Coupeville August 29, 2022

Back to School Coupeville

It is time for your kids to go back to school! Whether you are ready for summer to be over and eager for your children to return to school or dreading that school is starting in a week and holding on to every last moment of summer, orchestrating the logistics of staying in the know, scheduling conferences, collecting schedules, pick-up and drop-off times of both schools and buses, meeting teachers, and getting school supplies can all be overwhelming especially when several things have changed this year! We are here to help take away some of those stressors and make going back to school a breeze for you!

If your children are attending the Coupeville School District this year this is the right place for you!

COUPEVILLE: KINDERGARTEN – Download list here!

COUPEVILLE: 1ST GRADE – Download list here!

 

COUPEVILLE: 2ND GRADE – Download list here!

COUPEVILLE 3RD GRADE: Download list here!

COUPEVILLE 4TH GRADE: Click here for the GoFundME!

COUPEVILLE 5TH GRADE: Download list here!

COUPEVILLE MIDDLE SCHOOL

COUPEVILLE HIGH SCHOOL- The recommended supplies will be on each class syllabus that your student will receive during the first week of school.

NEW SKYWARD:

CSD now uses Qmlativ as our student management system. This platform updates and hopefully improves on Skyward. Qmlativ is now where students and parents can check grades, contact teachers, and pay fees. There will be brief training provided to help parents and students navigate the new system shortly.

LUNCH:

The USDA has discontinued free lunch for all students. Lunch for students returns to $3.45. We will also return to our two-lunch bell schedule. That means we will have 6th-8th lunch after 3rd period, and 9th-12th lunch after 4th period.

Real EstateStats May 16, 2022

Q1 Whidbey Island Market Report 2022

Q1 Whidbey Island Market Report 2022

Q1 Whidbey Island Market Report 2022

 

 

Q1, 2022- Quarterly Stats, Windermere Real Estate, Housing Market, Island Life, Lifestyle on Whidbey

 

Interested in digging deeper into the stats on Whidbey Island? Check out more stats here. Whether you are considering buying or selling let’s connect so that you have a trusted real estate advisor on your side who can help you strategize to achieve your dream of home ownership.

Gardner ReportReal EstateStats May 10, 2022

Q1 Gardner Report 2022

Matthew Gardner, Chief Economist, Gardner Report

Gardner ReportHomeReal EstateStats February 3, 2022

The Gardner Report: Q4 2021

CoupevilleDestination WhidbeyNeighborhoodsPlacesThings to Do on Whidbey October 11, 2021

Ebeys Landing

In 1850, local history was made on the shores of Whidbey Island when Isaac Ebey landed on a rocky westside beach and became the first official white settler on the island. With an entire island to choose from, Ebey couldn’t have done much better than the pristine pastureland of what is now known as Ebey’s Landing. This brilliant landscape is situated right at the southwestern side of Coupeville and features breathtaking views of Puget Sound and the Olympic Mountain range. The landing’s soft rolling hills blanketed in rich soil—perfect for cultivating crops—was this area’s true draw to its original settler. Today this landscape remains largely unchanged from the early days of settlers thanks to Ebey’s Landing Reserve. It’s the perfect place for a long walk to get lost in the life of the past.

Check out the rest of Whidbey’s beautiful destinations from this series here.

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CoupevilleDestination WhidbeyNeighborhoodsThings to Do on Whidbey August 30, 2021

Crockett Blockhouse

In the late 1850’s, word of the Indian Wars came to Whidbey Island encouraging settlers to construct blockhouses as an effort to protect their families and land. After several other blockhouses were built by other settlers Col. Walter Crockett built his own in 1857. These houses were small two-story buildings built with logs placed horizontally parallel to each other. The top story was considerably larger than the bottom with numerous gun ports to provide visual access from all directions.  

Luckily, no war or invasion ever transpired and the blockhouses were never used for their intended purposes. Many became storage locations for goods and one even became a law office. Over the years many were repaired and transformed into historic monuments.

Today, the Crockett blockhouse is one of four that remain part of the Ebey’s Landing National Historic Reserve and have been maintained to preserve this piece of history. 

Check out the rest of Whidbey’s beautiful destinations from this series here.

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Real EstateUncategorized April 26, 2021

Where Have All the Houses Gone?

