Bainbridge Island Real Estate and Community News

July 13, 2020

Hedging your bets

If you're like me, you like people BUT you also enjoy your privacy. When I moved full-time to Bainbridge Island I searched and searched for the right home. I had referred myself to a real estate company on the island with which I was affiliated back in Michigan. I spent many hours with the local broker which proved to be an incredibly positive experience. After touring neighborhood after neighborhood, my realtor drove me down a road I will never to this day forget, Wing Point Road. The two-lane road was lined on one side with the most amazing Laurel hedges and I could not believe how beautiful they were.

From that point on, I remain a fan of hedges over fences. Fences as “they” say make good neighbors BUT from my point of view, hedges are where it’s at! I love the lushness, the texture, the bouncing off light which changes throughput the day and the subtle sound proofing it gives; there is still sound, but it’s dampened. Hedges are friendly yet not territorial and make for an environmentally friendly separation. The birds love them, and small creature can hop around on top of them.

Bainbridge Island Home with hedgeAn excellent Bainbridge Island hedge

Bainbridge home with hedge for privacy

When looking for a little bit of lot-line delineation, a hedge can make a statement with a whisper not a bang. It gives you something to do twice year: trim and mulch, which I prefer any day over scraping and painting or sanding and varnishing. Next time you are viewing homes to purchase or thinking about your own plot of land, consider a hedge: it will serve you well.

Take care of yourself and each other, xo,

Real Estate activity on Bainbridge Island over the past 30 days

  • 37 Active Residential Listings — high $7,150,000 median $1,225,000, low $545,000, average days on market 19
  • 39 Pending Residential Listings — high $4,680,000, median $1,060,000, low $217,500, average days on market 44
  • 5 Cancelled Listings — high $1,433,000, median $ 848,000, low $698,000, average days on market 34
  • 54 Sold Residential Listings — high $4,180,000, median $940,000, low $265,000, average days on market 35
  • 4 Active Vacant Land Listings — high $715,000, median $627,500, low $419,500, average days on market 9
  • 2 Pending Vacant Land Listings— high $395,000 median $372,000, low $349,000, average days on market 104
  • 4 Sold Vacant Land Listings — high $700,000 median $330,690, low $179,950, average days on market 33
  • 0 Commercial Listings in the past 30 Days

June 19, 2020

Quintessential Bainbridge

Bainbridge creates happy dogs

I’ve had an enormously fun time in the past several weeks selling two adorable homes. Both homes would make you happy to come home to…as they represent a special place in our hearts. They’re both situated on lovely parcel of land and are so sweet, inviting, and irreplaceable. When you stand on the land you can hear the birds singing! There’s privacy without isolation, and the enjoyment of simple pleasures which are becoming harder to find in an over-developed world.

There’s privacy without isolation, and the enjoyment of simple pleasures which are becoming harder to find in an over-developed world.

 

The home on Kallgren has the most amazing sense of place, it has an exceptionally large lot (1.8 acres) full of pure joy, sunny with raised beds ready to be planted, large trees, and flat sunny place to have lunch on a picnic table the sellers gifted to the new owners. There’s chickens (also gifted) and a sweet chicken coop as well and a cat which came with the home! The kitty is forever present and will never come inside but loves the invitations to do so…however he accepts invitation for lunch and dinner outside and then suns himself on the south facing deck while relaxing on the built-in bench.

A garden to die forClassic Island homeSo much open space and privacy

Espalier plants grace the backyard, a white picket fence with a gate and a firepit for gathering with family and friends. The grove of large cedar trees provide a wonderful respite from the all-day sunny lot. Inside you will find a light-filled south facing kitchen, there is a wood burning stove, hardwood floors and a simply circular driveway with plenty of parking for all your friends and family to visit. What more do you need!

The second home on Byron is just as amazing and has the gift of being very private yet close to town. It makes for a perfect combination for those wanting a touch of “Old Bainbridge” and the ease of a close commute to the ferry. Wonderful gardens, birds singing, raised beds, flat sunny front yard and towering pines in the backyard…again a perfect combination. There is just enough left to do on this sweet home to make it your own, but not so much as to be daunting. 

