2017 1st Quarter Newsletter

Winter Dormancy

In many ways, the first quarter of 2017 reflected the past two years of the Bainbridge Island real estate market and the markets of most of the neighborhoods around us. Seasonably low inventories limit buyers’ choices early in every year. Meanwhile, inclement weather tends to dampen the enthusiasm of sellers getting homes ready as well as buyers who would rather stay in than venture out to look at properties. Finally, there’s a perception that the market doesn’t really “begin” until spring. These factors all conspire year after year to make the first quarter the quietest.

A Snapshot of Activity

Looking back to 2016, there were 72 residential transactions in the first quarter, compared to 129 in the second quarter, 156 in the third and even 117 in the fourth (also perceived as a slow quarter). So we were prepared for the “slow time” this year. We hoped for more inventory because we knew there was demand. As it turned out, in spite of the weather, we got a little bit of what we wanted. We had 83 residential home and condominium sales in the first quarter of 2017, up 15% from last year’s 72. It should not be a surprise that our active inventory was up 29% from last year when measured on February 2nd. In a sellers’ market, inventory is the fuel that pushes the machine (as opposed to buyers being the fuel in a market they control). But there’s a footnote to these numbers: the condominium market had 27 sales – the best first quarter we’ve had since 2007 – and condominium sales were up 68.8% over last year’s first quarter figures. If we set aside the increase in condominium sales, our first quarter sales were essentially flat.

Price Considerations

As home prices continue to rise, condominiums are becoming an important option for people who are being priced out of single family homes and those who are downsizing. In the first quarter, there were 13 homes sold for less than $600,000; there were 14 condominiums sold in the same price range. The median price of condominiums was $517,000 and of homes was $755,000. Condominiums represented 37.5% of the residences sold in the first quarter, compared to 22% last year. This is also not lost on developers, which is evident when you look at the new construction both underway and in the pipeline, where condominium products are strongly represented.

Perception versus Reality

The media has painted a pretty rosy picture of our market for sellers: just put up a for-sale sign, set any price you want and wait for multiple offers to roll in! In reality, while a strong market can make it easier to sell a home, there are certain goals that need to be in a seller’s mind regardless of the market.

  • The first is to sell the home within an acceptable timeframe. On the chart below, you’ll see the “active” inventory is higher than it’s been since 2013. Also, even if you have an interested buyer, it doesn’t mean that buyer will end up purchasing the home. This quarter, there were 16 “failed sales” or homes that fell out of contract, down from 37 last year. Sales fail for all sorts of reasons: buyer’s remorse, which can come from price; realization of property condition; and reality checks are the most common. Getting the home sold in an acceptable timeframe is important to most sellers. In this past quarter, the average days on market was 71. Some homes sell right away, but they are usually the exception.
  • The second goal is to maximize the net yield to the seller. Condition, disclosures and presentation all affect buyer perception and price consideration. Buyers are smarter than ever and they are conducting their own market research with their Realtors. Buyers need inventory to choose from. They will not buy home at any price, and their price ceilings are dictated by their perception of value. There are some multiple offers, but only 29% of homes sold in the first quarter went for over asking price (which may be fewer than some people would think) and the percentage of the overage was a scant 3%. The boom of 2007 was not that long ago and most buyers (and their agents) clearly remember the risks of overpaying.

Closing Thoughts

We are in a sellers’ market with multiple offers and prices are rising but our market is smaller, less active and has a smaller buyer pool than Seattle. To gain maximum benefit from this market, sellers should keep this in mind. It’s important to consider the buyer’s perspective, where there is another labyrinth to negotiate. About 40% of Bainbridge sellers end up on the other side of the table when they later become Bainbridge buyers, so they eventually experience the flip side of our market. Working with an experienced professional will help you achieve the best result and understand the many nuances, of the Bainbridge real estate market. So let’s dive together into this busy season. It’s going to be an exciting ride.

Bainbridge Island Single Family Homes Sold January 1 through March 31

 

Posted on May 8, 2017 at 7:39 pm
Jackie Syvertsen | Category: Bainbridge Island Real Estate, Bainbridge Island Real Estate Statistics, Newsletter | Tagged , , , , , , , ,

Spring is Here: Get Your Home Ready!

