Cycling Wondrous Whidbey

The adventures available on Whidbey never quite seem to end. Between wondrous hikes, quaint local shops, and astounding historical buildings there never seems to be an end to what this island has to offer. You might just start to believe Whidbey Island is perfect and we can’t say we disagree.

Among Whidbey’s countless opportunities is one for the more athletic individuals – cycling.

Whidbey Island is FILLED with amazing roads and trails perfect for individuals whose preferred method of transportation is two wheels. The centralized location of highway 20 and 525 draws motorized vehicles away from roads near the water, making them ideal for cyclers! Enjoy breathtaking views of the sound while flying down the rolling hills of the island or testing your resolve while going up them.

In fact, cycling is so popular that the island has its own club. The Whidbey Island Bicycle Club was formed in 2010 to “support, promote and educate about cycling on beautiful Whidbey Island.” Through the years this group has teamed together with other island organizations providing resources to island cyclists (like this amazing Whidbey Island Bike Map!) including some pretty great cycling events. The best place to find their events is through their Facebook page.

Each summer cyclists come from all over Puget Sound to ride the Tour de Whidbey (on August 17th this year). With four different routes to choose from, this beloved island tradition is perfect for all cyclists regardless of their skill level. New riders can enjoy the short 10-mile ride circling Crocket Lake, while experienced riders with a passion for pushing the limits can test their skills with the POWER route that covers the entire perimeter of the island. To bring this event full cycle, all proceeds benefit Whidbey Health Medical Center.

Ready to gear up for your own cycling adventure and not sure where to start? We’ve talked to our resident cycle enthusiast and got the 411 on where to start:

  1. Visit Skagit Cycle        

Cycling, bikes, whidbey island, oak harbor

 

Located in downtown Oak Harbor on Pioneer, Skagit Cycle is a blessing to all Whidbey Island cyclists. The employees are knowledgeable and eager to help. Simply spend a few minutes with any sales associate and you will soon be out the door with exactly what you need to get your journey started. Check them out here. 

 

 

  1. Safety First 

A dangerous mistake made by one too many riders is not taking proper precautions. Biking without a helmet or proper attire is a large risk that can cost your life. Make sure when to wear a helmet properly fitted to your head, clothes that are bright and easy to spot, and include proper reflectors/lights on your bike if you are going to be riding at night.

 

  1. Try Crockett Lake

Crockett Lake (near the Coupeville ferry and Fort Casey) is a great starting point for any new cyclist. The low traffic roads and relatively flat area provide a ride that eases newcomers into the activity while still enjoying some spectacular island views. When you’re done grab an ice cream or meal at Callen’s Restaurant across from the ferry terminal.

 

So, get out there! You’re sure to have a wheel good time.

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Posted on July 23, 2019 at 5:38 pm
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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 18, 2019 at 9:53 pm
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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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Get the Buck out of my Yard

Posted on June 26, 2019 at 8:19 pm
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Geocaching on Whidbey Island

Geocaching on Whidbey Island

Why is Whidbey Island the Perfect Place?

It is no secret that Whidbey Island is an astonishingly beautiful place. It’s the kind of atmosphere that draws you outside to enjoy the many state parks and breathtaking beaches. Countless trails dot the landscape all across the island. These trails and parks are what make Whidbey Island the perfect place for one very special activity: geocaching.

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What is Geocaching?

Geocaching is a hobby that has been around for almost twenty years, following the significant improvements on the global positioning system. The concept of the game is simple; go to a location indicated on your app/GPS, find the hidden treasure, re-hide and repeat. Geocaching’s simple, yet successful, concept attracts millions from across the globe to get outside and participate. On Whidbey Island alone there are over 300 caches!

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From the Geocachers:

We asked a few Geocachers about the draw to the hobby and they gave us a wealth of knowledge.

Sandra, a long term Geocacher, expressed “so many activities today [are] related to being indoors and sedentary in nature,” but she believes breaking that trend is what brings people to the hobby.

“Geocaching [is] directly related to being outside, the benefits are exercising your brain and your body! I’ve also been introduced to wonderful like-minded people who enjoy adventures.”

