Page 1

We Summer 2019 Issue 7 Vol. 2



The Satushek Team Real Estate Report Local Focus: Geneva Neighborhood NEWue! ss This I

Satushek Team

Success Stories

In every issue...

Market Report Lender’s Corner

Q&A with

Ben Mann

Local Artist with a funky flair!

2211 Rimland Drive Ste. 124 Bellingham, WA 98226 (360) 797-5884

Bellingham’s Renown Visual Artist What are you known for? Visual Art in and around B e lli n g h a m. Commercial projects include murals, menus and signage for local businesses, as well as greeting cards and calendars with local and national distribution. What inspires you? I take inspiration from lots of places, some are fairly surprising. The work I do in elementary schools has fortified my own creativity, and I also delight in telling visually the stories of my clientele when I am commissioned to do so. Who is your role model, and why? Role models come in many forms! I have found my mentors in the likes of Parisian museums, but also in quieter moments the genius that surfaces through kindergarteners at one of the elementary schools in Bellingham. On any given day I believe that I have something to teach and something to learn so role models have ranged from my six older siblings, to instructors that I had in San Francisco while studying commercial art in my 20s. What is the funniest thing that has happened to you recently? The funniest thing that happened to me recently was sitting in a café in Bellingham and overhearing people discussing my artwork and they didn’t know that I was the artist. One guy says to the other ‘I have figured out this artist he has elevated everything we love about children’s artwork and elevated it to high art.’ It was funny at the time but in looking back it was actually fairly brilliant because an artist spends a lifetime attempting to distill in one sentence or less their quest for beauty in this world. What do you work toward in your free time? What’s free time? Just kidding! My work towards my yoga practice is important to me conveniently located one block from my

paint studio in Fairhaven, I also have three foreign languages under my belt and my partner and I do a fair amount of gardening, entertaining, camping and we enjoy being there for our families as well. Tell me about a project or accomplishment that you consider to be one of the most significant in your career. It is been incredibly satisfying to partner with local nonprofits around Bellingham and the county. For years I would donate a single painting each year to a number of local nonprofits that would in turn auction off that painting to generate revenue for their cause. Their missions mean so much to me. In more recent years, I have offered my services at the easel at the event on their annual auction, and have found great delight and their success. I have a flat fee that I charge n o n p ro fi t s and the canvas on the easel that evening will auction off for two or three times that amount, and the cherry on the cake is that the winning bettor on the painting will end up being worked into the composition. It has been a game changer. Doing good as I do well is all I could ask for. What’s the most interesting thing about you that we wouldn’t learn from your resume? I am the youngest of seven, and that has greatly informed my artistic life. My parents gave me a ton of love and support but perhaps less discipline than the firstborn child! I feel very fortunate to have been raised by eight people, and have learned so much from my intrepid siblings.

When have you been most satisfied in your life? This is the moment when I have been most satisfied in my life. I maintain a very active art practice in my studio, located in Fairhaven, and have done so since 2000 although I started my art practice 30 years ago. I have my home life in Mount Vernon which is so wonderful to have a foot in two counties. I am finding more and more that commercial success is crossing the border, but I have felt very engaged with the public for a long time and much of my success today is a result of collaborations that I have done over the years, as well as classroom endeavors, murals that have been community-driven. I’m very fortunate to have a craft that has staying power. If we’re sitting here a year from now, celebrating what a great year it’s been for you, what did you achieve? That’s a great question. 2019 has been so phenomenal! I’m wondering if perhaps the successes that I see one year from now will be directly in ricochet from those successes having my artwork featured on the poster for the 2019 Skagit Valley Tulip Festival which afforded me an audience from more than 90 countries. Likewise that single painting beyond the merchandise and Tulip Festival promotions, was also partnered as a label designed for locally crafted wine, chocolate, coffee and beer. So the pebble in the pond of that one opportunity I think maybe a barometer on where my success could be a year from now but I love the question! There’s a part of me that loves not knowing the answer.

Contact Ben at: 360.920.4022

Lender’s Corner Yes, it is true: as of this year, Bellingham’s average home price is now over $500,000. Looking back to July 2006, the height of the market, the average home price was $367,625. As the market started to decline, we hit a low point in September 2012, with an average sale price of $306,639. We began to see a turn around in 2016 when the market experienced a steep incline. Just like the stock market, real estate has cycles where the market goes up and down. Typically, these cycles last 7-10 years. Our last recession was so severe that economists predicted a much longer cycle that historical averages. It took a full 10 years (2006 – 2016) for home prices to stabilize. The market took off again in 2016 and values have been skyrocketing at a rate of 8-11% per year as opposed to an average 4% increase in value during a stable market. So, what does all this mean? It means that prices will go down again. How soon, no one knows. It also means that once we hit the bottom of this cycle, prices will eventually surge higher than ever before. You can’t time the market, but if you’ve thought about selling, now is the time. Likewise, if you’ve considered buying, interest rates are back to the 4% range, which is still very affordable. So…is real estate a good investment if you buy near the top of the market? It all depends on how long you plan to hold on to your home. Let’s talk. Give us a call to discuss your situation: 360-797-5884.

eat questi on. 209 hs been so

MARKET REPORT Average Price 6/18 6/19

Avg. DOM Homes 4 Sale $/Sq Ft 6/18 6/19 6/18 6/19 6/18 6/19

Bellingham $458,390 $510,721 35 30 Whatcom County $369,701 $434,359 44 39 Skagit County $368,202 $410,827 40


240 196

$228 $250

641 613

$206 $223

398 416

$196 $212

Carmen Denson Umpqua Bank

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


ortgage interest rates were on the rise for the majority of 2018, before slowing to where they are now, around 4.3% per Freddie Mac’s Primary Mortgage Market Survey. The interest rate you secure when buying a home not only greatly impacts your monthly housing costs, but also impacts your purchasing power. Purchasing power is the amount of home you can afford to buy for the budget you have available to spend. As rates increase, the price of the house you can afford to buy will decrease if you plan to stay within a certain monthly housing budget. The chart below demonstrates the impact rising interest rates would have if you planned to purchase a $400,000 home while keeping your principal and interest payments between $1,800-$1,900 a month. With each quarter of a percent increase in interest rate, the value of the home you can afford decreases by 2.5% (in this example, $10,000). Experts predict that mortgage rates will be closer to 4.6% by the end of next year. Connect with us today at 360-937-0981 for more information or to start the pre-approval process!

