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We Winter 2019 Issue 5 Vol. 2

LOVE Bellingham

The Satushek Team Real Estate Report Local Focus: Columbia Neighborhood In every issue...

Market Report Lender’s Corner Satushek Team Gives Back

Q&A with ®

Emmy award winner Thomas Durant

2211 Rimland Drive Ste. 124 Bellingham, WA 98226

Thomas Durant of Greater Earth Media: Television Producer, Editor, Photo Shooter, and Indie Filmmaker Tell me about the projects or accomplishments that you consider to be the most significant in your career. Though I could say that it was winning two Emmy certificates for my work on Deadliest Catch, or being a Supervising Editor and Producer on Ice Road Truckers, however, I’d say that my favorite accomplishments came from doing pro-bono videos for two amazing non-

When have you been most satisfied in your life? I feel most satisfied when I’m out filming for one of my personal projects. Whether it’s engaging subjects for one of my documentaries, or working with local business owners to create videos for their website or social media pages. I love telling the personal stories of the people and places I encounter. What inspires you? Meeting new and interesting people, as well as being immersed in nature.

profits: Fisher House Foundation and the Los Angeles Police Museum. The Fisher House video was an accomplishment because we got to tell the story of one of their military veteran board members, who also benefited from the services rendered by the foundation. As for the LAPD museum, I was particularly excited because we created a 360 degree, fully immersive v i d e o that, to this day, I have seen nothing like it. It was our first time working with 360 gear, so there was a steep learning curve, but we were proud to present the video to them for use in fundraising and general education purposes. What is the funniest thing that has happened to you recently? When moving into Bellingham last year, I attempted to get our U-haul® truck up our steep driveway, but of course, it was snowing that day, so the incline was slicker than a buttered up kitten, so the truck had to stay at the bottom of the hill until our movers came to help me out. It took them almost an hour to get the U-haul up the driveway, so I didn’t feel so bad.

What is the most interesting thing we wouldn’t find on your resume? I’ve been an active paranormal researcher and investigator since 2001. I’ve always been intrigued by the unknown and the strange. I’ve been actively researching and documenting preternatural phenomena for private clients and institutions, with a primary focus on “malevolent” cases. I’ve also lectured extensively about my research and findings at various Universities, Colleges and Private events.

vationists and activists), Freedom of the Pack sheds light on the importance of wolves to our already unstable ecosystem. The film explores why western culture has spread false mythology of Canis Lupus, and how the US Federal government has “waged war” on wolves. as well as taking walks/hikes with my wife and dog, or spending time enjoying coffee, beer, wine, or scotch with my new Bellingham friends. Who is your role model, and why? Errol Morris makes amazing and captivating documentaries by truly engaging his subject while getting to the heart of the issue he’s discussing. I also love the cinematic styles of David Lynch and David Fincher, which I try to pay homage to in my productions.

What do you work toward in your free time? My “free time’ is spent either working on my two documentaries “Sound Heals“ and “Freedom of the Pack.” “Sound Heals” is a feature documentary focusing on how sound, music, and vibration can help us cope with the stressors of life and even heal physical diseases. It’s my first passion project and has been in production since 2011. “Freedom of the Pack” is about wolf conservation. Through expert interviews (including top wolf conser-

If we’re sitting here a year from now celebrating what a great year it’s been for you, what did you achieve? My goal for this year is to make new inroads with local business owners to help them tell their story. I’d also like to wrap out my sound healing documentary so I can get back to production on my wolf conservation documentary.

Thomas and his wife Jen bought a home in Bellingham last year; Jen Glyzinski was their buyer’s agent for a home listed by Laurie Satushek!

What’s going on with the market? Many clients are wondering if the recent slow down is the big shift that everyone has been talking about. It’s true that sales have slowed down, and inventory has decreased; this is typical of the fall and winter seasons. No matter what anyone says, none of us can completely time the market… it’s everyone’s goal to sell high and buy low. What I can tell you is that we are close to the top. When spring rolls around, we’ll finally see if the craziness that we experienced last spring continues. What I’m referring to is the low inventory of homes, specifically. For some time, when homes came on the market that were in decent shape under $500K, we would typically see multiple offers and, many times, buyers would be willing to go over asking price, and sometimes even waive the inspection in order to present a more competitive offer. One of the key signs of a changing market is the number of days a property sits on the market. Last spring, we wouldn’t think of accepting an offer for at least a week to give all potential buyers and agents a chance to see all our marketing; this usually netted our sellers top dollar. By late summer we had changed that strategy as homes started staying on the market longer.