Leafy path to the homeClassic elegance, great settingSpace for any activity

There are several garden sheds on the property as the previous owner had an amazing flower business and used the separate sheds for arranging flowers, wreaths, and planning large venues for her arrangements. One of the sheds has divided light with French doors! There’s also an adorable well house, the home sets back from the road so you feel miles away and yet walking distance to Winslow!

Home is what you make it and these two quaint homes have what we all enjoy—serenity, coziness, and a dash of the past! Take care of yourself and each other, xo.

Kim's signature

Real Estate activity on Bainbridge Island over the past 30 days

  • 28 Commercial Listings — high $310,000, median $290,000, average days on market 24

  • 27 Active Residential Listings — high $2,698,000 median $898,800, low $268,000, average days on market 18

  • 37 Pending Residential Listings — high $2,498,000, median $869,000, low $268,000, average days on market 47

  • 52 Sold Residential Listings — high $3,2500,000, median $875,000, low $432,000, average days on market 35

  • 3 Active Vacant Land Listings —high $750,000, median $325,000, low $178,000, average days on market 57

  • 3 Sold Vacant Land Listings — high $1,325,000, median $433,200, low $179,950, average days on market 97

May 14, 2020

The BUS stops here!

Bainbridge bus stop characters

You can tell a lot about a community by the bus stops it keeps. Living on Bainbridge Island is a gift; we are one of those communities you can choose to be all in—or not—and still enjoy its quirky, down-home personality.

This uncertain period shall pass. Please make it a worthwhile experience.I’ve made it a habit to run every day. I take the same route (not taking the bus) and pass two bus stops on my 3-mile run. I realize there’s simple uncomplicated joy in doing the same thing every day and experiencing something different. The two bus stops I pass each day are for school children waiting for the school bus and anyone wishing to sit down while waiting for public transit. The bus stops are covered with a nice metal roof (great for hearing the rain), nicely built, environmentally connected to the surroundings, complement the wooded environment, and serve as a low-key quiet message center for those paying attention.

A bear hugA little giftKim in her mask

Some of the fun at the bus stop: Bear Huggers, Stone Painters, Bird Whisperers

One day when I arrived there were little painted rocks placed with messages to whomever was paying attention. EXTREMELY sweet! Another day there was a hand-drawn teddy bear fastened with little wooden push pins, for all the bear huggers. You know who you are as you place teddy bears in your window for children to find, like a scavenger hunt (something sweet to build community and pass the time).

Please take a moment and sit upon the bench provided, close your eyes, and listen to the birds sing their little hearts out! The birds’ symphony—unspoiled by overhead planes—is a real plus!

I sell real estate. Yes, that’s what I do for a living. How I choose to view my community is up to me. This uncertain period shall pass. Please make it a worthwhile experience.

Sometimes, it’s okay to miss a bus, as each is not always the better route; may the Coronavi-bus skip your stop. Take care of yourself and each other, xo.

Kim's signature

Real Estate activity on Bainbridge Island over the past 30 days

  • 1 Commercial Listing — $398,000, days on market 164

  • 27 Active Residential Listings — high $2,698,000 median $898,800, low $268,000, average days on market 18

  • 39 Pending Residential Listings — high $2,695,000 median $875,000 low $545,000, days on market 16

  • 51 Sold Residential Listings — high $2,900,000 median $712,000 low $235,000, days on market 51 1 Active Vacant Land Listings — $650,000 days on market 20

  • 1 Sold Vacant Land Listing — $600,000 days on market 436

April 19, 2020

Feather YOUR nest

Birdhouse in a landscape

Given the climate of the past 30+ days there’s no question buying or selling a home has taken a back seat to one’s health. If you currently own or rent a home and are happy to have a roof over your head to hunker down for a while, that’s terrific! If you were hoping to cash in on your investment and downsize, that may take a while to figure out next steps. Feeling you’re in a holding pattern, like most of us, and really can’t make any decisions until the situation settles down, that’s normal and give yourself a pat on the back for accepting what is.

Above all, please take care of yourself, your loved ones and let the process take its course.Hopefully we will come out of this process with a clear perspective regarding what’s important, what we can live without and how we simplify our lives for a healthier, happy, gentler life moving forward. In the past 30 days 32 homes have sold on Bainbridge Island. Financing rates make purchasing a home very appealing or refinancing your home is also something you may want to consider. Take a few minutes and call your bank or favorite mortgage broker and see what they may do for you. If it’s been awhile since you've thought about this and you need a referral, I’m happy to send you several. Above all, please take care of yourself, your loved ones and let the process take its course. Maybe now is the time to take on a list of projects you've been "procrastinating" on; it will make you feel good to accomplish something you never have time to do. The weather is perfect and having the time to enjoy being outside in your yard or cleaning out that messy closet will help you focus on doing something positive.

