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Old 02-14-2017, 03:42 PM
 
Location: Embarrassing, WA
2,131 posts, read 1,532,377 times
Reputation: 2471

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Time for my annual update!
I've been called negative, skewed, and countless things....but really I'm just posting up some facts and keeping things real for people looking to move here, as our state and local realtors advertise this place as all rainbows eagles sunny days sunsets and wine tasting. Reality here, is much more...real.
We have surpassed our 2006 real estate bubble prices and are heading upward into uncharted territory as far as home prices are concerned.
The Hirst Decision essentially put a stop to new homes being built that rely on any new well's being drilled or even existing wells being allowed to be connected to(county will not issue building permit-there is a moratorium on new wells in many counties state wide). More people are moving here with an economy on the rise and house values up again in their prior residence(California), couple this with WWU having more students enrolled than there is units to house them, and we have Rents and existing home prices that have risen drastically once again. If you want a Studio in a newer complex you'll be shelling out in excess of $1,000 monthly now for as little as 400sq/ft, if you can find one. Generally, you can plan on paying around $2/square foot, per month, plus utilities. Most of the good apartment complexes have a waiting list of several months.

I-5 and the main arteries are clogging up and moving slowly during the work commute anymore, sure it's still not Seattle but if you weren't blessed with a wheelbarrow of cash to buy a home in Bellingham, you can expect your 20 mile commute home to "more affordable" housing to be in the 45 minute to an hour range.

Bellingham recently made #50 in Americas worst cities to live in. The website reviewed data on the 550 U.S. cities with populations of 65,000 or more as measured by the U.S. Census Bureau. Variables included crime rates, employment growth, access to restaurants and attractions, educational attainment, and housing affordability.
The study found that “a typical home in (Bellingham) is valued at more than $300,000, considerably higher than the national median home value of $181,200. While this suggests some level of prosperity among residents, compared to area income levels, area housing is not particularly affordable. The median home value is 7.3 times greater than the median income, making Bellingham one of the least affordable cities in the country.”

Can you buy a house for under $300,000 in Bellingham anymore?

While the city scored well for educational attainment – 43.7 percent of residents have at least a bachelor’s degree – Bellingham’s higher-than-average poverty rate also was a negative. In Bellingham, 21.4 percent of residents live in poverty, far more than the national rate of 15.5 percent, according to the U.S. Census Bureau’s American Community Survey.
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Old 02-14-2017, 03:55 PM
 
Location: Embarrassing, WA
2,131 posts, read 1,532,377 times
Reputation: 2471
Quote:
Originally Posted by Deserterer View Post
It isn't manageable now. Its only going to get worse. The only sensible thing to do is to plan for no net growth. But that will never happen because it is sensible and doesn't line anyone's pockets.
No net growth seems to be the agenda now and it's not working. Increased demand with no additional supply means higher prices. The growth needs to be accommodated and planned so much better than it is.
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Old 02-14-2017, 06:49 PM
 
Location: State of Transition
86,756 posts, read 79,953,872 times
Reputation: 89628
Why is Bellingham on wells? Or are you talking about outside the city?

There are lots of empty lots within the city. Those would get hooked up to city utilities when sold and built on, right?

You're seeing retirees and people who work remotely moving in; that's one thing driving RE prices up. People from the upper Midwest and the NE are looking for milder weather, and B'ham's soggy state qualifies. Others are moving to escape the drought in CA and elsewhere in the SW, and B'ham definitely has water. That trend is expected to continue into the foreseeable future.
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Old 02-15-2017, 12:33 PM
 
Location: Independent Republic of Ballard
7,392 posts, read 6,015,364 times
Reputation: 5120
People are coming here looking for the "Last Great Place" after having ruined where they're from...

After finding that the Seattle Metropolitan Area (Everett to Tacoma, the Sound to the Cascades) is CHOCK FULL, they start grasping for alternatives to the west (Port Townsend/Sequim/Port Angeles), south (Olympia/Lacey/Tumwater), and north (Bellingham/Ferndale/Blaine), all of which, on the surface, appear to be relatively "affordable" compared to the Seattle area, but are just as over-bought when compared to the underlying (low) wages/income.
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Old 02-15-2017, 06:22 PM
 
