Wednesday
Oct302013

It's a Bainbridge Island Halloween.

It's Hallo's Eve so get ready to bring your costumed kids for free candy from downtown businesses tomorrow.

Winslow Way will be closed to vehicles from Madison to Ericksen avenues to allow for the ghosts, goblins and witches will be take over downtown.  Businesses throughout downtown open their doors for Bainbridge Island's annual trick-or-treat event. Roads will close 30 minutes before trick-or-treating gets under way at 4 p.m.

The Bainbridge Island Downtown Association estimates about 2,500 trick-or-treaters will come out for this year's Halloween event.

Following Trick or Treat Downtown, the Bainbridge Island Brewing Company will host its second annual Halloween party. From 5 to 11 p.m., the brewery will be offering their seasonal brews alongside live music and barbecue. Featured beers are Sol Patch Pumpkin Ale, Bainbridge Oktoberfest Lager and Barrel-Aged Whisky Stout. Texas-Style barbecue will be provided by Wig Wam from 5 to 9 p.m.

Also, check out the free open house at KidiMu from 4-6 p.m. Grab ice cream from Mora (donations benefit the Bainbridge Schools Foundation). And follow the organ music to Eagle Harbor Congregational Church for hot dogs and chili  (donations to benefit UNICEF).

HAPPY HALLOWEEN.

Monday
Oct282013

Bainbridge Island Luxury Home Sales Hinge on Lifestyle Marketing

Luxury home sales often trace a path that differs from the rest of the market. Just as high-end buyers can afford to take their time to find exactly the property they are looking for, Bainbridge Island luxury homeowners tend to pick and choose when they will market their properties. That's pretty much what happened in the aftermath of the 2008 housing crisis: many luxury home owners on Bainbridge Island decided to hold off and wait for the market to rebound before listing. Now, as the housing market continues to recover and home values continue to rise, the potential number of buyers interested in these homes is also on the upswing.

For those who have been postponing the sale of their own Bainbridge Island luxury home, this fall is shaping up as a likely time to act. Before you list though, it can't hurt to revisit some basic truths in high-end real estate marketing.

Selling a luxury home requires a different marketing psychology than does traditional real estate. It simply takes longer to find the buyers for these homes, so it is almost always necessary for their owners to practice extra patience throughout the sales process.

It is absolutely essential to work with a real estate professional with experience and connections in the luxury market. An experienced agent understands the ins and outs of selling a Bainbridge Island luxury home. It's not unusual for them to have fostered a network of qualified potential buyers who may be interested in the property.

Luxury home sales are driven by the desire to attain or maintain a specific lifestyle. It is often necessary to sell the lifestyle as effectively as the home itself. This means staging the home properly, highlighting specific “starring” details, and making sure that everything inside and out is immaculately maintained. It means a little more work for both home owner and agent, but the plus side is the size of the reward at day's end.

If you have a luxury home on Bainbridge Island and suspect that now is the right time to sell, contact me for the kind of reliable guidance that brings success! 

Friday
Oct252013

A Howling Good Time IslandWoods 9th Annual Howl-O-Ween

Put on your Halloween garb and BYOP (bring your own pumpkin and carving tools!) and create pumpkin creations alongside IslandWood’s imaginative chefs and kitchen staff. Feeling bold?  Slither into the cozy Arts Studio to hear scary stories told by our talented staff or glide into the great Hall to hear not-so-scary stories from community story tellers including beloved Carmine Rau from the Bainbridge Island Library

Enter the Hobgoblin Jamboree and visit the Fortune Teller's Grotto to have your palm read and your future foretold!

Have your face decorated by our friendly and talented face painting artisans! 

Enter the Creepy Crawlies Laboratory to visit spider expert, Dick Brown and learn all about his large collection of preserved arachnids, scorpions and walking sticks!

Watch as the wizards and mad scientists amaze you and step into their laboratory where you can conduct experiments and make slime and nosh on IslandWood’s famous cookies.

HOWL-o-ween is a community favorite, I can't wait to see you there!

IslandWood
4450 Blakely Ave NE  
Bainbridge Isle, WA 98110

206.855.4315

Click here for more details.


 

Tuesday
Oct222013

Getting the Most From Bainbridge Island MLS Listings

Believe it or not, it takes home-seekers an average of 12 weeks to find a home. To shorten that time, there is nothing more useful than the Internet’s Multiple Listing Service. When you are working with a buyer’s agent, the lion’s share of the work will be done for you — but when you participate in the online search, too, it makes a dynamite combination!

Starting out with a clear idea of the features you think of as “must-have’s” will save the most time and effort. This doesn’t mean every feature you would ever consider a plus; these should be the items that you must have. Your deal-breakers.

Use these to pare down the MLS listings you examine more thoroughly. Chances are you’re going to find many homes that match your broader requirements, so narrowing the field will let you channel your time toward the best potential candidates.

MLS listings are available either by city or by region. If you’re open to examining a wider area, you’ll find a greater number of properties within your price range that list your key features. If you can’t find regional MLS listings near Bainbridge Island of interest, your agent will help expand your search. Sometimes this broadening of horizons uncovers the ideal property.

The Bainbridge Island MLS listings are updated on a regular basis, so staying on top of the market involves revisiting the listings every few days. In case that sounds overly labor-intensive, your agent can sign you up to receive auto-alerts via email whenever a new qualified MLS listing comes online. It’s also a fact that not all real estate firms keep every one of their MLS listings absolutely current, so calling your agent as soon as you see something you like will keep you ahead of the crowd.

The MLS listings on Bainbridge Island offer a one-stop destination for identifying numerous candidate properties — as well as the ability to efficiently filter the results you find. If you’re in the market for a new home, using the Bainbridge Island MLS listings will be a welcome aid. Call me today to help organize a comprehensive search effort!

Friday
Oct182013

Steps That Boost a Bainbridge Island Home Buyer's Negotiating Power 

When a Bainbridge Island home buyer first finds that single-family homes and condominiums have been getting pricier, it shouldn't be a surprise. Nationally, the median sales price is still well below the record $230,400 reached at the height of the housing boom but that gap is shrinking.

If you're a future home buyer on Bainbridge Island, you can take steps to improve the situation. One way is to increase your negotiating leverage - to turn yourself into a highly desirable buyer from the seller's point of view.

Show You're Financially Attractive: Maximize your negotiating power by getting yourself pre-approved for a mortgage loan. This is a step beyond merely becoming pre-qualified. To become pre-approved, a mortgage lender pulls your credit, studies your income, debt and employment history, and determines the size of the mortgage loan you can handle. A seller prefers working with a Bainbridge Island home buyer whose agent can present a pre-approval letter. It increases the odds that a sale won’t fall through at the last minute.

Know the Bainbridge Island Market: You’ll have a better chance of convincing  sellers to lower the asking price if you are armed with the sales prices that similar homes in the market are fetching. If a seller is asking $20,000 more than is typical, your agent will be able to present this fact in negotiations.

Prepare to Offer Something: A seller is usually more willing to come down in price when he sees a concession or two from you. A home buyer can, for instance, agree to a later or earlier closing date to accommodate the seller. You might also agree to overlook some needed repairs. Especially on fixes that might take a lot of time, such a concession can have a meaningful impact on the bottom line.

Be Realistic: Don’t ask for too much. Asking sellers to lop off 30% is more likely to scuttle negotiations than lower the price.

A home buyer in Bainbridge Island will still find some great deals out there. With the short fall selling season upon us, if you’re considering buying, call me today to get the search going!