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December 2014
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New Construction!  Brand New Homes!

Do you know how different it is to buy a new home than to purchase a resale home?  Do you know what is standard and what is an upgrade or extra?  Is the builder offering any incentives?  What are the builder incentives?

You as a buyer NEED to be represented.  Would you like to work with the builder’s agent or would you rather have your own agent that is going to look out for just you?

For 10 years I was an agent that would “sit a plat” for a builder.  I technically wasn’t the builder’s agent, even though I was on the builder’s team.  My title was “project manager” and I was compensated by the builder’s listing agent.  I had an arrangement that I would only be representing the buyer in a purchase contract.  This was an amazing opportunity for my buyers.  I was given unlimited access to the builder and the builder’s subs and attended the builders weekly production meetings.  I knew everything that was going on with the builder.

If you walk onto a new construction site here in Bremerton who do you think the agent sitting at the model home works for?  Are you going to ask?  Do you know what questions to ask to get the most honest answer.  If the agent sitting at the model home is the listing agent then they are working for the builder and could at best become your “dual agent” if you were to purchase a property there.  If the agent is just sitting the model home open as a favor to the listing agent they “might” be able to be your agent.  They are sitting the model home open to prospect for buyers.  However, they most likely are under some pressure to write some contracts on the new homes.  Do you want an agent that is under pressure from the builder to write new construction contracts to be your agent?

Here are some things that you will want to educate yourself on

  • Standard Features vs Upgrades
  • Building permit approved or needs to be submitted
  • What is a Presale?
  • Lot selection and Premium Lot fee
  • Color / cabinet / lighting selection process

Having spent 10 years selling new construction in the Puget Sound area and coming from a building background.  I can assist you with any questions you may have about purchasing a new home in Bremerton

Don’t let the “site agent” trick you into thinking they can get you a better deal.  They can not. 


Sometimes I show the best house first and sometimes I save it for the end.  Depends on where I think my buyers are in their learning curve of looking at homes.  Sometimes I am spot on and sometimes I am not!  The other day I had some buyers out that are relocating to the area from Texas.  Everything is bigger in Texas so I decided to show them the best house last.  The “best” house was the largest of the six homes we were going to see.  Three houses to see on Wed and 3 houses to see on Thursday.

When we arrived at house number 3 my buyers thought they had found “the one”.  The kitchen was open with granite counter-tops and stainless steel appliances (thank you HGTV) , the great room was spacious and there was an extra room on the main level.  They didn’t even want to see any other homes.  I was a little shocked and thought – OK, lets get ready to prepare the offer.  I told them that there was one other house they must see.  I asked them to meet me at the “last” house on the list and then we would see “the one” right after for the second look, and then write the contract up.

Of course to protect their interest in the 3rd house I called the listing agent and told him that we would be writing an offer so if another offer came in to please call me.  I told him our offer would be to him on Thursday.  On Thursday I met the buyers at house number 6.  The house that was the largest and from what I thought met all  the needs they had laid out to me prior to our tour.

They LOVED it!  They loved the spacious master and realized the secondary bedrooms were larger than house number 3.  There were not stainless steel appliances but they knew that someday there could be.  You can add appliances but it takes an engineering degree to add space in bedrooms!  So, after the grand tour of house#6 we went back over to house number 3.

Today, on the second look at house number 3 they could feel the smaller square footage, the SS appliances didn’t sway them on the 2nd look.  The granite counter-tops were not that cool when it came to the smaller kitchen of the two.  What they realized was the bedrooms in house number 3 were so much smaller and didn’t fit their lifestyle with a growing family.  Now “the one” wasn’t.  Good thing they had an agent like me that listened to their needs and didn’t just stop at a sale.  Of course I love writing contracts and making sales but I enjoy a happy client much more than a commission check.

Together we make a great team and we will find you the best house out there for you!


1.  THE FUTURE’S SO BRIGHT, I GOTTA WEAR SHADES.  When buying a home you really need to consider your future plans.   How long do you plan on staying in the area?  Do you want to be a move-up buyer in 5-7 years?  Make sure you buy a home that appeals to many and will be easier to sell in the future than the fixer-upper next to the freeway wall.  It’s not always a good idea to buy “anything” just to own a home.

