Bainbridge Island, WA Real Estate News

By Maureen Buckley, Managing Broker/ Owner
(Buckley & Buckley Real Estate)
Home sales for 2010 second quarter were the highest since the summer of 2007.  87 sales were recorded including 32 in June, bringing the year's total to 136. These figures contrast to last year's number of 80 sales for the first half of the year. Additionally, 40 homes are currently under contract and forecast July as another month of solid sales.    
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By Maureen Buckley, Managing Broker/ Owner
(Buckley & Buckley Real Estate)
In 1942, two months after the bombing of Pearl Harbor, the U.S. government issued Executive Order 9066 authorizing the relocation of 110,000 people of Japanese ancestry living on the West Coast in order to incarcerate them in isolated and desolate concentration camps.  Exclusion Order No. 1, authorizing the first relocation, targeted the Japanese Americans living on Bainbridge Island, Washington.  One of them was 31-year-old Fumiko Hayashida, a pregnant mother of two. She was one of 227 members of her community who, dressed in their best clothes, assembled at the Eagledale ferry landing on March 30th, 1942. As they waited to be taken off the Island by armed military escorts, Fumiko, holding her 13 month old daughter Natalie Kayo, was photographed by a Seattle Post-Intelligencer photogra...
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By Maureen Buckley, Managing Broker/ Owner
(Buckley & Buckley Real Estate)
Ok, ladies.......the answer to your spring and summer shoe problems are gone!  Blue Island Shoes is now open and offering the latest in shoes, clothing and accessories with a ‘tropical twist!'  Fabulous handbags, summer shoes and beautiful clothing-as well as for the man in your life!  Owners Jill Culton and Helen Ulloa obviously LOVE what they do and they are good at it!  A very welcoming and fun place to shop!   If you're looking for something unique and beautiful-this is the place  - with very reasonable prices!  Located at 120 Winslow Way (in Winslow Green) Blue Island Shoes will soon be a true ‘island treasure!'
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By Maureen Buckley, Managing Broker/ Owner
(Buckley & Buckley Real Estate)
April 30th was the final day of the Federal Tax incentives for real estate purchases.  The last week of the month saw a flurry of activity with buyers hurrying to put properties under contract before the deadline. A recent record of 54 homes and 10 condos on Bainbridge Is. are now under contract. Inventory went up slightly to 211 homes active and 66 condos showing active. Sales for April were also up, 24 home sold compared to 13 in April 2009 bringing the years total to 73 homes compared to 50 for the same time period in 2009.
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By Paul Pival, A Realtor with the soul of a professor.
(Coldwell Banker Bain)
Closed Transactions June 22-30 Activity was down compared to last year at this time with the exception of Bainbridge Island, which was up 125%.  Time on market was less in all areas.  The average selling price was higher in Silverdale but much lower on average in Poulsbo and Kingston--and especially in Bainbridge Island, which saw a 49% lower price on average. For the first time in a long period, Bainbridge average sales price for this period was lower than that in Kingston and Silverdale. If you'd like the selling details of the home that closed in your neighborhood,  just ask.                              
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Associated Press is reporting that the U.S. Senate is including its version of the Home Buyer Tax Credit closing deadline extension in another Unemployment Benefits bill that won't be voted on until tomorrow (Thursday, July 1, 2010). This is what the Senate did before and the extension died along with the last Unemployment Benefit extension bill when Republicans fillibustered.  Policticos believe Dems have a better chance of passing the Unemployment Benefits extension by adding the tax credit, now that the House has already approved an extension from today (June 30, 2010) to September 30, 2010 for contracts in place on or before April 30, 2010. Read the article here: http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5hLKyB9H7lUpiALFVlU7RRJa9-EfwD9GLKOT80 NAR is putting on the pressure as...
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By Paul Pival, A Realtor with the soul of a professor.
(Coldwell Banker Bain)
  Closed Transactions June 8-14 Once again Bainbridge Island showed an unusually large increase in closed transactions compared to the same period last year.   Except for Kingston, the average selling price in North Kitsap continued to show a decline.   If you'd like the selling details of the home that closed in your neighborhood,  just ask.      
