Approximately 15 miles (25-minute drive) from Bellingham, Sumas is a small city located on the north edge of Whatcom County, near the Canadian border. Sumas is home to one of the busiest border crossings between the United States and Canada. The Sumas-Huntingdon Port of Entry connects Sumas with Abbotsford, British Columbia. The economy of Sumas is closely tied to agriculture, with dairy farming being a significant industry in the area. The surrounding region is known for its fertile farmland, which supports dairy and berry farming. Additionally, the proximity to the Canadian border facilitates trade and commerce between the United States and Canada. Sumas is located in a picturesque area surrounded by rolling hills and farmland. The nearby Cascade Mountains to the east provide a stunning backdrop to the region.
Sumas offers access to outdoor recreational activities, including hiking, fishing, and wildlife viewing. The city’s proximity to the Mount Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest and the Nooksack River provides opportunities for outdoor enthusiasts. While Sumas is a small city, it provides essential services to its residents, including schools, healthcare facilities, and local businesses. The community also hosts several events a year, including the Sumas Demolition Derby, the Sumas Junior Rodeo & a fishing derby.
Housing in Sumas includes many homes on acreage, older farm-style homes, as well as newer residential and condominium developments.
Trade-offs and concerns of buying in Sumas
Sumas is almost entirely in a flood zone, and was very recently impacted by a major flood in 2021. The 2021 Sumas flood impacted approximately 80% of the homes in Sumas. Not surprisingly, most homes in Sumas require flood insurance. A positive takeaway from this major flood is that many of the homes were remodeled or rebuilt with taller foundations and improved run-away systems. But that was not the case with every home, so it’s important to learn about the impact of the 2021 flood on any home you consider, and what was done to the home since that time. Many of the newer builds in Sumas were built with all living levels on the 2nd floor, which dramatically lowers flood insurance costs (and risks). The city and county also did additional work to mitigate future floods, but that risk is still a factor every home buyer in this area needs to consider.
Positives of buying a home in Sumas
Sumas home values did not perform as well as most of Whatcom County in recent years, in large part due to the 2021 Sumas flood. The positive consequence of this is that you can find more affordable housing in this area than most of the county. You can find homes with higher foundations and very little risk, that are 25% lower prices then in nearby Lynden (only 10 miles away).
Bellingham Real Estate Stories sharing the story of Bellingham, Washington. John L. Scott Realtors are local real estate brokers sharing local information and insights on neighborhoods, schools, and events in our friendly community.