If you are thinking about buying or selling a home this year this article gives a wealth of information on the how different demographic groups search to find a home and much more.

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Morning Glory for Blog Post

Many experts are forecasting 2016 to be a sellers market. I am in total agreement. With continuing low inventory creating increased competition between buyers and homeowners, many sellers are not as motivated to sell and are negotiating harder, so buyers will need to move more quickly than in the past to secure a home that fits their needs and be prepared to negotiate.

Looking ahead to this year, a buyer needs to be early to the market. Traditionally, spring and summer have the highest inventory of homes for sale. Over 85 percent of buyers who plan to purchase in the next year intend to buy in the spring or summer of 2016, according to a recent Realtor.com survey. Now is a good time to begin the process of finding your home.

You should also take time now to comparison shop for mortgages. Mortgage rates are expected to go higher by at least 2% and prices are predicted to rise 3-5 percent during 2016. If you are planning to finance your home purchase you should put as much effort into getting the right mortgage as you do finding the right home. A lower interest rate can make the difference in qualifying for a home and save thousands over the life of the loan.

For sellers, it’s critical they have a good understanding of their local market, and the historical timing of when to put their home on the market so they can optimize the money they net from the sale.

If you are planning to a sell this year you want to list at the very beginning of the selling season. On Whidbey Island that would be late April. Remember there is approximately 3 weeks to a month of pre-listing work for your listing broker to do to get your home and property set up to market, from photos to early advertising commitments. So don’t put that off. Now is a great time to talk to us. The peak of the season is mid to late June, so a few weeks late can cost you the potential of many qualified buyers seeing your home.

Pricing your home is important. In 2016, prices are expected to increase nationally 3 percent year over year. Local prices changes are anticipated to be more dramatic this year with some markets expected to increase by 10 percent and more.

As a Seller, working with a local realtor will optimize the price you get for your home. Last year, 37 percent of all sellers offered incentives to attract buyers. Sellers who are open to negotiating beyond price are more likely to find scenarios that result in wins for both sides resulting in a potentially faster sale and more seller profit.

We have a unique market on Whidbey Island. For both buyers and sellers it is important to be working with a local professional. The investment you make in choosing the right broker can and will make a difference in your over-all satisfaction of the property that you buy or sell.

I look forward to talking with you soon. Linda

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Beach Stones (2)
COME LIVE THE WHIDBEY LIFE

If you live here now, congratulations! This will remind you of some of the
special things that we have here on this island.

1) ANNUAL FESTIVALS such as the Penn Cove Mussel Festival,The Maxwelton 4th of July Parade, and Langley’s Mystery weekend (which is coming up in late February) and later the Shakespeare Festival.

2) WINERIES & DISTILLERIES “must do” tastings and wine to buy for your gatherings as well as gifts. Take the wine trail and don’t miss Spoiled Dog Winery set in the picturesque Maxwelton Valley. If you love wine AND dogs enjoy walking through a gorgeous vineyard, this is the spot.

3) AMAZING PARKS, two historic villages and many artists in residence throughout the island giving you reason to thoroughly enjoy the 45 miles long, scenic drive along bluffs, beaches
and charming villages the this island.

4) B&B’s, BEACH HOUSES, HOTELS After long days of outdoor adventure, the island’s plentiful (and often very luxurious) B&Bs make the perfect place to rest and rejuvenate.

5) FARMERS MARKETS & ORGANIC MARKETS Farmers Markets from spring to late fall throughout the island, and fresh organic produce available in the many island grocery stores.

6) FERRIES TO THE MAINLAND every half hour!! Schedule starts early AM and goes to after midnight. Not as bad as a traffic jam on the 405. You can be at Costco and Trader Joe approximately 15 minutes after de-boarding in Mukilteo.

7) HOMES for YOUR LIFESTYLE You will be amazed at the choices you have for your island lifestyle. Do you want sunrise, or sunset views, top of a hill, in a valley, near others, or on large acreage. Whidbey island offers you more in the way of lifestyle choices than you have ever imagined or than I can write here.

Call or Email me for more information about homes on Whidbey Island.

