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  • Writer's pictureKim McLaughlin

When does a house become a home, or does a home become a house?

I have many years of experience as a real estate broker and have worked in both the eastern and western portions of the country. I have been in the management sector as a Corporate Relocation Manager, in new construction, resale, and the investment side. I understand many nuances that go along with buying and selling properties.

Real estate is a business strongly tied to emotions that are difficult to align with home sales as a transaction with many factors weighing on the outcome. Homes provide shelter, stability and community, and a place to call HOME. They also tie us down, demand our involvement to stay in good condition, and take a good chunk of our net worth. How do you reconcile the joy of owning a home and the commitment to make it a home — and when does that prospect change (if ever) to make it just a house?


Four skeletons dancing with top hats and bow ties to signal the Halloween season

Kim and Jack's logo as a skeleton key

Do you love your home? Has it given back more than it’s taken? Does your home give you peace of mind, comfort, stability, a sense of community — and bring you endless joy? Do you love the idea of working in a yard, planting a garden, rearranging furniture, updating rooms that need a refresh? Is cleaning out the garage a way to clear your head of work worries that gives you a sense of accomplishment? OR do weekend house chores, yardwork, gutter cleaning, and power washing feel like pure drudgery? Would you rather work in the yard on the weekend or go wine tasting? These may seem like silly questions but more times than not if I don’t ask potential home buyers and sellers what they love about owning a home, I won’t get the REAL answer. To be clear here … many times, we don’t ask ourselves the most foundational questions before we leap into a decision.

A home should be a place that gives you peace, a place that gives you a sense of calm and fills a void, giving you comfort and making you feel safe. A house is a place that provides a place to eat, sleep, and get ready for work — located where you can send your kiddos to school, grocery shop, and fulfill a set of functions with little emotion or joy attached. A house that was a home may have become a place that has memories but those times have since been replaced by other needs and wants. Letting go can be as daunting as holding on. The real questions you need to ask yourself are: Where is your heart? What is your future and what lets you sleep at night?

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Bainbridge Island real estate over the past 30 days


  • 16 Active residential listings
 High $3,500,000, Median $1,049,995
 Low $440,000, Average days on market 21


  • 3 Contingent listings
 High $939,000, Median $899,000
 Low $525,000, Average days on market 45


  • 20 Pending listings
 High $3,550,000, Median $1,281,500
 Low $449,000, Average days on market 47


  • 42 Sold residential listings
 High $2,650,000, Median $1,127,000
 Low $525,000, Average days on market 39


  • 2 Active vacant land listings
 High $975,000, Median $552,000
 Low $129,000, Average days on market 10


  • 1 Pending vacant land listing
 High $295,000, Median $295,000 Low $295,000, Average days on market 3

  • 2 Sold vacant land listings High $425,000, Median $327,5000 Low $230,000, Average days on market 191


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