New Year's Eve Events

Whidbey Island - 2022

Contributed by Si Fisher

The New Year is upon us!  Time to bid farewell to 2022, and what better way to do it than to attend a New Year's Eve event on beautiful Whidbey Island! 

If you are interested in live music in Langley, firework displays in Oak Harbor, or karaoke & drinks in Freeland then read on!

 

Top 3 Picks for New Year's Eve events on Whidbey Island - 2022

Curious about extending your stay on Whidbey Island well beyond the holidays?

1. Live Music at Bayview Hall in Langley

Live Music on Whidbey Island New Years Eve

 

Come one come all!

All ages, live music, New Year's Eve extravaganza!

Featuring four musical performances from Whidbey Island's local artist roster!

Adult beverages will be available to purchase, and the music starts at 7PM and goes until Midnight!

Make sure to support all the beautiful musicians and organizers that are helping to put this event on with a suggested $10 (minimum) at the door.

Bring your dancing shoes and I will see you there!

 

Directions to Bayview Hall - 5642 Bayview Rd, Langley, WA 98260

2. Fireworks at Windjammer Park - Oak Harbor

 

Fireworks!  Need I say more?

 

Watching fireworks on New Year's Eve is an activity that has been enjoyed for over a century. A firework display can bring joy and excitement to all who watch. The thrill of the countdown, the booming sound of each firework and the bright colors illuminating the sky—all of these come together to make New Year's Eve a special event. 

 

Fireworks will start at the family friendly time of 9PM in Oak Harbor's favorite oceanside recreational area, Windjammer Park.

 

The cost of entry is $9.  Come enjoy the festivities!

 

Directions to Windjammer Park - 1600 S. Beeksma Drive, Oak Harbor

Fireworks NYE 2022 Oak Harbor

3. Karaoke & Drinks - Penn Cove Brewery in Freeland

New Years Eve Karaoke on Whidbey Island

 

Sing in the New Year!

Singing karaoke on New Year's Eve is a time-honored tradition for many. There’s something special about choosing your favorite song and joining in with other partiers to sing along. Whether you’re belting out a classic rock anthem or crooning your way through a sappy love song, karaoke is the perfect way to welcome in the new year.

Penn Cove Brewery Company has got your covered.  They will be hosting a karaoke night on the 31st at their taproom in Freeland.  Hosted by Noah 'Hard Orange'.  Food & drink will be available.  Bring your friends and make it a night to remember!

 

Directions: Penn Cove Brewing Co. - Freeland Brewery & Taproom, 5488 S Freeland Ave, Freeland, WA 98249

Other notable mentions:

Fare Market in Freeland

"Get your tickets for a four course prix fixe dinner paired with some of our favorites! Our chef @michelrymple will make some scrumptious dishes to go along with Island-tied and Eastside- famous @jbneufeldwine!!
Tickets at thefaremarket.com"

Skein & Tipple

Those Guys NYE Happy Hour!

"Early birds, this show's for you! Put on something sparkly and celebrate New Year's Eve with a fabulous drink at this swanky speakeasy, and still be home in plenty of time to watch the ball drop in NYC! Or, I guess, you could go out to dinner, a party or another show afterward. Your call."

Cozy's Road House

New Year's Eve Mike Gallion and a few friends will be bringing live music back to Cozy Corner's Roadhouse in Clinton. Time will be from 7 pm to 9 pm or beyond.

New Year's Eve is a special night and one that deserves celebrating in some way. Whether it’s watching fireworks, seeing live music, or singing karaoke.

 

No matter what path you take to bring in the New Year, these exciting traditions guarantee not only an enjoyable time with friends and family but also happy memories that will last long after 2022 ends.

So let’s raise a glass and wish each other the best as we look forward to an even more wonderful 2023!

 

Happy New Year!

Article contributed by:

Best places to go see EPIC Christmas lights

Whidbey Island 2022

Contributed by Si Fisher

If you're looking for a festive way to get into the Christmas spirit, then look no further than our curated list of the best places to see EPIC Christmas lights on Whidbey Island! There are plenty of places to go see some truly spectacular Christmas lights on the island, and we've got all the details for you here. So grab your friends and family, and get ready to be dazzled!

 

First let's talk about the two most EPIC light displays on Whidbey Island

(One on the South end and one up North)

1. The Beck Family Drive-Through Christmas Lights Display

 

The Beck Family display is truly one of legend. We are excited to be welcomed back this holiday season.  The display is located on the South end of Whidbey at 6504 Robin Lane in Clinton.  They boast over 30,000 lights and even include a radio station you can tune into and enjoy some music with the show.  How cool is that?

Now through December 31st from 6 pm to 9 pm daily.  Thank you Beck Family!

 

 

The Beck Family Drive-Through Christmas Lights Display 2022

Want to find a home in a neighborhood that is known for its decorations during the holidays?