360 770 5550
linda@lindacasale.com

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Enjoy all the spectacular views while living on Whidbey

SEVEN GREAT REASONS TO VISIT FIRST, and THEN COME LIVE THE WHIDBEY LIFE

If you live here now, congratulations! This will remind you of some of the special things that we have here on this island.

  1. ANNUAL FESTIVALS such as the Penn Cove Mussel Festival, The Maxwelton 4th of July Parade, and Langley’s Mystery weekend (which is coming up in late February) and later the Shakespeare Festival.
  2. WINERIES & DISTILLERIES “must do” tastings and wine to buy for your gatherings as well as gifts. Take the wine trail and don’t miss Spoiled Dog Winery set in the picturesque Maxwelton Valley. If you love wine AND dogs enjoy walking through a gorgeous vineyard, this is the spot.
  3. AMAZING PARKS, two historic villages and many artists in residence throughout the island giving you reason to thoroughly enjoy the 45 miles long, scenic drive along bluffs, beaches and charming villages the this island.
  4. B&B’s, BEACH HOUSES, HOTELS After long days of outdoor adventure, the island’s plentiful (and often very luxurious) B&Bs make the perfect place to rest and rejuvenate.
  5. FARMERS MARKETS & ORGANIC MARKETS   Farmers Markets from spring to late fall throughout the island, and fresh organic produce available in the many island grocery stores.
  6. FERRIES TO THE MAINLAND every half hour!! Schedule starts early AM and goes to after midnight. Not as bad as a traffic jam on the 405. You can be at Costco and Trader Joe approximately 15 minutes after de-boarding in Mukilteo.
  7. HOMES for YOUR LIFESTYLE  You will be amazed at the choices you have for your island lifestyle. Do you want sunrise, or sunset views, top of a hill, in a valley, near others, or on large acreage. Whidbey island offers you more in the way of lifestyle choices than you have ever imagined or than I can write here.

Call or Email me for more information about homes on Whidbey Island.

360 770 5550

linda@lindacasale.com

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lBurglerWhether you are staying home this year or visiting family, we want you, your family and your home to be safe. These tips will help ensure the safety of what matters most to you and allow you to enjoy your holidays wherever you may be, knowing that you have protected your home as best you can.

Have someone you trust pick up your mail and newspapers. Nothing tells a thief you are not home like a newspapers on your driveway and a stuffed full mailbox.

Put your holiday lights on an automatic timer. This prevents thieves from “learning” your habits by taking not of when your lights are turned on and off. It is also a good idea to put your indoor lights on an automatic timer if you are vacationing for the holidays.

Make sure your gifts and valuables are not visible from the street. If a criminal can easily see what is in your home, you increase the chance they will be tempted to come inside to steal the items.

Secure your home. Make sure all your doors and windows have functioning locks and install a home security system. The easiest way for thieves to get into your home is through unlocked doors and windows. Do not store a spare key outside.

Do not run extension cords for holiday lights through windows. Running extension cords through windows means that window cannot close and latch completely. This makes the window an easy entry point for burglars.

Do not post your holiday travel plans online. Broadcasting the location or duration of your trip on social media sites like Facebook and Twitter can be dangerous. It may be something exciting you really want to share, but be aware that you are blatantly telling criminals, “I’m not home”.

Be wary of people going door-to-door soliciting donations. This is a common ruse used by criminals. Ask to see an I.D. that connects them with the charity. Don’t feel pressured to give, trust your instincts and never give cash. Call 911 if you believe something is not right.

Don’t advertise the gifts you received. Placing your empty boxes outside for pickup shows thieves what is available inside your home. We encourage you to recycle, but be smart about it. Break the boxes down, turn them inside out, put them in your trash receptacle and don’t place them on the curb until collection day.

Add video monitoring to your security system. If your budget can afford it, pairing video monitoring and home automation allows you to check in on your house no matter where you are during the holidays. Of course as always let a neighbor know you are gone, so you have someone who would notice something suspicious.

HAVE A WONDERFUL HOLIDAY SEASON!

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FEMA flood zone maps are a subject of vital importance to every owner and resident of beach property on Whidbey Island. In April 2016, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) will issue new Flood Zone Maps for Whidbey Island. Those new maps may have a significant impact on you if you live in a beach community.

