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MARCH 30, 2018

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Kitsap County real estate market remains hot By LESLIE KELLY

Special to Sound Publishing

Spring signals the beginning of the hot real estate market in many places. But in Kitsap County, and the Puget Sound in general, home sales have been strong throughout the past year. And agents say the coming spring and summer market is expected to remain busy. “There is a severe shortage of inventory throughout the Puget Sound region, including Kitsap County,” said Mike Eliason, executive and government affairs director for the Kitsap County Association of Realtors. “In February 2018, there were only 365 active listings in Kitsap.” That means, he said, there is less than a six week supply of homes. “A balanced market is between three and six months of supply of homes,” he said. “We are in a market that favors sellers.” According to the Northwest Multiple Listing Service, the median selling price of a home in Kitsap County is $325,000, which is a 15.75 percent increase from one year ago. Eliason said Kitsap County has become a commuters market because, although home prices are increasing here, they are still more affordable than in King County. “The median price of a home in King County is $590,000,” he said. “In contrast, the median price here is $325,000. Buyers can get good deals.” Consumers from King County are willing to travel to Kitsap and receive the benefits of housing affordability, less traffic congestion, and an improved quality of life, he said.

Real Estate experts say Kitsap remains a housing hotspot Leslie Kelly/ Source

Meanwhile, the Department of Defense workforce remains strong at local installations and military retirees

who often transfer to other areas return to Kitsap to retire, he added. That means that, overall results are higher net inmigration than out-migration. “More individuals are coming than leaving,” Eliason said. “Demand of housing is outpacing the supply.” One thing that has helped with the commuters market is the addition of the fast foot ferry operated by Kitsap Transit. Currently the ferry runs from Bremerton to Seattle several times a day. Plans are to add fast foot ferries at Kingston and Southworth in the coming year. “We expect the passenger ferry to have a long-term positive effect in the housing market,” he added. Eliason said the coming months will be a continuation of a strong buyers market with demand for more listings. “We anticipate a continuation of the current market conditions,” he said. “The availability of credit is great with low interest rates. The national and local economies are robust. Consumer confidence is strong. Unemployment is at an alltime low. And other sectors of the local economy, including retail sales, are expected to continue to grow.” Poulsbo broker Frank Wilson agrees. “Kitsap looks very affordable,” said Northwest MLS board member Frank Wilson. “Kitsap’s real estate market continues at a flurry pace with homes going off the market almost as fast as they come on. Available inventory in our county is down 32 percent compared to a year ago, which continues to put upward pressure on prices and buyer’s SEE REAL ESTATE, PAGE 10

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Think sun, shade and seasons when planting By LESLIE KELLY

Size: To 3 feet tall and wide Grow It With: Use variegated hostas for contrast in color and leaf shape.

Special to Sound Publishing

A couple of sunny days and the gardeners, minds turn to planning and planting. But just what should they be thinking about when they go to plant low maintenance gardens and shrubs? Linda Britt, plant specialist with Olmsted’s Nursery in Poulsbo, has suggestions. “The most important thing to think about is sun verses shade,” Britt said. “Sun is so important to the success of every plant.” At least six hours of direct sunlight is needed for any sun plant, she said. “Otherwise you need to be looking at partial shade plants. You have to have the right plant in the right place.” For shaded areas, Britt suggests ferns and hostas. “Huechera is great for adding color because its foliage is so colorful,” Britt said. Another tip, she said, is “don’t just think about blooms. Leaves can be as pretty or even prettier than the flower.” For the sunny areas, Britt suggests iberis, a perennial that blooms in May. “There’s one called Masterpiece which is so popular we have a hard time getting enough of it,” she said. Evergreen perennials are another option, she said. “When planting your garden, think about things that will be good all year so your garden won’t look bare in winter,” Britt said. “And texture, shape and the overall look of your garden is important.” Consider rhododendrons for areas on your yard. “In the spring and summer you will have colorful blooms,” she said. “And in the winter, some like the PJM series, have purple leaves.” They also are deer resistant and they can add form to your yard, she said. New varieties of the shrub called cotinus, are easy to grow in the Pacific Northwest, Britt said. “It can provide a spot of interest and is very sun-tolerant.” Guara is another plant to have in this part of the country. “There’s so many types and their blooms are very long lasting.” Another suggestion is echinacea she said, which blooms easily in the Pacific Northwest. Britt, who has been with Olmsted’s for 10 years, and in the industry for 35 years, also offers the suggestion of planting bee and bird friendly plants. “That is one way to help the environment and the species,” she said. Here’s more specifics from Sunset Western Garden Book:

PRIMROSE Grow a variety of primroses in your garden and you’ll always know what time it is; different selections open their beautiful trumpetshape white, pink, or yellow flowers at various points during the day. We’re especially fond of the evening primroses, whose flowers practically glow in moonlight. Plant Name: Oenothera selections Growing Conditions: Full sun and welldrained soil Size: To 3 feet tall and wide Grow It With: Pair with another summerlong bloomer, such as ‘Rozanne’ perennial geranium.

It’s important to consider sunlight and soil conditions when planting.

SHASTA DAISIES simple cheery flowers, with a sunny yellow center surrounded by crisp white petals, are perfect for creating a ton of garden charm. We love this flower because it’s more than just pretty; it’s a great cut flower and it attracts butterflies all summer long. Plant Name: Leucanthemum x superbum Growing Conditions: Full sun or part shade and well-drained soil Size: To 3 feet tall and 1 foot wide Grow It With: Try the small-size blooms and leaves of the silvery gray and lavender Russian sage. * There are thousands of dahlias for a lowmaintenance garden, and almost every variety offers a different color or texture. From glowing yellows to rich burgundies, little buttons to flowers bigger than your head, they come in tons of varieties. Don’t be overwhelmed though, they’re all beautiful and charming. Any dahlia you pick is sure to be a perfect choice. DAHLIA Growing Conditions: Full sun and moist, well-drained soil Size: To 6 feet tall and 2 feet wide Grow It With: Create an interesting contrast in your low-maintenance landscaping with spiky, upright liatris. SOLOMAN’S SEAL may look delicate with its graceful arching form and dangling summertime bell-shape flowers, but these plants are actually tough-as-nails plants for the shade. This garden plant slowly forms large colonies, so it’s perfect for sharing with gardening friends‚ or for replacing shaded areas of the lawn where grass struggles to survive. Plant Name: Polygonatum odoratum

Leslie Kelly / Source

Growing Conditions: Shade and moist, well-drained soil Size: To 3 feet tall and 1 foot wide Grow It With: Pair this woodland plant with standards such as ferns and hostas. SWORD FERN Ferns are a shade-garden staple. Sword fern is an especially great pick because its arching, deep green fronds add fantastic texture to a low-maintenance garden. And it’s evergreen, so you can enjoy its rich color all year long. Plant Name: Polystichum munitum Growing Conditions: Fertile, rich, welldrained soil; deep or partial shade


WILD GINGER The springtime flowers of wild ginger hide behind carpets of kidney-shaped, dark green leaves, but it’s the shiny, evergreen foliage that takes center stage. Wondering where the common name of wild ginger comes from? Brush your hand near the roots of this lowmaintenance garden plant and you’ll come away with a smell of ginger. Plant Name: Asarum europaeum Growing Conditions: Full shade and moist, well-drained soil Size: To 12 inches tall and wide Grow It With: Add fullness with the bushy growth and color of toad lily. CARDINAL FLOWER Cardinal flower bears some of the brightSEE SEASONS, PAGE 10


is published by Sound Publishing. For information about upcoming special publications, call 360-779-4464 Publisher: Terry Ward Editorial Director: Donna Etchey Contributing Writer: Leslie Kelly Sales Representatives: Marleen Martinez, Bill McDonald, Josh Jakola, Priscilla Wakefield Copyright 2018 Sound Publishing.



