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Bainbridge Island Realtor

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Puget Sound Spring Real Estate Selling Season: it’s Sprung!

When the first spring day comes along (as opposed to the first day of spring), a goodly proportion of Bainbridge Island’s residents feel the annual pull toward the garden store aisles. Even those who’ve stoutly resisted ordering seeds, gardening tools, or any of the other back yard paraphernalia the catalogs kept hawking all winter can succumb to this particular Call of Nature.

Burpee, Scotts and Miracle-Gro shareholders can relax: spring has sprung.

The local spring real estate selling season starts stirring, too, pretty much in lockstep with the appearance of the tulips. Whether or not the tulips have succeeded in poking up out of the ground, it’s a cinch that by this time they will have made colorful appearances on store shelves everywhere, just like the Peeps and chocolate bunnies. Unlike the rest of the early spring’s trappings, though, the spring real estate phenomenon doesn’t disappear from sight once Easter Sunday is a memory. In fact, it picks up steam.

There are any number of explanations why spring real estate in BI is always expected to ramp up. Part of the reason is the calendar. For families with children, if a move is going to involve a change in school districts, summer vacation is the least disruptive time of year for it to happen, so spring is the time to start house hunting. Part of the reason is due to the comparative difficulty of selling a home in wintertime: not only can foul weather make it harder to keep a home at its showy best, it also can throw a monkey wrench into property maintenance and the few cosmetic fixes that almost every home could use before it hits the local listings. The result is a certain amount of bottled-up inventory that bursts onto the scene all at once—and springtime is the single time of the year when that happens.

Then there is the automatic momentum effect. When you sell a Puget Sound area home, most families need to turn around and buy the next. The National Association of Realtors® tells us that the spring real estate selling season may actually be stronger than the numbers indicate, because many sales that really did begin “in season” don’t actually close until summer begins. Spring real estate as a phenomenon is “real” enough that you can’t blame them for lines like “Spring brings rain and flowers—and possibly extra green in the final sales price of your home.”

The spring real estate selling season is indeed underway, so if you are planning on listing your own home anytime soon, now is a great time to give me a call. It’s the best way to take advantage of the traditional boom in prospective buyers!  

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Redefining What’s Hot in Bainbridge Island Luxury Listings

Charlie Chaplin always managed to mix a good measure of insight in with the silent movie knee-slappers. It was “The Little Clown” who once said, “The saddest thing I can imagine is to get used to luxury.” One way or another, we Americans have come up with a singularly surefire way to overcome that problem: we just constantly redefine what comprises “luxury”!

Real estate website Trulia proves the point. Each year they count how frequently certain phrases appear in luxury listings—here in Bainbridge Island as well as across the nation. From year to year, their findings provide an interesting measure of what’s hot and what’s not in luxury listings.

Buyers Want A Room With A View (and A Marble Bath!)

The words that most commonly appear in luxury listings are marble bath, roof deck and oversize windows. Luxury listings were 78% more likely to contain marble bath than was true the previous year. And windows seemed a focal point in the latest luxury listings: three of the top seven phrases dealt with them in one way or another. Oversized windows were 56% more likely to appear this year, floor to ceiling windows were up 39%, and ceiling windows appeared 37% more frequently.

There seemed a general drift toward defining luxury characteristics as that which can be seen from outside the home as much as what is found inside. Bainbridge Island sellers might note that, along with great windows, roof decks and terraces were other popular draws in the luxury listings.

Luxury Cooking Facilities No Longer As Hot

At the same time, cooking and kitchen amenities seemed to have faded in importance. BBQ was the amenity that dropped the most—declining by 16%. Other big losers were stainless appliances, custom cabinets, gourmet kitchen and breakfast areas.

Yesterday’s Luxury: Today’s Necessity?

A word of caution about all this: when we are deciding the important phrasing for our own Bainbridge Island luxury listings, it’s worth considering that what was yesterday’s “luxury” can quickly become today’s necessity. Just as we wouldn’t think of heated indoor plumbing or refrigerator as a high end amenities, at some point they were. Amenities that were once emphasized may no longer be given prominence because buyers have simply come to take it for granted that they will be included…if they were headlined, the listing might look…well, average. As our conception of luxury redefines itself, we should expect their listing phrases will change, too.

Whether you agree with Charlie Chaplin or not, luxury in housing is apparently here to stay. If you are interested in exploring—or adding to—the luxury listings in Bainbridge Island, don’t you be silent—give me a call today!

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Upward Momentum Frames Commercial Property Picture

This year, it looks as if the busy summer real estate season extends beyond the residential arena. Latest reports show commercial property sales on the rise throughout the nation—and in volumes that make it one of the main contributors to the overall economic upturn.

The most reliable data comes from the National Association of Realtors®, whose latest quarterly survey shows year-over-year sales increasing a full 11% (with prices rising 4%). It’s an encouraging backdrop for businesspeople and individual investors who are gauging the opportunities in today’s Bainbridge Island commercial property market. Despite the vagaries of the tax and political climate (it is an election year, after all), with rental rates increasing and leasing activity up across the nation, the market does invite a closer look by anyone considering a fresh entry into Bainbridge Island’s commercial property arena.

While working with a buyer’s agent to find and purchase a Bainbridge Island commercial property isn’t an absolute essential, it certainly can be more efficient to have professional assistance and guidance throughout the process. When you choose a Realtor who has specifically commercial experience in Bainbridge Island, you make the same kind of choice as when you seek expert help in any other area of your business or personal endeavors—an expert’s insight can be priceless!

 Whether you are buying or selling a commercial property, it’s also important to avoid fixating on short-term impacts. Today’s cash flow may be your leading financial factor, but balancing with the long-term impacts is a juggling act worth mastering. Buying or selling a commercial property has long term impacts that spread out well beyond this year’s bottom line. Don’t hesitate to discuss your current business model with your accountant or tax professional. They are sure to have concrete ideas about potential impacts that will be quite real five and ten years from now. The right commercial property in Bainbridge Island will be one that is able to accommodate your needs both now and into the future.

With the right agent and clear-cut financial goals, your search for an Bainbridge Island commercial property can result in the best financial move you make this year—or for many years to come.  If you’re weighing the value of purchasing a commercial property or placing your own for sale, call me to open the discussion about the opportunities in today’s market.

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