A Trip to Langley

Plan your Trip to Langley

A Little History Before You Plan Your Trip to Langley

On the southern side of Whidbey Island along the Saratoga Passage lies the lovely little town of Langley. With a population of just over one thousand, this quaint town is home to a creative culture and endless entertainment.

Langley’s history has led to its unique and diverse culture. Established in 1891, Langley served as South Whidbey’s trading center for all types of goods with the wharf connecting island merchants to Everett and Seattle. In the 60s and 70s, that same wharf brought in a wave of hippies who would forever shift the culture of South Whidbey.

Although Langley’s docks no longer see the traffic they once did, downtown is filled with remnants of the original trades-town married beautifully with the artistic culture of the mid-century hippies. It’s quite a treat to visit. If you get the chance to spend a day in Langley and aren’t sure what to do, you’re in luck! We’ve created an itinerary for the perfect one-day trip in Langley. Just don’t forget your mask and keep a social distance!

Itinerary for Day Trip to Langley

Coffee at Useless Bay

Enjoy some amazing early morning coffee from this local roaster to give yourself an extra boost at the beginning of your day. Between the friendly baristas, great drinks, and buzzing atmosphere you’ll be excited to return to this cafe over and over.

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Breakfast at The Braeburn

BEST. BREAKFAST. EVER. Or at least it’s hard to top. The Braeburn has an amazing assortment of breakfast choices ranging from light and sweet pastries to hearty mashes and breakfast burritos. There’s something for everyone!

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Morning Stroll Down Seawall Park

When you make your way out of The Braeburn you might consider taking a stroll down Langley’s Seawall Park. This seaside park is full of beautiful art that pays tribute to past island tribes and a walking path to help you get the most out of the beautiful view.

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Lunch at Ultra House

Ready for lunch? This ramen house is tucked away in the dead center of Langley village and serves absolutely incredible food! Enjoy slurping noodles and sipping broth and feeling like you’re another world away.

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Ice Cream at Sprinklz

What better way to end lunch than with some sweets?! Sprinklz is a local favorite when it comes to ice cream. It’s hard to beat their fun store or their incredible old fashioned ice cream.

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Explore Downtown and the Star Store

Even though a few of the Langley shops have closed their doors during the pandemic, The Star Store alone could keep anyone’s attention for quite some time. This century-old mercantile seamlessly transitions from produce to products and more.

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End the Night at the Taproom at Bayview

What better way to end the night than with some comfort food and a good beer? Bayview Taproom provides that and much more. You’ll love this community watering hole for its juicy burgers, kind servers, and joyful atmosphere.

 

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Posted on July 22, 2020 at 5:59 pm
Oak Harbor Office | Category: Places, Things to Do on Whidbey | Tagged , , , , ,

Collaboration, Competition, & Putting the Client First

-Why we are better together at Windermere

 

Many people think of real estate as a cutthroat competitive sales business akin to the dynamics that are portrayed on a TV show like Million Dollar Listing. The world is always pitting competition vs. collaboration against each other as if these two things are completely exclusive from one another.

 

This is why it is so darn refreshing when you see collaboration amongst “competitors,” and it’s something we see at Windermere all the time.

 

One of Windermere’s core values is that we are all better together, and we are huge believers in the very different way Windermere real estate agents operate. But what does “better together” really mean? How does this play out in the day-to-day?

Collaboration, Competition, & Putting the Client First

Of course, “better together” in part refers to the collaboration aspect in real estate. No one doubts two heads are better than one when it comes to problem-solving, and how about ten heads or a whole brokerage full of knowledgeable professionals to draw from? In our brokerage, a seasoned agent or a total newbie who comes up against something unusual (which happens more often than you would think) can easily pick the brains of agents representing 100’s of years of experience. From in-person conversations to our Facebook group page; we encourage ideas, questions, new information, resources, and sometimes just funny memes. Real estate is about being creative, not taking no for an answer and problem solving like a maniac. Having a support group you can rely on results in miracles for your clients other agents can’t produce.