MARCH 30, 2018

Appeal to house hunters with smart home upgrades STATEPOINT

From smart thermostats to remotely controlled showers, connected homes are all the rage for today’s homeowners and those looking to make a purchase, providing easy opportunities to boost your profit when you sell. Over half of Millennials (57 percent) believe that smart home technology is a good investment in their home, according to a recent survey by Better Homes and Gardens‚ upgrading to include connected items can make your home more appealing to this next generation of homebuyers in particular. If you’re looking to sell, here are some of the latest and greatest smart home upgrades to have on your radar. CLIMATE CONTROL Your thermostat is responsible for half your energy bill -- more than appliances and electronics -- so make sure to choose one wisely. Consider installing a smart thermostat,

which learns your temperature preferences, and can save energy by turning heating and cooling on and off, based on the weather outside, your home’s energy profile and more. Potential homebuyers will love the energy savings, as well as the ability to control the thermostat from anywhere with their devices. A HANDS-FREE FAUCET Imagine the convenience of having a kitchen faucet turn water on or off, without a touch. Faucets with hands-free technology, such as Moen’s MotionSense Wave singlesensor models, allow users to easily activate the faucet with the wave of a hand. Great for when your hands are too full or messy to turn on the faucet, the technology also minimizes the spread of dirt and germs, since there’s no need to touch the faucet to start the flow of water. It’s just the type of smart upgrade to attract house hunters of all ages -- and easy on the wallet, with options available for under

$300. BRIGHT LIGHTING Smart lighting dimmer and sensor systems allow you to turn lights on and off remotely with a smartphone, and can be customized to perform certain actions, such as slowly growing brighter as you wake up or turning off automatically when you leave your home‚ providing added convenience and customization for prospective buyers. These systems are especially useful when traveling‚ allowing you to turn your lights on and off remotely, so your home doesn’t look empty while you’re away. Picture showing potential buyers how they can control all of the lights in the home with one device, or turn off the lights after they’re snuggled up in bed‚ and get ready for the offers to roll in. A DIGITAL SHOWER An updated bathroom is a huge selling

point for potential buyers. If you’re planning a renovation, enhancing your space with a digital shower can make a big difference for your family now and for future homebuyers. To provide the ultimate in personalization, select a system such as U by Moen, the first Wi-Fi/cloud-based digital shower on the market, which allows users to precisely set shower temperature and flow with an in-shower digital controller, or from the smartphone app. Plus, it can be voice activated with products like Amazon’s Alexa, for a connected home experience. By swapping just one or two items -- like your thermostat or a builder-grade kitchen faucet, you can achieve a sleeker, smarter home. And while the return on investment varies for each product, they’re all sure to appeal to tech-loving homebuyers whenever you choose to sell.

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Home projects that offer a great return on investment STATEPOINT

The warmer months present an excellent opportunity to get outdoors and spruce up your home’s exterior. But if you have limited time and resources, it’s important to prioritize the focus of your efforts. For guidance, consider Remodeling Magazine’s 2018 Cost vs. Value Report, which shows that not all remodeling projects are equal. Here are three spring renovation ideas that will give your property not only a facelift, but offer a great return on investment to boot. GARAGE DOOR National data from the 2018 Cost vs. Value Report shows that the project that delivers the highest return on investment is a new upscale garage door. This is a good choice for those looking for better noise control, greater security, curb

look on your exterior.

appeal and convenience. Newer offerings relying on smart home technology can synch with your mobile device to offer conveniences like voice control and notifications when you’ve left the garage door open. MANUFACTURED STONE VENEER In the number two slot for sound renovation investments, according to the same report, is manufactured stone veneer, which is a great way to add visual interest to your home exterior (or an interior room, for that matter). Be sure to select products that mimic the texture and color of natural stone, such as the choices from ProVia, which are molded and cast to look like stone harvested from various U.S. geographic regions and are offered in a variety of style and color palettes. The manufacturer offers resources that help make it easy to select

Some simple projects can significantly increase a property’s value. and install the best choice for your home or get the look you’ve always wanted. Their visualizer tool, found at ProVia.com, allows you to upload a photo of your home to see how the stone will

ENTRY DOOR REPLACEMENT Your home’s entry door is one of the first things prospective home buyers will notice, so it’s no surprise that upgrading yours could be a wise investment. The Cost vs. Value report named a new steel door as the third highest cost recouped. However, steel or fiberglass are both good choices for materials when it comes to functionality, durability, energy efficiency, security and versatility in style. For more home renovation ideas and resources, visit ProVia.com. When giving your home a facelift, make it count. Consider those upgrades and renovations that don’t just look good, but also are proven to increase the resale value of your home.

