Community November 29, 2021

Local Holiday Festivities

There are so many wonderful ways to enjoy the holiday season, and they’re all happening right here in our own backyard. From free pony rides for kids to a Viking bonfire, we’ve got you covered.

3 Great Places to See Santa

Santa at the Manor House

When: Dec. 4, Dec. 11, Dec. 18, and Dec. 19, 11:00 AM – 3:00 PM

Where: Manor House at Pleasant Beach Village, Bainbridge Island

Cost: Free

Head on down to visit Santa and give him your holiday wish list. There are also plenty of cute stores to shop locally for holiday gifts. Pleasant Beach Village is also a fun place to grab a bite or beverage to round out your holiday weekend festivities.

Santa Breakfast

When: Sunday, Dec. 5 5 9:00 – 11:00 AM

Where: Poulsbo Sons of Norway

Cost: $7 for children 10 and under, $10 for ages 10+

Enjoy a tasty breakfast that includes pancakes, lingonberries, bacon, sausage, fruit, potatoes, coffee, juices, and a “no contact” visit with Santa.

Nordic Father Christmas in Poulsbo

When: Saturdays in December from 11:00 AM – 3:00 PM, Sundays in December 12:00 – 3:00PM, Christmas Eve 11:00 AM – 2:00 PM (Drop off letters anytime.)

Where: Santa’s House in front of Marina Market in Downtown Poulsbo

Cost: Free (Donations to Fishline Food Bank are encouraged.)

Visit Father Christmas for a photo op in front of his little house at this cute little Holiday Tiny Home in Historic Downtown Poulsbo. Bring your own camera for some family photos. Additionally, kids can drop off their letter to Santa and they’ll receive a reply if a return address is listed.

Holiday Festivals

Kingston Cove Christmas

When: Dec. 4 10:00 AM – 6:00 PM

Where: Mike Wallace Park in Kingston

Cost:
 Free

Kingston’s annual Christmas event boasts thousands upon thousands of lights. The official lighting ceremony is on December 4th at 5:00 PM. However, there are plenty of festivities happening throughout the day. This year there’s a Craft Fair at the Village Green (10:00 AM – 3:00 PM), Santa’s Workshop (take and make crafts), photos with Santa at Kingston Cove Yacht Club (1:00 – 4:00 PM), live music, Santa’s arrival, a boat parade, a cookie-crawl, and a holiday spirits garden. View the complete schedule. Once the holiday lights are on, they light up the waterfront until the first week of January. So, you can take a stroll to enjoy it all season long. Unusual creations for this display usually include an octopus, a dragon, butterflies, and turtles.

Julefest: Nordic Market, Taste of Norway, and Viking Bonfire 

When: Dec. 4 11:00 AM – 7:00 PM

Where: Sons of Norway and Poulsbo Waterfront Park

Cost: Free

Taste Norwegian food, shop for Scandinavian-inspired gifts and crafts and experience the holidays with a Nordic twist at the Sons of Norway Lodge. At dusk, enjoy the Lucia Bride ceremony where the Vikings escort Lucia and her wreath of candles to the shore on their boat, followed by a bonfire and winter proclamation. It’s one of the most authentic Nordic holiday ceremonies in the Northwest, and very unique to Poulsbo.

Port Gamble Country Christmas

When: Dec. 11 & 12

Where: Port Gamble

Cost: Free+

Celebrate the holidays in historic Port Gamble with shopping and holiday lights! This year they have over 100,000 lights on display. On Saturday, Dec. 11th there will be a community lighting at 5:00 PM followed by fireworks. Santa’s workshop ($5 per child) is open Saturday 11:00 AM – 4:00 PM and Sunday 11:00 AM – 3:00 PM. Merry Meadows Farm will have their ponies near the pavilion for holiday pony rides as well.

Lighted Ships Parade, Bonfire, and Caroling

When Dec. 11, 5:00 PM

Where: Liberty Bay and Poulsbo Waterfront Park

Cost: Free

Find a spot along Liberty Bay to watch the lighted ship parade, complete with call-outs from Santa. If you want to add a name to Santa’s list for him to call out, you can email santa@poulsboyc.org before Dec. 10th. The Crossroads Rotary will be hosting a bonfire, and caroling will be provided by Emerald Heights Elementary. View Poulsbo Yacht Club’s route map.

Unique Holiday Activities

Holiday Pony Rides

When: Dec. 4 & 5 11:00 AM – 2:00 PM

Where: Countryman Stables

5349 McDonald Ave. NE, Bainbridge Island

Cost: Free

This holiday experience has been going on for almost two decades, giving children the experience of horse riding for the holidays. Children up to age 12 are welcome. Helmets are available, or you can bring your own.