2.  DO A DRIVE BY. Drive by during the day, drive by at night, see what type of street lighting there is.  Drive by during the morning commute time and see if the neighborhood is used as a “cut through” for commuters.  I encourage ALL of my buyers to drive by the property they want to purchase at different times of the day/night prior to writing a purchase and sale agreement. Check out this article I wrote a few weeks back –  DO A “DRIVE BY”! WHAT EVERY BUYER NEEDS TO KNOW – KITSAP REAL ESTATE

3.  IS A BACKGROUND CHECK IN ORDER?  There are ways that you as a buyer can check out crime statistics, school ratings and look at the sex offender maps for the area.  If you need help I can send you a link.

4.  WHAT’S YOUR STYLE?  TRADITIONAL TWO STORY OR DAYLIGHT RANCH?  Here in the Pacific Northwest the traditional 2 story is the most popular, but you want to make sure your home style reflects your living habits.  As I get older the stairs on certain days are an issue!  Do you like an open floor plan or do you like your space divided?

5.  ABC, 123 LOCAL SCHOOL DISTRICT INFORMATION.  Do you have kids?  Are they in school?  Do you want to stay in the same school boundaries?  Property values can be tied to how good a school preforms or how poor.  I have some great sites you can visit to look at all the states “grades” on schools, just ask.

6.  VINTAGE OR BRAND NEW.  I spent 10 years selling new construction in King County and have purchased a brand new home, but longed for the day of a “vintage” home with that extra character value.  I have lived in new homes, 1950′s homes and now live in a “art deco era” home built in 1941.  I know what to look for in new construction quality and I know how to tell in a vintage home if you will need to update wiring or plumbing.

7.  LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION.  You have heard it before and you will hear it when you enter the real estate market as a buyer from all of your friends.  You must live here – not there – its all about the location.  We can chat about this more at length in-between viewing homes.

Of course there are a kagillion other things you might consider too, these are just a few to get your brain thinking about your home purchase.  Its a fun process and an exciting experience to purchase a home!

VA Buyers: You searched on Zillow? You missed 72% of the Homes Available Bremerton 98312

This morning while doing some market research for a client I received a phone call from Zillow.  These calls come in from time to time when some other agent decides to stop paying Zillow for some advertising product.  Today it was that zip code 98312 became available for purchase.  My office is in 98312 and I live in 98312 so you would think I would “jump” at the chance to purchase a spot on the Zillow website for zip code 98312. Nope, I politely declined.  Then I started to wonder, why was the other agent giving up the spot in 98312?  Probably because the return on investment just wasn’t what they thought it would be.  I very rarely pay for ads and at the moment I am not paying for any advertisement on Zillow or Trulia.  I don’t think I have ever paid for advertising on Zillow.  If I have it would have been years and years ago.  I know I have never paid for a zip code. This phone call got me to thinking.  What does that zip code 98312 look like.  I went to Zillow and put in zip code 98312.  There were 42 homes listed for sale. Forty-two homes for sale?  I knew something was a miss.  You see the Northwest Multiple Listing Service which all real estate brokers in the area belong to does NOT syndicated listings to these 3rd party sites.  So Zillow would not be getting the homes that are listed through the MLS to them.  We as companies or individual brokers can enter our listings on Zillow and HOMEFRONT Realty does. However, there are a bunch of other real estate agents/brokers that do NOT. If you were a buyer in the 98312 zip code of Bremerton and you were searching on Zillow you would have MISSED 113 homes for sale! That number again is 1 1 3!!!  Crazy!  If you were searching for homes on HOMEFRONT Realty you would have seen ALL 113 homes that are available along with some pending homes, homes that are NOT sold but not in a total active status.  Most of these homes will sell, but some will be back on the market, so always nice to see that data too. I guess I was shocked to see that Buyers using Zillow to search for their home would miss out on 72% of the homes available in Bremerton’s 98312! Buyers do your self a service and search on a Company website – we are the ones that have ALL of the listings.  Don’t miss out on your dream home! Bremerton Homes For Sale 98312

VA Buyers: DO a “DRIVE BY”! What every Buyer Needs to Know – Kitsap Real Estate

You have found the perfect house, you want to make an offer, you have seen it in the early afternoon for about 20-30 minutes.  Do you write an offer or do you do a “drive by”?

