Free Homebuyer Workshop

Keys to your new homeLouis Muniz of Well Fargo Mortgage will be hosting a Free Homebuyer Workshop this Saturday, October 19, from 11am-12:30pm at the Wells Fargo in Freeland. Learn about finding, financing, and owning a home in today’s real estate market. Louis will explain the benefits and costs of home ownership; credit, debt, & mortgage guidelines; how different kinds of mortgages work; and how to choose a Realtor to help you choose your new home (big hint: Coldwell Banker Tara Properties can help you there).

If you’re interested, call Louis to reserve your seat. He can be reached at 360-331-5952 (office) or 360-969-1028 (cell). This is open to any member of the community whether you’re a seasoned homeowner or a new home buyer.

Drug Take Back Program

Island County’s Sheriff’s office is once again hosting a free Drug Take Back Program on Saturday, Oct. 26, from 10 am to 2 pm. They will collecting any unused, expired, or unwanted prescription drugs – no questions asked. This is a far better way to dispose of your prescription drugs than in your sewer or septic tank or throwing in the trash.

There are 3 stations in our community you can come to: Island County Sheriff’s Office in Freeland at 5521 E. Harbor Road, Coupeville Marshal’s Office at 4 N.E. Seventh St., and Oak Harbor Police Department at 860 S.E. Barrington Drive.

Whidbey This Weekend

Lots going on on Whidbey Island this weekend…

The Annual Whidbey Farm Tour, a FREE, self-guided tour of 14 different farms on Whidbey. There will be veggies, fruits, llamas, alpacas, chickens, goats, yarn, liqueur, flowers, honey, blueberries, herbs, teas, beef, and much more. The tour will be Saturday and Sunday (9/21 & 9/22) from 10am to 4pm. Click on the link, download the map and go visit. Note: Some of the farms are only open one day, so read the descriptions carefully.

Tour de WhidbeyThe Tour de Whidbey, happening on Saturday, 9/21, is an an annual bicycling event with 6 routes to choose from, measuring from 30 to 100 miles long. They even have a fairly flat family-friendly 10-mile run. Some are very challenging with varied terrain. All of them take in the beautiful scenery that is Whidbey Island. Coldwell Banker Tara Properties will be maintaining one of the Hospitality Break Stations, offering refreshments and encouragement to riders along the way.

Just north of Whidbey, Anacortes will host the 2013 Oyster Run – the largest motorcycle run in the Pacific Northwest. This free event will take place on Sunday (9/22), but riders will be arriving throughout the weekend. If you plan on attending, they recommend you get there early–“the place will be packed”.

Spring Shred Event

Mark your calendars for May 11 from 10 am to 2 pm and get rid of old sensitive documents the easy way while supporting one of Island County’s non-profit organizations. The Soroptimist International of South Whidbey Island is holding a ‘Spring Shred Event’ at the Trinity Lutheran Parking Lot at 18341 SR 525 in Freeland. Time to clean out your filing cabinets, garages & storage rooms. Securely dispose of your personal and financial records by a licensed and bonded secure shredding company. Minimum donation is $5 for banker’s box or grocery bag and $10 for an oversized box or bag.

Drug Take Back on Saturday

Law enforcement agencies are holding their 5th ‘Drug Take Back’, giving residents an opportunity to dispose of unwanted medication safely. The goal is to prevent accidental poisoning, drug abuse, and drug-seeking burglaries.

Oak Harbor police will accept medications in the front lobby of the police department. The Coupeville marshal will accept medications at Town Hall. And the Island County sheriff will be at the South Precinct on East Harbor Road in Freeland. The event is 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, April 27, at three island locations.

Sheriff Mark Brown said the emphasis of the program is on prescription pain pills, but that any type of unused or expired prescription medicine are accepted.

You can read more about the program on this Whidbey News-Times article.

Congratulations to our Award Winners!

We just enjoyed our 2012 Awards Breakfast yesterday at Gordon’s Restaurant in Freeland. A fabulous meal and almost all of our brokers and staff attended plus we had two guests from the Coldwell Banker corporate world as well as our two recent retirees.

Our award winners are:

Diamond Society: Rick Chapman

Sterling Society: Ron Admiral

Merit Society: Charlene Arnold, Christina Parker, Deborah Jones, Gary Ingram, Joe Supsinskas, Marchele Hatchner, Steve O’Sullivan and Victoria Buerger

Honorable Mention: Bob Blakley, Cathy Wilson, Gail Pierce, Kathleen Philippsborn, Lawrence Wallace, Lisa Rogers, Ronald Macdonald, Sheila Davies, Tom White, and Wayne Locke.

Congratulations to all of our award winners. We expect to have many more at our 2013 Awards celebration next year.

Deception Pass: An American Story

Kamarie Chapman, daughter of our own Rick Chapman, has written the play, “Deception Pass: An American Story”, which takes place on Whidbey Island. The play will be presented in the Performing Arts Center Mainstage Theater at Western Washington University. If you’re interested in viewing it, you can get more information at http://www.wwu.edu/theatredance.

We know Rick is very proud of this accomplishment and we all look forward to Kamarie’s next endeavor.

Asphalt Roof Shingle Recycling? Yes!

If you plan to re-roof your home, check out this article on how to keep the old asphalt shingles out of the dump and contribute to the recycling program. The shingles are used to make roads. You can check out a recycler in your area by going to ShingleRecycling.org. There are several in the Seattle area. And, as a bonus, the recycling fee is often less expensive than dump fees.

Make Your Whidbey Island Kitchen Look and Feel Bigger

Make Your Whidbey Island Kitchen Look and Feel Bigger!

These are some great tips courtesy of DIY Network, especially now that days are shorter and we’re staying in more with the chillier and wetter weather. Here are their suggestions:

Choose Sleek Appliances

There are many high-efficiency appliances that allow people with small kitchens to have the same luxuries as those with large kitchens.

Consolidate

Try to keep your cooktop and oven in the same area to save valuable counter space. Have microwaves built into the cabinetry and keep all small appliances stored in either an appliance garage or a pantry to maintain a clutter-free workspace.

Maintain a Mix of Natural and Ambient Lighting

A skylight will open the ceiling to more light and raise a portion of the ceiling, visually expanding the space. Bay and greenhouse windows create an open feel. Natural light should be complemented by ambient and task lighting to provide the same feeling during the night.

Keep the Personal Touches Small

Display simple items that don’t create a feel of clutter. Having too many displays will cause the kitchen to look much smaller, but the right amount can add to the warmth and provide an illusion of a larger space.

Lighten It Up

Too many cabinets, especially if they’re dark, will create the illusion that the room is much smaller than it is. Instead, use light-colored cabinets, open shelves and glass-front doors.

Is Your Fireplace Safe?

Here on Whidbey Island, many of us heat with either a wood or gas fireplace during the winter. It’s important to be sure your fireplace is ready to go now that the weather is colder. HouseLogic has some tips for ensuring your fireplace is safe whether it’s gas or wood.

1. An inspection outside to check the chimney and surrounding roof is critical. Check the chimney cap for obstructions and be sure it’s in good repair

2. From inside, check the flue damper to make sure it works and seals properly. Look for obstructions for any foreign objects or nests. You should be able to see daylight at the top.

3. Inspect the firebox for damage and, if applicable, the glass doors for cracks or latch issues.

4. On a gas fireplace, turn off the gas at the shut-off valve and check the igniter. Start the fire and check for clogged burner holes.

If you note any damage that you can’t repair yourself, be sure to contact a professional to take care of any problems BEFORE you need your fireplace. You can see the entire article here.