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

Bainbridge Island Real Estate Market 2011

The radical shift in the real estate market we were hoping for in 2011 never arrived.

2011 Year End Review

As real estate agents we entered last year full of optimism and hope that 2011 would usher in numbers far different from what we saw in 2010.  But, by the second quarter we realized there were not going to be any major positive shifts in our real estate market. We rebounded a bit in the third quarter and the fourth was slightly better than the same period in 2010.  But, overall, a pretty steady repeat of 2010, with home prices dropping even more.

In the end, the market mirrored its actions of the past few years, going up and down without ever really hitting its stride. The number of homes sold has increased each year since the 2008 trough (which is good news), but we are not seeing numbers anywhere close to where we were a decade ago . . . nor are we likely to for another decade.

 

2011 year end real estate stats for Bainbridge Island, WA
Blakely Students at Hey Day Farm on Bainbridge

Blakely Elementary Students harvesting potatoes at HeyDay Farms. The potatoes were used in school lunches throughout the district.

Reshaping our Community

Even though the number of homes sold has not changed much, there are a number of profound shifts taking place in our market. We are seeing more investors and families returning to our marketplace. The drop in our prices, while painful to sellers, has made our community more affordable to buyers. We are also seeing buyers with different “agendas” than before. Real estate is not the short-term money machine it was in the past. People are buying because they want the non-financial benefits that homeownership offers. They’re buying because they want to live in particular homes and build lives there. The amazing congruence of low prices and incredibly low interest rates is allowing people to recognize they can buy more than they could have in the past. They feel confident their purchases will make sense in the long run. They do not have the inflated financial expectations we had in the past. They are realistic about the costs, but prefer buying over the risks of renting.

Bainbridge Island Ferry Commute.

Cyclists unloading at the Bainbridge Island Ferry Dock.

Looking Around the Corner to 2012

Settling into the reality of our new norm, we do not expect any substantial changes in our real estate market in 2012. But there is an underlying optimism. There are buyers. They’re patient, savvy and tough . . .but they do act when they find what they want. Many sellers have become more realistic and have come to embrace the current conditions, as painful as they may be. Our regional economy is strong. If we can keep ferry prices from getting to a point where commuting costs are unacceptable, there is no reason to believe we will not fare as well as any premium suburb of Seattle.  And all the while we get to live in the best island community in the region.

 

Relocation Expert is an Overused Term

As an agent I see the “Relocation Expert” tag line on countless marketing pieces. Many agents use it and when you think about it, any diligent agent is a relocation agent because, at the very least, agents help people move from one home to another.

What Does a Relocation Client Need?

But, Relocation Expert means something a little different to me.  But, more important is what it means to my clients. What type of assistance do they need to make this momentous move?  From my experience and research, relocation means moving your family, usually out of state and always to a new community. Many times a company is involved that is helping with the moving process logistically and financially.  The agent is a big part of the process and having experience with relocation companies like Cartus is key, because they actually become the seller in a company relocation.

Buying on Bainbridge - a sample property preview

Click photo above to see a sample property preview.

Buying a Home from Afar

But what is really important to the relocation client, the buyer in many of my transactions, is that the agent is helpful at assisting the buyer long distance.  Buying a house, long distance, even sight unseen sometimes, is not an easy thing to do. You need an agent you can trust, one who will tell you if the house smells, is on a bad street, has a strange history, has a bad vibe, is dark, has been lived in hard, or is just not right for you.  You want your agent to provide you with information you can not see on paper.  What you don’t want is an agent who just wants to get into contract so they are on their way to getting paid.

Your Eyes, Ears and Nose on the Ground

Buying a house sight unseen is not usually ideal, for the buyer or the agent.  I try to give the client a “foot on the ground perspective” of the home by taking dozens of unprocessed photos (which are very different looking from the wide angle, doctored photos in many MLS listings).  And I shoot narrated videos with my handy HD FLIP video camera.

What many people don’t know is that much of my website is not public.  My active clients, buying long-distance, have a password protected portal where they can privately log in and see the photos and videos I have taken just for them.

I was just talking with someone the other day who is in the process of buying a house sight unseen and they are solely taking the opinion of their agent via phone and email.  No pictures or video were taken of the home, its finish details, or the neighborhood.  And I happen to know this house looks much better in MLS than in person.  Yikes.  As a client, they need and deserve much more from their agent.

Buying a home on Bainbridge Island

Beware of Dog

So, beyond being the feet on the ground and email and phone calls, I try to help my clients get a real life sense of the property or properties before they decide to hop on a plane and take a cross country trip only to be disappointed and out $800 bucks.

I do not want my clients to be surprised or disappointed after they have made a purchase or spent a lot of money on an inspection, etc.  More than once I have had clients cancel a trip out here after my photo shoot on the property.

Because, again, it often tells a much different story than the photos in mls. In one video there was a dog barking in the back yard.  My client picked up on it and was glad to know a yappy dog lived next door – because it was not going to live next door to her.  You don’t see or hear that level of details in the MLS photos.    Yes, to some folks reading this, this all sounds self-defeating and crazy since I am in the sales business, right?

I am Convincing People to Not Buy a House

Yes, well, not that house.  But, eventually most everyone finds the house that fits their needs. After meeting with clients, listening to their wants and needs,  seeing what they like in photos or on a tour, and if possible seeing their home I quickly get a a sense of their style and can filter many homes for them, hence saving them time . . . and money.

Disappointed Now or Later

My style is down-to earth and honest.  Many folks are disappointed when they see their dream home in a different light after I do a photo or video shoot.  But, that disappointment quickly turns into relief when they realize they were ready to write up a contract on a house that looks completely different in real life . . . and probably smells too.

Video Review

 

On June 10, 2011, in Home Tours, Moving, by

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