Bill, a fellow Geocacher, echoes every word of Sandra’s beliefs in the benefits of Geocaching. Asked why he started he simply said, “it was a way to get out!” As a retired man Bill is grateful to have geocaching for a hobby. Its something that keeps him active, helps him meet new people and discover new places.

So how easy is it to get into Geocaching?

Step 1: Download the App

This is the easiest part! Both iTunes and Google Play offer Geocaching as a phone app. All you need to do is search for it and download.

Step 2: Set Up a Profile

Setting up a profile allows you to save those caches you have already found and will start to develop statistics after you’ve been participating for a while.

Step 3: Start Finding Caches!

The app will immediately give you directions to the caches nearest you. You will follow it to the location and after that you are mostly left to find the treasure.

geocahing, whidbey island, washington

We Gave it a Try:

We decided to give it a try ourselves and it was great! We discovered there was a geocache right next to our Coupeville office. When we got a little lost and confused, we found out there was a helpful hint to guide the way. After a little snooping we found a tiny pill box with the visitor log!

 

 

 

 

 

Overall it was a pretty great experience and we can’t believe there are SO MANY more caches to find and places to discover on Whidbey Island! Sandra stated it best, “Whidbey Island is a magical place to live and geocache in… I loved discovering the “Mother of All Erratics” in the Saratoga Woods near Langley, (as well as) new trails and Dugualla State Park on North Whidbey, and secret places in Deception Pass State Park. We have lived on Whidbey almost 38 years and all of those places and more were discovered through geocaching!”

Go get out there and explore!

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The Gray Whales Return to Whidbey

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted on June 3, 2019 at 10:53 pm
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Get the Buck Out of My Yard

Get the Buck Out of My Yard

They are the wild and majestic creatures of Whidbey Island, often found in the peaceful pastures of Ebey’s Landing or beneath the cooling tree shade of the state parks. They are elegant, graceful, mesmerizing… and frankly a pain in the arbor.

Oh deer, oh deer, oh deer.

Deer Landscaping, Wildlife, Whidbey Island, Whdibey, Gardening, Landscaping, deer, animals, vegetation, Buck, yard, Windermere, real estate

Don’t get us wrong, we LOVE our Whidbey Island deer and are grateful to live in a place where wildlife feels welcomed. However, if you’ve been working hard cultivating that garden all year long, the last thing you are interested in is a handful of fauna munching on the fruit of your labor. To top it off, deer can carry ticks with Lyme disease which can be extremely harmful to both humans and their dogs.

Sorry Bambi, but no one messes with mans’ best friend.  

We’ve done a little research and decided to give you a hand with those pretty, yet pesky visitors.

 

5 pro-tips to get the grazers out of your garden.

Garden, flowers, bird house, yard, whidbey island, real estate, curb appeal, wildlife

  1. Cut ‘em Off! – It might seem like the most obvious solution, but fences are always a great first step to keeping out unwanted guests. Although deer are great jumpers, the additional effort required might just be enough of a deterrent. < We’re all a little lazy.
  2. Don’t Plant Tasty Treats – Deer LOVE plants rich in nutrients, moisture, and basically anything else your doctor said you should eat more of. This includes almost all produce plants as well as leafy ivy and bright, water filled flora. Instead of these, try planting pungent flowers like lavender with greenery that is thorny, hairy, or prickly. You can also use these less-desirable plants as a natural barrier for the tastier ones. If all deer see and smell is lambs’ ear and snap dragons, odds are they won’t investigate much further.
  3. Let Rover Out More – Chances are your dog is like most others and DOES NOT see grazing deer as welcome guests. Barking dogs are a big deterrent for deer. Who wants to eat with someone yelling at you? Eventually the deer will likely decide your home isn’t a safe place to eat and wont return.
  4. Shine a Light on the Situation – Deer are more skittish than the commitment-phobe you dated in college. Installing motion-sensitive floodlights can often leave a deer stunned and anxious to get away as fast as they can.
  5. Live a Little! – Although we might find them beautiful and nice to look at, deer aren’t that excited about us. Chances are if a deer sees you out and about in the yard they will simply turn around and find someone else’s garden to plunder. So, get outside more! See this as an opportunity to re-imagine your yard and incorporate more outside living space. Your health and your hydrangeas will thank you.

