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.






It is an honor to wrap up my 2019 listing season with one of my very favorite homes on the island.  I sold this home to my clients back in 2013 and it made my top 10 list that year.  This home was already special and charming before my clients bought it and sprinkled their style and talent for design all over it.  It did not take my clients long to find the best of the best contractors (Tom Whealdon Construction, Salisbury Woodworking, Chameleon Fine Home Painting, Seri Yekel Design) on the island and they did some amazing remodeling and renovations on this home over the past seven years and today it is truly EXCEPTIONAL!

It is certianly one to see in person.  Open Sunday, December 8th from 1-4pm or reach out for a private showing. 

Find out much more about this fine home at bainbridgeviewhome.com or at the Windermere site.

Offered at $1,448,000

10578 Sunrise Drive NE  on Bainbridge Island.

10578 Sunrise Dr NE on Bainbridge Island.

The fabulously remodeled kitchen.

Living room with vaulted ceilings and centerpiece river rock fireplace.

The cozy family room.

Charming main floor hallway.

The master suite retreat.

The spa-like master bathroom.

View from the master bedroom.

The guest apartment over the garage.

The sandy beach – deeded beach access is via a private trail.

Front of the home.

Aerial view of the property.

Details about the home:

Enjoy views of the Sound and deeded beach access from this charming, jewel-box home tucked behind mature, professionally-designed landscaping. Reimagined and masterfully crafted by fine local builder Tom Whealdon, this home is a beautiful marriage of high-end finishes and thoughtful details. Divine chef’s kitchen with French range and Sub-Zero fridge, spa-like master suite retreat, and wide plank quarter sawn oak flooring. The 650 sq ft guest apartment shares the same refinement. A rare find.

  • three bedrooms – 3,241 sq ft in main home
  • guest apartment over garage – 650 sq ft
  • Sound and Cascade Mountain views
  • .59 acres – flat lot
  • deeded beach access
  • remodeled by Tom Whealdon; originally built in 1961
  • chef’s kitchen, spa-like master bathroom, quarter sawn oak floors, wool carpeting
  • fine finishes and  updated fixtures throughout the home
  • two main floor bedrooms; master bedroom on second level
  • heated 2-car garage

Please reach out for a private showing.

Again, much more info on the home can be found here.








On December 6, 2019, in Homes, Listing, Open Houses, Top 10 Homes, by

9175 Ferncliff Avenue NE is a quality constructed Craftsman home in the convenient Ferncliff Area of the island.  The home emulates the quintessential Bainbridge style and is anything but cookie-cutter.  Custom built by VanWinkle, this property offers a 3,367 square feet on a lovely, private, .47 acre lot tucked behind a mature laurel hedge.  Public beach access is across the street on Yaquina Avenue. Only 2.2 miles to the ferry this property offers elbow room from your neighbors, but incredible proximity to the ferry, Winslow, and schools.

Open House

Sunday, January 28th from 1pm to 4pm

Welcome to 9175 Ferncliff Avenue NE listed by Jen Pells of Windermere

Welcome to 9175 Ferncliff Avenue NE

This home sits on a large, private property, conveniently close to Winslow, the ferry and schools. The home is 3,367 square feet with three bedrooms, a family room, living room, home office and guest suite with full bathroom, all on a large .47 acre fenced lot.

Peek-a-boo Puget Sound and Seattle views from the front porch, living areas and master suite.

You can feel the warmth and quality as you walk into the home. Hardwood floors, fir trimmed windows, solid wood doors and box beam ceilings make for a grand first impression as you step into the living room.Thoughtful built-ins, custom lighting and large windows can be found throughout the home.

The kitchen is the heart of this home. Large and open with quality fir cabinetry, ample counter space on the butcher block island or granite counters, high-end Viking appliances, a breakfast booth, and a walk-in pantry (and a second pantry around the hall too).

The dining area, kitchen and family room in the home.

The upstairs master suite. Find a five piece master bath with claw foot tub and spacious walk in closet with fir shelving.

The charming master bath has classic tile, the claw foot tub, double sinks, a large walk-in closet and a private water closet.

The private guest suite/nanny suite is spacious, with its own sleeping room/bonus room, full bath and private stairs off the back hall. There are two staircases in the home.

The home is across the street from beach access. It is .2 miles away at the base of Yaquina Avenue.