Cookies and Canvas – Family Paint Workshop

When: Dec. 4 (2 sessions) & Dec. 11 (2 sessions)

Where: Griffin Gallery in Poulsbo

Cost: $35 per person, pre-registration required (ages 6+ welcome)

Enjoy time with family members or friends while painting. Delicious cookies and warm beverages will make it an extra sweet event. Fee includes all painting supplies, 2 hours of instruction, canvas, snacks, and drinks.

Every Christmas Story Ever Told

When: Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays from Dec. 3 – Dec. 19 (various showtimes)

Where: Port Gamble Theater

Cost: Children $12, Adults $18, Military/Senior/Youth $16

Live theater is back in Port Gamble! Enjoy a funny look at holiday specials and stories that are often relatable. Note from the theater: Santa’s existence is called into question, so caution to parents who may wish to keep that magic alive.  Tickets can be purchased here.  

Holiday at Fay – Drive-Thru Holiday Event (Pre-Register)

When: Dec. 9 – 12 & Dec. 16 – 19. Driving times available between 5:00 – 8:00 PM

Where: Fay Bainbridge Park, Bainbridge Island

Cost: $20 per vehicle

Experience a beautiful light display from the comfort of your cozy car. Pack the car with your favorite holiday treats and play your favorite festive tunes as you slowly drive through Fay Bainbridge Park, enjoying it in a whole new way!

We wish you a joyful, healthy holiday season! To stay “in the know” about local events, stories, and more, follow our page: Windermere Sound Living.

Community November 29, 2021

Our Community Involvement in 2021

We love Bainbridge Island and our community involvement is an important part of how we operate. So, we thought we would take a moment to share how our Windermere Bainbridge Island office has been involved this year. By doing so, we hope to spread awareness about some of the great events and non-profits that you can connect to and support as well.

Annual Support

We’ve proudly supported Bainbridge Youth Services (BYS) for years. Since 1962, they’ve worked hard to “promote the social and emotional well-being of adolescents and young adults” through a variety of services including free, confidential counseling, and peer tutoring.

Another youth-centered organization that we support on an annual basis is the Boys & Girls Club of Bainbridge Island. They offer a program for K – 4th grade and a separate middle school program for 5th – 8th grade. When the pandemic began, our local Boys & Girls Club chapter began offering discounted rates and extended out-of-school programming.

PAWS of Bainbridge Island and North Kitsap has been helping pets and their people for 45 years, and we love supporting their efforts. PAWS is a volunteer-based nonprofit animal welfare organization. Their services include pet adoption, spay/neuter assistance, pet retention counseling, humane care for elderly cats, and veterinary financial assistance. They have been helping cats and dogs find loving homes since 1975.

Community Events

Bainbridge Island’s Art Walk is a vibrant event, and we love participating in it. It happens the first Friday of every month and it’s a fun way to enjoy local artists’ creations and live music while having a bite to eat and chatting with neighbors and friends. This tradition is brought to you by the Bainbridge Island Downtown Association. This year, we moved our office to downtown Winslow Way, and we’ve loved highlighting local artists and musicians during the Art Walk. We will continue to do so in the new year.

Another fun event we look forward to each year is Shred Fest. It’s a free event where you can safely and securely shred old documents and recycle old electronics. We love to host this event because it helps people get organized and recycle. And, it’s always fun when friends and clients stop by.

Every year, all Windermere offices close for Community Service Day so that we can give back to the communities we serve. This year, some of us helped with the Bainbridge Island Land Trust, which works to “conserve and steward the diverse natural environments of Bainbridge Island for the benefit of all”. They’ve protected 1, 471 acres to date and provided 1,102 public acres. Additionally, we hosted an online fundraiser in an effort to further support Bainbridge Youth Services.

Every year, we participate in Pacific Northwest Title’s annual food drive. This year marked their 17th year. There are many in need in our community, and a food drive is an easy way to give back. In fact, in Kitsap County, approximately one-third of adults are food insecure and over a third of local children are in need of free and reduced lunch. Our local food banks serve about 48,000 residents per year.

This year we also supported Kitsap Humane Society‘s drive sponsored by Pacific Northwest Title, and we promoted Kitsap Humane Society for Kitsap Great Give. Dedicated to rescuing, rehabilitating, and rehoming pets, Kitsap Humane Society has been serving our community since 1908. It’s one of the leading animal welfare organizations in the Pacific Northwest. Last year alone, KHS rehomed 3,676 animals. Check out our video promoting Kitsap Humane Society, which features some of our agents and their pets.

 

Other fun events that we were happy to support this year include Hometown Halloween and the senior class graduation parade.

