Bainbridge Island Real Estate and Community News

Jan. 17, 2020

Does it take a village? You tell me.

Blackbird BakeryBon Bon Candy Store

I believe what makes a community close are the interactions we enjoy by getting to know the people who live on our little island. Many residents of Bainbridge Island have made their home here because of what they noticed when they first arrived. A vibrant downtown with a sense of community, natural beauty, great schools, a variety of homes and living accommodations plus the convenience to a world class city only a ferry ride away.

I instantly felt I had chosen a great place to call home.When I officially called Bainbridge Island my home in 2005, I purchased a home on the old part of the Wing Point Community, the home needed everything, and we began our weekend with a trip to a wonderful hardware store in the middle of town. The bins were full of different size nails, there was the aroma of freshly popped corn in red and white striped bags waiting for customers. You could hear three or four conversations between the different employees of the store and the do-it-yourselfers regarding what tools to buy or nails to use. I looked forward to accompanying my husband and I instantly felt I had chosen a great place to call home.

T&C is another community favorite and while the store has been pleasantly remodeled the staff and customers have remained the same. The community spirt and camaraderie is ever present and the buzz around the holidays make it a special place to grocery shop.

Well...things change, and villages become towns and towns turn into to tourist havens when they’re located on an island like Bainbridge. We’ve done a remarkable job of holding on to the small-town feel, which takes me to my next subject...shopping online. We all click and purchase. I know it’s convenient but with that convenience comes a price. Having items dropped at your doorstep may feel like a convenience but it also takes you away from the very things that drew you here in the first place. Small merchants can’t afford to pay rent, employees, taxes and hope to stay in business when they become a place to experience but not a place to purchase.

Next time you go shopping on Bainbridge think about the experience you have, what conversations took place and how you interacted with a friend or a neighbor on the way to do your shopping. All those steps build community and keep us thriving here on Bainbridge. You may spend a bit more but what you gain in return is priceless. I look forward to seeing you next time I’m out and about!

Dec. 22, 2019

Let’s talk about what makes sense: What’s up Goldilocks?

Gingerbread houseGingerbread houseGingerbread house sold!

As a Real Estate Broker, I have many clients with very different housing needs. How is it that our little Bainbridge Island can serve so many needs? When searching for a place to call home what makes the top of your list? I’m fortunate to meet many people looking to purchase or sell a home on our island. The needs for each person is different depending on what’s motivating  them at the time. There’s a bit of the Goldilocks syndrome, “too big," “too small,” “just right.”

Whether you’re in the market to downsize and sell the family home for something more manageable or looking to upsize with a growing family, or an aging parent moving in, or just feel the need for more living space, don’t give up one convenience for another.

If you have a smaller home but really love the view or location, maybe a simple remodel or addition will do the trick. If you’re looking to downsize and move closer to town, don’t settle for a situation that doesn’t meet your optimum goal. If your dream of living on the water is paramount but you feel you’ve been outpriced, consider buying in a community with water access or a home with a protected water view.

In the era of internet buying and selling and clicking your way to a quick answer, remember homes are not coats or shoes for purchase or even a high-tech device with 100 reviews and five stars. Homes have views, trees, noise factors, wildlife (or not), neighbors who may make noise (or not), housing developments looming nearby, traffic issues, streets being widened or not being maintained as a city or county road. Many of those important details are left out of the high-resolution photos. We all have dreams of owning the perfect place to call home, keep your expectations realistic to your budget and make the compromises that will impact you the least.

Don’t rush into a decision, take your time and make a thoughtful decision you can live with. Goldilocks found the right chair and you’ll find the right home!

Wishing you the warmest of holidays!

Kim's signature

All Rights Reserved

Nov. 30, 2019

What Does Your Front Door Say About You?

A front door decorated for the holidays

I’m a Bainbridge Island Real Estate Broker, I list and sell real estate as my profession, although there are many facets to what I do I sometimes find myself contemplating issues which are not so easily put into words, but I’ll give this topic a try.

When I view a home for a listing or when I bring clients to view a home for a potential consideration for purchase, there’s one thing that always happens. I open the door to go inside. The entrance to a home is a little like dating, first impressions mean a lot, we don’t like to think we judge a book by its cover but, let’s face it, we do begin the process of developing our point of view based on what we see.

