Destination Whidbey July 8, 2024

Hay Bale Farming

Hay bale farming is a part of Whidbey Island’s culture and iconic scenery. While you are driving around the island you are likely to see large oversized marshmallow shapes in farm fields. These are bales covered in plastic to reduce handling and eliminate the need for storage. We are lucky to live in an area that still has working farms for us to enjoy! With fall upon us, the baling season will soon be over. The weather will begin to change, the leaves will begin to fall, and the fields will start to turn from the various shades of brown to a lush green again.

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CoupevilleDestination WhidbeyPlacesThings to Do on Whidbey February 19, 2024

Coupeville Whale Bell

Make your way down the Coupeville Wharf and into the big red building at the end. Your reward can be seen by looking up! A ceiling display of Rosie the Whale, Handsome Samson the Stellar sea lion, and Rudy the Dall’s porpoise greets you! You can also enjoy Harbor Gifts, The Cove Outfitters along with public amenities. What often goes unnoticed during the off-season is the weathered sculpture of a tribal whale atop the back patio railing with an attached bell. However, from late February to early June residents and tourists alike ring the bell when they see a whale and alert others to join in and celebrate the sighting.

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FreelandHomePlaces January 29, 2024

Honeymoon Bay

Honeymoon Bay is a scenic neighborhood located on the southern end of Whidbey Island. The neighborhood is situated on the east side of the island, just south of the town of Freeland.

Why do people love Honeymoon Bay so much that they want to live there? 

One of the main reasons people choose to live in Honeymoon Bay is the stunning natural beauty of the area. The neighborhood is surrounded by forests and offers picturesque views of the bay, as well as nearby mountains and islands. Additionally, the neighborhood is relatively secluded and quiet, providing a peaceful escape from the hustle and bustle of city life. While also offering a quick drive to the nearby city of Clinton to hop on a ferry to the big city when needed.

What can you do at Honeymoon Bay? 

The bay itself is a popular destination for outdoor activities such as swimming, kayaking, and boating, and there are several public beaches and parks nearby.

Some of our favorites are:

The area is also home to a variety of wildlife, including eagles, otters, and seals, making it a haven for nature lovers.

Is there anything close by? 

In terms of amenities, the town of Freeland is just a short drive away and offers a range of shops, restaurants, and services.

Some of our favorites are:

The nearby cities of Greenbank and Langley offer additional options for dining, shopping, and entertainment.

Overall, Honeymoon Bay is a beautiful and peaceful neighborhood that offers a unique combination of natural beauty, outdoor recreation, and small-town charm. It is a popular destination for those looking for a quieter, more relaxed lifestyle while still enjoying easy access to nearby cities and amenities.

If you are looking to call Honeymoon Bay home, do not hesitate to connect with us.

Real Estate December 22, 2023

Navigating Washington’s Agency Agreements Changes

You may have heard real estate laws are changing in Washington State. While navigating Washington’s agency agreement changes it’s important to note that it’s not uncommon for laws to change as industries evolve. In 2019 the rules requiring that buyer broker compensation be offered to list a property was eliminated. For transparency purposes, in 2019 another law made the buyer broker compensation offered in the listing viewable to the public. In 2022 laws were implemented that made the offer of buyer broker compensation separate and distinct from the offer to the seller’s broker.  That same year, our Northwest Multiple Listing Service started including the amount of buyer broker compensation in the purchase and sale agreement so there is complete transparency within the transaction.

 

Other great changes that help the buyers and sellers is a revision of the agency law pamphlet. It is now more easily read and understood (taking it from 8 complicated pages to 4) and there is a requirement to sign a contract with buyers. Now buyers truly chose who is representing them and it doesn’t just happen randomly. Our brokers have been studying extensively not only the new laws but how to best implement them and prepare their clients to understand how the changes in the laws will affect them. Follow along as we walk you through navigating Washington’s agency agreement changes with an overview of the changes, how it impacts buyers and sellers, and offer you further resources for more information.

 

Overview of the New Laws: 

 

Prior to January 1, 2024 Washington State law only required brokers representing sellers to enter into a brokerage agreement. Starting January 1, 2024 Chapter 18.86 RCW mandates brokers representing buyers in a residential transaction enter into a written brokerage service agreement as soon as reasonably possible. Washington is the first state to implement this type of legislation. This contractual arrangement encompasses key provisions such as the duration of the partnership, exclusivity terms, and the agreed-upon compensation rate. The purpose of the change is to ensure that buyers understand the scope of the representation, how much it will cost, and how the costs are paid prior to agents providing any real estate services.

 

Impact on Buyers: 

 

There are a couple of changes that buyers should expect to see. The first is that they will be asked to commit to a Buyers broker early on. It’s going to behoove buyers to take their selection of the broker they work with much more seriously. Buyers will now be presented with an agency agreement prior to their agents providing any services. This might feel a bit off-putting to commit so soon, but Windermere brokers have never forced clients to work with them and are using an agreement that gives buyers control to end the agency relationship at any time. Be sure to read the agreement carefully and identify what the procedures are for canceling the buyer-broker agreement. Great Agents often provide you with a cancelation document or instructions upfront so that you can rest assured that you will not be stuck if their services don’t meet your expectations.

 

 

Impact on Sellers: 

 

For the most part, sellers are not significantly impacted by the new changes. The only significant change that sellers can expect to see is that agents may offer a Seller Brokerage Service Agreement earlier than in the past. The new listing agreement allows for signing up to 90 days in advance of going on the market.

 

Overall, the changes are positive. They are put in place to protect consumers, which we are all about! By law, every client is to receive the Agency Law Pamphlet.  The buyer or seller should take time to read it and understand it prior to signing any agreement.  If you find yourself with more questions than answers, don’t hesitate to ask questions or seek guidance. If an agent does not currently represent you and you are seeking quality representation, connect with us. We can give you a few names of excellent brokers to interview. It is important to stay informed about these changes to ensure a smooth real estate transaction.

 

If you would like to discuss this in greater detail, please do not hesitate to connect with us.

 

Destination WhidbeyThings to Do on Whidbey June 19, 2023

Boating Around Whidbey

It has been well over 200 years since the waters around Whidbey saw its first sailboat with the explorers of the late 18th century. Just like Captain Vancouver in 1792 people still have the urge to explore this amazing inland waterway from the deck of a boat. Strong currents encourage many to forego sailing in favor of motoring quickly from point A to B. Others like the challenge and quieter method of utilizing the plentiful wind-power. Whichever way floats your boat make sure you get out on the water before the season is over!

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Destination WhidbeyLangleyThings to Do on Whidbey May 8, 2023

Whale Park in Langley

Have you heard the whale bell ring while in Langley in the spring? While that is a nice rhyme it is also a legitimate question. Every spring gray whales feed off ghost shrimp in the muddy shallows just off the shore. If you are lucky, they will come right up to the seawall! The bell and “Hope the Whale” are the stars of this iconic park. What some people miss is that the blowholes in “Hope” are there to collect money to fund ADA modifications to improve access to Seawall Park below. This will help everyone see the whales when they arrive. Bring your coins and listen to the clang!

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Destination WhidbeyOak HarborPlacesThings to Do on Whidbey March 6, 2023

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!

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Gardner ReportReal EstateStats January 30, 2023

Q4 2022 Gardner Report

Q4 2022 Gardner report

 

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Destination WhidbeyOak Harbor August 15, 2022

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

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Gardner ReportReal EstateStats August 3, 2022

Western Washington Q2 Gardner Report

Western Washington Q2 Gardner Report

Western Washington Q2 Gardner Report

Western Washington Q2 Gardner Report