For realtor and former contractor Jen Sandoval, researching the history of homes in Bellingham has been a longtime passion.

Sandoval took us to an older home in the Lettered Streets neighborhood to showcase why knowing a home’s history before making the purchase is a smart move.

You can watch our interview below or on our Bellingham real estate YouTube channel

Sandoval talked about how this home buyer was interested in making an offer on this home, but the existing kitchen was less than appealing.

Looking up the permit history with the buyer, Sandoval realized that the kitchen wall was not load-bearing. This helped the buyer realize that opening the kitchen for a remodel would be much less expensive than originally assumed.

The City of Bellingham has resources to learn about who lived in a home through multiple sources, including the city almanac, library, and museum.

We also discussed where this particular home is located, on the edge of the Lettered Streets neighborhood close to Broadway Park. Today, this area is one of the most desirable places to live in Bellingham, but that was not always the case.

When the core neighborhoods developed in the late 1800s, the larger and more expensive homes were closer to the waterfront. Laborers had to walk home from work, and the further the walk, the smaller and cheaper the homes tended to be. Since this neighborhood isn’t on the waterfront, it would have been less desirable to home buyers in the 1800s.

But as the streetcar line arrived in 1906, and parks were added (like Broadway Park), the homes on the north edge of the Lettered Streets and Columbia neighborhoods became more attractive. More development began further away from downtown and the waterfront, and additions were being made to the existing homes that were built.

We had another, more in-depth conversation about the history of a home and what to consider when buying an older home on The Bellingham Real Estate Podcast.

If you would like to reach Jen, it is [email protected] or 360-223-2564.

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