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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Destination WhidbeyReal Estate March 7, 2022

Coupeville Waterfront

Long before European Explorers discovered Whidbey Island, Penn Cove hosted one of the largest native populations in the region. The Coast Salish People used the well-protected cove with easy access to the rest of Puget Sound for ample trading opportunities while the nearby prairie produced bountiful crops. As settlers came, Coupeville remained the central trading location on the island and by 1881 was the Island County government seat. The town prospered due to shipping fish, produce, lumber, and timber to the mainland via the Coupeville Wharf. Unlike many other historical towns, Coupeville’s historic waterfront buildings remain remarkably intact.

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

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ClintonCoupevilleFreelandGreenbankHomeLangleyOak HarborReal EstateStats February 8, 2022

Annual Report 2021

Real Estate January 24, 2022

7 Tips for New Horse Owners

Horses have been a prominent animal throughout history, dedicated to their human’s side. Many would go as far as to suggest that horses, just as dogs, cats, and other pets can be man’s best friend. Like other pets, horses can contribute to the health, wellbeing, and happiness of their humans so much so that there have been people that contribute overcoming their mental illnesses to using a technique called Equine Horse Therapy. Likewise, many children have found companionship in their horses and have grown to learn valuable life lessons from them.

While we as humans receive so much from these amazing animals, it is equally important that we pay attention to their health, wellbeing, and happiness as well.

If you are new to the equestrian lifestyle here are a couple of tips to keeping them happy:

1) Consistent Exercise:

Horses, just like us need daily exercise to stay healthy and fit. A daily workout helps to reduce your horse’s stress and allows them to release pent-up energy. While it might not look like the typical gym workout, working out with your horse by training can be beneficial for both you and your horse.

2) Keep Vaccinations Current:

Like humans, horses also need vaccinations and it is important that they stay current, or like humans, they can get sick. Having the proper vaccination in a timely manner helps you keep your horse healthy, fit, and happy.

If your horse gets sick, it will take a lot of energy for it to fully recover. Keeping your horse on a vaccinations routine not only will help prevent your horse from getting sick but will also help your horse to recover against the more serious diseases more easily.

To ensure you are providing your horse the best care and keeping regular on its vaccinations, you can ask your vet for a list of vaccines he/she suggests you give to your horse and which ones are most important for your horse to have. If you don’t currently have a vet, click here for a list of ones in our area.

3) Your Horse Needs a Safe and Comfortable Environment: 

Here’s one that lies near and dear to our hearts. As real estate agents, we know just how much we as humans want our homes to keep us safe and comfortable. Similarly, your horse not only deserves but needs housing that not only keeps him safe from things like storms and prey but also makes him comfortable. If your horse lives in a barn, provide them a stall and protection.  If they live outdoors, they need some way to get out of the sun. Often a run-in shed, or shady trees can give them protection from the elements they need. Additionally, you will need to provide them with a dry walking area, grass, rubber mats, and hoof care.

Not all properties are created equally. When looking at properties, it is important to make sure it is sufficient for your horse and easy for them to maneuver and permitted for horse use. If you need help determining whether or not a property is viable for your equestrian needs reach out to our equestrian advisors here.

4) Good Nutrition:

We know that when we eat junk food, we feel, well like junk. Similarly, your horse requires a diet that can fuel the energy they need to stay fit and healthy. The digestive system of your horse is designed to process large amounts of fibrous foods regularly.

To keep the horse’s digestive health and increase their energy level, you should include grass, hay, and grains in their regular diet along with a lot of fresh CLEAN water. Including traditional mineral blocks into their routine will help your horse maintain an optimal diet. Check out these great places on Whidbey to purchase food for your horse.

5) Your Horse Needs a Dentist Too!

Have you ever been petting your horse when he decides to give you a big lick across your face?! We have too. That’s how we know it is of the utmost importance for your horse to have a dentist too. You should anticipate a checkup about once a year. Like humans, horse teeth grow. However, unlike humans, horse teeth continue to grow and could potentially become damaged by opposing teeth if not properly taken care of. Because their teeth continue to grow it is important for them to be filed regularly to ensure the horse is comfortable when he eats. Could you imagine trying to eat if your teeth hurt you?

