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What to Expect from the Whidbey Island Luxury Real Estate Market

 
Located directly in the heart of Puget Sound, Whidbey Island has always been a wonderful place to get away from the hustle and bustle of big-city living in nearby Seattle, and the entire West Coast.

Residents enjoy a laid-back coastal lifestyle in picturesque small villages right on the sound, surrounded by rugged terrain and plenty of natural beauty.

Whidbey Island real estate has been a big seller during the pandemic as people look to get away from crowded urban areas and buy houses in family-friendly areas where they work remotely while enjoying a slower pace on a long, narrow island that is nothing short of a wonderland.

There are a few main ways to get to Whidbey Island: by the Clinton Mukilteo Ferry on the south end, and the Port Townsend Keystone Ferry on the west. Whidbey Island also can be reached by the spectacular Deception Pass Bridge on the north end, one of the most photographed locations in the United States.

Once there, they find terrain that includes beaches, farms, and forested hills. Residents enjoy boating, crabbing, hiking, and many other outdoor activities. There are many waterfront homes on the island, and all have spectacular views. Even the non-waterfront homes are surrounded by breathtaking beauty, featuring a variety of acreage estates, beach community homes, and imaginative island retreats. 

While there are many small communities up and down the island, there are three main towns that have most of the island’s population and Whidbey Island waterfront homes for sale. Many of the most desirable homes are located outside of town limits and offer terrific lifestyles and views.

The biggest town on Whidbey Island is Oak Harbor, which has a population of about 22,000. Other towns include Coupeville (population 1,800) and Langley (population 1,000). These communities have harbors, quaint downtowns, and great seafood.

Other communities with great real estate include Clinton and Freeland. Whidbey Island is rural but settled and has attractive homes throughout the island.
 

Market Dynamics

Due to Whidbey Island’s popularity and high quality of life, home prices have gone up substantially during the pandemic. Where better to relax away from hectic city life than on a gorgeous island? Whidbey Island is in Island County, and according to Realtor.com, the median list price of homes in the county was $509,000 in July 2021, an increase of 19.8% year-over-year. Waterfront home prices have increased by a similar percentage. With such popularity, many homes are on the market only a few days before they sell.

Island County continues to be a strong seller’s market, meaning there are more buyers than available homes. This year homes in Island County sold for 3.84% above the asking price on average.

By comparison, in January 2020, before the pandemic struck, the median listing price was $381,000 and the median sales price was $352,000.

If you are in the market for Whidbey Island homes for sale, hire an experienced real estate agent who knows the island well. Each of the small communities has its own personality and attractions, and a knowledgeable professional can match your desired lifestyle with one of these charming little locales. The agent you hire should have an outstanding track record of assisting clients during the last year. A good agent understands the pricing trends and how to navigate the hot market to get you into your dream home.

In addition, Whidbey Island waterfront real estate requires extensive knowledge of specific issues such as bluff stability, shoreline setbacks, septic systems, flood plains, and beach community rules and regulations, which out-of-area agents may not fully understand.

You also should set a budget so you know which price range of homes you can zero in on. While mortgage interest rates remain low, you still need to get pre-approved for a mortgage so a seller knows to take your offer seriously since your financing is solid. Whidbey Island waterfront real estate has recently been purchased by successful buyers who acted quickly and decisively.

Now, it’s time to wade in and start viewing Whidbey Island homes for sale on what has sometimes been called the West Coast’s equivalent of Martha's Vineyard.

 

Oak Harbor

Oak Harbor is on the northern end of Whidbey Island, with a south-facing waterfront that opens to the Saratoga Passage. Oak Harbor has been described as being family-friendly with a small-town feel but with the amenities and conveniences of a bigger city.

Besides homes in the price range of the upper $400,000s into the high $500,000s, there are some fantastic homes either on the waterfront or with spectacular water views. Among them is a three-bedroom, two-and-a-half-bath home of 3,458 square feet that has an unobstructed waterfront view.

Another home with waterfront access sells for $1.4 million and includes three bedrooms, two-and-a-half baths, and 2,771 square feet.

Other luxury homes are located inland, many on estates surrounded by trees, starting in the $900,000s and going into the low $1 million range.
 

Coupeville

Coupeville, the county seat, is just south of Oak Harbor on Penn Cove. The waterfront community is best known for growing and harvesting delicious Penn Cove mussels, which are shipped to restaurants around the world. Coupeville is located in Ebey’s Landing National Historical Reserve.

Coupeville has some of the most fantastic Whidbey Island real estate available. For instance, there’s a $975,000 property that includes a 1,760 square-foot home with two bedrooms and two baths, and 99 feet of Penn Cove waterfront. Located in the Long Point neighborhood, this home is perfectly situated for boating, fishing, crabbing, and clamming.

Another luxury property is the Island House, an estate that has eight bedrooms, seven bathrooms, and 7,183 square feet on ten acres. It is listed at $1.5 million. It formerly was a bed and breakfast.

For those with smaller budgets, there are homes ranging from the $450,000s to the high $600,000s in beautiful settings.

 

Langley and South Whidbey Island

The community of Langley is on the southern end of the island and is known for its beaches, crabbing, and fishing and is known as the Village by the Sea... Langley has breathtaking views of the Cascade Mountains and is visited each spring by groups of grey whales.

Langley has a handful of luxury Whidbey Island waterfront homes for sale, including a two-story custom home with large windows to soak in the stunning views, as well as 78 feet of waterfront. The home features three bedrooms, three bathrooms, and 2,780 square feet for $1.75 million.

There are other communities worth checking out as well, including Clinton, located at the southern end of the island, where the ferry docks, and Freeland, close to beaches and home to convenient shopping.

Whidbey Island Beach Communities

For the past 50-100 years Whidbey Island has been home to a wonderful variety of beach communities, up and down both the west and east sides of the island. These delightful neighborhoods combine both primary residences and vacation homes and feature great amenities such as beaches, boat ramps, swimming pools, sports courts, and more.

Each beach community has its own unique style and amenities. A local Whidbey Island real estate broker with knowledge of the details and quirks of each beach community is an invaluable resource for anyone interested in Whidbey Island waterfront homes for sale.

If you are in the market to buy or sell Whidbey Island real estate in 2021, contact Mike Konopik for expert service.

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