This rare, larger three bedroom townhouse with recent updates is a terrific package. In-town living with modern finishes AND three bedrooms, all for under $450,000.  I will be open Saturday and Sunday to show off this sweet townhome.  When you are in Winslow this weekend, come take a look.  The Bainbridge Island Farmer’s Market is on Saturday!

Open Houses:

Saturday, April 14th from 1-4pm

Sunday, April 15th from 1-4pm

Welcome to Winslow Park Townhomes.

Two level townhome with three larger bedrooms and a one car attached garage.

Fabulous updates in the kitchen, baths and all throughout the home.

Dining area and eat-in kitchen.

Spacious and open living area with cozy wood stove.

New, south facing back deck.

Large master bedroom with walk-in closet.

Plus two more bedrooms.

Gorgeous, updated bathroom with subway tile and quartz counter.

And a community pool.  Summer is right around the corner.

Details about the home:

  • 1,360 square feet
  • 3 bedrooms and 1.5 bathrooms
  • Attached, one car garage
  • Private, south facing back deck on main level
  • Fabulous updates including kitchen, baths, carpet, paint, trim, doors, and fixtures
  • Vaulted ceilings and ceiling fans and updated lighting
  • Community open space and pool
  • Walking distance to Winslow and ferry – in the heart of all the action
  • HOA dues = $517 – no ongoing assessment – many recent complex updates

Light, bright 3 bedroom townhome in the heart of Winslow with easy access to ferry. Thoughtfully remodeled kitchen with new white wood cabinetry, quartz counters, subway tile and ss appliances. Modern updates throughout home include, crisp paint, new doors/trim, light fixtures and carpeting. Updated half bath downstairs and 3 spacious bedrooms up with another large, fully updated bath. Cozy wood fireplace plus a sunny back deck. Private, attached garage. Community pool, open space and rec room.

Click here to see the full Windermere listing details.

 

Celebrating a New Year

Fort Ward on Bainbridge Island by Jen Pells Realtor

A Look Back

As we welcome a new year, we explore some of the dynamics that played out while we marched through the 2017 cal- endar. Our market saw a decline in the number of homes sold between 2013 and the start of 2017, despite healthy buyer demand. In each of those years, we identified lack of inventory as the cause of this phenomenon. One thing will always be true in real estate: Buyers need choices. And in the midst of these several years of limited inventory, buyers learned to become wary. We hadn’t moved far enough past the economically challenging years between 2007 to 2011 for people to feel confident that they wouldn’t get caught in another correction. Many buyers were still not comfortable stretching their budgets to get what they wanted. However, although we once again struggled with inventory in 2017, we also saw a shift in buyer confidence and people were willing to spend more to get what they wanted. The result was an 18% increase in the number of homes sold last year. There were 435 home sales in 2017 – the first time we’ve seen more than 430 sold on the island in any year since 2005’s 442 sales. (The low was 187 in 2008).

Other Factors to Consider

Even with an uptick in sales, we are not experiencing the same craziness as our Seattle neighbors. Our average cumulative days on market (the measure of how quickly homes are selling) was 52, well more than double Seattle Metro’s 20-day average. Our average price increased by a healthy, but not record-breaking, 10.7%, compared to Seattle’s 17%. (The record was set at 26.74% in 1990, followed by 21.5% in 2005.) There were many homes that experienced substantial price reductions and others that failed to sell at the sellers’ desired numbers. But when homes were properly priced and presented, buyers were willing to act when they found the homes that spoke to them, even if it meant spending more than they originally anticipated. This willingness can only come from a place of confidence that the value is there and the investment is sound. We were assisted by strong buyers from Seattle and California, a rising stock market, smooth financing and appraising with rates that have remained “comfortable,” even with a rising prime rate.

Real Estate for Sale on Bainbridge Island Jen Pells RealtorThe View from the “Top”

A prime beneficiary of this strong market was our “upper end.” There was a 44.6% increase in sales of homes over a million dollars and sales doubled for homes over $1.5M (133 total with 52 over $1.5M). Home sales increased 49% in the $800-$1M range. On the flip side, our lower-priced homes became more scarce and sales of homes priced less than $600K decreased 34.7% from last year. This overall shift in the market pushed our median price up more than the average (>13%) and our condominium market was affected by these market forces (more on that in a minute). It also illustrates our trend away from affordability and diversity. We struggled with this in the early- to mid-2000s. But as a result of the 2007-2011 “correction,” we welcomed a more diverse pool of buyers. As our market strengthens, community leaders should be mindful of a tilt toward homogeneity.