Without regular dental check-ups, your horse could develop problems that could lead to more serious problems like colic and choke.

6) Their Hooves:

It is important to take care of your horse’s hooves, by cleaning them and trimming them regularly. Like humans, every horse is different. The growth at which your horses’ hooves grow may be vastly different from that of another’s. However, it is often common for hooves to grow in between 4 to 8 weeks. You can begin trimming them after that.

7) Visit Your Horse Regularly:

The bond between you and your horse should be very strong like the friendship between you and a best friend. You will develop this bond over time by spending adequate time with them. You should expect to visit your horse daily if possible.

But also, like humans, your horse needs equestrian friends too. So get out and make friends with similar interests as both you and your horse.

At the end of the day…

… if you have been considering buying property for you and your horses – let’s connect to determine what is best for all of you. Email us or call us today!

Oak HarborReal Estate September 16, 2021

Is the Oak Harbor Housing Market Getting Squishy?

Written by: Kristen Stavros

16 September 2021

There is a general feeling amongst brokers that the Oak Harbor market has softened up just a bit. As Branch Manager and Co-owner of Windermere Whidbey Island I pay close attention to what my brokers are seeing and feeling out there in the market. When I begin to sense a theme I go to the numbers to see if they are telling the same story.

Is the Oak Harbor Housing Market Getting Squishy?

I’ll be really curious to see how these numbers change when we can add September data to them but I’m seeing the teensiest sign that there may be some easing.

For the first time all year, we’ve seen a dip in closed sales in August.

At the same time, new listings continue to rise every month.

Average days on market has plateaued.

Does this mean buyers can start getting homes for less $$$?

The answer is emphatically, NO. As you can see from the graphs below prices continue to climb, inventory is still at a record low, and homes are still moving off the market incredibly fast. This just means that instead of being up against 10 other buyers you now may be up against just 2-3 other qualified buyers. Instead of great homes going for up to 10-20% over list price, the good ones may just end up 5-8% over list. The pressure on buyers is still decidedly strong but the dial has been turned down ever so slightly.

Average Price Per Square Foot.

Months’ Supply of Homes (based on closed sales).

Average Days on Market.

Sellers still have a fantastic advantage in this market but things are changing weekly so we are encouraging sellers to not get too greedy or assured because doing so may mean you overprice the market, lose the opportunity to garner multiple offers out of the gate, and ultimately make less profit on your home.

Working with a smart and sophisticated listing agent has never been more important in the previous 3 years than it is RIGHT NOW. You need someone who is really going to take their time analyzing the market against your specific home before giving you pricing advice. Call us today to be connected with a market pricing expert!

This analysis focuses just on the Oak Harbor market but we have the same analysis going on for all of Whidbey Island! If you are interested in knowing more about any aspect of Whidbey Island real estate let us know and we are happy to share.

 

ClintonCoupevilleDestination WhidbeyFreelandGreenbankLangleyOak HarborPlacesThings to Do on Whidbey July 19, 2021

Bird Watching on Whidbey Island

w, Birds, humming bird, Robin, Eagle

50 miles South of the U.S./Canada border and 25 miles North of Seattle lies Whidbey Island, an incomparable destination for nature lovers and bird enthusiasts. On Whidbey, you can get lost for hours and find yourself mesmerized not only by incredible views but by a breathtaking variety of birds.

Whidbey Boasts 148 miles of winding shoreline, 6 state parks, 4 lakes, hundreds of miles of trail, and a ridiculous variety of habitats from bogs to estuaries to the prairie. It is not surprising then that Whidbey accommodates roughly 250 resident and migrant bird species.

Birds of Whidbey, Views, Hikes, Trails, State Parks, Lakes, Whidbey

Birdwatchers will declare some of the best times to watch for birds on Whidbey are:

Spring:

Late April through May you can expect to be woken early by the Songbirds singing a pleasant tune.

Songbirds, Birds of Whidbey, Birdwatching, Whidbey Island

Fall:

Late July through September It is hard not to miss fat red-breasted Robins filling the apple trees and spot migrant visitors from the north like wigeons, ducks, coots, waterfowl, and red-tailed hawks.

