Grateful. Humble. Excited.

2017 is in the books.  And 2018 is already in the works.  2018 is going to be another busy year.  I am so grateful for the 30 plus islanders who trusted me with their home purchases or home sales.  Or both.  It was a fun and action-packed year working with both repeat clients making moves around the area and helping even more newcomers discover and settle into our amazing island. I am humbled and thankful for the clients who put their trust in me to help them navigate this complex, completive market. I am energized and excited to see what 2018 has in store.

Stay tuned for next blog post about my Top Ten Favorite Homes of 2017. There is one home I still can’t get out of my head . . .

Traditional Polar Bear Plunge at Lytle Beach

Polar Bear Plunge on Bainbridge Island.

Polar Bear Plunge on Bainbridge Island.

Another very Bainbridge tradition.  Make sure you don’t party too hard on New Year’s Eve so you can make it to the Polar Bear Plunge on New Year’s Day.  No need to sign up, just show up a little bit before noon on January 1st, 2018 at Lytle Beach with a swimsuit, a towel, and enough nerve to jump in the very cool Puget Sound waters. Every year a local takes charge and blows a horn to signal the start of the plunge. Parking can be tight and tricky, so I’d suggest arriving around 11:30.  Some folks come earlier and make a bonfire.  Fingers crossed for another sunny one!

What: Bainbridge Island New Year’s Day Polar Bear Plunge

Where: Lytle Beach on the south end of Bainbridge Island

When: Noon on January 1st

 

On December 29, 2017, in Activities, Community, Parks, by

7349 Madrona Drive NE is a unique in-town package in the popular Wing Point Neighborhood.  Right now, on the island, it is hard to find a home for sale that is close to the ferry and not cookie-cutter.  This home is anything put predictable or ordinary. Custom built by Bob Grimm of ID Construction, this property offers a 2588 sq ft main home and a 704 sq ft guest cottage on a lovely, landscaped, flat lot.  Only 1.5 miles to the ferry, this Wing Point property on .39 of an acre offers elbow room from your neighbors, but incredible proximity to the ferry, Winslow, and schools.

Open Houses Scheduled for:

Thurs., November 30th from 10am to 1pm & Sun., December 3rd from 1pm to 4pm

7349 Madrona Dr NE on Bainbridge Island listed by Jen Pells Real Estate

7349 Madrona Dr NE on Bainbridge Island.

7349 Madrona Dr NE on Bainbridge Island listed by Jen Pells Real Estate

The gracious entry way/den area makes an immediate impression with stunning woodwork.

7349 Madrona Dr NE on Bainbridge Island listed by Jen Pells Real Estate

The open concept kitchen has been recently updated with quartz counters, new appliances, subway backsplash, shiplap siding and new fixtures.

7349 Madrona Dr NE on Bainbridge Island listed by Jen Pells Real Estate

The dining area has stylish light fixtures that set off the wood beams and the south facing windows let in great afternoon light.

7349 Madrona Dr NE on Bainbridge Island listed by Jen Pells Real Estate

The striking master bedroom has interesting angles, vaulted ceilings, custom paint, a skylight with shutters, and built in fir dressers.

7349 Madrona Dr NE on Bainbridge Island listed by Jen Pells Real Estate

The formal living room has walls of windows and just off the entry it is a great place to greet your guests.

7349 Madrona Dr NE on Bainbridge Island listed by Jen Pells Real Estate

The two story guest cottage sits at the back of the property and feels like it is on a separate lot.

7349 Madrona Dr NE on Bainbridge Island listed by Jen Pells Real Estate

The quaint guest cottage is 704 sq ft, has a full kitchen, 3/4 bath, laundry and large bedroom.

Details about the home:

  • 2588 sq ft main home and 704 sq ft main cottage
  • Main home is 3 bedrooms and 2.5 baths
  • Bedroom and bathroom on the main floor
  • Updated kitchen and bathrooms
  • Guest cottage has a full kitchen, 3/4 bath, laundry and bedroom
  • .39, flat, landscaped lot
  • One car garage with finished studio and half bath
  • Newer roof and exterior paint
  • 1.5 miles to the Seattle Ferry
  • Offered at $995,000

Storybook charm on desirable street in coveted Wing Point. A rare package of a custom main home (2588 sq ft) and a quaint guest cottage (704 sq ft) on a lovely, flat landscaped lot. The main home has been meticulously updated and professionally designed with custom lighting, quartz countertops and heated marble floors. The comfortable guest cottage offers a full kitchen, 3/4 bath and laundry. Your guests won’t want to leave. The finished garage studio could be a gym, music room, yoga studio, or office. Easy access to the ferry and Winslow.

Click here to see the full Windermere listing detail.

Click here to visit this home’s dedicated website.

On November 30, 2017, in Home Tours, Homes, Listing, Neighborhoods, Open Houses, by

LEAVES FALL; MARKETS RISE

Bainbridge Real Estate MarketThe Big Picture

In order to paint an accurate portrait of the Bainbridge Island real estate market during this autumn season, it’s important to put it in the context of the broader regional economy. Through that lens, things are looking very good. Estimates for September 2016 through September 2017 indicate an employment increase of 76,100 in Washington. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the private sector added 61,400 jobs while the public sector gained an estimated 14,700 jobs over the year. Windermere Chief Economist Matthew Gardner backs that up in his Third Quarter Report, writing, “I maintain my belief that the Washington State economy will continue to outperform the U.S. as a whole. Given such a strong expansion, we should also expect solid income growth across Western Washington.”