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nerves,” said Wilson, branch managing broker at John L. Scott Real Estate in Poulsbo. As commuters flock to the more affordable side of the sound, “affordability gets further and further in the rearview mirror for many,” he said. “Kingston, Bremerton, and Port Orchard markets are surfing in the wake of the new foot ferry service with attention being paid to those from the east side of Puget Sound seeking affordability to the west,” he added. “In fact, it’s becoming more common in Kitsap to see all cash offers, no inspection contingency, and sell-

ers that are reviewing all offers on a future date.” More Kitsap market statistics: * In February, there were 346 new listings in Kitsap as compared to 319 one year ago. * Pending sales were 112 homes, compared to last year’s 120, down 6.6 percent. * Closed sales in February 2018 were 295 as compared to 273 last year, an increase of 8 percent. * Median price was $325,00 as compared to $280,781 in February 2017.

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est red flowers we’ve ever seen. These easyto-grow perennials set spikes in late summer and simply scream for attention. Chances are you won’t be the first in your yard to notice, though. This plant is a hummingbird favorite and they’ll be all over it by the time the first bloom opens. Plant Name: Lobelia cardinalis Growing Conditions: Sun or shade and moist soil Size: To 3 feet tall and 2 feet wide Grow It With: Add low-growing waves of contrasting colored petunias to your garden.

LUPINE Lupines are great for adding an architectural look to the garden with their upright spires of flowers. Some are small, some are tall, but all are showy. They come in a wide range of colors too‚ shades of blue and purple to pink, red, orange, yellow, and white, so you’re sure to find the perfect one for your yard. Plant Name: Lupinus Growing Conditions: Moderately fertile, light, slightly acidic soil and full sun or partial shade Size: To 3 feet tall and 1 foot wide Grow It With: Try a complete opposite like the snowball shapes of viburnum.

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Spring into lawn and garden care FAMILY FEATURES

If cooler weather has you longing for sunny days outdoors, take heart. Once spring rolls around, you can safely begin the annual cleanup to prepare your yard for months of warm-weather enjoyment. Start by evaluating your lawn. Look for bald spots where grass has grown sparsely and needs reseeding, or uneven areas that may need to be filled and leveled. Before you take steps to correct any problems, you’ll need a clean slate. Clear the yard of any leaves, rocks or sticks that may have accumulated then cut the grass as short as you can. Use a thatching rake to remove dead roots and grass. Break up the soil in bare spots to create an environment that will be hospitable to new seed. Add lawn soil to level the surface. You’ll also need to apply an herbicide to treat weed-infested areas. Allow the weed killer to work for about a week then rake again to remove dead weeds. Then you’re ready to over-seed or spot seed, depending on your lawn’s

Nipping lawn care in the bud ensures lush, green grass come summertime. needs. Your climate will determine the best grass variety for your yard. Be sure to select and apply a fertilizer that is consistent with your grass type and water thoroughly to promote deep root growth, which can help your lawn

Getty Images / Source

withstand extreme conditions as temperatures rise. Your lawn isn’t the only part of your yard that needs attention during the spring months, though. Your garden and flower beds may need some care

before they, too, are ready to burst with new bounty and color. Begin by clearing your garden and beds of any debris like leaves and other matter that piled up during months of neglect. Gently turn the soil and work in fresh fertilizer. Before your plants and flowers are in full-growth mode is the ideal time to make repairs. Check edging for any damage, replace rotted woodwork and complete any other maintenance tasks. As for the plants, prune before the first buds sprout to minimize stress. You can also start indoor seeds, and early spring is the time to divide perennials and plant some hardier vegetables, such as onions and potatoes. The warmer months may still seem far away, but getting some of your lawn and garden care underway now can make those warmer, sunny days feel closer in no time. Find more seasonal tips for prepping your yard at eLivingToday.com. Source: eLivingToday.com

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MARCH 30, 2018

Family-friendly ideas for getting out and about this spring STATEPOINT

“This music and art extravaganza is our marquee event of the year, and we hope to kick off the Atlanta-area festival season in style,” says Brookhaven Mayor, John Ernst. The totally-free event takes place at Blackburn Park on March 24-25 and features something for all age groups, including great food, an arts and crafts festival, a classic car show, a 5k road race, a dog show, a Kidz Zone, and big-name musical acts, like country music stars Craig Morgan and Keith Anderson, as well the LA-based indie rock band, Transviolet, and the rock act, Hannah Wicklund & The Steppin Stones. For more information about the 2018 Brookhaven Cherry Blossom Festival, visit brookcherryfest.org,

