All posts by Kassi Simonsen

The Local Event That Brings Everyone to Town

Starting it’s first year with less than 30 teams signed up, the Curt Maberry Memorial Classic 3 on 3 Tournament now hosts over 215 teams and brings thousands of people to downtown Lynden to watch basketball and celebrate the local community at the Lynden Raspberry Festival.

We are now just over 2 months away from the 21st Annual Tournament and so excited to get the ball rolling once again. This year’s event will take place Friday, July 19th through Saturday, July 20th. Participating ages range from Kindergarten all the way to Adult Recreational and Competitive brackets.

Get a group of friends together and enter a team or just come watch the action during a beautiful summer weekend in downtown Lynden, WA. The tournament is a large part of the Northwest Raspberry Festival that celebrates the largest harvest of raspberries in North America. Other festivities include live music, car show, arts & crafts, food vendors, beer garden, and of course delicious local raspberry sundaes.

To fill out a 3 on 3 application and find more information on the tournament, visit or call The Muljat Group North office at 360-354-4242!

UPDATE: Inventory is on the Rise in Whatcom County!

Spring has sprung and along with it is rise in inventory in Whatcom County! Although the number of residential properties newly listed increased 7.5% in April, inventory supply is still hovering around two months according to the Northwest Multiple Listing Service. Typically, a balanced market shows about six months of available inventory, so the currently numbers are indicating Whatcom County will remain a sellers market this spring.

Even though inventory supply is still tight, there is hope for home buyers! The good news is the higher wage growth, slower home price appreciation, and low mortgage rates hovering around 4.375%. Here’s some professional advice to buyers looking to find a home:

  1. Start the pre-approval process as soon as possible. Get your credit score and debt to income ratio checked; there are great low to no down options available out there and we work with a reputable Caliber Home Loans officer that can sit down with you and discuss your options!
  2. Get realistic about what it is you are looking for. Knowing your price range before hand can help narrow this down along with nailing down the absolute necessities along with a wish list of added bonuses.
  3. If you’re in the early stages of discussing home buying, start saving money! This is a large investment and down payment on a mortgage is typically 20%. Planning ahead is key to being prepared when the time comes to move forward.
  4. Do your research on neighborhoods in the area of interest. We are a local company with expert knowledge in the Lynden community and surrounding counties, so don’t hesitate to ask for more information on a new development or specific area of town.
  5. And last but not least, find yourself a realtor you can work with! Your realtor should be knowledgeable of the current market conditions and a strong representative when it comes to making an offer. It’s a hot market, so make sure to find someone you can trust to get you where you want to go!

I have been serving the local market for 40 years now; give me and my team a call if you’re looking to buy property in the Whatcom County area!

Why Do Millennials Move to and Stay a Given Location?

According to the National Association of Realtors, there are a wide range of factors contributing to why millennials will choose to live somewhere. Two of the main reasons being affordability and the area’s job market. A recent study that analyzed the top metro areas with high populations of millennial residents found that employment opportunities and earning potential greatly attributed to an area’s attractiveness. Millennials want to feel secure in their career before making the decision to stay and create a life somewhere.

In the infographic above, notice that Seattle is one of the top 5 most popular areas for millennials likely because unemployment levels are low, income levels are high, and housing conditions are strong. Read the full article for more statistics on popular metro areas and why the younger generations are choosing to live there:
Affordability in the Top 10 Most Popular Markets for Millennials, According to NAR

One of the Most Overlooked Ways to Increase Property Value!

We see many sellers get so wrapped up in making sure the interior of the home is clean and updated that they forget all about the exterior. The first thing a potential buyer sees is the outside of a home, and if curb appeal is lacking; the chances of them wanting to go take a look inside drops drastically!

Curb appeal is the visual attractiveness from the street or sidewalk and can help attract buyers inside, boost property value, and improve neighborhood demand. This concept should be important to all homeowners, not just those looking to sell.

Some simple and effective ways to give your property that WOW factor are:

  • Mow and water the lawn, weed and mulch the flower beds, and sweep the sidewalk and driveways.
  • Clean windows and glass panels, replace exterior light bulbs, and remove dust and cobwebs from outdoor fixtures.
  • Repair anything dull or chipped like the trim, front door, or posts.
  • Power wash the deck or siding of the house for a fresh look

Putting in the extra work can seem like a hassle now, but the value and improved look these tasks can bring to your property will make the efforts all worth it!

Calling All Veterans!

Come join three seasoned professionals for an informative VA home buyer mortgage class coming up next Saturday, April 27th in Bellingham. Cherisa Hoekema, a Realtor here at The Muljat Group North is teaming up with two of Umpqua Bank’s finest Home Loan Officers to discuss how VA benefits can open up exclusive financing options. This is a great opportunity to come discuss your buying options!

THIS is Our Why!

The number one most rewarding part of being in the real estate business is getting to help community members make big life decisions. Whether it be relocating to or from a different location, upgrading to a larger property because of a growing family, investing for business purposes, or setting out to buy your first ever home, we can’t wait to be a part of it!