In today’s housing market, it seems harder than ever to find a home to buy. Before the health crisis hit us a year ago, there was already a shortage of homes for sale. When many homeowners delayed their plans to sell at the same time that more buyers aimed to take advantage of record-low mortgage rates and purchase a home, housing inventory dropped even further. Experts consider this to be the biggest challenge facing an otherwise hot market while buyers continue to compete for homes. As Danielle Hale, Chief Economist at realtor.comexplains:

“With buyers active in the market and seller participation lagging, homes are selling quickly and the total number available for sale at any point in time continues to drop lower. In January as a whole, the number of for-sale homes dropped below 600,000.”

You can take a closer look at how the market here on Whidbey has progressed by clicking here.

Every month, realtor.com releases new data showing the year-over-year change in inventory of existing homes for sale. As you can see in the map below, nationwide, inventory is 42.6% lower than it was at this time last year:

housing inventory

Does this mean houses aren’t being put on the market for sale?

Not exactly. While there are fewer existing homes being listed right now, many homes are simply selling faster than they’re being counted as current inventory. The market is that competitive! It’s like when everyone was trying to find toilet paper to buy last spring and it was flying off the shelves faster than it could be stocked in the stores. That’s what’s happening in the housing market: homes are being listed for sale, but not at a rate that can keep up with heavy demand from competitive buyers.

In the same realtor.com report, Hale explains:

Time on the market was 10 days faster than last year meaning that buyers still have to make decisions quickly in order to be successful. Today’s buyers have many tools to help them do that, including the ability to be notified as soon as homes meeting their search criteria hit the market. By tailoring search and notifications to the homes that are a solid match, buyers can act quickly and compete successfully in this faster-paced housing market.”

The Good News for Homeowners

The health crisis has been a major reason why potential sellers have held off this long, but as vaccines become more widely available, homeowners will start making their moves. Ali Wolf, Chief Economist at Zondaconfirms:

“Some people will feel comfortable listing their home during the first half of 2021. Others will want to wait until the vaccines are widely distributed.”

With more homeowners getting ready to sell later this year, putting your house on the market sooner rather than later is the best way to make sure your listing shines brighter than the rest.

When you’re ready to sell your house, you’ll likely want it to sell as quickly as possible, for the best price, and with little to no hassle. If you’re looking for these selling conditions, you’ll find them in today’s market. When demand is high and inventory is low, sellers have the ability to create optimal terms and timelines for the sale, making now an exceptional time to move.

Bottom Line

Today’s housing market is a big win for sellers, but these conditions won’t last forever. If you’re in a position to sell your house now, you may not want to wait for your neighbors to do the same. Let’s connect to discuss how to sell your house safely so you’re able to benefit from today’s high demand and low inventory.

Continue to follow our local market with Windermere’s Cheif Economist, Matthew Gardner by clicking here.

CoupevilleThings to Do on Whidbey April 9, 2021

QR Codes Connecting Us to History

Whidbey Island is home to several wonderful little towns each with their own fascinating history and culture. Perhaps the most intriguing is Whidbey’s oldest town; Coupeville, home of the first Whidbey Island settlement.

Coupeville:

coupeville

Coupeville is an adorable waterfront community rich in history and culture. In 1850 Issac Ebey became the first official Whidbey Island settler when he applied for the first land claim on the island. Claiming over 600 acres of what is now Ebey’s Landing, Ebey was soon to be followed by his nephew and many others. By 1854 there were 29 settlement claims in Coupeville alone and in 1881 it officially became the Island County seat.

Preservation:

Although all of Whidbey is covered in fascinating history, Coupeville is unique in its preservation. Where many of the original buildings of Oak Harbor and Langley have been torn down or decimated by historic fires, downtown Coupeville’s original buildings remain intact and in use. In fact, the town of Coupeville has more historic buildings in a condensed area than anywhere in the Pacific Northwest.

Technology:

To celebrate this fact and educate people on these beautiful historic buildings, Island County’s 4-H club took on the project of using modern technology to connect us to the past. Next time you’re in downtown Coupeville, take a closer look at those historic store windows. You might just see one of these:

QR Code, History, Coupeville, 4H, Preservation small towns, oldest town, remembrance, Celebrate the past

 

Scattered down Front Street are tons of these QR codes leading to the Coupeville Historic Waterfront Association website developed by the 4-H club in 2012. This website is full of information gathered from the Island County Historical Society, City Records, and over 100 personal interviews with people recounting memories and stories of the historic downtown. Each building’s QR code will lead you directly to that building’s history: when it was built, its original purpose, and the different stores that have occupied the space.

So, the next time you are strolling down Font Street whip out that smartphone of yours and learn a little bit of history along the way.

