I have several clients right now with young children, some already here on the island, others preparing to make a major move.  Moving is not for the faint of heart.  I think it is one of the hardest things to do . . . I have said many times that it aged me five years.  One of the hardest things is watching your kids struggle through the transition.  In the end, yes, I do believe it makes you stronger and more open to change, but during the transition, it is tough and help is good . . . below are some books I recommend, both for parents and kids.

Books About Moving with Kids

The list author says: “Our family made a major move from CA to Bainbridge Island, WA, when our kids were four and seven. Emotions and challenges came up that I could not have predicted. Insight and guidance from those who have paved the road for you is out there for the taking. Although folks feel like they are the only ones going through the emotional drama of a move, they are not. Others have been through the same challenges and can offer help . . . and books are a good place to start”

Moving with Kids: 25 Ways to Ease Your Family's Transition to a New Home
1.  Moving with Kids: 25 Ways to Ease Your Family’s Transition to a New Home by Lori Collins Burgan
The list author says:
“This is a book that takes into account that this is a busy/ crazy time.  Not all of these ideas will work for your family, but there are some simple tips that can make a big differnce in your transition.”
$9.95   Used & New from: $1.70
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)

The Moving Book: A Kids' Survival Guide
2.  The Moving Book: A Kids’ Survival Guide by Gabriel Davis
$15.61   Used & New from: $14.61
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews) | 1 customer discussion

The Moving Survival Guide: All You Need to Know to Make Your Move Go Smoothly
3.  The Moving Survival Guide: All You Need to Know to Make Your Move Go Smoothly by Martha Poage
$10.17   Used & New from: $4.40
3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)

How to Survive A Move: by Hundreds of Happy People Who Did and Some Things to Avoid, From a Few Who Haven't Unpacked Yet (Hundreds of Heads Survival Guides)
4.  How to Survive A Move: by Hundreds of Happy People Who Did and Some Things to Avoid, From a Few Who Haven’t Unpacked Yet (Hundreds of Heads Survival Guides) by Hundreds of Heads
$11.16   Used & New from: $2.43
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)

29 Days to a Smooth Move, 2nd Edition
5.  29 Days to a Smooth Move, 2nd Edition by Donna Kozik
$17.95   Used & New from: $6.97
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)

Moving.kit
6.  Moving.kit by Alicia Rockmore & Sarah Welch
Used & New from: $62.93
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)

Moving House (Usborne First Experiences)
7.  Moving House (Usborne First Experiences) by Anne Civardi
$4.99   Used & New from: $1.85
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
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The Berenstain Bears' Moving Day (First Time Books(R))
8.  The Berenstain Bears’ Moving Day (First Time Books(R)) by Stan Berenstain
The list author says:
“Friends gave us a bundle of books as a gift when we moved, this was one of them, a great idea.”
$3.99   Used & New from: $0.01
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)

We're Moving (First-Time Stories)
9.  We’re Moving (First-Time Stories) by Heather Maisner
$3.95   Used & New from: $0.01
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)

Big Ernie's New Home: A Story for Young Children Who Are Moving
10.  Big Ernie’s New Home: A Story for Young Children Who Are Moving by Teresa Martin
$9.95   Used & New from: $5.41
3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
A New House
11.  A New House by Jill Wenzel
$6.95   Used & New from: $3.47
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews  (3 customer reviews)

Saying Good-Bye, Saying Hello...: When Your Family Is Moving (Elf-Help Books for Kids)
12.  Saying Good-Bye, Saying Hello…: When Your Family Is Moving (Elf-Help Books for Kids) by Michaelene Mundy
$7.95   Used & New from: $4.15

It's Moving Day!
13.  It’s Moving Day! by Pamela Hickman
$14.00   Used & New from: $7.65
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

I'm Not Moving, Mama
14.  I’m Not Moving, Mama by Nancy White Carlstrom
Used & New from: $8.85
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)

Alexander, Who's Not (Do You Hear Me? I Mean It!) Going to Move
15.  Alexander, Who’s Not (Do You Hear Me? I Mean It!) Going to Move by Judith Viorst
The list author says:
“This was given to us when we moved.  This is exactly how my kids felt.”
$6.99   Used & New from: $1.32
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)