FEMA LogoFirst a little background on the Flood Zone Map changes. Established in April 1979, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) coordinates the federal government’s role in preparing for, preventing, mitigating the effects of, responding to, and recovering from all domestic disasters, whether natural or man-made. One of the responsibilities of FEMA is to provide detailed flood maps and hazard information in support of the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) for coastal areas in the US.

The National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) is aimed at reducing the impact of flooding on private and public structures. This is achieved by providing affordable insurance for property owners and by encouraging communities to adopt and enforce floodplain management regulations. These efforts help mitigate the effects of flooding on new and improved structures. Overall, the program reduces the socio-economic impact of disasters by promoting the purchase and retention of Risk Insurance in general, and National Flood Insurance in particular.
Flood insurance is not mandatory, but if you have a mortgage, it is highly likely your lender requires flood insurance, and the rates are determined in part by the flood zone designation where your home is located. If you do not have a home mortgage, you are not required to carry flood insurance, but can obtain flood insurance for your home in the same manner as those who must, through insurance companies.

SO HERE’S THE IMPORTANT PART: [click to continue…]

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Arrow-Up-42014 Home Sales – South & Central Whidbey

2014 showed a strong return of the real estate market on South & Central Whidbey Island. Below is a summary of home sales on South & Central Whidbey from 2011-2014, plus a tally of the YTD sales in 2015.  The total number of homes sold in 2014 was 507 compared to 440 in 2013 for an overall increase in sales of 15%. Home sales in 2006 was right at 500, so we are definitely on an uptrend in unit sales.

Selling prices however, have not moved up even though volume has. The median price in 2014 was $325,000, which is only marginally higher than in 2010, when it was $320,000. For comparison, the median price in 2006 was $431,000. So what’s going on with regards to prices on Whidbey? Why is the volume reaching levels not seen since before the Great Recession, but prices seem to be stuck? [click to continue…]

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Tree lined waterfrontSand between your toes and the sound of water gently lapping on the rocks may make you want to jump into the deep end and grab your own little piece of paradise. Islands are the state of Washington’s middle name.

What is the science behind our pleasure of the waterfront? [click to continue…]

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Farm Tour 2014 [click to continue…]

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We all respond to sensory selling whether it be by our eyes, nose, ears, touch, or our memory. Using sensory effect is a subtle way to sell your home and may reward you with a higher price and quicker sale. Some examples of this might be a table in the family room with a monopoly game or scrabble game in progress, an open cookbook set by a kettle on the stove, bath salts, robe and candle set on the side of a deep tub. Small powerful visual effects that speak to home and the comforts of home.

Some other ideas that I have seen work to create this very positive effect are below:

  • Potted flowers at the home entrance
  • A nice Welcome mat at the front door
  • If you want shoes removed, washable soft slip-ons available
  • Soft music, either classical piano or acoustic guitar playing
  • Fresh clean decorative pillows on the couch and chairs
  • Cedar firewood in a clean fireplace
  • A child’s bed turned down with a favorite book opened on the bed by the pillow
  • Basket of fresh vegetables on the kitchen counter

There are many more, and I am sure you can think of some of your own triggers for a sensory sell. I would love to hear some of yours, so please feel free to send them to me at linda@lindacasale.com. I will publish a follow-up at a later date with the ones I hear from you.

I think it is important when you are preparing your home to sell that you consider creating a sensory experience. I am happy to help you find ones that fit your unique situation. They just might be what makes the buyer write the offer to buy your home.