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Bainbridge Island single-family detached home sales continue to rebound from the dredges of 2008 and 2009 and are up a whopping 50 percent so far in 2010 when looking at year-to-date comparisons. With 102 sales recorded through the end of May 2010, home sales January through May 2009 totaled 68. Bainbridge had 28 single family detached home sales last month or 67 percent higher than May 2009 (18 sales) and 86 percent higher than May 2008 (15 sales). The most welcomed surprise: 7 home sold in the $700,000 to $800,000 price range just in May.  Only 14 homes sold in all of 2008 in that price range and only 15 in all of 2009. Condos sales are slow but steady with 6 sales in May, a total of 19 for the year.    The darkest cloud continues to be in the $800,000 to the $1,000,000 price range wh...
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FHA, which recently raised its upfront costs, is proposing a change that has been approved by the House, but still needs to work its way through the Senate. It would lower the initial up front fee FHA charges for mortgage insurance, but increase the monthly cost to the borrower.   That could be good news for some and bad news for others, particularly those who will find their monthly insurance costs will put them out of qualifying range for the home they wanted to purchase. The proposed increase is considerable: about $50 to $90 a month more, depending on the loan size ($200,000 to $400,000, is the example here). FHA needs the increase revenue to stay healthy as FHA loans remain at their highest default levels on record.  Under the current House bill, borrowers would pay 0.55 percent of...
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This is GREAT news for first-time buyers on Bainbridge as a condo purchase most often requires at least 10 percent down payment.  But now that Harbor Square is FHA approved, the minimum down payment is 3.5% for a complex that has 180 units. That's huge news. FHA is a loan that a few years ago was rarely done on Bainbridge. Now it has become an important lending tool locally, particularly as it is often more forgiving for borrowers with great credit but higher debt-to-income ratios than Fannie Mae allows.  FHA also works well for borrowers with less-than-perfect credit as the interest rate is often actually lower than a comparable Fannie Mae loan for these borrowers. Only Island Crossings and Eagle Harbor show up on the FHA list of approved condos on Bainbridge so Harbor Square's approva...
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Condominium lending is getting tougher, not because of a new guideline from Fannie Mae, but because each lender may impose its own more restrictive rules that are a layer on top of the Fannie Mae condo rules. For example, last week I spoke with a loan officer at a mega-bank turned who had to turn away a buyer two months into a purchase of a local condo because this particular lender has a rule that no more than 30 percent of the condo complex units could be rentals.   The Fannie Mae rule for established complexes is 50 percent maximum for non-owner occupied. I thought the lender must have made a mistake in applying a Fannie Mae rule that is applicable to new condo complexes, which currently has a 30 percent non-owner occupied threshold.  But it turns out that in declining markets - incl...
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Here some clarity on the new Fannie Mae Loan Quality Initiative (LQI) requirements that went into effect at the beginning of June. Fannie's LQI is requiring lenders to pull a credit report just before closing in an attempt to identify any new credit or debt the customer has taken on since they applied for the loan.  The good news is lenders will be pulling abbreviated credit report transcripts that will not provide credit scores -- just new credit inquiries and all the current liabilities. That's vital as credit score fluctuation would have potentially wreak havoc by increasing borrowers costs or worse, blowing up purchase deals at the 11th hour.  For now, credit scores  pulled earlier in the process by the lender -- as long as they are less than 90 days old by the time the loan funds -...
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Reverse mortgages historically have been the "loan of last resort" for Seniors, used to allow folks to stay in their home for the rest of their lives without ever making another mortgage payment and in many cases, providing income or a lump sum to live on. But did you know that a Reverse Mortgage can be used to PURCHASE a home?   For some Seniors, the FHA Home Equity Conversion Mortgage (HECM) for Purchase is a Reverse Mortgage that could be an incredible tool, allowing those who have enough equity or assets and want to finish their years in a different home than the one they are currently living in without ever making another mortgage payment. Let's take a look at how it works: Jack is 71, retired, has $100,000 in a retirement account, very little savings, and does not want to live in ...
