While the holidays will look different this year due to the pandemic, there are still many ways to safely enjoy them. We’ve compiled a list of local holiday events. Please note that at the time of publication, all of these events were scheduled to occur. But due to the situation with COVID-19, it’s important to check event websites and state guidelines in order to get the most up-to-date information.
Bloedel Reserve’s Winter in the Woods
With over 150 acres to enjoy, the Reserve is always a treat. Through most of December and into the beginning of 2021, you can stroll across their beautiful grounds and spot cleverly crafted snow people. They also have a Wishing Tree with individually wrapped wooden ornaments and pencils that you can use to add your wishes for the new year.
When: Dec. 5, 2020 – Jan. 3, 2021, open Tuesdays-Sundays, 10:00 AM – 4:00 PM
Closed Mondays, Christmas Day, and New Years Day
Where: Bloedel Reserve, Bainbridge Island
Cost: Included with Admission. Tickets must be purchased in advance online via timed tickets. Canned food donations are requested, which support YWCA Kitsap County.
Lighted Ships Parade
Every year, Rudolph leads Santa across the Puget Sound, greeting people along the parade route. Although there won’t be the typical festivities due to social distancing requirements, this is still a fun way to mark the holidays. This will be the 51st year of this tradition, put on by the Poulsbo Yacht Club. Bring some hot chocolate and enjoy the beautiful parade of festively lit boats. Or, register your lighted ship to “be the light”.
When: December 12, 5:30 PM to 9:00 PM
Where: Starts at Poulsbo Yacht Club Marina with a schedule/route
Holiday at Fay – Drive-Through Event
Enjoy an illuminated, festive holiday show from the comfort of your car. Play your favorite holiday songs with your family and drive through their dazzling display. For info and updates, follow their Facebook event here.
When: 2nd and 3rd weekends in December, Friday-Sunday, 5:00 PM – 8:00 PM
Where: Fay Bainbridge Park, Bainbridge Island
Cost: $20 per vehicle. Register here using Activity #541006
Gingerbread House Parties
Delicious fun for everyone, build a gingerbread house in the covered Wintergarden with a table of up to 5 guests. Take-and-Make-at-Home Kits are also available.
When: Nov. 28 – Dec. 20, Thurs. – Sun. with time slots to register for in advance
Where: The Manor House at Pleasant Beach Village, Bainbridge Island
Cost: $48 + tax for one 1 house up to 5 people; Take-and-Make-at-Home Kit $38 + tax. Space is limited so reserve your spot early.
Creative Indoor Holiday Fun
A Chanukah Celebration (Music of John Zorn’s Masada)
Watch this live, 2-part Chanukah celebration while cozied up at home. Seattle musicians James Falzone, Wayne Horvitz, Darren Loucas, Keith Lowe, and Evan Woodle will be playing John Zorn’s music live on the Royal Room Stage. Ben Sisario of The New York Times says, “Masada, which [John Zorn] began in the early 1990s, was an attempt to explore his own roots and expand the idea of Jewish music through a ‘songbook’ that linked the language of klezmer and jazz.”
When: Dec. 11 and 17 at 7:30 PM
Where: Online at LiveConcertStream.com. More info here.
Cost: Free but donations to the artists encouraged.
Emerald Ballet Theatre’s “The Nutcracker” Ballet, Online
If you missed last year’s production of this holiday classic, you can now watch it at home. Emerald Ballet Theatre will be streaming their 2019 recording so you can enjoy this incredible production, which performed to sold-out audiences.
When: Digital premiere on Dec. 11 at 7:00 PM and it will remain online for viewing through the weekend.
Cost: Free but donations encouraged.
If you know of other safe, local holiday events happening on Bainbridge Island or around the Kitsap Peninsula that aren’t included here, please let us know on our new Facebook page, Windermere Sound Living. It’s where we’re celebrating the communities we serve with uplifting stories, helpful resources, and interesting local events.
