A Cedar-Shingled Type of Year

The 2020 market is warming up after the hustle and bustle of the holidays and our most recent “snowstorm.” As we get closer to February, it is always my cue to compose one of my favorite blog posts, the list of my top 10 homes on the island for 2019. Last year 376 homes sold on the island – down a bit from the busy 398 we saw sell in 2018. One thing that quickly surfaced on this list was days on market and sales price versus list price.  Many of my recent lists have homes with short days on market and price escalations.  This list shows many homes with a month or two of market time and a lesser sales price.  This illustrates what I found to be true working day in and day out in the market.  Last year sellers wanted to test/try-out prices.  2018 was so robust and it was fresh in seller’s minds.  But, the market was a touch cooler and the list illustrates this.  We expect things to continue to head towards an even cooler, more balanced market. Although sellers are still very much in the driver’s seat at this moment.

This is my 12th annual list.  What?!  (See all of my lists here) And again, these are homes that personally resonated with me when I toured them.  Last year, while I was giving clients a tour and highlighting key houses we drove by my client pointed out to me that I really liked cedar-shingled homes.  Huh?  I actually had not overtly realized that. After she said that I did begin to see them in my marketing materials and on my top ten lists. So, right on cue, we actually start the list with this handsome cedar-shingled home for #10.

Island Ave on Bainbridge Island sold in 2019

#10 | 4629 Island Ave NE on Bainbridge Island sold in 2019.


Original List Price $885,000

Sale Price $930,000

Days on Market – 2

Date Sold 5/30/2019

Click here for more photos and the full listing detail.

For #10 we start on the popular south end of the island on a beautiful piece of property on Island Avenue. This charming home and property were a fun package.  The historic home was built in 1914 with lots of warm wood and cozy spaces.  I loved the south facing deck and bucolic feel of the shy-acre lot.  The home also had a sweet guest studio over the garage.  It was no surprise this very well-priced home and property saw a quick collection of multiple buyers and in just two days sold for almost $50K over the asking price in the busy selling month of May.

Sumanee Lane on Bainbridge Island sold in 2019

#9 | 8326 NE Sumanee Place on Bainbridge Island sold in 2019.


Original List Price $1,348,000

Sale Price $1,298,000

Days on Market – 47

Date Sold 10/1/2019

Click here for more photos and the full listing detail.

For #9 we head north to Hidden Cove Estates and Sumanee Place. This handsome home and large property were a unique package for this neighborhood.  The home had been impressively updated by Jefferson Fine Home Builders with a modern kitchen and spa-like master bath.  The lot for this home was larger than most in the neighborhood at 1.67 acres and included an impressive sport court, fire pit area and lots of room to roam.  Most of all, I liked the modern vibe the owners and builders were able to pull out of this originally, more traditional home.  Well done!  And after a month and a half on the market the sellers were able to command almost $1.3M for their home.  A record sales price for the original phase of Hidden Cove Estates. And I predict we may see that number surpassed this year.

Hansen Road on Bainbridge Island sold in 2019

#8 | 8000 Hansen Road NE on Bainbridge Island sold in 2019.


Original List Price $1,300,000

Sale Price $1,250,000

Days on Market – 24

Date Sold 6/26/2019

Click here for more photos and the full listing detail.

For #8 we move to mid-island and Hansen Road.  This home caught my eye for its very serene, neutral color palette and because most of the home is all on one level.  I liked the feel of the separate wings, liked the impressive workshop space and the flat acreage that surrounded the home.  This is one the I was surprised to see linger from 24 days, but in May/June it had a lot of similar competition and the price was a tad high as well.  So, in the end, we did see this one close $50k under asking at the end of June.

Irving Lane on Bainbridge Island sold in 2019

#7 | 8174 Irving Lane NE on Bainbridge Island sold in 2019.


Original List Price $1,218,000

Sale Price $1,125,000

Days on Market – 44

Date Sold 10/11/2019

Click here for more photos and the full listing detail.

For #7 we move into Wing Point for Irving Lane and another classic cedar-shingled home.  I really loved the chef’s kitchen in this home.  I also loved the location in Wing Point, being central and close to Winslow and the ferry. The home has a European flair and I loved that the appliances and finishes were not cookie-cutter.  The owners had custom built this home with quality builder Spellman Construction and their finer, more unique choices were fun to see.

3180 Crystal Springs Dr NE sold on Bainbridge Island

#6 | 3180 Crystal Springs Dr NE sold on Bainbridge Island in 2019.


Original List Price $1,598,000

Sale Price $1,544,000

Days on Market – 18

Date Sold 11/12/2019

Click here for more photos and the full listing detail.

