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Luxury Real Estate

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A Pristine Custom Home in Tala Point

1331 E. Ludlow Ridge Road

Port Ludlow, WA
 

1331 E. Ludlow Ridge Road

Port Ludlow, WA

$969,000

In a private community with gated entry, this architect's own home was lovingly and meticulously constructed on 3.76 acres and 190 feet of high bank waterfront. Nature is alive and active at Tala Point and all around this memorable property where eagles fly high above and nest in the nearby Douglas Firs. A stunning vista of the Ludlow Bay Marina and Olympic Mountains are on one side, while the other side showcases views of Admiralty Inlet and Mt. Constitution in the distance on Orcas Island. The main house features two bedrooms; the splendid master is on the main floor complete with a full walk-in closet equipped with built-ins and the second bedroom is upstairs, complimented with French doors opening to a great room plus full bathroom. The kitchen is fully stocked with custom touches including a pull out pantry, Wolf Range, SubZero refrigerator and even an apron front kitchen sink. The one bedroom/one bathroom guest house has a wet bar, seating area and a sweet loft creating a cozy and private escape. Efficient, yet luxurious living and only 90 minutes to Seattle, this house is much more than beautiful, it truly feels like home.

 Finished 2,600 square feet ~ Unfinished Basement 720 square Feet ~ Guest House 360 square feet,

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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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Sound Backwards? Upsizing as an Empty Nester’s Choice!

The children have grown; home feels…a little empty…

Many people assume that an empty nest means it’s downsizing time—time for a smaller house or condo. In truth, for many a homeowner in Bainbridge Island, downsizing is just one of a number of appealing directions.

It may sound obvious, but it’s your interests and plans that should guide your next step. After a lifetime of deferring to other people’s priorities, many of us are ill-prepared to think creatively about what it is we want. When we do, downsizing might not necessarily be the springboard to life’s next great adventure.

For instance: consider Upsizing. Moving a smaller family into a larger home may sound backwards, but if you have special interests or hobbies that call for a lot of space, now may be the chance to add the workshop, rehearsal space, or studio you’ve always longed for. A larger home can also provide space for guests when the family (and it might be a growing one!) comes to visit.

Have you always wanted to live near water, or be able to step out on the front porch any time of the day to drink in a panoramic view of the mountains?

Or maybe the reverse, and you’d like to sample life in the city—urban living, with its museums, shows and restaurants on every corner. Alternatively, perhaps it’s time to look into one of the increasingly-popular planned communities; one built around a golf course, or one emphasizing social activities, clubs and outings that cater to older adults

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The serious point: dream a little! If not now, when? With the children out the door, this could finally be a chance to indulge yourself. Raising a family means putting other people’s needs first. Now it’s your turn. A luxury home or condo could have the amenities you’ve always wanted—a swimming pool or home spa, designer furniture or classic architecture. Your empty nest may give you the chance to own the kind of home you’ve only daydreamed about.

Among the down-to-earth details you’ll want to consider before acting—

•  Whether you’re truly ready to leave your Bainbridge Island home and community behind

•  The real estate market and comparative housing values in Bainbridge Island and in alternative venues

•  Health issue implications now and (as much as predictable) into the future

Finally, give yourself time…enough time to be sure that the home ownership path you choose is one that’s most likely to prove rewarding. And remember, too, that I (or a qualified Realtor® wherever you land) is your invaluable resource. Do give me a call whenever you want to investigate your choices.

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Announcing the Grand Opening of The Connoisseurs of Life Showroom

Representatives of Realogics Sotheby’s International Realty announced today the official grand opening of their new flagship branch office at 15 Lake Street in downtown Kirkland.  The firm opens to the public at 11:00am on Saturday, March 1st, 2014.  This debut follows a series of private events and promotions within the Connoisseurs of Life Showroom, which fronts the real estate brokerage and includes a new downtown Kirkland office for Cobalt Mortgage.  The retail partnerships are comprised of an independent wine bar and retail wine shop operated by DeLille Cellars called “Maison DeLille”, a dramatic installation by LightArt®, high-tech presentations by Wipliance, furnishings and artwork from MasinsAlchemy Collections and The Island Gallery, and even an integrated photo booth by The Snap Bar to capture the events.

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“Following six months of design and construction, we’re eager to open for business,” said Dean Jones, Owner of Realogics Sotheby’s International Realty. “Our concept is to feature retail partners and exhibitors that target the connoisseurs of lifecreating a consumer experience greater than just another real estate brokerage.  We view the showroom as a lifestyle destination converging homes, art, wine and design.  In addition to drawing traffic to our real estate team and partners, our brokers will benefit from this entertainment venue as they host their own events and promotions in the heart of Kirkland.”

The Kirkland branch of Realogics Sotheby’s International Realty is opening with 36 licensed agents and accepting interviews for additional broker recruits.  Chad Zinda is appointed as the Designated Broker & Director of Sales and Shelley Cribbey is the Kirkland Office Manager.  The broker collective will primarily specialize in Eastside real estate but will proudly service all property types and price points in the metro area and out of state through strategic referral networks.

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The private preview events have already drawn praise from local leaders in the Kirkland community.

“We extend a warm welcome to Realogics Sotheby’s International Realty,” says Amy Walen, Mayor of The City of Kirkland. “The vision statement for Kirkland is to be ‘an attractive, vibrant and inviting place to live work and visit’ and as I toured the Connoisseurs of Life Showroom I was experiencing this very doctrine come to life.”

Similar praise was drawn from corporate executives attending the opening events from the global real estate network based in New Jersey.

“Realogics Sotheby’s International Realty has raised the bar again in conceiving the Connoisseurs of Life Showroom,” said Fran Santangelo, Senior Vice President for Global Operations of Sotheby’s International Realty Affiliates, LLC.  “This fine company is well positioned to grow their enterprise with new brokers, especially considering their unique relationships with our other affiliates in Pacific Rim countries.  The Kirkland branch office is an exciting addition to our growing footprint in Washington State.”

Sotheby’s International Realty Affiliates, LLC now oversees 661 branches in 45 countries and territories around the world including the newest arrival of the Kirkland branch office.  Comprising 14,460 brokers worldwide representing more than 36,000 listings, the Sotheby’s International Realty Brand has become a leader in global real estate excellence.

For priority information on upcoming events and promotions, join the Passport Registry at http://www.realogicssothebysrealty.com/contact-us#passport

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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.

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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!

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Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest Boost Area Property Search Results

By now, social media are an integral part of many peoples’ daily routine. If you are selling your home in Bainbridge Island this summer, you can decide to add your own social media clout to add further momentum to the professional campaign. Your agent already has a great website to attract anyone conducting a Bainbridge Island property search. Now many sellers are using their own social media network to link to it. 

No one wants to be spammed by a friend’s marketing on Facebook, but a few posts about your home-selling adventures can be interesting. When your home is first listed, announce it and post a link to your agent’s website. Be sure not to sound too sales-y (that’s your agent’s job). Instead, share items that relate to your life: “It’s really happening! Listing our home for sale in Bainbridge Island this weekend. Now I finally get to show off my new kitchen with its 6-burner Viking range!” Share photos, too.

The rules for Twitter marketing are similar. It’s social, so avoid outright sales tactics. Try asking engaging questions, like, “Do you think buyers in Bainbridge Island will want to check out our #solarpanels?” Don’t forget to #hashtag key words, and always link to the listing’s website so interested buyers click directly to it for their property search.

Photos sell — so if you have a Pinterest account, use it! Ask your agent for copies of your listing’s top-quality photographs, then post, post, post! Choose the top three features Bainbridge Island buyers might be looking for in their property search and create a Pinterest board for each. If you have a chef’s dream kitchen, create a board featuring gorgeous kitchens. If you have a waterfront property, make a board filled with beautiful waterfront properties (especially yours!) The boards will draw prospects whose property search keys on those features.

I welcome help from any homeowner who thinks their own social network will add to my full-time campaign. If you’re looking to sell your home in Bainbridge Island this summer, contact me today to discuss how my marketing plan can go to work for you!

 

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Bainbridge Island real estate market update

Bainbridge Island real estate has been experiencing a flurry of activity not seen in about 7 years. With inventory down and demand up you can't hardly ask for more! Here is a snap shot of the year to date.