Bainbridge Island Real Estate

 

Now that the days are a little longer, the sun a little warmer, and blossoms are starting to pop, you may suddenly have the urge to do some spring cleaning. Spring cleaning is a time-honored tradition; an opportunity to sweep the cobwebs from your home, clear out the dust that accumulated during the winter, and let the sunshine in.

For many people spring cleaning may seem tedious but it doesn’t have to be! Crank some tunes, get some room decor inspiration from Pinterest, and get out the garbage bags because it’s time to get cleaning.

  1. Make a list of what needs to be cleaned in each room.

Lists can help you stay organized — especially if you have a huge project on your plate. Walk through each room and write down what needs to get done. Writing a list will ensure you have all the cleaning materials you’ll need before getting started.

  1. Make your playlist.

Listening to music while cleaning can make things go by faster. Of course, you don’t have to make a playlist; you could always just turn the radio on to your favorite station.

  1. Get three bins and label them: trash, recycle and donate.

As you go through each room, make sure to declutter. Recycle old magazines and papers from the previous year. Put items you no longer use or need, like that book you bought 10 years ago but never read, in the donate box. Itemize your donate pile when finished because you may be able to deduct those donations on your taxes.

  1. Work on one room at a time.

It’s easy to get overwhelmed when you want to clean your entire home all at once. Refer to your list in step 1 and check each one off as you go. Tracking your progress will keep you working in an organized fashion and keep you going when you start to get tired.

  1. Set an amount of time to work on each room.

It’s easy to get distracted, looking at items you’ve forgotten or old photographs, and before you know it you’ve spent the entire day cleaning just one single room. Set a timer so you don’t fall into this trap and to give yourself small breaks throughout the process.

  1. Get some help.

Don’t do all the cleaning yourself! Recruit your kids, significant other or roommates to help out. Anyone who contributes to the mess should also help clean it.

  1. Start from the top and work your way down.

Use the law of gravity and clean from the top of the ceiling to the floor. Knock all the dusty cobwebs from the corner, wash the curtains, clean the windows, dust/vacuum the furniture, and finally vacuum the floor.

  1. Consider using natural cleaners.

Many chemical-based cleaners emit hazardous fumes. Some cleaners when mixed together can even emit toxic fumes that can seriously hurt you. Vinegar is a great substitute to use as a general household cleaning solution, and it is not nearly as expensive as packaged cleaning solutions.

  1. Be patient.

Take your time and let grimy surfaces, like the ones in your bathroom and kitchen, soak in your cleaning solution. Work on something else on your list while your cleaner does the hard work.

  1. Reward yourself at the end.

Having something to look forward to at the end of a long day of cleaning sure makes things go a lot faster. Plus, you worked hard and deserve it. Treat yourself.

Posted on April 11, 2017 at 12:51 am
Jackie Syvertsen | Category: Bainbridge Island Real Estate, Home Improvement, Interior Decorating | Tagged , , , , , , , , ,

Inspired By Nature: Pantone 2017 Color of the Year

pantone 2017

 

Each year the Pantone Color Institute declares a color of the year that ultimately influences trends in all facets of design; including architecture, interior design, graphic design, and fashion. This year they chose Greenery which is shade #15-0343 in the Pantone color spectrum.

A symbol for fresh, new beginnings it also has a feeling that reflects the mindfulness of healthier food resolutions, growing vegetarian trends, and an appreciation for the outdoors.

Here are some ways the 2017 Color of the Year can be incorporated into spaces within your home:

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The vivid color of Greenery is perfect for adding a punch of color to the exterior of the home, like painting your doors.

 

An accent wall can immediately brighten interiors and plays beautifully with muted furniture.

An accent wall can immediately brighten interiors and plays beautifully with muted furniture.

 

For a smaller commitment to the color, buy a few accent pillows and throws while indulging in lots of fresh flowers and greenery in vases.

For a smaller commitment to the color, buy a few accent pillows and throws while indulging in lots of fresh flowers and greenery in vases.

 

Bringing Greenery into your Kitchen can be done in many ways: rugs, table runners, accent pieces, and chairs.