Details about the home:

  • 3,367 square feet on private .47 acre lot
  • Classic Craftsman style home built by VanWinkle in 2007
  • 3 bedrooms and 3.5 baths with a full guest suite/nanny suite upstairs
  • Home office and half bathroom on the main floor
  • Living room and family room on the main floor
  • Large eat-in kitchen with Viking appliance package and breakfast booth
  • Spacious master suite with a five piece bath and classic clawfoot tub
  • Ample storage with walk-in master closet and two pantries in the kitchen
  • Hardwood flooring on the main floor
  • Two staircases
  • Fenced backyard
  • Oversized two car garage
  • .2 miles to public beach access at the base of Yaquina Avenue
  • 2.2 miles to the Seattle Ferry
  • Peek-a-boo Sound/Seattle views
  • Offered at $1,098,000

Charming Craftsman home on a private in-town lot close to ferries, Winslow and public beach access – at the base of Yaquina Avenue. Peek-a-boo Sound and Seattle views. Chef’s kitchen with Viking appliances package, fir cabinetry, cozy breakfast nook and granite counters. Three bedrooms plus an additional guest suite (or nanny quarters) with full bathroom plus bonus room. Downstairs has a home office and family room. Quality craftsmanship with box beam ceilings, hardwood floors and custom lighting. A rare in-town home that exudes warmth and style.

Click here to see the full Windermere listing details.

Click here to visit this home’s dedicated website.

On January 26, 2018, in Home Tours, Listing, Open Houses, by

Eakin Drive sold by Realtor Jen Pells

Renting Can Make Sense

There are a lot of smart, pragmatic reasons for renting a home when you are new to a city.  It can be helpful to get the lay of the land, learn the neighborhoods, settle in a bit.  Wait to find the perfect house to buy.  But, as the inventory of homes available to buy is shrinking on Bainbridge, I am seeing more and more folks who never ever planned to rent enter into a rental or temporary housing here on the island. They are what I call the unintentional renters.

I am a Nester

When we moved here I KNEW there was no way I could rent.  Any viable option that we had was icky, for one, but secondly, I am just not a renter.  Do you put things on the wall? How do you settle?  I am just a nester. For my sanity I knew we needed to find our next home to buy and not do a transitional rental. For us it worked and it worked well.  We found a decent house in a great location.  We later gutted the house and made it our own, but the fact that we were settling in to our neighborhood and school and putting down roots right away was huge in our transitional process.

Low Available Inventory

Right now available inventory is not on the buyer’s side (in fact inventory is at historically low levels – read more about that here) so, many buyers are looking to rent as the next viable option since the house is not out there at the moment. And these wanna-be home owners are in turn making the rental inventory tighter.  I see some clients who do fine as renters.  They are so gung-ho about moving to a new place they do just fine settling in and meeting people. But, other times, usually when there is one party in the couple who is less gung-ho about the move, I see renting as a major contributing factor to families not settling in or transitioning well.

 Bainbridge Island | Jen Pells | Windermere RealtorCan’t Quite Put My Finger On It

Life is just not the same in a rental. Most likely you will rent in a different neighborhood than where you will buy and perhaps be in a different school district too.  As a renter, people can be less invested in making friends or settling in. They do not want to go through the effort for a temporary situation.  Renting can be seen as a great trial period to say, try Bainbridge on for size, but I see that trial period as a limited version of the real thing.  Sort of like only having access to Hulu versus Hulu Plus.  You are not going to have the same experience, and in the end, you could be less likely to fully commit to living on Bainbridge long term.

It Takes Two Years

I know if we had rented I probably would not be here right now.  My husband was the cheerleader for our move.  I knew Bainbridge was the right move for our family, but when we moved I left family, friends and a really good career in California.  I had a lot of things to miss, mourn, and rebuild after our move.  And six months in, during a dark December on Bainbridge, if I could have run back to California and ditched a rental, I probably would have.  Because yes, at that moment it would have been easier.  I have been honest before in other postings, that I think it takes two years to feel like you are home.

The first year is a roller coaster ride.  I recall loving Bainbridge and then hating it.  The first year is very bogged down with the logistics of moving physical stuff and paperwork and changeovers.  It is so hectic and yes, just plain exhausting. It was not until the second year that I felt like I had time to truly explore and discover Bainbridge.  In year two I hit the trails, parks and quaint shops. In year two, I realized I was spening more time outdoors than I ever did in California. In year two, I put pictures up on the wall (yes it took me that long) and I finally felt like I was home.

