More and more of my clients are spending a week or more on the island to explore and house hunt. It is what we did way back in 2004 when Bainbridge popped onto our radar as a place we might want to live. We stayed in this cool beach house that is still a rental today.

If you plan to visit the island and soak it all in and see the real-life-non-tourist Bainbridge, I recommend you visit the following spots on the island.

Lyle Beach Bainbridge Island

Lytle Beach on Bainbridge Island.

Visit the South End/Lynwood Center/Pleasant Beach Village – Many tourists start and stop in Winslow, but great things can by found in Lynwood Center. The Treehouse Cafe is an excellent, casual place to eat.  Lynwood Theatre is a terrific old-style theatre. Also at Lynwood Center and Pleasant Beach Village there is shopping, coffee, a deli, a B&B, a wine bar, restaurants, a bakery, a farm store, frozen yogurt, and a community (membership based) outdoor pool.  It is the gem of the south end – the south end hub not to miss.  When in the vicinity also visit Lytle Beach, a road-end public beach that has a sandy beach and terrific south-west exposure. Also stop at Fort Ward Park, which has miles of easy walking trails with water views, picnic areas and a boat launch.  Both spots are great for soaking in the sun on the south end.  For eating at Lynwood Center, besides The Treehouse Cafe, we also really love Sawan Thai Kitchen and the Beach House Bar & Grill.  For a more formal dinner the Manor House is excellent.

Rolling Bay – Take a quick walk around Rolling Bay. This is the north end hub.  In comparison to Lynwood Center it is very small, but it is a community gathering spot, nonetheless.  There is an old fashioned post office, cafe, and the best Italian Market on the island, Via Rosa 11.  Stop by Via Rosa for lunch or dinner and enjoy their wood fired pizza oven. Bay Hay and Feed is an icon of the island.  They has a terrific gift shop, garden nursery, and feed store.  When you are up north, visit Fay Bainbridge Park, our waterfront park on the north end with views towards Seattle.  At Fay there is a play ground and tons of drift wood.  For future reference, Fay Bainbridge even has a campground a great shelters to reserve for parties.

Battle Point Park – There is so much to see here.  I love the the 1.5 mile loop around the park, but in earlier years when my kids were little I loved the awesome wooden play park.  We have spent hours and hours at softball games and soccer games at this park. Their turf fields for soccer are newer and excellent.  There is also a mini-gymnasium, planetarium, mountain bike track, ponds, and tennis. And the best part – it is cleared and sunny!

Winslow – So, Winslow is pretty terrific.  I would recommend hitting Blackbird Bakery, I love their toast and jam and a pot of tea.  Mora Iced Creamery also fabulous, you really can’t go wrong on flavors, but I love their brownies and cheesecake.  If you find yourself withoug kids I love The Harbour Public House  – AKA The Pub.  It is on Eagle Harbor with stunning views of Seattle.  They have terrific burgers, fish and chips and beer, but I love their fish tacos with a glass of rose.  Again, if kid-less, we like Island Vintners and Eleven Winery for wine tasting or a glass of wine – or two.  Some of my favorite stores in Winslow are Eagle Harbor Books, Calico Cat Toy Shoppe, Bon Bon Candies, Churchmouse Yarns & Tea, and Wilderness Outdoor Store . . . and there are many fun ones in between.

Closer to the ferry in WinslowBainbridge Island Museum of Art is an excellent space to walk through.  The exhibits change regularly and the BIMA Bistro has the best food.  A terrific spot for lunch – one of my favorites.  If you have kids in tow, make sure to visit the Kid’s Discovery Museum, right behind BIMA.

People visiting for an extended time usually want to check out grocery stores and shopping.  Be sure to visit Town & County Market.  Not only is this the spot of shopping, especially specialty food items, and seafood, but the salad bar and hot bar are the place to be at lunch time on Bainbridge.  Sometimes I go there three times a day.  Behind the Town & Country Market is the Waterfront Park and Dock.  At the park is a great kid’s playground and the beginning of the Waterfront Trail, which winds its way down to Eakin/Gowan. My very favorite breakfast on the island is at Streamliner Diner.  It is adjacent to Town & Country Market.  They serve dinner, too, but I love their breakfast, especially their biscuits and jam and crispy hash browns.