Kim in her bandanna mask

We have so much to be thankful for. It would be a shame to squander it worrying about things out of our control. The BLOOMS, BIRDS, and BLUE SKY are all singing our praises for giving our planet some breathing room; enjoy it...wash your hands, wear your mask, and start a task!

Bainbridge Island Market Statistics

Over the past 30 days, Bainbridge Island has had:

  • 1 Active Commercial Listing at $1,481,800, days on market 13
  • 1 Pending Commercial Listing at at $1,500,00, days on market 519
  • 83 Active Residential Listings — high $9,750,000, median $855,000, low $250,000, days on market 94
  • 15 Pending Residential Listings — high $1,398,000, median $739,000, low $545,000, days on market 16
  • 32 Sold Residential Listings — high $2,900,000, median $951,000, low $275,000, days on market 81
  • 4 Vacant Land Listings — high $365,000, median $274,000, low $176,000, days on market 20
March 21, 2020

What matters?

Water view  Golf course sunset

What Matters

A week ago, when I wrote my newsletter/blog it seemed relevant with this current COVID-19 virus and the shifting information. I feel what I write about is highly irrelevant if we’re looking at a pandemic. My business is very personal, given it involves decision-making for clients looking to buy or sell property and one of the largest purchases most people ever make. My responsibilities to my clients force me to keep current on all issues real estate related. With the current climate, we’re all looking for answers regarding health which right now, are not so easily answered. Read this blog if you feel it’s a good distraction, and if not “delete” is always an option. Be careful, be mindful and stay healthy.

 

What’s a view worth to you?

When considering purchasing a home or listing your current home, is it important to you that a nice view be included in the overall package? What should the view provide?  Is it waterfront, territorial or a view of your neighbor’s home? On Bainbridge Island, a view can mean many things: for instance, if you live on the water or wish to purchase a waterfront home or land, do you want low bank, no bank, mid-bank, high bank, a territorial or peek-a-boo view of the water? Instead of purchasing a waterfront or view home, you could take a different approach and cultivate a beautiful garden with a fountain or live on a golf course with endless views of beautifully manicured greens and luscious trees. Living on a golf course is what I like to call “a lot of view for the money,” as you don’t maintain the golf course, but you enjoy its beauty and serenity especially once the course is closed for the day.

We have two golf courses on Bainbridge Island: Meadowmeer, a lovely public course situated in the center of the island, and Wing Point Golf and Country Club, a private club and the second oldest golf course in the State of Washington.

As homeowners, we like to protect our views and when views are being compromised by a neighbor’s tree or hedge or an additional home being built, or foliage becoming too dense, we try to hold on to “what we had.”. Think about this before you buy or sell: is your view protected? Does your property come with a view covenant? Is your waterfront to the edge of the water or do you have tidal rights (which means your property goes past the immediate shoreline)? All these factors weigh in when you’re buying or selling a home, as these issues affect the value of your property.

Golf course Cherry trees in the snow Cherry trees in bloom

Bainbridge is a perfect example of variety. With variety there are different rules and at times there are no rules. Having “iffy” bylaws can damage the value of your home. An example could be the neighbor with the adorable chickens which never stop clacking, or the abandoned car left to rust, or possibly the forgotten garden shed which went from quaint to overgrown. If you want to make the most of your value it’s important to understand your property rights, community rights and city guidelines. 

When buying or selling property, the land the home is situated upon and the views you’ll enjoy are just as important as the home itself. You can improve a home and still have a compromised location; it’s a balance and one worth considering before you purchase. If selling your home, make the most of your property: trim the trees, mow the lawn, plant flowers, endear yourself to the property as it will pay off in “spades.”  You can create your own oasis by treating your land with as much care as the home upon which it sits.

