1858 Commodore Lane is a rare, in-town package.  Almost half an acre, walk-able to all levels of schools, Winslow and the ferry.  Plus a private, light and bright studio/office.   This quiet cul-de-sac location provides both privacy and convenience. Do you want chickens?  No problem, you have plenty of space here. Room to play soccer or throw a frisbee to your dog? Yes, more than enough run around room here. Come see for your self.  I will be holding it open Thursday, July 20th from 10am-1pm and Sunday, July 23rd from 1pm-4pm.

1858 Commodore Lane on Bainbridge Island.

The kitchen and family room open to the back deck and are also connected to the living room and dining room.

The updated kitchen has newer cabinets and counter tops as well as brand new stainless steel appliances.

The cozy family room has a wood burning stove and two sets of french doors that lead to the back deck and yard.

The light and bright studio is private and you can access it via the garage, front yard or back yard.

Private deck and play space in the backyard.

Details about the home:

  • 3 bedrooms with 350 square foot studio
  • 2.5  bathrooms
  • 2,604 square feet
  • .4 of an acre – one of the largest lots in Commodore
  • Large and open entertaining kitchen with updated cabinets and granite countertops – new stainless steel appliances
  • Wood floors on the main level
  • All bedrooms upstairs
  • Mature landscaping in large yard, with flat lawn space
  • Walkable to Winslow and no HOA dues
  • $738,000 asking price

Traditional in-town home with charming wrap around covered porch on a hard to find, flat .40 acre lot. Mature landscaping and large, level lawn space. Quiet cul-de-sac living and an easy commute to schools, Winslow, parks, and ferry. Comfortable, open floor plan with updated kitchen, new SS appliances, and attractive hardwood floors on the main. Sellers added light, bright studio that could also function as a private office or recreation space. All bedrooms upstairs. Rare in-town package.

Click here to see the full Windermere listing detail.

Click here to visit this home’s website.

On July 20, 2017, in Home Tours, Homes, Listing, Neighborhoods, by

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

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.

This year is starting off a lot like last year.  LOW INVENTORY. I hope inventory shows up and we have a much more balanced market in 2015. For over a year we have been in a seller’s market.  I spent most of last year discussing, strategizing and preparing with my clients.  On both sides, the buyer and seller’s side there are preparations and considerations to help make the market work the best for you.  It was not an easy year.  A market that is so far to one side (seller’s market) indeed makes for certain challenges. But I love what I do and last year I helped a lot of clients begin a new chapter.  Challenges and all, 2014 was a very satisfying year.  I am looking for to 2015.  We are off and running.  Below are some of my favorite homes I toured and thought (sometimes obsessed) about in 2014.

Baker Hill sold by Jen Pells Bainbridge Island Realtor

#10 | Baker Hill Road


Original List Price $620,000

Sale Price $618,000

Days on Market 5

Date Sold 7/31/14

For #10 we start out on the south end of the island on Baker Hill Road. A very cool log home built in 1940 from logs milled on the property.  This home sits on over two acres close to bustling Lynwood Center.  This home feels like a Ralph Lauren ad and its uniqueness brought a lot of showings. Refined finishes inside and lush, professional landscaping outside made this a desirable package that only lasted 5 days on our summer market.  This was a fun one I was privileged to list last year.

Click here for more photos and the full listing detail.

Willa Lane on Bainbridge Island

#9 | Willa Lane


Original List Price $799,000

Sale Price $800,000

Days on Market 2

Date Sold 6/30/14

For #9 we move back towards town to Wing Point.  This home is on Willa Lane, very close to the ferry.  This is one of many new homes off Ferncliff and Wing Point, but unlike many of the others that were spec built, this one was custom.  And you can tell.  A superb floor plan with a vaulted great room, main floor master wing, two more bedrooms on the main floor on the opposite wing, bonus rooms upstairs, even a cat room. In addition to great spaces, the finishes were thoughtful and refined.  You don’t see a copper apron kitchen sink in every home.

Click here for more photos and the full listing detail.

Lightmoor Court on Bainbridge Island sold by Realtor Jen Pells

#8 | Lightmoor Court


Original List Price $659,000

Sale Price $660,000

Days on Market 6

Date Sold 4/15/14

For #8 we stay in town, but move out to a slightly more rural area on the west side of Winslow. This home, on Lightmoor Court, sits on over half an acre in town, which is hard to find. Having been on the local garden tours this home has charming, mature gardens outside and a refined, modern, yet comfortable style inside.  One level living with three bedrooms made this home a hot property with multiple offers.   I was happy to see my buyers become the new happy owners of this home.

Click here for more photos and the full listing detail.

Stetson Place on Bainbridge Island

#7 | Stetson Place


Original List Price $950,000

Sale Price $942,000

Days on Market 77

Date Sold 11/26/14

For #7 we continue to stay in town, but move to the Marina District. This home, on Stetson Place, sits across the street from the water and is easy walking distance to all Winslow has to offer: restaurants, shops, moorage, ferry, etc.  This home is 2800 square feet and also has a 960 square foot guest house and 1500 square foot shop.  A rare package in Winslow, yet alone the Marina District.  This home lingered on the market for 77 days with several buyers waiting in the wings. When one offer came in three more more followed.  We saw that happen more than once last year.