Bainbridge Island | Jen Pells | Windermere RealtorFeet on the Ground

In year two I got my feet on the ground. And yes, anytime before that I think I probably would have used those feet to bolt back to that comfortable environment of the ‘known” in California. I predict with more people renting we will likely see some more of that happening. I have seen this once or twice with clients in my eight years here already. For one family they looked for ten months and then moved back to the east coast. I certainly felt like they abandoned ship much too early, but the fact that they rented gave them that easy out.

Other Options

Since I am often the one talking my buyers out of “settling” on a house (I know not a good business model in the sales world) I am often the one helping them find temporary housing. A lot of different options exist on Bainbridge.  If you are like me and you feel like you are not a renter, I suggest going into a short-term furnished rental on a month to month basis. Since we are a vacation destination, we have a lot of rental options here. That way you can pounce when the right house comes up and your rental period is as short as possible.  If you are more open to traditional renting I suggest you get the shortest lease term possible, say three months with a month to month option after that. If you have to pay a bit more for that shorter lease term, I think the flexibility is worth it. I also suggest you try and find a rental in the area you’d like to buy.  If you want to be on the south end, rent on the south end.  But minimally, if you have kids, getting in the school district you want to be in should be a goal. Please email me if you are interested in a list of short and long term rental options.

Mentally Unpack . . .

If you are entering into a rental or renting right now, you are in a trial period yes, but remember your rental is likely temporary and not your eventual reality.  You will have a different mind-set once you have purchased and moved into your home.  For many people, only the commitment of a purchase allows you to fully unpack mentally and physically. But, don’t worry, you’ll get there.


Below is an article posted on businessweek.com regarding home prices rising in the U.S.  Our tight inventory on Bainbridge is causing the supply/demand factor to kick in on pricing.  This morning there are only 138 active listings on the island.  Last week there were 145. 67 are pending today.  At times in the last three years our inventory was a robust 200 plus.  Many folks are hoping and waiting for spring to bring more inventory before they buy.  However, I am predicting spring and summer will see multiple buyers/offers escalating prices.

Fall on Bainbridge Island | by Jen Pells Windermere Realtor

Fall on Bainbridge Island.

Home Prices Rise in 81% of U.S. Cities as Markets Recover

By Prashant Gopal | 11-7-12

Prices for single-family homes rose in 81 percent of U.S. cities as the property market extends a recovery from the worst crash since the 1930s. The median sales price increased in the third quarter from a year earlier in 120 of 149 metropolitan areas measured, the National Association of Realtors said in a report today. In the second quarter, 110 areas had gains.

Values are climbing after a six-year slump as buyers compete for a shrinking supply of properties listed for sale. U.S. home prices jumped 5 percent in September from a year earlier, the biggest 12-month increase since July 2006, CoreLogic Inc., an Irvine, California-based real estate data provider, said yesterday.

“The housing recovery still faces a number of potential headwinds,” Paul Diggle, property economist for Capital Economics Ltd. in London, said in a note to clients after CoreLogic’s report was released. “But our central case is that tight supply conditions will mean that house prices will continue to rise steadily next year.”

At the end of the third quarter, 2.32 million existing homes were available for sale, 20 percent fewer than a year earlier, according to the Chicago-based Realtors group.

Short Sales

The national median price for an existing single-family home was $186,100 in the third quarter, up 7.6 percent from the same period last year, the Realtors said. Foreclosures and short sales, in which the price is less than the mortgage balance, accounted for 23 percent of third-quarter deals, down from 30 percent a year earlier.

The share of all-cash home purchases fell to 27 percent in the third quarter from 29 percent a year earlier. Investors, who make up the bulk of cash purchasers and compete with first-time buyers, accounted for 17 percent of all transactions, down from 20 percent a year earlier.

The best-performing metro area was Phoenix, where prices increased 35 percent from a year earlier. Prices rose 28 percent in the Cape Coral, Florida, area, and 27 percent in Akron, Ohio. The Raleigh, North Carolina, area had the biggest decline, with the median selling price falling 16 percent in the quarter. It was followed by York, Pennsylvania, with an 9.4 percent decrease; and Binghamton, New York, with a 6.6 percent drop.

A survey by Fannie Mae, the nation’s biggest mortgage- finance company, showed Americans expect home prices to increase an average of 1.7 percent in the next 12 months. The share of respondents who said they expect home prices to decrease fell to 10 percent last month, down 13 percentage points from a year earlier and the lowest level since the monthly survey began in June 2010, Washington-based Fannie Mae said today.

Source: http://www.businessweek.com

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