I encourage ALL of my buyers to drive by the property they want to purchase at different times of the day/night prior to writing a purchase and sale agreement.  Our Form 35 – Inspection Addendum does have a section titled Neighborhood Review Contingency that gives the buyer the opportunity to review all areas of the neighborhood during an agreed upon time frame which is usually 3 days from mutual acceptance.  Of course you can use this to preform your due diligence on the neighborhood, but from my experience by the time you have written an offer, went through any kind of counter-offer phase and have come to terms with a mutually accepted contract you just are not that motivated to preform a neighborhood review.  This is why I counsel to review the neighborhood prior to submitting an offer.

Drive by during the day.  Are there basketball hoops in the cul-de-sac?  If the neighborhood is not in a HOA (Home Owners Association) the only fall back you have is the City of County the neighborhoods is located in.  Is it garbage day?  If not, do you see cans left out on the street?

Drive by at night, see what type of street lighting there is.  See what neighbors have what lights on.  Is there a neighbor with a security light that is right next to a window where you won’t want light at night?  How are all the cars parked?  Do people have to use their driveways? (Some HOA’s demand this) If not, do people use them?  Are drive ways empty and cars parked out on the street?

Drive by during the morning commute time and see if the neighborhood is used as a “cut through” for commuters.  Are the stop signs sufficient?  Are people driving too fast?  Will kids have to walk to school or are they bused? Is there a vacant lot next to or in back of the home?  What can become of this lot.  Will there be 1 home or will the city/county allow for the lot to be subdivided into two or more?  Will the homes built there face towards one street or maybe the other street so their backyards back up to your side yard?  If you want to purchase a classic charmer will a vacant lot and new construction ruin what your idea is of the neighborhood?

Builders will build anything anywhere as long as they can get a permit and cities/counties want that permit money! Never assume anything. Remember that neighborhoods are always changing and your new neighborhood will but at least if you are careful and do your homework the changes won’t effect your quality of life or the joy of your new home.

VA Buyers: What is a Listing Alert? Buying a House in Bremerton

You are looking for homes online.  It’s so easy to do, with so many sites.  Sites managed by real estate companies, sites managed by 3rd party vendors, sites managed by real estate agents and sites that are managed by builders and large marketing companies.

Where do you go?  What sites are the best?

Of course everyone takes a look at Zillow and Trulia, the largest 3rd party sites.  I think that we all enjoy those sites because we can be anonymous.  We can read blogs, ask questions or read questions others have asked.  We can see a “zestimate” of a property and do lots of other stuff.  However, you will not be able to see ALL of the homes available for sale in your area on Zillow or Trulia.  They are not given the data by the local MLS.  They get their data from some internet data feeds given to them by real estate companies.

HOMEFRONT Realty doesn’t give a feed to any 3rd party sites.  So if you are looking at Zillow or Trulia for inventory you are probably missing out on AT LEAST 40% of the inventory.  We do input our listings on these sites for our sellers.

If you want to have the best search experience it is best to connect with  a real estate agent or sign up for a Listing Alert product from a real estate agent.  Sign up for an account.  That way you can save your favorites, save your searches and have new listings delivered to your email in box.  So simple.

At HOMEFRONT Realty we offer this service free of charge.  We also will not “hound” you when you sign up.  We might sent you an email every couple of weeks, but nothing that you can’t read in 2 minutes.  We are NOT a pressure sales driven company.  Sign up here for your own account - LISTINGS BY EMAIL – Listing Updates Sent to Your Inbox.





VA Buyers: Naval Base Kitsap Relocation PCS Calculator

Hi folks, currently my husband and I are in the middle of PCS. This will probably be our last since Jay retires in 3 years. Of course if he makes Senior Chief he may evaluate his enlistment. Anyway, you know how confusing all of the PCS stuff can be. I do fine with the civilian side, like giving notice to vacate to a landlord, cancelling water and electric and changing the mail address. Where I get all confused is the military side. I know Jay knows the ropes but I just like to double check things. We all know that the military isn’t perfect. I think its very important that the military member know what they are entitled for. Remember WE are responsible for this. We receive Dislocation Allowance and travel pay monies. Its easy to find out what your Dislocation Allowance is, you can find the information out on several sites. I always use a [dot] mil site so that I know it is correct. DISLOCATION ALLOWANCE (DLA)

But, how are we suppose to figure out the travel pay?  Sure you can try and figure it out using the Defense Travel Management Office web site, yeah, right!  Have you ever tried this?  I have and I have also used The Joint Travel Regulations Manual.  Now there is something that is a little complicated.  So while doing yet another search for something easy I ran across this calculator.

