Commuting from Camano

Living on Camano, working in Seattle… See how one family makes it work.

Seattle zoning laws are creating a residential climate similar to the one already being felt in cities like San Francisco. With land restrictions that limit residential development to only single-family homes, real estate is at a premium.

Home prices are skyrocketing. The Seattle Times reported that, in 2017, single-family home prices were pushing $820,000. Similarly, one-bedroom apartments in the city average $2,000 per month in rent. People simply can’t afford to realize the “American dream” at this pace.

Known for its talented workforce, Seattle has been at a real estate crossroads for some time. Over-inflated home prices, a result of an imbalanced supply and demand, are creating an unfriendly home buying atmosphere and pushing Seattle-based professionals and families to find alternate solutions when homes simply aren’t available or, in most cases, just too expensive.

So, what does that mean for us? Are we protected from this real estate trend or will we, as a community, feel the ripple effect?

Located a comfortable distance from the hustle of Seattle, it’s safe to say that we’ve already noticed an increase in home-buying trends from individuals and families opting for affordability over convenience. It has proven an option for those seeking the benefits of Seattle’s flourishing job market, but the beauty and island lifestyle that we are able to offer.

One Camano Island family has followed suit.

After months of endlessly searching for a home to accommodate their growing family, Erik and Danielle Krieg put their West Seattle home on the market back in 2014 and expanded their search north. At the time, what they found was a friendly housing market that combined their needs of quality, community, and affordability.

Danielle, who has built a reputation as a successful interior designer at a leading architecture firm in the Pacific Northwest, Stuart Silk Architects, has maintained the same workload with a slightly altered schedule since her family relocated. Currently, she commutes to Seattle 3-4 times a week, with 1-2 days spent in her home office on the Island.

“The trade-off of leaving the city for a more peaceful, affordable life on Camano Island has been worth it,” said Danielle Krieg. “Don’t get me wrong, on some days the commute into Seattle is horrendous and I find myself questioning my sanity – but on most days, I’m just grateful that my family found such a great community to call home. It’s been life-changing for each one of us.”

It has been nearly four years since the Krieg family left Seattle, a city they both lived and worked in independently for more than 20 years each. But, it’s been a decision that their family hasn’t regretted.

The Krieg children enjoy the much-loved tire swing at Freedom Park on Camano Island.

The Krieg children enjoy the much-loved tire swing at Freedom Park on Camano Island.

“Not for one second,” Krieg concurs. “Being able to come home to the beauty of Camano Island each afternoon, watch our kids run and play in the backyard, and being active members of a community that values family – it’s changed us for the better. We still work hard, professionally, and value what Seattle has to offer us for that, but now we can wind down and enjoy life as we’re meant to.”

This trade-off seems to be one that others are heeding – and for good reason.

The Stanwood-Camano Island communities have proven themselves a viable option for this home-buying demographic. Our growing business community and lifestyle brand, Discover Stanwood-Camano, continues to showcase why we are relevant and desirable for full-time residence; we’re not just a commuter town. Our commitment to family, reflected in the recent $147 million bond passed to build a state-of-the-art high school campus, combined with Paine Field offering passenger flights to many western U.S. cities this September, has aided in this enhanced appeal.

The country remains a seller’s market with home prices and values continuing to rise. Single-family homes in the metro King, Snohomish, and Pierce counties have risen faster than anywhere else in the country since mid-2016, according to The Seattle Times. As this trend continues with no end in sight, and people continue to search for affordable housing options in viable communities, Stanwood-Camano Island will continue to see and feel the impact.

We are part of the hottest market in the country. (Hang on tight!)

 

Navigating a Seller’s Market in the Stanwood-Camano Island Area

It’s no great secret that right now, in mid-2018, we’re experiencing a seller’s market. Home prices across the country (and especially in Seattle) have skyrocketed. Homes in the King County area gained value at double the national average between 1995 and this year. So what should you do with this information, and how has this trend affected the market in the Stanwood-Camano area?

First, it’s important to understand why it’s such a good time to list right now. Due to a combination of factors, including low home-availability and decent mortgage rates, the homes that are on the market often sell for above asking price. As CNN puts it: “The problem is simple: there are more people looking to buy homes than there are homes available for sale.”

