real estate

Various Whatcom County realtors told the Lynden Tribune recently that the current housing market is competitive. One realtor said, “We’ve got a lot more people looking to move here than are looking to move out of here.” (Bill Helm/Lynden Tribune)

Thinking about moving to Lynden? Finding a house, searching for a job and thinking of extracurriculars is no easy feat. Here is what the experts have to say. 

 

Housing

The most important thing to know about buying a house in Whatcom County, according to multiple realtors, is that the housing market is competitive, with every available house receiving several offers. 

“People love to live near the oceans and the mountains and the university,” said Jacson Bevens, a realtor at Brandon Nelson Partners. “As a result, it just has led to an imbalance between supply and demand. We’ve got a lot more people looking to move here than are looking to move out of here.” 

However, just because it is competitive does not mean it is hopeless. 

“Don’t get discouraged,” said Paulina Antczak, a realtor at Brandon Nelson Partners. “Make sure that you are staying positive and open and optimistic.” 

Multiple realtors noted that their clients are moving away from Bellingham and into other areas of the county like Lynden, due to lower costs and competition. 

“The closer you get to the core neighborhoods in Bellingham, the more competitive the housing market seems to be,” Bevens said. “There are some differences, Ferndale’s median price is the highest of the non-Bellingham cities, followed by Lynden and Blaine.”

It is crucial for prospective homebuyers to connect with a good realtor, said Kena Brashear, a realtor at The Muljat Group. 

“I always highly recommend that they work with a lender from Whatcom County, someone they can physically meet with for support,” Brashear said. “[Select] a trusted real estate broker and interview several agents before picking one.” 

Brashear also said that several of her clients rented in multiple neighborhoods before finding their perfect spot.

Can’t buy a house? You can rent. According to a rent report from Zumper, a real estate rental marketplace, the median rent for a Lynden one-bedroom is $1,300 a month, which is a 30% increase from last year. Studio apartment? $900, which decreased by 25%. Two-bedroom? How about $1,500, a 2% increase.

 

Jobs

“It’s helpful for you if you come up here knowing you have a job already,” said Gary Vis, executive director for the Lynden Chamber of Commerce. “We have tons of jobs available, but it may not be at the pay scale or the type of work you’re looking for. [For example], there’s not a thousand tech jobs right here right now.”

Vis said someone is most likely to succeed in finding a job if they are not tied down to a specific area because of their degree. Vis also said that health care and trade jobs are the most in demand. 

“Let’s face it, I ain’t fixing the furnace on my own, I can’t fix my car on my own, I can’t plumb the house on my own and lord knows you don’t want me running the electricity,” Vis said. “Think plumbers, electricians. Those types of skills that don’t necessarily need a degree, but take a great deal of knowledge and wisdom and the ability to learn.” 

Vis emphasized that Lynden is rural, which means it may not have all of the amenities someone moving from a big city might expect. However, anything that they can’t find in Lynden can easily be found elsewhere in the county. 

He also said the chamber is available to help newcomers. 

“We’re to help as much as we can,” Vis said. “Help you get your way around town, learn what businesses to use, maybe who to call in an emergency. We’re the traffic top at the intersection, [we can] give you an idea of which way to go depending on where you want to go and what you’re looking for.” 

The Lynden Chamber of Commerce can be reached at 360-354-5995 or lynden@lynden.org

 

Recreation and Culture

Lynden Youth Sports consists of basketball, baseball, volleyball, softball, soccer and football, according to their website, http://lyndenyouthsports.com.

Vern Meenderinck, the city’s parks and recreation director, also mentioned North County Alliance, a soccer league, and L-Town Sports, who host a variety of youth programs. 

Meenderinck said there are also several lacrosse leagues for children that are run by volunteers. 

 

“[For] adult recreation, there’s a couple different softball leagues who run out here, there is [also] a cricket league,” Meenderinck said. “And then not actual leagues, but a couple different groups of people who come out and use the cricket ball courts almost every day and we have four outdoor basketball courts out here that are used almost constantly.” 

Meenderinck also said Lynden has about nine different parks, several walking trails, and a BMX pump track. Finally, he mentioned the wide variety of “passive recreation” which includes walking, biking and picnic areas. 

Vis said it is most important for newcomers to know how rural and tight-knit the community is. 

“Get ready for a little slower pace [than the city], be prepared to drive behind tractors, be prepared to smell something you may not have smelled before,” Vis said. “We’re close, as in, many of us do get to know each other. We do recreation together, we go to our kids’ schools together, we go to church together.” 

Vis emphasized that even though the community is tight-knit, it is still more than possible to make friends and put down roots in Lynden.

“We have people all over, from every spectrum imaginable, that call Lynden home,” Vis said.