May has brought some spectacular weather and Mother’s Day was the perfect day to go kayaking down to the Kimball Preserve at the tip of Decatur Island. We’d been told that the wildflowers were in full bloom so we went down to see them ourselves….and they did not disappoint!
I’m not a skilled kayaker so I watch the tides and try to paddle when they are going in my direction (both ways). This particular day was one of the lowest tides of the year at a -2.3 going to a 9.1 so a lot of water was moving through our small channel. Luckily, we caught it just as it was entering the “slack” period and were able to minimize our struggle with the currents. We fought it a little going down but coming back up was great. The total trip covers less than two nautical miles but if you’re fighting a strong current, it can get very exhausting!
Once we got to the lagoon, the hardest part was navigating the soft mud due to the tide being out so far. We pulled our kayaks up on the sand and slogged our way to the beach to begin our hike. Right away we encountered waves of flowers. So pretty!!
I have a real fondness for the blue camas and loved seeing them all over the meadowland areas. Hiking the trails took us to some amazing vistas where we could see the lovely Olympic Mountains, still covered in snow and look down Rosario Strait towards Mount Rainier.
It’s amazing to have such a beautiful place so close and accessible! I’m so grateful to the Kimball Family who long ago donated this beautiful area for us all to enjoy….
The islands have a number of other preserves you can visit by either water taxi or private boat.
How will COVID-19 impact our island real estate market?
I get asked this question almost every day….
My gut is telling me that when this unique emergency situation passes, our real estate market is going to normalize and may very possibly improve. As people are stuck in the city under quarantine, I imagine some of them are thinking, “Is this really where I want to be when this is over?”
Statistics are showing that a large number of millennials are moving to rural areas as they marry and get ready to start a family. Numerous companies have instituted “work from home” options for their employees and I think this is opening up a new way to look at employees, use of work spaces and efficiency of having a work force come into an office every day. If more people can work from home, the island lifestyle becomes very appealing!
The COVID-19 is causing all of us to view our life in a new way…
Is this a good time to be a buyer?
I feel its an excellent time to be a buyer. The prices are still relatively low, interest rates are amazing and the outer islands have some great properties for the price. If you have a family, the one-room school on Decatur Island is an incredible place for your children to get a top-notch education with a low student to teacher ratio and great STEM program. Acreage is available for reasonable prices if you want to create a mini-farm or like having some privacy and seller financing options can sometimes be found.
Back in the 1920s, Decatur Island had a much larger population than it does now because there was work available for young families. If a person can work from home now there’s really no better place to raise a family! The unique community and access to all the natural beauty can stimulate creativity and a new way of looking at work and innovation.
The other issue that could have a positive impact on the real estate market in the islands is the drop in the stock market. In my 30+ years in real estate, I’ve seen real estate sales in the outer islands improve when the stock market takes a downturn. Give me a call if you’d like to discuss some ideas you may have about a new full or part-time island home or explore my web site and allow yourself to be tempted by some of the beautiful properties available now. In the meantime…..stay healthy and Wash Your Hands!
If you’re shopping for property in Anacortes, it’s really helpful to know whether you’re dealing with a “Buyers Market” or a “Sellers Market”. The way this is determined is by looking at the number of sales during a specific period, relative to the number of listings and seeing how many months of inventory there is on the market. As you can imagine….this differs by price range, so you’ll want to look at the statistics for your particular range. If there’s less than six months of inventory, it’s a “Sellers Market” and over six months is a “Buyers Market”. Knowing this information will help you in preparing your offer and negotiating your purchase. Having an agent who can help you gather this information is invaluable….especially in the type of markets we’ve been seeing the past two years.
Here is a graph showing the market for homes in Anacortes that are less than $500,000. If you contact me, I can narrow this down to show you the statistics for your particular search perimeters….right down to number of bedrooms, baths and square footage. Please do not hesitate to call…I’m here to help you!
People ask me all the time what it’s like to live on an island with only 40 year-round residents? Don’t I get bored? Lonely? Go stir crazy? Sometimes….but in general…No.
I love the quiet and the safety that comes from living in a rural environment that is buffered from the often-bizarre world at large by a pretty big body of water. Have I dropped out of society by living out here?
Maybe a little bit, but not really. I still stay in touch with all the world events by internet but my energy is focused on the things that I have some chance of impacting. I support my community by staying active with the school and reinforcing positive interactions with the children that go there. I volunteer as a EMS coordinator and am available as a support person in case of emergency. I’m active in a weekly market in the summer which has been wonderful for building “community” between the permanent population and the owners of 2nd homes on the island.
Gratefully, I’m able to offer my friends and family a lovely, peaceful setting to escape the stresses of jobs, traffic and city life and unwind. I nurture my own soul by dabbling in art, growing organic vegetables and enjoying the beautiful nature that surrounds me and I stay active so that I can be healthy as long as I can.
I have an awesome life and I recommend the lifestyle to anyone who wants to embrace a life a “little less ordinary”.