Birds of Whidbey,

Winter:

November through mid-March is a great time of year to watch for Northern Shrike, Bald Eagles, and other raptor-type birds.

Birds of Whidbey< birdwatching, Eagles, Owls, island life

 

Best places for birdwatching:

If you are just trying to take advantage of easily accessible shoreline almost any time of year works. Some of the best places to watch for shorebirds birds on Whidbey Island are Penn Cove, Keystone Landing, Fort Casey State Park, and Dugualla Bay.

If you don’t live on Whidbey and are coming just for birdwatching be sure to schedule more than one day for viewing. Plan time so you can experience multiple locations, each with its unique features. To better understand all the places you can access the shoreline you really need to buy Getting to the Waters Edge! We sell it at our Windermere offices both in Oak Harbor and Coupeville.

Frequently asked questions:

Some people wonder if there is a time of day that birds are most animated. Typically speaking most birds are bustling around sunrise and sunset but that rule does not apply to all birds. For example, the morning is typically the best time for spotting diurnal species, while nocturnal species are generally spotted in the evening, but it really depends on the bird and the time of year.

Whidbey Island is native to species like Eagles, Northern Harriers, wading birds, loons, grebes, sea ducks, including Harlequin Ducks, dabbling ducks, Black Oystercatchers, Common Yellowthroats, Marsh Wrens, and more. It is also is a temporary home for migrant birds who frequent the island seasonally for the island’s ideal breeding habitats.  But do not be fooled. Some birds like robins, hawks, cardinals, finches, sparrows, and more stay here all year but they seem to “return” because they become active again during the spring through fall seasons after they have bundled down in their nests and shelters during the winter.

Additional resources:

To learn more about the birds that can be spotted on Whidbey and a guide for when you will likely catch a glimpse check out this detailed Whidbey Island Bird List created by the Whidbey Audubon Society.

Here are some of our favorite spots on Whidbey to watch for birds let us know your favorite spots in the comments below.

 

Things to Do on Whidbey June 30, 2021

Staying Cool This Summer

Staying Cool This Summer

Staying cool this summer, Whidbey island

Water activities are something particularly special to Whidbey Island. After all, we are completely surrounded by water. With the sun making more and more guest appearances in the sky you can place a good bet on the expectation of increased activity on the waves. Between kayaking, paddleboarding, sailing, and more; Whidbey shores offer quite a bit of enjoyment for those willing to get wet.

Below are just a few water activities frequently seen here on Whidbey.

Kayaking

Kayaking is easily an island favorite when it comes to water sports. The flexibility of kayaking regardless of weather and the ability to do it alone is a HUGE plus for many. Don’t have your own Kayak? Rent one from Whidbey Island Boats and Boards where you pick the location and they deliver the kayaks and paddleboards anywhere on the island.

Todd, Kayak, Water activities on whidbey, Summer Fun, Windermere Real Estate Todd, Kayak, Water activities on whidbey, Summer Fun, Windermere Real Estate

 

Tubing

Another island favorite, especially in the summer, is tubing! The wonderful thing about tubing is the community feel to it. It’s a great activity that brings people together and almost always results in a few humorous stories.

Water Sports on Whidbey Windermere Real Estate, Kids , Tubing, Whidbey Island, Water Sports on Whidbey

 

Water Skiing

Want to kick tubing up a notch? Water skiing is for you! This sport requires a bit more resilience and core strength, but once you get it down you are sure to leave the water with some epic pictures of yourself.

Water Skiing, Water Sports on Whidbey Water Skiing, Water Sports on Whidbey

 

Paddleboarding

Paddleboarding is a slightly newer interest on the island, but well deserving of the hype. This sport is made for those who simply want to enjoy the water. Sit, stand, lay down, it doesn’t matter! Paddleboarding allows you to enjoy the sea the way you want to.

Paddel Boarding, Jennifer, Coupeville, Whidbey Island, Washington, Island life, Water Paddel Boarding, Jennifer, Coupeville, Whidbey Island, Washington, Island life, Water

Sailing

Sailing is a Whidbey Island classic. There is a long history of sailing on Whidbey that has been passed down from generation to generation.