 

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National Flood Insurance – CALL TO ACTION

Please watch this video prepared by the Wa State Association of Realtors regarding the National Flood Insurance program that is going to voted on in the US House of Representatives this coming Monday, Feb 24,2014. This issue has major impact on many homes in beach communities on Whidbey Island. Please help us get a 4 […]

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The Government Shutdown: How It Could Impact Home Buyers

Posted October 2 2013, 2:18 PM PDT by Erik Hand, President, Windermere Mortgage Services There is much speculation on the impact that the current government shutdown will have on home buyers hoping to secure a mortgage. In the case of mortgage lending, the impact will depend on many things including the length of the shutdown, the […]

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Interesting Data on Housing & the Economy from our 11th District

This Report presents the most recent and relevant data that is available for the Districts of the 113th Congress as related to housing. The 2012 data should be published soon and we will have a comparable. I am looking forward to the 2013 data early next year because I am sure it is going to […]

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2 Reasons Your Home May Not Sell

Is your FOR SALE sign now on your spring, fall, and winter cleaning list? Has the lockbox been on the door so long that you have painted around it? It sounds like there is a problem and it might be something you should fix NOW. Here are the most-common reasons why homes don’t sell and […]

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The Real Estate Family Mom, Dad & Linda

My Dad and Mom both sold real estate when I was young and lived at home. It was a very different business then. One page contracts, with short and to the point conditions written in agreements, such as;  “John Brown agrees to purchase Mary Blue’s home at xxxx Elm Street for $ 100,000 on or […]

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Economic Report Looking Good!

Gardner Report Q1 2013 Here is Matthew Gardner’s most recent report on the state of real estate in our area. He is optimistic, and the report brings forward many reasons why he doesn’t think this is just a “housing bubble”. Any thoughts you have on the report are welcome. As for me I am seeing […]

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3 Sisters Beef – New Retail Store

In my recent blog post about the Whidbey Island Farm Tour, I mentioned how important it is to support our local farmers.   One way you can do that is to visit the new 3 Sisters Beef retail store located at the old Juan de Fuca fire station on Highway 20.  They just opened in early […]

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Whidbey Island Farm Tour 2013

Mark your calendar now. Eighth Annual FREE Whidbey Island Farm Tour September 21 and 22, 2013 10:00am to 4:00pm So may years ago….. nine to be exact, Karen Krug of Spoiled Dog Winery and I had a discussion about how there were so many wonderful farms on Whidbey Island that people would love to know […]

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Langley on Whidbey Island celebrates 100th birthday… Happy Birthday

Langley, a beautiful village by the sea, is fortunate.  Because the people of Langley are passionate about their town they have organized to work together to preserve the wonderful downtown area that we all enjoy .  Langley Main Street is an organization dedicated to supporting all things that make Langley so special and to create a […]

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Dogfish Bay to Honeymoon Bay……Thank Freeman & Minnie!

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When I think of Bill Gates this is what I think about ….

Whether you love Microsoft or not, there is no doubt that the mission that Bill and Melinda Gates are on is one to applaud. It is a mission of love and care about the bigger community. It is a sharing of wealth, and making a big difference. It makes me feel good that in some […]

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A Great Way to Really Talk…. A Salon

I am one of four lucky women  on South Whidbey who over a year ago had an idea to start a Salon. I think the idea originated with Susie Barnett (co- owner of Whidbey Home Watch ) The other three of us just knew it was something worth doing. Successful? Yes, beyond any of our […]

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Real Estate Provisions in the Fiscal Cliff Bill

On Jan. 1 both the Senate and House passed H.R. 8, legislation to avert the “fiscal cliff.” The bill will be signed shortly by President Barack Obama. Below is a summary of real estate related provisions in the bill: Real Estate Tax Extenders • Mortgage Cancellation Relief is extended for one year to Jan. 1, […]

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Selling Your Home? Know The Tax Implications of Improvements You Made

It’s no secret that finishing your basement will increase your home’s value. What you may not know is the money you spend on this type of so-called capital improvement could also help lower your tax bill when you sell your house. Tax rules let you add capital improvement expenses to the cost basis of your […]

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7 Ways To Improve Your Home’s Sell-ability

It is 2013 …….and this is the year you want to sell your home.  Here are some ways to improve the chances of selling your house that you can do before it is on the market . If you have a house on the market, it is not too late, read on for seven tips […]

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How new finance legislation affects home owners, buyers and sellers

Many home owners, buyers, and sellers have been carefully watching the new federal finance package passed on January 1, 2013 by both the U.S. House of Representatives and the Senate. This is because it included automatic tax increases as well as federal spending cuts that involve real estate programs. Many important real estate programs were […]