How does seeing your own front door make you feel?That can all change very quickly depending on the circumstances surrounding our point of view. So why would you leave something which is so easily turned into a pleasant experience “up for grabs?” Making the entrance to your home appealing is a very simple task if you consider the upside of what you’ll gain by doing so.

Be objective and take a few photos of the entrance to your home, review the photos later while having a cup of coffee, give yourself time to stand back and look at it as a third party might. Is your entrance clean, tidy and welcoming or full of miscellaneous items that have lost their way into the house? Are dead plants in the planters, a broken doorbell, a lock which needs replacing or a doorknob that is reminiscent of the 80’s?

A Spanish doorwayA Spanish doorwayA Spanish doorway

While I was wandering around Spain this past month, I was taken back by some of the marvelous doors, door knockers, key holes, scrumptious paints, wood finishes, lighting fixtures which graced the doorways of flats, homes, cottages in the country and even the commercial buildings. These lovely, thoughtful entrances called for me to go inside, cross the threshold and see what else was behind the entrance…in other words, they piqued my interest in a very good way.

An inviting entrance can be worth its weight in gold. Next time you walk up to your front door, how does it make you feel?

 

Kim's signature

Bainbridge Market Statistics

Over the past 30 days, Bainbridge Island has had:

  • 3 Commerical Listings with a high of $3,000,000 a median of $2,496,000 a low of $417,300 days on market 334.
  • 101 Active Listings with a high of $9,750,000 a median of $969,500 a low of $3,300 days on market 92.
  • 4 Contingent Listings with a high of $1,675,000 a median of $921,995 a low of $612,000 days on market 41.
  • 23 Vacant Land Listings with a high of $3,000,000 a median of $550,000 and a low of $300,000 days on market 252.
  • 2 Sold Vacant Land Listings with a high of $383,000 and a median of $341,500 a low of $300,000 days on market 45.
  • 33 Sold Residential Listings with a high of $3,0285,000 and a median of $871,356 a low of $90,000 days on market 83.
Oct. 19, 2019

What is "home"?


I just went to a movie the other night with my husband Jack. The tale of is Honeyland is not so sweet; it’s touching and remarkably real. We all know someone in this movie. Maybe not the “exact” character, as they’re all very raw; these "real life” characters are strikingly uneasy to watch, keeping us off-balance while we judge them, and feel prejudice towards them, but end up feeling sheer compassion for them. The premise of this movie is so multifaceted I cannot begin to give it justice...so, go see it.

What this movie did for me was bring back a very real sense of home. A home is not a structure, it’s a place, it’s in our heart, our mind, a smell we remember, a sound, a secret which lives in our past or our future as we try to hunt it down again and recreate something which makes us feel safe, protected, sad, hungry, happy or at times indifferent.

Why do we seek a home? We see ourselves celebrating our lives there and for most of us we draw from past memories which hold a key to our inner heart, a home savors the longing to recreate that special feeling, the real key to the door we open when we feel that sense of home is profound. Those realizations are not always perfect and sometimes it scares us while at the same time awaking us from our day-to-day tasks in this increasingly complex world.

When we search for something, we imagine and try to recreate from memory what we want going forward: This may change the way we search for our next home. If you are looking for a home, ask yourself what that really means to you. It may be the people you choose to share it with, the familiar bark of a dog next door, the way the rain hits the roof. You’ll know when you find it, if you search in the right place and allow the sense of home to move you to the forefront of what’s important to you.

A home doesn’t need to be new or shiny, larger than we’ll make use of, too private, filled with unused rooms, have too many bedrooms or baths. It needs to fill our heart and wrap its arms around us when we’ve had a long day. It’ll greet us like an old friend and have our back when we need a place to rest.

Talk to you again soon,

Kim's signature

Sept. 2, 2019

Why a Covered Front Porch?

Covered Front Porch

Covered Front PorchI love working in real estate. It gives me an opportunity to meet many people from around the country. I enjoy the mix of showing property and working on contracts, listing and selling homes and the entire process of helping people realize their dream, possibly their next step in life, or a need to make a change.

 

Lately I've been interested in watching what speaks to a home buyer and I have found several clients have gravitated toward homes with covered porches. We live in the Pacific Northwest and at times our inclement weather can put a damper (no pun intended) on being outside. Covered porches are terrific for sitting out on a rainy day and enjoying the fresh air with a big wooly sweater, reading a book in the shade in the summer or having family and friends over for an afternoon. 

