Nickel Bros moves a home to Bainbridge Island - Jen Pells RealtorA couple of weeks ago, on a classic, sunny August day, before their September 1st demolition deadline, clients of mine watched from a small boat as their home traveled on a large barge from Lake Washington, through the Ballard Locks, to its new home here on the west side of Bainbridge Island.  Yes, when you really, really want a low bank waterfront home and you can’t find one, well, you can just move one.  That’s what my clients did anyway.  It is indeed easier said than done, but, they are not alone in this house moving business.  Living on an island means barging a home is actually feasible here.  In the almost ten years I have been here, I have seen three homes barged to or around the island.  It is quite the engineering feat. One I was pretty thrilled to witness up close.

But, let me know back up.  My clients had looked for a home in earnest for well over a year. Finally, a low bank waterfront piece of land near Battle Point Park with Olympic Mountain Views and western exposure became the place they wanted to raise their family. But, the lot had no viable home and the land price for the low bank waterfront lot alone did not make building a new custom home feasible for them.   They had already become familiar with Nickel Bros, the go to home barger in the PacificNorthwest, and while we were in escrow on the lot, this nicely sized Craftsman home came up on the Nickel Bros website for sale.  My clients liked the idea of living in an older home and really liked the “recycled” home concept.  If a home is not purchased from Nickel Bros, it is demolished.  My clients felt this home was too special and had too much character to be demolished.  They soon secured it and we spent the next six months purchasing the land (a septic easement had to be created and a well drilled).  My clients then spent the next the summer months doing their site plan and getting the foundation ready for the home.

If you are not familiar with the barging process, know that homes that get moved are purchased for $1 and then the cost comes in the barging and moving of the home itself. I have seen barging costs that range from $60K to $800K, it all depends on the difficulty of the homes and sites.

My clients are thrilled to have their home on their land and will spend the coming months doing an addition that includes a bump out and a full basement. They are working with a builder on the island Ray Stevenson of Jefferson Fine Homebuilders, who has been involved in several other barged home projects.  I can’t wait to see the finished product.


Nickel Bros move a home to Bainbridge Island - Jen Pells Realtor



Nickel Brother Moves a Home to Bainbridge Island - Jen Pells Realtor


Nickel Brother Moves a Home to Bainbridge Island - Jen Pells Realtor


On September 7, 2016, in Homes, Moving, Photos, Real Estate Business, by

Classes at Bainbridge Gardens


Visiting Bainbridge Gardens is an excursion in and of itself.  Acres of garden and landscaping goods, a forest trail, a gift store, a cafe and a playground make it a fun way to get outside.  But, Bainbridge Gardens also offers classes.  This is a great way to learn about a topic you are interested in and also a nice way to meet other Islanders who have or want to have green thumbs. They have classes for adults, kids, Island Newcomers and in the winter time they have an annual wreath making workshop.  Below is a sampling of some of their up and coming July classes.  For more classes and info, click here.

Fairy Garden Workshop

Saturday, July 16th

Janet Gregersen, CPH
Class Fee: $18 per dish garden
Create a miniature fairy garden. Class fee includes hands-on instruction, soil, starting materials, your choice of three starter plants, and fairy dust. Choose your own start time. Make a reservation between 1:00 PM and 3:00 PM to start your garden with personalized instruction. Most gardens take about 30 minutes to complete. As a participant in the class, you will receive 20% off the regular price of the ingredients you use for your fairy garden, including your container, additional plants and miniature accessories. CHILDREN MUST BE ACCOMPANIED BY AN ADULT.

Northwest Newcomers

Saturday, July 23rd at 1:00pm

Jenni McCain, CPH
Class Fee: $8
Wondering what to do or where to start? This popular class offers vital information and inspiration for those new to gardening in the Pacific Northwest or simply for those new to gardening.


On June 29, 2016, in Activities, Community, Events, Restaurant, Shopping, by
4th of July on Bainbridge Island

Fourth of July on Bainbridge Island.

The school year is evaporating as I type. One and a half days remain.  Two half days for high schoolers taking finals.  We are in the last stretch to summer.  Wow, that went by fast.  The memory of the wettest winter on record in Seattle is almost forgotten as our 70 degree friend called summer is arriving.  Yes, we who live here know we live for the glorious summer months in the PNW.  May through October are pretty darn fantastic, in fact.  Don’t spread that information around too far. We already have a shortage of housing inventory.  We sort of want the images of pouring rain they show on Grey’s Anatomy to prevail.  Population control, we call it.

