Bellingham, WA Real Estate Learn How to Buy a Home in Bellingham, WA!

Ben KinneyAdvice from
BEN KINNEY


Buying a house is a huge financial decision. But what most people don’t talk about is the emotion that goes into choosing a new home. What you should feel is happiness and comfort in your next location, so take a look at some information I’ve provided for buying a house in Bellingham.

 


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Bellingham WA Real Estate

About Bellingham, WA

Nicknamed the “City of Subdued Excitement,” Bellingham is known for its laid-back character and easy-style living. It occupies a unique location between Seattle and Vancouver, making it an ideal place for people looking to escape the hustle and bustle, but still be within reach of the metropolis. What really drives people to Bellingham is the closeness to the outdoors and the sense of community. People love getting outside, enjoying the scenery, and mingling with friends in town.

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Homes for Sale in Bellingham, WA

Real estate in Bellingham generally reflects Colonial and Cape Cod architectural styles. No one home looks alike — giving you plenty of opportunities to own a one-of-a-kind house. Floor plans vary by house, but a lot of times you’ll see a heavy focus on the living areas (such as the kitchen and living room). The main theme between real estate in Bellingham is to provide extra space, so you can customize it to your desire. As a result, you’ll notice a ton of homes with a really strong character. For a quick view of what Bellingham real estate has to offer, check out the slideshow below:

 

 

 

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Applying for a Mortgage

Before you begin looking at home, you should get an estimate at what you can afford. That’s why many real estate agents and mortgage lenders suggest getting pre-approved for a loan before searching. It gives you a ballpark estimate at what you’ll be approved for (and thus how much home you can afford). Plus, it looks good to sellers when you put down an offer. For more advice on applying for a mortgage, talk to our local expert. Also, here’s a quick guide to what documents you might need for your mortgage application:

  • Proof of Income
    Pay stubs | W-2 statements from the last 2 years | Tax returns | Additional Income (child support, pension income, disability payments, etc)
  • Proof of Assets
    Bank account statements for the past 3 months | Security accounts (stocks, bonds) | Gift Letter (if you received a monetary gift toward your home)
  • Proof of Your Debts
    Car loans | Student loans | Credit card accounts | Current mortgages

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Property Taxes in Bellingham, WA

$100,000 Home $150,000 Home $200,000 Home $300,000 Home $400,000 Home
Tax Levy Rate $9.41 $9.41 $9.41 $9.41 $9.41
Estimated Property Tax $941.00 $1,411.50 $1,882.00 $2,823.00 $3,764.00

 

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Neighborhood Hot Spots

Birchwood  ★★★★★

Birchwood is a great place for families. Great schools are located nearby and the homes within the community provide ample space for every member of the family. If you’re looking for an affordable place to live that gives you all the amenities you need for comfort living, then Birchwood is where you should start your home search. View Homes for Sale in Birchwood

South Hill  ★★★★☆

South Hill occupies one of the best locations in Bellingham — facing Bellingham Bay. Plus, its proximity to the Sehome Hill Arboretum and Fairhaven Park make it a desirable place if you want to be nearby entertainment and the outdoors. To learn more on what South Hill real estate provides, check out our available listings. View Homes for Sale in South Hill

Edgemoor  ★★★★★

Edgemoor features larger, more extravagant homes. The quality and endless array of amenities make real estate in this neighborhood highly sought after. If you’re really looking to live life “large” in Bellingham, I would suggest looking at homes in this community. View Homes for Sale in Edgemoor

 

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Frequently Asked Questions: Buying a Home

Q: How much can I afford to buy?

A: Affordability is determined by a number of factors — mostly stemming from your credit score, current debts, and available income.  Mortgage lenders often advise that you don’t spend more than 28% of your gross monthly income on a monthly mortgage payment. So, if you want to do some quick math, you can times your monthly income by 0.28 and get a rough estimate of how much you can afford to pay every month. For more details, contact our local mortgage expert or use Zillow’s home affordability tool to get a basic idea of what price range to aim for.

Q: Do I need a real estate agent?

A: To be honest, yes. It may be easy to find a home on the internet these days, but it’s not easy to understand all the nuances to purchasing a house. An agent will guide you through the process, make sure any contracts are in your benefit, and ensure that you get a home worth’s its value. Never would I advise to gamble with real estate. It’s one of the biggest financial decisions in your life. Go the safe route and have the support of an agent to back you up. Plus, your life is probably busy enough. Think about how you’ll manage a home purchase while doing another job.

Q: How large of a down payment do I need to put down?

A: The suggested amount is 20%. However, this is more of a guideline than a rule. Some home buyers are able to put as little as 3% down on a house, but you will have to pay premium mortgage insurance (PMI), which adds to your overall costs.

Bellingham WA Real Estate

 

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Moving to Bellingham, WA

 

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