Island Transit on Whidbey Island
Island Transit is the public transportation system serving Whidbey Island, located in the Puget Sound region of Washington state. The system consists of fixed-route buses and paratransit vans, as well as additional programs such as vanpools and bike locker rentals.
Island Transit began on December 1, 1987 as a response to the increasing traffic congestion and lack of transportation options on Whidbey Island. Today, the system serves a population of approximately 73,000 people, covering a service area of approximately 400 square miles. The buses pick up passengers from bus stops like the Northgate Terrace bus stop pictured above throughout all of Whidbey Island.
In addition to its fixed-route buses, Island Transit also operates a paratransit service for individuals with disabilities who are unable to use the fixed-route buses. The paratransit vans offer door-to-door service and can be reserved by calling Island Transit in advance.
Island Transit’s vanpool program is a convenient and cost-effective alternative for commuters who travel long distances or have irregular work schedules. Participants in the program share the cost of gas and vehicle maintenance and can save money on the cost of driving alone.
The bike locker rental program allows riders to securely store their bike at a convenient location and use it to complete the first or last leg of their commute. The lockers are located at select bus stops and can be rented on a monthly basis (check out prices and apply here) in addition to public use lockers that are on a first come first served basis.
In recent years, Island Transit has made efforts to increase sustainability and reduce its environmental impact. Learn more about their initiatives here. As a result, hybrid buses have been added to its fleet all while keeping Island Transit buses fare-free.
Overall, Island Transit plays a vital role in the transportation needs of the residents and visitors of Whidbey Island. The convenient and reliable services, as well as its vanpool and bike locker rental programs, make it a valuable asset to the community.
If you have further questions or are interested in learning more about living on Whidbey Island please do not hesitate to connect with us. Contact us here.
Destination Deception Pass
Deception Pass is a stunning destination any time of the year. It’s busiest in the summer because people enjoy splashing in the salt or freshwater options at the park or putting their feet in the warm sand under blue skies and hot sun. However, from mid-fall to early spring in the PNW fog rolls in over the trees and around the bridge giving it a cozy yet mysterious feel. Many will call this time the true Pacific Northwest-style that offers a different take on the island’s appeal. Whatever your preferred season, Deception Pass State Park is the most visited park in Washington for a reason! Get out and explore!
Check out the rest of Whidbey’s beautiful destinations from this series here.
View this post on Instagram
Welcome to Whidbey Green
Are you approaching age 55 and thinking about downsizing? Perhaps there is just too much home maintenance to keep up with and you’d rather spend your time enjoying the things you want to do rather than the things you are obligated to do to maintain your home. If this is the case, Whidbey Green might be the perfect place for you. You can elevate yourself from the honey-do list, relax and enjoy doing the things you want to do with a low-maintenance home in Whidbey Green where Home Ownership Association (HOA) dues cover exterior care of the homes and landscaping services.
Whidbey Green is an Active Adult Community
If you didn’t know already, Whidbey Green is one of the best 55-and-older communities on Whidbey Island. It is a quaint community located on the southern end of Oak Harbor bordering Whidbey Golf Club. There is actually golf cart access to the course for Whidbey Golf Club members only. The neighborhood provides a safe and comfortable environment for those approaching or enjoying retirement. Check out what is currently available here.
Just outside the community within walking distance you’ll be pleased to discover the beautifully maintained Fort Nugent Park which offers easy paved walking trails in addition to sports fields, frisbee golf, playground, basketball courts, and more. Best of all there are well-kept restrooms, covered picnic areas, and a plethora of parking.
Location, Location, Location
The neighborhoods’ location was no accident. It was developed with you in mind. Not only is it located near walking trails and a golf course, but it was developed near downtown Oak Harbor. This prime location places you close to shopping, restaurants, and of course the waterfront views at Windjammer Park.
If you have questions or are considering making this life change and would like to speak with an agent please feel free to connect with us here. We are just a call away 360.675.5953.
Improving Lifestyles While Reinforcing Independence
Did you know that our North Whidbey Help House offers more than just food? Part of their mission is to, “offer the best assistance possible and assist wherever possible in not only improving lifestyles but striving towards independence from the need for assistance.”
WHERE DOES THE ASSISTANCE COME FROM
They work in combination with other human service agencies within our communities and even offer welfare checkups to those in need. However, they cannot do it all alone. The North Whidbey Help House relies on 96.41% of public funding and the remaining 3.51% from the Washington State Department of Agriculture’s Emergency Food Assistance Program (EFAP).
That means it is donations from people like you and me that personally affect those in need within our community to keep this program running.
DURING THE HOLIDAYS
During the holiday seasons alone in 2021, the help house was able to provide 458-holiday food baskets that fed over 1,870 people. There were 45 families “adopted” for Thanksgiving, and 51 Families for Christmas. Let’s make sure they can offer the same, if not more this year.