We wish you and your family a safe, healthy holiday season!
Bainbridge Island’s market had an incredibly strong third quarter. We’ve compiled key stats below to provide a comprehensive review of our market, as well as insights and predictions from Windermere Real Estate’s Chief Economist, Matthew Gardner.
Our Strong Seller’s Market
It’s a hot seller’s market here on Bainbridge Island. Inventory remains low and demand is still high. In our third quarter, closed sales were up 43.6% year-over-year. Buyers should be aware that multiple offer situations are very common. Our Brokers have seen a significant increase in all-cash offers. In September alone (when the market typically starts to cool down), 37% of all Bainbridge Island residential sales were from all-cash buyers.
Although mortgage rates remain historically low and demand is high, our Chief Economist, Matthew Gardner, has some concerns about how this may impact real estate down the road. “We may be heading towards a period where we see houses turn over at a far slower pace as we stay in our homes for longer than ever…this could be a problem as it leads to persistently low levels of inventory for sale, which itself could lead to prices continuing to rise at above-average rates and that would further hit affordability.” As for mortgage rates, Gardner does not expect them to rise significantly any time soon. However, he says, “We should all be aware that there could be consequences to very low rates”.
Western Washington Review
Let’s zoom out a bit and look at our area. Below are highlights from The Western Washington Gardner Report provided by Windermere Real Estate’s Chief Economist, Matthew Gardner.
WESTERN WASHINGTON HOME SALES
- Total Sales: 11.6% increase from Q3/2019, and 45.9% higher than Q2/2020
- Homes for Sale: 41.7% lower than Q3/2019, but up 1.6% from Q2/2020
- Pending Sales: up 29% from Q2/2020
WESTERN WASHINGTON HOME PRICES
- Average: $611,793 (up 17.1% from Q3/2019). Low mortgage rates and limited inventory are clearly pushing prices up.
- Prices will continue to increase as long as mortgage rates and inventory levels stay low. If this continues to be the case, affordability issues will become more apparent in many markets.
DAYS ON MARKET, WESTERN WASHINGTON
- Average: 36 days (an average of 4 fewer days than in Q2/2020 and 2 fewer days than in Q3/2019)
- Kitsap County’s average days on market: 20
In Gardner’s Western Washington Report, he states that, although we have a strong seller’s market that is very buoyant, he’s “starting to see affordability issues increase in many areas—not just in the central Puget Sound region—and this is concerning. Perhaps the winter will act to cool the market, but something is telling me we shouldn’t count on it.”
Now, more than ever, Windermere Bainbridge fiercely supports our beloved Bainbridge Island businesses – and we’re asking you to join us. We’re all experiencing some of the most challenging, unprecedented changes to what we know as normal life. We are grateful for a resilient real estate market on our beautiful island. But our hearts and actions support our vital, local-business culture. It’s a large part of what makes our island so unique, and it needs support from all of us – right now.
The Bainbridge Chamber of Commerce has teamed up with the Bainbridge Island Downtown Association to create SOS Bainbridge Island. This informative community effort aims to save our stores and businesses. Its website includes updates on how you can safely shop, dine, and support local merchants. Windermere Bainbridge Broker, Jackie Syvertsen notes, “I love how Bainbridge businesses have evolved to stay open through the Covid crisis. They’re happily creating distancing and extra safety features to accommodate.”
According to the Bainbridge Chamber of Commerce, many businesses, especially on Winslow Way, rely on summer visitors and tourism to help them survive through the rest of the year. Since this year’s visitor season was significantly quiet, we can all help now by shopping, dining, and supporting Bainbridge Island businesses.
Local Windermere Broker, Susan Grosten brings to light that “most of our businesses are owned by our own Bainbridge neighbors and friends, all who regularly add back to the community as locals. I’ve enjoyed so many of them, for 31 years and counting!”