 

“Better together” also means we have a lot of pride in the standard Windermere sets in the real estate industry. This translates to holding each other accountable when a colleague is delivering less than their best. For those of us who thoroughly understand the benefits of holding the real estate industry to a high standard, it literally hurts our hearts when we see agents acting in ways that are embarrassing for our profession and even worse, harmful to the client. This is why we believe in continually raising the bar on this industry so others have to stretch themselves just to keep up.

 

We take the idea of “better together” seriously but that doesn’t mean we don’t like to have fun doing it!

 

The video below was envisioned, orchestrated, and paid for by the agents. It is a pure collaboration amongst some of the most successful agents at Windermere in Oak Harbor who have intense respect for one another and understand that being better together helps everyone.

 

 

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Posted on July 8, 2020 at 8:32 pm
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Water Sports on Whidbey

Whidbey Island Water Sports: Just in Time for Summer

 

Water Sports on Whidbey, Tori, Kayaking

As Island County transitions into we’ve noticed quite a few changes.

Restaurants have re-opened their doors.

Parks are now open to the public again.

Even a few offices are welcoming back their employees.

 

For many, this change couldn’t have come soon enough. For those who enjoy water sports, the lifted restrictions were right on time.

Water sports is something particularly special to Whidbey as we are after all, 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; the Whidbey shores offer quite a bit of enjoyment for those willing to get wet.

Below are just some water activities popular 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 draw for many.

Windermere Real Estate, Whidbey Island, Agent, Anita Johnston, Kayaking, Water Sports on Whidbey Winderkids Kayaking, Water Sports on Whidbey

 

  • 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 it 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.

Water Sports on Whidbey, Windermere, Konni Smith Water Sports on Whidbey

  • 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

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Posted on June 23, 2020 at 11:00 pm
Oak Harbor Office | Category: Things to Do on Whidbey | Tagged , , , , , , , , ,

Winterize

Winterize

Winterize

Have you been outside lately? There has not been a coatless day in WEEKS and the trees downtown are one harsh wind away from officially being bare.

 

The point is…it’s cold.

 

We all know the drill here. We put away our summertime flip flops in exchange for wool socks and thick boots. Our tank tops get pushed to the backs of our closets as sweaters emerge. Winter is coming and we are preparing our closets accordingly.

 

But how are you preparing your home?

 

It’s hard to imagine failing to maintain the greatest investment we’ve ever made yet every year a shocking number of homeowners fail to do basic winterization tasks. Some don’t even know that they should! To lend a helping hand here are the Top 5 Winterization Tasks you should do every year.

 

Clean out the gutters

Those beautiful fall leaves we’ve been watching descend so gracefully from the sky are the same ones descending into your gutters. Although that might not mean much now, when the temperature dips down to freezing it can mean a whole lot. Water unable to escape the drains due to fallen leaves expand as it freezes. This can cause gutters to become damaged or pull away from the house. Eventually these become overhead hazards that threaten to fall from above.

 

Cleaning your gutters may not be fun, but it is vital and pretty easy. Simply grab a ladder, some work gloves, a trash bag, ang get to work! You’ll probably find it goes faster than you ever imagined.

 

Flush irrigation systems

If you have a sprinkler system for your home, it is of the utmost importance to have the lines professionally blown out before the cold hits! As we talked about with the gutters above, when water freezes it expands. This is bad news for those underground pipes! Frozen water that expands within irrigation pipes can cause pipes to crack or burst destroying your system and your yard. Below are some local companies certified to service irrigation systems:

 

Precision Plumbing and Backflow Testing | 360-914-0321

Everflow Irrigation | 360-840-4793

GCF Backflow Services | 360-320-9871

Evergreen Landscape & Maintenance | 360-679-2363

King Water Company | 360-678-5336

 

Cover outside faucets

Going hand in hand with blowing out that sprinkler system is covering ALL outside spigots. BURSTING PIPES! It’s a very real issue that can cause thousands of dollars in property damage. Luckily, covering your pipes can be as easy as going to your local hardware store and picking up one of the below faucet covers. They are extremely easy to install and if you are even a little concerned we have found a helpful video to guide you through!

