Seattle, WA Real Estate News

By ARDELL DellaLoggia
(Better Properties Seattle )
Warning! Zero Dow Loans ain't what they used to be.  If you are purchasing with zero down, much has changed in the last few weeks.  Credit scores needed to purchase zero down have been raised from 580 to 620 for the most past, and rates are often higher than they used to be. Make sure you know if your zero down is or is not "subprime".  Just because you have a high credit score, does not in and of itself tell you that it won't be subprime.  Could be the ratios pushing it to subprime.  So be sure you know what you are getting yourself into in terms of monthly payment BEFORE you enter into a contract to purchase. Obtain a full Good Faith Estimate BEFORE you write that offer and not after the fact.  You will need another one after you have an executed contract and lock the rate, as the "i...
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By Mr. Ayub
(Brio Realty, Inc)
Seattle is truly a "A" class city, who wouldn't live here? Job market, rich culture, diversity, still affordable housing market (compare to other major metropolitan areas in the country), four season weather, all year green trees, water, mountain, lakes, and winter snow all are in one place.         Seattle's 100 years old Pike Place Market  Seattleites love boating; boating business is booming here, it is a big as a Miami, Fl. You can find out more about boating on   http://seattleboatshow.com/  This is Seattle's Fish Harbor; it is number two in the nation after Alaska    Who says there are no beaches in Seattle? City of Seattle is built on hills, but still you can find some nice beaches around the city.
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By Ben Kakimoto, Seattle Condo Specialist
(Keller Williams Greater Seattle)
As I was writing my newest condo review post on my condo blog, it struck me that I had more to say about the condo / hotel projects planned or under construction in Seattle. So much so, my mind started to rant and I thought it best to let it out here rather than on Seattle Condos and Lofts.In writing my the post for AVA - a 38-story condo/hotel project, I had counted eight new condo/hotel projects in the downtown core. These include the newly opened Madison Tower (Hotel 1000) and the 2200 (Pan Pacific), those under construction - Olive8 (Grand Hyatt) and Four Seasons, and those on the drawing board - 2nd & Pike, 600 Denny (Hyatt Place), 1 Hotel and AVA (Executive). The question is, has Seattle reached a saturation point with increased hotel rooms through hotel expansion (e.g. the Sherat...
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By Ben Kakimoto, Seattle Condo Specialist
(Keller Williams Greater Seattle)
Though the Seattle Animal Shelter is a city-run facility, the funds for necessary veterinarian care for homeless and uncared for pets brought to the shelter are provided through Help The Animal Fund.  Supported by donations, Help The Animal Fund holds fundraising events throughout the year from bake sales to the Furry 5K Run at Seward Park. A unique opportunity has become available through the Cash for Critters program.  Cash for Critters takes in empty ink jet & laser cartridges and digital phones, and in turn, provides cash for non-profit animal organizations.  The good folks at Metro Dog will be facilitating the program on behalf of the Seattle Animal Shelter.  Please see the Cash for Critters website for acceptable cartridges and drop them off at Metro Dog.Photo:  Shamrock is an Ala...
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By Gene Dexter, Seattle Realtor
(Asset Realty)
Two weeks ago I posted a blog about why Red Fin's business model does not currently work. Among several comments I made included a big sticking point of mine, which is how Red Fin requires it's "clients" to call listings agents and try to get us to open the houses for their buying agent (Red Fin). I also noted how impossible this strategy was in dealing with a listing agent such as myself, as I refuse to do the work of a buying agent (when I list).The feedback and comments received ranged from total agreement to despair about the current market in slowing markets forcing some to work with Red Fin's model.I am here to update you. Currently I have two listings in extremely competitive situations. On my voicemail I am telling buyers in advance I will not be facilitating buyers representati...
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By Ben Kakimoto, Seattle Condo Specialist
(Keller Williams Greater Seattle)
Smith Tower, Seattle.   Have you heard of it?  The BeginningSmith Tower is arguably is one of Seattle's most well-known and iconic landmarks, second only to the Space Needle, at least to Seattleites.  When it was completed in 1914, the 522-foot office tower was the 4th tallest structure in the world.  Only the Washington Monument, the Woolworth Building and the Eiffel Tower were taller.  And, it remained the tallest building west of the Mississippi River for 50 years.The Smith Tower is reminiscent of Manhattan skyscrapers - steel-framed, terra-cota exterior, onyx and marble interiors, bronze window frames, steel doors engraved to resemble mahogany and brass & copper caged elevators with uniformed operators.On the 35th Floor of the tower are the observation deck and the famed Chinese Roo...