Additionally, a couple of our agents sponsored some of the studios for the Bainbridge Island Studio Art Tour. This free, self-guided tour celebrates locally made art. It’s a chance to appreciate local artisans, see works in progress, and purchase beautiful art. The upcoming Winter Studio Tour 2021 will be from December 3rd – 5th.

Windermere Foundation, Bainbridge Island

A portion of every agent’s commission is donated to the Windermere Foundation of Bainbridge Island. All of our agents participate, and we’re also proud to be part of the broader Windermere Foundation. It impacts communities across 10 states and we’ve collectively raised over $41 million for programs that provide shelter, food, children’s programs, and more.

Every year, our Foundation awards two or three Bainbridge High School graduates a total of $6,000 in scholarships based on their community service, academic achievement, and financial need. We have also supported a variety of local nonprofits. This year we awarded grants to Peacock Family Services, Helpline House, Arms Around Bainbridge, Housing Resources Bainbridge, and Bainbridge Youth Services. All of these organizations strengthen our community, providing vital resources and support to those in need.

While we recognize that there are many different ways to give back, we’re proud of what we’ve done so far. If you’re looking to get more involved in our community, we hope this has sparked some ideas. We should note that our agents also support a variety of charities on their own. So this only reflects our office-wide community involvement.

Real Estate Market October 11, 2021

Third Quarter Market Review for Bainbridge Island

Bainbridge Island’s real estate market remains a strong seller’s market. In our third quarter, we continued to see homes sell above the asking price. We also saw a similar increase in average sale price when compared to this time last year. We’ve compiled key highlights to keep you in the know about our local market. 

third-quarter-market-stats-bainbridge

Bainbridge’s Competitive Market

Bainbridge Island continues to get more competitive for buyers in this third quarter.  Many home buyers want to live near Seattle while enjoying beautiful Bainbridge, and remote work trends have increased demand.  However, the volume of homes on the market decreased year-over-year, making our seller’s market that much stronger.  If you’re looking to buy, our Brokers can help guide you through this competitive market. They know this market extremely well, they know the nuances of Bainbridge’s neighborhoods, and they have excellent track records.

Market Data

In the last five quarters outlined in the graph below, the long-standing growth trend in sales volume is finally slowing.  Yet home prices are still growing and sold homes still outpace pending listings as a result of the increased economic demand.  As the season slows and inventory wanes, prices may level – effectively balancing out the market between buyers and sellers.  Or, at least they will start to shift toward a more balanced market.

q3 2021 sold pending graph

With our lower supply, we continue to see even higher prices. While many buyers are willing to meet the demands of Bainbridge Island’s pricing, there just aren’t enough homes on the market right now.  As you can see below, the averages of listing and sale prices are starting to converge as demand stretches the costs of housing even further in favor of sellers.

sale-listing-price-graph-q3-2021

Home Purchase Sentiment Index: Insights from Matthew Gardner

In his most recent Monday with Matthew video, our Chief Economist delivered a comprehensive analysis of the most recent Home Purchase Sentiment Index figures put out by Fannie Mae.  The data comes from a survey containing approximately 100 questions on housing-related topics. Fannie Mae collected 1,000 consumer responses from across the country. As Matthew Gardner says, “It’s the only national, monthly survey that’s focused primarily on housing.”

The survey shows that many Americans continue to think it is not a good time to buy because of the low supply and rapidly rising prices.  However, many feel it is a good time to sell as consumers predict home prices and mortgage rates will go down.  As Gardner explains, “most consumers continue to report that it’s a good time to sell a home, but a bad time to buy. They most frequently cite high home prices and a lack of supply as their primary rationale…However, the good time to buy component did tick up for the first time since March.”  While this is a recipe to shift towards a buyer’s market, we’ll see how things unfold in the coming months.

Gardner sums it up nicely: “The takeaways for me so far are that consumers tempered both their recent pessimism about home buying conditions and their upward expectations of home price growth.”  So again, we are seeing the potential for a shift toward a more balanced market.

Community September 27, 2021

Fun Fall Activities in North Kitsap

The leaves are turning and fall is here! Celebrate the season with some fun, local fall activities. Here’s a list to get you started. 

Pumpkin Patches

Suyematsu Farms on Bainbridge Island

fall-activities-suyematsu-farms

Photo by Suyematsu Farms.

 

A Bainbridge Island favorite for u-pick, Suyematsu Farms is back at it this year with their wonderful pumpkin patch. They grow many different types of squashes, gourds, and pumpkins. Celebrate autumn by taking festive photos and finding beautiful, delicious fall decor. Check their Instagram or their Facebook page to find out about special happenings. 