PCS Travel Pay Calculator

This calculator was spot on!  Jay had revived his travel money so I checked it against this calculator and it was almost perfect.  Perfect enough to have faith in it so that I want to pass it on to anyone getting ready for a PCS.  Enjoy!

Military Relocation to Naval Base Kitsap

Your Military Relocation Guide to Naval Base Kitsap | You Are Gonna Love West Puget Sound on the Kitsap Peninsula!

This is the moving van that hauled our Household Goods (HHG’s) on our military PCS to Naval Base Kitsap from the desert of Southern California.

Every year it is estimated that one third of Active Duty Military members have to plan and execute a permanent change of duty station or PCS in military speak. The most important part of a PCS is to take charge, it’s your PCS!! There’s lots of help available but you are going to have to find it and ask for it. The military will also help with the moving expenses but you are going to have to know your allowances and your entitlements and you are going to have to request them and follow all the rules.

When it comes to a PCS you will find lots of people are going to want to tell you how to do it, they will tell you what the rules are, they will tell you what they could or couldn’t do. As with anything else even though there are strict rules overseeing the military PCS process each command at each installation are full of individuals who will interpret the “rules” a million different ways so you need to know where to find the truth. Please remember that when a person was in the military 14 years ago the rules were not the same! We still have retired members telling current members that BAH is based on how many dependents instead of with or without! Now that is scary!

I have been a Navy Spouse for 4 years and during that time I have moved three times. All three of the moves were cross the country – West Coast to East Coast, then East Coast to West Coast, then from the Mojave desert of California to the subzero terrain of Alaska. I am now “home” and will be able to stay here for several years.

I want you to know that I know what you are going through, I know what its like to move with short notice, and I know how much work it takes to have a successful PCS. I give you this information about me so you can begin to get to know me. Begin to have the confidence in me that a trusting relationship can begin to form. I know people do business with those they trust and I want to be the one person you can trust when it comes to any of your real estate needs.

Over the last 4 weeks I wrote a series of articles on relocation to Naval Base Kitsap. The start of the Naval Base Kitsap Online Relocation Package began with this post Naval Base Kitsap |Online Relocation Package | IT’S YOUR PCS which outlined the NBK Online Relocation Package. Below is the final version, but be sure to read the post that started the series. Naval Base Kitsap |Online Relocation Package | IT’S YOUR PCS

 Week One – Take Charge | Know Your PCS

Week one featured four articles that dealt with the nuts and bolts of a PCS. Items you need to know prior to your move. I touched on the subjects of allowances, entitlements, planning a moving calendar to incorporate “to do lists”, and research of your new area with an installation overview. We also explored the local housing market and discussed the aspects of homeownership in Kitsap County.

Naval Base Kitsap |Online Relocation Package | Week One | Take Charge | Know Your PCS

Naval Base Kitsap |Online Relocation Package | Week One | Installation Overview

Naval Base Kitsap |Online Relocation Package | Week One | Schedule of Events

Naval Base Kitsap |Online Relocation Package | Week One | Kitsap County Homeownership

 Week Two – Close-up | Bremerton, Silverdale, Port Orchard

Week two featured four articles about the place you are going to call home. We looked at the areas to reside, the local shopping scene, school district information and those special base amenities.

Naval Base Kitsap |Online Relocation Package | Week Two | Shop Till Ya Drop

Naval Base Kitsap |Online Relocation Package | Week Two | ABC…Easy as 123

Naval Base Kitsap |Online Relocation Package | Week Two | Fun, Fitness & Food on DECK!

Naval Base Kitsap |Online Relocation Package | Week Two | Won’t You Be My Neighbor?

Week Three – Let’s Have Some Fun | Out & About Area Attractions

Week three we spent reading about the new area you will be calling home, the beautiful Kitsap Peninsula on West Puget Sound. This week I wrote about local attractions, the local art scene, the parks and what there is to do around town and local.

Naval Base Kitsap |Online Relocation Package | Week Three | Out and About |HARBORSIDE

Naval Base Kitsap |Online Relocation Package | Week Three | Out and About | The Arts


 Week Four – Make it a Vacation on the Navy | Day Trips and Mini Vacations.