For #6 we go back down south to sunny Crystal Springs. This larger home and guest house also had a rare water-side deck. Nicely updated throughout with vaulted ceilings and tall windows, this waterfront-package was a nice value, especially for it’s desirable Crystal Springs location. Having a listing down here this year too, I realized I really, really love this area and the proximity to Lynwood Center, Pleasant Beach Village and the trails of Fort Ward Park and Gazzam Lake.  And the Crystal Springs, Baker Hill, Point White Loop are a popular walking/jogging destination in and of itself. I know the new owners from California are really going to love the sun they will soak up  in their new home.

11711 Two Creeks Road NE on Bainbridge Island sold in 2019

#5 | 11711 Two Creeks Road NE on Bainbridge Island sold in 2019.


Original List Price $1,445,000

Sale Price $1,545,000

Days on Market – 6

Date Sold 4/12/2019

Click here for more photos and the full listing detail.

For #5 we go back mid-island to Two Creeks Road. This listing came on early in the selling season and caught the eye of many anxious buyers.  The popular, fun modern farmhouse style of this home plus a sweet guest cottage on the water was more than appealing.  This waterfront is bay-front, which does mud at low tide, but the land/acreage is large, flat and sunny.  This property/package checked many boxes for a lot of buyers.  And for that reason, I was not surprised to see the multiple offers and hearty $100K price escalation.

9368 NE Endicott Street on Bainbridge Island sold in 2019

#4 | 9368 NE Endicott Street on Bainbridge Island sold in 2019.


Original List Price $1,750,000

Sale Price $1,800,000

Days on Market – 1

Date Sold 4/5/2019

Click here for more photos and the full listing detail.

For #4 we go north to the popular Port Madison Neighborhood.  This was my first listing of the year and I had helped my buyers purchase this brand new view home from the builder back in 2013.  I do love a Dutch Colonial home and this pretty one is perched high atop Port Madison to take advantage of the water views.  With this home you have a wonderful and rare combination of a newer home built within an older, developed, well-loved neighborhood.  My sellers really made this house a home during their ownership.  They did amazing landscape and hardscape work and dialed in all of the finishes in the home plus added a hot tub, extra decking and an amazing fenced garden area.  I really love that this home has five outdoor deck/patio spaces.  A wonderful home that sold on the first day for $50K over asking price.

6900 NE Dolphin Drive sold on Bainbridge Island in 2019

#3 | 6900 NE Dolphin Drive sold on Bainbridge Island in 2019.


Original List Price $1,348,000

Sale Price $1,348,000

Days on Market – 7

Date Sold 6/11/2019

Click here for more photos and the full listing detail.

For #3 we go farther north to Dolphin Drive. I think this home best defines my favorite architectural style.  Modern style, clean lines  – really a true Northwest Contemporary home. Architecturally designed and built, this home is sited facing south on lovely flat acreage and has its own guest cottage.  Inside the main home the spaces are refined and practical.  Lovely but not fussy or complicated. This home had a great vibe and lots of soul. As a gardener, I especially loved the sunny two acres.  Had this home been central or on the south end I certainly would have made a play for it.  This custom home with a guest cottage/legal ADU on over two acres at $1,348,000 speaks to the values you can find on the north end of the island where traffic and north end highway access can be tricky. Location, location.

3853 Pleasant Beach Drive NE on Bainbridge Island sold in 2019

#2 | 3853 Pleasant Beach Drive NE on Bainbridge Island sold in 2019.


Original List Price $3,678,000

Sale Price $3,678,000

Days on Market – 6

Date Sold 11/22/2019

Click here for more photos and the full listing detail.

For #2 we head south to the island’s coveted Gold Coast – Pleasant Beach – for this low bank waterfront home.  When my family first explored the island back in 2004, we rented a house a few doors down from this home.  It makes sense that we fell head over heels for the island after experiencing this special spot.  This home and guest home were designed by local architect Roger Katz and built by local builder Jim Hobbs in 2012.  A dream team that really thinks things through and spares no expense.  A private low-bank waterfront acre facing south with a home built in the classic/traditional, timeless style that appeals to so many did catch the attention of those buyers who could afford the over $3M price-tag.  This one was a fun one to see simply because homes on this drive rarely come up. Roger Katz got many things right on this one, like the kitchen and family room that soak out the sun and views and the private guest cottage that is a special home in and of itself. No surprise that even at this higher price point, this home sold for full price in six days, even at the very end of the selling season in October.

South Beach Drive on Bainbridge Island sold in 2019

#1 | 9515 NE South Beach Drive on Bainbridge Island sold in 2019.


Original List Price $3,498,000

Sale Price $3,600,000

Days on Market – 5

Date Sold 6/5/2019

Click here for more photos and the full listing detail.