Bringing Greenery into your Kitchen can be done in many ways: rugs, table runners, accent pieces, and chairs.

 

Don’t be afraid to mix other colors! There are a myriad of ways to use Greenery. Visit Pantone for color pairing suggestions and inspiration.

Don’t be afraid to mix other colors! There are a myriad of ways to use Greenery. Visit Pantone for color pairing suggestions and inspiration.

 

Jackie Syvertsen, WIndermere Real Estate, Bainbridge Island WA

 

 

Posted on January 4, 2017 at 7:17 pm
Jackie Syvertsen | Category: Bainbridge Island Real Estate, Fun Things to do on Bainbridge Island, Home Improvement, Interior Decorating, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , ,

2016 First Half Newsletter

MEMORIES OF YEARS PAST
A History Lesson

The one constant in our real estate market is change. Ten years ago (yes, it has been 10 years!), we were in a very competitive market. Inventory was tight and prices were going through the proverbial roof, setting new highs. Then, in September 2007, that came to an abrupt end and we began a downward trend toward the largest correction since the 1980s. It took until 2012 for the market to shift yet again and gradually pick up speed toward recovery. By 2015, we returned to familiar territory: an extremely competitive market with record low inventories and rapidly rising prices. On July 1, 2015, there were 58 active listings on the island. Now, just one year later, data suggests a potential market transition with inventories rising and price reductions becoming increasingly common.

We in the industry do not view this as a repeat of 2007. There are too many positive factors in our financing infrastructure and regional market that separate this climate from its predecessors. (Indeed, the financing environment is so much more conservative now that securing funding can actually be a hurdle in some transactions.) We are still in a very competitive market and the statistics bear this out. While we may be slowly moving towards a more “balanced” market, we are not there yet. Let’s look at some of the leading indicators that give a glimpse at where we are.

Inventory

One year ago, there were 112 home listings, 54 of which were under contract. For a market the size of Bainbridge, 58 active listings in the middle of summer is a crazy small number. On July 15th of this year, inventory had ballooned to 162 listings, 64 of which were under contract (leaving 98 active). Yes, this was a substantial improvement from last year. But when compared to the absolute top of our last market peak in July 2007, the 162/64 stat still looks very tight compared to the 2007 numbers, which were 289 listings with 62 under contract.

The percentage of pendings to listings is 40% today compared to 21% in 2007. This year’s second quarter median cumulative days on the market is still a brisk 11 days, equal to what it was for the same period in 2015. (In 2007, it was 52 days.)  It is still a very competitive market. Our inventory is growing because our price levels are finally bringing in more people from the sidelines. When you look at the history of the sold listings, there are scant few people who are “flipping” or who have bought recently and rapidly selling for a profit. Instead, many of the homes that recently sold were last sold in 2001, 2004, or even 2007 and 2008. It’s also interesting to note that people who have held onto their homes for a more extended period of time (since before the boom years) are realizing very healthy increases over what they paid.  

Prices

We have finally drawn even with and are even beginning to pass our peak prices of 2006/2007. When we checked the history of all the homes sold in the second quarter, all those that sold in 2006/2007 did better this year. Our year-to-date median is $755,000, a 14.4% increase over last year. This number is exacerbated by the price ranges of the homes sold. Overall, sales were down almost 17% and almost all of the decrease came in homes below the $600K price point. This phenomenon can be partly explained by our old nemesis: lack of inventory. On July 15th, there were 13 homes available on the whole island for less than $600K. Not many choices …

However, we are now seeing more price reductions than even in the first quarter. This is another indication of a healthier market. Pricing still matters, as sellers can’t just ask for anything. As we mentioned in our last newsletter, this is one of many areas where professionals can really help. Overpriced homes usually end up selling for less than properly priced homes, a statistic that has been borne out in all types of markets. This becomes especially important when a market is going through a gradual shift. The bottom line is that prices are rising and healthy. True, the rate may change and is very neighborhood and property specific. But the competitive nature of our current market will help bolster prices.