I know that after I am settled in and have explored the local area I always like to find out what is on the out skirts. This week I wrote some articles about what there is to do in the “Greater Puget Sound” area. How to become a tourist in your own backyard and enjoy the so many Puget Sound attractions.

Naval Base Kitsap |Online Relocation Package | Week Four | Vacation on the Navy | Day Trips

Naval Base Kitsap |Online Relocation Package | Week Four | Vacation on the Navy | Mini Vacations

Let me be the first to WELCOME YOU to Naval Base Kitsap,

on the beautiful Kitsap Peninsula of West Puget Sound!

If you have any questions about real estate in Bremerton Washington, contact Jo Soss with HomeFront Realty at (360) 990-1433 or visit her personal website HomeFront Realty Online where you will be able to search for homes and find more Bremerton Real Estate information.


Naval Base Kitsap | Vacation on the Navy | Mini Vacations

Now that we have some day trips under our belt, let’s talk about some “mini-vacations” you can take on a long weekend or plan to enjoy for several days in the Great State of Washington. It’s God’s Country, you know! I had that affirmed to me while filling up at a gas station in Southern California. This woman kept staring at me and finally came up to me and pointed to my license plate. She asked if I was from Washington, I said yes I was and no sooner did I say those words did she blurt out, “That’s God’s Country”. Her plates were California plates – I can tell you she put a smile on my face and a tear to my eye! So explore, after all you’re here on the Navy’s dime!!

Tri-Cities | Kennewick, Pasco and Richland

The Heart of Washington Wine Country where you can sip, sample and enjoy the beauty of natures gift. You can choose to explore 150 wineries, or spend the day golfing in the sun, riding bikes on the trails, hiking in the hills or take your kayak on the Columbia.

You might want to explore nature by bird watching at the McNary National Wildlife Refuge or explore the Hanford Reach. Spend a sunny summer weekend on the river banks watching the hydro races. The weather is usually dry and hot during the summer so make sure to bring your SPF. If you play softball you will end up in the Tri-Cities for some type of tournament.

Leavenworth | Bavarian Village

Leavenworth is a Bavarian style town with authentic German architecture, located in a dramatic alpine like setting with awesome old time hospitality. You will find a variety of resort activities here during any of the four seasons. I enjoy Leavenworth the most during the Christmas Holidays.

You can find that “White Christmas” feeling here when you visit for the tree lighting or decide to come for the sledding. You can ride in a horse drawn sleigh through the snow sipping hot chocolate or you can rent a snowmobile and ride the groomed trails.

Accommodations are plenty and run from the rustic type cabin to the cozy bed and breakfasts or you can stay at one of the many hotels. I love walking around down at dusk with the lights on looking in all of the quaint little shops. There are several authentic German type restaurants if you enjoy that type of food.

Grant County | Moses Lake, Ephrata, Grand Coulee, Soap Lake and George

This area of Washington State will be the closest you get to a desert type area. With 10 wineries, 14 golf courses, 144 lakes, the Grand Coulee Dam (8th Wonder of the World / largest concrete structure in North America) and the beautiful outdoor Gorge Amphitheatre, there is always something to do in Grant County!

I spent 11 years in Moses Lake and really enjoyed being able to water ski right out my backdoor! I learned to knee-board, water ski and cliff dive. My boys were born in Moses Lake so I have a special place for the small town that is now a huge tourist area.

During the summer you might be able to catch a Dave Matthew’s Band concert at the Gorge which is an outdoor amphitheater. In Grant County you can find amazing fishing – whether it be winter or summer. You can plan a camping trip to the sand dunes as long as it isn’t Memorial Day weekend – that place is too crazy for me on that holiday!! You can ATV, fish and enjoy the hot summer sun. Be sure to bring your SPF when you visit Central Washington!!

Ocean Shores | The Ocean is Calling

I love this beach! I have spent time in Rhode Island (the beach state) and Southern California where you can swim and surf in the water, but for some reason I love the beach at Ocean Shores the best. There are six miles of public sand beach with five beach approach access roads so it is easy to get to even when there are tons of people. The sound of the pounding waves is really something to experience here. There is that “roar”.

This is not the surf you come to swim or board in; this surf is just too cold and dangerous with the riptides. But you can jump some waves as they come in to catch your feet, you can do some fun wading while you search for that special sand dollar or starfish.