Opened Saturday, September 25th

Hours: Weekdays 1:00 PM – 6:00 PM and Weekends 10:00 AM – 5:00 PM

Fat Turnip Farms in Kingston

fat-turnip-farms-fall

Photo by Bittina Erickson.

 

Fat Turnip Farms has a great farm stand with certified organic produce and they have a u-pick pumpkin patch. Their setup offers fun photo ops with friends or little ones, and they periodically offer events. Check their Facebook page for details.

Opened Friday, September 17th

Hours: Daily from 10:00 AM – 6:00 PM

Scandia Patch in Poulsbo

Photo by Scandia Patch.

 

This farm sits on 5 acres in Scandia and has been a local favorite since 1966. They have great produce, pumpkins, herbs, and flowers. Enjoy their beautiful fields and visit their animals. For current offerings, visit their Facebook page.   

Open: Ongoing 

Hours: Times vary; check their Facebook page for the latest information.

Fall Activities

Bainbridge Gardens’ 27th Annual Pumpkin Walk

bainbridge-gardens-fall-pumpkins

Photos by Bittina Erickson.

 

This year is the 27th year the Bainbridge Gardens has hosted this free, delightful Halloween activity. The Bainbridge Gardens’ historic nature trail is lined with hundreds of hand-painted and carved pumpkins as well as themed vignettes. Pumpkin submissions are being requested to add to the pathway, and it’s an integral part of the experience. Live music and food trucks will be making guest appearances. Visit their website for more details.

Starts October 1st and ends October 31st

Hours: Mondays – Saturdays 9:00 AM to 5:30 PM and Sundays 10:00 AM to 5:30 PM

Battle Point Park’s Haunted Hayride on Bainbridge Island

 

The drive-thru version of this event is back again this year. For $25 per car, you can take a Halloween-themed drive to see fun displays and performances.  The attractions are ongoing and cars are asked to continually drive slowly at 5mph to keep the flow of traffic moving. Additionally, you can enter the pumpkin carving contest (PDF) to have your jack-o-lantern displayed during the event. Prizes will be awarded to the top three pumpkins. 

Starts Tuesday, October 19th and ends Thursday, October 21st 

Hours: Drive-thru times are available from 6:00 PM to 9:00 PM and you can register here (one registration needed per vehicle)

 

Valley Nursery’s Fall Kickoff & Glass Pumpkin Patch in Poulsbo

 

fall-activities-valley-nursery

 

Enjoy two fall activities at Valley Nursery in Poulsbo. First, check out their large selection of pumpkins at their Fall Kickoff, happening the first weekend in October. It includes raffle prizes and delicious food for purchase from Smoked Asian Food Truck, Viking Ice Cream, and Cookie Creations. The following week, they’re having their annual, one-day Glass Pumpkin Patch, sponsored by Tacoma Glass Blowing Studio. Come for the festivities and for lunch! The Barbacoa Food Truck will be there as well as Cookie Creations. Stay up to date on Valley Nursery’s happenings by visiting their Instagram

Fall Kickoff is on Saturday, Oct. 2nd and Sunday, Oct. 3rd

Glass Pumpkin Patch is on Saturday, October 9th 9:00 AM – 3:00 PM

First Signs of Fall

As a little bonus, watch our snapshot video showing the first signs of fall. We loved getting glimpses of fall’s colors at Poulsbo’s Fish Park.

Community August 30, 2021

Enjoy Bainbridge’s Water Sports, Marinas & Yacht Clubs

Surrounded by amazing water-based activities, Bainbridge Island has no shortage of fun ways to enjoy island life. With convenient places to moor boats of all sizes and options for chartering tours, kayak rentals, scuba diving lessons, and Stand Up Paddleboarding (SUP), there is something here for everyone. Below you’ll find a great list to get you started.  

Water Adventures

paddleboarding-bainbridge-island

Photo by Leo Phillips.

Exotic Aquatics

A great shop for water enthusiasts, Exotic Aquatics offers kayak and paddleboard rentals, and scuba classes and certification. For kayak and SUP, they offer rentals, guided tours, and purchases. For scuba diving, their offerings include classes, tours, and rentals. Additionally, they are a PADI 5-Star Training Facility. Their current kayak tour options include excursions to Blake Island and a full-moon paddle. 

Kayak and SUP Rentals: $23.50+ | Scuba Classes $79.95+

Sail Bainbridge

From two-hour excursions to multi-day overnight trips, Sail Bainbridge has been chartering tours for six years and offers private bookings for one to six people. These trips are a wonderful way to explore Bainbridge and beyond. Whether you’re new to the area or you have visitors to entertain, Sail Bainbridge is a fun way to experience our beautiful corner of the Pacific Northwest. Climb aboard the 44’ Pearson Countess Yacht named TRUE, and let their team do the rest. 