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A New Year

Welcome to the New Year! It is time for change, renewal, and celebration. The great thing about today is that yesterday is gone. You can’t go back and undo things you have done, but you can embrace today and look toward the future with hope. Build on yesterday’s success and learn from yesterday’s failures. Live […]

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Mortgage Interest Rate Deduction at Risk in Congress

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“The Jetsons Home” on Whidbey Island…Not Yet

  Remember the Jetsons? I do. They were on the television for about a year starting in 1962. I was fascinated by their home and lifestyle as I was soon to be a teen, and it seemed like their children had a great life. Judy,their teenage daughter seemed to be so cool.

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Not A Harvest Moon But What Magic

Sometimes the magic of moment can steal your breath away.  One such time was a couple of nights ago when the sky was clear and the moon almost full.  From my deck looking east was the most beautiful moon and reflection on the water.  It was one of those nights when you just felt like […]

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Enjoy A Fall Weekend with a Visit to Spoiled Dog Winery

I met Karen and Jack Krug, the owners of the Spoiled Dog Winery, in September  2002.  They were visiting Whidbey Island, and were at that time living in Colorado.  They had spent vacations on Whidbey in the past, and felt it might be the place to make their permanent home.  A fortunate thing for me, […]

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A Great Service For Islanders

I must disclose that I have known Susie Barnett and Helen Shields for a number of years. Helen was one of the best Realtors on Whidbey Island for years and working with her was a privilege. I have gotten to know Susie in just the past few years. She and I are part of a […]

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Top Ten Tips Before You Have a Home Inspection

Top Ten Tips Before You Have a Home Inspection by All Island Home Inspections

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Summer 2012 Best Farmer Markets are on Whidbey Island

Visit Whidbey Island Farmers Markets for some of the best the island has to offer. Farmers Markets from Oak Harbor to Langley

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Windermere #1 Real Estate Firm in Puget Sound Area (again)

I am really proud to be a part of Windermere Real Estate.  Windermere was once again ranked the leading real estate company based on sales volume in the Puget Sound area.  If you study the information about sales in the top 5 real estate firms, you will find that not only does Windermere have significantly […]

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Best Island To Live On

    Well I must admit to being a bit biased since I have been living on islands in the Pacific NW for over 20 years.  And of course, every island I have lived on has been the greatest place to live and had the greatest views, especially when I lived there. Recently Islands.com ranked […]

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The Long Road Back – Q1 2012 Gardner Report

“As I pore through the data that is presented here, it is quite clear that after falling off the proverbial economic precipice in 2008, we have come out of the free fall and are starting up the long road to recovery on both the job front as well as in our real estate markets.”  Matthew […]

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If You Are Not A Surfer Do You Need A Ocean Waterfront Home?

I live on an island,  so of course there are lots of waterfront homes  Almost everyone thinks they want a ocean waterfront home, including surfers, executives, moms with kids, people with dogs, and many of my best friends. But sometimes a waterfront home is not the right answer, and it is certainly worth asking yourself […]

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4 Most Important Tips for Soon to be Home Sellers

Getting a home sold takes more planning and savvy today than in the past. It is more important than ever to find ways to make your home stand out and get the attention of serious buyers.  You may think a few worn out or broken things shouldn’t make a difference, but everything matters to a […]

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A Ray of Hope & Sunshine

In keeping with the spirit of the holidays and the winter solstice, the National Association of Realtors issued a news release yesterday announcing a continuing rise in the sale of existing homes in November 2011. We can all hope that the housing market may at long last be moving in a positive direction. Challenges lie […]

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Local Food News from The Deer Lagoon Grange

For the past year, I have been the happy recipient of the weekly Grange Food News email from Chris Williams, who is an officer of the Deer Lagoon Grange. Chris’ official title is Pomona, and like her Roman Goddess namesake, she dispenses tantalizing tidbits of information about the gardens, fruits, vegetables and local foods of […]

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Real Estate Market Update – Nov 2011