Condominiums and Land

Interestingly, the increase in inventory has not yet been felt in the residential condominium market.  Due to low inventory the volume of condominium sales are down almost 21% from last year.  Prices are up 8% from 2015, but the median price is still 13.7% lower than in 2007.  In addition to the shortage of available condominiums buyers face potential financing challenges specific to that type of property.  In the land segment, sales are down more than 30%!  Median price for land is also off 6.5%, which is 47% of the 2007 median.  This is perplexing as land sales improved quite a lot between 2014 and 2015.

Moving Forward

So our changes are subtle at this time, but in process. On the residential side, the greater inventory gives buyers more choices and potentially more sales. Sellers are seeing price levels that entice people to return to the marketplace and support a competitive environment. The regional economy outlook continues to impress and our position in that marketplace remains strong. (What other community can still claim the same commute time to downtown as twenty years ago?) The outlook ahead is all very positive!

This summer, we are opening a satellite office on Olympic Drive and Winslow Way. There we’ll be able to greet ferry passengers as they first arrive to the island. Our goal is to give our clients more exposure to pedestrian and vehicle ferry traffic and have agents on hand to answer questions. We hope to have our doors open soon, so please stop by.

Windermere In The News

To say that Windermere has a lot of Seahawks fans would be an understatement. That’s why we are so excited to announce today that we are now the “Official Real Estate Company of the Seattle Seahawks”!

At the center of this partnership with the Seahawks is a new #tacklehomelessness campaign in which the Windermere Foundation will donate $100 for every Seahawks tackle at home during the 2016 season. On the receiving end of these donations is YouthCare, a Seattle-based non-profit organization that has been providing services and support to homeless youth from across Puget Sound for more than 40 years. Since 1989, the Windermere Foundation has donated over $30 million to non-profits that support low-income and homeless families, so partnering with YouthCare and the Seahawks on the#tacklehomelessness campaign is a perfect fit for us.

“We are proud to partner with Windermere, an iconic and locally-based company with a deep commitment to this community,” said Seahawks Vice President of Corporate Partnerships Amy Sprangers. “Windermere’s brand and values align perfectly with our commitment to this region. It is wonderful that this partnership will make a positive impact on homeless youth throughout the Seattle area.”

GO HAWKS!

Seahawks Sponsorship Logo F

Posted on August 23, 2016 at 10:46 pm
Jackie Syvertsen | Category: Bainbridge Island Real Estate, Bainbridge Island Real Estate Statistics, Newsletter, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , ,

Summertime for Kids on Bainbridge Island

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Summer Day Camps 2016

Summer time is quickly approaching and suddenly that old feeling of dread and/or panic sets in… the kids are going to be home with nothing to do.

Bainbridge Island has a myriad of opportunities for children of all ages to learn and have fun this summer while school is out.

Islandwood

Islandwood Summer Day Camps invite children to open their imaginations in rich natural settings. They offer day camps for children from Pre-Kindergarten through the 9th grade.

Bainbridge Parks Department

The Bainbridge Island Metro Park & Recreation District offers a wide variety of classes and programs for children of all ages, all summer long. To download the full catalog for the entire summer of 2016 offerings click HERE.

Hazel Creek Montessori

Hazel Creek offers a Summer Camp programs for younger children including swimming lessons and horse back riding.

Bainbridge Island FC

Do your children enjoy soccer? Bainbridge Island FC offers summer camps for children starting as young as 3 years old!

Kids Discovery Museum

KiDiMu welcomes every child and family to explore and learn through interactive play. This year they are offering summer camps during July 2016 and August 2016.

Grand Old Fourth of July

Ok, it isn’t a summer camp but it surely is not to be missed. The Grand Old Fourth has been Bainbridge Island's biggest party for 48 years with a mile-long hometown parade, street fair with more than 100 booths including 30 food vendors, live music, kids' entertainment and games, pony rides, beer and wine garden, classic and electric car show, family fun run, pancake breakfast topped off with fireworks over Eagle Harbor at dusk. Admission is free and your entire family will love it!

Jackie_Syvertsen

 

Posted on May 25, 2016 at 10:43 pm
Jackie Syvertsen | Category: Bainbridge Island Real Estate, Fun Things to do on Bainbridge Island, Holidays on Bainbridge Island | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Charming Townhome in Winslow

Who says you can't have it all? This charming standalone townhome offers a main floor master plus so much more – in easy reach of everywhere you want to be.