Regarding Condos and Land

Our condominium marketplace benefited from these improved conditions in a couple of ways. The number of sales grew more than 21% (from 104 in 2016 to 126 in 2017) and the median price jumped 31% (from $400,750 to $525,000). Even though sharply higher, the median price of $525K was substantially below the 2016 single home median of $838,000. Consequently, we saw more individuals and families coming to the condominium market because they wanted to be on the island but couldn’t afford a house. Condo sales were also helped by the strong upper-end residential market. There are a lot of people who have been waiting on the sidelines for their homes to get to a price point where they felt comfortable selling and downsizing to smaller, low- or no-maintenance hous- ing, i.e. condominiums. Projects like The Grow Community, Residences at Pleasant Beach and The Roost all experienced strong sales last year as they brought condominiums to the market. “Development” is often thought of as a blight to a community, but one needs to re- member that developments often bring products to markets that are not only wanted, but also needed. Desirable communities such as Bainbridge will always experience growth pressure in times of economic strength. And if you cannot expand your supply, the result is ever-increasing prices and stratification. The trick is to develop wisely. Bainbridge has been pretty successful in that arena by concentrat- ing density in development centers (Winslow, Lynwood Center and Rolling Bay). The only sector of our market that struggled last year was raw land. This category was hampered by a lack of good choices, financing difficulties, hurdles at the city level and contractors who are busy and experiencing rapid cost escalations.

Bainbridge Island Real Estate Jen Pells

On the Horizon

It is hard to find any economist predicting a substantial slowdown in our area’s economy or real estate in the near term. That is not to say that there aren’t clouds. The new federal tax law is not beneficial to a higher-end market like ours; financing inter- est and property tax deductions will be more limited. The prime interest rate will undoubtedly rise and even though mortgage rates have been largely insulated from the Fed’s actions, rates will probably go up but stay below 4.5%. Our new Bainbridge Island City Council has already put a moratorium on new construction, including some single family residences. But we hope these factors will only act as “checks” that will keep the market from heating up too much without sapping its strength. In the midst of all this activity, one thing re- mains constant: Bainbridge Island is a great place to live.

Bainbridge Island Housing Market 2017

 

Open this weekend Saturday & Sunday

Home on Bainbridge Island for sale by Jen Pells

Distinctive Hidden Cove Estates home built by Jerry Reese.

Excited to share my new listing in the popular Hidden Cove Estates Neighborhood.  It is open today, Saturday from 2-4pm and tomorrow, Sunday from 1-4pm.  Come by and see me and this fabulous house.

Distinctive home built by quality builder Jerry Reese sits high atop a west-facing shy acre in desirable Hidden Cove Estates. Original owners chose a prime lot in the neighborhood. Warm and inviting, with recent custom upgrades including stainless steel appliances and honed granite. The great room spills out to sunny back deck for easy entertaining and overlooks acres of open space. Four bedrooms all upstairs and the oversized 4th bedroom is over garage with a 3/4 bath-excellent for guests. Easy access to schools, HWY 305, and the ferry. All this and a new heat pump too.

  • 4 bedrooms and 3.5 baths
  • 3,706 square feet
  • .89 private acreage
  • Built in 1997 by Jerry Reese
  • Updated kitchen and baths
  • Excellent guest space
  • New heat pump
  • Offered at $989,000

Windermere Property listed by Jen Pells MLS # 890613

For more information on this home visit HiddenCoveHome.com

Home on Bainbridge Island for sale by Jen Pells

Heart of the home kitchen with updated appliances and honed granite counters.

Home on Bainbridge Island for sale by Jen Pells

Private .89 acre lot backs to open space.

On February 13, 2016, in Home Tours, Homes, Listing, Open Houses, by

The Bainbridge Island Community

The kindness of the community is what really made us take the leap to relocate to the island. There are many beautiful places around the world, but knowing that we were coming to a place where folks were eager to incorporate us into the day to day activities of life, made the transition so much easier.

And after that transition phase, we have experienced first-hand that this is a community rich in education, the arts, humanity, and nature — a place where our family can flourish. From the Farmer’s Market on Saturday to swimming lessons at the Aquatic Center to a Sunday matinee at the performing arts center theater, there is always something interesting to do on the island.

Snapshot of Bainbridge Island

  • Population of 23,380
  • 833.9 persons per square mile
  • The island is 27.78 square miles, with 53 miles of shoreline
  • The island is approximately four miles wide and twelve miles long
  • Average rainfall per year 37”
  • Average July temperature 75 degrees
  • Average January temperature 34 degrees
  • The growing season is approximately 180 days
  • Median age of residents 47.7
  • Median income  $99,0000
  • Median home price is $524,650 (as of 1/2014)
  • Percentage of families (vs. single residents) 73%
  • Average student teacher ratio is 26 to 1
  • Home ownership rate 78.9% (2007-2011)
  • Median Household Income $96,130

We have two major grocery stores (Safeway & Town & Country Market), a hardware store, several banks, numerous doctor’s offices, dentists, orthodontists, gyms, etc. – you get the idea.  You do not need to leave the island for your everyday needs.  The local Bainbridge merchants have everything you need to survive, and you can acquire it without driving in traffic or going to strip-malls.

Data From Bainbridge Island Chamber of Commerce, The Bainbridge Island Almanac and Windermere Bainbridge – updated 3/2014

On March 9, 2014, in Activities, Moving, Personal, Schools, by

Jen Pells | Realtor on Bainbridge Island

A One Way Ticket

Last week marked our five year anniversary of living on the island.  It really does seem like yesterday that our lives were loaded onto a large orange moving truck and we bought a one-way ticket to fly up to Seattle.

