Home Buying in Bellingham>Question Details

Emily, Other/Just Looking in New England, ND

If I buy a house with a plan to stay for 5 years, how feasible is it to expect to be able to resell it at minimal loss at the close of said time slot?

Asked by Emily, New England, ND Wed Feb 5, 2014

I'm looking at small, single-family homes, nothing large and nothing very expensive to begin with.

Help the community by answering this question:


Hi Emily,
Bellingham is a great place to live! I have lived and worked in this area all my life. Projections put forth by the local "experts" indicate there will be a housing shortage in Bellingham in the years to come. The City will not allow connections to to City utilities outside the city limits, so this is putting pressure on infill within city limits. Developing property outside the City presents it's own set of challenges due to increased uncertainty regarding water rights and if drilling a well for drinking water will be allowed in the future. Wetlands, watershed and critical areas protections create challenges for future development inside City limits. With the average single family building permit in the city $25,000 plus, new construction and affordable housing is hard to come by. With a growing population and limited new construction and development,I predict housing prices in Bellingham will continue to rise at a steady pace until around 2020. In my opinion, now is the best time to buy. I don't see prices or interest rates being any lower than they are now. I am a local Realtor in Bellingham. Let me know if I can be of further assistance as you explore relocating to this area.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Wed Feb 5, 2014
Very good Tim. Great answer.
Flag Thu Feb 6, 2014
Tim, great answer, well presented with good reasoning.
Flag Wed Feb 5, 2014
Hi Emily:

You might want to take a look at the Trulia Buy vs. Rent Calculator. I think you will find this very helpful. It is at:


0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Mar 10, 2014

Emily – hi there …have you had any success finding a new home to buy ? Do you still need any assistance ? Thanks for the consideration

Dave Skow
WA MLO #278613
Eagle Home Mortgage
2200 6th Ave #100 Seattle WA 98121
w 206 714 9745
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Mar 10, 2014
Hi Emily, I think you've received some outstanding replies to your inquiry. Of course none of us can predict with certainty what will happen in a given market, however, choosing to purchase in such a stable, highly desirable, and up and coming market as Bellingham certainly hedges your bet to not only be able to sell at a "minimum loss" as you've referenced in your question, but much more likely to sell at a sizable profit after 5 years. I've lived my entire life in Bellingham and have been a Realtor here for over 20 years and I've never been more excited about Bellingham's prospects, not only from a personal standpoint in having chosen to raise my family here, but from a professional standpoint helping buyers and sellers. We have a great outlook and with good reason. Some would say the quality of life here is unmatched............our housing market is a positive recipient of that. I would suggest you align yourself with a local experienced Broker who can assist you in getting to know our area and housing market so that if you do decide to relocate here you will be as informed as possible in order to satisfy your needs and goals. I'm happy to help if you decide you'd like some assistance
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Feb 6, 2014
Hi Emily: No one can predict the future, but, historically, a five-year time frame will generally result in an outcome that is at least as good as the one you describe, and usually better. Obviously, the recent recession stands out as an exception. But the term "minimal loss" may mean different things to different people. To one person, it may mean that you will need to bring little or no cash to closing when you sell. To another person, it may mean you will walk away from closing with most of the equity that comes from your down payment, from making mortgage payments and from the savings you may have realized by deducting mortgage interest on your tax returns. I think the best way to look at "profit" or "loss" from you residential real estate purchase is to factor in the purchase price of the home, the selling price at the other end, the costs of buying and selling (selling usually is more expensive), the tax benefits of ownership, and the total of your monthly payments minus the amount of mortgage payments that pay off the loan's principal, thus, become equity along with your down payment. Maintenance and updating costs should also be looked at. This sounds more complicated that it is. But don't stop yet. Now you should look at what it would cost to rent a similar property that would satisfy you equally. This is because renting is usually your only real alternative unless you can move in with relatives or friends who do not ask for payments. This may be more detail than you asked for, but I'm hoping it will be helpful. Best, Ron Rovtar Boulder, CO
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Feb 5, 2014
Under normal circumstance I do believe you are on the right track!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Feb 5, 2014
Emily, it really depends on the community. You need data regarding the community you are considering. As an example, here is alink to my trulia blog,( http://www.trulia.com/blog/annetteLawrence )---------On the blog you will see a Market In A Minute report for Weathersfield community. Observe the two sold trend lines. Notice they have been flat for several years but in 2013 you can detect the precursor to price improvements. If you had purchased here three years ago, you would not have made money selling in 5 years. There is every reason to believe that buying in Weathersfield today will be profitable in 3 years and provide sufficient profit in 5 years to move up. ----------Call a Bellingham REALTOR and have time prepare for you a similar report for the community in which you have interest.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Feb 5, 2014
Hi Emily,
Buying in Bellingham Wa should be a reasonably safe bet. Realize that you'll be paying rent somewhere if you don't buy. A purchase comes with many benefits including the tax benefits you don't get from renting, appreciation (in most cases) and the intangible of pride of ownership.
Do your homework, learn the market, work with a great local professional and listen to their advice. Your biggest decision will be who you choose to work with. Not all agents/brokers are equal. A great one can give you useful advice and puts your needs first. Best of luck and welcome to Washington.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Feb 5, 2014
After 5 years there is a very good chance you can sell at a considerable increase from what you paid, that is the goal of buying real estate and holding for 5 years is a good plan. Since home prices fell over the past 3-5 years buying now is a great idea. You are in a good position for the "Buy low, sell high" scenario.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Feb 5, 2014
All indications point to us having passed the bottom of the curve, and we're now into a gentle incline. Pick you location carefully, as that's the first thing we speak of a Realtors - location, location.
Find a good, helpful agent, and hopefully enjoy the search and finding your new home. All the best, Grant
Flag Wed Feb 5, 2014
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