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Old 06-09-2007, 05:22 PM
 
375 posts, read 1,603,147 times
Reputation: 138

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In our county the taxes don't go up. It is based on the home price when you bought your home. It is locked in. We lived in one home on a Lake from 86 - 2004. Our taxes never changed.
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Old 06-09-2007, 05:24 PM
 
6 posts, read 24,007 times
Reputation: 12
I'm from Auburn but left there over twenty years ago, another town that went to hell in a hand-basket, the news about bellingham makes me sick!
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Old 06-14-2007, 12:41 PM
 
1 posts, read 6,879 times
Reputation: 15
Default The situation in Bellingham is sad

In 2002 I made my first visit to Whatcom County and Bellingham and was instantly charmed by the natural beauty, the small college town atmosphere, and the friendliness of the people I encountered. After my visit I started seriously considering moving to Bellingham from San Francisco.

In early 2004 my wife and I began looking at homes while I interviewed for positions in Bellingham. In late 2004 we sold our home in San Francisco and I accepted an attorney position in Bellingham for far less than I was earning in SF. It seemed like a good trade off for what we thought would be a better quality of life and more affordable housing market.

Unfortunately, we were seeking to enter the real estate market shortly after Bellingham had hit a number of "top places" lists. I noticed retirees from all over the country pouring in at the open houses we attended. Ultimately we stayed in Washington for one year before deciding to return to California. In that time, we placed nearly a dozen offers on homes in the 300K to 400K price range and were outbid every time. Further, the home prices escalated so rapidly that we were quickly priced out of the market for the quality homes we were bidding on in late 2004 and early 2005.

While we were discouraged by the housing market, our decision to leave was based on the rapid large scale development of Whatcom County, the perceived lack of desire to preserve the things that attracted us to the community, heavy development of Fairhaven and Chuckanut Drive, and the huge discrepancy between massive housing price increases and salary increases that only kept up with inflation. Further, the friendless of the community that we initially experienced seemed to be replaced by greed as a result of the windfall real estate boom the county was experiencing.

It is upsetting to see such a beautiful place become deforested, overdeveloped and indistinguishable from any other exit along the 5.
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Old 06-14-2007, 11:34 PM
 
176 posts, read 886,233 times
Reputation: 72
Well said, spaceman. I grew up here, and am getting out as soon as possible, all because of what you mentioned. It is not the small-town minded, affordable, and friendly community it once was. Now it's just over-priced and over-built, and there are no decent jobs to speak of. You can thank the fine mayor of Bellingham for that.
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Old 06-17-2007, 11:04 PM
 
6 posts, read 7,848 times
Reputation: 16
I'm glad I found this site when I did. My wife and I are thinking of rolling over the gain we made on selling a piece of land in California and buying a buildable lot in Maple Falls for our vacation/retirement home (we'll be retiring within 20 years). One of the reasons we thought about Maple Falls was to escape the massive development and growth in our town. Maybe we should just go back to Illinois/Wisconsin...
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Old 06-21-2007, 05:05 PM
 
264 posts, read 649,548 times
Reputation: 121
I grew up in Bellingham and what I've seen happen here in the last twenty years breaks my heart. As Seattle becomes another LA, Bellingham is becoming another Seattle.

The Bellingham I knew as a child was a quiet, uncrowded town whose residents were mainly people who had spent most of their lives here. Unlike now, the town was not dominated by the university, which at that time was just a college, and had only about a third as many students as it does now. The general population was around half its present size, and the kind of traffic congestion that has become a daily event here was pretty hard to find anywhere north of Seattle. During my high school years I spent a lot of time downtown and never once saw a panhandler; now they're all over the place.

The population also was whiter then, and about the only people who despised persons who are "willful, fearful, racist, ultraconservative," or "judgemental" were those on the hippie fringe. Those folks are still around and they haven't changed their tune. I see them downtown with their long grey locks, driving their SUVs plastered with preachy bumper stickers. They and their kind seem to have become the norm here as the college has expanded, earlier generations have passed on, and Californians have moved north.