With the weather changing here in the Northwest, there is a need for warmer food items like to-go oatmeal bowls where you just add water, hot-hands, pasta, and rice. Easy-to-open items like pop-top cans of meat, cereal, and peanut butter are much appreciated.
WHAT ABOUT HYGIENE
Did you know the help house goes above and beyond supporting those in need with hygiene products too? There is a need for items like toilet paper, toothbrushes, deodorants, and feminine products.
HOW YOU CAN HELP
We urge you to take a moment to clean out your pantries this month and donate any extras you might have that are cluttering up your space. We have made it easy by hosting a drop-off location in our Oak Harbor and Coupeville offices on Whidbey Island for you to drop off your donations.
We know it has been a rough year for a lot of people. Let’s work together to make it slightly easier for those in our community who are struggling to get by.
To kick off this event @WhidbeyIslandLiving has pledged to cut her coffee orders for a week and donate the funds directly to raising funds for the Whidbey Island Help House. If you would like to join in the efforts you can make a money donation here. Once done, message us at @windermere_Whidbey_Island as we would love to publicly thank you on Instagram for your donation and inspire others to do the same!
You’ll Lose Money When You Overprice Your Home
You are probably asking yourself, “did I read that right?”
Yes, yes you did.
It is normal for sellers to want to get the most money out of the sale of their homes. It feels safe to list your home at the price you are desiring to get, but the reality is listing high might actually do your pocketbook more harm than good in the long run. Follow along as we explain why.
RISKS OF OVERPRICING YOUR HOME
You are drawing the attention of the wrong buyers.
Most people begin their home purchasing journey by searching which homes are available in their desired location online. Consider this. Your home is worth $500,000, but you list it for $575,000. When buyers are looking online, they filter to find homes within their price range and typically by $25,000 increments. The person looking for a $500,000 home will never see yours and if they do they will believe it is out of their reach, and when the buyers looking in the $575,000 range see your home and compare it to others in that range, they will get the impression it is not worth it, and there are better options.
Fewer people will see your home.
When your home is overpriced, the issue can be detected by buyers just by looking at your online listing and will pass on viewing it in person. The more showings you have, the more legitimate interest there is, and the more likely your home is to sell. Showings give potential buyers an opportunity to see the home first-hand giving them the opportunity to imagine themselves living there.
On the other hand, if you get lots of showings because your photos look better than reality but no offers you’ve wasted your best shot at getting the right buyer through your home and you there are no redo’s for first impressions. This leads us to our next point…
You are sending the “I’m an undesirable home” message to the public.
As people continue to look for a home and new buyers enter the market, they might see your home online, but by that time they will also see the “time on market”. The longer your home sits on the market, the less attractive it becomes psychologically to everyone. Nobody wants the home that nobody else wants. Once it has lost its appeal the damage is done. You’ll find yourself beginning to reduce your price and often end up at a price less than what the home could have sold for if it was priced right the first time.
In conjunction with price reductions, the longer your home sits on the market, the more expenses you incur. Consider mortgage payments, utility costs, lawn care maintenance, seller’s fees, and more while you are trying to move out.
Your buyers won’t be able to finance if it doesn’t appraise.
Perhaps you drop the price just enough to intrigue a buyer but still above market level. Maybe you’re lucky enough to hook a buyer. Then the appraisal comes back low. Now you either have to come down in price or lose the buyer and start over again, with 20-30 days more on market…
If you are considering selling your home and would like a complimentary analysis to determine the correct value of your home in this market connect with us to be paired with an experienced Windermere agent that can help you with your unique situation and avoid all the overpricing pitfalls.
What to Expect When Selling Your Home
Selling your home can be overwhelming and feel like a full-time job… which is why there are realtors! Good realtors make the process so much smoother and less intimidating. To keep your mind at ease and prepare you for what will happen throughout the sale of your home we are sharing 10 top tips to get you from listed to sold in no time!
Discover what to expect when selling your home
1. Select the right agent the 1st time
It is of the utmost importance that you pair with a full-time, knowledgeable agent who can best represent you through the process. This should be your number one priority. Studies show that homes listed with an agent sell for more than those listed without, and this is for good reason. Great agents dedicate their lives to keeping up with economic changes, are masters at negotiating and getting things done, and know all rules and regulations. This will pay off immensely in the long run if you trust their process. If you are unsure where to start, ask your friends who they trust and about their experience with them but don’t stop there. Interview at least two, preferably three brokers, and the differences should be immediately clear. If you still need help, Windermere has a full-time manager that will ask you pertinent questions about your needs, personality style, and specific goals to make the perfect real estate agent match. Windermere’s ultimate goal is not the sale of a home but to give you a real estate experience you want to share with others! When you are ready to pair with an agent connect with us and we will match you with the perfect broker.
