We proudly support our armed forces and their families, not just today on Veterans Day, but every day. Many of our real estate agents possess a wealth of experience working with those who serve. We are well-versed in helping families who are about to PCS (Permanent Change of Station, for our non-military readers). And, we enjoy helping newcomers find their ideal home here in Kitsap County. A number of our Realtors are either veterans themselves or have family members who are.
We greatly appreciate the sacrifices that our military families make and wanted to share a bit about why we love working with them, sharing experiences from three of our local experts: Nick Blickhan, Summer Davy, and Adam Moon.
Our Military Connections
“I am a Navy Veteran from the Surface Navy, with a couple of years stationed at SUBASE Bangor,” explains Realtor Nick Blickhan. “I understand the military language and the process that they go through. As a landlord for 25 years, I preferred to rent to active duty submariners. I would even rent to groups of single guys. We made arrangements for their deployments. Some of these single sailors also became clients down the road.”
“My husband proudly served four years in the Navy and I am a lifelong resident of Kitsap County,” says Realtor Summer Davy. “So many of my friends and family served in the armed forces. The presence of the bases has always played a factor in employment and the fabric of our community here.”
“Both of my grandpas served in the military – Marine Corps and the Navy,” says Realtor Adam Moon. “My wife’s grandfather served in the Marine Corps. My best friend’s father served in the Navy and was Georgia Blues Submarine Captain. They’re all heroes!”
We Enjoy the Interesting Challenges and Stories
“Timelines are critical when you work with military families that are buying or selling,” says Davy. “We need to work within the timelines given for a PCS, their reporting date, and whether or not the whole family is moving together or separately. I am especially proud of a recent experience helping a military family find the perfect home for their large family on a tight deadline – 6 kids, one with special needs requiring her own private living space, bedroom/bath. The house we found fit their family perfectly, was within budget and closed in 30 days. The sellers were also a military family relocating to Japan. Happy families all around!”
“I represented some first-time VA buyers about five years ago. In the next two years, while living in Washington, Mr. Buyer got orders to Hawaii and didn’t want to sell as they could possibly be moving back,” explains Moon. “So, they were referred to Windermere Property Management to get a tenant. About three months ago, Mrs. Seller called me and told me they weren’t coming back to the PNW as he just got orders to NY for school. So, we prepped it for the market strategically when the tenants’ lease was up. Work orders had to get done to make it market-ready. Thankfully, we were able to list the weekend after the tenants vacated. We received multiple offers and closed within 30 days and $30K over list price. In that time frame when my sellers bought, then rented, then sold, they made over $100K in the sale of their home, all being done while they were in Hawaii and getting ready to move to NY. Seamless.”
We’re Ready to Provide Guidance and Support
Windermere equips each agent with the local and global resources needed to ensure that every military family is in excellent hands. “The local lenders I work with specialize in VA loans and programs that benefit military families,” says Davy. “I feel very comfortable answering any questions from the military families that I assist with their relocation to Kitsap. I think about the questions I would have as a wife and as a mom and can provide answers and info on communities, potential commutes, activities, and shopping that will affect the daily lives of these families.”
“In my experience with military buyers, they have come to appreciate my honesty and communication throughout the buying and selling process,” says Adam Moon.
“As a Realtor/Windermere Agent for 27 Years, I have helped many active duty and veteran clients reach their real estate goals,” says Blickhan.
Every time we get to connect with a military family, we are grateful for the opportunity and even more appreciative of their service. It often becomes second nature for these families to adapt on the go and regularly make sacrifices. We admire their commitment, dedication, and selflessness. And, whenever our expertise is needed, we are ready to assist.
All media courtesy of the Suquamish Museum.
Nothing embodies perseverance quite like the Suquamish Tribe. Thriving with tradition and culture, the Suquamish Tribe has lived in tandem with the land, now Kitsap County, for centuries. The Suquamish lived communally in permanent villages along the shore near rivers and streams of the Puget Sound during the winter. They had winter villages in places like Suquamish, Poulsbo, Silverdale, Port Madison, and Battle Point. During the other seasons, many left their residences in family canoes to travel to temporary camps at fishing, hunting, and gathering grounds.
The Suquamish people’s indigenous language is Lushootseed, a linguistic member of the Coast Salish language group spoken by first peoples throughout the Pacific Northwest. Due to federal assimilation policies, their language was almost lost. But they’ve fought hard to preserve it. They established a Traditional Learning Program that teaches Lushootseed to children and community members.
Part of the Port Madison Indian Reservation, the Suquamish village has magnificent ocean and mountain views. Native and non-native residents live there. The waterfront is adorned by restaurants, local businesses, and cultural attractions. One of the most notable and must-visit places is Chief Seattle’s Gravesite. This monument honors the legendary leader of the Suquamish Tribe. Chief Seattle was known for his ideas around ethics, spirituality, and environmentalism.
Learn more about Chief Seattle from Suquamish Elder Marilyn Wandrey who shares important historical details in the video below, courtesy of the Suquamish Museum.
The House of Awakened Culture stands tall by the waterfront. The House and surrounding outdoor area hosts many events that teach and celebrate the Suquamish culture. Programs include basket weaving, Lushootseed language lessons, Youth Canoe Journey Trainings, and traditional Suquamish ceremonies.
Old Man House Park is the site of the largest Suquamish winter village located on the shore of Agate Passage. The home of Chief Seattle and Chief Kitsap once stood there before the U.S. government destroyed it in 1870.