MARKET REPORT Average Price 12/17 12/18

Avg. DOM Homes4Sale $/Sq Ft 12/17 12/18 12/17 12/18 12/17 12/18

Bellingham $429,648 $470,223 33 34

249 218

$226 $246

Whatcom County $339,166 $368,459 44 42

682 608

$205 $222

Skagit County $342,080 $390,196 42 42

414 421

$191 $212

Lender’s Corner Carmen Denson Umpqua Bank

Senior Mortgage Loan Officer NMLS 504887 (360) 937-0981

If you’ve been looking for a good rate on a home purchase or refinance, now might be the time to lock the interest rate on that loan! To put today’s rates in perspective, let’s flash back to last year. In January of 2018, the average rate on a 30-year fixed rate mortgage was 4.04%. The Fed increased interest rates a total of 4 times throughout the year, and mortgage rates caught more downward momentum as 2018 ended. They have maintained through the beginning of January 2019. The stock market can’t catch a break, and the Fed is casting shadows on the U.S. economy, as the economy may not be growing quite as fast as they originally believed. Throughout the first 3 quarters of 2018, the domestic economy was growing at what seemed to be an accelerated rate. To dial things back a little, the Fed released a potential schedule of interest rate hikes, predicting 3 more in 2019. All of this is helping mortgage rates, which fare better in riskier economic times, and this could be the chance that patient homebuyers and refinance candidates were waiting for throughout 2018. Doubtless, 2019 will be a wild ride for mortgage rates. Market-moving news will leave rates different than they were in 2018. The only question is, will they be favorable for mortgage shoppers? The same housing agencies that were “spot on” with their forecasts in 2018 are predicting rates in the low- to mid-5s in the new year. Talk to your mortgage lender today to see what rate you can qualify for, and potentially lock it in!


ou may remember from our last issue that our team is highly committed to giving back to our community and the world. The past couple of years our business has grown and as it has, we feel a tremendous responsibility to send the love forward and do our part to make the world a better place by sharing.

In 2018, each of our team members helped to decide where to give back. Pass the Hat, the Lighthouse Mission, NAMI, Bellingham Food Bank, Skookum Kids, Whatcom Land Trust, and Northwest Youth Services were just some of the 21 organizations that we helped support with donations of more than $20,000!

This year, The Satushek Team has decided to extend the selection process to our clients! We wanted to give you the opportunity to choose which local organizations we will support with monetary donations. Each month, we’ll be accepting nominations for a $1,000 donation to a local organization. We’ll ask for nominations via social media so be sure to head over to Facebook and ‘like’ us at We Love Bellingham so you can follow along to submit nominations and keep track of who we are supporting! We truly believe that “we rise by lifting others!”

Columbia Neighborhood - Home to history and beauty C

olumbia Neighborhood – The second oldest neighborhood in Bellingham, the Columbia neighborhood is a quiet, mostly residential haven. Situated on a bluff above Bellingham Bay, the neighborhood boasts several tree-lined streets, turn-ofthe-century homes and multiple parks. The Columbia Neighborhood is one of the oldest, most sought-after residential neighborhoods in Bellingham. Located in Northwest Bellingham near Bellingham Bay, it is quiet, classy, and convenient. Development for this area began in the late 1880s, giving many of the homes a distinct, classic style. Only ten percent of the housing in the Columbia Neighborhood was built in the last 20 years. The now 4,000 residents dwell in unique, well-maintained homes with widely ranging lot sizes. The western portion of the Columbia Neighborhood borders Squalicum Creek. The water runs right through many backyards, encouraging the healthy growth of plants and wildlife.

Certain homes in the Columbia Neighborhood are fortunate to have an impressive view of Bellingham Bay. Those who don’t are in close proximity to the water, allowing for a quick stroll to the beach at Zuanich Park. Maritime Heritage Park, just outside the Columbia border, offers open space to picnic, read, or walk your dog. Several times a year, races run right through the neighborhood, including the Whatcom Volunteer Center’s “Human Race,” a non-profit fund-raiser and run. The portion of the neighborhood nearest the bay includes many homes recognized by the Eldridge Historical Society. Plaques bearing the names of original owners and years the homes were built hang by the

front doors of many of these homes. The northern portion of the neighborhood consists of wider streets and newer developments, mostly from the mid-1900s. Columbia Elementary School sits in the middle of the neighborhood, serving the many children in the family-friendly community. Elizabeth Park covers two city blocks and has stately trees, a restored water fountain, tennis courts, a playground, and large, open grassy areas. Some of the historic homes that surround Elizabeth Park are some of the most expensive and highly desired real estate in the Columbia neighborhood. The smaller Carl Lobe Park and Lorraine Ellis Parks also offer playgrounds and lawns. Cornwall Park is just a crosswalk away from the Columbia Neighborhood. There you will find the only Frisbee golf course in the area, Squalicum Creek, and acres of open space to do as you please. Elizabeth Park, Carl Lobe Park, and Lorraine Ellis Park are smaller but just as peaceful, and are bordered conveniently in the Columbia

Neighborhood. Since the neighborhoods were organized as grids and not as cul-de-sacs, travel is quick and efficient, taking only minutes to reach Downtown Bellingham, the Bellis Fair Mall, or I-5. The Lettered Streets are directly east of the Columbia Neighborhood, and Downtown Bellingham is just a bit further. Since this area is flatter than much of Bellingham, bicyclists find it easy to travel. Many choose to comfortably stroll around the block and absorb the clean and peaceful Bellingham atmosphere. If you are looking to relax in a quality home with plenty of history and character, the Columbia Neighborhood is for you. To learn more about the Columbia neighborhood, contact the The Satushek Team or visit The Eldridge Society. 

HAVE YOU SEEN OUR REVIEWS? We’d love to add yours! Check us out at: WeLoveBellingham

Cover photo ©Steve Satushek

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Satushek Team Newsletter - Winter 2019  

Local real estate updates from one of Whatcom & Skagit County's top-producing group of agents: The Satushek Team

Satushek Team Newsletter - Winter 2019  

Local real estate updates from one of Whatcom & Skagit County's top-producing group of agents: The Satushek Team