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By Mark Eamer
(Zillow)
Everyone wants a starbucks a few blocks away from their house.  There is a belief that having a Starbucks in your neighborhood actually increases the value of your home - since Starbucks is the BMW/Lexus brand of coffee.  I believe that's an urban myth but I do have a hypothesis that Whole Food locations are closely correlated with high home valuations.In order to support a Whole Foods in your neighborhood you need one of two things - lots of money or easy access for people with lots of money.  There is no denying that if you buy 100% of your groceries from a Whole Foods your food bill would be 20-30% higher than a Safeway.  For most people that would work out to $2K-$3K incremental grocery bill.So my theory is this;  for expensive areas of town look no further than the Whole Food locat...
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By ARDELL DellaLoggia
(Better Properties Seattle )
Seattle Real Estate is hard to say all in one breath.  Homes For Sale in Bellevue, WA have nothing in common with Homes for Sale in Seattle, WAHomes For Sale in the Green Lake Neighborhood have little in common with Homes For Sale in Ballard for the most part.Seattle is full of Brick TudorsHaven't seen a tudor in Redmond.  This was my favorite home sale in Redmond.  Brick, but not TudorIt's a tie with this one actually.My absolutely favorite Kirkland House with views of Lake Washington, Downtown Seattle, Mt. Rainier and the Olympic MountainsMy favorite Juanita condo saleReal Estate in "the Seattle Area" is a many and varied thing...you never get bored, that's for sure.
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By Ben Kakimoto, Seattle Condo Specialist
(Keller Williams Greater Seattle)
(Note: this is a press release / self-promotion)  Seattle Condos and Lofts (SCL) is pleased to announce that King5.com, the NBC affiliate in Seattle and part of Belo, has selected the SCL blog to provide content for King5.com's new condo section.   King5.com receives over 6-million visitors per month giving Seattle Condos and Lofts tremendous exposure.SCL is the top-ranked condo blog in the Northwest and among the most visited consumer-focused real estate blogs in Washington (per Alexa).   Additionally, SCL regularly out-paces industry blogs such as RSS Pieces, Real Estate Tomato and TransparentRE (per BlogTopSites). 
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By Deborah Burns ~ Seattle Real Estate Agent
(Realty Executives -BRIO)
Seattle - Montlake's Arboretum Waterfront Park Spring was in the air this week, so I headed to Montlake to take a walk at the Arboretum's Waterfront Park.   This is a great place to take a walk and getaway to enjoy a little nature break here in Seattle, and the City is very close by with the 520 Freeway bridges crossing over the water.  This park is in Montlake, which is the neighborhood or Urban Village that lies just south of the University of Washington in Seattle.       I even got to say "Hello" to a pair of friendly mallard ducks who came over to see if I had any duck goodies to share.  Crossing over the little bridges to get onto the marshy islands is a little adventure and an easy walk on cushy bark trails.         It was the middle of the week the trail was peaceful, and I only ...
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By David Bushnell
(Windermere Real Estate, NW ~ Ballard)
The Loan Pre-Approval Process Obtaining pre-approval for a home loan cannot be stressed enough.  Not only does it assure you that you are looking in the correct price range, it also assures the seller that you are a legitimate buyer.  If you need a recommendation of a lender, I can provide you with several contact names.  Searching for a home can definitely start in advance of the loan pre-approval, but it is best to be pre-approved before submitting an offer to a seller.Let's Make An Offer When you find the right home, the next step is to write an offer on the property.  Keep in mind that if you like it, chances are you are not alone.  Acting quickly can make the difference between living there and telling your friends about the house that got away.  Writing up an offer generally takes...
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By Ben Kakimoto, Seattle Condo Specialist
(Keller Williams Greater Seattle)
February rebounded from a slow January start with condos in Seattle’s core neighborhoods realizing healthy increases, based on median sold prices. Though, average sold prices did take a tumble.  For the most part inventory remained stable while the number of closed sales increased in February compared to January.  Source: NWMLS - information deemed accurate but not guaranteed. For more information about Seattle Condos please visit SeattleCondosAndLofts.com. 
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By Stan Mackey
(Coldwell Banker Bain)
I received a call today from someone I met about 3 years ago. Mrs. Smith was from out of state and we went out looking at properties back in 2004. Well, the timing wasn't right for her then, however she calls today and we discuss the fact that she feels the time is now to sell an investment (rental) property she has currently that is in a declining market. She wants to replace it with 2 properties in our local and of course, paying a hefty tax is not a big desire. She can sell for roughly $700,000 and would like to replace it with two properties with the roughly $600k she has left after paying off the mortgage. Some of the issue's we discussed was whether she could close on a sale now without knowing what she was going to buy, could she handle everything herself, what was the timing, do...
