If you’re looking for a fantastic view, superb design and affordability that will shock you, try looking in Anacortes.
Anacortes, the often overlooked little brother to Bellingham, is one of the best kept secrets in the Northwest. Seated at the Northern tip of Fidalgo Island, Anacortes offers a quaint, but lively, small-town feel with amazing views from almost every direction. What it also offers is a sizable collection of new housing developments that blend those views with great design and craftsmanship. The best part, from the buyer’s perspective, is that the real estate slow-down has hit the new-construction market harder than other areas, largely due to over-development. The problem for new-construction developments is that they often take years to scout, permit, and build, and in this case they just took too long to come to the market. So now, after several months with little or no action, many of the developers are getting creative (sometimes downright desperate) about their pricing and packaging.
Here’s a great example:
I recently visited the Portalis community on the North side of the island, between downtown Anacortes and the San Juan ferry terminal. Though made up mostly of single-family homes, the community itself is condominiumized, meaning that there is an association and common grounds maintained. Though originally priced in the $500’s and high $400’s, most of the prices are now down in the low-to-mid $400’s, and the inside word is that the developers are taking offers at 10% below that! These homes are between 1800-2000 square feet with very high-end finishes and great, open floor plans. Seriously, they are nice! I look at homes all the time, so I’m not easily impressed, but these are definitely worth a look.
On top of the price breaks, the developers and their lender partners have come up with all sorts of ways to sweeten the deal. They’re offering things like lease-options and the paying of HOA dues for up to 5 years. They’re even offering to cover mortgage payments for up to 6 months (!), which is great for buyers trying to sell their current home before relocating. For qualified buyers, Wells Fargo is offering loans on new construction with a downpayment of 3.5% with no mortgage insurance , meaning a savings of at least a couple hundred dollars per month.
Portalis is just one example. There are other new developments in the area with similar deals to be found. For that matter, with a little bit of digging, you could find opportunities like this all over these days, even in Bellingham and Seattle. It’s just a matter of knowing where to look…and having the right real estate agent to help you, of course!
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