2. The Hastie Lake Christmas House

2379 Hastie Lake Road, Oak Harbor, WA

On the North end of Whidbey Island, Oak Harbor is a fantastic place to tour if you want to see a variety of great neighborhoods with lights, but one display tends to be a local favorite.  That being The Hastie Lake Christmas House.

This is a one-family production, and they spend all year planning and around 10 days setting up the incredible display. Every installment offers something to admire, and they love hearing what it means to those who come by to see it.

 

Visitors can marvel at the lights from NOW until Christmas night, with a special Christmas Eve experience featuring Santa, the Grinch, music and snow machine (weather permitting). A walking trail is also available, giving guests an up-close view of the displays — just make sure to stay on the path and not step over, through or around any figures/lights due to electrical cords and guide wires.

 

A mailbox for Santa will also be present where you can drop off your Santa letters! If you leave a name and address, who knows… maybe he’ll write back.

 

If you visit the lights this year, the Hastie Lake family would love to hear your memories and see your photos! Share them either on their page or by using the hashtag:

#Hastielakechristmashouse

Facebook Group Page

The Hastie Lake Christmas House

If the two EPIC light displays above aren't enough to satisfy your holiday merriment needs, how about a full tour of displays in Oak Harbor?

 

Every year a wonderful Whidbey local, Carrie Stucky, puts together a super handy personally curated tour of the best places to see Christmas Lights in Oak Harbor for you to follow! Thanks Carrie!

CLICK HERE TO GET A PRINTABLE VERSION OF THE MAP

Whidbey Island Oak Harbor Christmas Lights Tour 2022

Below are also some notable mentions for Coupeville and South Whidbey:

 

Coupeville:

 

  1. Cooks Corner Park
  2. Pennington Loop

 

South Whidbey:

 

  1. Bayview Farm & Garden (They have their golden arch lit up and also a great place for holiday gifts)
  2. Santa in your Neighborhood?!?  Keep an eye out for a particularly festive fire truck if you see it in your neighborhood.  If you hear a siren it could mean candy awaits you!

The holiday season is a time where families come together to celebrate and share memories.  We hope this guide allows you to do just that.

 

Happy Holidays!

Article contributed by:

Whidbey Island Holiday Shopping Guide 2022

Contributed by Jessica Hart

Can you believe the holiday season is here? To celebrate the holidays approaching I've rounded up some of my favorite local shops to help you find the perfect gifts for everyone on your list.  It's so important this year (and every year) to support the small businesses in our community, and I'm so excited to share my favorite places with you.

 

Whidbey Island Holiday Shopping Guide 2022

1.  3 Sisters Market

Your local family market & grocery.  3 Sisters Market has been proudly serving our community with quality meats and local goods since 2013.

Work with a local Realtor® who can find you a dream home close to the best local spots

2. Madrona Supply Co

From screen-printed home goods and apparel made in-house to a room filled with local wood slabs for custom projects, we’ve got something to love for everyone. Plus we serve as the HQ for our sister company Turnco Wood Goods .

3. Sweet Mona's Chocolate Boutique

We sweeten the world with outstanding chocolates, outstanding people, and outstanding service.

4. Bayleaf

We are a enthusiastic team of food and wine lovers who want to share our latest discoveries with you! So much more than a store, bayleaf will forever be your home for exceptional quality, amazing delights, and helpful, friendly people. .

5. Bayview Garden

Bayview Garden has been in the business of loving and nurturing plants for 30 years and has been on the forefront of plant education and conservation for just as long. As a multi generational pursuit, the roots run deep and the care for the connection between plants and people even deeper.

How to save $100s on your monthly mortgage payment

When buying a home on Whidbey Island

Contributed by Si Fisher

As a Whidbey Island homebuyer, you may be searching for affordable housing and having a rough go at it. Mortgage rates are much higher now than they were last year, and this could mean several hundred dollars more a month when looking at a potential mortgage in your desired price point.

 
 

Luckily, today I am going to share with you a program that can help reduce your monthly mortgage payment by hundreds of dollars.

 
 

At this point you are probably thinking, “What wizardry is this?” Well, the magic all has to do with mortgage buydowns, and more specifically I want to talk about what some sellers are doing to make their homes more appealing and affordable to potential buyers looking on Whidbey Island.

What Is A Buydown On A Mortgage?

Most lenders when originating a loan will have an option for the borrower to purchase something called discount points (also referred to as mortgage points, or prepaid interest points).  Essentially it is a prepaid fee that allows you to buy down the interest rate on your loan and thereby lower your monthly payment for the entire duration of the loan.

 

In a different type of buydown, the points purchased at the start of the loan lower the interest rate for a specific period of time. As mentioned above we are now seeing sellers offer to pay for these shorter term buydowns to make their home more affordable to a larger number of buyers.  The most common one we are seeing now is called the 2/1 buydown.  