In Bellingham's future I see continued economic expansion and continued population growth, mostly from outsiders moving to the area. More steep rises in the cost of living are likely, as is increasing congestion. There will be further social and cultural disintegration as increasing diversity gives area residents less and less in common with one another. I guess you've got to decide if you can live with all that. I keep asking myself how much longer I can live with it. It's hard to leave your home, though--to leave the soil in which your ancestors are buried, the place where you've spent the best days of your life.
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Old 06-21-2007, 06:28 PM
 
176 posts, read 886,233 times
Reputation: 72
I've moved away from Whatcom County 3 times now, and we're onto the 4th and final move. It really isn't so hard for me, personally, to leave here, because of what I've seen happen. That, and once you visit or live in other parts of the U.S., you quickly see how much easier life can be! Look anywhere in the mid-west- real estate is about half or less of what it is here. Our realtor here just told me that you can't even touch a studio condo in Bellingham for under $180,000 now. That same price will buy you a mansion elsewhere- where there are less people and less rain. After July, we won't be back here except to visit, and laugh at everyone who is paying $350,000 for a dump in Bellingham!
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Old 06-22-2007, 01:37 AM
 
Location: Summerville, SC
556 posts, read 1,983,304 times
Reputation: 294
Smile Exactly!

Quote:
Originally Posted by racechick73 View Post
I've moved away from Whatcom County 3 times now, and we're onto the 4th and final move. It really isn't so hard for me, personally, to leave here, because of what I've seen happen. That, and once you visit or live in other parts of the U.S., you quickly see how much easier life can be! Look anywhere in the mid-west- real estate is about half or less of what it is here. Our realtor here just told me that you can't even touch a studio condo in Bellingham for under $180,000 now. That same price will buy you a mansion elsewhere- where there are less people and less rain. After July, we won't be back here except to visit, and laugh at everyone who is paying $350,000 for a dump in Bellingham!
I totally agree...well, except I won't laugh at everyone else...what's good for them isn't necessarily what's good for me...that's why we have this great big country to pick from... :-)
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Old 06-22-2007, 06:20 PM
 
Location: Michigan
38 posts, read 99,191 times
Reputation: 39
Default Thanks RKCARGUY

I was wondering if it was all to good to be true and evidently from what you've pointed out...it's not. Thanks for being honest because I was thinking of moving out to the Whatcom County area. A couple I know here near LaPeer, MI are moving back there in about a month. They've been here for 4 years and are tired of the people. We both feel that folks here don't really have any vision beyond what's currently going on and so many lack motivation to inspire good change that might have a positive impact. They are very provincial in every since of the word. I guess their philosophy is, "if it's not broken, don't mess with it". Maybe that's what everyone should be happy with because in the final analysis, more isn't always better. Then on the other hand, to quote "be all you can be" doesn't appear on the menu here. I would like to reside with people like I've just described but really don't know where to find them anymore. Because of what you wrote, I'm re-thinking whether a move is warranted. I'd like to relocate but, if I'm basically moving from one hot pan to another I've got some research to do.

It did however, sadden me to read what you wrote. That area used to be so highly spoken about and evidently it's going down hill fast. I took a trip to Portland, OR and drove 160 miles along the Columbia River Gorge. A pristine and beautiful area, to say the least. As I drove North out of Portland, I was captivated by the surroundings. Truly inspirational. I hate what is happening to our country and good, hard working folks like you. I wish you the very best life has to offer though and hope things change for the better.

Thanks again for your insight,

Gary McVey
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Old 06-22-2007, 09:48 PM
 
3,970 posts, read 12,385,958 times
Reputation: 1576
Hi! I'm new to the forum, seems to be an interesting place to talk about cities.

I have been considering moving to Bellingham for atleast a couple of years, but after reading this thread, am having second thoughts. Has it really gotten that bad? Or is it still a livable small town within easy distance of Seattle and Vancouver, (my original attraction)...
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