Open Sunday, May 22nd from 1pm to 4pm!

For more information on this home, please click HERE

1223 Ananda PL NW

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jackie_Syvertsen

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted on May 19, 2016 at 3:44 pm
Jackie Syvertsen | Category: Bainbridge Island Real Estate | Tagged , , , , , , , , ,

Top Floor at Harbor Square

190 Harbor Square Loop #C431
Bainbridge Island, WA 98110

Open Sunday May 15th from 1pm to 4pm

http://www.windermere.com/listing/43339734

 

Posted on May 12, 2016 at 9:23 pm
Jackie Syvertsen | Category: Bainbridge Island Real Estate | Tagged , , , , , , , , ,

New listing!!!

4876 Rose Avenue NE

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

4876 Rose Avenue NE
Bainbridge Island, WA 98110

OPEN SUNDAY, May 1st 1pm to 4pm

Offered at $998,000

Beautiful property and exquisite home, just a short stroll to parks and trails to Blakely Harbor. Stone fireplace warms the great room extending into the grand open kitchen inspiring culinary performances and memorable gatherings. This fabulous home features boxed beam ceilings and painted pine walls, custom furniture grade cabinetry, soapstone counters and select quarter-sawn floors, offering casual comfort of Island life and the charm of a bygone era. Timeless, function and value throughout! NWMLS #931429

For more information and to preview the photo gallery, please click HERE

 

Jackie_Syvertsen

Posted on April 28, 2016 at 8:14 pm
Jackie Syvertsen | Category: Bainbridge Island Real Estate | Tagged , , , , , , , ,

2016 1st Quarter Newsletter

Jackie98110 dot com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Same Old Tune

Even as the birds of springtime sing their new songs of the season, we must hit repeat as we report – once again – on our local market’s low inventory.  A lack of available homes continues to dictate what’s happening in Bainbridge Island real estate. On April 1st, there were only 47 homes and 5 condominiums available for sale on the island. Within the overall market, certain price points have been more pinched than others (which is a snapshot in time and will change as the year goes on). For example, if you were looking for a home in the $600K to $800K range, you had only 5 houses to choose from and zero condominiums.

How Inventory Affects Sales and Prices

This extremely limited inventory helped drive home sales down more than 20% from last year. There are plenty of buyers out there; there are just not enough properties on the market to sell.  The scarcity of inventory has increased competition and bumped median prices up more than 9%. The average, which is more a function of the price ranges where homes closed, was up more than 18%.  The median cumulative days on market dropped from 26 in 2015 to 20 in 2016.  To put this in perspective, the cumulative days on market in 2012 was 146 days.

The Story on Condominiums and Land

The condominium market is also suffering from lack of inventory. Last year at the beginning of April, there were 16 condominiums available compared to this year’s 5; both of which lie in sharp contrast to 2012, when there were 45 available. Consequently, sales dropped from 19 to 16, but the median price rose 23% to $430K. Land, on the other hand, experienced a 30% increase in sales to 13 parcels this quarter with a 26.8% increase in the median price to $225K.

The View from Inside

One might assume that a market like this, with rising prices and inventory competition, makes our jobs easier. The reality is that there are some basic principles, goals and strategies that any good real estate professional seeks to embrace, all of which must adapt to an ever-changing market.  Regardless of the climate, we want our clients to achieve the best possible outcomes – both at closing and in the future.  This is sometimes easier said than done, especially when competition is fierce and time is of the essence.  Given the complexities of the Bainbridge market, where most homes and locations are unlike any others, things can get even more challenging. It is not like buying or selling in a large subdivision where a product like Zillow has some merit. Here, each house has strengths and weaknesses and the success of a sale can pivot on those subtle nuances.  

If you’re a Buyer

For buyers in this market, supply is tight and prices are rising. You almost have to assume you will be competing with others when you find the house you would like to make your home. Is the price fair? How high should you go? The specter of 2006 and 2007 should be in the back of your mind, as the concept of paying “whatever it takes” came back to bite many homebuyers. An agent brings knowledge of the current market, the choices it offers, what might be coming and how an individual house fits into the bigger picture – including the history of the neighborhood and often of the house. An agent will know whether a price is in line or whether the seller is being aggressive. When there are limited comparable properties, this expertise becomes extremely important. No one wants to hear, “You paid how much for your house?!”

