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Old 08-17-2007, 02:59 AM
1 posts, read 14,938 times
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My wife and I are planning on moving to sudden valley, in Bellingham. We won't be having kids, etc... so a small condo is perfect. Just wondering if anyone knows much about the area, or if anyone has lived there. Any relevant info would be great

Thanks, Scott
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Old 08-17-2007, 12:37 PM
Location: Mayacama Mtns in CA
14,523 posts, read 7,987,720 times
Reputation: 11351
Default Hello Scott & Bride!

I live south of Bellingham, and go up there to shop sometimes. IMHO it's a great place and very beautiful terrain. I don't know about the real estate part, though.

And just to warn you there are some malcontents on C-D who are very negative about Bellingham! In my considered opinion, they are "skewed in their views" (hey, I should trademark that...) There are also others ~ give them some time to see your post ~ who have positive things to say. Have you visited in Bellingham previously? Are you coming from nearby, or afar?

Wish I had more specific info for you. I think you will enjoy it here!
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Old 08-18-2007, 03:18 AM
310 posts, read 302,949 times
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Default Sudden Valley...

Sudden Valley, IMHO.....IS very beautiful....BUT it has its negatives.
(1). There are a LOT of tall evergreen trees which prevents a good deal of sunlight in the neighborhood....thus MOLD issues with some homes/moss on rooftops/clogged gutters, etc.
The constant shade can be good or bad I would suppose.
(2). Some pretty hilly streets throughout which tend to get treacherous sometimes in the winter with ice/snow.
(3). it RAINS a lot MORE in Sudden Valley than it does in many other parts of Whatcom County...including Bellingham. Just a geographic/topographic disposition and its proximity to some higher terrain which allows more cloud/rain formation over that particular area.

Other than the above-mentioned downsides...IMO, Sudden Valley IS truly a beautiful "neighborhood" and I believe....possibly might become an incorporated "town" of its own soon.....but I have heard there are other issues reagarding propane(heat)....necessary...or used at many homes within SV....and possibly....water supply issues....but I'm NOT sure.
It's a relatively short commute east/SE of Bellingham (about 20 minutes)....and a very pretty drive along Lake Whatcom.
There's a nice golf course in Sudden Valley, marina, dance barn, small strip mall/convenience/gas store/pizza place and a Bobs Burgers & Brew Restaurant there.
There are condos that will run you close to $800/mo and up for a 2 BD.....and you better have an "acceptable credit score" to acquire any rental there....(at least a 650)....I would guess.
Also....there are some pretty decent houses I have seen for RENT in SV at fairly reasonable rates.....BUT....I think that might have to do with the isolation of the area as well as the above-mentioned downsides I see of living there.
Oh well....it IS BEAUTIFUL and so is the drive there along the lake!
Hope this helps ya.
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Old 08-03-2009, 08:24 PM
1 posts, read 13,383 times
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Default condo for rent - Oct. 1st $950/ month

Cozy, quiet, woodsy setting with swimming pool and tennis courts, 18 hole golf course. 3 bedroom 1.5 bath condo in Sudden Valley. Washer/ Dryer/ fireplace/ deck/ large master bedroom. $950/ month. Call 360 920 9689 for showing or details.
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Old 08-06-2009, 02:41 PM
Location: Sarasota, FL
151 posts, read 523,860 times
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The other posters hit it pretty much, it is dark in most areas because when SV was built the empahsis was on preserving the greenery in the area. That being said you get a lot of wildlife like deer running around and it is beautiful in the winter. There can be mold issues on the roofs but if you are in a condo the association should take care of that. Most of the condos in the area are centered around the golf course and community buildings, park, etc. and you can walk to Bob's, which has great food. Most locals will tell you that you either love or hate SV--I have personally lived there and it was fine for me. If you don't mind the 10-15 minute drive into town, don't want a lot of direct sunlight on your house and enjoy a self-contained community you will like it there.
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Old 02-23-2010, 12:34 AM
4 posts, read 32,431 times
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Default Thinking of moving to Sudden Valley? Don't do it!

Things have changed drastically over the course of the last 2 years in Sudden Valley. Home prices have dropped 20%-25% and lot prices have dropped 50% and more. Yes, the current Real Estate downturn is part of the reason. The other reason that prices have dropped so much and will continue to drop is that Sudden Valley has been taken over by a bunch a very bad people. They are in complete control of the management of this private recreational community. If you want to see what Sudden Valley will be like in 10 years then drive out to Peaceful Valley (another homeowners association in Whatcom County). Peaceful Valley was once a very beautiful, special private recreational community. A similar group came in and using the same tactics, the golf course, swimming pool and recreation center all went bye bye while the crime rate went sky high and property values plummeted and still are at the same prices they were at 18 years ago. Meanwhile the bad group of people dissapeared along with $$$$ that were once the assets of the community.

Sudden Valley's cabal of bad people will make far more money because Sudden Valley has far more assets. They are converting the association to a 501(c)(4) under the IRS. In simpler terms this means that Sudden Valley is changing its designation from a private recreational community to a social welfare organization. As a result of this change, they can make millions of dollars that they have diverted the past few years go poof! It is obviously much more complex than this and details would require much more typing to expain.

