We have finally started to see some beautiful weather on Whidbey, the clocks have changed, and so the days are longer, meaning there is more time to explore our wonderful squiggle of an island. I thought I would share with you, some of the things that you could get up to this Spring, whether you have a day off to yourself, your family has flown in from out of town, or you want a day out with the kids…..there’s something here for everybody!
Skagit Valley Daffodil & Tulip Festival
Every Spring, between April 1st and April 30th (mother nature dependent), you can go and visit the tulip fields in Skagit Valley, bursting with a variety of vibrant colors. While there, you can also visit RoozenGaarde and Tulip Town, the two main display gardens in Skagit Valley. To enter the gardens, you will have to pay an entrance fee, and possibly a parking fee. If you just want to view the fields of tulips, there are some areas on the road where you can pull off, but be careful of the no parking zones!
While at the tulips, take advantage of other activities going on, and follow the map (shown below) to find the different fields! Let us know what you thought of the tulips, if you go 🙂
For more information, and to see updates on the blooming of the tulips, follow their FB page…https://www.facebook.com/SkagitValleyTulipFestival/
Mount Vernon Street Fair – April 20th thru April 22nd
The Mount Vernon Street Fair runs as part of the annual tulip festival in Mount Vernon, between April 20th and April 22nd, Friday thru Sunday. Come rain or shine, 8 blocks of Downtown First St will be closed to traffic and filled with artists, music, food, and more.
It is a fun, family event for all ages. Featuring over 200 booths, artisans, specialty craft and food vendors, concessions, live entertainment and children’s activities. There are lots of things for the kids from clowns to balloon animals and face painting.
Don’t miss out on this fun filled, family orientated event! For more information, visit and follow https://www.facebook.com/TulipFestivalStreetFair/
Holland Happening – April 26th to April 29th
Take advantage of Oak Harbor’s annual Holland Happening Festival between April 26th thru April 29th. The festival will include booths, music, food, and exhibitions that will highlight the multi-cultural nature of Whidbey Island’s largest city. Check out other local merchant’s, and the carnival, which will all be open at the same time. Pioneer Way will be closed on Saturday and Sunday, to make way for the festival.
For more information on the event, visit http://www.oakharborchamber.com/
Visit one of the many State Parks on the Island
One of the many wonderful things about Whidbey Island, is the handful of State Parks we have to offer. When you first get on to the island, there is Deception Pass State Park, with Deception Pass Bridge (which connects Whidbey and the Fidalgo Islands). Be sure to check out the stunning view from the bridge, and head to the beaches down below! As you meander down Highway 20, you will find Fort Ebey State Park, and just past Coupeville, Fort Casey State Park. Each of them have something different to offer, and if you have time, it is worth it to visit them all. You will need to pay to enter (usually $10 a time) or you can purchase a Discover Pass for $30, which gives you unlimited use of all the state parks in WA for a whole year, worth it in my opinion!
For the Adults: Go wine tasting!
Need I say more? 😉 The island has some wonderful wineries, breweries and distilleries. What a perfect way to get out the house with your friends, and explore the island all at the same time.
Most of the tasting rooms are South of the Island, but starting at the top, in Oak Harbor, is The Terrace Wine Bar and Bistro…not only do they have delicious wines to taste, but some of the yummiest bites!
As you gallivant down the Island, you will find many more that should not be missed!
- Vail Winery & Tasting Room – Coupeville
- Holmes Harbor Cellars – Freeland
- Ott & Murphy Wines & Tasting Room – Langley
- Blooms Winery & Tasting Room – Langley
- Village Wine Shop – Langley
- Cadee Distillery Tasting Room – Clinton
- Comforts of Whidbey – Clinton
- Spoiled Dog Winery – Clinton
- Whidbey Island Distillery – Clinton
Go Whale Watching
Whidbey Island and the surrounding Puget Sound is one of the best places to come and do some whale watching. Orcas, Grey Whales, and other species can all be viewed on the tours operated by local Whidbey Island Whale Watching Tour Operators.
