well. What we know as of now is two paradoxical Bills are being drafted. The first counteracts the ruling which would essentially reinstate the ability to develop land using exempt wells. The second Bill contends that the Supreme Court does not have the ability to reverse the ruling and that the instream flows are a protected water right, thus put the kibosh on rural development.  

How does this affect you?  The boiler points are these:

  • Land that is not serviced by public water and that depends on an exempt well for a building permit, currently falls under a Building Moratorium.
  • You can still obtain a building permit by using a Rain Water Catchment System.
  • The moratorium is in effect until later this spring but has the ability to be extended.

Have questions or need to find out the impacts on your property, contact us today!



Mortgage rates are “having a moment”. These rates have been especially fickle lately, taking big jumps up and then back down again on the daily. Home prices, however, are not retreating. In fact, they continue to increase more rapidly than incomes and inflation and apparently homebuyers don’t give a darn.  According to this article lenders saw no letup in loan demand. It also touched on the fact that purchase activity remains on par with a year ago, which suggest that recent wage growth of nearly 3 percent is helping to offset the increase in interest rates.  

What does this mean for you? 

If rates do settle into an upward climb and the current economic environment remains relatively the same this will inevitably put pressure on home sales and we may even see prices level off…what goes up must come down so they say.

Do you need to talk to a mortgage broker? Contact us, we know a few.


Nerd Alert 

We are geeking out on the 2016 Whatcom County housing annual report, which reported home sales increased 6.8% from 2015. It also stated Whatcom County median home price increased 10% to $315,000. (National average was only a 5.2% increase). The main culprit for the increase is low inventory and according to this report that is not going to change anytime soon. It appears 2017 will be bleak on the inventory front.
What does this means to you? 

If you are looking for affordable real estate in Whatcom County things got a bit harder. Homes sold in the $150,000k and below price range fell 48% to 11.8% of the market. On the flip side if you are a Whatcom county homeowner your home's price tag just boosted your financial report card.
Are you wondering what your home is worth today? Call us for a free market analysis on your home.