If you are allergic to data, don’t read this, because it has a lot..:-) Here’s a snapshot of the past 15 months of real estate activity for the Whidbey Island real estate market from Coupeville to Clinton. It excludes Oak Harbor and Camano Island which are very different markets compared the southern half of Whidbey […]

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Gardner Report – Q3 2011

Attached is the latest Gardner Report covering the third quarter of 2011. According to Matthew’s analysis, the economy continues at a tortoise-like pace with slow, plodding improvements. Compared to the first six months of the year, Island County’s unemployment rate fell to (8.8%) from last quarter, but still a slight increase over this time period […]

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Why You REALLY Should Use a Local Realtor

Recently Whidbey Island Realtors received an email from the Whidbey Island Board of Realtors alerting us to a new ordinance regarding Ebey’s Reserve. Here’s an excerpt from a letter from Island County, the Town of Coupeville and the Manager of Ebey’s Reserve that was addressed to all “Whidbey Island Real Estate Professionals.” On 10/3/2011 the […]

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National Association of Realtors – 2011 Housing Solutions Plan

I don’t usually post another blog or document in it’s entirety, but in this case, I thought it was important enough to do so. Many leading economists and regular citizens, me included, believe solving the nation’s housing crisis is the singular most important near term economic issue facing our nation, not withstanding the current focus […]

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  As we move into the fall, my favorite time of year, there is nothing like a long walk on a crisp, sunny day, or curling up beside the fire listening to the rain on the roof. Pause for a few moments and read about real estate, island living, or just my wandering thoughts as […]

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Real Estate Market Update South & Central Whidbey Oct 2011

The above chart shows the last 15 months of real estate activity for South and Central Whidbey. See discussion below: The summer finished with a total of 103 homes being sold in July-Sep 2011 compared to 83 for the same period last year which is an increase of 24% more homes sold. This high sales […]

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Windermere: The Market Leader on Whidbey Island

Why does Windermere sell more property than any other brokerage on Whidbey Island? I can tell you… it is because we are the most professional, we strive to be the best educated about our market and we do the very best job possible for our clients. Be sure you talk to a Whidbey Island Windermere […]

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Digging Deep…. Making Your Home Stand Out on the Web

When  homeowners  becomes sellers, they put their major focus on being sure the house is clean, clutter removed, walls freshly painted and the lawn mowed.   The photographer then comes in and takes photos of the house. They get posted on the company website, and the property is good to go. This is all fine and […]

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Bag of Tricks? No, Just How to Sell Your Home

You’ve decided you want to sell your home.  The process can be daunting, from finding the right Broker to getting your home in tip top shape.  All of a sudden everywhere you look in your house there is chipped paint, loose door knobs, creaking hardwood, stains on carpet.  The gardens need pruning, and you haven’t […]

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The Canary in The Real Estate Mineshaft

In doing research about Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, I came across something buried in the Federal Housing Finance Agency website that blew my mind. Called the House Price Index (HPI), it measures geographic (region, state, city) home price trends. It took about 5 minutes to realize that I just discovered the proverbial “Canary in […]

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11 Great Things To Do on Whidbey Island in 2011

Mark your calendar for 11 great things to do on Whidbey in 2011. All are very different and lots of fun. 1. Langley starts it off with Mystery Weekend, Feb. 26 & 27. A Prescription for Murder. The town has hundreds of ‘would be Whidbey sleuths” looking for the clues to solve the mystery. Fun […]

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A Motivated Runner Realtor

Why look for a realtor who is a runner when you are ready to sell or buy property? More times than not that person has great self discipline, is highly motivated, has an excellent self image, and is organized. Runners use their time on the road or track to work out problems. Sometimes that is […]

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Whidbey Affordable Vacation Home Tour… A Success!