Buyer’s Purchasing Power %RATE


5.25 5.00 4.75 4.50 4.25 4.00 3.75

$2,208 $2,154 $2098 $2,044 $2,148 $2,094 $2040 $1,986 $2,086 $2,034 $1,982 $1,930 $2,026 $1,976 $1,926 $1,874 $1,968 $1,919 $1,869 $1,820 $1,910 $1,862 $1,814 $1,766 $1,852 $1,806 $1,760 $1,714 $400,000

$390,000 -2.5%

$380,000 -5%

$370,000 -7.5%

$1,988 $1,932 $1,878 $1,824 $1,771 $1,719 $1,667 $360,000 -10%

We Rise By Lifting Others ◊ We Rise By Lifting Others ◊ We Rise By Lifting Others ◊ We Rise By Lifting Others ◊ We Rise By Lifting Others ◊ We Rise By Lifting Others ◊

Satushek Team Success Stories  locally crafted wine, chocolate, coffee and of that one year from now s a part of me

In Fall of 2014, I had these great clients who bought a turnkey vintage home here in Bellingham, with incredible original details, planning to stay there forever. Well, circumstances changed (as they do) and they ended up moving thousands of miles away, eventually deciding that it’d be best to sell their home. Having rented the house for the previous 2 years, I was shocked when I walked through their lovely home: Gardens were overgrown, and the house was a mess. Our team jumped into action getting cleaners, landscapers, electricians, and a handyman into the home to triage the situation. We quickly had the property back to its original selling condition to when they’d purchased it for $480,000. For this year’s listing, I did my market analysis and was certain we

could get $575,000 or higher. Since that was their bottom line, I suggested we list at $600,000. With my team’s marketing magic, and my negotiating skills, the first offer came in at $650,000. We also secured a back-up offer to boot! Using the back-up offer as leverage, the buyers didn’t ask these clients for anything after the inspection. Needless to say, we’re closing $50,000 above our list price with a cumulative 2 days on market. Let me help you create our next success story! -Laurie

Geneva Neighborhood: County feel - close to town! C

picnicking along the shores of Lake Whatcom offer the perfect way to spend a weekend! Small local shops like Davinci’s, an old-fashioned convenience store by Whatcom Falls, or donuts from Lafeen’s make impromptu picnics fun and delicious.

ozied up between Galbraith Mountain and the northwest shore of Lake Whatcom lies the Geneva Neighborhood. The majority of homes on Lake Whatcom have private docks and beach access while the houses spotting the hillside above have views of the lake and Squalicum Mountain in the distance. Most of the houses in the Geneva area have trees and large yards offering more personal space. The Geneva neighborhood has an estimated 2,300 residents. Geneva makes up approximately 970 acres of land.

Galbraith Mountain is a popular destination for mountain bikers. Whatcom Falls Park is also a short drive away offering many trails for walking, jogging or biking. During the summer months Whatcom Falls is a favorite spot for taking a dip and cooling off from the hot summer sun. A 3 mile trail through the beautiful forest makes up the Stimpson Family Nature Reserve. This is the perfect spot for a shaded hike on a hot summer day. Typically students living along the western shore of Lake Whatcom, east of Euclid Avenue attend Geneva Elementary, Kulshan Middle School and Bellingham High. Students who live west of Euclid Ave. in the Geneva Neighborhood attend Carl Cozier Elementary, Kulshan Middle School and Sehome High School Geneva offers a wonderful out-county feel without the long drive. Residents can find their perfect forested retreat in the idyllic semi-wild setting. Although Geneva is just minutes away

from conveniences like shopping, restaurants and downtown, residents describe this neighborhood as having a rural atmosphere with larger lots. Trees encircle the homes, providing residents with a forested retreat all their own. Residents take pride in their lakeside home, and wildlife flourishes in the lovely green spaces. Nestled east of central Bellingham between Lake Whatcom and Lookout Mountain, this peaceful community offers easy living and a laid-back lifestyle. Centrally located Geneva Elementary means the kids can walk through the neighborhood to school, and the quiet streets encourage afternoon strolls to Lake Whatcom or nearby parks. Picturesque natural scenes showcase outdoor adventure and stunning views. Residents and out-of-towners alike love taking advantage of Geneva’s lakeside locale and numerous nature preserves. Boating, swimming, and

With its convenient location down the road from the heart of Bellingham, Geneva is merely minutes from neighboring attractions. Head to nearby

Bloedel Donovan Park or Whatcom Falls Park for a day of hiking, relaxing, and even tennis, or drive a few miles down Lakeway for almost countless options Downtown or at Barkley Village.

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

2211 Rimland Drive Ste. 124 Bellingham, WA 98226 (360)

Profile for Satushek Team - Keller Williams Western Realty

Satushek Team Newsletter - Summer 2019  

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

Satushek Team Newsletter - Summer 2019  

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