West Coast Equity Group

Local Market Expertise in Whatcom and Skagit County, Washington

Sandwiched between two of the largest metropolitan areas on the West Coast, both Whatcom and Skagit Counties offer an abundance of natural capital and high quality of life within 1.5 hours of both Seattle and Vancouver B.C. Seniors and outdoor enthusiasts flock here, but so do skilled workers who have come to loathe living and driving in congested cities like Seattle and Vancouver B.C., and who want to raise their kids in a safe community while staying close to major metropolitan living.

In Whatcom County, Both Bellingham and Lynden continue to win accolades each year as top retirement communities and there is a vibrant agricultural economy and thriving academic ecosystem. Western Washington University (WWU) experiences increasing enrollments year over year. And residential income property investors enjoy some of the lowest vacancy rates in the state at sub 1% in most neighborhoods in Bellingham and Lynden.

Return on Investment

Commercial real estate investments in Whatcom and Skagit Counties yield varying returns depending on the property type and location, but in general, investors seeking positive cash flow property can still expect an overall cap rate between 6-8%, depending on the asset class and vacancy history.

The main challenge for income property investors is whether or not local rental rates can keep up with the region’s inflationary rate of 3%. My belief is that both counties will prevail in building thriving, living wage economies capable of supporting the growing population’s demand for housing, which is still significantly under-supplied.

Due to the Growth Management Act, zoning issues have become cricital considerations in any commercial project, especially if your intention is to develop outside city limits. I work hard to keep abreast of the issues surrounding water, power and land use both inside and outside city limits, and I have the skills to help you package your project and navigate the permit and design review process successfully.

Commercial Investment Property

My specialty is helping buyers acquire commercial property in Whatcom County, Washington, including the multi-family, commercial office, mixed use, industrial and retail asset classes. Whether your goal is to acquire positive cash flow income property to rent, or to find commercial property to buy or lease for your business or community, I can help.

When conducting a search for property or land which will be used for anything other than residential single family housing, it’s important to keep in mind the importance of working with a broker who is competent in zoning issues and stakeholder communications. As an analyst with over 30 years of experience in communications and project management, I pride myself on being able to deliver that full service for the life of your transaction. That means in addition to helping you navigate the commercial transaction which is typically much more complex than a residential property transaction, I can also play a critical support role in the zoning and design review process with neighbors and local municipalities. My experience to date, at least in Whatcom County, has been that few brokers will support you beyond the real estate transaction itself. I have also built a network of legal and financial advisors within Whatcom County to help you achieve your goals with the highest possible return on investment.

Multi-family Property Sales and Acquisition

I am also specialized in apartment building sales and acquisition in Whatcom County, Washington. For an exhaustive list of apartment buildings for sale in Whatcom County, please visit my multi-family listings Website.

Commercial Property Leasing

Whatever stage your business is in, if you’re looking to relocate your business to a new space, I can help. I will help you locate the most suitable space for your needs, and negotiate terms with the landlord, in both Whatcom and Skagit Counties.

Many small business owners don’t realize that engaging a licensed broker to conduct a commercial lease search costs the tenant nothing. Just as with property acquisitions, the landlord, like the seller, is responsible for paying the commission, which is usually split with the landlord’s leasing agent.

When engaging a leasing agent to help with a commercial leasing search and transaction, it’s critical to engage your broker at the beginning of your search. That’s because your broker won’t get paid unless you work through your broker to make contact with the landlord when a space has been listed for rent.

When you opt out of engaging a licensed broker to help you with your leasing search, you are generally at the mercy of the landlord’s terms and agreements. A licensed broker is certified and trained in understanding landlord / tenant regulations and s/he knows what kinds of leasing deals are being done in your local market area. S/he can protect you when developing your leasing contract and help you get the best terms possible.