Contact a local expert about financing your next home

The 2/1 Mortgage Buydown Program

The 2/1 Mortgage Buydown allows a borrower to lock in an interest rate 2% lower than the current rate for the first year, and then 1% lower for the second year of the loan.  After that the loan defaults back to what the current rate was at the time of the loan origination.  Let’s look at an example of how this works.

 

Let’s say you are looking at a home for $600,000.  You plan on making a 20% down payment, leaving $480,000 that needs to be financed.  Observe the chart below:

$609 dollars/month savings for the borrower during the first year!!!

 

Okay let’s break it down. If a borrower was financing their $480K loan at today’s rate of about 6.75% their monthly payment would be $3,113.27/month. When using this 2/1 buydown program their rate drops to 4.75% for the first year, and 5.75% for the second year. This lowers the monthly payments during that time to $2,503.91 and $2,801.15 respectively. After that point your loan goes back to what the original rate would have been if you were not taking advantage of this program. AND, should the interest rates fall during the course of the first two years, you can always refinance to the new lower rate after the buydown period ends.

One additional thing to note is that the borrower would still need to qualify for the loan at the current interest rate, not the buydown rate.

The best part about this is that everybody wins!  The seller gets more potential buyers interested in their home (this can be a lot more enticing and more cost effective than a price reduction), and the buyer gets two years of reduced monthly payments.  If both parties agree, the seller would then pay for the buydown through escrow when the home sale closes. In the example above the seller would pay around $10K depending on a variety of factors. Presto chango!

 

This is just another tool to put in your tool kit and another reason to work with a professional who has a full set of tools!

Article contributed by:

Real Estate Top 10 Predictions for 2023 - Matthew Gardner


This video shows Windermere Chief Economist Matthew Gardner’s Top 10 Predictions for 2023. Each month, he analyzes the most up-to-date U.S. housing data to keep you well-informed about what’s going on in the real estate market.


Real Estate Top 10 Predictions for 2023 - Matthew Gardner

1. There Is No Housing Bubble

Mortgage rates rose steeply in 2022 which, when coupled with the massive run-up in home prices, has some suggesting that we are recreating the housing bubble of 2007. But that could not be further from the truth.

Over the past couple of years, home prices got ahead of themselves due to a perfect storm of massive pandemic-induced demand and historically low mortgage rates. While I expect year-over-year price declines in 2023, I don’t believe there will be a systemic drop in home values. Furthermore, as financing costs start to pull back in 2023, I expect that will allow prices to resume their long-term average pace of growth.

2. Mortgage Rates Will Drop

Mortgage rates started to skyrocket at the start of 2022 as the Federal Reserve announced their intent to address inflation. While the Fed doesn’t control mortgage rates, they can influence them, which we saw with the 30-year rate rising from 3.2% in early 2022 to over 7% by October.

Their efforts so far have yet to significantly reduce inflation, but they have increased the likelihood of a recession in 2023. Therefore, early in the year I expect the Fed to start pulling back from their aggressive policy stance, and this will allow rates to begin slowly stabilizing. Rates will remain above 6% until the fall of 2023 when they should dip into the high 5% range. While this is higher than we have become used to, it’s still more than 2% lower than the historic average.

3. Don’t Expect Inventory to Grow Significantly

Although inventory levels rose in 2022, they are still well below their long-term average. In 2023 I don’t expect a significant increase in the number of homes for sale, as many homeowners do not want to lose their low mortgage rate. In fact, I estimate that 25-30 million homeowners have mortgage rates around 3% or lower. Of course, homes will be listed for sale for the usual reasons of career changes, death, and divorce, but the 2023 market will not have the normal turnover in housing that we have seen in recent years.

4. No Buyer’s Market But a More Balanced One

With supply levels expected to remain well below normal, it’s unlikely that we will see a buyer’s market in 2023. A buyer’s market is usually defined as having more than six months of available inventory, and the last time we reached that level was in 2012 when we were recovering from the housing bubble. To get to six months of inventory, we would have to reach two million listings, which hasn’t happened since 2015. In addition, monthly sales would have to drop below 325,000, a number we haven’t seen in over a decade. While a buyer’s market in 2023 is unlikely, I do expect a return to a far more balanced one.

5. Sellers Will Have to Become More Realistic

We all know that home sellers have had the upper hand for several years, but those days are behind us. That said, while the market has slowed, there are still buyers out there. The difference now is that higher mortgage rates and lower affordability are limiting how much buyers can pay for a home. Because of this, I expect listing prices to pull back further in the coming year, which will make accurate pricing more important than ever when selling a home.