The sun is here (for the most part) for the next few months.  We really like to be outside this time of year. Below are some great options for the Summer of 2016.

Rotary International on Bainbridge Island

Rotary International on Bainbridge Island.

1.  Bainbridge Brewing 4th Anniversary Celebration – July 10th & 11th. Enjoy celebrations both days at the brewery and toast with a Special Edition Anniversary Ale.

2.  Bainbridge Block Party – June 19th.  Downtown Winslow will be taken over by food and music.  Celebrate Father’s Day at a festive block party.

3.  Summer Kick-off Concert at Bloedel Reserve – June 25th.  Sit outside and enjoy live music from two fantastic bands, Ethan J Perry & the Remedy Band and Duke Evers. Pre-purchased tickets required.

4.  Rotary Auction at Woodward Middle School – July 2nd.  A rummage sale like no other.  The sale raises about half a million dollars every year. Drop offs begin June 24th.

Bloedel Reserve on Bainbridge Island

Bloedel Reserve on Bainbridge Island.

5.  3rd on July Street Dance in Downtown Winslow – July 3rd. Rev up for the 4th of July festivities at the downtown street dance.  Vendors, music and the ever popular Beer (and wine) Garden.

6.  4th of July Parade in Downtown Winslow – July 4th.  The quintessential small town parade is the hgighlight of the day. Locals vendors downtown round out the event so you can indeed make it a full day of food, friends and fun.  Finish off the day with fireworks over Eagle Harbor, of course.

7.  Wine on the Rock – July 23rd & 24th. Two days of wine, music and food at each of the seven Bainbridge Island wineries.

8.  Garden Party at Bloedel Reserve – August 4th.  Mingle on the lawn while feasting on hors d’oeuvres from favorite eateries and clinking glasses filled with fine wines.  Pre-purchased tickets required.

9.  LeRoy Bell and His Friends at the Treehouse Café – August 6th.  Treehouse Cafe’ is an excellent spot for live music and good food on the island.  LeRoy Bell is an island favorite and always draws a large, fun crowd. Pre-purchased tickets required.

10.  First Annual Summer Fest at Battle Point Park – August 13th.  A celebration of summer and community at Battle Point Park.  A nice way to wrap up summer. A free event.


On June 14, 2016, in Activities, Community, Events, by
Bainbridge Island with Kids

Allcomers on July 5th at the High School. Races run through August.


Our island is rich with opportunities when it comes to interesting things to do. These ideas are also a great way to meet people if you are an Island Newcomer. Here is a tried and true always updated list to get you started:

Specifically for younger kids

Sports and Activities

Fun and Free

  • Participate in All-Comers on Mondays nights at 6:15 after July 4th through August.  Free running races for all ages at the High School Track.  See my previous post on this event.  Bring a picnic dinner and dine with others on the field.
  • Spend an afternoon at the Bainbridge Island Museum of Art.  In Winslow, right near the ferry.  Admission is free and don’t miss the BIMA Cafe.
  • Go to a Star Party at the Ritchie Observatory at Battle Point Park.
  • Bainbridge Library Story Time – check here for times and ages.  They have a great summer reading program.
  • Pick a park or a trail and get outside. Two of my favorite maps at those links.  I recommend a hike in the Grand Forest.
  • Explore beautiful Bainbridge Gardens, lots to see for free, inside and out.  While you are there you can have lunch or a snack at The New Rose Cafe on site at Bainbridge Gardens.
  • Some local folks have plotted out bike routes along the island and those can be found on Bikely.
  • Find a cool beach to relax or play. Check out the Shoreline Access Guide.
  • Take a tour through Farmer’s Market on Saturdays 9am-1pm in the Town Square at City Hall Park. mid April -October.
  • Plant a garden in your own yard or take advantage of a Community Garden.
  • Enjoy a free Summer Concert an island Park.  Concerts run mid-July  – mid-August, some great bands are planned for this summer.

Updated 5/26/16

Things to do with kids on Bainbridge Island

The Boundy Family Farm on Bainbridge Island. A Blakely Elementary School Field Trip.


On May 26, 2016, in Activities, Community, Moving, by

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