I’m sure you’ve heard of the current shortage of active inventory for the flood of buyers looking to call Orcas Island home during the Covid-19 Era. I’m also sure you’ve heard or even taken advantage of the extraordinarily low mortgage rates, which have further inspired the purchase of homes in the San Juan Islands. But how precisely do these factors impact and contribute to our seller’s market, and most importantly, how do they affect you and your home?

Could now be the time to come off the fence and take advantage of these market trends? To this question, I answer, “ABSOLUTELY YES!”  

Click the below links to review our residential, vacant land, and condo/dock slip market statistics for September, then shoot us a call to discuss how you can become another statistic this fall.



orcas island real estate market statistics windermere orcas island san juan islands salish sea wally gudgell group





Posted on October 15, 2020 at 10:55 am
Wally Gudgell | Posted in Living in the San Juan Islands |


Matthew Gardner Chief Financial Officer Windermere Real Estate Orcas Island Wally Gudgell Group San Juan Islands Salish Sea Q2 Real Estate Market Report Breakout 2020





















Dear Clients and Friends,

Things are a little crazy up here!  The real estate market is particularly unusual at the moment in San Juan County.  If you look at the middle chart on the attached break out comparing June 2019 to June 2020, inventory is way down, pending sales are almost double, and closed sales are barely up.  What this means is that in the last two months the local market has taken off and is now totally a seller’s market across the board, low to high prices.  We’re not seeing this so much in the urban areas of Washington, but other rural communities are also experiencing an uptick as people realize they don’t need to live and/or work in the city and are seeking safe havens.  Our office is as busy as ever, and as you know, according to Economics 101, when demand is high, and inventory is low prices go up.

For all of Western Washington prices are up about 6% from last year. Inventory is down approximately 30%.  The number of active listings compared to last year are down 42%.  Construction is also way up in our county as owners that have been sitting on their lots for a long time are deciding it is time to get something going; as a result contractors are very busy.  Many summer-only residents moved to their summer homes in March of this year.  Transient rental accommodations and restaurants are now open at 50% capacity in Phase 2 of reopening the state; with virus cases on the rise it’s uncertain whether the Governor will initiate any more lenient phases in the near future.

Please find from the following link our new 2020 Windermere Real Estate Orcas, Lopez, Crane and Outer Islands Ferry Brochure.  If you’d like, hard copies are available as well for anyone who would like one, just let us know and one will be mailed to you.

COVER 2020 Windermere Orcas Lopez Crane and Outer Islands Ferry Catalog Link Wally Gudgell Group San Juan Islands Realtor

As always, please feel free to forward your questions and/or comments and know
we are here to keep you alert to interesting market shifts and trends.

Stay safe and healthy,

~ Wally and the Gudgell Group


Posted on July 23, 2020 at 11:40 am
Wally Gudgell | Posted in Living in the San Juan Islands |

WHAT TO DO . . .

what to do when there's nothing to do in coronavirus quarantine and shelter in place


WHAT TO DO . . .

As we all have started to adjust to our new, hopefully, temporary 2020 Coronavirus routines, many of us, including The Wally Gudgell Group, have begun to find isolation, shelter in place, and social distancing a little monotonous.

Like you, we too in these first weeks of isolation, have discovered a real pressure in the question WHAT TO DO WHEN THERE’S NOTHING TO DO. The simple abundance of extra, or downtime has left us surfing and longing for the fun seen on YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, or featured on our national and local news.

You may be asking, “What can we do with all this time at home? What family-friendly fun can we have sheltered in place to celebrate Spring’s arrival?” Whether you’re tucked away on Orcas in the beautiful San Juan Islands, poolside in Florida with a quickly dwindling wine cellar, or in a posh high-rise condominium atop Capitol Hill; we enthusiastically offer nine ideas to stay busy and sane while practicing Covid-19 isolation.

Please know you can reach our team by email or phone to help answer any real estate questions you may have regarding Idea #1, DREAMING OF AN ISLAND HOME. Whether you’re buying or selling land, residential homes, or businesses, we are here! We can also help with several other ideas from determining the optimal DIY project for home renovation projects, to merely chatting about our fantastic island lifestyle in the San Juan Islands.

Happiness and Health – The Wally Gudgell Group

Posted on March 28, 2020 at 1:47 pm
Wally Gudgell | Posted in Living in the San Juan Islands, News | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,


COVID-19 coronavirus economic impact matthew gardner windermere cheif economist

Dear Clients and Friends,

As you can well imagine, Coronavirus is on the minds of everyone, specifically those of us who call Western Washington home. To review the possible impact of COVID-19 on the real estate market, whether you’re in the process or planning to buy or sell a home, please visit the below link to Matthew Gardner’s March 09, 2020, COVID-19 ECONOMIC IMPACT.

If you have questions about how COVID-19 may impact your real estate goals, please call our office, we are here to help.

Wishing Everyone Good Health
~ Wally


Posted on March 11, 2020 at 12:44 pm
Wally Gudgell | Posted in Living in the San Juan Islands, News | Tagged , , , , ,


matthew gardner economist windermere real estate wally gudgell group market report western washington Q4 2019


Dear Clients and Friends,

Please find a link below to Matthew Gardner’s Full Report for the Western Washington Real Estate Market Q4 2019 including some compelling reasons now is again a great time for sellers in the San Juan Islands.

Reviewing Matthew’s Q4 2019 Report, as expected our seasonal slow paired with continued inventory shortages place San Juan County with the lowest number of home sales.  In the same breath San Juan County LEADS Western Washington for Q4 2019 with a spike in home price growth to a 12% increase over the third quarter of 2019.  This increase in home sale prices and inventory shortage should encourage many sellers to list this spring, adding to inventory to positively impact our Q1 for 2020.  Should you have questions how these figures impact your real estate portfolio, how it measures up or if you need a realtor, feel free to call, I’d love to discuss your real estate goals.





Posted on February 20, 2020 at 1:47 pm
Wally Gudgell | Posted in Living in the San Juan Islands, News | Tagged , , , , ,


washington state real estate excise tax changes shoreline code san juan county wally gudgell group windermere

Dear Clients and Friends,

Hope everyone is having a good summer season!  There are two things I wanted to bring your attention to ( please see attachment ). 


1) The first attachment is in regard to the new residential Washington State Real Estate Excise Tax (SB 5998) which is a significant increase for more expensive homes, particularly when you get to $2M and above.  This does not apply to commercial properties.  Whether it applies to apartment houses and similar structures is still unknown at this time as some of the finer issues are evidently still in flux and it sounds like there may be some last-minute changes.  Regardless, this isn’t effective until January 1, 2020, but if you are thinking of selling, you might want to consider trying to make it happen this year.


2) Second are San Juan County maps for various shoreline areas of Orcas.  Please note if you are in an area that has a dark blue shoreline stripe you are precluded from having transient accommodations, nightly rentals, on your property. We have found that many people are unaware of this.  The revised shoreline code was adopted last year and some of the shoreline zoning boundaries have changed as well.  Transient rentals have proven very popular here and can be more profitable than year-round rentals.  Some people who want to retire here in several years are purchasing homes hoping to generate some cash flow to help with their mortgage payments until they can retire on Orcas in the future.


In general, market conditions are good but not great, with inventory extremely low.  Please let us know if you have any questions regarding real estate on Orcas or in San Juan County.  We pride ourselves in being your go to real estate information resource in the county.


My Best,



Posted on August 7, 2019 at 11:20 am
Wally Gudgell | Posted in Living in the San Juan Islands, News |




7 FUN WAYS TO CELEBRATE OUR ORCA WHALESsan juan islands national monument salish sea windermere real estate orcas island wally gudgell group
World Orca Day is a great time to think about celebrating our magnificent neighbors and spread awareness about their plight in the wild.

As you may know Orcas face many challenges. These days, orcas—also known as killer whales, blackfish and seawolves— are threatened by diminishing food sources, pollution, oil spills, and more.  Here are a few ways you can celebrate and show your support for orcas.

1.  Adopt an orca. By symbolically “adopting” a wild orca, you’ll be supporting initiatives for clean, healthy oceans where orcas can thrive. Plus, you can get an adorable plush orca and a cookie cutter as a thanks for your donation.  jpod whale museum adopt orca whale san juan islands salish sea friday harbor windermere real estate orcas island wally gudgell group










2.  Make orca cookies. What else would you do with the above cookie cutter?  

amazon orca whale cookie cutter san juan islands salish sea friday harbor windermere real estate orcas island wally gudgell group










3 Watch orcas in action. Whether they’re making a paddle boarder giggle, giving themselves massages, or battling sharks, orcas in the wild never fail to entertain.  You’ll find fantastic tours available daily throughout the San Juan Islands; be it by land, sea or air can help find the right fit.


4.  Learn more about orcas, know the difference between resident, transient, and offshore orcas? Brushing up with NOAA on your basic orca knowledge can help spread the word.



5.  Get a tattoo. For the super dedicated orca lovers out there, what better way to show your dedication than to get a permanent tribute of the whales on your skin? (Though you can also be less committal with a temporary tattoo.)









6.  Blog and share on social media platforms about the orcas. Sharing fun facts about orcas helps to educate your followers; and sharing your whale watching photos and videos helps your followers get excited about their unique lives.  Saving the orcas won’t happen unless more people care.


7.  Get yourself or friends and family orca swag showing your support for the stewardship of orca whales.



Posted on July 12, 2019 at 2:24 pm
Wally Gudgell | Posted in Living in the San Juan Islands, News |


Dear Clients and Friends,

Many of you have or will have property tax questions on your Real Estate here in SJC. Click below to view the most comprehensive booklet I have seen yet. It’s worth a read. Assessing value to your property is another matter and it directly effects your property tax and this booklet explains how.

I think property values will continue to go up for the foreseeable future. Please let me know or better yet the assessors office know if you have any questions, we have nearly the same phone number, mine 360 376 2172, theirs is 378 instead of 376!



Posted on May 6, 2019 at 10:07 am
Wally Gudgell | Posted in Living in the San Juan Islands, News |


Dear Clients and Friends,

I hope you’ll find the attached Gardner Report interesting.  I think even more interesting is the data on San Juan County.  We are such an anomaly!  We have one of the lowest unemployment rates in the state and are one of the highest self-employment areas in the state, twice that of our nearest competitor Island County.  Our labor force is very seasonal. We have higher per person unearned income than other counties and one of the lowest average annual wages in the state.  Business income has been growing in San Juan County for the last 8 years.  At my monthly bank board meetings we watch our core deposits, typically for the last 35 years they drop in the winter.  In the last few years our core deposits have not declined in the winter months which means our retail sales businesses are doing better as indicated by the Aggregate Gross Business Income graph attached.  Also you will note that we are obtaining more income from professional, science, and technology; this is obviously because of RockIsland. I love to keep track of this stuff and hope you find it interesting as well. Here’s to a great new year and please remember me if you need a realtor.

Feel free to call and discuss with me.

Happy 2019!


Posted on February 6, 2019 at 11:28 am
Wally Gudgell | Posted in Living in the San Juan Islands, News | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , ,


Marshall Johnson Painting Windermere Real Estate Orcas Island Lopez Island Ferry Catalog Wally Gudgell Group San Juan Islands Salish Sea

2019 Windermere Real Estate Orcas and Lopez Island Real Estate Book

To us this signifies space and opportunity to enjoy a life rich in experience; a place for fearless self-expression, unleashed with vigor and gusto; it’s space to find one’s purpose and embody it in daily practice; it’s the comforting, secure environment from which we offer ourselves in service to others.

When we ask “what’s your island dream?” we pay attention to be the answer. We apply the Golden Rule. We know what’s at stake, because we understand what our Island Dream means to each of us.

As Windermere brokers, we are students of the ever-evolving real estate market. There is no room for complacency. We are tactically proficient, using the latest industry tools to achieve outstanding results. But, we are also alive to the art and nuance of our profession. It requires patience, humor, intuition, persistence, and field experience, to become a partner and guide to our clients.

We are committed to the growth of our Island Communities that are energized, resilient, and peaceful. Our belief is that strong communities cultivate the core values of tolerance, equality, respect, collaboration, and good will. Our actions demonstrate the highest regard for these values. By investing ourselves in the San Juan’s tapestry of distinctive, community-minded islanders, we seek to build a vibrant, diverse, and interesting landscape – a community which nurtures and sustains everyone.

Our Mission at Windermere Real Estate is to enhance every person’s capacity for success, well-being, creativity, and joy. As Realtors, we accomplish this by finding homes where individuals and families take root and flourish.

-Mariah, John & Annie

Mariah and John Dunning, Windermere Real Estate Orcas Island
& Annie Albritton, Windermere Real Estate Lopez Island

Posted on January 9, 2019 at 11:16 am
Wally Gudgell | Posted in Living in the San Juan Islands, News | Tagged , , , , , , ,