6. Workers Return to Work (Sort of)

The pandemic’s impact on where many people could work was profound, as it allowed buyers to look further away from their workplaces and into more affordable markets. Many businesses are still determining their long-term work-from-home policies, but in the coming year I expect there will be more clarity for workers. This could be the catalyst for those who have been waiting to buy until they know how often they’re expected to work at the office.

7. New Construction Activity Is Unlikely to Increase

Permits for new home construction are down by over 17% year over year, as are new home starts. I predict that builders will pull back further in 2023, with new starts coming in at a level we haven’t seen since before the pandemic.

Builders will start seeing some easing in the supply chain issues that hit them hard over the past two years, but development costs will still be high. Trying to balance homebuilding costs with what a consumer can pay (given higher mortgage rates) will likely lead builders to slow activity. This will actually support the resale market, as fewer new homes will increase the demand for existing homes.

8. Not All Markets Are Created Equal

Markets where home price growth rose the fastest in recent years are expected to experience a disproportionate swing to the downside. For example, markets in areas that had an influx of remote workers, who flocked to cheaper housing during the pandemic, will likely see prices fall by a greater percentage than other parts of the country. That said, even those markets will start to see prices stabilize by the end of 2023 and resume a more reasonable pace of price growth.

9. Affordability Will Continue to Be a Major Issue

In most markets, home prices will not increase in 2023, but any price drop will not be enough to make housing more affordable. And with mortgage rates remaining higher than they’ve been in over a decade, affordability will continue to be a problem in the coming year, which is a concerning outlook for first-time buyers.

Over the past two years, many renters have had aspirations of buying but the timing wasn’t quite right for them. With both prices and mortgage rates spiraling upward in 2022, it’s likely that many renters are now in a situation where the dream of homeownership has gone. That’s not to say they will never be able to buy a home, just that they may have to wait a lot longer than they had hoped.

10. Government Needs to Take Housing More Seriously

Over the past two years, the market has risen to such an extent that it has priced out millions of potential home buyers. With a wave of demand coming from Millennials and Gen Z, the pace of housing production must increase significantly, but many markets simply don’t have enough land to build on. This is why I expect more cities, counties, and states to start adjusting their land use policies to free up more land for housing.

But it’s not just land supply that can help. Elected officials can assist housing developers by utilizing Tax Increment Financing tools, whereby the government reimburses a private developer as incremental taxes are generated from housing development. There are many tools like this at the government’s disposal to help boost housing supply, and I sincerely hope that they start to take this critical issue more seriously.

 


About Matthew Gardner

As Chief Economist for Windermere Real Estate, Matthew Gardner is responsible for analyzing and interpreting economic data and its impact on the real estate market on both a local and national level. Matthew has over 30 years of professional experience both in the U.S. and U.K.

In addition to his day-to-day responsibilities, Matthew sits on the Washington State Governors Council of Economic Advisors; chairs the Board of Trustees at the Washington Center for Real Estate Research at the University of Washington; and is an Advisory Board Member at the Runstad Center for Real Estate Studies at the University of Washington where he also lectures in real estate economics.

10 Tips to Help Winterize Your Home on Whidbey Island

Contributed by Si Fisher

As winter approaches, it's important to take some steps to prepare your home for the colder weather. This can save you big bucks on the heating bill, and as a homeowner we all know how important it is to maintain the greatest investment we have and protect it from potential damage.

 

Here are 10 tips to help you winterize your home on Whidbey Island

(Tip #10 might be the most important when living on Whidbey Island, don't miss it!)

1.  Seal windows and doors to keep the cold air out, and replace weather-stripping.

 

Small leaks can reduce your home's energy efficiency by as much as 30% annually! This leakage can be significantly reduced with some straightforward and affordable caulking of windows and weather stripping on doors.  Below are a couple videos that will help you if you want to take on these projects yourself.

 

 

 

Work with a local Realtor® who has a rolladex of local vendors to help with home projects!

2. Add or Install insulation in the attic or crawlspace

 

The attic is where insulation is most useful.

Unfortunately, the attic insulation in the majority of homes is either nonexistent or inadequate. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency recommends that attics have at least R-38 insulation, which is generally 10 to 14 inches deep.

The hot air in the rooms below won't be able to enter the attic if the attic floor is adequately insulated. Caulking any ceiling penetrations—holes around pipes, ducts, and wires—as well as installing an insulated cover over the attic hatchway or stairs are equally crucial.

You could also look into getting your crawl space insulation on lock as well!

Check out this article for tips on crawl space insulation:

Or this video for installation tips:

3. Cover windows with heavy curtains or use plastic sealing kits to keep heat in.

 

In the winter, even the greatest, tightest-sealing windows seem a little chilly. Cover windows with insulated shades, heavy or thermal insulated curtains, or you can also get easy to install plastic shrink kits to make spaces seem warmer.