 

Fertilize the lawn

Winter months seem to only to bring with them frost and death. Luckily, that doesn’t have to be the story for your lawn. Winter fertilizer helps your grass recover from minerals lost in the scorching summer sun and stock up on the nutrition it needs to withstand the cold winter months. This will prevent it from dying away when spring hits.

 

However, living on an island brings with it special considerations when it comes to fertilizing your lawn. Traditional fertilizers often contain high amounts of hazardous chemicals such as zinc, lead, cadmium, chromium or sometimes even arsenic. The risk of these chemicals is only elevated with the addition concern of their runoff into the Puget Sound. Living on Whidbey increases this risk drastically even for the most centrally located island properties. That’s why we highly suggest using eco-friendly fertilizers such as Milorganite’s Slow-Release Nitrogen Fertilizer which you can pick up Home Depot today!

fertilizer

Replace weather stripping

Every year countless sums of money are spent on the excess heating required to keep our homes warm in the winter months. But is all that money necessary? You’d be shocked to learn all the different ways in which the sacred warm air inside escapes from your home. Although some of these issues require big solutions like reinstalling insulation in your roof or switching to a better heating system altogether; quite a lot can be done in simply replacing some of your weather stripping around the house!

 

How long has the weather stripping along your exterior doors been there? Since you’ve moved in, right? Well every time that door opens and closes there is a little more wear to the stripping and after a few hundred passages it’s no wonder it starts to give way.

 

Replacing weather stripping is easy and relatively cheap! Check it out:

 

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Posted on November 19, 2019 at 11:05 pm
Oak Harbor Office | Category: Real Estate | Tagged , , , , , , , ,

Whidbey Island Wineries & Distilleries

Whidbey Island Wineries & Distilleries

 

With intriguing accents of spice and musty earth [and] a gripping mouthful of tannins dance on the lengthy finish.”

 

These are the words used to describe Spoiled Dog Winery’s Estate Pinot Noir. If you are a fancy wine connoisseur, you probably knew what all of those words meant. Or maybe that entire sentence was gibberish to you.

 

Luckily, expertise is not a requirement for enjoyment when it comes to wine. This is evident annually with the “Autumn on Whidbey Tour” when people from all over and with all levels of wine knowledge flood the tasting rooms of local wineries to make memories. The tour is filled with friends having fun, amazing wine, and local art displayed in every tasting room.

 

Hosted by the Whidbey Island Vintners and Distillers Association, this year’s Autumn on Whidbey tour is widening it’s horizons by also including some local spirits! This expansion helps to include individuals interested in participating, but not really interested in wine. It also provides recognition and traffic to some pretty great local distilleries.

 

Below are some of the Wineries and Distilleries participating in this year’s tour that we had the pleasure of visiting:

 

Holmes Harbor Cellars 

 holmes harborHolmes HarborHolmes Harbor

When you think of vineyards and wine tours, do you think of gorgeous Italian villas overlooking expansive acres of grape vines? If so, Holmes Harbor is the place for you! This locally owned winery opened its doors in 2008 with the hope of blending art and science to create some of the most incredible wines on Whidbey. This blend is evident both in their wine and in their tasting room which has the facade of a beautiful authentic villa while proudly displaying their fermentation tanks within. You can’t help but feel like you are about to have the best weekend of your life when you enter this incredible space.

 

Mutiny Bay Distillery 

Mutiny Bay, DistilleryMutiny Bay, LocalMutiny Bay

You are going to LOVE this mom, pop, and son distillery. After retiring as pharmacists Rod and Kathy Stallman utilized their deep understanding of chemistry to create spirits that ignite your imagination. With the engineering innovations of their son Scott, this trio created what can only be described as a dream line of liquor distilled from almost exclusively local ingredients. Their love and passion for their craft is evident from the moment you enter the tasting room. They love walking people through their selection of spirits and their process. You do not want to miss this stop on the tour!

