Fall In Love :: September Edition
Take the first step, the crazy housing market, a new tradition, a home book I'm loving, and more!
Hi! I’m so glad you’re here!
Welcome to Fall in Love (with Bellingham), a monthly-ish letter I send out for those of us who enjoy exploring our local communities no matter the season, want to find ways to bring more love, connection, and life into our homes and neighborhoods, and who are also interested in receiving human-centered, easy-to-understand housing market updates perhaps because we’re just curious or we’re thinking about the possibility of buying, selling, or investing at some point in the future.
So without further ado, let’s get started.
First, a little story about the lady I met at the lake who didn’t give her dream a chance.
Take the First Step.
We waded into Lake Padden at the same time, the chilly water clearly making us both hesistant and doubting why we even decided to go for a swim in the first place.
We each gave a nod of solidarity to one another and flashed our tight, tense smiles.
After tip-toeing a little further in, we started to chat. In a few minutes I learned about her regular trips up to Bellingham with her partner and how they both crave the adventurous lifestyle and infusion of nature they get here.
And then I saw it in her eyes…
In fact, I see it often these days, when people are looking at homes, touring a property, or talking to me about their needs and desires.
In their eyes is a longing to try something else, to explore the possibilty of moving, branch out and experience life in a different place.
For the lady I met at the lake, it was the dream of finding a home in Bellingham, a city she adored.
But then as quickly as she shared her longing with me, she shoved it to the side, for one reason or another. Like many people I meet, she huffed and puffed about the housing market, finances, and the hassle of hunting for another home.
It only took a few seconds before she buried the idea and the sparkle left her eyes.
Her voice lowered and she lost hope of the possibility of a new chapter, another adventure.
I think back to this conversation alot, wishing I had more time to encourage her: to take a step, look at options, dream up some different directions, and ultimately take the first daunting step into the often frigid lake of finding a home or making any sort of change.
I believe deeply that where we live matters.
It’s worth the time and energy to think about our physical address because it does affect us in ways we are often not even aware. Where we live impacts our lifestyle choices, our relationships, and our own growth as a human being.
I’d love to come alongside you as a guide in the real estate process because I think it’s absolutely possible to love where you live, no matter the obstacles you face in front of you!
Now onto some inspiration to fall more in love with your place and people:
1. Loving all her down-to-earth vibes.
I just recently picked up and started reading Lauren Liess’ book, Feels Like Home: Relaxed Interiors For a Meaningful Life.
Simply flipping through the pages of the book, gazing at the uniquely gorgeous and tranquil homes, and taking in her fascinating personal story is filling my creative soul.
I’m re-discovering my love for designing calming, peaceful, natural spaces all around me!
2. Is your neighborhood like this?
I just released another interview in my Meet the Locals series! Each week or so I share a conversation I’ve had with a local resident here in Bellingham and what makes their neighborhood so special and why they don’t ever want to leave!
This second interview made me equal parts teary-eyed and excited for what is possible when a street becomes a strong network of loving connections. My friend and artist, Lindsey Kiniry gives us a peek into the way her cul-de-sac comes together. She says,
We have this ability to wrap one another into our daily lives and I think this is what makes a neighborhood a little different than a normal friendship.
the fun and simple way her and her family give back to the local community,
the list of traditions her specific street created and partakes in all year round,
what she appreciates most about living in Bellingham,
and her encouragement and recommendation for anyone wanting to visit (hint: plan a whole perfect day!)
You can read the full interview I had with Lindsey here.
3. We Biked To School Everyday This Week & Started A New Tradition
I am living my dream you guys! I cannot tell you how much joy it brings me to head out the door on a foggy fall-ish morning with my 4 kids on BIKES!
Our blood pumping, our pedals spinning, our hair blowing in the breeze. It is the essence of freedom to me.
We biked to and from school this week and it conjured up all the memories of my life in the Netherlands between 2014 and 2016 where we lived without a car for a year and had 3 little ones.
Along our route to school we discovered a pleasant surprise- Avellino’s Gluten Free Bakery! Inside we came face-to-face with both the sweetest shop owner as well as the best sprinkle donuts in town.
It’s the perfect stop for my hungry school children before biking the rest of the way home!
Bikeability was one of our TOP factors in deciding where we’d move this summer. I daresay it was THE TOP factor.
Being able to hop on our bikes from the front door and find our way to the grocery store, the library, my office, art store, or school is not only a more sustainable way of life, but it also brings us into closer contact with people in our communities!
4. What I say to this: The housing market is so crazy.
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard people say this and…how many times I’ve said it. We’ve moved every 2 years or so since we’ve been married (and we’ve been married 13 years!) and I or my husband has said it EVERY SINGLE TIME.
And you know what?
I’ve come to believe it’s true. The housing market is crazy.
Now, as a realtor, why am I still saying this?
Because I think what we’re actually talking about when we mutter, “the housing market is so crazy” is that it’s always shifting, and moving, and changing, up and down it goes by the week.
This makes it scary and intimidating to even think about entering into the buying/selling/investing process. We want to wait for the perfect time. But like most things in life, I don’t believe there is ever a perfect time. We need to experiment, take a step, try it.
Yes, we use strategy and plan, but at the end of the day, we must take the step, make the move if we feel it’s time, and this ultimately is what leads us to make confident decisions and gather life-changing experiences!
And on top of that we can remember this: the housing market is resilient, and the shifts are often seasonal and very predictable!
For an easy-to-read breakdown of three reasons why we’re not in a “housing bubble” scan this article. (Cliff Notes Version: 1. There’s not a surplus of homes on the market, but a shortage 2. Mortgage standards are more strict 3. Foreclosures are down)
Okie dokie, we’re going to wrap this up! Thank you so much for skimming through this letter. I hope you found something useful, relevant, interesting, or inspiring as you seek to create a life oozing with adventure and beauty, a life where you are flourishing in your place and finding your people.
I’m off to whip up lunch for my tiny humans who are currently out hammering away at a fort they are trying to build with spare wood and nails leftover from our current remodel.
Before I go, I’d love to know what stuck out to you most in this letter, was there a phrase or story that resonated with you right now?
Can’t wait to hear from you,