Water Sports on Whidbey

Boating

Boating on Whidbey, Stay cool, Summer vibes, relax, Ocean, Stay cool, water activities Boating on Whidbey, Stay cool, Summer vibes, relax, Ocean, Stay cool, water activities

Another beloved activity on Whidbey is boating. Avid boaters will get out on the water any chance they get to relax atop the calm waters surrounding Whidbey. Take in the scenery, sunbathe, read a book, or play a game. All are welcomed while relaxing at sea.

Boating on Whidbey, Stay cool, Summer vibes, relax, Ocean, Stay cool, water activities, Read a book Boating on Whidbey, Stay cool, Summer vibes, relax, Ocean, Stay cool, water activities, Play a Game

Fishing

Perhaps fishing is more up your alley for a fun relaxing time. The great thing about fishing is that you can do it by boat or by land and Whidbey offers a plethora of opportunities.

Boating on Whidbey, Stay cool, Summer vibes, relax, Ocean, Stay cool, water activities, fishing Boating on Whidbey, Stay cool, Summer vibes, relax, Ocean, Stay cool, water activities, fishing

Splash Pad and Lagoon at City Beach

Maybe you have littles that can’t quite participate in some of the other activities yet. Oak Harbor Windjammer park offers a family-friendly splash pad and lagoon to keep the whole family cool on these hot summer days.

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ClintonCoupevilleFreelandGreenbankLangleyNeighborhoodsOak HarborPlacesThings to Do on Whidbey June 14, 2021

What is Your Go-to for Managing Stress Since the Pandemic?

For some, it might be a nice glass of wine from Vails Wine Shop in Coupeville in the evening. Perhaps calming music, a soak in a deep tub with bubbles, or a good book. But for many, it is turning to nature. While there are various ways to find peace, internal healing, and reduce the stress our bodies are managing these days, nature seems to have a way of calming our nerves and clearing our minds.  This makes Whidbey Island the perfect retreat for the Zen you have been yearning for and if you are lucky to live here, it’s right out your door!

What is your go-to for managing stress since the pandemic? Wine, Book , Bath

Many people find comfort along the water’s edge where they rest atop beached driftwood. Some sit on a hillside looking as far as their eyes can take them to let the bustle of their busy mind get lost in the view. Others like to stroll along West Beach while listening to the sound of the waves crashing in then receding across the pebbles. It is important to take into consideration the tide heights for these beach walks. Low tide offers the best option, but you don’t want to get caught by an incoming high tide. Check out this site to know before you go.

What is your go-to for managing stress since the pandemic?

Many people run the trails at Ebey’s Landing. They get their hearts pumping as they persist along the cliffside hugging the edge with each step until they finally have come far enough to see the geological and ocean anomaly: Perego’s Lagoon. It is at that moment their bodies release all tension. They find themselves in awe of a view they did not think could get any better. The realization sets in that the view is a moment in time made only for them as a congratulatory nod from mother nature for making it to the top. Suddenly they have the stamina to continue and can make the journey down the hillside. You can get a pdf of the entire trail system at Ebey’s Landing here to keep you from getting lost in the maze.

What is your go-to for managing stress since the pandemic? ebeys landing, trails, Coupeville, Washington

Perhaps for you, a yoga mat in a grassy patch at Fort Casey is more up your alley? Your muscles relaxed, perfectly rhythmic breathing and suddenly the pose you’ve been practicing for weeks is in reach. You look out across Admiralty Inlet, you strike the perfect pose, sun rays grace your skin and suddenly you are glowing. If you feel the need for some instruction, join the South Whidbey Community for their Yoga in the Park events.

What is your go-to for managing stress since the pandemic? Yoga, fort Casey, Breathe, Stress Relief, Sun

A quiet paddle in kayaks across calm waters during sunset never ceases to wash away pent-up tension in the shoulders. The open waters allow the serenity needed while the movement of your body releases endorphins to help your body relax. If you don’t have your own sea kayak you can rent one from Whidbey Island Boats and Boards.

What is your go-to for managing stress since the pandemic? Kayaks

Perhaps we can suggest something more.  Find yourself becoming one with nature by enjoying a hot stone massage along Bayshore Drive in Oak Harbor. You can schedule an appointment at Bayshore Chiropractic Or, escape the worries of today where you can recall a simpler time by spending your evening at the historical Captain Whidbey Inn off of Madrona Way in Coupeville.