 

Spoiled Dog Winery

WineSpoiled Dog Spoiled DogSpoiled Dog

As one of the most established and favorited wineries on the island, Spoiled Dog is without doubt a real treat to visit. Approaching the property guests are enveloped in trees that open suddenly to acres of vineyards and one of the most charming farm style buildings on Whidbey. Walking in one is immediately met by friendly tasting room staff standing in front of countless barrels of aging wine. The staff are knowledgeable and eager to help. Their selection is incredible and nothing beats the view of the vineyard with tall evergreens in the background.

 

This year’s Autumn on Whidbey Tour is November 9-10. Tickets can be purchased in advance for $25 or $30 day of the event. You can purchase yours here!

 

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Posted on November 8, 2019 at 10:59 pm
Oak Harbor Office | Category: Events, Places, Things to Do on Whidbey | Tagged , , , , , , , ,

Hygge: The Key to Cozy Living

Hygge: The Key to Cozy Living

It’s that moment when your toes find themselves slipping gently into the folds of your softest blanket. The warm beverage within your palms lifts up a scent that mixes and mingles with the crackling candle in the corner to create an aroma pleasant and settling. In a moment your breath leaves you in a long, rested sigh and you find contentment.

 

That is Hygge.

 

For those not aware of this booming cultural phenomena; Hygge is a Danish word not truly translatable into the English language but still well known. The Cambridge Dictionary defines Hygge as “a quality of coziness that comes from doing simple things such as lighting candles, baking, or spending time at home with your family.” With a definition like that it’s easy to see why this lifestyle focused on small luxuries and finding gratitude in the day to day has taken the world by storm.

 

In the coming months, as we watch the sky grow darker and feel the crisp air begin to chill, this lifestyle of comfort and contentment becomes even more desirable to us. To assist you in cultivating this, we’ve created a list of 6 ways to bring Hygge into your home.

1. Set the Mood with Some Music

Relaxing Music, Afternoon Acoustic, Windermere Real Estate Whidbey Island

It’s no secret to anyone that our moods and energies are all greatly influenced by the sounds we hear; particularly when it comes to music. In the same way that you might play Eye Of The Tiger before a big work presentation or a “Top 40s” playlist before going out on the town, you also want to prepare yourself for relaxation. Although everyone’s preferences are unique, most find themselves at a point of relaxation when listening to the soft sounds and slow beats of instrumental or acoustic music. Our personal favorite is a Spotify playlist called “Afternoon Acoustic.” Give it a listen and tell us what you think!

 

2. Get Lit

Relax with candles, Windermere Real estate whidbey island

Candle-Lit, that is. Much like music, our disposition can be altered by aspects of our environment such as lighting and scent. Have you ever tried to relax in a room with bright lights and a foul odor? How did that go? Probably not well. Lighting candles in a room can help to achieve a Hygge environment by softening the harsh lights we usually see all day and providing a pleasant aroma that draws us into the present.

 

If you aren’t sure where to find some good candles, we suggest starting with Utopia Farm Candles! They are a locally owned company specializing in hand-poured natural soy wax candles which smell AMAZING!!

 

3. Bake Something Amazing

Cookies, Delicious, enjoy, Windermere real Estate Whidbey Island

Nothing says comfort and tranquility quite like a freshly baked warm pastry. Before you slip into the cracks of the pillows on your couch, you might want to try baking some of these delicious Chewy Ginger Molasses Cookies by A Farmgirl’s Dabbles.

 

 

4. Get Yourself a Cuppa                               

Cup of Coffee, smooth, warm, enticing, Windermere Real estate Whidbey Island

What is a relaxing night without a warm drink nestled within the grips of your hands? Many would argue that a warm beverage is nothing short of quintessential to the entire Hygge experience. There is something about sipping a warm inviting drink that draws the comfort and serenity of a room deep into your spirit until it finds rest at your core. Everyone has their own beverage that does this for them whether it’s hot cocoa, mulled wine, spiced cider, or a nice glass of tea.