The Grand Forest – If you are a walker/runner, you will want to explore the Grand Forest.  The trails are extensive, groomed and fun.  There are several parking spots.Exploring the Grand Forest is a great way to spend a morning or afternoon. Nearby is Bainbridge Gardens.  A field trip in and of itself, this is our biggest nursery and a great place to have lunch at The New Rose Cafe.  There is also a fun gift shop.

Some other must see places:

If you happen to be here on a Tuesday, please go to Hey Day Farm to have Dinner. You can eat on a real, working farm and have some of the most fantastic food on the island.  They do not take reservations, so you need to arrive at 4:30 to try and get a 5:00 seating, but I think it is worth it, especially in the summer.  Be prepared for a three hour, multi-course experience, so probably better without kids, but my favorite dinner on the island, hands down.

The Bainbridge Public Library – excellent Children’s Library and story time.

The Aquatic Center – two pools, a spa, water slide and lazy river. Swimming lesson, swim team, master’s program, and water polo teams. Stop by and take a look.

BARN – Bainbridge Artisan Resource Network – new facilities for all kinds of crafting – woodworking, glass blowing, fiber arts, kitchen arts, writing, metal shop.  As of this writing they give tours on Sundays.

On June 23, 2017, in Activities, Community, Moving, Personal, by

This home is such a fun one to tour.  A welcome surprise to find new finishes on a quiet, established street in Winslow.  This home has undergone an amazing transformation; new entertaining kitchen, new baths and new hardwood flooring are just the beginning.  And it is all on one level, and walkable to all the great things in Winslow.  Come see for yourself on Saturday from 1-4pm instead of Sunday as Sunday is Mother’s Day ;)

1002 Nakata Ave NW on Bainbridge Island Liste by Jen Pells Windermere Bainbridge

1002 Nakata Ave NW on Bainbridge Island.

1002 Nakata Ave NW on Bainbridge Island listed by Jen Pells of Windermere

The great room showing new wood floors and custom propane fireplace.

1002 Nakata Ave NW on Bainbridge Island listed by Jen Pells of Windermere

Amazing entertaining kitchen with quartz counters, stainless steel appliances and quality fixtures.

1002 Nakata Ave NW on Bainbridge Island listed by Jen Pells of Windermere

Great coffee bar or cocktail bar in the large kitchen.

1002 Nakata Ave NW listed by Jen Pells of Windermere Bainbridge

Master bedroom suite has a full spa-like bathroom and extra large den; a great space for a private office or sunny exercise room.

1002 Nakata Ave NW on Bainbridge Island listed by Jen Pells of Windermere

Spa like master bathroom with double sinks and large custom tile shower.

1002 Nakata Ave NW on Bainbridge Island listed by Jen Pells of Windermere

Private, fenced backyard with mature and colorful plantings.

Details about the home:

  • 3 bedrooms with a den off of the master suite
  • 2 bathrooms
  • 1,866 square feet all on one level and vaulted throughout
  • .23 of an acre
  • Large, entertaining kitchen
  • Complete cosmetic remodel of home – including new window package and exterior doors
  • Clean lines with high end modern finishes and fixtures
  • Mature landscaping in private, fenced backyard
  • Walkable to Winslow and no HOA dues (plus you have a fenced yard and garage)
  • $748,000 asking price

Impressive modern remodel of this one-level, open-floorplan home tucked away on a quiet street in the heart of Winslow. Vaulted ceilings and clerestory windows highlight the new entertaining kitchen with quality cabinetry, stainless steel appliances and quartz counters. Great room with a custom propane fireplace and wood floors opens to a private backyard with colorful, mature landscaping. Spa-like finishes in new baths. New window package and paint. Close to shops, pool, library, schools, parks and ferry.

Click here to see the full Windermere listing detail.

