Happy First Time Buyer In DuPont Washington

Dated: 07/30/2017

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Yesterday I handed over the keys to my first-time, military buyer, Julia.  Julia turned up at my recent open house in Dupont.  A neighbor told me that Dupont is about 90% military, being surrounded as it is by the JBLM (Joint Base Lewis McChord).  Julia looked all over the house for two hours, even taking photos under the kitchen sink.  A few hours later she called up to say that she wanted to make an offer.


This was a mainly problem-free house purchase, but I thought I would nonetheless recount all the ways that I helped this buyer out.  Looking back at my emails, more steps came up than I would have guessed:

  • I explained the process of buying to the buyer and Dad: earnest money, the inspection, the appraisal, the financing contingency, and more.

  • I wrote the contract, selecting from appropriate NWMLS forms, and sent it electronically to Julia for signature and her Dad for review.

  • The sellers objected to the pre-approval letter, so we got a stronger version the next day.

  • I suggested that we ask for a one year home warranty, which protects the buyer against sudden failures of major appliances.  The seller agreed even though those aren't often given in this seller's market.

  • Fortunately, no competing offers came through, so we reached mutual agreement later in the second day.

  • At this point I coordinated with escrow and lender, who needed copies of the contract.

  • I met the buyer and opened up the house three additional time: for the inspection, a week after the inspection for a visit by her Dad, and a final time for measurements.

  • I followed up the payment of earnest money.  We had a snafu over that.  The Dad paid the earnest money, but escrow didn't know who he was, so they didn't credit the money to Julia's account at first.

  • We had a scare from the lender, who initially told us they would miss the closing date by three weeks at least.  Dad took this issue over and gave the bank a piece of his mind.  Now they agreed to meet the closing date and gave us an acceptable date for the appraisal.  Later in the closing documents I noticed that they charged $800 for the appraisal - about double of what used to be normal.  For some reason, we have been experiencing a shortage of appraisers in Washington state over the last year.  They are all charging big fees to expedite their service.

  • I sent Julia the HOA documents for review.  She didn't comment on them or object to anything.

  • Now we reached the inspection stage.  Julia picked her own inspector.  He did a competent job, but he charged her an extra $150 for a sewer scope that I thought was unnecessary on a house this new.

  • Dad intervened again.  He wanted to see the house before we made any decision about our inspection response.  He satisfied himself about some items that had concerned him on the inspection report.  We got our response in just under the deadline.

  • A few more days and we reached mutual agreement over the inspection with a small discount from the price.  The home warranty helped smooth over some concerns of the buyer.

  • Next I referred the buyer to a website where she could get a home warranty quote.  The quote then goes to escrow for the seller to pay.

  • Escrow and the lender made some last minute goofs in the paperwork: wrong price, wrong listing commission, and they couldn't find the home warranty quote.  All that got corrected before signing.

  • On closing day I met the listing agent at 13:30 (my client is on military time, remember) to pick up the keys and garage door opener.  I zipped down the Sequlitchew Trail to the beach on Puget Sound, while we waited for the county to respond with recording numbers.  I returned to the house just in time at 17:00 to hear that we had recording numbers, the transaction was officially closed, and to meet with Julia and hand over the keys.

Gee!  That sounds like real work.  (Except for the beach part.)


Dupont has a rich history for such a little place.  The Sequalitchew branch of the Nisqually Indians lived at the beach before recorded history.  The practice of their chiefs in marrying multiple wives from neighboring tribes to establish trading relationships resulted in a friendliness toward traders that attracted the Hudson's Bay Company.  The HBC built a fort on the site and operated a small fleet in Puget Sound until 1869, when the United States bought out their assets.  Many of today's Nisqually tribal members descend from the mixed English, Scottish, and French fur traders.

Dupont acquired its name from the DuPont Company, which manufactured explosives on the site.  Later the major timber company, Weyerhaeuser, bought the site.  In the 1990s, Weyerhaeuser developed the site as the master planned community, NW Landing, dramatically expanding the town.  Master planned communities of this size are rare in Washington state.  Major employers have been attracted to the town's business park: Intel, Fedex, Farmers Insurance, and Amazon among others.

Today Dupont is a friendly town with a busy schedule of summer events, including a patriotic Independence Day celebration and Hudson Bay Heritage Festival.


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About Realtors Bob and Elizabeth (Wang Jen-Yee) Kelly



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Bob Kelly

Bob is an eXpert buyer's agent with a special interest in travel and vacation homes. Bob and his wife Elizabeth (Wang Jen-Yee) are decades-long residents of Greater Seattle and the surrounding Puget ....

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