 

Highly Rated BUDGET Thermal Curtains on Amazon

Insulated Honeycomb Blinds for Windows on Amazon

Indoor Shrink Window Kit on Amazon

4. Check Your Fireplace

Creosote accumulation or animal nests might be dangerous in your wood-burning fireplace. Before lighting the first fire of the season, have an annual inspection. In addition to creosote the chimney can accumulate soot and other waste that an inspection will help identify.

An inspection can tell you wether or not your chimney needs to be cleaned, and if it is needed, it's best to have a professional get the job done.  Additionally, clean out any ash that has accumulated in the firebox using a vacuum or broom.

Likewise, regular cleaning and maintenance are needed for an electrical or propane fireplace.  To maintain your model running smoothly and safely, follow the manufacturer's instructions.

Are you the DIY type?  Below are some links for chimney cleaning supplies, and a how to video:

Chimney Cleaning Supplies on Amazon

Electric Fireplace Insert on Amazon

 

5. Clean your gutters and downspouts

Gutter cleaning is a crucial aspect of getting ready for winter. As soon as the last of the autumn leaves have fallen, it's a good idea to get the gutters cleaned. Examine and clear the gutters of leaves and other debris to avoid clogs. Additionally, clear gutters will enable appropriate drainage of melting snow.

Gutter guards are an option to consider if you want to prevent gutter cleaning. They can be manufactured of polyvinyl chloride (PVC), aluminum, or stainless steel and help keep leaves, pine needles, grit from roofs, and other debris out of your gutter. To maintain the guards' full efficiency, they periodically need to be brushed off, but this is not as laborious as regular cleaning.

 

Aluminum Gutter Guard on Amazon

6. Disconnect hoses from outdoor faucets and drain them properly

Remember to disconnect and drain all exterior hoses and irrigation. You don’t want them damaged! In addition, it is wise to cover your outside faucets to prevent pipes from bursting. They are pretty easy to install.

 

Deluxe Faucet Protector on Amazon

Standard Faucet Protector on Amazon

Bag Type Protector on Amazon

Blowout Valve Adapter on Amazon

Male to Male Adapter on Amazon

 

7. Change the furnace filter every 3 months

A clean filter helps improve the efficiency of your furnace. The airflow is obstructed by a filthy filter that has dust, pollen, lint, and other debris trapped inside of it, which makes your furnace work harder to heat your house. Filters should be changed at least every three months.

Same goes for your HP-mini split, except most filters only need to be replaced once a year.  They can also be cleaned regularly (at least once a month), to improve efficiency.

Furnace Air Filter MERV 8 on Amazon

8. Check roof for missing or damaged shingles

Again I must reiterate how important it is to protect your most important investment. There are few things worse than a damaged roof that leads to water damage! So, get up there yourself to check for damaged shingles, or pay a professional to take a look.

Best Marshalltown Trowel on Amazon

Roofing Nails on Amazon

4-Pieces Pry Bar Set on Amazon

Roofing Shingles on Amazon

NP1 Gray Polyurethane Caulk on Amazon

Sealant Caulking Gun on Amazon

9. Add a layer of mulch to your garden beds to protect plants from frostbite

Protect your beautiful plants & landscaping!  Adding a layer of mulch can protect some plants from frostbite, but you may even have potted plants you want to bring indoors for the winter.

They also offer cheap hoop house kits on amazon that are great for a little winter gardening!

Greenhouse Hoops for 3ft or Wider Grow Tunnel on Amazon

You can also check out these cheap DIY hacks to protect your plants in Winter:

10. Consider investing in a generator or make sure your existing one is well maintained and ready to go

On Whidbey it is pretty much inevitable that we will see some winter power outages. If you rely on electric heating, your home's temperature will drop quickly throughout the winter, posing a serious threat to everyone's safety, especially when it drops below freezing. Even as the storm rages outside, a generator can keep your furnace running or at least a space heater or two, until the main power is restored, keeping you warm and cozy. Other benefits include charging your mobile devices, powering your internet router and wifi, and making sure your fridge/freezer continue running as needed.

2350-Watt Portable Inverter Generator on Amazon

1500W Ceramic Personal Heater on Amazon

7000-Watt Inverter Generator on Amazon

24kW Home Standby Generator on Amazon

One might think it goes without saying, but for safety reasons it is worth mentioning that if you are using a generator, it needs to be ran outside to avoid getting carbon monoxide poisoning which can be lethal.  You also might invest in getting a cover to protect your outside generator from the elements.

Waterproof Universal Generator Cover on Amazon

Article contributed by:

Halloween Events on Whidbey Island - 2022

Halloween Events on Whidbey Island 2022

Halloween is coming up and if you're looking for something to do on Whidbey Island, we've got you covered. From family-friendly events to things that are perfect for adults only, we've got something for everyone. Check out our list and start planning your festivities!