Photographs courtesy of the Suquamish Museum
The Suquamish Tribe Today
In the face of European colonization, the Suquamish Tribe has persevered. Thanks to the selfless acts of Chief Seattle and Chief Kitsap working to protect their people, the Suquamish continue to rebuild their community and thrive. Through self-determination, the Suquamish spent decades building government relationships with federal, state, and local agencies. Much of the Tribe has fought to preserve hunting and fishing traditions for future Suquamish generations.
Today, the Suquamish Tribe devotes resources and time to instilling Suquamish pride in the current generation. The Tribe’s history and traditions are celebrated throughout the year and are shared through cultural and educational activities. Additionally, Chief Kitsap Academy (CKA) is one of the first tribal compact schools in Washington. Serving grades 6 – 12, CKA’s vision is that “every graduate is a confident, courageous, thoughtful, and respectful member of our community”. CKA also expects students to “pursue additional training and/or education and take on leadership roles in the Suquamish Tribe, the local area, and our global community”.
As their neighbors, we are proud to highlight the Suquamish Tribe’s history, culture, and traditions, recognizing that they lived here long before us. Today, the beautiful Suquamish Museum and their Tribe’s website provide a wealth of information to honor their heritage and educate locals and tourists alike.
Central Kitsap’s market had a very strong third quarter. We’ve compiled key stats below to provide a comprehensive review of our market, as well as insights and predictions from Windermere Real Estate’s Chief Economist, Matthew Gardner.
Our Strong Seller’s Market
It’s a strong seller’s market here in Central Kitsap. Inventory remains low while demand is high. In our third quarter, the median sale price was up 11.5% year-over-year at $379K. Buyers should be aware that multiple offer situations have become more common in our area.
Although mortgage rates remain historically low and demand is high, our Chief Economist, Matthew Gardner, has some concerns about how this may impact real estate down the road. “We may be heading towards a period where we see houses turn over at a far slower pace as we stay in our homes for longer than ever…this could be a problem as it leads to persistently low levels of inventory for sale, which itself could lead to prices continuing to rise at above-average rates and that would further hit affordability.” As for mortgage rates, Gardner does not expect them to rise significantly any time soon. However, he says, “We should all be aware that there could be consequences to very low rates”.
Western Washington Review
Let’s zoom out a bit and look at our area. Below are highlights from The Western Washington Gardner Report provided by Windermere Real Estate’s Chief Economist, Matthew Gardner.
WESTERN WASHINGTON HOME SALES
- Total Sales: 11.6% increase from Q3/2019, and 45.9% higher than Q2/2020
- Homes for Sale: 41.7% lower than Q3/2019, but up 1.6% from Q2/2020
- Pending Sales: up 29% from Q2/2020
WESTERN WASHINGTON HOME PRICES
- Average: $611,793 (up 17.1% from Q3/2019). Low mortgage rates and limited inventory are clearly pushing prices up.
- Prices will continue to increase as long as mortgage rates and inventory levels stay low. If this continues to be the case, affordability issues will become more apparent in many markets.
DAYS ON MARKET, WESTERN WASHINGTON
- Average: 36 days (an average of 4 fewer days than in Q2/2020 and 2 fewer days than in Q3/2019)
- In Kitsap County, average days on market: 20
In Gardner’s Western Washington Report, he states that, although we have a strong seller’s market that is very buoyant, he’s “starting to see affordability issues increase in many areas—not just in the central Puget Sound region—and this is concerning. Perhaps the winter will act to cool the market, but something is telling me we shouldn’t count on it.”
When it comes to selling your home, first impressions are everything. We believe this so strongly that we created the Windermere Ready program. With concierge-level service, our program prepares your home for the market with guidance from a local expert as well as financial assistance, if needed.
Sell For More in Less Time
On average, sellers who make necessary repairs and upgrades before selling generally sell their home for more and in less time. Of course, every home is unique, but preparation is often the key to success.
Our Windermere Ready program provides:
- One-on-one consultation
- A personalized plan
- High impact updates
- Professional staging
We all know that buyers prefer stylish, turnkey homes. But it can be challenging to know which repairs and upgrades will get the biggest return. That’s why we offer an individualized approach. One of our local real estate experts will work with you to determine what needs to be done with your timeline and needs in mind.
After they identify your top home improvement priorities, they will develop a plan of action. They will connect you with preferred local service providers, assist with a work schedule, and make any necessary arrangements. Working with a highly skilled professional also means your home will be correctly priced so you’ll avoid the dangers of an overpriced home.
Update Your Home to Make an Impact
Sometimes the smallest updates can make the biggest impact on a buyer. A home with real curb appeal, a fresh coat of paint, and a sparkling clean interior can exude warmth and charm. Even something small yet noticeable like a stylish light fixture or updated kitchen cabinet hardware can really enhance a house and make it feel like a home.
Here are some of the items that we focus on:
- Interior and Exterior Painting
- Window Washing
- Carpet Cleaning/Replacement
- Floor Repair/Refinishing
- Fixture Repair or Replacement
- Cosmetic Updates
- Professional Deep Cleaning
Stage Your Home to Create the Best Experience
In addition to making needed repairs and updates, we highly recommend staging your home. With the help of professional stagers, you can boost your bottom line. A staged home allows buyers to easily see themselves living there. Our expert stagers know how to use light, color, texture, and space to effectively highlight the best features of each room. According to Forbes, staged homes sell 87% faster and for 17% more than non-staged homes.
We’re Invested in Your Success, Literally
If needed, we can offer up to $50,000 to assist with expenses incurred, and there’s no upfront cost to you. The loan term is six months and no monthly payments are due during that time. The loan is paid off in one lump sum when the collateral property is sold. If you’d like more information about our Windermere Ready Loan, please contact us today.