It’s Fall on Orcas!
Our tribe of Orcas Island professional women continues to grow! We’ve added brokers and expanded our office space, all with the intention of serving you with energy, integrity, action, honesty, knowledge, independence, community, friendship and family. Read the latest about our expansion in Company News.
We’re pleased to say our real estate market is in full recovery mode. Check out Sandi’s Orcas Island Fall Real Estate Report. Then, take a look at the outstanding Best Buys on featured properties available right now on Orcas.
Get the latest on Critical Areas regulations, the Eastsound Subarea Plan and Shoreline Master Plan Update in County Update.
And in Teri Talk, I surprise myself with an outpouring of thanks to someone really special…and share my recipe for tasty Cheddar-Ale Soup.
As always, feel free to drop me a line to let me know what’s on your mind. I’d love to hear from you!
Smiles to you all,
Orcas Island Fall Real Estate Report
Can you say recovery? There’s no doubt it’s happening in the Orcas Island real estate market, and with gusto. With 155 sales of homes and vacant land parcels through October, we’ve already exceeded the number of sales in all of 2013.
In the third quarter alone, 50 properties sold – the largest number in any period since the ’08 crash. And we’re looking to finish strong as there are currently another 25 properties in escrow.
Land sales nearly doubled January through September compared to same period last year. Even so, homes continue to outpace vacant land more than 2 to 1. They sell quicker too: the median home is on the market less than three months whereas vacant land is typically taking nearly a year to find a buyer. Well-priced desirable homes are usually snatched up within 30 days.
Although the median house is selling for less than $350k, higher-end properties are moving too-they just take longer. An 80-acre estate on Mt. Woolard sold for $2.25m after two years. And a 40-acre waterfront property that languished on the market for three years sold last month to a California couple for $2.5m – cash.
An important positive indicator is the lower number of distressed sales this year. Bank-owned properties and short sales have made up 11% of the 2014 market, compared to 14% in 2013, and 16% in 2012. Currently there are only two bank-owned homes on the market.
Another growing trend is that fewer buyers are local and more are coming from out of state, primarily California. People from Seattle, though, continue to make up about a quarter of all buyers.
Any bad news? For buyers, no, except that there’s now more competition. However, many sellers are still not getting the prices they’d hoped for. Even though most properties are currently selling for 93% of final list price, that’s often after one or more price reductions. If interest rates remain low and demand increases, we’ll start to see the scales slowly tip in favor of sellers.
Stay tuned for my next real estate report!
This data was compiled using information provided courtesy of NWMLS.
Best Buys Right Now on Orcas Island:
7.33-acre west-facing view parcel
3-bedroom view cottage in Eastsound
Waterfront home in Spring Point
Please contact us for more details on these properties or let us know what you’re looking for.
The Expansion Continues:
Welcoming Brokers, Breaking Through Walls
T Williams Realty is literally bursting at the seams with new brokers, new energy and new excitement – and growing so much we took over the office next door and broke through the wall to connect the office spaces.
Now, furniture is stacked and covered with plastic as paint brushes and rollers fly to cover the walls and ceilings with a fresh look. It is just one more step in the expansion process.
Last spring, Owner/Broker Teri Williams and Broker Sandi Friel welcomed Licensed Brokers Marlis Sandwith and Roxy Marck. Then, in early summer, Beth Holmes became a Licensed Broker and got right to work. Beth’s first listing has already sold.
The newest member of the crew is Licensed Broker Mandy Randolph, who completed her training in August. Mandy, an Orcas native, is excited to become a broker after entertaining the idea for many years. She teaches grades K-6 part-time in the Orcas Island School District, where she developed the innovative “Farm to Classroom” program.
“We are continuing to expand,” smiles Teri, hinting at another announcement to come in the new year. Teri says no matter how much T Williams Realty grows, “our homegrown Orcas spirit will always shine through.”
The Critical Areas Ordinance is in effect, under appeal, and is expected to be found compliant following the last technical amendments adopted in early November.
The appeals will then move from the Growth Management Hearing Board to superior court. That process could go on for quite some time.
Eastsound Planning Review Committee
The proposed amendments to the Eastsound Subarea Plan will go to the Planning Commission in January, 2015 and then on to the County Council.
EPRC has been working with County staff to update the existing Subarea Plan and move it into the uniform Development Code. The goal was to streamline, simplify and clarify the regulations so that the public and staff can easily determine the development parameters for projects within Eastsound, and make updates to the code on an annual basis if needed.
Shoreline Master Plan Update
The County Council is expected to get the Shoreline Master Plan early next year, and then it will need to be considered by the state Department of Ecology. It is expected the updates will be completed by the end of 2015.
To review staff reports, documents and Planning Commission recommendations, you can find a draft of the Shoreline Master Plan Update on the County website.
Building Permit Applications
We usually bring you the most recent building permit numbers, but as of press time, the county figures were not available.
If you have any questions about permit applications, we’re available to help at Permit Resources. Be sure to contact us at 360-376-8374 if you need help preparing your permit package.
So Very Thankful
By Teri Williams
I started to write about how thankful I am for my island community, Orcas farmers, my work, friendships old and new, family, the summer of 2014, grandchildren, my cat’s unconditional love and my health.
But, that is not what I am going to share with you.
Through this exercise, I realized I would not have my life without my husband’s never-ending support. He came home from work to young step sons and sat at the dinner table and passed out love and shared his strengths, resulting in grown loving sons who look up to him and pass along to their children what they learned from this man.
I wake up each morning to coffee, the garbage taken out and a little note telling me how he will think of me and can’t wait to come home, even though he may take the brunt of the day from me when he returns. The support from this man I have never known anywhere else in my life and I would not have all the things in my life I am grateful for without it.
Thank you, Jay Fowler, for everything, and cheers to another Thanksgiving together!
Happy Thanksgiving to all, and I hope you are able to get together with loved ones and friends on this day of thanks. Why not warm your hearts with the warmth of home cooking, and gather around a pot of hot soup — I offer one of my favorites: Cheddar-Ale Soup.
Happy Thanksgiving everyone!
4 thick cut Coffelt Farm bacon slices, cut into narrow strips
2 tbsp. olive oil
2 tbsp. unsalted butter
1 large yellow onion, diced
3 carrots, chopped
3 celery stalks, chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
1/3 cup flour
1 cup pale ale
1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
2 cups each, whole milk and vegetable broth
1-¼ lb. sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
Salt to taste
In a 4-5 quart soup pot over medium-high heat, cook bacon until crisp. Drain bacon on paper towel, save for garnish. Reduce heat to medium; add olive oil and butter, melt. Add onion, carrot and celery; cover and cook for 20 minutes. Add garlic; cook for 1 minute. Add flour; cook, stirring occasionally, 3-4 minutes. Add ale; cook stirring constantly 2-3 minutes. Add Worcestershire, milk and broth; bring to a simmer. Reduce heat and simmer for 10-12 minutes. Puree in food processor until smooth. Set over low-medium heat. Add cheese gradually, stirring constantly. Do not boil, watch for scorching. Season with salt to taste. Top with bacon.
Serve with toasted baguette slices. Can be made ahead of time. Re-heat slowly, using a whip to smooth out lumps.
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