2. Set your timeline
A timeline is valuable in that it will keep you organized throughout the entire selling process. Anticipate that your timeline might change depending on circumstances and your local housing market conditions. You may need to adjust a couple of times, but the purpose is to keep you on track toward your end goal. SOLD! Your timeline will help guide you there. Know what the average days on market are for your home and price range (click here to determine Whidbey Islands) then add an average of 30-45 on that to get an estimate of how long it will take to sell once you go live. Work with your agent to build your unique timeline.
3. Determine your home’s value
The SECRET to selling quickly is pricing your home right the first day it hits the market. Overpricing can create serious problems like not being seen by the right buyers, less traffic both in person and virtually, and worst of all becoming less attractive to buyers the longer it sits resulting in lower offers than if you priced it attractively, to begin with. Your agent will provide you with a (CMA) Comparative Market Analysis which compares your home to others in your local area that recently sold and/or are actively pending. This formulated analysis will assist you in properly determining the best price for your home. Discuss this with your agent. They will help walk you through the process even if you aren’t sure you’re ready to sell yet.
4. Identify issues & execute the plan
This is the time to tackle any unfinished projects and address needed repairs. Talk with your agent to see if a pre-sale home inspection would be advantageous for your unique situation. Begin by creating a list of repairs you can do versus those needing to be hired out. Your agent can help you determine which will be the best use of your time, offer the largest return on investment, and help you find vendors and hire out projects. If money is tight it may be in your best interest to apply to our Windermere Ready Program which gets you cash for fixing up your home to list. Ask your Windermere Agent about how to apply.
5. Put your best foot forward
First impressions go a long way! Start with curb appeal. Clean up your gardens, mow your lawns, clean out gutters, and add a pop of color to your flower beds. If you have any cracked or peeling paint, apply a fresh coat. Make sure to declutter the inside of your home. The best rule of thumb is to remove personal effects and present your home like a hotel in which the buyer could envision themselves living in the space. Talk to your agent about the possibility of having your home professionally staged.
6. Get your home seen
Your realtor will help maximize the exposure of your home. They can list with the MLS, will get your listing on all major sites like Zillow and Redfin, and will be listed on their Brokerage site in addition to their own. These are just a few of the many ways in which your listing can be seen. Be sure to discuss the option for virtual tours with your agent. When it’s time for in-person showings, we suggest that you not be present so that the potential buyers can freely walk the home with their agent, ask questions, and ultimately have the space to imagine it as their new home.
7. Reviewing offers & negotiating
If you price right, you might see more than one offer on your home because we are still in a strong Seller’s market. The offers may be at or above the asking price. When reviewing offers, you have three options: 1. Accept the offer, 2. Make a counteroffer, 3. Reject the offer. These should ALWAYS be made in writing, and you should always give the buyer a short time to respond. Whether you are selling or buying, you will likely find yourself in negotiations. It is important for you to discuss negotiation strategies with your agent ahead of time. At Windermere, we pride ourselves on negotiation tactics grounded in psychology and win-win strategies.
8. Budget for closing costs
Closing costs include things like title insurance, recording fees, government taxes, lender fees, broker commissions, and numerous other things. Be sure to discuss this with your agent ahead of time and throughout the transaction so you don’t feel blindsided at closing and are adequately prepared.
9. The inspection
It is common for offers to be contingent on a professional home inspection. Your agent can prepare you for what to expect from a home inspection. Typically a home inspector will look at things like the foundation, structure, roof, plumbing and electrical systems, floors, windows, doors, and signs for things like water or fire damage.
You finally made it, but before you can officially close there are a couple of things to do. Ask the buyer to release any contingencies, sign the title, and close escrow before releasing the keys. Your escrow agent will help you through this process. Talk with your agent about questions you have about legal documents and settlement costs.
If you are considering selling and would like to speak to an experienced Windermere Realtor for more specific information connect with us by clicking here.
Back to School Oak Harbor
If your children are attending the Oak Harbor School District this year this is the right place for you!
One of the biggest changes this year is most of the SCHOOL SUPPLIES will be provided for you!
The Oak Harbor School district received funds through local levies that contributed to the school being able to provide most, if not all school supplies for students this year. Each school has provided comments for what your child will still need. We have put them all in one place for you to include links to each individual school if you need further information.
Crescent Harbor Elementary School – parents will only need to provide backpacks and headphones!
Hillcrest Elementary – a backpack and headphones (no earbuds, please)!
Broadview Elementary – a backpack and headphones (no earbuds, please)!
Oak Harbor Intermediate School – Suggestions for supplies that are not provided are a regular backpack, 2″ 3-ring binder (for organization), headphones, and a water bottle.
North Whidbey Middle School – Don’t forget a backpack and clothes for PE!