I love to spend time flying my kite or digging razor clams at midnight with a lantern and flashlight. On one outing I was able to watch the most amazing meteor shower while lying on a blanket on the sand staring up in the sky. Ocean Shores is the typical tourist beach town with quaint shops and eateries. Be sure to buy some saltwater taffy! You can rent bikes, go bowling or have some fun at the go-kart track. Always a fun getaway for either the weekend or a full week.

Hope you have enjoyed the Naval Base Kitsap Online Relocation Series, this will be the last article prior to my “wrap up” . If you have missed any articles you can check out the article that introduced the Naval Base Kitsap Online Relocation Package by clicking on this link Naval Base Kitsap |Online Relocation Package | IT’S YOUR PCS which is updated after every new article.


If you have any questions about real estate in Bremerton Washington, contact Jo Soss with HomeFront Realty at (360) 990-1433 or visit her personal website HomeFrontRealtyOnlinewhere you will be able to search for homes and find more Bremerton Real Estate information.

Naval Base Kitsap | Vacation on the Navy | Day Trips

Whenever you PCS you should take advantage of what the area has to offer and make sure you “Take a Vacation on the Navy”! Seeing different parts of the county is one of the many benefits of a military career.

I don’t think I would have ever had the privilege of seeing all of the nation’s monuments in Washington D.C, or seeing the spot where the real “Cheers” bar is located, or walked the Freedom Trail if not for the Navy and the PCS we did to Groton, CT back in 2003.

Nor would I have ever learned about the Mojave Desert first hand and climbed in Joshua Tree National Park if not for the Navy and a PCS to Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center in Twenty-nine Palms, CA.

I know I would never have watched the mountain race in Seward, AK on the 4th of July or watched a real sled dog race or learned to fly fish for salmon on the Russian River if not for a PCS to Anchorage, AK! So make sure you find the tourist in you when you PCS to a new area!!

Here are just a few of my favorite day trips in the Puget Sound area. I know there are several more but this will get you started!!

The Series | Bremerton| Day Trips | Safeco Field

Moose Country? Yep, that is what I said! Mariner Moose Country!!! The Mariner Moose is the official mascot for the Seattle Mariner’s pro baseball team. Living in the area all my life I have come to see the many changes of the Mariners and the Moose. I remember the days of sitting in the Kingdome watching baseball on a warm sunny Seattle day – INSIDE!!

“Refuse to Lose”- I also remember the days of the greats, Ken Griffey, Jr., Edgar Martinez, Randy Johnson, Jay Buhner, Dave Valle, Alex Rodriguez and Edgar Martinez. Oops, did I say Edgar Martinez twice? I sure did! He is my all time Seattle Mariner favorite player. I personally feel he saved baseball in Seattle with “The Double” he hit during the 1995 game vs. the New York Yankees to win the game 6-5 and advance the Mariners for the first time to the American League Championship Series. I know that the tiles of the doomed Kingdome probably played a role, but it was that game on that day that grabbed all of Seattle and the Pacific Northwest and made us a “baseball town”!!!

The new stadium opened in 1999 and it was amazing. I probably attended 25 games that year!! I love to watch baseball.

When you relocate to the area Safeco Field “The House That Griffey Built” should be one of your “day trips”. You can tour Safeco Field individually or as a group.

Tour Schedule

April 1 – October 31| You may tour the stadium on days when there are now games at three different times. 10:30, 12:30 and 2:30. On days with 6 pm games there are only the first two tour times.

November 1 – March 31 | Tuesdays through Sundays at 12:30 and 2:30

Tours are approximately one hour long and cover a distance of one mile, so wear appropriate apparel.

Birthday Tours – How much fun would this be?!!

The Birthday Tour package includes the following.

  • Personal guided tour for up to 20 people
  • Time to play at the Children’s Hospital Playfield
  • A suite overlooking the ballpark for presents and cake
  • Party favors for each child
  • A birthday message on the scoreboard
  • Time on the field’s warning track and in the dugouts
  • A present to the birthday child from the Mariners

See more tour ideas and all of the package information with costs and contact names and numbers here – SAFECO FIELD PACKAGE TOURS

The Series | Bremerton | Day Trips | Point Defiance Park

Never have I ever come across a park like Point Defiance Parkjust over the Narrow’s Bridge in Tacoma. Growing up in the area I have enjoyed this park many times, from the family picnics to the elementary school field trips. Point Defiance Park is a day trip you will revisit often. There is so much to do and see that you will probably need to divide the attractions up and visit on at least 5 occasions just see the minimum. Point Defiance Park is situated on approximately 702 acres that encompass natural forests and salt water beaches. The park offers several recreation and educational opportunities. You can have fun here, learn here and hang out with nature here!!