 

Our favorite drink of choice is a warm mug of Organic JennyBean Coffee. Locally owned and operated on Whidbey; JennyBean Coffee is a small micro-roaster that is dedicated to “doing it right” in terms of coffee. This is why all the coffee JennyBean roasts is Certified Organic and why they offer options such as creating your own personal roast to make sure what you purchase is really what you wanted. We cannot recommend them enough!

 

5. Put on Your Favorite Movie

Favorite movies, Windermere Real Estate Whidbey Island

Isn’t there just something to be said about an evening curled up on the couch watching your favorite movie? For the purpose of Hygge it’s best if that movie is not one of excitement or angst, but instead focused on deep interpersonal connection that speaks profoundly to us. What can make it even better is if the movie has a personal connection to you or your family.

 

One movie we HIGHLY recommend (especially for the month of October) is Practical Magic with Sandra Bullock and Nicole Kidman. This movie, about the magical bond of sisterhood, is an all-time classic and was primarily filmed right here on Whidbey Island in downtown Coupeville.

6. Cuddle Up in Something Cozy

Pink Blanket, Windermere real Estate Whidbey Island

With music playing, coffee made, and candles lit you are all ready to curl up on the couch in your coziest blanket or scarf and lose yourself in the moment. There’s something almost magical about the moments we spend with our family on the living room couches curled up in fuzzy fabrics. If there was an image for contentment it would be just that: family and fuzzy blankets.

 

If you’ve been on the lookout for that perfect couch throw or even maybe just a warm winter scarf, you might consider making your way down to the Star Store in Langley! Filled with fun mercantile ranging from food to fashion, we are sure you will find something to love in this hundred year-old store.

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Posted on October 28, 2019 at 11:12 pm
Oak Harbor Office | Category: Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , ,

Back to School – Interview with Erik Mann

Back to School 

Interview with Erik MannErik Mann, Windermere, Real Estate, Whidbey Island, Whidbey, Homes, Buy, sell, invest, listing agent, agent, trusted realtor, selling agent

 

Here at Windermere Whidbey we are blessed to work with a wonderful agent and friend, Erik Mann. Erik is a vested community member, passionate about Oak Harbor and specifically education. He has served on the Oak Harbor school board for the last 2 years and possesses a wealth of knowledge that we are lucky to have in our brokerage.

The other day we sat down with Erik to ask about a few of the changes happening in the Oak Harbor schools this coming fall. His answers should be as helpful and informative for you as they were for us!

 

Hello Erik! So, we’ve heard there is going to be a big structure shift this year at the high school. Is this true? Can you tell us about it?

Yes! In recent history, Oak Harbor High School has operated on a semester schedule with six classes per day; allowing a total of six credits per year. The total number of credits available during four years of high school was 24. The Washington State Legislature requires a minimum of 24 credits to graduate. With ever-increasing restrictions on required course content, it meant that students had little flexibility to try new disciplines, arts, and advanced course work. A student’s failure of any class meant alternative pathways to credit retrieval were required, as there was no flexibility built into the schedule.

Beginning this year, the high school transitions to a trimester school year. Individual class times have been lengthened, so only five periods per day, but instead of only earning six credits per year, a student will earn seven and one-half credits per year, for a total of 30 credits over four years.

This allows far more flexibility for students to make up credits, explore new disciplines, do advanced coursework, explore vocational and art classes, etc. Because graduation requirements are fixed once you enter ninth grade, the classes of 2020-2022 are still bound to the graduation requirements in place at the time they entered high school. They will all still be required to earn 24 credits, while classes 2023 and beyond will need 28 credits to graduate but have more flexibility than previous classes.

 

That sounds like an amazing change for our high school students! What about the rest of our students? Any improvements that we should be keeping an eye out for?

Well, continued advocacy by the superintendent, school board, administrators and staff to our elected officials in Olympia and Washington DC, has led to an amazing opportunity to replace two of our aging elementary schools. Through the Department of Defense, the Office of Economic Adjustment has been tasked with replacing old, inadequate school facilities located on military installations and other government property.