Spring is the best time of year to get outdoors and spend some quality time with the family. Here are three ideas to shake off winter’s cabin fever and get the most of the season. TAKE A HIKE Visit a state or national park and hit the hiking trails. Most parks have a variety of trails of varying difficulty and length. From Glacier National Park in the west to Arabia Mountain National Heritage Area in the east, check out options that offer nature and wildlife areas, hiking trails, parks and family fun. If hiking, do your research and select a route that’s right for your group, pack some snacks and sandwiches before hitting the trail. Just be sure to stay hydrated, wear good footwear, and apply sunscreen and bug spray. As the weather warms, you’ll want to take these important precautions. To reward your efforts, plan a fun ice cream excursion for the way home. COMMUNITY EVENTS Whether you stay local or travel afar, many local communities offer music, food and fun-filled spring events and outdoor festivals. How about an epic road trip to

ENJOY YOUR OWN BACKYARD Kick off the backyard season by firing up the grill and playing lawn games, like horseshoes, croquet, and bean bag toss. Create a warm-weather playlist to set the party mood and ask friends and neighbors over and turn it into a potluck. After a long winter, welcome spring with fun outdoor activities at home and out in the community that the whole family can enjoy.

A roadtrip to the Brookhaven Cherry Blossom Festival is a great way to kick off spring’s arrival. (c) andreaobzerova/stock.Adobe.com / Source Brookhaven, GA? The city hosts their annual Brookhaven Cherry Blossom Festival each spring attracting over 15,000 people from

across the country. The festival makes for a great girlfriends’ getaway, guys’ trip or family adventure. And, pets are welcome too!

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MARCH 30, 2018


How to find the right home mortgage so you don’t overpay STATEPOINT

Ample bedrooms and bathrooms? Check. A roomy kitchen? Check. A nice-sized backyard, storage space in the attic and just the right amount of curb appeal? Check, check and check. Once you’ve found your perfect home, the next step is finding the right mortgage -- which can sometimes feel like you’re competing in a contact sport, being blindsided by confusing requests or financial surprises as you go through the application process. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, 63.7 percent of Americans own their home. But getting there wasn’t necessarily easy. A 2017 NerdWallet survey reports that 42 percent of homeowners felt the home-buying process was stressful, a third said it was complicated, and 21 percent found it intimidating. To help make you a mortgage all-star, Ally Home has created The Mortgage Playbook, a free, easy-to-read resource. Authored by members of the Ally Home Team, a dedicated group of loan experts, the playbook features four sections that cover the entire field – from a gettingstarted game plan to approval and closing on a mortgage. It also breaks down confusing financial terms, helping applicants avoid pain during the home buying process. To help you prepare for your mortgage game day, here are three top tips from the experts at Ally: MAXIMIZE YOUR FINANCIAL FITNESS. There are five steps consumers should take to improve their “financial fitness” before applying for a mortgage. These include

of free online tools, such as the Affordability Calculator available at Ally.com, to determine how much house they can afford. Using two pieces of data -- monthly income and monthly debt -- a borrower can quickly calculate their debt-to-income ratio. In most instances, this ratio should not exceed 43 percent, meaning your monthly mortgage payment and other debt obligations (car loan, school loan, credit card payments) should not comprise more than 43 percent of your gross monthly income.

