U.S. CitiesCity-Data Forum Index
Covid-19 Information Page
Go Back   City-Data Forum > U.S. Forums > Washington
 [Register]
Please register to participate in our discussions with 2 million other members - it's free and quick! Some forums can only be seen by registered members. After you create your account, you'll be able to customize options and access all our 15,000 new posts/day with fewer ads.
View detailed profile (Advanced) or search
site with Google Custom Search

Search Forums  (Advanced)
 
Old 02-01-2018, 12:17 AM
 
1,941 posts, read 3,063,109 times
Reputation: 2716

Advertisements

Hyperbole. Bham is still a very easy place in which to live. This place is awesome.
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message

 
Old 02-01-2018, 01:09 AM
 
Location: State of Transition
86,778 posts, read 79,984,777 times
Reputation: 89659
Why doesn't WWU build another dorm, or two?

There are empty lots all over town. There's LOTS of land within the city limits to build SFH's on, and a few zoned for multi-unit buildings.

B'ham's gotta have another water source besides the lake, right? The lake can't be the only one...? Maybe back when someone had that bright idea, the lake was beyond the edge of town, and wasn't surrounded by development.
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 02-01-2018, 04:19 PM
 
Location: Embarrassing, WA
2,132 posts, read 1,534,167 times
Reputation: 2471
Amazingly, that is it. I have a friend that worked at the wastewater treatment plant, and the control of the pumps that deal with the cities water are also on his "control board". 2 giant pumps near the west end of the lake. That is all.

To West Seattle Gal, define easy? Easier than Seattle? That I would buy. The average single family home here is getting to be 8-9X the average family income. You do realize that guidelines for *responsible lenders* are about 3.5X the family income?
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 02-01-2018, 05:16 PM
 
1,661 posts, read 2,149,853 times
Reputation: 2146
Quote:
Originally Posted by rkcarguy View Post
Update time!
We have surpassed the 2006 Bubble pricing of homes/rentals and continue to head into uncharted territory.
It's driven by the perfect storm:

Water availability-the Hirst Decision placed a moratorium on new wells, effectively putting a stop to growth(you won't get a building permit) outside the cities...the only place we really have room to grow. This was based upon the assumption that people on wells are using too much water and it's hurting the fish in the Nooksack river. Stupidly, it is rural housing with wells and septic systems that are the most eco-friendly, provided the septic system is operating properly, as a large percentage of the water is returned to the water table. Bellingham, on the other hand, draws 16 million gallons a day from Lake Whatcom, which is fed by the middle fork of the Nooksack river, and only returns it's processed sewage into Bellingham Bay at Post Point. Legislation recently reversed the Hirst Decision, but I'm sure they are fighting over it already.

College student housing- WWU has grown over the years, offering more classes, more buildings, and of course collecting more tuition. But on campus housing has only increased 70 some odd "beds" since the 1970's. It was said in a recent article, that the student population alone outnumbers the entire # of "beds" available in Bellingham. When the rental inspection program came into effect, evidence was found of students living in basements, walk in closets, garages, attics, and the like. Rents have sky-rocketed to the point where investors are buying family homes and renting them out to as many students as they can pack in. Think about it, you buy a home for $450K, split the rooms up and rent it out to 8 students at $500 each, which you will have a LINE of applicants waiting for, cha-ching, instant profit $$$$. Never mind the deterioration of the family neighborhoods, the driveways and sides of the streets full of parked cars, increased traffic, noise, and so on.

More people-Much like it was in the mid 2000's, people are pouring in like lemmings again. Traffic is starting to get bad to the point where there is accidents on I-5 pretty much daily at rush hour. Because of the lack of housing and no real places for more building starts, we're being "replaced" by those coming in from other places with more money driving up pricing in what little existing housing is for sale. The real estate page in the paper comes out and there is red slashes 'sold/pending" across nearly everything. My workplace recently lost 3 co-workers who left for other cities/states, citing that they would be able to live cheaper, make more money, and save ~1/3rd MORE money between now and their retirement by making this move.

The side affects-Homelessness has increased drastically. We had an issue with them camping on city hall lawn for some time until a Judge ordered them off. The camps move around, until they are found and cleaned out. BPD was recently cleaning out a camp and it took several truck loads to clean up the garbage, bottles, needles, remains of dozens of stolen bicycles in various states of disassembly, and of course mess from them all having no bathroom. Our mayor prides us as a "Sanctuary City" yet I've seen more homeless people out and about with mental, drug, and alcohol issues than ever before that aren't getting any help.

Like it or not, it's slowly turning into Seattle here, and I am not impressed.
Yep, all true. It's unbelievable what this town has become.
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 02-01-2018, 05:18 PM
 
1,661 posts, read 2,149,853 times
Reputation: 2146
Quote:
Originally Posted by rkcarguy View Post
Amazingly, that is it. I have a friend that worked at the wastewater treatment plant, and the control of the pumps that deal with the cities water are also on his "control board". 2 giant pumps near the west end of the lake. That is all.

To West Seattle Gal, define easy? Easier than Seattle? That I would buy. The average single family home here is getting to be 8-9X the average family income. You do realize that guidelines for *responsible lenders* are about 3.5X the family income?
The council wants to price the working families out of Bellingham and create a utopia of students and old farts.
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 02-01-2018, 06:54 PM
 
Location: Bellingham, WA
1,236 posts, read 1,330,308 times
Reputation: 2300
The challenges mentioned lately certainly exist, but are in no way unique to Bellingham. They're all common issues throughout the country, especially the West. They're typical supply and demand problems, frequently occurring in places where people want to be.