Melanie Mouse's Moving Day
16.  Melanie Mouse’s Moving Day by Cyndy Szekeres
The list author says:
“This book hits on the emotions and feelings of being in a new place.  Not uplifting, but your kids will relate, especially if they love to hang out in their rooms.”
$9.95   Used & New from: $5.00
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

On March 25, 2010, in Moving, by
A home in the North Town Woods Neighborhood on Bainbridge Island
A typical home in the North Town Woods Neighborhood has become more affordable this year on Bainbridge Island.
The neighborhood that was reaching for the $700,000’s in 2006 has now dipped to the low $500,000’s making the purchase of these home much more doable with a conventional or FHA loan.  Good news for first time buyers.


#1: Just because it’s a buyer’s market doesn’t mean you should buy right now

Don’t let the lucrative market dictate a buying decision if the time isn’t absolutely right. Potential homebuyers need to ask themselves if they have a good credit score, if their job is secure and if they can stay in the home for a few years. If the answer to these questions is “no,” it might make more sense to wait until life and finances are more stable.

#2: The cost of owning a home is more than just the purchase price

On top of a mortgage payment, there are several monthly fees and expenses any first-time buyer should consider when becoming a homeowner: insurance, property taxes, utilities and maintenance. Think about scaling back the home price in order to better budget for the entire package.

#3: Programs are out there to help first-time buyers

A sizeable down payment is great to have for a home purchase, but not everyone can afford to fork over 20 percent upfront. Fortunately, there are many federal, state and local programs geared toward helping first-time homebuyers with down payments, interest rates and loan terms sure to make the whole process and affordability a bit easier.

#4: Foreclosures and short sales present great deals, but proceed with caution

Buying a foreclosed or short sale home can be a risky proposition for a first-time buyer. Foreclosures are often sold “as-is,” while a short sale transaction can be lengthier and more complicated than a typical home purchase. First-timers should consult an agent or attorney with specialization in these areas.

#5: Getting pre-approved for a loan gives you more buying power

Obtaining lender pre-approvals are important because it establishes a homebuyer’s maximum purchase price, shows sellers that the buyer is serious about buying a home and lets the homebuyer compare interest rates and terms to find the best deal.

#6: Good school districts boost property value

One of the most important aspects of a home’s value is the neighborhood where it’s located. Even if the homebuyer does not have kids, buying a home near sought-after schools can help the resale value.

#7: You may be able to access your tax credit upfront

Buyers using FHA-insured mortgages can apply their tax credit toward their home purchase immediately, rather than waiting until they file their income taxes to receive a refund. Prospective buyers who believe they qualify for the credit are also allowed to reduce their income tax withholding, therefore increasing their take-home pay.

#8: Not all real estate agents represent buyers

There are three types of agents: listing agents, who represent sellers and help them get the best price; buyers’ agents, who represent buyers and protect their interests; and agents who represent either (or both). Often, first-time buyers prefer to work excl
usively with a buyer’s agent so there are no possible conflicts of interest.

#9: Doing your homework can help you make a competitive offer

Before buying the home, determine the property’s market value by having the realtor conduct a comparative market analysis. This report will show what buyers were willing to pay for similar homes in the area, giving a good idea of what will make a fair offer.

#10: It’s important to have a back-out plan

Before signing on the dotted line, make sure to have a contingency plan in case things don’t go as planned in the home inspection or appraisal. If the home has a major flaw or doesn’t appraise for the purchase price, an escape plan allows the contract to be voided.
Source: Frontdoor.com

On March 20, 2010, in Homes, Moving, Real Estate Business, by

By Peter Brachvogel, AIA, BC& J Architecture, Planning & Management

What are They and Why are They So Important?

The Growth Management Act of the early 1990’s set forth a number of requirements for incorporated municipalities. One very specific mandate was the encouragement of density increases in populated areas within municipally incorporated boundaries.