Oak Harbor High School – Recommended Supplies for each class will be provided the first day of school
FIRST DAY OF SCHOOL:
Kindergarten – 7 September 2022
1 – 12 Grade – 6 September 2022
Home Connection – 12 September 2022
Hand-in-Hand – 14 September 2022
START AND RELEASE TIMES:
|School||Start Time .||Regular Release .||Wednesday Early Release|
|OHHS||8:00 am||2:30 pm||1:30 pm|
|NWMS||7:45 am||2:15 pm||1:15pm|
|OHI||8:55 am||3:25 pm||2:25 pm|
|ELEMENTARY .||9:00 am||3:20 pm||2:20 pm|
CHANGES TO THE FREE AND REDUCED LUNCH PROGRAM:
During the COVID-19 pandemic, federal programs provided funding for schools to provide free school meals for all students. Beginning in the 2022-2023 school year, the funding that allowed for the free meals for all will expire. All families are encouraged to complete a 2022-23 Household Application for Free and Reduced-Price Meals if your household income is within the guidelines. Learn more about how to apply!
Transportation services will begin on Tuesday, September 6, the first day of school. All families needing transportation to or from school are required to fill out a transportation request form. Fill out a transportation form online!
High Bank Waterfront
Whidbey Island has an interesting geological history. During the last glacial age (around 15,000 years ago) Whidbey was so weighed down with ice that it was submerged far underwater. High bluff areas like the ones on West Beach, pictured on the front, are well above the waterline now but the wind, waves and slowly eroding bluffs keep geology enthusiasts coming back for interesting finds. These have included mammoth bones (no kidding!), huge erratic boulders dumped by glaciers, bands of black peat, and even shell middens left by the Coast Salish. Insane right? Tell us what you have found walking along the high-bank waterfronts of Whidbey.
This stunning photo is brought to you by: Willie Shaw
Janie Cribbs and the T.Rust Band is Ready to Rock Your Soul
This Whidbey Island local band spent the pandemic perfecting their most recent album. They say they dipped their toes into “rootsy blues and gritty true stories” meant to rock your soul and make you want to dance. Head on over to Windjammer Park in Oak Harbor to celebrate the closing night of the Sounds of Summer Concert series with this soulful group.
You may have previously seen them at places like Ott and Murphy Winery, the port of South Whidbey Harbor at Langley, Oak Harbor Music Festival, Bayview Corner, Port Townsend Brewing Company, Fraser’s Gourmet Hideaway, Blooms Winery Tasting Room, and more.
The band features a lead vocalist, percussion, and accordion by Jaine Cribbs, acoustic and electric guitars and slide by Joe Reggiatore, drums, percussion and backing voice by Kevin Holden, and bass, upright bass, hand drums, and banjo by Dave Willis. Learn more about them here.
Ready to Rock Your Soul:
Mark your calendars to join us during the month of August at Windjammer Park in Oak Harbor for our summer concert series featuring a new act every Wednesday evening for the first four Wednesdays. In addition to Janie Cribbs and the T.rust Band on August 24 you can catch Whidbey’s Saratoga Orchestra with featured guests The Gothard Sisters (Aug 3), Zan Fiskum (Aug 10), and The Chris Eger Band( Aug 17). Presented by the Oak Harbor Music Festival in partnership with Windermere Real Estate Whidbey Island. For more information about dates and times click here.
The Chris Eger Band on Whidbey
This year, Windermere Whidbey Island partnered with the Oak Harbor Music Festival to bring you four weeks of fantastic music to lead into the eagerly awaited music festival weekend.
On Wednesday, August 17th The Chris Eger Band will be taking the stage at Windjammer Park in Oak Harbor. You can learn more about the event here.
It is likely that you have seen this high-energy band perform at places before like The Beach at Birch Bay, La Conner’s Gilkey Square, Mount Vernon River Walk, Birdsview Diner, Tulalip Casino, and more.
If you aren’t familiar, this crowd-pleasing band always puts on a show you won’t want to miss. They say the band has a “fresh take on vintage, guitar music for the 21st century”.
What some may not know:
When longtime guitar- hero, and Nashville recording artist, Eric Heatherly reached out to Eger he accepted. Together they, “…crafted an album that demands attention” and we bet you don’t want to miss out!
To learn more about The Chris Eger Band click here.
Mark your calendars to join us during the month of August at Windjammer Park in Oak Harbor for our summer concert series featuring a new act every Wednesday evening for the first four Wednesdays. In addition to Chris Eger Band (Aug 17) you can catch Whidbey’s Saratoga Orchestra with featured guests The Gothard Sisters (Aug 3), Zan Fiskum (Aug 10), and Janie Cribbs and the T.rust Band (Aug 24). Presented by the Oak Harbor Music Festival in partnership with Windermere Real Estate Whidbey Island. For more information about dates and times click here.