With 160 schools evaluated nationwide, two of Oak Harbor’s schools currently rank in the top 11 schools in the nation in need of replacement due to age and capacity. This means we will be eligible to receive 80% of the funding to replace Crescent Harbor Elementary School (3) AND Clover Valley Home Connection and Early Learning Campus (11). The community will only have to fund 20% of construction costs!

There is also a possibility to move or update our aging transportation facility. Due to our interlocal agreement to provide service to the Coupeville School District’s busses, the district will qualify for a state funding match of 80% of the cost to replace/relocate the facility.

This will be an amazing opportunity for us to leverage our community’s investment in our schools with state and federal funding to replace our aging infrastructure at a fraction of the typical cost!

Whoa! That is incredible and so great it’s in partnership with the DOD, as they are such a large part of our community. I know student health has been a hot topic recently, what can we expect as far as changes there?

Over the past few years, the approach to our education system has seen a marked change in direction. I am pleased to see so much movement into the entire well-being of a child, not just focusing on academic success. It is my goal to see a continued expansion of social-emotional learning, an expansion of counseling and nursing staff, and a real focus on connections between students, adults, the community and resources available to them.

Through a partnership with NAS Whidbey Island, 5 new mental health counselors are being provided by the DOD through a contractor, who will work within Oak Harbor Public Schools. This will expand our already greater than average presence of counselors within schools but is what I hope to be just the beginning.

Whole-child initiatives also mean we need to be engaged in the health and wellness of our students. Beyond PE classes and activities available to students, education about food and healthy eating can make huge improvements in their overall well-being. Schools are all embracing outdoor student learning in interactive gardens and outdoor spaces. Students are learning lessons in the garden that extend beyond growing flowers and vegetables. They are learning science and math, but more importantly are learning to work together in a hands-on environment. They are exposed to produce they would never imagine trying, but because they took part in growing it, will enthusiastically try it and find out they like it. They are learning compassion and community service as their produce is used to supplement local food bank supplies.

Environmental stewardship goes beyond our gardens, however. As a district, we have taken great steps to be as forward thinking, efficient and conservative as possible. A large-scale effort to replace aging heating system boilers with state-of-the-art high efficiency boilers, replacing nearly all lighting with highly efficient LED lights, and transitioning to propane powered busses has propelled us to be one of the front runners in the nation. We’ve earned several state and national green ribbon awards this year. Oak Harbor Public Schools has become a model of environmental stewardship. We will continue to lead the way teaching our students to be healthy and environmentally conscious and make our systems as efficient as possible to protect our taxpayers’ investment.

This is all so great Erik! Thank you for keeping on top of this and informing our community. We know you take your role as a real estate professional as seriously as you take your role on the Oak Harbor School Board, but can you tell us how you see the two connecting?

One of the reasons I chose to work as a Windermere Broker was the focus and commitment to community through the Windermere Foundation, which collects a percentage of every transaction completed, and returns it to our community. It was rewarding to be instrumental in establishing a scholarship fund that has now awarded seven scholarships totaling $12,000 to local low-income graduates who attend vocational programs, community colleges and universities. The Windermere Foundation also provides funds to the opportunity council annually for programs that support Oak Harbor’s low-income students, providing warm clothes, backpacks and other necessities. Windermere is also a supporter of the Oak Harbor Education Foundation which provides applied learning grants for classroom projects within our district, allowing teachers to pursue hands on projects that fall outside the scope of normal funding and thereby enriching our students’ experience. Learn more about the scholarships here.

Windermere Realtors are often the first local resource a family connects with, and my connection with the district allows me to update other Realtors in my office with the most up to date and useful information to incoming families. As the second largest employer on the island, many of our Windermere clients, are employed as educators, administrators and classified staff within the district, or have children who attend Oak Harbor Public Schools. What a great benefit for them to be able to work with a Realtor who understands how the school district operates, and can provide timely, relevant information.

As I look forward to another school year, I can’t help but be excited for the possibilities.