Since 2005, a portion of every Windermere Bainbridge agent’s commission is donated to the Windermere Foundation of Bainbridge Island. Each year, the foundation donates funds and provides scholarships and support to essential community service organizations on Bainbridge Island.
Additionally, we are passionate locals who regularly shop, dine, and support merchants within our community. Our Broker, Shannon Dierickx says, “I have so many great experiences with local shopping and dining. I’m an original island girl who loves to keep our local businesses thriving!” Broker Cheryl Mauer adds, “I love stopping in at Covet Boutique to pick up a special gift, or to find myself the perfect outfit or jewelry.”
For our Bainbridge treats and dining favorites, the list is endless. Our marketing team notes a gamut including Bene Pizza, Streamliner Diner, Hitchcock, Treehouse Cafe, Sawatdy Thai Cuisine, Doc’s Marina Grill, and so many more. We all have many dear, personal favorites on the island, and now is the time to support them all.
In addition to listing current updates on how restaurants and cafes have adjusted to serve the community, SOS Bainbridge Island’s website also includes information on how many other businesses and services have shifted.
“One of my very favorite businesses on Bainbridge is Barrecor! Owner Emiliana and her wonderful instructors are offering their amazing classes online,” raves our Broker, Susan Grosten. Another business that stands out to our team is the local non-profit, Bainbridge Island Saddle Club. The organization aims to promote good horsemanship and foster equestrian sports locally. Windermere Broker, Maureen Buckley appreciates its programs and favors that “it’s an old-fashioned horse club for local kids to adults.”
We are truly all in this together. The more we all support the Bainbridge Island businesses we love, the more we’ll endure these trying times as a community.
Bainbridge Island’s allure includes the peace and adventure it offers in every season, making it a great Labor Day destination, even amidst social distancing. While large gatherings are still on hold, below are some creative ways to say goodbye to summer while staying safe this Labor Day weekend.
Support Bainbridge Island Businesses
Bainbridge is home to many locally-owned shops and restaurants. Many are open and need support now more than ever. According to the Bainbridge Chamber of Commerce, many businesses rely on visitors from April through September to help them succeed. Since this year’s visitor season has been significantly quiet, the Chamber and the Bainbridge Island Downtown Association have developed SOS Bainbridge Island, in an effort to Save our Stores and Businesses. Their website includes updates on how you can safely shop, dine, and support local merchants.
Host a Backyard Movie Night
Upon publishing this post, Kitsap County is in Phase 2 of reopening. For safe Labor Day social distancing, outdoor recreation can include up to five people outside your household. This happens to be a delightful headcount for a DIY outdoor theater. Project a classic, favorite film in the comfort of your own yard. Have a catered, intimate event using a local favorite such as Via Rosa 11 or Bainbridge Island BBQ.
Choose your Own Labor Day Adventure
Stretch the summer spirit with all that Bainbridge has to offer this Labor Day weekend. From water sports to hiking, to exploring the Bloedel Reserve – everyone can partake in fun holiday-weekend activities. Just be sure to check out the latest safety updates before venturing out.
Savor Summer Favorites
Say so long to summer while savoring seasonal favorites. Enjoy zucchini walnut bread from Blackbird Bakery or watermelon sorbet from Mora Iced Creamery. Craving one last crab feast of the year? The season runs through Labor Day, so be sure to obtain a license and discover the best spots here.
We wish you all a safe and joyous holiday weekend!
Windermere Bainbridge Island studies market data each quarter to evaluate trends and stats in order to convey a valuable review to our clients and community. Windermere Real Estate’s Chief Economist Matthew Gardner also contributes his broad, expert analysis of the Western Washington market, which we share below to illustrate a complete picture and forecast.
Despite the challenges of Covid-19, the Bainbridge Island real estate market continues to press on. June 2020 saw a dramatic rise in the number of pending sales from the same month last year. Mortgage rates remain historically low and multiple offers are once again commonplace, indicating our spring market may have been delayed but is now taking hold. For these reasons, our forecast speedometer continues to show a solid seller’s market.