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Women with Whidbey Farmers Market Produce

Whidbey Farmers Market

 

 

 

 

Real Estate January 28, 2021

Buying Vacant Land on Whidbey Island

If you have always dreamed of building your own home, choosing your own layout, selecting dream finishes, and want all your desires in a home met then you will be looking for vacant land. This is a completely different world than buying a preexisting home where there is complete certainty when it comes to electricity, water, sewage, and condition. Uncertainty is not comfortable for everyone so let’s make sure you feel prepared and empowered.

Buying Vacant Land on Whidbey Island, Dream Home, Whidbey Island

First and foremost, if you ask anyone who has built their own home, they will tell you that even if you build a home from scratch you will not end up with a 100% perfect house. There are always compromises and unforeseen issues with layout, etc. Remember, vacant land is scarce and becoming scarcer, so if you find the perfect property with an imperfect house, perhaps you can consider a major remodel.

When buying vacant land, it is all about the level of certainty a parcel can provide you. A parcel that already has a water source, septic system, access/driveway, building site laid out, and electrical nearby is going to be extremely rare.  Such a parcel will cost more because of the time and expenses already invested by the seller. There is also inherent value in the confidence you as a buyer can have that you will not run into complications that may make the land unsuitable for development.

Below are our TOP 5 recommendations when considering buying vacant land:

Buying Vacant Land on Whidbey Island, Vacant land, build your dream home, Windermere, Real Estate

Find a vacant land purchasing specialist.

Buying vacant land on Whidbey Island, Land Specialist, windermere Real Estate, Best of Whidbey

Complex is the word that comes to mind when thinking about vacant land purchases. Having a trusted guide who loves the complexity that comes with purchasing land is something you really want. Many brokers groan when they think about helping buyers with vacant land but there are a special few who just dig it! Find them! It will make all the difference. If you need a recommendation just call (360) 675-5953 and ask for a recommendation on a vacant land specialist from the manager.

 

Know your corners.

Buying vacant land on Whidbey Island, Land Specialist, windermere Real Estate, Best of Whidbey, Know your corners

In the best-case scenario, there has been a survey done and the corners are clearly marked with modern official survey markers however, this is rare. You may need to negotiate to have this done by the Seller. There are other signs that can give an idea of where property lines fall though. One of the coolest technologies that most agents have nowadays is an app that uses geo-spatial technology to locate your position on a map in relation to property lines. An old-fashioned surveyor’s tape measure can help as well if you have a marker of some sort to start from. Fence lines, survey tape marking trees or branches, driveways, and other identifiers can give clues. Nothing beats a proper survey though and you are going to want that when it comes time to build.

 

Get as certain as possible on the big 5.

Buying vacant land on Whidbey Island, Land Specialist, windermere Real Estate, Best of Whidbey

Water, sewage, electricity, access, and building envelope. These are the big 5 mysteries when you first look at a raw and overgrown piece of land. The more that these 5 things have been figured out and addressed by the Seller, the more valuable the property is. You are buying risk when these 5 are unknown. You cannot avoid risk completely but figuring out as much as you can about these 5 will help you move forward more confidently.

 

Work with a local builder.

Buying vacant land on Whidbey Island, Land Specialist, windermere Real Estate, Best of Whidbey, work with a builder

Get the local builder to the lot sooner than later. Reputable builders on Whidbey will be able to help you through the feasibility process, have a great instinct for what is possible, contacts to get specialists out to the property, and experience working with Island County’s Building department. Here are 5 builders we recommend in no particular order…

    1. Cascade Custom Homes
    2. Yonkman Construction
    3. Nautilus Construction
    4. Waldron Construction
    5. Turpin Construction

 

Know your critical areas.

Buying vacant land on Whidbey Island, Land Specialist, windermere Real Estate, Best of Whidbey, Critical areas

Shorelines, native American artifacts, endangered animals and plants, steep slopes and bluffs, wetlands, and streams will affect the property in big ways. There are large set-back requirements for structures, wells, and septic systems around critical areas. You may get into a situation where you do not have much of a choice about where you can position your building site. These unknowns must be understood before you decide to close on the lot. Your Realtor can help you navigate this maze.

 

Each property is unique, and we could share a lot more with you on the topic of buying vacant land on Whidbey, but the truth is that the best thing you can do is find yourself an excellent guide who will help you assess what it is you are really looking for and how to narrow down the search. Good luck and do not forget your muck boots!

 

PHOTOS BY: Kelsey Kurtis