 

Porches are a great place to gather, doggies love them, they fill a social need to be out and in at the same time, you can wave to neighbors, invite someone to stop by, have a early morning coffee in the fresh air while you work on your laptop or read the paper.

 

Porches have provided a “place to hang” a welcoming, friendly entrance to a home, a porch swing to gently rock a baby, there’s a fundamental nostalgia which belongs to “The Covered Porch.” Next time you’re out waling take note of the porches around your neighborhood, wave if you see someone sitting there….building community starts with one porch at a time!

 

Cheers,

Kim McLaughlin

 

 

 

© 2019 Kim McLaughlin. All rights reserved.

May 21, 2019

Spring Gardening on Bainbridge Island

Bainbridge Island Home with  Garden

It’s Finally Spring

Bainbridge Island, WA, in spring is a sight to behold. Trees have little green buds on their branches, promising beautiful leaves in the coming weeks. Bulbs planted in the fall are sprouting tulips in a rainbow of colors along with sunshine-yellow daffodils. Spring is here, homeowners. What should you be doing with your lawn and garden?

Care for Your Lawn

Spring may be a rainy time for us, but the extra water leads to amazingly green grass and flourishing flowers. To make sure your lawn looks great, get ahead of weeds and crabgrass with appropriate herbicides. Rake and overseed any bare spots if the ground isn’t too wet. Aerate your soil if it’s been compacted by the winter. Apply organic or slow-release fertilizer around the time you are preparing to mow for the first time.

What to Plant in Spring

Before you start planting, rake up any winter debris that is left in your garden. You may have an idea of what you want to plant and what you want your garden or landscaping to look like in the spring, but it’s important to know what plants are most successful this time of year as well as where to plant. Spring veggies and flowers tend to need more sun to grow—we may have lots of rain, but we DO have sun—so find an area that gets around six hours of sunlight per day. One idea is to use pots if you don’t have a large enough sunny location in your yard! Sandy clay soil isn’t ideal for gardens, so stop by one of Bainbridge Island’s amazing nurseries and pick up some soil made specifically for planting.

When you’re ready, try potatoes, carrots, lettuce, asparagus, cherry tomatoes, or summer squash for success with spring planting. These veggies all love spring in our area. The flowers that thrive here in spring are pansies, primrose, fire lilies, crown imperials, and wallflowers. Whether you choose veggies, flowers, or both, with proper preparation and the right plants, you’ll have a successful garden.

Buy Plants from Bainbridge Experts

There are so many fantastic nurseries here! You can always start at Bainbridge Gardens right on Miller Road NE. They are already open on their regular schedule for all of the early-bird gardeners! The family-owned nursery carries seasonal items as well as trees, shrubs, and more. Visit the café for a quick lunch before you start planting!

Bay Hay & Feed is a nursery and farm store on the east side of the island. They not only carry a huge selection of plants, but they also have a market, gift shop, animal feed, clothing, and even pet gear!

Either of these nurseries or one of the others in the area have plant and garden experts to help you choose your plants, tools, soil, and whatever you may need.

Enjoy Your Garden

Once you have your spring garden planted, relax and enjoy! Your home will show very well with your lawn and garden spring-cleaned and blooming. If you’re thinking of selling, give me a call at 206-948-7135 to chat. If you’re considering a move to Bainbridge Island, contact me, Kimberly McLaughlin, Realtor, to make an appointment to see available homes at their best. I look forward to seeing you. In the meantime, I’m going to plant some flowers!

May 3, 2019

St. Patrick’s Day on Bainbridge Island

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

May the Luck of the Irish Be with You

St. Patrick’s Day is coming, and in Bainbridge Island, WA, we’re ready to celebrate! For me, St. Patrick’s Day is very special. My first date with my husband, an Irishman, was on St. Patrick’s Day.

He is from a large Irish family with family names that are carried through generations. Our oldest triplet son, Ryan, is the fourth in the family to have the same name! We like going to Seattle and visiting local pubs and listening to music. Our favorite place to celebrate the holiday is the Owl ‘N Thistle Irish pub.

Go Out & Celebrate!

