Articles Fourth of July weekend on Orcas Island – Wow what a show! Orcas may not be a big island, but it sure celebrates like one. Although July 4th falls on a Tuesday this year, this island will be rocking all weekend long leading up to the big day. Whether you are into shopping, eating, or just enjoying the festivities, there is plenty to keep everyone busy. Here’s […]
Articles Island Support – GiveOrcas Month It’s GiveOrcas month here on the island and everyone is feeling the love. Locals skip through the streets of Eastsound hugging, laughing, and catching up on the latest gossip. Okay, so maybe it’s not quite as cheesy as one of those quaint villages from your childhood storybooks; life is not all sunshine and rainbows after […]
Articles The Gardner Report – Q1 2017   ECONOMIC OVERVIEW I’m happy to report that Washington State continues to add jobs at a steady rate. While the rate of growth is tapering, this is because many markets are getting close to “full employment”, during which time growth naturally slows. That said, I believe that the state will add around 70,000 jobs in […]
Articles Elevation Certificates One of the greatest things about owning property on Orcas Island is that you are, well, on an island. Let’s face it, who doesn’t like being surrounded by water on all sides? Okay, so maybe it’s not everyone’s cup of tea, but if you are into the whole water thing, purchasing land here can be […]
Articles 5 Reasons to Love Orcas Island in the Winter Seattleites love to come to the San Juan Islands in the summer. Although right in their backyard, it can feel like a whole world away. With everyone wanting to come when it’s sunny and warm(-ish), the island population on Orcas easily triples in the high season. While summer is definitely fun, for those wanting to […]
Articles Windermere Foundation Raises $2,246,829 in 2016   The Windermere Foundation had another banner year in 2016, thanks to the continued support of Windermere franchise owners, agents, staff, and the community. Over $2.2 million was raised in 2016, which is an increase of seven percent over the previous year. This brings our total to over $33 million raised since the start of […]
Articles How the Neighborhood Impacts a Home’s Value Whether you’re buying or selling, accurately pricing a home requires professional assistance from someone who knows the neighborhood. The “estimated” home prices you see posted online can be off by tens of thousands of dollars—not because they are dishonest, but because the computer programs generating these guesstimates don’t take into account the current condition of […]
Articles The Clock's Ticking: Here's Why You Should Use HARP to Refinance, Pronto   Hey, homeowners: If you’ve been batting around the possibility of refinancing your home through HARP, now’s the time to make a move. Perhaps you thought you had missed the boat. After all, HARP—the Home Affordable Refinance Program created by the federal government after the housing crash—was set to expire in December 2016. But the Federal […]
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Articles First Time Buyers, Millennials, and What to Expect in 2017   I believe that the big story for the coming year will be first-time home buyers. Since they don’t need to sell before purchasing, their reemergence into the market ensures that sales will continue to increase, even while inventory is limited. Thirty-one percent of buyers currently in the real estate market are first-time buyers, but […]
Articles What’s In Store For The 2017 Seattle Housing Market?   2016 was another stellar year for the Seattle housing market, in which a surplus of buyers and a deficit of sellers drove home prices higher across the board. So, can we expect to see more of the same in 2017? Here are some of my thoughts on the Seattle/King County housing market for the […]
Articles Investing in Rental Property: The Risks, Rewards, and Benefits of Owning Rental Property   One area of the real estate market that is thriving right now is rental property. All indications suggest that the rental market will continue to improve because of low vacancy rates and rising rents. In fact, the demand for rentals is predicted to far exceed supply through 2016, with 4.5 million new renters expected […]
Articles Perspectives: 2017 Forecast Well, it’s December; the time of year when we look to our crystal ball and offer our housing market predictions for the coming year. And by crystal ball we mean Windermere’s Chief Economist, Matthew Gardner, who has been travelling up and down the West Coast giving his annual forecast to a variety of real estate […]
Articles Top 10 real estate tips for 2017 Sean Justice/Getty Images High demand and low interest rates drove housing sales in 2016, and 2017 is shaping up to be another good year, albeit with a few minor caveats. While home prices for starter-to-midrange homes are pushing upward toward pre-recession peaks, especially in secondary markets, they’re stabilizing in higher-priced areas. Prognosticators see the robust […]
Articles Planning for the Future: Housing Options to Consider It should come as no surprise that 75% of the senior citizens polled in the latest AARP Preferences survey strongly agreed with the statement, “What I’d like to do is stay in my current residence as long as possible.” After all, home is where the heart is; and the longer you live in a place, […]
Articles 7 Habits of Highly Effective Home Buyers  Habit #1 – Be Proactive: Get pre-approved For Your Bank Loan Mr. Covey’s first point deals with getting into the ongoing practice of being on the front foot, rather than living in a passive and reactive mode; not waiting for it all to happen for you but taking the first step. If you are looking […]
Housing Market The Trump effect. How will it impact the US economy and housing? By Matthew Gardner, Chief Economist, Windermere Real Estate The American people have spoken and they have elected Donald J. Trump as the 45th president of the United States. Change was clearly demanded, and change is what we will have. The election was a shock for many, especially on the West Coast where we have not […]
Articles Selling Your Home? Go Through This Safety Checklist With Your Real Estate Agent Selling your home can be stressful for many reasons. Not only are you trying to get the best financial return on your investment, but you might also be working on a tight deadline. There’s also the pressure to keep your home clean and organized at all times for prospective buyers.  One thing you can be […]
Articles The following analysis of the Western Washington real estate market is provided by Windermere Real Estate Chief Economist Matthew Gardner. We hope that this information may assist you with making better-informed real estate decisions. For further information about the housing market in your area, please don’t hesitate to contact me. ECONOMIC OVERVIEW Annual employment growth […]
Articles Halloween is only a few days away. Are your pets ready? If your critters are upset by the doorbell ringing, strange noises, or scary people in creepy outfits appearing at the door, now’s the time to come up with a plan. 1. Make sure your pet is in a secure area where it can’t bolt out the door. It may be better to keep them in […]
Articles Childproofing: Protect Your Family and Your Home from Potential Hazards Posted October 10 2016, 3:30 PM PDT in Living by Shelley Rossi When you think of your home, it likely conjures up feelings of safety, shelter, and comfort. However, accidental injuries in the home are one of the leading causes of harm to children 14 and younger. By taking certain precautions, many of these accidents can […]