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  • Writer's pictureKim McLaughlin

Grand slam, or house of cards?

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!

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