2-hour sail for 6: $395 | All-day sail for 6: $985

Waterfront Park and City Dock

Launch your next adventure from Waterfront Park, one of the most popular spots for recreation on Bainbridge. There is a boat launch and a trailer parking lot as well as a hand-launch for smaller vessels like kayaks and paddleboards. The 900-foot city dock is directly south of the park. The dock provides first-come-first-serve moorage for boats up to 70 feet. Open year-round, they also provide electricity and pump-out services. 

Launch and Trailer Parking $8/day or $80/year | Moorage $0.50/foot for 24 hours

Marinas and Yacht Clubs

eagle-harbor-boardwalk-bainbridge-island

Photo by Leo Phillips.

Eagle Harbor Marina

Located directly across from the Winslow Ferry Dock, the Eagle Harbor Marina is a convenient home base for your boat and you can easily explore the north or south parts of the Sound. They offer laundry and shower facilities, state-of-the-art pump out at each slip, free WiFi, and have a clubhouse you can rent for small events. 

Boat accommodations 25’ to 200’ | 12-month contract | No Liveaboards

Eagle Harbor Yacht Club

Established in 1978, the EHYC describes its club as “informal, casual, and above all, fun.” They plan group cruises and excursions, social outings, and have reciprocal privileges at over 40 other clubs in the Northwest. Their home location is Winslow Wharf Marina

 Membership $75+ | Located at Winslow Wharf

The Harbour Marina

The Harbour Marina is located just below Harbour Public House, an island favorite. You can enjoy free moorage while you dine! This marina offers a variety of options from hourly or daily rates to monthly rates. Contact them if you wish to arrange a more permanent stay. They have showers, laundry, cable TV, power, and water. Also, they have a pump-out station. The Harbour Marina also connects to the waterfront trail, which stretches from the ferry to just beyond the pub.  

Boat accommodations 48’ and under | Monthly and Daily Rates | Liveaboards Welcome

Port Madison Yacht Club

Port Madison Yacht Club is located on the north end of the Island in Hidden Cove. The facilities include a modest clubhouse, extensive docks, deep-water buoys, lovely natural grounds, and storage for members’ dinghies and tender boats. To join, membership must be approved by a current club member. Multiple sailing races are sponsored each year, and youth sailing camps are also offered.

Limited Availability | Membership $150+ | Residency Requirement for Moorage

Winslow Wharf Marina

Winslow Wharf Marina is described as a water-based version of a condominium called a dockominium.  All slips are privately owned and owner-occupied or used for long-term moorage at monthly rates. They also offer reciprocal moorage for Eagle Harbor Yacht Club members. Short-term moorage is available when owners are gone for extended periods of time. Power is metered, water is provided, and there is a laundromat on site. Free pump-out is available at the City Dock

Privately Owned Slips | Guest Moorage from $1.65/foot | Liveaboards Welcome

Yacht Sales

Olympic View Yachts

A yacht Broker with an office on Bainbridge Island, Olympic View Yachts offers yachts for sale and locations at three other local marinas. They also offer advice on different sized vessels and can assist with listing your boat for sale. They are a helpful resource, especially if you have questions about equipping a vessel for safe travel in the Pacific Northwest, or yachting in general. 

More Island Information

For more local information, check out our Newcomer’s Guide to Bainbridge Island. In it, you’ll find videos, articles, and helpful links to learn about our neighborhoods, schools, outdoor activities, housing prices by city, local home buying resources, and much more.

 

Community August 3, 2021

Community Spotlight: Bainbridge’s Boys & Girls Club

The Boys and Girls Club of Bainbridge Island has persevered through the pandemic and has enriched the minds of countless youth. Since 2001, our Windermere Bainbridge Island office has proudly supported the Club by donating $250 per month, or $60,000 to date. Read on to learn more about the important work that this wonderful nonprofit does right here in our community.

Boys & Girls Club During the Pandemic 

Our local Boys & Girls Club provides academic, engaging, and supportive out-of-school care for Bainbridge Island youth from kindergarten through 8th grade. This organization has also been an integral part of our community’s response to COVID-19. They, along with other local organizations, provided discounted rates and extended out-of-school programming.

Not even the pandemic could stop children from safely having fun and learning at the Boys & Girls Club of Bainbridge Island. The Club implemented remote learning programs to support children during stressful times. And, peer connection, adult mentorship, and engaging activities are still part of the curriculum. As part of their new virtual initiatives, they started offering Free Youth Force Job Readiness workshops. 

