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  • Writer's pictureKim McLaughlin

What matters?

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.

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.

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