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Bbainbridge Island Blogs


Out(side)rageous Family Day at Bloedel Reserve.

Get set to spend an unforgettable child- centered day at the first ever Out(side)rageuos Family Day, August 23rd at Bloedel Reserve.

The grounds will be filled with loads of activities including those of the hands-on kind and concerts to entertain kids of all ages.  Individual activities will be led by Bainbridge Island friends from IslandWood, KiDiMu, B.I.M.A, Boys and Girls Club of Bainbridge Island and West Sound Wildlife Shelter.

There will be music performances by Bainbridge Island musician Johnny Bregar and Seattle based Recess Monkey.  Bloedel Reserve will be making a special exception that day and will allow picnicking in designated areas.

Out(side)rageous Family Day is free for all children, and adult admission is reduced to $10. Members are free. 

Bloedel Reserve will also be introducing their new self-guided activities to use any time when you visit.  The goal of the interactive and educational activities is to help enhance a child’s experience when walking the grounds.

Family day events will start at 10am and run through until 3pm. 

Out(side)rageous Family Day is free for all children, and adult admission is reduced to $10. And of course, members are free. 

More details available at their website:



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.



Loving Shakespeare in the Park

If you are looking for something less hectic to do this Seafair weekend, why not enjoy some Shakespeare in the park?

There will be a performance of 'Love's Labour's Lost' at Battle Point Park, Sunday August 2.

The production is presented by Greenstage, Seattle’s longest-running Shakespeare company,
and is directed by Vince Brady.  'Love's Labour's Lost' is a story of King Ferdinand of Navarre and his three noble pals who make a solemn vow to steer clear of women and devote themselves to three years of earnest study and clean living. A plan that is thrown out the window upon the arrival of the Princess of France and her entourage of three highly eligible young women. Resorting to goofy disguises and frat-boy hijinks, our heroes do their best to win the favor of the ladies. A beautiful, poetic play that is a perfect summer romp for the parks!

This performance is free, but donations to performers are encouraged!

Battle Point Park
11299 Arrow Point Drive NE
Bainbridge Island, WA

Find parking though the entrance off of Battle Point Drive, near the soccer fields

For more information visit the Greenstage website.




Fill your heart with Jazz this Valentines Day


Fill your heart with Jazz this Valentines day at the beautiful Bloedel Reserve with Katie King Jazz Trio. Katie has performed for 25years in the Seattle area and is known as one of the region’s best and most versatile jazz singers.

Bainbridge Island holds a special place in her heart, as this is where she got her start. The trio also features Bill Anschell on piano and Chris Symer on bass.

Tickets are $26 for members, $29 for non-members (includes one glass of champagne and dessert; additional beverages available for purchase).

Doors open at 7pm., show from 7:30pm-9:15pm.

For more information and tickets, visit:

Learn more about Katie here:



Upgrades That Can Actually Lower Local Home Values

Renovations and upgrades will increase anybody’s Bainbridge Island home values, right?

Maybe…but not so fast! Believe it or not, some projects can actually diminish a Bainbridge Island property’s home values. In other words, you could potentially lose more than the cost of the project: you could lower your home’s ultimate resale value as well!


One of the most common examples is the overly ambitious landscaping project. Who doesn’t love a well-tailored garden or a perfectly maintained backyard? Yet, as HGTV’s Sabrina Soto, host of “The High/Low Project” points out, overdoing it can be counterproductive. To some potential buyers, too much landscaping could equal increased maintenance (meaning more work and expense). When the balance isn’t right, turned-off prospective buyers can bring lower offers. When it comes to landscaping, the idea is to keep up with the Joneses, not outdo them.

Another potential trouble spot comes when a remodeling effort goes into converting a spare bedroom. Especially because local property records can record a home’s structural description over the course of the years, a change in the number of bedrooms from four to three can mean home values headed in the wrong direction. It’s also the kind of change that can give rise to skeptical queries in prospective buyers’ minds — running the gamut from “why exactly did they convert the bedroom into another room?”” to “what else have they changed that we’d better know about?”

Any creative, off-the-beaten-path design upgrades can create more problems than solutions. You might think that a potential buyer would look at what they view as an unsuitable paint color and think, “Well, that’s just a few hours of work.” But few buyers want to spend their free time painting…especially when it’s on top of custom textures. Soto says that textured walls are difficult to sand and downright nasty to remove. Home values are usually better served by skipping the fancy textures and sticking to neutral colors.

Home values in Bainbridge Island have been on the rise, so before making any moves that could wind up being counter-productive, if you are preparing to sell this fall, why not call me for an up-to-date market assessment?



Creative Tactics for Competing With Cash Offers

Conventional wisdom dictates that home sellers prefer cash offers. So what is a typical would-be buyer in Bainbridge Island to do when the competition comes forward with an all-cash offer? Cash offers may come from any of a variety of deep-pocketed parties: institutional investors, foreign investors, wealthy families or individual investors.


Beyond doing basic due diligence — gathering as much intel as you can about the property and the seller’s needs — if you’ve found the perfect home and are convinced it is the best property for your family, consider one or more of these tactics:

Bidding over asking — even by as little as 2% or 3% — can sometimes win the day, according to Noah Rosenblatt, founder of Urban Digs, a real estate analytics company. Cash buyers typically factor in opportunity costs, making it less likely that they will go beyond a certain price threshold. No one wants to pay more for a property than necessary, but going “over asking” may be the only way to secure an ideal property when cash offers are competing.

