Windermere Real Estate/BI, Inc.
So Thanksgiving week was a crazy one. Monday started with the threat of some light snow flurries and ended with three inches of snow. On Tuesday it escalated into a wind storm, which then resulted in island-wide and county-wide power outages (60,000 people in Kitsap County) – which, is actually a big deal when it is like 20 degrees. Folks were stranded on roads and at grocery stores, waiting out the storm.
But, with the power out and roads too icy to drive life sort of stopped. We were fortunate to be home Monday afternoon when things got dicey. I was a little panicked getting our youngest home from school, because her school is at the top of a hill, a hill that was littered with cars in ditches on the way up (never a good sign), but we made it (love the Volvo 4X4).
So, after we were all home safe and sound, it did not take us long to realize you pretty much cannot do the things you normally do when you are stuck at home because of snowy/icy roads and have no power or internet. You can’t play Wii, watch Netflix, go to your friend’s for a playdate . . . or get some work done.
I must say, coming into the holiday, I was feeling a bit overloaded by my computer, phone and social media, so I think the timing was pretty ok. That said, we are going on day four of no Internet, and now I am getting grumpy. But, I am thankful for my little iPhone, which enabled me to work and connect with clients near and far. Luckily we have power now and super luckily we have a propane stove and a cook top that gave us heat and soup during the outage. I am also thankful we live in town, walking distance to Safeway and Town and Country Market.
So, what do you do when there is no power? This week we read and we talked and we walked and the kids did a bunch of sledding. I finished three books stacked next to my bed, all left partially unread from the frenzy of fall. Things were mellow and we ate dinner by candles and the kids really did not complain at all. They enjoyed sleeping on the fold-out sofa next to the propane stove. Out of the ordinary is fun for kids, remember.
One great thing about living on this beautiful island is that when I am feeling depleted and overstressed, I walk or run in a majestic place like along the water at Fort Ward, the Grand Forest or Battle Point Park. It is my recharge, my reboot. I did not have that in the city we lived in for 8 years.
So, this week was a major reboot. The kind you hope for when you plan a trip to Hawaii or a weekend away. But, this one was better, because it was unplanned, did not cost anything, and came over the holiday that reminds you what really matters.
I know I am thankful for my happy, healthy children, my healthy, kind and amazing husband, and my wonderful, warm home on this beautiful island. I am also grateful for my health and for family and friends near and far. All of today’s advances and technologies are supposed to make life easier, but I think they just make us more accountable, which in turn often results in pressure and stress. The days will inevitably become normal again as power and internet are being restored and roads are now cleared. But, I know this little impromptu respite from the norm will become a fond memory, one we will indeed long for on some of those long, normal days.
Many folks from the island went to see Waiting for Superman this week at the Lynwood Center Theatre. It has made for some good discussion and I know it has been on my mind since I saw it on Monday. As a former public middle and high school inner-city English teacher, I thought the movie was right on in its portrayal of the plight of many inner-city schools, unfortunately. For the bulk of my ten year career, I taught at a middle school of about a thousand students. After having our first baby, I clearly remember coming home and announcing to my husbad that there was no way our kids would ever go to any of the schools I had taught at. As sad as that was, and is, I really related to Davis Guggenheim, who created both The First Year and Waiting for Superman. After he had kids, he drove past the public school and dropped his kids off at a private school. Moving to Bainbridge Island was our move to a “private school.” A conscious choice to move to a district that consistently scores a Ten on greatschools.org ratings. And, yes, that move, like a move to a private school, came at a cost. For us, it was, and is a higher cost of living. However, we know, without a doubt, that it has been worth it.
The movie brought up many things, one being the percentage of high school students who go on to college, as a measure of a school district’s success. Here are some local numbers to consider:
Bainbridge Island High School on Bainbridge Island:
Percentage of students who go on to a 4 year college – 81%
Percentage of students who go on to a 2 year college – 12%
North Kitsap High School in Poulsbo:
Percentage of students who go on to a 4 year college – 38%
Percentage of students who go on to a 2 year college – 25%
Kingston High School in Kingston:
Percentage of students who go on to a 4 year college – 29%
Percentage of students who go on to a 2 year college – 44%
As a Realtor, I see many families who weigh the decision of whether to move to Poulsbo or Bainbridge Island. Yes, there is a big difference in how much house you can buy. In Poulsbo for $500k, you can get a nice, new 2700 square foot home. On Bainbridge Island, that would be an 1800 square foot home, and it would not be new. Tradeoffs. But, powerful numbers to consider if you have kids in school.
Data taken from each school’s most recent School Profile. The numbers above were updated March 2015 based on current data available on each school’s website. Blog post was originally written in 2010.
For more information, send me an email and I am happy to send you a copy of the current BHS School Profile, as they can be tricky to find online.
This is a great opportunity to purchase a home, under market value, on Bainbridge Island. This is a short sale, but the bank has already approved the price. What does that mean? That means, one of the most challenging parts of a short sale is to get the bank to agree on a realistic price. The bank appraised the home at $360,000, but through negotiations, I was able to get the bank down to $348,000 – a competitive price. This also mean the deal could close relatively quickly for a short sale in about 60 days. Snatch it up, all offers will be considered.
Click here to go to this listing’s web site.