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Rural Development ran out of funding in May. That's the bad news. The good news is that the House has signed the Bill appropriating additional funding, and the Senate is currently reviewing it: http://www.opencongress.org/bill/111-h5017/show. It also appears the Guaranty Fee for USDA will increase on purchases from 2% to 3.5%. USDA also announced that they are planning to issue Conditional Commitments at the higher Guaranty Fee, subject to funding being available.  This is an important breakthrough as up until this year, when USDA ran out of funds, they issued Conditional Commitments as they expected Congress to provide new funding. This year they originally said they would not be issuing Conditional Commitments. For Golf, if the USDA does begin issuing Conditional Commitments that mean...
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By Kevin Hawkins (c) 2010 Social media - Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn - is fast becoming not only a potent way to stay in touch with friends and family, but a powerful way to market your business and services.   The challenge is making sure that your attempts to "connect" to your customers and potential customers won't end up with a lot of disconnections.  I have three short rules as a primer for beginners attempting to use Social Media for business: Rule #1: Know the mediumNo mater where you are going to push your message, you need to understand the media you use. You shouldn't create a newspaper ad until you understand what works and what does not. The same principal holds true for the Internet.  You shouldn't be using Facebook, ActiveRain or Twitter until you really understand how the...
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By Paul Pival, A Realtor with the soul of a professor.
(Coldwell Banker Bain)
Closed Transactions June 1-7 Clearly the Bainbridge Island market spiked this week compared to last year at this time. The average selling price dropped nearly 30%, homes closed much more quickly, and sellers got 94% of their listing price. Activity in the other markets lagged behind last year at this time, especially in Kingston. If you'd like the selling details of the home that closed in your neighborhood,  just ask.      
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By Brenda Prowse
(Prowse and Company)
Bainbridge Island residential properties were selling for a May median price of $457,500, about 18% lower than in April. The more stable three month moving average of closed sale price fell 12% from last month to $511,333 and is 19% lower than it was a year ago. The Kitsap County 3 month moving average median price is 3% higher than it was a year ago. The 3 month moving average for Bainbridge Island's number of closed sales is 63% higher than a year ago. The 3 month moving average of closed sales is up 25% Countywide from a year ago. The 3 month moving average number of Bainbridge pending sales in May rose 105% from a year ago. The number of active listings on Bainbridge (210) is down 9% from a year ago. The inventory turnover (total homes on the market divided by number sold last month...
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By Paul Pival, A Realtor with the soul of a professor.
(Coldwell Banker Bain)
Closed Transactions May 22-31 Bainbridge Island showed an unusually large increase in closed transactions compared to the same period last year. Though the average sale price was much lower, the period from list to contract was shorter by nearly 7 months, and buyers came much closer to the listing price as well.    (Shameless fact: I am proud to report that my personal home was among those closing. Contract signed two days after the keybox was installed with a selling price over my listing price.  I must have done something right.) Buyers in Silverdale, Poulsbo, and Kingston also found their offers accepted much quicker this year.   If you'd like the selling details of the home that closed in your neighborhood,  just ask.                          
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By Brenda Prowse
(Prowse and Company)
Bainbridge Island residential properties were selling for a April median price of $555,000, about 6% higher than in March. The more stable three month moving average of closed sale price rose just $500 from last month to $580,500 and is 5% lower than it was a year ago. The Kitsap County 3 month moving average median price is less than 1% higher than it was a year ago. The 3 month moving average for Bainbridge Island's number of closed sales is 54% higher than a year ago. The 3 month moving average of closed sales is up 20% Countywide from a year ago. The 3 month moving average number of Bainbridge pending sales in April rose 95% from a year ago. The number of active listings on Bainbridge (210) is down 7% from a year ago. The inventory turnover (total homes on the market divided by numb...
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Most companies largely hide their product development activities from the prying public -- as well as media and competitors eyes -- until they either trash the product or launch it. But Google isn't like most companies and Google Labs is no ordinary place to peak into the product development ideas being worked on by Googleites.  It is a plethora of creativity and it is just plain fun to poke around the Google Labs website at www.googlelabs.com or accessible under the "more" and "even more" links from the main Google home page. Google Labs has been the beta site for many of Google's innovations: such as Google Docs, Google Groups, GOOG-411 and more. A couple of the latest experiments: Google Transliteration.  You select the language you want to translate from English to say Hebrew, and i...
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