Visit this home’s dedicated website here.

On May 12, 2017, in Homes, Listing, Neighborhoods, Open Houses, by

Getting Warmer

Bainbridge Island Real Estate Market 2017Winter Dormancy

In many ways, the first quarter of 2017 reflected the past two years of the Bainbridge Island real estate market and, for that matter, the markets of most of the neighborhoods around us. Seasonably low inventories limit buyers’ choices early in every year. Meanwhile, inclement weather (which we believe had a greater than normal influence this year) tends to dampen the enthusiasm of sellers getting homes ready as well as buyers who would rather stay in than venture out to go look at properties. Finally, there’s a perception that the market doesn’t really “begin” until spring. These factors all conspire year after year to make the first quarter the quietest.

A Snapshot of Activity

Looking back to 2016, there were 72 residential transactions (defined as both homes and condominiums) in the first quarter, compared to 129 in the second quarter, 156 in the third and even 117 in the fourth (also perceived as a slow quarter). So we were prepared for the “slow time” this year. We hoped for more inventory because we knew there was demand. As it turned out, in spite of the weather, we got a little bit of what we wanted. We had 83 residential home and condominium sales in the first quarter of 2017, up 15% from last year’s 72. It should not be a surprise that our active inventory (homes not under contract) was up 29% from last year when measured on February 2nd. In a sellers’ market, inventory is the fuel that pushes the machine (as opposed to buyers being the fuel in a market they control). But there’s a footnote to these numbers: the condominium market had 27 sales – the best first quarter we’ve had since 2007 – and condominium sales were up 68.8% over last year’s first quarter figures. If we set aside the increase in condominium sales, our first quarter sales were essentially flat.

Perception Versus RealityBainbridge Island Real Estate Market 2017

The media has painted a pretty rosy picture of our market for sellers: just put up a for-sale sign, set any price you want and wait for multiple offers to roll in! In reality, while a strong market can make it easier to sell a home, there are certain goals that need to be in a seller’s mind regardless of the market.

The first is to sell the home within an acceptable timeframe. On the chart below, you’ll see the “active” inventory (homes that haven’t sold) is higher than it’s been since 2013. Also, even if you have an interested buyer, it doesn’t necessarily mean that buyer will end up purchasing the home. This quarter, there were 16 “failed sales” or homes that fell out of contract, down from 37 last year. Sales fail for all sorts of reasons: buyer’s remorse, which can come from price; realization of property condition; and reality checks are the most common. Also, getting the home sold in an acceptable timeframe is important to most sellers. In this past quarter, the average days on market was 71, up 22% from 2016! Yes, some homes sell right away, but they are usually the exception.

The second goal is to maximize the net yield to the seller. Condition, disclosures and presentation all affect buyer perception and price consideration. Buyers are smarter than ever, especially on Bainbridge. They usually conduct their own market research online and on foot and are often represented by professional agents. Now, as always, we need inventory for buyers to make choices. They will not just buy anything at any price, and their price ceilings are dictated by their perception of value. It’s true there are some multiple offers, but only 29% of homes sold in the first quarter went for over asking price (which may be fewer than some people would think) and the percentage of the overage was a scant ~3%. The boom of 2007 was not that long ago and most buyers (and their agents) clearly remember the risks of overpaying.

Bainbridge Island Real Estate Market 2017 Jen Pells

Closing Thoughts

Yes we’re in a sellers’ market, and yes there are multiple offers, and yes prices are rising. But Bainbridge is not Seattle; our market is smaller, less active and has a smaller (and, frankly, a bit smarter) buyer pool. To gain maximum benefit from this market, sellers should keep all this in mind (which is what professional real estate agents do). It’s also important to consider the buyer’s perspective, where there is another labyrinth to negotiate. About 40% of Bainbridge sellers end up on the other side of the table when they later become Bainbridge buyers, so they eventually experience the flip side of our market. Working with an experienced professional will help you achieve the best result and understand the many nuances, whichever role you occupy in the Island real estate market. So let’s dive in together into this busy season. It’s going to be an exciting ride.