As far the current recreational facilities go, watch them continue to disappear. First the campground was given to some frisbee club, then the ice rink/basketball court was shut down and converted to truck storage, next the recreation center was closed a reading room/coffee shop, and now the adult center is being closed to become a church(still not a done deal at this time, but the adult recreation center has been closed). The marina will no longer be Sudden Valley's private marina. Soon the golf course won't be either. Do you see the pattern? recreational things are going away and being replaced by church, alcohol anonymous meetings, camera systems, bumps on the main roads that damage your car even when you drive slowly over them and other "social welfare" type things.

So, if you are moving here for recreation, DON'T DO IT! Recreation is going away!

What the residents will be required to do is pay high annual dues. Expect $100. per month or higher dues soon and keep in mind you get nothing in return for your money except a bill stub. Also, beware of the water/sewer rates and the increases already planned. Currently the average bill is about $177.00, but will be over $200.00 within a couple years.

Another problem with living in Sudden valley is that the time it takes to get to town is increasing almost yearly. The reason is they have increased the number of stop lights just between Sudden Valley and I-5 from 3 to 8 in the last 6 years. Also, the number of vehicles has greatly increased on the roads.

If you still want to move to Sudden Valley, I urge you to check things out thoroughly and do your due dilligence.

So if you are wondering why property seems like such a good deal in Sudden Valley, now you know the rest of the story.

There are much better places to live in Bellingham and other parts of Whatcom County. All in all, Whatcom County as a whole is a great place to live.
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Old 03-04-2010, 02:34 PM
Location: Embarrassing, WA
2,327 posts, read 1,625,235 times
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SVhomeowner covered that pretty well. I have a couple of co-workers that are not happy with management out there. They have cut back service and maintanence people, and are trying to vote themselves another pay raise while increasing fee's.
One of them re-painted his home the same color, only to be told his color had been removed from the approved color list, and that he had to repaint another color because when he repainted he effectively lost his "grandfathered in" color...what a joke!
Due to SV's location it only has 2 main corridors of road access and with all the new lights traffic has gotten increasingly ugly. I used to commute to work and drop onto Lakeway, the main road out to SV. Now I go a different way because the road is always SOLID cars and it takes forever to get onto it.
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Old 03-06-2013, 03:08 PM
25 posts, read 83,451 times
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Default Sudden Valley (Bellingham) in 2013

Hello there, as far as I can make out considerable time has passed since there has been any discussion of Sudden Valley (Bellingham, WA) on this site, so I'd be very grateful for some updated, as-balanced-as-possible opinions.

I'm pretty set on moving to Sudden Valley (from overseas) later this year. We visited in January and were crazy about both Bham and SV (yes, even in mid-winter). I'm a single mom with a small son and the price of housing in SV is just so attainable (elsewhere in Bellingham it's pretty pricey on a like-for-like basis). In addition, I am a forest freak, so the idea of being surrounded by tall trees is a major positive for me, rather than a negative (though of course everyone wants a home full of light, but its a trade-off). And finally, I'm going to be working from home, so the whole "traffic/not being able to get out in bad weather" thing is not much of an issue apart from getting my son to school (and hey, he's not going to complain too much with a day off here or there!).

All of that said, I like to take my decisions on the best available information, so any more opinions - positive or negative (but as far as possible fair, given all the controversy!) - would be much appreciated. In particular:

1) I know the whole HOA thing has been a mess there. At the same time, I know there have been changes recently. Are the Bad People still in charge? Is it possible that things will improve? Also, if things are still pretty grim, if you decide to try and block it out and just pay your monthly dues with few expectations, is it possible to just get on with life irrespective? Or does it really impinge on your life there?

2) Utilities - Water and sewer are expensive, right? Much more expensive than the rest of Bham? How much are we talking about? And are the rates set to go up? And gas and electricity - what are the issues in SV compared to the rest of Bham? I understand that the higher-up properties generally have propane tanks, right? How does the cost of heating etc compare with the propane tanks as opposed to electricity, or networked gas?

4) Do the cheaper home prices (like-for-like) reflect looser building regulations/inferior build quality at all? I don't see this mentioned in other threads.

5) Roof/deck moss - does this imply major maintenance costs or is it more an appearance thing? What about mold, is it really a widespread problem inside homes there?

REALLY grateful for your thoughts, thank you!
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Old 03-06-2013, 03:13 PM
25 posts, read 83,451 times
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Oh, I forgot to say - of course home prices there are a lot lower than they were even a couple of years ago. There are some really amazing(-looking) bargains. My feeling is that that offsets many or all of the negatives highlighted in the past on this and other threads, but again, opinions appreciated!
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Old 03-07-2013, 07:01 AM
Location: WA
353 posts, read 854,964 times
Reputation: 384
Stay in Bellingham for a month or so, and make the drive back and forth to SV. If the drive is not a problem, then it could be a good place for you.
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