Whidbey Island Halloween Events in Langley

The Black Cat Ball

Bayview Community Hall's Black Cat Ball is a spooky celebration of all things Halloween. Attendees are encouraged to wear their best costumes, and there will be live music, a vinyl DJ set, and live visuals throughout the night. The event is a fundraiser for the hall, with bar proceeds going to support its operations. This year's Black Cat Ball is sure to be a night to remember!

Live Music / Vinyl DJ Set / Live Visuals

DJ Hall Pass / DJ MMD

Haunting Autumn / Woodbae & Treestar + special guests / Live Visuals

Donations at the door!

 

Get directions: 5642 Bayview Rd, Langley, WA 98260

 

Visit event page on Facebook

Spooktacular Langley

 

Bring the family for trick or treating in Langley!

Langley invites families to bring their super heroes, goblins, and ghosts to downtown Langley for a safe and fun trick or treating experience this Halloween.

Participating Langley merchants will have treats waiting for the kids from 2:30 to 5 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 31.

The whole town is dressed for the season, with merchants in costumes, lighted trees, crows, pumpkins, and more decorating the town, brought to you by Langley Main Street Association.

Get directions: Second Street, Langley, WA

 

Visit event page on Facebook

 

The Cabinet of Doctor Caligari

With Live Music by: Gideon Freudmann

On Sunday October 30th at 2:00 p.m. at the Clyde Theater in Langley you can have the distinct pleasure of hearing Gideon Freudmann, cellist and composer, play accompaniment to the classic silent film: The Cabinet of Doctor Caligari.

 

Get directions: 217 1st St, Langley, WA 98260

$10 adults, $8 kids

Ticket available at the door!

Burton's Halloween Fantasy

Guest Conductor Gabriela Garza is back to lead the Whidbey Island Orchestra this October 29th at WICA in a Halloween concert: "Burton's Halloween Fantasy."

The program is full of Tim Burton movie themes, including inventive and humorous scores for "Beetlejuice," "Batman," "Edward Scissorhands," "Alice in Wonderland," "Willie Wonka," and "The Nightmare Before Christmas."

 

Get directions: 565 Camano Avenue, Langley, WA 98260

Ticket Available Online

Atomic Bombshells: Put A Spell on You

 

Halloween Burlesque returns on Friday, October 28, 2022 at the Whidbey Island Center for the Arts!  Show goes from 7:30 PM 9:00 PM.

 

Featuring the Atomic Bombshells, Seattle’s “most dazzling burlesque troupe” (Seattle Weekly).

 

Have yourself a risqué Halloween Day!

Get directions: 565 Camano Avenue, Langley, WA 98260

Ticket Available Online

Whidbey Island Halloween Events in Coupeville

The Haunting of Coupeville

The haunting of Coupeville goes all month long and features a large variety of fun spooky events and activities.  These include the Haunted Fort Casey, Pumpkin Patches with Trolley Rides, The Scarecrow Trail (Hocus Pocus themed this year), and more!

Check out their website for all the details

Torchlight Parade and Street Dance

You don’t want to miss this Coupeville Halloween tradition with a twist!

Join us at 5pm at Cook’s Corner on October 29th for our traditional costumed Torchlight Parade, immediately followed by a street dance and trick or treating.  It will be a night of costume prizes, music, candy, and fun!

October 29th 5pm to 7pm - No Vehicles allowed

Get directions: NE 9th St, Coupeville, WA 98239

Visit the event page on Facebook

Whidbey Island Halloween Events in Oak Harbor

Family Halloween Party

Fun for the whole family at Oak Bowl & Mario's Pizza.  Starting on Oct. 30th 5:30 to 7:30 is a 2 hour unlimited Glow Bowling event.  Also includes treat bags & a costume parade for the kids.

 

You must make reservations online

Get directions: 531 SE Midway Blvd, Oak Harbor, WA 98277

Halloween Zombie Corn Maze

Looking for a terrifyingly good time this Halloween? Will you find your way out of our Corn Maze or will you encounter a collection of gruesome ZOMBIES?

And keep one thing in mind - if you make a wrong turn, you’ll be forced to turn around and come across one of the maze monsters a second time!

 

Friday October 28 + Saturday 29 | 6pm - 10pm

Tickets Available Online

Get Directions: 1422 N Monroe Landing Rd, Oak Harbor, WA 98277

WISBA Spooktacular Trunk or Treat

 

Come on out with the whole family for WISBA's first Trunk or Treat!

After you trick or treat outside make sure you make your way into the Elks Lodge for WISBA's Spooktacular Vendor Event! There will be 20+ vendors to shop from!

