If you’re interested in buying a home on Whidbey Island, there are a few things to consider before making the purchase that will prepare you for homeownership there. We’ll walk you through the three most important actions.
1. Identify where you want to live
Whidbey Island has several communities, each with its own charm and amenities. Take some time to explore the island, get a feel for the different areas, and narrow down your home search.
Oak Harbor is an oceanfront community that was originally incorporated in the early 1900s. Residents appreciate the small-town vibe, as well as its antique and boutique shopping. Oak Harbor Whidbey Island homes for sale are near Skagit Valley College, so if a college town is on your list of desirable locations, this section of Whidbey Island real estate may suit you and your family very well.
Photo courtesy of Whidbey Island
Billed as the island's "Historic Town," Coupeville is one of the state's oldest communities. Buyers interested in historic Whidbey Island homes for sale may find this town to be the perfect fit with many repurposed buildings that are more than 100 years old.
Photo courtesy of Clipper Vacations
Langley is another small-town oceanfront community that is a thriving haven for performers and artists who specialize in a wide variety of mediums. Residents of Whidbey Island real estate also appreciate the nearby farms and benefit from the farmers' market that offers fresh and local produce as well as other goods.
The Bayview area might be right for you if you want to be centrally located on the island. Although this area's Whidbey Island real estate is considered part of Langley, Bayview offers a small community that is about five miles from Clinton and Langley.
Often referred to as the commercial section of the island, Freeland may suit you with its abundance of retail, dining, and other businesses. Freeland residents and buyers of Whidbey Island homes for sale especially enjoy dining and wine tasting at Blooms Winery & Bistro.
Greenbank is located on the 151 acres of the Greenbank Farm, which has a claim to fame as being the former home of the biggest loganberry farm on the planet! The farmhouse and the barn with its iconic "Whidbey 1904" signage are popular as a wedding and event venue. If you are an avid birdwatcher, Greenbank Whidbey Island real estate may be the perfect place with plenty of birds–from harriers to herons–to spot across the marsh.
Around since the early 1800s, Clinton is well-known for having the first car ferry service for the island. This town is quite popular with buyers and residents of Whidbey Island homes who prefer to shop small and support local family-owned businesses, which applies to most businesses in Clinton. It’s also a great location if you enjoy whale watching.
2. Review market trends
Once you identify the Whidbey Island real estate areas you’re most interested in, we suggest learning about those locations’ current market trends.
In Oak Harbor, the median listing price for Whidbey Island homes for sale remains well below the November 2021 high of nearly $840,000. The median price is rising again after falling in February 2022 to $390,000, and as of April 2022, the median listing price hovers around $470,000.
Buyers will be pleased to know that the number of homes available for sale is on the rise, with nearly 120 listings in April 2022. This shows a strong increase from July 2021 through February 2022, when there was limited availability of fewer than 25 homes per month.
The median number of days a property is on the market has been below 40 since February 2022, so buyers should expect properties to move very quickly. The market is very competitive, so prepare all the necessary paperwork and financing information so you can submit an offer quickly. Be aware that you may have to bid on several properties before your offer is successful.
Buyers of Whidbey Island real estate in Coupeville should be happy to know that the median listing price has been below $700,000 since March 2022. Interestingly, the median listing price was well above $5 million throughout the summer and fall of 2021.
The drastic variation in median listing price is justified by the limited number of homes available for sale. From October 2020 through March 2022, there were fewer than 20 homes listed at a time. The number of available homes has been climbing steadily since March 2022, with 22 homes available in April 2022—the highest number of listings since July 2020.
Since March 2022, homes in Coupeville have been closing after less than a month on the market. Given the small number of homes available for sale and the quick closing trend, be prepared to move quickly on homes that meet your minimum requirements.
Whidbey Island homes for sale in Langley tend to have a median listing price between $600,000 and $800,000, based on the past two years of data. The trend has drastic spikes and lulls, where the biggest lull was $165,000 in August and September 2021, while the highest spike was just shy of $860,000 in September 2020.
The sharply limited inventory of homes for sale accounts for the repetitive peaks and lulls in the median price. In the past two years, the number of homes available at any given time has always been below 20. With such a limited inventory, plan for a long search and avoid becoming too attached to a single property because you will likely have to make several offers across multiple properties before one is accepted.
Buyers interested in Freeland will be glad to learn that the median listing price has been falling since the February 2022 high of approximately $1.13 million. In April, the median price was just shy of $670,000. Now is a great time to purchase here if you want to strike while prices are lower.
Unfortunately, there will be strong competition for homes in this area because so few are listed, and they move quickly. Over the past two years, the number of available homes per month has never exceeded 18, and the median time on the market is less than 50 days.
The median listing price for Greenbank homes fell again after reaching a recent peak of approximately $1 million in February 2022. The median listing price in April 2022 was $770,000.
Like the other areas, competition for Greenbank Whidbey Island homes for sale is exceptionally fierce, given that there have been less than 15 homes listed at a time for the past two years. These homes typically move fast, with closings taking place under a month from the listing date, based on data from January 2022 through April 2022.
Since December 2021, Clinton median listing prices have ranged from approximately $600,000 to $800,000. The past few months are seeing a general upward trend in median price, so start looking as soon as possible if you want to purchase before prices spike again (homes sold for nearly $1.9 million in November 2021).
There are usually very few homes available in Clinton, with no more than 21 listed per month over the past two years. The number of listings has climbed since the December 2021 low of just one listing; there were 15 active listings in April 2022.
Since December 2021, Clinton homes have been on the market for less than 52 days, and they have typically been closing in 30 days or less.
With the limited availability of Whidbey Island homes for sale, start your search for Clinton Whidbey Island real estate early, be prepared to make multiple offers across several properties, and be ready to close quickly once your offer is accepted.
3. Hire a real estate professional
After narrowing down the communities in which you are interested—and after you've prepared yourself for the fierce competition—it is time to hire professional assistance. Look for a Whidbey Island real estate expert like Tim C. Miller to help refine your search and support you through the entire home buying process.
In summary, if you're looking for a home on Whidbey Island, do your research first. Which community suits you best? What can you expect from the current market? It's also essential to hire a realtor who knows the island communities and real estate market. Tim has extensive knowledge of all the different neighborhoods and knows what to expect from today's housing market. Reach out to Tim today if you have any questions or want to start touring homes.