ADU by Peter BrachvogelOne such manner in which to increase housing density with very little negative impact is the inclusion of Accessory Dwelling Units or ADU’s. These modest buildings are typically adjacent to a main house and may be constructed on properties that accommodate water, septic and typical building system demands. These buildings typically range in sizes prescribed by local zoning ordinance. On Bainbridge Island this size may not exceed 800 square feet. In Kitsap County and now in Seattle the maximum size is slightly larger at 1,000 square feet.

Sustainable by Design

These modest buildings are generally sustainable due primarily to the nature of their modest size and integrated fit within an existing built context. Additional sustainability measures may be incorporated such as heat recovery air exchange systems. Solar applications for both electricity and hot water and specifications for recycled building materials. Small houses offer a variety of dwelling choices for people who do not desire or can not afford larger housing.

Many of the ADU’s that have been built on Bainbridge Island over the past decade have been above garage units. These spaces have been used in a number of ways including teenager hang­outs, in-home offices and guest houses. For those property owners who desire to age-in-place as many baby boomers are, these buildings can be occupied by a caretaker when the kids have moved on providing de-facto housing or as an alternative,extra income through rental.

ADU by Peter Brachvogel

Micro-Community, Compounds, Options Abound

If a property is large enough and there are funds available, the simple concept of a house on an acre can evolve into a main house, ADU, separate carriage house and other support buildings. This collection of buildings located properly on the land fosters a sense of place and micro-community. A compound of buildings then sets the stage for multi­-generational use of a property. Multi-generational use of a property is important for connectivity of family history and origin. Many of the most compelling locations throughout the world have been based on this type of living pattern. Only in the last 100 years and primarily in the U.S. has this pattern been significantly eroded.

As ADU’s are typically located on a contiguous piece of property, individual ownership becomes difficult. In some circumstances this has been solved by converting the ownership of the property into an LLC. Conversion allows another party to purchase shares of the LLC that equate a prorated value of the property. Separate ADU’s suit a variety of demographic groups including newlyweds, young professionals, empty nesters, retirees, and are a very flexible, valuable and enduring component to the fabric of a neighborhood and can be included in any project planning.

Additionally, allowing ADU’s is one way that communities can provide more affordable housing opportunities without the necessity of local government expenditures or subsidies.

Note:  Peter’s work will by on the Bainbridge Island Tour of Architects on March 20th and 21st.  For more info on the tour see my last post or visit Tour of Architects.
To see more of Peter Brachvogel’s work visit The Perfect Little House website.  Contact Peter directly at 206.780.1016 or  


On March 2, 2010, in Homes, Real Estate Business, by


March 20th and 21st

2010 Tour of Architects Program

Tour of Architects Event Program
AN ARCHITECTURAL TOUR THAT IS AS DIVERSE AS YOUR DREAMS!
March 20 & 21, 2010
Two Days – Two Unique Tours
Seventeen Architects, 24 Projects
Pick up programs with addresses and directions at the HUB location
Cost: $15.00 Suggested Tour Donation; $20.00 for both tours
Beautiful 48 page Keepsake Program included with every donation of $15.00 or more
Proceeds will be donated to designated non-profit organizations
Helpline House, Housing Resources Board & Bainbridge Performing Arts
Costs of Goods when purchased separately

$10.00 Shuttle Bus Service – Sunday Only
$10.00 Beautiful 48 Page Keepsake Event Program

Tour One – Saturday, March 20
Hub Location – The Pavilion
403  Madison Avenue North
Kick-off at the Hub – 10:00 am – Projects open at 11:00 am

Coffee, Snacks, Speakers, Workshops, Demos, Artists, Sponsors, Non-Profit Organizations and Vendors
Hub Location – Bainbridge Performing Arts
200 Madison Avenue North
Kick-off at the Hub – 10:00 am – Projects open at 11:00 am

Coffee, Snacks, Speakers, Workshops, Demos, Artists, Sponsors, Non-Profit Organizations and Vendors
Addresses, Directions and Tickets must be picked up at the HUB Locations on the day of the event
Many thanks to our sponsors

for even more info visit:

On March 1, 2010, in Activities, Community, by