If you would like to participate in the trunk or treat, please fill out this form:

https://forms.gle/brpAGLWZ3X9JCj7L8

Any questions can be emailed to

Whidbeyislandsba@gmail.com

Directions: 155 NE Ernst St, Oak Harbor, WA 98277

No Tricks Safe Treats

Trick or Treating at Historic Downtown Oak Harbor Merchants.  Free hot dogs!  Puppy costume contest!  What more can I say?

Facebook Event Page

Directions

Article contributed by:

WIG header

WHIDBEY ISLAND GROWN COOPERATIVE

 

“Whidbey Island Grown Cooperative is a group of farmers, small businesses, and community members working to build a strong, resilient local food system on Whidbey Island.”

Did you know you can find locally sourced, fresh products for purchase directly from farms and other producers here on the Island and other local farms?

Whidbey Island Grown Cooperative (WIGC) is an online marketplace for the sale of available farm fresh products to the community.

This innovative system (Food Hub) combines Whidbey’s agricultural richness with easy online shopping and pick-up experience while supporting locally owned and operated businesses, for the common good.

 

Customers can purchase fresh, local, seasonal products online and pick them up at one of four locations in Langley, Coupeville, and Oak Harbor.

 

How to Buy fresh food from local farmers and producers!

 

Friday to Tuesday: Log in to https://whidbeyislandgrown.com/ to purchase fresh, local food and other specialty and holiday items from Whidbey Island producers through WIGC’s online marketplace. Ordering closes on Tuesday at 9 pm.

 

Wednesday-Friday: Farmers and producers prepare their products and drop them at the packing site.

 

Friday: Volunteers pack the orders and distribute them to four stands on the island:

 

3-5 PM in Langley - Whidbey Island Center for the Arts (565 Camano Ave).

 

4-6 PM in Coupeville – Scenic View (formerly Sherman Pioneer Farm - 46 S. Ebey Rd),

 

4-6 PM in Freeland - Mutiny Bay Blues Farmstand (5486 Cameron Rd)

 

4:30-6:30 PM in Oak Harbor - Elks Lodge (155 N Ernst St, next to Flyer's Restaurant)

 

Also, on Friday: Put in your order for next week!

 

Support local farms and eat great food, all while practicing safe social distancing.

 

 

Supporting Local Means Eating Seasonal

 

Most of us are accustomed to the grocery store, where every type of fruit and vegetable is stocked year-round. Locally, those products are only available in season, and the rest of the year they are shipped in from somewhere else in the world.

 

In spring and fall, available crops are varieties that like shorter hours of light, cooler temperatures, and even frost. In summer, crops are harvested that prefer long, hot days. Don’t see a vegetable you’re looking for? It may not be in season.

 

Join the Hub today and start sourcing your good food locally!

 

Whidbey Island Grown Cooperative

info@whidbeyislandgrown.com
PO Box 472
Coupeville, WA 98239

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Should I wait for mortgage rates to go down?

Contributed by Si Fisher

Homebuyers, are you ready to take the next step but feeling unsure with rising interest rates?  Mortgage rates have indeed increased significantly over this past year. But don’t worry because Windermere Whidbey is here for all your needs! We've compiled a wealth of information that can help you make an informed decision when it comes to buying a home in 2022 and beyond - just keep reading below:

 

First, let’s look at some historic mortgage rate data to put things in perspective. During the Covid pandemic, mortgage interest rates reached all-time lows in 2020 and 2021. Mortgage rates were pushed below 3% and were kept there thanks to emergency measures taken by the Federal Reserve. However, if you look at the chart below you will see that throughout 2022 we have seen interest rates gradually rise.


While this may appear scary, I want to provide one additional piece of information that will give you even more perspective.  Examine the chart below:

 

 

The graph above certainly tells a different story.  Despite recent increases, 30-year mortgage rates now are still below the historical norm.  With that being said, a 3% rate does seem a lot more appealing than a 6% or higher rate.  Especially when you look at how this will affect your purchasing power.

Contact a local expert about financing your next home

How Will Rising Mortgage Rates Impact a Home Buyer’s Purchasing Power?

Let's say you want to purchase a property for $400,000, and you want to keep your monthly payment at or below $2600. Here is how your spending power may alter if mortgage rates rise, see the chart below.

Buyer Purchasing Power

Are Mortgage Interest Rates Going to Continue to Rise or Go Back Down?

The short answer is that the direction interest rates will go is nearly impossible to predict.  According to most experts on the subject, rates may continue to rise for a while as the FED attempts to get inflation under control.  However, if we see the rising interest rates start to cause a recession, they might lower.  Again, nothing is certain on this front and the rates are dependent on too many frequently changing factors to have a guaranteed prediction.

 

Conclusion:  Should you wait for mortgage rates to go back down before purchasing a home?

 

If you are a renter who is currently trying to decide if you want to purchase a home or wait on changing rates, I just want to share one image with you:

In essence, it is accurate to say that the cost of purchasing a property has increased since last year.  The distinction is that homeownership also involves building equity over time, which will increase your net worth.