J.P. DeBoer, Windermere Stanwood-Camano Broker

J.P. DeBoer, Windermere Stanwood-Camano Broker

“It’s a 180 degree shift from five years ago” said JP DeBoer, a Windermere Stanwood-Camano Broker, “Sellers are definitely coming from a position of strength… When a buyer makes an offer, the agents have been asking me if there’s other things they can offer, like rent-backs or shorter contingencies to sweeten the transaction.”

For a seller, this is great news. Home values are good, and you are likely to get several competitive offers on a listing. For the buyer, this means that the transaction might be a little more tricky. The best thing to do is to  find an experienced agent to work with can help you find creative ways to make your offer more appealing, without necessarily having to spend more money.

“Having your ducks in a row is huge” said DeBoer, “I’ve closed several transactions this month where the seller listed below asking price, and because the buyer was ready, we were able to get that price.” It’s good to weight the pros and cons of a property or house, but in this market it’s also important to be ready to move ahead with a deal, should the right one present itself.

On the buyer’s side, patience is key. While these national trends may seem intimidating, sometimes the right place comes up at the right time. Perhaps a seller is looking to move because of a new job offer, and they’re willing to negotiate on price for the sake of a quick transaction. Again, working with an experienced broker is key, so you can keep track of new offers near your area of interest. Expect to make at least one or two offers before finding the right deal, and you should also be prepared to throw in a few little incentives to move the transaction along.

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Will Smart Homes be the New Normal ?

Lennar, the nations largest home builder, will make home automation standard in their new home construction. With built in Wi-Fi, smart locks, video door bells, thermostats and lights, devices will be controlled by Alexa – Amazon’s voice activated digital assistant. Lennar and Amazon will open 8 model Smart homes  in California, hoping to show perspective buyers how this new technology works in a real house and how it could simplify their lives.

ring doorbellAccording to Steve Youngren of Windermere Stanwood-Camano, buyers in our area are more concerned with security than convenience. In Seattle, Jeff Reynolds of Windermere says his buyers appreciate seeing Ring video doorbells in the homes they view.

With video doorbells, homeowners are notified as soon as motion is detected at their home. Homeowners receive live video of the activity on their doorstep via smartphone or tablet. The smart doorbell also provides two-way audio so homeowners can speak to visitors – even when they’re not at home. It’s this combination of security and convenience that buyers are ready to get on board with.

For more information about the trend toward smart homes, read the USA Today article.

 

Stanwood History – Lumber Mill & Timber Sells for $75,000 in 1923

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Extra! Extra! Read all about it! This article from The Stanwood News in 1923 talks all about how the lumber mill in Stanwood and 20,000,000 feet of timber was sold for $75,000 and was then subjected to the approval of a Superior Court Judge!
#History #WeAreCamano #Stanwood #HeadlinesStanwood Camano News
Source: The Stanwood Story Volume II by Alice Essex

#Teamwork Thursday – Congrats Tamara!

Congratulations Tamara Matthews on receiving this glowing five star Zillow review! Keep up the good work.
⭐️⭐️
#️WeAreWindermere #ZillowReview#Congratulations #Waytogo #FiveStars

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Stanwood History – Stanwood’s Very First Library!

A very neat photo of Stanwood’s very first library in March 1965 reflected in a pool of water after some heavy rains.
#History #Stanwood #WeAreWindermere #PNW#RainyDays
Source: The Stanwood Story Volume II by Alice Essex

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Congratulations To Our Newest Ninja Graduates!

Congratulations to our newest Ninja Graduates. These three agents have made a commitment to offering their clients amazing service! 🎓
#WeAreWindermere #NinjaGrads #Congratulations#GoodToGreat

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Stanwood – Josephine Sunset Home History

This was a photo taken on September 25th, 1908 at the “Josephine Old People’s Home” the day it was dedicated. The 1,500 person crowd filled the fenced yard as well as the balcony!
#History #Stanwood #Community #WeAreWindermere #110YearsLater

Source: The Stanwood Story Volume 1 by Alice Essex

04 Josephine Home

#FeatureFriday

Looking for space, privacy and a place to run your business? Look no further!
#wearewindermere #featurefriday #stanwood #spacious

MLS | 1228900
https://www.windermere.com/listing/73817837

Gant, Mike Photo

Stanwood – Camano History

The Stanwood-Camano Community Fair started in 1932 and has become the largest Community Fair in Washington State! This Crane Truck was built in 1919 and was then used to log the entire South end of Camano Island. Be sure to stop by the fair this weekend and check it out!
#Stanwood #CamanoIsland #CommunityFair #Summer #FairWeekend#History

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