Just last week, Justin became a first time home-buyer, and we had the pleasure of helping his dream of investing in real estate come true. Growing up in Lynden, Justin worked for me on the farm and I’m proud to be able to give back some of that hard work through this big accomplishment!

Congratulations, Justin! If your goals involve investing in real estate too, we are seasoned and knowledgeable of the Whatcom County area. Let’s discuss your options… give us a call today!

Quarterly Lynden Market Update!

We are already a quarter of the way into 2019… where did the time go?!

Well, from a real estate perspective, we have seen the market begin to stabilize from the beginning of January to now. With less than 4 months of residential inventory in Lynden, it remains a sellers market, but buyers are proving to be optimistic as existing home sales jumped and interest rates hovered at the lowest levels they’ve been in over a year!

So, what exactly happened in March? See below for our Lynden Market Snapshot!

Easter Fun Galore in Whatcom County!

Easter is just around the corner, and whether you have a yearly holiday tradition already or are looking for a new one, here are some local events you might enjoy!

Photo courtesy of Bellewood Acres

Bellewood Acres Annual Easter Weekend Celebration

Bellewood is hosting their annual Easter celebration April 20th and 21st on their vast 62-acre farm! Bring the whole family for photos with the Easter Bunny, egg hunts, face painting, pony rides, and even a chance to pet animals at the farm zoo. Lots of fun to be had along with their made from scratch apple cider donuts and live folk music!

Event Details:

Bellingham at Orchard Easter Egg Hunt

Photo courtesy of Whatcom Talk

The Belingham at Orchard Memory Care will be hosting a free easter egg hunt on Saturday, April 20th for ages 1-8. The event will feature face painting, balloon animals, pictures with the Easter Bunny, and lots of treats and prizes of course!

Event Details:

For more options, check out 10 of the BEST Easter Egg Hunts in Whatcom County this year!

The Smart Way to Clean Your Home This Spring

Healthy Home Tip: Stock up on effective plant-based cleaning products! It might be time to jump on this trendy bandwagon, and start cleaning with household products that aren’t full of toxic chemicals. With the flu going around, you can at least make sure to stop germs from spreading in your own home!

In a recent article, Mindbodygreen, a leading wellness focused company, highlighted 11 plant-based products that actually WORK without harming the environment and your family’s health in general. They review products ranging from surface wipes, all-purpose cleaners, essential oils, and even cleaning vinegars! Head to the link below for the full rundown on recommended household cleaning products.

14 Best Natural Cleaners Recommended by MindBodyGreen

Lynden Restaurant MUSTS!

If you’re a local here or have visited recently, you’ll notice that Lynden has drastically stepped it’s game up on the places available to grab a bite to eat! There are now over six restaurants located right on Front Street and even more less than a mile from downtown!

Photo courtesy: Tammy Yoder, Lynden Chamber of Commerce

First up is The Mill Restaurant. As you can probably guess, The Mill is located inside the historical Windmill Building right downtown on Front Street. The Mill offers a bistro menu featuring gourmet flatbreads, generously sized salads, and cheese platters. The atmosphere at The Mill is cozy and intimate without being overly fancy, so it’s great for date night or family dinner as well. Grab a nice dinner or go sample the wines and cheeses – both great options!

Next on the list is the classic Lynden Dutch Bakery. Although this shop isn’t on the list of new spots in town, they continue to serve the community delicious Dutch favorites including homemade pies, Oliebollen, and almond sticks. They also offer a well rounded lunch menu full of soups, salads, and sandwiches. TIP: berry season is an optimal time to visit the Dutch Bakery when local berry ingredients are at their prime!

For Asian inspired cuisine, there are a couple restaurants in Lynden to put on your list! If you’re craving Thai food, be prepared for the Chandara House to instantly become your new local favorite. The menu offers all kinds of different homemade curries, rice dishes, and other flavorful appetizers. Chandara is also located inside the Windmill Building with a forest-like atmosphere among plants and a koi pond.

For the sushi lovers, Nami Asian Bistro is your spot. Nami is a Japanese-style restaurant with tons of different sushi rolls, teriyaki and bento combos. Sit down and watch the chef in action or order take-out and enjoy in the comfort of your home!

Also well-worth mentioning:

Steakhouse9 Bistro – Located right on the Homestead Golf Course and offers a great happy hour menu and fun atmosphere! Best time to visit is during the summer when the patio opens up and the views are incredible.

Burnt Ends BBQ – For authentic southern style BBQ located off the Guide Meridian next to Rite Aid and Starbucks.

Avenue Bread – With locations all over Whatcom County, Avenue is the spot for fresh and generously sized sandwiches, soups, and salads. They’re famous for their bread, so take home a loaf of your favorite kind next time you stop in!

JoFish Seafood and Grill – Family owned and operated, serving mouth-watering fish n’ chips, homemade clam chowder, and juicy burgers! Also a Front St favorite.

Inspired by an article written by Whatcom Talk: Taste of Lynden: A Downtown Restaurant Round-Up