The Seattle job market continues to be a huge draw for people moving here from across the country and around the world. As the number of residents in the Puget Sound area rises, Bainbridge Island has been and continues to be a viable and attractive residential option. The desirable amenities are obvious: from the rural feel to the vibrant community to the relative ease of a 35-minute commute by ferry versus an hour and a half by vehicle in the Seattle Metro area – just to name a few.

Another factor that affects our market is buyer fatigue. We’re seeing an increase in island buyers who are fed up – after multiple failed attempts to purchase in Seattle, where they may have competed against dozens of other eager bidders – and choosing to look in our direction for alternatives. This very real and frequent market dynamic contributes to the health of our local market.

Bainbridge Real Estate MarketA Positive Price Report

The third quarter saw continued upward pressure on prices. As the chart below shows, we saw near-double-digit price gains in terms of average and median sales prices over the same period last year. This resulted in a dramatic increase in sales activity in the high-end market with a 34% increase in sales between $1 to $1.5 million and a whopping 85% increase in sales over $1.5 million. (The fact that we’ve begun to list sales that exceed $1.5 million as a separate category is solid evidence of our changing market.)

Our price growth has been consistent over the last several years. The strong population and employment numbers mentioned above help to move the market, but low inventory continues to limit buyer choice. In fact, we had a small decrease in the inventory from the third quarter of 2016 (98 homes on the market) to this year’s third quarter inventory of 92. These data points would suggest continued upward price movement, at least in the short term, that’s complementing a gradual increase in residential sales in recent months.

Keeping Things in CheckBainbridge Real Estate Market

As is true in any transitioning market, we need to look at things from every angle. Even given all the positive signs summarized here, sellers should not assume that they can sell their homes in only a matter of days, in any condition and at whatever high price they set. This simply is not the case. Yes, we are still in a seller’s market, with 2.4 months of limited inventory. However, realistic expectations are critical. While we do still experience multiple-offer scenarios, those have become less prevalent over the course of the year. Instead, we have experienced more price reductions as some sellers were a little aggressive in their initial pricing. It’s important to remember that every house, every neighborhood and every transaction has its own distinct characteristics. An local real estate professional is essential for navigating the current market conditions.

Bainbridge Island Real Estate Market

Finishing Strong

Traditionally, real estate activity tends to slow down in the fourth quarter. Already, this year has been quite different. In only the first few weeks of October, our office has nearly doubled the number of sales compared to this time last year. Open house activity has been robust, indicating an energized pool of buyers just waiting for that perfect home to come along. If these trends continue, we could be in for a very exciting close to an already strong year. Here’s to a healthy and hearty season in all corners of our wonderful island community.

Bainbridge Real Estate Market

School is back in session and we just finished our tenth summer on the island.  Both my girls are in high school this year and yes, what they say is true, time just flies.  It always seems to be a reflective time when another school year starts. Our decade on the rock has really been all that we hoped it would be, and more.  The schools have been top notch, the community small, close and safe, the natural environment lovely and the air clean. As a California native summer is indeed my favorite season, there is no denying that.  I love the sun and this summer was warm (I grew tomatoes this year – yay!). But, the fall season is certainly a close second.  September and October are fabulous months for sunny clear days in Washington. I love fall yard work and the crisp air. Since September and October have this stellar weather there are a lot of fantastic things to do on and around the island as we wrap up summer and say hello to fall. Many not he lost below have been a family tradition for us.  Here are some of my favorite fall events on the island:

Fall Colors on Bainbridge Island

A Taste of Lynwood – Lynwood Center/Pleasant Beach Village – September 16th 11am to 8pm – after a four year hiatus this festival of food and music returns.  The weather report looks good, so wear comfortable shoes and come hungry. There will be two band stages and several food options. Bainbridge Youth Services is even sponsoring a fun run at 9:30am to kick things off, the Baker Hill Challenge.  Click here to see the full band line-ups.

Classes at Bainbridge Gardens – the list is long, but my favorites are Northwest Newcomers on September 16th an 20th and the Fairy Garden Workshop on September 24th.  Classes start at 1pm.  Call to register for the fee based classes 206.842.5888.

Fall Food Festival – At the Farm Kitchen in Poulsbo – September 17th from 12-4pm- off island, but worth the drive.  A free event, but local vendors will be selling food.  See the fabulous Farm Kitchen in full bloom and soak in the warm sun while you enjoy local eats.

The Annual Harvest Fair – Sponsored by Friends of the Farm  – September 24th on the Johnson Farm from 11am to 5pm. This is an all day affair that celebrates local farming. Great food, games and fall sights. Suggested donations $5 kids/$10 adults.

Northwest Newbies Nature Hike at IslandWood – Sunday September 24th from 1-3pm.  Explore fabulous IslandWood with a guide.  Learn about common native species and soak in all the fall colors.  I love climbing the old firetower at IslandWood in the fall.  I am happy to be the sponsor of this event.  If the event is full, join the waitlist, there is a lot going on that day.  $5 admission charge.

Oktoberfest – held in September ;) on the 23rd at the Day Road Industrial Park from 3-9pm.  Enjoy local breweries (a 4,000 square foot beer garden – wow!), sausages, pretzels, wine and bands.

24th Annual Pumpkin Walk Fall on Bainbridge Island– As we look to October you have to think Pumpkin Walk. A trail blazed with carved pumpkins, food and games, what could be better on a dark, fall night.  This is a Bainbridge Gardens tradition and will be held on October 13th and 14th (a little earlier this this year) from 6pm to 8pm.  This is a benefit for the Bainbridge Island Boys and Girls Club.  There is no admission charge.

On September 14, 2017, in Activities, Beyond Bainbridge, Community, Events, Personal, by