Click here for more photos and the full listing detail.

Eakin Drive sold by Realtor Jen Pells

#6 | Eakin Drive


Original List Price $799,000

Sale Price $843,000

Days on Market 6

Date Sold 9/17/14

For #6 we are still in town. Hmmm, can you tell I like in-town homes? This home is on Eakin Drive on the west side of Winslow in the Midden Point Neighborhood.  Eakin Drive is a wildly popular street.  We had three sales on the street his year and two of them sold the first weekend. The close proximity to Winslow makes it popular, but the homes on the street themselves are charming and classic and they share 200 feet of Eagle Harbor waterfront, which means they have deeded access to water, a private park and small boat storage.  This home also connects to the waterfront trail, so your walk to Winslow is scenic and easy. The home itself has charm inside and out. Pretty woodwork and built-ins, plus a great floorpan for entertaining brought this home multiple offers.  Three buyers stepped up for this one and again, I was happy to see my buyers come out successful.    Right now they are having fun making this house their home.

Click here for more photos and the full listing detail.

South Beach Drive on Bainbridge Island.

#5 | South Beach Drive


Original List Price $1,310,000

Sale Price $1,240,000

Days on Market 196

Date Sold 10/23/14

For #5 we move south to the South Beach Neighborhood.  This home on South Beach Drive impressed me the first time I walked up to the glass front doors.  I love when you can see the view right when you walk in.  I love it even more when you can see it before you walk in.  This home does not grab you from the street, the architecture is understated, but inside it is light and bright, with amazing southwest exposure and interior style that is beachy, yet classic and clean.  The floor plan is functional and perfect for entertaining. And the views! Enjoy Puget Sound and Mt. Rainier drenched in sun. Low bank waterfront goodness. I loved this home all 196 days it was on the market.

Click here for more photos and the full listing detail.

Manzanita Road sold by Bainbridge Island Realtor Jen Pells

#4 | Manzanita Road


Original List Price $1,148,000

Sale Price $1,110,000

Days on Market 6

Date Sold 2/6/14

For #4 we move out of town and head north to the Manzanita area.  This home sits on a sunny acre plus up on prestigious Manzanita Road.  This home underwent a phenomenal remodel by a master builder/woodworker.  The kitchen is straight out of a cooking show and the re-design was the master-mind of local designer Seri Yeckel. She crafted up a fantastic mud-room, main floor master, bonus space over the garage and a huge detached shop/garage.   Phenomenal end product.  My clients were so excited to snatch this home up and they did so in January of last year, before we got into multiple offer craziness.

Click here for more photos and the full listing detail.

Yeomalt Point Drive on Bainbridge Island

#3 | Yeomalt Point Drive


Original List Price $1,549,000

Sale Price $1,550,000

Days on Market 2

Date Sold 12/17/14

For #3 we move to the east side of the island past Wing Point to Yeomalt Point.  This Yeomalt Point Drive home is no bank waterfront with dramatic views of Seattle, Mt. Baker and Mt. Rainier.  No bank waterfront homes rarely come up on this street, especially homes of this quality. This home is newer and was custom built by the previous owners.  The deck is perfectly sited and I loved the not-so-big size of 2400 square feet on two levels. All the spaces you need and nothing more. This is one of my favorite streets and neighborhoods, the buyer was smart to snatch this one up right away.

Click here for more photos and the full listing detail.

Manzanita Drive on Bainbridge Island

#2 | Manzanita Drive


Original List Price $1,585,000

Sale Price $1,560,000

Days on Market 8

Date Sold 8/15/14

For #2 we move back to the northwest side of the island, again to Manzanita Drive. I had a hard time getting this home off my mind.  I love the classic, timeless, northwest style and the stunning views of Puget Sound and the Olympics from this medium-bank home on over a half-acre.  Again, this was an amazing package.  Wonderful outdoor spaces: an out door fireplace, custom patios, dock, buoy, and private approach.  Inside the upstairs master suite took advantage of the views, plus two more bedrooms downstairs and bonus space attached to the garage.  Beautiful west side estate.

Click here for more photos and the full listing detail.

Mill Heights Circle on Bainbridge Island

#1 | Mill Heights Circle


Original List Price $989,000

Sale Price $1,028,500

Days on Market 6

Date Sold 10/20/14

For #1 we move south to the Mill Heights Neighborhood.  This home on Mill Heights Circle is another nice package.  A sunny, acre plus flat lot surrounds this classic, farmhouse style home.  The original owners did a tremendous amount of landscaping and personalization on this home.  In addition to the 3200 square foot home there is a 500 square foot mother-in-law unit over the garage.  The inside of the home and MIL space are classic farm-house style, with a refined edge. I love the exposed beams and car-decking ceilings.  I am a big fan of this floor plan.  The builder, MRJ Constructors, built a few of these homes on the island.  See earlier list – home on Millstone. This home and lot, are by far, my favorite.   This home certainly has all the elements that helped it see multiple offers and close $39k over the asking price.

Click here for more photos and the full listing detail.