Location: Northern California
2,006 posts, read 1,018,191 times
Reputation: 3175
Quote:
Originally Posted by rkcarguy View Post
Time for my annual update!
I've been called negative, skewed, and countless things....but really I'm just posting up some facts and keeping things real for people looking to move here, as our state and local realtors advertise this place as all rainbows eagles sunny days sunsets and wine tasting. Reality here, is much more...real.
We have surpassed our 2006 real estate bubble prices and are heading upward into uncharted territory as far as home prices are concerned.
The Hirst Decision essentially put a stop to new homes being built that rely on any new well's being drilled or even existing wells being allowed to be connected to(county will not issue building permit-there is a moratorium on new wells in many counties state wide). More people are moving here with an economy on the rise and house values up again in their prior residence(California), couple this with WWU having more students enrolled than there is units to house them, and we have Rents and existing home prices that have risen drastically once again. If you want a Studio in a newer complex you'll be shelling out in excess of $1,000 monthly now for as little as 400sq/ft, if you can find one. Generally, you can plan on paying around $2/square foot, per month, plus utilities. Most of the good apartment complexes have a waiting list of several months.

I-5 and the main arteries are clogging up and moving slowly during the work commute anymore, sure it's still not Seattle but if you weren't blessed with a wheelbarrow of cash to buy a home in Bellingham, you can expect your 20 mile commute home to "more affordable" housing to be in the 45 minute to an hour range.

Bellingham recently made #50 in Americas worst cities to live in. The website reviewed data on the 550 U.S. cities with populations of 65,000 or more as measured by the U.S. Census Bureau. Variables included crime rates, employment growth, access to restaurants and attractions, educational attainment, and housing affordability.
The study found that “a typical home in (Bellingham) is valued at more than $300,000, considerably higher than the national median home value of $181,200. While this suggests some level of prosperity among residents, compared to area income levels, area housing is not particularly affordable. The median home value is 7.3 times greater than the median income, making Bellingham one of the least affordable cities in the country.”

Can you buy a house for under $300,000 in Bellingham anymore?

While the city scored well for educational attainment – 43.7 percent of residents have at least a bachelor’s degree – Bellingham’s higher-than-average poverty rate also was a negative. In Bellingham, 21.4 percent of residents live in poverty, far more than the national rate of 15.5 percent, according to the U.S. Census Bureau’s American Community Survey.
RK, could you provide a link to that "50 Worst Cities" study? Thanks.
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Old 02-15-2017, 09:03 PM
 
Location: Bay Area California
711 posts, read 512,805 times
Reputation: 1516
Here's the article that I found NW4me.

50 Worst Cities to Live In - 24/7 Wall St.

It does seem like they used some pretty narrow criteria - mostly median home value vs. income level for the area. I've been doing some reading here though on Bellingham and the first thing ANY local seems to advise is that don't plan on finding a job there. I've yet to see warnings about serious crime or other problems that tend to make a city a "worst place to live".

Many desirable places ARE expensive. They go hand in hand. It was interesting to me that a couple of the other cities listed on the same page as Bellingham are also college towns. Palo Alto, Chico and Davis. Comparatively speaking they're all more expensive than the national norm but none of them are awful. The only downside IMO to Chico and Davis is the heat!
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Old 02-15-2017, 09:48 PM
 
67 posts, read 181,415 times
Reputation: 54
the horse always thinks the grass is greener on the other side, man if I had only listened to that old old saying. And as Gos is my witness I will never say anything bad about Texas again LOL but yes it is beautiful here and yes my neice was right there sure are a lot of homeless and low income people here but they are good people just like in Texas. And yes it does rain ALOT here LOL
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Old 02-16-2017, 01:11 PM
 
Location: Bay Area California
711 posts, read 512,805 times
Reputation: 1516
A bit OT, but on the same site as the 50 worst cities to live in you can find the list of the 50 best cities to live in (just enter that text in the search box). Truthfully, I didn't see a lot of difference between the worst and best. Some in the "worst" list are places that would never hit my radar - but there were quite a few of those in the "best" list as well.
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Old 02-16-2017, 03:01 PM
 
389 posts, read 342,258 times
Reputation: 977
The descriptions on page 58 of this thread have really nailed what it is like to live and Bellingham and Whatcom county in 2016-2017.

Do NOT move here unless you have lots of money and do not need a job.
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Old 02-16-2017, 04:07 PM
 
67 posts, read 181,415 times
Reputation: 54
Wait a second, I thought the OP started this thread with complaints Bellingham was advertized as a great city to retire to and that started the influx of wealthy old folks to move there and drive up the prices ? So now its the worse city coming in at 50? Hummm
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