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Posted on March 25, 2019 at 9:26 pm
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What's Your Winter Style?

What’s Your Winter Style?

It’s official. The clock has struck twelve and the new year has begun; bringing with it a time of resolutions or rest.

For many, January is the restart button for their workout routines. With the holidays passed they can finally buckle down and bust out the dumbbells again. For others, the winter winds make that idea unimaginable. They would far rather grab their favorite warm drink, a comfy blanket, and cozy up on the couch with the ones they love.

So, which is your winter style? Or are you both?!

For the Workout Warrior

January brings new inspiration to the workout warrior. With a vision of the new year in mind they are dedicated to bringing back that bikini body or conquering some challenging goals. Unfortunately, winter weather doesn’t always make outside exercise possible. Below is a list of local gyms where you can stay fit!

Thrive Fitness – 32650 WA-20 Bldg D, Oak Harbor

www.thrivecf.com/

North End Fitness – 2800 Goldie Rd #102, Oak Harbor

www.northendfitnesscenter.com/

Crossfit – 720 SE Pioneer Way, Oak Harbor

www.crossfitoakharbor.com/

Unsize Me – 670 SE Pioneer Way #101, Oak Harbor

www.unsizeme.com/

Hoping to complete your workout at home?

Check out these 15 Best Apps to Help You Get Fit: https://www.menshealth.com/technology-gear/g23007883/best-fitness-apps/

 

For the Cozy Cuddler

If the whole workout routine isn’t for you, you probably just need a little more Hygge in your life. Hygge, pronounced “hue-guh,” is a Danish word loosely translated to fun, cozy, comfort, and happy. It’s more than a word though; it’s a concept and a lifestyle. It’s to live in comfort and contentment with the things and people who make you happy. Below are some ways you can bring Hygge into your home.

  1. Wrap yourself in comfort!

    Things like scarves, sweaters, and chunky blankets can really bring a feeling of comfort to a person. Need a new something cozy? Swing by Seaside & Sylvan in Greenbank to find your perfect Hygge style pieces.

  2. Be present!

    Try to remember that this moment right now is special, unique, and will never happen again. If you find this difficult, the app Headspace can give you some meditation techniques to help.

  3. Warm up with a hot drink!

    There’s no spirit lifter quite like a warm cup of coffee, tea, coco, or cider. Lavender Wind Shop and Rock Island Coffee may have just what you need for that warm winter drink.

  4. Spend time with friends!

    Sharing a meal or playing games can be a great way to build community and spread happiness with the people you love. Keep it simple with a Papa Murphy’s Pizza and, our favorite game, Qwirkle!

  5. Find something fun to do!

    Relaxing hobbies like journaling, art, knitting, reading, or hiking can be a great way to bring a sense of peace. Want to discover some great local trails? Download the AllTrails app.

Want to learn more about Hygge?

Read The Little Book of Hygge: https://www.amazon.com/Little-Book-Hygge-Danish-Secrets/dp/0062658808/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1543349186&sr=8-2&keywords=hygge

 

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Posted on December 20, 2018 at 12:58 am
Windermere Whidbey | Category: Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , ,

Purchasing Vacant Land

Purchasing vacant land:

Written by: Simona Groves

 

Simona Groves, Vacant Land

Ahhhh, the lovely earthy scent produced by the rain or the morning dew, the buzzing of the bees and the many of shades of green enchanting the view. Who doesn’t like to be immersed into nature and fantasize about living in it?

If you are one of the many Americans that would love to buy raw land and build your dream home, let me help you with this complex but exciting task.

Make sure you take into consideration these details:

How will you pay?

 

If you don’t have a preferred lender let me know and I can help with the perfect match.

Understand how the land can be used. Local government usually have established zoning regulations.

Call your local planning and zoning department and they will provide you with the information.

Check the island county webpage here 

We will need to do some research and this will include things that can be forgotten: utilities.

You need to make sure to check if the lot has access to public utilities: electricity, sewer, gas, water etc.

Last but not least, make sure you do thorough and expansive research about home builders.

I would be more than happy to give my recommendations.

Buy Land

 

Learn more about Simona Groves:

 

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Posted on March 5, 2018 at 8:04 pm
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