Business

Active housing market leads to regional title company opening office in Bellingham

Guardian Northwest Title & Escrow opened in September 2019 at the Lincoln Professional Center at 3800 Byron Ave., Bellingham.
Guardian Northwest Title & Escrow opened in September 2019 at the Lincoln Professional Center at 3800 Byron Ave., Bellingham. The Bellingham Herald

A new real estate title company has arrived in town, creating a third option for those who need to get paperwork squared away when buying or selling a home.

Guardian Northwest Title & Escrow recently opened in the Lincoln Professional Center at 3800 Byron Ave. The company also has offices in Anacortes, Mount Vernon, Oak Harbor and Camano Island.

Before it opened, Whatcom County only had two main title companies serving the area, Chicago Title and Whatcom Land Title. Having another option for title and escrow services is important for those selling and buying property, said Darin Stenvers, branch manager at the John L. Scott office in Bellingham. That’s particularly true during the spring and summer when homebuying activity is at its peak, possibly adding weeks to a closing.

“The other two (title companies) offer great service, but it’s just been busy,” Stenvers said, adding that at one time, years ago, there were five different title companies in Whatcom County.

Guardian is starting out with two employees in Bellingham, with further support from the Skagit County offices. The intention is to expand the Bellingham office as well as add satellite locations in Whatcom County, said Gale Hickok, CEO and president of the company, in an email.

The company is planning a grand opening celebration from 4-7 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 17, at its Bellingham office. Further details can be found on its Facebook page.

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Dave Gallagher has covered the Whatcom County business community since 1998. Retail, real estate, jobs and port redevelopment are among the topics he covers.
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