A home in the North Town Woods Neighborhood on Bainbridge Island
A typical home in the North Town Woods Neighborhood has become more affordable this year on Bainbridge Island.
The neighborhood that was reaching for the $700,000’s in 2006 has now dipped to the low $500,000’s making the purchase of these home much more doable with a conventional or FHA loan.  Good news for first time buyers.

#1: Just because it’s a buyer’s market doesn’t mean you should buy right now

Don’t let the lucrative market dictate a buying decision if the time isn’t absolutely right. Potential homebuyers need to ask themselves if they have a good credit score, if their job is secure and if they can stay in the home for a few years. If the answer to these questions is “no,” it might make more sense to wait until life and finances are more stable.

#2: The cost of owning a home is more than just the purchase price

On top of a mortgage payment, there are several monthly fees and expenses any first-time buyer should consider when becoming a homeowner: insurance, property taxes, utilities and maintenance. Think about scaling back the home price in order to better budget for the entire package.

#3: Programs are out there to help first-time buyers

A sizeable down payment is great to have for a home purchase, but not everyone can afford to fork over 20 percent upfront. Fortunately, there are many federal, state and local programs geared toward helping first-time homebuyers with down payments, interest rates and loan terms sure to make the whole process and affordability a bit easier.

#4: Foreclosures and short sales present great deals, but proceed with caution

Buying a foreclosed or short sale home can be a risky proposition for a first-time buyer. Foreclosures are often sold “as-is,” while a short sale transaction can be lengthier and more complicated than a typical home purchase. First-timers should consult an agent or attorney with specialization in these areas.

#5: Getting pre-approved for a loan gives you more buying power

Obtaining lender pre-approvals are important because it establishes a homebuyer’s maximum purchase price, shows sellers that the buyer is serious about buying a home and lets the homebuyer compare interest rates and terms to find the best deal.

#6: Good school districts boost property value

One of the most important aspects of a home’s value is the neighborhood where it’s located. Even if the homebuyer does not have kids, buying a home near sought-after schools can help the resale value.

#7: You may be able to access your tax credit upfront

Buyers using FHA-insured mortgages can apply their tax credit toward their home purchase immediately, rather than waiting until they file their income taxes to receive a refund. Prospective buyers who believe they qualify for the credit are also allowed to reduce their income tax withholding, therefore increasing their take-home pay.

#8: Not all real estate agents represent buyers

There are three types of agents: listing agents, who represent sellers and help them get the best price; buyers’ agents, who represent buyers and protect their interests; and agents who represent either (or both). Often, first-time buyers prefer to work excl
usively with a buyer’s agent so there are no possible conflicts of interest.

#9: Doing your homework can help you make a competitive offer

Before buying the home, determine the property’s market value by having the realtor conduct a comparative market analysis. This report will show what buyers were willing to pay for similar homes in the area, giving a good idea of what will make a fair offer.

#10: It’s important to have a back-out plan

Before signing on the dotted line, make sure to have a contingency plan in case things don’t go as planned in the home inspection or appraisal. If the home has a major flaw or doesn’t appraise for the purchase price, an escape plan allows the contract to be voided.
Source: Frontdoor.com

On March 20, 2010, in Homes, Moving, Real Estate Business, by
The North Town Woods Neighborhood on Bainbridge Island

A home in the North Town Woods Neighborhood on Bainbridge IslandA home in the North Town Woods Neighborhood on Bainbridge IslandHomes in the North Town Woods Neighborhood on Bainbridge IslandOpen space in the North Town Woods Neighborhood on Bainbridge Island

The open space in the center of North Town Woods. Many, but not all, of the homes back to the large open space.

Before I moved here, I had a hard time visualizing what the island was like (even after a week long visit). I wasn’t sure if there were many actual “neighborhoods,” and I was not clear as to where they were in relation to Winslow (or the ferry terminal). There are in fact a number of neighborhoods on the island, the kind where kids can ride their bikes and play in the street – some even have common open space and playgrounds. Some of the in-town neighborhoods have lots that average .30 acres, and some have lots that are more like .15 acres.

North Town Woods

About a mile North of Winslow is North Town Woods, a neighborhood of 80 Craftsman style homes. Eight different builders, including Jerry Reese, Dream Home Builders, Gordon Hansen,  and Kitsap Trident built homes in this neighborhood between the years 2000-2007. Homes vary in size from 1800 square feet up to 3300 square feet. In the recent years (2017-2018) homes have sold between $650K and $750K. North Town Wood’s homes are known for classic charm and their colorful Craftsman Style. The 80 homes line a loop that also has shared open space and shared play grounds. Inside, the homes follow in the Craftsman/Mission style vein with warm wood work and smart use of space with functional built-ins. Many of the homes have detached garages with guest spaces above the garage, a popular feature. North Town Woods is very close to schools, being directly adjacent to Sakai Intermediate and Woodward Middle School. North Town Woods also has easy access to 305 and is still walking distance to groceries, aquatic center, etc.

A home in the North Town Woods Neighborhood on Bainbridge IslandPlay area in the North Town Woods Neighborhood on Bainbridge Island

One of two playgrounds. This playground is adjacent to the central open space.
Updated 10/2018
On September 24, 2009, in Neighborhoods, Photos, by

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