 

It makes little sense for a borrower to attempt to time their purchase based solely on interest rates in this market. Regardless of current interest rates, our best recommendation is to wait to purchase until you are financially prepared and able to afford the property you desire.

 

Keep in mind that your mortgage rate won't be fixed in stone. Homeowners can always refinance later if rates drop sufficiently to reduce costs.

 

Final Thoughts:

 

Situations vary from person to person. Working with a real estate adviser to weigh your options is what can help you make the best choice possible, and it just so happens we have an office full of highly trained real estate professionals.  Don’t hesitate to reach out if you have any questions about the buying or selling process.

Article contributed by:

Autumn is here and it is a wonderful time to be on Whidbey Island.  One major reason is because all the local farms are sharing their Fall offerings.  Today we will answer the question, “Where to buy Pumpkins on Whidbey”.  If you are on the search for Pumpkin Patches, Corn Mazes, or Apple Picking locations to visit, then read on!

 

Pumpkin Banner - windermerewhidbey.com


The Farm Stand at K & R Farms

Fall is the perfect time to visit The Farm Stand at K&R Farms. Not only can you enjoy picking your own pumpkins or getting lost in the corn maze, but you can also take in the beauty of the sunflower field. And if that isn’t enough to get you in the autumn spirit, then maybe the ice cream will do the trick. In addition to all of these seasonal favorites, you can also purchase fresh produce, local honey, and shaved ice. So whether you’re looking for a fun day out or some delicious food, The Farm Stand at K&R Farms has something for everyone.

 

The Pumpkin patch, corn maze, and sunflower field are open daily from 11 AM – 6 PM

 

Get directions: 36699 SR 20 Oak Harbor, Washington

 

Visit them on Facebook

Whidbey Farm and Market

Ready for some serious fall fun? Look no further than Whidbey Farm and Market! Their pumpkin patch and hay pyramid are open from Sunday to Thursday 11 AM to 6 PM, and Friday and Saturday 11 AM to 10 PM. You can get lost in their corn maze daily from 11 AM to 6 PM; it’s only $5 to enter. Feeling adventurous? Check out their night corn maze on weekends; it’s open from dark until 10 PM. And if you get hungry, don’t worry – they have coffee and ice cream available for purchase, as well as many other items at the market. Plus, there’s live music on Saturdays and Sundays. So come on down and enjoy all that Whidbey Farm and Market has to offer!

 

Check their website for updates HERE

 

Get Directions: 1422 Monroe Landing Rd, Oak Harbor

 

Visit them on Facebook


Case Farm

With Fall in the air, it can only mean one thing- it’s time to head on down to Case Farm! This historic farm has been around since 1898 and is currently run by the fifth generation of Cases. When you visit, you’ll be able to experience all the best that autumn has to offer, from picking out a pumpkin in their patch to getting lost in their corn maze. And of course, you can’t forget about the farm animals! They have cows, turkeys, ducks, chickens, cats, and dogs that are all waiting to meet you. So come on down and enjoy all the fun that Case Farm has to offer this fall!  PLUS there is even a kid friendly bale stack maze for the little ones to enjoy.  SO MUCH FUN!

 

Check their website for updates HERE

 

Get Directions: Case Farm, 98 Case Rd, Oak Harbor, WA 98277

 

Visit them on Facebook

 

Scenic Isle Farm

Formerly known as “Sherman’s Pioneer Farm”

Scenic Isle Farm is a must-visit destination for anyone looking to get into the Fall spirit. Established in 1852, the farm is located in the historic town of Coupeville.  Take your visit to the next level with a fun trolley ride to the sprawling pumpkin patch.  The perfect place to pick out the perfect pumpkin for carving or baking.  In addition to pumpkins, the farm also sells edible squash and gourds, making it a one-stop shop for all your Fall decorating needs.  So whether you’re looking for a fun day trip or a unique photo opportunity, Scenic Isle Farm is sure not to disappoint.

 

Check their website for updates HERE

 

Get Directions: 46 S Ebey Rd, Coupeville, WA 98239

 

Visit them on Facebook

Rock’n Apple Ranch

Fall is the time of year for fresh apple cider, and there’s no better place to get it than Rock’n Apple Ranch. Not only do they offer delicious cider by the half gallon ($7) or gallon ($12), but they also have U-pick apples for just $1 per pound. So if you’re looking for some fall fun, they’ve got you covered. Open from 10 to 3 pm daily.  Whether you’re looking for fresh cider or a fun-filled day out picking apples, Rock’n Apple Ranch is the perfect destination.

 

Get Directions: 3064 Hunt Rd, Oak Harbor, WA 98277

 

Visit them on Facebook

Written by:

Si Fisher Team Whidbey Fall Banner | sifisher.com