Western Washington Review and Forecast
The following is a summary of The Western Washington Gardner Report provided by Windermere Real Estate’s Chief Economist, Matthew Gardner. He analyzes and interprets economic data and its impact on both local and national levels. Matthew has over 30 years of professional experience both in the U.S. and the U.K.
WESTERN WASHINGTON HOME SALES
- Total Sales: 22.2% drop from Q2/2019, but 30.6% rise from Q1/2020
- Homes for Sale: 37% fewer than Q2/2019, but up 32% from Q1/2020
- Pending Sales: up 35.7% from Q1/2020
WESTERN WASHINGTON HOME PRICES
- Average: $559,194 (up 3.5% from Q2/2019, up 6.6% from Q1/2020, suggesting that any concern regarding negative impacts to home values as a function of COVID-19 may be overblown.)
- What to watch for: Significant price growth in less urbanized areas going forward may be an indication that COVID-19 is affecting where buyers are choosing to live.
DAYS ON MARKET, WESTERN WASHINGTON
- Average: 40 days (matching Q2/2019, 14 fewer days than Q1/2020)
What a difference a quarter makes! Demand has re-appeared remarkably quickly and interest rates remain historically low. It certainly remains a seller’s market and I don’t expect this to change in the foreseeable future.
We have recently awarded our Windermere Foundation Scholarship to two incredible graduates from Bainbridge High School’s Class of 2020. There were many talented applicants and it was difficult to choose only two recipients. However, the two students we selected are remarkable individuals. Congratulations to Shea Dephinedae and Libby Clements Hall! Read on to find out more about our scholarship and these well-deserving recipients.
The Scholarship & Our History
Every year, Windermere Bainbridge offers two to three scholarships to invest in Bainbridge Island’s youth. We award the Windermere Foundation scholarships to students based on a variety of their community service involvement and scholastic achievements.
Community service is our primary focus since we pride ourselves on our own community involvement. You will often find our agents and staff volunteering and supporting local organizations. Giving back is a big part of who we are. For the past 15 years, a portion of every agent’s commission has been donated to the Windermere Foundation of Bainbridge Island. All agents participate, and with this common purpose, we collectively show how much our community means to us.
We’re also proud to be part of the broader Windermere Foundation. It impacts communities across 10 states and has raised over $41 million for programs that provide shelter, food, children’s programs, and more.
Scholarship Winner Shea Dephinedae
Shea was an active member of cheer throughout high school and participated in basketball, arts, and community service activities. Also, Shea enjoys cartooning, sculpting, and writing poetry.
When describing community service experiences, Shea said one particular moment that stood out was when they helped senior citizens with technology. “[We] visited a nursing home and helped them to use their phones and tablets. It was always so pleasant to see such kind-hearted people be able to use their phones more effectively and communicate with their families easier.”
A highly active student, Shea was also a member of the National Honors Society for all four years. Additionally, Shea worked for Bainbridge Gardens and still managed to maintain a high GPA.
Now that Shea has graduated, he plans to attend the University of Washington and major in Sculpting. After receiving the Windermere Foundation scholarship, Shea said, “I would just like to say thank you. Windermere’s incredibly generous scholarship was such an amazing and exciting surprise during a rough time. I know this money will greatly benefit me and I hope to one day give back to my community just as you all have.”
Scholarship Winner Elizabeth “Libby” Clements Hall
Throughout high school, Libby was an active member of band and theater, participating in Les Miserables, Radium Girls, Glee voice, and dance. A performing arts enthusiast, Libby has been doing theater since she was three.
Regarding community service, Libby was an assistant in ILC, a special education classroom at Bainbridge High School. Libby said that experience was the highlight of senior year.