In multiple offer situations, there are strategies to employ. You need to line up your resources to be “the best you can be.” Multiple offers often require that decisions be made quickly, so being prepared makes you a stronger buyer and one less likely to be disappointed later. If you are not a cash buyer, there are things you can do to compete with those who are. Get comfortable with the stack of forms you’ll be asked to sign. Ask your Realtor what it means to omit certain forms, how to read building inspection reports and Title reports. Learn how to spot red flags that make certain houses less expensive. Being a buyer in this market can be difficult, frustrating and even scary. A good agent can help you navigate the winding road to achieve the best results and avoid mistakes.

If you’re a Seller

Sellers may think they have it easier, but the reality is that a seller’s quest is the same in an ascending market as in a descending one. The two primary goals for sellers are to get the home sold in the timeframe desired and to maximize net proceeds. Buyers will be more attracted to, and will ultimately pay more for, a house that is optimized to appeal to a buyer and priced in a manner that a buyer feels is reasonable in the current market. Knowing the current market, as well as past and future markets and how a particular home fits into all of them, is essential in achieving the seller’s ultimate goals. But the work is just beginning when buyers first express interest.  You have to know which of them will have the greatest possibility of actually achieving a closed transaction. It is surprising how many transactions fall apart in this market. Negotiating inspections, Appraisals, Sellers’ liability; what do all those forms mean and what are your responsibilities? There are many steps between deciding to sell and achieving your goals. The reality is that sellers don’t always get everything they hope to get out of a sale – even in a sellers’ market.  But an experienced agent will help you prepare, present and respond so you can get the most out of any market.

The Constant

 Real estate markets fluctuate all the time, sometimes favoring buyers and sometimes favoring sellers. This is simply the nature of the business.  But in the midst of all those ups and downs, one thing remains consistent: the beauty and livability of Bainbridge Island.  At Windermere Bainbridge, we celebrate our island community and all it has to offer.

 

Jackie_Syvertsen

Posted on April 27, 2016 at 10:46 pm
Jackie Syvertsen | Category: Bainbridge Island Real Estate, Bainbridge Island Real Estate Statistics, Newsletter | Tagged , , , , , , , ,

A celebration of all things green on Earth Day 2016

In honor of Earth Day, I thought I would have a little tribute to the color green. While a pale, almost neutral green is common in design, it takes guts and color savvy to really sock a punch to a room with green. These are a few great examples where the designer is a green maven.

This room has such a fun vintage feel without the burden of all of grandma's clutter. Keeping all of the other major pieces a stark white really showcases the green color.

JackieSyvertsen

I LOVE this room; my eye was immediately drawn to the Egg Chair in that gorgeous shade of green!

JackieSyvertsen

I think I'm drawn to this room because it looks like it was inspired by the Farnsworth house. The green accent mimics what is going on outside the structure.

JackieSyvertsen

The designer of this bathroom understands color and balance. The green is allowed to shine against the white while a little punch of orange provides great contrast.

JackieSyvertsen

Speaking of orange and green – being fearless with color can be intimidating but rewarding and well worth it when done properly. The balance of the orange and green is so refreshing and exciting.

JackieSyvertsen

Also, chocolate brown looks fantastic with green.

JackieSyvertsen

This calm traditional room probably would have seemed like the same old, same old without that brilliant hit of green provided by the duvet and throw pillow.

JackieSyvertsen

Here the green tiles add a bit of whimsy to an otherwise very modern kitchen.

JackieSyvertsen

And finally, who says wreaths are only for Christmas? A living wreath planted on a moss ring provides lovely greeting at your front door.

JackieSyvertsen

 

Jackie_Syvertsen

Posted on April 22, 2016 at 8:14 pm
Jackie Syvertsen | Category: Bainbridge Island Real Estate, Fun Things to do on Bainbridge Island, Home Improvement, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , ,