|Real Estate Ruminations...

Feeling just like home

Sometimes when you are walking through a place that is up for sale, you have a throw back moment that triggers a fond memory from when you were a kid at home.  Just recently we did a small reno on a Phinney area home before putting it up for sale.  Didn’t really change the house much, just did a refresh with some paint and small improvements to make it feel more inviting.  When we were done, I kept thinking “this feels just like home” to me, and so did many of the buyers who toured the property.  You may find that it is hard to put your finger on what resonates with you, but having a little sparkle in a home is so very important when it hits the market. 

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New Year’s Ruminations

I find it funny how every year about this time I want to make the same list of New Year’s Resolutions, from eat more veggies to exercise daily.  This year I hope to break the cycle and bust out with some different aims and aspirations.  In the land of real estate sales, some articles would lead you to believe that the Seattle real estate market is toast, but in reality it has finally settled down after a four year run that was remarkable but unsustainable.  We now have more inventory and a bit higher interest rates, though they are still so low compared to when we bought our first home years ago.  I still see real estate overall as one of the best places to invest.  My year end recommendations for buying this year are to focus on great locations and solid construction, and try to pick up properties that have sat on the market for a couple of weeks, perhaps needing cosmetic updates. You can always improve a home,  but it is hard to improve a location.   I’ll be posting photos from my neighborhood walks on Facebook and hope that as you enter 2019 you also find yourself discovering new interests and enjoying all the things our community has to offer.  Happy New Year!

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“Yep, I want that home!” – Already sold

When you think of lifestyles that are unique to Seattle, living right by the beach is at the top of the list.  Just a few homes up from Blue Ridge Beach, you can sit on the deck and enjoy views, sea breezes and smell the salt air.  Our amazing listing just hit the market, nwmls #1349609, available for $1,379,000.  Built in 1954, it was the home of the month in the Seattle Times, and today it is even more appealing.  With a quick tour on-line or in person, you will see how 2429 NW Blue Ridge Drive combines mid-century architecture with updates to make it move-in ready.  Just the right size, in just the right spot, you can look forward to beach walks as part of your new routine.  Mom and I held it open on Sept. 2nd, received 6 offers the following week.

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Backyard Studios are so Enticing!

I have found that it is a gift to have a workshop or studio in your own backyard.  It offers an opportunity for your creativity to grow, anytime you choose to open the door and spend a bit of time on your art.  As a wood worker, painter, or other artist or musician, having that little haven for your own personal development is the type of thing that feeds the soul.  I currently have a Pinehurst Home on the market with a big (15 x 20) shop in the backyard.  The home is all you would expect in a 1940’s/1950’s home with it’s traditional fireplace, oak floors, wood wrapped windows and seems very popular with buyers.  But when I see their eyes light up, is when they’ve been out back to walk through the shop.  It’s one of those special places where you could get lost for hours.  Come see it – Open today 12 to 4 and Sunday 2 to 4 at 11720 20th Ave N.E., priced at $599,900.

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Forever views are hard to find . . .

But when you find a forever view, you’ll know it.  This new listing of mine at 2606 Perkins Lane West captures the sweeping views of Puget Sound & the Olympic Mountains.  From nearly every room in the home you will find yourself gazing out the windows, or wandering out onto one of the many decks.  It was designed to be open and light inside, while banks of windows and French Doors draw your eyes to the horizon.  It’s one of those very special homes that makes you happy.  Now offered at $1,758,000 and available to tour by appointment, you will find it mesmerizing.  Forever views are hard to find . . .

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Our First Charity Cookbook Cook-Off!

Yes, we’ve dreamed up another great way to raise funds for the Ballard Food Bank.  Gloria Jackson, an extraordinary cook and great fellow realtor, wanted to do a small appetizer cookbook, something thoughtful featuring organic farmer’s market produce, perhaps something seasonal.  We’ve taken that concept and run with it, and hope to be hosting a competition of some of the best Spring and Summer appetizers out there, original recipes, in mid-June at the Phinery right on the corner of 65th & Phinney.  With Marlin behind the photographer’s lens we will have an e-cookbook in the works, and as recipes are tasted we can gleam which are favorites, with the top chef receiving a bottle of Champagne.  Nothing like a bit of competition to heat things up.  Stay tuned for more developments on this fun fundraiser.

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Once in a Blue Moon . . .