A very active student, Libby also volunteered as a BPA main stage volunteer, Island Theater volunteer, NAACP member, and a Bainbridge Pride Volunteer. Libby also maintained a high GPA and received awards and recognition: the Silver Presidential Service Award and honors in theater. Additionally, Libby lettered in band, theater, and winter guard and was an officer of the International Thespian Society.
Libby plans to attend Seattle University, majoring in History, English, and Interdisciplinary Arts with a focus on Music and Theater. “I plan to get a master’s degree in education and become a special education teacher.” Libby was excited to receive our scholarship and said, “Thank you for this awesome opportunity!”
Here at Windermere, we strive to make a difference, big and small and it’s an honor to support Shea and Libby through the Windermere Foundation scholarship. Please join us in wishing them the very best! We know they will make our community very proud.
With the current state of the world, and the beauty and relevance of this new listing, we thought there would be no better time than now to share it. This home is a sunny sustainable retreat. Featuring everything you need and more to be as close to self-sufficient as you can without going off-grid.
Enjoy Everything Sunrise Neighborhood has to Offer
Located in the Sunrise Neighborhood of Bainbridge Island, this home has views of the Puget Sound and the Cascade Mountains. With easy access to Wilkes School, Rolling Bay shops, and Fay Bainbridge Waterfront park.
This home is situated on just over an acre of flat, grassy land. It has a properly fenced backyard and garden space, landscaped gardens, and a chicken coop for daily, fresh eggs. The vast open yard in front and behind the home gives privacy and tranquility.
Unique Sustainable Retreat
Gleaming hardwood floors, open floor plan, unique spaces, and a traditional brick fireplace give the interior its own charm. There are 4 bedrooms plus two office/den spaces…. Stuck at home in quarantine? Work from home in the main floor office, or turn it into a craft room or playroom. The cozy sunroom off the kitchen features gorgeous exposed beams and views of the backyard and garden.
Play in the yard, soak your long day away in the bathtub, curl up in the sunroom with a good book, or get your hands dirty in the garden. This home has endless opportunities for peaceful living.
Our Agents are Proud, Knowledgeable Locals
Windermere Bainbridge is so much more than a real estate company. Our 36 agents and 5 staff members are all active community members. We share a love of the Pacific Northwest and are proud of Bainbridge Island’s excellent schools and vibrant downtown with its eclectic mix of small businesses. Whether we are helping you buy your dream house or sell your island home, we are here to support you. We have a global marketing network, high quality, local vendors, and vast knowledge of the area that spans generations.
The Pearl of the Puget Sound
Bainbridge Island is a very unique place to call home. It’s nestled between the Olympic Peninsula and Puget Sound. Ideal for retirees, parents, Seattle professionals who enjoy a beautiful commute by ferry. Fill your need for adventure by exploring the Olympic National Park, kayaking or stand up paddling on the Sound, and taking advantage of nature trails that wrap around the island.
Not only is our location incredible, but the people are as well. We support our community organizations and take care of one another. If volunteering, taking care of the planet, or shopping small are activities you enjoy, Bainbridge is your place. Our Windermere Bainbridge team is highly involved in the community. You will often find our agents strolling the farmers market, enjoying Friday art walks, or participating in community events and programs.
Windermere Bainbridge: All in, for you!
We provide a range of real estate services. If you are a first-time homebuyer checking out homes for sale, we will listen to your wants and needs and help you find a home in the neighborhood that best suits you. Thinking of moving? We have agents who are relocation specialists who will support you through this transition. Perhaps you’d like to downsize, sell, or purchase an investment property. We are here for you. Many of our agents are luxury home experts who specialize in the unique needs of our premier clientele and the distinctive marketing tactics required to sell premier properties.
Our team possesses a range of 4 – 37 years in the industry with an office average of 16 years. We know the ins and outs of the island’s housing market, the current mortgage rates, and more. “All in, for you” isn’t something we simply say. We really do go above and beyond for our clients.