At this time of year, the chances of seeing the Gray whales, during their migration is extremely high. In March, April and the early parts of the month of May, the Washington Coast becomes a highway for thousands of Gray Whales migrating back to the cool waters of Alaska.
And if you don’t like boats, pick a beach on the Puget Sound, and just sit patiently, and you may just see a pod or two!
Some of the Whale Watching Tour companies that you can use are:
- Deception Pass Tours – sets off from the Oak Harbor Marina
- Mystic Sea Charters – sets off out of Langley and Anacortes
- Island Adventures – sets off from Anacortes, Port Angeles, La Conner and Everett!
And one handy tip…book your tickets through Groupon to save some money!
Whidbey Island has so much to offer, especially now that the weather is turning. We hope that you find this guide helpful…let us know what you get up to, and have a wonderful Spring!
The Move Whidbey Team – Tina & Maddy
Spring is always the busiest time of year for selling and buying homes…the weather gets hotter, the flowers start to bloom, and we start to see “For Sale” signs popping up everywhere.
If you want an offer on your home as soon as possible, and the words when buyers walk into your home to be “WOW”, then follow these tips for getting your home sale ready!
When people first walk into your home, you want to give them that WOW factor. If your home is cluttered, it is very difficult for potential buyers to visualize the way they would live in your home. You want to ensure that your home looks simplified, while still being homely and attractive to all potential buyers who walk through the door.
To declutter, some simple tips include;
- Sort, pack and donate any unwanted items
- Start packing up boxes with things that you don’t need between now and moving
- Take down any seasonal decor (as much as we LOVE to see it, some buyers may not see around it)
- Limit the amount of personal photos on display throughout your home
- Make sure counters are free of personal items (you can store a basket underneath the cabinet and pull it out for each use)
- Put away any miscellaneous items, such as paperwork, keys, dog leashes, whatever it may be.
Although bold and beautiful colors can really make a place, they can also break a place. Some potential buyers can be put off by bold colors, as they cannot vision the way their home would be.
By using neutral colors throughout the home, you can make your home feel light and airy, and make the world of difference to how a home shows to a potential buyer. If a lack of color on the walls bothers you, then bring in a pop of color in other ways, such as patterned and colorful pillows.
What better time of year to make your house look beautiful on the outside! The buds are out, flowers are starting to bloom, and the grass couldn’t get any greener….
The outside of your home is often the deciding factor for a potential buyer coming to view your home, so making sure the outside looks amazing, is crucial! There are several things you can do to make first impressions count!
- Give your front door a fresh lick of paint
- Trim bushes and trees
- Mow your lawn regularly
- Pressure wash any patios, driveway, garage doors, siding, gutters etc.
- Clean your windows and remove any spiderwebs from the outside
- If you don’t have many flowers or bushes outside your home, maybe invest in some hanging or free standing baskets
If a potential buyer can immediately spot problems or repairs in the home, then they may not be as likely to put in an offer, or their offer may be lower.
Any repairs that need to be made to the home, are likely to come up in the inspection report, so it is better to get them done in your own time, and perhaps for cheaper, before the inspection.
If you know that there is a problem with the heating, or the plumbing, then have a licensed contractor come and check it out, it is far less stressful to get it done ahead of time!
If you want your home to sell quickly, then you need to price it just right. If you price to high, it is likely you will see little interest and no offers. And if you price to low, potential buyers will become suspicious that something is wrong with the home, and not take it seriously.
Allowing your agent to give you a comparative market analysis (CMA) based on similar homes in your area, that have sold recently, will give you an accurate representation of what your home is worth. At the end of the day, it is your decision, but price is a huge factor in how fast your home will sell.
You and your family have spent all winter cooped up in your home, there is bound to be dust, dirt marks and spiderwebs. Crack out your best cleaning supplies, and make your home look like the day you first walked into it!