Thank you for your time Erik! Keep up the good work!

 

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Posted on September 4, 2019 at 7:12 pm
Oak Harbor Office | Category: Places | Tagged , , , , , , , ,

Solar Savings

Solar Savings

Solar, Whidbey Island, Cost savings, Tax credits, give back, preserve, resources

Did you know Whidbey Island gets half the rain of Seattle and about 30 additional days of sun? The island is one of the sunniest Washington areas west of the Cascades! Because of this extra boost of sunshine, we have a secret superpower. Or should I say Solar Power?

Residents all over Whidbey have been tapping into this natural resource and benefiting big. Granted, preserving our environment by investing in sustainable energy is already a great benefit to us and generations to come, but solar power has a lot more to offer consumers than the feel-good fuzzies from giving back.

Here’s 4 benefits/incentives to going solar:

  1. Net Metering

Net Metering is a program set up to allow residential and commercial customers for energy services to store up credit with the company when they generate excess energy during the summer months from their solar panels. During the winter months, when the sun is less likely to come out and play, that credit can be applied to their account!

  1. 30% Federal Tax Credit (2019)

Individuals who purchase and install solar panels to their home or business by the end of 2019 are eligible for a 30% federal tax credit when filing. This amount will reduce to 26% in 2020 and 22% in 2021. – Don’t let the sun go down on this great opportunity!!

  1. Sales Tax Exemptions

Purchasers of solar panels are also eligible for sales tax exemptions! This can save some customers 8.7% of the upfront install cost. That’s a total of 38.7% in tax savings!

  1. Increased Property Value

Finally, installing solar panels increases the value of your home. Homes that are energy efficient save owners hundreds if not thousand throughout the year and can greatly increase the value of your home when you go to resell.

To learn more about Solar Power you can visit Greenbank Farm’s Solar Fields where they dedicate one acre to solar panels and have helpful information for visitors to read!

Ready to take the leap? Contact Whidbey Sun and Wind! They are Whidbey Island’s experts on renewable energy and will have everything you need to make your home a little greener. They will provide a cost savings timeline which will demonstrate how many years it will take to profit from the up-front expense of installing solar power.

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Making a Memorable Home

Blonde Lawns, Whidbey Island, Grass, yard, Home

Blonde Lawns: Whidbey Island Utility Costs

 

Posted on July 19, 2019 at 11:36 pm
Oak Harbor Office | Category: Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , ,

Making a Memorable Home

Making a Memorable Home

 

Fresh out of college she had little desire to decorate or apply much effort to her home. She figured, “if it’s not functional, it’s not needed.” That all changed when her best friend, a former beauty queen, moved in with her. “Everything was moved! Books were realigned to look nice, plants popped up everywhere, and anything that didn’t look pretty found a discrete new home.” Although the first shock of everything shifting around her was a bit startling, she started to notice a big difference. “All of a sudden the people entering her home would look around and almost immediately compliment her on her ‘Pinterest’ home. She would overhear conversations about how great visiting her house was and when people did visit, they wanted to stay.”

This was the story of one of our agents and her journey in learning the power and positive impact that decorating can have on a home. We’ve all been at the start of this journey at one point or another. Fearful of making mistakes, we settle for what we have or even convince ourselves we like it better without the fancy decorations (even though we drool at Pottery Barn). Decorating can play a key role in turning that house you bought into a real home. It can transform plain space into a memorable oasis for all who enter.

In everyday life this is important but when selling a home, it is invaluable.

To ease your fears we’ve gathered some key interior design tips we hope will help you with your first steps to a new interior design.

Interior design, decorate, stage Windermer, Real estate

 

 

 

5 Rules for Interior Design

  1. Start with a Neutral Palette

Bright colors and bold accents go in and out of style rapidly. Neutrals are lasting and timeless. Start your room off with a neutral palette that will be consistent and lasting. Pops of color are easily achieved in replicable items such as books, floral arraignments, and accessories.