What is your go-to for managing stress since the pandemic? Windermere Real Estate  Whidbey Island

How do you manage stress? Here on Whidbey you can soak up the sun out on a boat, book a massage appointment, or relax with a blanket and cup of tea and soak in the sounds of nature.

Regardless of how you destress, Whidbey Island has a plethora of natural options.

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Everything You Need to Know About Riding Bikes on Whidbey Island

 

ClintonCoupevilleDestination WhidbeyFreelandGreenbankLangleyNeighborhoodsOak HarborPlaces May 6, 2021

Welcome to Whidbey

Each month we release a new beautiful image of Whidbey Island. We mail these gorgeous photos in conjunction with interesting tidbits and little-known facts about each image or location to our clients, friends, and family. Follow along. Don’t want to miss out? Subscribe below for updates or become part of the family and receive your very own postcard once a month by emailing us the words “Welcome to Whidbey” along with your address to WhidbeyCommunications@Windermere.com to receive your very own copies.

Check out our collection here.

Coupeville Wharf

Mutiny Bay - February 2020

Goss Lake - July 2020

Fort Casey Forts - June 2020

Langley Pelicans - March 2021

CoupevilleLangleyOak HarborThings to Do on Whidbey May 3, 2021

Best Places to Whale Watch on Whidbey

Discover the Best Places to Whale Watch

When it comes to natural wonders, Whidbey Island is unbelievably blessed. With expansive undeveloped areas, nine state parks, and views that take your breath away, it’s hard to imagine it could get any better. 

The Gray Whales Return to Whidbey

But it does!

In addition to our incredible outdoor opportunities for explorers, we are one of the few places in the world where land-dwellers have an opportunity to get a glimpse of some spectacular mammals of the sea. Puget Sound’s cold and nutrient-rich water makes it the perfect place for whales to roam. Although you could spend the money to board a whale-watching boat and find the mammals out on the water, boats aren’t always required when you’re on Whidbey. 

Below are the top 5 places to see whales from land on Whidbey!

 

West Beach

At the west-most point of Oak Harbor lies a stretch of beach beloved by wanderers and sea life alike. With wide-open views and miles of ocean just off the shore, it’s not hard to see why West Beach is one of the best places to see whales near Whidbey.  

 

Penn Cove 

The nutrient-rich water of Penn Cove cultivates a thriving ecosystem for small and large sea life. It’s this sea life in the form of ghost shrimp and fat seals that attracts the attention of gray whales and transient Orca alike. It’s not uncommon for the residents of Penn Cove to see a gray whale’s tail break the surface of the water as they dig in the mudflats for shrimp or a full-on chase between a stealthy Orca and a seal.

 

Hidden Beach

What this public beach lacks in amenities it makes up for with view and privacy. On a sunny day, beach-goers have the opportunity to see Camano Island sitting peacefully across the Saratoga Passage and – if they come at just the right time – maybe even a whale!

 

Lagoon Point

Just north of this charming seaside community is a county park boasting nothing more than public access to the Lagoon Point community beach. Luckily access to the beach is really all you need to catch a glimpse of traveling orcas or scavenging grey whales. 

 

Seawall Park

Hidden below the streets of downtown Langley is a quaint little park with beautiful art, well-maintained landscaping, and a spectacular view of the Saratoga Passage. Onlookers often have the wonderful treat of seeing a whale pass or even watch them feed in the massive ghost shrimp beds. If you do, don’t forget to ring the Whale Bell!

 

Bonus: Your own back porch?

Can you say “waterfront property”? Yes, please! Our beautiful island has many waterfront homes and properties with beautiful views of Puget Sound. How amazing would it be to sip coffee on your own patio while enjoying pods of orca passing by or gray whales feeding on the beach right in front of you? If this sounds like your dream, give us a call today!

Now, remember, if you do see a whale you should report it to the Orca Network! Reporting sightings to the Orca Network helps with scientific efforts and helps other whale watchers like yourself!

 

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The Gray Whales Return to Whidbey

The Gray Whales Return to Whidbey