Happy to present my newest listing in Winslow built by one of my favorite local builders, Jefferson Fine Home Builders.  Only two years young, this home, built in 2015, has clean lines, modern style and one level of living.  Quality construction in the heart of Winslow, walking distance to everything convenient, especially the ferry. The home is open Sunday (5/7) from 1-4pm or contact me for a private showing.

653 Horizon View Place NW listed by Jen Pells Windermere Bainbridge

653 Horizon View Place NW on Bainbridge Island.


Quality Construction by Jefferson Fine Home Builders.

Quality Construction by Jefferson Fine Home Builders.

Gracious entry with slate tile and vaulted ceilings.

Gracious entry with slate tile and vaulted ceilings.


A bright white chef's kitchen. Perfect for entertaining.

A bright white chef’s kitchen. Perfect for entertaining.

A view from the kitchen into the great room.

A view from the kitchen into the great room.

Plenty of run around space on this .30 acre fenced lot. A gate in the fence has easy access to Rotary Park, your neighbor.

Plenty of run around space on this .30 acre fenced lot. A gate in the fence has easy access to Rotary Park, your neighbor.

Details about the home:

  • Built new in 2015
  • Three Bedrooms
  • 2.5 bathrooms
  • 2,435 square feet all on one level
  • .30 acre lot directly adjacent to Rotary Park – gate for easy access
  • Clean lines and modern finishes
  • Great room concept
  • Mature Landscaping
  • 2 car garage with loads of storage under the house and RV parking
  • $859,000 asking price

Better than new! An urban oasis with easy access to downtown Winslow, the Seattle Ferry and schools. Quality construction by Jefferson Fine Home Builders. Smart one level floor plan has clean lines and impressive modern finishes including hardwoods, granite counters, SS kitchen, slate entry, ribbon fireplace, convenient built-ins, and modern light fixtures. Excellent western exposure from your back deck and adjacent to Rotary Park and popular Owen’s Playground.  Mature landscaping and privacy fencing round out the package.

Visit this home’s dedicated website here.

For more details about the home visit the Windermere Listing here.



It is officially the spring listing season!  Happy to share my latest listing in the convenient Ferncliff Area of Bainbridge.  Only 1/2 a mile to the ferry terminal in an established neighborhood with larger lots. Excellent price point at $589,000. The home is open today, Thursday 4/27/17 from 10am to 1pm and again Sunday (4/30) from 1-4pm.

651 Eagle Cliff Rd NE listed by Jen Pells Windermere Bainbridge

Main, front view of the home.

651 Eagle Cliff Rd NE listed by Jen Pells Windermere Bainbridge

Great room with harwood floors, wood fireplace and slider to the backyard and deck.

651 Eagle Cliff Rd NE listed by Jen Pells Windermere Bainbridge

Open kitchen with an eat-in bar.

651 Eagle Cliff Rd NE listed by Jen Pells Windermere Bainbridge

Sitting area and office space in the master suite.

651 Eagle Cliff Rd NE listed by Jen Pells Windermere Bainbridge

Multi-level decks and backyard.

651 Eagle Cliff Rd NE listed by Jen Pells Windermere Bainbridge

Large neighborhood common area/playspace is directly adjacent to this lot, giving this lot an extra-large feel.

Details about the home:

Comfortable spacious home and lot just over half a mile to the ferry. Your commute and daily errands will be a breeze living in Winslow. Updated four bedroom home has an open kitchen, great room on the main and a large family room in the bright daylight basement. Oversized master suite has space for a sitting area or office. Large back deck. This lot also enjoys extra elbow room backing up to the neighborhood’s open space of sunny green grass – this means no homes directly behind you.

  • Four bedrooms
  • 2.75 baths
  • 2,687 square feet
  • .26 of an acre and lot is adjacent to neighborhood common area for the feel of an extra-large lot
  • Updates and add-ons over the years
  • Great room concept upstairs
  • Family room and 4th bedroom downstairs
  • $589,000 asking price

For more information visit the full listing here.