Gardens and Old Growth Forest

 Acres of gardens | Dahlia, Fuchsia, Herb, Iris, Japanese, Native, Rhododendron and Rose. You can spend hours and hours just walking along the paths of these gardens. Several times I have just taken a book and sat in a garden and enjoyed the smells and the beauty.

Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium

Even on a rainy Pacific Northwest day you can have a blast at the Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium. There are covered viewing areas and indoor exhibits. I love aquariums and this one is one of my favorites. I guess the reason is because it was one of my firsts. I remember as a child going on field trips to this zoo.

Five Mile Drive

There have been times I have visited Point Defiance Park just to makethe “Five Mile Drive”. These five miles of asphalt wind thru some of the most gorgeous old growth forest in the area. Along the way there are viewpoint  opportunities, areas to picnic and relax and several “Kodak moments”, including Puget Sound, the Cascade Mountains, the Olympic Mountains, the Narrows Bridge, Vashon Island and Gig Harbor.

Owen Beach

This is my favorite spot at Point Defiance Park. I love the beach! Any type of beach! From the Owen Beach you can see Vashon Island, watch the ferry boats and any other water traffic. Owen Beach is perfect for a family picnic with picnic shelters, grills, tables and a large restroom area. If you are adventurous you can rent kayaks here!

Fort Nisqually

 I remember as a child going to Fort Nisqually with my entire family. Over the years it has grown and improved. Fort Nisqually was originally a Hudson’s Bay Company outpost built in 1833. This is where you can travel back in time and experience life in Washington during the fur trade era. Fort Nisqually was the first European settlement on Puget Sound.

Art in the Park

Around the park grounds you can find several different sculptures to include an authentic Native American totem pole.

So no matter how much time you have, an hour or several you can find something to do that is either free or a nominal fee at Point Defiance Park. Remember, even if the weather is cloudy and raining you can still enjoy several areas of the park.

The Series | Bremerton | Day Trips | Seattle Space Needle

There is nothing like having lunch at the Seattle Space Needle. One year while living in eastern Washington I decided that it was time to take a vacation and we choose to explore Seattle. I love to vacation local. I am amazed at how many people who live in Seattle and the surrounding area have never been to the Space  Needle! I decided on lunch because my kids were elementary school age and the price is lower than dinner. Many say they would never eat at the Space Needle because of the price. Well, treat it like what it is a “treat” and have lunch. Over the years the rules have changed and there is a minimum charge of $25 per person for lunch. Lunch Menu

You also will be able to continue up the observation deck. Maker sure your lunch last an hour so you will have completed a full rotation of viewing. The Observation Deck is located 520′ above Seattle and features 360º full view of the Puget Sound.

The Space Needle was the huge attraction of the 1962 Worlds Fair. Now it is the “trademark” of Seattle.

General Location:
Space Needle
400 Broad Street
Seattle, WA 98109
Located near the Monorail and Seattle Center House at 5th Avenue North & Broad Street.
(206) 905-2100

Insects, Butterflies and Dinosaurs, Oh My

The Series | Bremerton | Day Trips | Pacific Science Center

When my kiddos were in elementary school we must have visited the Pacific Science Center at least 3 times a year. This is an amazing place unlike any other science center in the world. Of course the fun just isn’t for kids, all of the adults I saw each time seemed to be having just as much fun. Of course I did everything my kids did!! I even touched living saltwater tide pool creatures! Today there are even more exhibits to see, feel and play with. I always enjoyed the Body Works Exhibit and the Science Playground.

There are over 6 acres of hands on exhibits, two IMAX theaters, planetarium, motion simulator and laser light shows everyone of every age will find something of fascinating interest.

You will want to check the Pacific Science Center website for the schedule of special eventsand IMAX and laser light show times as well as to learn what is available to do prior to your trip. This way you will not miss a thing while there. I would never spend less than 4 hours on a visit. Doors open at 10am.