It’s unusual to sell a home that hasn’t been sold since 1964, rarely happens around here.  Yet, I have that listing on the market right now and it is so lovely, truly a home for the hopeless romantic in all of us.  What is hard to describe when you have one of the originals on the market, amid all of the systems information and square footage data, is how a place feels when you walk in the door, and that’s what really matters the most.  This home was well loved by the same family for many, many years and lots of wonderful things took place there.  You sort of feel it when you wander into the Living Room, through the archway and enjoy the light streaming in the windows.  Sitting on the radiator you can see out all the windows but not see another home nearby – it’s amazing to have that outlook in the heart of the city.  I love the arched windows over French doors and the oak floors that have been around for nearly 100 years now, as it was built in 1924.  If you’re like me, and absorb all the secrets a home has to offer, you’ll fall in love with this home as well.  It has that ‘Mary Poppins’ magic about it.  1640 Interlaken Place E. asking price of $1,795,000.  So very special.

 

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Small homes can be delightful!

This hot new listing of mine is one of those special gems of a home that is the perfect alternative for folks who do not want condo or apartment living, but don’t really want the amount of space you find in a regular home.  Much more interesting than a townhome as it has no shared walls and no home owner dues, you will find that this scaled small home, at just under 700 square feet, was beautifully designed to feature some of my favorite items – high windows, vaulted ceiling, glass doors and interior doors of clear fir.  The main floor is an open concept with an efficient kitchen with gas stove, breakfast bar & plenty of cabinetry opening to a comfortable Living area with garden view.  A powder room is tucked under the staircase.  Upstairs the master suite is light, bright and inviting.  The laundry is upstairs and the full bath is located there.  The lure of owning less stuff, being able to wander over to a popular café or brew pub, and bicycling into the office is all very attractive in today’s busy world.  If you’d like more information on this home, located at 912B NW 51st Street just let me know.  Listed at $599,900 we will be hosting open houses on Feb. 10th & 11th from 2:00 in the afternoon to 4:00.

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Shopping for Sunny Residences

In the winter months, a little glimpse of sunshine is so cherished by us here in Seattle.  It really defines which properties you want to spend time in, those south-facing kitchens where you look upon a busy garden, and the south-facing nooks in the home that make you want to curl up with a good book and sit for a while.  The summer here is divine, but between the storms that roll through during the winter months, we crave our Sun and it seems to me that this really has an impact on which properties show the best in the winter months.  If you have it, southern and western exposure, your home will sell easily any time of the year.  If you are more in a lower lying area, or on the east side of a hill, waiting a few months for the sun to shift higher into the sky will likely make your home more appealing to a larger group of buyers.  The little things that make us “fall in love” with a property are so subliminal but always meaningful.  From the scent of a candle, to the sun streaming in the window, the perky fresh posies by the front door, and the music playing in the background, all of it leaves an immediate impression on guests and potential buyers.  Don’t overlook those sunshine breaks, they represent the best time to see open houses.

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Liz’s 2018 Predictions

As we wrap up 2017, I thought I might as well share some of my real estate predictions for the new year!  It’s been years in the making, but I think it’s safe to say that these 8 ideas may very well come true in 2018. My top three predictions are (1) Greenwood will become the next Ballard, (2) Abandoned rental bicycles will clutter our streets and sidewalks as the city grows, (3) Home buyers getting traditional loans will continue to be frustrated at the Seattle market.  I’ve felt Greenwood has been maturing and growing for the past three years and while I adore Ballard, especially historic Ballard Avenue, there is some energy that’s quite similar in this often forgotten neighborhood.  Check it out.  The bicycle fiasco, we continue to need ways to get from here to there, but I think we’re still in the old Research & Development stage of figuring out the rental bicycle thing and soon there will be piles of them on many corners.  Finally the financing worries – it is so frustrating to find a great home, write a great offer, and watch the buyer with all cash snatch it up.  I don’t think we’re done with this segment of growth in our area as many newcomers bring big money to Seattle and also financially secure home owners have decided to diversify and purchase investment real estate – likely that darling cute home that just hit the market, for all cash.  Prediction (4) is that the interest rates will increase this year to 5% – could be all wrong here but this is what I’m predicting will happen.  Prediction (5) is the condo market will surge as builders continue to build large apartment buildings and stay away from building new condos to avoid any potential construction defect litigation – in a growing city having a steady flow of new inventory keeps things in balance and we aren’t seeing much in the way of new condos being built.  Prediction (6) you’ll be upset about how long it takes to get across town every single week as our growing pains in the city translate to much longer travel times.  Prediction (7) is you’ll be astonished to find out what your neighbors are renting their mother-in-law apartment out for, and you might even consider jumping into the landlord game yourself.  And my final prediction is that the average home price in our area will be north of $800,000 by the end of the year.   As you reflect on what 2018 may bring your way, I hope you enjoy the beautiful gifts that Seattle offers us as custodians of the city.  The photo below, from one of my favorite locations – Green Lake – shows that the lake can be just as enticing in the middle of winter as on a pleasant Summer day.  Enjoy the journey!

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