This past year and a half, our Boys & Girls Club transformed from an after-school care center to a full-time, safe, and reliable place for kids to learn. Additionally, they’ve provided free childcare for frontline workers’ children. They continue to innovate by working with the Bainbridge Island School District and adapting their programs to meet the changing environment.

School Year Programs

Bainbridge’s Boys & Girls Club provides fun programs throughout the school year. There’s a program for K – 4th grade and a separate middle school program for 5th – 8th grade. Club members enjoy healthy snacks and choose from three to four program options. Kids can choose anything from cooking to sports, Minecraft to drone club. There is also a PowerHour to complete homework. 5th – 8th graders participate in PowerHour every day as well as a variety of program offerings from filmmaking to learning how to play the ukulele. 

Get Involved

If you have a child or children who would like to get involved with our local Boys & Girls Club, the cost varies based on the program. You can find out more on their school year programs page. They also offer full-day camps during school breaks (winter, mid-winter, and summer). To see what the Club has been up to lately, check out their Facebook page.

Whether you have young children or not, it’s easy to see the long-lasting benefits of a nonprofit organization like this. The Club’s programs give students opportunities to try new things, gain confidence, make new friends, and learn in a safe, supportive environment. Every child deserves the opportunity to thrive. The Boys and Girls Club’s mission is to continue to uplift youth and help them reach their goals. If you would like to contribute to our local Club, you can easily donate online.

Real Estate Market July 9, 2021

Second Quarter Market Review for Bainbridge Island

Bainbridge’s real estate market exceeded expectations in our second quarter. That’s even compared to last year’s similarly strong performance. We’ve compiled key highlights to keep you in the know about our local market. 

second quarter bainbridge market stats

Our Strong Seller’s Market

Bainbridge Island is still an increasingly competitive market, and we just had a strong second quarter.  Since Bainbridge is so close to Seattle and retains its island beauty, it continues to attract buyers moving away from bigger cities as the way we work continues to trend toward remote work. There are still many more highly motivated buyers than sellers. Inventory remains low and demand remains high. Our Brokers can help navigate this competitive market. We’ve seen continued situations where buyers are outbid either by price or by an all-cash offer. Having a local expert as your guide can help you achieve success.

In the last five quarters outlined in the graph below, the continued growth trend in sales volume for the second quarter of 2021 is even higher than 2020’s second quarter. That was during the Covid lockdowns, which prompted a surge in home buying in places outside major cities – like Bainbridge Island and beyond.  sold pending graph bainbridge 2020 -2021

Average Prices

With our lower supply, we continue to see even higher prices. And, still, many buyers are showing that they are willing to meet the demands of Bainbridge’s pricing.  As you can see below, the listing and sale prices both continue to rise. Sellers continue to benefit from our inventory shortage.  

average price bainbridge 2021

Market Insights from Matthew Gardner

In his most recent Monday with Matthew, our Chief Economist, Matthew Gardner, begins with the staggering fact that “prices have risen almost three-fold, as the cost to finance has dropped by 72%.”  If the number sounds too good (or bad) to be true, that’s because it is. To get an accurate picture, you also have to consider inflation. Gardner points out that “just like other goods and services, the price of a house today is not directly comparable to the price of that same house 30 years ago”. That’s due to the influence of inflation in the long run.  When you adjust for inflation, the rise in housing prices becomes less drastic. Without adjusting for inflation, “prices have risen by 268%.” But when you adjust for inflation, the “real prices have increased by 83.6%.”  Therefore, “the increase is significantly lower than most people are talking about today.”  This should come as welcome news to discouraged first-time home buyers.

Gardner then compares mortgage payments.  Although, without adjusting for inflation, “mortgage payments have increased by 74.3%,” the inflation-adjusted “real payments are 10.7% lower!”.  Of course, there are other monthly payments associated with homeownership like property taxes. They do not change with market fluctuations. But this still indicates “that prices have been able to rise so significantly because mortgage rates have dropped.” Additionally, home prices adjusted for inflation really haven’t skyrocketed, though many seem to think so. Again, this is great news for buyers.

There are some caveats, though. Gardner clarifies that “there are some markets across the country where the picture isn’t quite as rosy.  In these places, prices have risen significantly more than the national average.”  The Seattle metropolitan subunit, which extends around our local area, is one of these places. This is largely from the increasing affluence in relation to the tech boom.  

Not a Housing Bubble

Gardner says the bottom line is “there are quantifiable reasons to believe that we are not in a national housing bubble today. But some markets will experience a significant slowdown in price growth given where prices are today in concert with the spectre of rising mortgage rates.”  Ultimately, it’s still a strong seller’s market with an overall low supply and high demand. We expect to continue to see issues with affordability as prices and mortgage rates continue to climb.