For #1 we go even farther south to the sunniest part of the island  – South Beach. This was my Mother’s Day Weekend listing for this year.  My sellers wanted their gardens to be in full bloom and the flowers popped open the week before Mother’s Day.  I sold this home to my clients (off market) in 2016 and it was built by local fine home builder Jerry Reese Construction in 2008.  Sitting on over half an acre of low bank southwest facing waterfront, this home is known locally as the “fish house” because the builder added cut-outs of fish under the eaves that cast shadows on the home.  A very cool, hard to notice feature, unless you stop and look. And since this one is so pretty, many people did stop and look.  The kitchen in this home is essentially THE kitchen to end all kitchens.  Kind of like, you had me at the kitchen.  The media room, divine master suite, and guest house are not bad either.  Hands-down, this guest house really is the nicest guest house I have seen on the island.  I would be more than just content to live in the guest house.  So, on Mother’s Day weekend last year more than one person flew in to see this special home and it sold after only six days on the market for more than $100,000 over asking price.

Touring homes is a fun part of my job and I consider it a true privilege to take a peek inside so many cool homes. To get a feel for the homes I personally enjoy touring and see all twelve of my top ten lists in one place, click here.  This is a great way to get an ideal for the beautiful and unique homes on our island.

I am anxious to see how the big 2020 year unfolds and  I can’t wait to seem more unique homes.  And of course lots and lots of charming cedar-shingled homes too.   I look forward to seeing you out there.

Listing photos courtesy of NWMLS.






Grateful to have worked with such amazing people in 2019 and wrap up the year with 31 total sales. Looking forward to a fun and fast-paced 2020!

Jen Pells' 2019 Sales collage for Bainbridge Island

On January 14, 2020, in Uncategorized, by

Summer is over, over.  It is raining.  The holidays are coming.  We are very seasonal here on Bainbridge Island with our real estate market and our busy listing season is April – August.  When I sold real estate back in California the listing season was less dramatic, sales happened pretty consistently year round. Here, in Washington, we are more affected by the weather. We are heading into that slower listing season right about now. Our busy season bled into fall this year more than it ever has in my 12 years in the business here.  Right now we have about 80 homes on the market.  In January, that number may get down to around 50. I have seen it in the 30’s before.  In our small niche market, a handful of good listing makes a big difference.  Which is why listing in the winter can be very good for sellers.  Some of my favorite homes on the island have come on the market in fall and winter. They are always such a fun surprise.

In the fall I get a bit of time to reflect on the past busy season.  What worked?  What could be improved?  How do I want my business to continue to evolve?  I look at where my clients are coming from and where they are going.  Below is a grid of my 2019 summer sales, back when the sky was indeed blue.

Homes sold by Jen Pells real Estate Summer 2019

Fun facts about my summer sales:

Total number of sales from Memorial Day through Labor Day – 18

Highest priced sale – $3.6M for a 5,000 square foot waterfront home on South Beach

Most affordable sale – $435,000 for a one bedroom condo at Harbor Square

Number of repeat clients – 8

Number of related clients in the grid above – 4

Number of sellers represented – 12

Number of buyers represented  – 6

Number of clients who moved from one house to another house on Island – 7

Number of sales that represented Newcomers to the island – 5

Number of sales that were multiple offers – 7

Shortest days on market for sales above  – 2!

Longest days on market for sales above  – 23

Things move quickly in the prime selling season and I worked some long days in the summer making sure my clients were where they needed to be before their next chapter started. Good thing it stays light until 10pm here in the summer.

The market is still moving at a nice pace, but I am grateful for pace that is a touch slower so I have a little more time to breath and recharge and give a little extra time and attention to my active fall and winter clients.

If you’d like to talk more about the market, give me a call.

To see my complete sales portfolio, click here.

Things, they are shifting . . . a bit.  We are still in a seller’s market and sales are brisk and sellers are happy and buyers are a bit more happy because they are not ALWAYS in multiple offer situations.  Take a closer look at the KITSAP numbers in the GARDNER REPORT below.  Click on each page to see a blown up version. 

Daily, at the gym and the grocery store, people want to know about the market.  We are a small, niche market and even those not in it daily can feel the slight change happening.

The largest shift I am feeling right now is that many, many, empty-nesters in the larger homes on an acre-plus have listed their homes this year. I thought we would see more of that last year but this year those homes really arrived on the market and the $1.1-$1.3M range of the market is feeling the “flood” of listings.