The Whidbey Island Affordable Vacation Home Tour was a great success! If you were not able to make it to this tour you will be happy to know there will be another tour in early spring 2011. Everyone enjoyed the diverse selection of affordable homes toured, from brand new condos in Langley, to some of […]

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Whidbey Real Estate Market Update Oct 2010

It has been a while since I have had time to analyze the active listing and closed sales real estate data for Whidbey Island, so I thought it would be good to give everyone an update. The data presented below is through the end of September, just as we are headed into what has traditionally […]

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Professional Non-Commitment

It is not unusual in my business for a client to make a political comment to me during a conversation, especially in the heated political environment we are in today. Over the years I have decided that it is best to not acknowledge in any way these comments beyond a smile. Even that can be […]

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Flamenco and Tapas Island Style

Djangofest is a big part of WICA‘s line up every year, and locals and visitors are lucky for that. Did you know that you can actually attend classes with some of these amazing artists? ALFONSO PONTICELL does a class where you can learn to play flamenco. For a full line up of the bands that […]

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Why Windermere and Why Me

I have always felt it was important to be associated with the best company in any market segment. So when I got out of college I went to work for one of the best restaurant chains in the west. After that I sold incredibly good food service products to those fine restaurants with Carnation, the […]

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The Source

You are the source. What does this mean? It means that your knowledge, your emotions, your photos are what create the personality of the home you have lived in and are selling. Sharing these brings your home to life. So tell me your story. We have the time, and it does make a difference. All […]

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Whidbey Island …. Farmers Markets Galore!

If you live on Whidbey Island you really have it good when it comes to garden fresh produce from Spring through fall. Think baked bread, herbs, free range chicken, eggs, and so many other things you just can’t get enough of. Which is the reason why you REALLY have it good. From one end to […]

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Save A Tree….Sell a House

Most of us today are concerned about our environment, and recycle paper products with enthusiasm. We try to not use paper products when we can avoid it, and we read our magazines and newspapers and then recycle them too. That is why it is a mystery to me why some sellers insist on having a […]

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The Wilbert Trail and Woolly Mammoths on Whidbey Island

Enjoy walking on the trails of the old growth forest on Whidbey Island, learn how Islanders are working to buy the Trillium property which has more old growth forest.

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Cedar Planked Spring Salmon

If it’s spring, it is the beginning of salmon season in the Pacific NW. Wild salmon is an iconic symbol of our region, and every spring we are reminded about how fortunate we are to be able to enjoy this wonderful fish. It is a symbol of the the natural beauty and bounty of the […]

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Windermere Is About Community

What makes a good Windermere Realtor? It is a person who can cheerfully sort huge piles of miscellaneous clothing in different sizes, price them, and ready them for sale. He is a person who can work all day in rain or hot sun in a big garden without complaining. She is a person who can […]

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Pricing Your Home to Sell

Pricing your home right in the beginning can make the difference between a long time on the market and a short time. How do we price right?

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The #1 Factor In Selling Your Home

You must price it right when when your home 1st goes on the market. You have about 21 days to be “new”. After that you are just another home in the ever increasing inventory that we are all seeing now. I can show you comparatives, we can review the numbers, the days on market etc, […]

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Whidbey Island Real Estate…Never a Better Time to Buy

It is a good time to buy on Whidbey Island. Interest rates are low, and there is excellent inventory.

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What Does Green Mean?

The catch phrase has been around for some time, and can be used to describe homes without any real substance behind it. In the last few years it has taken on a new definition with the public’s concerns about energy costs and global warming. But buyers do need to beware of the loosely used marketing […]

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Mexican Standoff

Mexican Standoff? Wikipedia describes it as a slang term used for a stalemate or impasse, a confrontation that neither side can win in the foreseeable future. It describes the conflict between buyers and sellers in the real estate market today. There is a huge amount of nostalgia for the boom days of 2004 and 2005 […]

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12 Great Real Estate Movies

We are moving quickly towards summer with long days and plenty of time to spend outdoors taking strolls at the beach and to walk our dogs. But since we all know there are always a few rainy windy days left in the next couple of months, I thought I would share with you some great […]

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The Crabs of Whidbey Island

No, I am not talking about grouchy people. Whidbey Island has many popular crabbing spots, but many crabbers like to keep their special spots secret. One of the best spots is off of Bells Beach, along Saratoga Passage, and the location of one of my great beachfront listings. Row your boat out to your crab […]

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Distressed and Troubled? These Loans May Crack

Bank of America announced a new program for their mortgage holders who are upside down in value on their current mortgages with B of A. Borrowers must demonstrate a hardship in making current payments, and be at least 60 days delinquent on the loans and owe at least 120% of the current home value.   Borrowers […]

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What Do Buyers Want?