I have spent a lot of time reflecting on our five years here lately, especially since I have helped three new families arrive on Bainbridge in the last couple of weeks.  All three of them came here for many of the same reasons we did.  More often than not the move to Bainbridge is a deliberate one. And it is a recurring theme I get to relive with my clients.  Three of my clients physically arrived on the island in the last few weeks and I have talked to just as many more who are actively plotting their course to arrive next summer.

People don’t get stuck here or accidentally stumble upon Bainbridge.  People typically discover Bainbridge when they are looking for somewhere better than the status quo.  We left a big city.  We left crime, crummy schools, poor air quality, traffic.  We came to Bainbridge for that ‘change of pace’ you hear me talk about a lot in my blog.  A slower pace, a ferry commute, top-rated small schools, beaches, a small community . . . a place where we could breath, literally and figuratively.

The Deliberate Move

But getting here, making the leap to move, do something, go somewhere better is easier said than done.  Getting to Bainbridge took us three years from idea to reality. This is a very common thing. There is often a new job involved and a home to sell.  It was a journey for us and I enjoy taking the journey with others.But I talk to just as many people who don’t make the move here, but want to. They end up staying because of work or family or roots or just because it is easier. And I SO get that.  Change is hard.  A big move to a place where you essentially start over is exciting for some but scary for others.  I talk to people all the time who know they are living in a situation they want to make better. But getting from A to B is not just one step.  Some of them I have talked to for years and they rev up the idea, then drop it. Then the notion of moving keeps tapping them on the shoulder and their email pops back in my inbox.

Jen Pells | Realtor on Bainbridge Island

Five Years Ago . . .

Five years ago we moved into a very funky mid-century modern home.  In the past five years we have gutted it and are pretty much on the other side of the renovation project.  We added many things like wood floors, new kitchen and baths, a deck, a fence, a garden, a studio  . . .  I am happy the Aztec inspired berber carpet is becoming a distant memory and although a modern cottage style home is still my style preference, I have embraced the mid-century modern style that is indeed my home. Five years ago I had a preschooler and a second grader. Babies really.

This summer my girls are little women and thriving in our small community with fine schools, good friends, and an amazing sports community.  Five years ago we moved into a neighborhood that welcomed us with gift baskets and cookies.  Today we are so thankful for our terrific neighbors who have helped with kid sitting, meals, loading/unloading large objects and just being amongst ‘our people.’ Five years ago I drove down the streets of Bainbridge and everything looked odd.  Those first months it felt and looked a lot like being on vacation where everything looks angular and unfamiliar. I was discussing this notion of vacation with a client and remember that the vaca feeling lasted until about October for me.  Then it hit me like a Mack truck that I was not going home to my cute cottage house in CA. That was a hurdle in the adjustment period, for sure. But today, driving by Rotary Park and the water view on Eagle Harbor all looks and feels like home.

Jen Pells | Realtor on Bainbridge Island

Jen Pells | Realtor on Bainbridge Island

Jen Pells | Realtor on Bainbridge Island

When Are You No Longer New?

In fact I think it took me a solid two years to really feel like I had moved. That I hadn’t just misplaced my return flight ticket.  I am sure the renovation of the house added to the unsettled feel. Very sure.  And we were contemplating moving to another house on the island for four of the five years we were here too.  And this five year mark is bittersweet for me in some ways.  I had always held it out there as the benchmark of within the first five years we could return to our old community and slip right back into place.  The kids could be friends with their old buddies, go back to the old hood. But after five years, I kind of figured too much time would have gone by, sort of a point of no return. But I don’t at all feel doom and gloom that we can’t do that.  At the same time I certainly still miss the community, family and friends I still have, but used to live amongst in CA.  As a couple we had 13 years with ‘our people’ down there and it was VERY hard to pull up those roots.  I savor those memories and the foundation it gave us.  I know it helped us get here.

Jen Pells | Realtor on Bainbridge Island

Hey, Are You New?

Five years ago I stood in the Blakely Elementary Auditorium on an Open House Night, alone and feeling very fish out of water.  A woman and her husband said “Hey, are you new? We’re new too. Come stand with the new people.”  Those very people became part of our new community.  Several of us moved her over the summer of 2007 and we remain friends today.

This is a summer of big changes and benchmarks.  I turn the big 4-0 next week. My older daughter starts junior high in August (and got her braces off).  My younger daughter will begin her last year of elementary school, having been fortunate enough to spend all her years there since Kindergarden (and got her braces on). Good stuff.

In another five years both of my girls will be in high school.  And five years after that both of my cuties will have graduated from high school and we will likely be empty nesters.  Hard to believe right now. These past five years flew by lightening fast and I hear they just get faster. But I do know there is nowhere we’d rather be than right here on Bainbridge for all the benchmarks, birthdays, games, dances and graduations in near our future. We’ll be sticking around. I think we’re very officially ‘not new’ anymore . . . and this is home.

On July 7, 2012, in Community, Moving, Personal, by

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