Removing any contingencies from your offer will help strengthen your position and may well convince a Bainbridge Island seller that you are the party most likely to close successfully. The downside is that you will be assuming whatever risk had been the subject of the contingency in the first place. For example, if you were to submit an offer less any inspection contingencies, you might have to pay more than budgeted down the road if undiscovered repairs crop up.

The seller’s goal is maximize net return, so any term you add that puts more money in the seller’s pocket can sway the decision in your favor. Creative thinking pays. You might offer to pay the seller’s closing costs, cover your own Home Warranty policy, or any other add-on that has the desired effect.

While cash may be king in most cases, there are ways to compete with cash offers in Bainbridge Island. If you are looking for an agent with constructive solutions to help you find and secure the right property, why not call me today to take advantage of this fall’s inventory?



Holiday Snaps with Santa and your Furry Family

Why should the kids have all the fun?  Don’t let your pets miss out on pictures with Santa!   The Kitsap Humane Society hosts their Holiday Pet Pix fundraiser.  On December 7, its Bainbridge Islands turn.  Bainbridge Island pets are invited to get their pictures taken with their owners and, of course, Santa Claus.

According to Rachel Bearbower, Kitsap Humane Societys special events coordinator, the event started out quite small but has grown into a large annual gathering.  Over 50 people have already bought their adorable pets in holiday dress for a special photo session with Santa.

The animals were very well behaved at the first two events.  The best picture by far was where a family had a picture of their toddler and their puppy with Santa. The toddler was flailing around and the puppy was just cute and calm as can be.

“Not only is it a fun and festive day to celebrate the holidays and our animals, but it is also a great opportunity to raise money and build awareness about the shelter and our mission,” Bearbower said. “We’ve had all sorts of animals such as chickens and horses, but we’ve even seen llamas come through.”

One final picture event is on December 7 at Bay Hay & Feed on Bainbridge Island from 10am to 3pm.  All photos are printed on the spot by Hudson Photography and packages start at $12.





Take a Trot on Thanksgiving for Helpline House

Start your Thanksgiving Day right with a fun, active community event that supports local families in need.  Over $42,000  has been raised to benefit our local food bank, Helpline House, in the first three years of the event.  Don't miss Bainbridge Island's newest tradition - it's the perfect excuse for just one more slice of pie! 

The 4th Annual Bainbridge Island Turkey Trot will take place on Thanksgiving morning in Battle Point Park.  Runners and walkers are welcome in both the 5K and the 1 Mile.

Pre-registration ends at midnight on November 24, but there will be on-site registration starting at 7:30am if you feel inspired and energetic on Thanksgiving morning.

The 1 mile run starts at 8:30 am followed by the 5k runners at 9am.

The one mile route starts at the traffic circle in front of the Transmitter Building. Heading north on the park path, runners will circle the pond, head south on the path and around the west and south sides of the turf soccer fields, entering the field on the south side to the finish. 


The 5km runners will start near the traffic circle in front of the Transmitter Building. Running out of the park and north on Arrow Point road, they will turn left on Venice Loop, straight on Kirk Ave, right on Frey Ave, left on Battle Point Drive, and left to return into the park on the west side. First heading south, runners will circumnavigate the entire park path counterclockwise, including the pond on the north end. Runners will finish in the turf soccer fields on the west side of the park.

Prizes will be awarded to the top three finishers in each age category for both the 1 Mile and 5K. Awards can be claimed at the Results Table after the race. Unclaimed prizes can be picked up at Island Fitness until December 13th. Failure to pick up your prize by this date constitutes forfeiture of your award.

Light refreshments will be provided at the finish for race participants. In addition, our local Bainbridge Island roving espresso truck, Treeroot Espresso, will joining us at the event and open for business from 7:30-10:30am.

Participants dressed in costume will receive a prize!

Visit for more information.



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!



The Spectacular Sounds of Summer

Wednesday Evening Concerts in the park are back! Grab the kids, a picnic and enjoy an evening of music under the sun! Concerts are every Wednesday from July 10 - August 21. Did we mention they are FREE? Check out the line up below!

All concerts start at 7:00pm and end at 8:30pm.

July 10  | LoCura @ Fay Bainbridge Park

A Vivacious San Francisco-base band mixes flamenco with reggae, cumbia with ska through contagious rythms and multiple languages.


July 17 | Harmonious Wail  @ Fay Bainbridge Park

Infection blend of eastern European folk songs and American jazz. Dance to swing, gypsy music and melodic vocals.

July 24 | African Showboyz @ Fay Bainbridge Park

This tribal ensemble from Ghana, West Africa, combines drumming, dance, magic and adrenaline in spectacular perfromances.

July 31 | Hawaiian Luau @ Fay Bainbridge Park

Kapahu O Lohiau and dance the night away with Ire Nation.  Celebrate music and summer South Pacific Style!

August 7 | Massy Ferguson @ Battle Point Park

Raucous rock-and twang band from Seattle delivers electrified Americana, influences include classis Southern rock and early Bruce Springsteen.

August 14 | Tillers Folly @ Battle Point Park

Americana/Folk/Celtic group based in Canada, Tillers Folly plays at the forefront of a bold new movement in acoustic roots music.

August 21 | Grupo Meridional @ Battle Point Park

Celebrate the last days of summer with sizzling Latin/Cuban dance grooves from the island’s own Alan Simcoe band.