List of Exhibits

  1. Dinosaurs: A Journey Through Time
  2. Tropical Butterfly House
  3. Insect Village
  4. Puget Sound Model and Saltwater Tide Pool
  5. Kids Works
  6. Animal Exhibits
  7. Body Works
  8. Adventures in 3Dimensions
  9. Science Playground
  10. Technology Exhibits
  11. Outdoor Exhibits

Another great place to have a youngster’s Birthday Party!!!

Pacific Science Center is located under the arches near the Space Needle. Daytime entrances are on Denny Way and the main entrance and Will Call are located facing Seattle Center to the north. This is also the only evening entrance.

All Aboard… Ferry Ride!!

The Series | Bremerton | Day Trips | Ferry Rides

Take a day and ride the Ferry. Several years ago I took a day trip with my kids on the Ferry. We left Seattle and headed over to Bainbridge Island. There is nothing like being out on Puget Sound!! Once on Bainbridge Island we took a little drive and had lunch, then back to the ferry for the ride back. Riding a ferry is a very relaxing and fun experience for all ages.

From Bremerton you could ride the ferry into Seattle and depending on the weather you could leave your car on this side and then walk on over to Pike Place Market. It isn’t that long of a walk and well worth it.

Make sure to check out the Official Washington State Ferries website for more information on times and charges. Right now with all the winds and waves there has been some “ferry drama” and you might want to wait until spring.

Ferries are just not for commuting they can be used for fun too. Did you know that the Washington Ferry System is the largest ferry system in the United States? People use the ferries for Birthday parties, weddings and memorial services. Just be sure to contact the proper department to schedule your special event.

The Mountain

The Series | Bremerton | Day Trips | Mount Rainier National Park

That is what we call it. When you relocate to the Pacific Northwest you will here people talk about “the mountain”. You will hear the phrase “the mountain is out today” and”have you seen the mountain today”. The mountain they are talking about is Mount Rainier. Mount Rainier dominates the skyline from the urban areas of Puget Sound to the eastern wine country of Washington State.

I have only been to Mt Rainier in the summer time. I have hiked a couple of the trails with my boys. Even if you aren’t into hiking you will enjoy this day trip because just getting to Mt Rainier is a treat in itself. Mount Rainer is 14,4100 feet in elevation with 26 major glaciers, breathtaking waterfalls, over 100 varieties of wildflowers and approximately 56 species of mammals including deer, elk, goats, black bears, cougars, red fox and others. The park encompasses 370 square miles and is the tallest of the Cascade Mountain Range volcanoes. Yes Mt. Rainier is a volcano.

The park also offers over 240 miles of trails. There are trails for all ages and abilities. You can “stroll” a trail of less than one mile or you can go on the 93- mile Wonderland Trail. I have “strolled” the easy trail with several older family members. It is amazing what you can see.

Sunrise Day Lodge & Visitor Center is on the northeast corner of the park. This is the highest peak you can  reach by car and is 6400 feet. The center is open between June to mid-September. This side of the park is in Mt Rainier’s rain shadow and has a drier climate.

Henry M. Jackson Memorial Visitor Center is opened year round and is located at Paradise. Here you can view exhibits on geology, glaciers, flora and fauna.

There are also places where you can stay for a mini vacation. National Park Inn has 25 guest rooms and a restaurant. Paradise Inn will re-open this May after a renovation project.

This is a great day trip and can also be a very great several day vacation. Check out these websites for more information on lodging and rental equipment. and

Things you can do on Mount Rainier

  • Back packing
  • Bicycling
  • Bird watching
  • Boating
  • Camping
  • Cross-country skiing
  • Fusing
  • Hiking
  • Horseback riding
  • Hot tubing
  • Hunting
  • Mountain climbing
  • Picnic
  • Snowmobile
  • Snow shoeing
  • Wildlife viewing

Hope you are enjoying all the articles so far. If you have missed any articles you can check out the article that introduced the Naval Base Kitsap Online Relocation Package by clicking on this link Naval Base Kitsap |Online Relocation Package | IT’S YOUR PCS which is updated after every new article.


If you have any questions about real estate in Bremerton Washington, contact Jo Soss with Skyline Properties, Inc. at (360) 990-1433 or visit her personal website Puget Sound Real Estate Today where you will be able to search for homes and find more Bremerton Real Estate information.