  1. The 10-30-60 Rule

An easy way to decide when and where color should be added is using the 10-30-60 color rule for dominant, secondary, and accent colors. As the name suggests; your dominant color (a neutral) should cover about 60% of the room. Your secondary color, a little bolder, should be used repetitively without overpowering. Your boldest color, the accent, should be included sparingly and with intentionality.

  1. Think Vertically

Artwork, wall décor, and tall plants help to bring the eye up off the ground or coffee table. Also, storing items vertically on shelves or other creative options keeps them off the ground or on low areas, preventing the home from feeling cluttered.

  1. The Rule of Threes

Styling surfaces can feel intimidating. Too few items can leave the space feeling sparse and awkward, but too many items can cause clutter. When in doubt, follow the rule of three. Odd number groupings are more appealing to the eye than even ones. Placing three cohesive items in a space can help to create this dynamic.

  1. Don’t Over-Theme

Everyone loves a good beach themed room but when everything is covered in is shells, sand, umbrellas, and flip flops it can start to look ridiculous. Keeps obvious references to a theme at a minimum with accent pieces and try to enhance the feel of the room over the theme.

Looking for some inspiration or a creative piece to get you started? Visit Seaside & Sylvan! They are a small furnishing boutique located at the historic Greenbank Farm. Their creative décor and helpful associates are sure to spark your style into action.

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Posted on June 26, 2019 at 7:05 pm
Oak Harbor Office | Category: Real Estate | Tagged , , , , , , , , ,

Blonde Lawns on Whidbey Island

Blonde Lawns on Whidbey Island

Hello Summer! Can you believe it’s here? That beautiful time of year filled with beach walks, swimming lessons, trips to Kapaws Iskreme and so much more! Here on Whidbey we have countless summer traditions we treasure greatly. From our Old Fashioned 4th of July Celebration to the Whidbey Island Fair, there is so much to cherish about this time of year. One tradition you may be unaware of is actually more of a movement.

Blonde Lawns.

Through the course of the summer months you can watch the emerald grass of this evergreen island fade to a sandy shade. Before you know it, this rock will be rocking a brand new blonde look.

What’s with the lack luster lawns? Well, it all has to do with conservation.

It’s no surprise to anyone that Whidbey tends to be a rather environmentally conscious. We love taking the extra step to ensure the beauty and resources we enjoy today will be around for tomorrow. One of those resources we care deeply about are our aquifers.

Aquifers:

Aquifers is the scientific term for ground water. Deep below the grass you walk on are pockets of “permeable” soil which store water that can then be tapped into for use. Annually these aquifers are recharged by the rain that falls to the ground.

According to Island County, Whidbey Island’s sole source of potable water comes from the ground.1 Sounds great, right? I mean, it’s Washington and it rains here. We should be good.Whidbey Island

Unfortunately, not all is good in the aquifer hood.

According to a report released by the Washington State Department of Ecology, “increasing demands for water from ongoing population growth, declining stream flows and groundwater levels… have put Washington’s water supplies at risk.” Whidbey is by no means immune to this water depletion; in fact, seawater intrusion and our lack of rain fall in comparison to the rest of Western Washington puts us in a pretty tight spot.

So, what does this have to do with the blonde lawns of Whidbey (I think you can guess).

The summer months, when there is little rain, poses a particularly difficult dilemma for island aquifers. Between keeping ourselves hydrated in the summer sun, watering plants, animals, and filling the pool in the backyard we use A LOT of water.

This increase of use and lack of resource hits hard on our aquifers and our wallets! Many newcomers to Whidbey are shocked when that first summer water bill comes in. The rules of supply and demand are no strangers to Whidbey Island water.

So how can we save our aquifers (and our wallets)? By going blonde!

Grass is far more durable than people sometimes realize. More times than not the golden grass that takes over Whidbey in the summer will be green again by next spring. Blonde lawns DON’T mean dead grass.

So, save yourself time, money, hassle and save our precious resources. Let your lawn go blonde!

 

Resources:

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Posted on June 10, 2019 at 11:49 pm
Oak Harbor Office | Category: Places, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , ,