Living in the San Juan IslandsOrcas Island Real Estate MarketReal Estate November 4, 2021


Dear Clients, Friends and Family –

The 3rd Quarter Gardner Report shows San Juan County once again as a significant outlier for Western Washington. Regionally, annual average home prices were up 26% from a year ago but with a considerable drop in sales from 2020 to 2021 (a result most likely of growing home prices and continued low inventory). Additionally, the average time on the market is up over 25%, typically indicating a slowing market, but because we have so little inventory, it is bound to be slower. Interesting times! The San Juan County and Area 901 [Orcas, Obstruction & Crane Islands] Breakouts compare a snapshot of October 2020 versus October 2021, reflecting the strong buyer demand we saw for the lion’s share of 2021.


western washington q3 2021 gardner report san juan county orcas obstruction crane island area 901 nwmls breakout real estate market windermere realty wally gudgell group san juan islands laura hasselman terri gilleland broker team excellence client service











Have questions? Feel free to call us; as real estate advisors specializing in the San Juans, we can help you analyze the data and explain how it pertains to your bottom line. Our mission is to provide you with current and accurate market information to keep you up to date on one of your biggest investments. And make sure to ask we send your complimentary home or property valuation – you will be pleasantly surprised to see your equity gains over the last year alone.

Cheers to Home ~ Wally, Laura & Terri, The Gudgell Group

wally gudgell group windermere real estate orcas island realty company logo broker realtor agent team san juan islands experts specialists

Orcas Island Real Estate MarketReal Estate September 16, 2021



top 3 home seller questions answered windermere real estate orcas island realty wally gudgell group blog how when where to start




The journey to sold begins before you even pick up the phone, and in some cases, years before you sign a listing agreement or a FOR-SALE sign hung. Our recommendation to anyone considering a real estate move at any point is to begin by outlining your motivations and goals, both long and short-term. Just as you pen retirement plans and goals, start your homeownership and or real estate investment journey by outlining your unique motivations and goals for owning a home or real estate holdings. Outlining your goals can help as you move forward through the selling process.

We have found clients have unique and very personal reasons when considering real estate moves. If you find yourself stuck at your outline, reach out to a knowledgeable local broker who can assist in drafting scenarios and possible outcomes on your outline. Building a relationship with a local and loyal broker can save you time and money along your real estate journey by keeping you informed of the market and trends, opportunities, and regulations that could impact your success in reaching your goals in real estate.

Suppose you’ve not started your outline yet; no worries, get started now. Outlining your motivation and goals at any time in your real estate journey will yield results. The ongoing seller’s markets Nationally in Western Washington and in the San Juan Islands, continue to make now an optimal time to maximize your return on investment (ROI). Real estate market conditions continue to be prime for reinvesting equity into alternate real estate investment properties or assets, or to parlay gained equity into a home that meets the goals in your outline. For a detailed look at the market through July 2021 and an early indication of home price trends, Read CoreLogic’s Home Price Insights Report.corelogic historic home value price increase year over year windermere real estate orcas island realty wally gudgell group san juan islands2. HOW MUCH IS MY PROPERTY WORTH?

Home value, precisely market value, is a critical variable in solving the SOLD formula, and it is best answered by professionals, specifically a Realtor®. Short of hiring an expensive home appraisal on your own, a local licensed Realtor can be your best source of accurate and current market values. Local Realtors have much of, if not all, the knowledge and tools a licensed home appraiser has, but by adding a Realtor®, you also gain invaluable market expertise and experience not offered by an appraiser.

The savvy knowledge and know-how a Realtor® brings to the table can take your real estate toolbox steps beyond home value. Local Realtors potentially have a pool of well-qualified buyers looking for a property just like yours. In addition, local brokers have a solid understanding of the sales process, permits, (Covenants, Conditions & Restrictions (CC&Rs), how they apply, and if they can be used or altered if needed, as well as proven marketing tools and skilled tactics for a successful negotiation.



According to Zillow, a behemoth in collecting real estate statistics and data, “Nationally, the best time to sell a house is March if you’re trying to sell quickly, while the best time to maximize profit is July.”1 We’ve seen a similar pattern over the past ten years in San Juan County for all property types and all price ranges, though our uptick in closings starts earlier in the year. In our pre and post-pandemic past, we’ve experienced a clearly defined selling season with the highest volume of closings beginning in February with spring weather and seasonal visitors just off our bow. And a decrease in closing volume starting in October as summer visitors head back to the mainland. The below Northwest Multiple Listing Service (NWMLS) graph illustrates seasonal changes in closing volume over the last ten years in San Juan County.

northwest multiple listing service 10-yr closed sales traffic windermere real estate orcas island realty wally gudgell group san juan islands

It’s worth noting for those looking to sell in the slower season, buyers choosing San Juan County over the winter months tend to be more serious and ready buyers. Buyers who have perhaps waited for fall price reductions or year-end planning to make their move.

Since March 2020, sellers in San Juan County have gained tremendously due to growing demand for homes, vacant land, and commercial properties combined with exceedingly low inventory. Continued demand for rural-community life and large numbers discovering remote is not only possible but preferred; our fantastic island lifestyle makes selling real estate in the San Juans is a good choice year-round.

Your unique situation, motivation, goals, and type of property determine the best time of the year to list. Contact your local real estate expert; they can help determine when to take advantage of market trends for the highest ROI.



Whether you’re looking to buy a new home, sell your current one, or invest, there is more to reaching real estate goals than buying and selling while wishing for the highest ROI. Achieving your real estate goals begins by identifying and setting your individual goals and outlining your motivations correctly. Then, by answering the questions – Where Do I Start, How Much Is My Property Worth, and When Is the Best Time to Sell, you can achieve what you want from your real estate journey.

Having a top-producing local broker on your team to help answer some of these questions can help you build a smart action plan focused on success. If you’re ready for answers to additional questions asked by sellers and no-obligation consultation, please get in touch with us, and let’s get you achieving your goals.

Cheers to Your Success –
Wally, Laura & Terri / The Wally Gudgell Group
wally gudgell group windermere real estate orcas island realty company logo broker realtor agent team san juan islands experts specialists










Living in the San Juan Islands November 13, 2020



Eastsound in Fall Copyright MaryRoseDenton8 Orcas Island Realty Gudgell Group Covid-Era Real Estate BlogCOVID-ERA REAL ESTATE:


What strange times we’re in… it’s hard enough to keep track of what day it is, let alone the economic state of affairs. In 40+ years of selling real estate, I’ve never seen the market so intense in our neck of the woods.

Our homes are our havens, maybe now more than ever. We’re approaching eight months of communal anxiety: virus fears, civil unrest, neighbors in crisis, political unease, and loss and illness for many. In large part, the desire for a ‘safe haven’ is driving the local market. Second-home owners are coming to stay long-term, and new buyers from urban areas are seeking safety and tranquility. The result is a shortage of properties for sale. Low inventory along with historically low interest rates has caused what is known as a ‘seller’s market.’ For those who’ve considered selling, there’s likely never been a better opportunity to gain maximum return on investment. This is the time to consider a valuation on your property to inform decisions about what to do next.

The NW Multiple Listing Service home sales for Orcas Island over the last six months has seen 92 closed sales, a median sold price of $683,500, and an average time on the market of 64 days. The largest increase was in the 30 days prior to November 1st.  In that most recent window, our median sold price increased over $100,000 to $792,000, with an average of 118 days on the market. There are currently 22 pending sales and only 34 active listings; historically, the number of active homes is four times this number.*

Vacant land property sales have also seen a surge. Our six month average price was $246,500 with 85 days on the market.  During the most recent 30 day window the average price jumped to $265,000, and days on the market shortened to 70. 48 vacant land properties sold in the last six months, with an additional 21 pending, leaving only 31 listed properties remaining. Typically, there would be five times that many.*

October often marks a winding down of the selling season, but the Covid-19 swell in real estate sales will be with us for months to come. Interestingly, we’re seeing far fewer people purchasing property for vacationing or as rentals. Nearly all of our recent clients work remotely to some degree, and say they are moving
here permanently. This means we will have an influx of new members in our island community. With the weight of many worries on our shoulders,
it’s more important than ever to engage and encourage connections among us, and especially with those who may not yet know many people here.
In a time of relative social isolation, it will be up to us to find ways to welcome them as ‘islanders.’


Warm regards,



*Figures may have changed since the drafting of this column.