Like it or not, change is inevitable. I'm not trying to be a heartless jerk; If we didn't find a reasonable house to buy we'd still be renting from our old landlord and considering either a higher budget or some other location or arrangement. But Bellingham is desirable to a lot of people and is running into the same thing that places like Asheville, Missoula, Flagstaff, etc. have been dealing with for a little while-and there's no perfect solution.

I do agree that Western should build more residential housing, though, as it could free up a number of SFHs throughout the city. But that doesn't address the problem, long-term. And while I think that making it easier to build may help, it also doesn't alone solve the housing issue. After all, a lot of people want to live in the middle of town, within walking and biking distance of urban amenities, which you can easily see if you look at the cost per sf of residences for sale in the area. Overall, I think a combination of "all of the above"- including well thought-out planning, smart growth and infill development- are all needed, but it will never solve everything.

Back to my main point- a beautiful, non-suburban college town known for outdoor adventures and in between two rapidly growing metropolitan areas is always going to be in demand, and will likely never be cheap to live in again. Its industrial past and out of the way location likely kept it relatively affordable until fairly recently, but I'm afraid those days are long gone. Overall, it's hard to argue that the city has gone downhill when the main complaint is lack of affordable housing. Again- as unfortunate as it may be- that's a clear indicator that the opposite is true.

Last edited by bartonizer; 02-01-2018 at 07:10 PM..
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 02-01-2018, 10:32 PM
 
Location: Out West
437 posts, read 285,026 times
Reputation: 1083
I've been visiting and staying in Bellingham now since 2003, and on the whole, Bellingham is more vibrant and interesting now than it was when I first fell in like with it. Downtown is bustling with lots of interesting places to eat, people watch and enjoy activities like the Depot Market. Fairhaven is still its charming self, even with the addition of higher density housing. The walking trails in and around B'ham are amazing--you can hit a different trail every day for weeks and still have variety. I'm cognizant of the housing problem, and if we didn't already own property, at this point we likely wouldn't be able to find a suitable home in our budget. So I would like to see the options mentioned in posts above come to fruition through additional affordable housing, especially for young families who want to settle and become part of the community.

I'm concerned about the other issues of growth--crime and environmental issues, especially with the water supply, but I'm also confident that there are bright people in B'ham who will put their energy and innovation into managing them. And to bartonizer's point, while no place is perfect and Bellingham has its issues, there is a reason that housing prices keep going up--because many people think it is a beautiful place to live.
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 02-01-2018, 11:02 PM
 
Location: Forest bathing
2,338 posts, read 1,408,586 times
Reputation: 5189
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ruth4Truth View Post


BTW, I've looked at RE prices and rents in Lynden, and I don't see hardly any difference between it and B'ham, at all. People say, "Oh, go to Lynden--it's cheaper!" I'm not seeing it.
Yes, it is. My sister just moved back home from Hawaii, home being Whatcom County, where we were both born. She could not find anything in Bellingham that was either not in a poor neighborhood or needed repairs. She finally found a one level ranch near the Lynden Police Department, nicely landscaped, a mile walk to the Lynden Fair for $350,000. That money in Bellingham would have bought a small fixer on Ellis Street or in Tweed Twenty. She said she would never have believed that she couldn't afford to buy a home in her hometown. We coukd not afford to buy our home which is on acreage close in. So, yes, we are seeing it.
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 02-02-2018, 10:51 AM
 
1,661 posts, read 2,149,853 times
Reputation: 2146
Quote:
Originally Posted by xPlorer48 View Post
Yes, it is. My sister just moved back home from Hawaii, home being Whatcom County, where we were both born. She could not find anything in Bellingham that was either not in a poor neighborhood or needed repairs. She finally found a one level ranch near the Lynden Police Department, nicely landscaped, a mile walk to the Lynden Fair for $350,000. That money in Bellingham would have bought a small fixer on Ellis Street or in Tweed Twenty. She said she would never have believed that she couldn't afford to buy a home in her hometown. We coukd not afford to buy our home which is on acreage close in. So, yes, we are seeing it.
Moved back from Hawaii...
Thinks 350k is affordable for people who actually live and work in Whatcom County...

Right...
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 02-02-2018, 11:24 AM
 
Location: Embarrassing, WA
2,132 posts, read 1,534,167 times
Reputation: 2471
Most people that work here can't afford a home here unless they are already "in". If you don't have at least $100K to start with you're priced out of the market, and even at that you'll be "bidding" for a starter home. Also notable, developers and cities can get tax breaks and grants for making a certain % of new homes affordable, yet there hasn't been a single home built to these standards in the last several years.
I don't need to post a bunch of numbers, they are posted online by many sources and are quite staggering. For example, the state itself posts that the average annual household total expenditure is $50,186. Over $4k a month to live here, drive, eat, and insure.
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Please register to post and access all features of our very popular forum. It is free and quick. Over $68,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum. Additional giveaways are planned.

Detailed information about all U.S. cities, counties, and zip codes on our site: City-data.com.


Reply

Quick Reply
Message:


Settings
X
Data:
Loading data...
Based on 2000-2020 data
Loading data...

123
Hide US histogram

Over $104,000 in prizes was already given out to active posters on our forum and additional giveaways are planned!

Go Back   City-Data Forum > U.S. Forums > Washington
Similar Threads
Follow City-Data.com founder on our Forum or

All times are GMT -6.

© 2005-2020, Advameg, Inc. · Please obey Forum Rules · Terms of Use and Privacy Policy · Bug Bounty

City-Data.com - Contact Us - Archive 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35, 36, 37 - Top