 

CommunityHome Buyers June 11, 2021

Which Bainbridge Island Neighborhood Suits You?

Bainbridge Island’s stunning views and small-town charm attract tourists and buyers alike. It’s also just a quick 35-minute ferry ride away from Seattle. If you are thinking of moving here, it’s best to get an idea of what distinguishes one part of the island from another. Across the island, you’ll find wonderful parks, beaches, hiking trails, and top-tier schools, but there are many different neighborhoods and types of homes. From downtown condos to family-owned farms, wooded retreats to waterfront estates, Bainbridge has an eclectic mix. Here’s an overview of the northern, central, and southern parts of the island. 

1. North Bainbridge Island

Above Fay Bainbridge Park. Photo by Leo Phillips.

 

The Agate Point area is near Agate Pass Bridge, which connects Bainbridge to the rest of the Kitsap Peninsula. There are many homes in the woods and there are others that have water views. It’s also close to the Bloedel Reserve. A 150-acre island gem, the Bloedel Reserve was named one of North America’s Top 10 Botanical Gardens in 2020.

Another notable neighborhood is Port Madison. Homes typically have waterfront views and a New England feel. They’re also conveniently close to the Port Madison Yacht Club, and Fay Bainbridge Park, which has over 1,400 feet of shoreline. This area is also home to the newer Hidden Cove Estates, which has acres of open space and a waterfront park.

If you’re looking for a home with a view of the Olympic Mountains that’s also a waterfront property, consider Manzanita Bay. It has sandy beaches and it is near Meadowmeer Golf & Country Club and 90-acre Battle Point Park.

For a more rural take on island life, Rolling Bay is a quaint community with many homes on acreage. It’s a historic farming area and it’s near the central part of the island. So, you can easily get away from it all yet still be just a ten-minute drive from downtown Winslow.

2. Central Bainbridge Island

central bainbridge island winslow way

Winslow Way and Eagle Harbor. Photo by Leo Phillips.

 

Central Bainbridge is where to go if you prefer a more urban lifestyle since it’s the economic center of the island, and where the ferry to Seattle is located. Manitou Beach and Murden Cove are perfect places to find a waterfront property with a view of the Seattle skyline.

Wing Point is another popular neighborhood with a variety of homes. Many houses are near Wing Point Golf & Country Club, and some have views of Eagle Harbor.

The cultural center of Bainbridge Island is downtown Winslow. It has interesting boutiques, award-winning restaurants, art galleries, and museums. Thanks to the highly engaged Bainbridge Island Downtown Association, there is never a dull moment. There are many local events including outdoor summer concerts, a great farmers market, and much more. Many properties are within walking distance of Winslow Way, including single-family homes and contemporary condos.

3. South Bainbridge Island

lynwood center bainbridge island

Lynwood Center. Photo by Leo Phillips.

 

This area has excellent sun exposure and many homes in these neighborhoods have water and/or mountain views. This includes homes in Crystal Springs and Point White. Rockaway Beach and Port Blakely are also popular neighborhoods and there are many low bank waterfront homes there. Additionally, Port Blakely has newer homes built in the early 2000s. 

Lynwood Center provides islanders on the south side with their own little downtown, and it’s home to the historic Lynwood Theatre. The surrounding area has grown in recent years with new developments and the renovation of Pleasant Beach Village. You’ll find a variety of shops and restaurants and it is unlike any other area, thanks to its Tudor-style architecture and unique history.

Near the southern tip of the island lies Fort Ward State Park, a 137-acre marine park with over 4,000 feet of shoreline on Rich Passage. The large Fort Ward neighborhood connects to part of Pleasant Beach Drive, which is often referred to as the Gold Coast of Bainbridge since it has many gorgeous, low bank waterfront homes on expansive lots.

 

After learning more about our island’s neighborhoods, you might be drawn to many of them for different reasons. Can you really go wrong when it comes to living on Bainbridge Island? We don’t think so. Each neighborhood is beautiful in its own way. It’s simply a matter of finding which one fits your wants and needs – and then finding the perfect home to match.

 

For more information about our area, check out our Newcomer’s Guide to Bainbridge Island. In it, you’ll find videos, articles, and helpful links to learn about our neighborhoods, schools, outdoor activities, housing prices by city, local home buying resources, and much more.

 

Community May 24, 2021

Community Spotlight: Bainbridge Island Saddle Club

The volunteers of Bainbridge Island Saddle Club (BISC) make equestrianism accessible to locals. Powered by the efforts of community members, BISC provides a family-family environment for beginners and experienced riders to come together. 