Kim's signature

Bainbridge Island Real Estate Statistics

  • Commercial Listings with a high of $3,000,000 a median of $417,000 and low of $248,000 with average days on market of 288.
  • 9 Active Listings with a high of $9,750,000 a median of $789,000 a low of $360,000, days on market 114.
  • 14 Pending Property Listings with a high of $6,198,000 a median of $635,000, a low of $170,000, days on market 86.
  • 22 Vacant Land Listings with a high of $3,750,000 a median of $510,000 and a low of $79,000, days on market 194.
  • 1 Pending Vacant Land Listing at $649,000, days on market 106.
  • 27 Sold Residential Listings with a high of $1,950,000 and a median of $724,500, a low of $290,000, days on market 73.
Feb. 1, 2020

Grand slam or house of cards?

Ferry commute

I’m a real estate broker and live on Bainbridge Island, a small island in the Pacific Northwest. Bainbridge is quaint and removed from the hustle and bustle of Seattle but connected by a short 35-minute ferry ride.

On most days this commute is breathtaking and smooth sailing. The commute from the island would appear to most travelers as very easy if compared to the gridlock of honking horns and bicyclists threading through packed traffic. However, as of late, we Puget Sound residents have been experiencing an overabundance of rattled nerves. With all the congestion caused by building going on downtown and in the surrounding vicinity, the Seattle bustle has become a hassle. The old infrastructure is being upgraded and it’s been difficult keeping up with the massive growth of the city, attributable to many factors, Amazon’s enormous presence among them.

I’m a bridge player and I’m always trying to bid and make a grand slam when the opportunity presents itself. So I know that trying for the big win might cause you to come up short.

I'm using bridge as a metaphor for my thoughts about what’s important to people and their peace of mind. Is living on a quaint island with walking trails, exceptional schools, and courteous drivers something that intrigues you and makes you feel as though you’ve made a grand slam? If so, Bainbridge Island may be your place. Unfortunately, if you find yourself sitting in a ferry line for hours due to a ferry delays adding hours to you commute it can feel less like nirvana and more like you’ve been dealt a house of cards.

What’s the answer? There really isn’t a perfect answer. You may pay less for housing to live on the Island, enjoy the quiet once you arrive home, and love the break from the hipness of Seattle with restaurants, museums, a Starbucks on every corner. However, you'll want to take the daily grind of a ferry commute into consideration if you'd need to drive on rather than biking or walking on.

If you’re thinking of relocating to the Pacific Northwest to experience this wonderful lifestyle, is working from home two or three days a week an option? Is it possible to negotiate your ferry or parking fees as part of your hiring contract?

I list and sell real estate and try to make sure I consider all the factors when helping clients find the right home. If you need a home office to help with work-life balance, make sure to put that on the list of priorities. Working with your Real Estate Broker to meet your needs should create a situation that gives you smooth sailing, not the keys to a house of cards!

Bainbridge Island Real Estate Statistics

  • Commercial Listings with a high of $3,000,000 a median of $958,650 a low of $310,000 days on market 293.
  • 69 Active Listings with a high of $9,750,000 a median of $789,000 a low of $360 days on market 114.
  • 14 Pending Property Listings with a high of $6,198,000 a median of $635,000 a low of $1,700 days on market 86.
  • 22 Vacant Land Listings with a high of $3,750,000 a median of $510,000 and a low of $79,000 days on market 194.
  • 1 Pending Vacant Land Listings with a high of $649,000 and a median of $649,000 a low of $649,000 days on market 106.
  • 27 Sold Residential Listings with a high of $1,950,000 and a median of $724,500 a low of $290,000 days on market 73.

 

 

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!

Bainbridge Island Market Statistics

Over the past 30 days, Bainbridge Island has had:

  • 6 Commercial Listings with a high of $3,000,000 a median of $958,650 a low of $310,000 days on market 293.

  • 69 Active Listings with a high of $9,750,000 a median of $789,000 a low of $360 days on market 114.

  • 14 Pending Property Listings with a high of $6,198,000 a median of $635,000 a low of $1,700 days on market 86.

  • 22 Vacant Land Listings with a high of $3,750,000 a median of $510,000 and a low of $79,000 days on market 194.

  • 1 Pending Vacant Land Listings with a high of $649,000 and a median of $649,000 a low of $649,000 days on market 106.

  • 27 Sold Residential Listings with a high of $1,950,000 and a median of $724,500 a low of $290,000 days on market 73.

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

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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