Ally Home’s Morgage Playbook can take some of the pain out of finding a mortgage that works for you. (c) Monkey Business/stock.Adobe.com / Source

demonstrating stable employment, managing debt, paying down credit accounts, accumulating assets like savings or retirement accounts to boost credit histories, and reviewing (and correcting, if necessary) your credit reports. KNOW YOUR NUMBERS. Borrowers can take advantage

KNOW WHAT TYPE OF MORTGAGE IS BEST FOR YOU. One of the biggest decisions borrowers make is whether to get a fixed-rate or adjustable-rate mortgage. When interest rates are low, a fixed-rate mortgage may be the better option. But if interest rates are higher, an adjustable rate mortgage could make sense because its lower initial rate means lower monthly payments for a specific time period (usually five, seven or 10 years) before the rate could change. For more valuable tips, visit ally.com/docs/bank/allyhome-playbook to download the complete Mortgage Playbook. This free resource was created by Ally Home, whose mortgage products are offered by Ally Bank, Member FDIC, Equal Housing Lender. Just like you wouldn’t hit the field without training and preparation, don’t head into the home buying process without the right knowledge. Leverage free resources that can help you be prepared.

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MARCH 30, 2018

Deck design tips and tricks FAMILY FEATURES

fully with gray deck boards, delivering an elegant look and feel. For a beachy vibe, opt for a contrasting look with all-white railings. Or go completely custom with sleek, black aluminum railings to create a space that’s both modern and inviting.

Timing can be everything, especially when it comes to planning an outdoor living space. By getting a jump-start on planning, you can afford yourself time to complete the process with maximum creativity and minimal stress. Try these expert tips and tricks of the trade to help make your dream deck a reality. LAY A SOLID FOUNDATION Don’t skimp on the substructure. Often overlooked, the substructure can have tremendous impact on performance and appearance. For maximum strength and stability, opt for steel framing over wood in order to achieve a consistently flat decking surface. Wooden substructures can split, warp and shift over time, leading to an uneven surface in the deck boards. Dimensionally stable steel offers durability benefits over wood, plus greater design flexibility, sustainability, safety and fire resistance. GET THE RIGHT TOOLS In addition to magazines, TV shows and social platforms offering outdoor living ideas and inspiration, there are also a number of online tools designed to help guide you through the planning process. The Trex Deck Starter can help anyone at the outset of their deck building adventures by providing a user-friendly way to experiment with various deck configurations and design combinations. In three simple steps, the tool can help you choose the right materials for your project and design a customized outdoor living space before ever raising a hammer. CHOOSE THE RIGHT MATERIALS When selecting materials, invest in decking that can hold up against the harshest weather and messiest cookouts. Highperformance, low-maintenance composite

Following a few simple building tips will ensure that you get the most out of your deck. Trex / Source

decking offers superior durability and longlasting looks. It can also outperform both wood and PVC alternatives over time. With a wood deck, the cost of regular sanding, staining and painting compound can be considerable over time. Over the life of a composite deck, the reduced maintenance costs of simple soap and water cleanings can add up to a greater return on investment - not to mention the value of all the time spent enjoying your deck rather than maintaining it. ADD SAFETY AND STYLE WITH RAILINGS Railings can be one of the most visible parts of any deck so it should be considered at the same time as the deck boards. A good rule of thumb is to use the “three C’s,” which are: coordinate, contrast, customize.


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For example, crisp white posts and black aluminum balusters coordinate beauti-

INCORPORATE PERSONAL TOUCHES WITH ACCESSORIES Have fun exploring the many design elements that are available for customizing your deck. Things like built-in seating, planters and storage, as well as add-ons such as a pergola or outdoor furniture, can add comfort, character and convenience to your outdoor living space. Further personalize your space with a variety of deck and landscape lighting fixtures. Set up path lights to brighten walkways and use spotlights to showcase trees and architectural features. Easy to install and energy efficient, an option like Trex Landscape Lighting can help keep your outdoor enjoyment going long after the sun goes down. For more inspiration and tips for designing your dream deck, visit Trex.com. #13898 Source: Trex


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MARCH 30, 2018


Spring is in bloom


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MARCH 30, 2018

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POULSBO Windermere Real Estate/West Sound, Inc. (360) 775-5205 WINDERMEREPOULSBO. COM

PORT ORCHARD Windermere Real Estate/Port Orchard (360) 876-9600 PORTORCHARDREALESTATE.COM


S I LV E R D A L E Windermere Real Estate/West Sound, Inc. (360) 692-6102 WINDERMERESILVERDALE.COM

GIG HARBOR Windermere Real Estate/Gig Harbor (253) 851-7374 WINDERMEREGIGHARBOR.COM

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Home and Garden - Spring 2018  


Home and Garden - Spring 2018