Archive for February, 2012

Feb 13 2012

Gig Harbor WA Salt Waterfront Home for Sale at Horsehead Bay

Gig Harbor WA Salt Waterfront Home for Sale at Horsehead Bay.  It’s a special place. that first walk down the driveway…the water stretches across the view with Mt Rainier rising in the distance beyond the Fox Island bridge, the purple Black Hills and the Cascade mountain range. Across Hales Passage Fox Island bristles with Doug fir trees. The pastoral beauty of McNeil Island and the sun glinting off the waters of Carr Inlet and Shaw’s Cove are a welcome surprise at this salt waterfront home for sale.

On that first stroll past tall grasses and lavender, to this salt waterfront home for sale where the porch chairs await someone who is in search of beauty, it is easy to say: It takes your breath away. Yes it does…but then another deep breath and you feel the serenity of this special place.

This salt waterfront home for sale is a place to watch the sun rise pink and orange and set reflecting pink and purple. The moon rises…full orange…lighting a silver path across the water. Starry nights are for sitting on the porch and listening to the water lap against the shore or the kayak paddles dipping.

Long summer days are for dinners with friends on one of the terraces of this salt waterfront home for sale.  July 4th is a cacophony of fireworks and pageants ringing the shoreline. This is the time to pick berries…strawberries, blueberries, raspberries…all on the property.

The beach is for discovery and play…wakeboarding, fishing, paddling, wading.

With autumn comes morning fog, setting the house adrift until the sun breaks through. Walks on the sandy beach, wine shared with friends and parties in the great room of this salt waterfront home for sale .

Holidays fill this salt waterfront home for sale  with family and food. Tables expand easily, grandparents and college kids sleep in the detached studio bedroom while little ones play in the house.

Soon spring bulbs appear, rhodies bloom and lavender will fill the south lawn. Deer and fox find their way, eagles patrol the beach, seals follow the kayaks.

Friends arrive by boat, by car, on bike or on foot…to celebrate the seasons and share what this special place offers. Life is as full as you want it to be.


Call me at 253.549.6611 or email me for more information about this or another salt waterfront home for sale. Or click on for more photos of this salt waterfront home for sale.

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2 View porch






Rainier edited


















The first European-American settlement began in Arletta in the late 1870s and the post office was established in 1893. The first postmistress coined the name Arletta by combining her daughter’s name Arla with her friend’s name Lucetta. Most early settlers farmed. Other activities in the area included logging, fishing, and trapping. When a permanent dock was constructed, a business district developed around the waterfront and included a store, fish fertilizer factory and warehouse. By 1910 the first roads had been constructed between Arletta, Horsehead Bay and Warren.

The first Euro-American settlement in Warren began in the late 1870s.  A permanent dock was constructed in the early 1910s and farming formed the economic base for the community at the beginning. In the late 1920s, local residents constructed a road connecting Warren to Arletta and Horsehead Bay.

8 Great room


12 Kitchen

9 Library





























Area residents have consistently demonstrated their strong commitment to provide a high quality public education to nearly 10,000 students. The district enjoys a statewide reputation for meeting the educational needs of today’s students who become tomorrow’s leaders. In addition, Gig Harbor has nearly a dozen private schools.

The Harbor History Museum is located on Gig Harbor Bay and allows visitors a place to experience the history of Gig Harbor. In 2010 the Museum opened its new multi-million dollar facility, highlighted by the Shenandoah, a purse seiner built in a Gig Harbor shipyard and the Midway schoolhouse. The Midway Schoolhouse Experience may be the only all-day pioneer classroom experience on the West Coast. It has been designed with actual curriculum and is the buzz of all 4th graders who are given the option of attending. It is hosted by numerous volunteers and comes complete with “school marm”. The permanent gallery is spectacular and the temporary exhibits are diverse.

While Gig Harbor was once most known for its fishing and logging, it is now also known for its numerous art galleries, art walks and art shows. A theatre company in Gig Harbor provides entertainment including dinner theatre and summer outdoor theatre.

The Gig Harbor area is ideal for enjoying water-related recreation. Whether you prefer water skiing, power or sail boating, kayaking, fresh or salt water fishing, scuba driving, windsurfing, clamming, beachcombing or swimming, the secluded harbors provide excellent moorage and docking facilities.

There are four state parks. Boat ramps are located near the major bays. Gig Harbor operates a waterfront park, a park on Crescent Creek, a boat-building facility and a pioneer farm. Eight golf courses offer year-round golf close to Gig Harbor.

Numerous events are scheduled throughout the year, largely centered on the Gig Harbor waterfront, including farmers markets, outdoor cinema, Tuesday night music at the park, and lighted holiday boat parade.

Youth and adult baseball, basketball, football, gymnastics, dance, and soccer programs are provided through community organizations. Two local pools provide swimming opportunities for the community and swim clubs.


Carole Holmaas is a Managing Broker at Windermere Real Estate. She may be reached at 253.549.6611 or

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Feb 13 2012

Brakes applied to Gig Harbor home price slide

Brakes applied to Gig Harbor home price slide.

The slide of the last five and a half years for Gig Harbor home prices has slowed in the last couple months while dropping 10% for the year.  Sales for 2011 shows Gig Harbor home prices(including Fox Island) neither bank-owned or short sales in the 4th quarter declined only 3% rather than the 17% drop experienced in third quarter.

  • Inventory is currently down 20% from a year ago and 40% from 2008
  • Median sales price in 4th quarter stood at $352.000 for non-distressed properties and $225,000 for bank-owned or REO (real estate owned).  The REO figure reflects a 19% drop from 4th quarter 2010 Gig Harbor home prices
  • REO sale prices dropped about 15% for the year and non-distressed were down 10%
  • All Gig Harbor home prices are trending  back to 4th quarter 2004 but when removing  distressed sales from the equation prices are similar to 1st quarter 2005 prices
  • Homes are staying on the market fewer days—from 7-8 months in early 2011 to 4 months currently
  • A few more homes and condos sold in 2011 than 2010
  • January Gig Harbor home prices are trending up as well—higher than 6 of the past 12 months

Local 2011 quarterly statistics for Gig Harbor home prices highlight the difference between heavily discounted  bank-owned houses and the “rest of the market”.  REO sales represented 28% of all home sales in the first quarter but only 18-19% the last half of the year. This is expected to increase again as the lenders begin to ratchet up foreclosures after last week’s settlement with the five largest lenders, pertaining to sloppy methodology including robo-signing of documents. REO sales are still expected to maintain a solid presence in the housing market the balance of this year. Nation-wide foreclosures decreased 34% last year over 2010…but are expected to increase 25% in 2012. 

Gig Harbor Median Prices by Quarter











Short sales are not separated out in the table above because they actually do not affect the overall median price much. They are spread throughout all prices and tend to settle closer to the non-distressed market price. In fact the fourth quarter saw short sales close higher than non-distressed sales and much higher than the year before. 2011 is the year lenders have become receptive to the process, along with the help of negotiators who specialize in short sales.

The monthly national data shows some stabilization or increases in select markets one month while the next month produces data showing nearly all metropolitan areas are still down. Bright spots in the Puget Sound are the hiring Boeing and its contractors are doing plus overall improvement in employment.

Carole Holmaas is a Managing Broker at Windermere Real Estate/Gig Harbor, licensed since 1967. She specializes in waterfront and view properties and may be reached at 253.549.6611 or

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