What do buyers really want? What I have found is that most people want to know what makes this town, this community, this street, this house – special and different. I live on an island, so many of the people who come here to buy a home are new to island living. Interspersed with looking […]

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This House Deserves Clam Chowder

I am a foodie. I love to cook, I love to eat, and I love to share that passion. Doesn’t it just make you feel welcome when you walk into a house and there are wonderful food aromas coming from the kitchen? One of the older “tricks of the trade” in real estate is to […]

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Chickens in Your Garden?

If you love gardening you won’t want to miss the Whidbey Gardening Workshop in Coupeville on March 20. It is an all day affair with an amazing group of workshops, and a keynote address by Valerie Easton. Valerie writes about gardens and houses for Garden Design, Metropolitan Home and the Seattle Times,and lives and gardens […]

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Penn Cove Mussel Festival

The 21st annual Penn Cove Coupeville Mussel Festival is being held over the weekend of March 5-7 2010  on the waterfront. Come enjoy briny mussels fresh from the sea in chowder and off the grill. This is a fitting place to hold an event like this, as the famous Penn Cove mussels are farmed here. […]

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Home Improvements? Planning Ahead for Tax Deductions

You may want to consider investing in some improvements to your current home as spring approaches. Before beginning, it is wise to see if the home improvements you are contemplating are eligible for a home improvement tax deduction.

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Island Life Is About Community

Try to sneak a quick trip to an island grocery store without meeting someone you know.  No way. You are stranded, and out of gas on the road. Not for long.  Someone will stop and help you in a matter of minutes. Guaranteed.

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Great! Another Rainy Day

Rain doesn’t bother me one drop.  I love the sound on the roof and watching the way the earth, sky and the “ in-between” interact.  But my personality doesn’t let me spend too much time in contemplation.  I start looking for ways to enjoy the rain experience on the islands when I have a day […]

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How I Conduct My Business

What is important to do, and what is not, for properties I represent for sale?  In my profession I must ask this question for each of the properties I represent every day. First and foremost, it is important that I make sure that my clients properties are being presented in an inviting way to the […]

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Real Estate Market 2009 – A Year to Forget?

Looking at Whidbey Island Real Estate Statistics ending  Dec 2009, our year to date sold homes finished ahead of last year.   Active listing inventory is down but I think that may have more to do with it being December, and we will need to see what happens in the early months of 2010 to give […]

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Wines of Whidbey

When you think about winery wine tasting, I’ll bet you think California, Oregon or Eastern Washington. On South Whidbey Island, there are a number of local wineries making some pretty darn good northwest wine.  It is an eclectic mix of wineries, some offering wines made from locally grown grapes and/or wines made from grapes grown […]

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Islands Have Trains Too!

You get up in the morning to the quiet of island life, waves lapping on the shore, birds and eagles flying overhead, deer and other wild life framing the landscape of your life.  But every once and a while, you just need to go to the city and feel the pulse and excitement of Pike […]

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Why Make An Island Your Home?

I am often asked by those who come to the islands and are thinking about making it their home, “What do you love best about living on an island?” From the well of who I have become living here, comes these thoughts: eagles soaring above in the bright sun, Madrona red sunsets, black nights with […]

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Appraisal Gotcha's – Coming Soon To A Home Near You

It’s a fact, if you are a seller, and someone wants to buy your home, they will need an appraisal for their loan. Much of the time they will also want to have an inspection on the property as a contingency. The inspection usually comes before the bank gets around to ordering an appraisal. Most […]

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Appraisal Industry Gets Shaken Up

There are many changes happening in the way lending institutions are having to do business.  Some of these are now affecting the appraisals on your home if you are selling and if you are buying the one you may want to purchase.  Please read the article below and if you would like to discuss it,  […]

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Trust Us – We're Experts

So you are thinking about selling your house or property and you have made the decision to use the services of a professional realtor to help you.  Congratulations on that good decision – to not use one could end up costing you money and time.  So which realtor should you pick? Here are some suggestions […]

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