Puget Sound Islands

Started by John Raabe, February 03, 2005, 10:17:16 AM

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John Raabe

Whidbey, Camano, the San Juans... that's only part of the list. The Puget Sound of Washington state is filled with tree covered islands linked together by the largest system of white ferry boats in the U.S.

The climate is mild with light winters and cool summers. Homes do not need air conditioning. There is rain and lots of cloudy days, although there is a lot of variation due to the blocking effect of the Olympic mountains. Seen below...

Land is pricey and rising at about 12% a year. Strong building and development codes, earthquake potential and a population opposed to growth in general make building more expensive and drawn out than many other places. Eastern WA is dryer with colder winters and hotter summers, and generally more affordable land.

Click here for information about my hometown of Langley (zip 98260):

None of us are as smart as all of us.


My land story is a little odd.

I found myself with enough money to buy what might be a reasonable amount of land a little over four years ago.  Retirement was coming up.

Started going over where I wanted to be--not so close to Nashville that I was up there all the time, not so far that I couldn't go to a concert if it sounded like fun.

Land prices were going to be lower away from the Interstates, and out of commuting range to the big cities.

People I could get along with--artists, craftspeople, etc.  Very good idea.

Countryside that didn't give me a claustrophobic reaction.

Being close to a river sounded like a good idea.

South-western Middle Tennessee, and parts of West Tennessee (those ARE official designations) fit the bill, so I went to the United Country website and looked around.  Sent emails to places that had something promising.  Heard back from the guy here.

Came down, looked at two properties.  The first gave me the willies. The second I thought about for a while, then signed a contract on.  For the seller's asking price.  But with a question about access to the back part of the property.

The seller's aged mother wasn't much help on the access.

The seller went down 25% on the price and we closed.  By this time I had figured out one place where I could build without access.

I wasn't planning to move anytime too soon, but my house in Nashville burned down, and I came down a lot sooner than I had hoped.

I have since bought access land from the original seller's sister--their mother having died.

And I still haven't built anything but a barn.

This was EASY.  But I need to get a HOUSE BUILT..

I do like the area.  Friends up near Paris think that, and the adjoining lands up in Kentucky are better, but....  Up there one may be in seismic country--Reelfoot Lake!--and it looks like better farming land.


We have school plays.  Nowhere NEAR the 7 theatre groups that John has/had on Whidbey.

BTW Eureka Springs Arkansas' slogan is--or was--"Where the Misfit Fits."   I do get the impression that right there the place has been bed-and-breakfasted to death--or at least high land prices.

John Raabe

Yea, the place has gotten more and more "perfect" cute, or whatever else you want to call a little town that is working its way toward a stage set.

It's not there yet however, and there are plenty of old hippies and creative types who won't let the place turn into Santa Barbara or Santa Fa.

The theater is still great. There was a wonderful local music event that raised $12,000 for tsunami relief a week ago (about $12 per person in a town of 1000). The 6 woman marimba band really got the crowd moving. Those ladies can really wail!
None of us are as smart as all of us.


This is our slice of Puget Sound island heaven:

We looked long and hard for a "perfect" spot and finally found one. We spent over half of our budget on the land itself. We wanted 10 acres or more (to avoid surprises later in life) and we feel very fortunate to be able to eventually live on these 10 (it's a 660' square). The land was surprisingly "affordable," given prices in the Puget Sound region in general.

We also love Whidbey Island and while our address is in Clinton, we are almost equidistant from Langley, Clinton and Freeland.
A fool and his money are soon elected.