As of today we have 116 homes on the BAINBRIDGE ISLAND market

21 are between $1.1-$1.3M

76 are above $1M

Only 26 are below $800K and several of those are what many of us consider townhomes

Buyers have options in all price ranges and when they do, they are choosy and specific. That is a refreshing shift. When I have my buyer’s agent hat on it is a fun day. I love that buyers have 5-8 great options to consider and can make an under-asking offer.  When I have my seller’s agent hat on I say, prepare, prepare, prepare and get ahead of the pack.

All in all, it is about strategy and timing. We are a very-seasonal market here and our end-of-summer slow down is beginning too. How can that work for you as a buyer or seller?  We all have our own specific ways of getting our clients to closing day.  I am having a fun, busy summer, with buyers and sellers.  If you are curious about how this current market can work for you, let’s chat.

Jen Pells Real Estate Bainbridge Island

Jen Pells Real Estate Bainbridge Island

Jen Pells Real Estate Bainbridge Island

Jen Pells Real Estate Bainbridge Island


Bainbridge Island Homes for Sale - Jen Pells Real Estate

Checking the Thermometer

No, Chicken Little, the sky is not falling. It has just shifted from clouds skittering past to a more mellow and peaceful sky. Every day, we hear news about the cooling real estate market but it’s important to consider all the factors that go into those reports. Yes, our market has chilled slightly from its previously overheated state (although we never reached the same sizzle as the Seattle market) and has settled into what might be described as a strong normal market. The business section also contains reports of ongoing job growth in the Seattle area, especially in the well-paid tech industries. Concurrently, when Seattle’s transportation woes and other urban issues are taken into consideration, the demand for Bainbridge homes, especially for families, will likely continue for the foreseeable future.

Crunching the Numbers

On the whole, most indexes show data that support a steady market in the coming months. If we isolate the third quarter and look at sales, the number of homes sold only dropped 4.4% from 2017 (137 in 2017 and 131 in 2018). In that same period of time, the median price of homes sold actually went up from $875K to $912K – a 4.2% increase. If we compare the median price of homes sold during the third quarter, they are up 8.8% from the beginning of the year. Additionally, the Cumulative Days on Market (the average time it takes to sell a home) dropped in the third quarter of this year compared to 2017 (44 in 2018 vs. 47 in 2017). The inventory and pending numbers are where elements of the cooldown show themselves. Inventory is actually down in both total inventory and active (total less pending sales), which is contrary to what people are hearing. Pending sales (homes under contract) are weaker at 40 compared to 57 at the same time last year.

Of all the numbers we examine, this 29.8% drop is the one that most directly supports the slowdown assessment. That being said, when we look at all the data at once, we can conclude that the market is pretty darn healthy and strong. Maybe not as feverish as last year, but it’s still a great time to be selling or buying on Bainbridge Island.

Bainbridge Island Homes for Sale - Jen Pells Real Estate

Condominiums and LandBainbridge Island Homes for Sale - Jen Pells Real Estate

The condominium market has softened compared to 2017, with 73 units sold compared to last year’s 89. There seem to be two parts to the condo market: the affordable (less than $500K) and the higher end, which usually includes a good view. The affordable is actually up from last year, with 64 sold versus 45 in 2017. The drop in this segment’s higher end appears attributable to a lack of supply rather than a softness in the market.

Land is also lagging a bit behind 2017. We’ve had 24 sales so far this year compared to 29 in 2017. Buying land with the intention of building is not for the faint of heart these days. Good builders are busy and in short supply and construction prices are still rising. The new zoning rules have also added an element of uncertainty.

Taking Everything into Consideration

It is true that we’re not seeing as many multiple offers as we did last year. Prices have risen but not at the frenzied pace of last year (over 18% from the beginning of 2017 to the end of the 2018 third quarter). Our rental market has also calmed down. Business in our Kitsap County neighbors, Kingston and Poulsbo, is also feeling healthy and strong and they are also benefiting from Seattle’s growth. Buyers do not seem to be particularly concerned with rising interest rates (which, after all, are still quite low), which helps boost their confidence. As we enter the fourth quarter, there are many opportunities for both buyers and sellers. Sellers benefit from the lower inventory (which means less competition) and the typically slower pace of the end-of-the-year market makes sellers view serious buyers with more attention because there simply aren’t as many buyers shopping this time of year.

Bainbridge Island Homes for Sale - Jen Pells Real EstateStaying Nimble

Whenever the market shifts, it’s wise to ensure your strategies have adapted to it. As we tilt toward normalcy, there will be more competition for buyers that sellers need to accommodate. Presentation, realistic pricing and sound advice when offers do arrive are as important as ever. Skillful real estate brokers prove their value in helping both buyers and sellers match their approaches to the existing market. We here for you, wherever you are in your real estate journey.

All in all, life and real estate are good on the island we call home. We wish you health and happiness as we head into the holiday season.

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