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By David Bushnell
(Windermere Real Estate, NW ~ Ballard)
The Fremont Bridge Northend motorists know this contemporary view of the Fremont Bridge, for when it's up -- and it has been up more than a half-million times since it started teeter-tottering more than (in the mid-1980s) 68 years ago -- you have three or more minutes to gaze up at it and beyond to the green skyline of Fremont. The bascule (meaning it operates like a seesaw by means of a balance) bridge was built for the Lake Washington Ship Canal and opened along with the canal in 1917. The older photo of the older bridge was shot about 14 years before that. The scene was first published in Pacific Northwest, a short-lived but slick monthly which sought to promote Seattle's culture and real estate by putting the best construction on everything. Fremont was no exception. Pacific Northwe...
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By ARDELL DellaLoggia
(Better Properties Seattle )
I predict that Daylight Savings Time being moved to March 11, 2007 will have an impact on real estate sales in areas that are not currently sluggish, such as the Seattle Area where I am. We have always known that "getting light later" expands the market to people look at property after work and not just on weekends or in the dark.  In my experience, "in the dark showings" less often result in a client ready to write an offer, than seeing the property in the daytime. For the first time in history (I think) Daylight Savings time is EARLY, early at March 11.  So "Gentelmen, Start Your Engines" and be ready for the Early "Spring Forward" of 2007.
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By David Bushnell
(Windermere Real Estate, NW ~ Ballard)
Wallingford's main commercial district runs along NE 45th Street, stretching more than a mile from Stone Way on the west to the bridge over Interstate I-5. Wallingford is among the most liberal neighborhoods politically in Seattle, which is saying a lot. Although apartment buildings dot the hillsides throughout the neighborhood, most of the homes in Wallingford are 1920's-1930's "bungalow" style Craftsman houses. Many of these have been either kept in good repair or restored in the last several decades to their Arts & Crafts style. One of the quirks of Wallingford noted by outsiders is the lack of stop signs at any of the intersections of its streets -- the neighborly cooperation of its inhabitants must keep Wallingford residents from needing traffic direction. While not as historically...
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By David Bushnell
(Windermere Real Estate, NW ~ Ballard)
Millions of homes are sold each year, and while each transaction is different every seller wants the same thing - the highest price with the least amount of hassle and aggravation.Home selling is more complex than it used to be. As a seller you need to be aware of a range of issues and deal with many complex forms. You also need to know that buyer agents represent buyers and are working to get the best deal for their buyer clients.  Successfully selling your home requires experience and training in areas such as real estate, marketing, financing, negotiation and closing - this is the very expertise REALTORS® offer. Know Why You Want to Sell Your Home First, you should have a clear idea why you want to sell your home.Selling a home is an important matter and there should be a good reason...
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By Matthew Schmid
(Century 21 North Homes Realty Inc.)
I grew up in Selah Washington which is a small town outside of Yakima.  I made the move to Seattle to attend college.  At first I felt really lost in this city and the odd city layout didn't help either.  Anyone who has lived here knows that if you miss your turn in Seattle you can't always just go around the block.  I felt really overwhelmed and a little intimidated.  This was fleeting of course and I soon began to get my bearings.  After a few years of moving around from neighborhood to neighborhood I finally found Ballard.  I was immidiately in love with the small town feel that graces it's downtown area.  At the time all I had heard about Ballard were jokes on Almost Live.  Ballard is really changing and the downtown area on Market Street has become revitalized over the last several...
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By Ben Kakimoto, Seattle Condo Specialist
(Keller Williams Greater Seattle)
The Seattle Times is reporting the new owners of Seattle’s venerable Smith Tower has designs on converting it to condos.  At one time, Smith Tower was the tallest building on the west coast. Chicago-based Walton Street Capital filed papers with the city Wednesday to begin what could be a months-long process of getting approval to redo the tower as housing. Some people seem to think it may be a reasonable proposition: Matthew Gardner, principal in the Seattle-based land-use economics firm Gardner Johnson, said Smith Tower’s conversion “could be incredible.” “The building itself is iconic, so it does make sense to go down this road.” Gardner also said the switch would benefit Pioneer Square by bringing more residents into the neighborhood. Smith Tower has struggled a bit to attract and r...
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By Deborah Burns ~ Seattle Real Estate Agent
(Realty Executives -BRIO)
Flea Market Fun in Funky FremontSeattle's Fremont neighborhood, self declared "Center of the Universe" has an outdoor, year-round Flea Market every Sunday.                                                                                                                                                                                                        I recently spent a Sunday late morning and early afternoon with some friends poking around finding a couple of treasures and lunch at the Red Door Restaurant & Bar.    We started off by fueling up at Peet's Coffee & Teas at Fremont's main corner, Fremont Ave N and Canal St.  The Red Door used to have that location until it was picked up and moved a couple of blocks west for "development". Fortified with fresh hot coffee and treats, we hit...
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