Perhaps you have a dog, and you know that when you walk into your home, that is all potential buyers will be able to smell… having your carpets cleaned can make a world of difference. Baking soda also helps neutralize pet odors. Sprinkle some on your carpets, upholstery and other soft surfaces, let sit for a few hours (or overnight) and vacuum out the smell!
Make those first impressions really count, it will be worth it when that offer comes in!
Make it smell good
Like I mentioned above, maybe you have a dog, or your home smells like last nights dinner and you have a viewing in the morning… Don’t rush straight to candles and other harsh scents. Instead, perhaps try opening windows first thing in the morning. Open all blinds to let in natural light, sprinkle baking soda, mop main traffic areas with a citrus based cleaner and get a good, natural scent going. Diffusing essential oils, boiling citrus and cinnamon, baking cookies and fresh flowers all are great ways to make a home smell nice, without making it smell like you’re covering something up! If a potential buyer walks into your home, and it smells wonderful, that will stick in their minds…everything that helps a buyer see the home being theirs, is a plus.
Last but not least, STAGING. Staging is the best way to get the buyers to envision your home being theirs. Buyers want to imagine how they would live in it, and entertain their family and friends in it.
It also means that the photos potential buyers see online, are far more enticing, and the chances of them coming to see your home are higher.
If your home looks like a 5 star hotel, or like a home in the magazines, potential buyers will remember it above the other homes that they see, and are far more likely to put in an offer.
Allow your agent to direct you on how to perfectly stage your home, and you will be amazed with the results!
I hope these tips can help you prepare your home for listing. If you have any questions or you are ready to list your home, please contact us at the Move Whidbey Team, we would be more than happy to help! – Maddy
With it being November now, I thought why not share my top favorite things in the Fall! This time of year is so beautiful (even with the crazy snow!!! – don’t shoot me – I LOVE snow!).
What is better than pumpkin flavored EVERYTHING?! One of my favorite things to make this time of year is pumpkin cheesecake. It is so easy and delicious… even pumpkin haters would want a bite! What is even cuter, is that I make them in the mini Graham Cracker Pie Crusts….to die for.
Pumpkin carving is also a family favorite (usually I help the girls with theirs and mine just ends up not being carved) 😉 This year Ambria wanted her carving to be a Cat, and Amalie wanted a Dinosaur… Although, I expected nothing less than these selections, as they coincide with their Halloween costumes.
The Turning of the Leaves
Let’s face it, one of the best parts of Fall, is the changing of the leaves. The mixtures of bright reds, oranges and yellow as you drive through the scenic roads of Whidbey Island. It may only last for a few weeks, but the outdoors is just stunning (and makes hiking just that more fun!).
There is nothing more delicious, than sitting around a fire pit with a hot glass of cider. Am I right, or am I right? Since the weather is really starting to change now, by evening time it can be down in the 40’s, but the warmth of the flames from our fire pit and the hot cider is just a perfect combo. I prefer to make the hot cider myself – typically from a pinterest recipe, but ofcourse, you can buy it pre-made, too!
Fall decor is probably the BEST. It’s that time of year where the weather really changes…the blankets come out, the candles get lit, and all the cute decor you’ve been storing away in your closet for the past year makes a reappearance. Pumpkins on the porch, a bright and colorful wreath on your front door and fall inspired decor on the dining table. There are so many options at this time of year and the stores are FULL of anything you could think of…pumpkin cushions, pumpkin spiced candles…you name it and they will have it.
I know I’m not the only one who looks forward to being able to throw on a big, warm, snuggly sweater. Being a Real Estate Broker, I am out and about in the cold showing houses and meeting new clients a lot, so cute, comfy sweaters are vital!
I look forward to seeing some of you around town, with your pumpkin spiced lattes and your big, warm sweaters. For now, I’ve gotta get prepping for Thanksgiving and selling some more houses 😉
All the love,