The Owl ‘N Thistle is within walking distance from the Bainbridge Island Ferry and makes for a fun and celebratory evening. The pub is located in Pioneer Square, a wonderful, architecturally historic place in Seattle. It’s full of wonderful bars and restaurants with quaint brick buildings on tiny streets. It has a European flair….this adds to the fun and authentic feeling of a night celebrating the Irish in all of us! To celebrate this St. Paddy’s Day, the pub will feature live bands throughout the entire weekend. Plan to grab a pint and enjoy the Irish music starting at 9:00 PM on March 15, 2019.

Another terrific place to go is The Harbour Public House on Bainbridge Island, better known to locals as “The Pub.” This gem of a pub was originally the home of the current owner when she was growing up. It has incredible ambiance and provides a true island experience. The large outdoor deck has views of Seattle and the ferry boats coming and going. The clam chowder is made with the full clam—shells and all. The wait can be long, so go early—it’s worth it! If clams aren’t your thing, we’ve been voted as having the best hamburgers and fish & chips by the Bainbridge Island Review.

The iconic Seattle Great Wheel on Pier 57 will be adorned with over 500,000 green LED lights, so watch for it as you head off on the Washington State Ferry or purchase your tickets and take a ride! All tickets are general admission and are valid for any day or time. Grab yours ahead of time—they never expire. For a real treat, purchase tickets online for our VIP gondola. It’s equipped with four leather bucket seats, a stereo system, and a glass floor. Tickets are $50 per person and include a champagne toast, a VIP t-shirt, photo booth photos, and an escort to the front of the line!

If you’re in Seattle for the Wheel, you might want to stop by Mulleady’s for a comfortable Irish pub atmosphere. They offer the largest selection of Irish whiskeys on the West Coast! Located between Ballard, Queen Anne, and Magnolia in a restored two-story house, Mulleady’s is the very definition of a great pub and restaurant.

Interested in more local events? Curious about Bainbridge Island? Call me, Kim McLaughlin, at
206.948.7135 today.

Posted in Community News
May 3, 2019

Featured Listing

Bainbridge Island Home
Look what just sold! This gorgeous home on Bainbridge Island, WA, is a good example of the types of properties I can show you. Whether you’re interested in waterfront or something inland, I’ll help you embrace our unique island life that’s just minutes from Seattle.

Property Description

This is a gracious, one-level home that is just minutes to the ferry and all of the Bainbridge Island amenities. The home is south-facing and light-filled with a gorgeous, newly remodeled kitchen, newly refinished hardwood floors, and a new roof! It’s situated on the 15th tee box at Wing Point Golf & Country Club. It has a wood-burning fireplace, walnut-paneled study, and a main-floor master bedroom. This open floor plan, with a large sunny deck, oversees a fabulous view of the golf course. It’s terrific for entertaining! The location is pure convenience! Your home will feel like a vacation spot!

Bainbridge Home Kitchen

General Specs

Bedrooms: 3
Baths: 2.5
Square Footage: 2932
Year Built: 1994
Lot Square Footage: 15246
School District: Bainbridge Island
County: Kitsap
Community: Wing Point
Listing Price: $975,000
Selling Price: $975,000
Parking: Attached Garage
View: Golf Course
Topography: Fruit Trees, Garden Space, LevelFlooring: Ceramic Tile, Hardwood, Vinyl, Wall-to-Wall Carpet
Appliances Included: Dishwasher, Dryer, Garbage Disposal, Microwave, Range/Oven, Refrigerator, Washer
Fireplace: Wood-Burning

Your Home

I’d love the opportunity to help you find your new home on Bainbridge Island. Call me, Kimberly McLaughlin, at 1-206-948-7135 today!

Posted in Real Estate News
May 3, 2019

New Year, New Home

The new year is a great time to take a fresh look at your home. Is it up-to-date? Organized? Ready to sell? Let’s take a minute and consider some “resolutions” for you and your home in 2019.

Cast Out Clutter

Over the course of the year, and especially at the holidays, we accumulate things that seem to fall under the general label of “stuff.” Our drawers are overflowing, closets are stuffed, and the excess becomes overwhelming. As tough as it is to do, set aside a time to do a purge of each room. Write it on your calendar. When you enter each room, choose a place to start and stay on task. Don’t dally over things. If you didn’t remember that silly notebook at the bottom of the living room drawer existed, you don’t need it! Once the big purge is done, do mini-cleanings to keep the clutter from overwhelming you. When your home is free of clutter, so is your mind.

Don’t Wait for Spring to Clean!

