Wow! Home prices on Whidbey Island, with our lovely stretches of coastline and farmland, have dropped to levels that have locals wishing they had some extra funds to invest in homes selling for prices of a nearly a decade ago. Bank-owned properties have set the tone, as they have in so many markets, and while lenders are much choosier about credit scores and debt ratios, interest rates are super low. I just read a study done by Harris research, that stated that most renters and nearly all home owners think home ownership is preferred. The same study pointed out that homeowners tend to feel more connected to their communities, know their neighbors better, and think the mortgage interest deduction is valuable.
It is the quiet season on the prairies, on the tourist-friendly streets in our little towns, and in the real estate market. Some properties are off the market, "resting" over the winter, but overall inventory is strong. It is definitely a "buyer's market", and sellers who want to move on for job reasons, Navy relocation, to move closer to grandchildren or to a one-level home, or to get more bedrooms for a growing family are stepping up with realistic pricing and "get 'er sold" mindsets. Some smart buyers are looking now, booking trips to the Island from other parts of the country, and checking out properties on the internet. Some of them are cash buyers, others need to sell their homes first, but all are intrigued by the dream of living on a beautiful Island in Puget Sound.
Coupeville has had some great new developments, with the old fire station next to the Rec Hall being beautifully renovated to make room for offices for the Chamber and the Visitors' Information Center as well as a vacation rental suite upstairs. Looks like completion will be any day now. Front Street Grill opened in their new building, and are doing very well, with a smashing view of Penn Cove, and also have an upstairs vacation rental suite. The old County Deli is being remodeled to become an Italian restaurant, and while the Mad Crab building is still vacant and on the market, it is certain to house a business fairly soon. Community-central Miriam's has closed, but again, a new operator is sure to welcome customers soon. The historic Ebey Bowl opened to hurrahs from Central Whidbey folks, with a cafe, 6 lanes and family fun!
School Superintendent Patty Page recently noted that the graduation rate for Coupeville High School is about 92%, and while budgets have grown leaner, our community has been supportive of schools, and our youth.
So, whether you are looking for a great place to retire, a new beginning, a first home or a getaway, come to Whidbey Island!
If you are looking for a caring, knowledgeable, client-first real estate broker who understands the market deeply, negotiates expertly, and delivers old-fashioned "service with a smile", give me a call at 360-678-6100 or drop me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Taking great care of my clients is what I wake up each morning happy to do!