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Chill Out To Sunday Jazz

First Sundays Concerts presents the Jeff Johnson Jazz Quartet at 4 p.m. Today, Sept. 7 at Waterfront Park Community Center.

Johnson is one of the leading jazz bassists in the Seattle area.

Born in Minneapolis, Johnson ("Free" to some of his colleagues) left at age 20, spending time in Philadelphia and New York, and has worked with a veritable Who's Who of great jazz musicians — including Philly Joe Jones, Charlie Rouse, Barney Kessel, Chet Baker, Lew Tabackin, Eddie Daniels, Mark Murphy, Joanne Brackeen, Julian Priester, Jay Clayton, Marlena Shaw, Billy Hart, Annie Ross, George Cables, Bud Shank, Claudio Roditti, Ernestine Anderson and Michael Wolfe.

Since 1997, Johnson has recorded four CDs as a leader for the Pacific Northwest label, Origin Records. 1997′s “Free,” 2000′s “The Art of Falling” (which won the 2000 Earshot Jazz recording of the year in Seattle), 2004′s “Near Earth,”  and his latest release, 2008′s "Tall Stranger.”

Johnson was also the winner of Seattle’s Earshot Jazz “Northwest Jazz Instrumentalist of the Year” awards in both 2000 and 2001.

For the upcoming concert on Bainbridge, Johnson will be joined by Mark Taylor on saxophone, Steve Moore on trombone and piano and Eric Eagle on drums.

Tickets are available at brownpapertickets.com.

If you aren't going to make it to todays concert, check out the other First Sunday Concerts at www.firstsundaysconcerts.org

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A Jazzy Good Time Celebrating Django's Birthday

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Gypsy jazz musicians from around Puget Sound will celebrate Django Reinhardt’s 104th birthday with an evening of music on Saturday, February 1st at the Treehouse Cafe on Bainbridge Island.

The party, from 8 to 11pm, will be hosted by local gypsy jazz band Ranger and the ‘Re-Arrangers’ and will feature several guest soloists including Chris Laughbon on trombone, Tony Kahn on guitar and Amanda Grzadzielewski on Harp.

Django, born in 1910, was an itinerant Gypsy who earned international acclaim in the 1930’s. Many of his compositions became jazz classics and he is considered one of the top guitar soloists of all time. Duke Ellington referred to Django as “the most creative jazz musician to originate anywhere outside the United States.” Decades later, Jerry Garcia said “(Django’s) technique is awesome! Even today, nobody has really come to the state that he was playing at…nobody plays with the whole fullness of expression that Django has.” Django passed away in 1953.

Ranger and the “Re-Arrangers” have performed about 500 times since coming together in 2007, including a concert at North America’s foremost gypsy jazz event, Djangofest Northwest. The evening will feature songs from their repertoire of swing standards, traditional gypsy melodies, and of course, Django’s compositions. According to violinist and bandleader Ranger Sciacca: “Our goal is to make this a really fun event, with tons of amazing guest musicians and different instruments”. There is no cover charge for this event, but donations will be accepted. 

Treehouse Cafe
4569 Lynwood Center Rd. NE
Bainbridge Island, WA 98110
(206)842-2814

info@treehousebainbridge.com

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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.

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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?

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Authentic African Beats with Anzanga Marimba Ensemble

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In honor of Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday, stop by Bainbridge Performing Arts to enjoy the lively and beautiful melodies of Anzanga Marimba Ensemble.  There is only one show on Friday Jan 11 @ 7pm.

For over 25 years, the Seattle-based ensemble has toured nationally and internationally and appeared regionally in the Northwest Folklife Festival and Bumbershoot.  Anzanga Marimba Ensemble brings the electrifying and energizing music of African marimba to festivals, cultural events, schools, and more.  The troupe’s repertoire is primarily from Zimbabwe, with influences from Mozambique, South Africa and Gambia, in addition to original compositions. This special public performance is part of Bainbridge Performing Arts Cultural Outreach Program.

Anzanga plays using eight marimbas, three sopranos, three tenors, a baritone, and a bass and hoshos, or gourd shakers. The marimbas are hand-crafted and their xylophones are made from various hardwoods.

The instruments are tuned to bring out the authentic tonalities found in Zimbabwean Music. Each key sits above a resonator with a vibrating membrane to amplify the sound and add a unique “buzz” to the music.

Click here to listen to more music and find out more about Anzanga Marimba Ensemble

Tickets:
Adults: 12
Senior, Youth, Students, Military, Teachers: $8

Call Bainbridge Performing Arts at 206.842.8569

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Large Charm with Little Touches at Holiday Village

A Christmas on Bainbridge Island isn’t complete without a visit to Bloedel Reserve’s holiday village.

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Quickly becoming a holiday tradition for families on Bainbridge Island, this charming miniaturized town is filled with structures meticulously hand-made and decorated by a local artisan. Electric trains complete the scene while cocoa and cider add irresistible flavor.

Created by a Bloedel Reserve volunteer, the village of large model houses is encircled by model trains.  Get set to see:

• Exquisite hand-made, hand-painted models
• European- and American-inspired designs
• Real working parts and furnished interiors 
• Built with recycled and repurposed materials
• Electric trains move in and around the Village
• Antique dolls also on display in the library 

Some of the village’s buildings were inspired by ancient houses in France, and some are pure fantasy – like the towering Castle (standing over six feet tall), the Cookie Factory (staffed by teddy bears), a bakery, a bistro, and gingerbread house. Each intricate building is decorated and furnished with tiny, perfectly “to scale” furniture. Most of the models were created using recycled materials.

The model houses and railroad trains will be exhibited in the main Visitor Center of The Reserve through December 31. The Reserve is open to the public from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m., Wednesday through Sunday. (Closed on Christmas Day.)

In addition to the Holiday Village and Model Railroad Exhibit, the Reserve’s Visitor Center and Gate House will be lavishly decorated with huge evergreen trees and beautiful holiday lights.

The eleven miniature houses of the Holiday Village are the creation of Dwight Shappell, former owner of Dwight’s Flowers on Bainbridge and former manager of the florist shop at Junkoh Harui’s Town and Country Nursery. Dwight has been a volunteer tour guide at Bloedel Reserve for 13 years. Working with donated and recycled materials collected from the many places where he has lived for the past 40 years (including France and Hawaii), Shappell has fashioned hundreds of miniature, fully functional chests of drawers, upholstered sofas and chairs. The more than 75 rooms of the models are decorated with rugs, carpets, and parquet floors. Dwight estimates that he has spent more than 10,000 hours creating the houses and their furnishings.

Dave Durfee, a resident of Bremerton, a longtime Bloedel Reserve volunteer and an avid model railroad enthusiast, secured the model railroad trains for the exhibit. One of the trains is a special “Candy Train” that dispenses small sweet treats.

Bloedel Reserve
7571 NE Dolphin Dr
Bainbridge Island, WA 98110 
Saturday, December 1, 2012, 10am – 4pm

206.842.7631

Bloedelreserve.org

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

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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 in 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 a 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!

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Purchasing a Bargain Bainbridge Island Home at Auction

When most people picture how they will buy a Bainbridge Island house, they imagine visiting properties with their real estate agent, zeroing in on a suitable home in a neighborhood they like; making an offer; purchasing the home.

But there are also less straightforward ways to go about buying a Bainbridge Island house. One way people purchase houses today is at an auction. Homes usually go on auction because they have been foreclosed upon or have unpaid tax liens; but there are any number of possible reasons. For the buyer, a real estate auction presents an opportunity — but also hurdles to clear. 

A first possible drawback can be a real showstopper: the relative difficulty of thoroughly checking out the home’s interior. When it proves impossible to inspect inside, some research about the neighborhood, the history of sales in the area, and even visiting other open houses in the neighborhood can give some feel for what comparable neighborhood homes are like.

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Too, auctions on Bainbridge Island are usually geared toward cash buyers. In many cases, companies require you to register before you may join the bidding. As with car auctions, it’s almost always necessary to come prepared with cash (in the form of certified checks). Most auctions require the entire sum to be paid immediately, while others specify a set portion or amount. In short, Bainbridge Island real estate auction buyers need to have done their homework beforehand.

There can also be vagaries in timing. For any home buyer who needs to move in right away, an auction may not prove to be a feasible option. Especially with foreclosures, if the home is not vacant at the time of auction, the eviction process can turn into a lengthy court battle if the occupants are unwilling to leave.

Buying a home through a Bainbridge Island auction can be a great way to nab a home at a bargain basement price, but being aware of the complicating factors is a must. There are many ways to find the perfect home – and I’m here to help guide my clients through the choices that will work best for them.

 

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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!

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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!

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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!

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Pumpkins Aglow at the Annual Pumpkin Walk

The historic Bainbridge Gardens nursery on Bainbridge Island hosts one of Kitsap County’s

most popular Halloween traditions: Bainbridge Gardens 20th Annual Pumpkin Walk

The Pumpkin Walk is a fun, festive, family-oriented event at Bainbridge Gardens Friday October 18 and Saturday October 19, 6pm to 8pm.  It is enjoyed by hundreds of all ages every year.  

The Bainbridge Gardens Nature Trail glows with a festive display of 300 lighted, carved pumpkins. Kids enjoy winding through the Harvest Hay Maze and jumping in the inflatable Bounce House.

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You can have your photo taken with the “Great Pumpkin” (he provides candy too!) and tap your toes to live music by “Kitsap Konnection.”

The Bainbridge Island Boys and Girls Club provides face painting and carnival games with prizes.  Food and beverages are available for purchase from the New Rose Café.

The proceeds of this popular, non-scary event benefit the Bainbridge Island Boys and Girls Club. Admission is FREE, but there is a suggested cash donation for each attraction.

Costumes are encouraged, but optional.  Don’t forget that this is an outdoor event so dress for the weather.

There is limited parking on-site at Bainbridge Gardens. Off-site, there will be parking lots designated for Pumpkin Walk guests. These parking spaces are provided to us as a courtesy from neighboring businesses and the City of Bainbridge Island. Some parking lots will have shuttle service provided by the Bainbridge Island Boys and Girls Club. Look for our signs indicating shuttle pick-up/drop-off locations.

Find more information at http://www.bainbridgegardens.com/

9415 Miller Rd NE,

Bainbridge Island, WA

206-842-5888

info@bainbridgegardens.com

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