Take it from one of Windermere‘s Brokers Ashley Mathews. “Bainbridge Island Saddle Club is such a hidden gem in this community. Riders come from barns all over Kitsap to compete in the safe and fun schooling shows. Many participate in Pony Club and even learn archery while on horseback. I have had some of the best times riding in Saddle Club shows and enjoy peaceful walks with friends on the trails. We are so lucky!” 

ashley mathews riding horse nektonia

Ashley Mathews riding Nektonia in Manzanita Park.

Bainbridge Island Saddle Club’s Mission

Bainbridge Island Saddle Club is a non-profit whose mission is to promote good horsemanship and foster new equestrians. They frequently host a variety of educational activities such as schooling shows and clinics for children and adults.  

The schooling show series includes hunter-jump and dressage. Their offerings run from spring to fall. Then the community comes together with an annual awards banquet to celebrate and honor the members’ achievements. Additionally, families from all over Kitsap County participate in their educational clinics to gain experience with their horses. 

“It’s a great local horse club for beginners to experienced riders. Volunteers do everything from setting up for the shows, flipping hamburgers and tallying scores. They own acreage, a nice arena, and a snack shack and do monthly horse shows from spring until October. It is located next to Manzanita Park, which has 200 acres with groomed trails,” says Maureen Buckley, Managing Broker.

Maureen Buckley horseback riding

Maureen Buckley riding Houston at a Dressage Show.

Get Involved

Bainbridge Island Saddle Club is funded through membership fees, event fees, and community members’ donations of time, money, and expertise. An annual membership at BISC comes with multiple benefits such as discounted rates for shows and clinics, invitations to special events, and the chance to win points toward year-end awards and prizes. 

Unfortunately, the effects of the pandemic pushed back many facility improvements. Thankfully, last year Bainbridge Island Saddle Club joined One Call For All’s non-profit network. One Call For All supports over 100 non-profits on Bainbridge Island through their annual Red Envelope Campaign. The campaign decreases the direct mail solicitation and cuts down on every non-profits fundraising costs. If you’d like to support Bainbridge Island Saddle Club, you can make a donation online

Home Buyers May 5, 2021

4 Tips for Buying a House in Our Strong Seller’s Market

Many buyers are scrambling to secure their dream homes, especially since we have such a strong seller’s market here on Bainbridge Island. Multiple offer situations have become very common. Additionally, our agents know of many situations in which buyers are waiving inspections or are outbid by price or by all-cash offers. Not to worry, our local experts are here to help. Here are four tips and insights.

1. Make Sure You Can View Homes Right Away

“Be ready to view homes ASAP so you don’t miss out on getting a showing appointment,” says Broker Diane Sugden.

Many homes are only on the market for a matter of days. They come and go quickly, so there is little time to debate. Make sure you are prepared to adjust your schedule as needed before you start looking at listings. Make a list of all of the neighborhoods/areas you are open to, as well as any must-haves and deal-breakers for you. This will save you time and help you view the right homes quickly with a focused approach.

2. Don’t Underestimate the Power of Local Experts

“Work with local experts! From your lender to your realtor to your closing escrow team. Professional history and work ethic are critical in crafting a strong offer where the seller can take comfort knowing their home will close on time, with no surprises,” says Susan Grosten, Managing Broker.

Undoubtedly, a real estate agent who knows the local market, the community, and the right vendors will be a tremendous help. They also have an established track record and are skilled negotiators. It’s not uncommon for experienced local agents to have worked with the agent representing the seller, which can be to your advantage. From lenders to home inspectors, home repair crews to community resources, local agents’ connections can help you in many ways. 

3. Get Pre-Approved Locally

“Get yourself pre-approved with a LOCAL lender. This will serve you well as the listing broker will want to assure their sellers that the buyer can close. Most agents prefer to work with a local lender who has a proven track record and is easily accessible,” advises Broker Diane Sugden.

Getting pre-approved with a local lender will help the sellers feel great about your offer. Taking this step can make a difference, especially since they’ll want to close as quickly as possible. 

4. Do Your Due Diligence

Make sure to really analyze different aspects of a property that you’re looking to buy. It shows you’re really ready to buy and can help distinguish you in a multiple offer situation. “In one instance, the sellers chose my clients because of the due diligence they did before placing their offer on the house. This pre-inspection gave my clients information on the condition and functionality of the home. Additionally, it gave the sellers confidence that my clients were serious, did their due diligence, and presented a solid offer,” says Broker Jenn Herrmann.  Sellers do not want to waste any time. Anything you can do to prove that you won’t pull your offer at the last minute will give them peace of mind. 

To learn more about our current market, watch our video below with stats from this year’s first quarter. For more in-depth information, read our First Quarter Market Review.