Inventory - End of June

 *   Existing Homes - DOWN 27%
 *   New Construction - DOWN 31%
 *   Existing Condos - DOWN 38%
 *   New Condos - DOWN 84%

Pending - YTD

 *   Existing Homes - UP 62.5%  (June was UP 59% Y / Y)
 *   New Construction - UP 37.5% (June was UP 50%)
 *   Existing Condos - UP 13% (June was UP 29%)
 *   New Condos - UP 20% (June was flat)

Sales - YTD

 *   Existing Homes - UP 42%  (June was UP 75%) - Median price UP 2.7%         WOW!
 *   New Construction - Flat (June flat) - Median price DOWN 13.5%
 *   Existing Condos - UP 10% (June was UP 233%) - Median price DOWN 10.5%
 *   New Condos - DOWN 25% (June was flat)  - Median price UP 44%

If you want to know what is happening in the Bainbridge Island real estate market, please contact me at 206-391-1718 or email Kristi Nelson.

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Home Automation via Bluetooth?

It used to be that only the luxury high end homes had all the latest technology and cool gadgets. Now it is possible for every home to have some "luxury" features with all the latest wireless technology out there. Here is something that is pretty exciting to think of....

 

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Bainbridge Island Luxury Home Tour Coming March 25, 2012

I am proud to announce that Realogics Sotheby's on Bainbridge Island is spearheading the 2nd annual Bainbridge Island Luxury Home Tour. There will be 15 homes over $1,000,000 on view from 12-4:30 March 25, 2012. Several local brokerages will be participating and I will personally be hosting 3394 Point White Drive NE. If you would like a map of the event, please contact me, Kristi Nelson, at 206-391-1718 or by email kristi@livingonbainbridgeisland.com and I will be happy to give you the tour sheet.

 

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Bainbridge Island Real Estate: Gus Sanders would be proud of Restoration Point

Luxury Real Estate on Bainbridge seems to be in full swing this Spring.  In the last week, two listings each listed for around $8.5 million have come on the market in the prestigious area of Bainbridge known as Country Club. 11900 Country Club Rd, a magnificent home built in 2008 on 835 ft of waterfront is the single largest privately owned waterfront.  2000 Beans Bight is a stunning waterfront home reminiscent of Cape Cod and the Hamptons, with quietly elegant features and craftmanshp. Now, when you think of Country Club don't start imagining a huge clubhouse and a fancy golf course (although there is a golf course) and ladies "lunching".  This "old Bainbridge" community dates back to the late 1800's when it was actually a farm of around 100 acres owned by Gus Sanders. Gus Sanders was a part of the Port Blakely Mill days just before the turn of the 20th century. Lately I have been reading about Captain Renton's Port Blakely Mill and some of the interesting people who lived during that time. Sanders had worked as a foreman at the Mill but then changed to a mill in Ballard. Then he made another change and began working as a gripman on the Front Street Cable railway. At some point Sanders decided to build a "clubhouse" for some of his friends to enjoy who were weekend sailors. Some of these men  who included Stout, Heilbron, Pelly and Peters, eventually went together and bought 5 acres right at the tip of Restoration Point for $1000. Then the following year, they decided to purchase the remaining 103 acres for $22,500 and called themselves the Country Club of Seattle. Then hard times fell and they had trouble making payments. Sanders agreed to have them lease the property instead for 10 yrs and then buy it for $30,000. Eventually that happened and the members platted the land into 16 homesites and drew numbers out of a hat to determine who got what lot. The Moseback Farm  which was located directly above Country Club (Upper Farms Rd area I believe) was then purchased from Nils and Fausta Elofson in 1908. I can only imagine what these people would think of today when they see how their homestead has turned into some of the most prestigious and gorgeous property on Bainbridge Island. If you are interested in learning more about Bainbridge Island's history, you should check out the book "Port Blakely: The Community Captain Renton Built" by Andrew Price Jr. It's pretty fascinating stuff. Meanwhile, if you want to live the dream that these early pioneers founded, call me and I can arrange a private showing.

 

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