Getting a jump on spring cleaning can free you up for other, more fun activities when the weather improves. Do some of those deep-cleaning jobs you’ve been avoiding — clean the tile, check expirations in the medicine cabinet, wipe out the freezer — and enjoy your sense of accomplishment!

Change Your Color Palette

Many of us start off with a neutral color palette and add color with furniture and other decorating accents that stay on-trend. Last year, bold, edgy reds and metallics were huge. This year will be more natural and mindful with perfect colors for island living.

Real estate, new color, bainbridge island

Pantone’s 2019 Color of the Year is Living Coral. It’s a warm tone that evokes feelings of vibrancy and wellness. Add some terracotta, a dash of a strong aqua, or accent with hunter greens to channel this feel-good color in your home.

Changing your color palette will revive the look of your existing home and make it feel new again! This is also a consideration if you’re selling your home. You can accomplish a fresh, appealing look just by adding pops of the latest color!

Embrace Quality over Quantity

While de-cluttering and adding pops of color, keep this in mind: One high-quality item is worth more than 10 poorly designed pieces. Splurge on the great living coral chair; forget the dozen knick-knacks that you’ll end up tossing out next January!

real estate, home decor, bainbridge island, realtor, kim mclaughlin

Thinking of Moving?

Location is everything, and living on an island is really the ultimate location. Take these tips into 2019 with a home on an island. The ability to live in an island atmosphere while still just a 30-minute ferry ride away from a major city is even better. Bainbridge Island, WA, has the best of everything, from an intimate island setting to the bright lights of Seattle. If you’re considering a new location, come see Bainbridge for the best of both worlds.

For a personal discussion about your home and to talk about the benefits of living on Bainbridge Island, WA, call me, Kimberly McLaughlin, at 206.948.7135.

Posted in Real Estate News
May 3, 2019

Christmas on Bainbridge Island

Christmas Tree, Kimberly McLaughlin, real estate broker, Bainbridge Island
2018 Christmas on Bainbridge Island, WA

Every family has their own holiday traditions. Mine is no different, except for our unique locale. Many Decembers are free of snow, but that doesn’t dampen our spirits. The atmosphere is festive all over Bainbridge Island, WA, and especially in my home.

A Family Christmas

When our family gathers together, we love to celebrate the holidays. Our festive traditions include decorating our Christmas tree. I always include ornaments from past Christmases as well as new ones from local artisans. Of course, the ones made by the children are the real treasures! You may not have the same ornaments as I do, but I bet you have Santa, snowmen, snowflakes, stars, reindeer, and many other traditional decorations! Once the tree is trimmed, we settle down to share a lovely meal.

Christmas on Bainbridge, Island, WA
Our dog, Divot, hiding under the tree!

Holiday Cooking

Although Thanksgiving was a mere month ago, a turkey dinner just seems right for Christmas dinner. Of course, we have to have stuffing, mashed potatoes, and all of the delicious side dishes! I like to set the table with my favorite poinsettia tablecloth, red napkins, festive plates, and handmade place cards. Friends and family are always astounded that I find time to make the lacey, hand-lettered place cards, but I’m all about Christmas. If I don’t have time, I’ll make time!

Festive Desserts

We love snickerdoodles! The fragrance of cinnamon fills the house as they bake. Grab one while you’re baking, because they won’t last long!

Snickerdoodle Cookies
Ingredients
1 cup of softened butter
1 ½ cups granulated sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
2 ¾ cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp. cream of tartar (this is what makes them chewy and flavorful)
1 tsp. baking soda
½ tsp. salt
Cinnamon and sugar to coat

Mix flour, cream of tartar, baking soda, and salt in medium bowl and set aside.
Using a mixer on medium speed, cream sugar and butter.
Add eggs and vanilla to butter mixture and mix well.
Add in the dry ingredients and mix very well.
Shape dough into one-inch balls. (They may be a little sticky — it’s ok!)
Combine cinnamon and sugar (1 part cinnamon to 3 parts sugar) on a plate
Roll balls in the cinnamon sugar
Place about two inches apart on a baking sheet and bake 8-10 minutes at 350°

When you’re done, you’ll have three or four dozen cookies… maybe less if you and your family start eating them when they come out of the oven!

Happy Holidays

I wish you and yours a very happy holiday season, no matter where in the world you are! I’d love to meet you. If you’re planning to visit Bainbridge Island, give me a call at 206-948-7135!

Posted in Community News